Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NBA Continuity: Experience playing with same teammates helps

It allows a player like Josh Howard to miss 2 1/2 months, then play under 20 minutes for 8 regular season games, then be fully ready to succeed in a First Round Playoff Series.

A less experienced player could not have done it.  Another veteran who was new to a team:  aka Jason Kidd in 08, could not have done it as well.  Howard knows his exact role; knows exactly how to play with his teammates.  He's been excellent for 25 playoff minutes per playoff game.  Mavs limit him to that, so as not to overstress his still injured ankle.

I kind of like Howard being somewhat limited by his ankle.  It forces him to be more cerebral: to  be more conscious of what is the best and proper play to make; the best and proper next step to take.  He cannot afford to waste steps.  He cannot afford to play inefficiently.  It forces him to up his mental game:  less wild colt; more calculating veteran player.

I've noticed continuity with teammates being important before:  with other players, on other teams, who came off injuries before or during playoff series.

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