Steinmetz: What to do When Backyard Balling Goes Wrong?


Steinmetz: What to do When Backyard Balling Goes Wrong?

Sept. 23, 2010

Matt Steinmetz

OK, so here's the deal. I got a nice court in my backyard in Oakland.No, it's not a full half-court, but it's certainly good enough for aguy my age to get out there, take some shots, run to get your ownrebounds (out of the net, of course), and then take a couple dribblesout to 18- to 20-foot to take another shot.

You'd be surprised how you can work up a sweat doing that.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, there was a function on our block in which wemet some of the other families in the neighborhood. I told a few of theteen-agers and younger boys, if I was home, and they came and asked,they could come into my backyard to play some ball.

Sure enough, the guys - they're really kids, high school and younger -have been knocking on the door and asking to play quite a bit, and forthe most part I've said "Yes," when they've asked.

Only rule is they have to introduce themselves to me before they can play.

Anyway, on the first night two or three kids came over to play. Thenext time it's four or five and then next thing I know one night Icount seven.

So, two or three nights a week, chances are a few kids from theneighborhood are in my backyard playing ball. Like I said, no problemthere. Happy to have them.

Only, I'm starting to have a real problem with something that's goingon, and I don't know how to handle it. I thought, why not throw it outthere to the readers. So, here goes:

It's not the number of guys coming over. I kind of like that. It's thatevery time they come over, they lower the basket to seven-feet or so,and spend most of the time playing an awful game of one-on-one-on ordunking or taking shots they're never going to get in the game.

It's a breakaway rim so it can take dunking; I'm not sure at this continual rate, though.

Anyway, I come out one day after a couple of weeks, and give them myinner Gregg Popovich, saying: "Hey, you guys shouldn't be playing withthe basket this low. You need to be putting it at 10 feet, working onyour mid-range game and getting a feel for how to finish at a realbasket. You guys need to play on the real thing."

In fairness, two of the kids said they wanted to play with the bucketat 10 feet, but a couple of the older kids wanted it low. Anyway, thelarger point is these kids certainly aren't getting better, and I'mallowing it to happen.

Then again, it's not my responsibility to make them better. And they'renot showing much of an inclination to get better, quite frankly. Pointis, after I gave them my Popovich, I still consistently find the bucketat seven or eight feet.

What should I do? I want the kids to be playing basketball - just notbasketball like this. Should I tell them they can't play unless thehoop is at 10 feet? Should I tell them not to come over all together?

Should I tell them they can play on a seven-foot basket when one ofthem beats me in a game of H-O-R-S-E? Which would be never, by the way.

What you guys think?

What's your take? Email Matt and let him know.

Kerr: Warriors could rest two key veterans during upcoming stretch

Kerr: Warriors could rest two key veterans during upcoming stretch

OAKLAND -- Though the Warriors on Sunday will begin a stretch in which they play three games in four nights and five in eight, coach Steve Kerr said there are no plans to rest anyone.

He did, however, leave open the possibility of sitting a couple veterans.

“The only guys who I would consider resting over the next week, barring injury, would be Shaun (Livingston) and Andre (Iguodala),” Kerr said Sunday afternoon, prior to tipoff against Memphis at Oracle Arena. “And that’s routine, because of the wear and tear, the age and the constant monitoring we’re doing with those guys.

“But the schedule is fine. I’m not planning on resting anybody in San Antonio.”

After facing the Grizzlies, the Warriors on Monday fly to Houston, where on Tuesday night they will play the Rockets. The following night, they face the Spurs in a game of particular significance.

Though the Warriors are assured of having the homecourt advantage should they make it to the NBA Finals, they have yet to reach that status in the Western Conference. The Spurs were two games back prior to the Warriors-Grizzlies game.

After returning home from San Antonio, the Warriors face the Rockets next Friday night and the Washington Wizards at home on April 2.

All five teams during this stretch are either in the playoffs and likely to be in. The Warriors entered Sunday with a combined 2-6 record against those teams.

NBA Gameday: Revenge on Warriors' mind against Grizzlies

NBA Gameday: Revenge on Warriors' mind against Grizzlies

OAKLAND -- Forgive the Warriors if they have a measure of vengeance on their minds when the step on the floor Sunday afternoon.

They’ll be staring at the Memphis Grizzlies, who came into Oracle Arena on Jan. 6 and handed the Warriors perhaps their most galling regular-season loss in three years, wiping out a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to take a 128-119 victory in overtime. It was the first time in 55 years a team had staged a comeback of that magnitude against the team with the best record in the league.

The Warriors (58-14), who have been the NBA’s best home team since 2014, will be seeking to even the season series as well as win their seventh consecutive game.

One of the surprise teams of the NBA in the first half of the season, the Grizzlies (40-32) have come back to reality, going 6-8 since the All-Star break. They’ve lost their last two, at New Orleans and at San Antonio.

Warriors by 10.5

Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley: It has become cliché to say Conley is underrated, so we’ll just say he’s the NBA’s finest unsung point guard. Curry and his teammates know this. Conley this season is averaging career-highs in scoring (20.0 points per game), field -goal percentage (44.9) and 3-point field-goal percentage (39.7). Curry, of course, is the back-to-back MVP and the man most likely to feel salty about that Jan. 6 loss. He also has been playing well of late. These two will generally dictate the fortunes of their respective teams.

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain and bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (L foot strain) is out. F Chandler Parsons (L knee rehab) is listed as out. G Wade Baldwin, C Deyonta Davis and Jarell Martin are on assignment with Iowa of the D-League.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 7-3. Grizzlies: 4-6.

The Warriors have lost two of three meetings earlier this season but have won nine of the last 12 overall.

THE PACE GAME: The Grizzlies are deliberate and ultra-physical. They prefer to play at a crawl; they rank 28th in pace. Their philosophy is to stay close through three quarters and find a way to win in the fourth. The Warriors want to play at jackrabbit speed; they’re third in pace. The team that can impose its style gains a massive advantage.

OPENING/CLOSING STATEMENTS: The Warriors will seek to build an early lead in hopes of enlarging their margin for error. They may need any cushion they can create, as they well know the Grizzlies thrive in the clutch. Memphis is 15-6 in “super-clutch games (within 3 points in the final minute or regulation or OT).

KLAY AND THE GRINDFATHER: Memphis guard Tony Allen takes particular pride in his ability to defend, and he goes after Klay Thompson like a lion chasing a gazelle. Each has had his individual triumphs over the other, and their battle occasionally influences the outcome. Thompson won the last, torching the Grizzlies for 36 points last month in Memphis. Allen surely remembers that.