Is it a good difference?

By russellBUSH

 Usually when the middle of January rolls around I have watched a lot of basketball by this time and I always have the same thought. My basketball playing days was in the early seventies and the thought each year is how much the game of basketball has changed since my playing days. Some if those changes are good but I am not so sure that all of them are.

 The three-point line has to be the biggest change from my playing days, as there was no such thing as a three-point line in 1974. I have always joked that if there had been one then my name might be in the record books but it is just a joke as I’m sure it would not have made a difference in my playing time. The three-point line has added offense in the game and it is more exciting for the fans. The one problem I have with the three-point line coincides with the rest of my concerns about the change in the game of basketball.

 I had a former coach tell me one day a couple of years ago that kids at practice will immediately go to the three-point line and start shooting. I understand part of that as that has become an integral part of the game. However, I believe the kids ignore the rest of the fundamentals that it takes to win basketball games. I understand that you have to make threes to win games.

 A good example of what I am talking about is at the foul line. There seems to be a lot of inability to make foul shot by a lot of teams. For example, the Mustangs although they won the game, made only 10-28 from the charity stripe in their game against Union City that went into overtime. The Mustangs rallied from a double-digit deficit to win the game but could have avoided overtime with made free throws. Then again Union City missed a foul shot to send the game to a second overtime which reinforces my thought.

 Fundamentals are being ignored in my opinion as the biggest difference from my playing days. It doesn’t seem that kids put in as much work on boxing out, dribbling and the aforementioned foul shooting. You can win a lot of games making three-pointers but you can win a lot of games by playing defense, making foul shots and taking care of the basketball.

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