Being unpredictable is the goal

This is what r/nba doesn’t understand: the game of basketball is about putting the ball in the basket, no matter what. Free throws, jumpshots, 3s, whatever works. It’s not about optimization. Players are not robots. It’s about unpredictability.

If you drive or make 3s, you’re predictable.

If you only do 2s, you’re predictable.

Now, you can be really good at one of those and win games like that. Houston does it. In regular season. During the playoffs, they’re very fragile in the sense that all other teams know their plan and will actively make sure the plan doesn’t work. Also, pressure. That’s how James Harden misses 12 3-pointers in a row while during the season he seems absolutely unstoppable from the perimeter.

Enter a team like the Spurs. They are good at being unpredictable. They have people who can and love to shoot from everywhere on the floor. Last night, 16/19 from 3s, 56/99 total. 89% from the line. That makes defending them a nightmare. You can’t really win when a team is not missing from anywhere. And if they do, they can switch plans, try different things. The Thunder last night had no answer besides their athleticism.

Take the Warriors. It’s not that Steph is the best of all time from 3, it’s that he can score as well from half-court than he is in the paint. That’s unpredictable as fuck. How do you defend that? That’s why Klay had to add moves to his game because every NBA fan knows what he’s going to do. Catch and shoot. With KD and Cousins the Warriors added absurd randomness: those two can score from anywhere.

Unpredictability, son. In every single game of basketball or anything ever, that’s the key to win. Or put it this way: the more everyone does something, the more you need to do something different.

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