美國男籃終於開竅了?

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(Source: nba.com)

美洲區男籃錦標賽即將於台灣時間23日在拉斯維加斯開打,最近讀到的兩則新聞有點趣味,不知該說是美國男籃終於開竅了,還是說他們反應得太慢?

第一則新聞是,美國隊本屆美洲區資格賽任用活塞隊籃球事務主任Tony Ronzone,總理球探事務(Pistons Tony Ronzone Named USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team’s Director Of International Player Personnel)。


Team USA: Scouting Hard
I always remember Charles Barkley, when he was on the Dream Team in 1992, admitting that he did not know a single thing about the Angola team they were about to face.

I can’t tell you that the team was underprepared for opponents last summer. (For the record, Rudy Tomjanovich was in charge of scouting then.) But I can tell you this: Team USA is at a natural disadvantage. NBA games are broadcast around the world, so most opponents have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the NBA players involved. Whereas Euroleague and other international basketball is very hard to watch in America.

NBA players go into not knowing much about a lot of these guys, while their opponents come into it knowing a fair amount.


Ronzone本身在NBA、在國際上都已經闖出名號,極為知名,也曾在中國待過一段時間。他在接任之後,最重要的任務就是負責收集敵情,飛赴各地收集各隊球員的資料。

雖然美國一直設有球探,也都有作賽前的scouting,但一般相信,在以往NBA球員用左手打就足以大勝對手的情況下,這個位置始終被忽略,沒有發揮該有的作用。例如2006年世錦賽美國敗給希臘一役,美國下半場被希臘的pick-and-roll給玩死掉,卻一直無法作出臨場調整。賽後就有人認為,如今的美國隊和1992年巴塞隆納奧運的美國隊一樣,對他們絕大多數的對手一無所知。

但我們要注意,2006年世錦賽美國確實設有球探部門,掌門人也不是別人,就是Rudy Tomjanovich。可想而知,Rudy T的功課並沒有作好。

打籃球的人都知道,如果你和熟悉的對手打球,完全掌握他的習慣動作,防守起來就輕鬆許多,容易預測他的下一個動作。就像打棒球的人,如果搞清楚投手有幾種球路,至少猜起來也比較好猜。

Ronzone的目標是要將美國即將遇到的每一個球員都建檔,同時收集大量的比賽畫面,在剪輯之後燒成DVD,供球員能夠在賽前就在飯店觀看畫面,了解他即將防守的對手。

第二則新聞是,美國籃協特別請了兩名FIBA的國際裁判為球員上課,講解國際規則和NBA規則的不同。其實這也是老生常談,我相信每一支美國隊都經過這個訓練,問題在於,他們是否夠在短期內將已經內化成為本能的NBA規則,調整為國際規則。

這很不容易,你只要想像先前Tim Duncan在國際比賽中被裁判搞到哇哇叫的畫面,就可知一二。其實用「搞」或許不是個好的形容詞,重點在於NBA球員一直無法適應風格迥異的國際規則。


FIBA refs school Team USA on international rules
The idea was to prepare players for the no-blood, no-foul style of international play. What might appear to be a violation in the NBA — a moving screen, say, or a forearm to the midsection — is often ignored under FIBA rules.

“You have more liberties,” Kobe Bryant said. “It’s upon us to take advantage of those. In the past, guys were telling me, when they were playing in these tournaments, they’re so used to playing hands-off. It’s an adjustment. They’re not taking advantage of their size or their athletic ability.

…(略)

International basketball is far more physical than the NBA, which has taken strides to streamline the game by cracking down on handchecks and illegal screens. Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo helped lead the cleanup effort when he owned the Phoenix Suns.

Krzyzewski compared the international game to the “NBA of the ’80s.”

One difference, evident to even casual observers, is the number of moving picks. A defender may find himself being blocked from the top of the key into the lane.

“It’s not illegal,” LeBron James said. “In the NBA it is, but in FIBA basketball it’s legal. You’re allowed to roll the guy into the post after you set a screen.”

“International basketball is far more physical than the NBA”…看到這句話突然好想笑,這和某些人的認知剛好相反。我覺得,倒不應該說國際籃球的碰撞程度超過於NBA,應該解釋為國際籃球比NBA允許更多的衝撞。這兩種解釋法之間有著微妙的差異。

總之,對於慣於使用國際規則的我們而言,了解國際和NBA規則間的差異,或許比老美來得容易。比賽時間、場地、叫暫停的方式次數和對象,以及goal tending,兩者都有相當程度的不同。對球員影響最大的,則是裁判的尺度。

我以前曾寫過,國際裁判和NBA裁判比起來,帶有更多的法官角色,他們是規則的捍衛者,權威性也更大。他們才不管比賽是否流暢、球賽好不好看,走步就是走步;你認為是撞人,我就認為是阻擋犯規。

這兩個裁判也向美國隊球員解釋了,FIBA規則對於handchecks和非法掩護(illegal screens, moving screens),都判得比較鬆。

如果美國隊夠認真,我不認為他們拿下美洲代表權有什麼問題。但是在2008北京奧運的戰場上,他們在NBA和國際規則的差別上,由於競爭對手更加強勁,會遇上更嚴格的考驗。

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