Notes for conference finals

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject: Notes for conference finals

We need more judges, those coaches who went out in the second round are welcome to join us. If you'd like to judge please PM me.

The format has been changed slightly for the conference final, please check out that thread for details.

Stakes are higher now so the margin for error shrinks, things you miss or wrong assumptions in the game plan will be amplified and assumptions made on your behalf will be limited.

The one exception is if there is a matchup with an obvious adjustment that any coach would make. For example the eastern semis had Sugar Ray on Camby, the adjustment is to post up Camby and have him poach the offensive glass. In that game I allowed that matchup to run for 6 minutes. In the conference final it ends immediately. Coach calls time out and adjusts on the spot, even if no specific adjustment was provided.

Again this is ONLY for obvious mismatches like a 6-5 point defending a 6-11 center. It will NOT be used as a bailout to make positive assumptions for you on elements you missed or didn't specify in the game plan.

Players can go up to their average minutes played in the playoffs in the year selected. If they didn't make the playoffs then the regular season is the limit. The minutes alone aren't a guarantee they are at 100% to close. How you use them is critical. Lot of work carrying the offense, lot of work chasing on defense, that will tire them. It's when you have a ton of work plus the minutes at the limit that they will really fade.

Players need to be rested going into crunch time. Specify when the key guys are sitting, and if they are playing most or all of the 4th. None of the well playoffs have longer time outs so he'll just rest between quarters stuff. If your main guys have heavy minutes and don't sit in the 4th they will feel it in crunch time. If you don't specify when rest happens in the second half it will be assumed for you.

Wrong assumptions are lethal to the team that makes them and opportunities for the oppositon. Go through your game plan and list the assumptions you make and challenge them. Plenty of playoff games have been won by a team assuming the game would go a specific way, then it doesn't and they have no chance to recover, the rug is pulled out from under them. Games have also been won when one team anticipates the other's assumptions and then cuts them off at the knees. Deliciously nasty technique - if you can pull it off.

Assumptions you make are risk, you limit that risk by limiting the assumptions or covering them - which makes adjustments vital. Exposed assumptions by your opponent that you predict and attack are found gold. Exposed assumptions usually stem from overconfidence, don't buy your own hype, or expect that a team will play into your strengths.

Often the best way to defend is to concede to the weakness. Vegas conceding 3's vs. Oregon holding the key to their defense. Another way to succeed is to deny a team its strengths. Rather than mano a mano you find a different path where you still succeed, but his strength is taken away. Find those paths.

Good prep is to game plan against yourself. Makes it easier to see where you are vulnerable and where you must succeed to win. Then you flip it and see more than you did before.

Last thing, new format has the shatterpoint paragraph. Really think this one through, you nail this it sets up everything else.

Best of luck to the Final Four, thank you coaches and judges for all of your effort.
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