Cap's Corner - 3/23/10

Cap's Corner by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Andrew Bynum's performance:
Laker fans are justifiably pleased with the recent play of Andrew
Bynum. His improvement and consistency has made it impossible
for Laker opponents to ignore defending the paint with just one
player. By shooting such a high percentage so close to the basket
he has forced the defenses to play closer to the three second area,
and that in turn has given our perimeter players more time and
space to do their thing. Andrew and Pau Gasol are both putting up
great numbers as scorers and rebounders. They often get double
teamed but by finding the open shooters on the perimeter they are
making the defenders pay for their attempts at double teaming.

Kobe's leadership:
There was some concern when the Lakers lost consecutive games on the
road but their more recent surge of victories has shown
that the Lakers can find their edge when they are healthy and focused.
The leadership of Kobe Bryant, broken finger and all, is
something Laker fans should cheer. It is hard for any of his teammates
to slack off in the presence of such dedication.

Attacking a defender:
Defensive players are trying to get a low center of gravity
and use that to leverage Andrew out of good position in the pivot.
This can be overcome by simply faking a direct pass into
the pivot and then having Andrew spin into the lane for a lob pass.
After a few successful executions of this play the defenses
will return to playing Andrew more honestly. The height advantage the
Lakers enjoy will continue to be a plus for our team.

Toughest defender?
That would have to be Nate Thurmond.
Nate had the height and agility along with the defensive tenacity to
compete with me. Alot of guys would beat on me and claim
they had played great defense but Nate actually would play me tough
within the rules. Its a shame that he never got to play on
a team that had championship potential and display his superb
defensive skills in front of a larger audience.

Shot-blocker's mindset:
Someone
with shot blocking skills should focus on consistently
eliminating as many lay ups available to the opposition. By reducing
easy lay up opportunities for the opposition you force
them to take lower percentage shots on the perimeter. The lay up is
the most accurate shot in the game and professional
players make close to 100% of their lay up opportunities. By
eliminating this high percentage shot you greatly increase the
chances for your team to win. Bill Russell was the best center of his
era because he consistently reduced the efficiency of the
Celtics opponents. Any team that forces their opponents to rely on
outside shooting will always have a great advantage and
should be winners.

Music:
People ask me what type of music I listened to on my tape player
before games. On my tape player I listened to alot of
jazz that I recorded from my album collection. Miles Davis, Thelonious
Monk, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson,
Sonny Rollins and Chick Corea were all some of my favorites. The music
of these gentlemen was what was running
through my head while I was on the court and helped me maintain my
focus while at the same time playing in a
relaxed manner.

Today's training regiment:
I think the the training regiments that today's teams use are very
effective. I am particularly impressed with their
increased focused on flexibility. Flexibility training enhances the
effectiveness of strength training and the work
they do on their cardiovascular endurance. Players will be injured
less often and they will recover more quickly
when they do get injured if they spend time on flexibility training,
The flexibility training I used to stay relatively
injury free for 20 years was Bikram Yoga. I would recommend it for
anyone no matter what sport they are in.

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