Tough Teams Talk!
"I can’t make every decision for you. I don’t have 14 timeouts. You guys have to get together and talk.” -Gregg Popovich
Talking to teammates, helping each other verbally, is one of the most obvious differences between good players and mediocre ones. Kevin Garnett is considered one of the all-time great communicators in the NBA. “At all times, no matter what arena, no matter what atmosphere: you’re gonna here him,” said teammate Kendrick Perkins. Just getting in the habit of calling out the ball and your man each time on defense will end up saving baskets over the course of a game and season. We (STBB) like say, "Call ball. Call man." Listen to KG call out, "I'm good!" in this short clip below.
After a very successful tenure in Boston, Doc Rivers in taking over the Clippers came in and made communication his top priority. Defensive stopper Andre Jordan commented, "Everybody being able to communicate is important. When it’s quiet out there you don’t know what things are going to happen. But if everybody is talking then you feel more comfortable and more confident out there.” For example, when talking to your teammates about your man setting a screen. It’s really important to not only call out the screen, but to do so early, loud and often (ELO). What’s being said is a five player conversation, not just two. You may be surprised at how often your mere words can help you and your teammates make big time plays. Watch this 20 second Clipper video. If you listen closely you can hear the talk as well as sense and even see their toughness.
I credit Jarod Dubin and his article Let's Talk About It for many of these quotes and videos.