The Kings May Try A 4-On-5, Cherry-Picking Defense
When I played rec-league basketball back in the day, I tried a bold experiment. I didn't run the floor very well (I think the nickname "Fifth Gear" was bestowed), and so I wondered, what would happen if I just didn't play defense at all?
What if I let my faster teammates play defense, 4-on-5, with me hanging at midcourt for a cherry-pick layin? And it pretty much worked. The opposition scored maybe 75 percent of the time, but following the long inbound pass, I scored on the other end 99 percent of the time.
The math was sublime, and I only had to run half the time. I'll relate the end of this story below.
But for now, know that, according to several sources, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive wants to try the same thing in the NBA. Yep.
Ranadive is so committed to pushing the pace that he instructed interim coach Ty Corbin to experiment with a 4-on-5 defensive scheme.
No one really knows how this would work since it's never been attempted in a high-level basketball game, but the implication is that the Kings will have four guys play defense and one guy whose job it is to cherry-pick all game.
Reportedly the 4-on-5 scheme is one of the reasons that Mike Malone and ownership decided to part ways. Malone is a defense guy, and felt that 4-on-5 might slightly cramp his style. (Ha).
Sacramento's D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, are already experimenting with it -- in addition to many other up-tempo schemes (they average 138 points per game).
I live near Reno and will head out there to check it out soon.
Oh, and as for my cherry-picking career? It didn't last long. I felt so guilty about it, and got such shit from my teammates, that I went back to conventional bad defense within two weeks. But I will never forget that magical time when open layups fell from the heavens, I averaged 30 points a game and never ventured onto the defensive side of the court.
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