Monday, December 15, 2008

Archibald: Defense

There's a Spanish team that is playing great basketball in the begining of the season. It's Unicaja Malaga. They have a very good coach, Aito Garcia Reneses "Aito" (ask Rudy Fernandez about him) and really important players from European Basketball like Marcus Haislip, Carlos Cabezas, Boniface N'Dong, Thomas Kelati, Jiri Welsch... But they have one player who doesn't attract the lights very often, although, in my opinion, is one of the main keys of their success.

He's Robert Archibal, you can remember him from his NBA years here. He's playing wonderful defense, as you will see in the video and he's giving his team the strenght needed inside if you want to be a challenger in both Euroleague and ACB league.

Let's take a look: in the first action in today's video (from their last Euroleague game against Olympiakos, J.Childress' team) he makes what I've called the best flash of the season. Watch him jump, stop the player with the ball and push him towars the half court line. Excellent!

After that we can see Archibald defending Sofocles Schortsianitis (one of the most powerful players we've seen in the last years in Europe). When your man is stronger than you, you must be more intelligent to stop him. Archibald takes one step back when Sofocles is trying to use the contact to keep posting up, and makes him travel and loose the ball. That's defensive knowledge!

And to close our little look at today's main character, another flash, with a great recovering that allows him to be in the right place in the right moment to avoid an easy basket.

Not only big scorers and great dunkers are important in our sport, and that's why I'd allways have Archibald in my team...

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