FanPost

Tempo

For the last few years we've been hearing Nate say that he wants his team to run more. He tells them to all the time. Fans act like pushing the tempo is just a choice, and we get frustrated when Portland chooses not to do it. 

The truth is, however, that fastbreaking successfully is not just a choice, but a carefully thought out game plan. The Suns aren't just told to "push the tempo" any more than the Lakers are told to just "run the triangle." Offensive schemes are complex and require hours of practice and implementation to be consistently successful. 

Bobby Knight's famous motion offense seems simple enough--pass and screen away, move without the ball, etc. But hours and hours of practice are needed before a team can really implement an offense like that with any kind of success. It would be weird if Bobby Knight would have spent every practice teaching the motion offense, but then randomly expected his team to run the triangle. 

That's pretty much what Nate has done for the last three years. The team is a half court team, they thrive on slowing the game down, running sets, and getting shots in the last 5 seconds of the shot clock. Nate telling the team, or fans telling the team, that they should just "push the tempo" is like telling a team that they should just "do something totally different from what you've been working on." Teams that fastbreak well are those who have worked on it meticulously. It's an entire offensive philosophy and strategy. It looks like they are just running and freewheeling, but it is all very calculated.

If you really want to push the tempo, you've got to do more than just say so. You've got to start teaching it, not just preaching it. 

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