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What would you fix if you were Travis Ford?



Welcome to our Friday roundtable. @carsonc5 came through in the clutch with this week’s question about what we would try and fix (if anything) on this year’s team if we were Travis Ford.

First up, OKC Dave…

OKC Dave

Aside from solving the Nash enigma (I picture Ford slaving away at a blackboard in the math sciences building like Will Hunting), I would find a way to get the post players more involved in the offense.

I know we don’t exactly have Hakeem Olajuwon down there, but it is ridiculous how rare it is to see one of our big guys score after receiving an entry pass. Cobbins seemingly scores all of his points on put-backs, and I certainly admire his effort. Jurick scores by –wait, how does he score?

You rarely see defenders doubling down on those guys because there is simply no reason to. If they could generate just a little offense in a traditional back-to-the-basket scenario, it would give us more open looks on the perimeter and cuts to the basket from other positions as defenders would be forced to help in the post.

I don’t think we have the horses this year to make this work. Cobbins could very well develop into a solid post player, but he’s not there yet. Nash should have some Marshall Moses type moves in the post, but he really hasn’t developed this part of his game yet.

Another thing I would work on is on-ball defense. Ford always subs in Brian Williams on defense towards the end of games. I get that he’s an athletic defender, but I don’t think he’s a smart defender. He leaves his man and relies on his quickness too much, getting beat and then going for a block or a steal to make up for it.

I think in the close-game situations where Ford calls his number, he needs to work on ball denial and making guys take tougher shots rather than making a really big play.

Kyle, please pass along my twitter handle to Travis so I can tell him what else to do (it begins with “stop” and ends with “micromanaging every aspect of the game with time outs when you have the best player on the court at point guard”).


Ford needs to press a lot more, not just when he is losing. [depth excuse is no longer applicable]. But if I’m Travis, I’m ready to put the “red light” up from three-point range.

OSU is shooting 33% from three this season. Woof. [Pulls on the fluorescent-orange blazer]. I would start the game with a “yellow caution light” and have the team on a very, very short leash when it comes to three-point attempts.

[Assistant coach yells: ‘Kel drilled 7 trey’s at Allen Fieldhouse!] Yeah, well, even in that monumental win the team shot 8-24 [33%] from three. It gets worse. The biggest problem with not being a great shooting team is they continue to jack from deep, at will, with zero conscience. In their six losses they are shooting 23% (!) from three, with an average of 18 attempts in those games.

The team [Ford?] must realize they can’t [and don’t] shoot themselves out of a slump.

This falls on Ford, of course. He’s bemoaned shot selection after games this season. Perhaps he lets his team play too freely? Only he knows.

It’s nit-picking, sure. The team is in great shape, don’t get me wrong. They have plenty of options: More Nash on the block. More Cobbins doing I-Mac things. More Markel mid-range J’s off screens. And of course, all things Marcus Decimus Meridius. Just less three-pointers.


I actually think Ford has done a pretty good job this season with his team. It remains to be seen whether that’s the Marcus Smart effect or not — and I admit, the two things are difficult to separate — but ask Mike D’Antoni how easy it easy to coach talent…

As for what needs fixing, it would be a subtle adjustment with Le’Bryan.

If he doesn’t want to go down on the block every game like he did against OU, fine. But at the very least put him at the high post when we play against zones (he would murder teams doing this) and have him run baseline when we’re going against man.

I’ll listen to basically zero excuses for why LB should ever receive a pass more than 10 feet from the rim. Ford should tell Smart and Markel to just not even look at him unless he’s within one step of the lane.

I really think doing this could be the difference between getting angry Nash and passive Nash down the stretch.

One can help take you past the Sweet 16, one means you’re fighting just to get there.

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