Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Mission Impossible: driving sense into Orville Higgins

Published:Saturday | May 28, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots over Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) and forward Andre Iguodala (9) in Game Four on Tuesday. Golden State lost Game Four but came back to win Game Five. OKC lead the series 3-2.

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Self-praise is no recommendation. Does Orville Higgins know this? I doubt it!

As a female from the minority that watches the NBA play-offs religiously, I stumbled upon what is the current trending topic on the 'Sports Desk'. Unsurprisingly, my ears were pierced not only by the host's constant harping about his sporting prowess, but also by his ridiculous stance as it pertains to the role, and relevance even, of matchups in basketball.

Now any sports-watching, knowledgeable person will know the critical role matchups play in any sport. Oh, but not Orville Higgins!

The moot changed more times than Michael Jackson's nose, God rest his soul. The host began by stating that matchups in basketball are overrated. Somehow, it then shifted to matchups as having nothing to do with the result of a game, then back to the subject being overrated.

Now these are two contradictory statements. One implies it has some impact, though somewhat minimal, the other infers zero impact. Which is it, Higgins?

In his article dated Friday, May 27, 2016, he states, "Matchups in basketball are overrated. What ultimately determines the result is the team that is more motivated, will execute better on the night, and the one with the better talent overall."

For me, every aspect of a basketball game is in essence a matchup. A series between OKC Thunder and GS Warriors is likely to be less one-sided than if we had a series between GS Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers. Matchups.

Within the game, there are matchups within matchups. There are individual vs individual matchups, offensive vs offensive matchups, offensive vs defensive matchups, coaching vs coaching matchups, skill vs skill matchups, talent vs talent matchups. You get the picture.

 

SO NAIVE

 

It's not only naive to say matchups are overrated when it is clear that every aspect of the game revolves around the concept, but also asinine.

Orville Higgins has a narrow view of the meaning of the term, and as such his arguments are quite basic. Any knowledgeable basketball watcher will tell you that Stephen Curry, while offensively potent, will likely score less, on average, if he had a Kawhi Leonard guarding him versus a James Harden.

Higgins opines that one's level of execution is what ultimately determines the game's result. Basic and obvious stuff. For those of us who would wish to speak on more than the obvious, it is clear that what is in front of you often determines one's level of execution. Matchups.

CHRIS-ANN S.