International big men rule NBA with their all-around skills

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Atlanta Hawks coach Nate McMillan believes big men entering the league from other countries thrive because they were taught the fundamentals of the game at a young age.

That grasp of the all-around game has helped international big men dominate the NBA.

Last season’s MVP voting confirmed the return to prominence of big men in the NBA. The voting also highlighted the dominance of big men from other countries.

Denver’s Nikola Jokic of Serbia was the MVP winner, followed by Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid from Cameroon. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece finished fourth in the voting and was the NBA Finals MVP. Golden State’s Stephen Curry was third as the only guard in the top four.

Meanwhile, Utah’s Rudy Gobert from France won his third defensive player of the year award. Atlanta’s Clint Capela from Switzerland was the NBA’s top rebounder.

McMillan says some U.S. players are missing the lessons of the ”triple threat” skills of shoot, pass and dribble toward the basket that were learned by the players in other nations.

”I just think they come in with the basic fundamentals, more so than our players do,” McMillan said Tuesday.

”It used to be a lot of that, but now our guys are not spending as much time in those types of programs. … You don’t spend four years in college anymore where coaches can develop those basic fundamentals of the triple threat.”

McMillan then paused before asking, ”You know the triple threat? You say that to one of our guys and it’s like `Give me the ball and let me just …”’

McMillan didn’t have to finish the sentence. He could have said ”Let me just dunk” or ”let me just score.”

Jokic, who averaged 8.3 assists while also posting big scoring and rebounding numbers, flourished while also making his teammates better.

Jokic isn’t motivated to dominate the spotlight on the court. That’s also the way he lives.

”I don’t want to raise my celebrity status,” Jokic said. ”You can control that in some way. I don’t have social…



Source : yahoo

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