Fratello Fundamentals

Passion is a prerequisite for playing pro ball.

In Friday’s matchup against Golden State the Nets were literally dragging their feet in the first half and at the beginning of the third quarter. They didn’t get back on defense, and as a result the Warriors killed them in transition, stretching their lead to as many as 19 points.

You cannot compete in the NBA without passion for the game. You must bring energy to the floor night in and night out. If you don’t consistently play hard at this level, your opponent will quickly open up a large lead and run away with the win.

Sparked by some big hustle plays made by tenacious 11th-year veteran Gerald Wallace, the Nets woke up before it was too late and rallied to knock off the Warriors 102-100. Wallace had 24 points, 18 rebounds and a block that sealed the deal in Oakland and helped New Jersey sweep the season series.

From the Booth

Fratello and Eagle break down the Nets’ 102-100 victory following Friday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

From the Booth

Mike Fratello and Ian Eagle recap the Nets’ 105-84 loss to the Utah Jazz.

The CzarFather: NBA Survival Tips

In the third quarter of Wednesday’s loss to the Wizards, Deron Williams was hit with consecutive technical fouls and ejected from the game after arguing a no-call with the officials. Coach Avery Johnson reacted to losing his All-Star starting point guard and wound up joining Williams in the Nets’ locker room after getting tossed during the same timeout.

When your star player is thrown out of a game, as head coach you have to deal with the aftermath and decide how to react to the referee’s decision, bearing your team’s best interest in mind. Sometimes your emotions will get the best of you, but you must try to keep them in check and figure out what will ultimately benefit your team. Does your team need you on the court? Or is there more value in making a statement by venting your frustrations?

Though I earned more than my fair share of technicals when I was coaching, I seldom got myself thrown out of a game intentionally. However, it did happen on occasion. There were nights when I decided enough was enough, and I made my point. I also paid some hefty fines to the league as a result. But for the most part I felt my job was to guide my team down the stretch. Players expect their coach to be there for them when the going gets tough.

Of course keeping your cool while doing battle on the NBA hardwood is far easier said than done. But if you want to stay on the sidelines and guide your guys to a win, you’ve got to regroup, get your emotions under control and lay off the officials. Your team will only get back in the game by playing good basketball.

From the Booth

Fratello and Ruocco break down the New Jersey Nets’ performance following Friday night’s 93-84 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.