Thursday, November 20, 2014


The best play in basketball is the open floor chasedown block. It is a mix of all of the best basketball elements. A block at the rim, a tremendous high athleticism play and a perfect moment in time when precision and power meet at the apex. It's an open floor play which mean it never stops moving. It generally creates a fast break opportunity on the other end, a potential four to five point swing, which, I'm not into "Momentum" or any crap like that, but it is an impressive two way flexing, a classic basketball face rub.

It also involves a very brief moment, a thrilling moment, where the blocker is running down the floor, and slooooows down just a litttttle bit so he can size up his opponent and get perfect timing on the block. Have you ever seen an osprey hunt in person?

I don't think this video captures it, but an osprey will fly over a pond, spot a fish (When I saw it in person, it was a trout at a recently stocked Klineline Pond in Salmon Creek.) and then ever so subtly slow down by pumping its wings and them BOOM, swoop down and snatch a fish right in it's fucking talons. I spent all afternoon trying to captrure this on a shitty camera once, but you have to see it in person to really see the whole range of motion, the little movement an osprey makes with its wings before it dives five stories to nab one fish. Every time I see the little foot shuffle before the big block, I am taken back to the osprey yanking it's own body back before it dives into the water and yanks a fish out of a pond

A given, Lebron is the king of the chasedown. He makes a play so difficult only a few players can properly execute it seem like an inevitability.

 If you watch enough Blazer games, you also come to appreciate Nicolas Batum's approach, which is a little more graceful and hand flicky than Lebron's nightmare train:

But I am only writing this to illuminate Demarcus Cousins's crusher on Jrue Holiday on the 18th.

Look at that open court sprint and size up! Onetwoonetwoonetwo One Two BLOCK. It's not a traditional chasedown masterpiece where you get a real sense of the player's eyes zeroing in on the target. But it's a real rumbler, all six-tenish 250ish of Demarcus thunderin' down the floor and snatching two right out of Jrue's hands. A human being that big shouldn't be able to keep up and make a play like that on an NBA guard, and a very good NBA guard at that. Almost more straight up eagleish than osprety-esq like the small forwards. The Steel Eagle, Stealin' from Jrue, if you will.

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