Steinmetz: What to do When Backyard Balling Goes Wrong?


Steinmetz: What to do When Backyard Balling Goes Wrong?

Sept. 23, 2010

Matt Steinmetz

OK, so here's the deal. I got a nice court in my backyard in Oakland.No, it's not a full half-court, but it's certainly good enough for aguy my age to get out there, take some shots, run to get your ownrebounds (out of the net, of course), and then take a couple dribblesout to 18- to 20-foot to take another shot.

You'd be surprised how you can work up a sweat doing that.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, there was a function on our block in which wemet some of the other families in the neighborhood. I told a few of theteen-agers and younger boys, if I was home, and they came and asked,they could come into my backyard to play some ball.

Sure enough, the guys - they're really kids, high school and younger -have been knocking on the door and asking to play quite a bit, and forthe most part I've said "Yes," when they've asked.

Only rule is they have to introduce themselves to me before they can play.

Anyway, on the first night two or three kids came over to play. Thenext time it's four or five and then next thing I know one night Icount seven.

So, two or three nights a week, chances are a few kids from theneighborhood are in my backyard playing ball. Like I said, no problemthere. Happy to have them.

Only, I'm starting to have a real problem with something that's goingon, and I don't know how to handle it. I thought, why not throw it outthere to the readers. So, here goes:

It's not the number of guys coming over. I kind of like that. It's thatevery time they come over, they lower the basket to seven-feet or so,and spend most of the time playing an awful game of one-on-one-on ordunking or taking shots they're never going to get in the game.

It's a breakaway rim so it can take dunking; I'm not sure at this continual rate, though.

Anyway, I come out one day after a couple of weeks, and give them myinner Gregg Popovich, saying: "Hey, you guys shouldn't be playing withthe basket this low. You need to be putting it at 10 feet, working onyour mid-range game and getting a feel for how to finish at a realbasket. You guys need to play on the real thing."

In fairness, two of the kids said they wanted to play with the bucketat 10 feet, but a couple of the older kids wanted it low. Anyway, thelarger point is these kids certainly aren't getting better, and I'mallowing it to happen.

Then again, it's not my responsibility to make them better. And they'renot showing much of an inclination to get better, quite frankly. Pointis, after I gave them my Popovich, I still consistently find the bucketat seven or eight feet.

What should I do? I want the kids to be playing basketball - just notbasketball like this. Should I tell them they can't play unless thehoop is at 10 feet? Should I tell them not to come over all together?

Should I tell them they can play on a seven-foot basket when one ofthem beats me in a game of H-O-R-S-E? Which would be never, by the way.

What you guys think?

What's your take? Email Matt and let him know.

Young Warriors fan brought to tears after getting surprised with tickets


Young Warriors fan brought to tears after getting surprised with tickets

Christmas came early for one young Warriors fan. 

Posting a video to Twitter, Charles Hinkle Jr. surprised his nephew with Warriors tickets on Friday. Hinkle's Twitter location shows the family is from Hollywood, Fla.

The reaction says it all. 

And the smile confirms it: best Black Friday ever.

The Warriors play the Heat in Miami on December 3 at 4 p.m. PT. The Warriors played the Heat twice last season. They won their first contest in Oakland and then later fell in Miami.


As if this young fan's day was already perfect, Steph Curry will be a part of his Warriors experience in Miami.

Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls


Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls

The Warriors will be without their starting forwards Friday night when they return to Oracle Arena not only to face the struggling Chicago Bulls but also in search of good habits.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.

Kevin Durant is out with a sprained ankle and Draymond Green will be resting.

The Warriors (13-5) are coming off a 2-2 road trip during which they blew a 17-point third-quarter lead in one of the losses and had to overcome a 24-point third-quarter deficit to earn one of the victories.

The rebuilding Bulls (3-13) are concluding a four-game swing through the Western Conference, having lost the first three games by an average of 15.7 points.


Warriors by 15.5


Omri Casspi & Co. vs. Lauri Markkanen: Markkanen has been one of the few bright spots for the Bulls this season. The 7-foot rookie from Arizona shares the team lead in scoring at 14.6 points per game, while leading in rebounds at 8.3 per game. The only Chicago rookies to score more points in their first 16 games are Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose and Elton Brand. With Green and Durant out, the task of defending Markkanen falls to Casspi, who will start at one forward, with rookie Jordan Bell also taking a few turns.


Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L ankle sprain) and F Draymond Green (rest) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Bulls: G Zach LaVine (L ACL rehab), F Nikola Mirotic (facial fractures), G David Nwaba (R ankle sprain) and G Cameron Payne (R foot surgery) are listed as out.


Warriors: 8-2. Bulls: 2-8.


Bennie Adams (lead), Mark Ayotte and JT Orr.


The teams split the two-game series last season, each winning on its home court. The Warriors have won five of the last eight overall and 14 of the last 18 in Oakland.


THE INTENSITY METER: The Warriors believe, justifiably, that their biggest worry is about themselves. When they’re properly focused, they are the best team in the NBA. When they are not, they are susceptible to most any quality team. Insofar as Chicago doesn’t appear pose an explicit challenge, the Warriors must not only manufacture intensity but also maintain it.

KEEP ‘EM OFF THE LINE: The Bulls are dead last in the NBA in offensive rating (94.4), field-goal percentage (41.0), field goals made per game (35.7). The one thing they do well is shoot free throws, which they shoot at a league-leading 92.9 percent. The Warriors can be prone to fouls (only eight teams commit more), so they’ll have to play it smart against this opponent.

THE BENCH BUNCH: With Durant and Green out, along with this being the second game of a four-games-in-six-nights stretch, the Warriors will have to lean on their bench, which has been quite good. Its 54-percent shooting leads the league, as is its 4.2 blocks per game. The net rating 10.2 is second in the NBA.