Small ball is all the rage in the NBA. Instead of furnishing their frontcourts with tall, shot-blocking centers and forwards, many NBA teams have found success in employing smaller, faster lineups lacking true centers to stretch the floor, juice-up their fast-break offense, and wreck havoc with smaller, stingier defenders.
For example, with the absence of a healthy center, the Golden State Warriors have employed three-guard, two-forward lineups regularly en route to posting a 22-10 record through early-January. Taking advantage of favorable matchups, focusing on gang-rebounding schemes, and playing stingy, pesky defense, the Warriors have beat teams with more traditional “true” 7-foot centers.
In an improbable comeback victory, the Princeton Tigers (4-2, 3-0 Ivy) upended the Harvard football team (5-1, 2-1) this weekend, scoring 29 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to notch a 39-34 win and secure sole possession of first place in the Ivy League.
In a way, the Crimson got an early dose of Halloween at Princeton this weekend.
On March 14, 2012, when the final buzzer sounded at the Harvard-Vanderbilt men’s basketball game in Albuquerque, N.M., the Crimson’s 2011-12 season came to a close. Harvard, finishing with a 26-5 overall record (12-2 Ivy), had earned its first NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament bid in 66 years and its first-ever solo Ivy-League title.
I watched with excitement as the Crimson became the latest Ivy-League darling to generate buzz in Division I basketball, challenging a star-studded Vanderbilt squad that featured three future NBA players.