Ed Note: I've had the joy of working with Cory previously. He brings forth a great knowledge and understanding, and his playbook posts will add something big to the site.- Zach
I used to hate basketball.
This is not an exaggeration. I really despised the sport. If I ranked every sport I'd ever played, it would probably have been last on the list. I guess the biggest issue was nobody ever really bothered to teach it to me. It was always just the thing everybody had to do during "free day" in P.E. class, and it turns out a bunch of middle schoolers running around screaming is not the most constructive environment for learning something new.
"This is a dumb. I can't respect a sport where it's a legitimate tactic to intentionally break the rules."
"There's no strategy here! It's just a bunch of guys dribbling the ball around until one of them randomly decides to shoot."
And so, I basically ignored the sport until the latter part of high school, aside from catching the newspaper headlines about Grant Hill being injured (again) or Brian Hill getting fired (again). Then, something changed. A new team came around which caught my attention in a way no other had yet managed to do. A team with a simple, yet wildly effective strategy: 1-in, 4-out, leverage your dominant big man to get efficient, open shots.
The Van Gundy Magic teams made it all click. Building a strategy around Dwight Howard's dominance made sense. Shooting tons of high-value 3-pointers made sense. Getting players like Rashard Lewis and Ryan Anderson--players who represented the at-the-time under appreciated "stretch 4" archetype--made sense. Suddenly, basketball made sense.
I caught up on all the other nuances of the game that used to be over my head, and I eagerly dove into the burgeoning world of NBA advanced stats. Fantasy basketball, NBA League Pass, and "Basketball Twitter" were soon to follow. Some friends and I even started a barely-read Magic blog on our own little corner of the Internet.
I have a degree in Chemical Engineering, and I like to apply that same mindset to my basketball analysis. I've done a bit of work at "Orlando Magic Daily," and I'll be doing similar pieces here. You can expect to see me dig up interesting stats about the Magic, and back up those numbers with step-by-step breakdowns of actual plays.
Looking forward to a fun Magic season!