Due to the excellent coverage on BT Sport (free plug!), I have been hugely enjoying the NBA Playoffs over the last couple of weeks.
Sunday night saw Game 4 of the LA Clippers v Oklahoma Thunder series, with the Thunder leading 2-1 at the time. Now I love NBA Basketball but you don’t have to like Basketball, or even know too much about it, to appreciate some of the brilliant lessons that came out of Game 4! These lessons are applicable to whatever sport you play and to life in general! If you would like a brief re-cap of the game, see the link below:
Basically, as a very brief summary, the Thunder (playing at the Clippers), got off to a good start while the Clippers shot terribly, and built up a lead of as many as 22 points. The Clippers did not panic and set about chipping away at this deficit, bit by bit, until they eventually took the lead with just over a minute to go. In the end, they only led for about 67 seconds of the entire game….but they were the crucial 67 seconds!!
As Doc Rivers, the Head Coach of the Clippers said to his players early in the game, “We’ve got time if we want to win this. We’ve got time.” And they did.
In terms of lessons to consider from the game:
1 – Keep calm, don’t panic, even when you get off to a terrible start and find yourself a long way behind.
2- A game/match can last a long time, giving you the chance to find a way back.
3 – If you do get off to a good start and find yourself ahead by a large margin, keep your focus and concentration and continue to play the way you’ve been playing to get there in the first place. Do not let complacency in.
4 – If something isn’t working for you, change something and find a way. (The Clippers went to an unconventional line-up for them, with Doc Rivers having the courage to try something different).
Perhaps the greatest lesson from Game 4 will come with Game 5. Will the Clippers be able to ride the momentum of their incredible comeback win? How will the Thunder respond after such a game when they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory? The ability to deal with setbacks is a hallmark of a champion – Game 5 may prove to be as fascinating as Game 4….