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 Post subject: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:03 am 
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Saw a blurb this morning about the Ravens studying the Golden State Warriors halftime process. Ravens are now the best in the NFL in terms of points allowed in the second half.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/31/sports/warriors-third-quarter.html

Why Do the Warriors Dominate the 3rd Quarter? Consider Their Halftime Drill

By Marc Stein and Scott Cacciola
May 31, 2018
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant gets his ankles retaped. Zaza Pachulia changes into a fresh jersey. Draymond Green removes his sneakers. Some of the players even check their phones, because of course they do.

The Golden State Warriors do a lot of mundane stuff at halftime.

Yet what happens next is extraordinary. Their explosive third-quarter runs have become a phenomenon, and nobody knows quite what to make of it. The players themselves are mystified.

“I honestly have no idea,” Stephen Curry said.

We are not about to solve that riddle, either. Entering Game 1 of the N.B.A. finals on Thursday night, the Warriors had outscored their opponents by an unprecedented 130 points in the third quarter this postseason. It defies easy description. But a closer examination of their halftime rituals may provide some illumination.

[Game 4 Live: Follow Marc Stein and Benjamin Hoffman’s updates]

The 15 minutes between the end of the second quarter and start of the third are a carefully choreographed production, featuring clips of game footage, wardrobe changes and managerial strategies straight out of business school. Coach Steve Kerr, based on interviews with players and coaches, has worked to create an environment of inclusion. This is not a place for Lombardi-esque rah-rah speeches. Rather, the Warriors’ halftime locker room is a high-speed 360-degree team review.

“Everybody is a leader here,” said Pachulia, the veteran center. “At least you have a feeling that you’re a leader.”

The Warriors actually begin preparing for halftime as soon as the game begins. Assistant coaches will identify plays that the team may want to review at halftime by signaling them to Willie Green, an assistant and 11-year N.B.A. veteran who sits one row behind the bench. Green is in charge of keeping track of the time and score for each of the plays in question.

“Put that on edit!” the coaches shout. Or simply, “Clip that!”

Periodically throughout the first half, various other members of the staff — including Samuel Gelfand, the team’s analytics guru, and Kyle Barbour, the strength coach — run portions of the list back to the locker room, where James Laughlin, the video coordinator, assembles the clips on a computer.


Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.CreditEzra Shaw/Getty Images
Laughlin also has the freedom to pull clips that he thinks should be included. He aims for a total of eight to 10 for the halftime reel — but that number tends to stray into the 15 range in a high-pressure playoff game.

Once the first half ends, the coaches spend three or four minutes talking among themselves. At home, that happens in the coaches’ office adjacent to the locker room. On the road, they improvise. For example, when they were in Houston for Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, they met in the hallway outside the visiting locker room because the coaches’ quarters were so cramped.

Bruce Fraser, an assistant coach, described these sessions as think-tankish: Kerr solicits input from his staff, then listens. Sometimes, though, he takes advantage of the opportunity to vent, which is partly by design. By ridding himself of his frustrations, Kerr can act like a more rational human once he appears in front of his players.

“He’s got a fiery side to him,” Fraser said, “and he’ll be screaming and yelling in the coaches’ room for 30 seconds.”

Many of the players spend that time attending to their various health and equipment needs — in addition to checking their phones.

“We have time until Coach walks in to do our little things,” Pachulia said.

(As an aside, nobody in franchise history had a more curious halftime ritual than Gilbert Arenas. He famously used that time to take a shower — including once in his uniform.)

Once Kerr has a good grasp of the material he wants to cover with the team, he and the rest of the coaches enter the locker room with about 11 minutes left before the start of the third quarter. Kerr does not obsessively check the clock. He chooses to keep time by feel.

Kerr is the first coach to address the team — “Steve makes, in a brief way, sense of what just happened, good or bad,” Fraser said — before the clips that Laughlin collected in the first half are projected onto a large screen. Kerr runs through them.

But he trusts his staff so much that he does not need to know in advance which clips Laughlin and his assistants have selected for the halftime show. Kerr’s staff members seem to have an intuitive understanding of the types of plays he will want to highlight.

During the first half of Game 7 against the Rockets on Monday night, the Warriors played so poorly their assistant coaches kept simultaneously shouting, “Clip that!” whenever the team had a decent possession. They knew that Kerr, who loves to emphasize the positive, would want to show the players those plays at halftime. When he did, the sequences reinforced the message that good things happened whenever they moved the ball, and reminded the players at a fragile moment that they were better than the 11-point deficit suggested.

Kerr, a former television analyst, also has a special ability, Fraser said, to take the information he gathers from his staff and deliver it to the players in digestible morsels.

“The broadcasting definitely helped him to articulate lots of thoughts in a condensed way,” Fraser said.

Yet Kerr does not want to be the only voice in the room — far from it, in fact. He has carved out time for others to speak. Once Kerr finishes making his main points, the associate head coach, Mike Brown, often speaks to the group. Then, the senior assistant coaches, Ron Adams and Jarron Collins, add their thoughts. Kerr likes to close by seeking input from the players, too, especially in the playoffs.

“Do you have anything for us?” he asks them. “Do you see anything?”

It probably won’t come as a total shock to learn that Draymond Green is the most vocal Warrior. Andre Iguodala, who tends not to say much during the regular season, likes to pipe up in the playoffs — and that might not be much of a surprise, either. Iguodala, though injured in recent weeks, has done some of his finest work in the postseason, on and (apparently) off the court.

Like the Warriors organization itself, the halftime locker room is, above all, an open forum.

“He is the authority based on title,” Fraser said of Kerr, “but our culture is by community. He’s one of them. He doesn’t look at himself as a figure that they have to defer to.”

Pachulia has played for nine head coaches during his 15-year N.B.A. career. He said he had never been a part of a more democratic locker room.

“It’s open for us, from 1 to 15 — anybody can say something,” he said. “That’s how this team is built: If you see something, please say something.”

As for strategy, the Warriors run a read-based offense — meaning they look to pick apart the soft spots in opposing defenses. Halftime gives them the chance to recalibrate.

“After you play a half, you can see what teams are trying to do,” Fraser said.


Perhaps the most amazing feature of the Warriors’ halftime routine is its brevity. Kerr tries to wrap up his whole spiel with about seven minutes showing on the clock — six minutes at the latest. He knows the players want to get back on the court to take some warm-up shots. He also probably knows there is only so much he can say.

“The one thing we ask him to do is, ‘Steve, let us go at the six-minute mark,’ ” Pachulia said. “He respects that. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the game is going. At the six-minute mark, we’re out.”

As the players head back to the court, Kerr reconvenes with his assistants. They keep an eye on the clock. Once it hits 2:30, they make their way to the bench. There is confidence born in the routine of halftime — confidence that the players will heed their message and execute the plan.


“That all adds to what’s next,” Fraser said.

What’s next has become utterly predictable to fans, opponents and even the Warriors themselves: hope-destroying scoring runs that tend to erase any memories — and any deficits — of the first half


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:20 am 
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That's sounds like more thought and effort put into a 20 minute halftime than Herm Tomlin puts into a full season.

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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:25 am 
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Thanks for sharing.

This team has to start with Pre game planning.
Discipline, scheme, practice, films, rhtym and cohesion.........
Loooooong before they get to half time adjustments. If we are failing in the over 10,000 minutes to prepare for an opponent before kickoff.......then i highly doubt this staff has anything they can accomplish in 15 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:32 pm 
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Stosh-67 wrote:
Thanks for sharing.

This team has to start with Pre game planning.
Discipline, scheme, practice, films, rhtym and cohesion.........
Loooooong before they get to half time adjustments. If we are failing in the over 10,000 minutes to prepare for an opponent before kickoff.......then i highly doubt this staff has anything they can accomplish in 15 minutes.

True, but the counter argument would be the Ravens. I am sure the Raven’s boards would make the same arguments that are made for Tomlin for Harbaugh. And this exact quote could probably be found paraphrased on a Raven’s board too. So here we have an example of the Raven’s making a simple change that is paying off, if you are to believe Ian Rapoport and the NFL stats for second half. I am sure there are some grains of salt in this story for the the Ravens.


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:38 pm 
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LakecrestSteeler wrote:
Stosh-67 wrote:
Thanks for sharing.

This team has to start with Pre game planning.
Discipline, scheme, practice, films, rhtym and cohesion.........
Loooooong before they get to half time adjustments. If we are failing in the over 10,000 minutes to prepare for an opponent before kickoff.......then i highly doubt this staff has anything they can accomplish in 15 minutes.

True, but the counter argument would be the Ravens. I am sure the Raven’s boards would make the same arguments that are made for Tomlin for Harbaugh. And this exact quote could probably be found paraphrased on a Raven’s board too. So here we have an example of the Raven’s making a simple change that is paying off, if you are to believe Ian Rapoport and the NFL stats for second half. I am sure there are some grains of salt in this story for the the Ravens.


Counter to the counter.

Ravens came out prepared and ready to play.
Ravens went to halftime and made adjustments to improve in the second half.

Steelers did neither.

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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:42 pm 
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Really interesting.

I think halftime adjustments are more myth and fan ire [Parcells once said it really doesn't happen]....but clearly there are things you can to do focus the team and maybe help players visualize (as the Warriors do putting together clips) what they aren't connecting on. More of a "re-instruction" than drawing up new plays and schemes in the dirt.

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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:04 pm 
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The only halftime adjustments made on this team are to Tomlin’s belt after eatin a few Ho-Hos while reading his Thesaurus. Wordsmiffs got to stay on their game.


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:34 pm 
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955876 wrote:
The only halftime adjustments made on this team are to Tomlin’s belt after eatin a few Ho-Hos while reading his Thesaurus. Wordsmiffs got to stay on their game.


And making sure the ping-pong table is ready.

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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:45 pm 
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Worked out well for the Ravens today.

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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:53 pm 
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fortythree wrote:
Worked out well for the Ravens today.

And the Steelers shitshow halftime rah rah speech seemed to work, also

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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Kodiak wrote:
Really interesting.

I think halftime adjustments are more myth and fan ire [Parcells once said it really doesn't happen]....but clearly there are things you can to do focus the team and maybe help players visualize (as the Warriors do putting together clips) what they aren't connecting on. More of a "re-instruction" than drawing up new plays and schemes in the dirt.


I've always envisioned halftime a little like this... From the plan we started with, what went well and what didn't go as we.thought it would. Ok, what can we do to expand on what was working well for us, why was it working well and can we exploit that into any other concepts? Conversely, with what didn't work; why didn't it work, was it method or scheme or excecution? What can we ditch and replace with the concepts that we identified as doing better. Also what things can be fixed if simple? And go from there... And maybe that's what you mean by focus the team. That's why it's called adjustments and not start overs.


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:14 pm 
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Almighty Slacker wrote:
Kodiak wrote:
Really interesting.

I think halftime adjustments are more myth and fan ire [Parcells once said it really doesn't happen]....but clearly there are things you can to do focus the team and maybe help players visualize (as the Warriors do putting together clips) what they aren't connecting on. More of a "re-instruction" than drawing up new plays and schemes in the dirt.


I've always envisioned halftime a little like this... From the plan we started with, what went well and what didn't go as we.thought it would. Ok, what can we do to expand on what was working well for us, why was it working well and can we exploit that into any other concepts? Conversely, with what didn't work; why didn't it work, was it method or scheme or excecution? What can we ditch and replace with the concepts that we identified as doing better. Also what things can be fixed if simple? And go from there... And maybe that's what you mean by focus the team. That's why it's called adjustments and not start overs.
This usually but I have also been in a locker room for some real paint peeling sermons from coaches laying into the team for effort be just as effective. You have to know what the team needs on that day.


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:21 pm 
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stillthere wrote:
Almighty Slacker wrote:
Kodiak wrote:
Really interesting.

I think halftime adjustments are more myth and fan ire [Parcells once said it really doesn't happen]....but clearly there are things you can to do focus the team and maybe help players visualize (as the Warriors do putting together clips) what they aren't connecting on. More of a "re-instruction" than drawing up new plays and schemes in the dirt.


I've always envisioned halftime a little like this... From the plan we started with, what went well and what didn't go as we.thought it would. Ok, what can we do to expand on what was working well for us, why was it working well and can we exploit that into any other concepts? Conversely, with what didn't work; why didn't it work, was it method or scheme or excecution? What can we ditch and replace with the concepts that we identified as doing better. Also what things can be fixed if simple? And go from there... And maybe that's what you mean by focus the team. That's why it's called adjustments and not start overs.
This usually but I have also been in a locker room for some real paint peeling sermons from coaches laying into the team for effort be just as effective. You have to know what the team needs on that day.


Completely agree, I think the coach should always be thinking those things, but hey if the team comes out flat and uninspired then by all means call their asses out. I guess I meant to imply that it can't just be Ho hum, second verse same as the first just a little bit worse...


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:30 pm 
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For me halftime adjustments are as follows.
If the Steelers are playing really well and are scoring consistently with a comfortable lead Glenlivet... 8-)
If the Steelers are playing well and are winning although still room for improvement (Nail Biter) Tequila and Beer... ;)
If the Steelers are playing like shit and being pummeled I go for the Bourbon and Beer... :oops:

Today was a Scotch day...


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:49 pm 
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stillthere wrote:
This usually but I have also been in a locker room for some real paint peeling sermons from coaches laying into the team for effort be just as effective. You have to know what the team needs on that day.


But that's a pep talk, not adjustments...

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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:49 pm 
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Steelerfan should be running the halftime!

Interesting that in the article there was no mention of trying to play devil’s advocate for the other team’s adjustments. We rushed off tackle really well so they will probably bring up a safety, if they do let’s use this offensive play set coming out of halftime.

I would think that would be necessary, but it t doesn’t seem like many teams make that many adjustments. One quick score and everything you just talked about goes out the window, like the Steelers’ games when they were down quick and had to abandon the run.


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:37 pm 
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A personal adjustment...


https://triblive.com/sports/steelers/14 ... st-falcons


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:52 pm 
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AirRescueFF wrote:


Would the vacant QB coach have spotted that earlier and have been yelling it via the green dot system?


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 Post subject: Re: Halftime Adjustments
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:01 pm 
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Kodiak wrote:
stillthere wrote:
This usually but I have also been in a locker room for some real paint peeling sermons from coaches laying into the team for effort be just as effective. You have to know what the team needs on that day.


But that's a pep talk, not adjustments...


When I said "this usually" I was referring to the post above talking about adjustments. All I am saying is sometimes lighting a fire is just as important as getting the x's and o's corrected.


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