- 25.09.2019, 02:46 #66258
season."Where does the time go? Matt Ryan will be heading into his 12th season under center as the leader of the Atlanta Falcons in 2019 Stitched Grady Jarrett Jersey , and it feels like just yesterday that he was drafted with the third overall pick out of Boston College.Join us in dwelling on the past a bit, as we wait for year 12 of the Matt Ryan era to commence. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a look back at each of Ryan’s 11 seasons individually — his best game, his worst game and what we learned from each season. You can find the 2008 article here and the 2009 article here.Today, Ryan’s 2010 campaign is on tap.His best game - Week 10 vs. Baltimore (TNF)Riding a 6-2 record throughout the first half of the season, and with aspirations of winning the NFC South for the first time since 2004, the Atlanta Falcons went into a Thursday Night Football matchup against the 6-2 Baltimore Ravens (the Number 1 seed in the AFC at the time) looking to make a statement.This is back when Matt Ryan vs. Joe Flacco was an actual debate, as the two would be forever linked after being the only quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. It was a stifling Ravens defense, which ranked top 10 in fewest yards allowed in 2010, which Ryan would have to figure out in primetime.Simply put, Matt Ryan was dazzling under the lights on that November night — and he needed to be, with the Ravens shutting Michael Turner down to the tune of 17 rushes for just 39 yards. Ryan threw for a season-high 316 passing yards (his only 300-yard game of the season) and tied a season-high with three touchdown passes, while not throwing a single interception.Down 21-19 with 1:05 left in the game, the Falcons called on Ryan to deliver yet another fourth-quarter comeback and game-winning drive — something he became an expert at doing in the 2010 season, with a league-leading five such comebacks and six such drives throughout the course of that year. Ryan delivered as usual, with a drive which culminated in a game-winning touchdown pass to Roddy White (their second touchdown connection of the evening) with 20 seconds left to play. Ryan’s heroics would result in a 26-21 triumph en route to a 13-3 season, and the Number 1 seed in the NFC. It would set the mark for most wins in a regular season for the Falcons since 1998.His worst game - Divisional Round vs. Green BayAfter an incredible regular season which saw Ryan lead the Birds to the 1-seed Youth Grady Jarrett Jersey , and earn his first ever Pro Bowl appearance, the Boston College product had a disastrous performance in the team’s playoff game.Statistically, his worst game actually came in Week 1’s defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but given the circumstances, this Packers game is the one that’s been remembered after all these years.It all started out so well in Atlanta’s first home playoff game since 2004 — they led 14-7 after Eric Weems returned a kickoff for a touchdown, which had the Georgia Dome rocking. After that, however, the rails fell completely off.Ryan cracked under the pressure of having to match an immaculate game from Aaron Rodgers on the opposite side, and he made two crucial mistakes which buried Atlanta’s chances. Down 21-14 and in Field Goal range with 10 seconds left in the half, Ryan threw a horrible pass which was intercepted by Tramon Williams and returned for a touchdown, and that crushed the team’s psyche. Instead of going into the break down 21-17, the Falcons trailed 28-14. With Rodgers playing the way he was, everyone knew that that was an early dagger into the heart of Atlanta’s season.Green Bay would go on to win the Super Bowl.What we learnedWe learned that Matt Ryan had taken the next step in his development and that he was in the upper-echelon of clutch quarterbacks in the NFL. Despite not having a top 10 defense (something he’s had only once in his entire career), Ryan still quarterbacked the Falcons to a 13-3 record. He was knocking on the door of top-tier QBs in the league, and Falcons fans knew that it was only a matter of time before he would bust that door open.We also learned that Ryan wasn’t quite ready to make his mark in the playoffs yet. That would have to come with experience, as he was still a young QB who seemed intimidated by the post season. There’s an overwhelming difference between the Matt Ryan who faced the Packers in the 2010 playoffs and the Matt Ryan who faced the Packers in the 2016 playoffs.What are some of your favorite moments from that 2010 season? Denver Nuggets All-Star Nikola Jokic is listed at 7’0 and 250 pounds, the height of a center and the weight of a slow Stitched Terrell McClain Jersey , lumbering big man snatched straight out of a different era. Only one non-center, Boston’s Gershon Yabusele, weighs more, and the few centers that do look like chiseled statues next to Jokic and his dad-bod. Yet as Jokic and the Nuggets continue their emergence as Western Conference mainstays, it’s worth wondering how a team built around a style and player that harken so obviously back to the past is succeeding in a league that’s pushing so brazenly into the future. If the Warriors have inspired opponents to treat the center position like an antique, how does a player like Jokic average a double double while ranking in the top 10 in the entire league in assist percentage?More NBA breakdowns from Mike PradaLuka Doncic and the importance of the “last step”Draymond Green is a defensive genius the NBA has never seenDonovan Mitchell’s brilliance hides in plain sightAnthony Davis is the NBA’s portable rim protectorVictor Oladipo brings the football concept of “closing speed” to the NBAHow Giannis Antetokounmpo dominates without a jumperWhy Marcus Smart’s terrible shooting is essential to the Celtics’ offenseThe reason is because Jokic, precisely because of his retro frame and modern game, has blended two completely different styles into one, creating something new in the process. Rather than simply being an outlier, he actually most defines the league’s positional revolution.To be clear, “positional revolution” and “positionless basketball” aren’t the same thing. The former refers to a player or group of players possessing a unique set of skills that define an entirely new type of system. “Positionless basketball” is one product of the “positional revolution,” not the revolution itself. Or, as Free Darko’s Nathaniel Friedman, the first to use the term of the term many eons ago, put it:The latter evokes a team of five players that all do a little bit of everything, a platonic ideal in which teams yearn to replicate the Warriors, only to create off-brand versions that can never measure up to the original. Other teams are like that Marcus Green Atlanta Falcons Jersey , but not Jokic’s Nuggets. His functionality — and in turn the functionality of the four teammates that orbit around him — varies not just from possession to possession, but within the possession itself. He toggles between point guard and center, molding the two skill-sets into one by constantly flipping between them.In its most basic form, Jokic uses two age-old tools to flip that switch. One is the dribblehandoff, the modern game’s evolution on the pick-and-roll. The Nuggets’ most common sets involve Jokic pick-and-popping for Jamal Murray going one way, then dribbling to the opposite wing to spring Gary Harris going downhill. It’s a powerful transition made possible because Jokic can act as a big man to start the play, only to flip into a point guard that sets an opportunity up for Harris.A lot of teams run similar plays with their big men, but Jokic is the one player in the league that possesses both the playmaking mastery to time his hand-off and the screening intelligence to angle his body to account for the way Harris’ man is defending him. Jokic is able to execute a more stationary handoff...... an in-the-flow “toss off” that lets his guard attack on the move.... a backdoor pass to account for teams trying to short-circuit the play by trapping.... or, a late roll to sneak behind the defense when they trap.If the defense overcomes Jokic’s powerful combination of big- and small-man skills and switches effectively, Jokic simply morphs back into a center to punish the smaller player.Or, he tosses the ball back to the guard and gets out of the way so they can cook a slower big man.The same principles apply with Jokic’s second weapon of choice: the give-and-go. He delights in playing pitch-and-catch with Murray, turning a run-of-the-mill between guard and big man into a guessing game for defenders.Who actually starts the sequence, you might ask? It doesn’t matter! Murray can simply dribble into a normal Jokic screen. He can pass to Jokic to initiate a dribble handoff or pick and roll. He can let Jokic dribble it up and pass to him first. He can screen for Jokic to attack, fully inverting the usual ball-handler/screener dynamic.Or they can simply toss the ball back and forth while until they feel like doing something.Jokic’s versatility allows the Nuggets to keep defenders off-balanced, never totally sure which of the two is the play creator and which is the play finisher. Like any pick-and-roll, one player is creating an opening and the other is exploiting it, but the difference is that the player doing each part of the operation changes mid stream. It’s as if they’re executing a relay in which each player does half the job of the other 2019 Marcus Green Jersey , then they grab simultaneous batons to finish each other’s relay.Try to imagine how that play mirrors this one:They’re actually much more similar than you might think at first glance. Both feature a two-man game at the top of the key. In both examples, the defense reacts by crowding the ball, convincing one of the two offensive players to dart down the lane and draw a third defender to account for his run. The success of each play hinges on the other offensive player’s ability to read that third defender’s movement and decide, in a split second, whether he should pass to the roller or to the open corner shooter that third defender has momentarily left. The only difference? The second clip features a ball-handler making the skip pass and a big man darting down the lane. The first one, on the other hand? It shows the ball handler starting the play as the ball handler, but finishing it as the roller, leaving Jokic to both set the screen that sprung the roll and make the playmaking decision that results. He has created and exploited the opening within the same exact sequence.That real-time duality is what makes Nikola Jokic revolutionary. It’s what allows the Nuggets to recycle mismatched parts from disparate systems past and present to build a tough-minded, deep team with two like-sized guards, flanked by specialists and a rugged power forward, all operating around the nexus of a do-everything center. It’s what allows the other four members of their team to play their own games instead of molding themselves to fit The Way The Game Is Played Today. And in a league that increasingly mistakes the ingenuity of the Warriors’ revolution for their actual style of play, it makes Jokic and the Nuggets an especially fascinating threat to the league’s hegemony. Could Jokic define the next set of imitators that merely react to the original? Maybe that’s asking a lot, but I hope to keep watching him try.