A player in the frontcourt, below the free throw line extended is not permitted to dribble the ball with his back or side to the basket for more than five seconds. This rule is commonly referred to as the Mark Jackson rule. While the Mark Jackson rule was put in because of the current head coach of the Golden State Warriors, his team seldom pushes the limits of that rule. As the head coach of the Warriors, Jackson has been incredibly successful in changing the culture and identity of his players and team as a whole.
Coach Jackson is a current pastor of a church in California, and he uses his “old school” coaching style in everything he does. Jackson has made drastic changes to the Warriors identity. Jackson and GM Bob Myers created a roster full of talented youngsters and savvy experienced veterans. He instilled confidence on the young players giving them room to grow and develop.
Take Klay Thompson for example. Thompson statistics drastically improved from season one to season two. His scoring total improved from 12.5 to 16.6 points. His rebounding, assist, and steal averages also improved with Thompson also playing more than ten minutes per game than last season. Jackson instilled a sense of green light confidence in Thompson. He motivated Thompson to prove to the ten teams that passed on him that it was a mistake. In Jackson mind, Thompson cannot take a bad shot. If he’s open, he should shoot it. Jackson did the same for Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. He preached that their was a reason they were in the NBA and could compete just in the future but in the present.
For the upcoming season, Jackson will instill more confidence in his new group of young players. He will try to develop Bosnian center Ognjen Kuzmic and energetic bench-warmer Kent Bazemore. Jackson will try to get everything out of the team’s flyer player such as Seth Curry and Dewayne Dedmon. Look for Jackson to work with the young players and unproven NBA commodities during training camp especially.
Coach Jackson will also insist on his team holding onto the basketball as the Warriors were sixth worst in turnovers per game last season only 0.2 behind the Denver Nuggets who were third on said list. The Warriors were also very mediocre defensively. They were near the average of defensive rating, a stat which calculates how many points a team will score per 100 possession. The Warriors would have given up just more than 102 points per game which is 6 points off the league leading Indiana Pacers. As a coach that preaches defense, look for Coach Jackson to continue to make defensive their priority.