Saturday night’s matchup between the Celtics and the Warriors was the perfect cliched atmosphere. This one felt like a playoff game, the two best guards in the league were battling back and forth, and this could be a potential NBA Finals matchup.
But there was nothing cliched about Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving’s performances in the Warriors 109-105 victory over the Celtics at Oracle Arena. Curry dominated the second half, but did so getting to the line just two times before the final minutes of the game.
Returning talent and developing it is often as important as — if not more important than — landing 5-star, one-and-done recruits when it comes to success at the college level.
Perhaps no program in the country epitomizes that lesson more than Villanova.
The Wildcats built a national power despite never producing a one-and-done player. They’ve earned a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament each of the last four years, won four straight Big East regular season titles outright and cut down the nets in 2016 all without landing a top-25 recruiting class in any of those seasons, per 247Sports. So far, just four players from those teams have suited up for an NBA game. Consistent and quality player development has been crucial.
Sacramento’s social media team used video-game graphics to perfectly illustrate the frustrations of playing Gregg Popovich’s team.
After taking a hard look at his career arc, Myers also began seeing a sports psychologist over the winter. He plans to maintain a regular regimen of mental skills training throughout the season.
“I’ve always been a guy who had great physical ability and never really put it together,” Myers said. “This is the first offseason I was like, ‘My mental ability is not where it needs to be.’ I felt like my talent has taken it as far as it will get me, and I have to continue to work to be more than just an average player in the big leagues. This offseason, I checked every single box and did everything I possibly could do.”
One development was beyond Myers’ control. Two days before the Padres’ first full-squad workout, the team signed Eric Hosmer to a franchise-record eight-year, $144 million contract. The first domino was moving Myers from first base to right field.