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  1. #1
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    More physical back in the day? I say NO!

    So often you hear from old timers (and I'm an old timer myself) that today's NBA is soft compared to the old days. How, "In my day, if you try and drive the lane you'll get knocked on your *****!!" When kids today talk about the awesome skills of a Kobe or a Durant, invariably, an old timer will chime in and say something like, "Heh - I'd like to see him try that in the 70s!!! He'd be pickin' his teeth up off the floor!"

    I've always parroted that myself, just kinda going along with the flow, assuming it was true.

    However, after watching many old games on NBA TV's Hardwood Classics, I've learned, that's simply not the case. It was not a particularly tough brand of ball back then, it just wasn't. Sure, there's *some* exceptions, ('89 Pistons come to mind), but by and large, the lane was wide open and plenty of players drove the lane at will. You can Youtube any 70s or 80s NBA game and watch, it's pretty benign for the most part.

    I'd go so far as to say that today's game is *more* physical than it was back then. I was at the Lakers-Kings game earlier this year, and Cousins and Howard were absolutely beating the snot out of each other down low. It's a very physical game now days, contrary to the revisionist wishes of the old timers.
    Last edited by Chairman7w; 06-28-2013 at 06:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    You have to keep in mind that on average players are taller, bigger, faster, stronger and can jump higher than in the past. That means defensively they are able to cover more area than in past generations.

    I will say that IMO the late 80s and most of the 90s the defenses were MUCH better than today. Offensive players were better shooters and whereas today they rely more on athletic ability.

    The defensive rules have changed especially handchecks on the outside

    You have flopping to the extent that you never seen in the past

    Here are some examples of your modern physical defense

    http://instntrply.com/wp-content/upl...2/boshflop.gif
    http://i42.tinypic.com/2dgt1u1.gif

    Go look up the "The Jordan Rules" about how often MJ got put on the floor against the Pistons and Knicks. The Pistons literally made Michael Jordan cry....

    http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images...jpg?1292093910

    http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images...jpg?1292094414

    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/2yyknR7ltkg/h...jpg?feature=og

    http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images...jpg?1299649093

    http://dannymclarty.com/wp-content/u...ing-Fouled.jpg

    http://readjack.files.wordpress.com/...pg?w=187&h=300



    When you look back at that era

    Dennis Rodman (2 time DPOY, 7 time All NBA Defense, 7 time rebounding champ

    Bill Laimbeer (Got 120 technical fouls in his career)

    Michael Jordan (2,300 career steals, 9 time all NBA defense, 1 time NBA DPOY, 3 time lead in steals, record for steals in a quarter and half and also record for most fouls in a quarter)

    John Stockton (3,265 career steals, 2 time lead in steals and 5 time NBA All defensive team)

    Shaq (2,700 career block, 13,000 career rebounds, 15 blocks in a single game, top 5 all-time in playoffs blocks and rebounds, 7th all time in career blocks)

    Hakeem Olajuwon (all time blocks leader 3,830, 13,000 career rebounds, 2 time leader in rebounds, 3 time leader in blocks, 9 time all-nba defensive team, 2 time DPOY, double digit blocks in a game 15 times, 8th all time career steals 2132, 3rd all time playoffs blocks)

    Alonzo Mourning (2 time DPOY, 2 time leader in blocks, 2300 career blocks, 2 time all defense team)

    Patrick Ewing (3 time All NBA defensive team, 6th all time blocks 2800, 7th all time playoff blocks)

    David Robinson (DPOY, 8 time All NBA defensive team, 5th all time playoff blocks, 5th all time career blocks 2900)

    Charles Oakley (4th all time in personal fouls, go look up his fights with Rodman, Barkley, Grant, Willis etc.)

    Anthony Mason (112 career technicals fouls)

    Dikembe Mutombo (6 time All defense team, 4 time DPOY, 3 time leader in blocks, 2nd all time in blocks 3200, attributed with 25 nba injuries to other players)

    Joe Dumars

    Rick Mahorn

    Scottie Pippen (10 time all nba defense, led league in steals in 95, 6th all time in steals and 1st all time in playoff steals)

    Horace Grant

    John Starks

    Nate McMillan

    Gary Payton ( 9 time all nba defense team, 4th all time in steals 2400)

    Xavier McDaniel

    Karl Malone (2nd all time in personal fouls, attributed with 22 injuries to other players)

    Charles Barkley

    Rasheed Wallace (NBA record for technical fouls in a career and season)

    Kurt Thomas

    Mark Jackson

    Who all from this current generation goes up against that list?

  3. #3
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    I think the day you are talking about is 1955-65. Baylor used to get crushed for going off the floor. Jim Loscutoff- 4 years his per 36 minute foul average was over 7. Bailey Howell - very rough guy.

    It thinned out in the 70's - Mike Newlin, Phil Jackson, Dave Cowens, but had a few new member join in the 80's: Laimbeer, Mahorn, Ruland, Oakley, after the Pistons team faded away, tough guys were more like one a team sort of thing since.

    So it depends on what you consider the old days to some extent. No matter what 1955-1990 was rougher then since 1995 - rougher on purpose that is.
    Last edited by bagwell368; 07-15-2013 at 02:49 PM.


    6/27/09: “We expect [Rondo] to play by the rules and be a leader as a point guard. We need him to be more of a leader,” Ainge said. “There were just a couple situations where he was late this year, I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but showed up late and the rest of the team was there. We have team rules and you have to be on time. He was fined for being late, he said he was stuck in traffic, and it’s just unacceptable.”

    Some jerks never learn.....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chairman7w View Post
    So often you hear from old timers (and I'm an old timer myself) that today's NBA is soft compared to the old days. How, "In my day, if you try and drive the lane you'll get knocked on your *****!!" When kids today talk about the awesome skills of a Kobe or a Durant, invariably, an old timer will chime in and say something like, "Heh - I'd like to see him try that in the 70s!!! He'd be pickin' his teeth up off the floor!"

    I've always parroted that myself, just kinda going along with the flow, assuming it was true.

    However, after watching many old games on NBA TV's Hardwood Classics, I've learned, that's simply not the case. It was not a particularly tough brand of ball back then, it just wasn't. Sure, there's *some* exceptions, ('89 Pistons come to mind), but by and large, the lane was wide open and plenty of players drove the lane at will. You can Youtube any 70s or 80s NBA game and watch, it's pretty benign for the most part.

    I'd go so far as to say that today's game is *more* physical than it was back then. I was at the Lakers-Kings game earlier this year, and Cousins and Howard were absolutely beating the snot out of each other down low. It's a very physical game now days, contrary to the revisionist wishes of the old timers.
    Disagree. Back in the day, you got the 'bad boys' in the Pistons and the Knicks were downright physical. They were also enforcers then that needed to show their physical might to gain respect back in the day. You don't see that much now partly due to the rules change in place but back then, you need to be tough in order to win and teams were drafting on that notion. Curry would be slaughtered and knees broken at every turn back in those days. With rules to protect the finesse players now from getting blind check, he doesn't have to fear attacking the rim now. Just because they wore short short back then, don't mean they were less physical, looking from the outside.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by eDush View Post
    Curry would be slaughtered and knees broken at every turn back in those days.

    See? It's this kind of silly hyperbole that I'm talking about. No player in the history of the NBA has ever had his knees broken, and gotten slaughtered. Ever.

    I randomly searched out a game from the 70s, and I didn't see anything like what you're talking about. I didn't see anybody getting "dropped", or any teeth getting knocked out. Again, it was actually quite benign, and less physical than we see nowdays. It's not an opinion, just watch yourself, it's fact.

    http://youtu.be/uEjCvD3YL8Y

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chairman7w View Post
    See? It's this kind of silly hyperbole that I'm talking about. No player in the history of the NBA has ever had his knees broken, and gotten slaughtered. Ever.

    I randomly searched out a game from the 70s, and I didn't see anything like what you're talking about. I didn't see anybody getting "dropped", or any teeth getting knocked out. Again, it was actually quite benign, and less physical than we see nowdays. It's not an opinion, just watch yourself, it's fact.

    http://youtu.be/uEjCvD3YL8Y
    70's is a watered down game due to the ABA. The NBA was extremely physical in the 50's, but when the NBA realized it was making them look like roller derby, they cut it back. There were sporadic tough guys in th e60's and 70's, but I'd say it was the least physical era overall. By the mid 80's you had entire teams that were rough.


    6/27/09: “We expect [Rondo] to play by the rules and be a leader as a point guard. We need him to be more of a leader,” Ainge said. “There were just a couple situations where he was late this year, I don’t know if he was sitting in his car, but showed up late and the rest of the team was there. We have team rules and you have to be on time. He was fined for being late, he said he was stuck in traffic, and it’s just unacceptable.”

    Some jerks never learn.....

  7. #7
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    The issue is not the physicality itself but the rules in place. In the modern game you're not allowed to touch anyone. 20 years ago, it was harder for players to score and easier to defend.

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