I just wanted to cover what I think is the importance of what grade the players have at Inside and Outside based on their position. Just how useful is it to have a SG who has B+ inside, or how good is a C with B outisde?
Center: Obviously the most important position for the inside rating. If you want a scorer in the post he needs to be able to finish around the hoop. There are instances where a team set to an Outside focus might still choose to have a Center who can hit three's. But then I ask you who is your rebounder, your Power Forward? Could be, but he might get out worked by the other team's Center who is likely a few inches larger.
Overall: 95% Inside, 5% Outside
Power Forward: The Power Forward position is interesting because you can really turn on the perimeter pressure by having a Power Forward who can hit from behind the arch. There aren't many PFs or Cs who can get out on the perimeter quickly, and even fewer who can keep up with a guy who has just a bit of speed. To me it is ultimately the Forward positions that determine your focus, because really they are the only positions that have much flexibility for what they can provide. You definately want a PF and a C who can hit their FTs though, you can't give away points.
Overall: 70% Inside, 30% Outside
Small Forward: This is where you get your team definition from. Sure the league is littered with SFs, but does yours play your style of basketball? Small Forwards need to hit open 3s and be able to post up if you want to run balanced. If they only have inside game, then you are stuck pressing inside, since he'll never hit a 3. Thing is you want some ability to post up, but you don't want too much. B+ is a bit excessive for a SF if they can't hit from the arch, if you want to be anything by an inside team.
Overall: 50% Inside, 50% Outside
Shooting Guard: A shooting guard needs to hang out behind the arch and drill open three pointers. That is all. Really inside game on a SG is just a bonus, while outside shooting is a necessity. If you are inside focus, outside focus, or balanced, you need a SG who can hit outside shots. When I ran the Orlando Magic in RETRO I was an inside team with Rik Smits and Chris Mullin. Mullin had no inside game, but was A- outside and he had his best years scoring on my team being the #2 option. I would say it is great if you can find an athlete who can get inside, because that will only help your strategy if you are balanced or inside focus, but the need is really for the shot.
Overall: 10% Inside, 90% Outside
Point Guard: Really the PG is a unique position. You still want some range, but the ability to get the hole can really open up your team. I think this position is closest to the SF where you want a balanced attack if you want a scorer at all. You might have a tougher time winning with a PG who is only inside focused without much shot than you would if you had a PG who just had range and no other scoring ability. Hell, the PG hardly needs to score in my book, but if he does, great...
Overall: 40% Inside 60% Outisde
Getting the Best Out of Your Settings
Pace may seem like a very simple aspect in setting your roster. It can be pretty easy to just choose a faster pace if your team is good at scoring or a slower pace if your team is more of a defensive team, but this might not completely optimize performance. A team that shoots from the outside often may do better with a slower pace, because they will have more chances to get an open shot and the team's big men will have more time to get in position for an offensive rebound. Still, teams with good inside scorers also opt for a slow pace many times. This allows the inside scorer to set up and makes it easier to get him the ball. In addition, teams with many scorers may be well served to go with a slow pace so that more of their players get to touch the ball on each possession. Bad teams sometimes like to slow the game down and hope to get lucky. It is difficult to tell how well this method works, but it could help a less talented team win games.
This is not to say that having a fast pace is without it's merits. On the other hand, a fast pace can be beneficial in a lot of situations. If a team does not handle the ball very well a fast pace can help them to get shots off before they turn the ball over. This strategy also applies when facing a team that is very strong defensively. Obviously, a team that shoots more should score more, so using a faster pace will lead to higher scoring games for both teams. Perhaps the best use of the fast pace is for teams with one prolific scorer and not a lot of other good offensive players. This allows the one scorer to make his move and try to score without dribbling around for a long time or getting inferior teammates involved.
Pace appears to be a simple choice for an offense at first, but many complexities of a lineup, some which may seem insignificant, can affect which pace setting will lead to the best results.
TRAP AND PRESS
Trap and Press settings also may seem simple. Many GMs believe that a good defensive team should trap and press often, but this may not necessarily be the case. If players are good at defending but not particularly stealing the ball, then they will probably perform better when left to guard their player straight up. Conversely, those players which are good at stealing should thrive in a defense where traps and presses are common. Trapping and pressing can also help a teams offense by sparking good scoring opportunities, so teams that are having trouble on offense may want to turn the heat up on defense. Yet another way that trapping and pressing can affect a team is in the foul situation. Trapping and pressing more means a team is more likely to foul, so when trying to employ an aggressive defense, it helps if a team has a lot of depth. It would be a shame if a team's best player fouled out because he was asked to press and trap too much.
Overall, the effectiveness of all the settings are very dependent on a team's particular composition. The only ways to find your teams optimum settings is to experiment and see what works best or just get lucky.
-Rio de Janeiro
What kind of trade blocks get results?
Iíd been trying to write an article for about a week, but just wasnít seeing anything solid enough Ė something that I had a strong enough opinion on Ė to write an entire article about. My team has been playing well, but not lights out by any means.
The league has had a number of blockbuster trades, but those are something more for the teams involved to take part in, sort of a reward for getting such a deal to work and be able to agree about it helping their teams out.
I kept waiting, and low and behold, the subject just kept getting to me, until it suddenly resonated enough to warrant the kind of in-depth study and focus worth writing an article.
First, weíll break down the types of trade blocks. The easiest Ė and most popular, it seems Ė is to just post your roster. A few variations might include listing their stats or their player contracts, but they are basically the same.
This is a low-input, low-output option that can result in a trade, but usually they are smaller in size. This is one of those Ďyou get what you pay forí instances, but usually itís exactly what the GM was looking for. Little time is spent actually focusing on anything but the roster.
Usually, the GM is relatively happy with their team and donít wish to make wholesale changes, instead looking for minor upgrades or small tweaks that could possibly pay off, but if they donít, it wonít like hurt the team overall.
This method can and is used by any team in any situation, winning or losing, young or old, makes no difference. A happy GM is more than likely not going to do anything much that could upset whatever balance his team has found.
A slight step up from the quick-and-easy trade-block that simply lists a roster is the growing trend of GMs to list most or all of their players in some sort of order that attaches a corresponding value to each asset, grouping them together for easier comparison.
This is by far my favorite method, as it shows a bit more thought into what the GM is thinking and willing to do, but doesnít usually downgrade any player values unless you mistakenly list someone lower than you probably should have. In this case, youíll know it quickly as the trade block will be filled with offers for someone youíve under-valued.
It doesnít always net results, but it at least gets others thinking about your team, reading how you rate them, and thinking about if they might value them a bit more and want to deal for them. The only drawback is that you have lost a bit of your advantage in the poker aspect of being a GM by somewhat giving away your hand.
This is more of a general block than any of the others, not because of anything special, just the fact that it displays a luke-warm feel for the player. This usually features a very popular or very talented player name in the title that youíd normally not expect to see available very often.
Most often, this will encourage other teams to make offers, essentially starting a bidding war for said playerís services. The worst part about this one is that it gives a lot of GMs false hope that they might actually attain this player.
The big name is there to bring in all of the other GMs to look at the thread, but unless a spectacular deal happens to come their way, the player likely wonít be moving. Itís no totally unproductive though, as it does bring to light a few other players that teams arenít looking to shop, but are most certainly willing to deal.
And it also generally adds to the activity of the league, in a very indirect way. Iíd bet this form is more responsible for other teams making deals than the team that initially started a thread. GMs hate to hear that a player is untouchable, and just the mere mention of a stud being on the trade block drives the trade winds like few of these others can.
The 5 worst words ever posted on a message board: I am willing to package. I know, they might look innocent enough, and they are not threatening or even that forceful. But anyone thatís had control of a virtual team for any length of time at all has either posted or been replied to with this phrase.
Iíd be curious to know if any real NBA (or other professional sports leagues) GMs has ever actually used this phrase when speaking to another GM. I mean, there have been some huge deals in the history of sports, and certainly hundreds of trades that could be considered packages, but I honestly doubt theyíve ever said those words. AnywayÖ </tangent>
This one perplexes me to no end though, as right off the bat one GM reveals that he has a few players that arenít great, but arenít bad either, and they would like to combine them to make some sort of upgrade. With only so many great players in leagues like this, there is a huge pool of talent that always ends up being the focus of said packages.
Granted, there is a market for this type of thing. Sometime teams get loaded in one aspect of the team, either a lot of frontcourt players, or a lot of guards, or maybe even tons of swingmen. The key to this type of trade is to be offering it to teams interested in making that type of move, and offering a lot of the same type of asset for a completely different type of asset.
For instance, a team rebuilding with youth and picks would have a lot of interest in adding multiple pieces, but they arenít going to be giving up a young, cheap, but better player in return. It totally goes against their plan. A team with a strong starting line-up and no bench also might look to make a package deal, but youth isnít going to help them as much as a few dependable vets might, and they would probably be looking to add them for cheap, rather than give up all that much in the deal.
All-in-all, this is one of those where you have to catch a GM/team in the right place at the right time to make it work. The offers might be totally different, but just about any team in the league has the pieces needed to make a package work, so there is so little demand it can be increasingly frustrating to find a way to make it work.
This is the high-risk, possible high-reward method that can vary greatly on the type of deals that result. You have one GM that is totally upset with how his entire team or even an individual player is performing. The Ďdesperateí GM is almost always going to take a hit in a deal like this. Heís got something he doesnít like, he wants to change, and all you have to do is push him in the direction he is already going.
However, the high-reward pay-off isnít guaranteed, either. Sometimes you find out why the previous GM was so unhappy with that playerís performance, and other times you find a solid contributor for cheap. This philosophy almost always results in some kind of deal even if it doesnít involve the player initially mentioned.
Anytime you start mentioning specific players you also run the risk of de-valuing the player to the point that you cannot possibly deal him for what is being offered. That puts you into a bit of a corner as well, seeing as how a player you really wanted to be rid of now is stuck on your roster.
As bad as desperation is, there is one thatís worse than almost all of the others combined, at least in my opinion. Seeing the same thing repeated again and again means that the GM has set his mind on who he wants so bad, that nothing else matters until they get it. It means that all other trade talk with that GM becomes secondary and almost pointless.
I most certainly applaud any GM that is that certain about the direction he wants to go with the franchise, and cannot fault them for it. But if the deal isnít out there immediately, changing your tactic to pursuing specific players instead of trying to make the deal come to you is much more likely to work in the long run.
And at the very least, once youíve exhausted your search and either made a trade or were unable to find anything, you can move on to other ideas. Or revisit the trade with a few different players that might have been suggested by others.
The more you push a certain type of deal for a specific player Ė like wanting only expiring contracts and draft picks or are focused only on adding youth, the more other GMS see that there just isnít a demand for that kind of deal to happen.
Older players are being shopped for a reason. Players with outrageous contracts are being dealt for a reason; they arenít in their plans and have outlived their usefulness. Itís better to try to see what you can get for a player and then decide what to want in return, than to hopelessly wait around for a perfect deal that hasnít shown up before and likely wonít ever.
In the end, patience and diligence are often the best way to go about improving your team through trades. Focusing too much on a certain player or type of trade is only going to limit the GMs interested in trading and will certainly hinder your ability to trade at all, quite often putting you in the precarious situation of having to deal with still having that player and having fewer options when making