View Full Version : Death Of Defense

07-17-2009, 01:04 PM

This is one of the best articles I have ever read I cannot say that I wrote this up but was instead done by another poster on another Forum.


Dumars of the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons, the league’s two-time defending champs, looked like a gaucho corralling the ultimate toro, his feet moving furiously (maybe the best defensive slide in the history of the game), one forearm firmly barred into Jordan to keep contact, the other bent arm thrust into the air, giving Dumars his only hope of keeping his balance while trying to ride the Jordan whirlwind. Of course Dumars also had the luxury of knowing that help defense was waiting in the paint. There was no defensive 3 second rule enforced. Even if Dumars was beat, Jordan would take a pounding by the likes of John Salley and Bill Laimbeer. Jordan also had to deal with teams that featured players like Mutumbo, Robinson, Ewing and many other dominant big men waiting in the paint, (not outside of the paint to avoid a 3 seconds call).

It left a supremely disappointed Jordan sobbing at the back of the team bus when the series was over. “I think that ‘Jordan Rules’ defense, as much as anything else, played a part in the making of Michael Jordan,” said Tex Winter, who was an assistant coach for that Chicago team. The 1990 loss forced Jordan and the Bulls to find an answer to Detroit’s muscle. “Those Jordan Rules were murder,” Winter explained. “The fact that we could win the next year even though they were playing that defense says everything about Jordan as a competitor. Any lesser player would have folded his tent.” Jordan had to dig deeper to respond to the Pistons, and his effort pushed his Bulls to six championships over the next eight seasons.

Coaches really started scheming hard to curtail all of the great scorers that boomed on the scene in the 1980's (Jordan, Bird, Wilkins, Dantley, King, etc.) Team play in the 1980's to 1990's was at an all-time high. Teams were coached properly on how to have high scoring outputs. The lower scoring teams were at an extreme disadvantage. The problem of low scoring is that coaches with less talented teams, beginning with Mike Fratello back in the 80s, put “an emphasis on ball control, on keeping down the number of possessions. That was the way Fratello kept his teams in ball games. It was the smart thing to do to win.” Soon other coaches, who needed to win to avoid getting fired, began copying Fratello’s approach. With that slower style also came the rise of muscular – some say illegal – defenses, such as Dumars’ “Bad Boy” Pistons and Pat Riley’s New York Knicks.

1998 Jordan hits his last shot as a Chicago Bull. Ratings fall into the basement. Nobody is watching anymore. From that point and on the NBA slowly tries to take all contact out of the game of basketball so it can replicate a star who has the type of scoring prowless that MJ did. Clearly this will never happen if they don't make it easier to score for individual players (notice I didn't say teams). The pussification of basketball begins. Yes I made up the word pussification. All of the rules changes are clearly an attempt to give the perimeter players the advantage. The NBA decides that giving the perimeter players "unimpeded movement" to the rim will make the game more exciting.

• In the backcourt, there is no contact with hands and forearms by defenders. In the frontcourt, there is no contact with hands and forearms by defenders except below the free throw line extended in which case the defender may only use his forearm. In the post, neither the offensive player nor the defender is allowed to dislodge or displace a player who has legally obtained a position. Defender may not use his forearm, shoulder, hip or hand to reroute or hold-up an offensive player going from point A to point B or one who is attempting to come around a legal screen set by another offensive player. Slowing or impeding the progress of the screener by grabbing, clutching, holding “chucking” or “wrapping up” is prohibited.

• No contact with either hands or forearms by defenders except in the frontcourt below the free throw line extended in which case the defender may use his forearm only.
• Defender may not use his forearm, shoulder, hip or hand to reroute or hold-up an offensive player going from point A to Point B or one who is attempting to come around a legal screen set by another offensive player.
• Slowing or impeding the progress of the screener by grabbing, clutching, holding “chucking” or “wrapping up” is prohibited.

• A new defensive three-second rule will prohibit a defensive player from remaining in the lane for more than three consecutive seconds without closely guarding an offensive player.

• New rules were introduced to curtail hand-checking, clarify blocking fouls and call defensive three seconds to open up the game.

• On a clear-path-to-the-basket foul, the team that is fouled is awarded two free throw attempt and the ball on the sideline.

Joe Dumars conceeds that under these rules it would be hard for his 80's and 90's Pistons team to play that kind of physical in your face defense. Keep in mind that physical in your face defense was normal in that era. Dumars put together a Pistons team that won an NBA championship in 2004 and made a return to the Finals in 2005. That team would have a harder time playing its defensive style in today’s game, Dumars said. “We could still compete, but it would be a lot tougher.” Under an interpretation of the rules adopted by the NBA, if Dumars were playing today he would not be allowed to guard Jordan so physically, or perhaps even guard him at all. Asked if he could defend Jordan under today’s interpretation of the rules, Dumars first laughed, “It would have been virtually impossible to defend Michael Jordan based on the way the game’s being called right now.”

Over 20 teams tried to emulate the Detroit Pistons style of defense in the 90's, here is one example of a team that tried to emulate their style of defense, the New York Knicks as presented by Mikester:

“It’s pretty hard to play defense against these quicker guards without touching them a little bit,” Tex Winter said. “I think the officials are going to have to make an adjustment too. They can’t call all those touch fouls.” “You can’t be as aggressive as you’d like to be with your hands. You can’t be ‘into’ the guy as much.” Tex Winter "As a result, defense now becomes a matter of waiting for the offensive player to make a mistake, rather than forcing a turnover." Tex Winter said. Players today can get to the basket individually much easier.

Hall of Famer Rick Barry, a keen observer of the game, said he would love to see players of the past getting to attack the basket under the new officiating. “They’d score a lot more,” he said.

No longer would a defensive player on the perimeter be allowed to use his hand, a barred arm or any sort of physical contact to impede or block the movement of either a cutter or a ball handler. In a recent interview, Rod Thorn said that the NBA had changed the rule to give an advantage to the offensive player. “It’s more difficult now to guard the quick wing player who can handle the ball,” Thorn said of the change. “I think it helps skilled players over someone who just has strength or toughness. What the NBA is trying to do is promote unimpeded movement for dribblers or cutters.”

“My opinion is that the game had gone too much toward favoring strong players over skilled players,” Thorn said. “The NBA felt there was too much body, too much hand-checking, being used by defenders to the detriment of the game. There was a feeling that there was too much advantage for a defensive player who could merely use his strength to control the offensive player.” The new rules interpretations have attempted to address that issue, Thorn said. “If the refs perceive that a defender is bumping the cutter, or bumping a ball-handler, then they’ll blow their whistles.” This new way of calling became increasingly apparent with each regular-season game , and it really made an impression during the playoffs. Free from the physical challenge of defenders, offensive players found many more opportunities to attack the basket – and draw fouls.

As a result, the new rules interpretation helped promote the emergence immediately of a new generation of super stars, from Kobe Bryant scoring his 81 points during a regular season game, to LeBron James, Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas and Dwyane Wade making big splashes in the playoffs. “The good wing players – LeBron, Kobe, Arenas, Wade, Carter – shot a lot of free throws with the way the game is now called,” Thorn admitted.

The change became quite apparent during the NBA Finals as fans saw time and again Miami’s Wade attacking the basket against seemingly helpless Dallas defenders. When they did try to stop Wade, those Dallas defenders often drew foul calls, which sent Wade to the line to shoot free throws. The new approach even played a role in determining the NBA champion, as Wade played majestically in leading Miami from a two-game deficit to a four-games-to-two victory for the title. The results were immediate and pleasing to the league’s front office.

Offensive players were freed as never before and fans were thrilled by high-scoring games. Television ratings jumped with the excitement, and reporters began filing stories signaling an NBA revival not seen since the days when Jordan played for the Bulls. The league had made an obvious move to try to pick up scoring averages that had been in decline since the late 1980s. And it seems to have worked.

But not everyone is enthused about the changes.

Tex Winter, now 84 and the veteran of more than a half century of coaching, has serious misgivings about what the league has done. Winter acknowledges the outgrowth of the new rules interpretation is the rise of the super dominant offensive player, led by Wade’s performance in the NBA Finals and Bryant’s string of 40-, 50, even 60-point games during the regular season. “It’s brought all these 40-point scorers,” Winter said. “They can’t score 40 points unless they get 15-20 free throws.” And that’s exactly what they were getting on their big nights.

Case in point: during Kobe Bryant's 62 point game in 3 quarters, most forget that he was given 25 free throws in 3 quarters and multiple Dallas Mavs players were given technicals for complaining due to their disbelief over the fouls being called.

“They should be protected, but not that much,” Winter said of the current generation of talented offensive players. “I don’t think that just touching a player should be a foul.” Yet there were key foul calls in the playoffs last year that came down to touch calls, which in turn sent the offensive player to the line for bonus points that ultimately decided games.

Ironically, this attempt to pick up scoring also slowed the pace of NBA games because numerous foul calls mean a parade of free throws on many game nights, Winter said. “The fans are not going to like that whistle blowing all the time. It’s slowed down the pace of the game.”

Winter’s other complaint with the new officiating is that the game now allows the same old physical play in the post while turning the perimeter and wing into a no-touch zone. “That doesn’t make sense to me,” Winter said. “If you can do all that tough stuff inside, why can’t you do it outside?”

Question for Clyde Drexler:
In the current league where there is no hand checking and no ruff play how much better would your numbers be?

Clyde Drexler: Oh, tremendously better, from shooting percentage to points per game everything would be up, and our old teams would score a lot more points, and that is saying something because we could score a lot back then. I do think there should be an asterisk next to some of these scoring leaders, because it is much different trying to score with a forearm in your face. It is harder to score with that resistance. You had to turn your back on guys defending you back in the day with all the hand checking that was going on. For guys who penetrate these days, it's hunting season. Yes, now you can play zone, but teams rarely do.

As we've noted before, when the NBA started re-enforcing the hand-checking rule more stringently before the 2004-05, it may have been the most significant rules decision since the three-point line was added before the 1979-80 season. Instead of opposing guards being able to sink a meat-hook into a guy's side and direct him all over the court, the keep-your-hands-to-yourself edict has allowed basketball to be played closer to the way the good Dr. James Naismith intended when he wrote up the original 13 rules in 1891.

One of the interesting things about the rule is it also allows guards to go where most guards haven't been able to go before -- close to the hoop.

And it's not only speedy dudes like Parker or Paul or two-time MVP Steve Nash who benefit from this rule re-enforcement. Strong point guards such as Williams, who also benefits from playing in a high-side pick-and-roll offense, who can work their way past smaller guards without being poked in the side along the way.

Williams, some of you may remember, was No. 10 in our first Race to the MVP this season, even though he hadn't played a game because of injury. Since the calendar flipped to 2009, Williams has averaged a double-double with 22.1 points and 10.8 assists per game. Yes, folks, those are MVP-type digits.

Also, if you think those rules only benefit point guards, take a check at some of the guys who play on the wing. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Brandon Roy handle the ball a lot for their teams. Their size and strength would negate any attempt to hand-check them on the perimeter, they too benefit from these rules.

The issue in question- the preponderance of zone defense in the NBA. Many homers try to use the faulty argument that Jordan never had to face the almighty zone during his time in the NBA. First let's not forget the fact that there is no such thing as true zone defense in the league because of the 3 second violation. Secondly Jordan played against true zone during his days in UNC (when NBA calibre players stayed for more than just one year), all he did was shoot 54% from the field during his 3 year career, win a national championship (as a freshman, hit the game/championship winning shot), won multiple player of the year awards and all american selections.

Not to mention, again against popular homer belief, Jordan faced traps, doubles, triples, match-up zone defenses, floating zone defenses, 7ftrs waiting in the lane for him on his drives (more akin to zone than what we see today), all while having to endure the physical pressures that were allowed. Ever since the videos of one committed homer set off a firestorm of argument last summer, many videos have come out in response that debunk every claim and misconception previously put forth by said homers. There still is, however, the misconception that teams constantly employ zone defense instead of in spurts, or in most cases, NBA do not emply the zone at all. For your erudition:

“Kurt’s [Rambis] been pestering me for a year or so about doing some things defensively that I was reluctant to do,” Jackson said. “I come from the old school where you play man [defense], and you have that man and that’s your primary goal.”

-Phil Jackson, Fall 2008

"Thibodeau's (Boston assistant coach/defensive schemer) defensive scheme is a bug-free marriage of hardware and software. The programming is straight out of the Van Gundy manual: Keep the ball out of the paint, shrink the floor by overloading defenders to one side and try to contest every shot. Rarely does Thibodeau tweak the game plan by calling a variety of sets from the sideline. The Celtics are committed to their basic man-to-man principles , and when a certain approach isn't working, the staff's first adjustment is to demand greater effort."


Reluctantly, HOU coach Rick Adelman has had to play some zone defense in the last few games. But he makes it clear that he's not a supporter of zone:

“I never liked it. Sometimes it throws a team out of whack. I think it’s good to change up once in a while or take someone out of their comfort zone. I’ve always found, in the NBA especially, it kind of lets people off the hook as far as their responsibilities for defending. Now you’re telling them, ‘No, you’re just playing a spot.’ It lets people just stand around, instead of having responsibilities for their man and helping their teammates.”

-ESPN, 2008

The San Antonio Spurs' Game 5 victory over the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals is the result of a perfect marriage of technology, defense and bench play.

Spurs coach Greg Popovich has stated that he doesn't like the zone defense and that the only reason he employs it is because of his assistant coach P.J. Carlisemo. Apparently, Carlisemo's past as a former college coach makes him a proponent of the zone and he's forced the zone into the Spurs' repertoire during the Finals.

-ESPN, 2003

So the "mighty" zone defense has been shunned by the best defensive coaches of this era. Their teams, like the great defensive teams of old, rely on real defense, namely manning up, doubling and trapping when necesary, and no cheap gimmick schemes of zone. So when you homers start the whole 'Jordan never faced zone' crap, just remember that the best defensive teams today don't even bother with it, they just play man w/o handchecking. So consider that.

I have proven that there is unimpeded movement to the rim from perimeter players in today's game.

Facts prove that there are more perimeter players scoring 20+ ppg than the Jordan era which was dominated by bigs who could score and better team offenses and team defenses.

Michael Jordan being the exception.

Why are the perimeter players now the ones taking all of the shots? It's because it's easier for the perimeter players to score. Do you really think CP3 is better than Isaiah Thomas? Just watch a few CP3 games to see how the new rules work.

Remember the way Nash was able to put up Magic Johnson numbers right after these rules changes started to change the shape of the game? Steve Nash would have been on the injured reserve list if he tried to play like that in the Jordan era.

I've proven that you can't even run a true zone in today's game with the 3 second defensive rule in place.

I've proven that the defenses today are inferior compared to the old defenses.

I have proven that the contact on the perimeter was eliminated from the game by the NBA.

Just watch game film to see how teams don't even run zones very often, rarely, if ever. Just watch game film to see how easily the marginal players are able to get to the basket.

You are gonna tell me that Tony Parker and Dwyane Wade can get to the rim at will, but Michael Jordan wouldn't? Jordan would DESTROY this league. DESTROY!!!

The NBA itself (Rod Thorn) admits that the rules were put in place to "open up the game".

Defenses in this era are nothing compared to the defenses of the Jordan era. Skip all of the apologists posts and read mine. I use factual proof. I don't post opinions without backing it up.

The kids who defend this era don't have the proper level of knowledge about the Jordan era.

The players of today sure as hell would never win a scoring title over Michael Jordan prime vs prime.

Jordan vs zones:

Jordan vs so called "Isolation Era" Defense Props to Jordanhair.

Continued on below

07-17-2009, 01:04 PM
From this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/sports/basketball/28zone.html

But the effect of zone defenses, since they became legal in the 2001-2 season, has been noticeable only to the trained eye. The concept of guarding areas instead of players is used fleetingly. It is largely viewed as a gimmick to be avoided in a league in which nearly everyone agrees that each player should be held accountable for guarding his own man.

To the originators of the change, however, the game is more aesthetically pleasing than before it took effect, when coaches were taking advantage of complex illegal-defense rules that encouraged a stagnant game.

With those changes, among other factors, offenses have opened up, and scoring has climbed. Still, the zone defense has not been embraced in the N.B.A. It is mildly effective in spurts, but often dismissed.

Coach Karl speaking against Zone:
Earlier this season, the Denver Nuggets looked to add wrinkles to their defense, and briefly experimented with zone defenses.

“We practiced one for one week, and it was awful,” Nuggets Coach George Karl said.

Zone was also used frequently before it was legalized as well. One good early example, the 80s Celtics were known users of it and always got away with it. These are the same Celtics Jordan destroyed from an individual standpoint.

“When you see it in the league, they do it because they can’t guard somebody,” Quentin Richardson of the Knicks said. “If they’re having a hard time stopping this person or that person or a team in general, and they can’t do anything, teams play zone.”

The laundry list of the zone’s shortcomings in the N.B.A. is relatively deep. Long-range shooters are truer in the N.B.A. than at any other level, and open shots are more easily found in the holes of zone defenses. N.B.A. players are better passers, so it is easier for them to whip the ball around the court to find the open man. Teams can grab offensive rebounds more effectively against a zone because opposing players have no set assignments on block-outs.

Then there’s the stigma.

Asked how much zone defense the Cavaliers used, Cleveland Coach Mike Brown said none.

“It almost says, Hey, we can’t guard these guys,” Brown said. “To a certain degree, psychologically, it makes you feel like you’re conceding, and it could be a downer if it doesn’t work.”

Beyond that, some say that N.B.A. coaches are hesitant to install a zone defense simply because they do not have a longstanding history with it or an encompassing knowledge of its intricacies.

“You still have a lot of coaches, general managers and assistant coaches that are old-school former players,” Lakers guard Derek Fisher said. “And the league is based on solid man-to-man principles. That’s how they were taught the game. That’s how they grew up playing the game. And it’s difficult trying to teach something that you don’t necessarily have a great feel for yourself.”

League leaders in points:

2008-09 NBA Dwyane Wade 2386
2007-08 NBA Kobe Bryant 2323
2006-07 NBA Kobe Bryant 2430
2005-06 NBA Kobe Bryant 2832
2004-05 NBA Allen Iverson 2302 (rules changes go into full effect)
2003-04 NBA Kevin Garnett 1987

Now let's look at PPG leaders who average 24 points per game or more:
2003-2004 ppg:
Points Per Game Leaders

1. Tracy McGrady-ORL 28.0
2. Peja Stojakovic-SAC 24.2
3. Kevin Garnett-MIN 24.2
4. Kobe Bryant-LAL 24.0

2004-2005 ppg (rules changes in full effect)
(Notice a spike in scoring and notice how many perimeter players top the PPG lists)

Points Per Game Leaders

1. Allen Iverson-PHI 30.7
2. Kobe Bryant-LAL 27.6
3. LeBron James-CLE 27.2
4. Dirk Nowitzki-DAL 26.1
5. Amare Stoudemire-PHO 26.0
6. Tracy McGrady-HOU 25.7
7. Gilbert Arenas-WAS 25.5
8. Vince Carter-TOT 24.5
9. Dwyane Wade-MIA 24.1

2005-2006 ppg

Points Per Game Leaders

1. Kobe Bryant-LAL 35.4
2. Allen Iverson-PHI 33.0
3. LeBron James-CLE 31.4
4. Gilbert Arenas-WAS 29.3
5. Dwyane Wade-MIA 27.2
6. Paul Pierce-BOS 26.8
7. Dirk Nowitzki-DAL 26.6
8. Carmelo Anthony-DEN 26.5
9. Michael Redd-MIL 25.4
10. Ray Allen-SEA 25.1
11. Elton Brand-LAC 24.7
12. Vince Carter-NJN 24.2

2006-2007 ppg

Points Per Game Leaders

1. Kobe Bryant-LAL 31.6
2. Carmelo Anthony-DEN 28.9
3. Gilbert Arenas-WAS 28.4
4. LeBron James-CLE 27.3
5. Michael Redd-MIL 26.7
6. Ray Allen-SEA 26.4
7. Allen Iverson-TOT 26.3
8. Vince Carter-NJN 25.2
9. Joe Johnson-ATL 25.0
10. Tracy McGrady-HOU 24.6
11. Dirk Nowitzki-DAL 24.6

2007-2008 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. LeBron James-CLE 30.0
2. Kobe Bryant-LAL 28.3
3. Allen Iverson-DEN 26.4
4. Carmelo Anthony-DEN 25.7
5. Amare Stoudemire-PHO 25.2

2008-2009 ppg

Points Per Game

1. Dwyane Wade-MIA 30.2
2. LeBron James-CLE 28.4
3. Kobe Bryant-LAL 26.8
4. Dirk Nowitzki-DAL 25.9
5. Danny Granger-IND 25.8
6. Kevin Durant-OKC 25.3

Now let's compare that to the 90's when Jordan was a Bull:

1997-1998 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. Michael Jordan*-CHI 28.7
2. Shaquille O'Neal-LAL 28.3
3. Karl Malone-UTA 27.0
(these were the only 3 players over 24ppg)

1996-1997 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. Michael Jordan*-CHI 29.6
2. Karl Malone-UTA 27.4
3. Glen Rice-CHH 26.8
4. Mitch Richmond-SAC 25.9
5. Latrell Sprewell-GSW 24.2

1995-1996 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. Michael Jordan*-CHI 30.4
2. Hakeem Olajuwon*-HOU 26.9
3. Shaquille O'Neal-ORL 26.6
4. Karl Malone-UTA 25.7
5. David Robinson*-SAS 25.0

(notice, only one perimeter player)

1994-1995 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. Shaquille O'Neal-ORL 29.3
2. Hakeem Olajuwon*-HOU 27.8
3. David Robinson*-SAS 27.6
4. Karl Malone-UTA 26.7
5. Jamal Mashburn-DAL 24.1
(Notice the lack of perimeter players)

1993-1994 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. David Robinson*-SAS 29.8
2. Shaquille O'Neal-ORL 29.3
3. Hakeem Olajuwon*-HOU 27.3
4. Dominique Wilkins*-TOT 26.0
5. Karl Malone-UTA 25.2
6. Patrick Ewing*-NYK 24.5

(where are the perimeter players?)

1992-1993 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. Michael Jordan*-CHI 32.6
2. Dominique Wilkins*-ATL 29.9
3. Karl Malone-UTA 27.0
4. Hakeem Olajuwon*-HOU 26.1
5. Charles Barkley*-PHO 25.6
6. Patrick Ewing*-NYK 24.2

1991-1992 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. Michael Jordan*-CHI 30.1
2. Karl Malone-UTA 28.0
3. Chris Mullin-GSW 25.6
4. Clyde Drexler*-POR 25.0
5. Patrick Ewing*-NYK 24.0

1990-1991 ppg

Points Per Game leaders

1. Michael Jordan*-CHI 31.5
2. Karl Malone-UTA 29.0
3. Bernard King-WSB 28.4
4. Charles Barkley*-PHI 27.6
5. Patrick Ewing*-NYK 26.6
6. Michael Adams-DEN 26.5
7. Dominique Wilkins*-ATL 25.9
8. Chris Mullin-GSW 25.7
9. David Robinson*-SAS 25.6

(notice the lack of perimeter players, imagine Clyde Drexler, Joe Dumars, Tim Hardaway, prime Penny Hardaway, Glen Rice, Mitch Richmond, Reggie Miller and players like Isiah Thomas playing under today's rules, they would all register 30+ppg seasons more than once.)

During Jordan's era it was MUCH MUCH more difficult for perimeter players to score as much as today's perimeter players....

90's defense was the best defense at containing perimeter basketball players. 90's defenses took the best aspects of 80's defenses and added to them. 00's defenses were stripped of their rights to actually physically contain the ball handler. Why do you think the 04 Pistons defense fell off so quick?

During a 2007 L.A. Lakers pre-season broadcast, Phil Jackson was asked how he thought Michael Jordan would perform today, Phil said: "Michael would average 45 with these rules."

In closing, I'm not trying to imply that it is impossible to play good defense in this era against a good perimeter player. What I am trying to display to you that it was more possible to consistently contain a perimeter player in Jordan's era because the rules allowed for a more physical style of defense, defenses were clogging the lanes more consistently, and the double teams/traps were just as prominent as today.

07-17-2009, 02:27 PM
Basically to sum it up

it is saying that the perimeter players have it too easy and the rules today make them have better looking statistics and make them look better than the stars of previous generation.

while the older players would have a field day with the new rules on defense

WSU Tony
07-17-2009, 02:35 PM
So the theory of having quality bigs (and a respectable but not unbelievable outside game) is the makeup of a good team is outdated?

07-17-2009, 02:54 PM
well as you can see in the recent drafts perimeter players and and point guards have been dominating

there are really no dominating centers in this league besides Yao and Dwight Howard

07-17-2009, 05:02 PM
yao and dwight howard arent that dominating. the last dominating bigs were duncan and shaq.

07-17-2009, 06:03 PM
Why can't it just be that there weren't any truly good wing players during that time, just like there was not any truly great plethora of big men in our time? The only two there were showed their dominance this past decade, and the only one great wing player of the 90's showed his. Changing the rules back to the old rules isn't suddenly going to make our generation of big men even close to as talented as the 90's big men were.

Name some players from the 90's besides Jordan that could match a player like Kobe's skill set and complete game, even Wade and players like a prime Tracy McGrady.

No one really developed their fundamentals to that point, and it just so happens to be the same with big men and the development of post moves this time around.

07-17-2009, 10:00 PM
Hell even the then "new era bad boys"....

ben wallace

were a very physical team. Even with the rule changes, they had the defensive game on 100% lockdown. But slow tempo, or low scoring/blowout games obviously weren't good for ratings. They want people like Kobe, Lebron, Wade to dominate for more advertisement, drama, storyline etc.... ( not hating on any big name players btw )

I enjoy watching games that are slow and seem like somewhat of a chess battle. However, theres only so many plays you can run, or strategies to use. Thus, boiling down to creativity and thinking ahead. Sometimes the strategy consisted of letting the guy driving the lane know it's going to be a long night. Or I don't care who's house this is, your not driving/dunking on me!

Laimbeer was a flat out beast.

07-17-2009, 10:14 PM
I really don't like the nostalgia just for the sake of nostalgia thing but you make several excellent points. Obviously I am biased but I do think that Jordan, under these rules, would go the F off every game. Great job highlighting how perimeter players have benefited from the rule changes. Back to Jordan, I really think that he could have challenged some of Wilt's scoring records under these rules. If Kobe can score 81 I fully believe Jordan could have scored 100. I like the video so much I added it to my sig. No bull**** Jordan could have averaged like Wilt did for those seasons where he was getting like 50 a night. If only...

madiaz3 makes a good point. The wings are emulating Jordan and even the bigs are too. That is the reason why there are so few stud big men. I wish more guys loved Hakeem back in that day so maybe we would have more talented bigs and a more balanced league. I personally like the rule changes. I don't think that basketball was ever meant to be played like teams played against Jordan. I have always believed that this is a sport of limited contact. If you have the higher skill level you should win. Bruisers have their place in the post but guys on the perimeter should not have anyone's hands on them.

07-18-2009, 12:40 AM
I actually read the whole thing.

This is just a tremendous article.

I fully agree with 100% of what it says.

Defenses have become a joke nowadays.

I guess that for basketball purists such as myself, greater enjoyment can be found in watching hardworking defense rather than some flashy brat just run to the hoop all day and take free throws every other play....

NBA Basketball has been ruined by these retarted changes.

But with these changes you see the resurgence of the "run and gun" and increasing emphasis being placed into offense.

Mike D'antoni's system fits these rules to a tee and look for more and more teams begin to implement the fast paced offensive system and back away from the traditional half court setting.

Durant is hype
07-18-2009, 01:38 AM
Great article.

07-18-2009, 01:59 AM
lol once again i didnt write it so no credit to me hahaha

07-18-2009, 02:14 AM
great post man

07-18-2009, 02:21 AM
Basically to sum it up

it is saying that the perimeter players have it too easy and the rules today make them have better looking statistics and make them look better than the stars of previous generation.

while the older players would have a field day with the new rules on defense

How come perimeter players shoot worse percentages today and overall scoring is down? This article is very bias. There are quotes from Jackson where he says he believes in man on man, but they don't show his later quotes where he says man on man is outdated and the strongest defensive schemes are strong side zones or funneling zone schemes.

07-18-2009, 06:37 AM
How come perimeter players shoot worse percentages today and overall scoring is down? This article is very bias. There are quotes from Jackson where he says he believes in man on man, but they don't show his later quotes where he says man on man is outdated and the strongest defensive schemes are strong side zones or funneling zone schemes.

1.More shots for them compared to the big men?

2.good find, Once again I didnt write this up and did not see the whole interview with jackson

07-18-2009, 06:38 AM
But maybe it is outdated because of the way refs call the game and he is kind of forced to play a zone so all his wings do not foul out in the first five minutes

07-18-2009, 07:26 AM
How come perimeter players shoot worse percentages today and overall scoring is down? This article is very bias. There are quotes from Jackson where he says he believes in man on man, but they don't show his later quotes where he says man on man is outdated and the strongest defensive schemes are strong side zones or funneling zone schemes.

Guys like Lebron and Wade have been killing in the zone era. They shoot 48-49
% and average 28-30 ppg with a PER of 30+.

Shooting percent is down because guys take wayyyyy more 3's nowadays. The 90's was rough for scoring and the league wanted to get away from that.

07-18-2009, 07:42 AM
damn u mos def wasnt lien when u said long

07-18-2009, 09:30 AM
That article is by BruceBlitz and everything he said is the utter truth. The myth that zone = GOAT defense is utter trash. Zone can easily be picked apart by ball movement and moving off ball. Zone leaves certain areas wide open, you just have to attack it and move off the ball. Too bad the IQ of players today is way too low for them to understand that. They can keep on jackin up threes and the heavy reliance on 3s hurts them time to time. Zone is only used is short spurts in todays league and that's the only way it is effective.

All this garbage of perimeter players having a tougher time scoring needs to stop. Perimeter scoring is juiced up in today's league to the max. AI, Wade, Kobe, LeBron, Pierce (pre 07) are all examples ot that. Swingmen, with no handchecking, have been allowed to get in the lane with EASE and get to the FT line. Then you have the 3 second violation (though it's not called a lot) which also helps the perimeter players. Also, zone was legalized in the '01-02 season. Compare the top scorers around that time to the top scorers in 00-01, there's barely a difference in their FG%.

AI put up 31 a game on 42% shooting in '01 and 31 a game in '01-02 on 40% shooting. His decline was due to an elbow injury, not due to the almighty zone.
TMac's efficiency stayed the same yet his scoring numbers went up. Same with Kobe, Pierce etc. If anything zone had a slight impact on role players. That's about it.

EL SEGUNDO - Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic said the Dallas Mavericks hatched a surprise when they employed a zone defense in the second half of Sunday's game.

It caused confusion, and the overall effect was to bog down the Lakers offense.

"We hadn't seen a zone for a long time and it came out of nowhere," Vujacic said Monday. "For 60 games teams played man-to-man against us. No team played zone."

Although the Lakers eventually prevailed, Dallas chiseled away at a 14-point, third-quarter deficit and took the lead, largely because the Lakers offense went stagnant.

It particularly slowed down the Lakers' second-unit group.

"When the zone got sprung on them, they had that hesitation and ended up shooting nine 3-pointers that didn't go in," Coach Phil Jackson said. "That was a loss of focus because they lost the function of basketball, which is penetration."

With that in mind, the Lakers spent the majority of Monday's two-hour practice working on the principles of their zone offense. The focus was on the best ways to attack a zone, which include moving the basketball to make the zone shift, making sharp cuts without the ball, and maintaining proper spacing.

Jackson said he welcomes the prospect of future opponents serving the Lakers a hefty portion of more zone.

"We don't mind that," he said. "That aspect is OK. They (opponents) should look at it and say, 'We can play zone defense against them.' But it's easy to say it; it's hard to play it."

Unlike in high school and college basketball, zone defense in the NBA seldom is used. Lakers forward Lamar Odom described it as a pride thing.

"Usually when a team in the NBA plays zone it's because they have matchup problems," Odom said.

That's why the Mavericks went to it because they were being eaten alive in the low post by the Lakers' Pau Gasol, who didn't miss a field goal in 10 first-half attempts.

But Gasol's shot attempts shrank considerably in the second half, partly because the zone defense had an umbrella defense-effect on him and partly, as Jackson alluded to, the Lakers got jump-shot happy.

"The zone took us out of our rhythm,'' Kobe Bryant said. "And he (Gasol) wasn't able to get his touches."

Vujacic saw zone defenses extensively while playing European basketball and said they are used so much internationally because defense is not a priority.

"Personally, I love playing against the zone," Vujacic said. "I believe it puts teams on their heels as the last resort, when they play it."

-'Lakers revisit zone principles', OC Register
Monday, March 16, 2009

07-18-2009, 09:44 AM
Why can't it just be that there weren't any truly good wing players during that time, just like there was not any truly great plethora of big men in our time? The only two there were showed their dominance this past decade, and the only one great wing player of the 90's showed his. Changing the rules back to the old rules isn't suddenly going to make our generation of big men even close to as talented as the 90's big men were.

Name some players from the 90's besides Jordan that could match a player like Kobe's skill set and complete game, even Wade and players like a prime Tracy McGrady.

No one really developed their fundamentals to that point, and it just so happens to be the same with big men and the development of post moves this time around.

Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway were on their way to becoming all time greats before injuries ruined their career. Hill was hyped up as the next Jordan adn was expected to carry the league. Daily triple double threat. Penny due to his versatility drew Magic Johnson comparisons. Obviously, he wasn't close to the player Magic was but in terms of playing style, yes. Clyde Drexler was as good as Wade. He also led the Blazers to the finals twice and came 2nd in MVP voting to you know who. Drexler had a pretty good all around game except for the fact that he didn't develop a 3 point shot. Players didn't take a lot of 3s back then. That changed around '95 when they shortened the line and then they changed it back later again. Also, Rice, Richmond and Mullin were great wing players in the 90s. Just because they didn't put up 30 a game like Wade etc do doesn't mean they were great. I'm pretty sure Glen, Mitch and Mullin would come close to the 30 PPG mark just because of the fact that perimeter scoring is so juiced up in today's league.

And I agree with the fact big men are way less skilled in today's league. The back to basket rule doesn't help but overall the state is pretty pathetic.

Raoul Duke
07-18-2009, 10:45 AM
Love that article. I'm enjoying the current NBA, but this reminds me how much more fun it was to watch in the late 80's and early to mid 90's.

seeing guys shoot free throws every time they get touched out on the perimeter is boring. But at least they only call that stuff for a small handful of guys.

07-18-2009, 11:18 AM
I see the point the guy is trying to make, but you still can not take away anything from AI, Kobe, Vince, Tracy, LeBron, Wade, and the rest have done.

Remember there is no player ever with the size speed strength and coordination like LeBron. Wade's game resembles Jordan more than any other player right now. Kobe can do it all, shoot drive defense whatever you want. These guys would be great during the Jordan era.

Centers and big man are hard to find because most of them are now super athletic. Think about it... the best center in the game today won the DUNK CONTEST. The game has changed. That is all.

07-18-2009, 11:19 AM
To simplify the game has changed. Just like it did from 60s to 70s to 80s to 90s to 20s.

07-18-2009, 11:51 AM
Great article. They have tried to make the game more high scoring and flashier to get the ratings up but they truly have made it slower. There's a whistle on every damn play in the paint. I know I repeat this a lot but on a playoffs game last year, Heat vs. Hawk, there were so many whistles on drives to the basket I honestly just said **** this and changed the channel. That's why we have to appreciate teams like the 90's Knicks and Bad Boy pistons. Basketball is no longer my favorite sport because like the writer said: "They have pussified the game." Players like Wade, Kobe, and Lebron get most of their points off free throws, that's just sorry.