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View Full Version : PSDiscussion: Importance of non-conventional players?



DitchDat
12-09-2012, 05:28 PM
I've been thinking about this recently, and it struck me that quite a few important players in the league are non-conventional "freaks". They do not fit in traditional categories, yet they are vital to the success of their teams.

LeBron is probably the best example. He is an all-court marvel who plays up to four positions. He is a freight train who has become a better shooter and post player, but his strenght is his versatility. LeBron has turned the Heat into a "positionless" team so that the team can cater to his specific talents.

But guys like Rajon Rondo (assist machine at point guard with a shaky (if developing) jumpshot and free-throw shot), Nowitzki (big man with shooting range, not a traditional post man), Kevin Love (3-point shooting big man), Russ Westbrook (freakishly athletic point guard (by default?) who prefers scoring over passing), and others probably fit the bill too.

I tried looking at it this way and then realized that Rondo (over the traditional Ray Allen), Love (over traditional post man Al Jeff) and Westbrook (over the spectacular, yet more traditional SG James Harden) all in recent years were preferred over others players. Do non-conventional players carry more value than traditional guys in the NBA?

I don't really believe in traditional positions (it's mostly semantics at this point), but you can sort of "feel" when players are breaking the mold.

Do you know perhaps know any other examples?
Am I making sense with my theory?

ManRam
12-09-2012, 05:34 PM
I'm not sure it's necessarily important to have non-conventional players, I just think it's important to realize that the traditional positional definitions of positions can be pretty stupid.

PGs don't have to be absolutely pass-first...it depends on the system/personnel. The notion that a PG must be pass-first is the silliest notion in an of the NBA.
SGs don't have to be knock-down shooters (I mean, just look at Wade).
SFs should't have defined roles at all.
PFs and Cs: small or big can work, stretch or not-stretch can work...it all depends.

I think you are making some reaches based on small sample size, but I would definitely say that our preconceived traditional definitions of positions are often silly.

Cal827
12-09-2012, 07:19 PM
Andrea Bargnani

Rebounds like a Point Guard
Shoots like a Chucking Shooting Guard
Defends like a Zombie
Posts up like Richard Simmons
Has the Effort Level of The NHL Owners
Has the Defensive Awareness of DoMeFavors
Angers like the potential Bacon Shortage

Phenomenonsense
12-09-2012, 08:02 PM
Andrea Bargnani

Rebounds like a Point Guard
Shoots like a Chucking Shooting Guard
Defends like a Zombie
Posts up like Richard Simmons
Has the Effort Level of The NHL Owners
Has the Defensive Awareness of DoMeFavors
Angers like the potential Bacon Shortage

DMF is extremely defensive. No way does Bargs have that kind of awareness.

Cal827
12-09-2012, 08:15 PM
DMF is extremely defensive. No way does Bargs have that kind of awareness.

According to DMF, Defense is overrated. :D

DitchDat
12-15-2012, 12:50 PM
I'm not sure it's necessarily important to have non-conventional players, I just think it's important to realize that the traditional positional definitions of positions can be pretty stupid.

PGs don't have to be absolutely pass-first...it depends on the system/personnel. The notion that a PG must be pass-first is the silliest notion in an of the NBA.
SGs don't have to be knock-down shooters (I mean, just look at Wade).
SFs should't have defined roles at all.
PFs and Cs: small or big can work, stretch or not-stretch can work...it all depends.

I think you are making some reaches based on small sample size, but I would definitely say that our preconceived traditional definitions of positions are often silly.

I agree with you, but I still feel that teams value "freaks" more than traditional players. Just look at OKC and how they replaced Harden with K-Mart. They must have thought it was harder to replace Westbrook because he was (at least to me) the more obvious player to get rid of.

SLY WILLIAMS
12-15-2012, 01:13 PM
I liked when the Bullets had Manute Bol at 7-6 and Muggsy Bogues at 5-3 on the same team. Manute was a good man. So is Muggsy.

Baller1
12-15-2012, 01:43 PM
KD is probably the best example, trying to put bias aside. :shrug:

He's a guard trapped in a 6'10" body with the arms length/rebounding of a center.

SportsFanatic10
12-15-2012, 04:11 PM
Andrea Bargnani

Rebounds like a Point Guard
Shoots like a Chucking Shooting Guard
Defends like a Zombie
Posts up like Richard Simmons
Has the Effort Level of The NHL Owners
Has the Defensive Awareness of DoMeFavors
Angers like the potential Bacon Shortage

hahaha well played sir

DitchDat
12-16-2012, 03:52 PM
This is also the reason why the Heat's big three and the Celtics' big three are not alike.

KG = traditional tough big man
Pierce = traditional slashing SF
Allen = prototype of a shooting guard

Bosh = finesse forward
LeBron = do-it-all marvel
Wade = undersized shooting guard who relies more on athleticism than long-range shooting

Obviously it was harder for the Heat's big three to jel.

JasonJohnHorn
12-16-2012, 07:07 PM
Most non-conventional players fail to make it in the league. You get guys like Nate Robinson, Eddie House and Ben Gordon, who are shooting guards in PGs bodies... they struggle to get a job sometimes (Iverson being the exception). Likewise some European bigs have a hard time adjusting to the NBA because they are taught a very different style of play in Europe.

Other players are unconventionally and are just really good. Jordan, Pippen, The big O, LBJ, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, these guys were none of them conventional. They did not play their respective positions the way they had been played traditionally, but they are everyone of them champions who had HOF careers.

Depending on your level of talent, it can be good, or bad for you. Earl Boykins is an extremely talented player, but he's had trouble finding work in the NBA because of his size. Muggsy Bogues likewise was seen as being too small for the NBA but still had an amazing career.

So yeah... there are tons of guys who are unconventional, some redefine their position, some struggle to find work past their rookie contracts.