PDA

View Full Version : "Streak Shooters" and how the perception has changed



DreamShaker
12-20-2013, 04:30 AM
We can all agree on this one thing: Advanced stats has drastically altered the way many folks view the NBA. As a guy who was born in the 80's and grew up on 90's ball, I remember the term "streak shooter" still holding a stigma, but not nearly as much as it does nowadays. We can all think of guys like Allen Iverson, Zeke Thomas, Nique, Alex English, and the like who would jack up a ton of shots, score a ton of points. There were times where guys like that got super hot and you just could not stop them, and it was spectacular to watch. There were other times when they would straight up ballhog and shoot their teams out of games. Guys like this get extra scrutiny these days now that we have so many stats we can judge them by. Not only are current "streak shooters" put on blast, but guys from the past are getting re-evaluated by many folks as well. I'm not saying they weren't back then, but it has no doubt been elevated. So has your opinion of these guys changed over the years? And who are some of the first guys that come to your mind when you hear the words "streak shooters? Also...when do you think it's okay to be a high volume, questionable efficiency scorer, if ever?

IndyRealist
12-20-2013, 11:25 AM
Having watched all 19 years of his career, I can tell you that Reggie Miller was a streak shooter. He easily had as many 12 pt games as he did 30+ pt games. The difference is that he was simply a better shooter, on average, than many of the "streak shooters" today. His shooting drills started as soon as the gym opened and lasted way after everyone else had left. And Reggie did three things to mitigate his streaks when he was cold.

1) he played midrange. People remember him as a 3pt shooter, they don't remember how many times he'd fake, take two dribbles and hit open 16ft jumpers.

2) he moved without the ball. No one played off-ball as well as he did. for 40mpg you were just chasing him around the court nonstop, even if the play wasn't drawn up for him. He took no plays off, because if he wasn't shooting he was the decoy. And if his defender happened to get caught up on one of the three screens the team had set, well Reggie was right at the rim for a layup.

3) he got to the line. When you shoot the 3 well enough that they have to get up and guard you, it's easy to get the D to commit ticky-tack fouls and get yourself to the line. You see a lot of players today try to avoid contact on their jumpers, because they want their shot to go in. Make no mistake, Reggie Miller lived at the line. He may be 2-9 that game, but he'll get to 18 points using the foul line.

But I digress, the problem with streak shooters today is that they grew up watching Sportscenter. All they saw were the highlight, step back fadeaway contested 20ft jumpers for the win. So somehow they think that's "their" shot and should take it 10 times a game. (Paul George is notorious for this, among others) What you don't see in a top 10 list is the backdoor cuts, the triple down screen, and all the other blue-collar work that went into making a player great. And you certainly don't see the cold streaks where the player tries to draw fouls and get to the line instead of continuing to jack up shots, because it's not Sportscenter material. So the shooters these days just keep jacking up bad shot after bad shot, because they think that's how the big time scorers used to do it.

DreamShaker
12-20-2013, 12:37 PM
Great post. People actually bash Harden for getting to the line so much, but I love it. He is a streaky shooter and it helps his team for him to get to the line. I actually wish he would do it more at times. I remember Reggie calling Rip Hamilton "Mini Me" because he emulated his style so much, and it was highly condusive to his team's success. But you do see a whole lot of that nowadays.

valade16
12-20-2013, 01:51 PM
Great post. People actually bash Harden for getting to the line so much, but I love it. He is a streaky shooter and it helps his team for him to get to the line. I actually wish he would do it more at times. I remember Reggie calling Rip Hamilton "Mini Me" because he emulated his style so much, and it was highly condusive to his team's success. But you do see a whole lot of that nowadays.

I think the nexus of the argument is he doesn't deserve to go to the line as much as he does because he gets increidbly generous foul calls, not that his strategy is to go to the line.

I think Harden is a great player but I've seen several times where he just runs in to the lane as fast and hard as he can and initiates the contact while barrelling out of control in what can more accurately be described as a rugby move than a basketball one, and gets the foul call.

I'm completely against the notion that you should make a move or do a play for the sole purpose of getting a foul call, I think refs should be far more forgiving to defenses if a guy is simply trying to get a foul. But that's just me.

DreamShaker
12-20-2013, 02:48 PM
I think the nexus of the argument is he doesn't deserve to go to the line as much as he does because he gets increidbly generous foul calls, not that his strategy is to go to the line.

I think Harden is a great player but I've seen several times where he just runs in to the lane as fast and hard as he can and initiates the contact while barrelling out of control in what can more accurately be described as a rugby move than a basketball one, and gets the foul call.

I'm completely against the notion that you should make a move or do a play for the sole purpose of getting a foul call, I think refs should be far more forgiving to defenses if a guy is simply trying to get a foul. But that's just me.

I can see that. To his defense, he does get a heavy amount of 3 point plays and can make those shots with contact. He is one of the elite rim finishers in the game. I do agree he is a ref baiter at times, but he doesn't need to be. Dude is strong and skilled enough to do it without all that. It has backfired a good amount this year as well. They are watching him.

Hawkeye15
12-20-2013, 08:16 PM
We can all agree on this one thing: Advanced stats has drastically altered the way many folks view the NBA. As a guy who was born in the 80's and grew up on 90's ball, I remember the term "streak shooter" still holding a stigma, but not nearly as much as it does nowadays. We can all think of guys like Allen Iverson, Zeke Thomas, Nique, Alex English, and the like who would jack up a ton of shots, score a ton of points. There were times where guys like that got super hot and you just could not stop them, and it was spectacular to watch. There were other times when they would straight up ballhog and shoot their teams out of games. Guys like this get extra scrutiny these days now that we have so many stats we can judge them by. Not only are current "streak shooters" put on blast, but guys from the past are getting re-evaluated by many folks as well. I'm not saying they weren't back then, but it has no doubt been elevated. So has your opinion of these guys changed over the years? And who are some of the first guys that come to your mind when you hear the words "streak shooters? Also...when do you think it's okay to be a high volume, questionable efficiency scorer, if ever?

volume scorers were viewed in a much more positive light 20-30 years ago. A guy like Melo would have been viewed as a top 5 player probably. But, with numbers, we understand that HOW you score is arguably more important than the final number you score.

Advanced stats have changed not only the way we view players, but how GM's and even coaches build, and coach teams. Sports evolution.

Hawkeye15
12-20-2013, 08:20 PM
Having watched all 19 years of his career, I can tell you that Reggie Miller was a streak shooter. He easily had as many 12 pt games as he did 30+ pt games. The difference is that he was simply a better shooter, on average, than many of the "streak shooters" today. His shooting drills started as soon as the gym opened and lasted way after everyone else had left. And Reggie did three things to mitigate his streaks when he was cold.

1) he played midrange. People remember him as a 3pt shooter, they don't remember how many times he'd fake, take two dribbles and hit open 16ft jumpers.

2) he moved without the ball. No one played off-ball as well as he did. for 40mpg you were just chasing him around the court nonstop, even if the play wasn't drawn up for him. He took no plays off, because if he wasn't shooting he was the decoy. And if his defender happened to get caught up on one of the three screens the team had set, well Reggie was right at the rim for a layup.

3) he got to the line. When you shoot the 3 well enough that they have to get up and guard you, it's easy to get the D to commit ticky-tack fouls and get yourself to the line. You see a lot of players today try to avoid contact on their jumpers, because they want their shot to go in. Make no mistake, Reggie Miller lived at the line. He may be 2-9 that game, but he'll get to 18 points using the foul line.

But I digress, the problem with streak shooters today is that they grew up watching Sportscenter. All they saw were the highlight, step back fadeaway contested 20ft jumpers for the win. So somehow they think that's "their" shot and should take it 10 times a game. (Paul George is notorious for this, among others) What you don't see in a top 10 list is the backdoor cuts, the triple down screen, and all the other blue-collar work that went into making a player great. And you certainly don't see the cold streaks where the player tries to draw fouls and get to the line instead of continuing to jack up shots, because it's not Sportscenter material. So the shooters these days just keep jacking up bad shot after bad shot, because they think that's how the big time scorers used to do it.

love the Reggie scouting, it's right on. But I disagree with much of your last paragraph. The fundamentals are still there, the game is just moving to a more specialized type of sport. All the teams that won over time have been researched to a painful degree, and models have been built from those teams. Are there archaic influences in the game still? Of course. But they are less and less.

20 years ago, Paul George is a rookie. Anthony Davis is a junior in college. Young players develop in the NBA before our eyes at a much different rate, positive or negative, than they did back then. Which is why you probably perceive what you do. I think the game has evolved, and will continue to. Not to say it will get better or worse, just more specialized. Eventually, the 20 foot jumper will barely exist.

Hawkeye15
12-20-2013, 08:22 PM
I think the nexus of the argument is he doesn't deserve to go to the line as much as he does because he gets increidbly generous foul calls, not that his strategy is to go to the line.

I think Harden is a great player but I've seen several times where he just runs in to the lane as fast and hard as he can and initiates the contact while barrelling out of control in what can more accurately be described as a rugby move than a basketball one, and gets the foul call.

I'm completely against the notion that you should make a move or do a play for the sole purpose of getting a foul call, I think refs should be far more forgiving to defenses if a guy is simply trying to get a foul. But that's just me.

I agree 99%. But I do think there are times when you should be looking for a foul. But running out of control into the paint and crashing into the other jersey is weak sauce.

jerellh528
12-20-2013, 08:26 PM
volume scorers were viewed in a much more positive light 20-30 years ago. A guy like Melo would have been viewed as a top 5 player probably. But, with numbers, we understand that HOW you score is arguably more important than the final number you score.

Advanced stats have changed not only the way we view players, but how GM's and even coaches build, and coach teams. Sports evolution.

To an extent, but I'm a believer in the needs of the team overrides efficiency stats. Example: korvers value versus Westbrook. Korver is one of the most efficient guards in the league, while Westbrook isn't. Westbrooks value as a volume scorer is almost unmatched. This obviously goes out the window when you have guys that put up huge points on insane efficiency such and bron and kd, but those types are very rare.

Hawkeye15
12-20-2013, 08:28 PM
To an extent, but I'm a believer in the needs of the team overrides efficiency stats. Example: korvers value versus Westbrook. Korver is one of the most efficient guards in the league, while Westbrook isn't. Westbrooks value as a volume scorer is almost unmatched. This obviously goes out the window when you have guys that put up huge points on insane efficiency such and bron and kd, but those types are very rare.

well, now you are speaking of evaluating two players on different planets of talent. Korver is an efficient shooter, but what else does he bring? He would fit the "evaluate role player" list, where Westbrook fits the "evaluate franchise player" list.

Sactown
12-21-2013, 01:04 AM
Even as recent as 5-10 years ago, without the development of advanced statistics, players were allowed to be gunslingers at the expense of their team. With recent updates in advanced statistics these players are being outed, but it seems today, to me, that advanced numbers are being overused

(Don't get to excited Kobe fans and Lebron haters!)

I'm not huge on TS% which is one of the most commonly used statistics in measuring efficiency as I believe it benefits players who get to the line (miss or make) regardless if it improves the teams chance to win.

Also not huge on synergy stats on the defensive end ( guess this belongs in a different thread as it doesn't relate to streaky shooters)

But as far as "streaky shooters", advanced statistics are making people more critical of them ... It's the gunslingers who are under fire ..

torocan
12-21-2013, 02:01 AM
I'm completely against the notion that you should make a move or do a play for the sole purpose of getting a foul call, I think refs should be far more forgiving to defenses if a guy is simply trying to get a foul. But that's just me.

So you're also against pump fakes to get defenders into the air and rip throughs? And against driving directly into shot blockers?

GunFactor187
12-21-2013, 03:39 AM
volume scorers were viewed in a much more positive light 20-30 years ago. A guy like Melo would have been viewed as a top 5 player probably. But, with numbers, we understand that HOW you score is arguably more important than the final number you score.

Advanced stats have changed not only the way we view players, but how GM's and even coaches build, and coach teams. Sports evolution.

Hit the nail on the head with this post on how metrics is so important in this modern day era of basketball and sports as a whole.

IndyRealist
12-21-2013, 10:17 AM
love the Reggie scouting, it's right on. But I disagree with much of your last paragraph. The fundamentals are still there, the game is just moving to a more specialized type of sport. All the teams that won over time have been researched to a painful degree, and models have been built from those teams. Are there archaic influences in the game still? Of course. But they are less and less.

20 years ago, Paul George is a rookie. Anthony Davis is a junior in college. Young players develop in the NBA before our eyes at a much different rate, positive or negative, than they did back then. Which is why you probably perceive what you do. I think the game has evolved, and will continue to. Not to say it will get better or worse, just more specialized. Eventually, the 20 foot jumper will barely exist.

I don't disagree that the game is evolving and that virtually every team is pushing toward a stats oriented approach combined with traditional coaching, but there are still stubborn holdovers of the Sportscenter generation. Rudy Gay, etc. think analytics is nonsense, and ultimately they are the ones with the ball in their hands. This is a quote from DeMar DeRozan:

‘He takes a hell of a lot of pressure off me and vice versa,’ DeRozan said of Gay. ‘A lot of people get into the analytic stuff — we don’t pay no attention to that because we know how much we can help this team. As long as we play on the defensive end, we don’t have to worry about scoring — nothing, none of that — because we can score the ball at will.’

That is the exact type of uneducated, Sportscenter heroball attitude that is still pervasive throughout the NBA. And seeing as these "Yay Points!" players still get paid massive amounts of money and people keep trading for them, it stands to reason that there are front offices who aren't quite on the forefront of NBA metrics.

Even if you look at the Miami Heat, in year one of the trio there was massive amounts of heroball going on. People were concerned Lebron and Wade couldn't play together, because they pretty much just took turns iso, driving at the rim from the elbow. Whether or not the organization believes in stats, the players didn't and coaching was ineffective (the infamous Lebron shoulder bump to Spo). The players thought they knew better, and no one was going to tell them to run plays or shoot from a certain spot. They firmly believed in their iso skills, and despite having 3 of the best players on the planet still lost in the Finals. From year 2:

After Monday's victory against the Boston Celtics, Wade said the biggest key was the Miami Heat playing less "hero ball" on offense. The term means going one-on-one against opponents, something Wade and LeBron James have tried to avoid this postseason. The Heat face the Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

"Just too much isolation," Wade said of the past offensive gameplan. "…We have good iso guys, but I thought last year, as we were trying to work our game and get comfortable, a lot of times we relied on our ability too much. And it can get other guys just standing around and not being involved."

The alternative is James and Wade scoring more within offensive sets, and having added trust in teammates. The change was noticeable when they scored the bulk of the points in the previous round against the Indiana Pacers.

Most of the scoring was a product of ball movement.

"Everything we get is in the flow of the offense, and that's what it's about," James said.
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-05-29/sports/fl-miami-heat-dwyane-wade-0530-20120529_1_erik-spoelstra-mario-chalmers-role-guys

And this from Doug Collins:

76ers coach Doug Collins was asked the other day if he was an analytics guy.
"No. If I did that, I'd blow my brains out," Collins said after a practice last week. "There's 20-page printouts after every game - I would kill myself."
"My analytics are here . . ." Collins quickly pointed to his head. ". . . and here." He pointed just above the white waistband of his Sixers sweat suit - to his gut.
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/doug-collins-no-interest-advanced-stats-blow-brains-195542758--nba.html

With notable exceptions, the bulk of the NBA consists of teenagers and 20-somethings who only went to college because they were forced to en route to the NBA. There's overriding no reason to think they'd put their trust in regression analyses, shot distribution charts, or that pasty guy sitting on the computer. Players have been basketball players for a decade or more before they even make it to the NBA, and suddenly they're told everything they know is wrong? And by a guy who's never played organized basketball in his life. I dunno when the last time was you tried to tell a 19 year old he is wrong about anything, but it's an uphill battle.