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View Full Version : When did the current era of basketball begin?



JasonJohnHorn
08-24-2015, 11:05 PM
Watching the NBA finals this year, it seemed like the Warriors were the culmination of what might be called the modern era of basketball. They went small ball, with players who almost all had range (3-point shots). In the 80's this would have been unheard of (and we've all heard Barkley bemoan that jump-shooting teams can't win), so when did this new era really start?

The 3-point line was introduced in 1979, which seems a long time ago, but guys in college, like Jordan, played without a 3-point line and had to develop their range. Bird was one of the first to really hit his stride in that respect, but the Celtics relied a lot on post play (Bird, Parish, and McHale), as did the Lakers (with Kareem). The Pistons relied on defense and a balance of talented offensive players, so I think the Pistons really drove home the importance of defence. Which Phil Jackson picked up with the Bulls (as did Riley with the Knicks and later Heat).

But the turning point I think was the Rockets. The Rockets had an inside-outside game that allowed Hakeem to thrive by opening up the space for him. Yes, he did share the paint with Thorpe, but Thorpe could hit jumpers, and the rest of the team (Cassell, Mad Max, Elie, Horry, and Smith) could all hit 3's, and Drexler in the second title run.

When the Bulls returned to form, Jordan was suddenly hitting 3's at a clip of .427 and for their final run, they had Pippen, Toni, Kerr and Burrell all hit 3's at an impressive rate. Contrasted with the 93 Bulls, that was a drastically different perimeter team (only two players, Jordan and Armstrong, hit three's a a respectable rate, and the team only combined for about 7 or 8 3's a game). And that was far more than their 91 title run, where they took less than 5 3's a game as a team.

While the 'Antoni/Nash Suns get a lot of credit for changing offense in the NBA, I think the real credit should go to Rudy T and the Rockets. They seemed to really be the team that picked up on Detroit's defensive attitude, and added that 3-point shot. The Bulls had really only relied on Jordan's will and team defense to win their first three titles, and were able to do so with ease because nobody had a better offensive plan until the Rockets.

Jackson deserves a lot of credit for being able to recognize the success of the Rockets without having even played Houston in the playoffs, and was able to transform his team into one that could compete behind the arc.

We went back a little with Shaq and the Lakers, I think because the was a huge drop in post defense and the Lakers just happened to have two of the absolute best players in the league, but the trajectory returned with the Spurs winning their second, third, and fourth titles.

The Spurs have obviously picked up on this, as have the Warriors.... but I think it all starts in 1994 and 1995 with the Rockets?


What do you think? Does it go back to Bird, or 1979? Does it start with the Spurs? Does it start with 'Antoni? The second 3-peat Bulls? Or is it the Warriors who have officially ushered in this new era?

Dade County
08-24-2015, 11:36 PM
Didn't Miami always get out rebounded because of there style of play...?

Didn't they win championships with their small ball lineup. Golden state didn't do anything new, they just had Curry & Clay put up 3's at a ridicules rate.


The newest era started to me, was the Boston big 3; that had a trickle down affect that the league had to step in on (Miami big 3).

Rio
Wade/Ray
Lbj/
Battier
Bosh

Lbj & Battier would switch back and forth at the 4 spot... Sometime Wade would play the point so Ray good be at sg; everyone on the court was a live trigger.

ewing
08-24-2015, 11:46 PM
when the laker drafted Magic and the Celtics drafted bird

slaker619
08-25-2015, 12:12 AM
Small ball has really shown how players need to be more conditioned now to keep up

KnickNyKnick
08-25-2015, 07:29 AM
moderen ERA started when LBJ was drafted.

Shammyguy3
08-25-2015, 08:28 AM
mondern era did not start in 2003 ^ the game was quite different when Lebron entered the league.


I believe this era started in the 2011 season, when a team that moved the ball and shot the three overcame what many believed to be the eventual greatest regular season team ever in Miami. Then, the following year Miami went small and won two straight. Then, the Spurs with their passing and 3 point arsenal came back and won after losing, and this past year a 3 point pass-happy team that also played small won

JasonJohnHorn
08-25-2015, 08:30 AM
Didn't Miami always get out rebounded because of there style of play...?

Didn't they win championships with their small ball lineup. Golden state didn't do anything new, they just had Curry & Clay put up 3's at a ridicules rate.


The newest era started to me, was the Boston big 3; that had a trickle down affect that the league had to step in on (Miami big 3).

Rio
Wade/Ray
Lbj/
Battier
Bosh

Lbj & Battier would switch back and forth at the 4 spot... Sometime Wade would play the point so Ray good be at sg; everyone on the court was a live trigger.

I agree that the Heat used small ball... that is fair.

But if we are talking about 'big 3'.... that is not something that works every time and it is something that has been in play for decades.... the Lakers had it in the 60's and 70's (they actually had a big four) and the Lakers of the 80's (Magic/Kareem/Worthy) and Celtics of the 80's (Bird/Parish/McHale) and Bulls of the 90's (Jordan/Rodman/Pippen) all had a 'big 3'. The 'big 3' is misleading because what you need is really is a 'big 9', meaning at least a 9-man rotation where every player holds his own. Look at the Warriors, they had a bench player win finals MVP and had All-Stars coming off the bench.

The 04 Pistons had a deep team as well.... as have the Spurs. The 'big 3' is a gimmick or branding technique to sell tickets. There are teams with a big three that don't even make the playoffs.

What I'm speaking to is style of play. Not the way players are branded.

omdigga
08-25-2015, 09:23 AM
The modern NBA started the day hand-checking became a foul.

kingsdelez24
08-25-2015, 01:50 PM
The league went full swing into his style of play after the lockout when the aged players of the previous generation started a little slower than the young guns of this league, but posters have good tidbits. It's worthy to mention the championship rockets as maybe a catalyst, and LeBron being drafted is when more positionless players were sought after

Minimal
08-25-2015, 02:19 PM
I consider year 2010. Lakers win their 2nd chip and new era starts. Miami Heat big 3 is formed. Rise of Kevin Durant, new wave of dominant point guards started. Basically new era started after "Decision".

JasonJohnHorn
08-25-2015, 02:23 PM
The league went full swing into his style of play after the lockout when the aged players of the previous generation started a little slower than the young guns of this league, but posters have good tidbits. It's worthy to mention the championship rockets as maybe a catalyst, and LeBron being drafted is when more positionless players were sought after


Good points here.

kingsdelez24
08-25-2015, 02:30 PM
KG also ushered in the positionless movement, but then a lot of GM's began reaching with their analysis of talent, and touted guys like Tyson Chandler as the next KG, and other athletic high schoolers that didn't pan out despite their physical gifts

slashsnake
08-27-2015, 05:43 AM
Tough one

my thoughts...

mid-90's to early 2000's.. Had the increase of the 3, decline of the 7' back to the basket center (outside Shaq), removal of the handcheck (lost our 6'8" point guards and got the 5'10" guys with quickness instead), and increased flagrants/suspensions (ended the Knicks/Pistons beat you up ball), no more rerouting players without the ball or impeding screens (see the 3 pointers), and 3 in the key on defense getting put in so you couldn't camp your 7 footer there (spread out floor).

I think that free'd up the game, more of a free flowing game than the set offenses where the PG dominated the ball and would always be the guy with it with few exceptions. Instead the most talented wing or guard no matter the position would run the offense, lost the clogged lanes and hard fouls where common and it seemed everyone was trying to dunk on each other, opened up shooters with more options to get open without the ball, etc... And the league the past 10-15 years has slowly grown into that.

Think back to pre-MJ and you had Doc Rivers bring up the ball every time then get it to Wilkins to score. Porter bringing it up for Drexler, Hardaway for Mullin, Spud or Edney up for Richmond, Cheeks for Dr J. Ainge for Bird... Wasn't all the time, those guys would grab a board and break, but then if they turned back, they wouldn't start the offense, they'd kick it up to the top of the key and the PG would take over again. Not everyone did that either. Nuggets just ran and gunned and played free, but that's the growth I've seen. Pierce, Tmac, Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Melo, Harden, Vinsanity... they grab the board, they run the offense, and as often as not, they get the outlet pass if a big grabs it. Less definition of position. Steph is more the clear cut PG in GS now, but when Monta Ellis is there, take your pick. When Iggy is out there he runs the offense, so does Livingston..

Just seemed like every time Ewing came out Herb Williams had to come in. When Shaq started playing, he'd come out and Tree Rollins would come in. Stockton goes out, Rudd comes in. One guy would play 35 minutes, the other played 13. There was nowhere near the level of, lets pull our center, go small ball for 15 minutes and see what happens at the level of today. Or lets play with 4 forwards and a shooting guard and just get the best players on the court.


And added in the international players which really fit that style.

Look at the 90's bulls 2nd repeat and they kinda led the charge into what that new era became. Lots of players handled the ball, not just the point (Jordan, Pippen, Harper, Kukoc) where the guy who got the board a lot of times would bring it up instead of look for the outlet. Their bigs weren't Ewing/Daugherty/Seikaly/Robinson/etc style who demanded it in the post, but were there more to spread the floor and hit the baseline J (Wennington), international players (kukoc, Longley), played athletic D more than beat them up on D... And they'd go small in big situations, put out Kerr, Jordan, Pippen, Kukoc and Rodman for a while..

Not 100% of teams run that, still evolving, but that's my thoughts.

Chronz
08-27-2015, 09:22 PM
When D'Antoni got hired. Offensive genius who couldnt adapt to to everyone copying his system

Sandman
08-27-2015, 09:43 PM
Somewhere between the 2003 draft and the Celtics coming together. Somewhere between Dirk becoming a superstar and Shaq fading away to Phoenix. Somewhere between D'Antoni and Popovich. Somewhere between the next generation of centers like Oden and Yao unable to stay on the court.

We say "positionless" but you have to admit it is versatility especially at the 4 position.

I will say the selection of Kevin Durant is where all of the above intersect.

MonroeFAN
08-28-2015, 10:12 AM
I think the "athleticism era" began in 2006, but in 2014 I feel like a new era began. Teams successfully started smaller line ups, and the game now more closely resembles Euro-ball.

So last year is my answer.