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View Full Version : Would Jordan have been even better if he didn't take so many long 2's?



sheesh
03-22-2016, 11:50 PM
Whenever I see a Jordan game or watch a Jordan highlight video one of the first things that comes to mind besides how the rules changed and how much harder it was to score back then is his shot selection. He didn't take too many 3's and he took a lot of long 2's. Not just average mid range 2's which he took a ton of, but he also took many long 2's that were just inside the 3 point line and would do this off the dribble as well. It's amazing how much the mid range game has died.

Who the hell does that now? I know the game has changed offensively and for the better. The Jerry Stackhouse style of play produces losses.

I can't really imagine anybody better at basketball at Michael Jordan, but what if Jordan didn't take so many long 2's? And why did he do it?

Alayla
03-23-2016, 01:49 AM
Threads like this are exactly why the discussion about the long ball and its efficiency are flawed and frustrating. Many players back then had mid range games because the mid ranged jumper is a shot most players and coaches have always been willing to just give you. Its about how the defense is playing you and if you in the mid range most teams especially today are just going to sag a bit to prevent the drive. If there giving you room you take the shot a 2 is still a 2 its no less efficient inherently than getting to the rim is the reason it statistically appears that way is most players today simply are not any good at it and worse still at choosing the right times to take them.

Jordan was excellent at getting his shots within the flow of the offense if your entire team is involved and your shots are coming natural through the system there is no such thing as a poor shot.
Jordan is more remembered for his iso and post abilities but that was not the meat of his talents.
More importantly than all of that though is the mid range jumper keeps the defense honest the problem with taking a 3 or going right to the rim is both of those options are things you can easily game plan for you cant game plan for a guy who can get his shot anywhere on the court and nearly any way.

Its not even about his actual scoring as much as the way it forces the defense to pick him up the gravity those types of scorers draw makes things easier for teammates just by there presence on the court but once they start doing things within the system it makes it even easier.
The triangle also has alot of mid ranged opportunities for players out of pinch post as well as fallback options where the cutter can get an easy lay in so Jordan taking more mid ranged jumpers was also a function of the offense itself there are more types of floor spacing than just 3 point shooting and that's why we are seeing more and more of the post game again recently.

The TLDR for everyone else is
Its a strength of his.
Its not a shot most defenses actively game plan to cover and alot of defenders will give it to you.
Its a function of the triangle by nature.
It keeps the defense honest and opens up lanes for cutting and finally it makes getting to the rim easier by default.

PatsSoxKnicks
03-23-2016, 02:50 AM
^At no point in NBA history has the midrange shot ever been more effective than getting to the rim which is what you seem to be implying? That's just wrong. And the whole "analytics" movement didn't change that either. Coaches throughout history have always known getting to the rim is preferable than the long 2. It's just that it is much harder to do.

The decline in midrange shots has mostly come at the expense of 3s.

Also, incorrect is the idea that there's no such thing as a poor shot even if they're coming through the flow of the system. First off, Jordan was amazing so obviously he didn't really have any such thing as a poor shot. Not that dissimilar now where Curry taking a 30 footer isn't a bad shot but for every other player it is.

The purpose of the mid-range game is to take what the defense is giving you. Defenses are smart and try to take away the rim and 3-point attempts so sometimes the best option is a midrange shot. If a defense is giving you a wide open midrange shot, you take it (unless something better near the rim opens up).

However, to design your offense around getting midrange shots is just plain dumb. You design your offense around getting shots at the rim first and foremost (or getting to the line) with the 3 being the secondary option. If the midrange is there and the shot clock is winding down, you take it but you don't design your offense around it. (With the exception being unless you have someone whose like 50+% from midrange i.e. over 1 point per possession)

More and more of the post game recently? Are you watching the current NBA? The post game has been dying. % of post touches, possession ending plays, etc. are down across the board. Part of it is probably players aren't being taught post moves anymore partly due to it being a less efficient play. The league is becoming more pick and roll heavy. The Knicks are like the only team that features the post game heavily. Unfortunately, they don't really have the post players to make it work (hence the offense being bad).

Will the post game come back? Sure, eventually. The NBA is cyclical. Trends happen, teams adjust, etc. Players also need to be taught post moves at the lower levels. And at some point, teams are going to go back to the post to try to counter the whole small ball wave. The Spurs are one team that comes to mind.

The triangle has also gotten a lot of criticism recently. There are legitimate questions as to if it can work. One of the main issues is that there aren't a lot of efficient post players in today's game so it's one thing to have a player like MJ posting up but if you don't have the players, it won't really work as we're seeing with the Knicks. And since the Warriors are currently dominating the competition, there's going to be a push away from the post towards more 3s, small ball, etc.

Ultimately, as long as your "system" has player movement, ball movement, etc. and your primary goal is to get to the most efficient parts of the floor (the rim, dunks are good...), your offense will be ok. But hunting midrange shots with 18 seconds on the shot clock? That's dumb.

JasonJohnHorn
03-23-2016, 08:48 AM
The long-twos/fade-away is what made defenders have to guard him out there, which in turn opened them up to his drives to the basket. It's hard to keep up with somebody as fast as Jordan when you are back peddling.


He had a quick first step, so if you played him honest out there, he'd blow past you. If you didn't, he'd shoot and make you pay for it. He wouldn't have been as effective without the long-two unless he was using 3's instead.


One of the things that is important to consider is that game was more inside back then. Post player dominated because they were high-percentage scorers. So defenders were more concerned with limiting those high percentage options. It was the inverse of today, where 3pt-shooters are more efficient. By developing the long two, Jordan brought defenders outs and made it easier to attack the basket for a high percentage shot.

PowerHouse
03-23-2016, 09:41 AM
Jordan really didnt develop an elite mid-range game until he was well into his 30s after he lost a little quickness. The under-30 MJ (which I remember well) was always trying to get to the rim, almost Westbrook like.

ewing
03-23-2016, 09:46 AM
ahhh.... Imagine the skill of MJ combined with the mind of your average millennial. It would be glorious

Alayla
03-23-2016, 10:25 AM
^At no point in NBA history has the midrange shot ever been more effective than getting to the rim which is what you seem to be implying? That's just wrong. And the whole "analytics" movement didn't change that either. Coaches throughout history have always known getting to the rim is preferable than the long 2. It's just that it is much harder to do.

The decline in midrange shots has mostly come at the expense of 3s.

Also, incorrect is the idea that there's no such thing as a poor shot even if they're coming through the flow of the system. First off, Jordan was amazing so obviously he didn't really have any such thing as a poor shot. Not that dissimilar now where Curry taking a 30 footer isn't a bad shot but for every other player it is.

The purpose of the mid-range game is to take what the defense is giving you. Defenses are smart and try to take away the rim and 3-point attempts so sometimes the best option is a midrange shot. If a defense is giving you a wide open midrange shot, you take it (unless something better near the rim opens up).

However, to design your offense around getting midrange shots is just plain dumb. You design your offense around getting shots at the rim first and foremost (or getting to the line) with the 3 being the secondary option. If the midrange is there and the shot clock is winding down, you take it but you don't design your offense around it. (With the exception being unless you have someone whose like 50+% from midrange i.e. over 1 point per possession)

More and more of the post game recently? Are you watching the current NBA? The post game has been dying. % of post touches, possession ending plays, etc. are down across the board. Part of it is probably players aren't being taught post moves anymore partly due to it being a less efficient play. The league is becoming more pick and roll heavy. The Knicks are like the only team that features the post game heavily. Unfortunately, they don't really have the post players to make it work (hence the offense being bad).

Will the post game come back? Sure, eventually. The NBA is cyclical. Trends happen, teams adjust, etc. Players also need to be taught post moves at the lower levels. And at some point, teams are going to go back to the post to try to counter the whole small ball wave. The Spurs are one team that comes to mind.

The triangle has also gotten a lot of criticism recently. There are legitimate questions as to if it can work. One of the main issues is that there aren't a lot of efficient post players in today's game so it's one thing to have a player like MJ posting up but if you don't have the players, it won't really work as we're seeing with the Knicks. And since the Warriors are currently dominating the competition, there's going to be a push away from the post towards more 3s, small ball, etc.

Ultimately, as long as your "system" has player movement, ball movement, etc. and your primary goal is to get to the most efficient parts of the floor (the rim, dunks are good...), your offense will be ok. But hunting midrange shots with 18 seconds on the shot clock? That's dumb.

bold 1 Never implied this actually read
bold 2 THAT was the point i was getting across
bold 3 Of course the triangle cant work with just any group of players at an NBA level but as an offense if its right for your personnel yes it can and will work there is nothing in the triangle preventing a perimeter game when done correctly the Knicks in general have done a really poor job making the right play when they get looks BBall breakdown even did a video on this very subject.
The only time a team should look for a mid ranged jumper is when one player simply isnt being covered properly. Of course the goal is always to get to the rim but if the mid ranged game is used PROPERLY its not an inefficient shot its the shot you will get open for the most often there for if you have touch out there it should be the easiest to make.

Oh and ps the post game was dead but if your watching the current NBA you would see more of it than you might think its slowly be on the way back. Certainly not more so than the 3 ball but it does exist in alot of offenses.

Alayla
03-23-2016, 10:29 AM
The long-twos/fade-away is what made defenders have to guard him out there, which in turn opened them up to his drives to the basket. It's hard to keep up with somebody as fast as Jordan when you are back peddling.


He had a quick first step, so if you played him honest out there, he'd blow past you. If you didn't, he'd shoot and make you pay for it. He wouldn't have been as effective without the long-two unless he was using 3's instead.


One of the things that is important to consider is that game was more inside back then. Post player dominated because they were high-percentage scorers. So defenders were more concerned with limiting those high percentage options. It was the inverse of today, where 3pt-shooters are more efficient. By developing the long two, Jordan brought defenders outs and made it easier to attack the basket for a high percentage shot.

All of this

KnicksorBust
03-23-2016, 11:30 AM
Jordan's career is such a disappointment. If only he had just taken corner 3's and layups he would have been so much better.

europagnpilgrim
03-23-2016, 11:59 AM
Whenever I see a Jordan game or watch a Jordan highlight video one of the first things that comes to mind besides how the rules changed and how much harder it was to score back then is his shot selection. He didn't take too many 3's and he took a lot of long 2's. Not just average mid range 2's which he took a ton of, but he also took many long 2's that were just inside the 3 point line and would do this off the dribble as well. It's amazing how much the mid range game has died.

Who the hell does that now? I know the game has changed offensively and for the better. The Jerry Stackhouse style of play produces losses.

I can't really imagine anybody better at basketball at Michael Jordan, but what if Jordan didn't take so many long 2's? And why did he do it?

T McGrady and The Answer took and could make those long 2's with ease, Jordan didn't win until year 7 so that Stackhouse jab doesn't mean much, Jordan didn't win until all those other dynasties vaporated and the expansion teams came in, so his Stackhouse style wasn't winning either until year 7

Jordan is the reason why guys like T McGrady and The Answer played that dominant iso style for the most part, and they could drop dimes also, Stackhouse included being a UNC attendee like his idol, Jordan

the mid range game is still here but has faded somewhat, but not on the level of true post big men

europagnpilgrim
03-23-2016, 12:05 PM
T McGrady and The Answer took and could make those long 2's with ease, Jordan didn't win until year 7 so that Stackhouse jab doesn't mean much, Jordan didn't win until all those other dynasties vaporated and the expansion teams came in, so his Stackhouse style wasn't winning either until year 7

Jordan is the reason why guys like T McGrady and The Answer played that dominant iso style for the most part, and they could drop dimes also, Stackhouse included being a UNC attendee like his idol, Jordan

Jordan played to his strength which was attacking/dunking and had a mid range game but it improved as he lost his 'come fly with me' airness and aged

the mid range game is still here but has faded somewhat, but not on the level of true post big men

sheesh
03-23-2016, 05:38 PM
Why would Jordan take long 2's when he was 1 or 2 feet inside the arc? I can understand the medium range 2's?

But the long 2? Why? A much more efficient and better shot is just 2 feet away.

WOwolfOL
03-24-2016, 12:15 AM
Pau Gasol does the same thing

FlashBolt
03-24-2016, 04:22 PM
Jordan would take long 2's because if he makes them, it creates an aura that you will have to guard him from just about anywhere. Players don't develop a three point shot because they want to be Steph Curry. It frees up the court and allows your post players to get some work done as well. If Jordan had no shot, it would be much tougher for him to just get to the paint. It's like LeBron but the difference is LeBron is just too big, strong, and quick so it doesn't matter if you know he's going to drive in or not. The reason players are taking threes is because it is a more efficient shot if you are connecting at a certain %. It is much better for Curry to take a three shooting 46% than to take a two point shot shooting 50% -- which is why he is so deadly.

ewing
03-24-2016, 10:28 PM
i think the OP is over estimating how many truly long 2s micheal took and how easy it is to extend your range off the dribble. Micheal was not a great stand still 3 point shooter and took most of his J's off the bounce. His range off the bounce might have gone to 20 on good days and was best from the center of the court where the 3 point line is 23 or 23 plus. Few guys have range off the that goes to 23 plus- thats what makes Curry special.