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View Full Version : Kenny Smith compares the modern NBA to pick up games



NYKalltheway
03-27-2018, 05:02 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeHoM061Ka0

Here's the video from NBA 2k TV. First 4-5 minutes it's Kenny, the Jet, Smith talking about how this era looks like to him and pretty much says it's a much softer, with less pressure and that there are too many players that would probably not make the NBA in old times because they're not good in both offense and defence. He also claims that the players and the game has not become faster.

JasonJohnHorn
03-27-2018, 09:57 AM
Interesting perspective. There is an element of "My old school is better than your new school" here. I remember Wilt bemoaning Jordan on Conan O'Brien and mischaracterizing his game by suggesting it was all just flash and dunks (which suggested he was only watching highlights).

Kenny Smith, though, watches the games, and he's a smart guy.

Is it faster? Well... there are more possessions it seems (that is quantifiable) than there were in the 90's certainly, when teams were trying to keep the scores under 90 points to keep gaps tight and within striking distance. But in hte 80's? That Magic Lakers team was pretty fast.

There is also the question of the grind-out possession and moving the ball around. Yes, the Bulls took more time to get a shot off than, say, the 'Antoni Sun or perhaps current Rockets and Warriors (I'd have to check out the numbers to verifiy), but the triablge offense also had people moving, defenses especally, so even if they weren't running up and down the court as much, they were in constant motion.


But a pick-up game? And players don't play D today? I think that is unfair. I've never seen a pick-up game mirror the ball movement in Houston or GSW. To be frank, most pick up games rely on pick-and-roll, iso, and post-up games (at least the ones I've seen), and so are more consistent with the style I saw in the NBA of the 90's (not that that's bad, because I enjoy that style of game to).


I can recall a LARGE number of defensive scrubs back in the day, and I'm actually inclined to think that the defensive expectations have actually increased, it's just that the offenses are hard to guard.


I mean... yeah... Harden was notorious for freezing up on D in the past, but Drazen Petrovic was a cardboard cut out on defense back in the day, and people sing his praises all the time. Every generation has talented guys like, say Kyle Korver, who are great shooters and bad defenders, but I mean.... the depth of defensive wings and PGs today.... yeah... some PG aren't strong defenders (IT, perhaps Kyrie depending on who you ask), but this was the same back in the 80's and 90's. Though Isiah Zeke Thomas (not IT) was on great defensive teams, he gave up a lot because of his size (even if he got a lot of steals). There were a lot of PGs that didn't play strong D back then.



Anyways.... an interesting perspective, and one worth considering, but Kenny is being a bit critical.

mike_noodles
03-27-2018, 10:42 AM
Each era plays with slightly different rules and the game evolves to take advantage of these rule changes, however that may be. If you're allowed to get your hands on guys, it's a lot easier to play defense, we all know this. The guys from the era that Kenny is talking about would foul out in the first half because the refs would be calling them for all that stuff they used to get away with .

Hawkeye15
03-27-2018, 10:48 AM
hard to pressure players who shoot from far greater distances than the old days. Defenses today cover far more square footage than years ago. So no, we won't see the packed in, rough and tumble defenses of yesterday. A simply skip pass would kill those packed in defenses. Because PF's today hit 3s haha.

IndyRealist
03-27-2018, 11:10 AM
Offenses and defenses are far more complicated now than 25 years ago. Players are more skilled and more athletic than ever. You can say that players are "softer" now, but saying it's like a pickup game is plain stupid.

rhino17
03-27-2018, 12:36 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeHoM061Ka0

Here's the video from NBA 2k TV. First 4-5 minutes it's Kenny, the Jet, Smith talking about how this era looks like to him and pretty much says it's a much softer, with less pressure and that there are too many players that would probably not make the NBA in old times because they're not good in both offense and defence. He also claims that the players and the game has not become faster.

Maybe true. But none of those old players could play in this time. Everyone is a way better shooter now, way more skilled, way more positionless.

valade16
03-27-2018, 12:40 PM
Interesting perspective. There is an element of "My old school is better than your new school" here. I remember Wilt bemoaning Jordan on Conan O'Brien and mischaracterizing his game by suggesting it was all just flash and dunks (which suggested he was only watching highlights).

Kenny Smith, though, watches the games, and he's a smart guy.

Is it faster? Well... there are more possessions it seems (that is quantifiable) than there were in the 90's certainly, when teams were trying to keep the scores under 90 points to keep gaps tight and within striking distance. But in hte 80's? That Magic Lakers team was pretty fast.

There is also the question of the grind-out possession and moving the ball around. Yes, the Bulls took more time to get a shot off than, say, the 'Antoni Sun or perhaps current Rockets and Warriors (I'd have to check out the numbers to verifiy), but the triablge offense also had people moving, defenses especally, so even if they weren't running up and down the court as much, they were in constant motion.

But a pick-up game? And players don't play D today? I think that is unfair. I've never seen a pick-up game mirror the ball movement in Houston or GSW. To be frank, most pick up games rely on pick-and-roll, iso, and post-up games (at least the ones I've seen), and so are more consistent with the style I saw in the NBA of the 90's (not that that's bad, because I enjoy that style of game to).

I can recall a LARGE number of defensive scrubs back in the day, and I'm actually inclined to think that the defensive expectations have actually increased, it's just that the offenses are hard to guard.

I mean... yeah... Harden was notorious for freezing up on D in the past, but Drazen Petrovic was a cardboard cut out on defense back in the day, and people sing his praises all the time. Every generation has talented guys like, say Kyle Korver, who are great shooters and bad defenders, but I mean.... the depth of defensive wings and PGs today.... yeah... some PG aren't strong defenders (IT, perhaps Kyrie depending on who you ask), but this was the same back in the 80's and 90's. Though Isiah Zeke Thomas (not IT) was on great defensive teams, he gave up a lot because of his size (even if he got a lot of steals). There were a lot of PGs that didn't play strong D back then.

Anyways.... an interesting perspective, and one worth considering, but Kenny is being a bit critical.

First Bolded: I think there's a little of that yes, but if you've watched a lot of Inside the NBA or Open Court, Kenny is the least "my era was better" guy of all the former NBA players they have on there. He routinely sings praises for modern players that are ranked below older guys.

Second Bolded: No one was singing Drazen's praises on defense lol. He was pretty roundly known as a horrible defender. In fact, he sat on the bench in Portland and rarely played because of his bad defense.

ewing
03-27-2018, 12:44 PM
Interesting perspective. There is an element of "My old school is better than your new school" here. I remember Wilt bemoaning Jordan on Conan O'Brien and mischaracterizing his game by suggesting it was all just flash and dunks (which suggested he was only watching highlights).

Kenny Smith, though, watches the games, and he's a smart guy.

Is it faster? Well... there are more possessions it seems (that is quantifiable) than there were in the 90's certainly, when teams were trying to keep the scores under 90 points to keep gaps tight and within striking distance. But in hte 80's? That Magic Lakers team was pretty fast.

There is also the question of the grind-out possession and moving the ball around. Yes, the Bulls took more time to get a shot off than, say, the 'Antoni Sun or perhaps current Rockets and Warriors (I'd have to check out the numbers to verifiy), but the triablge offense also had people moving, defenses especally, so even if they weren't running up and down the court as much, they were in constant motion.


But a pick-up game? And players don't play D today? I think that is unfair. I've never seen a pick-up game mirror the ball movement in Houston or GSW. To be frank, most pick up games rely on pick-and-roll, iso, and post-up games (at least the ones I've seen), and so are more consistent with the style I saw in the NBA of the 90's (not that that's bad, because I enjoy that style of game to).


I can recall a LARGE number of defensive scrubs back in the day, and I'm actually inclined to think that the defensive expectations have actually increased, it's just that the offenses are hard to guard.


I mean... yeah... Harden was notorious for freezing up on D in the past, but Drazen Petrovic was a cardboard cut out on defense back in the day, and people sing his praises all the time. Every generation has talented guys like, say Kyle Korver, who are great shooters and bad defenders, but I mean.... the depth of defensive wings and PGs today.... yeah... some PG aren't strong defenders (IT, perhaps Kyrie depending on who you ask), but this was the same back in the 80's and 90's. Though Isiah Zeke Thomas (not IT) was on great defensive teams, he gave up a lot because of his size (even if he got a lot of steals). There were a lot of PGs that didn't play strong D back then.



Anyways.... an interesting perspective, and one worth considering, but Kenny is being a bit critical.

Houston does something other then simple pick and roll and isolation?

Chronz
03-27-2018, 01:01 PM
It's a homogeneous game that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

Shammyguy3
03-27-2018, 01:27 PM
It's a homogeneous game that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

Id be okay with this

TrueFan420
03-27-2018, 02:45 PM
It's a homogeneous game that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

I wouldn't and I'm sure plenty of others wouldn't have a problem with this but the league would. The league cares more about the average fan and the average fan wants high scoring games. Handchecking would make it harder on offenses to score.

Heediot
03-27-2018, 03:04 PM
It's a homogeneous game that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

I think the nba should just follow fiba rules.

40 minutes games = reduces player mileage and rest excuses. Although the record books and per game stats take a massive hit, so I don't think this is likely. Do Fiba rules with 48 mins.

More leeway with handchecking, swatting away shots around the rim, true zones, and unsportsmanlike fouls. The last one would eliminate the hack a who's. If your not making a legit play on the ball or basketball play when you foul, the opponent gets fts and the ball.

MygirlhatesCod
03-27-2018, 03:20 PM
college ball looks exactly like a pick up game. its not comparable on any level especially with as many switches and off ball movement there is in the average NBA possession.

Heediot
03-27-2018, 03:23 PM
college ball looks exactly like a pick up game. its not comparable on any level especially with as many switches and off ball movement there is in the average NBA possession.

Allowing a big man to camp in the paint can hide a lot of players though. Guys like JVal, Vucevic, Monroe become ore valuable as they are less of a liability on defense. Bigs can still get exposed, but the blow will lessen a fair amount. Getting to the lane is done in all generations, but finishing in the lane is much harder when you have at least one big guy camping there.

ewing
03-27-2018, 03:36 PM
I think the NBA looks a lot like a pick up game. Just a well played one with guys in the right spots. I also don't think that is a bad thing. I think basketball is the simplest of our team sports. Most teams first option is to look to push for the best available quick and a lot of teams run two man game or an iso game with guys spreading the floor just standing still waiting for a kick/swing unless they get a clear back door opportunity. Some team run more off ball motion then others and ther eis some variation on the screen roll but I don't think its ever been very complicated.

aman_13
03-27-2018, 04:00 PM
It's a homogeneous game that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

I'm for this as well.

Hawkeye15
03-27-2018, 04:57 PM
I think the NBA looks a lot like a pick up game. Just a well played one with guys in the right spots. I also don't think that is a bad thing. I think basketball is the simplest of our team sports. Most teams first option is to look to push for the best available quick and a lot of teams run two man game or an iso game with guys spreading the floor just standing still waiting for a kick/swing unless they get a clear back door opportunity. Some team run more off ball motion then others and ther eis some variation on the screen roll but I don't think its ever been very complicated.

yep. I mean the court is huge, the players so skilled, the 1-1 advantages are crazy in the NBA. It's actually very simple stuff, great coaches can just disguise what they are doing a bit better.

NYKalltheway
03-27-2018, 06:07 PM
I think the nba should just follow fiba rules.

40 minutes games = reduces player mileage and rest excuses. Although the record books and per game stats take a massive hit, so I don't think this is likely. Do Fiba rules with 48 mins.

More leeway with handchecking, swatting away shots around the rim, true zones, and unsportsmanlike fouls. The last one would eliminate the hack a who's. If your not making a legit play on the ball or basketball play when you foul, the opponent gets fts and the ball.


Problem is, FIBA rules is shifting towards NBA rules in the last decade and has ruined the international game. It's sort of accepted its fate as a feeder institution to the NBA due to the financial gap and every kid in his teens signs up for the NBA draft now. Ten years ago the best players didn't even consider that. Now even the above average talents sign up just because they're tall enough and can shoot. FIBA and the Euroleague are also just in it for the money at the moment and this fast paced, loose defensive schemes are making them richer. (There's a huge collision between FIBA and the Euroleague at the moment for those who follow).

As for Kenny's remarks and the Drazen example. Well, Drazen was a shooter, one of the best shooters of all time, some say the best ever. He was a scorer, a leader, a lethal passer as well, one of the best in Europe (he considered other European players - I guess he'd obviously concede to some NBA legends like Bird, Jordan, Gervin, Nique, English etc - as far better scorers). He was not an all round player. He was not a two way player.
Europe at the time was not famous for two way players. Even today, almost no one is a two way player. Which is why 10-12 man rotations were the most popular at the height of the European game around 15 to 8 years ago. Specialization was and still is part of the European game. Sure, more people can do more things than just shoot, or just defend, or just hustle, but the specialist part is still there. It's true that the NBA has been very hard to enter for these guys. Even the best Europeans struggled in the NBA at some point. Some couldn't defend or keep up with the athletic NBA types. Michael Jordan was the best player in the NBA and everyone rated him as a great defender, some said he was a better defensive player than offensive player, others say that he was top 5 defensively in the league, even amongst bigs and so on. The NBA was a defense-first league for a long time. Not in terms of results, but in terms of attitude. The Showtime Lakers were different obviously but that was a collection of elite talent and was not the norm of the league. It paved way for a new type of offensive flow but even so, teams were very solid defensively.


Handchecking cannot re-enter this NBA era. It's a dinosaur. If it's back, that means that there'll be more friction between players, more trash talking, more of everything that the NBA has decided is bad. I also dislike the defensive 3 in the key rule as it kills the big guys imo. That could be disbanded now that PFs and Cs are more likely to be able to shoot from distance, but no way handchecking is back. Imo that would improve things for TV rights internationally and all that, but it will have more negative publicity during the season in the USA and that's what the involved parties pay more attention to obviously.

And I think every player who has survived both eras and the transition will testify that the league has become much softer now.

I also think that players not going to college for many years is also a problem here as no one really gets to learn proper basketball or how to be part of a team. It's all about money now. And fast. And who can blame these kids? It's a lifetime opportunity and you can never say no to so much money when you cannot be sure that a potential college injury won't ruin that shot.

Imo, they should implement an age restriction. You have to be 21 at season start (let's say August or September) to enter the league. That means you either go for college and/or move abroad for pro basketball in Europe, Asia or South America even. Ideally that means that more people will go for at least 3 years of college and consider finishing their degree as well, which I assume will be a favorable option. Or they'll at least be able to finish it off at a later time if they have a successful career.

Aggressive as the older NBA can seem, most of those players seem to have a different class. It might just be a small sample that I'm using, but I see less loyalty and more money hunger from players who didn't go to college. For me that's a negative attribute and I'm sure it's the case for more.

A last thing. Players now are buddies. Call it a new era thing, a social media thing, the Team USA factor or whatever, the players don't dislike each other now. Rivals are friends between them. There's no heat, there's no temperament, there's no grit. It's as if it's just another job now. In the past, players would fight with their teammates if they were spotted 'fraternizing' with the enemy.

Chronz
03-27-2018, 07:28 PM
Allowing a true zone would be a great initial start i suppose but it would further inhibit the low post big man. Making it a bit tougher for perimeter players would help make the bigs a better option

Jeffy25
03-27-2018, 08:51 PM
When older players complain about the newer game, it's always like 'old man yells at clouds' from the Simpsons for me.

People tend to have revisionists historical perspectives, especially poorly educated people like professional athletes.

I'm not picking on Kenny here, he is just in the line of former athletes that love to complain about how easy the current game is compared to when they played....ya know, when real men played (according to them). Every generation does this with it's younger generations. They think they are dumb, weak, whatever.

Truthfully, the guys who are playing today are vastly superior athletically to anything that played in the 80's or 90's. Jordan may have had an explosive first step, Shaq may have been so ****ing huge that it would take two Nurkic's to bother him, and Hakeem may have been able to spread it better than anyone in today's game. But that's just the elite players. It's the rest of the league. Kenny Smith probably wouldn't be any better in today's game than Daequan Cook.

Not only is the level of competition incredibly more vast, especially with the emergence of international athletes coming into the pool for the last two decades, but the game is also way smarter, better trained, etc.

Bron spends $1M per year on his body. From his fitness to his food. It's all mapped out and calculated for his entire year.

Nobody did that **** 20 years ago. And he's far from the only person. These guys know their nutrition, they study tapes, it's a full time job and they have people around them helping them inside that job. It's not just the elite guys and a few studs. It's the whole league taking it this way.

Maybe defense is worse today. I'd say it's clearly less physical. But that's more so because of the nature of the sport and what the game values (offense).


I personally, would simply love the game to do something about the 3 point balance. Like move it further back or something like that. It's not fun to watch a team like the Rockets, where 5 guys are standing around behind the 3 point line (when Capela isn't in) including Anderson, who is just waiting for enough space to chuck a 27 footer.


There is no way the game is weaker or worse than it was 20+ years ago. It's faster, smarter, better trained, with a larger talent pool. Just because it's not a bunch of trash talk and centers bumping into each other doesn't make it less talented or weaker. It's a different game, it's a much smarter game. Poor IQ guys don't last in this league. 20 years ago, they could carve out a nice career.

JordansBulls
03-27-2018, 09:04 PM
It is a pickup game that is why it is easy to put up numbers. The rule changes back in 2004 opened up the game.

JasonJohnHorn
03-27-2018, 09:23 PM
It's a homogeneous game that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

Excellent point! I'd like to see this, but I don't think it is likely to happen. The league likes scoring, and it seems to be making rules that facilitate that.

TylerSL
03-27-2018, 10:07 PM
Modern NBA is WAY WAY WAY better than it was even in the 90's. Today's NBA has so much more star talent, and has so much talent on the perimeter it's not even funny. Centers shoot the 3 ball today and we have a ton of bigs who are really good too.

List of perimeter players who are good enough to be at least a low level All Star;
Lebron
KD
Harden
Kawhi
Curry
Westbrook
CP3
Greek Freak
Kyrie
PG13
Lillard
Butler
DeRozen
Klay
IT (when healthy)
Wall
Beal
Oladipo
Kemba
Hayward
Lowry
Booker
Simmons
Melo
McCollum
Dragic
Mitchell

List of bigs who are good enough to be at least a low level All Star;
Davis
Cousins
Towns
Porzingis
Embiid
Whiteside
Jokic
Gobert
Blake
Love
LaMarcus
DJ
Drummond
Draymond
M Gasol
Dwight
Horford
Adams
Capella
Turner
Millsap


That's 48 players who are really ****ing good. The NBA today has so much talent it's incredible, and previous generations pale in comparison. Sure, there were teams back in the day that were better than most teams today, but the overall talent in the league today is better than any other period, and it isn't even close. Kenny Smith couldn't be more wrong.

NYKalltheway
03-28-2018, 02:59 AM
A portion of these guys would be role players for playoff teams in the 90s and probably not even be part of a playoff team in the 80s. Some would probably not even make the NBA as they'd be chewed alive. Being able to shoot from distance is and also was a major plus, but you had to have the whole package to at least an acceptable level. Likewise, some role players of the past could probably not been able to find a roster spot at a modern contender. But when you compare older talent to modern talent, you have to consider how different this player would have been with all the tech advances (and vice versa, when visualizing modern players in older eras).

Also, you probably do not know the talent pool available in the 80s or 90s or early 2000s. And not eveyone makes the all star team or an all-NBA selection as you realize. Many of these people who could easily be part of it were teammates and they had to apply a role for the team to win, not perform a stats padding contest in a watered down 30 team league.
The only issue with the 90s was the expansion teams that had at least 2 very bad seasons so the league was in a shock that was halted in the early 2000s. Tanking has always been around so just looking at the results and standings doesn't say much.

The 80s was probably the best era for NBA talent, even without the internationals. The 90s was the best era for internationals quality wise, the 2010s has too many foreigners and not all are good enough really. In the past, almost any international player would be considered an elite player in Europe. Now not so much. It helps that they develop in a better way in the NBA when they're young, but the same player with the same talent would not have had the same success.

edit: I'd also say the 70s was immensely talented but lots of those were in the ABA and it's a bit weird to discuss as the NBA was a completely separate entity with different rules.

krazylegz
03-28-2018, 07:09 PM
nba is silly to watch now,but it is what it is....the only way to have players give a ISH about defense is to lower the number of regular season games...if players actually played d on a nightly basis,they would be spent by mid-season

krazylegz
03-28-2018, 07:28 PM
It's a homogeneous game that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

i agree,the best kind of greatness is discovered when there is more resistance to it

ewing
03-29-2018, 12:05 AM
It's a homogeneous game (no homo) that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

Fixed


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

NYKalltheway
03-29-2018, 02:54 AM
nba is silly to watch now,but it is what it is....the only way to have players give a ISH about defense is to lower the number of regular season games...if players actually played d on a nightly basis,they would be spent by mid-season


Well, they gave a **** about defense in the past. Maybe not every player and every night, but that's due to another reason. They KNEW HOW TO PLAY BASKETBALL. It was not because they had to or someone told them to play defense, it was simply ingrained in their basketball personality. There was no such thing as a "two way player" because almost every one was a two way player.
Now they simply do not. These are very physically gifted players who have been trained to make some shots and as their career goes by they're learning more moves. I can make many shots during a pick up game as well and I'm not even playing at any level whatsoever. If I could jump like Spud Webb or Nate Robinson I could probably be a pro as well.

Look at Lebron James. Took him 8 years to learn how to shoot properly, took him 5 years to learn how to defend, took him 10 years to learn how to post up, took him almost 15 years to do things he was supposed to know at age 15. And this was a player hyped up from a very young age and was hyped up in the NBA since before his first game. It just shows a trend.

I was watching the Open Court show and I think it was Dennis Scott who was saying that these players do not have fundamental skills, they do not know how to feed the post, they do not know how to use post offensive moves etc. I'll also add what another member of that panel said, which is that the point guards have their eyes on the basket almost exclusively now whilst in the past they had their backs towards the basket and a hand or two forced onto them. Hence, why the NBA is faster today.

Hawkeye15
03-29-2018, 08:41 AM
It's a homogeneous game that has seen advances in shooting and math, there's so much spacing today that wasn't around before that I think we can go back to reinstating hand checking again. It's time to give defenses one more tool. It might bring back the true pg and skilled swings

bingo. With the range players can shoot from now, it's time. It would for sure bring back a more classic ball handler.

TylerSL
03-30-2018, 12:14 AM
A portion of these guys would be role players for playoff teams in the 90s and probably not even be part of a playoff team in the 80s. Some would probably not even make the NBA as they'd be chewed alive. Being able to shoot from distance is and also was a major plus, but you had to have the whole package to at least an acceptable level. Likewise, some role players of the past could probably not been able to find a roster spot at a modern contender. But when you compare older talent to modern talent, you have to consider how different this player would have been with all the tech advances (and vice versa, when visualizing modern players in older eras).

Also, you probably do not know the talent pool available in the 80s or 90s or early 2000s. And not eveyone makes the all star team or an all-NBA selection as you realize. Many of these people who could easily be part of it were teammates and they had to apply a role for the team to win, not perform a stats padding contest in a watered down 30 team league.
The only issue with the 90s was the expansion teams that had at least 2 very bad seasons so the league was in a shock that was halted in the early 2000s. Tanking has always been around so just looking at the results and standings doesn't say much.

The 80s was probably the best era for NBA talent, even without the internationals. The 90s was the best era for internationals quality wise, the 2010s has too many foreigners and not all are good enough really. In the past, almost any international player would be considered an elite player in Europe. Now not so much. It helps that they develop in a better way in the NBA when they're young, but the same player with the same talent would not have had the same success.

edit: I'd also say the 70s was immensely talented but lots of those were in the ABA and it's a bit weird to discuss as the NBA was a completely separate entity with different rules.

Players are more athletic today. Medicine/nutrition is better today. The game is more efficient. It's played different than it used to be and it's softer, but overall the players are better. They just are.

NYKalltheway
03-30-2018, 02:48 AM
They are more athletic but that's just a scientific progress thing. Being more athletic does not make you better. That's just the illusion of the modern game. The older players with their basketball skills AND the new medicine & nutrition advances would have been far better basketball players than today's stars.

It's funny how you mention that they are stronger and more athletic yet the game is softer while you've come to the conclusion that they are better players. If anything, that's the clue that they are not as good. Basketball is a physical, contact sport. If anything, it should be more intense when good players are going at each other. There's an evident lack of intensity in the modern game.

Jeffy25
03-30-2018, 04:19 AM
They are more athletic but that's just a scientific progress thing. Being more athletic does not make you better. That's just the illusion of the modern game. The older players with their basketball skills AND the new medicine & nutrition advances would have been far better basketball players than today's stars.

It's funny how you mention that they are stronger and more athletic yet the game is softer while you've come to the conclusion that they are better players. If anything, that's the clue that they are not as good. Basketball is a physical, contact sport. If anything, it should be more intense when good players are going at each other. There's an evident lack of intensity in the modern game.

Where is this assumption coming from that there were better basketball skills in older players that don't exist today?

Nobody in the 80's had handles like Kyrie.
Nobody in the 80's could sharp shoot like Korver/Thompson etc....and every team has multiple guys like that. It used to be the occasional Steve Kerr off the bench only.

It's softer because you don't have to be as physical. It's clearly much faster and more athletic. The game is approached as a full time, professional job by the entire league. Ran by intelligent, analytical thinkers, who understand spacing and pacing and game theory.

None of that existed 20 plus years ago. And if you put Kenny Smith from 30 years ago into the draft today, he won't suddenly get better either. He'll have to adapt and learn and be a completely different player. To the point that he may not even make it into the league. He is nothing more than a poor man's Isaiah Thomas in the league today.

Jeffy25
03-30-2018, 04:23 AM
Well, they gave a **** about defense in the past. Maybe not every player and every night, but that's due to another reason. They KNEW HOW TO PLAY BASKETBALL. It was not because they had to or someone told them to play defense, it was simply ingrained in their basketball personality. There was no such thing as a "two way player" because almost every one was a two way player.
Now they simply do not. These are very physically gifted players who have been trained to make some shots and as their career goes by they're learning more moves. I can make many shots during a pick up game as well and I'm not even playing at any level whatsoever. If I could jump like Spud Webb or Nate Robinson I could probably be a pro as well.

Look at Lebron James. Took him 8 years to learn how to shoot properly, took him 5 years to learn how to defend, took him 10 years to learn how to post up, took him almost 15 years to do things he was supposed to know at age 15. And this was a player hyped up from a very young age and was hyped up in the NBA since before his first game. It just shows a trend.

I was watching the Open Court show and I think it was Dennis Scott who was saying that these players do not have fundamental skills, they do not know how to feed the post, they do not know how to use post offensive moves etc. I'll also add what another member of that panel said, which is that the point guards have their eyes on the basket almost exclusively now whilst in the past they had their backs towards the basket and a hand or two forced onto them. Hence, why the NBA is faster today.

From your history of posting on here, you might be the biggest historical revisionists I've ever seen in basketball online anywhere.

You have a romantic, and inaccurate view of NBA history. You appear jaded by the changes in the game that you don't like, and are using that to fuel your romantic love of the former game.

Heediot
03-30-2018, 06:22 AM
Where is this assumption coming from that there were better basketball skills in older players that don't exist today?

Nobody in the 80's had handles like Kyrie.
Nobody in the 80's could sharp shoot like Korver/Thompson etc....and every team has multiple guys like that. It used to be the occasional Steve Kerr off the bench only.

It's softer because you don't have to be as physical. It's clearly much faster and more athletic. The game is approached as a full time, professional job by the entire league. Ran by intelligent, analytical thinkers, who understand spacing and pacing and game theory.

None of that existed 20 plus years ago. And if you put Kenny Smith from 30 years ago into the draft today, he won't suddenly get better either. He'll have to adapt and learn and be a completely different player. To the point that he may not even make it into the league. He is nothing more than a poor man's Isaiah Thomas in the league today.

To be fair, there were more guys that had to rely on breaking down their man face up off the dribble back then. More guys that were better with back to the basket skills.

Kyrie is real nice, you also have IT, Curry. Harden and KD, I think are over-rated and benefit more from the rules just from my observation, they are still good. Derozan even moreso. Melo would fit the older game and is skilled IMO. Lillard is nice.

Jordan, Drexler, Gervin, Nique, Zeke, Bird original IT, English, KJ, Sprewell, Richmond, Reggie (a bit iffy, he was more of a shooter but was crafty enough)
a bit of a bridge is AI, Kobe, Pierce, Manu, Wade, R. Allen (same as reggie).

I think the lack of elite big men in the late 90's early 2000's exposed the lack of elite skilled wings at the turn of the millennium. The game was predominately inside out back then. Once most of the HOF bigs aged you had to rely on less efficient mid-range scorers. Scoring went down. Some teams also slowed the game down to neutralize the better offenses which is part of the reason scoring went down.

The game has better shooter no doubt about it, and more guys who develop games off the screen and roll, drive and kick.

It's more athletic, and the skills are more varied especially with the evolution of the new big man, but I am not so sure the wings are as skilled because they developed their game in accordance with the current rules and the analytics and stylistic changes. Wings back then had to develop more variety, outside of the 3 ball, as bigs now need to develop more of a jump shot and variety because the game has moved away from the post.

NYKalltheway
03-30-2018, 07:19 AM
Where is this assumption coming from that there were better basketball skills in older players that don't exist today?

Nobody in the 80's had handles like Kyrie.
Nobody in the 80's could sharp shoot like Korver/Thompson etc....and every team has multiple guys like that. It used to be the occasional Steve Kerr off the bench only.

It's softer because you don't have to be as physical. It's clearly much faster and more athletic. The game is approached as a full time, professional job by the entire league. Ran by intelligent, analytical thinkers, who understand spacing and pacing and game theory.

None of that existed 20 plus years ago. And if you put Kenny Smith from 30 years ago into the draft today, he won't suddenly get better either. He'll have to adapt and learn and be a completely different player. To the point that he may not even make it into the league. He is nothing more than a poor man's Isaiah Thomas in the league today.

First of all, putting Kenny Smith and all that is a naive thing to say. A modern Kenny Smith entering the draft today would have been used to the same AAU garbage basketball and the same NCAA system (assuming he'd go to school) and he'd be just an unpolished player who teams would probably pass on because he's not athletic enough or he's not tall enough to be a shooting guard since his style won't suit the modern PG.

Before I go on, that's all irrelevant. That's not how you compare eras and put things into context, that's barber shop talk.
If you put the same players in a full scale situation where they're in a different era, you'll have better basketball players from the current generation going back and probably worse basketball players from the older generations moving to today. That's not an argument of inadequate talent pools, it's just how the game has shifted. These modern players do not learn the game of basketball. They don't learn the game at a young age, the physically gifted ones have an absolute advantage over the rest and those make up the draft pool.

As for Kyrie, that's one guy and of course there's more that have better handles. But that's due to the exposure and growth of the sport. Put Kyrie in a handchecking era and you probably won't notice his ball handling skills,

Shooting is also something relatively new in the sport. Long twos were frowned upon, the 3 point line came in the early 1980s and was an ABA innovation in an attempt to sell more tickets a decade ago. Larry Bird was one of the best shooters of all time and he probably had no idea that there'd be a 3 point line when he'd be 20.
First thing every kid wants to do when he grabs a basketball is throw a three. First thing a teen wants to do is go for a dunk. That's pretty much universal. But when you have a coach he'll teach you how the fundamentals and how to use the post and all that. I knew how to shoot, make a lay up, post up, box out, dribble and pass before I was 10. And I was pretty much average. Former NBA players were the same, although I'm assuming they were outstanding talents from a young age obviously, whereas modern kids rely too much on physical abilities and when they get to the NBA, they still don't get to learn the fundamentals but instead they're pumping them up even more so now you have something that looks like a boxing vs WWE type of body frame when you compare the older eras and the modern NBA.

The question here is not if Kyrie as a player looks better to you than Kenny Smith or Gary Payton or Dana Barros. The key issue here is whether these players are pampered and if they actually know how to play basketball the way almost everyone in the league knew how to play the sport. Knowing how to play doesn't make you instantly better than someone who doesn't. I cannot beat Dwight Howard or even Brian Scalabrine in any 1 on 1 situation. The problem lies when you waste so much potential because you don't get to teach these boys how to play the sport as it's supposed to be played.

And the rules have a heavy bearing on this. The modern Allen Iverson culture also plays a big part and then there's the social media frenzy.

I honestly cannot see how Kenny Smith is wrong in anything he said in those 3-4 minutes. It's like refusing to accept that 1+1 = 2 if you disagree with those statements.

As for your other remark, I may be romantic and overexaggerate some situations, but that doesn't make me wrong. The game is softer now and the players have less basketball skills. Jumping high and running fast is a plus in any sport, but they're not basketball skills.

ewing
03-30-2018, 07:44 AM
Where is this assumption coming from that there were better basketball skills in older players that don't exist today?

Nobody in the 80's had handles like Kyrie.
Nobody in the 80's could sharp shoot like Korver/Thompson etc....and every team has multiple guys like that. It used to be the occasional Steve Kerr off the bench only.

It's softer because you don't have to be as physical. It's clearly much faster and more athletic. The game is approached as a full time, professional job by the entire league. Ran by intelligent, analytical thinkers, who understand spacing and pacing and game theory.

None of that existed 20 plus years ago. And if you put Kenny Smith from 30 years ago into the draft today, he won't suddenly get better either. He'll have to adapt and learn and be a completely different player. To the point that he may not even make it into the league. He is nothing more than a poor man's Isaiah Thomas in the league today.

What are you talking about? You donít think Isiah Thomas or Pistol Pete could dribble? What about Jason Williams? Was he like the first guy in the league that could dribble? I guess the logo couldnít shoot a J at all? Larry Bird? And what is the Isiah Thomas comparison? Seriously what aspect of Kenny Smithís game looked like Isiah Thomas?


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ewing
03-30-2018, 07:44 AM
From your history of posting on here, you might be the biggest historical revisionists I've ever seen in basketball online anywhere.

You have a romantic, and inaccurate view of NBA history. You appear jaded by the changes in the game that you don't like, and are using that to fuel your romantic love of the former game.

So do you.


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D-Leethal
03-30-2018, 07:54 AM
What are you talking about? You donít think Isiah Thomas or Pistol Pete could dribble? What about Jason Williams? Was he like the first guy in the league that could dribble? I guess the logo couldnít shoot a J at all? Larry Bird? And what is the Isiah Thomas comparison? Seriously what aspect of Kenny Smithís game looked like Isiah Thomas?


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Pistol Pete and Zeke didn't carry everytime they dribbled so it didn't look az flashy and nyce.

D-Leethal
03-30-2018, 07:56 AM
Teams in the 70s and 80s didn't understand pacing and spacing and game theory? LOL wow.

D-Leethal
03-30-2018, 07:57 AM
Pistol Pete and Zeke didn't carry everytime they dribbled so it didn't look az flashy and nyce.

Players didn't play the guitar with 3 fingers after hitting jump shots so they couldn't shoot either.

valade16
03-30-2018, 12:21 PM
Where is this assumption coming from that there were better basketball skills in older players that don't exist today?

Nobody in the 80's had handles like Kyrie.
Nobody in the 80's could sharp shoot like Korver/Thompson etc....and every team has multiple guys like that. It used to be the occasional Steve Kerr off the bench only.

It's softer because you don't have to be as physical. It's clearly much faster and more athletic. The game is approached as a full time, professional job by the entire league. Ran by intelligent, analytical thinkers, who understand spacing and pacing and game theory.

None of that existed 20 plus years ago. And if you put Kenny Smith from 30 years ago into the draft today, he won't suddenly get better either. He'll have to adapt and learn and be a completely different player. To the point that he may not even make it into the league. He is nothing more than a poor man's Isaiah Thomas in the league today.

I agree and disagree with you. I don't think the league is less skilled than it was before, I think the league is emphasizing different skills so players are vastly more skilled in some areas and vastly less in others.

As for Kyrie, yeah nobody back in the day had handles like Kyrie, but that's because if they tried to dribble like Kyrie they'd be called for travel all the time. The league has really relaxed on having your hand on top of the ball, carries, not dribbling between steps, etc.

Players today know more how to shoot because that is what is stressed, but as Kenny has repeatedly said, many lack the fundamentals. Of where to be, what foot to jump off of, correct hand position in the passing lanes, how to make a pass in a shooter's pocket.

The league today just has different skills. For instance many bigs don't box out and just can't rebound to the point where guards rebound over them frequently. Post moves are all but dead. Nobody uses their hands defensively (because they can't).

It's a different league and the skills they learn are different.

krazylegz
03-30-2018, 03:05 PM
nba fans are actually being ripped off in the fact that players are more athletic today,but the game is played at such a poor level........id love to see these athletes play with rules from the past...that mix would make the nba the best reality tv in the world...
UNFORTUNATELY....we have best athletes ever bombing 3's,playing no defense,and going to the hole uncontested:(

europagnpilgrim
03-30-2018, 03:30 PM
hard to pressure players who shoot from far greater distances than the old days. Defenses today cover far more square footage than years ago. So no, we won't see the packed in, rough and tumble defenses of yesterday. A simply skip pass would kill those packed in defenses. Because PF's today hit 3s haha.


The defense of today is similar to pick up ball/all star game for most part, its here and there a good d possession by teams but the complete overall of it is completely average and I don't care how much more square footage they cover

the teams who play the best defense today use a more ''old school'' approach, back in the day a simple check to the throat would keep Curry from wanting to run off screens to shoot a 3

thing is you could just put a Pippen or any lock down or good defender on those stretch PF's and they wouldn't be able to do nothing, similar to how you defend Korver, don't leave him because Lebron is looking for him constantly, teams back then had guys like that by the dozen

I don't get why teams double team Lebron, he cant beat you by himself scoring 50+ and he doesn't want to score like that any way so just do like Spurs did when he was with Heat and prior, just play off him and stay home with the shooters, its that easy to defend Lebron but for some reason teams double him early and often and giving in to what he loves to do most, assist hunt

ewing
03-30-2018, 03:39 PM
The defense of today is similar to pick up ball/all star game for most part, its here and there a good d possession by teams but the complete overall of it is completely average and I don't care how much more square footage they cover

the teams who play the best defense today use a more ''old school'' approach, back in the day a simple check to the throat would keep Curry from wanting to run off screens to shoot a 3

thing is you could just put a Pippen or any lock down or good defender on those stretch PF's and they wouldn't be able to do nothing, similar to how you defend Korver, don't leave him because Lebron is looking for him constantly, teams back then had guys like that by the dozen

I don't get why teams double team Lebron, he cant beat you by himself scoring 50+ and he doesn't want to score like that any way so just do like Spurs did when he was with Heat and prior, just play off him and stay home with the shooters, its that easy to defend Lebron but for some reason teams double him early and often and giving in to what he loves to do most, assist hunt

I think you have give Bron some credit for improving his J plus with how small the Cavs play and force opponents to play Bron winds up posting on a shrimp against a team with no rim protectors. At that point you kind of have to give help. I agree that it is giving in to him but you really donít have much of a choice


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Hawkeye15
03-30-2018, 03:42 PM
I agree and disagree with you. I don't think the league is less skilled than it was before, I think the league is emphasizing different skills so players are vastly more skilled in some areas and vastly less in others.

As for Kyrie, yeah nobody back in the day had handles like Kyrie, but that's because if they tried to dribble like Kyrie they'd be called for travel all the time. The league has really relaxed on having your hand on top of the ball, carries, not dribbling between steps, etc.

Players today know more how to shoot because that is what is stressed, but as Kenny has repeatedly said, many lack the fundamentals. Of where to be, what foot to jump off of, correct hand position in the passing lanes, how to make a pass in a shooter's pocket.

The league today just has different skills. For instance many bigs don't box out and just can't rebound to the point where guards rebound over them frequently. Post moves are all but dead. Nobody uses their hands defensively (because they can't).

It's a different league and the skills they learn are different.

fundamentals....

the need for certain fundamentals have changed. You don't need great footwork on the block at the expense of working on your face up game from 18 feet as a big. Blocking out is completely different now. So many shots create long rebounds, the entire scheme of blocking out has changed. Only idiots like Thib's still use traditional block outs.

Fundamentals will always keep up with need, and disappear without it. You know that.

Hawkeye15
03-30-2018, 03:47 PM
The defense of today is similar to pick up ball/all star game for most part, its here and there a good d possession by teams but the complete overall of it is completely average and I don't care how much more square footage they cover

the teams who play the best defense today use a more ''old school'' approach, back in the day a simple check to the throat would keep Curry from wanting to run off screens to shoot a 3

thing is you could just put a Pippen or any lock down or good defender on those stretch PF's and they wouldn't be able to do nothing, similar to how you defend Korver, don't leave him because Lebron is looking for him constantly, teams back then had guys like that by the dozen

I don't get why teams double team Lebron, he cant beat you by himself scoring 50+ and he doesn't want to score like that any way so just do like Spurs did when he was with Heat and prior, just play off him and stay home with the shooters, its that easy to defend Lebron but for some reason teams double him early and often and giving in to what he loves to do most, assist hunt

defenses that work aren't old style defenses, sorry. You need to be able to switch on picks and not only contain, but bother. The defenses today that fail may resemble a pick up game, but that is because they generally are young teams or teams without chemistry, so the rope is always breaking.

Fact is, you have to cover more area today. So the defenses get spread out. Hand checking would help, it would at least allow perimeter players A tool. But in this wide open era, you still aren't staying in front of great ball handlers or guys with speed. Just not possible.

You double LeBron because if you let him go against 1 player, you will get killed. The moment he attacks, if you don't already have help, he is at the rim before you can react. I mean, you can just sag off all night and live with the consequences I guess. he has made teams look stupid for that post 2007 when the Spurs did it to him.

valade16
03-30-2018, 03:52 PM
fundamentals....

the need for certain fundamentals have changed. You don't need great footwork on the block at the expense of working on your face up game from 18 feet as a big. Blocking out is completely different now. So many shots create long rebounds, the entire scheme of blocking out has changed. Only idiots like Thib's still use traditional block outs.

Fundamentals will always keep up with need, and disappear without it. You know that.

That's kind of what I was getting at. The league isn't less skilled than yesteryear, just different skills are being stressed so they are less skilled at the same skills of yesteryear, but more skilled at other more relevant skills to the current game.

ewing
03-30-2018, 04:52 PM
fundamentals....

the need for certain fundamentals have changed. You don't need great footwork on the block at the expense of working on your face up game from 18 feet as a big. Blocking out is completely different now. So many shots create long rebounds, the entire scheme of blocking out has changed. Only idiots like Thib's still use traditional block outs.

Fundamentals will always keep up with need, and disappear without it. You know that.

yeah I left when he get a shoulder past and is going north south at that point you have to help or its a dunk. I do think in the past couple years we've seen the game get even smaller and switching has increased. This has made it impossible to defend LeBron even if you can stay in front

ewing
03-30-2018, 04:54 PM
fundamentals....

the need for certain fundamentals have changed. You don't need great footwork on the block at the expense of working on your face up game from 18 feet as a big. Blocking out is completely different now. So many shots create long rebounds, the entire scheme of blocking out has changed. Only idiots like Thib's still use traditional block outs.

Fundamentals will always keep up with need, and disappear without it. You know that.

totally agreed here

europagnpilgrim
03-30-2018, 07:42 PM
defenses that work aren't old style defenses, sorry. You need to be able to switch on picks and not only contain, but bother. The defenses today that fail may resemble a pick up game, but that is because they generally are young teams or teams without chemistry, so the rope is always breaking.

Fact is, you have to cover more area today. So the defenses get spread out. Hand checking would help, it would at least allow perimeter players A tool. But in this wide open era, you still aren't staying in front of great ball handlers or guys with speed. Just not possible.

You double LeBron because if you let him go against 1 player, you will get killed. The moment he attacks, if you don't already have help, he is at the rim before you can react. I mean, you can just sag off all night and live with the consequences I guess. he has made teams look stupid for that post 2007 when the Spurs did it to him.


I meant the make up of a ''good' today style defense, like the Spurs who are big long and play a good half court team old school quasi style, holding teams to 90ish point range is definitely old school more so than the averages most teams are giving up, its like the old style with Wilt/Russell/Oscar era, bunch of fast pace and open lanes and 3's

and c'mon Hawk, you seem to be one of the ones on here who know a thing or 3 about ball, so I am talking about a 23yr old Bron who could Pistons 07' style and drop 30 straight and basically 50+ who could will a team because of his youth/energy, and even apex/peak(as you guys call it) could still get his 28ppg and get smashed in record fashion as the spurs showed in 14' post season, let Lebron get his jumper and stay on the shooters, now I admit the spurs shooting the way they did had a lot to do with the outcome but I am saying for the most part and more so this year with no Irving and real go to perimeter guy like he has had since Heat(Wade was still better than what Lebron has and we all know Wade wasn't right after the 11' season)

Lebron loves to over pass and him scoring down low would play against what he truly loves to do which is to keep others involved, I would honestly take a 33yr old Lebron going for 40 and staying on the others who wont get no rhythm since they rely on him so much for setup, and asking Smith or Clarkson or Hood to be Irving is not going to happen, but a flash play here and there, like once a quarter wont cut it, I know Lebron would kill anybody on the block but its better than you man up and switch on every screen underneath to dare Lebron to shoot every time, premature doubles only open up the court, only time they need to help is to jab when Bron makes up his mind to drive, but jab help and get back immediately, its what Boston tried to do with Heat Bron and he went ape **** Wilt like on them hitting all those jumpers, but that was also the apex version of Bron, this version doesn't have that same 07' energy, but still on point no doubt

ewing
03-30-2018, 08:48 PM
I meant the make up of a ''good' today style defense, like the Spurs who are big long and play a good half court team old school quasi style, holding teams to 90ish point range is definitely old school more so than the averages most teams are giving up, its like the old style with Wilt/Russell/Oscar era, bunch of fast pace and open lanes and 3's

and c'mon Hawk, you seem to be one of the ones on here who know a thing or 3 about ball, so I am talking about a 23yr old Bron who could Pistons 07' style and drop 30 straight and basically 50+ who could will a team because of his youth/energy, and even apex/peak(as you guys call it) could still get his 28ppg and get smashed in record fashion as the spurs showed in 14' post season, let Lebron get his jumper and stay on the shooters, now I admit the spurs shooting the way they did had a lot to do with the outcome but I am saying for the most part and more so this year with no Irving and real go to perimeter guy like he has had since Heat(Wade was still better than what Lebron has and we all know Wade wasn't right after the 11' season)

Lebron loves to over pass and him scoring down low would play against what he truly loves to do which is to keep others involved, I would honestly take a 33yr old Lebron going for 40 and staying on the others who wont get no rhythm since they rely on him so much for setup, and asking Smith or Clarkson or Hood to be Irving is not going to happen, but a flash play here and there, like once a quarter wont cut it, I know Lebron would kill anybody on the block but its better than you man up and switch on every screen underneath to dare Lebron to shoot every time, premature doubles only open up the court, only time they need to help is to jab when Bron makes up his mind to drive, but jab help and get back immediately, its what Boston tried to do with Heat Bron and he went ape **** Wilt like on them hitting all those jumpers, but that was also the apex version of Bron, this version doesn't have that same 07' energy, but still on point no doubt

I think he is more likely to make you pay from range now but i get what you are saying. Those other guys really rely on Bron to create for them. I remember when Pop let Nash go ape **** and covered the roll and other shooters. Nash did light them up but it really limited other guys.


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Heediot
03-31-2018, 03:46 AM
defenses that work aren't old style defenses, sorry. You need to be able to switch on picks and not only contain, but bother. The defenses today that fail may resemble a pick up game, but that is because they generally are young teams or teams without chemistry, so the rope is always breaking.

Fact is, you have to cover more area today. So the defenses get spread out. Hand checking would help, it would at least allow perimeter players A tool. But in this wide open era, you still aren't staying in front of great ball handlers or guys with speed. Just not possible.

You double LeBron because if you let him go against 1 player, you will get killed. The moment he attacks, if you don't already have help, he is at the rim before you can react. I mean, you can just sag off all night and live with the consequences I guess. he has made teams look stupid for that post 2007 when the Spurs did it to him.

I think having a guy being able to camp in the paint really helps. It makes players think twice about driving which will slow them down and you'll more likely pick your spots vs. the game now. In the euroleague where this spread it out fast paced originated, having a guy in the paint really helps, the switches and off the ball defense looks a tonne better too. They curtailed hand checking in college but with guys being able to camp in the paint, driving is still much harder in college. I know the nba has better athletes on offense but the same can be said on defense as well.

Another factor I think is the work you have to do on defense is too much to sustain for a 48 min times 82 games season. In europe they play like twice a week, same with college and the games are 40 mins, so that's just 80 mins per week. Stars play like 30 mins on average in Europe and some college stars play a lot though. If nba guys could play less the defense would be more intense IMO. The games in the euroleague (not domestic leagues in europe) and college mean a lot more too, it's like every game counts for seeding reasons so it's more intense that way too.

From what I see it's not impossible to stay in front your man or keep him out of the lane with different rules, it's just the rules now make it easier for certain players to get to certain spots, and the length of the season makes playing hard defense all game long in general is difficult. Unless your the current Spurs or previos Memphis who slow the game down.

NYKalltheway
03-31-2018, 04:09 AM
Just a fix on the above, in Europe it's now three games a week usually and the star players usually fluctuate between 25 and 30ish minutes per game, depending on the roster depth, team culture and/or the opponent. They usually don't play as much in their domestic leagues unless it's the last stage of playoffs, so you could see star players with less than 25 games a night in easy league fixtures.

I disagree on that being a factor of not trying enough in defense. Minutes don't matter that much. The reason why European teams don't give 35+ minutes a night is because the rosters are deeper now. In the early 90s, if you were a star player (there were much more back then), you got to play the full game and only sat down during time outs unless you were fouled out. 40 out of 40 minutes. And that was also the case with national teams in tournaments that had back-to-back games. Full 40 minutes on Saturday evening, full 40 minutes on Sunday evening, full 40 minutes on Monday evening and so on. That stopped happening not because players get tired or it's unhealthy, but because the rosters are deeper now and there aren't many players that merit being on for 40 minutes. And rotation is necessary because other teams can change things up so you have a player who's fatigued during the game against a well rested player who comes in. It's a strategic situation, you don't want your player who's been running for 18 out 18 minutes against a fresh guy for the remainder of the quarter.

Talent parity is the reason for this, not anything else. We've seen players in Europe play 37-38 minutes out of 40 in a Euroleague playoff twice a week (mid-week) and then play on a Sunday 35-36 minutes in an important domestic playoff game. You don't really see fatigue there. Basketball is not that kind of a game. You get tired in the moment, it doesn't really tear you apart unless you're constantly jumping for dunks when your body is not really comfortable with those heights. And most NBA stars can dunk without much effort anyway, so hustling is the only thing that's going to wear them down. Larry Bird is a prime example of that and even he had serious back problems from his college years to begin with. And you don't see many NBA players hustling nowadays. It's all just like a pick up game.

Heediot
03-31-2018, 04:16 AM
Just a fix on the above, in Europe it's now three games a week usually and the star players usually fluctuate between 25 and 30ish minutes per game, depending on the roster depth, team culture and/or the opponent. They usually don't play as much in their domestic leagues unless it's the last stage of playoffs, so you could see star players with less than 25 games a night in easy league fixtures.

I disagree on that being a factor of not trying enough in defense. Minutes don't matter that much. The reason why European teams don't give 35+ minutes a night is because the rosters are deeper now. In the early 90s, if you were a star player (there were much more back then), you got to play the full game and only sat down during time outs unless you were fouled out. 40 out of 40 minutes. And that was also the case with national teams in tournaments that had back-to-back games. Full 40 minutes on Saturday evening, full 40 minutes on Sunday evening, full 40 minutes on Monday evening and so on. That stopped happening not because players get tired or it's unhealthy, but because the rosters are deeper now and there aren't many players that merit being on for 40 minutes. And rotation is necessary because other teams can change things up so you have a player who's fatigued during the game against a well rested player who comes in. It's a strategic situation, you don't want your player who's been running for 18 out 18 minutes against a fresh guy for the remainder of the quarter.

Talent parity is the reason for this, not anything else. We've seen players in Europe play 37-38 minutes out of 40 in a Euroleague playoff twice a week (mid-week) and then play on a Sunday 35-36 minutes in an important domestic playoff game. You don't really see fatigue there. Basketball is not that kind of a game. You get tired in the moment, it doesn't really tear you apart unless you're constantly jumping for dunks when your body is not really comfortable with those heights. And most NBA stars can dunk without much effort anyway, so hustling is the only thing that's going to wear them down. Larry Bird is a prime example of that and even he had serious back problems from his college years to begin with. And you don't see many NBA players hustling nowadays. It's all just like a pick up game.

I follow Euro basketball for financial reasons and teams play 2 games a week on average. Once or maybe twice a month Euroleague teams have to play and extra game per week. It's true that the teams are deeper in the Euroleague. It's like the big clubs in soccer, the elite teams have better benches vs. other teams starters.
There are more blow outs in the domestic leagues too so there's more rest for certain players.

I feel the nba defense only get intense in the playoffs and the last half of the 4th quarter. Except a few teams who choose a more defensive and slowed games. I think with the constant switching and off ball movement in today's game, players have to work more vs. the past IMO.

NYKalltheway
03-31-2018, 05:48 AM
Just to clarify, I'm not saying that the NBA schedule is not hectic. It definitely is. Back to back games for examples need to go away. I'm not insinuating that Europe is as hard or anything but there's a difference in what you see because of information assymetry.

For example, in the NBA the toughest thing is the pre-season and the games. In Europe, the toughest thing is the pre-season and the preparation between games. Everyday training sessions are more intense than probably anything seen in the NBA (I assume some teams have very hard training sessions of course, but overall the NBA is poor compared to the Euroleague in this aspect).

There's also a difference in focus. In Europe the pre-season is mostly about conditioning. I'm not sure on the NBA's pre-season but I assume it's pretty much the same. But the NBA follows a similar path throughout the season whilst in Europe it's harder some times to spend 1 hour in training than an actual Euroleague game, which on its own is tougher on an athlete than an NBA game. And there's usually 2-4 hours of training a day, with some rest days before or after a game. That depends on the coaching team. Shootaraounds are not common, they're just what players do before the training session begins and it's rarely part of those 2-4 hours a day.

Teams used to play twice a week but now with the Euroleague schedule there's two EL games a week and there's a weekend game as well. So it's pretty much 4 games in 8 or 9 days for these teams. The other teams and leagues are on D-League level or worse so they're irrelevant in such a discussion. There are a couple of competitions like the Euro Cup and the new FIBA Champions League that are quite intense as well but their schedule is 'old school' as well, twice a week.

As for switching etc, it's not like it was non-existent. It was considered common practice in the 70s for some teams actually. That's how it entered the European game.

The discussion however is whether or not the NBA game has gotten soft. The answer is yes and there's no other way to see it objectively.

Heediot
03-31-2018, 06:18 AM
Teams used to play twice a week but now with the Euroleague schedule there's two EL games a week and there's a weekend game as well. So it's pretty much 4 games in 8 or 9 days for these teams. The other teams and leagues are on D-League level or worse so they're irrelevant in such a discussion. There are a couple of competitions like the Euro Cup and the new FIBA Champions League that are quite intense as well but their schedule is 'old school' as well, twice a week.


There are more 1 game weeks for the Euroleague vs. 2 game weeks it's about 3/4 to 2/3 1 game weeks in the season. Last year and this year when they revamped the Euroleague with 16 teams and no groupings, they added more double game weeks. When the playoffs hit for domestic and euroleague, teams will play more per week. There's only 1 round in the euroleague where you play a best of series though. In the domestic leagues the best teams get byes and easy sweeps early on too. That adds to the rest.

We can both agree that the nba has become softer and less intense defensively.

ewing
03-31-2018, 10:52 AM
There are more 1 game weeks for the Euroleague vs. 2 game weeks it's about 3/4 to 2/3 1 game weeks in the season. Last year and this year when they revamped the Euroleague with 16 teams and no groupings, they added more double game weeks. When the playoffs hit for domestic and euroleague, teams will play more per week. There's only 1 round in the euroleague where you play a best of series though. In the domestic leagues the best teams get byes and easy sweeps early on too. That adds to the rest.

We can both agree that the nba has become softer and less intense defensively.

Would things really get better by being even softer?


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Heediot
03-31-2018, 11:04 AM
Would things really get better by being even softer?


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I don't know how much softer it can get tbh. You don't have hand-checking and you have a illegal defense with the 3 second rule. I think the game is faster with more 3 point bombs leading to more long rebounds which adds to pace and transition. There is less ball watching then in the past so there is more movement for players both offensively and defensively in today's game. I don't know how much more energy is spent, but you here about excuses for guys saving their energy for offense and such. The culture is different too, back then it was more hard nosed and old school so there less of this saving yourself. Of course there are still slackers in every generation. It's just the newer game has people behind the scenes wanting guys to rest and strategizing around that as well. Shots are chucked up before the clock hits 14 on the shot clock most of time. I don't know if playing less games will make it softer, or it will motivate guys to go harder. I can see the point where people might believe things will stay the same as now even with lesser games/minutes. In the euroleague the dynamics are different I guess because point differential is a big concern/element for teams.

Jeffy25
03-31-2018, 12:49 PM
Teams in the 70s and 80s didn't understand pacing and spacing and game theory? LOL wow.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you don't even know what game theory is


What are you talking about? You donít think Isiah Thomas or Pistol Pete could dribble? What about Jason Williams? Was he like the first guy in the league that could dribble? I guess the logo couldnít shoot a J at all? Larry Bird? And what is the Isiah Thomas comparison? Seriously what aspect of Kenny Smithís game looked like Isiah Thomas?


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I'm saying he wouldn't be more than a poor man's Isiah. Of course those guys could dribble, but nowhere near the level of guards today.

Though, there is something to be said about carries etc.

krazylegz
03-31-2018, 01:31 PM
good news is hopefully things will toughen up come playoffs basketball

ewing
03-31-2018, 03:01 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you don't even know what game theory is



I'm saying he wouldn't be more than a poor man's Isiah. Of course those guys could dribble, but nowhere near the level of guards today.

Though, there is something to be said about carries etc.

Old Isiah had one of the best handles the game has ever seen. Kenny Smithís game didnít resemble either Thomas in any way


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Jeffy25
03-31-2018, 04:18 PM
Old Isiah had one of the best handles the game has ever seen. Kenny Smithís game didnít resemble either Thomas in any way


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I was talking about current Isiah as being a poor man's Kenny Smith, being a relatively small guy who shot fairly inefficiently. Which, I guess both Isiah's are that.

KingPosey
03-31-2018, 04:29 PM
Maybe true. But none of those old players could play in this time. Everyone is a way better shooter now, way more skilled, way more positionless.

Thatís dumb. Plenty of guys from the 90s could play today and be more than fine.

KingPosey
03-31-2018, 04:33 PM
I was talking about current Isiah as being a poor man's Kenny Smith, being a relatively small guy who shot fairly inefficiently. Which, I guess both Isiah's are that.

Except for IT has always actually been pretty efficient except for this season coming back and dealing with the major
Hip injury.

ewing
03-31-2018, 04:44 PM
I was talking about current Isiah as being a poor man's Kenny Smith, being a relatively small guy who shot fairly inefficiently. Which, I guess both Isiah's are that.

Kenny Smith was like 6í4 and long. IT is not inefficient for his career. I donít think Smith was either. More of a floor spacer then primary scorer though. One is a play making ball handler the other mainly set the table, filled lanes, and shot 3s off the catch. Itís a bad comparison

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Jeffy25
03-31-2018, 09:11 PM
Kenny Smith was like 6í4 and long. IT is not inefficient for his career. I donít think Smith was either. More of a floor spacer then primary scorer though. One is a play making ball handler the other mainly set the table, filled lanes, and shot 3s off the catch. Itís a bad comparison

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Yeah, probably a bad comp

BoilermakerD
04-01-2018, 10:39 AM
Interesting perspective. There is an element of "My old school is better than your new school" here. I remember Wilt bemoaning Jordan on Conan O'Brien and mischaracterizing his game by suggesting it was all just flash and dunks (which suggested he was only watching highlights).

Kenny Smith, though, watches the games, and he's a smart guy.

Is it faster? Well... there are more possessions it seems (that is quantifiable) than there were in the 90's certainly, when teams were trying to keep the scores under 90 points to keep gaps tight and within striking distance. But in hte 80's? That Magic Lakers team was pretty fast.

There is also the question of the grind-out possession and moving the ball around. Yes, the Bulls took more time to get a shot off than, say, the 'Antoni Sun or perhaps current Rockets and Warriors (I'd have to check out the numbers to verifiy), but the triablge offense also had people moving, defenses especally, so even if they weren't running up and down the court as much, they were in constant motion.


But a pick-up game? And players don't play D today? I think that is unfair. I've never seen a pick-up game mirror the ball movement in Houston or GSW. To be frank, most pick up games rely on pick-and-roll, iso, and post-up games (at least the ones I've seen), and so are more consistent with the style I saw in the NBA of the 90's (not that that's bad, because I enjoy that style of game to).


I can recall a LARGE number of defensive scrubs back in the day, and I'm actually inclined to think that the defensive expectations have actually increased, it's just that the offenses are hard to guard.


I mean... yeah... Harden was notorious for freezing up on D in the past, but Drazen Petrovic was a cardboard cut out on defense back in the day, and people sing his praises all the time. Every generation has talented guys like, say Kyle Korver, who are great shooters and bad defenders, but I mean.... the depth of defensive wings and PGs today.... yeah... some PG aren't strong defenders (IT, perhaps Kyrie depending on who you ask), but this was the same back in the 80's and 90's. Though Isiah Zeke Thomas (not IT) was on great defensive teams, he gave up a lot because of his size (even if he got a lot of steals). There were a lot of PGs that didn't play strong D back then.



Anyways.... an interesting perspective, and one worth considering, but Kenny is being a bit critical.

Try to remember that Joakim Noah was not only DPOY a few years back, but finished 4th in MVP voting.

4th place MVP
1990 - Karl Malone
1991 - Charles Barkley
1992 - Karl Malone
1993 - Patrick Ewing
1994 - Shaquille Oíneal
1995 - Patrick Ewing
1996 - Hakeem Olajuwon
1997 - Tim Hardaway
1998 - Shaquille OíNeal
1999 - Allen Iverson

Iíd really love to watch light-in-the-*** Joakim Noah defend Shaquille OíNeal or Hakeem Olajuwon... or, as a matter of fact do anything against Olajuwon...

BoilermakerD
04-01-2018, 10:41 AM
I was talking about current Isiah as being a poor man's Kenny Smith, being a relatively small guy who shot fairly inefficiently. Which, I guess both Isiah's are that.

You sound like someone in the middle of the last decade drawing favorable comparisons from Dirk to Larry Bird

BoilermakerD
04-01-2018, 10:53 AM
Kenny Smith was like 6í4 and long. IT is not inefficient for his career. I donít think Smith was either. More of a floor spacer then primary scorer though. One is a play making ball handler the other mainly set the table, filled lanes, and shot 3s off the catch. Itís a bad comparison

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The game was much different then.

The NBA and Jerry colangelo hadnít sat down and said, as they did last decade, ďlook we need a Michael Jordan or Shaquille OíNeal... Kobe Bryant is not that. How can we change the rules to make him look like that.Ē

The 90 Pistons or 93 Knicks would have tormented Kobe Bryant, but not if you canít touch him and If a flagrant foul from 93 (try to remember flagrant fouls DID NOT EXIST in 89-90!) is a ten game suspension.

They werenít looking for PGs to be a scorer because you just arenít going to go in there at 6í3Ē with Charles Oakley or Dennis Rodman ready to knock your head off and start going crazy... so it wasnít encouraged, just like the offensive post is not taught as players come up today.

In the early 90s you wanted to draw defenders and then find open players... PGs needed to be passers. And if they scored that was great. But really they needed to run the offense and distribute the basketball... or, If you had an equal opportunity offense like the Bulls they needed to be a good shooter.

Stephon Marbury and Iverson entered the league in 97 and I think thatís when the mold began to change. But Stephon or Iverson were not going to lead even good teams into New York in 93 and threaten to win a playoff series. Wasnít happening.

NYKalltheway
04-01-2018, 12:29 PM
There was Mark Price who could shoot lights out. But check his shot frequency. Check Larry Bird's three point attempts as well, arguably one of the greatest shooters of all time. Different game entirely.
As for scoring PGs, they existed in the 90s and some have had success but they never were the focal point of an offense. Guys like Kevin Johnson, Rod Strickland, Tim Hardaway or even Isiah Thomas, weren't what people would label today as 'first scoring option' of a team. Sure, Isiah scored the most iirc but their scoring players were considered to be Dumars and Aguirre. Then look at how Aguirre's numbers regressed from his trade to the Pistons. Players didn't care about scoring, stats, box scores etc back then.

It was a team game. You bought the jersey for the team, not the player. You cheered for the team, not the player. Now it's completely turned around. And it's exactly why the NBA loves the hype the players are getting. It makes it more marketable.

Hawkeye15
04-03-2018, 09:36 AM
Old Isiah had one of the best handles the game has ever seen. Kenny Smithís game didnít resemble either Thomas in any way


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yeah Zeke had incredible handles. I personally think he was very overrated as an actual player, but he had spiderman hands when it came to dribbling.

Hawkeye15
04-03-2018, 09:39 AM
There was Mark Price who could shoot lights out. But check his shot frequency. Check Larry Bird's three point attempts as well, arguably one of the greatest shooters of all time. Different game entirely.
As for scoring PGs, they existed in the 90s and some have had success but they never were the focal point of an offense. Guys like Kevin Johnson, Rod Strickland, Tim Hardaway or even Isiah Thomas, weren't what people would label today as 'first scoring option' of a team. Sure, Isiah scored the most iirc but their scoring players were considered to be Dumars and Aguirre. Then look at how Aguirre's numbers regressed from his trade to the Pistons. Players didn't care about scoring, stats, box scores etc back then.

It was a team game. You bought the jersey for the team, not the player. You cheered for the team, not the player. Now it's completely turned around. And it's exactly why the NBA loves the hype the players are getting. It makes it more marketable.

They would be great in today's era.

Traditional PG's have gone away, because of hand checking. With only 24 seconds on a shot clock, and no way for the defender to physically stop you, why not give your best perimeter scorer the ball right away? Much easier. If this were 1989, Westrbook, Lillard, and most the scoring PG's, would play off the ball. Save energy and jog up the floor and get the ball in scoring position, instead of fighting a defender up the floor.

It was no more a team game back then than now. The NBA has always been about matchup advantages, and 5 man unit advantages. Sure you won't see a 3 man weave in practice anymore, but the "team" game is the same. The teams who are the best are still the ones that have the best chemistry, and function as a moving unit. The only exceptions are when a once in a generation player comes along, then they usually get the ball in hand for much of the time, depending on position/skillset.

ewing
04-03-2018, 10:08 AM
yeah Zeke had incredible handles. I personally think he was very overrated as an actual player, but he had spiderman hands when it came to dribbling.

You think everyone that was on a bruising team was overrated.


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ewing
04-03-2018, 10:10 AM
They would be great in today's era.

Traditional PG's have gone away, because of hand checking. With only 24 seconds on a shot clock, and no way for the defender to physically stop you, why not give your best perimeter scorer the ball right away? Much easier. If this were 1989, Westrbook, Lillard, and most the scoring PG's, would play off the ball. Save energy and jog up the floor and get the ball in scoring position, instead of fighting a defender up the floor.

It was no more a team game back then than now. The NBA has always been about matchup advantages, and 5 man unit advantages. Sure you won't see a 3 man weave in practice anymore, but the "team" game is the same. The teams who are the best are still the ones that have the best chemistry, and function as a moving unit. The only exceptions are when a once in a generation player comes along, then they usually get the ball in hand for much of the time, depending on position/skillset.

Agreed. With shooters and the way they call the game now it makes sense to spread it out and let your best driver go to work either in iso or screen roll. Getting an offense organized so you can get a big guy a catch on his favorite block with a seal and room to opperate is just a different skill.
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Hawkeye15
04-03-2018, 05:21 PM
You think everyone that was on a bruising team was overrated.


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nah, but I specifically think he was.

Hawkeye15
04-03-2018, 05:28 PM
Agreed. With shooters and the way they call the game now it makes sense to spread it out and let your best driver go to work either in iso or screen roll. Getting an offense organized so you can get a big guy a catch on his favorite block with a seal and room to opperate is just a different skill.
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exactly. The NBA with it's shot clock is all about what is the easiest way. And there is no motivation to have a trench big anymore. So reminiscing about the old days playing inside out is just funny to me. Rules will change, traditional roles will emerge again, it's just the nature of the game man.

NYKalltheway
04-03-2018, 05:31 PM
The shot clock's always been 24 seconds. It's been around for over 60 years as well, it's not a 00s innovation.

IndyRealist
04-03-2018, 08:36 PM
nah, but I specifically think he was.

Isiah Thomas had an incredibly high peak. The issue is that his peak was '84-'86. There was a steady decline every year after. By the championship years he was a shell of his former self, despite getting a ton of credit for those rings.

Hawkeye15
04-03-2018, 09:55 PM
The shot clock's always been 24 seconds. It's been around for over 60 years as well, it's not a 00s innovation.

Yep. And the point has always been to get easy looks. The way to do that has changed over the years

NYKalltheway
04-04-2018, 07:54 AM
Yep. And the point has always been to get easy looks. The way to do that has changed over the years

No, the shot clock was there to avoid "easy looks" and to rush things up so that teams wouldn't hold on the ball waiting for the opportune moment (highest percentage shot) to shoot it. It's exactly the opposite. It was introduced to get the scores up. Holding the ball up was also the best way to defend against good scoring teams.

Hawkeye15
04-04-2018, 02:52 PM
No, the shot clock was there to avoid "easy looks" and to rush things up so that teams wouldn't hold on the ball waiting for the opportune moment (highest percentage shot) to shoot it. It's exactly the opposite. It was introduced to get the scores up. Holding the ball up was also the best way to defend against good scoring teams.

Sorry if you misunderstood. Yes, the shot clock was established long ago. The point of basketball, is to get the easiest shot of value. The shot clock hurried teams up, because the pace was boring to watch.

My point above, is in today's game, with no hand check and the spacing allowed, the PG's have turned into the hybrid scoring machines because of the rules. Your best perimeter scorers in the hand check days were typically off guards/wings. Today, PG's are among league leaders in scoring, and that is because why not just give your best scorer the ball right away, with only 24 seconds, instead of bringing the ball up in a non-scorers hands and wasting valuable time? Over the last 15 years, the scoring guards of the past have now become point guards.

NYKalltheway
04-04-2018, 03:20 PM
That is true, but the best scoring guards used to have the ball for the majority of time in the past as well. Not typically at the team's own half, but you'd see Michael Jordan with the ball more often than any other Bulls player for example. The 24 seconds rule was around for ages, it's not like Europe where it's been 30-35 secs like the until the early 2000s and a change of pace occurred due to this.

Also, Allen Iverson did it with at least three different set of rules and he was the best in the first era, the toughest one to play this way. Kevin Johnson and Rod Strickland also thrived with this type of basketball before it was easy, too. It's not something that had to happen. It just happened to make things easier for players who were not KJ, AI or Strickland calibre. You think Westbrook wouldn't be able to pull this off no matter what rules they had in place? I'm confident he'd be a beast. But most PGs would not be able to pull this off.

The fact that you can get the ball to your main scorer from the get go today is exactly proving Kenny Smith right. This is a glorified pick up game.

Hawkeye15
04-04-2018, 03:25 PM
That is true, but the best scoring guards used to have the ball for the majority of time in the past as well. Not typically at the team's own half, but you'd see Michael Jordan with the ball more often than any other Bulls player for example. The 24 seconds rule was around for ages, it's not like Europe where it's been 30-35 secs like the until the early 2000s and a change of pace occurred due to this.

The fact that you can get the ball to your main scorer from the get go today is exactly proving Kenny Smith right. This is a glorified pick up game.

oh for sure, the highest usage is always that of your best scorer/playmaker. What I mean is, PG's today would have been scoring guards 20 years ago. But instead of having them fight a defender in hand to hand combat bringing the ball up, they had a traditional ball handler (think Mark Jackson) who would bring the ball up and save the scorers energy. That, and the inside/outside game is freaking gone haha. I get why, but I miss the post man.

Your last sentence, I disagree with. The reason you do it is rules. It isn't a physical battle to get the ball up the floor against Gary Payton today, because nobody can stay in front of NBA guards without using hands for long.

NYKalltheway
04-04-2018, 03:26 PM
Yes, I got you. That's what I sort of added in the edited post.