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Old 04-18-2007, 07:56 AM   #1
Kblaze8855
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Default Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

What old people mean when its said players cant shoot anymore.

Its often pointed out that players in the 80s shot better. With like 5-6 guys per team making 50% of their shots. Often its used as a way to suggest defense then was bad. While people who remember those days often say it wasnt bad D it was great shooting.

Which is often met with claims of bias toward the old days. Which does exist. But....

I always see kids here who watch a classic game remark on how it looks like everyone can shoot. In a way more people could.

Over time shooting has stopped being "Can you make your shot" and started being "Can you make difficult shots". When you name the best shooters Ray Allen, Peja, and so on come up. 3 point shooters. In the 80s there were outside shooters. But an outside shot in the 80s was a 20 footer. 3s were made but more as a novelty.

Nobody drafted before 1986 even played with a 3 point line until they were pros. Jordan ,Bird Magic, Nique, Drexler, Isiah, King, Gervin, and so on came out of college never having needed a long distance shot. But they worked as hard on shooting. The result? A league full of players who had spent thousands of hours working on shots from inside the key. When at least 3 and often 4 positions were full of players who could all shoot from the same range with accuracy it gives the impression everyone is a great shooter. But its more shooters being asked to do less. Everyone had to learn to make the same basic shots. The average shooter in the 80s was closer in ability to the best shooters than the average shooter currently is to the best shooters. Simple matter of a smaller distance between where an average and good shooter were expected to shoot.


I watched an old Cavs game days ago and noticed something I never see anymore. Mark Price came down uncontested on a break. I mean totaally uncontested. D had given up because he was to ofar out in front after a stolen cross court pass. He jogs up and....stops.

Stops and knocks down a 15 foot jumper. On the break. Uncontested. Didnt go in for the layup. He took a jumper because it was every bit as good as a layup. Whens the last time anyone could have walked in for a layup and instead pulled up for the jumper? I can hardly even imagine someone doing it now. Later I watched an old tape of MJ. Talking about how people said his outside shot was his weakest aspect. So he worked on it. From where? 3? No. Top of the key. Cut to game footage and he makes a few jumpers from like 18 and the commentators talk about his improvment from outside.

Even with the 3....an outside shot was about 17-20 feet. Now an outside shot is from 3. League has gone from shooting 48% most years of the 80s to 45.4 last year.

Know how many 3s teams took on average last year? 1310. Know how many they took in 1986? 274. Not a single team in 86 made as many threes as Ben Gordon alone has made this year. Hes made 153. Pacers, Jazz, Suns, Hawks, and Kings in 1986 combined? 159. Ben has made about as many threes as 5 teams from 86 COMBINED.

Does anyone here really think that if NBA teams took 3 threes a game instead of 16 like they do now that they couldnt make up that shooting percentage difference? Hell I wouldnt doubt it if teams shot 50+% shooting as few threes as they did in the 80s.

What would that suggest? That defense is worse? Or that players now are better shooters than the 80s?

Neither. 80s players played a far more physical defensive game that was however part of a league built around running first and post play a close second. The midrange jumper was great since nobody in the NBA had reason to not develop one. Scores were high because of running and great shooting.


Now

Players play vs softer "offense friendly" rules that dont let guards get touched. The bigman has been mostly removed from the position of dominance as scoring guards become easier to find with rules supporting them. League has better scouting partly due to technology. A defensive minded coach has more resources to teach his team with. The teams run less and will more often use a foul as defense when handcuffed defenders get blown by on the outside. despite taking more than a thousand less shots ayear teams now only take a couple hundred less free throws. A difference made even greater considering the 1300 threes taken per team.

Despite playing around the basket FAR FAR less and shooting less teams get almost as many FTs.

If the league suddenly had teams abandon the 3 but keep current rules the old FT totals would get blown away. Imagine a league like ours with these pro offense rules where players had no motivation to take a shot from 25 feet that wont get them fouled? Where driving and inside play is the norm?

I dont really have an end...point.

But I really dont think its far to say guys today cant shoot....just that they grew up with a different definition of a shooter. And it sure as hell isnt fair to say old guys didnt defend well because of shooting and scoring when the defenses were facing teams that mostly had the same goals as the current suns. By which I mean

"Dont foul and run no matter if they score or not"


I think the two leagues as far as the average player are almost identical talent wise.

The differences in numbers are far far more likely to be caused by non talent reasons I believe.


Fans of both eras probably give their own too much credit.

80s players could shoot the lights out from the inside. Modern guys killer from outside.

80s teams might have scored a lot but it sure as hell isnt because defense wasnt played. Its because the defense could still play defense without resorting to fouls on any play where the offense shoots from inside 15 feet. That and a basic change in what coaches tell offenses to do.

Switch rules and coaches but keep the same players in each era....I think both side would believe the same about the other. We would have 80s fans saying guys now score too easily and current fans saiying old guys couldnt shoot because they shot 44-45%.


The players(barring the very best of the 80s who are flat better than who we have now....) far as talent....I really dont think there is a change. Not much of one.

That is all.

Last edited by Kblaze8855 : 04-18-2007 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Interesting post. A lot of good points. One thing I always notice back then was the dribbling and passing. It seemed so fluid. I don't really know how to describe it. Almost like the ball was super bouncy and slippery, moved in slow motion, and rarely did they lose control over it..

Anyone else get the feeling watching today's ball, it doesn't seem like it's the same ball from the 80s? Kind of a weird question I know, but sometimes it seems that way..
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

That's what is always great about Spurs vs Mavs match-ups. Neither team makes excessive use of the 3. Both teams have great mid-range players. Josh, Stack, Jet, Dirk, Devin have a great midrange game. Manu, Parker and Duncan for the Spurs.
I don't think it's an accident that those two teams are the best in the league, apart from the super-talented Suns.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kblaze8855
But I really dont think its far to say guys today cant shoot....just that they grew up with a different definition of a shooter. And it sure as hell isnt fair to say old guys didnt defend well because of shooting and scoring when the defenses were facing teams that mostly had the same goals as the current suns. By which I mean

"Dont foul and run no matter if they score or not"

The problem is that we have people who will assert that today's defense is vastly inferior to the defenses played in the 80s, and if you happen to casually mention that NBA teams, on average, gave up 110 points in certain years during the 80s, they act shocked as if they've encountered brand new information. I think that pace, more than actual shooting, affected FG% during that era. Because the game was so fast paced, defenses often didn't have time to settle or dig in before the offense looked to score. That resulted in easier shots for players and a higher FG% for many.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Very interesting points being brought up. I haven't watched much hoops of the 80's (maybe some vintage games), so this kind of posts are very interesting to me.

About today's game and the FT shooting as an offensive option, I'm not a fan of it. It just interrupts the flow of the game, and sometimes I get tired of watching a star slasher spending like 10mins on the FT line. Of course it's sweet to watch superb slashers go hard to the rim and make unbelievable shots.

I guess the rule changes are what have dictated the style of the offense. Maybe the zone defense rule was to somehow bringing back the jumper, or maybe it just helps the slashers to collide with the defense and get a foul call. Not sure, but somehow I like the zone defense implementation.

One funny thing is, indeed players tend to be either great 3-point shooters or great slashers. But somehow ironically, in today's game people are criticizing that big men are tending to have a longer shooting range. Yes, maybe fewer "true big men" but that may be forcing wing players to rebound more and help their perimenter big man.

Finally, sometimes I don't get why guys like Kblaze do this things just for the sake of it when supposed "experts" are paid to write far worse and senseless sht.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Actually the ACC did have a 3 point line in the early 80's if I recall correctly so Jordan actually played in a conference that had a 3 point line. just FYI.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reppy
Interesting post. A lot of good points. One thing I always notice back then was the dribbling and passing. It seemed so fluid. I don't really know how to describe it. Almost like the ball was super bouncy and slippery, moved in slow motion, and rarely did they lose control over it..

Anyone else get the feeling watching today's ball, it doesn't seem like it's the same ball from the 80s? Kind of a weird question I know, but sometimes it seems that way..
i actually think a lot of that was just better team play and more defined roles, and i think that was due entirely to not having such rampant free agency and such a handcuffing salary cap. good teams stayed together for a very long time, knew each other well, and developed chemistry that you rarely see today. watching an 80's celtics game is almost like watching a globetrotters performance sometimes because they passed and cut like it was scripted. then, pre-pippen, you had very few full-time small forwards who handled the ball much. you didn't even have that many shooting guards who dribbled a lot. forwards passed or took a couple of dribbles. point guards specialized in controlling the ball, so that's what they did, and they were less likely to turn it over than a small forward (think of nash v. marion handling the ball - sure nash has more total turnovers, but i bet the turnover per dribble isn't even close).
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:28 AM   #8
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Default i care

as usual, blaze, max and dej giving some good insight into the differences of the game between eras

from my perspective, it has been the rule changes that have dictated the different styles of play. the great players would have been able to adapt to the rules and still been great (albeit in a different way)

i would add that team play has been affected over the years in the explosion of contracts and changes in free agency and the out-of-this-world salaries. of course there were trades and changes, but they were radically different to the type of player movement we see today

in the 70s and early 80s, teams stayed together and teammates would really know and trust the guys on their team, that is the reason they could make rookies carry their bags and go out to get them food as part of their earning their place on the team and as a way of ritualizing belonging. with this type of consistency year in and year out

with this type of consistency, offenses would be move fluid and people would better play their roles

i think the intangible differences were loyalty and trust. as much as i enjoy cheering against them, these are the reasons that the spurs have stayed so consistent over a number of years now

teams in the 70s and early 80s would have their core together and just make a few off season adjustments. you rarely see this today as there is too much money that facilitates movement on all sorts of levels--- execs, gms, presidents, coaches, staff and players

i have enjoyed each era for different reasons and have enjoyed seeing the talent level increase. it is too bad that the overall level of team play has diminished
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Old 04-18-2007, 02:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

This is the kind of topic where my brain gets excited about analyzing all the differences between eras, but I just end up depressed and pissed about how the game has been tweaked by rules and not by players and coaches deciding to play a certain way.
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Old 04-18-2007, 02:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saKf
This is the kind of topic where my brain gets excited about analyzing all the differences between eras, but I just end up depressed and pissed about how the game has been tweaked by rules and not by players and coaches deciding to play a certain way.
I feel the same way.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saKf
This is the kind of topic where my brain gets excited about analyzing all the differences between eras, but I just end up depressed and pissed about how the game has been tweaked by rules and not by players and coaches deciding to play a certain way.

i understand the rules changes-- they are just our way of responding to perceived problems within the game

it is just we dont always see all the consequences of the changes

i have always thought that the nba ought to let teams play whatever defense they want to.

go the whole nine- yards now and get rid of the defensive 3 seconds rule!!
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainierBeachPoet
i understand the rules changes-- they are just our way of responding to perceived problems within the game

it is just we dont always see all the consequences of the changes

i have always thought that the nba ought to let teams play whatever defense they want to.

go the whole nine- yards now and get rid of the defensive 3 seconds rule!!
i agree. it might lead to a short term problem with scoring and flow, but teams would adjust. i'd be even happier if they went back to no zone at all personally, but whatever the rules, coaches will adjust and players will play.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

A lot of the reason I don't put Kobe in the same league as Jordan as a scorer (aside from the fact that he's never matched Jordan's playoff numbers or efficiencey or shown he could score like Jordan did against brutal defensive teams like the Bad Boys Pistons and Knicks teams) is that the rules have been changed to heavily favor offensive players and Bryant has the greenlight to shoot as often as he wants.

Do I think Kobe is an excellent scorer? Of course. I just think all this talk about him being the best scorer ever, and a better scorer than Mike and all of that garbage is just flat out nonsense.
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

I definately agree that the 3pt shot has dropped fg% and will continue to.

Aswell as the different styles of play, which usually ends up happening due to teams playing copycat to teams that have had success. Like the Lakers had success running in the 80s so people ran, then things sorta changed to the ugly game later in the 80s with the Celtics and Lakers being able to get down and dirty aswell as run, but the Pistons took it to another level so for the longest that is how basketball was played, which lowered fg% somewhat. The Halfcourt/ out execution game, instead of the fullcourt free flowing game. Yeah there are some teams that really run now, but not many.

But nowadays the addition of the zone defense all but makes you shoot 3pters, yet all but forcing fg% to go down league wide. Which may be the reason why Blaze's point of the jumpshot being considered the 3 nowadays. That in addition of hand-checking, that has been relatively permissable forever, is just too much to allow guys to be efficient from the perimeter. And damn near gave the Spurs and Pistons titles because they took advantage of it too well.

But, now that handchecking is being enforced MORE (not fully) we see fg%'s rising some throughout the league. So its definately got more to do with styles of play and rules as to why "players can shoot" or not rather than talent on either end of the floor.

Last edited by Y2Gezee : 04-19-2007 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Unnecessarily long rant on a topic you probbaly dont care about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainierBeachPoet
i understand the rules changes-- they are just our way of responding to perceived problems within the game

it is just we dont always see all the consequences of the changes

i have always thought that the nba ought to let teams play whatever defense they want to.

go the whole nine- yards now and get rid of the defensive 3 seconds rule!!
The thing that gets me is this:

The changes to a slower, more isolation-based game were made by PLAYERS AND COACHES. It was their decision.

The changes to a faster, higher shot volume game are being pushed by rules changes. That's just not right.

The game was fast, then it went slow.

I would have trusted the pendulum to swing the other way.

Once everyone starts playing one way, a few teams try to counter it and a trend develops if they're successful.

All the "game issues" the NBA has could be fixed by just letting the game evolve. Instead, they're injecting genes with weird proteins and creating cancer.
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