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View Full Version : the differences between nba now and then


superheadcat
09-27-2003, 05:44 PM
i remembered watching on espn classics about 2 months ago a game between piston and nugget in 1985(?) season. it went 5ot and piston won 183-181. in nba today, a game of 83-81 is normal (look at the latest champ).

which prompts the question: what makes the difference?

i am not an nba fan long enough, nor knowledgeable enough to give more expert insights, but all the possible reasons I can think of are:
1) players' skill and ability
2) teams' playing style
3) the rules the games are allowed to play by

but, for the player skills, it is hard for me to imagine that the players 20 yrs apart will have such a huge gap in the skills of scoring points.
for the playing style, are the teams 20 yrs ago playing no defense? i am not sure, but isiah thomas did play in the game mentioned above.
for the rule change, if that is the reason the scoring drops so significantly, why did the rule change happen in the first place? nobody wants to see players scoring?

any opinions?

Malachi Mav
09-27-2003, 07:24 PM
Well, for what it's worth (ZERO), here's my take:

1. Shooting - not enough shooters in the league - and I'm NOT just talking about 3-point shooters.

2. LEGITIMATE post threats - most team's best post-up players do NOT play the 4 or 5.

3. Defense - it has been allowed to be so physical that offense has become bogged down.

4. Coaching/style of play - too much one-on-one, isolation for the superstar offense.

5. Skills - basic passing skills are not valued (like shooting, rebounding, etc.) and so we see a few guys who try to force the FANTASTIC pass (and complete a few), and a lot of guys who look like they've never passed the ball before.

6. Philosophy (for lack of a better term) - guys now play a ME game, instead of a TEAM game - and basketball as a whole has suffered, because whatever dominates in the NBA always trickles down through college, high school, and the playgrounds.

That's mine.

Anybody else got some ideas?

MavsFanatik33
09-28-2003, 12:42 PM
Better dunking and baggy shorts, need I say more?

MFFL
09-30-2003, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by: Malachi Mav
Well, for what it's worth (ZERO), here's my take:

1. Shooting - not enough shooters in the league - and I'm NOT just talking about 3-point shooters.

2. LEGITIMATE post threats - most team's best post-up players do NOT play the 4 or 5.

3. Defense - it has been allowed to be so physical that offense has become bogged down.

4. Coaching/style of play - too much one-on-one, isolation for the superstar offense.

5. Skills - basic passing skills are not valued (like shooting, rebounding, etc.) and so we see a few guys who try to force the FANTASTIC pass (and complete a few), and a lot of guys who look like they've never passed the ball before.

6. Philosophy (for lack of a better term) - guys now play a ME game, instead of a TEAM game - and basketball as a whole has suffered, because whatever dominates in the NBA always trickles down through college, high school, and the playgrounds.

That's mine.

Anybody else got some ideas?

I like your list a lot. The dominant factor IMO is #3. I'm watching the 1984 playoff game between the Lakers and the Mavs and there is good defense being played but there isn't the PUSHING and SHOVING and BANGING on every possession. The physical play allows the other 5 areas to get completely out of hand.

dirno2000
09-30-2003, 12:20 AM
I agree also. Not only is the D more physical but teams concentrate on it more. Almost every team, if not every team, has a defensive coordinator. Scouting also seems to be more intense and high tech.

I don't buy the argument that players can't shoot anymore. Look at them in pre-game; even the average players hardly miss when shooting alone. It's just hard to get a good look nowadays.

The argument that irritates me to no end is that players spend too much time working on dunks. If you are athletic, you don't have to practice dunking. It's not that hard.

superheadcat
09-30-2003, 01:44 AM
thx for the input guys.

about the d between now and then: i am no expert, but in the game mentioned above, both teams played very good d imo. but yes, there was no pushing, shoving, and banging then.

then, i started wondering: why did the league allow such degeneration of defense? as i mentioned in my previous post, do people prefer fat guys "pushing, shoving, and banging" (nowadays people called that "tough" defense, "physical" play, and have "inside presence") over fundamentally sound players making shots? that doesn't make sense to me.

is this the reason nba is not as popular a sport as it once was?

Murphy3
09-30-2003, 08:18 AM
i'd probably also have to agree with reason #3...plus, many teams opt for the additional athletes at the bottom of the roster instead of adding a sharp shooter or two

the shooters are still out there, they just aren't making it on the rosters anymore

MFFL
09-30-2003, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by: superheadcat
then, i started wondering: why did the league allow such degeneration of defense? as i mentioned in my previous post, do people prefer fat guys "pushing, shoving, and banging" (nowadays people called that "tough" defense, "physical" play, and have "inside presence") over fundamentally sound players making shots? that doesn't make sense to me.

is this the reason nba is not as popular a sport as it once was?

The NBA is a series of cycles. Right now we are still in the cycle caused by the Pistons. Detriot didn't have enough talent to beat the Celtics or Lakers in straight up basketball so the team resorted to thuggery and called it defense. Once Detriot got away with it enough to win a championship, then EVERYONE started copying it. It is FAR easier to find thugs to push people around than it is to find skilled basketball players.

It is also why I believe the center position is so pitiful. There used to be a dozen skilled centers in the league but they slowly vanished under a wave of thuggery. Sure there were a few centers who came out since then but largely the position has died. Shaq is the poster boy for the new center. He commits a half dozen fouls on every offensive and defensive series but the refs let him get away with it because it is "physical play".

Bah.

superheadcat
09-30-2003, 02:27 PM
The NBA is a series of cycles. Right now we are still in the cycle caused by the Pistons.

bingo.
hence my signature.

Murphy3
09-30-2003, 02:48 PM
three big reasons why shaq fouls on a consistent basis (offensively)

1. because of his incredible size..it's difficult for him to move without running over someone
2. because he literally has to..he's fouled virtually every time he gets the ball
3. because the officials allow him to get away with it

Murphy3
09-30-2003, 02:53 PM
just a suggestion..make the courts a little wider and a little longer. why? more wide open basketball..more fast breaks.

many of the useless big men that can barely get up and down the court as it is will be rendered even more useless...teams would also have more room along the sides of the court to run plays near the three point line.

also, there would be more room..hopefully the court wouldn't appear quite as "crowded" as it does currently..as athletes get bigger, stronger, and quicker...the court should adjust at least somewhat accordingly

plus, call the fouls..a foul is a foul is a foul. sooner or later, the players will adjust

OutletPass
09-30-2003, 04:03 PM
Like MFFL, I like Malachi's list. I'll spin it just a touch. I think that the biggest factor is the league's television contract. In the "old" days, they just played. Today, the NBA has a huge contract with television contract (that didn't exist decades earlier) and they're hyperconcerned with showing us a product. The players don't create the game anymore, the league office does.

1) Rules changes - always the biggest thing. Remember how, in baseball, they lowered the mound when pitchers (led by Bob Gibson) were putting up microscopic ERA's and a lot of games were 2-1. The league administrations, whenever they want to "tinker" with their game, ALWAYS DO IT through rules changes. The NBA simply doesn't want a 54-40 or 160-150 league....they've legislated the games to end up like they do. If they wanted all offense (as the ABA did) or all defense, we'd see it. It's all about MARKETING a product. We're getting what THEY want to show us.

2) Over expansion and spares - There are just far too many teams carrying too many spares. As with baseball, disband 4 financially troubled teams and disperse their players through a draft and the league is much better. It's not going to happen now, but it should.

3) Fundamentals and young players - Obviously, there are exceptions like Kobe and Garnett...but we have way too many guys in the league who should be in college getting experience (not sitting on someone's bench). Add in #4 and # 5 from Malachi's list and you've got the full picture. The league has way too many "athletes" and not enough "basketball players" and not enough who can play the WHOLE game. Insert <fundamentals >. Way too many Darius Miles types in the game for me. How many teams pass and move the ball that well ?

4) Official's calls - Let's be plain about this. NBA officials call certain things and don't call others. And they hit certain players and don't call others. We all see it and we all know it's true. The players see it and they adjust...and the game is much worse for it. Some "superstar" getting a million FT's a game just slows everything down..

I agree with MFFL's idea that we're in a cycle...one that I hope that we break out of soon....it's why I love the Mavs style of play I watch the Lakers play the Spurs and I just fall asleep. I watch the Mavs and Kings and I can't get enough.