Some People's Kids: Nu-Basketball

Monday, May 7, 2007


This is something that I’ve been thinking about basically since the emergence of Steve Nash as a superstar, and something that has gained some validity with the Warriors beating the Mavericks. I can feel a change in the NBA style of play, one that turns post-up players such as Shaq and Yao into dinosaurs. There is a de-emphasis of defense, which is in turn replaced by passing, the three pointer and an up-tempo game. The Suns, Warriors and on occasion teams like Denver and the Wizards laugh in the face of conventional basketball thought. To quote John Madden To win the game, you have to score more points than your opponent!

College teams put three guards and two forwards (or vise versa) on the floor and never bother to nominate a center. I see this happening down the road in the NBA and so does Henry Abbott… two starting seven footers who only post-up when necessary, one player between 6-8 and 6-11 playing the slashing/ jump shooting/ long ball threat and two players who can ball handle and pass. Two jump shooting seven footers has yet to work for the Timberwolves, but nothing ever works for them. They also needed a passing point guard, and though we employ several of them not a one was a good passer.

I feel like passing will become more important than shot blocking. The post-up player no longer matters if he can’t get back on defense before the other team takes it’s shot. The Up-tempo European style brought to the U.S. by Mike D’antoni, and now working in Golden state makes me wonder whether there are other European coaches with the ability to turn a Memphis Grizzly’s team (who score in bunches when they win, but don’t win often enough) from the cellar to the top.

Conventional thought leads me to believe that if I had the first pick in the upcoming draft I would take Oden, but as I watch these playoffs and see that the traditional center has been canceled out by the speed of smaller teams. Speed beats size. Durrant trumps Oden. Slow and steady no longer wins the race. Defense may no longer equal championships.

Free Bracey Wright!

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