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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In my opinion, with all the increase in salaries I would have expected the play of the NBA players to have improved, but in my view it has gotten worse.

The shooting percentages in general from both two point and three point have gradually decreased since the 1980's and 1990's. the level of defence has also dropped off. Never have I seen players being able to score and get around defenders with such ease. it is no use putting up 20 points a game, when your opposition player is putting up 30 points a game.

Even Larry Bird said that anything less than 50% shooting percentages is bad basketball. I know that not every player is Larry Bird, but these guys are All Americans/College stars and should be able to put the ball in the hole, which is what they are paid millions of dollars to do.

The level of ballhandling from the centres and power forwards is so bad, in my opinion. Guys like Mason, Fortson, Tyrone Hill etc take forever to get the ball out of the post and kick it out to the shooters, stagnating the offence making the game boring as hell! Sure the level of athleticism has increased but you show me Darius Miles, Ricky Davis, etc constantly hitting jump shots from the perimiter and 20 feet out.

These guys can be locked up, by solid defenders and exposed for the lack of a jump shot. As I said poor shooting is poor basketball.With all the increased number of assistant coaches and development officers around the club and the increased salaries, I would have thought the general play of the players have increased but it hasn't.

When will players learn that you do not need to have the ball to be a good player. You don't need the ball to set picks, block shots, cover the passing lanes, defend your man, post up, get around screens, communicate on offense and defense, support your team, etc.

Most players in my opinion only care about getting theirs and that is it.Putting up 20 points a game does not mean anything, if you are not prepared to do the little things to make your team win.

A clear example is the Bulls with Jordan. Pippen, Kukoc, Rodman, etc were all team players who were disciplined enough to stick with the triangle offense and also play killer defense. That is why this team won.The role players did not need to score to have an influence on the game. It is what you do with your playing time that matters. that is why guys like Bruce Bowen, Robert Horry, etc will always be in the league. They do the little things to get their team to win, be it defense, or clutch shots. The bottom line is that sure the NBA is exciting but the level and standard of the game has fallen!!!
 

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You wrote a very introspective and thoughtful message. I especially liked the following:

"When will players learn that you do not need to have the ball to be a good player. You don't need the ball to set picks, block shots, cover the passing lanes, defend your man, post up, get around screens, communicate on offence and defence, support your team, etc. Most players in my opinion only care about getting theirs and that is it."
 

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You're right

Everybody in the league, with the exception of a few players think that you have to have the ball in your hands to win the game. I think John Stockton is a perfect example of what the ideal player should play like every game. Kobe Bryant is one of my favorite players, and he has definitely learned to pass the ball a lot more, but guys like him, AI,and T-Mac need to set more picks, and do some more stuff without the ball to help their team win.

I also think that the reason that the level of play has dropped is because there aren't any teams in the East that can really compete with the teams in the West. If you name the top 3 teams in the league, chances are, you won't name any of the Eastern Conference teams.
 

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Great posts. We have so many on-the-ball players right now in the league. We need great role players who does have an impact on the team without the ball like Ben Wallace, Mutumbo and some defensive specialist!
:(
 

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NBA

Exactly, Ben Wallace is great, he rebounds, blocks, he too is the perfect example of a hard working NBA player.:D
 

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Originally posted by Mr. X
Kobe Bryant is one of my favorite players, and he has definitely learned to pass the ball a lot more, but guys like him, AI,and T-Mac need to set more picks, and do some more stuff without the ball to help their team win.
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Boy I would sure like to see 6 ft 150 pound iverson start setting screens as if he isnt the floor enough already. Iverson did learn to trust his teammates in the 2001 season, but Philly went through drastic changes in this past season and had like 5 new players, 2 in the starting lineup. With all the injuries to AI and the others on Philly it became hard for them to really gel and play off each other like the 2001 sixers did.
As for T-mac there is no one else on olrando, cept for darrell armstrong, that is really any sort of threat to score. Mike Miller was only given the ROY award cuz he was in a crappy draft year to be honest. And even he isnt always guarantee to bring it every night. If Hill is ever able to play again and the level he was playing at before the injuries you will see an overall increase in passing and moving without the ball on T-Mac's behalf.

Plus figure this: Both T-mac and AI are the only stars on their teams, the whole defense is focused on them. With Kobe there is that 370 pound gorilla that the defense has to worry about.
 

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Only guard that sets a decent screen is Stockton, and he's been doing it for years too
 

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Originally posted by Shaqs big toe
Only guard that sets a decent screen is Stockton, and he's been doing it for years too
The difference between the Jazz and any young team, its a small word called experience, wow its important, don't you all think so?
 

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Originally posted by the_truth


The difference between the Jazz and any young team, its a small word called experience, wow its important, don't you all think so?
Experience and the proven willingness to do the little things to win. Unfortunately, Father Time catches up with everyone
 

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This is a familiar mantra , I do not agree with I love basketball and consider my self a purist but outside influences in the culture has changed the face of NBA basketball ,Sportscenter, inside stuff, endorsement deals, Slam magazine, jams of the week, and many more have made self promotion the goal of most young basketball players, pick setting, help defense, post feeding, and the skills mentioned above don't get shown on the highlight shows, I have accepted this new reality in NBA basketball, basic fundamentals, and the coaches who teach it have been replaced by publicity seeking and shoe deal seeking AAU coaches, who could careless about developing young talent rather just showcasing it. The trade off, Better athletes with incredible hops, blinding speed, and fantastically athletic finshes around the hoop. I grew up in the 70's and 80's and fondly recall the days in which teams shared the ball 5 people on a court could actually pose a threat to score and the game was played at a much slower speed. I like to think things have changed as oppose to have worsened, lower shooting percentages don't bother me because now days guys play better defense than ever before, all the different ways you can break down game film now has taken scouting teams to a different level,therfore better defense, The game has definitely changed but I don't believe for the worse, its not exactly better either just different, I can appreciate the jaw dropping plays these guys can make and its terrific, back in the 70's and 80's the entertainment value of the league was down some if you went to the game unless you had Sixers,Celtics,or Lakers tickets alot of games were boring not many excting plays or players as there are now, yeah we may get more errant passes and more bricks but some young kids make it thrilling for them to show flashes of potential.

The European influx will bring the game back in line with the fundamentals once American youth realize the only way you're going to make it in the NBA is become more fundamentally sound, or not get drafted, so they'll begin to refocus on those things.

I haven't become an Old foggie yet to the point that I relish a bygone ERA , the game has changed and for this consumer of NBA season tickets, I never feel that these young kids are ruining a sport because eventually all these kids mature and I can appreciate a changed game as different not worse, shooting % is not the only determinator of the game being better or worse, don't let the old I wish I was still playing legends ( Magic,Barkely,Kenny Smith etc) try to take you back THEIR good ole days, talk down about todays players as if they had a patent on greatness, the game indeed has problems ,always had but the publicity on every move these guys make,makes it seem as if the game is going to hell in a hand basket. It isn't just enjoy the artistry.
 

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nice post jazzy.

this exact topic is being discussed in multiple threads. i suggest you check them out.

i am always mystified why today's game and players need to be bashed. the league is entering a new era and the level of competition is going to be amazing this season.

i agree with jazzy that the defense played by many teams is great. take a look at the lakers, the celtics, the pistons and others. sure there are teams like the mavs but the mavs win ball games with that type of play.

as a spectator, i want to see exciting play and good basketball. look no further than the sacramento kings. great ball movement, great shooting, and great post work make this teams play a thing of beauty.

of course players like ben wallace will always be around, heck he's an all-star in my books. role players ARE present on every team to different extents. this shows that this kind of play is still valued in the league.

more big men are coming into the league than ever before with increased skill levels. this includes better ball-handling and shooting. this often relegates them to positions other than center of course.

i just don't see any lack of talent or fundamental skills. sure there are a lot of raw, developing players but they don't get any meaningful playing time if they aren't playing good ball. just look at the teams that are going to be competing this season. have you ever seen such a plethora of amazing basketball talent throughout the league? sure the expansion hurt the league a little but now it's back with a vengeance.
 

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About Talent...

You guys check out the opinions on my topic:

NBA talent: Now and then

If you haven't already...I think we're having a similar, perhaps, more detailed discussion there or we were.

You know I agree with you SkyWalker...

Oops!! missed you're note to do the same.
 

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Good Observations!!!

Originally posted by <b>SkywalkerAC</b>!

this exact topic is being discussed in multiple threads. i suggest you check them out.

i am always mystified why today's game and players need to be bashed. the league is entering a new era and the level of competition is going to be amazing this season.

i agree with jazzy that the defense played by many teams is great. take a look at the lakers, the celtics, the pistons and others. sure there are teams like the mavs but the mavs win ball games with that type of play.

as a spectator, i want to see exciting play and good basketball. look no further than the sacramento kings. great ball movement, great shooting, and great post work make this teams play a thing of beauty.

of course players like ben wallace will always be around, heck he's an all-star in my books. role players ARE present on every team to different extents. this shows that this kind of play is still valued in the league.

more big men are coming into the league than ever before with increased skill levels. this includes better ball-handling and shooting. this often relegates them to positions other than center of course.

i just don't see any lack of talent or fundamental skills. sure there are a lot of raw, developing players but they don't get any meaningful playing time if they aren't playing good ball. just look at the teams that are going to be competing this season. have you ever seen such a plethora of amazing basketball talent throughout the league? sure the expansion hurt the league a little but now it's back with a vengeance.

"...teams like the mavs" were in the Majority in the 80's IMO.

Ballhandling per position is light years ahead of the past.
Athleticism at every position is up. Height at every position is up.
The game has changed and will not remain the same....

It's on the rise... and will go Far beyond the past IMO.

As someone said... "Great Players are Great Players..."
Everyone has there subjective preference but it is undeniable that players like Kobe will surpass even the greats like MJ in sure numbers. Kobe is 23 and has 3 rings. Where will his stats be once he retires?

Lebron James...The King is Coming!!

The Foriegn Invasion is a craze never before visited on the NBA en mass like it is today.

Hell the league may eventually expand to 50 competitive teams at this rate...[just embellishing...]

[Also see post from NBA Talent: Now & Then... I try to break down talent disparity per position. See what you think!]
 

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Originally posted by <b>kingofkings</b>!


These guys can be locked up, by solid defenders and exposed for the lack of a jump shot. As I said poor shooting is poor basketball.With all the increased number of assistant coaches and development officers around the club and the increased salaries, I would have thought the general play of the players have increased but it hasn't.

When will players learn that you do not need to have the ball to be a good player. You don't need the ball to set picks, block shots, cover the passing lanes, defend your man, post up, get around screens, communicate on offense and defense, support your team, etc.

Most players in my opinion only care about getting theirs and that is it.Putting up 20 points a game does not mean anything, if you are not prepared to do the little things to make your team win.

A clear example is the Bulls with Jordan. Pippen, Kukoc, Rodman, etc were all team players who were disciplined enough to stick with the triangle offense and also play killer defense. That is why this team won.The role players did not need to score to have an influence on the game. It is what you do with your playing time that matters. that is why guys like Bruce Bowen, Robert Horry, etc will always be in the league. They do the little things to get their team to win, be it defense, or clutch shots. The bottom line is that sure the NBA is exciting but the level and standard of the game has fallen!!!
You sound like my HS basketball coach. People dont realize that shooting makes up for your weaknesses. If you can shoot it consistantly and play solid defensethan you can play basketball.

Shhoting consistantly + great defense = Wins

Another great example that my coach uses are the Duke Blue Devils
 

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Originally posted by <b>hunterb14</b>!

...Another great example that my coach uses are the Duke Blue Devils
You got the formula correct:
Good Shooting + Solid Defense = Wins

But let's look at that Duke thing: [I like them and Coach K is a Hall Of Famer IMO]

You can't get carried away or fall in love with the 3 pt shot like they have had the tendency to do lately. The key is balance in every aspect. I grew up in the 70's & 80's and my best coaches and the one's nationally that I respect the most are/were more defensive minded. They emphasized the importance of team play, hustle, and never overlooked the importance of good point guard skills.

Back to the Dukies... they have tended to be too much of a perimeter team with most of their best players playing the 1,2,3. Yeah I know Elton and Carlos were there but Duke still launched a boat load of 3's when they were there.

I'm not a fan of the "We'll outscore you" philosophy.
 
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