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Old 10-19-2023, 09:02 AM   #141
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Join Date: Apr 2021
Re: Its the NBA FINALS: '96 Bulls vs '17 Warriors - Who will win a 7-game series?

Originally Posted by ggsimmonds
You're not entirely wrong with the bolded but you're not entirely right either. The primary driving force of the rule changes were to "open the game up." To move the primacy away from lumbering bigs and towards athletic guards. Doing that you would expect to see an increase in scoring and pace 'baked in' just off common sense, run your offense thru fast athletic guards vs slow footed big bruisers, which would result in more possessions and by extension more shots? Yeah they wanted scoring to increase but it wasn't the only or primary driving force. Most of all they wanted to change how the bulk of the scoring was done.

The bolded is the only part I want to address here. Back in '98 people would have spoke of Jalen Rose the same way you speak of Gabe Vincent.

Personal style I guess lol. I rather avoid battles of hyperbole. That said my most unpopular opinion is that guys like Kyrie and even Steph would not be anywhere close to as effective in the 90s as they are today. As mentioned above the rule changes were specifically designed to allow guys like that to shine because they couldn't shine previously.

But then the inverse is equally true -- guards from back in the day don't have nearly the same skillset or deep of a bag as guards today. One example if you want to be a scoring guard today a step-back game is mandatory and thats a skill 90s guys just didn't have because the game they played didn't allow them to develop it.

Anytime people have this discussion we always kind of go back and forth on one point -- are we magically transporting Giannis as he exists now back to an earlier era or are we dropping a younger Giannis back even further and considering the option of tailoring his skillset to that era? Like I said, we tend to be wishy-washy on this front.

Finally I want to touch on the topic of Hakeem. Hakeem and Kobe are the two GOATs when it comes to footwork. No one is touching them in that category. Beyond that there are some real reasons why footwork today isn't what it use to be particularly among big men and in the post:

1. A domino effect. Rule changes put the spotlight on guards so kids eventually started idolizing and imitating those guards.

2. The downfall of the college game. Maybe downfall is a bit dramatic, but it doesn't really matter as much nowadays. I was watching Gilbert Arenas' podcast last week and they were talking about Duncan vs KG and a hypothetical scenario of them swapping teams. Gil said that the Spurs were a 50 win team before Duncan was drafted and really emphasized that a 50 win team was getting the college national player of the year. Back then guys came up after putting time in the college ranks and thats where the "big fundamental" was born. College taught guys fundamentals like footwork and how not to travel (tongue firmly in cheek) and players coming into the NBA today don't get that. Instead of spending hours with a credible and respected coach doing drills these players are spending hours working on their shot. You don't need a individualized coaching plan to improve your shot. How many guys across all eras came into the league with a wackyass shooting motion and they were left alone because it worked for them? During that podcast conversation someone asked who won player of the year last year and not one of them knew the answer to that. It was quite jarring to see in a single exchange how the prestige of college accomplishments just fell off a cliff over the past 20 years.

The fall of the college game and its impact on the NBA product could be a much larger conversation but its one few have, even though it is very much relevant in these cross era conversations
Your point on college hoops is enlightening and really explains what Iíve thought about the disparity between old and new eras. This era is more saucy obviously and personal taste can call that more or less entertaining, but when I watch older games the thing that really stands out is how much more fundamentally sound teams play. Players make a lot less mistakes because they donít play nearly as much hero ball. In todayís nba Iím constantly yelling at the screen wondering why some teams play like a pickup street ball game. Just chucking threes after threes. The lakers warriors series was a perfect example of that where Klay, Poole and co. took some incredibly dumb shots. Draymond was looking so nervous when he got the ball he was playing hot potato with it or missing open layups.

For better or worse (personal opinion), the ďDuncan gameĒ is long gone in this era. And the almost eradication of college hoops does explain that.

Itís as enlightening as me getting some clarity on why players get injured so much nowadays, aside from training less hard according to Kevin Garnett and in my opinion, the money spoiling players which naturally softens them (compare to Dominique Wilkins who said he refined the test after popping his Achilles and playing hard as ever because he had no choice. That was his winning. Thatís a warrior mindset). Itís because so many players start playing at such a young age, by the time theyíre 25 their ďbody mileageĒ is so high they start to break down. Apparently body mileage is very much a thing. Not coincidentally guys like Giannis who started playing basketball in his teenage years donít get injured as often.
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