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View Full Version : So much for the uptempo wave of the future



Naptown_Seth
06-13-2007, 02:58 AM
This is something I've been thinking about most of this year, but it really hit me as I went down the list of lowest total points in a Finals with this most recent Spurs/Cavs game nearly at the top.

Wasn't the uptempo style the new thing? Isn't that why TPTB wanted to get new players and tried to tell Rick to look to run as much as possible?

Well could someone remind me why that is because as far as I can tell Dallas and Phoenix went nowhere, and the Pacers effort to be like them in any capacity at all (the goal was never to be like the Suns, but still) was an unmitigated disaster.

Up and down that "lowest points combined - Finals" list you see mostly Spurs, with a healthy dash of the most recent Pistons. And for good measure Jordan's Bulls put in a couple of wins this way.

To me it looks like "defense wins championships" is a strategy alive and kicking, not on its way out. Makes me wonder if TPTB need to reconsider their own reasoning behind chasing this ideal. I mean they do still want to win a title more than just be "fun", right?

Eindar
06-13-2007, 06:30 AM
This is something I've been thinking about most of this year, but it really hit me as I went down the list of lowest total points in a Finals with this most recent Spurs/Cavs game nearly at the top.

Wasn't the uptempo style the new thing? Isn't that why TPTB wanted to get new players and tried to tell Rick to look to run as much as possible?

Well could someone remind me why that is because as far as I can tell Dallas and Phoenix went nowhere, and the Pacers effort to be like them in any capacity at all (the goal was never to be like the Suns, but still) was an unmitigated disaster.

Up and down that "lowest points combined - Finals" list you see mostly Spurs, with a healthy dash of the most recent Pistons. And for good measure Jordan's Bulls put in a couple of wins this way.

To me it looks like "defense wins championships" is a strategy alive and kicking, not on its way out. Makes me wonder if TPTB need to reconsider their own reasoning behind chasing this ideal. I mean they do still want to win a title more than just be "fun", right?

Actually, I think this is a very viable strategy for the Pacers as long as we continue to keep on doing what we've been doing for the last decade or so, and that is, remaining competitive without taking a big risk for a shot at a title. Defense wins championships, but fun sells tickets. And sometimes, defense doesn't win championships, but fun always sells tickets, as long as you're making the playoffs.

Getting back to the initial point of the post, good defense will continue to win championships for two reasons. First, defense is consistent. You never go through a "defensive slump" as long as everyone is on the same page. Playing good defense always results in more wins. Playing good offense only results in more wins if your players are hitting their shots.

Second, and probably more important, the rules change for the playoffs. Always have, and probably always will. Refs swallow their whistles because they don't want to be responsible for fouling out a star with less than a minute to go in the game, and most fans don't want the refs to decide the game with a whistle, as it were. Even though the days of "no layups" are over, more physical play is allowed in the playoffs than in the regular season, which makes it tougher for an uptempo team to win.

My question is, why can't you play uptempo offense and good defense? Why are these items supposedly mutually exclusive?

Kstat
06-13-2007, 06:37 AM
My question is, why can't you play uptempo offense and good defense? Why are these items supposedly mutually exclusive?

Because, at some point, you have to rest. You cannot play all-out on both ends for 48 minutes at an NBA level.

bigrichard82
06-13-2007, 06:39 AM
This is something I've been thinking about most of this year, but it really hit me as I went down the list of lowest total points in a Finals with this most recent Spurs/Cavs game nearly at the top.

Wasn't the uptempo style the new thing? Isn't that why TPTB wanted to get new players and tried to tell Rick to look to run as much as possible?

Well could someone remind me why that is because as far as I can tell Dallas and Phoenix went nowhere, and the Pacers effort to be like them in any capacity at all (the goal was never to be like the Suns, but still) was an unmitigated disaster.

Up and down that "lowest points combined - Finals" list you see mostly Spurs, with a healthy dash of the most recent Pistons. And for good measure Jordan's Bulls put in a couple of wins this way.

To me it looks like "defense wins championships" is a strategy alive and kicking, not on its way out. Makes me wonder if TPTB need to reconsider their own reasoning behind chasing this ideal. I mean they do still want to win a title more than just be "fun", right?

I don't think it was ever the intention for the Pacers to be like the Suns or the Mavs. That is fast tempo. I think the Pacers just wanted to pick it up somewhat and increase thier opportunities of the break. In regards to defense wins championships, good defense is necessary in order to create these breaks. Ultimately, this style goes hand in hand. I think the fans and the TPTB had a different idea of what up tempo play meant. Even with OB, we are not going to be running and gunning wildly. There will be a lot more ball movement before the shot though.

RWB
06-13-2007, 08:34 AM
Because, at some point, you have to rest. You cannot play all-out on both ends for 48 minutes at an NBA level.

Stat, you should have been on the bench telling that to Rick Pitino when he was the Celtics coach. His teams use to frustrate the heck out of everyone, but when the 4th quarter came around they were so dead tired they would give up easy layups. For those who didn't witness it Pitino would use a full court press and would double in the backcourt on almost every possesion.

owl
06-13-2007, 08:38 AM
The only team that was really successful with running to score and win champioships was the Magic lead Lakers. They were truly unique and this was during the Boston and
Detroit span when they played great defense. The difference was that LA had
several superior scorers who could run and here is the key, could play defense to fuel the running game. That kind of talent comes along infrequently much less combined on one team. Think about the Lakers team.
Two all time greats in Kareem and Magic and plus two other allstars in Scott and Worthy. It just not possible to accumulate that much offensive talent on
one team in this era of diluted talent.

indyman37
06-13-2007, 08:41 AM
Because, at some point, you have to rest. You cannot play all-out on both ends for 48 minutes at an NBA level.
I'm not trying to be funny or sarcastic but, isn't that what subs are for? So you don't have to play the whole time? But this is the problem. If you are going to play uptempo and play hard defense, you need quality bench guys. You shouldn't have a fast lineup and then when you go to your bench, everyone is a sloth and you still expect to run. It's not going to work. You need a roster full of players that can do exactly what you want them to do or players you know you can mold into that type.

Ragnar
06-13-2007, 10:12 AM
Actually balance wins championships. If it were totally defense the Knicks and Heat would have won some in the 90's. You don't have to be the highest scoring team but you do have to be able to score. Something the defense first people on here always seem to ignore. Every team who has won a title has been a good defensive team with a decent offense. Its putting the two together that makes a title team.

Roferr
06-13-2007, 10:30 AM
The bottom line is that defense almost invariably wins games in crunch time. Sure, you can win some games by out-gunning the other team but it eventually catches up to you. When push comes to shove, defense will win out the majority of times.

Even when the Celts and Lakers were going at it for years taking turns sharing the title, defense won out. They were running and gunning and putting up huge numbers but in the end, the series came down to how Cooper defended Larry. Cooper was Bird's biggest nightmare and whoever won that match-up usually won the game. The teams were so evenly matched that the outcome usually teetered on how much Cooper could contain Bird and vice-versa.

It's true, offense sells tickets and defense wins rings. However, I believe Stern has tried over the years to get the league to be more exciting by exploiting the offensive prowess of such stars as James, Mello, Kobe, Wade, Arenas, etc. However, these guys are never going to outscore an entire team, but will sell a lot of tickets.

The Spurs are dominating the Cavs in the same manner that the Warriors wrecked the Mavs, with stifling, non-stop, in-your-jock defense. It would take a team of three great offensive players to oust a great defensive team in most cases and they would have to be shooting lights out.

ChicagoJ
06-13-2007, 12:06 PM
It would take a team of three great offensive players to oust a great defensive team in most cases and they would have to be shooting lights out.

Let's see... Duncan, Ginoboli, Parker? Check.

Not only do the Spurs play great team defense, they have the requisite three great offensive players of overcome a great defense.

As Ragnar said, its about balance.

Style (slow vs. fast) is irrelevant. It just happens that the most balanced teams over the past twenty years have generally played at a slow pace so everybody falsely accuses them of being great defensive teams. Now... some of them were great defensive teams, but not all.

Prior to that, as owl said, the most balanced team was the Showtime Lakers.

However, to fast break in the NBA, you need defensive stops and rebounds. If you show me a fast-breaking team with a winning record in the NBA they've GOT to be playing good defense (making stops, getting rebounds) regardless of whatever statistical manipulation is taking place.

FlavaDave
06-13-2007, 12:10 PM
What if we had a ball-control unit A, and a balls-out, full court press, fast break every possesion unit B? I mean that second unit would run 100% of the time. We would then use the 11th and 12th bench spots on one big man and one combo guard to sub in for a member of the A unit who got into foul trouble.

For five-ten minutes a game, a lineup of DA, Marshall, Williams, Baston, and Foster could 'hold down the turbo button' and try to wear out the other team. The fans would love it, and every 3rd or 4th game it could work to perfection and we could have some 6-0 or 8-0 runs.

And even if it didn't show up on the scoreboard, it could still be valuable. Like a patient batter working a 12 pitch walk or an NFL team gaining 60 yards only on running plays, it would frustrate and wear down an opponent a little faster.

I've always loved the idea. If the main effectiveness of this strategy is hustle (in the short term), couldn't a group of bench players do it well enough to make a difference? Isn't that better that all units using the same tactic with the bench players doing it less effectively?

ChicagoJ
06-13-2007, 12:23 PM
In your scenario, you've got to make five player substitions because the bench players aren't compatible with the starters.

I don't like the subs to be "just like the starters, only less effective."

That's why I like Brent Barry off the bench for the Spurs - he's not really like any other guard/SF on the team. He gives them a different look, but can do that within the same gameplan and sets for the starters so he fits in well.

NuffSaid
06-13-2007, 12:24 PM
I don't think it was ever the intention for the Pacers to be like the Suns or the Mavs. That is fast tempo. I think the Pacers just wanted to pick it up somewhat and increase thier opportunities of the break. In regards to defense wins championships, good defense is necessary in order to create these breaks. Ultimately, this style goes hand in hand. I think the fans and the TPTB had a different idea of what up tempo play meant. Even with OB, we are not going to be running and gunning wildly. There will be a lot more ball movement before the shot though.
I think RC tried to implement a faster tempo to the Pacers game, but things broke down on several levels that prevented it from truly taking form.

On the one hand, you had certain "key" players not playing consistent defense (Al and SJax) not to mention our Guards kept getting beat in Man-D. The other side of it was our players just weren't quick enough to get out of every fast break opportunity. And then you have those times where RC purposely slowed the game down because he didn't want the Pacers to get into an uptempo battle where were were trading baskets particularly against a team that can shot lights out! I can imagine the number of blow outs the Pacers would have experienced had some limites not be placed on them in that regard. That said, the problem I had w/RC was two-fold: 1) he was too restricting; wouldn't just let the players play. At certain points during the course of a game you have to let them figure it out and just let them do what comes naturally instead of looking for instructions on every possession; and, 2) for him being an "X's & O's" guy, his offense became too predictable at critical moments....usually in end-game situations.

I don't believe JOB will let these guys just do whatever they want out there (i.e., showboat or take wild shots), but I believe he will give them more freedom to make decisions/adjustments for themselves out there as long as whatever the players do net results. Like he said, as long as they're making baskets he'll let them do whatever...but if they aren't he'll start calling the shots.

Naptown_Seth
06-14-2007, 03:17 AM
Because, at some point, you have to rest. You cannot play all-out on both ends for 48 minutes at an NBA level.
Of course they can, they're NBA athletes. They should be in shape enough to run full out for 48 straight minutes. Heck, they get pauses, timeouts and a halftime. What's the problem?






**This post brought to you on behalf of endless nimrods I've had to listen to complain about players getting tired during games, as if their YMCA effort was on par with the effort required to run and jump at the NBA level.

Their cousins are the goofs that talk about how they can shoot 85% of their FTs, totally neglecting the part where they don't have to have the muscle bulk to play inside and don't typically have to shoot them while on the verge of overheating, puking or after having the crap knocked out of them on a hard foul. Yes, it IS the same now that I think about it, why can't they be more like you and your nerf setup?

Naptown_Seth
06-14-2007, 03:22 AM
BigRich...

and the Pacers effort to be like them in any capacity at all (the goal was never to be like the Suns, but still)

I don't think it was ever the intention for the Pacers to be like the Suns or the Mavs.
Um...:whoknows:

Peck
06-14-2007, 03:51 AM
Actually the Pacers didn't just begin this transition into faster pace this season, this all began in 1999 when Marcus Camby was imprinted onto Donnie Walsh's mind.

Remember the whole "no positions" talk we had to hear? Remember how the NBA was downsizing?

He didn't get to implement that in 99 like he would have liked, although he started to with Bender, but as soon as the 00 season ended he started heading that way.

Let's not forget "the quick". It may not have been balls to the walls offense like some would have wanted but it had lots of motion.

It wasn't until Rick decided, for whatever reason, that our only option whenever Jermaine was in the game was to go to the slow down drag it out offense that the entire "faster tempo" went to pot, IMO.

Still though I just don't see how anybody can call a 4-4 record a disaster? I would say we just never gave it a chance and at the end of the day the only person we can blame for that is either Walsh or Bird or both.

They either should have consulted Rick and found out that this system would work with him or they should have told O'Neal to tuff it out or they should have seen that the players would not have fit together or something.

My vote is they should have told O'Neal to tuff it out. Well that's what I'm saying on here to be polite anyway I think everybody knows what I would really have wanted them to tell him.

But they didn't, the team fell apart then they made a trade and the team fell apart some more and then Rick got fired.

Maybe it's all for the best, but I still would have liked to have seen them try more motion on the offense (not just running).

For all of the crap the guy has taken on here over the years (some of it deserved some of it not) and for all of the bonehead things he's done as G.M. since taking over I still think "the quick" would work with the right players. We just don't have those players.

indygeezer
06-14-2007, 08:17 AM
This may be OT but didn't the IU teams of the 50's earn the nickname "Hurryin' Hoosiers" by more or less running "the quick"? That would have been under Branch McKrackin (sp?) during the playing days of Bobby Leonard.