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View Full Version : Which would you rather have, a cerebral player or an athletic player?



Will Galen
04-09-2008, 05:04 PM
My question is which would you rather have, someone with a high basketball IQ, or someone that could 'jump out of the gym.'

I'm talking cerebral player vs athletic player wherein the athletic player was the obviously better player, but the cerebral player was a good player himself.

I'd rather have the cerebral player because I thinks 'smart's' can take you further.

I can't come up with a basketball story, but as an example of what I'm talking about I watched a movie one time where there were two guys fighting with swords and one was clearly the better swordfighter, but he died in the end because the other swordfighter did something unexpected and grabbed the better swordfighters sword in his barehand and held it.

Another question. Which players in this years coming draft are thought to have high basketball IQ's? I would say Love, and Augustine, but who else?

BPump33
04-09-2008, 05:08 PM
I think this could easily turn into a Dunleavy vs. Shawne Williams debate. I'd rather have the cerebral guy anyday, but to each his own. Not to mention I say that, but man having Josh Smith would sure be entertaining after seeing him last night.

Edit: By no means did I mean anything racial about Dunleavy/Williams. I just think it's obvious that Mike is very fundamentally sound, kind of like a coach on the floor......and Shawne has all the athleticism in the world, but looks lost at times......

Hicks
04-09-2008, 05:09 PM
An idiot who can jump is no better than a genius stiff. So neither.

count55
04-09-2008, 05:12 PM
Well, this is kind of like the question:

"In spring training, two guys run to first base in exactly the same time. The first has great form, the second is all knees and elbows, appearing to be on the verge of falling the whole way. Which guy do you take?"

The answer to that is you take the guy who looked awful, because he'll be that much faster when you teach him form.

Based on that, you take the athlete. The problem is that so few guys learn anymore. I think that's an indictment of both the players and the coaching system.

I think I'd probably lean more towards taking the athlete because you should have more control over the ability to teach him the cerebral part of the game, where as you're never going to get the cerebral player to be taller, faster, or jump higher.

Of course, we're just talking about one player here, so the real question is "What does the rest of the team look like?" That would go a long way towards the final decision.

For the Pacers, right now, I think I'd take a cerebral player, but that's largely because I think we need a Point Guard to run the team.

tdubb03
04-09-2008, 05:20 PM
I'd take the athletic guy. Basketball IQ to a degree can be learned and coached up, athleticism can't.

duke dynamite
04-09-2008, 05:21 PM
Reggie Miller is a great example of a player who not only knew the game, but he could use his knowledge to play the game...well. We need someone who does know the game, but can play. I'm not saying we need another Reggie, but someone who can harness the mental ability and use it to his advantage.

Kofi
04-09-2008, 05:25 PM
Impossible to say without knowing the skill level of each player. I'd take whomever was the more productive of the two.

Rajah Brown
04-09-2008, 06:06 PM
Using Kenny Williams (for those who remember him) as an example
of a kid who could 'jump out of the gym', but didn't have a clue how
to play, I'd take the other guy.

BillS
04-09-2008, 06:07 PM
I'm not saying we need another Reggie,

Boy, oh boy, do we need another Reggie.

duke dynamite
04-09-2008, 06:14 PM
Boy, oh boy, do we need another Reggie.
Another Reggie would be niace, but you can never re-create Captain Clutch.

ajbry
04-09-2008, 06:19 PM
Cerebral. Dudes like Ndubi Ebi, James White, and currently Gerald Green simply don't give you anything because the game is foreign to them.

Give me a player who's underwhelming but can still produce something.

andreialta
04-09-2008, 06:23 PM
Basketball IQ is something i think is never thought. it is learned simply through years of playing the game and experience. I believe that no matter how many times you teach a low "IQ athletic basketeer" they would learn but only to an extent as more of it is instincts. guys like Steve Nash who aren't that athletic but have superb Basketball IQ. They often see the play before it happens and i think this is a gift just as much as an athletic ability.

so i take CEREBRAL

ajbry
04-09-2008, 06:24 PM
Basketball IQ is something i think is never thought. it is learned simply through years of playing the game and experience. I believe that no matter how many times you teach a low "IQ athletic basketeer" guys like Steve Nash who aren't that athletic but have superb Basketball IQ. They often see the play before it happens and i think this is a gift just as much as an athletic ability.

so i take CEREBRAL

Steve Nash is incredibly athletic and coordinated.

duke dynamite
04-09-2008, 06:25 PM
Cerebral. Dudes like Ndubi Ebi, James White, and currently Gerald Green simply don't give you anything because the game is foreign to them.

Give me a player who's underwhelming but can still produce something.
After game 2 of the season this year vs. the Heat, I was on the Kevin Lee call-in show and told him that we never had a legit "superstar". We had Reggie, but I believe that he was severely underrated by the media and the league.

I believe that this still stands true to this day. We do have a little bit of talent, but some goes unnoticed.

Gamble1
04-09-2008, 06:39 PM
Steve Nash is incredibly athletic and coordinated.

I bet you he is not as athletic as half the pg in this league. Nash says himself he just works harder than other pgs.

For me its all in your willingness to work at your game. Athletic or not if you don't work at your game then you'll waste what ever God given talent you had.

This topic is alittle misleading like your born with a finite amount of athleticism or brains. In either case you can overcome them if you just get in the gym and put some work in.

Peck
04-09-2008, 06:51 PM
My question is which would you rather have, someone with a high basketball IQ, or someone that could 'jump out of the gym.'

I'm talking cerebral player vs athletic player wherein the athletic player was the obviously better player, but the cerebral player was a good player himself.

I'd rather have the cerebral player because I thinks 'smart's' can take you further.

I can't come up with a basketball story, but as an example of what I'm talking about I watched a movie one time where there were two guys fighting with swords and one was clearly the better swordfighter, but he died in the end because the other swordfighter did something unexpected and grabbed the better swordfighters sword in his barehand and held it.
Another question. Which players in this years coming draft are thought to have high basketball IQ's? I would say Love, and Augustine, but who else?

But was Rob Roy really that much smarter? Or did he use his superior physical ability to win that sword match?

CableKC
04-09-2008, 07:11 PM
If we are to stick with JO'Bs Team Defense that requires an actual understanding of where to be and what to do at a certain time on the defensive end....then I would much rather have a Basketball IQ guy then an athletic guy.

There is no amount atheticsm that is going to help a player if he doesn't understand where he needs to be when we execute our defense.

However, if we are talking about a "smart Basketball" player that is slow as molasses and doesn't possess any physical skills....then as Mal pointed out...I would want neither. Both would be liablities on the court.

d_c
04-09-2008, 07:41 PM
Steve Nash is incredibly athletic and coordinated.

I don't think he's a super athlete in terms of running jumping, but he's quick with the ball. I'm sure a lot of guys can beat him running up and down the court, but how many can do it dribbling a ball while eluding defenders?

He's also got incredible balance. You here this term used from MMA fighters all the time. He can get bumped while he's dribbling but still have the balance and coordination to put up a fadeaway jumper, keep dribbling or make a pass.

Bird was another guy with an absolutely insane level of balance.

Infinite MAN_force
04-09-2008, 07:42 PM
It depends on individual circumstances.

This team needs some more athleticism, so I lean toward athletic players. Im all for smart guys, Diener and Dunleavy are both high IQ guys but their defensive shortcomings (due to a lack of lateral quickness) is a big part of our problem. The last thing we need on this team is anymore defensive liabilites.

Ideally you want both, but nobody wants an athletic freak with no skills or smarts, and nobody wants a genius with no athletic ability who cant defend or drive on anybody. Balance it out.

I see the argument for the athelete because some "smarts" can be learned, thats why I think attitude needs to be taken into account. An athalete who is a known hardworker that is raw skillwise is an easier risk to take than one with questionable character. This is one reason I want nothing to do with Deandre Jordan.

Will Galen
04-09-2008, 08:01 PM
But was Rob Roy really that much smarter? Or did he use his superior physical ability to win that sword match?

Well the other guy didn't in turn grab Roy's sword with his bare hand, and got perforated, which in turn let his life's blood run out, so I would say Roy was at least the quicker thinker. I love unexpected endings like that! When the good guy wins of course.

BlueNGold
04-09-2008, 08:10 PM
I don't consider Shawne Williams particularly athletic...but I could be in the minority there.

As for cerebral or athletic...I would go with cerebral for bigger players and athletic for smaller ones...except PG.

If you are small, it does not matter how cerebral you are because you will not play in the NBA. If you are big, you can play one of the less athletic positions at PF and/or C and do just fine.

BTW, if you have no athletic or cerebral ability whatsoever, you will not play in the NBA.

If I had to choose between the two as the most important...I would say cerebral. IMO, for 3 of the 5 positions cerebral is more important. No question that's true for the PG. PF and C are also positions that do not require the greatest athlete in the world. For example, there are many bigs more athletic than Duncan and Dirk, but not so many as good.

ajbry
04-09-2008, 09:07 PM
I don't think he's a super athlete in terms of running jumping, but he's quick with the ball. I'm sure a lot of guys can beat him running up and down the court, but how many can do it dribbling a ball while eluding defenders?

He's also got incredible balance. You here this term used from MMA fighters all the time. He can get bumped while he's dribbling but still have the balance and coordination to put up a fadeaway jumper, keep dribbling or make a pass.

Bird was another guy with an absolutely insane level of balance.

Running and jumping is just one facet of athleticism though - explosiveness.

http://khondorssportsblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/defining-athleticism-in-the-nba/

Good read, mentions Bird just as you did.

Jose Slaughter
04-09-2008, 09:15 PM
Using Kenny Williams (for those who remember him) as an example
of a kid who could 'jump out of the gym', but didn't have a clue how
to play, I'd take the other guy.

Williams was the first player that came to mind about half way thru the first post.

A player with a high BB IQ can make the athletic player better.

Anthem
04-09-2008, 09:31 PM
Yeah, I'm going with "neither." I don't want the smart stiff or the mentally-absent athletic freak.

Both of those guys are going to be 15th men. I want the guy who has both of those.

maragin
04-09-2008, 09:50 PM
At a distance, I'd say Cerebral > Athletic to me. Both are really vague terms, and can be applied differently. I think a breakdown by position is valid, as I'd rather have a cerebral PG and an athletic freak SF.

I would prefer a Cerebral coach.

Young
04-09-2008, 09:52 PM
Yeah, I'm going with "neither." I don't want the smart stiff or the mentally-absent athletic freak.

Both of those guys are going to be 15th men. I want the guy who has both of those.

I agree with you.

I don't expect to have someone jump through the roof but you want players who can stay in front of their man on defense.

And you don't expect to have a genius at every position but you want someone who knows how to play the game to an extent. I don't mean to be cruel but if Stromile Swift and Michael Pietrus are starters for you then you won't be winning to many games.

Roaming Gnome
04-09-2008, 10:19 PM
I'd like to think that the cerebral player with "decent" athleticism is going to give me more at the end of his career then the guy that just used his athletic ability to get around those pesky fundementals.

joeyd
04-09-2008, 10:26 PM
The athletic player as a young-un, but the cerebral player if an aging veteran. Hopefully the athletic player turns into the cerebral aging veteran.

Anthem
04-09-2008, 11:05 PM
I would prefer a Cerebral coach.
So THAT'S our problem!

MagicRat
04-10-2008, 12:35 AM
I say we get one of each and try to take over the world.......
http://chaos.able-towers.com/%7Emagicrat/benderandthebrain.jpg

duke dynamite
04-10-2008, 02:32 AM
lol

Naptown_Seth
04-10-2008, 03:44 PM
I think you have guys in both camps that can make headway, but if you think you can teach guys to pick things up quicker and read stuff on the fly you are crazy.

There's learning repeated behaviors and systems and then there's smarts on the fly. The guys that play smart in HS/college tend to be guys that just pick things up quicker.

Those guys will find those surprise open spots on the floor and will be the ones fixing rotation problems by other players.


BTW, Dunleavy isn't always that smart and Shawne isn't always that dumb. So they aren't a perfect comparison really. Mike makes plenty of dumb mistakes and doesn't always read the floor on the fly great.

Don't confuse great learned fundamentals with pure cerebral play. Shawne is lost in the system but often reads things on the fly better than other guys, including Danny.

And of course confidence and other personality traits also play into this. Knowing what to do and feeling confident enough in your knowledge to act on it are two different things. Thus the "light switch" effect which is often more about confidence than "getting it". What you "get" is the awareness that what you think you should be doing is actually the right thing and something you can actually accomplish.

Kstat
04-10-2008, 03:51 PM
I don't get why we have to choose extremes.

Nobody wants either kind of player. It's a "death not an option" question where there really isn't a good answer.

BillS
04-10-2008, 04:44 PM
Cake... or Death?"

Anthem
04-10-2008, 10:50 PM
I'd like to think that the cerebral player with "decent" athleticism is going to give me more at the end of his career then the guy that just used his athletic ability to get around those pesky fundementals.
Fundamentals isn't the same as "cerebral."

AesopRockOn
04-10-2008, 10:59 PM
Cake... or Death?"

Can I eat Death too? :D