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Thread: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Well the TV ratings are in and game #1 ratings are down 24% from last year game #1.

    I heard all day long yesterday from media member after media member about how "unwatchable" the Spurs v Pistons game #1 was.

    On "Outside the Lines" last night they spent 20 minutes not talking about anything other than how unwatchable this series is and why the ratings are down.

    It is strange because many argue the NBA needs more substance, more defense, more teamwork, more teams and less stars. Well that is exactly what this series gives us. And the ratings are down and the media is whinning like a bunch of 3rd graders.

    I think the defense being played in this series is the best I've ever seen. Why can't fans enjoy that. Why can't they enjoy seeing blocked shots, great help defense, help asnd recover, you know the stuff that wins games. I hope next season the Pacers defense is as good as these two teams. Yes I said it the Pacers defense needs to get better perhaps even more so than their offense.

    One thing that really bugs me is when people suggest that these two teams just aren't very good because the scoring is down. What are they saying the wrong teams are here, that the Spurs and Pistons aren't the two best teams.

    There are so many issues involved in this, I realize I'm all over the place.

    But let me get to this. Why is defense a bad word in the NBA when in Football it is celebrated and in baseball pitching is celebrated.

    Here is a good article on this topic.


    http://www.detnews.com/2005/pistons/...A01-211511.htm


    There was little time or space in this one, and that doesn't figure to change as the series unfolds. Before it even began, there was the typical national hand-wringing about the Pistons' and Spurs' defensive styles. It's as if some observers worry the Pistons' muddy handprints will ruin the NBA's showcase event. What they decline to note is, the muddy handprints are what set Detroit and San Antonio apart from the rest of the league.

    Here's a thought. Maybe if other teams -- hello Miami, hello Phoenix -- relied less on flash and more on mash, they'd show up in these events more often. It's funny because almost every other sport celebrates defense, but in the NBA, it's a nasty word.

    The flash came before the game, when actor Will Smith took the floor for a singing, dancing show. Oh, there was some flash during the game, like when Billups dribbled toward the hoop, faked a behind-the-back pass to freeze defender Robert Horry, then swept in for the layup. That was an ohh-ahh moment, a classic big-game play by Billups, the reigning Finals MVP who tried desperately to keep the Pistons in the game.

    Most of the moments from both teams were more eww-ahh, unless you crave blocked shots and missed shots. The low score couldn't have pleased viewers who prefer their basketball as some sort of athletic ballet. This definitely was not ballet. This was more like square-dancing, in clogs.

    The Spurs can do that to a team, though, make a guy just disappear. Before the Pistons were the defensive scourge of the NBA, it was San Antonio's role, winning the title in 1999 and 2003.

  2. #2
    Harmonica
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    I blame it all on MTV.

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    After watching the first half of Game 1, I thought that the only people who were going to stick with this series are people in the San Antonio and Detroit area, Pistons and Spurs fans from other parts of the world, and NBA fans. That's it.

    IMO, I think defense is a bad word in EVERY sport. I'd rather watch the Colts play than the Ravens. I'd rather watch a 10-9 baseball game than a 2-1 baseball game. So it's not just basketball.

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by shags
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    After watching the first half of Game 1, I thought that the only people who were going to stick with this series are people in the San Antonio and Detroit area, Pistons and Spurs fans from other parts of the world, and NBA fans. That's it.

    IMO, I think defense is a bad word in EVERY sport. I'd rather watch the Colts play than the Ravens. I'd rather watch a 10-9 baseball game than a 2-1 baseball game. So it's not just basketball.

    True fans of each sport would also enjoy the 2-1 baseball games and the Pistons vs Spurs kind of basketball games. I do enjoy the defensive battles because I am a fan of the game of basketball and baseball, not the hype and hoopla around it.

    I guess I am not a true fan of football because I like the high scoring, passing kind of football games.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    The reason why Defense is a bad word in sports is that it slows down the tempo of the games.

    But that doesn't mean you can't have fast break offense and good defense. The Nets of a couple years ago had good defense and fast break offense. You just have to get the right players.

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by pacerwaala
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    True fans of each sport would also enjoy the 2-1 baseball games and the Pistons vs Spurs kind of basketball games. I do enjoy the defensive battles because I am a fan of the game of basketball and baseball, not the hype and hoopla around it.

    I guess I am not a true fan of football because I like the high scoring, passing kind of football games.
    Exactly. But if you're trying to draw in the casual fan, a Pistons and Spurs NBA Final isn't going to do it. And even the casual sports fan who may have tuned in to give it a chance is probably going to be turned away after the first half display both teams put on.

    Of course, I consider myself a true basketball fan, but my favorite teams of all time were those Loyola Marymount teams of the late 80s, early 90s. I loved watching them play, and those types of teams were the ones I grew up watching.

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    3ptmiller
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    This proofs that regular people only watch the NBA because of the Action, Alley-Oops, MJ stylish players.... People who really like basketball or are into basketball they appreciete Defense, thats like the most Important thing in basketball!!!!!! I mean, you can be the worst player on earth, but if you manage to stop your opponent then all you need is to hit your shot once in a while to win the game... like Rommie said "The reason why Defense is a bad word in sports is that it slows down the tempo of the games"... So true, but that is REAL basketball!

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by pacerwaala
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    True fans of each sport would also enjoy the 2-1 baseball games and the Pistons vs Spurs kind of basketball games. I do enjoy the defensive battles because I am a fan of the game of basketball and baseball, not the hype and hoopla around it.

    I guess I am not a true fan of football because I like the high scoring, passing kind of football games.
    If you are a fan, you're a fan.

    You can be a wishy-washy fan, you can be a casual fan, you can be a bandwagon fan, you can be a hard cord fan, or you can be a fanatic fan, etc. All are true fans, just to differing degrees.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    I would think then the "college basketball fan" would enjoy this series. What are the many reasons why the college fan enjoys the college game more than the NBA. Don't they say there is no defense played in the NBA, that the players don't play hard, that they don't play a team game.

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by 3ptmiller
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    This proofs that regular people only watch the NBA because of the Action, Alley-Oops, MJ stylish players.... People who really like basketball or are into basketball they appreciete Defense, thats like the most Important thing in basketball!!!!!! I mean, you can be the worst player on earth, but if you manage to stop your opponent then all you need is to hit your shot once in a while to win the game... like Rommie said "The reason why Defense is a bad word in sports is that it slows down the tempo of the games"... So true, but that is REAL basketball!
    There it is.

    Also, the NBA spent the last 15 years marketing players over teams. And the players they market are folks like Jordan, Vince, Lebron, etc. Players who are mostly known for offense (no matter how good they are on the other side of the ball. The fan tunes in to see Vince or Lebron make a huge dunk - not to see Nazr Mohammed rotate on the weak side to pressure the post pass.

    The NBA spent a lot of time and $$$$ to draw in people who don't know basketball, don't know what sound, fundamental basketball is - but they know what a dunk is and they like it.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    I think that while defense is very important in todays NBA mainly because of players showing off it is not the only thing that is important.

    What else is lost in today's game? How about shooting? Passing? Moving without the ball? Shot selection? Running the break? These are basic skills not being shown the right way in today's game. Yeah sure guys shoot the ball, but they shoot alot of bricks. Players pass the ball but they pass it like this is a AND1 tour. Players don't tend to move without the ball, they just stand and watch. Players run the break, but they have to make ESPN's top 10 plays to run the break.

    While I do enjoy watching great defense I would like to see some great offense. I think that great defenseive teams can be running teams if they put there minds to it. It's like coaches think that the only way to be a great defenseive team is slow down your offense and eat up the shot clock. That's to bad too because when you can defend and rebound you can get alot of easy buckets.

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Because now days everyone wants spectacle instead of substance. Defense is the antithesis to the flashy dunks that you see on SportsCenter. It shuts down what is truly important to society today, spectacle. If there was a way to make defense fashionable then perhaps they would market it as such. However, Since there isn't Defense will always be considered boring, and slow.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Maybe people don't watch it because the media is calling it "unwatchable".

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    One other thing, very few people actually watch very many NBA games. They watch highlights and think every play during a game is like the highlights, and then when they do watch an actual game like the NBA Finals, they get turned off quickly because hey, wait a minute you mean there aren't slam dunks every play.

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    Member indytoad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    One other thing, very few people actually watch very many NBA games. They watch highlights and think every play during a game is like the highlights, and then when they do watch an actual game like the NBA Finals, they get turned off quickly because hey, wait a minute you mean there aren't slam dunks every play.
    A friend of mine, who has no interest in anything other than extreme sports, once said almost exactly the same thing about football.

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    foretaz
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    the reasons the ratings are down are because the 'Lake show' and the accompanying drama isnt in the finals...no shaq...no kobe...no rape trial...no phil jackson....etc..

    no drama...nothing to sensationalize....just basketball....no ratings....basketball purists will watch....others will tune into something they deem more entertaining...

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    The reason defense isn't liked is because ESPN only wants to show dunks. They don't show anything else.
    Sorry, I didn't know advertising was illegal here. Someone call the cops!

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen
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    If you are a fan, you're a fan.

    You can be a wishy-washy fan, you can be a casual fan, you can be a bandwagon fan, you can be a hard cord fan, or you can be a fanatic fan, etc. All are true fans, just to differing degrees.

    Maybe I should have used the word "purist" instead of "fan". I am sure there are no "casual purists" and "bandwagon purists"

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    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonica
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    I blame it all on MTV.
    I blame it all on ESPN.

    They could have easily put together a highlight package of all the blocks, but nooo. All they do is show every dunk and Manu play, which makes it look like the game was in the low hundred's.
    Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    I hope next season the Pacers defense is as good as these two teams. Yes I said it the Pacers defense needs to get better perhaps even more so than their offense.
    I agree completely, but I'm not sure that the defense can get to the level of the Pistons or Spurs without an unpgrade in team speed, which would also allow "opportunity offense" that we never seem to generate.

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    Member Alabama-Redneck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by foretaz
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    the reasons the ratings are down are because the 'Lake show' and the accompanying drama isnt in the finals...no shaq...no kobe...no rape trial...no phil jackson....etc..

    no drama...nothing to sensationalize....just basketball....no ratings....basketball purists will watch....others will tune into something they deem more entertaining...
    What do you mean "No Drama" ?? As Magic said "Sometimes, I just miss the dead bodies". With the Pistons and their fans around, there just may be some dead bodies before the series is over.


    I would rather be the hammer than the nail

  22. #22
    foretaz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alabama-Redneck
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    What do you mean "No Drama" ?? As Magic said "Sometimes, I just miss the dead bodies". With the Pistons and their fans around, there just may be some dead bodies before the series is over.


    yea...you get an 11/19 situation in game 3 and watch the ratings go thru the roof.....

    in fact i wonder if abc will be desperate enuff to go after that potential angle at some point....think stern might have something to say about it if they do...

    the league screwed up....stern screwed up....all he needed to do was bring ron back for the playoffs and they would have had their ratings frenzy....they get very little sympathy from me on this one....

    they chose to let the whole thing simmer and explode again next season-more than likely on thanksgiving day....they sacrificed their postseason of sorts for a hooker next season....

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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    UB, I think the reason is most people do not understand defense.

    Casual fans only know that the team that puts the ball in the hoop the most, wins.

    I love good defense because it requires good offense to beat it. But what do I know, I like Hockey and Soccer also.

    Casual fans do not want to understand the game, they just want entertainment and scoring provides entertainment for them.

    If their team wins, great. If their team loses, they will root for another team that is winning. It's human nature or in other words "make it easy for me and I will stick around".

    I would rather be the hammer than the nail

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    Member Knucklehead Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by Alabama-Redneck
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    UB, I think the reason is most people do not understand defense.

    Casual fans only know that the team that puts the ball in the hoop the most, wins.

    I love good defense because it requires good offense to beat it. But what do I know, I like Hockey and Soccer also.

    Casual fans do not want to understand the game, they just want entertainment and scoring provides entertainment for them.

    If their team wins, great. If their team loses, they will root for another team that is winning. It's human nature or in other words "make it easy for me and I will stick around".

    I think you got it. It's the symplifying of everything, the "dumbing down" of basketball, just like the dumbing down of a lot of things -- tv, newspapers in particular. Make it easy to understand, make it entertaining, make money. For those not interested in the nba finals, there's always extreme dodgeball. For the rest of us, tune in after the pre-game hocus pocus, turn off the sound and enjoy.

  25. #25
    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Which came first, the offense or the hype about the offense?

    In the pregame show, Coach Hubie talked a lot about defense and the value of defense. It seemed as if they were trying to counteract years of "superstar good, defense boring" hype in the span of 10 minutes.

    I could have expected the rest of the media to talk how boring it is.

    Hey, maybe they should just call it "H-O-R-S-E" and disallow defense completely.
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