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Thread: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

  1. #26
    Member SycamoreKen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    It was telling that the night of the game ESPN had only one play in their Top 10 plays of the day, Billips's fake on Horry. That shows how they don't want to show the excitment on the defensive or offensive end. How the basket by Manu that bounced on the rim 5 times before falling after the foul didn't make it is beyond me.

    I was watching the first half of the Lakers/Celtics game 4 from "84 today on ESPN Classic. The ball movement, emphasis on making the outlet pass to create a break, and the shooting was amazing. Of course each team haveing at least 3 hall of famers on it helps that along. They were playing defense, just not the pushing, hands on type they play today, especially on the perimeter. The Lakers were actually playing a 2/3 zone most of the time. It was fun to watch.

    Of course, this observation comes from someone who would not have watched 5 minutes of the finals if the Spurs hadn't beat the Suns, so take it as you will.

  2. #27
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by SycamoreKen
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    I was watching the first half of the Lakers/Celtics game 4 from "84 today on ESPN Classic. The ball movement, emphasis on making the outlet pass to create a break, and the shooting was amazing. Of course each team haveing at least 3 hall of famers on it helps that along. They were playing defense, just not the pushing, hands on type they play today, especially on the perimeter. The Lakers were actually playing a 2/3 zone most of the time. It was fun to watch.

    The defense in 1984 was no where near as good as it is today, it really is not even in the same league. Defenses were extremely soft back then, they did not pressure the ball, they did not get into people. The ball movement was amazing because the defense allowed it, the shooting was amaxing because there were more open shots.

    I'll grant you the Lakers and Celtics were better offensive teams than the current Pistons and Spurs, by maybe 25%, but the Spurs and Pistons are better defensive teams by close to 75%.

  3. #28
    Administrator Roaming Gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Just this morning....I had to listen to a Sports Talk host on Fox Sports Radio go on and on and on about how the NBA Finals is so unwatchable to the point where he would rather watch the Womens College Softball tourney.

    There are a lot of sheep in this country, and if the media doesn't think it is cool, or bangs on it....Your casual fans will just go do something else because the finals are not the in thing to do.

    I am not a casual fan, and I could give a flying $#$# about how they are entertained, I will be glad when this pre-game and halftime concert **** will be over in all sports.

  4. #29

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

    Because we have a team in Indiana that is really good with defense as well helps us appreciate the defensive battle going on in the Finals. If we were living in Phoenix or Dallas, would we feel the same way? Some people would, but to be honest most people would hate to watch a series like this after seeing Phoenix outscore everyone. Defense just isn't appreciated in this sport where highflyers and scoring reigns supreme. Funny how other sports aren't as bad as the NBA
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

  5. #30
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Name the last "run and gun' team to get to the NBA Finals. Or name the last high scoring team to get to the Finals.

    Have the Kings been there. No . have the Mavs, No. Have the Suns. No.

    The Lakers werre an excellent offensive team, but they really slowed it down and played a very controlled offense. And their defense was underrated, it was pretty good.

  6. #31

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    The defense in 1984 was no where near as good as it is today, it really is not even in the same league. Defenses were extremely soft back then, they did not pressure the ball, they did not get into people. The ball movement was amazing because the defense allowed it, the shooting was amaxing because there were more open shots.

    I'll grant you the Lakers and Celtics were better offensive teams than the current Pistons and Spurs, by maybe 25%, but the Spurs and Pistons are better defensive teams by close to 75%.
    I think this is pretty close to hitting the nail on the head. It seems to me that offense has stagnated, or even gotten worse over the past 20 years, whereas defense, and the allowance of defenses to press harder has made today's NBA defense much more potent than in years past. At some point, something will change, whether it be a change in the way they call the game, or an offense that exploits the way teams currently play defense, or even a fundamental change to the sport. Until then, you must play at least above average defense to hope to win a title.

  7. #32
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Name the last "run and gun' team to get to the NBA Finals. Or name the last high scoring team to get to the Finals.
    A. Showtime
    B. Depends on what you mean by high scoring. The recent Laker teams were among the highest scoring teams in the league. So were the Bulls - even the Bad Boys averaged over 100 ppg. A lot of that fed from their defense but they could definitely score the ball.

    Heck, last year's Laker team averaged close to 100.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  8. #33
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    The league marketed and hyped (overhyped) offensive players (stars) and gave them their own set of rules (extra steps, swallowed whistles on fouls, foul immunity in some cases, etc.). The media hopped on the bandwagon.

    A funny thing happened, some people figured out a way to counter that stuff. Solid, fundamental basketball with an emphassis on defense. Play the stars as honest as possible and shut down the other guys. Make passing difficult. Take away the role players, take away the alley opp passes, take away the behind the back and no look passes by being tough on the passing lanes. Keep the opposition from setting up their offense early in the shot clock. Take the star(s) out of their comfort zones (as much as the refs will allow it). Secondary to this is that you probably have several players who were raised on this 'highlight basketball' who don't have a clue when they need to find other ways to win. They try and rely on their high-flying nature and athletic skills to get to the basket or try and get a rebound and find themselves stymied. The league (and teams) try to make them a star and reality always comes crashing down on them at some point to some degree.

    Then the problem becomes- Nobody told the general sports media about this change or what is happening. A few get it, many don't. The casual fan then hears this is 'bad' basketball because the scoring is down, looks at the score and agrees scoring is down so the media must be right. If you emphasize circus basketball and WWF type 'action' in your sports don't be surprised when a real 'wrestler' actually wins the matches.

    I don't believe college basketball has this problem because teams get marketed more. Sure, they hype individual players BUT those players are in a constant state of turnover. Nobody plays past 4 full seasons on the court. The other thing is you have commentators pointing out fundamental basketball plays and making a point to the casual fans how what you are seeing is 'good stuff' and what to watch for. I think back to Dick Vitale's "Freeze it!" and pointing out things like Brian Sloan's screens and emphasizing them in games he did. Think about his "All Windex team(s)" (or whatever he called it) that were players he highlighted their rebounding ability.

    Not that Dick Vitale is everybody's favorite announcer but the NBA could use someone like that highlighting for (or 'teaching') the media and casual fans that scoring isn't the be all-end all of the NBA game of basketball. Networks like ESPN need to move the spotlight off the 'flashy stuff' and get it back on the 'important' stuff.

    The game doesn't revolve around tongue wagging freethrow line starting dunks, 360deg stuffs, behind the back passes, quick 3's, etc.

    A 3 point basket within the flow of the offense and after a few passes still counts for 3 points BUT it also doesn't necessarily leave your team out of position to rebound or get beaten on transition like a quick (missed) 3 does. It also tends to get you a better look as you keep the defense off balance and moving.

    A layup counts the same as a behind the back dunk.

    Blocking out is still important. Limiting the other team's possessions is a big factor in giving yourself a chance to win.

    There is no crime in using the glass near the basket. It's an easier shot, harder to block and counts the same as a dunk or 'pretty' shot does.

    Perhaps it is time the league itself acknowledge they've done a poor job or marketing 'the game'. You might argue they've done an excellent job of marketing players but IMHO they've taken that too far and to the point of pushing some 'not ready for prime time' players down the throats of fans.

    It's simply gotten to the point that in the pro game casual fans and 'casual sports media' are simply uneducated to the 'team' game. Not that they wouldn't like it if they give it a chance... they simply are looking for and expecting the wrong things.

    They can't take their 'eye off the ball'.

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  9. #34
    Member Knucklehead Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Quote Originally Posted by Eindar
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    At some point, something will change, whether it be a change in the way they call the game, or an offense that exploits the way teams currently play defense, or even a fundamental change to the sport.
    Yep. All things must cycle. Somewhere down the line, perhaps even next year, let's suppose the WWF, oops I meant the nba, refs will be told to tighten up on the foul calls a bit. Teams will be ticked when players start to foul out, but they will change the way they defend slightly which will open up the offense. Or maybe they will do away with the half circle charge zone or maybe they will extend it. There are already threads here which make it obvious that the casual fan and some series ones as well don't understand all the rules or ramifications thereof. Something will happen to adjust the game to make it more "entertaining" for the masses. I was really surprised to see them allow zone defenses, but don't bet on them ever disallowing dunks.

    Can't you see it? It's the tail wagging the dog. The marketing folks, ala Schtern, have taken over and will change the game to suit the lowest common denominator fan base -- the same ones who watch reality tv. It's happened before in this game and others.

  10. #35
    Member Knucklehead Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Bball, just read your post. You are the man.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bball
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    Perhaps it is time the league itself acknowledge they've done a poor job or marketing 'the game'. You might argue they've done an excellent job of marketing players but IMHO they've taken that too far and to the point of pushing some 'not ready for prime time' players down the throats of fans.


    Did anyone else find it annoying that TNT's halftime stats include "Points in the paint" and "Fastbreak Points" rather than Rebounds and Turnovers?

  11. #36
    Member SycamoreKen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is defense a bad word in the NBA

    Did someone order some offense? Well, at least the Spurs brought it tonight. If Ginobili isn't on the cover of every NBA video game next year then something is wrong.

  12. #37

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Name the last "run and gun' team to get to the NBA Finals. Or name the last high scoring team to get to the Finals.

    Have the Kings been there. No . have the Mavs, No. Have the Suns. No.

    The Lakers werre an excellent offensive team, but they really slowed it down and played a very controlled offense. And their defense was underrated, it was pretty good.
    The 2000 Paces got over a 100 a game.

  13. #38

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

    2002 Nets were also pretty high octane.

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