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Thread: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

  1. #1
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    Isiah and DW were widely criticized for putting a Pacers team together that was an athletic team where players were capable of playing several positions. Many Pacers fans argued that it was the wrong approach, that players need to only play one position to only fit into a certain role.

    Maybe DW was ahead of his time, maybe he tried to build the perfect team for todays NBA.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...e.31b6cc1.html
    Offense not a thing of the past
    Still plenty of defense, but NBA's adjustments have given league life

    By DAVID MOORE / The Dallas Morning News


    My timing can be a bit off at times.

    A glance at my stock portfolio would confirm that.

    So why choose today, less than 48 hours removed from an NBA Finals game in which neither team cracked 100 points, to talk about how the league is undergoing an offensive renaissance?

    Because watching that 90-80 Mavericks victory was a reminder that we are seeing fewer and fewer of these games in the playoffs.

    Scoring averages and shooting percentages are up across the board. Teams are averaging 10.2 points more in these playoffs than they did only two years ago.

    Miami didn't show it Thursday, but the Heat averaged 97.5 points and shot 48.9 percent from the field to work its way through the more methodical Eastern Conference.

    "Our coaches are like chameleons," said Stu Jackson, the NBA's senior vice president of basketball operations. "They will adapt to whatever rules we have.

    "But we've gotten positive feedback in terms of the direction of the game and the way it's being played. I think the game's in a good place right now."

    It's in a lot better place than it was a few years ago.

    The pedestrian, often numbing pace of the game was a major concern five years ago when commissioner David Stern began to have discussions with Jackson on the subject. With input from Phoenix chairman Jerry Colangelo and others, the league put together a committee to explore solutions.

    "My major concern had to do with the sort of roughness of the game, but more than that, my abiding sense that isolation seemed designed to hide the talents of a good percentage of our players," Stern said Friday at his annual Finals news conference. "We had to try to do something that was better than that.

    "You put one guy in the corner and four guys in the parking lot and that was our NBA basketball."

    The problem wasn't defense. No one wanted to legislate against solid defensive principles. But Stern and others expressed dissatisfaction with how the rules on the books were warped, how a perception developed that the game would become whatever the coaches wanted.

    The committee cleaned up the rules to give players more freedom on the perimeter and to open up the lane. This put a premium on speed and gave the stars more space to be stars.

    "Scoring was not our original intent," Jackson said. "It was to help the aesthetics of the game, to get a more free-flowing game and to eliminate one-on-one and two-on-two basketball.

    "Also back then, the art of fast-break basketball had started to disappear. That was really our focus. The byproduct of the rules changes, luckily, was that scoring actually increased."

    Miami coach Pat Riley said what you have now are rules "that allow you to attack, attack, attack with perimeter guys."

    Former NBA player and coach Billy Cunningham called Stern earlier this week to tell him he thoroughly enjoyed watching the playoffs and thought that for the first time, coaches were putting their five best players on the court regardless of position.

    Small ball is the popular phrase. But what the game is about today is versatility. It's about having a player who can excel at more than one position and opening up the floor by creating mismatches.

    It's what the Mavericks do. Coach Avery Johnson loves the team's perimeter quickness and length and talks about the Jason Terry-Devin Harris backcourt in terms of being cornerbacks on defense and wide receivers on offense.

    "I think you need that in basketball right now," Johnson said. "You need guys that can cover around the perimeter. You need guys that have legs and stay pretty fresh throughout the game.

    "That was critical with the way we constructed this team."

    And that's why I'm thinking you won't see another 90-80 affair Sunday night.

    E-mail dmoore@dallasnews.com


    ON THE RISE
    Postseason scoring averages and shooting percentages over the last three years.

    Season Avg. Pct.
    2004 88.0 .421
    2005 97.1 .448
    2006 98.2 .460

  2. #2
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    Am I the only person who remembers the 90's Bulls?

    Why do we feel as though this is some new unseen offense that has never occured before? Since when did slashing guards & small forwards not rule the NBA?

    Even teams that did not have superstar slashers still had way above average players who could create their own shots.

    Both Parker & Ginobli for the Spurs. Billups & Hamilton for the Pistons. Kobe for Gods sake before them & of course we then are back in the M.J. years.

    If anything there may be more of a focus now on shooting which has been missing from the NBA since the early 90's.

    To me, the NBA always goes in cycles. It's this way now but in 4-7 years from now we might be reading about how Bynum, Oden & Harrison are revolutionizing the game.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    I think the writer might overemphasize the multipositional aspect.

    What is really important is QUICKNESS for the position that you do play. When you are too quick for guys your own height and you have some offensive moves, he can thrive if your coach implements a system to take advantage of that.

    It doesn't matter that much IMO if you can play 3 positions or not. Diaw can, and Josh Howard can. Nowitsky is 85% a PF, Nash 100% a PG, Wade 95% a SG, Shaq 100% a center, MArion is 60-40 PF/SF, Kobe 95% a SG, Iverson 100% a SG in a PG's body, etc.

    They all cannot be guarded well by people their own height because they are too quick for that.

    I doubt there is a much different percentage of true multipositional players now vs. in the past. That's always been a benefit. With the new rules enforcement on (Not) guarding the perimeter, SPEED kills.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

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    Member larry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    It doesn't hurt that Dallas has "The Jet". He is my pick as the NBA's best shooter.
    I know Peja might beat him in a game of horse, but during an actual 4th quarter of an NBA Finals game? The speed and physical nature of the NBA game makes Terry my favorite shooter right now. I love his mental toughness. He reminds me of Rip two years ago when the Pistons won the NBA title, but w/ more range. I know Dirk opens alot of things up for Terry, but honestly that kid has been a bad mofo ever since Arizona beat UK in the NCAA title game. They had Terry w/ the high socks, Bibby, and Miles Simon as their big three. I think they had Arenas too, but I was drunk during the game so hell, they could've of had Eazy-E.
    1 - 2, Tinsley's coming for you.
    3 - 4, You're not a team no more.
    5 - 6, He's gonna plead the 5th.
    7 - 8, He's gonna stay out late.




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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    Peck, weren't you one that was really critical of Donnie for trying to put together a team of interchangable players, players that could play multiple positons and weren't yopu very critical of the whole idea of just putting your 5 best players on the floor regardless of positions.

    I realize there are probably 5 or 6 different issues that could be discussed related to this general topic, but didn't you hate the idea players who didn't have defined roles

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    Member larry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Peck, weren't you one that was really critical of Donnie for trying to put together a team of interchangable players, players that could play multiple positons and weren't yopu very critical of the whole idea of just putting your 5 best players on the floor regardless of positions.

    I realize there are probably 5 or 6 different issues that could be discussed related to this general topic, but didn't you hate the idea players who didn't have defined roles
    I'm not Peck, but I like the idea of Pistons or Spurs team wise. I liked the Finals Pacer team the best since I've been alive.
    Reggie - Outside threat
    Smits - Inside threat
    Jackson - Ball handler/Passer
    Davis - Rebounding/Trash Cleanup/Enforcer
    Rose - All around/3 Scorer

    I know Rose actually lead the team in scoring by like a 10th of a point, but that was his real role.

    I never worried about the Mavs, but Cuban puts alot of $ into the team & tries a differant combo every year. He just got one that is working well this time. The Jet & the new head coach are a giant reason. A guy like Stack as a 6th man helps. He has the skills of... oh I don't know maybe an Al Harrington would you say?

    My answer in short would be w/ our budget and knowing we have over-paid alot lately, I like a more defined role. Not guys playing differant positions.
    1 - 2, Tinsley's coming for you.
    3 - 4, You're not a team no more.
    5 - 6, He's gonna plead the 5th.
    7 - 8, He's gonna stay out late.




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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck
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    Peck, weren't you one that was really critical of Donnie for trying to put together a team of interchangable players, players that could play multiple positons and weren't yopu very critical of the whole idea of just putting your 5 best players on the floor regardless of positions.

    I realize there are probably 5 or 6 different issues that could be discussed related to this general topic, but didn't you hate the idea players who didn't have defined roles
    Yes, I was & still am very critical of putting together a team of combo players.

    Did you forget that the Mavericks have not won the title yet & that the team they are facing has very definate role players on thier team?

    Did you confuse Shaq with a point guard? Or maybe you had Udonis Haslem mixed up with a shooting guard? Or was it Jayson Williams as the power forward that boggled your mind?

    Actually is Dallas really that far away from having roles? Are Dampier & Diop anything other than centers?

    Terry may not be a point guard ala Jamaal Tinsley but is he really that differant than Billups or Parker or any of the other point guards who shoot first?

    I think your problem is that you have watched Rick Carlisle basketball for so long that you have forgotten that there is an entire world of offensive schemes that work out there.

    Here is a shocker for you, throwing into the post with a big dominate center still works as well.

    The game of basketball has a lot of options you can choose to use when playing on the offensive side.

    Your just so used to our defense begining with our offense that watching other teams has bamboozled you.

    I am seeing nothing new now that I didn't see in the 70's, 80's & 90's. Dr. J tore the league up with his ability to slash, Michael Jordan did the same thing & I guess you have missed seeing Allen Iverson over the past few years as well (although I certainly can understand why you would put that out of your mind).

  8. #8
    The Last Great Pacer BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    Sure, the rules have changed in a way that benefits the slashers...but the supposedly "new NBA" is a bit over-hyped. For example, the Mavs are only in the finals because:

    1) They finally have an interior presence with 2 legit NBA centers. This is probably the most important reason. Without 2 decent NBA centers, the Mavs would be in trouble against Shaq...and would not have got by San Antonio or Detroit. Also, at a couple key points in the series, Diop was crucial to slowing down Phoenix's slashing game. Also, if Shaq were in his prime, this series would be over even if the rules did favor the slashers.

    2) They are now capable of playing some defense (e.g. held Miami to 80). Sure, this is related to better quickness, but I think length, interior presence, a defensive mindset and Avery Johnson's experience with the Spurs have more to do with this change.

    3) Dirk's approach to the game has changed. He has taken his game up 2 levels an no longer settles for the outide shot. Sure, he is going to the rim now, but he is certainly no slasher.

    4) Dirk has a better supporting cast. Admittedly, this is partially due to better athletes/slashers like Howard, Terry and Stack...but this factor is not nearly enough to lift Dallas up to where it is today.

    Let's not confuse athleticism with talent. MJ won far more games on talent than his ability to slash to the bucket. Jamison Brewer is a freak athlete, but is virtually worthless in the NBA. Adam Morrison who supposedly would not be able to get his shot off due to being slow, just ripped Rodney Carney (a freak athlete) 1 on 1 and may be drafted #1 into this "new NBA". Things have changed less than you think.

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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold
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    ...Let's not confuse athleticism with talent...
    I believe youhave hit upon the most important characteristics of the so-called "versatile" or "multi-positional" player.

    I think we've had a few threads about this. Unclebuck's thread regarding "quickness" was one.

    But what it boils down to, from my perspective anyway, is that I would want a few players that are capable of playing a single position. For example, it would make no sense to play David Harrison at PF; he's a center and that's all he will ever be.

    Jermaine, on the other hand, plays best at PF, but does a fine job at center as well. Obviously, he is a more versatile player than Harrison. Likewise, Peja and Danny are natural SFs, but both can give us minutes at SG and PF. And the list goes on.

    What I believe every coach wants is versatility among his players. That's what gives him the ability to get players like Peja and Danny on the floor at the same time. And in today's game versatility is absolutely essential.

    So, what lends itself to the versatility that all the coaches want? Certainly knowledge and well-rounded skills (or talent) is high on the list.

    But all the knowledge and skills in the world won't enable a player like Danny to defend not only SFs, but also most PFs and quite a few SGs as well. That takes athleticism, specifically a decent degree of quickness. The quickness to help overcome the superior strength of opposing PFs and the quickness to even have a chance of keeping up with opposing SGs.

    Although it is true that we've always had Kobes, Michaels and AIs in the league, I believe that most coaches want a greater number of versatile players on their rosters in today's game... and I think that the average roster today indeed contains a greater number of versatile players.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    I think two things have changed.

    1) The rules favoring the quicker player and making going small more advantages than it was.

    2) The improved athleticism translating into greater versitility of role players. Sure Magic and Jordan and other greats were great where ever they played. But we haven't seen so much versitility among the role players.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    What Donnie Walsh advocated long before Isiah became coach was putting 5 players on the floor that were all about 6'9, could shoot, pass, and handle the ball. I believe a team of 5 Magic Johnson's would be his ultimate team.

    Which team would be the best, 5 Shaqs, 5 Steve Nashs, or 5 Magic Johnsons? Who would win a seven game series? I think it would be no contest, the 5 Magic Johnsons would prevail.

    And how would a team of Magic Johnsons do against a traditional team of all stars? Again I believe the Magic Johnson team would prevail.

    I believe a multi dimensional team would always beat a traditional team.

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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    The problem with the Pacers teams those years is they had a coach who absolutely sucked.

    The following year, when they had a competent coach and the same players for the most part, they won 61 games.

    The only thing wrong with that team is a major foundation of it - and one of its most versatile pieces (probably the only truly versatile player) - was built on quicksand known as Ron Artest.

    Or maybe it was built with a deadly virus which, after an initial acute infection would remain in the system for a long time afterward causing chronic illness.

    On another note, while it's nice to point at building a team with versatile players who can do a lot of things, that isn't how it usually works. Usually what happens is you find out a player is capable of doing more than one thing well - then you utilize him. Nobody would argue against having a Bird, Michael or Magic. The question is finding him - and in each of those cases we're talking a top 5 draft pick. It's hard enough excelling at doing one thing in the NBA. There aren't many players who can do everything.

    I'm not disagreeing with the article because the NBA has always been about utilizing advantageous matchups. I just don't see where it's a huge change from what's always been going on.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

  13. #13
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maybe Donnie Walsh and Isiah were correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen
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    What Donnie Walsh advocated long before Isiah became coach was putting 5 players on the floor that were all about 6'9, could shoot, pass, and handle the ball. I believe a team of 5 Magic Johnson's would be his ultimate team.

    Which team would be the best, 5 Shaqs, 5 Steve Nashs, or 5 Magic Johnsons? Who would win a seven game series? I think it would be no contest, the 5 Magic Johnsons would prevail.

    And how would a team of Magic Johnsons do against a traditional team of all stars? Again I believe the Magic Johnson team would prevail.

    I believe a multi dimensional team would always beat a traditional team.
    So far there has only been one Magic Johnson, and he's retired. Therefore, IMHO it would be quite a feat to find 5 players of that caliber.

    It is absolutely a pipe dream to build a multi dimensional team. It's made even harder if you are a sit and wait type of GM. You'd have to go ahead a risk trading some fine players, albeit 'fine' in a 'traditional' sense, for some less talented but more multi dimensional types.

    "Jack of all trades, master of none" is a good saying that comes to mind. You might stumble across a player or two that fits the multi dimensional agenda but to go out and try to build a team that way, especially to do it and not be uber-aggressive... is folly.

    -Bball
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