Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 31

Thread: Basketball - an alternate strategy

  1. #1

    Default Basketball - an alternate strategy

    So far the meme by the sports media on the Pacers / Bulls series is that the Bulls have just come out slowly, which they need to correct, and that the superior play at the end of games has carried them to victory. The implication is that if they solve their lackadaisical attitude, their problems will be solved.

    The larger meme / story
    This analysis of the series fits well with larger NBA marketing effort and common perception of today's basketball.

    That story, supported by many on this forum, is that despite basketball being a team sport, it is carried by superstars who can take the team on its shoulders and through spectacular and athletic play, win the day.

    The Pacers, without a bona fide superstar (no knock against Danny Grainger, who has played a generally very good series), have little hope if their opponents play to their potential.

    The other meme
    All this is well and good, except that readers should consider that it is all false.

    For in the games I am watching, the Bulls are not coming out flat. They are getting outplayed. They are being out teamed, out hustled and out defended.

    And it is not the Bulls who are coming through at the end of the game nearly as much as it is the Pacers who are self-destructing with sloppy play and self-induced errors. IF the Pacers would believe in themselves, they could easily be winning this series 3-1.

    In support of this story, the Grizzlies are actually enjoying even more success playing team basketball and beating a team with a number of superstars and rated number 1 in the league.

    The meaning of the story
    If my story is correct, then basketball is still more a team game than implied. Good teams who play well together can overcome a few superstars, whose value and salaries have been over-estimated.

    And that story has very real implications on playing tactics and recruiting and training.

    Implications
    1. Teams who wish to avoid the burdening cost of a superstar must populate their teams with adept players from 1-10 positions and attack the inherent weakness of the statistically one-sided payroll of their opponents. IOW, most NBA games, even in the play-offs can not be played at full speed because their superstars can not put out 100% effort over 48 minutes. A more equitably talented team can take advantage of this weakness by playing more rested players at a generally higher energy level and speed. Given the talent of the Pacer bench, they actually have the opportunity to employ this strategy, but have generally not taken advantage of it.
    To disagree with this argument, you must structurally argue that ability drops off precipitously not just from superstar level, but from starter to bench levels, in the NBA. I find it difficult to believe this given that playing time or lack of it, often is a larger predictor of consistent performance. Also, given the sheer number of top level players into the league, I believe it is hard to argue this point.

    2. An effective strategy to emphasize the team sport is to actively recruit capable players that do not demand superstar salaries, AND PLAY THEM. In this scenario, a roster approach of two lines is preferable to a substitution approach. The reason this approach makes sense (taking a lesson from hockey) is that the team is more important than any one player. But some players play better with each other than others; it is their synergy and what they create together that is more important than their individual talent. Sympathetically, groups of players create their own personalities; the Goon squad on the Pacers before they disbanded is a good example. But in hockey there are better ones, where this phenomenon of team sports is not only appreciated but nurtured line by line.

    The explicit challenge to the opponent is that they need to match your intensity the entire game, or risk collapse by the fourth quarter. Said another way, the team is betting their second line is better than that of the other team, if the opponent chooses to respond to their tiredness by playing their bench.

    Conclusion
    It is possible to win the NBA with a team approach despite the marketing efforts of the NBA and ESPN. The Pacers are much closer than they think. They just need to ignore the hype and believe they can do it.

    Please discuss. Thank you for reading.

  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Whiskeyjim For This Useful Post:


  3. #2

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Awesome post. Frank should read this to the team.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Fantastic post.

    It's a great advantage to have a superstar, but only if that superstar can play within the team. And the superstar can't be the team.

    A great team, playing great team basketball will usually win a game.

    You also don't need a superstar to make clutch shots. As this team gets older, they'll execute better. I've said it before, at the end of games, Boston can get Ray Allen an open three pointer if that's the play they want to go to (and it often is) because they execute well. It's not like Ray creates it for himself. He just knocks it down.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Sookie For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Born Ready
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    IU
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    This team methodology is the major theme in Bill Simmons book, The Book of Basketball. I am in the middle of reading it and highly suggest each PD member to do the same.
    The Brawl set our franchise back years but it was a hell of a lot fun to watch!

  7. #5
    Member Eleazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Indy
    Posts
    8,526

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    This is a point i have been trying to argue for for a long time. Every time there are only one or two people who come out with support while the vast majority say, "no we need a superstar."

  8. #6
    Custom User Titleist
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Pacer Purgatory Praying for Paul
    Posts
    3,584
    Mood

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Team play is going a long way for the Pacers at this point, I agree.

    An equally important factor is the overall physicality of the series which further heightens the Pacers' overall advantage in the team concept. Yes, Rose had, prior to rolling his ankle, gotten his points and made defensive plays that legitimately establish him as a strong MVP candidate. However, for him to establish his dominance in this series, he has had to overcome physicality and concentrate even more than usual on being the scorer which has limited the effectiveness of the remainder of the Bulls offensive attack especially in the face of the Pacers' stifling physical defense (gosh it REALLY feels great to type that!!!!!).

    During the regular season, the officials would not call the games this way, obviously, and therefore the superstar Rose would lead the Bulls to relatively easy wins in most cases.

    So, the simplistic lesson here, in my opinion, is that there are four types of teams --

    1. those that aren't able to compete during the regular season or the playoffs due to a lack of both talent and physicality,

    2. those that do well during the regular season but quickly fade during the playoffs due to having talent but lacking physicality,

    3. those that don't necessarily do well during the regular season yet surprise in the playoffs due to having just enough talent to get there and then the capability to be physical when the games count the most

    4. the few teams that both dominate the regular season AND the playoffs due to having talented superstars, a reasonable supporting cast, and the ability to dig in and fight in the physical playoffs and prevail due to the superstars having enough energy to close games out when the rest of both teams are exhausted from the grind of the season and the physicality of the playoffs.

    I purposely left out coaching for the purposes of this theory despite the impact that coaches have on the playing style and effectiveness of the players as our Pacers are showing currently.

  9. #7
    Rooting My Family 2 Glory CooperManning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,296

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    It would never happen in the NBA, but I'd love to see a team employ two selfless 5 man units that each get about 24 minutes. No mixing units. When there's a sub, it's 5 men in, 5 men out. Hockey line mentality, as OP was saying. Switch units depending on the situation.

    Denver could do it if they wanted.

    Lawson - Affalo - Gallinari - K-Mart - Nene
    Felton - JR Smith - Chandler - Harrington - Birdman/Mosgov (depending on opponent's 5)

  10. #8
    Member Taterhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    1,355

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    So since we've been competitive in a series in which Rose has dominated, that somehow means we can win without a superstar?

    What examples beside the Pistons (who were absolutely loaded) of a few years back can anyone give me of this theory.

    It's much harder to build a championship team without a super star. So I'm not sure why anyone would want to try it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CooperManning View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    It would never happen in the NBA, but I'd love to see a team employ two selfless 5 man units that each get about 24 minutes. No mixing units. When there's a sub, it's 5 men in, 5 men out. Hockey line mentality, as OP was saying. Switch units depending on the situation.

    Denver could do it if they wanted.

    Lawson - Affalo - Gallinari - K-Mart - Nene
    Felton - JR Smith - Chandler - Harrington - Birdman/Mosgov (depending on opponent's 5)
    They are and they are getting waxed.

    We are actually the closest thing to that besides them, and we are down 3-1 as well.
    Last edited by Taterhead; 04-26-2011 at 01:57 AM.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskeyjim View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    So far the meme by the sports media on the Pacers / Bulls series is that the Bulls have just come out slowly, which they need to correct, and that the superior play at the end of games has carried them to victory. The implication is that if they solve their lackadaisical attitude, their problems will be solved.

    The larger meme / story
    This analysis of the series fits well with larger NBA marketing effort and common perception of today's basketball.

    That story, supported by many on this forum, is that despite basketball being a team sport, it is carried by superstars who can take the team on its shoulders and through spectacular and athletic play, win the day.
    This has been proven by thirty years of NBA championships right? Besides the 2004 Pistons I can't think of another title team that hasn't had a top 5 player on it.

    The Pacers, without a bona fide superstar (no knock against Danny Grainger, who has played a generally very good series), have little hope if their opponents play to their potential.

    The other meme
    All this is well and good, except that readers should consider that it is all false.

    For in the games I am watching, the Bulls are not coming out flat. They are getting outplayed. They are being out teamed, out hustled and out defended.

    And it is not the Bulls who are coming through at the end of the game nearly as much as it is the Pacers who are self-destructing with sloppy play and self-induced errors. IF the Pacers would believe in themselves, they could easily be winning this series 3-1.
    I don't see this. The Pacers believe in themselves plenty. Professional athletes are trained from childhood to believe in themselves. Extreme self confidence usually isn't a problem for them. The Pacers don't have the talent to withstand the Bulls playing and pressing at full speed.

    In support of this story, the Grizzlies are actually enjoying even more success playing team basketball and beating a team with a number of superstars and rated number 1 in the league.

    The meaning of the story
    If my story is correct, then basketball is still more a team game than implied. Good teams who play well together can overcome a few superstars, whose value and salaries have been over-estimated.
    The Grizzlies top three players make $17 million, $13 million and $7 million. The Bulls top three make $15 million, $11 million and $5 million. By your guidelines wouldn't the Grizzlies be the team being over-estimated?

    Implications
    1. Teams who wish to avoid the burdening cost of a superstar must populate their teams with adept players from 1-10 positions and attack the inherent weakness of the statistically one-sided payroll of their opponents. IOW, most NBA games, even in the play-offs can not be played at full speed because their superstars can not put out 100% effort over 48 minutes. A more equitably talented team can take advantage of this weakness by playing more rested players at a generally higher energy level and speed. Given the talent of the Pacer bench, they actually have the opportunity to employ this strategy, but have generally not taken advantage of it.
    To disagree with this argument, you must structurally argue that ability drops off precipitously not just from superstar level, but from starter to bench levels, in the NBA. I find it difficult to believe this given that playing time or lack of it, often is a larger predictor of consistent performance. Also, given the sheer number of top level players into the league, I believe it is hard to argue this point.
    A fundamental pillar of your argument seems to be that the talent gap between "superstars" and the next level of players is minimal compared to the general perception. I'd argue this isn't true. The top 5% of players in the league, like the top 5% of most fields, possess a far, far greater amount of talent than the rest of the players in the league. Ten players decide the fate of the league. Most of the rest of the players could be replaced fairly easily with no drop-off in quality of play.

    You're also ignoring the social dynamics of having ten players with equally distributed roles and responsibilities. That doesn't happen. Human nature demands that in any grouping of people there will be a hierarchy.

    2. An effective strategy to emphasize the team sport is to actively recruit capable players that do not demand superstar salaries, AND PLAY THEM. In this scenario, a roster approach of two lines is preferable to a substitution approach. The reason this approach makes sense (taking a lesson from hockey) is that the team is more important than any one player. But some players play better with each other than others; it is their synergy and what they create together that is more important than their individual talent. Sympathetically, groups of players create their own personalities; the Goon squad on the Pacers before they disbanded is a good example. But in hockey there are better ones, where this phenomenon of team sports is not only appreciated but nurtured line by line.
    This line approach has been used a lot in the league to varying degrees of success. It depends more on the personnel present on the team and whether that approach fits with their style of play.

    The explicit challenge to the opponent is that they need to match your intensity the entire game, or risk collapse by the fourth quarter. Said another way, the team is betting their second line is better than that of the other team, if the opponent chooses to respond to their tiredness by playing their bench.

    Conclusion
    It is possible to win the NBA with a team approach despite the marketing efforts of the NBA and ESPN. The Pacers are much closer than they think. They just need to ignore the hype and believe they can do it.
    Isn't this the Denver Nuggets strategy? Forty-eight minutes isn't enough time to take advantage of superstar player's fatigue, especially in the playoffs when there are no back to backs. LeBron could play 48 minutes a game for the entire playoffs and not wear down.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to King Tuts Tomb For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
    Member Eleazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Indy
    Posts
    8,526

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by Taterhead View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    So since we've been competitive in a series in which Rose has dominated, that somehow means we can win without a superstar?

    What examples beside the Pistons (who were absolutely loaded) of a few years back can anyone give me of this theory.

    It's much harder to build a championship team without a super star. So I'm not sure why anyone would want to try it.



    They are and they are getting waxed.

    We are actually the closest thing to that besides them, and we are down 3-1 as well.
    Lakers and Celtics

    Yes, they both have a ton of talent, but the ultimate difference between them and a team like the Heat, LeBron Cavs, and AI 76ers is they do in fact play as teams. It is more rare to find a team that only wins because of one or two players, than teams that win because they play as a team. The difference between superstars like AI and superstars like Kobe is the understanding that the game is a team game that cannot be dominated by only one or two guys. Everyone has to be involved in order to win it all.

    There is a difference between winning because of a superstar, and a winning team who has a superstar on it. The reason you rarely see teams without a superstar is because the best player is the difference between the teams that play as teams, but before those superstars have a chance to win they first need to be on a team that plays as a team. There is a reason why you don't see teams win championships that have one dominate player.

  14. #11
    Member Taterhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    1,355

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Lakers and Celtics

    Yes, they both have a ton of talent, but the ultimate difference between them and a team like the Heat, LeBron Cavs, and AI 76ers is they do in fact play as teams. It is more rare to find a team that only wins because of one or two players, than teams that win because they play as a team. The difference between superstars like AI and superstars like Kobe is the understanding that the game is a team game that cannot be dominated by only one or two guys. Everyone has to be involved in order to win it all.

    There is a difference between winning because of a superstar, and a winning team who has a superstar on it. The reason you rarely see teams without a superstar is because the best player is the difference between the teams that play as teams, but before those superstars have a chance to win they first need to be on a team that plays as a team. There is a reason why you don't see teams win championships that have one dominate player.
    The Lakers are the reason why it's so hard to win without one. They have the best one. And they have a ton of other talent as well and play as a team. But it takes a lot more than playing as a team to win. In a 5 man team, 1 special guy changes everything.

    Kenny Smith made a great point the other night about the impact of superstar players. He talked about the effect they have on their team mates. Your superstar makes his team mates believe they have a legit shot to win. And mentality goes along way in sports.

    The thread was trying to minimize the importance of superstars. You can't really use teams like the Lakers as an example. I mean, of course you have to play as a team to win the title. But you better be a hell of a team with great players.

    Bottom line for me, Derrick Rose has dominated the series. Despite a valiant effort to stop that from happening.

  15. #12
    Play McRoberts and Price! BRushWithDeath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Johnson's Bay, Lake Wawasee
    Age
    28
    Posts
    5,356

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    I can't say I agree.

    Our bench has outplayed their bench by leaps and bounds. This was supposed to be a strength of Chicago not Indiana. The Pacers bench has outscored the Bulls' so called "Bench Mob" 128-84 through 4 games.

    By all accounts, Danny Granger has outplayed Luol Deng.

    Carlos Boozer has been the best PF in the series by a narrow margin but we've won that positional battle because Gibson has been outplayed.

    Noah has obviously outplayed Hibbert but Foster has made major contributions to help offset that somewhat.

    Paul George has been a revelation on the defensive end.

    Yet we are down 3-1.

    This is because they have the best player in the series.

    You need to have team play. But in order to win over the long haul, you need to have team play in concert with having a superstar. The 2004 Pistons are constantly brought up as evidence that you can win without a superstar. But they are far more the exception than the rule. And while they may not have had a true superstar, they did have 4 All-Stars in Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace. Tayshaun Prince was an All-Defensive team mainstay and an Olympic gold medalist. Not exactly Hickory High.

    Team play is great. And necessary. But so is having a superstar. That has been the difference in this series. Until we have one, it will be the difference in all future series.
    "I had to take her down like Chris Brown."

    -Lance Stephenson

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BRushWithDeath For This Useful Post:


  17. #13

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    1. The Bulls aren't as good a team as the regular season format
    made them look.

    2. Memphis isn't beating a 'team full of superstars' (Duncan is no
    longer one and Parker and Ginobli, while 'stars' to a certain degree,
    have never been 'superstars').

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to The Jackson shimmy For This Useful Post:


  19. #14
    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    4,654

    Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    This was a nice theory but winning a championship without a superstar or as I like to call it, "a MVP caliber player", is nearly impossible.

    You can probably win against a superstar lead team every now and then and maybe even win a series in the playoffs but unless you have 4 All-Stars on your squad that can defend better than any other team in the league (like the 2004 Pistons) you're not going to win a championship.
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

  20. #15
    Redemption. docpaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Noblesville, IN
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    This post, along with the responses, were fun to read.

    The question in my mind is: what defines a superstar?

    One of the replies indicated for example that Detroit was an example of a "superstar"-less team, yet they ultimately had four all-stars named from that team.

    Are superstars born with superstar-dom? Can superstars emerge from people that don't come into the league being thought of as one?

    Does superstar simply mean: a really really good player?

    This whole debate hinges, in my humble opinion, on a label that is inherently ambiguous. My guess is that most people here agree on the basic "stuff" of a winning team more than is implied here.

    If we're saying that to win a championship, you need a really, really good player leading the efforts... this seems like common sense.

    Why can't this emerge from our existing team? Dwayne Wade emerged from his team?

  21. #16

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by BRushWithDeath View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I can't say I agree.

    Our bench has outplayed their bench by leaps and bounds. This was supposed to be a strength of Chicago not Indiana. The Pacers bench has outscored the Bulls' so called "Bench Mob" 128-84 through 4 games.

    By all accounts, Danny Granger has outplayed Luol Deng.

    Carlos Boozer has been the best PF in the series by a narrow margin but we've won that positional battle because Gibson has been outplayed.

    Noah has obviously outplayed Hibbert but Foster has made major contributions to help offset that somewhat.

    Paul George has been a revelation on the defensive end.

    Yet we are down 3-1.

    This is because they have the best player in the series.

    You need to have team play. But in order to win over the long haul, you need to have team play in concert with having a superstar. The 2004 Pistons are constantly brought up as evidence that you can win without a superstar. But they are far more the exception than the rule. And while they may not have had a true superstar, they did have 4 All-Stars in Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace. Tayshaun Prince was an All-Defensive team mainstay and an Olympic gold medalist. Not exactly Hickory High.

    Team play is great. And necessary. But so is having a superstar. That has been the difference in this series. Until we have one, it will be the difference in all future series.
    I disagree, we aren't down 3-1 because of anything Chicago or Rose did, the Pacers are down because of what THEY did/didn't do. I would blame it on youth much more than on Rose.

  22. The Following User Says Thank You to Sookie For This Useful Post:


  23. #17

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by King Tuts Tomb View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This has been proven by thirty years of NBA championships right? Besides the 2004 Pistons I can't think of another title team that hasn't had a top 5 player on it.
    I am talking more about skewing the trend rather than totally upending it I believe.


    I don't see this. The Pacers believe in themselves plenty. Professional athletes are trained from childhood to believe in themselves. Extreme self confidence usually isn't a problem for them. The Pacers don't have the talent to withstand the Bulls playing and pressing at full speed.
    I am watching a team fold down the stretch, not a team overwhelming another. So we disagree here.


    The Grizzlies top three players make $17 million, $13 million and $7 million. The Bulls top three make $15 million, $11 million and $5 million. By your guidelines wouldn't the Grizzlies be the team being over-estimated?
    Bad example, sorry. They appear to be upside down in their contracts just like the Pacers were, and continue to be.


    A fundamental pillar of your argument seems to be that the talent gap between "superstars" and the next level of players is minimal compared to the general perception. I'd argue this isn't true. The top 5% of players in the league, like the top 5% of most fields, possess a far, far greater amount of talent than the rest of the players in the league. Ten players decide the fate of the league. Most of the rest of the players could be replaced fairly easily with no drop-off in quality of play.
    Perhaps this is where our contention lies. Because this is not what I am saying. Sure any championship -team need some very good players. I am saying there is a potential for the marginal utility of the 7-10 players to extract more value if nurtured. To do so, the team needs to drastically change the tempo of NBA basketball so that no one can play 40 minutes. Despite the number of time-outs and commercials, I believe this is still possible.

    You're also ignoring the social dynamics of having ten players with equally distributed roles and responsibilities. That doesn't happen. Human nature demands that in any grouping of people there will be a hierarchy.
    Not so much a hierarchy as a pareto on various functions such as scoring and defending. You seem to confuse a more fully utilized playing schedule with an egalitarian outcome. This is a common issue with socialist ideals; the idea that everyone will and can contribute more or less the same. This is not what I am saying, although it is a good point.


    This line approach has been used a lot in the league to varying degrees of success. It depends more on the personnel present on the team and whether that approach fits with their style of play.
    The intentional nurture of this synergy is the crux of my argument. I do not know the NBA as well as you or many others. Perhaps you know of examples of what did or did not work and why not. Perhaps NBA teams work at this more than I observe, and there is not as much opportunity as I think there is.

    But substitution patterns appears to discount it. In hockey, we would absolutely be concerned that the wrong combination of substitutions changes the rhythm of the game, does not emphasize the most powerful combinations, and frustrates player flow. In hockey, lines change together for the most part.

    Isn't this the Denver Nuggets strategy? Forty-eight minutes isn't enough time to take advantage of superstar player's fatigue, especially in the playoffs when there are no back to backs. LeBron could play 48 minutes a game for the entire playoffs and not wear down.
    Here is another point of confusion. I do not believe any player can play 48 minutes at the speed that 10 players can play, if they are executing correctly. Do teams that play lines play significantly faster? If they do not, they are missing a key component of their advantage I would think.

  24. The Following User Says Thank You to Whiskeyjim For This Useful Post:


  25. #18

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Team play is great. And necessary. But so is having a superstar. That has been the difference in this series. Until we have one, it will be the difference in all future series.
    This was the point of my post. This is not what I have been watching. I have watched the superstar get shut down for the most part, and if he would not have the advantage of friendly refs, his impact on the game would be even less, despite some of his enormously athletic plays (BTW, I believe he travels on some of them).

    I am watching a team play poorly down the stretch either by intentionally changing their own rhythm to protect their lead (why do coaches and teams believe they can change their rhythms without blowing up?) or making silly mistakes. McBob at mid-court playing PG comes to mind. This is rookie type stuff and I would have killed DC for being an idiot, but then, my idea of a good PG is not DC.

  26. #19
    Member Eleazar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Indy
    Posts
    8,526

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    What it comes down to is the team the has the most talent and plays the most as a team. Having a superstar doesn't help you win unless you have a talented team that plays as a team. People just focus on the Jordans, Bryants, Duncans, etc., but none of those guys would have won any championships if they didn't have good talented teams around them. That is the difference between them and the Iversons, Wilkinsons, McGradys, etc.

  27. #20

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    What it comes down to is the team the has the most talent and plays the most as a team. Having a superstar doesn't help you win unless you have a talented team that plays as a team. People just focus on the Jordans, Bryants, Duncans, etc., but none of those guys would have won any championships if they didn't have good talented teams around them. That is the difference between them and the Iversons, Wilkinsons, McGradys, etc.
    Maybe most importantly to me, I believe Jordan was obviously a great team player. It stands out to me, when I watch the current crop of super scorers play.

  28. #21
    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Age
    32
    Posts
    28,262

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleazar View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    What it comes down to is the team the has the most talent and plays the most as a team. Having a superstar doesn't help you win unless you have a talented team that plays as a team. People just focus on the Jordans, Bryants, Duncans, etc., but none of those guys would have won any championships if they didn't have good talented teams around them. That is the difference between them and the Iversons, Wilkinsons, McGradys, etc.
    No, the difference is that Jordan, Kobe and Duncan all played excellent defense, and Iverson, TMac and Wilkins did not.

    Jordan shouldn't be mentioned in comparison to anybody. He was good enough to break a lot of conventional basketball wisdom.

  29. #22

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskeyjim View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I am watching a team fold down the stretch, not a team overwhelming another. So we disagree here.
    But aren't the Pacers folding due to the pressure put on them by the Bulls? This argument is a bit chicken-and-egg, though.

    Perhaps this is where our contention lies. Because this is not what I am saying. Sure any championship -team need some very good players. I am saying there is a potential for the marginal utility of the 7-10 players to extract more value if nurtured. To do so, the team needs to drastically change the tempo of NBA basketball so that no one can play 40 minutes. Despite the number of time-outs and commercials, I believe this is still possible.
    Isn't this what the Suns tried to do? Maximizing possessions in a game and shooting a higher percentage. The problem with high volume possession teams is that they often rely on jump shooting to get off that many shots. Power post offense has been proven to be a stronger post-season strategy and by definition it takes longer to set up a shot in the post (maybe 18 sec on average?) than to shoot a long two or three pointer. Post offense is more effective, harder to find and more intensive.

    Not so much a hierarchy as a pareto on various functions such as scoring and defending. You seem to confuse a more fully utilized playing schedule with an egalitarian outcome. This is a common issue with socialist ideals; the idea that everyone will and can contribute more or less the same. This is not what I am saying, although it is a good point.
    The problem with the pareto efficiency is that in this case the resource (minutes) are so scarce and can't be substituted with another reward like money or incentives. So the trade-off will always be less talented players who will accept playing less, or more talented players who have to play more.

    With a more fully utilized playing schedule every minute player A is playing that's another minute player B can't play. In some cases it's better to have less talent for the good of team unity.

    High-level athletes can't fathom not playing a large percentage of minutes. If a team has an elite player and doesn't play him massive minutes, he'll go to a team that will, Joe Johnson being an example.

    The intentional nurture of this synergy is the crux of my argument. I do not know the NBA as well as you or many others. Perhaps you know of examples of what did or did not work and why not. Perhaps NBA teams work at this more than I observe, and there is not as much opportunity as I think there is.

    But substitution patterns appears to discount it. In hockey, we would absolutely be concerned that the wrong combination of substitutions changes the rhythm of the game, does not emphasize the most powerful combinations, and frustrates player flow. In hockey, lines change together for the most part.
    I don't know much about hockey (and I admittedly don't know a ton about basketball, only what I've read and watched on my own) so I'm not sure why the line changes work so well. Looking through some basic stats on ESPN.com it looks like the best player play between 20-25 min out of a 40 minute game. I'd guess that this is for two reasons: a) Hockey is a far more physically taxing game than basketball so heavy minutes aren't as possible and b) Basketball has more scoring and more stats. Because basketball has so many points, rebounds, steals, etc, there are more ways to quantify a players impact. Sidney Crosby can score twice in the first five minutes then play terribly the rest of the game and it's still viewed as a successful game.

    NBA players judge themselves and are judged by a collection of stats they accumulate. This is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it seems impossible to change it anywhere about the high school level.

    I'm also assuming that one-on-one match-ups aren't as easily exploitable in hockey as they are in basketball.

    Here is another point of confusion. I do not believe any player can play 48 minutes at the speed that 10 players can play, if they are executing correctly. Do teams that play lines play significantly faster? If they do not, they are missing a key component of their advantage I would think.
    NBA games don't happen at full speed, though. Even if you brought out different lines, they're still playing in the same game and experience the rhythm of the game similarly.

    The structure of basketball also demands that you have players that can fill certain positions. Most of the time it's not possible for a team to acquire two sets of serviceable players at five spots on the floor. If the second unit center is defensively weak, playing him for 24 minutes a game is virtually impossible. The strengths and weaknesses of certain players demands that they play with matching pieces, but for whatever reason sometimes those pieces can't always fill the same line.
    Last edited by King Tuts Tomb; 04-26-2011 at 07:02 PM.

  30. #23

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiskeyjim View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This was the point of my post. This is not what I have been watching. I have watched the superstar get shut down for the most part, and if he would not have the advantage of friendly refs, his impact on the game would be even less, despite some of his enormously athletic plays (BTW, I believe he travels on some of them).

    I am watching a team play poorly down the stretch either by intentionally changing their own rhythm to protect their lead (why do coaches and teams believe they can change their rhythms without blowing up?) or making silly mistakes. McBob at mid-court playing PG comes to mind. This is rookie type stuff and I would have killed DC for being an idiot, but then, my idea of a good PG is not DC.
    The Bulls are an extreme example, though, of how not to use a superstar. They have an extremely talented set of role players but seem content to play Rose-ball with the occasional set of screens for Korver to catch and shoot. Thibodeau is a defensive-minded coach and some of his offensive sets seem sadly Mike Brown-esque. The only reason the Pacers have been able to hang around is the lack of ball movement for the Bulls.

    Your ideal offensive set sounds like the triangle offense, which makes sense because it's won 11 championships in 20 years.

  31. #24

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    The structure of basketball also demands that you have players that can fill certain positions. Most of the time it's not possible for a team to acquire two sets of serviceable players at five spots on the floor. If the second unit center is defensively weak, playing him for 24 minutes a game is virtually impossible. The strengths and weaknesses of certain players demands that they play with matching pieces, but for whatever reason sometimes those pieces can't always fill the same line.
    Now I feel we are getting somewhere.

    First, I don't believe you would play both lines equally. in fact the chances are very high that one line would be much more defensive than the other given that high scorers obtain nearly all the money, so they are harder to find.

    But more to the point, the search for that backup center that you described that 'fits' would be of ongoing crucial focus.

    I'll put it another way. It might easily be true that your second line would have a negative +/-. But if it was wearing the other team down because of their intensity, and generally giving them a very hard time (perhaps playing a full court defense as well), then they would be doing their job setting up the opponent for the fourth quarter. The key is no let-up even for a minute.

    Even during half-court sets, it is quite possible to keep the other team moving and expending a great deal of energy. In fact it often leads to better scoring chances.

    BTW, thanks for the discussion.

  32. #25

    Default Re: Basketball - an alternate strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by King Tuts Tomb View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    The Bulls are an extreme example, though, of how not to use a superstar. They have an extremely talented set of role players but seem content to play Rose-ball with the occasional set of screens for Korver to catch and shoot. Thibodeau is a defensive-minded coach and some of his offensive sets seem sadly Mike Brown-esque. The only reason the Pacers have been able to hang around is the lack of ball movement for the Bulls.

    Your ideal offensive set sounds like the triangle offense, which makes sense because it's won 11 championships in 20 years.
    Well, in the admittedly limited amount of NBA basketball I watched in the last 10 years, the ISO to the super scorer is the standard play in basketball.

    It is one of the reasons I believe the alternative I'm trying to describe is actually practical. IMHO the superstar focus leaves itself open to weakness on a number of tactical fronts.

Similar Threads

  1. Sundown for the Suns!
    By RoboHicks in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-27-2011, 01:10 AM
  2. How should I teach my 6 year old to play basketball the "right" way?
    By CableKC in forum Market Square (General Non-Sports Discussion)
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 08-04-2010, 02:55 AM
  3. Tbird topic: Tales from the 2010 Adidas May Classic in Bloomington
    By thunderbird1245 in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-17-2010, 04:05 PM
  4. Good Column by Bill Simmons
    By Will Galen in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-30-2009, 09:36 AM
  5. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-08-2008, 07:31 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •