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Thread: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    This expands on the articles about how bad the Orlando/Indiana series is and comments on the other series threads about how good the Mavs/OKC series is.

    Bringing up the question: what TO YOU makes a good game of basketball.

    Try to step beyond "my team wins", since we all know there ain't nuthin' better no matter how ugly. What do you like to see from both teams that makes an exciting game to watch?

    For me:

    1) Evenly matched skill-wise. I don't like to see one team run roughshod over the other (well, unless the Pacers are doing the running, but that would violate the guidelines I myself set ). They can be matched in different areas, but I want some sense of competition.

    2) Playing hard affects the outcome. Effort plays like diving for a loose ball, fighting to force a jump ball, deflections, SENSIBLE steals, hard defensive rotations.

    3) Few unforced turnovers. I hate to watch a game where one or both teams are throwing passes out of bounds, dribbling off a foot, traveling and/or double-dribbling, and so forth. FORCED turnovers are great, but the unforced ones demonstrate a bit of inattention to fundamentals.

    4) Limited physical play. This one doesn't match a lot of people, I know, but I want the physicality to be within the context of basketball rather than bordering on football. A hard pick is fine, a brutally moving one is not. Heavy hands going after the ball is OK, coming down on a guy's shoulders is not. Running over a smaller guy in the lane just because you can ticks me off.

    5) Good shooting on open shots and free throws. Rather self explanatory here, especially because it lends more gravitas to the next one:

    6) Misses are due to defense not bad shooting.
    BillS

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    Member Derek2k3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    This expands on the articles about how bad the Orlando/Indiana series is and comments on the other series threads about how good the Mavs/OKC series is.

    Bringing up the question: what TO YOU makes a good game of basketball.

    Try to step beyond "my team wins", since we all know there ain't nuthin' better no matter how ugly. What do you like to see from both teams that makes an exciting game to watch?

    For me:

    1) Evenly matched skill-wise. I don't like to see one team run roughshod over the other (well, unless the Pacers are doing the running, but that would violate the guidelines I myself set ). They can be matched in different areas, but I want some sense of competition.

    2) Playing hard affects the outcome. Effort plays like diving for a loose ball, fighting to force a jump ball, deflections, SENSIBLE steals, hard defensive rotations.

    3) Few unforced turnovers. I hate to watch a game where one or both teams are throwing passes out of bounds, dribbling off a foot, traveling and/or double-dribbling, and so forth. FORCED turnovers are great, but the unforced ones demonstrate a bit of inattention to fundamentals.

    4) Limited physical play. This one doesn't match a lot of people, I know, but I want the physicality to be within the context of basketball rather than bordering on football. A hard pick is fine, a brutally moving one is not. Heavy hands going after the ball is OK, coming down on a guy's shoulders is not. Running over a smaller guy in the lane just because you can ticks me off.

    5) Good shooting on open shots and free throws. Rather self explanatory here, especially because it lends more gravitas to the next one:

    6) Misses are due to defense not bad shooting.
    I'm pretty much in the same boat. Good stuff, Bill.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Fundamental basketball

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    Member Speed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Unselfish play, baskets are a premium, physical (not dirty), a general dislike of each other (team/fanbase), and of course my team wins (I know out of bounds, but it really is a big thing).

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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    I quite enjoy a very physical game, but other then that point I generally agree with what you said. Basketball is a game of runs and I think the most exciting games are the games where the teams continually alternate runs. One team will go on a hot streak to open it up then the opposite team responds with a run of their own, to regain the lead, and so on and so on...

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    You can call me Taz cinotimz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Lots of things make for good entertaining games.

    Great defense. Great offense. Great shooting. Outstanding individual performances.

    Pretty much everything missing from the Indiana/Orlando series the first two games.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Good clean play (nice offense with nice passing and a lack of turnovers) from both sides
    But also very good defense
    and a competitive game.
    It's really rare.

    But..there are also other things that can make a good game. When one or two players take over and/or when one team makes a comeback after being down.

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    Member Mr.ThunderMakeR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    I always enjoy a game that goes down to the wire

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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Apparently to the Indiana Fan base it is one where you get to leave early. They dont like close games that go down to the final minute. Separated by only 1 or 2 possessions.

    This is judging by their behavior at the ending of games 1 & 2.
    Last edited by graphic-er; 05-01-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    pretty much everything the Spurs have done this season. Well executed team basketball on both ends of the floor. Thing of beauty.

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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Bill, I was considering starting a similar thread, but I'm glad you did.

    I don't have time right now to get into this.

    But the most important thing for me is that both teams play hard, that they both seem they want to really win this game.

    But I loved the Knicks vs Heat of the late 90's. But I also love a 130-125 game. As long as it is a close hard fought game. There better be some defense played, there better be some shot making, some good passing, some skill, some athleticism.

    A break away slam dunk is boring to me. But a slam in traffic over and around defenders is exciting. A great rebound in traffic is exciting. A defense that is all over the court and causing a 24 second shot clock violation is exciting.

    more later

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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    A good game of basketball for me is when the game is competitive, regardless of who's playing on the court. While winning by blow-outs are good, I like it when games are decided by strategic substitutions by both coaches, smooth offensive and defensive plays, and crucial possessions down the line.

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    I have a feeling that Uncle Buck and I are probably the only two people alive who could sit down and watch the Fratello led Cavs. play against the Riley Knicks and enjoy the game not being a fan of either team.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Bringing up the question: what TO YOU makes a good game of basketball.
    A well-coached and well-played hard-fought game with frequent lead changes, whose outcome is not decided until the final moments and is not altered by a bad call from the refs.

  19. #15
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    A 130-125 game better have several overtimes or I'm not sure I'd call it a good game. It might be fun to watch in a disconnected way, but if I'm rooting for a team then I want them to stop someone. Play some defense, run some offense... If you're gonna try to run someone outta the gym then you best be sure they can't hang with you or you'll run yourself right out of victory.

    I probably like a 72-68 game 50 times more than a 130-125 assuming that low score is due to good defense and a deliberate, smart offense.
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    I have a feeling that Uncle Buck and I are probably the only two people alive who could sit down and watch the Fratello led Cavs. play against the Riley Knicks and enjoy the game not being a fan of either team.
    Nope, I would love that too. Thats the basketball I grew up watching and loving. Thats the basketball that my dad taught me to play.

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    You can call me Taz cinotimz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    I dunno about the 72-68 games. That shows an inability to overcome great defense. I guess I love great defense but seeing great offense or great individual performances overcome that great defense.

    Some of the Pacers/Knicks playoff games come to mind. Give me Reggies game 5 in the 94 playoffs every time. Both teams played great defense back then. Games still ended around the 90 point mark. And Reggies heroic 25 points in the 4th quarter to bring his team back and win on the road. Well it doesnt get much better than that. The 8 points in 8.9 seconds would come very close though. Those are great games in my estimation. Games you could never get tired of watching. Even moreso when ur team prevails.

  23. #18

    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Simply put, a good game is any game the team you love plays in. If you don't love one of the teams and aren't passionate about them, you probably won't think it's a good game. Some people like superstars more than teams, and that is obvious. So if you like teams because of certain superstars, only their teams' games are going to appeal to you. If you love certain teams regardless of their players, obviously their games will be good in your opinion.

    As a fan that watches more than 90 percent of the games, every year, and reads up on the rest, I can promise you that I have seen very very few "bad" games that we won. It all boils down to which team you like, and a majority of people like big market teams or superstars so obviously their games garner more interest. If the Pacers start winning consistently every year and maybe get a title or two, bandwagoners will jump on from all over the world and suddenly our games will be considered "good" again.

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    Over the pond ballism's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    i agree but I'd also add
    7) history / story lines. that can spice up pretty much anything.
    a ton of people would watch the Lakers getting pounded by 30 points by the Celtics in every game and call it fun.
    or vice versa.
    team history goes a long way. And Pacers are basically a new entity for most casual fans right now.
    Then there's individual history / story lines / matchups. E.g. Dwight Howard vs. an old school 7'2 fundamentals-focused true center. That would've been a very interesting angle (at least to me).

    8) crowd. it's not very relevant re this series.
    but if we are going for a complete list, it's important. Those Nets runs 10 years ago were hard to watch at times. And they had Jason Kidd etc. If that was a Boston team or a Knicks team, it would've been an epic experience.

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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Old school Pacers / Knicks or Pacers / Pistons where the scores frequently did not reach the 80's. Those games were physical chess matches where team offensive execution was critical every single possession, quality looks were at a premium, and the battle of the paint was key to victory.

    Actual smashmouth basketball.

  26. #21
    Lifelong Pacer Fan. PGisthefuture's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    I like it when the teams play hard and play physical. I don't mind seeing a little skirmish every now and then. I also like a close, competitive game where teams are trading buckets. I like to see each teams best player go at it. A few flashy dunks here and there is always nice too...

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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    I feel like good ball movement is important. Teams that get everyone on the court involved in every possession are very entertaining to watch, IMO.

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    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by graphic-er View Post
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    Apparently to the Indiana Fan base it is one where you get to leave early. They dont like close games that go down to the final minute. Separated by only 1 or 2 possessions.

    This is judging by their behavior at the ending of games 1 & 2.
    My friends and I left a couple possessions early during game 1 out of disgust. I'm not proud, but that was just a gutless performance, we couldn't stand to watch anymore.

  30. #24

    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    thinking about this some. there is one thing else that makes a game watchable. having two teams that really don't like each other. that have an emotional investment in the outcome of the game.

    all too often in the regular season, the teams play, but don't really care who wins. those games between teams that have a score to settle or really don't like each other makes a much better game. a little chippyness helps.

  31. #25

    Default Re: Attempted Objectivity: What Makes a Good Game?

    I don't know what those teams look like. But I will say, I felt like I was the only person on the planet that loved to watch the San Antonio Spurs play (when they were at their best) In fact those were probably my favorite NBA teams to watch.

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