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Old 01-30-2020, 02:12 PM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 42,669
Different eras have different playstyles. Yes, they could hand check then; they couldn't play zone defense. (Well, sort of.) Three point play wasn't as significant.

I personally don't really buy the notion that all time great players couldn't adjust to different playstyles. Maybe a very specific kind of role player could not adjust - a pure 3-point expert might have been out of luck prior to the 3-pointer - but the truly great players would adjust. Magic Johnson took very few three point shots (he played during the era it was a thing, but they didn't use it much) but I am one hundred percent sure that if he played today he'd be putting up 10 attempts a game and hitting lots of them. The very greatest players ever would have learned and adapted and excelled in any era.

Incidentally, it should be noted there was more to "The Jordan Rules" than just batting him if he drove to the basket; it was an entire game strategy based around focusing specifically on Jordan in every respect. Teams still do that sort of thing today; star-focused defense is now such a commonly applied strategy it doesn't even have a name. The Raptors employ this frequently and often to excellent effect, overfocusing on a star scorer on both ends of the court to harry and tire him and force the other opponents to handle the ball more.

The other neat thing about the Jordan Rules was that the Pistons would always try to force Michael to move to his left, his weaker side. That was smart and innovative; today pretty much every team applies this as a matter of course.
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Last edited by RickJay; 01-30-2020 at 02:17 PM.