NBA Fans- Unite!

For whatever reason, the NBA takes a lot of potshots from casual sports fans. The usual complaints are: “It’s not a team game”, “They don’t know the fundamentals”, “Too slow”, “Too fast”, “They don’t play defense”, “Too low scoring”, and my all-time favorite, “I used to watch it, but after Jordan retired…………” Whatever.

Well, I love pro basketball. In my eye, the game, when played at its peak, has a poetry and grace that no other pro sport can match. The NBA currently has a good balance of offensive and defensive styles among its teams, and I love it when a fastbreak team like the Suns has to go up against a more balanced set offense style, like the Bullets. I have greatly enjoyed the championship series between Detroit and San Antonio (two organizations that are great examples of team-oriented styles of play) and look forward to an awesome Game 7 Thursday night. It’s gonna be a war.

Like every pro league, I concede that the Association is not always perfect. Some organizations are just outright pathetic, like the Clippers and the Hornets. It’s sad for me to see a once-proud and competitive franchise like the Hawks and the Knicks fall upon hard times. Some games are better than others, and I don’t like a 71-63 final score any more than the next guy. I would prefer it if field goal percentages were higher, but I recognize that the prevalence of the 3 point shot will naturally cause percentages to dip, and I think the league is better with the 3 pointer than without it. And I cringe when a so-called sharp shooter can’t hit a mid-range jumper consistently in traffic. But overall, I loves me Pro Hoops.

In fact, I think the style of play today is much better now than in the Jordan Era, when most teams were playing Knicks style “thug ball” (No offense to King Michael, for he can’t be held responsible for what other teams were doing- His 6 rings were a hell of an accomplishment, as were Magic’s 5 rings, and Magic had Larry Bird to contend with). The NBA is very healthy and stable financially, and news of the labor agreement was met with much rejoicing (plus, the new agreement changes the system so that cheapskate owners like Donald Sterling will no longer receive a bonus for staying under the salary cap).

Whether it’s a forward coming off a pick for an alley-oop, a guard finding his man for a sweet basket in transition, or Ben Wallace putting the stop on someone fool enough to challenge him, I truly Love This Game.

Nice post Wartime C. I’m in the UK so don’t follow the NBA too closely, but liked it when I was in the US for a time. The SD could do with some more threads on the sport of basketball. Its the finals for chrissakes and this is the first one I’ve seen that mentions them.

The NBA is okay for me but I really don’t pay much attention until the playoffs and the finals.
Even with the finals going on I actually only tune in for the last quarter. That seems to be where all the excitement and the highlights come from.
I don’t think I’ve seen a game where I missed some important highlight from the first three quarters.
Horry hitting that 3 at the end of game 5 was a thing of beauty. But if that same shot was hit within the first 5 minutes of the game no one would have noticed.

Even for game 7 I won’t be tuning in until the last half hour.

Thanks, Myler. I kind of figured that there would be few responses to this thread, since nobody (as you pointed out) had already started a finals thread. I think most dopers are into baseball and football, and that’s fine too.

I’m see that you’re a UK Doper. Basketball’s international appeal has grown tremendously in the past few years, but seems to have not quite caught on in England. I think its neat that the Spurs look like a miniature United Nations, what with players from France, Argentina and the Bahamas in the their starting 5.

You’re not the first person I’ve heard say that, and I can understand. I’m not a big baseball guy, but I kind of pay attention to the World Series. As a hoops fan, I like to watch the entire game when I can because I like the nature of the sport and know that yet another exciting play can happen at any moment. Plus, you never know when a team is going to put together a nice run to establish a lead, or make a big comeback.


The NBA has been in steady decline since Jordan left. The preponderance of “isolation” offense, rusty gate defenses and the morphing of the true PG into a chucker has killed it. Combine that with the fact that the gauranteed contracts are creating a embarrasing ratio of lazy bums to real players. Oh, and have you watched the officiating over the last decade? Its either corrupt, or these are the most incompotent men I’ve ever seen. I tend towards the latter. Wonder if Stern implemented a policy where you weren’t allowed to argue foul calls, much like MLB’s policy on balls and strikes, if it’d help the refs be more consistent and less effected by politicing and the fans.

Unfortunately the Bulls with MJ were so good that teams drifted towards thugball in order to compete and they haven’t gotten away from it. Plus his trancendant ability made other teams think they could draw up successful offenses around one star. Looks like the pendulum is finally swinging away from that though.

Lets not forget that all the young kids coming into the league, crippling the teams who draft them for 3 or more years, are dragging the quality of play down more than you can measure. When it was one or two guys it was fine, as it become more ubiqitous you start seeing every team with 6-7 viable players and a bench full of “projects”. Thats not good for the game. I’d rather watch skilled older guys than young uber-athletes with no concept of the game.

All these flaws are apparently recognized by the league when you see that the new CBA tries to remedy most of these issues.

Gimme College hoop every time, twice in March. When’s football season start again?

MJ’s Bulls were the source of a lot of the stuff wrecking the league right now. Iso-plays, etc. Teams began to try and copy the Bulls and bring “the next Jordan” who could carry them on their back singlehandedly to a championship, instead of recognizing that Jordan was a once in a lifetime player and the blueprint for the mid-90s Bulls could not be duplicated.

Just curious if you’re disagreeing with me or not. I think we pretty much said the same thing, but from the context it sorta seems that you are retorting my comments.

Whatever the ase…yup, I agree. :slight_smile:

I am a fan of the NBA because of the Pacers. I’ve watched them since around the mid 90’s or so when they were extremely good and almost took down the Bulls in the eastern conference. If it weren’t for them I definitely wouldn’t watch any regular season games. The playoffs, though, are good…

…but the first round is stupid. Why have a seven game series with the top seed vs. the bottom? Maybe make it more even and we won’t have sweeps across the board.

Also, the fouling system is the my least favorite part of the game. Let’s forget that fouls are called on almost anything nowadays – it’s sad for there to be a call and the announcers are like “hmmm, let’s take a look at that!” then they show it in super slow motion from 10 different angles. “Yep, wrong call, eh Bob?” Meanwhile, the refs are arguing with each other or just screwing around in general until play resumes. In so many games wrongly called fouls have caused a team the game. When there’s two really good teams competing every foul, point, turn over, and free throw and time taken off the clock matters. It’s just ridiculous.

Omniscient I regret that you have abandoned pro hoops. Did you have a chance to see the Baby Bulls this season? In spite of losing their Main Man (Curry) to a heart condition, they made some noise in the playoffs! They are an example of a young team that is learning how to win, and I look forward to seeing how they do next season. I disagree with your complaint about the NBA officials. I watched a lot of baseball with my Old Man when I was a kid, and I think anybody would concede that different groups of Umps/Refs/Whatever in any sport will call games in a different way. As in baseball or football, the competitors want the calls to be consistent, and I think the NBA ref crews achieve that end. I am glad that the Association got rid of the hand check.

Man, I’ve wanted to start a thread since Game 1 of the Finals, but my Pistons-Heat thread didn’t seem to attract much interest, so I figured people weren’t into the playoffs this year. I figured some Pistons or Spurs fans might at least start a thread.

This has turned into a heck of a series; unfortunately, very few people are watching it.

Pistons need to wake up defensively if they want to win this. Their defensive effort throughout the last two games has been mediocre. Ben W. needs to start getting more rebounds and get more aggressive for steals. And the team needs to avoid stupid technicals. McDeyss and Billups kept the Pistons in game 6, and Rasheed put them over the top for the win. But not seeing any defensive magic like I did in Games 3 & 4, and in the other series, makes me nervous as a Pistons fan right now. I feel like these guys are forgetting what got them here. And they look a little tired when it comes to rebound a ball.

But I don’t even want to predict who’s going to win this. Should be a hell of a game.

Neurotik, I have observed that the Iso plays (such as the Stockton to Malone special “Pick & Roll& Elbow the Poor Bastard”, as well as the Charles Barkley “Backing a Garbage Truck With The Warning Beep”) have fallen out of favor as a consistent, winning, offensive strategy over the past few years. Teams now understand that while the pick and roll and the low post Iso are an important part of offensive strategy, it is more imperative that players move without the ball in a set offense, try to sprint on a fastbreak opportunity, or (better still) have a good transition offense that can take advantage of tiny holes in a tough defense that hasn’t had the opportunity to set up.

Happy, sorry your Pistons v. Heat thread was overlooked. That was one great series and reminded me of those classics from back in the day when the Eastern Conference Finals was a damned war for the floor. I assume you are a Pistons fan, and I am glad to see that team have such a return to glory (even though I hate Bill Laimbeer, John Salley, Dennis Rodman, and Isiah Thomas, the rest of the Bad Thugs, I mean Boys, the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, etc. :wink: )

I think the Lakers were right in trading Shaq a year too early rather than a year too late. He has a bad wheel and his motivation has, how should I say, a certain contextual ambiguity.

As for game 7, if Tim Duncan can step up and be the man he could/should be, the Spurs win easily. If he does yet another disappearing act in the 4th quarter the Spurs are screwed. They cannot rely on Manu (who is going to be a Hall of Fame Inductee someday, but not today) or Tony Parker (who is the spitting image of the annoying European on The Gilmore Girls) to save the day. Tim will have to win one without David Robinson, and that may be a tall order for him. Just My Opinion.

I only hope game 7 is at least partially interesting… so far we’ve had about a quarter and a half’s worth of interesting basketball so far in the Finals. Even when the blowouts and game 6 were close, they were still boring. I probably watch well over a hundred games of basketball a year between UConn, the Celtics, random college and NBA games during the year, and all playoff games I can catch… so I feel pretty confident in saying that when I’m switching to Baseball Tonight with five minutes left in a tight game 6 of the NBA Finals, there’s something not-interesting going on here. It’s like at any given time, there’s virtually no chance that something dynamic is going to happen with these two teams involved… with the exception of Horry taking over the end of 5, of course. We have a bunch of jump shooters who miss a lot (Hamilton because he is wearing a Bruce Bowen jersey, the rest of them 'cause they just miss a lot)… we have mediocre refs working the sport that is IMO hardest to ref to begin with, and then teams playing thug-ball so that if they called everything that should be called the game would grind to a halt (and don’t even get me started on travelling - take a look at Ginobili’s shot at the end of regulation in game 5 and count the steps after he picks it up)… Ginobili is a flopper and thoroughly not-fun to watch play for the most part… it is just frustrating basketball to watch after having been treated to three rounds of watching Nash to Stoudamire.

Whew, good to get that off my chest. Anyways, we need a new crew of uber-refs who can enforce the existing rules, we need a five year moratorium on pretending to give a damn about Phil Jackson or Larry Brown, we need this drafting of players who are never going to help your team to stop (be it foreign players with “measureables” or high school kids who will be good in four years - for every Amare we get way too many Darkos and Kwame Browns on teams that should be trying to get competitive with proven college players). We need Isiah Thomas to be traded from the Knicks to the Lakers, because the only thing more amusing than how he’s destroying the Knicks would be Phil Jackson wailing as he destroyed the Lakers in the same way. We won’t get into starting the Finals games promptly at 8 or 8:30 instead of quarter past 9, because that’s a problem that every sport has… but on the other hand, it’s even more of a problem for basketball because to a casual fan only the last five minutes matters, and you can’t say that it wouldn’t help the sport in the long run for more kids to be saying “Wow, that Horry guy is amazing!” as they see it happen instead of on Sportscenter the next morning. Grrr. They should have let me add some provisions into the new labor agreement… then again, at least it’s done.

As for tomorrow night, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Tim Duncan could very well be determining his legacy one way or the other. It’s clear that Ginobili isn’t physically well compared to how he was in games 1 and 2 - with more (and effective) Duncan and high percentage shots from the rest of the offense, though, the Spurs should win. Hopefully it will be entertaining, either way.

Hey, I feed off of the nation’s ire. I live in Chicago and am currently working in Ohio, and when people see my passion for Detroit sports, they just look at me as if I were standing there with my penis out. I have encountered no one outside of Michigan who is rooting for the Pistons. And I love it that way.

And Laimbeer, Mahorn, Rodman, et al? The more people hated 'em, the more I loved 'em. Nice guys like Duncan make me ill. (Joe Dumars notwithstanding.) Grant Hill? Never liked him. Never fit in here.

I think we share feelings about Isiah Thomas, though. Never liked the guy. I thinks he’s an asshole, he just never embraced it like the rest of the Bad Boys. He tried to mask it beind his aw-shucks grins and soft-spoken demeaner. Screw him.

Detroiters are a special breed.

Well, it’s official: No one’s interested in this series. This thread sank faster than my Detroit-Miami one.

Wartime Consigliori, it was a worthy effort.
Go Pistons!

Well, congrats to the San Antonio.

And if it hadn’t been the Pistons playing them, I’d’ve been rooting for them. There isn’t a guy on the Spurs team I don’t like. And I hate not being able to loathe the team we’re playing against.

Happy, single-handedly keeping this damn thread alive

Congrats to the Spurs.

That game was, um, pretty damn boring. Back to work!

That was the most annoying series I’ve ever watched. I’m glad San Antonio won, but I may not watch another game for at least a year.