Originally Posted by OldRightHander
Ok, I recognize the talent on this year's team, but am I the only one who actually preferred watching basketball the way it used to be played? It seemed that when I played (and that's been quite a few years ago) it was a markedly different game, more passing and less dribbling. I was a shooting guard and I hardly ever did much dribbling. I was working off the ball to get open and then I either took an open shot or passed it down low to someone posting up. Sure, there was the occasional fast break that would come off a defensive play, but it seemed the half court offense was more important then, not as much run and gun.
Now as I type this, I'm watching Argentina and Greece and they're pretty much playing the way I was talking about. It's pretty entertaining actually. I know it's just a stylistic preference, and maybe it's partly because I was always a slow white guy with a good outside shot.
Yeah, the change in American basketball happened when a few things took place.
1) Team defense improved in the '90's. In the '80's, you had one defensive guy and four others who saw defense as your chance to rest before your next offensive possession. The Pistons changes that with Mahorn, Rodman, Laimbeer, and others. They were so physical. Look at the '92 Dream Team. Barkley, Malone, Bird, Magic, and Mullin were all defensive liabilities. The only guy like that on this team is Carmelo Anthony.
2) Team continuity changed with free agency. In the '80's you had teams that played together for years. They would add one or two parts, but would remain largely intact over a 4-5 year period. The only two teams to accomplish that this decade has been the Pistons and the Spurs, two of the most accomplished teams. Solid passing offense requires time and practice, something that very few teams have.
3) Expansion. There are more teams. In 1984, there were 23 teams. Now there are 30. Imagine if you contracted 7 teams and redistributed the players. If you got rid of the 7 worst teams in the NBA, these guys would be redistributed:
Brand (w/ the Clippers)
-Tell me that that wouldn't improve the overall level of play of the other teams.