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Another Dose of Boring-Ass Basketball History. - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Another Dose of Boring-Ass Basketball History. [Jun. 8th, 2005|07:30 pm]

A Pistons fan, jemfayeapril, asked me today these two wonderful questions in the pistons_fans community:

Why do people think this series will be boring?

Why are the Spurs the "hip" choice in America?

Thank you, jemfayeapril. I started to answer your questions, but after a few paragraphs, I realized the answer fit better as a post. They are excellent questions, and a lot of people might actually wonder, based off the assumptions that the 2005 NBA Finals will be boring, and the Spurs are the "hip" choice. By "hip," I believe you mean the "favorite" to win.

Why do people think this series will be boring?

My answer:


A rough 33 percent of the league's teams scored on average of 100 points per game.


Almost half the league's teams allowed on average of 100 points per game.

Looking back to previous decades, the scores were often quite higher on both sides. Looking back to the Pistons last championship run (mid 1980s through 1991), the Pistons and the league scored far more points.

However, the biggest difference remains the lack of guys like Reggie Miller.

Far too many guys throw up 3 pointers when they cannot hit a mid-range jump shot. Shooting fundamentals have escaped the league outside of the big men . . . many SFs (tweeners) can't shoot well, and far too many shooting guards can't shoot well enough to be considered . . . shooting guards.

A good example of a more traditional star at SG would be Ray Allen.

In the NBA, prior to this decade, shooters who averaged under 40 percent from the floor for the season could easily find themselves out of the NBA.

In the NBA, today, some of its stars shoot regularly from below 40 percent.

One would think it is due to a surge in defense. Yet, take a look again at the stats.

Remember how Miami was not compared to Phoenix because they had defenders? Well, their team defense was quite inconsistent, from my view.

Granted, I'm watching Detroit every night, but we'll make the cut-off at solid team defense below Miami.

By the way, Miami was considered good defense. It is true, however . . . most years, team defensive points allowed (95) would have been outstanding.


When I was a kid, the Pistons had the best defense . . . at a tune of 98 points allowed, on average.

Now, go back to the current year of stats . . . where do you think these Pistons would have finished, in 1989-1990?

If you ask me, they wouldn't fall where Minnesota did that year. They would be mediocre, if not for their inconsistent offensive production.

The main differences, again, that I notice from then and now in the league . . . not many guys can hit a jump shot with regularity. Also, not a lot of guys know how to pass a basketball. Also, fouls, as I remember, were often called tighter in the paint. Guards the size of Allen Iverson could swoop past their defender into the paint for a shot, without fear that a big man would knock them flat (if the big man's name wasn't Laimbeer, Rodman, or Barkley).

Example of a traditional big man . . . oddly enough, it is Shaq. He does tend to commit to the paint and shoot, but he does see open players, and he does pass the ball.

A better example of a traditional big man . . . Vlade Divac.

In sum, people remember the 1990s and the 1980s, and they remember Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tom Chambers, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Isiah Thomas, Scottie Pippen, Jeff Hornacek, Chris Mullen, Kevin McHale, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, John Stockton, Karl Malone, and a host of other stars. They forget, however, that the league was filled with capable support staff which could shoot the jump, defend, and pass, especially on the teams that made it into the Conference Finals.

Apologies go to anyone who played on their level that wasn't given a mention. Remember that history is written by the dominant, and if your team didn't make a few post-seasons, well, hey. Nobody outside of Detroit remembers who the hell Dave Bing is. In 30 years, few will remember the 1990s outside of Michael Jordan.

People will, however, start to look back at previous teams in the past decades because Detroit and San Antonio are few of the teams who not only play traditional offense, but they also feature guys with jump-shots to go with mid-and-3 range. They also dunk. They pass. They set up for offense, with varied success on any given night. They also play defense which gets away in the physical 21st Century of the NBA. The 1988-1990 Bad Boys were villified because they were a prototype defense for the current dominant defenses in the NBA. Few had witnessed such a physical team after years of Boston and Los Angeles.

Why are the Spurs the "hip" choice in America?

The Answer:

The Spurs are the "hip" choice to win the Finals because they stepped up to Phoenix in the Western Conference series and dropped 100-plus point bombs on them. At the same time, Phoenix's front 5 ran into disciplined defense, and they coughed up the ball more than they were accustomed to in the West Offensive. Before Phoenix, San Antonio had their tough challenge which prepared them for the Suns. Seattle can score, but they, like Miami, didn't have the best defense to match. Before Seattle, San Antonio dispatched Denver on a technicality. Denver had a good defense, but they never had outside range on shots. All San Antonio had to do was clog up the inside, and they found out that Denver couldn't throw it outside with regular success.

The Pistons, on their way to the Finals, dispatched a weak Philadelphia team which gave more points on average to the opponent than they usually scored. They switched gears with Indiana and played the mind-blowingly slowest offense, which only worked because guys like Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley just don't guard like Jermaine O'Neal, Reggie Miller, and the absent Ron Artest. They went to seven against a powerful offense in Miami and won not because Shaq and D-Wade went lame with injury but because the supporting cast of Joneses, Haslem, Butler, and Mourning played quite inconsistent basketball when asked to share a greater load. The supporting Miami cast did not show the 1st season offensive fire-power against even the most reeling Piston defense in the 2nd season.

These teams are an even match on defense. The Pistons can score over 100 points, but San Antonio did just that with ease in the last round, and they do have far more consistent offense over the course of the 2nd season.

Even San Antonio figures at this point that they can out-run Detroit, like they did to best Phoenix at their own game.


We'll see.

Something tells me that the fouls called will be tighter than they've been in the previous rounds. I sense that the referees will attempt to unclog the paint, especially since two of the best-disciplined defenses will do just that. They'll also call tighter defense inside because the NBA fears 7 games of the lowest scores in recent NBA history.

Also, San Antonio has held a longer run in 2nd seasons than Detroit. They have 2 recent championships. Detroit essentially started their championship run with the 1st year of Ben Wallace. Their run with Big Ben starts around 2001 from the obscurity to today. San Antonio's run starts with Tim Duncan's rookie year in 1997.

This series will also feature two of the better coaches in the NBA, Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich, playing their starters and role players in a clever game of wits over brawn and substance with flash.


In sum, San Antonio's the favorite because they've been doing it longer than Detroit. However, they're the favorite only by so much.

There will be at least one ugly game, but there will be some fantastic basketball to enjoy this year. At this point, it doesn't matter who wins. The winner will be the fans of basketball.

Cloned. Cloned.


(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-06-09 08:37 pm (UTC)
Bill Simmons also compares his writing to a quick-conclusion blog.


You're right. Detroit's been partly-shitty all the way through the 2nd season. Even the defense caved a bit in one game when they weren't looking for it to bend.

I think it's merely impossible to tell, given that the only series which produces a high probability of lop-sided victories tends to be the perpetual "Game 7" of the Super Bowl.

In the World Series, the Stanley Cup, and the NBA Finals, all of these go for maximum games. They produce few surprises (like Detroit's victory in 2004).

You're right . . . San Antonio has a chance to dominate Detroit in ways they aren't accustomed to submit. In fact, Detroit's run to the Finals resembles Los Angeles's run at this time, last year.

If the media had predicted a Pistons series domination, then I would counter-point that to no end.

It is clear that Detroit remains the underdog. Historically, this is a position they use to advantage. Most teams, however, do not have a defense on their level.

For this series, it will once again remain dependent upon the victor to stay healthy, play matchups well, and in the final moments, the experienced players must hit their shots.

San Antonio's bench, to date, has proved far deeper than Detroit's. Then again, Miami's bench looked better before Detroit's series. At conclusion of the ECF, the supporting cast faded.

I'm interested to see how Bruce Bowen shoots in this game.

If he has a great shooting night, watch out for the blowout.

If Rasheed Wallace steps up and delivers a monster game, then the guards will be able to move the ball for Detroit.

The only idea I feel certain of failure is San Antonio's desire to continue their run and gun against Detroit. That will not work, not even if they call tight fouls inside, like I feel will happen. Detroit is not fast, but they are quick. Run and gun relies on speed, and speed kills only to a certain amount against Detroit. D-Wade speed kills, for sure.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: fullerton
2005-06-09 04:50 am (UTC)
This evening, I went on a quest to find LJ'rs who do not suck.

You have opinions about Basketball and thus do not suck.

Mission Accomplished!

You have been added.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-06-09 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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