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Thread: NBA Playoffs

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    Your final two statements are dead-on.

    I'm a Knicks fan, so I find myself forced to defend them from a position of disadvantage. =) While fully admitting they had a deleterious effect on the whole with their physical brand of defense -- leading to figurative and sometimes literal slugfests with the Heat, which while inartistic were still high theater -- the overall level of play of the NBA stayed pretty high through most of the Ewing years, in large part due to Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Those Bulls teams were magnificent, and the playoffs were always tremendous.

    Even after the Knicks screwed stuff up, you still had Vince Carter, Iverson and the Lakers keeping stuff exciting. I remember Bucks-Sixers in 2001 being a tremendous series -- Iverson spit blood inside his jersey so the refs couldn't see and make him come out! -- and I used to love the Nets-Celtics series back then.

    All that said, I can't deny the Knicks eventually had a negative effect on the league, but the post-Jordan hangover (which includes his years on the Bullets) had just as much a negative effect, if not more. Not to mention, the league's always in better shape when the they have a good team in the New York market, and the Knicks happened to be much better when they were beating everyone up with Oakley and Mason.
    I agree with most of your comment, but disagree with Iverson and Carter keeping things exciting. They were both extremely talented and exciting players to watch one-on-one. The problem, in my mind, is at that time their teams' (and others) offensive strategies consisted of trying to get good isolation plays for them and took out much of the passing that I enjoy in the game. I also agree with Matches that early entry has hurt the college game. The ACC in the 80s and even early 90s was just ridiculous when you compare its talent level to the present.
    “Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”

  2. #62
    Totally fair, NSDukeFan. I remember that 2001 Sixers playoff run fondly -- I liked how they designed the whole team around their one transcendent talent and reached the heights they did -- but I can't deny the NBA descended into way too much one-on-one play at that point and over the following decade.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    Totally fair, NSDukeFan. I remember that 2001 Sixers playoff run fondly -- I liked how they designed the whole team around their one transcendent talent and reached the heights they did -- but I can't deny the NBA descended into way too much one-on-one play at that point and over the following decade.
    I can't fault Iverson here as he took a very untalented team to the finals. He certainly was fun to watch. I agree with you and just didn't like the style of play that this team and others used. This solidified my college over pro preference.
    “Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    Your final two statements are dead-on.

    I'm a Knicks fan, so I find myself forced to defend them from a position of disadvantage. =) While fully admitting they had a deleterious effect on the whole with their physical brand of defense -- leading to figurative and sometimes literal slugfests with the Heat, which while inartistic were still high theater -- the overall level of play of the NBA stayed pretty high through most of the Ewing years, in large part due to Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Those Bulls teams were magnificent, and the playoffs were always tremendous.

    Even after the Knicks screwed stuff up, you still had Vince Carter, Iverson and the Lakers keeping stuff exciting. I remember Bucks-Sixers in 2001 being a tremendous series -- Iverson spit blood inside his jersey so the refs couldn't see and make him come out! -- and I used to love the Nets-Celtics series back then.

    All that said, I can't deny the Knicks eventually had a negative effect on the league, but the post-Jordan hangover (which includes his years on the Bullets) had just as much a negative effect, if not more. Not to mention, the league's always in better shape when the they have a good team in the New York market, and the Knicks happened to be much better when they were beating everyone up with Oakley and Mason.
    Don't take what I said to mean I think every problem in the NBA in that time frame was a function of the Knicks. That is far from true. The Knicks were one part of a larger issue. I just don't like it when people throw the Pistons and the Knicks into one heap. On a spectrum of ugly physical basketball, I found the Knicks to be farther to one side than the Pistons.

    What happened to the league in that eight year span from 1994 through 2002 was a function a natural hangover. Too many players, who didn't realize the amount of work that the "Dream Team" generation put in, tried to take over the league without really understanding or being willing to understand what it took to do it.

    And I also agree with you and hate the "Jordan ruined the NBA" argument. That is a total crock.

  5. #65
    Word. Understood. And I think you're right -- though Jordan is maligned for getting on the new generation's case for reaping benefits without putting the work in, there's at least some basis to it. (Where his argument is hypocritical is he got a shoe contract in the winter of 1984 before he had accomplished anything in the pros, and the lane was paved for him by Bird and Magic.)

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    Word. Understood. And I think you're right -- though Jordan is maligned for getting on the new generation's case for reaping benefits without putting the work in, there's at least some basis to it. (Where his argument is hypocritical is he got a shoe contract in the winter of 1984 before he had accomplished anything in the pros, and the lane was paved for him by Bird and Magic.)
    Look at the guys who got big salaries before ever winning anything in the NBA -
    Kenny Anderson, Derrick Coleman, Stephon Marbury, Shawn Bradley, etc.

    These guys are the reason the league sucked in the 1990s and they had to re-do the rookie wage scale. I think that is probably Jordan's complaint. Remember Kucoc making more than Pippen?

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Look at the guys who got big salaries before ever winning anything in the NBA -
    Kenny Anderson, Derrick Coleman, Stephon Marbury, Shawn Bradley, etc.

    These guys are the reason the league sucked in the 1990s and they had to re-do the rookie wage scale. I think that is probably Jordan's complaint. Remember Kucoc making more than Pippen?
    I know, that was pretty crazy. And you're right, those guys never grew into their contracts. Guys like Glenn Robinson led to that first NBA lockout, the year after Jordan left, when the league's momentum crashed and burned.

    Jordan's comments on Oprah always stuck in my mind, and they seemed directed at the LeBrons and Kobes of the world. (I like in this video Barkley sitting there uncomfortable, Oprah conveying that she knows this is a weird moment, and the crowd cheering without knowing what they're cheering for)

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Matches View Post
    And if any of us are being honest with ourselves, we have to admit that the quality of play in college bball has declined dramatically over the last 20 years. Early entry has just butchered the college game. The intensity of the college game remains superior to the NBA, but if it wasn't for my personal investment in the Duke team I'd probably never watch the college game at all. Even with our '11 team, which was one of the best in the country, I can only count about 4-5 games that were well-played by BOTH teams.
    I agree with this. It's interesting, because the level of athleticism and I'd even argue the average level of individual skill amongst college players is dramatically higher than it was 20 years ago. It's just that, 20 years ago, teams stayed together for several years and thus developed more team chemistry and coordination. The guys who were one-and-dones still usually stayed 3 years, and those guys often didn't even start as freshmen (in part because other one-and-done caliber guys were still ahead of them).

    Conversely, the quality of play in the NBA is vastly superior to that of the college game today. This is true both offensively and defensively (despite people's protests that the NBA plays no defense). It's just that the rules so advantage the offense and players are so skilled and athletic that it's hard to prevent scoring.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spret42 View Post
    Anyone who is still bashing the NBA is either doing for the unspoken reason most people do, or they just don't like basketball to begin with.
    This is a bit of a generalization. The "unspoken reason" does not apply to every NBA detractor, even though casual TV viewers can't help but notice a racial divide between the really wealthy men in the foreground and the fans who still have a disposable income in the background. (I can't identify with either, but have no objection to their good fortune.) And I'm pretty sure I like basketball.

    I'm not exactly ready to bash the NBA, but I am very disappointed with it. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, it's a better product than the college game -- and by that I mean that the level of play is uniformly better. But its appeal as a sport is greatly diminished by its months of meaninglessness and embarrassing predictability. By comparison, the college game -- despite some raw play and boneheaded decisions by many teams in many conferences -- is still event viewing, usually by December, and definitely by January.

    This could be a personal flaw. I can't point to a long-ago past where I greatly admired the NBA and wished for those days to return. I just remember finding it more exciting then, that's all. Maybe I was more naive and hopeful at the time, and now I've outgrown it.

  10. #70
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    implied for what reason?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spret42 View Post
    I also agree with the post you quoted. Anyone who is still bashing the NBA is either doing for the unspoken reason most people do, or they just don't like basketball to begin with .
    Spret42; Can you please be specific here. I'm not sure why you would want to use the words "unspoken reason" when you seem to know what that reason is. Is there some reason you won't speak it?

    I for one think the NBA has incredible talent, and find the playoffs immensely entertaining for the exhibition, but don't find it very entertaining for the first 72 or so games of the regular season. And for the last 10 years, I haven't really believed the playoffs are so much more competition than entertainment. Most of my issues are about the League offices, officials/officiating, and monetary interest in outcomes...is that the unspoken reason of which you speak?

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by brevity View Post
    This is a bit of a generalization. The "unspoken reason" does not apply to every NBA detractor, even though casual TV viewers can't help but notice a racial divide between the really wealthy men in the foreground and the fans who still have a disposable income in the background. (I can't identify with either, but have no objection to their good fortune.) And I'm pretty sure I like basketball.

    I'm not exactly ready to bash the NBA, but I am very disappointed with it. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, it's a better product than the college game -- and by that I mean that the level of play is uniformly better. But its appeal as a sport is greatly diminished by its months of meaninglessness and embarrassing predictability. By comparison, the college game -- despite some raw play and boneheaded decisions by many teams in many conferences -- is still event viewing, usually by December, and definitely by January.

    This could be a personal flaw. I can't point to a long-ago past where I greatly admired the NBA and wished for those days to return. I just remember finding it more exciting then, that's all. Maybe I was more naive and hopeful at the time, and now I've outgrown it.
    But you said it. "I am not ready to bash the NBA."

    I was speaking of the types who go off on tangents about the NBA being "selfish" and the college kids "play the right way." Those types that bring up how the NBA doesn't play "team basketball." I am talking about those that claim the NBA is all "standing around taking turns seeing who can do the flashiest dunk" etc. I was talking about those who flat out just have NOTHING good to say and throw a blanket over the entire league. I am talking about those folks who when posed the question, "When was the last time you watched a game all the way through?" You get a blank stare and, "I don't have to watch it to know it sucks."

    Your criticisms of the NBA are reasoned, rational and I actually agree with them. I would shorten the regular season, contract 2-4 teams and tighten up the product.

    I for one can't watch much college ball because no matter how much the games "matter," I just have too much difficulty watching teams that simply aren't very good at basketball.

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Kfanarmy View Post
    Spret42; Can you please be specific here. I'm not sure why you would want to use the words "unspoken reason" when you seem to know what that reason is. Is there some reason you won't speak it?

    I for one think the NBA has incredible talent, and find the playoffs immensely entertaining for the exhibition, but don't find it very entertaining for the first 72 or so games of the regular season. And for the last 10 years, I haven't really believed the playoffs are so much more competition than entertainment. Most of my issues are about the League offices, officials/officiating, and monetary interest in outcomes...is that the unspoken reason of which you speak?
    See my previous post. I chose the phrase unspoken reason because I was describing what that type will and won't be willing to say. I really don't wanna create a firestorm with this. Cause it wasn't intended to be that way. I was talking about a very specific group of people who just bash away at the NBA. They will give all kinds of reasons but won't be honest about it. They will talk around it. They still see the league as too young, too thuggish, too hip hop and too black.

    The league office, bad officials, monetary interest...sign me up for all of that. The NBA isn't perfect. But again, the type of reasoned criticisms of the league you make aren't the types I am referring too.
    Last edited by Spret42; 04-19-2011 at 04:32 PM.

  13. #73
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    It has been great watching all the Duke alums in the Bulls v Pacers series. The first two game have been great. At one point, Dunleavy, McRoberts, Deng and Boozer were all on the floor. Each is at an interesting point in their career - Dunleavy is the crafty vet trying to come back from injuries, Boozer the All Star starting the back end of his prime, Deng at the height of his powers a key cog on a title contender, McRoberts trying to transition from clueless freak athlete with upside to reliable rotation contributor. Deng, especially, is great to watch, he is all over the place on defense, making steals, getting boards, hawking his shot, etc. I have to give Psycho T a lot of credit, he plays the same game he played in college, with the addition of a solid 15-18 footer, and makes a lot happen out there. I didn't think his hyper-motor effort game would translate considering his earth-bound skills but it does.

    The Pacers, Nuggets and Griz are all similar in that they throw out 9-10 players who are all pretty good. They lack stars but they come at you in waves. When Collison went down at PG for the Pacers, up stepped UConn's AJ Price and he played well. Those deep teams are fun to watch. I agree with whomever said it is fun to see some new blood in these playoffs. If you are a causal NBA fan, make sure you catch Derrick Rose - the kid is playing at an amazing level right now. Also, based on his first game, Duke fan favorite Chris Paul is making predictions of his demise seem premature (gimpy knee and all).

    As a Knicks fan, I am glad to have a dog in the hunt, but don't expect them to beat the Celtics now that Billups is hurt (we had a small chance with him healthy). I am pulling for the Denver Knicks out West (so called because we gave up a good chunk of our team in the Melo trade - all solid fan favorite types), and find myself enjoying the all hole backcourt of Felton and Lawson. Despite years of hating the Bulls for crushing the Knicks, I am puling for Chicago so that more Devils can get rings...although the suddenly under the radar Heat may look better, right now, than anyone.

  14. #74
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    in fairness

    Quote Originally Posted by Spret42 View Post
    ...They will talk around it. They still see the league as too young, too thuggish, too hip hop and too black...
    Perhaps most of them are just behind the times a bit. I think it was just as MJ was leaving the pro game (the 1st time) that the NBA went on an advertising drive to expand their market, got associated with gangsta rap a bit, and frankly there were some really "thuggish" elements on and off the court. Quite a bit has changed in the past decade...I'm not sure that concern is as much about the color of the characters as it is the colorful characters.

  15. #75
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    The only thing that picked me up after the second consecutive devastating Knicks last minute loss was seeing JJ make a SportsCenter Top 10 play in last night's game to go along with his +13 +/- in 19 minutes.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by brevity View Post
    Maybe I was more naive and hopeful at the time, and now I've outgrown it.
    Agreed. Hate to think that 15-20 years ago basketball was more 'pure' to me and now I sometimes look at moments with jaded eyes. However in the 2010 NCAA championship game when Gordon Hayward banked one off the glass I was 10 years old again!

  17. #77
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    You look at the numbers that Dwight Howard has put up this year (including his two playoff games) and it makes you wonder how good this guy can be. If he had a few more guys with a mentality like JJ on his team then they could be a serious contender again. As it stands, regardless of if they knock off the Hawks or not, it appears that Orlando may waste some of Dwight's prime years (similar to KG in Minnesota).

    When the Magic made the Final a few years ago Dwight was not nearly as good as he is now. Hope the Magic can get some roster flexibility to surround him with players capable of following Dwight's lead. At least they dumped Vince Carter, always a good start.

  18. #78
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    Celtics

    Two things were surprising about the C's win over the Knicks last night. First, Rondo scored 30. That may very well be his season high. He does not shoot a whole lot. Second, the C's barely won when it was them vs. Carmelo. They really need to start playing better or the Heat will roll over them in round 2. Granted, they are up 2-0, but they did not seem pleased to have pulled off two close wins.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    Two things were surprising about the C's win over the Knicks last night. First, Rondo scored 30. That may very well be his season high. He does not shoot a whole lot. Second, the C's barely won when it was them vs. Carmelo. They really need to start playing better or the Heat will roll over them in round 2. Granted, they are up 2-0, but they did not seem pleased to have pulled off two close wins.
    Here's an explanation for Rondo's 30. Billups was out with an injury so the Knicks were reduced to 2 point guards, Toney Douglas and Anthony Carter. Douglas got in early foul trouble so Rondo kept driving at him and got lay-up after lay-up. He barely scored outside of 5 feet because he was facing no defensive pressure. I think the Knicks should have brought Carter in earlier, but the Knicks needed Douglas' scoring. The Celtics don't look like a contender at all. The Knicks have been playing well, especially on defense, but the Celtics look old and tired. Maybe it's a bad match-up, but I don't think so. If they make the Finals, it will be a miraculous turnaround.

  20. #80
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    Dwight Howard

    Quote Originally Posted by darjum View Post
    You look at the numbers that Dwight Howard has put up this year (including his two playoff games) and it makes you wonder how good this guy can be. If he had a few more guys with a mentality like JJ on his team then they could be a serious contender again. As it stands, regardless of if they knock off the Hawks or not, it appears that Orlando may waste some of Dwight's prime years (similar to KG in Minnesota).

    When the Magic made the Final a few years ago Dwight was not nearly as good as he is now. Hope the Magic can get some roster flexibility to surround him with players capable of following Dwight's lead. At least they dumped Vince Carter, always a good start.
    Howard may be the best athlete in the NBA. His skills are becoming more polished. The thing that would really concern me though if I were a Magic fan is his demeanor on the court. He has led the league in technicals over the past few years and always seems to be bitching at the refs and smiling like he knows the tv cameras are on him. He comes across to me as really immature and not very focused. He rarely sets out to destroy an opponent or to play like a possessed animal for 40 minutes. He coasts at times and makes dumb mistakes for a guy who came into the league in 2004.

    Howard has the ability to step it up another notch or two - 26-27 ppg, 60+ wins - because of the lack of quality centers around the league. But has to grow up and has to want it more. At this point in his career, I dont know if he will ever be more than an immature, happy-go-lucky kid who loves blocking shots into the 3rd row and dunking on people. Disappointing if the switch never flips in his head.

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