The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

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The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Dee4Three on Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:54 am

And I honestly can't blame it on the players.

After watching quite a few games this year, including Charlotte putting up 135 points, Clippers putting up 136 and 133 a couple nights before (And the Warriors putting up 92 in a half), I am getting frustrated. Players are not even allowed to breathe on eachother most of the time, I am seeing drives to the hoop where the defenders are scared to even get close to the ball handler.

Combine that with players being scared to close out hard in fear of a foul, it just doesn't make for an exciting, competitive brand of basketball to me.

Klay Thompson was on fire, and some of his shots were contested, but the lack of contact in those highlights all over the floor just ruins it for me. Not trying to take away from Klay, who shot the lights out, but just what is going on in general in these highlights on and of the ball.

Yes, a couple examples above are against the injured Bulls, but it seems to be that way in most games I watch (contact wise). The refs have really cracked down on anything physical it seems.

Other scores from last night

Kings vs Heat: 123-113
Lakers vs Timberwolves: 124-120
Bucks vs Raptors: 124-109
Nuggets vs Pelicans: 116-111
Spurs vs Mavericks: 113-108
Knicks vs Nets: 115-96
76ers vs Hawks: 113-92
Blazers vs Pacers: 103-93

The night before the Clippers beat the Wizards 136-104,

The problem isn't the high scoring, the problem is the way the games are being played/handled. I've seen coddling of the players before by the refs, but I've never seen it like this league wide, it feels like it's every game that I watch. it would be one thing if the high scores revolved around a team working hard to score, and earning it. However, it seems that many of these games the opposing team is afraid to play defense, they look afraid to make contact at all.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby [Q] on Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:47 am

You have to understand this is what the league has been trying to do for a decade now, and I think they finally figured out how they can consistently get high scoring games

Man, it was crazy how last night at the end of the game, the Lakers needed a stop and Jimmy Butler was able to bury 3s with excellent defense in his face, with dudes all up on him. Sure, the rules don't apply you to push and hand check like in the 90s but the still has to make the shot under pressure and under duress. Maybe it's due to more players playing at a high level too?
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Dee4Three on Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:01 am

[Q] wrote:You have to understand this is what the league has been trying to do for a decade now, and I think they finally figured out how they can consistently get high scoring games

Man, it was crazy how last night at the end of the game, the Lakers needed a stop and Jimmy Butler was able to bury 3s with excellent defense in his face, with dudes all up on him. Sure, the rules don't apply you to push and hand check like in the 90s but the still has to make the shot under pressure and under duress. Maybe it's due to more players playing at a high level too?


Oh I totally understand that, this is exactly what the league had been shooting for. But in that respect, you even acknowledge that they "finally figured out how" to make it happen. Which is really tightening up on contact.

I don't dispute that some great performances have taken place, some of Currys shot making this year has blown me away (double team contested from like 35 feet). But, it doesn't change how frustrating the NBA is to watch at times this year, watching defenders walk on eggshells all game worried about making any contact whatsoever. They figured out how to have the Clippers score almost 140 points in the same 5-7 day span, and while performances could have been elevated, it doesn't change the fact that the defense has looked weak for the majority of the games (atleast the ones I have watched)
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Andrew on Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:13 am

It's puzzling that they were still trying for it, though. Scoring has been up for some time, we're a long way past stall ball and defensive chess matches that I personally don't mind from time to time, but certainly weren't for everyone. To use a video game analogy, it's like they were already winning, but turned the difficulty down to Rookie anyway.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby sticky-fingers on Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:24 am

[Q] wrote:Maybe it's due to more players playing at a high level too?

no handcheck, no push, and FG% doesnt really improve, i wouldnt saying that.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Jackie Kong on Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:53 am

sticky-fingers wrote:
[Q] wrote:Maybe it's due to more players playing at a high level too?

no handcheck, no push, and FG% doesnt really improve, i wouldnt saying that.


Yes. I think it wouldn't be inaccurate to say the level is worse. Defense went down and there are more shooting fouls so you would expect higher shooting %s but TS% and eFG% actually went down so far compared to last season.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Dee4Three on Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:10 am

sticky-fingers wrote:
[Q] wrote:Maybe it's due to more players playing at a high level too?

no handcheck, no push, and FG% doesnt really improve, i wouldnt saying that.


Its not even necessarily the lack of hand checking/pushing, as the league has basically eradicated that in past seasons anyway. Its more the fact that body contact is not allowed hardly at all it seems, inside and outside. I've never seen defenders look so scared to even body up with an offensive player. I remember when Harden would go to the hoop and pull his shenanigans (over the last few years), you would see players put up hands and not body him AT ALL because they knew he would get the whistle. What seemed like a problem with certain players, or certain matchups, is now a problem league wide with what it seems like all players and all teams.

Obviously we want consistency, but not that type of consistency, as I think it hurts the game more than it helps it. Or at least for me, it's a poorer brand of basketball to watch.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Jeffx on Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:07 am

Dee4Three wrote:Or at least for me, it's a poorer brand of basketball to watch.


It's unwatchable. Call me old and out-of-touch, but give me one of those Knicks-Heat 90-87 defensive slugfests from the late 90s.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby [Q] on Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:18 am

A lower FG percentage could also be due to everyone and their mother jacking up 3s, whether they are good at them or not. You have guys who think they are Josh Smith throwing them up despite being like 20% shooters lol
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Andrew on Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:06 pm

Jeffx wrote:
Dee4Three wrote:Or at least for me, it's a poorer brand of basketball to watch.


It's unwatchable. Call me old and out-of-touch, but give me one of those Knicks-Heat 90-87 defensive slugfests from the late 90s.


Baskets felt earned, back then. It's kind of like what Scott Van Pelt said about the All-Star Game.

phpBB [video]


And that's just the All-Star Game. It's even more disheartening when it's leaking into regular season play as well.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Dee4Three on Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:59 am

Andrew wrote:
Jeffx wrote:
Dee4Three wrote:Or at least for me, it's a poorer brand of basketball to watch.


It's unwatchable. Call me old and out-of-touch, but give me one of those Knicks-Heat 90-87 defensive slugfests from the late 90s.


Baskets felt earned, back then. It's kind of like what Scott Van Pelt said about the All-Star Game.

phpBB [video]


And that's just the All-Star Game. It's even more disheartening when it's leaking into regular season play as well.


Games do resemble all-star games at times this season. Defense looks like it's being played in slow motion (mostly because players are apprehensive about making any contact), while the offense looks fast, and red carpet rides to the hoop exist quite a bit.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby [Q] on Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:04 am

I saw a clip on Facebook where Leonard had a clean block on Simmons and the ref who had a clear view called a foul
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Jackie Kong on Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:57 am

[Q] wrote:I saw a clip on Facebook where Leonard had a clean block on Simmons and the ref who had a clear view called a foul

Yes. That is happening often unfortunately.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Andrew on Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:12 pm

As I said in the other topic, hopefully it evens out sooner rather than later, much like the zero tolerance techs about a decade ago.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby [Q] on Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:22 pm

I was falling in and out of consciousness during the second half but I did notice the Lakers get into the penalty in the 4th with like 10 minutes left. Some deserved but a lot of ticky tack foul calls
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Jackie Kong on Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:12 pm

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/2514 ... e-intended

"We had a call with our competition committee last week, which is made up of coaches, GMs, owners, players, officials to discuss just that, and the consensus, or the strong feeling from the group was that the rule changes were happening as we intended. The question that seems to be coming back from some of the coaches and players is in essence is how much physicality will be allowed on defense, Everybody's feeling their way through this a little bit. What we're hearing is the teams will adjust to wherever we end up, they just want to make sure there is consistency across the league."


I suppose that could lead to many interpretations but I read it as if Silver only cares about points whether it is with defense or without it.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:53 pm

Once again, Silver is determined to place his stamp on the league, quality of the sport be damned. A lot of people say that he's better than Stern, but I just don't see it.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Jackie Kong on Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:24 pm

As an international fan I used to love David Stern. I always saw him as someone who had a true respect for the game, its legends and the NBA as an truly unique entity.

Silver to me is just trying to sell a product. I am not even sure if he likes basketball. I am still waiting for him to prove me otherwise though.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:54 pm

I feel like that's a pretty good take.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby [Q] on Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:18 pm

[Q] wrote:I was falling in and out of consciousness during the second half but I did notice the Lakers get into the penalty in the 4th with like 10 minutes left. Some deserved but a lot of ticky tack foul calls

Not only did the Lakers hit the penalty early, the Mavs ran out of fouls with over 8 minutes left. Ridiculous.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Stress Fracture on Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:33 pm

Can they alter rules in the middle of the season?
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby Andrew on Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:18 am

I don't believe so (maybe under extraordinary circumstances, though likely not), but the way that calls are made can effectively render certain rules moot or minimise their impact, and that's something they can change midyear. Using a basketball video game analogy once again, it's like pushing through a hotfix patch or roster tweak that provides a satisfactory solution in the short term, and then addressing the problem properly in the next game.
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby [Q] on Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:40 am

They can definitely ease off certain "points of emphasis" as they have done in years past
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby wdt92 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:04 am

In the title, and you guys commenting have all really been pointing at the league. You're blaming this all on the league (which is true in a majority blame sense), however, I also feel this is on the players as well. Though I think players have been forced into most of their positions so the blame they receive has to be smaller. This also isn't an "in my day it was better" conversation point. If you watch the tape, you'll see historically this isn't a new thing, but now is far more widespread through the league and made more obvious and as such, worse.

See, I don't think most NBA players as a majority really have ever liked playing defense in the regular season. In fact, I think they are encouraged not to by the league itself (not just because of bad calls, though I agree with those points as well). The NBA has really one main incentive to the majority of their players to play, and that is based on the contract they can provide for that player. Many players years ago (like World B. Free) realized most good defenders don't actually get the bigger paychecks. There are always exceptions, however, if I'm not mistaken Ben Wallace was the first real major defensive player payed equally for his star power to an offensive counterpart. Dwight Howard could also be mentioned, but I believe his star was actually more in line with him being touted early 2007 as the next Shaq. But that was in (earliest) 2002 when Wallace began making his name as a needed figure for a team.

Offensive players are the ones with max deals and lucrative contract offers. So, from my perspective, most players don't play defense at all in the regular season to inflate their offensive production. Advanced analytics has also begun exposing this with the "false 20 points" numbers being talked about far more frequently now. There's countless footage we can look at to show this in the league from at least the 70s onward. The 60s were bad offensively more than defensively on average if you look at the footage and analyze the stats from slowing down their pace. Which makes sense also because the league was on average worse due to lack of talent being paid. Quite a few of the average players were working other jobs and came to play the game for more fun and money on the side.

This pace & space era has just made the lack of defense more obvious as the league can't utilize zone defenses and crowding the paint as an effective measure to hide it.

Which is again to point why it is more obvious and, as such, worse now. The league historically couldn't pay all the players higher incomes in the past. So very few were labeled "stars" and the league kept most contracts smaller for a majority of the players though teams had a more loyal understanding with their players. So to maintain their spot in the league, there were more players who did play defense than now. The teams rewarded them with the "keep getting them checks" mode. Also, there were more roles for defensive qualities in the past thanks to the rules allowed. The enforcer role which has now become extinct comes to mind.

This is where I blame the players the most. They killed their own real chance of being rewarded for their defensive efforts by starting this "we control our destiny" in free agency that started the lack of loyalty that this era has. As such teams can't be trusted to keep the player, because neither side trusts one another. If I invest in your team, as a player with my body, I don't trust you will keep me in my 30s. You're liable to up and sign someone else to just replace me as soon as I'm slowing down. If I invest with you as our player as a GM, I don't trust you'll give me your prime if you're not being given everything you want. You will up and leave as soon as a slightly better opportunity comes around.

Again, I speak generally for most of the players. There are exceptions. I also do agree the league is more at fault as well. They want the offensive production higher and have started this push for a long time. Before Stern and during his reign as well. Keep in mind during the 60s the NBA was promoted like a circus show or wrestling event. The trade for Bill Russell included a promotional event after all. The league still holds and understands what gains profit. High scoring games are viewed "more exciting" despite how terrible for the game falsely produced performances are. Again, just space really makes this obvious, the league having no loyalty as a whole to one another also made this change worse.

Anyway! I just wanted to share my point that the players have been doing this as well and need their blame for their part. :)
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Re: The defense overall is terrible this year - On the league, not the players

Postby [Q] on Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:12 am

Oh for sure you got kids that grew up watching Curry jack up 3s and they want to be just like him.
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