The current game in the NBA has changed so much today. There are virtually no down low scoring options, opposed to back 30 years ago, when there were guys like Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Patrick Ewing, who were all steadily putting up 20 or more a game. Shots for bigmen has also declined, as they are not looked to as inside/out game – opposed to the older big fells looked to as the inside option as 1 – getting their shots in the 80s and 90s.
Is it due to better players – or is the whole system is broken?
29 year old SG, Steph Curry has ruined today’s generation with the 3 point shot. The deep ball was an added weapon – something that no one relied on, it has now become the true essence of a teams offense to run through. I understand that basketball has evolved, as any sport always does. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t changed for the better though. And don’t get me wrong, I like Curry as a player. I think he is talented and an amazing shooter, but over the last 5 years in particular, there has been a huge difference in how kids learn the game these days. No one knows how to move without the ball anymore, they stand around the perimeter and wait for the ball to swing to them to get their chance at a 3.
The younger generation growing up all want to be Curry. College basketball is becoming that as well. Golden State started a great downfall in the NBA. With players pulling up for a 3 on a 2 on 1 break, changes everything we learned in fundamental hoops. When it works, it is great. When it doesn’t, bricks are flying – and it’s like watching a sloppy gym class game. 30 years ago, players like Larry Bird, and Darrell Griffith were lethal as their teams deep ball masters, they would end up the season with 90-100 treys – and they were likely in the top 3 in the NBA at the end of the season. Fast forward to 2017 – there were 104 players with 100 or more 3FG made on the season. Think about that for a brief moment. Does this men they were better players back then – or just the amount of opportunity? We know the answer.
The lack of ball movement down low and set play fundamentals has been diminished. The players of today are bigger and more athletic than the players from 20-30 years ago – yes, but a skilled overall game is vastly lacking. The basics and fundamentals are focused on far less by today’s generation of players. The game has evolved to just about shooting 3’s everywhere on the court. It has become unbalanced with the core emphasis on firing off 3’s.
With almost half the leagues teams putting up an average of 30 or more/threes a game, it is making the game repetitive and blah to watch at times. Something should be done to change it. Bring back a bigman who can dominate the game from down low. Watching a player stick a 28 footer is awesome – don’t get me wrong, as a lifelong fan of Larry Bird – I have loved the deep game. But when players take 60% of their shots out behind the arc, it lessons the impact to me. Somehow, someway. Players are just driving to the hoop, and dishing out to someone spotting up, we all see it every game, it is so predictable.
Maybe push the 3pt shot back even 4-5 feet – modify it. It doesn’t mean players like James Harden, and Steph Curry wont still drill their shots. But, when they start shooting 2-10 from there and not 5-10 every game, the game plan will be more than just dribble off the pick and chuck it from the arc. If they’re not going allow guys to play hands on defense in this soft basketball era – they need to move the 3pt line back. The game has far too much isolation ball and it has gotten to the point of being boring, at times. The NBA has gotten very soft, where pretty much everything seems to be a foul – I think the evolution of the 3ball is also a symptom of that.
Where’s the inside game, the up and under? Where’s the 12ft jumper? Bring it back to when, power forwards and centers were actually part of the offense, and not just surviving on offensive rebounds. It was a nice novelty when a team had a “shooting big man” like Dirk Nowitzki, who could drift out and create a matchup problem for a team – but now it is every team, every game. I think that is why players struggle to make a mid range jumper anymore.
The 3 is used far too much, of course we expect some 3 pointers put up, but because of the constant 28 footers – the tough physicality of the game is being abandoned. I love physical basketball, players who can shoot, but not guys who are terrified of getting into the paint, and do mans work. No teams play hard nosed basketball anymore. No tough in your face ball down low.
I hope the game will adjust, it went from dump down post plays to more of the pick and roll, to the now drive and kick with 3 point shot. Teams will make the adjustments on their defenses planned all around stopping the 3 pointer, and I hope down the road all the players who are living from the three point line, start to deal with a better defending of the arc and a massive defensive void in the lane will begin. A player comes up and destroys the league with a ridiculous mid range/post up game. Which will turn the league back into a battle in the paint.