Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Interesting note on the Suns/Mavs series

I was reading TrueHoop the other day, and I ran across this post which I found to be really interesting. Basically, it talks about this:

It occurs to me that whoever wins the Dallas-Phoenix Series will become prototype 1A for how to build a team in the newest version of the NBA.

Obviously, it's not quite that simple, but I thought it was interesting.

Of course, the Suns are almost forced to play this way now because of injuries, especially to Amare Stoudemire. They have no inside prescence, so running and gunning is the only way they could have gotten this far.

For the Mavs, it's been a much longer process that Cuban has basically tweaked time and time again. He's gone from "get the most talent possible no matter how well they fit in" to getting talented guys, but ones that fit the system, and that has transformed the Mavs from a high octane all offense/no defense team to a more grind it out team, and one that's 2 wins away from the Finals after. It's really been interesting to watch.

The underrated thing about these teams is that you need to have a good coach (D'Antoni and Johnson are two of the best) to be able to implement the schemes and make adjustments. It's one thing to have talent, it's another thing to know how to best use and maximize that talent, and that is what D'Antoni and Johnson have been so excellent at.

But I do agree with the basic point of what TrueHoop was getting at - I think quicker, multi-position players will be more sought after than the slower, grind-it-out guys. With the way the game and the rules are changing, I think that can be safely assumed. Which suits me just fine.

6 comments:

The Armchair Quarterback said...

I agree. Plodding players like Zydrunis Ilgauskas are not the future but Amare Stoudamire and Lebron James are.

Pradamaster said...

I find it really interesting the relationship between Avery Johnson and Mike D'Antoni and the personnel of their teams. Both are such amazing coaches because they're not afraid to make unconventional adjustments, but at the same time, they both have teams that make it possible to make on-the-fly adjustments. Especially Avery Johnson. Stick Johnson on the Suns, and he's not able to make such quick adjustments. He simply doesn't have the personnel. Dallas' roster is so deep and features so many different types of players that it's not so hard to make game-to-game adjustments. Part of that is Avery, but part of that is Mark Cuban and the makeup of the Dallas personnel. D'Antoni is the same way. He's able to play his style because he has a great point guard in Steve Nash, three unique forwards in Shawn Marion, Boris Diaw, and Tim Thomas, a jet-quick bench guard in Leandro Barbosa, and a gritty 2 guard in Raja Bell. If you stick D'Antoni with a different team, his style is not nearly as effective.

I guess my point is that while I agree that the NBA is going in the direction of a smaller, quicker game, I think we won't see many teams be as successful with that style as Dallas and Phoenix. Certainly, we'll see many teams try to win with small-ball. But I also think we'll see many teams fail. It takes a certain type of personnel and certain types of coaches to succeed by playing the small-ball style. In a couple years, I think we're going to realize this.

Ian C. said...

I think we're definitely seeing the future of the NBA in this series. But only to a point. A team has to have the correct personnel, and as Pradamaster points out, not every team does. Yet some will try, anyway.

I also wonder if we'll see even more of a schism between the Eastern and Western conferences, where the Western teams play wide-open, and the Eastern teams grind it out. As a basketball fan, I hope the more fun style wins out.

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