Wednesday, May 29, 2013

So Go Ahead, You Make the Call

This photo perfectly illustrates how freakishly athletic the modern NBA has become. What was this play? Foul on Bosh? Offensive foul on Stephenson? Soon-to-be foul/good block by the flying Wade?

I mean, really. LOOK at this photo.

Every play last night, there was contact. Every play it seemed, somebody was falling down. The current generation of NBA players are incredibly adept at subtle moves to initiate and imitate fouls. Forget "flopping". They don't need that. A simple arm grab, stumble, lean-in, or nudge will do the trick.

The game is nearly un-ref-able.

Unless you are cool with 60 free throw nights, and 3 guys getting fouled out in the 3rd quarter.

I don't have any good answer, but I know the answer is NOT more replay. If ever a "system" was failing on design, it is the NBA's use of video. Selective. Limited. And often, still wrong. (See Ray Allen out of bounds call).

Today's players jump through the roof. They CONTEST the living shit out of every shot, every drive, every inch of floor space. In a desperate game like Game 4, when players really put their full athletic "oomph" into the game on every possession, it's a spectacular freak show.

But I don't know how you call it. If nothing else, let's not dole out ticky tack technicals, and pay attention when an OBVIOUS 24 second shot clock violation call is botched.

Oh, and for all of you old white dudes (older and whiter than me, that is!) who still want to insist Pistol Pete could "play in today's NBA no problem".... well, here's some action shots of what "defense" looked like back in the day.


Now run along.


  1. One agree, one disagree.

    1) The only answer is one that won't happen: widen the court. It would do wonders for watchability and team play.

    2) Maravich could EASILY play in today's NBA, because no player in the history of the game had Maravich's skill level. When you watch athletic marvels like Paul George miss a layup because he couldn't shoot it with his left hand, you understand just how much today's game has sacrificed in the name of vertical. With Pete's shooting range and height, he would do just fine. And his teammates would love him--once the passes stopped bouncing off their heads.

  2. Un-ref-able, and unwatchable. I agree with David, Pistol Pete could play today without a problem. Czabe, they played defense back then. They just didn't commit assault and battery every play like they do now.

  3. As far as Pistol goes, he didn't have a 3 point line but still averaged like 50 / game. I think Pete would have fared just fine in today's NBA regardless of what you think, Czabe. He might not have averaged 50 but maybe 60 with 3 point line. OK, I'm reaching. Today's game is faster, players are stronger, whatever. The average player, however, is lacking in fundamentals. Look at guys' short range jumpers, they never use the backboard. Passing the ball. What? Pass? Just a few examples.

  4. he'd be jeff hornacek in todays nba.

  5. It's obvious to me. Expand the size of the court and lift the basket 6-12". Screw the statistics.

  6. Widen the court and raise the basket. The other thing is you have to make fouls more important. Players foul today because it doesn't really mean anything. They are not worried about fouling out. Change it to 4 fouls and you are out - or even 3. Then you will see much less contact and the game will be easier to officiate. Or here is a radical idea - do it like hockey. For every foul you have to sit out for 90 seconds. Your team has to play a man down!

  7. I like it. Power Plays in Basketball. Let's go with on-the-fly line shifts, too. Imagine that! how about the 2 quarters with the "long change" where the bench is far away from your defensive end! THAT would be fun to watch, anyway. Today's game, unwatchably boring. Bitches like LeBron are exactly why. Can't root for that no matter who he plays for. Let's not try to defend the defense of the 70s and 80s, scores were always over 100 and regularly 120-130.