RB Sports Discussion > SEC Sports

Has the center become a dinosaur in basketball??

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Michaelt:
Morning all,

I'm not much of a follower of basketball but watch snippets and highlights here and there. Question comes to mind; has the center position in basketball gone away? I scanned the Arkansas roster and the positions were listed as guards and forwards. Is the "big man in the middle" and antiquated part of basketball these days? Is it because the game has gotten much faster and are there not much possession type offenses any longer?

Pig in the Pokey:
if he cant switch on defense off screens or be able to close out on 3 point shooters than , yes. Prototype is more like what Owens does for Tech. 6'11, thin, fast, quick, long, energetic.

ChicoHog:
Blame most of it on the 3 point shot.  I miss the days of watching Joe Kleine or Akeem Olajuwan post up inside.  Basketball has changed so much just like football.  Not for the better either IMO but I'm an old guy! 

hogmolar:
It is all about metrics and numbers now.  This is why the Musselman hire is really good.  I think I read an article that stated it is better to shoot 25% from 3 point than to shoot 40% from 2.  It benefits teams to take more threes even if they shoot a lower percent.  I believe CEM knows those numbers and pushes his squads to meet those. 

It is like putting your 3-4 hole guys leadoff and 2nd in baseball now.  It is proven they get an increased amount of plate appearances throughout the year and once you are past the 1st inning the RBI chances are just as good. 

hogsanity:

--- Quote from: hogmolar on April 09, 2019, 11:12:41 am ---It is all about metrics and numbers now.  This is why the Musselman hire is really good.  I think I read an article that stated it is better to shoot 25% from 3 point than to shoot 40% from 2.  It benefits teams to take more threes even if they shoot a lower percent.  I believe CEM knows those numbers and pushes his squads to meet those. 

It is like putting your 3-4 hole guys leadoff and 2nd in baseball now.  It is proven they get an increased amount of plate appearances throughout the year and once you are past the 1st inning the RBI chances are just as good. 

--- End quote ---

When they put the 3pt line in Ar HS ball my SR season, our coach told us 33% from 3 is the same as 50% from 2. He also said there was no longer a reason to take a 17-19 ft jumper sine one from 19'9" was not much farther but worth one pt more. Then he told 12 of the 15 players on the team they were not allowed to shoot a 3 because they had enough trouble from 1ft much less 19.

The days of the slow, plodding big man ended years ago.

The_Iceman:
I mean, if prime Shaq walks through the door, he would still crush it. He might struggle more on defense now that opposing Centers can pull him out of the lane.

Smithian:
If the next Shaq or Greg Oden, with good knees, if playing somewhere in junior high right now, they will find a place at a good college program and in the NBA. But you better be an elite back to basket player to makeup for other weaknesses. Unless you're elite, it is hard to justify a center who is a back to basket scorer. Look at Jahlil Okafor. A decade ago he'd be an all-star in the NBA. In 2019, even being a good back to back scorer isn't enough when he can't spread the court, isn't a great shot blocker, and isn't a rim runner. And God help him if he gets caught in space against a guard.

You need a 5 who can either spread court, have a high block rate, be a great pick and roll player, and at least slow down a perimeter player when defending them in space. When you watch the NBA, the high scoring isn't because players don't try on defense. Offense are just ultra effective at running on- and off-ball movements to force the best matchups. Gafford can block shots, crash the rim, and has the athletic ability develop into a good pick and roll defender in a switching He's a good modern big.

I don't know enough about Musselman yet to know what he wants in a big man. Our last couple coaches have tried to focus on face up bigs, but have taken on players like Gafford when available.

Smithian:

--- Quote from: The_Iceman on April 09, 2019, 11:23:53 am ---I mean, if prime Shaq walks through the door, he would still crush it. He might struggle more on defense now that opposing Centers can pull him out of the lane.

--- End quote ---
You and I posted the same things 2 seconds apart. If you have a next level traditional center walk through the door, you can make it work. But you aren't going to have a less than elite traditional center clogging the lane on offense and screwing up your switches on defense.

oldhawg:

--- Quote from: hogsanity on April 09, 2019, 11:18:13 am ---
 Then he told 12 of the 15 players on the team they were not allowed to shoot a 3 because they had enough trouble from 1ft much less 19.
 

--- End quote ---

We did not have three point shots in my high school days, so coach just told me I was not allowed to shoot.  :)

Hampagne Life:

--- Quote from: Michaelt on April 09, 2019, 10:15:08 am ---Morning all,

I'm not much of a follower of basketball but watch snippets and highlights here and there. Question comes to mind; has the center position in basketball gone away? I scanned the Arkansas roster and the positions were listed as guards and forwards. Is the "big man in the middle" and antiquated part of basketball these days? Is it because the game has gotten much faster and are there not much possession type offenses any longer?

--- End quote ---

Look no further than the NBA. The traditional back to the basket BIGS are becoming extinct. Thats why I believe Gafford will be successful in the league faster that most believe. Rim runs are his thing and with the nature of the NBA pick and roll game he will be a problem to handle.  Traditional BIGS will return some day. Just not the flavor of the league ATM.

Salutations.

East TN HAWG:
So all you think Nickie Davis would have a better career today than Joe Kline?  Both were good in college and of course Kline had a long NBA career.  Davis did not. 

TexHog188:
Yes and no would be my response.  Defensive minded teams will still have a rim enforcer in the lane who if they can add 8-12 points per game they are still relevant.  Rudy Gobert in UT is a great example of the classic center position as is DeAndre Jordan, both defensive stoppers and rebound machines who can dunk but have no mid-range game.  For AR Daniel Gafford was a traditional center who would rarely take a shot outside 4-6 ft and is primarily camped in the low post or sometimes will move out to the high post and run the classic pick and roll. 

But freak athletes like Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Nikola Jokic, Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo who are all roughly 7 footers can vacate the post and play just about anywhere on the floor.  They are probably more of the prototype big man in the modern game and they are definitely a departure from the classic center position.  Giannis is probably considered a power forward and not a center although he spends a lot of time in the low post.  Bottom line is that the role of the big man has expanded beyond the lane all the way out to the 3 point line thanks to players like Dirk Nowitski and it will probably stay that way for a while.  There will always be room for players like Shaq and Hakeem Olajuwon who were monsters in the paint, but today's big man also has to be able to run and stretch the floor, like Giannis who is probably the best big man in the game today.

Biggus Piggus:
One nice thing about college men's basketball is you can't choose the best teams solely by whether they have the one-and-dones. This season was a great breakthrough we needed to see in the college game. Teams that built and developed were in the title game. Teams that cycle through blue-chip freshmen were defeated by those playing the long game.

Women's college hoop has a major haves/have-nots problem. Only a few schools have the height inside to compete for championships. Getting a pro-type big man doesn't guarantee excellence on the men's side.

HogBreath:

--- Quote from: ChicoHog on April 09, 2019, 11:01:23 am ---Blame most of it on the 3 point shot.  I miss the days of watching Joe Kleine or Akeem Olajuwan post up inside.  Basketball has changed so much just like football.  Not for the better either IMO but I'm an old guy! 

--- End quote ---
Yeah, I must be getting old also. Both games, seemed to be better in the past.

Youngsta71701:

--- Quote from: Pig in the Pokey on April 09, 2019, 10:16:36 am ---if he cant switch on defense off screens or be able to close out on 3 point shooters than , yes. Prototype is more like what Evans does for Tech. 6'11, thin, fast, quick, long, energetic.

--- End quote ---
Owens ???

hogsanity:

--- Quote from: East TN HAWG on April 09, 2019, 12:08:15 pm ---So all you think Nickie Davis would have a better career today than Joe Kline?  Both were good in college and of course Kline had a long NBA career.  Davis did not. 

--- End quote ---

IF Joe was just now coming out of HS, he might have the same college career, but it would not have been at AR. He'd have to go play for a coach like Wisc has. Not sure on his game translating to the NBA now. SO hard to do those type of comparisons with players from different generations.

niels_boar:
Generally speaking long players that can play outside in are the dominant players.  After them guards that can really shoot and handle are next in line.  Big guys can still bring championships (Durant), but they can't be static.   The mobile guys can be so much more effective with the defense spread than a guy who has to be five feet from the basket to score.  You know where to find him.

LRrazorback:
Gafford was a really good center who had a back-to-the basket game, rebounded well and defended the rim.  To answer the OP, no but, they need to be mobile enough to defend guards for short periods on the perimeter. Tall guys will never be a dinosaur in basketball.

ErieHog:
There are only two shots worth taking-- shots at the rim, and open 3s. 

Anything else is a mistake over the aggregate.

azhog10:

--- Quote from: Biggus Piggus on April 09, 2019, 12:21:27 pm ---One nice thing about college men's basketball is you can't choose the best teams solely by whether they have the one-and-dones. This season was a great breakthrough we needed to see in the college game. Teams that built and developed were in the title game. Teams that cycle through blue-chip freshmen were defeated by those playing the long game.

Women's college hoop has a major haves/have-nots problem. Only a few schools have the height inside to compete for championships. Getting a pro-type big man doesn't guarantee excellence on the men's side.

--- End quote ---
Lot of this comes down to how the game is officiated between the two. Agree though that an immobile big is virtually useless today unless they can be dominant on the offensive end.

azhog10:

--- Quote from: ErieHog on April 09, 2019, 02:17:19 pm ---There are only two shots worth taking-- shots at the rim, and open 3s. 

Anything else is a mistake over the aggregate.

--- End quote ---
Only counter is the free throw line. You can take jumpers if you are getting fouled. As a HS coach I have one shot not allowed in transition and that's a mid range jumper. In transition we want three's or layups. In the half court mid range can be acceptable depending on your ability to shoot the shot or the use of a shot fake to get the defender in the air and get fouled. Other than that, the analytics prove 3 or layup/dunk are the only two shots you should take.

ErieHog:

--- Quote from: azhog10 on April 09, 2019, 02:20:43 pm ---Only counter is the free throw line. You can take jumpers if you are getting fouled. As a HS coach I have one shot not allowed in transition and that's a mid range jumper. In transition we want three's or layups. In the half court mid range can be acceptable depending on your ability to shoot the shot or the use of a shot fake to get the defender in the air and get fouled. Other than that, the analytics prove 3 or layup/dunk are the only two shots you should take.

--- End quote ---

The FT line is always a funky thing to take into consideration;  when you get there, its usually because someone is making an analytical mistake-- you don't foul 3 point shooters,  because they have actual range and are likely to be efficient from the line comparatively-- and if you are fouling guys who are taking the handful of good 2s, they're already in good finishing position and you are costing yourself up to a quarter of a point per possession, with the likelihood of and-one conversions.

People who foul jump shooters rank up there with people that beat their dogs, steal their neighbor's newspapers, and those people that put mayo on french fries.

Hogs-n-Roses:
In" Step Brothers" the father grew up wanting to be a dinosaur. His parents made him get on with his life. So he abandoned the idea saying he always thought he would get back to it some day.

Pig in the Pokey:

--- Quote from: Youngsta71701 on April 09, 2019, 01:00:10 pm ---Owens ???

--- End quote ---
my fault. i was medicated lol.

ChicoHog:

--- Quote from: azhog10 on April 09, 2019, 02:20:43 pm ---Only counter is the free throw line. You can take jumpers if you are getting fouled. As a HS coach I have one shot not allowed in transition and that's a mid range jumper. In transition we want three's or layups. In the half court mid range can be acceptable depending on your ability to shoot the shot or the use of a shot fake to get the defender in the air and get fouled. Other than that, the analytics prove 3 or layup/dunk are the only two shots you should take.

--- End quote ---
So as a HS coach what's your opinion of today's game?  As a player I was a HS guard who shot it from the outside(before the 3 point shot) so I can see why the 3 is so popular.  Now as a fan I don't like it.  I don't want to see 3's all game.  I like to see teams work it inside for the "better" shot but now it's just not happening.  Why reward a team 50% for points for making a shot that isn't that hard?  Maybe if regular shots were worth 3 and the current 3 point shot worth 4 then it's only 25% more value.  I just think there's become way too much emphasis on shooting 3's and as a lifelong fan of the game I don't care for it.

Also I don't like seeing 2 guys stand in both corners of the court while the other 3 or sometimes only 2 play pick and roll.  That was not part of the game back in my day as everyone got involved and picked off the ball and was moving.  That's a big reason I like to watch zone teams as it takes away a lot of that offensively.

Großer Kriegschwein:

--- Quote from: azhog10 on April 09, 2019, 02:20:43 pm ---Only counter is the free throw line. You can take jumpers if you are getting fouled. As a HS coach I have one shot not allowed in transition and that's a mid range jumper. In transition we want three's or layups. In the half court mid range can be acceptable depending on your ability to shoot the shot or the use of a shot fake to get the defender in the air and get fouled. Other than that, the analytics prove 3 or layup/dunk are the only two shots you should take.

--- End quote ---

My coach would have strangled me had I shot a 3 pointer in transition, and I was the shooting guard (primarily, but I did play quite a bit as a point guard as well)

I shot a lot of mid range jump shots from the wing after starting off set after a ball or pump fake in the half-court offense. It allowed me to shoot more uncontested 3 pointers after i softened the defender a little. It also allowed me to drive to the goal when they though I might stop and pop. I was VERY high percentage at mid range jumpers and coach said I could throw one up whenever I deemed I could make one (clock dependent of course. Gotta maintain your court generalship as a guard)



jgphillips3:

--- Quote from: Großer Kriegschwein on April 09, 2019, 09:19:42 pm ---My coach would have strangled me had I shot a 3 pointer in transition, and I was the shooting guard (primarily, but I did play quite a bit as a point guard as well)

I shot a lot of mid range jump shots from the wing after starting off set after a ball or pump fake in the half-court offense. It allowed me to shoot more uncontested 3 pointers after i softened the defender a little. It also allowed me to drive to the goal when they though I might stop and pop. I was VERY high percentage at mid range jumpers and coach said I could throw one up whenever I deemed I could make one (clock dependent of course. Gotta maintain your court generalship as a guard)


--- End quote ---

Growing up before the 3 point line (I graduated high school in 1987), I freaking loved to shoot a 15 foot jumper from the wing and could hit it like clockwork.  It was just my favorite shot.  Of course, the NCAA adopted the 3 point line that year and it wasn’t long before that mid-range shot from the Wing was gone from the game but whatever the overall analytics are, an individual player might have analytics that say his personal percentage from there makes it a good shot.  However, it’s hard to argue that 3-pointers, point blank shots or getting fouled as a whole aren’t the best use of your offensive possession.

Großer Kriegschwein:

--- Quote from: jgphillips3 on April 09, 2019, 09:27:31 pm ---Growing up before the 3 point line (I graduated high school in 1987), I freaking loved to shoot a 15 foot jumper from the wing and could hit it like clockwork.  It was just my favorite shot.  Of course, the NCAA adopted the 3 point line that year and it wasn’t long before that mid-range shot from the Wing was gone from the game but whatever the overall analytics are, an individual player might have analytics that say his personal percentage from there makes it a good shot.  However, it’s hard to argue that 3-pointers, point blank shots or getting fouled as a whole aren’t the best use of your offensive possession.

--- End quote ---

I think coach said something like “If they are gonna give you two points, go ahead and take it, then get your ass back on defense and create a turnover.”

I was also the best free throw shooter on the team. I got plenty of those opportunities from driving to the goal and posting up other guards in our offense. When we played a man offense, I also drew a lot of fouls. Our man offense was primarily to take advantage of mismatches we had week in and week out at shooting guard and small forward.

31to6:

--- Quote from: hogmolar on April 09, 2019, 11:12:41 am ---It is all about metrics and numbers now.  This is why the Musselman hire is really good.  I think I read an article that stated it is better to shoot 25% from 3 point than to shoot 40% from 2.  It benefits teams to take more threes even if they shoot a lower percent.  I believe CEM knows those numbers and pushes his squads to meet those. 

--- End quote ---
So on the face of it, looking at P5 college teams that make the NCAAT, there is almost no statistical difference between 2pt and 3pt attempts (1.02 pts per attempt vs 1.04).

The deeper analytics is where the 3pt shot comes into it's own.

As soon as you eliminate the very high percentage shots under the rim that either generate a bucket or free throws (which have follow-on analytics that correlate to victory) you are left with 2pt shots that are not actually that much higher % than 3's but which only give you 2 points.

This is not "dunks vs threes". Dunks are great, statistically. So are layups. Both tend to provoke contact which can turn into +1s, high % shots or free throws.

It is 3's vs 15' jumpers which are almost never contested (no fouls) and not much higher % than stepping back 2 steps and shooting for 50% more points.

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