NBA Defenses: Tougher Now or Then?

Discussion in 'The Sports Arena' started by J.J., Jan 15, 2016.

  1. J.J.

    J.J. Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Many people will argue the defenses in retrospect were tougher in the 90s and today's defense is easier. I've been one that stood by the former, playing College ball for a team whose rules mirrored what it would be like to play on the professional level. I had stood firm that it was tougher then. But after playing against some D-League guys during the previous Summer I've had a change of perspective.

    It's not really easier. The rules were adjusted to try and push away from ISO ball. Essentially you used to be able to hand check an offensive player. You also had to play 1 on 1 or play hard doubles. You couldn't play zone either. This resulted in a lot of isolation basketball because you wanted to put the ball in your best offensive players hands. This helped teams who had a star player, but hurt teams with not as talented offensive players.

    So they took away hand checking, allowed help defense without hard doubling, and instituted the 3 second call, which kept defenses from crowding the paint. Zone D makes it harder to penetrate just ask Kevin Garnett.

    The focus on zone defense took away clear-out plays. Things were a lot easier for teams who had a star player they could all just pull their guy over to a side and force a 1-on-1 game between Michael Jordan and whoever was defending him. Zone defense makes it easier to force a game where well-rounded teams like the Hawks can succeed, but guys like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kevin Durant hate it because they know they would dominate in the old system.

    So with that said I find today's defense just as tough as it was back then if not tougher. Do you all feel it was tougher now or then?
     
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  2. SSJPhenom

    SSJPhenom The Phenom of WZ

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    You should know my stance on the differences between the NBA and now and back then.

    Defenses were a lot tougher back then. It's not because defensive players were better, though, it's because the rules of the NBA didn't protect the offensive players as much as they do now. I mean, if you so much as touch the ball handler now it's a foul. I see the refs blowing the whistle on little to no contact at all sometimes and it really pisses me off. Take Harden for example. He get's to the line simply because when he drives he keeps his arms down and right before he takes the shot, he'll swing his arms up to create contact. That shouldn't be a foul at all but it is.
     
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  3. J.J.

    J.J. Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    You've played College ball under these standards.

    In today's NBA the defensive schemes have become so complex and guys are expected to do more. Every play you might have to deal with multiple pick and rolls; a play that is underrated in terms of how violent it can be and sprint to close out on perimeter shooters.

    It's this difference in intensity that is leading to more teams trying to rest their players over the course of the year and not pile up huge minute totals. The game is harder on guys' bodies today.

    But for some players it isn't harder on their bodies. Many league players are just plain softer, complain a lot more, have much lower pain tolerance and whine too much about having to play minutes. They are used to being coddled from grade school when they started dunking on kids and then are basically treated like princesses right up to the NBA draft.
     
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