Blogtable: Somebody Please Fix This

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Week 5: Under-radar stars | Kobe’s legacy | Fix this, please

What’s something that makes you mutter, “Somebody ought to fix that.”?

Steve Aschburner: Way to go, opening the can o’ worms on this stuff. There are so many little annoyances were I commissioner rather than columnist. But I’ll pick one: Most teams’ putrid performance in two-for-one situations. When the game clock late in any quarter gets down below 48 seconds, NBA tradition called for the team with the ball to get off a shot — OK, maybe not a perfect shot but a good scoring chance — in time to assure itself of another possession before the horn. But for the past several (dozen? 20?) years, there seems to be almost no acknowledgement of that. Teams use up too much time so there’s nothing of quality left for the back end. The advanced stats probably support that sort of clock disdain, but this is a game of possessions and it seemed like coaches welcomed the opportunity to pull appropriate plays out of their repertoires. Not a federal offense — just seems sloppy and ill-planned to me.

Fran Blinebury: People who complain about the Hack-A-Shaq/Hack-A-Howard tactic used against the Lakers center and his bricklaying ilk.  Shut up and make your free throws.

Jeff Caplan: OK, here’s mine: It drives me nuts that a team is rewarded for taking a timeout in the backcourt by being allowed to advance the ball three-quarters-court and inbounds all the way in the frontcourt. Look, I know why the rule is a rule, so the NBA can milk as many fantastic finishes as possible. I get that. I just think it’s totally ridiculous to manufacture buzzer-beaters when one is not warranted. Go the length of the floor if that’s what the game demands at the time. If there’s not enough time on the clock to go the length of the floor and get off a decent shot, too bad. Hey, half-court heaves have been known to go in and those are fantastic, too. On no other level of basketball is this done and it shouldn’t be encouraged at the highest level.

Scott Howard-Cooper: The noise. Please make them stop the noise. Announcing to fans when they should cheer? Music during plays? Screeeaaaaming PA guys? Make the game the thing. I get the sideshow parts. It is, as execs like to say, the game experience. But time and place. And volume.

John Schuhmann: Last week, the Brooklyn Nets’ official twitter account tweeted an Instagram image that said they were the No. 1 defense in the NBA, allowing just 90.7 points per game. When I saw that, I just wanted to bang my head on my desk, because the Nets (or at least the person who came up with that graphic) were doing nothing but making themselves look silly. Citing points per game as a measure of team defense (or offense, for that matter) lacks a lot of context and is pretty much meaningless. That 90.7 number had more to do with the Nets’ slow pace (last in the league at the time) than with the quality of their defense. On a per-possession basis, the Nets actually ranked 11th defensively when they tweeted that image. So yeah, what bothers me most right now are people (teams, writers and broadcasters in particular, because they have fans’ ears) who don’t acknowledge the advanced stats movement, especially concepts as simple as pace and points per possession.

Sekou Smith: I’m not a purist in the sense that I want to see the game go back to short shorts and one-handed set shots, but there is a part of me that would love to see the rugged style of defense played during the late 1980s and 1990s allowed to return. I don’t mean the wrestling and fighting that used to go on with the Bad Boys or the Knicks and Heat. But simply allowing a defender to play physical defense on a guy, be it on the perimeter or under the basket, makes me feel better about the game. From the first moment you set foot on the court coaches are imploring you to play defense first, but by the time guys reach the hands-off level of the NBA, they are often resigned to the fact that they’ll play defense the same way you should talk on your cell phone in traffic … hands free! This was a grown man’s league once, years ago.


  1. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Just go with the “per 48 minutes” stat that NBA.COM probably already can calculate for you. Or the obvious TEAM PPG and TEAM Points-Allowed-Per-Game.

    Basketball isn’t necessarily that complicated.

    Continue banging your head on the desk, Schuhmann. You once said OKC’s offense was going to suffer without Harden; you were wronger than ever. You try to throw around the “per 100 possessions” to try to justify measures of offense and defense.

    Good luck with that. Don’t bang your head too hard.

  2. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    I can’t believe Schuhmann is still using OffRtg, DefRtg, NetRtg. It’s like he can’t help himself. He’s obsessed with this manufactured statistic that ultimately doesn’t seem to mean anything. ROFLMAO!!! Per 100 possessions? Give me a break. Is that even an official stat the NBA ever uses? How accurate is that anyway? Does that factor in turnovers and points off turnovers, which can confuse how many actual possessions teams get in a given game? Don’t tell me you only factor in 24-second shot-clock half-court possessions! Do you factor in fastbreaks?

  3. PdaDunker says:

    I second Sekou on this…give me great D all the time. Rather look at great defensive teams than offemsive mnded team. Or coaches like D’Antoni who are O first, and leave D as non- existent. D is TEAMwork, U can see anytime U look at 80’s- 90’s teams. Rugged, yes. Blue-collar…hell yeah. So it gets harder to make the stars shine bright for the L, so what. MJ did shine, did he not?

  4. Skeletor says:

    The 2002 championship.. somebody really oughta FIX that.

    Oh wait, they already did.

  5. googergieger says:

    Fix the scheduling. How a team like The Nuggets can have the worst schedule in twenty years, and supposedly superior teams like The Lakers, Miami, OKC, Clippers, etc, can have a cake walk almost all season long is beyond me. I mean at least you “sports journalists” could, I don’t know, do your job and get to the bottom of things? I mean even WWE lets their “writers” acknowledge what is going on outside their bubble.

  6. Kamote says:

    Right on Sekou. So much focus on Star Players making highlight reels rather than playing Grown Man’s Basketball. To people who said that Bowen and KG are dirty players, or Boston plays defense that’s too gritty and rough… they haven’t seen the 90’s, where this is the type of defense played by most teams. It’s easier for the LBJ’s, Durant’s and Kobe’s to score at will, or get favorable calls and go to the foul line.

    That’s why the GOAT comparison goes to MJ (players today aren’t even close). He played, scored, won and dominated during the time where defense was at its toughest and at its peak.

    The NBA just won’t let the star players get hurt (less injuries, more ticket sales), that is understood. But the downside is that these players knew that, and that’s why they become effin’ DIVAS. No more grown-ups in this league.

  7. Patterson says:

    @ Lakers fan… Because once LBJ left Cleveland the team that remained was BAD. One of the worst in the NBA, not to mention OLD Shaq. haha nice try tho Mike Brown.

  8. danny thomas says:

    The championship team should get a first round draft pick,give them a number from 1 to the last number of the first round pick put it in a bag shake it really good,what ever number they get that the number they pick.If they pick #1 then they pick first,if they pick # 20 then they pick the 20th ect.It will balance the playing field,while the worst team get rewarded the champion team will get rewarded too.(Imagine the championship team pick the #1 spot it will be a disadvantage for the other team therefore the champion team should get the # 6 spot in the first round draft pick.)

    • cslye says:

      What the hell are you talking about? Why does making the best team aka the championship team better even out the league. The reward the worst team with a higherchance because they in most cases they are in the most need of first round talent. A championship teams reward is a freaking ring!

  9. LBJ says:

    and i want to fix super teams. there shouldn’t be one cuz it diminish the ability of GOATs. put Lebron in Washington and he can still win title. wade and bosh are just getting free ride

  10. Nate says:

    How about removing the weighted draft position. Draft lottery with even odds for every team that misses the playoffs. Weighted system doesn’t take account teams that under achieve because of injury of over achieve because other teams shut it down. I think that would raise the quality of competition league wide and force teams to try and right the ship sooner rather than later since there would be no clear advantage given for losing. Why should losers be rewarded?