So despite the urge to create a few Howard threads I decided to prompt a question that I have been pondering since drafting Royce White.
Some murmurings by Pat Riley promoted me to make this a poll (Full Article) [Article brief in Spoiler]
"Pat Riley is creating a versatile blueprint.
"The game today is different than it was five years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago," Riley said. "…It's sort of a position-less game. We don't talk about point guards anymore, two guards or shooting guards or power forwards. As a matter of fact, when the word power forward comes out, I want to eat some oatmeal."
Riley has acquired a collection of players who are no longer defined by position.
"It's just recently got like that," Chris Bosh said earlier this week. "I think this past series [the NBA Finals] that was played is going to change basketball. I think a lot of kids out there are seeing how fast the game is. We had some success doing it so I think a lot of other teams will have that position, or attempt to have that position, where everybody is quick enough to guard everybody and everybody can put the ball on the floor and make plays."
Q: Positionally, what type of player do you think is the most valuable player for an NBA team to build around in todays game?
*Ill restrict the question to if you only had one player to choose to build around*
We basically have 2 categories of players (which everyone knows already) - Tweeners, and Positional Players. Needless to say, there have been individual players from both of these groups who have had enormous success, or were colossal failures.
Here are some further details (from Wikipedia) on each type of 'Tweener' position and a good grasp of the players who played them:
This tweener has the skills of either a center or a power forward, but is usually stronger than traditional power forwards and quicker and often more skilled than traditional centers. Many times C/PF tweeners are used to create match-up problems. Amar'e Stoudemire is an example of a tweener. Other prominent NBA players who switch between power forward and center are Jermaine O'Neal, Joakim Noah, Emeka Okafor, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, and Chris Bosh, among others.
Combo or Stretch Forward
Traditionally, a PF/SF tweener refers to a basketball player whose physical attributes and skills render him/her unsuited to play either the power forward position or the small forward position exclusively. For example the player may be too short, or lack sufficient strength, to play power forward effectively; while being not quick or athletic enough, or perhaps lack proper ball handling skills and/or shooting skills to play the small forward position. On the other hand, the player may have the skills to play either forward position, but do not necessarily fit either of them exclusively. They can be too big for most opposing small forwards to guard them and have a skill set that small forwards traditionally have (ex. outside scoring ability).
Some examples in the NBA are Antoine Walker, Lamar Odom, Rashard Lewis, Antawn Jamison, Boris Diaw, Gerald Wallace, Craig Smith, Marcus Fizer, and Al Harrington. Typical examples of European combo forwards with careers on both sides of the Atlantic are the retired Toni Kukoc and the currently active Andrei Kirilenko.
This tweener is not suited to exclusively play either at small forward or shooting guard. For example, he may be too short to play small forward, but lacks a guard's jumper or ball-handling skills to play the two-man. To counter this, this tweener could play as a swingman.
Some swingmen have been known to play both the small forward and shooting guard position effectively, having the size and strength to play the small forward position, as well as the outside jump shot and quickness to play the shooting guard position. These tweeners are known to cause match up problems, and have proven to be very difficult to guard. Such NBA players are Kobe Bryant, Josh Howard, Andre Iguodala, Jason Richardson, LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, and Tracy McGrady.
"Tweener" may also describe a player who combines the attributes of a shooting guard and point guard, but does not fit the prototype of either position. Such guards usually play a shooting-guard-type game (looking more to score than to pass) but lack the height to guard opposing shooting guards effectively and some of the skills to direct an offense that a "pure" point would display. Such players are also known as "combination (or combo) guards". After the success of Dwyane Wade during the 2004-05 NBA season, there has been less of a stigma attached to the term and many current elite prospects are combo guards, such as Randy Foye, Eric Gordon, O. J. Mayo, and Russell Westbrook. Most commonly, shooting guards are called "tweeners" when considered too short for NBA-level starting competition at the position. This generally is applied to shooting guards that are 6'4" and below in height. Conversely, they are unable to play point guard successfully at the highest level of professional basketball due to a lack of the mental specialization and understanding of the game that this position requires. These players are often referred to as being "a shooting guard trapped in a point guard's body." Some good examples of this are Allen Iverson, Kirk Hinrich, Stephon Marbury, Delonte West, Monta Ellis, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Terry, Ben Gordon, Jamal Crawford, Juan Dixon, Steve Francis, Eddie House, John Paxson, Steve Kerr, Danny Ainge, and Aaron Brooks.
Point Forward <- Royce White for instance
Some NBA players, most notably players like Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom, Magic Johnson, Hedo Türkoğlu and LeBron James, possess the size, strength and rebounding skills to play a forward position, yet they also have the passing and ball-handling skills, along with the "basketball IQ", to perform at the point guard position. These players often cause match-up problems on both ends of the court, because while the tall, strong point forward can dominate a traditional point guard on the offensive end of the court, he is sometimes at a disadvantage on the defensive end against smaller, quicker guards.
Q2 (something to ponder or perhaps post about if your still reading): Would you rather have a team filled with Tweeners or a team filled with Locked In Positional Players?