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We are watching an all-time great in his Prime

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by riko, Dec 16, 2018.

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are we taking harden for granted

  1. No

    18.2%
  2. Yes

    81.8%
  1. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

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    Let's hope so! I bet Dream even hopes he gets passed. Championships are cement for greatness.
     
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  2. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    The idea that the floor is spread so bigs can't hang out near the basket so other players have to rebound more is a fantasy. The vast majority of rebounds are still going to bigs and they are occurring around the basket.

    Currently, there's 17 players in the league that average at least 10 rebounds a game. Westbrook is the only non-bigman in that 17. In the top 50 of the current leading rebounders, only 5 players are something other than PF or C. Of those 5, Westbrook is the only player below 6'8". In today's game with all the undersized bigs, those 6'8" players are able to rebound. In an era with Olajuwon, Ewing, Shaq, Mutumbo, Morning and Robinson, then Simmons, Leonard, PG13 and Rudy Gay aren't getting as many boards.

    Go watch Drummond or DeAndre Jordan. They live in the lane and they get their rebounds around the hoop. Drummond's average rebounding distance is 4.0 ft and Jordan's is 4.4 ft. Those guys are getting their rebounds at the rim, they aren't getting pulled to the perimeter very often.


    Show me one credible source that makes the argument that play anywhere on the court is as physical as it was in the 70's, 80's or 90's.

    Here's Shaq's quote on the physicality:

    It was actually kind of soft when I played, too. Before I played, that was the real NBA, and I’m sure the guys that played before me would say that’s the real NBA. But before I came in, with Mike playing against Detroit and the Bad Boys – that was the real NBA. I kind of played in the soft era, also. And then of course, with me being dominant, everybody crying about the rules, that just made it more so. But now it’s very soft.”



    Nobody is saying that Harden doesn't get fouled, he certainly does but the amount of contact that he takes compared to what a guy like Jordan took is night and day. The major difference is that a big portion of the physicality was legal back then. It wasn't a matter of how a referee enforced the rules, it was legal.

    You just mentioned all of the physical things that you can't do anymore. That makes the game less physical. Again, nobody is saying that there's zero contact in the current game but it's nothing compared to the game under the old rules. There literally were things that didn't even receive fouls that would be flagrant today.

    Anthony Mason was a good offensive player. He didn't shoot 3s but he could score and he could facilitate and he played great D. He was a much better offensive player than All-Star Draymond Green could ever dream of being.

    It's not really even debatable as to the 70's, 80's and 90's being much more physical. As I said, show me one credible source that says differently.

    Here's Kenny Smith on Hand Checking :

    Here's Hubie Brown on Hand Checking:
    An interesting point that he makes is that teams in that era had to have high IQ and sophisticated sets in order to beat the physicality that was allowed.


    Gary Payton? The same guy who tweeted that he couldn't play in today's soft NBA?

    Payton was incredibly physical. He couldn't do anything remotely close to that today. He's some quotes from Payton where he talks about the current NBA vs his era:

    "People want me to coach but I don't like basketball as it is in the NBA so I don't want to coach"

    "It's no defense, it's just run and gun"

    "too much touch fouls. You touch and they stay on the free throw line. That's no way to watch basketball. When we were playing it was rough and tough. You know, even superstars like me fouled out alot. That's because they let people play. If you do something you call it. Nowdays it's not like that."

    "My era, let me go 1 on 1 with someone and stop him. And right now you can't do that with a player because if you touch him then he's going to the foul line and you're fouling out. Let them be rough. If he's got an opportunity to go at you on the offensive end then let me go at him on the defensive end and rough him up. That's the way that I like basketball and I don't think it's like that"

    I'm just a guy from old school. I was around when the Larry Birds, the Magic Johnsons, the Michael Jordans, the Scottie Pippens, the Dennis Rodmans. When you go to the bucket we knock you on your butt and that's the way the game was.
    "The Detroit Pistons, you see what they did with Michael Jordan. Today, you don't see that."






    Reggie Miller was 6' 7" and he played much more physical than Steph Curry. Also realize that he was more like a PG13 level player in his day than he was to today's Curry. Miller made All-NBA 3rd team 3 times and he only received MVP votes in two of his seasons.


    Here's Barkley's comments:

    We would have just mauled them. You're not gonna let guys come off those picks. They changed the rules — it's kind of like the NFL where you can't touch the wide receiver. The defense is at a disadvantage...and a guy like Stephen Curry, who is amazing, you can't put your hands on him, you can't hand-check him. It's a totally different game.

    Kobe's take:

    "It's more of a finesse game. It's more small ball, which, personally, I don't really care much for. I like kind of smash-mouth, old-school basketball because that's what I grew up watching. I also think it's much, much less physical. Some of the flagrant fouls that I see called nowadays, it me nauseous. You can't touch a guy without it being a flagrant foul."


    https://www.flohoops.com/articles/5048454-is-the-nba-too-soft
     
    #242 aelliott, Dec 28, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  3. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    First of all, I never stated that the reason for floor spacing was to affect rebounding. That's just a consequence of the modern NBA. My point isn't that Jordan or Drummond aren't going to get the most rebounds - but rather that on the good teams you are seeing rebounding is spread out more as a team which is why there are so many sf and guards higher up in rebounding. You'll notice that bigs aren't getting more defensive rebounds, they are getting more offensive boards which would point to more disarray on the defensive end that creates rebounding opportunities for guards. And one reason you could argue against me regarding the higher rebounds is the increased pace. But relatively speaking guards are getting more rebounds and big man get more offensive rebounds than they did before.

    My point is that this is a consequence of a change in the make-up of players who are just quickier and more energetic.

    As for physicality - look the bias of players is to always say, "when I played it was so much harder" - that's the mantra of age across the board. I suppose if your definition of physicality is elbows and and roughness - then you are right. But to me it's about the legal contact and there is a lot of it. Harden nearly always makes contact when he drives - he's got his arm in there and there bodies are bumping even when no foul is call - he rarely hasn't made contact with the defender before his foot steps into the paint. You see a lot of contact on screens and bumping as players move through the paint. It's all there. And when the shot goes up, guys are fighting and bumping in all sorts of ways. I've never see so many players hit the floor as I do now. Guys are on the ground ever few minutes. You didn't see that in the 90's at this rate. So to me, it's more physical.

    Many people say that players of this era wouldn't do well in the 90's. I don't agree because I think their quickness would make up for their lack of bulk. And I think that extra bulk from the 90's guy would not make up for their lack of quickness in today's game. I think the reason reggie miller was so effective not just because of his height but because he had a quick smooth release and he was so freaking accurate with it. Curry is more athletic, quicker, and shoots a higher percentage. It's hard to buy that he wouldn't be a star in the 90's.

    In any case, it's fun debating you.
     
    #243 Sweet Lou 4 2, Dec 28, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  4. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member

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    Yes, I think he is the number 2 Rocket of all time.

    DD
     
  5. aelliott

    aelliott Contributing Member

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    You said "rebounding is no longer something that your big men do - it's a team effort". That is not true any more today than it was in the '70s,'80s or '90s. The bigs are still getting the bulk of the rebounds. There's always been non-bigs that got rebounds, that's nothing new. Before, those non-bigs were usually SF and some bigger SGs. Guys like Pippen, Drexler, Wilkens, Jordan, Harper and Mullins got rebounds too. The difference is that they were having to battle many more bigs in the paint for the ball. Today, the big men are much smaller so it only makes sense that smaller players would have a better chance to rebound. Put Steph Curry back in the '80's with all those giants and he's not getting 5 rebounds a game.

    BTW the bulk of the defensive rebounds are still by the bigs. Of the current top 20 defensive rebounders in the league, Westbrook is the only non-big.

    That's your perception because of the rules. Kenny Smith talks about that very thing in the hand check video that I posted. When the rules don't allow a defender to touch you it gives you the freedom to handle the ball, reset and do whatever you like and your ball handling looks better. Same with defenders. There's nobody in the league quicker than Kevin Johnson or Olajuwon. Guys like them and Shawn Kemp and Rodman were athletic freaks but they didn't get to showcase it as much because they were too busy with hand to hand combat for position. All of that physical play required huge stamina and energy. Take one of today's players and put them in a game where they are getting grabbed, held and hit on every possession and see how their game changes.


    It's not my definition of physicality, it's the dictionary definition. The game was much much more physical under the old rules. You were allowed to put you hands on your man, stop him with a forearm and the amount of contact allowed was off the charts compared to today. I get that you don't like that but that's irrelevant because that's the way it was. You can't just ignore all of that stuff and say "except for that it's just as physical". That's kind of like saying "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how'd you like the play?". There was a huge amount of contact that was allowed and fouls were much more violent than is allowed today. Go watch a Bad Boys highlight video. There's bodies hitting the floor on most every possession. Part of Detroit's famed "Jordan Rules" was that everytime Jordan cut through the lane, every Detroit player was suppose to hit him". Now days they are regulating to ensure "freedom of movement". Guys are free to go anywhere they like on the court.


    A high percentage of the guys hitting the court nowdays is players flopping from little or no contact. Nobody is routinely hitting the floor with the violence that was occurring back in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    As I've stated multiple times, show me one single credible source that claims that today's NBA is as physical as it was under the old rules. Surely, every expert in the world isn't biased? There's plenty of modern day players and coaches, they shouldn't be biased to generations before them. Show me where one of them claims it's as physical. Shaq even stated that his generation was softer, less physical than prior generations. Is he biased against his own generation? If guys are always bias towards their own generation, then shouldn't somebody in today's game be claiming that it's more physical than prior generations?


    If they played under different rules, then players would play differently. Old school players would shoot more threes and use their athleticism more to take advantage of the current rules. Current players would have to adapt their game to play with more contact and generally be more physical. That would suit some players and others would struggle. Lebron is an athletic freak, he'd be great in any generation. Curry is a very small slight guy, he'd have trouble playing under those rules.


    Curry is a great shooter but he's not shooting anywhere near that same percentage if he's got a guy like Derek Harper with his hands on him all game. Google Kenny Smith's comments about how hard it was to even dribble the ball to midcourt with Harper handchecking him the whole way. If a big strong PG is able to put his hands on Curry then he's not going anywhere and he's going to have trouble getting open shots. Curry's shooting percentage isn't going to be close to what it is now if a defender can keep a hand on him while he's shooting. It doesn't take much to throw off a shooters shot. Likewise, if Curry drove, he'd end up on the ground most every time. He's not built to take that type of a pounding.

    Would Curry adapt and get bigger and stronger in order to take the punishment? Maybe, but he wouldn't be the same player and he certainly wouldn't be getting the same shots that he does today. Guys that can shoot are always going to find a role, it just might be more of a supporting role than the perennial MVP candidate that he is today.

    80's and 90's players were quick and athletic but the rules allowed defenders to use physicality to negate much of that quickness. Those rules favored bigger stronger guys so there were a lot of those. There hasn't been a big man in the game with Olajuwon's speed, quickness, strength and explosion (not even considering his skill). When was the last time that the NBA had 7 footers with the athleticism and skills of Ewing, Robinson or Shaq?

    It's a completely different game under the two sets of rules. When you say things like :

    "Curry and Harden, and more so LeBron would eat up those guys. Curry can hit a jump shot from 25 feet - who in the 90's could stop that without a double team???? Guys like Harden and Westbrook and Lebron are so freaking strong and athletic. They would just go right through defenders and no one would stop them. Curry would just drain 25 foot jumpers."

    You are being foolish. Curry would struggle to move around the floor or get his shot off against the old school defenders. He's not going to shoot 25 footers if his man can have his hands on him and restrict his jump. Today's players are strong and athletic but so were the guys back then and the rules gave the non-athletic guys ways to negate their opponents athleticism. Shawn Kemp is more of a freak athlete than anyone in the league today. His combination of power , speed and quickness was incredible. Nobody could move their feet on defense like Rodman, he was big and quick and his motor never stopped. Think of a bigger stronger Westbrook who actually played defense.

    Nobody would "go right through those defenders" as you stated, that's ridiculous. It's not as much of players evolving, it's more a case of the rules showcasing particular skills. Don't assume that guys couldn't shoot just because they shot a lower percentage when they were shooting with guys hanging on them. Likewise, don't assume that those guys weren't amazing athletes just because they didn't have clear paths to the hoop as today's players do.
     
    #245 aelliott, Dec 29, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
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  6. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    rebounding is no longer something that ONLY your big men do - it's a team effort. I might have omitted the word only accidentally, but that is what I was trying to say. It's not that big men are smaller - again it's that they are not in the paint and yes, more 3 point shots means longer rebounds. A five foot shot isn't going to land outside the free throw line like a 3 pointer will. If you put Steph Curry on the Knicks of the 90's - no he wouldn't get 5 rebounds. If you took today's golden state warriors and put them back in the 90's he would get the same number of offensive rebounds though because the Warriors offense inherently would pull guys away from the paint (assuming defensive 3 seconds rules were in place). The bigs of the 90's couldn't guard a team like the warriors or rockets. You think it's because of hand checking and physicality - it's not.

    I never said that wouldn't be the case.



    You make a fair point - I will concede by most definitions of physicality, it was more physical then. But I don't think that's the main reason the scoring is up or the pace. But I disagree that Curry would struggle. Reggie Miller wasn't getting bumped or fouled on his 3 point attempts. There wasn't contact when he shot the ball. He got open because he was quick and deliberate. The physicality was inside the 3 point area, not outside, the refs still called most contact outside the 3 point line. Miller wasn't physical - he was weak as heck. But he was an amazing shooter. And Curry is even better. Curry takes contact and shoots the ball all the time. I watch old tapes of Detroit and the Knicks - the two most physical teams of that era, and honestly I am not that blown away by their physicality against guards.

    For god's sake, Kenny Smith did well in that era. Kenny Smith!!! You are telling me that Curry wouldn't be a superstar in that era when Kenny Smith could be the starting point guard on a championship team??? That's why I think you are the one being foolish.

    As for Rodman - he wasn't powerful, he was a skinny 6'7 190lb guy. He didn't jump incredibly high and he didn't bowl people over. But you are right, he was quick - the quickest guy on the court and one of the quickest guys in the NBA. In fact, more than anyone he fits into the modern profile of what an NBA player should be. He's proof that Draymond Green would do well in the 90's. Rodman had an incredibly high intelligence and that's a big part of his passing and D. But he's proof that guys like Curry - skinny super quick guys who didn't have mad hops or strength - can excel.
     
    #246 Sweet Lou 4 2, Dec 29, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  7. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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  8. DreamShook

    DreamShook Member

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    This is absolutely crazy.. EVERY YEAR Harden has gotten better. Last year we thought there was no way he could get even better. HE'S BETTER.. AGAIN!!
     
  9. coyotetex

    coyotetex Member

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    That’s six straight games with 5 or more threes. Doesn’t Curry have the record at 7?
     
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  10. Wylo

    Wylo Member

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    Harden's gotta be the player of the month
     
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  11. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous
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    Seriously I love @aelliott but using the TNT back-n-the-day brigades takes on hand checking while they walked uphill 65 miles each way in the snow to school is a bit much.

    I agree with Sweet Lou, a lot of that stuff just doesn't hold up, sure you'd see the occasional clothesline tackle but the defenses during the showtime era were lackluster. The early 00's nadir has a legit argument for being tougher but nobody really cares to reminisce about that era (cause it sucked)

    There's a lot of stuff players are just objectively better at today than previous generations of players. Primarily long range shooting, look at the 3 point contest for a normalized comparison, but theres probably more things.
     
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  12. riko

    riko Member

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    Honestly I didn’t he played anywhere near his best tonight especially in the second half where he was being doubled and in some ceases triple teamed but you look at his overall efficiency and you say 41 points on 10-24 shooting to go with 7-16 3pt line and 10 boards and think to yourself now his average games are going to be like this?. That is a career change for 90 of the players in the league yet a run of the mill mundane night for Harden.

    My god we are spoiled rotten!
     
  13. YaoMing#1

    YaoMing#1 Member

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    Best player in the nba this year.

    I’ve been saying it for a few years but it’s for real now.

    He’s operating on a level above everyone else.
     
  14. hakeem94

    hakeem94 Member

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    in the words of cp3
    AND ITS NOT EVEN CLOSE

    ps he is also better than Micheal Jordan
     
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  15. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Hand-checking would have zero effect on Harden and Durant. Can you tell me why?
     
  16. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    Dream is solidly in the top 10 greatest players of all time. He’s realistically in the top 5 or 6 but if he’s below 10 in your list, I’m just not going to take you seriously. He might be the best defensive player ever.

    Harden will finish his career somewhere in the 5 greatest offensive players of all time but regardless of championships I just can’t see him cracking that top 10 list. He can definitely finish in the top 20 though.

    All that to say, dude is a beast, a literal game changer, and we should all be appreciating how good he is. Maybe not Dream level but ****ing elite of the elite level.
     
  17. nacho bidness

    nacho bidness Member

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    There's a lot of nostalgia going on here.

    Let's not pretend like illegal defense rules didn't exist

    It was iso all day because of this and you usually had plenty of room to operate. Now you have to be able to shoot from distance to get the same kind of space to work with. Also Harden is strong as fook. He would eat hand checks like snacks to the face.
     
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  18. nacho bidness

    nacho bidness Member

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    There's a lot of nostalgia going on here.

    Let's not pretend like illegal defense rules didn't exist

    It was iso all day because of this and you usually had plenty of room to operate. Now you have to be able to shoot from distance to get the same kind of space to work with. Also Harden is strong as fook. He would eat hand checks like snacks to the face.
     
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  19. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    It is risky defense to hawk a NBA dribbler like Harden full court. All it takes is one drag picker and you peel away Harper, then it is 5 on 4 with Harden going downhill. I've shown 3 videos of this already this year, just from one game. I can show many, many more.

    That doesn't work in today's game.
     
  20. LHSPanther62

    LHSPanther62 Member

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    Lol yea Harper couldn’t body Harden up the court. Offensive players could get away with more contact as well.
     
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