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Thread: Ric Bucher: Retire the idea that position matters

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default Ric Bucher: Retire the idea that position matters

    In spite of what Dennis SchrŲder is doing at the Las Vegas Summer League, I'm told that the Hawks didn't just match the offer sheet to PG Jeff Teague to retain an asset, but that they believe under the guidance of first-year head coach and long-time Spur Mike Budenholzer that he can be Tony Parkeresque. As an aside, it's almost time to dispense with distinguishing frontcourt and backcourt positions and retire the argument, "What is he?" in regard to position or, at least, retire the idea that it matters. Guards, point and shooting, have become homogenized; same goes for 2s and 3s, 3s and 4s and 4s and 5s. It no longer matters what position a player plays; what matters is how his skill set melds with the other four on the floor with him.

    http://sulia.com/channel/basketball/...source=twitter

    I guess another way to put it is: skills matter, positions don't.


    What do you think?


    *And yes, Rudy and DeMar come immediately to mind*
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    Raptors Republic All-Star wallz's Avatar
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    Makes a whole lot of sense

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    I somewhat agree, as we've been talking about "guards", "wings" and "bigs" for several seasons now. I think a lot of the positional discussion has more to do with matchups.

    For example, team A could have 3 good “forwards”, but if they’re all more ‘tweeners’ as opposed to traditional PFs, it’s likely that none of them would matchup well against team B’s more traditional PF “forward”. That’s why decently skilled players like Derrick Williams have had such underwhelming careers lately; they’re too small to defend pure PF and not athletic enough to defend pure SF. With the right matchup, they could thrive. There’s also more opportunity for those types of players to excel on 2nd units, or in “small ball” or “big” lineups that only play together in short bursts to change the momentum of a game.

    I actually think the pendulum has been swinging back to more traditional roles, at least with forwards, in light of the failure of tweeners. I do think that “wings” and “guards” have a lot more leeway for allowing the traditional positions to be blurred. I don't think it's a stretch to think that some teams could very well view their lineups as 2 bigs & 3 perimeter players. Role definition is much more important than positional definition – a lineup with “3 perimeter players” still ideally needs at least one lockdown perimeter defender, one 3pt threat, one penetrator and one distributor from those three lineup spots.
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Tue Jul 16th, 2013 at 05:22 PM.

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    The whole point of the PG/SG/SF/PF/C positions is to have a lineup with "skill sets that meld" together. You can certainly throw the notion of positions out the window, but the stereotypes of what a particular position is responsible for evolved naturally.

    With the differing rules in the NBA, some of those stereotypes are slowly changing, but that doesn't mean there is a "homogenized" point/shooting-guard. Taking out LeBron-led teams, your PG still needs to be an adept ballhandler that's quick, and usually willing to pass. Even shoot-first PGs tend to average 6-8 apg, and while Kobe Bryant is certainly capable of such feats, playing him at the point is probably not a good idea.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star ebrian's Avatar
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    PG does still matter though. Unless you've got a stacked team where you just couldn't care less what Mario Chalmers does.
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    It all comes down if you dont exposed defensively or offensively it doesnt matter, if you do, the coach will make an adjustment or roll with that lineup for way too long and get disliked by the fans, who clearly see that a 5'10 chucker is not the best idea at SG

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    Super Moderator thead's Avatar
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    There was a thread I started not too long ago about all the "new" positions, I got to ten or something I think

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    Quote Marz wrote: View Post
    The whole point of the PG/SG/SF/PF/C positions is to have a lineup with "skill sets that meld" together. You can certainly throw the notion of positions out the window, but the stereotypes of what a particular position is responsible for evolved naturally.

    With the differing rules in the NBA, some of those stereotypes are slowly changing, but that doesn't mean there is a "homogenized" point/shooting-guard. Taking out LeBron-led teams, your PG still needs to be an adept ballhandler that's quick, and usually willing to pass. Even shoot-first PGs tend to average 6-8 apg, and while Kobe Bryant is certainly capable of such feats, playing him at the point is probably not a good idea.
    Yeah, very true about the natural evolution of those positions. The thing about 'traditional' skillsets is not only that they fit well together, but that they are relatively common skillsets. Once you start commit to building around players with non-traditional skillsets, you also limit yourself to the number of players who are compatible with them.
    So let's say you commit to a SG who can't really shoot the 3. You've got to make up that skillset elsewhere, and it's not going to be made up with a shooting PG because you need somebody off-the-ball who can shoot. So now maybe you're talking about finding a stretch 4 to fill that skillset. Which is great if you can find a Millsap type who has the traditional PF skillsets plus shooting. But most stretch 4s are going to come with their own weaknesses. Perhaps it's on-the-block defense, perhaps it's rebounding. So now you've got another hole, so you need to find a SF who can rebound. Maybe, you can still find a set of players that compliment one another perfectly. But if you lose one of them (injury, free agency, whatever), then you've got a hole with a very specific and rare combination of skillsets to fill, and only a handful of players in the league are going to fit.

    There's something to be said for having a guy who transcends his position: who can do all the skills associated with his position at a high level, but brings other skills as well. I mentioned Millsap, and of course James is the best example in the league. The more players you have who transcend their position, the more specialists you can have... guys who have just one or two skills, whether it's shooting or defense or something else. With James, there's probably a dozen different styles of teams you could build around him and still be a championship calibre team.

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    Raptors Republic Starter minks77's Avatar
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    I disagree with this concept almost entirely. There are a few players mentioned already (James, Millsap etc) that truly transcend and then there are the rest who are really just not good enough/big enough or fast enough to occupy their traditional position. Chris Bosh is a forward, Steph curry is a guard. For the most part CB isn't a pivot nor does he have a Power game. Curry drops dimes but is primarily a combo/scoring guard. When you are as good as these guys position is truly meaningless but when you're an average player, say Tyreke Evans, who puts up numbers across the board but isn't really dependable in any one area teams end up trying, to the detriment of the team, to max said players strengths while minimizing their weakness.

    There will always be a place for players who exemplify the idea of position: Jose, RayRay, KD, Blake, Hibbert etc. The idea of a "positionless" team is just the current en vogue catchphrase. Many teams will try to emulate Miami and most will fail.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mr.Z's Avatar
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    Position does matter, you can't put out a starting line-up of guys all the same height and weight and justify it by saying "well their skills meld well with one another" lol skill is important but so is size and strength.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Mr.Z wrote: View Post
    Position does matter, you can't put out a starting line-up of guys all the same height and weight and justify it by saying "well their skills meld well with one another" lol skill is important but so is size and strength.
    No one is saying five guys with same size and weight.

    The argument is 1-2/2-3/3-4/4-5 meshing together being more important than traditional positions.

    Guards/wings/bigs are obviously going to differ in heights/weights and size/strength.
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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    I still believe in the traditional PG and the traditional C. The problem is that the quality of the players in the league has become worse. If there were more mandatory college years then I don't think we'd see the need for a position-less player. Big guys would learn how to play 'big' and small guys would learn how to facilitate better.

    And because Miami has been successful without a true big or PG, other teams will copy. So acquiring talent that can play with multiple hats has become more important and the position they play has become a lot more grey.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Axel's Avatar
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    Quote Mr.Z wrote: View Post
    Position does matter, you can't put out a starting line-up of guys all the same height and weight and justify it by saying "well their skills meld well with one another" lol skill is important but so is size and strength.
    I think that could work if all five guys were 6'8"-6'9" and had both strength and quickness. There aren't many athletic enough, but seriously, 5 LeBron's in a line-up would work wonders. I know LeBron is an extreme example since he obviously has a high level of skills and is likely the best athlete in the NBA, but if someone had similar athletics without the high level skills I think it could still work.

    Think about history, we've had players at every position in that 6'8-6'9 220-235 range and who excelled.

    A line-up of:
    PG Magic 6'9 220.
    SG Steve Smith 6'8 220.
    SF Shawn Marion 6'7 228
    PF Dennis Rodman 6'7 220
    C Bill Russell 6'10 221

    Bench
    G Penny Hardaway 6'7 200
    G Manu Ginobli 6'6 205
    G/F James Harden 6'5 220
    F Paul Pierce 6'7 235
    F Kwahi Leonard 6'7 225
    F/C Kenneth Faried 6'8 228
    F/C Ersan Ilyasova 6'10 235
    C Ben Wallace 6'9 240

    I know that's pulling from all-time, but I'm sure it could be done.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star JawsGT's Avatar
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    Guys like Magic, KD, and Lebron have blurred the traditional positional designations. Tall, big guys that have crazy ball handling, passing, and shooting skills will do that. I believe it comes down to the skill set a player has and the role he is expected to fill on the floor, and of course, match-ups. I've often wondered if we are seeing more big guys with "guard-like" skill sets than we have in the past? More athletic big men would certainly change the way one looks at the traditional positions.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    The biggest thing I take away from Bucher's bit is how talent meshes.

    Bringing it around to the Raptors, realistically the Raptors roster in the starting lineup is still tailored towards a now member of the NY Knicks:

    a PG who rebounds and (supposedly) stops dribble penetration,
    a SG who slashes
    a SF who is a good rebounder, defender, and can score in a variety of ways
    a C who creates space with rolling and rebounds


    Without a stretch 4 who can hit a high 3pt percentage, what is this mess the team currently has?
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    Raptors Republic Starter Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    The problem is that the quality of the players in the league has become worse. If there were more mandatory college years then I don't think we'd see the need for a position-less player. Big guys would learn how to play 'big' and small guys would learn how to facilitate better.
    At the risk of blowing the this out of proportion....

    I hate hearing the first two of these 3 statements - I think they are largely poorly thought through and are dripping with nostalgic bias.

    "Players aren't as good as they used to be" - it's incredibly naive to insult the hundreds of front office/coaching professionals in all levels of basketball by implying that no one has learned from the past or improved their methods over the last few decades. All levels of basketball are filled with more and depth and talent overall making for an increasingly competitive platform for those playing/learning. Sports science, advanced statistics, training, medical, and nutritional methods, etc have all improved hugely every generation since the beginning of the game. Simply put - Jordan/Kareem/Magic/Chamberlain were no doubt great but it's absurd to deny that they did it against lesser competition - I hardly think it's absurd at all to reason that the vast majority of their opponants/peers wouldn't meet the standards of today's NBA .

    "Make them go to College" - This is constantly spun as a "Do it for the kid's", but realistically it's much more of a negotiated political stance with the NCAA/FIBA (think $$$) and a large measure of saving GM's/Owners from destroying themselves drafting high risk diamond in the rough types like Kobe/KG/LBJ/etc. There is always exceptional talent that could be hurt by being forced to play as a man among boys (nevermind financially hurt), but the real problem is who decides where to draw the line?

    "Big guys play big/Little guys play little" - While it's important to develop talent to optimize their size/athletic qualities, you also don't want to smother their existing talents by doing so. To speak to the thread topic directly - only top talent is worth trying to build around in an unorthodox way in today's NBA...
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    Raptors Republic All-Star grindhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    I guess another way to put it is: skills matter, positions don't.


    What do you think?


    *And yes, Rudy and DeMar come immediately to mind*
    As long as u can bring the ball up the floor , play defence, cause mismatches, and hit open jumpers.

    Your good to go. The game of basketball is very simple.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star grindhouse's Avatar
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    Think about it if u can run a play to give ur small forward a post up play what stops you from running that same play with your PG in that position?

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Rapstor4Life's Avatar
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    Ujiri is a smart guy if he sees a problem with the Rudy and DeMar tag team he will address it.... for now though hes hoping that Rudy and DeMar are something special together and fans should see that too the potential is amazing there. Give them a season and just stop this whole "They overlap too similar cant shoot 3s nonsense" and watch them play together on a clean slate first... Jesus H christ.

    3 point shooting is important but its not all there is to ball we can easily obtain role players to come in for floor spacing I.E we now have Novak....

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