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Thread: Proper Positions & the Raps' Dilemma (Doug Smith's Opinion - Post 37)

  1. #21
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    Quote Raptorsss wrote: View Post
    Why is Bargnani a 5? Is it his style of play or his height? If Howard is a 5 and Nowitzki is a 4, Bargnani is also a 4.

    Johnson is a 5 the same way Big Baby is a 5. They are both undersized but their game is limited to 5ft from the basket.

    Kleiza is a 3 for Denver and will most likely be a 3 for Toronto. However, his face up game is much better than his 3-point game and he was most effective for Lithuania as a 4. When I say 1-5 its about style of play that's it.
    Bargnani is a 5 because that's the position he defends the best. What a player does on offense has very little bearing on what position they play (except PG). Howard is a 5 because that's the position he defends the best. Nowitzki is a 4 because that's the position HE defends the best. When he played the 5, he got up too badly in the post.

    Johnson isn't big enough to play the 5, unlike Glen Davis, who, while shorter than most centers has the, um, girth to defend the position. Against quicker 4s he's at a bit of a disadvantage.

    Okur is a 5 despite shooting outside. Same goes for Channing Frye last season. So were Laimbeer, Sabonis and countless other big men that spent a lot of time behind the 3 point line.

    Patrick Ewing was a high post center that was known for his jump shot.

    It used to be that the prototypical power forward was a banger who rebounded and defended, but only scored when open around the basket.

    Like I said the ONLY difference between a 5 and a 4 is who they guard best, and Bargnani defends 5s best, which is why he is a 5.

  2. #22
    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    Quote Raptorsss wrote: View Post
    Why is Bargnani a 5? Is it his style of play or his height? If Howard is a 5 and Nowitzki is a 4, Bargnani is also a 4.

    Johnson is a 5 the same way Big Baby is a 5. They are both undersized but their game is limited to 5ft from the basket.

    Kleiza is a 3 for Denver and will most likely be a 3 for Toronto. However, his face up game is much better than his 3-point game and he was most effective for Lithuania as a 4. When I say 1-5 its about style of play that's it.
    Bargnani is 7 feet tall and strong enough to hold his own at the #5 that is why using the outdated numbering system he is a #5

    You may think that Johnson is a #5 but his minutes played and what he has personally said about himself say he is a #4 straight up. He did not play center when he played in the D-league or since he has been in the NBA except in an emergency situation. I also believe that he did not play center in high school though I am not sure about that one.

    Go here for his minutes break down by position in 09-10

    http://www.82games.com/0910/09TOR9.HTM

    or here for 2008-09

    http://www.82games.com/0809/0809DET.HTM


    The concept of style of play is used by people who use the numbering system. However, it is my opinion that the whole concept of style used to pigeon hole a player into a numbered position is just outdated. I used the example above about Johnson just to frame my response in your universe of thinking regarding the subject. However, my comments above about both Bargnani and Johnson should in no way be taken to mean that I hold by the numbering system.

    You would think that for someone so into numbers that I would use them here when it comes to positioning however that is obviously not the case.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Bargnani is a 5 because that's the position he defends the best. What a player does on offense has very little bearing on what position they play (except PG). Howard is a 5 because that's the position he defends the best. Nowitzki is a 4 because that's the position HE defends the best. When he played the 5, he got up too badly in the post.

    Johnson isn't big enough to play the 5, unlike Glen Davis, who, while shorter than most centers has the, um, girth to defend the position. Against quicker 4s he's at a bit of a disadvantage.

    Okur is a 5 despite shooting outside. Same goes for Channing Frye last season. So were Laimbeer, Sabonis and countless other big men that spent a lot of time behind the 3 point line.

    Patrick Ewing was a high post center that was known for his jump shot.

    It used to be that the prototypical power forward was a banger who rebounded and defended, but only scored when open around the basket.

    Like I said the ONLY difference between a 5 and a 4 is who they guard best, and Bargnani defends 5s best, which is why he is a 5.
    +1

    I like your response a lot better than mine above
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    “As a captain, I played furiously. I drew a lot of fouls, but I brought everything I had to every practice and to every game. I left everything on the court because I simply wanted the team to win”
    Quote from well known personality who led their high school team to a state championship.

  4. #24
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    At Tim fair enough. However, with a Bargnani/Johnson front court. On offense they'd look like a 4/5 even if on defense they guard 5/4.

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    Quote Raptorsss wrote: View Post
    At Tim fair enough. However, with a Bargnani/Johnson front court. On offense they'd look like a 4/5 even if on defense they guard 5/4.
    But why would a PF shoot outside and a center play inside? That's certainly not historically been the norm. Certainly not in the NBA. Historically, more often than not, the center has been the front court player with the best offensive skills. Among the top 25 scorers of all time, there are only 2 PFs compared to 10 centers. WHERE they play on offense is moot. And it's always been that way.

  6. #26
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    At least Tim Chisolm agrees with me http://tsn.ca/nba/story/?id=333978

  7. #27
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    My thoughts on this is that the whole concept of set positions are outdated. How do you classify LeBron James? The guy can play four positions. Players are more versatile these days and on top of that a lot of the old school traditional big man tools are being lost because they're not being taught at the youth level. If you want to stick with the set position mindset then you need to be prepared to eliminate the center position all together from most depth charts around the league because it ain't present anymore. The game is a lot different than it was 20 years ago when set positions were relevant. The rules have changed and what the kids learn is different now. When was the last time anybody in here seen a hook shot used on an NBA court?

  8. #28
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    Doesn't Shaq use a variation of the hook shot?

  9. #29
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    Quote Raptorsss wrote: View Post
    At least Tim Chisolm agrees with me http://tsn.ca/nba/story/?id=333978
    He also apparently thinks that Amir is a center. I remember one sportswriter classified James Worthy as a PF even though I would think he would be the prototypical small forward for that era.

  10. #30
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    If Bargnani could average 8.5 or higher rebs a game, no one would give a shart where he scored from.

  11. #31
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    If Bargnani could average 8.5 or higher rebs a game, no one would give a shart where he scored from.
    This is most definitely true. Although I'd also like good defense, too, which is why I'd never want guys like Al Jefferson, David Lee, Carlos Boozer or Amare Stoudemire on my team.

  12. #32
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    If Bargnani could average 8.5 or higher rebs a game, no one would give a shart where he scored from.
    This is most definitely true. Although I'd also like good defense, too, which is why I'd never want guys like Al Jefferson, David Lee, Carlos Boozer or Amare Stoudemire on my team.

  13. #33
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    Quote Raptorsss wrote: View Post
    Doesn't Shaq use a variation of the hook shot?
    So let's say yes even, one guy on one team out of 30...

  14. #34
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    If Bargnani could average 8.5 or higher rebs a game, no one would give a shart where he scored from.
    I don't care where he scores from as long as he does it efficiently with a high PPP rate (points per possession)
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  15. #35
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    Quote Buddahfan wrote: View Post
    The idea of the numbers is totally outdated in how the game is now played.

    Far too many of the stars today play multiple positions that I can't even count them all.
    Give me a starting unit of 3 KGs in his prime along with 2 CP3s, a decent bench and Phil Jackson or Pops as the coach and I could beat any team in the NBA probably 95% of the time.
    In particular that last quote is simply ridiculous. "Give me 5 michael jordans in his prime...." Obviously if you're talking about some of the greatest players to ever play, you make adjustments.

    But 95% of the teams 95% of the time do not have any player even close. I'm not talking about super teams, superstars or the elite teams. I'm talking about NBA teams, and the sport of basketball. I guess this belongs in the everything nba section, but whatever.

    There's a difference between having an ability to play multiple positions, and being excellent at one of them. Switch hitters in baseball are better on one side of the plate. Garnett, or Bosh, for that matter, can play at the 5 spot, but they shouldn't and don't because they're better suited for the 4. Bargnani doesn't play under the hoop, and he doesn't jump for boards. He doesn't fight for position. He plays like a guard in a 7 foot body. It's his size that allows him to guard opposing 5's, that's all. He requires the freedom to move from beyond the rim and paint to be effective, that's why i think of his as a four. If the Raps had someone to anchor the paint, around which Bargs could pivot, the team's frontcourt would be significantly improved.

    As well, just because teams today - teams that build and cater WAY too hardcore around their stars - play around with positions, doesn't necessarily mean basketball should and will always be played that way. Boston, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Detroit, Dallas - the successful teams of the last decade - all played 1,2,3,4,5. They played, and play, real, classic basketball (triangle is still classic, as it still requires players in their proper positions - this is why Jackson refused the give up Bynum when Kobe was threatening to walk, and why they don't switch Kobe to PG or SF). With the right players, playing properly, all other things being equal, the classic set up simply trumps the more unorthodox styles, and it's really only when you've got the superstars and a number of players in hybrid bodies with high IQ's that you can begin to legitimately play around with this formula.

  16. #36
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    Also, it wasn't my intention to have so much attention focused on Bargnani. The original post had as much to do with Barbosa and Weems as anyone else. The Raps have a problem in that too many players, at least in this forum and in Triano's coaching style (small sample, admittedly), are idealized as being great because they are able to move around and play a number of positions. The Raps should not play Barbosa at the the point. Weems is too small for the small forward. The adaptability of the Raps' players is a bad philosophy to carry into the season, in my opinion.

    The team needs the confidence in its management and coaches, the authority, to force players into the proper roles. Playing around with crazy line ups just makes the players confused and doesn't allow them to form effective units. If Derozan isn't playing primarily at the 3, the Raps simply won't be utilizing their players effectively, as they'll have 3 2-guards vying for what should only be 2 real spots. But all three are good enough to warrant a bunch of minutes.

    I'm pretty sure Derozan will start at the 2, most likely with Jack and Kleiza. But then you've got Calderon, Barbosa and...Wright? as a second unit? That's underselling the talent on the roster and plays with serious deficiencies in both sets, notably no playmakers in the first unit, and probably the league's worst 1-2 defensive tandem in Calderon and Barbosa. I said it in the last post, but for some reason I feel like repeating it, but Calderon, Weems and Derozan need to play as a 3 man unit, as do Jack, Barbosa and Kleiza. That's the best way to get the best production out of all six players. But then a decision needs to be made: do you start Jack's unit, or Derozan's unit? Both have consequences to the future. I'd prefer Jack's unit start, as I said, not so much because Jack is better than Calderon (he's not), but because they're the most veteran unit and match up better against other teams. The Calderon unit would have the upper hand on a majority of other team's second units. Other configurations just don't provide enough playing time for the Raps' key back court players.

  17. #37
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    Default Doug Smith's Opinion

    Time to re-think this whole numbering thing

    We do seem to have a fascination with numbers here in our little corner of the world, don’t we? Averages, true average, ratings, points, assists, rebounds, whatever.

    But maybe it’s time to retire some.

    Like 2, 3, 4, 5.

    When it comes to basketball positions, that is.

    I think we’ve seen enough change in the game, and interchangeable parts, that to suggest some one is a shooting guard as opposed to a small forward, or a centre rather than a power forward, should probably be re-thought.

    I know a lot of coaches have already done away with the distinction, they talk of wings and bigs rather than the traditional numeric system that’s been around for eons.

    Guess it came up with all the hullabaloo I’ve been seeing over the likes of Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson and to a lesser extent Reggie Evans and even Ed Davis.

    None of them are what consider “true” fours or fives but the question is: Does it matter?

    The way the game is evolving is towards multi-faceted players and styles, everyone is searching out guys who can do a little bit of everything and can go to different spots on the floor and do different things.

    No, Andrea is not a centre in the old school of thought and neither is Johnson. But what’s Pau Gasol? A power forward? Sure, when he’s on the court with Andrew Bynum I guess he is. But what about when he’s playing alongside Lamar Odom? Who’s the “centre” then?

    What about Tim Duncan? Four? Sure, maybe next to someone like, oh, Tiago Splitter this year or David Robinson in the past? Or a five? Yeah, when Matt Bonner’s at the other frontcourt position, sure he is.

    Chris Bosh? A centre? Sure, sometimes, I guess. Sometimes not.

    Look at the twos and threes. What’s Kobe? How about LeBron? Do you really think either of them should be pigeon-holed? No.

    Sure, there are those who still should be classified the olden way, I suppose. Shaq, who’s pretty much done; Yao, who’ll play half a game this year apparently; and Dwight Howard, one of the true “centres” left in the game. I’m sure there are others but they are the exceptions that prove a new rule around the game.

    So instead of fixating on numeric positions and carrying on the way they did in the day of Wilt and Russell and the like, perhaps it’s time to see them for what they are:

    Basketball players.
    Source: Doug Smith's Blog

  18. #38
    Raptors Republic Veteran Buddahfan's Avatar
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    You just know that Smith reads Raptors Republic
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    “As a captain, I played furiously. I drew a lot of fouls, but I brought everything I had to every practice and to every game. I left everything on the court because I simply wanted the team to win”
    Quote from well known personality who led their high school team to a state championship.

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