Luka isn’t even panicking trying to get a loose ball. He just calmly gathers it, dribbles up to the edge of the logo, creates space with a sidestep, and absolutely sinks a 3 pointer effortlessly. I hate seeing skilled players doing unbelievable things like this. Let’s look at how it USED to be, back in the good old days when everyone was a drug addict and couldn’t shoot outside of 14 feet.
6 dudes standing in the paint for no reason. Isaiah passes the ball to a guy at the elbow, who is fully guarded and shoots a terrible shot that barely catches the rim. The ball is recovered and sent to Isaiah who is wide open for a 3 point shot, literally nobody even trying to guard him, and he refuses to shoot it. Instead he pointlessly dribbles until they stop the action with a timeout. Then he throws up a weak shot that clangs out.
I don’t want to see a return to the thug-ball of the late 90s, but I also think stuff in the modern game (like logo shots) sucks too. The physicality of the 90s represent one end of the pendulum, and the three-bombing finesse of the modern game represents the other end. I don’t want to see the pendulum go all the back to the other end, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it retreat back to the mid-point.
I miss seeing guys with very skilled and crafty post-up games, or with deadly mid-range games that make them a threat at every level, or teams that really work the ball around to get a great look rather than jacking up shots the moment they have an inch of space. I don’t miss seeing defenders mug guys on their way to the hoop, or perimeter guys clanging threes off the rim, or the general lack of ball-handling skills at every position other than PG.
Ive watched both while it’s been going on, and the new game sucks balls compared to old. You can pick particularly sloppy video from ether era, but the old days were WAY fucking better. It’s not just the more physical style of play, but the fact that players had more loyalty to cities and organizations back then, so they took stuff more personally and it showed on the court. Today’s players are privileged AAU pussy kids who cant handle adversity and have no loyalty.
Let’s not forget, we also had guys like Larry Bird and Reggie Miller back in the day, 3 point shooters who were great AND had genuine attitude.
It’s not that the game was all thug then. It’s that positions mattered more and people specialized. True 3 point shooters/guard, true big men. Nowadays everyone is 6’9", shoots 3s, dunks, and avoids contact at all costs. “Sameness”, like the Communist ideal.
Is that really any worse than every kid in the 90s/00s trying to ‘be like Mike’ and doing a shitty, ball-hogging impersonation of Jordan? One thing I don’t miss is the massive over-reliance on isolation scorers.
Bird and Reggie weren’t really three-point shooters by modern standards though. Sure, they could hit the odd three here and there, but it wasn’t a major part of their games. Bird averaged 0.7 made threes per game. Reggie averaged 1.8 made threes per game. Bird would have ranked 165th in the NBA last year in made threes per game, and Reggie would have ranked 70th.
As far as them being more specialized, I agree, but ‘more specialized’ is just another way of saying ‘less versatile’. Guys are WAY more skilled today than they were back in the 90s. The star players of the 90s could play in any era, but the bottom half of the league from the 90s couldn’t even make it on a roster in the modern game. They just didn’t have the breadth of skills to do everything demanded of guys today.