By David Max
Growing up, I watched sports as intently as a seasoned sports writer. I spent hours on end watching the NBA in the 90’s. While other boys were outside riding bikes, and climbing trees, I was watching Penny & Shaq trying to knock off the Bulls. I was watching Run TMC put Oakland basketball on the map. In the 2000’s I was glued to the TV, watching as many games as I could. I was the guy with League Pass watching the Sixers play the Bucks and the Sonics play the Pistons -back when skill, fundamentals and the mid-range jump shot still mattered.
In today’s game there is still plenty of entertainment value; However, because of my love for the game, it hurts my heart sometimes to see so much isolation play. -So many ill advised shots for the sake of wanting to be the man. Gone are the days of resetting the offense after an offensive rebound. Why? Firing up a contested 3 is way more appealing these days. 3 on 1 fast break: “From downtown….” Steph Curry makes it look good, so some second stringer with a horrible haircut and a broken jumper fires from long range. Difference is Steph obviously works on his shooting touch -rep after rep… after rep… How do I know? He’s shooting 45% from deep. That’s no accident. More importantly he’s making 2 point shots at a 57% clip. Meaning he’s scoring from all over the floor. Meaning he’s more than just a long range threat.
In the 90’s Jordan predominantly worked between 10-18 feet from the basket. Shooting from deep was reserved for being open, or just for for specialist. Like Dennis Scott, Dell Curry, Nick Anderson, and Sam Cassell to name a few. But even they had to be open. In the 2000’s Rip Hamilton was the king of the mid-range. He was absolutely unstoppable from 15 feet out. Ray Allen as deadly as he was from outside, would head fake, get his man in the air, go around them and nail a mid-range J. That’s if he didn’t decide to put you on a poster. My point is, that was the last Era of great shot selection and high basketball i.q. Current king of the mid-range is Chris Paul. Deadly. However it’s only a handful of players who seem like they work on their overall game let alone from 15′ out. Hell this generation of players barely work on their free throws. Now I don’t want to come off as the old man yelling “get off my lawn”, but I just get frustrated with the lack of high percentage shot selections. Every college game I watch shows me there’s another crop of kids coming in with bad habits, and a penchant for chucking up 25-foot bombs, hoping to get noticed by an NBA scout or ESPN. Is it bad coaching or just the direction the League is headed?
Let’s not forget about Tim Duncan’s bank shot from any mid range point has got him into the hall of fame. Tony Parker another great mid range threat. Dirk, Kd, and even carmelo. The problem is today is that no one wants to be known as a specialist in today’s game. Every one wants to be versitile. Great example Bizmack Biyambo was the #2 pick about 5 years ago. What has he done with his career??
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And you’re exactly right. I meant to mention Timmy Fundamentals. He’s going to put his kids thru college thanks to that bank shot. Bizmack may get an occasional weak side block, but he’s living proof that “potential” and “upside” shouldn’t get you drafted. Especially when you have no real skill set.
Reblogged this on and commented:
thecouchsports.com just turned 1 years old! In honor of that milestone, I’m re-releasing the first article ever written on here. I’ve come a long way with my writing. Thank you all for the continued support! ✌