It’s really sad what the NBA has become.

MLB is headed there, too, obviously.

I love the sport of basketball but it is hard to watch on TV. The NBA really wanted to Banned-In-China Rockets to lose. Now they lose the China TV market for the wonderful Lakers, but probably only for 4 games.

Exhibits A and B in the case for why I don’t watch the NBA anymore.

Exhibit C, is the de rigueur isolation play where everyone clears to one side of the court and the “playmaker” stands somewhere on the 3-point arc and dribbles the ball for 20 seconds. Does everyone still do that? I don’t watch anymore (see Exhibits A and B).

They haven’t done that in 20-something years. That’s the hell of it for me. I love basketball, and the game today is SO much better than it was in the 80s and 90s. The rule changes to move away from the isolation ball you mention is the best thing the NBA has ever done after introducing the shot clock. No more slow, isolation/penetration style ball, executed with the precision of a sledgehammer. The players are fast, they’re good, and the game is about passing and shooting. It rewards teams that are well-rounded and do the fundamental things well. But the officiating is the worst now, whether by accident or design.

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The Rockets getting banned in China was worse than the Astros cheating scandal. The Rockets were the most popular sports franchise on earth, and it wasn’t even close, entirely due to their popularity in China. The league tried to eliminate them, but just couldn’t make it happen.

Glad to hear that they moved away from the iso play.

I am genuinely shocked that the officiating is worse. A ref wrote a book about how they would (or wouldn’t) make calls based on personal animus, depth of that day’s hangover or simply who had to tip the kit boy. If they are worse than that

Well, I don’t know about that…I said they were worse, not more corrupt. Though both could certainly be the case. Take the aforementioned Angel Hernandez…I don’t think he’s corrupt, just incompetent.

I was assuming that incompetence could not be worse than deliberately wrong, but NBA refs… :man_shrugging:

Of course, Hanlon’s Razor may apply here: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”, but Grey’s Law states "Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice”, so who the fuck knows. What is certain is that the NBA doesn’t give a shit.

They have not moved away from the iso play. Just with respect to the Rockets it is not at all uncommon for Harden to bring the ball up and stand around with it for 20 seconds and then do his step up jump back shoot a three from thirty feet out move.

Of course, when your primary alternatives include having Eric Gordon shoot or letting Westbrook drive into the lane like Hunter Pence on a double dose of Adderall, a wild-ass three point attempt starts to make a little more sense.

It’s true, though, that on some possessions a team will pass the ball around the perimeter three or four times before someone shoots a three point shot.

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It’s pretty impressive how they can play beautiful basketball for stretches and yet still devolve into “dribble, dribble, dribble…fuck it jack it up” at a moment’s notice.

Their offense, in my limited viewing, is better than previous year’s, but come crunch time, they revert back to shit.

The NBA embodiment of “Chuckie don’t take pitches, Chuckie be hackin’”

You saw GS transition from iso heavy with KD to motion/passing in a heartbeat in last year’s playoffs.

The major difference in the iso plays now is that they usually start on the perimeter rather then the post.

The modern motion offense is a beautiful sight to behold when the shots are falling. And it allows otherwise marginal players to make major contributions. Not every player can iso; far more can hit open 3s when the ball swings their way.

I think about, because I miss the glory days in the 90’s, how good guys like Hakeem, Horry, Barkley, Kemp, Divac, young Sabonis, etc… would be in today’s game.

I didn’t say isolation had been eliminated completely. I said that the style of isolation ball played 20-30 years ago is no longer the primary offensive strategy.

Some of those guys would still be great. Hakeem would because he could run, could pass, play defense and shoot mid-range fade aways and jumpers. But a guy like Patrick Ewing would have little place.

That was my point, those guys would dominate, mobility and shooting, stretch the floor, all that.

My counterpoint in my mind was a guy like Thorpe, or as you mentioned, Ewing.

The game has evolved. Player’s skills have evolved. Referees haven’t gotten any better–they have always been arbitrary and capricious. Also for some reason there are no great big-men anymore, at least not close to what you had in the 90s, 80s, 70s and 60s.

This is my point. The inside/out game doesn’t dominate anymore. It’s a speed and perimeter game now. That doesn’t mean no one ever scores inside the paint, just that style is not heavily featured.

Somewhere along the line someone figured out that three is more than two.

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