Ell Curry wrote:Yeah, haven't really seen anything like the 2014 Spurs since, and looking around, I don't really see anything on the horizon. Seems like ISO ball is largely back, even for teams with tons of skill at multiple positions like the Hawks.
WaltFrazier wrote:When that Spurs team won, I thought that passing style of offense was going to take over and become the new trend. It was so nice to watch, ball movement like the Lakers and Celtics of the 80s.
tecumseh18 wrote:Spurs in that Finals was the greatest passing team I've ever seen. They cut the Heat defence to pieces, and showed how the whole idea of having a point guard - like Russ - dominate the ball and rack up the assists is completely outmoded. I'm not sure the league has caught up to it yet.
Los_29 wrote:The Spurs beat Miami based on playing team ball. Sure they had good players but you can argue that none of their players at the time were better than Lebron or Wade.
There are two axes at play when we're talking about the uniqueness of the Spurs:
- Ball movement (vs isolation)
- Egalitarian scoring
I don't think the Rockets way has won the day, though. I think most teams have been and continue to be in between these two extremes. And I think most of the best offensive teams have offensive talent and move the ball well. The pre-Durant Warriors weren't as egalitarian with scoring as the Spurs, but the offense was definitely built on ball-movement more than isolation -- they just had their best shooters take a higher % of the shots. The Rockets hit as high as 20.4% of plays were isolation in '18-19, but, e.g., the '15-16 Warriors played isolation only 6.3% of the time.
League median by year for % of plays isolation for the last 6 years:
One important reality is the uniqueness of the defense the Spurs faced in the Finals: the Heat played an incredibly aggressive trapping defense. The counter was ball movement. Since then, the defensive trend has been toward more switching on defense -- the natural counter is attacking mismatches one-v-one. I think having the ability to attack mismatches after a switch is essential now, but that's a very different thing than building the whole offense around a Kobe/Harden/Westbrook-style ball-stopper.