jamaalstar21 wrote:Is there correlation in the 90s between 3-point attempts and offensive efficiency? I haven't checked on that. Just quickly plucked a couple years from the 90s and found top, bottom, and middling offensive teams being top 3 in 3-point attempts. If this was a real thing in the 90s then your point is fair. If this is an assumption based on current NBA trends, I'd investigate before making this assertion. There's no question the Jazz were downright allergic to 3-pointers a lot of the time. But the same year you're talking about, the Bulls weren't exactly hoisting many threes either (17th in 3-point rate), and they were the best offense in the NBA. Obviously spacing matters in every era, I'm just not immediately convinced that 3-point rate is the most helpful metric for that in 90s basketball. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just curious.
I just can't really imagine Stockton=Nash, offensively. If Stockton is a better point guard, it's because of defense and physicality. Swapping those two, I think Phoenix becomes a steadier more reliable defense and a normal good offense. Stockton was a conservative playmaker who would have piled up assists on those Suns by getting the ball to Amar'e and hitting shooters coming off pin downs (or something like that). Nash was a singular offensive force who kept his foot on the throat of the defense by constantly attacking, probing for kickouts and dunks. If all else failed, he was the most versatile pull-up shooter of his era. Nash is a transformative offensive player, Stockton was the steadiest of steady playmakers. I can't get aligned with the people in this thread who see more in Stockton's offensive game. Stock couldn't even drive left, and whenever the defense forced him to his left he was forced to turn his back and protect the ball, stalling the offense until he could recover. I agree with you that Stockton would look better spraying passer to an army of shooters, but I don't think he'd look like Nash. They were such fundamentally different players in terms of offensive mentality.
1. All of the top teams in the best Offensive rating were 3 point oriented. Go on the list of the top offensive teams in history and find me one that finished LAST in 3 point attempts. I'm not talking about 1980s where teams were taking 4 3 pointers per game. This was an era where teams were taking 15-20 3 pointers in a game. http://paceandspacehoops.com/the-greatest-offensive-teams-in-nba-history/
From the article:
"But your top 5 offenses in NBA history, in order? The 2004 Mavericks, 2006 Suns, 2016 Warriors, 2002 Mavs, and the 1998 Last Shot victim Utah Jazz."
Where did those top offenses of all-time rank in 3 point attempts?
2004 Mavs- 5th
2006 Suns- 1st
2016 Warriors- 1st
2002 Mavs- 3rd
1998 Jazz- 29th, LAST
Tell me which team is the outlier in that list?
2. Your analysis of Stockton's game is off. He was MORE aggressive than Nash. He drove to the basket more often than Nash. Nash's career high Free Throw Rate is 32.6%. Stockton beat that number in ALL 19 seasons of his careers. Based on the data we have of Old Stockton, he shot 34% of his shots at the rim. Nash shot 20% of his shots at the rim.
Your point of about Stockton's pullup shooting. WRONG. Stockton can't go left. WRONG. Here is a real scouting report on Stockton during his prime.
-Frequent Driver to the basket
-Went both ways frequently
-Shot off the dribble often and shot BETTER off the dribble
That's the total opposite of how Stockton's game is described.
I didn't ask if the best offensive teams ever were 3-point oriented, that is well known and oft discussed. I was asking if the correlation between 3-point rate and offensive rating were as strong in the 90s, obviously as it pertained to Stockton/Jazz offense. I wasn't asking a leading question to score a win for Nash over Stockton, I was genuinely curious. Obviously, spacing is important for offense regardless of era, but I personally haven't looked into that correlation before and thought maybe you (or someone else reading this thread) had and might comment.
The better those things correlate, the more the Jazz would be a strange outlier. Their offense got better and better as the 90s went on, and their 3-point rate kept dropping, at least relative to the league. By the late 90s, every Jazz team was a top 3 offense and a bottom 3 3-point shooting team. This is despite the mid 90s acquisition of Hornacek, and Stockton being a pretty great 3-point shooter in his own right. The Jazz had the personnel to be a 3-point heavy team by 90s standards, but they clearly preferred a different style. I dunno! Is the argument that Stockton was held back and those offenses would have been all-time if Sloan let them bomb away (or if they acquired more 3-point shooting personnel)? As you mentioned, they were the best offense in the league in 1998. Or do you mean Stockton would be thought of more as an offensive innovator had he been given the controls to a high-powered 3-point bombing machine? I don't think it should be assumed that that specific Jazz offense would have been better bombing from 3, as they were very successful at what they did and more 3-point shooting would be a stylistic overhaul. I do think Stockton/Malone/Hornacek deserve credit for their outlier offense!
You mention Mark Eaton and Thurl Bailey, Jazz players from the early 80s and early 90s, when Utah was the defensive-oriented team you describe. But you also mention 1998, when Utah was the best offense in the NBA. Bailey was injured then gone, when Utah started becoming a great offensive team in 1992. Eaton was really old at that point, still starting, but no longer playing big minutes, and was gone entirely by 94. By 1995, Stockton was leading the NBA in TS% (and Offensive BPM). I just don't think the 92 Jazz supporting cast can be used to describe the 1998 Jazz offense.
It's inarguable that Stockton got to the line more, I already admitted that Stockton was the superior physical player. I don't think you can just chalk up "offensive aggressiveness" to free throw rate when we're talking about playmaking point guards. I'm not making up the "Stockton was a conservative playmaker" thing, it was oft complained about by coaches and commentators at the time. He was aggressive in transition and a dutiful offensive executor in the half court. I've seen some spicy Stockton playoff games for sure, but most Jazz footage I watch, I see Stockton as pretty tame. This isn't a take I invented on an island and keep there, it's held by many. https://backpicks.com/2018/01/25/backpicks-goat-25-john-stockton/
This Elgee article sums up most of what I feel about Stockton, but I'm higher on Stockton overall.
- I never said anything about Stockton's pull up game or off the dribble shooting, so I'm not sure why you're giving me the CAPS treatment on that one and saying WRONG over and over. WHere do I mention Stockton's pull up game? I just said Nash was an awesome pull up shooter. Which he was. Better than Stockton! (Despite not saying that before)
- I'm not sure what I'm missing in this scouting report. The word left is in there a lot. Shooting a pull up jumper off a left dribble is common for a right handed shooter, it's how most shooters gather motion works. I see the last bullet point where we get 23-37 going left, but that's not enough to me to throw out my entire opinion. It's a small sample size, I don't know when it's from, I don't know who wrote it. Even if the numbers showed Stockton had good results going left in a larger sample, I'll still remember Stockton aborting a lot of attacks when a defender attacked his left hand. This isn't actually very damning, most ball handlers in the 90s we're a little more conservative going left, by my all-seeing eye