Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era?

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Which of these players would drop off the most if they moved into today's league?

1-Payton
10
19%
2-Stockton
1
2%
3-Drexler
6
11%
4-Pippen
2
4%
5-Barkley
2
4%
6-Malone
4
8%
7-Ewing
6
11%
8-Rodman
15
28%
9-Shaq
4
8%
10-Penny
3
6%
 
Total votes: 53

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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#61 » by colts18 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:59 pm

Mazter wrote:
penbeast0 wrote:Stockton less effective? What change in the PG role would nerf Stockton? I could see him as an ironman version of Chris Paul with more emphasis on his 3 point shooting, the same great playmaking and defense, and super health though he doesn't have Paul's turnover economy or younger Paul's scoring volume.

I don't believe I said less effective, but some reasons as why Stockton that come up:
- He was a late bloomer, his first All Anything season was at age 25, don't know if teams have the patience to wait or give someone that chance after his rookie contract already expired.
- today is a lot of driving based on speed and explosiveness, I can't really picture Stockton doing that succesfully 10-20 times in today's game
- nearly half of the assists are based on catch and shoot as results of ball movement or drive and kick, you don't really need a Stockton type of point guard to accomplish that

That being said, the Chris Paul comparison is a good one. But even Paul was 3 years of the critics radar before he reinvented himself with the Thunder and the Suns. But he did that based on his past (9x All D, 8x All NBA, 7x AS) and his huge contract, maybe even his position as president of the NBPA. Don't know if an up and coming Stockton would get the same credit. I guess it all depends on the franchise and the coach, could be anything, but the chance at "nothing" is definitely there.



If 35 year old Chris Paul could dominate last season, then Stockton can do the same. You can't tell me that Chris Paul last season was faster or more athletic than prime Stockton.

-35 year old Chris Paul, the closest sylistic comparison to Stockton, averaged 19/10, 60 TS% per 36. He finished 5th in MVP voting.

-We are in a league today where TJ McConnell averages 12 drives per game. Mike Conley averages 13. Stockton can do the same considering he was a prolific driver during his era.

-35 year old Chris Paul took only 6% of his shots at the rim. 35 year old Stockton took 37% of shots at the rim. Thats 6x higher than CP3's rate. Stockton was always much more aggressive than Paul at attacking the basket. Now imagine prime Stockton in that role instead of 35 year old Stockton.

-Stockton was effective early on. By year 2, he was 2nd in the league in Assist%. In year 3, he was 1st in the league in Assist%. In year 4, he broke the all-time record for Assists in a season. He would get plenty of opportunities in today's league.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#62 » by Mazter » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:00 pm

colts18 wrote:If 35 year old Chris Paul could dominate last season, then Stockton can do the same. You can't tell me that Chris Paul last season was faster or more athletic than prime Stockton.

I don't know if dominate is a word I would describe CP3 with in 2021. THe Suns improved a lot with him, but I think his leadership was and still is the key. Eventually the Suns were 4-0 without him in the games he did not play.

The thing is this is not a regular Paul vs Stockton at x age comparison. I think the thing most people underestimate is the effect that growing up in a different era has. Stockton retired when Paul went to college. Of Course Paul has some resemblance of Stockton in his game. A Stockton type being drafted midway past decade might have some resemblance of Chris Paul in his game. But then come the rise of the scoring point guards half way past decade: Westbrook, Curry, Lillard, Irving, IT, Kemba, Wall, Doncic, Trae and now Morant. Analytcis points to drive and shoot more and more rather than dribble, looking for the opening and pass first. Chris Paul, drafted in 2005, 10 years experience, 8 consecutive All NBA and All D, 9x All Stars, 20+ million dollar a year contract and president of the NBPA did had some credits to survive this transition. Rondo for example was less fortunate. I'm not sure an up and coming and unproven late bloomer like Stockton would have. And even if he would, would he get the credits for his playing style like he did back then?
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#63 » by falcolombardi » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:45 pm

70sFan wrote:
Mazter wrote:
70sFan wrote:Where did you find this data? My tracking from 2000 playoffs shows much different numbers.

Calculated it from the data Dipper13 collected 8-9 years ago (58 play off games from Shaq). Since 2000 is only 1/3 of those they could differ, wouldn't you say?

GOAT level or not, not more efficiently than today's limited offense from the post, high volume drives and catch&shoot. Btw, comparing the post scoring from Kareem, Hakeem and Shaq according to Dipper13:

Code: Select all

Name              Gms  PPG    TS%   
Hakeem (93-95)    58   18.9   56.4
Kareem (69-80)    26   17.8   54.5
Shaq (98-01)      52   17.2   49.0


Thanks for these calculations and the reply. Actually, I looked back at my sample and it does look quite similar:

Code: Select all

Name              Gms  PPG    TS%   
Hakeem (93-94)    35   17.7   58.1
Kareem (71-79)    33   16.4   57.1
Shaq (00-01)      32   15.0   50.9


People don't realize how much better Hakeem and Kareem were in terms of isolation scoring compared to Shaq.


my theory is that we have interiorized the "shaq vs smallball" narrative too much

whenever people discuss eras, or small ball or whatever shaq is always brought up as the guy who would score 100% of the time against today centers because "he is too big"

as great as shaq was it almost feels he has been brought to a weird mytholpgical level of player who if mor guarded by a 300 points 7 footer will score 50 points every game, and dunk every play
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#64 » by Mazter » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:17 pm

falcolombardi wrote:as great as shaq was it almost feels he has been brought to a weird mytholpgical level of player who if mor guarded by a 300 points 7 footer will score 50 points every game, and dunk every play

I remember him being guarded and frustrated offensively by Rodman at times. He also played against the likes of McDyess, Vaught, Oakley, Tyrone Hill, Sam Mitchell, Outlaw, Ben Wallace and Antonio Davis to mention some. They all were under 6-10 and 250 and he did not average 40,not even 30 against them in their peak.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#65 » by 70sFan » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:19 pm

falcolombardi wrote:
70sFan wrote:
Mazter wrote:
Calculated it from the data Dipper13 collected 8-9 years ago (58 play off games from Shaq). Since 2000 is only 1/3 of those they could differ, wouldn't you say?

GOAT level or not, not more efficiently than today's limited offense from the post, high volume drives and catch&shoot. Btw, comparing the post scoring from Kareem, Hakeem and Shaq according to Dipper13:

Code: Select all

Name              Gms  PPG    TS%   
Hakeem (93-95)    58   18.9   56.4
Kareem (69-80)    26   17.8   54.5
Shaq (98-01)      52   17.2   49.0


Thanks for these calculations and the reply. Actually, I looked back at my sample and it does look quite similar:

Code: Select all

Name              Gms  PPG    TS%   
Hakeem (93-94)    35   17.7   58.1
Kareem (71-79)    33   16.4   57.1
Shaq (00-01)      32   15.0   50.9


People don't realize how much better Hakeem and Kareem were in terms of isolation scoring compared to Shaq.


my theory is that we have interiorized the "shaq vs smallball" narrative too much

whenever people discuss eras, or small ball or whatever shaq is always brought up as the guy who would score 100% of the time against today centers because "he is too big"

as great as shaq was it almost feels he has been brought to a weird mytholpgical level of player who if mor guarded by a 300 points 7 footer will score 50 points every game, and dunk every play

It's true. I'd add that people miss what truly made Shaq so good. It's about how much pressured defenses, his off-ball game, his offensive rebounding and inability to take away his paint pressence. You can try everything, but you won't stop Shaq from getting 15+ FGA inside the paint and we all know that paint shots are more imapctful than midranges (and even threes).

People believe that Shaq dunked on every center that wasn't 7 feet tall and 280 lbs in the post, but it's not true. They turned Shaq into a player he wasn't, but it also misses a lot of nuances in his game that actually made him so impactful.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#66 » by penbeast0 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:29 pm

Mazter wrote:
colts18 wrote:If 35 year old Chris Paul could dominate last season, then Stockton can do the same. You can't tell me that Chris Paul last season was faster or more athletic than prime Stockton.

I don't know if dominate is a word I would describe CP3 with in 2021. THe Suns improved a lot with him, but I think his leadership was and still is the key. Eventually the Suns were 4-0 without him in the games he did not play.

The thing is this is not a regular Paul vs Stockton at x age comparison. I think the thing most people underestimate is the effect that growing up in a different era has. Stockton retired when Paul went to college. Of Course Paul has some resemblance of Stockton in his game. A Stockton type being drafted midway past decade might have some resemblance of Chris Paul in his game. But then come the rise of the scoring point guards half way past decade: Westbrook, Curry, Lillard, Irving, IT, Kemba, Wall, Doncic, Trae and now Morant. Analytcis points to drive and shoot more and more rather than dribble, looking for the opening and pass first. Chris Paul, drafted in 2005, 10 years experience, 8 consecutive All NBA and All D, 9x All Stars, 20+ million dollar a year contract and president of the NBPA did had some credits to survive this transition. Rondo for example was less fortunate. I'm not sure an up and coming and unproven late bloomer like Stockton would have. And even if he would, would he get the credits for his playing style like he did back then?


The difference between a Stockton and a Rondo (other than Stockton being better at what they are both best at, playmaking and defense), is that Stockton is also a consistent near 40% 3 point threat from 1990 on. In his era, that was grossly underused with him never taking even 3 a game. Today, (a) he would be growing up shooting those 3's and wouldn't have that early 3-4 year period where it was a rare and not terribly effective shot, and (b) once he established that skill set, they would game to use it far more. HE would probably be more of a scoring guard today, still leading the league in assists almost every year but scoring 15-25 primarily as a 3 point threat or by using his 3 point threat to set up his drives and finishes which he was extremely good at.
“Most people use statistics like a drunk man uses a lamppost; more for support than illumination,” Andrew Lang.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#67 » by mitchco » Sat Jan 15, 2022 4:42 pm

In my opinion, the people saying Payton are not taking everything into consideration.

Sure, his defense would take a little bit of a hit in the modern era. But Payton's offensive capabilities are being a bit underrated here.

GP was an extremely good slasher/penetrator. People are forgetting how quick he was, and how fast he was able to turn the corner. In the new era where you can't touch anyone on the perimeter, GP would get to the basket at will.

Combine that with his elite ability to post up for a guard, he would be getting to the FT line at will.

And let's not act like he couldn't shoot from the outside either. He led the L in 3 pointers made in I believe 99'. So he is capable in that department too.

Long story short, yes his defense would take a hit. But I believe the offense he would gain would equal it out. I also think that with the elite 3 point shooters in today's era, his assist numbers would be even higher due to drive and kicks/post ups. Not to mention how athletic players are nowadays. His alley-oop numbers would be even higher ala Kemp. Basically, Payton wasn't just limited to his defensive.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#68 » by henshao » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:32 pm

70sFan wrote:It's true. I'd add that people miss what truly made Shaq so good. It's about how much pressured defenses, his off-ball game, his offensive rebounding and inability to take away his paint pressence. You can try everything, but you won't stop Shaq from getting 15+ FGA inside the paint and we all know that paint shots are more imapctful than midranges (and even threes).

People believe that Shaq dunked on every center that wasn't 7 feet tall and 280 lbs in the post, but it's not true. They turned Shaq into a player he wasn't, but it also misses a lot of nuances in his game that actually made him so impactful.



one thing that always stood out to me was how shaq was able to stop shaq from scoring ANYTHING when they went head to head



i'm only semi-serious but I find it interesting that scoring was the least thing shaq did in his own commercial, at least initially
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#69 » by falcolombardi » Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:10 pm

mitchco wrote:In my opinion, the people saying Payton are not taking everything into consideration.

Sure, his defense would take a little bit of a hit in the modern era. But Payton's offensive capabilities are being a bit underrated here.

GP was an extremely good slasher/penetrator. People are forgetting how quick he was, and how fast he was able to turn the corner. In the new era where you can't touch anyone on the perimeter, GP would get to the basket at will.

Combine that with his elite ability to post up for a guard, he would be getting to the FT line at will.

And let's not act like he couldn't shoot from the outside either. He led the L in 3 pointers made in I believe 99'. So he is capable in that department too.

Long story short, yes his defense would take a hit. But I believe the offense he would gain would equal it out. I also think that with the elite 3 point shooters in today's era, his assist numbers would be even higher due to drive and kicks/post ups. Not to mention how athletic players are nowadays. His alley-oop numbers would be even higher ala Kemp. Basically, Payton wasn't just limited to his defensive.


small corrección but is the other way around

assists and basically boxscores dont differentoate if a shot was worth 2 or 3 points

so a pass for a open 3 is more valuable than a pass for a midrange, but, is worth less assists to the passer
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#70 » by VanWest82 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:37 pm

Those PU numbers are interesting though I'd love to see ppp on plays finished by a shot or pass. Shaq was a better passer in the post than Hakeem though perhaps not Kareem.

Also worth noting that most western conference teams carried an extra defensive big just for dealing with Shaq. He got hacked way more than those other guys. Shaq has to be the all time leader in uncalled fouls in the post.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#71 » by falcolombardi » Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:51 pm

VanWest82 wrote:Those PU numbers are interesting though I'd love to see ppp on plays finished by a shot or pass. Shaq was a better passer in the post than Hakeem though perhaps not Kareem.

Also worth noting that most western conference teams carried an extra defensive big just for dealing with Shaq. He got hacked way more than those other guys. Shaq has to be the all time leader in uncalled fouls in the post.


the impact of shaq foul drawing or forcing teams to play leaa skilled 7 footers should already be part of his overall impact and team results tho
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#72 » by VanWest82 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:46 pm

falcolombardi wrote:
VanWest82 wrote:Those PU numbers are interesting though I'd love to see ppp on plays finished by a shot or pass. Shaq was a better passer in the post than Hakeem though perhaps not Kareem.

Also worth noting that most western conference teams carried an extra defensive big just for dealing with Shaq. He got hacked way more than those other guys. Shaq has to be the all time leader in uncalled fouls in the post.


the impact of shaq foul drawing or forcing teams to play leaa skilled 7 footers should already be part of his overall impact and team results tho

Not when they don't call the fouls. I'm not sure I agree with your point about unskilled bigs being baked into Shaq's impact. Presumably those guys continued to get time vs. Lakers because it was a successful strategy to physically beat him up and put him on the FT line.

I just think it's worth mentioning that teams weren't going out of their way to use roster spots on Hakeem defenders or KAJ defenders, though perhaps they should've.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#73 » by falcolombardi » Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:18 pm

VanWest82 wrote:
falcolombardi wrote:
VanWest82 wrote:Those PU numbers are interesting though I'd love to see ppp on plays finished by a shot or pass. Shaq was a better passer in the post than Hakeem though perhaps not Kareem.

Also worth noting that most western conference teams carried an extra defensive big just for dealing with Shaq. He got hacked way more than those other guys. Shaq has to be the all time leader in uncalled fouls in the post.


the impact of shaq foul drawing or forcing teams to play leaa skilled 7 footers should already be part of his overall impact and team results tho

Not when they don't call the fouls. I'm not sure I agree with your point about unskilled bigs being baked into Shaq's impact. Presumably those guys continued to get time vs. Lakers because it was a successful strategy to physically beat him up and put him on the FT line.

I just think it's worth mentioning that teams weren't going out of their way to use roster spots on Hakeem defenders or KAJ defenders, though perhaps they should've.


i am not an expert in 70's or earlier basketball but everyone i have read who knows their stuff in that era agree that post players were allowed very little -offensive- contact, meaning that playing a game so physical as shaq may not even have been allowed by reffing

i agree than shaq was hit a freaking ton , probably more than kareem, but is possible that he also had the benefit of initiating contact himself without it being called a offensive foul (to say nothingh of stricter travelling rules)

i dont want to say those 2 thinghs balance each other perfectly, but is at least worth to keep in mind as a possibility
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#74 » by 70sFan » Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:46 pm

VanWest82 wrote:Those PU numbers are interesting though I'd love to see ppp on plays finished by a shot or pass. Shaq was a better passer in the post than Hakeem though perhaps not Kareem.

That would be way too much work for me alone to track all the passes from the post. Unfortunately, I have normal life as well :banghead:

That said, I might try to get some assists to turnovers numbers from the post for all three.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#75 » by mitchco » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:10 pm

My point is, put prime GP back in Miami, but this time its present day. Nothing against Shrempf, and Hawkins. But if prime GP was kicking out to Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Max Strus...etc, his assist numbers are going up. Especially considering he was so good at drive and dish, plus posting up.

He may have been streaky at times from the outside. But when he was on he was on. He's hit some big ones too. Couple that with the lax perimeter defense of today, and the constant foul calls, and it all adds up to Payton doing better nowadays than people are thinking.

Sure Payton was a tough, hands-on perimeter defender. But anyone who watched his career projection knows that he expanded his game over time. Yes, his defense suffered some during the process. But that's because he had to carry the offense burden after Kemp left. That's alot to ask of a 6,4" 190lb point guard.

Coach:"GP, you have to be the best defensive player in the League, and carry the scoring load too now that Kemp is gone. Oh yeah I almost forgot, we're gonna need you to go ahead and play 45 minutes a night, and never miss a game too. Oh I almost forgot, we're gonna need to you go ahead and keep your teammates happy too, so 8-10 assists per might would be greeeat. Thanks again GP."
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#76 » by Mazter » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:53 pm

penbeast0 wrote:The difference between a Stockton and a Rondo (other than Stockton being better at what they are both best at, playmaking and defense), is that Stockton is also a consistent near 40% 3 point threat from 1990 on. In his era, that was grossly underused with him never taking even 3 a game. Today, (a) he would be growing up shooting those 3's and wouldn't have that early 3-4 year period where it was a rare and not terribly effective shot, and (b) once he established that skill set, they would game to use it far more. HE would probably be more of a scoring guard today, still leading the league in assists almost every year but scoring 15-25 primarily as a 3 point threat or by using his 3 point threat to set up his drives and finishes which he was extremely good at.

Yeah sure, I agree, Stockton > Rondo, but I don't really see Stockton regularly average 20+ in any era. It's not the player he was. I believe 15-20/9-12 would be something he would also average today. But that's not really the issue. Averaging 17/14/2.7 was something what got you easily in the spotlight back in the 80's, especially if you beat out Magic in APG. Fast forward to 2019 for example you would have a totally different picture:

Code: Select all

Name         PPG     APG
Harden       36.1    7.5
Curry        27.3    5.2
Lillard      25.8    6.9
Walker       25.6    5.9
Irving       23.8    6.9
Stockton     18.0   12.0

And let's be honest, if some player lead a team to the Finals with 27 points per game with his teammate averaging 19/8, 9 out of 10 times it would be about the player averaging 27 points. If you add the names veteran Paul and up and coming Booker to those stats all of a sudden it's about Paul. The only reason Paul was considered last 2 seasons for All NBA and MVP was because of the narrative and his past merits. The Thunder didn't regress as expected and the Suns started winning. Young Stockton won't have that past and I can't really think of any narrative he could get to jumpstart him to superstardom or at least All Something.
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#77 » by ty 4191 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:28 pm

Why is Rodman leading here by a wide margin? Is it because the premium on defense and rebounding is (likely) at an all time low in today's game?
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#78 » by falcolombardi » Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:31 pm

ty 4191 wrote:Why is Rodman leading here by a wide margin? Is it because the premium on defense and rebounding is (likely) at an all time low in today's game?


where does the "no defense" narrative even come from?

i have honestly never understood way people associate "this league score more points" with "in this league defense matters less"

yet never apply the reverse logic "this league score less therefore offense matters less"
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#79 » by ty 4191 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:38 pm

falcolombardi wrote:where does the "no defense" narrative even come from?


Apologies to those who have already seen this, but it is PARAMOUNT, IMHO, when comparing players from the pre 2000 -2005 sweeping rule changes compared to post 99-00:

98-99 season

The last season before removal of hand checking in its entirety.

99-00 season (first major steps toward hand checking removal)

Hand checking had been slowed down to a small degree in the late 90s, but not anywhere close to the massive change that was introduced starting in 99/00.

"In the backcourt, there is no contact with hands and forearms by defenders. In the front court, there is no contact with hands and forearms by defenders except below the free throw line extended in which case the defender may only use his forearm."

So by this point, hand checking is for all intents and purposed removed - "There is no contact with hands" and "the defender may only use his forearm." below the FT line extended.

00-01 season - new rules that further decreased amount of contact allowed by a defender

"No contact with either hands or forearms by defenders except in the front court below the free throw line extended in which case the defender may use his forearm only."

"Neither the offensive player nor the defender will be allowed to dislodge or displace a player who has legally obtained a position"
Notice how this rule restricts offensive players' options as well. Even then, we will still see that offensively, the players of the 90s still did better under the new rules even with this restriction.

Others are going to attempt to use this offensive restriction as "proof" that if physical beasts like Lebron were allowed to play physical on offense in the 80s/90s, that they would dominate. That will be disproved later on.

"Defender may not use his forearm, shoulder, hip or hand to reroute or hold-up an offensive player going from point A to Point B or one who is attempting to come around a legal screen set by another offensive player."

"Slowing or impeding the progress of the screener by grabbing, clutching, holding “chucking” or “wrapping up” is prohibited."

"On the weakside, defenders must remain on the weakside outside the paint unless (i) they are double-teaming the ball, (ii) picking up a free cutter or (iii) closely guarding an offensive player."

01-02 season - Addition of illegal defensive 3 seconds rules to weaken defenses even more.


A new defensive three-second rule will prohibit a defensive player from remaining in the lane for more than three consecutive seconds without closely guarding an offensive player.

Some people mistakenly assume that this is the first season that zone was introduced, but that is another myth that we will eventually disprove.

This rule makes it much easier to drive in the lane, because bigs can no longer camp out in the lane and deter drives to the basket like they did in the 80s and 90s.

04-05 season

"New rules were introduced to curtail hand-checking, clarify blocking fouls and call defensive three seconds to open up the game."
Notice that last part. nba.com itself has admitted that these rules opened up the game.

To show the impact of this rules, let's look at the 2004 Pistons and Spurs.

In the 2003/04 season, the Spurs and Pistons allowed 83.4 ppg on defense. They were the top 2 teams in the league in points allowed

Right after 2004/05 rule changes, they were still the top 2 in points allowed, but the Spurs allowed 88.4 ppg and the Pistons allowed 89.5 ppg.

Now these points allowed might be lower than several teams in Jordan's era, but we see that this difference is more attributed to the decrease in offensive skill in addition to defensive. As proof, several players from the 80s/90s era of defense even after their prime locked down the top superstars of the 2000s WITHOUT the 80s/90s rules.

A TON of additional substantiating evidence as to how drastic these rule changes impacted scoring are provided in great detail, here:

http://nobodytouchesjordan.blogspot.com/2014/09/section-1-players-from-jordans-day.html
penbeast0
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Re: Which 90's Star would drop the most in the present era? 

Post#80 » by penbeast0 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:03 pm

Mazter wrote:
penbeast0 wrote:The difference between a Stockton and a Rondo (other than Stockton being better at what they are both best at, playmaking and defense), is that Stockton is also a consistent near 40% 3 point threat from 1990 on. In his era, that was grossly underused with him never taking even 3 a game. Today, (a) he would be growing up shooting those 3's and wouldn't have that early 3-4 year period where it was a rare and not terribly effective shot, and (b) once he established that skill set, they would game to use it far more. HE would probably be more of a scoring guard today, still leading the league in assists almost every year but scoring 15-25 primarily as a 3 point threat or by using his 3 point threat to set up his drives and finishes which he was extremely good at.

Yeah sure, I agree, Stockton > Rondo, but I don't really see Stockton regularly average 20+ in any era. It's not the player he was. I believe 15-20/9-12 would be something he would also average today. But that's not really the issue. Averaging 17/14/2.7 was something what got you easily in the spotlight back in the 80's, especially if you beat out Magic in APG. Fast forward to 2019 for example you would have a totally different picture:

Code: Select all

Name         PPG     APG
Harden       36.1    7.5
Curry        27.3    5.2
Lillard      25.8    6.9
Walker       25.6    5.9
Irving       23.8    6.9
Stockton     18.0   12.0

And let's be honest, if some player lead a team to the Finals with 27 points per game with his teammate averaging 19/8, 9 out of 10 times it would be about the player averaging 27 points. If you add the names veteran Paul and up and coming Booker to those stats all of a sudden it's about Paul. The only reason Paul was considered last 2 seasons for All NBA and MVP was because of the narrative and his past merits. The Thunder didn't regress as expected and the Suns started winning. Young Stockton won't have that past and I can't really think of any narrative he could get to jumpstart him to superstardom or at least All Something.


I will give you that players who aren't primarily scorers tend to be underrated by casual fans. As I said, his scoring should be better as coaches tend to get 40% 3 point shooters shots today. As for whether he is actually a superstar or All-Something, he would still be the NBA's all-time greatest assist guy, even if you think assists are harder today (which I'm not sure there is evidence for), his minutes and skills piled up assists to a degree that he dominates that category more than the ATG scorer, rebounders, shotblockers, etc. dominated theirs; he has half again as many career assists as Magic Johnson for example.

Add to that which would probably be spectacular advanced stats for those who read and understand those things, the impact stats we have for 35+ year old Stockton make him a top player in the league and that's post prime (though he slowed down less than most, again similar to Paul). I think there would be a core of people who (a) value assists or (b) value impact stats that would push him into All-NBA consideration though it is true that the competition at PG is as or more outstanding today than it has been at any point in NBA history.
“Most people use statistics like a drunk man uses a lamppost; more for support than illumination,” Andrew Lang.

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