Value of Centers in the NBA Today

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Eldunker. Show Eldunker's posts

    Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    fl+adam's trade with Houston post got side-tracked into an interesting discussion about the value of centers (vs PGs).   I'm just thinking out-loud here:

    It is true that there are far fewer dominant quality centers than quality PGs. The simple logic says that there are far fewer 7' footers roaming the planet than those of 5'11"-6'4"ish. PG height. 

    The real question is - does it take a dominant center to win?  or is it better to invest in quality players around a decent but not great center instead. ??  A dominant center requires an huge investment, which limits the payroll around him.  Howard (and L.A. / Houston) is a good example.  

    Other than Howard (considering his potential when healthy), the last real dominant center was Shaq.  He was unstoppable. LA won multiple championships because of him, but he did have a decent supporting cast.

    Boston won a championship with 4 high quality players around a very mediocre center in Perkins.

    Miami won without a center.

    What struck my interest was the poster who felt the Celtics should wait for a dominant center in the draft.  I don't think thats possible.  They don't grow on trees and only one comes along in a decade, maybe.

    Cousins, Monroe, Drummond, Hibbert, Gasol, Lopez, Pekovick, Vucevic, Noah, Horford, Jefferson, Garnett, Bosh are all good centers, but they are not dominant... and the last few are arguably better suited at PF. 

    The difference between those just mentioned and the next batch at the next level like Sanders, Blatche, Hickson, Mcgee, Jordan, Koufos Kanter, Gortat and the top of the second tier IMO, Asik is not a big gap.  

    I would like to see Boston get an experienced but affordable young center with some upside (not a draft pick who will take 4 or 5 years to develop) in that second tier, ideally Asik, and lock him into a long term contract and build a strong core around him.

     
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    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today


    Perk couldn't play offense except for an occassional dunk or garbage put back under the glass...what he could do was play tough interior D, rebound and /or boxout and was pretty moblie to cover pick and rolls and get outside to cover Centers that went to shoot outside...

    And he could block shots.....

    It's not the offense you need from Centers as much as it's tough D, rebounding and interior defense...if you have that, a Center is worth all that $$$ he gets...if he can play offense, it's a plus...

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Eldunker. Show Eldunker's posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    Which means Perkins had half a game. and he was never considered a good rebounder.  very mediocre 6 RPG career average to go with his 6 career PPG.  I doubt today, with his NBA worst PER, he would even be considered a top 15-20 ranked (or wanted) center in the league.   

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from R9R. Show R9R's posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    Seems to me that today's NBA requires a dominant player to win:

    Miaim: James (SF)

    Boston: Pierce (SF)

    Dallas: Dirk (SF/PF)

    Lakers: Kobe (SG)

    Spurs: Duncan (C)

     

    The up and coming teams will be lead by:

    Harden (SG)

    Durant (SF)

    Curry (PG)

    Parker (PG)

    George (SF)

    Anthony (SF)

     

    My point is probably that the NBA isn't a Center dominant league right now becuase the most dominant players right now are not Centers. 

    If Oden and Howard was 100% healthy and as good as was projected, then its likely we would be talking about a Center dominated league right now.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from charliedarling. Show charliedarling's posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    I don't think that the NBA has been a center dominated league for quite a while now, but you still need to have one on your roster who will not get killed on the nights that your team does play one of the teams that still does have a good center.

    This is why guys like Perkins will always find a job in the NBA regardless of his overall stat lines.  They will be needed to at least make scoring relatively difficult against guys like Howard, the big guy at Indianapolis, etc as most teams cannot just hoild up when they try to play their power forward types on the few dominant big men who can score.

    Perhaps you would not want to pay Perkins what he is getting now, but if he were available for 2-3M he could find a place on lots of teams.  He is limited, but still can make a needed contribution as he can still bang around in the paint.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from cole-ely. Show cole-ely's posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    Perk would be well worth that to Miami, who just needs someone to bang with Indi and Brooklyn.

    Perk doesn't whine about shots or touches, and miami doesnt need shooters.

     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rajon-Hondo. Show Rajon-Hondo's posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    The NBA historically has been defined by eras and evolution of styles. Usually when styles change through neccessity and is successful it tends to become the dominant target. In the 60s the big bemoth center that brought the inside out straight forward no frills basal offense/defense was demolished by a smaller but more mobile and versatile style not only counter but demolished the old style for almost the whole decade,the Celtics and Red Aurbachs fast break. In the 70s teams started to combat the now traditional fast break by being more fluid in a smaller space with bigger players making it harder to run a fast break because of the constant moving of offensive players beginning the era of the motion offense. Then the 80s came and we hybird styles emerge like the lakers showtime, Celtics outside motion offense with solid posting bigs, Detroits Guard dominated offense and physical inside and perimeter defense. The 90s came and slow down every thing and reduce possesions and specific roles by players emerged as well as to succeed you had the superstar. 2000s the emergence of the "super teams", 2-3 borderline superstars combine with 9-10 role specific players whose sole purpose is enhance the core stars success. I'm seeing a changing of the guard this last season I see teams showing success with players that can fill the roles of multiple traditional positions. The term tweener was a bad thing to be called until recently,you see players having success not being a great traditional SF but has the length and all around game to be a good SF and a good traditonal PF or SG.

    Thirty years ago bigs were  for post presence and rebounding now you have 6' 11 guys that shoot 3s like 2 and defend the perimeter like a 3 and 6'2" guys getting rebounds and finishing at the rim. It is for this reason the traditional dominant Center of old has diminished and fewer players excel only in a 10 foot space and even fewer teams are willing to depend on behemoths that are a liability outside of that 10 foot area,ie DH,Big Al and Marc Gasol. 

     
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    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    In response to Eldunker's comment:

    Which means Perkins had half a game. and he was never considered a good rebounder.  very mediocre 6 RPG career average to go with his 6 career PPG.  I doubt today, with his NBA worst PER, he would even be considered a top 15-20 ranked (or wanted) center in the league.   



    He wasn't much of a shot blocker either.

    He was a good defender all in all, an average rebounder, and a very poor offensive player.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Eldunker. Show Eldunker's posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    In response to Rajon-Hondo's comment:

    The NBA historically has been defined by eras and evolution of styles. Usually when styles change through neccessity and is successful it tends to become the dominant target. In the 60s the big bemoth center that brought the inside out straight forward no frills basal offense/defense was demolished by a smaller but more mobile and versatile style not only counter but demolished the old style for almost the whole decade,the Celtics and Red Aurbachs fast break. In the 70s teams started to combat the now traditional fast break by being more fluid in a smaller space with bigger players making it harder to run a fast break because of the constant moving of offensive players beginning the era of the motion offense. Then the 80s came and we hybird styles emerge like the lakers showtime, Celtics outside motion offense with solid posting bigs, Detroits Guard dominated offense and physical inside and perimeter defense. The 90s came and slow down every thing and reduce possesions and specific roles by players emerged as well as to succeed you had the superstar. 2000s the emergence of the "super teams", 2-3 borderline superstars combine with 9-10 role specific players whose sole purpose is enhance the core stars success. I'm seeing a changing of the guard this last season I see teams showing success with players that can fill the roles of multiple traditional positions. The term tweener was a bad thing to be called until recently,you see players having success not being a great traditional SF but has the length and all around game to be a good SF and a good traditonal PF or SG.

    Thirty years ago bigs were  for post presence and rebounding now you have 6' 11 guys that shoot 3s like 2 and defend the perimeter like a 3 and 6'2" guys getting rebounds and finishing at the rim. It is for this reason the traditional dominant Center of old has diminished and fewer players excel only in a 10 foot space and even fewer teams are willing to depend on behemoths that are a liability outside of that 10 foot area,ie DH,Big Al and Marc Gasol. 



    Excellent Analysis.

     
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  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from aciemvp. Show aciemvp's posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    i think part of the "evolution" of the big man is being over-looked.  it's hard work to develop 7 footers.  many of them go through growth spurts that make them awkward.  it's inherently much easier to develop 6 foot to 6-7 guys as they do not arrive with their ankle twisted around their neck from getting out of bed.

     

    this goes way down the line to the beginning of the line- people are now "bottom line" oriented in programs- what can i get the "most" out of for my coaching time?  usually that's not 7 footers.  they take a lot of work.  so the only ones you see panning out as old style bigs are the ones who have an innate desire and do a lot of the work themselves.

     

    by all accounts, robert parish would not have existed as an nba player and HOF player at that without the HARD WORK of a couple of the lowest level coaches.  nowadays there are far fewer coaches taking that deep of a level of interest in kids.   so what you end up with is a lot of clunkers like perk and nazr mohammed types that just float around the league as underachieving bangers.  in perk's case i think he over-achieved in the year for us he wound up at 10 pts and 7.x rebounds- that was over his head. 

     

    but if you don't have a college recruit candidate by the end of 12th grade, NO COLLEGES, or very few are going to park coaching assets in a big clod to bring them around.  the window of time to start bringing skills together is 7th-9th grade for bigs!!

     

    so it's not that there aren't big people any more it's that coaching assets are being used elsewhere

    and as for the "value" of a traditional big- that value is still very solid.  any good team needs an INSIDE PRESENCE to spread the floor for the outside people- if wing defenders are mindful that they may have to drop down to stop a dominant big man then that's good for your team's offense.  for the teams that don't have any big man post threat they are frankly a bore to watch.  6-5 to 6-7 guys playing hero wing ball to drive it into a crowded lane.

     

    sorry but i'll take old style ball with a more traditional big man in the mix.  much nicer ball to watch

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from aciemvp. Show aciemvp's posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    In response to Rajon-Hondo's comment:

     

    The NBA historically has been defined by eras and evolution of styles. Usually when styles change through neccessity and is successful it tends to become the dominant target. In the 60s the big bemoth center that brought the inside out straight forward no frills basal offense/defense was demolished by a smaller but more mobile and versatile style not only counter but demolished the old style for almost the whole decade,the Celtics and Red Aurbachs fast break. In the 70s teams started to combat the now traditional fast break by being more fluid in a smaller space with bigger players making it harder to run a fast break because of the constant moving of offensive players beginning the era of the motion offense. Then the 80s came and we hybird styles emerge like the lakers showtime, Celtics outside motion offense with solid posting bigs, Detroits Guard dominated offense and physical inside and perimeter defense. The 90s came and slow down every thing and reduce possesions and specific roles by players emerged as well as to succeed you had the superstar. 2000s the emergence of the "super teams", 2-3 borderline superstars combine with 9-10 role specific players whose sole purpose is enhance the core stars success. I'm seeing a changing of the guard this last season I see teams showing success with players that can fill the roles of multiple traditional positions. The term tweener was a bad thing to be called until recently,you see players having success not being a great traditional SF but has the length and all around game to be a good SF and a good traditonal PF or SG.

    Thirty years ago bigs were  for post presence and rebounding now you have 6' 11 guys that shoot 3s like 2 and defend the perimeter like a 3 and 6'2" guys getting rebounds and finishing at the rim. It is for this reason the traditional dominant Center of old has diminished and fewer players excel only in a 10 foot space and even fewer teams are willing to depend on behemoths that are a liability outside of that 10 foot area,ie DH,Big Al and Marc Gasol. 

     



    only partially true.  remember bob mcadoo?  he used to wing them from 20 and 25 feet for huge volume scoring.  much better so than most 6-11 andrea barganini types do today.  by the same token fat lever and other tough small sized guards rebounded MUCH MORE per minute, per game, per career than any small guard ddoes these days.

     

     

    i would forward this simple notion: PG's today who average more rebounds is not unsual given that your average big has less fundamental skills than yester-decade.  but look aroudn at yester-decade and you will find many PG's who boarded at 4-5 per game.  and some more like lever.

    as for other olden times bigs who could score outside- detlef schrmepf?  he was one for sure.  the outside scoring big is nothing necessarily new, but the poorly skilled big man is something that is relatively new.  if there were as proportionally many old time skilled bigs in the league right now then your 6-2 guys don't do nearly as much "finishing at the rim"

     

    one last point- the "80s-90s-00s" metamorphisis of the game that you cite is very correct.  however it was not driven by an abundance of small guys or a lack of big guys, it was driven in the late 90s to current by the preposterous salary structure / CBA / free agency transience that has led to the "super team" necessity of being able to win because your paycheck money doesn't buy you very much these days.  so the teams that win by and large are salary cap violators and accumulate 3 aging stars to try to do it.

     

    if paychecks were still more commensurate with reality then i don't see any reason why a mixture of 80s-early 90s ball would not persist.  but you CANNOT build a chemistry / a team based on parts that are always changing out and you have too many new guys each year to teach an involved / intense system to.  so you have to make the system more simple.  "slow down" was the first step and "super team" was the next step.  not an evolution of moving toward "better" product for fans as time goes on

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from fl+adam,. Show fl+adam,'s posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    I think the only way to get Asik is to give up Rondo, and I'm willing to do that.  If he is that injured though in that he may not play until January then you probably can't make the deal until he gets back on the floor.  I make virtually any deal that for Asik that does not include either Sully or KO.  Even green would be tempting, but probably would not do that deal.  AB could go.  The man is a double double every night at the C spot.  That is worth alot these days.  Team him with Green, KO, and sully and you have a heck of a good rotation at the 3 big spots.  Rebounding would be a strength, not a weakness.  If you could somehow get him without giving up green or rondo you could add rondo in there and have 4 very good rebounders on the floor at the same time.  Then focus your drafts on shooters, big time shooters/scorers at the 2 and 3 spots.

     
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  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from fl+adam,. Show fl+adam,'s posts

    Re: Value of Centers in the NBA Today

    In response to Fierce34's comment:

    In response to fl+adam,'s comment:

     

    I think the only way to get Asik is to give up Rondo, and I'm willing to do that.  If he is that injured though in that he may not play until January then you probably can't make the deal until he gets back on the floor.  I make virtually any deal that for Asik that does not include either Sully or KO.  Even green would be tempting, but probably would not do that deal.  AB could go.  The man is a double double every night at the C spot.  That is worth alot these days.  Team him with Green, KO, and sully and you have a heck of a good rotation at the 3 big spots.  Rebounding would be a strength, not a weakness.  If you could somehow get him without giving up green or rondo you could add rondo in there and have 4 very good rebounders on the floor at the same time.  Then focus your drafts on shooters, big time shooters/scorers at the 2 and 3 spots.

     



    If Humpy plays well and Asik and Dwight don't complement each other, it's possible the Celts can get Asik without giving up Rondo.

     




    Now that would be a no brainer of all no brainers. 

     

     

     
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