Last year

Is Melbourne's ugly brand of basketball inhibiting growth

Melbourne are the defending champs and contenders again. They have a lot of big names on their roster. And they are in one of the biggest cities in the nation. This means they're often involved in heavily promoted blockbusters. There's just one problem - their games, more often than not, are very ugly. Defensive slugfests.

I'm just thinking about the casual fan who tuned in to Melbourne v Perth and Melbourne v Sydney over the past week. They'd think NBL is like pulling teeth.

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Last year

Fans complaining about high foul counts and insisting the refs should let the players play is the problem here, not Melbourne.

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Last year

Very true. Players will play to the whistle, and the teams that push the boundaries the most are at the top of the ladder, not surprisingly.

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Last year

- butthurt Sydney fan

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Last year

Not so sure about that, Paul. One would think teams that "push the boundaries" are more foul-prone. Despite this, there's a strong positive correlation between team fouls and defensive rating i.e. fewer fouls, better defensive rating. Something's gotta give.

I think OP is reacting to 1. the fact Melbourne play one of the slowest paces in the NBL, 2. Sydney's offense of Bogut standing at the top of the key watching his teammates run around like headless chicken isn't a tactic that produces points over 20+ minutes, and 3. the referees let more contact go than usual today.

Melbourne are only slightly above average in defensive rating and fouls committed, so their style of play is hardly a slugfest, objectively speaking.

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Last year

Is Cairns style more exciting and would bring more casual fans to the game?

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Last year

damn sight more exciting than the shite the wildcats have served up for the last decade..

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Last year

Yep, sludgeball. I wouldn't mind a clean out to be honest. Run and gun was suggested after Bevo was outed but they backtracked and went with Gleeson.

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Manu Fieldel  
Last year

Unpopular opinion: high-scoring games with no defence are not so fun.

Give me the first game of the Kings @ United series this season. That was basketball. Defence is probably the most fun part of the game to me

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Last year

According to the NBL website, United is equal 3rd in ppg with 89.7ppg*. Sydney is 7th with 86.2ppg. *Although United's average might not be reflective of per 40 minute stats with several OT periods played.

I can't find any points allowed stats on the NBL website.

In light of this, can the OP elaborate on what constitutes "defensive slugfests"? It often happens that games between top of the table teams will have more intensity, which translates to better defense.

Reply #724482 | Report this post

"In light of this, can the OP elaborate on what constitutes "defensive slugfests"? It often happens that games between top of the table teams will have more intensity, which translates to better defense."

Yesterday, for starters.

Top of the table clash, biggest crowd ever in Kings history etc, a lot of build-up and hype.

Second half sees neither team breach 20 points in a quarter, Kings only score 23 for the whole second half. Can't imagine the new Kings fans who attended going home talking about the quality of play.

I'm not saying it's "bad" basketball by Melbourne - good on them for winning. Just wondering if the uglyness is contributing to the inability of the game to take off in the bigger markets.

Reply #724485 | Report this post

Last year

What I noticed was this:

First half was more free flowing, with relatively low intensity on D and shots dropping.

2nd half MU lifted defensive intensity. Both offences became a bit less mobile, and shots that dropped in the first half started missing.

Last quarter Sydney looked to be being executing offence in concrete boots. They lost all rhythm and couldn't hit the side of a barn.

It wasn’t as pretty as the first half, but wasn’t ugly because of tactics. All IMHO of course.

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Last year

Let's wait and see how many fans turn up to the rivalry games next season before we challenge growth of the game in Melbourne, why don't we...?

Reply #724808 | Report this post

Last year

IMO this is a bit harsh. To say that new-to-basketball folk would know a good game from a bad one. Would we all know what a good game of say NFL was meant to be like? What's a good ERA (????) in baseball. New folk will like or not the spectacle of athelties like they've never seen before, running, jumping, dunking, dribbling, etc .... Remember that the world's most popular sport is, by design, defensively oriented and they more drawn results (no OT's and play till some one wins) than test cricket.

And what about us (I mean already basketball fans types). Would we all not prefer to be watching NBA, Live? But our product is certainly "good enough" ATM and will continiously improve, I hope.

New folk probably already follow a football code(s) and team(s) and basketball is different to all of the footballs. They'll like it or not for the game.

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