LV
Earlier this year

NBL Roster Battles: Past vs Present

In the Goorjian thread, two posters claimed United has the greatest roster of all time.

I don't know who has the greatest roster ever. It’s an interesting question.

That discussion got me reminiscing about days of old, so I made a couple of posts about a great roster that never quite worked: The 2004/05 Tigers.

"Roster" I take to mean collection of individuals. “Team” refers to how those individuals work together. Clearly United of 2018 is the better team, but do they have a better roster?

As a direct comparison between 2005 and 2018 United, in a time machine matchup if I was coaching the Tigers:

Bigs:
Starters: Bradtke/Hoare vs Boone/Barlow

Bench: Stiff/Mottram vs Pledger/Jois/Smith Milner

At Centre Pick your poison really. Bradtke has the mid range game that Boone lacks. Boone is a bit more limited overall, Bradtke a bigger bag of tricks on the offensive end. On the other hand Boone is more athletic and runs the lane better, and a better rim protector. Both very strong rebounders.

2005 Bradtke gets the nod over 2018 Boone for mine.

Barlow’s a better 3 point shooter and more versatile defender than Hoare, but Hoare’s a smarter cutter and a better passer. Barlow by a whisker.

Stiff was a crafty player at both ends, and his defense gives him a slight edge over Pledger- who’s a bit slower on his feet.

I’ll take the veteran smarts of Stiff with Mottram over Pledger and Jois (who admittedly I haven’t seen much of yet, and may yet change my mind when I do!).

Advantage: Tigers. Just.

Wings:
Starters: Tucker/DT vs Kennedy/McCarron

Bench: Copes/Corletto vs Goulding/Moller

Tucker and Kennedy are similar. Tucker is more explosive, and a better creator off the dribble. Kennedy more controlled and efficient. Tucker gets the nod, just.

DT is longer than McCarron and has a better mid range game. McCarron the better playmaker and ball handler. Both can hit the 3 but it isn’t their specialty. McCarron is no slouch on the defensive end, but DT’s length made him elite on that end. Another close one but I’ll give this to DT.

Goulding and Copes similar in style. But obviously Goulding streets ahead of the 2005 version of Copes at both ends. Having said that, Copes could still light it up- he could’ve been an impact player off the bench if Lindsay had utilised him for 15-20 minutes a game off the bench. Instead, he was going up against starting 2’s and his shooting efficiency was heading south. Lindsay didn’t think of doing what Vickerman has done with Goulding this year. Moller gives the United group extra athleticism and D, Corletto was young at that stage, but provided scoring punch.

Advantage: United. The Tigers have no match for Goulding off the bench.

Point:
Starting: Gaze vs Ware

Bench: D-Mac vs Hooley (I’d go with D-Mac as 6th man because Gaze is a better compliment to Tucker and DT. D-Mac in the starting 5 would make outside shooting a major weakness).

Ware would torch Gaze. (If this was a real matchup, DT would be switched onto Ware). Gaze in 2005 was still a very good offensive player but his overall game was nowhere near MVP type level of Ware.

Off the bench, D-Mac dominates Hooley. Hooley is a good defender, but doesn’t bring too much offensively. D-Mac was one of the greatest playmakers and passers of all time. Had the ball on a string. 2004-05 was the least productive season of his entire career (he was reportedly struggling with Ostietis Pubis around that time) but his assist and steals numbers were still elite on a per minute basis.

Advantage: United. Except when Casper’s having a breather.

Overall United has the advantage.

4 of the 5 starting matchups were close, with Tigers winning 3 of those for mine, but Ware comfortably over Gaze means United has the better starting 5.

Goulding is the best player off the bench for either team, but Tigers have the edge overall- Stiff/Mottram/Copes/Corletto/D-Mac is exceptional depth across the board. Stiff and Mottram is a strong big man combination, D-Mac an elite level playmaker, with Copes and Corletto making it rain. I’d keep Tucker or DT on court at all times, to keep one athletic wing on the court and cover the main weakness of that bench group.

United is more athletic, and has better defenders. Tigers older and slower but have quality offensive players in every spot, with creators and shooters and then Bradtke in the middle- who could fill it up around the hoop or from mid range.

So, hop into the time machine and give us your hypothetical roster battle.

What IS/WAS the greatest roster of all time?

Topic #44933 | Report this topic


Zodiac  
Earlier this year

I think last season's United team was the greatest roster of all-time but I think this season's United team is better balanced.

Reply #736938 | Report this post


D2.0  
Earlier this year

When was the last time a team had 3 of the last 4 MVPs?
Melbourne not even close.

And just think, Sydney already had Vickerman. All they had to do was give Gaze a little shove.

Reply #736941 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

What about the kings team from the ultimate era of salary cap pisstaking aka the firepower era. That and the bullets team of the points cap pisstaking era would both be in the conversation. anyone remember the rosters?

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Very hard to compare sides from different eras, but good luck doing it, i always like the read.
Imo United stronger this season than last, Kennedy just goes about business a lot quieter and more efficient. McCarron likewise. Goulding has got better each year under Vickerman and even coming off the bench is in the top five players in the competition.

Reply #736944 | Report this post


Mock  
Earlier this year

Bullets 2007 was a STACKED team.

Black, Boucher, Bradtke, Bruton, Ere, Hill, McKinnon (MVP and finals MVP + boss of the league that year), Rychart, Niesler, Callum Baynes, Gibbs, Williamson.

Joey Wright as coach, he was less of a flog then probably. WHAT a team!

Reply #736946 | Report this post


D2.0  
Earlier this year

Got me thinking about the most stacked Perth lineup.
2000 would have to be close:
Rogers
Vlahov
Fisher
Grace
Timmons
Stewart
Harvey

Areguably some of the preceding years were more stacked, with players like LIchti, Crawford, and Van Dyke, but they were also screwed by injuries.

Reply #736948 | Report this post


LV  
Earlier this year

Both 2009 grand finalists had great rosters.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

which begs the question - what on earth happened between 2009 and 2010?

Reply #736953 | Report this post


LV  
Earlier this year

2009:

Anstey/Johnson
Barlow/Hoare
Thomas/Greer
Ere/Corletto
Crosswell/Kendall

DT had declined by 2009, and Johnson was a kid. But one helluva roster there.

Anstey was still MVP ish Anstey. Prime Ebi, Prime Barlow.

A bunch of role players who'd won championship/s under Westover - Hoare, Corletto, Crosswell, DT had declined but was still contributing.

Horvath/Burston
Wortho/Vukona
Smith/Darden
Ingles/Herbert
Gibson/Carter

Damn, that's the definition of depth. A wing rotation featuring a 3rd year Ingles, plus two stud imports. Back up bigs- Burston and Vukona in their primes. Defense and toughness on steroids.

Great matchup.

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Perthworld  
Earlier this year

The Big3 of the mid 2000s were super strong - Kings, Tigers and Bullets. No parity back then with Wildcats a distant fourth and then the rest.

Reply #736960 | Report this post


Hoopie  
Earlier this year

Nice bits of analysis, LV.

Would you say that the 2004/5 Tigers played to their potential? Personally, I reckon they did, but this United team is under-achieving - they could be 20 points a game better, when you look at what they miss and muck up and some of their 'interesting' substitutions.

So, much as I loved those Tigers, I would have to rate this United roster as better, because I think they can Improve significantly.

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Zodiac  
Earlier this year

which begs the question - what on earth happened between 2009 and 2010?


The league folded and BA took it over whilst reducing spending significantly.

Reply #736966 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Earlier this year

2006-07 Brisbane Bullets

Top ten players from the squad filtered by minutes played:

Adam Gibson
CJ Bruton
Dillon Boucher
Dusty Rychart
Ebi Ere
Mick Hill
Sam Mackinnon
Brad Williamson
Stephen Black
Mark Bradtke

Plus Tragardh and Goulding played spot minutes off of the bench.

Coach: Joey Wright
Owner: Eddy Groves

:o

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Perthworld  
Earlier this year

2004-05 Sydney Kings

Top ten players from the squad filtered by minutes played:

Ben Knight
Brad Sheridan
Jason Smith
Luke Martin
Mark Sanford
Brett Wheeler
Calvin Bruton
David Barlow
Rolan Roberts
BJ Carter

Plus Luke Kendall and Graeme Dann played spot minutes off of the bench.

Coach: Brian Goorjian
Owner: I can't remember, the three-peat was pre-Firepower

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Perthworld  
Earlier this year

2005-06 Melbourne Tigers

Top ten players from the squad filtered by minutes played:

Chris Anstey
Darryl McDonald
Dave Thomas
Rashad Tucker
Stephen Hoare
David Stiff
Daryl Corletto
Neil Mottram
Tommy Greer
Braith Cox

Coach: Al Westover
Owner: Seamus McPeake

Reply #736972 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Earlier this year

2007-08 Melbourne Tigers

Top ten players from the squad filtered by minutes played:

Chris Anstey
Darryl McDonald
Daryl Corletto
David Barlow
David Stiff
Nathan Crosswell
Stephen Hoare
Tommy Greer
Dave Thomas
Sean Lampley

Coach: Al Westover
Owner: Seamus McPeake

Lampley replaced the sacked mate of Anstey's Martin Muursepp (LOL) mid-season

Reply #736974 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Earlier this year

The four teams above are the ones that stick out in my mind for winning a championship in a very stacked era roster-wise plus:

Kings 2004-05 was the final title of the three-peat
Bullets 2006-07 who can forget the end of season Vegas trip? Casino chips etc. JvG a "genius" for circumventing a simplistic points system laid out by an amateur NBL
Tigers 2007-08 played Sydney in the GF and the NBL were in the walkway ready to wheel out the title to the Kings in Melbourne during Game 4 and then everything went the other way

Super stacked rosters created by the haves of the Kings consortium, Groves & McPeake but damn so many memories on and off the court.

Reply #736976 | Report this post


koberulz  
Earlier this year

The Big3 of the mid 2000s were super strong - Kings, Tigers and Bullets. No parity back then with Wildcats a distant fourth and then the rest.
The same Wildcats that scraped into eighth with a losing record, finished eighth again the next year, and the following year jumped up to 7th but with only a .500 record?

Wollongong managed second, second with a grand final appearance, and third in that same span.

Reply #736977 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Earlier this year

I was thinking of the tail end of that era - just checked ladders and 2006-07 & 2007-08 etc. Sorry for not having a perfect memory.

Reply #736978 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Earlier this year

... and since I posted four teams from 2005-08 then my comment is reasonable.

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Money Makin Mitch McCarro  
Earlier this year

1995 Wildcats no doubt in my mind

Reply #736997 | Report this post


LV  
Earlier this year

Hoopie, no, 2005 Tigers were nowhere near their potential.
 
Copeland averaged 31 minutes a game that season and Tucker averaged 14. Switching those two alone would've got them an extra couple of wins and a spot in the NBL Semis. That’s just one simple move.
 
Lindsay Gaze loved Copeland, of course. But when he was struggling, and you had a superstar talent sitting on the bench? Come on. I can only assume Rashad enjoyed taking it easy and getting paid and maybe doing some smoking in his spare time, cos that was a wasted season for him. And the Tigers. Not many imports would put up with it.

Imagine Shaun Long signed with Illawarra next season and Flinn played him for 10 minutes a game, with David Andersen playing 30, even when Andersen goes into a form slump. That's about equivalent to what Lindsay Gaze was doing.

Then if you had a different, defensive minded coach it’d make a world of difference.

United has been mixed. Kennedy took time to find his role. I’m hoping they keep him for next year, he might show recent form for a full season.
 
They’re a different team to last season- the loss of Wesley has limited them offensively a bit. McCarron has been fairly solid, but his arrival has resulted in less opportunities for Moller. Are they better than last year’s team? I’ll hold judgment on answering that until the finals have been played!
 
That historical minutes played analysis tells you a lot
 
The 2006 Tigers played an 8 man rotation. 9th and 10th were Cox and Greer.

Greer back then was an athlete and not much more. Cox a decent SEABL point guard and that’s about it.
 
In 97, the Tigers had a 7 man rotation. The Big 4 and then Giddey. Blair Smith and Ray Gordon off the bench.
 
Nowadays you have guys like Venky Jois and Clint Steindl sitting at the end of the bench. Accomplished professionals who have played in decent leagues overseas (and in Steindl’s case was a starter averaging 13ppg in the NBL).
 
Moller a SEABL MVP who started during United’s streak last year. Barely plays. Goulding the 6th man. Hire and Wagstaff who’ve played roles on a championship team every 2nd year for a decade. Norton and Jervis who were starting on other NBL teams before joining the Cats. The benches of old just didn’t compare to the benches of today. And that’s mostly because there’s less teams now.

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Hoopie  
Earlier this year

Fair call, LV.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year


Bullets 2006-07 who can forget the end of season Vegas trip? Casino chips etc.

What is this about?

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Perthworld  
Earlier this year

That's how the players received their bonuses for winning the title from Uncle Eddy. No paper trail.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Ah gotcha

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

"The four teams above are the ones that stick out in my mind for winning a championship in a very stacked era roster-wise"

I actually look at that 2003-2006 era as a weaker one in the modern history of the league. There were still some good teams up top, but in reality a lot of the great players in the league were well past their prime and there weren't a lot of quality young guys coming through.

The depth of talent in the league wasn't great and the quality of teams dropped away pretty quickly after the top few.

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LV  
Earlier this year

It'd be cool if someone kept a yearly list of the top 40 or so Australian players and where they're playing

At the moment you've got maybe 12 or 13 in the NBA?? A handful in Europe and rest in NBL.

In the past there were less in NBA but more in Europe.

Most of the factors impacting talent are economic. What $ is on offer around the world? What's the salary cap in the NBL? Are players actually getting paid in Europe? Etc

Exchange rates come into it. At various times over past 20 years, the Aud/Usd rate has fluctuated between 48c and $1.10

If you're paying your American import $200,000 AUD, that's a variation between $96,000 USD and $220,000 USD.

Reply #737027 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Earlier this year

I actually look at that 2003-2006 era as a weaker one in the modern history of the league. There were still some good teams up top, but in reality a lot of the great players in the league were well past their prime and there weren't a lot of quality young guys coming through.

The depth of talent in the league wasn't great and the quality of teams dropped away pretty quickly after the top few.

I'll meet you half way with 2003-2006 being a little bit scummy especially coming out of the early 2000s when the USD/AUD exchange rate being at around $0.50 at one stage.

Once Uncle Eddy & Seamus starting splashing the cash however I would argue 2005-2008 was a pinnacle of quality amongst the top 3 sides. Yes that meant the rest were bad but back then with only two games on TV per week it was an absolute treat seeing those super teams in action especially when they clashed against one another. Or when one of the three visited Challenge Stadium on a more personal level. More of the best Aussies were playing in the league as back then our top level were not in the NBA and far less in Europe.

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