Scout
Last month

Watching NBL v NBA

Currently having an ongoing discussion with my young bloke about watching NBL v NBA.

I find myself enjoying watching the NBL more, enjoy watching defence, plays being run, young players like Giddey develop and relatively close games without blowouts.

My young bloke on the other hand only watches the NBA, ridiculed the NBL. Obviously the NBA is the best league in the world with the best players. WHile I have bagged Goulding for years re his flopping watching his game last night was also damn enjoyable.

As a Tasmanian I'm really looking forward to having an NBL presence here as well.

Do others have a preference and or tips for discussions with my young bloke....or should I just ignore him and give him time to grow up!

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KET  
Last month

NBL is the most entertaining basketball league in the world to watch.

Totally get those who are not Australian wouldn't have a care for the NBL - fair enough when you don’t have a team to go for and it’s some other country on the other side of the world. In terms of Australians having this view - it goes to the constant shit the NBL gets through the media, and aside from that the general lack of media attention for any other aspect of the NBL.

I believe that is changing, LK, Loeliger, NBL club owners have done a brilliant job changing the conversation. I’ve known some people who didn’t care before, who felt it was amateur and recently, last few years, have stood up, paid attention, commented on how it’s improving (without any real understanding of the quality before), and actually said "let’s go to the game" instead of declining to go out of disinterest.

The Bogut, Ball situations did a lot of good in particular to get that attention, even if others in the NBL deserved it just as much.

Why is the NBL the best?

NBA is no defence, blowouts, too many timeouts and breaks. Guys jacking up shots - to their credit getting them in.

Euroleague is slow, grinding, foul-ridden at the exact moments you don’t want fouls to occur (“professional foul” to avoid transition baskets).

NBL has decent defence, good flow of offence, mix of young talent, imports that make a splash (without getting 40pts per game like in China), and veteran Aussies. Players don’t dominate, players don’t tend to flounder too much - lots of competitive basketball and momentum swings. The talent level is NBA fringe - NBA players can’t come in and dominate, NBL players wouldn’t look like fish out of water in NBA.

College basketball is fun in March madness but otherwise is amateurish - which is fine it’s meant to be - but it’s not the same as professional basketball.

Some may say NBL offence is crap compared to NBA and defence is crap compared to Eureague, I’d say the NBL strikes that perfect entertaining balance of offence and defence, the competitiveness is higher, and the quality of talent is fringe NBA and better than fringe Euroleague, even if it is a level below EL and a bit more below NBA.

Most NBA games to NBL fans, is like the NBA All Star game to NBA fans. The talent is a level above, but it’s all offense, less competitive, less entertaining

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Air Delay  
Last month

100% agree. I struggle to get in to watching NBA as it's so 1v1 orientated & seems like the best athletes in the world don't play the best D or run their backsides off. NBL has the perfect mix of it all.

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robt  
Last month

".or should I just ignore him and give him time to grow up!"

Never ignore him, always give him time to grow up!

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Anonymous  
Last month

Nba finals are a different game to normal nba, they then get down on D. Lebron has been so good over the duration as his teams play team. Nba has so many supreme athletes and with the 3 second defensive rule it becomes a one on one slug. Overall it's still a great product.

In what I’ve just rattled on though I prefer the nbl for its toughness and plays without to many Prima Donnas.

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Scout  
Last month

Great post KET.


Yep believe the impact of Larry has been huge for the NBL, solid growth on a business level along with the growth of the sport.....witnessing that here in Tas. Looks like another 5k stadium will be built in Launceston which means the Jackjumpers will be able to play both in the North and South of the state. This means there the franchise will be sustainable. Larry is smart enough to make money out of the re development of the DEC areaa while the sport also develops - win win. The sport still needs recognition in the media and more coverage but it is getting better.

Reckon we now have a couple of generations of basketball people here in Australia and the cultural cringe of relying on the States has lessened. While we will always recruit from there for coaches and players the depth of both here is now strong.

While I'm convinced my 13 year old isn't yet, can live with that.

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Master Chief  
Last month

I would compare the evolution of the NBA to that of the AFL in a way. It's become very one dimensional and you find teams all trying to be the best at playing the same way.

I think these evolving styles are also similar in the way they've more or less killed off traditional positions; The key forward in the AFL and the centre in the NBA. Obviously these positions still exist, but the instinctive key forward is slowly dying in favour of more aerobic based athletic types. In the same way, traditional centres are dying in the NBA in favour of small ball line ups and bigs that need to be able to shoot the three.

My point is, this is a reason I don't like watching either that much anymore because the style has become the same for everyone. Like I say, it seems like its just about who can be the best at playing the same way. You notice in the AFL, teams push up the ground, fast break goals etc over and over again. In the NBA, three point shot after three point show that either goes on or it doesn't and they run the other way.

In both sports, I just miss teams having their own identify.

Didn't meant to go off track, but it made me think about why I do prefer the NBL over the NBA.

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Scout  
Last month

robt - yep spot on mate, I am lucky to be able to spend time with him and do not ignore him - spending time with him is what it's about for me. He knows how to niggle me ......saying Giddey can't play etc etc

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robt  
Last month

On the rest of this fine thread, I agree with Ket and obviously with Air Delay, too.

But isn't that all quite natural? To like the "backyard" you're in and most familiar with?

I'm sure the French, for eg., like watching their own national leagues 1st, 2nd would be Euro Ls, then any others.

Ditto African and Asian and South American nations.

The US say, "What, they play basketball there, where?"

Suppose that's what makes the Olympics and WCs so interesting.

NBL definately my No 1!

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robt  
Last month

Glad to hear it all.
Not meant as a personal attack. Just the "unconscious" use of words, sometimes.

Sorta like "Would you rather be poor and happy OR rich and sad?" I choose RICH AND HAPPY!

Oh, and I probably thought similar thoughts about Gaze, when he was 17 or 18. (so it's ok to ignore him on that one!)

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Anonymous  
Last month

Couldn't agree more that the NBL has become more entertaining than the NBA. Everyone knows the NBA has the best athletes and the most spectacular highlights but the general play has become extremely boring. It’s almost entirely centred around pick and roll which results in either a play at the rim (dunk or layup) or a 3 point shot either by the ball handler or a kick out to a another player. The mid range game is now almost non-existent and it’s made the NBA extremely predictable. During the regular season, defence is virtually non-existent, especially team defence and the rules have changed heavily to favour the offensive player. If any of these current teams played the Bulls or the Pistons of the 80s/90s, with the old rules, I’m absolutely certain they would be torn apart. I believe these changes lie at the feet of Adam Silver who’s positioned the league as entertainment rather than competitive sport. It’s become a league where 5-6 players decide the end result and that’s not going to be healthy long term. The NBL on the other hand is getting better every year and has certainly now topped its halcyon years of the late 80s and 90s when it was a major piece of the Australian professional landscape. It’s well on its way back there and the way it’s played, the worst team can compete with the best on any given night. I feel LK and his team have built a platform on which the sport can thrive in this country and regionally for a long time to come. I know LK has had his critics but thank god he fell in love with the game and came in and took charge

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Musk  
Last month

I genuinely interested in this so allow me to offer my perspective on the matter.

As someone who only started watching the nbl frequently recently I honestly find the games quite boring tbh. I get a sense a lot of the time it's just to slow and nothing is going on. I remember vividly watching a bullets hawks game and by half way through the third I was na fuck it this shit is too boring. So now I try to watch a game and if I get that sense I finish the next day.

I’ll admit idk if it’s a mental thing where I know I’m watching a far inferior league to the nba, but for the most part, aside from a few teams/players I find the nbl quite boring.

I will say however whilst there’s so many nba regular season nba games I’m not trying to say every nba game is great but I think for the most they are on average more enjoyable then the average nbl game. In particular when the playoffs hit the 2nd round, then I think it becomes clear as day that these games are not just superior in talent but enjoyment also when compared to the nbl. Again this is just my point of view, but as someone on the younger side, I’d consider most younger people to not really give a shit about the nbl unless there’s a big name player from the nba coming back like bogut or a lamelo situation. Of course there’s basketball diehards like myself who will watch anything, but I think on average, younger people don’t really give a shit about the nbl and that would likely be because the nba has better players, more athleticism etc. I also appreciate this as an nba fan but I think the elite coaches, particularly playoff time whip out some amazing stuff that no one in the nbl would dream of doing. And again part of that is due to the talent the nba coaches have, but please don’t use this notion of 'nba boring because it’s all the same, no defence and no strategy.’ I will say analytics perhaps has taken too much control of the nba, but part of analytics is common sense ‘3s or more than 2, on average nba players shoot better from three then the midrange, push the pace, limit transition on D.’

Whilst I feel all this to be true, I will say the nbl has been doing better where when I was still in school no one gave a shit about the nbl when it came to you he people, but know younger people will at least acknowledge it.

P.S. it also doesn’t help when the preseason games occur and other than the one melb vs okc game, they were all either blowouts, or it was clear as day the nba teams didn’t give a shit or played much less of their better guys and still significantly won, so that right makes the average person go, ‘jeez this nbl can’t be too good especially if bogut by the time he left was a backup centre and is now the league mvp’

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Truth  
Last month

I was thinking along similar lines, although I was looking at it from the perspective of how much better the defence is in the NBL.

Look at LeMelo Ball. He was pretty decent in the NBL - he averaged 17 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game, shooting 37.7 percent from the field.

In the NBA as a rookie he is averaging 12.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game shooting 42.8% from the field.

His stats are only slightly down in the NBA. As in the comments above, I think it is more about the slackness of the NBA defenders than it is about his improvement.

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Scout  
Last month

Interesting post Musk, good to hear from the 'younger point of view'.

Realise there will always be people watch mainly to watch individual players as opposed to looking at how the X and O's are playing out.

i like doing both therefore why I like the NBL more, my sons friends often support teams because of players ie lots of Warriors supporters because of Curry, my young bloke watched some pre season games here a couple of years ago and has followed RJ Hampton ever since.

I get the need for gun players, and think the next star innovation from Larry has helped with that but reckon I'm more old school and enjoy the game more than just one or two players.

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Anonymous  
Last month

The one major critisicm I have for the NBL compared to the NBA is the stupid floor advertisements. Just need to settle down on those as I feel it cheapens the brand. Surely advertisement, even around the apron of the court would look much nicer. Keep the main playing area for team and league branding.

There is also a lack of team oriented branding and slightly to much league branding. Half the time you are stuck figuring out whose home game it is for a solid few minutes, especially for fans not familiar with the different stadiums.

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Musk  
Last month

Yeah when it comes to enjoying teams rather then players scout i agree for the most part (my favourite team of all time is the 2014 Spurs), however I think there are instances where guys like Lebron, Durant,Curry etc are so great you can't help but be amazed by the stuff they can pull off, and that’s why younger people in general just appreciate the players more then following a team (when it comes to the nba), even the mates I have that are diehards still love watching those amazing talented guys (unless it’s against their team)

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Scout  
Last month

Musk - can understand you rating the 14 Spurs, they played as a team.

Gotta say I am watchng the stacked team United has at the moment and hoping others in the NBL are able to knock them off.

Fair call anon 97 re the marketing in the NBL, the have all the websites for the clubs run through the NBL - be good for some points of difference from the clubs.

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Anonymous  
Last month

I think having guys with NBA experience like Sloan come and struggle in the NBL is helpful in giving additional credibility to the NBL.
On another note the dominance of the NBA over local leagues happens in many countries. Many French people who follow the NBA have never watched a Pro A game in their life and have no interest in it. It's usually the people who play or played in a club (not the local playground) that would follow it, or the locals when a small town is in the pro A. And that’s with NBA games being in the middle of the night on pay TV. Australia has the additional challenge that we can actually watch live games during the day.

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Anonymous  
Last month

Nbl is good to watch but nbl defence is horrible .Goulding is a good example if he's was guarded playing nba he would get blocked many times . NBA players are longer quicker close out better .if Goulding was Guarding a nba superstar he would look like a school kid . Nba is 5 steps above nbl . Harry froling teys drimic embarrassing

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Anonymous  
Last month

Take him to see a live nbl game if you can. It worked for me with my son.

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Scout  
Last month

Anon 017 - yep already a member of the Jackjumpers, will take him along when they start up. If restrictions allow will try and get over the NBL cup at Melbourne with the young bloke.

At a SEABL / NBL1 level (Hobart Chargers) a player spent some time with him calling him 'little MJ' as he had a bulls 23 top on at a clinic, player was an import Chris Whitehead. This player also came along to local games and watched him play - made him feel 10 feet high.

He will be fine once he gets along to some games, reckon he just loves niggling me. Just asked him to watch the Adelaide game tonight and he said is Giddey playing - he's trash.

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Anonymous  
Last month

NBA is better in every way.

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Scout  
Last month

Anon - 024 - are you my 13 year old? Same level of insight!

It is obvious the NBA has the best players in the world playing question is what is better to watch

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Anonymous  
Last month

Scout I already answered that

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AshT  
Last month

It's the passion of teams/players that I like to see when watching sport. NBL has that (ignoring Hawks of recent seasons) but the terms "bruise free" and "circle work" do come to mind while watching NBA. At 28-games per NBL season versus 82-NBA a single win counts for more plus less propensity for players to cruise or nurse their way through a season. I can only watch so much NBA.

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Perthworld  
Last month

I believe these changes lie at the feet of Adam Silver who's positioned the league as entertainment rather than competitive sport. It’s become a league where 5-6 players decide the end result and that’s not going to be healthy long term.

I would argue it had already started earlier under Stern's watch but you do make an excellent distinction between entertainment and competiton. We have so many active basketball players in this country but they don't necessarily translate into viewers who want to watch real competitive sport on TV. All they want is the entertainment aspect which the NBA caters to. The problem is they don't realise what they're doing and you get a lot of disparaging comments about the NBL stemming from it which isn't fair.

Case in point these same types of viewers aren't interested in gridiron but you can bet they'll be tuned in to the Super Bowl on Monday morning. It's about pure entertainment.

On another note the dominance of the NBA over local leagues happens in many countries. Many French people who follow the NBA have never watched a Pro A game in their life and have no interest in it. It's usually the people who play or played in a club (not the local playground) that would follow it, or the locals when a small town is in the pro A.

Your example from Europe is one-sided as the French league is of a poor standard and not one of the top tier sporting leagues of France. Contrast it to countries such as Spain and Greece where basketball is a clear no. 2 team sport, after football, with their domestic league being a huge deal. So it can go both ways. In Australia we have the unique problem of having so many professional football codes to compete with which creates more competiton which the NBL suffers for, rather than it being an issue of the quality on-court.

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LV  
Last month

NBA playoffs>NBL Playoffs>NBL regular season>NBA regular season

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robt  
Last month

re: "Your example from Europe is one-sided as the French league is of a poor standard and not one of the top tier sporting leagues of France.", if that was directed at my comment (and even if it wasn't), still say that even in that case, Frenchies, in general, would still have more interest in their own backyard.

Heck, if we only had NBL1, I for one would go see my team. And sure, I'd also watch some NBA. Would you believe that I especially try to watch NBA when Aussies are playing?

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ME  
Last month

The NBL and NBA are very different products. People watch the NBA to see the greatest players in the world, and the game is streamlined to showcase the players, where as the NBL is very much a team game, where the team has to be bigger than the sum of its parts.

I for one like watching the NBL more, just because the ball whips around, everyone is playing a role, everyone is involved. It's a bit more of a pure interpretation of basketball. I also have more resonance with the players - they're Australian, many of them are up-and-coming Boomers. The Boomers are the team in the world I care most about, so how the next NBL kid fits into that conversation is always of more interest to me than what some American guy, who we all know is great already, might be doing.

So I guess I follow the NBL more for its excessibility, it's lack of pretentiousness, it's team work, and its resonance to Australian basketball. I only bother watching the NBA during the playoffs.. and I say that fully admitting that yes, the NBA is the greatest basketball league in the world. But I can't really make myself care about teams from cities I've never been to or players who I can't relate to.

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Anonymous  
Last month

The NBL is intense, unpredictable and close contests almost every night with good quality players. Makes for great watching.

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Anonymous  
Last month

The French league is a reasonably good standard and pays well. I agree it's support base is less than round ball football, but rugby union and league are not strong either. Their basketball league can still turn out nba players and have good national teams. It’s quite similar to Australia.

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Anonymous  
Last month

The French Pro A league has a similar challenge to the NBL. Good talent, good participation in the sport, but poor visibility in the media. Not helped by the the perception that the NBA is the only "real deal". Rugby Union in France is far more prominent in the media, with lucrative TV deals, national team games on prime-time free TV, etc, which the basketball absolutely does not get. So quite similar to how the Wallabies are exposed in the media, when more people play basketball. Rugby League is a non factor in France.

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proud  
Last month

I love watching the NBL and I try and watch every game (I wish we played 48 minute games so we could see records be in danger) but as for NBA I'll listen to a game in the background more than watch, I don't want to hear about how Harden is so spectacular and is on triple double watch after Westbrook, Luca and Lebron already got one today... their chasing of stats to improve their standing on the all time list loses its impact pretty fast (how very wrestling it's become).

I know I Grew up in the 90s but players didn't chase their stats quite as much and I still think the stars of today would be starters in the 90s but they wouldn't get their stats or their standing in the game quite as much.

As for the above and kids choosing players over teams, I grew up as a Shawn Kemp fan as I loved the Seattle Supersonics but when he got traded I had a soft spot for Cleveland but Seattle stayed as my team. Today the advertising for NBA seems to be aimed at this superstar vs this superstar and rarely this team has a great rivalry with this team and they play on this day. Different mindset for sure.

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