Talking about "Bigs"

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by jrleftfoot on Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:10 am

swish wrote:
NYCelt wrote:Timely topic.

I'd most closely go with Rosalie's description of a big.

To me a big is someone who can play the C/F slot, but there seem to be height and wingspan numbers, along with weight, that allow for better defense at the rim and rebounding needed at those spots.  6'8" seems to be a minimum, but I'd rather see 6"10" with a good wingspan.

If you're looking for low-post play, scoring from the block, defense in the paint, and the ability to block shots, there's no way around the need for size.

The modern big may need to be able to shoot and defend out to the perimeter, but I think there's still a demand for old-school size and skills.


NYCelt

A world war #1 song sort of sums it up for the modern center center-forward. "How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm - after they've seen Paree."

   I live across the street from a town outdoor recreational facility - and get to see many kids, each with there own basketball, heading to the courts - mostly young, under 15 year olds, imitating their favorite nba player - firing long jumpers and all the ambidextrous ball handling that goes with the modern game - and you know what? - some of them grow up to be BIGS - and many of these BIGS are now armed with these courtwide skills, so try to convince them that they are going to be restricted to playing within a few feet of the basket. No going back now as the game has changed and it sure isn't the game that I grew up with - as the versatility and skill level of the players continue to expand.

  swish

 I know what you`re talking about. My grandson plays high school ball in California. He can dribble between his legs , Euro-step, hit thees , dunk , and has a decent mi-range game including a neat turnaround jumper. He`s a 6~1 guard, but I don`t think he`ll get any taller .His dad is 6 foot , my daughter is 5`4 and I like to say I`m 5`10 and a half.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by jrleftfoot on Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:30 am

swish wrote:
jrleftfoot wrote:swish is correct that the game has changed, players are bigger , stronger , faster , etc., but having watched the Celtics through several eras , the idea that William F. Russell would be anything less than a dominant player today is baffling to me. He could run the court with any of today`s bigs, was a wonderful outlet passer, had a great feel for the direction of the rebound, would still come out of nowhere to block shots,was as competetive as anybody in the history of sport, and his quickness , speed , instincts and ability to adjust to his opponents strengths and weaknesses are perfectly compatible with today`s game. He had  every bit of David Robinson`s athletic ability and then some. Does anybody doubt that Robinson could help a team today? Rudy Gobert is better? Give me a break. Russ would have to work on his 3 point shooting, though.

jrleftfoot,

Have you ever taken the time to seriously examine the level of the competition 55 or 60 years ago - Their race, their weight, their height,  their basketball skill level?

  
All I did was watch them,swish. Don`t claim to be an expert. I think Wilt would do o.k. today, too.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by swish on Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:11 pm

jrleftfoot wrote:
swish wrote:
jrleftfoot wrote:swish is correct that the game has changed, players are bigger , stronger , faster , etc., but having watched the Celtics through several eras , the idea that William F. Russell would be anything less than a dominant player today is baffling to me. He could run the court with any of today`s bigs, was a wonderful outlet passer, had a great feel for the direction of the rebound, would still come out of nowhere to block shots,was as competetive as anybody in the history of sport, and his quickness , speed , instincts and ability to adjust to his opponents strengths and weaknesses are perfectly compatible with today`s game. He had  every bit of David Robinson`s athletic ability and then some. Does anybody doubt that Robinson could help a team today? Rudy Gobert is better? Give me a break. Russ would have to work on his 3 point shooting, though.

jrleftfoot,

Have you ever taken the time to seriously examine the level of the competition 55 or 60 years ago - Their race, their weight, their height,  their basketball skill level?

  
All I did was watch them,swish. Don`t claim to be an expert. I think Wilt would do o.k. today, too.

jrleftfoot

I fully understand your point of view. I see things differently simply because for the last 10 years generational differences in the nba has been a research hobby of mine. Your content with your opinion and that's all that matters. I always enjoy your posts - keep them coming.

swish

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:28 pm

Dave Cowens would really kick ass today, 5 tool player, mobile, active, lived to punished bigger players in the paint.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by jrleftfoot on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:24 pm

swish wrote:
jrleftfoot wrote:
swish wrote:
jrleftfoot wrote:swish is correct that the game has changed, players are bigger , stronger , faster , etc., but having watched the Celtics through several eras , the idea that William F. Russell would be anything less than a dominant player today is baffling to me. He could run the court with any of today`s bigs, was a wonderful outlet passer, had a great feel for the direction of the rebound, would still come out of nowhere to block shots,was as competetive as anybody in the history of sport, and his quickness , speed , instincts and ability to adjust to his opponents strengths and weaknesses are perfectly compatible with today`s game. He had  every bit of David Robinson`s athletic ability and then some. Does anybody doubt that Robinson could help a team today? Rudy Gobert is better? Give me a break. Russ would have to work on his 3 point shooting, though.

jrleftfoot,

Have you ever taken the time to seriously examine the level of the competition 55 or 60 years ago - Their race, their weight, their height,  their basketball skill level?

  
All I did was watch them,swish. Don`t claim to be an expert. I think Wilt would do o.k. today, too.

jrleftfoot

I fully understand your point of view. I see things differently simply because for the last 10 years generational differences in the nba has been a research hobby of mine. Your content with your opinion and that's all that matters. I always enjoy your posts - keep them coming.

 swish  
I appreciate your point of view as well and find your posts, bob`s and many of the other posters extremely informative. That`s why I`m here so that guys like gyso can explain the salary cap to me etc. bounce
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by swish on Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:43 pm

cowens/oldschool wrote:Dave Cowens would really kick ass today, 5 tool player, mobile, active, lived to punished bigger players in the paint.

You might want to consider the fact that Cowens did a lot of beating up on players that played center at a time when the average weight was (1975-76) 221.6 lbs.  It might not have been as easy for the 230 lb Cowens in 2016-17 when he would have been facing centers that averaged 252.4 lbs.  That 220.9 lbs translates to shooting guards and small forwards in the modern nba .


   swish


Last edited by swish on Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : minor correction)

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:17 am

swish wrote:
cowens/oldschool wrote:Dave Cowens would really kick ass today, 5 tool player, mobile, active, lived to punished bigger players in the paint.

You might want to consider the fact that Cowens did a lot of beating up on players that played center at a time when the average weight was (1975-76) 220.9 lbs.  It might not have been as easy for the 230 lb Cowens in 2016-17 when he would have been facing centers that averaged 251.4 lbs.  That 220.9 lbs translates to shooting guards and small forwards in the modern nba .


   swish

whatever, these lummox's would not be able to keep up with his speed and energy, Dave did quite well against Wilt, Kareem, Lanier, centers that are way better than the centers of today.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by NYCelt on Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:34 am

cowens/oldschool wrote:
swish wrote:
cowens/oldschool wrote:Dave Cowens would really kick ass today, 5 tool player, mobile, active, lived to punished bigger players in the paint.

You might want to consider the fact that Cowens did a lot of beating up on players that played center at a time when the average weight was (1975-76) 220.9 lbs.  It might not have been as easy for the 230 lb Cowens in 2016-17 when he would have been facing centers that averaged 251.4 lbs.  That 220.9 lbs translates to shooting guards and small forwards in the modern nba .


   swish

whatever, these lummox's would not be able to keep up with his speed and energy, Dave did quite well against Wilt, Kareem, Lanier, centers that are way better than the centers of today.

I think Cowens was exceptional, and sometimes not given enough credit for what he was able to do in the center-dominated '70s era NBA.  Wilt, Kareem and Lanier are great examples; those guys were monsters.  Lanier was like a Mack truck.  I'm not being a homer on this one; it's a fact that Cowens flat out handled guys like them, Thurmond, and others on a regular basis.  He didn't win every battle or game, but he got more than his fair share.  He was a great example of the size of the fight in the dog being more important than the size of the dog in the fight.  I'd love to see the current Celtics find a modern version of Cowens.  That would get us to the next level.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:09 am

NYCelt wrote:
cowens/oldschool wrote:
swish wrote:
cowens/oldschool wrote:Dave Cowens would really kick ass today, 5 tool player, mobile, active, lived to punished bigger players in the paint.

You might want to consider the fact that Cowens did a lot of beating up on players that played center at a time when the average weight was (1975-76) 220.9 lbs.  It might not have been as easy for the 230 lb Cowens in 2016-17 when he would have been facing centers that averaged 251.4 lbs.  That 220.9 lbs translates to shooting guards and small forwards in the modern nba .


   swish

whatever, these lummox's would not be able to keep up with his speed and energy, Dave did quite well against Wilt, Kareem, Lanier, centers that are way better than the centers of today.

I think Cowens was exceptional, and sometimes not given enough credit for what he was able to do in the center-dominated '70s era NBA.  Wilt, Kareem and Lanier are great examples; those guys were monsters.  Lanier was like a Mack truck.  I'm not being a homer on this one; it's a fact that Cowens flat out handled guys like them, Thurmond, and others on a regular basis.  He didn't win every battle or game, but he got more than his fair share.  He was a great example of the size of the fight in the dog being more important than the size of the dog in the fight.  I'd love to see the current Celtics find a modern version of Cowens.  That would get us to the next level.


he could rebound with anybody, that team was playing smallball in an era without the 3, that team would just outrun and outwork you, he went up against so many 6'11"-7 footers like Wilt, Kareem, Lanier, Thurmond, Bellamy, Walton and did enough hustling, scoring, rebounding and dirty work to lead his team to 2 titles and with a little luck it could have easily been 4. I told my kids he was like Ben Wallace with a post up and outside shooting game and his defense was probably better.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by bobheckler on Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:07 am

cowens/oldschool wrote:
NYCelt wrote:
cowens/oldschool wrote:
swish wrote:
cowens/oldschool wrote:Dave Cowens would really kick ass today, 5 tool player, mobile, active, lived to punished bigger players in the paint.

You might want to consider the fact that Cowens did a lot of beating up on players that played center at a time when the average weight was (1975-76) 220.9 lbs.  It might not have been as easy for the 230 lb Cowens in 2016-17 when he would have been facing centers that averaged 251.4 lbs.  That 220.9 lbs translates to shooting guards and small forwards in the modern nba .


   swish

whatever, these lummox's would not be able to keep up with his speed and energy, Dave did quite well against Wilt, Kareem, Lanier, centers that are way better than the centers of today.

I think Cowens was exceptional, and sometimes not given enough credit for what he was able to do in the center-dominated '70s era NBA.  Wilt, Kareem and Lanier are great examples; those guys were monsters.  Lanier was like a Mack truck.  I'm not being a homer on this one; it's a fact that Cowens flat out handled guys like them, Thurmond, and others on a regular basis.  He didn't win every battle or game, but he got more than his fair share.  He was a great example of the size of the fight in the dog being more important than the size of the dog in the fight.  I'd love to see the current Celtics find a modern version of Cowens.  That would get us to the next level.


he could rebound with anybody, that team was playing smallball in an era without the 3, that team would just outrun and outwork you, he went up against so many 6'11"-7 footers like Wilt, Kareem, Lanier, Thurmond, Bellamy, Walton and did enough hustling, scoring, rebounding and dirty work to lead his team to 2 titles and with a little luck it could have easily been 4. I told my kids he was like Ben Wallace with a post up and outside shooting game and his defense was probably better.


Cow,

You didn't really compare HOFer and 1973 NBA MVP Dave Cowens to one-trick pony Ben Wallace, did you?

They both were undersized for their position.  They both played excellent defense.  It ends there.


bob


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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:51 am

Bob I did compare them and ofcourse Cowens is the better player, did you read my post? I said Cowens was much better offensively with a post game and reliable outside shot and I also said his defense may have been better.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by bobheckler on Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:33 am

cowens/oldschool wrote:Bob I did compare them and ofcourse Cowens is the better player, did you read my post? I said Cowens was much better offensively with a post game and reliable outside shot and I also said his defense may have been better.


Cow,

Dave Cowens is like Ben Wallace except much better offensively inside and outside and better defense.  Other than that they're practically twins.










bob


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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:16 am

Actually Bob I said it years ago when Ben Wallace was still very good and good enough to win a DPoY award and he and Pistons were competing against the KG/Pierce teams. Wallace was mobile, tough, undersized and great at the dirty work, but he was a one trick pony. At that time his defensive role on his team did somewhat remind me of Cowens.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by wideclyde on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:29 am

As far as comparing the Dave Cowens and Ben Wallace careers, there is NO comparing them as soon as you get past the defensive aspect of the game.

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by dboss on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:40 am

They were both great rebounders and defenders. That is two comparable skills but it ends there.

Dave Cowens had the skills to play in today's pace and space games. That is amazing because so often we have the debate about past players competing in today's NBA. Cowens played over 40 years ago but by every measurement he would be stud if he was playing today.

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by swish on Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:03 pm

No way in hell that the Cowens of the 7o's would be a stud in the modern game - its delusional to think that the numbers of the distant past carry the same weight as those of the present - it's all about the level of competition.

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by NYCelt on Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:06 pm

dboss wrote:They were both great rebounders and defenders.  That is two comparable skills but it ends there.

Dave Cowens had the skills to play in today's pace and space games.  That is amazing because so often we have the debate about past players competing in today's NBA.  Cowens played over 40 years ago but by every measurement he would be  stud if he was playing today.

dboss

dboss,

Ah poop.  Please don't tell me it was 40 years ago.  

Did I mention I was young when I watched Cowens play?

Regards
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by dboss on Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:26 pm

NYCelt wrote:
dboss wrote:They were both great rebounders and defenders.  That is two comparable skills but it ends there.

Dave Cowens had the skills to play in today's pace and space games.  That is amazing because so often we have the debate about past players competing in today's NBA.  Cowens played over 40 years ago but by every measurement he would be  stud if he was playing today.

dboss

dboss,

Ah poop.  Please don't tell me it was 40 years ago.  

Did I mention I was young when I watched Cowens play?

Regards

NYCelt at our ages basketball years are like dog years.

How time flys!

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:20 pm

swish wrote:No way in hell that the Cowens of the 7o's would be a stud in the modern game - its delusional to think that the numbers of the distant past carry the same weight as those of the present - it's all about the level of competition.

  swish


your joking right, Cowens played in an era where the centers were all the teams primary player and scoring option, the big centers just posted up and kept doing it until you could figure out a way to stop them.

The centers right now a few are very talented, but except for a handful don't have enough pieces around them, but most of the avg starters are pretty bad. So what that Sully or Roy Hibbert has 40 pounds on Cowens, they can't find him on defense and he'd clean up defensively on either guy.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:26 pm

Ben Wallace carved out a very good career recently, defensive anchor of a championship team.

We all agree Cowens has much more skill and every bit of defense and rebounding or more of Ben Wallace, hes a HoF player, he could play in any era and obviously good enough to also play PF next to a giant center.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by dboss on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:35 pm

swish wrote:No way in hell that the Cowens of the 7o's would be a stud in the modern game - its delusional to think that the numbers of the distant past carry the same weight as those of the present - it's all about the level of competition.

  swish

See. When players from the past are compared to modern day players we should not automatically assume that they would not be that good.

In many respects the size, speed and skill level of Cowens is more similar to the bigs playing today. He was an oddity back then. His energy level was off the charts and he could really run the floor. Even the bigs today are not as fast.

Cowens could score in the post or spread the floor with his jumper.

The way he would go after the ball diving on the floor was truly amazing.

Dboss

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by swish on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:17 pm

dboss wrote:
swish wrote:No way in hell that the Cowens of the 7o's would be a stud in the modern game - its delusional to think that the numbers of the distant past carry the same weight as those of the present - it's all about the level of competition.

  swish

See.  When players from the past are compared to modern day players we should not automatically assume that they would not be that good.

In many respects the size, speed and skill level of Cowens is more similar to the bigs playing today.  He was an oddity back then.  His energy level was off the charts and he could really run the floor.  Even the bigs today are not as fast.  

Cowens could score in the post or spread the floor with his jumper.  

The way he would go after the ball diving on the floor was truly amazing.  

Dboss


Dboss

I agree that he was very special back in his day - but that was then - but my how the game has changed in the last 45 years.

Below are the stats for those players that are listed as centers, center forwards and forward centers - who played in at least 60 games and averaged at least 25 minutes per game during the 1975-76 season - essentially a top 5 player on a roster.

http://bkref.com/tiny/G75DC

Remember that this is Cowens game to game BIG MAN COMPETITION.
As a group they averaged 224.5 lbs.
10 of the 22 players were 220 lbs or less - 6 were 210 or less ( that's even on the light side for many modern guards )

Only 3 players were 240 lbs or more
Cowens was 230 lbs

Lousy shooters
Only 6 of 21 shot .500 or better - 28.6 %
Only 10 of 21 shot .480 or better - 47.6 %

My next post, tomorrow, will list the stats for the BIGS of 2016-17

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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:51 am

Swish anyone can slant stats to prove their point, Cowens was taking big centers out to the perimeter on offense like more bigs with outside games do today. As dboss pointed out even then Cowens was not a traditional center. True players of today have more weight from more advanced weight training etc, but the players Cowens played against were more skilled as a group than the centers of today. We just listed 6 great centers that had all star credentials without even mentioning some others such as Willis Reed, Jack Sikma, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld, Bob McAdoo. The scoring and rebounding numbers were so much bigger back in those days from the center position than today as the shooting and 3 point shooting hadn't near developed to the point it is now.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by cowens/oldschool on Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:55 am

Swish I know your big on the weight to prove your point, well there were some giants back in the day too, but weight and size does not signify who is the better player. Cowens, Jabbar and Moses Malone would all be outweighed and outsized by Mark Eaton, Greg Ostertag, and James Donaldson....it's obvious which group is the better basketball player/center.
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Re: Talking about "Bigs"

Post by swish on Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:36 pm

Strictly using numbers that a player puts up are are only relevant to the generation that he played in - when dealing with different generations the issue becomes one of determining the level of expertise displayed by the different generations. The world of basketball, just like other professions, keeps on improving on it's past.

Here's a look at what basketball looked like in 1956-57 vs 2016-17.

BIGS - Centers, center forward, forward center
1956-57 - 20 players that played in 60 games while averaging 25 minutes per game
Highest fg% - .447 - Overall 12 of the 20 averaged under .400
Height - 7'0" (1) - 6'9" (4) - 6'8" (3) - 6'7" (7) - 6'6" (4) - 6'5" (1)
Weight - 213.5 lbs
* note: Russell not included in above. His 1st year and he only played 44 games - at the Olympics
Notable HALL OF FAMERS
Petit Heinsohn,Schayes

2016-17 - 27 players
Highest fg% - .717 - Overall 19 over .500 - 26 over .480
Height - 7'2" (1) - 7'1" (0) - 7'0" (2) - 6'11" (10) - 6'10" (9) - 6'9" (4) - 6'8" (1)
weight - 252.6 lbs

Note: Height for each player reduced by 1 inch to account for sneakers. (2016-17 only)

What a difference 64 years has made.
Next post - the speed-quickness difference

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