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And-Ones: Big Men, San Francisco, Designated Veterans

The NBA has changed dramatically over the years, especially within the last five seasons as teams have moved away from banging in the paint in order to field lineups that do more damage than ever beyond the three-point line. Zach Lowe of ESPN wonders if the style shift could endanger traditional big men.

Post-up bigs who can’t shoot threes or defend smaller players — Greg Monroe, Jahlil Okafor, Al Jefferson, Enes Kanter, Nikola Vucevic — have already been relegated to bench roles,” he writes.

In addition to that, other prominent traditional bigs have had to bolster their games with new, modern weapons. Both Brook Lopez and Marc Gasol have significantly increased the amount of threes they shoot, lest they fall behind the times.

The shifting tide is of particular significance to Brett Brown and the Sixers as Joel Embiid comes into his own during his rookie campaign with Philadelphia. Bob Ford of The Inquirer wrote about questions facing the organization as they double down on a young man whose physical makeup conjures memories of a bygone era:

Fortunately for the Philly faithful who’ve trusted the process, Brown has had years to plan for exactly that.

Our sport is a pick-and-roll sport,” Brown tells Ford. “And, at the end of the day, it’s a 1-5 pick-and-roll. So, let’s load up. When it’s nut-cutting time with two minutes left, that’s what matters most. You might say, ‘Joel can’t play with speed.’ Yes, he can. He can play with speed enough.”

Only time will tell how this modern style will evolve over the years, for now it’s a trend worth monitoring as teams across the league scramble to keep up.

Other stories from throughout the NBA:

  • The Warriors may not go through with the rebranding campaign that would have the franchise formally change their name to the San Francisco Warriors, writes Comcast SportsNet’s Monte Poole. Team president Rick Welts recently spoke about the plan. “The team’s success has caused us to really rethink whether or not that’s something we should or want to do,” said Welts.
  • In a chat with readers earlier today, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton stressed how significant he thinks the the new designated veteran player rule will be heading forward. The new rule in the recently ratified collective bargaining agreement will give team’s an unprecedented ability to retain organizational talent. “I would caution that because of the designated veteran player rule, it’s going to be harder to get [great talent] via free agency. The days of signing stars in their prime are close to over,” he said.
  • Though he had previously voiced an interest in playing one more year, Matt Bonner has officially retired from the NBA. Bonner released a satirical video on The Players’ Tribune announcing his decision. Bonner played for the Spurs for the past nine seasons.
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2 thoughts on “And-Ones: Big Men, San Francisco, Designated Veterans

  1. Watch the bonner video. It’s great

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  2. dstuart

    Changing the name to San Francisco Warriors is a certifiably dick move to the Bay Area and Oakland. The Warriors were absolute hot garbage for years and no all of the sudden they win a championship and put a top 2 caliber team on the floor and they flip shop across the Bay? Absolute slap in the face. I’m not even a fan of Oakland team’s aside from the Warriors and as much as I want them in SF it’s infuriating.

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