The game of basketball is changing. From the days when Bob Pettit won MVP, up to the days of the Detroit Pistons Bad Boy era, up until now. It has been a constant evolution and will only continue to evolve.

Defensively, the NBA is not as physical as it once was. The removal of hand checking as well as reducing the physicality allowed on defense has turned basketball into a more offensive, fast paced game. The NBA offensively is in a constant battle to change and evolve into a new product and with the introduction of analytics in basketball, it has changed the way some teams play. With some teams choosing to still play a more conventional style of basketball, others lean towards a newer style of play.

Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan

The Golden State Warriors are a top flight team in the NBA and are the poster child of the new age of the evolution in the NBA. With being able to shoot 33% from the three and having the same amount of points per shot as shooting 50% from inside the arc, teams such as the Warriors and the Houston Rockets have adopted the style of shooting many threes as a way to just simply outscore their opponents. As they used this style of play they led the NBA to an all time regular season record of 73­9, Though they came up short in the NBA Finals 4 to 3 against a more traditional Cleveland Cavaliers team, so at times you can see the newer, less conventional style of basketball in the Cavaliers, as well as many other teams in the NBA.

Despite the new analytics era, there still are some teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies, that play a more traditional style of play. While the 3 point shot can be used as an efficient scoring tool in those offenses, teams that play a more traditional inside­-outside style prefer to pound you in the paint, taking advantage of their size and physicality.

Stephen Curry, LeBron James

AP Photo

While both the conventional and the newer unconventional style can work, there are negatives to both playing styles. Sometimes with a more conventional team playing against an unconventional team, the conventional team is more prone to giving up big leads to the unconventional team if they can not defend them properly. While the unconventional team can usually shoot the lights out, they may be prone to going on cold shooting breaks, which if you don’t have the personnel to consistently take the ball inside, the unconventional team may put themselves at a disadvantage versus a more conventional team.

The game is basketball is constantly evolving and changing before our eyes. Although the NBA seems to be heading into a new direction that is led by analytics, there will always be teams that will use a more conventional style of play simply due to the efficiency of the shots and the fact that for most players inside shots are easier to make simply because they are closer. The NBA today is a constant battle of an older style of basketball going up against the new era of basketball.

Which direction will the NBA prove to be more successful? We will have to continue to watch and see for ourselves.

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