Originally Posted by indesertum
well then i don't even know what you mean by a classic small ball team. the first 3 you could make an argument they're not a small ball team, but the heats i don't understand how you can not see them as small ball
you'd have to define and differentiate between what "small ball" and "fast paced" offense is.
Pat Reily has stated in the past that his ideal team consists of skilled guys all around the 6'9" range. That means the whole team if possible. I remember borrowing from the library books about Magic Johnson and Riley when I was in middle school and swear there was a quote that said riley ideally wanted a team of skilled guys all around 6'9".
my guess is that he came up with the theory after playing those celtics and rockets teams in the 80's (which had tall front courts). "show time" lakers success in the 80's proved to be successful.the modern analytic's heavy teams trend is avoid offensive rebounding altogether now
- which has been happening since late aughts' with the spurs and 2008 celtics being the most blatant success employing that tactic.
so what happens when you avoid offensive rebounds, but conversely focus even more so on defensive rebounds? the transition game gets boosted to the point where older teams such as the pre 2013-14 celtics, and spurs are near to the top of the league in transition/fast break points. so even though it sound counter intuitive - being a transition team/small ball team is actually easier on the body (especially for teams with all-star big men who are older).
what we are seeing now is a hybrid type of system. (golden state, spurs, and heat) where they play tenacious defense but almost go immediately into transition fast break offense if possible with efficient offensive players/sets (shooting a great shot quickly rather than later).
which leads back to d'antoni. i think he figured it out towards the end (that duh you need to play defense to win) but fast paced transition offense is extremely effective (points per possession wise), but the other teams caught on and sucked up all the ideal players for it (the sean marions, stepen curry's, boris diaw, ect ).