I believe that European basketball players are a different breed of player from their American counterparts. They grow em big in many parts of Eastern Europe, but the big men tend to play a different version of the great game. The big men from overseas don't play how their size would indicate, rather, they rely on shooting from long range by using their tremendous size to arc a shot over American bigs who aren't used to guarding a perimeter player. Is this an effective way to play, and can this new breed of NBA player make the center position from yesteryear obsolete?
Some people may call these new players ?cutting edge? or perhaps even improved from their post up game ancestors. I however would not call these gigantic small forwards in centers bodies improved or unique, I would call them soft and backwards. Call my old fashioned, but I like my centers with some toughness and muscle. Give me a hard hitting gritty big man over girly man Pau Gasol any day of the week.
Below is a dreadful youtube video showing footage from a game somewhere in Europe. Viewer beware, the center in question is hard to take seriously.
The game is played through the post. It always has been, and it always will be. Despite some teams implementing the ?run and gun?system where centers are supposed to play on the wings and shuck up threes, it is a proven fact that these teams cannot win in the playoffs. Defense wins baby, and when teams like the Suns run into gritty defensive teams, it ends with one bloodied Canadian and many people wondering how a team with so many regular season wins could fall flat in the post season.
If centers are left out on the wings, they won't be able to crash the glass and get boards. The offensive rhythm is destroyed when too many shots are taken. I hate watching big awkward guys from Slovenia and Russia get drafted on ?potential?. I hear things like, ?7 foot 2 inch, 180 pound Slabadinko Padapinko has a sweet stroke, but he is so fragile, that getting up and down the court could be a concern.? I'm all for diversity, but if you have that kinda size, grow a pair and learn some post moves.