Paul Westphal, a well known former player and head coach for several teams in the NBA, recently gave an interview for Masslive in which he expressed his dissatisfaction with the direction the league is heading. The main problem Westphal sees is in the change of style most teams are endorsing in recent years that involves massive amounts of three-pointers teams are taking on a nightly basis and defensive switches.
In recent years there is a very popular trend where teams are taking more and more three-pointers and the league is actually stacked with players that can shoot the ball extremely well. Some teams that are big advocates of advanced stats which show that if you want to win ball games you have to essentially make more threes than the other team and play defense to a certain respectable degree. This has lead to multiple teams running similar sets on both ends of the floor which means there is a lack of creativity.
“The styles are all the same now. You spread out, you run a pick and roll with the slowest defender, and put a couple of shooters in the corner. You don’t have individual teams with an offense that’s different than somebody else’s offense. It’s become too cookie-cutter and too reliant on the 3.”
Westphal believes offense doesn’t have to be too complex and that with a simple high screen and a bunch of shooters on the perimeter teams take a easy way out in terms of scoring points. The solution Westphal has for this situation is the ability for defenders to be more aggressive on the perimeter. He believes players on defense should have more right to be more physical which would force teams to be more creative and rely on other solutions on offense.
“You don’t need a diverse offense, all you need is a high screen and roll and shooters everywhere. I’d like to see more subtlety and make it harder to get a shot. I think you have to be able to touch somebody on the perimeter so you can fight over the top of screens,” he said. “If you can fight over the screen then you wouldn’t force all the switches and you’d have a chance of more teams running diverse offenses.”