It's long been an article of faith that the most treasured commodity on any basketball team is a big man. This goes back to basketball antiquity, right on up to
But with all due respect for the aging Mr. O'Neal and
And point-guard value-plus is to be seen everywhere in the NBA. Who would have predicted a decade ago that a skinny, unheralded kid from Canada,
Of course, the point guard is hardly a new force.
I think, too, that if one man had the greatest effect on changing the job description, it would be
Sure, that still obtains, but since there are fewer missed shots now, the big guy doesn't have as many rebound chances as he used to. If someone could break basketball down more statistically, as the number-crunchers have divined baseball, then I have the feeling that the numbers would say, who's more vital: a guy who can get you the ball sometimes, or a guy who handles it every time?
If Al McGuire were still around, the aircraft carrier would now be in the backcourt. After all, that's where the game is launched ... and won.