Thanks for the feedback, C-Dub, you make a lot of great points. I highly considered Spoelstra for COY, his impact is definitely underrated. Glad you liked the article, thanks for reading!
I never heard from you. this site doesn't work well when an article reaches more 400 comments. I can't even read the responses anymore. I will, however, re-post what I posted on one of my responses regarding the rules and how lebron benefits.
this is former NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson. you know, he is the one who's in charge of rules changes:
"Because our rules are more focused on keeping the middle open and offering more opportunities for players to cut and penetrate the basketball in the middle of the floor, the quality of our perimeter shots has gone up and we’re also getting more higher-percentage shots inside."
"Three years ago, before the ’04-05 season, we also began to really interpret and enforce the forearm and body check, where by we had defenders either placing a hand or a forearm on an offensive player’s shoulder or hip in an effort to slow them down and give them a defensive advantage in terms of sliding in front of the offensive player. When we disallowed that – the use of the hand, the use of the forearm to the shoulder, the hip, the body – that in conjunction with the hand check interpretation started to give offensive players on the perimeter more offensive freedom."
that last part:
"...started to give offensive players on the perimeter more offensive freedom."
"Our objective was to allow for more offensive freedom by not allowing defenders to hand-, forearm- or body-check ball handlers. By doing so, we encouraged more dribble penetration. As players penetrated more, it produced higher quality shots for the ball handler as well as shots for teammates on passes back out to perimeter. When NBA players get higher quality shots -- having more time to shoot -- they tend to make more of them."
"With the rule and interpretation changes, it has become more difficult for defenders to defend penetration, cover the entire floor on defensive rotations and recover to shooters. This has provided more time for shooters to ready themselves for quality shots. With more dribble penetration, ball handlers are getting more opportunities at the rim."
"The benefits of an open game are not limited to just perimeter players. An open game can benefit a post player as well. Remember, if the players are spaced wider and using more of the court, then defenses have to play those players closely because they're good shooters. The style actually serves to open up the middle of the floor. If a team has an effective post player, he would have more room to operate in the post."
(This is exactly what I was telling you about lebron in the post. not only does he have the rules in his favor, but also the game style! that heat team is perfect for him. this also explains how he benefits from bosh playing center.)