View Full Version : Finesse vs Power

02-24-2009, 02:55 PM
Okay, what type of team do you prefer, and what style has the chance to be the most successful? An example of finesse, imo, has been Lute Olson's Arizona teams. When you think of the best Arizona teams, you don't think "power." Jason Terry, Mike Bibby, Channing Frye, Luke Walton, Miles Simon, Gilbert Arenas, etc. Sure, there were some power guys like Richard Jefferson, but by and large Olson's teams were finesse. Same can be said for Roy Williams' UNC teams; "power" isn't a word I associate with Hansbrough or Deon Thompson. A typical power team would be, imo, a Pitt or UConn or Georgetown or Wisconsin or Michigan State, generally, or stereotypically, Big East or Big Ten teams.

This year--

Finesse = North Carolina
Power = Pitt

I believe there is little doubt what Gonzaga is: Finesse.

02-24-2009, 03:06 PM
this is a tough one because finesse can definitely be more exciting, but no one wants to see there team get pushed around and so we all want them to be powerful.
if i had to choose one i'd go with finesse, this is supposed to be entertainment right?
now, as far as what is more successful... i think power is more consistent, so it often times fares better in the tourney, winning more close games than a finesse team.
the great thing is when you get both, which we have had, but it's pretty friggin rare.

02-24-2009, 03:31 PM
I am a traditionalist in the fact I believe the game has become "way" to physical. I like the game to more ballet then football. To me it is a game of skill not brute force.

02-24-2009, 03:35 PM
I am a traditionalist in the fact I believe the game has become "way" to physical. I like the game to more ballet then football. To me it is a game of skill not brute force.

in theory. In reality, if you don't establish your game, your turf and your position, you seem to get pushed all over the lot.

Like the ad for the boxing match says, it's not your legs and it's not your punch, in the end, it's your heart that wins it in the end.

and if it's a puncher versus a fighter, a fighter wins every time. As long as there is heart in there, too.

Go Zags !

02-24-2009, 04:58 PM
our offense needs more finessing.

I miss the days when we always scored after a timeout, when we had multiple backdoor cuts, when we set screens four, five, six times in a possession running the flex and we'd get open looks for our jump shooters, and when we'd get oops to Calvary, Turiaf, Violette, and others after burning the defense on the high-low or on a backdoor cut.

For some reason our offense has seemed to lack the historical Gonzaga feel lately. It seems to be more hurly-burly, less choreographed; more braun, less brain.

02-24-2009, 07:50 PM
The excessive dribbling by Pargo gives the defense time to set up and limits the number of backdoor cuts and other creative plays, IMO.

02-24-2009, 08:04 PM
power in the post, finesse in the other four positions--i.e., last year's UCLA team.

02-24-2009, 08:43 PM
Blair at Pitt is the postcard of power. I agree with dim4. Power in the post and finesse around it. Blair is a beast! Gonzaga seems to recruit finesse. JP was the best power we have seen. This team is finesse. So I'll go with that this year. Yea thats the ticket.

02-24-2009, 09:49 PM
power in the post, finesse in the other four positions--i.e., last year's UCLA team.

Or like Kansas last year...that seemed to work out pretty well.

Aurther and Jackson for POWER, Chalmers, Rush, and Collins for finesse...pretty good blend!

02-25-2009, 09:39 AM
finnesse. I love to see great basketball. If I wanted to see a track meet spring is the season.

02-25-2009, 10:21 AM
A few weeks back I heard -- for the first time -- a radio personality refer to getting a set of players with a good skill/power mix...and it got me thinking. Said radio host was talking about the NHL, but it seemed to resonate well with where the Zags were (still are?) several weeks back when people were calling them soft.

Think of your best big man, Batista, and think about an incredible combination of power and skill. Soft hands, great touch, perfect footwork, and a good knowledge of the timing needed to seal off his man.

But make no mistake about it...JP was a bull inside, a force of raw power to strike fear in the hearts of any defender in the country.

No player is perfect, and few arrive on campus with complete skill sets. The more I think about it, the more I realize that this finesse/power mix (obviously different for different positions) is a big thing that every coach is looking for in a recruit, and one that must be addressed on a team-wide basis as well as an individual position/player basis.

This answer may be side-stepping BZ's original question, but I think the perfect team has a combination of skill/finesse and power. A couple of bigs that can do both...a couple that naturally powerful to bring in as needed; a couple of silky smooth forwards, a couple of rebound hounds; a pargo-esque powerful point guard, a pure shooter, a couple of combos. You need them all to be able to compete against so many different styles of play.

02-25-2009, 10:33 AM
It's rarely "either" "or" in anything. Good teams have this mix or blend so they can turn one or the other up depending on the opponent and the flow of the game. IMO great teams have plenty of both. This year, GU is a bit short on the power side. If this team does well, it'll have to be finesse. Good passing, limited TO's, good FT shooting, rebounds (don't need a bull to do this effectively), defense, etc.

I like the finesse part. I'd also like to see fewer mistakes.particularly mental ones. Not sure where this might fit.....probably neither. In the college game, I do think finesse is better. Think back to the Celtics. Always finesse and they won plenty.The power game is good but the finesse teams make me smile more.

02-25-2009, 10:41 AM
As long as there is heart in there, too.

Go Zags !

Power teams like Georgetown way back when, Michigan St. with Izzo, Larry Johnson's UNLV teams, I loved watching them, they Won a lot of big games that way, national championships...but also lost some to what could easily be argued as more finesse oriented teams: Villanova and Duke come to mind. Loved Jimmy V's boys, and if forced to choose, I'd say they were more finesse oriented even tho he fielded tough teams, more boxer than puncher, to go with gamagin's theme.

So I do like both approaches, respect both ways, and like others have said, a good blend seems ideal, whether in a player (like KU's Collins) or in a team's concept. Al McGuire (master of the intangibles) is my all time favorite coach, and I'd say he was great at the blend in his day.

Check out Pitt's Sam Young, brings amazing NBA level finesse to the floor on a power team; reminds me of what Morris Peterson gave Mich St. a few years ago (different players but similar impacts for their teams).

But Heart, or toughness...that's in power players/teams and finesse players/teams or it's not. I like teams and players that display it, however they play. Not trying to be out of the box, but that's what I like.

That's why I love our Zags. Quentin driving down the lane armed with the team's heart, Casey in support with insane power desire...and the softest touch!

hooked me like a Coach Few woolly bugger!


02-25-2009, 11:22 AM
I would much rather have mental toughness (yes, I know it is the buzz-word on the boards lately). I really think it doesnt matter if a team is finesse or powerful. As long as the team has the mental toughness, confidence, swagger, then that team will do well. A team that comes to mind our old GU teams. We had a great mix with the guards and bigs, but I really think the best thing about those teams is that they were incredibly tough, they just HATED to lose.