The Cavaliers were down by three points with just over a minute remaining in the game, but Kyrie Irving hit a clutch three-pointer to tie the game. With just seconds remaining on the clock, LeBron James made an incredible block on Andre Iguodala’s layup attempt, securing the game for the Cavaliers. Cleveland won their first NBA championship in franchise history, and LeBron James was named the Finals MVP. These unforgettable moments are just a few examples of why the NBA continues to captivate us with its dramatic finishes. However, these endings are not just the result of individual brilliance, but also the culmination of teamwork, strategy, and perseverance. As fans, we will continue to relish buzzer-beaters and beyond, NBA’s Greatest Endings, and the incredible moments that define what makes the sport of basketball so special. The NBA has come a long way since its inception in 194 From the days of George Mikan and Bob Cousy to the current era of LeBron James and Steph Curry, the league has evolved dramatically.
One area where this evolution is particularly evident is in the offensive game, and more specifically, inside the paint. For many years, the paint (the area inside the free-throw line and around the basket) was where the big men dominated the game. Centers like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were unstoppable in the paint, using their size and strength to score at will. Guards and forwards would often avoid the area altogether, instead focusing on outside shooting or passing. However, in the 1990s, a new breed of player emerged that changed the game forever the athletic wing. Players like Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, and Shawn Kemp had the size and skill of a forward but the speed and agility of a best NBA information website guard. They could drive to the basket, dunk on defenders, and finish with ease in the paint. Suddenly, the rules of the game had shifted, and the paint was no longer solely the domain of the big men. The next evolution in the paint came with the rise of the pick-and-roll.
This offensive strategy involves one player (usually a guard) setting a screen for another player (usually a forward or center) and then rolling towards the basket for a pass. The pick-and-roll creates confusion for the defense, as they must decide whether to switch or double-team the ball handler, leaving the roller open for an easy basket. Teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have used the pick-and-roll to dominate opponents in recent years, with players like Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh excelling at the strategy. But the most recent shift in the paint has been the rise of the stretch four and small ball. These are players who can play both inside and outside, with the ability to shoot three-pointers as well as drive to the basket. Teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets have led the way in this style of play, with players like Klay Thompson, James Harden, and Draymond Green able to stretch the defense and create open shots for themselves and their teammates.