Basketball IQ

#1
I am starting to cringe every time I hear this phrase. It is over used and of not much consequence. Few players make it in the NBA without it.
Very few really stand out because of it. Trae Young might be one of those players.
 
#2
I am starting to cringe every time I hear this phrase. It is over used and of not much consequence. Few players make it in the NBA without it.
Very few really stand out because of it. Trae Young might be one of those players.
And then there are those who never could realize their potential because of a lack of it. Like one Tyreke Evans.
 
#4
I am starting to cringe every time I hear this phrase. It is over used and of not much consequence. Few players make it in the NBA without it.
Very few really stand out because of it. Trae Young might be one of those players.
I differ. The Warriors won a few championships because of it. The Warriors were special because of their hoops IQ. They knew where they needed to be, played within themselves, and executed on both sides of the ball.

I do think there are different degrees of hoops IQ. I think I know what you mean here, but knowing the difference between a good and a bad play is different than being able to slow the game down and execute the right play, at the right time, while in the heat of battle. Some players have the ability to execute in real time--like Mike Bibby while others have shown time and again that they don't--like Mr. Buddy Hield.

I get it. One of my first memories of organized hoops was playing in a gym, bringing the ball up, and the first thing I hear is some dudes in the stands saying get up on him, he has no handles. It took all of my power to not turn around and give those dudes the finger--being in the moment is different than watching the game from distance. But, if you're an NBA player with aspirations to be elite and a champion, that's the standard that you're held to.
 
#5
I differ. The Warriors won a few championships because of it. The Warriors were special because of their hoops IQ. They knew where they needed to be, played within themselves, and executed on both sides of the ball.

I do think there are different degrees of hoops IQ. I think I know what you mean here, but knowing the difference between a good and a bad play is different than being able to slow the game down and execute the right play, at the right time, while in the heat of battle. Some players have the ability to execute in real time--like Mike Bibby while others have shown time and again that they don't--like Mr. Buddy Hield.

I get it. One of my first memories of organized hoops was playing in a gym, bringing the ball up, and the first thing I hear is some dudes in the stands saying get up on him, he has no handles. It took all of my power to not turn around and give those dudes the finger--being in the moment is different than watching the game from distance. But, if you're an NBA player with aspirations to be elite and a champion, that's the standard that you're held to.
Concur. Moreover, I would say there are a fair number of NBA players that don’t have great BBQ or “feel for the game”. One may score a lot of points for a bad to mediocre team without really having a good feel for the game. Now, a low BBQ guy being your high scorer is probably why that team is mediocre or worse. Most people just look at the point totals.

Of course, all these guys performed at lower levels and would absolutely wax everyone at the local pickup game. It’s not to say they are unskilled.
 
#6
I am starting to cringe every time I hear this phrase. It is over used and of not much consequence. Few players make it in the NBA without it.
Very few really stand out because of it. Trae Young might be one of those players.
I’m sorry but as someone with sons and daughters that have participated in team sports at the collegiate level and two at the professional level... this might be the dumbest post I have ever seen.

If you misspoke I apologize but IQ in any team sport is of great consequence and often separates the great players from the average.
 
#7
I am starting to cringe every time I hear this phrase. It is over used and of not much consequence. Few players make it in the NBA without it.
Very few really stand out because of it. Trae Young might be one of those players.
Like all attributes, it's relative. The bell curve for the NBA is pretty flattened out due to the value of size and athleticism. Some BBIQ is wisdom, some of it genetic. It's definitely a valid attribute for assessing the value of a player tho. That being said, I think Bogdan and Giles have the highest on the team.
 
#8
BB IQ is a nebulous term and absolutely over used to describe plays or player. People use lack of experience against a player and say he lacks IQ. Well, IQ measurement comes from a standardized testing. What's the test? There is none. We're providing our opinion on a player which will inherently include our biases.

People learn to play the game based on their physical talents or limitations. Taller American players usually lack some knowledge of the intricacies of the game because they were always able to use their size as their weapon. When they get to the NBA and have to play grown men, they must adjust their game. This isn't a lack of intelligence or IQ. The OP is absolutely correct in saying that to get to the NBA, the vast majority have a pretty good grasp on the game. What they don't have a grasp of is how to use their bodies and skills against grown men who are just as big and usually stronger than them and have far greater experience.

What you'll find is that international players have this magical IQ thing because they have been playing against grown men since they 13 or 14 years old. It's a different process, not a permanent mental disability.
 
#9
Basketball IQ is extremely important. Without it you wont be a great player even if you had all the tools neccesary. Lebron is 35 years old but with his exceptional basketball IQ he can still be a top 3 player in the league. Even last year when he really didnt put effort in defense, he was still a net positive defender because his bbiq allowed him to be in the right place often enough.

Zach Lavine lacks basketball iq so even if he puts up 20 points a game he doesnt contribute to winning. He doesnt rotate correctly on defense and he doesnt make the correct play offensively often/fast enough.

Basketball IQ is one of the most important abilities a player can have. Athletisim alone wont make you great and there are tons of individual examples on that. Average basketball IQ wont make you great. Being great usually requires great bbiq and then enough athletisim to put that IQ to use.
 
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#10
Ehh, I can't agree with this. Basketball IQ is very real and very important. The most clear example? Willie Cauley-Stein. Yes he's lazy, but he also has next to zero IQ. All the physical traits you could ask for and no idea how to use them.
 
#11
BB IQ is a nebulous term and absolutely over used to describe plays or player. People use lack of experience against a player and say he lacks IQ. Well, IQ measurement comes from a standardized testing. What's the test? There is none. We're providing our opinion on a player which will inherently include our biases.

People learn to play the game based on their physical talents or limitations. Taller American players usually lack some knowledge of the intricacies of the game because they were always able to use their size as their weapon. When they get to the NBA and have to play grown men, they must adjust their game. This isn't a lack of intelligence or IQ. The OP is absolutely correct in saying that to get to the NBA, the vast majority have a pretty good grasp on the game. What they don't have a grasp of is how to use their bodies and skills against grown men who are just as big and usually stronger than them and have far greater experience.

What you'll find is that international players have this magical IQ thing because they have been playing against grown men since they 13 or 14 years old. It's a different process, not a permanent mental disability.
No, good American players are playing against grown men from age 13-14 all the time in pickup or summer pro-am type games. The above is erroneous in its conclusion.
 
#12
Ehh, I can't agree with this. Basketball IQ is very real and very important. The most clear example? Willie Cauley-Stein. Yes he's lazy, but he also has next to zero IQ. All the physical traits you could ask for and no idea how to use them.
Sometimes I find myself wondering what WCS would be like with Draymond Green IQ and instincts. He would probably be the best defender this league has ever seen.
 
#13
If IQ were about "experience" WCS/DMC/Mclemore/Jason Thompson/TRob would all be exceptional high IQ players by now hell even everyone's favorite Javale McGee would be a MVP candidate. It's something you are born with and can marginally at best improve. There's plenty of people that play basketball for 20+ years and still don't "get it".

There is nothing "magical" about it most international players e.g Luka have to have amazing IQ just so they can compete at the NBA level. Guys who are solid athlete's by NBA standards and elite by international e.g Hezonja/Jan Vesaly are absolute garbage once they come to the NBA because the IQ is average at best and they cannot bully/blow by people like they did in lesser competitions.

It's also why Andre Miller can play 20 years and Ricky Rubio who can't shoot is always a starting PG while Dennis Smith Jr might be out of the L soon despite having every single physical/skill advantage.
 
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kingsboi

Hall of Famer
#16
having good basketball IQ can make a player that isn't reliant on athletic ability to become a good player, it's a necessary skill to have if you want to have a successful team in my opinion
 
#17
BB IQ is a nebulous term and absolutely over used to describe plays or player. People use lack of experience against a player and say he lacks IQ. Well, IQ measurement comes from a standardized testing. What's the test? There is none. We're providing our opinion on a player which will inherently include our biases.

People learn to play the game based on their physical talents or limitations. Taller American players usually lack some knowledge of the intricacies of the game because they were always able to use their size as their weapon. When they get to the NBA and have to play grown men, they must adjust their game. This isn't a lack of intelligence or IQ. The OP is absolutely correct in saying that to get to the NBA, the vast majority have a pretty good grasp on the game. What they don't have a grasp of is how to use their bodies and skills against grown men who are just as big and usually stronger than them and have far greater experience.

What you'll find is that international players have this magical IQ thing because they have been playing against grown men since they 13 or 14 years old. It's a different process, not a permanent mental disability.
Actually it is not that nebulous. IQ is simply the ability to process a chaotic situation with multiple actors and to be able to instantaneously anticipate from that chaos where teammates and opponents will be. If you want to read about people who have studied it then read the Sports Gene as it talks about what separates top athletes and their ability to at a glance know exactly where each person on the playing field resides. While practice and repetition can help you become better, hence the 10,000 hours comment, it has been proven that some have an aptitude and others do not.
 
#18
I am starting to cringe every time I hear this phrase. It is over used and of not much consequence. Few players make it in the NBA without it.
Very few really stand out because of it. Trae Young might be one of those players.
You obviously need a certain level of IQ to get your foot in the door but being successful takes a whole other level. Being able to think ahead and anticipate are two extremely important factors. If Holmes has to rotate over to protect the rim, are you instinctually going over to box out his man or are you just standing there watching because you're still guarding 'your guy'? Things like that are the difference in low and high IQ at the nba level. When you get an entire team playing as a cohesive unit like that, it makes you very hard to beat.
 
#19
Subtlties in the defensive scheme are coached. You have to decide if you are a switching team, a help team or a don't leave your man no matter team. Few players make it to the NBA without understanding how the game works. Some players are more coachable than others. Very few players have a "low BB IQ" that keeps them from being good players. I think the concept is over rated by a mile. Some guys are young and have to learn that what they did in college does not work as well in the NBA. Some guys have to learn to share the ball more. Many college players are not very good defensive players at first when they join the league. All of these things have little to do with IQ. They have a lot to do with experience.
 
#20
The NBA is like any other job. Some people are smarter than others. You may need a certain level of intelligence to get hired but there are going to be people there that are much smarter than the average employee. Basketball is no different. Buddy is not a smart player but he makes up for it with effort and elite shooting. Ben McLemore is a really low IQ player who got through high school and college on shooting and athleticism. Joe Ingles is a very smart player who gets by on his IQ and his shooting despite his lack of athleticism. There's no reason why Ingles should be a better defender than McLemore. The difference is he's smarter, uses better technique and anticipates plays while it seems like McLemore can't think a second ahead and just reacts to what's going on. That's high basketball IQ and it's not something that every player has. Obviously people get better and smarter with experience but some people are just born with a higher intelligence level and no amount of work will ever allow you to surpass them.

Like I can't draw at all and even if I spent my entire life working on drawing, I'd still never be as good as that 10 year old in every 4th grade class that's already a good artist. Some things you're just born with.
 
#22
An interesting discussion. My premise is that nobody makes it to the NBA and stays there without a pretty high basketball IQ.
The game is somewhat complicated at this level. There are a lot of different defenses and offensive plays that many fans are not aware of.

Let me put it another way. Basketball IQ is very important, but the difference between most players at the NBA level is not that great.