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Friday, June 21, 2013

[OT] NBA draft and off season thread

Now that the season is actually over, I imagine only 8-10 primates here would actually care about the NBA.

we won’t detract from what this site is really about: Big Brother and XBox One

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Now that the season is actually over, I imagine only 8-10 primates here would actually care about the NBA.

we won’t detract from what this site is really about: Big Brother and XBox One

RollingWave Posted: June 21, 2013 at 01:16 AM | 2938 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft, nba, ot

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   1. Benji Posted: June 22, 2013 at 01:29 AM (#4475624)
Please, let the DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors be true! I don't care who they get. I've disliked some Royals-KC-Sac King players in the past (Jim Fox, Matt Goukas, Bill Robinzine, Steve Johnson spring to mind) but I hate watching Cousins. That constant crying face, argiung EVERY call, foolish shots and passes at the worst times, everything about him. I have seen him compared to Derrick Coleman, which is a good comp, but I consider him a hybrid of DC, Roy Tarpley and John Brisker.
   2. Maxwn Posted: June 22, 2013 at 03:47 AM (#4475628)
I won't claim to be an expert on the situation, but I've gotta say, I look at a 22-yr-old 6-11 PF/C putting up a 20+ PER 2 straight years on a shitty team and I think "That guy is not the problem." Particularly when it's not only a bad team, it has been one of the most clownshoes organizations in the league in recent history. The Kings can do what they want, but if he's on the market and I'm the Grizzlies, I'd pick up the phone.

I'll give you Tayshaun Prince for him. He's a good guy, veteran leader, doesn't have a crying face. Just the same face, all the time.
   3. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 22, 2013 at 05:26 AM (#4475637)
I don't think they would have a problem with the Rockets or Spurs defensively if they had played them, Cartwright, Longley, Grant and Rodman were all fine defenders and some of their bench guys like Scott Williams weren't bad either. More interesting is that didn't have to play any really great defensive centers.

Patrick Ewing is somewhere sobbing uncontrollably right now.
   4. RollingWave Posted: June 22, 2013 at 05:58 AM (#4475641)
I think there is a difference between him and Coleman, Coleman really doesn't care, Cousins do, he comes off as a very good person in interview, having emotion control issue in your early 20s shouldn't be a huge red flag.

I would point out that Cousins' isn't much of a defensive anchor, so having him as your primary C is a bit of a problem unless you have some ultra shot blocking PF with him. but hell yeah if you pair him up with a Marc Gasol that's just unreal.

As for the draft, I think this is a weird one, I really don't like most of the guys projecting to go early and like a lot of guys projecting to go late. I have a feeling that Len and Muhammad are going to be epic busts while some of the later guys would turn out really good.

I have a personal favorite in Rice Jr. that's probably not super rational, his foot speed worries me against NBA wings, but man if a guy can hit deep 3s and elevate against anyone, there should always be a spot for him unless he shoots someone (which of course, is a legit risk for him.) but I sure don't see why anyone would take Shabazz Muhammad over him.



(Also, can anyone with mod power edit the OP to clean it up, for some reason it's a mess.)


   5. AROM Posted: June 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4475681)
"Patrick Ewing is somewhere sobbing uncontrollably right now."

And Alonzo is in Mourning. If those 2 don't count as great defensive centers, then nobody does outside of Russell and Mutombo.
   6. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4475687)
Seriously. Jordan's unquestionably the best ever at his position, and arguably the best ever at any position. There's only three or four other players we can say that about. Using that as a standard for what qualifies as fair competition for Jordan's Bulls seems pretty rough on your regular Hall-of-Fame guys.
   7. Booey Posted: June 22, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4475711)
I've never understood the "great center" argument against Chicago. I've heard people say that the Bulls lucked out by not having to play against Robinson or Olajuwon. Why? Those guys were great, but they weren't unbeatable. If lesser teams than Chicago could beat them, then why couldn't the Bulls? As much as I love my Jazz, I know they weren't as good as the 90's Bulls, yet they eliminated Dream and Admiral from the playoffs 3 times apiece. If the Jazz could beat the Rockets and Spurs and the Bulls could beat the Jazz, why shouldn't we conclude that the Bulls would've beat those teams as well?
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 22, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4475731)
I've never understood the "great center" argument against Chicago. I've heard people say that the Bulls lucked out by not having to play against Robinson or Olajuwon. Why?

For the record, what I've said is that by not having had to play against opponents like the 80's Celtics/Lakers/Sixers, or some of the more recent juggernaut teams, the Bulls weren't fully tested. I never said anything about the mid-90's Rockets, and I never said that it's a given that the Bulls couldn't have beaten any of those abovenamed teams. Perhaps they could have and perhaps they couldn't have, and my only point is that it's a shame we'll never know one way or the other.
   9. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 22, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4475743)
This may seem crazy but for fun I would put rodman on lebron for part of the game just to mess with him and get in his head.
   10. Booey Posted: June 22, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4475745)
#8 - Sorry, I should've been more clear. I wasn't referring specifically to your posts. I've just heard that argument a lot over the years and never understood it. Especially the people who say the Bulls were lucky to avoid the Rockets. I don't see the Rockets as being any better than the other Western teams Chicago beat. They just had better timing during their Finals runs.
   11. Benji Posted: June 22, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4475749)
With all due respect to those defending Cousins, I masochistically watch the Kings 82 times a year. He can fill up the stat sheet, especially the turnover slot (in the last 2 minutes), but so does whoever he "guards". He pisses off the refs by crying about every play, glares at his teammates whenever they mess up and thinks he is intimidating the opponent, who are more than happy to parade to the foul line. When the stat crew took out the dunks and tip ins he barely shot 40%. If he goes somewhere else and succeeds, oh well, but he'll never lead the Kings anywhere, except for the most coaches fired record.
   12. The District Attorney Posted: June 22, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4475760)
If [Cousins] goes somewhere else and succeeds, oh well, but he'll never lead the Kings anywhere, except for the most coaches fired record.
Probably. So if they trade him for what his worth is to another team rather than what his worth is to them, that'd be fine...
   13. Spivey Posted: June 22, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4475761)
The Rockets and Spurs were usually in the discussion for best teams in the west, but those teams were all pretty equal.

I think it's a testament to Robinson and Olajuwon they were able to be in those discussions. Most of the other teams had 2 really good players. These guys didn't (though Olajuwon had Drexler for a couple of years).
   14. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: June 22, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4475778)
For the record, what I've said is that by not having had to play against opponents like the 80's Celtics/Lakers/Sixers, or some of the more recent juggernaut teams, the Bulls weren't fully tested.

Who do you define as the more recent juggernaut teams? Which of them do you consider better than anyone the Bulls faced?

Please, let the DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors be true

My idea: the Kings should trade Cousins and Salmons to the Cavs for Tristan Thompson and a top-3 protected 2014 pick. Then they can start over with a young defensive-minded big man, max cap space to lure free agents or more likely take on salary in trade, and an early to mid 1st rounder in next year's supposedly strong draft. The Cavs would then draft Nerlens Noel, who'd fit perfectly with Cousins and make Thompson superfluous anyway. After locking up Cousins and giving away Varejao, the Cavs would still have $20 million to spend next summer, resulting in a lineup of Irving, Waiters, 2014 FA small forward, Noel, and Cousins. LeBron would fit pretty well in that SF spot, wouldn't he?
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 22, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4475814)
For the record, what I've said is that by not having had to play against opponents like the 80's Celtics/Lakers/Sixers, or some of the more recent juggernaut teams, the Bulls weren't fully tested.

Who do you define as the more recent juggernaut teams? Which of them do you consider better than anyone the Bulls faced?


I think that there were 5 subsequent teams that would have given the Jordan/Pippen Bulls all that they could handle: The Shaq/Kobe Lakers of 00-02; the 03 Spurs; the 08 Celtics; the 09-10 Lakers; and the 12-13 Heat. Match the Jordan/Pippen Bulls against any of those teams, and I'd bet on a seven game series, with momentum swings similar to this year's finals. I'd also take any of those teams against any of the Bulls' opponents of the 90's.
   16. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 22, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4475844)
[15] Don't remember exact roster compositions and the like, but off the top of my head I'm fairly certain that the '03 Spurs were the worst Spurs championship team statistically speaking. And I'm not sure what the numbers say, but I don't recall being particulary impressed by the '09 and '10 Lakers (other than them being the champs I never thought of them as a particularly noteworthy squad that would go into the annals. In a sense, I feel like they lucked into matchups because if that dream Kobe-LeBron final had ever occurred I was confident then that the Cavs would beat them).
   17. rr Posted: June 22, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4475853)
The Cavs might have beaten them, but the 2009 Lakers were extremely good. 3rd in O, 6th in D, 65-17 with a 61-21 PYTH. Cleveland's data like that was similar, but the West was a little tougher. For people who like SRS, Cleveland was first and the Lakers were 3rd.

However, given how the non-LeBron guys and Mike Brown were exposed in postseason, I think your confidence in Cleveland's winning that matchup is very misplaced. The Lakers also, FWIW, beat the Cavs by 10 and by 17 when they played them that year. Boston fans have a better what-if narrative for that year than James fans do, and while the Lakers caught some breaks (as James himself said after Game 7, you always need a little luck) the Lakers were clearly as good as any team in the NBA that year and were a top-level squad.

In 2010, though, as I have said, the Lakers were fortunate in many respects and were just a very good team. They missed Dallas, they missed San Antonio, Utah's big guys were hurt, they barely avoided a game 7 with OKC. Phil shut Kobe down late, but they got HCA in the Finals anyway when Boston won the East and obviously, they needed it. I have never been sold on the Perkins narrative, since it was just one game and Perkins was not that good even then, but given how the game went down, I certainly understand why Boston fans would focus on it.
   18. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 22, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4475916)
Good catch on '09, rr. Like I said, I was going off memory, and I was definitely wrong there.
   19. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: June 22, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4475972)
For the record, what I've said is that by not having had to play against opponents like the 80's Celtics/Lakers/Sixers, or some of the more recent juggernaut teams, the Bulls weren't fully tested.


Who do you define as the more recent juggernaut teams? Which of them do you consider better than anyone the Bulls faced?


The 95-96 Magic with Shaq, Hardaway, and Anderson were as good as any.
   20. rr Posted: June 22, 2013 at 11:26 PM (#4476011)
Orlando was very good in 1996, but they were only 12th in D that year. Couple of basic numbers:

SRS/ORTG/DRTG/PYTH

96 CHI 11.80/115.2(1)/101.8(1)/70-12
86 BOS 9.06/111.8(3)/102.6(1)/63-19

Simmons also said that the 86 Celtics eased up on the throttle late, whereas the Bulls were thinking 70 from the time they got Rodman, so they played hard almost to the wire.
   21. rr Posted: June 22, 2013 at 11:34 PM (#4476013)
Buzz in LA internetland is that Byron Scott is the frontrunner for the Clippers' job.
   22. villainx Posted: June 23, 2013 at 12:07 AM (#4476020)
For the record, what I've said is that by not having had to play against opponents like the 80's Celtics/Lakers/Sixers, or some of the more recent juggernaut teams, the Bulls weren't fully tested.

I would include the Pistons in there too. If folks want to lament Chicago pre/post Rodman not battling juggernauts, Jordon's ascension came as the Pistons broke down.
   23. Maxwn Posted: June 23, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4476025)
Buzz in LA internetland is that Byron Scott is the frontrunner for the Clippers' job.

This seems like an odd choice to me. His record is not exactly awe-inspiring from my perspective. I assume that Paul is probably driving this decision though, so that is more understandable.
   24. rr Posted: June 23, 2013 at 02:59 AM (#4476046)
Just in the "sources" stage; may be nothing there.
   25. PJ Martinez Posted: June 23, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4476289)
Woj says Clippers called Celtics back and offered a 2014 1st-rounder for Doc. Supposedly deal now nearing completion. (Obviously, we've heard that one before.)

Update: "Clippers, Celtics are agreeing upon a 2015 unprotected first-round pick, league source tells Y! Rivers, Clippers still finalizing contract." (Woj on Twitter)
   26. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 23, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4476307)
Alright Chris Paul. Houston awaits.
   27. PJ Martinez Posted: June 23, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4476312)
"Sources tell ESPN that Clips believe CP3 will soon notify them that deal w/Doc Rivers' clinches his signature on new five-year max deal July 1."
   28. rr Posted: June 23, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4476337)
http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9415256/los-angeles-clippers-verge-landing-doc-rivers-sources-say

One source with knowledge of the NBA’s thinking told ESPN.com that the league does not intend to change its stance as expressed by Stern in multiple radio interviews Thursday, meaning that the league would view any subsequent trade agreement between the Celtics and Clippers involving Garnett to be part of the Rivers deal and thus in violation of league rules
   29. RollingWave Posted: June 23, 2013 at 09:02 PM (#4476372)
that's pretty absurd, if you trade Garnett for DeAndre Jordan strait up that is hardly a ridiculs value stand point trade.

If your not going to allow that, you better veto the Doc trade to begin with.

   30. Maxwn Posted: June 23, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4476380)
that's pretty absurd, if you trade Garnett for DeAndre Jordan strait up that is hardly a ridiculs value stand point trade.

If your not going to allow that, you better veto the Doc trade to begin with.

This is non-responsive to why the league says they are doing this. As far as I can tell from what's been reported, their objections have nothing to do with whether the deal is a fair exchange of value but are instead due to trading players for coaches being against the league rules. I have no idea if that is actually true, though the league seems to think so. I also have no opinion on whether that rule is a good rule or not. But if it is against the league rules, then its against the rules and that's just how it goes. Teams should be familiar with the fact that you can only make trades that are legal under the CBA. If this one isn't, then you can't do it and the Clips and Celtics ###### up by not structuring this legally from the beginning. If it isn't against the rules and Stern is just making this up, then that would be ridiculous and shouldn't be allowed, but I haven't seen anyone report that yet.

To summarize, rules is rules. Unless this isn't a rule, in which case I don't know what Stern is doing.
   31. JJ1986 Posted: June 23, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4476402)
I can understand a rule against trading players for coaches, but I think you have to ban trading draft picks for coaches too then. Otherwise you can trade coaches and players for the same thing (picks), but not for each other.
   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM (#4476416)
Say what you will about Bud, but at least he doesn't interfere with perfectly reasonable trades like Stern does (CP3 deal, Doc deal), despite pressure to do so.
   33. rr Posted: June 23, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4476435)
I think the Garnett thing may be a little tricky for LeStern, if I am reading it right. Here is another excerpt:

League and teams sources also confirmed that for now, any deal involving Garnett and the Clippers is on hold in light of commissioner David Stern's objections to the appearance that the KG deal (for DeAndre Jordan) and Rivers were related.


So, ISTM that if the Clippers trade a pick a for Rivers on June 23, and then, say, trade DJordan + a couple of picks for Garnett on July 8, that technically, under the rules, that would be OK--what Stern is objecting to is the "appearance" that the deals are connected. Now, clearly, they would be connected, but OTOH, the Clippers and Celtics could argue, if they wanted to, that each deal was legit on the merits/rules and therefore should be allowed. This would leave Stern in "Doing whatever the F he wants based on what he sees as the 'best interests of the game' territory." He could still do it, of course, but it doesn't sound to me like he could point at the league rules and bylaws and say, "See, you can't do that. Look at Section 15.7.3.c right there" based on what I am reading. Also, it says "for now." Does that mean it will be OK if they do it in October, when the "appearance" would be "different?"

   34. Maxwn Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM (#4476459)
I think the Garnett thing may be a little tricky for LeStern, if I am reading it right. Here is another excerpt:

I think it probably won't be. I suspect this thing is more or less over. All the problems you refer to are certainly possible, but they are contingent on the Clips or Celtics deciding to raise hell about this. I am thinking that probably won't happen. Somebody earlier today, though I can't remember who, tweeted something to the effect that the teams understood that it wasn't gonna be allowed and were moving on. I guess that could turn out to be false, but I doubt that they go to war over this. Instructive in this case is the fact that the Chris Paul fiasco, which was a way dicier intervention in my opinion, more or less went down without resistance within the league as far as I can tell. There was a lot of hell raised about that by the media and the fans, but nothing substantial ever really went down between the league office and the team ownerships, as I recall.

The upper echelons of NBA management is a pretty small community. I doubt the relationship between the teams and stern is that antagonistic. They probably ran the trade through, he said, "You can't do that, look at Section 15.7.3.c." And they said, "What if we did it in two deals?" and Stern said, "C'mon, man. That's still connected." and they said, "Yeah, ok, fair enough."

If they push this further, then I am wrong, but I bet they don't. I guess we will see.
   35. Manny Coon Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4476464)
"Patrick Ewing is somewhere sobbing uncontrollably right now."

And Alonzo is in Mourning. If those 2 don't count as great defensive centers, then nobody does outside of Russell and Mutombo.


I honestly forgot Mourning and the Bulls whipped his teams pretty good. I also forgot how good the 96-97 Heat were, they kind of came out of nowhere then pretty quickly slid back to being good but nothing special.

Was Ewing considered as good of a defender as Robinson/Olajuwon? He always seemed a lot slower to me, especially by the time the Knicks were going deep in the playoffs. His block and steal numbers certainly aren't as good.

I don't think the Bulls would have lost to the Spurs or Rockets, their supporting casts just weren't good enough, but I do think it would have been interesting and different matchup compared to the teams they did beat.
   36. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4476466)
What is the point of the rule, anyway? If the coach involved in the potential deal is cool with going to the new team, why should anybody care? And, on th level of the exchange of assets, a "Jordan and 2015 unprotected 1st round pick" for Rivers and Garnett seems fine to me...

BTW, I love that Celtics GM Danny Ainge is now so set on rebuilding the franchise that he is willing to trade anybody who he thinks has ANY trade value whatsoever. It's like he was going through the roster, and then he figured out that his coach was his marketable commodity.

   37. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:25 AM (#4476468)
Should have traded Thibodeau when he had the chance.
   38. Maxwn Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:31 AM (#4476469)
What is the point of the rule, anyway?

Probably has something to do with the cap. I'm damned if I can figure out what, but this is sort of one of the consequences of having a super-complex set of rules about transactions. Any one of them in isolation may make no sense, but it's in there to close some loophole or something. Actually, even in context, it may make no sense, but somebody probably thought it helped at some point for some reason.
   39. rr Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4476476)
By "tricky" I didn't mean he can't do it. Like I said, I am sure that he can. I meant that I think there are reasons to question it, if the teams wanted to, which, as you said, they probably won't.

As far as the Lakers thing, I am sure that most teams in the league were glad Stern vetoed it, as Dan Gilbert obviously was. They may feel the same way about this. It would be more interesting if Cuban wanted to do it.



Ken Berger
?@KBergCBS
Agreement in principle for Doc Rivers to coach Clippers comes with understanding of no subsequent exchange of players between teams.
   40. Maxwn Posted: June 24, 2013 at 01:02 AM (#4476479)
As far as the Lakers thing, I am sure that most teams in the league were glad Stern vetoed it, as Dan Gilbert obviously was.

I actually meant that as far as I remember not even the Lakers or Rockets really fought him on it.
   41. AROM Posted: June 24, 2013 at 08:09 AM (#4476520)
If I'm Ainge, no way do I trade Garnett anyway. I've got an unprotected pick, I want the Clippers back in the lottery. I try and find some other team that might be attractive to CP3 and help them with find cap room.
   42. RollingWave Posted: June 24, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4476535)
I guess there is a possibility of Paul getting hurt, then the Clippers might fall into the lotto, which would be... hilarious.

   43. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 24, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4476536)
It'd be very Clippers, if nothing else.

**

Pelton, if you don't mind, how did Rice Jr's D-league numbers translate to the bigs this year? (Mind you, that he played a fair amount of four in small lineups might skew things.)
   44. PJ Martinez Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4476538)
Yeah, but with Garnett there's the possibility that he gets injured or even retires after next season, leaving the Clippers with a big whole at center. I think Ainge just needs to get as much value as he can from KG.

Which might mean keeping him, by the way. Jordan's a flawed player who makes a lot of money and is only signed for two more years. I wouldn't be distraught if that planned deal somehow went through after all, but I'm not disappointed that it didn't, either.

I'm happier that the Doc deal happened. On the offensive end, I'm not sure he ever got more out of these Celtics than the sum of their parts, and sometimes he seemed to get less. Curious to see what another coach can do (and for a lot less, presumably, than 7m/year).

Apparently Jackie McMullan said something on ESPN or ESPN radio about there being a chance that Ainge will coach the team himself next year. Didn't hear it, so I don't know if she was being semi-facetious or totally off-the-cuff or what.
   45. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4476539)
So anyway, back to the draft, I really like CJ McCollum as a mid-round sleeper. Great combo guard that should have an impact immediately.
Otto Porter will probably be the best overall player in this draft IMO. I don't see him making any All-NBA teams or anything though.
I think Cody Zeller and Trey Burke will be busts.
I'm warming to Shabazz Mohammed.
I think Ben McLemore is a pretty safe pick, but not much upside - he's a Danny Green type role player.
Nerlens Noel has all sorts of red flags for me, I don't think he has much of an offensive game.
Alex Len is intriguing but I know next to nothing about him and the videos don't show much.
Victor Oladipo is a shooting guard whose weakness is shooting. Sign me up!'
Late 1st rounders/2nd rounders that could be interesting - Tim Hardaway Jr., Jeff Withey, Colton Iverson.
   46. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4476540)
Was Ewing considered as good of a defender as Robinson/Olajuwon? He always seemed a lot slower to me, especially by the time the Knicks were going deep in the playoffs. His block and steal numbers certainly aren't as good.

The '90s Knicks were defensive monsters (especially the '93 Knicks) and Ewing was a HUGE part of that:
But what Ewing was was a magnificent defender, capable of dominating a game at that end of the floor...In 91-92, the Knicks had the 3rd-slowest pace factor in the NBA and the 2nd-best defense...True to form, NY returned in 1993 even tougher, winning 60 games and posting the league's 5th-best SRS on the strength of its #1 defense. In fact, their 99.7 DRtg was more than 5 points lower than that of the 2nd-best defense, the Sonics, and 8.3 points better than the league average; since DRtg became possible to calculate in 1974, only the 2004 Spurs and 2008 Celtics have outdefended the league average by that large a margin...But Michael Jordan's retirement prior to the 1994 season made the Knicks feel confident about their chances to finally get over the hump. Again, they were one of the league's slowest teams, again Ewing was the league's best defensive player (despite Hakeem Olajuwon winning DPOY)...Riley was a fantastic coach who was willing to adapt his methods to his personnel, and he molded them into an amazing defensive machine. Even after he left, Van Gundy was able to maintain a strong defensive identity in New York, partly because Ewing was one of the best defenders of his generation.
   47. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:21 AM (#4476541)
Was Ewing considered as good of a defender as Robinson/Olajuwon?


He was not, but was still considered a very good defensive center. He couldn't dominate with weak side help like Hakeem and Robinson because he lacked their mobility.
   48. JC in DC Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4476554)
Thanks for doing that, NJ. I loved Patrick and am a huge defender of his. He's severely underrated by many fans b/c he lacked the apparent athleticism of Olajuwon and Robinson and never won a ring. But Patrick never had a Duncan, like Robinson did, and I think it's hard to argue he had anything like a late-career Drexler. In addition, in this guy's opinion, I think he was a bit of the "N you love to hate," in NWA's words. He came out of the most arrogantly black college program in the country, and was taught to be tough and surly (with the press) by the great JT II. When he first burst onto the scene at the college level, he was a ferocious intimidator and god I loved watching those G'town games (especially the iconic G'town-UVa game [with the massively underrated and under-remembered Sampson]). I thought the key to Ewing's defense was how fundamentally sound he was on positioning, more than even his nasty shot-blocking. I think this is the key to the long-term success of his defense: even when his knees were failing him, he was a smart, sound, position defender. He had been taught and had learned very well. Centers weren't steals guys. They protected the rim and he did that as well as anyone I saw. He was not the showy shot-blocker Olajuwon was, especially after his first injury (which occurred his very first season). But he always was a great defender, and it's good to see some statistical support for that impression. It's remarkable to me that he never made the All-Defensive team.

   49. Spivey Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:51 AM (#4476557)
I apparently underrate Ewing's defense, looking at the stats. The stats show that Ewing, Olajuwon, and Robinson were all pretty even in that department.

Being born in 84, and spending the majority of time watching the western conference I mainly remember Ewing's decline phase.
   50. thok Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4476559)
and I think it's hard to argue he had anything like a late-career Drexler.


Which is relevant for the second Olajuwon title, but not the first. (The second best player on the 94's Rockets was Otis Thorpe, and the 94 Knicks had essentially the same player as their second best player in Charles Oakley.)
   51. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4476560)
I don't think Ewing was as good defensively as Olajuwon/Robinson either and am surprised to see Paine citing DRtg as evidence that Ewing was the league's best defender. The info used to produce that metric isn't nearly granular enough to support that use, in my opinion.
   52. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4476562)
[Ewing] was not the showy shot-blocker Olajuwon was

Do you think that all those goaltending calls he got in college might have caused Ewing to adjust his game, even prior to that injury you refer to?
   53. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4476565)
I started watching basketball during the '92-'93 season and that era is pretty much the only time I experienced..."joy"...as a Knicks fan so I'm very sensitive about those guys.
   54. JC in DC Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4476573)
I think Ewing was as good as those guys, so I'm happy to see any statistical support of that. Honest question: scrutinizing their rosters - would you rather have Olajuwon's or Ewing's (from '93-'94)? E.g., Kenny Smith and Mad Max, or Starks and Old Man Harper? Charles Smith and Oak, or Thorpe and Horry?
   55. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4476574)
Defensively or in aggregate?
   56. JC in DC Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4476575)
In aggregate.
   57. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4476579)
Random off-season question: how many games is LeBron, by himself, worth to a team?

I was thinking about it in the context of that little fantasy discussion we had about how cool it would be if LeBron just signed a series of one-year contracts for the rest of his career in order to win titles. Does LeBron, by himself, make a team a contender?

If you put James on last year's versions of the Cavs, Wizards or Bobcats, how good are those teams? Bottom-of-the-bracket playoff teams? Solid, mid-level playoff teams? Genuine contenders?

I do find it fairly striking that the Cavs went from a 61-win team to a 19-win team after LeBron left.
   58. AROM Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4476580)
Ewing's block averages were not quite as high as David and Hakeem, but not too far off. He blocked 327 shots one year. 300 blocks is something that hasn't happened in almost 10 years. His Knicks were one of the greatest defensive teams ever, better as a team than Robinson's or Olajuwon's were, and Patrick was the most important piece to the defense.

But not the only piece. Greg Anthony and Doc Rivers at the point were great defenders, so was John Starks, and the primary forwards were Oakley and Anthony Mason. A very, very physical group. Coached by Pat Riley, they took ugly basketball to a new level, beyond what the bad boy Pistons had done. It was ugly, but effective, and imitated. To the degree that iteventually resulted in rules changes.

I think it's pretty hard to say which of those centers was the best defensively. They were all great.
   59. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4476583)
so was John Starks

Out of all the Knicks of that era, he's the one I have the most questions about looking back (probably since he was my favorite player as a kid). For one, knowing what I know about offensive efficiency, I feel like he had way too large an offensive role. But as far as his defense I remember as a kid always hearing about how great he was but in retrospect, how good could he have been on that end considering he was undersized for the position and while he was athletic, he wasn't exceptionally so.
   60. jmurph Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4476584)
If you put James on last year's versions of the Cavs, Wizards or Bobcats, how good are those teams? Bottom-of-the-bracket playoff teams? Solid, mid-level playoff teams? Genuine contenders?


Wiz: contenders (but probably not good enough to win it all), Cavs, Bobcats: bottom of the bracket. Just my guesses.

If fully healthy for the entire year (a not totally reasonable standard, I realize), the Wiz were probably good enough to be the 8th seed. Definitely better than the Lebron/Varejao/filler Cavs teams Lebron took deep into the playoffs.
   61. AROM Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4476585)
Random off-season question: how many games is LeBron, by himself, worth to a team?


Just by his own play, probably 20-25. But he's worth even more than that considering the Ray Allens, Shane Battiers, and Birdmen who will follow him at rock bottom prices to chase rings.

Cleveland's 40 win drop was a bit exaggerated, as Shaq also left, and instead of making an effort to fit pieces around Lebron they started trading any assets and went into full tank mode.

Also: Consider Lebron adds 10 points to your differential. Say a 100 point/ 100 allowed team becomes 105/95 with him. The exponent to use for the NBA version of the pythagorean formula is 14. You can play around with those numbers to see that he adds more to a below average team than an already good team. For example, he could not have been worth more than 10 wins if prime Lebron was transported back in time to the 96 Bulls.
   62. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4476586)
56: Hmmm. Pretty close. Starks was, that year, probably the best player on either team who wasn't starting in the frontcourts, which is something.
I like the Rockets on offense, the Knicks on D, and probably the Rockets in aggregate - though the Knicks "played better" in terms of pythag.

58: I'm down with this comment (including the Ewing was a great defender bit - not trying to put him down). Harper was still a solid defender (particularly in that scheme) as well.
   63. JC in DC Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4476587)
NJ: I don't know what you mean by exceptional athleticism, but Starks was a great athlete, as you can tell from that incredible dunk over Grant in the playoffs. He has to be 30"+ off the ground. I think his D was overrated b/c the NY media made him into some kind of Jordan stopper, which he never was. He just wasn't long enough. Maybe that's what you mean: he doesn't have "length" which is such a feature of athletes today. But he was active and a solid defender.


Anthony was a great on-ball guy. Rivers was solid, but he was older by the time he came to NY. Unfortunately for Ewing, NY gave up on Jackson and Strickland too soon. I thought both of those guys were the best PGs Ewing ever had, despite the latter's baggage. (I actually have a fanboy fondness for Strickland. He could've been a great, great player.)
   64. AROM Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4476588)
Wiz: contenders (but probably not good enough to win it all)


Wizards were a .500 team (24-25) when John Wall was in the lineup. Add Lebron and I don't think anybody in the East can beat them. At least with the right coach. I'm skeptical that Randy Wittman would be that coach. Would not have been good enough to beat San Antonio.
   65. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4476589)
More on Ewing: my take at the time was that he's underrated on defense and overrated on offense.

What I liked about Starks (apart from the rags to riches bit) was his ability to create for others from the two - New York needed that.
   66. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4476591)
I don't know what you mean by exceptional athleticism, but Starks was a great athlete, as you can tell from that incredible dunk over Grant in the playoffs. He has to be 30"+ off the ground.

Getting 30" off the ground isn't that impressive an athletic display from an NBA 2-guard IMO. I can get 30" off the ground fairly easily.
   67. JC in DC Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4476597)
(A) I'd like to see that.
(B) I'm just estimating. Watch the tape. You've seen the tape. He was known for his athleticism and jumping ability. By all appearances, he was very athletic.
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4476599)
Getting 30" off the ground isn't that impressive an athletic display from an NBA 2-guard IMO. I can get 30" off the ground fairly easily.

And I used to be able to dunk a volleyball** when I was in 12th grade, but I'm not sure I would've been able to twist my way around and above Horace Grant to do it.

**Never could palm a basketball
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4476601)
(A) I'd like to see that.

Maybe he can accompany GoodFace to the BTF softball meetup in NYC and give everyone a demonstration.
   70. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4476603)
And Alonzo is in Mourning. If those 2 don't count as great defensive centers, then nobody does outside of Russell and Mutombo.

FWIW, the MJ Bulls beat Mutombo too.

Wizards were a .500 team (24-25) when John Wall was in the lineup. Add Lebron and I don't think anybody in the East can beat them. At least with the right coach. I'm skeptical that Randy Wittman would be that coach. Would not have been good enough to beat San Antonio.

Hmmm. They were 5th in DRtg, so they'd be a great defensive team. But they were last in ORtg. They don't have a lot of good pieces on offense to surround LBJ - almost no shooting. I think they'd be worse than any of the good LeBron Cavs teams. Pacers definitely would have beaten them. It would have been an epic struggle against the Bulls (like 60-55 final scores every game). I think the Knicks would have beaten them.
   71. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4476608)
Random off-season question: how many games is LeBron, by himself, worth to a team?

Depends very much on the team. LeBron can probably win 50+ with a bunch of scrubs, who would struggle to get to 20 with a replacement level player instead of LeBron. So on a team like that, maybe 35 wins. But add him to a team already good enough to win 50+, and he probably won't take them past the mid 60's.

So in short, the better the team, the fewer wins he adds.
   72. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4476609)
[67, 68] I take that back. Checked some sources and I'm estimating my current vert to be about 28" My point remains that I don't think Starks was a particularly noteworthy athlete at the wing. Perhaps I'm wrong. And I do remember reading/hearing about how he was more athletic prior to his knee injury.
   73. Kurt Posted: June 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4476611)
Does LeBron, by himself, make a team a contender?


Considering the supporting cast he took to the Finals at age 22, I would say yes, he could join any team and make them a legit contender.

Hmmm. They were 5th in DRtg, so they'd be a great defensive team. But they were last in ORtg. They don't have a lot of good pieces on offense to surround LBJ - almost no shooting. I think they'd be worse than any of the good LeBron Cavs teams. Pacers definitely would have beaten them. It would have been an epic struggle against the Bulls (like 60-55 final scores every game). I think the Knicks would have beaten them.


They'd need a healthy Beal also; he could certainly handle the shooting if he's on the floor.

So in conclusion, all the Wizards need is for Wall to stay healthy, Beal to stay healthy and LeBron.
   74. AROM Posted: June 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4476614)
Starks is listed at 6'3, which is my height. I can get my fingers on an 8 foot rim, so I need about 24 inches to get to the 10 foot rim (which I can still do) and about 30 to dunk (I used to be able to dunk, but only in practice, never over another player, and certainly never over a 6'9 forward).

My guess is Starks was closer to 40 inches in vertical. He was probably 30 off the ground at the moment he dunked it, but would have needed more air than that to get into such position in the first place.
   75. AROM Posted: June 24, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4476615)
Martell Webster had a fine season shooting 3's. I'd have Lebron playing the 4, Webster and Beal ready to shoot, and Wall driving to the rim when the defense overplays James.
   76. AROM Posted: June 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4476620)
Just watched The Dunk on youtube. Starks was not too far off from hitting his head on the rim. If he had done that, he'd have to have 45 inches of leap. So I stand by my guess of 40 inches.

Lebron at 6'8 needs only 40 inches to hit his head on the rim. I don't know if he's done that (ouch), but many times you can see he's around eye level with the rim.
   77. JC in DC Posted: June 24, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4476644)
And, IIRC, Starks was not really 6'3", but closer to under 6'2". I've stood next to Allen Iverson before, and he's shorter than I am (I'm just under 6'1", he was easy an inch shorter). But, anyway, I stand by my point about length. Starks didn't have length, which I think bleeds today into our conception of athleticism. He was a very good athlete (at least), but I agree NJ his D must've been a bit overvalued given the lack of length on the wing.
   78. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4476647)
Starks is listed at 6'3, which is my height. I can get my fingers on an 8 foot rim, so I need about 24 inches to get to the 10 foot rim (which I can still do) and about 30 to dunk (I used to be able to dunk, but only in practice, never over another player, and certainly never over a 6'9 forward).


Yeah, I don't get NJ in NY's assessment of Starks either. I'll add part of the 92 Dunk contest (last 30 seconds). Not the greatest objective arbiter of his jumping ability, but mediocre athletes under 6'7" don't make the dunk contest or do casual reverses.
   79. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4476656)
Honest question: scrutinizing their rosters - would you rather have Olajuwon's or Ewing's (from '93-'94)? E.g., Kenny Smith and Mad Max, or Starks and Old Man Harper? Charles Smith and Oak, or Thorpe and Horry?

I think it's basically a push, but more importantly, how can you leave out Sam Cassell and Anthony Mason? Both of those guys seem to be massively underrated historically. Mason especially always impressed me as an opposing fan with his strength and toughness combined with a guard's handle. I'm trying to think of a present-day comp and coming up empty. In terms of impact, I'd say he was very similar to Kirilenko, though since he used strength rather than athleticism on D, his steal and block numbers are much lower.

I think that there were 5 subsequent teams that would have given the Jordan/Pippen Bulls all that they could handle: The Shaq/Kobe Lakers of 00-02; the 03 Spurs; the 08 Celtics; the 09-10 Lakers; and the 12-13 Heat. Match the Jordan/Pippen Bulls against any of those teams, and I'd bet on a seven game series, with momentum swings similar to this year's finals. I'd also take any of those teams against any of the Bulls' opponents of the 90's.

The 2000-02 Lakers and 2005-07 Spurs (not sure why you'd say 03; that team was Duncan and a bunch of role players) were legitimately great teams. I think they would offer interesting and entertaining matchups against the Bulls. The recent Celtics, Lakers, and Heat, however, were average title teams that you're vastly overrating. None of them made it through a playoffs with fewer than 7 losses. The Lakers with Kobe, Pau, and Bynum could've been better, but Bynum was never healthy in the playoffs so their dominance is more myth than historical fact.

If you're referring to the 1998 Bulls that had lost a bit of their peak performance, then perhaps those teams could compete. The 1996 and 1997 Bulls, however, were on a totally different level. They had 7 losses in those two years of playoffs combined. You might think that the Bulls faced weaker competition, but that would just be recency bias. In those seasons the Bulls never faced a team as bad as those the Heat faced in the first two rounds this year, whereas 5 of their opponents were substantially better than the 2013 Pacers.*

The Bulls faced teams with an elite defense along with good but not great offense, like the KG Celtics, and they had little difficulty beating them. This particularly applies to the 1996 Sonics and 1997 Heat. The Sonics trailed only the Bulls defensively but couldn't score enough in the Finals, only exceeding 90 points in game 4 when trailing 3-0. The Heat had the best defense in the league but only slightly above average offense. They scored 78.6 ppg against the Bulls.

The Lakers could've presented an unusual challenge at full strength, but Bynum was never healthy. As such, that team was no different from the 1996 Magic, with an outstanding offensive big man, one of the top few wings in the league (Kobe and Penny's numbers were essentially identical), and good role players. A couple of the games against the Magic were close, but it was not a tight series.

With respect to the Heat, the Eastern Conference has been an absolute trainwreck the past two years. This season, the Heat managed to make the playoffs compelling by turning Roy Hibbert into David Robinson. The Bulls never had the luxury of a very weak conference, and they dispatched their opponents much more handily anyway. I'd think that the current Heat would have trouble reaching the conference finals in the 90s, as Shaq, Ewing, Mourning, and even lesser names like Rik Smits and Brad Daugherty would destroy them inside. Based on the recent playoffs, they'd probably need to structure the lineup differently to contend. In terms of the specific matchup between the Bulls and current Heat, it would be pretty much a perfect matchup for the Bulls. They'd crush Miami on the boards, force turnovers, frustrate LeBron using Pippen and Rodman, and score in the post relatively easily. The Heat could probably get hot enough to win one game, but I don't think you could expect anything more.

*1996 Magic (60-22): Shaq, Penny, Horace Grant, Nick Anderson, Dennis Scott
1996 Sonics (64-18): Payton, Kemp, Schrempf, Hawkins, Perkins, Nate McMillan
1997 Hawks (56-26): Mutombo, Blaylock, Steve Smith, Laettner, Corbin
1997 Heat (61-21): Mourning, Hardaway, Mashburn, PJ Brown, Majerle, Voshon Leonard
1997 Jazz (64-18): Stockton, Malone, Hornacek, Russell, Ostertag

The worst team the Bulls faced in the 1997 playoffs, the Bullets, had a lineup of Chris Webber, Rod Strickland, Juwan Howard, Gheorghe Muresan (who was actually quite good before getting hurt the following year), and Calbert Cheaney, with Tracy Murray off the bench. That team would've had homecourt advantage in the first round in this year's Eastern Conference playoffs.
   80. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4476657)
[78] I take it back then, was going off my pre-pubescent memories which obviously weren't that good.
   81. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4476660)
Mason especially always impressed me as an opposing fan with his strength and toughness combined with a guard's handle. I'm trying to think of a present-day comp and coming up empty.

David West with a different shape of offensive productivity? Finals Boris Diaw?
   82. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4476663)
Combine LeBron with this year's Bobcats bench as a starting lineup

C Brendan Haywood
PF Josh McRoberts
SF LeBron James
SG Ben Gordon
PG Ramon Sessions

   83. Kurt Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4476676)
I never liked Mason; his handle was more of a curse than a blessing. Too many possessions involved him dribbling the ball for 20 seconds.
   84. steagles Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4476689)
I think it's basically a push, but more importantly, how can you leave out Sam Cassell and Anthony Mason? Both of those guys seem to be massively underrated historically. Mason especially always impressed me as an opposing fan with his strength and toughness combined with a guard's handle. I'm trying to think of a present-day comp and coming up empty. In terms of impact, I'd say he was very similar to Kirilenko, though since he used strength rather than athleticism on D, his steal and block numbers are much lower.
royce white?
paul millsap?
david lee?
dajuan blair?
gerald wallace?
   85. Spivey Posted: June 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4476693)
Voshon Leonard - there's a name I haven't thought about in a while.
   86. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 24, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4476709)
this is a tough one. boris diaw in ivan johnson's body, maybe? better handle, less passing skill than diaw, i think.

his per game numbers are inflated by playing huge, huge minutes at peak but... mason had a year (w/ charlotte where he was a 16.2/11.4/5.7 playing plus-plus d. not bad for a guy plucked out of the minors...
   87. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 24, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4476720)
Mason especially always impressed me as an opposing fan with his strength and toughness combined with a guard's handle. I'm trying to think of a present-day comp and coming up empty. In terms of impact, I'd say he was very similar to Kirilenko, though since he used strength rather than athleticism on D, his steal and block numbers are much lower.

Whether or not it's a perfect comp, this still blew up the comp machine. Then again, maybe on the willingness to experiment with the hairstyles alone should link the two of them.
   88. AROM Posted: June 24, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4476724)
For the 1994 Finals, I don't know if there have ever been 2 more identically structured teams. Both the offenses and defenses were built around franchise centers, and nobody else could reasonably be described as a star player. John Starks and Vernon Maxwell each led their team by a mile in 3 point attempts, not because they were good shooters, but because the offenses were not efficient enough to get the ball in the hands of better shooters.

NY was 16th in offense rating, 1st in D, Houston was 15th in offense, 2nd in D. What made Olajuwon a better player was 1) quickness and 2) being a better passer. Ewing was reasonably mobile in his prime, but he was always a black hole when it came to offense.
   89. jmurph Posted: June 24, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4476736)
Deng to the Wiz for #3 and Emeka? That would be a weird one.

   90. andrewberg Posted: June 24, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4476750)
I'd think that the current Heat would have trouble reaching the conference finals in the 90s, as Shaq, Ewing, Mourning, and even lesser names like Rik Smits and Brad Daugherty would destroy them inside. Based on the recent playoffs, they'd probably need to structure the lineup differently to contend.


You can't just drop this Heat team in the 90s because teams of that era were constructed under the on-court rules that existed at the time and the Heat are constructed under the current zone defense and hand check rules. While we can say that they would have a hard time guarding Ewing or Mourning, who from that era can keep up with their three-point shooting?

   91. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 24, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4476751)
Deng to the Wiz for #3 and Emeka? That would be a weird one.

I don't like it for either team, so yeah, weird is the best description. Okafor actually makes a couple hundred K more than Deng, which matter to the Bulls since they're in the tax and so ####### cheap. There's not much the Bulls can do to get better next year, and while another big backup is on the list I'm not sure adding a 4th big (unless there's a subsequent Boozer move) at the expensive of Deng is the way to go about it. Also, this isn't the draft where getting that guy at number 3 is going to help that much (and that guy probably doesn't play for Thibs much anyway, he's so rookie averse). I still say the Bulls have to try and go for it next year with this core, so this doesn't help that. Who would they like at 3 - Porter? Bennett? One of the wings?

For the Wizards, I get the idea that they see a hole at SF and Deng would fill it. Also, I could see them thinking they need veterans and not more rookies. But he's an upcoming FA, and I have no idea if he'd resign there (and he's likely to be overpaid and on the decline as Wall/Beal come into their primes). I think he's a good player to have on a good team, but not sure how much he's pushing a bad team to a good team.
   92. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4476753)
While we can say that they would have a hard time guarding Ewing or Mourning, who from that era can keep up with their three-point shooting?

Teams with good wing defenders and bigs that can guard wings, sort of exactly like the 2nd 3 peat Bulls with MJ/Pip for the first part and Rodman/Kukoc for the 2nd. Hell, Kukoc is probably a much more valuable player today than he was then. I think the Bulls defense from that era would be even better in the zone era.
   93. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4476756)
[90] I agree with this. Zone defense would have also made it easier to defend those bigs. On a related note, I was watching some mid 90s Knicks games on YouTube this weekend and it was startling how many times I thought the Knicks were doing a terrible job communicating on defense before realizing that things I wanted them to do...they couldn't do under the old rules.

EDIT: And yes, I do get emotionally involved while watching 18 year old Knicks games.
   94. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4476768)
Couldnt they repackage that 3rd round pick to use as an asset in a trade to move boozer or some other deal
   95. rr Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4476783)
The recent Celtics, Lakers, and Heat, however, were average title teams that you're vastly overrating. None of them made it through a playoffs with fewer than 7 losses.


I agree with you on one level, in that I think Andy is selling the Bulls short. I think a lot of people now don't get/remember how good the Bulls' role players, particularly Kerr, Kukoc, and Rodman, really were. OTOH, I recall that when we arguing about the 1980s Lakers/Celtics, you focused very heavily on SRS. In this argument, you are ignoring SRS and going with playoff losses. For example:

SRS
2008 BOS 9.31 (1)
2001 LAL 3.74 (6)

There is noise there of course. Shaq missed 8 games; Kobe missed 14. Fisher missed 3/4 of the schedule, and then returned to shoot 51% on 3s in postseason, and the Lakers lost only one playoff game. But even the 2000 team, which went 67-15, had a lower SRS than Boston.

The 2009 team was similar to the 1996 Magic in many respects, but they had a higher SRS, a better PYTH, a higher defensive rating, and Phil Jackson instead of Brian Hill. Bynum was about 50% in both playoff runs, but he did help some on D.
As to the Heat, they were 3rd in O, 9th in D, had a 62-20 PYTH and were second in SRS. They may wind up being a little overrated historically, due to James and the winning streak, and Pippen and Rodman would be about the best guys you could have to deal with James. But they have a lot of three-point shooting, and the matchup stuff cuts the other way, too.

As to the teams the Bulls did beat in the real world, Simmons argued that the Bulls' W/L records, as well as those of the Jazz and Sonics and other teams in those years, were inflated by expansion. I don't know if that is true, but it should be acknowledged if you are going to suggest that the 1996 Sonics going 64-18 is evidence.

So, for me, the takeaway is the same as before: you have to break it down into separate questions. But if you are going to focus on how the teams might have matched up if they were going to get in a time machine and play games, you can't just look at playoff losses and W/L.
   96. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4476789)
Couldnt they repackage that 3rd round pick to use as an asset in a trade to move boozer or some other deal

Just to clarify - #3 pick overall, not third round (a round that presently doesn't exist).
   97. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4476795)
None of this babble tells me when it will be appropriate to give a #### about the NBA again. How long will Danny Ferry's rebuilding process take?
   98. jmurph Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4476797)
For the Wizards, I get the idea that they see a hole at SF and Deng would fill it. Also, I could see them thinking they need veterans and not more rookies. But he's an upcoming FA, and I have no idea if he'd resign there (and he's likely to be overpaid and on the decline as Wall/Beal come into their primes). I think he's a good player to have on a good team, but not sure how much he's pushing a bad team to a good team.


I suspect they might be in "make the playoffs by any means necessary" mode. Not a sound long-term strategy, to be sure, but they're kind of a mess.

Would it be fair to call Deng injury-prone, or do you guys put that more on some fluke injuries and maybe a bit of Thibs?
   99. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4476801)
97: Hard to say. Check back in in a few months.
   100. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 24, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4476812)
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