Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, June 02, 2014

OT: Monthly NBA Thread- June 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: Vladimir Putin’s draft strategy, Stephen Drew’s breakfast, and whether Kevin has taken a material step toward harming Russell Westbrook.

andrewberg Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:57 PM | 2043 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nba, off-topic

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 3 of 21 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >  Last ›
   201. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4720308)
Anyway, this is one of the benefits of winning two rings. Kind of hard to make a choker narrative stick to LeBron at this point.

It isn't stopping people from trying.
   202. jmurph Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4720311)
Getting waaaaaay ahead of myself here, but if the Spurs win this, they're a tip-in last year in Game 6 away from Duncan being a Jordanesque 6-0 in the Finals.
   203. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4720312)
I would like meatwad's professional opinion of this.
   204. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4720318)
Getting waaaaaay ahead of myself here, but if the Spurs win this, they're a tip-in last year in Game 6 away from Duncan being a Jordanesque 6-0 in the Finals.

I'm honestly not sure what would be more impressive - 6 titles in 8 years or 6 in 15. Both are amazing in their own way. If Duncan plays like he did last night, he could win Finals MVP, and winning that 15 years apart would be something else.
   205. jmurph Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4720321)
Yeah 6 in 8 is certainly a sign of greater dominance. But I agree that 6 in 15 would be pretty amazing. As would 5 in 15, of course, since last year didn't go their way.
   206. Howie Menckel Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4720327)
LeBron quitting on the Cavaliers in his last game with them was disgraceful, and the "taking my talents to South Beach" - well, 'nuff said.

But killing him for not being able to finish last night's game is - well, disgraceful, too. The guy pushed himself back into the game and even scored a basket, but his body just wouldn't cooperate.

He still doesn't have the killer instinct of a Jordan or Kobe, but that doesn't justify knocking him for last night, either.

Hey, Isiah Thomas agrees

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/isiah-thomas--assist-to-lebron---michael-jordan-couldn-t-have-played-with-those-cramps-071514640.html

   207. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4720328)
It isn't stopping people from trying.


Sure, but I think we're all beyond the point where we listen to Skip Bayless on the question of LeBron James. Or anything else, really. Michelle Beadles did make a Midol joke on Twitter last night, which was odd and disappointing.

I'm just saying, this would be a thermonuclear issue if this had happened to LeBron before he won a title and the "he can't win the big one" narrative was omni-present.
   208. Publius Publicola Posted: June 06, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4720331)
That game reminded me of game 5 in 1984, with the air-conditioning situation and all, and a superstar suffering because of it(Kareem with his migraine).
   209. Squash Posted: June 06, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4720332)
You are now officially btf's Skip Bayless.

For LA residents, yesterday on the Max & Marcellus show they were talking a poll that was given about LeBron's popularity rankings and how they dipped after The Decision for all the obvious reasons. In the years since however his popularity has returned to previous levels among every ethnic group (blacks, Latinos, etc.) except one ... that one being white people, of course. In other words it doesn't surprise me that Skip Bayless still hates LeBron with a burning rage.
   210. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 06, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4720345)
These 2 posts are officially kevin level stupid not worth responding to seriously (in the future, abbreviated to kLSNWRTS)


can we call them kevin's [freakin] annoying rabble-rousing troll statements, or kevin FARTS?
   211. Dale Sams Posted: June 06, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4720355)
The Yahoo! narrative is the foreign players couldn't understand what the big deal was. Are American ballplayers pampered now?

No, "Just like old times! Ballin 8 hours a day in Philly!"

Signed-Guy who, along with all his friends, would play soccer on glass strewn parking lots, or midday, midsummer astroturf.
   212. cmd600 Posted: June 06, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4720366)
Yeah 6 in 8 is certainly a sign of greater dominance.


But it's not like Jordan wasn't playing in those years the Bulls didn't make the Finals. It's a different kind of dominance, but I'm not sure there's any less dominance in being a star on a championship team at ages 22 and 37.
   213. jmurph Posted: June 06, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4720370)
But it's not like Jordan wasn't playing in those years the Bulls didn't make the Finals. It's a different kind of dominance, but I'm not sure there's any less dominance in being a star on a championship team at ages 22 and 37.


This is true. I'm leaning towards Jordan's record because I think there's something amazing about the fact that he won the title every year in his prime. No one else in the modern era can say that. But absolutely, winning titles (if it happens) 15 years apart is incredible.
   214. rr Posted: June 06, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4720400)
Kareem was Finals MVP 14 years apart (1971 and 1985) on two different teams, obviously.
   215. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 06, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4720425)
Seriously sleective endpoints, and obviously last night's final score isn't reflective of the game, but the Spurs have now won their last 8 home playoff games by 15 or more points.
   216. Howie Menckel Posted: June 06, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4720427)

for Jordan, every FULL year in his prime. He played 17 regular season games and the playoffs in 1995, and I was as dumbfounded as the rest of the United Center crowd when the Bulls were eliminated there by Orlando in Game 6 of the second round...
   217. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 06, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4720430)
Do we dock Jordan for getting suspended for gambling, though? ;-P
   218. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 06, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4720452)
He still doesn't have the killer instinct of a Jordan or Kobe


So, so over this meme.
   219. madvillain Posted: June 06, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4720497)
So, so over this meme.

I've seen Lebron single handedly win enough games, including in the playoffs, to forever bury this meme 6 feet under.

____________________________

Lebron is well known as a creatine taker, I don't think this helped him last night. Not sure who is monitoring his nutrition but if he's taking creatine daily at this point in the season he should probably stop, the cramping side effects are well known and he's not going to see much benefit in the next week and a half from taking it.
   220. Booey Posted: June 06, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4720507)
for Jordan, every FULL year in his prime.


Well, once he won his first title, anyway. Wouldn't you consider 1987-1990 part of his prime too? (seeing as he won the scoring title all 4 years and an MVP)
   221. andrewberg Posted: June 06, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4720522)
The people who are trumpeting the Lebron Choker narrative don't actually watch sports. They watch and listen to shows that talk about sports, but not actually sports. How else do you explain ESPN crowding out live sports for wall-to-wall talking head shows?
   222. Publius Publicola Posted: June 06, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4720574)
He still doesn't have the killer instinct of a Jordan or Kobe, but that doesn't justify knocking him for last night, either.


Ummm...
   223. Publius Publicola Posted: June 06, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4720602)
I'm honestly not sure what would be more impressive - 6 titles in 8 years or 6 in 15.


What about 11 in 13 years, Moses? How impressive would it be if somebody did that?
   224. AuntBea Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4720609)
ESPN headline: "Gatorade Spat"

That was precisely what I did as well, the last time I tasted Gatorade.
   225. Publius Publicola Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4720618)
Yeah, I'm astounded at the "choker" label being applied so promiscuously. FI Miami didn't have lebron, they'd struggle to make the playoffs. He's the best player in the game, and I don't think it's particulary close.

Also annoyed at Howie M insinuating Kobe is in Lebron's class as a player. He's not, and never has been.
   226. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4720640)
(Man, it's somewhat impressive trolling to react against the "killer instinct" trope not by calling it bullshit, but by trying to kindle a Kobe vs. LeBron fight. Bonus points for the extra Russell throwaway jab, too.)
   227. Howling John Shade Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4720641)
Anyone have a semi-informed opinion on David Blatt? He's rumored to be Kerr's choice for top assistant.
   228. rr Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4720645)
I go to a Lakers site on which a guy who has coached/played in Europe posts sometimes; he thinks Blatt is excellent, and has been pushing for the Lakers to interview him for their HC gig.
   229. rr Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4720647)
by trying to kindle a Kobe vs. LeBron fight


We all have our hobby horses; I certainly ride mine into the ground. That said, if there were Lakerfan/regulars here arguing that Bryant is as good as James and Jordan, I would be more sympathetic about PP riding this one. Menckel is in the group of more casual fans who cruise through here at playoff time, Finals time etc. and he didn't even make a direct argument. Just seeing Kobe in the same context with James and Jordan was enough to "annoy" PP.
   230. Howling John Shade Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4720655)
Looks like Quin Snyder will get the Utah job.
   231. Howie Menckel Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4720659)
Well, people tend to combine different issues.
Isiah Thomas was a great "killer instinct," player, too, but he's not in LeBron's class, either.
LeBron is SO incredibly well-rounded and dominant a player that I don't think his team should settle for the No. 2 seed in the regular season this year, or be within an absolute whisker of not winning last year. Not sure how this is an insult to LeBron's ability.

If you're confused, LeBron is a lot better than Kobe.

And Jordan, Kobe, and Isiah - well, I won't call them sociopaths, but....
LeBron strikes me as a much more agreeable human.
   232. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4720661)
(Man, it's somewhat impressive trolling to react against the "killer instinct" trope not by calling it bullshit, but by trying to kindle a Kobe vs. LeBron fight. Bonus points for the extra Russell throwaway jab, too.)
I believe the correct term for this is "Haters gonna hate."
   233. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4720665)
Looks like Quin Snyder will get the Utah job.

Yikes. I mean, maybe he could be good. He didn't fail at Mizzou simply as a coach, but he sure didn't overwhelm or ever seem like a NBA HC prospect then.
   234. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4720669)
The person at ESPN who saw this headline and was able to find a picture of Rashad McCants looking sheepish, standing next to Roy Williams, with Roy Williams's EYES CLOSED, to illustrate it, should get a huge bonus.
   235. Booey Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4720676)
Looks like Quin Snyder will get the Utah job.


Who's Quin Snyder and should I be happy or sad?

He can't be worse than Corbin, right?
   236. Booey Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4720678)
What about 11 in 13 years, Moses? How impressive would it be if somebody did that?


Much more impressive today than it was 50 years ago, that's for sure.

(not that it wasn't impressive back then)
   237. rr Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4720681)
For anybody who likes book learnin' in a coach, Snyder is your man. He has a JD and a MBA, and double-majored in Poli Sci and Philosophy at Duke. Ettore Messina thought enough of him after being on staff with him in LA for a year to hire him as CSKA's lead assistant. Snyder worked under Budenholzer in Atlanta last year.

There is a faction of Lakers fans who will be a little bummed by this assuming it is true; Snyder had his supporters.

   238. Howling John Shade Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4720682)

Who's Quin Snyder and should I be happy or sad?
A Krzyzewski disciple who resigned from Mizzou after an NCAA investigation. Popovich apparently thinks highly of him, though.
   239. steagles Posted: June 06, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4720701)
For anybody who likes book learnin' in a coach, Snyder is your man. He has a JD and a MBA, and double-majored in Poli Sci and Philosophy at Duke. Ettore Messina thought enough of him after being on staff with him in LA for a year to hire him as CSKA's lead assistant. Snyder worked under Budenholzer in Atlanta last year.

There is a faction of Lakers fans who will be a little bummed by this assuming it is true; Snyder had his supporters.
he was also a lead assistant for doug collins here in philly.

it seems like he's moved around a lot for a coach who is young and well-respected. those kinds of guys usually get on a staff and stay there for a while, don't they?
   240. rr Posted: June 06, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4720702)
ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
One scenario circulating in coach circles is that Snyder, upon landing Utah job, will try to import Euro legend Ettore Messina as assistant


coachthorpe david b. thorpe
I have 1 comment regarding LeBron: if you don't get how his body shut down on him, then you don't understand athletics. So stop commenting.
   241. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 06, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4720719)
coachthorpe david b. thorpe
I have 1 comment regarding LeBron: if you don't get how his body shut down on him, then you don't understand athletics. So stop commenting.
We're so used to thinking that Lebron's superhuman that we've forgotten that he's merely a human who's super at basketball. No one will be surprised if James comes back and has a titanic Game 2 on Sunday (the two days off before Game 2 is really going to help), but if that does happen none of the haters are going to run around talking about clutch he is.
   242. Squash Posted: June 06, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4720800)
LeBron is SO incredibly well-rounded and dominant a player that I don't think his team should settle for the No. 2 seed in the regular season this year, or be within an absolute whisker of not winning last year. Not sure how this is an insult to LeBron's ability.

No player wins everything every year, with the possible exception of Jordan in his prime.
   243. King Mekong Posted: June 06, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4720817)
Jordan lost in the playoffs after his first three titles to the Orlando Magic, granted he only played in 17 games that year before they lost in the 2nd round of the Eastern Conference in 6 games.

Russell winning 11 in 13 years was impressive, but there were only 8 teams during his first title (they won 7 playoff games to win the title, the Heat and spurs had to win 12 games just to get to the finals) and 14 in the final season (12 playoff wins wins the title). It was a dramatically different league, and not directly comparable to the modern game - for example someone doing timelining adjustments might conclude that Kobe winning 5 of 7 is more impressive, or Jordan Winning 6 of 6.

edit: or Lebron making 4 finals in a row
   244. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 07, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4720833)
QUIN SNYDER?!
   245. rr Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:52 AM (#4720842)
If you're confused, LeBron is a lot better than Kobe.


Nobody who posts here a lot is confused about LeBron James. Quin Snyder seems to be creating a little consternation, however.
   246. rr Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:53 AM (#4720843)
No player wins everything every year, with the possible exception of Jordan in his prime.


Indeed. As Pelton said WRT Kevin Love: teams win, not players.
   247. rr Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:02 AM (#4720848)
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers have gone international to look for a new coach.

The team has contacted Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt about its coaching vacancy, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Friday.



link
   248. AROM Posted: June 07, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4720879)
Just heard on TV that. Spo is saying if the AC is not working for game 2, the Spurs organization should be fined.

Wow, scary. They *might* face a fine. How much of a fine would the Spurs be happy to pay if it helps them win a title? 25 million? 50?

If I were him I'd hire the 100 best HVAC contractors in Miami, give them free tickets, hotel, and plane fare to San Antonio, and have them ready to assist just in case their services are needed.
   249. AROM Posted: June 07, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4720884)
Comparing Russell's championship run to Jordan's is interesting. One of these days I might try to construct a degree of difficulty metric. I am sure that not Russell, nor anybody else in the history of the game, could have pulled off 11 of 13 in a deep, 30 team league where it takes 4 rounds of playoffs.

Had there been 30 teams in 1957, he could have because the talent would have been spread too thin. But the modern talent pool has very likely expanded faster than the league size.

Russell's last championship is comparable to what modern teams overcome. They beat the Sixers (55 wins), Knicks (54 wins), and Lakers (55). The first one, not so much. They beat Syracuse (38-34) and St Louis (34-38). That's like having Miami play the 2014 Bobcats, moving on to the finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and crowning themselves champions.
   250. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4720897)
They beat Syracuse (38-34) and St Louis (34-38). That's like having Miami play the 2014 Bobcats, moving on to the finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and crowning themselves champions.


No it isn't, AROM. You're forgetting that in a league with compressed talent, even the bad teams had at least one superstar. Pettit was a historically great player. Schayes was a historically great player.

The Bobcats have nobody who comes even close to that description. They really don't even have anybody who's good enough to make the AS team. Love might someday but he's not there yet. And his supporting cast is nowhere near the quality of the Hawks or Nats.

Excluding the Celtics, who had by far the best record that year, the difference between the next best team and the worst is 7 games. 7. That's all. The worst team record-wise was Rochester and they had a genuine superstar at that time in Maurice Stokes, and another AS in Jack Twyman. Any team today with a genuine superstar you can write right down for 50 wins. That Royals team would be about as good as say, the Rockets or the Blazers. And that's the worst team. If you took the players from those teams, telescoped them forward in time and weaned them on modern coaching and modern training and dropped them in the league today, they would all make the playoffs and the Celtics would totally dominate.

Talent dilution is really a simple concept to understand and I am dumbfounded why people are having so much trouble grasping it. And by the same people no less who will readily understand the impact expansion had on Roger Maris' 61 season.
   251. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4720911)
But the modern talent pool has very likely expanded faster than the league size.


This. The best 1-2 players of any era are comparable, but the 10 best players from any newer era will be better than the 10 best players from a previous era. In the playoffs, you're facing the top of the talent pool.

Three rounds of playoffs is the tipping point, IMO. Though in the West the past few years, we've seen that title contenders aren't even guaranteed a pass out of the first round.
   252. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4720921)
In the playoffs, you're facing the top of the talent pool.


Really? Who is so outstanding on Indiana? There might not be one HoFer on that team, and yet they have given the Heat quite a bit of trouble.

Three rounds of playoffs is the tipping point, IMO.


I don't understand this either. What's so important about the first round of the playoffs? The best teams nearly never get knocked off.

   253. Booey Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4720929)
Talent dilution is really a simple concept to understand and I am dumbfounded why people are having so much trouble grasping it.


An expanded talent pool is a simple concept to understand too. It doesn't make any sense to assume that the 108 or so players in a 9 team league 50 years ago are equal to the top 108 players of today. I'd guess there were a lot more players from Russell's day that couldn't make a roster in today's NBA - even with many more spots available - than the other way around.

The overall talent level isn't constant from one generation to another.
   254. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4720936)
If you assume a normal distribution of talent, which OK, then the argument comes down to the difference in the growth between the number of roster spots and the overall talent pool. My gut feeling is that the pool has grown much, much faster than the rosters, which leads me to believe that any random team from the current NBA would be better than a random team from even twenty years ago. My favorite teams (Run TMC, the first Houston championship team) would get overrun by equivalently successful current teams.
   255. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4720945)
My favorite teams (Run TMC, the first Houston championship team) would get overrun by equivalently successful current teams.


I don't believe this at all. Run TMC looks ahead of its time if anything. A guy like Hakeem would be unstoppable in todays game.

Looking at footage from 30 or even 40 years ago on youtube, I see lots of changes in terms of scheme and philosophy, but I don't really see that that the caliber of player has changed much, at the high end at least.
   256. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4720948)
Look at it this way -- the greatest 7 foot tall athletes in the world are probably going to end up playing basketball one way or another. Obviously the pool of these guys has expanded quite a bit over time. And yet Russell, Jabbar, and Chamberlain appear so much more athletic and graceful than anyone we have playing today.
   257. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4720954)
You must watch different basketball than I do.

Of course three of the all time greats will always look good. Have you ever watched Garnett? Duncan? LeBron? Shaq? Anthony Davis?
   258. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4720955)
And yet Russell, Jabbar, and Chamberlain appear so much more athletic and graceful than anyone we have playing today.


Kevin Garnett, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitski, and Chris Bosh (just off the top of my head) might not be listed as 7' but they're pretty close. I think they're at least in the discussion as far as most "athletic and graceful" 7 footers ever.

edit: partial coke to 257 - I didn't see your edit when I posted. And good call on those I missed.
   259. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4720961)
Olajuwan would be a great player in any era. Any top 10 all time player would be. Bit I don't think he'd be putting up historic efficiency numbers in today's era. Interestingly, some guys in today's era are putting up historic efficiency numbers.
   260. kpelton Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4720964)
The Bobcats have nobody who comes even close to that description. They really don't even have anybody who's good enough to make the AS team.

To have 20% of the league make the All-Star Game, as was the case in 1958 (20 All-Stars out of 99 players), you'd have to increase the current All-Star roster to 48 players in each league. I like Al Jefferson's chances in that scenario.
   261. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4720967)
I'd guess there were a lot more players from Russell's day that couldn't make a roster in today's NBA


It's just the opposite. There are a lot of players today that couldn't make the roster then because there were only 108 roster spots. How many spots would turn over in a year, 20-30 maybe? So unless you were the equivalent of a present-day 1st round draft pick, or the equivalent of an equivalent first round pick, you were cut and forgotten.

Now, there are D-league players all over the place, guys from the D-league are starting on some teams. Let's take the Heat roster, for instance.

-Chris Andersen is from Blinn College, for god's sake. He's a D-league guy. Would never have even gotten a look in the fifties or sixties.
-Mario Chalmers was selected 34th. In an eight team league, he would have been drafted in the 6th round and likely cut in training camp, never to be hard of again. He's the starting point guard on a two-time championship team.
-Norris Cole was drafted 28th in the 1st rd, the 8LT-equivalent, that's middle of the 4th round. Maybe he makes a squad but would probably be an end-of-the-bench garbage time guy, not the 1st guard off the bench of a championship team.
-Toney Douglas. Same as Cole.
-Udonis Haslem. Wasn't drafted. Would never have gotten a look, never mind actually make a squad somehow.
-Rashard Lewis. Was picked early in the second round. Same as Chalmers.
-Shane Battier. Picked 6th, would have been a late 1st rd pick. Battier was one of those overrated/underrated guys. At first he was overrated but then kept hanging around so long that he eventually became underrated.
-Michael Beasley. Picked 2nd overall but it was obviously a mistake. He's a burnout. If he burned out as badly in an 8TL, he wouldn't be in the NBA now. Made something of a comeback this year but never would have gotten the chance back then.
-Chris Bosh. Picked 4th overall. Would have been a middle 1st rd pick in an 8TL.
-Dwayne Wade. Picked 5th overall. Would have been a middle 1st rd pick in an 8TL.
-Lebron James. Picked 1st overall. One of those defining-a-generation players.

OK. You you have one legendary superstar. Two other guys who were likely to make an AS game or two and most of the rest end of the benchers.

Look at the 1957 St. Louis Hawks:

-Bob Pettit. 2nd overall in 1954. Nuf said. Historically great player.
-Ed McCauley. territorial selection in 1949. Territorial selections were usually guys who were high 1st rd draft picks who had enough notoriety they could be expected to draw some fans. hard to know where he would have been drafted. The other one that year was Vern Mikkleson. Both of them made multiple AS games and just eyeballing who was drafted, McCauley would have been top 5, about the same as Bosh, who is a pretty good comp.
-Jack McMahon. Was 93rd player drafted but had the longest career of anyone in that draft. of the 92 guys drafted in front of him, 61 never played in the NBA, including 3 of the top 10 picks. The guy who was drafted first was somebody named Bill Mlkvy from Temple who had a career -0.082 WS/48 (if that means anything with the terrible way statistics were recorded then). BTW, Dick Groat was the 4th player drafted that year.
-Slater Martin. No draft record. He made 9 AS teams so, assuming he was as highly regarded as a college player as he turned out to be as a pro, he would likely have been a top 5 pick in today's draft, maybe a top 3.
-Chuck Share. 1st pick overall.
-Cliff Hagen. He was a 13th overall pick in the '53 draft but would have gone much higher if he didn't have a military commitment that delayed his NBA entry by 3 years. He was regarded more highly than his college teammate Ramsey and would have certainly beena top 5 pick otherwise, probably 3rd of 4th. 5-time NBA AS.
-Medford Park. No draft record.
-Irv Bemoras. 59th overall in the '53 draft, the 30TL-equivalent of a late second rd pick, similar to Chalmers, a little bit lower.
-Willie Naulls. 75th player drafted out of UCLA. Good player, though a bit slow. Would be something like big Baby Davis of today but quicker and better. Today, would be on of those guys a team took a flyer on that paid off.

The Heat would be outgunned by the Hawks with 5 top of the line talents in Pettit, Martin, McCauley, Share and Hagen to match the 3 or 4 that the Heat have. The benches were probably about the same. the Hawks had Alex Hannum and Bob Harrison on the bench, who were both good players but near the end of their careers.


   262. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4720969)
To have 20% of the league make the All-Star Game, as was the case in 1958 (20 All-Stars out of 99 players), you'd have to increase the current All-Star roster to 48 players in each league. I like Al Jefferson's chances in that scenario.


Missing the point, Kevin. All of the AS players are already in the league. You're adding the bottom of the talent pyramid when you expand. Bottom of the talent pyramid guys don't make the AS team. Al Jefferson would be a late 2nd rd pick in the late fifties (if things play out as expected, of course, which they don't always do. But that's as true now as then). Not sniffing an AS game.
   263. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4720972)
And yet Russell, Jabbar, and Chamberlain appear so much more athletic and graceful than anyone we have playing today.


I sort of agree with this. But the 3-pointer has diminished the importance of the big man too and so the need for big men has diminished, and the way the big men now are coached is different. There's more emphasis on exterior offense and defense.
   264. rr Posted: June 07, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4720975)
-Chris Andersen is from Blinn College, for god's sake. He's a D-league guy


Andersen "wouldn't have gotten a look" in 1957 because NBA organizations then didn't have anything approaching the scouting apparati they have today, or the tech. Other guys who wouldn't have gotten a look back then include Dirk Nowitzki, Manu Ginobili, and Pau and Marc Gasol. But the Birdman is not a DLeaguer; he is an established NBA backup big who helps a team.

Timeline arguments are a quagmire, but basically, as noted, I think the top guys from the old days could play at a high level in the modern era for sure, if you assume that they would have access to modern training, equipment, nutrition, etc. I am confident that Russell and Chamberlain and West and Robertson could all be stars today as V 2.0s of themselves.

But given the the money in pro sports in America now, the massive business that the college game has become, modern training, medicine, and nutrition; and the worldwide popularity of the game, I think that the guys playing top-to-bottom today are almost certainly better than some of the guys playing in 1957, even with 30 teams. IOW, I think that Mario Chalmers, put in a time machine and playing in the NBA of 1957, would do just fine.
   265. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4720979)
Andersen "wouldn't have gotten a look" in 1957 because NBA organizations then didn't have anything approaching the scouting apparati they have today


So what? If the scouting apparati had been better and Andersen had been recognized as much better than some other player, that other player would have been bounced.

Your response is a non sequitur, robin.

   266. rr Posted: June 07, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4720983)
No, PP, it isn't. You are ignoring all the changes in the game and the context around it, in who plays, where they come from, how they are are trained, how many guys play, etc. Plus, of course, Andersen is an active guy who is about 6'10", so if they did see him somehow, and you change his tattoos to 1957 style tattoos, he probably gets a long look, unless you are arguing that every single tall guy playing in 1957 was a lot better than Andersen--which is a long reach.
   267. kpelton Posted: June 07, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4720985)
Let us define the terms of the question this way. If we had an objective rating of a player's inherent ability, unadjusted for level of competition as observed performance inherently is, how many players in 2014 do you think are as good or better than the top 20 players in 1958?
   268. Booey Posted: June 07, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4721000)
To have 20% of the league make the All-Star Game, as was the case in 1958 (20 All-Stars out of 99 players), you'd have to increase the current All-Star roster to 48 players in each league. I like Al Jefferson's chances in that scenario.


Yeah. Plus of course, Jefferson made the All NBA 3rd team and cracked the top 10 in MVP voting already. He would've been a fine All Star selection even with the current format. If the voting were done after the season rather than at the halfway point, I suspect he would've been a coaches pick this year anyway.
   269. GordonShumway Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4721004)
Let us define the terms of the question this way. If we had an objective rating of a player's inherent ability, unadjusted for level of competition as observed performance inherently is, how many players in 2014 do you think are as good or better than the top 20 players in 1958?


I would think at the very least 100, for the following reasons:

1.) The US population pool that the 2014 NBA pool draws from is about twice that of the population the 1958 pool would draw from.
2.) There were over a million young men born in the 1920s and 1930s who were killed, injured, or traumatized in WW2 and the Korean War, which further limits the pool that the 1958 NBA was drawing from.
3.) In a world before the great advances in antibiotics and vaccines in the 1940-60s, there were a lot of young kids in the 1st half of the 20th century, including potential future NBA players, who were stricken with polio, german measles, malaria, mumps, bacterial infections, or other illnesses that were debilitating for a lifetime.
4.) There were little to no international players in the NBA in 1958; 2014 draws from an international pool of players.
5.) The NBA in 1958 paid only a small fraction of what the MLB or even the NFL was paying at that the time. Anyone who could play a sport other than basketball would probably choose that other sport. I don't think this factor matters too much however - each sport requires a pretty unique set of skills and physical attributes that don't necessarily translate to success in other sports.
6.) Large scale pro league basketball was only about 10 years old in 1958. Men with NBA ability who were born, roughly between 1920-1930 or so were not training in the formative years of their youth with professional aspirations.
7.) The talent pipeline from high school to college to the pros was much more rudimentary in the years leading up to 1958 - there was a much greater chance that capable players back then were overlooked.
8.) In particular, African-American men born in the 1920s to 1930s faced much harder obstacles in terms of developing their skills at the high school and college level than they do today, particularly if they were living under Jim Crow. And back then, there was no equivalent to the Negro Leagues for basketball.



   270. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4721007)
In 1958, 16 of the top 20 players in the league by WS are in the Hall of Fame. Seems like a lot. Just saying.

Or perhaps what is true in every other sport isn't true in basketball. Maybe players really were just better back then. Maybe everything was better back then. Time to take our country back.
   271. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4721008)
Kevin, I'm not arguing that players today are better. They have all kinds of advantages over players from generations ago, from coaching, to traing techniques, to equipment and facilities, to the benefit of learning from the players who preceded them. But isn't that sort of getting into "what if Hannibal had attack helicopters" territory?

I don't really find that type of conversation particularly enlightening or instructive. I think your ask indicates we are talking past one another by defending independent arguments.
   272. GordonShumway Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4721011)
But isn't that sort of getting into "what if Hannibal had attack helicopters" territory?


I'm guessing in that scenario that the Carthaginian leadership would force Hannibal to give up the helicopters, and they would be used for crop dusting. Or something.
   273. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4721029)
Kevin, I'm not arguing that players today aren't better.


Fixed.
   274. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: June 07, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4721033)
I don't believe this at all. Run TMC looks ahead of its time if anything. A guy like Hakeem would be unstoppable in todays game.

Looking at footage from 30 or even 40 years ago on youtube, I see lots of changes in terms of scheme and philosophy, but I don't really see that that the caliber of player has changed much, at the high end at least.

It's more that, yes, Hakeem, Marciulionis, &c would remain fantastic; but a lot of the rest of the rosters would be filled out with players drawn from a much, much smaller pool.
   275. AROM Posted: June 07, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4721035)
I agree with Mr. Shumway, #269. I don't view 1957 basketball as a 2014 talent base stuffed into 8 allstar teams. I look at it like this : take those 8 teams, intact, and add 22 more teams that are on average just as good as the first 8. Add 2 rounds of playoffs, and mostly ensure that the sub .500 teams don't make it there anyway.

It becomes a lot more difficult to win championships.

If I'm wrong in one way, then the talent level of 1957 was much greater. A 34 win team then should be looked at as a 50 win team today.

If I'm wrong in the other direction, then the average talent of one of those 8 is even worse than the average talent of today's NBA. I suspect this is more likely than the alternative. But even if the average talent is equal, it would mean winning multiple championships has become much more difficult for a great player.
   276. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4721045)
OK I'm not attaching any argument to this, but look at this footage of Wilt from high school. I've never seen anything like it.
   277. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4721047)
I think Wilt could probably have been a competitive decathlete, which is just unreal. He was a national shot-put champion!
   278. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4721056)
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of top athletes in a lot of sports wouldn't also be amazing at other sports, given desire and practice time. Polymaths are more rare today, though, given the benefits that specialization provides.
   279. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4721060)
Wilt is responsible for two rules that we take for granted today but most fans don't understand the origin of.

1) the "over the backboard" rule. Kansas (or Overbrook High) ran a play where Wilt would stand right under the front of the rim on an inbounds play and the inbounds passer would loft the ball from out of bounds up over the top of the backboard. Wilt would jump and ram it home, and since nobody could get nearly as high up, it was an automatic two points. So they abolished that play by making the ball out of bounds if it goes behind the backboard.

2) The half circle at the top of the key. Before the free throw line was enclosed by a half-circle, Wilt would shoot his free throws by getting a running start and dunking them by broadjumping over the free throw line. Since the in-the-air rule in basketball is "from Whence he came", he was technically behind the line when the shot was made. So they abolished that too by encircling the FT line and preventing Wilt from broadjumping his free throws.

P.S. Since he was such a bad free throw shooter, I always wondered if he should try a standing broad jump and finger rolling them in or something. He probably couldn't get to the rim that way but I bet he could get within a few feet and that would have been a whole lot better for him that the 16'6" he had to shoot at. If he extended his arm out, that's almost 4 ft right there.
   280. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4721063)
Wilt / O'Neal would have been a great matchup.
   281. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4721081)
Here's another way I look at it. We have an basic idea of the talent of a 5th starter on a 1960s team. Let's take a look at the 1962 Syracuse Nationals, who took Wilt's Philadelphia team to 5 games in the opening round of the playoffs. Their 5th player in terms of minutes is Al Bianchi, a 6'3" 185# guard, who played 24 minutes a game, with a .437 TS%, an 11.4 PER, and .059 WS/48.

In terms of role, he might be comparable to a player from the Memphis Grizzlies of this year, who lost to the Thunder in the first round. A comparable player in terms of role would be Courtney Lee (.574 TS/13.5 PER/.120 WS/48) or Tony Allen (.531/15.6/.100 WS/48).

Or maybe someone from the Clippers, who lost in the conference semifinals, just like the Syracuse Nationals. Someone like J.J. Redick (.598/16.6/.147), or Darren Collison (.575/16.2/.136).

Those are pretty generous comparisons, because they're guys in the same role on teams that had the same sort of seasonal results. But Al Bianchi wasn't just that -- he was also around the 40-50th best player in the NBA. In fact, he finished 47th in Win Shares that year. Let's find a guard who was in that range of Win Shares this year. A name that comes up is Klay Thompson, 44th in Win Shares. Or Jose Calderon (52nd), Ty Lawson (54th).

No, Courtney Lee, J.J. Redick, Klay Thompson and Jose Calderon aren't all-time great players, or even All-Stars. Neither is Al Bianchi Are they better, worse, or roughly equal to Al Bianchi, however you want to measure that.
   282. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4721096)
I now regret logging out to see post 261. Did that really happen?

I've heard there's a saying in the NBA: "He's just a guy". You might pay a couple million for him in free agency, but he doesn't do anything special that some other guy you can pick up in the middle of the first round, or some other guy you pay a couple million bucks for can do. You don't let him block trades, you don't make long term plans around him.

Where does "Just a guy" start in the NBA today? Where did it start in the 60s?
   283. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4721099)
This troll has been fed enough, but Chris Anderson is "a D-League guy" because he misfiled his draft paperwork and was ineligible to enter the league the traditional way. To call out his NBADL pedigree as a referendum on his talent is, in this case, flat-out wrong.
   284. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4721114)
I think this is what AROM and I am are both trying to get at: The argument seems to be that the sum of the talent (relative to overall league talent) of the starting 5 of a title contender in an 8 team league is greater than the sum of the talent (relative to overall league talent) of today's title contenders. Maybe we'l call a title contender a conference finalist.

Since we're players in the starting lineup based on talent, this means that the 8 team league must be relatively better somewhere (if not everywhere). Let's see if I can express this in text:

sum[i = 1 to 5]("relative talent of i'th starter in 8 team league" - "relative talent of i'th starter in 2014") > 0

But it seems to be consensus that the very best players in any era would also be the very best players in any other era. Wilt, Russell, Jordan, LeBron, Durant. So the difference doesn't happen at position 1.

If we hold position 1 constant, that means that the relative talent in 2-5 must fall off slower in an 8-team league than in 2014. That should bear itself out in ratios of PER or WS/48 as you go down the lineup of starters. Now I wish I had more time and a spreadsheet to do this math with.

Edit: I should just speak for myself. I didn't mean to put my words into your mouth, AROM.
   285. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4721117)
[283] In 1954, guys from semi-pro leagues would hop onto NBA Finalist teams all the time and post .800 TS/EFG% in fiercely contested playoffs. It was a weird era for talent distribution.

Actually, that wouldn't surprise me at all in 1954.

To say that the league is somehow awful because he passed through Blinn College and the D-League before becoming a key player on a championship team is kind of like how William Avery became an NBA All-Star because he went to Duke and got drafted 14th overall.
   286. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4721124)
It's beyond idiotic. Chris Anderson is a terrific player.
   287. GordonShumway Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:23 PM (#4721126)
269:

Quoting my own post, but I understand that Jim Crow was prevalant all throughout America for African-American youths who were born in the 20s and 30s. I used that term (rather loosely and perhaps misleadingly) in my previous post to refer to the more aggressive, more institutionalized segregation/racism in the South, and in particular in the deep South at the time.
   288. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4721129)
I'm wondering what a histogram of % of league win shares earned by %ile of league population looks like over time.

That is, in 1954, what % of league win shares did the top 1% / 5% / 25% of win share earners earn, compared to 2014 (or any other year)
   289. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4721132)
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of top athletes in a lot of sports wouldn't also be amazing at other sports, given desire and practice time. Polymaths are more rare today, though, given the benefits that specialization provides.


No question, but Wilt may well be the most remarkable athlete who ever lived. He's a 7 foot tall guy who could run the 100-yard dash in 10.9 seconds, shot-put 56 feet, triple jump more than 50 feet, competed in the 440, and and who won the Big 8 high jump(!) title three straight years. He was also the strongest player of his generation and maybe ever.
   290. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4721133)
[289] Not disagreeing. The NBA all-time greats are all amazing athletes, each unique in their own way that we may never see again.
   291. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4721134)
Kevin Garnett, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitski, and Chris Bosh (just off the top of my head) might not be listed as 7' but they're pretty close. I think they're at least in the discussion as far as most "athletic and graceful" 7 footers ever.


Those guys aren't centers.
   292. smileyy Posted: June 07, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4721136)
They would have been in that era.
   293. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4721138)
Re:286. (This is like shooting fish in a barrel). Can you go back and read what I wrote, then stop for a moment and contemplate the implications of a league where the ninth player drafted would be a second rd pick. The guys who slipped through the cracks then would be Allstars today, or at least a couple of them would. Whether Chris Andersen is a good player or not is another non sequitur.
   294. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4721146)
They would have been in that era.


Garnett maybe, but what is an example of a center from any previous era who played anything like Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh, or Kevin Durant? Durant is closer to a shooting guard than a center.
   295. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 07, 2014 at 09:57 PM (#4721148)
Anyone as tall as Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh, or Kevin Durant in a previous era would have been a full-time center. And they would have seemed more graceful and athletic than people nowadays who are full-time centers.
   296. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4721149)
The guy who was drafted first was somebody named Bill Mlkvy from Temple

Better known as "The Owl Without a Vowel".
   297. theboyqueen Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4721151)
Anyone as tall as Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh, or Kevin Durant in a previous era would have been a full-time center.


This is complete nonsense. Put any of these guys on a team with Wes Unseld. Who is guarding Chamberlain? Who is Chamberlain guarding?
   298. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4721154)
Bosh spent quite a lot more time in the post in Toronto than Miami, as I recall. When your teammates include James and Wade, the strategic benefit to pulling opposing bigs out of the lane quite trumps any drop in your eFG%.
   299. rr Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4721159)
Flip Saunders
   300. rr Posted: June 07, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4721160)
After the flip
Page 3 of 21 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
robneyer
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNo, Alex Gordon wouldn't have scored an inside the park home run
(98 - 12:20am, Oct 31)
Last: SuperGrover

NewsblogSend Alex Gordon! | FiveThirtyEight
(75 - 12:19am, Oct 31)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogThings we learned from the 2014 playoffs
(11 - 12:17am, Oct 31)
Last: bobm

NewsblogMadison Bumgarner, World Series legend - McCovey Chronicles
(103 - 12:15am, Oct 31)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogNewest Hall of Fame Candidates Announced
(50 - 12:15am, Oct 31)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(4784 - 12:02am, Oct 31)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogFull Count » Red Sox sign Koji Uehara to 2-year contract
(8 - 11:44pm, Oct 30)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(623 - 11:37pm, Oct 30)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogFielding Bible
(2 - 11:24pm, Oct 30)
Last: Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1020 - 11:23pm, Oct 30)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

NewsblogAngell: The Best
(16 - 11:21pm, Oct 30)
Last: Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame)

NewsblogOT:  October 2014 - College Football thread
(544 - 11:11pm, Oct 30)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1960 Discussion
(9 - 10:22pm, Oct 30)
Last: Chris Fluit

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 7 OMNICHATTER
(1442 - 10:22pm, Oct 30)
Last: S.F. Giangst

NewsblogA Visit to Madison Bumgarner Country, and a Proud Father's Home - NYTimes.com
(1 - 10:06pm, Oct 30)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

Page rendered in 1.0280 seconds
53 querie(s) executed