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Saturday, February 02, 2013

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - February 2013

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: abstinence and William Howard Taft.

The District Attorney Posted: February 02, 2013 at 11:56 AM | 1151 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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Page 3 of 12 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 >  Last ›
   201. Booey Posted: February 08, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4365932)
flip
   202. Maxwn Posted: February 08, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4365933)
This is more what I want to hear from Lionel Hollins:

Lionel pregame today

If he'll shake this off and get them back to work, I think they'll be fine. Probably a lot of us fans and the local media were reading too much into a couple of losses and some of his comments.
   203. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 08, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4365937)
LAKERS WIN! LAKERS WIN! OH MY GOD THE LAKERS WIN!
   204. Booey Posted: February 08, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4365941)
LAKERS WIN! LAKERS WIN! OH MY GOD THE LAKERS WIN!


Damning with faint praise to be sure, but the Lakers can only dream of matching the 'Cats level of suckitude.
   205. robinred Posted: February 08, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4365942)
Beating 11-38 Charlotte is obviously nothing to get excited about, but the Lakers didn't quit even though I think many Lakers fans thought that they would, and Howard, who has been taking a lot of crap (not here, but in LakerLand) played well on D in the second half. They are 4-2 on the trip, with the Miami game still to go.

As to the Memphis deal, I think trading Gay makes some sense from a purely analytical perspective, but I think it is also quite understandable that Hollins and the core players would see Gay as a crucial part of the team and react to it emotionally. They did, of course, pull off the big upset over San Antonio that put them on the NBA map without him--something for all concerned to remember, perhaps.
   206. Spivey Posted: February 09, 2013 at 12:25 AM (#4365964)
Carlos Boozer is a tough customer when his 17 foot jumper is falling.
   207. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: February 09, 2013 at 02:18 AM (#4365985)
A nice win for the bulls to finish up the road trip, didn't watch it but any win is a nice one on the road
   208. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 02:56 AM (#4365989)
Lebron had himself a nice little night: 30pts, 9/11FG, 4/5 from 3, 8/11FT, 5reb, 6ast, 2blk
So did Harden: 35pts, 13/16FG, 4/5 from 3, 5/6FT, 7reb, 11ast

That LeBron shoots "only" 74% from the line is his only real weakness.
   209. PJ Martinez Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4366019)
STATS gave Grantland a bunch of data, and Zach Lowe wrote it up.
   210. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 09, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4366056)
LAC 35-17
DEN 32-18
MEM 31-18

EDIT: In other news, MIA has moved up to tied for 10th in D-Rtg, which is the first time they've been in the Top 10 this season, I believe.
   211. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: February 09, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4366198)
STATS gave Grantland a bunch of data, and Zach Lowe wrote it up.
That’s the thing about Durant: Scroll through these categories one by one, and you'll say to yourself, “He should be doing this particular thing more often!” Then you realize you’ve said that for every category — drives, post-ups, elbow touches — and you just shake your head.
   212. PJ Martinez Posted: February 09, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4366218)
I don't know if this means anything, other than just that Garnett is, as everyone knows, a great, great player, but: "Garnett is the only player ever with at least 25,000 career points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals."
   213. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4366240)
Which of those stats are most exclusive for Garnett? The assists and steals separate him from other bigs, the rebounds and blocks from wings?

Is Hakeem the best other all-around comparable? Hakeem has > 25000 points, 12500 rebounds, 3000 assists, 2000 steals and 3500 blocks
   214. robinred Posted: February 09, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4366264)
Garnett IMO is a bit underappreciated by casual fans and the MSM, for three reasons:

1. He doesn't have nearly as much jewelry as Duncan and Bryant have.
2. A lot of people think he's a serious ########.
3. His best skill is probably team defense, which is IMO the least-understood and least-discussed aspect of the game in many quarters.
   215. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:01 PM (#4366268)
I guess casual fans may not use bb-ref ELO rater, and the advanced stats presented there probably work in Garnett's favor. Here's the top 20, Garnett is 10th. Duncan is 7th, Kobe is 55th. Russell is probably way underrated at 20 though. Garnett, by this popular rating, doesn't look too far off. Is there an argument for him as a top-5 all-time player?

Michael Jordan
Hakeem Olajuwon
Larry Bird
Julius Erving
LeBron James
Oscar Robertson
Tim Duncan
Karl Malone
David Robinson
Kevin Garnett
Moses Malone
John Havlicek
Charles Barkley
Elgin Baylor
Patrick Ewing
Elvin Hayes
Chris Paul
Scottie Pippen
Clyde Drexler
Bill Russell
   216. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4366270)
Garnett IMO is a bit underappreciated by casual fans and the MSM, for three reasons:

1. He doesn't have nearly as much jewelry as Duncan and Bryant have.


Garnett and Bryant seem like an interesting comparison to me, as a casual-at-best fan. Kobe, as mentioned, has an ever-so-slight advantage in titles won, but he's also had better supporting casts. KG's '03-'04, taking a team whose second- and third-best players appear to be Cassell and Sprewell to the 1 seed and the conference finals, seems like it should be worth at least as much as one of Kobe's titles alongside Shaq.

So how would some people who know a lot more basketball than I do rank Kobe/Duncan/Garnett against each other?
   217. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:10 PM (#4366272)
FWIW, there was a pretty extensive Garnett/Duncan discussion at some point. At least once :) Not that I wouldn't rehash it and throw Kobe in.

Also, their careers aren't over yet - I wouldn't be surprised by one of them surprising us.
   218. bigboy1234 Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:13 PM (#4366274)
Duncan
Garnett
Kobe

I can see the argument for KG over TD if someone wanted to make it, but Kobe is clearly last for me and I personally think a tier below the other two. Most fans will likely tell you Kobe is the best and definitely better than Garnett though.
   219. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:16 PM (#4366276)
Garnett playing for Popovich alongside Robinson, Bowen, et.al. on D, and Robinson, Parker and Ginobili on O would be a lot of fun to watch.

Edit: I think some of the Duncan > Garnett is "ringzzzz", which again goes back to teammates. I wonder how much perception swings if Garnett wins that second title with the Celtics.
   220. bigboy1234 Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4366278)
In reference to #219, my ranking of TD over KG has nothing to do with "ringzzzz" and anyone who uses championships to determine how good a player is, isn't the brightest bulb in my opinion. This also coming from someone who thinks Manu is one of the most underrated players of his time. I also think Robinson is underrated and should be thought of on that same tier as TD/KG in my opinion.
   221. robinred Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:31 PM (#4366282)
Kobe is 55th

I think that is probably in part because of people making a point of voting against him, and I would also think that ELO rater is, as you suggest, a geek thing more than cazh fan thing.
   222. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:31 PM (#4366283)
[221] What's your reasoning for Duncan over Garnett? I really don't have a good idea of how to compare them to one another. I'm asking here, not arguing a point one way or another.

Duncan certainly has done a good job of deflecting reputation from his teammates, for whatever that's worth, positive or negative.

Edit: I'll admit, I have some ringzzz bias in my own thinking.
   223. robinred Posted: February 09, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4366288)
Duncan and Garnett are actually pretty even on most of the basic metrics. They have a BaskRef Sim Score of 90.4, and are third on each other's lists.
   224. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4366295)
i'd just like to point out that of the duncan/parker/ginobili triumvirate, parker scores the most points, gets the most assists, and shoots at the highest percentage. i think he is pretty clearly the best of the three at this point in each of their careers.
   225. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4366304)
i'd just like to point out that of the duncan/parker/ginobili triumvirate, parker scores the most points, gets the most assists, and shoots at the highest percentage. i think he is pretty clearly the best of the three at this point in each of their careers.

Defense matters.
   226. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4366305)
I was recently discussing TD/KG/Kobe with a buddy of mine. After thinking it through I was certain of a couple things: (1) TD was the best of the 3 (2) KG/Kobe is going to depend on how you rate their defense/clutch/ringz. I think ringz matter in the NBA. I also think clutch does as well. My head says KG wins, but it doesn't feel "right."
   227. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4366306)
Huh. I keep thinking Tony Parker should be getting old by now. He's only 30. He's going to end up with a lot of counting stats by the time he's done.
   228. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4366309)
I also think clutch does as well.


I think there's value in playing a style that allows one to be "clutch" -- that is, getting your "best" player able to create their own shots when it matters.
   229. robinred Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:34 PM (#4366310)
As smileyy said, we have talked about this before. If I were starting a franchise, and I could pick one of Bryant, Garnett, or Duncan, each 20 years old, I would probably take Duncan, since he anchors your D in a way that Bryant can't, and long-haul I would rather have his personality at the center of my team than Garnett's.

If I am bringing one of them onto an existing team, it depends on who else is on my roster and what my coaching hire options are.

Also, Nowitzki is not at all far behind Duncan and Garnett in terms of many of the basic metrics.
   230. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4366313)
I think there's value in playing a style that allows one to be "clutch" -- that is, getting your "best" player able to create their own shots when it matters.

Yeah, this is what I meant.
   231. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4366316)
Really hope I'm not forgetting anyone, but these are pretty much the Top 6 guys to come into the league in the mid-late '90s, right?

EDIT: Looking through my link, still sure TD is the best of the era. Also sure that Pierce is 6 and Nash is 5. Bringing up Dirk just further complicates what is now a Kobe/Dirk/KG toss-up.
   232. smileyy Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4366319)
rr - Is there something about Garnett's personality that prevents team-building? I haven't heard a rep for alienating teammates or burning out coaches, and he was certainly the face of Boston coming together in their championship season. "Team cohesiveness" credit is hard to separate between Popovich and Duncan, too.

In my head, I'm still writing Garnett/Robinson/Popovich fan-fiction.

Maybe the differentiating stat is Crazy-Eye-Glares Above Replacement? Nope. Too close to call there too.
   233. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4366321)
Is there something about Garnett's personality that prevents team-building?

Don't think he's saying there's anything necessarily "wrong" just that his preference is Duncan's.
   234. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4366327)
rr - Is there something about Garnett's personality that prevents team-building? I haven't heard a rep for alienating teammates or burning out coaches, and he was certainly the face of Boston coming together in their championship season. "Team cohesiveness" credit is hard to separate between Popovich and Duncan, too.
hasn't garnett been known to punch teammates in the face during practice?
   235. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4366328)
DEN runs their winning streak to 9 in a row and are now just 1.5 GB of LAC for the 3-seed.
   236. robinred Posted: February 09, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4366331)
rr - Is there something about Garnett's personality that prevents team-building?


Nah. I am an actually an admirer of Garnett the player. But looking at 15+ years, I would prefer a less volatile/more bland guy at the center of the team.
   237. puck Posted: February 09, 2013 at 11:59 PM (#4366345)
I guess casual fans may not use bb-ref ELO rater, and the advanced stats presented there probably work in Garnett's favor. Here's the top 20, Garnett is 10th. Duncan is 7th, Kobe is 55th. Russell is probably way underrated at 20 though.

Magic's not in the top 20?
   238. puck Posted: February 10, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4366348)
DEN runs their winning streak to 9 in a row and are now just 1.5 GB of LAC for the 3-seed.

Amazingly, they just got even in home/road games. With tonight's win, they have played 1 more road game.
   239. PJ Martinez Posted: February 10, 2013 at 01:17 AM (#4366364)
And speaking of Denver and traveling, I hear they may not make it into Boston to play the Celtics tomorrow?

As for where Dirk fits in that group, don't his defensive inadequecies knock him down a peg?

I'd probably go: Duncan, Garnett, Bryant, Dirk, Pierce, Nash.

Would love to put Garnett first, and I think it's very close. But it seems like Duncan's probably the best, if only just.
   240. Booey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 01:34 AM (#4366367)
I've always thought of KG and Kobe as being pretty comparable players value-wise. When they've had similar supporting casts, they've even had similar team results. Neither had anything to work with from 2005-2007, and both were good examples that not even a superstar in his prime can do everything by himself. From 2008-2012 they both had very good teammates and very good results. The difference in their rankings by the casual fan and MSM obviously is due almost entirely to the first half of their careers when Kobe was winning titles and KG kept losing in the first round. But Mamba had Phil Jackson and Shaq. Garnett had Flip Saunders and Rasho Nesterovic. It always seemed really unfair to me that so few people seemed to take that into consideration.

And yeah, Duncan is in the same boat as Kobe. Great as he was, Popovich, Robinson, Parker, and Ginobili are a lot more than KG had until he got to Boston.
   241. andrewberg Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:43 AM (#4366372)
The thing about KG's personality that makes him hard to build around is the personality trait that made McHale draft him.

You all forgot Kidd. I'd slot him ahead of Pierce and Nash.
   242. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:54 AM (#4366373)
Not that I think he's better than the guys already named, but Ray Allen came into the league the same year as Bryant, and among active players, Allen's 5th in Win Shares ahead of Kidd, Pierce, and Nash.
   243. robinred Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:50 AM (#4366381)
Garnett wasn't "hard to build around." As NJ said, I would simply prefer a guy more like Duncan for the long haul.
   244. bigboy1234 Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:53 AM (#4366386)
Dirk>Kobe.

Kobe isn't quite as overrated as Carmelo and Iverson to me, but I do think he gets rated higher than he should. Maybe I'm crazy though.
   245. RollingWave Posted: February 10, 2013 at 08:45 AM (#4366395)
I think Dirk > Kobe is a stretch, Kobe can be overrated to some extend but he's been very healthy and has played since he's 18, the overall career value is very very high.

It's clear that he's not say.... David Robinson or Michael Jordan, but the difference between him and Garnett is relatively minimal at best even if you think it goes in favor of Garnett. (those 2 are the most interesting to compare though, both were highschool draft in very close succession, and both are kinda similar personality wise.)
   246. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 10, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4366404)
Kidd was drafted in '94 so he missed my fairly arbitrary '96 and after (mid to late 90s) cut-off. I considered Ray Allen, but I made the subjective judgment that the 6 guys I mentioned were all better than him.
   247. thok Posted: February 10, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4366406)
I don't know if this means anything, other than just that Garnett is, as everyone knows, a great, great player, but: "Garnett is the only player ever with at least 25,000 career points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals."


Garnett is the only player with at least 80% of that value in each category, although the inclusion of blocks and steals limits it to recent players (neither was measured until 1973).

Karl Malone and Abdul-Jabbar each beat Garnett in 4 of the 5 categories (Garnett has more blocks than Malone, and more steals than Abdul-Jabbar).
   248. PJ Martinez Posted: February 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4366454)
Allen is another guy who's never been a great defender. Nash, too. Kobe has declined, but at his best he was capable of excellent defense. Obviously Duncan and Garnett are on another level in terms of impact on that end.

If we include Kidd he's definitely up there, too. Seems a little underrated, though maybe that's changing as he continues to contribute in the latter stages of his career.
   249. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: February 10, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4366491)
My favorite (not best) Euroleague player is Kyle Hines. Here's a shot of him getting hit by a flare, 45 min before the Greek Final:

Argument against int'l expansion by the NBA
   250. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: February 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4366492)
244, I agree.

Not sure on Duncan v Garnett. Think I take Big Fundy, but you can't go wrong - both amazing dudes.
   251. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 10, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4366498)
I'm really shocked that people think Duncan/Garnett is a toss-up.
   252. robinred Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4366528)
I'm really shocked that people think Duncan/Garnett is a toss-up.


If you go by the numbers, that is pretty much what it is. Duncan has slight statistical edges in PER as well as WS/48.

As far as Bryant, as we have covered at length, his value and the weight of his contribution tends to be overstated by the MSM and a lot of Lakers fans, and understated by stat guys and a lot of opposing fans, for very obvious reasons. Here are the basic metrics for the four guys in career terms:

WS/WS48/PER
Duncan 182/.214/24.8
Garnett 186/.189/23.2
Bryant 170/.184/23.4
Nowitzki 170/.209/23.5

Bryant and Nowitzki's O/D WS breakdowns are pretty much identical:

Bryant 121/49
Nowitzki 120/50

Also, here are Duncan's and Garnett's career TS and EFG:

Duncan: .552/.508
Garnett: .549/.503

Nowitzki's TS is .580, due to the 3s.

It is an unprovable counterfactual, but I am pretty sure that if Garnett had played in San Antonio and Duncan had played in Minnesota and then Boston, the ring counts would be the same. To actually separate them, I think you would need detailed play-by play breakdowns of 4th quarters over 8 or 10 years, video, tracking data, etc, which is why I am generally not that into assertions about who-was-better-than-who.
   253. thok Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4366534)
Duncan has slight statistical edges in PER as well as WS/48.


Of course, Duncan didn't play in the NBA when he was 18,19, 20, or 21. This increases his WS/48 relative to the other three (while decreasing his traditional stats and total WS.)
   254. PJ Martinez Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4366539)
I enjoyed this breakdown of 5, 4, 3, and 2-man units. As with all statistical analyses of the NBA in 2012-13, the main lesson is that LeBron James is incredible.
   255. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4366543)
[253] Fair point and something I hadn't really considered despite taking that into account in my LBJ/MJ post from last page.

[252] Part of my Duncan over KG argument is post-season performance. I realize that Duncan has had more chances to play in the post-season but I feel Duncan's definitely performed better there. Of course some of that may be due to the ages at which they played their postseason games.
   256. robinred Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4366544)
Of course, Duncan didn't play in the NBA when he was 18,19, 20, or 21.


Correct. But even if you look at peak years, rather than career totals, you get a similar picture. Garnett's best PER and WS/WS/48 (2004) are actually higher than any one year that Duncan has had.
   257. robinred Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4366546)
Garnett has never had a postseason as good as Duncan's 2003 and 2006, and that is probably the best argument for Duncan (and is essentially the basis of where Simmons put them, 7th and 22nd). OTOH, Garnett didn't play in postseason from ages 28-30, and Duncan was in postseason with better teams around him.

   258. andrewberg Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4366548)
Somewhere in the original thread, I did about a 5000 word Duncan/Garnett post. I don't really mind if people ultimately prefer Duncan, but I'm glad we've reached a point where we discuss Garnett versus Duncan, Bryant, Robinson, Olajuwon, and Kareem rather than Elvin Hayes or Rick Barry.
   259. The District Attorney Posted: February 10, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4366552)
Also, Duncan's just closer to being a center, right? I mean, both are centers now as their careers wind down, but Garnett went from SF to PF to C, while Duncan has gone from PF/C to C. Garnett weighs less and favors jump shots over postups. And naturally, center is measured against a lower replacement value than PF/SF.

Kobe vs. Duncan is interesting. My gut says Kobe, but I'd have to really look at it.
   260. robinred Posted: February 10, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4366556)
Also, Duncan's just closer to being a center, right?


Yeah.

My gut says Kobe, but I'd have to really look at it


I have been a Lakers fan since I was a kid, but I don't see it that way. I also am not sure that comparing Kobe to three 6'11" guys is the best way to evaluate him, although I of course did it myself.
   261. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: February 10, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4366567)
This might belong in an OT thread - or the college one - but...
Is it sexist to claim that women's basketball has better fundamentals than the men's game? I think it is - which is not at all a knock on that game, but a function of resources, history, and so on.

Duncan over Kobe.
I really like part of rr's take on Bryant, how (paraphrasing badly) deceptively remarkable that he's managed to do as much as he has as a player with his 'merely great' tools.
   262. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: February 10, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4366569)
is better fundies expressed by the lack of scoring or competitive games?
   263. puck Posted: February 10, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4366571)
Is it sexist to claim that women's basketball has better fundamentals than the men's game? I think it is - which is not at all a knock on that game, but a function of resources, history, and so on.

Not necessarily? But whenever someone says "this basketball competition has better fundamentals than that competition" I wonder what they mean by fundamentals. For all I know, when they say "fundamentals" they mean "less dunking" or something.
   264. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 10, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4366572)
Melo has made a living trailing the break this year. Apparently the Clippers haven't watched any Knicks games yet.
   265. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: February 10, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4366575)
To be clear, I don't consider myself knowledgable about the women's game - I consider this an opportunity for discussion and education.

Parity (in college in particular): I think that's separate and driven by larger roster sizes and a relative lack of future opportunities to play pro, among other things. There's more incentive to be just another cog at a powerhouse.

What are fundamentals: not dunking is probably part of it. Um, making the right pass, boxing out, shooting form, and so on. Part good technique, part code for playing like it's 1958. (Meant as joke, critique of WBB, and slam on male commentators - a capacity I'm acting in with this post)

****

The Clips are too busy shooting videos and commercials to *watch* TV.
   266. bigboy1234 Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4366577)
Duncan has been primarily a center since the Rasho/Nazr days ended after the 2006 season. Elson/Thomas/Splitter have also played center for the Spurs since then, but mostly Duncan. I have no problem with people referring to Duncan as either a PF/C for his career as he'll likely log about an equal amount of minutes at each when all is said and done, but it's kind of weird when you hear people talk about him in the present sense as a PF when he hasn't really played the position in over 5 years.

Also, I'm more of a prime guy, than career. So maybe that is why I think Kobe is a little overrated.
   267. andrewberg Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4366581)
Speaking of Kidd, ABC just pointed out that 1994-95 co-ROYs Kidd and Hill are going head to head on the court in 2013.
   268. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4366583)
At what age does it become more common to shift, um, upward on the positional spectrum (like from PF to C), if any? I've guessed ~33 but never looked into it. (Also don't know how common it is)
   269. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4366585)
The college game can be brutal. All it takes is one really tall girl and you win the title. I dont mean this as a slam on the players or coaches, just that those games are hard to watch. often blow outs and even when the good schools face off it never seems to be that close. (my main exposure to womens bball is watch the ND womens team (which happens to be a power school))
   270. Booey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4366590)
Similar subject, but what do people think of Robinson vs Olajuwon? Like Garnett vs Duncan, they always seemed like pretty comparable players to me, but the latter is ranked much higher on every list I've seen. Simmons had Dream 11th and Admiral 29th. Really? They've even got the same number of ringzz, for guys like Simmons who care deeply about such things.

Should the one playoff series in 1995 when they played each other head-to-head that Hakeem dominated really carry so much weight? Or is it that Olajuwon won his titles in his prime as the undisputed best player on the team whereas Robby didn't get any until he took a backseat to Timmy D? (though they were actually a lot closer in 1999 than people seem to remember)
   271. puck Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4366592)
What are fundamentals: not dunking is probably part of it. Um, making the right pass, boxing out, shooting form, and so on. Part good technique, part code for playing like it's 1958. (Meant as joke, critique of WBB, and slam on male commentators - a capacity I'm acting in with this post)

Yeah, the "play like it's 1958" is what I often wonder when I hear people talk of fundamentals (usually when someone is a saying men's CBB has it, and the NBA doesn't). I don't know any of the games well enough to know the state of women's fundamentals as in good technique, but I think I know what you're getting at when wondering if it's sexist. It's used as a back-handed compliment. "She has a good personality" sort of thing.
   272. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4366593)
Hakeem got lucky that Jordan retired for a bit!
   273. andrewberg Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4366596)
Who are other greats to shift on the spectrum? The predominance of great centers takes them out of the convo. I guess Dwight played some 4 while his body filled out (like Davis now). There are guys who moved to the two due to loss of speed (Kidd, Billups) or never really being a one to start (Tyreke, Terry, Crawford). It seems like 4 to 5 would be the most common move.
   274. andrewberg Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4366601)
Rightly or wrongly, Robinson's rep was permanently damaged when Olajuwon eviscerated him in the 95 playoffs. The "stolen MVP" narrative is so juicy that it stuck and Robinson was always seen as inferior by many.

For what it's worth, Olajuwon had a great half decade before Robinson entered the league, including a Finals trip. By the time Olajuwon was gone, Robinson was a clear #2 behind Duncan. It's like Olajuwon added Howard's career to date to an otherwise comparable career. I think that's a better argument than one playoff series.
   275. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4366609)
I don't either, puck - I've probably watched 6 or 7 halves total this year (which were kind of sloppy, but whatever).
When I look at stats, I see things that are indicative of a lower relative calibre of play (more TO-STL, for one) but it can be heard to disentangle strategy and the fact that the players are closer to each other in size as factors.
But, yeah, you've captured a lot of what I was getting at. (And to be clear - I think this is okay. We shouldn't expect the women's game to be a copy of the men's game - it's its own thing.)

Mainly 4->5, but we've seen it across the board, position wise, I think.
Magic was an interesting case of this, of course.

I take Robinson, but there's good arguments both ways.
   276. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4366610)
[274] I was going to say as much in light of my personal belief that Dream is the greatest C ever, but...the stats are HEAVILY in Robinson's favor even acknowledging Hakeem playing almost half a decade more at a high level.

EDIT: Watching the ESPN/ABC studio crew and one of the most interesting things about broadcasting to me is if/when guys choose to dumb down their analysis. I have no doubt that Simmons is more knowledgable than everyone he is on the panel with and I wonder how difficult it must be for him to bite his tongue at some of the stuff they throw out as analysis. Similarly, I wonder what goes through Lowe's mind at times when he is on the podcast with Simmons.

EDIT 2:
MT @JADubin5 "The Knicks are not playing defense like they did the first two months."-Magic Johnson. D-Rtg first 2 months: 102.7 ... Since: 102.8
   277. Booey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4366623)
Looking at the numbers again, Hakeem really does have bigger career advantages than I would've thought. Peak is still a good argument, though.

Edit: I meant with counting stats, due to the longer career. Admiral is much higher on the advanced stats. Maybe they're not as similar of players as I thought. It's a peak vs career argument.
   278. andrewberg Posted: February 10, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4366629)
Why does Robinson have such a huge OWS advantage? He shot more FTs, but not insanely more, and TS, eFG, PER, and other offense based advanced stats are way closer.
   279. PJ Martinez Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4366640)
FWIW, w/r/t Duncan vs. Garnett, here are the Def Rtgs for BOS & SAS since Garnett joined the Celtics (going backwards from last season):

SAS: 10, 11, 8, 5, 3
BOS: 1, 2, 5, 2, 1

Lotta variables, of course, and SAS is up so far this season. Still, might be worth factoring in.

SAS has, of course, had a vastly better offense for much of that stretch.
   280. The District Attorney Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4366641)
I also am not sure that comparing Kobe to three 6'11" guys is the best way to evaluate him, although I of course did it myself.
Right. Naturally, my argument that Duncan was playing tougher-to-replace positions would apply to Kobe as it did to Garnett -- in fact, even more so. So if I'm going to say Garnett was worse than Duncan but Kobe was better than Duncan, that would mean Kobe was a lot better than Garnett. That does sound questionable. I'm really not sure. I guess the easiest way to weasel out of it is to say that all three guys are still playing at such a high level (even after all these years, which is crazy, but true) that evaluating their careers is premature.

Is it sexist to claim that women's basketball has better fundamentals than the men's game?
No, but I think it's inaccurate :-)

I was going to say as much in light of my personal belief that Dream is the greatest C ever, but...the stats are HEAVILY in Robinson's favor even acknowledging Hakeem playing almost half a decade more at a high level.
Yeah, this is an inconvenient fact for me as well.
   281. Spivey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4366645)
AROM did some awesome game log review of Robinson/Olajuwon over their career in one of the earlier threads. The report, from what I remember, basically showed that Robinson did a really good job guarding Olajuwon. Olajuwon had an out of his mind series playing at unsustainable level, and Robinson had a poor series.

Bill Simmons and pretty much all writers prefer a narrative to rigorous analysis. And the easy narrative is that Olajuwon owns Robinson because of one series. (Edit: This isn't to say it isn't close. It is, I just think a lot of people/writers think it isn't close in Olajuwon's favor.) Olajuwon did legitimately have better stats in the playoffs over his career, while Robinson's stats were worse.

I was young back then and I watched a lot of the Spurs, being in San Antonio. I didn't see nearly as much of Houston, but I don't think people truly appreciate how bad his supporting cast was pre-Duncan. It was an awful team. They were a 20 win team before he joined and they were a 20 win team when he missed the full season. They were a 50-60 win team in between. None of the other all-time greats have something that drastic on their resume. I wish there were +/- stats back then. He carried that team. Olajuwon had a pretty weak cast as well, but it felt better to me at the time.
   282. Spivey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4366647)
Why does Robinson have such a huge OWS advantage? He shot more FTs, but not insanely more, and TS, eFG, PER, and other offense based advanced stats are way closer.


Robinson's prime TS% was significantly better than Hakeem's. Hakeem was great, and I'd rather have Hakeem or Robinson than Shaq. But I think Hakeem has developed some mythic legend, especially about his offense, that wasn't really accurate.
   283. Spivey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4366672)
I think Duncan/Garnett is a very true toss up. Because of that, I'm going to go with Duncan. 4 main reasons:

1. He's bigger. In his prime, he was able to often guard Shaq. Garnett is a great interior defender, and got the max out of his slight frame. But I think in one-on-one low post defending, I'd take Duncan.
2. Better playoff resume. Garnett I think had a fairly earned reputation as being a guy who would play hot potato with the ball in the late stages of the playoffs. I think that Boston is/was a perfect team in that he never had to have the offense run through him in late game situations.
3. All things equal I prefer my big guys to be able to get their points in the post, I think it helps with court spacing.
4. Duncan's not an #######. This means something to me, even if I'm not exactly sure what.

Again, none of this is that big of a deal. But I think the statistics show it as being a tossup, and I think these are fair things to use as a tiebreaker.
   284. Spivey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4366677)
I think the earlier point made about if Garnett would be different if he came into a system with Popovich and Robinson is a fair question to ask, though.
   285. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4366678)
They were a 20 win team before he joined and they were a 20 win team when he missed the full season. They were a 50-60 win team in between. None of the other all-time greats have something that drastic on their resume.

LeBron and Cavs.
   286. Booey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4366679)
I don't think people truly appreciate how bad his supporting cast was pre-Duncan. It was an awful team. They were a 20 win team before he joined and they were a 20 win team when he missed the full season. They were a 50-60 win team in between. None of the other all-time greats have something that drastic on their resume. I wish there were +/- stats back then. He carried that team. Olajuwon had a pretty weak cast as well, but it felt better to me at the time.


This is true, but it's also true of many 90's teams. That's kinda just the way teams were built back then; one or two superstars, and then a bunch of filler. Simmons pointed out the lack of depth of several high win 90's teams in his book and used that as a reason to rank them lower than their record says they should be. I don't agree with his doing that, but it does kinda seem like there weren't as many quality supporting players back then as there is now.
   287. andrewberg Posted: February 10, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4366691)
There are lots of narrative similarities between pre-Boston Garnett and pre-Duncan Robinson.
   288. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 10, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4366695)
spivey

as a non-basketball fan i suspect the legend of hakeem is somewhat traced to the fact that he was incredibly elegant and fluid in his play. he was really pleasant to watch

if that makes any sense

duncan is kind of clunky
   289. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 10, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4366709)
I really like a lot of what Spivey wrote in 283. Some comments:
1. He's bigger. In his prime, he was able to often guard Shaq. Garnett is a great interior defender, and got the max out of his slight frame. But I think in one-on-one low post defending, I'd take Duncan.
It doesn't help KG's case that in his eight playoff appearances in Minnesota, four times his teams got kicked by Duncan's Spurs and Shaq's Lakers. There were two true low post monsters in KG's era, and not only wasn't he one of them, he was as helpless to stop them as everyone else was.

In a way, KG's all-around greatness kind of hurts him because it's hard to highlight just one aspect of his game, and his team defensive value is basically invisible to the naked eye.

2. Better playoff resume. Garnett I think had a fairly earned reputation as being a guy who would play hot potato with the ball in the late stages of the playoffs. I think that Boston is/was a perfect team in that he never had to have the offense run through him in late game situations.
I think KG's rep takes an unfair hit on that, but seven straight first round exits won't help your rep.
   290. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 10, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4366713)
Lebron is unstoppable.
   291. bigboy1234 Posted: February 10, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4366715)
Good god.
   292. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 10, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4366717)
LeBron is amazing.
   293. Spivey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 06:37 PM (#4366720)
LeBron and Cavs.


They didn't become good right away, but it's fair to say that Robinson at 24 came into the league and played at an all-time great level right out of the gate. Where as LeBron was still a raw teenager.

To rank the guys mentioned a lot here:

Robinson > Olajuwon > Shaq > Duncan > Garnett > Kobe > Nowitzki > Kidd > Nash > Pierce > Allen

I think the top 5 are very close, though. And last year I'd have probably ranked them a little different. I'm not sure where I'd put Karl Malone here. But to me, the fact that he didn't consistently have better teams than Robinson/Olajuwon despite having John F'n Stockton is enough to know I'd rank him below both of them.
   294. GregD Posted: February 10, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4366721)
spivey

as a non-basketball fan i suspect the legend of hakeem is somewhat traced to the fact that he was incredibly elegant and fluid in his play. he was really pleasant to watch

if that makes any sense

duncan is kind of clunky

+1

Hakeem was one of the two most-interesting post players to watch of my lifetime, with McHale (Dantley if you go back to my real youth.) After his first couple of years, his footwork was really a thing of beauty. Like McHale (though with different moves and abilities) he had become so sound that he could be creative without losing his balance or advantage. Unlike McHale he had enough spring to develop that little baseline fadeaway that was impossible to guard.

Robinson was to me more brutally efficient. Terrific, probably better, but not more fun to watch. He had great strengths and a great awareness of his weaknesses. Probably all in all, I can take the argument he's better than Hakeem, but I don't fault people for the sense they got in watching Hakeem that he was doing something almost no one else could do. some of this is just the size difference. Hakeem had to be magnificent to get shots off since he couldn't bulldoze people. Robinson had some truly great size (non-Shaq division.)

Duncan is a great, and almost beautiful, post player but just doesn't have the capacity to do the creative things that Hakeem could do. For executing the basics, though, how to pin a man, how to drop step and shield the body, how to step baseline then spin back to the middle for the little hook, he's about as great as you could imagine. Shaq's footwork fundamentals is underrated, in part because he dunked balls in situations where other people would have banked the shot, in part because he didn't have the body to execute the prettier step throughs. But even accounting for his size and strength, he did an amazing job at showing for the ball, giving great targets, pinning men on his ample backside, and moving away from his defender. There were some things he simply could not do, but the things he could do he did the right way almost every time.

But Dantley in my memory had the most-insanely agile post moves. A wizard. The real old-timers said Cliff Hagan--also undersized--was similar, not a great athlete but remarkable at finding angles and spinning the ball crazily off the backboard.
   295. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: February 10, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4366724)
They didn't become good right away, but it's fair to say that Robinson at 24 came into the league and played at an all-time great level right out of the gate. Where as LeBron was still a raw teenager.

I was referring to the Cavs pre/post-Decision performance. Not as good a fit as Robinson's success from his rookie year though I suppose.
   296. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 10, 2013 at 07:02 PM (#4366730)
I grew up on Magic and Bird and Jordan, Shaq and Duncan and Hakeem, and I gotta think that right now Lebron James is playing the best basketball that's ever been played in the history of the NBA.
   297. Spivey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4366731)
I was referring to the Cavs pre/post-Decision performance. Not as good a fit as Robinson's success from his rookie year though I suppose.


I think LeBron is definitely a fair example to bring up. Part of why it's hard to find a good corollary is normally when you add a great player, at least in the current NBA, you're putting good parts around them. Robinson's prime run being being bookended by terrible performances does strongly suggest that he made that team about 30 wins better over the course of the season. Which is insane.
   298. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 10, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4366734)
i keep hearing that wade is getting old and not the same player and then i check and he's averaging 21 a game and shooting over 50 percent

boy if that's washed up i wnat the equivalent in my life

ha, ha
   299. Spivey Posted: February 10, 2013 at 07:15 PM (#4366736)
LeBron does anything and everything you'd ever ask a small forward to do. I do think he's going to go down as the greatest of all time.
   300. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 10, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4366740)
is he really a small forward? because from what i read he guards everyone.

seems like he's a basketball player. period
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