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Saturday, March 03, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, March 2012

I estimate that there may be more than 10-12 Primates who want to talk about the inevitable blacklash against Linsanity, and with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: Ryan Braun Urine, Players Being in the Best Shape of Their Lives, and what Eric Chavez thinks about the Moneyball movie.

Tripon Posted: March 03, 2012 at 08:39 AM | 1861 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1301. Spivey Posted: March 19, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4084626)
I cannot imagine how the Spurs would be worse with Deron Williams than with Tony Parker. I think Westbrook is on Williams level though.
   1302. andrewberg Posted: March 19, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4084634)
I cannot imagine how the Spurs would be worse with Deron Williams than with Tony Parker. I think Westbrook is on Williams level though.


In fact, if the Spurs had Williams, I think the MSM would treat them as real title contenders instead of the obligatory "and let's not forget about the Spurs!" bs thrown in at the end of conversations in which they were clearly forgotten. I think their title chances range from 5-10%, so they're far from a favorite, but they're still really freaking good and I love watching them play, especially when Manu is healthy.
   1303. Spivey Posted: March 19, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4084641)
I can narrow the GOAT to 6 names from there. Mikan deserves mention as a pioneer but there is no way in hell he could have survived head to head matchups with the others on the list. Malone was not the defensive force the others were. There is nothing Ewing could do that Olajuwon could not do better. And while Robinson was a great regular season player, he was no match for Shaq or Hakeem when playoffs came around.

Robinson, in his prime (considered all playoff series except the last two) averaged 21.1/11.7, with a PER of 24.0 and .201 WS/48.

O'Neal was 25.6/12.2 (through the Miami championship), with a 26.7 PER and a .192 WS/48.

Hakeem was 27.0/11.6 (through the 35yo year), with 26.1 PER and a .193 WS/48.

That jives with my experience. They were better in the playoffs, but it wasn't that big. It was better offensively, but the Admiral was better defensively except for the one playoff series I'm sure you'll mention in your response.
   1304. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 19, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4084644)
I think their title chances range from 5-10%, so they're far from a favorite, but they're still really freaking good and I love watching them play, especially when Manu is healthy.
Only 5-10%? Assuming Manu's health, I think it's a coin flip between the Spurs and OKC for the Conference title, and if they get that far anywhere from 33% to 45% to win the whole thing against either the Bulls or Heat. I really do think they're that good, and they've been unjustly forgotten.
   1305. tshipman Posted: March 19, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4084645)
Okay, sorry about Wade. Meant to have him in the mush with Rose, CP3, etc.

I think Williams is a clear #3 in the active PG list. At worst, he's tied with Westbrook.

He can call himself a power forward all he wants, but to me Duncan (and I'm sure to many) is a center. A great power forward can score, rebound, maybe play great defense on his man. A great center can do all that and play man on team defense. In this regard the people to compare Duncan to are Olajuwon, his old teammate the Admiral, young Kareem, late career Wilt, and Bill Russell.

Duncan is on a short list for consideration as the greatest center of all time, along with the guys mentioned up above, and Shaq. I have not worked out in my head who ranks where.


I think that Duncan is a center, too--especially later in his career, but he's probably worse than all of those guys you mention (including Shaq who dominated Duncan head to head when both were in their prime).
   1306. madvillain Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4084648)
I really do think they're that good, and they've been unjustly forgotten.


Not sure about that. Chicago is a bad, bad matchup for the Spurs. Assuming both teams are relatively healthy -- Noah is too quick in transition and on the glass for any of the Spurs' big men. Boozer doesn't have to guard anyone and he can score over Blair. Deng gets to "rest" on defense. Rose is one of the few PGs that is quick enough to stay relatively in front of Parker.

The Spurs have an advantage at SG, that's it. If Chicago meets them in the finals, assuming fair health for both teams, I don't see the Spurs winning more than 2 games. I'd peg them to lose in 5.

That said, Chicago is banged up and I'm not optimistic they'll beat Miami. Maybe the Spurs matchup better with the Heat.


________________

The whole "Duncan is the greatest PF of all time" meme seems to be something made up by Duncan fans. I love the guy, but he's a freaking center and as a center he's not as good as Hakeem, Shaq, Wilt, Russell, Kareem and arguably Ewing or the Admiral. Great player, not an inner circle HOFer.
   1307. Jimmy P Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4084652)
Also, I doubt Derrick Rose goes first overall without his NCAA Tournament performance.


Maybe. He'd go top 3. He was super hyped in his first game at Memphis.

I think Williams is a clear #3 in the active PG list. At worst, he's tied with Westbrook.


I agree with the previous list. At this point, I'm having a hard time putting Williams in the top 5.

I think it's a coin flip between the Spurs and OKC for the Conference title

Zach Lowe wrote a nice post about how OKC really really struggles against the Spurs. In much the same way San Antonio struggled against Memphis last year. If it's OKC vs. Spurs, I'm taking the Spurs.
   1308. Spivey Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4084656)
The Spurs have an advantage at SG, that's it. If Chicago meets them in the finals, assuming fair health for both teams, I don't see the Spurs winning more than 2 games. I'd peg them to lose in 5.

If Manu is healthy, saying the Spurs have an advantage at SG is drastically underselling the gap. Manu is the best or second best SG in the league. The Bulls have a mediocre shooting guard. It's a bigger gap than Parker/Rose. The Spurs also have good shooters, and Chicago doesn't. I'd take Chicago, but I don't think it's a terrible matchup.
   1309. Spivey Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4084660)
The whole "Duncan is the greatest PF of all time" meme seems to be something made up by Duncan fans. I love the guy, but he's a freaking center and as a center he's not as good as Hakeem, Shaq, Wilt, Russell, Kareem and arguably Ewing or the Admiral. Great player, not an inner circle HOFer.

To be fair, he's been listed as a PF the whole time and usually played along side a true center (Robinson, Nesterovic, other randoms) until late in his career. But he's definitely better than Ewing.
   1310. andrewberg Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4084663)
A longer post got eaten, but I would say the most optimistic version is 10% chance to win it all for SA. I'd say 40% chance to win a finals matchup against MIA or CHI and diminishingly small chance of another opponent (40%). Then I'll say 45% against OKC (18%). And even though I think it is too kind, I'll say 75% against anyone else for two rounds (13.5% then 10.125%) That is giving them the BOTD on health and match ups, at least in my opinion, and it still only makes them 10% to win the title.
   1311. Spivey Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4084665)
I agree with berg. There's no team in the West with a very high chance to win the title. Much like last year, I literally think every playoff team could be dangerous. I still haven't written the Lakers off, and I think Memphis and Denver, to name a couple of teams could be dangerous this year too.
   1312. AROM Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4084666)
Robinson didn't win until Duncan showed up. Duncan was able to win with Robinson as his equal, with Robinson as a role player, and with Robinson in retirement. He can't be the GOAT if he's only the second best big man of the Spurs.
   1313. andrewberg Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4084674)
West- I want to see the Clippers play better without Billups before considering them a serious contender. If Young can give them a legitimate 5th guy in crunch time, it could go a long way to making them more consistent. Wing D, coaching, FT shooting, team defensive strategy- that team has a lot of lingering questions. I would also exclude Houston from serious contender status if they sew up that last spot. That leaves OKC, SA, MEM, LAL, DAL, DEN as teams that I see as having roughly equal chances, probably in about that order but fairly clustered.

AROM- Do you think Duncan would have won with the Avery, Elliott, VDN group? Alternately, do you think Robinson would have won with prime Manu and Parker? There is a kernel of an argument in there, but the way you presented it doesn't seem very persuasive to me. It's like saying that Hakeem never won until Horry got there, and Horry went on to win after he was with Hakeem.
   1314. Maxwn Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4084682)
Commercial Appeal says that the Grizzlies are going to sign Gilbert Arenas. I'm pretty curious to see if he has anything left. I doubt it winds up making much difference, but since I think lack of wing depth is what cost them the OKC series last year, it seems like it's worth a shot. If he really sucks they can just give the backup PG mins back to O.J.
   1315. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4084684)
The whole "Duncan is the greatest PF of all time" meme seems to be something made up by Duncan fans. I love the guy, but he's a freaking center and as a center he's not as good as Hakeem, Shaq, Wilt, Russell, Kareem and arguably Ewing or the Admiral. Great player, not an inner circle HOFer.
Why not? Hakeem, Shaq, Wilt, Russell, Kareem are all inner-circle centers. While I don't consider Robinson a inner circle center, I would consider anyone better than Robinson to be one, and I'd put Duncan slightly ahead of Robinson (and clearly ahead of Ewing).
   1316. andrewberg Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4084688)
Commercial Appeal says that the Grizzlies are going to sign Gilbert Arenas. I'm pretty curious to see if he has anything left. I doubt it winds up making much difference, but since I think lack of wing depth is what cost them the OKC series last year, it seems like it's worth a shot. If he really sucks they can just give the backup PG mins back to O.J.


Wow, they really misunderstood their need for a gunner off the bench. #firepower
   1317. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4084690)
...but he was the best player on a series of Jazz teams that, judging by their roster, had no business winning 50+ games every season and had the misfortune of operating in the Western Conference at the same time as Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant.

As the self appointed President of the Andrei Kirilenko fan club, I strongly disagree with this statement.
I probably overstate. AK-47 is like Williams in that they both do a bunch of things really well, but real title contenders generally have at least one guy who's just overwhelmingly great at one of the big things, like score tons of points against tough defenses or stop great offensive players cold. For over two decades pretty much every championship team has had at least one of those guys: Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, Wade, Dirk, Hakeem, Duncan, Boston's Big Three. The Jazz didn't have any of those guys, just really good all-around All-Stars. Williams was the best of that group.

I'm a big AK-47 fan, but I guess watching Kobe Bryant eat his lunch every May kind of distorts his perceived value.
   1318. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 19, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4084691)
Big thumbs up for 1316.
   1319. Maxwn Posted: March 19, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4084699)
Wow, they really misunderstood their need for a gunner off the bench. #firepower

A+.
   1320. Jimmy P Posted: March 19, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4084702)
Jermaine O'Neal is out for the year.
   1321. AROM Posted: March 19, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4084721)
AROM- Do you think Duncan would have won with the Avery, Elliott, VDN group? Alternately, do you think Robinson would have won with prime Manu and Parker? There is a kernel of an argument in there, but the way you presented it doesn't seem very persuasive to me. It's like saying that Hakeem never won until Horry got there, and Horry went on to win after he was with Hakeem.


The Horry comparison doesn't work, he was a role player (though a supremely clutch one). Robinson, Duncan, Shaq, and Hakeem are the best players on their teams - and Robinson is the only one of that group who did not win a championship when it was clearly his team.

I do think Duncan could have won early had he traded birthdates with Robinson. Those teams also had Terry Cummings as an excellent player at the beginning of the run, and added Dennis Rodman a bit later. From Robinson's rookie year to the last year before injury, Spurs average 55 wins per year. From his retirement to last season, Duncan's teams won 57 games. Duncan's got a better supporting cast but it's not a mismatch. Could Robinson have won with Parker/Manu? He might have. Impossible to answer a hypothetical. Basketball is the team game where one player can have the biggest impact, so I have to put some weight on the championships here. Robinson was a all-great player, but Duncan gets the edge in my book.
   1322. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 19, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4084722)
Gotta admit - I'm surprised hickson was waived
   1323. AROM Posted: March 19, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4084724)
My win share formula is across the board a little higher for great players. Here's what I have for the 7 greatest centers in regular season and playoff WS48:

Shaq: .277/.249
Kareem .259/.223
Wilt .260/.205
Russell .200/.192
Robinson .292/.215
Duncan .265/.254
Hakeem .229/.222
   1324. AROM Posted: March 19, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4084728)
This does call for going through the game logs. I'm looking back at Robinson's career. In 1993-94 the Spurs missed a good chance at a title post-Jordan, and got knocked out by the Jazz in the first round (4-5 seeds). Some ugly shooting by Robinson, 2-14 in one game, shut down by my man, U of L's Felton Spencer. Who remains to this day the biggest man I've ever had a beer with.
   1325. JuanGone..except1game Posted: March 19, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4084740)
I'm a big AK-47 fan, but I guess watching Kobe Bryant eat his lunch every May kind of distorts his perceived value.


I was always of the opinion that DWill is what made that team go during those Lakers series, but that might have been based on the awfulness of the Laker's pg situation. The one thing that I did know for sure was that Boozer was vastly overrated. Gasol and Odom would just destroy him, and so I expected that he would struggle with CHI as he lost a little athleticism.

Gotta admit - I'm surprised hickson was waived


The one thing that I don't think Mike Brown took enough blame for was his poor development of Hickson, who showed a lot of talent early on. Obviously, most of it is on the player, but the way he shuffled him in and out of his doghouse was definitely to Hickson's detriment. I've seen the same thing up close with his usage of Mini-Mamba, Darius Morris and McRoberts. Unlike his mentor Pop, Brown doesn't seem to be the type of coach who trusts the young guys.
   1326. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 19, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4084744)
I was always of the opinion that DWill is what made that team go during those Lakers series, but that might have been based on the awfulness of the Laker's pg situation. The one thing that I did know for sure was that Boozer was vastly overrated. Gasol and Odom would just destroy him, and so I expected that he would struggle with CHI as he lost a little athleticism.
From a Laker fan's POV, I was always shocked at how seemingly easy it was for the Lakers to brush aside Utah every year, since Utah played everyone else so well. I think it was the twinkie soft inside of the Jazz defense. Boozer and Okur couldn't, as you point out, ever handle Gasol and Bynum (and Odom), and as good as AK was defensively, he didn't have the foot speed to keep Bryant from turning the corner on him. You could actually see AK try and funnel Bryant towards inside help, but there was just no defensive size inside that would bother Bryant once he got there; he'd just elevate and take an easy 10-footer. Those Lakers were just a bad match-up for most teams, and especially for the Jazz.

Unlike his mentor Pop, Brown doesn't seem to be the type of coach who trusts the young guys.
Brown remind me of Doug Collins in that they both feel the need to not just win every game, but every quarter of every game. Couple that with his distrust of young players, and it gets very rough. Remember that stat a few years ago, when Cleveland hit Boston in the ECF? James aside, Cleveland was actually fielding an older team than the Celtics, and it's probably because Ferry and Brown just don't trust anyone younger than 30 to play more than 8 minutes a game.
   1327. Eddo Posted: March 19, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4084770)
my man, U of L's Felton Spencer. Who remains to this day the biggest man I've ever had a beer with.

That's awesome, AROM. And wow, Felton Spencer is a name I hadn't thought of in fifteen years.
   1328. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 19, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4084774)
FWIW, Vegas has the spurs at 7:1 to win the West, and 18:1 for the title. Even with a very healthy vig, there is no way that drops true value below 10:1.
   1329. Squash Posted: March 19, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4084779)
I too think Williams is being underestimated. He's a PG who's put up all star PG numbers despite never having played with a great cast around him. I put him even with Westbrook on that list, and maybe even above because of temperament, which matters in a usage game like basketball. I still think defense is hugely underrated - it's a huge hit against Nash, and part of why he's never gone all the way, as great as he is at what he does (yes, there are many, many other factors). The ability to play a little D makes a guy hugely more valuable, more I think than a simple tradeoff of ppg. It has ripple effects for both teams on the floor.

And yes Duncan is a center.
   1330. Manny Coon Posted: March 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4084797)
The whole "Duncan is the greatest PF of all time" meme seems to be something made up by Duncan fans. I love the guy, but he's a freaking center and as a center he's not as good as Hakeem, Shaq, Wilt, Russell, Kareem and arguably Ewing or the Admiral. Great player, not an inner circle HOFer.


And this is why people some people think Duncan is underrated. To me he basically has the same career value as Shaq, Shaq was a little better at his peak, but was less consistent and durable; Shaq was a much better offensive player but Duncan was a much better defender, Duncan is in my opinion the best defensive player since Bill Russell. Hakeem and Duncan are about dead even for me as well, although I'd put Hakeem a little behind Duncan and Shaq. Robinson is pretty much their equal as well, but less proven in the post season due to the poor teams he was on. Kareem, Russell and Wilt are hard to judge because they played in a different era and it is really difficult to measure defensive value from that time period.

Ewing isn't anywhere near any of them, neither is someone like Kobe Bryant, a guy lot of people on the street would say is better than Duncan.

As for his position, he's both a power forward and center (Pau Gasol is also both) and there is value in that versatility, as it allows him to play with different configurations of teammates and cover different types of defensive assignments.
   1331. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: March 19, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4084810)
How old - or should I say young - is McBob?

Thibs is the same way - I've lost track of how many time outs he's called up 20 in the 4th. Speaking of, wtf Orlando?
   1332. Spivey Posted: March 19, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4084821)
As the resident person who loves this thread, and loves basketball, but doesn't watch a ton of NBA, let me say this. I find it interesting - last year we all debated at pretty great lengths about how good Rose is. Is he even better than Westbrook (after FIBA many thought he wasn't)? There was just generally a lot of discussion of if he deserves a lot of the credit for Chicago turning it around, or if the whole team does and he's not truly a superstar. It seems like everyone's agreeing without question he's a top 5 player now, which seems surprising to me given he's missed a lot of time and generally not been 100% much of the season. But there the Bulls are, stomping on Orlando in Orlando and having a 38-10 record.

Edit: I do realize Rose has very good numbers by any measure this year... but he's played like 50% of the minutes available.
   1333. Quaker Posted: March 19, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4084825)
For all the talk of the Lakers "easily brushing aside" the Jazz, let's not forget the Jazz should have been up 3-2 going into a home Game 6 in 2008 had Gm 5 been officiated even a little fairly. There's a very good chance the Jazz would have won the West that year had the Lakers not acquired Gasol.

The '09 Jazz team just wasn't very good. They were much better in '10, but played that series w/o Memo, lost two close games (1 & 3) and I think AK was just coming back from an injury, too, IIRC.
   1334. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 19, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4084826)
For all the talk of the Lakers "easily brushing aside" the Jazz, let's not forget the Jazz should have...
... could have, would have.
   1335. Quaker Posted: March 19, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4084832)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKZa_Tpa1qA
   1336. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 19, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4084838)
You have a great point. The only reason the Lakers have won anything is that they cheat. I'll tell you what: let's both pretend that life is fair and the Jazz won that game.

Man, what a big win!
   1337. kpelton Posted: March 19, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4084846)
The one thing that I don't think Mike Brown took enough blame for was his poor development of Hickson, who showed a lot of talent early on. Obviously, most of it is on the player, but the way he shuffled him in and out of his doghouse was definitely to Hickson's detriment. I've seen the same thing up close with his usage of Mini-Mamba, Darius Morris and McRoberts. Unlike his mentor Pop, Brown doesn't seem to be the type of coach who trusts the young guys.

Looking at Hickson's 2009-10 game log, the ups and downs don't seem too out of the ordinary, and he did start virtually every game before the playoffs. I think saying Brown didn't trust him requires a lot of weight on the postseason.

To me, Hickson's non-development is more about not playing with LeBron James. Look at how dramatically his shot selection changed last season in a larger role without somebody to draw double-teams. That only got worse this year in Sacramento. Hickson was never contributing much defensively, so when he stopped scoring efficiently, he lost a lot of his luster.
   1338. Spivey Posted: March 19, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4084850)
I think the organization had too much trust in Hickson. I did too - I thought highly of him at the time. But if they got Stoudemire instead of Jamison it's possible they win it all that year. Granted, I think given what we know now LeBron would have left anyways. But flags fly forever. Especially in Cleveland.
   1339. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4084857)
neither is someone like Kobe Bryant,


I said about two years ago that Kobe was below the great big men, due to defensive value, so I agree to a point. Here are the career numbers:

WS/Career O/D ROUNDED TO INTEGERS

BRYANT 114/47 161
DUNCAN 86/87 173

WS/48

DUNCAN .210
BRYANT .185

PER

DUNCAN 24.7
BRYANT 23.5

TS% EFG%

DUNCAN .551 .507
BRYANT .555 .486

ORTG/DRTG

DUNCAN 110/95
BRYANT 112/105

The defensive value of the two-way big men gives them the edge over pretty much everybody except Jordan, James, Bird, Johnson and maybe Robertson. But "nowhere near" in terms of career value? Not buying it.
   1340. tshipman Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4084867)
I said about two years ago that Kobe was below the great big men, due to defensive value, so I agree to a point. Here are the career numbers:


I actually don't agree. A lot of the difference in per game value is driven by Kobe's first three seasons, which Duncan spent in college. Kobe's first three years in PER: 14.4, 18.8, 18.9. Kobe's first three year's in WS/48*: 0.79, .147, .130.

Kobe has also already played more games (and way more minutes) than Duncan. That stuff counts.


*side note: why are we using WS/48? Why not K-Pizzle's stat?
   1341. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4084873)
Add: I think Matt's view of Duncan is a distinctly minority one among basketball media and fairly serious fans. Duncan is probably overlooked by casual fans since he has played his entire career in a small market, plays the way he does, and has had no controversies surrounding him. But not talking about him is not exactly the same thing as underrataing him, and I think Duncan is generally seen as being on the same level as the all-time great big men, as of course he should be.
   1342. Manny Coon Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4084875)

The defensive value of the two-way big men gives them the edge over pretty much everybody except Jordan, James, Bird, Johnson and maybe Robertson. But "nowhere near" in terms of career value? Not buying it.


You're right I probably overstated it and the same could be said for Kevin Garnett as well, but I do think both of them (and Dirk Nowitzki) are together in a tier behind Duncan, while the general public probably likely considers Kobe the easily the biggest star of the group.
   1343. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4084876)
K-Pizzle's stat?


Because BaskRef is easier to Google than "K-Pizzle."

One of many things I agree with the KBros on is that Bryant's legacy is basically set in stone at this point, so where people want to put him on lists is not all that interesting to me on some level. But I do agree with you, in the sense that since it DOES seem to be an issue to a lot of people, those who want to talk about it need to make clear how much they are going on career and how much they are going on peak, since that does matter in ranking Bryant.
   1344. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4084881)
Kevin Garnett as well, but I do think both of them (and Dirk Nowitzki) are together in a tier behind Duncan.


This is the andrewberg dog whistle.

Kobe actually is the biggest star of all those guys. He was just not the best two-way at-peak player among them.


   1345. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 01:49 AM (#4084897)
ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
Wow. Twitter play-by-play didn't do GSW ceremony debacle justice. Seeing actual footage ... Lacob might wanna retire Monta's jersey tomorrow


"This is where it all started for me as a pro," Mullin told the crowd. "I grew up right in front of you. You, the Warrior fans, were a huge part of my success. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm proud to call the Bay Area my home."

The ceremony was interrupted by the crowd booing when Lacob rose to spoke.

Mullin walked to Lacob and put his arm around the Warriors owner before addressing the crowd. When the booing continued, Rick Barry -- whose jersey also hangs from the rafters in Oakland -- took a microphone and admonished the crowd.

It was a minor blip on an otherwise special night for Mullin.
   1346. baudib Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:04 AM (#4084910)
I can't see how you can compare Manu/Parker to Sean Elliott/Avery Johnson/Del Negro and think that Admiral got a fair shake on teammates with Duncan. How about Popovich vs. Bob Hill and John Lucas?

And yes, Robinson had some notable struggles in the playoffs that have come to define his career, which seems entirely unfair. Moses Malone utterly dominated Kareem in 2 playoff series, but that didn't become part of the Kareem narrative.

   1347. AROM Posted: March 20, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4084925)
"I can't see how you can compare Manu/Parker to Sean Elliott/Avery Johnson/Del Negro and think that Admiral got a fair shake on teammates with Duncan. How about Popovich vs. Bob Hill and John Lucas?"

Robinson also had Terry Cummings while he was still good, and when he declined the Spurs brought in Dennis Rodman.
   1348. Spivey Posted: March 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4085092)
The Spurs had Rodman for a year and while a good rebounder he was completely off the deep end mentally at that point, and needed either Jordan or a strong coach to reel him in.
   1349. andrewberg Posted: March 20, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4085122)
This is the andrewberg dog whistle.


I'm too subjective to give a good argument. My points have always been that it's not fair to compare their team success due to the enormous difference in teammates, and that the gap in their individual achievements is quite small.

I will be the first to admit that Duncan has aged better and probably has more career value. The peaks are closer than most people will admit, though, and I think it has to do with people not being comfortable with what KG is.

Top 5 WS/48, descending:
KG- .272. .265, .248, .242, .225
Duncan- .257, .249, .248, .245, .230

PER doesn't capture a lot of what these guys do, but KG's top PER seasons are better than Duncan's.

Yes, Duncan played for better teams. Yes, he had more overall success, and that probably means he had a better career. I just want people to remember that KG was an all-time great and not just the snarling, vengeful dick he became in his big market swan song.

ELO: Robinson 9, Duncan 11, KG 16.
   1350. Jimmy P Posted: March 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4085127)
Wow. Twitter play-by-play didn't do GSW ceremony debacle justice. Seeing actual footage ... Lacob might wanna retire Monta's jersey tomorrow

Apparently, players on both teams were laughing on court during it.
   1351. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4085128)
ESPNLA is doing a bracket-style "Most Beloved Sports Figure in LA" thing. I bring this up because we have had some discussion about NBA Teams "Mt.Rushmores" and the "City Hall of Fames" in the past. I am not clear on whether you are supposed to vote for who you "love" more or who you think is more popular in general , but the Final Four is:

Magic Johnson vs. Kobe Bryant
and
Vin Scully vs. Chick Hearn

http://espn.go.com/losangeles/bracket/mostbeloved
   1352. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: March 20, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4085136)
You have a great point. The only reason the Lakers have won anything is that they cheat. I'll tell you what: let's both pretend that life is fair and the Jazz won that game.

Man, what a big win!


Easy there. The statement was never "TEH LAKERZ OUR TEH CHEATZ~!". It was that the officiating was questionable, at best, in game 5 (with a link demonstrating the claim) and that the series might have been different because of it. Mind you, this came up because you made the claim "how seemingly easy it was for the Lakers to brush aside Utah every year" and #1333 was just voicing a different view point. The Lakers STILL won the game, the series AND the NBA Championship. I promise, they won't take that away even if you agree that there was poor officiating in one game.

---------------------------------

As for DWill - put me in the not top 5 group, but definitely top 10. I rate players who I view as selfish lower than most, especially when they aren't Michael Jordan or Kobe when he was younger. DWill is talented, but he's no where near MJ or KB.

1 CP3
2 Rose
3 Westbrook
4 Rondo
5 Parker
6 Nash
Then (in no order): DWill, Kyrie, Wall, Rubio.
   1353. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4085169)
As for DWill - put me in the not top 5 group, but definitely top 10. I rate players who I view as selfish lower than most, especially when they aren't Michael Jordan or Kobe when he was younger. DWill is talented, but he's no where near MJ or KB.

Selfish how? Because we're blaming him for Sloan retiring, even though Sloan furiously denies it? I think it's easier to build a team around DWill than Rondo or Parker, so that's the tiebreaker I have to put him ahead of them. Nash is better than all of them offensively, IMO, but worse defensively - and the defensive gap is greater than the offensive gap.

As the resident person who loves this thread, and loves basketball, but doesn't watch a ton of NBA, let me say this. I find it interesting - last year we all debated at pretty great lengths about how good Rose is. Is he even better than Westbrook (after FIBA many thought he wasn't)? There was just generally a lot of discussion of if he deserves a lot of the credit for Chicago turning it around, or if the whole team does and he's not truly a superstar. It seems like everyone's agreeing without question he's a top 5 player now, which seems surprising to me given he's missed a lot of time and generally not been 100% much of the season. But there the Bulls are, stomping on Orlando in Orlando and having a 38-10 record.

Edit: I do realize Rose has very good numbers by any measure this year... but he's played like 50% of the minutes available.


I argued last year, when their PER numbers were virtually identical, that Rose was better then. By the end of the year, I believe most everyone else agreed. It's not just about credit for their success, although he is the driver for their offense. Most people had him top 5 last year, even while admitting he wasn't the MVP.

And the 50% of minutes is overstated. He's missed 14 games now, but is still 5th on the team in minutes played, only 300 behind the leader (Deng, who's also missed 9 games). They're a different offensive team without him - they pulled out the win over Miami and Orlando last night (only 85 points last night, that's not enough to win most games), but they've also lost at home to NJ and Portland without him. They're 10-4 without him, but 28-6 with him.
   1354. andrewberg Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4085194)
Arbitrary stat club alert: every player who has averaged 25 and 13 for a season is in the HOF (except Shaq, who will be). Love is currently averaging 25.9 and 13.7! Hall of fame here we come.
   1355. Manny Coon Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4085216)
Yes, Duncan played for better teams. Yes, he had more overall success, and that probably means he had a better career. I just want people to remember that KG was an all-time great and not just the snarling, vengeful dick he became in his big market swan song.


I agree Garnett is an all-time great. I think Duncan is a little ahead, because he was a bit better at creating his own shot and scoring the post and better in the playoffs (similar to why many people rate Olajuwon over Robinson, although in that case Robinson was clearly a better regular season player). For me Shaq and Duncan (Lebron will be with them soon enough) are the top tier post Jordan, with Kobe, Nowitzki and Garnett just behind them (guys like Wade, Paul and Howard could end up in this group, but don't have the longevity yet) and for the most part you can't go wrong with any of them. There wasn't a singular superstar post-Jordan or consistency rivalry like Magic/Bird or Wilt/Russell to attach legendary storylines, but the depth of top line talent probably was and is at an all-time high.
   1356. Squash Posted: March 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4085223)
Wow. Twitter play-by-play didn't do GSW ceremony debacle justice. Seeing actual footage ... Lacob might wanna retire Monta's jersey tomorrow

I knew my fellow W's fans were passionate, but I didn't realize they were also ####### morons until last night. This team was going nowhere, had been going nowhere for years, and was going to go nowhere next year as well. I'd say this was a normal case of a home fan base overrating its own players, but wow.
   1357. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 20, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4085258)
This team was going nowhere, had been going nowhere for years, and was going to go nowhere next year as well.

And the fans shouldn't boo the owner, because ... ?
   1358. madvillain Posted: March 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4085263)
They're a different offensive team without him - they pulled out the win over Miami and Orlando last night (only 85 points last night, that's not enough to win most games), but they've also lost at home to NJ and Portland without him. They're 10-4 without him, but 28-6 with him.


Tom Thibodeau is a god damn genius, that's how Chicago is winning without Rose. That and Rose is a great leader himself. Last night Chris Webber did a nice segment on Chicago where they showed a play were Boozer played OK defense but committed a stupid reach in foul at the end. Boozer immediately looks over at Thibs and Rose and Boozer nods and acknowledges he shouldn't have reached.

When you have a coach like Thibs and a superstar like Rose who preach accountability, and are accountable to themselves and their team, I think it makes "buying in", even for a guy like Boozer, who's never really gave a damn on defense, incredibly easy and it leads to things like beating Orlando 85-59 without one of the 5 best players in the game.

Having great players other than Rose helps of course. But Chicago's defense is more than the sum of its parts, and that's credit to mostly Thibs.

He became the fastest coach to 100 wins, doing it in 130 games. Passed the Little General by one game.

_________________________

My view of Duncan is a biased because I stopped following the NBA for a period during his heyday. He's an excellent player and one of the best of all time. NS where he ranks on the pantheon of big men.
   1359. AROM Posted: March 20, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4085280)
I didn't realize the extent to which David Robinson beat Hakeem during the regular season. His Spurs probably had a better supporting cast, but not by too much. Hakeem 1993-94 might be the greatest example of one player leading a team to a championship with no other stars. (Next year they had Drexler).

In 42 games Robinson's team was 30-12, with David averaging 19.6 and 11.2, on .488 shooting. Hakeem scored 21.6 and 11.2 boards, but only shot .441. Turnovers, blocks, assists, and steals were about even.

They only faced each other in one playoff series, but it was a big and memorable one, the 1995 western conference finals. Olajuwon had 35 points and 12 rebounds (56% shooting) and Robinson only 24 and 11 with only 45% shooting. Olajuwon had twice as many assists and blocks. The Spurs had home court advantage as the #1 seed playing a #6 seed.
   1360. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4085290)
Easy there. The statement was never "TEH LAKERZ OUR TEH CHEATZ~!". It was that the officiating was questionable, at best, in game 5 (with a link demonstrating the claim) and that the series might have been different because of it.
In retrospect, I was being a real knee-jerk. I apologize for that.

I don't apologize for characterizing those playoff meetings so lightly, though:
2008: Lakers 4-2 over Utah
2009: Lakers 4-1 over Utah
2010: Lakers 4-0 over Utah

You can point to one particular game here or there where perhaps, if a questionable call went the other way, the Jazz might have won that game, but 12-3 over three seasons is beatdown territory.
   1361. AROM Posted: March 20, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4085293)
Looking at Duncan vs. Shaq, they played 32 times in the regular season and 30 in the playoffs. They pretty much played to a draw. In the playoffs they split the games 15-15 and series 3-3.

Duncan scored 25.6 on .485 shooting, with 13 Reb, Shaq had 22.4 and 12.8 on .526 shooting.
   1362. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4085303)
Magic Johnson vs. Kobe Bryant
and
Vin Scully vs. Chick Hearn

Chick's beating Vin, 57% to 43%. I loved me some Chicky-baby, but that's ridiculous. I guess L.A.'s more a Laker town than I realized.

Kobe's beating Magic right now 51% to 49%. That's like when Kung-Fu Fighting was voted as the greatest song of all time in 1975.
   1363. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 20, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4085350)
Jonathan Givony (draftexpress) tweets on the Ichniowski paper that looks at how the tournament boosts draft stocks:

..."Methodology used is questionable at best."
"The paper is titled Does March Madness Lead To Irrational Exuberance in The Nba Draft? It uses some of our mock drafts as a data source."
"According to the study the players who enjoyed the biggest bump in NBA draft stock due to the NCAA tournament are Ty Lawson and Derrick Rose"
"That just doesn't pass the laugh test unfortunately. Lawson went 18th in the NBA draft after an absolutely spectacular junior season."
"I was looking forward to reading it. Had a lot of potential. Shook my head the whole time."
   1364. madvillain Posted: March 20, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4085367)
I have a lot of respect for Givony. DX is a helluva website and their mocks are uncannily accurate. I haven't read the draft stock piece yet, but if he is panning it, that's one strong point against it.
   1365. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 20, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4085377)
George Karl on JaVale McGee: "He plays a little bit like Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), but he's a defensive Kareem more than an offensive Kareem."

That's not Heinsohn calling Stiemsma's shot blocking Russellian, but it's in the neighborhood.
   1366. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4085380)
Full disclosure: my knowledge of advanced NBA metrics is rudimentary at best. That could change my opinion on this matter, but as best I can tell, Patrick Ewing is getting unfairly dinged here.

Ewing *never* had a truly great teammate, and I think that changes our perception of him. If Ewing had Mitch Richmond as his running buddy instead of John Starks, 1994 probably turns out differently and we're looking at Ewing as something other than a poster child for a great player without a ring. The Rockets picked up Drexler in 95 and that propelled them to a ring. Robinson got to rely on a young Duncan in his age. Ewing never really had a great offensive player to pick up his slack until he was too old and injured to take advantage of it.

In his prime (89-97?), Patrick Ewing was very, very durable as dominant a defensive center as there was in the game. He led the league in defensive win shares thrice. He averaged 23.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, and 2.8 BPG (and considerably more than that in his 20's when he was mired on mediocre teams.)

I'm not arguing that Ewing belongs alongside Kareem or Wilt. I do think it's folly to mark him as clearly below the rest of his generation's great big men.

   1367. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: March 20, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4085401)
As for DWill - put me in the not top 5 group, but definitely top 10. I rate players who I view as selfish lower than most, especially when they aren't Michael Jordan or Kobe when he was younger. DWill is talented, but he's no where near MJ or KB.

Selfish how? Because we're blaming him for Sloan retiring, even though Sloan furiously denies it? I think it's easier to build a team around DWill than Rondo or Parker, so that's the tiebreaker I have to put him ahead of them. Nash is better than all of them offensively, IMO, but worse defensively - and the defensive gap is greater than the offensive gap.


The Sloan thing didn't even come into my decision making. Selfish like Melo. MJ and Kobe could/can be selfish because they're amazing, DWill is no where near their class. I don't know him personally, so I can only go from observation and stats - he seems to be pouting (I don't know if that's the right word but it's the first that comes to mind) out there. I understand that his teammates aren't great. I'm just explaining why I rank him lower than others do. I acknowledge it's more of a feeling than a fact. I used to hate this type of analysis, but my views have changed over the years. When it comes to a sport that is based so much on teamwork as basketball is, attitude and demeanor are important factors to me. I would rather build around someone who's a team player - which I view Parker/Rondo/Nash to be - than a selfish one of reasonably similar ability. I'm more of the George Karl opinion of team building, that was mentioned earlier in this thread.

All that said, I can understand why anyone else would rank him anywhere from 3rd to 10th.
   1368. AROM Posted: March 20, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4085419)
Ewing *never* had a truly great teammate, and I think that changes our perception of him. If Ewing had Mitch Richmond as his running buddy instead of John Starks, 1994 probably turns out differently and we're looking at Ewing as something other than a poster child for a great player without a ring. The Rockets picked up Drexler in 95 and that propelled them to a ring. Robinson got to rely on a young Duncan in his age. Ewing never really had a great offensive player to pick up his slack until he was too old and injured to take advantage of it.


Drexler didn't join the Rockets until 95 when they played the Magic. The Hakeem-Ewing series was as evenly matched as you can get for supporting casts. Ewing had only John Starks as the second option? I'll see that and raise you Vernon "Mad Max" Maxwell.

Olajuwon was a better player by the metrics in regular season and post season. Ewing was a great defender, but so was Hakeem. In their head to head NBA finals, Olajuwon outscored Ewing 27-19 per game, shooting .500 to Patrick's .363. Ewing did outrebound him 12-9, but more than half of that is probably due to grabbing his own numerous missed shots (4.6-1.9 difference on offensive boards).

I just can't see any possible argument that Ewing has over Olajuwon.
   1369. smileyy Posted: March 20, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4085427)
I'm not buying that the '94 Rockets supporting cast was any better than the Knicks that year. And we saw what Hakeem did to Ewing head to head in that series.

Edit: coke to AROM
   1370. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 20, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4085428)
1364: I feel that way too - they do really good work. Wish they still did they NBA scouting reports - as I've said here before, I'd totally pay for a book of that stuff.
   1371. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 20, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4085430)
Kobe's beating Magic right now 51% to 49%. That's like when Kung-Fu Fighting was voted as the greatest song of all time in 1975.


To be fair, everybody was Kung Fu Fighting.
   1372. AROM Posted: March 20, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4085434)
To be fair, everybody was Kung Fu Fighting


True. And it was a little bit frightening.
   1373. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4085444)
I totally saw that coming.
   1374. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4085445)
LOL:

TrueHoop Henry AbbottRT @ArashMarkazi: Kobe Bryant is currently beating Magic Johnson 51-49 in the ESPNLA "Most Beloved" bracket. http://t.co/tCt9jRpf
30 minutes ago
   1375. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4085455)
To be fair, if I'd gotten as much asinine grief from myopic Kobe fanboys as I suspect Abbott has, I'd be way more snarky about them than he is. Which would, of course, be read as anti-Kobe, which would feed right back into the dynamic. In other news, I don't have a blogging gig with ESPN.
   1376. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4085456)
   1377. Quaker Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4085457)
Again, I'm not saying the Jazz were better than LA any of those years, but 2009 is the only year that can really be described as a brushing aside. '08 was a hard fought series where the Lakers won 2 easily at home, Utah responded in kind in Gm 3 and then the last 3 games were all within one possession in the final minute. LA pulled out two of the three, unfortunately.

And yes, the Lakers did sweep in 2010, but as I said above, Okur missed the series entirely and AK missed the first two games & was limited to 17 & 12 mins, respectively, in Games 3 & 4. Despite the injuries, the Jazz were within a possession in the last 2 mins in both Games 1 & 3. Matthews missed a tap in for either the tie or the win as time expired in Gm 3. So it was a sweep, but it wasn't exactly the Magic dispatching the Hawks in 4 this same year.

Re: DWill. I don't think he's a selfish player at all. My friends who went to college with him say he's ultracompetitve and can be kind of a dick. Like, he'd yell at people playing pickup if they messed up and had no problem telling random kids who came up to him @ the bar to leave him alone. Whether or not that carries over to his interactions with his teammates, I have no idea.

Then again, didn't Parker #### his teammate's wife or was that debunked?
   1378. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4085460)
Kobe's beating Magic right now 51% to 49%. That's like when Kung-Fu Fighting was voted as the greatest song of all time in 1975.

According to those of us who live in LA, Magic Johnson is an all-purpose celebrity nowadays. People probably don't even know what sport he used to play.

"Magic Johnson was on the Lakers? I must be confusing him with Todd Bridges."
   1379. Jimmy P Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4085474)
To be fair, if I'd gotten as much asinine grief from myopic Kobe fanboys as I suspect Abbott has, I'd be way more snarky about them than he is.

Well, Abbott deserves it. He went from legitimately analyzing him to trolling about a year and a half ago.
   1380. Jimmy P Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4085477)
Derek Fisher is going to sign with OKC.
   1381. andrewberg Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4085479)
Derek Fisher is going to sign with OKC.


So that ended up being a great trade for the Lakers.
   1382. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4085480)
Going from Westbrook to Fish is going to give OKC whiplash.
   1383. Darren Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4085482)
To be fair, everybody was Kung Fu Fighting



True. And it was a little bit frightening.


Wow, I'm surprised you guys still believe this stuff. I guess you haven't heard.
   1384. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4085489)
To be fair, if I'd gotten as much asinine grief from myopic Kobe fanboys as I suspect Abbott has, I'd be way more snarky about them than he is.


Abbott is basically the guy for whom I coined the term "HaterBoy", which means a guy who is just as biased
about Kobe and spends just as much time thinking about him as the subset of Lakers fans over whom he claims superiority and objectivity. Dealt with a lot of them over the last ten years.

Abbott is just as "myopic" as the most ardent Kobe supporter, and just as biased. The evidence to that effect is abundant--a guy has even created a blog about it. The only question at this point is to what extent Abbott is trolling, as Jimmy suggests, and to what extent Abbott actually thinks he is providing even-handed analysis in the face of abuse from crazed "myopic Kobe fanboys."
   1385. Squash Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4085492)
And the fans shouldn't boo the owner, because ... ?

Is this a serious question or a rhetorical jab? They booed the (still pretty new) owner (who replaced Cohen after his 15-year reign of terror as second only to Jeffrey Loria for the "Worst Owner in Professional Sports" title) because the team made a trade that was "giving up on this year" despite the fact that this year is already over for the Warriors, and that this identical team has spent the last three years proving that it doesn't work. The fan base wanted to hang on to Ellis and "go for it" this year. Which is flat out delusional. They're 13th in the West with five better teams above them for the final playoff spot, they were bad last year and abysmal the year before. The current ownership group didn't create this problem. But the fanbase is mad because they traded an overrated gunner who has been the centerpiece of several consecutive terrible teams for a center who might actually help them win something sometime in the future. It's insane.
   1386. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: March 20, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4085496)
A pretty great article on Andre Iguodala.
from the article:

Andre Iguodala didn’t really figure it out until he went to Turkey.

After a few post-Iverson seasons of forced shots, the metaphoric jamming of a square peg into a round hole, and the literal jamming of a small round thing into a distant round hole, in that 2010 FIBA tournament, he had a sort of epiphany: rather than squander his energy on the areas of the game that he was least likely to impact, why not narrow his focus to those that he could?

And so he did. Offense de-emphasized, he was suddenly freed to race around the court wreaking havoc defensively and in transition, demonstrating his excellence by denying opponents theirs. Krzyzewski, it turns out, had given Iguodala permission to be Iguodala. It worked, both as basketball and philosophy. The team won nine straight on their way to the gold and Iguodala was, in some circles, the talk of the tournament.
/quote]


that was the pretty much the exact point in time where my opinion of iguodala changed from negative to positive. it wasn't an "a-ha" moment for me, so much as it was just an opportunity to step back and appreciate all the good that iguodala do for a team, instead focusing almost solely on that one glaring weakness in his game.

i love the conclusion there, too:

“You’re a guy who doesn’t necessarily score a lot of points,” I offered, “but you do a lot of the other less celebrated things well. You rebound, you take pride in your defense, you’ve got a solid handle and good floor vision and…”

The second-year guard cut me off.

“I can score,” Turner insisted. “Who said I couldn’t score?”
   1387. rr Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4085502)
The GS thing--it is a sensibilities question, but I have to say that IMO there are plenty of ways for the fans to show their displeasure with the FO (leaving aside the question of whether it is analytically justifiable) without adding an unnecessary awkward and ugly note to what should have been a nice, simple and well-deserved tribute to a franchise stud.

Squash, I assume part of it was triggered by the fact that IIRC Milwaukee played in Oakland and kicked the Warriors' butts right after the deal, correct? I can see how that + Bogut's being unavailable would piss people off, but that has nothing to do with remembering Mullin's great GS career.
   1388. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4085509)
that has nothing to do with remembering Mullin's great GS career


The reason I'm not too offended by the booing is that a new owner, having just traded the fan favorite star away and thereby tanked the season, should at the very least have the grace to not insert himself (or turn down the offer, if it wasn't his idea), to speak after Mullin at Mullin's jersey retirement. No matter how benignly he meant his words to be, that seems like a ham-fisted spotlight grab at an event that wasn't about him, and didn't have anything directly to do with his tenure as owner.
   1389. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4085510)

Drexler didn't join the Rockets until 95 when they played the Magic. The Hakeem-Ewing series was as evenly matched as you can get for supporting casts. Ewing had only John Starks as the second option? I'll see that and raise you Vernon "Mad Max" Maxwell.

Olajuwon was a better player by the metrics in regular season and post season. Ewing was a great defender, but so was Hakeem. In their head to head NBA finals, Olajuwon outscored Ewing 27-19 per game, shooting .500 to Patrick's .363. Ewing did outrebound him 12-9, but more than half of that is probably due to grabbing his own numerous missed shots (4.6-1.9 difference on offensive boards).

I just can't see any possible argument that Ewing has over Olajuwon.


I should have clarified: the 94 Knicks were beat fair and square by the Rockets. What I meant was more that Olajuwon's second ring (and his late Rockets period) were buoyed by Drexler (and later Barkley.) I'll spare you the rest of the read with the tl;dr: I stand corrected wrt Ewing/Olajuwon in 94.

---
It is worth looking at that Knicks/Rockets final:

C: Ewing v. Olajuwon. Olajuwon outplayed Ewing for the most part.

PF: Oakley v. Thorpe. Before looking over the boxes, I was sure that Otis Thorpe had badly outscored Oakley. This wasn't the case. Oak gets a slight offensive advantage and they were similarly excellent on the glass + defensively. Call it a wash?

SF: C. Smith v. Horry. Horry outplayed Smith, though not by much. Neither was very good in the series, though I couldn't find quarter-by-quarter breakdowns. It comes down to Horry having a very good Game 3 (16-8), whereas Smith just sucked all series. (Slight) Adv: Rockets.

SG: Starks v. Maxwell. Starks was 3-18 in Game 1, but Maxwell was 4-18. Starks was horrid in game 7, but otherwise Starks outplayed Maxwell through the rest of the series. I honestly don't know how I'd call that one. Adv: ?

PG: Harper v. K. Smith. Harp really outplayed Smith until game 7, but Cassell played very well off the bench and that should count for something. Adv: Knicks

The Rockets rotation was rounded out by Cassell, Herrerra and Mario Elie (with some run for Chris Jent.) The Knicks bench was Mason, Greg Anthony, Herb Williams, Anthony Bonner and Hubert Davis. Cassell + Herrerra outplayed anybody on the Knicks bench over the course of the series. Adv: Rockets.

The only clear positional win for the Knicks is point guard play. That has to count for something, yes? Generally, Olajuwon *did* get somewhat better help from his teammates than Ewing did. Moreover, the Knicks didn't make any major upgrades for the 95 season.

Looking at it over the course of the season, Ewing's Knicks were badly banged up all year (Starks only played 54G.) However, I'll admit I stand corrected wrt to Maxwell/Starks: Starks was better than Maxwell that season when he was on the court. And generally, the '94 Rockets were more reliant on Hakeem then I gave them credit for. However, I think my original point still stands: Ewing never really had a great second, and consequently he never got his ring. It's not all his fault. He really was saddled with teams that were very, very heavily reliant on him and he took those teams as far as they could possibly go. A Mitch Richmond (or simply keeping Mark Jackson) would have made a huge difference to Ewing's career in terms of how we view him historically.
   1390. Jimmy P Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4085515)
And the fans shouldn't boo the owner, because ... ?


If it's not a championship celebration, or the owner isn't a long-term and loved owner, then I think owners should be really cautious. Especially if a team isn't winning and routinely sells the arena out. There's going to be lots of angst.

Most fans just want the owner to sign the checks and stay out of the way.
   1391. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4085520)
The reason I'm not too offended by the booing is that a new owner, having just traded the fan favorite star away and thereby tanked the season, should at the very least have the grace to not insert himself (or turn down the offer, if it wasn't his idea), to speak after Mullin at Mullin's jersey retirement.
I subscribe to this opinion. FWIW, my brother and I used to refer to Mullin as the White Larry Bird.
   1392. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4085521)
Not sure there's anything to take out of this article - especially come playoff time - but I always enjoy seeing breakdowns of these types of things.

---

The Sloan thing didn't even come into my decision making. Selfish like Melo. MJ and Kobe could/can be selfish because they're amazing, DWill is no where near their class. I don't know him personally, so I can only go from observation and stats - he seems to be pouting (I don't know if that's the right word but it's the first that comes to mind) out there. I understand that his teammates aren't great. I'm just explaining why I rank him lower than others do. I acknowledge it's more of a feeling than a fact. I used to hate this type of analysis, but my views have changed over the years. When it comes to a sport that is based so much on teamwork as basketball is, attitude and demeanor are important factors to me. I would rather build around someone who's a team player - which I view Parker/Rondo/Nash to be - than a selfish one of reasonably similar ability. I'm more of the George Karl opinion of team building, that was mentioned earlier in this thread.

How is he selfish like Melo? He was traded without any fanfare or discussion about his next team. There was no talk about his destination this trading deadline, even though he's in the exact same situation as Howard. Before the season, he openly said he'd opt out because it's in his interest to do so, even if he resigns in NJ. I haven't seen him a ton this year, so I can't say whether or not he's moping or is just a bad loser, but I fail to see anything selfish in what you've said about him so far. Much less selfish enough to prefer someone like Rondo over him (Rondo has had plenty of stuff written about him over the years, but less lately).

They booed the (still pretty new) owner (who replaced Cohen after his 15-year reign of terror as second only to Jeffrey Loria for the "Worst Owner in Professional Sports" title)

I'm pretty sure no one can touch Bill Wirtz for the overall tile, and Cohen may not have even been the worst basketball owner in the state of California.
   1393. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4085524)
We can't let Brad Miller retire without mentioning it.
   1394. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4085528)
Abbott is ... a guy who is just as biased about Kobe and spends just as much time thinking about him as the subset of Lakers fans over whom he claims superiority and objectivity.


I remember a TrueHoop post wherein he gave a sort of mission statement vis. Kobe: that the loud mythologizing of Kobe sort of precluded nuanced analysis of one of the most interesting and great basketball players ever; that, as Kobe's reputation is, say, 130% of what his play has earned, a certain amount of criticism was necessary as a counterbalance to the public discussion; that because of those, he was taking a calculated rhetorical position of deflating the hype some; and that despite all that, he thought Kobe was a legitimate all-time great and that he wasn't, well, a genuine hater. That all seems plausible to me, and since I don't know him, I give him the benefit of the doubt. I totally get interpreting it as trolling, though.

EDIT: Plus, as before, if I became the preeminent target for Kobe-hater-hatred, the hate mail would make me pretty snarky pretty fast. Anyway, I don't actually think he's done a particularly good job discussing Kobe, but I think there's plenty of room to play devil's advocate here.
   1395. Jimmy P Posted: March 20, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4085530)
We can't let Brad Miller retire without mentioning it.


One of my all-time faves. I saw him play one year in college. So underrated, even then. He never got the attention, but he was clearly the best player on the team. The amount of free throws he would earn per game was unreal.
   1396. vagab0nd (no longer an outl13r) Posted: March 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4085541)
How is he selfish like Melo? He was traded without any fanfare or discussion about his next team.


Not talking about that either. I lumped him with Melo, because they both fit the mold of a ball hog that I wouldn't want to build my team around, despite how "talented" they are.
   1397. AROM Posted: March 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4085542)
"What I meant was more that Olajuwon's second ring (and his late Rockets period) were buoyed by Drexler (and later Barkley.)"

Barkley came after the championships. So did Scottie Pippen. They were desperately trying to get one more shot at the ring, but at that point all of those guys were breaking down. You look at those late 90's Rocket teams and think "too bad we didn't put this group together 3 years earlier".
   1398. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4085550)
I remember a TrueHoop post wherein he gave a sort of mission statement vis. Kobe: that the loud mythologizing of Kobe sort of precluded nuanced analysis of one of the most interesting and great basketball players ever; that, as Kobe's reputation is, say, 130% of what his play has earned, a certain amount of criticism was necessary as a counterbalance to the public discussion;
The problem with Abbott's writing is that while his initial mission was to use Bryant to represent a certain style of play (especially end-of-quarter and end-of-game plays) then contrast it with more team-oriented set play strategies, he's not doing that anymore. He's gone from critiquing Bryant-as-representative to attacking Bryant the player. In previous discussions, I've pointed out that Abbott often uses as counter-examples only guys like Chris Paul, guys who are historically efficient, to try and put down Bryant and "hero ball." Bryant's a historically unique player, and he gets certain allowances (such as going 3-20). Chris Paul is a historically unique player as well. Using one or the other as a general example is a terrible way to construct an argument.

Moreover, I don't think "hero ball" is that big a problem. Teams that have believe they have a guy who can create shots off the dribble should want that guy to have the ball at the end of a game, and do. Teams that don't have that guy will want to call time out and set up a play. And even when they do set up a play, if they're burning time for the last shot, what's the play? PnR near the top of the key, and if they have a shooter, screens off the ball to free him up. It's not rocket science. Abbott's characterization of himself as Moses come down from the mount with a tablet that says "team play is good" is just stupid, sometimes offensively so.

Edited for grammar.
   1399. andrewberg Posted: March 20, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4085551)
One of my all-time faves. I saw him play one year in college. So underrated, even then. He never got the attention, but he was clearly the best player on the team. The amount of free throws he would earn per game was unreal.


Also one of my favorites. When I was in college, my headband/beard combo plus my pass-first high post play got me called Brad Miller by pretty much everyone at the gym. I felt a kinship with him then and started to actively try to mimic his game. I also liked that time he baited Shaq into a fight, just because that was an era where it seemed like most of the league was genuinely scared of Shaq in the low post. Later, I heard about how he has a drunken redneck olympics with his high school friends every offseason and I grew to like him even more. I am glad he is finishing his career with the Wolves and I'd be delighted if he became some sort of assistant after his career.

Not talking about that either. I lumped him with Melo, because they both fit the mold of a ball hog that I wouldn't want to build my team around, despite how "talented" they are.


I don't quite see him as a ballhog either. He shoots more than some other point guards, but he's also a better shooter than many other point guards.
   1400. Jimmy P Posted: March 20, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4085555)
Later, I heard about how he has a drunken redneck olympics with his high school friends every offseason and I grew to like him even more.

My sister-in-law grew up in the town next to his. (Yes, it's small town Indiana, people talk and know each other) To say that Brad likes beer would be an understatement.
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