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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, May 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: Bryce Harper getting mooned by a Dodgers fan, how dumb interleague baseball is, or random spamming of Yankees/RedSox news that barely counts as news.

Tripon Posted: May 01, 2012 at 10:28 AM | 2330 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1201. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4136055)
I wouldn't bet on him being in the top 6 players of all time, but it'd be hard to keep him out of the top 30-40, right? And the basketball HOF has 313 members! WTF?


Somehow I missed it but Gilmore was elected last year, finally.
   1202. thok Posted: May 19, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4136063)
Gilmore made the Hall of Fame in 2011, and probably was the best player picked to the Hall of Fame that year. This doesn't really change baudib's point.

Edit: Coke to baudib.

Edit Edit:
And the basketball HOF has 313 members! WTF?


The Basketball Hall of Fame doesn't focus solely on the NBA. There's a lot of international players, female players, and college coaches in the Hall of Fame as well as the NBA players and coaches.
   1203. AROM Posted: May 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4136066)
Artis Gilmore: Bert Blyleven of basketball?
   1204. thok Posted: May 19, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4136070)
Basketball Hall of Famers with even 1 minute of time in the NBA/ABA.

There's only 98 players, and some of those are in for being 1940/50's players or for being international contributors (Petrovic and Sabonis).
   1205. baudib Posted: May 19, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4136077)
Gilmore didn't win a title and he had his best seasons in the ABA. Many of the great ABA players seem to be overlooked, even if they had great success in the NBA, like Rick Barry or Dr. J. In many ways, it seems as though the 1970s are a forgotten era in basketball history. Everyone knows all about Russell, Wilt, West, Baylor and Magic, Bird, Jordan. The best players of the 70s are less celebrated.

Perhaps the best players weren't as good. Certainly the best rivalries don't seem as impressive. Have you ever heard people talking about Cowens battling Alvan Adams or Elvin Hayes and Bob Dandridge against Gus Williams and Jack Sikma?
   1206. Booey Posted: May 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4136154)
In many ways, it seems as though the 1970s are a forgotten era in basketball history. Everyone knows all about Russell, Wilt, West, Baylor and Magic, Bird, Jordan. The best players of the 70s are less celebrated.


Possibly because the 70's were the least dynasty prone decade in NBA history. Great players tend to be associated with great teams, and in a rare era of parity, few teams really stood out for more than a season or two. Therefore, the great players from those teams might not get as much recognition as the leaders of multiple title winners.
   1207. Srul Itza Posted: May 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4136166)
Many of the great ABA players seem to be overlooked, even if they had great success in the NBA, like Rick Barry or Dr. J.


What do you mean by overlooked? They are in the Hall of Fame, and are very well known, and in the case of Dr. J, celebrated if not revered.
   1208. Srul Itza Posted: May 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4136171)
Take a look at the picture accompanying this article.. Given the look on Parker's face, it seems and looks less like a pat on the head, and more like Duncan is somehow draining the life out of him.
   1209. AROM Posted: May 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4136172)
Kareem is hardly forgotten. Though his career extends back to the 60's with UCLA and into the 80's as well.
   1210. Booey Posted: May 19, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4136192)
Glad Westbrook is okay.
   1211. rr Posted: May 20, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4136203)
Sent an email to Hombre this AM saying that I thought the Lakers would run out of gas in the 4th quarter, like when you stay up all night and get really tired at 3 in the afternoon the next day. They have played OKC tough three straight; OKC is just a bit more talented than they are. It ain't about the refs, in either direction.
   1212. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:07 AM (#4136224)

What do you mean by overlooked? They are in the Hall of Fame, and are very well known, and in the case of Dr. J, celebrated if not revered.


I don't get the sense that Barry and Erving are revered in the same manner. They sort of the Stan Musial and Jimmie Foxx of the NBA; everyone talks about Ruth and Gehrig and Williams, Mantle, Mays and Aaron.
   1213. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 20, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4136246)
Would be fitting for the Thunder to beat the Mavs, Lakers, and Spurs - the only three teams to win the West in the last 13 years - on their way to the Finals.
   1214. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 20, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4136254)
LeBron is a better scorer than Bird, he's a better passer.

You had me on everything except better passer.
   1215. JC in DC Posted: May 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4136292)
Joe C:

Agree on Bird as a passer. One thing that's so fun to watch about Bird is how he went to the floor. It's no wonder he finished the game with a bad back. I don't know if another star player went to the floor harder or more consistently than Bird, at least up until he got hurt.

Regarding their respective scoring, what separates them? They're pretty close in scoring per 36, TS% (which is really a comparison of LBJ's peak against LB's career, including decline phase). What makes one confident that LBJ is the better scorer?
   1216. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4136299)
Era adjustments, right? The 80s were a higher-scoring, higher-percentage-shooting time.
   1217. PJ Martinez Posted: May 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4136302)
I'm not certain LeBron's a better scorer. He's much better at driving the lane and drawing fouls (much higher per-game FTA), which is hugely valuable. But he's not as good in the post, I'd suggest (though this is based purely on watching them; not sure whether there are specific numbers to compare there), and he's obviously not nearly the outside shooter Bird was.

Which brings up a curiosity in comparing the two eras: Bird would have benefited a good deal, I think, from playing in a league that properly recognized the value of the three-point shot. He spent much of his first several years hardly ever shooting them -- then led the league in 3-point attempts in 85-86 by shooting 194 of them. (And he made 42% of those.) LeBron shot nearly 400 a season his last couple years in Cleveland, even though he only hit about a third.

I also wonder if Bird's ability to post up and spot up outside made him a better fit offensively with his teammates. LeBron can drive and he can dish, but the versatility to Bird's offensive game might actually have given his team/coach more to work with. I'm just thinking out loud, obviously.
   1218. Conor Posted: May 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4136310)
They're pretty close in scoring per 36, TS% (which is really a comparison of LBJ's peak against LB's career, including decline phase). What makes one confident that LBJ is the better scorer?


It's actually pretty crazy how close they are in true shooting (56.4% for Bird vs 56.9% for Lebron). While it's true that Bird's number includes his decline, Lebron's includes years when he was really young; Bird didn't play in the NBA until he was 23. Lebron's age 23 season was the 5th of his career, for Bird it was the first. The last 4 years has seen Lebron at 59 or 60% in true shooting every year, Bird had 2 years in the 60% range, and then 2 others at 58 and 58.5%. From Lebron's age 23 season on he has a 59% true shooting.

The 3 point thing is one I've noticed, and it's hard for me to understand, as someone who is 28 and only knows the NBA with the 3 point line. Bird was such a great shooter, you really do need to wonder what would've happened if he entered a league where the 3 point shot was more of a part of the game.

Also, i think Simmons mentioned this in his book; there were some guys who just were awful from 3 but still shot it more than they should've. In the first 7 seasons of his career, James Worthy was 5-82 from 3. He improved all the way up to the high 20's in the next few years.

I think I read something from Sebastian Pruiti where he had Lebron ranked very highly as a post player, but he just didn't go there very much. I've always sort of assumed that as Lebron got older he would gravitate more to the post, and with his passing ability, he could be deadly down there.

   1219. tshipman Posted: May 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4136315)
I'm not certain LeBron's a better scorer. He's much better at driving the lane and drawing fouls (much higher per-game FTA), which is hugely valuable. But he's not as good in the post, I'd suggest (though this is based purely on watching them; not sure whether there are specific numbers to compare there), and he's obviously not nearly the outside shooter Bird was.


I think all this stuff really doesn't matter. LeBron is way, way, way better than Bird at getting easy looks and converting those looks at an extremely high percentage. In addition, LeBron sustains his efficiency at a much higher usage rate than Bird. I think we can say with a fair bit of confidence that LeBron is a much better scorer than Bird was.

If you want to make a chicken/egg argument that if Bird had shot the 3 a lot more, he'd be a better player, I think you'd be right, but if you just look at what each has actually done in their career, LeBron has been the much better scorer.

I mean, for chrissakes, LeBron has 3 of the top 4 PPG seasons between the two of them. Any argument for LB over LeBron has to rest on either rings or nostalgia.
   1220. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4136348)
LeBron's a better scorer because...wait for it...he scores more points. And contextually, the differences are large. In Bird's best year he averaged 29.9 in a league that scored 108 ppg with a .480%. LeBron scored 30 ppg in a league that averaged 99.9 with a .457%. There were also about 15%-20% more assists in Bird's era.

Bird's best 5-year period was 1983-84 to 1987-88 (age 27-31), he averaged 27.3/9.8/6.8 TS% .588 and 75.3 Win Shares. LeBron's best 5 years are his last 5 (age 23-27) 28.4/7.6/7.3 .591 TS% with 84 Win Shares despite playing fewer games (lockout).
   1221. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4136367)
BTW, Simmons is calling the Bosh injury Reverse Ewing Theory, which he says he may just call Gniwe Theory or Bosh Theory.
   1222. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 20, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4136386)
BTW, Simmons is calling the Bosh injury Reverse Ewing Theory, which he says he may just call Gniwe Theory or Bosh Theory.


I too have a theory that teams play worse without one of their best players.
   1223. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4136405)
How did Wade not get called for a tech too?
   1224. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4136406)
Man, that Danny Granger sure is a tough guy.
   1225. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4136408)
How did Wade not get called for a tech too?

Because the tech was for the confrontation that Granger initiated with Wade?
   1226. JC in DC Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4136413)
LeBron's a better scorer because...wait for it...he scores more points. And contextually, the differences are large. In Bird's best year he averaged 29.9 in a league that scored 108 ppg with a .480%. LeBron scored 30 ppg in a league that averaged 99.9 with a .457%. There were also about 15%-20% more assists in Bird's era.


Of course, Bird played with multiple guys who could, and did, score. Until he arrived in Miami, LBJ did not.
   1227. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4136415)
For anyone wanting to argue Bird is better than LeBron, start by making a convincing, detailed argument as to why Bird is better than Nowitzki.

I think Bird is better, but it's probably closer than you think.


   1228. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4136419)
Because the tech was for the confrontation that Granger initiated with Wade?


Granger obviously deserved his tech, but I thought Wade looked like he was confrontational with Granger too and expected a double technical to be called.
   1229. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4136423)
Granger obviously deserved his tech, but I thought Wade looked like he was confrontational with Granger too and expected a double technical to be called.

Haven't gone back to the play, but I remember thinking at the time that it was given to Granger because after the initial Wade/Hibbert tie up, Wade was walking away and Granger decided to go chest bump him and talk ####. So, it wa sa stop starting #### tech as opposed to a break it up tech. If that makes any sense.
   1230. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4136434)
Haven't gone back to the play, but I remember thinking at the time that it was given to Granger because after the initial Wade/Hibbert tie up, Wade was walking away and Granger decided to go chest bump him and talk ####. So, it wa sa stop starting #### tech as opposed to a break it up tech. If that makes any sense.


Yeah, you're probably right. I've missed most of the series, so I didn't realize at the time that Granger had already picked up some techs the last couple games.
   1231. Conor Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4136436)
Of course, Bird played with multiple guys who could, and did, score. Until he arrived in Miami, LBJ did not.


That's true, but still seems like it favors Lebron. Lebron had more defensive attention on him, had a higher usage, and still was able to score just as efficiently, if not more so (kind of hard to make the comparison since Lebron isn't at the end of his career, but as I said above, Lebron the last 4 years has basically been as efficient as Bird was in his 2 best years and I don't expect to him be any less efficient for the next few years).
   1232. JC in DC Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4136450)
LBJ is having an incredible game.

[37-14-8 and counting]
   1233. JC in DC Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4136454)
Miami's D has completely shut Indiana down.
   1234. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 20, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4136457)
RT @tomhaberstroh: Last time someone put up 37-13-8 in a playoff game? LeBron in 2009 vs. ORL. Last time before that. Yep, MJ in 1997.
   1235. JC in DC Posted: May 20, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4136460)
He just saved their season. That was a dominant performance on both ends, and I think he even willed Wade into the game.
   1236. Conor Posted: May 20, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4136461)
Pretty incredible performance
   1237. PJ Martinez Posted: May 20, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4136464)
For anyone wanting to argue Bird is better than LeBron, start by making a convincing, detailed argument as to why Bird is better than Nowitzki.

Why does it make sense to compare Bird and Nowitzki? I know they can both shoot from the outside, but I'm pretty sure that's not the reason Nowitzki is coming up here.

Nowitzki is a seven-footer who rebounds less than Bird did and has never averaged more than 3.5 assists per game. He's a great player, but there's no comparison to Bird.

Prior to LeBron's arrival, Bird was the best small forward of all time. LeBron may have snagged that title from him already; in any case, it's close, and he would seem to have lots of time to do so.

Nowitzki, like Bird, is blonde. And he can shoot. That's about it.
   1238. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: May 20, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4136465)
RT @tomhaberstroh LeBron James with 40 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists. No one has done that in a playoff game in over 25 years. No one.
   1239. rr Posted: May 20, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4136489)
No one has done that in a playoff game in over 25 years. No one.


This is sort of the problem for Miami, in a sense. James and Wade can't just be "really good" or even "great." They have to be like they were today or close to it for Miami to beat playoff teams without Bosh. So, I think that they will need Bosh for the Finals if they are going to win, and that they will continue to have tough games. Also, while one can argue about how much influence Haberstroh et al have, this kind of stuff is, like I said, one reason the "James is underrated" argument doesn't carry much weight with me. The guy literally has a team of reporters at ESPN who make a point of expressing awe at his performances when he plays like this. That causes some backlash, but people disliking him and ESPN is a little different than people not realizing how good he is. I think the fact that he is capable of playing like he did today makes it hard for some people to "get" the fact that he does not have a ring and that even he can't do this EVERY game, and those issues, added to some simply hating on him, create some dissonance.

As far as the James/Bird thing, I think it is fairly likely that Bird could have maintained the efficiency numbers with a higher USG. His highest USG was in 87/88 and his EFG came along for the ride. I am not really big on comparing guys mid-career to retired guys. Bird was great in 1988, but then played only six games in 1989 and was not nearly the same player afterwards. James may keep doing what he is doing now until he is 34 and win 2-3 titles. If he does, he will probably go down as either the best or second-best player ever. But he hasn't done those things yet, so at this point, it just goes back to limiting the argument to "peak performance based on recently developed metrics." By those numbers, James is top 3-5 all-time now.
   1240. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4136491)
Nowitzki, like Bird, is blonde. And he can shoot. That's about it.


Among Guys Who Have Ringzz, Bird's the closest comp is Nowitzki in terms of playing style and WS/48. In fact, Nowitzki's is higher in a longer career. If you'd like, you can make it a tougher comp for Bird by comparing him to Barkley, but Barkley doesn't have Ringzzz.
   1241. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4136493)
Getting Hibbert and West in foul trouble was really key for Miami. I still think Indiana went small way too much.
   1242. PJ Martinez Posted: May 20, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4136498)
Among Guys Who Have Ringzz, Bird's the closest comp is Nowitzki Bird in terms of playing style and WS/48.

1. Why are we limiting the discussion to guys who have rings?

2. Garnett is closer to Bird than Nowitzki according to their similarity scores. Nowitzki is the third most comparable player, according to this toy, after Petit, and just ahead of Barkley.

3. Similarity scores don't mean much to me. Nowitzki is a 4/5 who doesn't pass much and doesn't rebound a ton for someone his size. Bird was a 3/4 who passed like few ever to play the game and rebounded a great deal for a guy who most often played at the three.* Like most great players, neither is terribly comparable to anyone else.

* While I'm at it, Bird also averaged about twice as many steals as Nowitzki. Nowitzki does block more shots. And Bird, not surprisingly (given how much he passed and handled the ball), turned it over more.
   1243. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4136504)

1. Why are we limiting the discussion to guys who have rings?

2. Garnett is closer to Bird than Nowitzki according to their similarity scores. Nowitzki is the third most comparable player, according to this toy, after Petit, and just ahead of Barkley.

3. Similarity scores don't mean much to me. Nowitzki is a 4/5 who doesn't pass much and doesn't rebound a ton. Bird was a 3/4 who passed like few ever to play the game and rebounded a great deal. Like most great players, neither is terribly comparable to anyone else.


It's easier to compare people with rings to each other so that the entire argument doesn't becomes LOLRINGZZZ. I'm not using similarity scores at all. Comparing Garnett to Bird is pointless, and it's absurd to suggest that Garnett is more like Bird than Nowitzki.

Nowitzki is a shooting small forward in a 6-10 body. Garnett and Duncan are 4/5 guys, Nowitzki is nothing at all like them.
   1244. tshipman Posted: May 20, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4136508)
BTW: I think it's really interesting that LeBron is basically playing the 4. Look at the lineup: Turiaf, Battier, LeBron, Wade, Chalmers. LeBron is a big in that lineup, right?
   1245. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4136511)
yeah, LeBron was basically an interior defender. And he did will Wade into the game and pretty much said so afterwards.

   1246. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4136518)
BTW, I can see the comparison between Garnett and Bird on offense as big guys who run the offense but on defense Garnett is much more of a true big guy.

   1247. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: May 20, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4136524)
Thad Young showing up in this series would be a big factor.

His name is Taj Gibson. He has that effect on people.

Man, that Danny Granger sure is a tough guy.

I think there's some value to that type of stuff (look at KG), especially to an underdog, young team. It isn't dirty, but it's testy, it's annoying, and it's a way to show you're not scared/intimidated by the other team's stars or the attention. I get that vibe from Vogel, and now from the Pacers as well. Granger seems to be taking the dirty plays by the Heat personally (the Wade tackle, the LBJ Metta's elbow attempt).

---

Not to take anything away from Philly (who I have been impressed with this series, much moreso than in that lucky round 1 win), but the C's really seem to play to the score more than most teams I can remember - both against good and bad teams. They're not very good at consistently putting teams away, even the bad ones; Philly at their peak was outstanding at putting games away this year. So they leave themselves open to losses in games that should be wins more than other teams. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I have.
   1248. Booey Posted: May 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4136537)
Why are we limiting the discussion to guys who have rings?


Cuz unfortunately, that's always been one of the primary criteria for how NBA players are ranked. Why is Bird ahead of Malone, Barkley, or Garnett? Why is Kobe ahead of these players? Their peaks aren't any better. Their careers aren't better. It's all about the ringzzzz.

I'm fine using that as a tie-breaker for essentially equal players. But I don't think it should be as big a difference as many people do.
   1249. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4136542)

Here is bbref's article on Bird and Dirk

This was a pretty good Deadspin article on the media backtrack on Dirk, which was just like the narrative on every other great player (Elway, Shaq, Jordan, A-Rod) who was ridiculed for not winning until they won. Stay soft, Dirk
   1250. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 20, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4136556)
young is a good matchup for gibson, at that.

ummmm, no talk about the warriors to sf rumor?
   1251. rr Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4136560)
It just doesn't make sense to me that others can say how much they hate Garnett or LeBron or whoever and not be called a Hater, but you yourself called me an "ever-vigilant Lakers Hater" just for pointing out another Bynum elbow incident when we were talking about past history and suspensions, etc.


That line was just a poke.

As to why it's different, I explained it at great length in terms of Kobe, and you even complimented me on the post. A lot of the same stuff applies to the Lakers as an org. and the fact that Kobe is on the Lakers adds to it. Their history/location etc makes it different, just like the Yankees, or Duke basketball, or the Dallas Cowboys. The Game 6 2002 thing is part of that picture.

And as far as James, that is different, now, too, "hating LeBron" is a media thing to an extent. But the Heat aren't the Lakers in that regard, and James isn't Bryant. Different kind of thing.
   1252. PJ Martinez Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4136563)
Thanks for that link, baudib. It's striking how efficient a scorer Dirk is. And you're probably right about him being more of a 3/4, and thus positionally not as different from Bird as I suggested.

That said, Bird was a great, great passer, and an excellent rebounder. Dirk is neither. And I think that variety of skills makes him a significantly better player (he was also a better defender), even if the catch-all metrics suggest they're roughly equal. (Obviously, this line from Neil Paine's piece jumped out at me: "Bird's all-around offensive game is being undervalued by efficiency-based metrics.")

And I still think Bird and Dirk get compared a lot in large part because they look alike. Their games aren't that similar.
   1253. rr Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4136564)
To RR


BL

3.3; fair enough. OTOH, OKC won last night and is about to close it out.
   1254. rr Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4136567)
was saying that if I were a Lakers fan, that's the response I would give whenever people brought up game 6.


Perhaps. But you still seem pretty adamant about 1998; some things are hard to get over. And I have heard/read many Lakers fans say "get over it" or some such over the years, and yet that game keeps coming up--and will for a long time.
   1255. rr Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4136568)
Robben is a choking dog. That is all.


Yes, I am. And so is that soccer guy.
   1256. andrewberg Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4136570)
After all the talk of CLE 2.0, it seemed like it finally occurred to Lebron that his teammates (other than wade) aren't very good.
   1257. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4136571)
Why is Bird ahead of Malone, Barkley, or Garnett?

"Bird's all-around offensive game is being undervalued by efficiency-based metrics."

That's why. Because current NBA stats simply don't capture nearly the amount of what happen in a basketball game as current baseball stats do. Stat based arguments, even at their best, don't carry the same weight when comparing NBA players. The unfortunate side of this is that it does lead many to settle back on "ringzzzz" more often than not - but, at the same time, you can't compare PER or even WS/48 and go "x > y" in basketball. You just can't.

I love stats as much as anyone here - hell, I have two degrees in stats I love them so much - but you can't boil basketball down to the metrics we currently have and call it a day.

Granted, this means we'll never solve a lot of these arguments, not anytime soon - but isn't that the fun part?

Also, please don't take this to be an anti-advanced basketball stats argument - they are certainly useful tools - just a reminder that you can't use them and leave it at that.
   1258. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4136575)
Holy ####, Lebron. 40-18-9-2-2? I feel lucky to get to watch and appreciate that guy.
   1259. Booey Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4136580)
As to why it's different, I explained it at great length in terms of Kobe, and you even complimented me on the post. A lot of the same stuff applies to the Lakers as an org. and the fact that Kobe is on the Lakers adds to it. Their history/location etc makes it different, just like the Yankees, or Duke basketball, or the Dallas Cowboys. The Game 6 2002 thing is part of that picture.


I did like your explanation about the media thing and I understand and semi agree with it. I still don't think it applies to every individual fan that dislikes the Lakers/Kobe/etc though. My personal dislike of them isn't any different than my dislike for most large market teams and the players that play for them. They just seem to have big advantages when it comes to building championship teams. I have other reasons, of course, but that is and has always been my number 1 for why I dislike certain teams. For the record, there are some things I really do like about Kobe and I'd have no problem saying so if it ever came up in conversation.

But you still seem pretty adamant about 1998; some things are hard to get over.


Oh absolutely. Especially when your team hasn't been that close since. But I still think you mis-understood the point of that post a bit, though. I wasn't telling Laker fans to "Get over it." I was basically just trying to say that there is no explanation that's ever going to satisfy people who watched that game and found fault in it. Continuing to defend it from people who didn't buy into the explanation the first 20 times they heard it just kinda seems like a never ending circular argument. If people didn't believe it then, why would they 10 years later? That's why I said if I was a Laker fan I'd stop even trying. In a weird sort of way, I was kinda defending Laker fans (I was essentially saying that at this point I'd completely understand and not think they were being d!cks or anything if they just started telling people to "Get over it" whenever it keeps being brought up in a conversation that didn't warrant it).
   1260. Booey Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4136585)
And I have heard/read many Lakers fans say "get over it" or some such over the years, and yet that game keeps coming up--and will for a long time.


IMHO, it all depends on context. If the conversation is about some of the all time most questionably called games, then yes, this game will always be brought up and Laker fans should expect it. But if you're saying that it doesn't need to be brought up every time the Lakers have a free throw disparity in a playoff game, then I'd absolutely agree with you.

For the record, I think talk of the Lakers game 3 win should've focused much less on how many free throws they shot and much more on how many they hit. 41 of 42 is damn near historic, and it warrants a tip of the hat. Any time a team can do that in a game, they deserve to win.
   1261. Booey Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4136586)
And I still think Bird and Dirk get compared a lot in large part because they look alike.


Big ugly blonde guys with bad hair and even worse facial hair tend to get lumped together...
   1262. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4136587)
just a reminder that you can't use them and leave it at that.


I'm pretty sure we could just settle it with a battle of YouTube clips.
   1263. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4136591)
I haven't gotten over 1981, so if people are still raw about 1998 or 2002 it seems natural to me. (1981 to Sixers fans is directly comparable to 2003 for Red Sox fans).
   1264. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4136593)
I'm pretty sure we could just settle it with a battle of YouTube clips.

What, you don't like 20 minutes of Larry Legend throwing no look passes?

(Okay, judging by 1261 you probably don't, actually.)

Never thought of that, but 81 Sixers-03 Red Sox isn't bad. One team never beats the other, thinks they have them only to lose in excruciating fashion - the next year, they finally pull victory out of left field just when things look like they are headed to hell again (the Sixers nearly blowing a 3-1 lead again in '82 and somehow winning in Boston Garden in game 7*.

I won't be over 2010 anytime soon.

*Somehow because the Celtics lost Tiny Archibald to injury earlier in the series. Total footnote series. ;-)
   1265. baudib Posted: May 20, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4136599)
1981 is somewhat assuaged by the Andrew Toney series in 1982, and then with fo-five-fo in 1983, just as the Red Sox got ultimate redemption in 2004. But the part that really rankles about '81 is that the Sixers get to the Finals in '80, '82 and '83 and have to deal with the Lakers. The Celtics get to the Finals in 81 and get the ####### 40-42 Rockets? The ECF was truly the Finals that year, and blowing a 3-1 lead and losing by a point in Game 7 is always going to suck.

Total footnote series. ;-)


Ha!

And yeah, absolutely no one thought the Sixers were winning Game 7 in Boston Garden.
   1266. Booey Posted: May 20, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4136601)
1981 to Sixers fans is directly comparable to 2003 for Red Sox fans


Understood. But didn't it ease the pain a bit that they won it a few years later?

I won't be over 2010 anytime soon.


Again, understood. But wouldn't it have hurt even more if they hadn't won just two years earlier?

Basically I'm just guessing that while 1998 will probably be touchy for me for the rest of my life, it might be slightly less so if the Jazz hadn't aged overnight in the last 10 games of 1999, lost HCA, and ended up losing in the second round rather than finally taking home the much deserved title.

Edit: Answered in 1265.
   1267. Booey Posted: May 20, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4136604)
But the part that really rankles about '81 is that the Sixers get to the Finals in '80, '82 and '83 and have to deal with the Lakers. The Celtics get to the Finals in 81 and get the ####### 40-42 Rockets?


That's exactly how I feel about 1999. The Jazz make the Finals the previous 2 years, and they get the damn Bulls both times. The Spurs make the Finals the following season and get an 8th seed Knicks team. What the hell kind of justice is that? :(
   1268. baudib Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4136609)

That's exactly how I feel about 1999. The Jazz make the Finals the previous 2 years, and they get the damn Bulls both times. The Spurs make the Finals the following season and get an 8th seed Knicks team. What the hell kind of justice is that? :(


I feel your pain, even though I disliked Malone personally.
   1269. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4136611)
What the hell kind of justice is that?

Karmic.
   1270. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4136612)
I feel your pain, even though I disliked Malone personally.


No worries. So did almost every non-Jazz fan I've ever talked to.
   1271. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4136613)
What the hell kind of justice is that?

Karmic.


Hey, the ratings couldn't have been much worse in those Finals anyway. What would have been the harm of 3 no doubt HOFers finally getting their due? ;-)
   1272. Zipperholes Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4136620)
The Clippers' inability to shoot free throws is shameful.
   1273. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4136623)
Another attempt at reprehensible hero ball by Chris Paul. When will that guy learn?
   1274. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4136626)
Booey,

You may just see the Lakers as another big market team, but I don't think it is that way for many other fans. But the target of my ire is mostly the anti-Kobe (and therefore anti-Laker) internet faux-analytical crew--TH, Hardwood Paroxysm, Simmons, Moore, Dwyer, et al. When I say Haters, I mostly mean that crowd and their supporters.
   1275. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:05 AM (#4136627)
Another attempt at reprehensible hero ball by Chris Paul. When will that guy learn?


Yes, I am sure that several websites will do possession-by-possession video breakdowns showing when and where Paul should have given the ball up.
   1276. rr Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:07 AM (#4136628)
You just can't.


Bill? Bill Simmons? ;-)
   1277. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 02:23 AM (#4136630)
RR #1274 - Fair enough.
   1278. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4136700)

Bill? Bill Simmons? ;-)


:-P

Well, it's true, isn't it? Advanced stats simply don't tell the whole story in basketball.


What would have been the harm of 3 no doubt HOFers finally getting their due? ;-)

Three? Who is the third?

   1279. AROM Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4136707)
I love stats as much as anyone here - hell, I have two degrees in stats I love them so much - but you can't boil basketball down to the metrics we currently have and call it a day.


You could if basketball were like baseball and a player was only responsible for his own stats. If a guys hits .320/.450/.600 in baseball then he's helping his offense. He's not taking any hits away from teammates. That isn't true in basketball, and a player's value comes not only from his stats, but how his play changes the numbers that the other players on the court put up.

Bird (and Magic) were always regarded as players who made the team around them better. For Bird one example is Robert Parish, whose shooting percentage jumped 40 points they year he started playing with Bird.
   1280. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4136758)
What would have been the harm of 3 no doubt HOFers finally getting their due? ;-)

Three? Who is the third?



Why, Greg Ostertag, of course! ;-)

Or Sloan...
   1281. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4136783)
Or Sloan...

Got it. Was afraid you might have meant Hornacek or something... :-)
   1282. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4136784)
Basically I'm just guessing that while 1998 will probably be touchy for me for the rest of my life, it might be slightly less so if the Jazz hadn't aged overnight in the last 10 games of 1999, lost HCA, and ended up losing in the second round rather than finally taking home the much deserved title.

Deserve's got nothing to do with it.
   1283. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4136805)
You may just see the Lakers as another big market team, but I don't think it is that way for many other fans.


Part of that might be because the Lakers are simply the best in the game at the kind of big market magic that always seems to net them superstars while giving up seemingly little or nothing in return. I don't remember who it was, but someone mentioned a few pages back that the Lakers just needed to pick up another HOFer in the offseason to get back to contender status. Well sure, but many teams could become contenders if they could pick up a HOFer in the offseason. But how many of them actually have that opportunity? Just from the last 15 or so years:

1996: Lakers hadn't been very relevant for 5 years or so since the Bulls ended Showtime, so they sign Shaq as a free agent and they're instantly back to winning 55-60 games a season.

1999: Lakers are already fringe contenders with Shaq and young Kobe, but they still can't beat well coached, disciplined teams like the Jazz or Spurs, so they sign Phil Jackson and a 3-peat instantly follows.

2003: After winning the previous 3 titles, the Lakers lose in the second round, showing that maybe a Shaq/Kobe core and not much else might not be enough to win it all anymore, so they sign Malone and Payton as free agents for the veteran minimum and they're immediately back in the Finals the following season.

2008: The Lakers are already contenders, but they don't really stand out from the rest of the Western Conferences top teams, so they somehow pick up Pau Gasol for a benchrider and a 2nd round pick and they're back in the Finals for the next 3 seasons, winning 2 titles.

2011: After winning the previous two championships, Lakers get swept in the second round, so they trade for Chris Paul, probably the best point guard in the game.

2012????: Stern nixed the Paul trade and the Lakers lose in the second round again, but now they're one of the favorites to pick up Dwight Howard or Deron Williams (or both) to help them get back to the top.


I can certainly see how this would be frustrating for other fanbases (hell, it sure has been for me). Compare the way LA has built their contending teams with those of the Spurs or Thunder - whose Big 3 were all their own draft picks - and it's not hard to conclude that the Lakers have a little more good fortune on their side when it comes to building winners. To their credit, they've always had good management and usually seem to sign the right players (unlike say, the Knicks) and they deserve props for that. But other teams have good management too and still don't have the opportunity to just pick up a HOFer or two every 4 years or so when their teams playoff performance starts to slide a little.

Laker fans have told me many times that other fanbases don't like them because they're just jealous of the Lakers success. That's partly true, but it's also that those fans are jealous of the Lakers seemingly unfair opportunities to be successful.
   1284. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4136807)
Or Sloan...

Got it. Was afraid you might have meant Hornacek or something... :-)


I wish. :-)

But no.
   1285. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4136808)
Another attempt at reprehensible hero ball by Chris Paul. When will that guy learn?


Henry Abbott must feel like an 8 year old who discovers there's no Santa Claus.
   1286. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4136818)
Any argument for LB over LeBron has to rest on either rings or nostalgia.

Those, or the higher usage rates 21st century superstars are allowed to avail themselves of. It's not as though Bird had a hard time getting off good shots when he wanted to (*); he just played with better teammates in an era when the ball was moved and shared more.

(*) Peak Bird would have zero problems being the number one option on an elite team in today's "Hero Ball" era.





   1287. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4136819)
Laker fans have told me many times that other fanbases don't like them because they're just jealous of the Lakers success. That's partly true, but it's also that those fans are jealous of the Lakers seemingly unfair opportunities to be successful.
Is it fair that it's sunny and warm in Los Angeles 325 days a year? is it fair that L.A. is glitzy and glamorous and has an incredible night life and uniquely awesome and free agents want to play here? Is it fair that the Buss family has been arguably the best owners in the NBA?

IT ISN'T? Oh, well.

It's basically saying that either EVERY game needs to have favoritism, or none of them do. And I've never heard anyone make that claim.
To dial this back a it, I'm not saying that referees do or don't always throw games to the Lakers. I'm saying that every playoff series of every season that the Lakers win, other fans always complain that that's the case.
   1288. tshipman Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4136824)
I don't remember who it was, but someone mentioned a few pages back that the Lakers just needed to pick up another HOFer in the offseason to get back to contender status. Well sure, but many teams could become contenders if they could pick up a HOFer in the offseason. But how many of them actually have that opportunity?


That was me. I meant it more in the sense of that it's the only realistic path forward for the Lakers to contend for a title in the future. I didn't mean to suggest it was their birthright or anything.

To their credit, they've always had good management and usually seem to sign the right players (unlike say, the Knicks) and they deserve props for that. But other teams have good management too and still don't have the opportunity to just pick up a HOFer or two every 4 years or so when their teams playoff performance starts to slide a little.


Isn't 99% of success in the NBA drafting one guy and picking the right guy in FA? It's how the majority of championship teams are constructed. You draft the right guy and then you sign the right guy as a FA. Bad teams usually fail at step 1 (see: Warriors, Bobcats, Toronto, etc). Teams on the 40 win treadmill usually fail at step 2 (see: Carmelo/Amare, Boozer, etc.).

Not to diminish the Lakers' built in advantages mostly due to good weather, black culture and consistent team success, but most teams in the NBA fail at step 1 or step 2. (Also, I thought Deron-->Dallas was a lock?)
   1289. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4136843)
Losing breaks things up. 50/50 Gasol returns next season.

The Lakers are basically two, three baskets away from being up 3-1. They've played about as well as they could possibly play, and this balls-out effort would do them proud if it weren't for the fact that it's not enough to beat OKC. Three baskets away from be up 3-1, one basket away from being swept. The Thunder are just better.

   1290. Jimmy P Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4136851)
Bad teams usually fail at step 1 (see: Warriors, Bobcats, Toronto, etc)

Toronto maybe doesn't deserve to be here. They did draft both VC and McGrady. It wasn't there fault that Vince gave up and McGrady went to Orlando.

(Also, I thought Deron-->Dallas was a lock?)

I still say it's pretty good. I just don't believe much of what comes out now. Like today, it comes out that Lin may be a hard sign with the Knicks. Isn't he restricted? Or here in Portland, everyone's freaking out because Batum said he won't wait around for the Blazers. But, how often do restricted players actually get offers (not often, and not too early).
   1291. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4136857)
Is it fair that it's sunny and warm in Los Angeles 325 days a year? is it fair that L.A. is glitzy and glamorous and has an incredible night life and uniquely awesome and free agents want to play here? Is it fair that the Buss family has been arguably the best owners in the NBA?

IT ISN'T? Oh, well.



The city helps, sure. But it's not just about that, otherwise the Clippers could've done the same thing with a non terrible owner (and again, the Lakers DO have great ownership. I'd never take that away from them). But there's a hell of a big difference over the last 30 or so years between the prestige of being a Laker and the shame of being a Clipper. Being a Laker is a status symbol, like being a Yankee, and it's created a vicious circle that other teams can only envy - everyone wants to be a Laker/Yankee because of the success and prestige of the franchise, but those franchises keep having that success because everyone wants to be a part of them. Is it fair? Of course not. Life's not fair. But if your team can win a bunch of championships in part because of these advantages, isn't it a small price to pay that in return you have to listen to the rest of us complain about it?

I'm saying that every playoff series of every season that the Lakers win, other fans always complain that that's the case.


Yep, but see above. Big market fans don't seem to have much sympathy for the small market burdens that make it hard for them to field championship teams. And likewise, small market fans don't seem to have much sympathy for the big market burdens of having to listen to everyone else ##### about their teams. It goes both ways. Is it fair that the Lakers/Yankees have to deal with more Haters than fans of most other teams?

IT ISN'T? Oh well.

But that's the price of repeated success. Take it or leave it. If I had the choice, I'd take it.
   1292. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4136863)
Not to diminish the Lakers' built in advantages mostly due to good weather, black culture and consistent team success, but most teams in the NBA fail at step 1 or step 2. (Also, I thought Deron-->Dallas was a lock?)


True, but that's why I only brought up the times they aquired great players due to seeming "good fortune" rather than through their own smart drafts and such. Every team has the opportunity to hit a homerun in the draft like the Lakers did with Bynum or take a gamble by trading an established vet for a young guy they saw potential in and hope it pays off like they did with Kobe. Many fewer teams have the opportunity to sign Shaq in his prime or pick up possibly the best coach of all time to help put them over the top just because of the team name of the front of their jerseys.

And I would guess that Deron will probably sign with the Mavs, but if that deal doesn't go through, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Lakers were his second pick.
   1293. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4136864)
Toronto maybe doesn't deserve to be here. They did draft both VC and McGrady. It wasn't there fault that Vince gave up and McGrady went to Orlando.


And Bosh. Toronto's actually a better argument for the opposite side.

   1294. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4136867)
Big market fans don't seem to have much sympathy for the small market burdens that make it hard for them to field championship teams. And likewise, small market fans don't seem to have much sympathy for the big market burdens of having to listen to everyone else ##### about their teams. It goes both ways. Is it fair that the Lakers/Yankees have to deal with more Haters than fans of most other teams?

IT ISN'T?
Um, I don't care?

Seriously, I don't care. Not caring about how non-Laker (or non-Yankee, or non-whatever-massive dynasty) fans feel is the great luxury of being a Laker fan. Last page, you advised Laker fans to just tell people to get over it. I prefer letting them stew in their bitter sports-hatred. To the extent that I do care (and I've been guilty of stoking that fire), I like when rivals really, really hate the Lakers because it means they're still great. Yes, that's right, your hatred is delicious to me. Mmmmm, hatred.

I've been an Angel fan since the early 80s, so trust me when I say I know how the other half lives.
   1295. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4136870)
Like today, it comes out that Lin may be a hard sign with the Knicks.

Hard how? Unless the Knicks don't sign him, there's virtually no way another team can steal him away.

And I would guess that Deron will probably sign with the Mavs, but if that deal doesn't go through, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Lakers were his second pick.

How exactly are they going to afford a max deal?

I've been an Angel fan since the early 80s, so trust me when I say I know how the other half lives.

Spending money foolishly is a whole different ballgame.
   1296. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4136874)
And Bosh. Toronto's actually a better argument for the opposite side.
I do wonder about McGrady. He didn't leave because he didn't like Toronto, he wanted out because he felt all over-shadowed by Carter. IIRC, McGrady was a restricted free agent, and he forced a trade and ended up in Orlando in return for basically nothing. That's a back-breaking situation for any franchise.
   1297. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4136876)
I've been an Angel fan since the early 80s, so trust me when I say I know how the other half lives.

Spending money foolishly is a whole different ballgame.
They spent money foolishly in the 80s, they were just plain bad in the 90s. And until recently (and perhaps still), they've had to live in the shadow of the great and mighty Dodgers.
   1298. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4136877)
Um, I don't care?


Exactly. And that's how I feel when Laker fans complain about the Haters.

Hating and complaining is just part of being a fan.

Yes, that's right, your hatred is delicious to me. Mmmmm, hatred.


That actually made me smile. Good call. :)

Edit: But for the record, you DID seem to be a bit annoyed last page when BL and a few others were talking about the refs/free throws from the Lakes game 3 win.
   1299. Booey Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4136879)
How exactly are they going to afford a max deal?


By trading Gasol (or Bynum, but Gasol would make more sense for their long term future).
   1300. Tripon Posted: May 21, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4136880)
Lin's going to be a hard sign because the Knicks can only use their veteran exemption on him, and they don't want to spend the full VE on Lin, instead, they want to spread it around to 2/3 players and hope they can get a dead cat bounce from somebody.

Basically, they want their cake and to eat it too.
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