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Friday, October 05, 2018

OT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, none of whom knew the old thread would get closed, thus detracting from what this site is really about: the baseball playoffs, maybe?

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 05, 2018 at 03:43 PM | 3782 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   2301. JC in DC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 08:53 PM (#5788205)
Flip to the lou, ron darling
   2302. JC in DC Posted: November 15, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5788206)
REPOST: We are rarely unanimous in our views, and yet I cannot recall anyone who thought Houston adding Melo made sense. So ..., why did Houston think it made sense? One possibility would be some "basketball performance" angle we all just didn't see that they did. Another would be a "chemistry" angle: keep Paul, Melo's close friend, happy by adding his bud. But, if it's the second reason, then why dump him so soon? Or, does winning make Paul happier than chilling with Melo? In which case, why couldn't management just point out to Melo what even morons like we saw: that old guy doesn't really add anything that helps us, and actually risks making us worse?
   2303. spivey Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:05 PM (#5788248)
Rockets are balling. I'd love to see them get another crack in the playoffs vs the Warriors. Ideally first or second round
   2304. tshipman Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:14 PM (#5788253)
So ..., why did Houston think it made sense?


There were reasons to think it might make sense. Melo really did change his game in OKC, and he had a bizarrely low catch and shoot 3p%. There were reasons to think he might bounce back, and nail a bunch of open 3pers.

It was the kind of move where if every little thing went right, you could see it being successful.
   2305. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:17 PM (#5788254)
If I have to defend Houston's acquisition of Melo, it would be that he's been a prolific dependable scorer for a long time, still had the ability to spot up and launch, and playing along side Paul and Harden would give him all the opportunities in the world to do just that. They lost Ariza so they couldn't replace his defense, might as well try and get more offense instead. Besides, it cost Houston next to nothing, and it seemed to make Paul and Harden happy.

The experiment failed, but the Rockets cut bait after just 10 games, so it hasn't crushed their playoff hopes or anything. It seems like the drama around Houston is more about Carmelo's stature in the league and less about Houston's roster construction and performance going forward.

I remember when Carmelo was a teenager. Now he's probably going to retire by next season, if he doesn't retire this season. Boy, time flies.
   2306. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:27 PM (#5788260)
I spent some time with Melo's career stats, and man......as far as I can tell, the guy was a legitimate all-star maybe two years with the Knicks, and a good player for maybe his 6-year peak. Unless you figure out some way to value insanely high usage that none of the standard formulas capture, he has to be a member of the all-time NBA overrated team.

(Who is that team?)
   2307. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:30 PM (#5788263)
Unless you figure out some way to value insanely high usage that none of the standard formulas capture, he has to be a member of the all-time NBA overrated team.
There's a lot of people using the words "future Hall of Famer" before Melo's name lately. Honestly, I have never, ever thought of him as a future Hall of Famer until these last few days. Looking at the numbers, he'll get in, but I have zero enthusiasm for him as an all-time great.
   2308. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:45 PM (#5788270)
Unless you figure out some way to value insanely high usage that none of the standard formulas capture, he has to be a member of the all-time NBA overrated team.

(Who is that team?)


There's no surer way to ignite another Russell vs. Wilt holy war than that. :)

Was Dominique as good as his rep? Drexler? Maravich? Was peak Steve Nash really an MVP, or was his defense too bad for him to reach that level?

I've only payed close-ish attention to basketball for about four years now; I don't know the answers to these questions.

Hard to think of a guy as revered by other players while being actually not-that-great as Melo.
   2309. tshipman Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:48 PM (#5788272)
I spent some time with Melo's career stats, and man......as far as I can tell, the guy was a legitimate all-star maybe two years with the Knicks, and a good player for maybe his 6-year peak. Unless you figure out some way to value insanely high usage that none of the standard formulas capture, he has to be a member of the all-time NBA overrated team.


You are sleeping on Nuggets Melo.

Melo had whole seasons where he got to the rim on 40%+ of his possessions. Melo combined high percentage offense, high usage and low turnover percentages.

He was kind of like a shorter Dirk.
   2310. stanmvp48 Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5788278)
Meanwhile the Nuggets have 109 points after 3 quarters against Atlanta. Possibly the worst team I have ever seen. Vince Carter is playing power forward
   2311. stanmvp48 Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:00 PM (#5788279)
Tre Young is 2 for 11
   2312. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:03 PM (#5788282)
Yeah, poor Tre probably was wishing for more talent around him at OU--little did he know what was to come...
   2313. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:11 PM (#5788286)
In my viewing lifetime, All-Overrated Starting 5:

PG: John Wall
SG: Jeff Malone
SF: Adrian Dantley
PF: Vin Baker
C: Brad Miller

All these guys had at least two All-Star Games to their name. Dantley, I can understand. Wall, maybe.
   2314. tshipman Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:28 PM (#5788289)
Re: 2313: that isn't nearly a hot enough take.

All-overrated starting 5

PG: Steve Nash
SG: Tracy McGrady
SF: Larry Bird
PF: Karl Malone
C: Patrick Ewing

Now that's muy picante.
   2315. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:32 PM (#5788290)
Needs more Allen Iverson.
   2316. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:33 PM (#5788291)
I'm muy frio compared to 2314.

I can see a good argument for all five as being overrated.
   2317. Booey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:02 AM (#5788307)
PG: Isiah Thomas (the Bad Boy one) or Russell Westbrook
SG: Kobe Bryant or Allen Iverson
C: Bill Walton
PF: Dennis Rodman
SF: Melo

Remember, just cuz someone is overrated doesn't mean they weren't good, or even great. They just weren't as good as people thought they were.
   2318. homerwannabee Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:14 AM (#5788321)
Yes, I agree Carmelo Anthony is highly overrated. Still there are two main reasons he'll make the Hall of Fame. He has over 25,000 points. In the NBA that's equivalent to getting 3,000 hits in baseball. Next, and probably most importantly, he's thought of as maybe the greatest Olympic Basketball player of all time. Has four gold medals, and was a vital part in all four of them.

So he maybe borderline in the NBA, but since the NBA Hall of Fame counts stats outside of the NBA, he's most likely easily getting in because of what he did in the Olympics.
   2319. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:26 AM (#5788323)
It's not too hard to find players the media overrates for various uninteresting reasons.

Galaxy brain: people who are overrated by this board (non-STIGGLES division). Mine, current players:

PG Dennis Smith Jr
SG Paul George (playing with positions here, yes)
SF Jayson Tatum
PF Kevin Love
C Nikola Jokic
   2320. maccoach57 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:36 AM (#5788324)
On the previous page someone said that George does not get enough love on the thread. Heh.
   2321. maccoach57 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:38 AM (#5788325)
   2322. tshipman Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:59 AM (#5788326)
Yes, I agree Carmelo Anthony is highly overrated. Still there are two main reasons he'll make the Hall of Fame. He has over 25,000 points. In the NBA that's equivalent to getting 3,000 hits in baseball. Next, and probably most importantly, he's thought of as maybe the greatest Olympic Basketball player of all time. Has four gold medals, and was a vital part in all four of them.

So he maybe borderline in the NBA, but since the NBA Hall of Fame counts stats outside of the NBA, he's most likely easily getting in because of what he did in the Olympics.


He also won a college championship and was probably the best one and done player of all time.
   2323. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5788346)
Galaxy brain: people who are overrated by this board (non-STIGGLES division). Mine, current players:

After assembling two entire teams, including the stiggles division, I have determined there is no upside for participating in this topic! Ha.

   2324. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5788352)
players who are overrated by 57i66135:
PG: dangelo russell
SG: tyreke evans
SF: kyle anderson
PF: james johnson
C: enes kanter


players who are overrated by 57i66135 (process division):
PG:
SG:
SF: furkan korkmaz
PF: dario saric
C: nerlens noel
   2325. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:16 AM (#5788363)
On at least one occasion you compared Okafor's face up game favorably to Tim Duncan's.
   2326. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5788365)
On at least one occasion you compared Okafor's face up game favorably to Tim Duncan's.
we're talking about players who ARE overrated, not WERE overrated.


btw, that first team in [2324] would be godawful.
   2327. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5788374)
He also won a college championship and was probably the best one and done player of all time.
Speaking as exactly the type of casual fan who is generally guilty of overrating Melo, *this*. That NCAA run cemented him as a star in many folks' minds before he even hit the league.
   2328. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5788380)
PG: Isiah Thomas (the Bad Boy one) or Russell Westbrook

Isiah Thomas would be amazing in this era, and I think he's actually a bit underrated. There's reason to believe that he'd be an excellent three point shooter if that's something that he focused on. Add that to his ability to penetrate and score, his ability to generate assists with a relatively low turnover rate, and his crunch time scoring and ability to be The Guy (something that someone like say, John Stockton, lacked) would make him among the very elite of the game.
   2329. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5788389)
I've come around to thinking Isiah is just properly rated. I don't see any reason to think he could have been a better shooter (but I'm open to being convinced on that), but the man was an elite scorer and racked up assists, guarded well, got to the line okay. In his best season he was 5th in steals, 17th in free throw attempts. But he peaked fairly early (injury related?). So he's a Hall of Famer, but I think correctly not considered one of the top 20 or so all time, right?
   2330. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5788413)
C: Brad Miller

This may not be a hot take, but it is a crazy take. There are so many overrated big men in recent times. How do you pick a guy who wasn't overrated at all? Brad Miller never made an All-NBA team. Here are some contemporaries who did: Al Jefferson, David Lee, Carlos Boozer, Jermaine O'Neal (6 All-Star games and 3 All-NBA teams), Antonio McDyess, Juwan Howard, Derrick Coleman, and Kevin Willis. I'd argue that Miller was no worse than any of these players, and clearly better than a few. By plus-minus based stats he's the best of that bunch and also better than Amare, who had two legitimately excellent seasons but made 6 All-Star games and 5 All-NBA teams. Other All-Star big men include some vastly inferior players like Kevin Duckworth, Chris Kaman, and Jamaal Magloire.

Players who can defend, pass, and shoot are seldom overrated. This is especially true among players with center or even forward size. Where (like Miller) they don't look athletic and aren't go-to scorers, they tend to be underrated. This largely explains how Miller went undrafted out of college. It also largely explains how Gary Clark went undrafted, showing that NBA teams still may be somewhat blind to the value of this skill set.

The Rockets are a much better team with Gary Clark filling Melo's minutes. Here's what I said about Gary Clark entering the draft:
Gary Clark (Cincinnati) – 23.5 years old, 6’7.5” 220 pounds, 6’10” wingspan
Optimistic Comp: Chuck Hayes plus a credible jumper, or Paul Millsap minus post scoring
Position: Frontcourt Defender + Facilitator + Floor Spacer
Consensus Rank: Mid to Late Second Round
My Rank: Mid to Late First Round

There are so many reasons why scouts underrate Gary Clark.

He’s old.
He’s undersized.
His athleticism is unremarkable by NBA standards.
He lacks a signature skill.

Even Clark’s strengths are bland. His standout attributes are his consistent, intense effort and his high-level awareness, which tend to be undervalued traits in my estimation. I believe organizations typically overestimate the extent to which effort and awareness are responsive to coaching rather than intrinsic to the individual player.

Further, in my opinion Clark’s greatest strength is his fundamental lack of weaknesses, which is incredibly difficult to see while watching him for brief stretches. He’s an effective on-ball defender at multiple positions, an effective team defender, a plus rebounder who boxes out and goes after loose balls, a smart passer who makes good decisions quickly, a functional ball handler, and a much-improved shooter who I’d expect to be solid from mid-range in the short term and useful beyond the arc eventually. . . .

After witnessing Al Horford become arguably the most effective big man in the playoffs this year, maybe teams should reconsider how they weigh versatility and awareness versus physical dominance and scoring ability in the frontcourt. I would not be remotely surprised if Gary Clark emerges as a more useful NBA player than a couple of the big men projected as top-10 picks.

I remain stunned that no one took a flier on Clark in the 2nd round. Most of those draftees will never be as useful as Clark is right now. He changed the game defensively last night, helping off of non-shooters to shut down the paint and deny open looks on the perimeter for guys like Klay. His awareness and passing have translated thus far, albeit in a small sample, with 6 assists to just 1 turnover. The fact that he looks to be ahead of schedule refining his 3-point jumper is just a bonus for the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent.
   2331. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5788417)
Galaxy brain: people who are overrated by this board (non-STIGGLES division). Mine, current players:

PG Dennis Smith Jr
SG Paul George (playing with positions here, yes)
SF Jayson Tatum
PF Kevin Love
C Nikola Jokic

This is a confusing list, to me. I don't see any DSJ talk, little Tatum talk (it's almost certainly true that he's overrated among the Celtics fan contingent but I don't think he comes up that much?). I think most people don't like Love a whole lot. George doesn't seem to come up a lot lately, at least. Jokic, there's a good case for Jokic.
   2332. spivey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5788418)
I've come around to thinking Isiah is just properly rated. I don't see any reason to think he could have been a better shooter (but I'm open to being convinced on that), but the man was an elite scorer and racked up assists, guarded well, got to the line okay. In his best season he was 5th in steals, 17th in free throw attempts. But he peaked fairly early (injury related?). So he's a Hall of Famer, but I think correctly not considered one of the top 20 or so all time, right?

He's considered one of the best PGs of all time. Hell, I think there have been discussions/arguments here about his value compared to Stockton.

A lot of ratings depends on how you value playoff vs regular season performance.
   2333. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5788424)
He's considered one of the best PGs of all time.

Yeah maybe he is overrated then! Someone has him as among the very best- JC? I forget.
   2334. Booey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5788426)
So he's a Hall of Famer, but I think correctly not considered one of the top 20 or so all time, right?


Most lists I've seen have him just outside the top 20. I think he barely cracked the top 50 on our list 4 or so years ago, which seems more accurate. I'd probably put him about on par with Iverson.

His percentages just aren't that efficient (.452/.290/.759). Granted, hardly anyone shot 3's well in that era, but his overall FG percentage was pretty "meh" for the era and his FT percentage was actually kinda bad for a guard (which makes me highly skeptical that he could've been a better shooter if he wanted to). I agree that he's a HOFer, but he's often talked about as one of the true elites of the 1980's, in the group just below the Magic/Bird tier, and none of the advanced numbers back that up - 18.1 PER, 80.7 WS, .109 WS/48, 2.2 BPM, 37.5 VORP. He had a short-ish career (13 years) which contributed to his mediocre career totals in counting stats like WS and VORP, but his peak seasons were rarely special either; just one top 10 season in WS (7th), 2 top 10 seasons in BPM (5th, 9th), 2 top 10 seasons in VORP (4th, 7th), and 2 top 10 seasons in PER (7th, 10th). None of that screams "upper level HOFer" to me. He was just a run of the mill, mid level HOFer (not that that's a bad thing).

I'm too young to remember his peak, but for the "you had to be there" crowd, the MVP voters of his own time didn't seem to think he was anything special, either. Obviously you're not gonna win many MVP's competing with Magic and Bird every year, but it's not like he kept finishing 3rd to them either; he had just 4 top 10 finishes, never higher than 5th. Despite playing for a perennial contender, his peak from 1982-1991 produced MVP finishes of just 17th, 16th, 5th, 9th, 9th, 8th, 12th, 17th, 13th, and 13th). Again, that's "regular HOFer" support, not "upper level HOFer" or even the tier just below.

To his credit, he DID up his numbers quite a bit in the playoffs, but they still didn't reach amazing levels. They're actually pretty similar to Stockton's playoff numbers, but unlike Zeke, Stock's stats had to DROP significantly to reach those levels.

I've always suspected Thomas's reputation was retroactively boosted by the "count da ringzz" contingent of fans and sportswriters. The Bad Boys won back to back titles, and the narrative has always been that every multi-championship team just NEEDS an all time great player, so that distinction was hoisted upon him by default (despite being slightly past his prime during their title years; he didn't crack the top 10 in MVP voting in either of those seasons). I get why that narrative exists; the vast majority of title teams - even ones that won just a single title - really are led by a perennial MVP candidate and all time great. But like Detroit's other championship team (2004), the Bad Boys are one of the few exceptions. They won because of depth, not because of transcendent individual star talent.

Hell, if you want to talk up a Pistons title winning PG, the underrated Chauncey Billups was probably the better player, without half the recognition.
   2335. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5788433)
Brad Miller? I guess if you really hate his D?
(I would not shut up about that guy after he went undrafted - more than maybe any player before or since?)
   2336. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5788434)
Booey: co-sign yer I.Thomas thoughts.
   2337. DCA Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5788438)
Isiah Thomas would be amazing in this era, and I think he's actually a bit underrated. There's reason to believe that he'd be an excellent three point shooter if that's something that he focused on. Add that to his ability to penetrate and score, his ability to generate assists with a relatively low turnover rate, and his crunch time scoring and ability to be The Guy (something that someone like say, John Stockton, lacked) would make him among the very elite of the game.

This seems to me to be wrong in every way. Even the Stockton reference that isn't even about Isiah (the near universal overlap of his career with Malone's means that he never was The Guy, but I saw him score at will enough times - he was an elite shooter - to believe that he could have been with different teammates).

There's no reason to believe that Isiah could become a 3 pt threat. He wasn't good from the arc in over 1300 actual attempts, that's two seasons worth of Curry attempts, hardly a small sample size. His FT% was mediocre for a little guy. He also didn't have a relatively low TO rate. Only once did he exceed the 3:1 A:TO ratio that is the common threshold for a ball protecting point guard. Chris Paul is the exemplar here, over 4:1 for his career. Peak Stockton was also close to 4:1 put that was more ridiculous assist rate than low TO rate. Lots of guards of that era, off the top of my head Kenny Anderson, Mark Price, Terry Porter, Gary Payton, Mark Jackson, Avery Johnson, Kevin Johnson all exceeded 3:1 multiple times.

EDIT: TL;DR: What Booey said, plus pedestrian A:TO ratio.
   2338. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5788443)
Best one-and-done-Carmelo, AD, or Jahlil Okafor?

   2339. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5788444)
I spent some time with Melo's career stats, and man......as far as I can tell, the guy was a legitimate all-star maybe two years with the Knicks, and a good player for maybe his 6-year peak. Unless you figure out some way to value insanely high usage that none of the standard formulas capture, he has to be a member of the all-time NBA overrated team.


I swear on his most recent podcast Simmons said Carmelo was (paraphrasing) "a top ten player for like eight or nine years." Was enough to make me consider finally stopping listening to Bill Simmons.

EDIT - Just to keep it Simmons related, Kyrie has to be among the most highly over-rated players right now. I hear his name and "top ten" get thrown around together a lot.
   2340. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5788446)
Kyrie has to be among the most highly over-rated players right now. I hear his name and "top ten" get thrown around together a lot.

This was more true prior to joining the Celtics, I think. He was having a very, very good year last year before getting hurt.* Arguably top 10. Very good so far this year, too.

*Also he always gets hurt, so there's that.

(I don't have Kyrie in the top 10, for the record, that part I definitely agree with.)
   2341. spivey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5788448)
Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley were significantly better in college than Okafor or Carmelo don't @ me.

I agree Booey. Even getting Thomas to borderline top 50 requires giving a pretty hefty amount of weight to the playoffs.
   2342. Rally Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5788453)
One thing that might make Thomas better in today's game than his own time is all the hand check rules that changed after he was out of the game, that seemed to make the small, quick point guards unguardable. Thomas probably gets more free throws and gets to the rim a lot more if he's playing today.

The biggest knock on him is that he just wasn't very efficient. He turned the ball over a lot, usually around 300 times in a full season and led the league twice. Shooting % not very good despite him not shooting a lot of 3's. It's definitely the case that players who grew up with the 3 point shot are going to be better at it than players who had that suddenly added to the game when they were already pros, or during their HS or college careers. Thomas would be better at 3s if he came up today, and certainly would take more of them. But there is no reason to think he'd be anything great at it, he just did not stand out as a shooter among his peers.

Thomas was capable of ridiculous highlights and special performances, such as his game 6 against the Lakers in 1988. He had a knack for fitting the dramatic, doing that despite suffering an ankle injury in the same game. He just torched the Lakers, hobbled down the court after his shot went in, and kept on repeating that. In that game, he made 18 of his 32 shots. But the rest of the series, he only shot 31 for 83 (.373). Yeah, he was hurt, but that applies to his game 7 performance, not games 1-5. Bill Simmons falls into the same trap as most reporters at the time did. When talking up Thomas, they bring up his great games. And they were legitimately great! But he also had a lot of meh games.

Looking at his 1988 playoff game scores, his best game, the one against the Lakers, had a game score of 34. His worst was a 7.9, median was about 18 or 19.

Looking at Lebron last year, his best was a 41.6, median around 30, and worst was a 7.8. But Lebron's second worst was a 15, while Thomas had a few similar single digit outputs. Comparing him to Lebron isn't fair, too high a standard. Nobody is saying Thomas was the GOAT. Just noticing that Lebron's typical playoff game was 75% as good as his best, while Thomas was about 55% as good.

   2343. Rally Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5788455)
Even getting Thomas to borderline top 50 requires giving a pretty hefty amount of weight to the playoffs.


Which I think is very defensible compared to baseball since all the good teams make the playoffs, games don't really matter that much until you get there, and the final 2 teams have playoff game totals that are 25% of their regular season schedule.
   2344. aberg Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5788457)
When I was in college, the guys at the gym all called me Brad Miller. I had a beard, wore a headband, tall white guy, liked to pass out of the high post. It would have been cool, but my best friend was a gangly, long-haired shooter who got to be Dirk, so I always had an inferiority complex.

The guy who gave everyone the nicknames was an unconscious shooter. He called himself Ray Allen, but he probably should've called himself Antoine Walker.
   2345. Booey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5788459)
So how about an all-time underrated list? Count da (lack of) rings seems to be a common theme with these players.

I'm open to suggestions for the wing positions, but here's some of my picks so far:

PG - CP3. Hey, I dislike the whining, flopping, and nut-punching as much as anyone (except when Stockton did it; that was okay), his Clippers and Rockets were/are some of the most annoying and unlikable contenders in recent memory, and he legitimately deserves to drop a few spots in the rankings due to his injury history, especially at inopportune times (hello 2016 and 2018 playoffs). But Paul's efficiency and advanced stats are just off the charts. Yet I've never seen him crack the top 20 on any all time list. Not even sure about the top 25. In fact, I think he's been below Isiah on every list I've seen, which is beyond laughable. I guess never making the Finals and only once making the conference finals does a number to your reputation.

PF - KG. Seems to rank in the 20-25 range on most lists I've seen, but there's really not much difference between him and Duncan (always top 10) other than ring count. Amongst his own era, he's at least as good as Kobe (and probably better), who always ranks about 10 spots higher. TD and KB wouldn't have been collecting rings with the supporting cast Garnett had in Minnesota either.

C- The Admiral. Best I've seen him rank on any list other than our own is around 20th, despite advanced stats that are so high they're almost hard to believe. Even if the eye test takes a little bit of the air out of the advanced stats (as they do for me), I still think he's the equal of Olajuwon, who always seems to rank about 10 spots higher, most likely due to one playoff series (1995), and the fact that he won two titles in his prime whereas Robinson didn't win any until he was perceived to have taken a backseat to Duncan (though in reality Admiral was still as big a star on the 1999 Spurs as Timmy was).
   2346. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5788463)
But Paul's efficiency and advanced stats are just off the charts. Yet I've never seen him crack the top 20 on any all time list. Not even sure about the top 25. In fact, I think he's been below Isiah on every list I've seen, which is beyond laughable. I guess never making the Finals and only once making the conference finals does a number to your reputation.

Yeah I've been arguing this for a while. He's probably going to retire with the best PG stats of all time (as an all around player), so then it's sort of a matter of what you do with Magic's short career and how you feel about Oscar.

(And then of course Curry will eventually pass him, probably.)
   2347. Rally Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5788464)
When I was in college, the guys at the gym all called me Brad Miller. I had a beard, wore a headband, tall white guy, liked to pass out of the high post. It would have been cool, but my best friend was a gangly, long-haired shooter who got to be Dirk, so I always had an inferiority complex.


In high school I was a tall white dude with glasses and long hair. And a Lakers fan. So they called me Rambis. But I tried to play like Magic. Not good enough to play for the official team* but I was a decent point guard at gym time.

*My high school team was pretty good, including a 6-10 center who went on to ride the bench at Duke, the son of a guy who once blocked Andy/Jolly Old st Nick's shot.
   2348. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5788469)
So how about an all-time underrated list?

this isn't really all-time, just my lifetime, but:

PG: mike conley
SG: eddie jones
SF: shane battier
PF: robert horry
C: shaq.
   2349. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5788472)
C- The Admiral
C: shaq.

I think Booey and stiggles are onto something with this kind of thinking. I think the underrated/overrated players are most interesting to consider from among the top 50. Like, Kareem is probably underrated by a lot of people who reflexively put Wilt/Russell as the best big men of all time, even if many people still have Kareem top 5. His numbers are insane!
   2350. It's TFTIO's Monster, Actually Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5788474)
His numbers are insane!

"Quantity has a quality all its own."
   2351. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5788479)
oh, i like this one, too:

PG: kyle lowry
SG: jameer nelson
SF: aaron mckie
PF: tim legler
C: tim thomas
   2352. Booey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5788480)
this isn't really all-time, just my lifetime, but:

PG: chauncey billups
SG: eddie jones
SF: shane battier
PF: robert horry
C: shaq.


Some of these confuse me a bit...

Billups - Agreed. See the last line of my #2334.

Jones - Eh, he made 3 all star teams. Seems about right for a player of his caliber. Not a superstar or a HOFer.

Battier - Always thought of as a great role player, from what I remember. Do you think he was more than that?

Horry - Strongly disagree. In fact, if I remembered him I would've put him instead of Rodman on my all time overrated team. He was a good role player, but he was never even a borderline star for even a single season, yet "count da ringzzzzzz" types advocate him for the HOF. Yeah, he hit lots of big shots, but it's easy to get open when you have a slew of HOF teammates like Olajuwon, Drexler, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili to distract the defense.

Shaq - Underrated by whom? He's in the top 10 of every list I've seen. Unless you think he's a GOAT contender alongside MJ, KAJ, and LBJ, he seems to be pretty fairly rated.
   2353. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5788483)
Anyone who doesn't have Kareem top 3 all time is underrating him, sure.

Scalding hot take: the best player on the Bad Boy Pistons was Dennis Rodman.

I've posted pretty often about how much I love Jokic, but I've never said he's a great player. Just a really entertaining one. But he'll never give a #### about defense and that will always put a hard ceiling on his value to a team.

He's better than Karl-Anthony Towns, though. Fight me.
   2354. aberg Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5788484)
Billups is a good one. McGrady and KG too.

How about Sidney Moncrief? Joe Dumars, Jerome Kersey, young Grant Hill, Detlef Shrempf, Ric Smits, Rod Strickland, Terry Porter, Hersey Hawkins, Zo, Byron Scott, Mark Aguirre, Stacey Augmon, Mark Eaton.
   2355. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5788485)
I wanna chime in further, but Booey is right about everything - just read him twice.
   2356. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5788486)
Detlef Schrempf would be a monster in today's NBA. Like Kevin Love, but better.
   2357. aberg Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5788487)
Shaq - Underrated by whom? He's in the top 10 of every list I've seen. Unless you think he's a GOAT contender alongside MJ, KAJ, and LBJ, he seems to be pretty fairly rated.


I read a very entertaining basketball book that argued that Shaq is the best player ever. I didn't come out of it in agreement, but he had an interesting perspective.
   2358. maccoach57 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5788490)
little Tatum talk (it's almost certainly true that he's overrated among the Celtics fan contingent but I don't think he comes up that much?).


You just process it differently. Several Boston fans have had "Tatum rockz!" posts at various times, and there was a fair amount of gloating about the trade (understandable given the context) last fall. Tatum is doing very well, so I don't know that he is "overrated" per se. "Overrated" often means "people like him a lot and talk about him a lot."
   2359. Booey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5788491)
I wanna chime in further, but Booey is right about everything - just read him twice.


;-)
   2360. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5788494)
and there was a fair amount of gloating about the trade (understandable given the context) last fall.

Given stiggles's posting history, you all are lucky we don't bring that trade up every hour on the hour.
   2361. maccoach57 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5788496)
Booey is correct that Paul, Garnett and Robinson are underrated historically. When I did personal Top 10s in peak and career when guys were doing Top 50s, I said that about the latter two. As to Paul:

1. Playoff losses
2. Game is more geometric than aerodynamic
3. Not likable/dirty
4. Banana Boat gives him optics as a LBJ sidekick

   2362. maccoach57 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5788499)
Given stiggles's posting history, you all are lucky we don't bring that trade up every hour on the hour.


Yes, this is a side benefit of Jimmy Butler going to Philadelphia. We could see PHI/BOS Butler/Hayward in May.
   2363. DCA Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5788501)
Scalding hot take: the best player on the Bad Boy Pistons was Dennis Rodman.

The correct answer is Laimbeer. Seems like a hot take now, but was it really then? When they won the 1989 title, he had been to 4 AS games, more than anyone else except Thomas.
   2364. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5788504)
It was then - EVERYBODY thought it was Thomas.
I now, however, am open to listen.
   2365. JL72 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5788508)
The correct answer is Laimbeer. Seems like a hot take now, but was it really then? When they won the 1989 title, he had been to 4 AS games, more than anyone else except Thomas.


I would guess it was based on how much he was hated. I don't think many people wanted to give Laimbeer the credit he deserved. He was a very smart player and more athletic than he looked. But also a complete @$$hole.
   2366. JL72 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5788510)
In fact, if I remembered him I would've put him instead of Rodman on my all time overrated team.


Rodman was underrated, until the Madonna/white dress/piercing and tattoos, at which point he became overrated.
   2367. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5788512)
Rodman was underrated, until the Madonna/white dress/piercing and tattoos, at which point he became overrated.

Rodman seemed to consider it a point of pride to not score in the latter half of his career. He had multiple years where he averaged more offensive rebounds per game than field goal attempts (the last 7 years of his career), which I remember even at the time noticing was absurd (in a bad way).
   2368. aberg Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5788515)
Rodman was underrated, until the Madonna/white dress/piercing and tattoos, at which point he became overrated.


Until the Badass Vodka/North Korean Diplomat/Trump supporter phase, at which point he became underrated again.
   2369. aberg Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5788516)
This is the lede of an article from the Athletic on Butler today,

"T.J.​ McConnell,​ Nik​ Stauskas, Jerami Grant,​ Nerlens Noel​ and​ Jahlil Okafor.

That was​ the starting lineup when the Philadelphia 76ers​​ took the court against the Dallas Mavericks three years ago today, on their way to an 11th consecutive loss to start the 2015-16 season. The team would hit a low point a few weeks later when it fell to 1-30."
   2370. JC in DC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5788518)
Scalding hot take: the best player on the Bad Boy Pistons was Dennis Rodman.

The correct answer is Laimbeer. Seems like a hot take now, but was it really then? When they won the 1989 title, he had been to 4 AS games, more than anyone else except Thomas.

Nah, this is false. It was Thomas. Rodman, god bless him, is not even close. He may have had the most unique skill set, but he could not put the ball in the basket, so his playing time was parasitic on guys who could score. Laimbeer was good, and tough and dirty, but not the player Thomas was. "Flair for the dramatic" is just a way of saying that he came up big in big moments, which is pretty true of Thomas. Starting PG is a lot more like starting QB than starting left tackle (Rodman) or starting TE (Laimbeer). Those guys are important, but Thomas ran that show, was the guy other teams responded to defensively, and rose to the occasion. Maybe I overrate him, and he was (and probably is) a colossal jerk, but he was the best player on that team and an all-time great PG. Don't forget: he won an NCAA championship, the Pan Am Games, and was a starter on that 1980 Olympic team (which makes the Dream Team snub more of a burn, I'm sure).
   2371. JL72 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5788522)
Rodman seemed to consider it a point of pride to not score in the latter half of his career. He had multiple years where he averaged more offensive rebounds per game than field goal attempts (the last 7 years of his career), which I remember even at the time noticing was absurd (in a bad way).


Partly that was because his offensive rebounding numbers were absurd (5.5-6/G from his age 31-36 seasons). But his 2PA dropped about 2/G from his earlier years, and he really did not take advantage of those rebounds. I have always wondered how much of that was his poor FT shooting, so he just got the ball out to those who could shoot?

Regardless, it made him less effective than he could have been.
   2372. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5788523)
Those guys are important, but Thomas ran that show, was the guy other teams responded to defensively, and rose to the occasion. Maybe I overrate him, and he was (and probably is) a colossal jerk, but he was the best player on that team and an all-time great PG. Don't forget: he won an NCAA championship, the Pan Am Games, and was a starter on that 1980 Olympic team (which makes the Dream Team snub more of a burn, I'm sure).

I don't actually care all that much who the best player on the Bad Boy Pistons was, as they predate my NBA awareness, but that list of accomplishments strikes me as very similar to the lists that got rattled off when people were questioning Melo's HoF credentials. I.e. valid basketball accomplishments, but orthogonal to NBA value. I also think that analysis overvalues scoring and undervalues scarcity of skillsets. Thomas was a good PG, but I'm not sure he was a great one, and the fact that Rodman needed other players to score doesn't necessarily mean his skillset was less valuable than scoring.
   2373. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5788526)
Rodman seemed to consider it a point of pride to not score in the latter half of his career. He had multiple years where he averaged more offensive rebounds per game than field goal attempts (the last 7 years of his career), which I remember even at the time noticing was absurd (in a bad way).

It also hurt his defense (which was still very good) as he'd abandon his post to chase boards.
--
No Dumars talk?
   2374. JC in DC Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5788528)
Well, here we go again, b/c this just becomes another version of "stats v. achievements," then, doesn't it? I assert you cannot pronounce on such things on the basis of stats alone, and you counter "one cannot pronounce on such things independently of stats." Well, let's meet in the middle, and you have to factor in that the soundest minds in the game who actually saw the guy play considered him a superior basketball player. Rod Thorn, I recall, compared him to MJ and Magic. He did other things than score: he defended, had a high number of steals, and ran the point. That's a huge task, and Daly trusted him to do that. He was in no way merely good. He was a great PG, and his achievements are among the markers that count for that. The same is true, mutatis mutandis, for Melo. It counts that he carried Syracuse to the championship, something that no one else has done in Boeheim's long-ass career.
   2375. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5788529)
Zach Lowe with an excellent point.

You might be able to find something like 85 percent of Moore's production at a cheaper rate, though that is becoming less true as Moore improves and salaries rise.

Even so: That 15 percent is the difference between someone who can play in the playoffs, and someone who can't.


I think I mentioned a couple pages back that Devin Booker could give you 80% of James Harden's production. This is a good take on a similar comparison (he's talking about E'Twan Moore).
   2376. Fourth True Outcome Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5788530)
Fair enough, and I guess my good-not-great formulation is overstating the case. I don't think NCAA achievements count in a discussion of who is under/overrated in the NBA, however, which is the conversation I thought we were having.
   2377. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5788532)
Jones - Eh, he made 3 all star teams. Seems about right for a player of his caliber. Not a superstar or a HOFer.
not saying he was. i'm just pointing out that he's been lost in the shuffle, and he was better than that.
Battier - Always thought of as a great role player, from what I remember. Do you think he was more than that?
i think it sells him short. there are a lot of great role players. he's a great player, who played in a specific role.
Horry - Strongly disagree. In fact, if I remembered him I would've put him instead of Rodman on my all time overrated team. He was a good role player, but he was never even a borderline star for even a single season, yet "count da ringzzzzzz" types advocate him for the HOF. Yeah, he hit lots of big shots, but it's easy to get open when you have a slew of HOF teammates like Olajuwon, Drexler, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili to distract the defense.
that's why i put him there. he was really ####### good for a long time, but his entire career has been distilled down to big shot bob because he played on those teams, with those players.
Shaq - Underrated by whom? He's in the top 10 of every list I've seen. Unless you think he's a GOAT contender alongside MJ, KAJ, and LBJ, he seems to be pretty fairly rated.
he's the most physically dominant player who ever lived.
Given stiggles's posting history, you all are lucky we don't bring that trade up every hour on the hour.
for the record, i was not a fan of that trade when it was made.
   2378. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5788536)
How about Sidney Moncrief?

He's my pick for the most underrated shooting guard. In some ways he seems like the unluckiest player ever. Pretty strong argument for being the best shooting guard between Jerry West and MJ, plus one of the top 5 players of the 80s, but he kinda seems lost to history. The NBA really screwed over the Bucks with realignment in 1980, making it so they'd have to get through both the Celtics and Sixers to reach the Finals. Every year of Moncrief's peak they were one of the top few teams in the league, often ranking 1st or 2nd by SRS, but they could never beat both of those juggernauts in a single postseason. Moncrief's knees cut his career short and kept him from having the sort of compiling stats most similar players have, and since he never won a title like Walton, the Hall of Fame committees haven't shown much interest.

I'll take a stab at a full team:
PG: Baron Davis
SG: Sidney Moncrief
SF: Ron Artest (seems to be known more as a sideshow than as a really good player)
PF: Andrei Kirilenko
C: David Robinson
   2379. maccoach57 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5788540)
Couple of points on Thomas: his basic playoff numbers are mostly very good, relative to his regular-season numbers. He was known in his time as a guy who, as noted, rose to the occasion and there are some basic stats that back that up.

Guys too young to remember him as anything but ClownBastardKnicksJoke Meme would likely look at the numbers and say "way overrated" but he was a huge deal in the 1980s: SI Cover as a NCAA Champion at Indiana, Jordan Nemesis, Magic's on-court kissing frenemy, central figure on team that beat Bird's Celtics, the Showtime Lakers, and the Jordan Bulls. Photogenic, articulate, played a phenomenal game on one leg in the 1988 Finals..12X All-Star, etc. These are real things even if his PER was not awesome, and I think they are more than "orthogonal."

Thomas/Stockton came up when Kevin Pelton was still posting here, and Pelton spoke up for Thomas' legacy.

But the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I think, as I have said, that some guys on this thread underrate Magic, Bird, and even Jordan. Thomas is the same, in that IMO if you made those guys 21 year-olds in 2018, they would adjust to the modern game, use modern conditioning and data, and be awesome, and in that the game is, ultimately more than just numbers.

That said, as time passes, we remember the images as much as the numbers especially with larger-than-life guys like Magic, Bird, Jordan and Thomas, and had Thomas been drafted by Cleveland instead of Detroit, he might be long forgotten. As Pelton has said: teams win titles, not players.

   2380. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5788545)
here's my original take on the BOS/PHI trade:
i wouldn't touch this deal, even if ainge wasn't on the other side of it. the gap between 1 and 4 isn't that big this year and fultz isn't a generational player, so this is a no go for me.


also, it may be worth saying that i wouldn't trade up for ball, either. i just don't think trading up is a good use of resources for this team right now.
my dislike of this trade comes down to a few things:
1, i think trading for fultz is like multiplying 3 rounded numbers. he's the right age, he has physical tools and the right complementary skills, so everything lines up in a way that makes him look like the perfect fit, but if his production isn't elite (or even just lacking in a key area or two), his upside is basically goran dragic.
2, there's a ton of depth at PG in the NBA and i don't think it's wise to trade high value assets to get one right now
3, i don't trust colangelo at all
4, i like ball more than fultz.
plays like this - and there are a lot of them in fultz's highlight videos - are a big part of why i'd take lonzo ball instead of him. it should not take that much effort to score against the ####### banana slugs.
he can make that play against the banana slugs, but against NBA defenses, that's a turnover or a blocked shot. there were four better ways to make that play: 1, go straight to the rim, absorb contact and get to the FT line; 2, find the shooter in the short corner; 3, keep the dribble going and go out the other side of the lane; 4, not get into that position in the first place since there was still 25 seconds left on the shot clock.


i don't think those plays will translate to the NBA and they make up a large part of fultz's offense.
markelle fultz is very good at making bad shots - mid range jumpers, spinning floaters, whirling one handed reverse layups - but what i love about lonzo ball is that he only takes good shots and he creates a ton of great shots.

shot selection can be coached and improved, but my preference is to the take the guy who's shot selection instincts are already honed to an elite degree.
   2381. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5788546)
and while i was looking for that, i found a bunch of other gems
449. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 03, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5487197)
In Philly for the morning, and on our way out I chatted up our Lyft driver about the Sixers. Did he think they would win 42 games? "More." 50? "More!"

The whole city is STIGGLES.
If the Celtics are trying to win in 2020, they should have drafted Markelle Fultz instead of trading for a pick that might convey in 2019. They're dealing like they're trying to win in 2025.
Yes, I also think that was just a bad trade. But that's in large part because I don't like Jayson Tatum's prospects. It seems clear the Celtics think Tatum is as valuable as Fultz.
Yeah, the Fultz trade is still the Ainge move that bothers me most, more than the failures to close deals for Butler or George -- mostly because I trust the consensus more than I trust Ainge when it comes to evaluating college talent. (Edit: Also, I liked the idea of Fultz as a Thomas replacement post-2017-18. Thomas was incredibly fun last season, but I have my doubts about the next contract.)
Ainge may well have the last laugh here--he certainly did in 2008. But if he comes out on the other side of this draft/FA period without Butler, George, Hayward, or Fultz/Ball, then I think it is very reasonable to question how he played it. YMMV.
Sam Amick, of USA Today: "At the risk of tugging at Jazz fans' heart strings, I'm told Utah made a very strong impression on Gordon Hayward & he's genuinely torn." Sounds like a decision may be coming tomorrow.
Dean Demakis‏ @deanondraft
Dennis Lindsey is sneaking up the GM rankings, as stealing Rubio + Mitchell for near free are two of the sharpest moves of the offseason
Fultz makes more sense for Philly than Butler does, given his upside (including possibly better shooting) and the way his age lines up with their other guys.
I see that the Celts real gm has a poll up asking if Ainge should be fired for trading the pick. I #### you not, yes is winning. One guy said that Ainge set them back twenty years.
Drew Corrigan‏ @Dcorrigan50
omg MCWs replies are people thanking him and him asking "for what" LOL
and this:
If you guys don't start spelling Hayward's name correctly Booey is going to lose it.
   2382. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5788547)
As Pelton has said: teams win titles, not players.


This is true. But less true in basketball than in any other sport.

I wasn't there during Isiah Thomas's career, but reading books and articles from that era and about that era, it certainly seems like he was one of the 5-10 biggest superstars in the world by the late 80s/early 90s, and universally regarded as the heart and soul (and best player) of the championship Pistons teams.

I also think that repeating as champions is an extremely impressive achievement that is commonly underrated in how difficult it is. I absolutely believe it is true that at the world's highest level of a sport, it takes an extreme level of competitiveness to win the championship, and many, or most, people lose just a tiny bit of that edge once they've gotten there. A few years kept away from that delicious well can reinvigorate, but it's easy to get just a tiny bit complacent when you're on the top, and at the highest level just a teensy sliver of complacency is all it takes to spot your opponents a big advantage.

This, too, is less true of basketball than of other sports, but still true. That those Pistons teams won back-to-back titles was a fantastic achievement.
   2383. Booey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5788548)
Scalding hot take: the best player on the Bad Boy Pistons was Dennis Rodman.


The correct answer is Laimbeer.


Nah, this is false. It was Thomas.


No Dumars talk?


Thank you all for proving my point about the Bad Boy Pistons. ;-) Their best player is debatable. They were great because they had several very good players of almost equal caliber. Their success didn't hinge upon the herculean efforts of one super-duper star like most title teams.

Rodman was underrated, until the Madonna/white dress/piercing and tattoos, at which point he became overrated.


Agreed. I think he was underrated on the Pistons, overrated everywhere else. Despite the awesome rebounding numbers, 3 of his 5 teams (Spurs, Lakers, Mavs) cut ties with him cuz his antics weren't worth the hassle.
   2384. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5788552)
he's the most physically dominant player who ever lived.
Allow me to introduce you to WILT M'F'N CHAMBERLAIN, sir.
   2385. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5788557)
I read a very entertaining basketball book that argued that Shaq is the best player ever. I didn't come out of it in agreement, but he had an interesting perspective.


I noticed that the book came out in 2003, when Shaw was demolishing everything in his path.
   2386. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5788559)
Here you go Knicks fans.
   2387. jmurph Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5788561)
stiggles I wasn't accusing you of supporting the trade, I'm pretty sure I remember you being pro-Ball and skeptical of Fultz (edit: yeah, confirmed by your next post). I was just referring to your prolific Sixers posting.
   2388. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5788562)
Despite the awesome rebounding numbers, 3 of his 5 teams (Spurs, Lakers, Mavs) cut ties with him cuz his antics weren't worth the hassle.


On the one hand, he only played 35 games combined in Dallas and LA. On the other hand, he was only a year removed from seven straight rebounding titles. I can't imagine he wasn doing anything different than what he'd always done.

EDIT: that is to say, you are 100% correct.

Fat Lever is perennially underrated, but he had a pretty short career.
   2389. aberg Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5788565)
Guys too young to remember him as anything but ClownBastardKnicksJoke Meme would likely look at the numbers and say "way overrated" but he was a huge deal in the 1980s


I kind of landed in between those eras. I remember thinking of Zeke as one of the best players in the world when I was a kid. In my mind, he was just a tiny step down from Jordan/Magic/Bird and probably better than everyone else. As I got older and learned more about stats and was better able to analyze what I was watching, it made me reconsider. A prerequisite to the over/underrated discussion is actually rating him, so how do people here rate him? Above or below Stockton? Kidd? Nash? Paul? Payton?

To JC's point, I think the value of those big, signature achievements can go both ways. I hear what you're saying about the primacy of winning the big one. But at the same time, if we're going to overrated someone, isn't it the guy who happened to have his best games when the most people were watching him? It's like a career-long version of the guy who got hot in October and got a big free agent deal right after that.

Allow me to introduce you to WILT M'F'N CHAMBERLAIN, sir.


Those caps are more than 10% emotional investment. Dial it back, sir.
   2390. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5788567)
[sorry sir.]
   2391. . . . . . . Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5788569)
What is the statistical thinking on Rodman. The rebounds, of course, and the perfect build for defense - in the modern game he could easily defend all five positions, he was almost built better for that than Green. But also a lunatic and a zero in other areas.
   2392. Booey Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5788571)
Guys too young to remember him as anything but ClownBastardKnicksJoke Meme would likely look at the numbers and say "way overrated" but he was a huge deal in the 1980s


I wasn't there during Isiah Thomas's career, but reading books and articles from that era and about that era, it certainly seems like he was one of the 5-10 biggest superstars in the world by the late 80s/early 90s.


This is the thing that's always confused me about Isiah's perception. Fans who are older than me insist that he really was considered one of the true greats of his era and his reputation wasn't created retroactively after the Pistons won a couple of titles near the end of his peak, and hell, I wasn't there, so I have no reason not to believe them...but the MVP voting doesn't back it up. The voters of his own times sure didn't seem to think he was one of the biggest stars in the game. If we pretend he really was a top 25 all timer like so many lists seem to believe*, have any other top 25-ers never even sniffed an MVP award like Thomas or had such a "meh" overall showing in the voting for his career?**

* SLAM Magazine, for example, still had him 17th on their updated 2018 list. Some other "WTF?" selections:

- Paul 35th
- Robinson 29th
- Iverson 28th
- Dirk 27th
- Garnett 26th
- Kobe 5th (!)

AI better than CP3 and on par with Robinson, Dirk, and KG? Thomas significantly better than all of them? Whaaaaat??????


** I guess you could say Pippen (3,5,7,9,10,11) and Stockton (7,8,9,10,10,11,11,12,12,13,15,15), but they were clear #2's on their own teams. Pip finished 3rd in the one year where he wasn't, and Stock's all time ranking is largely career based rather than peak anyway.
   2393. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5788574)
Lever was my first thought for underrated off-guard, but lack of duration pushed me to Moncrief.

On Isiah: one of my first ever contrarian basketball beliefs was that he was overrated. I held that stance too strongly, I think, but he was a below average defender, turned over the ball a lot, and an iffy shooter. (Still an excellent player, obv)

Looking at the 88-89 Pistons, he didn't lead the team in any of b-r's uberstats (Rodman was the VORP king, Laimbeer for WS - for example) and you could argue that their broad brush approach to assigning defensive credit overrates IT (and, moreso, underrates Dumars - who was not the best player on the team but, just sayin').

Sidenote: I know we're post PER but I have never seen a great team post PER numbers this low. Here's the lineup:

lineup: Laimbeer 16.6, Mahorn 12.1, Aguirre 15.1, Dumars 16.8, Thomas 17.1
bench: Vinnie 17.3, Rodman 16.3, Salley 12.4, Edwards 11.6
(Dantley was dealt for Aguirre and was an 18.2 whilst there)

None of those is, at first peek, All-Star level play. (First peek would be wrong but whatever.)
They went 63-19 and swept the Finals.

This wasn't even off the chart defensive play! They were third in the league in defensive rating (Rodman and Dumars were first team all D) and seventh in offense. Such balance.
   2394. tshipman Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5788583)
What is the statistical thinking on Rodman. The rebounds, of course, and the perfect build for defense - in the modern game he could easily defend all five positions, he was almost built better for that than Green. But also a lunatic and a zero in other areas.


Rodman is a really interesting guy because he has a tremendous amount of value in things that he does that are non-duplicative.

Some guys are floor raisers--Kobe, Carmelo, Shaq, AI--in that their best skill is that they can get you a 2p FGA with just a few seconds notice that will go in 40%+ of the time. That's really, really valuable! You are less likely to just go scoreless for several minutes!

Rodman is a weird in that what he did well was largely stuff that wasn't duplicated. So his offensive rebounds didn't take away stats from other players. Same for his defense.

Rodman is weird in that he's more valuable on a team with a Jordan--very similar to Draymond in that way--than he is on a bad team. He doesn't raise the floor of his teams at all, but he does improve the ceiling.
   2395. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5788584)
The next year, when they repeated, Dumars was 3rd team All NBA (the only time in either season one of them earned such an honor, Rodman was DPOY, they were both 1st team all-D, Mahorn was 2nd team all-D. The team D was a bit better, the offense was worse. Thomas and Dumars were both all-stars. Laimbeer has a decent argument for best season on the team.
They won 59 games, then Thomas got hot in the playoffs and they won that too.
   2396. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5788587)
agree, tship
   2397. Tin Angel Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5788588)
I noticed that the book came out in 2003, when Shaw was demolishing everything in his path.


Eh, Brian Shaw was pretty much toast by 2003.
   2398. DCA Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5788590)
Lever was my first thought for underrated off-guard, but lack of duration pushed me to Moncrief.

I started doing this, but only got through three positions before losing interest. I also had Lever as my underrated SG, with Moncrief #2 (he was better than Lever, but is rated better too).

PG Avery Johnson
SF Shawn Marion
...
and then lost interest. As a normal-sized person, I follow the smalls more closely and have a harder time assessing bigs.
   2399. GordonShumway Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5788591)
In my viewing lifetime, All-Overrated Starting 5:

PG: John Wall
SG: Jeff Malone
SF: Adrian Dantley
PF: Vin Baker
C: Brad Miller


Emphasis Added.

I didn't follow Dantley in his prime. According to his stats, he looks like an all-time great, albeit far away from the KAJ, MJ, LBJ tier. However, I get the impression that he was considered to be a pretty good, but not great player in his prime. Maybe the way Demar DeRozen is considered today?

What was it about him that made him considered to be worse than what the stats indicate? Porous defense? Team cancer? Stat padding in blowout games?

Thanks in advance.
   2400. aberg Posted: November 16, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5788592)
They won 59 games, then Thomas got hot in the playoffs and they won that too.


I suspect that a big difference in one's overall assessment of Thomas comes down to whether you think he "got hot" or "elevated his game" in the playoffs. If the ebb and flow of his production came during the postseason by luck, you judge him by the baseline of his larger sample. If he wilfully improved when the games were higher leverage, then the lower baseline at low-leverage times matters less.
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