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Monday, December 23, 2019

OT - NBA Thread 2020

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and hopefully none of the other ones posted a duplicate thread to this.

Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: December 23, 2019 at 04:40 PM | 1362 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nba, off-topic

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   801. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5920008)
Ok. You guys saw him firsthand which obviously matters.
   802. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:35 PM (#5920009)
Agree that Karl would be a solid notch above healthy Blake, Cervo.
   803. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5920013)
Healthy Blake was a rarely seen creature, but he was one hell of a beast.
   804. Booey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:38 PM (#5920014)
The game has evolved to the point where traditional power forwards aren't used quite like they used to, but it seems weird to me to rank someone based on what they'd be today rather than what they actually did when they played. The game doesn't revolve around back to the basket centers like Shaq anymore either, but it doesn't make him any less great. Malone is 3rd all time in Win Shares and VORP. He was All NBA 1st team 11 years in a row, top 10 in MVP voting 14 years in a row (9 of which were top 5). Comparing him to a guy like Monroe who's never even been an All Star seems silly, IMO.

If we want to make modern comps for Malone, I think a (very) hypothetical Blake Griffin who never missed a game would be a decent one, or a stronger and more athletic Paul Millsap (that would add an extra 10 pts to Paul's scoring average). Karl was a good passer, too. He was averaging about 4.5 assists per game in his late prime. And things like pick and rolls and finishing at the rim are very much still important skills today, and Malone excelled at those.

Edit: coke to others. Posted before reading.
   805. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:38 PM (#5920015)

Agree that Karl would be a solid notch above healthy Blake, Cervo.


And you're right that Malone's playmaking would not be on Blake's level. I think he also would never match Blake's range on threes, but might be better than him on everything else than those two areas.
   806. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5920023)
I personally think "what if Blake Griffin had been a lot healthier and a little more mature?" is one of the biggest what-ifs of the 21st century. That guy was a specimen even by the standards of NBA stars, and by his mid-20s he had an exceptionally well rounded skill set, too. But for the week here and month there that he was actually fully healthy and engaged, he was one of the very best.
   807. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5920024)
804--Not ranking anyone. Didn't volunteer a ranking. Please don't assign actions to me that did not happen. Thanks.
   808. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5920029)
I think it's a better question to ask if Malone would be even better in a space and pace league?
It's possible, even likely. One of Utah's big problems was that Malone's career TS% went from 57.7% to 52.6% in the playoffs. Teams were happy to pack the paint and smother Malone, and dare Stockton and Hornacek and Russell and Benoit and whomever else they had to beat them from range, a risk that any team would be happy to take. In that era, teams just didn't do that. Plus, I'm not sure Jerry Sloan was flexible enough a coach to try and reinvent the wheel.

In a more open offensive environment, Karl would be an utter beast. Mid-30s Karl was a high post stud, but 20's Karl could jump out of the building. If you had to close on that guy from 24 feet away and he decided to go to the basket, the ensuing dunk could end your bloodline.
   809. spivey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:58 PM (#5920034)
Kobe's TS% for essentially the first half of his playoff career (through the Pistons final loss) was 52.1%. During the 3 peat it was 52.7%. Later in his career it was significantly better, but he still dropped from .550 TS regular season career to .541 in the playoffs. Wade went from .554 to .549. Both essentially maintained their usage. So, I'd like to understand what numbers someone is looking at where Kobe gets individual playoff efficiency boost that Wade doesn't.

Frankly, not to be too reductive, but as a fan of the Spurs who feared Shaq in the playoffs, I was happy going into a game if I knew Kobe was going to have more shots than Shaq. Kobe was great, and could have big games. But Shaq was more efficient, more capable of getting the Spurs best players into foul trouble. Playing the early Lakers was always about Shaq. If we talk about gravity with Curry in today's game, Shaq was the same in the pre-illegal defense days. Everything was about how you defended Shaq.

   810. Booey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:58 PM (#5920036)
#807 - Sorry, "ranking" may have been the wrong word choice. Still, I don't think it changes the overall point. When we're talking about how great or not great someone is, I don't think it really matters how their game would translate to an era they didn't play in* (and again, I think physical specimens with multiple skills like Malone would translate just fine).

* Other than those who played in the games formative years, of course. I certainly don't consider George Mikan an inner circle great, for example, but Malone was an ALL Star as recently as 2003 (at age 39!). That's not THAT long ago.
   811. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:03 PM (#5920039)
I was gonna mention Millsap as well, but I'd rather not try to discuss him rationally (my all time favorite non-scrub, predating his Atlanta time).
Also, I don't mean to slam Blake with any of this - at peak, he's a hell of a player.
   812. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:08 PM (#5920040)
The way I see it, it would be nearly impossible to rank Kobe ahead of these guys: Jordan, Lebron, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, Magic, Bird, Oscar, Duncan (9). It would be very difficult to rate him ahead of these guys: KG, Shaq, Olajuwon, Malone (4). I would probably also have him behind Robinson and West and probably Durant and Curry by the time they're done. That would make him 16 now with a chance to go to 18 depending on the next few years for Curry and KD. Dirk, Elgin Baylor, Moses, Pettit, Barkley, Erving are in the same stratosphere.

If someone really wanted to push it, I could see maybe putting him right behind those initial 9 guys.


Here are the BTF ranks when we did our all-time top 50s, which was, what, 2013 maybe? For people who are still active here, asterisks for Lakers fans (sorry), assuming this is Karl Malone above:

Manny Coon ranked Kobe 20th, behind the 13 guys berg named up front as well as Robinson, West, Mikan, Erving, Barkley, and Dirk
smileyy ranked Kobe 13th, behind 10 of the 13 guys berg named as well as Robinson and West (ahead of K Malone, Bird, and Olajuwon)
Berg ranked Kobe 16th, behind the 13 guys he named as well as Robinson and West
*AROM ranked Kobe 13th, behind 10 of the 13 guys berg named as well as West and Robinson (ahead of K Malone, Oscar, and Garnett)
Moses ranked Kobe 20th, behidn 12 of the 13 guys berg named as well as Robinson, West, Barkley, Erving, M Malone, Dirk, and Pettit (ahead of K Malone)
*tshipman ranked Kobe 14th, behind 11 of the 13 guys berg named as well as Robinson and West (ahead of K Malone and Olajuwon)
Booey ranked Kobe 16th, behind the 13 guys berg named as well as Robinson and West
Spivey ranked Kobe 17th, behind 12 of the 13 guys berg named as well as Robinson, West, Pippen, and Moses Malone (ahead of Oscar)
Athletic Supporter ranked Kobe 19th, behind the 13 guys berg named as well as Robinson, West, Barkley, Dirk, and Stockton
*Hombre ranked Kobe 11th, behind 10 of the 13 guys berg named (ahead of Garnett, K Malone, and Oscar)
NJ ranked Kobe 14th, behind 11 of the 13 guys berg named as well as Robinson and West (ahead of K Malone and Oscar)
Joe C ranked Kobe 13th, behind 12 of the 13 guys berg named (ahead of K Malone)

So that is an average rank of 13th among Laker fans and 16th among non-Laker fans (or 15th overall). We all had him between 11th and 20th. Allowing for some rising up the ranks of then-active players I assume the BTF consensus would place Kobe something like 17th all-time with not too much difference of opinion.
   813. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5920042)
810--no problem. I believe legit greatness transcends eras be it sports or other. Like the baseball thread where the writer is ranking his top 100 baseball players every time he puts up some guy from 50-100 years ago I get super interested because I want to see first from that article and then checking out on my own would that player's greatness move across time?
   814. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5920043)
I'd like to understand what numbers someone is looking at where Kobe gets individual playoff efficiency boost that Wade doesn't.
Because Wade's playoff PERs were consistently lower than during the regular seasons. During the deep runs in the Lebron years went from almost 25 to 21.6. Bryant, on the other hand, from the 99-2000 championship team onward, had a 23.5 PER in the regular season and a 23.0 PER in the playoffs. (And like you pointed out, that '08-'10 playoff run was spectacular.) IOW, Bryant's generating offense at just about the same level in the postseason as he always is, but not so for Wade.
   815. aberg Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:18 PM (#5920047)
I agree that the Blake comp makes sense for Mailman. The other modern(ish) player would be a pre-injury Amare. He had the combination of the great rolling to the rim and that deadly short-mid jumper. Physically, the guy who reminds me most of Malone is Howard, but Dwight never had Malone's touch and Malone never had Dwight's rim protection.
   816. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:24 PM (#5920048)
from bill simmons' the ringer, a site which probably didn't study helicopter maintenance instead of going to college, but maybe...
I’ve written this before: For all the hemming and hawing about what Simmons can’t, won’t, or doesn’t do, I’m still extremely on board with everything he does. Like, rank in the top five in the league in assists, steals, deflections, and loose balls recovered per game; defend all five positions at an All-Defensive level, despite playing the fourth-most minutes in the league; create more points via direct dime than anybody not named LeBron James; and shoulder the heaviest load for keeping the Sixers afloat when Embiid’s not available.
...
Questions of fit and shooting form may always hang over the 76ers’ heads, but none of that means Ben Simmons as he exists right now—which is to say, as someone you do not want to see coming at you with a head of steam in transition, and who can Summarily Wreck Your ####—is not an All-Star lock.

   817. Booey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:27 PM (#5920050)
What I remember thinking when I was studying numbers for our rankings was that there were less than 10 players who clearly stood out as being better than all the other inner circle greats, and that numbers 10-20 or so were all pretty much on par and basically interchangeable. Pretty sure I even mentioned that at the time. Now that interchangeable cluster would be a few names longer, as Steph, KD, and CP3 have to be in there somewhere, with Harden also gaining ground fast.

I also remember noticing how fast the list drops off somewhere around #25 from inner circle, perennial MVP types, to merely "regular" All Stars. If this were a baseball ranking, it'd be like a list of 95 WAR players suddenly dropping off to a bunch of 70 WAR guys with nothing in between.
   818. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:36 PM (#5920051)
Karl Malone is the 2nd leading scorer in the history of the league. He retired only 16 years ago, it's not like we're talking about Cousy here. I'm reasonably sure his game would translate.

I don't have anything substantive to add to this discussion as I never liked Malone so I've never really been able to think rationally about him, but holy #### I feel old. It's really been 16 years since he retired? ####.
   819. Booey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 05:47 PM (#5920053)
#818 - Seeing Tracy McGrady with his gray goatee made me feel old since he's the same age as me, and then I realized, "Wait, my own beard has been gray for years..."

Also, Ken Griffey Jr turned 50 a couple months ago. That did the trick too.
   820. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: January 28, 2020 at 06:18 PM (#5920058)
So weird to me how the conversation has morphed from "how did this happen?" to "I need to explain how this hits me on a personal level" to "NBA should cancel games or do things" to "Why I loved Kobe Bryant" to "Kobe in NBA history".

Not going after anyone here. Just sharing how the discussion has evolved on the internet and elsewhere since Sunday. Just really weird.


Not at all. A few points:

1. You have not been around that long, so you might lack context, but in my case, I was responding as a lifelong Lakers fan to another Lakers fan name-checking me for a take on Bryant's death--and by extension, the horrific cost of the crash on Bryant's family and the others and the affect on the fanbase I appreciate that a few non-Lakers fans also seemed to find my opinions on it worth reading, but I wanted to weigh in largely in response to Oriole Tragic. If something awful happened to another franchise's icon guy, I would want to hear from that team's fans here. YMMV.
2. As delineated by berg, there is pretty broad consensus here on where Bryant fits in historically between the lines, and I agree with that consensus. I saw Jordan's whole career and James's as well. The casual fan/MSM narrative that Bryant was on the same level as those guys is simply false, and that was/is apparent from both the eye test and the numbers. This is obviously not the week to jump on a Lakers site and say that, but this is not a Lakers' site, so I totally get it happening here. My take on the cultural and fan issues is a different one that I could provide here as a SoCal guy.
3. John Hollinger's Kobe piece, which I will link, since The Athletic unlocked it, focused on the intense "passion" that Bryant created, not only in fans, but in other players. So, intense, varied reactions to his dying suddenly and tragically, and with his poor daughter and other people dying at the same time, is IMO not weird at all.

Not trying to get in your face--just explaining and contextualizing.

Hollinger on Bryant
   821. i hear there are a lot of dead animals in 57i66135 Posted: January 28, 2020 at 06:19 PM (#5920059)
it's hard to disentangle malone's value from john stockton's influence.

however, unlike malone, stockton has a very close contemporary comp: chris paul. both stockton and paul were build-around floor generals; they were exceptional pick and roll creators, great shooters and aggressive defenders. because we've seen chris paul go through an assembly line of pick and roll finishers over the course of his career (tyson chandler, david west, deandre jordan, blake griffin, clint capela), i think it's fair to question malone's hypothetical place in the modern NBA.



malone's most translatable assets -- health, physicality, a versatile skillset -- seem to make al horford a fairly decent comp. serge ibaka makes some sense if you discount his shotblocking. malone is probably better than that, but without stockton, malone's offensive contributions would probably have a lot in common with lamarcus aldridge. he has the skill to do a lot of difficult things that have very little upside, and you wouldn't ever want him to do them for your own team.
   822. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: January 28, 2020 at 06:24 PM (#5920061)
Note to berg re. "unifying cultural fabric:" A buddy of mine, a Chicano who is also a prof here, and is not a huge NBA fan, approached me today to tell me that he has a cousin up in LA who texted him to tell him, "I had never seen more Latino men cry in public" than when was at a taqueria in East LA and word spread about Bryant's death. This guy went on to tell me that in part since Vanessa is a Latina, and Kobe could speak pretty decent Spanish, and often did so in public and in communicating with LatinX fans, that Bryant meant far more to the LA LatinX NBA fan community than any other Lakers player ever had.
   823. aberg Posted: January 28, 2020 at 07:06 PM (#5920070)
because we've seen chris paul go through an assembly line of pick and roll finishers over the course of his career (tyson chandler, david west, deandre jordan, blake griffin, clint capela), i think it's fair to question malone's hypothetical place in the modern NBA.


Blake had a couple seasons that got close to the value Malone provided every year for about 15 years. The fact that you can pay a max or near-max salary to maybe get something like 75% of Malone's production over a limited number of years would seem to demonstrate the value of his durability and longevity. I think it's fair to say that if Blake stayed as healthy as he was from 13-15 (which still wasn't that close to peak Malone), CP3 is probabl still a Clipper and they would made another couple of deep playoff runs.
   824. JC in DC Posted: January 28, 2020 at 08:37 PM (#5920081)
Moses Malone was not always fat and slow. He was always a beast, however.
   825. tshipman Posted: January 28, 2020 at 08:38 PM (#5920083)
The way I see it, it would be nearly impossible to rank Kobe ahead of these guys: Jordan, Lebron, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, Magic, Bird, Oscar, Duncan (9). It would be very difficult to rate him ahead of these guys: KG, Shaq, Olajuwon, Malone (4). I would probably also have him behind Robinson and West and probably Durant and Curry by the time they're done. That would make him 16 now with a chance to go to 18 depending on the next few years for Curry and KD. Dirk, Elgin Baylor, Moses, Pettit, Barkley, Erving are in the same stratosphere.


The rough tier ranking IMO looks like this:

The GOATs:
Kareem
Jordan
LeBron

The dominant bigs:
Bill Russell
Shaq
Duncan
Hakeem
Garnett
Wilt

The overrated all-time greats:
Larry Bird
Magic
Oscar Robertson
Kobe

Dinged for the playoffs:
David Robinson
Karl Malone
Jerry West

The backpicks list has greatly influenced my thinking compared to when we ranked guys a while ago.
   826. Booey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 09:02 PM (#5920085)
#821 - I've always found it weird that making their teammates better is sometimes viewed as a negative for Stockton and Malone but a positive for literally every other player in NBA history. Playing to your teammates strengths is exactly what you're supposed to do. It's a credit to them - not a knock against them - that they were able to do that better than almost any other duo before or since. If it was that easy, we'd have seen this type of symbiotic dominance happen a lot more often.

Also, while there isn't a lot of data to show what Malone might have done without Stockton, there is some. In 1998, Stock missed the first 18 games, and 34 year old Malone still averaged 24.9 ppg on .523 FG% during those games. The rest of the season he shot a just slightly better .532 FG%. His ppg jumped to 27.7, but he also took an extra shot and a half per game (17.1 FGA to 18.5 FGA) and got an extra half free throw (9.7 FTA to 10.3 FTA). Did Stock's passes get him one or two additional easy shots per game and an extra FT every other game? Maybe, but Malone's minutes also jumped up by 1 (36.6 to 37.7), so that could also account for some of the difference. Plus his free throw percentage rose, from .724 in the first 18 games to .771 in the rest, and Stock obviously didn't have any influence on that.

Even smaller sample size, but Stock also missed 4 games in 1990, and Malone averaged 26.3 ppg on .528 FG% in those games. The rest of the season he averaged 31.2 ppg on .563 FG%. That seems like a significant difference, but of course 4 games is such a small sample size that one bad game can skew the results, and that's exactly what happened. He had a 15 pt, 6/18 performance in there, but in the other 3 games he had 33 pts on 11/18 shooting, 31 pts on 11/18 shooting, and 26 pts on 10/18 shooting (avg of 30.0 ppg on .593 FG%).

Basically, I don't see any reason to assume Malone was a creation of Stockton (or vice versa).
   827. Harlond Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:10 PM (#5920092)
Moses Malone was not always fat and slow. He was always a beast, however.
+1. Moses came out of high school to the pros at 6'11" and 180 lbs and was immediately successful. The Moses of that era was very quick and a pretty skilled ball handler for the time. I once watched him in high school in a fast break against Keith Valentine, a 6'1" guard who, IIRC, played for Virginia Union's national championship team after transferring from UNC, and Moses lost Valentine with a behind the back dribble and dunked it. I believe he could have figured it out if he came up today.
   828. PJ Martinez Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:19 PM (#5920097)
I have enjoyed Jim Jackson on this TNT Miami/Boston broadcast.
   829. puck Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:33 PM (#5920099)
That's weird that Moses Malone is thought of as fat and someone thinks Karl Malone wouldn't be great in today's NBA. Moses never stopped moving and had a million moves. I guess today's NBA doesn't have a use for bigs if he were somehow re-created whole in his prime in today's NBA but he'd still clean up inside.

As for Karl, interesting comparison to Milsap except it seems like Karl would crush Milsap into dust - Karl was a big strong dude. He was also a force on the break so in some ways at least also moved better than Milsap. Great hands, quick hands, too.
   830. puck Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:35 PM (#5920100)
Reflecting on Kobe's overall place among NBA greats seems natural on his death, doesn't it?
   831. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:39 PM (#5920101)
Moses Malone was not always fat and slow. He was always a beast, however.
+1. Moses came out of high school to the pros at 6'11" and 180 lbs and was immediately successful.
That's because he was incredible at doing the traditional big man things like rebounding and controlling the paint. I don't want to seem like I'm putting down an obvious all-time superstar player, but did you ever see him take a shot from outside 15 feet? I watched him in the playoffs every year from the mid-80s on, and I can't say I did. I'm not even sure that, outside of a few baseline jumpers, he ever took a shot outside the painted area.

I generally work under the assumption that all the all-time greats, if they grew up in this era, would have been just fine in the NBA in 2020. However, a 2020 Superstar Moses would have to be a very different player from 1980 Moses, because the NBA sun no longer rises and sets around guys with his skill set. I can see 2020 Moses being something like peak Dwight Howard. That's pretty damn good... except I can't actually envision that. Moses was just a whole different animal.
   832. Booey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:39 PM (#5920102)
Dallas losing by 36 at home to the Suns. Yikes. Makes me feel slightly less frustrated about the Jazz losing at home last night to a Rockets team missing Harden, Westbrook, and Capela. Good reminders that there aren't any gimmes in the NBA.
   833. puck Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:41 PM (#5920104)
I see they're slowly upping Zion's minutes. I wonder if he looked tired tonight. His ridiculous pace had to come down, but he had 13 shots in 29 minutes. No turnovers though.
   834. Booey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:48 PM (#5920106)
I also think that teams will (or should, if they have a good coach) adjust their style to their personnel. Most teams don't just dump the ball inside to their bigs anymore like they used to, but if they had the second coming of Shaq they damn well would.

Gobert is an old school, traditional, 1990's style center. He's doing fine.
   835. PJ Martinez Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:57 PM (#5920107)
The Bucks just put up 151 points WITHOUT Giannis.
The Bucks currently have an average point differential of +12.8 points per game this season. The NBA record for a full season is +12.3 points per game by the 1971-72 Lakers.
   836. spivey Posted: January 28, 2020 at 10:59 PM (#5920108)
Khris Middleton had 51 tonight and the Bucks had 88 at halftime.

I think the Wizards have given up 150 in back to back games. Neither OT either. Are they even trying?
   837. Howie Menckel Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:37 PM (#5920112)
the Jerry West interview on TNT tonight - part of the coverage that made up for the lost Lakers-Clippers game - is about as raw as you will ever see a legend get.

he talks about how the Lakers came to acquire Kobe in the draft-night deal, and much more than that, it's an old legend mourning the loss of one half his age - and that is just excruciatingly painful for him. and he says it all with a respectful and somber Shaq one seat over, and Barkley, Reggie, Kenny Smith et all also just letting the legend run his own play one more time, as it were.

I'm sure a whiz kid here will be able to provide a link soon enough.
   838. PJ Martinez Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:37 PM (#5920113)
Middleton's night apparently put him above 20 pts per game on the season and his percentages at 50/43/90. Presumably they'll slip below those benchmarks; the only players who have ever put up 50/40/90 years while averaging 20 pts per game or more are Bird, Nowitzki, Curry, and Durant. And he's doing it in just under 29 minutes per game.
   839. PJ Martinez Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:39 PM (#5920114)
837: Agreed on the West interview. Also struck by him saying that when Kobe was on the verge of going to the Clippers, he told Kobe "You can't do it, you can't go play for that owner" (i.e., Donald Sterling).
   840. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:52 PM (#5920115)
Gobert is an old school, traditional, 1990's style center. He's doing fine.
This is a good point. In 1980, though, he's a legend.
   841. Howie Menckel Posted: January 28, 2020 at 11:58 PM (#5920118)
geesh, now Rick Fox is on the panel.

for those who don't know, Twitter put him on the plane and killed him for an hour or two on Sunday - before he was able to inform everyone that no, he is safe.

Kenny Smith, a veryclose friend of Fox, describes his harrowing moments upon hearing that even beyond Kobe, Fox is gone too - until he found out he wasn't.

you guys love the NBA, but I have to say, this special is as riveting a program on ANY subject as I have seen in years.

I mean, Fox's earpiece keeps falling out, and nobody cares - and nobody stops the show, nor wants to go to commercial.

I'm still close to an hour behind, but you have to watch this in some sort of replay.
   842. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: January 29, 2020 at 06:22 AM (#5920126)
So weird to me how the conversation has morphed from "how did this happen?" to "I need to explain how this hits me on a personal level" to "NBA should cancel games or do things" to "Why I loved Kobe Bryant" to "Kobe in NBA history".

Not going after anyone here. Just sharing how the discussion has evolved on the internet and elsewhere since Sunday. Just really weird.


That's basically the social media age cycle of grieving, though:

1. Shock and denial: "How did this happen? Kobe can't be dead!"

2. Pain and guilt: "I need to share how this affects me, and hear that it affects others too."

3. Anger and bargaining: "The league had better put together tributes and cancel games to allow us to collectively grieve."

4. Reconstruction and working through: "This is what I loved about his game."

5. Acceptance: "This is his standing in NBA history."
   843. spivey Posted: January 29, 2020 at 08:49 AM (#5920133)
#821 - I've always found it weird that making their teammates better is sometimes viewed as a negative for Stockton and Malone but a positive for literally every other player in NBA history. Playing to your teammates strengths is exactly what you're supposed to do. It's a credit to them - not a knock against them - that they were able to do that better than almost any other duo before or since. If it was that easy, we'd have seen this type of symbiotic dominance happen a lot more often.

Well, I think it's a few things. They were both slam dunk HOFers that played basically their entire career together. So that's a luxury in being able to develop a relationship that most players from that era did not have - many of other dominant bigs had pretty shitty supporting casts, imo, at least for the prime Utah years. They played the two positions and types of games that mesh very easily - a strong passing, ball handling PG and a good rolling and midrange big guy. Yes, they deserve some credit for having those skills, and I think most people acknowledge that credit, everyone views both as slam dunk HOFers, we're generally talking about docking from like 10th which is maybe where raw numbers might put them to maybe 18th (just rough, but you get the idea). That's also a pretty crowded area where the order is pretty variable among fans.

Would Stockton mostly have been able to do the same thing with Hakeem, Robinson, Ewing, Zo? I think so. Is Clint Capela averaging 18 pts/36 min like he did for a few years there if he's playing for the Timberwolves? I don't think so. So it's merely looking at the stats through that lens - with the other person, they were able to accumulate stats in an easier way, because they had another top tier player that was putting them in a position to succeed, than some of their contemporaries.
   844. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: January 29, 2020 at 09:49 AM (#5920141)
843 covers it well, although it's also interesting to note that our solution with Stockton and Malone tends to be to dock both, while we tend to pretend Scottie Pippen, Pau Gasol, and other great #2s weren't as good as they were.
   845. Booey Posted: January 29, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5920158)
#843 - I get that, and the logic would make sense if it was applied across the board...but it's not. I've never seen anyone dock Magic, for example, for having Kareem and Worthy to pass to for most of his career (and I don't think they should).

As stigs pointed out, the best historical comp for Stockton is probably CP3, and I think the best historical comp for Malone is probably Barkley. Chuck was better at some things (rebounding, passing, efficiency) and Malone at others (defense, durability and longevity), but they had a lot of similarities in how they played too. I suspect that Stockton and Malone would have had less postseason success without each other (similar to Barkley and Paul), but I don't really see why they couldn't have put up similar individual numbers to what they actually did, considering that their most similar comps were able to.
   846. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 29, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5920165)
BKref actually has Dirk Nowitzki as Malone's #2 comp, which makes perfect sense to me. Minus the 3-point shooting, Dirk and Mailman scored from everywhere in similar fashion. When I think peak Mailman, I think a lot of high post and pick-and-pop from 15-18 mixed in with the low post bullyball.

(#1 BKref comp was Lebron, who doesn't work at all stylistically, but Lebron is probably the closest to Malone in terms of physical build out of all the great players.)
   847. Booey Posted: January 29, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5920172)
A non 3-pt shooting Dirk is an interesting one I wouldn't have thought of (of course, the 3-pt shooting is part of what made Dirk, Dirk). LeBron I don't see at all, other than size/body types.

I generally think of Barkley first because of how their styles sort of evolved similarly as they aged. As young players, both excelled in the back to the basket bullyball that was common at the time, using their beastly strength to back down overmatched defenders in the paint. But they were both very athletic too, amazing at running the floor and finishing in transition, and both could really JUMP and dunk on anyone in their youth. People don't remember that about Malone since the Jazz weren't on national TV much until they started making deep playoff runs in the late 90's when Malone was already well into his 30's, but early in his career he could definitely get some air. Later in their careers, Chuck and Karl both developed deadly mid-range games. Malone never extended his range quite out to the 3-pt line, while Barkley tried to but was never good at it.
   848. Manny Coon Posted: January 29, 2020 at 12:27 PM (#5920190)
How much weight do most people give to Dr. J's ABA seasons? He put up amazing numbers and won multiple championships, but obviously the level of play wasn't up to the most merger level, but I think there is a general consensus he would have been an elite NBA player at that time. How would the Nets fared against the Celtics or Warriors teams that were winning in the NBA during that era?
   849. . . . . . . Posted: January 29, 2020 at 12:45 PM (#5920195)
I think in the modern game Malone would've been turned into a small ball 5, and would've been phenomenal at it. Draymond with a bit less passing and more of . . well, everything else.
   850. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 29, 2020 at 01:43 PM (#5920213)
Malone was a good defender, but couldn't protect the rim like Draymond. I think you could make it work against opposing benches, and at least he'd rebound so you wouldn't be getting killed on the glass.

On offense, I don't think strict lobs and by-the-basket finishers like Capela, Chandler, Rudy, DJ, etc. are good comps at all, because Malone was both a great finisher at the basket and from basically anywhere midrange on the floor. His finishing skills and athleticism at his peak were also waayyyyyyy better than Horford or LMA. The Ibaka comp I assume is a joke. But either way, I see no reason to think he wouldn't be able to maintain a super high usage and efficiency in today's game. No matter how you play him on the P&R, he's going to get a ton of shots he can hit. With his athleticism, endurance, and effort level, he'd still get a ton of points in transition. If you switch a small onto him, you're either having to doubleteam him (and he was a good passer so I think he'd thrive surrounded by 3P shooters)or he's bullying whoever is on him into an easy post layup. So again, basically a better Blake.

The rough tier ranking IMO looks like this:

The GOATs:
Kareem
Jordan
LeBron

The dominant bigs:
Bill Russell
Shaq
Duncan
Hakeem
Garnett
Wilt

The overrated all-time greats:
Larry Bird
Magic
Oscar Robertson
Kobe

Dinged for the playoffs:
David Robinson
Karl Malone
Jerry West

The backpicks list has greatly influenced my thinking compared to when we ranked guys a while ago.


The Oscar inclusion on overrated surprises me a bit, because I mostly see him ranked as the #2 PG (and not close to Magic), which seems right.

   851. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 29, 2020 at 02:10 PM (#5920227)
I haven't weighed in too much on the all-time stuff here because I'm still working through some methodological concerns, like how much do I timeline?, but I traditionally fell on the "Oscar is underrated" side and have been moving away from that point over time. How much of the love does he get come from pace and playing time inflated numbers and from ignoring his defense (which I understand to be not bad, but short of the levels of some of these other greats)?

I don't see Karl as Draymond, so much (Dray is a weird player, man).
   852. Rally Posted: January 29, 2020 at 04:38 PM (#5920296)
I get Robinson and Malone, but this is the first time I’ve seen West dinged for the playoffs.

Is this a real thing or just a simplistic “ringzz” argument? West’s numbers in the playoffs are great, and while most of it happened before my time was that West gave a superhuman playoff effort but his teams were mostly overmatched. Isn’t he still the only guy to win NBA finals MVP despite being on the losing team?
   853. Rally Posted: January 29, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5920301)
Checked the finals MVP list, Yes Jerry is.
   854. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 29, 2020 at 04:43 PM (#5920304)
Khris Middleton after his 51 point game last night

Khris Middleton dedicated the best game of his career to Kobe Bryant.

Middleton scored a career-high 51 points, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 151-131 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night at Fiserv Forum.

Middleton, hoping to be chosen an All-Star reserve for the second straight year on Thursday, helped the Bucks hold off a determined second-half Wizards rally. Middleton also had 10 rebounds and six assists while hitting 16 of 26 shots and 7 of 10 3-pointers, topping his previous career best of 43 points.

He said he was thinking a lot the past few days about Bryant, who was killed along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash Sunday.

“Kobe was one of my favorite players growing up besides (Michael) Jordan,” Middleton said. “I took a lot from his game. Everybody says Mamba mentality. To go out there and put on that type of performance, I definitely can dedicate that game to him as a thank you for what he did for the game.”
   855. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 29, 2020 at 05:08 PM (#5920331)
A PA community college player scored 81 yesterday in honor of Kobe. He air balled his last free throw to stay at 81.
   856. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 29, 2020 at 06:00 PM (#5920340)

I'd encourage anyone questioning Karl Malone's skills to go watch some highlight reels of his online. It's not all pick-and-rolls from Stockton, and he does a lot of things that I can't see some of the guys mentioned as possible comps for him doing.

He was 3x All-Defensive First Team and the advanced defensive stats seem to really like him, so Dirk doesn't seem like a great comp (although to be fair, the advanced stats like Dirk's defense more than I would have expected).

I always thought of Malone as an excellent post player and mid-range shooter but didn't appreciate how good he was at getting to the free-throw line until looking at his stats just now. He's the all-time leader in FT and FTA, and led the league in FT 7 times.
   857. . . . . . . Posted: January 29, 2020 at 07:15 PM (#5920356)
I say Draymond only because I remember Malone from when he was young and he was long arms, long legs, and remarkably good passer for his size. He bulked up in his 30s for sure but I think he would've stayed less muscled in the modern game, and so would've preserved more above the rim ability. By the end of his career Malone had gotten huge, and not in a fat way, in a probably-sampled-the-juice way.
   858. aberg Posted: January 29, 2020 at 07:24 PM (#5920358)
Middleton's night apparently put him above 20 pts per game on the season and his percentages at 50/43/90. Presumably they'll slip below those benchmarks; the only players who have ever put up 50/40/90 years while averaging 20 pts per game or more are Bird, Nowitzki, Curry, and Durant. And he's doing it in just under 29 minutes per game.


My first reaction to this post was, "What about Mark Price?" Answer: he averaged 18.9 in his 50/40/90 year. Maybe he and Middleton can start a club.
   859. Booey Posted: January 29, 2020 at 08:41 PM (#5920364)
#858 - Reggie was at 19.9 ppg in his 50/40/90 season in 1994.

I've also always found it amusing that Jeff Hornacek almost did 50/40/90 for his CAREER (.496/.403/.877)...but never for a single season.
   860. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 29, 2020 at 10:33 PM (#5920376)
[855] Unless I'm mistaken the scoreboard in the last clip from that article reads 83-26? He scored 81 of his team's first 83 points???
   861. tshipman Posted: January 29, 2020 at 10:34 PM (#5920377)
The Oscar inclusion on overrated surprises me a bit, because I mostly see him ranked as the #2 PG (and not close to Magic), which seems right.


A lot of people call Oscar Robertson top 10 overall, which overrates him slightly.

I haven't weighed in too much on the all-time stuff here because I'm still working through some methodological concerns, like how much do I timeline?, but I traditionally fell on the "Oscar is underrated" side and have been moving away from that point over time. How much of the love does he get come from pace and playing time inflated numbers and from ignoring his defense (which I understand to be not bad, but short of the levels of some of these other greats)?


Oscar is basically the proto-Harden, right?

He runs these great offenses with indifferent defenses. He has basically the entire offense running through him, inflating his numbers compared to guys who played in offensive systems, and he falls off pretty hard in the playoffs until early-career Kareem joins him for one year. I'm not sure who the equivalent of early-career Kareem is ... a Zion/Gobert science experiment?
   862. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2020 at 10:47 PM (#5920378)

[855] Unless I'm mistaken the scoreboard in the last clip from that article reads 83-26? He scored 81 of his team's first 83 points???



Unless the scoreboard is wrong, I don't see how you're mistaken.
   863. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: January 30, 2020 at 01:22 AM (#5920389)
ShamsCharania
Lakers guard Quinn Cook is changing his number from No. 2 to No. 28 to honor Gianna Bryant, combining Gigi's No. 2 and Kobe's No. 8, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
   864. . . . . . . Posted: January 30, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5920542)
Meanwhile, Morris could draw his own NBA punishment for making politically incorrect remarks about Crowder.

“He’s got a lot of female tendencies on the court, flopping and throwing his head back,’’ Morris said. “He’s soft, very woman-like.”
   865. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 30, 2020 at 02:18 PM (#5920547)
NBA is changing the All-Star format - score resets after each quarter (quarterly scores determine who gets charitable donations), fourth quarter will use an Elam variant with the margin there (24) a nod to Bryant
--
I'm not sure about Oscar/Harden - gotta think that over.
--
F Morris, obviously. That said, what were you doing with that steal and three, Crowder?
   866. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: January 30, 2020 at 02:33 PM (#5920558)
Sure, on Crowder, but Payton still could have acted differently too. Regardless, another low point for the Knicks. I'd enjoy it more if the Bulls weren't also so incompetent.
   867. spivey Posted: January 30, 2020 at 02:37 PM (#5920560)
Who do people think is the favorite for the NBA title right now? Milwaukee? Clippers? Lakers? Other?

I think I'd finally put Milwaukee over the Clippers for my personal #1.
   868. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: January 30, 2020 at 02:47 PM (#5920565)
My opinion with the tier thing:

Bucks Clippers
Lakers
Jazz Rockets 76ers Nuggets Celtics
Raptors Heat
Pacers Mavericks

   869. aberg Posted: January 30, 2020 at 02:56 PM (#5920569)
Who do people think is the favorite for the NBA title right now? Milwaukee? Clippers? Lakers? Other?

I think I'd finally put Milwaukee over the Clippers for my personal #1.


I hope Milwaukee does it. It would take a lot of the pressure of off the Giannis free agency, which isn't a very fun conversation to me. If he brought a title to the city, then it matters a lot less if he leaves (see the 2 Lebron Cleveland exits).
   870. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 30, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5920572)
867/869: So is Middleton legit good? Repeatedly on my NBA podcasts the message track on Middleton is 'he's pretty good but not a legit number 2 guy on a championship team'. So is that based on sound judgement/analysis or is Middleton better but hidden by whatever? Just curious on what others think so thanks in advance
   871. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: January 30, 2020 at 03:08 PM (#5920576)
I don't think I hugely disagree that much with rr's tiers*, but agree with putting MIL as the slight favorite because I think their path is easier than the West teams.

*Dipo just came back last night and the Pacers have been good enough without him, I might not split those bottom 2 tiers up and lump TOR/MIA/IND/DAL in the same group. I also might put HOU/PHI in a new tier below LA because of upside that we really haven't seen this season, as those are the only 2 teams outside of the top 3 I can currently really picture making the Finals.
   872. rr: calming the thread down with my arms Posted: January 30, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5920587)
So is Middleton legit good?


As I said earlier, what he is doing on O this year exceeds his past production pretty comfortably. His PER is 22.1 right now but 16.1 career. So the answer depends at this point on how much of that he maintains in a best-of-7 against a good team. One way to look at it that puts Milwaukee in the driver's seat talent-wise is 1-3, not 1-2. The Lakers third-best guy is probably Green or Kuzma. The Clippers' is probably Harrell--maybe Williams if you like O or Beverley if you like D.

Antetokounmpo/Middleton/Bledsoe probably beats that. GA is 25, KM is 28, and Bledsoe just turned 30. They are 41-6 with an historic point differential, so they deserve to be favorites.

That said, if they lined up tomorrow for a best-of-7 with LAC with MIL having HCA and all guys healthy, I would still pick the Clippers, who have been very tough with Leonard and George both there. I think Milwaukee's W-L would be slightly worse in the West, and if the Clippers played in the East and rested Leonard/George less, they could have an awesome record, too.

The Lakers have been exactly what I expected, with the W-L being a bit better than I anticipated for two reasons:
1. James plays almost every game.
2. Howard has been better than I thought he would be.

But I would pick either MIL or LAC in a best-of-7 over the Lakers as of today.
   873. aberg Posted: January 30, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5920592)
867/869: So is Middleton legit good? Repeatedly on my NBA podcasts the message track on Middleton is 'he's pretty good but not a legit number 2 guy on a championship team'. So is that based on sound judgement/analysis or is Middleton better but hidden by whatever? Just curious on what others think so thanks in advance



I'm a big fan of Middleton. With Giannis as the best player in the league, I definitely think he's good enough to be the #2 guy on a title team. The Bucks are also a coherent team where the pieces fit together in a way that makes them more valuable.

That's kind of the conundrum of team building. The hardest thing to get is an offensive engine who can create shots for himself or his teammates even when the defense is good. Teams can chase that prototype for years, but if you have more than one of them, the returns diminish quickly. Players whose primary strengths are things other than shot creation, such as spot up shooting (Klay, Middleton) or off-ball defense (Draymond, Gobert) don't help that much on a bad team, but they're enormous when the team is already good.
   874. aberg Posted: January 30, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5920593)
2. Howard has been better than I thought he would be.


Would you throw Javale in there too? I feel like the Lakers' two-headed C has been so much better than I expected, both in terms of their individual production and how they have fit in lineups with both Lebron and AD.
   875. spivey Posted: January 30, 2020 at 04:22 PM (#5920595)
That's kind of the conundrum of team building. The hardest thing to get is an offensive engine who can create shots for himself or his teammates even when the defense is good. Teams can chase that prototype for years, but if you have more than one of them, the returns diminish quickly. Players whose primary strengths are things other than shot creation, such as spot up shooting (Klay, Middleton) or off-ball defense (Draymond, Gobert) don't help that much on a bad team, but they're enormous when the team is already good.


Middleton I think was a top 5 player in the NBA last year in ISO scoring in PPP. His elite shot making, including when semi-contested and off the dribble also fits pretty well with Giannis, whose biggest weakness is you can't just give him the ball with 5 seconds left on the clock and expect a decent shot. Middleton's problem for me is that he can drift in and out of the game a bit, especially against tough, physical defense like you get in the playoffs. Of course, some of that is Giannis is the initiator.

Middleton and Bledsoe are both shooting on the high end of their career averages. Milwaukee is a better 3 point shooting team this year than last, and is shooting about the same percentage as their opponents. I like their chances against anyone if they can do that.
   876. jmurph Posted: January 30, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5920596)
Would you throw Javale in there too? I feel like the Lakers' two-headed C has been so much better than I expected, both in terms of their individual production and how they have fit in lineups with both Lebron and AD.

They are able to have plus shot-blocking on the court at all times (also counting Davis here). It's such an advantage.
   877. jmurph Posted: January 30, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5920605)
Remember all the scolding of teams for not taking Dennis Smith Jr. higher? That hasn't aged particularly well.
   878. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: January 30, 2020 at 05:16 PM (#5920608)
873/875--thanks
   879. SteveF Posted: January 30, 2020 at 06:42 PM (#5920634)
Shams list of East All-Star reserves: Butler, Lowry, Simmons, Middleton, Tatum, Adebayo, Sabonis.

West: Lillard, Mitchell, Jokic, Gobert, Ingram, Westbrook, Paul.
   880. Booey Posted: January 30, 2020 at 07:00 PM (#5920637)
#879 - You can quibble with a few selections here or there, but overall I like it (and not just cuz the Jazz got 2 players). 9 first timers! That's...a lot, right?
   881. Booey Posted: January 30, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5920638)
So every team with a >.500 record got at least one All Star (the Grizz are exactly .500), and no team got more than 2. Only 3 players (Trae Young, Lillard, and Ingram) made it from losing teams. Every winning team in the East got 2 except the Pacers.
   882. The Mighty Quintana Posted: January 30, 2020 at 08:00 PM (#5920643)
How much weight do most people give to Dr. J's ABA seasons? He put up amazing numbers and won multiple championships, but obviously the level of play wasn't up to the most merger level, but I think there is a general consensus he would have been an elite NBA player at that time. How would the Nets fared against the Celtics or Warriors teams that were winning in the NBA during that era?


I think there is no question the top ABA players (Erving, Gervin, Barry, Thompson, McGinnis, Cunningham, etc) were as good, if not more talented, than the NBA players of that era.

Kentucky's frontcourt had Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore. There weren't many NBA teams that could counter that. They went 7-1 against the NBA in exhibition games in '75.

But on the whole, the ABA teams didn't have the rotation depth of the NBA teams after the top three players.

Here's a link to every game score between NBA and ABA teams: http://www.apbr.org/exhibitn.html

   883. Rally Posted: January 30, 2020 at 08:47 PM (#5920655)
I think Erving's value stats, like win shares or vorp, should be taken at face value from both the ABA and NBA. His counting stats (28-12 pts/reb vs 22/7) are a lot better in the ABA, but I think that's mostly due to playing more minutes and in a faster paced environment. His WS/48 is much better in the ABA (.217 to .178) but that's just because the NBA has his decline years. His peak NBA seasons are very close to his peak ABA in WS/48. He played 5 ABA years to get that .217, his best 5 consecutive NBA years get him to .214

Definitely not a minor league type of translation, more comparable adjusting Willie Mays/Hank Aaron slightly up compared to Mantle since the NL was better in the 50s/60s.
   884. PJ Martinez Posted: January 30, 2020 at 09:26 PM (#5920660)
Devin Booker (27.1) and Bradley Beal (28.6) are the only players to average 27+ PPG and not make the All-Star team in the last 35 years.
   885. tshipman Posted: January 30, 2020 at 10:59 PM (#5920679)
Booker should have made it (edit: over Westbrook), but Beal probably shouldn't.

The Wizards are a funhouse mirror team, but they are worse with Beal on than off.
   886. PJ Martinez Posted: January 30, 2020 at 11:01 PM (#5920680)
Bucks
Clippers Lakers
Jazz 76ers Celtics Mavs Raptors
Nuggets Heat Rockets Pacers
   887. PJ Martinez Posted: January 30, 2020 at 11:02 PM (#5920681)
I'd take Beal over Trae (not an option once the starters were decided, obviously — edit: also I haven't actually looked at what the numbers say).
   888. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: January 30, 2020 at 11:57 PM (#5920692)
Booker is still one of the worst defenders in the game, but the Suns have still been way better with him on the court this year (+13.3 on OFF, 5.0 worse on DEF, so 8.3 net). He for sure deserved it over Westbrook, and guessing he would have been my choice over any of the other choices to replace Russ.
   889. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 31, 2020 at 12:00 AM (#5920693)
I enjoyed Goldsberry's shot chart quiz. (9/15 for me. I'm sure Moses and Der-K can do better.)
   890. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: January 31, 2020 at 08:37 AM (#5920713)
WHERE ARE ALL THE TRADEZZZZ?
   891. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 31, 2020 at 09:06 AM (#5920716)
i liked that quiz as well, AS. meme aside, i got 14/15 (missed #2), but that was with a bunch of lucky guesses.

rally, i think (presuming that i remember correctly) that you've spent more time than i have in trying to calculate league quality over time, but there's no way you can not have any deduction for league quality in comparing the aba and nba.

877/jmurph: do you recall how we here felt about smith? i feel like we were collectively kind of low on him coming into the draft.
   892. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2020 at 09:21 AM (#5920719)
877/jmurph: do you recall how we here felt about smith? i feel like we were collectively kind of low on him coming into the draft.

I don't, I just remember all the writers declaring by summer league he was the steal of the draft and the best point guard, despite several going in front of him, etc.

That was a weird draft, though. Remember all the talk about teams trying to move up to take Josh Jackson? That didn't exactly age well, either.
   893. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 31, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5920733)
i remember that too - his speed and physicality lent well to that setting.
jackson was a dude that stat based models generally hated, largely for some of the reasons that have sunk him on the court so far. incidentally, did anyone on here mention that the grizz called him up from the hustle? he was drawing largely good marks for improved play (including working on his three point shot), but he's still pretty inefficient.
   894. spivey Posted: January 31, 2020 at 10:56 AM (#5920750)
My memory was that Dennis Smith Jr. was decently well though of here.

Maybe this always existed and I just missed it, but I feel like ability to score efficiently is at an all-time high in importance, and needs to be valued significantly higher than even, say, 5-7 years ago. If you can't be efficient offensively, there's just not much of a place for you. I also think the line between efficient enough and not efficient enough are pretty small. Though Josh Jackson and DSJ both had concerns from an efficiency standpoint, they weren't things that came out of nowhere.
   895. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: January 31, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5920753)
think there is no question the top ABA players (Erving, Gervin, Barry, Thompson, McGinnis, Cunningham, etc) were as good, if not more talented, than the NBA players of that era.


As the resident ABA obsessive, I obviously agree with this sentiment, but feel compelled to note that Cunningham in particular (& Barry to a lesser extent) shouldn't really be considered an ABA alum.
   896. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5920772)
My memory was that Dennis Smith Jr. was decently well though of here.

And I definitely didn't mean it as a shot at anyone here by any means- I rarely have draft opinions other than immediately being in the tank for whoever Boston takes. I just saw a thing about DSJ yesterday and was reminded of the consensus that seemed to form immediately post-draft that he was a major steal, practically a sure thing.
   897. tshipman Posted: January 31, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5920780)
At least some of that came from Nate Duncan, who was just ridiculously high on DSJ, even long after the point where everyone else had soured.

The problem is that it's really hard to tell the difference between DSJ and De'Aaron Fox based on their first year. Both guys had to get better to stick in the league, let alone be a star. If anything, I like DSJ's numbers slightly better after year one.

All stats per 36:
Player A: 18.4 points/4.6 reb/6.3 ast/1.2 steals/3.4 TOV on .395/.313/.694 shooting
Player B: 15.0 points/3.6 reb/5.7 ast/1.2 steals/3.1 TOV on .412/.307/.723 shooting

If you can tell which of those two guys turns into De'Aaron Fox, you can make millions of dollars as a consultant.
   898. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 31, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5920785)
Duncan embraces risk, hard. I've moved in that direction myself, but am starting to back away again.

I was also wrong on Fox, who has far exceeded my expectations.
   899. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2020 at 01:02 PM (#5920789)
He was right on Young (not that he was unique in that regard by any means, but still). Higher on Booker than I ever was, which seems to mostly be paying off.
   900. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5920796)
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NewsblogCubs 3B Bryant: No hard feelings on losing grievance
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