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I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But... 
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
I don't see why it's a moot argument. Sure, Paul is better, but no one was saying otherwise. I could just as easily point out that Kobe and Lebron are better than Paul, so your point is moot.


They are better scorers, but are they as essential to thier teams all-around? I feel that the Hornets would be competing for a lottery pick right now if it weren't for him. My point was that Iverson and Billups are not worthy of taking up an entire column; their trade is only important in a contained microcosm of Pistons and Nuggets fans. One can pass and play defense, the other can score and pass on occasion, whereas Paul can do all three impeccably well. There is so much focus on Billups and Iverson when there really does not deserve to be. They are mid-tier at best, and their middling passing skills are overrated. People wait for Iverson to make some good passes and go 'Look, he can pass like anyone else' because they want the player and the hype to match. But if you want to see PGs who can actually pass the ball in a way that improves the team, on a consistent place-your-bets pace, watch a Hornets or Suns game.

As for Durant-Paul-Boozer, I could replace Boozer, but Paul and Durant stay. Don't tell me you're not intersted in seeing the best all-around PG in the game right now and the best pure scorer of this year (THIS year, you crabby LA fans) on the same team. And if they get a reliable third guy who can seize 3-point shots and hard 2s, you can make a plan for at least a top 3 seed in the West.


P.S. Lakers without Gasol are not a lock to win 60 games. Really making this point. As far as MVP race goes, LeBron #1, Kobe/Paul/Wade somewhere below.


Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:00 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
They are better scorers, but are they as essential to thier teams all-around? I feel that the Hornets would be competing for a lottery pick right now if it weren't for him.


Perhaps, but I never see the point of that argument. KG led AWFUL teams in Minny to the playoffs year after year (much worse supporting casts then Paul has now), but he never got legitimate buzz for MVP, nor should he. "Essential" doesn't matter if you are not competing for a ring, and the Hornets are not. If they were 1-2-3 in the conference, I think the argument would make more sense. But with the Hornets playing so poorly -- and you can't blame all of it on injuries -- I have a hard time making a big case for Paul. MVP from the 7 seed? No way. And who cares if your "essential" if you don't put your team in contention? I love Paul, but he's clearly a step below Kobe and Lebron, I feel.

I do think Durant is an equally capable scorer as anyone, but Kobe is still the best scorer in the league, no question. He has more moves than anyone, is more clutch, and has the most reliable jumper of any superstar. He also still gets to the rim to score better than anyone. Which again, is NOTHING against Durant -- dude might average 35 in a couple years. But right now, I think it's a bit short-sighted to take Durant as a better scorer.


Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:46 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
They are better scorers, but are they as essential to thier teams all-around? I feel that the Hornets would be competing for a lottery pick right now if it weren't for him.


Perhaps, but I never see the point of that argument. KG led AWFUL teams in Minny to the playoffs year after year (much worse supporting casts then Paul has now), but he never got legitimate buzz for MVP, nor should he. "Essential" doesn't matter if you are not competing for a ring, and the Hornets are not. If they were 1-2-3 in the conference, I think the argument would make more sense. But with the Hornets playing so poorly -- and you can't blame all of it on injuries -- I have a hard time making a big case for Paul. MVP from the 7 seed? No way. And who cares if your "essential" if you don't put your team in contention? I love Paul, but he's clearly a step below Kobe and Lebron, I feel.

I do think Durant is an equally capable scorer as anyone, but Kobe is still the best scorer in the league, no question. He has more moves than anyone, is more clutch, and has the most reliable jumper of any superstar. He also still gets to the rim to score better than anyone. Which again, is NOTHING against Durant -- dude might average 35 in a couple years. But right now, I think it's a bit short-sighted to take Durant as a better scorer.


The point is simple to me; if you pull more weight for a disproportionate team than a star player does for a deep team, than you should be singled out 10 out of 10 times. The Lakers aren't top seed in the league without Kobe, but they would be better than the Cavs by far without LeBron, and leagues better than the Hornets without Paul. When did team quality factor into this? It factors against it. That's almost like saying Paul Pierce deserves MVP contention for being on the best team in the Eastern conference (record-wise), even if I will never be able to say his production matches that of Kobe's. Kobe is a super-human at playing basketball, but that does not necessarily factor into this equation. And you're right, Garnett never won for being a great player on a struggling team. Neither did Kobe. Frankly, thanks to LeBron, it's loking like he'll never win it before he retires.

I wager Durant is in the NBA top five over the next decade. I've seen him play; he's the real deal.


Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:34 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
The Lakers aren't top seed in the league without Kobe, but they would be better than the Cavs by far without LeBron, and leagues better than the Hornets without Paul. When did team quality factor into this? It factors against it. That's almost like saying Paul Pierce deserves MVP contention for being on the best team in the Eastern conference (record-wise), even if I will never be able to say his production matches that of Kobe's.


Well, as you're saying, people who watch basketball know that while Pierce is among the best 5 or 6 scorers in the league, he's a step below Kobe. The Lakers wouldn't sniff the conference finals without Kobe, and probably wouldn't get out of the first round. Their best players would be Gasol and Odom, both of whom were considered hugely disappointing before they teamed with Kobe. Better than the Cavs and Hornets without their stars, yes, but again, it's about winning rings. Kobe makes his team a title contender by himself, period. Same with Lebron. Paul, not quite yet. It's no knock on him. I'm betting he retires as one of the three best PGs ever. But right now, he isn't there.

Team quality has to be factored in in both directions, obviously. For both MVP and best player arguments. But mostly, the games need to be watched.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
And you're right, Garnett never won for being a great player on a struggling team. Neither did Kobe. Frankly, thanks to LeBron, it's loking like he'll never win it before he retires.


KG? Already has an MVP.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
I wager Durant is in the NBA top five over the next decade. I've seen him play; he's the real deal.


Oh no doubt. I don't think anyone would dispute that, especially given that there are not any enchanting college/high school players right now.

And really, where is he now? In my mind, these are the clearly the five best players in the game:

Kobe
Lebron
D-Wade
Duncan
Chris Paul

After that, who is indisputable? Right now, do you want Howard or KG? Manu or Granger? Pierce or Carmelo? D-Will or Brandon Roy? And where do Derrick Rose, Al Jefferson, Dirk, or Boozer fit? It's a great league right now for a lot of reasons, partly because the 2nd five of that last could be totally different between two intelligent fans.


Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:18 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
That said, I don't think that would be the best match-up imagineable. Paul is not a pass-first PG, he is about 50-50. And Durant plays better with the ball in his hand anyway. I think the best matchup for him would be a guy like Boozer, a PG like Rondo and another athletic forward. Not that a Durant-Paul-Boozer team wouldn't work, but I don't think they'd win 60 games. Boozer doesn't run, and his ego would get in the way. 46-52 games, yes, if everything worked.


As a Jazz fan, I reckon you can have Boozer if he continues with his current propensity to be injured for extended periods. If he actually gets, and stays, healthy we'll retain him for a bit.

Boozer does run, but only one way...

He does make a good team with Williams and I'd take Williams over Paul.


Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:22 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
And you're right, Garnett never won for being a great player on a struggling team. Neither did Kobe. Frankly, thanks to LeBron, it's loking like he'll never win it before he retires.


KG? Already has an MVP.



For most we'll either have to agree to disagree and even agree every once in a while :) , but you did say KG never got legit buzz for MVP. I didn't care to look it up, so it's my fault, too, but you did throw me for a loop there.


On another topic - aka not disagreeing with someone lol - Kobe is one of my 'first-round HOFer' players of this season, but the chasm between him and LeBron is obvious - his 61 and precious little rebounds and assists versus Lebron's 52, 9 rebounds and 10 assists is actually not comparable from a game influence standpoint. I never get tired of telling people how important assists are. Just ask the Magic w/ only Anthony Johnson :x


Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:23 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
For most we'll either have to agree to disagree and even agree every once in a while , but you did say KG never got legit buzz for MVP. I didn't care to look it up, so it's my fault, too, but you did throw me for a loop there.


My point was he never got buzz when he was on a 6-7-8 playoff team, just like Kobe didn't, and why Paul should not. He got MVP when they were the #1 seed.

Evenflow8112 wrote:
On another topic - aka not disagreeing with someone lol - Kobe is one of my 'first-round HOFer' players of this season, but the chasm between him and LeBron is obvious - his 61 and precious little rebounds and assists versus Lebron's 52, 9 rebounds and 10 assists is actually not comparable from a game influence standpoint.


This is the opposite of the problem that the Kobe-lovers do: instead of going overboard in praise, you go overboard in harshness. 9 more point shooting a better percentage is absolutely comparable. Obviously assists mean something, but they don't mean everything. Kobe's a more reliable scorer in every way and is clearly the better shooter (doesn't matter how much Bron's improved his jumper, it still pales). Kobe doesn't need to do everything Lebron does, and Kobe is still the better defender by a good margin, not to mention Kobe's killer instinct and competive nature, both of which Lebron never demonstrates consistently enough.


Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:42 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
Is anyone as bitterly disappointed as I am in the lack of significant trades over the past few days? It seems as though even those most likely trade decisions were hopped over by the league's inability to do business with itself. Vince Carter, universally expected to swtich teams, is still a New Jersey Net, and Amare Stoudemire, a good runner-up in that department, is still a Phoenix Sun. The result is closer to being an article about the the practice of apathy in a social enviroment.


On a brighter note, I do like what Orlando did by picking up Alston. He gives them a much better chance of competing down the stretch than does Anthony Johnson. It was the most significant deal of the day - is this not depressing?


Nope-honestly, no matter how much these teams' backs are against the wall, it's utterly pointless for teams to give up the kitchen sink for just ONE player that'll give nothing more than 1 year's worth of production. For example, whoever would have gotten Shaq would have been a huge upgrade for them in the short run, but would put a big hurt on them in the long run as they don't have the personnel they once did that made them successful.

Cleveland will be fine-this is the same system that Mike Brown/Danny Ferry created from the get-go.


Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:11 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Goubot wrote:
The areas where Iverson has a clear edge are pure volume scoring and steals. In terms of overall shot efficiency (they have similar FG%, Billups takes and makes a lot more 3s and is near automatic from the line) and passing ability (Billups has fewer turnovers and has generated similar assist numbers in slow offenses), Billups has the edge.


I agree on passing ability, but how does Billups have the edge on shot effiniency? Iverson shoots a better precentage and scores 12 more points a game for his career. Their style is different, obviously, and they've played in different offenses, but that works both ways: for example, Billups has never had to deal with the double-teams that Iverson does.

In terms of NBA history, I think Iverson clearly has the edge. The guy is under six feet (I know he's listed at six, but I've stood next to him and he's no more than 5'11") and has been ridiculously durable. For three seasons he was the best scorer in the game by far. Getting the Sixers to the Finals remains the most impressive one-man team performance in NBA history. Yeah, he's fallen off a bit. But he's never denied that and much as his fans do, he's never had a skewed view of his abilities. I think if they added 25 players to the 50 greatest list, he makes it easily.

Iverson lacks a good 3 point shot. Billups has routinely taken 4+ a game with an accuracy around 40%. Shooting 40% from 3 is effectively like shooting 60% from inside the arc, so the sheer number of 3s that Billups takes and makes gives him a big edge over Iverson even though their actual field goal percentages are the same. Billups is also adept at drawing fouls (though not as good as AI), and rarely misses from the line.

I've acknowledged that Iverson is better at volume scoring, but the value of that is somewhat questionable when you shoot such poor percentages. How much does it really help your team if you can score 30 but have to take 25+ shots and turn the ball over 3-4 times to get there? The other premier wing scorers in this era have been much more efficient scorers than him.

It bugs me that the 76ers team that made it to the Finals is considered a one man team. They had the Sixth Man of the Year, the Defensive Player of the Year, and a Hall of Fame coach. Offensively (the area that AI is supposed to excel), the team was mediocre at best, but they had a fantastic interior presence in Mutumbo and several strong wing defenders. That team (and most of Larry Brown's teams) was strong mostly because it was strong defensively and on the boards. Iverson rightly gets credit for being the centerpiece of that offense, but he is often given the entirety of the credit for that team's success, which is insane.

Durant has an argument for top 10 or 15 right now and has probably been the best SF in the west, which is damn impressive for a 20 year old. He still needs to work on creating shots for teammates and some aspects of his game (keeping turnovers down and defense), but he'll no doubt get there in the coming years. It'll be fun to keep track of his career.


Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:42 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Goubot wrote:
Iverson lacks a good 3 point shot. Billups has routinely taken 4+ a game with an accuracy around 40%. Shooting 40% from 3 is effectively like shooting 60% from inside the arc, so the sheer number of 3s that Billups takes and makes gives him a big edge over Iverson even though their actual field goal percentages are the same. Billups is also adept at drawing fouls (though not as good as AI), and rarely misses from the line


I see the point, but I don't really but the "effectively" argument. Bottom line is that they shoot the same percentage, and even if you subscribe to that argument, it doesn't give him a "big" edge if AI kills him in career scoring numbers, which he does. He also has higher assists and steals numbers. Right now I'd say that Billups is ever so slightly more valuable as a player because of his flexibility as a player (although again he's never done a thing without all-stars who run off screens well around him). But in terms of history, AI is immensely better, I feel, and I still feel he's doing everything he can in D-town...if you wanted a Billups clone, why get rid of Billups?


Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:44 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
What I just don't get is the new rule: If a player has a clear path to the basket and he's fouled, that means two free throws AND ball possesion.

Who would consider fouling the player? That means a potential 4 or 5 pts, as opposed to letting him get away and dunk it, for only 2 pts.

I don't know when they implemented his new rule, but I saw it twice this season already.


Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:48 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
nathanmuir wrote:
What I just don't get is the new rule: If a player has a clear path to the basket and he's fouled, that means two free throws AND ball possesion.

Who would consider fouling the player? That means a potential 4 or 5 pts, as opposed to letting him get away and dunk it, for only 2 pts.


I think the huge disparity in points is the whole point of the rule.

It's a safety issue: without the rule (and the tougher way they call flagrants now), there's no deterrent for leveling a player from behind as he tries to lay it in/dunk it, or for grabbing the jersey or neck of a player as he breaks away from you clean. Neither of those are basketball plays and they should be discouraged.


Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:57 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Sorry, I didn't phrase the question clearly. My question is: In what possible situation would fouling benefit you, considering the huge point disparity?

I ask because I've seen it twice so far, and in neither occasion the team that fouled benefited from it.

The last time San Antontio and Cleveland played, Lebron was on his way to dunk it while everyone else was on the other side of the court, but Bruce Bowen manages to reach him and foul him before he could dunk it. The difference in potential points didn't discourage Bowen.


Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:53 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
nathanmuir wrote:
Sorry, I didn't phrase the question clearly. My question is: In what possible situation would fouling benefit you, considering the huge point disparity?


As far as I know it never does. But since it's a judgemnet call, the fouling player usually seems to think he might get away with it and not get the clear-path call. That's the only thing that makes sense to me, although I could be wrong. Again, I don't think it's designed to ever have any benefit.


Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:52 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
This is the opposite of the problem that the Kobe-lovers do: instead of going overboard in praise, you go overboard in harshness.


No, I'm in the middle - he is a great player, but he had his MVP season already, and the Lakers are more three dimensional this season than any other team in the league. It's not harsh to make him an MVP #2. It's simply my honest summation of the season so far. I will take LeBron's 28-7-7 over Kobe's 27-5-5, I will slightly take the Lakers as needing Bryant less than the Cavs need LeBron, and I would take being on a team with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom (with injured Bynum) over Maurice Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (with injured - and historically overrated - Ben Wallace).


Who is buying the Houston Rockets as legit? I think that adding Sam Lowry and ridding themselves of T-Mac's unforgivable team sloth and Alston's bad fit made the team more focused and more efficient. I also think the Hornets are showing upside, and I think Chris Paul's 20 assists the other night was too amazing for words. And he scored a bit, too? Wow. He's still my MVP #3.


Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:10 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
No, I'm in the middle - he is a great player, but he had his MVP season already, and the Lakers are more three dimensional this season than any other team in the league. It's not harsh to make him an MVP #2.


Sorry if I wasn't clear -- I totally agree that it's not at all harsh to have Kobe at #2 on your MVP ballot. My point was that it's harsh to point out the two Knick games and act like that proves that Lebron is on a different level than Kobe right now.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:10 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
By the way, just saying. Just saying! Detroit is 3-0 (against Orlando-Boston-Denver no less) without Iverson in the lineup. If they win 75% of the games with him out, I won't be surprised; if they win more, I still won't be. However, Chauncey Billups had his crash, too - the Nuggets rely on Anthony, not him, as last night's game clearly shows. I go back to saying that thier trade was overrated, and so are they.


Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:04 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I don't think anyone can make a logical case that the Pistons are a great team with Iverson. But as has been discussed, Rip's limited abilities are equally responsible for their inability to play together. That, and the rest of the team suddenly sucks this year. They are a totally irrelevant team once playoff time comes.

My only problem is the idea that Billups is somehow a better player (now or in the past). Just ain't true, folks.


Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:48 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Shade wrote:
Goubot wrote:
Iverson lacks a good 3 point shot. Billups has routinely taken 4+ a game with an accuracy around 40%. Shooting 40% from 3 is effectively like shooting 60% from inside the arc, so the sheer number of 3s that Billups takes and makes gives him a big edge over Iverson even though their actual field goal percentages are the same. Billups is also adept at drawing fouls (though not as good as AI), and rarely misses from the line


I see the point, but I don't really but the "effectively" argument. Bottom line is that they shoot the same percentage, and even if you subscribe to that argument, it doesn't give him a "big" edge if AI kills him in career scoring numbers, which he does. He also has higher assists and steals numbers. Right now I'd say that Billups is ever so slightly more valuable as a player because of his flexibility as a player (although again he's never done a thing without all-stars who run off screens well around him). But in terms of history, AI is immensely better, I feel, and I still feel he's doing everything he can in D-town...if you wanted a Billups clone, why get rid of Billups?

This is late, but that argument makes no sense if you're talking about pure efficiency. This is an extreme case, but if two players shoot 40% from the field but one shoots 40% on 3s and the other gets 40% on 2s, the former is obviously much more efficient (he's getting 1.2 points per shot while the other is getting 0.8). FG% is not the bottom line in terms of efficiency.

I don't want AI to be a Billups clone, but as far as team needs go, the Pistons don't require a guy to dribble out the shot clock to probe the defense and feed guys for jumpers. It has two decent ballhandlers/creators in Stuck and Tay, a guy who operates off movement away from the ball, and a player who can operate in the post and on the perimeter. Really, the only guy who fits that bill is McDyess, who has played well with Iverson. Iverson-centric offenses have never been much more than mediocre even in his prime, so I don't see why the team should bend over backwards to build their offense around a guy with a broken jumpshot and who can't finish at the rim consistently anymore.

In the games where he's been out, the offense has been much more fluid, with better ball movement and spacing. Guys aren't standing around waiting for shots anymore. It's not all on AI since the team's jumpshot has been off the last few weeks and it's just been 3 games without him. If he can accept a role on the bench (which has some decent shooters, decent defenders, and energetic bigs) and tear apart second unit defenses, the team could be decent. Who knows how serious this back injury of his is, though.


Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:48 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Quote:
Who is buying the Houston Rockets as legit? I think that adding Sam Lowry and ridding themselves of T-Mac's unforgivable team sloth and Alston's bad fit made the team more focused and more efficient. I also think the Hornets are showing upside, and I think Chris Paul's 20 assists the other night was too amazing for words. And he scored a bit, too? Wow. He's still my MVP #3.

The Rockets are tantalizing every year, but I don't see anything in this group that makes them that much more dangerous than any of the the other playoff teams in the West (the gap between them is small). It's weird that throughout the years, the team has had continued success without one of its two stars, but it highlights how strong the role players on the team are (Battier, Scola, Landry). Lowry is underrated and could be a big part of their future, but I don't think a PG combo of Aaron Brooks and Lowry will do very well for them in the playoffs this season, especially if they have to face Chris Paul or Deron Williams.

What would it do to McGrady's legacy if the team moves on to the second round without him, though? It could happen if they snag homecourt.


Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:15 pm
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