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Shammyguy3
09-05-2015, 12:47 PM
Choose from the poll options and debate who the current Top 15 best players in the NBA are. This should not be based on who had the best season last year, but rather who you would choose for a team in order to win right now.

Additional options will be added as we go along based on who will realistically receive votes at that level (or if players are requested in the thread).


1. Lebron (73% of the vote)
2. Durant (55% of the vote)
3. Curry (55% of the vote)
4. Davis (50% of the vote)
5. Harden (57% of the vote)
6. Paul (52% of the vote)
7. Westbrook (82% of the vote)
8. Griffin (59% of the vote)
9. Cousins (29% of the vote)
10. ?

Shammyguy3
09-05-2015, 09:50 PM
no debate yet? that's weird considering how close it was last thread

mngopher35
09-05-2015, 10:45 PM
I went Kahwi last time and will be doing it again. I was kinda torn between him and Cousins last time so I had no issues with Boogie winning.

Allphakenny1
09-06-2015, 10:45 AM
I like Gasol or Leonard here. Personally, I would go with Gasol since this is just for right now and not for the long haul. Both great defenders with a pretty good and efficient offensive games. I just think a center of this caliber is more rare and difficult to obtain.

Shammyguy3
09-07-2015, 10:15 AM
c'mon guys, where is the debate? three posts in two days is embarrassing

kdspurman
09-07-2015, 10:24 AM
c'mon guys, where is the debate? three posts in two days is embarrassing

Can only chalk it up to the long weekend.

Shammyguy3
09-07-2015, 10:53 AM
i hope, these threads were going strong and i really don't know which way to vote from here on out to #20 (if we make it that far) that's why i was hoping for some good debate

Clippersfan86
09-07-2015, 04:06 PM
Your title. It doesn't appear to be a part of the on going polls, 50+ percent of people likely aren't coming in.

Allphakenny1
09-07-2015, 05:55 PM
Your title. It doesn't appear to be a part of the on going polls, 50+ percent of people likely aren't coming in.

Title did throw me off a bit, but you would think enough people would click just out of curiosity and figure out it is the #10 poll. So if Leonard wins, is it out of Gasol and Anthony for #11? i like Gasol, but am not as low on Anthony as many people on here are. Wade has 2 votes, but he belongs closer to #20 than #10 at this point in his career.

Bruno
09-07-2015, 06:52 PM
I like Leonard here, I think he's the best two way player left on the board. I think he's passed Marc who's now 30, as a two way player.

SteBO
09-08-2015, 08:10 AM
I like Leonard here, I think he's the best two way player left on the board. I think he's passed Marc who's now 30, as a two way player.
Here here. Though to be completely honest, I'm shocked people have Curry so high. I thought for sure the general consensus would have Harden above him for some reason. I'm quite pleased. :laugh2:

YAALREADYKNO
09-08-2015, 09:52 AM
Kawhi is not a top 10 player in the NBA now, Not yet

kdspurman
09-08-2015, 09:58 AM
Kawhi is not a top 10 player in the NBA now, Not yet

Why not?

EDUTEXANS
09-08-2015, 11:29 AM
I'm torn between Gasol and Anthony here.

Kawhi is a great player, probably the best perimiter defender in the league, but his offensive game, although efficient, is still limited. He is a great player on a great team, but I don't see him being able to put a bad team on his back and actually win games.

I think when people think about Anthony, they only see his decline and the fact that he isn't the player he used to be 3-5 years ago, but he's still a great player and one of the best scorers in the league. Hell, his last healthy season, just a year ago, was possibly his best, most efficient season ever, stat-wise. Give me someone who can score 25+ every night over a great perimeter defender with limited offense every day of the week.

And Gasol, his impact on the Grizzlies' team sucess is so huge. He has no flaws in his game, but this past season was easily his best ever. I'm leaning Anthony here, probably his last season as a top-10 player.

Chronz
09-08-2015, 11:35 AM
It's more important to be a great player on a great team than a flawed star on bad teams.

phantasyyy
09-08-2015, 01:51 PM
It's more important to be a great player on a great team than a flawed star on bad teams.

Situations play a big role here also though, if you put Melo on the Spurs im pretty sure they'd still be pretty successful in Kawhi's position. But if you did the opposite, I think you'd see the #1 option role would expose Kawhi and his deficiencies on the offensive end.

It really is hard to compare a player on a great team vs a flawed team when Tim Duncan and Co. are your teammates vs Jr smith and Co.

That said voting is closed now, but I'd probably lean towards melo having a bounce back year and maintaining his top10 status

flea
09-08-2015, 02:04 PM
Lmao at Cousins going over, I dunno, basically everyone else on this poll. Dude hasn't even been on a team that's won 30 games before. 30 games, it's not like I'm setting some giant bar here. Top 10 players can show up for half a season and win 30 games.

He's a crappy defender for his position, shoots poor percentages everywhere on the floor except at the rim (where he is only about average for his position), turns the ball over like he's James Harden in the playoffs, whines about coaches/systems/anything but his own underachieving nature, and manages to still rack of T's. Not saying he doesn't have talent, but he's not a more impactful player than many others in the league.

flea
09-08-2015, 02:06 PM
I mean, would anyone really take Cousins over Duncan for next year? How does Duncan not do everything Cousins does but better? Can it really just be because of the PPG?

kdspurman
09-08-2015, 02:11 PM
Situations play a big role here also though, if you put Melo on the Spurs im pretty sure they'd still be pretty successful in Kawhi's position. But if you did the opposite, I think you'd see the #1 option role would expose Kawhi and his deficiencies on the offensive end.

It really is hard to compare a player on a great team vs a flawed team when Tim Duncan and Co. are your teammates vs Jr smith and Co.

That said voting is closed now, but I'd probably lean towards melo having a bounce back year and maintaining his top10 status

What deficiencies does Kawhi have on the offensive end? If anything, I'd put it more as a usage thing, he's got a very capable/efficient offensive game. Just his usage isn't incredibly high as that's not what the system has called for

phantasyyy
09-08-2015, 02:25 PM
Cousins has also played for one of the most dysfunctional teams since his entrance into the NBA.

He is on his 5th coach in as many seasons. Endured a ownership change and the circus around possibly moving the team to a different city. He is the lone player still leftover from his rookie season, unless you count Casspi who just recently rejoined the team.

Even on a season by season basis from last year.. they fired the coach that finally connected with him, hired one in Karl who immediately wanted to trade him for pretty much his old nuggets team.

The only hold-overs from the previous season are: Gay, Mclemore, Casspi, Collison, and Acy if you count him rejoining them this offseason as a free agent.

It truly his hard to develop a level of consistency and improvement season to season when everything else around you in terms of management and coaching is always in turmoil. Like shoot they just promoted Vlade and Peja to huge roles yet they have no exp in that department whatsoever.

Clippersfan86
09-08-2015, 04:15 PM
Lmao at Cousins going over, I dunno, basically everyone else on this poll. Dude hasn't even been on a team that's won 30 games before. 30 games, it's not like I'm setting some giant bar here. Top 10 players can show up for half a season and win 30 games.

He's a crappy defender for his position, shoots poor percentages everywhere on the floor except at the rim (where he is only about average for his position), turns the ball over like he's James Harden in the playoffs, whines about coaches/systems/anything but his own underachieving nature, and manages to still rack of T's. Not saying he doesn't have talent, but he's not a more impactful player than many others in the league.

Actually.. like Steph Curry... Cousins made a HUGE defensive leap last year. I'm talking about top 10 in paint defense type leap. The rest I don't disagree with, but need to point that one thing out.

flea
09-08-2015, 04:20 PM
Actually.. like Steph Curry... Cousins made a HUGE defensive leap last year. I'm talking about top 10 in paint defense type leap. The rest I don't disagree with, but need to point that one thing out.

Curry has never made any huge leaps, he went from bad to solid average. His team went from mediocre to elite, however, so maybe that's where you're mixed up. He's maybe the 7th or 8th best defender on his team and not someone you could ever build a defense around.

As for Cousins, if he were "top 10 paint defense" then his team wouldn't be so utterly terrible defensively. I'm sure he's improved since he entered the league, but he's been in his prime 2 years now he should improve. He's a good rebounder and a big body and that's it. If you're a big man and your presence on the court can't take your team out of the bottom 5 of defenses then you're not making an impact.

Clippersfan86
09-08-2015, 04:32 PM
Curry has never made any huge leaps, he went from bad to solid average. His team went from mediocre to elite, however, so maybe that's where you're mixed up. He's maybe the 7th or 8th best defender on his team and not someone you could ever build a defense around.

As for Cousins, if he were "top 10 paint defense" then his team wouldn't be so utterly terrible defensively. I'm sure he's improved since he entered the league, but he's been in his prime 2 years now he should improve. He's a good rebounder and a big body and that's it. If you're a big man and your presence on the court can't take your team out of the bottom 5 of defenses then you're not making an impact.

http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2014/09/30/nba-sacramento-kings-kentucky-wildcats-defense-shot-blocking-demarcus-cousins/

From 2014 and he got even better.

http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/DRPM

4th ranked Defensive P/M player in the NBA after Draymond Green, Tony Allen and Andrew Bogut.

Also as for Curry... bad to solid is a really big leap isn't it?

YAALREADYKNO
09-08-2015, 04:42 PM
Lmao at Cousins going over, I dunno, basically everyone else on this poll. Dude hasn't even been on a team that's won 30 games before. 30 games, it's not like I'm setting some giant bar here. Top 10 players can show up for half a season and win 30 games.

He's a crappy defender for his position, shoots poor percentages everywhere on the floor except at the rim (where he is only about average for his position), turns the ball over like he's James Harden in the playoffs, whines about coaches/systems/anything but his own underachieving nature, and manages to still rack of T's. Not saying he doesn't have talent, but he's not a more impactful player than many others in the league.

and everyone was getting on love for not winning anything with the t'wolves lol

YAALREADYKNO
09-08-2015, 04:45 PM
Why not?

hes still limited and still not consistent enough on offense to be considered a top 10 player in the NBA. His defense is there but his offense still has some catching up to do.

flea
09-08-2015, 04:51 PM
hes still limited and still not consistent enough on offense to be considered a top 10 player in the NBA. His defense is there but his offense still has some catching up to do.

His offense is better than probably 85% of the league, it's just that he plays off the ball and gets a lot of his points that way. He's a low turnover threat from all areas of the court now, and a rising matchup nightmare at SF with his midrange game off the bounce and post-up game. If Melo's still a better offensive player at this point it's not by much, and Kawhi's ISO game is one of the better ones of any forward in the game already.

flea
09-08-2015, 04:55 PM
http://hardwoodparoxysm.com/2014/09/30/nba-sacramento-kings-kentucky-wildcats-defense-shot-blocking-demarcus-cousins/

From 2014 and he got even better.

http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/DRPM

4th ranked Defensive P/M player in the NBA after Draymond Green, Tony Allen and Andrew Bogut.

Also as for Curry... bad to solid is a really big leap isn't it?

Hence why BPM stats are highly contextual. He was certainly the best defender on his team last year, but he was not better than probably half the starting big men in the league currently. Even Brook Lopez I'd consider a better defender in spite of the rebounding disparity between the two. If you think he's anything close to a top 5 defender in the league you're on drugs.

ewing
09-08-2015, 04:57 PM
he's acting weird, it must be drugs!

flea
09-08-2015, 05:04 PM
Bath salts and spice are ruining the nation.

kdspurman
09-08-2015, 05:16 PM
hes still limited and still not consistent enough on offense to be considered a top 10 player in the NBA. His defense is there but his offense still has some catching up to do.

Said it to another poster, but his offensive game is there. It's the usage that's not from what I can see. He's a beast when he's gone to the post, his mid range game is there, and he's a decent 3 point shooter, (though it went down a bit last season) and his defense often leads to offense.

That being said though, if you've got someone who is a beast defensively, but doesn't score 20+ppg, I don't think that should eliminate them as being a top 10 player candidate. There are guys who are superb offensive players, but defensively not elite or even average, and in the top 10.

Clippersfan86
09-08-2015, 06:20 PM
Hence why BPM stats are highly contextual. He was certainly the best defender on his team last year, but he was not better than probably half the starting big men in the league currently. Even Brook Lopez I'd consider a better defender in spite of the rebounding disparity between the two. If you think he's anything close to a top 5 defender in the league you're on drugs.

I never said I personally think he's a top 5 defender. I said he's probably a top 10 paint defender if I recall. Nonetheless... whether or not you believe he's worse than stats, defense certainly isn't an issue.

EDUTEXANS
09-08-2015, 07:18 PM
It's more important to be a great player on a great team than a flawed star on bad teams.

Sure, but that's not the point of the thread, is it? Being a great player on a great team doesn't make you better than a better player trapped on a bad team.

The Spurs might be better off with a player like Kawhi, but if you're starting a team from scratch, with no positions filled, Anthony should, in my opinion, be your guy. Offensive game, playmaking and scoring are, in my opinion, more important assets in today's NBA than defense (Kawhi's biggest strength and Melo's biggest weakness).


What deficiencies does Kawhi have on the offensive end? If anything, I'd put it more as a usage thing, he's got a very capable/efficient offensive game. Just his usage isn't incredibly high as that's not what the system has called for

Don't kid yourself, dude. The Spurs are far from a perfect team, they finished as only the 6th seed and they couldn't get past the first round. If Kawhi could drop 30 every night, while keeping his efficiency and defense, he would just do it.

kdspurman
09-08-2015, 09:28 PM
Sure, but that's not the point of the thread, is it? Being a great player on a great team doesn't make you better than a better player trapped on a bad team.

The Spurs might be better off with a player like Kawhi, but if you're starting a team from scratch, with no positions filled, Anthony should, in my opinion, be your guy. Offensive game, playmaking and scoring are, in my opinion, more important assets in today's NBA than defense (Kawhi's biggest strength and Melo's biggest weakness).



Don't kid yourself, dude. The Spurs are far from a perfect team, they finished as only the 6th seed and they couldn't get past the first round. If Kawhi could drop 30 every night, while keeping his efficiency and defense, he would just do it.


Am I missing something? Where in my quote did I say the Spurs were a perfect team? :laugh2: I said his usage isn't high in the system we play which is pretty accurate if you ask me or anyone who follows them.

& That's not how the Spurs play. (that could change next season however) They rely on ball movement, and finding the right shot, not letting the ball stick. It did just win them a title a year ago and they brought back the same team, so why not try it again?

And a pretty big reason they finished 6th was due to Kawhi missing a bunch of games, and Splitter, and Mills, and Parker. In the west, it's tough to keep up with injuries to 3 starters and such an important bench piece. As I'm sure you know. We only finished what, a game behind Houston for the 2nd seed? Had they secured the 2nd seed, things could be much different this off-season for a lot of teams. But that's how it goes sometimes.

I'm perfectly happy with this not so perfect team this upcoming season

SteBO
09-08-2015, 09:35 PM
Don't kid yourself, dude. The Spurs are far from a perfect team, they finished as only the 6th seed and they couldn't get past the first round. If Kawhi could drop 30 every night, while keeping his efficiency and defense, he would just do it.
Except this is about the individual, not the team so why you're pronouncing the Spurs as "far from a perfect team", as if any team is really, is beyond me as it's not relevant. Kawhi Leonard was ranked 93rd in usage rate and played 32 mpg.....the Spurs' system isn't exactly catering to him on offense. Give him the same touches and opportunities as 'Melo and the results would at the very least be comparable, and Kawhi would do it more efficiently and is better defensively. Two-way > One-way.

EDIT: And since when did defense become less important in today's NBA? Didn't the Warriors just freakin' win a title being one of the best if not the best defensive team from practically start to finish?

EDUTEXANS
09-08-2015, 11:03 PM
Am I missing something? Where in my quote did I say the Spurs were a perfect team? :laugh2: I said his usage isn't high in the system we play which is pretty accurate if you ask me or anyone who follows them.

& That's not how the Spurs play. (that could change next season however) They rely on ball movement, and finding the right shot, not letting the ball stick. It did just win them a title a year ago and they brought back the same team, so why not try it again?

And a pretty big reason they finished 6th was due to Kawhi missing a bunch of games, and Splitter, and Mills, and Parker. In the west, it's tough to keep up with injuries to 3 starters and such an important bench piece. As I'm sure you know. We only finished what, a game behind Houston for the 2nd seed? Had they secured the 2nd seed, things could be much different this off-season for a lot of teams. But that's how it goes sometimes.

I'm perfectly happy with this not so perfect team this upcoming season

You're missing the point. You implied you think he isn't a offensive star because his usage isn't high. If he could be a star, he would be. Not matter what team he plays for. No matter the system. I mean, what coach wouldn't want his best defensive player to also score 25 a game? Duncan used to do that, in the same system.

What I meant was, the Spurs aren't a 70-win stacked team that they don't need Leonard to play to his full potential because they have other players to do all the scoring and playmaking, as you seems to think.


Except this is about the individual, not the team so why you're pronouncing the Spurs as "far from a perfect team", as if any team is really, is beyond me as it's not relevant. Kawhi Leonard was ranked 93rd in usage rate and played 32 mpg.....the Spurs' system isn't exactly catering to him on offense. Give him the same touches and opportunities as 'Melo and the results would at the very least be comparable, and Kawhi would do it more efficiently and is better defensively. Two-way > One-way.

But they would be, if he were as good as Anthony offensively. By your logic, any role player could be as good as Anthony if given the the touches and opportunities. If Leonard could be an offensive star, he would. Period.


EDIT: And since when did defense become less important in today's NBA? Didn't the Warriors just freakin' win a title being one of the best if not the best defensive team from practically start to finish?

INDIVIDUAL defense. This thread is about individual talent. The Warriors are a team. Leonard and Anthiny are players.

Shammyguy3
09-08-2015, 11:08 PM
You're missing the point. You implied you think he isn't a offensive star because his usage isn't high. If he could be a star, he would be. Not matter what team he plays for. No matter the system. I mean, what coach wouldn't want his best defensive player to also score 25 a game? Duncan used to do that, in the same system.

The system the Spurs have now is not the same as when Duncan put up 25ppg fourteen years ago. Definitely not the same. And Duncan, perhaps a top-5 player of all-time, only put up 25ppg one year in his 18 year career. So what does that tell you?


What I meant was, the Spurs aren't a 70-win stacked team that they don't need Leonard to play to his full potential because they have other players to do all the scoring and playmaking, as you seems to think.

But they would be, if he were as good as Anthony offensively. By your logic, any role player could be as good as Anthony if given the the touches and opportunities. If Leonard could be an offensive star, he would. Period.

INDIVIDUAL defense. This thread is about individual talent. The Warriors are a team. Leonard and Anthiny are players.

You're missing his point. He's not saying any player could be an offensive star if given enough touches. He's saying, having watched presumably almost all if not all of Leonard's game the past two years, that his offensive arsenal of moves and fundamentals could lead him to be an efficient scorer on an even higher usage rate.

EDUTEXANS
09-08-2015, 11:20 PM
The system the Spurs have now is not the same as when Duncan put up 25ppg fourteen years ago. Definitely not the same. And Duncan, perhaps a top-5 player of all-time, only put up 25ppg one year in his 18 year career. So what does that tell you?

Kawhi scored 16.5 last season. And that was a lot less efficient than the year before (when he attempted 3 less FGs). Parker put up 20 two years ago. Duncan put up 18 two years ago, at 36 years old. Leonard also isn't half the playmaker Duncan was. Is, actually.


You're missing his point. He's not saying any player could be an offensive star if given enough touches. He's saying, having watched presumably almost all if not all of Leonard's game the past two years, that his offensive arsenal of moves and fundamentals could lead him to be an efficient scorer on an even higher usage rate.

Seriously, what sane coach (and we're talking about the one of the best HCs ever) would see that and say, just stay in the corner and get ready to shoot, instead of actually designing every play around him?

If he could be as efficient as he was the season before while working on a higher usage, he would. But instead, we've seen him being less efficient, with a slight higher usage.

Shammyguy3
09-08-2015, 11:35 PM
His usage rate is now at 23.0%. That's nearly a 5% increase from the year before. That's not a slight increase, at all. And even with such a rise in usage, this is what he posted: 56.7ts% 113 ORtg 0.204 WS/48 6.1 BPM 4.1 VORP. That's a really good offensive statistical line. It's not like the holy ghost of all lines, but Kawhi's ferocity on defense is shadowing his offensive game (which is really all that other Kawhi-supporters are pointing out in this thread).


Furthermore, come playoff time Kawhi averaged over 20ppg while still playing less than 36 minutes a game. His efficiency took a slight hit, but he was still the best offensive player on the Spurs this season and post-season in a lot of people's eyes.

That's seriously all I have to say, we're just regurgitating at this point. if you don't think Kawhi is a good offensive player then so be it

Fowl Rick
09-09-2015, 12:41 AM
If I had the chance to vote I would have went with Marc here. Leonard is a beast but I just have a hard time thinking there's only 9 guys in the entire NBA that are better than him. Right now I think #10 is too high for Leonard. Marc is 30 but he's a real special talent and right now i'd take him over Leonard all day

Fowl Rick
09-09-2015, 12:42 AM
How anyone can vote for melo is beyond me. Haven't seen ***** outta him in a while now not to mention he's a below average defender

kdspurman
09-09-2015, 07:59 AM
You're missing the point. You implied you think he isn't a offensive star because his usage isn't high. If he could be a star, he would be. Not matter what team he plays for. No matter the system. I mean, what coach wouldn't want his best defensive player to also score 25 a game? Duncan used to do that, in the same system.

What I meant was, the Spurs aren't a 70-win stacked team that they don't need Leonard to play to his full potential because they have other players to do all the scoring and playmaking, as you seems to think.

I never said anything about a star. I think his overall scoring numbers would increase if he was used more and he didn't play 32mpg, absolutely. What coach doesn't want his best player to score 25 a game? For the last few years, that'd be Pop. Kawhi had a knee injury last year, and had a hand injury the last couple years respectively. So Pop has been a bit cautious with his workload and his minutes. But I'd expect his minutes to go up a bit next year, not by much. I doubt you'll catch him playing 38+mpg over the course of a season cause that's not how Pop does things anymore.

The Spurs played some of the best team ball ever last year in the finals. It came with no one playing 30mpg in the reg season, and a variety of guys stepping up in the finals, mainly Kawhi the last few games. But when you see results like they had, what will make you say, you know what... let's change what we're doing so Kawhi can get his #'s... Even during Manu's prime, he sacrificed his numbers for sure. If he goes elsewhere, I have little doubt we don't see his #'s go up. His career might've ended a little earlier but surely his usage would go up. That's just an example, and I think with what Kawhi has shown last season, if he went elsewhere, his #'s would go up. Spurs have always been about sacrifice and no player being bigger than the team. Pop really hammers that home. Like i said, next season that could change a bit in terms of how they score, but we'll see.

BTW, in no way is this the same system Duncan played in. Not even close. Same coach, yes. Same system, far from it.

EDUTEXANS
09-09-2015, 10:14 AM
His usage rate is now at 23.0%. That's nearly a 5% increase from the year before. That's not a slight increase, at all. And even with such a rise in usage, this is what he posted: 56.7ts% 113 ORtg 0.204 WS/48 6.1 BPM 4.1 VORP. That's a really good offensive statistical line. It's not like the holy ghost of all lines, but Kawhi's ferocity on defense is shadowing his offensive game (which is really all that other Kawhi-supporters are pointing out in this thread).

First, you're proving my point. That higher usage did make him less efficient (inferior FG%, eFG%, 3Pt%, TS%, ORtg, PPS) while making hima only slightly better at OBPM, VORP and OWS. And his offensive numbers are still worse in proportion than what Melo put up in his last healthy season, on a 10% bigger USG%.


Furthermore, come playoff time Kawhi averaged over 20ppg while still playing less than 36 minutes a game. His efficiency took a slight hit, but he was still the best offensive player on the Spurs this season and post-season in a lot of people's eyes.

Well, a 7-game series is a really small sample size, but again, you're proving my point. There's no evidence to say he would be a better offensive player than Anthony if he plays on a higher usage. All signs point to his efficiency taking a huge hit.


That's seriously all I have to say, we're just regurgitating at this point. if you don't think Kawhi is a good offensive player then so be it

I didn't say that. In fact, I've said he's a good, really efficient offensive player. But I disagree he would be a better offensive player if he weren't "limited" by the system he plays in, as I think that's a really flawed logic, and, in my opinion, there's no denying he isn't at the same level as Anthony offensively, and while Kawhi's defense is miles ahead, I've stated mutiple times I think offensive is much more important and valuable asset than defense in today's NBA. Maybe that's what we disagree and I'm ready to debate if you think otherwise.


I never said anything about a star. I think his overall scoring numbers would increase if he was used more and he didn't play 32mpg, absolutely. What coach doesn't want his best player to score 25 a game? For the last few years, that'd be Pop. Kawhi had a knee injury last year, and had a hand injury the last couple years respectively. So Pop has been a bit cautious with his workload and his minutes. But I'd expect his minutes to go up a bit next year, not by much. I doubt you'll catch him playing 38+mpg over the course of a season cause that's not how Pop does things anymore.

So you don't think Leonard can be as good as Anthony on offense? Because you either implied you do, or you think Anthony isn't a star offensive player.


The Spurs played some of the best team ball ever last year in the finals. It came with no one playing 30mpg in the reg season, and a variety of guys stepping up in the finals, mainly Kawhi the last few games. But when you see results like they had, what will make you say, you know what... let's change what we're doing so Kawhi can get his #'s... Even during Manu's prime, he sacrificed his numbers for sure. If he goes elsewhere, I have little doubt we don't see his #'s go up. His career might've ended a little earlier but surely his usage would go up. That's just an example, and I think with what Kawhi has shown last season, if he went elsewhere, his #'s would go up. Spurs have always been about sacrifice and no player being bigger than the team. Pop really hammers that home. Like i said, next season that could change a bit in terms of how they score, but we'll see.

But they were not the same team they the year before. They didn't come close to winning it again. Their offense took a huge hit last season. Parker regressed to an average PG level, Duncan got one year older, same with Manu. They signed Aldridge because they actually need more offense.

About Manu, it's a totally different situation. He had two top offensive players in Duncan and Parker to do the heavy playmaking and scoring. Leonard didn't have such kind of players to play with last season.

And finally, system goes both ways. If you think the Spurs dominant ball-movement system limits Leonard's offensive potential, it can also be the reason of Leonard being such an efficient scorer, because it leads to a lot of open looks and transition baskets.

I agree that Leonard's numbers could go up elsewhere, but all signs point to his efficiency going down on bigger workload. And I don't see how he could reach Anthony's level.


BTW, in no way is this the same system Duncan played in. Not even close. Same coach, yes. Same system, far from it.

System can be a misleading word. The Spurs have played in a fast-paced, dominat ball-movement type of game for a long time. Duncan and Parker were putting up 17-18+ points a game together not long ago. Aldridge will be next. Do you think Aldridge will be limited to 13 shots a game in San Antonio?

EDUTEXANS
09-09-2015, 10:21 AM
How anyone can vote for melo is beyond me. Haven't seen ***** outta him in a while now not to mention he's a below average defender

Oh come on. He put up a very efficient 27, 8 and 3 on 45/40/85% shooting averages, while leading that mess of a team to 37 wins, almost by himself. The year before, he led the league in scoring and carried his team to 54 wins and the 2nd seed. He just had a really bad luck with injuries last season, and even so, he was still able to put up 24 points a game, and when you consider the team he had around him last year, you can see why his efficiency took a hit.

He must be another one of those players you don't like, and you don't watch.

kdspurman
09-09-2015, 10:49 AM
So you don't think Leonard can be as good as Anthony on offense? Because you either implied you do, or you think Anthony isn't a star offensive player.

I don't know, Melo is a dam good offensive player and has a bunch of different ways he can score. Kawhi at this scores differently than Melo. I'm not really sure how Melo got into this conversation. I think Kawhi can continue to get better and grow however. Duncan even at his age still tweaks and adds things to his game.



But they were not the same team they the year before. They didn't come close to winning it again. Their offense took a huge hit last season. Parker regressed to an average PG level, Duncan got one year older, same with Manu. They signed Aldridge because they actually need more offense.

They were the exact same team. Same exact roster. They struggled in the reg season because they had a ton of injuries and that chemistry and rhythm we saw suffered due to the injuries and players being out + championship hangover is a large reason they struggled. Parker did regress, but he was also hurt. Duncan got a year old, but look what he did in the playoffs, so that really doesn't mean much.

Getting Aldridge wasn't something they needed now. In all honesty, they could have kept the same group together and gave it another go. it's a long term plan for when TD/Parker/Manu walk away. added firepower to play w/Kawhi /Green and whatever other pieces they'll add in the next couple years. A new core...

BTW, Losing in the first round in the west to a team like the Clips is not exactly something to hang your head on. That was their worst possible matchup with their front line and Splitter being hurt. It is what it is. Any other match up, I'd argue SA would have at the very least made the WCF.


About Manu, it's a totally different situation. He had two top offensive players in Duncan and Parker to do the heavy playmaking and scoring. Leonard didn't have such kind of players to play with last season.

Leonard didn't, but again... It's the same exact team/roster/philosophy/coach from the championship team. The championship team had NO ONE playing +30mpg. The highest scoring player was Parker @ 16 a game. There was no one doing heavy playmaking or scoring. It was the same thing as the previous year. It only was different do to so many roster changes. And Kawhi missing nearly 20 games didn't help.

BTW, I'd argue Manu was a better offensive player than Parker. He just accepted the 6th man role gracefully and understood what was better for the team.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2014.html



And finally, system goes both ways. If you think the Spurs dominant ball-movement system limits Leonard's offensive potential, it can also be the reason of Leonard being such an efficient scorer, because it leads to a lot of open looks and transition baskets.

I agree that Leonard's numbers could go up elsewhere, but all signs point to his efficiency going down on bigger workload. And I don't see how he could reach Anthony's level.

That's fair, though I'd let you know, in iso situations or post-ups he's shown he can be very effective. It's all about getting the opportunities.

Again, I don't know where reaching Melo's level came into this, I'm talking about Kawhi and how his numbers would look sexier if he played more and was used more.



System can be a misleading word. The Spurs have played in a fast-paced, dominat ball-movement type of game for a long time. Duncan and Parker were putting up 17-18+ points a game together not long ago. Aldridge will be next. Do you think Aldridge will be limited to 13 shots a game in San Antonio?

The Spurs played 1 of the slowest paces in the league from the time Tim came, till about 2010, so that's not really true. They were a slow it down, grind it out, get the ball to Duncan in the post team.

LMA will not be limited, per Pop. This is why I've said a couple times to you, that the way they played the last few years could change this upcoming season with LMA coming in and Kawhi's continued growth. Will probably see them running a pick n pop quite a bit and allow Kawhi to make decisions with the ball

Chronz
09-09-2015, 11:04 AM
Sure, but that's not the point of the thread, is it? Being a great player on a great team doesn't make you better than a better player trapped on a bad team.
Agreed, I have Kawhi as the superior player to begin with. My point was more that you're not exactly backing your assertion by mentioning something that can be viewed as a positive for KL.



The Spurs might be better off with a player like Kawhi, but if you're starting a team from scratch, with no positions filled, Anthony should, in my opinion, be your guy. Offensive game, playmaking and scoring are, in my opinion, more important assets in today's NBA than defense (Kawhi's biggest strength and Melo's biggest weakness).

I guess that depends on how you build a team, I would take Kawhi in either situation to be honest. I just think hes the piece you take if you're trying to get to a championship level whereas Melo is the guy if you're trying to scrape into the playoffs with less support. Its why I said its better to be the guy who can impact a championship caliber team at a high level than be the guy who might look better on a ****** team. Why would I strive for mediocrity?

Even if you think those are more important assets, I think we can both agree that guys with Kawhi's skillset/impact are pretty rare, the mere fact that hes in the conversation despite not being a ball dominant player shows how influential he is in those areas. What Melo brings is more easily replaced IMO than finding guys who can do what Kawhi can. So that replacement value is in itself an asset over Melo. The league is littered with PG's who can carry a respectable load, I think in a fantasy draft type of scenario, I could land scorers near Melo's statistical value more than I could find someone like Kawhi.

Chronz
09-09-2015, 11:13 AM
Situations play a big role here also though, if you put Melo on the Spurs im pretty sure they'd still be pretty successful in Kawhi's position. But if you did the opposite, I think you'd see the #1 option role would expose Kawhi and his deficiencies on the offensive end.
My thing is that the Spurs would take a step back and Im sure its possible the Knicks would suffer as well. So its a complaint I dont really understand since it can work both ways, the main difference is the winner has less excuses to make.
And I think people overstate the need to be a #1 option. Whatever team people want to conjure up, I dont think Kawhi needs to carry more of a burden to prove his worth. There are some teams where star minded forwards THINK they should be carrying a load when in reality they are holding back players who can handle more of a load. At this point (#10 player) I think the idea should be to build as well rounded a team and Kawhi fits that mold IMO. I would go Duncan or M. Gasol next for similar reasons. Maybe even LMA

I hope Melo bounces back but I feel we've seen his best already and that what he has left wont be enough to convince me of that stature, not unless he vastly improves his defensive effort.


It really is hard to compare a player on a great team vs a flawed team when Tim Duncan and Co. are your teammates vs Jr smith and Co.
Regardless, the thread is asking us to do just that.

WaDe03
09-09-2015, 12:02 PM
How did LeBron and Durant make the list over Chalmers?

Just saw Chalmers isn't even an option, wtf?

EDUTEXANS
09-09-2015, 01:16 PM
I don't know, Melo is a dam good offensive player and has a bunch of different ways he can score. Kawhi at this scores differently than Melo. I'm not really sure how Melo got into this conversation. I think Kawhi can continue to get better and grow however. Duncan even at his age still tweaks and adds things to his game.

That's the point. Melo can score every way he wants, so he could be the same elite offensive player in every other NBA team. I don't know if we could say the same about Leonard. I have no doubt that Leonard will improve a lot in the next few years, and it won't take long before he's easily a better player than Melo, but as of now, in my opinion, Anthony is better, and that's why I voted for him.


They were the exact same team. Same exact roster. They struggled in the reg season because they had a ton of injuries and that chemistry and rhythm we saw suffered due to the injuries and players being out + championship hangover is a large reason they struggled. Parker did regress, but he was also hurt. Duncan got a year old, but look what he did in the playoffs, so that really doesn't mean much.

But that's what I'm talking about. They needed Leonard to step up and do more. They needed somebody. And after the FMVP, Leonard should be that guy. Now it's supposed to be Aldridge.


Getting Aldridge wasn't something they needed now. In all honesty, they could have kept the same group together and gave it another go. it's a long term plan for when TD/Parker/Manu walk away. added firepower to play w/Kawhi /Green and whatever other pieces they'll add in the next couple years. A new core...

Aldridge is 30, dude.


BTW, Losing in the first round in the west to a team like the Clips is not exactly something to hang your head on. That was their worst possible matchup with their front line and Splitter being hurt. It is what it is. Any other match up, I'd argue SA would have at the very least made the WCF.

Sure, I agree. But that doesn't mean they didn't need someone to step up and play to their full potential. I mean, the Warriors didn't need guys like Iggy and Barnes to play a big role all season long, because they had other who could do it. The Spurs simply didn't.


Leonard didn't, but again... It's the same exact team/roster/philosophy/coach from the championship team. The championship team had NO ONE playing +30mpg. The highest scoring player was Parker @ 16 a game. There was no one doing heavy playmaking or scoring. It was the same thing as the previous year. It only was different do to so many roster changes. And Kawhi missing nearly 20 games didn't help.

BTW, I'd argue Manu was a better offensive player than Parker. He just accepted the 6th man role gracefully and understood what was better for the team.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2014.html

Don't you think the Spurs would be better, and their season could have ended up better, if Leonard could be as efficient playing on a higher usage? Sure, right? But why didn't he? They sure needed him to do it. That's my main point. If he could score over 20 a game, while being as efficient as he is scoring 16, he would do it.



That's fair, though I'd let you know, in iso situations or post-ups he's shown he can be very effective. It's all about getting the opportunities.

Again, I don't know where reaching Melo's level came into this, I'm talking about Kawhi and how his numbers would look sexier if he played more and was used more.

Well, my point is, I think Anthony is the better player, and I voted for him, and not Leonard.



The Spurs played 1 of the slowest paces in the league from the time Tim came, till about 2010, so that's not really true. They were a slow it down, grind it out, get the ball to Duncan in the post team.

LMA will not be limited, per Pop. This is why I've said a couple times to you, that the way they played the last few years could change this upcoming season with LMA coming in and Kawhi's continued growth. Will probably see them running a pick n pop quite a bit and allow Kawhi to make decisions with the ball

Well yeah, I said Duncan and Parker scored over 18 each just two years ago. Duncan a little under 18, IIRC.

I think based on everything you've said, we'll see who really was better a year from now. But as of now, I'm still taking Melo.


Agreed, I have Kawhi as the superior player to begin with. My point was more that you're not exactly backing your assertion by mentioning something that can be viewed as a positive for KL.

Well, obviously it wasn't meant to be a positive. Leonard is a great player on a great team, but if you switch him and Melo, and he's asked to do everything on offense, you'll start to see his flaws.


I guess that depends on how you build a team, I would take Kawhi in either situation to be honest. I just think hes the piece you take if you're trying to get to a championship level whereas Melo is the guy if you're trying to scrape into the playoffs with less support. Its why I said its better to be the guy who can impact a championship caliber team at a high level than be the guy who might look better on a ****** team. Why would I strive for mediocrity?

If I have like 4 average players and I can choose between Melo and Leonard to win now, I'm choosing Melo. I just think he's the best player right now.


Even if you think those are more important assets, I think we can both agree that guys with Kawhi's skillset/impact are pretty rare, the mere fact that hes in the conversation despite not being a ball dominant player shows how influential he is in those areas. What Melo brings is more easily replaced IMO than finding guys who can do what Kawhi can. So that replacement value is in itself an asset over Melo. The league is littered with PG's who can carry a respectable load, I think in a fantasy draft type of scenario, I could land scorers near Melo's statistical value more than I could find someone like Kawhi.

Now you're just being silly, in my opinion. The NBA market completely disagrees with you. Great offensive stars who are liabilities on defense get paid top money. Defensive specialists who are offensive liabilities often can't even manage to make an NBA rotation. Obviously Leonard is far from an offensive liability, he's a great two-player, but how many elite scorers like Melo are there in the league?

Chronz
09-09-2015, 01:52 PM
Well, obviously it wasn't meant to be a positive.
Whether you meant it as a positive or not, it can still be viewed as such.


Leonard is a great player on a great team, but if you switch him and Melo, and he's asked to do everything on offense, you'll start to see his flaws.

As I said, if you were to switch teams, its possible both squads suffer, so Im not seeing your point. I would see the warts in Melo's game if he were tasked with basically anchoring the Spurs defensive system and being their most versatile defender. Whatever flaws you think we will see is an argument that works both ways. Only difference is that Kawhi doesn't need that crutch.


If I have like 4 average players and I can choose between Melo and Leonard to win now, I'm choosing Melo. I just think he's the best player right now.
Understood. I dont go Melo until after Marc, possibly Duncan, LMA, DMC among others.



Now you're just being silly, in my opinion. The NBA market completely disagrees with you. Great offensive stars who are liabilities on defense get paid top money. Defensive specialists who are offensive liabilities often can't even manage to make an NBA rotation. Obviously Leonard is far from an offensive liability, he's a great two-player, but how many elite scorers like Melo are there in the league?

Yeah but as teams have hired more analytical types, we're seeing a shift in which guys are getting paid and how their numbers are assessed. PPG doesn't get you paid like it used to thats for sure. But NBA markets are based on more than just ability, lest you expect people to believe the highest paid players have corresponded with the best in the league. Melo definitely has the market appeal, that doesn't make him a better player tho.

I also disagree with your generality, an elite defender will always have a place in the league, its just hard to be that impactful defensively, particularly on the perimeter. Which is why Kawhi stands out to me.

And Melo may be an elite scorer but as an overall offensive player, I dont think hes elite. Durant, RWB, CP3, Curry, Harden, Bron are elite offensively to me, then theres a tier or 2 beneath them where the likes of Melo reside, whereas Kawhi is THE GUY you put at the top of his defensive tier. So in my estimation, Kawhi is better at what he does than Melo is at his.

Kawhi is like a B/A+ player and Melo is more like B+(possibly A-) offensively and an F or D defensively. C at his best.

flea
09-09-2015, 02:52 PM
Now you're just being silly, in my opinion. The NBA market completely disagrees with you. Great offensive stars who are liabilities on defense get paid top money. Defensive specialists who are offensive liabilities often can't even manage to make an NBA rotation. Obviously Leonard is far from an offensive liability, he's a great two-player, but how many elite scorers like Melo are there in the league?

Disagree totally with this. You're a Rockets fan you should know - they started 3 defensive specialists last year. Dwight is a net negative offensively these days, if it weren't for his defense and rebounding they'd replace him with a big man who can at least pass or shoot. Ariza can't handle, finish, pass, and isn't even that great of a shooter but he might be the most important Rocket. Beverly, the same.

If you mean guys like Tony Allen who are not just offensive liabilities but among the 2 or 3 worst offensive players in the league, then yeah it's probably mostly going to be big men among them because their D is more important. But this offseason proved, if anything, defensive specialists are making more money. Carroll got $60 million for showing in 1 year he can be a respectable shooter and slasher, but it was mostly the strength of his defense that got him that contract.

EDUTEXANS
09-09-2015, 05:54 PM
Whether you meant it as a positive or not, it can still be viewed as such.

But did you understand what I meant?


As I said, if you were to switch teams, its possible both squads suffer, so Im not seeing your point. I would see the warts in Melo's game if he were tasked with basically anchoring the Spurs defensive system and being their most versatile defender. Whatever flaws you think we will see is an argument that works both ways. Only difference is that Kawhi doesn't need that crutch.

Nor does Melo. He's pretty damn good player even playing in a really bad team. He took the 2012-13 Knicks to 54 wins without any help outside of Tyson Chandler. He didn't really take a step back the season after, and we couldn't tell if he declined last season because of age or he just had a down year because of injuries.


Understood. I dont go Melo until after Marc, possibly Duncan, LMA, DMC among others.

That's fair. I was torn between him and Marc. But you can expect me to start a debate, if I disagree with your arguments.


Yeah but as teams have hired more analytical types, we're seeing a shift in which guys are getting paid and how their numbers are assessed. PPG doesn't get you paid like it used to thats for sure. But NBA markets are based on more than just ability, lest you expect people to believe the highest paid players have corresponded with the best in the league. Melo definitely has the market appeal, that doesn't make him a better player tho.

There are a lot of other things to consider when looking at this, like age and fit. But it's pretty clear offensive players are at a better premium than defensive players.


I also disagree with your generality, an elite defender will always have a place in the league, its just hard to be that impactful defensively, particularly on the perimeter. Which is why Kawhi stands out to me.

Elite defenders? Sure. Good defenders? Yes, IF they can also be productive on offense. If you're a good defender with no offensive skills, you might have trouble to land a guaranteed deal. If you're a good offensive player with no defensive skills, you might be asking for the max, and get it.


And Melo may be an elite scorer but as an overall offensive player, I dont think hes elite. Durant, RWB, CP3, Curry, Harden, Bron are elite offensively to me, then theres a tier or 2 beneath them where the likes of Melo reside, whereas Kawhi is THE GUY you put at the top of his defensive tier. So in my estimation, Kawhi is better at what he does than Melo is at his.

Kawhi is like a B/A+ player and Melo is more like B+(possibly A-) offensively and an F or D defensively. C at his best.

But individual defense and individual offense have different values, in my opinion. That's what we seem to disagree the most. Individual defense just isn't as important as offense. And it's simple.

You can have your entire offense going through your best offensive player. On defense, you can't have your defense centered on just your best player. Especially if he's a perimeter player.


Disagree totally with this. You're a Rockets fan you should know - they started 3 defensive specialists last year. Dwight is a net negative offensively these days, if it weren't for his defense and rebounding they'd replace him with a big man who can at least pass or shoot. Ariza can't handle, finish, pass, and isn't even that great of a shooter but he might be the most important Rocket. Beverly, the same.

If you mean guys like Tony Allen who are not just offensive liabilities but among the 2 or 3 worst offensive players in the league, then yeah it's probably mostly going to be big men among them because their D is more important. But this offseason proved, if anything, defensive specialists are making more money. Carroll got $60 million for showing in 1 year he can be a respectable shooter and slasher, but it was mostly the strength of his defense that got him that contract.

Howard (come on), Ariza and Carroll are nowhere near liabilities on offense. Beverley can shoot. If he couldn't, he would still be in Europe right now. Ariza is arguably a top-5 perimeter defender, and he only got a $32M deal last season.

Kanter and Love, for instance, got paid max money. What does that tell you?

And calling Ariza the most important Rocket, is that necessary?

flea
09-09-2015, 06:03 PM
K I guess you have some weird understanding of liabilities on offense then if you think Howard and Ariza aren't. If they were average defensive players they would be end of the bench types, or probably not even in the league. Kanter and Love got max money because their teams are contenders and can't afford to lose rotation players. Deandre Jordan also got max money, and he has no offensive game if his hands don't touch the rim.

It's true NBA salaries reward offense more, but that's mainly because offense is much more rare. Once they're on the court, it all counts the same. The league is full of Bruce Bowen types, wing athletes without a ton of basketball skill. But the basketball world is also full of Aaron Brooks types, pure offensive guards who can't stick because of defense. For years Thibs created offense out of nothing by dumpster diving for quick guards, yet stupid GMs will still give someone like Love or Joe Johnson max contracts either because they're scared or because it's a decision they must make for the team (like the Cavs did).

SteBO
09-09-2015, 06:23 PM
Howard (come on), Ariza and Carroll are nowhere near liabilities on offense. Beverley can shoot. If he couldn't, he would still be in Europe right now. Ariza is arguably a top-5 perimeter defender, and he only got a $32M deal last season.

Kanter and Love, for instance, got paid max money. What does that tell you?

And calling Ariza the most important Rocket, is that necessary?
I don't know what you're doing with Howard. Dwight isn't some guy you dump the ball down in the post to and rely on for offense on a consistent basis, and even worse, he can't shoot FT's for ****. His calling card is his defense, and it's the reason why he'll continue to get paid. Granted this is just one example, DeAndre Jordan being another one. To put it briefly, the $$$ you command has absolutely nothing to do with who's more valuable to a team and/or who's better at a given moment or long-term, whether it's based on what you can do on offense. You mention Kanter and Love, as if OKC and CLE had any other options available.....for Christ's sake, look how much Kris Middleton and Reggie Jackson are getting paid.

This thread is about who's better individually, and you're arguing for a guy who plays well on ONE side of the court ('Melo). Basketball has two sides to it. Even if their efficiency #s are comparable all things being equal, one is still more VASTLY superior to the other defensively (Leonard). Honestly, I'm not even sure what we're arguing anymore.

EDUTEXANS
09-09-2015, 06:54 PM
I don't know what you're doing with Howard. Dwight isn't some guy you dump the ball down in the post to and rely on for offense on a consistent basis, and even worse, he can't shoot FT's for ****.

I've watched 80-90% of the Rockets' games this past season. The Rockets play better offense when Howard is on the floor. You can feed down in the post and let him work, but that's not the point. Even if you think his only offensive asset is athleticism, that's enough for him to make his defender, usually the rim protector, worried and busy. That usually opens the lane for drives. He's far from a liability.


His calling card is his defense, and it's the reason why he'll continue to get paid. Granted this is just one example, DeAndre Jordan being another one. To put it briefly, the $$$ you command has absolutely nothing to do with who's more valuable to a team and/or who's better at a given moment or long-term, whether it's based on what you can do on offense. You mention Kanter and Love, as if OKC and CLE had any other options available.....for Christ's sake, look how much Kris Middleton and Reggie Jackson are getting paid.

Kanter actually signed an offer sheet with the Blazers, and OKC matched it. Love didn't even visit with other teams, if I'm not wrong, but he would have no shortage of suitors offerering the max if he decided to leave.


This thread is about who's better individually, and you're arguing for a guy who plays well on ONE side of the court ('Melo). Basketball has two sides to it. Even if their efficiency #s are comparable all things being equal, one is still more VASTLY superior to the other defensively (Leonard). Honestly, I'm not even sure what we're arguing anymore.

Basketball has a lot of sides. Individual offense and individual defense are different than team offense and defense. Is it really just me? It's clear as day, in my opinion. An elite offensive player can control his team's offense entirely while he's on the floor. An elite defender, can't do the same with team's defense. On offense, you can do all by yourself, but on defense, you'll need everyone to play their best.

Take a close game, for instance. The best offensive player you can think of, playing against the best defender you can think of. All the defender can do is make it more difficult for the offensive player to score, but that's it. The offensive player can hit a perfect shot, he can step back, he can go right past the defender, and he can make a great pass to someone open below the rim, and there's nothing the elite defender can do. At the end of the day, the offensive controls what happens.

EDUTEXANS
09-09-2015, 06:59 PM
K I guess you have some weird understanding of liabilities on offense then if you think Howard and Ariza aren't. If they were average defensive players they would be end of the bench types, or probably not even in the league. Kanter and Love got max money because their teams are contenders and can't afford to lose rotation players. Deandre Jordan also got max money, and he has no offensive game if his hands don't touch the rim.

It's true NBA salaries reward offense more, but that's mainly because offense is much more rare. Once they're on the court, it all counts the same. The league is full of Bruce Bowen types, wing athletes without a ton of basketball skill. But the basketball world is also full of Aaron Brooks types, pure offensive guards who can't stick because of defense. For years Thibs created offense out of nothing by dumpster diving for quick guards, yet stupid GMs will still give someone like Love or Joe Johnson max contracts either because they're scared or because it's a decision they must make for the team (like the Cavs did).

I don't really have the time to address this, and I think my next post does it anyway.

But that's it. Elite offense is much more rare. So, that means offensive players have a place before the defensive one, which makes individual offense much more valuable than defense.

EDUTEXANS
09-09-2015, 07:22 PM
By the way, I see you guys bringing up Howard and Jordan, and as we were comparing Anthony and Leonard, I don't if I made myself clear. Everything I'm saying about individual offense being more important than defense is based mostly on perimeter players. Elite defensive bigs have a much bigger impact than elite perimeter defenders, and that's why I almost went with Gasol.

kdspurman
09-09-2015, 08:09 PM
Don't think it's that cut and dry that elite defensive bigs have a much bigger impact than elite wing defenders.

tredigs
09-10-2015, 10:07 AM
I don't really have the time to address this, and I think my next post does it anyway.

But that's it. Elite offense is much more rare. So, that means offensive players have a place before the defensive one, which makes individual offense much more valuable than defense.
I challenge you to back this up.

Point is, Kawhi is better defensively than Melo has ever been at anything. He's also an upper echelon offensive talent. Easily above 85% of the league. The fact that he/melo is a debate to some still cracks me up. It is not CLOSE as to who is the more dominant + impactful player.

EDUTEXANS
09-10-2015, 02:52 PM
I challenge you to back this up.

Point is, Kawhi is better defensively than Melo has ever been at anything. He's also an upper echelon offensive talent. Easily above 85% of the league. The fact that he/melo is a debate to some still cracks me up. It is not CLOSE as to who is the more dominant + impactful player.

Not sure what I should be backing up, after a thousand posts, but anyway...

Anthony was a 2nd All-NBA team just two years ago, when he led the league in scoring and the Knicks to 54 wins and the 2nd seed, with Tyson Chandler, Amare and JR Smith as best teammates. He actually finished 3rd in MVP voting that year. In the 67 games he's played in, the Knicks won 47. The year after, he had to deal with an even worse team, and he still managed to have one of his best statistical seasons. Last season, he just missed too many games, but he still had a productive year, stat-wise. I'm sure age will catch up to him, but until proven otherwise, I'm still taking him. He still wasn't declining the season before, and last season, we just couldn't tell, IMO.

Unless you don't think Anthony is an elite offensive player (which I do, but it's dabateable), I still think an elite offensive player (even if he's a defensive liability) is more valuable than an elite defender who's also a good offensive player. As Flea said, while trying to disagree, but actually agreeing with me, you can much more easily find great (sure, maybe not Kawhi-great, but still great) defensive players and good offensive players than elite offensive players like Melo.

I'd love to see Anthony's impact on a great team like Kawhi has played for his entire career.

EDUTEXANS
09-10-2015, 02:58 PM
Serious question, before last season, that means after the 2013-14 season, would anyone argue that Leonard was better than Anthony? Just so I can follow your arguments.

tredigs
09-10-2015, 04:41 PM
Well, let's break it down a little. It's fair to say that Melo's 2 year stretch from the 2012/13 season to 2013/14 year 2 seasons ago was the best of his career. He was an outside MVP candidate one of the years (tho' never a threat to win) due to being a relatively efficient volume scorer as the best player on 54+37 win teams. He was also able to lead the Knicks past an aging/depleted .500 Celtics squad in the first round for the 2nd time in his career (before falling to a 22 yr old baby PG + the 49 win Pacers in the 2nd round). In the following year, he wasn't quite able to lead the lowly squad to a playoff birth in a conference that saw a 38-44 win team go 7 in the 1st round. Last season, he was the best player on a 17 win team (10-30 in games Melo played).

Meanwhile in the West, a young/growing Kawhi has slowly been evolving into the most feared perimeter defender in the NBA. In Melo's best season, it was Kawhi who held the Larry O'Brian + Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy while posting 18 and 6 with a 75% TS while showcasing himself as the best defender in the series (a series that included Lebron James and Tim Duncan). Last year, he took another leap and parlayed the Finals MVP win into a regular season per-36 posting of 19/8/3 while leading the NBA in SPG while playing just 31.8 mpg (only 30+ mpg player on the team). They came within one win of the #2 seed and that was in large part to Kawhi missing 16 games and the team being a merely .500 squad without him. He still finished 12th in MVP voting despite the missed action. His #'s in 2014/15 alone in RPM (7.57), BPM (6.1), O-Rating (113), D-Rating (96*#1 NBA), WS/48 (.204), PER (22.0) and VORP (4.1) would rank #1, #1, T-#1, #1, #1, #5 and #2 respectively in comparison to a mismash of Melo's best showing in each category over his 12 year career.

He has two awards better than anything Melo has achieved (Finals MVP + DPOY), and is only getting better. Melo is not even an elite offensive player, that's too broad of a stroke for him. At his peak he is an elite scorer (tho' never the best at it), but lacks the playmaking ability to pull it all together in a way that sets him above the other elite offensive talents that can hurt you in a myriad of ways on that end. Defensively, he is a sieve and hurts his team. Kawhi on the other hand is arguably playing the most dominant wing defense of our generation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hnZ_knty6s), and helps the Spurs significantly on the offensive end (as their top scorer in the regular/post season and a gradually improving playmaker). Overall, he is a significantly more dominant/important player than Melo.

flea
09-10-2015, 04:56 PM
Unless you don't think Anthony is an elite offensive player (which I do, but it's dabateable), I still think an elite offensive player (even if he's a defensive liability) is more valuable than an elite defender who's also a good offensive player. As Flea said, while trying to disagree, but actually agreeing with me, you can much more easily find great (sure, maybe not Kawhi-great, but still great) defensive players and good offensive players than elite offensive players like Melo.

I'd love to see Anthony's impact on a great team like Kawhi has played for his entire career.

I never said you can more easily find "great" defensive players. There are only a handful of great defensive players ever in the game at a time, just as there are only a handful of great offensive players. It is easier to find above average defensive players though than it is to find above average offensive players - though neither is particularly hard. There are a ton of great offensive guards playing overseas because of their defense.

The most difficult thing to find, though, are true 2-way players. I don't mean 2-way as in Kobe/Lebron, I mean guys whose teams build around them on both ends of the floor. Kawhi is one of those guys. To take a bench example, Corey Brewer is one of those guys. He may not be a great shooter or a lights-out swingman, but he is better than average on both ends of the court and ends up being able to play big minutes and positively impact his team. All else equal, I'd much rather have a Corey Brewer as my 6th man than Jamal Crawford or Isaiah Thomas.

Melo is just a loser, he's got a good offensive game but he doesn't impact the game enough at this level. The NBA always has guys who put up points efficiently, and they're good players, but they're not winners. Dominique Wilkins, Ray Allen, etc. Build a perfect team around them and you can win, otherwise they won't do much for you but sell regular season tickets and maybe a couple rounds of the playoffs if you're lucky.

EDUTEXANS
09-10-2015, 06:58 PM
Well, let's break it down a little. It's fair to say that Melo's 2 year stretch from the 2012/13 season to 2013/14 year 2 seasons ago was the best of his career. He was an outside MVP candidate one of the years (tho' never a threat to win) due to being a relatively efficient volume scorer as the best player on 54+37 win teams. He was also able to lead the Knicks past an aging/depleted .500 Celtics squad in the first round for the 2nd time in his career (before falling to a 22 yr old baby PG + the 49 win Pacers in the 2nd round). In the following year, he wasn't quite able to lead the lowly squad to a playoff birth in a conference that saw a 38-44 win team go 7 in the 1st round. Last season, he was the best player on a 17 win team (10-30 in games Melo played).

Meanwhile in the West, a young/growing Kawhi has slowly been evolving into the most feared perimeter defender in the NBA. In Melo's best season, it was Kawhi who held the Larry O'Brian + Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy while posting 18 and 6 with a 75% TS while showcasing himself as the best defender in the series (a series that included Lebron James and Tim Duncan). Last year, he took another leap and parlayed the Finals MVP win into a regular season per-36 posting of 19/8/3 while leading the NBA in SPG while playing just 31.8 mpg (only 30+ mpg player on the team). They came within one win of the #2 seed and that was in large part to Kawhi missing 16 games and the team being a merely .500 squad without him. He still finished 12th in MVP voting despite the missed action. His #'s in 2014/15 alone in RPM (7.57), BPM (6.1), O-Rating (113), D-Rating (96*#1 NBA), WS/48 (.204), PER (22.0) and VORP (4.1) would rank #1, #1, T-#1, #1, #1, #5 and #2 respectively in comparison to a mismash of Melo's best showing in each category over his 12 year career.

You can't blame Melo for not having a team like Kawhi does. Playoff is always a grey area. Seriously, take a look at the the Knicks's teams since Melo arrived. That 2013-14 team wasn't close to a 54-win team on paper. Hell, the following season's team had no business winning 37 games. Most of the stats you brought up depend a lot of the rest of the team. It's simply impossible to post a high BPM or ORtg when you're the only one creating offense. Melo's 2012-13 season was still miles better than Leonard's last season. The way Melo carried that mess of a team, I don't think Leonard will ever be able to do. I hope, at least. He certainly can't right now, in my opinion.

And my point is, Melo is still the same player he was two years ago, until proven otherwise.


He has two awards better than anything Melo has achieved (Finals MVP + DPOY), and is only getting better. Melo is not even an elite offensive player, that's too broad of a stroke for him. At his peak he is an elite scorer (tho' never the best at it), but lacks the playmaking ability to pull it all together in a way that sets him above the other elite offensive talents that can hurt you in a myriad of ways on that end. Defensively, he is a sieve and hurts his team. Kawhi on the other hand is arguably playing the most dominant wing defense of our generation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hnZ_knty6s), and helps the Spurs significantly on the offensive end (as their top scorer in the regular/post season and a gradually improving playmaker). Overall, he is a significantly more dominant/important player than Melo.

Well, I've made myself clear about my opinion on perimeter defense. But I'll say two things. First, Leonard is definitely getting better, and I defenitely think he will be better than Melo, but that is not supposed to be the point of the voting. And second, you can't lead the league in scoring, playing alone on offense, and not be a great playmaker. Melo might not be that good creating for others, but he can definitely create for himself. If you score, and you do it efficiently, it doesn't really matter how you do it.


I never said you can more easily find "great" defensive players. There are only a handful of great defensive players ever in the game at a time, just as there are only a handful of great offensive players. It is easier to find above average defensive players though than it is to find above average offensive players - though neither is particularly hard. There are a ton of great offensive guards playing overseas because of their defense.

Then don't say something like "the league is full of Bruce Bowens". It's harder to find (an more importantly, more expensive) elite offensive players than defensive players. And the gap between great or good to elite is much bigger when it comes to offense.


The most difficult thing to find, though, are true 2-way players. I don't mean 2-way as in Kobe/Lebron, I mean guys whose teams build around them on both ends of the floor. Kawhi is one of those guys. To take a bench example, Corey Brewer is one of those guys. He may not be a great shooter or a lights-out swingman, but he is better than average on both ends of the court and ends up being able to play big minutes and positively impact his team. All else equal, I'd much rather have a Corey Brewer as my 6th man than Jamal Crawford or Isaiah Thomas.

That's probably why Brewer has spent his entire career finishing games at the bench while Thomas and Crawford were trying to win games. :confused:


Melo is just a loser, he's got a good offensive game but he doesn't impact the game enough at this level. The NBA always has guys who put up points efficiently, and they're good players, but they're not winners. Dominique Wilkins, Ray Allen, etc. Build a perfect team around them and you can win, otherwise they won't do much for you but sell regular season tickets and maybe a couple rounds of the playoffs if you're lucky.[


Melo has never had a team like Kawhi has had since entering the league. Put 2014-15 Kawhi in the 2012-13 Knicks and they don't make the Playoffs, in my opinion.

EDUTEXANS
09-10-2015, 07:00 PM
Just my opinion guys, and I feel like I've wasted too much time on this. I agree to disagree.

tredigs
09-10-2015, 07:13 PM
Almost none of the posted stats are primarily team dependent, actually. What do you attribute to the Spurs being a .500 team without Kawhi last season? Their drop-off without him is visibly massive at this point. And the "place X player in Y's situation" doesn't hold much water with me. Place Melo on the Spurs in place of Kawhi and they're significantly worse. Also, Melo has been on very good teams; Teams where he had a co-leader beast on his only deep playoff run, and teams where he shared the offensive burden equally.

tredigs
09-10-2015, 07:16 PM
I understand if you're done responding. These off-season debates can get tired. Personally I just don't find it to be a debate, is all. I think Kawhi is visibly very clearly the better player and I think the smartest basketball minds + virtually all stats agree with that.

EDUTEXANS
09-10-2015, 09:04 PM
Oh boy. I completely disagree, but I don't really care. I'm here only because the Rockets forum is always dead when it's offseason.

And yes, those stats take into account team's performance and a lot of other factors you're probably ignoring.

From BB Reference:


BPM relies on a player's box score information and the team's overall performance to estimate a player's performance relative to league average.


And according with the creator of the the Rtgs:


The bigger the role, the more difficult it is to maintain a high ORtg; the smaller the role, the easier it is to be highly efficient. Because of this, Oliver stressed that a player's ORtg should primarily be compared to those of other players in a similar role.


Out of necessity (owing to a lack of defensive data in the basic boxscore), individual Defensive Ratings are heavily influenced by the team's defensive efficiency.

WS is also based on team's winning record, because it relies on points per win. And VORP is obviously based on team poss, instead of the player poss.

If you wanna compare players by advanced stats, you won't ever find the right result, when you've got two players playing such different roles and on such uneven teams. But feel free to try.

And I agree, place Melo on the Spurs and they -might- be worse, but that's only because you're taking fit, and the Spurs have offense coming from a lot of places, and they might actually need defense more than offense. But my point was, put last season's Leonard on the 2013-14 Knicks, asking him to carry the team like Melo did, and I doubt he does. You'd find out that elite defense doesn't win you as many games as elite offense when you don't have a great team around you.

And by co-leader "beast" you mean Chauncey Billups? After those two, the best players left were an washed up Martin, Nene, JR Smith and Dahntay freaking Jones.

And shared the burden equally? Since his third year in the league, Anthony has NEVER posted an USG% below 30%. That 08-09 season? 31.5%, to Billups' 22 (20 in the Playoffs).

flea
09-10-2015, 09:12 PM
I agree blindly following advanced stats leaves you into wormholes. For instance, Dirk has a higher DPM than OPM in the playoffs for his career. There is not a soul on the basketball planet that thinks Dirk is better defensively than he is offensively. But it does tell us he probably doesn't hurt his team (and ups his game on that end in the playoffs).

Having a BPM of 5 on a 50 win team does not necessarily mean you're better than a 3 BPM for a guy on a 60 win team. Having a WS/48 of .15 on a 40 win team means little compared to .20 on a 20 win team. Etc. etc. Team and role first, then we can talk about stats.

tredigs
09-10-2015, 09:25 PM
You're misunderstanding, the whole point of RPM/BPM is to regulate and adjust for your teams performance in relation to your own performance. The "R" (regulated) in RPM is the adjustment of your teammates as well as the opposition. A stat where only Curry/Harden/Lebron/AD rated higher than Kawhi last season. Team/fit certainly factors into the stats, but not to the degree or in the way you seem to think it does. Fool proof? Of course not, far from. But when everything is pointing in one direction, it's probably time to take notice.

In the only year a Melo team made a deep playoff run, it was Chauncey who was their vocal leader and arguably their most important player overall. In the playoffs he put up 21/4/7 on a 65% TS while leading the team in WS/BPM/VORP/O-Rating. In the reg season Melo's #'s were average at best, finishing 3rd or lower among his starters in most of the advanced lines. As usual he shot/scored the most, but that's about it. The prior 2 years (2 years removed from his rookie season) he had AI on the team as the teams co-leading scorer and primary playmaker.

He's been in plenty of different situations, and in all of them he offers one thing: volume shooting/scoring. He brings nothing else to the table that will shift a game in his teams favor.

EDUTEXANS
09-10-2015, 09:56 PM
RPM (from ESPN, ugh) and BPM are different stats and they use different calculations. I left RPM out of my previous post. And 'R' stands for Real. I actually googled regulated plus and minus. Not at all basketball related.

And to say Anthony offers nothing more than volume shooting and scoring is just wrong. Only 39% of Melo's FGM were assisted in 2012-13 and 13-14. Over 60% were unassisted. Leonard last season? 54 and 46. But hey, Melo's not a playmaker. And Leonard is better offensively than 85% of the league.

I'm seriously done now. I'm not even going to look again.

tredigs
09-10-2015, 10:55 PM
RPM is a direct derivative of RAPM, Regulated-Adjusted-Plus-Minus. You're right ESPN is using the term "real", but that is its meaning. You've failed to account for why his RPM would be higher than anything Melo has ever offered, or why the "mighty" Spurs struggle so mightily without him. He offers more overall impact than Melo despite not being the volume ISO scoring threat that Melo is. You say "ugh" to ESPN, yet are enamored by a one-dimensional talent who is overrated as a whole by common fans in large part to networks like ESPN being in love with that particular talent (as it is the talent that sells).