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Shammyguy3
07-17-2016, 01:14 AM
Here we go, kicking off #7. Remember, this is based on RIGHT NOW, not necessarily who was the best this past season, or who will be the best. It's a tricky debate, how much do you factor in the playoffs? Injuries? Team-fit? Etc. Here's what we have so far:

1. Lebron James
2. Stephen Curry
3. Kevin Durant
4. Russell Westbrook
5. Kawhi Leonard
6. Chris Paul
7. Anthony Davis
8. ????

mightybosstone
07-17-2016, 09:18 AM
It's got to be Harden here, and it should have been Harden at No. 7. Here's his resume last season:
1st in minutes played
3rd in field goals made
1st in total points scored
2nd in points per game
6th in total assists and APG (1st among non-PGs)
1st in total rebounds and RPG among all SGs
12th in total steals
8th in PER
15th in TS%
3rd in OWS
6th in WS
12th in WS/48
8th in BPM

Considering this was supposed to be his "down year," that's a pretty insane resume and one that no player left out of the top seven can come close to matching.

cmellofan15
07-17-2016, 09:21 AM
draymond here

harden 7th.

davis went number 7 because of his per lmao.

mightybosstone
07-17-2016, 09:35 AM
draymond here

harden 7th.

davis went number 7 because of his per lmao.
He shouldn't have, because Harden's was better last season.

FraziersKnicks
07-17-2016, 09:58 AM
Harden
George
Cousins

To round out the top 10 for me.

LanceUpperCut
07-17-2016, 10:22 AM
Between Harden and George

JasonJohnHorn
07-17-2016, 11:06 AM
The crazy thing about this is that it could be argued that the Warriors have the best players at each position from 1-4: Curry, Klay, Kevin and Dray.

Insane.

AllBall
07-17-2016, 11:08 AM
I think it's Kyrie at this point. He went to another level in the playoffs.

jimm120
07-17-2016, 11:13 AM
I haven't said anything yet, and I don't think he should go anywhere around here, but if the poll options have people like Wall, Irving, Butler, Aldridge, and Griffin, then Carmelo Anthony should also be there. Average defense (yes, stop calling him a bad defender when he's literally better than 1/2 the people in the poll), good passer (lead team in assists), and still a damn good scorer at 8reb per game. Did I also mention he's the TOP rebounding SF (great rebounding from the sf position).


As for today...Cousins. I'm not biased

WaDe03
07-17-2016, 11:54 AM
The crazy thing about this is that it could be argued that the Warriors have the best players at each position from 1-4: Curry, Klay, Kevin and Dray.

Insane.

It can't be argued at SF.

jason6692
07-17-2016, 12:46 PM
The list alrdy blows but paul george shoulda been in cp spot a while ago so i guess put him here

tredigs
07-17-2016, 01:03 PM
The list alrdy blows but paul george shoulda been in cp spot a while ago so i guess put him here

Not a fan of my 6'9" small forward falling shy of 42% from the field. In reality, he's not even close to as good as CP3 (there's literally no metric you could point to to hint otherwise), let alone better.

KnicksorBust
07-17-2016, 01:46 PM
I think the list looks good... I would have Westbrook behind Kawhi and CP3 but other than that no real problems. But maybe that's just because I'm a Westbrook hater. Although for this 1 season I will have to make an exception. I hope he just gets stupid and puts up like 35-11-8 every game. It's not impossible if they play him 40 mpg. Which they should bc he's a FA and leaving.

Here it's gotta be Harden. Offensively top 4 player in the NBA.

cmellofan15
07-17-2016, 04:34 PM
The crazy thing about this is that it could be argued that the Warriors have the best players at each position from 1-4: Curry, Klay, Kevin and Dray.

Insane.

no one would argue that.

DR_1
07-18-2016, 11:55 AM
Voted for Butler but I changed my mind - Paul George is my real vote

FlashBolt
07-18-2016, 11:58 AM
Rumors have it that those who voted for AD have still not made an argument for AD.

ManRam
07-18-2016, 12:05 PM
It's still Dray day.

Saddletramp
07-18-2016, 02:14 PM
Voted for Butler but I changed my mind - Paul George is my real vote

This translates to "I know Butler won't win but I don't want Harden to win so I'm just going to vote for the only guy in Harden's way."

Pretty transparent and weak, bro.

DR_1
07-18-2016, 03:45 PM
This translates to "I know Butler won't win but I don't want Harden to win so I'm just going to vote for the only guy in Harden's way."

Pretty transparent and weak, bro.

No, it translates to: I voted for Butler but upon further consideration decided George was better. I have nothing against Harden, in fact he is one of my favorite players.

mightybosstone
07-18-2016, 05:46 PM
It's pretty obvious that the people who hate Harden are just going to look for any excuse not to vote for him. He was very clearly a close second to Davis, and now the same people who overrated Davis are just voting for George so Harden can't win. The Harden hate has gotten way out of hand, and I'm beginning to realize why I left this forum in the first place...

Hawkeye15
07-18-2016, 05:49 PM
Harden here for me

Hawkeye15
07-18-2016, 05:50 PM
It's pretty obvious that the people who hate Harden are just going to look for any excuse not to vote for him. He was very clearly a close second to Davis, and now the same people who overrated Davis are just voting for George so Harden can't win. The Harden hate has gotten way out of hand, and I'm beginning to realize why I left this forum in the first place...

oh I ****ing hate Harden, but he is clearly the best SG in the game. I would love to see Klay try and be the entire offense and need to create for himself and his teammates nightly. No way he can sustain his defensive advantage over Harden, and remain efficient handling the ball that much. We saw Harden's efficiency when he was asked to be part of an offense, versus be the offense.

Bruno
07-18-2016, 06:13 PM
It's pretty obvious that the people who hate Harden are just going to look for any excuse not to vote for him. He was very clearly a close second to Davis, and now the same people who overrated Davis are just voting for George so Harden can't win. The Harden hate has gotten way out of hand, and I'm beginning to realize why I left this forum in the first place...

you sound like 2012 era Laker fan.

FOXHOUND
07-18-2016, 07:02 PM
Voted for Paul George for same reasons as before.

WaDe03
07-18-2016, 07:06 PM
Rumors have it that those who voted for AD have still not made an argument for AD.

My argument is that he's injured every year but he's made the playoffs before.

DR_1
07-18-2016, 08:06 PM
It's pretty obvious that the people who hate Harden are just going to look for any excuse not to vote for him. He was very clearly a close second to Davis, and now the same people who overrated Davis are just voting for George so Harden can't win. The Harden hate has gotten way out of hand, and I'm beginning to realize why I left this forum in the first place...
I love Harden. I was just very dissapointed with his regression on the defensive end last season

Shammyguy3
07-18-2016, 09:01 PM
Voted for Butler but I changed my mind - Paul George is my real vote

Traitor!!! Butler's better

ManRam
07-18-2016, 10:36 PM
i'll die on this mountain all alone if i have to, but 2014-15 jimmy butler is the best jimmy butler we'll ever see.

DR_1
07-18-2016, 11:15 PM
Traitor!!! Butler's better

Lol

Monta is beast
07-18-2016, 11:29 PM
Zaza pachulia

tredigs
07-19-2016, 01:37 AM
PG won lol. Well he did have a fantastic first 2 months to the season, so there is that.

FlashBolt
07-19-2016, 03:05 AM
Mighty, how is Harden better than PG? Can you make a case that he is besides just saying everyone is a Harden-hater? It's getting a bit annoying if you just keep calling everyone that. No one is saying Harden sucks but please stop discounting defense and leadership as if they don't matter.

tredigs
07-19-2016, 03:36 AM
Mighty, how is Harden better than PG? Can you make a case that he is besides just saying everyone is a Harden-hater? It's getting a bit annoying if you just keep calling everyone that. No one is saying Harden sucks but please stop discounting defense and leadership as if they don't matter.
Harden showed more leadership in his WCF run than we have ever seen from PG, and his offense is takover level. PG is a very fun/solid 2 way All Star level player, but he doesn't have Harden's dominance in his repertoire. Never has. #'s over the seasons back that up pretty clearly if the eye test does not

DR_1
07-19-2016, 09:10 AM
Harden showed more leadership in his WCF run than we have ever seen from PG, and his offense is takover level. PG is a very fun/solid 2 way All Star level player, but he doesn't have Harden's dominance in his repertoire. Never has. #'s over the seasons back that up pretty clearly if the eye test does not

The WCF run was over a year ago though. I would take Harden then, but George now.

mightybosstone
07-19-2016, 10:22 AM
Mighty, how is Harden better than PG? Can you make a case that he is besides just saying everyone is a Harden-hater? It's getting a bit annoying if you just keep calling everyone that. No one is saying Harden sucks but please stop discounting defense and leadership as if they don't matter.

How about literally every single major advanced statistical barometer there is? Is that good enough for you?
PER? Harden.
WS? Harden.
WS/48? Harden.
TS%? Harden.
BPM? Harden.
And those aren't even close. Harden dominates George in every single one of them by a mile. And it doesn't stop there. Harden kills George in most basic statistics, including scoring, assists, minutes, etc. George only has the slightest of edges in steals and boards.

But if we look at their games overall, Harden is just a better basketball player. He's the vastly superior scorer, far more efficient, he's been the better shooter throughout their careers and he's clearly a far superior playmaker. George is only a marginally better rebounder, and his only major edge is on the defensive side of the court. Is his advantage there substantial? Yes. But there are statistics that take defense into account in addition to offense (like WS, BPM, etc.), all of which suggest Harden is the superior basketball player.

I'm sorry, but this idea that just because a player is better on defense that it automatically makes up a massive advantage on the offensive end is completely ludicrous. Competent defensive players are a dime a dozen, but you can count on one hand the number of players who can do what Harden does on a nightly basis. He IS the Houston Rockets from a production standpoint.

The guy put up freaking 29/7/6 last season! He's only the fourth guy to ever accomplish the feat and the other three guys are top 15 all-time players, including arguably the two greatest of all time (MJ and Lebron)! And if we were to go back and look at other players throughout history who put up ridiculous numbers and played atrocious defense, I assure you the list would not stop at Harden. What about Barry, Gervin, Magic, Nash, Iverson, etc. Nobody hated Nash half as much as they hate Harden, and he was a far worse defender than James and nowhere nearly as dominant from an overall production standpoint.

So there, my rant is over. But it's safe to say that I'm done with this voting process at this point. I just can't handle the amount of the hate the guy gets, and the lack of valid reasons to vote other players over him is just staggeringly low. I'm not going to keep beating my head against a brick wall on this. You guys don't want to vote for the guy? Fine. This list has consistently been a joke year in and year out anyway.

Tony_Starks
07-19-2016, 10:44 AM
Paul George

Tony_Starks
07-19-2016, 10:47 AM
I think it's Kyrie at this point. He went to another level in the playoffs.

I'm with you in spirit but Kyrie being top 10 is a hard sell for most of these guys.

By the end of next season I believe he makes it officially obvious though.

kdspurman
07-19-2016, 10:54 AM
Can't stand Harden, but I had him the last 2 slots.. I think with the direction the Rockets are going in, he should thrive in that sort of style.

I think I kinda get the PG votes more than the Davis votes though

Vee-Rex
07-19-2016, 10:54 AM
I'm conflicted, man... because if a random person who has no interest in basketball just look at the numbers, they'll easily conclude that James Harden is the better player. He's got the 'efficiency' argument and is a better offensive player. You look at George and see a guy that's typically inefficient.

But I'm a HUGE proponent of the playoffs when teams are scheming and locking down defensively. James Harden's TS% and PER directly and wholly corresponds to his FTr. When he doesn't get foul calls (2 of the last 3 playoff years he didn't), his TS% significantly plummets. His efficiency is entirely dependent on the whistle of the refs.

Sure, we measure a player's ability based on the entire year, but everything is pointless if a player isn't better than another in the playoffs. It's not like George has failed to get his team to the playoffs in his career.

George isn't automatic in the playoffs either, but my gut feeling tells me that he's just the better player when it matters. When challenged, when under the pressure of an intense defense, when schemed for, I see George rising to the occasion OFFENSIVELY about as evenly as Harden, if not more. When we factor in the defense, George rounds out to be the better player IMO. He's got more fire and will fight tooth and nail, play by play by play, especially during crunch time. Harden seems more likely to give up than George.

I won't argue against people siding with Harden because it's kinda close, just throwing out my reason for George. You guys can have your regular season wonders, gun-to-my-head or to my family's heads I'm taking George in a playoff series.

Vee-Rex
07-19-2016, 11:08 AM
I had a buddy named Tom (white kid, not that it matters heh) that would dominate in games of "33" whenever we hooped. His jumper was smooth, he finished well in the lane. He could get buckets pretty easily. Everyone defending him would just defend him normally.

But when we all played an actual game and everyone gave it their all, he was crap. When defenders made an effort to play him tight and give him little space, he would miss a ton of shots.

I realize Harden is a top player on the planet and he'd destroy dudes just trying to play him tightly, but the context is still similar. When a defense schemes around him, his offense isn't anywhere as good as it is in the regular season (unless he's getting the whistle).

FlashBolt
07-19-2016, 11:19 AM
Harden showed more leadership in his WCF run than we have ever seen from PG, and his offense is takover level. PG is a very fun/solid 2 way All Star level player, but he doesn't have Harden's dominance in his repertoire. Never has. #'s over the seasons back that up pretty clearly if the eye test does not

I never saw much leadership. Clippers just had a total collapse. James Harden completely stunk it up in the WCF and can you remember teammates never celebrating a game winner in the playoffs from their best player? That's just unheard of. Even the Dwight Howard drama and the turnover of their players has got to make you wonder who's leading that team. Getting McHale fired was just another solid piece of evidence that James Harden was tough to coach. I think he was promoting the firing of McHale and McHale has been on Harden for coming into the season overweight. Two years ago, Harden said that in order for the Rockets to be better, he has to play defense. Two years later, his defense has gotten worse. I'm not sure what leadership he is showing at all. Maybe people love his ability to play offensive basketball but it's completely stupid to ignore defense. Isn't that why Draymond is ranked so highly? If he didn't play defense, he wouldn't even sniff top ten or top 15. Leonard as well. So we can't rank players highly for their defense and then not rank a player accordingly for a lack of.

FlashBolt
07-19-2016, 11:27 AM
How about literally every single major advanced statistical barometer there is? Is that good enough for you?
PER? Harden.
WS? Harden.
WS/48? Harden.
TS%? Harden.
BPM? Harden.
And those aren't even close. Harden dominates George in every single one of them by a mile. And it doesn't stop there. Harden kills George in most basic statistics, including scoring, assists, minutes, etc. George only has the slightest of edges in steals and boards.

But if we look at their games overall, Harden is just a better basketball player. He's the vastly superior scorer, far more efficient, he's been the better shooter throughout their careers and he's clearly a far superior playmaker. George is only a marginally better rebounder, and his only major edge is on the defensive side of the court. Is his advantage there substantial? Yes. But there are statistics that take defense into account in addition to offense (like WS, BPM, etc.), all of which suggest Harden is the superior basketball player.

I'm sorry, but this idea that just because a player is better on defense that it automatically makes up a massive advantage on the offensive end is completely ludicrous. Competent defensive players are a dime a dozen, but you can count on one hand the number of players who can do what Harden does on a nightly basis. He IS the Houston Rockets from a production standpoint.

The guy put up freaking 29/7/6 last season! He's only the fourth guy to ever accomplish the feat and the other three guys are top 15 all-time players, including arguably the two greatest of all time (MJ and Lebron)! And if we were to go back and look at other players throughout history who put up ridiculous numbers and played atrocious defense, I assure you the list would not stop at Harden. What about Barry, Gervin, Magic, Nash, Iverson, etc. Nobody hated Nash half as much as they hate Harden, and he was a far worse defender than James and nowhere nearly as dominant from an overall production standpoint.

So there, my rant is over. But it's safe to say that I'm done with this voting process at this point. I just can't handle the amount of the hate the guy gets, and the lack of valid reasons to vote other players over him is just staggeringly low. I'm not going to keep beating my head against a brick wall on this. You guys don't want to vote for the guy? Fine. This list has consistently been a joke year in and year out anyway.

So the 6th best player according to you barely led his team to the playoffs, looked like a complete bozo in the playoffs and had many people rather having the Utah Jazz there instead, can't play defense at all, gets his coach fired after promoting it, his coach calls him out for being overweight, he acknowledged his defense has been terrible for years but still makes zero attempts to correct it. How is he better than George? You're just giving me stats here but Harden literally has the ball for 39 minutes per game. Of course he'll win most advanced statistics when he's getting more opportunity. Pacers are filled with guards who handle the ball so you're comparing two different players here with separate responsibilities. Refer back to the playoffs where Paul George actually shows up to play instead of looking like a lost puppy... Houston had a chance to beat the Warriors with Curry being out and they barely won a freaking game. That's not what the 6th best player does. And I'm sorry you think playing more minutes is a good thing but it really isn't in the modern day. Curry gets things done in 30 minutes. Most superstars are playing around 33-35 minutes tops. Compare them PER36 and include Paul George's defense and it is a no-brainer that they are just as good of basketball players as each other. And defense is impossible to keep track of statistically. Way to ignore HALF THE GAME.

mightybosstone
07-19-2016, 12:17 PM
So the 6th best player according to you barely led his team to the playoffs, looked like a complete bozo in the playoffs and had many people rather having the Utah Jazz there instead, can't play defense at all, gets his coach fired after promoting it, his coach calls him out for being overweight, he acknowledged his defense has been terrible for years but still makes zero attempts to correct it. How is he better than George?
First off, learn how to use punctuation, chief. That's a massive runon sentence. Secondly, all the things you just said are essentially the very basis of the oversimplified media narrative that feeds the hate for James Harden across the country. Hardly any substance behind any of the things you just said. You blamed him for the Rockets firing McHale. Do you know people in the front office? Because I have a ton of questions I'd love you to ask them. You blame him for the Rockets failures in the playoffs, yet fail to acknowledge that the guy was the sole reason they won the one game in the series or that he still put up 27/8/5 in that series.

And, yes, he's bad on defense. We've established that SO MANY times already. As for how he's better than George, I just wrote you a small novel explaining why he's better, yet you literally touched on ZERO of those points that I made. So why in the hell am I even debating with you?


You're just giving me stats here but Harden literally has the ball for 39 minutes per game. Of course he'll win most advanced statistics when he's getting more opportunity.
That's not necessarily true at all. A lot of times, USG% can kill a player's efficiency. Look at Westbrook the year Durant was injured. He put up an obscene 38.4% USG% that season, but his efficiency suffered because of it. He actually posted a higher WS/48 last season with Durant back and a far lower usage rate because he was a far more efficient player. Also, Harden's USG% (32.5) last season was not astronomically higher than George (30.4). Harden just produces more because the guy is a much more dangerous, versatile offensive basketball player. Period.


Pacers are filled with guards who handle the ball so you're comparing two different players here with separate responsibilities.
He has less responsibility because he's not as good of a player. If George were this otherworldly offensive talent, you really think they'd be taking the ball out of his hands in favor of possessions dominated by Monta freaking Ellis? That's insane.


Refer back to the playoffs where Paul George actually shows up to play instead of looking like a lost puppy... Houston had a chance to beat the Warriors with Curry being out and they barely won a freaking game. That's not what the 6th best player does.
Who cares? You're talking about a sample size of a single playoff series in which the Rockets played a MUCH better basketball team, and both guys still lost. You're acting as if one first-round playoff series somehow disqualifies years worth of Harden being a superior basketball player, and it doesn't. At all. And while George did have a very good series, it's not like he was amazing when it counted. The guy was not very good in a Game 6 elimination game (5-14 shooting) and turned the ball over seven times in Game 7. Not exactly Mr. Clutch as you're making him out to be.


And I'm sorry you think playing more minutes is a good thing but it really isn't in the modern day. Curry gets things done in 30 minutes. Most superstars are playing around 33-35 minutes tops. Compare them PER36 and include Paul George's defense and it is a no-brainer that they are just as good of basketball players as each other. And defense is impossible to keep track of statistically. Way to ignore HALF THE GAME.
Curry gets things done in 30 minutes? Yeah, that's because he plays on one of the best teams in the history of the freaking league! Common sense, friend. And I've already addressed defense on numerous occasions. Harden is not good overall on that end on a regular basis. But his impact on the game is still far greater than that of George's. I'm not "ignoring" anything. If you put both guys on the same team with the same relative circumstances, the handful of possessions where George's improved defense would make a difference do not outweigh the way in which Harden's versatile offense can drive a team's entire offensive gameplan. And as I've already stated now (but you refused to acknowledge) the stats that take into account a player's defensive performance (like BPM) still give Harden a significant overall advantage as a basketball player. Period.

Honestly, you barely addressed any of the points I made at all. If you're not going to address any of the things I say, then there's no point in my debating with you. I'm done wasting my time on this argument.

FlashBolt
07-19-2016, 12:30 PM
First off, learn how to use punctuation, chief. That's a massive runon sentence. Secondly, all the things you just said are essentially the very basis of the oversimplified media narrative that feeds the hate for James Harden across the country. Hardly any substance behind any of the things you just said. You blamed him for the Rockets firing McHale. Do you know people in the front office? Because I have a ton of questions I'd love you to ask them. You blame him for the Rockets failures in the playoffs, yet fail to acknowledge that the guy was the sole reason they won the one game in the series or that he still put up 27/8/5 in that series.

And, yes, he's bad on defense. We've established that SO MANY times already. As for how he's better than George, I just wrote you a small novel explaining why he's better, yet you literally touched on ZERO of those points that I made. So why in the hell am I even debating with you?


That's not necessarily true at all. A lot of times, USG% can kill a player's efficiency. Look at Westbrook the year Durant was injured. He put up an obscene 38.4% USG% that season, but his efficiency suffered because of it. He actually posted a higher WS/48 last season with Durant back and a far lower usage rate because he was a far more efficient player. Also, Harden's USG% (32.5) last season was not astronomically higher than George (30.4). Harden just produces more because the guy is a much more dangerous, versatile offensive basketball player. Period.


He has less responsibility because he's not as good of a player. If George were this otherworldly offensive talent, you really think they'd be taking the ball out of his hands in favor of possessions dominated by Monta freaking Ellis? That's insane.


Who cares? You're talking about a sample size of a single playoff series in which the Rockets played a MUCH better basketball team, and both guys still lost. You're acting as if one first-round playoff series somehow disqualifies years worth of Harden being a superior basketball player, and it doesn't. At all. And while George did have a very good series, it's not like he was amazing when it counted. The guy was not very good in a Game 6 elimination game (5-14 shooting) and turned the ball over seven times in Game 7. Not exactly Mr. Clutch as you're making him out to be.


Curry gets things done in 30 minutes? Yeah, that's because he plays on one of the best teams in the history of the freaking league! Common sense, friend. And I've already addressed defense on numerous occasions. Harden is not good overall on that end on a regular basis. But his impact on the game is still far greater than that of George's. I'm not "ignoring" anything. If you put both guys on the same team with the same relative circumstances, the handful of possessions where George's improved defense would make a difference do not outweigh the way in which Harden's versatile offense can drive a team's entire offensive gameplan. And as I've already stated now (but you refused to acknowledge) the stats that take into account a player's defensive performance (like BPM) still give Harden a significant overall advantage as a basketball player. Period.

Honestly, you barely addressed any of the points I made at all. If you're not going to address any of the things I say, then there's no point in my debating with you. I'm done wasting my time on this argument.

1) Oh my, trying to establish himself as an English professor in an online sports forum. Runon isn't a word, btw. You might want to add a hyphen.
2) I never blamed him for the Rockets firing McHale but I did say he promoted his firing. He clearly didn't want him there.
3) You acknowledge he's terrible at defense but don't realize it accounts for half the game? Yes, we established that Harden can play elite defense and is probably top three at it behind Curry/KD. BUT CAN HE PLAY DEFENSE. You're essentially doing what I'm doing except, I'm TELLING you that Harden can't play defense and that is why he isn't my choice. How great would Harden be if he played defense? We might be looking at someone who can be the best player in the world.
4) Harden had a better team than the Pacers. I guess you don't want to hear about that..
5) George had less responsibility offensively because they had Monta and George Hill. Both of those players are more than capable of creating plays for the Pacers whereas Houston just resorted to Harden as the primary ballhandler every possession with Beverley just standing there. But defensively, Paul George was the anchor of that team. I know you don't like to hear about defense but Joakim Noah, Ben Wallace, Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, and various other defensive-minded players are ranked highly because they play defense. Joakim Noah ranked top five in MVP just because he freaking played amazing elite defense. IT MATTERS.
6) Yeah Paul George had a bad game. What about Harden? He had a bad series throughout. Paul George put up a better performance in the playoffs than he does regular season. That's enough to warrant "showing up when it matters." Harden digressed in the playoffs.

I'm not even a fan of either players. I just like Paul George's game better because he is a top two-way player who excels at nearly every facet of the game. You're a Harden fan so you're just being biased. Now I know why you have a rep for being biased. It's not as bad as some Wade fans but wow, you sure act like I am trying to portray Harden as a terrible player. I could care less if he falls anywhere from 6-9. He's an elite player. Sorry if you have an issue with someone who values defense.

cmellofan15
07-19-2016, 12:54 PM
wowwwwww paul george and anthony davis go before harden?? hahahahaha I mean I get that people like to overvalue wing defenders because it's fun to watch, but there is nothing in pg's aresenal that compares with harden's ability to takeover a game on offense.

I mean his impact on the game offensively is a lot more valuable than pg's impact on both ends because george isn't some defensive anchor; he's a wing. Indiana's defense as a team with George compared to last year without him BARELY improved. his amazing defense just doesn't have that great of an impact on the outcome of games. and you can see that in the 5 man units without him on the floor, the defense doesn't typically suffer like the offense of the rockets does without harden.

and LMAO @ George's leadership making him better. could care less about Harden's attitude or demeanor when he is obviously the better, more efficient basketball player.

mightybosstone
07-19-2016, 01:33 PM
1) Oh my, trying to establish himself as an English professor in an online sports forum. Runon isn't a word, btw. You might want to add a hyphen.
As a person who edits copy for a living, I can tell you that we often take hyphens out of words. Don't try to correct the copy of a person who edits as a career.


2) I never blamed him for the Rockets firing McHale but I did say he promoted his firing. He clearly didn't want him there.
Then it's a moot point and has no bearing whatsoever on a conversation regarding Harden's talent as a player in comparison to George. Why are you bringing it up?


3) You acknowledge he's terrible at defense but don't realize it accounts for half the game? Yes, we established that Harden can play elite defense and is probably top three at it behind Curry/KD. BUT CAN HE PLAY DEFENSE. You're essentially doing what I'm doing except, I'm TELLING you that Harden can't play defense and that is why he isn't my choice. How great would Harden be if he played defense? We might be looking at someone who can be the best player in the world.
Except Harden doesn't suck when he's on the court for half of the time. If you pinpoint even his worst defensive games, there's probably only a handful of defensive possessions where you can blame him for a guy scoring that wouldn't have scored with a better defender on him. The guy is still a pretty competent on-the-ball defender with his man in front of him. And he's very good on the glass and at creating turnovers, which are still very critical aspects of defense.

So to say "Harden isn't as good because he sucks half of the time he's on the court" is a wild oversimplification. George is certainly better on that end, but ultimately it probably only makes a difference for a few possessions over the course of an entire game. That's my point. "Harden sucks on defense" is a poor argument because it overvalues what impact his taking a few plays off has over the course of an entire NBA game.



4) Harden had a better team than the Pacers. I guess you don't want to hear about that.
That's not remotely true. What data are you using to prove this point, chief? Indiana had a superior record, point differential and SRS. Indiana had seven guys on the roster who posted at least three win shares last season aside from PG. The Rockets had four outside of Harden. The Rockets had two whole players on the roster who averaged double digits in scoring and played more than 50 games last season. Indiana had four.

In no way, shape or form was Houston's supporting cast better than George's last year.


5) George had less responsibility offensively because they had Monta and George Hill. Both of those players are more than capable of creating plays for the Pacers whereas Houston just resorted to Harden as the primary ballhandler every possession with Beverley just standing there.
False. If put on Houston's roster, George would not be capable of making the plays that Harden does. To suggest otherwise is borderline insane. Do you honestly think this? Have you even watched these two guys player in this careers? Also, to suggest that Hill and Ellis are some great playmaking guards is laughable. They are certainly better than anybody on the Rockets roster outside of Harden, but those guys are not great playmakers.


6) Yeah Paul George had a bad game. What about Harden? He had a bad series throughout. Paul George put up a better performance in the playoffs than he does regular season. That's enough to warrant "showing up when it matters." Harden digressed in the playoffs.
George played Toronto. Harden played a stifling Golden State defense. Different opponents. Different expectations. And you're missing the bigger point here, dude: SAMPLE SIZE!!!!


I'm not even a fan of either players. I just like Paul George's game better because he is a top two-way player who excels at nearly every facet of the game. You're a Harden fan so you're just being biased. Now I know why you have a rep for being biased. It's not as bad as some Wade fans but wow, you sure act like I am trying to portray Harden as a terrible player. I could care less if he falls anywhere from 6-9. He's an elite player. Sorry if you have an issue with someone who values defense.
If you put every legitimate NBA analyst in the country in a room and asked them to provide unbiased perspectives of who the best players in the league are, do you honestly think they would rank George over Harden? Because I certainly don't.

I accept Harden's flaws as much as I praise his strengths, but the guy is simply a better basketball player than Paul George. It goes beyond stats. The guy is a better scorer, a better ball handler, a better playmaker, (historically) a better shooter. He's capable of handling the greater workload and has been healthier throughout the course of his career. Yes, George is a better defender. But in terms of overall impact on the game, I would still gladly take Harden over PG.

And this isn't personal bias talking, so don't even suggest that my being a Rockets fan necessarily makes my points any less valid. That's crap. I'm not suggesting the guy is in the same conversation as Lebron, Curry or Durant. But Paul freaking George? No. He's better than him, and the fact that I've had to spend hours of my life explaining that is getting pretty frustrating.

Chronz
07-19-2016, 01:41 PM
I'm conflicted, man... because if a random person who has no interest in basketball just look at the numbers, they'll easily conclude that James Harden is the better player. He's got the 'efficiency' argument and is a better offensive player. You look at George and see a guy that's typically inefficient.

But I'm a HUGE proponent of the playoffs when teams are scheming and locking down defensively. James Harden's TS% and PER directly and wholly corresponds to his FTr. When he doesn't get foul calls (2 of the last 3 playoff years he didn't), his TS% significantly plummets. His efficiency is entirely dependent on the whistle of the refs.

Sure, we measure a player's ability based on the entire year, but everything is pointless if a player isn't better than another in the playoffs. It's not like George has failed to get his team to the playoffs in his career.

George isn't automatic in the playoffs either, but my gut feeling tells me that he's just the better player when it matters. When challenged, when under the pressure of an intense defense, when schemed for, I see George rising to the occasion OFFENSIVELY about as evenly as Harden, if not more. When we factor in the defense, George rounds out to be the better player IMO. He's got more fire and will fight tooth and nail, play by play by play, especially during crunch time. Harden seems more likely to give up than George.

I won't argue against people siding with Harden because it's kinda close, just throwing out my reason for George. You guys can have your regular season wonders, gun-to-my-head or to my family's heads I'm taking George in a playoff series.

I think the narrative on Harden's playoff woes are overblown. Lots of great players have gotten locked down at some point or another, its hardly damaging in a comparison vs Paul George. Yes, Harden is more reliant on FT's than most scorers but thats not necessarily a negative. Its no different than a guy relying on the 3 and having the defense key in on that. Other avenues open for players and Harden is more than just a slasher. This year he actually had the lowest FT drawn rate of his career and hes taken a greater portion of his shots from distance to compensate, his TS% held steadfast. For his career, Harden actually has a higher ft rate in the playoffs, thats pretty interesting to me.

Playoff series are small sample sizes but if we look at the most relevant samples for both of them (their last 2 playoff appearances) heres what we get.

Harden RS: TS% .602 -- 26.0PER -- .538 FTRate
Harden PS: TS% .605 -- 24.1PER -- .566 FTRate

PG RS: TS% .555 -- 20.5PER -- .351 FTRate
PG PS: TS% .593 -- 22.3PER -- .438 FTRate

Gotta say, didn't think it would be that close but the playoffs do shrink the comparison, especially if this holds up to the test of time.


You can include Harden's last 3-4 years to skew the free throw numbers but before this year it was basically a negligent difference overall and could very easily jump back up(again small sample sizes), in his longest stretch of play during that WCF run, his ft/r was actually higher than his RS marks. Then you have to wonder just how far back do we go before realizing it punishes PG-13 even more. You would argue that PG-13 is a far different player today but I would argue that Harden has also grown, its why I settled on 2 year stretches for both. Harden today is much different than even the version of him going from OKC to Houston. So if you want to include some of his OKC days, his TS% gets stronger.


You can make the case that Harden might be doing too much offensively but we've seen Harden at his best, we know what hes capable of in a more structured unit. I have a feeling we will see it this year.

PG has had one elite playoff series in a loss vs the Raps but given his history and streaky stroke, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets clamped down. Still, the numbers point to a guy who raises his level of play and I honestly found Indiana's offense offensive to basketball so its amazing he was able to be so efficient, he truly can take over Kobe/Tmac style with his mid range game when its on. But was he really any different in defeat than Harden has been?

FOXHOUND
07-19-2016, 01:50 PM
Harden is a ball hog, gives no effort on D and created a tumultuous environment with his play style and attitude. When Curry got hurt, he had the opportunity to make a series of it with GS. Klay Thompson, who in my book secured himself as the best SG during that playoff run, put an end to that talk. You can't point to Harden's stats while ignoring how his insane level of ball dominance limits everyone around him. Meanwhile, with a guy like Klay, he can do everything so well within the flow of the offense that nobody is hindered in the slightest.

James Harden may be a great individual player, but guys like Klay and George have proven to be that plus being great team players. When Toronto opened the door for an upset with Lowry and DeRozan having a horrible series, George's D on DeRozan being a big part of that mind you, George took that opportunity and had a great series getting Indiana to game 7 where they only lost by 5 points.

I would take George and Klay over Harden, but I give respect to George for being more proven over time. George also led the Pacers and gave the super stacked Heat a hell of a series in back-to-back ECF. These are feats that I admire and respect, feats that I want to see from my best player. For Harden, I remember him playing horrendous in leading to Houston being upset by Portland. I remember him needing an all-time collapse by the Clippers to reach the WCF while he had a horrible series. In that enormous game 6 Harden went 5-20 and was benched for Corey Brewer in the 4th when they made their miraculous comeback.

Dwight Howard was their best player in that playoff run, these are things that shouldn't be ignored. Harden is a very good player, but an overrated stat stuffer. He didn't even make an All-NBA team this year, while George and Klay did. How can it be ridiculous to say that they are better today? It's the other way around.

tredigs
07-19-2016, 01:58 PM
The idea that "defense is half the game" is flat out wrong when talking about individual players, and specifically wing defenders. A dominant offensive player dictates action and can manipulate MULTIPLE defenders at a time while scoring/dishing points. A wing defender can guard one man, and if he's amazing at it, may hold him to under 40% from the field for the game instead of that players usual let's say 47% from the field. Players like Harden can account for more than half his teams points on a given night between points/assists (and closer to 75% of that total when they are on the floor). Being dominant/flexible on D is important (it's PART of why Draymond is a top-10 level player in the NBA, but without his flexible arsenal offensively he surely would not be), but it's never going to be as important as being the best on the other end. The way the game is played guarantees that.

Saddletramp
07-19-2016, 02:20 PM
In a few weeks I wouldn't be surprised to hear "......Korver plays better defense and when his three stroke is on, it's ON. So that's why I'm picking him over Harden......"

Vee-Rex
07-19-2016, 02:31 PM
I think the narrative on Harden's playoff woes are overblown. Lots of great players have gotten locked down at some point or another, its hardly damaging in a comparison vs Paul George. Yes, Harden is more reliant on FT's than most scorers but thats not necessarily a negative. Its no different than a guy relying on the 3 and having the defense key in on that. Other avenues open for players and Harden is more than just a slasher. This year he actually had the lowest FT drawn rate of his career and hes taken a greater portion of his shots from distance to compensate, his TS% held steadfast. For his career, Harden actually has a higher ft rate in the playoffs, thats pretty interesting to me.

Playoff series are small sample sizes but if we look at the most relevant samples for both of them (their last 2 playoff appearances) heres what we get.

Harden RS: TS% .602 -- 26.0PER -- .538 FTRate
Harden PS: TS% .605 -- 24.1PER -- .566 FTRate

PG RS: TS% .555 -- 20.5PER -- .351 FTRate
PG PS: TS% .593 -- 22.3PER -- .438 FTRate

Gotta say, didn't think it would be that close but the playoffs do shrink the comparison, especially if this holds up to the test of time.


You can include Harden's last 3-4 years to skew the free throw numbers but before this year it was basically a negligent difference overall and could very easily jump back up(again small sample sizes), in his longest stretch of play during that WCF run, his ft/r was actually higher than his RS marks. Then you have to wonder just how far back do we go before realizing it punishes PG-13 even more. You would argue that PG-13 is a far different player today but I would argue that Harden has also grown, its why I settled on 2 year stretches for both. Harden today is much different than even the version of him going from OKC to Houston. So if you want to include some of his OKC days, his TS% gets stronger.


You can make the case that Harden might be doing too much offensively but we've seen Harden at his best, we know what hes capable of in a more structured unit. I have a feeling we will see it this year.

PG has had one elite playoff series in a loss vs the Raps but given his history and streaky stroke, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets clamped down. Still, the numbers point to a guy who raises his level of play and I honestly found Indiana's offense offensive to basketball so its amazing he was able to be so efficient, he truly can take over Kobe/Tmac style with his mid range game when its on. But was he really any different in defeat than Harden has been?

Fair enough.

One thing that stats doesn't account for is consistency. You can average 25ppg points via 25 for 2 games, or, via 40 and 10 in 2 games.

As great as an offensive player Harden is, he can be surprisingly inconsistent. Offense is the only thing he has, so any inconsistencies on that end is just downright frustrating. This becomes an even bigger problem when these inconsistencies occur in the playoffs. It's easy to look at Harden's stats after-the-fact, but only when we watch games and see that he dominated (with 25FTA) one game and absolutely stunk the other game, do we feel a little more 'neglected' so to speak by his performance. Maybe that's why I'm a little more down on Harden despite his obvious statistical domination. Harden is a top 9-11 player for me.

Also, I think George, under specific circumstances, can either exceed Harden's offensive production (remember he's inconsistent), match it, or fall just below it. Harden's offense is not light-years above George's offensive, yet George's defense is light-years above Harden's.

It's an interesting discussion, one close enough to put people at odds. But fair points can be made for either side, I think.

Chronz
07-19-2016, 03:26 PM
Harden is a ball hog, gives no effort on D and created a tumultuous environment with his play style and attitude. When Curry got hurt, he had the opportunity to make a series of it with GS. Klay Thompson, who in my book secured himself as the best SG during that playoff run, put an end to that talk. You can't point to Harden's stats while ignoring how his insane level of ball dominance limits everyone around him. Meanwhile, with a guy like Klay, he can do everything so well within the flow of the offense that nobody is hindered in the slightest.

James Harden may be a great individual player, but guys like Klay and George have proven to be that plus being great team players. When Toronto opened the door for an upset with Lowry and DeRozan having a horrible series, George's D on DeRozan being a big part of that mind you, George took that opportunity and had a great series getting Indiana to game 7 where they only lost by 5 points.

I would take George and Klay over Harden, but I give respect to George for being more proven over time. George also led the Pacers and gave the super stacked Heat a hell of a series in back-to-back ECF. These are feats that I admire and respect, feats that I want to see from my best player. For Harden, I remember him playing horrendous in leading to Houston being upset by Portland. I remember him needing an all-time collapse by the Clippers to reach the WCF while he had a horrible series. In that enormous game 6 Harden went 5-20 and was benched for Corey Brewer in the 4th when they made their miraculous comeback.

Dwight Howard was their best player in that playoff run, these are things that shouldn't be ignored. Harden is a very good player, but an overrated stat stuffer. He didn't even make an All-NBA team this year, while George and Klay did. How can it be ridiculous to say that they are better today? It's the other way around.

I like the intangibles argument you laid out here and I found myself agreeing with much of it. Harden can lose sight of the bigger picture very quickly, hes definitely the most talented/skilled player left in the field but he doesn't seem to have the will/desire to contribute in ways without the ball. Its why for all his statistics, he was left of any All-NBA Team. But we've seen him in OKC be an extremely efficient 2-way player when playing alongside 2 other stars. Granted most of his damage was done off the bench but he would often be their best closer and decision maker down the stretch. Its what landed him a star contract with Morey before he ever really "proved" to be a star. I think its all gotten to his head and hes only committed if he dominates the crap outta the ball. It happened to Tmac as he aged but Harden is at the height of his powers, he should put forth more effort without the ball.


And yes his WCF was abit overrated, for reasons you did and didn't give. Playoffs matter most but the playoff picture isn't clear yet, hard to base PG's superiority off so few games but it does make you think.

CHANGO
07-19-2016, 06:59 PM
If you are the leader of your team and team chemistry sucks, that's on you.

If you are the superstar of your team and team defense sucks mainly because of you, that's on you.

Sorry... I don't care if he can score 40pts on 50FG% if he is a burden on the other side.

EDIT: And please don't bring the "I think he sucks on D because he have to do so much for that offense" do you remember that guy Lebron, when he was on those Cavs with Mo Williams as his second best player? Yeah... He did everything for the offense, and he was one of the bests if not the best defender there too. There are no excuses.

Saddletramp
07-19-2016, 07:41 PM
If you are the leader of your team and team chemistry sucks, that's on you.

If you are the superstar of your team and team defense sucks mainly because of you, that's on you.

Sorry... I don't care if he can score 40pts on 50FG% if he is a burden on the other side.

EDIT: And please don't bring the "I think he sucks on D because he have to do so much for that offense" do you remember that guy Lebron, when he was on those Cavs with Mo Williams as his second best player? Yeah... He did everything for the offense, and he was one of the bests if not the best defender there too. There are no excuses.

Lol, didn't know Harden had to be measured by the Top 5 all time measuring stick.

FOXHOUND
07-19-2016, 08:38 PM
I like the intangibles argument you laid out here and I found myself agreeing with much of it. Harden can lose sight of the bigger picture very quickly, hes definitely the most talented/skilled player left in the field but he doesn't seem to have the will/desire to contribute in ways without the ball. Its why for all his statistics, he was left of any All-NBA Team. But we've seen him in OKC be an extremely efficient 2-way player when playing alongside 2 other stars. Granted most of his damage was done off the bench but he would often be their best closer and decision maker down the stretch. Its what landed him a star contract with Morey before he ever really "proved" to be a star. I think its all gotten to his head and hes only committed if he dominates the crap outta the ball. It happened to Tmac as he aged but Harden is at the height of his powers, he should put forth more effort without the ball.


And yes his WCF was abit overrated, for reasons you did and didn't give. Playoffs matter most but the playoff picture isn't clear yet, hard to base PG's superiority off so few games but it does make you think.

Thanks :cheers:

I could have gone more in depth on that series, but really I didn't want my post to be any longer than it already was lol. I just think between the 2014-15 postseason and the 2015-16 season and postseason, Harden lost himself a lot of standing that he needs to regain. I think that's evident in him completely falling off of the All-NBA teams too.

I don't think that there's any doubt that Harden is one of the most gifted offensive players in the league. It's when you look at the cost of how he goes about it, plus his postseason failures, that the picture muddies. He is someone who can really learn from the mantra that less is more and he very well could do that this upcoming season and catapult right back up the charts.

I also think that the players in a pretty wide range, maybe even arguably 7 down all the way to 20, are fairly close together. It's really only those top 6 guys that have proven themselves to be elite year in, year out. A bunch of the other ones flip flop all over the place season to season and it shows in the All-NBA team selections.

FOXHOUND
07-19-2016, 08:43 PM
In a few weeks I wouldn't be surprised to hear "......Korver plays better defense and when his three stroke is on, it's ON. So that's why I'm picking him over Harden......"

Or you may be hearing that thanks to WS/48 that he's better than Larry Bird. :rolleyes:

Shammyguy3
07-20-2016, 09:34 AM
http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?912473-9th-Best-Player-in-the-NBA

continue here for 9th best player

Shammyguy3
07-20-2016, 09:42 AM
i'll die on this mountain all alone if i have to, but 2014-15 jimmy butler is the best jimmy butler we'll ever see.

I remember you saying this a year ago. He was arguably better this season than that season; he upped his scoring a considerable amount without sacrificing much efficiency; he increased his assist rate (even though he was fighting Rose for the ball half the time); his defense took a step back, which is why the '15 Butler is debatable being better than the '16 Butler.

However, if you look at the numbers this season before Butler got injured and came back to try and get the team to the playoffs, this season's Butler is so much better than last season's in 2015

rhino17
07-20-2016, 09:42 AM
LOL at Davis #7

mightybosstone
07-20-2016, 09:54 AM
Harden is a ball hog, gives no effort on D and created a tumultuous environment with his play style and attitude. When Curry got hurt, he had the opportunity to make a series of it with GS. Klay Thompson, who in my book secured himself as the best SG during that playoff run, put an end to that talk.
The hypocrisy in the Klay vs. Harden conversation is infuriating. Why is it that Harden gets crushed because of a poor performance in the series against Golden State while Klay gets a total pass for his complete disappearing act against Cleveland? Why is it that everyone is so willing to bring up Thompson's great Game 6 performance against OKC that won them that game, but nobody wants to bring up Harden's dominating Game 3 performance that kept an inferior Rockets team in that series? Seriously, what's the justification for it?


You can't point to Harden's stats while ignoring how his insane level of ball dominance limits everyone around him. Meanwhile, with a guy like Klay, he can do everything so well within the flow of the offense that nobody is hindered in the slightest.
This is wildly unfair because you're missing a HUGE component of this conversation, which is that Klay plays around an immensely talented roster. Harden was surrounded by Dwight and a bunch of guys who wouldn't start on 20+ other teams in the league. Does he dominate the ball because he's a ball hog, or does he dominate because he's the only guy on the roster capable of creating his own shot, and there was zero offensive talent around him? As someone who has watched a LOT of Rockets games the last two years, I assure you it's far more the latter than the former.


James Harden may be a great individual player, but guys like Klay and George have proven to be that plus being great team players. When Toronto opened the door for an upset with Lowry and DeRozan having a horrible series, George's D on DeRozan being a big part of that mind you, George took that opportunity and had a great series getting Indiana to game 7 where they only lost by 5 points.
So what? It was a single series, and you failed to mention George's subpar performances in Games 6 and 7. Sorry if I'm failed to be impressed by the sample size of a single series.


I would take George and Klay over Harden, but I give respect to George for being more proven over time. George also led the Pacers and gave the super stacked Heat a hell of a series in back-to-back ECF. These are feats that I admire and respect, feats that I want to see from my best player.
He also missed an entire season of basketball while Harden was finishing second in MVP voting in 2014-15. Without question, 2014-15 Harden is so far superior to anything George has ever achieved in his career, and it's not even close. Harden's best crushes George's best.


For Harden, I remember him playing horrendous in leading to Houston being upset by Portland. I remember him needing an all-time collapse by the Clippers to reach the WCF while he had a horrible series. In that enormous game 6 Harden went 5-20 and was benched for Corey Brewer in the 4th when they made their miraculous comeback.
It's because you're conveniently cherrypicking all of the bad moments of Harden's career to make an argument against him. Where's the mention of his 42-point performance in Game 3 against Dallas, his triple double in an elimination game in Game 5 against LAC or his awesome 38/9/10 and 45/9/5 performances in Games 2 and 5, respectively, against Golden State? Is he inconsistent? Sure. But find me a superstar not named Lebron James who isn't inconsistent in the postseason. How about how inconsistent Thompson and Curry were throughout the postseason last year or Durant's choke job against Golden State in the WCF?


Dwight Howard was their best player in that playoff run, these are things that shouldn't be ignored.
That's completely debatable. In the LAC series? OK, I'll give you that. But he completely disappeared at times against Golden State. If it wasn't for Harden, the Rockets get swept in that series. And he was a nonfactor in a few of those games against Dallas. His defense in the playoffs that year was invaluable, but Harden was still the best player on the floor the majority of those games.


Harden is a very good player, but an overrated stat stuffer. He didn't even make an All-NBA team this year, while George and Klay did. How can it be ridiculous to say that they are better today? It's the other way around.
Who cares? Those awards are voted on by people who care more about narrative than actual value to a team and on-court production. How many MVPs were given to players who weren't actually MVPs in a given year? These are the same people who gave Nash two MVPs and who gave Rose an MVP over Lebron. And those are just the two most recent examples I can give.

Are you going to tell me that Kyle Lowry and Damian Lillard are better players than James Harden? I imagine that will be the debate of the next few votes...

FOXHOUND
07-20-2016, 11:01 AM
The hypocrisy in the Klay vs. Harden conversation is infuriating. Why is it that Harden gets crushed because of a poor performance in the series against Golden State while Klay gets a total pass for his complete disappearing act against Cleveland? Why is it that everyone is so willing to bring up Thompson's great Game 6 performance against OKC that won them that game, but nobody wants to bring up Harden's dominating Game 3 performance that kept an inferior Rockets team in that series? Seriously, what's the justification for it?

Because that's only focusing on one side of the ball and ignoring the D that Klay played which was very good. Those arguments are valid for Klay in general though, which is why he would be this far down the list. Harden has some great games, but he also has some duds and ultimately it's about the overall impact on his team with his style of play.


This is wildly unfair because you're missing a HUGE component of this conversation, which is that Klay plays around an immensely talented roster. Harden was surrounded by Dwight and a bunch of guys who wouldn't start on 20+ other teams in the league. Does he dominate the ball because he's a ball hog, or does he dominate because he's the only guy on the roster capable of creating his own shot, and there was zero offensive talent around him? As someone who has watched a LOT of Rockets games the last two years, I assure you it's far more the latter than the former.

Klay can play the way he does with anyone, and he did just fine when Curry was hurt and he was thrusted into a much bigger role. Klay is better at elevating his team because he does it within the flow, allowing for everyone else to do what they do. You can point to how well Draymond Green played with him while Curry was out, but you can't ignore that Draymond Green cannot be Draymond Green if he isn't allowed to handle the ball as much as he does. He could never do that with Harden, who as I broke down in that other thread, is the most ball dominate non-PG in the NBA by a comfortable margin.

The cause of his ball dominance is both. He's clearly a ball hog, but sure you can argue that the diminishing talent around him has led to him doing it even more. Still, there was no logical reason for him to diminish another star like Dwight that much. You can't get help from teammates unless you allow them the opportunity to help you and that is something that Pringles is going to work hard to show him.


So what? It was a single series, and you failed to mention George's subpar performances in Games 6 and 7. Sorry if I'm failed to be impressed by the sample size of a single series.

Ah, but again that's only if you ignore defense. Sure, he shot like crap in game 6, but who defended DeMar DeRozan to the tune of him going 3-13 for 8 points? Even so, offensively his line was very James Harden-esque. Crappy shooting from the field, a bunch of made FTs to make up for it and a nice dose of rebounds and assists. He wasn't bad in game 7 either. He shot well but was too turnover prone. But once again, his defense in holding DeRozan to 10-32 is very valuable.

That's the thing about Paul George, he can guard the best players in the world and have them play like garbage. He is capable of impacting the game on a large level even if he does go 5-14 like game 6. That's why I voted for him for 7 and 8.


He also missed an entire season of basketball while Harden was finishing second in MVP voting in 2014-15. Without question, 2014-15 Harden is so far superior to anything George has ever achieved in his career, and it's not even close. Harden's best crushes George's best.

A freak injury is nothing to hold against George, especially when talking about who the best player TODAY is.


It's because you're conveniently cherrypicking all of the bad moments of Harden's career to make an argument against him. Where's the mention of his 42-point performance in Game 3 against Dallas, his triple double in an elimination game in Game 5 against LAC or his awesome 38/9/10 and 45/9/5 performances in Games 2 and 5, respectively, against Golden State? Is he inconsistent? Sure. But find me a superstar not named Lebron James who isn't inconsistent in the postseason. How about how inconsistent Thompson and Curry were throughout the postseason last year or Durant's choke job against Golden State in the WCF?

Am I cherry picking or is that just the evidence? Yes, he had some big games in all of those series but overall against the Clippers he still was horrible. He still shot under 40% for the series and he still was completely benched in the 4th for game 6 when their season was saved by a 40-11 drubbing.


That's completely debatable. In the LAC series? OK, I'll give you that. But he completely disappeared at times against Golden State. If it wasn't for Harden, the Rockets get swept in that series. And he was a nonfactor in a few of those games against Dallas. His defense in the playoffs that year was invaluable, but Harden was still the best player on the floor the majority of those games.

Dwight was injured against GS and saying he completely disappeared when he still put up 14-14 with 1.5 STL and 1.8 BLK isn't fair. They lost in 5 to GS, so that one game is irrelevant. If it wasn't for Dwight, they get swept by the Clippers and never make it close to GS, let alone lead one of the best comebacks in NBA history. That takes precedence over anything Harden did that postseason.


Who cares? Those awards are voted on by people who care more about narrative than actual value to a team and on-court production. How many MVPs were given to players who weren't actually MVPs in a given year? These are the same people who gave Nash two MVPs and who gave Rose an MVP over Lebron. And those are just the two most recent examples I can give.

Who cares? Didn't you just cite Harden being 2nd in MVP voting just a couple of paragraphs ago?


Are you going to tell me that Kyle Lowry and Damian Lillard are better players than James Harden? I imagine that will be the debate of the next few votes...

They clearly were, in the regular season, and both clearly had crappy postseasons. Lillard was 2nd Team All-NBA for a reason, because he led a team that people had slotted for dead all the way to the 5th seed. But he was really bad in both playoff series this year. Lillard is another Harden, because his D is god awful. It's still not Harden bad, because at least he tries and isn't giving up on a ton of possessions every game.

But yeah, those two would be a tough debate for me. Lowry I'm not a fan of, but he was still instrumental in leading the Raptors to 56-wins and to game 6 vs Cleveland in the ECF. So if you're asking me who I hold higher TODAY, then yeah he's got plenty a good case against Harden.

You seem to want to pretend that the 2014-15 postseason and 2015-16 regular and postseason never happened and hold Harden to the value of the 2014-15 regular season. The question is best NBA players today and I can't ignore what transpired in the NBA over the past 15 months.

mightybosstone
07-20-2016, 02:13 PM
^ It's safe to say I heartily disagree with everything you just said, but I'm not going to take another hour of my life to write another massive post repeating the same points again. Let's just say we agree to disagree.

ManRam
07-20-2016, 02:49 PM
I remember you saying this a year ago. He was arguably better this season than that season; he upped his scoring a considerable amount without sacrificing much efficiency; he increased his assist rate (even though he was fighting Rose for the ball half the time); his defense took a step back, which is why the '15 Butler is debatable being better than the '16 Butler.

However, if you look at the numbers this season before Butler got injured and came back to try and get the team to the playoffs, this season's Butler is so much better than last season's in 2015

I didn't watch much/any Bulls games this year so I won't argue anything too strong. Looking at his numbers yesterday when I made that post they look very similar, maybe slightly better if you run with the usage argument (which is fair). As is your post-injury comment. His play in March and April does look a bit worse than pre-injury.

Why I felt there wasn't any room for growth, as preposterous as that sounds when commenting on a then-25-year-old, is shooting. I didn't think his 2015 shooting was real. And it certainly did regress last season. Also, I don't think his reputation as a defender will be any better than it already has. I'm probably going to end up being wrong, because I wasn't ever high on Butler and he's already proven me wrong-enough. We'll see.

FlashBolt
07-20-2016, 03:27 PM
^ It's safe to say I heartily disagree with everything you just said, but I'm not going to take another hour of my life to write another massive post repeating the same points again. Let's just say we agree to disagree.

AKA:

"I contradicted the hell outta myself, can't dig out of it, and will just exit this without looking like a fool while still inserting my presence."

FOXHOUND
07-20-2016, 03:32 PM
^ It's safe to say I heartily disagree with everything you just said, but I'm not going to take another hour of my life to write another massive post repeating the same points again. Let's just say we agree to disagree.

Fair enough. :cheers:

mightybosstone
07-20-2016, 04:07 PM
AKA:

"I contradicted the hell outta myself, can't dig out of it, and will just exit this without looking like a fool while still inserting my presence."

AKA: "I left PSD months ago because my job and life no longer allow me the time to post that I used to. I only meant to come back in a more casual sense, and I no longer have the time during the day to spend hours on end regurgitating the same information over and over again that I used to. The fact that I've wasted this much of my time on this topic is just a testament to how much Harden and the Rockets mean to me, and I shouldn't be on here during the day in the first place."

But keep trolling, chief. One day maybe you'll grow up too.