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View Full Version : The only LeBron hypothetical that matters: Memphis Edition



Chronz
04-04-2017, 11:23 PM
Had Memphis won the draft instead of finishing 2nd and ending up with nothing, what could they have done over the years with a Line Up/Roster of;

Jason Williams (28 Years Old)
Mike Miller (23)
LeBron James (18)
Pau Gasol - (23)
Lorenzen Wright (28-RIP)

Earl Watson (24)
Bonzi Wells (27)
James Posey (27)
Shane Battier (25)
Stro Show (24)



Many of these players won titles in similar roles that they might play alongside Bron, especially a young Bron. Keep in mind this team won 50 games without Bron in the West and that their glut of quality wings would likely have been dealt for more interior help.


Do you think Memphis/Jerry West could have done something with a guy like LeBron on board?

KnicksorBust
04-05-2017, 08:10 AM
Nah I think he was better off with Ricky Davis.

Quinnsanity
04-05-2017, 10:50 AM
Let's be realistic here. LeBron does not stay in Memphis past Year 7 (when he left Cleveland). Plop a rookie LeBron onto that 50-win Memphis team, and yes, they do get better, but they don't win the title.

But by Year 2, LeBron was already 27-7-7. So that gives you six seasons to win a championship. There are moves I'd like to make, like swapping White Chocolate for more of a three-point shooting PG (ironically, the ideal would be Mike Bibby). Let's say they find a way to get Derek Fisher after the '04 season, and that costs them White Chocolate. Otherwise, the rest of the core stays in place. Let's go year-by-year and figure this thing out:

'04-'05: The team is too young. They lose to San Antonio who's already en route to a championship.

'05-'06: People forget how good Dallas (and San Antonio, for that matter) were that year. Maybe older LeBron could defend Dirk, but not this version, and Jet runs wild over whoever's playing PG for the Grizz here (I'm assuming Fisher), so let's give the West to Dallas before their eventual loss to Dallas.

'06-'07: I think this is the year Memphis gets championship No. 1. San Antonio was fairly vulnerable (this was their second worst title team IMO, only '03 was worse), and I'm assuming Golden State knocks Dallas off as they did IRL. By this point Duncan isn't the unstoppable force he used to be, and a 35-year-old Bruce Bowen just couldn't physically handle a peaking LeBron.

'07-'08: Here's where things get really interesting. Boston still forms their Big 3, and I think that gets them the title over this hypothetical Memphis team. But remember, Pau is on the Grizzlies here, which means he can't be on the Lakers. That takes a major competitor off the board. No one else in the West during this era would pose a realistic threat to Memphis. LeBron makes the Finals four years in a row.

'08-'09: Grizz make the Finals for the third straight year but lose for the second. Peak Dwight presents the same issues to a team with Pau and Wright (or whatever low end center the Grizz have) that he did to Cleveland IRL. Orlando wins the title in much the same fashion they won the East.

'09-'10: Memphis is back on top. The aging Celtics can't physically keep up.

So you have two titles in seven years for LeBron. From there, I think he basically says, "I've given Memphis all I can, but it's time for a new challenge." What exactly does that mean? I think Miami is off the board, what's the point? He already has two rings, he doesn't have to go to Wade's team, and if he wants to play with Wade he can make him follow him elsewhere. I think the major contenders are Cleveland (for the obvious reasons) and New York/Brooklyn (for all the reasons we thought in the moment in 2010). I don't think he'd be desperate enough for rings to go to MJ's team, so the Bulls are out. Clippers didn't have enough in terms of basketball. The one wildcard here is the Lakers. Maybe, without Pau, they clear the cap space necessary to chase LeBron and pair him with Kobe. Maybe LeBron is enticed by the idea of building his brand in LA, being a Laker legend and basically relegating Kobe to lifetime sidekick status (first for Shaq, then for himself). So that's a possibility. But I feel pretty strongly that LeBron leaves Memphis. He just has too many other interests to stay there, even on a title team.

P.S. I know the butterfly effect exists, and rosters probably aren't exactly the same as they were IRL when it comes to who LeBron would be facing in the playoffs, but I didn't want to go through all of those things and figure out who'd have who, so I just used the IRL teams. It probably balances out anyway.

KnicksorBust
04-05-2017, 11:31 AM
Let's be realistic here. LeBron does not stay in Memphis past Year 7 (when he left Cleveland). Plop a rookie LeBron onto that 50-win Memphis team, and yes, they do get better, but they don't win the title.

But by Year 2, LeBron was already 27-7-7. So that gives you six seasons to win a championship. There are moves I'd like to make, like swapping White Chocolate for more of a three-point shooting PG (ironically, the ideal would be Mike Bibby). Let's say they find a way to get Derek Fisher after the '04 season, and that costs them White Chocolate. Otherwise, the rest of the core stays in place. Let's go year-by-year and figure this thing out:

'04-'05: The team is too young. They lose to San Antonio who's already en route to a championship.

'05-'06: People forget how good Dallas (and San Antonio, for that matter) were that year. Maybe older LeBron could defend Dirk, but not this version, and Jet runs wild over whoever's playing PG for the Grizz here (I'm assuming Fisher), so let's give the West to Dallas before their eventual loss to Dallas.

'06-'07: I think this is the year Memphis gets championship No. 1. San Antonio was fairly vulnerable (this was their second worst title team IMO, only '03 was worse), and I'm assuming Golden State knocks Dallas off as they did IRL. By this point Duncan isn't the unstoppable force he used to be, and a 35-year-old Bruce Bowen just couldn't physically handle a peaking LeBron.

'07-'08: Here's where things get really interesting. Boston still forms their Big 3, and I think that gets them the title over this hypothetical Memphis team. But remember, Pau is on the Grizzlies here, which means he can't be on the Lakers. That takes a major competitor off the board. No one else in the West during this era would pose a realistic threat to Memphis. LeBron makes the Finals four years in a row.

'08-'09: Grizz make the Finals for the third straight year but lose for the second. Peak Dwight presents the same issues to a team with Pau and Wright (or whatever low end center the Grizz have) that he did to Cleveland IRL. Orlando wins the title in much the same fashion they won the East.

'09-'10: Memphis is back on top. The aging Celtics can't physically keep up.

So you have two titles in seven years for LeBron. From there, I think he basically says, "I've given Memphis all I can, but it's time for a new challenge." What exactly does that mean? I think Miami is off the board, what's the point? He already has two rings, he doesn't have to go to Wade's team, and if he wants to play with Wade he can make him follow him elsewhere. I think the major contenders are Cleveland (for the obvious reasons) and New York/Brooklyn (for all the reasons we thought in the moment in 2010). I don't think he'd be desperate enough for rings to go to MJ's team, so the Bulls are out. Clippers didn't have enough in terms of basketball. The one wildcard here is the Lakers. Maybe, without Pau, they clear the cap space necessary to chase LeBron and pair him with Kobe. Maybe LeBron is enticed by the idea of building his brand in LA, being a Laker legend and basically relegating Kobe to lifetime sidekick status (first for Shaq, then for himself). So that's a possibility. But I feel pretty strongly that LeBron leaves Memphis. He just has too many other interests to stay there, even on a title team.

P.S. I know the butterfly effect exists, and rosters probably aren't exactly the same as they were IRL when it comes to who LeBron would be facing in the playoffs, but I didn't want to go through all of those things and figure out who'd have who, so I just used the IRL teams. It probably balances out anyway.

I think we have learned he has two allegiances. Winning and Cleveland. If he is winning in Memphis I can't see him leaving. LeBron and Pau Gasol playing their entire careers together would be too good to pass up. Gasol is basically the perfect robin. If you can handle being Kobe's sidekick then he would be the happiest player in the world playing with LeBron. I think they fall in love and play basically their whole careers together ala Jordan/Pip, Magic/Kareem, Stockton/Malone, etc.

Chronz
04-05-2017, 11:36 AM
Nah I think he was better off with Ricky Davis.
You mean Ricky "I thought they added LeBron to help me score/i need that triple double so I'll shoot at my opponents basket" Davis? That 20 5 5 guy?

KnicksorBust
04-05-2017, 11:45 AM
You mean Ricky "I thought they added LeBron to help me score/i need that triple double so I'll shoot at my opponents basket" Davis? That 20 5 5 guy?

:laugh: I wonder how many guys have done that.

Vee-Rex
04-05-2017, 02:10 PM
Let's be realistic here. LeBron does not stay in Memphis past Year 7 (when he left Cleveland). Plop a rookie LeBron onto that 50-win Memphis team, and yes, they do get better, but they don't win the title.

But by Year 2, LeBron was already 27-7-7. So that gives you six seasons to win a championship. There are moves I'd like to make, like swapping White Chocolate for more of a three-point shooting PG (ironically, the ideal would be Mike Bibby). Let's say they find a way to get Derek Fisher after the '04 season, and that costs them White Chocolate. Otherwise, the rest of the core stays in place. Let's go year-by-year and figure this thing out:

'04-'05: The team is too young. They lose to San Antonio who's already en route to a championship.

'05-'06: People forget how good Dallas (and San Antonio, for that matter) were that year. Maybe older LeBron could defend Dirk, but not this version, and Jet runs wild over whoever's playing PG for the Grizz here (I'm assuming Fisher), so let's give the West to Dallas before their eventual loss to Dallas.

'06-'07: I think this is the year Memphis gets championship No. 1. San Antonio was fairly vulnerable (this was their second worst title team IMO, only '03 was worse), and I'm assuming Golden State knocks Dallas off as they did IRL. By this point Duncan isn't the unstoppable force he used to be, and a 35-year-old Bruce Bowen just couldn't physically handle a peaking LeBron.

'07-'08: Here's where things get really interesting. Boston still forms their Big 3, and I think that gets them the title over this hypothetical Memphis team. But remember, Pau is on the Grizzlies here, which means he can't be on the Lakers. That takes a major competitor off the board. No one else in the West during this era would pose a realistic threat to Memphis. LeBron makes the Finals four years in a row.

'08-'09: Grizz make the Finals for the third straight year but lose for the second. Peak Dwight presents the same issues to a team with Pau and Wright (or whatever low end center the Grizz have) that he did to Cleveland IRL. Orlando wins the title in much the same fashion they won the East.

'09-'10: Memphis is back on top. The aging Celtics can't physically keep up.

So you have two titles in seven years for LeBron. From there, I think he basically says, "I've given Memphis all I can, but it's time for a new challenge." What exactly does that mean? I think Miami is off the board, what's the point? He already has two rings, he doesn't have to go to Wade's team, and if he wants to play with Wade he can make him follow him elsewhere. I think the major contenders are Cleveland (for the obvious reasons) and New York/Brooklyn (for all the reasons we thought in the moment in 2010). I don't think he'd be desperate enough for rings to go to MJ's team, so the Bulls are out. Clippers didn't have enough in terms of basketball. The one wildcard here is the Lakers. Maybe, without Pau, they clear the cap space necessary to chase LeBron and pair him with Kobe. Maybe LeBron is enticed by the idea of building his brand in LA, being a Laker legend and basically relegating Kobe to lifetime sidekick status (first for Shaq, then for himself). So that's a possibility. But I feel pretty strongly that LeBron leaves Memphis. He just has too many other interests to stay there, even on a title team.

P.S. I know the butterfly effect exists, and rosters probably aren't exactly the same as they were IRL when it comes to who LeBron would be facing in the playoffs, but I didn't want to go through all of those things and figure out who'd have who, so I just used the IRL teams. It probably balances out anyway.

I really really like your take on this. I do think there's a good chance LeBron stays with Memphis if he's winning ships, though.

Maybe the big three in Boston win another championship since they'd likely be stronger than the Heatles minus LeBron and reach the finals a couple more times? But it's hard to say if they'd overcome Memphis if they're in the finals. And the crazy part about it - I'm sure Memphis would be even beefier with newer additions as the years went by.

Vee-Rex
04-05-2017, 02:11 PM
You mean Ricky "I thought they added LeBron to help me score/i need that triple double so I'll shoot at my opponents basket" Davis? That 20 5 5 guy?

I liked Ricky Davis at the time in the early 2000's.

Man those were some dark days.

valade16
04-05-2017, 02:16 PM
He'd still suck.

Chronz
04-05-2017, 09:11 PM
I liked Ricky Davis at the time in the early 2000's.

Man those were some dark days.
Do you remember "holy ****"?

Chronz
04-05-2017, 09:12 PM
I really really like your take on this. I do think there's a good chance LeBron stays with Memphis if he's winning ships, though.

Maybe the big three in Boston win another championship since they'd likely be stronger than the Heatles minus LeBron and reach the finals a couple more times? But it's hard to say if they'd overcome Memphis if they're in the finals. And the crazy part about it - I'm sure Memphis would be even beefier with newer additions as the years went by.

Strong take. Will give my thoughts soon

Quinnsanity
04-05-2017, 09:31 PM
I think we have learned he has two allegiances. Winning and Cleveland. If he is winning in Memphis I can't see him leaving. LeBron and Pau Gasol playing their entire careers together would be too good to pass up. Gasol is basically the perfect robin. If you can handle being Kobe's sidekick then he would be the happiest player in the world playing with LeBron. I think they fall in love and play basically their whole careers together ala Jordan/Pip, Magic/Kareem, Stockton/Malone, etc.

Here's the question: which allegiance is stronger, winning or Cleveland? Remember, LeBron left Miami after four straight trips to the Finals and two titles. Yes, they did get shellacked by San Antonio, and that isn't the case in the scenario I outlined above, but look at the roster we're presuming he has. By 2010, Pau is 30, Battier is 32, White Chocolate is long out of the league, Posey has left for a bigger contract and Lorenzen Wright is literally a month away from his death. Obviously there would've been moves. Jerry West was the GM after all. But I think it's entirely possible that LeBron would've looked at an aging roster and seen the writing on the wall, much as he did in Miami, and left for a younger team.

Imagine a world in which Cleveland never gets LeBron. They're probably at the top of the lottery every year until they get a superstar. Maybe it's Dwight in '04. Maybe it's Chris Paul in '05. Maybe it's Aldridge in '06. Maybe it's Durant in '07. Maybe it's Westbrook in '08. But you have to presume, sooner or later, they would've gotten one of those picks right. If you're LeBron and you've already given Memphis two titles, doesn't the idea of pairing with someone much younger than Pau to try to pick up a few more for your home town seem awfully appealing?

Of course, this makes another presumption. How much of LeBron's allegiance to Cleveland is due to being drafted there in the first place? Maybe if he's drafted by Memphis, Cleveland is to him what Washington DC is to Durant, a place with some nice memories but somewhere he has no great compulsion to play for. Without being a Cav for seven years, maybe he wouldn't really care about playing for Cleveland. Who knows.

I'll counter your two allegiances with what I believe are two of LeBron's biggest strengths: he is remarkably forward-thinking as a business man, and he is remarkably forward-thinking as a player. He doesn't make decisions based on immediate gratification. Staying in Miami would've made for an easier title run in 2015. He plays the long game. I think if he were presented with an opportunity to play with younger talent that could compete for a longer period of time, and in a market that made more sense as far as developing either his business interests (like New York) or his personal interests (like Cleveland), I think he really would've considered it.

FlashBolt
04-05-2017, 10:57 PM
I hate these hypotheticals so much because I feel part of LeBron's greatness and the player he is today has been the result of him having to carry so much of the load. It's difficult to say. Would he have became the same player? Would he have felt as inspired playing for the Grizzlies? LeBron is such a dominant passer/scorer because he had to be at an early age. Would he have become a Magic Johnson type player and have a slower progression into being a scorer? No idea. But what I do feel confident is that:

1) He would have more rings.
2) His Finals record would be better.

Hate hypotheticals like I said but if we follow the fact that Western Finals teams usually beat the East, LeBron would be getting into the Finals and playing an inferior East team. (Which is why LeBron-led teams in the Finals are usually overmatched.)

More rings because for seven seasons, he wasted his career with terrible teammates. I think Memphis with P.Gasol, Miller, Battier (who was a very good defender), and they'll make some trades for shooters.. I can see them winning at least two rings. Realistically they'll be playing the Spurs. Not sure how Spurs can handle all that firepower.

IKnowHoops
04-06-2017, 02:32 AM
Lebron + Jerry West = 10 rings

KnicksorBust
04-06-2017, 11:44 AM
Here's the question: which allegiance is stronger, winning or Cleveland? Remember, LeBron left Miami after four straight trips to the Finals and two titles. Yes, they did get shellacked by San Antonio, and that isn't the case in the scenario I outlined above, but look at the roster we're presuming he has. By 2010, Pau is 30, Battier is 32, White Chocolate is long out of the league, Posey has left for a bigger contract and Lorenzen Wright is literally a month away from his death. Obviously there would've been moves. Jerry West was the GM after all. But I think it's entirely possible that LeBron would've looked at an aging roster and seen the writing on the wall, much as he did in Miami, and left for a younger team.

Imagine a world in which Cleveland never gets LeBron. They're probably at the top of the lottery every year until they get a superstar. Maybe it's Dwight in '04. Maybe it's Chris Paul in '05. Maybe it's Aldridge in '06. Maybe it's Durant in '07. Maybe it's Westbrook in '08. But you have to presume, sooner or later, they would've gotten one of those picks right. If you're LeBron and you've already given Memphis two titles, doesn't the idea of pairing with someone much younger than Pau to try to pick up a few more for your home town seem awfully appealing?

Of course, this makes another presumption. How much of LeBron's allegiance to Cleveland is due to being drafted there in the first place? Maybe if he's drafted by Memphis, Cleveland is to him what Washington DC is to Durant, a place with some nice memories but somewhere he has no great compulsion to play for. Without being a Cav for seven years, maybe he wouldn't really care about playing for Cleveland. Who knows.

I'll counter your two allegiances with what I believe are two of LeBron's biggest strengths: he is remarkably forward-thinking as a business man, and he is remarkably forward-thinking as a player. He doesn't make decisions based on immediate gratification. Staying in Miami would've made for an easier title run in 2015. He plays the long game. I think if he were presented with an opportunity to play with younger talent that could compete for a longer period of time, and in a market that made more sense as far as developing either his business interests (like New York) or his personal interests (like Cleveland), I think he really would've considered it.

But if Miami had beat SAS... instead of getting shellacked as you so eloquently put it...do you still think he leaves?

JasonJohnHorn
04-06-2017, 04:55 PM
Nah I think he was better off with Ricky Davis.

I still remember him throwing the ball off his own backboard to get a rebound for a triple-double. If I rememebr right, it didn't count... lol

What a fool. He had some real potential though.

JasonJohnHorn
04-06-2017, 04:58 PM
Gasol is a HUGE upgrade over Bosh. Putting James with that kind of elite talent would have made that team a contender in his second season (LBJ's first season saw impressive per-game stats, but awful percentages).

The other guys would have been great role players. Battier. Miller. Posey. All proved to be quality role players on championship teams.

Bonsi Wells still had some game... would have been interesting piece there.

PG would have been weak, but a White Chocolate/Watson package might have gotten them a point guard worth starting.

Quinnsanity
04-06-2017, 08:10 PM
But if Miami had beat SAS... instead of getting shellacked as you so eloquently put it...do you still think he leaves?

Honestly? I don't know. There's a part of me that thinks he'd still see an aging supporting cast and want out, and that he'd feel like he accomplished all that he set out to in Miami and would still want to go home. But then there's a logical part of me that's screaming "NO ONE WOULD LEAVE A TEAM THAT WON THREE TITLES IN A ROW." I really see it as a toss up. But remember the secondary circumstances. In my scenario, LeBron has two non-consecutive rings. If they beat the Spurs in '14, he has three in a row. We're also comparing Memphis to Miami for someone with global business aspirations. I guess the tipping point for me is looking at it from LeBron's perspective and saying, what's really the upside to staying in Memphis? He has his prime coming up, but he probably isn't luring another star there to be his replacement sidekick for Pau (even if they had the cap space). I think even an optimist would say that winning four more titles, even with peak LeBron on the horizon, would be a tough sell with Pau at 30. Cleveland offers him something completely different, and so does New York for that matter. Maybe the business side of New York, plus cap space to pick a sidekick and the idea of being a legend in the biggest market, would just appeal to him more than staying put? Or maybe going home and having a ready-made Cleveland star, whoever it is, would just seem like a better life to him. And plus, this doesn't get said enough in general when Pau hypotheticals pop up, who's to say he would've stayed in Memphis forever? He's the most cultured player in the league. He wants big cities with museums and fancy espressos. Maybe he and LeBron leave in tandem? That might be a stretch, but I do think him leaving even on the heels of a title would be a very real possibility.


Gasol is a HUGE upgrade over Bosh. Putting James with that kind of elite talent would have made that team a contender in his second season (LBJ's first season saw impressive per-game stats, but awful percentages).

The other guys would have been great role players. Battier. Miller. Posey. All proved to be quality role players on championship teams.

Bonsi Wells still had some game... would have been interesting piece there.

PG would have been weak, but a White Chocolate/Watson package might have gotten them a point guard worth starting.

Woah woah woah hang on flag on the play timeout huh?

Explain to me why Pau is a "HUGE" upgrade over Bosh? That's just factually wrong. When they were leading their teams, Toronto Bosh was essentially 20/9 while Memphis Pau was essentially 19/9 but slightly more efficient. Then when Bosh went to Miami and Pau went to LA their scoring was basically identical except Bosh could shoot three's, making him more valuable overall. Pau was a better rebounder, but a lot of that was scheme, which leads to my next point, Chris Bosh was a GREAT defensive player in Miami. He never got credit for it because he was a center who didn't get blocks, but he was basically God's beta test for what Draymond Green would eventually become defensively in Golden State's death lineup. Miami's defense largely worked because Bosh could blitz pick-and-rolls so relentlessly while still having the recovery speed to play good help defense near the basket. Of course he was rebounding less. He was out on the perimeter on defense. Look at his Toronto numbers, he didn't suddenly forget how to rebound in Miami.

Old prejudices die hard I guess. Bosh was Miami's whipping boy. People saw KG bully him in that first year, they talked about how Bosh couldn't go mano a mano with legit low post players without realizing that that breed of player was already dead and that the other things Bosh did defensively were so immensely valuable. Pau was never a good defender, even at his peak he was probably average or slightly worse. Pau was a better passer, but you're comparing an "A" to a "B+." I would take Bosh over Pau. I don't consider it particularly close, but I wouldn't mind someone saying they'd go the other way. But to suggest that Pau is a huge upgrade over Bosh? That's ridiculous.

FlashBolt
04-06-2017, 08:32 PM
Honestly? I don't know. There's a part of me that thinks he'd still see an aging supporting cast and want out, and that he'd feel like he accomplished all that he set out to in Miami and would still want to go home. But then there's a logical part of me that's screaming "NO ONE WOULD LEAVE A TEAM THAT WON THREE TITLES IN A ROW." I really see it as a toss up. But remember the secondary circumstances. In my scenario, LeBron has two non-consecutive rings. If they beat the Spurs in '14, he has three in a row. We're also comparing Memphis to Miami for someone with global business aspirations. I guess the tipping point for me is looking at it from LeBron's perspective and saying, what's really the upside to staying in Memphis? He has his prime coming up, but he probably isn't luring another star there to be his replacement sidekick for Pau (even if they had the cap space). I think even an optimist would say that winning four more titles, even with peak LeBron on the horizon, would be a tough sell with Pau at 30. Cleveland offers him something completely different, and so does New York for that matter. Maybe the business side of New York, plus cap space to pick a sidekick and the idea of being a legend in the biggest market, would just appeal to him more than staying put? Or maybe going home and having a ready-made Cleveland star, whoever it is, would just seem like a better life to him. And plus, this doesn't get said enough in general when Pau hypotheticals pop up, who's to say he would've stayed in Memphis forever? He's the most cultured player in the league. He wants big cities with museums and fancy espressos. Maybe he and LeBron leave in tandem? That might be a stretch, but I do think him leaving even on the heels of a title would be a very real possibility.



Woah woah woah hang on flag on the play timeout huh?

Explain to me why Pau is a "HUGE" upgrade over Bosh? That's just factually wrong. When they were leading their teams, Toronto Bosh was essentially 20/9 while Memphis Pau was essentially 19/9 but slightly more efficient. Then when Bosh went to Miami and Pau went to LA their scoring was basically identical except Bosh could shoot three's, making him more valuable overall. Pau was a better rebounder, but a lot of that was scheme, which leads to my next point, Chris Bosh was a GREAT defensive player in Miami. He never got credit for it because he was a center who didn't get blocks, but he was basically God's beta test for what Draymond Green would eventually become defensively in Golden State's death lineup. Miami's defense largely worked because Bosh could blitz pick-and-rolls so relentlessly while still having the recovery speed to play good help defense near the basket. Of course he was rebounding less. He was out on the perimeter on defense. Look at his Toronto numbers, he didn't suddenly forget how to rebound in Miami.

Old prejudices die hard I guess. Bosh was Miami's whipping boy. People saw KG bully him in that first year, they talked about how Bosh couldn't go mano a mano with legit low post players without realizing that that breed of player was already dead and that the other things Bosh did defensively were so immensely valuable. Pau was never a good defender, even at his peak he was probably average or slightly worse. Pau was a better passer, but you're comparing an "A" to a "B+." I would take Bosh over Pau. I don't consider it particularly close, but I wouldn't mind someone saying they'd go the other way. But to suggest that Pau is a huge upgrade over Bosh? That's ridiculous.

1) Pau is absolutely a huge upgrade over Bosh. It's factually right. When Pau went to LAL, he had to share the ball with Kobe -- who is not a LeBron-type passer. And he was MUCH more efficient than Bosh. That matters. I can't envision a scenario in which Bosh would co-exist with Kobe. I feel Bosh would get in Kobe's nerves so much with his lack of rebounding and toughness. Even though Gasol is labeled soft, he was a big body who could bang in the post.
2) No, Bosh was not a great defender.. you must have watched a different Bosh because other than his team defense in the pick-and-roll, Bosh was exploited every time defensively. It got to a point where I think Andersen had to finish the last few possessions of a close game when Bosh kept getting destroyed by other frontcourt players namely KG, TD, Al Jefferson, and even frickin Roy Hibbert/David West. Literally the only guy he dominated was Carlos Boozer.. don't believe me? Check the 2012-2013 playoffs against Spurs and vs the Pacers. Chris Bosh was getting dominated by david West and Roy Hibbert. In fact, Roy Hibbert led the Pacers in scoring at 23 PPG shooting 56% I believe. Now, it doesn't take a genius to know Roy Hibbert has as many post moves as Javale McGee.. In fact, you wanna know why I know Chris Bosh was the reason those two dominated? The season before in the playoffs, Roy Hibbert and David West were just good but they weren't dominating anyone. Collectively, their best game was game 1.. the lone game Chris Bosh played in during that series before he got injured. After that game, neither Hibbert+David West dominated together the way they did in game 1. Chris Bosh is too soft down in the paint to guard anyone who just powers their way through.. which is why his rebounding and ability to guard man-to-man is often exploited.
3) I'm not sure what 3 point shooting you're talking about but Chris Bosh shot 31% from the three in the four years LeBron was playing with him for.. so I'm not seeing your argument there.
4) He didn't forget how to rebound but what about the seasons after LeBron left? Are we just going to say Bosh was the only player who had to adjust his game? The fact is, Bosh got outrebounded overwhelmingly by other players in the playoffs. I don't want to hear it about perimeter defense because Love is rebounding like a frickin machine and he's playing the same role Bosh is. Why is it not entirely possible that Bosh just declined? There doesn't always have to be an explanation as to why his numbers declined other than players decline.
5) WHAT? Dude, Pau Gasol is a miles and infinity better passer than Bosh. He blocks more shots and he's a tougher player to defend in the post. Again, I'm not giving you the argument that Bosh was a better shooter because it's literally not even worth mentioning. Bosh was shooting under 25% or so in threes in the first three seasons with Bosh. Pau Gasol carried the frickin Lakers at times. When did Bosh ever carry a game? Answer: He didn't.

SfgiantsJD3
04-06-2017, 08:39 PM
He'd still suck.

Well if he avoids the whole "decision" sideshow I think his popularity stays high, that where a causal fan like me was WTF needs to listen to this, I had no problem with him leaving, just the dog an pony show

Quinnsanity
04-06-2017, 09:03 PM
1) Pau is absolutely a huge upgrade over Bosh. It's factually right. When Pau went to LAL, he had to share the ball with Kobe -- who is not a LeBron-type passer. And he was MUCH more efficient than Bosh. That matters. I can't envision a scenario in which Bosh would co-exist with Kobe. I feel Bosh would get in Kobe's nerves so much with his lack of rebounding and toughness. Even though Gasol is labeled soft, he was a big body who could bang in the post.
2) No, Bosh was not a great defender.. you must have watched a different Bosh because other than his team defense in the pick-and-roll, Bosh was exploited every time defensively. It got to a point where I think Andersen had to finish the last few possessions of a close game when Bosh kept getting destroyed by other frontcourt players namely KG, TD, Al Jefferson, and even frickin Roy Hibbert/David West. Literally the only guy he dominated was Carlos Boozer.. don't believe me? Check the 2012-2013 playoffs against Spurs and vs the Pacers. Chris Bosh was getting dominated by david West and Roy Hibbert. In fact, Roy Hibbert led the Pacers in scoring at 23 PPG shooting 56% I believe. Now, it doesn't take a genius to know Roy Hibbert has as many post moves as Javale McGee.. In fact, you wanna know why I know Chris Bosh was the reason those two dominated? The season before in the playoffs, Roy Hibbert and David West were just good but they weren't dominating anyone. Collectively, their best game was game 1.. the lone game Chris Bosh played in during that series before he got injured. After that game, neither Hibbert+David West dominated together the way they did in game 1. Chris Bosh is too soft down in the paint to guard anyone who just powers their way through.. which is why his rebounding and ability to guard man-to-man is often exploited.
3) I'm not sure what 3 point shooting you're talking about but Chris Bosh shot 31% from the three in the four years LeBron was playing with him for.. so I'm not seeing your argument there.
4) He didn't forget how to rebound but what about the seasons after LeBron left? Are we just going to say Bosh was the only player who had to adjust his game? The fact is, Bosh got outrebounded overwhelmingly by other players in the playoffs. I don't want to hear it about perimeter defense because Love is rebounding like a frickin machine and he's playing the same role Bosh is. Why is it not entirely possible that Bosh just declined? There doesn't always have to be an explanation as to why his numbers declined other than players decline.
5) WHAT? Dude, Pau Gasol is a miles and infinity better passer than Bosh. He blocks more shots and he's a tougher player to defend in the post. Again, I'm not giving you the argument that Bosh was a better shooter because it's literally not even worth mentioning. Bosh was shooting under 25% or so in threes in the first three seasons with Bosh. Pau Gasol carried the frickin Lakers at times. When did Bosh ever carry a game? Answer: He didn't.

1. Kobe isn't a LeBron caliber passer... but Pau was also the second banana on a Phil Jackson team tailored perfectly to him. Bosh played with two extremely ball-dominant perimeter stars in LeBron and Wade.

2.
2010-11 Bosh on: 99.4 DRtg
2010-11 Bosh off: 104 DRtg (worst on the team)
2011-12 Bosh on: 96.7 DRtg
2011-12 Bosh off: 97.8 DRtg
2012-13 Bosh on: 101 DRtg
2012-13 Bosh off: 99.6 DRtg
2013-14 Bosh on: 100.8 DRtg
2013-14 Bosh off: 106.6 DRtg (worst on the team)

So two out of four years, Miami's defense was at it's worst when Bosh sat. Three out of four years, it got worse when he sat, and in two of those years the difference was quite significant. I'm willing to assume 2012-13 was an outlier based on three-point variance (like Kawhi this year). You're using small samples and individual stats to judge one of the best team defenders in the league at that time. Miami's defense does not work without Bosh during the LeBron era.

3. He actually developed the three-point shot pretty late into the LeBron era, so I'll give you that. 34% in the last LeBron year, 38% in 2014-15 and 37% in 2015-16. So the three-pointer only really generated value for one of the LeBron years, though for the record he was great in small samples in the playoffs throughout the entire run.

4. Love is playing the same role as Bosh? What? Cleveland's entire defensive system is designed around keeping Love basically out of the way. Bosh was the most aggressive big man in basketball during the Heatles era. Players do decline. I'm just not willing to say that a player in his age 26-29 seasons declined based on skill when there are perfectly rational scheme explanations. As for the post-LeBron years, does the name Hassan Whiteside ring a bell? Having him there allowed Bosh to be out on the perimeter even more than he was before.

5. If you don't think Chris Bosh is a really good passer, idk what to tell you man. He's not Pau Gasol, but he's really goddamn good. The "carrying the team" argument is kind of ridiculous. He was on LeBron and Wade's team. He never had to. When has Draymond Green ever carried the Warriors? That's not his playing style. That doesn't make him worse than like Gordon Hayward just because their roles are different. Bosh willingly chose to go to a winning team where his role changed. Pau never really had to make that choice until this season, he wound up on a team where he could basically do all the same things he did before, but with better teammates and coaches.

Ultimately I think the supposed flaws in Bosh's game are highly fixable within a good organization. You can get a big, brawny rim protecting and rebounding center to play next to him. But I don't think you can hide Pau's mediocre defense so easily. Case in point, during the two title years:

2008-09 Pau on: 103 DRtg
2008-09 Pau off: 98.6 DRtg
2009-10 Pau on: 102.1 DRtg
2009-10 Pau off: 99.5 DRtg

I'm not ******** on Pau. Dude's a hall of famer, one of the best bigs of his era, and it's not like he's Kevin Love on defense. But given their offensive outputs were fairly similar, I'd rather have the better defensive player. It's such a shame that Bosh has had his medical issues for so many reasons, but in this case, this new age of switching and defensive aggression would've been GREAT to him. He was out of LeBron's shadow, there was no longer a need to find arbitrary reasons to **** on the Heatles, people finally would've appreciated his defense which was absolutely terrific during the LeBron years. He'd be playing PF with Whiteside which would've suited him nicely (especially since Whiteside has improved by leaps and bounds this year). If he would've kept up his defense from the LeBron era, he'd be the second best defensive PF in basketball behind Draymond.

FlashBolt
04-07-2017, 12:40 AM
1. Kobe isn't a LeBron caliber passer... but Pau was also the second banana on a Phil Jackson team tailored perfectly to him. Bosh played with two extremely ball-dominant perimeter stars in LeBron and Wade.

2.
2010-11 Bosh on: 99.4 DRtg
2010-11 Bosh off: 104 DRtg (worst on the team)
2011-12 Bosh on: 96.7 DRtg
2011-12 Bosh off: 97.8 DRtg
2012-13 Bosh on: 101 DRtg
2012-13 Bosh off: 99.6 DRtg
2013-14 Bosh on: 100.8 DRtg
2013-14 Bosh off: 106.6 DRtg (worst on the team)

So two out of four years, Miami's defense was at it's worst when Bosh sat. Three out of four years, it got worse when he sat, and in two of those years the difference was quite significant. I'm willing to assume 2012-13 was an outlier based on three-point variance (like Kawhi this year). You're using small samples and individual stats to judge one of the best team defenders in the league at that time. Miami's defense does not work without Bosh during the LeBron era.

3. He actually developed the three-point shot pretty late into the LeBron era, so I'll give you that. 34% in the last LeBron year, 38% in 2014-15 and 37% in 2015-16. So the three-pointer only really generated value for one of the LeBron years, though for the record he was great in small samples in the playoffs throughout the entire run.

4. Love is playing the same role as Bosh? What? Cleveland's entire defensive system is designed around keeping Love basically out of the way. Bosh was the most aggressive big man in basketball during the Heatles era. Players do decline. I'm just not willing to say that a player in his age 26-29 seasons declined based on skill when there are perfectly rational scheme explanations. As for the post-LeBron years, does the name Hassan Whiteside ring a bell? Having him there allowed Bosh to be out on the perimeter even more than he was before.

5. If you don't think Chris Bosh is a really good passer, idk what to tell you man. He's not Pau Gasol, but he's really goddamn good. The "carrying the team" argument is kind of ridiculous. He was on LeBron and Wade's team. He never had to. When has Draymond Green ever carried the Warriors? That's not his playing style. That doesn't make him worse than like Gordon Hayward just because their roles are different. Bosh willingly chose to go to a winning team where his role changed. Pau never really had to make that choice until this season, he wound up on a team where he could basically do all the same things he did before, but with better teammates and coaches.

Ultimately I think the supposed flaws in Bosh's game are highly fixable within a good organization. You can get a big, brawny rim protecting and rebounding center to play next to him. But I don't think you can hide Pau's mediocre defense so easily. Case in point, during the two title years:

2008-09 Pau on: 103 DRtg
2008-09 Pau off: 98.6 DRtg
2009-10 Pau on: 102.1 DRtg
2009-10 Pau off: 99.5 DRtg

I'm not ******** on Pau. Dude's a hall of famer, one of the best bigs of his era, and it's not like he's Kevin Love on defense. But given their offensive outputs were fairly similar, I'd rather have the better defensive player. It's such a shame that Bosh has had his medical issues for so many reasons, but in this case, this new age of switching and defensive aggression would've been GREAT to him. He was out of LeBron's shadow, there was no longer a need to find arbitrary reasons to **** on the Heatles, people finally would've appreciated his defense which was absolutely terrific during the LeBron years. He'd be playing PF with Whiteside which would've suited him nicely (especially since Whiteside has improved by leaps and bounds this year). If he would've kept up his defense from the LeBron era, he'd be the second best defensive PF in basketball behind Draymond.

Well, Draymond has actually carried the Warriors, though. Maybe not offensively every night but his defensive plays have saved the Warriors plenty of times. His defense is what they need him to do and he excels at it. My point with Bosh is pretty simple. He didn't show up WHEN IT MATTERED. For Christ's sake, this dude would average 14 points and 6 rebounds in the playoffs for a few series. He's a very good player but for some reason, I think people forget that he often underperformed. I never got that same sense from Pau. He showed up in the Finals vs Boston and numerous other playoff series. Both weren't great defenders but Pau did a better job defending the paint on a man-to-man coverage than Bosh. Again, go check the matchups in which Bosh played against other frontcourts that had some height. Bosh almost always gets dominated.

Hellcrooner
04-07-2017, 01:30 PM
IN that hypotetical Memphis in 03.04 season win 50 gams and make playoffs.

They also ahve BAttier, MIller, Lebron and Pau on Rookie deals.

Guess what impact player was a F.A in 2004 and Joined a Lottery team building on young players...

Steve NAsh

Lebron>>>>> Stoudamire Pau >>>> Joe JOhnson.

So is not out of the Question Captain Steve would have joined Grizzlies.


Nash, Lebron, Battier, PAu, Wright

with a bench of WHite Choc, Wells, MIller, Swift

And still having Capspace for an upgrade center that put wright in the bench.

That team wins 3/4 rings in the rest of the decade.

Quinnsanity
04-07-2017, 04:31 PM
IN that hypotetical Memphis in 03.04 season win 50 gams and make playoffs.

They also ahve BAttier, MIller, Lebron and Pau on Rookie deals.

Guess what impact player was a F.A in 2004 and Joined a Lottery team building on young players...

Steve NAsh

Lebron>>>>> Stoudamire Pau >>>> Joe JOhnson.

So is not out of the Question Captain Steve would have joined Grizzlies.


Nash, Lebron, Battier, PAu, Wright

with a bench of WHite Choc, Wells, MIller, Swift

And still having Capspace for an upgrade center that put wright in the bench.

That team wins 3/4 rings in the rest of the decade.

It's an interesting point, but Nash didn't go to Phoenix because of the quality of the young players. He went largely for the opportunity to run a team, out of Dirk's shadow, and because he got offered a really nice contract (at least relative to what was expected, we all think pretty highly of Mark Cuban after all and he said no thanks to matching that offer). I'm not sure he really would've looked at Memphis as an upgrade for himself. He probably would've looked at LeBron and said "well if I'm gonna be a sidekick, Dirk's already my best friend, why not just stay in Dallas?" Plus, no matter how many games they were winning, eventually that team would get too expensive to sustain. By 2008 everyone would be on their second or third contract, and you're looking at max deals for LeBron and Pau plus big ones for Nash, Miller, Battier and whatever hypothetical center you're bringing in. Memphis is a tiny market. They wouldn't have been able to turn a profit or even come close with that roster. So again, Nash is an interesting thought, one I hadn't considered, but I doubt he ends up there.


Well, Draymond has actually carried the Warriors, though. Maybe not offensively every night but his defensive plays have saved the Warriors plenty of times. His defense is what they need him to do and he excels at it. My point with Bosh is pretty simple. He didn't show up WHEN IT MATTERED. For Christ's sake, this dude would average 14 points and 6 rebounds in the playoffs for a few series. He's a very good player but for some reason, I think people forget that he often underperformed. I never got that same sense from Pau. He showed up in the Finals vs Boston and numerous other playoff series. Both weren't great defenders but Pau did a better job defending the paint on a man-to-man coverage than Bosh. Again, go check the matchups in which Bosh played against other frontcourts that had some height. Bosh almost always gets dominated.

"His defense is what they need him to do and he excels at it." I just gave you proof that Bosh does excel at it, and on a team with LeBron and Wade that is what they needed him to do. I'm not saying he's as good as Draymond, but he was really damn close during the LeBron years. And for the record, here are Draymond's playoff stats the last two years compared to Bosh's with LeBron:

Draymond: 14.6 PPG, 10 RPG, 42.4% FG%, 31.8% 3FG%

Bosh: 14.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 48.1% FG%, 40.6% 3FG%

Draymond was obviously a better rebounder (and passer too TBH), but Bosh was far more efficient. Those numbers look pretty damn similar to me. Why is Bosh putting up more points more efficiently "not showing up when it mattered" while Draymond putting up less points less efficiently is totally fine? They had pretty much the same role. Their jobs were to play great defense, space the floor, set screens and just do general role player stuff. Draymond played with Curry and Klay. Bosh played with Wade and LeBron. The only reason you think Bosh underperformed is because of expectations. Everyone looked at him as, to an extent, an equal to LeBron because they both signed that same summer and were both part of the big 3, whereas Draymond was a second round pick who came out of nowhere. But their jobs were extremely similar, and Bosh being a max player who doesn't put up huge numbers doesn't make him some kind of bust. It means he was willing and able to subjugate his game for the betterment of the team. Many better players have failed to do so. We know he can score. Toronto is proof of that. Miami was a testament to his ability to do other things.

You're stuck in the ridiculous 2010-11 media cycle with the whole "man-to-man paint coverage" thing. Post-ups were at the time and are even more so now a dying part of the game. Who cares if Boogie can take it to you on the block if he's only posting up 5.4 times per game (which he is this year, we don't have numbers going back to 2010-11)? Pick-and-rolls are a part of pretty much every single possession in the modern NBA, and the ability to cover it is infinitely more important than being burly enough to handle a traditional post-up big man when post-ups rarely happen and are incredibly inefficient when they do. Miami was ahead of the curve in having a big man who could defend them so well. Now every team wants someone like that. That's how Solomon Hill gets $50 million. You want more direct proof of how good Bosh is against the pick-and-roll? We only have numbers going back to last year, but per NBA.com (http://stats.nba.com/players/roll-man/#!?Season=2015-16&SeasonType=Regular%20Season&OD=defensive&CF=TeamNameAbbreviation*E*MIA&sort=PPP&dir=-1), he only gave up .67 PPP on pick-and-rolls. Draymond this season gives up .69.

People got so caught up in what they wanted Bosh to be that they failed to see what he was. Everyone just mocked him for being skinny and non-traditional that they failed to see an entirely new breed of player blossoming before their eyes. Miami's entire defensive scheme was predicated on Bosh's ability to basically be everywhere. You're crapping on Bosh for being unable to defend a type of player that no longer exists, no matter how badly people wanted it to at the time because it would've been a weakness for a Miami team everyone despised.

There is virtually no evidence to suggest that Bosh was anything less than an excellent defender during the four-year LeBron run, and mountains of it that prove that he was. But you formed an opinion in 2010 because you didn't like the Heat and you never bothered to let what was actually happening change your mind.