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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    And here's some comments from Hawkeye:

    Exactly! This is the point I was trying to make with the Shaq/Hakeem comparison. MJ didn't need to develop the level of offensive moves that Harden did because he could blow by guys without them.


    I won't disagree with any of this. Morey is in the wrong here, but I think people are overlooking a pretty huge factor in this: the guy is Harden's GM, and he wants Harden to be happy. What do people want him to do? Get in interviews and downplay his superstar's talent? In today's NBA, all it takes is one slightly ambiguous statement to be taken out of context for relationships between players, front office guys, owners, etc. to go down the drain.

    I disagree with the basic foundation of what Morey is saying, but I understand why he's saying it.


    Now this I totally disagree with. If you took a guy like Harden with his absurd skillset and put him in the 90s, defenders would have no clue how to handle him. The first time he would get separation on that stepback and hit a 28-footer, the opposing team would look at each other and go "What in the hell did this guy just do?" Harden's game is an evolution of the NBA's obsession with floor spacing, and teams in the 90s weren't equipped to handle a player with his range and ability to get separation.

    Sure, they could be more physical with him, but the second they tried to smother him 1 on 1, he'd work his magic and find his way around defenders. He would be fine in any era. Just because you take away 2-3 free throw attempts per game and allow defenders to be more physical doesn't take away his usefulness.
    well, now we are tossing a current player/skillset into a different era, which just becomes an irrational argument to me. Certain players, no problem (Shaq in any era isn't changing his game for example). Guys like Harden did exist back then to some degree (big scoring guards who relied on skill versus athleticism). In today's era, when you surround someone like Harden with shooters and promote space, it only helps. Shrinking the court doesn't help him, and that was what yesterday was. His multiple outlets for 3's are gone...his foul draws 30 feet from the rim are gone...I mean, give me a single thing that today's game takes away from Jordan (that he couldn't easily develop, like a 3). I can name a handful the old games takes away from Harden...

    If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    And here's some comments from Hawkeye:


    I won't disagree with any of this. Morey is in the wrong here, but I think people are overlooking a pretty huge factor in this: the guy is Harden's GM, and he wants Harden to be happy. What do people want him to do? Get in interviews and downplay his superstar's talent? In today's NBA, all it takes is one slightly ambiguous statement to be taken out of context for relationships between players, front office guys, owners, etc. to go down the drain.

    I disagree with the basic foundation of what Morey is saying, but I understand why he's saying it.

    I'm not going to deny that Morey may be trying to make Harden happy. But by publicly making this claim, he's inviting a comparison. Its a comparison that I doubt virtually anybody would make because I think most would acknowledge that his player is not on Jordan's level. To me, its odd and amateurish for the GM to praise his player as a superior scorer to Jordan, a former player who last played 20 years ago in a different era of basketball. Why not just say Harden is one of the best scorers in the NBA today or even in history without boasting that he's better than a specific all-time great?

    Also, I agree that one little thing an executive says might cause a relationship with a player to deteriorate. Well, I'm just going to throw this out there, but what if Westbrook sees this as a sleight? Curry might not mind that Kerr suggested that Durant was better than him, but I'm not sure that Westbrook would like his GM indirectly saying he's not the best player on the team. Its obvious to anyone that Harden is better, but I would expect Westbrook to disagree.
    Last edited by LeonFSU; 08-20-2019 at 03:09 PM.

  3. #78
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    I'm wondering how many of you actually watched the clip. He immediately followed it up by saying that it's fair to say that Jordan would have a higher regular season PPP in today's league. There is nothing amateurish about it.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by VCaintdead17 View Post
    I'm wondering how many of you actually watched the clip. He immediately followed it up by saying that it's fair to say that Jordan would have a higher regular season PPP in today's league. There is nothing amateurish about it.
    He basically said if you ignore differences between eras, etc., Harden is the best scorer in history because he gets you the most points per possession. Why wouldn't it be Wilt though under those parameters? Regardless, those parameters just aren't very meaningful and it's dumb for the GM to compare his player's scoring ability to Jordan when he has no reason to do so.
    Last edited by LeonFSU; 08-20-2019 at 03:40 PM.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonFSU View Post
    He basically said if you ignore differences between eras, etc., Harden is the best scorer in history because he gets you the most points per possession. Why wouldn't it be Wilt though under those parameters? Regardless, those parameters just aren't very meaningful and it's dumb for the GM to compare his player's scoring ability to Jordan when he has no reason to do so.
    It wouldn't be Wilt because the metric adjusts for pace and possessions and Harden's PPP is still higher than Wilts. That's why. It's a valuable metric that generally reflects at least an ounce of truth. Like all metrics it doesn't paint a whole picture, but to discount it entirely is foolish. Harden's points generated is historically great, so I think comparing him to Jordan is a valid discussion. Doesn't mean I agree, but the argument has legs.

  6. #81
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    Also, why are we assuming Jordan could easily adjust to today's playing style, but Harden couldn't adjust to the playing style in the 90s?

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by VCaintdead17 View Post
    Also, why are we assuming Jordan could easily adjust to today's playing style, but Harden couldn't adjust to the playing style in the 90s?
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  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by VCaintdead17 View Post
    Also, why are we assuming Jordan could easily adjust to today's playing style, but Harden couldn't adjust to the playing style in the 90s?
    I don't think people are really assuming that. I do think it is true that is easier for guards to drive in today's game and it was harder to score then. That said James would be very good in a any era. Gary Sanchez is also a good hitter. Barry Bonds was better
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  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by VCaintdead17 View Post
    It wouldn't be Wilt because the metric adjusts for pace and possessions and Harden's PPP is still higher than Wilts. That's why. It's a valuable metric that generally reflects at least an ounce of truth. Like all metrics it doesn't paint a whole picture, but to discount it entirely is foolish. Harden's points generated is historically great, so I think comparing him to Jordan is a valid discussion. Doesn't mean I agree, but the argument has legs.
    Okay. So it's factual that Harden's PPP is higher than Jordan's. That's not the same as saying he's a "better scorer than Jordan" or that's he's the best scorer in history. He made an inferential leap that it sounds like you wouldn't agree with. Then what he said next can be viewed as qualifying his statement a bit. But he still said that's its factual that Harden is a better scorer than Jordan, which is nonsense.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonFSU View Post
    Okay. So it's factual that Harden's PPP is higher than Jordan's. That's not the same as saying he's a "better scorer than Jordan" or that's he's the best scorer in history. He made an inferential leap that it sounds like you wouldn't agree with. Then what he said next can be viewed as qualifying his statement a bit. But he still said that's its factual that Harden is a better scorer than Jordan, which is nonsense.
    I mean it's a fact that if you give Harden the ball he'll give you more points than Jordan regardless of pace. That's literally what PPP measures. Being a "better" scorer however is where there's room for debate. Idk why you're trying to dispute the statistic, there's nothing to dispute.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by VCaintdead17 View Post
    I mean it's a fact that if you give Harden the ball he'll give you more points than Jordan regardless of pace. That's literally what PPP measures. Being a "better" scorer however is where there's room for debate. Idk why you're trying to dispute the statistic, there's nothing to dispute.
    He's saying Harden is a better scorer than Jordan because Harden has a higher PPP. That that statistic is the measure of who is a better scorer. That's what I'm disputing.

  12. #87
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    I think it's important to clarify what the discussion is.

    IMO, Harden does not have the better scoring arsenal nor versatility. People forget Jordan developed an incredible step-back J following his 1st retirement. It wasn't utilized back then as much as it is now, but was definitely used more when his athleticism was no longer godly.

    I WILL say this though: I do find Harden's dribbling to be more methodical. He's the most methodical dribbler in the NBA, IMO. He breaks down the defender in a very calculated way, which sets up the step-back or drive. You know it's coming, but there's really not much you can do about it but hope he misses the shot. It's a beauty to watch in action no matter how you feel about him one way or the other. I love the scientific nature of his dribbling (Kyrie's is pretty methodical but to a lesser extent) as it allows him to be dominant even though he's nowhere near as physically gifted as Jordan or a LeBron/Shaq or whatever.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. I disagree with Morey but we can still appreciate Harden's skill and ability, and acknowledge where he's comparable or better.
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  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    I actually think this is an interesting debate, and the more I think about it, the more I compare this to another debate I've been a part of a lot over the last 20 years: Hakeem vs. Shaq. Not even talking about the defensive side of the ball (where Hakeem has an obvious advantage), you could make a strong case for either guy offensively depending what what barometer you value most: sheer statistical and physical dominance vs. overall skillset and offensive tools.

    Despite Hakeem's crazy athletic abilities, no one would argue that he's the more physically dominant player than Shaq. If Shaq had you one on one within 5-7 feet of the basket, that was a guaranteed two points unless you manhandled the guy and sent him to the free throw line. And while Shaq was remarkably skilled for a player of his size, I don't think anyone would argue that he was more skilled or had more tools at his disposal than Hakeem, who had far more range and was probably the most skilled low-post player in the history of the NBA (McHale has a decent case as well).

    Numbers tell us that Shaq was the far superior offensive player. He overpowered you with his strength, and he was a far surer two points in an NBA game than Hakeem was. But there's something to be said for Hakeem's crazy skillset as an offensive player, and the grace with which he worked in the low post. He could do things with the basketball that Shaq couldn't do in his wildest dreams.

    I think the argument here is somewhat similar. No one is going to argue that Harden is the more statistically dominant or athletically dominant offensive player than Jordan. It's not close, and the numbers ultimately bear that out—even without a historically average 3-point shot, Jordan topped 30 points per game eight times in his career (Harden has only done it twice).

    But if you asked me who the more skilled and/or crafty offensive player was, I'd give it to Harden. Jordan was an athletic freak with a deadly mid-range jumper. But could he use sheer footwork and ballhandling to take his man off the dribble in the same way Harden does 10-15 times a game in isolation? Could he consistently hit that stepback shot that Harden has? Or break ankles on his way to the basket like Harden does? I kinda don't think so.

    People love to point at Harden's ability to draw fouls, but there's a real elegance to his game that gets overlooked. He's not the fastest guy, the most athletic, the best shooter or the best ballhandler, but he's smart. And he uses his knowledge of 1 on 1 defense to nitpick his defender's weakness better than any player I've ever seen. Jordan didn't have to rely on those skills quite as much, because he could just physically impose his will.

    Bottom line, no, I wouldn't say that Harden is the statistically better scorer or even the better scorer, period. But I do think he's the more skilled scorer and has a greater variety of tools at his disposal as a scorer than Jordan did—similar to how Hakeem was more skilled than Shaq.
    There is no argument for Dream over Shaq, but Dream is so so nasty, I could take him over any other center, but not Shaq. Statistically Drob > Dream. But you got that one series...

  14. #89
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    Haha. Not even close. Is he better than Durant? Is he better than Kobe? Is he better than Wilt? Is he better than Kareem? GTFO!

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by VCaintdead17 View Post
    I mean it's a fact that if you give Harden the ball he'll give you more points than Jordan regardless of pace. That's literally what PPP measures. Being a "better" scorer however is where there's room for debate. Idk why you're trying to dispute the statistic, there's nothing to dispute.
    It's also important to note that this is true in the regular season only. There is simply no way, given Harden's decreased efficiency in the playoffs, that he is still the best ever at PPP. For someone who is accused of being a regular season stat performer who fails in the playoffs, talking about how he is the best ever at scoring because of his regular season while completely discounting the playoffs is not going to help that narrative (and I'm not saying you said that, but I'm talking about Morey).

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