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View Poll Results: Who is the G.O.A.T at their absolute peak?

Voters
10. You may not vote on this poll
  • Bill Russell

    4 40.00%
  • Dwyane Wade

    1 10.00%
  • Kobe Bryant

    1 10.00%
  • Kevin Durant

    1 10.00%
  • Stephen Curry

    1 10.00%
  • Kevin Garnett

    0 0%
  • Julius Erving

    0 0%
  • Bill Walton

    0 0%
  • Oscar Robertson

    0 0%
  • Elgin Baylor

    0 0%
  • Jerry West

    0 0%
  • Charles Barkley

    0 0%
  • Dirk Nowitzki

    0 0%
  • Karl Malone

    0 0%
  • David Robinson

    0 0%
  • James Harden

    0 0%
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo

    1 10.00%
  • Isiah Thomas

    0 0%
  • Kawhi Leonard

    0 0%
  • Scottie Pippen

    0 0%
  • Rick Barry

    1 10.00%
  • John Havlicek

    0 0%
  • Tracy McGrady

    0 0%
  • Allen Iverson

    0 0%
  • Steve Nash

    0 0%
  • Chris Paul

    0 0%
  • John Stockton

    0 0%
  • Patrick Ewing

    0 0%
  • Willis Reed

    0 0%
  • Russell Westbrook

    0 0%
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Results 16 to 30 of 42
  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mngopher35 View Post
    Russell again for me
    In all honesty, tell me why you would take Russell over Kevin Garnett.


    Kristaps Porzingis
    Stronger than most 15 year old girls.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksorBust View Post
    How is it Russell? I'm sorry but even if we ignore all the guards/wing and just focused on bigs then I would take Garnett over Russell. At least he can score and shoot. Russell was a career 44% FG and 56% FT shooter. I'm sorry but how does his game translate into today? I get that FG% was lower during that time but people could still make free throws better than that. He was the worst FT shooter on his team. You can't tell me he could shoot.

    He was an athletic defensive monster who could protect the rim in an era with no 3pt shot. What would he be today? Everyone bombing 3's and no post defense needed. Would he still be a great rebounder? Sure. Would he be one of the best big men at switching to defend guards in pick and rolls? Definitely. But find me the big man in today's game that can't shoot or score and is a star player. It doesn't exist. I honestly don't even believe he should be in the top 25.
    What makes todays game more important tho? Offensively, Russ today would play more of a rim running role and be a great passer in the short roll or in a motion offense (not to mention outlet passing that is admittedly less influential today).

    In KG's era, he would'nt be such a ***** against other bigmen, he'd actually defend them and hold them down some. His game would elevate in the playoffs too. I also think him being one of the best athletes ever would be a greater advantage offensively in the modern era so his offensive efficiency would improve.

    As for his overall impact no longer being peak caliber today, thats prolly true. But he would be a better passer/defender/rebounder than KG and tbh, neither was a great offensive center piece. If the guy had a peak wilt/kaj level of impact in his hey, it seems unfair to punish him for not having the kind of game that would evolve as easily into today. But I get it, we're kind of measuring 3-4 things, talent/skill, impact and transplantability.


    If KG's peak is 2004, thats kind of unflattering historically. What did he do in the post season besides watch his efficiency tank again? Took 7 games to beat a hapless Kings team that had fallen apart by then, the highlight of his post season was basically helping limit a rookie Melo, outplaying a 1 legged C-Webb and playing PG vs the Lakers. Tremendous RS tho, that might be enough.

    I like looking at players in championship roles (some cases thats theoretical)and KG's best role, much like D-Rob's was as a secondary offensive piece where he could hone in on defensive duties. In essence, their role would be more akin to Bill's. So in that kind of role, is KG's offense that game changing vs his superior defense/athleticism?



    Do we dismiss on/off influence from those days because there was no 3pt line?

    Im leaning KG but trying to discern the difference between him and D-Rob is tough.



    As for Wade vs Kobe, heres my thoughts on why Tmac has the case. Tmac combined the skill level of a Kobe Bryant (with superior athleticism/length to boot) with the historical production of a Bron/Wade, who are less diverse in their offensive arsenal. So the 2 arguments both sides will use, Tmac has on lock. He just doesn't have the post season success but if you look at these players in similar team environments, nobody touches 03 Tmac who was playing like a man possessed.

    Since we cant completely discount post season success, I wont blame anyone. Theres an argument that 2010 Kobe just had complete mastery of the game from a mental standpoint that Tmac never displayed until he was past his peak and even then it was shortlived .



    Its like trying to pick what Dirk's peak was, athletically it was his Finals/MVP years where he failed to win, but in terms of mastering the game, 11 stands out. I like my greatest peaks to include years where players were dynamite statistically and mentally, the so called phental state.

    Will comment further, later
    Last edited by Chronz; 07-21-2020 at 11:48 AM.

  3. #18
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    Also, Kevin Durant has no business being named. He forfeited his chance for glory by prioritizing team success with the easiest road ever taken. Kawhi the past few years has a far superior case than the likes of KD. In a game with zero stakes, I can buy KD. But if you had to win, not even close. Show me another ATG that could win as much as the Warriors did without their alleged best player.

    KD simply doesn't influence the game the same way Curry can and has. Its why without Curry the teams sucked balls over several years worth of data, without KD but with Curry, no problemo.

  4. #19
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    Heres sorta another example of the phental state. Tmac's peak seems easy to identify, 03 was by far his most productive but I maintain that the best version of Tmac I ever saw was his first year in Houston once he had gotten acclimated. By the time the playoffs rolled around, that version of Tmac was the best I've ever seen. He lacked the durability to play at that level all the time, his balky back was more troublesome, he had lost a step athletically so the game didn't come as easy. But skill level wise and knowing when to assert yourself, that was peak tmac.

    But I guess we should weigh the RS more heavily in this kind of peak debate.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksorBust View Post
    In all honesty, tell me why you would take Russell over Kevin Garnett.
    Well if you wanna push for KG here no problem. I already explained how Russell can be over Moses so not sure why this is more difficult. You are talking about a guy who is better at the areas KG is known to excel outside his jumpshot/scoring (which is an area that held KG back himself as a great). Neither one should be your scoring focal point of the offense but both can be run through as the playmakers. KG a little better overall scoring and Russell in the other areas of the game.

    When you bring up today I was not aware all our votes were based on that. I don't think a lot of the big man would necessarily excel in the same way in todays spaced out court/switching defenses/rules. That's why I think the big man position has changed some. I already covered the differences in efficiency back then as a whole as well.

    I probably have KG coming up in the next 5 spots or so, if you wanna argue for him I would be alright with that but Russell is better in the areas these two players excel and KG is a little better in an area you don't really want either to be (#1 scorer). I think the same is true of like KD, you need a playmaker next to him AND he doesn't bring the all around games, he is a scorer needing a guy like Curry or KG or Russell to help facilitate/carry load. At this point I think we have tons of guys at this level of having certain aspects but lacking others holding them back some. Curry to me has the best argument as a #1 in the mold of taking on massive offensive responsibility creating for others like a GOAT but the other aspects/his scoring drop off hold him back too even while being poor defender. At the end of the day Russell/KG are leaders of teams but can use secondary scorers next to them given their flaws, players like KD need creators next to them to cover theirs, Curry needs guys like Dray and so on defensively/secondary playmaker off him too. So Russell not being elite in one area of scoring but elite everywhere else including being able to playmake/run offense through him is pretty valuable still. I think this is around the time non elite scorers come into play, a little after Magic went himself with his 20ppg and offense being his main ability.

  6. #21
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    The defenses Bill Russell anchored were better in comparison to their peers than any other defense in NBA history.

    Just to take a random year, in 1965 The Celtics had the best Drtg in the league at 84, the 2nd best was 91.

    In Russell's last year the Celtics had a Drtg of 89 (1st in the league). The next year it was 98 (and 8th of 14 teams).

    There has never been someone who had such a monumental impact on defense as Russell.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksorBust View Post
    In all honesty, tell me why you would take Russell over Kevin Garnett.
    In all honesty, I'm still waiting for that argument since #2... Good luck getting a reply that doesn't contradict everything you know and everything the person giving it has already said about others..

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYKalltheway View Post
    In all honesty, I'm still waiting for that argument since #2... Good luck getting a reply that doesn't contradict everything you know and everything the person giving it has already said about others..
    Alright you win, KG is better than Russell. Russell can go next.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronz View Post
    What makes todays game more important tho?
    Because theoretically we are drafting for a game tomorrow not in the 60s.

    Offensively, Russ today would play more of a rim running role and be a great passer in the short roll or in a motion offense (not to mention outlet passing that is admittedly less influential today).
    That's my point. A rim runner / passer in a motion offense is the 11th GOAT player? No way. If he can't shoot, can't create for others, and can't get his own shot then he shouldn't be in the top 25.

    In KG's era, he would'nt be such a ***** against other bigmen, he'd actually defend them and hold them down some. His game would elevate in the playoffs too. I also think him being one of the best athletes ever would be a greater advantage offensively in the modern era so his offensive efficiency would improve.
    Only because he might be a rim-runner/dunker which to me is not even close to enough for this point of the vote. He still can't shoot, post-up, or create his own shot.

    As for his overall impact no longer being peak caliber today, thats prolly true. But he would be a better passer/defender/rebounder than KG and tbh, neither was a great offensive center piece. If the guy had a peak wilt/kaj level of impact in his hey, it seems unfair to punish him for not having the kind of game that would evolve as easily into today. But I get it, we're kind of measuring 3-4 things, talent/skill, impact and transplantability.
    Exactly.

    If KG's peak is 2004, thats kind of unflattering historically. What did he do in the post season besides watch his efficiency tank again? Took 7 games to beat a hapless Kings team that had fallen apart by then, the highlight of his post season was basically helping limit a rookie Melo, outplaying a 1 legged C-Webb and playing PG vs the Lakers. Tremendous RS tho, that might be enough.

    I like looking at players in championship roles (some cases thats theoretical)and KG's best role, much like D-Rob's was as a secondary offensive piece where he could hone in on defensive duties. In essence, their role would be more akin to Bill's. So in that kind of role, is KG's offense that game changing vs his superior defense/athleticism?
    Just to clarify, Kevin Garnett is not my pick here. I just used him as an example of someone who also brought DPOY/leadership caliber play and was clearly superior offensively to Russell.

    Do we dismiss on/off influence from those days because there was no 3pt line?
    To a degree, definitely. I mean Russell allegedly was getting 6-8 blocks per game. He WAS special defensively IN THAT ERA. I don't dispute that at all. If we are talking about career legacies, I'm fine with Russell in the top 5. This is a different debate.

    Im leaning KG but trying to discern the difference between him and D-Rob is tough.
    I would take D-Rob over Russell as well.

    As for Wade vs Kobe, heres my thoughts on why Tmac has the case. Tmac combined the skill level of a Kobe Bryant (with superior athleticism/length to boot) with the historical production of a Bron/Wade, who are less diverse in their offensive arsenal. So the 2 arguments both sides will use, Tmac has on lock. He just doesn't have the post season success but if you look at these players in similar team environments, nobody touches 03 Tmac who was playing like a man possessed.

    Since we cant completely discount post season success, I wont blame anyone. Theres an argument that 2010 Kobe just had complete mastery of the game from a mental standpoint that Tmac never displayed until he was past his peak and even then it was shortlived .



    Its like trying to pick what Dirk's peak was, athletically it was his Finals/MVP years where he failed to win, but in terms of mastering the game, 11 stands out. I like my greatest peaks to include years where players were dynamite statistically and mentally, the so called phental state.
    Curious what year you would pick for Kobe's peak.


    Kristaps Porzingis
    Stronger than most 15 year old girls.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mngopher35 View Post
    Well if you wanna push for KG here no problem. I already explained how Russell can be over Moses so not sure why this is more difficult. You are talking about a guy who is better at the areas KG is known to excel outside his jumpshot/scoring (which is an area that held KG back himself as a great). Neither one should be your scoring focal point of the offense but both can be run through as the playmakers. KG a little better overall scoring and Russell in the other areas of the game.
    See I think this glosses over the massive difference in value that KG would bring offensively over Russell. KG can space the floor, KG can post, KG can shoot, KG can create off the dribble.

    When you bring up today I was not aware all our votes were based on that. I don't think a lot of the big man would necessarily excel in the same way in todays spaced out court/switching defenses/rules. That's why I think the big man position has changed some. I already covered the differences in efficiency back then as a whole as well.
    Would you have voted differently?

    I
    probably have KG coming up in the next 5 spots or so, if you wanna argue for him I would be alright with that but Russell is better in the areas these two players excel and KG is a little better in an area you don't really want either to be (#1 scorer). I think the same is true of like KD, you need a playmaker next to him AND he doesn't bring the all around games, he is a scorer needing a guy like Curry or KG or Russell to help facilitate/carry load.
    I think it's a lot easier to find players to put with Durant / Garnett than it would be with Russell. Your offense still needs to be completely build around those 4 remaining guys working with Russell.

    At this point I think we have tons of guys at this level of having certain aspects but lacking others holding them back some. Curry to me has the best argument as a #1 in the mold of taking on massive offensive responsibility creating for others like a GOAT but the other aspects/his scoring drop off hold him back too even while being poor defender. At the end of the day Russell/KG are leaders of teams but can use secondary scorers next to them given their flaws, players like KD need creators next to them to cover theirs, Curry needs guys like Dray and so on defensively/secondary playmaker off him too. So Russell not being elite in one area of scoring but elite everywhere else including being able to playmake/run offense through him is pretty valuable still. I think this is around the time non elite scorers come into play, a little after Magic went himself with his 20ppg and offense being his main ability.
    I think to me it comes down to how much you value offensive impact vs. defensive impact. My opinion is probably different from others because I hold two opinions:

    #1.) Offense is more important
    #2.) Defensive big men are not as important in 2020 as they were in 1960.

    I also disagree very much with statements like "Curry needs Dray." So many guys could be Draymond Green on offense. He is not special there. I would take Curry over Russell in a heartbeat for his offensive impact. Give me one of the most efficient 30 point per game seasons who stretched defenses out 5 feet passed the 3pt line.


    Kristaps Porzingis
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    The defenses Bill Russell anchored were better in comparison to their peers than any other defense in NBA history.

    Just to take a random year, in 1965 The Celtics had the best Drtg in the league at 84, the 2nd best was 91.

    In Russell's last year the Celtics had a Drtg of 89 (1st in the league). The next year it was 98 (and 8th of 14 teams).

    There has never been someone who had such a monumental impact on defense as Russell.
    Do you really believe he would have that level of impact if he was on defense playing against teams like the Warriors and Rockets who would just be bombing 3's over his head for 4 quarters?


    Kristaps Porzingis
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksorBust View Post
    Because theoretically we are drafting for a game tomorrow not in the 60s.
    Think of it this way, given how easy it is to find Offense historically, especially in a game geared for guards like today is, wouldn't having by far the best complimentary defender, distributer, rebounder be a competitive advantage in a league where rim running is basically all you require from a Center to build a historic offense? KG couldn't defend at C quite the same way but I suppose his floor stretching (out to midrange) might be worth it as a complimentary piece given his 2-way ability but.......


    If we're ignoring prior era advantages, what do we do with swings like Doc and Worthy that had higher peaks than most but neither could stretch the floor like today and unless they are the fulcrom of your offense, it would be easier to maximize your main guys with 3-D types. Both would have to play small ball 4, which isn't a problem but you see what Im getting at? Like a team of Magic, MJ, Doc, Worthy and Shaq wouldn't shoot at all from the outside. Is that better than inferior peak players built to maximize the stars? I think I took your concept too literally and just choosing the best to build around? IDK but it sounds like you like KG's ability to play today more than actually being the better player, era be damned, KG aint matching the likes of Wilt in that era the way Russ did.



    That's my point. A rim runner / passer in a motion offense is the 11th GOAT player? No way. If he can't shoot, can't create for others, and can't get his own shot then he shouldn't be in the top 25.
    On the perfect team everyone would get 20% of the touches, realistically those situations never exist even in the most egalitarian of offenses. You need guys who dont look to create but to compliment the team structure, Russell best put it this way(roundabout)," if you add up all the stats that go into basketball, that makes up like 10% of whats going on, on the floor. What about the other 90%?". You aint running endless post sets, even a guy like Shaq would become more of a rim runner and require a guy like Horry as his primary 4-man more. Russ would put up better offensive numbers today simply as a roll man. Lots of inferior bigs have posted sick offensive efficiency in perfect offenses, thinking of guys like Carl Landry, Ryan Hollins in Dallas when they had an insane offense before tanking it for Rondo. But yes, you wouldn't be drafting Russ for his offense.


    Only because he might be a rim-runner/dunker which to me is not even close to enough for this point of the vote. He still can't shoot, post-up, or create his own shot.
    Prolly true, but like Draymond, he could punish offense on switches and like Gobert, would draw attention on the roll to open up things on the perimeter. A guy like Hakeem/Shaq would require more touches and would take away from other offensive players. It really depends on the type of team you want to build, you like 2-way guys with no weaknesses vs dominant players in their roles.


    Just to clarify, Kevin Garnett is not my pick here. I just used him as an example of someone who also brought DPOY/leadership caliber play and was clearly superior offensively to Russell.
    I wouldn't call KG a leader tbh, definitely not in the Duncan/Russ mold that really brings teammates together.


    Curious what year you would pick for Kobe's peak.
    2010 but I'd have to check some numbers. I would say 2004 Kobe would dominate a spread out, spam pnr offense to a greater degree because he was just burly and played more bully ball that year but in that era he wore down quickly. Which makes me wonder, given the parameters of your peak seasons, does it even matter how the post season goes down if we knew Kobe was injured by then? Like that Kobe was the best Kobe but he was hurt come post season, 2001 wasn't as polished but he had the best playoff run given he was less of a defensive focus and the competition wasn't quite as strong. Which Kobe is more peak Kobe to you, 01 or 04?

    I just think his mastery of the game by 10 was on a different level. 2006 Kobe reminds me of high scoring Wilt, ironically enough, both had a playoff series where their coach wanted them to be more of a decoy against a superior team after a season full of playing an entirely different way.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksorBust View Post
    Do you really believe he would have that level of impact if he was on defense playing against teams like the Warriors and Rockets who would just be bombing 3's over his head for 4 quarters?
    He could effectively switch, you couldn't exploit him defensively. But you're prolly right about the value of defensive bigs being minimized today, its just look at Gobert. He has that old school level of impact, peak Gasol brothers could too, Russ makes them all look smaller on that end. Thats a pretty big advantage on a team level. Also, transcendant talents kind of alter the shape of the league. Like if this league had peak MJ and Shaq, doesn't some of this single rim protecting, light of build big have to get some help containing the greatest paint attackers? Do we see a revival of strong side overloads, bringing Thibs back to his peak form?

    How much do we take away from bigs? D-Rob and KG as secondary guys prolly boosts them past a guy like Moses today, who wasn't as much of a defender and whos offensive rebounding would be more discouraged vs getting back in transition (tho he would still be the best at getting his own misses).

  14. #29
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    OK, if we're imagining the perfect team today, Im prolly leaning Wade. Hes better at the type of things primary offensive hubs have to be at today. It would be impossible to stay in front of Wade in a D'Antoni type of offense, he would make what an older, less athletic RWB had been doing recently look pedestrian by comparison, all this while having the energy to be a frenetic defender who could rotate over and help protect the paint. IDK how much of getting rid of Capella is due to Harden's inability or lack of desire to play off the ball more or if thats just how much RWB has declined because back in his hey, RWB could slash to this level even amidst cramped spacing with far more traditional bigs than Capella.


    Gimme 2 more posts to make my decision, if the voting is done, gimme Wade in 09. Even tho Kobe was prolly the better player that year. ugh this makes no sense, whos game translates better today, Wade or Kobe (the game has changed that much in the past few years) or would they help change the game back abit given their skillsets/talent?

  15. #30
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    I think the best way to interpret your peak stance is to imagine a player who could best lead a team to victory as the main guy in todays game, with the perfect supporting cast alongside them. Made that harder than it should've been.

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