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The NBA Playoffs...

Discussion in 'Colosseum' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, I think I disagree with you on a couple of things. First, the reason Miami won game 2 so decisively was that LeBron forced the action and the role players (Chalmers being the biggest example) stepped up.

    Look at the box score from game 2: Wade went 5-13 (10), Bosh went 6-10 (12), and they combined for exactly 2 free throws, which Wade missed. That doesn't say that they were attacking at all.

    But look at the contribution from relatively unlikely sources: Ray Allen - 5-8 (13), Chalmers - 6-12 (19) and 5-5 from the stripe, Birdman - 3-3 (9), 3-4 from the stripe, and Mike Miller went 3-3 from 3 for 9 points. That's how Miami won the game (well, that and the fact that every Spur not named Danny Green and Cory Joseph shot like crap and the Spurs had 10 more TO's than Miami and Parker accounted for 5 of them all by himself).

    If you look at the box score for game 3, LeBron shot a little worse, Bosh shot a little worse, Wade shot a little better, Mike Miller went 5-5 on 3's (seriously, does this guy shoot any other shot?) and although Ray Allen went 2-2, they were deuces and he did not impact the game at all. Chalmers? 0-5, no FT's. Birdman? 2 points. Their other scrubs were equally scrubby.

    Danny Green and Gary Neal should have been forced to pee in a cup after their game 3 performances. The rest of the Spurs, though, were fairly consistent to their averages.

    I'm also not sure I agree with you about the quality of this Spurs team. I see a drop-off in Manu, sure, but I really think that their other players are better than past Spurs team (Duncan is so consistent, it's eerie). I think Kawhi Leonard is underrated and a great defender. I think that Green and their other shooters are perfect for the current NBA rules. I think Parker is much better than he was.

    But the LeBron points you make are pretty accurate as far as Jordan comparisons. I'd rather compare him to Magic than MJ though, because I think his game is more comparable. Either way, he needs to do something to get his guys moving. I would think that the Spurs are giving him that outside shot. He knows it and they know it. If I were him, I'd go into the next game taking that shot first and foremost and if it went in, I'd know I had the Spurs. If not, he really should be posting up more and driving more, looking for the superstar calls. Hell, if he got 1/4 of the calls Wade got in 2006, the Heat would win this thing easily.
     
  2. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    I'll be really surprised if Bosh is playing in Miami through all of next season. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if he was traded in the off-season, but I think it's more likely they'll try to showcase him through the next season and dump him right before the trade deadline. They have a lot of older wing players (who obviously are a step or two slower than the Spur's wings). They have no play-makers. They desperately need a center, and someone else who can rebound and play good low-post D. Bosh apparently isn't that guy. (Of course, this assumes Spoelstra, Riley, etc, stay in town. A lot of Bosh's current woes are in the offensive and defensive schemes that the Heat play).

    I don't think Bosh is a bad player, but he is a power-forward, almost a small-forward, in terms of his game. A finesse forward. He is a decent, unspectacular rebounder, a decent face-up shooter without much range, not much for ball-handling skills, though he's a pretty good slasher for a 6'10" guy. Very effective from 5 to 12 feet from the basket, either facing or with his back to the basket. Runs the court pretty well. Used to look really good when he was flashing to the basket, except the Heat never have him flash anymore. Good man-to-man defender (good speed, good hands), kinda overrated team defender (kind of a mediocre shot-blocker, frankly). From what I've seen of him in the play-offs, the Heat want to stick him on the perimeter on offense--where he really isn't a good enough shooter (and he doesn't get enough looks) to really make the other team pay for leaving him alone out there, so the other team tends to crowd the middle. Plus the Heat like to make him defend the other team's center--which Bosh just isn't well-suited for, especially if their center is a talented and/or aggressive player. I think if Bosh was consistently playing PF, he'd look very different.

    Wade DOES look "done," but I don't understand it. How can he play, as well as he is playing, with a SERIOUS injury? I mean, he's still dunking on occasion, blowing by guys on occasion, making highlight-reel defensive plays from time to time. So it must not be that serious, right? (i.e., probably not torn ACL or MCL injury). So what is his deal? Furthermore, if he's had this injury all season, like he's intimated in the past, why didn't he have it fixed five months ago? Maybe it's way more serious than anyone is letting on and he has some sort of freakish discipline and pain tolerance. (That seems unlikely, though).

    Completely disagree with a comparison of LeBron to Magic Johnson. 9 years or whatever it is into LeBron's career, I still don't have much of a sense that LeBron is really a play-maker. He's really good at spotting open shooters, mostly on the perimeter, and since he has the ball in his hands for a pretty significant amount of the time, he piles up his assists that way. However, he seems more likely to break a play than to execute the offense with precision--nor does LeBron really spot a player no one else even saw and hit him with a pin-point pass that no one else would have tried, let alone made--like Magic did. Having the skills to be a good passer and the willingness to make the open pass is not the same as being an outstanding and imaginative play-maker like many of the all-time great play-makers--guys like Magic, Stockton, Nash, Thomas, Kidd, etc. I have never seen LeBron even threaten to pass for 24 assists in a play-off game, or 21 in a Finals game against the Celtics, or average 17 assists a game through the play-offs, or get role-players going like Michael Cooper or Mychal Thompson through his passing and playmaking and leadership--all of which Magic did. The passes I saw Magic make in the open court on the fast-break--incredible things of beauty. LeBron's passing--not so much.

    Frankly, LeBron reminds me more a stronger, taller, faster Clyde Drexler. By no means do I mean to denigrate LeBron (or Clyde) as a player. But he's no Magic Johnson. Or Michael Jordan. He's just different. Which is what makes the league, year after year, so fun.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    All fair points dmc. I do agree with dogsoldier in LeBron not really being like Magic. Magic was a triple double waiting to happen (career playoff average: 19/8/12), but he wasn't putting up crazy points each and every night. I agree that the Lebron we have seen the last few games is very Magic-like in that he has scored under 20 points with a good number of rebounds and assists, but that's not really his game. Magic had people like Kareen or Worthy (and for a time both) to help carry the offensive load. Magic was fine with a 15-20 point night, because chances are he was not (nor was his team dependent upon him being) the leading scorer. (Wait a minute - what the hell am I doing? I need to stop this madness. You're a Lakers fan who saw Magic's entire career! You're the last person I need to explain this to.) Anyway, the Heat aren't winning this series with LeBron scoring in the teens every night.

    The larger point I'm making is that there are some conversations out there - and anyone who follows basketball has heard them - that LeBron has a chance to go down as the greatest player ever. When I said this series will affect his legacy, it was in regards to this that I was specifically talking about.

    And one ring in four tries just doesn't cut it for me. And titles matter so much in basketball. I'm not saying he has to equal MJ's total of six to get in the discussion. But you do need multiple titles to get in the team picture of "best players ever". As a counter example, Kobe is allowed in the discussion with his 5 titles. While I think Jordan was better than Kobe, I don't think he's better because he has one more ring, and I won't think Kobe wil instantly become as good as MJ if he does win another ring in his career. Rings are not the be all and end all of the discussion, but they do matter.

    As an ancillary topic, I did like Simmon's discussion on Duncan's career. I'm not sure I agree with his argument that if Duncan gets a 5th title he passes off Kobe as the most dominant player of his generation. (You have to at least take the source into account, and when you're asking a Celtics fan to judge a Laker as compared to someone else, if it's close the Laker is going to lose.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  4. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    That is a good point. Titles, or more specifically, the ability to win clutch games, does matter. No one seriously talks about Allen Iverson, Bernard King, or Dominique Wilkins as three of the best players to ever play the game. (I'm fans of all three, however). At least partially it's because they never won the "big" ones.

    I have to say this--I'm never excited to see LeBron play. I don't mean that to put him down. But I don't think I'll see him do something that I've never seen before. I'm a life-long Celtics fan and I get more excited to see Kobe play than I do to see LeBron play. To me, that figures a little bit into "best player ever" discussions, too. Does he have some refined skill (like the skyhook), uncanny ability (like Magic, or Bird's [yep, I just went there], court-vision), or drive to not just score a lot of points but to crush the will of the opposing defender (like MJ or Kobe)? I don't really see that in LeBron, other than he probably has to be the fastest runner I've ever seen at his size--other than that, he's an incredible athlete who is good at almost everything. To me, he's just not truly dominant or outrageously talented at anything in particular.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I don't see why this would be considered an outlandish claim. It is if you're saying Bird's court vision was as good as Magic, but I think just about everyone would place Bird on their list of 10 best players ever. So there's nothing particularly audacious about that statement. Bird doesn't crack my top 5, but he's in the top 10.
     
  6. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    My larger point on the LeBron comparison was that I don't think he is like MJ. I think Kobe is like MJ. MJ wanted the ball and wanted the shot when everything absolutely mattered. Sure he passed a couple of prominent times to Paxon and Kerr, but for every one of those, there's several of those wonderful no-called push off to get that game winner against Utah and Bryon Russell (or however you spell his name). MJ and Kobe are wired in a similar way, and if Kobe played a little better D, and had a slightly different personality, the comparisons would be more justified.

    I just think that LeBron is wired more like Magic. He is looking more to make the right basketball play, and is pretty content to get assists if that's what he is being given. No, I don't think he has Magic's (or Bird's) court vision, but he makes up for that "lack" by being such a physical beast that he doesn't need to make the pinpoint pass that no one else can even see -- he can make a very good pass because EVERYONE on the floor is paying attention to him.

    So, my comparison was more a wiring thing than a pure talent comparison. Heck, he really isn't wired all that much like Magic because Magic was ultra-competitive and hid that behind a million dollar smile. LeBron doesn't seem to be as competitive as you would expect. That's why he's not going to be the best ever -- he really, truly, doesn't want it as much as MJ and Kobe do.

    Remember MJ's acceptance speech to his induction in the HOF -- he was still dredging up crap from years before and he came off as an A-hole -- that's what drove him. Kobe still brings up crap like Smush Parker, as if he is vaguely relevant. These guys are just wired differently. If LeBron figures out how to ramp up that intensity, it won't matter which way he plays, he will go down as, possibly, the best ever because he has such physical gifts. Imagine if MJ or Kobe had that body . . .
     
  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I find it funny that the Mailman with his Man-Crush on Lebron has Lebron on his all-time top 5 team and not MJ. I think there is no comparison. MJ had the killer instinct all of the time. Kobe has it. Lebron has it occasionally. That's the biggest difference in their games. Lebron CAN be the greatest player ever, but I don't think he has the drive to do it every night. Plus, his time is running out, it's now or never if he wants greatness. So far this series, he hasn't showed it.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Oh yeah - MJ's competitiveness if legendary. He still has it to this day. He just needs that rush. That's why he loves gambling - for the adrenaline rush. He loves golf, but he also almost always plays for money. He needs that competition.

    That's a great point. LeBron is now 28. While he still has a lot of total years left, he doesn't have that many peak years left. And in that regard Kobe is the best comparison. Kobe still hopes to play for another couple of years, but I don't know if he can still be Kobe for those last couple of years. Kobe almost certainly still has good years left, but does have any great years left? Does he come back and average 18 a game? Still plenty productive enough to play, but no longer among the games best? How many great years does LeBron have left? 3? maybe 4?
     
  9. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    I thought it was totally bizarre that Malone would call LeBron James the greatest power forward of all time. Small forward, I could see. Power forward? Better than Tim Duncan, Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Bob Pettit or Elvin Hayes (I never saw Pettit or Hayes play, so it's hard for me to really champion their talents, but most sports writers do), or Karl himself? Dennis Rodman?

    Maybe it's that the position has changed, now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  10. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    D-Wade is in the HOUSE! That is exactly what the Heat needed. Not just Lebron, but all 3 Bigs putting up the numbers, even Allen contributing. We got ourselves a series!
     
  11. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    I was shocked while watching that game! Where has D-Wade been? He looked not just "fine," but aggressive, confident, healthy, and explosive last night. Where was this guy last month?

    One thing I noticed was that it seemed like all the sets were ran through, or at the end, the ball ended up in, the hands of D-Wade, Bosh, and LeBron. I don't think the Heat can go wrong with putting the ball in the hands of their stars, and letting them win it or lose it. So far it looks like a smart strategy.
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I viewed game 4 as a must win game for the Heat and game 5 as a must win game for the Spurs. It is obvious in a tied series that the team winning game 5 has a strong advantage moving forward, only needing to win one of the remaining two games. But I thought it was imperative that the Spurs got game 5. You could talk me into the notion that the Heat can win the final two games at home to pull out the series. OTOH, had the Spurs lost game 5, I'd have a really hard time believing that they could go to Miami and win the final two.

    Overall, I find this series all the more impossible to predict the futher along it goes. Aside from game 1 which was competitive from start to finish, none of the other games have been worth watching to the end. Each team looked completely dominant in their other two victories. One would think that in a series teid at 1-1 and then again at 2-2, that you'd have two evenly matched teams, and I guess in priniciple that is true. But it looks like there are different teams on the floor each time they play. So while I think the Spurs have a distinct advantage in only needing to win one of the next two games (let's face it - the Heat haven't really made a habit of winning consecutive games lately), I wouldn't be totally shocked if the Heat won the last two either. I have no idea which Heat and Spurs teams are going to show up in the next two games.
     
  13. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Wow. What an exciting game. Ray Allen proves how important he is, LeBron almost melts down but doesn't, and the Spurs miss just enough free throws to give Miami the opening they needed.

    Manu wasn't getting that foul called even though he was fouled.

    On to game 7. We'll see how mentally strong the Spurs are.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    And Bosh totally fouled on the last shot in overtime - but like you said, even if that's a foul for the first 47 minutes of a game (or in this case 51 minutes) - it's not a foul in the last minute. (Which is stupid, but also the way the game is always called.) I'm not saying the refs were only giving Miami free license to do whatever they wanted - I believe had the situation been reversed, and Duncan fouled someone, they wouldn't have called that either. I think for the last couple of minutes of regulation and the entire overtime period, the refs pretty much let anything go that wasn't super obvious.

    I think the Spurs are cooked. That was a very winable game, and they lost it. Obviously going 2 for 4 on free throws in the last 40 seconds killed them. Although that's not the only thing that went wrong. They showed Duncan's stats at the end of the 3rd quarter. He had 30. I'm pretty sure that also represents his total at the end of the game. Conversely, LeBron - who was nothing short of spectacular in the 4th quarter - had 14 at the end of the 3rd, and finished the game with 32.

    I wasn't convinced that the Spurs had the game at the end of the 3rd quarter with a 10 point lead - Miami completely erased that and even breifly took the lead by the mid point of the 4th quarter. But I DID think the Spurs had them when Ginobli hit one of two free throws to put the Spurs up 5 with 30-something seconds to play.

    Even though they have alternated wins up to this point in the series, I now feel that Miami will take over in game 7. (And yeah, I know I picked Miami before the series started, but as the series has worn on, I've found myself rooting for the Spurs.)
     
  15. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Thre were some major personnel gaffs by Pops at the end of regulation. Duncan and Parker on the bench towards the end of a possibly series deciding NBA FINALS GAME?! Even if they both had 5 fouls each and 2 bad hammies each, those guys should be on the court, hands down. Not sure what Pops strategy was there?????:confused:
     
  16. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Hmmm. Very exciting game. I'm glad the Spurs showed up, but there was something really cool about seeing Wade and LeBron really excel in such an important game (unlike Bosh, who did not). Green needed some of his earlier magic -- too many forced shots and too many turnovers. Leonard is going to be one heck of a star.
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I think Leonard is going to be great too.

    OTOH, I just knew it was going to be the Heat after their comeback win in Game 6. You don't really get extra chances, and the Spurs had their chance on Tuesday to close out the series. In many ways this game was the reverse of Game 6. I felt that in Game 6 the Spurs outplayed the Heat for much of the game. But I think it was the Spurs who were desperately trying to keep up with the Heat all game. And they just couldn't quite do it. They did have occassional small leads throughout the game, but it was the Heat that really controlled the tempo. I LeBron put up a performance befitting the best player in the game.
     
  18. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    I think Leonard and Green have bright futures ahead of them.

    Through the first five games, 25-year-old Green was arguably the best player in the series. My understanding is he was sick yesterday. Another year of experience, maybe some more favorable calls from refs, and next season he may be a very different player.
     
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