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NBA 2021 - Randle Hearts

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At long last, here is the Thinking Basketball ranking of the Greatest Peaks.

I still think that the under-valuing of rebounding hurts the assessment of players from earlier in the era, but this is a really nice series.

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Interesting that Kobe was outside the top 10, did not expect that.  I haven't watched all the videos (including Kobe's) but I expected he would be clearly above someone like Garnett. 

I mostly agree with his conclusion that Jordan would be a superstar on any team, whereas Lebron needs to be the engine powering the offense in order to be effective.  That said, if you put an effective team around Lebron, it is quite possible that team would be better than Jordan's. 

One general note when you're trying to build these hypothetical "superteams" is that very few stars (particularly as the league has expanded) do a whole lot of work off-ball.  Many of those superstars are actually kinda bad at it when they did try it.  Lebron with Wade running the show was pretty awkward, Shaq kinda sucks if you aren't feeding him the ball, the list goes on.  The same isn't true for defensive all-stars, which can happily thrive alongside additional stud defenders. 

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4 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Interesting that Kobe was outside the top 10, did not expect that.  I haven't watched all the videos (including Kobe's) but I expected he would be clearly above someone like Garnett. 

I don't think it's all that surprising. Kobe isn't a top 10 player in my book, and I think he's probably the most overrated elite tier player in NBA history. Kobe was a top five player season over season for a long time, but rarely did he ever feel like the best among his peers. He just benefitted a ton from his team and the market he was in.

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39 minutes ago, KingintheNorth4 said:

Yeah so Zach LaVine just casually dropped 39 points in the 1st half.

I never wanted us to trade him.....

 

Also, @DanteGabriel, F you and fuck the Celtics. How dare you let us take you to overtime. Beat us already!!!!

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Wild night of basketball, dudes! Bulls Hawks has been nuts, and is only the third craziest game I have on, with Memphis/NY and Minn/Bos going to OT at the same time.

I was headed to a patio, gonna have to wait.

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7 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Also, @DanteGabriel, F you and fuck the Celtics. How dare you let us take you to overtime. Beat us already!!!!

I started talking like Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall: "We're actually doing this. Just letting this happen."

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9 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

I started talking like Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall: "We're actually doing this. Just letting this happen."

Lol, I'll always love that movie. Saw it with my ex-fiancé, who looked almost exactly like Bell but with a booty and left wondering if Brand was an amazing actor. Turns out he was just being himself.  

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20 minutes ago, Argonath Diver said:

Wild night of basketball, dudes! Bulls Hawks has been nuts, and is only the third craziest game I have on, with Memphis/NY and Minn/Bos going to OT at the same time.

I was headed to a patio, gonna have to wait.

Philly/NO is pretty fun too. Zion's at 37/15/8 right now.

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1 minute ago, Tywin et al. said:

Lol, I'll always love that movie. Saw it with my ex-fiancé, who looked almost exactly like Bell but with a booty and left wondering if Brand was an amazing actor. Turns out he was just being himself.  

I did enjoy Brand a lot but yeah, it's just him. They didn't even bother to create a new character for him for Get Him to the Greek but Jonah Hill was different.

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18 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

I did enjoy Brand a lot but yeah, it's just him. They didn't even bother to create a new character for him for Get Him to the Greek but Jonah Hill was different.

I need to give that film a second go at some point. Saw it in the theaters when it came out and thought it was pretty meh, but whenever I see clips from it I crack up.

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9 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Philly/NO is pretty fun too. Zion's at 37/15/8 right now.

I've only caught the last couple of minutes but it was Adams/Embiid, Ingram/Simmons and Zion/Green. Really? You put Danny Green on Zion? I guess Green managed to force a turnover once in the time I watched but it was three clean buckets by Zion otherwise.

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12 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

I've only caught the last couple of minutes but it was Adams/Embiid, Ingram/Simmons and Zion/Green. Really? You put Danny Green on Zion? I guess Green managed to force a turnover once in the time I watched but it was three clean buckets by Zion otherwise.

I didn't get to see the game, just updates on my laptop, but they must have been doing something right because Zion had a pretty poor shooting night by his insane efficiency standards. This Point Zion experiment is getting scary though. 

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19 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I didn't get to see the game, just updates on my laptop, but they must have been doing something right because Zion had a pretty poor shooting night by his insane efficiency standards. This Point Zion experiment is getting scary though. 

I missed most of it too. Thinking back, Embiid had a block on Zion in that time as well.

No idea what Zion's averaging but that looked like a fairly good night to me. Especially in contrast to Embiid and Ingram who went 5 of 16 and 21 respectively. Those have to be even bigger drops from their average.

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10 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

I missed most of it too. Thinking back, Embiid had a block on Zion in that time as well.

No idea what Zion's averaging but that looked like a fairly good night to me. Especially in contrast to Embiid and Ingram who went 5 of 16 and 21 respectively. Those have to be even bigger drops from their average.

Check out the video from post 179 on page 9. It's not too long.

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11 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Check out the video from post 179 on page 9. It's not too long.

I'll get around to it sometime. In the meantime though, seems like its just a drop in efficiency from being the primary ball handler.

https://www.espn.com.sg/nba/story/_/id/31226281/new-orleans-pelicans-give-zion-williamson-keys-offense-drive-away-win

-

Its roughly a month to go until the playoffs. Hope teams get healthy before then. Except Beverly. He's a prime candidate to injure another player. 

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23 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Interesting that Kobe was outside the top 10, did not expect that.  I haven't watched all the videos (including Kobe's) but I expected he would be clearly above someone like Garnett. 

Kobe had a LOT of parallels with Bird, but without the transformative ability to make his teammates better at his own expense.

One parallel is his lack of finish at the basket against rim protectors, combined with his smaller hands that hurt his scoring efficiency, just like Bird's lack of jumping ability after the 1985 injury meant his conversion percentage was lower at the rim.

Another is that Kobe's defensive peak, which wasn't much of a peak, didn't coincide with his offensive peak.  This again is similar to Bird in that before 85 Bird was a terrific defender with some highly questionable shot selection, and after 85 he became a much better and more efficient scorer, but couldn't defend with the same athleticism.

I think that the reason Bird is in the top ten and Kobe isn't is that the advanced and augmented metrics value overall offensive creation, and specifically the ability to create for teammates.  Kobe didn't demonstrate that sort of game-changing performance.

Garnett was the other sort of Greatest Peak player - a big like Walton, Robinson, etc. who sparked the defense and was willing to set up his teammates on offense in addition to scoring as the No. 2 option.  But Garnett has to be close to, if not the best defender in the series, and my choice as the smartest defender of the series.  And of course his creation for teammates was outstanding, which the metrics value.

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33 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

I'll get around to it sometime. In the meantime though, seems like its just a drop in efficiency from being the primary ball handler.

https://www.espn.com.sg/nba/story/_/id/31226281/new-orleans-pelicans-give-zion-williamson-keys-offense-drive-away-win

The video also details how you have to factor in Zion's second jump around the rim. It's kind of insane when you think about it. He's going back up as everyone around him is landing resetting, hence why he gets so many second chance points. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

Garnett was the other sort of Greatest Peak player - a big like Walton, Robinson, etc. who sparked the defense and was willing to set up his teammates on offense in addition to scoring as the No. 2 option.  But Garnett has to be close to, if not the best defender in the series, and my choice as the smartest defender of the series.  And of course his creation for teammates was outstanding, which the metrics value.

In addition, KG opened the door for bigs who could play like traditional guards. He was the first unicorn, able to play every position on offense and guard every position defense. I've always wondered what could have been if he would have just learned to take a step back and turn all those long 2's into 3's. It's fair to say that he probably always needed to be the second banana on a truly dominate team, but you couldn't ask for a better player to own that role on both ends of the court.

Edited by Tywin et al.

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:16 AM, Maithanet said:

...The same isn't true for defensive all-stars, which can happily thrive alongside additional stud defenders. 

Considering your statement a little more, I think you have pointed out to me just how much "being good on defense makes you a good teammate" also shows up in this series.  Mainly we consider great scorers to be the greatest, but D is key for 12 of these video subjects.

So to support your statement, for almost all of the 15 players in the Greatest Peaks show, putting in key defensive performances was one of the drivers that led to their GPs and their championships during those peaks, according to the series.

  1. Wilt & Russ Preview - Conclusion: defense at the peak was the key
  2. Walton - Yes
  3. Kareem - Yes, his GP was when he could play effective D
  4. Bird - Yes, the GP years are his best defensive years, not his best offensive years
  5. Magic - No, an exception to the rule
  6. Jordan - Yes, when he wanted to turn it on
  7. Robinson - Yes
  8. Olajuwon - Yes
  9. Shaq - Video shies away from saying "No" outright, but he was again exceptional physically on offense
  10. Kobe - No
  11. KG - Yes
  12. Duncan - Yes
  13. LeBron - Yes
  14. KD - Yes
  15. Curry - Yes, within the limitations of a short guard

So the conclusion from this list is that if you are a Laker, defense is not a requirement.  [Jokes are funny, now you laugh with me.]

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