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NBA Finals - The Problem with Steph Curry


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20 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Idk about that but I will say KD > Kobe.

I just don't see any reason to put KD above Kobe, and I'd really like to hear what I'm missing. Could you elaborate, please?

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Just now, baxus said:

I just don't see any reason to put KD above Kobe, and I'd really like to hear what I'm missing. Could you elaborate, please?

One is an incredibly efficient scorer. The other scored through volume. On defence, drive and not being a dick though, there is only one winner  

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Just checked, KD has a bit better PPG and FG% stats, but his FG% is not that much better than Kobe's to make one "an incredibly efficient scorer" and the other "scoring through volume". On the other hand, Kobe's 9 All-Defensive First team selections more than make up for those 2 points per game.

Just to be clear, not trying to diminish anything Durant's achieved over his career (so far) but I still don't see which of those achievements would rank him above Kobe.

Edited by baxus
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16 minutes ago, baxus said:

I just don't see any reason to put KD above Kobe, and I'd really like to hear what I'm missing. Could you elaborate, please?

Sure. I think Kobe and KD are both in the 11-15 all-time spots and if I were picking one to start a team with it would easily be Durant. He’s six inches taller, possibly more athletic and better than Kobe at what Kobe did best. Kobe was the more consistent defender, but when KD wanted to pre-injury he could summon elite defense as well. Kobe’s career is better because of the championships, but based on pure talent I’d say KD is the better player.

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Kobe's game has never translated well into advanced stats.  Thinking Basketball called him "the best difficult shotmaker ever" but too often he settled for difficult shots.  Now I think that Curry is a far better shotmaker than Kobe, but I agree that Kobe's ability to make contested shot after contested shot was his biggest skill. 

Both guys played good defense.  Both guys had great teammates but sometimes struggled with making his teammates better.

I will say that KD's legacy right now is in complete ruins.  He won two championships in Golden State, but that core has now won two championships without him.  It is absolutely fair to wonder if the Warriors could have won those two rings even if Durant only came off the bench playing 15 minutes a game, or if they just resigned Harrison Barnes.  I'm not saying they would have, but it's very possible.  And that's really unusual.  Could Lebron's teams have won any championships without him?  Hell no, they would have been lucky to win a single game.  What about Duncan?  Definitely not.  Shaq?  Not even close. 

Durant needs another championship really badly.  If he doesn't get one he's gonna be in the tier of guys who won a ring but everyone knows their team earned it for them, a la Dwight Howard.

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13 minutes ago, baxus said:

Just checked, KD has a bit better PPG and FG% stats, but his FG% is not that much better than Kobe's to make one "an incredibly efficient scorer" and the other "scoring through volume". On the other hand, Kobe's 9 All-Defensive First team selections more than make up for those 2 points per game.

 

He is approx 5% better in FG's, 3pt and FT's, that's a lot. 

That said I'd take Kobe marginally over KD based on the dick factor alone. 

Edited by BigFatCoward
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25 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Durant needs another championship really badly.  If he doesn't get one he's gonna be in the tier of guys who won a ring but everyone knows their team earned it for them, a la Dwight Howard.

This seems a tad harsh. Curry was the most important player on those teams, but KD was the more talented player. And we did just witness the Warriors lose to the Cavs at full strength and while I don’t agree with the take, it’s possible the Cavs were the better team over that time period if KD never joins them.

You’re right though that his reputation is in the gutter right now. The funny thing is were just over a year removed from a slightly smaller toe changing all of that. Since then everything has gone as poorly as possible for him.

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36 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

This seems a tad harsh. Curry was the most important player on those teams, but KD was the more talented player. And we did just witness the Warriors lose to the Cavs at full strength and while I don’t agree with the take, it’s possible the Cavs were the better team over that time period if KD never joins them.

I don't know that I'd call the 2016 Warriors full strength, Curry was not nearly as mobile in that Finals as he was prior to the ankle injury.  And overall the Cavs and Warriors were 1-1 in Finals.  It's possible the Cavs win in the rubber match in 2017, but I think it's more likely that the Warriors would prevail.  And by 2018 the Cavs were blown up because of Kyrie. 

There's not question the Warriors might have lost in 2017 or 2018 without KD.  But there's also no question that if KD hadn't joined the Warriors then GSW (not CLE) would have been the betting favorite going into the 2017 season, because they just came off a 73 win season.  His presence changed the Warriors from betting favorites (like a 40% chance of winning a title) to "only injury can stop them", which is exactly how it went in 2017-2019. 

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

I don't know that I'd call the 2016 Warriors full strength, Curry was not nearly as mobile in that Finals as he was prior to the ankle injury.  And overall the Cavs and Warriors were 1-1 in Finals.  It's possible the Cavs win in the rubber match in 2017, but I think it's more likely that the Warriors would prevail.  And by 2018 the Cavs were blown up because of Kyrie. 

There's not question the Warriors might have lost in 2017 or 2018 without KD.  But there's also no question that if KD hadn't joined the Warriors then GSW (not CLE) would have been the betting favorite going into the 2017 season, because they just came off a 73 win season.  His presence changed the Warriors from betting favorites (like a 40% chance of winning a title) to "only injury can stop them", which is exactly how it went in 2017-2019. 

All valid points except the Cavs injuries in 2015 were far more significant than Curry's in 2016. And if we're playing the sliding doors game it's possible he doesn't make the same kind of leap in 16 if they lose the championship in 15. Curry won that first MVP because LeBron fatigue and best player on best team. He won it in 16 because he was the best player in basketball. Winning the title may have juiced his confidence and led the Warriors to letting him shoot more 3's. His average attempts per game went up by 3 in 16.

My pushback with KD is more based on the role he played. He wasn't some hanger on, he became the teams best player and filled a role they were sorely lacking. Curry was the only guy who could get his own shot and due to his size and the physicality of the playoffs that wasn't enough to beat LeBron with. They needed another guy who could do that, just turns out they guy the got was a top 3 player and an all-time great. It was smart business all around because it also ended the Thunder.

Then KD went and made what appears to be one of the worst business decisions of all time. He left a well run franchise for a meh one. in the process he sent the Warriors back what would turn into Wiggins, who the Warriors absolutely needed to win. He traded in a better, more reliable PG for the least reliable guy in sports. Together they made multiple decisions that made their chances of winning worse, not better. And then the worst possible scenario played out. The Warriors didn't just win the title, they beat the team that swept KD and made him look like a shell of himself while Curry was able to cook the best defense in the league. And now his team is imploding and there's not much he can do. So yeah, his reputation is shit and I don't see how he changes that without a multi-title run which does not appear to be in the cards as of now.

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Of all the people for KD to hitch his wagon to, I have no idea why he thought that Kyrie and Harden were the guys.  Literally if I were making a list of top 30 guys to pair with KD, those two are the worst.  I guess from a legacy perspective Lebron would probably be worse, although he'd at least be winning titles and probably more Finals MVPs.  But really anyone else would be fine.  If he wanted to pair himself with GIannis or Jokic or Embiid or Tatum or Kawhi, any of those teams would have made room for him and he would probably win a championship.  But instead he's in Brooklyn, where Harden is already gone, Kyrie is on the way out and Durant's prime is just vanishing into thin air. 

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Smith as the top pick seems to be confirmed with Chet going second. Everything after the third pick is up in the air and a ton of trades are expected tonight because free agencies is going to be pretty weak this year.

And now it seems like KD wants to be traded too if Kyrie isn’t resigned. Talk about digging your grave even deeper.

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22 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

And now it seems like KD wants to be traded too if Kyrie isn’t resigned. Talk about digging your grave even deeper.

I dunno, it's looking more and more like there is absolutely nothing in Brooklyn for KD.  They got embarassed in the first round, and that was with Kyrie playing.  If Simmons is in the fold could they realistically expect to beat Boston in a series?  I doubt it.  Could they beat Milwaukee?  Also doubtful.

I'm not at all surprised that KD wants out of this disaster.  Yes, of course it was mostly of his own making, but being a top 5 player means never having to say you're sorry. 

Then the question becomes what teams KD will agree to go to, and which of those teams can put together a decent package in return.  It might actually be a short list. 

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Did the Heat need Lebron to win their titles? I mean, during their final loss to Dallas he was pretty much passenger, no?

His other teams wouldn't have won it without him. But the Heat were pretty stacked with talent iirc.

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Just now, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Did the Heat need Lebron to win their titles? I mean, during their final loss to Dallas he was pretty much passenger, no?

His other teams wouldn't have won it without him. But the Heat were pretty stacked with talent iirc.

You answered your own question.  In the Mavs series Lebron played passive and they lost.  And they never would have beaten the Bulls in the ECF without Lebron anyway (who played very well in that series).  The Heat with Wade + Bosh was discussed for a few days before The Decision turned the duo into a trio, and everyone agreed that they were probably the 3rd or 4th best team in the East.  Not real title contenders. 

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

Then the question becomes what teams KD will agree to go to, and which of those teams can put together a decent package in return.  It might actually be a short list. 

It almost certainly will be a very short list.

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Oh, also, as Ty said it seems all but confirmed that the Magic are going with Smith.  Which, as I've said before, I'm fine with (or at least I think it's justifiable), but I am a bit surprised how easy the decision apparently was between him and Holmgren.  (OTOH, they did "do their due diligence" in working out a number of players, so perhaps this is just me from an outsider's perspective.)  The guys at ESPN clearly prefer Holmgren, and my brother tells me so do the guys at The Ringer's podcasts.  I generally agree, so we'll see if the Magic live to rue the day they underestimated the skinny white guy.

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How well regarded are this year's prospects compared to last year? I guess last year might have been a little deeper with a top four-five instead of three, but putting that aside, are the projections for the top three this year as positive as it was for last year?

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2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

I dunno, it's looking more and more like there is absolutely nothing in Brooklyn for KD.  They got embarassed in the first round, and that was with Kyrie playing.  If Simmons is in the fold could they realistically expect to beat Boston in a series?  I doubt it.  Could they beat Milwaukee?  Also doubtful.

I'm not at all surprised that KD wants out of this disaster.  Yes, of course it was mostly of his own making, but being a top 5 player means never having to say you're sorry. 

Then the question becomes what teams KD will agree to go to, and which of those teams can put together a decent package in return.  It might actually be a short list. 

Forcing his way out would only further damage his reputation, possibly to a point that’s beyond repair. As to where he could reasonably go, I have no idea in part because the Nets have no reason to play ball after he just effectively wrecked all their hopes and dreams.

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43 minutes ago, DMC said:

Oh, also, as Ty said it seems all but confirmed that the Magic are going with Smith.  Which, as I've said before, I'm fine with (or at least I think it's justifiable), but I am a bit surprised how easy the decision apparently was between him and Holmgren.  (OTOH, they did "do their due diligence" in working out a number of players, so perhaps this is just me from an outsider's perspective.)  The guys at ESPN clearly prefer Holmgren, and my brother tells me so do the guys at The Ringer's podcasts.  I generally agree, so we'll see if the Magic live to rue the day they underestimated the skinny white guy.

I’ve had a change of heart on this one and actually might take Chet. Smith is getting praised for his outside shooting, but everything I’ve seen says he needs to work on every other aspect of his game. Basically every analyst has said that yes, Chet’s body is a major issue, but he’s the only guy with superstar upside even if it will take him some time to develop physically.

Sounds like you got the first pick one year too soon. Everyone is drooling over the kid from France who destroyed Chet when they played in a U19 game.

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