Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1...

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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#121 » by 1UPZ » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:50 am

Spurs so lucky... 3 generations in a row where they got an MVP and DPOY (Duncan. Should have won one) on their team... Admiral, Duncan and Leonard
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#122 » by Clay Davis » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:18 am

1UPZ wrote:Spurs so lucky... 3 generations in a row where they got an MVP and DPOY (Duncan. Should have won one) on their team... Admiral, Duncan and Leonard


They've also managed to do it with straight 50-win seasons (barring lock-outs, but they were on 50+win paces) from TD on-wards.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#123 » by Pennebaker » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:24 am

Nope. Kawhi has long been overrated by white people.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#124 » by young_frogger » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:03 am

Duke4life831 wrote:
PeptoKlepto wrote:
Duke4life831 wrote:
Ya let's not act like the Spurs are some super team. The 2nd best player on the team just had a thread on here talking about how much he's regressed this year. Just look at the guys getting minutes on the team after Kawhi and Aldridge, you got Green, Mills, Parker, Gasol and Lee. You got role players and really aging stars. Harden us surrounded by a good amount of good role players himself. Take Kawhi off SA and they definitely don't have the 2nd best record anymore.


Except Aldridge hasn't regressed at all.


His FG% dropped from 51% to 47%, 2 rebounds less per 36 and worst rebounding % in 5 years. His PER dropped from 22 to 18, it hasn't been this low in like 7 years. His TS% went from 56% to 53%, his WS/48 went from .215 to .152. So the eye test, traditional stats and advanced stats all show a regression from last year.


Clearly, Kawhi does a poor job making his teammates better /s
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#125 » by KayDee35 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:05 am

Bergmaniac wrote:
KayDee35 wrote:KD relies on efficiency and defensive impact for his value while WB relies on high usage and energy for his impact. Those two types of players don't usually work well together when they are the top dogs. See Kobe-Shaq in their Finals against the Pistons for reference.


So the three-peat they achieved earlier doesn't count? 8-)

Come on, now. :banghead: I referred to one particular playoff series, not their body of work together, because if you watched it you could see the tug-of-war between Kobe and Shaq and how that worked out. There is a way that the Kobe-Shaq combo worked against good teams and part of it involved getting the high efficiency guy the ball in the right spots and getting the high usage guy to be more judicious in his shot selection and commit to moving the ball more.

Shaq was Finals MVP for their three-peat. The Pistons played him one-on-one for the most part in that Finals which was unheard of at the time.

I'll let Chauncey Billups lay it out for you:

But, if we’re going to play Shaq straight-up, [the Lakers'] eyes are going to get big, which means they’re going to keep throwing it down there. We’re telling Ben the whole time, "Take fouls when you need to, but don’t get yourself into foul trouble. You need to give up a layup, cool, we’re going to get what we want on the other side." But what’s going to happen is Mr. Bryant is going to get a little discouraged with getting no touches and now the second half comes around…now he’s pressing. He’s going to start coming down and just breaking the offense. When you do that, you’re done—you’re playing right into our hands. Even if you start making those shots, you’re finished.


Durant's improvement in TS% is directly related to running fewer iso's. He might do it more than he should but he's way down from his tenure with OKC.


Bergmaniac wrote:He runs fewer ISOs because his team is stacked and has a bunch of great passers. of course he'd take more good shots on the most stacked team ever. Not sure how that proves that he and Westbrook were a bad duo.


WB and KD weren't used well together, imho. If you believe they were used to their full potential and there was no room for improvement as a combo, then you should also be willing to accept that they were at their absolute ceiling and just needed more help.

I thought there was significant room for improvement especially late in games.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#126 » by KayDee35 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:31 am

bondom34 wrote:
KayDee35 wrote:Citing those articles as justification for the poor OKC offense is not good enough. OKC was -1 in all the 4th quarters combined last season, iirc. Fans constantly complained about how poorly they closed game. Didn't they set a record for most blown 4th quarter leads?

WB thrives in a system like that but KD does not. Ironically, KD is having his best all-around season this year and WB is having his best season. They just happen to be in situations that utilize their strengths.

They were not a good combo. They did it on talent mostly. This year's KD is a team player who is having a huge impact on both sides of the ball and posting a season comparable to Kawhi and LeBron while playing on a loaded team with no major injuries.

Some advanced stats (RPM, for e.g.,) show KD and WB having a similar impact, which is mind boggling considering WB's historical usage. And they are not that far apart on some other stats (PER, for e.g.,) which is also rather impressive.

KD relies on efficiency and defensive impact for his value while WB relies on high usage and energy for his impact. Those two types of players don't usually work well together when they are the top dogs. See Kobe-Shaq in their Finals against the Pistons for reference.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. This year (without Durant) OKC leads the league in clutch net rating last I checked. KD actually actively stated he liked the system. KD continues to iso in Golden State, despite his teammates not liking it. Saying Westbrook is to blame for Durant leaving doesn't add up. It brings a totally irrelevant point into a conversation and stirs up a rather sore point at the same time. The two are unrelated. If you want to blame having a worse overall roster, fine. But that's not the spot.

Also, impact and usage aren't related. Never have been, never will be.


I will lay out my points because this can quickly become a emotional minefield I'm incapable of navigating:

1. I never said that KD left because of WB. I am suggesting that he left because they were not utilized well together. I thought there were ways they could have been a better combo. I blame coaching/management.

2. Russ plays well in an iso system because he is the most explosive player in the league. He has not just continued to do well, he has far exceeded any expectations both on an individual and team level.

3. KD may like the iso but it doesn't appear to be the best system for him. He also doesn't like setting screens but he should be made to do it anyway. Player preference does not beget results.

4. On impact and usage: Russ seems like a perfect case of higher impact with higher usage. Although we don't know exactly where that sweet spot is and it will depend on his teammates.

5. It's not surprising that GS has trouble in close games. Incorporating a big piece into a new system takes time. It could be their downfall in the playoffs if they don't get it sorted soon though.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#127 » by bondom34 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:35 am

KayDee35 wrote:
bondom34 wrote:
KayDee35 wrote:Citing those articles as justification for the poor OKC offense is not good enough. OKC was -1 in all the 4th quarters combined last season, iirc. Fans constantly complained about how poorly they closed game. Didn't they set a record for most blown 4th quarter leads?

WB thrives in a system like that but KD does not. Ironically, KD is having his best all-around season this year and WB is having his best season. They just happen to be in situations that utilize their strengths.

They were not a good combo. They did it on talent mostly. This year's KD is a team player who is having a huge impact on both sides of the ball and posting a season comparable to Kawhi and LeBron while playing on a loaded team with no major injuries.

Some advanced stats (RPM, for e.g.,) show KD and WB having a similar impact, which is mind boggling considering WB's historical usage. And they are not that far apart on some other stats (PER, for e.g.,) which is also rather impressive.

KD relies on efficiency and defensive impact for his value while WB relies on high usage and energy for his impact. Those two types of players don't usually work well together when they are the top dogs. See Kobe-Shaq in their Finals against the Pistons for reference.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. This year (without Durant) OKC leads the league in clutch net rating last I checked. KD actually actively stated he liked the system. KD continues to iso in Golden State, despite his teammates not liking it. Saying Westbrook is to blame for Durant leaving doesn't add up. It brings a totally irrelevant point into a conversation and stirs up a rather sore point at the same time. The two are unrelated. If you want to blame having a worse overall roster, fine. But that's not the spot.

Also, impact and usage aren't related. Never have been, never will be.


I will lay out my points because this can quickly become a emotional minefield I'm incapable of navigating:

1. I never said that KD left because of WB. I am suggesting that he left because they were not utilized well together. I thought there were ways they could have been a better combo. I blame coaching/management.

2. Russ plays well in an iso system because he is the most explosive player in the league. He has not just continued to do well, he has far exceeded any expectations both on an individual and team level.

3. KD may like the iso but it doesn't appear to be the best system for him. He also doesn't like setting screens but he should be made to do it anyway. Player preference does not beget results.

4. On impact and usage: Russ seems like a perfect case of higher impact with higher usage. Although we don't know exactly where that sweet spot is and it will depend on his teammates.

5. It's not surprising that GS has trouble in close games. Incorporating a big piece into a new system takes time. It could be their downfall in the playoffs if they don't get it sorted soon though.

1. OK, but you don't say how. As well, they had the best win percentage in the NBA in the last 5 years. They lost due to injury neary every season.

2/3. OK, I don't disagree with these.

4. But still, there is no relationship between the two. Usage is based on possessions used. Impact isn't.

5. It could be, and oddly enough OKC has been great late game. In which case the thought the late game issues were on Westbrook doesn't really follow
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#128 » by KayDee35 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:55 am

bondom34 wrote:
KayDee35 wrote:
bondom34 wrote:I'm not sure what you're getting at here. This year (without Durant) OKC leads the league in clutch net rating last I checked. KD actually actively stated he liked the system. KD continues to iso in Golden State, despite his teammates not liking it. Saying Westbrook is to blame for Durant leaving doesn't add up. It brings a totally irrelevant point into a conversation and stirs up a rather sore point at the same time. The two are unrelated. If you want to blame having a worse overall roster, fine. But that's not the spot.

Also, impact and usage aren't related. Never have been, never will be.


I will lay out my points because this can quickly become a emotional minefield I'm incapable of navigating:

1. I never said that KD left because of WB. I am suggesting that he left because they were not utilized well together. I thought there were ways they could have been a better combo. I blame coaching/management.

2. Russ plays well in an iso system because he is the most explosive player in the league. He has not just continued to do well, he has far exceeded any expectations both on an individual and team level.

3. KD may like the iso but it doesn't appear to be the best system for him. He also doesn't like setting screens but he should be made to do it anyway. Player preference does not beget results.

4. On impact and usage: Russ seems like a perfect case of higher impact with higher usage. Although we don't know exactly where that sweet spot is and it will depend on his teammates.

5. It's not surprising that GS has trouble in close games. Incorporating a big piece into a new system takes time. It could be their downfall in the playoffs if they don't get it sorted soon though.

1. OK, but you don't say how. As well, they had the best win percentage in the NBA in the last 5 years. They lost due to injury neary every season.

2/3. OK, I don't disagree with these.

4. But still, there is no relationship between the two. Usage is based on possessions used. Impact isn't.

5. It could be, and oddly enough OKC has been great late game. In which case the thought the late game issues were on Westbrook doesn't really follow


1. More ball and player movement and getting better looks for themselves and others: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2015/12/04/back-and-forth-with-bones-going-beyond-durant-and-westbrook/

The Thunder are a team that defies the idea that a great offense has to have great ball movement. They’re No. 2 in offensive efficiency, even though they rank last in passes per game and 25th in assist rate. But it always feels like their inability to move the ball comes back to bite them on critical possessions where their one-on-one stuff results in contested jumpers off the dribble.


They’re really sporadic in involving players other than Durant and Westbrook. The way that those guys get their offense doesn’t necessarily come out of execution to get them shots in spots where they can be most effective. It’s just that they end up getting shots because … they got shots.
It’s very unpredictable as to how and when they’re going to get involved in the offense, which is a testament to those guys being ready to shoot.
One of the things that was evident is how unsettling some possessions are for their defensive balance. They give up a lot of transition opportunities because the floor isn’t balanced. Even though their offensive numbers are great, the way that they’re scoring is unsettling their defense for 10-15 possessions a game.


I’m OK with those guys, but if you play deeper into the clock and the ball ends up in the hands of someone else … if it’s Anthony Morrow and he doesn’t have an open three, you have to give him some place to go. If it’s Waiters, instead of inviting for him to take the shot all the time, sometimes you have to provide the option where you can go back and say, “Dion, you got to make that next pass.”


4. I guess I should ask what your definition of "impact" is then because it appears we must have different implicit definitions of that word. It's a fuzzy word so different definitions are alright but unless what we know what the other person means we will be talking past each other. For me, impact means increasing the probability of a team win. Historically high USG% Russ this season is also having a historically high impact (depending on measures you look at).

5. The late game issues were on the system. Defenders press more on iso players late in games due to a lack of concern about foul calls and foul trouble. If you can blow by that and pass out of the incoming double/triple team then it won't affect you much. I looked to me that KD tried to play like Russ late in games and he's just not that explosive. I don't think the late game struggles are on Russ but on a system that did not utilize KD and the rest of the team well.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#129 » by bdp31770 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:35 pm

Rust_Cohle wrote:
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Leonard is great but the Thunder would be the worst team in the league without Westbrook's historical season.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#130 » by inDe_eD » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:17 pm

Pennebaker wrote:Nope. Kawhi has long been overrated by white people.


It's definitely a KKK conspiracy.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#131 » by Peja Stojakovic » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:20 pm

Pennebaker wrote:Nope. Kawhi has long been overrated by white people.


too far bro. i get that he gets unnecessary props from the "plays the right way, no showboating etc" crowd but his impact is still undeniable via eye test or advanced stats or the win loss column
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#132 » by bondom34 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:57 pm

KayDee35 wrote:
1. More ball and player movement and getting better looks for themselves and others: http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2015/12/04/back-and-forth-with-bones-going-beyond-durant-and-westbrook/

The Thunder are a team that defies the idea that a great offense has to have great ball movement. They’re No. 2 in offensive efficiency, even though they rank last in passes per game and 25th in assist rate. But it always feels like their inability to move the ball comes back to bite them on critical possessions where their one-on-one stuff results in contested jumpers off the dribble.


They’re really sporadic in involving players other than Durant and Westbrook. The way that those guys get their offense doesn’t necessarily come out of execution to get them shots in spots where they can be most effective. It’s just that they end up getting shots because … they got shots.
It’s very unpredictable as to how and when they’re going to get involved in the offense, which is a testament to those guys being ready to shoot.
One of the things that was evident is how unsettling some possessions are for their defensive balance. They give up a lot of transition opportunities because the floor isn’t balanced. Even though their offensive numbers are great, the way that they’re scoring is unsettling their defense for 10-15 possessions a game.


I’m OK with those guys, but if you play deeper into the clock and the ball ends up in the hands of someone else … if it’s Anthony Morrow and he doesn’t have an open three, you have to give him some place to go. If it’s Waiters, instead of inviting for him to take the shot all the time, sometimes you have to provide the option where you can go back and say, “Dion, you got to make that next pass.”


4. I guess I should ask what your definition of "impact" is then because it appears we must have different implicit definitions of that word. It's a fuzzy word so different definitions are alright but unless what we know what the other person means we will be talking past each other. For me, impact means increasing the probability of a team win. Historically high USG% Russ this season is also having a historically high impact (depending on measures you look at).

5. The late game issues were on the system. Defenders press more on iso players late in games due to a lack of concern about foul calls and foul trouble. If you can blow by that and pass out of the incoming double/triple team then it won't affect you much. I looked to me that KD tried to play like Russ late in games and he's just not that explosive. I don't think the late game struggles are on Russ but on a system that did not utilize KD and the rest of the team well.

1. The Thunder were the team that "defied" that. They were a top offense for a reason, talent. You don't fix what's not broken.

4. Impact is generally some sort of plus/minus model. High impact guys? Draymond, Gobert, Russ, Lebron, Curry, CP3. Well, most of them don't have close to Russ's usage. His usage is out of necessity.

5. If they were on the system you'd need a darn good reason they're not there this year, but still are for KD.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#133 » by JohnWillow » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:07 pm

Kawhi Leonard right now with Lebron is 1-2 for me in MVP ranking.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#134 » by Duke4life831 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:20 pm

Pennebaker wrote:Nope. Kawhi has long been overrated by white people.


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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#135 » by PhillySixers22 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:04 pm

First off to address the fact that the MVP typically takes team performance into.account since I see a few who disagree with that. I completely get the premise that it shouldn't matter since it's an individual award, however I disagree because we aren't simply gauging who puts up the best stats or even who's team would crumble the most without them. Being the mvp imo is also about elevating your team to the highest level. I think it's a lot harder to make a 45 win team into a 62 win team than it is to turn a 25 win team into a 45 win team.

The other main argument against Leonard is the statistical dominance shown by Westbrook and Harden being of more value than Kawhi's offensive production plus defense. Westbrook averaging a triple-double is incredible, no argument there, but does it make him more valuable or a better player? I don't think it does. WB is given free reign to do essentially whatever he chooses with KD gone and that wouldn't happen on a better team. Switch him and Leonard and I'd expect the thunder to improve. Granted I have no evidence to support that, but from what I've seen this season the only player I would expect to elevate a team more than Leonard regardless of team build is LeBron.

Lastly to touch on the rest of the Spurs roster, they aren't nearly as good as some are giving them credit for. I haven't seen every Spurs game by an stretch, but from what I have, Aldridge is not a second star for this season at least. He's still a very good player but he has certainly regressed from his previous seasons. Manu looks really good when he's on the court, but that isn't much. Otherwise the rest are role players through and through, with the starting frontcourt being quite poor defensively. Leonard might not be the MVP front-runner to most people since the upper echelon players all are having standout seasons in their own way, but he's certainly the best 2-way player and in the conversation with anyone to take the award this year. He's also still the best perimeter defender in the league, regardless what early season Drtg says.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#136 » by Froob » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:07 pm

inDe_eD wrote:
Pennebaker wrote:Nope. Kawhi has long been overrated by white people.


It's definitely a KKK conspiracy.

Isn't Kawhi sponsored by George Soros?
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#137 » by TheBullsDynasty » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:15 pm

If the season ended right now, Westbrook won't and shouldn't finish top 3 in MVP votings. Currently, there are 6 teams that are better than OKC in the West and 5 teams in the East. So that makes OKC the 12th best team in the league. Sorry but that's just not MVP quality at all. I don't care how valuable you are to your team. If your team is the 12th best team in the league, no player from that team should be top 3 in MVP voting.

Jacking up shot after shot and scoring 31.1 PPG on 42.2% FG% isn't impressive at all. Yes, he is averaging a TD but get over it for god's sake. Westbrook was already averaging 10.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game last year but I don't remember any of you going crazy like that last year. To make things even worse, Westbrook isn't grabbing any more offensive rebounds than he did last season. He is just grabbing more defensive rebounds due to OKC's high tempo system. So all of you stat geeks out there, just stop jerking off to Westbrook's TD averages, and actually start watching the damn games. James Harden averaged 29/7.5/6.1 last season and he didn't even make the all NBA teams. So guess what? Stats aren't everything.

If Kobe didn't win MVP in 06 after putting up 35.4 ppg on 45% FG and leading the Lakers to 7th seed, then no way in hell Westbrook should win MVP this season.

Now, back to the topic: I completely agree with Lowe. Leonard to me is the MVP up to this point. He is much better defensively than any of the other top MVP candidates. Offensively, he isn't that behind either. Now, add the fact that Spurs will most likely win 60+ games. BAM! Now it's very clear who the MVP should be. Easy, and that's Kawhi Leonard.

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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#138 » by C0bR » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:06 pm

The Spurs hardly get worse with Kawhi off the floor (+1.4 on/off). Considering that his defense has plummeted hard this season, his impact simply isn't up there with Harden or LeBron.

edit: damn Harden is just +3 on/off. Pringles needs to get more credit.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#139 » by inDe_eD » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:21 pm

Froob wrote:
inDe_eD wrote:
Pennebaker wrote:Nope. Kawhi has long been overrated by white people.


It's definitely a KKK conspiracy.

Isn't Kawhi sponsored by George Soros?


No doubt he is. I think Kawhi is actually himself a black white supremacist.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#140 » by inDe_eD » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:24 pm

C0bR wrote:The Spurs hardly get worse with Kawhi off the floor (+1.4 on/off). Considering that his defense has plummeted hard this season, his impact simply isn't up there with Harden or LeBron.

edit: damn Harden is just +3 on/off. Pringles needs to get more credit.


Just take a look at the individual ortg/Drtg for SA's starters vs bench.

Concerning defense, do you realize Spurs are the best defense in the league despite playing Aldridge, Gasol, and David Lee significant front court minutes?

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