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: 

Post#81 » by bondom34 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:04 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
E-Balla wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
It's hyperbole of course, but I don't have a better way of describing how Durant felt.

Why does how Durant feel even matter? Shaq felt like Penny was "sucking the oxygen out the room" but did that make him right or a big baby?


Uh, because the most talented player in OKC's history left OKC and thus ensured that OKC may never win a championship and likely won't even be much beyond mediocre for a good while to come.

If Westbrook is never on OKC, it's entirely possible OKC still has Durant & Harden and is in a lot better shape than it is now.

So yeah, how a star makes the players around him feel matters. Feel free to knock Durant for being whatever you see him as, feel free to point out how afraid he was to evidently make clear his feelings to OKC earlier, the fact of the matter remains that he switched teams because he wasn't in love with how Westbrook dictated the team's on-court strategy, and that needs to be considered before we blindly say "Wow, look at what Westbrook is doing without talent around him!"

I will say, I do feel like a jerk saying this stuff. It's a kind of "I told you so" because I warned about this stuff for years, and worse, it could have easily not happened - so it's like I"m taking credit for prescience when I didn't know what would happen any more than anyone else. But if people are going to talk about Westbrook's teammates like it's unfair to him (or that others are lucky they have better teammates), it needs to be brought up.

It can't be "I told you so" if it's patently false. If Durant didn't like playing that style, he'd you know, not do the same now. Or not have done it then. He didn't leave because of Westbrook, he left because he found a more talented team.

It doesn't need to be brought up because it's a lie. You don't have to manage to find ways to disparage him that are entirely fictitious. He has his own faults that aren't made up.

http://www.espn.com/blog/okc-thunder/post/_/id/1062/thunders-kevin-durant-were-not-the-spurs-nor-should-they-be
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/kevin-durant-defends-okcs-iso-ball-if-ive-got-it-im-going-to-work/

To add to that, Durant running isos in Golden State despite causing direct conflict with teammates this season. Seems maybe if he's sucking the air out of the room, Durant was doing the same.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#82 » by HearshotKDS » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:06 pm

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.


OK, but other than those 3 things there is nothing that shows he is regressing. :nod:
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#83 » by E-Balla » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:26 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
E-Balla wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
It's hyperbole of course, but I don't have a better way of describing how Durant felt.

Why does how Durant feel even matter? Shaq felt like Penny was "sucking the oxygen out the room" but did that make him right or a big baby?


Uh, because the most talented player in OKC's history left OKC and thus ensured that OKC may never win a championship and likely won't even be much beyond mediocre for a good while to come.

If Westbrook is never on OKC, it's entirely possible OKC still has Durant & Harden and is in a lot better shape than it is now.

So yeah, how a star makes the players around him feel matters. Feel free to knock Durant for being whatever you see him as, feel free to point out how afraid he was to evidently make clear his feelings to OKC earlier, the fact of the matter remains that he switched teams because he wasn't in love with how Westbrook dictated the team's on-court strategy, and that needs to be considered before we blindly say "Wow, look at what Westbrook is doing without talent around him!"

I will say, I do feel like a jerk saying this stuff. It's a kind of "I told you so" because I warned about this stuff for years, and worse, it could have easily not happened - so it's like I"m taking credit for prescience when I didn't know what would happen any more than anyone else. But if people are going to talk about Westbrook's teammates like it's unfair to him (or that others are lucky they have better teammates), it needs to be brought up.

1. 2nd most talented.

2. So now its Westbrook's fault Presti dumped Harden and KD is a bitch?

3. I'm actually giving Westbrook extra props for dealing with KD all those years. You've seen Draymond screaming at him like we all have. Ever think they played that way to accommodate KD's game? Golden State seems to be moving the ball less when the game is tight as KD is bricking 3s guarded by Randolph with 15 on the clock.

4. OKC went from one of the worst clutch teams to one of the best dumping KD. Meanwhile Golden State has choked away more games than last year already. But nah Westbrook was/is the problem.

5. This is the Harden thing all over again. You always thought Westbrook had issues so you blamed him for the issues with the team and now that KD is gone and he's brought those issues to a team that didn't have them before you're ignoring that to play the I told you so game. KD is a ball hog. KD knows that. He's also soft. He left OKC not because he had a beef with Westbrook or thought he didn't move the ball but because he knows he doesn't have what it takes to win, and he's not going to change his game much to win so he's going to piggy back a group of winners.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#84 » by KayDee35 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:34 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
KayDee35 wrote:
bondom34 wrote:This isn't true. And I don't even have Westbrook as MVP.

But continually spreading this idea is a falsehood considering now the player he sucked said oxygen from is doing the same in a new place.


Let me get this straight: A guy who is posting a higher TS% than LeBron's best season, is 2nd in WS/48, 2nd in total WS, 5th in DWS, 7th in DRtg, 5th in VORP, 10th in Blocks, and 5th in RPM on the lowest USG% of his career is sucking air out of the room?

If Durant is sucking all the oxygen then you must be thrilled that he chose to leave. Sounds like OKC dodged a bullet. Now GS is stuck with this bum. SAD!


You need to read more carefully.

bondom didn't say it, I did, and I was referring to Westbrook not Durant.


Bondom implied that Durant was the one sucking oxygen out of the room on his new team. I understood that you were speaking about WB. His reply was that KD was the one "doing the same" in GS.

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

Post#85 » by GreatWhiteStiff » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:46 pm

There are lots of great things about kawhi's game...one thing that's taken a huge step forward is his free throw draw rate...not sure if its the refs disrespecting him last year or he's gotten a bit craftier, but its gone way up. For a guy who makes 90% that's a pretty huge boost. He's actually going to the line 8 times per 36 vs 5 times per 36 last year.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#86 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:10 pm

bondom34 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
E-Balla wrote:Why does how Durant feel even matter? Shaq felt like Penny was "sucking the oxygen out the room" but did that make him right or a big baby?


Uh, because the most talented player in OKC's history left OKC and thus ensured that OKC may never win a championship and likely won't even be much beyond mediocre for a good while to come.

If Westbrook is never on OKC, it's entirely possible OKC still has Durant & Harden and is in a lot better shape than it is now.

So yeah, how a star makes the players around him feel matters. Feel free to knock Durant for being whatever you see him as, feel free to point out how afraid he was to evidently make clear his feelings to OKC earlier, the fact of the matter remains that he switched teams because he wasn't in love with how Westbrook dictated the team's on-court strategy, and that needs to be considered before we blindly say "Wow, look at what Westbrook is doing without talent around him!"

I will say, I do feel like a jerk saying this stuff. It's a kind of "I told you so" because I warned about this stuff for years, and worse, it could have easily not happened - so it's like I"m taking credit for prescience when I didn't know what would happen any more than anyone else. But if people are going to talk about Westbrook's teammates like it's unfair to him (or that others are lucky they have better teammates), it needs to be brought up.

It can't be "I told you so" if it's patently false. If Durant didn't like playing that style, he'd you know, not do the same now. Or not have done it then. He didn't leave because of Westbrook, he left because he found a more talented team.

It doesn't need to be brought up because it's a lie. You don't have to manage to find ways to disparage him that are entirely fictitious. He has his own faults that aren't made up.

http://www.espn.com/blog/okc-thunder/post/_/id/1062/thunders-kevin-durant-were-not-the-spurs-nor-should-they-be
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/kevin-durant-defends-okcs-iso-ball-if-ive-got-it-im-going-to-work/

To add to that, Durant running isos in Golden State despite causing direct conflict with teammates this season. Seems maybe if he's sucking the air out of the room, Durant was doing the same.


1) Golden State plays very differently than OKC did. Obviously Durant's not an entirely different player, but the feel of the offense just isn't the same as the feel of what OKC had last year or this year.

2) Consider this snippet:

One team particularly drew his notice: the ball-don't-stop, breakneck-tempo, blowout-happy Warriors. These dudes play just like I do, he thought. They see the floor the way I see it. There, he could "set picks and get hockey assists," the small-ball things he'd likely never get to do as long as he played with Westbrook. "It's an open secret that the fun had stopped there and it was never going to flow with Russell," says a highly placed source in the league. "Russell's a my-turn, your-turn kind of guy, and don't think defenders don't know that. When Russ had the ball, KD's guy would leave him to go and help guard Russ."


http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/features/kevin-durant-had-to-blow-up-his-life-to-get-his-shot-w445344

Now, this is specifically not a direct quote from Durant, and so if you want to attack it on that grounds I get it, but it was Durant's cover story article in a mainstream (not sports) magazine, and if it doesn't represent Durant's actual thoughts, then Durant would have to say so.

Look, it's fine to criticize Durant for any number of things, and even fine to call him a liar if you back it up, but you can't just say what I'm saying is lies. Durant has put stuff out there that ties directly to what I say, and the narrative doesn't simply make sense, it makes so much sense it's hard for me to even imagine there's no truth in it.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#87 » by bondom34 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:16 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
1) Golden State plays very differently than OKC did. Obviously Durant's not an entirely different player, but the feel of the offense just isn't the same as the feel of what OKC had last year or this year.

2) Consider this snippet:

One team particularly drew his notice: the ball-don't-stop, breakneck-tempo, blowout-happy Warriors. These dudes play just like I do, he thought. They see the floor the way I see it. There, he could "set picks and get hockey assists," the small-ball things he'd likely never get to do as long as he played with Westbrook. "It's an open secret that the fun had stopped there and it was never going to flow with Russell," says a highly placed source in the league. "Russell's a my-turn, your-turn kind of guy, and don't think defenders don't know that. When Russ had the ball, KD's guy would leave him to go and help guard Russ."


http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/features/kevin-durant-had-to-blow-up-his-life-to-get-his-shot-w445344

Now, this is specifically not a direct quote from Durant, and so if you want to attack it on that grounds I get it, but it was Durant's cover story article in a mainstream (not sports) magazine, and if it doesn't represent Durant's actual thoughts, then Durant would have to say so.

Look, it's fine to criticize Durant for any number of things, and even fine to call him a liar if you back it up, but you can't just say what I'm saying is lies. Durant has put stuff out there that ties directly to what I say, and the narrative doesn't simply make sense, it makes so much sense it's hard for me to even imagine there's no truth in it.

It's pretty easy to say this stuff is lies when he's still playing the same style in Oakland he did in OKC. To the point where his teammates are yelling at him on court about it. Unless it's still Westbrook's fault he goes full iso late game on a totally new team? I mean, I know people like to blame Westbrook for Durant's problems, but that's a bit far.

OKC has improved late game, GSW has gotten worse late game. Durant has still continued to iso, despite his teammates yelling at him, Durant has still shown the same on court tendencies he always did in OKC.

The conclusion? He didn't like to play that way.

Well if he didn't he's certainly not showing it at all. Because he's doing the exact same this year he always did. I reiterate, him leaving had zero to do with Westbrook, I don't see a snippet of proof saying that's something that caused him to leave.

It's fine to criticize Westbrook on any number of things but blaming him for this is as accurate as blaming him for problems in foreign policy.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#88 » by Louie_Ruckuz » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:28 pm

Nope

1A Westbroook
1B Harden

Everyone else is second fiddle.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#89 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:30 pm

E-Balla wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
E-Balla wrote:Why does how Durant feel even matter? Shaq felt like Penny was "sucking the oxygen out the room" but did that make him right or a big baby?


Uh, because the most talented player in OKC's history left OKC and thus ensured that OKC may never win a championship and likely won't even be much beyond mediocre for a good while to come.

If Westbrook is never on OKC, it's entirely possible OKC still has Durant & Harden and is in a lot better shape than it is now.

So yeah, how a star makes the players around him feel matters. Feel free to knock Durant for being whatever you see him as, feel free to point out how afraid he was to evidently make clear his feelings to OKC earlier, the fact of the matter remains that he switched teams because he wasn't in love with how Westbrook dictated the team's on-court strategy, and that needs to be considered before we blindly say "Wow, look at what Westbrook is doing without talent around him!"

I will say, I do feel like a jerk saying this stuff. It's a kind of "I told you so" because I warned about this stuff for years, and worse, it could have easily not happened - so it's like I"m taking credit for prescience when I didn't know what would happen any more than anyone else. But if people are going to talk about Westbrook's teammates like it's unfair to him (or that others are lucky they have better teammates), it needs to be brought up.

1. 2nd most talented.

2. So now its Westbrook's fault Presti dumped Harden and KD is a bitch?

3. I'm actually giving Westbrook extra props for dealing with KD all those years. You've seen Draymond screaming at him like we all have. Ever think they played that way to accommodate KD's game? Golden State seems to be moving the ball less when the game is tight as KD is bricking 3s guarded by Randolph with 15 on the clock.

4. OKC went from one of the worst clutch teams to one of the best dumping KD. Meanwhile Golden State has choked away more games than last year already. But nah Westbrook was/is the problem.

5. This is the Harden thing all over again. You always thought Westbrook had issues so you blamed him for the issues with the team and now that KD is gone and he's brought those issues to a team that didn't have them before you're ignoring that to play the I told you so game. KD is a ball hog. KD knows that. He's also soft. He left OKC not because he had a beef with Westbrook or thought he didn't move the ball but because he knows he doesn't have what it takes to win, and he's not going to change his game much to win so he's going to piggy back a group of winners.


1. Uh, ok.

2. It's not all Westbrook's fault by any means. Presti, Durant & Brooks all deserve blame also.

3. Re: giving Westbrook props for dealing with KD. That just isn't rational. OKC is vastly worse now than they were last year. Say what you will about Durant, OKC was in much better shape when they were in the KD business.

4. You seriously saying you'd rather be OKC than GS now? I don't think so.

5. So GS is the team with issues now. Got it.

Also, it's fine for you to bring up that I've been a Westbrook skeptic for a long time. I think people could guess that without your help, but it is relevant. Just don't pretend that my issues with Westbrook are based primary in random hate for the guy. He's a Bruin, I"m a Bruin. I was cheering him on when people in OKC had no idea who he was. I"m skeptical of him as a pro because:

1) I don't particularly want volume scoring point guards.
2) I quite wary if they have efficiency issues.
3) I really become concerned when they have issues getting the ball where it needs to go.
4) People don't seem to realize that guards who focus on getting the ball themselves on defense rather than just playing the percentages are inflating their offensive impact at the expense of the team's defense. This isn't necessarily a problem, but people tend to credit players on both sids for this, and thus overrate them.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#90 » by Scalabrine » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:33 pm

As far as true most Valuable player; I think it's definitely Westbrook. Without him, the Thunder would be one of the worst teams in the league. Harden is a very close 2nd.

As far as what the NBA has historically voted the MVP of the league for, it will either be LeBron or Kawhi with Harden also in the conversation and Russ being talked about because of his numbers.

JVG made a point last night about it doesn't matter how many turnovers you have if your entire team averages a low amount of turnovers. On the whole, thats true, but it goes both ways. Westbrooks numbers are less impressive when you look at how much he has the ball, how many uncontested rebounds he grabs, and how many opportunities he gets to make plays compared to the rest of the league (outside of Harden).
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#91 » by Johnny Firpo » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:41 pm

Winsome Gerbil wrote:...because I spend too much time loving me some advanced stats.

The winning stuff is nearly irrelevant until you can convince me if he got hurt the Spurs would collapse to the degree that the Thunder or Rockets would if Westbrook/Harden got hurt.


Yeah, but that's not what the mesaure of the MVP is, and you know it. If it would be, Davis would have a chance. With that said, Kawhi's defense definitely regressed this year, and not just because they take him out of defensive possessions by parking players in the corner. I think even his defensive ISO efficiency is down, although I haven't checked in a couple of weeks, maybe he bounced back.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#92 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:53 pm

bondom34 wrote:It's pretty easy to say this stuff is lies when he's still playing the same style in Oakland he did in OKC. To the point where his teammates are yelling at him on court about it. Unless it's still Westbrook's fault he goes full iso late game on a totally new team? I mean, I know people like to blame Westbrook for Durant's problems, but that's a bit far.

OKC has improved late game, GSW has gotten worse late game. Durant has still continued to iso, despite his teammates yelling at him, Durant has still shown the same on court tendencies he always did in OKC.

The conclusion? He didn't like to play that way.

Well if he didn't he's certainly not showing it at all. Because he's doing the exact same this year he always did. I reiterate, him leaving had zero to do with Westbrook, I don't see a snippet of proof saying that's something that caused him to leave.

It's fine to criticize Westbrook on any number of things but blaming him for this is as accurate as blaming him for problems in foreign policy.


Alright, how about this. Here's my ultra-cynical take on Durant. To be clear my opinion on him is multi-faceted. What you see below is not what I would characterize as my opinion, but I do believe there's truth in it:

Durant wanted to win championships, and Durant wanted to be the man on his team. He wanted both of these things, and when he wasn't getting the former and he started feeling like he didn't have the latter either, he started considering leaving OKC.

What about "style"? Maybe that's not so much about Durant experiencing an aching sense of wonder at the beauty of the GS offense. Maybe that's more about him being frustrated standing on the side watching Westbrook hold the ball the whole possession and then force up a shot that misses. Maybe the opposite happened as well and he just didn't realize it because he's focused on how individually feels more than he is aware of the general symmetry of the situation.

And maybe Durant would have felt this way even if Westbrook scored no less efficiently that he did himself, but knowing their relative efficiencies, it made some of his more petty moments feel justified.

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

Post#93 » by jonjames » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:56 pm

MVP this year is either Leonard or Harden. It depends a lot on how their teams finish really.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#94 » by E-Balla » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:00 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
E-Balla wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
Uh, because the most talented player in OKC's history left OKC and thus ensured that OKC may never win a championship and likely won't even be much beyond mediocre for a good while to come.

If Westbrook is never on OKC, it's entirely possible OKC still has Durant & Harden and is in a lot better shape than it is now.

So yeah, how a star makes the players around him feel matters. Feel free to knock Durant for being whatever you see him as, feel free to point out how afraid he was to evidently make clear his feelings to OKC earlier, the fact of the matter remains that he switched teams because he wasn't in love with how Westbrook dictated the team's on-court strategy, and that needs to be considered before we blindly say "Wow, look at what Westbrook is doing without talent around him!"

I will say, I do feel like a jerk saying this stuff. It's a kind of "I told you so" because I warned about this stuff for years, and worse, it could have easily not happened - so it's like I"m taking credit for prescience when I didn't know what would happen any more than anyone else. But if people are going to talk about Westbrook's teammates like it's unfair to him (or that others are lucky they have better teammates), it needs to be brought up.

1. 2nd most talented.

2. So now its Westbrook's fault Presti dumped Harden and KD is a bitch?

3. I'm actually giving Westbrook extra props for dealing with KD all those years. You've seen Draymond screaming at him like we all have. Ever think they played that way to accommodate KD's game? Golden State seems to be moving the ball less when the game is tight as KD is bricking 3s guarded by Randolph with 15 on the clock.

4. OKC went from one of the worst clutch teams to one of the best dumping KD. Meanwhile Golden State has choked away more games than last year already. But nah Westbrook was/is the problem.

5. This is the Harden thing all over again. You always thought Westbrook had issues so you blamed him for the issues with the team and now that KD is gone and he's brought those issues to a team that didn't have them before you're ignoring that to play the I told you so game. KD is a ball hog. KD knows that. He's also soft. He left OKC not because he had a beef with Westbrook or thought he didn't move the ball but because he knows he doesn't have what it takes to win, and he's not going to change his game much to win so he's going to piggy back a group of winners.


1. Uh, ok.

2. It's not all Westbrook's fault by any means. Presti, Durant & Brooks all deserve blame also.

3. Re: giving Westbrook props for dealing with KD. That just isn't rational. OKC is vastly worse now than they were last year. Say what you will about Durant, OKC was in much better shape when they were in the KD business.

4. You seriously saying you'd rather be OKC than GS now? I don't think so.

5. So GS is the team with issues now. Got it.

Also, it's fine for you to bring up that I've been a Westbrook skeptic for a long time. I think people could guess that without your help, but it is relevant. Just don't pretend that my issues with Westbrook are based primary in random hate for the guy. He's a Bruin, I"m a Bruin. I was cheering him on when people in OKC had no idea who he was. I"m skeptical of him as a pro because:

1) I don't particularly want volume scoring point guards.
2) I quite wary if they have efficiency issues.
3) I really become concerned when they have issues getting the ball where it needs to go.
4) People don't seem to realize that guards who focus on getting the ball themselves on defense rather than just playing the percentages are inflating their offensive impact at the expense of the team's defense. This isn't necessarily a problem, but people tend to credit players on both sids for this, and thus overrate them.

2. But how is Westbrook to blame at all here? Because KD would rather play with 3 all stars instead of one? Because KD would rather be with a 73 win team than with him? Come on now.

3. Ok and? I didn't say KD wasn't good I said Westbrook had to deal with him. With all the crap he's saying now and how he's acting I'm sure he's been a diva and this isn't a new thing. We just heard nothing about it because WB let him be him. Draymond won't.

4. No one said that and you're purposefully dodging my point which was that KD is as much of an iso player as Westbrook and not a team player which is why Draymond spazzed on him.

5. I'll address this point by point:

1) But you love you some Harden.
2) I mean his scoring efficiency is above average despite being on the 2nd worst shooting team in the league. I wouldn't say he has efficiency issues.
3) How does Westbrook not get the ball where it needs to go? KD averaged 19 shots a game. Kanter is getting more touches than ever before. Heck OKC is top 5 in post ups and Russ isn't a post up guy. He had issues when he was younger but now?
4) TRB% with Russ on the floor is 54%. Its slightly under 50% without him. DRTG with Russ on the floor is 107. DRTG without him is 111.4. Its a scheme to get the ball moving better and it works.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#95 » by Winsome Gerbil » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:28 pm

Johnny Firpo wrote:
Winsome Gerbil wrote:...because I spend too much time loving me some advanced stats.

The winning stuff is nearly irrelevant until you can convince me if he got hurt the Spurs would collapse to the degree that the Thunder or Rockets would if Westbrook/Harden got hurt.


Yeah, but that's not what the mesaure of the MVP is, and you know it. If it would be, Davis would have a chance. With that said, Kawhi's defense definitely regressed this year, and not just because they take him out of defensive possessions by parking players in the corner. I think even his defensive ISO efficiency is down, although I haven't checked in a couple of weeks, maybe he bounced back.



I know it hasn't been. I have long coined the true MVP formula of "best player with the best narrative on a 55+ contending team".

But I've also long considered that utterly ridiculous. I find most focuses on "wins" to be comically primitive. Its put forth as some advanced be all, when in the end its the very most primitive means of determining who was better there is. It tells you very little, certainly about an individual in a team sport.

And in any case, in this particular year Kawhi's largely "normal" star on an elite team season is simply dwarfed by the unique in most of our lifetimes performances going on nightly in OKC and Houston. Guys don't do this. If Kawhi were giving us a LeBron performance in San Antonio, then maybe. Otherwise it's a travesty again of team performance determining an individual award, and one of those awards that in the future will historically not accurately describe the special of this season. Kawhi's a great player, but he's not doing anything legendary this season. The other two guys are.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#96 » by bondom34 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:30 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:Alright, how about this. Here's my ultra-cynical take on Durant. To be clear my opinion on him is multi-faceted. What you see below is not what I would characterize as my opinion, but I do believe there's truth in it:

Durant wanted to win championships, and Durant wanted to be the man on his team. He wanted both of these things, and when he wasn't getting the former and he started feeling like he didn't have the latter either, he started considering leaving OKC.

What about "style"? Maybe that's not so much about Durant experiencing an aching sense of wonder at the beauty of the GS offense. Maybe that's more about him being frustrated standing on the side watching Westbrook hold the ball the whole possession and then force up a shot that misses. Maybe the opposite happened as well and he just didn't realize it because he's focused on how individually feels more than he is aware of the general symmetry of the situation.

And maybe Durant would have felt this way even if Westbrook scored no less efficiently that he did himself, but knowing their relative efficiencies, it made some of his more petty moments feel justified.

Thoughts?

Thoughts are that essentially he left, not because of Westbrook but because he saw a more talented roster. There's not a person on earth who wouln't see GSW as the more talented roster and given that he's continued every single habit he had in OKC on his new team there's absolutely no proof that Westbrook had an iota to do with it. As well, your first points:

Doctor MJ wrote: But if people are going to talk about Westbrook's teammates like it's unfair to him (or that others are lucky they have better teammates), it needs to be brought up.


When Durant has been the one criticized as being a poor leader and not as friendly with teammates on the Thunder (not Westbrook but in general).

And citing late game scoring woes. Well here:
http://stats.nba.com/teams/clutch-advanced/#!?sort=NET_RATING&dir=-1

We had a team in OKC who struggled late games a year ago. They lost a great talent.

The new talent went to a more talented team.

OKC now has a better offense late game than that team.

I don't see in what world that's Westbrook's fault.

As well, nobody said they'd rather be OKC right now, but you claim many clearly false things that just don't work:
1. Westbrook is not inefficient. He's average, sure, but not inefficient.
2 He "doesn't get the ball where it needs to go" because clearly Durant winning scoring titles he wasn't getting touches.
3. Nobody overrates Westbrook defensively. He's not as bad as Harden, and similar to Curry. As well, he doesn't even gamble much anymore, but I'm not sure that matters because you seem to be running off a 2011 scouting report here.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#97 » by LivingLegend » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:53 am

bwgood77 wrote:
DarkAzcura wrote:
bwgood77 wrote:
But the whole best player on a top 2 or 3 seed is misguided. I don't disagree that's the way it is, but it's not what it should be. Kawhi is very valuable to his team, but OKC would take a bigger tumble without Westbrook. It's close, but I don't think playing on a worse team should be as big of consideration as it is when it comes to the most valuable player to a team.


I agree with you, but historically this isn't true unfortunately. I think it's pretty unfair for the voting idealogy to finally change for Westbrook when he is on a 7th seeded team when in the past that would essentially automatically disqualify any candidate. Then again, it would be nice if the voting idealogy finally shifted..but if this is just a one off thing, then I don't agree with it and Westbrook should be out of the running until his team's record becomes much better.


There has been at least one MVP on either a low seed or even a non playoff team, though I can't remember who...quite a while back. I think if the case is clear, it shouldn't matter. MAYBE if it's neck and neck give it to the guy on the better team, but people should vote on who they think is the most valuable to their team regardless of how good that overall team is.


It is what it is man. The league strongly favors best players on the championship level teams. The Thunder are not that. They are a solid team with the 12th best record with 1 great player with a extremely high usage rate.

I understand the whole 'if you take him off the team they would be terrible' trust me. Im a Cavs fan. In my own world--LeBron has won 11 straight MVP for being the best player in the NBA, always on a top 3 team in basketball and 2 instances where the team he leaves falls to complete shambles and a high lottery pick. I mean he is the definition of that.

But I have came to grips with the NBA voting in weird ways. Almost like they want to limit certain players accolades because it gets boring for the league if they were just to give it to LeBron every year. So they seek out a young rising canidate who could use the publicity for the betterment of the NBAs brand. Like Derrick Rose way back when...Which is why I fully expect Harden or Westbrook to get it since they are putting on the 1 man show.

Fair or not, right or wrong I get it.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#98 » by inDe_eD » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:59 am

Winsome Gerbil wrote:
Johnny Firpo wrote:
Winsome Gerbil wrote:...because I spend too much time loving me some advanced stats.

The winning stuff is nearly irrelevant until you can convince me if he got hurt the Spurs would collapse to the degree that the Thunder or Rockets would if Westbrook/Harden got hurt.


Yeah, but that's not what the mesaure of the MVP is, and you know it. If it would be, Davis would have a chance. With that said, Kawhi's defense definitely regressed this year, and not just because they take him out of defensive possessions by parking players in the corner. I think even his defensive ISO efficiency is down, although I haven't checked in a couple of weeks, maybe he bounced back.



I know it hasn't been. I have long coined the true MVP formula of "best player with the best narrative on a 55+ contending team".

But I've also long considered that utterly ridiculous. I find most focuses on "wins" to be comically primitive. Its put forth as some advanced be all, when in the end its the very most primitive means of determining who was better there is. It tells you very little, certainly about an individual in a team sport.

And in any case, in this particular year Kawhi's largely "normal" star on an elite team season is simply dwarfed by the unique in most of our lifetimes performances going on nightly in OKC and Houston. Guys don't do this. If Kawhi were giving us a LeBron performance in San Antonio, then maybe. Otherwise it's a travesty again of team performance determining an individual award, and one of those awards that in the future will historically not accurately describe the special of this season. Kawhi's a great player, but he's not doing anything legendary this season. The other two guys are.


Winsome, take the team aspect out of it then. Do you really think Harden/Westbrook's seasons are actually that much better than Kawhi's? He's essentially putting up prime Dirk offensive numbers with great defense and as much impact as anyone else. You can't criticize win counting as primitive and then point to counting numbers as your alternative.
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Re: Zach Lowe: 

Post#99 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:00 am

E-Balla wrote:2. It's not all Westbrook's fault by any means. Presti, Durant & Brooks all deserve blame also.

3. Re: giving Westbrook props for dealing with KD. That just isn't rational. OKC is vastly worse now than they were last year. Say what you will about Durant, OKC was in much better shape when they were in the KD business.

4. You seriously saying you'd rather be OKC than GS now? I don't think so.

5. So GS is the team with issues now. Got it.

Also, it's fine for you to bring up that I've been a Westbrook skeptic for a long time. I think people could guess that without your help, but it is relevant. Just don't pretend that my issues with Westbrook are based primary in random hate for the guy. He's a Bruin, I"m a Bruin. I was cheering him on when people in OKC had no idea who he was. I"m skeptical of him as a pro because:

1) I don't particularly want volume scoring point guards.
2) I quite wary if they have efficiency issues.
3) I really become concerned when they have issues getting the ball where it needs to go.
4) People don't seem to realize that guards who focus on getting the ball themselves on defense rather than just playing the percentages are inflating their offensive impact at the expense of the team's defense. This isn't necessarily a problem, but people tend to credit players on both sids for this, and thus overrate them.


2. But how is Westbrook to blame at all here? Because KD would rather play with 3 all stars instead of one? Because KD would rather be with a 73 win team than with him? Come on now.

3. Ok and? I didn't say KD wasn't good I said Westbrook had to deal with him. With all the crap he's saying now and how he's acting I'm sure he's been a diva and this isn't a new thing. We just heard nothing about it because WB let him be him. Draymond won't.

4. No one said that and you're purposefully dodging my point which was that KD is as much of an iso player as Westbrook and not a team player which is why Draymond spazzed on him.

5. I'll address this point by point:

1) But you love you some Harden.
2) I mean his scoring efficiency is above average despite being on the 2nd worst shooting team in the league. I wouldn't say he has efficiency issues.
3) How does Westbrook not get the ball where it needs to go? KD averaged 19 shots a game. Kanter is getting more touches than ever before. Heck OKC is top 5 in post ups and Russ isn't a post up guy. He had issues when he was younger but now?
4) TRB% with Russ on the floor is 54%. Its slightly under 50% without him. DRTG with Russ on the floor is 107. DRTG without him is 111.4. Its a scheme to get the ball moving better and it works.[/quote]

2. When Westbrook was drafted onto OKC he had one job: Become Durant's perfect partner. And not only did he not become that, he developed a game where he essentially tried to win the game by himself. Players who try to do everything themselves tend to frustrate those around them. Westbrook's not the first, and he won't be the last.

3. Okay, fair enough.

4. I'm not dodging questions, I"m pointing out how drastic your fixations are here. Any talk about GS having serious problems isn't something that makes much sense to me. The amount of drama coming out of GS is basically 1/10th of what comes out of LeBron's super teams basically every year.

5.1) I don't particularly want a volume scoring point guard but if someone is good enough at scoring and passing it just makes sense. I will say as OKC is currently constructed I wouldn't pretend the Thunder would be better off playing another way, but back when they had Durant, yes, they'd have been better off with a real passing point guard...which incidentally, I think Harden would have done quite well. He's proven he can be a great player without volume scoring, it's just that in Houston, he's been by far the best scorer.

2) Okay let's get one thing straight: Westbrook has at this point proven he's fundamentally incapable of shooting efficiently whether he has girl scouts as teammates or superstars. He doesn't ever get to blame his situation again.

And he's volume scoring in a league where a 5'9" guy is volume scoring with a TS% 8 points higher than him, so you can't say it's in an era where it's hard to figure out what a good or bad shot is.

Westbrook as a scorer takes too many bad shots.
Westbrook as a passer takes consistently chooses not to pass and instead take bad shots.
Westbrook as a defender focuses primarily on getting the ball.

I don't mean to damn the guy. I totally get why he's an MVP candidate and frankly I'm thinking a lot more about him than I am Durant in that context. He is an astonishing specimen with an iron will. But to me he largely has the same issues he came in the league with, those are issues that cause problems with portability, and thus while I think OKC totally could have won the title last year, were I tasked with actually building around Westbrook to win a title hoping to get realistic secondary stars, I wouldn't like my chances.

(To be clear, I also have concerns about Harden because of his defense. I may knock Westbrook's defensive focus, but in the playoffs if he needs to do some serious man defense, he can. Harden's defensive issues will only get worse in the playoffs and frankly it makes it tough for me when I think about MVPs.)

3) Fundamentally there are just a lot of Westbrook possessions that end ugly and didn't seem to seriously try to get Durant involved, and this was the case regardless of the coach. He's never been a gifted passer. He's improved with experience, but he's not one of these guys who knows where everyone on the floor is all the time. He gets tunnel vision, and that's basically precisely what you don't want to have when you have a teammate that is a much better scorer than you are.

4) At this point I don't know if anyone is actually publishing rebounding regressions. Back when they did, Westbrook's defensive rebounding impact was not good. It's possible that by this point Donovan has developed a system so focused on making use of Westbrook being Westbrook that the team's rebounding suffers without him, but when Westbrook first started crashing the defensive boards when Durant was hurt, it wasn't good for the team's defensive rebounding.

Again, to be clear, that doesn't mean it was necessarily a mistake, because it helps start the fast break. The offensive gain may outweigh the defensive cost, and so the only thing to stress here fundamentally is that a point guard who gets a lot of defensive rebounds is something that should be considered as a strategy primarily for the offensive benefit. On defense the way to really get good at defensive rebounding is tried & true:

1) Get big, tall, athletic guys.
2) Have them work together to box out the opponent.
3) Rebounds gained on the interior are typically done by guys already on the interior, as they are the one who aren't simply closest, but can get to the ball without having to create an opening through which an opponent can also jump in.

Rules 2 & 3 are why young bigs typically suck at defensive rebounding even if they are great at offensive rebounding. They may get a lot of defensive boards, but they allow openings which make there be a bigger chance that the ball will bounce to the opponent.
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Re: Zach Lowe:" I am not sure Kawhi isn't the MVP of the whole league" "should be #1... 

Post#100 » by Winsome Gerbil » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:06 am

inDe_eD wrote:
Winsome Gerbil wrote:
Johnny Firpo wrote:
Yeah, but that's not what the mesaure of the MVP is, and you know it. If it would be, Davis would have a chance. With that said, Kawhi's defense definitely regressed this year, and not just because they take him out of defensive possessions by parking players in the corner. I think even his defensive ISO efficiency is down, although I haven't checked in a couple of weeks, maybe he bounced back.



I know it hasn't been. I have long coined the true MVP formula of "best player with the best narrative on a 55+ contending team".

But I've also long considered that utterly ridiculous. I find most focuses on "wins" to be comically primitive. Its put forth as some advanced be all, when in the end its the very most primitive means of determining who was better there is. It tells you very little, certainly about an individual in a team sport.

And in any case, in this particular year Kawhi's largely "normal" star on an elite team season is simply dwarfed by the unique in most of our lifetimes performances going on nightly in OKC and Houston. Guys don't do this. If Kawhi were giving us a LeBron performance in San Antonio, then maybe. Otherwise it's a travesty again of team performance determining an individual award, and one of those awards that in the future will historically not accurately describe the special of this season. Kawhi's a great player, but he's not doing anything legendary this season. The other two guys are.


Winsome, take the team aspect out of it then. Do you really think Harden/Westbrook's seasons are actually that much better than Kawhi's? He's essentially putting up prime Dirk offensive numbers with great defense and as much impact as anyone else. You can't criticize win counting as primitive and then point to counting numbers as your alternative.


Yes I can when I'm talking about an individual award. Those guys mean EVERYTHING to their teams. And BTW, in previous years when Duncan for instance won it, he too meant everything to his teams. Nobody else was close. A major reason why he deserved it. Kawhi's a great player, but he's playing alongside at least one 20ppg scorer without him. He's playing for not only a HOF coach, but a Top 5 all time coach, alongside probably 3 other future (aging) HOFers, for a franchise that last won less than 55 games two decades ago. Yes, he's valuable. No he's not the most valuable. The Spurs are a machine. Kawhi's their current chief cog. Westbrook and Harden both ARE the machines.

If Kawhi were matching the nearly unprecedented productivity of the two guards, only on a better team? Sure, of course he'd be right there. But he's not. He's 25.9pts 5.9rebs 3.3ast, which are really good SF numbers, but hardly anything revolutionary. Jimmy Butler is averaging 24.4pts 6.3rebs 4.9ast. It's just not extraordinary enough to outrank a couple of guys having legendary level seasons that will still be being talked about in 20 years. Or given that who knows when we see somebody pull another Oscar, in Westbrook's case maybe even longer. We still talk about Oscar 50 years later.

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