ushvinder88 wrote:Many people consider chris paul's 2008 and 2009 runs arguable the best ever for pg since magic in 1987.
I don't disagree with you here, as it happens, which is why I said that I think you CAN make pretty strong arguments for Paul and Lebron in 2008, but rather objected to your angle of approach, not your result. I merely pointed out that Garnett's selection wasn't this terrible tragedy and injustice, as you implied.
Kevin garnett's 2008 run was probably not even a top 15-20 season ever by a pf.
Performance relative to historical position is interesting, but there's nothing that definitively suggests that a great performance relative to historical PGs is more valuable than what Garnett did in for the Celtics relative to historical PFs. It's an interesting narrative, of course, but it means only so much.
I remember the 2008 season like it was yesterday, garnett was not the best player in the league, he was clearly worse than the 2003-2005 garnett. Again this is an example where realgm selectively chooses player of the year based on team success. However, that theory is thrown out of the window when it comes to the golden boy larry bird and his epic choke job in 1985.
That's one way to look at it. Remember, though, that the RPOY Project defined their goal as this:
Our definition for the Player of the Year was the player who had the best season, including both regular season and playoffs.
It didn't say most productive, it didn't say best player, it said best season factoring in both the RS and the PS. That changes the tone of what happened a lot, and will invariably weight towards players who were able to accomplish more in the PS as well. Don't forget that Garnett's raw scoring average dropped because of his teammates and minutes and he had what was arguably the best offensive season of his career in terms of facilitating team offense and per-possession production.
In any case, you have a subjective opinion that is different from the consensus, which is cool. There were a number of intriguing candidates that year... and Garnett didn't win unanimously. He was neck-and-neck with Bryant (.692 to .650 POY shares), with Paul and James next at .592 and .554, respectively. It was a tight race, and like any vote, it's more about who was in the top group than the final result (unless it was a really strongly one-sided vote, which this wasn't). You're using an example that really doesn't support your argument all that much, though, because Garnett was a reasonably strong candidate and the basic premise of the project was designed to reward postseason play. Calling it revisionist history misses the point and makes you seem oddly bitter over the results, since you don't seem to understand the notion behind the project.
I dont care if PER isnt the only criteria. Dr. J in 1981 was also a much better defender than bird was. Moses Malone outperformed larry bird in both the regular season and the playoffs. The retro player of the year is nothing more than made up revisionism by internet fans.
Yes, Dr. J was a better defender in 81. But yes, Bird was a 21/11/5.5 player in the RS who was still a very good help defender. There are some intriguing arguments for both players when you look at the RS, and then Bird was a 22/14/6 player come the playoffs. Played pretty well, at least until the Finals.
But what you may be forgetting is this:81 Erving
RS: 24.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 4.4 apg, 57.2% TS, 113 ORTG, great defense
PS: 22.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 52.7% TS, 105 ORTG, less effective defense
That's a pretty steep drop-off in efficacy. He played three rounds, lost to Bird's Celtics and looked worse in the playoffs than he did in the RS. Noticeably so, at that, including WAY worse at scoring efficiently compared to the regular season. His offensive productivity and efficiency tailed off pretty badly.
Now, 81 Bird
RS: 21.2 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 5.5 apg, 52.8% TS, 107 ORTG
PS: 21.9 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 6.1 apg, 53.2% TS, 109 ORTG
Hmmm.... Unlike Erving, Bird didn't actually worsen compared to his RS performance... he actually improved on the glass and as a playmaker, scored slightly more and very slightly elevated his efficiency. The exact opposite of what happened with Dr. J. Inclusion of the postseason begins to matter!
Now, let's look at the Philly/Boston series in the ECFs, which was neck and neck through the first four games before the Sixers dropped the last three in a row.
Bird: 26.7 ppg, 6.7 FTA/g (don't have data beyond FGM, FTM, FTA and PTS)
Erving: 19.9 ppg, 5.0 FTA/
What should be sharply apparent to you there is how much less effective Erving was in that series compared not only to the regular season but compared to the previous two rounds of the playoffs. In a comparison considering the efficacy of a player in both the regular season and the postseason, a stinker performance in the conference finals is going to factor in rather heavily when you're going head to head against a guy who stuck it to that same player's team rather angrily. Now, there's no efficiency data there, of course, but I think it's pretty clear that Bird was torching the Sixers pretty badly. There's only so much that can be said there, since he had a roughly 6-point increase in his scoring volume and commensurate increase in FTAs of nearly 75%. That's the rough profile of Bird kicking Erving's Sixers in the teeth.
Now, the Finals, over which you weep so readily, the 6-game victory of Moses Malone's Rockets.
Bird: 15.3 ppg, 15.3 rpg, 7.0 apg
Right off of the bat, we see a decline in scoring volume. Not good, but there's a significant rebounding and passing increase as well to compensate. 45.98% TS. Rough, ugly, terrible.
G1: 9/17 FG, 0/0 FT, 18 pts, 21 reb, 9 ast, 5 tov
G2: 8/18 FG, 3/3 FT, 19 pts, 21 reb, 3 ast, 5 stl
G3: 3/11 FG, 2/4 FT, 8 pts, 13 reb, 10 ast, 5 stl
G4: 3/11 FG, 2/2 FT, 8 pts, 12 reb, 7 ast and a bad turnover late in the 4th
G5: 5/16 FG, 2/2 FT, 12 pts, 12 reb, 8 ast,
G6: 11/20 FG, 4/5 FT, 26 pts, 13 reb, 5 ast
In the elimination game, he scored16 pts in the second half and 7 of them in the last 3 or 4 minutes.
Looking at that narrative, he struggled from the field in the middle three games while continuing to hit the boards and play an important role as a passing hub. You know from watching that he played good help defense and then he rammed Houston in the teeth in the elimination game. Not quite the picture painted by the overall series averages, which is often the case. Also looking at how he began and ended the series, as well as his performance outside of scoring, it kind of changes the whole tone of how people approach that series. He's not a perfect player, but given his RS performance, his performance overall on the playoffs (especially through the first three rounds and how he kicked in Erving's Sixers in the ECFs) and then how he closed out Game 6 against Malone's Rockets, it's really not all that surprising that he won the RPOY vote.
Remember, you're operating from an errant understanding of what the project was about. It wasn't about the "best player" in the sense of who was individually the best in the RS... that's not even what the MVP is about. The project was rating the best combination of RS and PS performance and results, and given that Bird was an elite performer in both the regular and postseason and the specific results he had, that's not a bad fit.