chefo wrote:This is very unlikely from a very stylistic point of view--you look at MVP players over the last 15 years (ever since they changed the rules on perimeter D), and the last one that was not either the primary or 1a ball-handler to win it was Dirk in 2006/7.
LBJ, Kobe, Curry, Westbrook, Harden, Greek Freak, DRose, even Durant... played a ton with the ball in their hands, and I mean a ton. Here's the thing with Lauri--we've seen him featured as the primary option on O, both his rookie year and last year for stretches. Both times, he kicked major posterior.
But, it has never been consistent, partially due to the lack of discipline and IQ on O by the entire squad (trying to post him up versus smalls vs. just high/low pass when he jams his elbow in their back for example), partly because Lauri does not have the big butt to play inside on a recurring basis and punish teams for cheating, without having the scheme in place to exploit these mismatches.
But here's a thing I also noticed--when you give him the ball in his spots (elbows, wing 3s), there's been nobody who can stop what he wants to do (drive, short pull-up, contested or open 3, etc.). He can almost always get a modestly clean look, just like Dirk used to do back in his prime. However, to do that reccurringly and successfully for a game, let alone a season, it takes a ton of discipline and IQ on the entire team's part and the Bulls were easily one of the dumbest squads in terms of bball IQ in the entire league last year, and probably the year before. It almost takes dedication to a system like you had in the early 90s to constantly exploit matchups.
How many times have we seen Lauri score 2-3 buckets easily and then not touch the ball for a quarter and a half? No matter who it is, that player has almost zero odds of winning an MVP. I think Lauri, if everything breaks right and he develops his skills, can easily peak at something like 26/7 and 11, if he is either the focal or one of the focal points on O. But again, for a big that needs to get fed all the time, that's not a function of him alone, but more of how the team plays. He's given us a glimpse of MVP-like talent, but it's been short and therefore easy to discount.
That's why I am so thrilled about Sato--that's a smart guy with legit NBA talent that knows that the alphas need to get fed regularly--I'm praying that the dribble fests from our PGs of the last two years are finally behind us.
Nice summary. This is where I am at and what management should think along the lines.
Lauri on one night looks like absolutely elite level player but he still cannot deliver consistently which a lot of stars tend to do such as Doncic. When he had his 25/10 stretches, I really thought he could surpass Dirk until the fatigue and Dirk is the only viable role model for him to win anything.
I dont doubt his offensive production just like Lavine but will his 25/10 make his team actually relevant?
Since he technically experienced only 1.5 yrs, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But if he doesnt deliver next yr, he is no different from Lavine. Just a offensive specialist (Booker) thats only good at producing raw stats.
This year he has so much help (Sato, Young) theres no more fatigue, freak injury excuses. I wonder why so many veterans join a bottom of the feeder lottery team but if they fail again, dont expect anyone like Pau Gasol will join.