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Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard

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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#321 » by payitforward » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:47 pm

doclinkin wrote:
gtn130 wrote:More importantly, if we look at player salaries (via free agency) as a rough proxy for how they're valued by GMs, then everyone arguing TB > Lopez is making a fundamentally contrarian argument that cuts against conventional wisdom. My position is unquestionably in line with conventional wisdom, and Wizards fans on this board are the ones firing off hot takes.


Cool. Conventional wisdom. The barber shop test. Are you going to get laughed out of the bar if you try to argue TB13 is better than x-player. Fair. He has no track record yet and hasn’t earned the respect. Literally ‘earned’ when it comes to his contract.

You can hold that position until he proves himself instead of projecting into the future. Reasonable to do. I will say though if you’re in a fantasy league, you’d be Smart to snatch him up late, since he is undervalued right now, and will probably produce at a high rate compared to his fantasy draft position.

For about the 1000th time, I don't ever judge "better player" in some metaphysical or final sense. Like asking how much "goodness" is there in two players? Which one has more "goodness" in him?

What I have said & will repeat here is that in his 11 year career, Brook Lopez has never had a single year -- not one -- anywhere near as good as the year Thomas Bryant had in 2018-19.

Now, if someone wants to suggest that Bryant's year was a fluke -- please do so. That would be exactly like me suggesting that we can *know* he'll be as good or better this year. Either of these would be a statement of opinion & no more. But, of course, if he does, then there's more reason to expect that to continue. & if he doesn't, well, that too provides information.

When we get to the last years of a player's career, or when it's over of course, then we can say how "good" he was -- we know what he did over the long haul & can compare it to averages & to other players in the recent or long-term past of the league. In the case of Brook Lopez, we are getting to that point. He's basically been a solid NBA journeyman.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#322 » by dckingsfan » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:52 pm

payitforward wrote:
doclinkin wrote:
gtn130 wrote:More importantly, if we look at player salaries (via free agency) as a rough proxy for how they're valued by GMs, then everyone arguing TB > Lopez is making a fundamentally contrarian argument that cuts against conventional wisdom. My position is unquestionably in line with conventional wisdom, and Wizards fans on this board are the ones firing off hot takes.


Cool. Conventional wisdom. The barber shop test. Are you going to get laughed out of the bar if you try to argue TB13 is better than x-player. Fair. He has no track record yet and hasn’t earned the respect. Literally ‘earned’ when it comes to his contract.

You can hold that position until he proves himself instead of projecting into the future. Reasonable to do. I will say though if you’re in a fantasy league, you’d be Smart to snatch him up late, since he is undervalued right now, and will probably produce at a high rate compared to his fantasy draft position.

For about the 1000th time, I don't ever judge "better player" in some metaphysical or final sense. Like asking how much "goodness" is there in two players? Which one has more "goodness" in him?

What I have said & will repeat here is that in his 11 year career, Brook Lopez has never had a single year -- not one -- anywhere near as good as the year Thomas Bryant had in 2018-19.

Now, if someone wants to suggest that Bryant's year was a fluke -- please do so. That would be exactly like me suggesting that we can *know* he'll be as good or better this year. Either of these would be a statement of opinion & no more. But, of course, if he does, then there's more reason to expect that to continue. & if he doesn't, well, that too provides information.

When we get to the last years of a player's career, or when it's over of course, then we can say how "good" he was -- we know what he did over the long haul & can compare it to averages & to other players in the recent or long-term past of the league. In the case of Brook Lopez, we are getting to that point. He's basically been a solid NBA journeyman.

Or maybe just comparing the two at the same age:

Code: Select all

Age   MP     PER    TS%      TOV%   USG%   DRB%   STL%   BLK%   WS/48
21    1496   21.0   0.674    9.6    17.6   25.1   0.8    3.8    0.178
                           
21    3027   20.1   0.570   13.1    23.6   17.5   1.0    3.4    0.125
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#323 » by payitforward » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:26 am

That was Lopez's 2d year when, as you say, he was 21. That was one of his better years in the league. The data you post is a little unfair to him, in that he got a lot of offensive boards that year, but they aren't referenced.

OTOH, the difference in the two players' WS/48 doesn't capture how big the gap is in the numbers they put up & the benefit those numbers delivered to their respective teams. Bryant was closer to twice as productive (not quite).
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#324 » by wall_glizzy » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:13 am

payitforward wrote:Well at least it's an attempt to be reasonable. Yet, 1) of course you can compare the young Thomas Bryant & the young Brook Lopez! For the comparison to have deep meaning or predictability, you'd have to do it carefully, but of course you can compare players; 2) last year, across the board, in every meaningful measurement, Thomas Bryant had a better season than Brook Lopez has ever had, period; 3) how do you or anyone know what Thomas Bryant's utility would or wouldn't be in the playoffs, I wonder? I mean... it's impossible, according to you, to compare two players when they were young -- even though we have complete information about how they played -- but your crystal ball enables you to say what Thomas Bryant would or wouldn't do in a playoff game. BS.

You are certainly right that Bryant's salary is a bargain for the Wizards. The idea that someone who plays as well as he did last year is an "easy pickup in the draft" is absolutely ridiculous. Plus, if that were true, why oh why would we be guaranteeing hi $25m I wonder?

When Thomas Bryant becomes established as one of the outstanding players in the NBA, I can't wait for you to forget entirely the nonsensical crapola you're putting out now.


1. You're not considering the different league environments in which Lopez and Bryant played their second years - Lopez didn't shoot a single three until years into his career (which, at the time, was perfectly normal), and was primarily playing offense in the post. Trying to make some meaningful comparison of them, as young players, on the basis of either spacing the floor or offensive efficiency (consider that Lopez's second-year USG% was a full third again of Bryant's; that a third of his shots came from 3-16 feet versus one in twenty for Bryant; that he was playing primarily from the post in a league with dramatically less spacing than you see today) is completely useless. More meaningful, obviously, would be a comparison between Bryant and someone else who has played in a league environment remotely similar to his own - young centers from the last, I dunno, three seasons, rather than a decade ago.

2. This claim is largely addressed by a lot of the stuff I mentioned in the previous point, but I might as well mention Lopez's 2013-2014 - 20.7 points per game (23.8 per 36) on .629 TS%, a higher ORB% (8.8 vs. 8.1) than Bryant had this past year, more blocks per 36 (2.0 vs 1.6), all with a usage rate of 27.1% (Bryant's was 17.6% last year).

3. There's ample evidence from the last couple years that players with Bryant's acknowledged defensive deficiencies - as they stand - can get exposed and have their effectiveness severely limited (by way of their playtime being limited) in playoff series that allow for more dedicated, team-specific strategizing.

I'm plenty excited about Bryant! Your insistence on trying to claim sole domain over positive outlooks for the young Wizards you take a fancy to is really weird. There are lots of ways to express excitement about the potential his stats and eye test show without getting into the realm of instantly self-discrediting claims regarding players from a decade ago.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#325 » by gtn130 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:43 pm

PIF's argument is essentially that Bryant was more efficient than Lopez so he definitionally had a better season than Lopez has ever had. He is technically correct, but the point he's making isn't useful or tethered to any practical evaluation of NBA players.

PIF doesn't care about teammates, role, fit, coaching, era, USG% or really anything contextual. He doesn't even think people should speculate about anything that hasn't already occurred because it's unknowable and bref is the single source of truth. In PIF's ideal world, we stop watching basketball, shut down this forum, stop speaking to other humans about basketball and just browse bref tables all day.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#326 » by dckingsfan » Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:27 pm

payitforward wrote:That was Lopez's 2d year when, as you say, he was 21. That was one of his better years in the league. The data you post is a little unfair to him, in that he got a lot of offensive boards that year, but they aren't referenced.

OTOH, the difference in the two players' WS/48 doesn't capture how big the gap is in the numbers they put up & the benefit those numbers delivered to their respective teams. Bryant was closer to twice as productive (not quite).

PIF - I was clearly showing that at age - Bryant is better - and as you put it, one of Lopez's better years.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#327 » by payitforward » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:59 pm

wall_glizzy wrote:
payitforward wrote:Well at least it's an attempt to be reasonable. Yet, 1) of course you can compare the young Thomas Bryant & the young Brook Lopez! For the comparison to have deep meaning or predictability, you'd have to do it carefully, but of course you can compare players; 2) last year, across the board, in every meaningful measurement, Thomas Bryant had a better season than Brook Lopez has ever had, period; 3) how do you or anyone know what Thomas Bryant's utility would or wouldn't be in the playoffs, I wonder? I mean... it's impossible, according to you, to compare two players when they were young -- even though we have complete information about how they played -- but your crystal ball enables you to say what Thomas Bryant would or wouldn't do in a playoff game. BS.

You are certainly right that Bryant's salary is a bargain for the Wizards. The idea that someone who plays as well as he did last year is an "easy pickup in the draft" is absolutely ridiculous. Plus, if that were true, why oh why would we be guaranteeing hi $25m I wonder?

When Thomas Bryant becomes established as one of the outstanding players in the NBA, I can't wait for you to forget entirely the nonsensical crapola you're putting out now.


1. You're not considering the different league environments in which Lopez and Bryant played their second years - Lopez didn't shoot a single three until years into his career (which, at the time, was perfectly normal), and was primarily playing offense in the post. Trying to make some meaningful comparison of them, as young players, on the basis of either spacing the floor or offensive efficiency (consider that Lopez's second-year USG% was a full third again of Bryant's; that a third of his shots came from 3-16 feet versus one in twenty for Bryant; that he was playing primarily from the post in a league with dramatically less spacing than you see today) is completely useless. More meaningful, obviously, would be a comparison between Bryant and someone else who has played in a league environment remotely similar to his own - young centers from the last, I dunno, three seasons, rather than a decade ago.

2. This claim is largely addressed by a lot of the stuff I mentioned in the previous point, but I might as well mention Lopez's 2013-2014 - 20.7 points per game (23.8 per 36) on .629 TS%, a higher ORB% (8.8 vs. 8.1) than Bryant had this past year, more blocks per 36 (2.0 vs 1.6), all with a usage rate of 27.1% (Bryant's was 17.6% last year).

3. There's ample evidence from the last couple years that players with Bryant's acknowledged defensive deficiencies - as they stand - can get exposed and have their effectiveness severely limited (by way of their playtime being limited) in playoff series that allow for more dedicated, team-specific strategizing.

I'm plenty excited about Bryant! Your insistence on trying to claim sole domain over positive outlooks for the young Wizards you take a fancy to is really weird. There are lots of ways to express excitement about the potential his stats and eye test show without getting into the realm of instantly self-discrediting claims regarding players from a decade ago.

I'm glad you're excited about Thomas Bryant. Really, that's all that matters, since there's plenty of reason to be excited.

The idea that I would "claim sole domain over positive outlooks" on Bryant (or anyone) is kinda silly, don't you think? There is a long list of others here who are extremely high on Bryant -- start with nate, but there's a bunch of others. Why ever would I want sole domain on this -- especially since I'd like gtn130, I Like Dirt (who called him "at best a tenth man") & others to have a positive outlook.

Of course, Bryant & Lopez played in different league environments! But you can still compare them; you just have to do it with context in mind. Small differences in productivity wouldn't be very convincing. Enormous differences... that's different. & that's what the differences were. Anyway, I do agree that picking Brook Lopez as a comparison makes little sense. You do understand, right, that I wasn't the one who suggested it? It was Bryant's critics who thought that it was somehow relevant, not me.

& you know better than to compare Brook Lopez in 2013-14 -- when he was 25 turning 26! -- with Bryant's first 1500 minutes in the NBA! How is that relevant? Plus, in doing so, you cherry pick the numbers you like. & even some of those are below Bryant's 21-year old productivity. You like Brook's offensive rebounding % that year? Great. How do you like this: he managed 4.28 defensive rebounds per 36 minutes that year! Any reason you didn't mention that?

Or that he played a total of 533 minutes that year! :)

In short... you're picking a fight with me for no particular reason: I've got nothing against Brook Lopez.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#328 » by trast66 » Fri Aug 2, 2019 4:54 pm

Bryant should have been invited to USA Select team (junior squad). Maybe he signaled he didn’t want to go.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#329 » by nate33 » Fri Aug 2, 2019 5:36 pm

trast66 wrote:Bryant should have been invited to USA Select team (junior squad). Maybe he signaled he didn’t want to go.

Bryant is so under the radar that it boggles the mind. Statistically, there were only 4 or 5 21-or-under players in the league better than Bryant but he still gets no recognition.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#330 » by payitforward » Fri Aug 2, 2019 11:49 pm

nate33 wrote:
trast66 wrote:Bryant should have been invited to USA Select team (junior squad). Maybe he signaled he didn’t want to go.

Bryant is so under the radar that it boggles the mind. Statistically, there were only 4 or 5 21-or-under players in the league better than Bryant but he still gets no recognition.

Who were the "4 or 5," nate?
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#331 » by nate33 » Sat Aug 3, 2019 12:22 am

payitforward wrote:
nate33 wrote:
trast66 wrote:Bryant should have been invited to USA Select team (junior squad). Maybe he signaled he didn’t want to go.

Bryant is so under the radar that it boggles the mind. Statistically, there were only 4 or 5 21-or-under players in the league better than Bryant but he still gets no recognition.

Who were the "4 or 5," nate?

It's not a hard and fast list, but I'd definitely rank Fox and Doncic ahead of him, and probably John Collins and Jamal Murray. He's in the mix with Mitchell Robinson and Jarret Allen.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#332 » by payitforward » Sat Aug 3, 2019 12:34 am

Perhaps it would be interesting to compare Bryant to DeAndre Ayton? First thing to point out is that Ayton is a full year younger than Bryant. In that sense, the comparison is probably slightly unfair to Ayton. Yet... he was the #1 pick in the draft -- & he had a terrific rookie year. Just not as good as Bryant.

I have per 48 minute numbers in front of me, so I'll just use those rather than risk any post-evening-meal mental arithmetic!

Scoring
Ayton 25.5
Bryant 24.3

FGAs
Ayton 19.1
Bryant 16.1

FTAs
Ayton 4.2
Bryant 4.4

You can think of two FTAs as equivalent to one FGA & be roughly correct. So, in order to produce 1.2 more points, Ayton required 2.9 more shot attempts. Bryant's eFG% was almost 6.5 percentage points higher than Ayton's, his FT% was @4 points higher, & his TS% was more than 6.5 points higher than DeAndre Ayton's. He was by far the better scorer; it's not really close -- though Ayton, at only 20 years old, was very good as well. Just not elite, which Bryant was.

How about rebounding? Here Ayton has the edge.

Defensive boards were virtually the same
Ayton 11.1
Bryant 10.9

But offensive boards weren't as close
Ayton 4.9
Bryant 3.6

You could think of the extra 1.6 offensive boards as the equivalent of 1.6 fewer missed FGAs. To this point, the 2 guys are close, but Bryant still has the edge. It's as if their rebounding were equal, & it took Ayton not 2.9, but only 1.6 extra shot attempts to produce 1.2 more points.

Steals help DeAndre a little, but TOs hurt him more

Ayton 1.3 steals with 2.8 TOs -- i.e. minus 1.5 on the combination
Bryant .8 steals with 1.9 TOs -- i.e. minus 1.1 on the combination

In those 48 minutes, to cap it off, Thomas Bryant got .3 more assists & committed .6 fewer fouls.

DeAndre Ayton, 1 year younger than Thomas Bryant but no more experienced in the NBA, had a terrific rookie year. Overall, however, it wasn't as good as Thomas Bryant's season.

Now... that is no criticism whatever of DeAndre Ayton -- far from it! It just points how tremendous Bryant was.

Still... you know who was even better?
Spoiler:
Mitchell Robinson -- & it wasn't even close! Terrific though they both were, Robinson was a good bit better than either of them. Plus, Robinson is younger than Bryant & only a few months older than Ayton!

Zards said to pick him. Best talent spot in the 7+ years I've been on this Board!
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#333 » by nate33 » Sat Aug 3, 2019 9:13 pm

payitforward wrote:Still... you know who was even better?
Spoiler:
Mitchell Robinson -- & it wasn't even close! Terrific though they both were, Robinson was a good bit better than either of them. Plus, Robinson is younger than Bryant & only a few months older than Ayton!

Zards said to pick him. Best talent spot in the 7+ years I've been on this Board!

I knew you would bring him up.

It's true that Robinson had an incredible rookie year statistically, but I think it should be noted that he did not start for most of the year, and his team essentially committed to tanking by Christmas. Basically, a huge percentage of his time on the floor was garbage time against 2nd and 3rd stringers in blowouts. Furthermore, given those circumstances, there wasn't much of a scouting report against him.

Looking at his splits, I note that Robinson averaged 13.9 points, 11.9 boards and 4.8 blocks per 36 minutes as a reserve - awesome numbers to be sure. But as I said, a lot of that was in garbage time. As a starter, he averaged just 10.8 points, 9.75 boards and 3.25 blocks per 36 minutes. For comparison, Bryant averaged 17.9 points, 11.1 boards and 1.4 blocks per 36 minutes as a starter. And he started in 53 games so there was definitely a scouting report out for him.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#334 » by payitforward » Sun Aug 4, 2019 2:02 am

Good points, nate. Probably the main question is how two such outrageously productive players as Bryant & Robinson got picked in R2. Or may be not so much a "question" as something to understand happens pretty frequently.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#335 » by doclinkin » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:43 pm

https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2019/8/19/20812203/james-harden-new-move-one-foot-three-travel-step-back-video

Watch our Thomas Bryant getting toasted by the latest James Harden near travel move....

TBry looking good though:



Lean fit fast and strong. And hitting that three with ease and comfort at game speed.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#336 » by I_Like_Dirt » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:59 pm

nate33 wrote:It's not a hard and fast list, but I'd definitely rank Fox and Doncic ahead of him, and probably John Collins and Jamal Murray. He's in the mix with Mitchell Robinson and Jarret Allen.


Trae Young is better than him, too. I'd suggest Jonathan Isaac is also better - he's a defensive powerhouse. I also think JJJ in Memphis makes a pretty compelling argument along with the aforementioned Ayton. Bryant is very good - I just think there are more than 4 or 5 guys his age or younger that are better than him.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#337 » by nate33 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:23 pm

doclinkin wrote:https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2019/8/19/20812203/james-harden-new-move-one-foot-three-travel-step-back-video

Watch our Thomas Bryant getting toasted by the latest James Harden near travel move....

TBry looking good though:



Lean fit fast and strong. And hitting that three with ease and comfort at game speed.

Check out that pass by Bryant at 1:53! Not bad for a big man.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#338 » by DCZards » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:42 pm

nate33 wrote:
doclinkin wrote:https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2019/8/19/20812203/james-harden-new-move-one-foot-three-travel-step-back-video

Watch our Thomas Bryant getting toasted by the latest James Harden near travel move....

TBry looking good though:



Lean fit fast and strong. And hitting that three with ease and comfort at game speed.

Check out that pass by Bryant at 1:53! Not bad for a big man.


That pass caught my attention as well. Had to rewind it to confirm it was Bryant making it. But what really caught my attention is Bryant's body. Kid was carrying some baby fat, especially his rookie season. But now he's looking rather lean and mean.

Can't wait to see him and Rui develop as the Zards frontcourt of the future.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#339 » by nate33 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:53 pm

I_Like_Dirt wrote:
nate33 wrote:It's not a hard and fast list, but I'd definitely rank Fox and Doncic ahead of him, and probably John Collins and Jamal Murray. He's in the mix with Mitchell Robinson and Jarret Allen.


Trae Young is better than him, too. I'd suggest Jonathan Isaac is also better - he's a defensive powerhouse. I also think JJJ in Memphis makes a pretty compelling argument along with the aforementioned Ayton. Bryant is very good - I just think there are more than 4 or 5 guys his age or younger that are better than him.

Bryant beats all those guys handily in WS/48, PER, VORP, BPM, ORtg and TS%. He rebounds better than all of those guys save Ayton. He takes better care of the ball than all of them. He even has more assists per possession than everyone but Young. Isaac and JJJ are better defensively, but I don't know if that makes up for Bryant's significantly better offense.

http://bkref.com/tiny/VHeE0
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#340 » by payitforward » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:07 pm

I_Like_Dirt wrote:
nate33 wrote:It's not a hard and fast list, but I'd definitely rank Fox and Doncic ahead of him, and probably John Collins and Jamal Murray. He's in the mix with Mitchell Robinson and Jarret Allen.

Trae Young is better than him, too. I'd suggest Jonathan Isaac is also better - he's a defensive powerhouse. I also think JJJ in Memphis makes a pretty compelling argument along with the aforementioned Ayton. Bryant is very good - I just think there are more than 4 or 5 guys his age or younger that are better than him.

Actually, what you think is not that "Bryant is very good." What you think is that he is "at best a 10th man." You expressed yourself along those lines numerous times, right? But, you've never come out & said "I was very very wrong about Thomas Bryant," have you?

In fact, to my knowledge, you've never acknowledged being wrong about... anything at all. & under those circumstances, of course you are ready to pontificate not about how you rank players -- read nate's words -- which means that you'd be ready to explain & support those rankings. No, you are just going to say who is "better" than whom, without giving the word any meaning at all or (of course not!) supporting the ex cathedra declaration (with the exception that you do say something about Isaac that would bear on the question).

Actually, to this point, nothing Young, Isaac, JJJ, or Ayton has done would give anyone any reason to think he was as good as Bryant -- let alone better! Of course, it may still happen -- why not? But, so far? No....

If you respond -- or, better, if you react, since an actually responsive post would be a first -- maybe you'll admit to being wrong about Bryant, maybe you'll even try to think about why you were so quick to be negative, why it was so easy for you to be totally wrong about Thomas Bryant.

Nah... not a chance: after all, if you thought about that you might be forced to take back some of the latest nonsense about Young, Ayton, etc. Isaac, btw, did have a much improved 2d year after an awful rookie season. Not that he was anywhere near as effective as Bryant.

JJJ has unlimited potential, no doubt about it. & he scored very efficiently (though nowhere near as efficiently as Bryant!). Unfortunately he fouled a whole whole lot, turned the ball over very frequently, & managed just over 6 total rebounds per 40 minutes. Overall, in other words, he was pretty terrible. Don't get me wrong, I think he has a shot to be absolutely tremendous! But he ain't that yet.

Collins was really good, btw -- a bit better rebounder than Bryant, he'd have been almost as good if only he hadn't turned it over more, & scored less efficiently.
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