SmashMouthRod wrote: XTC wrote:
SmashMouthRod wrote:Both were very good scorers but T-Mac was a more well rounded scorer. Mac carried a Magic roster with several lemons to the playoffs several times. Melo for almost his whole career had more talent around him (especially in Denver). Buckets can be easier to get with more talent around. T-Mac was supposed to be paired with Grant Hill but he couldnt get healthy for most that time. So I give the edge to McGrady.
Melo never played next a player as great as Yao, yet in his first season in Houston (before the back injuries) a 25 year old TMac shot 43.6% with a TS% of 52.6
And I disagree about your claim that Tracy was a better all around scorer than Melo who could score inside and out with the best of them, and the efficiency difference backs up my claim.
Yao or T-Mac was barely ever healthy during their tenure. They were only on the same roster for three and a half seasons. Stats dont always tell a true story. Melo as a rookie played with Marcus Camby, Andre Miller, Earl Boykins, and Nene. And in his second season he gained Kenyon Martin as a running mate. T-Mac had been in the league 7 years prior; of which the four before Melo (2000-2003) entered the league Mac averaged 39 minutes a game; dragging a lottery level roster to the playoffs. If were being honest here; Melo wasnt ever good enough to take a roster similar to that Magic team to the playoffs.
Magic 2000-01 Roster
Alexander, Cory (Injured)
Hill, Grant (Injured Out for the Season)
01-02 only added 50 year old Patrick Ewing and Horace Grant to the same roster that still was without Grant Hill. 02-03 The team traded Mike Miller for Drew Gooden and signed Shawn Kemp during his alcohol rehab to play his way back into shape. Grant Hill contributed 29 games. Yet in spite of all this they made the playoffs every year and competed against good teams. Your stats cant dispute that.
I agree that Carmelo had better players for winning games earlier in his career than McGrady had in Orlando, but if we're talking about spacing and offensive support, not really. What Denver mainly had was better defensive players. Now not having enough offensive support will make it hard to get past the first round in the West (East at that time was a different situation), but can win you regular season games.
Andre Miller, Camby, Nene, K-Mart don't make your life easier on offense in that sense. Dre Miller helped him because of his passing, especially his ability to throw lobs, but then made it hard on him because of his lack of outside shooting and lack of second or even really third option scoring ability. The Magic yes also did not have any proper second option, but they had playmakers (Armstrong, improved Hudson in 01-02 and Mike Miller vs Dre Miller, Boykins and Watson). Their issue was more with lack of defensive support players, and Grant Hill's contract of course made it difficult for them to do much improvement.
For example with Denver, I remember the 05-06 season, WC teams were salivating to get Denver in the first round. The Clippers just loaded up on Carmelo and didn't care about anyone else because they weren't big enough threats to make you pay.
Here was their starting lineup:
Andre Miller (82 games)
Greg Buckner (73 games)
Carmelo Anthony (80 games)
Kenyon Martin (56 games)
Marcus Camby (56 games)
Bench: Eduardo Najera (64 games), Earl Boykins (60 games), Ruben Patterson, Reggie Evans, Francisco Elson
In the playoffs though, due to Martin injury (2 games off the bench), the starting lineup was:
That playoff starting lineup is not good offensive support. Drew Gooden as a rookie would have been Denver's second best scorer and one of the better shooters in that starting lineup. So that was not good offensive support at all, that's poor spacing, few scorers on the roster outside of Melo, no second option level player. Also when we take into account injuries, that was 21 year old Melo scoring 26.5 ppg on 48% FG and leading them to 44 wins in the West and into the playoffs.
I see this a lot with roster evaluation on the internet in general, not just this forum, but people are always so focused on how many scorers / shooters players have around them, which yes, it is important, but then they don't think about or give credit for how much defenders and rebounders who can score (or even maybe not so much) but aren't very good shooters or high level scorers can help you win more games than above average and/or one way offensive guys. Also offensive rebounders aren't given credit for their help on offense due to that skill.
Very good defensive guys who can give decent offense even if they don't space so well (guys like a Iguodala, Kenyon Martin, etc) are generally going to help you win more games than if you have even someone like Glenn Robinson scoring 20 ppg next to you, but many people in evaluating teams will downplay the value of those guys as a supporting cast because they don't put up 20+ ppg or shoot specifically well from outside, and suggest having the scorer is a better supporting cast situation.
Denver was a better team than Orlando in Carmelo's early years primarily because they defended well, not because they had any impressive group of offensive players. Really it wasn't until 06/07 when AI came on board that we could say he had a "good" offensive supporting cast and that was helped in 07-08 when JR Smith developed into a solid offensive contributor as well as someone like Klieza. The Denver teams from his rookie season until 05-06 were not really impressive on offense, they won also because they defended well.
Spacing and offensive support wise, the 01-02 and 02-03 Magic were better than the Nuggets from 03-04 to 05-06. Mike Miller missed games in 01-02 and had injury problems, but offensively, the combination of Armstrong, Miller and then Garrity who they used a good amount as a stretch 4 was positive for spacing, but 00-01 they didn't have enough depth of solid offensive contribution, though a guy like Bo Outlaw was very nice to have defensively. 01-02, even with Miller missing about 20 games, the spacing and additional ball handlers and playmakers was quite good with Armstrong, Troy Hudson, Mike Miller and then Garrity as a stretch 4. In 02-03 yes, Mike Miller was traded to bring back Giricek and Gooden, but those guys were both good offensive players, it was again defense that was a big lack. They got a measly 29 games from Grant Hill, better than in the past, but not enough. Armstrong was now getting older and Horace Grant who was older, but still decent was waived 5 games in because of his spat with Doc Rivers, so that hurt them.
Having good offensive support is important to contend, but support needed is always relative to competition. McGrady would have had more regular season and playoff success in the East if they had kept Ben Wallace (obviously Grant Hill was a good decision if he didn't get injured) and had a lineup of Armstrong / McGrady / Miller / Grant / Wallace and then Outlaw and then Garrity off the bench as a stretch 4. Offensively Ben Wallace even helps them due to offensive rebounding (another aspect of offensive help that gets neglected).