RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 (Michael Jordan)

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#101 » by ZeppelinPage » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:33 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
ZeppelinPage wrote:Please take a look at how many minutes Auerbach was playing the Celtics players over the course of the year. Then look at their win totals.

Those teams were even better than what their win totals were come playoff time. The 60s Celtics were ridiculously more talented in both coaching and roster than every other team. Sam Jones was playing 30 MPG and they were still winning 60 games, I mean come on.


I don't think that's so clear.

bkref 1963-64 Celtics

This is the signature Russell year (you can argue he was better in another year, but this is the essential moment for his legacy). It's the year after Cousy retired, when people thought the team was going to fall apart and instead got better putting up an ultra-outlier defensive performance (by DRtg 4.8 better than the #2 Warriors with Wilt and Nate Thurmond, and 10.2 better than anyone else).

Regular season MPG:

Russell 44.6
Havlicek 32.3
Sam Jones 31.3
KC Jones 30.3
Sanders 29.6
Heinsohn 26.8

Playoffs MPG:

Russell 45.1
Sam Jones 35.6
KC Jones 31.2
Heinsohn 30.8
Sanders 30.2
Havlicek 28.9

I don't see a huge difference there. Still looks largely like a Russell + Platoon system where you're relying on Russell to anchor your defense (and help facilitate the offense) in every meaningful minute and everyone else is given time on the bench to rest.


It's a similar minute distribution, just with the more important players getting more minutes--which no doubt makes them a stronger team in the playoffs. Jones got a 4 MPG increase, as did Heinsohn. I'm guessing those players were needed more for that run. The younger Havlicek got his minutes lowered in favor of more important veterans.

It seemed to depend on the season and playoff competition. Some of the earlier seasons, Auerbach would stay to his rotation but give the all-important Frank Ramsay a boost to 30-35 MPG. In '62 Russell, Heinsohn, Jones, and Cousy all get a nice bump in MPG (as again, they are the vets.) In '65 and '66, come playoff time; Russell, Jones and Havlicek are needed even more by Auerbach. With Jones and Havlicek breaking 40+ MPG.

Basically, even if Auerbach stuck to a similar rotation, he could boost a few key players in minutes after he kept them rested throughout the year. This gave the Celtics an extra gear that made them that much more difficult to defeat.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#102 » by Owly » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:01 pm

70sFan wrote:Since when Sanders, KC Jones, Heinsohn and Nelson are all-time great supporting cast? They are one way players, in Nelson case mediocre ones. I like watching Heinsohn but he was a gunner with no impact outside of volume scoring. Cousy was good, but his impact is questionable from 1961. Sam Jones was realy good, but he wasn't better than Hal Greer or Jerry Lucas and he was clearly inferior to Elgin Baylor.

Lakers weren't all Baylor and West either - they had very solid Rudy LaRusso (who was probably better than Tom Heinsohn), Walt Hazzard (much better than KC Jones offensively), Dick Barnett (worse than Jones, but still excellent 3rd/4th option with very good defense) and solid center rotation built from Imhoff/Wiley/Ellis.

Royals were full of offensive firepower - Lucas and Twyman were excellent offensively and they had very solid guard rotation. Embry wasn't great on defense, but he wasm't bad offensively either.

Hawks had lineups built of either Martin/Green/Hagan/Pettit/Lovellette or Wilkens/Guerin/Hagan/Pettit/Beaty with Bridges/Silas off the bench. Then they later aquirred Lou Hudson and Joe Caldwell. Hawks were very talented team.

Pointing out Celtics metrics doesn't make any sense, since they were mediocre to poor offensice team carried by ATG defense. This basically exclude players like Cousy, Sharman, Jones, Heinsohn and Howell as elite offensive players. Celtics were ahead of the rest of competition because of Russell.

On Jones he played less minutes than Greer. By a lot. But even if you chop off the end years and get to similar total RS career minutes Jones has a clear advantage in box-composite rate metrics.
https://stathead.com/tiny/XUohn
e.g.
PER
Jones 18.7
Greer 15.7
Greer (62-69) 16.7

The advantage holds in the playoffs. I think you have to be really bullish about Greer's defense (versus Jones's) and the value of his extra years at lower levels of production (admittedly 2s - or non-ball handling guards, to avoid the West positional debate - tended to have lower box composites) to think him Jones's equal. Lucas has abysmal WoWY numbers until later in his career. Baylor's are better than one might think but even so his is clearly a career of two halves, the first no question better than Jones, legendary - the second ... I am more cynical on.

Sharman and Cousy were on good Celtics offenses before the arrival of Russell (now bad defenses too - Macauley deserves his share of credit for both, fwiw Sharman has a good defensive rep) and were part of an effective team in '57 even prior to Russell's arrival. There's also a case that Boston sacrificed offense for defense, putting up quick shots to increase the pace and tire opponents.

Without wanting to get into comparing casts across eras (re: "all-time great supporting cast") I would say versus norms here I'm a Celtics cast optimist.

(Oh and the Royals stunk whenever Oscar was out and were bad before he arrived. Twyman was washed up by the time Lucas arrived. Lucas per the above has alarming WoWY numbers and the Royals had an alarming ability to let talent escape. I believe I'm a deal more cynical than you regarding those teams.)
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#103 » by fatal9 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:14 pm

Hakeem vs. Duncan vs. Shaq vs. KG debate should be interesting. Maybe a bit early, but I'd hope there's good discussion surrounding them as I've been waiting to engage in another comparative analysis of the careers of those 4. My instincts are (and have been for a while) towards rating Hakeem the highest, thinking KG vs Duncan is a toss-up (a debate I usually sidestep for that reason) and that Shaq generally gets most overrated in these discussions (I could see him being rated the highest, but I have issues with him which prevent me from doing so). Time to get back into some film and old notes.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#104 » by Doctor MJ » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:04 pm

ZeppelinPage wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
ZeppelinPage wrote:Please take a look at how many minutes Auerbach was playing the Celtics players over the course of the year. Then look at their win totals.

Those teams were even better than what their win totals were come playoff time. The 60s Celtics were ridiculously more talented in both coaching and roster than every other team. Sam Jones was playing 30 MPG and they were still winning 60 games, I mean come on.


I don't think that's so clear.

bkref 1963-64 Celtics

This is the signature Russell year (you can argue he was better in another year, but this is the essential moment for his legacy). It's the year after Cousy retired, when people thought the team was going to fall apart and instead got better putting up an ultra-outlier defensive performance (by DRtg 4.8 better than the #2 Warriors with Wilt and Nate Thurmond, and 10.2 better than anyone else).

Regular season MPG:

Russell 44.6
Havlicek 32.3
Sam Jones 31.3
KC Jones 30.3
Sanders 29.6
Heinsohn 26.8

Playoffs MPG:

Russell 45.1
Sam Jones 35.6
KC Jones 31.2
Heinsohn 30.8
Sanders 30.2
Havlicek 28.9

I don't see a huge difference there. Still looks largely like a Russell + Platoon system where you're relying on Russell to anchor your defense (and help facilitate the offense) in every meaningful minute and everyone else is given time on the bench to rest.


It's a similar minute distribution, just with the more important players getting more minutes--which no doubt makes them a stronger team in the playoffs. Jones got a 4 MPG increase, as did Heinsohn. I'm guessing those players were needed more for that run. The younger Havlicek got his minutes lowered in favor of more important veterans.

It seemed to depend on the season and playoff competition. Some of the earlier seasons, Auerbach would stay to his rotation but give the all-important Frank Ramsay a boost to 30-35 MPG. In '62 Russell, Heinsohn, Jones, and Cousy all get a nice bump in MPG (as again, they are the vets.) In '65 and '66, come playoff time; Russell, Jones and Havlicek are needed even more by Auerbach. With Jones and Havlicek breaking 40+ MPG.

Basically, even if Auerbach stuck to a similar rotation, he could boost a few key players in minutes after he kept them rested throughout the year. This gave the Celtics an extra gear that made them that much more difficult to defeat.


Yes but it's not a massive shift in minutes. It's common for guys to play a bit more in playoffs than in the regular season. By far the most noteworthy thing to me about those minutes is how Russell's numbers deviate from everyone else's in both the regular season and in the playoffs while playing a number larger enough to amount to "every meaningful minute".
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#105 » by Blackmill » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:48 pm

fatal9 wrote:Hakeem vs. Duncan vs. Shaq vs. KG debate should be interesting. Maybe a bit early, but I'd hope there's good discussion surrounding them as I've been waiting to engage in another comparative analysis of the careers of those 4. My instincts are (and have been for a while) towards rating Hakeem the highest, thinking KG vs Duncan is a toss-up (a debate I usually sidestep for that reason) and that Shaq generally gets most overrated in these discussions (I could see him being rated the highest, but I have issues with him which prevent me from doing so). Time to get back into some film and old notes.


If you could do me a favor, how would you describe Hakeem's development over the years (i.e. what were the notable improvements and when did they happen)? I think pretty highly of his peak seasons but I'm less sure of where to place his pre-1992 and post-1995 seasons. Any specific games I should watch before making a vote?
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#106 » by DQuinn1575 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:00 pm

penbeast0 wrote:
limbo wrote:
70sFan wrote:No it wasn't and I'd argue that the league was stronger in the mid-1960s than during second part of 1990s.


Based on what?


Based on the ridiculous expansion of the 70s and 80s; it is extremely unlikely that there was an equivalent expansion of the population base they were drawing from. It wasn't until the nineties (a little originally) then the 21st century where the world players really began to compose a signficant part of the NBA.

The average player on the average team in the 60s was probably a better player than the average player on the average team in the 80s, for me a little worse than the average player on the average team in the 90s as the generation that grew up on Bird/Magic grew up (so more people wanting to play basketball) and a few foreigners (Hakeem, Detlef, Toni K) were starting to make a difference. But it's close and I would guess that the average big man was stronger in the 60s than the 90s while the average guard was stronger in the 90s.


Between 1960 and 1979 the US population aged between 20-24 doubled from about 10 million to 10 million; factor in whatever segregation you have in 1960 that is virtually gone by 1980, and the size of your talent pool grew.
The baby boom produced a lot of 22 year olds starting in 1968-1982.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#107 » by UDRIH14 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:34 pm

peak stat season and accumulated stat totals doesnt favor duncan, his not a stat padder, give me the guy who gives u 70% chance of winning of all games RS and playoff spot and look at his mpg... game is over, explains why he only plays like 33mpg
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#108 » by DQuinn1575 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:37 pm

Blackmill wrote:How to do people feel about the speed of these threads? I think the previous thread was open for 48 hours. Personally I would like the top-10 discussions to be open for at least 3 days. Especially if the discussion happens during the work week. Between reading the argument, hitting the film room, writing responses, and repeating I feel like there's not enough time in two days to form a complete opinion for all three votes.

If I had any say, I would prefer a 4-day 3-day split of the week (Mon-Thurs, Fri-Sun) until we pass #10. Then we could go back to the usual two days. And if we wanted to keep the total time of the project the same, down the line we could make weekend votes one day, which I think may be acceptable as those later spots are less contested and more people are free on the weekend than weekday.

Thoughts? I've just started looking over what's been written and will be hard pressed to have my vote ready by tomorrow morning (especially since I want to ask a few questions).

Thanks, I’m probably a little too impatient and worry that if we go 2 a week, i along with many others will drop way before the end.
On places like this one where Jordan came in with a 14-3 lead I’d like to see it go shorter as we know who the winner will be. There’s a good chance we will have a couple of more like this? I guess if it’s close after 2 days extend, but in the other hand if someone has 35-40% from the last vote maybe only go a day.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#109 » by trex_8063 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:28 am

Spoiler:
Ainosterhaspie wrote:.

ardee wrote:.

Baski wrote:.

bidofo wrote:.

Blackmill wrote:.

Clyde Frazier wrote:.

DeKlaw wrote:.

Doctor MJ wrote:.

DQuinn1575 wrote:.

Dr Positivity wrote:.

drza wrote:.

Dutchball97 wrote:.

Eddy_JukeZ wrote:.

eminence wrote:.

Franco wrote:.

freethedevil wrote:.

Gregoire wrote:.

HeartBreakKid wrote:.

Hornet Mania wrote:.

Jaivl wrote:.

Joao Saraiva wrote:.

Jordan Syndrome wrote:.

LA Bird wrote:.

lebron3-14-3 wrote:.

limbo wrote:.

Matzer wrote:.

Moonbeam wrote:.

Odinn21 wrote:.

Owly wrote:.

O_6 wrote:.

PaulieWal wrote:.

penbeast0 wrote:.

PistolPeteJR wrote:.

RSCD3_ wrote:.

scabbarista wrote:.

Senior wrote:.

SeniorWalker wrote:.

SHAQ32 wrote:.

Texas Chuck wrote:.

Tim Lehrbach wrote:.

TrueLAfan wrote:.

Whopper_Sr wrote:.

ZeppelinPage wrote:.

2klegend wrote:.

70sFan wrote:.

876Stephen wrote:.

90sAllDecade wrote:.


Thru post #108:

Michael Jordan - 12 (90sAllDecade, Ainosterhaspie, Doctor MJ, DQuinn1575, Dutchball97, Gregoire, Hornet Mania, Joao Saraiva, limbo, SeniorWalker, SHAQ32, trex_8063)
Bill Russell - 4 (Franco, Jordan Syndrome, penbeast0, Texas Chuck)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 4 (bidofo, Dr Positivity, lebron3-14-3, Odinn21)
Tim Duncan - 1 (eminence)
Wilt Chamberlain - 1 (ZeppelinPage)



One poster has asked if these early threads can be kept open longer, while others have asked if this one in particular could be open shorter (due to likely foregone conclusion). Given there are opinions on both sides, we'll keep it at the standard 48 hours (which is my inclination to continue anyway; this is such a long project already, very difficult to keep people motivated to continue to the end [or even close to it], so I don't want to stretch it by another week without good reason [though we'll see, if there's a super-close early thread]).
So this one will be open for approximately 14 more hours (till around 11-12 EST tomorrow).
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#110 » by Eddy_JukeZ » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:37 am

I had Jordan 1st, so I'm voting for him here.

I think Kareem's longevity is impressive, but not as impressive as Lebron's.

I like Jordan's prime/peak over Kareem. Open to reading some arguments that it's not as clear cut as I think in peak/prime.

I feel like 10 years of Jordan gives me a better chance to win than 10 years of Kareem at their best and I value that more than extended longevity.

1. Michael Jordan

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

3. Bill Russell
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#111 » by eminence » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:04 am

Added my 3rd vote in my 1st post - Bill Russell inching it out over MJ.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#112 » by Blackmill » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:31 am

I'll add some thoughts on Kareem.

Offense

Kareem's sky-hook was remarkably efficient. After adding some muscle in the mid-to-late 70s, it was a well above 50% shot in the half-court. He was most efficient when moving from the left block to the middle of the lane for a right-handed sky-hook. This particular shot Kareem probably converted at a near 60% rate during his peak years.

Because Kareem was so effective with this shot, he often post up on the left-side of the court, and defenders usually overplayed his move to the middle. This would give up opportunities for Kareem to go baseline for a layup or short four foot jumper. In 1976, Kareem developed a "moonball" turn-around jumper that would be his counter to double teams when there was no pass. My guess is he shot this at around 45% or better during his peak offensive seasons. It is very interesting to observe Kareem's catch-and-shoot jumpers. He was more accurate with catch-and-shoot jumpers on the move and when he turned slightly into his shot compared to when his feet were planted. No doubt this is because of his reps shooting that turn-around from the post.

Otherwise, as a right-handed shooter, Kareem would typically take sky-hooks from the block going towards the baseline if he was at the right block or away from the baseline if he was at the left block. These sky-hooks were less effective but still very efficient half-court offense. The to-the-baseline sky-hook from the right block was especially hard to defend as any double-team from above was irrelevant.

Kareem did face up at times. This was rare due to the spacing but you'll find a few examples of this against the Sonics and Warriors in the late 70s. Kareem moved fluidly and was able to play with a much lower center of gravity when needed. With less congestion in the paint we'd see more of this. Not necessarily for layups and dunks but as another path to the middle-of-the-lane sweet spot where Kareem was massively efficient.

As a scorer I prefer Kareem to any other center. What puts him ahead of Shaq, in my opinion, is that it's much harder to deny him the ball because he is effective in a much larger area of the court. He was a deadly scorer from all parts of the paint and even a few feet outside nearer to the baseline.

Kareem's passing was mixed. Unlike Walton he was not able to consistently find high value feeds in the packed in paint. This didn't seem to affect him attempting these passes, though, which made him a bit turnover prone at times. His effectiveness as a passer changed in 1980 when Paul Westhead took over as coach and several sets were implemented around Kareem as a post passer. On common was set was for Kareem to receive the ball and have the post-entry passer cut baseline. The read for this was the passer's defender fronting or shading towards Kareem. This turned into a hand-off, baseline bounce pass, or one-haded toss over the post defender to the cutting player. Alternatively, the cut could come from the weak side and down the middle of the lane. Kareem was imprecise at times with his skip and outlet passes. Based on earlier footage, my impression was capable of the playmaking role he had in 1980 for at least a few seasons prior, and what changed was the play design. Overall Kareem was a very capable interior passer but less effective at making other types of passes.

Kareem's screen setting is one thing that gives me pause. He often set the screen with his side and didn't always make contact. If it was made a point of emphasis, I can't imagine Kareem not changing his form, but I doubt he would ever be a great screen setter. Kareem's other point of weakness on offense was his offensive rebounding. He was far from Shaq or Duncan in this regard.

Defense

Defensively Kareem peaked in the early-to-mid 70s (so there is only brief overlap between his offensive and defensive peaks), although for the modern NBA, his physical profile was best during his first few seasons. His tools were excellent. His length, height, and underrated leaping ability allowed him to erase shots that most centers couldn't reach. His rim protection was among the best in the league, and in the late 70s, only surpassed by peak Walton in my opinion.

Kareem was mobile. He couldn't defend point guards but he could certainly play on small forwards and some 2-guards (especially in his Bucks seasons). When defending a guard or SF, he would set his stance wide to be almost level with the defender, bring his hands out wide to prevent easy passes, and move like a much smaller player than he was. Even when he got beat, his length and stride allowed him to recover.

Kareem did have weaknesses on defense. He was slow to rotate more often than the very best. He preferred to bock with his right hand even if it meant reaching over his body. As a result he sometimes missed block opportunities or picked up unnecessary fouls. He gave up more rebounds than he should have given his size. He was a bit trigger happy on shot fakes. My impression is that Kareem did not communicate especially well on defense. All this adds up to him being one or two tiers below the very best defenders. Starting in 1978 and each season after, Kareem regressed as a defender, with 1980 being his last season as a top-5 defender in the league. In the 80s Kareem started to play more upright, pursued fewer help opportunities, and relied more on LA's forwards to rebound.

When Kareem was making multiple efforts he looked like a top-10 defender. However his effort was not consistent and keeps me from rating his defense higher. My impression is that Kareem would be most impactful next to good defensive teammates. Kareem was the type of defender to react to the ball-handler driving to the basket but sometimes miss the guy cutting from the weak-side corner to the rim. That is, Kareem is best at reacting to expected threats, and if his teammates can avoid unforced breakdowns then I anticipate Kareem being an excellent defender in the modern era too. However the lack of film during his prime makes it hard to say precisely how effective Kareem would be in the NBA's current climate.

Overall

Let's take a player like Durant who is ultra-efficient but needs to play next to another creator. Take away his range, which certainly matters for fit, but make him a much more robust playoff scorer. Upgrade his defense significantly so he's now one of the best rim protectors in any season. Add a few more prime seasons and a handful of post-prime seasons as the 6-12th best player in the league. I would rank Kareem roughly where I rank this hypothetical player. And where is that? I don't know. I could see myself voting for Kareem in the top-3 or even just outside the top-5. It's very difficult without more film and there's a lot of deserving candidates.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#113 » by HeartBreakKid » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:12 am

oh dang for some reason I thought these threads were 72 hours not 48.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#114 » by Clyde Frazier » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:18 am

Vote 1 - Michael Jordan
Vote 2 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Vote 3 - Bill Russell

Jordan came into the league and had an immediate impact both statistically and team improvement: 28.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.9 APG, 2.4 SPG, .8 BPG, 59.2% TS, 118 ORTG, .213 WS/48, 27 wins to 38, 23rd in SRS to 14th. Few players produce at an all NBA level right out of the gate, so you knew you had something special in jordan.

The things that stuck out with jordan early in his career was the speed in the open floor, amazing body control in the lane, and of course his overall elite athleticism. However, even at a young age he seemed in control of that skill and continued to hone it with an inside out game, always keeping the defense on their toes.

Taking a look at jordan’s deep playoff runs pre-championship, it was really his teammates who didn’t provide enough support to get over the hump against the pistons.

ECF vs. DET in 89 (6 games): http://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/1989-nba-eastern-conference-finals-bulls-vs-pistons.html

ECF vs. DET in 90 (7 games): http://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/1990-nba-eastern-conference-finals-bulls-vs-pistons.html

Jordan was excellent in both series as the main focal point of the defense. As we look at Jordan’s first 3 title runs, he faced formidable opponents in all 3 series, where the lakers, blazers and suns ranked 3rd, 2nd and 3rd in SRS respectively. Jordan continued his elite production (taking it to another level). Be it a great look off penetration to a shooter, a key defensive stop, or a bucket when you needed it most, he had the entire package.

91 Finals: http://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/1991-nba-finals-lakers-vs-bulls.html

92 Finals: http://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/1992-nba-finals-trail-blazers-vs-bulls.html

93 Finals: http://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/1993-nba-finals-bulls-vs-suns.html

Of course, this coincided with his teammates stepping up as well, which is what a superstar ultimately needs to win a championship in this league, even if they’re doing the bulk of the scoring.

With the jordan vs lebron debate reignited over the last few weeks, I'm seeing people claim that we don't acknowledge jordan losing to the magic in 95 in his comeback season. Of course we can acknowledge it, under the context that it'd be more significant if he had played a full season instead of 17 games after not playing for over a season. Pointing to him putting up some gaudy numbers here and there in that period doesn't change that.

I do think the fact that he returned to form and even changed his game to still be effective as he aged was rather impressive. The second 3 peat had to take a toll on his body, playing in all 82 games each of those 3 seasons at 38.1 MPG, increasing to 41.5 MPG in the playoffs. While his efficiency dipped somewhat vs. his 1st 3 peat, his overall production was still stellar.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#115 » by Baski » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:35 am

Hmmm.........gotta say I'm surprised LeBron already overtook Jordan. Do I repeat my case for Jordan?
Here goes.

1. Michael Jordan
With LeBron off the table, there isn't a player with a better combination of peak, prime, accolades, stats and longevity.
Michael Jordan was the best player in the world for close to a decade, consistently led one of the league's best offenses and contributed greatly to one of the league's best defenses throughout the 90s.
Teams got incredible win totals, especially during the 2nd 3 peat years (Expansion yeah but still impressive). Once they started contending for titles, they never stopped until he retired, which again is very rare.
Almost unrivaled mastery of the game, evident in his elite footwork, economy of movement even in his younger years, historically elite scoring volume and efficiency, masterful use of hand, eye and body feints.
A generally problematic but ultimately effective leader, he understood the value of leading by example, and knew how to draw out the very best from his teammates, which is crucial for team success.
Simply put there aren't more than 3-4 players in history that you'd rather build a title contending team around.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

3. Tim Duncan
I've always thought of Merlin as modern Bill Russell, but just better. As the player with the hands down highest off-court impact of all time, I've always felt the 60s Celtics would be better with him, as crazy as that sounds. Though some of the cases for Bill in the #1 thread cast a little doubt on that.
I plan to really reevaluate Bill vs Merlin in the #4 thread (assuming of course Bill doesn't take the #3 spot)
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#116 » by RSCD3_ » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:50 pm

Alright my decision is

1. Jordan
2. Kareem
3. Duncan



I like the two way ability and offensive versatility of Duncan more ultimately than Russell and although I’m willing to still give him goat level defensive impact even today, I feel like there’s a limit on how high mostly defensive can rise.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#117 » by TrueLAfan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:16 pm

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
2. Michael Jordan
3. Bill Russell


For me, the difference between #1 and #2 here is larger (though still small) than the difference between #2 and #3, which I’m up in the air about.

Anyway, there’s been enough about Kareem’s strengths here. I will add my voice to the group that I don’t hold a relative lack of success between 75 and 79 against him. The posts that note his teammates one sidedness (did anyone other than Kareem and Kermit Washington play defense for the mid-decade Lakers?) and playoff injuries have already noted my feelings. The kicker is that back nine. Even if you think Kareem’s first 12 years are marginally worse than Jordan’s or Russell’s, there’s 82-86, when he was still a great player. A lot of players decline and become good, but not great players. Kareem’s decline left him as a top 10 player who could still muster top 5 firepower and effect in critical moments.

Re: Jordan and Russell. It’s just tough. I’ve said before, will say it again., I think Jordan’s peak 12 years were the best seasons ever by an NBA/Professional player. Best. 12. Seasons. Ever. But that gap in the middle—which, as I noted my post for #1, was absolutely critical for his own sanity—hurts. I’m sorry, but it just does. And it focuses another point I feel strongly about. Jordan needed the influence of Phil Jackson (much) more than I realized at the time. What amazes me now is that Jordan could hold it together for so long at that level, and I think Phil was a big part of it.

Does that put him above Russell? If it does—and I’m saying it does—it’s by a whisker. I think Russell got a similar, though much smaller boost from Red. And while I think it’s impossible to argue that Russell’s individual play matches Jordan’s, his team impact is markedly higher (no disrespect to Jordan—or Kareem). I get the argument for Russell and I find it compelling in both clarity and simplicity: Russell’s teams won and won and won and won, and there was one consistent element—William Felton Russell. But I also think Celtics had extraordinary luck and a GM/Coach (Again, Red—underrated by some on the board, IMO) who recognized how to build around Russell’s titanic strengths. For all of those strengths, Russell had flaws as a player—it’s just they were able to be covered so that his strengths maximized themselves. Does a slightly lesser player (and I mean slightly; Russell’s top 12 seasons are pretty great too) that gets better overall results get all of the credit for the results? It’s unanswerable. And, for me, it’s unanswerable to the point where I might switch these two if it came up again.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#118 » by Odinn21 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:29 pm

TrueLAfan wrote:1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
2. Michael Jordan
3. Bill Russell


For me, the difference between #1 and #2 here is larger (though still small) than the difference between #2 and #3, which I’m up in the air about.

This is an interesting statement. I'd never expect it. Surprised to someone seeing a clearer and/or bigger gap between Abdul-Jabbar and Jordan than Jordan than Russell. Not that I disagree, my vote was Kareem (actually my 1st vote for #1), Russell, Jordan, in that order. I just felt like I got agreed out of nowhere. :lol: :lol:
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#119 » by trex_8063 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:45 pm

Spoiler:
Ainosterhaspie wrote:.

ardee wrote:.

Baski wrote:.

bidofo wrote:.

Blackmill wrote:.

Clyde Frazier wrote:.

DeKlaw wrote:.

Doctor MJ wrote:.

DQuinn1575 wrote:.

Dr Positivity wrote:.

drza wrote:.

Dutchball97 wrote:.

Eddy_JukeZ wrote:.

eminence wrote:.

Franco wrote:.

freethedevil wrote:.

Gregoire wrote:.

HeartBreakKid wrote:.

Hornet Mania wrote:.

Jaivl wrote:.

Joao Saraiva wrote:.

Jordan Syndrome wrote:.

LA Bird wrote:.

lebron3-14-3 wrote:.

limbo wrote:.

Matzer wrote:.

Moonbeam wrote:.

Odinn21 wrote:.

Owly wrote:.

O_6 wrote:.

PaulieWal wrote:.

penbeast0 wrote:.

PistolPeteJR wrote:.

RSCD3_ wrote:.

scabbarista wrote:.

Senior wrote:.

SeniorWalker wrote:.

SHAQ32 wrote:.

Texas Chuck wrote:.

Tim Lehrbach wrote:.

TrueLAfan wrote:.

Whopper_Sr wrote:.

ZeppelinPage wrote:.

2klegend wrote:.

70sFan wrote:.

876Stephen wrote:.

90sAllDecade wrote:.


Thru post #118:

Michael Jordan - 16 (90sAllDecade, Ainosterhaspie, Baski, Clyde Frazier, Doctor MJ, DQuinn1575, Dutchball97, Eddy_JukeZ, Gregoire, Hornet Mania, Joao Saraiva, limbo, RSCD3_, SeniorWalker, SHAQ32, trex_8063)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 5 (bidofo, Dr Positivity, lebron3-14-3, Odinn21, TrueLAfan)
Bill Russell - 4 (Franco, Jordan Syndrome, penbeast0, Texas Chuck)
Tim Duncan - 1 (eminence)
Wilt Chamberlain - 1 (ZeppelinPage)


27 total votes, which would require 14 for a majority. Jordan has that right off the bat, so I'm calling it, and we'll move on. Will have the next thread up in a moment.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#120 » by Ainosterhaspie » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:10 pm

TrueLAfan wrote:I think Jordan’s peak 12 years were the best seasons ever by an NBA/Professional player. Best. 12. Seasons. Ever.

I dont see 12. Maybe 10, but I think it's 9: 88-93, 96-98. Still had a losing record in 87. Great players seem to be able to manage winning records with just about any cast. I don't expect a lot come playoffs with a bad cast, but a 4-6 seed, easier first round match-up and first round win seems like something at great player whose game is mature enough should be able to pull off as a baseline.

Don't see how injury years of 95 and 86 can be counted and his rookie campaign was exceptional for a rookie, but still well below the standards of an all time great season.
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