Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense

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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1921 » by KTM_2813 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:52 pm

Reservoirdawgs wrote:
SideshowBob wrote:Closing post.

The Value of Longevity and Defense


"It also demonstrated how painfully close many of these careers were; it’s more fun (and satisfying) to draw a clear line in the sand, but the differences in impact rarely seem to warrant it. Emphasizing order — who is 12th versus 14th — now feels hollow to me, and I’ve come away largely GOAT-agnostic. Plus, different criteria will produce radically different lists.

I give Jordan the best peak, but it’s not by a lot. LeBron has the best consecutive eight-season stretch ever. Kareem has the most valuable career relative to his era. And even Russell has a backdoor claim as the most valuable player of all time. Any of those four are great GOAT choices. I think (hope) that the career ranges that players fell into on this list are a good starting point for any all-time discussion or best player list moving forward."

I agree wholeheartedly with this.


Seconded. Honestly, I don't think that there is one true GOAT. Even if there is, it's probably impossible to know for sure. As ElGee said, Jordan appears to have the best peak; Kareem appears to have the best longevity; LeBron might have the best "in the middle". In my mind, Russell was the greatest winner. Those are four very special distinctions and I personally feel no need to try and come up with an exact ranking, although I don't doubt it would be fun.

That said... I absolutely know what online basketball project is the greatest...
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1922 » by PCProductions » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:49 pm

“First options” aren’t quite as earth-shattering as we might think. While many people rightfully believe “there’s no way Klay Thompson could lead a team to a title in 2015,” they overlook the equally important counterbalance: It’s unlikely Steph Curry could have led that team to the title without Klay Thompson…You want Klay Thompson on your team, even if you wouldn’t want Klay Thompson to be the best player on your team.”

A million times this.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1923 » by PCProductions » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:59 pm

I feel a tremendous sadness that this project has ended. Fittingly, it places a guy who studied GOATness to this degree to make him my GOAT basketball thinker. Love live ElGee!
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/8 - #2 Michael Jordan 

Post#1924 » by mischievous » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:40 pm

therealbig3 wrote:
mischievous wrote:
Clyde Frazier wrote:
Go for it if you'd like. It would be an interesting social experiment. I've always thought of Jordan and Kareem as 1A and 1B, at least arguably so I don't think that one should have as much backlash.

I will do this if therealbig3 doesn’t.


I was gonna wait until the Kareem article comes out, so that the list is officially complete, but if you want to do it now, I don't have a problem with it.

It’t now up there. Though with all the series threads up there, it may not get much attention.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1925 » by Ainosterhaspie » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:05 pm

70sFan wrote:I'm proud (not sure if it's good word, I'm not native) that I can read every single one of his articles on line.


I case you're interested I'd say "honored" might be closer to the best word for what you're trying to convey, though "proud" does work.

"I feel honored that..."
My GOATs 1.LBJ/2.Jordan/3.KAJ/4.Duncan/5.Magic
Russell and Wilt grandfathered in at 6 and 7.

Yes I watched Jordan live, started paying attention to basketball in the bad boys era.

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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/12 - #1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 

Post#1926 » by trex_8063 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:27 pm

ronnymac2 wrote::

I do think 1980 is underrated here. I wonder if it has to do with the injury at the tail end.


idk.....
He's clearly and fairly consistently docked other player seasons due to significant injury or games missed (e.g. '16 Curry, '95 Jordan, '00 Duncan). But Kareem only missed one game that year, didn't he? It was in the finals, but still only one game, and they won the title anyway, fwiw.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/12 - #1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 

Post#1927 » by Samurai » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:00 pm

trex_8063 wrote:
ronnymac2 wrote::

I do think 1980 is underrated here. I wonder if it has to do with the injury at the tail end.


idk.....
He's clearly and fairly consistently docked other player seasons due to significant injury or games missed (e.g. '16 Curry, '95 Jordan, '00 Duncan). But Kareem only missed one game that year, didn't he? It was in the finals, but still only one game, and they won the title anyway, fwiw.

Yeah, I don't think missing one game (game 6 of the finals) would really impact his overall CORP score much. ElGee did mention that Kareem's defensive rebounding percentage was over 26% for most of the 70's (which is in the top 10% historically among bigs), but it dropped to 22% in 1980. Since he specifically mentioned that, I would guess the drop in rebounding may be a factor in why he is less enamored with his 80 season than some others.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1928 » by Heej » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:01 pm

KTM_2813 wrote:
Reservoirdawgs wrote:
SideshowBob wrote:Closing post.

The Value of Longevity and Defense


"It also demonstrated how painfully close many of these careers were; it’s more fun (and satisfying) to draw a clear line in the sand, but the differences in impact rarely seem to warrant it. Emphasizing order — who is 12th versus 14th — now feels hollow to me, and I’ve come away largely GOAT-agnostic. Plus, different criteria will produce radically different lists.

I give Jordan the best peak, but it’s not by a lot. LeBron has the best consecutive eight-season stretch ever. Kareem has the most valuable career relative to his era. And even Russell has a backdoor claim as the most valuable player of all time. Any of those four are great GOAT choices. I think (hope) that the career ranges that players fell into on this list are a good starting point for any all-time discussion or best player list moving forward."

I agree wholeheartedly with this.


Seconded. Honestly, I don't think that there is one true GOAT. Even if there is, it's probably impossible to know for sure. As ElGee said, Jordan appears to have the best peak; Kareem appears to have the best longevity; LeBron might have the best "in the middle". In my mind, Russell was the greatest winner. Those are four very special distinctions and I personally feel no need to try and come up with an exact ranking, although I don't doubt it would be fun.

That said... I absolutely know what online basketball project is the greatest...

I've grown to really appreciate JordansBulls perspective on it. Different strokes for different folks. As of now I have LeBron number 1 but I eagerly await his next challenger that will surely arise by the 2030s. Long live basketball and the NBA. Truly a beautiful game
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1929 » by MisterHibachi » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:27 pm

Heej wrote:
KTM_2813 wrote:
Reservoirdawgs wrote:
"It also demonstrated how painfully close many of these careers were; it’s more fun (and satisfying) to draw a clear line in the sand, but the differences in impact rarely seem to warrant it. Emphasizing order — who is 12th versus 14th — now feels hollow to me, and I’ve come away largely GOAT-agnostic. Plus, different criteria will produce radically different lists.

I give Jordan the best peak, but it’s not by a lot. LeBron has the best consecutive eight-season stretch ever. Kareem has the most valuable career relative to his era. And even Russell has a backdoor claim as the most valuable player of all time. Any of those four are great GOAT choices. I think (hope) that the career ranges that players fell into on this list are a good starting point for any all-time discussion or best player list moving forward."

I agree wholeheartedly with this.


Seconded. Honestly, I don't think that there is one true GOAT. Even if there is, it's probably impossible to know for sure. As ElGee said, Jordan appears to have the best peak; Kareem appears to have the best longevity; LeBron might have the best "in the middle". In my mind, Russell was the greatest winner. Those are four very special distinctions and I personally feel no need to try and come up with an exact ranking, although I don't doubt it would be fun.

That said... I absolutely know what online basketball project is the greatest...

I've grown to really appreciate JordansBulls perspective on it. Different strokes for different folks. As of now I have LeBron number 1 but I eagerly await his next challenger that will surely arise by the 2030s. Long live basketball and the NBA. Truly a beautiful game


You mean Ben Simmons
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1930 » by trex_8063 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:59 pm

MisterHibachi wrote:
Heej wrote:
KTM_2813 wrote:
Seconded. Honestly, I don't think that there is one true GOAT. Even if there is, it's probably impossible to know for sure. As ElGee said, Jordan appears to have the best peak; Kareem appears to have the best longevity; LeBron might have the best "in the middle". In my mind, Russell was the greatest winner. Those are four very special distinctions and I personally feel no need to try and come up with an exact ranking, although I don't doubt it would be fun.

That said... I absolutely know what online basketball project is the greatest...

I've grown to really appreciate JordansBulls perspective on it. Different strokes for different folks. As of now I have LeBron number 1 but I eagerly await his next challenger that will surely arise by the 2030s. Long live basketball and the NBA. Truly a beautiful game


You mean Ben Simmons


Ben Simmons with any kind of shooting touch and range would truly be frightening in an all-time sense (assuming he can put together some decent longevity).
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1931 » by Ainosterhaspie » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:11 pm

MisterHibachi wrote:
You mean Ben Simmons


I'm not ready to board that train, but I didn't get on the LeBron bandwagon until I saw what he did to the Pistons. I'll see what happens.

Right now I remain sceptical. LeBron has a physique advantage and got a multi-year headstart. Simmons does not seem to be as good a scorer. His lack of outside shot will almost certainly be exploited by upper echelon teams (see Rondo 2010 finals, LeBron 2007 finsls). I don't think his passing edge if there is one covers the scoring gap. LeBron has almost impossible durability Simmons has failed to match already and would be hard pressed to match moving forward. Simmons has elite defender potential, but again I'm not convinced it will match LeBron's versatility due to lack of similar bulk.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1932 » by Samurai » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:23 pm

trex_8063 wrote:Ben Simmons with any kind of shooting touch and range would truly be frightening in an all-time sense (assuming he can put together some decent longevity).

Agreed. And both Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd have proven that you can be a suspect outside shooter early in your career and have it become a legitimate weapon later in your career, so I wouldn't put it past Simmons to be able to achieve something similar.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1933 » by Heej » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:01 am

I don't see him projecting to have the truly elite level of scoring to make a run at Mt Rushmore. Then again, Magic really only called his own number like that once he got to his mid 20s. The 2 way potential as a more athletic and marginally less potent Magic offensively is staggering though. He doesn't have long arms but the way he can stonewall both LeBron and Giannis as a rookie by just keeping his arms up and chesting them up is frightening. I think he's bulkier than LeBron at the same age. I can easily see him being truly Karl Malone-esque in build as opposed to the lip service we falsely pay LeBron in that regard.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1934 » by Sark » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:37 am

Strive for longevity.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1935 » by nolang1 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:24 am

Ainosterhaspie wrote:
MisterHibachi wrote:
You mean Ben Simmons


I'm not ready to board that train, but I didn't get on the LeBron bandwagon until I saw what he did to the Pistons. I'll see what happens.

Right now I remain sceptical. LeBron has a physique advantage and got a multi-year headstart. Simmons does not seem to be as good a scorer. His lack of outside shot will almost certainly be exploited by upper echelon teams (see Rondo 2010 finals, LeBron 2007 finsls). I don't think his passing edge if there is one covers the scoring gap. LeBron has almost impossible durability Simmons has failed to match already and would be hard pressed to match moving forward. Simmons has elite defender potential, but again I'm not convinced it will match LeBron's versatility due to lack of similar bulk.


When LeBron did what he did to the Pistons, he was just 1 year older than Simmons is now and none of his teammates would have been good enough to start for the 76ers; players like Larry Hughes, Eric Snow, or Sasha Pavlovic wouldn't have even been in the rotation. Recent players like AD, Durant, Jokic, Towns, and even Kawhi (if you value defense enough) have accomplished more than Simmons at his age.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1936 » by Gregoire » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:39 am

Its very interesting to see his scores for Bill Walton for career and in terms of peak.
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Yeah, when ever I make all time comparisons, I pretty much ignore the pre-3PT-line era. The game was so different then. It's apples and oranges. Those guys may be better or may be worse, we're never really going to know.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1937 » by bastillon » Fri Jun 8, 2018 3:03 am

I've managed to read about 1/3rd of the list, including the top-10 and here are my couple of thoughts:

1. The list is really 7 years in the making. I remember doing the Retro POY together with ElGee, Dr MJ, fatal9, etc. The knowledge achieved in that project was huge for this list.

2. I do like the methodology of your analysis, especially using the games off the court and team records or SRS to judge player's impact. I also mostly agree with your criteria, especially not falling into trap of translating a player to another era but measuring how dominant he was in his own era. I do think rings should be part of the equation when evaluating careers, assuming you take into account rings and finals apps as the best player on the team (or 2nd best) and weigh them accordingly. It is kinda unfair to players who had poor management like Oscar, Hakeem or KG but you're evaluating their careers, not picking them in a hypothetical draft. To balance accomplishments achieved and circumstances surrounding the team is the most difficult dilemma of player evaluation.

3. The list is doing a great job of explaining how HOF players made huge impact on the game. Both film study (it's not really a scouting report) as well as impact evaluation present valuable information about the players who were analysed. The key to making a great list is to include as much relevant information as possible and the list towers over other list in this respect.

4. I do agree with the general tendency of your evaluation. The tiers in which players are put into (for example Shaq and Hakeem top 10, Kobe and D-Rob top-20) was well put together. That being said here is my criticism of your order:

Wilt - you did a great job of explaining why Wilt's impact didn't reflect his boxscore stats and many issues with Wilt's obsession with individual accomplishments over winning (record fg% only to lose HCA for the playoffs which is the part you forgot to mention). But I feel like you didn't follow your analysis and instead catered to general public putting Wilt in the top-10. Based on your own analysis you'd be really hard pressed to argue that Wilt is top-3 most impactful player of his generation. Clearly the data (WOWY etc) suggests that Russell, Oscar and Jerry West were the most impactful players of their generation. I'm having a hard time seeing how Wilt can beat those guys knowing that team performance didn't change considerably when he was missing games or changing teams, or sometimes flat out made his team worse. I guess you can make the argument for Wilt over West based on health. But over Oscar? Certainly not based on the writeups which you produced.

LeBron - you did a great job in illustrating Bron's value on offense but your analysis was poor when it comes to his defense. LeBron's defensive career can be divided into 3 parts: pre-2008 Olympics, 2009-2013 and 2014-now.

In the first part of his career he was a below avg defender who made up for his weaknesses in team rebounding. During that stage he could be compared to mid-80s Magic Johnson. LeBron made it a mission to improve his defense after 2008 Olympics seeing Kobe Bryant set the tone for the Redeem Team. It was a huge storyline during 2009 MVP campaign which you neglected to mention. In the second part LeBron was in his defensive prime and was consistent enough to be all-defense caliber defender (though because of his offensive responsibilities did not justify all-defensive 1st teams or DPOY consideration). He improved even more after joining Miami and putting together along with D Wade one of the best perimeter anchored defenses ever. During that period his defense could be compared to late 97-00 Pippen. His defensive awareness was nowhere near Pippen but he did make up for it with elite athleticism and rebounding. 3rd stage of his career can be summed up as lazy and inconsistent. He began resting on defense much more, gave up tons of backdoor cuts even in crucial playoff moments, was not on the same lvl of consistency, played defense in spurts, picked up his effort in the playoffs. 3rd stage could be compared to 10-12 Kobe Bryant, overrated impact overall but could be game changer during the playoffs, gambled a ton.

I do not agree with your overall evaluation of Lebron on defense. The problem with offensive stars of LeBron's caliber is that they have to do so much on offense, they have to rest on defense. LeBron has very energy consuming offensive game. He plays with the ball most of the time and does most of his dmg in the paint. Overall Lebron rested on defense most of his defensive possessions, so basically most of his career his defensive effort was below average. In particular his transition defense was always poor and overrated. Seems nice on highlights because of the chasedown blocks but what it doesn't show is LeBron complaining to refs and not getting back on defense at all (hundreds if not thousands of times in Bron's career).

Offensively you did a good job, as mentioned, though I would've liked more analysis of LeBron's portability. It has been a consistent theme during LeBron's career that competent scorers are being turned into role players and can't find their roles. This role changing of other star players to fit Lebron's playstyle includes guys like Bosh, Love, Wade and was a huge reason for Kyrie leaving Cleveland last summer. It does sound strange that his best SRS team was 09 Cavs with Mo Williams and Ilgauskas, and not the ones with Wade/Bosh or Kyrie/Love. That just screams of portability and scalability issues.

Also the aspect that went unnoticed is LeBron's horrendous impact as a player executive. Dude basically sabotaged Cavs salary cap by lobbying for TT and JR contract while strongly suggesting that he has the option to opt out, which is just short of blackmailing the franchise. It's hard to even include that in the analysis but does explain why despite his greatness and joining multiple Big 3s he only played on couple of 60W teams.

Jordan - I do agree with many people who have criticized your evaluation of Jordan's defense. The narrative you were trying to force is just wrong. Jordan was a gambler in a cassino, not on defense. He was always a great defender and willing helper. There's a difference between making a rotation to put pressure on the opposing team to move the ball and gambling. Obviously MJ was just executing the game plan. It seemed more like you were trying to diminish Jordan's great defensive impact by finding a narrative and cherry picked clips (which didn't necessarily prove your point anyway) that fit your preconceived notions. The data screams otherwise. Bulls were regularly elite defensive team throughout Jordan's career. Some of it is Pippen, some of it is defensive minded personnel (btw underrated aspect of MJ offense), but Jordan was a huge reason for it too. I found no evidence whatsoever in your writeup that he was indeed a high risk gambler. I agree with guys on this thread who shared the same sentiment.

Nash - great analysis overall though I do have one issue. You're constantly talking about offensive lineups in his writeup but neglected to mention that he made elite offensive impact regardless of offensive or defensive minded personnel (06 and 10 come to mind). If you just look at lineup data you can see that Nash didn't need to play small ball and actually some of his most successful lineups included defensive first centers like Hunter or Kurt Thomas. I find this troubling because offensive minded lineups are a theme of LeBron career. He always played with shooters regardless of their defensive value, especially the last few years. It's inconsistent to point out those lineups criticizing Nash but not include this issue whatsoever in the analysis of Lebron. Cavs most used lineup this postseason is Hill - JR - Korver - LeBron - Love. You will never find a lineup this bad from a defensive perspective on Nash's teams. This issue should be more discussed in Oscar's writeup as well.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1938 » by GYK » Fri Jun 8, 2018 3:31 am

Not my list but very very good.
Defense isn't featured as heavily. I can't disagree in that. If you are a two way talent you can shoot up. Same as a offensive juggernaut. Maybe defense isn't as valuable. But I know defense doesn't have tested longevity of impact. Great defenders seem to have a short life span. Team success does have a place in everyone's list and a shorter span of dominance is a smaller window for success.
Then again offense might not equal defense. Defense is virtually fighting against the inevitable. Players/teams will score. We haven't seen a shut out yet. There's also more avenues in which you can impact an offense. Through volume or efficiency. With scoring or passing. Screening or spacing.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/12 - #1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 

Post#1939 » by bastillon » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:37 am

LA Bird wrote:It seems to be a popular opinion in this thread but I would disagree with 74 over 72 as Kareem's peak in Milwaukee.
For starters, Kareem's box score production were much higher in 72. As shown in ElGee's own scoring volume + relative efficiency chart, 72 was one of the GOAT pre-3pt line scoring seasons whereas 74 was arguably Kareem's worst prime season outside of his rookie year.

Per 100 possession
72 Kareem: 34 / 16 / 4.5 on +9.8 rTS%
74 Kareem: 28 / 15 / 5 on +6.1 rTS%

72 Kareem also led the Bucks to better team results on both offense and defense. The only key advantage I see for 74 Kareem is the better offense in the playoffs but some of that comes down to luck in not having to face two of the GOAT defenders in Thurmond and Wilt. It's also a small sample size compared to the large difference we saw in the regular season production. And while he did suffer an offensive dropoff in the 72 playoffs, Kareem anchoring one of the GOAT non-Russell postseason defense for that run is generally overlooked. Taking into account both regular season and playoffs, 72 Bucks rate out at -5.8 DRtg relative to league average compared to -3.9 for 74 Bucks. Combine the team result with Kareem's defensive motor declining as he aged and I would say it's fair to assume he was also better defensively in 72 than 74.

ElGee mentioned the league expansion "catching up" to the Bucks as an explanation to the SRS declines from 73 onwards but the 72 Bucks were still a ~10 SRS team when healthy against non-expansion teams. There were 8 new teams added from 67 to 71 but only the last batch of expansion teams (Blazers/Braves/Cavs, -9 SRS average) were fodders. The others had already adjusted to the league and some (Bulls/Suns/Bucks) were among the highest SRS teams in the league. Removing the games against the three newest expansion teams, 72 Kareem averaged 35.2 ppg, 17.1 rpg, 4.6 apg on +9.1% rTS which is head and shoulders above what he did in 74. I personally find it hard to believe the quality of the league improved so much between 72~74 as to be able to attribute the reduction in offensive production to league dilution wearing off when we saw Kareem and the Bucks dominating just fine against non-expansion teams in 72.

That being said, another great writeup as usual from ElGee and I hope he expands his list in the future beyond top 40 so we can have even more of his writeups.


I share your sentiment. Here's a great post. Note how the Celtics were trying to hold Kareem under 50 points :lol:

fatal9 wrote:Kareem was a monster this season, this very well might have been the best statistical season ever on a 60+ win team (or on any team). On top of that he also anchored the best defense in the league (opponents shot 42% against them in a league average of 45.5%, and a league best 40.5% in the playoffs). He was also the only player in league history to average 32+ ppg on 55+%, and he did it against an incredible field of centers (maybe the deepest field ever?). Wilt, Lanier, Cowens, Thurmond, Bellamy, Unseld, Hayes, Elmore Smith (shot blocking beast).

Here are his averages against some of the elite centers of the league during the season:

His five matchups with Cowens, he got:

43/17/2
55/18/3
30/13 (call it an off night)
51/17/7
45/25 (Celtics said pre-game their plan was the "to just hold Jabbar under 50", and I guess they succeeded)

Averages: 44.8 ppg, 18 rpg, 4-5 apg, 57.1 FG%

His five matchups with Wilt in the regular season:

39/17/6
39/20/5
40/18/4
33/12/8
50/8/2

Averages: 40.2 ppg, 15.2 rpg, 5 apg, 51 FG% (Oscar didn't play in most of these games)

In February of that year, he put together a crazy stretch of games. Dropped 45 pts on the Suns, then gave Wilt 40/18/4 in the following game and the next night dropped 41 pts on Hayes. He then had a "dissapointing" 31/20/3 but came back on track with 53/14/8 vs. Cavs in the next game. Couple of games later, he gave Cowens 51/17/7 and then later on in the week scored 53 against the Sixers. A couple of days after this, he gave the Bulls 44/18 and then the Suns 44/20/11 after that. Insanity...

In the playoffs here are the stats for Wilt vs. Kareem:

Wilt - 10.8 ppg, 19.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 45.2 FG%, 44 FT% (probably about a 6-7 block average)
Kareem - 33.7 ppg, 17.5 rpg, 4.8 apg on 45.7 FG%, 84 FT% (probably about 4-5 block average)

Other notes on the series:

- Aggregate stats do hide the fact that Wilt forced Kareem into several poor shooting games. Kareem's shooting by the game was: 14/26, 18/31, 15/37, 14/33, 13/33, 16/37. Kareem averaged 33 FGA in the series, which is an outrageous amount to take against an elite defensive center like Wilt (I doubt anyone has shot over 50% in a 6-7 game playoff series where they averaged 30+ shots, especially against a defensive powerhouse).
- Part of the reason for Kareem's high volume of shots was because Oscar was injured in the series (he only played 5 minutes in the elimination game 6), and part of the reason was Kareem's desire to put up 40 on Wilt every single night (some nights he'd succeed, and some nights he'd shoot poorly). Given how close the series ended up being, this may have been a different series with a healthy Oscar.
- Wilt and West took over in the fourth quarter of game 6 to close out the Bucks. West had 14 pts I believe, Wilt had 9 (off dunks and tip-ins) but his defense on Kareem in that stretch was the real game-changer.
- Kareem played with tendinitis on his "skyhook leg" during the series. He rarely wrapped up his leg, but did so during the series, and judging from the little footage we have of the series, he doesn't have to typical lift on his skyhook: ;#t=8m33s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
- A forgotten hero for the Lakers in this series was Jim McMillian, who had 42 pts in the must win game 2 to lead Lakers to a one point win. Lakers lose that game? They go down 0-2 and go to Milwaukee for next 2 games.
- There was some controversy regarding refereeing. In game 2 (Lakers won by one point), the official missed an over and back on the last play of the game, and then the ball hit the official when it was about to go off on West after Kareem knocked it loose. Bucks stated they were "robbed", and there was a huge discrepancy throughout the series in FTA that several newspapers have pointed to. Lakers won every close game, a couple apparently due to favorable refereeing while the Bucks two wins were in blowouts. Bucks actually outscored the Lakers over the series. I do think Wilt was probably intentionally fouled in the series which adds to the FTA discrepancy.
- It seems as though everybody shot poorly in this series. Here were the shooting percentages of everyone after 5 games:

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AB1904
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Re: Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1940 » by AB1904 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:41 pm

I spent the lat couple of days analysing this after it got linked in one of the Wilt threads and I have to say that this project was just exceptional. This is why I joined this forum, to have my own opinions questioned by exceptional research like this!

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