Top 50 Players of '99

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Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#1 » by trex_8063 » Mon Sep 9, 2019 9:25 pm

Continuing on with this project, going with the player hold-out year. A slightly talent-depleted league, imo, with many greats either recently retired or into decline [while the next generation of stars either hadn't yet arrived and/or reached their best prime years]....

Recall I take the entire season into account, am somewhat asking who had the best season; and missed games do matter to me. This is my rough/1st draft, will reconsider some positions pending discussion (though I have given it a fair bit of thought already). Hoping to hear from Joe (Malburg) in this one (NOTE: order most recently edited 9/17/19).....

1. Shaquille O’Neal
2. Alonzo Mourning
3. Tim Duncan
4. Karl Malone
5. David Robinson
6. Grant Hill
7. Jason Kidd
8. Kevin Garnett
9. Gary Payton
10. Dikembe Mutombo
11. Charles Barkley
12. Allen Iverson
13. Shawn Kemp
14. Hakeem Olajuwon
15. John Stockton
16. Vlade Divac
17. Eddie Jones
18. Reggie Miller
19. Tim Hardaway
20. Chris Webber
21. Mookie Blaylock
22. Arvydas Sabonis
23. Vince Carter
24. Scottie Pippen
25. Darrell Armstrong
26. Detlef Schrempf
27. Rasheed Wallace
28. Toni Kukoc
29. Ray Allen
30. Stephon Marbury
31. Patrick Ewing
32. Rod Strickland
33. Antonio McDyess
34. Shawn Bradley
35. Glenn Robinson
36. Michael Finley
37. Anfernee Hardaway
38. Jeff Hornacek
39. Paul Pierce
40. Clifford Robinson
41. Tom Gugliotta
42. Theo Ratliff
43. Kobe Bryant
44. Brian Grant
45. Mark Jackson
46. Steve Smith
47. Larry Johnson
48. David Wesley
49. Terrell Brandon
50. Shareef Abdur-Rahim


Top HM’s include: Rik Smits, Keith Van Horn, Brevin Knight, Nick Anderson, Mitch Richmond, Dale Davis, Grant Long, Terry Porter, Bryon Russell, PJ Brown, Bobby Phills, Matt Geiger, Doug Christie, Hersey Hawkins, Chris Mullin, Marcus Camby, Antonio Davis, Ron Harper, Latrell Sprewell, and Allan Houston.
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SG-George Gervin (78-80)/Danny Green
SF-R. Barry (67-70)/Bruce Bowen (04-06)
PF-Ho Grant (92-94)/D. Cowens (74-76)
C-D. Robinson (94-96)/Kevin Willis (92-94)
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#2 » by SHAQ32 » Mon Sep 9, 2019 10:38 pm

Rookie Pierce over Penny? Is there some new advanced metric that i'm missing? His scoring took a hit that year, but he really stepped it up defensively... Glenn Robinson?
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#3 » by trex_8063 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:05 am

SHAQ32 wrote:Rookie Pierce over Penny? Is there some new advanced metric that i'm missing?


Like.....all of them? [except for RAPM]

Pierce: 19.2 PER, .144 WS/48, +3.7 BPM, +5 net rating
Penny: 16.7 PER, .122 WS/48, +3.6 BPM, +3 net rating

To be fair, Penny's numbers come while playing +4.9 more mpg.

RAPM is fairly close (in Penny's favor)....
PI ---> Penny at +1.96, Pierce at +1.07
NPI----> Penny at +1.59, Pierce at +1.08 (naturally his NPI is basically the same, as he has no "prior" [being a rookie])


Penny is pretty good defensively this year, but he's kinda hot garbage on offense. Pierce is decent offensively right out of the gate, rebounding better, and not a bad defender in his own right. And at any rate, I have them adjacent on the list (splittin' hairs: the difference between 36th and 37th).
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#4 » by FrogBros4Life » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:43 am

Ewing out of the top 50 altogether this year? I know you say you value the regular season and take into account games missed, but you have Barkley at 11th and Ewing only missed 4 more regular season games than Chuck, and they put up similar scoring/rebounding stats with Charles having a much better assist rate, but with Ewing being the better defender by a clear margin. I'm not seeing a case for practically anybody outside of the top 20 here as being more impactful than Ewing.

And even if you value the regular season more than the playoffs, I know you aren't disregarding the playoffs totally. Ewing was 8th in playoff RAPM and held his own against Mourning (your #2 on this list) for the first 4 games of their series, and outplayed him in the series deciding game. In fact, he was the best player for the Knicks in the first round where they beat #1 Miami as an 8 seed. Patrick played in 11 of his team's 20 playoff games, and they were 8-3 with him and 4-5 without him. I don't think the injury that caused him to miss games later in the playoffs should count against him when he still played more playoff games than a lot of guys on your list who lost in the first round.

He was 25th in total season RAPM, ahead of Barkley, Hakeem, Reggie, Payton, Pippen, Webber, Glen Robinson, Kemp etc.

68 guys (including HM's) over the best player on a team that reached the Finals? I get that he got injured in the Conference Finals....but still....Matt Geiger over Ewing? :o

No Houston or Sprewell either? Houston played every game and Sprewell's playoffs should earn him an HM at least, especially over his own teammate Charlie Ward.

I'm just not understanding the logic here....
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#5 » by trex_8063 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:55 am

FrogBros4Life wrote:Ewing out of the top 50 altogether this year?



Sorry to break this off with an easier explanation after you made the lengthy incredulous reply, but this was a complete oversite (dammit!). Seems there's always someone I simply forget about, and it's often someone obvious (like Ewing).

Anyway, yes he's in the top 50; have edited him in at #31, pushing Smits into the HM's.

No on Houston and Sprewell, though. Just don't think they're deserving of more than maybe an honorable mention.

EDIT: And bear in mind Ewing missed more than a handful of playoff games, too (which is a little more "punitive" than missing rs games). He missed them at arguably the worst possible time: the majority of the ECF and then ALL of the finals. And it perhaps doesn't reflect well on him that they won the ECF anyway, mostly without him (going 3-1 in the four games he missed in that series).

fwiw, I also view the depth of their playoff run as a bit flukey (somewhat like the '95 Rockets winning the title, it was like a "lightning strike"); I just don't think they were a contender-level team (perhaps not even close).
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#6 » by FrogBros4Life » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:14 am

trex_8063 wrote:
FrogBros4Life wrote:Ewing out of the top 50 altogether this year?



Sorry to break this off with an easier explanation after you made the lengthy incredulous reply, but this was a complete oversite (dammit!). Seems there's always someone I simply forget about, and it's often someone obvious (like Ewing).

Anyway, yes he's in the top 50; have edited him in at #31, pushing Smits into the HM's.

No on Houston and Sprewell, though. Just don't think they're deserving of more than maybe an honorable mention.



I'd hardly call 2 paragraphs and some change a lengthy reply to a 68 player ranked list. I mean, you can rank your lists however you want. But Sprewell in the playoffs: 20.4ppg, 4.8reb, 2.2 ast......Ward in the playoffs: 4.6ppg, 2.3reb, 3.8ast. I'd be more worried about credibility than credulity with some of these picks. I'm not even disagreeing that Sprewell might only deserve an HM nod depending on how much you value regular season over playoffs. But I can't see any situation where you're not picking Sprewell in favor of Ward. Yikes.
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#7 » by FrogBros4Life » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:21 am

trex_8063 wrote:
FrogBros4Life wrote:
EDIT: And bear in mind Ewing missed more than a handful of playoff games, too (which is a little more "punitive" than missing rs games). He missed them at arguably the worst possible time: the majority of the ECF and then ALL of the finals. And it perhaps doesn't reflect well on him that they won the ECF anyway, mostly without him (going 3-1 in the four games he missed in that series).




This is a fair criticism, but again they were 8-3 with him in the playoffs and 4-5 without him. They won the ECF with him missing the back part of the series, but they had already stolen home court and gone 1-1 in the 2 games he played. There's no reason to think they couldn't have won the series had he not gotten injured. It's not like they were down 0-3 with Ewing in the series, and then came back to win 4 in a row without him. Had he not gotten injured at the end of game 2, they might have been up 2-0.

And again, he missed a fair share of games, but guys like Barkley and Hakeem who got bounced in the first round only played 4 games period. Ewing played 11 (helping his team win multiple series) before the injury happened. The fact that they beat the Heat without homecourt advantage in 98,99, and 00 and would have almost certainly won in 97 if not for the suspensions, seems to suggest that them making it to at least the Conference Finals wasn't as flukey as you might think. The Knicks were just better than the Heat during those years.
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#8 » by SactoKingsFan » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:19 am

Abdur-Rahim seems like the one guy that clearly doesn't belong.

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The Ann Arbor Treat 

Post#9 » by JoeMalburg » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:47 am

Biggest differences I see between our lists:

I have Steve Smith 21 spots higher at #27.
I have Vlade Divac 18 spots lower at #33 - I don't buy him being better or more valuable than Webber.
I have Mookie Blaylock 17 spots lower at #35 - You've consistently ranked him 10-15 spots higher than me in nay given year.

You include Shawn Bradley on your list at #35, he's not on mine. 26 mpg as a part-time starter on a bad team is not top 50 worthy as I see it. Regardless of metrics.
I include a few players you do not; (Antoine Walker, Juwan Howard) and you have a few I left out. (Theo Ratliff, Mark Jackson) This is another example of my preference of volume scorers and big minute guys over efficient role players and your opposite predilections.

Finally, in general our perception of the Knicks seems way off.

Other than Ewing, we don't seem to agree on much. For instance you have Charlie Ward as an honorable mention and their third/fourth best player and I have him as their fourth best guard. Houston and Sprewell have lousy stats beyond the box score, I understand that. But they were the two most important players to that team behind Ewing. They led the team in minutes during the playoffs and especially in the Finals when they played far more than any of their teammates.

For me the Knicks hierarchy goes:

Ewing - Top 40
Sprewell - Top 50
Houston - Top 60
LJ - Top 75
Camby - Top 100
Kurt Thomas
Chris Childs
Charlie Ward
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#10 » by trex_8063 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:56 am

FrogBros4Life wrote:.

JoeMalburg wrote:.


I will bow to the collective wisdom and list both Sprewell and Houston as HM’s (Sprewell was a rather random/arbitrary exclusion anyway---since I have to cut the list of names off somewhere, and I’m not giving the HM’s a great deal of thought as far as completeness is concerned).

Fwiw, them > Ward is closer to my foggy recollection of the year, too. My vague impression was that after a fading Ewing, the “main guys” were Sprewell, Houston, *Larry Johnson (*why so low [relatively] on LJ, Joe?), and Marcus Camby.
But where my memory is foggy----and I didn’t watch a ton of the Knicks that year to begin with, at least prior to the playoffs [Bulls fan, sadly, and had WGN on cable so was able to view every Bulls home-game]----I sort of leaned heavily on the numbers:

Houston: 13.1 PER, .078 WS/48, -1.0 BPM, -4 net rating, +0.39 PI RAPM (+1.04 NPI) in 36.3 mpg
Sprewell: 16.7 PER, .117 WS/48, +0.8 BPM, +1 net rating, -0.76 PI RAPM (-0.91 NPI) in 33.3 mpg (also missed a quarter of the rs)
Ward: 13.2 PER, .094 WS/48, +2.2 BPM, -1 net rating, +2.44 PI RAPM (+0.22 NPI) in 31.1 mpg
Johnson: 14.6 PER, .144 WS/48, +2.5 BPM, +9 net rating, +2.89 PI RAPM (+3.10 NPI, 17th in league) in 33.4 mpg

By an amalgamation of the numbers, Spree and Houston are not distinguishing themselves from Ward, and LJ is the one guy who sort of distinguishes himself from the other three.

Now, upon this discussion I went back and watched part of a couple games (one rs, one playoff [after Ewing’s injury]). I acknowledge Sprewell and [it seemed like to an even larger degree] Houston had to carry a lot of the creation responsibilities on offense, with precious little help at times. That’s consistent with my memory: that they [in combo with the aging Ewing] were the engines of the offense. Though let’s be clear: the engines of this 26th-ranked -3.6 rORTG offense.

Houston took 36 mpg to rack up a 16/3/3 statline (deflated a bit by the anemic pace, but still) on basically average shooting efficiency and a downright poor turnover economy; defensively he was passable/decent [better than I remembered, on re-watch, though still nothing special].

Sprewell averaged 16.4/4.2/2.5 on marginally below average shooting efficiency and an utterly mediocre (bordering on slightly poor) turnover economy, though was a pretty decent defender to my eye.

To be fair, they didn’t have great playmakers to set them up, nor a truly dominant scorer to take the heat off of them; however, the poor efficiency and terrible team offense is indicative of how NOT up to the task of carrying an offense they were, although to their credit, both did improve somewhat in the playoffs. But I’m not super-impressed even with the playoff performance. Sprewell increased his scoring volume a fair bit, though his shooting efficiency was still marginally poor while his turnover economy back-tracked to flat poor.

Idk, these are just not world-beaters. Slightly rich man’s Andrew Wiggins, basically.

On re-watch, I have to admit Ward is a limited playmaker (decent in the halfcourt, but terrible transition passer/playmaker), and a non-threat as a scorer. He generates a ton of turnovers, but gambles a considerable amount to do so; and he didn’t perform particularly well in the playoffs. I’m not sure what to make of his RAPM (which are among the best on the team); maybe the NPI is more accurate. Anyway, tentatively I’m going to remove him from my honorable mentions (while adding Sprewell and Houston).

Curious why no love for Larry Johnson on this squad. 12.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.4 apg in the rs, with good shooting efficiency (one of the few Knicks who did) and a respectable turnover economy (also one of the few Knicks who managed that). Struggled to score in the playoffs when they faced the #2 and #1 defenses in the league (being primarily guarded by Duncan in the latter, no?), but averaged 16.5 ppg on superb efficiency against Indiana (crucial after Ewing went out). And LJ was a totally decent team defender to my eye.
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#11 » by SpreeS » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:58 am

trex_8063 wrote:
FrogBros4Life wrote:Ewing out of the top 50 altogether this year?



Sorry to break this off with an easier explanation after you made the lengthy incredulous reply, but this was a complete oversite (dammit!). Seems there's always someone I simply forget about, and it's often someone obvious (like Ewing).

Anyway, yes he's in the top 50; have edited him in at #31, pushing Smits into the HM's.

No on Houston and Sprewell, though. Just don't think they're deserving of more than maybe an honorable mention.

EDIT: And bear in mind Ewing missed more than a handful of playoff games, too (which is a little more "punitive" than missing rs games). He missed them at arguably the worst possible time: the majority of the ECF and then ALL of the finals. And it perhaps doesn't reflect well on him that they won the ECF anyway, mostly without him (going 3-1 in the four games he missed in that series).

fwiw, I also view the depth of their playoff run as a bit flukey (somewhat like the '95 Rockets winning the title, it was like a "lightning strike"); I just don't think they were a contender-level team (perhaps not even close).


1. Ward over Spree and Houston?
2. NY played in ECF next year. It isnt lightning strike.
3. Why cant you give credit to Spree/Houston duo? Sh... adv stats? Did you see them play that season? I saw and they belong to TOP50 easy.
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#12 » by SpreeS » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:13 am

One more thing. Whole league avg TS% was .499 in PO, so Spree with .503 was above league avarge. TOV% was way above league avg in PO too. Sprewell was 6th in PTS/100poss in PO (min 100min).

1 Oneal 35.7 2nd rnd exit
2 Iverson 35.6 2nd rnd exit
3 Hill 33.5 1rnd exit
4 Mourning 33.3 1st rnd exit
5 Barckley 31.6 1st rnd exit
6 Sprewell 31.0 Finals

You can go to look what kind of stats all wings players had against this duo in PO series: Mashburn, Majerle, Smith, Corbin, Miller, Mullin, Elliott, Rose.

J.Mashburn

RS 14.8PTS 3.1AST 2.5TOV on 0.519TS
1nd rnd NY 10.0PTS 2.0AST 2.0TOV on ]0.472TS

Majerle

RS 7.0PTS 3.1AST 1.1TOV on 0.529TS
1nd rnd NY 4.0PTS 1.2AST 0.6TOV on 0.344TS

Steve Smith

1st rnd 18.2PTS 4.2AST 2.2TOV on 0.521TS
2nd rnd NY 16.3PTS 2.2AST 2.5TOV on 0.384TS

Corbin

1st rnd 12.2PTS 2.0AST 1.0TOV on 0.546TS
2nd rnd NY 2.0PTS 1.5AST 0.8TOV on 0.224TS

Miller

1st two rnd 23.7PTS 3.0AST 1.4TOV on 0.589TS
3rd rnd NY 16.2PTS 2.2AST 1.8TOV on 0.506TS

Mullin

1st two rnd 10.6PTS 1.0AST 1.9TOV on 0.584TS
3rd rnd NY 8.3PTS 1.3AST 1.2TOV on 0.476TS

J.Rose

1st two rnd 13.4PTS 2.9ST 2.0TOV on 0.525TS
3rd rnd NY 10.7PTS 2.0AST 1.8TOV on 0.504TS

S.Elliott

1st 3 rnd 13.6PTS 2.5ST 1.3TOV on 0.617TS
Finals NY 8.0PTS 3.0AST 1.2TOV on 0.427TS

Jaren Jackson

1st 3 rnd 8.9PTS 1.1ST 0.9TOV on 0.537TS
Finals NY 6.6PTS 1.0AST 1.8TOV on 0.446TS

Man, its all time great defense on SG/SF. Even I didnt imagine this kind of drop before putting this stats. Player is better than other player not b/c has huge stats and nice adv stats, but b/c making your oppenents on defense worse than you. Sprewell stepped in PO to compare RS and was huge on defense, outpayed all opponents on offense and defense.

Also there are alot of players who doest work with adv stats - for exampl Klay, Randolph(MEM) and others
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#13 » by trex_8063 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:27 am

If the implication is that Sprewell [because he finished 6th in pts/100 poss] was of similar offensive calibre as Hill/Barkley/Mourning/etc----or even close----I entirely disagree.

By way of illustration, if we search for anybody that averaged at least 30 pts/100 poss in the '99 playoffs [and eliminate anybody who played <75 total minutes, just to get rid of low-minute or garbage-time players], we get a list of 10 players:

Ray Allen
Nick Anderson
Charles Barkley
Tim Duncan
Grant Hill
Allen Iverson
Reggie Miller
Alonzo Mourning
Shaquille O'Neal
Latrell Sprewell


It's quality company, to say the least. But if we add the [somewhat negative] stipulation that they must have done so on </= 51% TS, it narrows the field to four:

Nick Anderson
Grant Hill
Allen Iverson
Latrell Sprewell


Or, alternately, if instead of the TS% restriction we'd added a stipulation to include only those who also averaged at least 4 turnovers per 100 possessions, it would narrow the field to three:

Ray Allen
Grant Hill
Latrell Sprewell


If we include BOTH of those stipulations (TS% <51% and tov/100 >4), it narrows to two:

Grant Hill
Latrell Sprewell


^^Hill avg 4.1 tov/100, Sprewell 4.4, btw. If we then add another stipulation that they must also have avg less than 4 assists per 100 possessions (or even less than 12 would have done it), the field narrows to ONE:

Latrell Sprewell


So he wasn't really playing [offensively] in the same league as most of these guys. And I'd still view the performance of Spree and Houston in the playoffs as somewhat small-sample flukey; if it wasn't a pinch flukey and they were simply capable of this on a regular basis, where was it all season? Did they intentionally under-perform most of the year to get the hardest possible path to the finals?
The defensive run is impressive though.
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Re: The Ann Arbor Treat 

Post#14 » by trex_8063 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:32 am

JoeMalburg wrote:Biggest differences I see between our lists:

I have Steve Smith 21 spots higher at #27.
I have Vlade Divac 18 spots lower at #33 - I don't buy him being better or more valuable than Webber.
I have Mookie Blaylock 17 spots lower at #35 - You've consistently ranked him 10-15 spots higher than me in nay given year.



Few other guys I'm curious about your specific placement:

Eddie Jones
Reggie Miller
Chris Webber
Darrell Armstrong
Toni Kukoc
Glenn Robinson
Stephon Marbury

I'd also like to hear the hierarchy (and ranks) you have of the Houston "big three" (Hakeem/Charles/Scottie).
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Re: The Ann Arbor Treat 

Post#15 » by JoeMalburg » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:18 am

trex_8063 wrote:
JoeMalburg wrote:Biggest differences I see between our lists:

I have Steve Smith 21 spots higher at #27.
I have Vlade Divac 18 spots lower at #33 - I don't buy him being better or more valuable than Webber.
I have Mookie Blaylock 17 spots lower at #35 - You've consistently ranked him 10-15 spots higher than me in nay given year.



Few other guys I'm curious about your specific placement:

Eddie Jones
Reggie Miller
Chris Webber
Darrell Armstrong
Toni Kukoc
Glenn Robinson
Stephon Marbury

I'd also like to hear the hierarchy (and ranks) you have of the Houston "big three" (Hakeem/Charles/Scottie).


Houston
10. Barkley
15. Olajuwon
28. Pippen

We're pretty lock-step here. Just looking at my list right now I tend to think Pippen could and maybe should be ahead of Steve Smith and maybe Antonio McDyess and Michael Finley too. But he was so bad for chemistry with that Rockets team that I feel justified in lowering him 3-5 spots. Barkley was awesome this season and played his heart out in the playoffs. He had nothing left physically at this point and was surviving on guts and smarts.


17. Reggie Miller (+2)
18. Chris Webber (+3)
19. Stephon Marbury (+11)
29. Toni Kukoc (-1)
30. Darrell Armstrong (-7)
31. Eddie Jones (-13)
40. Glenn Robinson (-5)

I've always been rather high on young Stephon Marbury. He was really special, it's a shame he never put it all together. Next to KG, Duncan and AI, I considered him the best of the under 24 crowd at this time. Ahead of guys like Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and even Kobe Bryant (who I was very skeptical of until the 1999-00 season.

I'm surprised you had Eddie Jones so high considering the narrative around him that season and his relatively modest production (aside from advanced box score metrics) and not qualifying for the playoffs. I have him as a top 20 guy in 2000 and a top 25 in 1998 and 2001, I consider 1999 sort of a down year for EJ.

Pleasantly surprised to see you had Big Dog where you did. I'm guessing you like RAPm for the season. He really shot the ball well that season, especially considering that it's the low point for shooting efficiency post-merger. And I don't think he was ever a better teammate, he played hard on defense during the lockout season and he was much more efficient on offense under George Karl than he had been under Chris Ford.

Armstrong is a tough player for me to rank, especially in 1999 when he sort of came out of nowhere to be an impact guy on a Magic team that far exceeded expectations. He won the Sixth Man Award and Most Improved Player. However he looked really under-qualified for his role (second option) when the playoffs rolled around. My biggest issue with your rankings related to him is not his placement, but rather him being above Penny Hardaway, who to me was that teams clear best player.
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#16 » by SpreeS » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:13 am

trex_8063 wrote:If the implication is that Sprewell [because he finished 6th in pts/100 poss] was of similar offensive calibre as Hill/Barkley/Mourning/etc----or even close----I entirely disagree.

By way of illustration, if we search for anybody that averaged at least 30 pts/100 poss in the '99 playoffs [and eliminate anybody who played <75 total minutes, just to get rid of low-minute or garbage-time players], we get a list of 10 players:

Ray Allen
Nick Anderson
Charles Barkley
Tim Duncan
Grant Hill
Allen Iverson
Reggie Miller
Alonzo Mourning
Shaquille O'Neal
Latrell Sprewell


It's quality company, to say the least. But if we add the [somewhat negative] stipulation that they must have done so on </= 51% TS, it narrows the field to four:

Nick Anderson
Grant Hill
Allen Iverson
Latrell Sprewell


Or, alternately, if instead of the TS% restriction we'd added a stipulation to include only those who also averaged at least 4 turnovers per 100 possessions, it would narrow the field to three:

Ray Allen
Grant Hill
Latrell Sprewell


If we include BOTH of those stipulations (TS% <51% and tov/100 >4), it narrows to two:

Grant Hill
Latrell Sprewell


^^Hill avg 4.1 tov/100, Sprewell 4.4, btw. If we then add another stipulation that they must also have avg less than 4 assists per 100 possessions (or even less than 12 would have done it), the field narrows to ONE:

Latrell Sprewell


So he wasn't really playing [offensively] in the same league as most of these guys. And I'd still view the performance of Spree and Houston in the playoffs as somewhat small-sample flukey; if it wasn't a pinch flukey and they were simply capable of this on a regular basis, where was it all season? Did they intentionally under-perform most of the year to get the hardest possible path to the finals?
The defensive run is impressive though.



Are you joking or what? Its TOP50 list not top10. It was the reason why Spree played 40min per games in PO for 3 coaches and his teams played 3 times CF. Why you ignore defense? Why you ignore NY playing style and looking at TS and TOV. Did you see MIA /NY PO series? It was MMA fights not basketball.

One more time. Spree had great scoring volume on above avg TS% with above avg TOV% in PO. Played perfect defense and destoyed all oponents. Played in the Finals. And he isnt top 50 player that year....but 35y old Hornacek, 21y old Marbury, Geiger, Ratlif and others are TOP50?
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Re: The Ann Arbor Treat 

Post#17 » by trex_8063 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:07 pm

JoeMalburg wrote:
Houston
10. Barkley
15. Olajuwon
28. Pippen

We're pretty lock-step here. Just looking at my list right now I tend to think Pippen could and maybe should be ahead of Steve Smith and maybe Antonio McDyess and Michael Finley too. But he was so bad for chemistry with that Rockets team that I feel justified in lowering him 3-5 spots. Barkley was awesome this season and played his heart out in the playoffs. He had nothing left physically at this point and was surviving on guts and smarts.


Houston's an interesting team that year. You hear all the "big three" talk, but arguably all three of them were past their primes by this point. The marginally poor [+0.7 rDRTG] team defense is likely hevidence enough that Pippen and perhaps especially Hakeem are not what they once were. I mean, I know Barkley is soft defensively, and they had a defensively weak backcourt (especially at PG to my eye); but a handful of years previously there was no way a team with both prime Olajuwon AND prime Pippen would have been below average defensively. Between the two of them, they'd have lifted even the most garbage of defensive supporting casts up to respectability.
For me the decline is most physically apparent with Hakeem and Barkley: Hakeem's quickness is reduced and the "vertical aspect" of him [especially defensively] wasn't what we'd been accustomed to seeing from him a few years earlier; just doesn't have that spring in his step anymore. And Barkley, as you implied, is no where near as explosive as he was earlier in his career; that aspect of him had more or less been slowly declining every year after ~'92, actually.

Pippen looks the most like his old self, but nonetheless seems like the least effective/dominant of the three. I heard one commentator in a game I watched recently declaring him the best defensive player on that Rocket team, though I'm not 100% convinced. At any rate, he's not up to his prior standards, possibly in part due to his huge minute load (40.2 mpg, iirc).
He is often tasked with initiating the offense and/or being the primary creator in the half-court, and he's definitely the primary engine of their transition game. But otoh, he has basically the worst season of his career to that point in terms of turnovers. Possibly a chemistry issue, as you suggested. Barkley appears [by far] the most dominant offensively of the three.

I also vaguely recall Pippen publicly criticizing Barkley [or did that happen AFTER the season was over?]. At any rate, that alludes to some chemistry issues. I was actually worried I'd placed him too high; after hearing your input, I think I might drop him a place or two.


JoeMalburg wrote:17. Reggie Miller (+2)
18. Chris Webber (+3)
19. Stephon Marbury (+11)
29. Toni Kukoc (-1)
30. Darrell Armstrong (-7)
31. Eddie Jones (-13)
40. Glenn Robinson (-5)

I've always been rather high on young Stephon Marbury. He was really special, it's a shame he never put it all together. Next to KG, Duncan and AI, I considered him the best of the under 24 crowd at this time. Ahead of guys like Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and even Kobe Bryant (who I was very skeptical of until the 1999-00 season.


tbh, I almost felt peer-pressured to have Kobe Bryant any higher than just a fringe top 50 for this year. I too am sort of skeptical of just how good he was prior to '00. His DRAPM is a small negative [both NPI and PI], though he looks decent to me at least in the one game I watched recently. Still occasionally late or out of position on his rotational defense, but a really solid on-ball defender; and decent stl/blk numbers for a wing, without gambling excessively or being particularly foul-prone. Consequently, I somewhat assumed he was slightly better than his impact metrics imply.

I'll take another look at Marbury, as he's one of the players we have a larger discrepancy on. Could be I'm underrating him.

I'll also make sure I watch at least one Hawks game from this year to scrutinize Mookie (as we always have a large discrepancy there). So I'm clear on my perspective: I think Mookie was one of the very best [probably THE best some years] defensive PG's for much of the 90's; he was an absolute terror on that end thru the mid-90's. Not just the steals, but the ball-pressure, the physicality.....he was really disruptive. And despite his height was a good rebounding PG, too.

Offensively, while his shooting efficiency was often poor, I note that he was generally the primary creator in the halfcourt; if he couldn't find a good look for someone, he was often the one left to toss up a low% shot before the possession timed out. And [similar to what penbeast0 always says about Sid Moncrief and the 80's Bucks], I always got the impression watching those Hawks teams that everyone took their cues [on BOTH ends of the court] from Mookie; he simply looks like the team leader to me. I know that's both vague and narrative-driven [which I typically try to avoid], but there it is.

That said, I'm not sure where he's at by this point in his career. Maybe not sharp and/or dominant as he once was. His PI RAPM, fwiw, is still 5th in the league (at +6.64), though his NPI is much more down to Earth (though still ranked 35th in the league). Maybe I need to hedge more toward that NPI value; I'll watch a game or two and reconsider. Maybe I'm overrating him. I could certainly see bumping someone like Reggie Miller up a couple places, anyway, displacing Mookie that far. I'll respond regarding Eddie Jones later, as I also had him in that region.
All-Time NE Fantasy Team
PG-Chauncey Billups (06-08)/Terry Porter (91-93)
SG-George Gervin (78-80)/Danny Green
SF-R. Barry (67-70)/Bruce Bowen (04-06)
PF-Ho Grant (92-94)/D. Cowens (74-76)
C-D. Robinson (94-96)/Kevin Willis (92-94)
Bill Sharman (coach)
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Re: The Ann Arbor Treat 

Post#18 » by trex_8063 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:28 pm

JoeMalburg wrote:17. Reggie Miller (+2)
18. Chris Webber (+3)
19. Stephon Marbury (+11)
29. Toni Kukoc (-1)
30. Darrell Armstrong (-7)
31. Eddie Jones (-13)
40. Glenn Robinson (-5)


I'm surprised you had Eddie Jones so high considering the narrative around him that season and his relatively modest production (aside from advanced box score metrics) and not qualifying for the playoffs. I have him as a top 20 guy in 2000 and a top 25 in 1998 and 2001, I consider 1999 sort of a down year for EJ.


idk.....it's actually the highest PER and BPM of his career to that point, and his WS/48 is more or less in keeping with what he'd done the previous two seasons, as well (with basically same playing time; highest mpg of his career to that point, actually, though only barely so).
His scoring volume and shooting efficiency are both down a little [I haven't looked at exactly what his rTS% is from '97 to '99, but bear in mind league-wide shooting efficiency dipped in '99; I think his rTS% in '99 is basically the same as it had been in '97 (still above average)]. But defensive numbers are up a little, and one of his best years in terms of assists.
His RAPM still looks very good (EDIT: 19th in the league in PI, 10th in NPI), and for a more crude look at impact his *WOWY is very impressive: the Lakers were 14-6 (on pace for 35 wins) in the 20 games he played with them, but 17-13 (on pace for 28-29 wins) in 30 games after trading him. The Hornets were 19-11 (on pace for 31-32 wins) in the games he played for them, but just 7-13 (on pace for 17-18 wins) in the 20 games without him. And fwiw, the lack of playoff appearance is somewhat bad luck, no?: he got traded from a playoff team, and basically turned the Hornets into a playoff-calibre team.....just not with them quite long enough to pull their full season record up enough. The Hornets were 26-24 (with a +0.63 SRS) overall.....it just wasn't enough for a playoff berth this particular year.

*EDIT: need to be noted he wasn't the only one who left the Lakers for the Hornets--->he went with Elden Campbell, the Lakers getting Glen Rice, BJ Armstrong, and JR Reid in return.

Anyway, all indications seem to say the same thing: EJ was [quietly] a major-impact player.
All-Time NE Fantasy Team
PG-Chauncey Billups (06-08)/Terry Porter (91-93)
SG-George Gervin (78-80)/Danny Green
SF-R. Barry (67-70)/Bruce Bowen (04-06)
PF-Ho Grant (92-94)/D. Cowens (74-76)
C-D. Robinson (94-96)/Kevin Willis (92-94)
Bill Sharman (coach)
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Re: The Ann Arbor Treat 

Post#19 » by trex_8063 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:32 pm

JoeMalburg wrote:

17. Reggie Miller (+2)
18. Chris Webber (+3)
19. Stephon Marbury (+11)
29. Toni Kukoc (-1)
30. Darrell Armstrong (-7)
31. Eddie Jones (-13)
40. Glenn Robinson (-5)

Pleasantly surprised to see you had Big Dog where you did. I'm guessing you like RAPm for the season. He really shot the ball well that season, especially considering that it's the low point for shooting efficiency post-merger. And I don't think he was ever a better teammate, he played hard on defense during the lockout season and he was much more efficient on offense under George Karl than he had been under Chris Ford.

Armstrong is a tough player for me to rank, especially in 1999 when he sort of came out of nowhere to be an impact guy on a Magic team that far exceeded expectations. He won the Sixth Man Award and Most Improved Player. However he looked really under-qualified for his role (second option) when the playoffs rolled around. My biggest issue with your rankings related to him is not his placement, but rather him being above Penny Hardaway, who to me was that teams clear best player.



Yeah, the RAPM certainly helps Robinson's case this year. Anecdotally (and backed up by impact metrics) it seems he was actually playing defense in '99 (which definitely cannot be said of several years in his career); I guess the coaching change helped??
Shooting better too, as you said: career high in 3pt%, and slightly stepping up his 3PAr from the previous season; also really hitting his FT's well (a rather large step up at the stripe, +5.8% from his prior best). So even with a dwindling FTAr, his efficiency holds steady while the rest of the league was tanking (I believe this was actually his best rTS% to date).

Armstrong is a hard one because he had almost no reputation as a legit good player prior to this season (a relative unknown, undrafted, iirc, came into the league around age 25 and just steadily improved into his early 30's). I don't think I'd taken any notice of him at all prior to this season, and I remember watching a couple Magic games and thinking "wow; this little guy can shoot", and also noting he was sort of a pest on defense; generally thought he was pretty darn good.
But I didn't think of him much beyond that game or two I saw, my mind probably [because I had no prior reference for him as a good player] wanting to lump him in with run-of-the-mill role players.....one who just happened to have a good game when I was watching.

But retrospectively, he does look pretty darn good: despite only being 4th on the Magic in playing time, he's 3rd in scoring, 2nd in steals (barely behind Penny, despite playing nearly 9 fewer mpg), 1st in assists, and #1 on the team in shooting efficiency. The only real blemish to this is that he also led the team in turnovers.
In rate metrics, he's #1 on the team in PER, WS/48, BPM, net rating, and RAPM (both PI and NPI, iirc).....a clean sweep!

The playoff criticism is sustained. So I could totally see ranking Penny higher if you have a heavy emphasis on the post-season (I can kinda see the case for it anyway; certainly my perception at the time was that Penny was the best player [and maybe he was]). With a heavier emphasis on the rs, it's hard to not give Armstrong his due. idk, tough.....
All-Time NE Fantasy Team
PG-Chauncey Billups (06-08)/Terry Porter (91-93)
SG-George Gervin (78-80)/Danny Green
SF-R. Barry (67-70)/Bruce Bowen (04-06)
PF-Ho Grant (92-94)/D. Cowens (74-76)
C-D. Robinson (94-96)/Kevin Willis (92-94)
Bill Sharman (coach)
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Re: Top 50 Players of '99 

Post#20 » by trex_8063 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:56 pm

JoeMalburg wrote:.


Curious your thoughts and rankings of the Portland core for this season. They're an interesting study, and pose an intriguing question wrt how we frequently differ on the valuation of volume scorers and "really good role players": because here's a team that doesn't have a single guy who even averaged 14 ppg.......and yet they went 35-15, had the 2nd-best SRS in the league, and made it to the WCF, beating along the way in a best-of-7 series [in just 6 games] a Jazz team that was a little better [by both record and SRS] than any team the Knicks beat (substantially better than any team the Knicks beat in a best-of-7).

To achieve that degree of success, I think a team must have at least 2-3 players who were in the top 50 (and if they have only two---assuming neither in the top 20----must have like FOUR guys justifiably among the HM's in the ~51-70 range).
All-Time NE Fantasy Team
PG-Chauncey Billups (06-08)/Terry Porter (91-93)
SG-George Gervin (78-80)/Danny Green
SF-R. Barry (67-70)/Bruce Bowen (04-06)
PF-Ho Grant (92-94)/D. Cowens (74-76)
C-D. Robinson (94-96)/Kevin Willis (92-94)
Bill Sharman (coach)

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