jamaalstar21 wrote:It's really hard to make one. I always had Zeke pencilled in lazily as a top 5 point guard. His career is so high profile as the poster boy of a team that was a worthy adversary to Bird, Magic AND Jordan. I was quite surprised to dig into his career and realize:
- How short his peak was as a player
Usually when people talk about "who had the best peak?" they're looking at the 2 or 3 best years in a row that the player was able to string together...Isiah had 4 years in a row averaging 20 PPG and 10 APG...during those 4 years he was all NBA 1st team in 83-84, he was all nba 1st team in 84-85, he was all nba 1st team in 85-86 and he was all NBA 2nd team in 86-7. These 4 years we're talking about (83-87) was arguably the toughest and best era in NBA history. Still think 4 years is too short? The year before that in 82-83 he averaged a career-high 22.9 PPG, 7.9 APG, 2.5 steals per game and the 2nd highest FG% of his career. He was 2nd team all-NBA that year.
jamaalstar21 wrote:How his peak as a player didn't align with Detroit's success. He peaks as a player in the mid 80s in his early 20s, and doesn't start going on deep playoff runs until 3 years later.
1) hmm, not sure if that's accurate. You seem to be reaching here to try and make Isiah look bad. As I just pointed out, his peak was 83-87. The year he "started making deep playoff runs" was 86-87. So there is direct overlap between his peak and his team making deep playoff runs. In 87 the Pistons fell in 7 games in the eastern conference finals to the 87 Celtics - one of the best teams of all-time to not win the title, a Celtics team just 1 year removed from 86 Celtics which many consider the greatest team of all time. If not for Bird making a heroic play to steal the ball in game 5, the Pistons would have won the series and it would have been 4 straight trips to the finals. Based on your logic Isiah's peak ended in 83-84..since 3 years later was the 86-87 season. If that's the case, you're somehow not considering 84-85 to be part of Isiah's peak, even though he averaged 21.2 PPG and a career high 13.9 APG, those are insane numbers! You'd also be leaving out the 85-86 season, when Isiah had the highest FG% of his career...
2) You might want to study up on Wilt Chamberlain. Early in Wilt's career he was putting up better stats but not winning. Then he learned how to adjust his game...he was scoring less, but winning more. So one could actually argue that although Isiah's best years for stats was from 83-87, his peak was actually 87-90, because even though his numbers dropped off a little bit, he was sacrificing those numbers because it was better for the TEAM, and as a result they won...a lot.
jamaalstar21 wrote:Isiah Thomas was the best player on an awesome team. But the gap between him and the next best player(s) is a historical outlier for teams this good.
Hmm, why do we use this argument to discredit Isiah but we don't use this argument to discredit anyone else? You say the gap wasn't that big between Isiah and Dumars. Ok, so what? What about the gap between Shaq and Kobe when they won 3 titles in a row? Not that big, but people don't use that to discredit those guys. What about the gap between Curry and Durant when they won titles? Not that big, right? What about the gap between Magic and Kareem when they won their first 3 titles? Not that big, yet they're both consensus top 5 guys of all-time. What about the gap between Reed and Frazier when they won titles? Not that big, right? Yet no one uses that to discredit those guys. Unseld and Hayes is the same thing, the list goes on...
jamaalstar21 wrote:There were many lengthy spans of time where Dumars, Dantley and even Laimbeer were driving team success.
What exactly is this statement saying? Are you saying that there were MANY LENGTHY spans of time where Bill Laimbeer was the Piston's best player? If so, that's ridiculous.
If all you're saying is these 3 guys had many lengthy times when they helped the Pistons win basketball games...well then, sure I agree but I don't know how that can be used to discredit Isiah. Ok, so Isiah played with three good players. So what? Moses played with Dr J, Bobby Jones and Mo Cheeks on the Sixers, no one discredits him for that. Bird played with McHale, Parish and Dennis John on the Celtics, no one discredits him for that. Frazier played with Reed, Monroe and DeBusschere, no one discredits him for that. The list goes on...
Funny thing about you name dropping Laimbeer, Dumars and Dantley. You make it seem like all 3 of them peaked at the same time and that's the only reason why Isiah won titles. Hmm, let's see here. Laimbeer's prime was 82-87. Dantley only played 2 prime years on the Pistons, 86-88 and Dumars didn't hit his prime until 88-89 season. So Dumars didn't hit his prime until after Dantley got traded....AND Laimbeer was no longer in his prime by then. There was never a time when all 3 of these guys were in their prime and on the same team at the same time. There was only 1 season (86-87) where more than 1 of these guys was in their prime at the same time and on the same team, with Laimbeer and Dantley. That season (86-87) there was only 1 Piston who made the all-NBA team. That man was Isiah Thomas.
jamaalstar21 wrote:Not to mention this team went a legit 9 deep during their run
You're partly right. They went 9 deep in 89, but only 8 deep in 90 after Mahorn left.
jamaalstar21 wrote:with 6 of those guys all-stars or former/future all-stars.
hmm, does it really matter if they were a former/future all-star? lol I mean based on your logic, the Pistons could have had 8 dudes who were all-stars but 4 of them were all stars like 8 years ago and the other 4 guys didn't make the all-star team until 8 years later, I mean, seriously?
What really matters is if they were an all-star at the time. And the fact is, in 89, the Pistons only had 1 all-star. His name, was Isiah Thomas. In 90, the Pistons had 2 other all-stars in addition to Isiah - Rodman and Dumars. That's it. 1 all-star in 89 and 3 all-stars in 90....not 6 all-stars. You're exaggerating to try and make Isiah look bad.
jamaalstar21 wrote:Watching Chris Paul play, it's pretty clear he's one of the meanest, most well-rounded, most talented point guards to ever do it.
He's mean all right. So mean that his teammates don't want to play with him:https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/10/rondo-chris-paul-fight-horrible-teammate-comments-hollins-glen-davis-reaction-nba-players
jamaalstar21 wrote:I've rooted against Chris Paul for most of his career, but it's hard to look at his game and argue that almost any point guard was better than him at basketball.
Major hyperbole here. Hold up, so you're essentially saying that "it's hard to argue that Magic Johnson was better at basketball than Chris Paul" you lost me here. No...just, no. Chris Paul cannot hold Magic Johnson's jock strap. To say that it's hard to argue Magic was better than Paul, I mean, I can't even really take the rest of the post seriously.
Might want to watch this:
Also, in this video Isiah says, "The game today, it favors the point guards and the small players. The era that I won in, the rules were geared towards the bigger players."
So sure, you might watch Paul and think he's amazing. But you have to consider the context and era he's playing in. With the wide open floor spacing, no hand checking, less physical play, defensive 3 seconds, etc. Then ask yourself, do you think Chris Paul would have been as good playing in the 80s? Nope. Would Isiah have dominated more playing in today's game which favors point guards? Yup.
jamaalstar21 wrote:I give big credit to Isiah Thomas for being able to be a scorer as a small guard in the 80s. That is ridiculously impressive and part of why people in his era speak of his greatness.
Well, at least we agree on that