RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 (David Robinson)

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#81 » by LA Bird » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:08 pm

Copying my previous vote over with new addition of Dr J

1. Chris Paul
2. David Robinson
3. Julius Erving

Durant and Curry have been getting votes and Paul is still better than both as of now IMO. He is the most well-rounded point guard ever, his advanced metrics are among the best in both regular season and playoffs, and he has quietly accumulated some huge career totals (he is 6.0 career RS+PO WS away from Oscar who is widely regarded as the second best point guard ever).

Robinson's injury and late entry into the NBA prevented him from potentially being in the tier above. He is near the top of basically every advanced stat leaderboard and he has some of the best impact metrics whether it is in the regular season (94-96), playoffs (98-00) or in terms of WOWY. He is held back by playoff disappointments at his peak though.

Dr J's ABA years would be easier to compare if he had a smooth transition to the NBA but he had some down years sandwiched between his best ABA and NBA seasons. McGinnis and World B Free are blamed for the poor team fit yet Dr J had the worst season of his prime in 1979 after both were gone. He had <8 WS that year and missed All NBA in probably the single easiest season since the 50s. He had a resurgence in the following years with a regular season scoring rate higher than in the ABA but it didn't hold up in the playoffs.

Dr J points per 75 (RS, PO)
1974~76 ABA: 24.3 on 56.5% TS -> 25.7 on 57.7% TS
1980~82 NBA: 25.3 on 57.7% TS -> 22.4 on 55.5% TS

That 22.4 per 75 is the same postseason scoring volume as 08-18 Paul, which is low for a wing who is a scorer first and foremost. Still, Dr J had good longevity and solid all round game even if box scores overrate his defense. Epic peak with a ring in the 76 playoffs but it was only two series.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#82 » by Baski » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:10 pm

eminence wrote:
Baski wrote:Hmmm. Gotta say this is surprising to read. That kind of comment fits someone like Kyrie Irving rather than Chris Paul. What's your basis for this?


This one throws me a bit too, I'm not really thinking of any examples. He/Harden obviously didn't get along (now more evidence coming out that they weren't the only issue in Houston), but still Harden played arguably his best ball ever with him by his side. Griffin, maybe there's a case. Jordan undeniably played his best ball with CP3. All of the guys on the Thunder/Hornets looked good with Paul. I dunno, tough sell for me.

I assume he means playing with Paul stops being fun after a while, but I defintely wouldn't link that to not making them better. Pretty sure Paul has a track record of making the teams he joins play better.

Maybe it could be failing to win a ship with solid talent?
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#83 » by lebron3-14-3 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:16 pm

1) Mikan
2) Erving
3) KD.

Then I have moses drob and curry. Hope I can give my reasoning in the next 2 hours.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#84 » by Baski » Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:55 pm

Baski wrote:I'm really heavily leaning DRob here because of how impressive his achievement with the Spurs is. I see the playoff drop argument but I find it a little........imbalanced comparing him to players like Curry and Durant who had it infinitely easier to do well.

I'm also in the camp that finds that argument to be penalizing him for being one of the greatest RS players of all time, especially when KG has already been voted in

Tbh his lost prime seasons due to the Navy stint is more of a knock to me than the playoff drop he experienced playing next to Sean Elliot and Avery Johnson.

I'm gonna wait this out a bit and see if I can get behind the Anti-DRob arguments before the final count.

Nope.

1. David Robinson
I still find it very wrong that KG, as a similar but worse player, is at least 6 spots ahead. But anyway,

David Robinson provides immense lift to any team he's on regardless of whether his teammates rock or suck.

Duncan-lite as a leader. Possibly struggled to reign in the Rodman-level headcases of the league, but I'm not confident that anyone else left on the board could.

GOAT level athlete, GOAT level defender, ATG scorer, rebounder and capable passer for a big man, teammates and stats love him. All qualities you want in a franchise player for an otherwise bad team.............or a stacked team.

You may not win a title if he's by far your best player and his teammates are mediocre, but you're gonna be a great team throughout his whole career, which is more than many teams can hope for in their entire history, and very few players can actually provide.

Playoff drop is very real but does not get contextualized as much as it does for other players. DRob is by no means a poor playoff performer, and I'd go as far as to say he's not even disappointing, but that may be my own bias seeping out.

Relatively short career, but that's what keeps him out of the top 10.

2. Julius Erving


3. Mikan
. A part of me wants Mikan to stick around as long as possible. The discussion on him has been very informative. I can say with confidence that at least 1 difference between this me and 2023 me is that I'll know that Bob Davies existed. Great thread.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#85 » by Baski » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:01 pm

We're getting close to where Barkley is on my list. I struggle with him because, like Prime Bird, Prime Barkley leaves a visual imprint on me that makes me go overboard with the praise.

To the other fans of Chuck, what do you think is the actual gap between real Barkley and "hardworking Barkley"? What's the highest he could've placed on this list if he took basketball as seriously as say, Hakeem?
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#86 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:35 pm

Baski wrote:
A note on Paul:

Him being traded to Phoenix makes it really clear how next year is going to be big for Paul's legacy. Paul thus far largely has a career where he's managed not to make his teammates better despite playing the "make your teammates better" position exceptionally well. Paul likes control, and he's going to a place where he needs to not be a control-freak or it just won't work. It's Booker's backcourt and Paul best never delude himself otherwise.

Hmmm. Gotta say this is surprising to read. That kind of comment fits someone like Kyrie Irving rather than Chris Paul. What's your basis for this?


Here's what I'm referring to, and note that I'm fine if you think my off-the-cuff argumentation along these lines is hyperbolic and/or sloppy.

Paul does not show signs of massively improving his teammates shooting efficiency the way Nash does.

Consider when Paul went to the Clippers and much was expected in terms of him being able to transform teammates:

In '10-11, pre-Paul, the Clippers had a team TS Add of 9.3.

In '11-12, with Paul, the Clippers TS Add went up 102.3...but Paul himself was a 110.7, so the rest of the team's TS Add was actually -8.4. When you consider that in '10-11 the team also had Baron Davis who was a negative TS Add, we do in fact appear to be in a situation where Paul's presence was at best neutral at giving his teammates better shots.

By contrast, consider Nash's arrival in Phoenix.

In '03-04 the team's TS Add was 64.9.

In '04-05 it went up to 629.5. Yes Nash was part of that with a +146.7, but you're still talking about a TS Add gain of nearly 500 without Nash.

There is a general trend of Nash's teammates being significantly affected in TS Add by playing with him, and you just don't see the same thing from Paul.

Does that mean Paul isn't a great offensive point guard? No. Paul's value add comes from turnover reduction. The Clippers went from last in TO% to 2nd in the entire league with Paul's arrival. That's no small thing...but it's not what we typically talk about when we talk about a facilitator "making life easy for his teammates".

This is part of the broader point where Nash is a guy who looks to punish the defense for giving any opening at all as soon as (or even before) the window of opportunity opens, whereas Paul looks to slow things down and make sure that possessions aren't ruined with mistakes. That's why we call Nash ultra-aggressive and Paul conservative.

Which is better? The data in general seems to indicate that Nash's way has a higher ceiling. Taking risks is dangerous, but when you're smart enough to pull it off, it's worth doing.

None of this means that Paul can't make up the difference with defense, but there's also the matter of the frustration Paul's teammates tend to feel with him. I think we generally have this sense of "You keep telling me I need to do things your way but I'm fine doing things my way" with Paul's teammates that literally has truth to it, and this eventually leading to toxic relationships. Meanwhile, people loved playing with Nash. Even the ones who chose to leave, it's not because they actually disliked playing with Nash. He was always a joy to play with.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#87 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:56 pm

penbeast0 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
Mikan's efficiency relative to his contemporaries takes a massive fall in this season. It's still not bad relative to them, but he stops giving you that massive value add on that end of the floor like he did before.

Re: scoring went down because they changed the rules on him. And? What part of the goaltending rule and the land change should we use to argue Mikan was better than David Robinson or Patrick Ewing?

Re: scored 4.6 less PPG at age 27 like Jabbar, Wilt, Jordan. Wilt's a great analogy because clearly he needed to score less to better optimize team play. Imagine how much worse it would be for Wilt if he were actually jacking up crappy shots all the time like Mikan was?

I'm sorry, I understand that eras change and Mikan's efficiency wasn't putrid for the time, but that's because the league was new and guys by and large were bad at basketball compared to now. That should be obvious based on the fact that 6'10" guys without insane quickness don't dominate the game based on their physical presence any more....


(1) The fact that, as you say, "Mikan's efficiency wasn't putrid for the time" and provided "massive value add on" up to that point says to me that he was taking good shots, not crappy ones. IF you are providing a massive add on with your scoring, those aren't crappy shots -- by definition.

(2) Mikan, from everything I've read, didn't "dominate the game based on (his) physical presence." In fact, his contemporaries talk about his skills, his basketball IQ, his team game. He doesn't get the Wilt/Shaq where people rave about how he just overpowers everyone; more Kareem where he was an extraordinary athlete but more importantly an extraordinarily skilled one. In fact, Kareem was taller for his era than Mikan was for his.

You can only play with the rules and skills of the day. I discount Mikan's dominance because of the weakness of his era; but I don't think it's reasonable to discount his dominance because his skill set wasn't modern when neither were the skills of his competitors. That's a different, and to me, a wrong headed critique.


(1) I'm trying to really emphasize to be clear to everyone that we shouldn't simply be imagining what Mikan was doing. His method of scoring was something we know wouldn't translate against tougher competition, and thus holding it against later centers who had that tougher competition that they weren't as aggressive at scoring doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

(2) If you honestly think that Mikan would be better than the Robinsons of the world if they played at the same time, then I have absolutely no objection to you ranking Mikan ahead of Robinson. My thing is that you really either have to normalize for competition or not. If you don't, then clearly Mikan was the more dominant player. If you do, it's just so hard for me to actually imagine Mikan being better at basketball than Robinson.

I'm not saying Mikan couldn't learn new techniques. I'm saying when I imagine him doing this, I still don't see him as the equal of Robinson. I'm saying that if race wasn't a thing and Robinson was available to learn the game in MIkan's era, I think Robinson would be more dominant than Mikan. And I'm saying I'm completely fine with disagreeing on that, but I have concern that people are mushing criteria together.

If there's anyone in this project who thinks they are normalizing for competition levels, but a) is voting for Mikan ahead of Robinson while also b) knowing that they think Robinson is a better basketball prospect than Mikan, I think they're being inconsistent and quite possibly being influenced by a wish to "show respect to Mikan" that doesn't fit with any objective criteria.

I also want to say this:

I am specifically a Minneapolis Lakers fan. I've got a bunch of autographed photos from various old-school Lakers (Mikan, Pollard, Martin, Kundla, etc). I was born in raised in LA, but my mom and her whole family is from Minnesota. I have Minnesota pride that the greatest franchise in basketball history originated in the Twin Cities and don't relish anything that feels like bashing Mikan.

But the same reason why I don't have Mikan high on this list is the same reason why I wouldn't be including, say, Nat Holman, on this list if we allowed for all eras of basketball. There was a specific S-curve revolution based on height in basketball. Hence, while I firmly believe that Holman was an outstanding 5'11" athlete, I don't really think he could play in the NBA today, and the same is true for almost everyone from that time period.

Mikan is the man representing the steep part of the the S-curve slope more than anyone else, and what that means to me is that he would be able to play in future eras, but that the subsequent optimization based on height made his outlier status a quirk of being spearhead more than an outlier talent for the ages.

As I've said, Mikan's born in the '20s, and by the generation after him born in the '30s you legit have guys who are outlier for all subsequent eras. Guys born in the '50s, '70s, '90s, etc, these guys aren't a massive step up as physical talents compared Russell & Wilt. The basketball world adapted to "Height is good" basically over the span of a decade or two and then settled. Hence those from before that span are irrelevant to a list along these lines and those in the middle of that span are specifically still getting a boost for being early-adopters.

And how should we look at early-adopter status for something like this? Well, if I'm talking about dominance/significance/Hall-worthiness, I enthusiastically embrace it, but if I'm trying to ask who had the most capability at basketball, I'm trying to normalize for it.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#88 » by penbeast0 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:12 pm

My criteria are more straightforward: How dominant was each player in his era discounted by some factor indicating the strength of that era. So no, I have no problem saying Mikan isn't the athlete David Robinson is but he was a much better player in his era than Robinson was in his.

By the way, I don't think the skill set argument is as straightforward as you think. You would think just by looking at them that JaVale McGee would be a much better prospect than Jokic too . . . but clearly he isn't. Mikan's skills (not just his body) were clearly superior to his competitors, superior skills win in any era. If use a simple ratio of Mikan's skills to his competition v. DRob's skills to his competition, either Mikan ends up being a bigger, stronger, Kevin McHale with passing skills or (if you go the other way) DRob throws up ugly shots that make Mikan's look like ballet.

Or, you can just time machine Mikan which does indeed screw him up as it would any player from previous eras only much more so because the development of basketball between 1952 and 1962 was greater than it was in any other era of the NBA -- even if you are only looking at the white players of the day.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#89 » by eminence » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:16 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:.


Were there another S-curved revolution, say Curry heads the fine motor skills revolution and shooting 60% on 3's flying around screens is the new norm for perimeter players, would you be as comfortable dumping Mike off the edge based on this new knowledge, knowing that he never had anything approaching that level of physical ability?

I would also 100% disagree that Robinson would've been better in Mikan's era, it required a revolutionary with a fiery competitive drive for physical competition above all else, and Robinson wasn't anything like that, maybe he'd have been Kurland.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#90 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:27 pm

DQuinn1575 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:Mikan scores less starting in 52, but was still second in the league in scoring and his team still won the championship. His scoring went down because they changed the rules because of him- they widened the lane from 6 feet to 12 feet. So they changed the rules to punish him, and he’s still second in scoring and wins 3 championships.
Somehow they got Clyde Lovellette a center, and Mikan played less in 1954 to give him an opportunity to play as they wouldn’t have played together.
Mikan scores 4.6 less ppg at age 27 than his previous high. The same or more than Jabbar, wilt, Jordan, i only looked at those 3.


Mikan's efficiency relative to his contemporaries takes a massive fall in this season. It's still not bad relative to them, but he stops giving you that massive value add on that end of the floor like he did before.

Re: scoring went down because they changed the rules on him. And? What part of the goaltending rule and the land change should we use to argue Mikan was better than David Robinson or Patrick Ewing?

Re: scored 4.6 less PPG at age 27 like Jabbar, Wilt, Jordan. Wilt's a great analogy because clearly he needed to score less to better optimize team play. Imagine how much worse it would be for Wilt if he were actually jacking up crappy shots all the time like Mikan was?

I'm sorry, I understand that eras change and Mikan's efficiency wasn't putrid for the time, but that's because the league was new and guys by and large were bad at basketball compared to now. That should be obvious based on the fact that 6'10" guys without insane quickness don't dominate the game based on their physical presence any more.

Again, I'm 100% fine with someone putting Mikan #1 on their GOAT list if they are talking about historical significance, but there's just no way anyone looks at Mikan coming up as a prospect today and says "Wow, that's a generational talent." If you're going based on actual capability to play basketball, while I still think Mikan could be a capable player today, he's not the outlier of outliers once everyone knows to be on the look out for exceptionally large human beings.

And let me just note here: THAT guy. The outlier among outliers that would stand up physically with anyone from today, first showed up born in the 1930s. Mikan wasn't born in 1492, he was born in the 1920s - a mere decade earlier. He was in the right place, at the right time - born earlier he doesn't play basketball, born later, he's not the best big man prospect.


The goaltending rule was changed prior to 1947 and shouldn't be part of the conversation.
You play by the rules of the time. Mikan played in his time, under the rules of the time. Based on today, the rules at the time gave me an unfair advantage. If 20 years from now they abolish the 3 point shot, does that lessen the value that Steve Curry has today? If they make 25 footers 4 points, does that greaten his value? It's irrelevant how Robinson or Ewing would play with a 6 foot lane. It was never part of the rules they played by. Should Mikan have set up farther from the basket in 1950, because that would show people 70 years later how good he was? You understand the rules, play by them, and maximize them to your advantage. But the fact is they changed the rules because Mikan was so good, and now you are penalizing him for it.
Mikan was second in the league in scoring, shooting above league average field goal percentage - so that really isn't crappy shots. If you're shooting better shots than the other team, and keep winning, it's real hard to say to do otherwise.
Yes people were bad at basketball compared to now. In 1961 Dolph Schayes and Bob Cousy finished ahead of Jerry West in MVP voting. 1952-1954 Mikan was better than Schayes or Cousy. In 1952 the league shot 73.5% from the free throw line. In 1999 - 72.8%. So maybe they weren't as bad as we think. But yes, basketball wasn't played anyone near as well many year ago. Then the guidelines should have stated to start at 1956 (or whenever) because that's when players were good enough. The NBA is counting the Laker titles, and this selection process is as well. I'm counting each title the same, whether won in 1947, 1974, 2016, or 2020.
Ewing was maybe 7th best player over a 10 year span - 1988-1997 (Jordan, Robinson, Barkley, Magic, Hakeem, Malone). Mikan was best player over a 10 year span - 1947-1956. You can argue that Robinson is 2nd or 3rd in a given 10 year span, and maybe that should give him the nod over Mikan; I'm not currently following an exact formula; and of course there is no right or wrong answer.
But it's hard for me to say that 7 (or more) humans born in a time period are all better than the best 1 in another. And if the guidelines say start in 1947, then I am, and not counting MIkan's play in 1946.


My point about the goaltending rule was about hammering home that it doesn't make sense to evaluate a guy based on how he did on obsolete rules when we can clearly see what he did with more modern rules. You want to compare Mikan and Robinson as basketball players? It hardly makes sense to say "Well but we'd give Mikan the '40s rules that allowed him to have his best impact while forcing Robinson to play with the tougher rules".

And again:

1) I'm 100% fine with you going by "dominance-oriented" approach that doesn't normalize for era.
2) I'm 100% fine if apples-to-apples just think Mikan was a more capable basketball specimen than Robinson.

What I'm quibbling about are folks who are in general using a method more like (2) but are letting (1) pull on them sentimentally.

Re: 3-point shot. So, I actually talked a lot about this with regards to Russell early on.

The fact that Russell's game would be less impactful if people became better outside shooters matters because it means that his game is best optimized against an inferior level of competition. Doesn't mean I don't see him as amazing, I'm not saying the "penalty" is super-severe necessarily, I'm just saying, the ability for a player to scale to greater levels of competition matters, and this particular issue is something that is affecting all bigs. Like Russell only more so, Mikan's defense would not have the impact it did if he played against competent shooters.

What does this say about Curry? Well I'll fully acknowledge that in another universe it's possible Curry's not even in the NBA. Does it make sense to hold it against him? I don't really see how. The fact that a rule change allowed a particular type of basketball athlete to announce himself as an outlier capable of major impact is what it is, but given the set of skills we associate as "basketball skills" right now, 3-point shooting matters.

Re: "Then the guidelines should have stated to start at 1956 (or whenever) because that's when players were good enough." I can't emphasize enough that I'm not the one saying "You have to do things my way", I'm giving you my reasoning, and the dangers in reasoning I see with this project having participated and at times early on helped run it over the past 14 years.

There is not one "GOAT criteria", there are myriad. You choose what you want to choose, but you should understand the danger of mixing criteria under the influence of sentimentality.

I will also say though that there's a reason why Mikan's never gotten traction in the Top 5 in this project historically, and that's because people by and large have been trying to normalize for competition levels. That doesn't mean we were right to do so - the focus of what we call "the Top 100" could have been on historical significance - but it just wasn't. And I don't mind if you personally decide that's the criteria for you any way, but you should know that you're deviating from what others have traditionally done and there should be no cause for being frustrated or confused when someone points this out to you.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#91 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:31 pm

penbeast0 wrote:My criteria are more straightforward: How dominant was each player in his era discounted by some factor indicating the strength of that era. So no, I have no problem saying Mikan isn't the athlete David Robinson is but he was a much better player in his era than Robinson was in his.

By the way, I don't think the skill set argument is as straightforward as you think. You would think just by looking at them that JaVale McGee would be a much better prospect than Jokic too . . . but clearly he isn't. Mikan's skills (not just his body) were clearly superior to his competitors, superior skills win in any era. If use a simple ratio of Mikan's skills to his competition v. DRob's skills to his competition, either Mikan ends up being a bigger, stronger, Kevin McHale with passing skills or (if you go the other way) DRob throws up ugly shots that make Mikan's look like ballet.

Or, you can just time machine Mikan which does indeed screw him up as it would any player from previous eras only much more so because the development of basketball between 1952 and 1962 was greater than it was in any other era of the NBA -- even if you are only looking at the white players of the day.


I don't think your criteria is all that straightforward beast, and that's not meant as a criticism. The devil is always in how you try to discount for strength of era. What I'm talking about relating to spacing differences that come with improved league shooting skill is part of that leviathan.

Re: not as straight forward, Jokic. Well certainly, and if you think because of Jokic-like reasoning that MIkan would be better than Robinson, that's fine. I think most people don't actually think this though.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#92 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:41 pm

eminence wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:.


Were there another S-curved revolution, say Curry heads the fine motor skills revolution and shooting 60% on 3's flying around screens is the new norm for perimeter players, would you be as comfortable dumping Mike off the edge based on this new knowledge, knowing that he never had anything approaching that level of physical ability?

I would also 100% disagree that Robinson would've been better in Mikan's era, it required a revolutionary with a fiery competitive drive for physical competition above all else, and Robinson wasn't anything like that, maybe he'd have been Kurland.


I absolutely see another S-curve pertaining to the 3 yes, and quite frankly if I didn't see that, I wouldn't have voted for LeBron over Mike. I think the way that LeBron navigated the massive shift of the league is incredible and I've long said that Jordan was far more of a one-note player who never really showed the ability to change his game to the same degree.

Can I imagine a scenario where Jordan cease to be an incredible NBA player though? Not really, but if I ever thought that, then yes, it would hurt Jordan on this particular list.

By contrast, while I talk about Mikan as arguably the most Hall-worthy player of all time, my actual #1 there is probably Jordan. Jordan was named the Athlete of the Century after all, completely re-shaped how the NBA was seen, made Nike, and somehow made boys think shoes were cool.

I think the players more likely to be affected when look back at the tail end of the 3-point revolution are the actual 3-point shooters. Right now, Curry is the outlier of outliers, but what if 2 decades from now there are 50 guys who can shoot the 3 better than he could? Then he'll likely drop a lot more on my list than Jordan who will probably still be the best Jordan-type player for the forseeable future.

It's specifically the spearheads who are most vulnerable to the aftereffects of their revolution when we ask "But who would be better at basketball?"

It's worth noting that back in the early threads we talked about GOAT physicists, and in the realm of science, the spearhead is really everything. No one cares how many decades Newton remained good at math, they care about what he did first. And this sort of list is one we can make for basketball too, it's just not the typical focus.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#93 » by trex_8063 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:35 pm

sansterre wrote:Here are some general thoughts:

Elgin Baylor: Short career, and I'm having a hard time finding advanced stats that think he was amazing. A +3.2 WOWYR is quality, but to compete for spots this high on such a short career, I'd need a lot more.

Moses Malone: Probably the highest longevity candidate at this level that we're talking. But the more I look at him the less I like him. He honestly wasn't that good a scorer, and his assist/turnover numbers are terrifyingly bad. There's almost no "he made life easier for his teammates by setting them up to score" argument at all; high usage + really low assists + really high turnovers equals some serious value bleeding. And his defense, while probably above average, was certainly not a serious strength. We're pretty much down to most of his value coming from rebounding (specifically offensive rebounding) and while he may have been the best ever at it . . . I really can't see him competing with everyone else here.

Steph Curry: His peak seasons are as good as anyone's remaining. Maybe better. But his career has been short (comparatively) *and* he's missed some time with injuries *and* he's missed some games in the playoffs with injuries. I really like Curry, but to vote for him you have to be weighting on almost pure peak, and I'm not there.

Steve Nash: Had a nicely long career. Crazy WOWYR numbers. That said, he was crazy ball-dominant for his value. And he wasn't reaaaaaally good until Phoenix. I really like him, probably more than anyone above, but his peak, while insane, was fairly narrow.

Dwyane Wade: Not super-long career (injuries) and WOWYR doesn't love him (playing with LeBron/Shaq may have something to do with that). Super ball-dominant, not great at scaling. But he was a serious beast in the playoffs. I could easily put Nash ahead of him here.

Julius Erving: Tons of longevity . . . but some of the years are ABA, and a lot of advanced stats don't care for him much. AuPM is lower on him than anyone on this list (WOWYR likes him okay), and the BackPicks BPM thinks his playoff runs were fine but not dominant. There are simply a ton of warning signs on him that are pretty scary.

Kevin Durant: Very little longevity; he missed a full year, a playoffs and a championship round; that definitely takes the wind out of your sails. But WOWYR and AuPM both really like him, and (predictably) both BPMs think very highly of his playoff performances (yes he was worse most years in OKC, but worse can still be damned good).

Scottie Pippen: Pippen had a middle-ish number of expected playoffs. But he was extraordinarily good in them. His defense was excellent, he was a very effective creator and a capable (but not great) scorer. The guy put up nine straight +5 or better playoffs by BackPicks BPM (three at +7 or higher). He scaled pretty well (given that he was such a good defender and rebounder). Honestly, given his insane playoff BPMs, he deserves serious consideration here. But AuPM and WOWYR both seem him short of that level. And you have to admit, Pippen was put in a really good position to succeed with some strong rosters. So even if some numbers say he was that good . . . I'm cautious.

David Robinson: Short career (though notably longer than Durant and Curry in terms of Playoffs). I've seen zero evidence that his outstanding defense was any worse in the playoffs, he was a solid passer, monster rebounder and a decent (though not great) scorer in the playoffs. His WOWYR and AuPM are both stratospheric, but those are mostly regular season measures; if he carried his RS value to the PS, he'd have been voted in a while ago. BackPicks BPM has him around +5 for all of his runs which is really good. And unlike Pippen, Robinson was definitely never set up for success by his teammates (until '98).

Charles Barkley: Sir Charles had a lot of estimated playoff reps, and played them at a high level. AuPM doesn't love him, but WOWYR has him higher than almost any of these names (and Barkley jumped teams a lot, so that's a reasonable predictor). Barkley may not have been above average on defense (besides rebounding), but on offense he was basically a better version of Moses Malone. Not quite as good on the boards, but wildly more efficient, and an increasingly decent passer as he got older (I don't know that he ever got *good* but it went from a small minus to some added value). And, worth noting, he got better in the playoffs. He's definitely not the best in the playoffs, but his peak was consistently north of +5 and combine that with a lot of playoff-worthy seasons and the numbers have him higher than I expected.

Chris Paul: What the heck. This guy. By the box scores he should be #1 by a lot. He has *seven* playoffs with BackPicks BPMs above +6.8. That's nuts! And AuPM loves him, seeing him comparable to Robinson or Curry (the two best of these players). And yet . . . WOWYR is kind of meh about him. And somehow his teams never seemed to need him quite much as you'd guess. And they never seemed to hurt as much as you'd think when he left, nor jump quite as much when he joined. So many of his advanced stats scream that he's the best playoff performer of this field (for those with this many playoff reps) . . . I just don't know how much I buy that. I really need to look more into him, because there are a lot of conflicting stories here.

Votes:

1. Charles Barkley
2. David Robinson
3. Chris Paul



I like the discussion, and I'm not criticizing your specific picks, but....I'm noting you're hippity-hopping from player to player: last thread Julius Erving was your top pick. Now, even though he's still on the table, he doesn't even rank as one of your top 3 options. What changed?
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#94 » by sansterre » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:09 pm

trex_8063 wrote:
sansterre wrote:Here are some general thoughts:

Elgin Baylor: Short career, and I'm having a hard time finding advanced stats that think he was amazing. A +3.2 WOWYR is quality, but to compete for spots this high on such a short career, I'd need a lot more.

Moses Malone: Probably the highest longevity candidate at this level that we're talking. But the more I look at him the less I like him. He honestly wasn't that good a scorer, and his assist/turnover numbers are terrifyingly bad. There's almost no "he made life easier for his teammates by setting them up to score" argument at all; high usage + really low assists + really high turnovers equals some serious value bleeding. And his defense, while probably above average, was certainly not a serious strength. We're pretty much down to most of his value coming from rebounding (specifically offensive rebounding) and while he may have been the best ever at it . . . I really can't see him competing with everyone else here.

Steph Curry: His peak seasons are as good as anyone's remaining. Maybe better. But his career has been short (comparatively) *and* he's missed some time with injuries *and* he's missed some games in the playoffs with injuries. I really like Curry, but to vote for him you have to be weighting on almost pure peak, and I'm not there.

Steve Nash: Had a nicely long career. Crazy WOWYR numbers. That said, he was crazy ball-dominant for his value. And he wasn't reaaaaaally good until Phoenix. I really like him, probably more than anyone above, but his peak, while insane, was fairly narrow.

Dwyane Wade: Not super-long career (injuries) and WOWYR doesn't love him (playing with LeBron/Shaq may have something to do with that). Super ball-dominant, not great at scaling. But he was a serious beast in the playoffs. I could easily put Nash ahead of him here.

Julius Erving: Tons of longevity . . . but some of the years are ABA, and a lot of advanced stats don't care for him much. AuPM is lower on him than anyone on this list (WOWYR likes him okay), and the BackPicks BPM thinks his playoff runs were fine but not dominant. There are simply a ton of warning signs on him that are pretty scary.

Kevin Durant: Very little longevity; he missed a full year, a playoffs and a championship round; that definitely takes the wind out of your sails. But WOWYR and AuPM both really like him, and (predictably) both BPMs think very highly of his playoff performances (yes he was worse most years in OKC, but worse can still be damned good).

Scottie Pippen: Pippen had a middle-ish number of expected playoffs. But he was extraordinarily good in them. His defense was excellent, he was a very effective creator and a capable (but not great) scorer. The guy put up nine straight +5 or better playoffs by BackPicks BPM (three at +7 or higher). He scaled pretty well (given that he was such a good defender and rebounder). Honestly, given his insane playoff BPMs, he deserves serious consideration here. But AuPM and WOWYR both seem him short of that level. And you have to admit, Pippen was put in a really good position to succeed with some strong rosters. So even if some numbers say he was that good . . . I'm cautious.

David Robinson: Short career (though notably longer than Durant and Curry in terms of Playoffs). I've seen zero evidence that his outstanding defense was any worse in the playoffs, he was a solid passer, monster rebounder and a decent (though not great) scorer in the playoffs. His WOWYR and AuPM are both stratospheric, but those are mostly regular season measures; if he carried his RS value to the PS, he'd have been voted in a while ago. BackPicks BPM has him around +5 for all of his runs which is really good. And unlike Pippen, Robinson was definitely never set up for success by his teammates (until '98).

Charles Barkley: Sir Charles had a lot of estimated playoff reps, and played them at a high level. AuPM doesn't love him, but WOWYR has him higher than almost any of these names (and Barkley jumped teams a lot, so that's a reasonable predictor). Barkley may not have been above average on defense (besides rebounding), but on offense he was basically a better version of Moses Malone. Not quite as good on the boards, but wildly more efficient, and an increasingly decent passer as he got older (I don't know that he ever got *good* but it went from a small minus to some added value). And, worth noting, he got better in the playoffs. He's definitely not the best in the playoffs, but his peak was consistently north of +5 and combine that with a lot of playoff-worthy seasons and the numbers have him higher than I expected.

Chris Paul: What the heck. This guy. By the box scores he should be #1 by a lot. He has *seven* playoffs with BackPicks BPMs above +6.8. That's nuts! And AuPM loves him, seeing him comparable to Robinson or Curry (the two best of these players). And yet . . . WOWYR is kind of meh about him. And somehow his teams never seemed to need him quite much as you'd guess. And they never seemed to hurt as much as you'd think when he left, nor jump quite as much when he joined. So many of his advanced stats scream that he's the best playoff performer of this field (for those with this many playoff reps) . . . I just don't know how much I buy that. I really need to look more into him, because there are a lot of conflicting stories here.

Votes:

1. Charles Barkley
2. David Robinson
3. Chris Paul



I like the discussion, and I'm not criticizing your specific picks, but....I'm noting you're hippity-hopping from player to player: last thread Julius Erving was your top pick. Now, even though he's still on the table, he doesn't even rank as one of your top 3 options. What changed?


Honestly? I've never had a systematic methodology for ranking players, and I keep having new ideas about how to go about the process. So there's a lot of volatility right now, because I frequently change my process. This time the reason Erving dropped was as follows: 1) I got access to his AuPM numbers, which suck, 2) I got his backpicks playoff BPM, which was underwhelming and 3) I ran the numbers on Pippen, Wade, Curry, Paul and Barkley.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#95 » by sansterre » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:09 pm

So. You know how I said I wanted to deep-dive Chris Paul?

So, something I use in my historical team writeups is the “Heliocentrism” score, which is basically what percentage of a team’s VORP a player contributes. I’ve only calculated these for my Top 100 teams, but they fall in a range (obviously). The highest that any player on that list has recorded is ‘93 Jordan (58%), and the lowest that any team’s best player has is the 2012 Spurs (15.3%). It’s basically a measure of how much a team’s best player was carrying their teammates. I’m coming at this with an intention to find out exactly how much Chris Paul was carrying his teammates (especially since I can compare this to other players from my list). Obviously this is limited by the value of the VORP stat, but it’s better than nothing.

‘06 Hornets: 75% (-2.51 SRS)
‘07 Hornets: 43% (-1.19 SRS)

These two years Paul was carrying a huge weight, but the team was fairly bad so he doesn’t get much credit.

‘08 Hornets: 55% (+5.46 SRS)

This is a really impressive result. The best comp I have from my list (55% Helio and +5.5 SRS) is 2012 LeBron James.

‘09 Hornets: 83% (+1.41 SRS)

83% of their VORP are you kidding me? And that’s for an above average team!

‘10 Hornets: 48% (out for half the year, -2.27)

In 2010 Chris Paul misses half the year . . . and he still puts up half the team’s VORP.

‘11 Hornets: 58% (+1.28 SRS)
‘12 Clippers: 56% (+2.82 SRS)

Now Paul is more than half of his team’s VORP, and it’s a decent team. Best comp: 2017 LeBron.

‘13 Clippers: 35% (+6.43 SRS)

In 2013 Paul is still the best player on the team, but it’s really good now. Best comp? 1985 Magic.

‘14 Clippers: 31% (+7.27 SRS) - 2009 Kobe

Now he’s a slightly lower percentage of his team’s VORP but the team is even better. Best Comp: 2009 Kobe.

‘15 Clippers: 40% (+6.80 SRS) - 2012 Durant
‘16 Clippers: 41% (+4.13 SRS) - 2015 LeBron
‘17 Clippers: 34% (+4.42 SRS) - 2011 Dirk

So, I understand that VORP is an imperfect stat, but those are some really nice players to be compared to, right? Also, VORP seems pretty sure that those teammates on the Hornets were garbage. And I can’t really disagree. West was a league average scoring decent defensive big. Tyson Chandler was a high-defense dunker whose turnover/assist numbers were legitimately terrifying. Given that he’s not an ideally suited floor-raiser, that he took them as far as he did was pretty impressive. So given those list of comps . . . is it possible that we’re seriously under-valuing Chris Paul?

What about the postseason?

His average regular season offenses were +4.02. His average playoff offense was +3.97 (adjusted for opponent). So on one hand you can argue that he didn’t raise his offenses in the playoffs, like LeBron and Magic could do. Counterpoint, that’s why they’re in the top 10 and Paul’s still being talked about here. So what’s the conclusion, “Chris Paul’s offenses struggle against better defenses”? Actually, the opposite is true.

Here are his playoff offenses sorted by defensive quality, from worst to best:

2009: Opposing Defense -1.5, Chris Paul’s Offense -13.1
2012: Opposing Defense -2.2, Chris Paul’s Offense -1.1
2015: Opposing Defense -2.9, Chris Paul’s Offense +5.7
2011: Opposing Defense -3.0, Chris Paul’s Offense +0.4
2017: Opposing Defense -3.5, Chris Paul’s Offense +3.5
2014: Opposing Defense -3.5, Chris Paul’s Offense +10.1
2008: Opposing Defense -3.9, Chris Paul’s Offense +7.9
2013: Opposing Defense -5.6, Chris Paul’s Offense +7.2

So against the best defenses he actually does amazingly. It’s against weak defenses that he struggles. What the hell is that? And if you take out that super-weird outlier in 2009, his regular season offenses average +4.28, and his playoff offenses average +5.19. I’ll be honest, this doesn’t scream that Paul is Big Boss Hoss in the playoffs, but neither does it say that he’s a choker. These look like very solid numbers to me.

“But wait,” you may say, “If his offenses are actually equally good (or better) in the playoffs, and some of his teams have been quite good (six 4+ teams), why has he struggled so much in the postseason?” So you know how I said that his offenses have been fine? In the playoffs his defenses get *way* worse. His playoff defenses average getting 2.75 points per possession worse. And here’s the thing: I have a hard time blaming Chris Paul for that. He may be small, and his size may be more of a liability in the postseason when other teams can target him . . . but a 2.75 point swing from point guard defense is almost impossible to believe. I’m much more inclined to believe that it was a teammate problem than his problem (though he may well have had something to do with it).

Also, his best teams were in the 2012-2017 range, where the Spurs/Warriors/Thunder were destroying everyone.

I’ll be honest. The more I look at this the more I think that Paul was historically great, lifting weak teammates to decency, and lifting decent teams to competition. And in the regular season he did this about as well as a lot of really big names. And in the playoffs, while he lacked that extra gear that the greatest have, he certainly didn’t choke either. In fact, the toughest defenses brought out his best. And his lack of playoff success is at the intersection of 1) teammates too weak to be lifted to the championship level, 2) lacking the extra gear that all-time greats have and 3) his defenses struggling in the playoffs, for which he certainly cannot be blamed (mostly).

Is it possible that all of this “He just didn’t make his teammates better” talk is actually code for “His teammates weren’t good enough”? Yes. Is it a red flag that WOWYR, which loves Magic and Nash, doesn’t love Chris Paul? Also yes. Still.

With that in mind, I’m changing my votes:

1.Chris Paul
2.Charles Barkley
3.David Robinson
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#96 » by Odinn21 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:30 pm

sansterre wrote:1.Chris Paul
2.Charles Barkley
3.David Robinson

I very much like that you're putting an immense effort to your process and you're very keen to improve your understanding. Talking for myself, I don't like you changing your ballot so often. Chris Paul and Charles Barkley are likely to become ghost votes looking at the current tally, so you're still basically voting for Robinson but you changing your vote could easily end up in changing the outcome and it doesn't look like you're sure / certain of your placements. I don't think it is nice.
I don't know what our commissioner would say. This is just how I feel. Surely, I would like to see your input in the discussions. Just, personally, not comfortable with your votes.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#97 » by Dr Positivity » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:51 pm

To me CP's personality is a real issue. CP and Blake obviously didn't like each other and it played out on the court as despite being a perfect fit in style of play, and both being great passers for their position, I didn't think their chemistry ever really got there as much as a combination like Kobe and Pau. They reminded me of Tmac and Yao who often overperformed with one or the other but together was less than the sum of their parts. He goes to Houston and it's successful but falls apart mentally by the 2nd year, and Paul and Harden not getting along likely cost them a golden opportunity to win the title as otherwise they'd have been in great shape simply by waiting out the Warriors.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#98 » by eminence » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:24 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
eminence wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:.


Were there another S-curved revolution, say Curry heads the fine motor skills revolution and shooting 60% on 3's flying around screens is the new norm for perimeter players, would you be as comfortable dumping Mike off the edge based on this new knowledge, knowing that he never had anything approaching that level of physical ability?

I would also 100% disagree that Robinson would've been better in Mikan's era, it required a revolutionary with a fiery competitive drive for physical competition above all else, and Robinson wasn't anything like that, maybe he'd have been Kurland.


I absolutely see another S-curve pertaining to the 3 yes, and quite frankly if I didn't see that, I wouldn't have voted for LeBron over Mike. I think the way that LeBron navigated the massive shift of the league is incredible and I've long said that Jordan was far more of a one-note player who never really showed the ability to change his game to the same degree.

Can I imagine a scenario where Jordan cease to be an incredible NBA player though? Not really, but if I ever thought that, then yes, it would hurt Jordan on this particular list.

By contrast, while I talk about Mikan as arguably the most Hall-worthy player of all time, my actual #1 there is probably Jordan. Jordan was named the Athlete of the Century after all, completely re-shaped how the NBA was seen, made Nike, and somehow made boys think shoes were cool.

I think the players more likely to be affected when look back at the tail end of the 3-point revolution are the actual 3-point shooters. Right now, Curry is the outlier of outliers, but what if 2 decades from now there are 50 guys who can shoot the 3 better than he could? Then he'll likely drop a lot more on my list than Jordan who will probably still be the best Jordan-type player for the forseeable future.

It's specifically the spearheads who are most vulnerable to the aftereffects of their revolution when we ask "But who would be better at basketball?"

It's worth noting that back in the early threads we talked about GOAT physicists, and in the realm of science, the spearhead is really everything. No one cares how many decades Newton remained good at math, they care about what he did first. And this sort of list is one we can make for basketball too, it's just not the typical focus.


That feels pretty half-hearted, 'I would, but that's virtually impossible'

And to be clear, MJ isn't Mikan in this analogy, he's Nat Holman (probably more accurately he'd be Lapchick/Edwards). Curry is Mikan.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#99 » by trex_8063 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:25 pm

Thru post #97:

David Robinson - 5 (Baski, Doctor MJ, Magic Is Magic, Matt15, trex_8063)
George Mikan - 4 (DQuinn1575, eminence, Hornet Mania, penbeast0)
Chris Paul - 3 (LA Bird, sansterre, Whopper_Sr)
Moses Malone - 2 (Hal14, Odinn21)
Julius Erving - 2 (Dr Positivity, Joao Saraiva)
Kevin Durant - 1 (Dutchball97)
Steve Nash - 1 (Jordan Syndrome)


OK, we have 18 counted votes this round [not bad at all for the #17 thread; and I really enjoyed the debate pertaining to Mikan]. Anyway, someone needs 10 for majority, so we'll start by eliminating Durant and Nash; one vote transfers to Erving, one to Robinson....

Robinson - 6
Mikan - 4
Paul - 3
Erving - 3
Moses - 2

So Moses is next up; he's eliminated, transferring one vote to Mikan, one to Erving......

Robinson - 6
Mikan - 5
Erving - 4
Paul - 3

CP3 is next on the chopping block; that transfers two votes to Robinson, and one is "ghosted"......

Robinson - 8
Mikan - 5
Erving - 4

So I now have to eliminate Erving; that transfers one more to Robinson, and ghosts THREE....

Robinson - 9
Mikan - 5

I still don't have a majority from the original 18 votes. So I'm going to call upon the four "ghosted" votes to state your preference between David Robinson and George Mikan (if even ONE of them picks Robinson, this spot will go to him).

"Ghost votes" (Dutchball97, Hal14, Joao Saraiva, Whopper_Sr), please tell me who you'd take between these two finalists ASAP.....


Spoiler:
Ainosterhaspie wrote:.

Ambrose wrote:.

Baski wrote:.

bidofo wrote:.

Blackmill wrote:.

Cavsfansince84 wrote:.

Clyde Frazier wrote:.

Doctor MJ wrote:.

DQuinn1575 wrote:.

Dr Positivity wrote:.

drza wrote:.

Dutchball97 wrote:.

Eddy_JukeZ wrote:.

eminence wrote:.

Franco wrote:.

freethedevil wrote:.

Gregoire wrote:.

Hal14 wrote:.

HeartBreakKid wrote:.

Hornet Mania wrote:.

Jaivl wrote:.

Joao Saraiva wrote:.

Jordan Syndrome wrote:.

LA Bird wrote:.

lebron3-14-3 wrote:.

limbo wrote:.

Magic Is Magic wrote:.

Matzer wrote:.

Moonbeam wrote:.

Odinn21 wrote:.

Owly wrote:.

O_6 wrote:.

PaulieWal wrote:.

penbeast0 wrote:.

PistolPeteJR wrote:.

RSCD3_ wrote:.

[quote=”sansterre”].[/quote]
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:.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #17 

Post#100 » by Jordan Syndrome » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:30 pm

Odinn21 wrote:
sansterre wrote:1.Chris Paul
2.Charles Barkley
3.David Robinson

I very much like that you're putting an immense effort to your process and you're very keen to improve your understanding. Talking for myself, I don't like you changing your ballot so often. Chris Paul and Charles Barkley are likely to become ghost votes looking at the current tally, so you're still basically voting for Robinson but you changing your vote could easily end up in changing the outcome and it doesn't look like you're sure / certain of your placements. I don't think it is nice.
I don't know what our commissioner would say. This is just how I feel. Surely, I would like to see your input in the discussions. Just, personally, not comfortable with your votes.


The only issue I have with this is he does a "deep dive" on one player yet ignores the others.

Take 1994 David Robinson for example, he had 69.5% of his teams VORP on a +5.05 SRS team. That ratio crushes anything on CP3 in his career, yet CP3 is the only player he did the "focus" on.

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