Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson

Moderators: Clyde Frazier, trex_8063, Doctor MJ, penbeast0, PaulieWal, Quotatious

Offense Only

Lebron James
47
59%
Magic Johnson
32
41%
 
Total votes: 79

freethedevil
Head Coach
Posts: 7,262
And1: 3,207
Joined: Dec 09, 2018
         

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#61 » by freethedevil » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:35 am

LukaTheGOAT wrote:
No-more-rings wrote:
LukaTheGOAT wrote:I would argue the Miami Heat teams were not especially well built for Lebron.


Well their postseason offenses were nothing historic anyway, so how does this help Lebron's argument? 2013 was the only year their postseason offense was ranked first, and honestly i think there's a decent chance OKC could've led a better postseason offense if Westbrook didn't get hurt after two games. I mean probably not, but i wouldn't rule it out they looked good before he went down.

LukaTheGOAT wrote:The stats come from backpicks. I'm a patreon so I can see the whole database, but if you look at this article, and go to the very end you will see what I mean https://backpicks.com/2018/04/08/backpicks-goat-2-michael-jordan/

"Shaq’s Orlando-LA years, LeBron’s Cavs-Heat seasons and Nash’s teams from the 2000s also topped Jordan’s Bulls in eight-year playoff offense."

Well let me just ask you this since you mentioned that you think relative to the competition is important here. Do you not think that Magic likely gets a bigger boost than most people if he was able to play with the space and 3 point shooting that Lebron did? That seems to help someone like him more than almost anybody considering he's probably the best passer/playmaker ever.

I know a sticking point for many will be how dominant the Cavs offense was in 2017, but that seems way more like a fluke than something we could expect year in and year out and also the defensive competition was really meh. They didn't face a top 10 defense in the East, and while the Warriors were the 2nd ranked defense in the regular season there clearly wasn't any defense played in that series with the Cavs. Lebron's teams most years were not even ranked first in ORTG in the playoffs, i don't see why that should be the crux of his argument over Magic, although like i said for a single season for two he's maybe better but over 10-12 years it gets harder to see that for me. Lebron has a lot of years in the mix where his offense underwhelmed like 2011, 2015, and well prior to 2009 he wasn't in Magic's galaxy as an offensive player so i won't even talk about those years.


I mean as I already said, PS sample sizes can be small and therefore you might want to be careful what you draw from it. That's why I did 8-yr PS offense to show you that Lebron over a large sample size is impressive, but then you disputed that by saying the era he plays in mean's it is not an apples to apples comparison.

You argue the 2017 Cavs were a fluke but the 2016 Cavs had a top 10 offense of all-time for the PS (and yes they went up against good defensive teams during this stint).

According Backpicks, the 2015-17 Cavs have the 3rd best unique offensive PS stretch for relative offensive rating, and keep in mind Lebron did not have a healthy Kyrie or KLove for much of the 2015 PS. That is factual evidence. If that is just "noise," to you, well then i did the 8 yr stretch of PS offense where Lebron beats Magic.

And we are talking dominance relative to era (or that's how I interpreted the question). I wasn't trying to do a whole time machine discussion of how Magic would do in today's game because this is hypothetical.

You can speak about the years Lebron underwhelmed but in general I just think he has better longevity, so that helps to make up for disappointments. Offensive metrics like PIPM, Backpicks BPM, etc. think he peaked higher than Magic on offense, so there also the fact that impact metrics seem to favor Lebron (if that matters to you).

Btw, the Lakers didn't exactly face stout defensive competition for all of their runs, but we still recognize how good their offense is.

I'm sorry about the rant but let me end on this; what is the evidence that I should believe Magic was more impactful on offense than Lebron? I'm not saying he doesn't have an argument, but after doing extensive research, Lebron looks better.

I do love the notion that magic was somehow held back by playing against much lesser talent and where he had top tier spacing relative to everyone else.

If lebron is better realtive to era, he's better, period.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 15,916
And1: 11,544
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#62 » by 70sFan » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:16 am

eminence wrote:
70sFan wrote:
nolang1 wrote:
Be more disciplined about getting back on defense than teams in the 80s were, cut off easy passes to teammates, play him straight up with a big, athletic wing defender (or better yet, multiple ones), and make it so he has to score 40 to beat you. This is more or less what teams do against players like LeBron, Harden, or Luka who are even better scorers and worse passers, and against the non-LeBron players you can also make them work more defensively (easier to do in the modern era where players have to cover much more ground and less halfcourt offense is a static post-up or iso where 8 players catch a breather as they watch the other 2 go 1-on-1) to wear them down.

I mean, that's what a lot of teams tried to do against Magic in the early 1990s and I wouldn't say that it ever worked.


I'd argue Scottie and the Bulls successfully did it.

Scottie rarely defended Magic in 1991 finals and Johnson had no help with injured Worthy and Scott. Magic still created more opportunities than Jordan in these finals and scored effectively.

If that's what you call stopping player, then James was stopped plenty of times in his career.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 15,916
And1: 11,544
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#63 » by 70sFan » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:29 am

nolang1 wrote:No, this is not what teams tried. The level of defensive sophistication is much higher today

It's cool to say that and I agree, but what kind of sophistication would limit Magic? Do you think that the best passer ever wouldn't be able to beat zones or soft doubles? Do you think that 6'8 PG with GOAT-level handles and post game wouldn't be able to beat switching defense?

If so, you clearly overestimate modern defense.

, as is the supply of 6'7+ versatile defenders.

Magic didn't play in the 1950s, he faced a lot of 6'7+ versatile defenders.

Even so, that's a very strange attempt at an argument given the Lakers lost to a lower seed in the 1990 conference semis

Yeah, with Magic averaging 30/6/12 on 62 TS% and leading Lakers to 112 ORtg. This series doesn't prove that you can stop Magic.

and in the 1991 Finals there wasn't any concerted effort to make Magic into a scorer, the Bulls just switched Pippen onto him after game 1 and limited him all around (14.7 points and 9.8 assists per 36 for the series - not exactly unstoppable offensive numbers).

You know that Pippen switching onto Magic after game 1 is a myth right? He guarded him for majority of game 2 and then Bulls switched to MJ guarding him again.

Have you watched 1991 finals? Have you seen Magic in game 5? He dished out 20 assists without his two best teammates. 1991 Lakers team was way worse than Bulls team and they dealt with a lot of injuries. Magic created way more opportunities for his teammates than Jordan despite comparable assists numbers and he only had one bad game in that series. Lakers were outmatched, but again this series doesn't show how to limit Magic who was still the best offensve player on the court.

Everybody has better or worse series, but the idea that athletic 6'7 defender and soft zones is enough to limit Magic is naive.
User avatar
eminence
General Manager
Posts: 8,659
And1: 5,311
Joined: Mar 07, 2015
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#64 » by eminence » Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:58 pm

70sFan wrote:
eminence wrote:
70sFan wrote:I mean, that's what a lot of teams tried to do against Magic in the early 1990s and I wouldn't say that it ever worked.


I'd argue Scottie and the Bulls successfully did it.

Scottie rarely defended Magic in 1991 finals and Johnson had no help with injured Worthy and Scott. Magic still created more opportunities than Jordan in these finals and scored effectively.

If that's what you call stopping player, then James was stopped plenty of times in his career.


Scottie played plenty on Magic (oh no, the other guy was MJ, another pretty decent example of an athletic wing). Worthy and Scott didn't go down until the series was all but over late in the 3rd quarter of game 4. He scored efficiently, he didn't score effectively, the Lakers needed a lot more volume and Magic didn't have it.

And yes, LeBron has also been meaningfully slowed plenty of times in his career.
'17-'18 APBR Win Projections Champion (1st of 20)
'18-'19 5th of 18
'19-'20 2nd of 17
freethedevil
Head Coach
Posts: 7,262
And1: 3,207
Joined: Dec 09, 2018
         

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#65 » by freethedevil » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:39 pm

eminence wrote:
70sFan wrote:
eminence wrote:
I'd argue Scottie and the Bulls successfully did it.

Scottie rarely defended Magic in 1991 finals and Johnson had no help with injured Worthy and Scott. Magic still created more opportunities than Jordan in these finals and scored effectively.

If that's what you call stopping player, then James was stopped plenty of times in his career.


Scottie played plenty on Magic (oh no, the other guy was MJ, another pretty decent example of an athletic wing). Worthy and Scott didn't go down until the series was all but over late in the 3rd quarter of game 4. He scored efficiently, he didn't score effectively, the Lakers needed a lot more volume and Magic didn't have it.

And yes, LeBron has also been meaningfully slowed plenty of times in his career.

Tbf, players who play longer tend to get slowed down more. For this comparison to be meaningful.. I'd take lebrons 11 best playoff runs and see how they stack up pffensively bs magic's
freethedevil
Head Coach
Posts: 7,262
And1: 3,207
Joined: Dec 09, 2018
         

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#66 » by freethedevil » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:42 pm

70sFan wrote:
nolang1 wrote:No, this is not what teams tried. The level of defensive sophistication is much higher today

It's cool to say that and I agree, but what kind of sophistication would limit Magic? Do you think that the best passer ever wouldn't be able to beat zones or soft doubles? Do you think that 6'8 PG with GOAT-level handles and post game wouldn't be able to beat switching defense?

If so, you clearly overestimate modern defense.

, as is the supply of 6'7+ versatile defenders.

Magic didn't play in the 1950s, he faced a lot of 6'7+ versatile defenders.

Even so, that's a very strange attempt at an argument given the Lakers lost to a lower seed in the 1990 conference semis

Yeah, with Magic averaging 30/6/12 on 62 TS% and leading Lakers to 112 ORtg. This series doesn't prove that you can stop Magic.

and in the 1991 Finals there wasn't any concerted effort to make Magic into a scorer, the Bulls just switched Pippen onto him after game 1 and limited him all around (14.7 points and 9.8 assists per 36 for the series - not exactly unstoppable offensive numbers).

You know that Pippen switching onto Magic after game 1 is a myth right? He guarded him for majority of game 2 and then Bulls switched to MJ guarding him again.

Have you watched 1991 finals? Have you seen Magic in game 5? He dished out 20 assists without his two best teammates. 1991 Lakers team was way worse than Bulls team and they dealt with a lot of injuries. Magic created way more opportunities for his teammates than Jordan despite comparable assists numbers and he only had one bad game in that series. Lakers were outmatched, but again this series doesn't show how to limit Magic who was still the best offensve player on the court.

Everybody has better or worse series, but the idea that athletic 6'7 defender and soft zones is enough to limit Magic is naive.

1. Why are you cherrupicking a game and
2. You do realize magic isn't the only superstar in history to play while horrifically outmatched?
G35
RealGM
Posts: 20,295
And1: 5,821
Joined: Dec 10, 2005
     

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#67 » by G35 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:01 pm

KTM_2813 wrote:
G35 wrote:If I want an offense that has a varied attack and makes the best use of the talent available it is Magic and it is not close.

If I want to base my offense around one player and have that player carry the team then it would be Lebron and it is not close.......


Eh... Considering that LeBron has captained two top-ten playoff offenses of all-time, has excelled in a variety of offensive styles (the 2013 Heat played very differently from the 2017 Cavs who played very differently from the 2020 Lakers), and played a huge role in both Davis and Kyrie having the most valuable years of their careers, I feel as though it's kind of hard to argue that LeBron does not make the best use of talent. Does he force players into very specific roles? Sure. Do his teams generally achieve their full potential on offense? Seems like it.



Disagree completely.

Based on the following posts:

Jordan Syndrome wrote:
Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have skill-sets far less portable than an ideal 2nd option when looking at the landscape of the NBA over the past 40 years.


KTM_2813 wrote:
I actually really liked Kyrie as an offensive second option, but the other three guys had some important limitations. Wade couldn't shoot whatsoever. Bosh only started shooting threes towards the tail end of year two, so he provided mediocre spacing early on, and was never a great passer. Love was a good floor spacer and passer, but was completely immobile, and IIRC, his post efficiency went down the drain almost immediately after joining the Cavs. I always wondered how much better the Cavs could have been if they acquired someone a little more versatile than Love on offense, who could actually (outside the scope of this conversation) play defense, like a Millsap or someone like that.



LukaTheGOAT wrote:
I would argue the Miami Heat teams were not especially well built for Lebron.

The stats come from backpicks. I'm a patreon so I can see the whole database, but if you look at this article, and go to the very end you will see what I mean https://backpicks.com/2018/04/08/backpicks-goat-2-michael-jordan/

"Shaq’s Orlando-LA years, LeBron’s Cavs-Heat seasons and Nash’s teams from the 2000s also topped Jordan’s Bulls in eight-year playoff offense."


HeartBreakKid wrote:How does Wade and Bosh compliment James strengths?


freethedevil wrote:Uh, no?

The 06 cvas were not built around his strengths. The 09 cavs theroetically were buitl arond his strengths but that dissappeared when they started shooting 30% from 3 in the playoffs. Ditto for the 10 cavs. The 11 heat were most definitely not built around lebron's strengths offensively, claiming that was true for the 15 cavs, especially when they ahd lost love and kyrie, would be beyond asinine, and while the 20 lakers had ad, they also had mediocre spacing.
Aside from the 11 heat, all these teams were able to challenge contenders/title opponents despite being the opposite of 'built well' around him or the supposed strength of the team turning into a weakness. One of these teams ended up doing as well as the 91 bulls.

Why wouldn't we give him a bonus here?



This is an echo chamber of "Lebron did not have the right talent around him" complaints.

Right there I would rather have Magic over Lebron.

Then there is a comment that Lebron won in all types of styles...okay lets dive into that.

Magic came in as a rookie where the Lakers had a very good PG in Norm Nixon. Did the Lakers take the ball out of Norm Nixon's hands and give the team to Magic? No they did not, Magic had to play off of Nixon (and cede to Kareem as well) for his first few years.

When has Lebron ever ceded anything to anyone?

We'll get back to that since it never happened.

Was Kareem the ideal offensive partner to Kareem? I mean we have to hear complaints all the time about how poor a fit Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Love are...but it is just assumed Magic and Kareem fit so well together. If you know your Laker history you will find out that is not true.

Kareem was on the back end of his career and he could not run up and down with the Showtime Lakers as much as Magic would have desired. Also, Magic did not have his ideal coach in Paul Westhead and made it clear it was him or Westhead had to go.

https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=v3JEAAAAIBAJ&sjid=e7IMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3478,3906214&dq=los-angeles-lakers+jerry+buss+riley+west&hl=en


The Lakers wanted to play one way in the RS but they knew they had to play another way in the playoffs to win. Those playoff seasons where his teams had great offenses, they got crushed by teams that had better playoff offenses......
I'm so tired of the typical......
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 15,916
And1: 11,544
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#68 » by 70sFan » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:18 pm

freethedevil wrote:
70sFan wrote:
nolang1 wrote:No, this is not what teams tried. The level of defensive sophistication is much higher today

It's cool to say that and I agree, but what kind of sophistication would limit Magic? Do you think that the best passer ever wouldn't be able to beat zones or soft doubles? Do you think that 6'8 PG with GOAT-level handles and post game wouldn't be able to beat switching defense?

If so, you clearly overestimate modern defense.

, as is the supply of 6'7+ versatile defenders.

Magic didn't play in the 1950s, he faced a lot of 6'7+ versatile defenders.

Even so, that's a very strange attempt at an argument given the Lakers lost to a lower seed in the 1990 conference semis

Yeah, with Magic averaging 30/6/12 on 62 TS% and leading Lakers to 112 ORtg. This series doesn't prove that you can stop Magic.

and in the 1991 Finals there wasn't any concerted effort to make Magic into a scorer, the Bulls just switched Pippen onto him after game 1 and limited him all around (14.7 points and 9.8 assists per 36 for the series - not exactly unstoppable offensive numbers).

You know that Pippen switching onto Magic after game 1 is a myth right? He guarded him for majority of game 2 and then Bulls switched to MJ guarding him again.

Have you watched 1991 finals? Have you seen Magic in game 5? He dished out 20 assists without his two best teammates. 1991 Lakers team was way worse than Bulls team and they dealt with a lot of injuries. Magic created way more opportunities for his teammates than Jordan despite comparable assists numbers and he only had one bad game in that series. Lakers were outmatched, but again this series doesn't show how to limit Magic who was still the best offensve player on the court.

Everybody has better or worse series, but the idea that athletic 6'7 defender and soft zones is enough to limit Magic is naive.

1. Why are you cherrupicking a game and
2. You do realize magic isn't the only superstar in history to play while horrifically outmatched?

1. I don't cherrypick anything, Magic had one weak game in the whole finals.
2. Not at all, when LeBron was outmatched his team also got dominated. That's my point basically.
User avatar
Arrow
Sophomore
Posts: 164
And1: 225
Joined: Mar 01, 2015

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#69 » by Arrow » Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:10 pm

LeBron. Bigger gap between them as scorers than as passers.
User avatar
eminence
General Manager
Posts: 8,659
And1: 5,311
Joined: Mar 07, 2015
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#70 » by eminence » Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:16 pm

freethedevil wrote:
eminence wrote:Scottie played plenty on Magic (oh no, the other guy was MJ, another pretty decent example of an athletic wing). Worthy and Scott didn't go down until the series was all but over late in the 3rd quarter of game 4. He scored efficiently, he didn't score effectively, the Lakers needed a lot more volume and Magic didn't have it.

And yes, LeBron has also been meaningfully slowed plenty of times in his career.

Tbf, players who play longer tend to get slowed down more. For this comparison to be meaningful.. I'd take lebrons 11 best playoff runs and see how they stack up pffensively bs magic's


Oh yeah, I agree, every player with any reasonable amount of longevity has had series where they were thrown off their game.

I actually very narrowly prefer Magic in this comp (I have them 1st and 3rd for offensive prime with Nash in between and those 3 as the clear top 3), but 70sfan statement that Magic can't be stopped was kinda crazy to me.
'17-'18 APBR Win Projections Champion (1st of 20)
'18-'19 5th of 18
'19-'20 2nd of 17
No-more-rings
Assistant Coach
Posts: 4,347
And1: 2,240
Joined: Oct 04, 2018

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#71 » by No-more-rings » Fri Jan 1, 2021 12:39 am

freethedevil wrote:
LukaTheGOAT wrote:
No-more-rings wrote:
Well their postseason offenses were nothing historic anyway, so how does this help Lebron's argument? 2013 was the only year their postseason offense was ranked first, and honestly i think there's a decent chance OKC could've led a better postseason offense if Westbrook didn't get hurt after two games. I mean probably not, but i wouldn't rule it out they looked good before he went down.


Well let me just ask you this since you mentioned that you think relative to the competition is important here. Do you not think that Magic likely gets a bigger boost than most people if he was able to play with the space and 3 point shooting that Lebron did? That seems to help someone like him more than almost anybody considering he's probably the best passer/playmaker ever.

I know a sticking point for many will be how dominant the Cavs offense was in 2017, but that seems way more like a fluke than something we could expect year in and year out and also the defensive competition was really meh. They didn't face a top 10 defense in the East, and while the Warriors were the 2nd ranked defense in the regular season there clearly wasn't any defense played in that series with the Cavs. Lebron's teams most years were not even ranked first in ORTG in the playoffs, i don't see why that should be the crux of his argument over Magic, although like i said for a single season for two he's maybe better but over 10-12 years it gets harder to see that for me. Lebron has a lot of years in the mix where his offense underwhelmed like 2011, 2015, and well prior to 2009 he wasn't in Magic's galaxy as an offensive player so i won't even talk about those years.


I mean as I already said, PS sample sizes can be small and therefore you might want to be careful what you draw from it. That's why I did 8-yr PS offense to show you that Lebron over a large sample size is impressive, but then you disputed that by saying the era he plays in mean's it is not an apples to apples comparison.

You argue the 2017 Cavs were a fluke but the 2016 Cavs had a top 10 offense of all-time for the PS (and yes they went up against good defensive teams during this stint).

According Backpicks, the 2015-17 Cavs have the 3rd best unique offensive PS stretch for relative offensive rating, and keep in mind Lebron did not have a healthy Kyrie or KLove for much of the 2015 PS. That is factual evidence. If that is just "noise," to you, well then i did the 8 yr stretch of PS offense where Lebron beats Magic.

And we are talking dominance relative to era (or that's how I interpreted the question). I wasn't trying to do a whole time machine discussion of how Magic would do in today's game because this is hypothetical.

You can speak about the years Lebron underwhelmed but in general I just think he has better longevity, so that helps to make up for disappointments. Offensive metrics like PIPM, Backpicks BPM, etc. think he peaked higher than Magic on offense, so there also the fact that impact metrics seem to favor Lebron (if that matters to you).

Btw, the Lakers didn't exactly face stout defensive competition for all of their runs, but we still recognize how good their offense is.

I'm sorry about the rant but let me end on this; what is the evidence that I should believe Magic was more impactful on offense than Lebron? I'm not saying he doesn't have an argument, but after doing extensive research, Lebron looks better.

I do love the notion that magic was somehow held back by playing against much lesser talent and where he had top tier spacing relative to everyone else.

If lebron is better realtive to era, he's better, period.

I’d like to respond to some of these quotes, but i’m not going to do it today. I do want to say Lebron was not better relative to era, I don’t even know how you guys are measuring that to be honest.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 15,916
And1: 11,544
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#72 » by 70sFan » Fri Jan 1, 2021 1:44 am

eminence wrote:
freethedevil wrote:
eminence wrote:Scottie played plenty on Magic (oh no, the other guy was MJ, another pretty decent example of an athletic wing). Worthy and Scott didn't go down until the series was all but over late in the 3rd quarter of game 4. He scored efficiently, he didn't score effectively, the Lakers needed a lot more volume and Magic didn't have it.

And yes, LeBron has also been meaningfully slowed plenty of times in his career.

Tbf, players who play longer tend to get slowed down more. For this comparison to be meaningful.. I'd take lebrons 11 best playoff runs and see how they stack up pffensively bs magic's


Oh yeah, I agree, every player with any reasonable amount of longevity has had series where they were thrown off their game.

I actually very narrowly prefer Magic in this comp (I have them 1st and 3rd for offensive prime with Nash in between and those 3 as the clear top 3), but 70sfan statement that Magic can't be stopped was kinda crazy to me.

Of course I didn't mean it in literal way - everybody can be stopped or contained. A lot of people say that James in 2nd Cavs career became unstoppable though, so why shouldn't I use similar words for Magic?
User avatar
MyUniBroDavis
Assistant Coach
Posts: 4,327
And1: 1,879
Joined: Jan 14, 2013
   

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#73 » by MyUniBroDavis » Fri Jan 1, 2021 2:52 am

70sFan wrote:
eminence wrote:
freethedevil wrote:Tbf, players who play longer tend to get slowed down more. For this comparison to be meaningful.. I'd take lebrons 11 best playoff runs and see how they stack up pffensively bs magic's


Oh yeah, I agree, every player with any reasonable amount of longevity has had series where they were thrown off their game.

I actually very narrowly prefer Magic in this comp (I have them 1st and 3rd for offensive prime with Nash in between and those 3 as the clear top 3), but 70sfan statement that Magic can't be stopped was kinda crazy to me.

Of course I didn't mean it in literal way - everybody can be stopped or contained. A lot of people say that James in 2nd Cavs career became unstoppable though, so why shouldn't I use similar words for Magic?



I would argue that its not about not being able to be stopped vs being able to make adjustments in that situation

Alot of it is coaching for sure, because adjustments dont really come from a guy saying "ok imma play HARDER" but a few people have noted brons iq and how consistent his team is at adjusting, his feelout games, etc etc. weve seen him stagnated when certain Ds come at him in certain ways for sure but he or his team usually figure it out and hes kind of the common denomiator, and we obv have that stats increase second half of series trend

With magic i mean i just dont know enough abt him or abt how offenses and defenses approached the game in the 80s to say he can or cant do it too

I think any player can be stopped but its abt can they or their team make rhe adjustments so this plan doesnt work anymore, given its oossible (sometimes team construction just makes it impossible obv)
Rip

Peregrine01 wrote:Honestly, I'm not sure it should be such a given that the 17 team was better than the 16 version at their peaks.


Lol if you think thats bad

ShotCreator wrote:MIKE CONLEY IS THE NBA MVP + 47 posts defending that take


Yes, he actually said that :lol:
LukaTheGOAT
Junior
Posts: 392
And1: 254
Joined: Dec 25, 2019
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#74 » by LukaTheGOAT » Fri Jan 1, 2021 3:01 am

G35 wrote:
KTM_2813 wrote:
G35 wrote:If I want an offense that has a varied attack and makes the best use of the talent available it is Magic and it is not close.

If I want to base my offense around one player and have that player carry the team then it would be Lebron and it is not close.......


Eh... Considering that LeBron has captained two top-ten playoff offenses of all-time, has excelled in a variety of offensive styles (the 2013 Heat played very differently from the 2017 Cavs who played very differently from the 2020 Lakers), and played a huge role in both Davis and Kyrie having the most valuable years of their careers, I feel as though it's kind of hard to argue that LeBron does not make the best use of talent. Does he force players into very specific roles? Sure. Do his teams generally achieve their full potential on offense? Seems like it.



Disagree completely.

Based on the following posts:

Jordan Syndrome wrote:
Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have skill-sets far less portable than an ideal 2nd option when looking at the landscape of the NBA over the past 40 years.


KTM_2813 wrote:
I actually really liked Kyrie as an offensive second option, but the other three guys had some important limitations. Wade couldn't shoot whatsoever. Bosh only started shooting threes towards the tail end of year two, so he provided mediocre spacing early on, and was never a great passer. Love was a good floor spacer and passer, but was completely immobile, and IIRC, his post efficiency went down the drain almost immediately after joining the Cavs. I always wondered how much better the Cavs could have been if they acquired someone a little more versatile than Love on offense, who could actually (outside the scope of this conversation) play defense, like a Millsap or someone like that.



LukaTheGOAT wrote:
I would argue the Miami Heat teams were not especially well built for Lebron.

The stats come from backpicks. I'm a patreon so I can see the whole database, but if you look at this article, and go to the very end you will see what I mean https://backpicks.com/2018/04/08/backpicks-goat-2-michael-jordan/

"Shaq’s Orlando-LA years, LeBron’s Cavs-Heat seasons and Nash’s teams from the 2000s also topped Jordan’s Bulls in eight-year playoff offense."


HeartBreakKid wrote:How does Wade and Bosh compliment James strengths?


freethedevil wrote:Uh, no?

The 06 cvas were not built around his strengths. The 09 cavs theroetically were buitl arond his strengths but that dissappeared when they started shooting 30% from 3 in the playoffs. Ditto for the 10 cavs. The 11 heat were most definitely not built around lebron's strengths offensively, claiming that was true for the 15 cavs, especially when they ahd lost love and kyrie, would be beyond asinine, and while the 20 lakers had ad, they also had mediocre spacing.
Aside from the 11 heat, all these teams were able to challenge contenders/title opponents despite being the opposite of 'built well' around him or the supposed strength of the team turning into a weakness. One of these teams ended up doing as well as the 91 bulls.

Why wouldn't we give him a bonus here?



This is an echo chamber of "Lebron did not have the right talent around him" complaints.

Right there I would rather have Magic over Lebron.

Then there is a comment that Lebron won in all types of styles...okay lets dive into that.

Magic came in as a rookie where the Lakers had a very good PG in Norm Nixon. Did the Lakers take the ball out of Norm Nixon's hands and give the team to Magic? No they did not, Magic had to play off of Nixon (and cede to Kareem as well) for his first few years.

When has Lebron ever ceded anything to anyone?

We'll get back to that since it never happened.

Was Kareem the ideal offensive partner to Kareem? I mean we have to hear complaints all the time about how poor a fit Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Love are...but it is just assumed Magic and Kareem fit so well together. If you know your Laker history you will find out that is not true.

Kareem was on the back end of his career and he could not run up and down with the Showtime Lakers as much as Magic would have desired. Also, Magic did not have his ideal coach in Paul Westhead and made it clear it was him or Westhead had to go.

https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=v3JEAAAAIBAJ&sjid=e7IMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3478,3906214&dq=los-angeles-lakers+jerry+buss+riley+west&hl=en


The Lakers wanted to play one way in the RS but they knew they had to play another way in the playoffs to win. Those playoff seasons where his teams had great offenses, they got crushed by teams that had better playoff offenses......


Sorry for the confusion, but I am not certain if you are responding to me. But if you are, the crux of my argument was that Lebron beats Magic in box-score and impact metrics generally, as well as citing how he he has led better offenses for peak runs and even longer peak runs (8+ years).

Once again, sorry if you weren't responding to me, but that was my main point.
LukaTheGOAT
Junior
Posts: 392
And1: 254
Joined: Dec 25, 2019
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#75 » by LukaTheGOAT » Fri Jan 1, 2021 3:03 am

No-more-rings wrote:
freethedevil wrote:
LukaTheGOAT wrote:
I mean as I already said, PS sample sizes can be small and therefore you might want to be careful what you draw from it. That's why I did 8-yr PS offense to show you that Lebron over a large sample size is impressive, but then you disputed that by saying the era he plays in mean's it is not an apples to apples comparison.

You argue the 2017 Cavs were a fluke but the 2016 Cavs had a top 10 offense of all-time for the PS (and yes they went up against good defensive teams during this stint).

According Backpicks, the 2015-17 Cavs have the 3rd best unique offensive PS stretch for relative offensive rating, and keep in mind Lebron did not have a healthy Kyrie or KLove for much of the 2015 PS. That is factual evidence. If that is just "noise," to you, well then i did the 8 yr stretch of PS offense where Lebron beats Magic.

And we are talking dominance relative to era (or that's how I interpreted the question). I wasn't trying to do a whole time machine discussion of how Magic would do in today's game because this is hypothetical.

You can speak about the years Lebron underwhelmed but in general I just think he has better longevity, so that helps to make up for disappointments. Offensive metrics like PIPM, Backpicks BPM, etc. think he peaked higher than Magic on offense, so there also the fact that impact metrics seem to favor Lebron (if that matters to you).

Btw, the Lakers didn't exactly face stout defensive competition for all of their runs, but we still recognize how good their offense is.

I'm sorry about the rant but let me end on this; what is the evidence that I should believe Magic was more impactful on offense than Lebron? I'm not saying he doesn't have an argument, but after doing extensive research, Lebron looks better.

I do love the notion that magic was somehow held back by playing against much lesser talent and where he had top tier spacing relative to everyone else.

If lebron is better realtive to era, he's better, period.

I’d like to respond to some of these quotes, but i’m not going to do it today. I do want to say Lebron was not better relative to era, I don’t even know how you guys are measuring that to be honest.


As has already been noted, the relative orffensive ratings come from being a Backpicks Patreon. I'm just taking information right from there.
Dr Positivity
RealGM
Posts: 49,796
And1: 12,143
Joined: Apr 29, 2009
       

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#76 » by Dr Positivity » Fri Jan 1, 2021 6:11 am

Lebron. I would take the stronger scoring, while still being elite level playmaker.
Woke is a religion
freethedevil
Head Coach
Posts: 7,262
And1: 3,207
Joined: Dec 09, 2018
         

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#77 » by freethedevil » Fri Jan 1, 2021 10:13 am

eminence wrote:
freethedevil wrote:
eminence wrote:Scottie played plenty on Magic (oh no, the other guy was MJ, another pretty decent example of an athletic wing). Worthy and Scott didn't go down until the series was all but over late in the 3rd quarter of game 4. He scored efficiently, he didn't score effectively, the Lakers needed a lot more volume and Magic didn't have it.

And yes, LeBron has also been meaningfully slowed plenty of times in his career.

Tbf, players who play longer tend to get slowed down more. For this comparison to be meaningful.. I'd take lebrons 11 best playoff runs and see how they stack up pffensively bs magic's


Oh yeah, I agree, every player with any reasonable amount of longevity has had series where they were thrown off their game.

I actually very narrowly prefer Magic in this comp (I have them 1st and 3rd for offensive prime with Nash in between and those 3 as the clear top 3), but 70sfan statement that Magic can't be stopped was kinda crazy to me.

Interesting. I dont have a strong opinion on magic vs lebron offensively. Would like to see how you compare them at their abasolute best(season/playoff run), best three years, best 5 years, and best 11 years.

I put alot of emphasis on the postseason but feel free to include regular season stuff.
McBubbles
Sophomore
Posts: 154
And1: 133
Joined: Jun 16, 2020

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#78 » by McBubbles » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:40 am

G35 wrote:
KTM_2813 wrote:
G35 wrote:If I want an offense that has a varied attack and makes the best use of the talent available it is Magic and it is not close.

If I want to base my offense around one player and have that player carry the team then it would be Lebron and it is not close.......


Eh... Considering that LeBron has captained two top-ten playoff offenses of all-time, has excelled in a variety of offensive styles (the 2013 Heat played very differently from the 2017 Cavs who played very differently from the 2020 Lakers), and played a huge role in both Davis and Kyrie having the most valuable years of their careers, I feel as though it's kind of hard to argue that LeBron does not make the best use of talent. Does he force players into very specific roles? Sure. Do his teams generally achieve their full potential on offense? Seems like it.



Disagree completely.

Based on the following posts:

Jordan Syndrome wrote:
Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have skill-sets far less portable than an ideal 2nd option when looking at the landscape of the NBA over the past 40 years.


KTM_2813 wrote:
I actually really liked Kyrie as an offensive second option, but the other three guys had some important limitations. Wade couldn't shoot whatsoever. Bosh only started shooting threes towards the tail end of year two, so he provided mediocre spacing early on, and was never a great passer. Love was a good floor spacer and passer, but was completely immobile, and IIRC, his post efficiency went down the drain almost immediately after joining the Cavs. I always wondered how much better the Cavs could have been if they acquired someone a little more versatile than Love on offense, who could actually (outside the scope of this conversation) play defense, like a Millsap or someone like that.



LukaTheGOAT wrote:
I would argue the Miami Heat teams were not especially well built for Lebron.

The stats come from backpicks. I'm a patreon so I can see the whole database, but if you look at this article, and go to the very end you will see what I mean https://backpicks.com/2018/04/08/backpicks-goat-2-michael-jordan/

"Shaq’s Orlando-LA years, LeBron’s Cavs-Heat seasons and Nash’s teams from the 2000s also topped Jordan’s Bulls in eight-year playoff offense."


HeartBreakKid wrote:How does Wade and Bosh compliment James strengths?


freethedevil wrote:Uh, no?

The 06 cvas were not built around his strengths. The 09 cavs theroetically were buitl arond his strengths but that dissappeared when they started shooting 30% from 3 in the playoffs. Ditto for the 10 cavs. The 11 heat were most definitely not built around lebron's strengths offensively, claiming that was true for the 15 cavs, especially when they ahd lost love and kyrie, would be beyond asinine, and while the 20 lakers had ad, they also had mediocre spacing.
Aside from the 11 heat, all these teams were able to challenge contenders/title opponents despite being the opposite of 'built well' around him or the supposed strength of the team turning into a weakness. One of these teams ended up doing as well as the 91 bulls.

Why wouldn't we give him a bonus here?



This is an echo chamber of "Lebron did not have the right talent around him" complaints.

Right there I would rather have Magic over Lebron.

Then there is a comment that Lebron won in all types of styles...okay lets dive into that.

Magic came in as a rookie where the Lakers had a very good PG in Norm Nixon. Did the Lakers take the ball out of Norm Nixon's hands and give the team to Magic? No they did not, Magic had to play off of Nixon (and cede to Kareem as well) for his first few years.

When has Lebron ever ceded anything to anyone?

We'll get back to that since it never happened.


Was Kareem the ideal offensive partner to Kareem? I mean we have to hear complaints all the time about how poor a fit Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Love are...but it is just assumed Magic and Kareem fit so well together. If you know your Laker history you will find out that is not true.

Kareem was on the back end of his career and he could not run up and down with the Showtime Lakers as much as Magic would have desired. Also, Magic did not have his ideal coach in Paul Westhead and made it clear it was him or Westhead had to go.

https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=v3JEAAAAIBAJ&sjid=e7IMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3478,3906214&dq=los-angeles-lakers+jerry+buss+riley+west&hl=en

The Lakers wanted to play one way in the RS but they knew they had to play another way in the playoffs to win. Those playoff seasons where his teams had great offenses, they got crushed by teams that had better playoff offenses......


1. LeBron decreased his ball handling responsibilities when moving to Miami and increased his off ball playmaking, "ceding" more responsibility to Wade and Chalmers. This culminated in him having a career low 4.8APG in the 2014 playoffs. So him not ceding anything to anyone isn't true.

2. LeBron had a lower Time of Possession and less shot attempts than Kyrie in 2017. Again, untrue statement on your part.

3. LeBron has never played with a player that's vastly superior to him. If he did, especially from his rookie season, there's no reason to believe he wouldn't defer more responsibilities to them.

Seriously. You're comparing the responsibilities of a rookie Magic that was drafted onto a 47 win playoff team with an All Star caliber point guard and a 5x MVP to a rookie LeBron drafted onto a 17 win team that was played 40 minutes a game and asked to do as much as possible. No **** LeBron didn't cede responsibilities to anyone, he didn't have that privilege. Hell, they started LeBron at the guard position in his rookie season until they put him at SF due to his ball handling not being good enough. They wanted to give him EVEN MORE responsibility than he already had.

Using that as some sort of example of Magic's willingness to defer over LeBron's is really silly.

4. "Those playoff seasons where his teams had great offenses, they got crushed by teams that had better playoff offenses..." Is this referring to LeBron or Magic? If the latter, disregard this completely. If the former then it makes absolutely no sense. In the playoff seasons he had good offences he won multiple championships, and when he didn't it was because of his teams poor defence, not his offence. Plus, how does a team having a better offence than him somehow mean that LeBron's offence sucks?
Vladimir777
Rookie
Posts: 1,242
And1: 987
Joined: May 12, 2018
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#79 » by Vladimir777 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:37 pm

I picked LeBron, but it's certainly a worthy question. Magic is the superior playmaker, but he's also the GOAT playmaker, so that's not a slight against LeBron.

I can't cite stats like most of you guys on here, but I would pick LeBron since he's close to as good of a playmaker as Magic is, while being a far superior scorer. I think that especially in the playoffs, that combo is damn near unstoppable.
Bel
Sophomore
Posts: 191
And1: 408
Joined: Jan 24, 2019
 

Re: Offense Only: Lebron James vs Magic Johnson 

Post#80 » by Bel » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:31 am

This comparison isn't remotely close. I thought it was a troll thread when I opened it. The fact that people actually try to make it legitimate, and especially that Lebron be winning in the poll, just shows how bad the intellectual dishonesty is here, and the level of Lebron PR team manipulation.

Magic career team ORTG:

80 1st
81 7th
82 2nd
83 1st
84 5th
85 1st
86 1st
87 1st
88 2nd
89 1st
90 1st
91 5th
-----
Lebron career team ORTG
06 9th
07 18th
08 20th
09 4th
10 6th
11 3rd
12 8th
13 2nd
14 5th
15 3rd
16 3rd
17 3rd
18 5th
19 24th (LOL)
20 11th
21 17th (so far, 32 games in of course)

These two aren't even in the same galaxy of offensive impact. You can claim the 1st stint Cavs teams up to 2008 were more defensively focused and Lebron had a larger offensive load, but that's true of any team after 2009 (besides 2019).

Magic leads the #1 offense 7 years out of 11, with two more as the 2nd best. He's done it on widely different rosters where he had to adapt to already having a very capable point guard that needed the ball, and rosters were nobody else could create anything. Lebron has had more chances yet never led the #1 offense, and has only had the 2nd best offense once. If Lebron is supposedly the offensive GOAT (which Magic probably should be), how can he not lead a number 1 offense with the 2nd best player in the league and another 15-20th player in 2011. Or with a 2nd&3rd team all nba in their primes who got their impact from only offensive value, plus (old) Kyle Korver and Tristan Thompson. How does Lebron + AD + very solid role players get the 11th best offense??? I thought he got better with age, not just playing with wide-open paints every play? Had Magic gotten that kind of offensive only help (in contrast to a balanced lineup), he blows out historical records.

Magic couldn't be stifled by Jordan and Pippen even when his best players were injured. Lebron has been seriously stifled offensively by a large variety of players and variety of defenses in playoff series. These reached horrifying levels in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013, with poor to mediocre performances in a several key games in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018.

The 90 Lakers had Worthy, Scott, Green in their primes, then an ancient Thompson, Cooper, a disappointing Woolridge who kept getting traded around, and rookie Divac. That was the supporting cast to the #1 offense (+5.9 oRTG). One third team all-nba guy (playing for Magic), plus two solid role players.

The Lebron PR team can't answer such a gross disparity honestly, so be prepared for a bunch of bull hypotheticals and excuses that get only applied to Lebron.

Return to Player Comparisons