RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard)

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

trex_8063
Forum Mod
Forum Mod
Posts: 9,339
And1: 5,229
Joined: Feb 24, 2013
     

RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#1 » by trex_8063 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:02 pm

2020 List
1. LeBron James
2. Michael Jordan
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4. Bill Russell
5. Tim Duncan
6. Wilt Chamberlain
7. Magic Johnson
8. Shaquille O'Neal
9. Hakeem Olajuwon
10. Larry Bird
11. Kevin Garnett
12. Kobe Bryant
13. Jerry West
14. Oscar Robertson
15. Dirk Nowitzki
16. Karl Malone
17. David Robinson
18. Julius Erving
19. George Mikan
20. Moses Malone
21. Charles Barkley
22. Kevin Durant
23. Chris Paul
24. Stephen Curry
25. Bob Pettit
26. John Stockton
27. Steve Nash
28. Dwyane Wade
29. Patrick Ewing
30. Walt Frazier
31. James Harden
32. Scottie Pippen
33. Elgin Baylor
34. John Havlicek
35. Rick Barry
36. Jason Kidd
37. George Gervin
38. Clyde Drexler
39. Reggie Miller
40. Artis Gilmore
41. Dolph Schayes
42. ???

Will look to end this one around 2pm EST on Tuesday.

Kawhi vs Isiah.....
Yeah, I know I said it last thread [Schayes kinda came out of no where], but this thread I REALLY expect to come down to these two. So regardless of who you picks are, it's a good idea to state your favorite between these two if you haven't already in the last thread.

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:.

euroleague wrote:.

Franco wrote:.

Gregoire wrote:.

Hal14 wrote:.

HeartBreakKid wrote:.

Hornet Mania wrote:.

iggymcfrack wrote:.

Jaivl wrote:.

Joao Saraiva wrote:.

Joey Wheeler 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:.
"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." -George Carlin
Odinn21
Starter
Posts: 2,390
And1: 1,759
Joined: May 19, 2019
   

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#2 » by Odinn21 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:02 pm

42. Isiah Thomas
I think Zeke gets too much stick with modern evaluation techniques. It's true that Thomas' on court production was getting lower while the team was getting better. But it's hard to say there's a direct correlation. It's just that, it can be interpreted something like Garnett scoring 18.8 ppg in 2008 for the Boston team. Lower than his usual prime average and already on the decline. But it still mattered greatly. Also he was one of the best playoff performers around.
When he wasn't fully healthy in 1990-91 season, the Pistons went 31-17 (+3.8 mov) with him and 19-15 without him. That's pretty significant.

43. Russell Westbrook
As I kept saying, I was gravitating towards Westbrook in recent days, I think it's time to include him.
This is what I wrote about him in the #34 thread when I thought he should start getting some traction.
Spoiler:
Odinn21 wrote:BTW, I know that he's not the most highly regarded player in here but I think Russell Westbrook should be getting some mentions at this point. I find it interesting that if 2016-17 season never happened, his career and him as a player would be regarded better.
I mean he was the best player on 2015-16 Thunder, he was the best player on the team that went 3-1 up against the 73W team. Sure, blowing such a lead is still an issue but;
Durant was slightly better on offense than Westbrook in regular season. Their impact in their given roles were almost tied up.
http://nbashotcharts.com/rapm?id=-1861361865
And Westbrook was the better player in the playoffs.

Another thing is;
I always look at impact numbers with on court production and roles in mind. Playing more minutes, or carrying bigger scoring load, etc, these things matter so much. Westbrook was still a positive impact player in 2016-17 season with that massive on court production.
I just don't see the point of penalizing the player for having a sh.t team around him.
Could Westbrook take less shots / handle the ball less on 2017 Thunder? Sure.
Would that be beneficial to the team and would they do better? Very doubtful.


44. Ray Allen
Some names I'm considering right now;
Paul Pierce, Robert Parish, Pau Gasol, Ray Allen, Gary Payton, Adrian Dantley, Elvin Hayes, Kawhi Leonard, Dikembe Mutombo, Dwight Howard.

Right now, I guess I'm closer to Ray Allen than anybody on there but I'm open to suggestions / discussions.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
DQuinn1575
Rookie
Posts: 1,248
And1: 442
Joined: Feb 20, 2014

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#3 » by DQuinn1575 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:13 pm

doing it again - hopefully Kawhi gets in - a lot of the posters here know more about him then me. He's going against Isiah, loved watching both of the guys play.

voting for Kawhi 1st - impacful player who was twice finals MVP, and is won of the winningest RS players of all-time. I know he hasnt played as long as others, and doesnt have the body of work - but that is why he is 40, and not 30

Sam Jones - tremendous playoff performer. See prior posts, will dive into more detail when Kawhi gets picked.

Isiah Thomas played at top level when needed, meshed with the team when he had a great one. Underrated on defense, could handle it as well as most anyone, could score when needed.


1. Kawhi
2. Sam Jones
3. Isiah Thomas
Dutchball97
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,814
And1: 1,549
Joined: Mar 28, 2020
 

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#4 » by Dutchball97 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:44 pm

1. Kawhi Leonard - Highest peak left except for arguably Bill Walton (who has no longevity to speak of). Kawhi not having a ton of regular season production hurts his case and I understand this being a deciding factor against players with similar peaks and play-off production but there aren't many, if any, guys left that can match Kawhi in either of those things. Kawhi's peak is top 30, arguably even top 20, and he's 24th in play-off WS and 17th in play-off VORP.

2. Isiah Thomas - His best regular seasons and play-offs didn't quite line-up at the same time but he has nontheless produced multiple great regular seasons and post-seasons. This is a guy who led a team to back to back rings, while beating Bird's Celtics, Magic's Lakers and MJ's Bulls. At some point we're going to have to acknowledge how important he was for some great teams, while being really good.

3. Willis Reed - Similar regular longevity to Kawhi so not much of an issue for me at this point. Reed at his peak was also elite and he played a huge role on the way to 2 titles for the Knicks. His total play-off contributions aren't on the level of Kawhi or Isiah but I'd rather have Reed's relatively short prime over the longer careers of guys like Pierce, Allen or Pau Gasol. Artis Gilmore vs Reed is an interesting discussion to me. Gilmore has better longevity but his best seasons and most of his play-off succes came in the ABA. I don't regard the ABA as a much weaker league than the NBA but him not having as much succes once the leagues merged makes me a bit hesitant to go for him already
Cavsfansince84
General Manager
Posts: 7,681
And1: 5,850
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
   

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#5 » by Cavsfansince84 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:00 pm

42. Isiah Thomas
-At this point I think the simple fact that he was the best player on a very near dynasty has to be recognized which is a claim very few other players can make. I'm also fairly high on his ability to run a team and his intangibles as a leader. His intensity on the court I think was one of the defining traits of those Pistons teams along with Daly's personality which can't be overlooked either. There's a good reason that Daly was chosen to be the hc of the dream team and its imo because he was widely seen as the best hc in the league at the time and a guy who wouldn't put up with bs from anybody.
-I also want to remention some things I said in earlier thread about Isiah's often perceived 'decline' being imo in large part due to the Pistons going from near the top of the league in pace to the very bottom in the period from 84-88 and Dumars taking over a lot of ballhandling duties on the team. So I think Isiah became overlooked also due to other pgs such as Stockton, Price and KJ also coming on the scene in the 88-90 period who had flashier numbers.
-2x champ
-1x fmvp while averaging 27.6/5.2/7.0 on 63% ts
-led Pistons to 5 straight ecf from 87-91 and 3 straight finals(led them in vorp every year from 83-90, led all 3 finals teams in playoff vorp)
-5x all nba(3x 1st team)
-7x top 15 in mvp voting(4x top 10, high of 5th)
-career playoff bpm of 6.0, 18th all time ahead of guys like Dirk and Duncan
-great playmaker, set league record for assists in 85
-reasonably long prime of 8 years imo with a few other solid seasons
-51st all time in vorp
-5x top 10 in steals per game

43. Chauncey Billups

-very good all around guard also known for being clutch shooter in playoffs
-strong floor general
-led Pistons teams which made 5 straight ecf in rs win shares every year and in vorp 3x
-led 04 title Pistons in rs/ps wins shares and also won fmvp
-led league in ps win shares in 05 while losing finals in 7 games
-joins the Nuggets in 09 and they go from being swept in the first round the year prior to losing in 6 games in the wcf to the Lakers the following year
-respectably long prime of 9 years imo which isn't that short
-3x all nba(1x 2nd, 2x 3rd)
-2x all defensive 2nd team
-4x top 15 in mvp voting(high of 5th)
-43rd in career vorp
-30th in career playoff vorp
-efficient scorer with career ts+ of 109(4.5% above league average)

44. Paul Pierce

-Very strong combo of size, respectable athleticism, all around scoring/playmaking skills, 3 pt shooting, defense, playoff production and prime longevity. Not that many players who can check as many boxes as Pierce could(both as a player and resume wise) which also translated into him being a very good floor raiser imo while showing he could take a lesser role on teams that contended for and won titles which is why I have him above a lot of the other high scoring wings. He also got to the line a lot which helped to make him a very efficient scorer.
-1x nba champ/final mvp
-4x all nba(1x 2nd team, 3x 3rd team)
-5x top 15 in mvp voting(high of 7th)
-10x all star
-25th all time in win shares
-41st in career bpm while also being 22nd in career vorp
-Capable of carrying an offense as a scorer. 5 seasons averaging over 25ppg
-19th all time in points scored while also having a career ts+ of 107(3.5% above league average) and career ts add of 1772
-very good player for a very long time. Recording 13 seasons with a vorp of 3.0 or higher and 7 seasons above 4.5.
trex_8063
Forum Mod
Forum Mod
Posts: 9,339
And1: 5,229
Joined: Feb 24, 2013
     

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#6 » by trex_8063 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:38 pm

1st vote: Pau Gasol
Another decent star with outstanding longevity, Pau entered the league at age 21 and was immediately probably a top 30 player in the league (basically borderline All-Star level player): averaged 17.6/8.9/2.7 @ +4.6% rTS and 2.1 bpg, though admittedly for a terrible team, and kinda turnover-prone as a rookie. tbf, it wasn't much of a cast around him: Shane Battier is a very underrated player (though perhaps cast too high when the 2nd [or arguably 1st??] best player on a team); after that it was Jason Williams and Stromile Swift as 3rd and 4th, and mostly trash behind that.
So overall....pretty good coming out party for the rookie.

In '06 he averaged 20.4/8.9/4.6 @ +1.9% rTS with 1.9 bpg for a team that won 49 games and had the 5th-rated +3.74 SRS (this was with Shane Battier, Mike Miller, an OLD Eddie Jones, and a bunch of spare parts, btw). They were swept in the first round, though due to a brutal WC [and even more brutal SW division that contained the defending champs and the eventual WC champ] and the stupid playoff structure of the time they drew the 60-win Mavericks team (you know, the one that would win the conference). Pau did struggle a bit in the series.

If you somehow blend these two seasons, you get an idea of what "average" P.Gasol was in Memphis.

But in '08 Kobe was barking at the Lakers to either make them a contender or he'd walk, so they bring in Pau......and he almost immediately meshes as the perfect Dick Grayson to Kobe's Bruce Wayne, making the Lakers an instant contender.
Pau would have likely his three BEST seasons as a Laker [from '09-'11], collectively averaging 18.7/10.3/3.4 on approximately +5(ish)% rTS, good turnover economy, and decent defense during those years. They'd win two titles, with Pau playing pretty good in both runs ('10 in particular: 19.6 ppg @ +5.6% rTS, 11.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.1 bpg, and only 1.9 topg.....that's a really nice line).

He'd continue to have relevant seasons all the way out to his 17th season (age 37), ultimately sitting 30th in NBA/ABA history in career rs WS (and currently tied for 40th all-time [w/ Clyde Drexler] in ps WS). He's actually ahead of Chauncey Billups in rs WS [and WS love Chauncey], though is behind Chauncey in ps WS.

He lacks All-NBA accolades more because his prime overlaps that of Tim Duncan [#5 on this list], Kevin Garnett [#11 on this list], and Dirk Nowitzki [#15 on this list]---as well as much of Lebron James [#1 on this list] and other sporadically excellent forwards such as Paul Pierce, Elton Brand, Shawn Marion, and Chris Bosh----than from him lacking All-NBA chops.
I've little doubt that if his competition was John Havlicek, Billy Cunningham, Truck Robinson, Gus Johnson, Bob Love, and Elvin Hayes......Pau would have a few more than he does [likely including at least one 1st Team nod].

At any rate, I think he at least deserves serious consideration at this stage.


2nd vote: Paul Pierce
Will try to write more later, honestly.
In short, he's a nice two-way star who was capable of carrying some awful casts up to mediocrity, and transitioned nicely into a role as the 2nd-best on a title-winner. Nice longevity overall as well.


3rd vote: Russell Westbrook
I've been critical of him at times, and I still think his '17 MVP was undeserved. But he's accrued a pretty impressive 12-year career at this point, and certainly has to be in the running at this point. As I look at his resume closely, I may even opt to move him up in my rotation; we'll see....
(Though I'm waffling again and thinking of switching back to Payton. :-? ......open to suggestion)


And if it comes to it, I'll go with Isiah over Kawhi [slim margin]. EDIT: Actually, I'm flip-flopping on that.....if it comes to Kawhi vs Isiah [as I suspect it will], I'm going with Kawhi. Despite the obvious longevity edge to Isiah [and some leadership intangible edge], Kawhi clearly peaked so much higher (likely has a whole handful of seasons at least marginally better than any season of Isiah's), I find I'm struggling to find the solid non-narrative case for Isiah. I think part of me just wanted to align [somewhat] with status quo rating on Isiah; but I'll give Kawhi his due, and have moved him ahead of Isiah [by exactly one place] on my ATL.

Wouldn't be particularly disappointed with either getting in here, though I'd personally wait just a little longer. Also on my immediate radar are Dwight Howard, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, and Ray Allen. Chauncey Billups in the vicinity too.
"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." -George Carlin
trex_8063
Forum Mod
Forum Mod
Posts: 9,339
And1: 5,229
Joined: Feb 24, 2013
     

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#7 » by trex_8063 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:46 pm

For anyone who is paying attention, I just edited my vote post to reflect that in a decision between Isiah and Kawhi, I'm gonna go with Kawhi. Had been leaning [very slightly] toward Isiah, but I find I'm struggling a touch on the justification for it.

Just putting that out there for anyone keeping track.

I'm lower on Kawhi than many due to lacking longevity, the frank overrating of his '19 campaign [imo], and some frowns toward his intangibles as a leader.
I'm lower on Isiah than the mainstream simply because I don't swallow some of the narrative wholesale. I've acknowledged that HE was the acknowledged leader of that squad, and obviously a very very good player with some fair/decent longevity overall. But I also note when the Pistons were at their very best, they won more on the strength of their defense than their offense (for which Isiah---though actually a decent defender----may have been the single weakest link defensively in the starting line-up [there were some guys on the bench who were worse, imo]).
Additionally, those were some exceptionally deep rosters [see sansterre's 100 Greatest teams project and their ratings on depth], and not at all squad's that were "carried" by Isiah.
He was a very good [not necessarily "great"---except perhaps sporadically, in very short streaks] player, and was so for a decent length of time; and he fit in well as the vocal leader of an exceptional group. That's what he's got going for him.

So neither one is quite this high on my own list [full disclosure: I have Kawhi #49, Isiah #50]; but that's not all that far off anymore.
"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." -George Carlin
Hal14
Senior
Posts: 690
And1: 283
Joined: Apr 05, 2019

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#8 » by Hal14 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:59 am

Hal14 wrote:1. Isiah Thomas
2. Kevin McHale
3. Willis Reed

One thing that's interesting about Isiah is that during the 87-88 through 90-91 seasons (the years Isiah had the most team success) he somehow got significantly less votes in both MVP voting and all NBA teams, despite the fact that his stats across the board were just as good - if anything, maybe a slight dip but not enough to justify such a significant drop in MVP and all NBA votes - especially considering he was now having much greater team success - and considering he continued making the all star team every year. And typically when a guy has more team success, they get more MVP/all NBA votes..not less.

Below you'll find the year, followed by Isiah's finish in MVP voting, followed by which all NBA team he made

*Also keep in mind there was no all NBA 3rd team in 81-82

82 - 17th in MVP - didn't make all NBA team
83 - 16th in MVP - all NBA 2nd team
84 - 5th in MVP - all NBA 1st team
85 - 9th in MVP - all NBA 1st team
86 - 9th in MVP - all NBA 1st team
87 - 8th in MVP - all NBA 2nd team
88 - 12th in MVP - didn't make all NBA team
89 - 17th in MVP - didn't make all NBA team
90 - 13th in MVP - didn't make all NBA team
91 - 13th in MVP - didn't make all NBA team

My theory as to why he all of a sudden had such a big dip in MVP/all NBA votes despite much greater team success is because people truly started to hate the Pistons beginning with the 87 ECF finals, which was a grueling series between the Celtics and Pistons. In 87, the Celtics were a blue collar team that was very well liked, their players got lots of votes for awards, evidenced by Bird winning 3 straight MVPs in 84-86..and in 87, both Bird and McHale finished top 4 in MVP voting.

Then in the 87 ECF, this happened:



Following the 87 ECF, the Pistons became the most hated team in the league. Not only for brawling with the Celtics in the ECF, but also because of how physical and borderline dirty they played overall. The next year in 87-88 - the Pistons were officially established as a hated team. All Pistons players saw a big dip in MVP/all NBA votes - especially Isiah who was considered the ring leader of the Pistons. The other guy on the Pistons besides Isiah who was seen as the poster boy for the Bad Boys image was Laimbeer. If you look at Laimbeer and his all NBA selections and all star appearances before the 87-88. season and after, you'll notice the same discrepancy.

Isiah was top 10 in MVP voting 4 years in a row from 83-84 through 86-87. He made 1st or 2nd team all NBA five years in a row from 82-83 through 86-7. Then somehow magically, the votes he received plummeted from 87-8 through 90-91 despite the fact that he put up similar stats, was still an all star every year and had much greater team success. It's because of bad boy image. People didn't like him and they didn't like Laimbeer. Dumars (despite the fact that hew as on the hated Pistons team) was more of a nice guy, of anyone on those Pistons teams, he had the best image and was the least likely guy on the team to mix it up and get in someone's face, least likely Piston to throw a punch, etc. That's why a) he finished with the same ranking in MVP voting as Isiah in both 89 and 90 and b) Dumars made all NBA third team in 90 over Isiah despite the fact that Isiah was clearly the better player and was the heart and soul of the team, according to this article and many others:

https://exnba.com/articles-news/isiah-thomas-on-who-could-be-bad-boy-on-80s-pistons/

Isiah made all NBA 2nd team in 82-83, while finishing 16th in MVP voting. And that was BEFORE there was a significant bias against the Pistons. So I'm actually being conservative here by saying that he if we remove the bias against the Bad Boys Pistons and specifically Isiah and Laimbeer, then this is what Isiah would have achieved:

-All NBA team (either 1st or 2nd team) 9 years in a row
-Top 10 in MVP voting 5 years in a row

What player still left on the board can compete with that?

Still not convinced Isiah deserves consideration here? How about:

-12 time all-star (in a 13 year career)
-1 time NBA Finals MVP
-2 time NBA champion
-2 times was the best player on an NBA championship winning team (Isiah led the Pistons in minutes, points, assists and steals - in both the regular season and playoffs in both 88-89 and 89-90)
-Only player ever (other than Magic and Oscar) to average over 19 PPG and over 9 APG for his career
-Joined a Pistons team which was on the brink of extinction - there was talk about the team moving to a different city - or possibly shutting down entirely - they went 21-61 the year before Isiah joined the team. They improved their win total by a whopping 18 games in Isiah's rookie year. 2 years later they made the playoffs and 6 years after that they were champions.

Still not convinced? Perhaps you missed this piece of NBA history:



Isiah with 43 points in game 6 of the 88 NBA finals - against the Showtime Lakers who were in their dynasty. He scored 25 of those points in the 3rd quarter on a severely injured ankle. One of the most heroic performances of any NBA game, especially one in the NBA finals. If not for the phantom foul call on Laimbeer:
a) this would have been arguably the greatest performance in a NBA finals clinging game in history
b) would have been 3 titles in a row for the Pistons
c) Isiah would have been finals MVP in 88

Even Lakers coach Pat Riley calls it a phantom foul:

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2103545-pat-riley-admits-84-lakers-benefited-from-phantom-foul-vs-detroit-pistons

To anyone who says "oh Laimbeer got away with other fouls so he deserved to get called for that one"...no, that's BS because a) refs hated Laimbeer, if anything they were out to get him and are more likely to favor the Lakers with calls since the Lakers were showtime, they were the much more liked team and had a much better image than the Pistons and b) the Phantom Foul was called with 14 seconds left in the game - it was an elimination game in the NBA finals. You're comparing apples to oranges if you say Laimbeer got calls in the 2nd quarter of this game so it's ok that the phantom foul was called. Obviously a foul being called on a dude attempting a game winning shot with 14 seconds left - that call carries MUCH more weight and significance than a call in the 2nd quarter.

Also, someone posted in the other thread something like "oh, even if the foul wasn't called on Laimbeer, if Kareem misses that show there was a Lakers player in position for the offensive rebound and put-back. To that I say, no! Look at this video, pause it at the :41 mark because that is the exact moment this whistle blows for the foul. At that moment, neither team looks to be in better position for the rebound - if anything, the Pistons look to be in slightly better rebounding position if you pause it there. If you let the video keep going another second or 2 after the whistle then yes, the Lakers player under the basket is in better position to get a rebound but it was way after the whistle at that point so why would the Pistons keep going for the rebound?

And no, if you think that magical game vs the Lakers was a fluke and if you think that was the only iconic performance by Isiah, you're wrong:

https://theundefeated.com/features/pistons-isiah-thomas-dropped-16-points-in-94-seconds-1984-nba-playoffs-against-knicks/

The bigger the stage, the more pressure is on, the better Isiah delivers. Something you can't say about pretty much any player left on the board at this point.

McHale - did everything you could want from a PF. He could score (with more effective post up moves than just about any player ever), he could rebound and is also one of the best post defenders of all time. He beat opposing bigs down the floor and had defensive versatility (at times would defend the 3, 4 and 5)..oh yeah and he won 3 championships, 5 NBA finals appearances. I think a good comparison for McHale is Pippen. Both had really good team success while playing as the no. 2 guy alongside one of the best players ever (Bird, Jordan), neither has great longevity but both had a solid 3 or 4 years where they were arguably the best in the world at their position and a legit top 5 or 6 player in the league. I think who was better between McHale and Pippen is pretty debatable (McHale a better scorer, about even on D, maybe a slight edge on D for Pippen). Pippen got in several rounds ago in this poll, so right here seems about right for McHale.

Willis Reed - Frazier and Ewing both got voted in for this thing a long time ago. Yet Reed is arguably better than both of them. Reed was finals MVP twice, whereas Frazier (while playing on same team as Reed) and Ewing both won finals MVP 0 times.
Cavsfansince84
General Manager
Posts: 7,681
And1: 5,850
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
   

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#9 » by Cavsfansince84 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:48 am

trex_8063 wrote:For anyone who is paying attention, I just edited my vote post to reflect that in a decision between Isiah and Kawhi, I'm gonna go with Kawhi. Had been leaning [very slightly] toward Isiah, but I find I'm struggling a touch on the justification for it.

Just putting that out there for anyone keeping track.

I'm lower on Kawhi than many due to lacking longevity, the frank overrating of his '19 campaign [imo], and some frowns toward his intangibles as a leader.
I'm lower on Isiah than the mainstream simply because I don't swallow some of the narrative wholesale. I've acknowledged that HE was the acknowledged leader of that squad, and obviously a very very good player with some fair/decent longevity overall. But I also note when the Pistons were at their very best, they won more on the strength of their defense than their offense (for which Isiah---though actually a decent defender----may have been the single weakest link defensively in the starting line-up [there were some guys on the bench who were worse, imo]).
Additionally, those were some exceptionally deep rosters [see sansterre's 100 Greatest teams project and their ratings on depth], and not at all squad's that were "carried" by Isiah.
He was a very good [not necessarily "great"---except perhaps sporadically, in very short streaks] player, and was so for a decent length of time; and he fit in well as the vocal leader of an exceptional group. That's what he's got going for him.

So neither one is quite this high on my own list [full disclosure: I have Kawhi #49, Isiah #50]; but that's not all that far off anymore.


The only issue I have with this criticism of Isiah is that the other top teams his team was going against were also pretty deep and its not like the Pistons were a team with 4 all stars. His second and third best players were a young Dumars and Laimbeer imo. Isiah was their only all star in 88 and 89. So I think he does deserve quite a bit of credit for those teams ranking fairly high in ORtg in the 88-90 period. 6th, 7th and 11th. Its not like they won only with defense. They also had a very efficient slow it down offense.
User avatar
Magic Is Magic
Junior
Posts: 447
And1: 455
Joined: Mar 05, 2019
     

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#10 » by Magic Is Magic » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:14 am

I am placing my Vote for #42 ranking

1. Bob Cousy
2. Kawhi Leonard
3. Willis Reed


1. Bob Cousy: What didn't this guy do? 13x All Star, 6x Champion, 8x Assist Leader, 1x MVP, and 10x 1st team All NBA. I see people are putting Baylor over Cousy and I'm not mad at it, Cousy did have the better team after all. But it's hard to argue against 6 rings to Baylor's zero. 6 vs 0 is huge, and of course Cousy's MVP which Baylor never won. Cousy was also top 3 in point scored for a total of 4x just like Baylor. This is a no brainer for me but Baylor was already voted in ahead of Cousy.

2. Kawhi would benefit a lot more if he didn't "load manage" and added to his longevity. After 2021 we will get a better idea if this changes but I doubt it going forward. However, he has done some extraordinary things such as winning back-to-back DPOY awards and 2x FMVP. If I recall correctly only Kawhi and Hakeem have ever achieved such a feat (Being a B2B DPOY winner and winner of 2x FMVP). His 2019 run was also very impressive: 31/9/4 on splits of 49/38/88 (very close to entire 50-40-90 run on over 30 ppg en route to a FMVP. Who here left to rank has done anything close to a Finals run on 31/9/4 with near 50-40-90 splits? I'm still waiting for this because I think the answer is no body.

If you value greatness on both ends of the ball then it would be hard to put many guys left ahead of Kawhi. He is elite on both ends, but again, his lack of longevity is hurting his resume along with him needing at least one regular season MVP or Scoring Title. Nearly all of the greats have them but him but I guess if we're voting in Ewing than peak doesn't matter that much so Kawhi should definitely be voted in.


3. Willis Reed. 3x top 5 in MVP with 1 MVP win. 2 rings and 2 Finals MVPs. No one else left has this resume. Reed's 1970 peak is insane: 1st team all NBA, 1st team all Defense, All star game MVP, Regular season MVP, Finals MVP. His infamous return for the game 7 was just enough to seal the deal (him and Walt Frazier going off) against Jerry West, Wilt, and Elgin Baylor. That Lakers trio should have won that Finals but Reed wouldn't let them.
sansterre
Junior
Posts: 368
And1: 586
Joined: Oct 22, 2020

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#11 » by sansterre » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:05 pm

1. Russell Westbrook - I hate his game so much. So much. And yet. As far as point guards who could carry a roster of mediocre scorers by sheer force of effort and skill . . . I don't want to say that he's the best ever, but he's up there. He's . . . he's almost like what everyone acted like Iverson was. He's having a jump shot away from being a Top 25 player, maybe better (that's a pretty big hole though). I confess, I was really impressed by his ability to carry the Thunder while Durant was struggling in '16. Westbrook is all big weaknesses and big strengths. But he may have the best "big strengths" left on this board.

2. Pau Gasol - I've always liked Gasol. I felt bad for him when he was with Memphis, and I felt bad for him when he was in LA getting very limited credit for Kobe's success. Pau's always been a strong player. Decent midrange, smart, decent passing, decent around the hoop, strong rebounding, strong (if not athletic) defense. But never forget that his addition turned the '07 Lakers into a dynasty. That says plenty about how bad the Lakers' center was before him, but Gasol was the real deal. He was never the best player in the league; heck, he was never the best center in the league. But he was really good for a really long time, and he proved serious value with both weak rosters and strong.

3. Paul Pierce - Long career, really nice overall game. Not amazing at any one thing, but strong scoring, strong rebounding, strong passing and strong defense. He suffers for having played on a lot of weak teams, and when he was finally on a strong team it was Kevin Garnett getting most of the credit (and rightly so). But Pierce was really good for a long time, and I do love me some career value. Pierce made Ben's Top 40, so that's worth mentioning.

Names that haven't come up yet but that I like: Gary Payton (great defender and arguably best player on the 2nd best franchise of the 90s), Manu Ginobili (shorter career and limited minutes, but a strong defender and fantastic scorer with some great postseason chops), Chris Webber (great passing big man and solid scorer, led some very strong Sacramento teams), Robert Horry (not a joke, he was the perfect stretch 4 before those existed, playing strong, smart defense, spacing the floor, and passing well - he gets credit for his clutch shots, but I'm more interested in how he always seems to be on strong teams; he compliments high-usage centers extraordinarily well because his floor-spacing gives them room to operate) and Tracy McGrady (narrow peak but was a fireball during it).
"If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinions."
Cavsfansince84
General Manager
Posts: 7,681
And1: 5,850
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
   

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#12 » by Cavsfansince84 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:34 pm

sansterre wrote:
Names that haven't come up yet but that I like: Gary Payton (great defender and arguably best player on the 2nd best franchise of the 90s), Manu Ginobili (shorter career and limited minutes, but a strong defender and fantastic scorer with some great postseason chops), Chris Webber (great passing big man and solid scorer, led some very strong Sacramento teams), Robert Horry (not a joke, he was the perfect stretch 4 before those existed, playing strong, smart defense, spacing the floor, and passing well - he gets credit for his clutch shots, but I'm more interested in how he always seems to be on strong teams; he compliments high-usage centers extraordinarily well because his floor-spacing gives them room to operate) and Tracy McGrady (narrow peak but was a fireball during it).


Agree on Payton who I think will be on my ballot fairly soon but I can't agree on his team being the second best of the 90's. They definitely had some good rs success but only 1 finals and 2 conf finals apperances can't put them ahead of the Bulls, Rockets, Jazz, Knicks or Blazers imo.
sansterre
Junior
Posts: 368
And1: 586
Joined: Oct 22, 2020

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#13 » by sansterre » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:37 pm

Cavsfansince84 wrote:
sansterre wrote:
Names that haven't come up yet but that I like: Gary Payton (great defender and arguably best player on the 2nd best franchise of the 90s), Manu Ginobili (shorter career and limited minutes, but a strong defender and fantastic scorer with some great postseason chops), Chris Webber (great passing big man and solid scorer, led some very strong Sacramento teams), Robert Horry (not a joke, he was the perfect stretch 4 before those existed, playing strong, smart defense, spacing the floor, and passing well - he gets credit for his clutch shots, but I'm more interested in how he always seems to be on strong teams; he compliments high-usage centers extraordinarily well because his floor-spacing gives them room to operate) and Tracy McGrady (narrow peak but was a fireball during it).


Agree on Payton who I think will be on my ballot fairly soon but I can't agree on his team being the second best of the 90's. They definitely had some good rs success but only 1 finals and 2 conf finals apperances can't put them ahead of the Bulls, Rockets, Jazz, Knicks or Blazers imo.

Then meet me in the middle at "2nd best regular season team of the 90s" :)
"If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinions."
Cavsfansince84
General Manager
Posts: 7,681
And1: 5,850
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
   

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#14 » by Cavsfansince84 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:44 pm

sansterre wrote:
Then meet me in the middle at "2nd best regular season team of the 90s" :)


I don't think they were though. I'll meet you at top 5 rs team of the 90's. :)
sansterre
Junior
Posts: 368
And1: 586
Joined: Oct 22, 2020

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#15 » by sansterre » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:56 pm

Cavsfansince84 wrote:
sansterre wrote:
Then meet me in the middle at "2nd best regular season team of the 90s" :)


I don't think they were though. I'll meet you at top 5 rs team of the 90's. :)

Okay, having just run the numbers I'll settle at third:

Wins: Jazz 54.2, Sonics 51.1, Blazers 49.5, Knicks 48.1, Rockets 47.2
RSRS: Jazz +5.28, Sonics +4.70, Blazers +4.35, Knicks +2.89, Rockets +1.88

Thanks for the nudge :)
"If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinions."
Cavsfansince84
General Manager
Posts: 7,681
And1: 5,850
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
   

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#16 » by Cavsfansince84 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:41 pm

sansterre wrote:
Cavsfansince84 wrote:
sansterre wrote:
Then meet me in the middle at "2nd best regular season team of the 90s" :)


I don't think they were though. I'll meet you at top 5 rs team of the 90's. :)

Okay, having just run the numbers I'll settle at third:

Wins: Jazz 54.2, Sonics 53.6, Blazers 49.5, Knicks 48.1, Rockets 47.2
RSRS: Jazz +5.28, Sonics +4.70, Blazers +4.35, Knicks +2.89, Rockets +1.88

Thanks for the nudge :)


Did you also run the Spurs? They may be up there as well. Likely in the 3-4+ range.
trex_8063
Forum Mod
Forum Mod
Posts: 9,339
And1: 5,229
Joined: Feb 24, 2013
     

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#17 » by trex_8063 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:44 pm

sansterre wrote:Names that haven't come up yet but that I like: Gary Payton (great defender and arguably best player on the 2nd best franchise of the 90s), Manu Ginobili (shorter career and limited minutes, but a strong defender and fantastic scorer with some great postseason chops), Chris Webber (great passing big man and solid scorer, led some very strong Sacramento teams), Robert Horry (not a joke, he was the perfect stretch 4 before those existed, playing strong, smart defense, spacing the floor, and passing well - he gets credit for his clutch shots, but I'm more interested in how he always seems to be on strong teams; he compliments high-usage centers extraordinarily well because his floor-spacing gives them room to operate) and Tracy McGrady (narrow peak but was a fireball during it).


Couple of these names have come up already.
I had Payton ON my ballot until recently backing down my opinion on him. But he is almost assuredly going to be on it once one of the three I've voted on get in (I could potentially be convinced to swap him back in for Westbrook).

Manu has come up; last time ZeppelinPage voted, I believe Ginobili was his 2nd vote.

Webber I'm not ready for: too inconsistent defensively, too inefficient offensively, and longevity that is only so-so. imo, those great Sacramento teams were more "by committee" successes: Peja was a very very good player, and Divac and Doug Christie both highly underrated guys. Then you still had Bibby (completing a superb starting line-up that's comparable in quality to what the mid-90s Sonics were flooring), a couple nice bench pieces (e.g. Jackson, Pollard), and a very good coach.

Horry: I'm glad you specified that you're not joking (also glad you recognized such a disclaimer was necessary). tbh, recognizing that such a disclaimer may be required is likely a hint that he doesn't really belong in the conversation yet.
If we were nearing the end of the list and someone wanted to make the case for him, fine. Even there I think one has to lean a little hard on the "ringz" narrative for him to make the cut.
But in the top 50? No sir, not close imo.
Nothing you said about him is untrue (smart defender, spaces the floor, passes reasonably well for a combo forward, compliments high usage centers [or players in general] well). However, if we want to talk about other players who do lots of things (especially the "little things") well and who are highly portable and effective [and provide some degree of spacing] next to other high usage stars, there others who both fit the bill AND were frankly/obviously better all-around players, and who have longevity to more or less match Horry's too (e.g. Horace Grant, Shawn Marion, Bill Laimbeer, Larry Nance). Among guards I'll list Jeff Hornacek.
No way Horry is deserving of consideration before any of these guys, imo, unless one is leaning REALLY hard on rings.

Additionally there are niche guys [guys really ineffective at some aspects of the game, but having one or two skills/aspects in which they were HYPER-elite] who fit well alongside other high-usage stars and who also were better than Horry (e.g. Ben Wallace, Dennis Rodman).
"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." -George Carlin
sansterre
Junior
Posts: 368
And1: 586
Joined: Oct 22, 2020

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#18 » by sansterre » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:10 pm

trex_8063 wrote:
sansterre wrote:Names that haven't come up yet but that I like: Gary Payton (great defender and arguably best player on the 2nd best franchise of the 90s), Manu Ginobili (shorter career and limited minutes, but a strong defender and fantastic scorer with some great postseason chops), Chris Webber (great passing big man and solid scorer, led some very strong Sacramento teams), Robert Horry (not a joke, he was the perfect stretch 4 before those existed, playing strong, smart defense, spacing the floor, and passing well - he gets credit for his clutch shots, but I'm more interested in how he always seems to be on strong teams; he compliments high-usage centers extraordinarily well because his floor-spacing gives them room to operate) and Tracy McGrady (narrow peak but was a fireball during it).


Couple of these names have come up already.
I had Payton ON my ballot until recently backing down my opinion on him. But he is almost assuredly going to be on it once one of the three I've voted on get in (I could potentially be convinced to swap him back in for Westbrook).

Manu has come up; last time ZeppelinPage voted, I believe Ginobili was his 2nd vote.

Webber I'm not ready for: too inconsistent defensively, too inefficient offensively, and longevity that is only so-so. imo, those great Sacramento teams were more "by committee" successes: Peja was a very very good player, and Divac and Doug Christie both highly underrated guys. Then you still had Bibby (completing a superb starting line-up that's comparable in quality to what the mid-90s Sonics were flooring), a couple nice bench pieces (e.g. Jackson, Pollard), and a very good coach.

Horry: I'm glad you specified that you're not joking (also glad you recognized such a disclaimer was necessary). tbh, recognizing that such a disclaimer may be required is likely a hint that he doesn't really belong in the conversation yet.
If we were nearing the end of the list and someone wanted to make the case for him, fine. Even there I think one has to lean a little hard on the "ringz" narrative for him to make the cut.
But in the top 50? No sir, not close imo.
Nothing you said about him is untrue (smart defender, spaces the floor, passes reasonably well for a combo forward, compliments high usage centers [or players in general] well). However, if we want to talk about other players who do lots of things (especially the "little things") well and who are highly portable and effective [and provide some degree of spacing] next to other high usage stars, there others who both fit the bill AND were frankly/obviously better all-around players, and who have longevity to more or less match Horry's too (e.g. Horace Grant, Shawn Marion, Bill Laimbeer, Larry Nance). Among guards I'll list Jeff Hornacek.
No way Horry is deserving of consideration before any of these guys, imo, unless one is leaning REALLY hard on rings.

Additionally there are niche guys [guys really ineffective at some aspects of the game, but having one or two skills/aspects in which they were HYPER-elite] who fit well alongside other high-usage stars and who also were better than Horry (e.g. Ben Wallace, Dennis Rodman).

All good points about Horry.

I guess, the upside about Horry is that he was crazy additive with an offensively-minded 5. And that's an extremely valuable skill . . . if you're paired with one. It's just that Horry played with Hakeem, Shaq and Duncan, so this ability was very much on display. But he's obviously aberrant in having been optimally positioned for the use of his skill for his whole career.

I wouldn't feel comfortable making the argument, unless as a "I don't actually think he's this good, but you guys should be thinking about him anyway" rabble-rousing post.
"If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinions."
sansterre
Junior
Posts: 368
And1: 586
Joined: Oct 22, 2020

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#19 » by sansterre » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:15 pm

Cavsfansince84 wrote:
sansterre wrote:
Cavsfansince84 wrote:
I don't think they were though. I'll meet you at top 5 rs team of the 90's. :)

Okay, having just run the numbers I'll settle at third:

Wins: Jazz 54.2, Sonics 53.6, Blazers 49.5, Knicks 48.1, Rockets 47.2
RSRS: Jazz +5.28, Sonics +4.70, Blazers +4.35, Knicks +2.89, Rockets +1.88

Thanks for the nudge :)


Did you also run the Spurs? They may be up there as well. Likely in the 3-4+ range.

Wins: 49.6 wins (they'd be ahead of the Sonics if you took away the 20-win year where Robinson was injured)
SRS: +3.23, so better than Knicks and Rockets, but behind Jazz, Sonics and Blazers (and Bulls)
"If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinions."
Cavsfansince84
General Manager
Posts: 7,681
And1: 5,850
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
   

Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#20 » by Cavsfansince84 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:17 pm

sansterre wrote:
Cavsfansince84 wrote:
sansterre wrote:Okay, having just run the numbers I'll settle at third:

Wins: Jazz 54.2, Sonics 53.6, Blazers 49.5, Knicks 48.1, Rockets 47.2
RSRS: Jazz +5.28, Sonics +4.70, Blazers +4.35, Knicks +2.89, Rockets +1.88

Thanks for the nudge :)


Did you also run the Spurs? They may be up there as well. Likely in the 3-4+ range.

Wins: 49.6 wins (they'd be ahead of the Sonics if you took away the 20-win year where Robinson was injured)
SRS: +3.23, so better than Knicks and Rockets, but behind Jazz, Sonics and Blazers (and Bulls)


ya, 97 really messes up their averages.

Return to Player Comparisons