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

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#41 » by DQuinn1575 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:15 am

trex_8063 wrote:

This is all well and good, but do you truly feel that looking at how many times a player averaged >24 mpg in seasons which are NOT under scrutiny is the singular best way to evaluate who good he was in a season that IS under scrutiny?



No, I'm willing to learn what the singular best way to rate players are. I dont think there is a consensus one, and I think it is even more difficult when you look at 7th-9th men on the bench.

trex_8063 wrote:I mean, just one reason [of the myriad that exist] as to why this method is really murky/shoddy is that mediocre [or even poor] players will get relevant playing time on bad teams. Bad teams don't have anyone better to fill the minutes===>that's why they're bad.
GOOD teams don't have to settle for just anyone to take minutes on the court; they have options [usually good options] to fill in that playing time===>that's why they're good


And bad teams become good by replacing the bad players. And every team is trying to do that. That is why bad players don't normally play year after year. Teams can replace players by drafting, trading, hiring free agents. etc. Teams must think you are doing something right to not draft or trade over you. And after 5 years, you do usually wind up on a winning team.

trex_8063 wrote:Exploring this idea with just a few examples from above [drawn from not even a full pass of these names]....


Joe Wolf - the ONE season he averaged >24 [27.1, to be exact] was in a 42-game sample for a team that went 17-65 (-10.24 SRS: which I think is like bottom three or four of all-time).

Will Perdue - the ONE season he averaged >24 mpg [29.5, to be precise] was on the Spurs team that was suddenly without Robinson; a team that had not only sustained a season-ending injury to the star player who happened to play the same position, but that also went 20-62 that year. If we're going to evaluate players in this manner, it's worth noting that Perdue doesn't have a single other season avg as many as 21 mpg, and only one other >20 mpg [only TWO others >18 mpg; only THREE others >14 mpg, and one of those was for an awful 17-65 team].


When I summed it up in my comment I excluded 1 year players; there are obviously circumstances like Perdue where a guy gets 1 season. You did pick 2 of the guys who have only 1 season, which I dont find conclusive at all.

trex_8063 wrote:Frank Brickowski - His five seasons are as follows:
31.8 mpg for a 31-51 team
28.5 mpg for a 21-61 team
25.5 mpg for a 48-34 team
31.4 mpg for a 28-54 team
29.5 mpg by way of a split: 33.4 mpg for a 20-62 team and 23.3 mpg for a 41-41 team
....this also noting Brickowski [and Perdue] played a position that was sorely lacking in depth at that time.


If one is going to insist on scrutinizing players like this, I personally feel warranting 23.4 mpg on a 72-10 team trumps 30 minutes for 20-30 win team or similar. Agreed and noted, Kerr should rank higher than Brickowski.


But again: I don't advocate using this method anyway.
What is so objectional about just looking what players actually did during a year in question?


Not objectional - you just didnt make much of a case that Wennington, Buechler were very good. You bring up Salley as an example, he was 11th man in playoffs,
Just looked it up - the AP writer called the benches even before the series started between Seattle and Bulls, I'm okay with that. But calling Bulls bench all-time great seems way too much.

Or you can call Buechler and Wennington an all-time great bench because the team won 72 games.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#42 » by trex_8063 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:54 am

DQuinn1575 wrote:Not objectional - you just didnt make much of a case that Wennington, Buechler were very good. ......


Where did I say [or even try to say] Wennington was good? To be precise, I only ever said of Wennington:

trex_8063 wrote:8th man: Bill Wennington
Yeah, Wennington is nothing special, but he's not bad for that role. You're not writing home about him, but nor are you crying about a player like Wennington as your 8th man. He's basically league average among 8th-men.


He's entirely ordinary [neither good nor bad] among 8th-men in the league. Or at least that's my impression without looking too deeply......I'm willing to bet if we DID look deeply at the 8th man on every roster in the league in '96, Wennington falls roughly in the middle of the pack.

As to Buechler, yeah, I'd say he was above average among guys who are the 9th man in the rotation. It's worth noting that three of the four lowest mpg averages of his entire career occurred for the Bulls from '96-'98. The very next year he would be the 7th-man [averaging 21.1 mpg] for an entirely decent 29-21 [+3.97 SRS] team.
Or you can speak to anything I said specifically that he did well. Was any of it untrue?

At any rate, fixating on Wennington and Buechler seems like a "look over there!" distraction tactic. What of John Salley languishing as the 11th man?
And most importantly: what of Kukoc and Kerr? Was anything I said of them untrue?
Frankly, with the way they played that year [and the unusual circumstances that potentiated Kerr's value], the rest of the pine-riders could be trash, and the bench overall would still rate out as "fair/decent" just on the strength of those two.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#43 » by DQuinn1575 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:52 am

trex_8063 wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:Not objectional - you just didnt make much of a case that Wennington, Buechler were very good. ......


Where did I say [or even try to say] Wennington was good? To be precise, I only ever said of Wennington:

trex_8063 wrote:8th man: Bill Wennington
Yeah, Wennington is nothing special, but he's not bad for that role. You're not writing home about him, but nor are you crying about a player like Wennington as your 8th man. He's basically league average among 8th-men.


He's entirely ordinary [neither good nor bad] among 8th-men in the league. Or at least that's my impression without looking too deeply......I'm willing to bet if we DID look deeply at the 8th man on every roster in the league in '96, Wennington falls roughly in the middle of the pack.

As to Buechler, yeah, I'd say he was above average [b]among guys who are the 9th man in the rotation[/. It's worth noting that three of the four lowest mpg averages of his entire career occurred for the Bulls from '96-'98. The very next year he would be the 7th-man [averaging 21.1 mpg] for an entirely decent 29-21 [+3.97 SRS] team.
Or you can speak to anything I said specifically that he did well. Was any of it untrue?

At any rate, fixating on Wennington and Buechler seems like a "look over there!" distraction tactic. What of John Salley languishing as the 11th man?
And most importantly: what of Kukoc and Kerr? Was anything I said of them untrue?
Frankly, with the way they played that year [and the unusual circumstances that potentiated Kerr's value], the rest of the pine-riders could be trash, and the bench overall would still rate out as "fair/decent" just on the strength of those two.


fair/decent is a long way from one of the best ever.
I said from the beginning that Kukoc was really good; my comment was something like he is above the level that we are looking at.
Kerr was a great fit, and was definitely effective.
Wennington and Buechler were 8th and 9th man - I looked at the bench for the top 4 guys in playing time. I can add Dickey Simpkins, 10th in minutes played, Randy Brown 11th, and Jason Caffey 12th, I stopped at 9.
Salley was waived by the 21 win Raptors, where he was a bench player. He played 191 RS minutes for the Bulls. Not really glowing if you want to use Salley in 96 alone as evidence of a good bench.

You call Wennington and Buechler average and above average respectively as 8th and 9th man, yet they are the ONLY two guys from the Top 6 teams x 4 players who never played regular minutes. Hmmm. Tenth man in minutes was DIckey SImpkins.

The Bulls had a great bench player, and a very useful one - after that they were a collection of maybe average bench players and nothing special.
When I think of great benches, I think of 89 Pistons, early 70s Knicks, Lakers in mid 80s, somewhere in the 60s Celtics.
Thanks
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#44 » by trex_8063 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:55 pm

DQuinn1575 wrote:
trex_8063 wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:Not objectional - you just didnt make much of a case that Wennington, Buechler were very good. ......


Where did I say [or even try to say] Wennington was good? To be precise, I only ever said of Wennington:

trex_8063 wrote:8th man: Bill Wennington
Yeah, Wennington is nothing special, but he's not bad for that role. You're not writing home about him, but nor are you crying about a player like Wennington as your 8th man. He's basically league average among 8th-men.


He's entirely ordinary [neither good nor bad] among 8th-men in the league. Or at least that's my impression without looking too deeply......I'm willing to bet if we DID look deeply at the 8th man on every roster in the league in '96, Wennington falls roughly in the middle of the pack.

As to Buechler, yeah, I'd say he was above average [b]among guys who are the 9th man in the rotation[/. It's worth noting that three of the four lowest mpg averages of his entire career occurred for the Bulls from '96-'98. The very next year he would be the 7th-man [averaging 21.1 mpg] for an entirely decent 29-21 [+3.97 SRS] team.
Or you can speak to anything I said specifically that he did well. Was any of it untrue?

At any rate, fixating on Wennington and Buechler seems like a "look over there!" distraction tactic. What of John Salley languishing as the 11th man?
And most importantly: what of Kukoc and Kerr? Was anything I said of them untrue?
Frankly, with the way they played that year [and the unusual circumstances that potentiated Kerr's value], the rest of the pine-riders could be trash, and the bench overall would still rate out as "fair/decent" just on the strength of those two.


fair/decent is a long way from one of the best ever.
I said from the beginning that Kukoc was really good; my comment was something like he is above the level that we are looking at.
Kerr was a great fit, and was definitely effective.
Wennington and Buechler were 8th and 9th man - I looked at the bench for the top 4 guys in playing time. I can add Dickey Simpkins, 10th in minutes played, Randy Brown 11th, and Jason Caffey 12th, I stopped at 9.
Salley was waived by the 21 win Raptors, where he was a bench player. He played 191 RS minutes for the Bulls. Not really glowing if you want to use Salley in 96 alone as evidence of a good bench.

You call Wennington and Buechler average and above average respectively as 8th and 9th man, yet they are the ONLY two guys from the Top 6 teams x 4 players who never played regular minutes. Hmmm. Tenth man in minutes was DIckey SImpkins.

The Bulls had a great bench player, and a very useful one - after that they were a collection of maybe average bench players and nothing special.
When I think of great benches, I think of 89 Pistons, early 70s Knicks, Lakers in mid 80s, somewhere in the 60s Celtics.
Thanks


This thread is expired anyway, so I'll continue the derail, even though we may ultimately just have to agree to disagree on some points.
As to great benches....
'89 Pistons - absolutely; that was my original point which set all this off.

'70 Knicks - hmmm, not sure I agree this is an all-time great bench; certainly very good, but not sure it's great (and I think the '96 Bulls bench was better, fwiw). Mike Riordan, Cazzie Russell, Dave Stallworth, and Nate Bowman [no one else played more than scattered garbage time]. That's a very nice bench line-up, but not sure it's an all-time tier group.
It's the starting five [which was so solid from top-to-bottom: MVP candidate at the top, All-Star as your 3rd-best, and your WORST starter is probably Bill Bradley, who was a pretty good player] combined with great coaching/philosophy that made this team great.

early-mid 60s Celtics - yeah, they had some all-time tier benches when they were still bringing young Havlicek off the bench. '64 for example [pretty sure Hondo was off the bench, even if he was 2nd in mpg]: Hondo as 6th man, Willie Naulls, Frank Ramsey, aging Clyde Lovellette and Jim Loscutoff. That's pretty super.

mid-80s Lakers - idk. I'd hedge toward saying they were a good, but not great. Michael Cooper as 6th man is very nice, though not necessarily 6MOY. Then it was aging Bob McAdoo [fairly nice], Larry Spriggs, Mike McGee, an aging or banged up Jamaal Wilkes, Mitch Kupchak.


Anyway, not sure what you mean in saying Wennington and Buechler NEVER played regular minutes. Maybe you meant "starter-level" minutes??
But Wennington was a regular rotational player in the NBA in '89-'91, '94-'97, and again in '99.
Buechler was a fairly regular rotational player every year except '92, '94-'95 (and I noted he played >21 mpg for a good team immediately following his time in Chicago).

Though I can ask to just look at what Buechler did reasonably well that year (which I'd elaborated on in a prior post). Was I wrong? Is anything I listed a typo?
I was quite specific; are there any of those specifics you'd like to refute?

Or on Steve Kerr; I again was very specific, and detailed with supporting data what he was doing [extremely] well that year. Was I wrong? Is anything there a typo? Are there any specifics you'd like to refute?
Seriously, with as effective as he was in that particular year, if we imagined there was a 7th Man of the Year award.......it's entirely possible [probable, imo] Steve Kerr would have won it in '96 [without a doubt he'd have been at least a top 3 candidate]; he actually was 9th in the 6MOY vote, fwiw.

And Toni Kukoc was very literally the 6th Man of the Year.
So we're talking about arguably the 6MOY and the 7MOY on the same bench!
And ^^those TWO individuals account for more minutes played than Wennington, Buechler, Simpkins, Brown [solid defensive guard, btw, who had two seasons as a starter for bad teams, plus two other years >22 mpg], Caffey, and Salley COMBINED.

Given these details, to say this was not a [really] good bench you basically have to assert that everyone from 8-12+ on that roster was absolute trash. And not trash relative to a league average player, but rather 9th man was trash compared to the 9th men on other rosters, 10th man was trash compared to other 10th men, 11th trash compared to other 11th, etc.
But this is demonstrably not the case. Simple as that.

You want to assert that they were basically average from 8-12, fine; there's room to make a case for that. But they still had the best 6/7 duo in the league, which accounts for more minutes than 8-13 combined. That alone makes this a [very?] good bench.
Whether it's an all-time tier bench is certainly debatable. But to claim it was not even "a talented bench" is an uphill battle [that's putting it lightly] based upon the evidence. And they had a great coach too [which was another factor I initially singled out wrt the '89 Pistons].
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 

Post#45 » by DQuinn1575 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:54 pm

trex_8063 wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:
trex_8063 wrote:
Where did I say [or even try to say] Wennington was good? To be precise, I only ever said of Wennington:



He's entirely ordinary [neither good nor bad] among 8th-men in the league. Or at least that's my impression without looking too deeply......I'm willing to bet if we DID look deeply at the 8th man on every roster in the league in '96, Wennington falls roughly in the middle of the pack.

As to Buechler, yeah, I'd say he was above average [b]among guys who are the 9th man in the rotation[/. It's worth noting that three of the four lowest mpg averages of his entire career occurred for the Bulls from '96-'98. The very next year he would be the 7th-man [averaging 21.1 mpg] for an entirely decent 29-21 [+3.97 SRS] team.
Or you can speak to anything I said specifically that he did well. Was any of it untrue?

At any rate, fixating on Wennington and Buechler seems like a "look over there!" distraction tactic. What of John Salley languishing as the 11th man?
And most importantly: what of Kukoc and Kerr? Was anything I said of them untrue?
Frankly, with the way they played that year [and the unusual circumstances that potentiated Kerr's value], the rest of the pine-riders could be trash, and the bench overall would still rate out as "fair/decent" just on the strength of those two.


fair/decent is a long way from one of the best ever.
I said from the beginning that Kukoc was really good; my comment was something like he is above the level that we are looking at.
Kerr was a great fit, and was definitely effective.
Wennington and Buechler were 8th and 9th man - I looked at the bench for the top 4 guys in playing time. I can add Dickey Simpkins, 10th in minutes played, Randy Brown 11th, and Jason Caffey 12th, I stopped at 9.
Salley was waived by the 21 win Raptors, where he was a bench player. He played 191 RS minutes for the Bulls. Not really glowing if you want to use Salley in 96 alone as evidence of a good bench.

You call Wennington and Buechler average and above average respectively as 8th and 9th man, yet they are the ONLY two guys from the Top 6 teams x 4 players who never played regular minutes. Hmmm. Tenth man in minutes was DIckey SImpkins.

The Bulls had a great bench player, and a very useful one - after that they were a collection of maybe average bench players and nothing special.
When I think of great benches, I think of 89 Pistons, early 70s Knicks, Lakers in mid 80s, somewhere in the 60s Celtics.
Thanks


This thread is expired anyway, so I'll continue the derail, even though we may ultimately just have to agree to disagree on some points.
As to great benches....
'89 Pistons - absolutely; that was my original point which set all this off.

'70 Knicks - hmmm, not sure I agree this is an all-time great bench; certainly very good, but not sure it's great (and I think the '96 Bulls bench was better, fwiw). Mike Riordan, Cazzie Russell, Dave Stallworth, and Nate Bowman [no one else played more than scattered garbage time]. That's a very nice bench line-up, but not sure it's an all-time tier group.
It's the starting five [which was so solid from top-to-bottom: MVP candidate at the top, All-Star as your 3rd-best, and your WORST starter is probably Bill Bradley, who was a pretty good player] combined with great coaching/philosophy that made this team great.

early-mid 60s Celtics - yeah, they had some all-time tier benches when they were still bringing young Havlicek off the bench. '64 for example [pretty sure Hondo was off the bench, even if he was 2nd in mpg]: Hondo as 6th man, Willie Naulls, Frank Ramsey, aging Clyde Lovellette and Jim Loscutoff. That's pretty super.

mid-80s Lakers - idk. I'd hedge toward saying they were a good, but not great. Michael Cooper as 6th man is very nice, though not necessarily 6MOY. Then it was aging Bob McAdoo [fairly nice], Larry Spriggs, Mike McGee, an aging or banged up Jamaal Wilkes, Mitch Kupchak.


Anyway, not sure what you mean in saying Wennington and Buechler NEVER played regular minutes. Maybe you meant "starter-level" minutes??
But Wennington was a regular rotational player in the NBA in '89-'91, '94-'97, and again in '99.
Buechler was a fairly regular rotational player every year except '92, '94-'95 (and I noted he played >21 mpg for a good team immediately following his time in Chicago).

Though I can ask to just look at what Buechler did reasonably well that year (which I'd elaborated on in a prior post). Was I wrong? Is anything I listed a typo?
I was quite specific; are there any of those specifics you'd like to refute?

Or on Steve Kerr; I again was very specific, and detailed with supporting data what he was doing [extremely] well that year. Was I wrong? Is anything there a typo? Are there any specifics you'd like to refute?
Seriously, with as effective as he was in that particular year, if we imagined there was a 7th Man of the Year award.......it's entirely possible [probable, imo] Steve Kerr would have won it in '96 [without a doubt he'd have been at least a top 3 candidate]; he actually was 9th in the 6MOY vote, fwiw.

And Toni Kukoc was very literally the 6th Man of the Year.
So we're talking about arguably the 6MOY and the 7MOY on the same bench!
And ^^those TWO individuals account for more minutes played than Wennington, Buechler, Simpkins, Brown [solid defensive guard, btw, who had two seasons as a starter for bad teams, plus two other years >22 mpg], Caffey, and Salley COMBINED.

Given these details, to say this was not a [really] good bench you basically have to assert that everyone from 8-12+ on that roster was absolute trash. And not trash relative to a league average player, but rather 9th man was trash compared to the 9th men on other rosters, 10th man was trash compared to other 10th men, 11th trash compared to other 11th, etc.
But this is demonstrably not the case. Simple as that.

You want to assert that they were basically average from 8-12, fine; there's room to make a case for that. But they still had the best 6/7 duo in the league, which accounts for more minutes than 8-13 combined. That alone makes this a [very?] good bench.
Whether it's an all-time tier bench is certainly debatable. But to claim it was not even "a talented bench" is an uphill battle [that's putting it nicely] based upon the evidence. And they had a great coach too [which was another factor I initially singled out wrt the '89 Pistons].


Last one,
Other teams - specific years
Knicks I said early 70s, 73 is probably best with Reed or Lucas (whoever you dont call a starter), Meminger, Jackson, Gianelli, Barnett, Bibby
87 Lakers- Cooper , Mychal Thompson, Rambis,, Billy Thompson, Wes Matthews, Brickowski as 1tth man.
Sorry, I was too lazy to look up years on the prior post.

Bulls-you keep bringing up Kukoc and Kerr, and I continue to agree they were good; Kukoc very good, Kerr a great fit.
But no, again, they werent average 8-9-10 - If you look at the Top 6 teams in the league and take their top 4 bench guys in minutes, the only two that NEVER played 24 minutes a game are on the Bulls- that is a fact, not an opinion. I wont bother looking at Dickey Simpkins, who was 10th in minutes played. So I am saying they are below average talent wise 8,9,10.

I'm giving you evidence - the fact they werent considered good enough by the league to play half a game, they dont fit your conclusion that this is one of the best benches ever so you dispute them. Your evidence is an opinion of Buechler, but no fact or comparison against anyone else. I'm not sure if you offered anything else except that the team had a great record.
So are you saying you dont think playing time is a fair measure of how good someone is? I mean I could put together something showing the average player who played 24 mpg 5 times in a career has better numbers than the average player who never played 24 mpg but I think that would be a waste of time right now.
Thanks again, I think if we have beat this horse as much as either one of us care to, so let's discuss the next 50 some spots in the Top 100.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#46 » by freethedevil » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:15 pm

If Kawhi is getting consideration here. I think its time to sound the horn on westbrook.

1. If we use ast% to to% as an aestimation(an admittedly crude measure) Westbrook from 12-14 looks like a better creator than peak isiah thomas
2. Westbrook's longetvity and peak are crminally undderrated I think. Even as early as 2014, he was able to assisr 30% of shots(on a to ratio of 10%) draing comapable defensiev attention to kevin durant in the 14 wcf. I don't think its unreasonable to say for that series, westbrook outplayed mvp durant. In 2015, at full strength the thunder played 48 win basketball without durant and then in 2016 westbrook authors what should be considered a masterclass at this level, being arguably the most valuable player on a thudner team that at full strength won at a 66 win pace and then it culumnates in an all time performace against the 70 win spurs team.
https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2016-nba-western-conference-semifinals-thunder-vs-spurs.html
Westbrook assiststed 53% of his team's shots on 13% of his team's turnvers. Westbrook's effiency is bad, ut take a looka t everyone else's. Everyone, yes...EVERYONE else on the thudner saw their effiency skyrocket and if you watch the series its pretty clear why. The spurs essentially are treating westbrook like an atg inside threat triple teaming him at the rim and largely leaving everyone lese on single coverage. Durant shot atrciously from three but was able to have the best scoring performance of his career(at least when adjsuting for defneisve opposoiton) largely becaue the spurs were leaving him with one defender to beat on his drives.

Then in 2017, he had agreat regular season, leading the league in on-ball creation, and posting impact that ranged from second to third best only after lebron and curry. In the playoffs his team was outmatched, but the thunder with westbrook outscored the rockets while getting decimated without suggesting that the thunder's bench was the deciding factor here.

Westbrook's creation is nigh unrivalled, posting comparable box creation to stephen curry and chris paul. Contrary to rep, impact data suggests prime westbrook was a playoff elevator. In the regular season metrics have him closely following durant, in the playoffs, his aupm skyrockets with 16-18 westbrook posting impact signifcantly higher than anything from durant or harden.

Is this to say westbrook is a better player? No, not neccesarily. Impact is not the end all be all, and creation isn't th eonly skill in the game. Westbrook has proben he can absolutely be the best or at least a 1. b on title level rosters, but his skills don't scale as well as durant or even harden does. But I don't think it makes sense to treat them as a different calibre of player when everything holistic suggests they aren't andI think that level of peak paired with a strong prime(relative to whose left) is suffecient to put him in consideration for these spots.

For what its worth, despre his reputation as a choker, from 2010-2020 westbrook has made the most clutch shots on top 10 effiency for volume clutch shooters.

Westbrook in my eyes is not only one of the most valuable peaks left, he had an undderated playoff prime and was a playoff elevator at his best worthy of championship-level teams.

Therefore

I'm going to go

1. Kawhi, highest peak left(aside from walton), undderated longetivty, got him top 10 since 2014 and top 5 since 2016. Probably top 3 in 2019 and top 5 in 2020.
2. Westbrook(highest peak left aside from walton) top tier longetivty(for the remainig candidates)
3. Ray Allen. Top 30 Career Corp. He's here for career value tho his peak is probably better than people remember. Much is made of iverson making the final. Not enough is made of ray allen shooting 10% better than ai shot against the best defense in the league.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#47 » by Hal14 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:24 pm

freethedevil wrote:If Kawhi is getting consideration here. I think its time to sound the horn on westbrook.

I think Kawhi vs Westbrook is a good comparison but too early for either of them to be considered among all time greats like Isiah, Payton, Dominique Wilkins, Elvin Hayes, Kevin McHale, Thurmond, Reed, Cousy, Cowens, etc.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#48 » by penbeast0 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:03 pm

Westbrook has played 11 seasons, 885 games plus another 106 playoff games.
Leonard 7 seasons 532 games plus 124 playoff games

Compare to
McHale 13 years, 971 games plus 169 playoff games
Reed 11 years (2 of those were injury years where he played less than 20 games) = 650 games plus 78 playoff games
Cowens 11 years (retired halfway through 11th comeback year) 766 games plus 89 playoff games

I think Westbrook has played enough. Kawhi is a different animal.

For the Kawhi fans, do you feel Kawhi's career length makes him a better candidate than Sidney Moncrief who, like Kawhi, only had 4 years as a star? Overall, Sid played more games than Kawhi but his non-star years aren't as good. Prime Sid was a better defender, slightly more efficient scorer relative to league on similar volumes, but with a lesser playoff resume and played during the 80s (which to me was a weaker era).
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#49 » by freethedevil » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:51 pm

penbeast0 wrote:Westbrook has played 11 seasons, 885 games plus another 106 playoff games.
Leonard 7 seasons 532 games plus 124 playoff games

Compare to
McHale 13 years, 971 games plus 169 playoff games Might consider mchale here actually. I
Reed 11 years (2 of those were injury years where he played less than 20 games) = 650 games plus 78 playoff games
so he's played half as much in th eplayoffs? Boot him off the list.
Cowens 11 years (retired halfway through 11th comeback year) 766 games plus 89 playoff gamesHalf as many playoff games? boot him off the list I'd say.

I think Westbrook has played enough. Kawhi is a different animal.

For the Kawhi fans, do you feel Kawhi's career length makes him a better candidate than Sidney Moncrief who, like Kawhi, only had 4 years as a star?
Kawhi was clealy top 10 by 2014 looking at rs impact and elevate din the playoffs. Kawhi's been a "star"(at least on the level of mchale) for 6 years and was all star level by 2013 imo.
Overall, Sid played more games than Kawhi but his non-star years aren't as good. Prime Sid was a better defender, I'm going to need argumentation for the guard being a better defender than --at worst--the second best non bigman since scottie pippen.

slightly more efficient scorer relative to league on similar volumes , this is not even close to true, at least not for the playoffs which elgee's studies have shown us os far more vlaluable for accumualting champions than the rs. The most sidney ever scored per 100 was 27 points. Kawhi beat that in [b]14-15. From 16-20 he scored 34, 40, 39, 35. That doesn't seem like simialr volume to me at all.[/b]but with a lesser playoff resume and played during the 80s (which to me was a weaker era).
I'm pimarily conerned with performace relative to era, not resume or era strength though both are tie breakers when its close. I'm going to need a strong case for sideny as being a better defender. Was their some era anomly where guards suddenly becaome amazingly valuable on defense? Because my inclination is no the 6'3 point guard is not on the level of the second most impactful non-big in the databall era, but I don't want to be close minded here.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#50 » by freethedevil » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:56 pm

Hal14 wrote:
freethedevil wrote:If Kawhi is getting consideration here. I think its time to sound the horn on westbrook.

I think Kawhi vs Westbrook is a good comparison but too early for either of them to be considered among all time greats like Isiah, Payton, Dominique Wilkins, Elvin Hayes, Kevin McHale, Thurmond, Reed, Cousy, Cowens, etc.

Nah westbrok's career is just a signficantly bette rversion of isiah's. Westbrook's creation even as of 12-14 was better than peak isiah in the playoffs, he ha ssimialr longetivty and off course his peak is far higher. Westbrook's conference final in 2014 vs the spurs woul dbe the godl standard of isiah's career. Then he proceeded to take it up anothe echelon in the 2016 second round off a season where he was the most valuable player on a 65 win(at full strength) team. Then in 17, his value, his creation and his shooting all increased and he balle dout in the playoffs.

His playoff aupm is godly, his impact metrics rate him as a kd-level player in the rs and he's led the league in on-ball creation multiple times while being a signifcantly bigger scoring threat than isiah, even prior to his peak.

Westbrook's just a much better version of Isiah in my mind, so I don't really see much reason to rate them similarly.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#51 » by therealbig3 » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:59 pm

Interesting that Kawhi Leonard made it at 42. He wasn't a superstar until 2017, and he ended up getting injured and missing the conference finals that year. Then missed basically all of 2018. Had a great season in 2019 in leading the Raptors to the title. Then had another excellent season in 2020 that had a really disappointing end.

Overall, you're talking about 3 superstar level seasons out of Kawhi to this point in his career...that's really enough for #42?

Like, what about Westbrook, who has way more superstar level seasons, and has a great argument to have peaked higher? What about non-MVP level players that simply played at a high level for a lot longer than Kawhi (Payton, Pierce, Allen, McGrady)?

Really high ranking for someone that doesn't have much better prime longevity to this point than say, Bill Walton. Who absolutely peaked higher. Seems like overvaluing rings and FMVPs, one of which was when he was nothing more than a role player.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#52 » by trex_8063 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:18 am

DQuinn1575 wrote:Bulls-you keep bringing up Kukoc and Kerr, and I continue to agree they were good; Kukoc very good, Kerr a great fit.
But no, again, they werent average 8-9-10 - If you look at the Top 6 teams in the league and take their top 4 bench guys in minutes, the only two that NEVER played 24 minutes a game are on the Bulls- that is a fact, not an opinion. I wont bother looking at Dickey Simpkins, who was 10th in minutes played. So I am saying they are below average talent wise 8,9,10.

I'm giving you evidence - the fact they werent considered good enough by the league to play half a game, they dont fit your conclusion that this is one of the best benches ever so you dispute them. Your evidence is an opinion of Buechler, but no fact or comparison against anyone else. I'm not sure if you offered anything else except that the team had a great record.
So are you saying you dont think playing time is a fair measure of how good someone is? I mean I could put together something showing the average player who played 24 mpg 5 times in a career has better numbers than the average player who never played 24 mpg but I think that would be a waste of time right now.
Thanks again, I think if we have beat this horse as much as either one of us care to, so let's discuss the next 50 some spots in the Top 100.


Sorry, I'm going to beat this dead horse some more. While it’s off-topic, it’s in an expired thread anyway; and there is so much I’d like to reply to I’m not even sure how to start.

I guess I’ll start with a little preface/disclaimer: I don’t blindly and unbendably dispute things that don’t match my conclusions out of some fierce, defensive code of loyalty to my own ideas at all costs [as you seem to be implying].

But I do tend to research my conclusions quite extensively [certainly before really “digging in” on any particular point, and certainly when being challenged on a point]. And so when I encounter a position that seems overtly mistaken----even if it wasn’t something I was previously passionate about [which this certainly wasn’t really even on my radar previously]---I frequently will explore it at great length and with substantial depth [as you will see, because I’m OCD]......and then if I’ve not been led by my explorations to abandon or alter my previous conclusion, I’ll continue to dispute it.

And to be clear: I’m not disputing you because you don’t think the ‘96 Bulls bench was an all-time great bench. I kinda think they might have been (and feel it’s probably the biggest factor that set the ‘96 [and to lesser degree ‘97] Bulls apart from earlier versions), but maybe they weren’t.
However, they were undeniably a good [even “very” good], significantly above average bench.

And that’s why I’m still engaging you on this point; because you didn’t say “yeah, they were pretty good, but not an all-time great bench imo.”.
You said--in absolutist/authoritative tone---[and I quote]: “they were not a talented bench.”

Semantically, “not talented” would seem to imply ordinary [average]. That is not a tenable position; it simply is false (I’ll say that in an absolutist tone, because the “proof” is to follow).
I see that you subsequently amended your opinion to allow that they may have been as good as Seattle’s bench (though still obviously not an all-time great bench, you say) after reading that ONE associated press writer said so.

I’m still going to present my arguments for whoever, because I’d made most of them before I caught that brief amendment to your position (and I’m going to make at least a “soft contest” to the notion that they were significantly weak 8-12).
There are a couple other things you’ve said that I wanted to touch on, too.

fwiw, your change of tune was sort of frustrating in its own way.
After hand-waving aside my actual data-based arguments regarding Kerr and Buechler [while sticking to the nah, they’re only average premise].......you then abruptly change positions after reading the opinion of one random journalist [which I’m guessing didn’t even come with much argumentation or evidence].
That I went to some length and was deflected or disregarded out-of-hand, while one journalist stating conjecture was enough to turn you, made me feel a bit….jilted, if that makes sense.

At any rate, I’d already done the research before I caught your about-face; so I’m nonetheless going to share my homework, and logically walk thru the arguments stepwise, and will establish beyond any reasonable doubt that this actually was a pretty damn good bench.
All-time tier? idk, that’s debatable; but WELL above average in the league.

But we’ll circle back to this later. There are some other issues with what you’ve been saying which I feel need addressing first…..


Firstly, I’m going to point out that regardless of what measure of player goodness you’re using (be it PER, WS/48, BPM, other collection of box-stats, eye-test, AuPM or other plus/minus-based metric, # of seasons >24 mpg, or any combination of the above), the manner in which you’ve used your measure is not an appropriate method of determining what’s above/below average.

You say “they weren’t average 8-9-10”......and then proceed to compare them to ONLY the other top 5 teams (in a 29-team league).

Setting aside the fact that I whole-heartedly disagree with the yardstick you’ve chosen to measure these players with, surely I don’t have to elaborate upon why "they don’t compare well to the top 5 teams" [in a 29-team league] "therefore they’re below average" is a seriously flawed way of approaching this.



Regarding this “yardstick” of measuring bench player quality that you’re using (# of seasons >24 mpg)......I see FOUR major flaws:

1) It’s not really a direct method of measurement.
By that I mean: instead of measuring the actual season being discussed, you’re basically measuring everything ELSE, giving players credit for what they WERE doing [or would be doing] in other years--->often several years distant [even a decade+ in some instances] from the year in question.

If not fully and explicitly stated, you’ve more than strongly insinuated that having multiple seasons >24 mpg trumps not having any such seasons; and by repeatedly bringing up the total number of these seasons as a talking point you have further insinuated that the higher the number===>the better the player.
This will [very obviously] grossly overrate players who were once good but are in the twilight of their careers, particularly those with long careers. It will also overrate players who haven’t yet developed to the players they’d eventually become during the year in question. It will also overrate players who’ve sustained career-altering injuries.

Take the ‘97 Bulls as an example: is Robert Parish a better bench player on that team than Steve Kerr (or even Jason Caffey, for that matter)? After all, he has 17 seasons >24 mpg, vs just one for Kerr and two for Caffey.
But all evidence would fairly clearly indicate he’s not as effective as either (and by a good distance behind Kerr).

Or more appropriate to our discussion of ‘96, let’s look at Frank Brickowski: he’s got 5 seasons >24 mpg.
However, specifically in ‘96, Brickowski was 36 years old and just returned from injury (having missed the entire ‘95 season). He had clearly fallen off a cliff as a player from his most recent [34-yr-old pre-injury] season. Every metric had fallen off [some of them pretty sharply] since that last season played.
He was [more or less] a scrub that season, except that with the shortened line he suddenly had some 3pt range that was of benefit. It was pretty much the ONLY benefit he provided, though; other than maybe a willingness to commit hard fouls (I have memory of him being [at least sporadically] sort of like a hockey goon this season)…...hard fouls was just about the only thing he was good for defensively.
Realistically, he’d NEVER been much a defender: not a rim protector, sort of small for a center [which limited his post defense], and a weak defensive rebounder too…...and that’s during his prime.
By ‘96 he’s still a smallish non-rim protecting center, though now an outright terrible rebounding center, and pretty slow too. Not sure if fouling so much was purely of necessity due to his short-comings (and he just chose to make some of them hard), but he AVERAGED 6.8 fouls per 36 minutes played. That’s averaging [not on a bad night, but AVERAGING] fouling out in <32 minutes.
He was also exceptionally turnover prone this year (like, REALLY exceptionally): he’s producing just 4.35 pts and 0.7 ast (and only 1.9 reb, fwiw) for every 1.0 turnovers he commits this year. Yikes.
He has as many personal fouls as he does rebounds, steals, and blocks COMBINED. Yikes.

I mean there’s no nice way to put it: he was basically done as a player by that point (and in fact would only play 17 more games in his professional career after that season).

He’s a clearly lesser player than Buechler that year, and likely worse than Wennington too (every single rate metric [including AuPM and rs pseudo-APM] favours Wennington, at any rate).
Even Brick vs Dickey Simpkins is a debate: Simpkins is no better at many things [like ball-control and rim-protection], and is a clearly lesser shooter [and scorer], for what that’s worth [given both were low-volume guys]. But otoh, he’s far and away a better rebounder than Brickowski, and doesn’t accrue as many fouls either.
So you can certainly make the case that Simpkins was a tad better than Brickowski in ‘96 [and Brick was the 9th man for the team that won the West].

But your preferred method rates Brick better than ALL of them. Why? Because it’s noisy in its inherent accuracy in the first place, AND it gives him credit for the player he HAD been in years past [which he CLEARLY no longer was].


2) Playing time among bench-level players is heavily influenced by the quality of team he’s on.
I touched on this previously: bad teams just need bodies to fill their bench [or sometimes even their starting line-up].....they don’t have better options. Good teams DO have better options [that’s why they’re good], so just “any old body” isn’t going to find much time on the court.

Off the top of my head a recent example illustrating this is Reggie Jackson: he’d been the starting PG for Detroit for years [averaging anywhere from 26.7 to 30.7 mpg]. He got traded to the Clippers mid-season last year and immediately dropped to 21.3 mpg [he’d been averaging 27.2 in Detroit that same season]; and this current season he’s down to just 13.5 so far.

He hasn’t changed as a player; he’s just in a new circumstance where he no longer sits near as high on the totem pole…...so his playing time dropped.
This phenomenon is at work all over the league, every single year, and is a huge issue with this method.
We can look at a few examples from in or near-to our 96 season….

I looked at many bench players from this season in my investigations [data to follow]…..in so doing I ran across numerous illustrative instances:
Willie Anderson was traded mid-season from Toronto to NY. He’d been a starter averaging 31.9 mpg [4th on the team] for a terrible Raptors team; upon arrival in NY [a decent team], he’s suddenly averaging only 18.4 mpg [9th on the team]. That’s quite a shift.

Walt Williams goes from a 39-win team to a 42-win team (though the SRS change is a little bigger than that, it’s still not a huge shift in team quality), and goes from 30.7 mpg [4th on team] to 28.1 mpg [9th on a highly varied roster].

Frank Brickowski in ‘94 is averaging a team-high 33.5 mpg for a godawful Bucks team; gets traded mid-season to a merely average Hornets team, and immediately finds himself down over 10 minutes to 23.3 mpg [around 8th on the team].

Your method makes a blanket assumption that 24.5 mpg for a 20-win team is automatically a better player than someone playing 23.5 mpg for a 60-win team…….when it’s likely that 90+% of the time the exact opposite is the case.


3) Playing time among bench-level players is heavily influenced by the positional depth [and/or positional foul tendencies] of the specific roster they’re part of.
Some guys only get noteworthy playing time because the roster is shallow at his position. This again applies to Frank Brickowski in ‘96.
What was the weakest position in Seattle’s starting line-up? Center [Ervin Johnson] obviously, who also couldn’t stay on the court anyway due to an extremely high foul-rate. The other man Brickowski would sub for, PF Shawn Kemp, was only 4th on the team in playing time because he had a tendency to get into a bit of foul trouble too [never once averaged 36 mpg in his career as a result].

So the two starters Brick might be sent in for happen to be the two with lowest playing time. Between them they left nearly 45 mpg of PF/C time [more like 46 mpg or so, when factoring in the handful of games missed by Kemp/Johnson] that would need to be filled by their bench bigs…...and the only bench bigs on their roster were 34-yr-old Sam Perkins, Frank Brickowski, and Steve Scheffler. Hence, Brick gets consistent court time.

On the flip-side, if we look at Buechler on the ‘96 Bulls, who is he subbing for? Principally for Pippen and Jordan…..who are only out of the game for around 22 mpg COMBINED (Ervin Johnson alone allows for substantially more sub time than that), and some of that is being covered by Toni Kukoc or even Ron Harper [if they go with a backcourt of Kerr/Brown].


4) Playing time among bench-level players is heavily influenced by injuries among teammates who play the same position.
We already touched on this in noting Will Perdue’s only year >24 mpg happened because DRob went down for the year. On a smaller scale we see this with Dickey Simpkins on the ‘96 Bulls; basically ALL of the relevant missed games on their roster were by Rodman [missed 18] and Longley [missed 20], who also happen to be 3rd and 4th in mpg on the starting line-up too. These missed games are probably the only reason Simpkins averaged slightly higher mpg than Buechler.


Summary point on all of the above:
Your measuring method is arguably as much about……
a) quality of rosters played for (usually on totally different teams/circumstances, often years separated from the time-period in question),
b) positional depth on those rosters,
c) injuries on those rosters at his position
……...as it is actually about the player himself.

AND [as if this^^^ isn’t enough] it is frequently grossly mischaracterizing player quality based on crediting him for seasons past [or yet to come], seasons which are often SEVERAL YEARS and/or serious injury separate from the year in question.

When there are so many means of measuring the ACTUAL quality of a player in the ACTUAL season being discussed [why not just use the same tools we utilize for every other non-bench player?], I just cannot understand why anyone would adhere to a method that carries all these glaring flaws.

It’s basically saying “I’m going to look at how these players were in ‘96 by looking---thru the most indirect and murky lens imaginable----at what they were in all OTHER [not ‘96] seasons.”
What could go wrong?


On why I “keep bringing up Kukoc and Kerr”.....
Because it pertains very heavily toward this idea that this was “not a talented bench” (which yes, I see you’ve amended that opinion; though this applies even to any notion that they were merely a kinda good or “little above” average bench, or similar).

Kukoc and Kerr are, imo, the clear best 6/7 duo in the league this year. Let’s qualify that…..

To this point I’ve said nothing BUT a one-liner opinion regarding Kukoc, other than to note he was the actual 6MOY recipient. However, you’ve seemed satisfied with that level of non-analysis where he is concerned, having acknowledged that he “was very good”. So I won’t go into depth on him. He arguably was the most deserving of the award that year, almost assuredly a top-2 candidate for it at any rate (Sabonis is the only other guy I feel you can make a truly credible case for [he finished 2nd in vote]).

You’ve [almost grudging...once] acknowledged that Kerr was “good”, otherwise only allowing that he was “a great fit”, nothing more.
For being only the 7th-man in the rotation, I would contend that he was VERY good.

I went into a fair bit of depth on him in a prior post, so I won’t repeat all of it. I will repeat, however, that he was accounting for 32.8 pts and 9.1 ast for every 2.0 turnovers he committed.
I was going to say that kind of overall offensive efficiency is extremely rare…..but it’s not. It’s completely unheard of in NBA history outside of ‘96 Steve Kerr.
No one else [regardless of modest offensive load, “great fit”, limited minute role, etc] has attained that degree of GOAT-level ball-control while simultaneously having that degree of shooting efficiency. That’s why his 141 ORtg from that year is unmatched by anyone while playing relevant minutes (as far as I can tell no one else [other than Kerr himself] has come closer than 135).

That deserves recognition.

Also noting that he played 23.4 mpg [at least marginally higher than the average 7th man] is why I think he was [perhaps easily] the theoretical “7th Man of the Year”.

Thus: the clear best 6th/7th duo in the league that year, imo.

And then further noting that because they were both healthy all year, and because the Bulls were strikingly consistent in that 7-man rotation, they ended up accounting for more minutes played than 8-12 on the roster COMBINED.

So if one wants to argue that the ‘96 Bulls bench was fairly ordinary, contending that 8-12 were merely “not average” won’t cut it…….you have to establish the Bulls from 8-12 were [fairly literally] the bottom of the entire league to make this a roughly average bench overall.

But they demonstrably were not bottom of the league, or even particularly close to it.

To even make a claim that this bench overall was merely “decent” or “a little above average” or “kinda good” requires establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that they were at least ”kinda” near the bottom of league from 8-12 (like maybe only 23-25 of 29 teams??).

However, it can be argued that they weren’t even below average at all from 8-12 (more on this to follow).

Ergo [after arguments which follow], it is by literal definition an above average [“talented”] bench overall (and likely by quite a substantial margin).


On the difference between opinion/conjecture and objective evidence.....
You said I provided only an opinion wrt to Buechler, which is not true. Let’s be clear on what is conjecture, and what is objectively established as fact:

If I say “Player A is a good player”.....that’s an opinion.
If I say “Player A was a good FT shooter” and then provide the numbers that establish he was indeed above average…..that’s not opinion; that’s fact.
Even if I DIDN’T cite the FT% numbers specifically, it’s easy enough to reference FT% for yourself that if my statement is true, it still holds up as fact without me doing the legwork for you.

So let’s look at what I said about Buechler…..
1) I said he was a “fair/decent 3&D role player”, and cited that he shot 44.4% from 3pt on 6.4 3PA/100. This already is looking like factual evidence that he was indeed a good 3pt shooter.
To be more precise: even with the shortened line, league avg 3pt% was just 36.7%......so he’s nearly 8% better than league-average.
League-average volume [all positions] was 3.5 3PA/100; specifically among PG/SG/SF’s only…..about 5.5 3PA/100. So Buechler is taking treys at an above average rate [even among perimeter players] while making them at nearly 8% better than average.

This is not my opinion; this is a fact: he was GOOD [pending semantic clarity, could perhaps even say “excellent”] 3pt shooter that year.

2) I said he was a good offensive rebounding SF, and while didn’t cite the specs I noted his OREB% was better than Wennington’s [a center], and barely behind Longley [another center]. Given I’ve made specific reference to a dataset for a specific skillset, this already seems to be hedging more toward evidence than mere conjecture.
To be more precise: league-average OREB/100 rate [all positions] was 2.75 (average for a SG/SF like Buechler is actually closer to 2.5 or a little less); Buechler was averaging 3.2.

This is not my opinion; this is a fact: he was a good offensive rebounding wing that year.

3) I said I recalled him being “fair/decent defensively”, and provided as back-up to my opinion that he averaged 2.9 steals+blocks/100. As stl+blk is a fairly unreliable gauge of defense [though probably not as unreliable as # of seasons >24 mpg :wink:], this one probably does hedge closer to conjecture. But I’ll add to it…..

League average [all positions] stl+blk/100 was 2.8 (1.7 stl, 1.1 blk); so Buechler’s 2.9 (2.4/0.5) is negligibly above average. He did so without committing an excess of fouls (league avg foul rate was 5.0/100, Buechler’s was 5.0).
His defensive rebounding rate is slightly low: average for a SG/SF is around 5 to 5.5 dreb/100; Buechler averaged 4.7.

We don’t have DRAPM for ‘96, however we DO have it for the very next year: Buechler’s DRAPM in ‘97 was +0.74 (fwiw, was then -0.37 in ‘98, and +0.45 in ‘99).
I also noted the one nickname listed on bbref is “Mr. Fundamental”. This is purely speculative, but I would guess that you’re unlikely to garner that nickname if you’re a total space cadet on defense.

Take all of ^^that fwiw. Collectively I do think it suggests that my eye-test was more or less correct: he was a “fair/decent” defensive player.

Just doing a quick once-over on some other aspects of his game…..
League average ast/100 [all positions] was 4.9 (specifically for a SG/SF it might slightly >5); Buechler averaged 4.0. His turnover economy is mediocre among wings.
So statistically he’s a somewhat below average passer/creator wing (consistent with my memory, fwiw).

I talked up his 3pt shooting, though overall he’s an ordinary scorer: +1.0% rTS while scoring 19.8 pts/100 [league average is 21.7].


Add it up, what have we got?
An average scorer (good [even excellent] 3pt shooter---which can penalize teams for doubling off him, fwiw----but weak in all other aspects of scoring), average defender, good offensive rebounder, somewhat weak in passing/creation.
Basically a fairly average(ish) player [or close to it] in small minutes.

That may not sound complimentary, but “average” is actually pretty good for a 9th/10th man. Most 9th/10th men are substantially BELOW average (that’s frequently why they’re not ~5th/6th in the rotation).


I actually went a whole lot further to compare Buechler specifically to other 9th(ish) men in the league that year:
I tried to identify all the 9th(ish) men in the league…...which is actually kinda hard on some rosters. Some rosters/rotations were so broken up by injuries, mid-season trades, and general rotational experimentation that the 9th-highest mpg was sometimes still >24 mpg (they just had SEVERAL guys playing biggish minutes in not very many games). Or sometimes a player was 9th on one team, traded to another where he was 4th (the above Willie Anderson and Walt Williams examples).

But going by total minutes played was little better as you’d sometimes land on some guy who played ~30 mpg (but for only like 33 games because of injury).
So I did my best to identify some 9th(ish) type players (which does include the Willie Anderson and Walt Williams examples, btw, as well as some others who are probably better placed among 8th or even 7th men).

In total I collected data on 46 different players from ‘96 (including both Buechler and Dickey Simpkins--->Simpkins was actually 9th on the Bulls in mpg, though only 10th in minutes).
In addition to Buechler/Simpkins and the aforementioned Anderson/Williams, it includes [for example] names like Ledell Eackles, Charlie Ward, Todd Day, Doug West, ED O’Bannon, Zan Tabak, Shawn Respert, Kevin Gamble, Chris Gatling [a 6MOY nominee], 41-yr-old Robert Parish, Loren Meyer, Cherokee Parks, rookie Gary Trent, Haywoode Workman, Mark Bryant, and washed up Frank Brickowski.

For each of these 46 players, I recorded the following stats:
mpg
Total minutes
PER
WS/48
BPM
Net rating
“Per 100 added” (I looked at their Per 100 numbers and added: Pts + TReb + Ast + Stl + Blk - TO - missed FGA - (0.5 * missed FTA))
Pseudo APM (rs only, provided by colts18; available for 29 of the 46 players)
Scaled AuPM (provided by Ben Taylor; available for 23 of the 46)

Here is what the average “9th man” [including Buechler] looks like:
1,163 minutes played
17.66 mpg
11.82 PER
20.96 “Per 100 added”
.068 WS/48
-2.31 BPM
-5.11 net rating
-1.76 pseudo-APM
-1.55 scaled AuPM

None of this should be surprising. BPM actually defines “replacement level” for us as -2.0. Analogous “replacement level” for the other stats might be around PER of 13, WS/48 of .075, net rating of -4, “Per 100 added” around 21-22…...something like that.

And a typical “replacement level” guy would be approximately the 7th man in your average rotation. So the 9th man would reasonably be expected to look just a little worse than “replacement level”......which is precisely what we see here.

Here’s how Buechler shakes out among this crowd:
740 minutes played (42nd of 46)
10.0 mpg (46th)
14.1 PER (tied for 8th)
22.3 “Per 100 added” (16th)
.148 WS/48 (1st)
+1.7 BPM (3rd)
+11 net rating (1st)

He’s one of the players we don’t have APM or AuPM for. But if we used his RAPM from the very next season as a proxy (+0.31), that would rank 2nd of 29 in pseudo-APM and 2nd of 23 in scaled AuPM.
If we averaged his ‘97 and ‘98 RAPM’s (comes to -0.49) to use as a proxy, that would still rank 7th and 6th, respectively.


I don’t know about you, but I look at all of this data and find I cannot come away with a conclusion that Buechler was a poor or below average 9th/10th man. The bulk of evidence would seem to suggest he was even a bit of an ABOVE average 9th/10th man…...which is consistent with the player break-down I did just before this data-set.

fwiw, Dickey Simpkins has the following line:
685 minutes
11.4 mpg
10.4 PER
.084 WS/48
-3.7 BPM
-2 net rating
20.7 “Per 100 added”
APM and AuPM absent [subsequent year RAPM’s unflattering]

…...probably a slightly below average “9th man” overall [though we seemed to have agreed he’s better placed as the “10th man” anyway; probably negligibly below average among them].

I haven’t done the “8th men” in the league [hopefully goes without saying, this took a fair bit of work], but it would probably include a few of the same names and would average out just marginally better, I should think.
Something like: PER of 12.0, WS/48 of 0.072, BPM -2.1, “Per 100 added” of 21.25, net rating of -4.5, and AuPM of -1.4 on 18-19 mpg…..is probably a good estimate.

‘96 Wennington (Chicago’s 8th man) has this line:
15.0 mpg
11.0 PER
.125 WS/48
-3.2 BPM
+7 net rating
20.75 “Per 100 added”
+0.4 AuPM

…….basically pretty average if we amalgamate all of that.


So the bench of the ‘96 Bulls is starting to look like this:
*the single-best 6th/7th duo in the league
**an entirely average 8th man
***a slightly ABOVE average 9th man
****a negligibly below average 10th man
*****and while I haven’t done the thorough investigation, I think it’s clear that Randy Brown is certainly no less than average as the 11th bloody man in the line-up [and likely better than average for that role].

And this is exhaustively long already, so I’m going to ignore 12 [though off the cuff I’d say Caffey and Salley are basically no worse than Simpkins].
So you hopefully get the idea: this bench [compared to the league as a whole, and not just top-5 teams] was actually perfectly “OK” from 8-12 [arguably even hedging toward "decent"], while being better than anyone else at 6/7.
This made them more than just a little bit good as a bench overall.

If you've read this far, you don't need glasses.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#53 » by DQuinn1575 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:16 pm

trex_8063 wrote:
And that’s why I’m still engaging you on this point; because you didn’t say “yeah, they were pretty good, but not an all-time great bench imo.”.
You said--in absolutist/authoritative tone---[and I quote]: “they were not a talented bench.”

Semantically, “not talented” would seem to imply ordinary [average]. That is not a tenable position; it simply is false (I’ll say that in an absolutist tone, because the “proof” is to follow).
I see that you subsequently amended your opinion to allow that they may have been as good as Seattle’s bench (though still obviously not an all-time great bench, you say) after reading that ONE associated press writer said so.





I was wrong about your support for your comments on Jud Buechler, I apologize for that.
I did read your whole post, but have already been wearing glasses since I flunked my first eye exam when I was 5.
I read the AP article and about 4 others to make sure I wasn't missing something - I am a Chicagoan and it was a long time ago, so I wanted to see if I was missing something where there was a big consensus that the Bulls had a great bench. So I looked at the previews for the Finals, where various papers would preview the Finals - It looked 50/50 - so there wasn't a general thought that the Bulls were a great bench. Everyone thinks they have an open mind; I try to go back to sources as part of my process. I didn't change my opinion based on the writer, I try to make sure I am not too overly biased.

And yes, I agree the bench performed well. But I can't really look at Win Shares, as it apportions a lot of defense on an overall team basis, and this team led the league in defense efficiency. And it's really hard to assess them in other measures - mostly the same guys played in 95 and 96, with two new starters - and all of these guys performed much better with the arrival of those two.

Well, you can be effective but not talented - Kurt Rambis comes to mind first. A lot of basketball is about fit. I don't know how much you follow college basketball history, but two cases in point are 77 Marquette and 89 Michigan - both teams won the national title starting a far less talented "no name" (Bill Neary and Mike Griffin) instead of a more talented player (Bernard Toone and
Sean Higgins).

So the Bulls -

Kukoc - a really good player, and a very talented one. I haven't said a bad thing about him in all these posts, and won't start now.

Talent of the Others

Steve Kerr - There were 51 point guards with 1,000 plus minutes in the 95-96 season.
Here is how Kerr ranked in % for 1996:
True Shooting - 1st
FTr -46th (6 from bottom)
Reb -tied for 2nd to last (3.3, Mayberry 3.2)
Asst% last
Steals - 38th
Blocks - tied for last
Usage - 2nd to last

A great shooter, but 7 categories, and he basically at the bottom of 5 of them, and pretty low in steals.
So, effective, a great fit for the team but not talented.


Bill Wennington played 2 years in Europe, averaging 10 ppg in the EuroLeague, and 12 ppg in the Italian League. He played behind
Will Perdue on the Bulls, who you have already cited as a poor player.

http://www.fibaeurope.com/compID_,Uz02qBnJiADOq5VntEf53.roundID_2564.season_1993.teamID_1315.playerID_11697.html

So, not talented, big and can shoot a little.

Jud Buechler was basically 12th man who barely made the team. In 1995 he was the one who got "injured" when Jordan came back and the Bulls got Krystowiak back. In the 96 season he beat out 3 other guys for the last spot after the Bulls had to cut Pete Myers to make room for Rodman under the salary cap. In his career he got let go by the Nets, the Spurs, the Warriors, and the Bulls. So he got let go by 4 teams in his career, and twice struggled to make the Bulls roster.
So I am saying not talented.

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/67736219/chicago-tribune/
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/67735933/chicago-tribune/

Kenny Harris one of guys Buechler beat out, averaged 9.9 per game that year in the CBA, McMahan averaged 5.5. They played 3 and 2 years in the CBA respectively.

And here is how much they played when they were on below average teams.

Player Age Tm G GS MP Wins Min/G
Bill Wennington 25 DAL 65 9 1074 38 16.5
Bill Wennington 27 SAC 77 23 1455 25 18.9
Bill Wennington 35 CHI 38 3 451 13 11.9
Jud Buechler 22 NJN 74 10 859 26 11.6
Jud Buechler 23 NJN 2 0 29 40 14.5
Jud Buechler 24 GSW 70 9 1287 34 18.4
Jud Buechler 32 DET 57 3 737 32 12.9
Jud Buechler 33 PHO 6 0 54 36 9.0
Steve Kerr 25 CLE 57 4 905 33 15.9

So yes, even bad teams have to play people, but when these guys were on bad teams they still couldn't get in 20 minutes per game.
When I think of great benches, i think of people saying - he could start for a lot of teams in this league.

And here you go - win shares per 48 for guys whose career started 1978 or later and ended career by 2019

WS Minutes WS/48 Team Wins
1780 984138 0.087 0.434 35.6
2746 2244645 0.059 0.294 24.1

So, overall yes guys who play 5 seasons of 24 minutes per game grade out slightly below average, guys who never get 24 minutes a game don't look so good.

And yes, I am saying that Kerr, Wennington, and Buechler weren't very talented.
One ranked low in almost every category.
One played behind Will Perdue and didnt even perform well in early 90s Europe
One was released by 4 teams, and was last man to make team multiple times
And none could start in the league, even on below average teams.
The fact that they didn't start anywhere isn't the basis for my opinion, the other facts are - this fact reinforces the opinion for me.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#54 » by colts18 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:30 pm

The 1996 Bulls bench was really good. All of the data supports that. Here are some things to consider:

-Toni Kukoc lead the NBA in On court Net +/- per 100 at +17. That's the best score since 1994 other than 2016 Curry and Draymond. Granted a lot of those numbers came with MJ and Pippen on the court. It's the same story with Kerr at +10.9 and Wennington at +12.8.
-When MJ was off the floor, the Bulls were +1.5. With Pippen off they were +4.9. How does that compare to other star players?

Robinson -5.9
Hakeem -5.4
Malone and Stockton -3.4
Hill -8.3
Miller -3.5
Payton +3.9
Barkley -4.8
Penny -7.0

The Bulls played pretty good without MJ and Pippen all things being considered.

-We don't have 1996 data, but we have lineup data for the 1997 season in which the Bulls brought back the same bench and the story is the same. On court Net +/- for the bench players:

Kukoc +14
Kerr +9
Caffey +10
Brown +10
Wennington +8
Buechler +5
Parish +16

How did the 97 Bulls do on court based on the number of starters that were on the court?

# of starters Net
0 -12.1
1 8.2
2 11.5
3 20.0
4 12.5
5 9.9

The 0 starter lineups did bad but those lineups contain the end of the bench players and none of those minutes were meaningful. The 1, 2, 3 starter lineups show that the Bulls performed well when their bench players were on court.

What if we filtered on only lineups that had Steve Kerr and Kukoc on the court at the same time?

# of starters Net
0 3.0
1 9.7
2 13.3
3 20.7

The Kerr and Kukoc lineups performed well even when MJ and Pippen were off the court. They were excellent when they played with the starters. In 134 minutes they had a +39 when they played with MJ, Pippen, and Rodman on the court.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#55 » by trex_8063 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:09 pm

If we're throwing out Kerr's rank in specific [non-amalgamated/"all-in-one" types] stats, I'll add to the those listed that he's first among all 51 PG's [1st in the league, actually] in TOV%......by like two whole percent over the 2nd-placed PG.

Also just pointing out that a list of 51 PG's with >1000 minutes likely includes about 29 starting PG's, no? Considering he's the 7th man, I'd be curious to know where his rank in some of his less flattering stats were among only NON-starting PG's.

Again, this is a little bit like the saying a bench was below average because it compares unfavorably to the top 5 in a 29-team league. It's bad methodology from the get-go.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#56 » by DQuinn1575 » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:59 am

trex_8063 wrote:If we're throwing out Kerr's rank in specific [non-amalgamated/"all-in-one" types] stats, I'll add to the those listed that he's first among all 51 PG's [1st in the league, actually] in TOV%......by like two whole percent over the 2nd-placed PG.

Also just pointing out that a list of 51 PG's with >1000 minutes likely includes about 29 starting PG's, no? Considering he's the 7th man, I'd be curious to know where his rank in some of his less flattering stats were among only NON-starting PG's.

Again, this is a little bit like the saying a bench was below average because it compares unfavorably to the top 5 in a 29-team league. It's bad methodology from the get-go.



Since you're curious:


Okay, Kerr against non starter point guards, note many would be below 7th in team in minutes played, if you want to stress 7th man, these are backups who played a decent amount.
22 point guards
less than 41 starts
1,000 minutes minimum

TS - 1
FTr 20
Reb 20 (2 worse)
Asst - 22
Steal -14
BLock -22
TO% -1
Usg - 21

Still really low in most things. I tried to compare him against all point guards to see if he would start somewhere else - but for the topic you're correct that it is unfair since the main goal was to assess benches.

On comparing against good teams rather than whole league - the original point was this was one of the best teams ever
basically if you are one of the best ever you should compare well against a group of good teams (which are likely but not definite to have good benches) from the same year.

It's like saying the 1972 Lakers have one of the best backcourts ever, and then complaining if i compare them to 5 best 1972 teams, and not all the teams in the league.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#57 » by trex_8063 » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:47 pm

I don't think I've been unfair or held you to any sort of double-standard.

If you'd merely been arguing against a suggestion that it was an all-time good bench when you brought in the comparison to top 5 teams, that would have been totally fine; completely appropriate scale of response.

But you didn't stop there. You strongly insinuated they were a completely ordinary bench, and then used the top-5 comp to "prove" it. That's a logical fallacy by design: it proves nothing wrt the actual question [were they above average?]. Hence the objection.


Regarding guys with 5+ seasons >24 mpg looking [on average, over their whole careers] BETTER than guys with no such seasons.......
I'm not surprised, nor did I suggest it would be otherwise. Not once.
I'm guessing if we looked at players who had 5+ seasons with >3 DWS, they look [on average, over their careers] better defensively than guys who have no such seasons.......but that doesn't mean '11 Shaq was actually better defensively than Jared Dudley specifically in 2011. And that's the whole point about this methodology.


Regarding these comps/rankings you've provided for Kerr, couple things....

1) Including FTAr (when TS% is already there) seems a bit of a red herring argument, perhaps included only as a means of including one more thing in which he ranks low. If listing that, why not also included FT% (rank: 1st), 3pt% (rank: 1st), 3PAr (don't know, but likely near the top), 2pt% (don't know, but likely in the top 10)? They're all just as relevant toward shooting efficiency, but curiously omitted above.
However, they're all a bit superfluous, as they're all baked right into the pie that is TS%.

2) Simply counting up the various ranks and drawing conclusions based upon some manner of average rank among them ["he ranks low in more than he ranks high"] is again a poor methodology. It assumes a similar(ish) relevance to each category or skillset; and assumes the margin between 1st/last or 1st/10th or 1st/2nd, etc, is equal in all categories. But that's not at all the case.

Take BLK% as an example: it's of minimal relevance among PG's.
Kerr is in last [with his 0.1 blk/100]; but I'm guessing the guy who's 1st/22 averages what?.....maybe 0.7 or so blk/100? So the difference between first and last is like 0.3 bpg, or something like that?
Not exactly shifting the needle much.

If we looked at something like TS%, otoh, the value added by the difference between 1st [Kerr] and the guy in 5th (or maybe even the guy in 2nd??), is going to be larger/more relevant than the 1st/last difference in BLK%.
And the difference between 1st/last TS% is probably what?.....15-16%? Maybe more like 20%? Huge, in other words.

Similar with TOV%: the difference between 1st [Kerr] and 5th likely bears as much or more relevance than that 1st/last gap in BLK%.


But this is going no where, so......carry on I guess.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #42 (Kawhi Leonard) 

Post#58 » by DQuinn1575 » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:43 pm

trex_8063 wrote:

Regarding guys with 5+ seasons >24 mpg looking [on average, over their whole careers] BETTER than guys with no such seasons.......
I'm not surprised, nor did I suggest it would be otherwise. Not once.


I said 5 and meant 5, not 5 plus, I'm not comparing these guys to Shaq. That wouldn't be fair, and I really am not trying to cherry pick stats, I'm trying (probably not very well) to use them to show or support conclusions.

And since you are so against me looking at a sample of 5 teams and stopping after finding none, I looked at all 30 teams - 120 players - and list below the guys who never played 24 minutes a game.
There are 16 - two are Bulls. Most teams don't have any. Twenty out of 30 teams didn't give 8th and 9th most minutes to guys who are replacement roster level players.

George Zídek CHH
Darrin Hancock CHH
Bill Wennington CHI
Jud Buechler CHI
John Crotty CLE
Tony Dumas DAL
Loren Meyer DAL
Cherokee Parks DAL
Shawn Respert MIL
Ed O'Bannon NJN
Sean Higgins PHI
James Robinson POR
Žan Tabak TOR
Jimmy King TOR
Tim Legler WSB
Jim McIlvaine WSB

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