How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer?

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How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#1 » by Matt15 » Mon Feb 8, 2021 2:34 am

How many players would you say have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer?
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#2 » by SNPA » Mon Feb 8, 2021 5:17 am

    Less than 5ish have a reasonable case.

    To me he is top 3.

    And so we can address it now, LeBron isn’t one.
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    Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

    Post#3 » by HeartBreakKid » Mon Feb 8, 2021 5:26 am

    SNPA wrote:
      Less than 5ish have a reasonable case.

      To me he is top 3.

      And so we can address it now, LeBron isn’t one.

      and so it has begun
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#4 » by kendogg » Mon Feb 8, 2021 8:06 am

      bird is top 3 in court vision, is easily the most effective at using the touch pass in league history, and he has a very high passing accuracy, but lebron is more effective at running a modern offense because of his ability to drive into the paint and collapse the defenses like a guard but with the finishing ability of a big man. drive and kick is his bread and butter. bird has a great triple threat don't get me wrong but his lack of explosion limits his ability to get into the paint consistently like lebron can.

      bird could play a similar role to say jokic, but lebron not so much.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#5 » by 70sFan » Mon Feb 8, 2021 8:17 am

      Very few players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer and LeBron is one of them.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#6 » by SNPA » Mon Feb 8, 2021 8:32 am

      70sFan wrote:Very few players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer and LeBron is one of them.

      Totally disagree. James has gotten a lot better, a lot. This final version of James really is a great passer. Most of his career though he was mainly a drive and kick player that could lead the break. Bulldozing your way to the rim and throwing it to where the help comes from is what it is, and that isn’t in the Magic/Bird passing stratosphere.

      Bird has better court vision, is more dynamic and has a more natural feel. You can tell the difference in touch passes.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#7 » by 70sFan » Mon Feb 8, 2021 8:49 am

      SNPA wrote:
      70sFan wrote:Very few players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer and LeBron is one of them.

      Totally disagree. James has gotten a lot better, a lot. This final version of James really is a great passer. Most of his career though he was mainly a drive and kick player that could lead the break. Bulldozing your way to the rim and throwing it to where the help comes from is what it is, and that isn’t in the Magic/Bird passing stratosphere.

      Bird has better court vision, is more dynamic and has a more natural feel. You can tell the difference in touch passes.

      LeBron was fantastic passer right from the beginning of his journey.

      I agree that Bird seems to have more natural feel, but at the same time James makes more advanced passes from techical standpoint and his passes are usually more accurate.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#8 » by kendogg » Mon Feb 8, 2021 9:04 am

      It's not hard to rack up assists with an insanely high usage rate, and assists are easier to get in this era than they ever have. APG is not remotely comparable across teams much less eras, especially when they have vastly different roles and usage. Saying LeBron looks like a better passer when he is playing point guard on the most talented team he's ever been on is a very captain obvious statement. Passing ability is not really measurable with box scores. It's something you need to subjectively conclude based on a career's worth of game footage and judging their decision making on a possession by possession basis as well as comparing how many opportunities they had and how many they converted on, how many they missed, etc. Both Bird and LeBron have all-time levels of court vision and passing accuracy, but their playstyle and team roles are quite different despite them both being labelled as a SF, and played in very different eras as well.

      Trying to rank players in passing ability is an exercise in futility. A tier list might be a more manageable conversation. A better question might be which players are on the GOAT tier of passing alongside the obvious answers like Bird, LeBron and Magic.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#9 » by SNPA » Mon Feb 8, 2021 9:12 am

      70sFan wrote:
      SNPA wrote:
      70sFan wrote:Very few players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer and LeBron is one of them.

      Totally disagree. James has gotten a lot better, a lot. This final version of James really is a great passer. Most of his career though he was mainly a drive and kick player that could lead the break. Bulldozing your way to the rim and throwing it to where the help comes from is what it is, and that isn’t in the Magic/Bird passing stratosphere.

      Bird has better court vision, is more dynamic and has a more natural feel. You can tell the difference in touch passes.

      LeBron was fantastic passer right from the beginning of his journey.

      I agree that Bird seems to have more natural feel, but at the same time James makes more advanced passes from techical standpoint and his passes are usually more accurate.

      You are remarkably low on Bird in general. Why is that?
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#10 » by NO-KG-AI » Mon Feb 8, 2021 9:13 am

      I think Magic is indisputably the best passer. I think the other guys that are just ridiculously creative and also have the precision and quick decision making of Bird, or maybe better is down to like Cp3, Nash, Kidd, and Jokic.



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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#11 » by Sebastian » Mon Feb 8, 2021 9:26 am

      Magic for sure. Nash probably.

      Kidd, Hardaway, Paul, Zeke, Maravich in the conversation but probably not.

      Just off the top of my head.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#12 » by Dutchball97 » Mon Feb 8, 2021 9:44 am

      In terms of how aesthetically pleasing his passing was he was up there but I can't see it from an effectiveness point. Chris Paul has a career 45 AST%, while Bird has a career 25 AST% on pretty much the same TOV%. It's difficult to precisely judge someone's passing ability on stats alone but looking at this I have a hard time putting Bird up there with the best of the best. Even MJ, who generally wasn't even considered the best playmaker on his team, had an identical AST% as Bird with a lower TOV%.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#13 » by kendogg » Mon Feb 8, 2021 10:00 am

      I think Bird and LeBron are the hardest to rank though as they are more known as scorers than passers, even though they are adept at both, and it's too hard to separate their impact offensively between scoring and passing since the game at the highest level is so fluid and such a team sport. But even pass-first point guards have to balance between scoring and passing, and decision making on any play is a very subjective thing.

      When you go back and watch tape and judge these players on their passing opportunities and how many they converted,
      how can you judge on a snapshot of a specific possession if it is better for a player to pass or shoot the ball? Great scorers like LeBron or Bird might shoot it sometimes when others would pass, but that doesn't mean that they didn't see the pass, they just judged that their slightly contested shot is more likely to go in than a role players less contested shot, and they may or not be right (we'll never know at least until humanity possesses the ability to travel between alternate universes).

      Showmanship is another aspect of the game that rarely gets brought up in these kind of player comparison conversations, but in regards to comparing passing and ability to run an offense, I think it is a relevant consideration. Most of the highest paid athletes were paid because of their ability to put butts in the seats. Being an entertaining player and being a skilled player are definitely highly correlated, but some players had an extra level of flair that made them have more outstanding highlights, and others were more reserved and less likely to attempt the riskier passes. Turnovers would normally be a huge detriment to a players passing ranking, but their level of showmanship has to be a consideration here. So guys like Bird or Magic who had more flair might have a slightly worse assist to turnover ratio as a more reserved floor leader like Chris Paul or John Stockton. Then you have guys more in the middle like LeBron. And way out on the outskirts of the flair side are guys like Pistol Pete and White Chocolate, who perhaps had too much flair.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#14 » by 70sFan » Mon Feb 8, 2021 11:10 am

      SNPA wrote:
      70sFan wrote:
      SNPA wrote:Totally disagree. James has gotten a lot better, a lot. This final version of James really is a great passer. Most of his career though he was mainly a drive and kick player that could lead the break. Bulldozing your way to the rim and throwing it to where the help comes from is what it is, and that isn’t in the Magic/Bird passing stratosphere.

      Bird has better court vision, is more dynamic and has a more natural feel. You can tell the difference in touch passes.

      LeBron was fantastic passer right from the beginning of his journey.

      I agree that Bird seems to have more natural feel, but at the same time James makes more advanced passes from techical standpoint and his passes are usually more accurate.

      You are remarkably low on Bird in general. Why is that?

      I'm not low on peak Bird at all, I find 1984-88 Bird to be one of the best offensive players ever. His ability to play off-ball and create on-ball is rivaled only by Curry and he played in an era that didn't suit his style of play. Trust me, I'm very high on his offense - having James or Magic above him is not an insult at all.

      If you want to talk about his career, then I am indeed lower on him than most. It's a combination of a few things:

      - his longevity is weak and he has few ATG seasons compared to other top 15 players,

      - I'm not as high on pre-84 Bird's offense as some, he was inconsistent scorer who consistently got worse in playoffs in that period; he was still an offensive genius but I don't consider him to be better than someone like 2019-20 Jokic,

      - although I am probably higher on Bird's defense than most, I don't find him to be "defensive genius" and he wasn't worthy all these all-defensive selections in my opinion,

      - post-90 Bird doesn't give him basically any career value in all-time sense, which gives him only 10 superstar seasons and I don't view his 1980-83 ans 1990 seasons as GOAT worthy.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#15 » by Odinn21 » Mon Feb 8, 2021 11:37 am

      70sFan wrote:I'm not low on peak Bird at all, I find 1984-88 Bird to be one of the best offensive players ever. His ability to play off-ball and create on-ball is rivaled only by Curry and he played in an era that didn't suit his style of play. Trust me, I'm very high on his offense - having James or Magic above him is not an insult at all.

      If you want to talk about his career, then I am indeed lower on him than most. It's a combination of a few things:

      - his longevity is weak and he has few ATG seasons compared to other top 15 players,

      - I'm not as high on pre-84 Bird's offense as some, he was inconsistent scorer who consistently got worse in playoffs in that period; he was still an offensive genius but I don't consider him to be better than someone like 2019-20 Jokic,

      - although I am probably higher on Bird's defense than most, I don't find him to be "defensive genius" and he wasn't worthy all these all-defensive selections in my opinion,

      - post-90 Bird doesn't give him basically any career value in all-time sense, which gives him only 10 superstar seasons and I don't view his 1980-83 ans 1990 seasons as GOAT worthy.

      I find your opinion of Bird a bit too low, mostly because comparison to Magic.

      Here's what both of us see but weight too differently.
      From 1980 to 1983, Bird had major issues with postseason resilience. But he was also better than Magic Johnson considerably.
      From 1984 to 1986, Bird was definitely the best in the league by some distance, including Magic.
      From 1987 to 1988, they were on the same level but Magic had more complete seasons for sure.
      From 1989 to 1991, Bird basically added nothing to his career value while Magic was at his peak / near peak.

      That's 12 seasons of overlap. Bird was the better one in 7 of them. They were on the same level in 2 of them but also clear edge in favour of Magic. Then 3 seasons of Magic's best vs. Bird's nothing.

      With Bird's superiorty extend and duration, I'd easily argue that he should be on the same level as Magic despite Magic peaking later, especially against Bird's non-value seasons. You have them in different tiers though.
      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.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#16 » by 70sFan » Mon Feb 8, 2021 11:57 am

      Odinn21 wrote:
      70sFan wrote:I'm not low on peak Bird at all, I find 1984-88 Bird to be one of the best offensive players ever. His ability to play off-ball and create on-ball is rivaled only by Curry and he played in an era that didn't suit his style of play. Trust me, I'm very high on his offense - having James or Magic above him is not an insult at all.

      If you want to talk about his career, then I am indeed lower on him than most. It's a combination of a few things:

      - his longevity is weak and he has few ATG seasons compared to other top 15 players,

      - I'm not as high on pre-84 Bird's offense as some, he was inconsistent scorer who consistently got worse in playoffs in that period; he was still an offensive genius but I don't consider him to be better than someone like 2019-20 Jokic,

      - although I am probably higher on Bird's defense than most, I don't find him to be "defensive genius" and he wasn't worthy all these all-defensive selections in my opinion,

      - post-90 Bird doesn't give him basically any career value in all-time sense, which gives him only 10 superstar seasons and I don't view his 1980-83 ans 1990 seasons as GOAT worthy.

      I find your opinion of Bird a bit too low, mostly because comparison to Magic.

      Here's what both of us see but weight too differently.
      From 1980 to 1983, Bird had major issues with postseason resilience. But he was also better than Magic Johnson considerably.
      From 1984 to 1986, Bird was definitely the best in the league by some distance, including Magic.
      From 1987 to 1988, they were on the same level but Magic had more complete seasons for sure.
      From 1989 to 1991, Bird basically added nothing to his career value while Magic was at his peak / near peak.

      That's 12 seasons of overlap. Bird was the better one in 7 of them. They were on the same level in 2 of them but also clear edge in favour of Magic. Then 3 seasons of Magic's best vs. Bird's nothing.

      With Bird's superiorty extend and duration, I'd easily argue that he should be on the same level as Magic despite Magic peaking later, especially against Bird's non-value seasons. You have them in different tiers though.

      1. I don't have then in completely different tiers though. I have Magic 9th or 10th all-time, Bird is probably in 11-13 range.

      2. I don't agree that Bird was considerably better than Magic in 1982 and 1983. In fact, Bird was so underwhelming in postseason that I'd probably give Magic edge. No disagreement with 1980 and 1981.

      3. I don't think Bird was clearly better than Magic in 1985 and 1986.

      4. I think that Magic was better than Bird in 1988, not on the same level.

      5. Magic has another peak-level season in 1989 when Bird missed time.

      6. Magic was much better in 1990 and 1991 than Bird.

      You have Bird ahead of Magic in 7 of 12 seasons, I'd give Bird edge in only 4 (1980, 1981, 1984 and 1986), another three are comparable (1982, 1985, 1987) and I have Magic comfortably ahead in 5 of them (1983, 1988-91). The difference is that Bird's edge is often small (his only big edge is in 1981) while Magic separated himself by a large amount in 1989-91 period.

      Again, I don't have them far away but if I think that Magic peaked higher (and I do believe that) and Magic had clearly better and more consistent career then I see no reason to have them closer. Of course some people may prefer Bird's peak and prime - I don't say that my opinion is 100% correct - but I spent enough time watching them and evaluating their careers to feel comfortable with my choice though ;)
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#17 » by Odinn21 » Mon Feb 8, 2021 1:15 pm

      70sFan wrote:1. I don't have then in completely different tiers though. I have Magic 9th or 10th all-time, Bird is probably in 11-13 range.

      I believe you had pretty strong feelings towards Bird in the top 100 project or the top peaks project. That's an impression lasted with me.

      70sFan wrote:2. I don't agree that Bird was considerably better than Magic in 1982 and 1983. In fact, Bird was so underwhelming in postseason that I'd probably give Magic edge. No disagreement with 1980 and 1981.

      Magic wasn't asked to create and lead an offense in 1982 and 1983 though. Magic had Abdul-Jabbar from the get to, Abdul-Jabbar was their main offensive weapon until 1982 and he was also their main half-court offensive weapon until 1986. And Bird had to wait for McHale. The amount of help they got on offense in the first half of the decade isn't comparable really. Their roles and tasks were very different. In a way, this is like saying Kobe Bryant or Dirk Nowitzki was better than Kevin Garnett in 2001-2003 time span.

      Another thing to be talked about is the strength difference between the conferences. The '80s West was the weakest conference ever and the '80s East was the strongest conference ever with the post-Jordan West.

      I posted this on your 1984-88 Bird vs. 1986-90 Magic thread;
      Spoiler:
      Look at strength of schedule numbers the Lakers had in the '80s;
      -0.51 in 1980, 2nd worst in league
      -0.57 in 1981, 3rd worst
      -0.50 in 1982, 2nd worst
      -0.49 in 1983, 2nd worst
      -0.44 in 1984, the worst
      -0.87 in 1985, the worst
      -0.91 in 1986, the worst
      -0.99 in 1987, the worst
      -1.03 in 1988, the worst
      -0.79 in 1989, 3rd worst
      -0.04 in 1990, 11th worst
      -0.01 in 1991, right on the middle.

      4 of the worst 11 SOS values in the three point era belongs to the Lakers, from 1984-85 to 1987-88.

      Look at their playoff competition after the 1st rounds on average in the WC from 1985 to 1989;
      10 playoffs series
      47.2 win
      47.5 expected win
      7.3 expected win rank
      +2.10 SRS
      8.0 SRS rank
      1 time they played against a team with -2.0 or worse SRS.
      1 time they played against a team with +4.0 or better SRS.
      2 times they played against a team that was top 5 in SRS ranking.

      Number for the Celtics from 1984 to 1988 for comparison;
      10 playoffs series
      51.4 win
      51.6 expected win
      4.4 expected win rank
      +4.30 SRS
      3.8 SRS rank
      0 times they played against a team with -2.0 or worse SRS.
      6 times they played against a team with +4.0 or better SRS.
      8 times they played against a team that was top 5 in SRS ranking.

      Magic played in the weakest conference ever (almost a joke when compared to the '80s East especially) with more help in the decade. (I don't have enough patience to complete the decade right now TBH.)

      I think there's no consideration of the help they got and the competition they faced in some of your calls.

      70sFan wrote:3. I don't think Bird was clearly better than Magic in 1985 and 1986.

      4. I think that Magic was better than Bird in 1988, not on the same level.

      This is pretty contradicting.

      70sFan wrote:5. Magic has another peak-level season in 1989 when Bird missed time.

      6. Magic was much better in 1990 and 1991 than Bird.

      I already agreed with after 1988 Magic added so much value to his career while Bird added virtually none.

      70sFan wrote:You have Bird ahead of Magic in 7 of 12 seasons, I'd give Bird edge in only 4 (1980, 1981, 1984 and 1986), another three are comparable (1982, 1985, 1987) and I have Magic comfortably ahead in 5 of them (1983, 1988-91). The difference is that Bird's edge is often small (his only big edge is in 1981) while Magic separated himself by a large amount in 1989-91 period.

      Again, I don't have them far away but if I think that Magic peaked higher (and I do believe that) and Magic had clearly better and more consistent career then I see no reason to have them closer. Of course some people may prefer Bird's peak and prime - I don't say that my opinion is 100% correct - but I spent enough time watching them and evaluating their careers to feel comfortable with my choice though ;)

      I mean I'm probably one of the people that you wouldn't get to play "I spent enough time watching them" card. :D :D Though it's normal that we don't see everything eye to eye.
      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.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#18 » by OdomFan » Mon Feb 8, 2021 1:23 pm

      1. Magic Johnson
      2. John Stockton
      3. Jason Kidd
      4. Steve Nash
      5. Chris Paul
      6. Larry Bird
      7. Lebron James
      8. Oscar Robertson
      9, Isiah Thomas
      10. Gary Payton
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#19 » by Laimbeer » Mon Feb 8, 2021 2:09 pm

      Not limiting this to wings is problematic. LeBron is the only wing I can think of there, but there are a mess of point guards.
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      Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

      Post#20 » by limbo » Mon Feb 8, 2021 2:20 pm

      Laimbeer wrote:Not limiting this to wings is problematic. LeBron is the only wing I can think of there, but there are a mess of point guards.


      In that case, what about your boy Draymond 'The Nutkicker' Green, who is currently averaging about 7.5 apg with only 2.7 tov, on less than 28 mpg on a team with such offensive juggernauts as Andrew Wiggins, Kelly 'Tsunami Papi' Oubre Jr., Brad Wannamaker, Juan Toscano Anderson and so on and so forth... Where does he stand in this whole non-guard passing pyramid scheme.

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