How many players 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#21 » by 70sFan » Mon Feb 8, 2021 3:34 pm

Odinn21 wrote: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.

Bird is very highly rated, so it's normal that I often argue against him here, but I'm still high on him ;)

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.

This is a good point, although we should also keep in mind that Celtics weren't anything special in 1981 and 1982 seasons offensively. Bird having less help on offense doesn't make him necessarily better.

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.

Here I 100% agree with you - Magic faced much weaker competition. Still, even if you look at RS you can get a good idea of how close they were.

This is pretty contradicting.

I don't think it is - Magic was clearly better h2h in 1985 and 1987 finals, while facing better defensive team. I'll give you 1986 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.

I won't ;) I just want to underline that my opinion isn't based on narratives and I spent a lot of time evaluating both. I'm sure you did that as well, that's why I like basketball talks so much - because we have different opinons :D
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#22 » by eminence » Mon Feb 8, 2021 3:53 pm

Magic, Manu, Nash, Jokic are the 4 that immediately come to mind for me. There should probably be a pre-merge contender or two, but I haven't seen it.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#23 » by lebron3-14-3 » Mon Feb 8, 2021 4:16 pm

A case? steve nash, magic, kidd, stockton, cp3, lebron james, maybe 10 years from now we could say trae, jokic and doncic.
I'd rank him below nash, magic, kidd and cp3.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#24 » by Odinn21 » Mon Feb 8, 2021 5:09 pm

70sFan wrote:
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.

This is a good point, although we should also keep in mind that Celtics weren't anything special in 1981 and 1982 seasons offensively. Bird having less help on offense doesn't make him necessarily better.

I said that in a manner of RAPM or WOWYR approach. Bird's postseason resilience was an issue, especially when he's compared to Magic. But there are three factors to think about. Roles, helps and starting point/reference. Bird struggled with his offensive output in the playoffs but I find it hard to agree with that Magic would do better in regular season as starting point and roles and helps in general.

70sFan wrote:I don't think it is - Magic was clearly better h2h in 1985 and 1987 finals, while facing better defensive team. I'll give you 1986 though.

Again, you don't look at quality of the opponents. Here's a comparison of Magic and Bird in 1987 playoffs until the finals;

Magic 35.8 mpg 19.6 ppg 7.6 rpg 11.8 apg 1.4 spg 3.2 tpg on .619 ts (5.7 obpm)
Opponents -1.14 SRS Nuggets, -2.54 SRS Warriors, +0.08 SRS Sonics (-1.20 SRS average, 12.3 average SRS rank)
Magic played 74.65% of available minutes, total 430 minutes.

Bird 44.8 mpg 28.1 ppg 10.1 rpg 7.8 apg 1.2 spg 3.1 tpg on .592 ts (6.3 obpm)
Opponents +1.14 SRS Bulls, +4.04 SRS Bucks, +3.51 SRS Pistons (+2.90 SRS average, 6.3 average SRS rank)
Bird played 91.58% of available minutes, total 761 minutes.

Bird played almost 80% more minutes than Magic to make the NBA Finals on a team without a proper bench. 761 to 430. That's massive. And the only thing that matters a practically fresh Magic (who had gotten to the Finals by almost walking outperforming) a pretty beat Bird and the Celtics?
Magic's highest min in those games (45 mins, the next highest is 40) was the average for Bird over 17 games...

Just looking at the Celtics-Lakers series to pick out one of 'em like there were nothing else to consider? Yes, Magic outperformed Bird in 1987 series but if this is the argument to make then Kobe Bryant was better than Tim Duncan in 2001, Elton Brand was better than Steve Nash in 2006, Hakeem Olajuwon was better than Karl Malone in 1997, just to name a few...

(Magic Johnson was definitely the player of the season in '87 but the actual competition for the best player in the season was a lot closer than people realize.)

As for the 1985 series; the gap between conference competitions was closer but the Celtics still had it stiffer. In the finals, both players were outperformed by their teammates in the series. Their performances were on the same level (Magic 4.3 obpm - Bird 4.7 obpm). Bird had the better regular season and looking at their postseason obpm numbers, Magic's slight edge (5.5 to 5.2) gets negated by the easier opponents.

Bird was the better defender between the two in those seasons. "While facing the better defensive team" Let's give Bird some credit for it then.
I don't get the point of saying that thing when the competition is so close. This is like saying Kevin Durant's offensive performance
was better than LeBron James' in 2012 Finals because the Heat were the better defensive team.
Spoiler:
(I was thinking this could be argued against by mentioning Magic's offensive impact in Rtg numbers since obpm captures quality of offensive output but not the entire impact. So, I decided to look at rORtg numbers against quality opponents.
[Quality opponents; the top half DRtg in regular season with positive SRS]
The Lakers faced the Blazers and the Celtics in '85 and had +8.1 rORtg against them over 11 games.
The Celtics faced the Pistons, the Sixers and the Lakers in '85 and had +4.4 rORtg against them over 17 games.
The Lakers faced the Celtics in '87 and had +11.6 rORtg against them over 6 games.
All of the Celtics opponents were like that and they had +9.0 rORtg against them over 23 games.)
So, I don't think this is good enough for Magic to get levelled.


70sFan wrote:I won't ;) I just want to underline that my opinion isn't based on narratives and I spent a lot of time evaluating both. I'm sure you did that as well, that's why I like basketball talks so much - because we have different opinons :D

I mean both of us are pretty anti-narrative people, so, it's all OK. :D
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#25 » by feyki » Mon Feb 8, 2021 8:34 pm

Too many. Overrating relative to position forces is just wrong. Lebron and Bird ATG passer/playmakers at his positions, but they are probably not the part of the best 30/40 playmakers of all time. Mark Jackson was wayyy better than both, for example; and he's not one of the best 10/15 playmakers of all time.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#26 » by Hal14 » Mon Feb 8, 2021 8:40 pm

Stockton and Magic are the only players I think who can make a legitimate case for being a greater passer than Bird.

Stockton, Magic and Bird are the 3 greatest passers of all time, IMO. Especially when you consider:
-Easy for high usage guys like LeBron and Chris Paul to look good when they have higher usage so more chance to rack up assists and more chances to make a great pass. But Bird was a lower usage guy who played off the ball and he still did what he did
-Less emphasis on defense, more emphasis on offense, less defensive pressure and rule changes (defensive 3 seconds, hand checking, etc.) along with rise of 3 point shot in modern era makes it easier for guys like LeBron, Nash, Kidd and Paul to rack up assists and make good passes - Bird played in a more physical era with less spacing, less 3 point shooting, big men clogging up the paint and more fierce defensive pressure so was harder for him to rack up assists and make great passes
-Modern players also have the advantage of scorekeeping - assists are counted much more loosely in modern era. A Player averaging 8 assists today would have had 10-11 APG in the 80s, at least
-Bird was a great passer, especially in the clutch. as he made some of the most memorable clutch passes ever (pass right on the money to a cutting DJ for layup vs Pistons, perfect drive to draw double team and kick over to DJ right on the money for game winner to beat Lakers, etc.)
-As others have mentioned Bird's ability to make exceptional touch passes (which are harder to defend than a regular pass since he isn't taking the time to catch the ball and survey the floor before passing it) and have the instincts to see 1 and often times 2 steps ahead of his opponent is arguably better than any player ever.
-Bird was a great passer in half court, as well as transition and could even pass the ball the length of the court right on the money - see this video at the 3:05 mark and tell me what other player could have made a pass like that - not only executing the pass but you can tell that Bird knew what he was going to do ahead of time - as the ball went through the hoop - even before Bird took the ball out of bounds he already knew he was going to throw that thing to Ainge.



When you watch that video, not only are these amazing passes but look at how much defensive traffic there are during many of these plays. It's not like he's making a fancy no look pass to a wide open teammate - most of the time he's being closely guarded and so is his teammate, yet he still gets the ball in there, into a tight window.

Also in that video you'll see not 1 but 2 different plays where he throws the ball in traffic through the defender's legs to a teammate and the teammate then scores a layup.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#27 » by McBubbles » Mon Feb 8, 2021 8:42 pm

kendogg wrote: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.


One could argue the 80's was the easiest era to rack up assists due to an extremely high pace and very little 3 point shooting, or rather loads of 2 point shooting. This era has an extremely high pace too yes, but assisting a boatload of 3's would give lower assists totals than assisting an equivalent amount of mid range shots, and give MUCH lower totals than an equivalent amount of assists on shots around the basket. No assist leader has gotten up to 12 assists a game in 26 years, and Lebron last year leading the league with only 10.2 was actually one of the lowest volume assists titles since the merger, tied for 9th lowest out of 44 years available.

Granted, raw APG totals aren't exactly the best measure of passing anyway, but an interesting thing to note nonetheless.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#28 » by kendogg » Mon Feb 8, 2021 9:21 pm

limbo wrote:
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.


I'm pretty sure *I* could get 7 APG playing with Steph the way the warriors play. You do realize Steph is one of the greatest off-ball players in league history right? Or are you just trying to downplay this? APG is based on the offensive system a team runs and is NOT comparable in any way. Dray could stand in the high post and hit Curry 7 times a game coming off a screen with out even dribbling the ball. Yes Dray is a pretty good handler for his size but you and other folks who don't seem to watch games and just look at box scores give him way too much credit. To suggest he belongs on the same tier as LeBron or Bird is absolutely laughable.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#29 » by kendogg » Mon Feb 8, 2021 9:40 pm

McBubbles wrote:One could argue the 80's was the easiest era to rack up assists due to an extremely high pace and very little 3 point shooting, or rather loads of 2 point shooting. This era has an extremely high pace too yes, but assisting a boatload of 3's would give lower assists totals than assisting an equivalent amount of mid range shots, and give MUCH lower totals than an equivalent amount of assists on shots around the basket. No assist leader has gotten up to 12 assists a game in 26 years, and Lebron last year leading the league with only 10.2 was actually one of the lowest volume assists titles since the merger, tied for 9th lowest out of 44 years available.

Granted, raw APG totals aren't exactly the best measure of passing anyway, but an interesting thing to note nonetheless.


The definition of assist has gotten much looser over the years. A lot of assists are handed out even after the recipient makes dribble moves which NEVER happened in earlier eras. The pace between the 80's and today is about the same, but the floor spacing is MUCH less. The difference between players adopting the 3-pt line during their careers and GROWING UP practicing the shot makes the game COMPLETELY different. Bird didn't get that many assists on kickouts because they simply weren't available like they are today. The paint has never been so empty in any era as today and its not even CLOSE.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#30 » by limbo » Mon Feb 8, 2021 9:54 pm

kendogg wrote:
limbo wrote:
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.


I'm pretty sure *I* could get 7 APG playing with Steph the way the warriors play. You do realize Steph is one of the greatest off-ball players in league history right? Or are you just trying to downplay this? APG is based on the offensive system a team runs and is NOT comparable in any way. Dray could stand in the high post and hit Curry 7 times a game coming off a screen with out even dribbling the ball. Yes Dray is a pretty good handler for his size but you and other folks who don't seem to watch games and just look at box scores give him way too much credit. To suggest he belongs on the same tier as LeBron or Bird is absolutely laughable.


I didn't say anything about where Draymond belongs, i just pitched his name out there...

Also, apparently Draymond isn't allowed to play with someone like Steph, it invalidates everything he does, but Bird can play with McHale (best inside scorer of the 80s in his prime), Parish (another very good/versatile Center) and Ainge (one of the best shooters in the league in the 80s)... Not to mention guys like Dennis Johnson and Cedric Maxwell at various stages in those years.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#31 » by freethedevil » Mon Feb 8, 2021 10:14 pm

kendogg wrote:
McBubbles wrote:One could argue the 80's was the easiest era to rack up assists due to an extremely high pace and very little 3 point shooting, or rather loads of 2 point shooting. This era has an extremely high pace too yes, but assisting a boatload of 3's would give lower assists totals than assisting an equivalent amount of mid range shots, and give MUCH lower totals than an equivalent amount of assists on shots around the basket. No assist leader has gotten up to 12 assists a game in 26 years, and Lebron last year leading the league with only 10.2 was actually one of the lowest volume assists titles since the merger, tied for 9th lowest out of 44 years available.

Granted, raw APG totals aren't exactly the best measure of passing anyway, but an interesting thing to note nonetheless.


The definition of assist has gotten much looser over the years. A lot of assists are handed out even after the recipient makes dribble moves which NEVER happened in earlier eras. The pace between the 80's and today is about the same, but the floor spacing is MUCH less. The difference between players adopting the 3-pt line during their careers and GROWING UP practicing the shot makes the game COMPLETELY different. Bird didn't get that many assists on kickouts because they simply weren't available like they are today. The paint has never been so empty in any era as today and its not even CLOSE.

There were way more open kickouts in the 80's/90's and you only had to get past one defender to get to the paint. Defenses basically waited till you were at the paint to do something or they gave you a hard double in which case you had plenty of wide open playes to pass to. Layup passes were harder, but shooting, driving and kicking out were all considerably easier back then.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#32 » by kendogg » Mon Feb 8, 2021 11:12 pm

freethedevil wrote: There were way more open kickouts in the 80's/90's and you only had to get past one defender to get to the paint. Defenses basically waited till you were at the paint to do something or they gave you a hard double in which case you had plenty of wide open playes to pass to. Layup passes were harder, but shooting, driving and kicking out were all considerably easier back then.


Literally everything you said is wrong. I'm not even mad that's amazing.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#33 » by McBubbles » Tue Feb 9, 2021 12:12 am

kendogg wrote:
McBubbles wrote:One could argue the 80's was the easiest era to rack up assists due to an extremely high pace and very little 3 point shooting, or rather loads of 2 point shooting. This era has an extremely high pace too yes, but assisting a boatload of 3's would give lower assists totals than assisting an equivalent amount of mid range shots, and give MUCH lower totals than an equivalent amount of assists on shots around the basket. No assist leader has gotten up to 12 assists a game in 26 years, and Lebron last year leading the league with only 10.2 was actually one of the lowest volume assists titles since the merger, tied for 9th lowest out of 44 years available.

Granted, raw APG totals aren't exactly the best measure of passing anyway, but an interesting thing to note nonetheless.


The definition of assist has gotten much looser over the years. A lot of assists are handed out even after the recipient makes dribble moves which NEVER happened in earlier eras. The pace between the 80's and today is about the same, but the floor spacing is MUCH less. The difference between players adopting the 3-pt line during their careers and GROWING UP practicing the shot makes the game COMPLETELY different. Bird didn't get that many assists on kickouts because they simply weren't available like they are today. The paint has never been so empty in any era as today and its not even CLOSE.


Outside of your comment on assists being handed out more frequently today, which I can't verify, I don't think anything you said refuted my point. I said that an increase in 3 point shooting has likely DECREASED assist totals, so idk what you bringing up players being brought up with a 3 point line has to do with anything. Furthermore unless the paint was so ridiculously clogged that the league average percentage around the rim dropped to around or below the 3 point percentage (which it didn't), the ease at which people finished around the basket doesn't really matter. Assisting league average teammates that take 95% 2's and 5% 3's will likely get you more assists than teammates that take 70% 2's and 30% 3's even if the former team is less efficient, is my point.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#34 » by MrSashimiLover » Tue Feb 9, 2021 2:20 am

feyki wrote:Too many. Overrating relative to position forces is just wrong. Lebron and Bird ATG passer/playmakers at his positions, but they are probably not the part of the best 30/40 playmakers of all time. Mark Jackson was wayyy better than both, for example; and he's not one of the best 10/15 playmakers of all time.


While I feel Bird's playing making should probably be ranked higher than that (never watched any of Bird's games in entirety myself, admittedly), I do agree Mark Jackson's passing is severely underrated. He's probably best known as an elite passer and playmaker than anything else.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#35 » by DQuinn1575 » Tue Feb 9, 2021 5:27 am

The average number of assists per game were a little higher in the 80s than they are now, and all of the highest seasons were then. Now it is only around 5% or so - any of you can look it up at basketball-reference, so it won’t make that much of a difference in the discussion.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#36 » by kendogg » Tue Feb 9, 2021 6:30 am

Mark Jackson is a great passer, and as a pure point guard its hard to compare his passing to a scoring forward like Bird. They both have great handles, and while you can argue Jackson is a better handler just because he's lower to the ground so it's harder to steal the ball, Bird was actually extremely good at navigating through traffic and his footwork is simply impeccable for someone with not a lot of explosion. Jackson is better at running a break simply because he's a bit more agile, though Bird has the better motor. Almost nobody in history has a better motor than Bird...he was a freak in that regard. He ran for miles before every game. I'd personally call it a wash here in terms of handle and ability to navigate in traffic, which is important to being a good passer/playmaker.

Passing accuracy and court vision are somewhat tied together, because court vision dictates what passing opportunities you have, and the level of difficulty of the passes. I think both Jackson and Bird are pretty close, but Bird was capable of jaw dropping passes more so than Jackson or pretty much anyone for that matter. Jackson did have a great amount of flair for a point guard, but not quite at the level of Bird. I think with the ball in their hands, Bird is a slightly more deadly passer, but Jackson had the ball in his hands more often, particularly running the break where you can bank a lot of easy dimes. Does that make Jackson have more career impact as a passer? Arguably yes, but that's like trying to compare the scoring ability of two players where one took twice as many shots. It's just not a fair comparison, even if the player with less shots was a bit more efficient. Though on the flip side, when you only compare the highlights of different passers, Bird and Magic are always going to be at the top because they simply had more jaw dropping passes in their careers. I think the taller handlers like these guys do have some advantage in passing in the half court because they can see the floor better in traffic and have a slightly better angle for bounce passes. Their length and strength over most guards allows them to really put some juice on a bounce pass and sneak it past the defense. Which is why a lot of folks think LeBron is the closest guy to Bird and Magic based only on highlights...he truly does have a number of jaw dropping passes particularly his bounce passes. Though I will say in Jackson's favor that his behind the back pass with his right hand was straight butter, but Bird is great in this regard as well, and NOBODY is a better touch passer than Bird.

I'm not sure there's any good way to compare the passing of a point guard and a playmaking/point forward, because the forward is probably more dangerous offball on the break in most cases, and the transition game is an important aspect of passing. So the only way to make a fair comparison, is to rank them separately by position, or to only consider their passing in half court sets, in which case I would give the edge to Bird.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#37 » by SNPA » Tue Feb 9, 2021 8:21 am

kendogg wrote:
freethedevil wrote: There were way more open kickouts in the 80's/90's and you only had to get past one defender to get to the paint. Defenses basically waited till you were at the paint to do something or they gave you a hard double in which case you had plenty of wide open playes to pass to. Layup passes were harder, but shooting, driving and kicking out were all considerably easier back then.


Literally everything you said is wrong. I'm not even mad that's amazing.

Mind blowing really.

Moving along, not all passing is equal. Lots of guys can run the break (Magic is GOAT though). Lots of guys can make a team pay in the modern era with a drive and kick (Harden, etc). But how many guys can make the passes Bird did? It’s just so unique. It’s so skilled and requires court vision and BBIQ that’s top of the line. Bird can make the passes others did, very few others can make the passes he did (GOAT touch passer, cutting passer, passing falling down/on ground, etc.).
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#38 » by LewisnotMiller » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:03 am

limbo wrote:
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.


Nowhere near Bird.

Bird, LeBron and Jokic are a step above anyone else, I think.

Guys like Sabonis, Walton, Rick Barry...they're probably there somewhere. Green is good, but he also focuses heavily on passing at the offensive end, and his assist numbers reflect that.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#39 » by jman3134 » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:27 am

Eye test - Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd are in the conversation. It is too early for Jokic, but he is making a case. Lebron the past couple of seasons is in the conversation as well.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#40 » by Iceberg_Slim » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:39 am

A lot. If we went by position not many. Probably just Lebron. But there’s a slew of PG’s who have a strong argument.
Magic. CP3. Nash. Stockton. Kidd. Etc.

Why is someone like Clyde Drexler not seen as an excellent passer on the level of Bird? I get less winning and winning not based on him so the memory bias isn’t there. But he has just as good of a case.

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