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#61 » by SinceGatlingWasARookie » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:14 am

If assists per minutes played = passing then LeBron is a better passer than Bird.
If assists per minutes with the ball = passing then Bird is a better passer than LeBron and Draymond enters the discussion of great passers.

If scoring ability and dribbling ability are part of passing then LeBron gets better as a passer. If court vision is 90% of passing then there is a large gap between Bird and LeBron.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#62 » by SNPA » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:31 am

Bird is a natural passer. GOAT vision and IQ.

James is manufacture passer. GOAT athleticism with drive and kick.

One translates across all eras. One does better in some eras and not so well in others. One requires the ball, the other doesn’t.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#63 » by SinceGatlingWasARookie » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:48 am

Even last year playing with a team of unwanted players, without Curry, Klay and Durant, Draymond put up assists per time of possesion stats near the best in the NBA. Math and work is required to figure exactly where Draymond ranked.
Something I posted in 2019
viewtopic.php?f=64&t=1359481&p=73920517

I am separating passing from dribbling.
You can't get an assist when you don't have the ball.
Bird had the ball much less than LeBron.

https://stats.nba.com/players/touches/?sort=TIME_OF_POSS&dir=1&Season=2017-18&SeasonType=Regular%20Season

LeBron has his bests assists per game at 9.1 in the 2018 regular season. Westbrook 10.2, Rondo 8.2 and Draymond 7.3
Time of possesion Westbrook 9.1, LeBron 6.7, Rondo 4.7, Draymond 2.9
I know this has flaws but what are the assists per time of possesion. Let's equalize them all at Westbrook's time of possesion.
That brings LeBron's adjusted assists up to 12.4.
That brings Rondo's adjusted assists up to 15.9
That brings Draymond's adjusted assists up to 22.9

Clearly assists per time of possession has flaws but assists per 100 possessions also has flaws.
Maybe average the 2 stats to get a measure of passing greatness but there still will be a dribbling element in that stat.
There are no touch/possession stats prior to 2014.

I say Bird was a better passer (not dribbler) than LeBron.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#64 » by ty 4191 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:09 pm

Probably not:

All forwards 1979-1992, sorted b career assist percentage:

Code: Select all

Bird: 25.7%
English: 17.8%
Worthy: 13.4%
Nance: 11.8%
Honorable Mention:
McHale: 8.3%
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#65 » by ty 4191 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:10 pm

ty 4191 wrote:Probably not:

All forwards 1979-1992, sorted by assist percentage:

Code: Select all

Bird: 25.7%
English: 17.8%
Worthy: 13.4%
Nance: 11.8%
Honorable Mention:
McHale: 8.3%
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#66 » by ty 4191 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:11 pm

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

Post#67 » by Bel » Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:19 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.


The Lebron kool-aid is remarkably infectious isn't it? I say this as someone who respects and has learned a lot for you, but it's easy to fall for things that all these bought and paid for PR people spread 24/7.

If Lebron was a great passer from his youth, then Lebron would've still created great offenses even when his limited skillset as a younger player prevented him from driving. But the 08/09 Cavs had dreadful on-floor offense with Lebron/Big Ben lineups, as did the 10 Cavs with Lebron/Shaq. In the finals of 2007, 2011, 2013 among other years, Lebron didn't drive and he also didn't create, which led to offensive disasters.

When Lebron didn't have his ideal driving lanes, whether from solid opposing defense or his own bigs taking up the space, his offensive capability cratered. When he played with natural spacing bigs like Z and Varejao on the court, even both at the same time in 09, they all thrived and his passing was on point.

In short, Lebron's passing was a function of his threat as a driver, not something innate like Magic Nash or Bird. Lebron needed the defense to first overreact to stop his drive to create the openings he needed. He'd still get a couple good passes a game even from the perimeter when a teammate made a good movement of course, but it wasn't something reliable. Bird barely needed to touch the ball the entire play, his teammates played better because they touched the ball way more often, and the defense didn't even have to mess up, and he'd still find an opening. It's completely different.

After the freedom of movement and illegal screen rule changes from 2015 onwards, Lebron had his ideal driving lanes as a default, and his better shooting meant defenders couldn't sag off him as often as they did even in the 2013 finals.

Lebron last year was a completely different player, able to move the ball around much better instead of stopping it, and set up his teammates without needing a driving threat. If he played like this earlier in his career when he had real athleticism, he probably wins 3-4 more titles (not to mention the huge upgrade in leadership). But he had severe limitations much of his career, which limited his efficacy as a passer against strong defenses.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#68 » by LA Bird » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:14 am

Bel wrote:
70sFan wrote: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.

The Lebron kool-aid is remarkably infectious isn't it? I say this as someone who respects and has learned a lot for you, but it's easy to fall for things that all these bought and paid for PR people spread 24/7.

People who easily fall for PR kool aid typically won't spend the effort to study NBA history and dig up old footage long before their time like 70Fans have. Your accusation here actually comes off as a projection since the rest of your post is just generic arguments repeated by anti-LeBron talking heads without any statistical backing.

If Lebron was a great passer from his youth, then Lebron would've still created great offenses even when his limited skillset as a younger player prevented him from driving. But the 08/09 Cavs had dreadful on-floor offense with Lebron/Big Ben lineups, as did the 10 Cavs with Lebron/Shaq.

The Cavs being a top 5 offense in 09/10 look pretty great. As for your Big Ben and Shaq claims,

LeBron with 34 year old Big Ben: +7.1 offense, -11.3 defense, +18.4 net (Source: Lineups, League)
LeBron with 37 year old Shaq: +0.1 offense, -4.0 defense, +4.1 net (Source: Lineups, League)

Totally dreadful offense by LeBron next to two past prime guys nearing their retirements. :roll:

In the finals of 2007, 2011, 2013 among other years, Lebron didn't drive and he also didn't create, which led to offensive disasters.

Among which other Finals specifically did LeBron not drive and create? How is a 108.5 ORtg against a 101.6 DRtg opponent in the 2013 Finals an offensive disaster? LeBron had disappointing offense in the 07/11 Finals but compared to Bird's offense during his early eliminations, I wouldn't say it's particularly disastrous.

When Lebron didn't have his ideal driving lanes, whether from solid opposing defense or his own bigs taking up the space, his offensive capability cratered. When he played with natural spacing bigs like Z and Varejao on the court, even both at the same time in 09, they all thrived and his passing was on point.

The Varejao who shoots like 32% from mid-range on low volume and 63% from FT? A natural spacing big?

Bird being a better passer than LeBron is a reasonable take since he is one of the best passers ever. Too bad you just had to undermine your own credibility by going Skip Bayless and claiming young LeBron was not a great passer.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#69 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:50 am

Anderson Varejao a stretch big? Now I really never thought I'd read that one.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#70 » by dygaction » Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:30 am

Bird was a career 6.3/3.1 assist/TO ratio peaked at 7.6 apg. He won multiple times but that does not change him to god. Current players CP3 is better; LBJ, Joker, and Luka (maybe even Harden) are all arguable in terms of effectiveness. During Bird's first 5 seasons, his 3pt% was below 30% in 4 of them. Let that sink a moment how narratives can change your perception.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#71 » by 70sFan » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:56 am

So I fell for a PR bullsh*t because I think LeBron is a great passer? Really?

I'm not James fan and I think some of the myths built around him recently are wrong, but LeBron being a great passer was known since his HS years. I'm not saying he's the best ever or better than Bird, but questioning if he's good at all is just stupid.

I don't have James as my GOAT. I don't like him and I don't think he's the best offensive player or playmaker either. It doesn't mean that he's not close though, because he absolutely is.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#72 » by LewisnotMiller » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:20 am

dygaction wrote:Bird was a career 6.3/3.1 assist/TO ratio peaked at 7.6 apg. He won multiple times but that does not change him to god. Current players CP3 is better; LBJ, Joker, and Luka (maybe even Harden) are all arguable in terms of effectiveness. During Bird's first 5 seasons, his 3pt% was below 30% in 4 of them. Let that sink a moment how narratives can change your perception.


On one attempt or less per game, in the first five seasons of the three point line existing, at a time when shooting them was seen as soft or settling. Which narratives are changing whose perception here exactly?

I think it's reasonable to assume his % would have been higher if the three point shot was an important part of his repertoire.
Mostly because he shot over 40% for each of the next 4 seasons with his lowest attempt rate being 1.6 (highest being 3.1).

Bird wasn't a God. He was a fine player, and had a ridiculously advanced feel for the game and amazing work ethic.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#73 » by feyki » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:22 am

70sFan wrote:So I fell for a PR bullsh*t because I think LeBron is a great passer? Really?

I'm not James fan and I think some of the myths built around him recently are wrong, but LeBron being a great passer was known since his HS years. I'm not saying he's the best ever or better than Bird, but questioning if he's good at all is just stupid.

I don't have James as my GOAT. I don't like him and I don't think he's the best offensive player or playmaker either. It doesn't mean that he's not close though, because he absolutely is.


Is or ever was he close to best playmaker of all time?
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#74 » by 70sFan » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:25 am

feyki wrote:
70sFan wrote:So I fell for a PR bullsh*t because I think LeBron is a great passer? Really?

I'm not James fan and I think some of the myths built around him recently are wrong, but LeBron being a great passer was known since his HS years. I'm not saying he's the best ever or better than Bird, but questioning if he's good at all is just stupid.

I don't have James as my GOAT. I don't like him and I don't think he's the best offensive player or playmaker either. It doesn't mean that he's not close though, because he absolutely is.


Is or ever was he close to best playmaker of all time?

Depends on how you define that, but I don't think you could find 15 better playmakers in NBA history, probably not even 10.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#75 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:29 am

Lebron is certainly up there with the best playmakers.

As for his actual passing ability and vision it is pretty special. It's not true at all he is just a kick and drive monkey, yes, he does kick and drive a lot because well, why not? Any slasher worth a damn does the same thing. But Lebron has shown on many occasions that he is "reading" the defense - he doesn't need to be on the move toward the basket to generate a high percentage shot for his teammate.

Lebron many times plays pass first not score first which is not very reminiscent of a kick and drive one trick pony at all. Compare his playmaking style to Derrick Rose and it's quite different.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#76 » by Jaivl » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:48 am

translation of this thread: LeBron is athletically gifted, so he must be dumb and untalented.
Maf wrote:I'd undestand if anyone had KG outside top ten PF's. Having him top five all-time? Often I jokingly rank Kyle Korver as the GOAT but I never try to fake serious discussion about it.

ShawnKemp96 wrote:Infact he made a lot more steals than the statisticians think.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#77 » by feyki » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:57 am

70sFan wrote:
feyki wrote:
70sFan wrote:So I fell for a PR bullsh*t because I think LeBron is a great passer? Really?

I'm not James fan and I think some of the myths built around him recently are wrong, but LeBron being a great passer was known since his HS years. I'm not saying he's the best ever or better than Bird, but questioning if he's good at all is just stupid.

I don't have James as my GOAT. I don't like him and I don't think he's the best offensive player or playmaker either. It doesn't mean that he's not close though, because he absolutely is.


Is or ever was he close to best playmaker of all time?

Depends on how you define that, but I don't think you could find 15 better playmakers in NBA history, probably not even 10.


Magic
Stockton
Nash
Oscar
CP
Deron W.
Cousy
Kidd
Rondo
Kevin J.
Mark J.
Mo Cheels
Rod S.
Norm Nixon
Isiah T.
K.Porter
N.Archibald
L.Wilkens
Guy Rodgers
A.Miller
Mark Price
.. I would keep counting at least as one more the list above.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#78 » by 70sFan » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:26 am

feyki wrote:
70sFan wrote:
feyki wrote:
Is or ever was he close to best playmaker of all time?

Depends on how you define that, but I don't think you could find 15 better playmakers in NBA history, probably not even 10.


Magic
Stockton
Nash
Oscar
CP
Deron W.
Cousy
Kidd
Rondo
Kevin J.
Mark J.
Mo Cheels
Rod S.
Norm Nixon
Isiah T.
K.Porter
N.Archibald
L.Wilkens
Guy Rodgers
A.Miller
Mark Price
.. I would keep counting at least as one more the list above.

Do you really believe that Norm Nixon, Rajon Rondo or Guy Rodgers are better playmakers than James? Sorry but this is ridiculous take...
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#79 » by feyki » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:54 am

70sFan wrote:
feyki wrote:
70sFan wrote:Depends on how you define that, but I don't think you could find 15 better playmakers in NBA history, probably not even 10.


Magic
Stockton
Nash
Oscar
CP
Deron W.
Cousy
Kidd
Rondo
Kevin J.
Mark J.
Mo Cheels
Rod S.
Norm Nixon
Isiah T.
K.Porter
N.Archibald
L.Wilkens
Guy Rodgers
A.Miller
Mark Price
.. I would keep counting at least as one more the list above.

Do you really believe that Norm Nixon, Rajon Rondo or Guy Rodgers are better playmakers than James? Sorry but this is ridiculous take...


I'm so sorry but you're saying ridiculous is ridiculous. Rondo was comparable playmaker to CP at his prime, Nixon was to Magic and Rodgers was to Oscar. Of course, they were far better playmakers than Lebron.
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Re: How many players have a reasonable case over Bird as a passer? 

Post#80 » by 70sFan » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:28 am

feyki wrote:
70sFan wrote:
feyki wrote:
Magic
Stockton
Nash
Oscar
CP
Deron W.
Cousy
Kidd
Rondo
Kevin J.
Mark J.
Mo Cheels
Rod S.
Norm Nixon
Isiah T.
K.Porter
N.Archibald
L.Wilkens
Guy Rodgers
A.Miller
Mark Price
.. I would keep counting at least as one more the list above.

Do you really believe that Norm Nixon, Rajon Rondo or Guy Rodgers are better playmakers than James? Sorry but this is ridiculous take...


I'm so sorry but you're saying ridiculous is ridiculous. Rondo was comparable playmaker to CP at his prime, Nixon was to Magic and Rodgers was to Oscar. Of course, they were far better playmakers than Lebron.

Do you really judge how good playmaker someone is based on assist average...?

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