HeartBreakKid wrote:G35 wrote:HeartBreakKid wrote:
Kobe and David are both isolation players also, they stop being isolation players when they don't need to be.
Olajuwon needs someone to get him the ball when he is in the post - CP3 is good at doing that. Every time Hakeem gets good position he can expect an entry pass without risk of being a turnover. That helps fix up one of post offenses biggest weaknesses.
Not to mention they do not occupy the same place in the court.
Just because Hakeem is not a pick and roll monkey doesn't mean he cannot play with a pass first guy.
Kobe won five titles playing in the triangle.
DRob won two titles playing off of Tim Duncan.
They were isolation players because they had a lack of talent around them, what you would look at is how a player plays next to other great players.
Kobe with Shaq and Pau...how did Shaq and Pau perform?
DRob with Tim Duncan...how did Duncan perform?
That, imo is the testament of a players all around portability...how do you play next to other great players. You can always hypothesize a random pairing but with Kobe and DRob, you actually got to see it and win at the highest level.
CP3 paired with Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan and a lot of side help i.e. Billups, Reddick, Jamal Crawford with the Clippers
Then he paired with James Harden and we saw how that turned out.
CP3 has had more opportunity to play with star players than a lot of other players, I like CP3 but imo, he did not cash out his chances. I know a lot of people want to point out that Houston almost beat the Warriors but imo, when CP3 lost to the Rockets in 2015 was a bigger loss.
The Clippers should have won, they blew a 15+ point lead, James Harden had a terrible game, and it was Josh Smith, Corey Brewer and Trevor Ariza that brought that Rockets team back. Harden was benched for that 4th quarter where the Clippers could not score.
YAll you're saying is that MVP players teamed with other MVP players and won titles and CP3 did not - therefore, CP3 cannot play with stars and Bryant/Robinson can.
Here is my main point - there is nothing about Robinson or Bryant's style that is more geared toward playing with superstars than most superstars.
If David Robinson had never played with Tim Duncan, 90% of people here would think that they could not play together - because people vastly oversimplify the skill sets of players.
Ditto with Kobe Bryant and Shaq, for what ever reason, people have this idea that Kobe is the ultimate pairing with a big because that's what happened in reality, when there is nothing about Bryant's game that would compliment a big more than any other superstar perimeter player. It's pretty simple, talent in the NBA usually trumps all - fit isn't as important and most superstars can adapt well.
In fact you just pointed out a major weakness in your argument. You cited CP3 and James Harden, people said they could not play together, they most certainly could. If losing to the most stacked team of all time in the 7 game series is your idea of them not being able to play together then that doesn't sound very hollistic, it just seems like you're looking at what teams have championships and what do not without any context.
Blake Griffin and CP3 didn't have many healthy seasons and series together, Blake Griffin wasn't a superstar, Blake Griffin is unique among bigs because of his ball handling ability which is totally different from Duncan/O'Neal/Gasol, The Clippers were a very good team but were never championship favorites or even widely considered for runner up or 3rd place.
The Clippers did not lose because CP3/Griffin could not play together anyway (they could, which is why their offense was elite), it is not the #1 reason, #2 reason or even #3 reason why LAC never won a title and there is plenty of evidence to support that. I could list many reasons why the Clippers didn't win a title and have plenty of hard evidence to support it, in fact some of the reasons are so obvious it would almost be like pointing out the sky is blue.
In other words - most people would not be able to realize that Kobe Bryant could play with O'Neal just fine or ESPECIALLY that Robinson and Duncan can play together if those things hadn't literally happened because most people do not look at finer details, they just look at end results or use confirmation bias. That is exactly why Robinson and Duncan can "fit like a glove", when they do not really compliment each other that much at all - they were good because they're just both incredibly good players and size is a hard thing to deal with. The Lakers championship teams were hard to beat because of their size, having a superstar on the perimeter just made it unfair.
None of those things have much to do with portability. Chris Paul played on one nuclear team and that was the 2018 Rockets, and they nearly beat a team that was way more talented than themselves. Are we really supposed to believe that CP3+Harden can create probably the best team to never win a championship but Chris Paul cannot play with Hakeem Olajuwon? Or vice versa, when Hakeem Olajuwon played in big 3s?
Diagnosing their skill sets and CP3 absolutely could play with Olajuwon, it seems bizarre that someone would think they cannot play together. It makes no sense really, Chris Paul has been involved in top tier offenses with players who have more overlap than him and Olajuwon. On top of this, the only reason why the Barkley/Pippen/Olajuwon rockets didn't win is simply because those players were not in their prime. Basketball is not rocket science, most great players can play with each other very well hence why teams pair superstars with other superstars.
Kobe Bryant and David Robinson are still isolation players. Pointing out that they are only isolation players when they do not have serious star power aside from them....proves my point. Their skill sets on the surface they just look like low portability players. If Chris Paul plays with Lebron James they have a ton of overlap on paper, and guess what - they'd probably win a couple times, and people would say their styles fit perfectly or something like that.
In fact we pretty much saw this happen, James and Wade's skill sets grossly over lap on paper and they still won rings together.
Reality matters more than opinion
Results matter more than opinion
Intentions, desires, beliefs, wants, shoulda/coulda/woulda can all be debated...reality and results cannot.
If the DRob/Duncan pairing failed (like so many other twin tower pairings have failed...most recently AD/Cousins) or if Kobe/Pau had failed like so many other All Star big men and an All Star perimeter pairings (CP3 and Blake Griffin, Embiid and Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant and Westbrook, Kevin Garnett and Billups, Nash and Amare, Nash and Dirk...the list can go on and on...) then you would have a point. If it was just Kobe and Shaq and the Kobe/Pau pairing did not produce a title, then you could say that Kobe did not work with bigs and only with a talent like Shaq.
But Kobe worked with Shaq...Pau...Bynum...all were All Stars and have their best seasons playing alongside Kobe.
If the argument is that success should not be measured only by championships, that is your standard, not everyone's and when it comes to history, very few are going to remember those pairings that do not win titles.
If you want to say results do not matter, we can keep arguing that Lebron does not work well with bigs, despite the fact that he just won a title with AD...with your logic we can say that last season was an outlier and Lebron historically has had issues playing next to bigs.
You can't give the benefit of the doubt (or cast doubt on one player) to one player and not judge other players the same way even when trying to give context. Giving context must be consistent...changing context to fit your desired narrative is disingenuous....