MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes

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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#81 » by tmorgan » Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:26 pm

Kiddlovesnets wrote:
tmorgan wrote:LeBron is not the best scorer, shooter, passer, rebounder, defender, leader, or achiever in history, but I’ll be damned if he isn’t the best combination of all of them. You’re blind if you don’t see it.


Hes not the best combination of all of them either, MJ is better than Lebron on this regards. MJ can be ball-dominant or playing off-ball giving Pippen to run the offense, while Lebron has to be ball-dominant 'cause he lacks a reliable jumper(which actually cost him the rings in 2007 and 2011). How can you claim that Lebron has the best combination of skills when theres a serious flaw in his offensive game?


You mean like Jordan’s inconsistent three point shot, or lack of vision to run a championship offense from the point?

Everyone has weaknesses, buddy. Duh.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#82 » by Kiddlovesnets » Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:27 pm

Homer38 wrote:
Funny also that 1986 is above expectation when the Bulls had a awful 30-52 record with Jordan missing 64 games....For some,the years that Jordan don't win the title as in 1995 or 2002 and 2003,it don't count!


So I was told to use context when it comes to Lebron's failure to meet expectations, and now you are using the 2002 and 2003 Wizards years as argument against MJ. Do you even understand how old MJ was in 2002 and 2003 and how many years he hasnt even played basketball at all? Where is this context then? So I need to use context while you dont have to, isnt this double standard, bro?

tmorgan wrote:
You mean like Jordan’s inconsistent three point shot, or lack of vision to run a championship offense from the point?

Everyone has weaknesses, buddy. Duh.


Except most players did not shoot threes in MJ's era, even Bird only took like 2 three pointers per game, its a different league. MJ's lack of 3-point shots never cost him a ring, while Lebron's deficiency in jump shots had lost him at least a ring in 2011(and to a large extent 2007 too). With the way MJ made his mid-range shots, its perfectly reasonable to expect that he could develop his 3s easily in today's era. Also lets not act like Lebron is a good 3pt shooter either, he cant make reliable 2pt jumpers even.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#83 » by tmorgan » Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:33 pm

Can you really not read your own posts to understand your ridiculous dogma? You have reached legendary status.

Anything Jordan struggled with doesn’t matter because he won (which he didn’t, numerous times, but 6/6 on RINGZ in the finals, bro!), but since LeBron lost a bunch of finals, these are real flaws.

Look around. Is anyone taking you seriously at this point? I’m starting to look like an idiot for responding. I gotta let this go. Buhbye.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#84 » by Ainosterhaspie » Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:39 pm

The idea behind the "ball dominant" argument is that being less ball dominant allows more team involvement and scoring. The problem with the argument is Jordan's teammates didn't score very much. Instead he tended to score a greater percentage of his team's points than normal for a championship team's top scorer. His scoring is what made his teams stand out, not his letting his teammates score.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#85 » by Djoker » Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:27 pm

Everyone has weaknesses indeed but MJ's weaknesses are much smaller than Lebron's...

MJ didn't have elite court vision but he was still a really good playmaker and then you consider how often his teammates were open because of his scoring threat, even simple passes in MJ's case could often do the job anyways. Jordan is one of the 5 or 10 greatest creators in league history. He isn't a Magic/Bird or even Lebron level passer but he was a good one and his scoring opened up shots for his teammates more so than with all those other guys.

Jordan's 3pt shot was quite good for his era actually. In Jordan's peak years from 1988-1993 he shot 35.7% from 3pt land in the playoffs compared to then league averages of 33.5%. He also shot well in 1995 and 1996 but that was on a shorter line. Of course he shot 3's on low volume but that's the nature of the era. It's silly to consider 3pt shooting with MJ anyway when 3pt shooting was a skill that simply wasn't needed in that era. Why would I grade players in prior eras based on skills required to succeed in today's era? Doesn't make sense.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#86 » by Zeitgeister » Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:40 pm

Kiddlovesnets wrote:I saw that RealGM actually voted Lebron as GOAT, which makes absolutely no sense to me. For this reason, I have compiled a table of season by season comparison of MJ and Lebron. This table compares MJ and Lebron based on how they performed according to expectation. The pre-season odds are a great matrix to determine the strength of each team, a team favorite to win by the odds is the best team in the league for the very season. Lets take a look:

Image
Image

Note:
* The Cavs started the season as 4th favorite and should be in championship window, but dropped back to 5th following the Lakers trade for Gasol. For this reason, the 2007-2008 season does not count as a championship window year for Lebron.
** The Lakers were favorite to win in pre-season and remained as favorite even after the Nets Harden trade. For this reason, the 2020-2021 season is considered a Championship Favorite Year for Lebron.


You do realize that things change throughout the course of an 82 game season where preseason odds don't mean that much. For example saying that LeBron "met expectations" in 2016 is laughable when he should have far exceeded them after beating a 73 win team, not to mention that the "meet/failed/above" fails to capture the nuance, it's too simple. Then in 2015 he "failed expectations" because he wasn't the NBA champion even though both Kyrie and Love were injured and if they weren't he probably would have won.
Also, in LeBron's early years where in 2007, LeBron was in the finals he was "above expectations" while MJ losing in the first round is also considered "above expectations", this whole line of argumentation is very flimsy.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#87 » by Kiddlovesnets » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:49 pm

Ambrose wrote:You keep saying this but it's not true. You make far too many assumptions that aren't at all agreeable. Does LeBron deserve a pass for 2014? Hell yes. His team SUCKED. The 2014 Finals is a textbook example of why your methodlogy is flawed. The Spurs, on paper, aren't the most talented team ever but in reality were absolutely dominant. The 2014 Heat, on paper, looked talented but absolutely weren't. If you don't understand that you're further behind the curve than I thought.


On the contrary, the 2014 is a textbook example why my methodology is correct. You argue that the Spurs were the better team despite being less talented, so why Lebron couldnt take his talented team to beat the Spurs? In fact, MJ faced a similar uphill battle against the Suns in 1993 like Lebron's Heat in 2014 against the Spurs. Unlike Lebron, MJ went berserk averaging 41ppg on 50% FG playing 45mpg, almost single-handedly defeated the Suns on his way to 3-peat. If Lebron was better than MJ, he would've duplicated what MJ did in 1993 and found a way to defeat the Spurs, and instead the Heat set a new record for point margin in loss.

A lot of you underestimated the challenges and difficulties for 3-peat, a teams already on 2-peat tend to suffer all kinds of issues such as fatigue, injuries and lack of motivation. MJ was able to overcome all the adversities and took his team to 3-peat, while Lebron lost in a humiliating way, this is why Lebron is not even close to MJ's level. Its too easy to make excuses that the opponents are invincible, instead MJ just defeated everyone in the finals to make them look beatable.

tmorgan wrote:Can you really not read your own posts to understand your ridiculous dogma? You have reached legendary status.

Anything Jordan struggled with doesn’t matter because he won (which he didn’t, numerous times, but 6/6 on RINGZ in the finals, bro!), but since LeBron lost a bunch of finals, these are real flaws.

Look around. Is anyone taking you seriously at this point? I’m starting to look like an idiot for responding. I gotta let this go. Buhbye.


MJ's struggles were early years that his team was not good enough, and yet he always managed to exceed expectation taking these Bulls teams to better finishes than they were projected. Lebron's problem aint that he lost in the finals, we can easily give him a pass in 2007, 2018, etc. However, he lost half of the finals even when he was favorite to win according to pre-season odds which tell us the talent level of each team's rosters.

This is not like Duncan who lost merely once or Shaq/Kobe who lost only twice, Lebron lost 6 times. There aint another MVP winner player who lost more finals series than him, he lost more than he won. Perhaps you are the one who should snap out of your dogma and start to question why Lebron always lost in the finals, whether or not his teams were favorites or underdogs.

I've seen a lot of people taking me seriously in this thread, and there are also supporters who agree with me that MJ > Lebron. Just because RealGM analysts voted Lebron as #1 doesnt mean it is consensus, this is a big forum and a lot of people have varying opinions. It seems that you are melting down 'cause you lost this argument, personal attacks wont get you anywhere though bro.

Zeitgeister wrote:You do realize that things change throughout the course of an 82 game season where preseason odds don't mean that much. For example saying that LeBron "met expectations" in 2016 is laughable when he should have far exceeded them after beating a 73 win team, not to mention that the "meet/failed/above" fails to capture the nuance, it's too simple. Then in 2015 he "failed expectations" because he wasn't the NBA champion even though both Kyrie and Love were injured and if they weren't he probably would have won.
Also, in LeBron's early years where in 2007, LeBron was in the finals he was "above expectations" while MJ losing in the first round is also considered "above expectations", this whole line of argumentation is very flimsy.


Yeah a lot of things can happen, injuries and mid-season trades for instance, but these do not apply to 2016 season(I already took the Lakers trade into context for 2008 season hence why it was not counted as a championship window year for Lebron). The Cavs were pre-season favorites to win the ring, and the Warriors 73 wins record was misleading since they did not only struggle against the 57 wins Cavs in the finals, but also against the 55 wins Thunder in WCF. They were never dominant in the playoffs, and hence nowhere near as good as their record suggested.

Similarly the Spurs won 67 wins and didnt even make it to WCF, they were also nowhere near as good as their record suggested. The Cavs were the best team going into playoffs, they were supposed to win that year. The East was terrible in 2016 anyway so they basically had byes until the finals, the Cavs beating the Warriors in 7 was meeting the expectation, they were supposed to win. A better question is, why did Cavs underachieve and only won 57 games given the most talented rosters in the league?

Lebron in 2015 deserves a pass due to injuries happened to the other 2 all-star players so I wont argue this one here, although MJ would've won that ring without Irving and Love anyway like he did against all odds in 1993. Lebron in 2007 did exceed expectation because his team wasnt good enough to make the finals, similarly MJ's 3 straight first round exits years also exceeded expectation since they were projected to be lottery teams. Theres a clear definition of what qualifies a player that takes his team to go above expectation, so I dont think we have any confusion here.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#88 » by sansterre » Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:38 pm

Kiddlovesnets wrote: ...

You completely lost me at any of the following:

1) LeBron lost in 2011 because he needed to pass the ball *more*;
2) The 1993 Suns and the 2014 Spurs were comparably good teams;
3) The 1993 Suns were better than the 1993 Bulls;
4) The 2016 Spurs were worse than their record, despite posting a +10 SRS;
5) Jordan's team beat the '93 Suns, ergo he could lead the Cavs without Love and Kyrie over the 2015 Warriors (one of the top 25 teams ever pretty easily)

There's just so much wrong with these.

1) LeBron's usage in the 2011 Finals was below 25%. That is stupid low for him. But his assist rate was pretty much the same as it would also be in '12 and '13. The problem with LeBron wasn't that he wouldn't pass, it's that he wouldn't shoot (and that he wasn't shooting well). This isn't, like, an innovative position. This is *really* obvious.
2) The '93 Suns posted a +6.3 SRS in the regular season, and played a -1.2, +2.4 and +6.0 SRS team in the playoffs, taking the full length of series to beat 2 of 3 three and winning the series by 3.8, 0 and 0.1 points per game respectively. Not awful, but hardly really impressive. The '14 Spurs threw up a +8 SRS, and played the Thunder with a healthy Durant and Westbrook and blew them out by 10.5 points a game. They're not even close to being comparable. If you're saying that the '14 Spurs weren't "talented" you're basically admitting that "talent" is a fairly awful way to evaluate teams.
3) The '93 Suns played a -1.2, +2.4 and +6.0 SRS team in the playoffs, taking the full length of series to beat 2 of 3 three and winning the series by 3.8, 0 and 0.1 points per game respectively. The '93 Bulls played a -0.7, +5.7 and +5.0 team, swept two of the three series and won by 16.4, 8.5 and 4.7 points per game. In the regular season? I can see the connection. In the playoffs. Clearly no comparison.
4) The 2016 Spurs posted one of the best record/SRS combinations *ever*. There is *zero* evidence for them not being really good except that they didn't make it out of the West, and the 2016 Western Conference was easily the most top-loaded conference in NBA history (unless you're counting the '72 Western Conference). Saying that they weren't very good because they didn't make the WCF is just as ignorant as saying that the '72 Bucks weren't very good because they didn't make the Finals. 2016 had three stupidly good teams in the West (Warriors, Spurs, Thunder). *One* of them wasn't going to make the WCF. That doesn't make them overrated. It means they were three great teams in a system that only let two of them advance to the Conference Finals. This whole position relies on fantastically shaky ground.
5) This is just incredibly lazy reasoning. Your assertion that the Bulls were worse than the Suns is simply mistaken, and then saying that beating one hypothetically tough situation means they can beat all is just . . . wrong. It's like saying "The 1974 Celtics beat an objectively better team than the '74 Bucks, therefor they would totally have beaten the '17 Warriors, who were *also* objectively better."

This isn't a LeBron vs MJ thing for me. If I believed that peak value was the ultimate determiner of greatness, I'd favor MJ over LeBron, because I think that MJ had the greater peak. There are absolutely legitimate and intelligent pro-Jordan arguments.

You are somehow missing, like, all of them.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#89 » by Kiddlovesnets » Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:58 pm

sansterre wrote:You completely lost me at any of the following:

1) LeBron lost in 2011 because he needed to pass the ball *more*;
2) The 1993 Suns and the 2014 Spurs were comparably good teams;
3) The 1993 Suns were better than the 1993 Bulls;
4) The 2016 Spurs were worse than their record, despite posting a +10 SRS;
5) Jordan's team beat the '93 Suns, ergo he could lead the Cavs without Love and Kyrie over the 2015 Warriors (one of the top 25 teams ever pretty easily)

There's just so much wrong with these.



1. I never said Lebron lost in 2011 'cause he needed to pass the ball more, if anything that 2011 finals exposed Lebron's weakness as a scorer as he lacked a reliable jump shot. my last post didnt mention 2011 at all and I have no idea what you were talking about.

2. And yes 1993 and 2014 Spurs were comparably good teams, the Suns lost because they had to face MJ the GOAT, while Spurs won 'cause Lebron aint capable of overcoming adversities like the MJ did. MJ winning every finals series made his opponents look worse than they actually were, while Lebron losing in the finals series somehow made his opponents look so much greater.

3. I didnt say the 1993 Suns were better than the Bulls, I merely stated that the 1993 Bulls had similar issues like 2014 Heat. Fatigue due to 3+ straight finals, lack of motivation from role players, no HCA, opponents figuring out their playing style etc. However, just because they needed to deal with such issues and adversities, doesnt mean they dont have the best and most talented teams. If MJ couldnt win in 1993, he'd still fall below expectation. At GOAT level, one must be able to overcome challenges like this, theres no excuse.

4. The 2016 Spurs +10 SRS was only in regular season, you should understand that playoffs are very different from regular season. Both 73 wins Warriors and 67 wins Spurs struggled against 55 wins Thunder, which is yet another proof that regular season record doesnt matter when it comes to playoffs.

5. The 2015 Warriors were not all that great. Curry struggled in the finals, and they needed Iguodala to play the series of his life to shut down Lebron and won. I already said that Lebron deserves a pass for that year, but this wont change the fact that MJ being a level better than Lebron, should be able to win in 2015. Lebron took the Warriors to game 6 that year, its not a lopsided series.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#90 » by sansterre » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:06 pm

Kiddlovesnets wrote:
sansterre wrote:
1. I never said Lebron lost in 2011 'cause he needed to pass the ball more, if anything that 2011 finals exposed Lebron's weakness as a scorer as he lacked a reliable jump shot. my last post didnt mention 2011 at all and I have no idea what you were talking about.

2. And yes 1993 and 2014 Spurs were comparably good teams, the Suns lost because they had to face MJ the GOAT, while Spurs won 'cause Lebron aint capable of overcoming adversities like the MJ did.


#1 was from this quote from page 4 of this thread: " If he was capable of sharing the ball with teammates, the Heat wouldnt have lost in 2011."

You are arguing that he lost because he wasn't capable of sharing the ball. But he took fewer shots (a kind of sharing) and passed as much as he did in later playoffs in which he won (passing being the other kind of sharing). So . . . I guess I don't really know what you meant by this. Except you're now saying that you didn't want him to pass more, so I guess you mean he needed to shoot less? Except that the 2011 Finals were notable for him shooting unusually little so I"m very confused.

As for #2, you may need to provide some backing for this. Most people have the '14 Spurs as one of the top teams ever (just how top will vary, but their resume is extremely impressive) while the '93 Suns simply aren't considered on the same level generally. So the burden of proof is probably on you here. Besides "they were equally good because I say they were".

Also, #5, saying that the '15 Warriors weren't that good because Curry struggled is a little ridiculous. Jordan struggled in the '96 Finals, posting scoring and rebounding (and efficiency) numbers comfortably below his regular season average. If I argued that the '96 Bulls weren't that good because Jordan struggled in the Finals, I have a hunch that you would suddenly find fault with that line of reasoning.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#91 » by Ainosterhaspie » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:15 pm

'93 Suns and '14 Spurs were roughly equal in terms of offensive talent, but Spurs had superior coaching and vastly superior defense.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#92 » by Kiddlovesnets » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:18 pm

sansterre wrote:#1 was from this quote from page 4 of this thread: " If he was capable of sharing the ball with teammates, the Heat wouldnt have lost in 2011."

You are arguing that he lost because he wasn't capable of sharing the ball. But he took fewer shots (a kind of sharing) and passed as much as he did in later playoffs in which he won (passing being the other kind of sharing). So . . . I guess I don't really know what you meant by this. Except you're now saying that you didn't want him to pass more, so I guess you mean he needed to shoot less? Except that the 2011 Finals were notable for him shooting unusually little so I"m very confused.



I see. What I meant to say is that Lebron wasnt capable of being effective on offense without the ball. Lebron did 'share' the ball, took less shots but he was completely lost on offense. Sometimes a kid steals parents car and drives on the road, doesnt mean the kid is a competent driver. Perhaps the Heat would've won in 2011 if Lebron didnt share the ball more, he can only flourish when he has the ball in his hands. The lack of reliable jumper prevents him from becoming a good off-ball player, his offensive game is quite one-dimensional. Its actually counter-productive whenever he tries to share the ball, we see he becomes passive and lost on offense.

sansterre wrote:Also, #5, saying that the '15 Warriors weren't that good because Curry struggled is a little ridiculous. Jordan struggled in the '96 Finals, posting scoring and rebounding (and efficiency) numbers comfortably below his regular season average. If I argued that the '96 Bulls weren't that good because Jordan struggled in the Finals, I have a hunch that you would suddenly find fault with that line of reasoning.


If anything, Curry struggled in more than just 2015 finals series. He played 5 consecutive finals and never won finals MVP, there was a good reason. We can conclude that Curry's size and playing style make him a perennial underperformer in the NBA Final, the 2015 and 2016 Warriors were definitely nowhere near as dominant as some of you want to believe.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#93 » by sansterre » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:27 pm

Ainosterhaspie wrote:'93 Suns and '14 Spurs were roughly equal in terms of offensive talent, but Spurs had superior coaching and vastly superior defense.

I'll definitely agree that their offenses were comparable. The Suns actually had a better regular season offense, though in the playoffs they only averaged +5.5 offensive rating (adjusted for opponent) while the Spurs averaged a +7.7.

So if somebody wanted to argue that the Suns had the better regular season offense, I'm there. And if you wanted to argue that the Suns and Spurs were comparable offensively, I probably wouldn't fight it too hard.

As you say, defensively it's not really a comparison at all. The Suns averaged a +0.3 (worse than league average) in the playoffs and the Spurs averaged a -6.8. In the regular season the Suns had a -1.3 and the Spurs a -4.3.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#94 » by Kiddlovesnets » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:30 pm

sansterre wrote:I'll definitely agree that their offenses were comparable. The Suns actually had a better regular season offense, though in the playoffs they only averaged +5.5 offensive rating (adjusted for opponent) while the Spurs averaged a +7.7.

So if somebody wanted to argue that the Suns had the better regular season offense, I'm there. And if you wanted to argue that the Suns and Spurs were comparable offensively, I probably wouldn't fight it too hard.

As you say, defensively it's not really a comparison at all. The Suns averaged a +0.3 (worse than league average) in the playoffs and the Spurs averaged a -6.8. In the regular season the Suns had a -1.3 and the Spurs a -4.3.


Offensively or defensively, the Suns would have a much higher average if they won against MJ's Bulls, while the Spurs would have a much lower average if they lost against Lebron's Heat. I'd like to see comparison before the finals series rather than the entire playoffs runs.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#95 » by sansterre » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:37 pm

Kiddlovesnets wrote:
sansterre wrote:I'll definitely agree that their offenses were comparable. The Suns actually had a better regular season offense, though in the playoffs they only averaged +5.5 offensive rating (adjusted for opponent) while the Spurs averaged a +7.7.

So if somebody wanted to argue that the Suns had the better regular season offense, I'm there. And if you wanted to argue that the Suns and Spurs were comparable offensively, I probably wouldn't fight it too hard.

As you say, defensively it's not really a comparison at all. The Suns averaged a +0.3 (worse than league average) in the playoffs and the Spurs averaged a -6.8. In the regular season the Suns had a -1.3 and the Spurs a -4.3.


Offensively or defensively, the Suns would have a much higher average if they won against MJ's Bulls, while the Spurs would have a much lower average if they lost against Lebron's Heat. I'd like to see comparison before the finals series rather than the entire playoffs runs.


Round: SRS of Opposition, Record, MoV, Offensive Rating / Defensive Rating (both adjusted for opponent)

1993 Suns:

Round 1: -1.2 Opponent, 3-2, +3.8, -1.1 / -3.8
Round 2: +2.4 Opponent, 4-2, +0, +3.1 / +0.3
Round 3: +6.0 Opponent, 4-3, +0.1, +10.9 / +3.3
Round 4: +9.5 Opponent, 2-4, +0, +6.9 / +0.1

Ignoring the Finals doesn't actually change anything for the Suns. They held the Bulls to their regular season average. So even though that number is high, they aren't really penalized for that because this is adjusted for opponent. But with the exception of the Lakers in the first round, the Suns didn't hold anyone to below their regular season average offensive rating.

I don't have time to run the full Spurs' set, but their adjusted defensive rating against the Heat was -6.1, which is great, but actually worse than their average defensive performance that playoffs.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#96 » by homecourtloss » Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:34 pm

Zeitgeister wrote:
Kiddlovesnets wrote:I saw that RealGM actually voted Lebron as GOAT, which makes absolutely no sense to me. For this reason, I have compiled a table of season by season comparison of MJ and Lebron. This table compares MJ and Lebron based on how they performed according to expectation. The pre-season odds are a great matrix to determine the strength of each team, a team favorite to win by the odds is the best team in the league for the very season. Lets take a look:

Image
Image

Note:
* The Cavs started the season as 4th favorite and should be in championship window, but dropped back to 5th following the Lakers trade for Gasol. For this reason, the 2007-2008 season does not count as a championship window year for Lebron.
** The Lakers were favorite to win in pre-season and remained as favorite even after the Nets Harden trade. For this reason, the 2020-2021 season is considered a Championship Favorite Year for Lebron.


You do realize that things change throughout the course of an 82 game season where preseason odds don't mean that much. For example saying that LeBron "met expectations" in 2016 is laughable when he should have far exceeded them after beating a 73 win team, not to mention that the "meet/failed/above" fails to capture the nuance, it's too simple. Then in 2015 he "failed expectations" because he wasn't the NBA champion even though both Kyrie and Love were injured and if they weren't he probably would have won.
Also, in LeBron's early years where in 2007, LeBron was in the finals he was "above expectations" while MJ losing in the first round is also considered "above expectations", this whole line of argumentation is very flimsy.


Well said—the black and white thinking allows for zero nuance, but I’ve seen that in many of these arguments, one side seems to favor the black and white thinking more than the other. Additionally, the OP is using preseason championship odds and converting those into “how far a team is expected to go in the playoffs.”

Take a look at 2005, for example. It’s categorized as “failed to meet expectations” yet the Cavs, led by a 20 year old had 1) a winning record 2) missed the playoffs by one game 3) had an SRS higher than those of two Eastern conference playoffs team. How exactly is this “failed to meet expectations” when all you have are championship odds that places you in a tie for 15th in the league when also taking into account how championship odds also based on how you can move money.

Your 2007 example is a good one is showing that two “exceeded expectations” are not equal.

1995 for Jordan is above expectations because the 1995 odds were based on Jordan not playing :lol:

2008 was “meet expectations” but the Cavs were in a one possession game vs. a +9 SRS juggernaut AND the Cavs outscored the Celtics throughout 7 games with LeBron on court.

And so on and so on.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#97 » by McBubbles » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:53 pm

Kiddlovesnets wrote:
sansterre wrote:I'll definitely agree that their offenses were comparable. The Suns actually had a better regular season offense, though in the playoffs they only averaged +5.5 offensive rating (adjusted for opponent) while the Spurs averaged a +7.7.

So if somebody wanted to argue that the Suns had the better regular season offense, I'm there. And if you wanted to argue that the Suns and Spurs were comparable offensively, I probably wouldn't fight it too hard.

As you say, defensively it's not really a comparison at all. The Suns averaged a +0.3 (worse than league average) in the playoffs and the Spurs averaged a -6.8. In the regular season the Suns had a -1.3 and the Spurs a -4.3.


Offensively or defensively, the Suns would have a much higher average if they won against MJ's Bulls, while the Spurs would have a much lower average if they lost against Lebron's Heat. I'd like to see comparison before the finals series rather than the entire playoffs runs.


The part I'm quoting isn't relevant so ignore that. I just wanted to point out that nobody here is disagreeing with you on the basis of you thinking MJ is better than Lebron. That's still a pretty popular position even on this more esoteric board and outside of popularity is just a position that is straight up quite possibly true, especially if you're talking peak where I personally think there's more evidence leaning MJ>LeBron.

People here are disagreeing with you on the basis of your reasoning for having MJ over LeBron being utter poop lol. MJ is better than Lebron because LeBron lost in 2014 but MJ found a way to win in 1993... again man that is some ESPN, YouTube comment section level analysis.

Also the only people here uncritically agreeing with you are people like oaktownwarriors, who aren't exactly known for being the most objective about Lebron. You could make a post saying "Signs in the dirt suggests MJ is better than LeBron" and they'd go "Hmm, very interesting analysis, can't wait for LeBron stans to make excuses to explain this :noway: :crazy: :roll: :lol: 8-) ". So yeah not the best crowd to source positive reactions from.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#98 » by Kiddlovesnets » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:46 am

sansterre wrote:
Round: SRS of Opposition, Record, MoV, Offensive Rating / Defensive Rating (both adjusted for opponent)

1993 Suns:

Round 1: -1.2 Opponent, 3-2, +3.8, -1.1 / -3.8
Round 2: +2.4 Opponent, 4-2, +0, +3.1 / +0.3
Round 3: +6.0 Opponent, 4-3, +0.1, +10.9 / +3.3
Round 4: +9.5 Opponent, 2-4, +0, +6.9 / +0.1

Ignoring the Finals doesn't actually change anything for the Suns. They held the Bulls to their regular season average. So even though that number is high, they aren't really penalized for that because this is adjusted for opponent. But with the exception of the Lakers in the first round, the Suns didn't hold anyone to below their regular season average offensive rating.

I don't have time to run the full Spurs' set, but their adjusted defensive rating against the Heat was -6.1, which is great, but actually worse than their average defensive performance that playoffs.


So the Spurs were more dominant in the playoffs than the Suns, which I agree. However, its still unconvincing that the 2014 Spurs were better than the 1993 Suns since the opponents were different, the Spurs had favorable matchups in the 2nd round against the Blazers and won 4 out of the 5 games in blowouts which could've inflated this stats(as well as the first 2 games against OKC without Ibaka).

But anyway, even if the Spurs were slightly better than the Suns, it was still hard to explain why the Mavericks and Thunder with Ibaka gave the Spurs a much better series than the Heat. Lebron did not just lose, the Heat set new record for largest margin in NBA Finals. Its hard to argue that the Heat was so much worse than the Spurs, and Lebron definitely didnt play at MJ's God-like level in 1993 which could've at least made this a competitive series.

McBubbles wrote:People here are disagreeing with you on the basis of your reasoning for having MJ over LeBron being utter poop lol. MJ is better than Lebron because LeBron lost in 2014 but MJ found a way to win in 1993... again man that is some ESPN, YouTube comment section level analysis.


My reasoning is actually valid since the pre-season odds and expectations were based on the talent level of each team. Lebron's Heat and Cavs from 2011 to 2016 being pre-season favorites, indicate that they had the best rosters among all teams in the league. Yeah it doesnt take account of team chemistry, but I've pointed it out many times that you guys have overlooked one fact that Lebron's team always seemed to have issue with chemistry that prevented them from reaching their maximum potential. Had Wade and Bosh been able to play to their strength, the Heat could've been at a different level enough to match and beat the Spurs in 2014. So why this didnt happen? Is Lebron's ball dominant playing style naturally unfit to the games of his all-star teammates? If so, it doesnt make sense to blame Lebron's teammates for being not good enough.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#99 » by HeartBreakKid » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:52 am

I dont think the OP understands how odds are put together. The reason why the Cavs were favored to do well in 2009 and 2010 is because thats what most casual fans expected - media craze and push. Nothing special about those teams, citing that Jordan's first round elimination teams were better feats than carrying teams to 60 wins is silly. The Cavs punched way above their weight class nearly every season James played with them. 2017 is like the only season where nothing special was expected on their route to the finals.

Also, the quality of opponent LBJ is facing in the finals is pretty severe. I mean this year if the Lakers make the finals, which they should if they are healthy - they're facing a mega stacked Nets team. Jordan won titles during an era with no superteams, in the 80s his teams were gobbled up because y'know, it's a team game. 3/4 of Lebrons titles his team was an underdog or against a team as equally talented - and he's facing teams that were flat out better than his the vast majority of the time he was eliminated. The Mavericks are pretty much the only exception he's had a very long career already.


Finally, lol at Jordan getting eliminated in the 2nd round as "above expectation" in 1995. No one even know Jordan would be on the Bulls before the season had started. The Bulls were actually favored to beat the Magic (Jordan played incredibly well in round 1 and averaged 32.5 points which was normal for him), and they were upset.
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Re: MJ vs Lebron based on pre-season odds & finishes 

Post#100 » by Kiddlovesnets » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:01 am

HeartBreakKid wrote:I dont think the OP understands how odds are put together. The reason why the Cavs were favored to do well in 2009 and 2010 is because thats what most casual fans expected - media craze and push. Nothing special about those teams, citing that Jordan's first round elimination teams were better feats than carrying teams to 60 wins is silly.

Also, the quality of opponent LBJ is facing in the finals is pretty severe. I mean this year if the Lakers make the finals, which they should if they are healthy - they're facing a mega stacked Nets team. Jordan won titles during an era with no superteams, in the 80s his teams were gobbled up because y'know, it's a team game.


Actually Lebron's Cavs were not favored in 2009 so I dont know what you are talking about. The 2010 Cavs were not pre-season favorites either, though they added Shaq who was an all-star in 2009 averaging 18/9 before joining up with Lebron so it was a championship window year for Lebron(top 3-4 teams in the league). Of course Shaq didnt seem to fit well with Lebron, but the team did look good enough to compete, at least for a trip to the finals. For the 2010 Cavs team, the expectation wasnt to win NBA title, but losing in the 2nd round was definitely below expectation.

The quality of Lebron's finals opponents aint as severe as you think, at least when compared to Lebron's own team(remember Lebron had superteams from 2011 to 2017 himself). MJ kept beating his opponents in the finals and thus they looked weaker in your eyes, while Lebron lost more to his opponents than he won, creating an illusion as if Lebron's opponents were so tough and unbeatable.

The Lakers were pre-season favorites this season, and remained as favorites after Harden trade. If Lebron wins this year, he meets expectation as the Lakers were expected to win according to pre-season and post-Harden trade odds. And if he loses, he fails expectation and theres no excuse(unless AD injury made him unable to play the NBA Finals), the Nets and other teams were not better than the Lakers.

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