RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 (Ben Wallace)

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RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 (Ben Wallace) 

Post#1 » by trex_8063 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:04 am

2020 List
1. LeBron James
2. Michael Jordan
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4. Bill Russell
5. Tim Duncan
6. Wilt Chamberlain
7. Magic Johnson
8. Shaquille O'Neal
9. Hakeem Olajuwon
10. Larry Bird
11. Kevin Garnett
12. Kobe Bryant
13. Jerry West
14. Oscar Robertson
15. Dirk Nowitzki
16. Karl Malone
17. David Robinson
18. Julius Erving
19. George Mikan
20. Moses Malone
21. Charles Barkley
22. Kevin Durant
23. Chris Paul
24. Stephen Curry
25. Bob Pettit
26. John Stockton
27. Steve Nash
28. Dwyane Wade
29. Patrick Ewing
30. Walt Frazier
31. James Harden
32. Scottie Pippen
33. Elgin Baylor
34. John Havlicek
35. Rick Barry
36. Jason Kidd
37. George Gervin
38. Clyde Drexler
39. Reggie Miller
40. Artis Gilmore
41. Dolph Schayes
42. Kawhi Leonard
43. Isiah Thomas
44. Russell Westbrook
45. Willis Reed
46. Chauncey Billups
47. Paul Pierce
48. Gary Payton
49. Pau Gasol
50. Ray Allen
51. Dwight Howard
52. Kevin McHale
53. Manu Ginobili
54. Dave Cowens
55. Adrian Dantley
56. Sam Jones
57. Bob Lanier
58. Dikembe Mutombo
59. Elvin Hayes
60. Paul Arizin
61. Anthony Davis
62. Robert Parish
63. Bob Cousy
64. Alonzo Mourning
65. Nate Thurmond
66. Allen Iverson
67. Tracy McGrady
68. Alex English
69. Vince Carter
70. Wes Unseld
71. Tony Parker
72. Rasheed Wallace
73. Dominique Wilkins
74. Giannis Antetokounmpo
75. Kevin Johnson
76. Bobby Jones
77. Bob McAdoo
78. Shawn Marion
79. Dennis Rodman
80. Larry Nance
81. ???

Target stop-time around 9pm EST on Thursday.

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#2 » by trex_8063 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:25 am

1st vote: Chris Bosh
Things I really like when looking at his career....
1) Fairly nice peak and average prime year: he was basically like clockwork good for ~23/10 year after year in Toronto. Much of that was for mediocre to poor teams, though he also did it for a couple of weak supporting casts that he semi-carried to positive SRS's, 41-47 wins, and playoff berths.
2) Adaptability: he altered his game in Miami to integrate with Lebron on a contender [semi-dynasty]. He developed a 3pt shot, and didn't complain [to my knowledge] about his reduced role. In the meantime he also became [imo] one of the league's best pnr defenders.
3) Consistent high level/longevity of quality. If you just look at total games played [893] or seasons played [13], his longevity doesn't look that great. But a couple things to consider: a) he packed nearly 32k minutes into the 893 games [CAREER avg of 35.8 mpg]; and b) he was good basically his ENTIRE career--->he was already at least an average player as a rookie, improved to clearly above avg in his 2nd year, was a clear All-Star talent by his 3rd season.....and basically never again declined below at least borderline All-Star for the rest of his career [peaking near All-NBA 2nd Team level].

It's a decent amount of career value, imo. Surprised he doesn't have a pinch more traction, really.


2nd vote: Horace Grant
Yup, I went there. See post 10 of the #80 thread for arguments, for anyone who does not think he's a solid candidate at this stage [at least if longevity of quality factors into your criteria AT ALL].


3rd vote: Ben Wallace
About as polarized a player as you can get: on the short-list of WOAT offensive players, but on the short-list of GOAT defensive ones. Overall his impact panned out somewhere in the top 7-15 players in the league most years of his prime. I'll try to post more at length about him later if I have the time.


Among those who have received votes of any kind, I'm tentatively going with this order:
Bosh > Grant > Wallace > Melo > Greer > Hornacek > D.Lillard > G.Williams > Hawkins > D.Johnson > Tiny/Walton/Jokic (I need think about how I want those four ordered; I've gone round and round in my head. None of them are actually all that close to my top 100, but if it's required for Condorcet I will come up with a hierarchy I can live with).
I'm waffling on Greer a little....I may end up dropping him below Hornacek and Lillard.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#3 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:28 am

Criteria

Spoiler:
I'm a pretty big peak guy, I'm not that interested in value of total seasons. The value of multiple seasons to me is to give me a greater sample size to understanding how good they were on the court, not necessarily the totality of their impact through out the years.

I also value impact over all else, and I define impact as the ability to help a team win games. Boxscore stats, team accolades and individual accolades (unless I agree with them personally) have very little baring on my voting so some names will look a bit wonky. The reason why I ignore accolades and winningness is because basketball is a team game and the players are largely not in control of the quality of their teammates or the health f their team (or their own personal health in key moments), thus I don't see the value of rating players based on xx has this many MVPs versus this guy has this many rings. In addition, I simply find this type of analysis boring because it's quite easy to simply look at who has a bigger laundry list of accomplishments.



1) Bill Walton. He is the best player by far here. He was probably a top 3 player in the world during his last couple years in college as well, though I believe this is NBA only. I am quite certain that Bill Walton is a top 20 peak ever. He is a top ten defensive anchor which alone adds more value than anyone left, and his offensive passing can generate very efficient offenses without him needing to score.

2)) Nikola Jokic. #2 vote I'll give to the only guy who is large and passes better than Walton. I'm not a longevity guy but Jokic has actually been a star caliber player for longer than people think. He was greatly underplayed in his 2nd season and Malone was criticized for that even back then. He has 4 seasons of all-star impact and two seasons where I had him as the 2nd best player in the league. I do think his offense is so special from his position that it causes an imbalance that makes him more valuable than two way bigs. His scoring ability might be the best among all the bigs left, and what's great about him is that he doesn't need to score a lot to have impact. Walton's defense is so intense that I can't imagine taking Jokic over that, but everyone else left is a tier or 2 down from either Walton's offense or his defense.


3) Sidney Moncrief - Sidney does everything well. He is lacking longevity, with maybe 5 great seasons - but outside of that he gave a team everything they'd need. Incredible defensive ability, great passing, good scoring (modest volume but outlier efficiency), good rebounder and he plays well with other stars. The Bucks were a pretty consistent threat in the 80s and Sidney may have been the largest individual reason why. Once his prime really started to hit he was a consistent playoff performer as well. Not only does he seem more well rounded than some of the new contenders (Bosh, B Jones, McAdoo, Marion, Wallace) but he is an outlier in two categories, scoring efficiency and defense. Seems like a superstar almost.













Hawkins > Porter > B Wallace > Gus Williams > Lillard > Greer> Hornacek > H Grant > Bosh > Lucas > C Anthony
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#4 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:35 am

Hey Trex, I believe in the last thread you said something along the lines of "Hawkins peak was 1.5 seasons and everything else was way below that" - what seasons were you referring to? It seems like Hawkins 1970 season is pretty comparable to his 68 one.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#5 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:46 am

Guys, remember - we HAVE to get Terry Porter in. That's the law.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#6 » by trex_8063 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 2:33 am

HeartBreakKid wrote:Hey Trex, I believe in the last thread you said something along the lines of "Hawkins peak was 1.5 seasons and everything else was way below that" - what seasons were you referring to? It seems like Hawkins 1970 season is pretty comparable to his 68 one.


I'm not so sure....

'68 Hawk per 100 possessions: 26.6 pts @ 59.7% TS [+11.45% rTS], 13.4 reb, 4.55 ast in 44.9 mpg. Then arguably got marginally better in the playoffs. (And fwiw, the first half of '69 before his injury he was even better)

'70 Hawk per 100 possessions: 24.8 pts @ 56.3% TS [+5.16% rTS], 10.5 reb, 4.85 ast in 40.9 mpg. In the playoffs his raw numbers hold or even look marginally better [mostly due to higher mpg], but his shooting efficiency fell to 49.7% TS [-6.6% from rs].

So assist rates go up marginally, but rate of scoring slips just a little, efficiency falls off substantially, rebounding falls off substantially, playoff resiliency apparently falls off substantially, too. ALL of this in marginally less playing time too [so presumably fatigue/foul trouble slightly less of an issue].


I perhaps overstated things to say not even "remotely"......but nor do I see that as quite comparable, even allowing that the NBA was a bit tougher environment.
With Reed, by comparison: the rate of scoring, rebounding, assisting, and rTS% in '68 are virtually identical to that of '70 [just in 2-3 fewer mpg, and for a lesser team]; and his '71 run is closer to his '70 run than '70 Hawkins is to '68 Hawkins, too.


Hawkins then fell off marginally more by '71, held more or less steady to that level for '72, then fell off a bit more in '73, and a bit more again in '74. Then by '75 he wasn't of value.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#7 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Apr 7, 2021 3:27 am

trex_8063 wrote:
HeartBreakKid wrote:Hey Trex, I believe in the last thread you said something along the lines of "Hawkins peak was 1.5 seasons and everything else was way below that" - what seasons were you referring to? It seems like Hawkins 1970 season is pretty comparable to his 68 one.


I'm not so sure....

'68 Hawk per 100 possessions: 26.6 pts @ 59.7% TS [+11.45% rTS], 13.4 reb, 4.55 ast in 44.9 mpg. Then arguably got marginally better in the playoffs. (And fwiw, the first half of '69 before his injury he was even better)

'70 Hawk per 100 possessions: 24.8 pts @ 56.3% TS [+5.16% rTS], 10.5 reb, 4.85 ast in 40.9 mpg. In the playoffs his raw numbers hold or even look marginally better [mostly due to higher mpg], but his shooting efficiency fell to 49.7% TS [-6.6% from rs].

So assist rates go up marginally, but rate of scoring slips just a little, efficiency falls off substantially, rebounding falls off substantially, playoff resiliency apparently falls off substantially, too. ALL of this in marginally less playing time too [so presumably fatigue/foul trouble slightly less of an issue].


I perhaps overstated things to say not even "remotely"......but nor do I see that as quite comparable, even allowing that the NBA was a bit tougher environment.
With Reed, by comparison: the rate of scoring, rebounding, assisting, and rTS% in '68 are virtually identical to that of '70 [just in 2-3 fewer mpg, and for a lesser team]; and his '71 run is closer to his '70 run than '70 Hawkins is to '68 Hawkins, too.


Hawkins then fell off marginally more by '71, held more or less steady to that level for '72, then fell off a bit more in '73, and a bit more again in '74. Then by '75 he wasn't of value.

That's only the ABA in its 2nd season - it had to be a bit more than a bit easier than the NBA to put up points there.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#8 » by penbeast0 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 4:05 am

1. Horace Grant Three long, very good career guys are next on my list. None graduated to "great" in my book but made very consistent contribution both as very good (not great) defenders and good offensive players. Grant's advantage comes from his role in some very successful teams and his superior passing and turnover economy.
2. Hal Greer Similarly, Greer and Hornacek were both good player, second option types who played good offense and good defense but neither really dominated. They would be an asset on any team. I have Greer first based on accolades to tell the truth; I don't remember seeing him play but his peers were very impressed.
3. Jeff Hornacek -- The Jazz offense improved so much when they added Hornacek to give them a 3rd competent offensive player next to Stockton/Malone; that impressed me a lot.

I am looking at Sidney Moncrief, Grant Hill, James Worthy, Connie Hawkins, Dennis Johnson, Ben Wallace, Chris Bosh, Dan Issel, Gus Williams, Bill Walton, Jokic in roughly that order though there are a number of other names we should also be considering. Bosh is the one I need to think about and possibly move up but he never impressed me that much in terms of eye test so it would have to be the kind of statistical impact that Rasheed Wallace had.

Looking at the list from 2017, the following names have not been voted in yet:

71 Sidney Moncrief
73 Grant Hill
75 Chris Bosh
78. Hal Greer
79. Ben Wallace
80. Dan Issel

For the rest:
Sidney Moncrief v. Grant Hill v. James Worthy (Using per 100 stats to lessen era/minute differentials)

Moncrief 5 year prime: ~36.5 mpg, 27 p, 7.5 r, 6.1 a, ~.590 ts%, 4 1st team All-Defense, 1 2nd team, 2xDPOY, 1 1st All-NBA, 4 2nd All-NBA. 2 years pre-prime, 3 hobbled years post prime (ignoring years with less than 50 games played other than 1999). Surprisingly his rebounding per 100 is actually equal to Worthy's.

Hill 6 year prime: ~29 mpg, 30 p, 11 r, 8.5 a, .540ts%, 1 1st team All-NBA, 4 2nd All-NBA, 6 solid post prime seasons. Hill was the focus of the Detroit offense; both of the others played on deep teams that spread the ball around. He was also the primary distributor while the others were more secondary distributors or finishers.

Worthy 7 year prime (85-91): ~35.5 mpg, 27 p, 7.5r, 4.5 a, ~.570ts%, 2 x All-NBA 3rd, 1FMVP, I have his 1st 2 years as pre-prime as his scoring load was significantly less and his last 3 years as post-prime as his efficiency dropped significantly. The healthiest of the bunch, probably the lowest RS peaks. His scoring volume may have been hurt a bit by all the talent on the Lakers, on the other hand, playing with Magic (as compared to say Brian Winters or Lindsey Hunter at PG) probably helped his efficiency.

I have these three as:

1. Moncrief -- his prime was shorter but a lot stronger. He was one of the NBA's all time great defenders, the others were both solid but not outstanding, plus offensively he's at least arguably the strongest of the 3 with the highest shooting efficiency at equivalent scoring volume. The monster defense for 5 years is worth more to me than 1 or 2 years of extra years of equivalent offense and decent defense and the extra role player years don't move the needle that much in comparison.

2. Hill's case is based on his rebounding and playmaking from the 3, though his scoring efficiency was less, plus his long post-prime career where he reinvented himself as a 3 and D guy. The rebounding and playmaking is certainly an argument in his favor, he rebounds significantly better as a 3/2 guy than the 3/4 Worthy and gets more assists than the 2/1 Moncrief (though a lot of that is role). His career outside his prime is better than Worthy's and significantly better than Moncrief's, enough to make it close but not enough for me to put him higher.

3. Worthy is the lowest of the 3, an efficient scorer but despite playing a lot of PF, a weak rebounder. He was blessed to play with the most talent around him and thus had a stronger playoff resume, his case is based on that, particularly his FMVP season. His career was actually shorter than Hill's in number of games despite his better health. 926 games to 1026 for Hill (and 767 for Moncrief).

Let's look at those playoff numbers in their primes again using per 100 possessions:

Worthy ~39mpg 28p, 7r, 4.5a, .580 ts%
Hill ~38mpg, 32.7p, 11r, 9a, .520ts% (only 13 games to avoid using 00 when he was injured)
Moncrief ~40mpg, 25p, 7r, 5.5a, .575ts%

I don't think this makes Worthy's case appreciably stronger although he certainly played a lot more playoff games than the other two due to his situation in LA.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#9 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Apr 7, 2021 7:03 am

trex_8063 wrote:
HeartBreakKid wrote:Hey Trex, I believe in the last thread you said something along the lines of "Hawkins peak was 1.5 seasons and everything else was way below that" - what seasons were you referring to? It seems like Hawkins 1970 season is pretty comparable to his 68 one.


I'm not so sure....

'68 Hawk per 100 possessions: 26.6 pts @ 59.7% TS [+11.45% rTS], 13.4 reb, 4.55 ast in 44.9 mpg. Then arguably got marginally better in the playoffs. (And fwiw, the first half of '69 before his injury he was even better)

'70 Hawk per 100 possessions: 24.8 pts @ 56.3% TS [+5.16% rTS], 10.5 reb, 4.85 ast in 40.9 mpg. In the playoffs his raw numbers hold or even look marginally better [mostly due to higher mpg], but his shooting efficiency fell to 49.7% TS [-6.6% from rs].

So assist rates go up marginally, but rate of scoring slips just a little, efficiency falls off substantially, rebounding falls off substantially, playoff resiliency apparently falls off substantially, too. ALL of this in marginally less playing time too [so presumably fatigue/foul trouble slightly less of an issue].


I perhaps overstated things to say not even "remotely"......but nor do I see that as quite comparable, even allowing that the NBA was a bit tougher environment.
With Reed, by comparison: the rate of scoring, rebounding, assisting, and rTS% in '68 are virtually identical to that of '70 [just in 2-3 fewer mpg, and for a lesser team]; and his '71 run is closer to his '70 run than '70 Hawkins is to '68 Hawkins, too.


Hawkins then fell off marginally more by '71, held more or less steady to that level for '72, then fell off a bit more in '73, and a bit more again in '74. Then by '75 he wasn't of value.


I'd note that in '70 the Suns played only one opponent: The Lakers. So yes, Wilt would certainly make things harder for Hawkins and it's not a surprise his efficiency is lower, but it's worth noting that the basketball world was awestruck by his performance against the Lakers before losing in 7 games.

On the point of how Hawkins' years compare, I definitely see it similarly to you in that I would not feel comfortable chalking up Hawkins shift in stats going from the ABA to the NBA solely due to the change in league quality. He was injured and came back in the ABA, but was clearly not the same when he did come back.

We know that part of Hawkins came was his acrobatics and athleticism, and we know that he lost it quicker than we'd have hoped in the NBA. I think injuries like that tend to fast forward a player's career arc a bit.

On the other side of things, I think Hawkins reached just about peak savviness once he got his sealegs back under him in competitive pro ball in the ABA (which took some time early in the season). I think the dude was essentially the oldest 25 year old imaginable in basketball years, and I think it was mostly others having to adapt to him rather than the other way around because nobody played the way Hawkins did with his unique physicality and unique learning journey.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#10 » by Dutchball97 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 10:26 am

1. Nikola Jokic - I might be voting for Jokic for a while but I think he deserves to make the list at least. Jokic' case is very similar to Giannis in my opinion. Both have 4 high level years along with 1 other positively contributing year. While both have 4 great regular seasons it is clear Giannis has the edge up till 2020, which is why I have him ahead. The difference in longevity is just Giannis' first two years when he was barely a replacement level player so if you're fine with Giannis being voted in this range, how can you justify not having Jokic not in your top 100 at all? Their play-off resumes are comparable at this point as well. Giannis has 5.8 WS and 3.4 VORP in the post-season so far compared to 5.5 WS and 3.5 VORP for Jokic. Giannis has reached the play-offs more often (5 times) than Jokic (2 times) but both have 3 play-off series wins at this point. While Giannis has played 10 more games than Jokic, the reason why the numbers are still close is that both of Jokic' runs were arguably better than any of Giannis' play-off outings. It's a shame some of the voters don't consider him for the top 100 project at all but at this point of the list we're all simply going to have to accept players will receive votes that others don't have among their next 25 picks at all.

2. Ben Wallace - Boxscore stats generally don't do defensive specialists justice but even so Ben Wallace still comes out looking very well in stats like WS and BPM. Despite a relatively short 6 year prime Ben still has pretty solid longevity at this point in the list as well. The main factor why I'm voting for him here is his excellent post-season play. 3 consecutive post-season runs with 3+ WS and 1+ VORP is very impressive. That alone would be a strong play-off pedigree at this point but he has multiple other very solid performances in the post-season as well. His pivotal role for the Pistons in some very deep runs and even a championship shouldn't be understated.

3. Gus Williams - While another voter already has Dennis Johnson on his ballot, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned his teammate on the 79 champion Supersonics yet tbh. Gus Williams was only a 2 time All-Star so I understand he might fly under the radar for some people but this massively undervalues him. His prime quality and duration really isn't much different than Ben Wallace. It maybe shouldn't be a surprise I'm this high on Gus WIlliams because I've consistently put a big emphasis on play-off performance and Gus was a post-season savant who consistently stepped his game up when it counted most. After being the best player for the 78 Sonics that lost game 7 of the finals, he went on to post a 23.8 PER, .210 WS/48 and 6.7 BPM alongside a league leading 2.7 WS and 1.3 VORP on the way to a championship the next year. That isn't the end of Gus Williams being amazing in the play-offs though. In the 1980, 82, 83 and 84 post-seasons he had 20+ PER, .150+ WS/48 and 6+ BPM in every single one of those campaigns.

Sidney Moncrief > Terry Porter > Anfernee Hardaway > Draymond Green > Jimmy Butler > Grant Hill > Horace Grant > James Worthy > Paul George > Damian Lillard > Jeff Hornacek > Kyle Lowry > Jerry Lucas > Walt Bellamy > Carmelo Anthony > Maurice Cheeks > Hal Greer > Andrei Kirilenko > Eddie Jones > Chris Bosh > Bill Walton > Connie Hawkins > Dennis Johnson > Dave DeBusschere > Tiny Archibald
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#11 » by Hal14 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 12:46 pm

Hal14 wrote:1. Dennis Johnson
2. Tiny Archibald
3. Walt Bellamy

Johnson was Finals MVP in 79. The dude was an animal. Flying around the court like a bat outta hell, some of the best defense a guard has ever played. Going all out, hustling, taking it strong to the rim.

Next, let's look at 84. 83-84 was his first year on the Celtics. The year before that in 83 the Celtics got swept in the 2nd round by the Bucks. Yes, KC Jones taking over as coach was a factor as well, but the Celtics adding Johnson was a HUGE reason why they went from being swept in the 2nd round in 83 to NBA world champs beating the Lakers in the finals the very next year in 84 (with Magic and Kareem in their prime).

In both 84 and 86 Johnson was one of the team's top 4 players, came through in the clutch time and time again and Bird is on record saying that Johnson was the best teammate he ever played with (meaning Bird thinks Johnson was better than Parish and Mchale).

Johnson was one of the best defensive guards of all time, easily one of the top 10 defensive guards ever. The guy had very good size and strength at the PG position which made him a tough matchup, early in his career had great explosiveness and athleticism, he could score inside, drive to the basket and as his career went on developed a deadly outside shot - especially in the mid range area, not as much from 3 because at the time 3's weren't being taken very much across the league (early in his career there was no 3 point line), plus he could rebound well, unselfishly looked to get the ball to his teammates but would make you pay dearly if you ignored him too much on offense, plus of course his outstanding defense.

Solid longevity, played 14 seasons (13 of which he played 27+ mins a game and all of them he played in 70+ games) which was solid for that era, especially considering he played in a ton (180 to be exact) of playoff games.

How about durability? The guy always played, he was always in the lineup. Out of his 14 seasons:
-he played 72+ games in 14/14 (100%)
-he played in 77+ games in 12/14 seasons (86%)
-he played in 80+ games in 7/14 seasons (50%)

How about Rasheed's durability?
-he played 72+ games in 14/16 (63%)
-he played in 77+ games in 8/16 seasons (50%)
-he played in 80+ games in 10/16 seasons (13%)

Tiny is a 6 time all-star, 3x all NBA 1st team, 2x all NBA 2nd team. You want peak? Only player ever to lead the NBA in both scoring and assists in the same season. And he was a key piece on the 1981 NBA championship-winning Celtics. Solid defender. Very few point guards in the history of the game possessed his combination of scoring and distributing. And he did it in an era before it was easier for point guards to dominate the league (like it's been since 2005). He'd be even higher up this list if not for injuries, but still had 13 seasons which is pretty good longevity, especially for that era.

Bellamy was a dominant center who could do it all - hit shots, score with power inside, rebound, defend, run the floor. Good combination of size, strength and skill. Sure, his ability diminished in his later years, but that's why he's not a top 50 player. If you just look at top 1 or 2 years for peak, there are very few centers who can match Bellamy. It's about time he gets voted in:

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#12 » by penbeast0 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 12:59 pm

I don't remember Bells being injured that much; I thought he had a long career that started incredibly impressive and got less so almost every year. In his rookie and 2nd year, he was the 2nd most statistically dominant guy in the league to Wilt. By the 70s he was pretty much an average center, sort of a Mel Turpin.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#13 » by Clyde Frazier » Wed Apr 7, 2021 2:01 pm

Vote 1 - Hal Greer
Vote 2 - Carmelo Anthony
Vote 3 - Chris Bosh

The Rest: Moncrief > Cunningham > Hill > Tiny > DeBusschere > Ben Wallace > Terry Porter > Jerry Lucas > Gus Williams > Hornacek > Horace Grant > Dennis Johnson > Lillard > Hawkins > Jokic > Walton


- 15 year career (all with same franchise)
- 7x all NBA 2nd team
- Sixers all time leader in games played, minutes played, FGM, total points

Greer's overall body of work is impressive. He had marked consistency throughout his career, along with great durability and longevity for his time. He played in 79+ games in 10 of his 15 seasons, which spanned from 59-73. He scored on above average efficiency relative to his era, putting up the following #s from 61-70:

22 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 4.4 APG, 45.4% FG, 80.3% FT (6 FTAs per game), 51% TS (+2.09 rTS)

He performed similarly in the playoffs, playing a major role in the 67 sixers championship run, commonly considered one of the best teams of all time:

27.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 5.3 APG, 42.9% FG, 79.7% FT (7.9 FTAs per game), 48.7% TS (regular season league avg 49.3%)

And yes, grain of salt I know when it comes to many of the statements below. I think it at least puts things in historical context considering how long ago he played.

"I knew Hal when I got there [as the Sixers' business manager] in '68. I was with him for one year," said Pat Williams, who was raised in Wilmington and later became the Sixers' general manager for 12 seasons. "Tough little bulldog. He was tough as nails. And quiet. Didn't talk much ... but would just go out and perform. Maybe the best middle distance jump shooter of all-time. You could argue that. That 15-, 16-, 17-foot range. It was like a layup to him.”


http://www.apbr.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4498

It’s been echoed elsewhere that he had the best mid range jumper of his generation. Also effective on both ends of the floor, and could post you up on either baseline. Stayed within the confines of his game, which ultimately led to team success.

Some great videos on the 67 sixers from (I believe) our own Dipper 13:





More insight on Greer per Dipper 13:

Tremendous athlete as well, great agility & quickness and could stop on a dime and pull up. It is not surprising to see Greer fall this low, seeing as he apparently was underrated by most even during his playing days. Not being a self promoter or big interview with the press will do that, plus he was overshadowed by Wilt during some of his best years. I'm sure if the Sixers had repeated in 1968, then Greer would have been voted in well before this point. Wilt even said he was on par with Robertson or West, for what it is worth.


Season of the 76ers: the story of Wilt Chamberlain and the 1967 NBA champions - Wayne Lynch

"I think I'm better than the fourth guard," Greer told reporters. "You gotta realize that Oscar is the greatest. Jerry West is right behind Oscar, but I think I should be up there. I think I'm on a par with West.


Dynasty's End: Bill Russell And the 1968-69 World Champion Boston Celtics - Thomas J. Whalen

"Hal needs a certain amount of recognition to show people that he's on par with Robertson and West," All-Star teammate Wilt Chamberlain said afterward.

Greer needed no convincing himself. He knew he was the equal of any elite guard in the league, and that included Sam Jones of the Celtics. "He's on a team where they work for him," Greer said. "Our team is balanced. We're a team all the way. We don't work for one guy. Sam doesn't really have to work for his shots. They work for him. He's strictly offense, I'm offense plus I move the ball, too. I move on the fast break." Always intense and demanding of himself as a player, Greer strove for nothing short of basketball perfection in every contest. "After a game," he once revealed, "I think about the mistakes I made on defense that night. Sometimes I stay up all night thinking about defense, like after I've been chasing Oscar all over the court. That's enough to keep any man awake."'


The Sun - Nov 16, 1965

It's generally acknowledged in basketball circles that there are three superstar backcourters, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Sam Jones . . . and then there's Philadelphia's Hal Greer. Greer is the most underrated player in the league. He's among the top five in my opinion. Teammate Al Bianchi adds, "He has to be one of the greatest backcourt shooters ever." He rates with Sharman, Robertson, and West when it comes to hitting the 15-20 foot jumper.

The league alerted everybody about West and Bailey Howell nearing 10,000 points. Forgot Greer of course. "My wife and I talk about it a lot", admits the eight year veteran who climbed over the 10,000 figure with 33 tallies at New York's expense Saturday night. Howell and West reached it Sunday. "I don't like it but what can you do about it. As long as we're winning that's the important thing. The ink is all right but winning is the thing. I think I'm better than the fourth guard in the league."


The Black Athlete: Emergence & Arrival - 1968

No one in basketball is more effective than Hal Greer at sprinting down the middle of the court on a fast break, stopping just beyond the keyhole and scoring on a jump shot. "Hal," said one NBA coach, "has the finest middle-distance shot in the game." From fifteen to eighteen feet, Greer is more deadly than the Big O." At 6 ft. 3 in. and 178 pounds, Greer frequently gives away 40 pounds and 6 inches to NBA adversaries assigned to shutting off the middle. The key to Greer's success, therefore, is maneuverability and speed. Particularly speed.


Great Teams of Pro Basketball - 1971

First there was Hal Greer, one of the best guards in the game. He was fast. "I must be fast," Greer said, "always, always quick. The day I slow down I'm finished." And he was a constant scoring threat. Said his former coach, Dolph Schayes, "Hal has the finest middle-distance shot in the game. From 15 to 18 feet, Hal is more deadly than Oscar Robertson." At 6'2", 175 pounds, Greer was agile, strong and not prone to injury. An eight-year veteran of NBA play, he could be counted on to average 20 points a game and contribute steadily in assists.


The Game Within the Game - Walt Frazier

Image

Hal Greer: Productive, Consistent and Durable

This article originally appeared in the January 2006 issue of Hoop.

Star Guard on a Team for the Ages

Hal Greer made the All-NBA Second Team seven straight years but never was selected to the All-NBA First Team. That’s what happens when you play during the same era as Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, but Greer--a 10-time All-Star who was honored as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players--accomplished something that neither Robertson nor West did: being the leading playoff scorer on a team that defeated Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics in the playoffs and went on to win an NBA championship.

Russell’s Celtics won eight straight titles and 11 in 13 seasons, but many observers still maintain that the greatest single season team in NBA history is the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers beat Boston 4-1 in the Eastern Division finals and then defeated the Rick Barry-Nate Thurmond San Francisco Warriors in the NBA Finals. Greer produced 27.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 5.3 apg in the playoffs, while his teammate Wilt Chamberlain posted these mind-boggling numbers: 21.7 ppg, 29.1 rpg and 9.0 apg. Hall of Famer and Top 50 selection Billy Cunningham, the sixth man on the 1967 championship team, says, “Hal Greer was such a smart player. In his mind he had a book about every player he played against and what he had to do to make sure that he got free to get shots. He was probably as fine a screener as a guard as anybody. The thing about it was he knew that if he set a good screen then he would be open because he would force a switch and he would end up being matched up with a bigger, slower player that he knew he could easily beat to get whatever shot he wanted.”

Remember the old shoe commercial with playground legend Lamar Mundane? The voiceover said that Mundane would shoot as soon as he crossed midcourt and the fans would yell, “Layup!” That would be a good way to describe Hal Greer’s top of the key jump shot; Sixers coach Alex Hannum said that Greer made that shot at a 70% clip and gave Greer the green light to launch from that range whenever he was open. Greer’s jump shot was so fluid and so deadly that he shot his free throws that way, connecting on better than 80% of his career attempts. Cunningham offers high praise for Greer’s jump shot: “It was as good as anybody’s who ever played the game. I think the beauty of Hal Greer’s game is that he knew where he was most effective and he never shot the ball from an area where he was not completely confident and comfortable. He never went outside of 18-20 feet maximum, but he was deadly and he had the ability to get to that spot.”


The Palm Beach Post - Apr 2, 1967

"Greer plays the complete game,' said Hannum, "He's an offensive threat every minute he's in there. He has the perfect disposition, is well liked by everybody. We wouldn't have near the record this team has without Hal. You hear about our powerful front line of Wilt, Luke Jackson, Chet Walker and Billy Cunningham, but Greer's outside shooting helps make this possible."

Greer admits that the toughest guard in the league against him is Boston's K.C. Jones, but denies the rap placed on him by some writers that he gets "K.C.-itus"

"The three best games of my career have been against Boston," he notes. "I scored 50 points against them my first year in the league, 45 against them here, and 38 this season in Boston."

While he is recognized generally as one of the top offensive players in the game, few people are aware that Greer can play defense with the best. Often, Hannum will send Greer after Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Rick Barry, or Sam Jones, at least until the 76ers' guard gets into foul difficulty.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#14 » by trex_8063 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 2:08 pm

penbeast0 wrote:I don't remember Bells being injured that much; I thought he had a long career that started incredibly impressive and got less so almost every year. In his rookie and 2nd year, he was the 2nd most statistically dominant guy in the league to Wilt. By the 70s he was pretty much an average center, sort of a Mel Turpin.


Yeah, injuries were definitely not a concern with Bellamy: he missed 6 games TOTAL in his first 11 seasons......then he missed 8 games in year #12, and 5 games in year #13.
Year #14 he played just 1 game (14 minutes), but I'm pretty sure he had just aged out and was cut [not injured].

He also holds the all-time record for most rs games played in a single season: 88--->was traded from NYK to Detroit mid-season in '69, and because their respective schedules were so skewed, he ended up picking up with Detroit earlier in their schedule and played in six extra games.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#15 » by trex_8063 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 2:14 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
On the point of how Hawkins' years compare, I definitely see it similarly to you in that I would not feel comfortable chalking up Hawkins shift in stats going from the ABA to the NBA solely due to the change in league quality. He was injured and came back in the ABA, but was clearly not the same when he did come back.


I admit I'm speculating on this a bit [truly is hard to gauge just how strong the ABA was at that point]. If he had looked good at the end of '69, after returning from injury, that would certainly shift my opinion.
But his post-injury numbers in '69 are flat awful. I realize he's JUST come back, and there was likely some rust. But he was SO reduced from his prior self.....that, combined with knowledge of how knee injuries typically played out [medically] in that era, makes me suspect he was not the same player after that injury.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#16 » by Cavsfansince84 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 3:44 pm

81. Hal Greer
-7x all nba 2nd team. 9-10 year prime where he is between 20-23ppg on very good efficiency(ts+ between 103 and 106) while being a + defender. Many high scoring playoff runs including the 67 title Sixers that he led in playoff scoring(27.7ppg).

82. Dave DeBusschere
-10 yr prime where he averages 16.5/11.3/2.9 on ts+ of 96
-6x all defense 1st team, 1x all nba 2nd team
-Finishes top 11 in mvp voting from 72-74 while playing for Knicks teams that win lots of games after Reed has injuries
-Big part of two Knicks title teams
-Known for being gritty defender/rebounder and great team guy who also could hit big shots in the playoffs

83. Neil Johnston
-Only a 6 year prime but during which he led the league in win shares 5 straight years(despite playing on mostly mediocre teams), scoring 3 straight years, ts% twice, rebounding once and had ts add over 250 5 straight years(which is incredible). He also co-led a team to a title with Arizin in 56. So in short I think the argument could be made that from 53-58 he was a top player in the league every year(all nba 1st team 4x, 2nd team 1x) and had a span of dominance which few players have matched statistically.

84. Cunningham
85. Wallace
86. Worthy
87. Lucas
88. Cheeks
89. Hill
90. Mullin
91. Lillard
92. DJohnson
93. Porter
94. Melo
95. Issel
96. Butler
97. Moncrief
98. Jokic
99. Dumars
100. Griffin
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#17 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Apr 7, 2021 3:46 pm

Was not expecting a Neil Johnston mention. Interesting choice.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#18 » by Dutchball97 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 4:59 pm

Neil Johnston is more than fine in terms of regular season longevity in my eyes as his amount of prime seasons he's not worse than any of the guys on my ballot but his play-offs are a bit lacking imo.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#19 » by Doctor MJ » Wed Apr 7, 2021 5:43 pm

Cavsfansince84 wrote:83. Neil Johnston
-Only a 6 year prime but during which he led the league in win shares 5 straight years(despite playing on mostly mediocre teams), scoring 3 straight years, ts% twice, rebounding once and had ts add over 250 5 straight years(which is incredible). He also co-led a team to a title with Arizin in 56. So in short I think the argument could be made that from 53-58 he was a top player in the league every year(all nba 1st team 4x, 2nd team 1x) and had a span of dominance which few players have matched statistically.


So, I have specific concerns with Johnston:

His presence and stats don't appear to correlate strongly at all with team performance, and his playoff performance seems a bit suspect. Specifically you mention him as being a "co-leader" along with Arizin, but the winning really seems to correlate with Arizin and in that championship year it was Arizin who blew the doors off in the playoffs while Johnston really seemed to struggle.

I'm not going to pretend to have all the answers, and I do understand if you say "I understand the concerns, but I still think rating Johnston as I do yields the best estimate", but I will say this:

Johnston was a volume scorer as a center who was 6'8" and who to me has always seemed particularly thin.

I kind of wonder how well he was able to be a bucket against a defense with muscle that needs to get a stop.
I kind of wonder if we're seeing a guy who had something of a shorter career because he wasn't going to be scaling with the next generation of big men.

In contrast to him I'd note Cliff Hagan.

Hagan can be argued to have been to Bob Pettit what Johnston was to Arizin, but the places where the analogy breaks are clear and telling:

1. While Johnston seems to get weaker in the playoffs, perhaps against tough competition, Hagan gets stronger.
2. While Johnston retired in his 20s, Hagan was able to be effective well into his 30s.
3. Johnston and Pettit were the guys actually playing more analogous basketball roles, while Arizin & Hagan really seem to have exceptionally similar players as they were both 6'4" and could slash like more modern players (I believe 70s had clips of Hagan actually doing a Eurostep a half century before we called it a "Eurostep".

For specific point of comparison:

The highest PPG Johnston ever got in the playoffs was 20.3 (during the year his team won the title with Arizin as the main threat), and in that year Johnston shot 48.5% TS in the playoffs which was above his career playoff average.

Cliff Hagan scored more than this 4 times, including 2 years where he led the entirety of the playoffs in PPG at 27.7 & 28.5 respectively. The first of those two years, his team won the championship. In those two years his TS% was 57.6 & 58.3 respectively, both marks also led the entirety of the playoffs.

Also to be clear, Johnston was born in 1929, Hagan in 1931. It's possible to actually think of these guys as being from different eras because Hagan's military duty prevented him playing in the NBA until he was 25 and Johnston was a spent force by age 28, but really these are guys who should be seen as being from the same generation.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #81 

Post#20 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Apr 7, 2021 5:48 pm

I agree, I have a hard time seeing Johnston over Hagen.

Now that we mention it, Hagen probably deserves a spot in this top 100. What he did is no short feat in the playoffs.

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