Improving Pete Maravich

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Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#1 » by penbeast0 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:58 pm

Maravich was a massive fan favorite, a guy who could score in volume, create assists, and look like a rich man's version of White Chocolate doing it. He was also variously denigrated as a selfish chucker, a turnover machine, and a defensive disaster.

If Maravich could improve only one skill but he could improve it to the point where he as among the best in the league at that one thing (ie. as efficient an outside shooter as Mark Price, as good at turnover economy as Maurice Cheeks, as good defensively as Walt Frazier), which one skill would you think would be most likely to push him into the GOAT guards conversation?
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#2 » by Johnlac1 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:20 pm

Maravich loved jump shots, probably a result of his facing so many trick defenses in college designed to stop him. He simply didn't go to the basket as much as he should have. That resulted in him having a mediocre 45% career fg percentage despite being an excellent shooter. Just too many jump shots and too many hard jump shots.
Going to the basket more would have not only increased his fg percentage, he would have averaged a lot more assists.
If you watch Maravich's 68 pt game against the Knicks, you can see how easy it was for Maravich to get to the basket when he wanted to. Combine that with his tremendous passing skills, and there's no excuse for him never averaging even seven assists a game in a ten year career.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#3 » by Laimbeer » Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:23 pm

He had the skill to be a great player, and most people see him as one. As far as winning more, he needed a different mindset.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#4 » by trex_8063 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:04 pm

To be honest, I'm not sure any ONE skill would put him into the GOAT conversation among guards. Any TWO skills.....yeah, maybe.

Changing one skill.....
I mean, we could give him Steph Curry's shooting and he'd suddenly be among the super-elite scorers with insane gravity......but he'd still turn it over a lot more than Curry, and be a worse defender.

If we made him a All-D 1st Team defender instead, great: he'd be the league's best backcourt defender......but he'd still be providing essentially no lift to your offense (despite scoring lots; maybe it could lift the WORST offenses in the league a little).


Give him TWO skill upgrades.....
Maybe he's now got Curry's shooting and is Tony Allen on defense. Even with the poor turnover economy, he'd be in the conversation [at least against everyone EXCEPT Jordan].
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#5 » by wojoaderge » Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:41 pm

Laimbeer wrote:As far as winning more, he needed a different mindset.

Or better teammates
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#6 » by Outside » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:09 pm

trex_8063 wrote:To be honest, I'm not sure any ONE skill would put him into the GOAT conversation among guards. Any TWO skills.....yeah, maybe.

Changing one skill.....
I mean, we could give him Steph Curry's shooting and he'd suddenly be among the super-elite scorers with insane gravity......but he'd still turn it over a lot more than Curry, and be a worse defender.

If we made him a All-D 1st Team defender instead, great: he'd be the league's best backcourt defender......but he'd still be providing essentially no lift to your offense (despite scoring lots; maybe it could lift the WORST offenses in the league a little).


Give him TWO skill upgrades.....
Maybe he's now got Curry's shooting and is Tony Allen on defense. Even with the poor turnover economy, he'd be in the conversation [at least against everyone EXCEPT Jordan].


Maravich was fun from a fan perspective, but I can say that because he was never on a team I was a fan of. Even a cursory look into his stats shows how lacking he was. He could make spectacular plays, and that makes for highly entertaining compilation videos. But for a guy with a reputation as a shooter and scorer, he was horribly inefficient, and for a guy with a reputation as a passing wizard, his assist totals were mundane at best and his turnovers were really high. And this is a guy known as a defensive sieve.

I don't want to trash the guy. I'd rather go watch one of those videos and feel better about him and myself.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#7 » by Owly » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:00 pm

wojoaderge wrote:
Laimbeer wrote:As far as winning more, he needed a different mindset.

Or better teammates

I mean sure anyone does better with "better" teammates (though scalability is an interesting, valuable idea and "better" teammates isn't necessarily that straightforward). But, well, insofar as this is a shot at his teammates ... I've defended him a little here regarding his time in Atlanta but the team he joined wasn't untalented, they got worse on his arrival and there are those who believe he caused it (I'll note Caldwell left) and certainly he didn't help that much.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#8 » by wojoaderge » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:10 pm

Owly wrote:
wojoaderge wrote:
Laimbeer wrote:As far as winning more, he needed a different mindset.

Or better teammates

I mean sure anyone does better with "better" teammates (though scalability is an interesting, valuable idea and "better" teammates isn't necessarily that straightforward). But, well, insofar as this is a shot at his teammates ... I've defended him a little here regarding his time in Atlanta but the team he joined wasn't untalented, they got worse on his arrival and there are those who believe he caused it (I'll note Caldwell left) and certainly he didn't help that much.

His time with the Hawks is debatable. His years with the expansion Jazz, I would offer, really aren't.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#9 » by Owly » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:25 pm

wojoaderge wrote:
Owly wrote:
wojoaderge wrote:Or better teammates

I mean sure anyone does better with "better" teammates (though scalability is an interesting, valuable idea and "better" teammates isn't necessarily that straightforward). But, well, insofar as this is a shot at his teammates ... I've defended him a little here regarding his time in Atlanta but the team he joined wasn't untalented, they got worse on his arrival and there are those who believe he caused it (I'll note Caldwell left) and certainly he didn't help that much.

His time with the Hawks is debatable. His years with the expansion Jazz, I would offer, really aren't.

Otoh, mostly true, re the Jazz. Though they were consistently better on D suggesting some had some ability on that end whilst the offense was consistently near the very bottom of the rankings (which might lead to some skepticism regarding even his floor raising, though of course this is very superficial, surface level stuff).

I'm not sure how much the Hawks are debatable in the other direction at least for the first couple of years given their aforementioned prior performance.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#10 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:18 pm

penbeast0 wrote:Maravich was a massive fan favorite, a guy who could score in volume, create assists, and look like a rich man's version of White Chocolate doing it. He was also variously denigrated as a selfish chucker, a turnover machine, and a defensive disaster.

If Maravich could improve only one skill but he could improve it to the point where he as among the best in the league at that one thing (ie. as efficient an outside shooter as Mark Price, as good at turnover economy as Maurice Cheeks, as good defensively as Walt Frazier), which one skill would you think would be most likely to push him into the GOAT guards conversation?


I know you're asking about skill, but I think the biggest thing that would have helped Maravich is access to efficiency data early in his career.

I once read a piece from someone who worked for the New Orleans Jazz when Maravich was there. Maravich asked him to start counting certain things for him because he was concerned about his inefficiency, but it didn't go well. Maravich didn't get mad, he got dejected. He apparently didn't realize just how much he was shooting to get his PPG and it disturbed him. The employee was fond of Maravich - as everyone seemed to be - and said he actually was still rounding down. That the data being collected for Maravich was still underestimating how much he was shooting, and thus underestimating how bad his efficiency.

It's worth noting that at this time Adrian Dantley was on the team being vastly more efficient than Maravich, and I wonder if that might have led Maravich to start realizing he had a problem.

Anyway, I tend to think that a lot of the stuff Maravich was doing that drove the crowd wild, he just wouldn't do if he knew concretely it was hurting the team, but basically all through his career, he was encouraged by his coaches (first and foremost his father) to double down on the flash.

Of course, there's also the matter that as a rookie if he'd been forced to earn his way into the starting lineup, things might have been different. Instead, he went onto a Black-led team that had the best offense in the league precisely because that owner wanted a white star to get white fans excited, and he didn't care if the offense had previously worked well.

With all that said, going back to skill, I guess what I'd say is that Maravich needed to learn to have a sense of efficiency, and if he'd have had different mentors, he may well have learned this successfully.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#11 » by wojoaderge » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:37 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:It's worth noting that at this time Adrian Dantley was on the team being vastly more efficient than Maravich, and I wonder if that might have led Maravich to start realizing he had a problem.

It had to be Utah then
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#12 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:45 pm

wojoaderge wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:It's worth noting that at this time Adrian Dantley was on the team being vastly more efficient than Maravich, and I wonder if that might have led Maravich to start realizing he had a problem.

It had to be Utah then


Y'know, I think I was confused. I'm quite sure this happened near the end of Maravich's time in New Orleans, so Dantley must not have been on the team yet.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#13 » by PistolPeteJR » Sat May 1, 2021 12:25 am

Don’t hate on me :(
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#14 » by Warspite » Sat May 1, 2021 3:02 am

Being born 50 years later.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#15 » by prolific passer » Sat May 1, 2021 7:42 pm

To be fair for Pete. He came in an era when most guards were shooting in the 40% range. Not like he joined a team full of scrubs as the hawks had Bellamy and Bridges inside and Hudson as a slasher type. If he just used his talents to make better decisions he would have been more successful.

Did Bellamy and Pete have a good relationship? Bells pretty much went with him to the Jazz and had his most efficient season with Pete in 72 i believe.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#16 » by ChettheJet » Sun May 2, 2021 5:22 pm

Pete would have had more assists if he would have had a couple of players on the floor with him who could shoot and score better. He scored as many points as he did, two at a time. No three point shot when he was in his prime, had he had the three point shot when plays broke down or the defense didn't come up on him, man that would have been something
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#17 » by 70sFan » Sun May 2, 2021 5:58 pm

ChettheJet wrote:Pete would have had more assists if he would have had a couple of players on the floor with him who could shoot and score better.


Like Lou Hudson, Walt Bellamy and Walt Hazzard?
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#18 » by Johnlac1 » Sun May 2, 2021 6:04 pm

A lot of Maravich's failure to adapt to an efficient style of play of course goes back to his college days when his father permitted him to do anything he wanted on the floor.
The tragedy is Pete wanted to go to West Virginia, but his father basically begged him to go to LSU. One report I read said his father threatened him. Don't know how true that was, but at LSU Pete never learned how to play as part of a team instead of a one-man show. I mean, close to 40 shots a game for three years? Ridiculous. Half of those shots were most likely poor and of course he accumulated a lot of tos.
So when Pete joined the Hawks he basically didn't know how to play as a part of a team instead of an act.
He had some good years, but he never achieved his potential which should have been a lot more assists and a higher career fg percentage. Too many long, bad jump shots. Looks good on highlight reels but not very efficient.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#19 » by Cavsfansince84 » Sun May 2, 2021 9:06 pm

Johnlac1 wrote:A lot of Maravich's failure to adapt to an efficient style of play of course goes back to his college days when his father permitted him to do anything he wanted on the floor.
The tragedy is Pete wanted to go to West Virginia, but his father basically begged him to go to LSU. One report I read said his father threatened him. Don't know how true that was, but at LSU Pete never learned how to play as part of a team instead of a one-man show. I mean, close to 40 shots a game for three years? Ridiculous. Half of those shots were most likely poor and of course he accumulated a lot of tos.
So when Pete joined the Hawks he basically didn't know how to play as a part of a team instead of an act.
He had some good years, but he never achieved his potential which should have been a lot more assists and a higher career fg percentage. Too many long, bad jump shots. Looks good on highlight reels but not very efficient.


I was going to make a similar post to this. He just didn't know how to play in a system where he wasn't the star.
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Re: Improving Pete Maravich 

Post#20 » by kaltenecker » Mon May 3, 2021 6:41 pm

Yes, he was flamboyant and wasn't the most efficient guard from the 60s/70s. What would you expect from a player with immense offensive talent and very few teammates throughout his career that deserved the rock? I believe that this is the main reason that Pete isn't in the top 10 guards of all time. From the start of his career, Pete had to deal with the traditional-minded Hawks who weren't eager to cash in Maravich's full potential; however, teammates like Lou Hudson and Walt Bellamy eased this detriment. Pete's luck with teammates fell off until his short stint with the Celtics when he was traded to the Jazz. There he was subject to horrible teammates while having free range to his offensive innovations. Another aspect of his game that could be improved is his defense. In retrospect, he was decades before his time in this respect. Today you see every high-scoring guard playing little to no defense.

Off-topic but I wanted to include: I've been a huge Pistol Pete fan my whole life and I find every facet of his game intriguing. His work on the foundation of modern-day playmaking and shot-creating was enormous. The era in which he played is equally interesting. In my personal opinion, I believe that the 1970s was the best competitive era for NBA basketball. No other decade has seen the parity that the 70s did.

Thanks for reading

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