[Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics

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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#21 » by falcolombardi » Tue May 4, 2021 7:38 pm

Colbinii wrote:
falcolombardi wrote:
Colbinii wrote:1. Bill Russell 1965

At his peak he was a top 10 player of all-time with massive two-way impact. From what I have seen from Russell I have been impressed enough with his passing and finishing as a big man that it is a great compliment to his game as a GOAT-level defender.

2. Kevin Garnett 2008

This was a difficult choice with Russell but I believe Russell at his absolute best was slightly better than Garnett in an era-to-era comparison, though it was mostly splitting hairs.

3. Larry Bird 1985

A tremendous offensive player who is one of the most gifted basketball minds to ever live. I don't see his total impact quite on the level of Garnett/Russell but Bird is definitely in a category of his own in this comparison offensively.

4. 1988 Kevin McHale

Ultra-efficient scorer who was a tremendous defender. His low assist numbers and AST% paint him as more of a black hole than he really was.

5. Dave Cowens 1976

I really liked the two-way play and passing game of Cowens in the late 1970s Celtics. I have him a notch higher than Havlicek and Pierce--same tier of players but I like what Cowens was able to assemble in this season.


i know russel had the biggest defensive impact ever

but what is there to think he had massive offensive impact?

celtics offensive results seem to have been slightly below average. so the only way i can see someone with huge offense impact play in middling offenses is with pretty weak offensive rosters

neither the team results nor the raw boxcore screams "massive offense" at me

i dont doubt his passing and fastbreak running may have made him a useful/positive offensive player...but "massive"?, is it from offensive rebounding?


Russell didn't have massive offensive impact. He had massive two-way impact meaning he was an above average offensive player and all-time great defensive player.

Perhaps I should have worded it differently--Russell was a solid/above average offensive player.


gotcha

still. it would be fascinating to have a idea of how many extra possesions russel generated with his rebounding and how many offensive impact his steals or blocks had
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#22 » by Doctor MJ » Tue May 4, 2021 10:06 pm

1. '64-65 Bill Russell - between this year and the previous one, really doing it all for the dynasty.

2. '85-86 Larry Bird - seems the definite apex year when accounting for both sides of the ball.

3. '07-08 Kevin Garnett - transformational year for the entirety of basketball

4. '86-87 Kevin McHale - at his best, quite dominant on both sides of the ball

5. '72-73 Dave Cowens - hard to pick against Hondo here, but I think the MVP voters understood what they were saying
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#23 » by drza » Wed May 5, 2021 12:58 am

Odinn21 wrote:
HeartBreakKid wrote:When I think about how crazy the 2008 Celtics defense is - might even be the most dominant defense statistically since the Russell lead ones, and then I think about how there were hardly any real stoppers on the Celtics it gets me thinking maybe I should give Garnett a lot of credit for that. Might be because of the system, but it sure as heck worked. Perkins and a young Rondo are good defenders but not guys who would move the needle, and Tony Allen barely played.

The Celtics had great defensive coaches. Surely, it was clearly KG's impact but I think you're moving the needle in favour of him too much.
Pierce was an insanely valuable defensive piece for instance. Pierce was in the top 14% in D-RAPM over 14 years. And that part is dominated by big men.
Going by position, Pierce was in the same tier with Marion, G. Wallace and Kirilenko.
Looking at single season numbers just to be direct to the point even though it's not highly reliable, Pierce was in the top 14% in D-RAPM in 2008 once again.

The team had Garnett, Pierce, Perkins, young Rondo. And even though Allen made your highlights with so little play time, Posey did not. If we're to assume Posey and Allen adding up to one proper defensive player, then there's that.
Considering the coaching quality of the team with that roster, if you put 2008 Garnett over 1986 Bird and defense is your reason, I strongly disagree with that.

Also the Celtics defense did not hold up that well in the postseason. They had -8.6 rDRtg in regular season and -4.6 rDRtg in playoffs.
Here some similar performances in a long playoff run (15 games or more);
1994 Knicks with -8.1 rDRtg in reg. season & -5.3 rDRtg in playoffs.
1996 Bulls with -5.9 rDRtg in reg. season & -8.3 rDRtg in playoffs.
1997 Heat with -6.1 rDRtg in reg. season & -7.5 rDRtg in playoffs.
1999 Spurs with -7.2 rDRtg in reg. season & -7.3 rDRtg in playoffs.
2004 Pistons with -7.5 rDRtg in reg. season & -10.7 rDRtg in playoffs.
2007 Spurs with -6.5 rDRtg in reg. season & -6.0 rDRtg in playoffs.


A few quick things, from analysis I've done in the past, to respond:

1) Garnett was pretty clearly the dramatically limiting factor for the Celtics' defense in that era. It wasn't so much a case of an excellent defensive unit that Garnett just happened to be the best defender on, it was more a case of a defense that ONLY worked at a high level with KG on the court and was pretty pedestrian without him. Yes, Thibs' system was strong and the defensive support KG had in Boston was way better than what he had in Minnesota (understatement). But it was clearly a case that the support allowed a transcendent defender to build a dominant unit, not a strong unit that he could "just" be the leader of.

One way to illustrate it pretty clearly is to look at the 5-man data for units involving Rondo, Ray Allen, Pierce, Big man, KG or Perk from 2008-11

This is illustrative because a) Thibs is the coach for the entire period, removing him as a variable; b) If at least 4 starters were on the floor at once, it was almost always a competitive situation against the best of the opposing team (e.g. starting the game or closing a half); and c) if the coaching and/or the other defensive pieces on the Celtics were playing a larger role than credited in the defense, it should show up here.

Celtics' offensive & defensive ratings 2008-2011, 5-man lineups with Rondo/Ray/Pierce and...:

KG and Perkins: 112.4 points scored/100 possessions, 97.3 points allowed per 100 possessions
No KG, Perkins: 109.5 points scored/100 possessions, 112.1 points allowed per 100 possessions
KG, no Perkins: 111.9 points scored/100 possessions, 99.3 points allowed per 100 possessions

(numbers via 82games.com)

It's a very, very clear effect. It wasn't the defensive support or coaching that led to that Celtics' dominant defense...it was Garnett playing defense at an all-time level that absolutely made that Celtics defense what it was.

2) The defense holding up in the playoffs...just something to consider. This was the relative Defensive rating of the Celtics against their postseason opponents for the 2008 playoffs (w/KG, main season under consideration), 2009 playoffs (w/o KG), 2010 playoffs (w/ clearly less than 100% KG):

2008 Hawks: -4.3
2008 Cavs: -3.7
2008 Pistons: -2
2008 Lakers: -9.1
2009 Bulls: -1.6
2009 Magic: -1.5
2010 Heat: -8.8
2010 Cavs: -8.2
2010 Magic: -8.8

2010 Lakers: -2.7

In '08, the season under consideration, the Celtics' defense was absolutely the dominant unit in the Finals, against the Lakers team that was clearly the best opponent. And the only times the Celtics' D ever approached that type of level in those seasons were in Garnett series.

3) You mentioned RAPM, when pointing out that Pierce was solid in '08 on defense, so I'd just point out that KG finished first in the NBA in defensive RAPM in each of 2007 (w/ Wolves), 2008 (by a lot, w/ Celtics) & 2009 (by a LOT, w/ Celtics in season he got hurt). Again, stepping back from the specific situations pointed out in the first two points, the catch-all defensive impact metric of the time clearly showed that Garnett was WAY the dominant defensive impact in the NBA during that time window as a whole, and was clearly way the defensive monster of 2008.

Garnett also finished #1 in the NBA in overall RAPM in 2008, suggesting he was the dominant impact player overall in the NBA that season. And in the playoffs, over 26 games Garnett's on/off +/- was +19.8, significantly ahead of second place among the main units. So, Garnett's impact in the 2008 season and postseason stands up in comparison to essentially any Celtics' great in any one season. Where you may or may not put him in the top-5 is clearly the prerogative of the voter, but reasonable analysis absolutely supports the concept of having Garnett anywhere among the greats of Celtics history on a single-season basis, including #1 if the voter is feeling froggy.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#24 » by ZeppelinPage » Wed May 5, 2021 2:55 am

1. '86 Larry Bird
Led best team in the league and had an insane playoff run. Bird and Russell is close but I like Bird's overall impact on the court, especially while against the competition he faced in the playoffs. Dropped 25/9/8/2 on 50/50/90 en route to sweeping the 8.69 SRS Bucks. Then finished off the Rockets with another dominating performance.

2. '65 Bill Russell
This season is close with '62, which I think has the best mix of offense and defense from Russell. Had a good regular season and led the playoffs in WS/48 along with a 54 TS%. Pretty low volume overall but anchored a -9.4 relDRtg team and won the Finals. I think '62, '63, and '65 are his best.

3. '08 Kevin Garnett
Honestly, I put this season much closer to Russell/Bird than most people might. A -8.6 relDRtg in '08 is insane. Yes, he had great defensive players and Thibs as an assistant--but Russell also had a great defensive supporting cast along with Auerbach. That's what it takes to have an all-time defensive team. Fantastic regular season on both sides of the ball, went down a little in the playoffs offensively but obviously still most important on defense.

4. '55 Bob Cousy
I like '55 for The Cooz. Outlier passing with strong two-way impact for a guard. Finished 10th in TS Add, was the main offensive option, and led the league in assists while the Celtics finished 1st in offense. His teammates excelled during the regular season and playoffs due to his passing. His Celtics team came in as the underdog (against a Knicks team they could never defeat) and he willed them to victory with a 53 TS%. Cousy didn't shoot as well vs a tough Nats defense (43 TS%), but he had also just played 11 games in 13 days and was drawing double teams and pressure--allowing his teammates to get more open looks (10.5 AST).

5. '88 Kevin McHale
Missed games during the regular season but 65 TS% while being a plus on defense puts him over Havlicek for me. Had Bird as the main offensive option to aid him, but overall still outlier level efficiency. Volume wasn't super high (22.8 USG%) in playoffs but 67 TS% is still pretty crazy for '88. Havlicek was close due to volume and role, but overall McHale at his peak was probably the more well rounded player on both sides of the ball.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#25 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed May 5, 2021 4:01 am

I'm thinking of switching my 5th place vote to Cowens (76 version). Not sure how to feel about Havlicek vs Cowens. Wish there was a better way to gauge Cowens defense.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#26 » by homecourtloss » Wed May 5, 2021 4:53 am

1. Bill Russell, 1965. Monster defensive regular season, more efficient post season albeit on lower volume but also best playmaking. Could choose from multiple Bill seasons.

2. Larry Bird, 1986. Just a little ahead of KG. Was a better defender earlier and a better offensive player later but both came together nicely in this magical season. His two man game with Walton is some of the most beautiful basketball you’ll ever see. His effectiveness in various lineups was incredible to see.

3. KG, 2008. Was the anchor of an Incredible defensive team. Finals series was won with the dominance of the defense over a good Lakers team and KG was made that defense. RPM/RAPM delineate KG’s dominant impact.

4. McHale, 1987. 1988 McHale was better in the post season, but 1987 McHale was better over the course of a season on scoring 32 per 100 on +11.7 rTS% while providing solid defense.

5. Hondo, 1973. Overall game
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Hal14 wrote:Not saying I put McHale over Duncan, but the argument can be made.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#27 » by Dr Positivity » Wed May 5, 2021 5:04 am

1. Larry Bird 1986 - I view his peak to be pretty exceptional and he did it in harder league than Russell

2. Bill Russell 1965 - Cleary elite impact, I think his offense is a little underrated

3. Kevin Garnett 2008 - Could have been the MVP this year over Kobe and Paul

4. John Havlicek 1972 - While his PPG was pace inflated making him a good not great scorer, that added to the defense and passing is top level

5. Dave Cowens 1973 - I'm a fan of Cowens, I consider him an ATG defensively while still being very good offense. I respect that they saw enough in him to give him MVP this year.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#28 » by Odinn21 » Wed May 5, 2021 7:24 am

drza wrote:A few quick things, from analysis I've done in the past, to respond:

1) Garnett was pretty clearly the dramatically limiting factor for the Celtics' defense in that era. It wasn't so much a case of an excellent defensive unit that Garnett just happened to be the best defender on, it was more a case of a defense that ONLY worked at a high level with KG on the court and was pretty pedestrian without him. Yes, Thibs' system was strong and the defensive support KG had in Boston was way better than what he had in Minnesota (understatement). But it was clearly a case that the support allowed a transcendent defender to build a dominant unit, not a strong unit that he could "just" be the leader of.

One way to illustrate it pretty clearly is to look at the 5-man data for units involving Rondo, Ray Allen, Pierce, Big man, KG or Perk from 2008-11

This is illustrative because a) Thibs is the coach for the entire period, removing him as a variable; b) If at least 4 starters were on the floor at once, it was almost always a competitive situation against the best of the opposing team (e.g. starting the game or closing a half); and c) if the coaching and/or the other defensive pieces on the Celtics were playing a larger role than credited in the defense, it should show up here.

Celtics' offensive & defensive ratings 2008-2011, 5-man lineups with Rondo/Ray/Pierce and...:

KG and Perkins: 112.4 points scored/100 possessions, 97.3 points allowed per 100 possessions
No KG, Perkins: 109.5 points scored/100 possessions, 112.1 points allowed per 100 possessions
KG, no Perkins: 111.9 points scored/100 possessions, 99.3 points allowed per 100 possessions

(numbers via 82games.com)

It's a very, very clear effect. It wasn't the defensive support or coaching that led to that Celtics' dominant defense...it was Garnett playing defense at an all-time level that absolutely made that Celtics defense what it was.

2) The defense holding up in the playoffs...just something to consider. This was the relative Defensive rating of the Celtics against their postseason opponents for the 2008 playoffs (w/KG, main season under consideration), 2009 playoffs (w/o KG), 2010 playoffs (w/ clearly less than 100% KG):

2008 Hawks: -4.3
2008 Cavs: -3.7
2008 Pistons: -2
2008 Lakers: -9.1
2009 Bulls: -1.6
2009 Magic: -1.5
2010 Heat: -8.8
2010 Cavs: -8.2
2010 Magic: -8.8

2010 Lakers: -2.7

In '08, the season under consideration, the Celtics' defense was absolutely the dominant unit in the Finals, against the Lakers team that was clearly the best opponent. And the only times the Celtics' D ever approached that type of level in those seasons were in Garnett series.

3) You mentioned RAPM, when pointing out that Pierce was solid in '08 on defense, so I'd just point out that KG finished first in the NBA in defensive RAPM in each of 2007 (w/ Wolves), 2008 (by a lot, w/ Celtics) & 2009 (by a LOT, w/ Celtics in season he got hurt). Again, stepping back from the specific situations pointed out in the first two points, the catch-all defensive impact metric of the time clearly showed that Garnett was WAY the dominant defensive impact in the NBA during that time window as a whole, and was clearly way the defensive monster of 2008.

Garnett also finished #1 in the NBA in overall RAPM in 2008, suggesting he was the dominant impact player overall in the NBA that season. And in the playoffs, over 26 games Garnett's on/off +/- was +19.8, significantly ahead of second place among the main units. So, Garnett's impact in the 2008 season and postseason stands up in comparison to essentially any Celtics' great in any one season. Where you may or may not put him in the top-5 is clearly the prerogative of the voter, but reasonable analysis absolutely supports the concept of having Garnett anywhere among the greats of Celtics history on a single-season basis, including #1 if the voter is feeling froggy.

1. One of the major contributing factor to Garnett's big +/- numbers in Boston was his injuries. If you look at the games he played in, his on/off DRtg swing is in 4-6 range.
No KG, Perkins; is a way to combine the lineups when Garnett was off and also Garnett did not play entirely due to an injury.

If Garnett lineups are that impactful, why are the numbers not that great when he was present in a game but he was not on the floor?
I mean the way to interpret the numbers when Garnett did not play entirely is the Celtics not being so great defensively without him. But then there's other side of the coin with that info; why does that claim not look as great as in the on/off numbers in the games he played?

Also you miss the point. I did not say 2008 Garnett was not the reason of that defense. If the argument is 2008 Garnett, 32 yo version being superior to peak Bird, then that just doesn't make sense. Garnett's impact & output combination in 2008 does not match what Bird's combination in 1986.
1986 Celtics; +4.6 rORtg, -4.6 rDRtg in regular season and +8.3 rORtg, -4.8 rDRtg in playoffs
Add that Bird's higher play time and motor, also output volume, how is 2008 Garnett is better than 1986 Bird?

2. And why is that the only convincing series they played excusing that drop off in the 3 series before the finals? Or why the series following 2008 is a reason for 2008 Garnett? God I hate interpolation stuff to overlook bad things going in Garnett's (or any other players loved by analytics, even though I'm one myself) way?

2008 Celtics;
-8.6 rDRtg in regular season
-4.3 rDRtg against the Hawks (-0.6 rORtg in reg. season, 16th)
-3.7 rDRtg against the Cavs (-1.5 rORtg in reg. season, 20th)
-2.0 rDRtg against the Pistons (+3.9 rORtg in reg. season, 6th)
-9.1 rDRtg against the Lakers (+5.5 rORtg in reg. season, 3rd)

There's only 1 series the Celtics played convincingly. 3 of 4 simply are not on the same level as the regular season level. Nah, not just historic regular season level, the first 3 series are straight good. Not elite/great, let alone historic.

I'm very curious how would you guys react if I say Duncan was still better than Garnett in 2008 and base it on their single series performances against the Lakers.
Garnett against the Lakers in 2008 playoffs; 18.2/13.0/3.0/1.7/1.0 and 2.7 tov on -5.6 rts, led -9.1 rDRtg defense
Duncan against the Lakers in 2008 playoffs; 22.4/17.4/4.8/1.2/2.0 and 2.4 tov on -6.1 rts, led -9.3 rDRtg defense

I'm not saying Duncan was better than Garnett in 2008. Duncan struggled too much against West and the Hornets to be better than Garnett in that season. Just giving you an example of cherrypicking with single series based arguments.

Let's give Garnett hella credit for that defense in the finals. But why should not we be criticizing him for the defensive struggles they had against below average defenses and those struggles leading to playing elimination games against such negative SRS teams?
Is there a reason to overlook those drop offs in 3 series?

3. I mean I keep giving credit to Garnett and his impact in 2008, even when I'm arguing against him. The reason why I'm arguing against him in here, Garnett's 2008 season does not stack up against Russell's and Bird's bests.
I am all eyes and ears if someone bothers to make a comparison why 2008 Garnett is better than 1986 Bird. All I'm seeing is how great 2008 Garnett was without making a comparison to 1986 Bird. As I mentioned every time, the reason I'm pointing out weak points of 2008 performance is those weak points are important in a comparison to peak Bird. I'm not saying let's forget about Garnett and leave him out of our top 5s, am I?
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#29 » by 70sFan » Wed May 5, 2021 9:51 pm

Quick post, will try to find time to explain my choices:

1. 1961/62 Bill Russell

2. 1985/86 Larry Bird

3. 2007/08 Kevin Garnett

4. 1971/72 John Havlicek

5. 1987/88 Kevin McHale
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#30 » by drza » Wed May 5, 2021 11:49 pm

Odinn21 wrote:
drza wrote:A few quick things, from analysis I've done in the past, to respond:

Spoiler:
1) Garnett was pretty clearly the dramatically limiting factor for the Celtics' defense in that era. It wasn't so much a case of an excellent defensive unit that Garnett just happened to be the best defender on, it was more a case of a defense that ONLY worked at a high level with KG on the court and was pretty pedestrian without him. Yes, Thibs' system was strong and the defensive support KG had in Boston was way better than what he had in Minnesota (understatement). But it was clearly a case that the support allowed a transcendent defender to build a dominant unit, not a strong unit that he could "just" be the leader of.

One way to illustrate it pretty clearly is to look at the 5-man data for units involving Rondo, Ray Allen, Pierce, Big man, KG or Perk from 2008-11

This is illustrative because a) Thibs is the coach for the entire period, removing him as a variable; b) If at least 4 starters were on the floor at once, it was almost always a competitive situation against the best of the opposing team (e.g. starting the game or closing a half); and c) if the coaching and/or the other defensive pieces on the Celtics were playing a larger role than credited in the defense, it should show up here.

Celtics' offensive & defensive ratings 2008-2011, 5-man lineups with Rondo/Ray/Pierce and...:

KG and Perkins: 112.4 points scored/100 possessions, 97.3 points allowed per 100 possessions
No KG, Perkins: 109.5 points scored/100 possessions, 112.1 points allowed per 100 possessions
KG, no Perkins: 111.9 points scored/100 possessions, 99.3 points allowed per 100 possessions

(numbers via 82games.com)

It's a very, very clear effect. It wasn't the defensive support or coaching that led to that Celtics' dominant defense...it was Garnett playing defense at an all-time level that absolutely made that Celtics defense what it was.

2) The defense holding up in the playoffs...just something to consider. This was the relative Defensive rating of the Celtics against their postseason opponents for the 2008 playoffs (w/KG, main season under consideration), 2009 playoffs (w/o KG), 2010 playoffs (w/ clearly less than 100% KG):

2008 Hawks: -4.3
2008 Cavs: -3.7
2008 Pistons: -2
2008 Lakers: -9.1
2009 Bulls: -1.6
2009 Magic: -1.5
2010 Heat: -8.8
2010 Cavs: -8.2
2010 Magic: -8.8

2010 Lakers: -2.7

In '08, the season under consideration, the Celtics' defense was absolutely the dominant unit in the Finals, against the Lakers team that was clearly the best opponent. And the only times the Celtics' D ever approached that type of level in those seasons were in Garnett series.

3) You mentioned RAPM, when pointing out that Pierce was solid in '08 on defense, so I'd just point out that KG finished first in the NBA in defensive RAPM in each of 2007 (w/ Wolves), 2008 (by a lot, w/ Celtics) & 2009 (by a LOT, w/ Celtics in season he got hurt). Again, stepping back from the specific situations pointed out in the first two points, the catch-all defensive impact metric of the time clearly showed that Garnett was WAY the dominant defensive impact in the NBA during that time window as a whole, and was clearly way the defensive monster of 2008.

Garnett also finished #1 in the NBA in overall RAPM in 2008, suggesting he was the dominant impact player overall in the NBA that season. And in the playoffs, over 26 games Garnett's on/off +/- was +19.8, significantly ahead of second place among the main units. So, Garnett's impact in the 2008 season and postseason stands up in comparison to essentially any Celtics' great in any one season. Where you may or may not put him in the top-5 is clearly the prerogative of the voter, but reasonable analysis absolutely supports the concept of having Garnett anywhere among the greats of Celtics history on a single-season basis, including #1 if the voter is feeling froggy.

1. One of the major contributing factor to Garnett's big +/- numbers in Boston was his injuries. If you look at the games he played in, his on/off DRtg swing is in 4-6 range.
No KG, Perkins; is a way to combine the lineups when Garnett was off and also Garnett did not play entirely due to an injury.

If Garnett lineups are that impactful, why are the numbers not that great when he was present in a game but he was not on the floor?
I mean the way to interpret the numbers when Garnett did not play entirely is the Celtics not being so great defensively without him. But then there's other side of the coin with that info; why does that claim not look as great as in the on/off numbers in the games he played?

Also you miss the point. I did not say 2008 Garnett was not the reason of that defense. If the argument is 2008 Garnett, 32 yo version being superior to peak Bird, then that just doesn't make sense. Garnett's impact & output combination in 2008 does not match what Bird's combination in 1986.
1986 Celtics; +4.6 rORtg, -4.6 rDRtg in regular season and +8.3 rORtg, -4.8 rDRtg in playoffs
Add that Bird's higher play time and motor, also output volume, how is 2008 Garnett is better than 1986 Bird?

2. And why is that the only convincing series they played excusing that drop off in the 3 series before the finals? Or why the series following 2008 is a reason for 2008 Garnett? God I hate interpolation stuff to overlook bad things going in Garnett's (or any other players loved by analytics, even though I'm one myself) way?

2008 Celtics;
-8.6 rDRtg in regular season
-4.3 rDRtg against the Hawks (-0.6 rORtg in reg. season, 16th)
-3.7 rDRtg against the Cavs (-1.5 rORtg in reg. season, 20th)
-2.0 rDRtg against the Pistons (+3.9 rORtg in reg. season, 6th)
-9.1 rDRtg against the Lakers (+5.5 rORtg in reg. season, 3rd)

There's only 1 series the Celtics played convincingly. 3 of 4 simply are not on the same level as the regular season level. Nah, not just historic regular season level, the first 3 series are straight good. Not elite/great, let alone historic.

I'm very curious how would you guys react if I say Duncan was still better than Garnett in 2008 and base it on their single series performances against the Lakers.
Garnett against the Lakers in 2008 playoffs; 18.2/13.0/3.0/1.7/1.0 and 2.7 tov on -5.6 rts, led -9.1 rDRtg defense
Duncan against the Lakers in 2008 playoffs; 22.4/17.4/4.8/1.2/2.0 and 2.4 tov on -6.1 rts, led -9.3 rDRtg defense

I'm not saying Duncan was better than Garnett in 2008. Duncan struggled too much against West and the Hornets to be better than Garnett in that season. Just giving you an example of cherrypicking with single series based arguments.

Let's give Garnett hella credit for that defense in the finals. But why should not we be criticizing him for the defensive struggles they had against below average defenses and those struggles leading to playing elimination games against such negative SRS teams?
Is there a reason to overlook those drop offs in 3 series?

3. I mean I keep giving credit to Garnett and his impact in 2008, even when I'm arguing against him. The reason why I'm arguing against him in here, Garnett's 2008 season does not stack up against Russell's and Bird's bests.
I am all eyes and ears if someone bothers to make a comparison why 2008 Garnett is better than 1986 Bird. All I'm seeing is how great 2008 Garnett was without making a comparison to 1986 Bird. As I mentioned every time, the reason I'm pointing out weak points of 2008 performance is those weak points are important in a comparison to peak Bird. I'm not saying let's forget about Garnett and leave him out of our top 5s, am I?


Not a lot of time to go through point-for-point, but I'd say I did the exact opposite of cherry-picking...in fact, if it's either of us, I'd say your rebuttal seems more guilty of doing that. I posted analysis to support the notions that:

1) Garnett was the biggest impact player in the NBA in 2008, whole season

2) Garnett had elite playoffs on/off numbers, both in magnitude and compared to the other rotation players on the team, over the 26 games of the postseason.

3) Garnett was the highest impact defender in the NBA in each of 2007, 2008 & 2009

4) The Celtics' starting 5 had elite defensive (and offensive) ratings when Garnett was among the 5. They had poor defensive (and lesser offensive) ratings when Garnett wasn't among the 5

5) The Celtics' team defense in the playoffs had two "good" (as you put it) rounds, one ok round and one monster round. I posted the numbers for all four, not just the monster round. But the one monster round was in the Finals against a historically significant opponent, which seems noteworthy. I then posted some similar numbers for the next two post-seasons, illustrating again that the monster defensive series only happened when Garnett was present

Was working quickly from old analysis, so not trying for a QED, but...what part of that is cherry-picking? The only thing on that list that even had several components listed with one standing above the rest was the TEAM'S defensive performance in the playoffs. But again, a playoffs where the most elite performance was in the most important round. And again, that is looking at the broader team defense as opposed to the more specific Garnett-based impact stats, which remained consistently best-in-league-caliber over both the regular season & playoffs.

So no, don't cherry-pick one series (especially not just on one side of the ball in a broad team-based approach that doesn't isolate the individual) and make the entire comparison about that. Instead, like I did initially, look at the entire picture over multiple levels, focusing more on the individual. KG was the biggest impact player in the NBA overall in 2008, the biggest defensive impact player in the NBA, the biggest impact player on the championship Celtics over the postseason, and there are all types of ways to quantify his impact to support those statements.

How's that compare to Bird and Russell? I don't have the time to do it justice here. But I'll say this...if I have to pick an all-time GOAT (which I don't actually love to do), I tend to have Russell in that slot. And I'm extremely high on Bird as a player, even though I was in NO way a fan. No shade on anyone having them 1-2. But my initial response was to the notion that crediting Garnett for having historic impact in 2008, particularly on defense, was not supported because of things like the Celtics' coaching or the other defensive talent on the team. Since this was a team in the databall era, there are myriad ways to illustrate that he really was that dude in 2008.

And, unfortunately, that's where I have to leave it. But from a quick perusal through the thread, I'd say that Russell/BIrd at 1/2 (in some order) and KG at 3 seems to be pretty locked into stone at this point. I'm just trying to participate in the conversation as I can, ahead of hopefully jumping in at a more meaningful level in a few weeks...
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#31 » by Odinn21 » Thu May 6, 2021 8:08 am

drza wrote:
Spoiler:
Not a lot of time to go through point-for-point, but I'd say I did the exact opposite of cherry-picking...in fact, if it's either of us, I'd say your rebuttal seems more guilty of doing that. I posted analysis to support the notions that:

1) Garnett was the biggest impact player in the NBA in 2008, whole season

2) Garnett had elite playoffs on/off numbers, both in magnitude and compared to the other rotation players on the team, over the 26 games of the postseason.

3) Garnett was the highest impact defender in the NBA in each of 2007, 2008 & 2009

4) The Celtics' starting 5 had elite defensive (and offensive) ratings when Garnett was among the 5. They had poor defensive (and lesser offensive) ratings when Garnett wasn't among the 5

5) The Celtics' team defense in the playoffs had two "good" (as you put it) rounds, one ok round and one monster round. I posted the numbers for all four, not just the monster round. But the one monster round was in the Finals against a historically significant opponent, which seems noteworthy. I then posted some similar numbers for the next two post-seasons, illustrating again that the monster defensive series only happened when Garnett was present

Was working quickly from old analysis, so not trying for a QED, but...what part of that is cherry-picking? The only thing on that list that even had several components listed with one standing above the rest was the TEAM'S defensive performance in the playoffs. But again, a playoffs where the most elite performance was in the most important round. And again, that is looking at the broader team defense as opposed to the more specific Garnett-based impact stats, which remained consistently best-in-league-caliber over both the regular season & playoffs.

So no, don't cherry-pick one series (especially not just on one side of the ball in a broad team-based approach that doesn't isolate the individual) and make the entire comparison about that. Instead, like I did initially, look at the entire picture over multiple levels, focusing more on the individual. KG was the biggest impact player in the NBA overall in 2008, the biggest defensive impact player in the NBA, the biggest impact player on the championship Celtics over the postseason, and there are all types of ways to quantify his impact to support those statements.

How's that compare to Bird and Russell? I don't have the time to do it justice here. But I'll say this...if I have to pick an all-time GOAT (which I don't actually love to do), I tend to have Russell in that slot. And I'm extremely high on Bird as a player, even though I was in NO way a fan. No shade on anyone having them 1-2. But my initial response was to the notion that crediting Garnett for having historic impact in 2008, particularly on defense, was not supported because of things like the Celtics' coaching or the other defensive talent on the team. Since this was a team in the databall era, there are myriad ways to illustrate that he really was that dude in 2008.

And, unfortunately, that's where I have to leave it. But from a quick perusal through the thread, I'd say that Russell/BIrd at 1/2 (in some order) and KG at 3 seems to be pretty locked into stone at this point. I'm just trying to participate in the conversation as I can, ahead of hopefully jumping in at a more meaningful level in a few weeks...

English is not my native language, I guess sometimes my wording can be off. Highlighting would be a better choice for my intention over cherry picking in hindsight.

I then posted some similar numbers for the next two post-seasons, illustrating again that the monster defensive series only happened when Garnett was present

3 of those non-historic, only good/OK series happened when Garnett was present in the relevant season, too.
Let's reverse this scenario in an exact way. The topic at hand is 2010 Garnett and the results of the Celtics in 2010 playoffs. I come in and say but we should look at 2008 & 2009 results to take away from 2010 results because 2009 results do not mean much with they are 2 in 10 and there are 4 rather weak performances and 4 monster performances outside of 2009, the distribution looks uninterrupted, and only 1 of 4 series in 2008 is in line with 3 series in 2010, and 3 good/OK series in 2008 is a reason to consider less of 2010 results.
If your instinct is to disagree with this reverse scenario, then it's a non-objective, biased interpolation stuff.

As I keep saying, Garnett was clearly the most impactful defender on the Celtics roster in 2008. No contest. But to have 2008 Garnett over 1986 Bird, one should simply overrate Garnett's defensive performance too much. I'm arguing against the extent of 2008 Garnett's defensive impact surpassing 1986 Bird's offensive impact considering Garnett's offense vs. Bird's defense is not helping Garnett's case much.

By the way, I'm very glad that you participate in the discussion and am waiting to see your votes and thoughtful explanations for them. Cheers. :beer:

---

As this Garnett debate is going on, I've been watching some '62-'65 Russell, '86 Bird and '08 Garnett full games from playoffs. And changed my mind about Russell over Bird and switched Bird to my #1 vote.

---

Dr Positivity wrote:4. John Havlicek 1972 - While his PPG was pace inflated making him a good not great scorer, that added to the defense and passing is top level

5. Dave Cowens 1973 - I'm a fan of Cowens, I consider him an ATG defensively while still being very good offense. I respect that they saw enough in him to give him MVP this year.

Surprising. No McHale?

---

It's nearly 7 hours until the deadline. Certainly would welcome a few more votes.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#32 » by LA Bird » Thu May 6, 2021 1:11 pm

1. 1986 Larry Bird
2. 1964 Bill Russell
Could really have gone with either players at #1 here. 1986 was by far the best Celtics team but Bird also had much better teammates around him. McHale is pretty much on everyone's top 5 and Walton also played a key part in making the 86 team so special. Russell on the other hand didn't have such a great team with Cousy retired, Heinsohn and Ramsey in decline, and Havlicek still pre-prime. Despite that, the Celtics dominated in the playoffs against the two strongest teams they would ever face until the late 60s. A weakness of those Russell Celtics was that they would often get pushed to close G7s by far weaker teams in the playoffs despite dominant regular seasons but 64 was a strong year from the start to the end.

3. 2008 Kevin Garnett
Low minutes and somewhat underwhelming playoffs but one of the most dominant defensive seasons in modern NBA. Could have been #1 peak for most franchises without two top 10 peaks.

4. 1987 Kevin McHale
5. 2002 Paul Pierce

McHale had a disappointing playoffs due to injury after an incredible regular season but he missed a lot of games in 86/88 so 87 is still his peak for me. Havlicek and Cowens are good picks here as well but they kind of had each other whereas Pierce had ... Antoine Walker. The slow pace of the early 00s made Pierce's raw volume numbers not look that great but he would have been a ~30 ppg scorer in a higher paced era. Nice scoring efficiency with 40% from 3 on 6+ attempts a game, 1.9 steals and 1.0 blocks too.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#33 » by Odinn21 » Thu May 6, 2021 3:00 pm

The Celtics results;

Code: Select all

1. 5-5-0-0-0 / 85 points / 0.850 share / '65 Bill Russell
2. 5-3-2-0-0 / 81 points / 0.810 share / '86 Larry Bird
3. 0-2-8-0-0 / 54 points / 0.540 share / '08 Kevin Garnett
4. 0-0-0-7-2 / 23 points / 0.230 share / '88 Kevin McHale
5. 0-0-0-2-3 /  9 points / 0.090 share / '72 John Havlicek

6. 0-0-0-1-0 /  3 points / 0.030 share / '55 Bob Cousy
7. 0-0-0-0-3 /  3 points / 0.030 share / '73 Dave Cowens
8. 0-0-0-0-2 /  2 points / 0.020 share / '02 Paul Pierce


Results on Google Sheet
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#34 » by Odinn21 » Thu May 6, 2021 3:09 pm

To be honest, I strongly disagree with those 2 votes for 2008 Garnett over 1986 Bird but articulated different opinions are what make these projects interesting in the first place. Also those 2 votes were the tiebreakers between Bird and Russell at the top. It was so close at the top.

Cheers all.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#35 » by Djoker » Thu May 6, 2021 3:23 pm

Could we extend the deadline on these threads a little bit? I really wanted to vote here this morning but then I saw the deadline passed.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#36 » by HeartBreakKid » Thu May 6, 2021 3:55 pm

Odinn21 wrote:To be honest, I strongly disagree with those 2 votes for 2008 Garnett over 1986 Bird but articulated different opinions are what make these projects interesting in the first place. Also those 2 votes were the tiebreakers between Bird and Russell at the top. It was so close at the top.

Cheers all.

Yeah it got a little heated (I get touchy when defensive players don't get as much credit as offensive counter parts). The Celtics top 3 is a little weird cause Bird, Russell and Garnett are players that are hard to argue for and against because they really dominate more through nuance than the ol look at their PPG and TS%.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#37 » by Colbinii » Thu May 6, 2021 4:38 pm

Odinn21 wrote:To be honest, I strongly disagree with those 2 votes for 2008 Garnett over 1986 Bird but articulated different opinions are what make these projects interesting in the first place. Also those 2 votes were the tiebreakers between Bird and Russell at the top. It was so close at the top.

Cheers all.


Well the best posts in this thread were DRZA's and they were pro-Garnett. It isn't difficult to see the clear argument for KG here...being unbiased and all.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#38 » by Odinn21 » Thu May 6, 2021 5:39 pm

Colbinii wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:To be honest, I strongly disagree with those 2 votes for 2008 Garnett over 1986 Bird but articulated different opinions are what make these projects interesting in the first place. Also those 2 votes were the tiebreakers between Bird and Russell at the top. It was so close at the top.

Cheers all.


Well the best posts in this thread were DRZA's and they were pro-Garnett. It isn't difficult to see the clear argument for KG here...being unbiased and all.

Maybe you find drza's posts as the best because they were pro-Garnett. Being unbiased and all...
I had written a recap because I still think that the arguments made against my points did not care about my anchoring point, comparing Garnett to Bird. The discussions went on like as if I was arguing against Garnett alone, and not in a comparison to Bird.
But that's more of the same and would lead us to unnecessary bickering.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#39 » by Colbinii » Thu May 6, 2021 5:49 pm

Odinn21 wrote:
Colbinii wrote:
Odinn21 wrote:To be honest, I strongly disagree with those 2 votes for 2008 Garnett over 1986 Bird but articulated different opinions are what make these projects interesting in the first place. Also those 2 votes were the tiebreakers between Bird and Russell at the top. It was so close at the top.

Cheers all.


Well the best posts in this thread were DRZA's and they were pro-Garnett. It isn't difficult to see the clear argument for KG here...being unbiased and all.

Maybe you find drza's posts as the best because they were pro-Garnett. Being unbiased and all...
I had written a recap because I still think that the arguments made against my points did not care about my anchoring point, comparing Garnett to Bird. The discussions went on like as if I was arguing against Garnett alone, and not in a comparison to Bird.
But that's more of the same and would lead us to unnecessary bickering.


I thought his arguments were unbiased and presented a large sample size of data.

I'm not sure how you could reasonable look at the 2 votes for Garnett and be ashamed or dumbfounded--Garnett certainly has real and strong arguments to be ahead of Bird here.

Nevertheless we have moved on the The Clippers and their GOATs Chris Paul, Elton Brand and Bob McAdoo.
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Re: [Project] Top 5 single season peaks by franchises: The Celtics 

Post#40 » by Djoker » Thu May 6, 2021 6:04 pm

I know my vote won't count now but I see mid 80's Bird as clearly better than 08 Garnett.

1. 1961-1962 Bill Russell
2. 1985-1986 Larry Bird
3. 2007-2008 Kevin Garnett
4. 1972-1972 John Havlicek
5. 1986-1987 Kevin McHale

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