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Old 07-21-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Midwest
77 posts, read 172,032 times
Reputation: 89

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LOL...I am a diehard Lakers fan, and have watched them since the glory days of the 1980s, but it seems to me as if people have short term memories. BIRD WAS arguably the GOAT at his position. As a small forward, his career averages of 24 pts., 10 rebs. and 6 assts places him in the stratosphere of greatest of all time, and his free throw and three point shooting placed him in the rarest of air: the 20/10/40/90 club. That would be averages of at least 20 pts., 10 rebs., 40% from the 3-point line, and 90% free throw shooting.

What really bothers me are the Bird-Dirk comparisons, since I think that writers and broadcasters are simply being racially lazy with their comparisons. There are no comparisons. Bird and Dirk played different positions, and outside of great perimeter shooting and scoring, Bird was head over heels better than Nowitzki in rebounding and passing. I cannot really remember a time when Bird choked the way Dirk did in 2006, and I don't care what Miami would've devised: a Bird-led Mavericks team up 2-0 in 2006 would have been a lock for the championship trophy. I will say that Dirk may have been better defensively, but only recently. So I guess that's a wash...lol. Besides, Bird played during the greatest era in NBA history, with a league stacked with HOFers such as Magic, Kareem, Erving, Bernard King (doesn't get the love he deserves), Moses Malone, Drexler, McHale, Jordan (even in his younger days), Isaiah, Wilkins (Remember Game 7 of the ATL-BOS series in 1988? BALLIN'!!), Gervin...the list goes on and on. Larry Bird was piling up those numbers against the all-time greats during the Finals, and while Dirk has played against other 1st ballot HOF players such as Kobe, DWade, Duncan and Shaq and Nash, the fact remains that the NBA is a lot more watered down in 2011, since there are 30 teams compared to 23 during most of the 1980s (Miami and Charlotte joined in 1988), and many players coming out of college early, with a lack of fundamentals in many. Whereas Bird's teams defeated the HOF-stacked Lakers in 1984, and Rockets teams in 1981 and 1986 led by HOFers Moses Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon, Dirk's Mavs defeated a team of 2 great players (LeBron/Wade), 1 good player (Bosh) and a bunch of scrubs. Not his fault, but it must be acknowledged. He might lead Dallas to a few more championships, but I think he is in all likelihood a "one and done" type of great player, ala Elvin Hayes, Oscar Robertson, and Julius Erving. Wow, I just defended Bird's honor. Slap me back into reality...lol.

Last edited by Squeaky2012; 07-21-2011 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:37 PM
 
9,029 posts, read 16,433,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky2012 View Post
Wow, I just defended Bird's honor. Slap me back into reality...lol.
Heh - I'd slap you for just being a Lakers fan

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Midwest
77 posts, read 172,032 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finger Laker View Post
Heh - I'd slap you for just being a Lakers fan
LOL...funny picture of X Man choking the hell out of Wes Matthews...lol. Gotta love McDaniels, especially after going toe-to-toe with MJ in the heat of Game 7 of the 1992 ECS. Unfortunately, Da Bulls won da game...lol.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:30 PM
 
8,266 posts, read 10,711,502 times
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I keep seeing these mentions of the wingspan of elite defenders like Prince or Josh Smith as a difference.

Does anyone know what the wingspan of NBA forwards were in the 80s or is there some assumption that some genetic change in humanity happened over one generation where there are guys with long wingspans now but not then? What were the wingspans of guys like Cooper, Roundfield, Dunn, Nance, etc.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:44 PM
 
9,029 posts, read 16,433,841 times
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I don't think they had really kept all that information back then .... also, I think they tended to focus more on a guys collegiate career when drafted as opposed to selling "length, wingspan & potential"

Roundfield definitely had some length to him





So did Nance





Cooper
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,180,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackjaw View Post
I keep seeing these mentions of the wingspan of elite defenders like Prince or Josh Smith as a difference.

Does anyone know what the wingspan of NBA forwards were in the 80s or is there some assumption that some genetic change in humanity happened over one generation where there are guys with long wingspans now but not then? What were the wingspans of guys like Cooper, Roundfield, Dunn, Nance, etc.
I think its more a change in conditioning. Look at a guy like Nate Robinson. How many guys who were 5'9 or 5'10, had his strength in the 80's? You had michael adams, avery johnson, spudd webb, etc. Remember Robinson blocking Yao Ming?!?!

Nance, Buck Williams, etc were great defenders. But they didn't have the ball handling ability of some of the guys now who are 6'8 or 6'9.

Nance,

920 games. 872 steals. 2027 blocks.

Smith,

534 games. 670 steals. 1190 blocks.

Smith has played in 58% of the games nance has, but has 76% of the steals. Nance played until he was 34, Smith is 25. Durant is 22 and has 374 steals.

Smith has better defensive numbers in his first 7 seasons (steals and blocks) than Adrian Dantley, alex english, (nique has more steals), mark aguirre, probably most of the guys on that list a few pages back.

Josh Smith is 79 steals short of Michael Cooper in his first 7 seasons! And Cooper was regarded as one of the best defenders of the 80's, I think by anybody. Smith already has similar numbers to roundfield (steals and blocks), and he's played in nearly 300 fewer games! Roundfield 813 games (746 NBA, 67 ABA).
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:30 PM
 
8,266 posts, read 10,711,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
Josh Smith is 79 steals short of Michael Cooper in his first 7 seasons! And Cooper was regarded as one of the best defenders of the 80's, I think by anybody.
And this proves Josh Smith is as good a defender as Michael Cooper how exactly? Steals and blocks aren't the tell-all indicator of someone who would shut down a high scoring opposing player.

Career steals per game
John Stockton 2.2
Magic Johnson 1.9
Charles Barkley 1.5
Josh Smith 1.3
Bruce Bowen 0.8
Dennis Rodman 0.7

Does that seem about the order you would rate those defenders in ability to be considered a good defensive player? You seem fixated on this steals statistic, using it in an attempt to prove Smith vs. Cooper or Roundfield, does using that stat make sense looking at that list above? Was Stockton or Magic a better defensive player than Josh Smith, Bruce Bowen, and Dennis Rodman? Blocks too, have great front court one-on-one defensive players Ron Artest, Bruce Bowen, Dennis Rodman ever averaged a block a game in any season? Amare Stoudemire has averaged 2 per game and that guy gets burned by just being either mentally out of the play or laziness than most, someone like Bird would eat him alive.

Last edited by slackjaw; 07-21-2011 at 09:38 PM..
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:05 PM
 
9,029 posts, read 16,433,841 times
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Larry Nance could handle just fine ... never had issues getting to the rim


‪Larry Nance highlights‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:35 PM
 
1,807 posts, read 2,890,576 times
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why do people keep bringing up JOSH SMITH? wtf has josh smith ever done of any significance except be a lazy bum that is winded by the 4th quarter. is he supposed to be an "elite defender" lol
josh smith is a bum. i'd sooner bring up iguodola in an argument than JOSH SMITH who is like the 3rd option on his team.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:04 PM
 
1,807 posts, read 2,890,576 times
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here's one of my favorite larry bird moments, and he wasn't even playing in the game.


‪Reggie Miller Game Winning 3 Pointer on Michael Jordan vs.Bulls [Game 4 '98 ECF's]‬‏ - YouTube

i was like 12 when this happened. one of the hardest fought playoff series for the bulls since their first championship, a tight game throughout. reggie miller hits a 3 for the lead and eventual win, the entire arena goes nuts. reggie goes bat sht crazy jumping up n down. the announcers go crazy.

look at Bird's reaction to the chaos at the 1:39 mark. everyone around him is going crazy, jumping, screaming, cheering. he doesn't even flinch.
Bird = iceman. ice in his veins. Top 3 D.O.A
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