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Old 07-18-2011, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Cook County
5,288 posts, read 6,409,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biafra4life View Post

I'm sure I'm missing a couple more...but that is the bulk of them.
Your list of 25 players, comprises the "bulk" of early 80s NBA players?
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Wylie, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangeish View Post
Your list of 25 players, comprises the "bulk" of early 80s NBA players?

at the small forward position in the early 80s. Now imagine Larry Bird having to go through a daily serving of the following;

Lebron James
Bruce Bowen
Stephen Jackson
Ron Artest
Josh Smith
Shawn Marion
James Posey
Gerald Wallace
Tayshaun Prince

And those are just a few guys off the top of my head. Now according to some on this forum, it wouldnt matter and Bird would still put up the monster numbers he had in the 80s. Maybe they are right, I dont think so, but well we all have opinions so I'll just leave it at that.

Last edited by biafra4life; 07-18-2011 at 09:54 PM..
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:12 PM
 
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he'd kill half of those guys - you also had some really good players on that list ... better than anyone there ... plus I mentioned a slew of guys who were high level, althletic defenders in that time as well as providing a link to current rosters

there are a handful of elite defenders today that would match up .... there are a handful of elite defenders in the 80s that matched up

he did fine against them and torched the rest

I counted 17 teams that would have no answer for his skill set ... i think he'd get along just fine ... not to mention there were a lot fewer teams when he played so he couldn't miss the elite guys as often
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:19 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 3,647,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biafra4life View Post
at the small forward position in the early 80s. Now imagine Larry Bird having to go through a daily serving of the following;

Lebron James
Bruce Bowen
Stephen Jackson
Ron Artest
Josh Smith
Shawn Marion
James Posey
Gerald Wallace
Tayshaun Prince

And those are just a few guys off the top of my head. Now according to some on this forum, it wouldnt matter and Bird would still put up the monster numbers he had in the 80s. Maybe they are right, I dont think so, but well we all have opinions so I'll just leave it at that.
The problem with these discussions is that you're comparing a guy who played in a much different era, with different standards and practices of training. I think the big difference that I see isn't really athleticism; it's strength training, diet, and hormones. Larry Bird played back in the 1980s when people didn't have the kinds of conditioning programs that they do now. Players are stronger but a lot of that has to do with the quality of training and technology.

A Larry Bird type player who had access to all of the same training and developmental tools would do as well today as he did back then. Again, he played *with* Michael Jordan, and Jordan didn't retire all that long ago, really.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:28 PM
 
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YES he would, larry bird is top 5 DOA, he accomplished what he did not because he had freak athletic ability but because he had a high basketball IQ, great fundamentals and was clutch among other things.
that list above (tayshaun prince, josh smith, wallace) is mostly athletic players, most if not all lack good fundamentals and clutchness. Bird was never the most athletic player on the court in the 80s and it didnt matter.
dirk nowitzki is the same way.. he's tall and lanky and awkward, arguably the least athletic player on his team and look what he accomplished and he is not 1/100th the clutch player Bird was.
josh smith is 100x more athletic than bird and most players in the league but what good does it do him? he's lazy and plays no defense.

larry bird >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:16 AM
 
Location: Earth
3,653 posts, read 3,915,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biafra4life View Post
at the small forward position in the early 80s. Now imagine Larry Bird having to go through a daily serving of the following;

Lebron James
Bruce Bowen
Stephen Jackson
Ron Artest
Josh Smith
Shawn Marion
James Posey
Gerald Wallace
Tayshaun Prince
You've just named probably the preeminent defensive small forwards of the past several years. I can tell you Bird at 6'9 would shoot right over the top of some of those guys. And the ones who have the length to bother his shot, would have to respect his shot to the point where they're gonna bite on some of those shot fakes, opening up a lane for Bird to get past them.

Contrary to popular belief, Bird isn't as slow as you may think, his movements are what I would call deliberate and calculated. Now ,does he have the speed of Lebron in the open court, of course not. But much like Michael Jordan, he didn't use a lot of fancy dribbling; instead he employed a lot of shoulder shimmies, head and ball fakes, and he was very instinctive reacting to what the defense did. And if the defense managed to stay with him, he was a dead eye passer, and with his ability to move without the ball, he needs to be accounted for at ALL times. Mentally, that's a heavy task, even for great defenders.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Wylie, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg1977 View Post
You've just named probably the preeminent defensive small forwards of the past several years. I can tell you Bird at 6'9 would shoot right over the top of some of those guys.

That is easier in theory than it is in practice. Dirk had an even bigger height advantage over most of his defenders, he also had a money jump shot, yet it was very difficult to get his shot off. He didnt become complete as a player till he learned to use his athleticism to get by defenders, and Bird is not as athletic as Dirk is. Now before everyone starts hollering, no, Dirk is not better than Bird. But the similarities in their games do invite comparisons as to how Bird would have performed. Now Bird was a much better passer, but weaker defender.


And the ones who have the length to bother his shot, would have to respect his shot to the point where they're gonna bite on some of those shot fakes, opening up a lane for Bird to get past them.

This is what I was saying...yes on paper you are absolutely right. When a guy is crowding your shot, the comeback is the pump fake to get him off his feet, then you drive to the basket for the bucket or the dish. But in today's NBA, Bird's slow foot speed would allow those guys to recover and come from behind for the block.


Contrary to popular belief, Bird isn't as slow as you may think, his movements are what I would call deliberate and calculated. Now ,does he have the speed of Lebron in the open court, of course not. But much like Michael Jordan, he didn't use a lot of fancy dribbling; instead he employed a lot of shoulder shimmies, head and ball fakes, and he was very instinctive reacting to what the defense did. And if the defense managed to stay with him, he was a dead eye passer, and with his ability to move without the ball, he needs to be accounted for at ALL times. Mentally, that's a heavy task, even for great defenders.

Well like I said earlier, I dont think Bird would have been a complete bum today, placed on the right team he could thrive. I've always said that if he, and not Peja, was on that Kings squad from 1998-2004, where he wouldnt be the number one guy that opposing teams focused on, then he would have been great, unlike Peja, he is clutch, and his passing would fit right in with those guys on that squad, and Peja didnt play D either so he doesnt take anything off the table.

Now on the other hand, if you made Bird the franchise player that all those teams would place their 'preeminent defensive small forwards on'...like say you put him in Dirk's place on the Mavs from 1998-2008 for example. (Yeah I know it's not exactly like for like since Dirk played mainly the 4, but Dirk's style of play was closer to the 3 style than a traditional power forward so it's a valid comparison). Do the Mavs get better? I think it's a mixed bag...in the 2006 Finals Bird absolutely would not have choked away the chip when the Mavs were up 3-1, but on the other hand remember the ferocious D that Stephen Jackson played on Dirk in that first round series in 2007. Does Bird overcome that and lift the Mavs to win the series? I dont know. Jax was locked in

And that's one of the other issues. As great as Bird was, he had some ballers on his team. I still till this day think McHale is one of the more underrated players that people dont talk about. Ditto for DJ...in today's NBA, unless you get signed by the Miami Heat, the chances of you playing with 3 or 4 hall of famers is zero. It's typically going to be Bird (franchise) plus one decent side kick, and then a bunch of role players, some good, some bad, and then some...cheering from the bench. So Bird is going to have to hold off all these great defensive players and get his points, AND lift his teammates to a higher level, most of whom are waay under the quality he had in the 80s. And that's not easy.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,857 posts, read 4,020,061 times
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I'll concur with Jello Biafra's assertion that today's small forwards are superior defensively then most in Bird's day.

Back then you had the likes of Kelly Tripuka, Alex English, Adrian Dantley, Mark Aguirre, Kiki Vandeweghe, Mike Mitchell, Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, and Dale Ellis who couldn't stop your grandma from going for 30.

Beyond them you had decent/pretty good defenders like Dominique Wilkins, James Worthy, Rodney McCray, Xavier McDaniel.

Mainly Bird's era was the 80s which was more open and higher scoring. So Bird surely would have more off nights today.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:24 AM
 
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You also had:

Bobby Jones, Dan Roundfield, Michael Cooper, Buck Williams, Larry Nance, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan, etc

Dominque wasn't a good defender - he was super athletic, but not a good defender

X was pretty much the Artest of an earlier generation

Also today you have these guys starting at SF - Alonzo Gee, Danilo Gallinari, Dorell Wright, Chase Budinger, Danny Granger, Jamario Moon, Tony Allen, Carlos Delfino, Travis Outlaw, Carmelo Anthony, Hedo Turkoglu, Francisco Garcia, Richard Jefferson, James Johnson, CJ Miles & Maurice Evans .... even a guy like Jared Dudley who is a solid defender would give up a couple inches to Bird and struggle against him

It's not like todays game is wall to wall stoppers on every team - there is easily 17 teams in the league that would have no answer for Bird
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Wylie, Texas
1,722 posts, read 2,513,899 times
Reputation: 2798
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenfriedbananas View Post
The problem with these discussions is that you're comparing a guy who played in a much different era, with different standards and practices of training. I think the big difference that I see isn't really athleticism; it's strength training, diet, and hormones. Larry Bird played back in the 1980s when people didn't have the kinds of conditioning programs that they do now. Players are stronger but a lot of that has to do with the quality of training and technology.

A Larry Bird type player who had access to all of the same training and developmental tools would do as well today as he did back then. Again, he played *with* Michael Jordan, and Jordan didn't retire all that long ago, really.

Yes that is a valid point. Bird didnt have the training programs that we have today. But I question how much good they would have done him...yes he would have more stamina, more endurance, and more strength...heck maybe his back injuries that he suffered later on in his career MIGHT have been averted (or not, look at Grant Hill in Orlando, modern practices didnt save him, but let's just say that Bird would have been better for it)

The problem is that modern training wouldnt improve the areas that Bird struggled in...training cannot increase your hops, or wing span, and can have only limited improvement on your foot speed. Either you're blessed with the fast twitch muscles needed for explosiveness and speed or you're not. And Bird just didnt have those. That's the difference between him and MJ. MJ was blessed with the explosiveness back then, so we know that he could hang with anyone today as well.
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