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Old 11-16-2017, 09:20 PM
 
11,680 posts, read 7,061,094 times
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Are Cavs fans still saying Kyrie is barely a top 15-20 player and only marginally better than Thomas? Perhaps he is good enough to lead his own team?
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,214 posts, read 2,842,150 times
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Listen, I'm always going to root against this version of the Warriors. But it's time to speak some hard truths about them:

While they should still be rightfully favored to repeat, the gap between them and the rest of The League is the shortest it's been in the Kerr era. Last year, they won 20 games before their loss #4. In '16, they won 39 games before loss #4. In '15, they won 23 games before loss #4. This year? Only 11 before loss #4...

They are still playing elite defense, but just barely. They are 10th so far in DRtg this year (#2 in '17, t-#5 in '16, #1 in '15). On offense #1 in FG%, #1 in ORtg (#1 in '17, #1 in '16, #2 in '15). So clearly, the defense has taken a decline that the offense isn't suffering from. We can poll by individual player, or just watch the games, but their defense is what's shrunken the gap between them and everybody else...

Great win for Boston. You Warriors fans may as well get ready. This season isn't going to be another Western Conference cakewalk for you guys...
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,201 posts, read 10,436,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
Listen, I'm always going to root against this version of the Warriors. But it's time to speak some hard truths about them:

While they should still be rightfully favored to repeat, the gap between them and the rest of The League is the shortest it's been in the Kerr era. Last year, they won 20 games before their loss #4. In '16, they won 39 games before loss #4. In '15, they won 23 games before loss #4. This year? Only 11 before loss #4...

They are still playing elite defense, but just barely. They are 10th so far in DRtg this year (#2 in '17, t-#5 in '16, #1 in '15). On offense #1 in FG%, #1 in ORtg (#1 in '17, #1 in '16, #2 in '15). So clearly, the defense has taken a decline that the offense isn't suffering from. We can poll by individual player, or just watch the games, but their defense is what's shrunken the gap between them and everybody else...

Great win for Boston. You Warriors fans may as well get ready. This season isn't going to be another Western Conference cakewalk for you guys...
It definitely won't be a cakewalk, and never really has been (other than the injury-ridden Spurs this past postseason). Boston showed elite defense tonight and proved they are the real deal. But let's also not pretend there wasn't some serious disparity in the refereeing tonight...reminded me of Game Four of the most recent Finals series.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:43 AM
 
5,450 posts, read 1,553,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
Not that anyone didn't expect it, but clearly Irving is miles above IT in every aspect of the game, any team would have done the same trade.

In crunch time IT may be on the bench, but Irving is one of the most unstoppable players in the game with his crossovers, quickness, and penetrating at will.
I briefly used Kyrie when I was playing NBA2k18 and its easier to get to the basket with him than any other player that I've ever used.
Michael Jordan is still the best slasher overall because he's a better finisher (whereas Kyrie isn't a dunker, so his layups can be blocked now and then) but Kyrie can get from the 3-point-line into the paint better than anyone.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Akron, OH
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I think Cavs fans underestimated Kyrie's ability. They criticized him for not leading the Cavs before Lebron came back but he was a very young player and the roster wasnt good so that wasnt fair. I think he is benefiting from better coaching though.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,214 posts, read 2,842,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ma5cmpb View Post
I think Cavs fans underestimated Kyrie's ability. They criticized him for not leading the Cavs before Lebron came back but he was a very young player and the roster wasnt good so that wasnt fair. I think he is benefiting from better coaching though.
That's all it is, he's benefiting from better coaching. There is nothing resoundingly different about his game so far. Most of his numbers are down, but he looks better, because he's in a better system that emphasizes ball movement and team defense. He may be a vocal leader there, bit it's not like he's carrying this team on his shoulders. I think his experience is resonating and helping late in shot clocks and late game scenarios, but this roster would still probably be 9-7 or 10-6 without him on it this year, because of a rapidly improving Brown and an elite coaching job...

@eddie, I've always maintained myself that Kyrie is a fringe Top-10 player (somewhere between 9-12). He's definitely easily better than Thomas, and he's a top 3 finisher and closer in the game. He always cooks Klay and Steph, too, which is wondrous because Steph is a greater player. I don't want to see his team win it all, but I'm happy for Kyrie. He's happy, so let's see him have his shot at running the team. Again, I think we are overrating his contributions to his team's success, but he's obviously had some impact in the areas I mentioned above!

@natural there was a disparity in the calls but your Dubs have been getting the positive end if those disparities for three years, you'll be okay lol...

The Warriors aren't "in trouble", so I agree with you there, but listen. Houston is a threat. A lot of unknowns in The West so far for such a supposedly superior conference, but if Kawhi returns at All-NBA level, and if OKC meshes and turns to where most think they could go, this is going to be the Warriors biggest challenge to win the conference in the Kerr era. Even if the Spurs and Thunder don't meet expectations, the Warriors are closer to the pack than they have been, and the Rockets are legitimate contenders. I'll have a better feel for all teams at the quarter pole but the cakewalk is over. Speaking of said cakewalk:

2015, bullied a Pelicans team missing their point and overly reliant on Davis in Rd1...won three in a row to close the series and bully a Memphis team that couldn't shoot, couldn't score in the clutch. Once they figured out they had no offense the series was over, and Memphis was missing somebody too...beat a depleted Rockets team in the West Finals....beat a depleted Cavs team in The Finals...

2016, bullied a bad Houston team in Rd1 that didn't even deserve to make the playoffs, and annihilated an overachieving Blazers squad in Rd2. Got their test in West Finals and ultimately The Finals, but those two series' were only 2/8 playoff series where they played elite AND healthy competition in 2015 and 2016...

2017, swept a depleted Portland team, swept a Utah team that overachieved, crushed a depleted a depth-less Spurs team. They destroyed a Cavs team that was elite and killed it's own playoff competition, so that makes 3/12 series in three years where they actually played worthy competition. Let's stop pretending the Warriors have had to march through this gauntlet of fire to win two and go to three straight Finals. A healthy East team on the other side, they're only .500 in The Finals...

People love ripping the Cavs and the East for being inferior or weak or "having it easy", without acknowledging the other side. This year is different for both sides. The balance of power and talent gap is much less dramatic than what everybody thought it was (though its still on the West currently), and there is a roster of young, ascending talent in The East that is taking the torch and will run The League for years to come, barring injury:

Porzingis...Giannis...Simmons...Embiid...Brown...K yrie is only 25 and can get better I guess, but I don't know that his ceiling is exponentially higher than he is now, or that he has a higher ceiling than any of the aforementioned players...Ntilikina...Markannen...Tatum...

The Cavaliers are in trouble. I think they will progressively get better as the year goes on, and still be a Top-3 seed in an improved East (Boston is improved, Toronto appears to be improving, etc). I have major concerns that they can make it back to The Finals. This roster is old and if they can't at least play average defense, they will be dropped before making it out of The East. They have the #5 offense in the game but offense has never been the problem. The absolute worst defense in the NBA should get better when Thompson returns, but they need to target some defensive help before the trade deadline. I have no idea why guys like Frye are even still on an NBA roster...

The Warriors aren't in as tough of a predicament, but this isn't exactly a young team, either (t-3rd oldest in NBA, six players over 30, Curry will be 30 in March). Still the best offense in the game, but we've seen Green and Curry incur some miserable offensive slumps this year. They will lose before making it out of The West if these guys slump this hard in the postseason. Defensively the age of this roster is playing into their defensive slide. They are still very good defensively, but they are relying on guys like Young, who was never a great defender, and old ass guys like Iggy and West, to take assignments they may not be up to anymore. The Warriors and Cavaliers are both in for unprecedented challenges this year, and through one month of ball, I don't think anyone should be surprised to see either fall short of The Finals...
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,272 posts, read 26,286,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
Not that anyone didn't expect it, but clearly Irving is miles above IT in every aspect of the game, any team would have done the same trade.

In crunch time IT may be on the bench, but Irving is one of the most unstoppable players in the game with his crossovers, quickness, and penetrating at will.
Danny Ainge is looking smarter and smarter by the game.

Maybe the Cavs' fortunes will change once IT gets into the rotation. But I think it should have been clear to most observers that they would fall off without Kyrie. He is, in my opinion, the second best scorer in the League after Kevin Durant. I know some of you might say "But what about Harden" and my response would be "What about Harden?" Until he can show me he can carry his scoring prowess into the post-season, I'm not going to put him above Kyrie as a scorer.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:09 AM
 
5,450 posts, read 1,553,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Danny Ainge is looking smarter and smarter by the game.

Maybe the Cavs' fortunes will change once IT gets into the rotation. But I think it should have been clear to most observers that they would fall off without Kyrie. He is, in my opinion, the second best scorer in the League after Kevin Durant. I know some of you might say "But what about Harden" and my response would be "What about Harden?" Until he can show me he can carry his scoring prowess into the post-season, I'm not going to put him above Kyrie as a scorer.
I agree, Kyrie has the moves that nobody can stop in the playoffs.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:21 AM
 
3,565 posts, read 1,878,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
Are Cavs fans still saying Kyrie is barely a top 15-20 player and only marginally better than Thomas? Perhaps he is good enough to lead his own team?
Thomas is a better basketball player. Horford is Boston's leader.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
Listen, I'm always going to root against this version of the Warriors. But it's time to speak some hard truths about them:

While they should still be rightfully favored to repeat, the gap between them and the rest of The League is the shortest it's been in the Kerr era. Last year, they won 20 games before their loss #4. In '16, they won 39 games before loss #4. In '15, they won 23 games before loss #4. This year? Only 11 before loss #4...

They are still playing elite defense, but just barely. They are 10th so far in DRtg this year (#2 in '17, t-#5 in '16, #1 in '15). On offense #1 in FG%, #1 in ORtg (#1 in '17, #1 in '16, #2 in '15). So clearly, the defense has taken a decline that the offense isn't suffering from. We can poll by individual player, or just watch the games, but their defense is what's shrunken the gap between them and everybody else...

Great win for Boston. You Warriors fans may as well get ready. This season isn't going to be another Western Conference cakewalk for you guys...
The gap between the Warriors and Rockets shrunk a little. The gap between the Warriors and the Spurs grew. The gap between the Warriors and the Cavs--tough to say at this point.

It's November. The Warriors slept through the October games defensively. They've been much better since. The defense has not declined. It's been better. KD definitely looks crisper on rotations and is making more effort plays. Curry has been excellent on defense in this young season.

It was a good win for Boston. The Warriors' greatest contest is (again) likely to be the Western Conference Finals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
It definitely won't be a cakewalk, and never really has been (other than the injury-ridden Spurs this past postseason). Boston showed elite defense tonight and proved they are the real deal. But let's also not pretend there wasn't some serious disparity in the refereeing tonight...reminded me of Game Four of the most recent Finals series.
Agreed. Boston's playing hard. I don't think they will look like the top Eastern Conference team in the playoffs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
That's all it is, he's benefiting from better coaching. There is nothing resoundingly different about his game so far. Most of his numbers are down, but he looks better, because he's in a better system that emphasizes ball movement and team defense. He may be a vocal leader there, bit it's not like he's carrying this team on his shoulders. I think his experience is resonating and helping late in shot clocks and late game scenarios, but this roster would still probably be 9-7 or 10-6 without him on it this year, because of a rapidly improving Brown and an elite coaching job...
He also has Al Horford--an elite screener who is a threat to pass, dribble, shoot, and roll. The rare big who can stretch out defenses without the 3 (even though his 3 is good enough now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
@eddie, I've always maintained myself that Kyrie is a fringe Top-10 player (somewhere between 9-12). He's definitely easily better than Thomas, and he's a top 3 finisher and closer in the game. He always cooks Klay and Steph, too, which is wondrous because Steph is a greater player. I don't want to see his team win it all, but I'm happy for Kyrie. He's happy, so let's see him have his shot at running the team. Again, I think we are overrating his contributions to his team's success, but he's obviously had some impact in the areas I mentioned above!
You have to remember who else is in the NBA. Kyrie is not a top 10 player. He's a great scorer. Boston's a middling offensive team and an excellent defensive one. Kyrie is not the reason for their defensive excellence. If he is the reason they are a middling offensive team . . . then he is not a Top 10 player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
@natural there was a disparity in the calls but your Dubs have been getting the positive end if those disparities for three years, you'll be okay lol...
You apparently haven't watched much Warriors basketball. They routinely outscore opponents in the paint but consistently get fewer free throws. The officials were hot garbage in this game--I mean Morris was trying to give a hard foul on that Draymond break and they didn't call it (amongst many other misses and inconsistent officiating). But it's November. The officials need to round into shape, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
The Warriors aren't "in trouble", so I agree with you there, but listen. Houston is a threat. A lot of unknowns in The West so far for such a supposedly superior conference, but if Kawhi returns at All-NBA level, and if OKC meshes and turns to where most think they could go, this is going to be the Warriors biggest challenge to win the conference in the Kerr era. Even if the Spurs and Thunder don't meet expectations, the Warriors are closer to the pack than they have been, and the Rockets are legitimate contenders. I'll have a better feel for all teams at the quarter pole but the cakewalk is over. Speaking of said cakewalk:
OKC is not good and they won't be good. The Spurs and Rockets remain legitimate contenders. The Warriors remain much better than those teams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
2015, bullied a Pelicans team missing their point and overly reliant on Davis in Rd1...won three in a row to close the series and bully a Memphis team that couldn't shoot, couldn't score in the clutch. Once they figured out they had no offense the series was over, and Memphis was missing somebody too...beat a depleted Rockets team in the West Finals....beat a depleted Cavs team in The Finals...
You play the teams in front of you. The Warriors beat a bunch of inferior teams. And took their title.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
2016, bullied a bad Houston team in Rd1 that didn't even deserve to make the playoffs, and annihilated an overachieving Blazers squad in Rd2. Got their test in West Finals and ultimately The Finals, but those two series' were only 2/8 playoff series where they played elite AND healthy competition in 2015 and 2016...
You know, there is a benefit to having the best record: you get to play the 8 seed then the winner of the 4-5 match-up. You're supposed to get that reward. The Warriors also did win Game 1 against the Cavs with Kyrie in '14-15.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
2017, swept a depleted Portland team, swept a Utah team that overachieved, crushed a depleted a depth-less Spurs team. They destroyed a Cavs team that was elite and killed it's own playoff competition, so that makes 3/12 series in three years where they actually played worthy competition. Let's stop pretending the Warriors have had to march through this gauntlet of fire to win two and go to three straight Finals. A healthy East team on the other side, they're only .500 in The Finals...
They've been in 3 straight Finals and won 2, that's .666. They earned the top seeds and get the resultant matchups with the 8 & 4/5. At least the Warriors have been facing .500+ teams. In '14-15, the Cavs were the 2 seed and they matched up against a team with a losing record in round 1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
People love ripping the Cavs and the East for being inferior or weak or "having it easy", without acknowledging the other side. This year is different for both sides. The balance of power and talent gap is much less dramatic than what everybody thought it was (though its still on the West currently), and there is a roster of young, ascending talent in The East that is taking the torch and will run The League for years to come, barring injury:

Porzingis...Giannis...Simmons...Embiid...Brown...K yrie is only 25 and can get better I guess, but I don't know that his ceiling is exponentially higher than he is now, or that he has a higher ceiling than any of the aforementioned players...Ntilikina...Markannen...Tatum...
The Bucks are a competitive team. Boston is better than they were last year. The Knicks and Sixers (and Magic) are irrelevant when it comes to being competitive this season. They are promising, but the competition remains much stronger in the West.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
The Cavaliers are in trouble. I think they will progressively get better as the year goes on, and still be a Top-3 seed in an improved East (Boston is improved, Toronto appears to be improving, etc). I have major concerns that they can make it back to The Finals. This roster is old and if they can't at least play average defense, they will be dropped before making it out of The East. They have the #5 offense in the game but offense has never been the problem. The absolute worst defense in the NBA should get better when Thompson returns, but they need to target some defensive help before the trade deadline. I have no idea why guys like Frye are even still on an NBA roster...
It all depends on how healthy IT comes back. If he looks like he did last year, then they will be a much more dynamic team, and they should have a comfortable path back to the Finals. It's November. They will get better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
The Warriors aren't in as tough of a predicament, but this isn't exactly a young team, either (t-3rd oldest in NBA, six players over 30, Curry will be 30 in March). Still the best offense in the game, but we've seen Green and Curry incur some miserable offensive slumps this year. They will lose before making it out of The West if these guys slump this hard in the postseason. Defensively the age of this roster is playing into their defensive slide. They are still very good defensively, but they are relying on guys like Young, who was never a great defender, and old ass guys like Iggy and West, to take assignments they may not be up to anymore. The Warriors and Cavaliers are both in for unprecedented challenges this year, and through one month of ball, I don't think anyone should be surprised to see either fall short of The Finals...
The Warriors' 4 best players are still on the right side of 30. Curry's "slump" is a career year for most of the NBA. Draymond's offensive role has little to do with shooting prowess. He is effective at what this team needs from him offensively.

This team is elite defensively. They remain the best defensive team in the NBA. But it is November. Nick Young is getting 13 minutes a night. D West is getting 11. They remain near-prohibitive favorites to represent the West in the Finals. Because they are just better than everyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Danny Ainge is looking smarter and smarter by the game.

Maybe the Cavs' fortunes will change once IT gets into the rotation. But I think it should have been clear to most observers that they would fall off without Kyrie. He is, in my opinion, the second best scorer in the League after Kevin Durant. I know some of you might say "But what about Harden" and my response would be "What about Harden?" Until he can show me he can carry his scoring prowess into the post-season, I'm not going to put him above Kyrie as a scorer.
The Cs moved IT, their #1, and the Nets pick for Kyrie & Tatum. Time will tell.

Kyrie is nowhere near the player that Harden is. Harden is a much more efficient scorer than Kyrie--it's not even close. Kyrie's most efficient season as a scorer was last year. He wasn't in the League's top 20.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amenalot View Post
I agree, Kyrie has the moves that nobody can stop in the playoffs.
TBD. He was 4/16 last night.
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,272 posts, read 26,286,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCityTheBridge View Post
Kyrie is nowhere near the player that Harden is. Harden is a much more efficient scorer than Kyrie--it's not even close. Kyrie's most efficient season as a scorer was last year. He wasn't in the League's top 20.
Harden is an efficient scorer in the regular season. In the post-season, he shoots .423 over his career and shot a dismal .410 and .413 the last two post seasons. Kyrie shot .475 and .468 the last two post seasons.

Harden needs to show me that he can sustain the same performance in the playoffs when everyone is playing their best defense. Otherwise, I would turn to Kyrie for scoring before James Harden.

A lot of this is the eyeball test as well. Lebron James has been more efficient than Kobe Bryant his whole career and has a significant edge in True Shooting % over the course of their careers (.585 vs .550). But who would say Lebron is a better scorer than Kobe?
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