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uncle ebeneezer 05-15-2011 11:46 PM

The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Rodman??? Statistical argument in favor. Sports/stats geeks, enjoy.

bjkeefe 05-16-2011 06:07 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 209142)
Rodman??? Statistical argument in favor. Sports/stats geeks, enjoy.

I'm going to have to save the whole post (let alone the entire series) for another time, but the part you linked to is quite interesting. No question Rodman was great, and that's a pretty intriguing notion raised about how to measure how great he was -- whether you'd trade away Michael Jordan before Rodman, and whether you'd draft Rodman before him to build a team.

cragger 05-16-2011 06:31 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
I question the validity of the metric in use. Win differential relates to the performance of teams, and while the performance of players undoubtedly relates to that, this metric seems obviously to overvalue every player, great or mediocre, who played on good or great teams, and undervalue those who may be great players who unfortunately spent time on weak teams.

And if the linked poster wants to laud Rodman's defense and rebounding skills those were clear, but you can take Rodman for that and I'll take Bill Russell. (FWIW, Rodman averaged 13.1 boards/game over his career, Russ 22.5. So far as winning is concerned Russell bagged 11 NBA championships over his 13 year career, so he ain't too shabby in that department either.)

uncle ebeneezer 05-16-2011 06:51 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
I think it's impossible to pick any single metric. But I would say that the biggest question for the Bill Russell vote is: could Bill Russell effectively shutdown any player on the court? Russell was before my time so I ask honestly. Rodman could cover (and neutralize) any position 1-5 which is a pretty darn valuable skill-set to consider for a first pick. Do you want superman or kryptonite? I'm not sure I'm totally sold on the Rodman conclusion either, but it's a pretty fun read nonetheless.

bjkeefe 05-16-2011 06:58 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cragger (Post 209181)
I question the validity of the metric in use. Win differential relates to the performance of teams, and while the performance of players undoubtedly relates to that, this metric seems obviously to overvalue every player, great or mediocre, who played on good or great teams, and undervalue those who may be great players who unfortunately spent time on weak teams.

And if the linked poster wants to laud Rodman's defense and rebounding skills those were clear, but you can take Rodman for that and I'll take Bill Russell. (FWIW, Rodman averaged 13.1 boards/game over his career, Russ 22.5. So far as winning is concerned Russell bagged 11 NBA championships over his 13 year career, so he ain't too shabby in that department either.)

Impossible to argue against the greatness of Bill Russell, of course, but I will point out that bringing him up somewhat undermines your point about win differential. I know you're not using that to bolster your view of Russell, but it seems closely related when you point out the number of championships he won. Great as he was, he couldn't have won all those rings without being on great teams.

uncle ebeneezer 05-16-2011 07:16 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Agreed. And wouldn't that fact lower his personal value on the winning metric? IE- even nights he sat out the team probably won more often than a crappy team therefore his presence/absence would have less effect than a crappy team would when their star was out.

cragger 05-16-2011 10:33 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Yes, Russell was one of the all-time great defenders which is why he immediately came to mind as a comparison. His Wiki entry for example notes:

Listed as between 6'9" (2.06 m) and 6'10" (2.08 m), Russell's shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics' success.

He spent most of his career defending the 7'1" Wilt Chamberlain in battles for championships. Wilt was considered one of the all-time dominant offensive centers in basketball but only won 2 championships due to playing in the Russell era. Wilt only won once until Russell retired.

uncle ebeneezer 05-17-2011 04:07 AM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Rodman Vs. Legends

cragger 05-17-2011 09:18 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
My clever and devestating (in my mind) reply about the odd statistical metrics was eaten by BHTV. I'll just note that the "all time best" lists I looked at to see how others ranked Rodman didn't list him at all, let alone at number one. Argument by authority to be sure, but half the fun of sports is that these are essentially unprovable arguments. I suspect much of the fun of claiming Rodman is the best player ever is guessing how much coffee gets snorted out of how many noses by readers. Any idea what the over/under is on that?

uncle ebeneezer 05-17-2011 10:00 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
I know what you mean Crag. I'm also not a real stats guy (I almost failed stats in college and I cheated!! ;) ), so I can't really get into the weeds too deep. But as far as dominant rebounding, I can say that I have never seen anyone completely rule the boards in my lifetime like Rodman. The legends were from before my time, but just based on the fact that Rodman played less minutes (he wasn't the big scorer) does ring true for me as far as him being the best rebounder ever. And I have never seen any other player who could effectively shut down a point-guard or a center. If Russel could, then I take your word on it. Then the question still comes down to what is MOST important to winning: scoring or boards/D? The answer is probably a combination of both. Not a question to ever really be settled but fun to think about. It's all kinda moot because at the end of the day it's a TEAM sport.

bjkeefe 05-18-2011 11:16 AM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Did you watch last nights Mavs/Thunder game? There was an interesting debate going on while Dirk Nowitzki shot out the lights: His coach, Rick Carlisle, had said before the game to Jeff Van Gundy that he was one of the ten best all-time.

After a particularly spectacular run in the third quarter, JVG was moved to hyperbole to pretend he surrendered to Carlisle's assertion. Earlier in the game, he and Mark Jackson had agreed that he was, however, among the thirty greatest of all-time.

Of course it's impossible to say when we (I, at least) haven't seen players like Bill Russell and Elgin Baylor, and only have vague memories of guys like Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Moses Malone, and Wilt Chamberlain from the ends of their careers, to boot, but on the top thirty seems reasonable to me. I wonder how much smaller the list would be before I'd say no. Instinctively, I rejected top ten. Just by reputation alone, the six I already named would displace him, and I could easily fill the list with guys who I'm more familiar with, say, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, David Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ... all right, that's already well more than ten.

However, there's a case to be made for Dirk's inclusion on a shorter list of NBA All-Time Offensive Players, and maybe even top ten, I think.

operative 05-18-2011 12:16 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 209410)
Did you watch last nights Mavs/Thunder game? There was an interesting debate going on while Dirk Nowitzki shot out the lights: His coach, Rick Carlisle, had said before the game to Jeff Van Gundy that he was one of the ten best all-time.

After a particularly spectacular run in the third quarter, JVG was moved to hyperbole to pretend he surrendered to Carlisle's assertion. Earlier in the game, he and Mark Jackson had agreed that he was, however, among the thirty greatest of all-time.

Of course it's impossible to say when we (I, at least) haven't seen players like Bill Russell and Elgin Baylor, and only have vague memories of guys like Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Moses Malone, and Wilt Chamberlain from the ends of their careers, to boot, but on the top thirty seems reasonable to me. I wonder how much smaller the list would be before I'd say no. Instinctively, I rejected top ten. Just by reputation alone, the six I already named would displace him, and I could easily fill the list with guys who I'm more familiar with, say, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, David Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ... all right, that's already well more than ten.

However, there's a case to be made for Dirk's inclusion on a shorter list of NBA All-Time Offensive Players, and maybe even top ten, I think.

If you're talking about all time offensive players, I'm guessing the list would look something like:
Jordan
Chamberlain
Iverson
Baylor
Bryant
West
Shaq
Pettit
Wilkins
Gervin

Maybe Dirk unseats one of the latter 3 players. He had one of the greatest playoff games a player has ever had, but one game does not a career make--this is the first time that Dirk has showed up in the playoffs since losing to the Heat several years back. Dirk has been an outstanding NBA player for a long time; I'd say he's at HOF level. I'm not ready to put him on the ten best list though.

He also may get the distinction of being perhaps the only player to lead his team to the NBA Finals the same year the guy he was traded for died. Thank you Milwaukee for the worst trade in NBA history.

As for Rodman, he might well be the greatest defensive player in NBA history. Russell was dominant but it's also undeniable that the talent pool was shallower (the training technology was also inferior, so that point is mitigated). Rodman might've had the highest basketball IQ of any player ever.

uncle ebeneezer 05-18-2011 03:38 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
I had the game on but the sound off. My biggest issue with Novitzki is that for all his positives (great shooter, mover, free throw percentage and generally unguardable by most big men) he still lacks in the "down-low" departments compared to Shaq, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, Duncan, to say nothing of Russell, Chamberlain, Kareem, Malone, etc. For all the points he can generate, I would still opt for an old-fashioned big man, pulling down boards and blocking shots and the other things that smaller players generally can't do as effectively. Dirk's shot is amazing, but for a game-winning attempt, I would still rather give the ball to Shaq/Wilt etc. in their prime 3 feet from the hoop, rather than Dirk 25 feet away, for the win.

operative 05-18-2011 03:50 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 209449)
I had the game on but the sound off. My biggest issue with Novitzki is that for all his positives (great shooter, mover, free throw percentage and generally unguardable by most big men) he still lacks in the "down-low" departments compared to Shaq, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, Duncan, to say nothing of Russell, Chamberlain, Kareem, Malone, etc. For all the points he can generate, I would still opt for an old-fashioned big man, pulling down boards and blocking shots and the other things that smaller players generally can't do as effectively. Dirk's shot is amazing, but for a game-winning attempt, I would still rather give the ball to Shaq/Wilt etc. in their prime 3 feet from the hoop, rather than Dirk 25 feet away, for the win.

I wouldn't want to give the ball to Shaq for the game winning attempt--the other team would just foul and watch as he bricks free throws :p

You're right that Dirk doesn't have the post game of some of the other highly regarded frontcourt players, although I'd rather have someone who could both work in the post or step out and hit a 20 foot jumper (eg Ewing) than someone who is limited on either front.

bjkeefe 05-18-2011 05:35 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 209449)
... he still lacks in the "down-low" departments compared to Shaq, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, Duncan, to say nothing of Russell, Chamberlain, Kareem, Malone, etc.

So you're saying he's less gay than all those other guys?

.

chiwhisoxx 05-18-2011 06:48 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 209449)
I had the game on but the sound off. My biggest issue with Novitzki is that for all his positives (great shooter, mover, free throw percentage and generally unguardable by most big men) he still lacks in the "down-low" departments compared to Shaq, Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, Duncan, to say nothing of Russell, Chamberlain, Kareem, Malone, etc. For all the points he can generate, I would still opt for an old-fashioned big man, pulling down boards and blocking shots and the other things that smaller players generally can't do as effectively. Dirk's shot is amazing, but for a game-winning attempt, I would still rather give the ball to Shaq/Wilt etc. in their prime 3 feet from the hoop, rather than Dirk 25 feet away, for the win.

I'm not quite sure I track you here. You wish Dirk had a better post game? Right now, in the NBA, there's literally no one I would rather throw it into the post to than Dirk Nowitzki. He's literally unstoppable if he catches the ball within 12-14 feet. A large majority of the players will be too short to stop his fallaway, and he can hit it falling back onto one foot....to either side. If you try and stick someone closer to his size on him, he'll simply turn, face up, and abuse the big man off the dribble. Does Dirk block shots or rebound as much as other 7 footers? No, but that isn't his role. The people who block shots and rebound can't do a lot of what Dirk does. They can't hit 3 pointers at a good clip. You mentioned Ewing as someone who could play inside and hit the 18 footer. That's true, but it misses an importance difference between Dirk and Ewing: Dirk can create from the perimeter. Ewing couldn't. He wasn't going to put the ball on the floor and get his own shot from out there. All he did was catch and shoot.

And yeah, Dirk as a top 10 player is kind of ridiculous. I'm a huge Dirk fan, and he's truly a unique talent in basketball history. I think him not being close says more about how stacked the top 10 is than it does about Dirk.

uncle ebeneezer 05-18-2011 07:16 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Chi, to clarify, yes Dirk is unstoppable from 12-14 feet. But I think from 0-12 feet he doesn't stack up as well and that is where the big man usually plays. He can create from afar, but I would still take a guy who can more or less perch 2 feet from the bucket for easy, high % fg's (dunks), easy rebounds, and defensively, be that last line of defense to prevent the smaller players from taking it to the hole. Dirk's unusual style does make him incredibly valuable since he's not your typical center. However, if I was playing the odds I would still pick Shaq, Wilt, Russell, etc. in their prime. Dirk would have the edge outside, but I think those guys would eat him up (and get him into foul trouble) in the paint. I think Dirk is great to have, provided you have another big man who can play the more traditional role on his team (the combination is a nightmare defensively.) But if you don't have another big man, I would rather have my ONLY center, be of the tradional in-the-paint, model. Also, while I think Dirk is a good defender, I don't see him as being able to shut down a traditional-style star center. I don't know what Howard's or Stoudemire's #'s have been against him but I wouldn't be surprised if they had solid nights (I may be wrong). I would imagine a Wilt/Russell/Shaq in their prime would be lcking their chops at the prospect of having Dirk try to defend them down-low (though he would admittedly give them fits from 12-14 feet.)

chiwhisoxx 05-18-2011 07:23 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 209469)
Chi, to clarify, yes Dirk is unstoppable from 12-14 feet. But I think from 0-12 feet he doesn't stack up as well and that is where the big man usually plays. He can create from afar, but I would still take a guy who can more or less perch 2 feet from the bucket for easy, high % fg's (dunks), easy rebounds, and defensively, be that last line of defense to prevent the smaller players from taking it to the hole. Dirk's unusual style does make him incredibly valuable since he's not your typical center. However, if I was playing the odds I would still pick Shaq, Wilt, Russell, etc. in their prime. Dirk would have the edge outside, but I think those guys would eat him up (and get him into foul trouble) in the paint. I think Dirk is great to have, provided you have another big man who can play the more traditional role on his team (the combination is a nightmare defensively.) But if you don't have another big man, I would rather have my ONLY center, be of the tradional in-the-paint, model. Also, while I think Dirk is a good defender, I don't see him as being able to shut down a traditional-style star center. I don't know what Howard's or Stoudemire's #'s have been against him but I wouldn't be surprised if they had solid nights (I may be wrong). I would imagine a Wilt/Russell/Shaq in their prime would be lcking their chops at the prospect of having Dirk try to defend them down-low (though he would admittedly give them fits from 12-14 feet.)

I mean yeah, I'd rather have Shaq, Wilt and Russell in their primes, but primarily because they were better plays than Dirk was in his prime. You just need to build your team around a guy like Dirk, which is fine. Right now, Tyson Chandler is perfect for them. He'll guard any scoring big man, collect more than enough rebounds, and is a great shot blocker. The problem comes against teams like the Lakers who have two premier post players in Bynum and Gasol. But as we saw in the Lakers Mavs series, lineups like that become a nightmare for the Lakers on the defensive end, as Bynum/Gasol can't guard Dirk.

uncle ebeneezer 05-18-2011 07:37 PM

Re: The Greatest Baller, Ever!!!
 
Agreed. I think the Noah/Dirk matchup will be really fun to watch, if it gets to that.


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