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Monday, September 28th, 2009 at 8:00 am  |  123 responses

Top 50: Devin Harris, no. 24

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Jake Appleman /@JakeAppleman

The best things a student can do–aside from taking a class called “The History of Baseball”–is study abroad. Study abroad provides a different set of challenges and experiences that expand one’s worldview, usually without much of the stress associated with normal, everyday existence. If anything, the stress is in the adjustment.

One day you’re binge drinking because security will shut down your party by 2 a.m.Devin Harris without fail; the next you’re learning that a party is a marathon, not a sprint, as you stumble out of a discoteca at 7AM into the blinding glare of the morning sun. One day you’re just another student surrounded by top notch academics; the next you’re the brightest kid in the room, working on projects with kids that take weekend buses to Lisbon looking for the Portuguese equivalent of Burning Man. One day you’re watching a mascot shoot tee shirts into a crowd with a strange gun; the next you’re listening to fans bounce up down, chanting something that roughly translates to, “if you’re not bouncing with us, you’re not a real fan.”

This idea in mind, now consider Devin Harris, a student of the game. Despite his All-Star status and rapidly improving game, never before has Harris, as a pro, been the best in his given uniform. Even last season, as he celebrated Thanksgiving with 81 points in back to back games on the road, and turned crunch time into his own House of Flying Daggers, his star was still obscured by Vince Carter’s shadow. Sure Harris was the Nets’ top performer last year. That doesn’t mean it was his team.

The reason it’s apt to compare Devin’s upcoming season to a study abroad experience is three fold: 1) It’ll be a very long time before he plays with a less talented cast of characters. Heck, he might never suit up with a group like this again. His role has been, and will be in the future, an excellent cog on very good teams. It took a year and a half but the role reversal is finally complete. 2) Never again will less be expected of the Nets from fans and pundits. The point of this year for Devin and his teammates is to grow and learn. They need to try new things and have fun trying them. 3) The knowledge and experience gleaned will need to be applied when things get a lot more serous in 2010-11.

Taking a closer look at these three talking points is revealing

Uno: Being the unquestioned leader of this 82 game trip will challenge Devin Harris in ways he’s never experienced. Not only will he have to lead the troops statistically and emotionally, he’ll need to figure out how to better cohorts not known for creating their own shots. For a point guard that’s never averaged over seven assists a game, this will push him to grow in a way that he might not have necessarily needed to before.

Pretend you’re Devin Harris for a minute. What are you thinking about? Try, How do I consistently get Brook Lopez the ball in advantageous post positions with opposing teams gunning for him? Or, How do I hit Courtney Lee with a bullet in a catch-and-shoot situation while trying to see over three guys? Even, How do I stay healthy when numerous late shot clock situations dissolve into me barreling into the lane to draw contract from 7-footers? And most importantly, How do I communicate to a young group that will need extra on-court instruction?

Communication. Muy importante.

Dos: Everything is in flux. Some people are on their way in. Some people are on their way out. Learning Russian won’t hurt. Bill Clinton wanted to build a bridge to the 21st century. Assuming the blueprints we’ve seen actually do turn into something that looks a futuristic airport terminal, Devin Harris needs to be the on-court bridge between the New Jersey Nets and the Brooklyn Nets. It won’t be easy, playing in front of empty seats and an inordinate number of reversible jerseys, but the experience needs to be worthwhile and rewarding. No quitting, no apathy, just good hard fun from a good group that, based on all reports, enjoys playing together. That starts at the top of the key with #34, the ball in his hands.

If that means becoming a team that gets buckets in transition, so be it. Run. Devin should test drive the early version of this fast break, so that when the rest of the horses arrive, he’s ready.

Tres: In conjunction with enhancing his distribution skills, Harris is going to need to score more to try and keep the Nets competitive this year. This will be no small feat with opposing defenses gunning for him. An improved jumper and more unpredictability attacking the basket will help. Moreover, improving these facets of his offensive game will make him all the more dangerous on an improved team (the Nets have oodles of cap space in 2010 and two more first rounders).

Last year Harris proved that he can adjust–he shot out of the gate for over 26 a game in November and overcame December and January’s dip in production by going for 25 per in February–and he’ll need the same kind of resiliency this year, adjusting to the way opponents defend him as the unquestioned primary option.

The bumps and lumps taken this year should only make him more efficient as he enters his prime, looking to help lead the Nets to NBA prominence, a return to the contending environment that he’s long been accustomed to.

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’09-10 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jake Appleman, Brett Ballantini, Russ Bengtson, Toney Blare, Shannon Booher, Myles Brown, Franklyn Calle, Gregory Dole, Emry DowningHall, Jonathan Evans, Adam Fleischer, Jeff Fox, Sherman Johnson, Aaron Kaplowitz, John Krolik, Holly MacKenzie, Ryne Nelson, Chris O’Leary, Ben Osborne, Alan Paul, Susan Price, Sam Rubenstein, Khalid Salaam, Kye Stephenson, Adam Sweeney, Vincent Thomas, Tzvi Twersky, Justin Walsh, Joey Whelan, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • riggs

    devin harris looks alot like vince carter on the front page.

  • boy sanchez

    lol @ riggs!

  • Karl

    Bravo Riggs, I laughed

  • LeoneL

    hahaha..right on riggs..got a screenshot.

    devin being the alpha male now in new jersey, this ranking could be wrong in the course of next season barring another injury.

  • zabba

    Devin Harris will explode this year.

  • Torrance

    I’ve seen his monster plays, I recognize his skills, I know the hype, but I’m not a follower. There’s something about him that makes me feel like we’ve already seen the best of him.

  • http://www.in-n-outnba.blogspot.com Lucas

    I don’t know how Dallas couldn’t have seen how good this guy was going to be. Maybe it was just the lack of freedom they were giving him. His shots a little funky but it is lethal. Love his mid-range/outside game. This guy should have won most improved last year.

  • Overtime

    Need to switch him and VC over

  • gio

    I’m surprised that he’s in the top 25. good pick, by the way.

  • http://slamonline.com Niya-girl-fresh

    I can’t get over that shot he made with like two tenths of a second left, that was insane. He like juggled the ball for like half of the two tenths of a second and then shot it with the same hand of balanced. One of the best shots I ever seen of this generation. He’s a definate underrated player. I hope he ups his amo this seasons and beast out of the box. If so then it’ll be a late registration coming out party for him lol!

  • dial up

    he made a lot of game-winners last year, shows he’s a beast.

  • http://www.another48minutes.com Gerard Himself

    Jake, what I really like from this article is that you pointed out the potential of this team. Sure, my beloved Nets might not win that much this season, but it’s full of young, athletic wings all willing to work, defend and can play a huge part in the offense too in Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee and CD-R. Jarvis Hayes has to be a little bit more consistent, but is capable of averaging 15 ppg throughout the season, Dooling is outspoken, and I hope he returns healthy. And besides Harris, there’s Brooke Lopez. I’m really wondering what kind of season he will have…. nice article. What Harris needs to do is two things:
    1) Watch Tony Parker. Offensively, he should model his game after Parker, and don’t shoot too many 3′s.
    2) Play defense like we know he can. He needs to lead this team, not only on offense, but also defense.

  • Shem

    This is a perfect spot for d harris, he will absolutely explode next season. Im just curious when derrick rose will come up and lets not hate the rook he will come up. Hes probably the most explosive rookie guard since allen iverson

  • Shem

    This is a perfect spot for d harris, he will absolutely explode next season. Im just curious when derrick rose will come up and lets not hate the rook he will come up. Hes probably the most explosive rookie guard since allen iverson

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Really?

  • K-Nasty

    Impeccable Spanish, Mr. Appleman

  • JDH21

    Glad to see Devin getting some recognition. His numbers last year don’t lie, he deserves this spot.

  • JDH21

    Glad to see Devin getting some recognition. His numbers last year don’t lie, he deserves this spot.

  • NJ4Life

    Devin absolutely must bring it defensively every night. And he’s gotta pick and choose, he had some sticky fingers at times last year. That being said, with the Nets going back to a running game, look for my boys in blue (well I guess it’s red now) to surprise their critics.

  • http://slamonline.com Adam Fleischer

    You really took me back there in those first couple paragraphs, Jake. So thanks for that. I’ve loved Harris since his Wisconsin days and as you said he’s poised for a good year.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Sure he deserves this spot, but is Derrick Rose REALLY this high on the list from what he did last season?

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Man, I bet Dallas is regretting trading him away every day..

  • http://hoopmixtape.ning.com/ Simon S.Y Lawy

    Don’t think that Derrick Rose is gonna be here …

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Oh trust me, Derrick Rose is on this list.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/nba/overdribbling/index276.html chiqo

    he should be. i don’t know if i’d have him this high, but i can’t imagine 50 players who will have a bigger impact on their team.

  • Orlando Green

    I guessed it!

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    Derrick rose will definitely be here. In 2 years rose will be the 2nd best point guard in the league behind deron.

  • http://www.myspace.com/mcnarrative Kieran

    You seem to have forgotten Chris Paul there cb34

  • cb35

    hey cb34 how is derrick rose gonna be the 2nd best pg, when chris paul is better than both deron williams and rose

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @ kieran: Haven’t forgotten anybody. CP3 is overrated. I’ll take parker over him any day. Rose over cp3 too. Deron is the top dog in that position and it’s gonna stay that way.

  • Christopher N Parkins

    The best thing about D Harris this season, that many are overlooking is the fact that he is not only playing for the growth of the team, he is not only playing for recognition, he’s not even playing solely to grasp that trophy at the end of the year. He is playing for a spot on the olympic team. With limited spots and a bevy of young fascinating point guards, he needs to demonstrate not only that he can play (which we already know) both offense and defense, but more importantly that he will lead. Expect a very impressive, intriguing and possibly magical season from the young Mr. Harris.

  • http://www.eric32woodyard.wordpress.com Eric Woodyard

    good write up! I think Devin Harris is def a top pg in the L and he will have an even better season this year.

    I will never forget how he killed the Pistons last season in Iverson’s first Pistons game. That seemed to be the spark to his solid season.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    cb 34:CP3 overrated? As Rick James would say, “Cocaine is a helluva drug!”.

  • T Money

    Wow, SLAM. You are really trying to push some extra copies of your Kicks issue…

  • Shem

    D rose averaged 17 pts 1 stl 6 assts 4 boards during the season and during the playoffs he averaged 20 pts 6 boards 6 assts almost a block and almost a steal… Can he afford not to be on the list?

  • Young C

    Im just wondering…where is the Slam coverage of the Odom/Kardashian wedding? Is this not a more pertinent issue?

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @ brad long: You’re right! It is a helluva drug! First off, cp3 is a liability on d. He gets abused by most of the other pg’s. He only gets his steals cause he’s fast and he plays the passing lanes well. Even rondo, harris and specially parker are better at attacking the rim. His jumper is alright but what’s so special about him? He’s not that clutch, he’s tricky but not anymore so than rajon is but he is a leader. That i give you. Deron on the other hand is more complete, bigger and way more clutch. Paul’s quickness is what misleads people into thinking he’s isiah reincarnate. He’s not. He’s more of a kj or tim hardaway which isn’t bad company at all. He killed dallas in that one playoff series and everybody thinks he’s the best pg. He played a kidd that was 2 steps slower and they just didn’t have the personnel to play him. I’ll take parker over paul any day. I’ll take deron over all of them. Let’s not forget the countless times david west has had to bail his a$$ out in close games. Cmon now!

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @ brad: Just because he throws the best lobs for alley-oops doesn’t make you the best pg. Let’s see how effective he is with a stiff like okafor. Can’t wait for this guy to get exposed.

  • http://iliveinphoenixidiots.com nbk

    cb 34 – per 48 minutes chris paul outscores his opposing PG by 10.9ppg and dimes out 6.4 more assists compared to 9.1 ppg and 1.5 assists for Tony Parker and 5.7 ppg and 4.5 assists for Deron Williams. And Chris Paul does not have a truly dominant 4, (if you think David West is a dominant 4, then that speaks for how truly ignorant you are on the subject)he puts up better numbers then his counterpart by a wider margin then any pg in the league. Also without Chris Paul the hornets were the WORST team in basketball. If you think hes overrated actually your just a complete idiot

  • http://IJustWantMyNameToLookBig Chukaz

    This has got to be a joke. 24? No f*ckin way there are only 23 players in the league that are better than this clown. There’s probably 23 players that are better than him in the eastern conference alone

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Last year I used to argue with cats over who was better, Derrick Rose or Devin Harris. I always said “Harris is slightly better now, Rose will eclipse him in ’09 – ’10.” I think Slam agrees with me. And there’s NO WAY Chris Paul is NOT the best PG in the league. 23 PPG, 11 APG, 6 RPG, 3 SPG. Come on now, are you kidding me?! I love Deron Williams but if Chris Paul had Williams’ height, he’d be even better. Probably like 25 PPG, 8 RPG, 12 APG. Believe that.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Seriously though devin harris sucks.

  • http://dfjklfl.com Jukai

    Uh, Cb34 is absolutely insane. Chris Paul is a better everything outside of defense than every other point guard in the game right now. Really. Better scorer than Rondo and Harris, better passer than Williams and Nash… Okay, Rondo and Kidd rebound better but that’s all I’m giving.
    And yes, his man to man defense is Allen Iverson bad. Yet, he did seem to average almost three steals a game and make an all-defensive team. Huh! How’d that happen! I guess SOMEONE has to take into account all those extra possessions he gives and the leadership role he takes on D. Or you could still be ignorant.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Chris paul is so much better than deron its not even funny anymore.

  • http://iliveinphoenixidiots.com nbk

    he really doesn’t get beat by opposing PG’s ever. If a PG has a big game against him, you can bet 90% of the time hes having a bigger game in return. Find me 5 instances from last season he was even outscored by his opposing PG and you can spew all the ignorant isht you want CB34 and i wont say anything ever

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Everyone talks about people getting burned on defense , honestly who doesn’t get burned by all these quick little bastards?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Basically they all torch each other and everyone else and if say otherwise you’re full of sh*t.

  • jdn41

    CP3 just had a historic season getting better numbers than any point guard every did in the league besides big O(can’t believe he was a point guard) and nate archibadass who lead the league in scoring and assist cp3>>>>>d will

  • http://iliveinphoenixidiots.com nbk

    Rajon Rondo really doesn’t get torched. He gets outplayed but he doesn’t get burned

  • black pinoy

    yall cant be serious that he’s a top 5 point in the L..therese too many guards better than mr.inconsistency here.. paul,williams,parker,rondo,rose,davis,nash,(maybe not him) but still,. maybe in 3 years hed be in the same level as this guys but not yet.. i dont care if he averaged 25per last season or whatever geekys stats you can throw at me.. but the fact remains.. i wouldnt choose him over these other guards..

  • Shem

    hahhahaha this is too funny, i love listening to ignorant people make there cases when they really dont have any. CB 34 you look like an idiot. If chris paul is so bad on D then how did he make all defensive team?? How did he average 3 steals yes he does play the passing lanes but if it were that easy then why doesnt every pg do it? Deron Williams is a top 5 pg but CP3 is truly the best pg in the nba.

  • onlyclipfanonslam

    I don’t get why people are hating on him. here’s a question: For you haters would you rank AI in the top 25 after his year in denver where he went 25ppg and 7apg? Harris was essentially that player with better d.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    That’s a joke right? Right?

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Why is this site always dead on my day off when I can actually talk sh*t.

  • http://iliveinphoenixidiots.com nbk

    haha i was thinking the same thing, cept its my day on

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    Devin tha dude is a beast. 24 feels a little high, but I think he’s a top 5 PG in the L. He’s definitely still a better scorer than passer, and he didn’t defend as well in NJ as he had in Dallas (who can really blame him, with their record) but I see his maturation continuing this season. And he’s still the only guy I’ve ever seen who could actually guard Tony Parker. Seriously, the ONLY guy.

  • http://slamonline.com 360vue

    I would say I have issues with this spot but I know he is top 20 in L for scoring and dishing and hes got good D so more than justifiable based on last season. Just disappointed sooooo many seem to accept this with ease, yet sooooooooooooooo many hated on iggy at 26. I mean Iggy had an awful first couple of months last year, but after that he was 20-6-6-2 pretty much every night, from what i’ve seen Devin doesnt even know the meaning of the word consistent. Consistency is what makes the elite the elite.
    —-
    And on the PG debate…. if you don’t think CP3 isnt the best point by a million miles (thats hyperbole before any of u take that too seriously) in the L you are suffering from some sort of retardation.

  • http://iliveinphoenixidiots.com nbk

    Do you want a player that gives you 20 6 6 and 2 but doesn’t change much in the 4th quarter in terms of pushing his team to a win or a player that gives you 20 6 3 & 2 and leads his team to wins? I take Devin Harris over Andre Iguodala 90% of the time.

  • Orlando Woolridge

    I think Bryan’s right, you can’t count on one person to stop the league’s best point guards from scoring or getting in the lane. Team defense is more important. If a team has the best man to man defender in the league, that doesn’t necessarily make them a good defensive team.

  • TADOne

    I’ve missed Mr Appleman. Welcome back. Nicely done.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Basketball history needs to be a University course!

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Nbk jersey won like 30 games last gtfoh.

  • http://slamonline.com 360vue

    NBK, i wasn’t talking about harris over iggy. personally, id rank point and centre as by the most invaluable positions in the game, except for freaks of nature like lebron and kobe who dominate of their own accord. so id take a good centre/pg over any other good player in another position too.
    my point was 90% of people have accepted this ranking without question, whereas probably 75% hated on iggy’s ranking, when in reality theres very little between these two. and i see what you’re saying about iggys [lack of] drive (probably why he hasnt maxed out on his undoubted potential) but at least he’s clutch to give phila a win when the game is in balance, and thats not saying harris isnt clutch at times, just a defense of my man who was unfairly castigated for his ranking, even if it was a few places too high.
    — basically im saying i fail to see the logic of too many people on this site; either because there is none there, or they just accept whatever the media tells them or even worse, they base their opinions on the selective viewing they’ve seen of some players. personally, if i know little about a player i stay quite because you can’t judge in such circumstances. i accept opinions, but blind opinions just frustrate me, don’t express one just for the sake of it… hence my defense of iggy on harris’ page

  • UnRel

    devin harris has skills.. but this is a tad bit too high for the kid.. and i don’t think he can run a team.. he’s better off as a second option.. kind of like tony parker with duncan.. i can’t see harris as the sole leader of a squad.. and as far as the CP3 debate.. i wouldn’t say he’s overrated.. but people do hype him up a bit too much.. kind of like d.howard.. however.. cp3 is the best PG in the L..

  • UnRel

    360vue.. the way i see it.. as far as dre iggy and d. harris.. is who’s impact is more important to their respective team.. with the departure of VC.. harris’ impact will increase.. and hopefully for the BK Nets.. will improve.. that’s how it’s more acceptable.. for this list anyway..

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Derrick Rose at number 23.

  • http://who.com tealish

    @Moose: I sure hope so.

  • http://iliveinphoenixidiots.com nbk

    bryan did i say he won a lot? i said he won, he led the nets to 30 of their 30 wins. well 29 if you count Brook Lopez’s big 4th quarter in that game against dallas? i don’t remember. Either way iguodala is not pushing the sixers to any amount of wins. he is a great team player/role player. But he doesn’t decide games. Harris does.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Right nbk, because those last second buzzer beaters Iguodala makes to win ball games for his team (including one in the playoffs) really means he doesn’t decide games.

  • jdn41

    how can cp3 be overated when everyone agrees hes the best PG in the league being the best pg is the best he can be what other stepping stone can he take… best player? no one on earth thinks hes the best player in the league but eveyrone agrees hes the best point guard… i dont get how people say cp3 is overated and say hes the best pg

  • Mack

    confusing article, but Harris’ spot is valid.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Actually not Bryan. CP3 is NOT “so much better than Deron Williams.”

  • Furious

    I’m a Jazz fan, and I love D-Will. But this is ridiculous. CP3 is the best pg in the league. end of story. but you can’t say “if he had deron’s height…”. otherwise you could just say “if kobe was as tall as yao ming, he’d get more rebounds.”
    and he made the all defensive team because that team is limited to big name players who play D. as shown by Kobe making it all but one year since 02-03.

  • Furious

    btw, if you want an example of a point guard outplaying CP3, watch a Jazz-Hornets game.

  • http://slamonline.com John D

    Devin Harris is not better than Rondo.

  • http://asfkl.com Jukai

    Furious: that’s honestly the only reason people think Deron is better than CP3. Cause Deron always outplays CP3 when they match up. But that’s ridiculous: if JJ Reddick always has better games than Joe Johnson when they match up, is JJ better than the other JJ?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The NBA All-Defense list is a joke. How the heck do Kobe Bryant and LeBron James play better defense than Ron Artest and Shane Battier? And with Kevin Garnett injured for so much of the season, why have him on that list either?

  • Furious

    yeah Jukai thats what i was trying to say. i didnt really articulate it well. I find it quite funny that CP3 has better seasons and is better in general, but whenever they go up against each other deron seems to come out on top.
    and i agree 100% with teddy there too.

  • http://teddyareyoukidding.com nbk

    because the coaches who vote for the all defense team know that team defense is more important than individual defense. that belief leads them to believe the impact CP, Kobe, and LeBron have on their overall team on defense is greater then the individual exploits of artest, battier, and other great one on one defenders. (Although I think Battier is the best defender in the NBA, im just defending the concept of all-defensive team)

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @ nbk, jukai, brad, shem and whoever else was bashing me while i was asleep. Too bad we’re on different time zones cause i’m based in manila.Don’t ever call me an idiot or ignorant about basketball, idiots!!! I know my basketball.I don’t care if you all think cp3 is the best pg. I don’t and that’s that. I never said he doesn’t deserve the shine he gets cause he does but i think deron is a better playmaker, shooter and better at crunch time. He made the all defensive team bec of the steals and ostertag was 4th in blocks one year. He doesn’t pick people off like payton did. You all obsessed with these stats when there are alot of intangibles involved. I bet deron has a bigger year than paul does. And y’all underestimating west. He is a more than capable 4 for any team and he bailed paul out numerous times. Without chandler now, he’ll be throwing alley-oops to sean marks and okafor. Great! Without his speed and trickery he’s a speedy claxton. I’m just not a fan of his. Call me a hater but on this one let’s agree to disagree. Deron is just the better player in my book but he’s gplaying alongside a lot of stars that what he does isn’t as appreciated. Deron is unguardable just like wade and if you all don’t see that then you’re the idiots. Thank you!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ nbk: Ummm, wouldn’t that mean Artest and Battier deserve to make All-Defensive 1st Team then? Since, in addition to the deepest roster, the Rockets had the best team defense in the league last season? Yes, I would say so. Face it, the “coaches” are catering to the stars. Several years ago the “coaches” made a SIX MAN All-Defensive 1st Team! LMAO that’s a joke, they had to make a tie in the guard’s spot to fit Kobe Bryant in. Why didn’t they just slide him down to All-Defensive 2nd Team you ask? Well I hope I answered that.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ cb34: I always enjoy reading your posts and you are a knowledgeable hoops head, but I really think you’re underestimating Chris Paul like crazy. Yes, you can just say Deron Williams is better (I disagree), and it wouldn’t be such a far fetched and difficult argument to make. But calling him Speedy Claxton with some trickery? Come on now that’s ridiculous.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    considering coaches care more about wins then your team defense stat. and kobe and lebrons teams each had more wins then the rockets… chris pauls teams success when he is on the court compared to when he is off puts undoubtable evidence to the fact that he has either the most or second most individual worth to his respective team in the entire nba.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    exactly what is your team defense stat teddy? where you get that from? how much better was houston then cleveland during the regular season at defense? and how do you know it was the coaches that decided to make an all 6th man team? prove these things and ill concede

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ nbk: I didn’t have a team defense stat, but when you look at the Rockets matched up to the NBA’s best players, then you’ll see. The Rockets did perhaps the best defensive job on LeBron James all year. The Rockets consistently outplayed the Orlando Magic too, and held Dwight Howard to just above 10 points. Then (I’m jumping a bit because All-Defensive Teams are for regular season) look at the playoffs, the Rockets held the Lakers off for that long with stellar team defense. Just watch the tapes of Game 1 on youtube and you’ll see what I mean. Now there were other great defensive teams that year like the Lakers (when they wanted to be; they were often soft and lackadaisical though), but the Rockets had the full package of interior and perimeter defense.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Anyways, I don’t know if it was specifically the coaches that decided to make an 6-Man All-Defensive Team, but that’s the point. I’m saying the coaches were probably influenced by the NBA staff somehow (ie David Stern) into catering to the superstars, unless they just did it anyway. It looks insanely fishy though when you look at how there was a Six Man All-Defensive Team as a tie between Kobe and Jason Kidd, rather than just slipping Kobe down into Second Team.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I understand what you’re saying about these superstars being leaders for their teams and being valuable in their defensive rotations, but the same thing can be said for Artest and Battier. Those two guys formed one of the toughest defensive duos I’ve seen in years. And they played a vital role in the Rockets’ team defense. Whether the Rockets were the ACTUAL best defensive team (I say they were, you might think differently), you can’t deny that they were top 5 and you can’t deny the value of having Artest and Battier on the perimeter. Add this to the fact that Artest and Battier are better individual defenders than guys like LeBron and Paul, it really is unfair that they were shafted to All-Defensive 2nd Team.

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @ teddy: I was actually being sarcastic with the claxton reference but i just don’t like how paul is always praised like a messiah. Deron is just better and i think this debate over paul and deron will be settled this year. I agree with you about battier and artest on d. It doesn’t gret any tougher than that. I think bron’s elevated his defense to a different level. Kob’s d has been slipping for years but since he’s kobe, he’s a lock on that all defense team. Now, unlike paul whose steals are off passing lanes and bad passes, wade on the other hand is not only a lock down defender one on one but a tremendous help defender as well. Wade’s game is about as complete offensively and defensively as there is. Still bron by a mile in my book but wade should be getting more pub about being the excellent defender that he is. He’s a little underrated in that area which is weird considering the shine he gets.
    @ nbk: You take paul off the hornets you still got west and peja if healthy. You take wade off miami and you got an nbdl team. Cmon man!

  • http://sportzin.com Joey E.

    Deshawn got some new tats.

    pirates P on his face that is a 9 unless you look in a mirror

    cracks on his forehead

    Abe Lincoln on his neck. like right under his chin neck

    http://i734.photobucket.com/albums/ww345/efad1/fm0vfd.jpg

  • Furious

    People consider Wade, Lebron, Kobe such great defenders, but they consistently don’t guard the oppositions best player. I know that’s because their coaches don’t want them in foul trouble, but you can’t be the best defensive player if you aren’t guarding the best offensive players.

  • http://asfkl.com Jukai

    CB34: Don’t get your panties riled up. Let’s say Deron DOES have a better year— why would that suddenly make Deron a better point guard when Chris Paul has arguably had 3 out of four— if not all four out of four— better years than Deron Williams? I mean, it’s not even close— more points, more assists, more rebounds, more steals, better shooting percentages. If you take Chris Paul off the Hornets, and you take Deron Williams off the Jazz… the Jazz would destroy the Hornets… yet the Hornets have a better record. Why? I can answer that, but I want you to answer that!
    Deron Williams is better in a few categories–better in the half-court, better down-low, better three-point shooter, better man-to-man defender… but Paul is better at pushing the tempo, passing the ball in the full-court, taking the ball to the hole, breaking down his defender, playing the passing lanes, leading his team, finding the open man AND creating passing lanes, rebounding, drawing contact, clutch— it’s all there for Paul.
    I have no idea why you believe Deron is a better passer. He averages less assists and he has a better team. David West is only slightly better than Boozer, but give me Brewer and Kirilenko and Korver and Okur over Wright and Posey and Chandler and an injured, aging Peja.

  • http://asfkl.com Jukai

    CB34: Don’t get your panties riled up. Let’s say Deron DOES have a better year— why would that suddenly make Deron a better point guard when Chris Paul has arguably had 3 out of four— if not all four out of four— better years than Deron Williams? I mean, it’s not even close— more points, more assists, more rebounds, more steals, better shooting percentages. If you take Chris Paul off the Hornets, and you take Deron Williams off the Jazz… the Jazz would destroy the Hornets… yet the Hornets have a better record. Why? I can answer that, but I want you to answer that!
    Deron Williams is better in a few categories–better in the half-court, better down-low, better three-point shooter, better man-to-man defender… but Paul is better at pushing the tempo, passing the ball in the full-court, taking the ball to the hole, breaking down his defender, playing the passing lanes, leading his team, finding the open man AND creating passing lanes, rebounding, drawing contact, clutch— it’s all there for Paul.
    I have no idea why you believe Deron is a better passer. He averages less assists and he has a better team. David West is only slightly better than Boozer, but give me Brewer and Kirilenko and Korver and Okur over Wright and Posey and Chandler and an injured, aging Peja.

  • http://asfkl.com Jukai

    Furious: That’s… not entirely true. Lebron during the season constantly guarded the BEST players on the other team– including Kobe. I’ll also note that against the Magic, they switched Lebron up on Alston, and didn’t switch him until the latter half of game 4, which I will never in my life understand.
    Kobe, it’s true, was not the defensive stopper he once was because he was conserving his body (even though he refuses to get surgery on his broken finger, which to me also makes no sense) and honestly should not have made an all-defensive team… but people are numskulls.
    If you want my opinion, Chris Paul should not have made the all-defensive team either, but I think the dude should get credit for getting 7 steals and leading his team through defensive commands.

  • jdn41

    watch out EB CP3 is the new 20/10 guy

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    Jukai: There were a lot of things that were wrong in your post.A lot. First of all deron is the better passer.Don’t base it on the stats. Watch the whole game. Sometimes the pass before the assist is just as important as the assist. Second, you said paul is better at breaking down his defender. Are you kidding me???? I think that’s the most impressive part of deron’s game. In fact i’ll go out on a limb and say he’s just as good as wade if not better at creating that separation between him and the defender for a jumper or what have you. Nobody can stick him one on one. Nobody and i stand by that!Don’t confuse speed with being better man. Watch how he breaks down that defender next time around. Deron is just as good at finding the open man and he can rebound like the old kidd if he wanted to but sloan’s offense isn’t built that way when you got okur, kirilenko and booze down low. He’s told to play a specific way. If he were allowed to freewheel like cp, he’d go nuts and so would his numbers. The jazz offense is structured whereas byron scott’s is let paul do whatever the hell he wants. Lastly, clutch? You serious? Deron is unbelievable with the game on the line and very poised. I’m not saying cp3 isn’t cause sometimes he is but deron is just more dependable. Cp tends to force things more. Cp isn’t even the most clutch on his team,David west is. And that can be backed up by stats like you base everything on. Look up how many game winners west has had compared to paul. Don’t give me that. Cp3 is way more popular than west but it doesn’t follow he’s better. The only thing he’s better than deron at is leadership and drawing contact. The drawing contact part is even debatable. Is it beacuse he plays for the jazz that you can’t see these things?

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    Jukai: I meant just because paul is more popular than deron doesn’t necessarily follow that he’s a better player than deron not west as i typed above. Typo there.

  • Furious

    Lebron does sometimes guard the oppositions best player, but for most of the game he doesnt. When he does he makes it bloody difficult for the other guy to score, but as you say, he guarded skip for extended periods in the Magic series, Marvin Williams not Johnson in the Hawks series etc.
    Also i think the thing about Paul and Williams is that they are both perfect for the systems that they’re in. you switch them, you’d get similar results, just it wouldnt fit as well.

  • Furious

    Oh and I think the reasoning they had for LBJ guarding skip was so that he could help off his man. interestingly, i read somewhere (maybe truehoop) that scottie pippen said if given a choice of guarding the other teams best player or somebody he could cheat off, he said he’d guard their best player ’cause it shuts down one whole side of the floor basically.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    hey cb 34 dwayne wade just quoted shaq while he was askin you a question….come one man “In fact i’ll go out on a limb and say he’s just as good as wade if not better at creating that separation between him and the defender for a jumper?” well since you think dwayne wade is so great at everything thats one he11uva compliment…and dwayne wade has glaring issues defensively idk if its the fact that you don’t see games because of the timezone you live in….you like the taste to the answer of the question dwayne wade wants to ask you, or maybe you just don’t know basketball that well. Dwayne Wade plays the passing lanes like deion sanders used to gaurd the pass….interception or bust. He gives up a good 6-11 ppg off of backdoor cuts off of missed gambles and spot up shooters off of floating defense. either way your biased for your favorite players, which are obviously break you down off the dribble players who frequently use step backs is too strong to sway, just tell mr wade how is *** taste

  • http://Slamonline.com Niya-girl-fresh

    Lol @ Kobe’s name being under Devin’s archieve as well. I know whoever is 23 Kobe is going to be mentioned under there as well lol.

  • Furious

    you lol at that, yet you were mentioning iverson for the first 10 posts

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    Nbk: You my friend are an idiot. I love wade’s game and that i think so highly of his game just shows how good i think deron is at creating that separation from his defender. Yes, at breaking down defenders i’d put deron and wade up there with bron still at the top.Wade isn’t even my favorite, bron is. Yeah wade gambles a lot on the passing lanes and gets burned but so does paul and any other defender worth a lick. Did you ever stop to think why ratliff, mourning or ewing always got dunked on? Because they went after every guy trying to dunk on them. Love them for that. Same thing as wade going for those steals, difference is wade can get steals straight up guarding you which paul doesn’t do very well.I know my basketball and you’re the idiot here! As far as manila goes and different timezones, we get more games here than you do over there. We get a game live everyday and 3 days a week we get 3 games live and this is without league pass. You need tnt to even catch them except for the nationally televised ones. Even when the basketball channel wasn’t available i went to extreme lengths of renting out games for x amount and i would watch them all. Would spend my allowance on that as a kid. Doubt you’d go that far man.Been doing that since ’86. Lived in the states and europe for a while too dumba$$ so don’t think i’m talking outta my a$$ here. I love the nba and always will. Don’t take me for an ignorant fool or belittle me thinking i’m from the phillippines and i know less than you. What you guys have there, we have here too.We get it all from sportscenter to nba daily. I admit i’m pretty fanatical about the nba and definitely not everybody’s like me but filipinos in general love this sport. Don’t be a bigot man because we can debate anything basketball related. I can guarantee you that much.

  • http://dfjklfl.com Jukai

    cb34: You live in a different dimension dude. Deron isn’t a better passer. I’ve watched them both. I’ve probably watched Deron more than CP3 because I like Utah as a team and think New Orleans is pretty boring. From what I’ve seen, it’s not very comparable– Paul is a better passer. They both are incredible at creating passing lanes, but I personally believe Chris Paul just sees more of the floor, sees more opportunities.
    Please don’t use Sloan’s offense as a clutch. Deron has been given the reins since last year to pretty much do whatever he wants. The results were more assists, lower percentages, and a lower ranking and an early playoff exit. Congratulations to Deron.
    Chris Paul also have much better ballhandling, although I like Deron’s footwork a bit too much to give Paul the nod over that.
    Why do you keep bringing up that you’re from the Philippines? No one has ever said anything about that. It’s totally irrelevant– we say you’re basketball IQ is in question because you’re claiming something is fact that six people have questioned. It’s not because you’re from the pacific islands. Give it a rest.

  • http://dfjklfl.com Jukai

    Furious: eh… I see what you mean. I’ll partially agree and partially disagree. The thing with Scottie Pippen was that he was so damn versatile, he could play the one to the four with ease and guard all of them. He also wasn’t the focus on the team so his effectiveness offensively didn’t have to be 100%– let’s say he was 100% at SF, 95% as SG, 75% at PG and 75% at PF. It didn’t matter throwing him in any of these positions as long as Mike– who was almost ALWAYS at the SG position– played where he was.
    Lebron really is most effective at small forward… they’ll throw him at SG or PF, but his effectiveness drops. Therefore, they keep him at small forward. Lebron ALWAYS played against Carmello Anthony, Danny Granger, Paul Pierce, Rudy Gay… but he wouldn’t guard Kobe, Wade, etc. until the end because a) Lebron had to focus on being a small forward and b) the team didn’t have the versatility to switch out on defense (backcourt too small, front court too immobile).
    But I do agree that superstars now are focused on offense and don’t really need to guard the best unless they are naturally matched up with them. It goes along with the stronger, faster league.

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @ jukai: Me being from the philippines wasn’t for you. That was entirely for nbk. He claims that since i’m from a different timezone that i don’t get to see what the rest of you see which is totally crap. That was to clarify it with nbk and not with anybody else. Got it? Didn’t even want to bring it up but i hate it when bigotry comes into play into basketball discussions. We’ll never see eye to eye on paul and deron and let’s leave it at that dude.

  • http://dfjklfl.com Jukai

    I don’t really see the bigotry in it, dude. You were the one in the previous post who brought up your timezone. NBK said “well, maybe in that timezone you don’t see Wade the way I see Wade.”

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @ jukai: Thing is we are 12 hours apart so when i make my posts and i’m about to go to bed that’s when the discussions really take place. I love reading the posts here cause some are really knowledgeable fans. I read the comments this morning and everybody said i’m insane or an idiot for thinking deron’s better. I said it was too bad i’m in a different timezone that i couldn’t defend that argument. That was all. Then, he brought it up and i straightened it out. Jukai, you’ve seen my name here a few times and not once did i ever bring up the phils nor did i ever intend to. Let’s let it go cause it’s stupid man.

  • Solon

    Devin Harris is legit and all, but I just want to know where Steven Jackson is at. Despite all this turmoil, he is still a major baller.

    ” Jackson set career highs in points (20.7), rebounds (5.1) and assists (6.5) last season to join LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade as the league’s only players to average 20 points, five rebounds and six assists.”

    Great leader, good numbers, where da love at?

  • http://dfjklfl.com Jukai

    Alright, but I’ve also seen NBK and the moment he comes back here, he’s going to go on a tirade about how he’s not racist.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jukai your a smart dude, CB34 my best Friend is Filipino, actually he is 2 years from leaving to go play in the league out there but thats not important. My point that you don’t see games like we do here, is i can see just about every single minute of every single game. I don’t exactly do that but I do it enough for people to tell me I have a problem. When someone has an obvious bias toward something we at slam (me more then other people when im here) will call you out. Im sorry that I am so upfront about my opinion, but you obviously don’t see as much minute by minute dwayne wade, chris paul, or even deron williams basketball to make the claims you are making. thats my opinion. dont call me a bigot though, there was no racially motivated comments made at all and me being a person in a biracial relationship finds people who judge someone by a small comment as racist (or bigot) to be the most ignorant and arrogant people. whatever

  • darling

    cant believe he’s on so high on the ranking VC and Manu is much better

  • Furious

    @Jukai: i wasn’t intending to compare lebron to pippen as players or as the situations they are/were in. Just pointing out what the best perimeter defender ever has to say about who he’d prefer to defend, as a point of comparision. But I see what you mean. Personally I’d argue that it would be more beneficial for the Cavs to try to have LBJ defending joe johnson, wade, those kind of 2s. not so much kobe, because they have so many weapons, but if lbj shuts down johnson or wade, their team is rooted. it might make a few mismatches for his other teammates, but not as many as when joe freakin johnson is stuck trying to stop Lebron. Cos that ain’t happening.

  • Furious

    @nbk: just gonna put it out there, “i have friends who are Nationality X” is possibly the lamest reaoson imagineable as to why one isnt racist.
    @cb 34: how’re the floods bro?

  • Furious

    nbk, im not saying you are racist btw. you might be, but you didnt write anything racist or anything like that. just reckon thats a lame excuse

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    @furious: I live in manila and this goddam weather is bumming a lot of people out. 2-story flash floods are scarier up close than any damn thing in the world. I hope the people affected make it out OK

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Deron is better than CP3 at breaking people down off the bounce. Quite as it’s kept, DWill probably has the best crossover in the NBA.

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    @ furious: The floods are terrible man and we got 2 more typhoons coming supposedly by the end of the week. 260 dead and counting. Nobody even knows how many are missing. It’s bad dude.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Spaceship Jay

    I agree with Allenp on Deron’s crossover. There’s such a force behind it, it looks like you’d lose an arm trying to reach in.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    Co-sign allenP; Dwill has probably the most beautiful stop and pop out of a cross that I’ve ever seen, and accurate too.

  • Nbk

    You want me to talk about my 6 year relationship witha blackngirl i am in, and the looks and racist bs i have to deal with in everyday life. Its not something to complain about but when people say ignorant ish like callin someone a bigot for sayin they might not have the same opportunities because of a timezone difference which is not only not racist but also true

  • Alsace

    DH.U will be a winner.

  • http://www.yahoo.com paolo

    oh.derrick rose is the best point guard in the league right now.no doubt about it.

  • gkat

    A bit too high for Harris, don’t you think? The guy plays no defense and hasn’t accomplished anything in the league yet, besides being an all-star. How is he #24 and over VC?

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