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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 at 9:10 am  |  169 responses

Kevin Durant Alone Not Enough to Beat Memphis Grizzlies


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

He did everything a superstar is supposed to do to ensure a Playoff win — 36 points (on 11/21 shooting from the field), 11 rebounds, 9 assists and multiple defensive plays in 42 minutes. But it still wasn’t enough.

Kevin Durant’s one-man show against the Memphis Grizzlies has the OKC Thunder all even in the second round of the postseason, and facing the daunting task of winning on the road.

The Grizz defense was its usual smart, tenacious self, but they couldn’t stop KD. But that didn’t doom them, as they put the clamps on Durant’s teammates and escaped OKC with a hard-fought 99-93 win.

Per the Oklahoman and SI:

The harsh reality is that in this series against these Grizzlies, Durant might not have enough to carry the Thunder to the next round. But he is going to give it everything he has. “I can carry as much as Coach can give me,” Durant said.

“As a leader, I’ve always got to stay positive,” Durant said. “It can’t ever look like the series is over just because it’s 1-1 and they beat us at home. It made it a little tougher on us but we always like a fight and we always like a challenge.” [...] “The kid has the ball in his hands a lot and he is taking a bunch of shots,” Lionel Hollins said. “We knew we had to take away some other people … We pretty much did that.”

Mike Conley’s near triple-double (26 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists and clutch shooting in the fourth quarter) was the story for the Memphis Grizzlies last night, but they earned a split on the road using a familiar formula: a balanced attack on both ends of the floor. Kevin Durant, meanwhile, could only count on Derek Fisher’s improbable hot shooting, and seemed to run out of gas down the stretch.

With the series shifting to Memphis for the next two games, KD can expect to shoulder even more of the burden. Russell Westbrook isn’t available, and head coach Scott Brooks knows he has to ride his superstar. Durant says that’s fine:

“I made those shots last game. I missed them this game,” Durant said. “I’m going to keep taking them. I’m going to continue to be aggressive, no matter if I make it or I miss it.” [...] “I always can do more,” he said. “I’ve got to put my teammates in better position to score. I turned the ball over too much. I thought I could’ve made better passes. I shot some shots when I should’ve drove, when I should’ve got closer.”

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  • http://www.netstakeover.com/ JetSkiJohnson

    Perkins and Ibaka have to play stronger

  • zogs19994

    SIMPLE ANSWER :

    HELL YES…KD IS A BEAST!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/clay.fisher Clay Fisher

    Westbrook is the heart and soul of this team. He makes some bonehead decisions but he gives OKC the edge that is required to win it all. KD, like all other superstars, needs his running mate to get this done.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    That stat line is insane. Near triple dub as the main offensive threat and on 50 percent shooting. Kevin Martin has to be more consistent and Perkins and Ibaka have to pull their heads out of their anuses. It would help if every play for Durant didn’t begin by the three point line

  • LLC#12

    Where are all the people who hated on Westbrook and said he was bad for the team now?

  • Mackenzie

    Ibaka needs to step up because Kevin Martin can only give you scoring, and inconsistently at that. Serge should be able to score 20, grab 10 boards and block a bunch of shots each night.

  • http://www.facebook.com/simo.cittadue Simo Cittadue

    Like we didnt know that before this game xD !! Too bad OKC sucks

  • The Philosopher

    Anuses…

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    Durant is proving that he will soon take the mantle of “the best” from James.

    If OKC needs Derek Fisher to drop 19 to remain competitive… five games, for Memphis. Six, maximum, if the officials give them the next game in OKC.

  • Caboose

    Didn’t see the game unfortunately, who was guarding KD? Did Tony Allen get his chance?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    did you watch basketball in 2007………….
    .
    cuz that was 6 years ago, and James was doing these things against the Pistons.
    .
    Basically, this is Durant’s 2007.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The parallels between this series and the 2007 Cavs vs Pistons are too big for me to ignore.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yep, Tony Allen really bothererd him. So much for Lionel Hollins not thinking that would work.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    if you think he’s better than he is, sure.

  • Caboose

    I saw him pull the chair on Durant with like 1:00 left. I’ve learned to never doubt Tony defensively. Dude is Bruce Bowen without the intent to hurt.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    He didn’t so much as pull the chair as Durant’s lead foot hit his and his landing spot changed then Allen got outta the way. Watch it in slow motion, actually looks like a trip. Not that it would ever be called in a game, but just for the record.

  • Caboose

    Well, trip implies that the defender did it. Durant just lost his footing and Allen got out of the way. Half trip, half pulling chair. Definitely not a foul.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I mean look at it, literally Allen stops Durant’s step with his foot, makes Durant plant right next to his body, and his big giant body just topples over like a poorly constructed jenga tower. From what I saw it looked like its a foul for sure, just not one that would be called, ever.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    Yes, and that was when James was preparing to take Kobe’s mantle (which he did in Fall 2010). I’m saying this is precursor for Durant.

    What divergent point were you trying to make?

  • Max

    Tony had no intend to ‘pull the chair’, in the post game interview when asked about it, it first looked like he didn’t even knew what that was lol.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LeBron is better than Bryant has ever been. Durant isn’t 22 like LeBron was then. No matter how this turns out for Durant, he’s still a ways behind James as a player, it’s not like he’s going to overtake him anytime soon. I just think saying this is proving he will take the mantle from James soon is jumping the gun. By like 3 years. Minimum.

  • Max

    I’d still like to see CP3 on the Thunder.

  • Caboose

    I don’t think that’s what happened…it looked like Tony was there and Durant inadvertently stepped on Tony’s foot. Not like he was trying to block Durant’s step.

  • Caboose

    Durant will be better than LeBron in about…5-6 years. Maybe.

  • ATL dynamite

    No on ever said when Westbrook was on the court the team instantly got worse, if that’s the case there is no point for the Thunder to keep him. The problem is what he could have done better, and (if) things can get better if another player on his all-star caliber take over his place. It’s not some random blind hate on Westbrook, it’s a rational discussion.

  • Bandwagonfan

    He gives a penetration threat

  • LakeShow

    He’s shown what he is. 15-7-3.
    He’s not, and won’t be a 20-10 guy.

  • Bandwagonfan

    He need to gain more mass. Seriously. Just a bit .At least just build a body like kobe.

  • The Saviour

    Perkins is playing really really stupid basketball – needs to use his somewhat limited skillset better to contribute, not hinder the thunder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/priceperhead1 Jake Richards

    The intention should always be good but the actions must be better … Twice the effort … Otherwise do not dream.

  • The Saviour

    totally agree – an elite star trying to lead a team of semi-decent stars by doing everything he can against a good, but not great team.

    I’m most impressed this year by the fact the grizzlies play better without Gay – I worried they would fall but its made everyone pull together much better, was a blessing in disguise.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Intent doesn’t matter lol. A foul is a foul.

  • Caboose

    Durant stepping on Tony’s foot is not a foul on Tony. Otherwise every player would do that when they got trapped.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Tony’s foot was moving. It’s technically a foul. Like I said never would it be called, but it’s still a foul

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    I’m not arguing it will be immediate. But he clearly will do it sooner rather than later. I’d say three or four years.

    Okay, ESPN. Why even bother arguing with you when you can simply watch the following: 2001 Playoffs; 2003 season; 2006 season; 2007 season; & the 2010 season? If it isn’t self-evident to you that James does not possess the skills Kobe has, why even bring it up? He can do nothing better than Bryant other than protect/maximize his field goal percentage, leap higher, and fail to box out centres whom he is supposedly able to lock down defensively.

    Oh, I’m sorry, he’s also better at flopping: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZpGKC62qvs

    Top Ten player, historically, but not better than Kobe. At all.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol, LeBron is the best player you have watched play basketball since Jordan retired. It’s obvious.
    .
    Show me one season in Bryant’s career where he was as good as James this year. Show me one year of playoffs where Bryant was as good as James last year.
    .
    Bryant has had a better career so far, but he was never, at his best, this good.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    I just listed five, champ.

    James puts up the same numbers he always has done with an increased FG% because his teammates are also exceptional. What a coincidence!

    And the ultimate caveat: he plays in the East.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    The difference is the Pistons were not hungry anymore, and were a shell of their former selves defensively. Remember, that was the year after Ben Wallace left the squad and Sheed was their only real rim protector. Grizzlies are still hungry and have an overall better defensive squad. KD ain’t pulling a LeBron on Lionel Hollins. He’s not Flip Saunders.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Pass, defend, rebound. He does all of those things better. And, get his teammates involved mentally and physically.
    When Kobe carries a crap team to 50 wins and the Finals, holla at ya boy.

  • underdog

    Wathching them in this post season, I was thinking about the same thing. I had really thought they made a mistake trading Gay, but it turned out they are a better team without him, mostly because Prince is much rather an all-around role player, than somebody who needs the ball in his hands. Great trade by their GM.

  • spit hot fiyah

    well he does have youth on his side in that race, eventually james has to stop peaking. i think…..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    just listing them doesn’t mean what you say is right.

    .

    2001 Playoffs, = http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=jamesle01&y1=2012&p2=bryanko01&y2=2001

    - James was better at EVERYTHING. awe that’s sad. let’s try your second one…….

    .

    2003 season, = http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=jamesle01&y1=2013&p2=bryanko01&y2=2003

    - LeBron was better at EVERYTHING. awe that’s sad too. oh well, at least Kobe scored 0.5 more points per 36 minutes on 4 more shots…..right?

    .

    2007 season, http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=jamesle01&y1=2013&p2=bryanko01&y2=2007

    - Oh yay! Kobe scored more this time! he must have been better…..awe dammit, LeBron was still better at EVERYTHING. He still just doesn’t shoot as often.

    .

    we’ll find one, i’m sure.

    .

    2010 season, http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=jamesle01&y1=2013&p2=bryanko01&y2=2010

    .

    - Not even close. DAMN.

    .

    .

    .

    And for a Kobe fan, you’d think you would have remembered 2006, his best individual season.

    2006, http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=jamesle01&y1=2013&p2=bryanko01&y2=2006

    – Too bad Kobe only shot more again. Damn.
    .
    .
    now unless “shooting more” = “better player” —- then you are DEAD wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    look at this Conor guy’s nonsense.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah i should have said this is Durant’s *chance* to have his own version of LeBron’s 2007, you are totally right.

  • Caboose

    Staying away, staying away, I have f*cking finals to study for…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh yeah, not being in school has made me forget about finals season.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    Do you not understand the difference between method and statistics?

    Using your formula, you must also think that Oscar Robertson was better than Kareem.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Statistics show how you apply your skills dummy.
    .
    .
    Shaq > Matt Bonner
    Matt Bonners Skills > Shaq’s skills.
    .
    .
    Just use your brain a little bit.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    And it’s not about shooting more you flaming idiot. it’s about the fact that Kobe shot considerably more, but his scoring didn’t reflect that.

    .

    .

    And then you factor in, defense, passing, rebounding, and efficiency.

    .

    .

    LeBron is CLEARLY better than Kobe has ever been. Even f*cking Lakeshow admitted as much. If the biggest Lakers diehard i know can admit that, then i know anyone can….assuming they look at this subjectively.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    HaHaHa!

    I’m just going to allow you to review what you just wrote and stop wasting my time with your nonsense. Goodbye, genius.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    60* wins.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    Kobe plays in the West, LeBron plays in the East. That’s pretty much the extent of my Finals-carrying rebuttal.

    He passes more, not better, especially to teammates who can actually knock down shots consistently like Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Anthony Parker, Mo Williams, Rio, & Boobie. Kobe had Fisher, Horry, Fox, Shaw, & one-year wonder Sasha. Prime Kobe’s defence is better than Present LeBron’s defence (individually; James’ help defence, however, is superior to what Kobe’s has ever amounted to). And LeBron is 6’9″, I’d like to imagine he can rebound more than Kobe the shooting guard.

    Ultimately, Kobe is more skilled. That’s something you can observe with your eyeballs.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    “LeBron is CLEARLY better than Kobe has ever been. Even f*cking Lakeshow admitted as much. If the biggest Lakers diehard i know can admit that, then i know anyone can….assuming they look at this subjectively.”

    I don’t care if a random dude who uses the name “Lakeshow admitted as much”.

    Subject to what? Your opinion? Sorry, nbk, debates don’t coalesce to your sarcastic, Truehoop logic.

  • TR

    I dont know if its just me , but I hate watching Durant play, especially without Westbrook.

  • LLC#12

    I agree entirely with what you’ve said, my comment was based on the minority who DO just blindly hate.

  • LakeShow

    It’s just you.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    this is incredible.

    .

    According to you, Kobe never had Shaq, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, or Glenn Rice.

    .

    According to you, Prime Kobe played better defense than LeBron. That is hilarious. Since you don’t like stats, so let’s just say, LeBron has finished with more DPOY votes just this season (last season as well), then Kobe has in his entire career…..COMBINED. Hard to argue someone is a better defender than someone else, when the “better” one has never been considered a top 5 defender in the league at any given time. While the other guy has finished 2nd, two years in a row. (but i assume that’s irrelevant, because you know more than people who watch basketball for a living, right?).

    .”And LeBron is 6’9″, I’d like to imagine he can rebound more than Kobe the shooting guard.”

    - LeBron is 6’9″ which counts against him on the boards according to you, but not when it comes to passing.

    .

    “He passes more, not better” ahhh yes, because he should be criticized for not taking sh*tty shots instead of making the right pass like Kobe does right?

    .

    The Kobe is just as good of a passer thing is about as relevant as the “Kobe is a more skilled player” argument is.

    .

    Sure he is, you just don’t have anyway to prove it.

  • LakeShow

    And like Clock work… the name calling lol.

    I don’t believe I ever said the words “LeBron is better today than Kobe ever has been.”

    But I have admitted to him being a more complete player, a better team mate, a better play maker, a better rebounder, a more versatile defender among other things.

    I’ll give LeBron allot of props because he is already a top 15 talent in his what (?)10th season. But I will refrain from calling him better than KB ever has been because allot more goes into that than numbers and physical ability.

    Kobe is a better team mate to have next to (prime) Shaq than LeBron is.

    Kobe is a better player to have on a team that needs a scorer.

    LeBron is the better player to have on a team that needs versatility, and undefined positions.

    LeBron is the better player to have on a team that has allot of shooters.

    I’m just saying that yes, Lebron is arguably better than Kobe ever has been, but I, and many others could/will make a debate for Bean being greater at his peak.

    Ya’ll have good points, I feel we do too.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you said it right after the finals last year.

    .

    “But I have admitted to him being a more complete player, a better team mate, a better play maker, a better rebounder, a more versatile defender among other things.”

    .
    What’s left? Kobe is a better scorer…..

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Oh, so you really typed out that list of teammates and determined that LeBron had the better teammates.
    That’s your final answer man? Prime Kobe’s defense was suspect and he and LeBron have one inch in height difference.
    Kobe is more as a scorer. He could possibly have been more skilled as an all around player. I saw his numbers in 2003. He just chose to go a completely different route. Deal with reality.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    I compared the shooters which the two of them have played with, man. Come on. Basic reading skills, Allen.

    Kobe’s prime defence was considered the best in the League by gentlemen not limited to Popovich.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    No, I compared their colleagues whose primary purposes have been to shoot from range.

    Once again, I’ll go with the people who actually have vocation/clout within the League (players, coaches, executives) who, from 2002-2010, had near-consensus that Kobe was the best player in the League. I mean, why argue with them and your own eyes?

    “LeBron has finished with more DPOY votes just this season (last season as well), then Kobe has in his entire career…..COMBINED.”

    Defensive Player of the Year votes are as worthwhile as Coach of the Year votes. James came in second this season because media are fans and cannot view James objectively. You honestly believe he was better defensively than Tony Allen, Tim Duncan, and Joakim Noah? That he deserves these votes?

    Nevermind, you argued that Matt Bonner was more skilled than Shaquille O’Neal, so what does your opinion matter in the end?

    “LeBron is 6’9″ which counts against him on the boards according to you, but not when it comes to passing.”

    So, you’re saying that passing capacity is equally relative to height as rebounding is? Do you think before you opine? James is a fantastic playmaker, but he isn’t a superior passer to Kobe (and vice-versa). He’s simply more willing to concede.

    James should be criticized for settling for passes when he can score layups/draw fouls, at will. Yes.

    “Sure he is, you just don’t have anyway to prove it.”

    It’s called observation. You spend time pouring over Basketball Reference, Truehoop, and the like while I prefer to spend my basketball time actually watching these two legends both as individual talents & within the contexts of their respective systems as much as possible.

    I respect James. I believe he has taken Bryant’s mantle as the greatest player as recently as 2010. But to dismiss Kobe’s skills/talent as historically inferior to a guy who relies on athleticism and foul calls, still struggles dribbling against pressure, and only achieved a newfound level of dominance upon working with Kobe in 2008 (along with the other Olympians) speaks volumes, man.

    You guys are LBJ fans, evidently, so this is a waste of my time. Let me know when James can do this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbrfihKauGc

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “I’ll go with the people who actually have vocation/clout within the League (players, coaches, executives) who, from 2002-2010, had near-consensus that Kobe was the best player in the League. I mean, why argue with them and your own eyes?”

    .

    Nobody argued that. But good for you.

    .

    .Defensive Player of the Year votes are as worthwhile as Coach of the Year votes. James came in second this season because media are fans and cannot view James objectively. You honestly believe he was better defensively than Tony Allen, Tim Duncan, and Joakim Noah? That he deserves these votes?

    - I didn’t say I agree with him finishing second. I said he did finish second. He has done more defensively, than Bryant ever has…..unless you really want to argue that media in Miami does more for LeBron than the media in LA did for Kobe when he was winning championships??

    Yep the media is wrong all the time, but they are rarely WAY OFF, and even the mighty LA media couldn’t spin the “Kobe’s a great defensive player” story to the point where he was ever even mentioned in the best defender in the league conversation.

    .”Nevermind, you argued that Matt Bonner was more skilled than Shaquille O’Neal, so what does your opinion matter in the end?”

    . If Matt Bonner was not a more skilled basketball player than Shaq, then Kobe is not a more skilled basketball player than LeBron. Try and justify that Shaq was more SKILLED than Bonner, without making the exact same points you would make about James being more skilled than Bryant. I’ll wait.

    . “respect James. I believe he has taken Bryant’s mantle as the greatest player as recently as 2010. But to dismiss Kobe’s skills/talent as historically inferior to a guy who relies on athleticism and foul calls”

    —- AWE that’s cute. you don’t like other people’s opinions, but yours? yours is somehow more relevant because you say so? LeBron relies on athleticism and foul calls? while averaging more assists and shooting a better % from 3 and the field than Kobe ever has? That’s cute. And that makes perfect sense. Would love to see the logic behind that? Oh wait, there isn’t any.

    .

    .”It’s called observation. You spend time pouring over Basketball Reference, Truehoop, and the like while I prefer to spend my basketball time actually watching these two legends both as individual talents & within the contexts of their respective systems as much as possible”

    .

    I already know from how the way you talk that you aren’t even american. you really think you watch more NBA games then i do because i have the recall to use stats to support my opinion? claiming i don’t observe because my opinion is supported by facts is a fallacy. And really really makes you look inept to have this conversation.

    .
    .
    I am not an LBJ fan. Another common fallacy tho. Proving once again, that you don’t possess the reason needed to support your broken opinion.

  • Dagger

    Your comments about Lebron these past few days lost a lot of credibility with that post.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no it wasn’t. at any point.

  • LakeShow

    Rebounding is equal because they both lead their respective positions.

    Passing is a matter of personnel. Kobe has proved he is a very good passer (while yes, he is not as good as Bron, he has shown the ability to play playmaker when needed). LeBron has over-passed just as much as Kobe has under-passed. You and I both know that assists can mean everything, and nothing.

    Kobe was as much better at scoring the ball as Bron is at defending the ball.

    Kobe is still a more feared opponent than LeBron till this day (this is of course my opinion, but I think i’m right) despite him not being nearly as good. I think you know the reason why.

    For these reasons it’s not black and white as to who at their peak performance was the better basketball player.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LeBron leads his whole team. Not just his position…….

    .

    Passing is not a matter of personnel. Kobe has proven he can be a very good passer, but he has never proven that to be a good passer the rest of his game isn’t irrevocably changed. He is either a great scorer, or a great passer. Never both. And if you ask him, his game is to score. Passing is uncomfortable, and not what he likes to do. (which should matter).

    .

    LeBron has overpassed….sure. But he doesn’t anymore. And we are talking about at their (respective) very best. LeBron is a better passer. There is just no way to spin this in any other direction. Kobe has proven to get a bunch of assists, but never consistently, and never, ever, when it matters.

    .”Kobe is still a more feared opponent than LeBron till this day (this is of course my opinion, but I think i’m right) despite him not being nearly as good. I think you know the reason why.”

    — HAHA you know damn well that’s false tho. LeBron is the most feared basketball player on earth and on both ends of the court.

    .

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    “Nobody argued that. But good for you.”

    You’re right, I did. You can use Basketball Reference, but I can’t use human beings’/peers’ opinions as evidence? What?

    “Yep the media is wrong all the time, but they are rarely WAY OFF, and even the mighty LA media couldn’t spin the “Kobe’s a great defensive player” story to the point where he was ever even mentioned in the best defender in the league conversation.”

    Except by coaches like Popovich.

    “If Matt Bonner was not a more skilled basketball player than Shaq, then Kobe is not a more skilled basketball player than LeBron. Try and justify that Shaq was more SKILLED than Bonner, without making the exact same points you would make about James being more skilled than Bryant. I’ll wait.”

    Kobe and LeBron and Shaq are creators while Bonner is a finisher, so that’s the primary difference. There is a reason why Bonner is a catch-and-shoot/slip screen recipient role player and Shaq is a Top 10, all-time, NBA talent.

    Arguing that the two comparisons are in any way similar to each other either reveals – if it hasn’t been done so already -your lack of knowledge or simply encompasses it.

    Kobe and James have similar ceilings. Shaq was a behemoth. Bonner is a role player. Do you not see the flaws in bringing this up?

    “AWE that’s cute. you don’t like other people’s opinions, but yours? yours is somehow more relevant because you say so? LeBron relies on athleticism and foul calls? while averaging more assists and shooting a better % from 3 and the field than Kobe ever has? That’s cute. And that makes perfect sense. Would love to see the logic behind that? Oh wait, there isn’t any.”

    You always fall back to statistics, but we’re arguing skill set. Averages are not synonymous with capacity/1+1=2/A, B, then C.

    “I already know from how the way you talk that you aren’t even american.”

    Shame on me, El Presidente!

    “you really think you watch more NBA games then i do because i have the recall to use stats to support my opinion? claiming i don’t observe because my opinion is supported by facts is a fallacy. And really really makes you look inept to have this conversation.”

    Are you applying for a job with the Rockets?

    Points: 81 v. 56

    Rebounds: 16 v. 19

    Assists: 15 v. 16

    Steals: 7 v. 7

    Blocks: 5 v. 5

    Those are their present limits in all categories.

    For the second time, I’ll just use the argument that I trust Kevin Durant, Popovich, Jackson, Karl, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaq, Charles Barkley, and Larry Bird over a dude using the name “nbk”.

    “I am not an LBJ fan. Another common fallacy tho. Proving once again, that you don’t possess the reason needed to support your broken opinion.”

    The first step is acceptance, nbk.

    As for my broken opinion, the aforementioned legends must also have broken opinions. As do my eyeballs.

    Now, off to Basketball Reference with you, scamp.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    You mean those including the argument with a guy who used a Nike commercial from 2003 as evidence as to why LeBron is a better passer than Wade? Okay.

    My apologies for seceding credibility, in your illustrious opinion, your honour.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    nobody argued that Bryant was the best player in the league for a long stretch. Bringing that up is cool and all, but pointless.

    . “Except by coaches like Popovich.” – prove that Popovich called Kobe the best perimeter defender in the league. Nobody is going to entertain your opinion just because you claim something. And Popovich can be wrong. Especially if you are talking about the 2001-2004 seasons, when Ron Artest was far and away the best perimeter defender in the league.

    .”Kobe and LeBron and Shaq are creators while Bonner is a finisher, so that’s the primary difference, There is a reason why Bonner is a catch-and-shoot/slip screen recipient role player and Shaq is a Top 10, all-time, NBA talent.”

    . Yeah, Shaq “created shots” because he was 7’2″ 300lb’s with the athletic ability of a guy 6’10″ 230lbs. That’s not a skill dumbass.

    .

    . Did you really just list career highs?

    .

    .

    .

    And where, anywhere, did i say Kobe wasn’t more skilled than LeBron?

    .

    .

    Who is better, and who is more skilled are different things.

    .

    Shaq was better than Matt Bonner.

    Matt Bonner was more skilled than Shaq.

    .

    See how that works? Physical gifts can make up for a lack of skills.

    .

    .

    “For the second time, I’ll just use the argument that I trust Kevin Durant, Popovich, Jackson, Karl, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaq, Charles Barkley, and Larry Bird over a dude named “nbk”"

    .
    Hey f*cktard, those guys have never been asked who was better at their peak. They were asked who was better all time.
    .
    In which, as i already stated earlier, I agree.
    .
    Anything else you want to misread/misrepresent/makeup?

  • The Seed

    WESTBROOK IS THE LEADER OF THE TEAM, Period. At least KD is playing with Fire now. Memphis win!!

  • The Seed

    Consign Conor O’Hara, you killed the Lebron groupies.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    “nobody argued that Bryant was the best player in the league for a long stretch. Bringing that up is cool and all, but pointless.”

    There was no argument because he was so dominant. If you’re saying that these past two seasons of James’ overshadow the entirety of Bryant’s career, you need to take a break from commenting and actually watch instead of pretending you do.

    “prove that Popovich called Kobe the best perimeter defender in the league.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liIYL7YcePI

    “Yeah, Shaq “created shots” because he was 7’2″ 300lb’s with the athletic ability of a guy 6’10″ 230lbs. That’s not a skill dumbass.”

    Creating via his ability to make passes which Bonner simply cannot & dribbling coast-to-coast with coördination which Bonner cannot achieve. I’m seriously curious if you actually watch basketball. Do you think that because Bonner is more efficient from 3P-range than Shaq relates to his superior skill?

    Shaq is the black one and Bonner is the white one… you know that, don’t you?

    “Did you really just list career highs?”

    You can read! I was worried for a while.

    “And where, anywhere, did i say Kobe wasn’t more skilled than LeBron?

    “Who is better, and who is more skilled are different things.”

    LOL

    “Hey f*cktard, those guys have never been asked who was better at their peak. They were asked who was better all time.”

    Kobe scored 40 points nine consecutive games in 2003, 40+ twenty-seven times in 2005-2006, had four straight (and ten, overall) 50+-point games in 2006-2007, outscored the should-have-been NBA Champion Mavericks BY HIMSELF through three quarters of a game, and has probably had more 40p/10a games than James. And his 48/16 versus Sacramento and 45/15 against San Antonio were greater achievements than anything James has done in the Playoffs other than Game Six against Boston last season.

    But I remember! James scored 30+ six straight games at 60% and steals rebounds from his teammates and overpasses to secure triple-doubles! No wonder you think he’s better.

    “Anything else you want to misread/misrepresent/makeup?”

    The only thing I want to invent is a time machine which could take me back to when I never knew idiocy like yours existed. Yet it is so and this would haunt me if I I suddenly could not remember that you actually believe that Shaq is less skilled than Matt Bonner.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Nah I’m not reading that

  • LakeShow

    No, I truly, truly, believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that guys fear going up against KB more than Bron. (Neither of us can prove our sentiments though.) I know at his prime it was definitely that way, and I believe carries through to this day.

    Kobe never should have once led his team in rebounding.
    You know that, and agree right?

    I agree with you that LeBron’s over passing has gone down quite a bit, but it’s still there as much as KB’s tendency to jack up a dumb shot.

    Please refrain from making silly statements like : “Kobe has proven to get a bunch of assists, but never consistently, and never, ever, when it matters.”

    …WTF kind of BS is that… I can point to several occasions this year, let alone over his career.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    Their hyperbole/hypocrisy knows no bounds. It’s hilariously easy, too.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    They must miss Harden’s presence right now.

  • Drig

    Cavs vs Orlando 2009. Better. Even has the GW part down to a tee.

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  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Popovich said most talented.
    .
    You don’t know the difference between most talented and the best?
    .
    And Popovich also said he still had to learn to be more consistent…..
    .
    .
    Nowhere, was Kobe called the best perimeter defender in the league.
    .
    Way to once again prove where your reasoning comes from. If only I lived in the world of imagination.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    By that matters I was referring to a post season game.
    .
    LeBron shouldn’t lead his team in rebounding either. SF and SG are not really that much different from a position standpoint. Especially between those two. LeBron is just bigger stronger and faster. And thus, a better rebounder.
    .
    No, I don’t think Kobe is as feared as LeBron right now. If ever. Not as a player I should say. As a person? Like you are more scared of Kobe beating you. But you would be more scared to actually play LeBron. That make sense?
    .
    No, Kobe’s chucking and LeBron’s over passing are not comparable. That is stupid outrageous.

  • Drig

    Passing is all mental here when Kobe’s involved. He’s shown this season that he can be a pretty neat passer whenever he wants to be. He doesn’t always do that ( when he should ALWAYS be doing it ) and that irks me but it isn’t a facet of the game that LeBron has an edge over Kobe but rather it’s an advantage LBJ has over Kobe’s scoring mentality.

    LBJ is more natural at passing than he is at scoring. Vice versa for Kobe.

    I’d say its difficult to say either of them is a better rebounder. Kobe’s one of the best rebounders ever at his position. LBJ’s one of the best at his.

    Defense, LBJ is better. He’s more versatile. He’s a better help defender. He’s a worse on ball defender but his athleticism more than makes up for it. Plus, he’s a physical beast who can exert effort on both ends throughout the season and still not be too tired.

    Kobe, despite having a superhuman willpower, never did have those physical attributes. He’ll put up a strong fight but he’d struggle to maintain his game over the course of the entire season.

    Kobe carried a CRAP team to 43 odd wins in a STACKED West. Don’t give me that 50 wins crap. Kobe in his prime, in THAT pitiful East, would’ve taken a crap team to 50 wins.

  • Drig

    “Kobe is more as a scorer. He could possibly have been more skilled as an all around player. I saw his numbers in 2003. He just chose to go a completely different route. Deal with reality.”

    THIS. By skilled, I’m assuming better stats across the board and lesser points. Because Kobe’s still the most skilled guy out there.

    He was a scorer. He wasn’t a playmaker.

    If anyone watches soccer, Suarez vs Messi. One guy is wasteful but has the ability to destroy anyone on any given night. The other is ruthless efficiency.

  • Drig

    Pop said Kobe should learn to trust his teammates more consistently. Not play more consistently.

    Kobe was never the best perimeter defender in the L. At his best, he was a borderline elite defender. But it was in too short bursts to really classify him historically as one of the greatest defenders.

  • Drig

    2001 POs. It’s atleast on par with what LBJ did last season. Esp. when you consider they eviscerated a near-prime SAS team.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    The N.B.A. isn’t some schoolyard participant system, it’s a business. The best are those who combine their inherent talents with total adherence to their craft. Talent and skill are synonymous. Kobe has reached the peak of the mountain amongst his peers, offensively & defensively, in the past. Do you not recall his role on the 2008 Olympic team?

    Do you have amnesia?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol his role as the stopper against inferior competition is what you are now resorting to? Good argument.

  • Drig

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01/shooting/2013/

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bryanko01/shooting/2001/

    Check the heat maps and see the locations from where Kobe does his damage.

    LBJ attempted 41% of his shots near the rim. Kobe attempted 30% of his near the rim. Kobe took 556 shots from the perimeter while LBJ took 230 odd shots.

    Now, even with Kobe’s shot jacking tendencies, you’d be stretching it QUITE A BIT to say it wasn’t part of the plan for Kobe to be the perimeter scorer for the team to maintain spacing for Shaq to work.

    Mind you, this wasn’t Kobe in his prime either. This wasn’t a team built to perfectly complement Kobe’s game either.

    BTW, I’d suggest you look at Kobe’s shot chart in 06 or 08 ( his best season IMO. Just a bit better than the 07 season ) , That is RIDICULOUS.

    Those are two factors that need to be taken into consideration as well.

    Listen, Kobe probably wouldn’t have become more efficient than LeBron even if he had a team that perfectly matched his skillset and had TD/KG instead of Shaq . You know, guys who would actually show willingness to play PnR which in your own words is the most efficient play in BBall aside from a wide open corner 3.

    His mentality has always been to outscore opposition. LBJ’s more balanced. However, to say Kobe can’t do the things LBJ does is wrong. Kobe has done it. Not consistently enough for you take into consideration but he has done the same things. But they aren’t what motivates him ( which is a bummer ).

    Unpredictability is feared the most. LBJ, even if he’s hot and everything, doesn’t deviate too much from his usual game. At best, it’ll be a bit more efficient. Kobe though, is a whole other beast when he gets hot. His gunning ability actually becomes an asset ( like it was from 05-08 ) . That + his irrational confidence = More unpredictability = More fear of the consequences.

    Just like with Jordan, Kobe is more skilled than LBJ. LBJ is simply more efficient at using his limited skills.

    DISCLAIMER : BEFORE EVERYONE GETS ON ME FOR SUGGESTING KOBE IS BETTER THAN LeBRON, I SUGGEST YOU GUYS TO READ THE POST AGAIN.

  • Drig

    While the lack of a jumpshot and FT shooting obviously kills Shaq’s credibility as a skilled player, I’d say it takes a CONSIDERABLE amount of skill to knock down baby hook shots and create separation to launch his only move in the paint aside from dunking when double teamed in the paint with no passing lanes.

    He’s also better rebounder, dribbler, passer, can assess the game better, can defend better, can box out better and can help better on D.

    Neither has otherworldly footwork like Kobe, Hakeem or TD though.

  • Drig

    If only it were as easy as saying he needs to make better use of his skillset……..

    The problem is that his skillset is so limited and the polar opposite of what the Thunder needs right now.

  • Drig

    I’m revoking your Lakers fan license lol…..That would be the end of the West.

  • Drig

    Kobe doesn’t have the physical strength or hops of Bron. Their physical gifts aren’t even in the same stratosphere. Regardless of how perfect your timing is, if you lose out considerably in teh athleticism department, you’ll be beaten to the rebound by an average player with good timing. You know that. I know that. Everyone knows that.

    Next, LBJ has played a ton of PF this season. Third, Kobe has had better post players than LBJ. Fourth, Kobe’s prime required Kobe to score as much as possible and save his energy on D for most possessions or risk losing in blowouts.

    I don’t even understand this argument nbk. Both play different positions. Both have different teams. But both are considered to be the best at their positions.

    This is like saying LBJ is a better shotblocker than Wade just because he can block most other guys. Nope, it just means he can do it to a larger set of people because of his size. Doesn’t mean he can do it better than Wade does to his matchups.

    Agreed with the last part.

  • Drig

    ……..or 2009 lol.

  • Max

    Sadly, I never had one.
    First team I loved were the Pistons in 04.

  • backboard

    i think we now get to see not only how important Westbrook is for this squad….. BUT what a huge part Harden was. If he was still in OKC instead of Martin the Thunder might be up 2-0 by now….

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    I don’t even watch soccer and I know Messi is considered the best player in the world. So you’re saying LeBron is Messi?

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Bullcrap.
    Kobe was an awesome scorer. One of the most skilled if not THE most skilled of all time. But, he is also incredibly inefficient. He’s never actually shot 47 percent from the field in his entire career. In contrast, LeBron has hit that mark every year except for his rookie year fresh out of high school.
    I know Kobe fans like to discount efficiency but it just doesn’t work. The fact that is, Kobe could have easily matched LeBron’s efficiency numbers and suprassed Jordan’s championships if he wasn’t so hellbent on proving that he was the most skilled player of all time.
    Which is why he was never better than LeBron is right now. LeBron got the memo that you don’t have to show people tricks, you just have to utterly dominate.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Well, if Durant loses, yes.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “Kobe doesn’t have the physical strength or hops of Bron. Their physical gifts aren’t even in the same stratosphere. Regardless of how perfect your timing is, if you lose out considerably in teh athleticism department, you’ll be beaten to the rebound by an average player with good timing. You know that. I know that. Everyone knows that.”

    - So what Drig? That doesn’t make it irrelevant. It’s still part of basketball, and those physical gifts are LeBron’s, it’s part of what makes him better.

    .

    “I don’t even understand this argument nbk. Both play different positions. Both have different teams. But both are considered to be the best at their positions.”

    - You don’t understand what part? The argument about whose better? Or the most feared thing?

    .”This is like saying LBJ is a better shotblocker than Wade just because he can block more guys. Nope, it just means he can do it to a larger set of people because of his size. Doesn’t mean he can do it better than Wade does to his matchups.”

    - Why are you talking about match ups? When you lose in the finals people don’t go, “well that didn’t count, that wasn’t the right kind of match up” — it’s just about how good you are. how much you produce. and if it helps your team in the process.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Shaq was a better athlete. Shaq was smarter. Shaq was bigger. Shaq played 4 times as many minutes.

    .

    It’s pretty easy to see a full display of a guy like that’s skills.

    .”CONSIDERABLE amount of skill to knock down baby hook shots and create separation to launch his only move in the paint aside from dunking when double teamed in the paint with no passing lanes.”

    - Have you ever been 7’2″ 300+lb’s? How do you know that it takes a bunch of skill to turn and dump the ball in a hoop that is 4 inches above your hand when you are standing on the ground from 6 feet away….especially with guys who weigh 70lb’s less than you as the only defense.
    .
    I could drop baby hooks on an 8 foot rim against high school kids ALL DAY LONG. So, sorry if I don’t buy into the Shaq was uber skilled because he was a big giant dominant post player.
    .
    If you have all these skills, then learn how to shoot a f*cking free throw.
    .
    .
    Either way, if i’m wrong and Shaq is more skilled, do you still understand what i was saying? or do you want me to use another Center who is definitely more skilled than Shaq, but was a worse player?
    .
    Arvydas Sabonis better for you?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i agree. and my bad about Pop.

  • Drig

    I thought we were talking about him being better than another player at a facet of the game i.e. purely from a skills perspective. My bad then.

    I said matchup because it’s obvious an average 6’10ft guy is gonna be better than a very good 6ft guy at shot blocking. But when you talk about him being better at one facet, not many people say the 6’10 guy is better because of his versatility. They talk about how well he can block who he’s supposed to block……..

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    nah i said, LeBron at his very best is better than Kobe at his.

    .

    Then this Conor dude turned it into a conversation about Skill. So i tried to show him, that despite that Kobe is more skilled, he is not better. Because he doesn’t apply those skills better then LeBron applies his.

    .

    And a lot of that has to do with LeBron’s natural physical advantages. But they are still important, and they still matter. We can’t just forget about that stuff because it’s not fair.

    .

    I get why you are talking about the match ups, i just don’t get why you see it as relevant to this discussion? now i just assume you thought we were focusing on something different, right?

  • Drig

    Sabonis is definitely more skilled than Shaq. No two ways about it.

    However, the disparity in Bonner’s and Shaq’s skills is too wide to solely blame it on Shaq’s physical gifts.

    Yes, Shaq’s physique was godly. However, that wasn’t the only thing he had going for him. His court vision was excellent. His passing was above average. His ability to dribble the ball and execute a fast break is something Bonner can only dream about. His D when compared to Bonner’s is like light and day.

    You should’ve stuck with Sabonis from the start if you wanted to point out that Shaq wasn’t the most skilled C even among his contemporaries. Or Yao.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah that is totally fair. i was just trying to get my point across. but you are totally right.

  • Drig

    Actually, I’m not quite sure if Messi is considered the best. The last time they gave the Ballon D’Or ( MVP equivalent ), it created a furore since Ronaldo deserved it more. And the subsequent season proved it…..

  • Drig

    Wait…..that was the discussion?! I thought we were only talking about skillset because I saw you / Allen say LBJ is better than Kobe at every facet of the game and I was like ” Time to take care of business. Kobe-mode on.” lol.

    Kobe’s the most skilled guy in L history. However, he’s more of a showman who seeks to wow crowds with his skill rather than be ruthlessly efficient with them like Durant or LBJ. This only applies to the regular season though.

    That’d have sufficed right???? Oh wait, you said the same thing…….

    Man, I suck at getting my point across at times. I thought this discussion was only about skillset and not about how you use it. Which is why I wanted you to disregard LBJ’s versatility because it was a byproduct of his physical gifts. Better worded?

    If I’m making an ideal team though, I’d take the guy with more skill vs the guy with more versatility and efficiency.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah, I knew this was more of a miscommunication. Sounds about right man.

  • Drig

    Allen, check the heat maps. Check areas from where Kobe had to score vs LBJ who has a red zone only near the rim. Let’s not just blame Kobe for this.

    It’s a byproduct of Kobe’s ego, Phil’s system and the lack of solid 3pt perimeter shooters and the presence of great scoring back to basket post players.

    “The fact that is, Kobe could have easily matched LeBron’s efficiency numbers and suprassed Jordan’s championships if he wasn’t so hellbent on proving that he was the most skilled player of all time. ”

    EXACTLY. Which is why I claim Kobe is the better basketball player lol. Not the best NBA player but the best baller.

  • LakeShow

    I really enjoyed (nearly) everything you said here.

    Although, one thing, Kobe isn’t “incredibly inefficient.”

    He’s averagely efficient at worse.
    This year he was 3rd in FG% by shooting guards… Considering the volume of shots, that’s GREAT… Not exactly incredibly inefficient.

    We do discount efficiency, but we feel we have good reason.

    No, KB couldn’t ever get 58% FG’s or whatever in the hell kind of ridiculous % LBJ put up this year, but we always appreciated him knowing he didn’t have to.

    LeBron is the Heat’s best post player and he’s not even a top 20 post player in the L. He’s also the best slasher in the L. He also just takes wiser shots, we know this.

    KB has always had dominant big men on his team, which both helped some aspects of his game and hurt others. One that was hurt was FG%. Remember this year when KB was able to slash and was shooting over 50% for the first month or two of the year. That’s because Pau and Dwight were both struggling in the post so KB was slashing and posting more. Easily achieving 50%fg’s, but they came back and KB had to take his game outside more like he always has.

    Just realize that KB shoots more jumpers because he has to and also because he likes to. He likes trying to kill you from the out side while the bigs take care of the inside. It’s also why he has little wear and tear on his body considering the mileage on it.

    They are two completely different players that play the game completely different ways. As of now, it is undetermined whom is better at their peak.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    They play in the NBA. That’s the judge. As for having a dominant post player, I’d like to introduce you to Larry Bird, Jerry West and Magic Johnson.
    Having a dominant post player should get you easier shot, not more difficult ones. Kobe chose difficult shots because he had to prove how awesome he is.

  • LakeShow

    LeBron by all counts SHOULD be more feared than KB.

    I just think it’s a mental thing. Guys know they can back off LeBron and dare him to do certain things… You can’t with KB. He will (try) and kill you every time.

    That is both bad and good. Good, when he’s on fire. Bad, when he isn’t. You live and die with KB, while LeBron brings a consistency nightly that is unmatched really.

    I want to see this ridiculously efficient individual try to dominate a team more with his force and ability offensively. Everything comes in the flow with LeBron, which is great, I just like personal vengeance more. He shouldn’t just have a season high 40 points this year imo… But i’m not saying it’s wrong to remain as efficient as possible at all times, and not worry about point total and such, I just appreciate the “gunner” mentality a little more I suppose.

    You still missed the point with the rebounding.

    A) Kobe has rebounders.
    B)LeBron doesn’t.
    C)LeBron plays closer to the basket than Kobe does.
    D)Your right, LBJ’s more athletic, and has an advantage physically

    Although if given a battle for a rebound , KB is going to fight harder than LeBron for that rebound. That is his mentality. LeBron is a little too chill for me on the court. Even if it provides him with great efficiency, and a clear thought process. I still think KB’s mentality is superior. He is going to try and beat you personally at everything… BUT, I understand it’s a team sport and their 4 other guys out there for a reason. LBJ is one of the best ever at utilizing team mates.
    KB is the 2nd best ever at taking sh*t personally lol…

    I just love chatting this sh*t man sorry for rambling.

    And yes I stand by LeBron being an over passer.

    **Just scrolled down and you and Drig are having the same convo, you can just ignore me haha.

  • LakeShow

    I love this post.
    It is perfectly in context, explains both sides and is well worded.
    I know people don’t like compliments, but well done.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You said, “That + his irrational confidence = More unpredictability = More fear of the consequences.”

    .

    I said, “Like you are more scared of Kobe beating you. But you would be more scared to actually play LeBron. That make sense?”

    .
    In other words, i feel like the consequences of playing Kobe are more frightening then actually playing him. Playing LeBron is more frightening then playing Kobe because you know you are going to get the best player in the world on both sides of the court. You won’t get a single play off – that always was a more daunting task then dealing with a cold blooded killer to me as a player.
    .
    but after the game, the consequences of that cold blooded killer always stung a little worse.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    What are you talking about with the post player BS. There is just no reason that Kobe needs to take contested jumpers in the shot clock with as much time left as he does. He has been taking crappy jump shots despite his having better options all around him his whole career.
    .
    Of course it’s part of the plan for him to be a perimeter scorer. But you are just lying to yourself if you think him shooting that many jumpers is what the team wanted him to do.
    .
    Sh*t, even Phil Jackson said he tried to get Kobe to play more like LeBron.
    .
    ^ that alone, should tell you that you are reaching on just how “part of the gameplan” Kobe’s chucking was.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Kevin Love disagrees with your thoughts on rebounding.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    He does not have to shoot more jumpers. Nor does he have to take the difficult ones he often takes. He likes doing that. Oscar Robertson, Dr. J and many others played with dominant post players and shot well from the field. Clyde Drexlerndid it in the twilight of his career. Kobe just didn’t want to. It was a clear choice.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    You compared shooters but ignored Glen Rice and Mitch Richmond? And Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel? Oh ok then. And Caron Butler?

  • Drig

    Kobe played with Dwight, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Shaq. In his prime, he focused his efforts more on scoring and on ball D rather than on help D or rebounding. He showed that he could rebound with the best if he was allowed to regulate his energy levels (a few near triple doubles this season shown that ).

    Tell Kevin Love to get the same rebounding numbers playing alongside other premier rebounders, some of whom have a 4 inch advantage and then I’ll get back to him.

    If you were talking about timing and athleticism part, KLove has great timing. He ain’t the least athletic guy out there either.

  • Drig

    Now then, let’s look at the perimeter players with with each of them played, shall we?

    West played with Baylor/Hawkins ( who were slowing down ) and Goodrich when Wilt came into town. Still better perimeter options than what Kobe had. Agreed/Disagreed?

    Magic…..lol. Seriously? Worthy, Nixon, Cooper, Wilkies, Byron Scott off the top of my head.

    Bird had Tiny, Cedric, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge.

    Not on Magic’s level but still much better than growing up with Fisher, Rick Fox, Walton, Shaw, Harper and at the very end, Ron Artest and Ariza.

    I didn’t include Eddie and Nick because that wasn’t when Kobe started blossoming. If I did, I’d have to count Pete Mavarich with Bird as well. Seriously, that is the BEST collection of perimeter talent Kobe has played with.

    Tell me, with all due respect to the other players, would ANYONE sans the Artest and Fisher that Kobe played alongside even warranted a consideration when compared to the talent Bird/Magic/West had through their careers???

    Kobe was the SINGULAR perimeter talent on his team who could create a shot for himself.

    Basically, would you rather have a Kobe iso which results in a decent chance or a contested shot from one of those players because Kobe was worried about not taking the contested shot himself???

  • Drig

    Yes. Because we’ve seen how the team plays without Kobe on the floor.

  • Drig

    I never said Kobe didn’t chuck bad shots right? I did say it was a byproduct of Kobe’s ego + Phil’s system + the players he played with on the perimeter somewhere on this page.

    “Sh*t, even Phil Jackson said he tried to get Kobe to play more like LeBron.”

    Phil’s exact quote : “You want a player that can do both. I tried to get Kobe to do both for numbers of years, and he could. But his first instinct is to beat the guy that’s in front of him.”

    He didn’t mean for Kobe to take the ball a lot more to the rack but rather, to pass more shots. Him creating and scoring from the perimeter was still an integral part of Phil’s offensive system.

  • Drig

    The consequences are more frightening because a prime Kobe was much more destructive on O than LBJ.

    And people are scared more of the consequences. As a defender, you don’t actually feel scared knowing that you’ll not be able to stop LBJ being an efficient machine. It’ll happen either way. And he won’t give in to his impulses ala Kobe and take a risky shot that conventional logic would dictate.

    As a defender in the game, you’d be more scared of Kobe torching you and the team alone because when Kobe was in the zone, he could drain shots from anywhere. Over any number of players. From any position. Bron would rather try to pass it to the open man in such a situation while Kobe would shoot it and make that damn shot giving fckall to logic.

    LBJ’s game frustrates the opponents. Kobe’s game instills fear in the opposition. Over the course of the season, LBJ would probably be considered a better player but Kobe would UNANIMOUSLY be considered the more feared player.

    Also, let’s remember something : Kobe never had great players in his scoring prime. Had the Lakers held onto Butler ( someone Kobe trusted ), guarding Kobe would’ve been impossible in ’06 and ’07 ala ’08 and ’09.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    West, Wilt and Baylor barely played that much time together because of Baylor’s knee issue. West and Wilt acutally won a ring the year Baylor retired.

    I addressed the part of your argument that concerned the presence of a post player causing field goal percentage issues because it forced Kobe to shoot bad shots. As for the perimeter player issue, I would argue that what Kobe had on the perimeter, while average at best, could still hit shots. Fox, Horry and Fisher were shooters if not great talents. Kobe’s perimeter talent was equal if not not better than what Mike had outside of Pippen.

    There is no historical evidence that shows that having a dominant post player means you have to take horrible contested long jumpers. No one can point to that proof.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    What does that have to do with the choices Kobe made over his career to take horrible inefficient shots?
    Just acknowledge the obvious: Kobe’s inefficiency is real and it’s the result of his massive ego, not the personnel around him.
    Why is this so hard to admit? He is who he is as a player, strengths and weaknesses.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    You wrote that regardless of your timing if there is a significant gap between you and another player as far as athletic ability, you will have issues. That is patently false and Kevin Love and Dennis Rodman after Detroit are my proof.
    Not to mention Karl Malone as well.
    I don’t care where Kobe “focused” his efforts, he wasn’t a better rebounder than LeBron. And if he played with Shaq, Bynum and Gasol he should have focused on defense and rebounding, not scoring because he had SCORERS!
    Come on man, stop making excuses for your boy. He clearly was never the all-around player LeBron has been because he chose not to be. So he wasn’t as complete, and therefore not as good. hell, he wasn’t the all around player Michael Jordan was in his prime either.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i realize that. when he says i tried to get him to do both, it is “He has been taking crappy jump shots despite his having better options all around him his whole career.

    .because his shot selection was so bad that it hurt the team. no he is not saying take the ball to the rack, he is saying stop shooting so many sh*tty shots. which is exactly what i just said, “He has been taking crappy jump shots despite his having better options all around him his whole career.
    .
    Of course it’s part of the plan for him to be a perimeter scorer. But you are just lying to yourself if you think him shooting that many jumpers is what the team wanted him to do. ”

    .

    Kobe’s shot selection was always an issue. And it was never part of the gameplan.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    man, i just explained to you how i have viewed basketball and player’s my whole life. i assume i’m not the only person in the world who feels that way.
    .
    telling me who is more feared doesn’t actually make you right. i feel like LeBron would be a more feared basketball player, for the reasons i stated earlier.
    .
    i could be wrong. infact, with some players, i know i’m wrong. but so are you in all likelihood.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    What? Rice’s name is there. Richmond played well in maybe three significant games and NVE/Jones were with Kobe before the run. If you want to stretch, by all means.

  • Drig

    I acknowledged that Kobe ain’t as efficient as LeBron because of his ego. However, I’m saying it’s not ONLY because of it but also in part because of the personnel and the gameplan of his teams.

    BTW, I’m confused. Are you and AP both the same?

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    nope

  • Drig

    Ibaka vs Pau/ Blake vs Pau etc. mean otherwise. I know there are other examples that refute my claims ( KG right now ) . However, these are big men. Kobe ain’t one. And for a perimeter player like him, it’s necessary for him to overcome huge guys and get the ball.

    Let’s just agree to disagree about the rebounding part then.

    HE HAD SCORERS BUT NO PERIMETER PLAYERS WHO COULD SHOOT AND LET THEM HAVE SPACE TO OPERATE. I don’t get how people can see this so clearly with Memphis and not with LAL. Let’s go head to head here :

    Conley vs Blake
    KB vs Allen
    Metta/Clark vs Gay/Tayshaun
    Pau vs Zach
    Marc vs Dwight

    Conley vs Blake, conley wins. KB wins easy. Tayshaun is a better shooter than either of them. And the bigs are more or less the same, with Marc having more range than Dwight.

    Do Pau and Bynum/Dwight deserve more touches? Yes. Can they get more touches if defenders of other perimeter players sag off and block off the paint? NO.

    Can Pau come outside the perimeter and knock down 18ft shots? YES. Is he better at it than Kobe and will it help the team in the long run? NO.

    Kobe vs LBJ IMO :

    Scoring : KB
    Passing : Push
    Court Vision : LBJ
    Rebounding : Push
    Help D : LBJ
    On Ball D ( in his prime ) : KB
    Consistency on a game to game basis : LBJ
    Peak output : KB

    Overall ( for season ) : LBJ.
    Overall ( for a game or a series ) : KB.

    He was never the all-round player MJ was for an entire series. You can quote me on that. But he’s just as much as all-round player as any NBA legend in history was, if not more IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Fisher was a shooter. And you ignored LA’s bench. And stop saying passing between LeBron and Kobe is a push, or that Kobe won any type of defensive argument.
    And your “peak output” stat is bogus because you conveniently leave out items like rebounds, steals, blocks and efficiency of shots to create a win for KB.
    Kobe wasn’t the all-around offensive player that Larry Bird or Magic was either. Just to make certain you were aware of that.

  • Drig

    I did say Baylor was slowing down. But he had Goodrich as well. And Hawkins for a year. All of whom are MUCH BETTER than any perimeter player LAL had to aid Kobe.

    The presence of a post player IMO has an overall positive impact on the team’s FG% but not necessarily on every perimeter player’s FG%.

    Horry was never a great shooter over the course of the season. He was great in the clutch though.

    Fox and Fisher averaged around 16 shots per game between them in those years and were pretty decent shooters. Not historic ones but not bad. But they were primarily spot up shooters who couldn’t create off the dribble.

    Ray Allen and Shane Battier are better shooters than those two players ever were. Yet, they averaged the same number of shots as Fox and Fisher this season.

    3 point shooting of the Lakers during the Shaq-Kobe era : Never inside the top 10. 10,15,13,20,25. ( I know Kobe’s shooting was an issue as well but removing them adding and comparing would be too hard right now. Plus he was always better than Devan George or Harper or Shaw. )

    3 point shooting of the Bulls during MJ era : 3,3,22,8,2,3,3,16 league position over different years.

    Bulls were always near the top 10 in FG% despite never using big men. I’ll be stumped if you claim only Jordan was responsible for this.

    As shooters, Pippen, Paxson, Kukoc and Kerr BLOW any combination of perimeter talent Kobe has had over his ENTIRE career outta the water. It isn’t even close.

    I’ll you some evidence which showed that having dominant post players would require spacing : the Memphis Grizzlies or any championship LAL team in the modern era. Everyone cribs about the Grizz not having spacing.

    You want spacing? You need better perimeter shooters. Which Memphis got in Tayshaun even though he is a worse player than Gay.

    Admit it, Kobe never had teams which totally complemented his game like LBJ does now or even teams which had balanced perimeter and post players.

  • Drig

    Tell me what is a better option : Kobe taking a contested jumper or guys like Horry or Shaw taking a contested jumper??

    I mean, are you guys honestly telling me that there were BETTER perimeter options around him after looking at the talent that LAL had around its mythical post players???

    Kobe’s shot selection was, is and will ALWAYS be an issue. However, stop blaming it solely on Kobe’s shot selection and think about the talent around him.

    He took a lot of crap shots. He made enough of them for me to find it okay than pass it to Fisher/Fox or other guys who can’t create for themselves and had to shoot a contested shot.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    throwing the ball to Shaq. And getting an open look off of the double team.
    .
    it’s not about there being better PERIMETER options. it’s about BETTER OPTIONS IN GENERAL.

  • LakeShow

    Allen, Allen, Allen…

    When Dr. J scored 32ppg(most of his career, in his 2nd year in the ABA) he took 25.4 shots to get to there.

    Take Kobe’s same 32ppg average year in 06-07 he took 22.8 shots to get there…

    Julius Erving was not a very good shooter. Especially from deep. He was also gifted with other worldly athleticism and was just meant for driving the ball more(those massive paws helped). His FG% should be higher. All these guys shot more shots at the hoop. His nearly 16RPG in his rookie season should show you where he was suppose to be on the court.

    Look at SG’s in L history. It’s a position that is not ripe with “efficient” players. They are “SHOOTING GUARDS” in general it is their job to shoot. That doesn’t mean they can’t drive or shouldn’t, but their position name is what they are.

    Yes, KB does have to shoot more jumpers. I mean if your saying no one has a gun to his head saying “take more jumpers!”, then your right, but within his teams concepts over the years he has HAD to shoot more jumpers than LeBron and other forwards and slashers.

    Drexler career: 47%

    Dr.J : 50%

    Kobe: .454

    I mean yes it’s a noticeable percentage but we are talking one or 2 shots Kobe misses as apposed to those guys… and he’s taking harder shots. Sometimes necessarily sometimes stupidly, and just for flair.

    You have a point, it’s just not a point that is detrimental to his career in any way. He’s still better than Drexler, Dr.J, and debatable with Oscar, despite the “flaw” that is his FG%.

  • LakeShow

    Is Kevin Martin’s ego the reason for his FG%? (lower than KB’s)

  • Drig

    Amen.

  • Drig

    I was talking from a skills point of view :| . Which is what people think of when we discuss about all-round players. Atleast from my football background, I usually do that.

    Fisher was a shooter. And he got about 10 FGA before he was benched for Payton. Do you believe he deserved more?Elaborate about LA’s bench. This I gotta hear.

    Kobe has the ability to put passes in tight situations just like LeBron. He’s just as good a passer as LBJ but not as good of a playmaker, which is what court vision talks about. LBJ took it easy there. Now it’s cool?

    Kobe’s on ball D in his prime was borderline elite. He didn’t do it enough over the course of the season to be considered as one of the best historically like MJ etc. but his defensive prowess on the ball is better than LBJ’s.

    His help D sucks. Which is why even now, I kinda wish Kobe always has the assignment of guarding the primary ball handler of the opposing team even if it drains him.

    Peak Output : Of course it’s bogus lol. Also, I didn’t say Kobe won, did I? I said I’d take LeBron for the season since he was much more consistent.

  • Drig

    That’s……amazing. I’ve never seen two guys have the exact same name at the same place before lol.

  • Drig

    And Kobe could’ve done this exactly how many times per game?

    Sometimes there just isn’t an angle to get the pass in or the position of the C just isn’t favorable to get back a pass over the double.

    It’s what killed LAL in the middle this season when it had ridiculous TOs because they wanted to pass it into the post to “create better shots”.

    Listen, I get what you’re saying. Kobe could’ve done a better job of getting cleaner looks. However, when you consider the fact that he’s the best tough shot maker in the L, that he probably wouldn’t get the ball back and the probability of the shot being missed on a contested look from another perimeter player or from Shaq himself, it isn’t quite as bad as it is usually made out to be.

    People just assume that if Kobe passed it would’ve been a better possession and more points generally. It’s never been like that.

    Detroit ’04 is an entirely different story that I don’t want you to bring up.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i didn’t say EVERY bad shot needed to go to Shaq. I am saying TOO MANY bad shots has been Kobe’s issue his whole career.
    .
    his lack of efficiency was not by design. he is just isn’t a very efficient player.
    .
    he’s great. GREAT.
    .
    but at his best, he was not better than LeBron is now. No matter how you try and spin the negatives of his game into positives.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Kobe is an elite defender against players with an obvious flaw, not against complete players. Remember, the Lakers have played the Knicks and Thunder multiple times and we did not see Kobe spend much time on Durant or Melo. We have seen LeBron take that challenge against two of the best individual players in the league.
    Kobe is a good defender, but he doesn’t lock players up, or even challenge them. He didn’t take on MIke Bibby when he was shredding the Lakers. He didn’t take on Iverson. He didn’t take on Arenas. Or Durant or Melo when he abused the Lakers in Denver in the WCF. Kobe made life hard for Westbrook until his jumper got right, and then he moved off him. Rondo shredded him in the Finals the last time they met up.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    No, in the past, Martin was miscast as a the number one option when he should really be the Number three option.

    This year as a number three, he was relegated to waiting in the corner for long threes when defenses were sucked to Durant or Westbrook. That’s why he shot 42 percent from 3, a career high. However, three’s are still tougher than twos so it’s hard to get up over 50 perent if that’s your primary shot. Nearly half of his shots were threes this year, again, a career high.

    Martin great at getting to the free throw line, but his isolation game is rudimentary. And, his release is still slow.

    Steph Curry shot the same percentage as Kobe, but we know that wasn’t an ego thing either, right?

  • LakeShow

    If Erving was more efficient, then why did the good Doc need 25 shots to get to 32ppg and KB only needed 22?

  • LakeShow

    No idea.

    I don’t understand the ego well.

  • LakeShow

    Wait, but Martin should have just been driving to the rack all the time… Gotta get that fg% up right?
    That’s what matters right?
    Or is there a team concept that he is trying to fit into and he’s suppose to be a perimeter threat not a driving and slashing player…
    None of the several messages I have typed on this page have shown up… getting a little annoying.

  • LakeShow

    I’ll try re-posting this… again…
    Why did Dr. J take 25 shots to get to 32ppg and KB only needed 22 to achieve the same?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Dr J didn’t shoot 3′s. Did you really need an answer to that question?

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    He is fitting into the team concept. His job is spotting up. Like that was Fisher’s job. And Rick Fox’s job. And Glen Rice’s. And Robert Horry’s. And Sasha’s. And etc.
    Your argument is deeply flawed and you, in your heart, know it is. Just accept it wasn’t about team concept or personnel. Kobe did what he wanted to do. He has the basketball ability to do anything he wants to do, and he he’s had that ability for more than a decade. He chose the path he wanted to take because that’s what he thought was the way to greatness.

  • LakeShow

    I’m just going to keep re-typing this till SLAM post’s it.
    Why did Dr. J need 25 buckets to get to 32ppg while KB only needed 22 if Dr. J was more efficient?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you have posted it 4 times now.

  • LakeShow

    Not on my computer…….
    Son of a bee sting.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol, you don’t get e-mail alerts through disqus?

  • LakeShow

    Yes… and it hasn’t given me a single one. Somethings effed up on my end… whatevs

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    He shot 49 percent from the field. When has Kobe matched that. And he didn’t have a post option. Check out the Malone years buddy. Use stats honestly or don’t use them at all

  • LakeShow

    So wait, what wins games? FG% or the score?
    LMAO… Allen are you really trying to say it’s more important to have a high FG% than put up more points per bucket? I’m not following your logic here bud.

  • LakeShow

    And greatness he has achieved…

    Your logic says he should be jamming the post up for his big fellas, so he can have the almighty “high FG%”…

    I believe you are the one with flawed logic my compadre.

  • LakeShow

    Exactly…
    So we should just ignore the fact KB scored more points per bucket?
    Is that inconsequential to the point somehow??

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I don’t know what your conversation is. I just saw you repeatedly ask that question.

  • LakeShow

    lol… riiiiiiight

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I follow you on Disqus. Your comments pop up on my network. I wasn’t reading this conversation

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    Who said he wasn’t great? I just said he wasn’t ever as great as LeBron is right now. Or Jordan was at his apex. You created a strawman buddy.
    He’s great, he could have been better except for his all-encompassing flaw. That’s always been my argument.

  • Drig

    Kobe is not a better on-ball defender right now. I said in his prime. Knicks and Thunder aren’t a part of this discussion. Kobe guarded Kyrie who has a more all-round game than WB or Rondo and still held him back this season.

    Kobe didn’t guard Melo in the WCF when he was in Denver?? I remember him guarding Melo on quite a few possessions and he held his own despite giving up 2-3 inches to him.

    Of course Kobe won’t be guarding Durant. Dude’s a 6’10 Kobe. He’s got too much of a height disadvantage to do anything about it. Kinda like saying CP3 is a worse defender than Eric Bledsoe because Kobe can always simply shoot over CP3.

    And honestly speaking, nobody could’ve guarded AI. Dude was simply too quick and small for even MJ to matter. He didn’t guard him, yes. It’s like saying Shaq/ Howard ain’t great defenders because they didn’t defend Nowitzki.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    You pulled a stat from Dr. J’s second year in the ABA. You ignored all context and tried to make a point.
    Look at how Erving played with a Big man (the topic we were discussing). He shot over 50 percent from the field despite hooping with Malone and Andrew Toney.
    It is clear you will never admit that Kobe’s inefficient shots despite having better options was a problem. I am just going to leave it alone. L

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    The very best are efficient scorers. Jordan, West and Wade. Kobe is the outlier.

  • http://twitter.com/StinkaMN Stinka

    other than being big, I am trying to understand why Perk is on a nba roster. he’s useless. and, i’m with you, ibaka needs to step all the way up and justify the contract they give him and not harden.

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