Just caught the end of the Suns-Lakers game. I was surprised and a little impressed with the Suns’ zone (almost like a 2-3 match-up). The back-up 1 for the Suns (who seems to have some skills) drove me a crazy for a while, though. I think the Laker’s didn’t look as good on offense, more because of the Suns, rather than the Laker’s execution. (The Laker’s don’t look comfortable, though, I’ll tell you that.)
I also like the Suns’ wide-open offense—penetrate and/or kick it for a three. (If they can get some big men that could penetrate (Amare?), that would be cool.)
Any fans of Kobe? The guy is great—one of the best clutch shooters of all time; actually, one of the best shooter/scorers of all time, period. But he’s missing something and, to me, it has something do with making his team better; in terms facilitating team chemistry, he almost has an anti-chemistry effect. Then again, I haven’t watched enough games to say for sure.
He ain’t no MJ.
I’ve just been having that discussion on another site.
He is great though. He has greatness in him, and he is a great clutch shooter.
How great? I dunno. He has 4 rings, but 3 of them were won when Shaq was averaging 30 and 15 a night in the playoffs- the most unstoppable big man since Wilt.
I don’t think that he inspires his teammates in the same way that Jordan did. Part of that has to do with him playing second fiddle to Shaq all of those years. It took him a while before it was ‘his team’, and that they started winning as ‘his team’. Then they started respecting him.
At the same time, he doesn’t have the same kind of fire that Jordan did. Jordan willed his teammates, and would fight his teammates if they weren’t pushing as hard as they could. He was an ass, but that is what it requires sometimes.
He is better than Lebron, though.
I think that the future of the league is with kevin Durant.
MJ didn’t take games off, and he didn’t let his team take games off.
In the 98 Playoffs, the Bulls went 15-6.
The six losses that playoffs? By Two, Two, Four, Three, Three and Two points
MJ retired at age THIRTY FOUR with 6 championships. He could have had 8 in a row, had he not taken up baseball, and had he not retired at age 34, he may have been able to lead the Bulls to at least one more title, if not 2, 3 or 4 more.
Kobe, as great as he is, played with the most dominant big man since Wilt the Stilt.
Jordan never even thought about losing an NBA Finals series. He never played a game 7, and only twice was the series tied after two games.
Kobe played with a Shaq who average 30 points and 10 or 15 rebounds a game, for the whole playoffs, for a 4 or 5 year stretch.
When Shaq became a 21 pt., 13 rebound guy, in 03-04; the Pistons whipped the Lakers in a 5 game series.
When Shaq went to the Heat, he was clearly the #2 guy. But when he won 3 titles with the Lakers, he averaged 30 pts. and 15 rebounds a game.
Its been Kobe’s team for the last 7 years, including this one, since the 2002-2003 season.
Jordan never had the luxury of playing with a guy who was the most dominant player in the league for 4 seasons, who had already taken a different team to the finals.
Kobe is 1-2 since it became ‘his team’, and I can’t give him half credit for the 3 that he won playing with the Diesel who average 30 and 15, and on a good night could give you 45 and 25.
How many times did his team lose by 10 or more?
15 or more?
20 or more?
25 or more?
During his championship runs, it was rare that they lost a game, and when they did, it was rare that they lost a game by more than 4 points.
Now, I won’t count the 20 playoff games from Kobe’s first two seasons, because he didn’t average over 10 points a game during either playoff run. He came into the league earlier than MJ, and he wasn’t the #2 guy on the team at that point, much less #1; while The Bulls were MJ’s team from day 1.
So…taking that into account, we’ll say that Kobe has played 170 career playoff games.
How many times has his team lost by 10 or more?
15 or more?
20 or more?
25 or more?
What about since he took over the team in the 02-03 season?
105 playoff games:
How many times has he lost by 10 or more?
15 or more?
20 or more?
25 or more?
The point here being that Jordan didn’t let his teams get their @sses ran out of the building, even on a bad night, even early in his career against Bird and the Celtics.
MJ career stats
The Bulls game log for his last championship season, just change the date in the url for whichever year you want to look at:
“I don’t think that he inspires his teammates in the same way that Jordan did. Part of that has to do with him playing second fiddle to Shaq all of those years. It took him a while before it was ‘his team’, and that they started winning as ‘his team’. Then they started respecting him.”
My sense is that Kobe doesn’t affect the morale and psychology of his teammates in a positive way; as if he’s not a good teammate or doesn’t know how to be a good teammate. Maybe another way to look at it is that he would have been better off playing an individual sport. But these are all pretty wild speculations on my part.
The bottom line for me is how the teams play with Kobe as the main guy. They don’t play well, imo. Yes, Shaq was great when he was with the Lakers, but in terms of execution in the half court (they executed the triangle offense fairly well) and playing defense, I think those Laker teams played a lot better. If the Lakers, under Kobe, executed in that fashion, I think they would dominate—even without Shaq.
“At the same time, he doesn’t have the same kind of fire that Jordan did. Jordan willed his teammates, and would fight his teammates if they weren’t pushing as hard as they could. He was an ass, but that is what it requires sometimes.”
I don’t know if I agree about the lack of fire. Kobe has fire, and he can get on teammates, but that does’t translate well to the other players—at least it seems that way to me.
In the East, it really does feel like the Magic will come back from 3-0 to win the series.
The team has a different dynamic now, and perhaps is actually built more like MJ’s Bulls than Shaq’s Lakers.
You can’t replace Shaq, there is simply nobody on the current Lakers like him, he dominated the middle and could pass really well out of the post. In fact, I would almost say that the Lakers don’t have a true center right now.
What they do have is a very consistent, very good, but perhaps somewhat soft Pao Gasol. An aged Derrick Fisher. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom don’t always show up for the games.
He doesn’t have a Shaq. He doesn’t have a Pippen, But he doesn’t have any bums either. Every one of the starters has been an All Star at some point.
Kobe has a fire. But not like MJ. If MJ had all of those guys, they would have sent Phoenix home, by now.
A few weeks ago I was telling some guys that the League now belongs to Rondo and Howard.
First Howard shrinks in the first couple of games, and now Rondo is hurt a little and not playing as well.
Both of these series should have been over by now, and we could be ready for an epic showdown in the Finals.
I don’t mind if a series is a back and forth battle that goes to seven games, but if a team gets out to a 2-0 lead or a 3-0 lead, and it still goes 7; it makes me question their heart and their talent.
I think it is a little unfair to compare Kobe to MJ. Jordan may very well have been the best player ever to play the game.
More interesting to me is how well Phoenix is playing, and how Steve Kerr has done a great job as GM. I would love to see the Suns pull this series out, although at this point it doesn’t seem likely.
As for remembering the past, The Bulls took a 3-0 lead on the Sonics but needed 3 more games to pull the series out in Chicago. Did MJ sluff off then?
“You can’t replace Shaq, there is simply nobody on the current Lakers like him, he dominated the middle and could pass really well out of the post. In fact, I would almost say that the Lakers don’t have a true center right now.”
Right you can’t replace Shaq, but even without Shaq’s talent doesn’t directly effect how a team executes on offense and defense—ie. do they get good shots/do they prevent good shots on a consistent basis via coordinated effort. Jordan’s Bulls didn’t have a force like Shaq, but they executed on defense and offense.
The current Lakers are more like the old Bulls teams—and while they don’t have someone as good as Pippen, they might have more talent overall, especially the early 90’s team. In any event, why do they seem to have trouble executing, playing good basketball on a consistent basis. They just don’t seem like a good team. I don’t know what’s the cause for this, but I feel like Kobe is to blame. They’ve got Phil Jackson, who is a solid coach. They’ve got enough talent to be good. They just don’t seem to play well.
The Suns winning is now unlikely, but before the game tonight, I think they had a chance—at least it was a foregone conclusion like some people were saying.
Shaq was both a blessing and a curse. He certainly was no Wilt, who could cover the court, as he demonstrated in his mythical 100 point game. Too young to have actually seen it, but I did see Wilt at the tail end of his career and he still could move better than Shaq.
I think Phil Jackson did a remarkable job in making it work between Kobe and Shaq, and once again has demonstrated he can revamp a team and win with a different line-up. I think Pau Gasol has played extremely well in the playoffs.
The unspoken key ingredient to all these championships at Chicago and now LA is Phil Jackson. If LA wins out, it will be his 11th NBA ring.
-Any fans of Kobe?-
He’s very good, but not Jordan, not Bird, not Magic Johnson, not Jabbar or Chamberlin, not Jerry West. In my opinion he’s not playing against the same level of competition at many of the players I consider to be the greatest of all time, so he’s looks more impressive than he would if he were playing in another era.
so he’s looks more impressive than he would if he were playing in another era.
The other perspective would argue that those players were playing against inferior opponents (both physically and tactically) and therefore looked better than they actually were.
In my opinion he’s not playing against the same level of competition at many of the players I consider to be the greatest of all time
I don’t know where the talent level of the league was at before the Bird/Magic era, but since then I think the talent level was at it’s worst during Jordan’s championship runs. Expansion had diluted the league significantly, and the international players were just beginning to make it over to the NBA.
Sir Douglas, I think you have a point – you made me think of Riley’s Knicks, who were (honestly, though they were my home team and I rooted for them all the way, and still think of them fondly) mostly a nondescript bunch, though no strangers to the playoffs and even the Finals…
As a huge fan of those same Knicks, I have to chip away at the Jordan mystique anytime I can.
Jordan ushered in the me first era in basketball and all the hot dogs who just wanted to break guys down one on one started to be celebrated and highlighted and ruined the game.
Jordan understood that to win you had to change your change to include your teammates, far too mnay others have yet to realize this. Nothing is more boring than watching eight guys stand around as LeBron and whoever defends him play this BS game.
I enjoy the way the Suns play, it is true to how the Lakers played in the 80s, run, fast break, and when you have them you slow it down and send it into the post. Just the Suns don’t have too consistant a post player to pull off the image.
Right now my favorite player is Chris Paul, he can dish with the best, play great D and score when necessary, but always has the eye to keep his teammates involved.
Those Knicks teams were very good defensive teams, and they used hand-checking—since outlawed—very effectively. Ewing was a better center than anyone playing now with the possible exception of Dwight Howard. The Pistons had great teams during the first several years of Jordan’s career—I don’t see a comparable team in the league now. The Lakers team Jordan’s Bulls beat for his first title weren’t as good as the “Showtime” era Lakers, but they still had two Hall of Famers—Magic Johnson and James Worthy—and Magic won the MVP that year. I see no reason to think that Laker team wouldn’t have beaten this year’s team. The Blazers team the Bulls beat for their second championship—Clyde Drexler, Terrry Porter, Jerome Kersey, Buck Williams, and Kevin Duckworth—made it to two finals. They had some weaknesses, and Drexler was not Kobe, but I’d take them against any four teams left in this year’s playoffs, etc.
Or, just take the top ten or so players of Jordan’s era—Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson near the end of their careers, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Isiah Thomas—against the top from today—Kobe, LeBron, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Dwayne Wade, whoever else you want to tack on. No contest in my opinion.
Will say that looking at the roster of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team gives me the chills. Such greatness:
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr.
Even Laettner is worth discussing to some degree as he dominated the college game at that time, though had terrible luck getting on some incompetent teams in the league that crippled his career outright.
And of course, this leaves out my favorite player of all-time: Hakeem Olajuwon.
-Even Laettner is worth discussing to some degree-
Yeah, and since we’re talking about could-have-beens, Len Bias could have been one of the great ones:
My favorite all time player is still Michael Cooper, followed by Byron Scott and Rambis. I grew up a Lakers fan and I always will be, but I hate Kobe and can’t really come back to my team til he’s gone.
What is so fascinating about sitting around watching a bunch of pituitary cases stuff a ball through a hoop?
One of my favorite matchups growing up: Michael Jordan vs. Vernon Maxwell. The sparks flew.
Ari u sound like Woody’s uptight date.
Not interested in playoffs, why was I born a Wizard fan, damn
Den, at least you have John Wall coming.
Well, Den, you weren’t, you were born a Bullets fan, but then they got all PC. And Wall ain’t gonna be that good.
that is true I was born a bullets fan but did not want to confuse anybody unfamilar with namechanges.
Wall will certainly be better for the team than Arenas
Matt, you expanded the Jordan era more than I wanted to. The NBA in the ‘80s was incredible, but by ’92, the NBA had declined. Looking at HOFers on championship teams, the Bulls teams don’t match up to the best teams of other eras. The ’86 Celtics had 3 HOFers on the front line, one in the back court, and one more crippled one sitting on the bench. The Bulls only had two. Even the ’07 Celtics had three future HOFers with an outside shot at a fourth depending on how Rondo holds up. Of course not all HOFers were created equal, and I recognize that Jordan and Pippen were much better players than Dennis Johnson and Robert Parish.
And Wall will have near nothing around, especially if they deal Arenas, which they probably will so as not to poison Wall. They’ll need a number one scorer to help him out, or he’s in the same palce as Chris Paul, having to do the scoring and dish at the same time, but at least Paul has West, but no outside shooters.
Wall will have Miller, who is best as a sixth man, Foye, but he’s still an enigma. Blatche was a discovery last year and they can work some good pick and roll with them, but they still need a someone to hit that 18 to 20 foot jumper.
Arenas will be tough to deal with his contract, but when the Knicks miss out on all the name FAs, they may offer a package of poo for Arenas.