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  1. #61
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by FellowTraveler View Post
    Interesting. I've heard the term "pure hitter" most often applied to guys like Wade Boggs & Tony Gwynn who hit for high average and don't strike out much and may or may not have power. See also Posnanski. FWIW I like your definition better; any usage of "pure hitter" that would rank Paul Molitor ahead of Barry Bonds is pretty flawed in my book. Though, to complete the circle, I wouldn't say "pure hitter," I'd just say "hitter," both to avoid confusion and because I don't think the word "pure" adds anything.

    Similarly, if I read you correctly, you seem to define "pure scorer" as "guy who is most difficult to stop in his favored position." ("If you get it to Carmelo on the blocks one on one, there's a real good chance he'll score. Simple as that.") Meanwhile, JNort agrees Melo is the best pure scorer because "I define a good scorer from a pure scorer as someone who has the complete well rounded most balanced offensive game." (I assume by "offensive game" he means "scoring game.") Those are nearly opposite definitions -- well-rounded vs. possessing a dominent go-to move.
    Yeah, Melo is equally good on the blocks with his back to the basket as he is creating space to hit a jumper and getting by his man with a quick step. A good contrast is Kobe who is an amazing offensive player partially because he works so hard and hits a pretty good percentage of difficult, contest shots. But it all comes easier to Melo than Kobe.

    As for Gwynn, Molitor and Boggs, they are great contact hitters but none of them drove the ball quite like Bonds, Pujols or Griffey.

  2. #62
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    Mar 2007
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    Mount Kisco, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by MCFinARL View Post
    I think he did--along with Jerry Colangelo. What they brought to the table was the true team concept--that players would make a multi-year commitment to participate in tryouts, camps, etc. (subject to the demands of the NBA, injuries, etc.), and that they would make a commitment to team-focused play and strategy. In the meltdown years, US teams that were essentially pickup teams struggled against international teams that had experience playing together under international rules. The Colangelo-Coach K strategy was designed to counter that problem, and it succeeded admirably. That success has helped to make playing for the US seem like a special honor once again, and the feeling has filtered down to the youth teams fielded by USA Basketball, which in turn gives up-and-coming players a taste of the excitement of international competition.
    I'll add to this that Colangelo, before accepting the job, demanded, basically, unlimited financial resources which the NBA agreed to. Where, in the past, the program was run out of the Olympic training facilities or less than "pro-level" accommodations, everything is now 100% 5 star. They always hold camps in Vegas, which the players love. They stay at the Wynn. They have, literally, an army of staff to keep these guys healthy (strength coaches, massages, physical therapists) and to wait on them hand and foot. They also got out in front of the player attrition problem by inventing the Select Team that scrimmages the Senior National Team and serves as a pipeline for future players. Of the 2010 team, the vast majority of the players were select team guys in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The huge question is, who is going to take over for Colangelo and K? I think it is vital that Colangelo remain after K to ensure continuity, although I bet K remains in some kind of advisor role, and I think he's a shoe-in to one day hold Colangelo's job running the whole program, after he retires, hopefully in 2030.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkyJ View Post
    Gordon and Curry filled the spot-up shooter role (aka Michael Redd role) on the 2010 team. But honestly, Redd didn't really play that much in 2008. He was used situationally at best, and in the later games hardly played. He only averaged 3.1 ppg. Curry could fill that role well, but Gordon outplayed him in 2010 and shot well from 3 (19-42) and was the 4th leading scorer at 8.6ppg (though about 6 guys averaged between 7-10ppg as Durant mainly filled it up). Not to mention Gordon's size helps him in the int'l game where handchecking, physical play on the perimeter is the norm. (The 3 pt line is about 1.5 feet shorter than the NBA line too, so that helps Gordon).
    FIBA has been gradually changing it's court specs to match the NBA. They recently adopted the rectangle lane and extended the 3 point line to 22'2" (NBA varies from 22" in the corner to 23' 7" at max). I am guessing our guys have shot better from 3 in FIBA ball than they do in the NBA, but I haven't looked up the percentages. Still, at least to my eye, as others have mentioned, I don't see us needing a specialist marksman type as the standard do everything superstars that we have (Kobe, Wade, Melo) knock down that FIBA 3 with regularity.

    But, like Silky, I am a huge Eric Gordon fan and he played great in 2010. This Team USA is starting to remind me of women's gymnastics - as I think about who can/will make the team, I am starting to think of guys like Chris Paul (26) and Deron Williams (27) as old compared to Gordon, Westbrook, etc.
    Last edited by Billy Dat; 01-12-2012 at 10:18 AM.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    ... This Team USA is starting to remind me of women's gymnastics .....
    We'll be there when K scoops up a sobbing Russel Westbrook after an ankle turn, and carries him from the court.

  4. #64
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    Mar 2007
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    Mount Kisco, NY
    By the way, in a bit of a Team USA try-outs preview, Melo and Iguodala were GOING AT IT last night in the Knicks v Sixers game - an intense mano-a-mano that got really testy at times. They guarded each other the whole game, and were trading buckets over an intense stretch of the third. Iggy's trying to make his case!

    By the way, is it too much to ask that the training camp open with a 2008 Team vs the 2010 Team game that is shown on TV?

  5. #65
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    By the way, is it too much to ask that the training camp open with a 2008 Team vs the 2010 Team game that is shown on TV?
    Duuuuuuuuude. We need to start a letter writing campaign!

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Steamboat Springs, CO

    K for Colangelo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    The huge question is, who is going to take over for Colangelo and K? I think it is vital that Colangelo remain after K to ensure continuity, although I bet K remains in some kind of advisor role, and I think he's a shoe-in to one day hold Colangelo's job running the whole program, after he retires, hopefully in 2030.
    I have always thought that the successor to Colangelo as head of USA basketball would be .............................. Coach K. I think K is a fixture with USA basketball, and I don't think he is gonna be the USA coach after this summer.

    sage

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by FellowTraveler View Post
    Interesting. I've heard the term "pure hitter" most often applied to guys like Wade Boggs & Tony Gwynn who hit for high average and don't strike out much and may or may not have power. See also Posnanski. FWIW I like your definition better; any usage of "pure hitter" that would rank Paul Molitor ahead of Barry Bonds is pretty flawed in my book. Though, to complete the circle, I wouldn't say "pure hitter," I'd just say "hitter," both to avoid confusion and because I don't think the word "pure" adds anything.

    Similarly, if I read you correctly, you seem to define "pure scorer" as "guy who is most difficult to stop in his favored position." ("If you get it to Carmelo on the blocks one on one, there's a real good chance he'll score. Simple as that.") Meanwhile, JNort agrees Melo is the best pure scorer because "I define a good scorer from a pure scorer as someone who has the complete well rounded most balanced offensive game." (I assume by "offensive game" he means "scoring game.") Those are nearly opposite definitions -- well-rounded vs. possessing a dominent go-to move.
    The last time I had my words analyzed this closely, I was on the stand. Luckily, I had a good lawyer!

    To simplify it a little more, I'd define a pure scorer as someone with a scoring mentality and the ability to score a lot of points. They mostly get it to Carmelo posting up because it's easiest, then he usually immediately faces up, but I think to analyze this any more closely than that is solely to split hairs for the sake of doing so. I also thought my definition and JNort's weren't exactly mutually exclusive.

    I think the definition of pure hitter has changed over the years. I don't hear Ichiro thought of in that sense nearly as much as I do someone like Pujols, who brings literally everything to the table. I'd actually agree with the majority of Posnanski's list, except for Gwynn and Boggs. This isn't to take away from Gwynn or Boggs, both of whom I liked a lot, but I mean, do they even come close to stacking up with Ted Williams? (Williams would probably be my No. 1 since 1947. It'd be very difficult to pick between Bonds and Aaron for No. 2. I think I'd have Mays fourth, though Pujols is right there.)

  8. #68
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    Mar 2007
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    Mount Kisco, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I have always thought that the successor to Colangelo as head of USA basketball would be .............................. Coach K. I think K is a fixture with USA basketball, and I don't think he is gonna be the USA coach after this summer.

    sage
    Agree completely...and it may be a digression for this thread, but who will coach next? You assume it would have to be one of the assistants - D'Antoni, Boeheim or McMillan - because they have the experience, along with Jay Triano who replaced D'Antoni at the 2010 Worlds. But, it's a big ask. These guys have been giving up all these summers, too. Of the existing collection, I think McMillan is a natural because he is defense focused, and has the best streak of W-L among the existing pool. D'Antoni, of course, understands the FIBA game really well, and may have some time on his hands if this season doesn't go well for the Knicks. Boeheim, I think, is not charismatic enough to be the front man. I have to think they'll keep it in the "family" of guys who have been part of this culture which rules out the other, in my mind, likely guys such as Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich (who was part of the 2004 debacle - though it wasn't his fault). I think it's McMillan or Boeheim, and I see Jay Wright, maybe, being elevated up to the staff as he has been paying his Team USA dues for years now. But, they'll need to get other NBA coaches involved...I wonder who they will go with?

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    FIBA has been gradually changing it's court specs to match the NBA. They recently adopted the rectangle lane and extended the 3 point line to 22'2" (NBA varies from 22" in the corner to 23' 7" at max). I am guessing our guys have shot better from 3 in FIBA ball than they do in the NBA, but I haven't looked up the percentages. Still, at least to my eye, as others have mentioned, I don't see us needing a specialist marksman type as the standard do everything superstars that we have (Kobe, Wade, Melo) knock down that FIBA 3 with regularity.

    But, like Silky, I am a huge Eric Gordon fan and he played great in 2010. This Team USA is starting to remind me of women's gymnastics - as I think about who can/will make the team, I am starting to think of guys like Chris Paul (26) and Deron Williams (27) as old compared to Gordon, Westbrook, etc.
    Minor nitpick: the NBA line is actually 23'9" at the max, so like I said, about 1.5 ft shorter than the max of 22'2" for FIBA...though as you point out, in the corners its the same.

    I don't know if our guys actually do knock down a higher % from 3 in int'l competition. My guess is yes, but the ball is also slightly smaller, which would theoretically help, but only after the guys have had time to adjust to it. Shooting is so much muscle memory that when you initially start using a smaller ball your shots are long and it takes a bit to compensate.

    All that said, having a specialist on the bench for when we get zoned or on a cold shooting night is definitely a good thing. And Gordon is pretty athletic too, much more so than Redd was, and can contribute better defensively and in other ways on offense.

  10. #70
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    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkyJ View Post
    Well, we didn't have 4 in 2008 and we didn't have 4 in 2010. We had 3 in both cases. In 2008 is was Boozer, Bosh, Howard, and in 2010 it was Odom, Chandler and Love.



    Odom's versatility is largely irrelevant b/c he will never find himself playing the 3, or even the 4. We're just too stacked on the wing. In 2010, he played basically all of his minutes at the 5. ALL of them.



    Blake is so good and has so much upside right now that its hard to know where he'll end up, but displacing Durant or James?! Methinks not.

    I agree with WK, above. Blake will be used as a post player and he's a bit undersized so not sure if he makes it. I'm honestly not sure who makes it into that 2nd 3rd post player spot, but I think Love would be a great asset to this team and I like Chandler as well for his D, rebounding and general athleticism.
    Maybe he could get James's minutes in the closing stages of the game. LaBrick doesn't close games very well. GoDuke!

  11. #71
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    Mar 2007
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    Mount Kisco, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkyJ View Post
    Minor nitpick: the NBA line is actually 23'9" at the max, so like I said, about 1.5 ft shorter than the max of 22'2" for FIBA...though as you point out, in the corners its the same.

    I don't know if our guys actually do knock down a higher % from 3 in int'l competition. My guess is yes, but the ball is also slightly smaller, which would theoretically help, but only after the guys have had time to adjust to it. Shooting is so much muscle memory that when you initially start using a smaller ball your shots are long and it takes a bit to compensate.

    All that said, having a specialist on the bench for when we get zoned or on a cold shooting night is definitely a good thing. And Gordon is pretty athletic too, much more so than Redd was, and can contribute better defensively and in other ways on offense.
    You are selling me on Gordon as I am remembering how his role grew in 2010 over the course of the tournament. I think it is he or Westbrook - why am I so down on Deron Williams? I am not sure why I am writing him off so quickly. If we look at the 2008 PGs, the depth chart really was Paul, Williams, Kidd (with Kidd getting the starting role as a Captain and Leader). In 2010, it was Rose, Westbrook, Gordon but Westbrook and Gordon were really coming on. Gordon is probably the best combo of PG skills, size and shooting of any of them. Rose and Williams are just as big and strong, Williams is probably the second best shooter, Paul is the best PG in terms of running a team, Gordon is probably the best shooter, Westbrook is the best athlete - even better than Rose which is saying something. What a competition that will be.

  12. #72
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    Dec 2011
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    Albemarle, North Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    The NBA? What's that?

    Blake will be starting for the West in the All-Star game and will probably be 2nd team All-NBA this year. Could sneak into the 1st team. I'd also go so far as to say he wont choke every 4th quarter the way Lebron does. Being the best player in the league the first 3 quarters is great, but leaves a little to be desired.
    I am starting to think you may just be a Lebron hate. You do realize he has been one of the most efficient and dominant players in the 4th quarter right? Just because of 2 series you should not forget his 8 other years worth of games. I am not sure I understand your point on Blake either?

  13. #73
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by JNort View Post
    I am starting to think you may just be a Lebron hate. You do realize he has been one of the most efficient and dominant players in the 4th quarter right? Just because of 2 series you should not forget his 8 other years worth of games. I am not sure I understand your point on Blake either?
    Well, it is fun to hate on LeBron. I do admit that. But he's a choker. He earned that title in the NBA Finals last year. That performance will follow him the rest of his career. More Karl Malone than Michael Jordan.

    I think Blake is a lock for 2nd Team All-NBA this year and could make the 1st Team, more likely over Durant this season than over James. But he's getting better and better at a trajectory that suggests he'll be a top 5 player in the league for a while. Would you disagree with that statement?

  14. #74
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    Mar 2007
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    Boca Grande Florida
    Blake Griffin has to have a spot on the team. I'd say only Durant, LaBron, Howard, Kobe and maybe Wade are ahead of him in the pecking order for this olympics.

    He has one of the brightest futures of any NBA player. USA basketball knows it too.

    Coach K will unleash him on an unsuspecting world and it will be ugly.
    Wheat/"/"/"
    "An angry man catches no fish"-Zen proverb.

  15. #75
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    Dec 2007
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    Cary, NC
    Seems like an appropriate place to put this. Probably the greatest dunk ever. The French commentary makes this video even better.


  16. #76
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    Mar 2007
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    Boca Grande Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    Seems like an appropriate place to put this. Probably the greatest dunk ever. The French commentary makes this video even better.

    Does anyone doubt that there's not something similar if not better in store for some flat footed european when Blake takes the floor for team USA?
    Wheat/"/"/"
    "An angry man catches no fish"-Zen proverb.

  17. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheat/"/"/" View Post
    Does anyone doubt that there's not something similar if not better in store for some flat footed european when Blake takes the floor for team USA?
    Just like it took a guy with some pretty amazing hops to make that happen, there is only one Frederic Weis. Probably my least favorite Knick of all time, which says a lot given that they traded for Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox in one day.

  18. #78
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    Seems like an appropriate place to put this. Probably the greatest dunk ever. The French commentary makes this video even better.

    I was a freshman at Duke when this happened. We were watching it live in our dorm...I've never been louder for a dunk in my life.
    2003-2004 HLM

    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  19. #79
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    Cary, NC
    I love when the commentator calls Weiss a "mouton" (sheep). And that people are still commenting on the clip in YouTube, six years later.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    I love when the commentator calls Weiss a "mouton" (sheep). And that people are still commenting on the clip in YouTube, six years later.
    Is there any doubt that this is the greatest dunk in the history of basketball - not for time and circumstance (that may be Lorenzo Charles) - but for the pure essence of what a dunk is supposed to be - namely - "#%^$@ yo Mama!"

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