Page 9 of 17 FirstFirst ... 7891011 ... LastLast
Results 161 to 180 of 340
  1. #161
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    I found this article from The Ringer interesting. It's about how the Warriors are chasing a (bad) record this season: largest win-loss differential from one season to the next. The article has a chart of the teams that have experienced the greatest drop-offs and the season/reason. Not surprisingly, the Bulls are on there following the loss of Jordan and Pippen. The Cavs are on there TWICE, both from LBJ's departures. A few others.

    A part of me is shocked at just how fast the Warriors' fortunes have changed. If a few small things had gone a different way, I think they could have easily challenged the Bulls for greatest dynasty...maybe picking up 5 or 6 championships in 6 or 7 years. As it stands, they're 3/5 and didn't even get to the finals as many times in a row as LBJ teams did...
    On the positive side for the Warriors, they're probably going to end up with a pretty high draft choice (albeit in a down draft year) to go with Thompson and Curry...

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    On the positive side for the Warriors, they're probably going to end up with a pretty high draft choice (albeit in a down draft year) to go with Thompson and Curry...
    Yeah, I definitely don't think they're suddenly done. But the team was built around three main guys last year, and all are out of the picture at the moment (Durant to Brooklyn and injured anyway; Curry out with injury for a few months; Thompson out for the season with injury).

    They will get Curry back this year and Thompson back next year and they will still have Russell and Green. That's a really strong top 4, not to mention role players like Paschall, Spellman, Looney, and whatever they get in the draft next summer.

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    On the positive side for the Warriors, they're probably going to end up with a pretty high draft choice (albeit in a down draft year) to go with Thompson and Curry...
    Folks may forget, but Thompson, Curry, and Green were the best 3 players on a pair of NBA finals teams (one of which won the title and one of which was upset by Lebron and Kyrie). When they get all three of those fella healthy again, with Russell and Looney as the other starters, I suspect they will be a top tier team once again. This is a weak draft compared to some recent ones, but if the Warriors get sorta lucky and end up in the top 4 or so they will get someone who should be very helpful as they seek to get back to the very top of the NBA.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  4. #164
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Folks may forget, but Thompson, Curry, and Green were the best 3 players on a pair of NBA finals teams (one of which won the title and one of which was upset by Lebron and Kyrie). When they get all three of those fella healthy again, with Russell and Looney as the other starters, I suspect they will be a top tier team once again. This is a weak draft compared to some recent ones, but if the Warriors get sorta lucky and end up in the top 4 or so they will get someone who should be very helpful as they seek to get back to the very top of the NBA.
    Don't overlook the contributions by Iguodala and Livingston to those teams. They have a lot to replace to get back to Championship level. Steph will be 32 at the beginning of next year, and while that's not necessarily old (see James, Lebron), Draymond and Klay will both be 30. Not saying they can't do it, but it's not obvious they will either.

  5. #165
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Folks may forget, but Thompson, Curry, and Green were the best 3 players on a pair of NBA finals teams (one of which won the title and one of which was upset by Lebron and Kyrie). When they get all three of those fella healthy again, with Russell and Looney as the other starters, I suspect they will be a top tier team once again. This is a weak draft compared to some recent ones, but if the Warriors get sorta lucky and end up in the top 4 or so they will get someone who should be very helpful as they seek to get back to the very top of the NBA.
    In some ways all of the bad luck with injuries, free agency defections, retirements, etc. may turn out to be exactly what the Warriors needed to reboot and start fresh. The final chapter in this saga has not yet been written.

  6. #166
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by howardlander View Post
    Don't overlook the contributions by Iguodala and Livingston to those teams. They have a lot to replace to get back to Championship level. Steph will be 32 at the beginning of next year, and while that's not necessarily old (see James, Lebron), Draymond and Klay will both be 30. Not saying they can't do it, but it's not obvious they will either.
    Yeah, this is where i'm at. It feels like the Warriors "moment" may be behind us. Steph and Klay will both have major surgeries behind them heading into their 30s. Lebron's durability is an anomaly, not the norm. So, if all goes well for these guys and GSW gets in some excellent talent around them like Iggy and Livingston, then they might have a few more shots during their primes. But, a lot needs to go right...

  7. #167
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Yeah, this is where i'm at. It feels like the Warriors "moment" may be behind us. Steph and Klay will both have major surgeries behind them heading into their 30s. Lebron's durability is an anomaly, not the norm. So, if all goes well for these guys and GSW gets in some excellent talent around them like Iggy and Livingston, then they might have a few more shots during their primes. But, a lot needs to go right...
    Stephís injury is not likely to hinder him at all once healed. Klayís injury is not that big of a deal these days with advancements in surgical technique/knowledge as well as much better knowledge of rehab for his type of injury. Klay is only 29 with FAR fewer (Klay played three years of college with its much lighter schedule, while Lebron played none) NBA miles than James. Similar story with Steph, though he is a bit older than Klay.

    As for Draymond, his playing history is very similar to Klayís. And he hasnít had any major injuries. He should be good to go for 4-5 years, easy.

    And Golden State already does have some major talent to put around these guys in the person of DíAngelo Russell. And they can quite easily add another significant piece ó either through free agency or the draft, or maybe even both. I hate to break it to those who dislike the Warriors, but these guys likely are not going away anytime soon.

  8. #168
    IIRC 538 had an article recently showing that most players don't recover their pre-ACL injury level of play until the 2nd or 3rd season back. And some never do. I guess the positive for Klay is that his game relies more on shooting prowess than on quickness/hops. But it's still unlikely that Klay will be 100% back to his old self his first season back. As bunderburgdevil says - a whole lot will have to go right for the Warriors to get back to elite level.

    Edit: faulty memory - the 538 article was about achilles injuries, not ACL's. Not sure what the usual performance level is for first year back from the latter.
    Last edited by Skydog; 11-25-2019 at 04:48 PM.

  9. #169
    So, uh, James Harden just put up 60 points in 31 minutes (three quarters) on 24 shot attempts (8/14 from three, 20-23 from the line). And these weren't empty-calorie stats, either: he finished at an absolutely insane +50, and the Rockets won 158-111. Granted, the Hawks as currently constituted are nearly historically dreadful defensively, but that's absurd. When he's hitting that three, stepback or otherwise, in isolation off the dribble, he's 100% unguardable. Poor Jabari Parker isn't ever going to be a great defender, but what are you supposed to do with this? Or what can DeAndre Hunter do with this? Oh, and he had 8 assists, too. Those numbers are completely and utterly absurd.

    Harden is such a difficult player to evaluate in any reasonable way, as so much of what people say about him (good and bad) comes down to a statement about rule changes and what they're doing to the game. But, love him or hate him, Harden is brutally efficient offensively. When he has it going, there isn't any good stylistic comparison to what he's doing. And to be a complete standalone outlier like that might speak best to just how good he is.

  10. #170
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by TheOldBattleship View Post
    Harden is such a difficult player to evaluate in any reasonable way, as so much of what people say about him (good and bad) comes down to a statement about rule changes and what they're doing to the game. But, love him or hate him, Harden is brutally efficient offensively. When he has it going, there isn't any good stylistic comparison to what he's doing. And to be a complete standalone outlier like that might speak best to just how good he is.
    Iím not trying to knock you at all, TOB, but, in my opinion, though these kinds of gaudy regular season stats can be fun and all, they donít have a whole lot of meaning when it comes right down to it. The playoffs are the proving ground in this sport, maybe more than in any other, and thatís where Harden and his equally regular-season-stat-whore teammate, Mr. R. Westbrook, do the exact opposite of shining.

    These two guys will never win anything because they are not team players, they care almost exclusively about stats, and theyíre poor defenders, especially Harden. Other than the negative things I mentioned, I love both of these guys.

  11. #171
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Iím not trying to knock you at all, TOB, but, in my opinion, though these kinds of gaudy regular season stats can be fun and all, they donít have a whole lot of meaning when it comes right down to it. The playoffs are the proving ground in this sport, maybe more than in any other, and thatís where Harden and his equally regular-season-stat-whore teammate, Mr. R. Westbrook, do the exact opposite of shining.

    These two guys will never win anything because they are not team players, they care almost exclusively about stats, and theyíre poor defenders, especially Harden. Other than the negative things I mentioned, I love both of these guys.
    I wouldn't say that Harden does the opposite of shining in the playoffs. He is definitely not as good in the playoffs. I imagine that happens for a couple reasons. First, there is better focus, defensive planning (and familiarity), and effort coming from the other side. Second, he may be a bit worn out from the regular season since he plays a lot of minutes and is so incredibly ball-dominant. Lastly, he may be a bit tight. That's harder to prove; the vanishing Harden against the Spurs was good evidence, but he has been better and more consistent in more recent playoffs.
    The main issue, in my opinion, is that Houston is just not as talented as a group as their key competitors. Harden took them to the brink with Golden State twice. Look at those rosters. The disparity in talent was absurd. You could argue that Golden State's 4th best player was as good or better than Houston's second best player the past couple years. Houston's success has been driven by their system. They rely heavily (unbelievably heavily) on Harden while their role players stay very strictly in their roles and play them well. This is why I hate the "rings" argument. When I see Capela, Tucker, Paul, Gordon, Rivers, Faried, ancient Nene, House, championships are not the first thing that come to my mind. The fact that Harden makes this team a consistent contender says a lot about his ability as does the fact that teams sometimes completely abandon their normal defensive system because of him.

    Harden's defense (or lack thereof) is also completely overblown. Those videos went viral, and everybody thinks he is the worst defender of all time. He is occasionally lazy, but he is also surprisingly adept at racking up steals and deflections. He has been pretty decent according to advanced stats on defense the past couple seasons.

    I'll not argue Westbrook. He may be the worst volume shooter in NBA history and only seems to be getting worse. It's truly remarkable.

  12. #172
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Adaephon View Post
    When I see Capela, Tucker, Paul, Gordon, Rivers, Faried, ancient Nene, House, championships are not the first thing that come to my mind. The fact that Harden makes this team a consistent contender says a lot about his ability as does the fact that teams sometimes completely abandon their normal defensive system because of him.

    I'll not argue Westbrook. He may be the worst volume shooter in NBA history and only seems to be getting worse. It's truly remarkable.
    Okay, you make some pretty reasonable points ó Iíll give you props for that ó but implying that Hardenís teammates Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, etc. are roughly akin to chopped liver ó especially in the 2018 playoffs ó is not something I can support. Those guys gave Harden everything he needed to win a championship that year and he couldnít close the deal. I donít think anyone who closely watched that series would disagree.

    Harden has repeatedly shown through the years that he wilts in the most crucial, most pressure-packed moments. This is probably the thing he is most widely-known for and which largely defines his legacy as a player among top basketball writers and historians. He has earned this reputation.

    And beyond that the guy is just a weasel, at least as far as the way he plays. He was the first player who decided to make charging full-steam STRAIGHT INTO a defender, while wildly flailing his arms begging for a cheap gimmick foul call, a consistent part of the way he plays. He has done it for YEARS, and itís a disgraceful and cowardly way to play. No matter what good/impressive things he does on the court it cannot ever remove the dishonor he has brought to the sport.

    As for Westbrook, yep, I think youíre wise not to defend him. The man has a motor that simply will not stop, and he is unquestionably one of the greatest athletes to ever step onto a basketball court, BUT....heís just not a good teammate. And this sport is all about teamwork. He comes up short at the single-most important part of the game. And that is why no team with Westbrook as a centerpiece will ever win a championship.

  13. #173
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Okay, you make some pretty reasonable points ó Iíll give you props for that ó but implying that Hardenís teammates Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, etc. are roughly akin to chopped liver ó especially in the 2018 playoffs ó is not something I can support. Those guys gave Harden everything he needed to win a championship that year and he couldnít close the deal. I donít think anyone who closely watched that series would disagree.

    Harden has repeatedly shown through the years that he wilts in the most crucial, most pressure-packed moments. This is probably the thing he is most widely-known for and which largely defines his legacy as a player among top basketball writers and historians. He has earned this reputation.

    And beyond that the guy is just a weasel, at least as far as the way he plays. He was the first player who decided to make charging full-steam STRAIGHT INTO a defender, while wildly flailing his arms begging for a cheap gimmick foul call, a consistent part of the way he plays. He has done it for YEARS, and itís a disgraceful and cowardly way to play. No matter what good/impressive things he does on the court it cannot ever remove the dishonor he has brought to the sport.

    As for Westbrook, yep, I think youíre wise not to defend him. The man has a motor that simply will not stop, and he is unquestionably one of the greatest athletes to ever step onto a basketball court, BUT...heís just not a good teammate. And this sport is all about teamwork. He comes up short at the single-most important part of the game. And that is why no team with Westbrook as a centerpiece will ever win a championship.
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that those guys are chopped liver; I merely meant to say that they don't stack up favorably to the role players of other contenders. I think the Lebron Cleveland teams were built similarly, but Kyrie and Love are far better than Paul and your pick of Capela and Gordon, and the supporting cast after that looks pretty similar. Golden State had a large talent advantage. Toronto would have had a talent advantage with their solid depth and excellent top 3.

    Other than that, I am not sure exactly what we are trying to argue. If you think he is not good, then we definitely disagree. If you just think he isn't the best player in the league, then we agree. Harden is obviously a very polarizing player. Many despise the way he plays and disparage all of his accomplishments because they hate his style. Others see the eye-popping numbers and probably overrate him. I think it's clear he is a truly great scorer, probably the best offensive player in the NBA currently. His style (whether you hate it or not) is indeed unique, and I think that matters. Like Steph, Harden has actually changed the way people play the game. I see a lot of Harden in Luka Doncic just as I see a lot of Steph in Trae Young (unfortunately Young is shouldering an incredible load with Collins out). I don't think anybody is claiming Harden is at the level of Lebron or Jordan or anything. He is a truly great offensive player, an average defensive player, and hasn't had a lot of playoff success (he just turned 30 by the way, so he has time to change the narrative a bit). I think he is a top 5 player in the league probably based on how he can carry a very injured Houston squad to solid regular-season success, but I would not argue he is the best player in the league.

  14. #174
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Adaephon View Post
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that those guys are chopped liver; I merely meant to say that they don't stack up favorably to the role players of other contenders. I think the Lebron Cleveland teams were built similarly, but Kyrie and Love are far better than Paul and your pick of Capela and Gordon, and the supporting cast after that looks pretty similar. Golden State had a large talent advantage. Toronto would have had a talent advantage with their solid depth and excellent top 3.

    Other than that, I am not sure exactly what we are trying to argue. If you think he is not good, then we definitely disagree. If you just think he isn't the best player in the league, then we agree. Harden is obviously a very polarizing player. Many despise the way he plays and disparage all of his accomplishments because they hate his style. Others see the eye-popping numbers and probably overrate him. I think it's clear he is a truly great scorer, probably the best offensive player in the NBA currently. His style (whether you hate it or not) is indeed unique, and I think that matters. Like Steph, Harden has actually changed the way people play the game. I see a lot of Harden in Luka Doncic just as I see a lot of Steph in Trae Young (unfortunately Young is shouldering an incredible load with Collins out). I don't think anybody is claiming Harden is at the level of Lebron or Jordan or anything. He is a truly great offensive player, an average defensive player, and hasn't had a lot of playoff success (he just turned 30 by the way, so he has time to change the narrative a bit). I think he is a top 5 player in the league probably based on how he can carry a very injured Houston squad to solid regular-season success, but I would not argue he is the best player in the league.
    I was specifically referring to the 2018 playoffs as the time when Harden should have been able to carry his team to the championship. Golden State did not play well in the series with Houston. They were ripe to be taken down. Also, Lebron did not have Kyrie (as you mistakenly stated). He was already on Boston. And Toronto did not yet have Kawhi Leonard (as you mistakenly implied).

    Houston should have been able to win it all that year, but Harden was a poor leader and choked. Yes, Chris Paul got hurt late in the series and that didnít help, but those games were there for the taking and Harden didnít finish. They probably should have won that series in five or six games. You cannot look at stats after the fact and understand. You had to have watched the games.

  15. #175
    Quote Originally Posted by Adaephon View Post
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that those guys are chopped liver; I merely meant to say that they don't stack up favorably to the role players of other contenders. I think the Lebron Cleveland teams were built similarly, but Kyrie and Love are far better than Paul and your pick of Capela and Gordon, and the supporting cast after that looks pretty similar. Golden State had a large talent advantage. Toronto would have had a talent advantage with their solid depth and excellent top 3.

    Other than that, I am not sure exactly what we are trying to argue. If you think he is not good, then we definitely disagree. If you just think he isn't the best player in the league, then we agree. Harden is obviously a very polarizing player. Many despise the way he plays and disparage all of his accomplishments because they hate his style. Others see the eye-popping numbers and probably overrate him. I think it's clear he is a truly great scorer, probably the best offensive player in the NBA currently. His style (whether you hate it or not) is indeed unique, and I think that matters. Like Steph, Harden has actually changed the way people play the game. I see a lot of Harden in Luka Doncic just as I see a lot of Steph in Trae Young (unfortunately Young is shouldering an incredible load with Collins out). I don't think anybody is claiming Harden is at the level of Lebron or Jordan or anything. He is a truly great offensive player, an average defensive player, and hasn't had a lot of playoff success (he just turned 30 by the way, so he has time to change the narrative a bit). I think he is a top 5 player in the league probably based on how he can carry a very injured Houston squad to solid regular-season success, but I would not argue he is the best player in the league.
    Sorry, but youíre wrong. That Rockets team was stacked! Gordon is an elite scorer with Harden. Capela was an elite big man that year, and Paul was an elite PG. Add in Tucker playing great defense and hitting those corner 3s. That was a very well constructed team. Not to mention Ariza and Mbah a Moute.

    Also, if Iím Harden, Iíd take Paul (in his prime) and Gordon over Love and Kyrie. That Rockets team was devastating from the perimeter and any other time would have won a championship.
    Last edited by kshepinthehouse; 12-01-2019 at 11:28 AM.

  16. #176
    Quote Originally Posted by kshepinthehouse View Post
    Sorry, but youíre wrong. That Rockets team was stacked! Gordon is an elite scorer with Harden. Capela was an elite big man that year, and Paul was an elite PG. Add in Tucker playing great defense and hitting those corner 3s. That was a very well constructed team. Not to mention Ariza and Mbah a Moute.

    Also, if Iím Harden, Iíd take Paul (in his prime) and Gordon over Love and Kyrie. That Rockets team was devastating from the perimeter and any other time would have won a championship.
    I think labeling Gordon as an elite scorer is too much. He is a good scorer. I don't think a guy who primarily gets wide open shots (albeit some from 30+ feet since he seems to enjoy taking those) shooting 42% from the field and 36% from 3 that year (and 41 and 36 last year) is elite. He is a good straight-line driver attacking greedy closeouts, but he doesn't have a lot of versatility as a scorer. He is primarily a spot-up shooter and closeout attacker in Houston and does a solid but not incredible job in this role. He is an underrated defender though for his size, often defending bigger wings and using his bulldog strength to bother them. As for taking prime Paul and Gordon over Love and Kyrie, I don't think I would do that, but Paul wasn't in his prime, so I don't think it's relevant anyway.

    I absolutely agree with your statement that the Rockets were devastating from the perimeter and are very well-constructed. Their role players know their roles extremely well and are selected to fit that system. Capela was an elite defender; his offensive skills were definitely below where they are now. Again he served his role beautifully as a rim-runner and lob-catcher, but he had not yet developed that baby hook and left hand that he is showing this year.

    I feel like people are misunderstanding me. I am not saying Harden is dragging utter garbage to the Western Conference Finals when I say that I don't see a championship team when reading those names. Those teams were GOOD. For sure. But I think you can count on one hand the number of players in the NBA who can take those teams to title contention. That is my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    I was specifically referring to the 2018 playoffs as the time when Harden should have been able to carry his team to the championship. Golden State did not play well in the series with Houston. They were ripe to be taken down. Also, Lebron did not have Kyrie (as you mistakenly stated). He was already on Boston. And Toronto did not yet have Kawhi Leonard (as you mistakenly implied).

    Houston should have been able to win it all that year, but Harden was a poor leader and choked. Yes, Chris Paul got hurt late in the series and that didnít help, but those games were there for the taking and Harden didnít finish. They probably should have won that series in five or six games. You cannot look at stats after the fact and understand. You had to have watched the games.
    It wasn't just Harden choking when they missed 27 straight threes. I agree they missed a huge opportunity there. I watched all those games. I am not just looking at stats. But yes, I agree that Harden didn't step up there. He was good, but they needed greatness, and he was not great. I am not claiming that Harden has been great in playoffs, so I am not sure what you are rebutting.

    I never stated a year for Lebron and Kyrie. I meant the construction of the Cavs teams that were consistently going after the title. Kyrie was there for all but one year. That team, in general, was built around Kyrie, Lebron, and Love. That is the comparison I am making when discussing the roster construction.

  17. #177
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    I was specifically referring to the 2018 playoffs as the time when Harden should have been able to carry his team to the championship. Golden State did not play well in the series with Houston. They were ripe to be taken down. Also, Lebron did not have Kyrie (as you mistakenly stated). He was already on Boston. And Toronto did not yet have Kawhi Leonard (as you mistakenly implied).

    Houston should have been able to win it all that year, but Harden was a poor leader and choked. Yes, Chris Paul got hurt late in the series and that didnít help, but those games were there for the taking and Harden didnít finish. They probably should have won that series in five or six games. You cannot look at stats after the fact and understand. You had to have watched the games.
    Don't people think that if Chris Paul had played in game seven, the Rockets would have won?
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  18. #178
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Don't people think that if Chris Paul had played in game seven, the Rockets would have won?
    That is the thinking of some, yes. However, I think Houston should have won that series in five games, six at most. And itís not like Chris Paul was playing lights-out basketball. He shot 36.8% from three and had only 4.6 assists per game. Yes, he was an important piece, and he played pretty well, but not all that great. And he only missed two games. It shouldnít have come to that. The series probably should have been over before Game 6 and Game 7 (when Paul didnít play).

    By the way, for the series Harden shot a completely dismal 24% (19-78) from three and misfired on important shot after important shot. He was not a strong leader. The opportunity was there to show that he could be a great player and leader when it mattered most, and he wasnít able to do it. That is the story of his career.

  19. #179
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Iím not trying to knock you at all, TOB, but, in my opinion, though these kinds of gaudy regular season stats can be fun and all, they donít have a whole lot of meaning when it comes right down to it. The playoffs are the proving ground in this sport, maybe more than in any other, and thatís where Harden and his equally regular-season-stat-whore teammate, Mr. R. Westbrook, do the exact opposite of shining.

    These two guys will never win anything because they are not team players, they care almost exclusively about stats, and theyíre poor defenders, especially Harden. Other than the negative things I mentioned, I love both of these guys.
    Whew! This took a turn. Far be it from me to be the Harden defender in the thread. I'm one of those cranky folks who think that his game exposes some of the worst of the rule changes that have been made in the NBA game: I think Adam Silver and co., in chasing the beautiful game of the 2014 Spurs and pre-KD Warriors, has opened up the door for a version of the game that I find significantly less appealing, and that Harden is the avatar of that less appealing version of the direction that the NBA might take. And I agree that, in the playoffs, where the gameplanning and the way that the refs call the game minimizes the effect of those rule changes, you can see that the Rockets style of play generally and Harden's game in particular has some serious weaknesses.

    That said, the guy is a GREAT player and has worked really hard to change and optimize his game to work within the confines of the rules and the somewhat bizarre Rockets approach to them. That 2018 Warriors team was starting to show some serious signs of wear and tear at the time, but they were still the all-caps WARRIORS, one of the top 10-15 teams of all time. The fact that Harden and the Rockets pushed that squad to 7 games should absolutely not count against them.

    I think there's also a discussion to be had here about how we define "playoff success" in the NBA. Westbrook and Harden went to the Western Conference Finals in 2011 before losing to the eventual champs and the Finals in 2012 against peak LeBron and the Heat. Then Harden got traded and Russ got hurt
    in the infamous Patrick Beverly incident (I think there's a strong case to be made that the Thunder could have made/won the finals that year; they had given the Spurs plenty of trouble with Westbrook healthy earlier, but that's neither here nor there). But Russ and KD were back in the Western Conference finals before losing to the Spurs the next year, and then had that infamous up-3-1 loss to the Warriors the year after that. Meanwhile Harden has had two WCF trips where he lost to two of the greatest teams of all time. Both Harden and Westbrook have had their howlers in the playoffs, sure, but both have been to the Finals, both have been to the WCF four times, and both have had truly terrific teams with great shots at winning a title derailed by injury (theirs or others'). All of that is to say, it's not like either guy hasn't had a LOT of success in the playoffs. Neither has won a title, granted, but calling them regular-season-only players or saying that they haven't really had big, important moments on really good teams in the playoffs seems a bit off to me.

  20. #180
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...scorer-nba-era

    This article about Harden precisely spells out the reasons I donít like watching this man play basketball ó all hero ball and free throws with very little teamwork.

Similar Threads

  1. MBB: Emotions about the upcoming (2019-2020) season
    By slower in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 135
    Last Post: 08-23-2019, 02:28 PM
  2. MBB: 2019-2020 Rotation / Minutes Discussion Collector Thread
    By Troublemaker in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 06-15-2019, 04:22 PM
  3. ACC Football 2019-2020
    By sagegrouse in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-04-2019, 10:22 PM
  4. NBA Regular season thread 2019
    By JasonEvans in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 418
    Last Post: 03-12-2019, 09:07 PM
  5. ACC Regular Season Title Thread
    By uh_no in forum Elizabeth King Forum
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 02-18-2016, 12:49 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •