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What Is The Correct Basketball Play?

In the NBA, there has been a lot of controversy about the correct basketball play. In particular, many have criticized Lebron James for his proclivity toward passing the ball in the most important moments of games, while praising Kobe Bryant. As the popular talking point goes, a true superstar should take his team onto his shoulders and will his team to victory when the pressure is greatest.

I’ve always felt this was an argument more steeped in machismo than reality. My goal in this article is to present my definition of the “correct play” and to determine what evidence we have about whether a superstar in general, and Lebron James in particular, should try to take over a game on his own vs. looking to his teammates for assistance.

First off, what is the correct basketball play? My definition of the correct basketball play is the play that leads to the greatest chance of a team winning. Most of the time this will be the play that produces the greatest expected number of points, although in specific end-of-half and end-of-game scenarios, this may not always be true.

Now to be clear, I’m saying that the actual result of the play does not justify the play in and of itself. Rather, it’s the expectation from the play that makes it correct or not. The result of a single play is far too small a sample size to determine whether it was correct or not, but the average result of many such plays, while still imperfect, is a much better gauge of what is right and what is not.

So which plays are the best plays? What is the Correct Basketball Play?

Synergy broke down various types of plays by points per possession produced and found that plays involving off-the-ball cuts (1.18 ppp) and transition plays (1.12 ppp) are the two most efficient plays. The least efficient is an isolation play, which is worth 0.78 points per possession. In iso plays in which the player passes the ball, that number jumps to 0.93 ppp. The least efficient way to score, it would seem, is 1-on-1.

Another way to break down the value of a play is to look at assisted versus unassisted shots. The folks at 82games.com calculated that an assisted shot had an 8% better chance of going in. Given that free throws are more likely on an unassisted shot, however, we find that an assisted shot is only worth about 0.13 more points than an unassisted shot. This is also evidence that trying to score on one’s own is, more often than not, not going to be the right decision.

Of course, there are numerous game-specific factors that alter these numbers for any given team or player, not the least of which is which are the players actually involved. Furthermore, you can only run one play so many times over the course of a game before the defense is going to adjust. Yet on the whole, I doubt many will disagree with the idea that getting the whole team involved is the best way to run an effective offense.

Some would argue, however, that the endgame, be it the final few minutes or the final possession, is a completely different animal, and the right basketball play can become the wrong basketball play. There is no doubt that added pressure has a tendency to bring out the best and the worst in athletes, and there’s also no doubt that those at the peak of their craft are most likely to excel under such circumstances. Yet is this phenomenon really so powerful that it fundamentally changes how basketball should be played? I have my doubts.

We know that as the game progresses, fatigue sets in, fewer shots are assisted, more outside shots fly, and shooting percentages decline. The closer we get to the end of the game, the worse offensive efficiency gets, with it reaching its nadir in the few seconds before clock strikes zero.

However, one team consistently bucked that trend since 2000: Lebron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. El Gee at backpicks.com has looked in depth at clutch performance, and among his findings were that no team improved their shooting in the clutch from 2006-2010 other than the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose eFG improved by an impressive 2.6%. In 2009, they improved by a shocking 13.5% in the clutch, which is the best of any team since 2000. During Lebron’s last 3 seasons in Cleveland (2008-2010) the Cavs were the only team with a crunch time +/- of over 100, a mark they reached all three seasons. And lest you question their ability to put it together in the postseason, their eFG% was an otherworldly 66.7% during the postseason, and their simple rating system was the best of any team within the past 12 years in 2009. During this time period, James averaged 44 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists per 36 minutes with a TS% of 63%. Once he left, the team regressed to the mean.

When he went to Miami, Lebron joined a team that had been outscored in the clutch 3 years running and got them to +45 and +27 the past 2 years. He scores more, scores more efficiently, and assists at a higher rate during the clutch. This from the guy Skip Bayless referred to as not even Robin, but Alfred, during crunch time. With all due respect to Bayless, Lebron makes a strong case as the best crunch time player in the league, both in terms of individual and team results.

Lebron’s main competition for that title has been Chris Paul, whose Hornets outscored every other team on a per possession basis in the clutch during his time in New Orleans. According to Paul, “Why shoot with three people on me if one guy is open? If I’m open, I’ll shoot it, and if I’m not, I’ll pass it.”

All of this is evidence that demonstrates that keeping everybody involved is still the right move, even in the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. But what about the final possession, or the final shot? Shouldn’t this be where the wheat is separated from the chaff?

Jordan Sams put together a compilation of clutch shots since 2000 and potential game-winners since 2006. While Lebron is tied with Tim Duncan for highest field goal percentage in the clutch (last 5 minutes, game within 5 points) at .460, he is only 18 for 61 for a .295 field goal percentage in such situations in the final 24 seconds and a chance to win or tie. Among the twelve players with the most potential game winning/tying shots since 2006, the average clutch FG% was .417, but in the final 24 seconds, it was only .314. Even the best players are going to miss over 2/3 of their shots in the final 24 seconds.

At the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, they looked at all players trailing by 3 points or less with 30 seconds left, and they found that on the road, such players had a FG% of .359, while at home, their FG% was .314. Admittedly, the timeframe is not identical to the 24 seconds used in Sams’ dataset, but it’s pretty close. And what the data suggests is that a potential game-winner or game-tying shot from a superstar is, at a minimum, not more likely to go in than that of one of their teammates. If there’s time to make that extra pass, there sure doesn’t seem to be any downside.

Now frequently, with the game on the line, having your superstar shoot will be the right option. Often the superstar will be able to get a better look than any of his teammates or will be able to draw a foul and get to the line. At other times, the defense won’t give you any better options. Sometimes, there just won’t be enough time to do anything else. But the desperation jumper over multiple defenders with no time left on the clock is the worst play in basketball.

Given the option to take the guy willing to defer to his teammates, or the guy who will do it all himself, all things being equal? I’ll take the former. It was good enough to help Michael Jordan and Larry Bird win titles, and it may one day do so for Lebron as well. But regardless of whether it does or not, looking to your teammates when they’re open is still the correct basketball play.

 

References:

http://82games.com/assisted.htm

http://www.backpicks.com/2012/03/23/the-crunch-time-myth-part-iii-overrating-closers-and-clutch-offense/

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/40886/outscoring-opponents-in-the-clutch

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/24990/chris-pauls-crunch-time-mind

http://www.libertyballers.com/2012/2/29/2832299/lebron-james-kobe-bryant-dwyane-wade-clutch-nba-playoffs-4th-quarter

http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2012/03/05/lebron-james-and-the-sloan-sports-analytics-conference/

Related posts:

  1. Bill Simmons: Larry Bird Would Love to Play with Kobe Bryant (2/8/12)
  2. The Wilt Chamberlain Debate – Basketball’s Goliath Conundrum
  3. The Top Ten Reasons Why I’m Glad That Basketball Is Back
  4. David Friedman: The Strengths and Limitations of Advanced Basketball Statistics (3/10/12)
  5. Michael Jordan: Game Winning Shots

Discussion

242 Responses to “What Is The Correct Basketball Play?”

  1. Great article, Lochpster.

    Very informative with a lot of new and illuminating information that supports what we should already know but often choose to disregard.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 25, 2012, 10:11 am
  2. Good stuff right here.

    Posted by pointguard40 | May 25, 2012, 10:32 am
  3. Lochpster,

    Why are you using all htose stupid stat references?

    Don’t you know that only evidence that is reliable is RINGS!!! ANd, Kobe has 5, which is more than anyone, ever!!! (except lots of other guys)

    Also, stats are toatlly meaningless UNLESS they support ONLY my position.

    Awards are also meaningless (like MVP), UNLESS my guy gets the award (like 1st team all defense or all pro).

    You’ll get it someday, until then. . . choose your own nickname!!!

    24ever!!! Unless it’s #8, I forget.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 25, 2012, 10:46 am
    • LMAO @ Paulie

      Posted by Mike | May 25, 2012, 11:27 am
    • Well done, sir. Well done.

      Posted by Lochpster | May 25, 2012, 7:53 pm
    • From wikipedia

      The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern of argument:

      Person A has position X.
      Person B disregards certain key points of X and instead presents the superficially similar position Y. The position Y is a distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways, including:
      Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent’s position.
      Quoting an opponent’s words out of context — i.e. choosing quotations that misrepresent the opponent’s actual intentions (see fallacy of quoting out of context).[2]
      Presenting someone who defends a position poorly as the defender, then refuting that person’s arguments — thus giving the appearance that every upholder of that position (and thus the position itself) has been defeated.[1]
      Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.
      Oversimplifying an opponent’s argument, then attacking this oversimplified version.
      Person B attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.

      This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious, because attacking a distorted version of a position fails to constitute an attack on the actual position.

      Posted by Gil Meriken | May 25, 2012, 8:57 pm
  4. I’d say that the correct basketball play would be to put the ball into capable hands when the pressure is the greatest. Like you said Jordan and Bird shared the ball and I’ll throw in Magic and yes Kobe have shared the ball in pressure moments, with huge dividends.

    In addition to the metrics, the immeasurable factor of pressure has to be what gets us to ultimate results, otherwise the 09 Cavs would have beaten the Magic and the Lakers.

    I agree that superstars should at least have the ball in their hands with the game on the line to make the right basketball play for the team to win. No hands should be trusted more. I won’t argue as to who’s hands are more capable than others because there are too many variables to weigh outside of what the boxscore and counting rings can provide.

    The one thing I will say is the truly great ones seize their moments when it’s their time. Some have instant success, others have to overcome. Perhaps Lebron has gone through enough growing pains to overcome and make the correct basketball play by placing the ball in Wade’s capable hands when needed and to take his man when needed. Seemed to work like a charm last night.

    Posted by J.T. | May 25, 2012, 11:06 am
    • Thanks for the read, JT. I certainly agree that I would want the ball in capable hands with the game on the line. All those players you listed are capable hands-but I’d argue that most NBA players left wide open are just as, if not more, capable.

      Posted by Lochpster | May 25, 2012, 7:59 pm
      • I was thinking the same thing at first, then I remembered Charles Smith and his layups, Nick Anderson and his free throws, early Kobe and his airballs, Patrick Ewing and his missed finger-roll, and the atrocious shooting performance (sans Garnett) between the Lakers and Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals.

        My point isn’t that an open NBA player isn’t more capable, this is fairly obvious, but more that certain players can deal with mounted pressure better than others. This can be a learned behavior, but most players don’t get multiple opportunities like that. Pressure, so it seems, causes a lot more indecision and passive play. Confidence and assertiveness goes a long way into making the right basketball play or at the very least a successful one.

        Posted by J.T. | May 30, 2012, 11:46 am
  5. Hi LOCHPSTER,

    Good article!

    Nonetheless I do not agree with your definition of the correct basketball play.

    You said that: “the correct basketball play is the play that leads to the greatest chance of a team winning.”

    In my opinion the correct play is the one that actually led to a team winning.

    I love analyzing stats, but if you dig in too deep you will notice that it is not worth it. Some stats are simply too random to analyze.

    For example let’s take my favourite player Michael Jordan. In 2001/2002 in the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter Jordan shot an abysmal percentage of .361 (TS%). One year later his TS% in similar situation was .530 (pretty impressive considering he was 40 years old).

    Yet in 2001/2002 MJ was 4/7 from the field in game-winners (as defined by 82games). In 2002/2003 MJ was only 1/5 when it came down to GW shots.

    Sometimes the most important factor is pure luck. So the correct play is the one that actually brings a desired result.

    Posted by doosiolek | May 25, 2012, 11:38 am
    • You’re expressing a common misunderstanding of probability well known to serious gamblers-that of results oriented thinking.

      Results oriented thinking is assessing the correctness of a wager by whether it won or not. In many basic forms of gambling, it’s very easy to determine whether a bet had a positive or negative expectation.

      For instance, say you are betting on the flip of a coin. Heads wins you 90 cents, and tails loses you a dollar. Regardless of the actual outcome, it was the wrong decision to take that bet-your expectation is to lose 5 cents per wager. The same rule can be applied to hitting on 19 in blackjack or repeatedly calling all-in in poker on a flush draw-they could win you a lot of money in the short run due to variance and a small sample size, but they’re going to hold a huge negative expectation in the long run.

      ROT and expected value are just as applicable to basketball as they are to other games of chance. Often a bad play will work, and often a better one will not. The problem, as you illustrated in your example, is that it’s just harder to figure out what the odds actually are in basketball.

      Posted by Lochpster | May 25, 2012, 7:52 pm
  6. See above, there J.T.

    As Steve Perry would sing, Don’t stop believin’ and hold on to that feelin’

    The evidence is, of course, meaningless.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 25, 2012, 11:39 am
  7. The correct basketball play is determined by the situation, not whether you are “pass first” or “shoot first”.

    It’s also not just who is most open.

    If you are Kobe Bryant or Lebron James, and you are being guarded one-on-one, you make something happen. Aggressively. If you can break a double team, you do it.

    If they double hard, you find the open man.

    If you are driving, and there isn’t much time left, and pass might result in a shot not getting off, or a quick shot for the recipient, probably best to shoot.

    If there is time, and you are driving, and you draw the help, but the passing angle to the open man is iffy, might be better to shoot, as this will result in either a made shot or a missed shot with great opportunity for an offensive rebound.

    So there’s a lot of things that go into what is the correct play beyond “find the open guy”.

    But all things equal, yes, the correct play is to find the open man. But all things are rarely equal.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | May 25, 2012, 3:31 pm
    • “So there’s a lot of things that go into what is the correct play beyond “find the open guy”.”

      I covered this twice in my article-in the 8th paragraph and in the 2nd to last. Did you bother to read it?

      Do you even have a clue what Kobe or Lebron’s success rate in any of those scenarios is, or are you just blowing hot air? If you can manage to provide some evidence to support your claims then I’d be happy to try to have an intelligent discussion (hint: go read Henry Abbott, although you probably won’t like what you find).

      Posted by Lochpster | May 25, 2012, 8:23 pm
      • Henry Abbott … very familiar with his work … no thanks.

        Go read David Friedman at the 20secondtimeout blog, for decent basketball analysis, but you probably won’t like what you find.

        Posted by Gil Meriken | May 25, 2012, 8:53 pm
        • Friedman spins everything against Lebron and props up Kobe, he is completely nonobjective in all his articles. He uses stats to back up his arguments when it’s convenient, and calls them misguided or useless when they don’t. I read his articles frequently, and never like the results, as you predicted.

          Posted by pointguard40 | May 25, 2012, 9:24 pm
          • Not even close to true, PG. You just don’t like what you’re reading from Friedman. If you read all Friedman’s work, then you’ll know he has continuously praised Lebron, and he often mentions how Lebron has deserved 4 MVPs. Is that really not being objective or nonbiased if he dislikes lebron?

            His views of lebron have changed some in recent years in how lebron has quit in each of the last 2 playoffs and often shies away from big moments, which these are obvious observations, but most of lebron’s biased fans just can’t admit. He just calls out how useless it is to some stats as an end all, and how bad many or most journalists are. This website is a good example. On here, we have articles saying that Nash is the best offensive player in nba history, chandler is an elite offensive player, and that we can draw definitive conclusions from an extremely small sample size that someone is or isn’t clutch without looking at any other variables, and that thinking that that particular situation is the same every time.

            Posted by boyer | May 26, 2012, 7:47 am
          • Boyer. Are you saying that Kobe Bryant was clutch or Not clutch in game winning shot situations?

            If he was clutch, how do you explain 7/28 in playoff games?

            If he was not clutch, than you are acknowledging what many people on this blog are saying.

            Posted by Trailblazer8 | May 26, 2012, 10:06 am
          • Boyer,

            Please, provide us with the following:

            1) an example of a “biased LeBron James fan”

            2) How James “shies away from big moments” and how that is “obvious”

            3) Bad Journalists. Are there specific examples you can cite and also offer WHY said offering is am example of “bad journalism”?

            Lastly. if you disagree with so much of the content of the articles and the comments offered in response, then please, please stop reading.

            And please, please, please, stop responding. We would all benefit from your charity in that regard.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 26, 2012, 10:17 am
          • “He uses stats to back up his arguments when it’s convenient, and calls them misguided or useless when they don’t.”

            Bingo.

            Boyer, can you provide proof that LeBron “quit”?

            Posted by The Realist #2 | May 26, 2012, 11:13 am
          • Am I really wrong Boyer? Here is from Friedman’s April 12th post entitled “What the “Stat Gurus” Say Does not Correspond with Reality”:

            “”Stat gurus” generally do not believe in the value of shot creation; they just crunch numbers and note how many shots a player takes and how many shots that player makes, regardless of whether the player is a one dimensional big man who only dunks the ball or the player is a multi-faceted wing player who breaks down the opposing defense by attracting one or more extra defenders. A “stat guru” thinks that a team of five Tyson Chandlers would be unbeatable because such a team would shoot almost .700 from the field while hardly allowing the opposition to get off a good shot.”

            Really? How many people who use stats actually believe that? He is just bending what people say to defend his favorite players, as you can see from this next excerpt from the same article:

            “Why does Bryant shoot so much more often than Gasol and Bynum if I am correct that he is not just selfishly gunning? Bryant ends up with a lot of “hand grenades,” shots that he has to take because the shot clock is about to “explode.” Fans and media members often do not understand just how important a factor the 24 second shot clock is in terms of NBA strategy; veteran college head coach/NBA assistant coach Hank Egan once told me that the shot clock is “a monster” and that “some of the things that you do in the pros are, exactly as you said, trying to force the offense to burn time and get them in the late stages of the shot clock.” When Bynum and Gasol “trot” down court (to borrow Jeff Van Gundy’s quite apt description) and fail to quickly establish post position the shot clock is ticking; many times the ball goes into the post, the opposing team traps and when Bynum or Gasol pass the ball back out to Bryant there is not time for a re-post and Bryant is left with a “hand grenade.”"

            Does he not realize that each player has to play within the parameters of a 24-second shot clock? Every player is playing on the same court with the same rules (although some do get preferential treatment) and face many of the same circumstances.

            Back to my point about him using stats when he wants to, this is from April 19′s post “Seven Games of Life without Kobe Bryant”:

            “Andrew Bynum’s performance in 51 games with Bryant this season: 18.3 ppg, 12.5 FGA/g, .583 FG%

            Andrew Bynum’s performance in seven games without Bryant this season: 23.1 ppg, 19.6 FGA, .467 FG%

            Pau Gasol’s performance in 56 games with Bryant this season: 17.0 ppg, 13.6 FGA/g, .510 FG%

            Pau Gasol’s performance in seven games without Bryant this season: 21.1 ppg, 18.3 FGA/g, .469 FG%

            Bynum has shot .500 or better in 43 out of 58 games this season–but four of his 15 sub-.500 performances came in the seven games that Bryant missed; Gasol has shot .500 or better in 35 of 63 games this season–but five of his 28 sub-.500 performances came in the seven games that Bryant missed. It is indisputable that both Bynum and Gasol shot much worse without Bryant than they did with Bryant. ”

            Read that last sentence again, and then go back to reading his excuses he named for Kobe Bryant, and why “stat gurus” don’t know what they are talking about.

            Want more? May 19 (these are all from this year by the way) “Thoughts on the Lakers-Thunder Series and the Difference Between Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade”:

            “I placed Bryant’s career in historical context. Here is an important passage from that article:

            Here are Jordan’s playoff averages from 1996-98 when the Bulls won three championships:

            1996: 30.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, .459 FG%, .403 3FG%, .818 FT%
            1997: 31.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 4.8 apg, .456 FG%, .194 3FG%, .831 FT%
            1998: 32.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, .462 FG%, .302 3FG%, .812 FT%

            Here are Bryant’s playoff averages from 2008-10 when the Lakers made three straight trips to the Finals and won two championships:

            2008: 30.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, .479 FG%, .302 3FG%, .809 FT%
            2009: 30.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.5 apg, .457 FG%, .349 3FG%, .883 FT%
            2010: 29.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.5 apg, .458 FG%, .374 3FG%, .842 FT%

            The Lakers’ championship level play during those years depended on Bryant consistently scoring around 30 ppg while shooting better than .450 from the field. Kobe Bryant’s overall career statistics and overall accomplishments (particularly in terms of MVPs and scoring titles) do not match Michael Jordan’s but Bryant does not get enough credit for the fact that his 2008-10 postseason numbers match or even exceed Jordan’s 1996-98 playoff productivity and efficiency.”

            So why is it when Kobe’s numbers stack up, they are a measure of his “productivity and efficiency”, but when they don’t it’s just us “stat gurus” not understanding basketball? Give me a break.

            Posted by pointguard40 | May 29, 2012, 11:13 am
          • Is it just me, or does he draw conclusions based on what he wants to write, and then uses stats if necessary? Am I the only one who actually reads this stuff carefully or is it that I “just don’t like” (to quote Boyer) what I’m reading from Friedman. By the way, I love the fact that Friedman has tons of Dr. J articles, and I believe his best articles are the ones where he uses stats to back up his arguments. When he has data to back up his opinions, I love his writing.

            Posted by pointguard40 | May 29, 2012, 11:19 am
  8. Good article Loch.

    “So there’s a lot of things that go into what is the correct play beyond “find the open guy”.”

    He already summed up everything that you said in the 2nd to last paragraph.

    This article is for those who subscribe to the “I want my star to shoot it no matter what” people. And there and a lot of those people out there.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | May 25, 2012, 5:18 pm
  9. Boyer,

    All of my posts are well reasoned and researched.

    I don’t offer opinions based on my feelings, rather conclusions based upon a combination of result data.

    Whenever I present a conclusion, I nearly always offer either the data that I used or the methodology for how I reached said conclusion.

    An example of a post that is sorely lacking in reason would be something like this:

    Yea, I don’t get it either. When Lebron doesn’t get any MVP votes(like Kobe did in 05), or I see even one article about Lebron shooting his team out of the game, even though Lebron has averaged more FGAs/game than Kobe over their career, or even one article about why the heat should run their offense through Bosh, which many articles about why the lakers should run their offense through bynum or pau appear all the time.

    Posted by boyer | March 7, 2012, 11:42 am

    You never bother to cite the articles you read, the authors or where these articles could be found regrading Bosh and the Heat. You likewise don’t offer a link to an article that accuses James of shooting a team out of a game or even provide your own example.

    You likewise used misleading data when referring to FGAs of James and Bryant. True, that for the entirety of their careers James has averaged more FGA, but when you back out the tow seasons when Kobe was not a starter you get a truer number. The data backing out Bryant’s first two seasons for a fair and true comparison.

    James

    689 Games played
    688 Games Started
    14057 FGA
    20.4 FGA per game

    Bryant

    1007 Games Played
    1006 Games Started
    21425 FGA
    21.3 FGA per game

    Bryant also has led the league in FGA 5 times.

    Really hard to truthfully argue that one player that has NEVER led the league in FGA shoots more than another player that has led the league 5 times.

    You may not like or even believe what I post, but like whit the FGA comment that you wrote, to say that my posts are not well reasoned is just flatly false.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 26, 2012, 9:15 am
    • You also seem to conveniently omit that James has led the league the same number of times in FG made 3 times.

      The same number as Bryant, though James, again, has NEVER led the league in FGA.

      Thus, we can conclude that James is the more effective scorer.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 27, 2012, 8:24 am
  10. Why do you continue to use stats to argue with Boyer? He made it very clear in his post that he doesn’t believe in them. He’s going to believe what he wants to believe no matter how little evidence he has, or how much you present to the contrary. It’s simply a waste of time to believe otherwise.

    Posted by Lochpster | May 27, 2012, 11:17 am
    • I agree with you Loch.

      I just wanted to present an example so that I could

      1) Debunk his claim regarding my posts

      2) show what a total hypocritical fool he is.

      Thanks for the support and the great articles.

      Keep it up.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 27, 2012, 11:29 am
  11. It’s funny how you talk about Lebron’s teams methods for late game situation, saying they are better than the Lakers and Kobe’s 1 on 1 isolations.
    If his methods were better, Lebron would have a title by now. Yeah he didnt have shaq or a lot of all stars on the Cavs (but he did 2011 with the Heat and still didn’t come up big in the clutch, Lebron is 1-10 in NBA FINALS games in the last 4 MIN in the fourth quater or OT with the game within 3 PTS eitherway. This is considered the clutch time with it getting more clutch as the time runs out. His one make by the way was a layup with ten seconds left against the Spurs, too bad his team was down 3. They lost the game. Lebrons teams are actually 1-4 in the NBA FINALS in games decided by 3 pts. The one win actually game win Lebron went 1-3 in the Fourth qtr, 0-2 when the game was tied or within 2pt with the under 1:17 left. Instead of him taking a contested jumper or layup he passed to Chris Bosh who took a contested 18ft jumper, Bosh made the game winner. Is Chris Bosh shooting an 18ft jumper with a man running jumping at him really better than Lebron shooting a contested jumper(what if it was Kobe?) It worked this time. But he was scared to shoot anyway, probably why he only scored 2.5pts in the fourth throughout an entire NBA FINALS. Lebron did set a record though, he has the greatest drop off of points through the season to ppg in the NBA FINALS. And this is the same guy who won “REGULAR SEASON MVP” 3 times. (Kobe has won two NBA FINALS MVP’s) Kobe by the way has won 5 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONSHIPS. Which Lebron fans love to downplay only becasue he doesnt have one. They forget that his Cavs teams had the best REGULAR SEASON record in the NBA. Now they all say the same things “Lebron was the only reason why they had the best record and his team didnt deliver in the playoffs.” Well if Lebron was the only reason they were number one in the REGULAR SEASON then he could have done it in the playoffs right? Right now every Lebron fan is saying “No” cause know you want to go to the “his teamates didnt perform in the playoffs excuse” His teams have actually made it to the NBA FINALS twice, 0-2 and the Conference Finals 3 times. 4 if you include this year but then you will have to go ahead and make it 0-3 in the finals. But if you use the excuse that Lebron’s teamates didnt perform in the playoffs excuse, stop saying that Lebron has never played with anyone good, obviously two of his Cavs teams were good enough to have the best record in the REGULAR SEASON, and if its not all his fault when they lose(in the Playoffs), stop giving only him the credit when they win(in the REGULAR SEASON.) Kobe is 16/35 46% with NBA FINALS games in the last 4 minutes of the 4th and the game within 3 pts, 15/17 from free throws, Lebron was 1/1 on free throws, and Kobe is 3/4 in the final 24 seconds. One of which was a game tying three pointer as the time ran out. Lebron probably would have passed it to Mo Williams or Daniel Gibson or Chris Bosh, or obviously his favorite scapegoat in the clutch, Dwayne Wade. Kobe goes 1 on 1 and shoots lower percentage shots for normal basketball players, KOBE BRYANT isn’t normal (neither is Lebron which is why I would like to see him shoot more in the clutch). I would rather Kobe shoot a pullup than Derek Fisher (Who has made a 3 big shots late in his carrer, no one seems to remember that he didnt even play late in games during shaq and kobe’s 3 championships. Or maybe Kobe could pass it to “big shot rob” who averaged less than 6.5pts a game in the lakers 3 championships. But yeah he hit two in one series and everyone seems to remember him. No, Kobe shoots it because he is one of the greatest players of all time. He is shooting 48% in the final 3 minutes of the NBA FINALS games that were within 3 pts eitherway and is 3/4 in the final 24 seconds. Sounds like his method works pretty well. Lets not forget the fact that he has won 5 NBA FINALS CHAMPIONSHIPS. Lebron is shooting 1-10 (his one doesnt even count) and 0-2 in the NBA FINALS CHAMIONSHIPS. I guess his method of passing too much doesnt work.

    Posted by Djones | June 1, 2012, 10:33 am
  12. No one downplays that Bryant has played on 5 championship teams.

    Please read that distinguishing characteristic:

    Bryant has played on 5 championship teams.

    You may have overlooked that no ONE player wins anything. The team does.

    It is true that James’s teams have not yet won a title, but his teams have simply NOT been better than Bryants with the exception of last year when the Heat were better than the Lakers. Yet, the Heat certainly went further than the Lakers, didn’t they?

    I also seem to recall that Bryant’s teams came up short more than a few times.

    If you wish to penalize James for his team failing to win the title, shouldn’t we likewise penalize Bryant for his team failing?

    Kobe is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, but so is LeBron James.

    It’s just that James is better than Bryant. He is better now and will certainly be regarded as better than Bryant after they are both long retired.

    James has had his failures, just like Bryant and EVERY OTHER PLAYER that has ever suited up.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 1, 2012, 11:40 am
  13. You may not downplay that Kobe has played on 5 championship teams but generally speaking, Lebron fans claim that thats not that big of a deal because of the quality of the teams he has played on. I agree 100% that every single player from Magic Johnson to Larry Bird to Kareem to Kobe to Lebron has their failures, but is it not fair to say that considering Kobe has not only won 5 Championships and was the go to guy in the clutch on those championship teams, that he is better than Lebron historically right now? I agree Lebron is a better basketball player than Kobe right now and Lebron is one of the greatest of all time but Lebron is in his prime and Kobe is not. And if Lebron continues to play and never wins a championship or even wins just one championship would you say that he is more comparebale to one of the greatest such as a Charles Barkley, and not Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kareem, and of course Kobe Bryant. Who has earned the right to be mentioned with those names. (Who all had great teams I agree) What pisses me off and most Kobe fans and what I believe to be the root of the hate between Kobe fans and Lebron fans is that Lebron “probably” will be mentioned with those names if he earns it and wins the championships(which he is on a great team now so he has absoulutly no excuse but that team is in fact 0-1 due to “his” failure. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh actually played very well in the NBA FINAS last year despite Lebrons disapearnce. I thought last year was the first step for Lebron to claim his legacy amoung the greats, but he did (without a doubt), not perform late in games or in the fourth quater. So my point is, we get mad when Lebron fans, who have been saying since his great performance in the 2007 ecf, that he is better than Kobe. You can say all you want that he might become better than Kobe. Because honestly he has every oppertunity in the world to be better and he might take adv he might not, but do not say he is better right now. Kobe has proven himself. Lebron has not.

    Posted by Djones | June 1, 2012, 12:07 pm
    • First, Kobe was NOT, repeat was NOT the “go to guy” from 1999-2002, when the Lakers won three titles. That would be Shaq. You remember him, right? He only won the MVP in each of those finals.

      Hard to characterize anyone other than Shaq as the “go to guy” on the Lakers while he was on the roster.

      Secondly, the Heat are not a great team. They have two great players, a third very good player and some aging role players. That is not a great team. You need to really understand what defines a great team. A good example is the Spurs of this season. Look to see how much their bench contributes and how they do not need one or two players to play exceptionally well to win.

      Lastly, the reason that James gets mentioned with the others is because he IS that good. You cannot win three MVP awards and not be in that group.

      Kobe is a great player, but he is much closer to John Havlicek than Michael Jordan.

      A great comparison for LeBron is Magic Johnson. A great and willing passer that can defend on the low post and has the skill and quickness to attack the rim.

      What pisses people off that use rational arguments, result data and logic is that for some reason Kobe fans only rely upon thier emotion and are seemingly far too wiling to dismiss or discount anything that does not count in Kobe’s favor. This is why the “RINGZZZ” argument falls on deaf ears.

      You want rings. . .Talk to Bill Russell; he got 11 in 13 seasons. Bob Horry has 7. Derek Fisher has the same five that Kobe has; is Fisher better than LeBron? It’s a bad argument that is to slipper slopes what the Matterhorn is to icy hills.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 1, 2012, 9:19 pm
  14. And my original point was that its better for someone like Kobe or Lebron to actually shoot the last shot instead of defering to a player not nearly as great. Eventhough the other player may get off a cleaner look, that does not make it a better shot considering the caliber of the player. And were not talking about great players here, were talking the greatest, the best, top 10 all time if not top 5. My point is also that the lakers have generally went to this isolation method and been in 7 championship games and won 5. Lebron has used his defering method and lost the only 2 he has played in. In fact he is 1-4 in games decided by 3pts. He is however 1-2 with a championship caliber team in games decided by 3pts in the finals. The cavs even being there was a fluke due to the weak teams in the east in 2007.

    Posted by Djones | June 1, 2012, 12:19 pm
    • The final fallacy you believe is that a great player has a greater chance of scoring even while defended and further form the basket than another player.

      Do you really think that is true?

      Do you really think that a defended Kobe from 25 feet is a higher percentage option than ANYONE open from 10 feet?

      If you do believe that and reject the logic and the math, then you are simply subjective in your thinking and would be better off never posting here again.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 1, 2012, 9:22 pm
    • Djones, thanks for the read and the comments. I don’t think, however, that the Lakers have been particularly good during crunch time during Kobe’s career. Lakers in crunch time since Kobe joined the league are #1 in offensive efficiency, but they’re not in the top 10 in clutch offensive efficiency. They run more crunch time iso plays for Kobe than any team in the league runs for another player, and their efficiency on these plays is below the league average even just for iso plays.

      That info on Kobe in the finals is interesting-I’d love to read your source on it.

      Posted by Lochpster | June 2, 2012, 10:34 am
      • I actually did all the research on those final stats as far as Kobe going 16-35 in an NBA FINALS game under 4 minutes with the score within 3pts, 3-4 in final 24 seconds. (Lebron is 1*-10 in final 4 min) using nbabasketballreference.com and looking at the play by plays. They are facts. I would like to see the stats as far as the lakers being out of the top 10 in clutch offensive efficieny this last year and where the Heat are on that scale? Not that I’m saying it’s not true Lakers did finish 18-10 in games decided by 6pts or fewer this year(and Kobe is actually having a very poor year statistically, as far as shooting percentage anyway) which I believe there is more to the stats than what most people realize. And the Heat are 13-9 in games decided by 6pts or fewer, which isnt bad for an NBA team I’m just curious about the clutch stats you speak of. And Shaq was not the go to guy in the clutch for the 3 championships. Shaq was the most dominating player in the game for 3 1/2 qtrs but was a liability late in games for his inability to hit free throws. Teams just played him really hard and didnt care if they got the foul called because Shaq couldnt hit free throws and shot even worse late in games. They actually resorted to going to a 1-4 low late in close games and letting Kobe make the play because of it. Shaq was the most dominating player in the game when he played with Kobe but without Kobe they dont win a single ring. Unless Big shot Rob’s 6 points a game could save them. Derek Fisher did average 13 points i several playoff series so I wont talk down on him too much, but 13 pts a game doesnt get it done.

        Posted by Djones | June 4, 2012, 2:51 pm
        • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/24200/the-truth-about-kobe-bryant-in-crunch-time

          It’s in the article linked under the un-clutch Lakers section. And to be clear, I was talking about Kobe’s entire career, not last season.

          Posted by Lochpster | June 4, 2012, 4:29 pm
          • Pretty interesting stats and I liked the article, very un-biased and stuck to the stats. Not saying the stats actually mean anything though. I am curious because no one ever talks about these stats and maybe you could help me find some, it showed all the players in the NBA in “clutch” time and on game winners. Game winners was defined as a shot with the clock under :24 and the game tied or being down two. What about when teams are up two or three? How does that not count as clutch? I mean its the ability of clutch players to never allow a team to even get a chance to tie the game. I’m not saying Kobe is dominating that stat because I honestly dont know, but I would like to see some stats on it. And adding this stat might help or might hurt his case but it would for sure hurt Lebrons, why not add in 3pt shots when the team is down 3? Not allowing layups or two pointers. That completly takes away several of Kobes clutch shots including his game tying 3 pointer in the 2004 finals game two as time experied. Of course he has hit way more game tying 3′s and missed alot too I know, but they should still be added. I’m assuming they dont want to add it becuase that means you have to add have court heaves or 30ft threes, but hell, several, and I mean several of the shots they are counting against Kobe as far as being clutch are 26 ft+ with no time left. Kobe’s stats are down sized because he actually has the guts to take those kinds of shots. And also just commenting on some of the links posted above, one like “http://www.backpicks.com/2012/03/23/the-crunch-time-myth-part-iii-overrating-closers-and-clutch-offense/” has the best “clutch” teams in the NBA over the past 10 or 11 years yet only one team one the title, six didnt even make the playoffs, and very few made it far in the playoffs. And just for the record if the cavs and Lebron were that “clutch”, surly they could have pulled off one title. I mean surely playing in the East they could have atleast made it there more than once if they were that “clutch”. I honestly dont know how “if the Lakers are not even in the top 11 teams of clutch time” and Kobe Bryant, the man who shoots mostly for them obviously pointed out by everyone, is “un-clutch” why do they keep winning? And they are not just winning, they are winning titles. As a matter a fact, Kobe just played his 16th season, he’s been in the finals 7 times. Nearly half the years he has played he has been in the finals yet he and the Lakers are “un-clutch”? Hell if OKC makes the finals, Kobe has either played in the NBA Finals or lost to the team playing in the finals 13 of his 16 years. Maybe he has the Tim Tebow affect, maybe he is just a winner, maybe stats dont truly tell who the better players are or the more “clutch” players are.

            Posted by Djones | June 4, 2012, 9:02 pm
          • Can you tell me what Tim Tebow has won on the professional level?

            Let’s not get too crazy with the “he’s just a winner” talk.

            What that translates into is that the context of teammates, level of league wide competition are not being accurately gauged.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 4, 2012, 9:43 pm
          • I’m all for finding more datapoints. I’m not sure where to find the data you’re talking about-perhaps you could be the one to compile it! It would certainly be compelling.

            Elgee at backpicks has made the correlation between clutch and winning one of his pet topics, and he has numerous excellent articles on it. The gist is that points in the clutch are no more valuable than points at any other point in the game in terms of predicting wins. In fact, because scoring is highest during the first and 3rd quarters, they actually are the most important part of the game in determining who wins.

            Luckily for the Lakers and Kobe, that’s where they have historically shined. They beat up their opponents early and, therefore, have lots of wins and titles. It’s certainly no knock on the Lakers to say they’re the best offensive team in the NBA since Kobe came into the league, albeit one that was nothing special during crunch time.

            http://www.backpicks.com/2012/04/26/what-part-of-an-nba-game-matters-most-not-crunch-time/

            Posted by Lochpster | June 4, 2012, 10:22 pm
          • Ok the Tim Tebow comment was a little out of context. Kobe Bryant has obviously proven himself as a champion. My point on that was Tebow has very average stats in clutch time and very below average stats through out the game (which Kobe does not) but somehow Tebow still wins, and that is where the comparison is made. Some people are just winners, maybe its the things that happen through out the game that doesnt show up on stats sheets, idk, what I do know is that Kobe has had more pressure on him to win than just about anybody in the NBA (except Lebron after “the descion”) and he still pulls it out and still wins.

            Posted by Djones | June 5, 2012, 9:38 am
  15. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the last play in regulation of Game 4 of MIA-BOS definitely was not the correct basketball play.

    I think I’ll take my chances with prime Kobe Bryant with the ball, thanks. This is based on the tangible basketball skill set he has displayed, which isn’t perfect, but better equips him to be aggressive in creating for himself and the team in pressure situations.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | June 3, 2012, 10:25 pm
  16. Gil,

    What floats on water?

    gravy? small little rocks? churches?

    Give your Kobe slobbering a rest.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 3, 2012, 10:31 pm
  17. What do you define as “pressure situation”?

    Is it tied with less than 24 seconds to play?

    Could it also be down 15 at the half?

    What is the greater achievment; stringing to gehter enough defensive stops and getting quality looks to eliminate a huge deficit. This comes with an understanding that the road environment will make that really difficult, and that if you fail, the deficit will quickly become insurmountable.

    OR

    is it knowing that your team will have the final say in regulation where the penalty for missing is overtime?

    One situation provides a much greater opportunity for team failure than the other.

    It’s really ignorant to apply such reductionism to a 48 minutes game with alternating possessions.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 4, 2012, 7:55 am
  18. I suppose passing out of a triple team is “running away”

    I would say a better description is that the Heat coaching failed to devise a plan to get a clean look.

    Who in the world wouldn’t double team ANYONE with the ball at that time and accept a long range shot while being doubled?

    Spoelstra needed a better plan to either get James or Wade a better look or to find a another option.

    Frankly, this is further evidence that Miami is NOT a great team nor even a very good one.

    If you want to hammer James for a poor choice, do it for choosing Miami over Chicago.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 4, 2012, 8:16 am
    • Paulie, as I’ve written before, I think that the “shadow of Jordan” factor stopped LeBron from signing with the Bulls in 2010. But in hindsight, it’s fair to wonder whether Chicago would have really been the best place for him, for the following reasons:

      1. Boozer has been a disappointment, and while their other frontcourt guys play good D, none of them can provide consistent O.

      2. LeBron would have probably been asked to shoulder the same defensive load in Chicago as in Miami. I don’t think Coach Thibs would have been able to help himself from deploying LeBron on defense in as varied a manner as possible, thus increasing the risk of wearing him down (as has happened with the Heat).

      3. Rose plays a style that renders him susceptible to injury, and the ACL tear was non-contact and could have happened at any time. This, coupled with #1 above, would have left LeBron having to shoulder a great load on offense as well.

      Posted by E-Dog | June 6, 2012, 4:25 pm
      • They would likely NOT have Boozer had James signed with them. In fact, the Bulls may have gotten Bosh, as well as James.

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 8:40 pm
        • Paulie, thr Bulls signed Boozer the day before LeBron announced his “Decision”. Now, as a conceptual matter, one could make the case that would have made sense for LeBron to recruit Bosh in a package deal to Chicago. But LeBron wouldn’t have pitched Chicago to Bosh if he felt deterred from going there himself.

          Posted by E-Dog | June 8, 2012, 5:42 pm
          • I feel pretty confident that the Bulls already knew that James wasn’t going to the Windy City.

            These are poorly kept secrets, the movements of players.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 5:47 pm
  19. The play at the end of the 4th was not the correct basketball play. Way too much iso involved.

    However the play at the end of OT was the correct play. It just didn’t go in. Wade got a clean look and the play was drawn up to go for the win rather then for the tie. I am not 100% sure I agree with that but within those standards it was a good play.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | June 4, 2012, 12:59 pm
  20. Paulie/Nightblade,

    From what you have seen so far, do you think this Heat team stands a chance against OKC/Spurs? Even with Bosh?

    We never know which Heat team is going to show up. That’s the problem. The lethargic starts infuriate me.

    Posted by Mike | June 4, 2012, 1:19 pm
  21. Haha going to Miami over Chicago was a poor choice but just for the record, Lebron ran into the triple team. The left side of the floor had only 35 year old Garnett and Haslem. Lebron is a freak athlete so surly he could have drove by KG, even if couldnt he could have made it a two man game and made KG commit to him to give Haslem a clean look. Lebron did not make the right play. Lebron fans will read this and think I’m just being biased but I truly believe that if you will youtube the last play you will see my comments are justified. Lebron is not blessed with the best strategy coach, I agree. But when you have a player that is “compareable to Johnson”, if you dont give them the ball and let them create in that situation, you will be critized far much creater. It’s pretty much a lose lose for Coach Spols unless they win lol.

    Posted by Djones | June 4, 2012, 3:02 pm
  22. And a “great” team is generally 2 or 3 great players, around 2 or 3 role players. Jordan era bulls, Shaq era lakers, even the OKC Thunder right now. Spurs could be argued to fit in there but I honestly dont know because Duncan(who used to play AMAZING pretty much every game and the same for Manu) is unpredictable now days as far as production. They play more team basketball now but still have many role players around a couple great players. A good team would be like the Pacers or the Nuggets who have nothing but role players and no “great” players. So yes, the Heat are and were a Great team last year. haha I mean hell, they had 3 players on the same NBA team that played on the USA OLYMPIC TEAM. That usually helps lol.

    Posted by Djones | June 4, 2012, 3:12 pm
  23. Of course, the correct basketball play on offense is the one that offers the best chance of putting the ball in the basket. But there is more than one way of doing that, which leads to the following idea: maybe BOTH Kobe and LeBron generally make the “correct” play.

    How can that be? It’s an issue of self-confidence. A player of the caliber of Kobe or LeBron, when handling the ball in late-game pressure situations, is likely to draw the defense towards him in a way that will leave a teammate open. The question then becomes, does (i) passing to the open teammate or (ii) shooting in the face of heavy coverage provide the better scoring opporunity? To believe in (ii) requires a large dose of self-confidence to the point of arrogance, and Kobe has that. LeBron does not, and that is certainly part of the reason why he tends to go more towards (i). This is not a knock on LeBron, but rather a recognition that Kobe’s combination of talent and crunch-time fearlessness is exceedingly rare.

    Posted by E-Dog | June 4, 2012, 4:26 pm
  24. In my mind, there were numerous things that went wrong for the Heat on the final play, but I do not believe the decision to pass to Haslem was one of them.

    First off, the Celtics’ are a magnificent defensive team and played just about perfect D on that play. Secondly, the Heat ran an iso play, which I believe is almost always an error. Third, James makes a major strategic error by waiting so long to make a move. Fourth, Chalmers also made a major blunder by moving behind James as he was making his move, allowing Keyon Dooling to move in and ultimately break up the play.

    When James finally cut, the entire Celtics D collapsed, and if you’ll look at the video at 0:07, nobody was covering Haslem. Had James gotten him the ball quickly, that would have been a very makeable mid-range jumper. Dooling’s deflection, of course, turned a potentially good shot into an awful fadeaway at the buzzer. That does not make this the wrong decision-I believe Haslem’s expectation for a made shot here, had the pass worked, is likely higher than James’s had he tried to shoot over both Pietrus and Garnett.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CfJC_GnBMpo

    Posted by Lochpster | June 4, 2012, 5:15 pm
  25. Loch is correct in that Chalmers created the triple team with his movement.

    The big difference in James and Magic;s play is exactly what Loch wars against: standing still and allowing the defense to set.

    Magic was not an ISO or hero ball player and seldom was standing around.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 4, 2012, 9:39 pm
  26. Sigh … time to play “blame EVERYONE but Lebron” – the coach, the role players, Wade, the fan who didn’t cheer loud enough in the upper deck of American Airlines arena … this despite the fact that Lebron as the superstar is the constant in all of these disappointing teams (he does get a pass for the CavsFinals team that overachieved).

    Take heart, Lebron fans, the series is definitely not over yet… keep hanging on to those individual box stats … cognitive dissonance is a terrible thing to behold.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | June 5, 2012, 9:05 pm
    • Yea Coach Spolstra is in a pretty bad position. Everytime they lose he gets the blame, yet everytime they win, Lebron gets the credit. With the exception to maybe one or two games when D-Wade clearly out shines Lerbon. Spolstra is just in a lose lose. haha, I just said a coach with not only three all stars, but three Olympic players on the same team is in a lose lose situation…..

      Posted by Djones | June 5, 2012, 9:30 pm
    • “Sigh … time to play “blame EVERYONE but Lebron””

      You’ve played the same game with Kobe for the past two seasons.

      “…this despite the fact that Lebron as the superstar is the constant in all of these disappointing teams…”

      By that logic, Kobe Bryant as a superstar is the constant on two teams in a row that won a total of one playoff game in the 2nd round. LeBron has at least been to the ECF both seasons.

      So clearly, your logic should dictate that LeBron is better than Kobe. But I’m sure that you’ll have none of that, and you’ll contradict yourself again to argue for Kobe.

      Cognitive dissonance, indeed.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | June 6, 2012, 9:45 am
      • Realist #2….Kobe is going on 34 years old and clearly not in his prime, Lebron is. Kobe did happen to win 5 championships in his prime though. Looking like Lebron is going to be a dissapointment yet again. Maybe you have a misunderstanding of what logic means.

        Posted by Djones | June 6, 2012, 10:40 am
        • “Realist #2….Kobe is going on 34 years old and clearly not in his prime, Lebron is.”

          Gee, that sounds like an excuse! I thought Kobe homers don’t like that!

          If it’s about winning, then Kobe for the past two seasons is CLEARLY not as good as LeBron.

          Thanks for playing.

          Posted by The Realist #2 | June 6, 2012, 10:50 am
          • Thanks for playing? What are you like 15yrs old. Kobe has 5 championship rings……Gee Lebron has none. So if it’s about winning……hmmm sounds like Kobe has him beat. Hell, Kobe won the same thing Lebron has won the past two seasons anyway, not shit. Unless second place and 4th place count. Kobe did win 2 championships in the last 4 years by the way, dont forget about that either.

            Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 3:07 pm
    • I’d just like to take a moment to point out how ridiculous Gil looks for this vitriolic post. Embarrassing at the time, even worse in retrospect. Hope you enjoyed your little premature victory dance.

      Posted by Lochpster | June 10, 2012, 3:23 pm
  27. For the ECF:

    James: 31.8/10/4 ppg/rpg/apg
    .500/.648 fg%/ft%

    Wade: 22.0/5.2/4.8 ppg/rpg/apg
    .519/.767 fg%/ft%

    There is really no way you can blame wither Wade or James if the heat lose this series.

    Maybe, just maybe, the Heat are NOT a very good team.

    Two great players do not make a great team.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 5, 2012, 9:41 pm
    • 2 great players seemed to do fine in the early 2000s. Now, the heat actually have 3 great players.

      The heat very well could still win the title this year, but lebron’s decision to leave cleveland is looking stupider and stupider everyday.

      Posted by boyer | June 6, 2012, 6:43 am
      • Boyer,

        Why is Bosh “great”, but not Gasol or Bynum?

        Here are their career numbers per 36 minutes:

        Gasol: 18.6/9.2/3.2 .520/.752
        Bynum: 16.3/10.9/1.6 .566/.687
        Bosh: 19.4/8.9/2.1 .492/.799

        Remember, Gasol and Bynum both have two RINGZZZZ, Bosh has none.

        How can you determine that Bosh is “great” when the performance of all three is equal? If anything
        , Gasol and Bynum have been the better players.

        Clearly, leaving Cleveland, who has failed to make the playoffs the past two years was stupid. Didn’t the Heat make the Finals last year?

        The only thing that looks stupider and stupider every day are your comments, Boyer.

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 7:00 am
        • Paulie’s at it again. When did I say Bynum or Pau weren’t great this year? I didn’t. But, I’ll comment on it now. For this year, Bynum was great, but Pau certainly wasn’t, as he wasn’t even an AS. Bosh is still a top 10-15 player in the nba.

          Look at Bosh and Pau’s careers. Bosh is a much more decorated player than Pau. I wouldn’t say Bosh has been a lot better than Pau, but he’s certainly had a better career than Pau. And for 2012, Bosh was certainly better than Pau.

          Cleveland blew up their entire team after 2010, but that’s not the pt. Lebron enjoyed the top reg. season record twice with the cavs, so far that hasn’t happened with the heat. The 09 magic and 10 c’s were the toughest teams lebron has faced in the east. conf. finals over the last 4 years. This year’s c’s team has no business making the finals. They’re old and not very deep at all, and I know bosh is out, but bradley is out, too. When the c’s can only go 6-7 deep, maybe 8, that’s huge, especially when most of their star players are very old. The point being that lebron thought it would be easier to win titles with the heat, and so far that hasn’t been the case. He better get started pretty soon if he’s going to win 8 titles. Maybe he will this year, but right now it looks unlikely, even if he makes the finals.

          Posted by boyer | June 6, 2012, 10:00 am
          • “When did I say Bynum or Pau weren’t great this year?”

            Dodging the point of the question again.

            Paulie: “Why is Bosh “great”, but not Gasol or Bynum?”

            The kicker: “Remember, Gasol and Bynum both have two RINGZZZZ, Bosh has none.”

            You count rings, Boyer. So answer the question: how are players without rings now better than players with rings?

            Posted by The Realist #2 | June 6, 2012, 10:07 am
      • “2 great players seemed to do fine in the early 2000s. Now, the heat actually have 3 great players.”

        Actually, there’s more than 2 players on the court in a basketball game, and one of those players for the Heat has been injured for nearly two playoff series.

        Just thought I’d help you out there since you clearly lack knowledge about the game.

        Posted by The Realist #2 | June 6, 2012, 9:53 am
        • Just responding to what paulie said there, unrealist, remember to go back and read everything and blast paulie for that, too. Nice try, though.

          The heat still have the top 2 players in the series, and the c’s are old and not deep, but the c’s are willing to do the little things and play hard til the end.

          Posted by boyer | June 6, 2012, 10:31 am
          • “The heat still have the top 2 players in the series…”

            Good to see you overlooked the other point I made about basketball involving more than two players.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | June 6, 2012, 10:52 am
          • Actually, Boyer, you were not responding to what I wrote.

            As Realist #2 said, you dodged the question by re-inventing the wording.

            Throughout your rants, you have claimed that accolades and awards are not a significant measure of greatness, yet you now use it to support your claim that Bosh is better than Gasol.

            The evidence does not support that belief. The result data shows them to be essentially the same player EXCEPT that Gasol has been on TWO championship teams.

            I will ask the question again: What makes Bosh “great” and Gasol not “great”? What about Bynum, then? Since the results data are virtually the same for all three, why isn’t Bynum also “great” Bynum also has TWO rings.

            What will you point to as Bosh having the better career than Gasol?

            Your words: Look at Bosh and Pau’s careers. Bosh is a much more decorated player than Pau. I wouldn’t say Bosh has been a lot better than Pau, but he’s certainly had a better career than Pau. And for 2012, Bosh was certainly better than Pau.

            How exactly do you belive that Bosh was better in 2011-12?

            Gasol: 17.4/10.4/3.7 ppg/rpg/apg
            Bosh: 18.0/7.9/1.8 ppg/rpg/apg

            Gasol: .501/.782 fg%/ft%
            Bosh: .487/.821 fg%/ft%

            Gasol: .547/8.3/.165 TS%/WS/WS48
            Bosh: .551/6.9/.165 TS%/WS/WS48

            Looks like they are almost the same, except that, given Gasol played 2430 minutes to Bosh’s 2007 minutes, that GASOL is clearly the better player in 2011-12.

            As to your assertion that Bosh is the more highly decorated; let me help you there, too.

            Bosh has played in more All Star games, 7 to Gasol’s 4.

            Bosh was 2nd team All NBA this year, as was Gasol. Gasol also has two third team All NBA.

            Gasol was the Rookie of the Year in 2001-02.

            It seems that Bosh is, in fact, NOT more honored or decorated than is Gasol.

            Oh, wait! I bet you’re thinking that Bosh is far superior in the playoffs, right?

            Let’s check:

            Gasol 101 games played, 37.2 mpg
            Bosh 39 games played 38.7 mpg

            Gasol: 17.3/9.6/3.3 ppg/rpg/apg
            Bosh: 18.3/8.3/1.6 ppg/rpg/apg

            Gasol: .517/.333/.742 fg%/3pt%/ft%
            Bosh: .464/.200/.822 fg%/3pt%/ft%

            Again, where is exactly Bosh so superior to Gasol?

            I will ask one more time, try to stay focused on the question:

            What makes Bosh “great” and Gasol not “great”?

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 12:12 pm
          • I actually apologize for an error above.

            Gasol averaged 38.7 minutes in playoff games, Bosh was 37.2. I had them reversed.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 12:15 pm
          • Nice try paulie, but wrong again. Like I said before, pau and bosh are very comparable players, but bosh has been just a little bit better than pau. 7AS compared to 4, and in fewer years is big, and Bosh is a perennial AS, unlike Pau. Yes, Pau has 2 more 3rd team all-nbas, so it’s close, though, he wouldn’t have had those if he stayed with the grizz most likely.

            Nice tangent you went off on. I already answered your question. You rely too heavily on raw stats. If it was only up to raw stats, lebron might have 2-3 rings or more, but it isn’t. If you watched Pau any this year, you would actually have a clue about what you’re talking about, about how lackadaisacal he’s been and horrid in the past 2 playoffs, routinely not giving max hard, much like lebron, maybe they should team up, their work ethics are awful.

            And I was talking about this year for 2012 specifically. So, what does previous years have anything to do with most of the stuff you were talking about? Maybe you do, but I don’t really consider non-AS great players. I know that’s way out in left field for someone like you to understand, so I’ll say it again, try to pay attention this time.

            Posted by boyer | June 6, 2012, 5:44 pm
          • Have you guys truly listened to yourselves. Yes you Boyer and Paulie. You are ridiculously biased towards LeBron. I am biased toward the Lakers and I do defend Kobe, but at least I admit it. This year I cannot, but the blame cannot be squarely put on him just like you can’t blame LeBron for the Heats struggles lately, but I will not put all the blame on Kobe. LeBron has been the only consistant player on the Heat. I tip my hat off to him he has played spectacular.

            Now yes Kobe is not as good as LeBron right now. LeBron didn’t make it to the Finals all 3 years Kobe did and he had a team built for him. The best defense during that period, shooters for days and for a driver/pass first guy it was perfect. Would it have been better if he had better players yes.

            At the same time he went to the extreme and paired up with some of the best players, but the salary cap has prevented them from making a championship team. He made a bad decision with where he moved (He obviously wasn’t gonna get it done with that team).

            I never saw Boyer say anything about Pau or Bynum not being great players. Now Bosh has had a better year, not career than Gasol. This is mainly, because Mike Brown didn’t use him correctly. Oh but the Lakers must blame Kobe for everything or else the are dick riders. ridiculous. Bynum played great this year but was very inconsistent during the playoffs as well as Kobe and Gasol. The whole team was inconsistent.

            Either way you guys sound like pissed off Heat fans. Everything your saying is what they are saying. It’s actually really funny. Wade has been shut down and Bosh was injured bad luck. It happens to every team. The Lakers really won two rings with a hobbled Bynum. Fighting through adversity is what makes champions. LeBron has but it’s hard for one player to win a series by themselves.

            And this whole rings thing. No one says that if you win rings your a better current player. Now Kobe has 5 rings and puts up incredible numbers and has for a while. These two things combined make his career more impressive than LeBron’s. That’s the truth, that is being real. LeBron has put up better numbers yes, but winning a ring just is something needed on a resume to be up with the Greats. I mean LeBron is already considerd a top 15 player all time if you were to average everyones rankings. He is also the only one without a ring in there because he has put up historical stats at times.

            Yes Kobe got lucky with the team he was on, so was Duncan, so was Magic. Since Kobe wasn’t the alpha dog for the first three his rings don’t count I know. Which is hypocritical with the whole it takes a team to win thing, but okay. Winning a championship even with a lot of talent still isn’t easy. Look at the Heat. It takes a leader to help his team win, to light a fire under his teammates. Jordan did it and Kobe does it, even if it sounds like they are throwing them under the bus, they are motivating them. Watch football and tell me those captains don’t yell at their teammates. Is basketball a sport where you can’t call out teammates now, because all the best players have ripped into their teammates before. Magic, Bird and Jordan all did it. They have multiple rings, LeBron must say something in my opinon, because he has played his heart out and his team has let him down, but that is not in his genes. His teams start losing and he blames himself and screws his confidence up.

            I’m just saying using stats in your arguments does not mean you aren’t biased. If these players had switch places with Kobe putting up LeBron #’s and vise versa. With rings switched you would be in the same situation. In the end Kobe has played with two future HOF’s in their primes in Gasol and Shaq. While LeBron has a future HOF and if the Heat win some rings Bosh could make a good argument for a spot in the hall also. Kobe’s teams have been more stacked, because of money. Which is the reason LeBron went to Miami because he knew they had money to compete.The Heat built their team wrong and then the CBA happened. Durant is most likely winning a ring in what his 5th season, so what will be the excuse this time.

            Posted by J | June 6, 2012, 6:17 pm
          • Boyer,

            Please, work on that reading comprehension.

            Again, here is what you wrote:

            And for 2012, Bosh was certainly better than Pau.

            This is what I wrote and presented:

            How exactly do you belive that Bosh was better in 2011-12?

            Gasol: 17.4/10.4/3.7 ppg/rpg/apg
            Bosh: 18.0/7.9/1.8 ppg/rpg/apg

            Gasol: .501/.782 fg%/ft%
            Bosh: .487/.821 fg%/ft%

            Gasol: .547/8.3/.165 TS%/WS/WS48
            Bosh: .551/6.9/.165 TS%/WS/WS48

            Looks like they are almost the same, except that, given Gasol played 2430 minutes to Bosh’s 2007 minutes, that GASOL is clearly the better player in 2011-12.

            So, I will ask for the fourht time:

            What makes Bosh “great” and not Gasol?

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 8:45 pm
          • I just want Boyer to explain why he preaches rings rings rings to compare players and yet he believes Bosh is better than a player who has apparently won “two rings”.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | June 6, 2012, 9:04 pm
          • Meant Realist not Boyer.

            Posted by J | June 7, 2012, 12:04 am
  28. As much as I it seems that I am negative on Lebron, contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, I still think the Heat pull this one out.

    I don’t think they have a they good chance in the Finals, though, which is in line with popular opinion.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | June 5, 2012, 11:20 pm
  29. Gil,

    I believe that you contrary to what you post, you are failry objective.

    You just seem to be a pot stirrer that tosses in agitating commentary like a crappy talk show host (see alomost anyone on ESPN, but Skip Bayless comes to mind)

    I think the Heat can win, but they did themselves no favors by dropping a home game.

    The burden has to lay with Spoelstra and Riley. The players have given him all that they can, they just don’t have enough to beat a better coach and a determined veteran core that realizes this is their last chance.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 7:07 am
  30. What this Heat-Celtics series is really revealing is

    1) That Kevin Garnett is one of the top 30 players to ever play.

    2) That the Heat have a huge problem in that they still have no one to defend their rim. Even with Bosh, who is certainly an uninspired defensive player.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 8:18 am
  31. Maybe it’s showing us that there is more to winning than just piling up stats in the first 3 1/2 qtrs. Maybe this series is yet again showing us that you actually have to practice hard and try to get better, and then perform late in games to win. “Were not gonna win 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7, and I’m not blowing smoke to the fans I truly believe this….this is going to be easy…I mean, with me and D-wade running the wing, Pat Riley could come back and play. Just throw it up there and well go get it hahaha” Lebron James, end quote. And when you say stuff like that BEFORE YOUR TEAM HAS HAD A SINGLE PRACTICE, yea you should be at blame when you dont win. I mean hell, it’s going to be easy right? Sorry Lebron, you actually have to do more than just show up and get the trophy, crazy right. Gasol was a great player for three years with the Lakers no doubt. And they made the championship for those three years. Check out his playoff stats for the last two years.

    2011: 13.1ppg, 42%, 7.8rb
    2012: 12.5ppg, 43.4%, 9.5rb
    7 Footer shooting less than 44% and getting less than 10 boards scoring less than 14 pts. And that is a great player?
    And just for the record Bynum did not play at all in the 2008 playoffs and averaged less than 9pts and 7 rebounds a game in the playoffs in the other two championship runs. Bynum did average 16.7ppg, 47.7%, 11.1rb in these playoffs, by far his best perfomence of his career. Too bad he gives up atleast 20pts a game just off of being lazy as crap! Bosh tries hard, and I mean hard, he has more heart than anyone on that team. Bynum doesnt even know what a heart looks like, more or less plays like. And Boyer is right, the Lakers only had two great players in all five of there championship runs. I will agree though that the first three came at the hands of TWO of the greatest players of ALL TIME, and not just “great” players.
    But you are right, the Heat are NOT a GREAT team, but maybe thats because Lebron just isnt as good as what his fans think he is. When Lebron performs as good in the last 8 minutes as he does in the first 40 minutes, the heat are nearly unbeatable. Wade lead this team to a champinship with less talent…..

    Posted by Djones | June 6, 2012, 10:32 am
    • No. Wade did not win a championship with inferior talent.

      Shaq was already on the downside, but he was still miles better than an injured an not playing Bosh. Shaq was probably still better than a healthy Bosh.

      Let’s not forget that Haslem was on that team, only younger and healthier.

      Antoine Walker played the best basketball of his otherwise useless career.

      And though Payton was aged, he still was a better PG than anyone on the 2011-12 Heat.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 11:46 am
    • This is just flat out wrong. Miami has outscored Boston by 15 points in the 4th quarter and by 2 in OT during the series. Through 5 games, Boston has “won” one fourth quarter and one OT, but they’ve won 3 games. If we want to take a lesson from Boston being up 3-2, it’s that every point matters through the whole game.

      Of course, if we were really wise, we’d defer from putting too much stock into one game, one series, or even one playoffs.

      Posted by Lochpster | June 6, 2012, 12:40 pm
      • Yep! And to further reinforce the point that all points matter, if you look at it you’ll see that in their losses Miami has trailed after 3qts in each of those games. So the problem is not their scoring in the last 1/2 quarter, it’s their lack of scoring in the first 3.

        Posted by ks | June 6, 2012, 2:01 pm
    • Furthermore, we know that Lebron James not only performs as well in the clutch as he does the rest of the time, he’s one of the few players who consistently improves not only his production but also his efficiency. This trend also holds for Lebron in the playoffs:

      http://www.backpicks.com/2011/01/10/the-nbas-best-players-in-the-clutch-since-2003/

      http://www.backpicks.com/2011/02/03/clutch-play-since-2004-playoff-numbers/

      If you’re going to hate on Lebron do it for the right reasons. The Decision, and his lack of a title, are really the only holes in his resume. His clutch performance over the course of his career is actually quite a strength. Although as you pointed out earlier, in the Finals, this may not be the case.

      Posted by Lochpster | June 6, 2012, 3:44 pm
  32. “Maybe it’s showing us that there is more to winning than just piling up stats in the first 3 1/2 qtrs. Maybe this series is yet again showing us that you actually have to practice hard and try to get better, and then perform late in games to win..”

    No maybe about it. That’s just dumb.

    I guess the “piling up stats in the first 3 1/2 qtrs” line is just the latest version of the stupid “only points scored in the final minutes of the 4qt matter” which has been debunked so many times it’s not worth commenting on except I will note in this case, the ant-Lebron/Kobe fanboy bs has changed from the first 3 qts to the first 3 1/2 qts. Keep moving the propaganda goalposts…heh.

    The reality is that Lebron has performed consistently well in this series and in the playoffs generally (30/9/5 – 50%). The Heat’s main problem is that they don’t have an answer for Garnett on either end.

    Anyway the “practice hard and try and get better..” thing is REALLY stupid. This has probably been Lebron’s best all around year.

    Posted by ks | June 6, 2012, 10:51 am
    • Lebron has great overall #’s as usual, but once again it’s more than individual stats and he consistently fails to do the little things that will propel his team to a win and fails in his ability to carry his team through 4 rounds of playoffs.

      While the clutch stats won’t show it, what was lebron doing in the final min. of each of the past 2-3 games of this series, especially last night? He was just a bystander for the most part, once again.

      Lebron has a lot more to work with even with bosh out than the c’s do. The difference is that the c’s will play hard til the end. They thirst for the title and don’t wilt under pressure.

      Posted by boyer | June 6, 2012, 3:26 pm
      • Sometimes I wonder if you watch the games or just simply listen to the ESPN fools.

        On top of avg 32/10/4 for the series, LBJ has guarded 1 through 5 on the floor.

        In the final two minutes:

        This past game he missed a 3, guarded Pierce who hit the big 3 and then made a layup.

        The game before that in regulation he missed a 3, made a 3 to tie the game, got a charge on Garnett and had to ditch to Haslem on the last play. In OT, there were a total of 6! pts scored by both teams. LBJ was 0-2 with a turnover.

        The game before that the Celtics had a big lead and wound up winning by 10 and nobody on the heat did much in the final 2 minutes.

        So contrary to your ESPN inspired “bystander” meme LBJ was actively involved in those games.

        Lebron has a lot more to work with even with Bosh out? Do I even meed to dignify that with a response? Play hard till the end, huh? In 5 games, we’ve had 2OTs and a last minute game. Only a missed Wade jumper, kept the Heat from going up 3-1 and being in total control of the series. Both teams are playing hard.

        Posted by ks | June 6, 2012, 4:13 pm
        • Dont forget the Celtics were one bad call away in Game 2 from already winning this series 4-1.

          Posted by Djones | June 6, 2012, 5:20 pm
          • And yea I know the Heat easily could have won game 4, I’m just pointing out that it goes both ways.

            Posted by Djones | June 6, 2012, 5:21 pm
        • Oh no, the frozen one shows up again, oh wait, doesn’t show up, and only has 1 other top 10 player on his team. Oh wait, the c’s have none. ESPN is the most biased towards lebron, gimme a break, ever read abbott? And don’t forget the heat index. I could care less what most of those bozos have to say. They’re making excuses for lebron if everything, mainly that spoelstra is a crap coach, and on and on and on.

          Your evidence of lebron not being a bystander doesn’t really support your view. Not looking good for the princess right now.

          Posted by boyer | June 6, 2012, 5:33 pm
          • Boyer,

            You really are the most ignorant person that posts on here. And that is really saying a lot.

            Please, stop.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 6, 2012, 8:57 pm
      • What are the

        “little things that will propel his team to a win ”

        that you speak of?

        How, exactly, has James or any ONE player

        “fails in his ability to carry his team through 4 rounds of playoffs.”

        Please, tell us what these things ar that you believe that you clearly know yet the rest of the world does not.

        Please tell us without degenerating into your typical Rush Limbaugh style rhetoric. Don’t be vague, be specific: What are these little things that you have seen James or anyone else (except Bryant, apparently) NOT perform?

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 11:58 am
    • You don’t answer the questions earlier (probably because you don’t want to admit your obvious double standard), so here you are spewing more nonsense. Such as this:

      “He was just a bystander for the most part, once again.”

      False. Period. Maybe YOU need to watch the games, instead of making statements not based in reality.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | June 6, 2012, 3:44 pm
  33. Lemme join in the fun of exposing these Kobe fan frauds, KS.

    “And they made the championship for those three years. Check out his playoff stats for the last two years

    2011: 13.1ppg, 42%, 7.8rb
    2012: 12.5ppg, 43.4%, 9.5rb

    7 Footer shooting less than 44% and getting less than 10 boards scoring less than 14 pts. And that is a great player?”

    Ah, so with Kobe one’s teammates matter again? Got it. Hey, do you wanna compare LeBron/Wade’s teammates numbers for the 2012 playoffs? Especially with Bosh being out for a good part of the postseason?

    Posted by The Realist #2 | June 6, 2012, 11:02 am
    • I’d actually love to see these numbers….

      Posted by Mike | June 6, 2012, 12:33 pm
      • This is the Lakers 2008 team that lost in the finals compared to the 2011 Heat team that lost in the finals.
        Kobe-30.1pts,48%,5.7rb
        Pau-16.9pts,53%,9.3rb
        Odom-14.3pts,49%,10rb
        Fisher-10.2,45%,2.2
        Vujacic-8.1,39.9%,2.2
        Radmanovic-8.0,44.4%,3.8
        Luke Walton-6.0,45.4,2.6
        2011 Miami Heat that also lost in the finals
        James-23.7pts,46.6%,8.4rb
        Wade-24.5pts, 48.5%,7.1rb
        Bosh-18.6pts,47.4%,8.5rb
        Chalmers-7.8pts,43.5%,1.9rb
        Jones-6.5pts,47.1%,2.5
        Bibby-3.7pts,28.1%,1.8
        Haslem-5.3pts,39.7%,4.5
        Very compareable, Kobe and Wade led there teams, but for the sake of the argument I’ll use Kobe and Lebron as the leaders. Kobe easily outshined Lebron the year he fell up short and outshinned everyone on his team, Lebron was second best if you go by stats on his own team(which normally I am not a stat guy because there is way more to the game then stupid stats but so many Lebron fans only look at stats and not results so I figure I’ll show some. The second key players were Pau and Wade. Wade easily has pau beat. Third man, Odom and Bosh. Very compareable numbers but if your going off stats then Bosh does win. Here is the role players. Fisher and Chalmers. Fisher wins. Vujacic and James Jones. Vucacic does average whopping 1.6 more points a game but shoots 7% percent lower and grabs less boards. Jones wins. Radmanovic and Bibby. Radmanovic easily wins. Then the 7th man goes to Luke Walton and Haslem. Anyone who has ever watched Luke Walton play is probably laughing that I’m even comparing the two players but Luke is actually averagin .7 more pts and shooting 6% better, haslem gets 2 more boards a game and is way better on deffense so we’ll call this even I guess.
        As you can see if you look at these stats with a non-biased opinion, Kobe actually has the same if not the better argument for his teammates letting him down compared to Lebron’s teammates letting him down. This years teams are very very similar. Lerbon edges Kobe cause of shooting percentage. Wade beats Bynum, Bosh beats Pau, Chalmers beats Metta, Sessions beats Mike Miller, Blake statistically beats Battier but Battier is a far better defender, and Haslem edges Hill. So actually, it is false when Lebron fans talk about him not having a better team (statistically speaking). At best they are even, stat wise Lebron has better teammates. And I know Bosh didnt play after gm1 in the 2nd round but if you think about it, Kobe had to play Durrant, Westbrook, Harden, and Ibaka in the second round. Lebron had to play Granger, Paul George, Hibbert, and Hill. Not exactly a real compareable match up lol. I’m sure the Lakers could have lived without paus 12.5pts on 43% shooting to beat the Pacers.

        Posted by Djones | June 6, 2012, 5:05 pm
    • Bosh did play last season and actually out performed Lebron in the finals, as did Wade. But yea because Lebron and the other two olympic players didnt have good enough role players they lost. Just like they will this year. Lebron fans crack me up, when bosh is playing they say that he isnt that good and doesnt really do anything except take up Lebron shots, and then when he’s out yall want to use that as an excuse. Pick one. And by me saying he needs to practice hard and actually get better was my way of saying that he shouldnt run his mouth and be a cocky arrogant punk. If he wouldnt have been worrying about getting better instead of figuring out which room would be big enough for all of his trophys maybe one of his teams would have won something by now, but no “his teammates arent very good”

      Posted by Djones | June 6, 2012, 4:02 pm
      • I really wouldn’t say that

        “Bosh did play last season and actually out performed Lebron in the finals,”

        The numbers:

        Wade: 26.5/7.0/5.2 ppg/rpg/apg
        James 17.8/7.2/6.8 ppg/rpg/apg
        Bosh 18.5/7.3/1.0 ppg/rpg/apg

        Wade: .546/.304/.694 FG%/3pt/FT%
        James .478/.321/.500 FG%/3pt%/FT%
        Bosh .413/.000/.756 FG%/3pt%/FT%

        Wade was the best of the three. James was clearly the facilitator of the offense and probably was not looking to score first.

        Bosh was solid, but not measurably better than James.

        Clearly, the Heat NEED James ot play GREAT to win.

        Although, that is not fair, it is what fans will expect, especially when you do asinine things like “The Decision” and announce that your trophy case will swell with Championship cups.

        It is fair to have elevated expectations for James, but we should temper that with some reality.

        James is a great player. James is the best player in the NBA presently. James is the best player on the Heat and if the Heat ever hope to win, they will need James on the roster.

        Bosh essentially played at par with his career in the 2011 Finals, James did not. Yet, if you were the opposing team, who would you be most focused on stopping or neutralizing: James or Bosh?

        For the Heat to win, Bosh has to play ABOVE his carer norms as Bosh will be the benefactor of less defensive focus.

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 8:54 am
        • People who harp on LeBron’s Finals keep forgetting that in order to win a title, you need to win 16 games. Not 4. And Finals games all count as one game each, the same as all the other playoff games. And you need to win all your previous games to even get to the Finals.

          So, how about these people take the WHOLE 2011 playoffs instead of a series of their choice, and realize that LeBron played well in the playoffs? Especially in series where Bosh or Wade had a subpar series and LeBron had to pick up the slack?

          Posted by The Realist #2 | June 7, 2012, 10:12 am
          • 2011 Miami Heat “Playoff Stats” not Finals stats
            James-23.7pts,46.6%,8.4rb
            Wade-24.5pts, 48.5%,7.1rb
            Bosh-18.6pts,47.4%,8.5rb
            Lebron didnt exactly kill it in the ENTIRE PLAYOFFS, he did good, but not for someone they say is better than Kobe Bryant.

            Wade: 26.5/7.0/5.2/54.6%
            James 17.8/7.2/6.8 /47.8%
            Bosh 18.5/7.3/1.0/
            41.3%

            Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 3:02 pm
        • I actually didnt see the shooting percentages from last years finals which gives Lebron the edge, I agree. But like you said, Bosh played par with his season averages. He did exactly what he was supposed to do and did exactly what he had been doing to get his team to the finals. Lebron set an NBA record for the biggest drop off in points from the regular season to the NBA finals. My point is,is it not fair to say that Bosh played better than Lebron out of the fact that he did exactly what he was supposed to do, he even hit a game winner in one of the games(off Lebrons pass I know). But Lebron under achieved as bad as any player possibly could have with as much talent as he has.

          Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 2:54 pm
          • You may wish to check the numbers for Bryant before making this statement:

            “Lebron didnt exactly kill it in the ENTIRE PLAYOFFS, he did good, but not for someone they say is better than Kobe Bryant.”

            Are you certain of that?

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 3:21 pm
          • Just to let you know what the playoff numbers actually are:

            for 2010-11

            Bryant: 22.8/3.4/3.3 ppg/rpg/apg
            James: 23.7/8.4/5.9 ppg/rpg/apg

            Bryant: .446/.293/.820 FG%/3pt%/FT%
            James: .466/.353/.763 FG%/3pt%/FT%

            Career

            Bryant: 25.6/5.1/4.7 ppg/rpg/apg
            James: 28.3/8.5/6.7 ppg/rpg/apg

            Bryant: .448/.331/.816 FG%/3pt%/FT%
            James: .466/.316/.743 FG%/3pt%/FT%

            James also has averaged more minutes per game:

            2010-11 43.9 to 35.4
            Career 41.9 to 39.3

            James was easily better than Bryant last year, and is also better for their careers.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 3:34 pm
    • Go ahead and post the numbers, the dont lie. Maybe you havent really looked at them yet. Funny how said Kobe’s teammates compared to “Lebron/Wades’s teammates. Wade counts as one of Lebron’s teammates.

      Posted by Djones | June 6, 2012, 5:11 pm
      • What’s funny is that you dodged the question and pulled a different set of numbers:

        The question was “Hey, do you wanna compare LeBron/Wade’s teammates numbers for the 2012 playoffs? Especially with Bosh being out for a good part of the postseason?”

        You knew the answer to that so instead you pulled different numbers and tried to ba around it.

        Posted by ks | June 7, 2012, 8:11 am
        • Lol why do you think I didn’t reply to his nonsense?

          Posted by The Realist #2 | June 7, 2012, 9:59 am
        • OK well lets take a look then. I thought it would be fair to post the stats of the year they both lost in the finals since they both had the same good year and both fell up short, I would argue that its fair to compare those stats to see which person is more to blame for their team losing(if anyone). Since you think those are biased, probably becasue they dont favor Lebron, lets just take a look at this years stats.

          Laker 2012 playoff stats
          Kobe-30.0pts,44%,4.8rb
          Bynum-16.7pts,47.7%,11.1rb
          Pau-12.5pts,43.4%,9.5rb
          Metta-11.7pts,36.7%,3.5rb
          Sessions-9.7pts,37%,3.0rb
          Blake-6.3pts,42%,2.8rb
          Hill-4.8pts,43.4%,6.3rb

          Miami Heat 2012 Playoff stats
          Lebron-29.9pts,49.6%,9.1rb
          Wade-23.3pts,47.7%,4.8rb
          Bosh*-13.9pts,50%,6.9rb
          Chalmers-11.9pts,43.1%,4.1rb
          Miller-5.6pts,39.7%,2.9rb
          Battier-5.2pts,29.6%,3.4rb
          Haslem-5.3pts,45.6%6.9rb

          As I said earlier Bosh missed 5 games in the pacers series and Miami still won. Since he is the third best player for the Heat I think it would be fair to take the Lakers third best player away, Gasol’s 12.5pts on 43% shooting and the Lakers would still beat the Pacers. The Lakers have to play in the West though which has dominated the NBA for the last 13 years. West has won 10 championships to the East 3. But the main point was look at Kobe’s teammates compared to Lebron’s teammates. Lets do that then since obviously you cant read stat lines very well. 2nd best players Wade and Bynum. Wade is an MVP of an NBA finals, veteran, and plays with alot of passion. Bynum is young with little experience and very injury prone. He is 7 foot which is an adv but he the laziest and most undependable player in the NBA. When he doesnt get shots he crys like a little kid and doesnt play defense in the half court, doesnt get back on defense in full court, and gives up as many offensive rebounds as he gets total. And we havent even looked at stats yet cause as I have stated, I am not a stat guy, but since you insist. Wade is averaging far more points and shoots the exact same %. Bynum get way more rebounds. Whos better? I think we all know. Ok lets look at third best players. Pau Gasol and Bosh. Bosh didnt play for 9 games, but the Lakers could go without Gasol and do the exact same thing the Heat are doing. Just for example, they made the 2008 NBA finals with out Andrew Bynum. Even in the 2 championships he was apart of, he played spotty minutes and didnt produce. Gasol is a better career player than Bosh, in my opinion. But stats show otherwise, especially this year. Bosh is averaging more points and shooting a far better percentage. A 7footer shooting sub 44% is terrible. Mario Chalmers is shooting pretty much the same percentage as Gasol. Gasol is averaging a couple more rebounds a game but overall who would you say is doing better? If your a stat guy (which apperently all Lebron fans are) Bosh is doing better. Now lets look at the 4th best players. It was Ron Artest and Mario Chalmers. Ron Artest is a far better defender, and rebounder(although stats show otherwise). Most Kobe fans hate Metta but I acually like him because just like Kobe said, he is one of the only guys on the team that will actually try hard every night. But you like stats right? Ok, well Chalmers is scoring more points a game(by a slim margin) and shooting a way better % and actually averaging more rebounds. And lets not forget Ron Artest missed the first 6 games. If you go by stats who is better this year? Obviously Chalmers. Damn well thats the top three players under Lebron out performing the top 3 players under Kobe, weird huh. The 5th best players are sessions and Mike Miller(if you go by stats). I dont like either player actually and think they both suck but sessions is averaging 9.7pts shooting 37% while Miller is averaging only 5.6 pts shooting 39.7% Sessions easly gets the edge. The last two players are Steve Blake compared to Shane Battier. I would take Shane battier any day of the week as would anyone who knows anything about basketball, but the stat show Blake is having a better playoff. He is averagin 1 more point a game and shooting WAY better. Blake gets the edge easily (if you go by stats). Haslem and Jordan Hill are number 7. Haslem averages a 1/2 pt more and shoots 2 % better and get .6 more rebounds. Haslem is better on stats ( even though its not even close on who is better if you actually watch the games.

          Yes ks, i knew the anwser but I was hoping you knew basketball enough to compare the stats yourself so I didnt have to hold your hand and write down a hole freaking book.

          Still say Lebron’s team isnt as good as Kobe’s team? He isnt with the cavs anymore peole, that argument no longer works. Not exactly nonsense huh?

          Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 3:56 pm
          • I doubt we needed a stat breakdown to understand that a team that got broomed last year in the conference semis and lost 1-4 in the conference semis this year is NOT as good as a team that has made the Finals and may gain make the Finals.

            Thanks,though, for pointing out the obvious.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 4:31 pm
          • Oh please, you always write a book of mostly Kobenut spin. You go off on long contradictory word fogs full of the same tiresome arguments that have been debunked over and over and over again here. You’re just the latest Kobenut to make them.

            Posted by ks | June 8, 2012, 7:49 am
      • Do numbers not lie, or are they like a bikini? I’m having trouble keeping your story straight. Or are you?

        Posted by Lochpster | June 7, 2012, 4:54 pm
        • Loch,

          The numbers ONLY lie when applied to comparisons of Kobe to anyone else.

          Then, the only thing that matters is the RINNGGZZZZ BABYY!!

          Bosh is great, and because the Lakers lost, Gasol stinks. Though, GAsol has two rings. . . wait, I’m confused.

          Gasol has two rings which makes him the equal of Wilt, but not as great as Kobe who is only equal to Derek Fisher, yet not as great as Robert Horry. . .wait, I am confused again.

          Kobe is great because he has “a killer instinct” and “hates to lose”, but his teams have also lost, but that was because his teammates were bad, but wait, I thought they were great because they had RINNGGZZZ BABBBYYY!!!

          I am confused again.

          The one thing I have learned is that Jordan NEVER won squat without Pippen, who is apparently far greater than anyone ever gave him credit for ever and that Pippen won everything without Jordan. . . wait, Pippen never won anything without Jordan. . .

          HELP!!!

          Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 5:25 pm
          • And since your so good at looking at useless stats, why dont you compare Kobe’s playoff stats for his last three championship runs compared to Jordans’s playoff stats for his last three championship runs. You’ll probably just say Lebron is better than Jordan too right? hell you might as well say Lebron already has a better career than Jordan and Johnson, and Bird in his 9 years.

            Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 5:45 pm
          • explain, pease, which stats are useless?

            Points?
            Field Goal percentage?
            Free throw Percentage?
            Rebounds?
            Plus/Minus?
            TS%?
            Win Shares?
            Minutes?

            Again, for the record, since you clearly have not read much of what I have psoted on htis site, my all time hierarchy is thus:

            Jordan, Russell, Kareem, Bird, Wilt, Magic, Duncan, West, Robertson, Olajuwan, Moses Malone, Shaq, Kobe, Havlicek, Baylor, Pettit, Karl Malone, Barkley, Stockton, James.

            Seems to me that I do NOT believe that James has had the better career than Bryant, Bird, or Magic.

            I merely pointed out, and was supported by the numbers, that James was better in the playoffs in 2011. Coincidentally, James has superior result data for his career to Bryant as well.

            But, that story is yet to be completed.

            Sorry for being one of the “dumb biased idiots”

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 5:54 pm
          • I just now read your comment about your list of the all time hierarchy. “James was easily better than Bryant last year, and is also better for their careers.” Seems kind of inconsistent with your list but other than that your list is pretty much right on. And I 100% believe every stat you listed below is not completly useless, but all of them can be way too misleading. Except for Free throw %. I’ll explain if you want but you seem knowledgable about the game so I’m sure you understand why.

            Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 8:23 pm
        • Stats lie, that is my opinion. I am not a big stat guy. I am a results guy. Since however Kobe has done way better with results(5 championships to Lebrons 0), Lebron fans want to point out stats.“Hey, do you wanna compare LeBron/Wade’s teammates numbers for the 2012 playoffs? Especially with Bosh being out for a good part of the postseason?” So if stats are the only way to point out that someone has no clue what they are talking about, I’ll use them. And yea congradulations to the Miami Heat for beating the Knicks and the Pacers in the playoffs. The Lakers play in a far better conference and lost to the team playing in the championship and will probably win the championship. How is it the Lakers fault they had to play OKC in the second round and Miami wouldnt have to play them til the championship (if they make it that far through the weak as crap East). And last year is the same way. Dont forget the same team knocked off Miami and L.A. LA just had to play them first. No rewards for second place. Especially when you say “winning championships is gonna be easy”. So dont say the Heat are better just cause they are lucky enough to play in a weaker conference. And when Paulie is dumb enough to say that Lebron has a better career than Kobe? Lebron averages more points than Kobe in the playoffs, congrats. Kobe starting playing in the playoffs when he was 18 and averaged only 8 pts a game, and did the same thing when he was 19. When he was 20 he averaged 20 pts a game. Lebron’s team didnt make the playoffs til he was 21. But of course because he has better playoff stats he has had a better career???? That is why it is pointless to name stats, dumbass people always pick the stats that suit them best and dont think about any other metric that influence those stats. When someone says Kobe has five rings you think of every possible metric to down size that though dont you? If you want to say Lebron is better than Kobe right now, I wont even argue. I would rather have Kobe on my team in the fourth qtr but through out a season and through out a game a would rather have Lebron, agreed. But to say the Lebron already has a better career than Kobe Bryant is just ignorant. Say he has a better career when he has actually won something, say he has a better career when he actually becomes mature and a leader, say he has a better career when he actually lives up to the player the media has made him out to be. But to say Lebron James has a better career after nine season than Kobe does after 16 seasons is just stupid. Kobe has been dominating this game since Lebron was in Jr. High. And you actually called someone out earlier for posting dumb comments? I actually liked debating on this site cause Lochpster made good points and brought up good comparisons, and most Lebron fans and Kobe haters are just dumb biased idiots…..like Paulie is apperently. Lerbon has had a better career than Kobe???? What a moron.

          Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 5:37 pm
          • but aren’t stats also results?

            if the stats lie, then won’t other “results” also offer similar lies?

            How do we then judge which is the truth? the results that ARE measurable or the results that are NOT measurable; which is the truth?

            If it is the latter (the immeasurable, such as “killer instinct” or “the little things”), then how can you ever know what it is or how to measure it since, by definition, it is immeasurable?

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 5:41 pm
          • For the record, I am neither a “fan” of Kobe nor James.

            Just the truth.

            And, also, I used the comparisons of playoff numbers that YOU, DJones, cited: the 2010-11 playoffs.

            I added the career numbers to offer a broader picture in order to ELIMINATE statistical illusions created by too small a sample.

            In layman’s terms, I was essentially giving Kobe every opportunity as a point of comparison to James in this highly focused regard. Kobe is hardly ineffectual in the playoffs.

            The difficult truth for some is that James, despite not yet playing on a championship team, is the better performer.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 5:46 pm
          • Hey there, DJones,

            If the Heat lose the the Celtics, they will ALSO have lost to the team playing for the championship.

            Just like they did last year.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 6:22 pm
          • I agree with you that Lebron’s career pales in comparison to Kobe’s right now.

            I do think Lebron’s apex is higher, and I believe he’s a more productive player than Kobe ever was. Does that mean he’s had a better career? Not at this point. They both have a lot of time to add to their legacies. Lebron has a lot of time.

            What really gets me going is the anti-Lebron propaganda out there. There are legit reasons to pick on him, and then there are total fabrications. He’s not clutch? You can’t rely on him to hit the game winner? He defers when he shouldn’t? It’s all baloney, and I believe I’ve got more than enough data to prove it.

            And when you trot out rings (which when you consider that statistic is defined as a single attribute of a sample, is definitely a statistic), the same thing you pointed out about seasons is true-Lebron’s had half the career Kobe has, so it’s a totally unfair comparison.

            Does that mean last year’s finals wasn’t a huge mark against him? No. Or that his previous early flameouts don’t color his legacy? Absolutely not. Have his Finals performances to date been substandard? Surely. Did the Decision color him as an absolute self-absorbed douchebag who gave us all the reason we need to unapologetically root for him to fail? Without a doubt. There are plenty of reasons to pick on James.

            That said, he was the biggest reason the Heat made it to last year’s finals. And in this year’s playoffs, he’s outproduced everyone in the league by an enormous margin-even when you compare him to the likes of Kevin Durant. And he’s, as we’ve come to expect, actually been a solid performer in the clutch when he’s not fouled out.

            I like that you’re willing to learn, and that you’ve taught me something I didn’t know about Lebron’s finals clutch performance, another stain on his legacy. What frustrates me to no end is people on this board who bring nothing to the table in their arguments, yet stubbornly insist they’re right. That clearly is not you.

            My hope would be that as sensible people, we can see the value in not sticking a fork in Lebron every single time his team loses. Along the same lines, if he wins a title, it doesn’t immediately stamp him the player of the generation, as the public storyline will likely go. Like many tortured virtuosos who struggled for years without a ring-Jordan, Dirk, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Hakeem Olajuwon, Stockton and Malone, David Robinson, Charles Barkley, Gary Payton, Wilt Chamberlain-some will get there, some will not. If and how they do will color how we see them when their careers are over. If we looked at them all at Lebron’s age and judged them by the ring/no ring criterion, they’d all be failures. I wouldn’t judge any of them disappointments, but many will, and that’s ok-we all have our own criteria for greatness.

            But against those who want to prematurely stick a fork in Lebron’s career and label him a loser, I will not yield an inch, because they don’t have a clue what the second half of his career will bring, or even what the result of this playoffs will bring. Win or lose, though, this will be far from the last chapter in the book of Lebron (probably).

            I suggest we all calm down and at least let Lebron play out his prime before we try to define his legacy.

            Posted by Lochpster | June 7, 2012, 6:25 pm
          • Question….do you believe in the “it” factor? It is the most unmeasurable factor that will never show up on a stat sheet. And just for the record you honestly believe that Lebron James already has a better Career than Kobe Bryant, like today?(Probably a bad time to ask since he has 30pts in the first half lol). Just remmember though he started the last game 8 for 10 before finishing 3-15. You make a good point as far as stats being results and other “results” also offering similar lies. Very true. There is no way to measure which results matter and which do not. Most people have the”opinion” that championships mean more then meaningless stats. And i’m not talking about Fisher or Horry scoring 8 points a game and winning a championship, thats not the same thing as scoring 28pts a game and hitting clutch shots down the stretch to win a championship. Yet, as stated, the results are the same. And honestly like you stated earlier, If it is the latter (the immeasurable, such as “killer instinct” or “the little things”), then how can you ever know what it is or how to measure it since, by definition, it is immeasurable? There is no way to measure it, just like there is no way to say who is better between Russel and Jordan or any “GREAT” players if you really think about it. The fact is, is that Kobe has found away to win championship consestenly throughout his entire career. Everytime he surrounded by good players, he wins. Lebron is just now having his chance to play with good players, therefore I dont think its fair to say he already has a better career before we see how he does with those good players. I just know Kobe has proven himself, Lebron is just now getting the chance, and he is 0-1. Maybe he’ll win, maybe he wont. But it is fact, some people are just winners, and some people are not. Tony Romo compared to Eli Manning for example. (I’m am the ultimate Dallas fan by the way.) It is my opinion that Lebron isnt a winner (which is an unmeasureable stat). Look at tonight for another example, Lebron is playing like the MVP and I’m sure he will in the 3rd qtr too. Lets see if he is this aggressive in the final 5 minutes. They will double him I’m sure, but they double Kobe late in games too and he somehow always finds a way to win.

            Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 7:01 pm
          • You need to scroll above to understand where I rank Bryant against James.

            I seldom take anything away form Kobe.

            What I offer is the temperance of those that seem to forget that SHAQ was the biggest reason the Lakers won, as nearly ANY team with Shaq would have won.

            Kobe rooters also seem to nonviolently forget the 2004 Finals when Kobe single-handily shot the Lakers out of games.

            Kobe is a great player, but there is a bias (and an understandable one) form those that are younger than 35 or so. For Them, Bryant was the greatest show on the court.

            The trouble is when that crowd lacks to use proper perspective.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 7:18 pm
          • “Did the Decision color him as an absolute self-absorbed douchebag who gave us all the reason we need to unapologetically root for him to fail? Without a doubt.”

            If that’s his biggest transgression, I’m sure a majority of athletes would swap their pitfalls for his.

            Including some of my favorite athletes.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | June 7, 2012, 7:19 pm
          • The “winners” argument is also pretty weak.

            Would you really rather have Eli over Peyton?

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 7:19 pm
          • That is 100% false that anyteam would have won with Shaq. Shaq played in the NBA for what 17 years? He won 4 championships, 3 with Kobe Bryant and one with D wade scoring 35 a game in the finals. With out Kobe, Shaq doesnt win those 3, without Shaq, Kobe doesnt win those 3. And just for the record, Shaq was the only player that shot over 40% in that series for the lakers and shaq and kobe are the only players to average more than 6 pts. The one game they won was because Kobe went off in the fourth and hit a buzzer beater 3 to tie the game. He then accounted for 8 of the 10 pts scored in OT. And just for the record in the first 3 championships Kobe was the man they went to in the clutch in close games.Granted they beat the shit out of everybody so there wasnt that many close games. Shaq was dominating in the first 3 qtrs. But late in close games teams like the Pacers, just fouled him when he touched it and he would miss free throws. The two closest games in that series game 4 and game 6 the Lakers actually resorted to running a 1-4 low and just giving Kobe the ball. (Shaq actually fouled out in game 4, but Kobe lead them to the W. As a matter a fact, when Shaq fouled out, Kobe went up to Shaq and told him “dont worry, I got this. We arent losing this game” Shaq said that in interview. No Shaq, no 3 rings. No Kobe, no 3 rings. Just like the Heat. No Lebron no rings. No D-wade no rings.

            Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 8:12 pm
          • And for the regualr season, I take Payton, for the playoffs I think you have to take Eli. Payton didnt even play that good in the Superbowl he won, and Payton (who is actually one of my favorite players believe it or not)seems to not get the job done in the playoffs. Altough he does play in the tougher conference. So I dont think thats a weak argument, some people really are just winners. I am an extreme believer of the “it” factor.

            Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 8:15 pm
          • I don’t believe stats lie, they only inform. It’s another personal pet peeve of mine. Stats can’t have an agenda, but they can be presented with one. It’s up to us to interpret what they mean.

            As for the “it” factor, I do believe there are players who outperform what their standard box score would lead you to believe. However, to label a player as having “it,” I believe you first have to show that they do have “it” somehow. Benjamin Morris did a series on it, arguing that Dennis Rodman was one of the most impactful players in NBA history by showing that his adjusted win % differential and MOV differentials were extremely high. Briefly, the first stat measures your impact on your team’s winning percentage when you’re in or out of the lineup, and the latter shows how much your team outperforms what their expected W-L would be based on their margin of victory.

            So I believe Dennis Rodman had “it,” if you define “it” as a huge impact on his team’s outcomes that doesn’t show up in the box score. Bill Russell probably did, although Morris’s stats don’t go back that far. Peyton Manning clearly has “it” in football, and Tim Tebow may as well, although it’s hard to glean too much from just one season. I don’t, however, believe many players have “it.” And I believe the “it” that most people believe in-one player dominating in crunch time-is almost completely a myth.

            http://skepticalsports.com/?tag=win-differential

            For the record, I do believe Lebron’s been better than Kobe to date. Many will disagree, and that’s their prerogative, but Lebron’s been significantly more productive, and I look at ring counting as pretty low-level discourse. Here’s my original article on the matter.

            http://chasing23.com/ring-counting/

            Posted by Lochpster | June 7, 2012, 10:01 pm
          • Did you happen to notice what the Colts did without Peyton?

            Are you really that dense to think that the 14-2 Colts would not be 6-10 without him?

            And what I meant was that any team with the motivated Shaq from 1999-2002 would have won.

            Certainly, if Shaq were on any of the Lakers opponents, the Lakers would not have won.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 10:24 pm
          • The amazing thing about Peyton is that his Colts’ teams outperformed the team’s pythagorean expectation for wins on an annual basis when he was there. Whatever he was doing, it was better than merely what his box scores represented. I’m not aware of any other NFL team doing this on a yearly basis. It’s especially impressive given that the expectation, with Peyton putting up the numbers he was, was already pretty high to begin with.

            Posted by Lochpster | June 7, 2012, 10:45 pm
          • Loch,

            Since this is the only place I can contact you, I will address what seperated Peyton form the rest.

            When you examine his stats check the following:

            Times sacked
            Interceptions
            Fumbles
            Completion Percentage

            What these numbers reveal when put together is that Peyton could read the defense quickly, make the correct decision and accurately deliver the ball without taking losses or turning it over.

            Dan Marino was similar in this regard.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 11:03 pm
          • I believe just about everysingle thing you said except for that Lebron has out performed Kobe up to date. Dennis Rodman is a perfect example and Tebows career has had too little years to tell.
            But I will say as far as “stats do not lie, only inform”. If you are “knowledgeable” about the game and do not mearly look at only stas, then yes they inform. If you are a dumbass and take them at face value (like most Lebron fans and Kobe fans do) the stats are very misleading. Examples out of the list of stats you wanted me to judge earlier. (points) Well compare Kobe and Lebron since that seems to be the popular thing right now. Kobe started playing in the playoffs he was 18 years old scoring 8 points a game for two straight years. Lebron started after he was more mature and developed and came in with good stats. If he would have came in at 18, his stats would have deminished compared to what they were. Most ignorant fans dont know that. They also dont bother to look at the fact that The 2000,2001, 2002 lakers absoulutly dominated through out the playoffs. And I am dominated! Point being, Kobe nor shaq scored near as much as they could have if teams could have managed to keep the games close til the fourth. Just like last night, if the celtics could have kept it close, Lebron might have went for 60. They didnt however and Lebron became very passive in the fourth( just like any superstar with his team up 20 in the 4th). Another metric that effects points. Kobe was in fact Not the number one option on his team through out a game, Lebron was the only option on his team. Now that fact that Kobe had someone dominating a game is the reason he won 3 rings, fact, also that is one more metric why he did average more points as if he came in under a shitty team for the first 7 years of his career, like Jordan and like Lebron. Kobe did get two good years of jacking up a lot of shots in 06 and 07, but he didnt get 5 or 6. Is that his fault, no, but he has 3 rings because of it. I’m sure anyone would take the rings instead of the stats. Is it Lebrons fault he came up with the cavs? No, so instead of rings, Lebron got better stats. Which it is hard to hate on him for it, but if Kobe would have played his first 7 years with the cavs his stats would be alot like Jordans through Jordans first 7 years. And if Lebron would have came in with the 97′ Lakers, he would have atleast 3 rings no doubt, but his stats would look alot like Kobes. Here is an example of how field goal % is greatly affected and most people that do not actually watch the games over look this fact. The style of team you play on. Jordan played on an undersized team for his entire career(just like Lebron will). Undersized teams play a pressure defense that forces steals and runs the fast break for easy lay ups and dunks. Team that run a post orinented offense slow the game down, do not run a break(unless its obvious) and focus on getting the ball down low. Which Kobe has played on post orinented offense all his career except for 3 years, which he actually averaged the most points shooting the best shooting %. Why did he shoot the best shooting %? Because without a post clogging the lane, players are able to attack better driving lanes and get more lay ups when they spread the floor. Something Jordan and Lebron take full advantage of. Kobe does in fact play in a post clogged offense forceing him to shoot more outside jumpers. Personally I would rather have a post orinented offense but it does in fact lower players like Kobe, Lebron, or Jordans FG%. It is a fact that some players get more open looks because of double teams, true, but that player wasnt Kobe and it wouldnt be James or Jordan either. They always double off of a weaker player and generally from the backside trying to force players like Shaq or Bynum to shoot more hook shots and get less dunks. Use Pau Gasol for a good example, when he was the number 1 option in the post and Bynum was playing spotty minutes, Gasol shot over 50% on a nightly basis. He was able to get to the rim. Now for some reason the Lakers want to focus on getting the cry baby the ball more and allow him to play 38 plus minutes a game, Pau is shooting below 44%. This is because he is forced to shoot more outside jumpers because the lane is constently clogged. Free throw % is unaffected. Rebounds is highly affected by the type of team you have. Kobe is the 4th tallest player on his team at best and the 6th or 7th tallest player on the floor at any given time. He plays with two 7 footers. If he was to get more than 8 rebounds in a game that is a fluke. Lebron is the 2nd tallest player on his team at worst throughout the majority of a game. And he plays 43 plus minutes a night while only one post on Miamis team plays more than 30 min. And the fact thats he’s two inches taller and 40 pounds heavier helps lol. Would Lebron trade his great field goal % and great rebounding stats for a true post player? I’m sure he would. Kobe probably wouldnt give up a single championship for 4 or 5 % better shooting or 3 or 4 more rebounds a game. Plus minus is pretty dumb for the most part because like we have all stated, basketball is a team game and plus minus singles out each players minutes on the floor. Lets say I play 10 minutes and go 4-4 with 8pts 3 rb, 2 assist and 0 TO. My teammates on the other hand turn the ball over alot and dont make shit. My plus minus is going to be negative when I come off the floor. Anyone that actually watches the games knows these metrics I’m talking about. Too bad most people just see that stat lines on ESPN then try to argue who is better. Just for the record I’m not saying that is either of you two. But you can tell what I’m talking about just from some of the idiotic Kobe post on here and the same goes for some of the Lebron post.

            Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 9:46 am
  34. All this ring counting makes my head hurt.

    Posted by Lochpster | June 6, 2012, 1:07 pm
  35. But just for the record, results matter more than stats. Just dont say Kobe has a better team when Lebron is playing with 2 other players that play for the USA olympic team. Kobe’s 2 other best players are LAZY, SLOPPY, dont give a crap Andrew Bynum and old slow Pau Gasol(who did have 3 good years)just not the last two. Stats are like bikinis, they show you alot, but they can be very misleading because the dont show you the best parts.

    Posted by Djones | June 6, 2012, 5:16 pm
  36. Gotta be consistent here – have to rip Duncan for not taking his team to the title. Had the best regular season record, and could not get it done. If you’re a superstar, and you are on the team with the best regular season record, you bring the title home or you haven’t done your job, no excuses. That is a big time FAIL for Tim Duncan.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | June 6, 2012, 9:04 pm
  37. Wow. That is an All-time MVP first half. Post moves, jumpers, a put back dunk. The style in which he’s doing it is impressive. A+++.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | June 7, 2012, 6:53 pm
  38. Well except 5-9 FTs, but nobody’s perfect.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | June 7, 2012, 6:54 pm
  39. Were getting back on common ground but James is not a better perfomer in my opinion. As I said earlier Kobe has never played on a good team an not won a championship. Lebron is in fact 0-1, and he did NOT perform in the finals which,also my opinion, is the reason they lost. He is showing more heart and determination right now than I have seen from him since 2007. This is the biggest game of his life and right now he is performing, my respect for him is going up. If the c’s can ever catch up enough to put some pressure on him, he will really have a chance to gain respect from everyone in the country. His legacy is yet to be determined, agreed. That is the reason I think it is ignorant to say he is better than one of the greatest to ever play.

    Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 7:38 pm
  40. Really? The 2004 Lakers weren’t a good team? They were 56-26 that year.

    The 2003 Lakers were 50-32.

    Those teams were pretty good, don’t you think?

    While I agree that James needs to play great for the Heat to win, you are again revising history in Bryant’s favor.

    In fairness, though, you are probably unaware of it.

    What James is likely learning tonight is to stop being so passive and be more aggressive in his scoring.

    If he learns this, and Wade accepts the facilitator, the Heat will have made significant strides.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 7:43 pm
    • “What James is likely learning tonight is to stop being so passive and be more aggressive in his scoring.”

      It looks only nice because the shot is going in.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | June 7, 2012, 7:51 pm
    • I didnt mean every single year they win I mean the good teams he has been on find a way to win a championship. When he had Gasol they didnt win the first year, they won the next two though. Kobe and Shaq didnt win their first three years together (Kobe was 17 years old when he first came to LA though) but they won the next three.

      Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 8:44 pm
  41. And what about the 2007 Lakers that lost to the Celtics?

    Was that also NOT a good team? They were 57-25.

    You make statements like:

    As I said earlier Kobe has never played on a good team an not won a championship.

    Seems like Kobe has had his “good” teams not win, too.

    and then call some one ignorant after you take their statements of evidence out of context.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 7:54 pm
    • You mean the 2008 Lakers i’m assuming and you did take that out of context. I mean everytime Kobe has played on a good team they have won. I guess I should have added that they may not have won the first year together but they have always found a way to win.

      Posted by Djones | June 7, 2012, 8:41 pm
      • Again, your statement:

        As I said earlier Kobe has never played on a good team an not won a championship.

        How is that taken out of context?

        I suppose one needs to define what a “good” team is.

        Just like one needs to better define what a “great” player is

        Don’t get a

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 10:26 pm
      • Again, your statement:

        As I said earlier Kobe has never played on a good team an not won a championship.

        How is that taken out of context?

        I suppose one needs to define what a “good” team is.

        Just like one needs to better define what a “great” player is

        Don’t get angry when your vagueness gets used against you.

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 10:27 pm
  42. So, let me understand what you are defines as a “good team” is one that “SHOULD win” Does that seem like a fair assessment of what you would define as a “good team”

    The Heat from last year were 58-24, made the Finals and lost in 6 games.

    This is where you summarize the heat with this statement:

    “Lebron is in fact 0-1″

    Does this mean that the Heat were a good team?

    If the Heat were a good team; good enough to win the title had one player played better, then what about the Lakers?

    The Lakers last year were 57-25 in a conference which you have said is:

    The Lakers have to play in the West though which has dominated the NBA for the last 13 years. West has won 10 championships to the East 3.

    Seems, that using your definitions, that the Lakers of last year were a “good” team.

    If the Lakers last year were a “good” team”, then how can this statement be true:

    As I said earlier Kobe has never played on a good team an not won a championship.

    If the Lakers were not a good team, then how is Miami a “good” team when they won only ONE more game while playing in an inferior conference?

    How, then, can Kobe be perfect when his team is “good” and James be 0-1 with the same quality of team?

    Where does that leave Tim Duncan, then? Is he a choker too? Duncan’s last tow team were both “good” weren’t they?

    And, that still does not explain why the Lakers did not win in 2004 or 2003 or 2008?

    Why should LeBron be held to a different standard than Bryant (or anyone else)?

    Will anyone call Durant a choker or say that Durant does not have “it” if OKC loses in the Finals?

    Did Isiah Thomas not have “it” in 1989, but then suddenly discover “it” in 1990?

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 7, 2012, 11:22 pm
    • You are totally misunderstanding my statement. My fault I did not make it clear. I was not talking about specific years but teams. Generally a good team stays together for a few years atleast. Obviously Lebron is 0-1 with a really good team, its only his first year with them. He can still win a championship with this really good team. Just because it took him two years to do it isnt a knock on him or the Heat in my book. Its the NBA, it takes teams awhile to get the feel for each other. The team that Kobe had in 2003 did not win in 2003, but that same team won a championship in 2000,2001,2002. I guess the only team that could be considered good and not win would be 2004 Lakers, they were only together one year though and Kobe and Shaq defered greatly to an old as shit Karl Malone(I believe he was 38) and Gary Payton (35). I dont really count this team good but if you count this team good then you have to count the 2007,2009,2010 cavs teams good, which I do not. My fault for not clearing that up but surly you didnt think I was that dumb to say every single year Kobe plays with good players they win lol. That would be untrue for Kobe and untrue for any player that has ever played.

      Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 8:52 am
      • Meanwhile, the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 Lakers teams have enjoyed intact talent at the top of the roster from a back-to-back championship roster (Kobe, Pau, and Bynum) and a supporting cast filthy with jewelry (DFish in ’10/’11, Lamar in ’10/’11, Artest in ’11/’12) …

        AND THEY WON JACK – AND THEY HAVE 1 WIN AND 8 LOSSES IN THEIR CLOSEOUT SERIES IN THE PAST SEASONS …

        Explain to us again how Kobe has never failed to win with a “good team” … (you’re locked in on this one, champ)

        Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 10:04 am
        • Good god how freaking narrow minded can yall be. Ken. I did not mean that EVERY SINGLE YEAR THE LAKERS HAD A GOOD TEAM THEY WON A TITLE. I meant, if you would read before you would write, the Lakers team would end up winning!! The same team that lost in 2003, won in 2000,2001,2002. I’m not talking about every “SINGLE” year. I’m talking about teams. The same “team” that lost in 2008, won in 2009 and 2010 (with the exception of not having bynum.) But injuries are apart of the game so I dont even blame that. Its like the Heat not winning last year, pretty much the same team can still win a championship this year. As I stated earlier, no team has won the championship every SINGLE year they play together. If it takes them 2 or 3 years so be it.

          Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 10:39 am
          • It’s not being narrow minded. It’s taking your words at face value and pointing out that they are wrong. You realize that so you’re trying to squirm out of it.

            Posted by ks | June 8, 2012, 10:58 am
      • Thank you for the clarification.

        That makes your statements much truer than previously.

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 12:41 pm
        • haha I swear I’m not trying to squirm out of my statements lol I honestly meannt exactly what I posted above. Every statement I have I have been more than willing to back it up with a valid argument or stats. I have not backed away from one yet. My fault for not wording my statement right.

          Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 1:29 pm
  43. How on earth someone can even attempt to argue that the 2003/2004 Lakers squad can only be considered a loaded team is if they also concede that LeBron’s teams in Cleveland were also “loaded” is beyond me … that position qualifies as one of the most preposterous arguments ever …

    1. First of all, you obviously think Kobe is superior to LeBron, so you must have an edge there as he was is his youthful prime at the time …

    2. The Lakers had Shaq, who would still be good enough A YEAR LATER in Miami to have Steve Nash steal an MVP from him …

    3. The Lakers also had Gary Payton (future NBA champ and perennial all-star), Karl Malone (injured and old, but still a top 25 player of all time), Derek Fisher is his youth (soon to be 6x NBA champion), and a roster rounded out by guys with multiple rings …

    4. The Cavs had the likes of Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall, Shannon Brown, and Mo Williams throughout some of the years …

    You have either: 1) inadvertently capitulated that Kobe never has been, and certainly never will be given their ages, in LeBron’s company on the hardwood; or 2) you are out of your effin’ mind …

    There are no alternative theories to explain the madness in your post … None.

    Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 9:48 am
    • The Lakers 2004 squad WAS loaded, they started the season 18-3 … but Karl Malone tweaked his knee and got hurt more seriously shortly before and during the Finals. Which shouldn’t be such a big deal if you have an average back-up, but look who came in as his substitute. Take a look at the minutes for PF, you have Luke Walton and Slava Medvedenko playing huge minutes for them in the Finals. That’s quite a dropoff in quality.

      The Lakers would have beaten the Pistons with a healthy Malone … shoot, the Timberwolves and Spurs that year would have beaten the Pistons.

      Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 10:05 am
      • “The Lakers would have beaten the Pistons with a healthy Malone … shoot, the Timberwolves and Spurs that year would have beaten the Pistons.”

        C’mon now, that’s speculative at best. It’s not like they lost in a close 7 games series. They got wiped by the Pistons.

        Posted by ks | June 8, 2012, 10:54 am
        • Yes, it is speculative. But those were some great teams in the West compared to Detroit.

          Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 10:59 am
          • I agree with Gil.

            the Lakers, with the dissension between Kobe and Shaq imploded without Malone to act as a stabilizer.

            Kobe really played selfishly and shot very poorly.

            The Pistons should not have won.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 12:44 pm
  44. My last bit of shoveling dirt on the grave of DJones et. al. (for the day, at least) …

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/14723/where-does-gm-6-rank-among-james-best

    Please edify me with Kobe’s numbers that compare … he has 7 seasons on LeBron and the level of talent surrounding him has been much higher, generally … so I’m guessing he has 25 games or so that are as good as yesterday’s from LeBron or some of LeBron’s other playoff high water marks … they don’t have to be conference Finals or NBA Finals games, on the road, in an elimination game, or when the only healthy decent player on your team plays like horse puckey … any you can find from the playoffs are welcome for my consideration … as I noted, there must be, like, at least 25 of ‘em

    I’ll get you started, Kobe fanboys … 2001 @ Sacramento! 2001 vs. Spurs and 2008 vs. Denver …

    Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 10:36 am
    • I forgot that the legacy a great NBA player leaves behind is all about one game. I fogot that because Lebron played about as perfect in ONE GAME he is superior to all now. This is why it is almost pointless to post on articles like this because you get retards like KEN hat dont read your post before they start writing they just skim throuh it then write down a bunch of meaningless crap. Get Lebrons dick out of your mouth and maybe you’ll think better.

      Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 10:45 am
      • At least Gil keeps his shit together, for the most part, when he tenders his proposterous, hypocritical arguments and finds himself trounced by those “in the know” … and I’m certain that even he senses the pathetic irony of disavowing himself as a “Kobe fanboy” just before he declares that 81 points vs. the mighty Toronto Raptors (don’t forget the healthy 6 rebounds and 2 assists) is essentially the greatest feat by either Kobe or LeBron (maybe even MJ) … see, Gil … I deigned to acknowledge you! Enjoy, you have worked hard for it.

        But you, DJones … you are, as they say (perhaps in your parts), a whole ‘nother thing …

        Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 11:01 am
      • Just for the record I really didnt even want to reply to this idiotic post from Bron Bron dick rider KEN but since your going to put someones entire legacy in the hands of a one game performence throughout about the 1000 that I player will play, we might as well look at the biggest game eitehr of them have ever played…..sounds fair? They played on the same team. 2008 GOLD medal game against Spain in the Olympics. There is no bigger game or more pressure on the line. Whats Kobe do? score 13 points in the fourth qtr with 2 ass. Kobe actually accoutned for 17 of the 27 points scored in the fourth. Everytime Spain made it a game, who took over? Who made the presure shots? Youtube this video.
        “Kobe Bryant’s clutchest game 2008 Olympics USA” Sorry Loch for even bringing this up but if some moron wants to narrow a career down to one game I might as well bring up literally the biggest game either of them have ever played.

        Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 11:20 am
        • Which by the way Kobe also led the team in assist that game too.

          Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 11:25 am
        • Last time I will waste the effort to educate you, DJones … the article linked to highlighted 10 playoff games – NOT ONE – where LeBron has performed at an ethereal (get a dictionary, I’m not your guardian) level that Kobe has never experienced …

          As for the Olympic gibberish (and conceding nothing on your argument, by the way … the fact is that they never have a chance to play in the Gold Medal game if LeBron and others didn’t CARRY Kobe to that point), why do you now feel it’s appropriate to refer to ONE GAME to make your point …

          Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 11:27 am
          • I’m only doing that because you based your entire argument off one game. “Please edify me with Kobe’s numbers that compare … he has 7 seasons on LeBron and the level of talent surrounding him has been much higher, generally … so I’m guessing he has 25 games or so that are as good as yesterday’s from LeBron or some of LeBron’s other playoff high water marks … they don’t have to be conference Finals or NBA Finals games, on the road, in an elimination game, or when the only healthy decent player on your team plays like horse puckey … any you can find from the playoffs are welcome for my consideration … as I noted, there must be, like, at least 25 of ‘em

            I’ll get you started, Kobe fanboys … 2001 @ Sacramento! 2001 vs. Spurs and 2008 vs. Denver …

            Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 12:10 pm
          • And lets try to not forget that Kobe leads the ENTIRE nba in 40pt playoffs games AND 30 pt playoff games.

            Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 12:17 pm
          • Yea yea yea of course Kobe’s teammates always carry him then he always gets lucky and does good in the fourth with the game on the line….I know, I’ve heard it all before, haters never sleep

            Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 12:19 pm
          • Kobe NBA FINALS GAMES with atleast 30 pts- 13. I guess you could say those (and the 5 rings) kinda beat Lebrons 6 total playoff games (not nba finals games) with 40 pts. Lebron James NBA FINALS GAMES with atleast 30 pts-000000000, he did reach 25 a few times, mostly stayed in the teens though….Pretty good for someone that “carries” his team. He actually set an NBA RECORD for the biggest drop off in points from the regular season to the NBA FINALS.

            Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 12:34 pm
        • Actually, Lebron and Wade outplayed Bryant by a wide margin in the 2008 Olympics.

          Kobe may indeed have had a great 4th Q in the Gold Medal game, but on the whole, Kobe was the “Mad Bomber” again.

          Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 12:45 pm
          • I was using that one game as a metric just to show whoever it was that you cant go off one game. Kobe did in fact lead team USA in the fourth and did in fact hit big shot after big shot when the game got close.

            Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 4:30 pm
    • Funny that you lump everyone in as a “Kobe fanboy” … what must that make you, “Irrational Kobe Hater”? I consider myself “Accurate Analyzer of Basketball Play” …

      Eh, I’ll just stick to regular season, 81 points on the Toronto Raptors … good enough for me. It’s a number no one’s going to touch for a long while.

      Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 10:47 am
      • Eh, neither a playoff nor a playoff elimination game but a great performance. 81pts was amazing and a lot more than 45 thought Lebron shot a much higher percentage and had twice as many rebounds and assists then Kobe’s 81 pt night.

        Posted by ks | June 8, 2012, 11:08 am
        • Lebron shot the highest percentage of his playoff career. But hell if were judging on whos better off one game we might as well judge them off one series, how about the NBA FINALS last year? Think thats a good one to judge who is better? Should we pick game four when Lerbon scored 8 points? Na that one doesnt suit your argument so how about we pick just a certain consecutive games? How about the string of 4 games when Kobe scored atleast 50 points? Na thats too small too, how about we pick the 9 consecutive games when Kobe scored atleast 40 points? That probably doesnt help you either. Maybe we should start judging players careers but just one year? How about the year Kobe averaged 35 points a game? Not good either? How about we judge who has the better career off just a few years? Let see 2000,2001,2002,2009,2010? We get to pick which performences suit us best for our argument right? Lets compare Kobe’s 2008-2010 finals performances to……I dont know, how about Lerbons 2 finals performances? Hey Lebron did have one great game though, Pierce should have poored some water on his face to try to wake him up. He was unbelievable i get it. But wasnt he unbelievable last year in the ecf? How did that turn out for him? You probably dont even remember since you choose which games to gloat on and which games dont matter. There should be an age limmit for people to post on here. Keep all the 13 yr olds off

          Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 12:07 pm
          • Actually, it’s not my argument but you are in heavy Kobe fanboy spin mode so you don’t notice that. You, othh, are frantically shifting your arguments back and forth and selectively answering only parts of questions to avoid the issue.

            Posted by ks | June 8, 2012, 12:53 pm
      • Certianly not a backcourt player.

        Though, I would disagree that it is because of Kobe’s greatness.

        The conditions were perfect for Bryant:

        1) his team was pathetic and more than willing to subjugate to him

        2) the Raptors were awful (14-27 at the time) and weren’t about to stop any player form having the greatest night in Toronto Raptor history (yes, irony intended)

        3) The backlash from one player taking so many shots would be enormous; Kobe had the right amount of “F*** YOU!” attitude at that time. If James (or anyone) shot more times than the rest of his team COMBINED, her would get crucified.

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 3:06 pm
    • 2006 vs Phoenix, 2007 vs Phoenix, 2009 @ Utah! 2002 @ NJ, 2008 vs Boston, 2009 @ Denver … I give up, there’s too many …

      Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 11:02 am
  45. Moving on …

    Anyway, the biggest realization for me last night is this: the mounting evidence that Dwyane Wade has become an obstacle to the Heat’s success nearly as frequently as he contributes to their success is so disappointing …

    There were many moments last night (and frankly, throughout this past season) when he resembled Kobe and his disregard for anything other than “getting his” … this “I eat first (at any cost)” ethos is unlike what I saw in the game that MJ played so well … no doubt, MJ was a selfish player from time to time … but he was usually delivering in those moments … and in contrast to Kobe and recent vintage DWade, MJ seemed to make being selfish somehow lower on the scumbaggery scale …

    Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 12:23 pm
    • Along with his 0 30pt games and an amazing 2-8 record (1-5 in games decided by 3pts) he has whopping 47 Turnovers…..in 10 games!! Damn he’s good. By the way he has only scored over 20 points in 6 of 10 finals games lol with a high of 25, which he only hit twice ( i gave him too much credit) Dwade by the way, the guy your bashing, has an NBA MVP and actually led his team to a championship (Lebron has good regular seasons though) wade actually average 35 pts a game in those NBA finals.

      Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 12:45 pm
    • “MJ seemed to make being selfish somehow lower on the scumbaggery scale”

      That’s because you need to take off your hater goggles, Ken.

      Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 1:43 pm
  46. Kobe NBA FINALS GAMES with atleast 30 pts- 13. I guess you could say those (and the 5 rings) kinda beat Lebrons 6 total playoff games (not nba finals games) with 40 pts. Lebron James NBA FINALS GAMES with atleast 30 pts-000000000, he did reach 25 a few times, mostly stayed in the teens though….Pretty good for someone that “carries” his team. He actually set an NBA RECORD for the biggest drop off in points from the regular season to the NBA FINALS.

    Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 12:47 pm
  47. I have a question for Loch going back to the main topic, what this article was actually about. You say that isolation plays have the lowest chance of being succesful late in games. This is taking into account the skill level of the individual (like Kobe or Lebron). You even used a very good example as far as gambling on heads or tails. (Which when you put it like that its really hard to argue). But the main point is that it is the expectation of the play that makes it correct, not the result. The play that gives your team the greatest chance of winning….With all that said, In last nights game (when Lebron was unbelievable w/45pts shooting nearly 75%) would you honestly believe that the Heat would have had the greatest chance of winning with Lebron passing out of a double team, which he usually does, or would you rather him do what Kobe usually does and take a couple extra dribbles and find a way to get his shot off? This is hypothetical of course assuming the game would have came down to a last second shot.

    Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 2:02 pm
    • That’s a great question, and I don’t have a rock-solid answer for you. Given how easily Lebron was scoring on the Celts, if he could get a good look and there’s not an obvious better option, he should probably take it. That said, I’d still prefer a layup, dunk, or an open jumper from a secondary guy to a James 19-footer over a double team.

      Going into the play, I don’t want James thinking he has to take the final shot no matter what, though, which I think is the best answer to your question I can give.

      Posted by Lochpster | June 8, 2012, 2:24 pm
    • My argument isn’t that you should always pass-it’s that statistically, over time, it’s often going to be the right play, so we can’t really criticize a guy for doing it. If James chooses to pass in that scenario, I have no qualms about it. But in that game in particular, it might be better for him to just try to do things himself if he’s able.

      Posted by Lochpster | June 8, 2012, 2:31 pm
      • Thats fair. Good anwser. But let me change my question up just a tad. would you rather him shoot that contested 19 footer(which he was hitting all night) or pass to literally a wide open haslem in the short corner for about a 15 foot jumper? I’m not talking about statistically over time, I’m talking about for one game, like that game 6, win or go home, all or nothing. Agree 100% that he shouldnt go into the play thinking he has to take the shot, if a better option is available, lets say a lay up or an open Chalmers or Wade, he should pass it. I dont personally trust Jones, Miller, or Haslem for a game winning jumper, thats just me though. Not sure about battier.

        Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 3:53 pm
        • Probably Haslem, particularly if he’s shooting over multiple defenders. But it’s hard to prove. I don’t know that I could criticize him for either.

          Posted by Lochpster | June 9, 2012, 2:31 am
  48. This Game 6 is one example of why I ignore the box stats … and it favors Lebron. This performance is BETTER than the individual box stats show, because he did most of his damage in the first half, and could possibly have done even more if the game wasn’t a blowout. The box stats also don’t show the variety and impact of the types of shots he was making. You can’t compare this to other similar individual box stat performances without understanding HOW he delivered.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 2:19 pm
  49. Gil,

    I agree with you that for ONE game or even a 7 game series) the box scores can be misleading.

    However, over the course of a season and even better, several seasons, those types of things begin to even out.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 2:55 pm
    • As you know, I strongly disagree that the “things” that distort the individual box stats necessarily “even out”.

      You could have circumstances that distort those things for a career (system, teammates, rules).

      Indeed, if you had two people with the exact same offensive individual box stats for a career, it would be quite possible (even probable) that they had entirely different impacts on offense both in magnitude and style.

      Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 3:38 pm
      • I know you believe that and in some rare instances it may be true, but logically, I doubt that your beliefs actualize.

        Do you have any examples of the circumstances in which you cite above?

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 3:48 pm
        • Just to chime in, Paulie, did you read the comments I posted above about exactly what yall are talking about.(Circumstances that add differnt metrics to the stats. Just curious about your take on them since I did use specific examples.

          Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 3:57 pm
          • Truthfully, DJones, I have not.

            I will offer a summation of our exchanges, though.

            I agree that Kobe has had the greater career. Kobe is a great player, but he is not in the top 5 or 10 of all time (though, he may yet crack the top 10).

            Lebron’s has had a great peak value than Kobe did.

            What I dislike, strongly, is the idea that gets floated that Kobe was the sole reason the Lakers won 5 rings. That is just not true. Kobe was, of course, a huge part of that, but if Shaq switched teams, the EC team wins the series. That would not be true if Kobe switched teams.

            Kobe was the BIGGEST reason the Lakers won their last two titles, but to say that the rest of those Lakers teams were elevated solely by Bryant is just false.

            The Cavs were good BECAUSE they had James. The HEAT are challenging for the title BECAUSE they have James.

            It is likewise true that James has yet to cross that invisible and immeasurable threshold that can keep a great player form winning a title. Perhaps James crossed that bridge last night.

            I think Durant is one of those rare players that combines great skill AND inspires his team to push themselves.

            I do NOT believe Kobe is that type. I think James would PREFER his team to win over his own personal glory and I think that has actually hurt him in his title quest.

            In short, Kobe should have a little more James and James should have a little more Kobe.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 4:09 pm
        • Well, I’ve heard that John Havlicek and Kobe Bryant have similar individual stats, but I can tell you with great certainty that Kobe would wipe the floor with John Havlicek.

          Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 3:58 pm
          • I really disagree with that. Strongly.

            I also am aware that you have a bias towards modern atheltes.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 3:59 pm
          • Paulie,

            It’s interesting that you believe Havlicek would stand his own against Kobe, I find it hard to believe after seeing video of players in Havlicek’s era you would think that. Jerry West could barely dribble with his left hand. While I don’t think athleticism trumps all, todays’ athletes have athleticism AND skill that would be overwhelming compared to players in the 1960s. Even a player not considered “athletic” today, like Steve Nash, is much more athletic than the majority of players back then.

            Perhaps do you mean relative to their competition, or do you really mean literally, if they could somehow in some sci-fi premise could face off, that Havlicek would offer a team just as much as Kobe could?

            Posted by Gil Meriken | June 8, 2012, 10:14 pm
          • Gil,

            It is because you are trying to transpose what those players were doing 40 years ago rather than taking their abilities and applying them to the improvements in diet, nutrition, training, equipment, tactics, etc.

            The film will not tell the story here.

            Today’s players would not have the same advantages were they born 60 years ago.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 10:42 pm
          • I see. You are applying some adjustments either back or forward.

            That’s harder to tell. Who knows how much better Havlicek would be if he grew up today? Would he even become a basketball player?

            Or how much worse Kobe would be if he grew up 40 years ago? So many variables to consider.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | June 9, 2012, 12:28 am
  50. The main factor missed by the box score, for me, was the broader defensive contribution in covering Pierce, Rondo, and Garnett throughout the game …

    good job, good effort, indeed …

    Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 3:21 pm
  51. 30 career playoff games with 34 or more points, in addition to better averages in PPG, rebounds, assists, FG%, steals, blocks, fewer turnovers, fewer fouls, plus all of the advanced stats …

    All at 27 years old (the other guy had all of 15 of these 34+ point games at that age) …

    On rings, FT% and the subjective “it factor”, the other guy has him by the throat …

    Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 3:40 pm
  52. Why do you use 34 plus points and not just 30 plus points like everyone else?

    Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 3:58 pm
  53. And maybe you should read my commetns about different metrics affecting stats such as points, fg%, assist, steals, rebounds. My argument would actually back fire for turnovers and fouls since generally half court teams have fewer turnovers and foul less than running teams. Blocks is pretty straight forward as well. Just curious to see if a Lebron fan could see my point, not saying you should agree I’m just curious.

    Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 4:03 pm
    • Do you think I am a Lebron ‘fan”? Why?

      Because I don’t’ agree that Kobe single handily won all five rings by himself?

      Because I don’t think the Heat or the Cavs are truly great teams?

      Because I conclude that time and history are on Lebron;s side when it come to winning RINGZZZZ BABBYY!!

      Honestly, my favorite players of all time are Bernard King, Magic (who I have watched since he was in HS), Wilt, West, Baylor, Bird, David Robinson, Stockton, Nowitzki, and even Steve Nash.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 4:21 pm
      • I was talking about Ken being the Lebron fan, I was just merely asking you (Paulie) about the comments I posted about different metrics within the stats. My bad for not clearly stating that

        Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 4:35 pm
        • And just for the record I actually gave Shaq most of the credit for carrying the team through the first three qtrs, I even agreed with you that without Shaq Kobe doesnt win his first 3. I did also say that withough Kobe Shaq doesnt win his first three. If he was on another team with good players like the pacers, nets, or maybe sixers yea he probabbly would have won titles, but not on a Kobeless lakers team.
          I never gave Kobe as much credit for being the sole reason his Lakers team won 5 rings as you state, unless your talking about someone else idk. Without Pau he doesnt win the last two, I get that too.

          Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 4:40 pm
          • Yes, DJones, I was referring not to you in your Kobe worship, but to others less gifted in the head.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 4:43 pm
          • And I dont’ mean to imply that you are a member of Kobe Nation.

            That was poor phraseology on my part.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 4:44 pm
          • No disrespect taken, I am 100% part of the Kobe nation, but I really do want to here Paulie and/or Loch comments about my post on different metrics affecting stats such as pts,fg%,rbs, amoung other things. I truly believe that those things obviously affect someones stats, and I’m kind of amazed that more people dont realize that when they post Lebron stats to show that “he is better than Kobe”.

            Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 4:51 pm
    • Honestly, I tried reading your post and it mostly just confused me. Could you clarify in a more concise manner?

      Posted by Lochpster | June 9, 2012, 2:39 am
  54. 30 points or more, it’s 48 playoff games to 33 playoff games through the age of 27 …

    If that makes you feel bad that your one-trick pony isn’t even better at the one metric where you thought he might have an advantage, don’t feel bad … you can always try to dazzle the cognitively-impaired amongst us us with the trusty “I don’t care what the numbers say, I trust me eyes” argument …

    Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 4:12 pm
    • Actually I was just curious on why you created your own metric (KEN) as far as comparing 34 plus points instead of 30pts. Can you quote me saying I thought Kobe would have more 30 point games than Lebron at the same age? no. I’m smarter than that. Lebron played for a shitty cavs team where he had to score 30 a night for them to do good. Kobe played on championship caliber teams that actually lost when Kobe shot too much. Dont feel bad KEN-DOLL. Like I stated earlier which you have still not said anything about, there are always more metrics to the stats then what meets the eye. I’m sure Kobe would keep his five rings and keep his 4 or 5 points less.

      Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 4:44 pm
      • Now that statement:

        I’m sure Kobe would keep his five rings and keep his 4 or 5 points less.

        I am not so sure about. Kobe does seem to really be concerned with gettin’ his.

        I wonder if Kobe wouldn’t’ trade the Shaq era rings to have a better shot at passing Kareem.

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 4:52 pm
        • Seriously? Kobe’s main goal probably in life is to match up with Jordan. In most peoples minds, the only way to match up with Jordan is to win 6 rings, and i think thats how Kobe looks at it. Now granted Kobe was pretty arrogant back in his afro days, but to say Kobe would trade 3 rings to pass Kareem on the all time scoring list……Idk thats pretty iffy. You never know though.

          Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 5:56 pm
          • Even with 6 rings, there is no way that Bryant can match Jordan.

            That is what really irks me the most; the what will seem really silly and stupid comparisons to Jordan.

            All that crap started because the NBA needed a new messiah and the public loves the idea that “they were there when”

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 8, 2012, 6:01 pm
          • Agree 100%. NBA was hurting really bad when Jordan retired and needed someone to take over his void. Kobe will never top Jordan.

            Posted by Djones | June 8, 2012, 7:12 pm
  55. Agreed 100% with Paulie’s 4:09 comment … 100 freakin’ percent …

    Posted by Ken | June 8, 2012, 4:18 pm
  56. Since we’re talking about rings, let’s talk about the rings the 2000 and 2002 Lakers won. You know, the ones that the NBA fixed. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that of Kobe’s 5 rings, at least 2 of them were purely due to cheating. And to be clear, I’m not saying that Kobe cheated, I’m saying cheating allowed the Lakers to win series they had no chance of winning otherwise.

    The 2000 NBA Finals should have been Portland-Indiana, and in 2002, it should have been Sacramento-New Jersey. These fixes affected the potential legacies of numerous players-Scottie Pippen, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, and Chris Webber, to name just a few of the most memorable. Had the Kings and Blazers won, as I suspect they would have, we’d be looking at a world where Pippen had 7 rings, Shaq 2, Kobe 3, and Webber 1.

    Interesting to speculate about, at the very least. And another great reason why, at least in the modern NBA, ring counting just doesn’t work.

    Posted by Lochpster | June 9, 2012, 2:58 am
    • @LOCHPSTER

      Whilst most will agree that in 2002 the Lakers should not have won I don’t buy into the notion that Portland were robbed in 2000.

      Unless you are referring to other games than game 7? I mean was it officials’ fault that the Blazers went 5 of 23 in the final period of that game?

      The Blazers should have won that game (had they played better). Even if the refs helped the Lakers a bit (and I’m not saying they did) LA were still far better in the 4th quarter, because Portland simply melted down.

      Posted by doosiolek | June 9, 2012, 4:54 am
      • There are mountains of circumstantial evidence that this game wasn’t on the up and up. The 37-16 free throw disparity (and while sometimes these disparities do happen, this is known to be the crooked refs’ favorite tool). The bizarre 5th and 6th fouls called on Sabonis. The no-call when Steve Smith was clearly fouled by Shaq at the end.

        There’s the fact that Tim Donaghy said this game was rigged, and that this was in the midst of the period when refs were known to be rigging games. There were allegations of David Stern rigging this game before we even knew that NBA games were being rigged. And it bears a pretty strong resemblance to the 2002 game, which it seems we both agree was rigged.

        You’re right that Portland still would likely have won if they’d shot better. That doesn’t mean they weren’t cheated out of a title shot.

        Posted by Lochpster | June 9, 2012, 11:32 am
    • Lochpster, Don’t tell the other Laker fans I said this haha, but I agree with 2002. I think the NBA influences the series for ratings, some teams are just too much for refs to change. Speculation, but who knows. Only the Refs and Stern.

      Posted by J | June 10, 2012, 1:37 am
  57. Do you think this still goes on? Like the 2006 nba finals for example?

    Posted by Djones | June 9, 2012, 12:59 pm
    • It’s hard for me to believe that at least game 5 of that series wasn’t rigged. I believe post-Donaghy nobody would be stupid enough to try to rig a series to bet on it, as happened in the first few years of this decade.

      Still, I don’t trust David Stern even a little bit. It’s jarring that he continues to bully and fine those who criticize the refs even after we know without a doubt that rigging games happened. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he tries to influence refs one way or another. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he influences the lottery as well, given how opaque the process is. I wouldn’t argue forcefully for any of that, but it’s a shame that this is the NBA under Stern.

      Now where did I put my tinfoil hat?

      Posted by Lochpster | June 9, 2012, 2:25 pm
  58. On the subject of correct decision making, did anyone else think Scott Brooks made an egregious coaching error by sitting Kevin Durant when he picked up his fourth foul? OKC was proving impossible for Miami to defend, and it really looked like they were going to run away with game 3 at the time.

    By benching Durant, what did he get gain? He robbed his team of momentum, and he got less total playing time for his superstar. He traded this for no measurable benefit as far as I can tell.

    Posted by lochpster | June 18, 2012, 10:50 am
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