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Old 03-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #81
Whoah10115
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
He was definitely better than Magic defensively. I agree that he didn't offer that much out of shot blocking at that stage of his career defensively, but just being a 7'3" presence in the paint and the 3rd leading shot blocker in the league was much more than Magic could offer at that end. Calling Magic a good defender is being generous to say the least.

I don't agree that it was generous to call Magic a good defender. He was solid. Always was. He rarely had to guard the little guard. He had Norm Nixon on the team. He had Wilkes able to guard 2guards. He had Michael Cooper and later on would have Byron Scott. He roamed a lot, you are correct, but he was a very good team defender who was able to disrupt a little. Disrupt is maybe too strong a word, as that's the worst I most associate with LeBron's defense last year, but you get what I'm saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
The rebounding thing is overstated a bit. First of all, it's clear that there were some rebounds Kareem could have gotten, the same with other players who they let go to Magic so he could start the break. I've seen this done throughout Jason Kidd's career as well. And on the offensive glass, Magic actually had more opportunities because Kareem was the guy the ball was going to in the post more often, while Magic was cutting to the basket or boxing out.


I don't think it's overstated at all. I do agree that it's more a credit to Magic than a criticism of Kareem. And you could argue that more rebounds were left for Magic and left for Kareem, but I don't think that's really accurate. Those guys put themselves in the best position to actually rebound the ball...better position (more often than not) than the center. And the space or lane for them to come thru and get those boards were less to do with boxing out by the center and more to do with all-court play from them. I agree that Kareem could have taken some of those rebounds, if he wanted to fight his player for them...but I could suggest Magic and Kidd could do the same on other plays, where they were already heading up the court without the ball. I think my Marc Gasol comment is spot on here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
The Lakers were still easily Kareem's team throughout the 1981 season. No question about it, Magic missed more than half the season, but Kareem still led them to a 28-17 record, and in the playoffs, Kareem showed up, while Magic didn't.

They were Kareem's team in 1981. Magic was great but he missed more than half the season and Kareem was really not any less than he was the year before. But I think that's more to do with the injury. Magic was back for the playoffs and was rebounding like crazy but I remember he was not right and they got swept, didn't they? So, the Game 6 comment can't be taken too literally, but I think it is essentially the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
The gap wasn't as big in '82, but still clear. Magic's half court skill set wasn't there yet, while Kareem was still pretty close to the player he was in his prime. Neither were in their primes at that point, but I'd say Kareem was closer to his than Magic was.

Kareem was the team's best scorer, but I don't think he was their best offensive player. Magic had Nixon on the team and they split PG duties. Magic's halfcourt game was better, I think, than it appeared. But in the halfcourt Nixon was more the PG and Magic had to do a lot without the ball, or without being the main conductor. He still created lots of transition and, for me, that was clearly where the Lakers excelled...well, not just transition, but getting out and running. That's who they were when Riley took over and that identity was led by Magic.

But I do agree that his post game was obviously not near what it would become. That post game would have been featured much more in the halfcourt, had he actually had it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
I think it's pretty ridiculous to suggest Magic and Riley called it Kareem's team just out of respect. When the transition occurred in the '86-'87 season, you could see a huge difference in both Magic and Kareem's roles. Could Magic have taken over earlier? Probably. Though there's no way '82 Magic could have done what '87 Magic did. They weren't running the half court offense through Kareem just to satisfy his ego. They were doing it because he was their best scorer, and the guy you had to double the most. He was capable of 25 ppg up until he was almost 40, and would shoot 55-60% and get his teammates involved.


The huge difference was Magic becoming the only player who I think is comparable with MJ. Magic went from the best player and the guy running the team to also leading the team in scoring. If you were of the thought that LeBron was a much better player than Wade in 2011, you could still see the difference in roles and in impact between the two a year later. Wade made a conscientious decision to be the out and out 2nd guy, while LeBron stepped up to, what is, his absolute peak. The difference is huge and noticeable, even if you already believed LeBron was much better the year before. That's what happened there, tho it was less forced and more inevitable. Magic had long since passed Kareem and it was time for Magic to stand in front.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
Kareem was so much more dominant than Magic through the first 5 games of the finals series that he was the real finals MVP in 1980. Magic had the big moment, but I'm not going to disregard 5 games(and 3 of the 4 wins) for 1 game. Wilkes stepped up in that game 6 as well with 37/10.


I agree he was more dominant, but Magic was playing incredible basketball. So, for me, it's not just one game. Had Magic not been playing amazing basketball thru 5 games then I wouldn't argue for him. But he was incredible and Kareem missing, along with Magic playing one of the great games sways me...enough that I can't see it as a travesty or anything like that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
The '85 MVP was well-deserved, and not handed out based on age. Kareem had the terrible game 1 and the Lakers were embarrassed in the "Memorial Day Massacre" but Kareem dominated after that. He averaged 28/10/6 and shot 61% after that game. I'd marvel at that if he was 28 instead of 38. Magic had a fine series himself, but Kareem was the MVP of that series.


Kareem was incredible, but that team was led by Magic. He made everyone better, including Kareem.

People always talk about how James Worthy sacrificed his game to fit with the Lakers, how he could have been putting up crazy scoring numbers somewhere else. I would agree, except that I think his numbers would have been a lot emptier somewhere else. Magic made Worthy a much better player.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
Magic was arguably the greatest rebounding guard of all-time, so that's not necessarily a knock on Kareem, who was still getting about 9 boards per game. But as I said, Magic had a lot of opportunities for rebounds because of his role on that team. If you look at '85-'87, Kareem was outrebounding Magic again, and by almost 2 per game in '85. That's because Magic's role was changing offensively. Kareem had declined as a rebounder, but Magic didn't have as many opportunities to box out while Kareem took the or passed out of the double team.


This is not an unfair point and one I'm willing to concede. But one thing to consider is that Magic was out and out the PG by 83/84. His rebounding (especially offensive) dropped a lot by then. While he still spent a lot of time guarding 2's and 3's he did spend parts of the game defending the opposing PG. And he also spent a lot more time focusing on creating the offense. Kareem was a noticeably lesser player after 1982.
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