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Old 03-16-2013, 04:08 PM   #82
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
Magic wasn't a spot up shooter, in fact, he really didn't shoot by that point. Kareem would find him cutting to the basket, but that didn't prevent teams from doubling Kareem in the post. I've seen games where Kareem, albeit several years younger, still dominated with nobody to take pressure off him. Look at the '77 playoffs. Kareem wasn't in '77 form by '82, but offensively, there wasn't a huge difference. He could still go to the sky hook, and his counters whenever he wanted. He had lost some athleticism, but it didn't really take away from his offensive game much.

Magic didn't have to spot up. The offense would just reset.

Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
The Lakers definitely still have a great shot to win a title with Dr. J replacing Magic in '82. I'm not sure their fastbreak would be quite as good, but it would still be deadly. Dr. J was one of the great open court players of all-time, and you'd still have an all-star point guard in Norm Nixon, as well as Michael Cooper, Jamaal Wilkes and Bob McAdoo. Kareem would still be there to carry the half court offense as he did throughout the first half of the 80's, but you'd also have an excellent fastbreak team, even without Magic.

This is kind of irrelevant to who was the better player because it also has to do with the personnel on the team, but there's no question that Kareem was more irreplaceable to the '82 team with Norm nixon, as well as Michael Cooper on the team.

Kareem is really not nearly as indispensable to that team as Magic was. Kareem was soft and without a Magic or a Bird I don't see him ever winning another title. If you switch Magic and Erving then the Sixers beat LA in 1980, and again in 1982...easily, I think, in 1982.

Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
They don't beat Boston without Kareem, or a good replacement in '87. He was the 3rd guy by that point, but still a very good player. And actually, they don't beat Detroit either without the phantom call on Kareem's sky hook in '88.

Kareem was a much lesser player by 1988. I don't think the Lakers needed him like that. I'll try to not take him completely for granted tho. I think his defense was pretty subpar by then. I won't hold it against him, but facing a team as physical and tough and dirty as Detroit...Kareem was not getting dirty with them. I think they could have gotten by. He was much better in 1987 so maybe it's unfair to say they could have won with him just sitting down, but that's a team that I could see Magic leading, without Kareem being there. As is, with Magic on that team, I'd take that team against...maybe any team...probably any team.

Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
Only player I'd call better than Kareem in '82 is Moses. Then I'd have Bird and Dr. J(in whatever order) followed by Magic.

I can respect that but I think Bird is easily better than Kareem by then.

Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
If it was '87-'90 Magic, I could sort of excuse this, though I still think it's a foolish assumption to make. But the idea that '82 Magic could just will that Cleveland team is laughable. Mo Williams was the second option for that team and choked badly vs Orlando, Mike Brown was badly outcoached, and they couldn't match up with either Dwight or Rashard Lewis. The latter were the 2 things that cost Cleveland the series the most.

Who is going to score for that team? Lebron didn't play selfishly(maybe to some degree out of necessity in the Orlando series) but averaged 28/8/7 during the season and 33/10/7 even prior to the Orlando series in the playoffs. They needed Lebron to score a lot. '82 Magic wasn't capable of giving them anywhere near the scoring Lebron did, and Cleveland won a lot with their defense, which I'm sure would have fallen off a bit.

But back to the Orlando series, Lebron pretty much gave Cleveland a chance in the series by himself. Lewis got open looks all series because Brown never adjusted to Orlando's 4 shooters. One of those looks won game 1, and another sent game 4 into OT. That cost Cleveland 2 wins, and had nothing to do with Lebron. Lebron won game 2 with that long 3. If I'm critiquing Lebron's series, I'd say he was arguably too ball-dominant(though you could say it was out of necessity) and he didn't make the impact he usually did defensively. but Magic wouldn't have done better defensively, and it's pretty hard to expect elite defense when you're averaging 39/8/8. And if I really want to nitpick, I'd point out the turnovers late in game 4(unreasonable to expect no mistakes when you're putting the team on your back) and one poor game 6 once the series was already decisively in Orlando's favor.

Lebron's series wasn't as good as the stats suggest, but considering he put up 39/8/8, if it was as good as the stats suggest, we'd be talking about one of the great series of all-time. Regardless, I don't see Cleveland's problems being fixed by any version of Magic, much less '82 Magic. There's no way 3rd year Magic could have come close to carrying Cleveland's half court offense the way Lebron did.

In fact, a much better version of Magic in '90, with his half court game at it's peak was in a similar situation vs Phoenix. The Lakers were a 63 win team with homecourt. Magic averaged 30/6/12, but his teammates didn't show up and he lost in 5. He had back to back 43 point games in games 4 and 5, but they lost each. Phoenix doubled him less, often guarded him with Dan Majerle and didn't stop Magic from getting his, but his teammates were not playing at their usual level. Even Tom Chambers, who wasn't exactly known for his defense was surprisingly effective guarding James Worthy, and speaking of Magic's defense, Magic was burned by a shooter. In this case, it was Jeff Hornacek. What's to stop Orlando from doing this? That's pretty much what they did with Lebron in '09.

And I realize you're not saying Lebron cost Cleveland the series, my point is that I don't see what Magic would have done to change the outcome given Lebron's roster and the match up problems, much less '82 Magic.

Here's the thing tho...guys are not going to win every year. That's just real life. The Lakers had come off three straight Finals appearances and they just lost Kareem, which was a blow greater than just his loss as a player. But they faced a great Phoenix team (much better than Orlando), a great player in KJ, and it was one series. It was a perfect storm for Cleveland, with Boston losing KG. You could say Williams choked (and I wouldn't argue it) but I think LeBron did everything on his own. Jason Kidd didn't even take that approach, as a true PG on a team that wasn't nearly as good as that Cleveland team...and he took that approach against the Lakers and the Spurs. LeBron played by himself and against a decent team, in the playoffs, with a real coach...that's not gonna work. Mike Brown did a bad job and could have tried to have LeBron move the ball more. But he played his game and that wasn't going to get them past Orlando. That's why I don't appreciate his stats as much. He dominated the ball more so than he did in the regular season and jumpshooters do go cold.

Prime Magic is not losing to Orlando, even if I borrow one of his legs. But a younger Magic does a better job of getting other players into rhythm and making them better. Again, that Orlando team was better than Cleveland but not incomparable. SVG was a great coach and Mike Brown was not. But 82 Magic is a much better player than 09 Dwight Howard. He is not going to lose to a comparable supporting cast when he's the best player on the floor...not when we're dealing with solid teams...not when it all comes together that way.

Last edited by Whoah10115 : 03-16-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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