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Old 03-17-2013, 01:49 AM   #86
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Missed this post initially.

Originally Posted by Whoah10115
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

Norm Nixon himself, while a very underrated player was a terrible defender. I don't completely disagree with your assessment of Magic's defense. He could make plays defensively, but his roaming wasn't all positive and his man defense was below average, imo.

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.

Well, to me it's apparent watching early 80's Laker games that Magic was often in better position to get offensive rebounds. Kareem was often taking that sky hook which didn't put him in good position for an offensive board, while Magic could box out while Kareem was taking the shot. This is a credit to Magic as far as rebounding and IQ, but also a relevant point when looking at numbers. I stand by my assessment. Magic was a great rebounder for his position while Kareem was average by '82.

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.

They didn't get swept. It was a best of 3 mini-series and it came down to a final shot in game 3. Magic actually took the shot(though the play was designed for Kareem) Needless to say, the Lakers lost the game and the series. I don't know if Magic was "right." Though he did return with more than a month remaining in the regular season. He averaged 21.8 ppg over the 17 games after his return, and those numbers are deceptive because he came off the bench his first couple of games back.

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.

This is valid and debatable.

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.

Well, obviously Kareem as the first option through '85 was a fine decision since

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

The only thing I take exception to is the statement that Magic made Kareem better. Players of this caliber pretty much are who they are. Kareem could play his game on any team in the league. Magic didn't make him 7'3", or give him that deadly sky hook.

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.

No argument here. Worthy was a great player who had a legit game of his own, but there's no doubt he played off of Magic very well and benefited from being in that situation, much like Jamaal Wilkes did.

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.

I agree that Magic becoming the full-time PG contributed to his decline in rebounding numbers, though he averaged an impressive 8 per game with 22.5 ppg and 13 apg in '89. I disagree on Kareem became a noticeably lesser player in '83. Kareem was still a great player in '83. Averaged 27/8/3/4 in the playoffs. I don't think he fell off a cliff or anything, I think he just gradually lost a bit starting around '82.

Originally Posted by Whoah10115
Watching the games, it just appears to be absolute to me that Magic was the better and more important player. I guess this is where we'll just disagree (which is fine), but I still don't believe that Kareem would ever have won another title without a great player who played with that kind of fire. A lesser player or a lesser leader and I think Kareem goes home with 1 ring.

On this particular point, I think we can agree to disagree. Only thing I will say is that I don't Dr. J should be diminished. Dr. J and Kareem with talent around them would be a major threat to win a ring. Beyond being a threat/contender, there are no guarantees. But I don't think anyone would want to face a team with those 2.
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