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Old 06-24-2014, 09:19 AM   #31
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

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Originally Posted by ArbitraryWater
so you basically just explained the sonics making the conference finals by telling us they defeated a high seed team?

groundbreaking.

Unlike you, who didn't even care to explain how the 1987 Sonics were a mediocre team - oh, wait, they were mediocre because they didn't perform well in the following seasons. Brilliant.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:25 AM   #32
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

True, stuff like that gets "swept under the rug" many times... Context, period, gets overlooked time and time again, some people will neglect countless facts when it interests them or their argument, then turn and mention the same type of stuff in other discussions.

Facts are:
- Bird played in a tougher (arguably the GOAT) conference
- Larry got drafted into a team (falling apart) with the 2nd worst record in the league and no superstar to speak of, plus had to be the main-man, the leader and superstar from the get-go (very different from Magic's "predicament")
- When they were both healthy, Larry was almost always (considered) the better player, had a better peak too
....


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Old 06-24-2014, 08:37 PM   #33
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

There are reasons why Magic developed later.

Magic was the best game adapter the league probably ever had. Til this day nobody has been better at getting easier baskets, nobody got the ball to players with great precision involving where they like to shoot, catch the ball and how close to the basket.

Bird had his team built around him. Magic didn't. In fact Kareem was a bit of a pain to Magic in the beginning.

Magic's prime came later because Kareem was kind of in the way. So this 1988 cut off point is unfair to Magic who was like two plus years younger.

Magic played out of position the first four years. Yet Magic was more efficient, more steady, more dependable, and played better in the finals the first four years than Bird.

Magic was definitely the better step up player than Bird the first four years. He was more clutch and more efficient.

Had Magic not been splitting MVP votes and tip toeing around a player management told him to be nice to, he would have gotten plenty more MVP votes.

The one time the Laker's lost to the Celtics it was moreso considered the Laker's losing the game, not the Celtic's winning it. Magic beat Bird twice in his healthy prime. The only lost was a game seven in which Magic was strangely not himself at the end of the game.

While Bird had an all time great prime year, Magic definitely outplayed him 1985 finals in one of Birds best all around years. And the conference argument has no place here. Boston played all bad teams and eliminated Philly with only one lost in the ECF.

Magic was finally the central point of the offense in 1987 and he outplays healthy Bird in his prime again in the finals.

The conference stuff doesn't mean much because he was outplaying Bird in Bird's prime manu a manu in the finals.

Bird's prime was not Magic's prime. Yet Magic was beating Bird in his healthy prime.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:49 PM   #34
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pointguard
There are reasons why Magic developed later.

Magic was the best game adapter the league probably ever had. Til this day nobody has been better at getting easier baskets, nobody got the ball to players with great precision involving where they like to shoot, catch the ball and how close to the basket.

Bird had his team built around him. Magic didn't. In fact Kareem was a bit of a pain to Magic in the beginning.

Magic's prime came later because Kareem was kind of in the way. So this 1988 cut off point is unfair to Magic who was like two plus years younger.

Magic played out of position the first four years. Yet Magic was more efficient, more steady, more dependable, and played better in the finals the first four years than Bird.

Magic was definitely the better step up player than Bird the first four years. He was more clutch and more efficient.

Had Magic not been splitting MVP votes and tip toeing around a player management told him to be nice to, he would have gotten plenty more MVP votes.

The one time the Laker's lost to the Celtics it was moreso considered the Laker's losing the game, not the Celtic's winning it. Magic beat Bird twice in his healthy prime. The only lost was a game seven in which Magic was strangely not himself at the end of the game.

While Bird had an all time great prime year, Magic definitely outplayed him 1985 finals in one of Birds best all around years. And the conference argument has no place here. Boston played all bad teams and eliminated Philly with only one lost in the ECF.

Magic was finally the central point of the offense in 1987 and he outplays healthy Bird in his prime again in the finals.

The conference stuff doesn't mean much because he was outplaying Bird in Bird's prime manu a manu in the finals.

Bird's prime was not Magic's prime. Yet Magic was beating Bird in his healthy prime.
Maybe because Bird carried his team since he was a rookie and Magic didn't have to exert the energy to do so until later in his career.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:10 PM   #35
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

Magic was 3 years younger than Bird.....

...and the media was even more white dominated and east coast biased back then regarding MVP voting.

Magic outplayed PEAK Bird in the Finals repeatedly even though he was 3 years younger...even his numbers in the 84 finals dominate Bird.

Magic as a 20 year old rookie in 1980 beat the DEFENDING CHAMPION Sonics and the Super Team Sixers putting up numbers in the playoffs and finals that are comparable to ANYTHING Bird did in his entire CAREER.

....and Magic beat all the Phillies and Detroits that came out of the East.

and let's not act like Philly and Detroit were good AT THE SAME TIME. Philly was good early in the decade and the Pistons later on.

Magic had to deal with teams like:

Gervin/Gilmore Spurs
Defending Champion Sonics
Hakeem/Sampson Rockets
Stockton/Malone Jazz
early 80's Suns getting 50 wins every year
Drexler Blazers
Blackman Mavs

Bird lost to the Bucks in the 83 playoffs but I don't see anyone talking about that....or the fact that injuries screwed over the Lakers in 81, 83, and 89
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:32 PM   #36
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

I suspect that the Bucks alone had near as many 55 win seasons during Birds career as all those teams you mentioned combined did during Magics. If not its close.

The Twin Towers sure as hell never won that much. The Mavs...maybe one year...maaaaybe. The Jazz in maybe 88? The Blazers that year they won 63 and the Suns knocked the Lakers off and in 92 Magic was gone already.

The Spurs were never that good till Drob came later.

The Suns ill give 1 year with DJ and a couple with KJ at the end of the 80s...and they beat the Lakers.

It might end up 9-5 your 7 teams vs just the Bucks bigtime winning seasons wise and thats with me counting some versions of the team you were not talking about.

Its close enough your instinct is to look into it. Its close enough to be amusing you mentioned those 7 teams like they were powerhouses.

Some would beat up other eras.....but they just were not that good for 80s teams.

The west was on a platter for the Lakers for a decade. If todays east had TWO sub.500 conference finals teams in a season you would be laughing your ass off.

Lakers aside the west won 2 rings in the 20 years after Magic was drafted. The Lakers or the east won for like 15 years. There was nobody else to be taken serious for a good run there.......

Last edited by Kblaze8855 : 06-24-2014 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:29 AM   #37
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kblaze8855
I suspect that the Bucks alone had near as many 55 win seasons during Birds career as all those teams you mentioned combined did during Magics. If not its close.

The Twin Towers sure as hell never won that much. The Mavs...maybe one year...maaaaybe. The Jazz in maybe 88? The Blazers that year they won 63 and the Suns knocked the Lakers off and in 92 Magic was gone already.

The Spurs were never that good till Drob came later.

The Suns ill give 1 year with DJ and a couple with KJ at the end of the 80s...and they beat the Lakers.

It might end up 9-5 your 7 teams vs just the Bucks bigtime winning seasons wise and thats with me counting some versions of the team you were not talking about.

Its close enough your instinct is to look into it. Its close enough to be amusing you mentioned those 7 teams like they were powerhouses.

Some would beat up other eras.....but they just were not that good for 80s teams.

The west was on a platter for the Lakers for a decade. If todays east had TWO sub.500 conference finals teams in a season you would be laughing your ass off.

Lakers aside the west won 2 rings in the 20 years after Magic was drafted. The Lakers or the east won for like 15 years. There was nobody else to be taken serious for a good run there.......
Lets see if competition/attrition ever played a role later in the playoffs.

The first year in '80 Philly is just better than the Celtics and beats them handily. Magic makes all the correct adjustments to handle Philly. Magic shows that he is big league ready and has one of the best finals games ever.

In '81 Boston did have to play Philly and it cost them three loses. Boston wins it all. No attrition argument can be given here either.

In '82 they are eliminated by Philly in the second round, but Lakers beat Philly. Sorry no attrition argument can be given.

In '83 the Bucks sweep Boston. Philly was on a mission and beats the Bucks and the Lakers in big fashion.

In '84 Boston beats the Lakers who make a lot of mistakes like attrition affected them.

We are half way thru the decade and attrition doesn't play a role once.

In '85 Boston did lose 2 games to Detroit in the second round but it wasn't a grueling series. They played two more games than LA did before losing to them in the finals. Losing four games is about average on a trip to the finals. This year, I think every playoff team outside of Miami hit that mark 2 games into the second round. Not really an argument here.

In '86 Boston loses only 1 game before beating Houston.

Now in '87 the case can be made. A peaking Bucks team and an up-and-coming Detroit team take Boston to the max before the Lakers beat them.

However, in '88 the Lakers go the max route for the last three series before beating the Pistons that beat the Celtics. More games in the playoffs than the Celtics played in the decade.

Boston rarely played teams to long series. Philly twice and the Knicks once in the first 4 years. LA in '84. then that tough stretch in '87. The Hawks in '88.

It might be a question of attrition in one year. The same could be said for the Lakers except they won it that year. In nine years you might expect one to be really challenging. Most of the time the Lakers were beating the team that beat Boston pretty handily.

To me this conference strength argument is only a reality when its really taxing and maxing games to 6 or 7 extra games before the finals which happened once to that Celtic's team and once to the Laker's team in the OP's time period.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:44 AM   #38
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

Considering Bird put up 27/14/4 on 60% TS in the 1984 Finals, I wouldn't necessarily say he was getting "dominated" by anybody in that series. The Conference strength does play a role and probably none bigger than in the 1987 playoffs. The Sidney Moncrief-led Buck teams tend to get slept on for some reason, but Milwaukee actually boasted the third best winning percentage of the decade behind only the Lakers and Celtics. Detroit was already on the cusp by '87 and would find themselves in the Finals each of the following three seasons.

The Celtics - marching toward their fourth consecutive Finals appearance and with McHale playing through a fractured foot the entire postseason - had two grueling, back-to-back seven game series against both of the aforementioned just to get into the Finals. The Lakers opposition to the dance was absolute cupcake material by comparison. Bird's performances in the Conference Finals that year against the Pistons are nothing short of legendary. With the series tied up at 2-2 and Bird being held in check for the majority of the series up to that point, he puts up 36/10/7 on 57% FG/66% TS over the last three games while playing 47, 47 and 48 minutes respectively. This included a 37/9/9 Game 7 performance and the famous inbounds steal on Thomas and pass to DJ under the basket to win Game 5. It's really nothing short of amazing that Boston was able to reach the Finals and they came limping in with little left in the tank aside from pride.
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:02 AM   #39
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Default Re: Why is conference strength often ignored when comparing Magic and Bird?

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Originally Posted by Rubio2Gasol
Thing is, there wasn't a huge debate.

Most acknowledged Bird is better.


Whoa there. I'm a Bird fan, but you could only say that in his absolute prime, which was shorter than Magics'. Both had IQ off the charts, Bird just learned how to win earlier. Magic was more physically gifted, Bird had to play recklessly. Doesn't mean he gave more effort than Magic, Magic was just more gifted. I will tell you this, neither team wins a chip without these guys.
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