Originally Posted by Kobr
Tough one, maybe '98? They needed him more that year with Pippen out, and he easily had his best playoff run of that second 3peat. Not sure though.
1999-2000, without question. He not only had his best statistical season, but he played the entire season with plantar fasciitis and not only did a good job carrying the scoring load due to his isolation ability and shooting, but he had to handle the ball a lot more because Nash hadn't established himself yet. He led a Dallas team that wasn't that good to a 40-42 record, but they went on a tear late in the season. Don Nelson had announced his retirement that year, but changed his mind, and I'm guessing that's because of the Mavs finishing so strong at 16-6, which had a lot to do with Finley's great play.
It's between '80 and '82. I'd go with '82 because of the playoff run. Very underrated player, he split PG duties with Magic and did an excellent job. He wasn't as good as Magic, even back then, but he impressed me more as a scorer(not than '87-'91 Magic, but '80-'83 Magic) with his pull up mid-range jumper.
I'd say '95, he played the best basketball of his career. His '96 regular season was better statistically, but I'd stick with '95. It's strange how much he declined at such a young age. People who only know him from his Laker and Spurs days would be shocked to see him when he was young.
Definitely 2000. He went to Charlotte and was the man for the first time in his career and led that team to 49 wins while setting new career highs in points(20.1), assists(4.2) and steals(2.7), while leading the league in the latter category. Charlotte did seem to have a good amount of talent, but strangely went 2-8 without Eddie.
Aside from Kobe(who had his best defensive season), Eddie was probably the best two-way perimeter player player in 2000, and arguably the best defensive guard, definitely up there as far as all-star players, rivaled by probably only Kobe.
Originally Posted by REACTION
I don't agree about 2002-03 being much in the mix for Kobe's best season, but it did come down to 2005-06 and 2007-08 for me. I originally had his 2006 season listed, but decided to ultimately go with 2008. '06 was admittedly his scoring peak, but I feel like Kobe was a better defender in '08 while still being a major scoring threat. He also did much better in the '08 playoffs, getting to the finals and putting up 30/5.7/5.6 in 21 games. He was a more efficient scorer in 2008 too. Those reasons plus him making MVP led me to choose 2007-08 as his best season. But I don't disagree with anybody who chooses 2005-06.
I agree, I don't see what puts '03 over '06 or '08.
Originally Posted by REACTION
Bruce Bowen: 2004-05
He's difficult to judge, his defense was always there, and he was never much of an offensive player other than those corner 3s. I'm fine with '05, but I might go with '03 when he led the league in 3P% and had an excellent playoff run when he showed how good of a defender he was.
I'd definitely go with this season.
Dave DeBusschere: 1967-68
One of the most underrated players, there were many factors in the Knicks becoming such a great team from '69-'74, but acquiring Dave was as big as any, they went 18-17 to start the '68-'69 season, but then went 36-11 after trading Walt Bellamy for DeBuscherre.
I haven't looked into Dave's career as much with Detroit, but I wouldn't go by numbers because he was in a position to put up better numbers than he was on such a balanced team like the Knicks.
I haven't seen many Jazz games from this season, but it seems like a logical choice.
Not sure about this one, I don't think he had really lost anything by this point, but he was in a reduced role compared to previous years. He had been an all-star in previous years.
I definitely agree with this one.
This is definitely accurate as well.
You could go with any season from '90-'92. '91 would be a good choice for regular season, but '90 is also interesting, he was more impressive than Drexler during the first 3 rounds of the playoffs and led the Blazers in scoring in 2 of their first 3 rounds. Porter is underrated, he was a big part of Portland's stacked teams. He seemed to take most of their big shots late in games.
It's definitely between '89 and '90. Can't argue with that '89.
That definitely seems right, though he did benefit quite a bit from the shortened line.
I'd go with '98. He easily set career highs in mpg(32) as well as ppg(16), rpg(10) and apg(3).
I'm not sure, Sampson didn't seem like a player who improved greatly in his first 3 years. But I did notice his passing in '86 games, and sure enough, he averaged 3.6 apg. Such a unique player, it's a shame that injuries ruined his career after the finals appearance.
Originally Posted by REACTION
He also appeared to be a more efficient scorer (53.1% from the field on the season) and a bit more versatile.
Well, this is primarily because he cut down on how many 3s he attempted dramatically each of his first 2 years in Miami, though I consider this to be an improvement in his game because as great as he was in Cleveland, I always thought he took too many 3s because while he was streaky and could make a lot, it paled in comparison to other parts of his games.
But another reason for the higher FG% is how many more transition opportunities Lebron got this year. Part of this was because Miami sarted specializing in forcing turnovers, which Lebron's defense contributed to, but he also leaked out and cherry picked more often for easy baskets.
He was more versatile in that he at least started posting up fairly regularly and looked decent in the post, unlike any other season, and hit that turnaround jumper pretty frequently. He also added a short range jumper from 10-15 feet which he never had in Cleveland, and moved better without the ball than before this year. He was definitely cutting to the basket for more easy lay ups.
Here's a link to some in-depth stats backing up these points about Lebron's post game and how much he scores in transition.
As you can see, at the time this was posted(March 1st), Lebron was scoring 24.6% of his points in transition, up from 21.6% in '11, 20.4% in '10, 18.2% in '09 and 17.3% in '08. Though he led the league in fast break points every season.
I'm okay with leaving it open to a vote though. Anyone else vote for 2009 over 2012?
I take '09 over '12 as well. The historic regular season Lebron led that Cavs team to is unbelievable.
They had a top 10 record in NBA history at 66-16 and probably would have tied the '86 Celtics home record of 40-1 had they not rested their best players on the last game(a 1 point loss in OT). They also led the league in point differential at 8.9 ppg.
Pretty remarkable that he did this with Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauska, Delonte West, Ben Wallace(past his prime), Daniel Gibson and Wally Szczerbiak(also past his prime).
It definitely wasn't a team of scrubs, and in fairness, the names of the cast don't account for that fact Cleveland was the second best 3 point shooting team at 39.3% and 3rd in made 3s. They were also a top 3 defensive team. But not a team you expect to win 60+ games. I remember expecting the Cavs to win 55 games after they acquired Mo, although I didn't know Lebron would improve like he did in '09.
If you remember, Lebron was sitting out a lot of 4th quarters because of all the blowouts, so his numbers were lowered and he still ended up averaging 28/8/7, 1.6 spg, 1.1 bpg, 49 FG%. He probably ends up averaging more like 30/8/8 without all of those blowouts.
Originally Posted by jlauber
Using your "formulas", Kareem's prime came in '71. Which, I have long maintained was a PEAK Kareem.
Or, if he wanted to pick a championship year, he could pick 1980. Kareem had a better playoff run than in '71, and he was also a more skilled complete player, imo. He already seemed to be a good passer in the '71 footage I've seen, but I believe he improved in that aspect as most players do. He was also physically stronger than he was in the early 70's, especially in '80 when he started lifting weights. And he had added more moves, rather than the sky hook every time(though that usually worked), he now had a left-handed hook and a turnaround jumper.
He had also lost remarkably little athleticism. But I'd say he was even better in '77. He's never been more dominant than the '77 playoffs, many were saying he was playing the best ball of his life, and noticed all the improvements I mentioned which is why I believe he became a much more reliable playoff performer from '74 on. He had almost no weaknesses for a big man, but the one thing I'd call a weakness early was his strength, which I believe could be exploited. He was actually pretty strong later, stronger than many would think. I've heard he had a lot of lower body strength from centers who played against him. Even his regular season was excellent in '77, his great play is why they overachieved in the regular season and got the best record.