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Old 03-15-2013, 11:19 PM   #76
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

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Originally Posted by LeBird
It was an example of a season where he played at an MVP level and didn't win it.

The 2007 year I am talking about where Dirk finished above Lebron was in 06-07 when he won the MVP. The year you are talking about where he finished below Lebron (he finished 11th) was the 07-08 season. Look at Dirk's numbers between the years: objectively, not much difference besides his dip in shooting. Now look at the team success: 67 win #1 team in the league vs 51 win #10 team in the league. Yet from #1 to #11 in MVP voting.

It isn't rocket science, or an exact science, but you've got your reason staring you in the face.



The year I'm referencing is, as I said, 2005/06, not 07/08. In 05/06 Dirk finished 3rd and LeBron finished 2nd. Dirk won 60 games and LeBron won 50 games. So, I'm disproving your specific point.


Naturally, a player can suffer from comparisons to himself. He was already the defending MVP and it would take a lot for them to give it to him a 2nd straight year. His team won, as I said, a LOT of games the year before and were eliminated in the first round. Everything was against him. Record plays a part but you're not really accurate in your emphasis.

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:36 AM   #77
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

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Originally Posted by Whoah10115
Kareem made a big impact defensively and it was a lot more negative than you claim. Big men get so much credit for defense and don't get enough criticism when their defense is distinctly average, mediocre, or barely above average. His defense was better in the playoffs and his BPG went up but he was solid, at best. I think I'm actually being a little kind. Magic's defense is much better than people give credit for. He wasn't usually guarding tiny PG's who would run around him all day. His team defense was very good and he forced a lot of turnovers, including getting a bunch of steals.


I wasn't claiming he was DPOY level in '82, but it's obvious from most '82 Laker games that he made a positive impact. He blocked and altered a ton of shots around the rim. His presence was definitely felt defensively. Magic has never been much of a defender, imo. Pretty good help defender, but he would gamble at times, and his roaming made him very vulnerable vs shooters. Of course, he had trouble with players who could score off the dribble as well.

Quote:
The team went thru Magic. Nixon may have been the PG in the halfcourt but Magic created transition even back then and he was more a PG for that team than anyone. Magic outrebounded Kareem, completely. Kareem isn't Marc Gasol. He's not doing a bunch of boxing out and setting up teammates for rebounds. That said, even Gasol has to improve his rebounding...tho his wings don't rebound as much as he does. Magic had more RPG, more rebounds per minute, a higher rebounding percentage, more ORPG, more offensive rebounds per minute and even a higher offensive rebounding percentage. He played 1-3 and lived on the perimeter. He also outrebounded him in the playoffs.

The Lakers were Kareem's team until '87. Both Riley and Magic have said this. Though you could argue Magic was the better player a few years prior to that, though even in the mid 80's with Kareem in his late 30's, those 2 were pretty much 1.A/1.B.

Quote:
Watching old playoff games, it was clear who the best player was. Magic was better and it was his team. Thru the playoffs and in the Finals. Really, outside of scoring, the only argument for Kareem was that he was taller.


I've seen those playoff games, and other than people going nuts over the triple double stats, it's confusing to me how people think Magic was already better. Even in the finals when Kareem's numbers were way down, he still looked like the finals MVP to me.

Magic's half court skill set just wasn't enough at that point for me to put him over Kareem. I've looked into this season extensively and Kareem was still pretty close to prime form. He had a bad midseason slump for about a month, but other than that, the biggest difference was Kareem's rebounding, and he was still average.

Kareem was much more important to the Laker defense than Magic, and the one Laker you had to double. He was a center, but he was also the guy they went to for big shots down the stretch. I've read quotes from players that year who said when Kareem was out, you could go inside on the Lakers, and how when he was not in the lineup, you could play the Lakers without double-teaming.

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Absolutely not. I have enough respect for you to know I'm not going to change your opinion, just as you know you aren't going to change mine. But I know that I'm right on this one. Fact is that if the difference in a series is 82 Magic and 09 LeBron then I'm going to beat you because I took Magic. Absolutely. In fact, I might beat you badly.


Sure, if you have a top 2-3 player in Kareem, 2 additional all-stars in Norm Nixon and Jamaal Wilkes, Bob McAdoo who played like an all-star in the playoffs coming off the bench and one of the best role players of all-time in Michael Cooper.

What Lebron did for the '09 Cavs was pretty incredible.

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If it was Magic from 87 on I'd kill you.

You not thinking it's remotely close is a good example of people not realizing just how historically dominant Lebron has become.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:23 AM   #78
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
I wasn't claiming he was DPOY level in '82, but it's obvious from most '82 Laker games that he made a positive impact. He blocked and altered a ton of shots around the rim. His presence was definitely felt defensively. Magic has never been much of a defender, imo. Pretty good help defender, but he would gamble at times, and his roaming made him very vulnerable vs shooters. Of course, he had trouble with players who could score off the dribble as well.


I'm not saying Kareem's defensive impact wasn't more positive than negative, I am saying that it wasn't noteworthy. Magic was a good defender and never one of the great ones. But Kareem's defense wasn't any better. And if big man defense is really as important as people suggest then I'd claim his defense was worse than Magic. Kareem's timing was always terrific. His entire skillset was incredible, but he was lazy. For him to be that lazy outside the paint and to still be so soft under the rim is just inexcusable. He was soft and he was lazy. Shaq guarded the pick n' roll more than Kareem did. Watching Duncan yesterday, Barkley marveled at how Duncan plays like a big man. His hands always up and yet always active. Kareem would raise his arms, with the same fundamentals, but without any of the fire. He just didn't play hard on that side of the ball...and he still couldn't get as many rebounds as Magic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
The Lakers were Kareem's team until '87. Both Riley and Magic have said this. Though you could argue Magic was the better player a few years prior to that, though even in the mid 80's with Kareem in his late 30's, those 2 were pretty much 1.A/1.B.


The Lakers were Kareem's team until Game 6 in 1980. All I can go by are the games and not only was Magic the best player in most of those games but he was always the guy with the game in his hands. In every playoff from there on, you watched Magic and the Lakers. From hearing and reading Riley and Magic's comments about the basketball being played, the only reasonable explanation is they were showing reverence to Cap.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
I've seen those playoff games, and other than people going nuts over the triple double stats, it's confusing to me how people think Magic was already better. Even in the finals when Kareem's numbers were way down, he still looked like the finals MVP to me.

Honestly, I think Kareem won that 1985 award because people were marveling at his age and to make up for 1980. He really had no business winning it. I think Magic rightfully won it 1980, with that missed Game 6, but I always understood how great Kareem had been up until then (especially when you consider the entire playoffs). Outside of that tho, Kareem has never been as good as Magic in a Finals series.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
Magic's half court skill set just wasn't enough at that point for me to put him over Kareem. I've looked into this season extensively and Kareem was still pretty close to prime form. He had a bad midseason slump for about a month, but other than that, the biggest difference was Kareem's rebounding, and he was still average.


Hard to say Kareem is average when he is so clearly not as good as a guy who played half of the game at PG and the other half at SG/SF. Offensively, Kareem was still Kareem. He was so slow, but his skill level is astounding. Defensively, he just didn't give much of a shit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
Kareem was much more important to the Laker defense than Magic, and the one Laker you had to double. He was a center, but he was also the guy they went to for big shots down the stretch. I've read quotes from players that year who said when Kareem was out, you could go inside on the Lakers, and how when he was not in the lineup, you could play the Lakers without double-teaming.


You're right on him double-teaming. I also think he had the benefit of having a better player to kick it out to. Without a guy as good as Magic (or Bird, if it was Bird on the Lakers) he would have to work thru those double-teams a lot more. And by that I mean he couldn't just kick it out the way he did...he would have to had to make a play a lot more frequently. I don't think you could give him Erving in place of Magic, without costing LA a title. And also, McAdoo was the only other center on the roster. He used to block some shots, but I don't remember him having a consistent defensive paint presence. And he wasn't any kind of rebounder by then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
Sure, if you have a top 2-3 player in Kareem, 2 additional all-stars in Norm Nixon and Jamaal Wilkes, Bob McAdoo who played like an all-star in the playoffs coming off the bench and one of the best role players of all-time in Michael Cooper.

Well, I don't think Kareem was a top 3 player in the NBA at that time. Bird was better, Malone was better, Magic was better. And you could argue that Erving was better by then. If we're talking all-time, I think Kareem's place is well over-stated. I don't think he'd ever win another title without a guy as good as Magic. And I think Magic still wins a couple titles, if Kareem literally decided not to get off the bench in 87 and 88.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
What Lebron did for the '09 Cavs was pretty incredible.

Dwyane Wade was just as good a player as LeBron and should have been the MVP, in my opinion. You put Magic in LeBron's place and I guarantee you Orlando doesn't beat Cleveland. And I hate to keep referencing that, as it sounds as tho I'm claiming LeBron lost the series or something. But Magic would lead that team to a win. If Magic is easily the best guy on the floor and the supporting casts are comparable then Mike Brown isn't going to stop Magic from winning. And neither is SVG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
You not thinking it's remotely close is a good example of people not realizing just how historically dominant Lebron has become.


What LeBron has become...where he is the last two years (and the 2011 playoffs, prior to the Finals) is far ahead of 2009. Where he is now, I do understand. He's still not as good as Magic in his prime. Magic is the only player comparable to MJ, as far as I can see. Bird is somewhat close. James is still not there.

Last edited by Whoah10115 : 03-16-2013 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:18 PM   #79
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whoah10115
I'm not saying Kareem's defensive impact wasn't more positive than negative, I am saying that it wasn't noteworthy. Magic was a good defender and never one of the great ones. But Kareem's defense wasn't any better. And if big man defense is really as important as people suggest then I'd claim his defense was worse than Magic. Kareem's timing was always terrific. His entire skillset was incredible, but he was lazy. For him to be that lazy outside the paint and to still be so soft under the rim is just inexcusable. He was soft and he was lazy. Shaq guarded the pick n' roll more than Kareem did. Watching Duncan yesterday, Barkley marveled at how Duncan plays like a big man. His hands always up and yet always active. Kareem would raise his arms, with the same fundamentals, but without any of the fire. He just didn't play hard on that side of the ball...and he still couldn't get as many rebounds as Magic.


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.

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.

Quote:
The Lakers were Kareem's team until Game 6 in 1980. All I can go by are the games and not only was Magic the best player in most of those games but he was always the guy with the game in his hands. In every playoff from there on, you watched Magic and the Lakers. From hearing and reading Riley and Magic's comments about the basketball being played, the only reasonable explanation is they were showing reverence to Cap.


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.

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.

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.

Quote:
Honestly, I think Kareem won that 1985 award because people were marveling at his age and to make up for 1980. He really had no business winning it. I think Magic rightfully won it 1980, with that missed Game 6, but I always understood how great Kareem had been up until then (especially when you consider the entire playoffs). Outside of that tho, Kareem has never been as good as Magic in a Finals series.

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.

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.

Quote:
Hard to say Kareem is average when he is so clearly not as good as a guy who played half of the game at PG and the other half at SG/SF. Offensively, Kareem was still Kareem. He was so slow, but his skill level is astounding. Defensively, he just didn't give much of a shit.


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.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:19 PM   #80
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whoah10115
You're right on him double-teaming. I also think he had the benefit of having a better player to kick it out to. Without a guy as good as Magic (or Bird, if it was Bird on the Lakers) he would have to work thru those double-teams a lot more. And by that I mean he couldn't just kick it out the way he did...he would have to had to make a play a lot more frequently. I don't think you could give him Erving in place of Magic, without costing LA a title. And also, McAdoo was the only other center on the roster. He used to block some shots, but I don't remember him having a consistent defensive paint presence. And he wasn't any kind of rebounder by then.


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.

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.

Quote:
Well, I don't think Kareem was a top 3 player in the NBA at that time. Bird was better, Malone was better, Magic was better. And you could argue that Erving was better by then. If we're talking all-time, I think Kareem's place is well over-stated. I don't think he'd ever win another title without a guy as good as Magic. And I think Magic still wins a couple titles, if Kareem literally decided not to get off the bench in 87 and 88.

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.

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.

Quote:
Dwyane Wade was just as good a player as LeBron and should have been the MVP, in my opinion. You put Magic in LeBron's place and I guarantee you Orlando doesn't beat Cleveland. And I hate to keep referencing that, as it sounds as tho I'm claiming LeBron lost the series or something. But Magic would lead that team to a win. If Magic is easily the best guy on the floor and the supporting casts are comparable then Mike Brown isn't going to stop Magic from winning. And neither is SVG.

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.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #81
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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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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.

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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

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Old 03-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #83
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whoah10115
Magic didn't have to spot up. The offense would just reset.


That really wasn't how the Lakers half court offense worked. It was more of Kareem scoring in the post, running a give and go with Magic, or Kareem passing out to Wilkes, Nixon or Cooper on the perimeter. Sometimes, Magic would find Wilkes under the basket with a bullet pass, drive to the basket or they'd run the "Coop-a-loop" for Michael Cooper, but for the most part, the half court offense was Kareem.

Quote:
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.


I don't see any argument for Magic being more valuable to the '82 Lakers than Kareem, especially considering their personnel. No way Philly wins those series in those scenarios either. The Lakers had a lot more talent. Philly was very good defensively, but that declines when trading Doc for Magic, and losing Doc's scoring would hurt as well. And in 1980, the gap between Dr. J and Magic was very big. Dr. J probably had his best NBA season and seems like he was easily the 2nd best player in the game behind only Kareem.

Quote:
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.

This is fair, and yes, Kareem's defense was subpar by 1988. My only point about '88 was that they really shouldn't have won '88 to begin with. I rarely do this when it comes to calls, but that phantom foul was one of the worst calls in NBA history considering the situation. By that point, they pretty much split time with Kareem for offense and Thompson for defense anyway, but I don't think Kareem was that important by that point.

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


I think they're very close.

Quote:
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.


I think some of this is valid, but while Phoenix was more talented than Orlando, LA was easily more talented than the '09 Cavs. Having Pat Riley instead of Mike Brown doesn't hurt either.

Of course you can't win every year, that's why I think it's foolish to make assumptions about Magic on the '09 Cavs. I still don't see how Magic solves the match up problems Lewis and Howard caused.

Quote:
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.

Magic's cast was at least comparable to the '90 Suns and he lost that series in 5 so yes it's possible. He was the best player in that series, second best in the league behind Jordan. Lebron himself was a much better player than '09 Dwight and he lost. Having the best player doesn't guarantee anything.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:11 PM   #84
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
That really wasn't how the Lakers half court offense worked. It was more of Kareem scoring in the post, running a give and go with Magic, or Kareem passing out to Wilkes, Nixon or Cooper on the perimeter. Sometimes, Magic would find Wilkes under the basket with a bullet pass, drive to the basket or they'd run the "Coop-a-loop" for Michael Cooper, but for the most part, the half court offense was Kareem.



I don't see any argument for Magic being more valuable to the '82 Lakers than Kareem, especially considering their personnel. No way Philly wins those series in those scenarios either. The Lakers had a lot more talent. Philly was very good defensively, but that declines when trading Doc for Magic, and losing Doc's scoring would hurt as well. And in 1980, the gap between Dr. J and Magic was very big. Dr. J probably had his best NBA season and seems like he was easily the 2nd best player in the game behind only Kareem.


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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
I think some of this is valid, but while Phoenix was more talented than Orlando, LA was easily more talented than the '09 Cavs. Having Pat Riley instead of Mike Brown doesn't hurt either.

Of course you can't win every year, that's why I think it's foolish to make assumptions about Magic on the '09 Cavs. I still don't see how Magic solves the match up problems Lewis and Howard caused.



Magic's cast was at least comparable to the '90 Suns and he lost that series in 5 so yes it's possible. He was the best player in that series, second best in the league behind Jordan. Lebron himself was a much better player than '09 Dwight and he lost. Having the best player doesn't guarantee anything.



It's just a matter of not winning every year for me. LeBron had been to the Finals two seasons earlier (and props to him for that Detroit performance, as well as props to Detroit for being so full of themselves that they didn't play hard), but he got thru a weak East with that Detroit team playing like they were entitled. He obviously had no chance of winning...against any Western team. That 2009 team was the first serious team he had. Of course, they weren't going to win in the Finals, but they were obviously in position to win the East. I think his MVP was deserved (tho I prefer Wade), but his performance in this series just never impressed me much. I was barely aware o the stats he was putting up, as it just didn't translate while watching the games.


That was his chance. Had LeBron been coming off consecutive trips and wins, that would be different. Guys have off-series or whatever but this was different...he wasn't off, he just didn't bring it. Not only that but playing against a great team and losing (even when you're better) than losing to a decent team (even if you're only decent)...at least it is when you're the best player on the court. It's not even meant to be a knock on him.

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Old 03-16-2013, 07:53 PM   #85
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Default Re: Magic Johnson averaged a triple double over his 1st 4 playoff runs.

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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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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