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  1. #481
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    To me, Butler is the MVP of the playoffs regardless of the outcome. The guy has just been so good and carried his team in the most pivotal moments.

  2. #482
    The Lightbringer ProphetFlume's Avatar
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    I mean, butler's best games are Lebron's average.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Green's brick is getting all the attention but the guy who got the rebound rivals jr smith forgetting the score. Literally threw the ball away when there was time. It was bad enough to start rumors about him being paid off i'm sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gumboy View Post
    I'm not sure if you guys have noticed but sometimes I say things that are kind of dumb
    Quote Originally Posted by draynay View Post
    I just like reading about the "vigorous rubbing" that might affect ball inflation.

  3. #483
    The Lightbringer ProphetFlume's Avatar
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    Davis looks groggy, just out there as a decoy.

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    I take that back, think they just adjusted to valuing him on D more, because the blocks and takeaways in the first half are unreal. Heat looking demoralized.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gumboy View Post
    I'm not sure if you guys have noticed but sometimes I say things that are kind of dumb
    Quote Originally Posted by draynay View Post
    I just like reading about the "vigorous rubbing" that might affect ball inflation.

  4. #484
    LAL is crushing Miami like they should have been this whole series.

  5. #485
    Well, he did it. Freaking incredible.

  6. #486
    Rondo played ridiculous off the bench.

    He honestly looked like he was playing a different game and the Heat couldn't slow him down when he wanted to score.

  7. #487
    So does the bubble close now and everyone gets on a flight home?

  8. #488
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillMcfuu View Post
    Rondo played ridiculous off the bench.

    He honestly looked like he was playing a different game and the Heat couldn't slow him down when he wanted to score.
    Made me think of how Carmelo refuses to come off the bench yet rondo, who’s better, will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gumboy View Post
    I'm not sure if you guys have noticed but sometimes I say things that are kind of dumb
    Quote Originally Posted by draynay View Post
    I just like reading about the "vigorous rubbing" that might affect ball inflation.

  9. #489
    Quote Originally Posted by ProphetFlume View Post
    Made me think of how Carmelo refuses to come off the bench yet rondo, who’s better, will.
    I mean, Rondo can play defense.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Lebron vs. MJ convo:

    I find it somewhat hilarious that people make the argument that Lebron would have never been successful in the 90s against the rugged defenders of the era. Jordan was considered a big wing back then! The Pistons put Joe Dumars on Jordan. Dumars was 6'3", 190, and he slowed Jordan down. The Knicks put John Starks on Jordan... 6'3", 190. The Suns - Kevin Johnson, 6'1", 180, or the thoroughly unimpressive athlete "Thunder Dan" Majerle.

    Remember, the rule was you couldn't play zone. You either had to play 1 on 1, or else you had to hard double team. Again, imagine Lebron going up against those little guys. You either live with him abusing Dumars in the post, or you come with the double and let one of the best passers in NBA history find the open man against a hard double.

    Now imagine MJ in today's era. No hand checking, yes, but instead of going up against a bunch of 6'3" guys or unimpressive athletes like Ehlo and Majerle, he's being guarded by Jimmy Butler, Kawhi, Shawn Marion, Bruce Bowen, and Andre Iguodala. All big athletic guys that didn't exist in Jordan's prime (except for Pippen who was on Jordan's team!) - and all except Iguodala are actually taller than Jordan. Yes, Jordan was great for his era and still would be good today, but pretending he's on Lebron's level is just silly.

  10. #490
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrod View Post
    I mean, Rondo can play defense.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Lebron vs. MJ convo:

    I find it somewhat hilarious that people make the argument that Lebron would have never been successful in the 90s against the rugged defenders of the era. Jordan was considered a big wing back then! The Pistons put Joe Dumars on Jordan. Dumars was 6'3", 190, and he slowed Jordan down. The Knicks put John Starks on Jordan... 6'3", 190. The Suns - Kevin Johnson, 6'1", 180, or the thoroughly unimpressive athlete "Thunder Dan" Majerle.

    Remember, the rule was you couldn't play zone. You either had to play 1 on 1, or else you had to hard double team. Again, imagine Lebron going up against those little guys. You either live with him abusing Dumars in the post, or you come with the double and let one of the best passers in NBA history find the open man against a hard double.

    Now imagine MJ in today's era. No hand checking, yes, but instead of going up against a bunch of 6'3" guys or unimpressive athletes like Ehlo and Majerle, he's being guarded by Jimmy Butler, Kawhi, Shawn Marion, Bruce Bowen, and Andre Iguodala. All big athletic guys that didn't exist in Jordan's prime (except for Pippen who was on Jordan's team!) - and all except Iguodala are actually taller than Jordan. Yes, Jordan was great for his era and still would be good today, but pretending he's on Lebron's level is just silly.
    So understand that I'm coming from the point that LeBron is clearly.... FUCKING CLEARLY ... the better basketball player than Jordan. LeBron only leads all his teams in every statistical category and we see when he leaves that the teams take a major hit to their win/loss record. Jordan has the better resume, and Jordan really isn't that far behind LeBron in just the pure sense of basketball player...

    But what are you on about, especially those matchups...

    Pistons Bulls in 1990 was a 7 game series which the Bulls lost, but Jordan dropped something like 47, 43, 35, 32, etc... Slowed down? Was Dumars being congratulated for holding him under 50... in games that barely made 100 pts. In 91 it was a sweep, Bulls wiped the Pistons off the face of the earth for 10+ years. No one "slowed down" Jordan. The reason why these players are on Jordan is because Zone was illegal and "switching" wasn't a thing.
    And we have a bit of an idea on how Jordan would have played in the modern era, in 01-03 after zone was made legal, at 38-40 Jordan was still playing and still getting 30 and 40+ point games on a frankly bad Wizards roster. We also have Kobe Bryant... which I love Kobe so saying this feels weird... his game is just Jordan-lite. Jordan was a better player than Kobe in every aspect except for probably work ethic and not gambling. Kobe also had no issues with bigger defenders or the modern defense.

    As for anyone who thinks LeBron wouldn't have dominated the 90s, stop listening to those fools. It's all the same talking heads that thought Kawhi was the best player in the NBA and think Harden is in the pantheon of Goats because he can get 50pts for games at a time while the rest of his team do nothing.

    LeGoat would have feasted in the 90s, man defenders... hand checking would have given LeBron an advantage, not a disadvantage. One thing guys don't tell you about hand checking is that it fully takes offensive fouls off the table. Once a defender sticks his arm out, he initiates contact, which means all fouls start with the defender. LeBron like he does today would have just bowled over guys trying to slow him down, except he wouldn't lose possessions to charging calls. Hand checking had it's places, and those places are still present in the NBA, IE post you still handcheck (obviously without impeding movement outside of the backdown), but it's seriously misunderstood by people who weren't old enough to even play ball when handchecking was a thing and likely don't understand what it meant. It's another reason why 90s ball seems more aggressive, hand checking allows offensive players to slap hands away and use their arms to move defenders, which you can't do now either.

    Regardless... I fully think the modern NBA has made LeBron a better player than he would have been in the 90s. And vicariously that would mean that LeBron wouldn't have the same skill set in the 90s, he would have never really learned how to shoot well, no Euro step moves, etc... But Jordan would still be a God in modern NBA, even if his game didn't change at all, he would still be Jordan, still be the guy out there getting Rings, etc... LeBron is a better player not by much, and Jordan has the better resume not by much. If you want to put it into 2k ratings

    Lebron
    Player - 100/100
    Resume - 99/100

    Jordan
    Player - 99/100
    Resume - 100/100

    I also really didn't think he needed this Ring or another Ring. His legacy is firmly entrenched in the 2016 Finals. His legacy is entrenched in Cleveland who went from perennial Finals contenders to a 20 win team, just by losing LeBron. That says all it needs to about his game, him as a player, and where he stands all-time. If anyone has an issue with that statement, you straight up don't know basketball.

    I'm also not defending Jordan much here, I don't think he needs defending. Before Jordan came along, we weren't looking for the next Jerry West, Kareem, Chamberlain, etc... It just wasn't done. But since Jordan has been here, we are still looking for the next Jordan. I think LeBron has made it so we will be looking for the next LeBron, which in many ways has already started when you look at Luka.

  11. #491
    Quote Originally Posted by StillMcfuu View Post
    So understand that I'm coming from the point that LeBron is clearly.... FUCKING CLEARLY ... the better basketball player than Jordan. LeBron only leads all his teams in every statistical category and we see when he leaves that the teams take a major hit to their win/loss record. Jordan has the better resume, and Jordan really isn't that far behind LeBron in just the pure sense of basketball player...

    But what are you on about, especially those matchups...

    Pistons Bulls in 1990 was a 7 game series which the Bulls lost, but Jordan dropped something like 47, 43, 35, 32, etc... Slowed down? Was Dumars being congratulated for holding him under 50... in games that barely made 100 pts. In 91 it was a sweep, Bulls wiped the Pistons off the face of the earth for 10+ years. No one "slowed down" Jordan. The reason why these players are on Jordan is because Zone was illegal and "switching" wasn't a thing.
    And we have a bit of an idea on how Jordan would have played in the modern era, in 01-03 after zone was made legal, at 38-40 Jordan was still playing and still getting 30 and 40+ point games on a frankly bad Wizards roster. We also have Kobe Bryant... which I love Kobe so saying this feels weird... his game is just Jordan-lite. Jordan was a better player than Kobe in every aspect except for probably work ethic and not gambling. Kobe also had no issues with bigger defenders or the modern defense.

    As for anyone who thinks LeBron wouldn't have dominated the 90s, stop listening to those fools. It's all the same talking heads that thought Kawhi was the best player in the NBA and think Harden is in the pantheon of Goats because he can get 50pts for games at a time while the rest of his team do nothing.

    LeGoat would have feasted in the 90s, man defenders... hand checking would have given LeBron an advantage, not a disadvantage. One thing guys don't tell you about hand checking is that it fully takes offensive fouls off the table. Once a defender sticks his arm out, he initiates contact, which means all fouls start with the defender. LeBron like he does today would have just bowled over guys trying to slow him down, except he wouldn't lose possessions to charging calls. Hand checking had it's places, and those places are still present in the NBA, IE post you still handcheck (obviously without impeding movement outside of the backdown), but it's seriously misunderstood by people who weren't old enough to even play ball when handchecking was a thing and likely don't understand what it meant. It's another reason why 90s ball seems more aggressive, hand checking allows offensive players to slap hands away and use their arms to move defenders, which you can't do now either.

    Regardless... I fully think the modern NBA has made LeBron a better player than he would have been in the 90s. And vicariously that would mean that LeBron wouldn't have the same skill set in the 90s, he would have never really learned how to shoot well, no Euro step moves, etc... But Jordan would still be a God in modern NBA, even if his game didn't change at all, he would still be Jordan, still be the guy out there getting Rings, etc... LeBron is a better player not by much, and Jordan has the better resume not by much. If you want to put it into 2k ratings

    Lebron
    Player - 100/100
    Resume - 99/100

    Jordan
    Player - 99/100
    Resume - 100/100

    I also really didn't think he needed this Ring or another Ring. His legacy is firmly entrenched in the 2016 Finals. His legacy is entrenched in Cleveland who went from perennial Finals contenders to a 20 win team, just by losing LeBron. That says all it needs to about his game, him as a player, and where he stands all-time. If anyone has an issue with that statement, you straight up don't know basketball.

    I'm also not defending Jordan much here, I don't think he needs defending. Before Jordan came along, we weren't looking for the next Jerry West, Kareem, Chamberlain, etc... It just wasn't done. But since Jordan has been here, we are still looking for the next Jordan. I think LeBron has made it so we will be looking for the next LeBron, which in many ways has already started when you look at Luka.
    I agree with you on 1990 Jordan dominating Dumars. I was referring to the early years when the Pistons beat Jordan. In 88 he averaged 27 points on 49% shooting, and 89 29 points on 46% shooting.

    Obviously that's still good, but when talking about those in the goat debate, "slowed down" is relative. Lebron had similar situations. In the 2014 NBA finals, the consensus was that Kawhi slowed down Lebron. They even gave him the finals MVP for it. Lebron's stats in that series were 28 ppg on 57% shooting. That's what slowing down a GOAT candidate means. It's preventing him from taking the series completely over and dominating. So yes, when you're talking about Jordan in his prime, holding him to 27 points per game is slowing him down.

    That wasn't really the main point of my argument though, you kind of zoomed in on a very small point. My main argument was that the players who guarded Jordan were significantly less physically talented than the players who guarded Lebron, and that's important when contextualizing performance.

    On Jordan in the modern era though, your examples are not modern era players. The league has changed since Kobe retired - players have gotten smaller and more athletic as they take more and more threes every year. Bigs are disappearing. Teams are taking twice as many three point shots as they were in Kobe's last championship season. Kobe's career true shooting percentage was .550... this past year the league average was .565 (compared to .535 when Kobe had his last all star caliber season in 2013).

    I'm not saying that either player would have been bad in the modern era, both still would have been good. It's not clear what type of player Jordan becomes - does he learn to shoot 3s like other modern players such as Kawhi Leonard did, and instead of becoming unstoppable in the post, he becomes unstoppable at the 3 point line like Harden? Does he play like Jimmy Butler, figuring out how to be efficient through headlong drives at the basket despite a league average 3 point shot? Does he actually become a triple double machine point guard, as he showed he was capable of in that one season they let him play point? I don't know. But yeah, if Butler can be this good in the modern NBA, Jordan would be fine.

  12. #492
    The Lightbringer ProphetFlume's Avatar
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    I feel like Jordan was more fun to watch tbh and that’s a big reason this debate is a thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gumboy View Post
    I'm not sure if you guys have noticed but sometimes I say things that are kind of dumb
    Quote Originally Posted by draynay View Post
    I just like reading about the "vigorous rubbing" that might affect ball inflation.

  13. #493
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrod View Post
    I agree with you on 1990 Jordan dominating Dumars. I was referring to the early years when the Pistons beat Jordan. In 88 he averaged 27 points on 49% shooting, and 89 29 points on 46% shooting.

    Obviously that's still good, but when talking about those in the goat debate, "slowed down" is relative. Lebron had similar situations. In the 2014 NBA finals, the consensus was that Kawhi slowed down Lebron. They even gave him the finals MVP for it. Lebron's stats in that series were 28 ppg on 57% shooting. That's what slowing down a GOAT candidate means. It's preventing him from taking the series completely over and dominating. So yes, when you're talking about Jordan in his prime, holding him to 27 points per game is slowing him down.

    That wasn't really the main point of my argument though, you kind of zoomed in on a very small point. My main argument was that the players who guarded Jordan were significantly less physically talented than the players who guarded Lebron, and that's important when contextualizing performance.

    On Jordan in the modern era though, your examples are not modern era players. The league has changed since Kobe retired - players have gotten smaller and more athletic as they take more and more threes every year. Bigs are disappearing. Teams are taking twice as many three point shots as they were in Kobe's last championship season. Kobe's career true shooting percentage was .550... this past year the league average was .565 (compared to .535 when Kobe had his last all star caliber season in 2013).

    I'm not saying that either player would have been bad in the modern era, both still would have been good. It's not clear what type of player Jordan becomes - does he learn to shoot 3s like other modern players such as Kawhi Leonard did, and instead of becoming unstoppable in the post, he becomes unstoppable at the 3 point line like Harden? Does he play like Jimmy Butler, figuring out how to be efficient through headlong drives at the basket despite a league average 3 point shot? Does he actually become a triple double machine point guard, as he showed he was capable of in that one season they let him play point? I don't know. But yeah, if Butler can be this good in the modern NBA, Jordan would be fine.
    I just don't see Jordan having an issue in the modern game.

    Defender wise, Jordan has faced The Glove, Dumars, Rodman... I mean we are comparing apples to apples here. Jordan would have matched the weight if he needed it, but his defenders weren't, they were in the 200-215 range like Jordan was. We know he got up to 230 ish after baseball and he said that was too heavy because everyone was still 200-215, so he cut weight down. I just don't think there is any reason to believe that Jordan wouldn't adjust, if he even needed to. Kawhi has a very solid consistent game that is Jordanesque and he is no where near the talent level of Jordan.

    We are also taking the best of type of magazine racing here, we are talking about Jordan who is a SG, he would be up against other Guards, not forwards. If a forward switched on to him, it would probably be considered a mismatch because of Jordan's speed vs theirs. Even modern NBA we are downsizing again, guards are still smaller. We are basically talking about a situation where he is as fast, but longer than guards and faster and more skilled than forwards but not as strong. We still have players like that, KD for example is essentially a 7 foot SG. And he causes all kinds of problems. He is faster and more skilled that those who are closer to his height, and he is about as fast but longer than those closer to his position.

    Jordan would still be a goat in the modern NBA.

  14. #494
    I'm not a huge fan of basketball, but for some reason, LeBron just seems like a better, more likeable dude. Which matters to me to a certain extent.

    Everyone gushed over The Last Dance but I found it to be a pretty repulsive look into a pretty repulsive dude. LeBron has obviously been able to compete without being as toxic a fucking person as Jordan was. LeBron's biggest scandal is him kowtowing to Chinese corporate sponsors of the NBA.

  15. #495
    Quote Originally Posted by StillMcfuu View Post
    I just don't see Jordan having an issue in the modern game.

    Defender wise, Jordan has faced The Glove, Dumars, Rodman... I mean we are comparing apples to apples here. Jordan would have matched the weight if he needed it, but his defenders weren't, they were in the 200-215 range like Jordan was. We know he got up to 230 ish after baseball and he said that was too heavy because everyone was still 200-215, so he cut weight down. I just don't think there is any reason to believe that Jordan wouldn't adjust, if he even needed to. Kawhi has a very solid consistent game that is Jordanesque and he is no where near the talent level of Jordan.

    We are also taking the best of type of magazine racing here, we are talking about Jordan who is a SG, he would be up against other Guards, not forwards. If a forward switched on to him, it would probably be considered a mismatch because of Jordan's speed vs theirs. Even modern NBA we are downsizing again, guards are still smaller. We are basically talking about a situation where he is as fast, but longer than guards and faster and more skilled than forwards but not as strong. We still have players like that, KD for example is essentially a 7 foot SG. And he causes all kinds of problems. He is faster and more skilled that those who are closer to his height, and he is about as fast but longer than those closer to his position.

    Jordan would still be a goat in the modern NBA.
    That makes sense, but again I'm gonna say, "except Lebron". Lebron is a point guard in the finals. Send 2016 Lebron back to 1996, give him Jordan's actual teammates, and I think he's a bigger mismatch than Jordan was because he's such a unique combination of size athleticism and skill. On that 1996 team, you could trot out Lebron, Pippen, Kukoc, Rodman, and Longley. Who the hell does Payton guard? Pippen?

    It's not really me saying Jordan is weak, just saying Lebron is incredible, and would have been more so in the 90s playing next to Pippen.

  16. #496
    Moderator Northern Goblin's Avatar
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    The thing with Jordan, is he raised his game to ensure he was the best at the time, but also set the bar for people who came after him.

    Without that influence, Lebron (among others) wouldn't be the player he is now, so putting him in Jordan's era he wouldn't be the same, and if you want to transpose him like for like into the 90s, he'd be another player Jordan would raise his game to beat.

    The biggest issue for comparing them in my mind, is they're vastly different players. Lebron accentuated his team, Jordan would put the team on his back. If you want someone to get the best of the people around him, I'd take James. If I want a guy to win me the game, even down to the final shot, I'd take Jordan every time.


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  17. #497
    All this research took me down two different rabbit holes. The first one:

    In 1996, Steve Kerr shot 52% from 3. He played 22 minutes a game and only took a shot on 12% of possessions. Couple thoughts:

    1. Imagine how good a shooter he must have been to only take 6 shots a game, coming off the bench, and hit so many.
    2. I think the normal image of Kerr is that he was a severely limited player, a specialist brought in to shoot 3s. But he played basically half the season on the 72 win Bulls that had the best defense in the league!

    In retrospect it's still fascinating that no one was thinking, "Hey, maybe this guy should be shooting 3X as much!"

    The second one was I noticed how good the Lakers were at drafting in the mid 80s through late 90s. I thought this was really interesting and started to look into why, then I remembered, oh yeah, Jerry West. Their build from 1992-1996, when they refused to bottom out, got a solid roster together then got Shaq and Kobe, is reminiscent of the Heat today, the Clippers, and the Raptors. The older I get, the more skeptical I am that that the way to win in the NBA is to bottom out and get a bunch of lottery picks. It seems a lot of great teams are built when well run franchise draft workman like players in the teens and twenties, not from ping pong balls.

  18. #498
    Legendary! Logwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrod View Post
    All this research took me down two different rabbit holes. The first one:

    In 1996, Steve Kerr shot 52% from 3. He played 22 minutes a game and only took a shot on 12% of possessions. Couple thoughts:

    1. Imagine how good a shooter he must have been to only take 6 shots a game, coming off the bench, and hit so many.
    2. I think the normal image of Kerr is that he was a severely limited player, a specialist brought in to shoot 3s. But he played basically half the season on the 72 win Bulls that had the best defense in the league!

    In retrospect it's still fascinating that no one was thinking, "Hey, maybe this guy should be shooting 3X as much!"

    The second one was I noticed how good the Lakers were at drafting in the mid 80s through late 90s. I thought this was really interesting and started to look into why, then I remembered, oh yeah, Jerry West. Their build from 1992-1996, when they refused to bottom out, got a solid roster together then got Shaq and Kobe, is reminiscent of the Heat today, the Clippers, and the Raptors. The older I get, the more skeptical I am that that the way to win in the NBA is to bottom out and get a bunch of lottery picks. It seems a lot of great teams are built when well run franchise draft workman like players in the teens and twenties, not from ping pong balls.
    Tons of times the players in the top 5 turn out to be duds. Or the GM/Owners/Coach go stupid.

  19. #499
    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Goblin View Post
    If I want a guy to win me the game, even down to the final shot, I'd take Jordan every time.
    One of the biggest arguments against Lebron has always been this "last shot" or "clutch" thing. I think it's vastly overrated. I think the logic generally goes like this:

    Jordan and Lebron have similar stats but Jordan won more.
    Therefore, Jordan must be more clutch.

    I tend to view it as:

    Jordan and Lebron have similar stats but Jordan won more.
    Therefore, Jordan was on better teams.

    Specifically the "last shot" thing, there's almost no evidence that it plays an important role in the difference in success Lebron and Jordan had. Here's an excellent article on the subject from 2013:

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/...l-jordans-best

    For Jordan's career, he was 9-18 on game tying or go ahead shots in the playoffs. That is awesome, yes, but through 2013, Lebron was 7-16 (I don't have more recent numbers). In other words, he was 1 shot from matching Jordan's FG%.

    And if you look at Lebron's losses, they're not exactly littered with close series ending with Lebron missing a shot. The Warriors beat them handily 3 times because the Warriors were better. The Spurs in 2007 and 2014 were better. The argument basically comes down to the one Mavs series in 2011, where Lebron was too deferential to Wade and someone let even Bosh take more shots. But he was 26. I give him a pass for that. Jordan didn't win when he was 26 either.

    You may argue that Jordan is slightly better than Lebron at making that last shot, but in practice it doesn't really matter and there's not enough data to say that. The series very rarely comes down to that last shot, and if it does, maybe Jordan makes it 5% more frequently than Lebron. It's an almost totally irrelevant difference. And don't get me started on the grand delusion of clutch Kobe, who was legitimately terrible in those situations.

    And then there's the obvious thing: it's a lot more important to be able to get to game 7 of the finals and have the opportunity to take a game winning shot than it is to be good at making that shot if you get there.
    Last edited by Scrod; 2020-10-18 at 03:39 AM.

  20. #500
    Moderator Northern Goblin's Avatar
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    "Vastly overrated" is a harsh term for something that wins rings. It's beyond the last shot though, it's about a person simply stepping up and being "the guy" who becomes unplayable against.

    Again, they're different people, Lebron could make a bad team good, or a good team great. Jordan couldn't pick up the team around him, but Jordan would give a great team a higher ceiling than Lebron would, simply because of individual prowess.

    Personally I think the ultimate answer of "Lebron or Jordan" is "Why not both?" The thought of that duo on a team is mind boggling.


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