Originally Posted by Jacks3
The whole "you have to take 09 Wade over 09 Kobe if you take 06 Kobe over 06 Wade" doesn't make sense. The context isn't the same. 09 Kobe was on a 65-team in the West. 09 Wade only won 42 in the weak East. That's a far, far bigger gap than the 7 game difference between them in 2006.
Anyone who watched 09 Kobe knew that he was coasting and that he was more than capable of completely turning it up a level if needed. You never really got that same sense from 06 Wade. The Heat certainly could have used it. Again, they only won 52 games in the East (only 7 more wins with a far better supporting cast)
Wade missed 7 games
Shaq missed 23 games
Williams missed 23 games
Mourning missed 17 games
Posey missed 15 games
Using regular season records to judge a team is often flawed. The truth is that the Heat were the 2nd favorites to win the title going into 2006. Only the defending champion Spurs were ahead of them. They played a lackluster season for a variety of reasons including injuries and the Stan Van Gundy situation.
The team was barely over .500 with Van Gundy and was actually pretty dominant under Riley. Of course, it was under Riley and healthy in which the team won the title.
So lets not act like 52 regular season wins is a good way of judging that Heat team.
And yes, if you take 06 Kobe over 06 Wade....then you need to be consistent for 09 as well.