Originally Posted by Owl
Dantley was 30+ppg, Wilkins 30, English 28, Kiki 27, Aguirre 26, Purvis short 24, Mike Mitchell 23. I think they've all got about 3 seasons at or above those numbers (might require some rounding up in some instances).
Ellis went for 27 once, King got 32 as healthy first option, Marques 26, Tripucka 26, McDaniel got 23 on team where he was the third option.
Mostly those that didn't peak at 25+ are those that weren't first options and/or weren't playing huge minutes. Teams didn't guard the small forward position well at that time.
And I said prime at the same time. Bobby Jones peaked around the turn of the decade (and was pretty consistently good before then). Just as Bird was getting to close to his best BJ had fallen off significantly and was playing less than 24 mpg. Rodman's time frame as you state was when Bird was sub-optimal etc
Brad Sellers sucked. He graded as a B (on a D to triple A scale) so despite his tools he was only average. Super. Is that really worth rasing. A low minutes average defender. It's another reach.
The best defenders were either pfs likely to cover McHale (Roundfield, Nance, Williams), peaked significantly earlier (Bobby Jones, Wilkes), were part timers (Cooper, late model Jones and early Rodman), peaked later (Rodman, Kersey, Pippen). McDaniel was just average. What's left? His best full time defenders at his peak were Pressey and a young (but I guess he didn't have a long prime) McCray.
And they were very good, well rounded players. Probably underrated.
But overall 80s sfs clearly didn't prioritise defense. I don't know what to say if you don't buy that. As I made clear in my first post I think Bird could play in any era, so it's not about that.
Some can have a bit of pace inflated stats (like the run n gun Nuggets) but some of the names you said were simply great scorers, watching them play you can tell, just because you had amazing scorers at the SF that can't be a knock on the D against the SF's, please, not like they were letting them score, you had SF's that were masters at midrange and offball, great shooters, could drive, some really athletic, and most had an amazing post game, some of those areas you really didn't see like today much on SF's. That would be the same for eras with great scoring centers or guards.
You don't got many scoring centers right now, is that because the defense against centers is that good?
Why prime at the same time? If Bird can do some of those things out of his prime (even while others were at their prime), imagine in his prime.
I can give another example, I saw Bird hitting fallaways against 7'4, 35'' vert or so, Ralph Sampson, not like nobody could be stopping it, plus he hit those like he was uncontested, that's what I was getting at.
And just because there were many amazing scoring SF's in the 80's you also had your fair share of good defensive ones, or even other guys that could cover SF's.