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Old 10-08-2012, 01:46 PM   #31
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Bird would be very good in any era.

Could he play the 3 as he did back then, well, I wouldn't want him defending the 3 versus the present athletes at the position(and indeed he didn't necessarily do so back then, when on court with McHale, McHale usually took the better offensive player).

The defense back then is being overhyped somewhat. People seemed to concede the J back then a lot more (possibly a relic of the pre-3 point line era), and the percentages do seem to show that defense wasn't as good (relative to the eras offense), and that so many of the eras scorers were small forwards (Dantley, King, English, Wilkins, Vandeweghe, Tripucka, Aguirre, Marques Johnson, Purvis Short, Jay Vincent, Orlando Woolridge, Xavier McDaniel, Mike Mitchell, John Drew plus others that verged on the era and/or swung between the 2 and 3 like Wilkes, Erving, Walter Davis (mostly a 2 in the 80s but played both), Dale Ellis, Ricky Pierce, Chuck Person, Eddie Johnson and Calvin Natt). So I do think that was a position it was easy get points from.

Of the defenders OP lists, the first set of genuine elite defenders, few played their prime with Birds prime (and there are some like MJ who I'm guessing weren't regularly covering him). Maybe only Cooper and he wasn't a starter.

Sellers was lousy, most of the "athletes" were poor defenders, I would have assumed Cummings and Grant were covering McHale, and Clifford Robinson played Bird a grand total of 6 times and played less than 20 minutes per game.

Not that I don't think Bird wouldn't be able to play now, non-athlete shooters like Nowitzki and Kevin Love (and the following group aren't in Bird's class clearly, not that the above were, but just in terms of fitting the shooter, non-athlete, rebounder forward type) Ryan Anderson, Ersan Illysova are thriving and Bird is the best. Would he get the same numbers, well not in terms of raw numbers at the slower pace, lower % era. But advanced metrics would be roughly the same, maybe the wing defenders are a little better today, but roughly he'd be playing as well as he did.

On the plus side he probably wouldn't bust his fingers playing softball and would have lasted longer with regard to treating all the injuries.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:58 PM   #32
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoutPractice
I have seen games of both when they were young. And old.

I don't dispute the fact that Larry Bird is more than the slow, unathletic white guy some take him for.
But Dirk was very athletic when he was young as well... when he was 18, the way he ran the floor had scouts drooling over him. You'd think Dirk is pure skill, but he also benefits from a great body - tall, quick, agile, well conditioned.
Both are underrated in that regard.


I agree. People forget about how Dirk was when he was younger, pretty mobile and coordinated especially for a 7 footer.
Both were pretty agile and mobile for their sizes, also well conditioned, still Bird was a little bit more athletic, quicker (wouldn't say faster), quicker hands, better hand-eye coordination.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qycH9GYDK74
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI1sGRcekZ0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sInTps5WSMo
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:05 PM   #33
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

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Originally Posted by tontoz
I am old enough that i watched Bird vs Magic in the 1979 NCAA finals so i remember Bird well. Watched his entire prime with the Cs.

He was a better overall player than Dirk for sure but not a better perimeter shooter than Dirk. Bird was much better in the post and getting to the basket than Dirk but was prone to slumps from the perimeter much moreso than Dirk.

What slumps? He shot like 47% and 37% from 3pt from '89 to '92, with a injury that would end most people's careers, overweight, the most unathletic guy on the court. You watch those games, the condition he was in out there is clear, but to still do those kinds of stuff, incredible.
Even in '88 when the back was already bothering him he shot like 53%/41%/92% scoring 30 PPG.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:24 PM   #34
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

take any of the elite sfs of the 80s and they would score just as many points in any era...

and with legal zone defenses now.....you can hide bad defenders or protect your star players on defense

you could play Bird as a center on defense against most teams if you wanted to.


Bird was the real deal.....legit superstar....media gave him more light than other legit superstars because he appealed to white mainstream fanbase....but that doesn't take away from the fact that he was a bonafide great player.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:27 PM   #35
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAQisGOAT
1) First Bird got more than 1000 games than Dirk, 'till he was 35, let Dirk career reach the end. Still Bird averaged like 6.5 APG in the playoffs, Dirk has 2.6, Bird always looked to make the right play rather than being always the scorer. When he scored 60 points he had like 3 assists so you can see what a scorer he could've been, even had like 50+ points, 10+ assists games.

2) Do you really think if Bird played in this superstar treatment era, he wouldn't average the same or more, FTA than Dirk?

3) Bird injured his shooting finger right before entering the NBA, some say he was a better shooter in college, still he didn't come up with a 3pt line and to do what he did is terrific. Shooting is not only 3pt and Larry had a much better FG%, why don't you mention that?

4) Catch and shoot isn't creating offense? Dude was the better off ball player I've seen. Doubles from who McHale? Guy was a black hole, could pass but not really a passer. Bird could create his own shot in much more ways than Dirk. What defense? Seen the guys I posted in the OP, plus they could held, scratch and whatnot while he was shooting, against Dirk touch him and it's a foul. Much harder to shoot.


LOL don't give me that, it was the Finals in his second year, and he did a great all around job when he wasn't scoring, plus he had no player really playing like a superstar that year, he killed it when he had to.

Bird was more athletic than Dirk ever was when he was younger, if you don't know that you never saw him play. Look it up.
Just a couple of notes.

I'm fairly sure there have always been superstar calls. Bill Russell and other "old timers" have discussed it happening in their time.

Bird's college ft was .822, in the pros it was .886 (and .890 in the playoffs). The softball injury makes for a nice anecdote but it's hard to make a case that it genuinely (negatively) affected his shooting (or at least that affected his jump/set shot, which is the usual contention).
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:29 PM   #36
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Why wouldn't he be able to score\dominate? He can shoot lights out, has great post moves, great footwork, has a super fast release, and is very lengthy.

I predict in this area Bird would average something like 24-28 PPG on 47-50% shooting.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:41 PM   #37
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl
Could he play the 3 as he did back then, well, I wouldn't want him defending the 3 versus the present athletes at the position(and indeed he didn't necessarily do so back then, when on court with McHale, McHale usually took the better offensive player).
Well at some point he guarded dudes like Wilkins, Worthy, Erving, Woolridge, Pressey, great athletes in any era, plus really strong guys like King, Dantley and Aguirre.
Yeah since '86 McHale guarded more the 3, basically because he was inserted into the starting lineup, they needed to rest Bird and he already had back issues.


The defense back then is being overhyped somewhat. People seemed to concede the J back then a lot more (possibly a relic of the pre-3 point line era), and the percentages do seem to show that defense wasn't as good (relative to the eras offense), and that so many of the eras scorers were small forwards (Dantley, King, English, Wilkins, Vandeweghe, Tripucka, Aguirre, Marques Johnson, Purvis Short, Jay Vincent, Orlando Woolridge, Xavier McDaniel, Mike Mitchell, John Drew plus others that verged on the era and/or swung between the 2 and 3 like Wilkes, Erving, Walter Davis (mostly a 2 in the 80s but played both), Dale Ellis, Ricky Pierce, Chuck Person, Eddie Johnson and Calvin Natt). So I do think that was a position it was easy get points from.
Don't forget that the midrange and off-ball game was definitely better back then, that helps a lot, scorers nowadays on most cases, learn more to drive and shoot 3's and can only mostly play with the ball in their hands. Also you had SF's with much better postgames.
I don't think it was easier to get points from, you just had great scorers at the 3 in the 80's, not like everyone you mentioned were getting like 25 PPG.


Of the defenders OP lists, the first set of genuine elite defenders, few played their prime with Birds prime (and there are some like MJ who I'm guessing weren't regularly covering him). Maybe only Cooper and he wasn't a starter.

Sellers was lousy, most of the "athletes" were poor defenders, I would have assumed Cummings and Grant were covering McHale, and Clifford Robinson played Bird a grand total of 6 times and played less than 20 minutes per game.
I saw many games with Bird vs. MJ, they tried to put MJ on him many times at first but then just gave up because he murdered him in the post.
Bobby Jones was an elite defender and was still in his prime in the 80's, Rodman was in perimeter D prime in the late 80's, eraly 90's, Pip was already a great defender in the early 90's, Cooper was put many times on the floor to cover Bird.
Sellers was never a great player but you still see him contest Bird's shot pretty well, and he was a 7 footer that could jump and very mobile, still Bird scored over him easily.
Pressey, McCray, Erving, Bobby Jones, Cooper, Rodman, Pippen, Kersey, McDaniel, Wilkes, Nance, Roundfield, Buck Williams, Worthy... Were great athletes and (at least) nice defensive players.
Grant covered Bird many times in the early 90's. Yeah he didn't play much against Clifford but like the vid shows he could easily shoot over him, old, overweight and with a wrecked back.


....
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:45 PM   #38
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owl
Just a couple of notes.

I'm fairly sure there have always been superstar calls. Bill Russell and other "old timers" have discussed it happening in their time.

Bird's college ft was .822, in the pros it was .886 (and .890 in the playoffs). The softball injury makes for a nice anecdote but it's hard to make a case that it genuinely (negatively) affected his shooting (or at least that affected his jump/set shot, which is the usual contention).


I don't deny that there have always been superstar calls, but if you watch games from back then and now, it's pretty clear that there's much more today.

Ever saw his shooting finger? All crooked after that injury, there's no way that that couldn't have made him adapt his shooting.
He had to really work hard to overcome that in his first years, and be the shooter he was.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:11 PM   #39
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAQisGOAT
I don't deny that there have always been superstar calls, but if you watch games from back then and now, it's pretty clear that there's much more today.

Ever saw his shooting finger? All crooked after that injury, there's no way that that couldn't have made him adapt his shooting.
He had to really work hard to overcome that in his first years, and be the shooter he was.
Won't contest the first point because so long as you except there have always been star calls then Bird won't be gaining that much more of an advantage now. Plus his game whilst clever enough to draw fouls had very little of the slashing that tends to get people to the line (and soft foul calls).

3 words, burden of proof. It's not for me to show that his shot was affected its for those who believe it was to prove it. And they'd have to overcome the fact that his free throw shooting kept on improving after the injury. And "his hand looked ugly" doesn't cut it. If he'd been on Blake Ahearn 95% type shooting in college then you could say, hey it got worse. It didn't. It got better, significantly better.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:42 PM   #40
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

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Originally Posted by Owl
Won't contest the first point because so long as you except there have always been star calls then Bird won't be gaining that much more of an advantage now. Plus his game whilst clever enough to draw fouls had very little of the slashing that tends to get people to the line (and soft foul calls).

3 words, burden of proof. It's not for me to show that his shot was affected its for those who believe it was to prove it. And they'd have to overcome the fact that his free throw shooting kept on improving after the injury. And "his hand looked ugly" doesn't cut it. If he'd been on Blake Ahearn 95% type shooting in college then you could say, hey it got worse. It didn't. It got better, significantly better.
I remember the TNT crew discussing mangled fingers of basketball players. I think it was due to Kobe. Barkley said a lot of NBA players fingers get deformed like that. He even showed his fingers. I think the hand thing is a bit overblown.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #41
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

I also took the Liberty od doing the math on the games Bird had vs Rodman and Pippen in which they both played 30 or more minutes. Against Rodman, Bird shot 43%. Against Pippen. 45% and 4 TOs. And this was against these players when they were slightly out of their primes.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:59 PM   #42
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

bird was three-time 3-point champion, but he actually shot a lot less 3's than some of today's "so so" players. when i think of his offense, i don't really think of 3's, i just think of a full game. offensive boards, aggressive drives (even if they were just layups), passing to the right guy at the right time, making the right cut, catch and shoot, fake and shoot, post moves, mid range, out downtown, behind the basket, self-create, going right OR left, make ridiculous sh!t out of nowhere. the muddafugger did everything. he'd sh!t on folks in any era.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:01 PM   #43
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

He was top 3 in MVP voting from 80 until 88, winning it 3 times in a row 84-86. He said that he should have retired 89 because his back was done. his skillset isnt based on athletic ability, so i am pretty sure he would dominate today like he did back then.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:11 PM   #44
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Lmao at ppl saying he wouldn't be able to score
That fat fu*k pierce, slow and unathletic as hell, still basically dominates.
Bird was AT LEAST twice the player pierce is..
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #45
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Default Re: Do some people really think Larry Bird couldn't dominate like he did, in this era?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAQisGOAT
....
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.
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