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@  slick shoes : (21 June 2017 - 04:28 PM) Morey is locked in for four more years. Glad to have some stability at the helm after everything we've seen the last couple of weeks.
@  slick shoes : (16 June 2017 - 04:31 PM) It's a shame we don't have a first rounder this year. I did notice that the W's and the Cavs have 0 picks this year (not that they need them).
@  thejohnnygold : (16 June 2017 - 03:57 PM) Whoever picks him is going to be a happy camper
@  slick shoes : (16 June 2017 - 02:00 PM) De'Aaron Fox giving Bev a shout at the end of this piece
http://www.espn.com/...var-ball-chorus
@  slick shoes : (22 May 2017 - 05:25 PM) I can't decide if I want them to draft Ball or not.
@  thejohnnygold : (21 May 2017 - 02:50 PM) Don't worry...they'll find a way to screw it up.
@  slick shoes : (17 May 2017 - 03:52 PM) Is anyone else annoyed that the league reached out and helped the Lakers secure a top 3 pick to keep them from long term ruin?
@  Mario Peña : (13 May 2017 - 11:56 AM) It would appear James will take games off next year which is probably a good thing. Perhaps we will see some evolution from emphasis on regular season to being playoff ready both from a physical as well as a strategy standpoint.
@  rocketrick : (12 May 2017 - 05:26 AM) I personally will be rooting for the Spurs in their next matchup with Golden State in the Western Conference Finals
@  rocketrick : (12 May 2017 - 05:26 AM) Congratulations to the Spurs and Coach Pop. They completely destroyed the Rockets last night (understatement of the year)
@  DenverRocket : (12 May 2017 - 02:55 AM) Very disappointing end to an otherwise great season.
@  DenverRocket : (12 May 2017 - 01:10 AM) Stunningly bad. Out played, out coached and no one is stepping up :-(
@  slick shoes : (12 May 2017 - 01:07 AM) Well, it can't get any worse right?
@  slick shoes : (12 May 2017 - 12:35 AM) It's like Dekker has been waiting to play or something.
@  08huangj : (11 May 2017 - 12:08 PM) It is utterly baffling to me why MDA is not utilizing Dekker and Harrell. These two were integral to our dominant regular season bench!
@  DenverRocket : (10 May 2017 - 03:18 AM) Everything the TNT analysts said, I was screaming during OT. MDA blamed it on fatigue - no kidding sherlock, when you only use a 7 player rotation!
@  DenverRocket : (10 May 2017 - 03:17 AM) Sorely disappointed with that. Huge missed opportunity. I thought McHale was coaching again in overtime!
@  slick shoes : (10 May 2017 - 03:02 AM) No offensive scheme in overtime. No Parker, and no Leonard through all of overtime and you STILL can't close it out?!
@  thejohnnygold : (10 May 2017 - 02:57 AM) So much profanity in my home tonight...
@  Mario Peña : (08 May 2017 - 06:57 PM) Right Johnnygold! That was a good game!

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Hakeem vs. Harden


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#1 Red94

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:54 AM

New post: Hakeem vs. Harden
By: Rahat Huq

https://twitter.com/RedNinetyFour/status/844253902770003968

 

I've had seven hours to reflect on this blasphemy, and I'm realizing I don't regret making this statement.  Yes, I'm well aware of the challenges in making cross-positional, cross-generational comparisons.  (Sheesh, some of you have to take all of the fun out of life).  And yes, I'm aware of Hakeem's postseason brilliance.  (As one reader noted, I'm not sure what relevance those circumstances have to my claim - we're arguing abilities not historical body of work.)  But what James Harden is doing right now, in carrying an all-time offense, is at the very least on par with anything Olajuwon produced on that end.

 

Where Olajuwon, of course, set himself apart was the defensive end.  In fact, Olajuwon's age 27 season (where Harden currently is), in 1989-1990, was the most prolific of his career on the boards and at the rim as he averaged a whopping 14 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game.  Imagine what those numbers would look like at the pace of today's game.  In Olajuwon's MVP season, 1993-1994, he averaged 27.3 points (the second highest mark of his career), 11.9 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game.  Harden is averaging 29.4 points, 11.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds.  The Rockets will probably finish close to the 58-24 mark they posted in 1993-1994.  I'm not going to break down the advanced metrics because its almost 9:00 P.M. and I don't have the mental energy for that, and more importantly, those sorts of factors hold no weight in hypothetical banter of this sort.  For now, it will take a good argument to convince me against my claim.


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#2 thejohnnygold

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 02:44 PM

I won't try to convince you otherwise.  That does not mean I agree.

 

I found myself thinking recently that Harden has cemented himself as the second best Rocket of all-time (with the potential to surpass Olajuwon depending on how things go).  Now, even if I omit defense I still cannot give Harden the #1 spot...yet.

 

As much as James Harden has accomplished, he has not proven to be flat out unstoppable.  The greatest have all done this.  This is the problem with relying on the referees for 1/3 of your offense.  Ignoring last year's aberration, let's look at our WC Finals run.

 

In 8 losses, Harden averaged 8.75 FTA's/game.  In 9 wins, he averaged 12 FTA's/game.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think those measly 3 points made the difference (the scores show they did not).  I think, overall, they matter psychologically more so than anything else.

 

Getting back to my point of being unstoppable.  This is something that gets measured in the post-season.  We all know the deal.  The game changes.  Defense gets ratcheted up.  Coaches actually coach.  What then?  I think James has a great chance to change that this year and, if he can, it will be incredibly impressive as he will have to do it against some elite players and teams.

 

The odds are we will have to go through both San Antonio and Golden State.  Before that, we get to warm up against either OKC or Memphis.  That means Harden will be going heads up against the likes of Tony Allen/Mike Conley, Westbrook/Roberson, Leonard/Green, and Klay/Draymond.  Just typing that was daunting.

 

The only good news is GS and SA will be coming off slug-fests of their own (unless Portland somehow manages to sneak past Denver for the final spot).  I'm stoked about the GS/Denver first round match-up.

 

If James can carry us through that gauntlet and, at least, put on a good showing in the Finals (presumably against the Cavs) then I may have to move him up the list.

 

Also, defense matters.  :P


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#3 thejohnnygold

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 05:02 PM

I think this is relevant to the discussion and, conveniently, came out today.

 

 

It's a great breakdown of what we do on offense.

 

I posted it in here because it brings up something I did not consider earlier: coaching.

 

Hakeem, for the most part, ran Iso's in the post.  That was the system.  Give the man some space and watch him work.

 

Harden, under McHale, was in a similar situation.  Despite McHale's constant talk about the ball "getting sticky", he never seemed to do much to coerce the ball out of James' hands.  While James was still amazing under those circumstances it also showcased his faults and limitations.

 

Looking back at Hakeem, it was this very thing which showcased his greatness.  In spite of everything an opposing team could throw at him, and with little help from the sidelines, the man just kept on scoring.  

 

 

It is worth watching every second of this video.  It shows it all.  Hakeem's quickness was a great asset and he abused everyone with it.  Listen with the sound on and take note of the reactions from not just the crowds, but the announcers who watch basketball all the time.  Even they are in awe.

 

This next video is pretty awesome because you can see to what degree teams went to try and stop Olajuwon...and failed.  This is the '95 WC Finals against the Spurs.  Hakeem is primarily defended by Dennis Rodman (considered one of the greatest defenders of all time) and then double and triple teamed constantly.

 

These were Hakeem's averages in that series (we won 4-2):

 

QlDtTMn.jpg

 

Freakin' amazing.

 

My apologies...I will never understand why some videos won't embed here, but click this link to watch Rodman vs. Hakeem.

 

One last note...these videos also show that Hakeem would likely have averaged a triple-double if hockey assists counted.  Whatever that is worth...


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