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What's the Point?

Oh, and happy Cinco de Mayo!

No, he was drafted #3 and then traded for the #5 pick (Love.)

So it really was Love-Cinco for Mayo.

Pass be a Corona, because I'm possible not the most interesting man alive.

By the by, I hope Calipari goes to coach the Bulls. He'll find that paying people to take the SATs and giving players backpacks full of cash isn't really all that effective in the NBA.

I really don't think Calipari is going to go back to the NBA. He is just going to use the threat of it each time a decent job emerges to get a new deal from Kentucky for more money.

I think if you have these exceptional players (or player) on your team, then it makes sense that by default a few of the positions would feature role players. I think you can create a winning team with this formula.
However, it makes sense that if you have five players who can play their position well in a good system, this can also be a formula for a winning team.

deepsixersuede on May 5 at 7:38

Though Horford would be a 4 ten years back [O.Thorp?] he, to me, is a very good center. Nelson wins and the way they do it wins, though their method is unconventional. I have to put Sammy in your versatility catagory because of his ability to guard the best frontcourt big, whether he is a 4 [Bosh] or a 5 [Howard]. I wonder if a Gortat/Howard combo gets some run if the rematch happens in the finals to combat Bynum/Gasol.

bdownbear reply to deepsixersuede on May 5 at 7:47

I would think so too that Gortat/Howard would probably be in their rotation. And yes its an early call but Orlando will be facing the Lakers again.

You primarily win by having the best superstar(s.) Bill Cartright and John Paxon were the C/PG on the initial Bulls dynasty teams.

It used to be hard to find a quality PG- but right now there is a bit o a renaissance at the position- mostly because different types of talented small players can find success in the variety of systems in the NBA.

Quality centers are still hard to find. And aside from having a top 2 overall player, having a a truly dominant center is still the best way to ensure you have a contender.

Agreed tk, the best way to win in the NBA is to have elite, superstar level talent. Almost every champion in the past 30 years has had at least 1 and in most cases 2 or 3 of these types of talents.

JohnEMagee on May 5 at 9:46

Dismiss Mo Williams as a PG no problem, don't dismiss him as important to the Cavs though.

Celtics decided to shut him down in Game 2 and walloped the Cavs.

I wonder, all the stories written about what Lebron does if the cavs win or lose the title, when will the story be written about how the elbow injury will impact his free agency decision

JohnEMagee on May 5 at 9:50

Multiple sources close to Calipari have repeatedly told CBSSports.com that Calipari's goal is to someday coach LeBron James, and one source has even said Calipari would "absolutely leave Kentucky, 100 percent, tomorrow" if that opportunity presented itself. Clearly, there's no way to know at this moment where James will play next season or whether he'll need a new coach because he'll become a free agent this summer. But nobody close to Calipari who has spoken with CBSSports.com has ever disputed or downplayed Calipari's interest in returning to the NBA to coach James, whom Calipari has often referred to as his "friend." CBSSports.com

Tom Moore on May 5 at 10:15

You don't have to worry about Calipari being in the Sixers' mix. He's not Stefanski's kind of guy.

I'm not sure if that's a big compliment to Calipari or not :)

Or to Stefanski!

Calapari is convinced he needs a superstar (like Lebron) to be a successful NBA coach.

Stephanski does not buy into such rubbish :)

I agree that above average centers/pgs may are not vital to a team's success. However- I do think you need a point guard and a center who can defend the top PGs and Cs in the league. If you have a stud PG, it's not possible to shut him down unless you have the quickness and defense of a good defensive point. The same is even more true for centers. There are no versatile forwards in the league who can touch Howard, or Shaq a few years back. You NEED a center who can defend in order to at least contain a superstar quality center. The reason so many teams can get away without these two positions is that there are rarely more than a handful of stud centers (usually just one or two) and the number of unguardable point guards situation is a new phenomenon which the league is just starting to adjust to.

Having a defensive point and center who can match up one on one with an opposing superstar and at least contain that player is invaluable. Jrue can be that player. Sammy is also that player. Let's lock them both up with a reasonable contracts right now.

The Lakers, Cavs and Suns don't have a PG that can defend PGs (at least their starters can't). And the only dominant center in the playoffs isn't allowed to dominate thanks to either his PG, his coach or both.

JohnEMagee reply to Brian on May 5 at 11:00

Or if you believe him - the officials (unless you're not talking about dwight howard) - Bynum with 13 and 17 or suome such last night seemed pretty dominant.

The real contending teams all have multiple 'super stars level' players though...if not in talent in perception, and vince carter has shown up too...the hawks should hang their heads after what they did last night.

Does anyone believe the title won't be won by one of

Los Angeles

I'll bet money that one of those 3 teams wins the title

I doubt you'd get even money on that in Vegas.

I'd be shocked if it's not one of those three.

JohnEMagee reply to Brian on May 5 at 11:44

I'm told repeatedly that the spurs have a chance to beat the lakers...good one too...i personally don't buy it

The best chance teams have to beat the Lakers is to refuse to double Kobe, try to lure him into taking 30 shots/game and ignore Pau/Bynum. That, and the inevitable Bynum injury that takes him out for the remainder of the playoffs.

I'm not sure SAS gets by PHO. Los Suns have actually been defending, thanks in large part to Grant Hill.

ryano reply to Brian on May 5 at 12:48

I guess my point is that it will catch up with them eventually...ie Rondo torching the Cavs the other night or Westbrook nearly taking the Thunder past the Lakers. But your point is well taken that in the league today elite teams are getting away with weaker pg play and traditional center play. I just wonder at what point is that going to shift back towards, especially, needing an elite point guard. There are too many game changers right now at pg and one of these days we're going to see a Wade type performance where a point guard demolishes a team by himself to win a series. Nobody wants their superstar having to play double-duty both ends because they have to chase a lightning quick guard around.

I think expansion and dilution of talent has hurt the impact a great PG can have. You need quality teammates who can convert the opportunities that a good PG creates.

For example, Steve Nash is not effective without a big who can finish on the P&R and quality shooters on the perimeter. And a good defensive PG will help any team, but won't exactly carry you.

The constants of the game haven't changed. You need to be able to defend, control the paint on both ends and run your offense efficiently. It used to be that the Center was the guy who controlled the paint and was the hub of the offense, whether that's the Russell role(as playmaker) or Wilt(as dominant scorer). Now, other positions can share those responsibilities.

I have never bought into the meme about how this is becoming a PG-Driven league. That's pure crap, actually. A simple comparison of the last 20 years shows that to be true:

Group A - Stockton, Nash, Kidd, Kevin Johnson, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Mark Jackson, Andre Miller, Terry Porter, Tim Hardaway, Derrick Rose.


Group B - Avery Johnson, John Paxson, BJ Armstrong, Kenny Smith, Sam Cassell, Derek Fisher, Jason Williams.

Group A has stars & superstars, league leaders in assists, multiple-time all-stars and All-NBA types, even MVPs. But no rings.

Group B has the rings. The closest thing to star PGs who've won rings are Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups & Rondo, and none of those players were the best players on their championship teams, with Parker & Rondo arguably not even top 2.

With that said, I believe multi-position players(or Swings and Combos) are the best fits for the Sixers, especially given the "Defend to Run" philosophy. That allows the team to trap and swarm and switch easier, which can produce TOs that lead to run outs.

Only two championship teams come to mind where their best player was a PG, the Magic Lakers and the Isiah Pistons. Am I missing any?

And Magic was almost a Lebron style point-SF.

or point-center at times :)

I think there are a few related issues here, and we should not underestimate the befits of having a good PG.

1. Championships tend to be won by teams with top 5 NBA player(s). PG's are not often in that group.

2. Great PG's tend to win a lot of games. Stockton, Kidd and Nash led teams win 50-60 games every year. The fact that this does not supercede point #1 does not make PG's less impactful.

3. Teams without a good PG and without and elite superstar flat out stink. This year's Sixers team is a prime example. But add a good PG (Miller) to the mix and you can be respectable (with a decent coach.)

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