|08-08-2012, 06:11 AM||#16 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,699Rep Power: 4011011
Re: NLD: Washington Bullets vs. Charlotte Hornets
There are some interesting matchups in this series, and I think both teams are being sold short by some voters. I think the backcourts will give each other fits. West and Robertson will have trouble with Paul's speed and Skywalker's athleticism (whether slashing or finishing). Robertson will get his points in the paint, and if he starts to get carried away then Battier will need to come in to play spot minutes as a dedicated defender. West is one of my faves of all time and definitely is the guy I don't want to see with the ball in his hands in the clutch.
Gervin is a stone-cold scorer, but that's really all he did and I think he's out of place in this league at small forward. Honestly, I think Bird has a significant advantage here. These two will trade baskets all night long, but Bird brings far more to the game. Prime Bird was a very good team defender, one of the smartest, craftiest, most intuitive players to pick up a ball, and a galactically better rebounder and passer than Gervin.
Rodman and Thurmond are an interesting match because neither will be looking to score much. Thurmond will look to score more, but he's not terribly efficient so Rodman will cheat off of him at times to stop penetration from the much more dangerous perimeter players on the Hornets. Rodman could even see some time guarding Robertson, with Thompson on Gervin and Bird on Thurmond.
Mikan is one of the toughest players in this league and he'll do better than some people think, but Howard is longer, heavier, stronger, and much more athletic. He's also a vastly more efficient scorer, and knows to play to his strengths.
I think some voters are sleeping on my bench. Lever was a great floor general, an excellent defender, was Billups-like in his ability to avoid mistakes, and played much bigger than his size. Adjusting stats for pace, he will go rebound for rebound with Oscar. Hawkins is the heart of the second unit. His prime was short, but we're only talking about one season in time with this league. At SF he is big, strong, and active, fabulous in the open court, and a gifted passer and hard-nosed rebounder. His talent as a finisher and aerial scorer were compared to Baylor, Thompson and Erving. Buck Williams was simply one of the toughest defenders and most effective, consistent rebounders ever, and a very efficient scorer to boot. He was the missing piece that turned the Drexler-Porter Blazers into contenders. Mel Daniels played all his career in the ABA, so y'all can discount his stats however you like, but he was basically a bigger, rich man's Buck Williams. Daniels is widely regarded as the best ABA player to never play in the NBA. He was the league MVP twice and led his team to three titles, dominating that league despite the presence of better-known guys who had been or would be NBA superstars. I took Battier over several better-known players because he fills a critical need. I needed a great perimeter defender who can nail the 3 if his defender plays off him, and that's what I got. Go find a list of the best perimeter defenders of this era or of all-time, and there's a good chance Battier is on it. He's an excellent glue guy, and I don't need much else from him. Note that none of my reserves is slated to play more than 10 mpg.
The Bullets have good to great rebounders at every position, and that will help them do what they are built to do - run like greyhounds. Bird, Thompson, Paul, and Hawkins were/are all amazing in the open court, and they will thrive together. And when the game slows, I have a mega-efficient low post monster in Howard, a lightning-quick penetrator in Paul, all-world slashers in Thompson and Hawkins, marksmen in Bird and Battier, and Bird's overall clutch, never-say-die mindset.
Favorite players: Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, Bill Russell, Alex English, Kiki Vandeweghe, Sidney Moncrief, Lafayette Lever, Dan Issel, Bobby Jones, Julius Erving, Rick Barry, John Havlicek, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West...and Brooks Thompson
C - Dwight Howard / Mel Daniels
PF - Dennis Rodman / Buck Williams
SF - Larry Bird / Connie Hawkins
SG - David Thompson / Shane Battier
PG - Chris Paul / Fat Lever
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