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Originally posted by <b>Minstrel</b>!


I'd prefer to have any of these ten:

Jason Kidd
Stephon Marbury
Baron Davis
Sam Cassell
Gary Payton
Steve Nash
Jason Williams
Mike Bibby
Steve Francis
Andre Miller

That's without including rookies from this season like LeBron James (up to now), Kirk Henrich or Dwayne Wade.
I responded to this in a previous post.

Of your ten I would not place Jason Williams ahead of Terry.
James is not a PG (as evidenced by the acquisition of McInnis) neither is Wade and Terry is far and away better then Hinrich.

Terry puts up statistics comparable to many of these players, only difference being that his teams lose. You seem to give Raheem the benefit of the doubt for this but not Terry.

If winning is a criteria one can compile a grocery list of individuals better then Raheem.

I didn't say shot-blocking doesn't make a difference. I said that a player who's only really value is that he leads the league in blocked shots is too one-dimensional to count as serious talent. Ratliff is hardly considered a major difference-maker...some posters here want him as a "throw-in." Nobody considers him a major piece.
What you said was “having the league's top shot-blocker is like having the league's stop steal man...a nice trivia point, but not terribly impactful on actually winning games”.

You use the absence of my initial post as an opportunity to skew what is being debated. My point was never that Ratliff was “a major difference-maker” (even though I believe his shot blocking abilities to be), it was that Raheem is benefited by having one of the league top shot blocking presences to cover for him (this was part of a rundown of the talents on last seasons Hawks team).

Your response of individual shot blocking excellence being irrelevant in terms of wins and loses was (simply put) outlandish.

The organization guaranteed the playoffs as a marketing gimmick in to try and drum up interest in a moribund franchise. Yes, the Hawks were considered a possible playoff team which, in the East, is not the same as being "quite talented." The Wizards have been considered playoff contenders...pretty much every Eastern team has. That doesn't make them all quite talented.
That is an easy assertion to make after the fact. Prior to those seasons it was widely believed that the Hawks were a playoff caliber team. First after the acquisition of Raheem then the following season with the acquisition of Robinson.

I do not have links or clippings to what was being said about the Hawks but if my memory serves me correctly many had them predicted as an eighth seed.

They underachieved both years (meanwhile dropping the perceived talent of the cast surrounding the top players).

In Philadelphia the perception of Ratliff was that he was a beast defensively (he was also being pushed as the defensive player of the year prior to his injury and trade from the sixers). Today he is not thought of as favorably.

Possibly. Or perhaps Terry is overrated (as I definitely think he is).
How do you substantiate that Terry is overrated (certainly not from his production)?
Perhaps you can enlighten us as to how you reached that position without utilizing the subjective methods of perception.

The bench is very weak, Newble was a pretty terrible shooting guard, in terms of actual production, and Ratliff is a poor scorer (and rebounder, for his size and position).
With three players averaging around 20 ppg what exactly would you ask of Newbel. He was a role player who defended the opposing teams best perimeter player nightly and he did not require plays in order to contribute to the team. I have already covered the value of a Ratliff (who was second only to Glover on that team in terms of +/-).

The Hawks finished last season relatively strong following an abysmal start that resulted in a coaching change and the insertion of Newbel into the starting lineup.
His production was rather respectable once he was inserted into the starting lineup (btw).

Yes, which is something one can say, unprovably either way, about any player. Clearly some, like Duncan, are reputably good enough that it doesn't matter that you can't prove it one way or the other. But for the vast majority of players, you could claim that "he concedes as much as he contributes and that his contributions come more so at the expense of those around him (his teammates) then to the benefit of them."

I'm not too interested in claims that are totally subjective.
After debating Raheem earlier (as well as reading many calling for his acquisition by the Blazers) I decided to record a few Atlanta games in order to gauge him as a player. That s what I came up with from my observations coupled with the fact that he blocks fewer shots then any other starting PF logging significant playing time and has his shot blocked more then any other player in the league.

I stated my analysis quite clear in my initial post (which no longer exists). I have not the time to run down those points again.

Fine, but that's totally subjective as well. The reason I'm not too big on subjective claims is that one can use totally subjective claims, like who has a "winning mentality" and who's "contributions come at the expense of the team rather than for the benefit," to tear down any player one wishes.
Those are rather hollow words coming from one who utilized subjective terms such as “intangibles”, “leadership” and such as a foundation in their well-documented defense of Scottie Pippen.

Every single claim you make about SAR, I could make for Dirk Nowitski.
Except for the fact that Nowitski wins and that he annually ranks amongst the league leaders in terms of +/-. I have no doubt in my mind that Nowitzki makes those around him better with his versatility and shooting ability.

I do not believe that Raheem benefits those around him (and his career winning percentage indicates as much).

But the cold hard facts are what they actually produce, which make them talented assets in this league.
I agree with you in regards to the value of production.

In regards to subjective subject matter... that is a staple of good analysis. Those who can evaluate talent and or predict a player’s ability to succeed in a particular system or player grouping do not have a statistic to substantiate what they observe. That is not saying that statistics cannot be utilized (because they can) however much of what’s perceived and covered in sports (as well as the real world) is subjective.

Much of what is debated on these boards are opinions derived form our perceptions of subjective subject matter. It is a crapshoot and things do not always add up but it is those who are good at gauging intangible qualities and subjective matters that ring prophetic when all is said and done. Typically you hope these individuals to be those in decision-making positions (in regards to your favorite team).

Perhaps my read on Raheem is absolutely wrong, perhaps not. My record in relation to subjective issues has held up rather well in the past.

To promote the subjectivity of a claim as a means of discrediting it is as asinine a practice in terms of sport analysis as measuring the length of nostril hair in correlation to field goal kicking/ free throw shooting accuracy.
 

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Honestly guys, are Terry and Rahim really gonna take this team to the next level or are they just gonna be baindaids to cover up the franchises scar and lead us to a 8th seed 1st round exit.

I love the Blazers just as much as anyone else on this site, but i can honestly say it is time to rebuild this team.

Terry is a very selfish player that is not a true PG. He isnt a bad player, but his FG% is alwasy low and he isnt much of a passer. He also isnt a good defender. A Terry/Damon backcourt would be almost as bad defensivley as a SAR/Zach front court.

Ya, SAR is a leader in like 25 categories, but can he play next to Zach. No. He is a decent outside shooter, but by no means can he guard or probably even keep up with alot of SF's out west.

Dont forget we just got miles. I want to see what a starting lineup of Damon/DA/Miles/Zach/Wallace can do before i consider trading him.
 

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Originally posted by <b>ThatBlazerGuy</b>!
Honestly guys, are Terry and Rahim really gonna take this team to the next level or are they just gonna be baindaids to cover up the franchises scar and lead us to a 8th seed 1st round exit.
Who knows? Maybe they'd do both. Terry, after all, is only 26 and SAR is only 27. They could each be pieces in the youth movement without having to go all the way to a team full of 22 year-olds.

I don't think we'll be able to get our hands on a veteran PG better than Terry in the next couple of years (it's possible that we could get a crack at a good PG prospect in this year's draft, but he'll probably be a couple years away from being a big help), and SAR's ability to play with ZR is questionable but his skill and talent level overall are not.

As far as your critique of Terry, I think you're overstating things to his detriment on almost every front. The fact is that he's a 43% career FG shooter. That is NOT a low FG% for a guy who shoots as many 3's as he does (over 1500 in his 4+ NBA seasons). If he were given the PG spot that Damon holds, I would guarantee the Blazers would be much better off (how's that for damning by faint praise?)

Ed O.
 

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Originally posted by <b>The Enigma</b>!


I responded to this in a previous post.

Of your ten I would not place Jason Williams ahead of Terry.
James is not a PG
And yet his play at point guard is still better than Terry's. In reality, I would say that Terry is not a point guard, either, but a player too small for shooting guard, shoehorned into the point guard role.

You seem to give Raheem the benefit of the doubt for this but not Terry.

If winning is a criteria one can compile a grocery list of individuals better then Raheem.
You're making a random guess as to my thinking and then arguing that I'm inconsistent. I'm not using "winning" as a criteria. More on Terry further down when you ask me about my "overrated" tag.


You use the absence of my initial post as an opportunity to skew what is being debated. My point was never that Ratliff was “a major difference-maker” (even though I believe his shot blocking abilities to be), it was that Raheem is benefited by having one of the league top shot blocking presences to cover for him (this was part of a rundown of the talents on last seasons Hawks team).
No, that's incorrent. I'm not using the absence of the initial post to skew anything. My comments regarded your initial position that Rahim was on a "quite talented" team and that Ratliff was a significant reason why. I don't believe Ratliff is any major talent, any more than Camby is. Camby has been among the league-leaders in shot-blocking before, but neither he nor Ratliff had huge impacts on seasons and thus were not pieces that, in any great measure, helped make their teams "quite talented."

Your response of individual shot blocking excellence being irrelevant in terms of wins and loses was (simply put) outlandish.
First, I didn't say it was irrelevant. Secondly, your use of "league-leader" makes him sound like a big star, which is misleading in its implication. A scoring leader, an assist leader...even a rebounding leader can be a major star and a huge difference-maker to the team.

I was noting that the league-leader in shot-blocking was in no way as impactful as the league leaders in those categories.

It's an incredible third ability to have, like Olajuwon had it on top of being a great scorer and rebounder, same for Mourning. It's also great if you have it on top of being a dominant man-defender. But team shot-blockers, like Ratliff and Camby, are nowhere near as impactful on defense as true great man defenders like Duncan or Garnett.

Therefore, I'm still afraid that your "league leading shot-blocking" gambit is still not terribly impactful. It's nice thing to have, in a player who does other things. In a player who's a weak scorer, weak rebounder for his position and not a dominant man defender, it doesn't make a major talent.

That is an easy assertion to make after the fact. Prior to those seasons it was widely believed that the Hawks were a playoff caliber team.
Your writing is as if I disputed this but, if you read what I actually wrote, I didn't. I said being a playoff contender in the East does not make a team "quite talented." Just about every Eastern team has had it's turn at being called a "playoff caliber team on paper." That doesn't make every Eastern team "quite talented."

How do you substantiate that Terry is overrated (certainly not from his production)?
Perhaps you can enlighten us as to how you reached that position without utilizing the subjective methods of perception.
Sorry, buddy, but it is from production. His assist totals are just terribly weak for a point guard. Last year he had his only solid year for assists. Outside of that, he's put up the following per game numbers for assists: 4.3, 4.9, 5.7, 5.0 (this season).

For a shooting guard or a small forward, those are pretty nice. For a point guard, those are pretty weak.

But he was on a bad team, right? He can't be expected to create for a bad team? Mike Bibby's assist totals for a very bad Memphis team: 6.5, 8.1, 8.4.

The fact that even a few (fortunately only a few) people talk about Terry as though he were a top point guard shows that he's overrated. He's a small shooting guard, who scores at a pretty unremarkable efficiency and doesn't play-make all that well.

Those are rather hollow words coming from one who utilized subjective terms such as “intangibles”, “leadership” and such as a foundation in their well-documented defense of Scottie Pippen.
Not hollow or inconsistent at all. I don't argue that Pippen is better than his numbers suggest, just that a team with absolutely no direction could still use someone with offensive intelligence and leadership. I was quite agreeable that Payton would make Pippen's departure unimpactful, since Payton had that intelligence and leadership and better numbers.

I say that Pippen has been a leader through his career and that he knows how to run an offense. But I've never argued that he deserves more money or that he's actually better than players who are producing more.

So that's a far cry from your attempt to devalue actual production due to "lack of winning mentality" or "producing in ways that hurt his team."

Except for the fact that Nowitski wins
If we want to discuss "asinine" practices, as you seem to want to, discounting talent around a player in evaluating his "winning" ability is pretty asinine. Nowitski surrounded by much more talent than Abdur-Rahim is, and Nowitski wasn't a winner until the last few years when the talent coalesced around him. Fascinating how one's "winning metality" increases when one gets better teammates.

and that he annually ranks amongst the league leaders in terms of +/-.
In your initial post, you noted grudgingly that SAR fares quite well in +/- over his career.

Out of curiosity, where do you find +/- stats over the years? 82games.com seems that have their own version (in which SAR is #30 in the league this season) but only for this season and last.

I have no doubt in my mind that Nowitzki makes those around him better with his versatility and shooting ability.
Great, I have no doubt in my mind that Rahim makes those around him better with his versatility and inside game.

I do not believe that Raheem benefits those around him (and his career winning percentage indicates as much).
His career winning percentage also indicates he's had bad talent around him.

Your position simply isn't logically tenable. There are three inter-related variables here, if we want to really look at this issue: a player's "winning" ability (the one we want to discover), the player's team's winning percentage and the player's team's talent level. We know team winning percentage. In order to know the other two, we need to know one, hold it constant and solve for the third.

You, completely invalidly, hold "team talent" constant, saying completely arbitrarily that his team was "quite talented." Thus the third variable, player's "winning" ability, must come out badly for the player.

The reality, of course, is that we don't know the team's talent. You say it's high because of the team production? Guess what, then I say that Rahim's level is high, due to his production. So we're still either stuck saying that either SAR's nice statistics are misleading or the decent team statistics are misleading.

There's still no compelling case you've made that it's actually SAR's numbers that are misleading. You pooh-pooh production when it comes from him, but play up production from everyone else to try and suggest he's on a pretty good team.

Suppose Terry and Robinson are actually the ones holding the team back? Or suppose no one's "holding team back," but it simply isn't / wasn't overall talented enough to make the playoffs? Or suppose the chemistry is bad between those players?

There are so many intervening variables you choose to arbitrarily and implicitly suggest are constant, isolating Rahim as the reason the team slumped from some people's predicitions for the team's winning percentage.

In regards to subjective subject matter... that is a staple of good analysis. Those who can evaluate talent and or predict a player’s ability to succeed in a particular system or player grouping do not have a statistic to substantiate what they observe.
It's a staple of good analysis when reliable statistics are not available. When studying a high school or even a college player, differing levels of competition make the numbers they put up pretty worthless in determining the best players. Thus, you need to subjectively evaluate them to make any meaningful decision.

The NBA pretty well evens out competition any individual player faces over the course of a season. Therefore, the numbers are very reliable and far more reliable than observation over a small sample size of a player's games.

To promote the subjectivity of a claim as a means of discrediting it is as asinine a practice in terms of sport analysis as measuring the length of nostril hair in correlation to field goal kicking/ free throw shooting accuracy.
That's not precisely what I did. I said that subjective opinions formed over a small sample size of a player's games is pretty worthless compared to analysis based on the reliable statistics that have been tallied over all the games.

Read "Moneyball" sometime. Also bear in mind that casual fans consider Derek Jeter a great defender based on their subjective experience of having seen him dive to make a play here or there and having made some few, key plays in the playoffs. However, those that study these things carefully and actually see how many plays Jeter makes compared to everyone else and how much range he has to get to balls consider Jeter one of the defensively weakest shortstops in the game. Every sophisticated defensive measure shows it, and measures are getting more and more sophisticated each year.

Fans simply don't see enough of a player for their subjective opinions to be terribly valid. So yes, while I agree that there's lots of subjective analysis on boards like these, that doesn't make much of it all that useful.
 

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I could break this down point by point but I do not feel a need to.

My initial point is that Raheem is an overrated player and you’re tooth and nail defense of that assertion only further strengthens my position on the subject.

I will however highlight a few inaccuracies...

I don't believe Ratliff is any major talent, any more than Camby is. Camby has been among the league-leaders in shot-blocking before, but neither he nor Ratliff had huge impacts on seasons and thus were not pieces that, in any great measure, helped make their teams "quite talented."…

I was noting that the league-leader in shot-blocking was in no way as impactful as the league leaders in those categories.
Shot blocking is an extremely significant individual category. As much as any other statistical category leader a dominant shot blocker can change the complexion of a game (perhaps more so).
One great shot blocker can have a significant effect on a game (both physically and mentally). I covered this in my previous post.

How do you substantiate that Camby (like Ratliff) are not impact players for the teams they play for?

Seems to me that you’re using the same subjective means you just wrote a post novel against.

Camby is an impact player (btw). He is not a star by any stretch of the imagination but he is an impact player. He has been known to change games with his shot blocking, offensive rebounding, and hustle. As a matter of fact, take a look at the winning percentage of his past teams when he plays and when he is lost to injury (you may find his “impact” rather interesting).

In your initial post, you noted grudgingly that SAR fares quite well in +/- over his career.
I did no such thing.

I pointed to his last full seasons plus minus and stacked it against that of other 20/10 caliber players. He rated very low on that list I believe (I conceded that this season has been higher).

It's a staple of good analysis when reliable statistics are not available. When studying a high school or even a college player, differing levels of competition make the numbers they put up pretty worthless in determining the best players. Thus, you need to subjectively evaluate them to make any meaningful decision.

The NBA pretty well evens out competition any individual player faces over the course of a season. Therefore, the numbers are very reliable and far more reliable than observation over a small sample size of a player's games.
Excellent point.

However there is still a great deal of subjectivity that goes into determining how that production will mesh with others already in place (as well as the various immeasurable qualities worth factoring).

This was my point and that remains unanswered. My method of speculation is what one would hope a GM would employ when building a team.

Simply stacking productive ingredients fails to address the immeasurable quantities I pose (winning mentality, work ethic, player compatibility, philosophical compatibility, etc.).

There is a certain chemistry that goes into play.

Nowitski wasn't a winner until the last few years when the talent coalesced around him. Fascinating how one's "winning metality" increases when one gets better teammates.
Dallas wasn’t a winner until Nowitzki matured and the team gelled. The core of that team has been in place for quite a wile now.

You can ridicule the notion of the winning mentality if you like.
Some play to win, some play to produce, and some produce in a manner that deters winning. You need not buy into this notion but it is a reality.

Pippen accused Garnett of this very thing (btw).

Every quality cannot be measured; every assessment need not come in increment.
Some judgments can only be made by eye.

----

You are well thought out, you make good points and you are well versed in the art of debate, but this debate will lead nowhere.

My position is fixed.
Raheem is an overrated player who has yet to prove he can help a team win and through my observations I see no logical reason pointing to he and Randolph being a successful tandem.

In the event of such a pairing I foresee dark days for the faithful (loads of losing in the midst of fantasy league jubilation). 20/10, 20/10 as far as the eyes can see 25-35 wins (woe is me/ woe is you).
 

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I would almost just

People didn't post anything from the Oregon live page here. Its always just a bunch of crap, and that's why I left the message boards over there in the first place. THe only good stuff the paper post is after the fact, the rest of it is the biggest bunch of shinola i have seen shoveled in the blazer rumor control arena.
 

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Originally posted by <b>The Enigma</b>!
I could break this down point by point but I do not feel a need to.

My initial point is that Raheem is an overrated player and you’re tooth and nail defense of that assertion only further strengthens my position on the subject.
Well, but of course the inverse is also true: I believe that non-statistical virtues like "winning ability" are overrated in player evalutation, and your tooth and nail defense of that assertion only further strengthens my position on the subject.

How do you substantiate that Camby (like Ratliff) are not impact players for the teams they play for?

Seems to me that you’re using the same subjective means you just wrote a post novel against.
I believe that they are not the impact players that league leaders in other major categories (other than steals and possibly rebounds) are.

I substantiate this by history...I don't think Camby and Ratliff have made their team forces.

Whereas, scoring leaders like Jordan and Iverson and all have had enormous effects. Assist leaders like Stockton and Kidd have had enormous impact.

Further, I substantiate this by the fact that NBA teams, themselves, do not value the Cambys and Ratliffs like they do the Iversons, Kidds and Marburys, the guys who rack up numbers in the more impactful scoring and assist categories, as evidenced by lower salaries and much greater willingness to trade the Cambys and Ratliffs.

Great man defenders are on par with scoring leaders and assist leaders...but those are rare and not the same as the blocked shot leaders. Sometimes they correlate, like Olajuwon or Mourning...sometimes they do not, like Camby or Ratliff.

I pointed to his last full seasons plus minus and stacked it against that of other 20/10 caliber players. He rated very low on that list I believe (I conceded that this season has been higher).
You made some comment about "I will admit that SAR fares well in +/- but look at his last season" (perhaps you said last healthy season as you recently contended, I can't recall precisely). Some statement of that general idea.

However there is still a great deal of subjectivity that goes into determining how that production will mesh with others already in place (as well as the various immeasurable qualities worth factoring).
I agree that chemistry matters. Certain player combinations simply may not interact well together. But that's a very different thing from a player like SAR just being a loser. That places it all on him; that no matter what players he's with, he'll drag them down rather than assist them in doing better.

It's that second concept that I disagree with, the idea of certain players as "winners" and certain players as "losers," inherently.

Pippen accused Garnett of this very thing (btw).
Pippen said Garnett was not being used in the way that would maximally benefit his team, which was as a game-changing point guard. While he might have been right or wrong, he wasn't casting any aspersions on Garnett's mentality or winning character.

You are well thought out, you make good points and you are well versed in the art of debate, but this debate will lead nowhere.

My position is fixed.
Well, thanks, and certainly you express your opinions well with good supporting evidence. I got the sense your position was fixed ;) and I'm sure you can tell mine is, too.

It sounds like you feel the debate has run its course, and I'd agree. I can't say that I want to spend much more energy on defending SAR, whom I don't care much about one way or the other, though I do enjoy watching him play when I can.

Good discussion. Even if we disagree, it was interesting to explore.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Minstrel</b>!
...Mike Bibby's assist totals for a very bad Memphis team: 6.5, 8.1, 8.4. ....
This is one of my points for SAR. Many say, he is on a bad team, or he has not lead any team to the playoffs, or he is only in the east...

I ask you this.... what was your perception of Mike Bibby when he was with the Grizzlies??? maybe the same... he had not led his team to the plyoffs, and every team he was on (only one) was a loosing team.

Well look at Bibby now. He was unleashed in Sacramento. Maybe SAR can do that for us as well!

Maybe I am all wrong with my desire to see SAR in a Blazer uniform. But getting a near 20-10 guy who is an all star for Sheed if we deal him, is not bad at all. His hustle and desire to win I think will be consistant and a joy to watch. He takes it to the hole.

We could do lots worse... e.g. any Dallas or NY deal.... IF we deal Sheed, make it Atlanta on its own
 

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Originally posted by <b>ThatBlazerGuy</b>!
Honestly guys, are Terry and Rahim really gonna take this team to the next level or are they just gonna be baindaids to cover up the franchises scar and lead us to a 8th seed 1st round exit.
Good ?

But since the Blazer brass are in the know and we are not... IF and I say IF Sheed is dealt they are going to try and get the best deal they can.

But if he is dealt, it may be because he asked to be traded, or told them he will not resign with us (Mrs Wallace will have her say), or we decided not to keep him around for this and that reasons.

They are in the know.... so if he is dealt, it will be of benefit. We are not going to just give away Sheed and his D
 

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A lot can happen in the next three weeks or so, but these stories coming out of New York are just silly. If Wallace is traded you can bet that it is going to be for something that is going to help the Blazers out. John Nash is working on a puzzle here; he is looking at what he needs to finish the puzzle. He could be looking for a player, picks, or a combination of the two. If Rasheed is traded I would think that it would be for a player(s) that fits into what Nash is doing. SAR just might be that player, young and productive, but would he be as productive on a Portland team?
 

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ABM, How 'Bout A Little Help?

You attend some Hawks games, and you must see more of them on TV than most of us. What do you think of SAR's defense?

Go Blazers
 
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