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2010 NBA Finals Stats

Posted by Neil Paine on June 18, 2010

No commentary, just the numbers from the series...

Raw Totals

Player Team G GS MP FG FGA FG3 FG3A FT FTA ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Pau Gasol LAL 7 7 293.3 43 90 0 2 44 61 35 81 26 5 18 13 21 130
Kobe Bryant LAL 7 7 288.3 66 163 15 47 53 60 12 56 27 15 5 27 27 200
Ron Artest LAL 7 7 251.0 26 72 11 32 11 20 12 32 9 10 4 11 24 74
Derek Fisher LAL 7 7 214.1 21 50 2 10 16 17 3 21 14 6 0 9 25 60
Lamar Odom LAL 7 0 192.1 23 47 1 10 6 11 10 46 9 4 4 10 23 53
Andrew Bynum LAL 7 7 174.6 19 42 0 0 14 20 16 36 0 1 9 6 17 52
Jordan Farmar LAL 7 0 88.0 9 28 2 10 1 2 1 8 6 8 0 8 5 21
Shannon Brown LAL 7 0 84.5 9 20 0 3 3 3 0 6 3 0 1 0 5 21
Sasha Vujacic LAL 7 0 52.0 6 16 4 10 5 6 3 7 5 2 0 1 5 21
Luke Walton LAL 4 0 31.3 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 2 2 3 2
Josh Powell LAL 2 0 8.3 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
DJ Mbenga LAL 1 0 2.7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
Player Team G GS MP FG FGA FG3 FG3A FT FTA ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Paul Pierce BOS 7 7 278.4 43 98 8 20 32 37 4 37 21 5 6 18 25 126
Ray Allen BOS 7 7 275.9 33 90 12 41 24 25 4 19 12 5 0 12 23 102
Rajon Rondo BOS 7 7 271.9 44 97 2 6 5 19 16 44 53 11 2 19 12 95
Kevin Garnett BOS 7 7 222.0 45 88 0 1 17 19 8 39 21 10 9 11 28 107
Rasheed Wallace BOS 7 1 144.5 15 41 5 21 2 2 3 32 6 3 5 3 26 37
Glen Davis BOS 7 0 144.0 18 39 0 0 11 16 16 39 3 6 3 7 17 47
Kendrick Perkins BOS 6 6 140.7 12 21 0 0 11 17 14 35 6 1 0 8 16 35
Tony Allen BOS 7 0 103.2 8 24 0 1 6 7 3 7 3 7 5 5 16 22
Nate Robinson BOS 7 0 70.7 12 30 5 15 5 5 2 8 13 1 0 4 6 34
Shelden Williams BOS 2 0 18.3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4 4 0
Michael Finley BOS 2 0 5.3 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Marquis Daniels BOS 2 0 4.4 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 5
Brian Scalabrine BOS 1 0 0.8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Per-Game Stats

Player Team G MP MPG PPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG TPG SPG BPG
Pau Gasol LAL 7 293.3 41.9 18.6 0.478 0.000 0.721 11.6 3.7 1.9 0.7 2.6
Kobe Bryant LAL 7 288.3 41.2 28.6 0.405 0.319 0.883 8.0 3.9 3.9 2.1 0.7
Ron Artest LAL 7 251.0 35.9 10.6 0.361 0.344 0.550 4.6 1.3 1.6 1.4 0.6
Derek Fisher LAL 7 214.1 30.6 8.6 0.420 0.200 0.941 3.0 2.0 1.3 0.9 0.0
Lamar Odom LAL 7 192.1 27.4 7.6 0.489 0.100 0.545 6.6 1.3 1.4 0.6 0.6
Andrew Bynum LAL 7 174.6 24.9 7.4 0.452 0.700 5.1 0.0 0.9 0.1 1.3
Jordan Farmar LAL 7 88.0 12.6 3.0 0.321 0.200 0.500 1.1 0.9 1.1 1.1 0.0
Shannon Brown LAL 7 84.5 12.1 3.0 0.450 0.000 1.000 0.9 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.1
Sasha Vujacic LAL 7 52.0 7.4 3.0 0.375 0.400 0.833 1.0 0.7 0.1 0.3 0.0
Luke Walton LAL 4 31.3 7.8 0.5 0.333 0.5 0.8 0.5 0.0 0.5
Josh Powell LAL 2 8.3 4.1 0.0 0.000 0.000 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
DJ Mbenga LAL 1 2.7 2.7 0.0 0.000 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Player Team G MP MPG PPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG TPG SPG BPG
Paul Pierce BOS 7 278.4 39.8 18.0 0.439 0.400 0.865 5.3 3.0 2.6 0.7 0.9
Ray Allen BOS 7 275.9 39.4 14.6 0.367 0.293 0.960 2.7 1.7 1.7 0.7 0.0
Rajon Rondo BOS 7 271.9 38.8 13.6 0.454 0.333 0.263 6.3 7.6 2.7 1.6 0.3
Kevin Garnett BOS 7 222.0 31.7 15.3 0.511 0.000 0.895 5.6 3.0 1.6 1.4 1.3
Rasheed Wallace BOS 7 144.5 20.6 5.3 0.366 0.238 1.000 4.6 0.9 0.4 0.4 0.7
Glen Davis BOS 7 144.0 20.6 6.7 0.462 0.688 5.6 0.4 1.0 0.9 0.4
Kendrick Perkins BOS 6 140.7 23.5 5.8 0.571 0.647 5.8 1.0 1.3 0.2 0.0
Tony Allen BOS 7 103.2 14.7 3.1 0.333 0.000 0.857 1.0 0.4 0.7 1.0 0.7
Nate Robinson BOS 7 70.7 10.1 4.9 0.400 0.333 1.000 1.1 1.9 0.6 0.1 0.0
Shelden Williams BOS 2 18.3 9.2 0.0 0.000 2.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.0
Michael Finley BOS 2 5.3 2.6 0.0 0.000 0.000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Marquis Daniels BOS 2 4.4 2.2 2.5 0.500 1.000 1.000 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0
Brian Scalabrine BOS 1 0.8 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Per-Minute Stats

Player Team G MP MPG P/36 TS% R/36 A/36 TO/36 ST/36 BK/36
Pau Gasol LAL 7 293.3 41.9 16.0 55.6 9.9 3.2 1.6 0.6 2.2
Kobe Bryant LAL 7 288.3 41.2 25.0 52.8 7.0 3.4 3.4 1.9 0.6
Ron Artest LAL 7 251.0 35.9 10.6 45.8 4.6 1.3 1.6 1.4 0.6
Derek Fisher LAL 7 214.1 30.6 10.1 52.2 3.5 2.4 1.5 1.0 0.0
Lamar Odom LAL 7 192.1 27.4 9.9 51.1 8.6 1.7 1.9 0.7 0.7
Andrew Bynum LAL 7 174.6 24.9 10.7 51.2 7.4 0.0 1.2 0.2 1.9
Jordan Farmar LAL 7 88.0 12.6 8.6 36.4 3.3 2.5 3.3 3.3 0.0
Shannon Brown LAL 7 84.5 12.1 8.9 49.2 2.6 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.4
Sasha Vujacic LAL 7 52.0 7.4 14.5 56.3 4.8 3.5 0.7 1.4 0.0
Luke Walton LAL 4 31.3 7.8 2.3 33.3 2.3 3.5 2.3 0.0 2.3
Josh Powell LAL 2 8.3 4.1 0.0 0.0 4.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
DJ Mbenga LAL 1 2.7 2.7 0.0 0.0 13.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Player Team G MP MPG P/36 TS% R/36 A/36 TO/36 ST/36 BK/36
Paul Pierce BOS 7 278.4 39.8 16.3 55.1 4.8 2.7 2.3 0.6 0.8
Ray Allen BOS 7 275.9 39.4 13.3 50.5 2.5 1.6 1.6 0.7 0.0
Rajon Rondo BOS 7 271.9 38.8 12.6 45.1 5.8 7.0 2.5 1.5 0.3
Kevin Garnett BOS 7 222.0 31.7 17.4 55.5 6.3 3.4 1.8 1.6 1.5
Rasheed Wallace BOS 7 144.5 20.6 9.2 44.2 8.0 1.5 0.7 0.7 1.2
Glen Davis BOS 7 144.0 20.6 11.8 51.0 9.8 0.8 1.8 1.5 0.8
Kendrick Perkins BOS 6 140.7 23.5 9.0 61.4 9.0 1.5 2.0 0.3 0.0
Tony Allen BOS 7 103.2 14.7 7.7 40.6 2.4 1.0 1.7 2.4 1.7
Nate Robinson BOS 7 70.7 10.1 17.3 52.8 4.1 6.6 2.0 0.5 0.0
Shelden Williams BOS 2 18.3 9.2 0.0 0.0 7.9 0.0 7.9 0.0 0.0
Michael Finley BOS 2 5.3 2.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Marquis Daniels BOS 2 4.4 2.2 41.4 86.8 8.3 0.0 8.3 0.0 0.0
Brian Scalabrine BOS 1 0.8 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Advanced Stats Glossary

Player Tm G Min ORtg %Pos DRtg P/36 TS% %FGA AsR ToR PPR FTr 3Ptd OR% DR% Blk% Stl%
Pau Gasol LAL 7 293 122.7 22.4 100.3 16.0 55.6 19.3% 17.1 11.1 1.48 67.8 2.2 14.0 19.1 4.8 1.0
Kobe Bryant LAL 7 288 107.7 34.4 98.9 25.0 52.8 35.6% 21.5 15.3 -3.12 36.8 28.8 4.9 18.6 1.4 2.9
Ron Artest LAL 7 251 96.7 16.8 103.1 10.6 45.8 18.0% 6.4 14.7 -1.99 27.8 44.4 5.6 9.7 1.3 2.2
Derek Fisher LAL 7 214 106.9 14.5 105.3 10.1 52.2 14.7% 11.6 16.2 0.16 34.0 20.0 1.6 10.2 0.0 1.6
Lamar Odom LAL 7 192 100.4 15.5 101.0 9.9 51.1 15.4% 8.6 18.9 -2.08 23.4 21.3 6.1 22.8 1.6 1.2
Andrew Bynum LAL 7 175 109.2 15.5 103.8 10.7 51.2 15.1% 0.0 12.5 -3.44 47.6 0.0 10.8 13.9 4.1 0.3
Jordan Farmar LAL 7 88 69.6 19.4 98.1 8.6 36.4 20.0% 12.2 26.3 -4.55 7.1 35.7 1.3 9.7 0.0 5.1
Shannon Brown LAL 7 84 115.6 10.9 108.5 8.9 49.2 14.9% 6.4 0.0 2.37 15.0 15.0 0.0 8.6 0.9 0.0
Sasha Vujacic LAL 7 52 131.2 17.9 104.3 14.5 56.3 19.4% 17.6 6.0 4.49 37.5 62.5 6.8 9.4 0.0 2.2
Luke Walton LAL 4 31 64.1 8.6 105.6 2.3 33.3 6.0% 15.2 41.7 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.8 5.0 0.0
Josh Powell LAL 2 8 0.0 8.9 107.5 0.0 0.0 15.3% 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.0 50.0 0.0 14.8 0.0 0.0
DJ Mbenga LAL 1 3 0.0 13.7 97.3 0.0 0.0 23.3% 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.0 45.1 0.0 0.0
Player Tm G Min ORtg %Pos DRtg P/36 TS% %FGA AsR ToR PPR FTr 3Ptd OR% DR% Blk% Stl%
Paul Pierce BOS 7 278 104.7 22.5 107.7 16.3 55.1 22.2% 14.1 16.1 -1.44 37.8 20.4 1.7 13.9 1.8 1.0
Ray Allen BOS 7 276 100.1 18.9 111.7 13.3 50.5 20.6% 7.7 12.9 -1.45 27.8 45.6 1.8 6.4 0.0 1.0
Rajon Rondo BOS 7 272 97.4 24.3 106.5 12.6 45.1 22.5% 37.1 16.1 6.01 19.6 6.2 7.2 12.1 0.6 2.3
Kevin Garnett BOS 7 222 110.7 23.1 102.4 17.4 55.5 25.0% 19.5 12.0 1.35 21.6 1.1 4.4 16.4 3.3 2.5
Rasheed Wallace BOS 7 144 93.9 14.3 102.5 9.2 44.2 17.9% 7.1 8.2 0.69 4.9 51.2 2.5 23.6 2.8 1.2
Glen Davis BOS 7 144 104.1 18.6 102.8 11.8 51.0 17.1% 3.7 14.7 -3.47 41.0 0.0 13.5 18.8 1.7 2.3
Kendrick Perkins BOS 6 141 112.5 14.1 108.5 9.0 61.4 9.4% 7.1 22.6 -2.84 81.0 0.0 12.1 17.5 0.0 0.4
Tony Allen BOS 7 103 80.7 14.9 104.0 7.7 40.6 14.7% 4.8 18.3 -2.91 29.2 4.2 3.5 4.6 4.0 3.8
Nate Robinson BOS 7 71 111.0 25.6 110.8 17.3 52.8 26.7% 35.5 12.4 6.60 16.7 50.0 3.4 10.0 0.0 0.8
Shelden Williams BOS 2 18 0.0 16.7 105.7 0.0 0.0 6.9% 0.0 73.4 -21.84 0.0 0.0 0.0 25.7 0.0 0.0
Michael Finley BOS 2 5 0.0 7.7 116.7 0.0 0.0 11.9% 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.0 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Marquis Daniels BOS 2 4 128.1 43.6 116.0 41.4 86.8 29.0% 0.0 29.7 -22.99 100.0 50.0 28.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Brian Scalabrine BOS 1 1 0.0 116.7 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

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247 Responses to “2010 NBA Finals Stats”

  1. huevonkiller Says:

    Kobe was bad in the Finals. Pau Gasol and LeBron had better advanced numbers against Boston.

    Kobe had 23.3 PER in the Finals if I've calculated correctly. A Game score of 18.7 a game.

    He had a PER of just over 11 in Game 7, I believe.

  2. Caleb Says:

    How can a 23.3 PER possibly be considered "bad"? His Game 7 performance was the only one I'd consider truly "bad," but hey... he did grab 15 boards.

  3. Raphael Says:

    Kobe wasn't ''bad'' in the finals. he shot the ball extremely bad last nite and that killed his fg %. he did other things, like rebounding, setting up teammates and playing solid defense. he clearly deserved mvp, the lakers dont win this title without him...is time to give kobe the credit he deserves. top 10 player of all time

  4. Neil Paine Says:

    I definitely don't think it's fair to say Kobe was "bad" in the Finals. He didn't have a great offensive series, but it really wasn't horrific -- 25 P/36 on a 53 TS% is actually not that different from his regular-season numbers, and this was against one of the league's best defenses. He also played legitimately great defense, and did a surprisingly good job on the boards.

    Watching last night, my initial reaction was that it was extremely unfair to give Kobe the Finals MVP after he very nearly shot his team out of the biggest game of the season. And it's true that for most of Game 7, the selfish Kobe we've all come to criticize showed up. But looking at the numbers for the series today, it's hard to make a case for him not winning Finals MVP honors. As a stats guy, I usually come down against Kobe (and I still think he's nowhere near Michael Jordan or even LeBron James' level), but in this case I have to give credit where credit is due. Gasol had an eye-popping efficiency, but if you employ a trade-off and take him up to Kobe's usage level, plus factor in Kobe's defensive edge, Kobe deserved the MVP.

    Now, I think Gasol was obviously better last night, and without him they wouldn't have been champions -- period, no contest. Artest also came up far bigger in the biggest game of the year. But in the entire series, I think Kobe earned the honor. And I have no idea who would have been MVP if Boston had won... Garnett, maybe? Per-minute he was their best, but he only played 32 MPG, which is problematic. Then again, Pierce didn't have a particularly good series, Rondo was not himself (much credit to Kobe), and Allen did practically nothing outside of Game 2 (although he acquitted himself reasonably well defensively last night). Garnett would have to be the guy, unless you wanted to buck 40 years of history and give it to a guy on the losing team.

  5. Tom Pestak Says:

    Caleb - it's not "bad" compared to average players. It's just not even remotely close to Michael Jordan territory - aka the man Kobe is being compared to.

  6. Neil Paine Says:

    I will say this: if LeBron James gets a Gasol-esque contribution from a teammate in that Cavs-Celtics series, Cleveland advances. This isn't Kobe's fault, but he has the luxury of having a game like last night's, because Gasol and Artest simply stepped up and picked up the slack. Nobody on Cleveland did that during LeBron's weak games vs. Boston.

  7. Tom Pestak Says:

    I usually agree with you Neil and rely on the stats for things like this. But in this regard I have to disagree. Kobe's chucking mentality literally came a few minutes away from submarining his team's chances of winning the title. The Lakers won last night DESPITE Kobe Bryant. The fact that I keep hearing about his uncontested rebounds as proof that he EARNED it is laughable. Since we use productivity to determine MVP in this case, Kobe's most productive quarter (by far) led to his team's demise. Also, Kobe's entire legacy is about being the 'closer'. How many times have we heard "give me LeBron for 44 minutes and Kobe for the last four." And despite his PUTRID play in 4th quarters in this ENTIRE SERIES, people will continue to say that. In my opinion, Pau Gasol was by far and away the most IMPORTANT Laker in this series, even if he wasn't the most productive. And he came up the biggest down the stretches of games. If that's not an MVP, I don't know what is. Of course, it would be blasphemous not to give Kobe the MVP of something. He would have won the MVP if he DNPed the whole series...

  8. Tom Pestak Says:

    Here's how that 2nd half played out:

    Kobe continues to chuck despite being horrific in the 1st half. To start 4th, Phil jackson is interviewed and says (basically) that Kobe is taking too many shots. Phil sits Kobe very early in the 4th. Marc Jackson PRAISES HIM for doing this by saying "Now the Lakers can get the others involved" right after a monologue about how he's about to experience greatness. So, right there, kobe's biggest fan is ADMITTING that he's detrimental to his team's chances in this game. What do the Lakers do? They ride Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, and Ron Artest to the decisive fourth quarter. As the game hangs in the balance and both Artest and Fisher have hit big 3s. Kobe decides he HAS to be the hero, jacks up a horrible 3, and gets bailed out by Gasol (in a one possession game). This Laker team was picked to win it all because they had superior talent to every other team. They played well as a team when Kobe was injured in the reg season, they played well as a team in the 4th quarter of last night's game when Kobe was sitting and or getting out of the way.

    Not a single person on the face of planet earth could watch that half and at ANY TIME think that Kobe Bryant was the best player on the court. He wasn't even in the top 5. He made almost no positive contributions down the stretch of the game, and when he selfishly TRIED TO, he almost cost Los Angeles the title.

  9. huevonkiller Says:

    What did Kobe shoot in the fourth quarter of the 2010 Finals?

    I think it was 24%. Something atrocious like that, talk about non-closer if anything.

    His defense on Rondo was good, but he still had his moments as well. Pau took the boards away from those Celtic Bigs, he didn't get torched either. Kobe does not have the ability to raise his O-rating to Pau's level. I can still see the Finals MVP being a debate.

  10. Valacirca Says:

    They wouldn't even be in that position to win the title if not for Kobe.

  11. Neil Paine Says:

    Hey, you'll get no argument from me about last night's game. Bryant was nowhere near the best player on his team in Game 7. But the Finals MVP also has to take Games 1-6 into consideration, and if you look at the numbers above (especially ORtg/%Pos/DRtg), he was probably their most valuable player in the whole series.

    Now, you certainly could argue that last night should more weight because it was more crucial (http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6327) -- and theoretically, talking heads/pundits should mentally do this if they believe in clutch ability as a persistent skill. Since the numbers are close anyway, giving extra weight to last night's game could put Gasol over the top. And you're right about the "closer" cliche -- isn't it ironic that giving more weight to the most pressure-packed game actually hurts Kobe's MVP case?

    But I digress. Weighting each game equally, I think Kobe's numbers are better than Gasol's. However, whether you think equal weighting should be used in Finals MVP decisions is ultimately up to each person to decide for themselves.

  12. Jayson Says:

    I think as an unbiased fan of basketball, it's hard to take Tom Pestak seriously.

    Anyways, Neil, can we have an indicator of just how good this Celtics defense was in the playoffs? Compared to like 2008 and then other elite defenses of recent memory? I don't think I've seen many better defenses than the Celtics in my lifetime.

  13. Valacirca Says:

    Is there any site that breaks down the numbers in terms of the players' stats in their 4 wins vs their stats in their 3 losses?

    I think Kobe is clearly the MVP if look at games 1-6 and even though people would argue that he had a bad game in Game 7, they wouldn't even be in that position of not for him.

    Also, if you take the series as a whole, Kobe still had even better numbers that what Jordan had in the '96 finals.

  14. huevonkiller Says:

    If Pau Gasol isn't on that team, Kobe's fishing out of the first round. So it is all relative.

    Pau had more Win Shares in the playoffs. If it was an entire post-season title, it would help Pau's case. Heck, I think Pau had more Win Shares in this series, if not comparable.

  15. Pageup Says:

    The fact is if Artest doesn't play like a monster in game 7 this discussion is about Kobe blowing the series.

  16. Valacirca Says:

    It's almost like Games 1-6 never happened ^_^

  17. huevonkiller Says:

    Some interesting information at the ABPRmetrics board.

    (From Mike G)

    2010 Finals:

    Pau Gasol: 1.52 Win shares.
    Kobe Bryant: 1.14 Win Shares.

    ~~~

    DS Mok's table:

    Player Contrib %Min SPM VORP
    Pau Gasol 40.29 87.0% 7.72 9.32
    Kobe Bryant 29.71 85.9% 5.77 7.53
    Kevin Garnett 24.00 66.3% 6.03 5.99
    Rajon Rondo 10.62 81.1% 2.18 4.20
    Paul Pierce 0.65 83.1% 0.13 2.60
    Glen Davis 0.62 42.8% 0.24 1.39
    Ron Artest -5.70 74.7% -1.27 1.29
    Lamar Odom -4.03 57.3% -1.17 1.05
    Sasha Vujacic 0.32 15.7% 0.34 0.52
    Derek Fisher -9.43 63.6% -2.47 0.34
    Andrew Bynum -7.47 51.7% -2.41 0.30
    Marquis Daniels 0.50 1.3% 6.61 0.12
    Nate Robinson -3.03 20.7% -2.44 0.12
    Kendrick Perkins -6.95 41.9% -2.76 0.10
    Tony Allen -5.24 31.0% -2.81 0.06
    Rasheed Wallace -7.90 42.9% -3.07 -0.03
    Didier Ilunga-Mbenga -1.15 0.8% -23.79 -0.17
    Michael Finley -1.88 1.7% -18.34 -0.26
    Josh Powell -3.04 2.5% -20.66 -0.43
    Luke Walton -5.27 9.6% -9.17 -0.59
    Ray Allen -18.76 82.1% -3.81 -0.67
    Jordan Farmar -9.07 26.1% -5.79 -0.73
    Shelden Williams -6.74 5.6% -19.96 -0.95
    Shannon Brown -10.86 25.2% -7.17 -1.05

    On his method:

    "Perhaps a better way of looking at who helped the most would be a rough VORP calculation. I used a Replacement level of -3 SPM, which looks about right for this series. Obviously, the VORP concept is fuzzy in basketball; this is just to get a rough feel for the contributors. It pushes the guys who did nicely but in only a couple of minutes down to the bottom of the list."

    Looks like Gasol has a legit case.

  18. Anon Says:

    "I will say this: if LeBron James gets a Gasol-esque contribution from a teammate in that Cavs-Celtics series, Cleveland advances. This isn't Kobe's fault, but he has the luxury of having a game like last night's, because Gasol and Artest simply stepped up and picked up the slack. Nobody on Cleveland did that during LeBron's weak games vs. Boston."

    Hey, Neil. If Pau Gasol got a Lebron game 5 performance out of Kobe, no way Lakers win. At least when Kobe has a poor offensive showing, he finds other ways of contributing to the victory (rebounds, FTs, shutting down Rondo).

    Just sayin' if you're going to take a shot at Kobe in this way, it's fair to do it the other way around. Kobe may have shot horrifically and was playing too fast, but at least he never bailed out on his teammates in those moments and found ways to contribute.

  19. Neil Paine Says:

    Lebron had a triple double in his elimination game vs. Boston.

  20. Anon Says:

    I love Gasol, but the guy had some poor outing in the playoffs that hurt the team.

    game 4 and 6 vs OKC he had the game winning tip-in but he was atrocious.

    games 4 and 6 vs Phx he was horrible on defense. Just killed the team.

    games 3 and 5 against Boston he was a complete no show. Even in game 5 the numbers really overstated how he played. By the box score you'd think he dominated (near triple double), but Kobe clearly dominated that game.

    Of course, overall he was excellent in the playoffs. but there are things the box scores are not picking up on like poor defensive rotations, post defense, screens, and holding the ball doing nothing at times. Not often, but it happened and the lakers generally lost when they happened.

    Pau's an amazing player, most skilled post player in the league, but the Lakers' playoff MVP was Kobe and anyone who truly watched the entire playoffs unbiased could see it quite obviously. Kobe had a horrible offensive game 7, there's no doubt about it. Artest was last night's MVP and Gasol carried us through late. Still doesn't change that Kobe was the driving force behind the title with a lot of help from Pau and Ron's/Bynum's defense thrown in.

  21. Anon Says:

    "Lebron had a triple double in his elimination game vs. Boston."

    and it was an empty triple double. Did you watch the game. And I say this as a Lebron fan. I had never been so disappointed in him.

    He was passing up good shots the moment he hit 9 assists so he could hit #10. I'm not hating. Go watch the game tape again and pay attention. He overpassed so much that hurt the team.

    Not only that, but he stopped imitating the offense through much of the 2nd half. The team didn't know how to react because through the 90+ games this season, they hadn't been put in this spot before and didn't know what to do. I personally couldn't believe what I saw in those 2 games.

    I love advanced stats and love what they're doing to our analysis of the game. But while they're quite strong in big sample sets, in individual games I still think you see unfortunate results.

    I can watch a game and say "man, that guy just dominated" but the stats would say otherwise and visa-versa.

  22. huevonkiller Says:

    Kobe was terrible in Game 2 and blew a superb Gasol performance.

    That's why they play an entire series don't they? Kobe has bailed on his teammates before not sure what you're trying to prove. IIRC, Michael Jordan was accused of shutting it down in Game 2 (1989 I believe) against New York.

    Lol Rondo was shut down in Game 7? He was pretty decent still. Paul Pierce was destroyed in the second round, I think that's what you should really bring up.

  23. huevonkiller Says:

    "I love advanced stats and love what they're doing to our analysis of the game. But while they're quite strong in big sample sets, in individual games I still think you see unfortunate results."

    Right, that's why we should focus on the entire series and Kobe's incompetence instead. He was far from perfect, or even superior to his own teammate.

    In all honesty, if you don't have the advanced stats behind you, your opinion (and mine) have practically zero value.

    That's Bull that you say "empty" triple double, LeBron outperforms Kobe in an off-series either way. He doesn't have to maximize his potential to trump Bryant.

  24. Anon Says:

    I don't want to turn this into some Lebron vs Kobe thing.

    I just think you could back off with the back-handed compliments on Kobe in this instance by bringing up Lebron in that way. Fact is, Lebron's team had HCA throughout for 2 years running and didn't even make the Finals. Lakers, on the other hand, have made 3 finals in a row and are back to back champs.

    Let's talk about the Finals and the game, criticisms included, but let's not attempt to presume what Lebron would do because to this point all we know is having the best record 2 years running isn't enough.

  25. huevonkiller Says:

    You clearly have no knowledge about advanced stats then. And you liking LeBron means nothing, I'm a Laker fan. I even run a little Lakers board and I can tell you Kobe is clearly inferior.

    He didn't outplay Orlando, he didn't outplay Boston compared to LeBron. The reason LeBron's not in the Finals is because his second best player has Derek Fisher PER.

  26. Neil Paine Says:

    This is getting ridiculous. I've been extremely fair, too fair in fact, to Kobe over the past week. Incredibly generous. But the difference between the Lakers' and Cavs' respective outcomes vs. Boston was not due to their superstars. Kobe and LeBron were both equally shut down by the Celtics; the difference was entirely due to the quality of the supporting casts. And even then the Lakers only barely won.

  27. huevonkiller Says:

    "Let's talk about the Finals and the game, criticisms included, but let's not attempt to presume what Lebron would do because to this point all we know is having the best record 2 years running isn't enough."

    Let's stop pretending he choked with Gasol, because that is the most ridiculous reasoning I've ever heard.

    Kobe sealed his fate with game 7, it validated everything I've heard about team accomplishments being extremely overrated. Him and his 41% shooting in the Finals in 37 games.

  28. Anon Says:

    "Kobe was terrible in Game 2 and blew a superb Gasol performance.

    That's why they play an entire series don't they? Kobe has bailed on his teammates before not sure what you're trying to prove. IIRC, Michael Jordan was accused of shutting it down in Game 2 (1989 I believe) against New York.

    Lol Rondo was shut down in Game 7? He was pretty decent still. Paul Pierce was destroyed in the second round, I think that's what you should really bring up."

    Kobe was taken out of game 2 by 3 HORRIFIC calls by the officials. He wasn't given a chance. But hey, he still managed 6 assists and 5 steals in limited minutes, but his D was hampered due to the BS fouls.

    Kobe has never bailed on his teammates. Shutting it down is also not the same if you're getting blown out once the rest of your team is blown out. I have no idea why MJ was even mentioned.

    yes, Rondo was shut down. Rewatch the game. A lot of his assists were off gasol mistakes (2 directly from fronting KG for no reason). Rondo barely got the transition game going and Kobe played off of him and it killed him.

    Rondo had his FG% and assists dip in the finals compared to his norm despite increased minutes. You think this was an accident? No, this was Kobe along with help from Bynum (who is integral in this too). And Rondo had some really bad games in the Finals and last night he was definitely below average.

  29. Neil Paine Says:

    For the record, I didn't intend to turn this into one of these endless Kobe vs. LeBron arguments, either. My point was only that Kobe was not his usual self in this series, and neither was LeBron in his series vs. Boston. This is a major testament to the Celtics' outstanding defense -- they were able to take arguably the two most potent scorers in the NBA today (Kevin Durant may argue this point, but let's roll with it), and made them look pretty ineffective. Both had spurts of dominance -- LeBron in Game 3, Kobe in Game 5 -- but in the end, the C's bottled them up and made their supporting casts decide the outcome. Which was the point of my earlier comment: when you make the Cavs' supporting cast beat you, they can't (Jamison, the supposed "missing piece" was a disaster)... If you make the Lakers' supporting cast beat you, they can rise to the occasion, like Artest and Gasol did last night. That's all I was saying. Surely you can't argue with that, right?

  30. huevonkiller Says:

    "Kobe was taken out of game 2 by 3 HORRIFIC calls by the officials. He wasn't given a chance. But hey, he still managed 6 assists and 5 steals in limited minutes, but his D was hampered due to the BS fouls."

    Lol he sucked, stop making excuses. So Kobe didn't get calls even though the Lakers had the clear FT advantage in Game 2, and the entire series 200-149?

    You're a silly Kobe apologizer.

    "Kobe has never bailed on his teammates. Shutting it down is also not the same if you're getting blown out once the rest of your team is blown out. I have no idea why MJ was even mentioned. "

    Sure he has, http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200406100DET.html, took less shots than LeBron in 2010. http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200605060PHO.html choked the 3-1 lead then refused to shoot, Boston Game 6 where he basically quit, Game 7 when he bailed on his teammates and forced terrible shots.

  31. Neil Paine Says:

    Also, to the statement that "Kobe has never bailed on his teammates":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0xabxBCOE8

  32. huevonkiller Says:

    "yes, Rondo was shut down. Rewatch the game. A lot of his assists were off gasol mistakes (2 directly from fronting KG for no reason). Rondo barely got the transition game going and Kobe played off of him and it killed him.

    Rondo had his FG% and assists dip in the finals compared to his norm despite increased minutes. You think this was an accident? No, this was Kobe along with help from Bynum (who is integral in this too). And Rondo had some really bad games in the Finals and last night he was definitely below average."

    Did you watch Paul Pierce in the second round? This meaningless information. LeBron is better, on both sides.

  33. Anon Says:

    "Right, that's why we should focus on the entire series and Kobe's incompetence instead. He was far from perfect, or even superior to his own teammate."

    Who said he was close to perfect?

    "In all honesty, if you don't have the advanced stats behind you, your opinion (and mine) have practically zero value."

    you're starting with an assumption that an argument with advanced stats behind you is more valid. We call this confirmation bias.

    Advanced stats are evidence to further an argument, they are not the argument itself. When you conflate these two notions, you ignore proper evaluation,

    "That's Bull that you say "empty" triple double, LeBron outperforms Kobe in an off-series either way. He doesn't have to maximize his potential to trump Bryant."

    Outperforms based on box score stats. That assumes box score stats are great evaluators. this is an assumption I'm not willing to buy into just yet. There's a lot of basketball that is not picked up on by stats. hell, there's a bunch of basketball not picked up on without sitting courtside. Do you hear the players directing a player where to go in the advanced stats? Do you hear a guy calling out defense? Pointing? Setting a screen? Etc etc.

    All stats help us, but they do not paint an entire picture.

    Anyway, Lebron's triple double in game 6 wasn't indicative of a good performance. I watched that game hoping Cleveland would win, but he played terribly. he shot below 40% with 9 turnovers, overpassed, and stopped running the offense like he normally does, throwing everyone on his team's rhythm off. Basketball is a pure team sport, so what one player does or sometimes does not do affects how other players play. The way he played in that game made his team worse. I don't care what the stats say, I watched that game and he killed his team from start to finish.

  34. Anon Says:

    "This is getting ridiculous. I've been extremely fair, too fair in fact, to Kobe over the past week. Incredibly generous. But the difference between the Lakers' and Cavs' respective outcomes vs. Boston was not due to their superstars. Kobe and LeBron were both equally shut down by the Celtics; the difference was entirely due to the quality of the supporting casts. And even then the Lakers only barely won."

    I agree that you have been fair in you blog posts, I just thought the comment you made about Lebron was unfair. Who knows what Lebron would do. Just as a thought experiment, if he was in the triangle, would he be better or worse off? I believe his stats at synergy say he's a poor spot up shooter (where Kobe is really good) and is an important aspect. Then again, maybe you'd just abandon the triangle as a result.

    We know what Kobe does with high talent. We know Lebron didn't get to the Finals 2 years in a row with the best record in the league. Don't put Kobe down for what Lebron hasn't done. Put Kobe down for things Kobe has done.

  35. Neil Paine Says:

    Gee, "Anon", you're not yourself tonight:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=5952#comment-17068

    Must be a different "Anon".

  36. Donnie Says:

    I think the point Neil is trying to make is that if Lebron and Kobe both have equally bad series against the same team, and one player's team wins the series while the other player's team loses, isn't that basic proof that Kobe has the better supporting cast and his teammates were the reason LA won and the Cavs lost? Isn't that proof?

  37. Anon Says:

    "Let's talk about the Finals and the game, criticisms included, but let's not attempt to presume what Lebron would do because to this point all we know is having the best record 2 years running isn't enough."

    Let's stop pretending he choked with Gasol, because that is the most ridiculous reasoning I've ever heard.

    Kobe sealed his fate with game 7, it validated everything I've heard about team accomplishments being extremely overrated. Him and his 41% shooting in the Finals in 37 games."

    Oh please. He had a horrible series against the Pistons where he was selfish (no one would argue otherwise), but Kobe came through in the REAL finals vs Sacramento and Portland and San Antonio during the 3pete.

    And let's not forget game 4 vs Indiana when Shaq fouled out. Kobe sealed his fate positively long ago.

    And last night gasol shot just as horribly. he was what, 3-16 at halftime? Both guys were playing tight. ron kept em alive. In the 4th kobe got to the FT line and gasol got aggressive again. Both redeemed really poor offensive showing and both found another way to contribute via rebounding. that's what great players do.

    had the Lakers lost, you wouldn't have said Pau choked? he was 2/7 FT at one point. Shot horrible overall from the field and the FT line.

    Pau was what, a 55% FG all season and playoffs and shot below 50% for the series, no? Give Boston's D enormous credit. They took em out of their comfort zones. Both found ways to contribute despite it.

  38. Anon Says:

    "Did you watch Paul Pierce in the second round? This meaningless information. LeBron is better, on both sides."

    When did I argue Kobe is better than Lebron? This is your straw man argument.

    All I said was that pointing out Kobe's poor game 7 offensive performance vs Lebron is ridiculous when Lebron's game 5 was so horrendous that the comparison is not fair.

    Lebron SHOULD be the better player. Kobe is about to be 32 years old...

  39. huevonkiller Says:

    "you're starting with an assumption that an argument with advanced stats behind you is more valid. We call this confirmation bias.

    Advanced stats are evidence to further an argument, they are not the argument itself. When you conflate these two notions, you ignore proper evaluation,"

    Your argument is atrocious, it is that Cleveland has an equal/comparable supporting cast and that solely Lebron choked. You support this with "oh I expected more from him" as if LeBron on an off day is worse than Kobe. LeBron can have an off game, Kobe has had an inferior playoff career over the past three seasons.

    No one cares what you think, what you saw, what you observed. Back up your opinion with reality. You can't, use any metric you wish you won't find it.

    Gee guess what, Kobe sucked last night. It doesn't matter if he won. What evidence do you have that LeBron was worse than Kobe, at any point in the playoff seriess the past couple of seasons? If not three-four seasons? Nothing.

    "Outperforms based on box score stats. That assumes box score stats are great evaluators. this is an assumption I'm not willing to buy into just yet. There's a lot of basketball that is not picked up on by stats. hell, there's a bunch of basketball not picked up on without sitting courtside. Do you hear the players directing a player where to go in the advanced stats? Do you hear a guy calling out defense? Pointing? Setting a screen? Etc etc. "

    When has Kobe ever been better, at any point in his career than Lebron? It doesn't take a genius to find out why he chokes in the first round, and why now he can get by with a supreme talent like Gasol. Lol at you if you're comparing Mo Williams in the playoffs to Pau Gasol.

    Kobe's already had two LeBron Game 5's this post-season.

  40. huevonkiller Says:

    "Anyway, Lebron's triple double in game 6 wasn't indicative of a good performance. I watched that game hoping Cleveland would win, but he played terribly. he shot below 40% with 9 turnovers, overpassed, and stopped running the offense like he normally does, throwing everyone on his team's rhythm off. Basketball is a pure team sport, so what one player does or sometimes does not do affects how other players play. The way he played in that game made his team worse. I don't care what the stats say, I watched that game and he killed his team from start to finish."

    Um ok, Kobe choked in Game 2 and 7. What is your point?

    You're blaming the refs whenever he plays poorly, that's just a joke argument on your part.

    "All I said was that pointing out Kobe's poor game 7 offensive performance vs Lebron is ridiculous when Lebron's game 5 was so horrendous that the comparison is not fair.

    Lebron SHOULD be the better player. Kobe is about to be 32 years old..."

    How the hell did you conclude this? Based on your hurt feelings or something?

    I'd gladly compare LeBron in an off series to Kobe in his prime. Kobe was inferior at ages 27-28 against a soft Suns defense.

  41. Donnie Says:

    Exactly, Kobe's game last night was as bad as Lebron's game 5, and his team won while Lebron's lost. Proof that the Laker teammates are better than the Cavs.

  42. Anon Says:

    Gee, "Anon", you're not yourself tonight:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=5952#comment-17068

    Must be a different "Anon".

    I am. first time poster, long time reader. I love reading all your posts and stats. I don't even mind when you try to put Kobe's numbers in a different light and I don't think you're a Kobe hater as some have said. I just didn't like the Lebron comment because I thought it was unfair to Kobe.

    And to the link to the Phx game: Kobe played hard in the 1st half. he tried to get the team going. This is such unfair criticism on him. And look, I criticize Kobe a lot as a Laker fan. Last night I thought he was going to kill us by playing so frantic. There are times he gets into this "me vs the world" mode that can seriously hurt the team. He's not a perfect player by any stretch. Anyway, in that Phx game I thought he was doing what he had to do to get the game back. The only way to stifle that Phx team was the cut off the quick attack which you do by scoring inside (game 5 showed this). We needed Kwame, Mihm, and Luke to score like they had all series long. He played exactly the same until the game got out of reach and he "shut it down."

    the Cleveland vs Boston game was still winnable for Boston when Lebron flat out gave up and stopped executing the game plan.

  43. huevonkiller Says:

    "Oh please. He had a horrible series against the Pistons where he was selfish (no one would argue otherwise), but Kobe came through in the REAL finals vs Sacramento and Portland and San Antonio during the 3pete.

    And let's not forget game 4 vs Indiana when Shaq fouled out. Kobe sealed his fate positively long ago."

    Lol ok and? He had one good playoff run from ages 21-28 years old. He was atrocious in practically every other year for Superstar standards. That's why his playoff WS/48 suffers.

    Then he choked in 2008, and he choked again but got bailed out in 2010. He's had two extremely impressive playoff runs in his entire career, same as LeBron only at a lower level.

  44. Anon Says:

    [quote]When has Kobe ever been better, at any point in his career than Lebron? It doesn't take a genius to find out why he chokes in the first round, and why now he can get by with a supreme talent like Gasol. Lol at you if you're comparing Mo Williams in the playoffs to Pau Gasol.[/quote]

    I'm not comparing Mo to gasol. Again, straw man.

    As far as "when has Kobe ever been better," I'd say definitely once. 2001 playoff stretch. I have only seen MJ exceed that level of performance. In fact, I'd say no team was ever that good in the last 20 years.

    other than that, I don't know if he's been better than Lebron the last few seasons in terms of being a NBA player in terms of direct output. What I do know is he's just won back to back titles while Lebron is fishing despite having HCA throughout.

    "Kobe's already had two LeBron Game 5's this post-season."

    this is a foolish statement. Kobe has had bad games, but nothing that horrendous. Lebron did none of the little things in that game.

  45. huevonkiller Says:

    "the Cleveland vs Boston game was still winnable for Boston when Lebron flat out gave up and stopped executing the game plan."

    Kobe took 13 shots in 45 minutes against Detroit in the Finals, Game 3.

    I can continue exposing Kobe if you want to go this route.

  46. huevonkiller Says:

    "I'm not comparing Mo to gasol. Again, straw man."

    Sure you compared them you just can't grasp it in your mind yet. You inferred it by bringing up why LeBron mysteriously choked.

    "As far as "when has Kobe ever been better," I'd say definitely once. 2001 playoff stretch. I have only seen MJ exceed that level of performance. In fact, I'd say no team was ever that good in the last 20 years."

    Nope that's just funny. Why would you say that?

    He had a WS/48 of .26 in that run, far from the second best ever. Kobe fan boy, not surprised.

    "
    this is a foolish statement. Kobe has had bad games, but nothing that horrendous. Lebron did none of the little things in that game."

    Why, it is true? He choked badly in Game 7 and Game 1 against OKC.

    He was atrocious against OKC in fact.

  47. Neil Paine Says:

    OK, I admit that bringing the Suns game back up was a low blow. I shouldn't have done that, because the only point of the LeBron comment was that if Kobe has a subpar (by his standards) series, L.A. still wins because he has a great supporting cast, while the Cavs are basically screwed if LBJ has the same series. I'm not really interested in intent (you seem to think LBJ intentionally tanked for some reason)... You can't prove intent. It's all just an opinion. I care about performance, and the Celtics were able to equally hamper the performances of Kobe and LeBron. That the Cavs lost and the Lakers still won speaks volumes about the two stars' respective supporting casts.

  48. huevonkiller Says:

    *Game 7 against Boston, and Game 1 against OKC.

    Oh and Kobe's worst two games against Boston are worse than LeBron's lows.

    Kobe choked a spectacular Pau and Bynum performance in Game 2. 12.7 game score, and 9.9 game score in game 7.

  49. Anon Says:

    "Um ok, Kobe choked in Game 2 and 7. What is your point?"

    I don't agree he choked. he seemed to come through in the 4th. Didn't he score 10 points on 4 shots, decent D, and rebounds in the 4th?

    he didn't choke in game 2.

    choking does not mean having a sub-standard game. for choking, see artest game 5 FTs. That's choking.

    [quote]You're blaming the refs whenever he plays poorly, that's just a joke argument on your part.[/quote]

    lol wat? I blamed officiating on his poor game 7 performance. Please quote this one for me.

    Game 2 was true. Come on, if you're a laker fan you know this. his 3/4/5 fouls were all absurdly bogus. Ray Allen flopped the wrong direction for pete's sake. It was the only game in the playoffs I'd make this claim because it's the only time it happened.

    "How the hell did you conclude this? Based on your hurt feelings or something?"

    because Lebron is near his peak and Kobe past it. At least from a physical aspect. what hurt feelings. WE WON THE TITLE. lol, what would I be hurt about a 2nd round exit by Lebron.

    What do I care if Lebron is a better player? Good for him.

    [quote]I'd gladly compare LeBron in an off series to Kobe in his prime. Kobe was inferior at ages 27-28 against a soft Suns defense.[/quote]

    give lebron Kwame, Smush, and Cook and then let's make the comparison.

  50. Neil Paine Says:

    I have a feeling that this thread is on the verge of spinning out of control... Assuming it hasn't already.

  51. Anon Says:

    "OK, I admit that bringing the Suns game back up was a low blow. I shouldn't have done that, because the only point of the LeBron comment was that if Kobe has a subpar (by his standards) series, L.A. still wins because he has a great supporting cast, while the Cavs are basically screwed if LBJ has the same series. I'm not really interested in intent (you seem to think LBJ intentionally tanked for some reason)... You can't prove intent. It's all just an opinion. I care about performance, and the Celtics were able to equally hamper the performances of Kobe and LeBron. That the Cavs lost and the Lakers still won speaks volumes about the two stars' respective supporting casts."

    I agree that Lebron has to play closer to his norm than Kobe for Cleveland to be successful. But then it begs this question...since defenses eventually become tougher in the playoffs, does the fact that Lebron's offensive game is quite limited (he drives to the hole or hope his streaky shooting is on) end up being his downfall when he runs into a team that can slow down option #1.

    If you take away Kobe or Wade's #1 option, they have a more reliable #2 and #3 where Lebron does not. And if that outside shot isn't falling, he becomes timid and he doesn't stay within his norm.

    I'm just putting it out there because if Lebron developed some more aspects of his game (which he is capable of doing), I believe it would be impossible to stop him.

    As for his intent, I am not claiming anything. I still don't understand why that happened. I've been around b-ball for a huge portion of my life and I still can't figure out what happened in that game. I was shocked then and still am now, but what I do know is I can't recall that ever happening. Why it happened, I have no idea.

    But I think that while Boston slowed both Kobe and Lebron down quite a bit, I thought Kobe did a lot of different things to help his team win.

    For example, take game 3. he shot poorly, but look at the adjustment he made in the 4th. he started setting screens knowing the double would come and this caught Boston off guard leaving Fish space to hit mid range Js. This adjustment will not be noticed in any metric (except maybe +/-), but it is something tangible and real that Kobe did that directly led to his team's victory. So while game 3 might be statistically equal to a game Lebron had vs Boston, Kobe played better because he did more things that contributed to the win, just not all of it was a statistic.

    And I'm just comparing them in these specific instances, not overall.

  52. huevonkiller Says:

    "I don't agree he choked. he seemed to come through in the 4th. Didn't he score 10 points on 4 shots, decent D, and rebounds in the 4th?

    he didn't choke in game 2.

    choking does not mean having a sub-standard game. for choking, see artest game 5 FTs. That's choking."

    Lol, coming through in the fourth. He shot 6-26, anyone objective knows he choked. Laker fans know he choked in game 7, and when they read the rest of my facts they'll know he choked in the fourth quarter.

    Kobe shot 29% in the fourth quarter of the Finals, for the entire series.

    "he didn't choke in game 2."

    Um ok... Take a look at 6/6/2010

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6491

    "Game 2 was true. Come on, if you're a laker fan you know this. his 3/4/5 fouls were all absurdly bogus. Ray Allen flopped the wrong direction for pete's sake. It was the only game in the playoffs I'd make this claim because it's the only time it happened."

    Haha ok, Kobe was terrible before the fouls, I remember his first half performance and 40% shooting.

    The fouls were appropriate, the game was called tight and Kobe earned them. Fouls 3/4/5 are bogus but you watched the Celtics get no benefit of the calls in that game, game 7, and you're ok with that. Ok gotcha, homer.

    "because Lebron is near his peak and Kobe past it. At least from a physical aspect. what hurt feelings. WE WON THE TITLE. lol, what would I be hurt about a 2nd round exit by Lebron.

    What do I care if Lebron is a better player? Good for him."

    And? LeBron would have won all three Finals, Kobe is a choke artist in the Finals and without Gasol.

    Kobe was inferior in his peak as well, as I gladly compared him at 25-28 years old with great results.

    Really you don't care? Have fun defending your second tier, second rate and most overrated player in the game then.

    "give lebron Kwame, Smush, and Cook and then let's make the comparison."

    Oh the year he choked that 3-1 lead in the playoffs?

  53. huevonkiller Says:

    "I agree that Lebron has to play closer to his norm than Kobe for Cleveland to be successful. But then it begs this question...since defenses eventually become tougher in the playoffs, does the fact that Lebron's offensive game is quite limited (he drives to the hole or hope his streaky shooting is on) end up being his downfall when he runs into a team that can slow down option #1.

    If you take away Kobe or Wade's #1 option, they have a more reliable #2 and #3 where Lebron does not. And if that outside shot isn't falling, he becomes timid and he doesn't stay within his norm."

    And yet, Wade choked against the Atlanta Hawks and Kobe is basically tracy mcgrady without Pau and Shaq.

    "For example, take game 3. he shot poorly, but look at the adjustment he made in the 4th. he started setting screens knowing the double would come and this caught Boston off guard leaving Fish space to hit mid range Js. This adjustment will not be noticed in any metric (except maybe +/-), but it is something tangible and real that Kobe did that directly led to his team's victory. So while game 3 might be statistically equal to a game Lebron had vs Boston, Kobe played better because he did more things that contributed to the win, just not all of it was a statistic.

    And I'm just comparing them in these specific instances, not overall."

    In specific sample sizes that benefit you, also known as cherry picking?

  54. Neil Paine Says:

    I guess this is where we reach an impasse, then. You're talking about intangibles, and this blog is firmly entrenched in tangibles, simply because everything else is an opinion. Your opinion could be that Kobe's screens were the sole reason they won; another person could say they made no difference... Trouble is, you can't prove or disprove either claim. I'm really only interested in what we can prove, or at least what the statistical evidence strongly suggests.

    You're right about +/- indirectly picking that kind of action up, though. The problem is that +/- for a single game can be influenced by so many other factors that it's impossible to parse out any one player's contribution in such a small sample.

    However, the idea that LBJ's skillset limits him against better defenses is an intriguing one, and one we can look at the numbers to examine. I want to update this piece to include this year and many other seasons:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=1827

    I think you and several other commenters could be onto something with that theory. But again, we have to prove it, or at least have some evidence before we know anything.

  55. Anon Says:

    "*Game 7 against Boston, and Game 1 against OKC.

    Oh and Kobe's worst two games against Boston are worse than LeBron's lows.

    Kobe choked a spectacular Pau and Bynum performance in Game 2. 12.7 game score, and 9.9 game score in game 7."

    Game 2 he played only 34 minutes. And 2 of his 5 TOs were horrible offensive foul calls. You're not proving anything. We lost game 2 because of the BS fouls on Kobe, Lamar crapping his pants, and Ray Allen going nuts from 3.

    yeah, game 1 vs OKC was a bad game (he had no elevation in that series). So? you expect him to have a good game every game? Pau's game 4 was even worse. His game 6 vs Phx was abysmal in comparison to any game Kobe had, including last night.

    Players have bad games. Shocker, I know.

  56. huevonkiller Says:

    "Game 2 he played only 34 minutes. And 2 of his 5 TOs were horrible offensive foul calls. You're not proving anything. We lost game 2 because of the BS fouls on Kobe, Lamar crapping his pants, and Ray Allen going nuts from 3."

    Game score says he was bad, when he was on the court adjusted for minutes. I also recall a +21 FT advantage before the intentional fouling and he still choked the game.

    Kobe sucked before the foul trouble, during, and after.

    You're argument is he got offensive fouls!!12 As if that's the only area he underperformed in, or that you're even reliable enough to believe.

    "yeah, game 1 vs OKC was a bad game (he had no elevation in that series). So? you expect him to have a good game every game? Pau's game 4 was even worse. His game 6 vs Phx was abysmal in comparison to any game Kobe had, including last night.

    Players have bad games. Shocker, I know."

    Excuses, he played like trash.

    Ok I get it, ignore when Kobe plays poorly and at an extremely low level.

    Got it.

  57. Anon Says:

    "I guess this is where we reach an impasse, then. You're talking about intangibles, and this blog is firmly entrenched in tangibles, simply because everything else is an opinion. Your opinion could be that Kobe's screens were the sole reason they won; another person could say they made no difference... Trouble is, you can't prove or disprove either claim. I'm really only interested in what we can prove, or at least what the statistical evidence strongly suggests.

    You're right about +/- indirectly picking that kind of action up, though. The problem is that +/- for a single game can be influenced by so many other factors that it's impossible to parse out any one player's contribution in such a small sample.

    The idea that LBJ's skillset limits him against better defenses is an intriguing one, and one we can look at the numbers to examine. I want to update this piece to include this year and many other seasons:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=1827

    I think you and several other commenters could be onto something with that theory. But again, we have to prove it, or at least have some evidence before we know anything."

    Oh, I understand that. But when someone says "Lebron played as well as Kobe, look at the stats," I think that's misleading. What you're really saying "Lebron and Kobe played about the same from a statistical perspective" which is fine. But you and I know there's more to it than just this. And just because a box score doesn't pick up something doesn't mean it's not tangible. Let me give you an example.

    What does tipping the ball out with 2 seconds left on the shot clock get you in the stats? nothing, right? Well, we CAN analyze this affect indirectly. Find out all inbounds on the offensive half with 2 seconds or less on the clock and the success rate (or points per possession) as a result. This gives us a sense of value for deflecting a ball out at this point even if we have no direct stat.

    I think it's incorrect to say we don't know if those screens didn't do anything special. if Lamar made those screens then they would have never worked. Kobe's ability to draw the double did it. My only point is that if you want to make a qualitative statement, you have to incorporate the subjective with the supposed objective. Otherwise you can only make quantitative statements.

    You're definitely right about +/- and single games. it's why i put the qualifier of maybe.

    If I may make a suggestion.

    Last season 82games.com had a breakdown of stats of players vs "good" "average" and "poor" teams. What i noticed of 08-09 was this:

    Lebron's performance got worse vs top 10 teams, Kobe's got better. Now, Lebron's was still seemingly better (though it was pretty close, IMO), but it was interesting. For one, it confirmed something I've believed about Kobe for a few years now. Against "poor" teams Kobe had a horrible 3pt% but against good teams he shot 40%! Before I saw this stat I had always believed Kobe jacks up shots from 3 against bad teams because he doesn't want to get the wear and tear from his body, he wants to just put bad teams away quicker with 3s, and he's pacing himself. Against good teams he seemed to take higher quality 3s, or rather...picked his spots. I think this stat confirmed it.

    What I'd love to see, since 82games.com got lazy, was some more analysis like this. How do top players, not just these guys but Wade, Durant, etc perform versus different qualities of teams/defenses. How do their shot selections change? usage?

    If Lebron goes full speed versus the Clippers as he does Boston, while Kobe paces himself against those poor teams, then our evaluation of true value might have to be changed. Lebron might still come out on top, but it's not as different.

    Just throwing it out there. I think it would be very interesting analysis.

  58. huevonkiller Says:

    #54

    I checked the regular-season numbers this year, LeBron beats Wade against every top 5 defense now. I would be very interested in seeing that again.

    Wade's performance against the Bulls in 2007 would also hurt him I'd imagine. I can't recall off hand there being much of an advantage aside from 2009 regular season, and Boston this year after elbowgate.

  59. Anon Says:

    game score is adjusted for minutes played? not according to the glossary here.

    "Game Score; the formula is PTS + 0.4 * FG - 0.7 * FGA - 0.4*(FTA - FT) + 0.7 * ORB + 0.3 * DRB + STL + 0.7 * AST + 0.7 * BLK - 0.4 * PF - TOV. Game Score was created by John Hollinger to give a rough measure of a player's productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, i.e., 40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance, etc."

    Who said to ignore when Kobe played poorly. Another straw man. I should buy a straw hat for ya.

    All I said was players have bad games. So did Pau. Where is the criticism of Pau? You hold Kobe to a different standard, apparently.

    Both had bad games in the playoffs and both players tried to find other ways to contribute. That's what great players do. Both are great players but neither are perfect. No player is!

  60. Neil Paine Says:

    And why can he afford to pace himself against the Clippers? ... A better supporting cast!

    Seriously, though, I'll check that out in a study this summer. And as for looking at the value of every little type of play, hook me up with a Synergy subscription and I'll analyze that, too. :)

  61. huevonkiller Says:

    "game score is adjusted for minutes played? not according to the glossary here."

    I adjusted the series game score for Minutes played. It was still a pitiful performance, especially considering Rondo went off that game.

    If you don't believe me, gladly adjust the figures yourself you'll see.

    "Who said to ignore when Kobe played poorly. Another straw man. I should buy a straw hat for ya.

    All I said was players have bad games. So did Pau. Where is the criticism of Pau? You hold Kobe to a different standard, apparently.

    Both had bad games in the playoffs and both players tried to find other ways to contribute. That's what great players do. Both are great players but neither are perfect. No player is!"

    Again, when you continue to infer it it isn't straw anything. You make bad excuses about the refs, I never bring up refs. I dislike that greatly. Take your loss and bad performance like a champ.

    No one is perfect and you're right, people will have bad games/series. Jordan didn't light it up in 1995 for exmaple.

  62. huevonkiller Says:

    *1996 Finals I meant. ;]

  63. Anon Says:

    Oh, of course I think Kobe has a better supporting cast. Gasol, and especially healthy Bynum, far outweighs whatever Lebron has.

    And I think the move to jamison was a mistake from the get go. And don't get me started on how horrible Mike brown is as a coach.

    What's interesting is I think the Cavs are deeper than the Lakers (or were) which is important for getting through the regular season, but when you go with an 8 man rotation in the playoffs, the Lakers had em beat by far.

    During the regular season, the Lakers got by on the backs of 5 guys until fisher came through in the playoffs (he was horrendous during the regular season, not just statistically and he's my favorite laker).

    What really needs to be acknowledged was how strong a unit Fisher-Kobe-Artest-Gasol-Drew/Odom was. I'd be surprised if there was truly a better 5 out there this past season, especially when Drew was healthy.

  64. Tom Pestak Says:

    To the comment about LeBron struggling against tough defense because of "limited" offensive skills...he EVISCERATED the Celtics all year long. Game 3 against the Celtics was one of the best games of his career, and suddenly his shot was WAY WAY OFF. He refused to blame the elbow, but something clearly wasn't right with him.

    I'm not sure a 3 game sample should really be used to judge LeBron's offensive skill set.

  65. Anon Says:

    I don't get what you're trying to prove by saying Kobe had a couple bad games. I've stated he had some bad games, as did Pau and many other players.

    What is your point by pointing other than pointing out the obvious?

  66. Anon Says:

    "To the comment about LeBron struggling against tough defense because of "limited" offensive skills...he EVISCERATED the Celtics all year long. Game 3 against the Celtics was one of the best games of his career, and suddenly his shot was WAY WAY OFF. He refused to blame the elbow, but something clearly wasn't right with him.

    I'm not sure a 3 game sample should really be used to judge LeBron's offensive skill set."

    I posed it as a question, not as a statement of fact. I was asking for some analysis.

    Also his FG% was down in 4 of those games and TOs way up.

    I think it's safe to say we can throw out Boston's regular season after their postseason performance.

  67. huevonkiller Says:

    Oh I did a lot more than just that.

    I love pointing out exactly the magnitude of greatness and incompetence.

  68. huevonkiller Says:

    LeBron's "limited offensive skills" against #1 defense in 2009: 38-8-8. Against Boston this year, 27-9-7. Without the elbow stuff he'll be even scarier.

  69. Anon Says:

    But his team lost against Orlando. His numbers were great, but did it come at the expense of his teammates. Did him making better numbers for himself cause a bigger dip in teammates?

    This is something Kobe has done numerous time but Lebron seems to never have it lobbed at him. Michael had these same questions lobbed his way.

    It's a fine line trying to figure out what to do. I think Lebron is still learning this aspect. That's why I said 2001 playoff Kobe was certainly better. In that stretch he figured out the perfect path. He's never been able to recreate that though.

    but I ask again, what was your point in pointing out "greatness and incompetence." I'm just not picking up on the point of these claims.

  70. Anon Says:

    I should clarify that Kobe has learned it, but doesn't always trust it and deviates from it in hair pulling fashion (last night being an example in the 1st half).

    But at least I can appreciate what he brings to the game and have enjoyed watching him mature from the kid that airballed against Utah to the now 5 time champion.

  71. Jayson Says:

    lol @ blaming the elbow..

    I'm sure we all know the reason why Lebron checked out the last 3 games vs. Boston and that wasn't it.

    Kobe was playing with a MULTITUDE of injuries all season long. Lebron has always been a player who's put up great numbers and performances against weak teams.

    Save the 07 Pistons he's fallen flat on his face against every "good" team he's ever faced in the playoffs.

    He's had two-60 win teams and has only beaten a 50+ win team ONCE in his entire career. Lebron makes his post-season reputation off beating teams that have no business in the playoffs in the first place.

  72. AYC Says:

    Look, I despise Kobe, but he deserved MVP of this series. Gasol is a Pippen type; tremendous talent, a future HOFer, arguably the best at his position in the league; BUT not an alpha-dog capable of carrying a team the way Kobe does.

    That said, this series confirmed all his limitations, even in victory; taking too many shots, terrible shot-selection, not getting teammates involved, it was all there to see, especially in the final game, easily his worst of the series. The comparisons to MJ, Magic and Lebron seem silly when you look at the stats.

    As for Lebron, since Pippen excelled in the triangle as a point forward with a spotty jumper, I think LBJ would do just fine; it's true, Bron does do too much... because of terrible coaching and a weak supporting cast (Carlos Boozer is still the best teammate LBJ has had, and they let him go after one year together).

    PS Lebron had 19 boards in that game 6 triple double; don't forget that when you're crow about Kobe's 15 rbs in game 7

  73. AYC Says:

    PPS Kobe in 01 had Shaq, in his prime, drawing constant double and triple-teams; winning the title last year with Gasol a much more impressive accomplishment. It's amazing to me how ridiculous Kobe-lovers want to rewrite history and pretend Shaq wasn't even there, when he was clearly the best player on LA every year he played there.

  74. huevonkiller Says:

    LeBron outplayed Kobe in 2008, 2009, and 2010 post-seasons. Not sure what you mean.

    Oh and 06 and 07 of course, because Kobe was terrible those years.

  75. huevonkiller Says:

    #72 Thanks you saved me some time. Pretty much what I was planning on saying.

  76. Anon Says:

    "Look, I despise Kobe, but he deserved MVP of this series. Gasol is a Pippen type; tremendous talent, a future HOFer, arguably the best at his position in the league; BUT not an alpha-dog capable of carrying a team the way Kobe does.

    That said, this series confirmed all his limitations, even in victory; taking too many shots, terrible shot-selection, not getting teammates involved, it was all there to see, especially in the final game, easily his worst of the series. The comparisons to MJ, Magic and Lebron seem silly when you look at the stats."

    now this is valid criticism. Outside Lebron, I agree. I want to see Lebron win before making such determinations.

    "As for Lebron, since Pippen excelled in the triangle as a point forward with a spotty jumper, I think LBJ would do just fine; it's true, Bron does do too much... because of terrible coaching and a weak supporting cast (Carlos Boozer is still the best teammate LBJ has had, and they let him go after one year together).

    So what you're saying is that if Lebron played with Kobe, he'd be a great second banana in the triangle?

    I know you're not, but you're comparing him to Pippen, not Jordan.

    "PS Lebron had 19 boards in that game 6 triple double; don't forget that when you're crow about Kobe's 15 rbs in game 7"

    true, but I thought Lebron played intentionally selfish in the 2nd half of that game and it's why they lost. Game 5 was the big blunder, though.

    "PPS Kobe in 01 had Shaq, in his prime, drawing constant double and triple-teams; winning the title last year with Gasol a much more impressive accomplishment. It's amazing to me how ridiculous Kobe-lovers want to rewrite history and pretend Shaq wasn't even there, when he was clearly the best player on LA every year he played there."

    I don't know anyone who wants to rewrite anything. Lakers had the top player in the league at the wing and in the post at the time. And Shaq was a flat out beast until crunch time. Up until the Finals in '01 and '02, they were pretty much equal contribution wise, where in the Finals they met up with really overmatched teams that Shaq would just feast on.

    What I don't get, and it's not you, is why some Kobe haters want to act like Kobe was a role player when Shaq was here. Shaq was obvious #1 during the 1st title, but i don't recall 29-7-6 on 55 TS% being "role player" status. They were partners in crime. Kobe absolutely obliterated San Antonio in '01 (The real Finals), yet some act as if it never happened.

  77. Anon Says:

    "LeBron outplayed Kobe in 2008, 2009, and 2010 post-seasons. Not sure what you mean.

    Oh and 06 and 07 of course, because Kobe was terrible those years."

    Kobe played terrible in '06. It was only on the backs of Brian Cook, Kwame Brown, Lamar Odom, Chris Mihm, and Smush Parker that the Lakers were able to push the 2nd seeded Suns to 7 games. If only Kobe hadn't played "terrible." Sigh.

    If you want people to take you seriously, stop stating asinine things.

  78. Anon Says:

    Success is defined by the team (in general), not by the other stuff. It's nice that Lebron outperformed Kobe via box score metrics, but at the end of the day Kobe was the one in the Finals and hoisting the trophy.

    It's like Ron said yesterday in the post game. It's about the team. To paraphrase "If I go out there and get just 2 rebounds, but by banging and fighting the team outrebounds the other team 50-40, then I did my job."

    It's about what you do to contribute to success, not failure.

  79. huevonkiller Says:

    "Kobe played terrible in '06. It was only on the backs of Brian Cook, Kwame Brown, Lamar Odom, Chris Mihm, and Smush Parker that the Lakers were able to push the 2nd seeded Suns to 7 games. If only Kobe hadn't played "terrible." Sigh.

    If you want people to take you seriously, stop stating asinine things."

    2006 playoffs: .087 WS/48.

    The league average is .100, he was pathetic there.

    Remind me again who's being asinine? I mostly judge him on his individual performance.

  80. Anon Says:

    If you think Win Shares capture what Kobe did for that team in that series, you've got to be a troll.

    If Kobe played terrible, how did a team of Lamar, Cook, Smush, KWame take Phoenix to 7 games. I can't wait for this explanation.

  81. huevonkiller Says:

    "I don't know anyone who wants to rewrite anything. Lakers had the top player in the league at the wing and in the post at the time. And Shaq was a flat out beast until crunch time. Up until the Finals in '01 and '02, they were pretty much equal contribution wise, where in the Finals they met up with really overmatched teams that Shaq would just feast on.

    What I don't get, and it's not you, is why some Kobe haters want to act like Kobe was a role player when Shaq was here. Shaq was obvious #1 during the 1st title, but i don't recall 29-7-6 on 55 TS% being "role player" status. They were partners in crime. Kobe absolutely obliterated San Antonio in '01 (The real Finals), yet some act as if it never happened."

    Hah you want to bring up TS%? I suggest you don't. Kobe's is pathetic in two out of the three title runs he made with Shaq. Kobe was FAR from equal back in 2002.

    In fact he has a 54.3 TS% in the playoffs for his career.

    "now this is valid criticism. Outside Lebron, I agree. I want to see Lebron win before making such determinations."

    I'd like to see you hold Kobe to the same standards, he constant pure hypocrisy on your part is amazing. He had bad teammates in 2006!!!1 Yet you can't put it into your head teammates don't save you, stats don't save you, and intangibles don't save you. Kobe's had plenty of bad games in title runs, not to mention his career. Don't get so high and mighty now that he has two bad shooting performances in the Finals by himself.

  82. huevonkiller Says:

    "If you think Win Shares capture what Kobe did for that team in that series, you've got to be a troll.

    If Kobe played terrible, how did a team of Lamar, Cook, Smush, KWame take Phoenix to 7 games. I can't wait for this explanation."

    Easy, sample size over 4 games? That doesn't mean anything.

    Kobe sucked in PER, and in offensive rating.

    He did play terrible, he caved into the Media and tried to be a passer. He should have gone out swinging because his little Chris Paul experiment was a failure.

  83. huevonkiller Says:

    "Success is defined by the team (in general), not by the other stuff. It's nice that Lebron outperformed Kobe via box score metrics, but at the end of the day Kobe was the one in the Finals and hoisting the trophy.

    It's like Ron said yesterday in the post game. It's about the team. To paraphrase "If I go out there and get just 2 rebounds, but by banging and fighting the team outrebounds the other team 50-40, then I did my job."

    It's about what you do to contribute to success, not failure."

    It's about playing like Lebron, and having Pau Gasol. Kobe has a nice career, no one cares. He's not even the best player or winner of the 2000's.

    At the end of the day, LeBron is 25 years old. Kobe is a career 41% shooter in the Finals.

  84. Anon Says:

    "Hah you want to bring up TS%? I suggest you don't. Kobe's is pathetic in two out of the three title runs he made with Shaq. Kobe was FAR from equal back in 2002."

    game 7 vs Sacramento Kobe had a 120 offensive rating to Shaq's 112. game 6, Kobe was 132 to Shaq's 109.

    closeout of he spurs: 127-88.

    You're right, twas all Shaq.

    All I said was, he was no role player during that era. I have no idea to what you're arguing against cuz it can't be what I said.

    "I'd like to see you hold Kobe to the same standards, he constant pure hypocrisy on your part is amazing. He had bad teammates in 2006!!!1 Yet you can't put it into your head teammates don't save you, stats don't save you, and intangibles don't save you. Kobe's had plenty of bad games in title runs, not to mention his career. Don't get so high and mighty now that he has two bad shooting performances in the Finals by himself."

    Again, when have I denied poor outings from Kobe during title runs? Everyone has them. What is your point other than to state the obvious?

    What do you keep arguing against? I seriously have no idea at all. It's like you hear the word "Kobe" and start foaming at the mouth.

  85. Anon Says:

    "It's about playing like Lebron, and having Pau Gasol. Kobe has a nice career, no one cares. He's not even the best player or winner of the 2000's.

    At the end of the day, LeBron is 25 years old. Kobe is a career 41% shooter in the Finals"

    Lebron James is a 35.5% career shooter in the Finals. Foot, meet mouth.

    And for someone who no one cares about, you sure do rant on about him...

  86. huevonkiller Says:

    "game 7 vs Sacramento Kobe had a 120 offensive rating to Shaq's 112. game 6, Kobe was 132 to Shaq's 109.

    closeout of he spurs: 127-88.

    You're right, twas all Shaq.

    All I said was, he was no role player during that era. I have no idea to what you're arguing against cuz it can't be what I said."

    So are you consciously ignoring all his bad games on purpose, or do you just like to pretend he didn't shoot 51.1TS% from the field?

    "Again, when have I denied poor outings from Kobe during title runs? Everyone has them. What is your point other than to state the obvious?

    What do you keep arguing against? I seriously have no idea at all. It's like you hear the word "Kobe" and start foaming at the mouth."

    I'm responding to your ridiculous self-righteous comments about winning. It is fun to bring up all these Kobe things. I like using your hypocritical theories against you.

  87. huevonkiller Says:

    "Lebron James is a 35.5% career shooter in the Finals. Foot, meet mouth.

    And for someone who no one cares about, you sure do rant on about him..."

    I don't care about him, I just enjoy exposing your flawed arguments.

    LeBron James: 4 career games in the Finals.

    Kobe Bryant: 37 Career games, at 50.7 TS%. Ouch.

  88. Anon Says:

    "So are you consciously ignoring all his bad games on purpose, or do you just like to pretend he didn't shoot 51.1TS% from the field?"

    What would those games do to disprove anything I said? My argument is Kobe was no role player and was there with Shaq. Both players had bad outings. That proves nothing other than they had bad outings. 27-6-5 on 51.1TS% is not a role player.

    "I'm responding to your ridiculous self-righteous comments about winning. It is fun to bring up all these Kobe things. I like using your hypocritical theories against you."

    Like you using Kobe's Finals FG% against him while forgetting all about Lebron's?

    the hate is strong with this one. You're just a troll. Go back under your bridge.

  89. Anon Says:

    ""Lebron James is a 35.5% career shooter in the Finals. Foot, meet mouth.

    And for someone who no one cares about, you sure do rant on about him..."

    I don't care about him, I just enjoy exposing your flawed arguments.

    LeBron James: 4 career games in the Finals.

    Kobe Bryant: 37 Career games, at 50.7 TS%. Ouch."

    He has 5 titles, why do I care that he shot at 51% TS%? What does it prove?

  90. themojojedi Says:

    huevonkiller, you can't accuse people of cherry-picking stats and having flawed arguments when you state that "LeBron would have won all three Finals" and then dismiss the only evidence available on how LeBron performs in the Finals.

  91. Anon Says:

    Anyway, the 37-4 number is the more important stat.

  92. huevonkiller Says:

    "What would those games do to disprove anything I said? My argument is Kobe was no role player and was there with Shaq. Both players had bad outings. That proves nothing other than they had bad outings. 27-6-5 on 51.1TS% is not a role player."

    He didn't even perform at the same role player level in two title runs. .115 and .148 WS/48, down from .19. Oh and Pau Gasol was far more consistent in 2010.

    "Like you using Kobe's Finals FG% against him while forgetting all about Lebron's?

    the hate is strong with this one. You're just a troll. Go back under your bridge."

    Use what against me? Kobe's career is very much set in stone by now.

  93. Anon Says:

    "huevonkiller, you can't accuse people of cherry-picking stats and having flawed arguments when you state that "LeBron would have won all three Finals" and then dismiss the only evidence available on how LeBron performs in the Finals."

    I think it's pretty obvious at this point he's just a troll. I should know better than to feed them.

  94. huevonkiller Says:

    "He has 5 titles, why do I care that he shot at 51% TS%? What does it prove?"

    Who cares if you have 5 ugly titles?

    "huevonkiller, you can't accuse people of cherry-picking stats and having flawed arguments when you state that "LeBron would have won all three Finals" and then dismiss the only evidence available on how LeBron performs in the Finals."

    Kobe didn't make the Finals in 2007, did he?

    Because I have the opportunity of seeing them play the same opponents during that three year span.

  95. Anon Says:

    "Use what against me? Kobe's career is very much set in stone by now."

    Finally, some sense. You're right. He's widely regarded as one of the best players to every play to game and one of the game's great winners. Even the one time haters accepted this.

    We do agree. Gratz.

  96. Anon Says:

    "Who cares if you have 5 ugly titles?"

    ahahaha. you were good at trollin' for a while there. I give you your props. You had me going for a while.

    You can stop the charade now. You got your brownie points.

  97. huevonkiller Says:

    "Finally, some sense. You're right. He's widely regarded as one of the best players to every play to game and one of the game's great winners. Even the one time haters accepted this.

    We do agree. Gratz."

    So what exactly are you arguing with me for? If I believe in reality, which I quite do, you'd know I don't think he's terrible.

    I have no problem with him being one of the greats. It is these Laker fans that start lecturing about "little things" that are funny to me.

  98. themojojedi Says:

    "Kobe didn't make the Finals in 2007, did he?"

    So now making the Finals is the measure of the player when earlier it was shooting well in the Finals. Ok, got ya! I just have to make sure I can keep up with your fluctuating guidelines for player evaluation. You are oh so very fluid.

  99. huevonkiller Says:

    "So now making the Finals is the measure of the player when earlier it was shooting well in the Finals. Ok, got ya! I just have to make sure I can keep up with your fluctuating guidelines for player evaluation. You are oh so very fluid."

    Let's recap your question: Huevon, why did you ignore that evidence? I said I had not, because 2008-2010 featured them playing the SAME three opponents. So now tell me, how am I ignoring evidence from the Finals? And playing poorly in 7 Finals series, is just strange.

    Oh really, let's compare their career numbers if you wish. I have no problems with ignoring all selective discussions.

  100. huevonkiller Says:

    Sounds crazy, but Kobe's one of my favorite players. He's an inner-circle hall of famer.

  101. Johnny Says:

    So we should somehow discredit a player's championships because he played with a good supporting cast?

    Do I discount the 3 Bird won because he played with 3 HOFers?

    Should I discount Magic's because he played with Kareem, Worthy, Cooper, etc?

    How about MJ's? He did have a top 50 all time wing player as a teammate.

    The point is, NO star player wins a title by himself. (Maybe Rick Barry?). I NEVER discredit a player because of who he plays with.

    We can crunch the numbers all we want but all that matters is that Kobe Bryant just won his 5th championship and no comments on a message board is going to take that away.

  102. Anon Says:

    Dude, he quoted Simmons. He's trollin' us. We just gotta stop feedin' him.

  103. themojojedi Says:

    "So now tell me, how am I ignoring evidence from the Finals?"

    You are ignoring the evidence by assuming that LeBron would play at the same standard in the 2008-2010 Finals as he did in the corresponding 2008-2010 Eastern conference series, while at the same times suggesting that Kobe plays worse in the Finals than in earlier rounds. The only observed evidence we have on how LeBron performs in the Finals and how it compares to his earlier rounds is his trip to the Finals in 2007.

    "And playing poorly in 7 Finals series, is just strange"

    This is not actually the conclusion that follows from the evidence you've presented. Aggregating and averaging leads to a loss of information on the individual Finals series. You might conclude that Kobe's Finals shooting percentage is poor on average. Or you could, based on your own selected criteria, evaluate each series and find Kobe has played poorly in 1/2/3/4/5/6 or 7 Finals, but the evidence you've referenced does not support the claim above.

  104. huevonkiller Says:

    "You are ignoring the evidence by assuming that LeBron would play at the same standard in the 2008-2010 Finals as he did in the corresponding 2008-2010 Eastern conference series, while at the same times suggesting that Kobe plays worse in the Finals than in earlier rounds. The only observed evidence we have on how LeBron performs in the Finals and how it compares to his earlier rounds is his trip to the Finals in 2007."

    You're mixing two different points. To see him not even out (so to speak) over the course of 37 Finals Games is awkward. His level is what it is, I don't have to assume anything. The sample size is quite large enough.

    Not only is 08-10 LeBron is at another gear, it is impossible for you to say the "only observed evidence" is such and such. The reality is the Spurs are not showing up in the Finals. Common opponents is a normal comparison made between teams and players. Using a defense he won't even face in the 08-10 Finals is a strange barometer by comparison.

  105. huevonkiller Says:

    "This is not actually the conclusion that follows from the evidence you've presented. Aggregating and averaging leads to a loss of information on the individual Finals series. You might conclude that Kobe's Finals shooting percentage is poor on average. Or you could, based on your own selected criteria, evaluate each series and find Kobe has played poorly in 1/2/3/4/5/6 or 7 Finals, but the evidence you've referenced does not support the claim above."

    Oh certainly, he had two decent Finals. I don't really care about a small sample size.

  106. Gil Meriken Says:

    It's very funny to see Anon calmly and rationally respond to all of Huevonkiller's misguided barbs and "facts" while Huevonkiller's head seems like it's about explode.

    Answer this please: is it possible for two players to have the exact same statistics and metrics over a game, every single one, including PER and +/-, and yet have completely different impacts on winning or losing the game? How about for a season? How about for a career?

    Obviously it's very unlikely two players would have exactly the same numbers, but if they did, isn't it more than possible that they had a significantly different impact on winning and losing?

  107. Boss Says:

    While Gasol had a great series, his performance through games 305 really killed his chances to win FMVP. At that point, the media had already started to call him Gasoft again and was wondering if it was 2008 all over again.

    He basically disappeared like a role player on the road.

    At home he turned into a superstar.

    Kobe on the other hand was pretty consistent from home to road and back.

    It's not very fair statistically but I think that's the way the award was voted.

  108. themojojedi Says:

    "To see him not even out (so to speak) over the course of 37 Finals Games is awkward. His level is what it is, I don't have to assume anything. The sample size is quite large enough."

    "The reality is the Spurs are not showing up in the Finals. Common opponents is a normal comparison made between teams and players. Using a defense he won't even face in the 08-10 Finals is a strange barometer by comparison."

    You've concluded that Kobe plays poorly in the Finals. So is it your position that Kobe plays poorly because:
    A) It is the Finals
    B) The high defensive standard of the opponents he has happened to face in the Finals
    C) Some combination of both A and B
    D) Other reasons

    If you believe A or C then it IS relevant how poorly LeBron played against San Antonio in 2007 because this is the only evidence available, however small the sample, on how LeBron performs in a Finals environment. And if you do believe in the possibility of a "Finals effect" on player performance, then you can't simply switch LeBron's series between 2008/2010 Eastern Conference 2nd round and 2008/2010 NBA Finals and assume he'll perform at the same standard. This is what I mean by you ignoring the evidence when making reckless claims about how LeBron would have won all 3 Finals.

    If you believe that only B is true, then Kobe is not a poor Finals performer because its the Finals, more so he is a poor performer against tough defensive teams and happens to have consistently run up against very tough defenses in the Finals. However to make any inferences about performance against tough defenses would require an investigation of a different set of data than just the Finals series.

  109. Johntnethk Says:

    Just felt I had to get this off.

    I love how biased certain people are against a player/players they so obviously dislike (maybe even "hate", though that's a really strong word). These frauds then go on lengthy diatribes on the faults of the player (while, of course, expounding the virtues of another), then claim that said player is actually "one of their favorites", "I actually love [insert name here]", etc. etc.

    This happens on both sides, whether it's about specific players, or whole teams. Not only is this "I actually really like [insert player or team name]" bull tiresome, it's so blatantly apparent you DON'T like the player / think your fav. guy is superior.

    It's also blindingly obvious that these frauds somehow think that, by saying "I actually like the guy", it makes their criticisms, whether they were actually good points or Moorian-level ridiculousness, valid.

    Just come out and say you think the guy "sucks", you fav is better, and why. Throwing out that extra little sentence just denigrates yourself and makes your opinion worth even less than it already is.

  110. Johntnethk Says:

    One last thing.

    I think most of us know that advanced stats help us to understand the game better, but they don't tell the whole story.

    For christ sake guys, I follow alot of the posts and stat analysis on this site, but you people have to watch and analyze the GAMES...not just the stats.

    Like someone posted above, Pau was atrocious in the games at Boston. Not only was he statistically bad those three games, he was practically invisible both offensively and defensively. He blew a ton of defensive rotations, had rebounds ripped away right in front of him, and basically watched (without even raising his arms) as Fat Baby and Rondo were blowing by Odom and him for wide open layups.

    Kobe had 1 phantom foul-plagued game 2, and 1 extremely poor game 7 (where he still made an impact rebounding, drawing defenders, getting to the line, and playing superb d). His other games were 5 high-quality outings. Pau had huge performances in games 1 and 7, matched his regular season self for games 2 and 6, and was bordering on Kwame Brown level for three straight games in boston.

    For anyone to say, "Look, the stats show he should be FMVP instead of KB", is bordering on the asinine.

    Likewise for the KG argument. In a series where rebounding was critical, Pau, Odom, and (to a lesser extent) Bynum dominated the boards against the Celtic front line. Time and time again, KG made poor defensive fouls in the fourth quarter (he's getting old, no getting around that), failed to recover on his defensive rotations (a huge reason why Pau had multiple rebounds against Rondo/Allen/Robinson the entire series), failed to aggressively box out his man even when he recovered, and generally played poorly in the entire series, especially in the areas that are supposed to be his strengths (both directing defensive traffic and his own defense + rebounding). He literally and truly got punk'd by Gasol, and could not stop him 1v1 like he did in the past. Just watching the defensive x-matching (Perkins, Sheed, and Fat Baby guarding him) says it all. He played like crap.

    On the other hand, Pierce (much like Kobe) was never defended in a primarily 1v1 situation. Both Artest and Ray Allen had plenty of help against the guy they were matched up against (SSZ, quick/late doubles, force baseline, occasional triple teams, etc.). Yes, he shot poorly. But he still had a big impact on games, playing great individual and help defense, drawing defenders for the hockey assist, and getting to the line when his team needed to close out games 2, 4, and 5. One of the reasons Boston even got to this point was because of Pierce and T.Allen's outstanding on-ball defense against Lebron and VC, allowing their team to expend less energy on help D against Lebron when playing the Cavs, and focus on helping out against D12 when playing the Magic.

    Seriously. It's not JUST the stats.

  111. Pageup Says:

    What did everyone else think of LA getting 37 free throws in game 7 and the Celts 17? I thought that was only supposed to happen in the The Garden...

    One more thing, when did this "Bird's championships" "Magic's Championships" thing start? I can't stand it. They're "team" championships and hard fought at that. What about "Russell's (11) championships"? Nuff said?

  112. P Middy Says:

    Gasol for MVP.

  113. Neil Paine Says:

    Is it possible for two players to have the exact same statistics and metrics over a game, every single one, including PER and +/-, and yet have completely different impacts on winning or losing the game?

    Over the course of a large enough sample, I don't think it's possible for two players to have identical box score metrics (and forget PER, I'm talking about the scientifically-derived box score metrics) and adjusted +/-, and yet one has a dramatically different impact on the game than the other. It's not possible because the "big things", especially on offense, are being tracked in the box score. The only thing the box score misses on is defense and "little things" like screen-setting, etc. And +/-, over a large enough sample, will detect all of those little things. Simply put, if you're making an impact, it's going to show up in one of those two categories, box score stats or +/-. If whatever you're doing doesn't show up in either, you're basically not making an impact. You may think you're making an impact, but you're not.

    As for watching the games, I'm all for watching games, I watched literally every playoff game this season. But you come back to the numbers before you make any assessment. Your eyes can lie a lot more readily than the numbers. Your eyes can be fooled by small samples, randomness, or even human emotion. If your eyes and the numbers disagree, the numbers get the benefit of the doubt, and are assumed true until proven otherwise -- they become the null hypothesis you have to work to disprove. Because your eyes are less reliable than the numbers.

  114. ToTom Pestak Says:

    @comment 69 : lebron doesn't take the same teammate criticism because he avgs almost twice as many assists as Kobe and rarely if ever shoots his team OUT OF GAMES.

  115. AYC Says:

    Anyway you slice it, Lebron is a better player than Kobe statistically. You can carry on all you want about Kobe's supposed intangibles, but the fact remains that he is primarily a high-volume, low-efficiency gunner. He doesn't make his teammates better with great passing like Magic/Bird/Lebron, and he doesn't get to the rim at will like MJ/Wade/Lebron. He's a good defender, but LBJ is better at this point.

    But comparing their careers out of context is silly; Kobe has played 14 years, Bron has only played 7 years. For Kobe's first 8 years he played second-fiddle to Shaq, who was in his prime. If you don't think all the defensive attention Shaq garnered helped Kobe's stats in those days, please answer this question: why did Kobe's production regress so dramatically in the 06 playoffs without Shaq?

  116. robinred Says:

    Lifelong Laker fan here.

    Kobe Bryant is not as good as LeBron James or Michael Jordan. He is also not as good as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan and maybe 20-25 other guys. He is, however, a tremendous competitor, and a remarkably durable, productive, and well-conditioned player. He seems to be very arrogant and may be something even worse than that for reasons we all know. He sometimes forces shots. It also seems that his teammates respect him quite a bit and his teams do win, when, as noted, they have the talent do so.

    So, I think the basketball fans and media of America really need to get over Kobe Bryant. Everyone seems to have some petty emotional or commercial need to make him something he's not: the GOAT or the GLOAT on one side, or a selfish, overrated team-killing punk on the other. We have now gotten to the point where we have a guy running a nationally-known stats-driven blog posting youtube clips of a series played four years ago just to mock Kobe Bryant. Yes, you apologized and yes, it is your blog so you can do what you want, but since then, the Lakers have been in the Finals three times and have won two championships. If we want to see a high-profile Boston Celtics fan taking pinheaded cheap shots in the media at Kobe Bryant, Bill Simmons (with his 1.3 million Twitter followers) has that covered. I expect better from Neil Paine and from this blog.

    As to MVP, I think Kobe and Pau should have co-MVPs. What makes Bryant tough is that even when he is throwing up crap like he did on Thursday, the defense still has to account for him all over the floor, which allows Gasol to be more efficient and to get good looks. In turn, Gasol's skills allow the team to win when Bryant is off. In this, as in other ways, Bryant and Gasol complement each other very well.

    Also, a note to Boston fans: like all LA fans, I have a visceral dilike of the Boston organization and of this particular team, with its endless trashtalk and its screaming and Doc Rivers complaining in the G7 presser about Perkins' injury etc etc. That said, the 2008-2010 Boston Celtics are one of the toughest, best, defensive-oriented teams ever put together, and were worthy and true champions in 2008.

  117. Gil Meriken Says:

    Robinred,

    That was too damn even-handed. You need to work on your trolling skills.

    I kid, of course. Very nicely done.

  118. Neil Paine Says:

    Sure, even-handed... except for the shot at me, that is. Jeez, did you even read the past week's worth of posts, when I lavished praise on Kobe Bryant? Yet one offhand link to Charles Barkley calling out Kobe (in response to another comment that Kobe had "never quit on his teammates"), and now I'm apparently "a high-profile Boston Celtics fan taking pinheaded cheap shots in the media at Kobe Bryant"... Thanks, thanks a lot. I appreciate that. No matter how much I try to pump the guy up, it's never enough, is it?

  119. robinred Says:

    and now I'm apparently "a high-profile Boston Celtics fan taking pinheaded cheap shots in the media at Kobe Bryant"... Thanks, thanks a lot. I appreciate that. No matter how much I try to pump the guy up, it's never enough, is it?

    ___

    Which part of that description is inaccurate, exactly? You aren't Simmons, but among internet basketball nerds, you are well-known enough to be in the "True Hoop Smackdown." You are a Celtics' fan. You yourself described posting the video from the Suns series as a "low blow" and you used your blog--a media outlet--to do so. And your selective response to this demonstrates the problem yet again: almost everything about Bryant on-line, is, like I said, either driven by commercial considerations (hey, if we compare Kobe to MJ again, we'll get three hundred comments arguing about it) or emotion.

    Like I said, I am a Lakers fan and I am just as tired of the "LeBronze" and "LeBrat" stuff from the people in that fanbase and of MSM types saying "The fifth ring puts Kobe one away from Michael" as I am of Simmons' three-year streak of never saying anything intelligent about the team or about Bryant since The Sports Guy's foolish prediction that the Lakers would win the 2008 Finals (I picked the Celtics) and the people in the MSM comment sections saying GOAT! or RAPIST! or SELFISH!

    The whole thing is old, and I come here hoping to get away from it. Note also that I didn't dispute your substantive points: the team carried Kobe in some ways (Hollinger talked about this as well, but, not being immune, "forgot" to mention Kobe's 15 boards in a story focused on rebounding) on Thursday, or that Bryant is not as good as James. Like people all way back to Clair Bee have always said: it's a team game.

  120. Neil Paine Says:

    First of all, I take exception to the classification of me as a "pinhead".

    Also, the more I think about it, I'm not sure it was a "low blow" to post that link -- the commenter said something along the lines of, "unlike LeBron in Game 5 vs. Boston, Kobe never quit on his teammates", and I simply linked to a video of well-known commentator Charles Barkley accusing Kobe of, in fact, quitting on his teammates. In the cold light of the next afternoon, I can't really see why that's out of bounds in the context of the discussion. I never said Kobe quit... Barkley did.

    But that's the point, I suppose: we can't prove statistically that Kobe or LeBron "quit". All we can say is they both had poor games. And I'm not a fan of delving into the psychological aspects of players and their motives, because it always descends into a speculative "bullshit dump" (what I mean by this is that people tend to project their own feelings and emotions onto players like Kobe and LeBron, and arrive at totally baseless conclusions as a result).

  121. Neil Paine Says:

    Furthermore, I resent this Kobe-LeBron discussion taking away from my viewing of the Denmark-Cameroon World Cup match. :)

  122. Jason J Says:

    I don't understand how people can think LeBron would have trouble playing in the triangle offense. LeBron James is very similar to Scottie Pippen as a point forward, focused on making plays for others and better making decisions with the ball than without it (a la MJ / Kobe). He has the same weaknesses, and his strengths (except maybe defense) are the same only elevated - better ball handler, better passes, better athlete, better finisher at the rim, etc. In what way does that sound like a guy who couldn't play in the triangle? Would you want him to play like Kobe in the triangle? Of course not. But let's remember that when it comes to relying on the offense and making it work, nobody got more out of it than Pippen and his 55 win Bulls in 1994.

  123. Anon Says:

    "What did everyone else think of LA getting 37 free throws in game 7 and the Celts 17? I thought that was only supposed to happen in the The Garden...

    One more thing, when did this "Bird's championships" "Magic's Championships" thing start? I can't stand it. They're "team" championships and hard fought at that. What about "Russell's (11) championships"? Nuff said?"

    I thought this was the result of Boston playing too much iso-ball and taking jump shots and the Lakers being aggressive getting into the paint.

    Boston even got 6 junk FTs to end the 2nd quarter on very weak calls. Boston played very timid on offense in that game and didn't get to the line because of it. The FT discrepancy was the result of who was attacking harder, not some bias.

    Also, I think Boston played such ridiculously good defense with such high energy that eventually their age caught up to them in the 4th and they couldn't defend without fouling. In other words, the Lakers wore them down.

  124. Anon Says:

    "Over the course of a large enough sample, I don't think it's possible for two players to have identical box score metrics (and forget PER, I'm talking about the scientifically-derived box score metrics) and adjusted +/-, and yet one has a dramatically different impact on the game than the other. It's not possible because the "big things", especially on offense, are being tracked in the box score. The only thing the box score misses on is defense and "little things" like screen-setting, etc. And +/-, over a large enough sample, will detect all of those little things. Simply put, if you're making an impact, it's going to show up in one of those two categories, box score stats or +/-. If whatever you're doing doesn't show up in either, you're basically not making an impact. You may think you're making an impact, but you're not."

    If the only things it misses are on defense, I think that's a big problem.

    No matter how you slice it, there's a gaping hole in these things. I'm not coming out against them. As I said I love advanced stats and want more and more because the more we have the more of the picture I believe we can fill in (and I will use them to further my own arguments). I just become worried when we rely too much on flawed statistics.

    I forgot who it was on Dallas' staff that said it, but truehoop had an article at the beginning of the year where the guy said Durant was basically terrible and he wouldn't trade any single Maverick for him. And he was being serious! All of this because of +/- statistics. I didn't need a single statistic to know that guy was wrong.

    It's analysis like that which I'm worried about. When we start to rely on numbers we KNOW are flawed we allow faulty assumptions lead to conclusions. This is not science.

  125. Neil Paine Says:

    That was Wayne Winston, and there seems to be a lot of confusion about that quote. He didn't say he wouldn't want Durant going forward... He said he wouldn't want Durant playing the way he played before this past season. We've noted that KD was far and away the most improved player in basketball this year:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=5203

    Before this year, Durant was a legitimately bad defender (OKC was 8.2 points/100 poss. worse on D when he was on the floor: http://www.82games.com/0809/08OKC9.HTM#onoff) and he was a good but not elite offensive player. I don't know if he was quite as bad as Winston implied, but if you combined offense and defense, there were tons of players who made a more positive impact in 2008-09 than Durant.

    Think of Winston's claim like you're talking about a fantasy draft -- if you're in a keeper league, obviously you take Durant even if his production isn't the greatest right now, because you expect it to be amazing later. But if you have a re-draft every year and you know Durant will be below-average this year, you would take other players, because you're not going to get that elite production from Durant in the future, you're just going to get poor defense and a net negative in the present.

  126. Anon Says:

    "But that's the point, I suppose: we can't prove statistically that Kobe or LeBron "quit". All we can say is they both had poor games. And I'm not a fan of delving into the psychological aspects of players and their motives, because it always descends into a speculative "bullshit dump" (what I mean by this is that people tend to project their own feelings and emotions onto players like Kobe and LeBron, and arrive at totally baseless conclusions as a result)."

    fair enough to an extent. I've watched almost all of Kobe's games and I can pretty much pinpoint the exact time he will start to "force it" if the team is struggling and also I can pick up when Kobe is pissed and will try to "make a point" to the other player/team/ref.

    You can call this psychological bullshit, but after 1000+ games I believe I've picked up his tendencies and habits (I have it with fisher and now Lamar, too. I can call a Lamar offensive foul coming as the play starts without fail). It's no different that a poker player picking up on a tell, imo.

    Now, that's not to say I know the motive for any player "quitting" on his team, nor do I really care about that. What I do know is that even though I haven't watched Lebron to the extent of the Lakers to know his tendencies, I could pick up that something was clearly off in those 2 games. the reason I'll never know.

    as to the comparisons, I think most people understand Kobe is not close to MJ's equal, so let's just stop there. And personally, I don't even see why the media is comparing him to Magic (most people in LA don't seem to be doing it).

    As to Lebron, it's interesting. Lebron is clearly the more productive player in terms of box score stats. No doubt about it. And as far as taking crappy players on the team, at this point there's also no question that Lebron would be more valuable to the team. But it's as if there's something missing. Kind of like the idea of "form" in soccer.

  127. Anon Says:

    "That was Wayne Winston, and there seems to be a lot of confusion about that quote. He didn't say he wouldn't want Durant going forward... He said he wouldn't want Durant playing the way he played before this past season. We've noted that KD was far and away the most improved player in basketball this year:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=5203

    Before this year, Durant was a legitimately bad defender (OKC was 8.2 points/100 poss. worse on D when he was on the floor: http://www.82games.com/0809/08OKC9.HTM#onoff) and he was a good but not elite offensive player. I don't know if he was quite as bad as Winston implied, but if you combined offense and defense, there were tons of players who made a more positive impact in 2008-09 than Durant.

    Think of Winston's claim like you're talking about a fantasy draft -- if you're in a keeper league, obviously you take Durant even if his production isn't the greatest right now, because you expect it to be amazing later. But if you have a re-draft every year and you know Durant will be below-average this year, you would take other players, because you're not going to get that elite production from Durant in the future, you're just going to get poor defense and a net negative in the present."

    Durant was also playing out of position at SG for half the year. I have no idea what Carlisimo was thinking. It was befuddling.

    if that quote was not put in proper context, then I guess it changes things.

    As to the argument about defense. He played heavy minutes, no? And is it safe to assume he didn't play a lot of garbage time minutes? Maybe his team was better at garbage time minutes that most other teams, since a lot of his players were playing harder (younger, looking for a real role on the team or NBA, etc).

    And I do believe I read his numbers vastly improved once he became a SF during that season.

    The idea is that if Durant was taken out of OKC that season and put to replace another player...say Artest in Houston, that he would have hurt the team. See, I disagree completely. Even KD as raw as he was would have been an improvement and Houston would have been downright scary. Playing alongside Yao would have helped him get more open looks and battier/Yao would have helped plugged his early defensive holes.

    +/- is an evaluation of you with relationship to your team. Even adj. +/- cannot truly grasp your impact if you changed teams. Different teammates and Offensive and Defensive systems are too variable to be able to make any predictive statements.

    offensively you can make some kind of predictions, of course. If you have a PER of 25, I think it's safe to say you won't suddenly become a 15 on any team. Or have ORatings drop in a similar fashion. But defensively, things can change quite a bit. Defense is too team oriented to make any true evaluation with these stats. On Golden State, Shane Battier would be a wasted player. On a good defensive team, he can make them elite. His impact on a crappy team might even be negligible compared to what he'd do for a good team.

  128. Pageup`` Says:

    has anyone mentioned that the biggest shot of the game was probably Fisher's draining that 3 pointer to tie the game? that dude is big time. I'm a huge Boston fan but when he hit that a little voice whispered that's it... Kobe owes him a pension...

  129. Anon Says:

    Fisher's value definitely exceeds anything a box score can capture. Dude has a knack for showing up at the right time as well.

  130. Jonathan Says:

    "I love how biased certain people are against a player/players they so obviously dislike (maybe even "hate", though that's a really strong word). These frauds then go on lengthy diatribes on the faults of the player (while, of course, expounding the virtues of another), then claim that said player is actually "one of their favorites", "I actually love [insert name here]", etc. etc.

    This happens on both sides, whether it's about specific players, or whole teams. Not only is this "I actually really like [insert player or team name]" bull tiresome, it's so blatantly apparent you DON'T like the player / think your fav. guy is superior."

    You are way off base here, IMO. I know exactly where Huevonkiller was coming from, and I don't think he was disingenuous at all with that comment. It's quite possible to be a fan of Kobe while at the same time think he is quite overrated. I'm of the same opinion. That doesn't mean I can't be a fan of his. Is that really such a hard thing to believe?

  131. Magic Says:

    Jonathan, no way any True Laker fan would ever call Kobe Bryant overrated after what he has done for the franchise. He is the second greatest Laker ever behind Magic Johnson and a top 10 player of all time. If one does they are a Kobe fan and that he's overrated then that person is pretending to be a fan on a message board to gather support to his argument by trying to appear "on the same side" as people who support Kobe. I call BS on that argument, I've never met a Lakers fan who thinks Kobe is overrated, Huevonkiller is DEFINITELY a Cavs and Lebron fan, you can almost sense that he has Lebron's cock in his mouth as we speak. You are not a Kobe fan so dont even pretend to be.

  132. Neil Paine Says:

    That's not necessarily true, "Magic"... I have a fanatical obsession with the New England Patriots that borders on the unhealthy, but I think Tom Brady is overrated because of the team's Super Bowl wins. I own 2 Brady jerseys (1 home, 1 away, and yes, I alternate each game day according to the team's schedule), but I once ranked him #54 all-time among QBs:

    http://armchairgm.wikia.com/The_100_Greatest_Quarterbacks_of_the_Modern_Era,_Version_1.0

    The point is, it's possible to be a huge fan of someone and still think the media has overrated that person. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case here, but it's not impossible.

    (Oh my god, did I just compare Tom Brady to Kobe Bryant?!!)

  133. Magic Says:

    Neil that is a very unfair comparison because football is even more of a team sport than basketball and a basketball player can dominate much more than a football player can. UNLESS you are Peyton Manning. Tom Brady can't play defense as well as offense, he isn't on the field the entire time. I happen to like Tom Brady and think he is a marvelous player but he was fortunate to be on very good Superbowl teams. Take him off those team and he's an average QB at best. Put Kobe on a crappy team with Smush Parker, Kwame Brown and Luke Walton and Lamar Odom as the starting five and he can still dominate and lead a team to the playoffs. People forget in those years Kobe DESTROYED the Mavericks who were the best in the west. He just couldn't single handedly carry the Lakers against a Suns team LOADED with talents including Shawn Marion in his prime, Joe Johnson, Steve Nash, and Amare among others.

    My point Neil is that no Laker fan in their right mind after witnessing what the man has done over the years would EVER call the man overrated. HELL even Bill Simmons who is king of the Kobe haters moved him into his top 10 greatest players of all time. Huevonkiller is definitely a Lebron fan because the entire time he slobs on Lebron's knob while single handedly tearing Kobe down while refusing to give the man any credit.

    And the biggest thing about this article is when it all comes down to it on the court Stats DO NOT MATTER unless it's the regular season and you want to win awards. Winning is all that matters especially in the playoffs, and Kobe has won 5 titles with GREAT TEAMS. Just like Jordan did, Magic, Bird and all the greats. No single player can do it alone, not even MJ, every player had GREAT supporting casts.

  134. AYC Says:

    The 06 suns were missing amare due to injury. They had 6'8" Boris Diaw at center and 6'7" Marion at power forward. Most talking heads picked them to miss playoffs with Amare out. Many of those same B-ball experts picked LA to upset this woefully under-sized, weak defensive team in the first round. They couldn't do it, despite Kobe being at the height of his prowess.

    Btw, if stats are irrelevent, and "winning is all that matters", I guess you think Scottie Pippen and Havlicek are better than Kobe, right?

  135. Anon Says:

    "The 06 suns were missing amare due to injury. They had 6'8" Boris Diaw at center and 6'7" Marion at power forward. Most talking heads picked them to miss playoffs with Amare out. Many of those same B-ball experts picked LA to upset this woefully under-sized, weak defensive team in the first round. They couldn't do it, despite Kobe being at the height of his prowess.

    Btw, if stats are irrelevent, and "winning is all that matters", I guess you think Scottie Pippen and Havlicek are better than Kobe, right?"

    that team did not have Joe Johnson either and yeah, Amare was hurt.

    But Diaw was the MIP and Nash was the MVP and Marion was an all-star. Bell became a recognized defender and Kurt Thomas was a savvy vet. That team won what, 56 games to the Lakers 45?

    I don't recall experts taking LA over Phx in that series and if there were it was far and few between. Lakers were heavy underdogs, especially with Smush defending Nash.

    As to the "winning comment," you have to keep things in context. No one argues Horry > Michael because of 7 rings. You must at least start with apples to apples. And you also do have to recognize teammates. Look at KG. Dude was wasting away in Minnesota and had decent teammates for 1 season total. You can't hold that against him. It's more of a "given an opportunity to win, did you win" type thing.

    That said, Pippen is very underrated, though interestingly he wouldn't be as effective in this era.

  136. Anon Says:

    Of course it had Tim Thomas who had a revival. how could I forget...oh right, I tried to put it out of my mind.

    Well, Artest reversed that one this season :)

  137. AYC Says:

    I didn't say Horry, I said Pippen and Havlicek; two HOFers who won more titles than Kobe; Russell couldn't have won those last 6 w/o Hondo (who won two more after Russ left the team... like Kobe!), and MJ couldn't have won his 6 w/o Pip. If you dismiss them, you have to dismiss Kobe's 4 finals and 3 titles riding Shaq's coat-tails. That leaves 2 champs and 3 finalists where Kobe was the man; that ties him in the "winning" dept. with a legendary player from the 84 draft... Hakeeeeem!

  138. huevonkiller Says:

    "Answer this please: is it possible for two players to have the exact same statistics and metrics over a game, every single one, including PER and +/-, and yet have completely different impacts on winning or losing the game? How about for a season? How about for a career?

    Obviously it's very unlikely two players would have exactly the same numbers, but if they did, isn't it more than possible that they had a significantly different impact on winning and losing?"

    Anon spends his time calling me troll and saying I quoted Simmons. Not to mention whining about ref calls and then and making up reasons why Kobe is such an under performer in the playoffs in his Prime. .087 WS/48 in phoenix in 2006.

    .121 In Phoenix in 2007, in his prime years.

    I merely enjoy calling him out, because being a fan of Kobe for a while now I understand his career perfectly. His ignorance when it comes to "game 5's" is impressive, because Kobe has a bunch of game 5's that I can pick from in his career. Especially Game 7 where he proved everyone right about his individual skills being overrated.

    Kobe is a loser as an individual who needs to be carried in the Finals more often than not. And his stats are far from Jordan level, whereas that isn't the case with LeBron.

  139. huevonkiller Says:

    "You've concluded that Kobe plays poorly in the Finals. So is it your position that Kobe plays poorly because:
    A) It is the Finals
    B) The high defensive standard of the opponents he has happened to face in the Finals
    C) Some combination of both A and B
    D) Other reasons

    If you believe A or C then it IS relevant how poorly LeBron played against San Antonio in 2007 because this is the only evidence available, however small the sample, on how LeBron performs in a Finals environment. And if you do believe in the possibility of a "Finals effect" on player performance, then you can't simply switch LeBron's series between 2008/2010 Eastern Conference 2nd round and 2008/2010 NBA Finals and assume he'll perform at the same standard. This is what I mean by you ignoring the evidence when making reckless claims about how LeBron would have won all 3 Finals.

    If you believe that only B is true, then Kobe is not a poor Finals performer because its the Finals, more so he is a poor performer against tough defensive teams and happens to have consistently run up against very tough defenses in the Finals. However to make any inferences about performance against tough defenses would require an investigation of a different set of data than just the Finals series."

    I never said anything about a "Finals" effect. Kobe doesn't play poorly in the Finals just because it is the Finals. I merely posted his numbers, the reasoning behind it doesn't matter to be honest, given such a large sample size. We both know what the stats are over the course of their careers against tough opponents, that's the more important point.

    You're ignoring the improvement LeBron's game has shown, which trumps anything else. Given this you've still randomly determined that common opponents can't be used for some reason. ;]

    Sure, ignore Kobe's first Finals trip. Still not a pretty sight. I haven't really gone into the details, I merely pointed out reality.

  140. huevonkiller Says:

    "That's not necessarily true, "Magic"... I have a fanatical obsession with the New England Patriots that borders on the unhealthy, but I think Tom Brady is overrated because of the team's Super Bowl wins. I own 2 Brady jerseys (1 home, 1 away, and yes, I alternate each game day according to the team's schedule), but I once ranked him #54 all-time among QBs:

    http://armchairgm.wikia.com/The_100_Greatest_Quarterbacks_of_the_Modern_Era,_Version_1.0

    The point is, it's possible to be a huge fan of someone and still think the media has overrated that person. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case here, but it's not impossible.

    (Oh my god, did I just compare Tom Brady to Kobe Bryant?!!)"

    Thank you very much Neil, these Kobe fanatics are sad sometimes. It is quite easy to be a fan of someone and not think they are better than some rival player.

  141. Anon Says:

    "I didn't say Horry, I said Pippen and Havlicek; two HOFers who won more titles than Kobe; Russell couldn't have won those last 6 w/o Hondo (who won two more after Russ left the team... like Kobe!), and MJ couldn't have won his 6 w/o Pip. If you dismiss them, you have to dismiss Kobe's 4 finals and 3 titles riding Shaq's coat-tails. That leaves 2 champs and 3 finalists where Kobe was the man; that ties him in the "winning" dept. with a legendary player from the 84 draft... Hakeeeeem!"

    I merely used Horry as an example that the "winning means everything" claim wasn't supposed to be taken to the extreme.

    I wasn't making any comparison of Kobe to Pippen. I think you can do it if you want and have a legit debate.

    I don't know what led you to conclude anything I said relates to discounting any titles because of other great players on the team. Wouldn't leave us with much of a field, now would it!

    I said you can adjust for someone like KG, who played with garbage.

  142. Magic Says:

    Huevonkiller, give it up you are not a Kobe fan, you are the president of the Lebron James fan club and his late night booty call. Kobe is better than Lebron James and unless James wins titles like Kobe or Jordan or Magic he will be remembered as just another Iverson. THAT is a fact.

  143. Pageup Says:

    I'm sorry for actually taking a side, but there's no way Kobe's better than James as an individual player or even as a team player. And I'm starting to o.d. on James like I did on Jordan. But I know if James were playing with a young Shaq there's no way the Lakers are champs or the Celts get out of the east. Or if he were playing with Gasol and Bynum and Odom and Artest and Fisher, same thing. Kobe wins titles because he has other good and great players around him, just like Bird and Magic and Jordan and Isiah and Hondo (Cowens, White, Chaney, Silas, Westphal)...

  144. Magic Says:

    Pageup Lebron has won NOTHING but MVP awards, there is no damn way in this world he is better than Kobe ANYONE who isn't delusional will tell you that. Lebron may have better stats but Kobe doesn't give a damn about that he just wants to win. Does Lebron have a chance to be one of the best players ever? Yes, because he is the greatest athlete the NBA has ever seen, even better than Jordan. Once James wins a title then we can see he is evenly remotely close to being considered a LEGEND like Kobe, Jordan, Magic, Bird. Dwayne Wade has already won a title and he plays on one of the worst teams in the league, his Finals performance against the Mavs was better than any single performance Lebron James has ever put up. Until Lebron wins anything, do not let the man off the hook because all he has shown to be so far is a quitter and a choke artist. FACT

  145. Gil Meriken Says:

    @ Huevonkiller - "Kobe is a loser as an individual who needs to be carried in the Finals more often than not."

    And this is where you lose your credibility, because of statements like this.

    And yes, I lost mine a long time ago.

  146. Shravan Says:

    You guys need to quit arguing, they aren't the same kind of player, they don't play the same position, they don't do the same things, and they have had way different teammates, coaches, and organizations. If Chris Paul or Dwyane Wade had either of their teams to play with last year I think they could have won too, and probably won a lot (especially Paul...the lakers would have averaged 130ppg).

  147. Shravan Says:

    Oh by the way they have different ages which is pretty important.

  148. Gil Meriken Says:

    @Shrava - Dwyane Wade, maybe ... but you seriously overestimate Chris Paul. Unless you mean adding Chris Paul to the Lakers and still keeping the rest of the roster, including Kobe.

  149. Pageup Says:

    I'm not arguing, I'm just totally delusional. It's just that I'm saying they're not KOBE'S titles, they're L.A.'s titles. Just like they're not BIRD'S titles. As I said earlier, I can't stand that "he has 5 or 4 or 3 titles" idiocy. It's a media thing. Wade is a good player to bring up. He "won" a title with a 35 yr old Shaq, 37 yr old Payton, 35 year old Mourning, and a totally inefficient Antoine Walker. Try that sometime Kobe. And yeah, age and position also make any comparison difficult.

  150. Ball4Life Says:

    This is a hilarious post, mainly because it has spiraled into a Kobe vs. LeBron debate when it wasn't supposed to be. Let me inject my two cents here for what it's worth.

    LeBron is better statistically than Kobe, which is a fact. He also does so with far inferior teammates. Kobe won his first 3 championships with the most dominant center outside of Wilt Chamberlain in his prime. The last 2 have come with what is clearly the most talented team in the league, a team that would be top 4 in the West without Kobe. Somebody commented that LeBron shot 35% in the Finals in 07. Fair point, but consider the context. LeBron was 21 years old and had Sasha Pavlovic, Larry Hughes, Z Ilgauskus, and Drew Gooden starting alongside him. And they were facing one of the best defensive teams of the era, the Spurs dynasty. And still, they only lost the last two games by a combined four points. That starting lineup LeBron took to the Finals is essentially the same as Kobe with Smush Parker, etc.

    I think if you switch Kobe and LeBron this year, the Cavs get a similar result, losing in the second round. The Lakers with LeBron would be approaching 96 Bulls status, and probably would've beat the Celtics in 5, if not 4.

    Critics say Kobe is a better shooter, but LeBron shot better from 3 this year, and he mostly shoots them off the dribble, whereas Kobe does so off the catch. They're equal defensively, but I'll take LeBron because of his size. He locked Paul Pierce up all series, in case you forgot. Better passer? LOL, not even a debate. LeBron is a better rebounder. Go to any bball website and check crunch time stats, and LeBron is better. So, how is Kobe a better basketball player than LeBron? The answer is that he's not, he's just been on better teams, therefore he gets acclaim for having won championships.

    All the garbage about Kobe being the best closer, and having a killer instinct LeBron doesn't have is dumb. When you go to war with an army, it's easier for a soldier to stand tall. When you're fighting with washed up Shaq, no defense Mo, Candace Parker's brother, never won anything Jamison, and JJ Hickson, it's obviously a much tougher battle when you face a Celtics team with 3 Hall of Famers led by one of the 3 best point guards in the league, and the league's best bench. Does Kobe make big shots? Yes. Does he make tough shots? Yes. Does he also force up more shots than anyone in the league? Yes. How many times does he bring the double team to him and shoot over it anyway instead of passing it? L.A. won in spite of Kobe in Game 7, point blank.

    Kobe was lucky to come into the league and be Shaq's sidekick. Imagine if LeBron entered the NBA on the Spurs in 03, which is essentially what Kobe got in 96 when he came to L.A. Instead, LeBron came into the worst team in the league and has had to carry the franchise from day one. Kobe is one of the 10 best players to ever play in the NBA, but I would never put him on a level with Mike as an all-around basketball player. I pray to God that LeBron gets a supporting cast like Kobe's one day and this argument will once and for all be dead. Long live the King.

  151. robinred Says:

    L.A. won in spite of Kobe in Game 7, point blank.

    __

    Wrong. Like so many others, you talk about Kobe Bryant based on emotion and therefore ignore key facts.

    This thread and that post shows something that is, I suppose, fitting. I think it was fitting the way G7 went down, in a way. Kobe put up an abysmal 6/24, and if the Lakers had lost, "6/24 G7" would have been the Haters' trump card forever. But they won, winning the ring, beating the Celtics and beating the team that beat LeBron's team for the second consecutive year. And they won in large part because Kobe had 15 boards, as many as Pierce, Garnett, Allen combined, and because he still scored 23 by getting to the line 15 times. He was also instrumental in the team's defensive effort, playing very intelligently against Rondo. He shot very badly, but the fact that the Celtics geared their defense to stop him helped open up opportunities for others. Like I said above, even when he is bricking, the defense has to account for him at all times. As to the leader stuff--which team seemed to "want it" more at the end? Kobe's team. But since the game was close, he was 6/24, and the Lakers shot 20 more FTs than Boston did, that gives the Haters and the conspiracy mongers something to hold on to, just as the ring and the Cleveland flameout gives people who want to argue Kobe is the best player in the league something to hold on to.

    Off the court, after the game, same thing: he was effusive in his praise of Gasol, Fisher, Artest, Jackson. Thanked Bynum. Praised Vujacic for sticking the FTs. Seemed very bonded with his teammates. Admitted that he played badly early, that the pressure got to him. But of course all anyone will remember is "Got one more than Shaq" and the fact that one of Michael Jordan's sons Tweeted saying that Kobe is "nowhere near" MJ as a player.

    So, it will all go on, and I suppose that was inevitable.

    You are right, however, when you say that LeBron James and Michael Jordan are better. But the Lakers won Game 7--and the series--WITH Kobe Bryant, with all his plusses and minuses, not in spite of him.

    There is also no way, given what was behind him and how deep the West was, they are Top 4 without him, unless you are replacing him with a prety good SG.

  152. robinred Says:

    Neil,

    I didn't say you were a "pinhead." I said posting the video was a weak move and I expect better from you, and I stand by that. Bringing that up now is sort of like if we were discussing Scottie Pippen's contributions to the 1997 Bulls and someone posted a video of Pippen's refusal to go on the floor in the 1994 playoffs.

    Even if we assume Kobe did quit on his teammates in that game, there is no evidence that it negatively affected the Lakers after that. It didn't even affect the outcome of that game. As I noted, since then the Lakers have been in the Finals three times and won two O'Brien trophies, and a few of the guys on that team--Odom, Walton, Bynum, Farmar--are still around. So, I see no reason to bring it up, except to take a shot at Kobe Bryant.

  153. Magic Says:

    Ball4Life, you instantly lost credibility by comparing the team Lebron had in the 07 FInals to what Kobe had in Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Luke Walton and Lamar Odom. You are the biggest fool on the planet if you think that they are even remotely close. AND he couldn't even win one game, I dont care how much they lost by in the last two games the Spurs toyed with him the entire series. Also Kobe is a better shooter, where was Lebron's jumper in the playoffs? Who cares if he can occasionally hit a 3, anyone who knows basketball will tell you that he has ZERO mid range game which is what all the greats have. Lebron scores by either barreling into the defense or getting to the free throw line.

    Stop riding Lebron's jockstrap, he has done NOTHING significant in his career but win 2 MVPs and make it to one Finals. Iverson statistically was a great player but no one calls him one of the greats because of that.

    Kobe being the best closer is not garbage, even Phil Jackson said he was better than MJ at it while taking more difficult shots. Kobe is the closest thing we will ever see to Jordan, because of the fact that they have similar games (Kobe modeling his game after MJs).

  154. Neil Paine Says:

    Give me a break, Robinred. Yeah, there was no reason to bring it up... except for the fact that a commenter specifically said "Kobe has never bailed on his teammates". If someone had said "Pippen never bailed on his teammates," you can be sure I would post a YouTube video of 1.8-gate. But because it's Kobe, it's suddenly not allowed?

    I'm tired of apologizing for directly addressing someone's comment. I didn't post that link unprovoked, as you would have everyone believe, but instead it was a direct response to a claim someone made. If the user had not made that claim, I wouldn't have posted the video. Period.

  155. AYC Says:

    Only won 2 MVP's? "Magic", you realize winning two MVP's is much harder to do than winning a championship right? I am dying to see LBJ with a good coach and supporting cast, just so he can shut up ridiculous haters like yourself

  156. robinred Says:

    But it's as if there's something missing.

    __

    James, at times, does seem more interested in LeBron, Inc., than he does in adding a few new wrinkles to his game.

    But, we heard criticisms of Jordan as a team player until Pippen got great, Grant got good, and Jackson got there. KobeHaters spent much of 2005-2007 and then again after the 2008 Finals trashing his leadership etc. I think the main thing "missing" with James is enough help.

    The reason he got trashed this year is because people THOUGHT he had enough help, and because people dramatically underrated Boston. Looking at the fact that Boston then eliminated Orlando and very nearly beat the Lakers, that puts LeBron's performance against Boston into context. Where I do think LeBron should be called out, though, is Game 5. he put up a 3/14, and Cleveland, lost, AT HOME, 120-88. Some of that is on him.

    He remains the game's top player.

  157. robinred Says:

    I'm tired of apologizing for directly addressing someone's comment. I didn't post that link unprovoked, as you would have everyone believe, but instead it was a direct response to a claim someone made. If the user had not made that claim, I wouldn't have posted the video. Period.

    ---

    It's not about what I "would have everyone believe" or what someone else posted. It is about what you chose to do, given your role here. I also note that you didn't address my real point: there is no evidence that it has affected the Lakers, long-term. Given the fact that you have said several times we should focus on the tangible, and that you admitted there is no way to "prove" he quit, why post it? Like I said in the subsequent post:

    "KobeHaters spent much of 2005-2007 and then again after the 2008 Finals trashing his leadership etc. I think the main thing "missing" with James is enough help."

    It is clear you are not a "Hater" and are quite capable of providing insightful and objective analysis about Kobe Bryant. Bringing up old stuff like that doesn't help. Just my .02.

  158. Anon Says:

    "Give me a break, Robinred. Yeah, there was no reason to bring it up... except for the fact that a commenter specifically said "Kobe has never bailed on his teammates". If someone had said "Pippen never bailed on his teammates," you can be sure I would post a YouTube video of 1.8-gate. But because it's Kobe, it's suddenly not allowed?

    I'm tired of apologizing for directly addressing someone's comment. I didn't post that link unprovoked, as you would have everyone believe, but instead it was a direct response to a claim someone made. If the user had not made that claim, I wouldn't have posted the video. Period."

    Except he didn't bail. This was a media created. He even explained himself to Barkley and Phil backed him up stating he was doing what he told him to do.

    he played no differently in that 2nd half as he did throughout the series. The difference was the teammates missed their shots an there became no point for him to force the issue.

  159. Neil Paine Says:

    How is it not about what someone else posted? That's actually the entire issue here. Was the video in direct response to a user's statement or not? You can't dispute that it was.

  160. Neil Paine Says:

    Ugh, forget it, I'm tired of arguing this. You want me to apologize or say I'm wrong? Fine, if it will move the conversation forward. You "win". Now let's stop talking about that YouTube video and move on.

  161. Anon Says:

    I was the user who made the comment. I'm simply countering the claim you made in that post in response to me.

    But this conversation started when you claimed Lebron "if LeBron James gets a Gasol-esque contribution from a teammate in that Cavs-Celtics series, Cleveland advances."

    And as I rightly noted, If Pau got a performance like Lebron gave in game 5, the Lakers would never have won it all, either.

    I found your criticism of Kobe in this respect unfair. Not only do we have 0 evidence of Lebron having gotten such a performance in the past (and therefore no real way to presume anything), but it ignored that Cleveland most likely lost that series because of what Lebron did in it, not what his teammates did.

  162. Gil Meriken Says:

    I too am tired of arguing about this.

    Lebron wins the "If I were on the Lakers" Finals MVP Award. Dwyane Wade finished a close second. Also garnering votes were the 15-20 (or is it 20-30?) other players who accumulated better statistics than Kobe (at the least the ones that are documented and used in metrics) during the regular season.

    Pau Gasol was exempted from the voting, as he already is on the Lakers.

  163. Pageup Says:

    wait 'til next year! (unfortunately my Celts probably won't see the light at the end of the second round)

  164. Magic Says:

    AYC you are the biggest idiot I have ever talked to in my entire life, winning two MVP's is harder than winning a championship really? You fool I bet Steve Nash would have something to say to you about that. EVERY NBA player would rather have a title over two MVP's. Dont believe me ask Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, Allen Iverson. Titles are what matters, not some bullshit regular season MVP award. Keep letting Lebron James win during the regular season and then choking during the playoffs, MVP's are like wearing a pin on your shirt saying hey guys I was the MVP, but when it comes down to it nobody will be staring at the pin on someone's shirt they will be staring at the bling on your finger after winning a title. Your comment was the biggest choke out of anything that has been said on this website so far.

  165. Neil Paine Says:

    Re: #161:

    That statement, we actually can provide evidence for:

    LeBron's SPM in the Cleveland-Boston series was +7.47. His team's efficiency differential was -5.8.

    Kobe's SPM in the L.A.-Boston series was +7.45. His team's efficiency differential was +4.0.

    Remember, 5 * the minute-weighted average of the SPMs of the individuals on a team must equal the team's efficiency differential.

    This is what I mean when I say, "if LeBron had gotten a Gasol-like performance from one of his teammates, Cleveland would have won." Kobe and LeBron played at identical levels in their respective series vs. Boston. The only possible reason for their teams' disparate efficiency differentials must be the performances of their teammates.

    player team opp mp mpg pts40 tsa40 3pa40 fta40 ast40 orb40 drb40 tov40 stl40 blk40 SPM
    James CLE BOS 255 42.5 25.3 22.7 4.1 11.0 6.8 1.4 7.4 4.2 2.0 1.3 7.47
    Williams CLE BOS 225 37.4 14.2 13.8 3.4 4.6 5.9 0.4 3.4 2.1 0.7 0.0 -2.63
    Jamison CLE BOS 200 33.2 14.2 14.7 3.2 4.2 1.2 1.8 7.0 1.8 0.8 1.0 -3.30
    Parker CLE BOS 199 33.1 10.1 7.4 4.2 1.2 1.4 0.2 2.8 1.4 1.4 0.4 -1.01
    O'Neal CLE BOS 140 23.4 23.1 20.4 0.0 10.0 1.7 3.4 5.1 2.9 0.3 1.7 -1.98
    West CLE BOS 131 21.9 10.4 10.6 1.8 4.0 3.4 0.9 2.1 4.3 1.2 0.6 -8.23
    Varejao CLE BOS 129 21.5 11.5 9.8 0.3 5.3 1.2 3.4 7.5 1.9 1.9 1.2 1.42
    Hickson CLE BOS 57 9.5 20.4 15.7 0.0 8.5 0.7 0.0 4.9 3.5 0.0 0.0 -8.51
    Moon CLE BOS 43 7.1 10.3 8.8 3.8 2.8 2.8 0.9 4.7 0.0 1.9 0.0 1.38
    Ilgauskas CLE BOS 34 11.5 8.1 9.8 0.0 1.2 1.2 1.2 2.3 1.2 0.0 5.8 -6.56
    Gibson CLE BOS 19 6.2 10.7 12.6 8.6 4.3 2.1 0.0 2.1 2.1 0.0 0.0 -9.95
    Powe CLE BOS 9 2.9 23.0 26.5 0.0 18.4 0.0 4.6 4.6 4.6 0.0 0.0 -9.33
    Williams CLE BOS 1 1.2 0.0 32.4 32.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -20.67
    player team opp mp mpg pts40 tsa40 3pa40 fta40 ast40 orb40 drb40 tov40 stl40 blk40 SPM
    Gasol LAL BOS 293 41.9 17.7 15.9 0.3 8.3 3.5 4.8 6.3 1.8 0.7 2.5 5.70
    Bryant LAL BOS 288 41.2 27.7 26.3 6.5 8.3 3.7 1.7 6.1 3.7 2.1 0.7 7.45
    Artest LAL BOS 251 35.9 11.8 12.9 5.1 3.2 1.4 1.9 3.2 1.8 1.6 0.6 -0.48
    Fisher LAL BOS 214 30.6 11.2 10.7 1.9 3.2 2.6 0.6 3.4 1.7 1.1 0.0 -2.31
    Odom LAL BOS 192 27.4 11.0 10.8 2.1 2.3 1.9 2.1 7.5 2.1 0.8 0.8 -1.73
    Bynum LAL BOS 175 24.9 11.9 11.6 0.0 4.6 0.0 3.7 4.6 1.4 0.2 2.1 -2.89
    Farmar LAL BOS 88 12.6 9.6 13.1 4.5 0.9 2.7 0.5 3.2 3.6 3.6 0.0 -3.42
    Brown LAL BOS 85 12.1 9.9 10.1 1.4 1.4 1.4 0.0 2.8 0.0 0.0 0.5 -6.28
    Vujacic LAL BOS 52 7.4 16.2 14.3 7.7 4.6 3.8 2.3 3.1 0.8 1.5 0.0 3.85
    Walton LAL BOS 31 7.8 2.6 3.8 0.0 0.0 3.8 0.0 2.6 2.6 0.0 2.6 -7.10
    Powell LAL BOS 8 4.1 0.0 9.7 4.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 -14.29
    Mbenga LAL BOS 3 2.7 0.0 14.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 14.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 -17.31
  166. Magic Says:

    Neil Paine, Mo Williams CARRIED the Cavs in game 6, the game was there for the taking Lebron just didn't do it. Not to mention he put up a big stinker in game 5 while the rest of his team played pretty great, remember Shaq scored 20+ points in a very efficient manner. So to say he go no help is a myth, he along with his team put up a big egg in game 2, he and the whole team bounced back and destroyed the Celtics in Boston in game 3. It's funny because everyone seems to forget how the series went.

    As for the Lakers game 1 was a strong team effort, game 2 Kobe was in foul trouble and couldnt help like he normally did but he had great help from Bynum and Gasol. Game 3 Kobe shot poorly but scored 29 and got great help from Fisher but a poor game from Gasol. Game 4 Kobe played brilliant along with Gasol but nobody else on the team showed up. Game 5 Kobe played his heart out while the rest of the team checked out mentally and physically including Gasol. Game 6 was another team effort, and so was game 7 particularly on the defensive end. So maybe instead of worrying about scoring maybe Lebron and his teammates should have been worrying about defense and getting stops, it's how the Lakers won, they scored well below their average. If you're gonna blame anyone blame the Cavs coach for not having the proper players in the game to play defense but more than anything the Cavs had MULTIPLE chances to win but they lost not because of his teammates but because of a lack of his leadership, particularly in game 5 which was at home by the way.

  167. Neil Paine Says:

    So what? Gasol & Artest carried the Lakers in Game 7... What's your point? In the aggregate, over the course of the entire series, Kobe and LeBron played at an identical level against the same opponent -- yet Kobe's team won, and LeBron's lost. Therefore, the contribution L.A. got from players not named "Kobe" was greater than the contribution Cleveland got from players not named "LeBron". How much simpler do I need to make this?

  168. Anon Says:

    Neil,

    What does games 1-4 have to do with game 5? I didn't say If Lebron has a series like he did vs Boston, I said if he had a game 5 like he did.

    And your analysis is flawed because it uses such a small sample and ignores game-to-game differences. These numbers are not occurring in a vacuum, you cannot treat them as such.

    If a player has 1 outstanding games,3 good games, and 2 poor games this might be better than 2 outstanding games, 1 good game, and 3 poor games even if the numbers say they are equal.

    Note: I made those numbers up.

    *** one more note: Lebron's antics in game 5 and 6 affected his teammates play. Lebron stopped running the offense that he's run for 90 or so games and his teammates could not adjust. That fault lies squarely on Lebron's shoulders, but your numbers won't adjust for this. Or in more numerical terms, Lebron has to play better against Boston than Kobe for his teammates to perform better because the offense is set up that way (while Kobe's is not).

  169. Anon Says:

    "So what? Gasol & Artest carried the Lakers in Game 7... What's your point? In the aggregate, over the course of the entire series, Kobe and LeBron played at an identical level against the same opponent -- yet Kobe's team won, and LeBron's lost. Therefore, the contribution L.A. got from players not named "Kobe" was greater than the contribution Cleveland got from players not named "LeBron". How much simpler do I need to make this?"

    Again, because what happened in games 1-4 doesn't change what happened afterward. Lebron's actions in game 5 changed everything. The team's body language was so bad the last 2 games, players were visibly giving less effort, and everything fell apart.

    Had Kobe done what Lebron did in game 5, it's very possible the Lakers teammates would have packed it in as well. It's amazing to me that people want to absolve Lebron of how he performed at the end of the series. His effort wasn't there. There's a difference between trying to perform and failing and not giving the effort you should.

  170. Neil Paine Says:

    So let's see... A flaw is that I used too small of a sample, and your solution is to break it up into even smaller samples?

    Also, that last paragraph falls into the realm of pure, unprovable supposition.

  171. Gil Meriken Says:

    "Therefore, the contribution L.A. got from players not named "Kobe" was greater than the contribution Cleveland got from players not named "LeBron"

    That is fine.

    But the next implied step (at least, as it will be interpreted by many), would be something along the lines of "therefore Cleveland would have beaten the Celtics if Lebron had Kobe's teammates". This is pure, unprovable supposition.

  172. Anon Says:

    no, my point is that taking an aggregate within a small sample size is flawed. Doing a one game analysis is not making it just a sample, I am saying it is the whole population and to be treated separately.

    At least if something like standard deviations were provided it would be of better use.

    Even then it may not be enough. Is a guy with a 7 SPM each game over 7 games better than one who has 10-10-10-4-4-4-7?

    As for the last paragraph comment, if you want to ignore it, fine. You're right, I cannot prove it, but i find it strange to ignore was is plainly obvious.

    I will say this, Lebron did not run the offense the same as he had for 90 games and this is proven on the film.

  173. Anon Says:

    "But the next implied step (at least, as it will be interpreted by many), would be something along the lines of "therefore Cleveland would have beaten the Celtics if Lebron had Kobe's teammates". This is pure, unprovable supposition."

    yup, exactly as I mentioned previous. The data can only attempt to explain the past, and while we may use the data to try to predict the future, it cannot. In fact, it can only really give us probabilities.

    I do find it funny that someone who says I can't prove Lebron's effort was poor to end that series (which he's right, I can't) turns around and then claims Lebron would win the series with the same contributions Kobe got from Gasol....as if this is all happening in a vacuum! How do we possibly know how Lebron and gasol would play off each other? All of it is conjecture.

    Remember all those who said Pau and Drew couldn't play along side one another? Well, it was better than Pau/LO this season. It was L.A.s best lineup all season with at least 60 minutes played.

  174. Neil Paine Says:

    You have a good point about standard deviations. Here are Kobe's game-by-game SPM scores vs. Boston:

    date mp pts40 ts% 3pa40 fta40 ast40 orb40 drb40 tov40 stl40 blk40 spm
    6/3/2010 38.8 31.0 56.8 2.1 10.3 6.2 1.0 6.2 4.1 1.0 1.0 7.81
    6/6/2010 34.3 24.5 49.2 8.2 3.5 7.0 0.0 5.8 5.8 4.7 0.0 2.40
    6/8/2010 43.9 26.4 44.6 6.4 7.3 3.6 1.8 4.6 0.9 1.8 2.7 11.52
    6/10/2010 43.1 30.7 64.7 10.2 7.4 1.9 0.0 5.6 6.5 1.9 0.0 3.49
    6/13/2010 43.9 34.6 61.4 9.1 8.2 3.6 1.8 2.7 3.6 0.9 0.9 8.54
    6/15/2010 39.6 26.3 58.9 4.0 7.1 3.0 3.0 8.1 2.0 4.0 0.0 16.49
    6/17/2010 44.9 20.5 37.6 5.4 13.4 1.8 3.6 9.8 3.6 0.9 0.0 1.55

    That's a stdev of 5.41... Here are LBJ's game-by-game SPMs vs. Boston:

    date mp pts40 ts% 3pa40 fta40 ast40 orb40 drb40 tov40 stl40 blk40 spm
    5/1/2010 43.2 32.4 60.7 5.6 10.2 6.5 1.9 4.6 1.9 2.8 1.9 17.41
    5/3/2010 41.2 23.3 55.6 3.9 14.6 3.9 0.0 6.8 4.9 2.9 1.9 4.97
    5/7/2010 39.3 38.7 73.2 3.1 9.2 7.1 2.0 6.1 1.0 1.0 2.0 22.20
    5/9/2010 43.2 20.4 48.2 4.6 10.2 7.4 0.9 7.4 6.5 1.9 0.9 0.35
    5/11/2010 41.7 14.4 38.9 3.8 11.5 6.7 1.0 4.8 2.9 1.0 0.0 -6.15
    5/13/2010 46.2 23.4 51.4 3.5 10.4 8.7 2.6 13.9 7.8 2.6 0.9 6.49

    That's a stdev of 10.58! So LeBron was more likely to have a monster game, but also more likely to have a poor game that damaged his team's chances. I'll have to run a Monte Carlo simulation of two players with a +7.5 SPM, but one has a stdev of 5.5 and another has a stdev of 10.5 -- with equal teammates (probably an average of Cavs/Lakers quality teammates) and equal opponents faced (Boston), which player tends to deliver more victories?

  175. AYC Says:

    Magic, only 12 players in history have won more than 1 MVP; hundreds have won championships, including scrubs like Luc Longley, Darko Milicic and Brian Scalibrine.

    Since you're such a genius, I'm surprised you never responded to my comparison of Kobe to Pippen and Hondo; based on your "logic", they are both better than Kobe since they won more titles. Surely a great mind such as yours can easily explain why their championships are less impressive than Kobe's. But remember, you can't use stats or MVP's in your argument, cuz only ringz mattah!

  176. Spree Says:

    With Kobe shooting 40% for this series while taking a third (at least) of his team's overall shots it really highlights the small offensive margin of error his team had. When one individual takes that many of your shots and shoots that low of a %, he isn't making the game easier for others. In fact, they are required to be more effective to mask his inefficiency.

    Kobe's FG% in his 7 Finals appearances:

    2000: .367
    2001: .415
    2002: .514
    2004: .381
    2008: .405
    2009: .430
    2010: .405

    Hardly stellar numbers. In 7 Finals appearances he's only shot over 44% one time. This is our MVP? This is the greatest player of his generation and possibly ever? Seems odd to suggest.

  177. Anon Says:

    See Neil, isn't that stuff more interesting now?

    Based on those numbers I'd say Lebron played "lebron-like" or above only twice while Kobe did it 4 times. based on this, I would conclude that Kobe had a better overall series vs Boston than Lebron did, even though 2 of Lebron's games trumped anything Kobe did in any single game.

    BTW, it's good to see the SPM confirm my personal views. I thought Kobe absolutely dominated game 6 and was his best game even though the box score stats didn't quite show this by itself, but SPM definitely does (as does Lebron in game 3 which he both visibly and statistically destroyed Boston).

    the monte carlo simulation might be interesting. Another wrinkle would be to look into different qualities of players and opponents. Kobe with a crappy set of teammates against a tough defense would probably produce less wins than Lebron and his high STD. On the flip side, Kobe with a good set of teammates might produce the opposite because Kobe playing below par is less significant relative to his norm so he can play below average and win while Lebron playing so far below his norm that he becomes a severe detriment.

    I look forward to the results.

    I do think that one thing we can definitely conclude based on the Std is that Lebron and Kobe did not play about equal versus Boston even though their SPM averaged about the same. Whether you think Lebron or Kobe performed better I suppose is up for debate, but they were not the same.

  178. Anon Says:

    "With Kobe shooting 40% for this series while taking a third (at least) of his team's overall shots it really highlights the small offensive margin of error his team had. When one individual takes that many of your shots and shoots that low of a %, he isn't making the game easier for others. In fact, they are required to be more effective to mask his inefficiency.

    Kobe's FG% in his 7 Finals appearances:

    2000: .367
    2001: .415
    2002: .514
    2004: .381
    2008: .405
    2009: .430
    2010: .405

    Hardly stellar numbers. In 7 Finals appearances he's only shot over 44% one time. This is our MVP? This is the greatest player of his generation and possibly ever? Seems odd to suggest."

    What were Kobe's efg%?

    And let's not forget he went up against 3 of the best defenses ever in 3 of his last 4 finals.

    And Kobe was not the only one affected. Pau Gasol shot around 53% for the season and 53% for the playoffs, but shot 48% for the Finals.

    In other words, Pau dropped 10% off his normal shooting % while Kobe dropped 11% off his normal shooting percentage.

    If you look at just games 1-6 for both players, Pau had the bigger drop-off.

    give credit to Boston's defense, people. Lakers offensive efficiency in that series was well below their norm and it wasn't just because Kobe shot below his average. everyone shot below their averages except maybe Fisher (haven't looked at his numbers), but his chances were few and far between.

  179. Anon Says:

    I should also point out with relation to "inefficiency and others having to be more efficient to overcome it" idea, it's a chicken-egg thing somewhat. If Kobe gives to those players more, their efficiency drops while Kobe's goes up (remember how increase in usage correlates with a decrease in OEff).

    It's a whole game theory problem. Ever hear of Braess's paradox? I think that's what you're trying to touch on.

    Within the concept of the games, one issue I've always had with Pau is he's not aggressive enough, often time floundering out by the 3 point line while Artest or LO do nothing. Jeff Van Gundy called him out for being timid at times in the series.

    And yeah, Kobe can be inefficient at times but it's not always his fault. Game 7 was 100% without a doubt his fault. He was putrid in his 1st half decision making and shot selection. But look at game 3 for example. He had some poor decisions shooting, but well over a handful of times he shot only because his teammates looked for him to bail them out with 5 or less on the shot clock. Pau did this a few times as well. He would hold the ball, finally start to back down, stop, panic, look for Kobe with little time on the clock. Farmar and Shannon and spectacular at this all season long. Kobe ended up put in situations where the teammates were begging him to bail them out of bad possessions and thus he ended up having his FG% killed in the process.

    Like I said, this doesn't explain all of his poor shots or maybe even the majority, but it does happen far too often and game 3 was a very good showing of this.

    Pau is such an efficient player that I wonder why he's not as aggressive as he could be at times. Lamar is a funny player. He's not nearly as efficient, of course, but if he gets a bad call early against him or does some stupid charging foul, he mentally checks out on offense. It makes laker fans want to pull their hair out. Ron's kind of the opposite...the worse he plays, the more he wants to make up for it.

  180. dave B Says:

    RE:176 The problem is you can't look at series totals in a vacuum. You need to look at both the sum and the individual games.

    He did plenty to help his team win in games 1,4,5,6. The main issue is that 2 of his best 4 games came in games they lost.

    game 1 eFG% .455 PPS 1.36 (7 REB, 6ast 1 stl, 1 blk 4TO)
    game 2 eFG% .400 pps 1.05 (5RED, 6ast, 4 sTL, 5TO)
    game 3 efg% .362 pps 1.00 (7 REB, 4 ast 2stl 3 blk 1TO)
    game 4 eFG% .591 pps 1.50 (6reb, 2ast, 2stl, 7TO)
    game 5 eFG% .556 pps 1.41 (5REB, 4ast, 1stl 1 blk, 4 TO)
    game 6 eFG% .500 pps 1.36 (11reb 3ast, 4stl, 2TO)
    game 7 eFG% .250 pps 0.968 (15reb, 2 ast 1 stl, 4TO)

    Before game 7 he was averaging 0.475 eFG. Pretty close to his season average against the BEST defense in the league.

    Lebron had his best 3 games at the beginning of the series and his worst 3 at the end.

    As neil pointed out earlier their series were very similar IN SUM at least through the first 6 games.

  181. Anon Says:

    ^^ thank you for that.

  182. dave B Says:

    The problem is TRULY comparing players playoff performances would be an exhaustive task that may still not give you a definitive conclusion.

    Trying to account for things like

    1. Offensive system
    2. Teammates
    3. Opponents defensive strategy/quality
    4. Subtle offensive and defensive things like positioning etc.
    5. Position played
    6. Age of player in playoffs.

    would be ricidulously hard requiring you to watch and chart hours and hours of game film.

  183. Ball4Life Says:

    Magic, you say I instantly lost credibility for comparing the two starting lineups from the 07 Cavs and 07 Lakers?

    Cavs - LeBron, Larry Hughes, Sasha Pavlovic, Drew Gooden, Z Ilgauskus
    L.A. - Kobe, Smush Parker, Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, Andrew Bynum

    You tell me where the real difference is between these two lineups.

    Bynum and Ilgauskus is a wash, Smush and Sasha is a wash, Drew Gooden is better than Luke Walton, but Odom is better than Hughes. So, what you have is Kobe and LeBron. Kobe's team lost in the first round to the Suns, LeBron went to the Finals.

    LeBron has done nothing significant but win two MVPs is what you said. Maybe you should've thought about it before you typed it. You go find the list of players who have won two MVPs.

    As Neil Paine has put it, the two players put up a similar output this year against a common opponent, but the Lakers won because they got better production from the other players on the team. Women lie, men lie, numbers don't lie.

    This is what is funny to me: critics say because LeBron's team loses, it's his fault and he doesn't have a killer instinct? Hmmm...Let's check out Killer Kobe's last 3 games from the NBA Finals they lost to a less talented Detroit team. Keep in mind Kobe was 25 then, same age as LeBron now. Last 3 games against Detroit (all losses) Kobe shot 19-59 and despite playing 45 minutes in each game, his rebounding totals were 3, 0, and 3. That's right in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Kobe played 45 minutes and didn't grab a single rebound. But he's the best because he "wants it more".

    Basketball is a TEAM sport. The best TEAM wins, so to give one player too much credit or grief is wrong honestly. We can't judge who is a better individual basketball player by how many championship rings he wins. All we can do is watch the games and decide for ourselves. If I think LeBron is better, that's called an opinion, it's not right or wrong.

  184. Jason J Says:

    I'm not really invested one way or the other in who was worse, but I actually think my Celtics are getting too much credit here. LeBron and Bryant both played below their own standards for whatever reason, but it feels disingenuous not to at least mention that they were both playing hurt (Kobe seemed to be on track by the end of the Suns series, but you never know with his knee, and Bron's elbow obviously was hurt at the very end of the Chicago series).

  185. AYC Says:

    Mo Williams scored 20 of his 22 pts in the first half of game 6; in the second half he shot 1-7, with the 1 FG coming in the 3rd quarter. Hardly "carrying" the team...

    LBJ scored 10 of his 27 in the 4th, while shooting 3-5; also, 19 boards (hard to do when you're not trying to win) and 10 assists for the game.

  186. Ball4Life Says:

    And Magic, you say it is a FACT that LeBron is a quitter and a choke artist. Really? Really? How is this a FACT? Is this proven by the FACT that his playoff statistics are top 5 of all time?

    If you're going to inject stupidity into a basketball argument and accuse other people of riding someone's jockstrap you should also take a look in the mirror and realize when you're being a hater.

  187. potted-plant Says:

    It is harder for Lebron though because defenses focus on him because he is the best and most efficient player on his team by a huge margin. Kobe is not the most efficient player on his team and has lots of good teammates. Given Kobes idiotic shot selection and reliably sub par FG% it actually makes most sense to take out Gasol/Bynum and let Kobe shoot the ball.

    Also when bringing up Kobes titles let's not forget that he would have tanked the most stacked team in the league in the first round if not for Gasol. If Lebron had put up a 24-4-4 40% stinker series these playoffs we would never hear the end of it. In fact lebron is getting non-stop shit for his 29-9-7 45% series against the leagues best defense. If that series proves how Lebron is not a winner and sucks in the playoffs that what does the OKC series say about Kobe?
    Again, without Gasol, the player with the most playoff win shares this year btw, Kobe would not only not have a ring but would have been out in the first round.

  188. Shravan Says:

    @ball4life, Im a huge lebron fan, but they year the cavs got the finals they had a cakewalk eastern conference route all set up for them. If they switched places Im not sure the lakers wouldnt have made the finals or the cavs would have gotten out of the first round.

  189. Shravan Says:

    I will say that lebron hasnt been given enough time or a HOF teammate yet so these arguements cant really be put to rest...the only givens we have at this point are that kobe was put into a fortunate situation early on in his career and that lebron has exceeded expectations on defensive teams where he carries the offense, and has underachieved on offensively talented teams that sacrifice defense (mo and antawn where you at)

  190. Shravan Says:

    I dont know where any of that leaves us, just that I would much rather see a wade kobe debate or a rondo-williams-paul-nash throwdown than this boring vitaminwater 23 or 24 garbage. What angle to these arguments have we not seen yet?

  191. Ryan Says:

    Wow, quite the hot-topic here. Most of the thread is useless, but a nice discussion none-the-less.

    Funny that the LeBron/Kobe debate seems to rage hotter than the Jordan/Kobe debate nowadays, I think that says more about Kobe's standing in people's minds than his 5th ring.

    Also, isn't it funny that the lure of the "Jordan chase" has fans, and media alike, ready to put Kobe on (often even above) Mike's stratosphere... Yet when the ring was won, nobody actually has. Nor was the impact anywhere near as great as it would have seemed beforehand.

  192. dave B Says:

    RE 184:

    Bynum and Ilgauskus a wash?

    In the series the Lakers lost 4-1 in the first round Bynum averaged less than 10 minutes per game and took 15 shots the entire series.

    Ilguaskas averaged 32minutes per game.

    Also the CAVS got to face

    1. WIZARDS SRS -0.81
    2. NETS SRS -1.00
    3. PISTONS SRS 3.68

    Meanwhile the Lakers played:
    1. Suns SRS 7.28 They managed one win vs the suns.

    Meanwhile the Cavs managed 0 wins vs an equally tough team the Spurs at 8.2 SRS.

    Obviously who they played made the difference.

  193. Anon Says:

    "Magic, you say I instantly lost credibility for comparing the two starting lineups from the 07 Cavs and 07 Lakers?

    Cavs - LeBron, Larry Hughes, Sasha Pavlovic, Drew Gooden, Z Ilgauskus
    L.A. - Kobe, Smush Parker, Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, Andrew Bynum"

    Dude, Bynum was not a starter. he was a bench player that played limited minutes and only played about 10mpg in the playoffs. Kwame Brown played C. Also, that '07 team went into the playoffs with Lamar having a hurt shoulder, Luke hurt, and Kwame playing on a bum ankle.

    Smush, Odom, Walton, Evans, and Kwame were the major parts of the rotation when Kwame was healthy. And right before the playoffs Smush got benched for rookie Jordan Farmar.

    Cavs were 4th on defense while Lakers were 24th. Let's keep it real, yo.

  194. Anon Says:

    "Also when bringing up Kobes titles let's not forget that he would have tanked the most stacked team in the league in the first round if not for Gasol. If Lebron had put up a 24-4-4 40% stinker series these playoffs we would never hear the end of it. In fact lebron is getting non-stop shit for his 29-9-7 45% series against the leagues best defense. If that series proves how Lebron is not a winner and sucks in the playoffs that what does the OKC series say about Kobe?
    Again, without Gasol, the player with the most playoff win shares this year btw, Kobe would not only not have a ring but would have been out in the first round."

    Kobe's knee was not right in that series. I do kind of disagree with gasol assertion. I mean, obviously without him they don't win the 1st round, just like they don't win without Kobe too, but Ron Artest's D on Durant was the difference. Without holding Durant way below his norm, Lakers would have never moved on without Kobe's knee healing first. And Gasol had a couple bad games in that series.

    Pau was horrendous on offense in games 4 and 6. Kobe carried the offense in game 2's 4th quarter and game 6 overall. Pau's tip in was the only good offensive play he had that game. Pau was great in games 1,2,3 and both he and kobe dominated game 5.

    And let's not forget Kobe switching onto Westbrook for defense which was a big change for the final 2 games. Westbrook's TO numbers skyrocketed.

    As always, the two of them need each other. To say that in a series one carried the other or visa-versa for the entire time is really short-sighted. Sure, a game here and there, but the Lakers strength lies in Kobe-Pau-Ron-Bynum combo and whenever Lamar feels like playing too.

  195. Anon Says:

    "Also, isn't it funny that the lure of the "Jordan chase" has fans, and media alike, ready to put Kobe on (often even above) Mike's stratosphere... Yet when the ring was won, nobody actually has. Nor was the impact anywhere near as great as it would have seemed beforehand."

    The media is the media. They need something to talk about and they think people care about this. I don't think anyone who honestly evaluates the NBA thinks Kobe is near MJ's level. At the end of his career, he might end up with a better resume, but no one in their right mind would take Kobe at his peak over MJ. No one.

  196. potted-plant Says:

    "Sure, a game here and there, but the Lakers strength lies in Kobe-Pau-Ron-Bynum combo and whenever Lamar feels like playing too."

    Fair enough, but then people shouldn't always bring up the "kobe has x rings" line to demonstrate his superiority as an individual and killer instinct. Put Dwayne Wade in Kobes situation and he has 7 rings now. Put Paul Pierce in it he has 4-5.

    Also, when Kobe sat with injury during the regular season the Lakers were playing better (+10 winning margin against mostly good teams)
    I wonder what the Lakers record is with and without Kobe over his career?

  197. dave B Says:

    The most comparable KOBE and JORDAN finals runs just to show they are pretty comparable.

    Jordan
    YEARS 95-96,96-97,97-98
    Averages:
    AGE: 30.5
    TEAM SRS: 9.09
    OPP PPG: 94.1
    OPP SRS: 4.93
    OPP EFG%: 0.476
    OPP DRTG: 103.6

    YEARS 07-08,08-09,09-10
    KOBE
    AGE: 30
    TEAM SRS: 6.41
    OPP PPG: 97.7
    OPP SRS: 4.78
    OPP EFG%: 0.484
    OPP DRTG: 104.7

    Some quick points

    1: Jordan's team's were clearly better in terms of SRS by about 2.6 pts per game. That's pretty large. Whether that's due to Jordan or his teammates is debateable

    2. The quality of competition was pretty similar. Kobe on average played slightly worse defenses. Again I'm not accounting for injuries to other teams players or how the teams may have been playing at the time. (DRTG)

    3. KOBE went 2-1 jordan went 3-0. But by SRS methods they both beat every team they were favored to win.

    4. I would have to say that KOBE definitely had more injuries and wear and tear on his body.

    5. Bynum's minutes played and production were severely limited in the playoffs. Gone for 07/08. 20 regular season PER vs 11 PER for 08-09 playoffs. Played beest in 09/10 but still limited.

    Lets look at some numbers:

    Jordan
    G 58
    PER 27.3
    FG% 0.459
    3P% 0.297
    FT% 0.819
    TS% .543
    EFG% .477
    TRB% 8.6
    AST% 22.3
    STL 2.2%
    BLK% 1.3%
    TOV% 7.5
    USG% 35.1

    KOBE:
    G 67
    PER 25.5
    FG% 0.464
    3P% 0.344
    FT% 0.845
    TS% .569
    EFG% .503
    TRB% 8.1
    AST% 26.3
    STL 2.0%
    BLK% 1.3%
    TOV% 10.6
    USG% 33.0

    Overall the numbers are very close with KOBE winning all the shooting metrics as well as the assist metrics with jordan winning the TOV, STL and REB categories.

    Comparing KOBE and JORDANS first three title runs is like comparing apples to oranges. Check out these average numbers

    JORDAN
    AGE:28
    TEAM SRS:8.28
    OPP PPG: 102
    OPP SRS: 3.89
    OPP EFG% 0.479
    OPP DRTG 105.78

    KOBE
    AGE 23
    TEAM SRS: 6.58
    OPP PPG: 93
    OPP SRS: 5.3
    OPP EFG%: .463
    OOD DRTG: 100.6

    Even though the Bulls had a higher team SRS the Lakers team SRS is dragged down by the middle year of their 3-peat when they flipped the switch during the playoffs and went on one of the most unbelievable runs.

    But these runs are really not comparable given kobe's age versus jordans age and the quality of competition is much different from a defensive perspective.

  198. Anon Says:

    "Fair enough, but then people shouldn't always bring up the "kobe has x rings" line to demonstrate his superiority as an individual and killer instinct. Put Dwayne Wade in Kobes situation and he has 7 rings now. Put Paul Pierce in it he has 4-5."

    I think you're really reaching with Wade/Pierce. We don't even know what Wade will be like when he's 31 and something tells me he's going to be declining quite a bit because of his style of play and his body's tendency to get hurt (but who knows). If you want to assert the replacing Kobe with Wade would probably result in back to back titles, I'm fine with that. And I don't think anyone puts rings against Wade. He's only been capable of winning a ring twice based on his team, winning once. He's done well.

    Paul Pierce, come on now. he's a solid player and everything, but he wouldn't have won 4-5. Let's be real.

    "Also, when Kobe sat with injury during the regular season the Lakers were playing better (+10 winning margin against mostly good teams)
    I wonder what the Lakers record is with and without Kobe over his career?"

    Interesing to note is that their offense struggled without Kobe during those games but their defense went into elite level status during the first batch of games Kobe missed.

    I'll be the first Laker fan to admit Kobe's defense was not close to all-defense worthy during the season. When Kobe was out (and Drew missed time too during this stretch), the entire team played harder because they had to do so.

    Also interesting to note is Gasol's shot attempts seemed to go from 13 to about just over 15. Shannon Brown had no problems chucking in place of Kobe, lol.

  199. potted-plant Says:

    I don't see why Pierce shouldn't be able to chuck his way through the finals at a 40% clip as Kobe usually does. In fact he accomplished that feat this year when his decline really seemed to kick into high gear. But the better scenario would of course be that Pierce would chuck less than Kobe and would consequently not take as many shots away from more efficient players like Shaq or Gasol. And in contrast to Kobe he even managed to get more assists than turnovers these finals.

    As for Wade, he has shown he can win with aging Shaq + nobody so with prime Shaq there is a good chance he even might have won 6 straight with the Lakers by 2006. And before excusing Kobe these finals with Bostons great defense - check out how Wade played against a fresh Boston team these playoffs while being the sole focus of their defense instead of the low efficiency chucker they actually want to take shots.

  200. huevonkiller Says:

    "And this is where you lose your credibility, because of statements like this.

    And yes, I lost mine a long time ago."

    Not at all, the stats speak for themselves. When he was the center piece and in his prime he couldn't get out of T-Mac mode.

  201. huevonkiller Says:

    It doesn't matter how many times you post Anon, Kobe is inferior and various people will continue to prove it. You're a terribly biased Laker fan that I have dealt with on various already, none of your arguments work and they all have holes in them. Talking about "bailing" lol what a joke. Kobe is a quitter and he's quit in Detriot, Boston, Phoenix, and in Game 7 2010. What exactly is your purpose in this debate Anon, because Kobe has choked amazingly in this Finals series and you continue to forgive him.

    I'll give you a clue, Pau Gasol carries the Cavs into a Game 7 easily and LeBron doesn't choke that badly again at home. Kobe has a history of under performing in the Finals. LeBron faces the same competition and easily outperforms him on average, certainly the playoffs.

    He had as many turnovers as assists against Boston.

    "What were Kobe's efg%?

    And let's not forget he went up against 3 of the best defenses ever in 3 of his last 4 finals.

    And Kobe was not the only one affected. Pau Gasol shot around 53% for the season and 53% for the playoffs, but shot 48% for the Finals.

    In other words, Pau dropped 10% off his normal shooting % while Kobe dropped 11% off his normal shooting percentage.

    If you look at just games 1-6 for both players, Pau had the bigger drop-off.

    give credit to Boston's defense, people. Lakers offensive efficiency in that series was well below their norm and it wasn't just because Kobe shot below his average. everyone shot below their averages except maybe Fisher (haven't looked at his numbers), but his chances were few and far between."

    Let's not forget, Kobe's TS% is under 51. What is your point? He choked in Game 7 the Lakers should have lost the series without Pau Gasol.

    Kobe is a career playoff choker in various important games, but he gets saved by Shaq and his other teammates. It is amazing how much better LeBron is against the same competition.

    "^^ thank you for that."

    Before Game 7 he had a lower game score and was still an inferior defender compared to how much Pierce fell off.

  202. huevonkiller Says:

    "I think you're really reaching with Wade/Pierce. We don't even know what Wade will be like when he's 31 and something tells me he's going to be declining quite a bit because of his style of play and his body's tendency to get hurt (but who knows). If you want to assert the replacing Kobe with Wade would probably result in back to back titles, I'm fine with that. And I don't think anyone puts rings against Wade. He's only been capable of winning a ring twice based on his team, winning once. He's done well."

    We've seen Kobe at age 27-29, and he looked off. He did not have great post-season runs even individually. Wade easily had the capability of beating the Atlanta Hawks but he's overrated as well. LeBron took a Smush Parker level squad to the Finals, Kobe and Wade are T-mac posers without another All-star big.

  203. huevonkiller Says:

    "the monte carlo simulation might be interesting. Another wrinkle would be to look into different qualities of players and opponents. Kobe with a crappy set of teammates against a tough defense would probably produce less wins than Lebron and his high STD. On the flip side, Kobe with a good set of teammates might produce the opposite because Kobe playing below par is less significant relative to his norm so he can play below average and win while Lebron playing so far below his norm that he becomes a severe detriment."

    You really are ignorant on this matter, because Neil has shown Kobe is quite overrated in the playoffs AND has faced weaker defenses.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6142

    Suck on that. :]

  204. huevonkiller Says:

    "Kobe's knee was not right in that series. I do kind of disagree with gasol assertion. I mean, obviously without him they don't win the 1st round, just like they don't win without Kobe too, but Ron Artest's D on Durant was the difference. Without holding Durant way below his norm, Lakers would have never moved on without Kobe's knee healing first. And Gasol had a couple bad games in that series.

    Pau was horrendous on offense in games 4 and 6. Kobe carried the offense in game 2's 4th quarter and game 6 overall. Pau's tip in was the only good offensive play he had that game. Pau was great in games 1,2,3 and both he and kobe dominated game 5.

    And let's not forget Kobe switching onto Westbrook for defense which was a big change for the final 2 games. Westbrook's TO numbers skyrocketed.

    As always, the two of them need each other. To say that in a series one carried the other or visa-versa for the entire time is really short-sighted. Sure, a game here and there, but the Lakers strength lies in Kobe-Pau-Ron-Bynum combo and whenever Lamar feels like playing too."

    Did you just skim over that guy's post? Because let's revist his assertions.

    1) Kobe played terrible against OKC. The "reason" why doesn't matter genius, the Lakers got by anyway.
    2) You "say"/"claim" Pau was off in this and this game, did he actually play worse? Kobe had ~16 PER in that series and he was terrible.
    3) No duh LeBron was injured against Boston and people still give him crap for being far superior to Kobe. Kobe bailed on the gameplan in game 7 and the boards don't save him. His game score was virtually the same per minute and he was a joke.
    4)It just validates Lebron further, It doesn't matter if LeBron had one or two off games, Kobe's worst two games were by far lower. LeBron plays in Game 7 he would own Kobe with Gasol most likely.
    5)You're using a team argument for what is clearly a individual production perspective. You're confusing and it doesn't follow his claim at all.

    "KOBE:
    G 67
    PER 25.5
    FG% 0.464
    3P% 0.344
    FT% 0.845
    TS% .569
    EFG% .503
    TRB% 8.1
    AST% 26.3
    STL 2.0%
    BLK% 1.3%
    TOV% 10.6
    USG% 33.0"

    Ok Dave B, let me understand this... You're using PER, EFG%, Ast^, Stl%, Blk%, Usg%, and you're still defending Kobe from what exactly? None of those stats in his prime go in his favor or beat the best player in the game today.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=cHH6u

    Kobe is also off in crucial playoff games over the course of his career.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6132

  205. Anon Says:

    "I don't see why Pierce shouldn't be able to chuck his way through the finals at a 40% clip as Kobe usually does. In fact he accomplished that feat this year when his decline really seemed to kick into high gear. But the better scenario would of course be that Pierce would chuck less than Kobe and would consequently not take as many shots away from more efficient players like Shaq or Gasol. And in contrast to Kobe he even managed to get more assists than turnovers these finals"

    Kobe's career FG% in the playoffs is 45% and 5 straight years of 46%+.

    Paul Pierce has shot over 44% only once in his career in the playoffs (back in '05) and is a career 42.5%. Pierce also has a significantly lower assist rate and high turnover rate. His playoff offensive rating has exceeded Kobe's average ONCE in his entire career and with a much lower usage rate (which means his rating is much worse at Kobe's usage rate).

    Also of note is that Pau Gasol Offensive rating is significantly higher on the Lakers than it was on Memphis, despite taking fewer shots and a bit of a lower usage rate.

    In other words, Kobe's game makes Pau Gasol more efficient.

    That's nice that Pierce would chuck less, but he would be chucking less at a more inefficient rate while also turning the ball over more and not creating as many easy baskets for teammates. Pierce on LA is not an upgrade over Kobe at any point for the Lakers except for when Kobe is injured and in a suit.

    "As for Wade, he has shown he can win with aging Shaq + nobody so with prime Shaq there is a good chance he even might have won 6 straight with the Lakers by 2006. And before excusing Kobe these finals with Bostons great defense - check out how Wade played against a fresh Boston team these playoffs while being the sole focus of their defense instead of the low efficiency chucker they actually want to take shots."

    I'd love to know how Wade would have won 6 straight, starting at like the age of 18.

    Comparing how Wade and Kobe played vs these Celtics is a mistake because even Doc Rivers admitted he approached the defense completely differently. They allowed Wade to do whatever he wanted and stayed home on all of his teammates since they knew Wade couldn't win it by themselves.

    Congrats to Wade for putting up great stats while losing easily in 5 games. I'm sure he felt great about that.

    My point is that had Wade faced a Celtic defense geared to stop him, you could be assured his numbers would suffer but his team would have a much better chance at winning.

  206. Anon Says:

    "You really are ignorant on this matter, because Neil has shown Kobe is quite overrated in the playoffs AND has faced weaker defenses.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6142

    Suck on that. :]"

    For someone who focuses so much on playing against the same defense, how come you ignore Neil's SPM posting that demonstrates Kobe consistently posted a higher SPM against Boston on a per game basis?

    Also, 2008 Kobe had an offensive rating of 106.5 vs 2008 Boston. Lebron's was below 100, including posting 2 games below seventy. seventy!

    2/18 makes 6/24 sound like kobe couldn't miss!

  207. huevonkiller Says:

    "For someone who focuses so much on playing against the same defense, how come you ignore Neil's SPM posting that demonstrates Kobe consistently posted a higher SPM against Boston on a per game basis?

    Also, 2008 Kobe had an offensive rating of 106.5 vs 2008 Boston. Lebron's was below 100, including posting 2 games below seventy. seventy!

    2/18 makes 6/24 sound like kobe couldn't miss!"

    I'm wondering something, do you enjoy ignoring every single post-season that Kobe was inferior in? Because he sucks a lot more on average, and on better defenses.

    I got an average of 94.833 offensive rating for Kobe in 2008 against Boston, so please shut it already.

    What did I miss, LeBron's SPM is higher than Kobe's in 2010 vs Boston, AND SPM doesn't capture Man-to-Man defense which LeBron destroyed Kobe in. Rondo broke out in a couple of games, Pierce was erased.

  208. huevonkiller Says:

    "Comparing how Wade and Kobe played vs these Celtics is a mistake because even Doc Rivers admitted he approached the defense completely differently. They allowed Wade to do whatever he wanted and stayed home on all of his teammates since they knew Wade couldn't win it by themselves.

    Congrats to Wade for putting up great stats while losing easily in 5 games. I'm sure he felt great about that.

    My point is that had Wade faced a Celtic defense geared to stop him, you could be assured his numbers would suffer but his team would have a much better chance at winning."

    So congrats to Kobe winning as a choke artist and second banana?

  209. Anon Says:

    Why do people try to claim Lebron took a team to the Finals with a "smush" level team. He was playing with Big Z (18.5 PER) and Larry Hughes (just off an 21.6 PER season, Gooden (16.5 PER) and varajeo (14.5) who is also a solid defender. That team was 4th in the league on defense.

    Lebron didn't have a great team or anything, but it was more than adequate. It was a defensive minded team with a some offensive weapons.

    The team was the #2 seed with 50 wins because the East was so bad. They played only 1 team above .500 in the Eastern playoffs.

    They were a mediocre team that beat two bad teams and then another mediocre team (Detroit's Pythagorean W-L was only 1 win ahead of Cleveland) and got promptly swept by the Spurs as Lebron played like crap in the Finals.

    Every single team in the East would have been defeated by the top 4 teams in the West that season. Heck, golden state probably makes it out of the East had they been situated out there. One could only feel bad for Dallas having had to face Golden State while the top teams in the east played below .500 teams.

    Anyway, Lebron has never led a "smush-like" team to the Finals. Wade's situation was much more "Smush-like" these past two seasons.

    Kobe and Wade wish they had teams as good as Lebron had (Kobe then, Wade now).

  210. huevonkiller Says:

    *Meant to say 98 O-rating on far less usage which favors LeBron.

    Kobe had 15 PER in that series? Truly horrific actually. LeBron beats him again in Game Score as well.

  211. huevonkiller Says:

    "Anyway, Lebron has never led a "smush-like" team to the Finals. Wade's situation was much more "Smush-like" these past two seasons.

    Kobe and Wade wish they had teams as good as Lebron had (Kobe then, Wade now)."

    Tracy McGrady was stuck on Smush level teams in his prime, what is your point?

    It still doesn't change the fact the Wade and Kobe choked as individuals, does it?

    LeBron's top 4 teamates had just over 23 win shares, just like that Smush level team in 2006. Embarrassing your position again I see, I think it is better if you let others defend your guy.

  212. Anon Says:

    "I'm wondering something, do you enjoy ignoring every single post-season that Kobe was inferior in? Because he sucks a lot more on average, and on better defenses.

    I got an average of 94.833 offensive rating for Kobe in 2008 against Boston, so please shut it already."

    Didn't realize Neil's blog post wasn't on the whole series. Anyway, I got 98 out of it, not 94. Which is still higher than Lebron's. If we only do the first 6 games to see games 1-6, we find that Lebron's is much lower.

    And Lebron's FG% was atrocious in that series.

    Furthermore, Lebron reach a usage % of 40+ numerous times, so his offense was even worse that is understood by the Off rating.

    "What did I miss, LeBron's SPM is higher than Kobe's in 2010 vs Boston, AND SPM doesn't capture Man-to-Man defense which LeBron destroyed Kobe in. Rondo broke out in a couple of games, Pierce was erased."

    The answer lies in the Standard Deviation. As I said, Kobe consistently posted a higher SPM than Lebron.

    lebron had 2 games below Kobe's worst game. Kobe had 4 games above Lebron's 3rd best game. By any reasonable analysis, Kobe performed better.

  213. huevonkiller Says:

    "The answer lies in the Standard Deviation. As I said, Kobe consistently posted a higher SPM than Lebron.

    lebron had 2 games below Kobe's worst game. Kobe had 4 games above Lebron's 3rd best game. By any reasonable analysis, Kobe performed better."

    Haha ok whatever:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=4388

    You lose about "consistent" players anyway. That blog provides quite a bit of insight, and Kobe won at 1 SPM! NO one cares what Kobe accomplished.

    SPM is regressed off team-based APM. It doesn't matter what you say, LeBron was better in virtually every metric.

    Kobe shot 29% in the fourth quarter of the Finals, and his net Game Score is pathetic. LeBron was better in SPM, SPM doesn't capture man defense.

  214. huevonkiller Says:

    "And Lebron's FG% was atrocious in that series.

    Furthermore, Lebron reach a usage % of 40+ numerous times, so his offense was even worse that is understood by the Off rating."

    Lol Neil proved you wrong yet again.

    "For this post, I want to create a simple lineup efficiency model that combines Dean and Eli's findings -- specifically Eli's tradeoff for average players (+/-1.25 in a 107.5 ORtg league), but Dean's distinction between high-usage, mid-usage, and low-usage effects on personal efficiency (the effect on low-usage players is twice the effect on high-usage ones). What we in essence have, then, is a simple algebra problem: let x be the tradeoff for low-usage (=23%). (x + y) / 2 = 1.25, and x = 2*y. What are x and y?

    x = 1.6667, y = 0.8333

    This means that in a 107.5-ORtg environment, the efficiency trade-off for increasing or decreasing usage by 1% is as follows:
    Player Type Tradeoff
    High Usage (>=23%) 0.833
    Mid Usage (18-23%) 1.250
    Low Usage (<=18%) 1.667"

    And LeBron's TS% was higher in 2010, and he was the better player in both series.

    Stick to Lakersground.

  215. huevonkiller Says:

    After the usage-efficiency tradeoff against Boston I got approximately a ~103 O-rating for Bron in 08 versus Boston. Compared to Kobe's ~98 in 2008.

  216. Anon Says:

    "It still doesn't change the fact the Wade and Kobe choked as individuals, does it?"

    How do you choke if you win a championship? Lebron has had HCA 2 years running and hasn't didn't even get to the NBA Finals with it.

    Your definition of choking is odd.

    "LeBron's top 4 teamates had just over 23 win shares, just like that Smush level team in 2006. Embarrassing your position again I see, I think it is better if you let others defend your guy."

    2007 Lakers win shares top 4 after Kobe

    4.7
    4.2
    3.8
    3.1

    total: 15.8

    That's a far cry from 23, man!

    And 2006's numbers are disingenuous. Chris Mihm didn't play in the playoffs, so how can you include him in your numbers when he wasn't available.

    Chris Mihm, Brian Cook, Devean George, Kwame Brown, and Smush Parker are all either no longer in the league or riding the pine most of the game within 2 seasons.

    hughes, Gooden, Z, and Varajeo remained productive and playing for years.

  217. Anon Says:

    "And Lebron's FG% was atrocious in that series.

    Furthermore, Lebron reach a usage % of 40+ numerous times, so his offense was even worse that is understood by the Off rating."

    Lol Neil proved you wrong yet again.

    "For this post, I want to create a simple lineup efficiency model that combines Dean and Eli's findings -- specifically Eli's tradeoff for average players (+/-1.25 in a 107.5 ORtg league), but Dean's distinction between high-usage, mid-usage, and low-usage effects on personal efficiency (the effect on low-usage players is twice the effect on high-usage ones). What we in essence have, then, is a simple algebra problem: let x be the tradeoff for low-usage (=23%). (x + y) / 2 = 1.25, and x = 2*y. What are x and y?

    x = 1.6667, y = 0.8333

    This means that in a 107.5-ORtg environment, the efficiency trade-off for increasing or decreasing usage by 1% is as follows:
    Player Type Tradeoff
    High Usage (>=23%) 0.833
    Mid Usage (18-23%) 1.250
    Low Usage (<=18%) 1.667"

    And LeBron's TS% was higher in 2010, and he was the better player in both series.

    Stick to Lakersground."

    You misunderstand. it was worse, not because of the adjustments needed to compare players directly, it was worse because he was slaughtering his own team by not only sucking, but by not letting anyone else do anything.

  218. Anon Says:

    "After the usage-efficiency tradeoff against Boston I got approximately a ~103 O-rating for Bron in 08 versus Boston. Compared to Kobe's ~98 in 2008."

    You can't reverse it. You can only increase Kobe's rate to make a comparison.

    The fact that he had a usage rate of 40% and such a low ORating is the issue. He went beyond the "reasonable threshold" of usage when playing poorly.

  219. huevonkiller Says:

    "How do you choke if you win a championship? Lebron has had HCA 2 years running and hasn't didn't even get to the NBA Finals with it.

    Your definition of choking is odd."

    Kobe choked because he played terrible for Superstar standards.

    You must be dense then, because you ignore when Kobe has 19 and 24 PER against the Phoenix suns.

    "2007 Lakers win shares top 4 after Kobe

    4.7
    4.2
    3.8
    3.1

    total: 15.8

    That's a far cry from 23, man!

    And 2006's numbers are disingenuous. Chris Mihm didn't play in the playoffs, so how can you include him in your numbers when he wasn't available.

    Chris Mihm, Brian Cook, Devean George, Kwame Brown, and Smush Parker are all either no longer in the league or riding the pine most of the game within 2 seasons.

    hughes, Gooden, Z, and Varajeo remained productive and playing for years."

    Lol what a joke position, in 2006 his top 4 teammates combined for almost exactly 23.5 Win Shares.

    Kobe choked against Phoenix, LeBron got to the Finals.

  220. huevonkiller Says:

    "You can't reverse it. You can only increase Kobe's rate to make a comparison.

    The fact that he had a usage rate of 40% and such a low ORating is the issue. He went beyond the "reasonable threshold" of usage when playing poorly."

    Read slowly.

    Um yes you can, Neil Paine does it all the damn time genius.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=5500

    You're such an amateur dude, I'm embarrassed for you.

  221. Anon Says:

    "Haha ok whatever:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=4388

    You lose about "consistent" players anyway. That blog provides quite a bit of insight, and Kobe won at 1 SPM! NO one cares what Kobe accomplished"

    I don't think you understand that blog. that's a study on players who peak high and decline fast vs those with lower peaks but stay the same OVER ENTIRE SEASONS.

    It's completely different to analyzing a 7 game series.

    Woudl you rather have a guy who has 1 game of SPM of 30 and 6 games of 0 SPM or a guy with an SPM of 4 every game?

    Anyone rational takes the 4.

    "SPM is regressed off team-based APM. It doesn't matter what you say, LeBron was better in virtually every metric."

    Sure, if we ignore the metrics that disagree.

    "Kobe shot 29% in the fourth quarter of the Finals, and his net Game Score is pathetic. LeBron was better in SPM, SPM doesn't capture man defense."

    Lebron was not better in game to game SPM. his STD was nearly double that of Kobe's.

    As I said, Kobe had FOUR games above Lebron's 3rd best game. these are facts you have to deal with.

    And Kobe held rondo completely in check for most of the series...and he was like, you know...Boston's best player.

    Rondo's ORating during the season was 109. Against LA it was below 100.

    BTW, if no one cares about Kobe's accomplishments, why do you keep bringing him up?

  222. Anon Says:

    Um yes you can, Neil Paine does it all the damn time genius.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=5500

    You're such an amateur dude, I'm embarrassed for you.

    you can't reverse it. I mean, you can mathematically, but it's an "if" statement. He didn't have a usage of 30% so saying what we expect to happen tells us nothing. it's nothing more than attributing a probability.

    The fact that Lebron DIDN'T have such a low usage is all that matters. What MIGHT have happened has no relevance.

    What we did learn is that Kobe wasn't so stupid as to have a 40% usage rate against the Cs.

  223. Anon Says:

    Furthermore, Neil point in that post is about optimal strategy...that someone with a lower usage rate but higher ORating should be seeing a higher usage until the Oratings equalize.

    You can't take Kobe Orating at 30% usage and compare it to Lebron's worse Orating with 40% usage and draw a conclusion.

    In case you're unaware, Kobe and Lebron do NOT play for the same team.

  224. huevonkiller Says:

    "It's completely different to analyzing a 7 game series.

    Woudl you rather have a guy who has 1 game of SPM of 30 and 6 games of 0 SPM or a guy with an SPM of 4 every game?

    Anyone rational takes the 4."

    LeBron beats Kobe in PER, and net PER, which is a direct defensive matchup. Sorry you're a loser on this one.

    How do you know what the Monte Carlo simulation would be? You're a novice that fails to understand concepts Neil JUST went over in the Laker thread a little bit ago.

    Who cares, ask Neil about Kobe's SPM in his prime? What ridiculous position you have. Kobe is a loser, accept it. LeBron wins in virtually every series, hence the crucial game blog smart one.

    Anyone rational would take LeBron over Kobe at any time. You're a homer Laker fan that makes terrible arguments about intangibles Kobe doesn't have.

    You make me sick because Kobe "violated" reasonable usage threshold according to your random theories. You're a fool because LeBron has higher PER in every single post-season. from 06-now. And he's always been a better defender.

    Neil said he would do a Monte Carlo simulation, not that you're right.

    "Sure, if we ignore the metrics that disagree."

    Anyone rational would take LeBron in the playoffs. Kobe is a career choker, you started this debate by saying LeBron has equal teammates. Neil proved you wrong yet again.

    "And Kobe held rondo completely in check for most of the series...and he was like, you know...Boston's best player.

    Rondo's ORating during the season was 109. Against LA it was below 100.

    BTW, if no one cares about Kobe's accomplishments, why do you keep bringing him up?"

    Pierce was worse, so?

    Why can't you have a straight up career comparison? Ages whatever-to-whatever? You'll lose every time.

  225. huevonkiller Says:

    "you can't reverse it. I mean, you can mathematically, but it's an "if" statement. He didn't have a usage of 30% so saying what we expect to happen tells us nothing. it's nothing more than attributing a probability.

    The fact that Lebron DIDN'T have such a low usage is all that matters. What MIGHT have happened has no relevance.

    What we did learn is that Kobe wasn't so stupid as to have a 40% usage rate against the Cs."

    Lol what are you rambling about now? That's not an if, LeBron was better in 2009 and 2010 in pure O-rating. Piece shot 30% against LeBron, once again you lose.

    You're terrible, if Neil doesn't REVERSE O-rate for Kobe LeBron wins in a landslide in 2010 and various other times.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6269

    Please shut up already this is a bad made up theory on your part.

  226. huevonkiller Says:

    *Pierce

    "Furthermore, Neil point in that post is about optimal strategy...that someone with a lower usage rate but higher ORating should be seeing a higher usage until the Oratings equalize.

    You can't take Kobe Orating at 30% usage and compare it to Lebron's worse Orating with 40% usage and draw a conclusion.

    In case you're unaware, Kobe and Lebron do NOT play for the same team."

    No he never said such a thing.

  227. Spree Says:

    "What were Kobe's efg%?

    And let's not forget he went up against 3 of the best defenses ever in 3 of his last 4 finals.

    And Kobe was not the only one affected. Pau Gasol shot around 53% for the season and 53% for the playoffs, but shot 48% for the Finals.

    In other words, Pau dropped 10% off his normal shooting % while Kobe dropped 11% off his normal shooting percentage.

    If you look at just games 1-6 for both players, Pau had the bigger drop-off.

    give credit to Boston's defense, people. Lakers offensive efficiency in that series was well below their norm and it wasn't just because Kobe shot below his average. everyone shot below their averages except maybe Fisher (haven't looked at his numbers), but his chances were few and far between."

    Going up against great defenses is likely to happen when you're playing in the NBA Finals! It goes with the territory and cannot be an excuse for Kobe Bryant. And in this era with the rules skewed to offensive potency, it makes Kobe's poor shooting more inexcusable.

    And while Pau's shooting percentage dropped, he only averaged about 13 shots a game. Meanwhile, Kobe was shooting about 22 shots a game. What hurts more? Obviously a team is hurt more when the person shooting the most shots also shoots one of the worst percentages. Looking at Kobe's fg% and shot attempts you would think it was Allen Iverson's box score.

    In Game 3 of the series Kobe shot 10-29 for the game and don't forget that he led the Lakers in Turnovers at 3.9 a game. So in Game 3 and Game 7 he was not only shooting a terrible percentage, but he was still turning the ball over at an alarming clip.

    And it is no coincidence that Kobe's best games in the series were in defeats. The Laker offense bogs down when he takes an inordinate amount of shots and handles the ball almost exclusively. The Lakers are more successful running the offense through Pau Gasol and the Triangle. The Laker wins were usually games where the big guys were involved and the role players played well.

  228. Neil Paine Says:

    The Monte Carlo sim, more fuel for the fire:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6618

  229. Gil Meriken Says:

    @Huevonkiller "The stats speak for the themselves".

    They absolutely do not do that - in fact, you are doing all the speaking for the stats.

  230. huevonkiller Says:

    Oh they most certainly do speak, loudly.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=qglbY

  231. Mike Says:

    I had an idea, why don't you include a "Finals" composite statistics table in individual player profiles? You could even create another leader board.

  232. Gil Meriken Says:

    @Huevonkiller Again, they are not speaking at all. At all. YOU are the one placing meaning on those stats.

  233. Herm Says:

    Kobe's numbers in the Celtics series were impressive notwithstanding the last game. He truly choked in game 7, but I would argue that no other player has ever had as much pressure on them, not even MJ. For starters, it was gm 7 of the finals, with the pressure of the rivalry, revenge and a career legacy all on the line. No one remembers Magic's dud in gm 7 1984 because the MJ standard (which, btw, has become exaggerated to mythic levels, lest we not forget the duds MJ gave us in some big games), didn't exist at the time. We didn't expect invincability from our icons like we do now.

    Kobe's numbers are more impressive when you consider that in the 3 games LA lost, he had roughly 12-15 desperation shots at the end when the games were already decided (of which he hit maybe 3) that brought his percentages down (those games ended as 10-22 twice and 13-27, but discounting those shots Kobe was shooting over 50%, including quite a few tres and was the only reason his team wasn't blown out in those games).

    Kobe was also relentless in attacking, and while I was cursing as much as anyone in game 7, the C's insistence on triple teaming him was the reason Gasol and others kept getting offensive rebounds. It's no coincidence that LA lost the only game where KB got limited minutes (game 2, where Gasol and Bynum scored plenty, and consistent with my observation, didn't get a lot of rebounds), and they won both games in which he seemingly shot them out of the game.

  234. Herm Says:

    people seem to talk about the kobe's shots and the team's success as though that correlation establishes why that happens. Game 7 it seemed like Kobe shot too much on his own. The other games, it seemed like Gasol couldn't get to his spots and they couldn't run it through him, and everyone else was stifled, so Kobe had to shoot more.

    Point is that we can say what we want about Gasol's efficiency vs Kobe's, but Gasol doesn't impose his will on the game the way Kobe can. Gasol's efficiency isnt' as adversely affected because he was ineffective by being less aggressive and shooting less, not just by being less efficient in the shots he did take.

    In general, I'm all for looking at stats as an objective measure of performance, but lets not pretend efficiency is a perfect proxy for quality.

  235. Ryan Says:

    Jordan's level of greatness isn't built on myth, it's built on standard. If Kobe not being able to match up to that standard leads you to believe it is "mythic", then the problem lay with your reasoning - not with Michael's production.

  236. rooboy Says:

    Kobe > Lebron

    simple fact that he makes his team mates better and he trust them to perform unlike Lebron who spends time devising ridicouls pre-game routines.....not sure how this helps your team win buddy....Kobe is always bad mouthed for being a bad team mate....not sure how 7 finals apparences and 5 titles in 13 years = bad team mate.....to me that = winner and I would rathter play for a winner than a fraud

    and i am sick of all this so called arguemnt that kobe has better team mates.....LBJ wanted a strong post player to defend Dwight so the cavs get shaq who played in the all-star game last year....LBJ wanted a PF who can shoot...they trade for AJ (another all-star) and give up a slice of bread to get him....they had mo williams (all-star) read all last year that he was the player that LBJ always needed to win the title

    even during the finals we read how Kobe did not trust his team....sure he called them out at the end game 5 that they needed to play better defense....what happend in game 6 and 7....celtics scored 67 and 79....that is the def'n of leadership right there, to demand a level of performance from your team and than go out and get the job done.... something that cannot be meausred in advanced stats, and all the other crap people want to throw out there..

    Kobe is a better team mate....a better leader and a better player...enough said

  237. huevonkiller Says:

    Jamison and Williams shot 40% on 11.8 and 13 points a night, getting killed on D.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=6132

  238. Basketballogy Says:

    (1) I thought it was VERY interesting in game 7 that Kobe waited until his teammates shot 11 shots (and missed 10), before he decided his "supporting cast" wasn't going to be any help that night, and infamously tried to go it alone.

    However, that game would never go to the team with the best shooting heroics. Blue collar work, (defense, rebounds and hustle). Kobe eventually realized this, hence the 15 rebounds.

    (2) I think Doc Rivers holds much of the blame for the Celtics' loss. After preaching to his team to "trust each other" every time out all playoffs long, he wouldn't trust his bench and overplayed his aging starters.

    After adhering to strict limits on minutes all season, Ray Allen (35.2 minutes per game in the regular season), Paul Pierce (34.0 minutes per game) and Rajon Rondo (36.6 minutes per game) were suddenly played about 45 minutes each in game 7 -- playing more minutes than Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

    Clearly the Celtics did not have the legs for it.

    After leading almost the entire game, the Celtics ran out of gas with 6:13 left in the game. Derek Fisher nailed a 3 pointer, tying the score at 64, and sparking a 9-0 run. In the next few minutes the Celtics missed their next 4 shots, and were out rebounded 7 to 1.

    Were it not for that lapse, the Celtics might well have prevailed.

  239. Rich Says:

    Man, the way Huevonkiller presents his argument, sounds like Kobe's the luckiest player of all time. I mean, to win 1,2,3,4, 5 rings and be a terrible "career choker" as he makes him sound to be, this guy's gotta be the greatest fluke/statistical anomaly of all time right?

    Sucks for Lebron because he, on the other hand, is clearly unlucky. "Best player" in the league for years now and best reg. season record for the last couple seasons and still can't win a chip.

    Curse the basketball gods!!

    This is asinine.

  240. Joe Schaller Says:

    Career comparisons for Kobe should be to Dwyane Wade- currently I rank Wade superior as a closer, playoff performer and team player.... as far as character they both rate high.

  241. huevonkiller Says:

    Rich, the only asinine assumption is that you could visit a website called basketball-reference.com and think your personal emo beliefs trump reality. Or that we wouldn't use facts against you. Reality is he's underperformed in the Finals and had Shaq.

    Everything makes sense if you stop ignoring Pau Gasol is better than Mo Williams and Jamison combined, in the playoffs.

    Pau Gasol: .224 WS/48
    Mo: .080 WS/48
    Jamison: .091 WS/48

  242. rooboy Says:

    Huevonkiller,

    you always like to bring up these stats and so....as I said earlier so much of what happens on a b'ball court cannot be measured in some formula like D....you being the stats man compare rondos stats against the cavs v's lakers....i bet the house he preformed worse against the lakers....guess who played on him....thats right Kobe....

    leadership is what counts, to get your team mates to preform at a level that allows them to achieve team success....5 titles proves that and if you want first hand proof of this leadership, please watch the USA vs Spain gold medal game at the Olympics and you tell me who the best players in the world turned to in crunch time.....

  243. huevonkiller Says:

    Why the hell are you bringing up "crunch" time in a series where Kobe had a pathetic Game 7 and shot 29% in the fourth quarter all series? Last year Kobe was inferior in crunch time as well.

    Unfortunately for you, I can indeed measure defense.

    Paul Pierce vs Cle: 7.3 Game score per game
    Rajon Rondo vs LA: 12.05 game score per game

    You homer people are freaking amazing, Why don't you watch your own guy choking in the Finals every year, if we want to apply the same standards? Kobe's bar is much lower it seems.

  244. nba is so fixed. Says:

    all of you are so naive. Kobe sucks butt. He complains about every call that goes against him. And he gets far too many calls to his benefit. GAME freakin seven of the nba FINAls and he basically gets as many free throw attempts as the opposing team. 15 as to the celtic's 17. tis criminal. The NBA is terrible.

  245. rooboy Says:

    Huevonkiller

    I asked you to compare rondos stats against the cavs v lakers for me not PP v cavs and than Rondo v LA....i bet they decrease significantly, in large part due to Kobe

    If Rondos stats are better against LA this will show how wrong the system is as everyone knows that the best player during the Cavs v Boston sereis was Rondo 1, daylight 2nd

    NBA is so fixed

    please re-watch game 7 for me and tell me that those fouls were not there....the celtics settled for jumpers while the lakers attacked the basket....the celtics also had some stupid early fouls blocking fouls etc (often a sign of fatigue - maybe Doc should have given his starters more of a rest)..at the start of the 4th which put the lakers into the penalty early and were able to exploit

  246. huevonkiller Says:

    Good for you, Rondo wasn't the best player on the Celtics. He's the co-MVP of Boston maybe.

    Paul Pierce and Rondo played at nearly the same level according to their .131 WS/48. The difference is LeBron shut down Pierce to a greater degree. Pierce feasted against Orlando also and faced the tougher defensive matchups in the playoffs.


    "(Game score per game)

    Paul Pierce:

    vs Cle- 7.33 GSPG

    vs Others: 14.822 GSPG

    Rondo (Kobe's dude)

    vs Cle- 20.366 GSPG

    vs LA- 12.057 GSPG

    Others- 13.07778 GSPG

    Kg

    vs Cle- 13.83 GSPG

    vs Otrhers- 11.24 GSPG

    Ray Allen:

    vs Cle- 10.2 GSPG

    vs Others- 10.6 GSPG"

    So LeBron took a comparable offensive player, if not superior looking at Pierce's basketball on paper stats, and shut him down better.

    No one cares about the foul calls, just Kobe's lack of consistency in the last 12 fourth quarters of the Finals. Where he's shooting 29% IIRC.

  247. Jeromy Infield Says:

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