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Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: 1st-Tier / 2nd-Tier centers

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  • Michael K. Tamada
    On Thu, 2 May 2002, mikel_ind wrote: [...] ... [...] ... I haven t heard rumors of drugs, I think he was just too thin and weak to succeed in the NBA. I
    Message 1 of 8 , May 2, 2002
      On Thu, 2 May 2002, mikel_ind wrote:


      > that Jim
      > > McDaniels rates so high; .... never did anything for the Sonics or
      > anybody else.


      > Something to do with being 6'11" and 225? Not sure why that's OK in
      > the ABA and not in the NBA. Perhaps he got no respect in his new
      > digs, turned to drugs.....

      I haven't heard rumors of drugs, I think he was just too thin and weak to
      succeed in the NBA. I conjecture that it might be similar to certain
      college players who score 30 per game or get 12 rebounds per game in
      college, but have no ability to succeed at the pro level. He might've
      been good enough for the ABA but not for the NBA.

      Except of course that most of the ABA superstars were equally supreme
      when they went to the NBA: Haywood, Moses, Erving, McGinnis (although his
      few best years were already behind him), Gervin, Thompson, Gilmore, even
      Bobby Jones. But some didn't pan out: McDaniels, and another
      ABA-to-Sonics failure, John Brisker. However, Brisker had serious
      personality issues to explain his failure; he makes Isaiah Rider look
      like a choir boy.

      > > in his late career, so not piling up the big stats. Hayes was
      > piling up
      > > the stats, but his game was very much more limited and narrow than
      > > Kareem's (or Wilt's).
      > Big E averaged 29 pts and 17 boards for the SD Rockets.

      Yeah, but when I say he had a limited and narrow game, that's pretty much
      all he could do. Granted, scoring and rebounding are about the most
      important things one would want a power forward/center to do (and Hayes as
      far as I could tell was decent at defense too, 1-on-1 anyway), so if one
      is going to have a narrow set of skills, those are the ones to have.

      But he didn't bring anything else to the table: passing, ability to
      contribute in anything except a half-court post-up offense (no triangle
      offense for him -- see what happened between him and Tex Winter in
      Houston), team attitude in general (the Rockets traded him away for Jack
      Marin for a reason).

      Haywood was somewhat similar, he didn't have the longevity of Hayes but
      initially he didn't disrupt teams as much (though he eventually became
      dissatisfied and jumped from Seattle, to his regret, much like Shawn Kemp
      many years later). Haywood also could contribute more to fast break
      opportunities than Hayes.

      Moses Malone was another guy whose skills were limited to scoring and
      rebounding, but he was a greater player than Hayes because (1) he was
      incredibly good (or perhaps unstoppable is a better word, because his FG%
      was mediocre) at those tasks, especially rebounding, (2) he didn't
      disrupt team chemistry the way Hayes did, and (3) he was almost certainly
      a better defensive player, partly because he was big enough to play a true
      center whereas Hayes was mainly a power forward.

      All of them are examples of players with narrow skill sets; Shaq is like a
      multi-talented Oscar or Magic compared to these guys. In particular,
      Shaq can and is willing to pass to ball. Such players can still be Hall
      of Famers, but even Malone is not up there with the Big 3 among all-time
      centers, and I think I'd put Olajuwon and Shaq and possibly Robinson above
      Malone. And Hayes farther down the list (actually I'd put him in with the
      power forwards because he played PF more than C, with Unseld around).


      > Kauffman and (as you say) Don May both scored 20 this year, and they
      > also had easily the best shooting pcts on the team. I wonder if they
      > shouldn't receive at least their flash-in-the-pan credit for making a
      > team respectable?

      They weren't bad players, but it's Tony Campbell with the T-Wolves all
      over again. If they truly did make the team respectable, then I'd give
      them more credit, but it wasn't them who made the Braves respectable, the
      Braves were horrendous in those early years. But you can see the
      progression from 1971: add Elmore Smith. Add Bob McAdoo. Add Ernie
      DiGregorio and Garfield Heard. Trade Smith for Jim McMillan. Watch the
      victory totals rise and the Braves make the playoffs. And while all this
      was happening, watch Kaufmann's minutes and contributions diminish
      (although aging or injuries were probably a factor too).

      > > Similar to the role that Bob Rule
      > > played with the expansion Sonics, they had nobody else so Rule
      > would score
      > > 20-24 points per game.
      > Rule was already washed up by this time (bad back?), after 3 good
      > years.

      Correct, I was comparing the 1971 Kaufmann to the Bob Rule of earlier
      years. I think it was Rule's knee that went out.

      > I think the comment "..they had nobody else so Rule would score
      > 20..." is suspect. Granted, he wouldn't get 20 on the Lakers. But
      > why Rule and not Meschery? Lenny Wilkens got 9 assists a game. Why
      > did he keep getting the ball to Bob Rule?
      > Because he could score.
      > Teams don't just automatically receive 117 points, and decide who
      > gets credit for them. They still have to get shots, and make them.

      True, but that is the point about why these 20 or 25 point per game
      players are suspect. As with Tony Campbell, all it means is that they are
      the best or perhaps only scorer (on a bad team). That doesn't mean they
      have all-star scoring capabilities, it only means that they're above
      average. So their stats can be misleading.


      > The rookie Cowens averaged 17 and 15, and was just what the doctor
      > ordered for the Celtics. However, he shot only 42% from the field.
      > His .461 overall shooting pct compares to .513 for Kauffman, .518 for
      > Boerwinkle, .460 for Hayes!

      Yeah, that's one of my knocks against Hayes, his low FG%. Cowens was
      probably even worse most years, but: Cowens was shooting many of his
      shots from outside, which does not totally excuse a low shooting percent
      but mitigates it. More importantly, Cowens was in many ways the
      anti-Hayes: many of his contributions were non-statistical, and didn't
      show up in the scoring and rebounding stats (though Cowens was also a good
      scorer and excellent rebounder): fabulous team defense (Cowens' D, like
      Sikma's, doesn't show up in blocked shots but they were outstanding at
      helping out their teammates on defense), hustle, moving the ball and
      moving without the ball, and as with Bill Russell a burning desire to will
      the team to victory, instead of griping about teammates and coaches and
      insisting that the offense funnel through him.

      Interestingly, in his best years Cowens is statistically right up there
      with Hayes; when the non-statistical contributions are taken into account,
      Cowens was well above Hayes. It's no accident that he won an MVP award
      and Hayes never did. On the other hand, Cowens' period of peak
      performance was relatively brief, whereas Hayes was one of the most
      durable and enduring players ever.

    • Dennis Keefe
      ... McDaniels) was just ... Jim McDaniels suffered from a plethora of minor injuries in Seattle, and apparently that was one reason he didn t excell in the
      Message 2 of 8 , May 3, 2002
        --- "Michael K. Tamada" <tamada@...> wrote:
        > I haven't heard rumors of drugs, I think he (Jim
        McDaniels) was just
        > too thin and weak to
        > succeed in the NBA.

        Jim McDaniels suffered from a plethora of minor
        injuries in Seattle, and apparently that was one
        reason he didn't excell in the NBA. I suspect he just
        didn't have the motivation to play hard or play with
        pain--and scouts complained about his lackadaisacal
        (sp) rebounding and failure to add muscle.

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