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Fool
09-16-2004, 10:41 AM
http://www.sportsline.com/nba/story/7684458


Entering last summer, the basis of the hottest argument in the NBA might very well have been who do you like better: Kobe Bryant or Tracy McGrady?

Both are amazingly skilled shooting guards who have range that seemingly covers all 94 feet of the court and the ability to scale 7-foot-5 giants for dunks in a single bound.

That's not to say their talent has eroded as we rank the shooting guards going into the 2004-05 season. On the contrary, they are still head and shoulders above the pack and improving, and this time around they have even more to prove.

Bryant, finally able to focus on basketball after the dismissal of his sexual assault trial, now must prove he is the man who can get the Los Angeles Lakers back to championship level.

Despite his contentions, it appears clear that he was at the heart of Shaquille O'Neal being traded and coach Phil Jackson not signing a contract extension. Now Bryant will have Rudy Tomjanovich as coach and Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and Vlade Divac as his teammates. Bryant has been contending it's his team and not Shaq's; well, this could fit into the category of "be careful what you wish for."

And it isn't as if McGrady got through last season unscathed, either. The Magic got off to a 1-19 start, he placed most of the blame on coach Doc Rivers. Rivers was subsequently fired, and then McGrady quit on the team late in the season. He forced a trade and is now with the Houston Rockets; we'll see if playing for Jeff Van Gundy and with Yao Ming will get him over his season of woe.

Regardless of the nightmarish seasons for both talents, they remain the top shooting guards in the NBA, with Bryant receiving an edge for much better defense and his general floor game.

But the two of them are clearly at a different level than the rest of a still-talented group. The biggest question is where Vince Carter should be ranked. Although he performed better and was healthier last season than in the previous two, the past three seasons haven't been anywhere near the superstar cred he had his first three seasons.

"Nobody is sure where Vince is in his game anymore," one NBA general manager said. "Some people think it's just a matter of him going through a whole year healthy and regaining his confidence. Others think this is just the way he's always going to be."

We'll find out. Same goes for Michael Finley, who has struggled with injuries the past couple of seasons and has consequently been much more erratic down the stretch than the Dallas Mavericks can afford him to be. When he's on, they rarely lose, but it has been far from predictable.

So when it comes to the rankings, both Carter and Finley have dropped below rising young stars Richard Hamilton, Manu Ginobili and Michael Redd, each coming off a breakthrough season. It wasn't easy, but it makes sense based on what we saw to pump up the young guys.

Another interesting case to will be perennial All-Star Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics. Allen missed the first 25 games of last season and never really got back to his All-Star level. As he enters the last season of a contract that pays him more than $14 million, what do the wobbling Sonics do? It has been made eminently clear the team is for sale to the highest bidder. Allen wants a $100 million deal, and the Sonics are in the worst run (out of the playoffs in four of the last six seasons) since they were an expansion team more than 30 years ago.

Young players like Corey Maggette, Joe Johnson and Jason Richardson are also very much on the rise but rarely get recognized because they're playing on struggling teams.

Maggette was sensational at times for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, playing on the wing at both guard and forward. He came into the league so young, leaving Duke after his freshman year, it just took a while for him to find a game.

Johnson's deferential personality made it tough to see how much talent he had until the Suns dealt Penny Hardaway last season, and his numbers soared with the added responsibility.

Richardson, although very athletic, has been erratic with the struggling Golden State Warriors. We'll see if a fundamental coach like Mike Montgomery and a solid point guard like Derek Fisher can push him to a star level player.

Others like Bonzi Wells, Stephen Jackson, Derek Anderson and Larry Hughes are tough to gauge through their extreme highs and lows.

That's why it was easy to put Bryant first and McGrady second. As for the rest, well, good luck weeding it all out.

Ranking the shooting guards:

1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: Unquestionably the third-best shooting guard of the past 20 years once you get past No. 23 and No. 45 ... Michael Jordan and, uh, Michael Jordan.

2. Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets: Coming to the Rockets is a chance for T-Mac to redeem himself and silence all the critics accusing him of being a quitter last season.

3. Ray Allen, Seattle SuperSonics: A great shooter, but he hasn't proved he can raise his teammates' level of play yet and to be paid the maximum, he'll have to do that this season.

4. Richard Hamilton, Detroit Pistons: He is the second coming of Reggie Miller, with less range. He is non-stop motion and the best mid-range shooter in the game but needs to improve his defense.

5. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs: His toughness and versatility are exceptional, which makes his role more vital on the Spurs. And leading Argentina to the gold medal won't hurt his confidence, either.

6. Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks: He blossomed as one of the pre-eminent shooters in the game -- both from 3-point and mid-range. We'll see if he improved at all this summer ... particularly his floor game.

7. Vince Carter, Toronto Raptors: The past three years haven't even been half amazing. It's time for Carter to bounce back and lead this team somewhere, or he'll always be remembered as an underachiever.

8. Michael Finley, Dallas Mavericks: When he's healthy and running the floor, his jump shot is going in from everywhere and he's as effective as any open-floor player in the game. But that has become the exception rather than the rule.

9. Latrell Sprewell, Minnesota Timberwolves: He has lost a little bit off his fastball, but Spree is still capable of taking over games -- big games. But it doesn't happen as often as it used to. But if you ignore him, you're in trouble.

10. Corey Maggette, Los Angeles Clippers: He's so strong and athletic, and his jumper has improved every year. People forget he was 19 when he came into the league, but all of that potential is coming to fruition.

Also receiving consideration: Doug Christie, Sacramento Kings; Bonzi Wells, Memphis Grizzlies; Joe Johnson, Phoenix Suns; Jason Richardson, Golden State Warriors; Stephen Jackson, Indiana Pacers; Quentin Richardson, Phoenix Suns; Larry Hughes, Washington Wizards; Eddie Jones, Miami Heat; Allan Houston, New York Knicks; Derek Anderson, Portland Trail Blazers.


Last year's rankings
2004 Rank 2003 Stock
1. K. Bryant 1 SAME
2. T. McGrady 2 SAME
3. R. Allen 5
4. R. Hamilton 10
5. M. Ginobili --
6. M. Redd --
7. V. Carter 6
8. M. Finley 7
9. L. Sprewell 8
10. C. Maggette --



(It looks like he listed the rest of the starting SG in his "receiving consideration" section so he wouldn't have the same outcry as when he didn't even consider AK47 as a SF)

Also, if you look at last year's rankings, it makes me wonder who was so good as to be #3 and #4 yet not even make the list this year?

Kstat
09-16-2004, 11:08 AM
My guess? Paul Pierce and Allen Iverson. Iverson is switching to the PG spot this year, while Pierce really dropped off the map.

ChicagoJ
09-16-2004, 11:22 AM
Pierce re-appeared near the top of the SF poll, if I recall correctly.

I know Kid-obe, McGrady and Ray Allen are better, at least statistically, but I'd rather watch Rip and Manu play because those guys are much better than the top-three without the ball.

Shade
09-16-2004, 11:44 AM
Not a bad list. I agree with much of it.

J-Wont
09-16-2004, 05:56 PM
Rip & Ginobill are way too high.
Rip is the NBA's version of Trent Dilfer from the Superbowl champ Ravens a few years back. Average offense led to a title (and overration) by a great defense.
Ginobilli isn't even good enough to start over a 34 year old like Bruce Bowen. He's also a choke artist.
REAL Top-10
1. Kobe Bryant - Duh
2. Tracy McGrady - Nique to Kobes MJ
3. Vince Carter - As talented as Kobe & T-Mac, unfortunate injury and horrible team management means hes below average players like Richard Hamilton and Manu Ginobilli? Horrible.
4. Allen Iverson - Former MVP still in his prime
5. Paul Pierce - 1-man army in Boston.
6. Ray Allen - Great overall game
7. Corey Maggette - Most underrated guard in the league. Could end up better than Allen & Pierce.
8. Michael Redd - A wee bit overrated. Not even close to Peja & Allen when it comes to shooting, and his overall game isn't that impressive.
9. Stephen Jackson - Great offense, defense, and Mr. Clutch. It's a shame his stats will go down because he'll only be the #3 option in Indy whereas he'd be the #1 option in a place like Detroit where they lack scoring.
10. Rip Hamilton - overrated. You all read what I said earlier.

Arcadian
09-16-2004, 06:29 PM
My guess? Paul Pierce and Allen Iverson. Iverson is switching to the PG spot this year, while Pierce really dropped off the map.


Does this mean we can expect Iverson to be in the top ten point guard list? yikes.

Destined4Greatness
09-16-2004, 06:41 PM
J-Wont I seriously think you should be working for CBS. You used something called logic and common sense with a touch of impartiality.

SoupIsGood
09-16-2004, 07:01 PM
J-Wont I seriously think you should be working for CBS. You used something called logic and common sense with a touch of impartiality.


Oh god that's funny.
Thanks for the laugh Destined.

MZahm
09-16-2004, 10:09 PM
J-Wont's list isn't that bad, probably better than Kahn's. Rip is a little over-rated and Manu is totally over-rated. I'd go with:

1. Kobe
2. TMac
3. Allen
4. Carter
5. Redd
6. Maggette
7. Finley
8. Rip
9. Joe Johnson
10. JRich

Kstat
09-16-2004, 10:32 PM
you just listed Joe Johnson as one of the top 10 SGs in the NBA.

No seriously, you did.

Cory Maggette?

JASON RICHARDSON?

Is this a "who can pull of the coolest dunks" list, because thats all I think youre basing this on.

SycamoreKen
09-16-2004, 10:34 PM
Ginobilli isn't even good enough to start over a 34 year old like Bruce Bowen. He's also a choke artist.


1. Bowen starts at the 3 spot for SA. Did last year, will this year. The only reason Ginobilli didn't continue to start last year after getting hurt was the ned for a spark off the bench, which he had provided the year before.

2. Only Kobi has more rings then the others on your list, with Jackson and the other guy you say is overrated being the only other guys that have won more.

3. Ginobili is by far the best defender on the list after Kobi, and he isn't far behind him. He can also play point guard in a pinch, which only Kobi and Iverson:rolleyes: can do as well.

4. Choke artist? Kobi did as much to lose his team the title as Ginobilli did. Did any of the other guys on your list even make the playoffs?

Kobi is the only guy on the list I would trade Ginobilli for. He is more athletic and has more upside than the rest of those guys. If Carter and McGrady would show half the heart he does then maybe they would rate higher in my mind. Heck, they weren't even smart enough to stay together to win!

Kstat
09-17-2004, 12:58 AM
9. Stephen Jackson - Great offense, defense, and Mr. Clutch. It's a shame his stats will go down because he'll only be the #3 option in Indy whereas he'd be the #1 option in a place like Detroit where they lack scoring.

:lol2::lol2::lol2::lol2::lol2::lol2::lol2:

This is right up there with his, "Dajuan Wagner is a better player than Chauncy Billups" blast......

No, I take that back. This is much worse.....:laugh:


You're right, its too bad we don't have a real #1 option like Jackson. We might have even won the title if we had him on OUR team last summer..... Oh wait...nevermind.



So let me get this straight. You're saying that JO, Artest AND Jackson would all be the #1 option on the Pistons? Just wanted to hear you say it.


And lets not all bag on J-Wont now....we all were 8 years old once too, nobody has their head on straight at that age, so lets give the kid a break.

MZahm
09-17-2004, 08:01 AM
Joe Johnson and JRich are kind of speculative picks - Johnson in particular has a hell of a lot of talent. I don't see how you can take issue with Maggette. He's a decent shooter, rebounds well for a guard and gets to the line often, and makes those trips count. Who do you think is better? Finley's getting old, Rip is a worse rebounder/3 pt shooter and Manu is far more exciting than he is productive at the moment.

Fool
09-17-2004, 12:07 PM
http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=282303&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I am posting this link here for three reasons.

1) It looks like the guy the Piston fans are hating on in this thread is J-Wont (J-Wont's post is copied verbatum on the board in this link)

2) Unclebuck was asking about SJax's performance against RIP and vice versa and it is brought up in this thread.

3) Someone insinuated that the guy there (if he is J-Wont) also goes by the name of DJBuck (who was/is a notorious trouble maker with very suspect, often ridiculous, opinions on the ESPN Piston boards back before they screwed with the already bad formatting of those boards and I stopped checking them). To recap, J-Wont might be this guy here, who might be another guy who wasn't the best on another board.


Warning, its from the RealGm board so the language isn't as low-key as around here. Make sure Jay'sDaughter@Section204 isn't behind you if you check it out.

Ultimate Frisbee
09-17-2004, 01:10 PM
Actually, the list is slightly different...


http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=282303&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I am posting this link here for three reasons.

1) It looks like the guy the Piston fans are hating on in this thread is J-Wont (J-Wont's post is copied verbatum on the board in this link)

2) Unclebuck was asking about SJax's performance against RIP and vice versa and it is brought up in this thread.

3) Someone insinuated that the guy there (if he is J-Wont) also goes by the name of DJBuck (who was/is a notorious trouble maker with very suspect, often ridiculous, opinions on the ESPN Piston boards back before they screwed with the already bad formatting of those boards and I stopped checking them). To recap, J-Wont might be this guy here, who might be another guy who wasn't the best on another board.


Warning, its from the RealGm board so the language isn't as low-key as around here. Make sure Jay'sDaughter@Section204 isn't behind you if you check it out.

Ultimate Frisbee
09-17-2004, 01:24 PM
Anyone know where we can find the rankings for all of the positions?

Fool
09-17-2004, 02:35 PM
Well "verbatim" (I even spelled it wrong) wasn't the best word to use but its clearly the same person's list as the same comparisons are drawn and the same explinations are used.

You can find all Kahn's position lists (he hasn't printed his PG list yet) at http://www.sportsline.com/nba

J-Wont
09-17-2004, 06:05 PM
Oh no I'm a message board criminal!
I simply speak my opinion, it just so happens I'm slightly smarter than most people and look at the big picture,
Rip Hamilton is an above average player. That's it. He was an above average player on those 18ish win Wizards teams. He was an above average player on the non-championship Pistons team. Just because he had a great team around him doesn't mean he's now a superstar or even an All-Star.
0 All-Star Games
0 All-NBA Teams
0 Individual Awards
5 years in the league, only 2 playoff appearances
Career Averages:
16.9 ppg
2.7 apg
3.2 rpg
0.16 bpg
0.83 spg
2.2 topg
44.0 FG%
29.6 3%
85.4 FT%

Solid overall stats, but nothing special.
So as you can clearly see, Rip Hamilton is nothing more than an above average player caught in a great situation. Replace him with a Ray Allen or a Michael Redd and there's no way Detroit finishes so far behind Indy in the regular season.
And yes, any of SJax, JO, or Artest would be the #1 scoring option in Detroit.
2003-2004 Scoring Averages
JO 20.1
Artest 18.3
Jax 18.1
Rip 17.6
Chauncey 16.9
;)

Kstat
09-17-2004, 06:12 PM
.....so your opinion of a player is based on how he would do in a 1-on-1 tournament?

By the way, you're not smarter than anyone here. Nobody here respects anything you say. Your role on this board is the comedy relief. Everyone here gets a nice chuckle from your ultra-homeristic posts. Shoot, even I enjoy reading them in between handfuls of hot-buttered popcorn. But nobody takes you seriously. So long as you realize that, keep on posting and showing disrespect towards the respected vets on this board.

J-Wont
09-17-2004, 06:30 PM
Do I care about respect on an internet message board? I dont think so. I worry about speaking my opinion, and throwing in a little arrogance too just because it's fun :P
You're just pissed because I'm telling it like it is and you can't handle it.
When did I mention a 1-on-1 tournament? I listed stats. Superstar players dont put up Jeff Hornacek stats. Rip Hamilton hasn't proven he has the ability to lead a team to a 30 win season, let alone a championship. And no he wasn't the leader of the Pistons, that would be Ben Wallace followed by Chauncey.
The fact is, the Pistons are the absolute perfect team for Rip;
Fantastic defense that doesn't need a great offensive player to win.
Smartly coached team, with players trapping on defense and working to their few strengths on offense (ie all of those screens that freed Rip from DPoY Ron Artest, allowing him to hit his great midrange jumper)

Rips not all that and a bag of chips, and there's no way in Hell he's anywhere near the level of someone like Vince Carter or Allen Iverson.
Now stop being a big baby and apologize to me. Thank you.

Kstat
09-17-2004, 06:34 PM
Rip Hamilton hasn't proven he has the ability to lead a team to a 30 win season, let alone a championship
:lurk:

Yep, I rest my case.

Yep, that Rip Hamilton sure wasn't a leader in the Conference Finals.... who was that against again?:laugh:

Like I said, man, you're the comedy relief. I don't dislike you, you're like the Hoosier Gazette.

J-Wont
09-17-2004, 06:41 PM
Ok. Nice cop out answer's. ;)
I was more impressed by the screens being set to get those wide open 15 footers*, than I was of the actual wide open 15 footers*.

*denotes a shot even I could make at a 45% rate

Kstat
09-17-2004, 06:44 PM
Ok. Nice cop out answer's. I was more impressed by the screens being set to get those wide open 15 footers*, than I was of the actual wide open 15 footers.

*denotes a shot even I could make at a 45% rate

So, in your opinion, does that make Reggie the most overrated player in NBA history, since the majority of his buckets came off of those nice screens?

btw, you should play in the NBA. Really, you should, since there are like 3-4 guys in the entire league that can come off screens as well as rip can, and maybe 1-2 other guys that can shoot mid-range shots at the clip he does, you'd get a few million right off the bat, I'd wager.

sweabs
09-17-2004, 06:51 PM
J-Wont...there is a lot more to Rips game than hitting open 15 foot jumpers.

Destined4Greatness
09-17-2004, 11:04 PM
Man is K-stat just going to continue ragging on the pacers. If so he needs to just leave. Go back to the Pistons Boards. You liar(I know you lie with every post because of the Posting Terms)
Mistake

SoupIsGood
09-17-2004, 11:28 PM
Oh no I'm a message board criminal!
I simply speak my opinion, it just so happens I'm slightly smarter than most people and look at the big picture,

;)

You're not that smart. Get over yourself, you're not always right. No one is.

SoupIsGood
09-17-2004, 11:38 PM
Man is K-stat just going to continue ragging on the pacers. If so he needs to just leave. Go back to the Pistons Boards. You liar(I know you lie with every post because of the Posting Terms)



Yeah Kstat needs to pack his bags and leave. Different opinions are not wanted around here, he acts as if this was a forum for discussion or something.

Steveman
09-18-2004, 12:00 AM
R. Hamilton is perhaps a bit overrated and nothing more than a poor man's Reggie Miller.

I keep getting this feeling that Piston homies are in for a bit of a shock this season.

Kstat
09-18-2004, 12:10 AM
R. Hamilton is perhaps a bit overrated and nothing more than a poor man's Reggie Miller.

I keep getting this feeling that Piston homies are in for a bit of a shock this season.

Yeah, I hear that the 2004 championship rings are going to be MUCH shinier than the 1989 and 1990 versions....a lot of people are going to be in shock opening night when we unveil that banner.....;)

Seriously, each Pistons has proven he can be a chamionship-calibur player. Nothing that happens this season is going to change that. I know you really, really want to believe that the season is going to start and everyone's going to suddenly fall flat on their faces, but its just not going to happen. I'll be dissapointed if they don't win it all again, but will that change my opinion of them? Hell no, I know we cant win the title EVERY year, but that doesnt mean that I dont think we aren't good enough anymore.

As for Rip- does anyone really think I CARE how many all-star games the guy makes, or how well he can dunk?

He coasts during the regular season, usually averaging 18-20ppg, and then turns it on in the playoffs, scoring 22-25ppg, and hitting all the clutch baskets. Look at his career in his 2 years as a Pistons, that has been the case.

I'll take Rip any day over the week over a guy that sells a lot of jerseys, makes a lot of cool dunks, averages 25ppg in the regular season, and flops out in the playoffs, when the pressure is on.