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mattie
02-10-2012, 03:53 PM
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7562176/the-sports-guy-nba-all-star-team


You may have noticed the NBA announced its All-Star rosters Thursday night. The timing seemed weird because the season started three minutes ago. I found myself particularly intrigued by this year's choices because, along with fellow NBA writers Sekou Smith, Ian Thomsen, and Doug Smith, I had selected the candidates for the All-Star ballot. That's right, this "VP of Common Sense" gimmick is really catching on.

We were instructed to pick 60 players for each conference (12 centers, 24 guards, 24 forwards); we had to pick five white guys in each conference (just kidding); every team had to have at least three candidates; and no team could have more than six candidates, a rule that unexpectedly came into play when we mistakenly ended up with seven Pacers on our first pass. Seven Pacers???1 We spent 60 solid minutes hashing out our choices, with maybe 110 of the 120 guys being no-brainers and the other 10 being more of the "I can't believe we're putting this dope on the ballot" variety.

My favorite moment happened when I tried to convince everyone to put Boris Diaw's boobs on the ballot. And actually, I nearly pulled it off the problem was, we couldn't decide whether his boobs should be two different candidates or grouped as one. We finally decided to just put Boris on the ballot, and if you wanted to vote for his boobs vicariously through that choice, you had that option. My second favorite moment happened when we argued for seven solid minutes about Gerald Henderson vs. Kemba Walker as Charlotte's third representative if there's ever been a greater waste of seven minutes, I'd seriously like to hear about it. My third favorite moment was when we massaged the West's glut of quality forwards by making James Harden a guard; it was one of those "What the hell? We're in charge here!" moments where you feel like you're playing God and it's awesome. The fourth best moment was when I spent about 45 seconds making Jonas Jerebko's case and saying, "I just don't want him to come back and haunt us."

If you're scoring at home, Jonas Jerebko didn't come back to haunt us.

But that's the goal of the ballot every year you want to make sure you don't leave off anyone who might make you look dumb. Like Paul Millsap a year ago. That's the worst-case scenario (if you can even call it a worst-case scenario, because honestly, who cares?) getting raked over the coals by angry bloggers who CAN'T BELIEVE THAT YOU LEFT PAUL MILLSAP OFF when he wouldn't have made the All-Star Game anyway. So now that it's February and everyone is making All-Star picks, it's nice to know that we didn't screw anything up. There has been no haunting.

The following 10 players were voted in as starters by the fans: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard (East); Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Andrew Bynum (West). You can't flip out over any of those choices except for Anthony, who stunk this season (for him) and shouldn't be starting for anything except for the Ewing Theory team. (Right now, he's making history as a Double Ewing Theory candidate. I don't think that's ever happened before.) We also have two Clippers starting voted in by the fans, no less which could only happen in the year 2012, as preordained by the Mayans.

Meanwhile, here are the reserves (as voted by the coaches): Deron Williams, Roy Hibbert, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Andre Iguodala, Lou Deng, Chris Bosh (East); Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol (West). It's absurd to have both Iggy and Deng (sorry, you have to pick one); Nowitzki didn't show up ready for the season, had to miss games for conditioning purposes and never, ever, ever, EVER should have made it (but who cares? It's Dirk Nowitzki!); and even Roy Hibbert can't believe he made it over Anderson Varejao thanks to a little-known "When in doubt, kick the city of Cleveland in the balls" rule that covers all American team sports (including the MLS).

Who should have made it? I'm glad you asked! You're not going to believe this, but I have some opinions. Here were my choices for both conferences.

EAST STARTERS: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Anderson Varejao

Notes: The first four guys are no-brainers, especially LeBron, who's having his greatest statistical season while unfairly getting blamed for everything bad that's happened these past 12 months, including the demise of Rick Perry's presidential campaign, Clint Eastwood's directing in J. Edgar, the Patriots choking in the Super Bowl, and Deena from Jersey Shore not being able to get laid. Hang in there, LeBron.

Howard deserves special kudos for excelling while remaining totally detached from his team, and yet not totally seeming like a dick, either. I went to Saturday's Pacers-Magic game and was shocked by (a) how hard he played, and (b) how he kept just enough emotional distance between him and his teammates that you left the building saying, "He clearly wants to leave, but they clearly don't take that personally." It was like watching Mark Wahlberg in Contraband. "Look, we all know why we're here I want to get paid, you want to be in a movie, let's just get this scene over with so I can go back to my trailer." If I'm Orlando, I don't trade him for 60 cents on the dollar as long as he's playing hard. If he wants to walk away from $30 million extra this summer to play somewhere else, God bless him nobody's ever done that before, nor will they, because nobody walks away from $30 million. Ten? Maybe. Thirty? No way.2

As for that fifth spot: I love the way Varejao is playing this season and if you enjoy guys who put up 11 points and 12 rebounds every night, grab every big rebound in traffic, take monster charges again and again and shut down opposing big guys, you should, too. Isn't the whole point of the All-Star Game to pick players who are playing as well as they can possibly play? I never watch Chris Bosh and say, "Whoa, Chris Bosh! He's something! He's really turned it on!" Why do I have to pick Bosh as a starter again? And also, why should THREE Miami Heat players be starting on the All-Star team? You don't find this a little kooky? Are they the '96 Bulls or something? Please. Besides, Varejao has been more of an impact player this year he's the best at what he does, and that's saying something. You win with what he does.

Meanwhile, Paul Pierce showed up overweight and didn't start looking like Paul Pierce until three weeks ago; he didn't deserve the starting spot. And Carmelo is having a below-average season (for him) on a below-average team before finally getting injured and, of course, his team immediately started winning without him. I am a Carmelo defender and a Carmelo trade defender; I still believe he can become THE scorer on a championship team (a la Dirk last summer); and I still think it's hysterical that Timofey Mozgov nearly derailed that trade. But if there's anything less fun than watching Carmelo in full ball-stopper mode on a spiritless team with a coach dying to get fired, seriously, let me know. He actually sucked the life out of a seemingly healthy (if not a little doughy) Amar'e Stoudemire, who looked so useless that Roy Hibbert made the All-Star team over him.3 Varejao was never getting Carmelo's starting spot, but he deserves it. And if you don't believe me, you didn't watch the Cavs beat the Clippers without Kyrie Irving on Wednesday night.

EAST RESERVE GUARDS: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson

It's been fascinating to watch Williams keep that reprehensible Nets team competitive. Nobody feels sorry for him because he ruined the last year of Jerry Sloan's career, and for that he remains in NBA Purgatory at least until he signs with Dallas this summer.4 As for Joe Johnson he's the best 2-guard in the East after Wade. I know, it leaves me cold, too. In general, the 2-guard position has never been in worse shape only 20 years ago, we had MJ, Drexler, Dumars, Reggie Lewis, Reggie Miller, Drazen Petrovic, Mitch Richmond, Dan Majerle, Ricky Pierce, Jeff Hornacek and Ron Harper. Now we have Wade and Kobe, and then Joe Johnson, Monta Ellis, Manu Ginobili, Kevin Martin, Ray Allen, Eric Gordon and wait um, where's everyone else? Maybe Joe Johnson really was worth $120 million. (Thinking.) Nahhhhhhhh.

One more thing: I'm fine with leaving off Rajon Rondo (or Kyrie Irving, or the rejuvenated Brandon Jennings) because we're loaded at point already with Rose and Williams, even if Rondo is averaging a 14-10-5, shooting 50 percent from the field and still giving us those one-of-a-kind Rondo highlights. Am I slowly coming to the realization that I've been in deep denial about the Rondo era? Yeah, a little bit. Any smart team (like the Lakers last night) plays six feet off Rondo in tight games, daring him to shoot, paralyzing Boston's offense and leading to the dreaded "Clogged Toilet" play (Pierce ending up with the ball 25 feet from the hoop with seven seconds left trying to create something). It's almost like playing with a handicap. Screw that, it IS like playing with a handicap. It's also curious that the Celtics came alive defensively when Rondo missed eight games, mostly thanks to Avery Bradley, who flashed Tony Allen/Bruce Bowen-type potential as a perimeter defender (and that's not hyperbole).5 For the first time, I find myself hoping they deal Rondo for instance, maybe it could be a three-teamer with Pau Gasol and Keyon Dooling going to Houston; Luis Scola, Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry and L.A.'s 2012 no. 1 going to Boston; and Rondo and Jermaine O'Neal going to the Lakers. He needs a change of scenery, and really, so might Celtics fans. I can't watch another 84-82 game with his guy playing five feet off him. I really can't. Enough already.

EAST RESERVE FORWARDS: Chris Bosh, Andre Iguodala, Paul Pierce

Bosh gets the second power forward spot over Amar'e McAdoohaywoodmire. (Sorry, inside barb for every Knicks fan over 45 years old.) Iguodala gets Luol Deng's swingman/athlete/defender spot that Deng gave up by getting hurt; you could make a strong case for Iggy over Deng, anyway. I like having a Sixer since they're playing so well. And shouldn't Iguodala be rewarded for finally realizing what he is (a superb defender/athlete/glue guy) instead of what he isn't (someone who scores 20-plus a game and takes every big shot)? We always ***** about Josh Smith jacking up 20-footers that's the reason I wouldn't discuss Smith for one of these spots, actually but here's someone who finally started doing EVERYTHING he should be doing. And he's having a big impact on a top-3 seed. That's an All-Star to me. As for Pierce, now that he's rounded into shape (I'll withhold a sarcastic remark), he's one of the best players in the conference again and gives the Celtics a fighting chance against anyone on any given night. This will make 10 of the last 11 All-Star games for Pierce; he's becoming genuinely interesting historically. Were there 40 better players in NBA history than Paul Pierce? Were there six better Celtics? Have the Celtics ever had a better pure scorer?

(Hmmmmmm feels like a potential column. Pretend I didn't mention this.)

EAST RESERVE CENTERS: Tyson Chandler, Roy Hibbert

I can't pick between them so we're taking them both, and hopefully not playing either that much because it's the All-Star Game and nobody wants to watch Tyson Chandler or Roy Hibbert. Chandler has been really good on the Knicks even these last few games, when the Knicks were blessed to have their little bout with Linsanity, you realized that, "Oh yeah, when Chandler has a half-decent point guard who can get into the paint and find him, suddenly he's sneaky-good offensively."6 Is there a single Knicks fan who thinks Carmelo should have made the All-Star team over Chandler? Introduce me to that person I want to block them on Twitter. As for Hibbert, put it this way: At no point during Saturday's Pacers-Magic game did I lean over to my buddy House and say, "How much fun is it watching the two best centers in the East?" It's a total farce to put him on this team except for the part that the Pacers probably had to be represented with one guy. I blame Danny Granger for sucking this season. That was your spot, Danny. You gave it away.

By the way, if it's an All-Star Game and it's supposed to be fun, what's wrong with tweaking it a little and making it fun? Allow me to bring back one of my favorite ideas: Dumping the last "coach's pick" in favor of a "commissioner's pick," which would allow the Angel of Stern to say things like, "Tim Duncan is retiring after this season, let's give him the 12th spot for old time's sake."

(Thinking.)

Actually, after The Veto, maybe we shouldn't give Stern that kind of power anymore. So what about a "Fun Pick"? What if the fans were allowed to vote from a pool of players who undeniably would make the game more fun? For instance, we could dump the East's 12th-best All-Star (this year: Hibbert) for one of the following candidates

Jeremy Lin Only James Dolan could strike oil with a player, then arrange it so that nobody in the New York area could watch him.

JaVale McGee Does something supernaturally dumb week after week after week. You might see him make a game-winning half-court shot in the wrong basket before everything's said and done.

Dr. Renaldo Balkman The East's breakout "Chemist" this year, although he can't come close to topping Dr. Royal Ivey's career chemist year in Oklahoma City.

Ersan Ilyasova This season's Crazy Box Score guy. He had a 19-rebound game two weeks ago. Nineteen rebounds! He had 12 rebounds in 21 minutes the other night. He looks like a cross between Ivan Drago, Josh Hartnett and Lurch. There's just a lot going on here.

Lou Williams Jamal Crawford 2.0.

Greg Stiemsma Compared by Tommy Heinsohn to Bill Russell this season. It happened.

Tyler Hansbrough Developed into a momentum-swinging bench player for Indy, as well as the runaway leader of Bill Laimbeer Memorial "Player Most Likely to Get Punched in the Face at Any Point of Any Game" Award.

Boris Diaw's boobs We covered this.

Anyway, I'm guessing Linsanity would narrowly edge Diaw's boobs and win the "Eastern Fun Pick" vote for five reasons: He's causing an Internet riot right now; he single-handedly saved the Knicks season and gave it life; he went to Harvard, of all places (even more incredible than him breaking the Taiwanese-American barrier, in my opinion); he's a shockingly intelligent offensive player (none other than Steve Nash blessed his game on Twitter recently); and most important, he's immensely fun to watch. I genuinely enjoy his herky-jerky game, the way he splits two defenders on the high screen, his deftness around the rim, his goofy jump shot, the way his teammates respond to him, his joy for basketball it's just hard for me to believe that Lin is destined to become this generation's Billy Ray Bates (in other words, someone who catches lightning in a bottle for a few weeks and that's it). At the very least, he should be able to ease into a J.J. Barea-esque career as an impact offensive player who occasionally swings games off the bench. Anything less and I would be disappointed. Too bad we can't sneak him into the All-Star Game.

(In case you were wondering: Yes, we forgot to put Jeremy Lin on the All-Star ballot.)

WEST STARTERS: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Marc Gasol

The first three are no-brainers, even if Kobe has been as selfish as ever and you can actually hear him counting his career points in his head. Anyone who voted for Griffin over Love needs to start watching League Pass instead of SportsCenter highlights; Love has been the best power forward in either conference, and by the way, haven't we all wanted to step on Luis Scola's face at least once? And I'm a huge Marc Gasol guy he's the league's best all-around center and someone who always seems to get better when it matters. Smart defender, good leader, cagey passer. Seems like he'd be fun to play with. Helped keep Memphis alive in a brutally tough playoff picture without Zach Randolph. What am I missing? He's averaging a 15-10 for Memphis; Bynum is averaging a 17-12 for the Lakers. But Gasol means more to his team. I really believe that. And also, I ****ing hate the Lakers.

WEST RESERVE CENTER: Andrew Bynum

Look, it's not like Bynum didn't make it. He's right here. I have to be honest I think Bynum would be a 20-15 guy if Kobe hadn't reverted back to Teen Wolf mode. How can a polished low-post scorer who shoots 56 percent, has to be double-teamed and is allowed by officials to travel on every play somehow taking just three shots per quarter? This makes sense how? In Bynum's last seven games, he made 54 of 90 field goals and Kobe made 67 of 160 field goals. So Kobe missed three more shots than Bynum attempted. I guess that makes sense when you need to average 2,000 points per year over the next five to pass Kareem, but not when you're gunning for one of the eight playoff seeds with nine other quality teams. I continue to think the Lakers will miss the playoffs or come damned close.7

WEST RESERVE GUARDS: Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash, Tony Parker

Westbrook passed Rondo as the league's premier Table Test guy in other words, nobody brings more to the table while also taking more OFF the table, but he brings so much to the table that it doesn't totally matter. He also plays his *** off and sincerely gives a crap. Why does he insist on chucking those terrible 22-footers, and why doesn't he defer to Durant more when Durant continues to be the most automatic two points in the league? I couldn't tell you. (Cut to Scotty Brooks nodding his head sadly.) Still, he's a destructive athlete and the main reason why OKC always makes its opponents feel like a boxer that's pinned against the ropes. Think Julio Cesar Chavez. They have NBA title pole position right now for that reason over anything else.

As for Nash, he's having another killer Nash year (15-10, 56-47-87 shooting percentages) at age 38 despite (a) playing in a ridiculously tough conference, (b) being saddled with the worst 2-through-12 supporting cast in that conference, and (c) having the life slowly sucked out of him by one of the worst ownership situations in any sport. There's no way, at his age, with everything else going on, that Steve Nash should still be doing THIS. I think he grew up near a Canadian nuclear reactor. It's the only possible explanation. And Parker's crunch-time skills kept San Antonio alive as a contender after Manu Ginobili went down maybe you wouldn't want him around your wife, but you'd want to clear out for him in any big game. He earned that extra guard spot over Monta Ellis (another good stats/bad team year for him), Kyle Lowry (who had Parker's spot until a recent shooting funk) and Ricky Rubio (shooting 37 percent for a below-.500 team, unfortunately). Don't worry, we're not done with Rubio yet.

WEST RESERVE FORWARDS: LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, James Harden

If we're just talking basketball, I'm giving LaMarcus a slight edge over Blake he's a better all-around player, he's better in crunch time, and he's a much better free throw shooter. Throw in the other stuff (dunking, charisma, entertainment, alley-oops, etc.) and it's suddenly a much better argument, and when you remember it's the All-Star Game the kind of showcase that was literally created for someone like Blake then that's when you start thinking, "Can we just give Blake all of LaMarcus' minutes?" I don't mind thinking this way for the All-Star Game, but when we're trying to win a Gold Medal in six months? This becomes a more meaningful debate.

As for the other spot, let's quickly address the coaches voting in Nowitzki. Call me crazy, but I don't even think the Finals MVP should get a mulligan for being totally unprepared for the start of a season. He even admitted it! Everyone knew that the lockout if it ended would end somewhere between Thanksgiving and MLK weekend. He's getting paid $19,072,873 this season. To my knowledge, he doesn't have a second job. He's the best player for the defending champs, who would have a bull's-eye on their backs all season. How can Nowitzki end up being blindsided mentally and physically because the lockout abruptly ended? Check out his stats: He's having the worst season since the strike season and stopped rebounding altogether. That may have been the all-time reputation-over-substance pick. He should fake an injury and give the spot to someone who earned it. Seriously. Do the right thing, Dirk.8

So who should get Dirk's spot? Most would pick Paul Millsap (17-9, 53 percent shooting for a surprisingly decent Jazz team) over Harden (17-4-4, 47 percent FG, 38 percent 3FG), but I look at it this way: The Zombies have the West's best team, by far, so giving them three All-Stars isn't insane; Harden's unselfishness, playmaking skills, 3-point shooting and general cajones are simply indispensable (you notice every time he's not out there for OKC); he's a mega-chemistry guy for them (better than Westbrook, that's for sure); and for the purposes of the All-Star Game, sorry, I'd much rather watch someone like Harden than a slasher/grinder like Paul Millsap. Why are we obligated to reward the best guy on a 13-11 team, anyway? Who cares?

I especially like Harden because he'll have moments during a game: You know, like Tuesday night against Golden State, when Ellis was playing out of his mind, the Warriors were making everything, the crowd was going bonkers with an 11-point lead and Harden promptly swished consecutive 3s to keep the game from slipping away. (FYI: They ended up winning.) He does that **** all the time. You can go to war with James Harden. Some things transcend stats.

WEST "FUN PICK": Ricky Rubio

You were expecting anyone else???? Swap him for Parker and this is suddenly the most fun All-Star roster ever assembled. Just for fun, here were the other nominees.

Ty Lawson Fastest dude in the league, morphing into a semi-impact guy.

Danilo Gallinari Injured, so it's a moot point but he's playing well enough (and he's been enough fun to watch) that it's officially unfair to bring this up around Knicks fans. Unless they root for the Giants. If so, do it. Please. Keep bringing it up.

Dr. Royal Ivey He's to NBA Chemists what Gregory House has been to insane TV doctors.

Tony Allen You know what the most randomly fun event of a 2012 NBA game is? Trick or Treat Tony deciding, "It's time for me to lock that guy down." He's the best perimeter defender in basketball by far. I went to a Clippers-Grizzlies game last month when Tony decided that Chris Paul wasn't getting into the paint anymore and boom! It was on! Guess what else? Chris Paul didn't get into the paint anymore. Name me another defender who can handle everyone from Chris Paul to LeBron James. Even Bruce Bowen in his prime couldn't do that. Anyway, for "fun" purposes, imagine one of the East guys heating up in the second half and Trick or Treat Tony coming in specifically to cool this person off. This would be fun. Period.

Gustavo Ayon This year's top-20 guy from Hollinger's PER rankings who makes you pause and say, "Wait a second who the **** is that?"

Rubio I will make this brief. It's the All-Star Game. It's supposed to be fun. As I have written roughly 10 million times, the quality of an All-Star Game ebbs and flows with the passing DNA of the point guards. This year's game is in relatively good hands (Paul and Nash for the West, Rose for the East), but you can't tell me that Ricky Rubio a player blessed by no less than Larry Legend in my podcast this week as someone Bird's watching "every night" wouldn't improve the game by 10 to 15 percent. Having an NBA All-Star Game without Ricky Rubio is like having a hot dog without mustard or ketchup. It can't happen again. Let's make this the last time. Please.

Trader Joe
02-10-2012, 03:57 PM
*Cues up the "Bill Simmons is a chump" track and takes out the "Bill Simmons is great" track that was in the player after his interview with the Pacers and Bird.*

mattie
02-10-2012, 04:00 PM
Roy doesn't really have the most dominating game, but still a sort of weird statement from Bill. Roy's averaging 16 and 12 per 36, That is really good. That's the type of numbers Tim Duncan used to put up to help his team contend for a title.

So I find it odd. Though again, Roy's game isn't the most impressive. It's unlikely you'd watch him and say, wow, "what a great game by Roy." However at the end of the game, in 30 minutes Roy scores 14 and pulls down 10...

crunk-juice
02-10-2012, 04:02 PM
well he's played like an all-star like 3 times this season

Trader Joe
02-10-2012, 04:03 PM
I don't understand his love affair with Varejao, and I think it probably mostly stems from the "what have you done for me lately" complex Simmons will occasionally fall victim to, and he just saw the Cavs upset the Clippers.

That being said, the point he makes about the gap between Howard and Hibbert or Chandler is absolutely true.

DocHolliday
02-10-2012, 04:08 PM
It's pretty clear he has seen fewer than 3 Pacers games this year and the final verdict was made as he watched the game against the Magic.

Trader Joe
02-10-2012, 04:09 PM
It's pretty clear he has seen fewer than 3 Pacers games this year and the final verdict was made as he watched the game against the Magic.

I'd bet my life you're wrong about the bolded part.

90'sNBARocked
02-10-2012, 04:25 PM
Iblame Hollingers parent for the waste of seemen

Bill, just go away. take your ****ed up PER with you

Your just mad were on the upswing and your beloved Celtics are becoming irrelavant

The Sleeze
02-10-2012, 04:31 PM
Good for Bill Simmons.......and he can sit there and be bothered by it while I watch Roy play in the All Star game.:)

PacerPenguins
02-10-2012, 04:35 PM
<img src=http://partmule.com/blog16/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/patriots-kid-flips-off-yankees.jpg>

JB24
02-10-2012, 04:40 PM
I like Bill, but i'm guessing he hadn't seen the pacers play much before the orlando game. Roy was garbage, but clearly gassed. And Hansbrough had been anything but a "momentum-swinging bench player" prior to that game.

Jessen
02-10-2012, 04:42 PM
I don't understand his love affair with Varejao, and I think it probably mostly stems from the "what have you done for me lately" complex Simmons will occasionally fall victim to, and he just saw the Cavs upset the Clippers.

That being said, the point he makes about the gap between Howard and Hibbert or Chandler is absolutely true.

The gap between Howard and ANY other NBA center is huge. Can't get around that.

Hicks
02-10-2012, 04:46 PM
I'd bet my life you're wrong about the bolded part.

He probably is wrong about that, but you wouldn't know it if you only read this article to get a sense of his opinion of our team/players.

Knocking Roy based on that game is pretty lame. Everyone was tired and sub par that night. Plus the part where Dwight is clearly better, meaning that even in the best of circumstances this matchup is an uphill battle for Hibbert.

shags
02-10-2012, 04:46 PM
Roy doesn't really have the most dominating game, but still a sort of weird statement from Bill. Roy's averaging 16 and 12 per 36, That is really good. That's the type of numbers Tim Duncan used to put up to help his team contend for a title.

So I find it odd. Though again, Roy's game isn't the most impressive. It's unlikely you'd watch him and say, wow, "what a great game by Roy." However at the end of the game, in 30 minutes Roy scores 14 and pulls down 10...

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/duncati01.html

I don't have any issue with Hibbert being an All-Star, but please don't compare him to Tim Duncan. He'll never be that good.

90'sNBARocked
02-10-2012, 04:47 PM
<img src=http://partmule.com/blog16/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/patriots-kid-flips-off-yankees.jpg>

Love that pic :)

Cactus Jax
02-10-2012, 04:48 PM
Roy doesn't really have the most dominating game, but still a sort of weird statement from Bill. Roy's averaging 16 and 12 per 36, That is really good. That's the type of numbers Tim Duncan used to put up to help his team contend for a title.

So I find it odd. Though again, Roy's game isn't the most impressive. It's unlikely you'd watch him and say, wow, "what a great game by Roy." However at the end of the game, in 30 minutes Roy scores 14 and pulls down 10...

Uhhh Duncan put up a lot more than 16 ppg in his hayday, I haven't checked his stats but he could still be close to 16 ppg.

Roy is solid but he definently benefitted from the east's center position being weak. (and with Varejao and Chandler being on sub .500 teams) My personal guess is that the NBA may change the reserve voting in the near future to be 3 guards, and 4 forwards/centers.

I'm glad he's getting recognition but if he gets 3 looks in the paint in the game, I'll be shocked, centers are rather boring for the game unless you're Shaq in his prime.

Trader Joe
02-10-2012, 04:49 PM
Does he knock Roy for that game or does he just say that Dwight is clearly the better player? That's how I took it at least.

Hicks
02-10-2012, 04:51 PM
1. Seriously, what's up with that kid's face?
2. I shudder to think of the parenting involved if that was, in fact, intentional on the kid's part to flip the Vogel.

rexnom
02-10-2012, 04:51 PM
So. Is Simmons wrong? I don't think he is. Roy is an all-star for three reasons (in addition to his above average talent):

1.) Danny had a slow start
2.) Roy's a center
3.) The Pacers have had an excellent start.

JB24
02-10-2012, 04:56 PM
IMO, he's the only guy on the roster who- if he was to go down for a game- i'd be pretty pessimistic of the outcome. Anyone else (even Danny) and i'd give us a fighting chance. To me, that makes him our all-star.

Now, if i put my rose-tinted glasses to the side, neither the Pacers or the Sixers probably should have had an all-star. But the coaches set a precedent in the past ( High-win teams should have at least one all-star) and were at least consistent with it.

RWB
02-10-2012, 05:03 PM
I believe the negative reaction to Simmons statement is pretty simple.... He's says having Roy as a reserve is a FARCE. Kind of strectch don't think? You can agrue for someone else but a farce selection? I don't think so.

DocHolliday
02-10-2012, 05:08 PM
I'd bet my life you're wrong about the bolded part.
Simmons seems to have complete knowledge of the top 8 teams. He could give a thorough assessment of those organizations, how they match up with each other, etc. Then he has solid knowledge of the next 8--the remainder of the playoff teams. The rest of the league after that is knowledge he gets from highlights or catching the occasional game against the top 8 on tv.

Since the Pacers have just recently become relevant, he is still slowly trying to get a read on them and using old prior assessments when referencing the team. I'm sure very few will agree with this, but watch his columns--very deep and analytical on the Bulls, Heat, Celtics, Magic , (hasn't got a read on the Sixers yet either as he only mentions Iggy's athleticism or Brand's contract), Lakers, Clippers, Thunder, and Nuggets/Knicks since he's still enthralled by the fallout from the Melo trade. Any other team and his comments or analysis becomes very generic--recycled even.

vnzla81
02-10-2012, 05:11 PM
I love the Boris Diaw part, that :censored: was funny. :laugh:

Lance George
02-10-2012, 05:11 PM
So. Is Simmons wrong? I don't think he is. Roy is an all-star for three reasons (in addition to his above average talent):

1.) Danny had a slow start
2.) Roy's a highly skilled center with excellent production
3.) The Pacers have had an excellent start.

Fixed.

Roy is being penalized for "only" playing 30.2 mpg, which somewhat limits his production. If we were running him ragged, like they're doing to Marc Gasol in Memphis, he'd be averaging 17 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 2.3 blocks, and 2.2 assists, and this whole "debate" would be laughable.

Roy has been the best player, by far, on one of the Conference's best teams, and he's done it at the most critical position in basketball. He's earned his All-Star spot. Shame on those who disagree.

Cactus Jax
02-10-2012, 05:24 PM
Fixed.

Roy is being penalized for "only" playing 30.2 mpg, which somewhat limits his production. If we were running him ragged, like they're doing to Marc Gasol in Memphis, he'd be averaging 17 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 2.3 blocks, and 2.2 assists, and this whole "debate" would be laughable.

Roy has been the best player, by far, on one of the Conference's best teams, and he's done it at the most critical position in basketball. He's earned his All-Star spot. Shame on those who disagree.

There's a reason he only plays 30 mpg, he'd be dead legs, especially on back-to-backs, and I think his real numbers would suffer, its easy to say he could average this if he played 36 mpg, but generally there's a reason the player doesn't play those types of minutes.

imawhat
02-10-2012, 05:25 PM
I can definitely see why he thought that about Roy if the Magic game is his sampling size.

Kstat
02-10-2012, 05:26 PM
There's a reason he only plays 30 mpg, he'd be dead legs, especially on back-to-backs, and I think his real numbers would suffer, its easy to say he could average this if he played 36 mpg, but generally there's a reason the player doesn't play those types of minutes.

this.

Roy's weakness has always been his stamina. He's made great strides to that effect, but you'd have to have your head 2,000 feet deep in the sand to make a case that he'd be putting up much better numbers with more minutes.

"running him ragged" seems to be a backhanded way of being petty about Gasol's numbers being better in part because he's capable of sustaining a bigger workload.

shags
02-10-2012, 05:27 PM
I believe the negative reaction to Simmons statement is pretty simple.... He's says having Roy as a reserve is a FARCE. Kind of strectch don't think? You can agrue for someone else but a farce selection? I don't think so.

I'm confused. How can you say that Simmons thinks Hibbert's selection is a farce when HE PUT HIM ON HIS TEAM!?!?

yoadknux
02-10-2012, 05:27 PM
except for the part that the Pacers probably had to be represented with one guy. I blame Danny Granger for sucking this season. That was your spot, Danny. You gave it away.
Dude's pretty funny :laugh:

rexnom
02-10-2012, 05:34 PM
Fixed.

Roy is being penalized for "only" playing 30.2 mpg, which somewhat limits his production. If we were running him ragged, like they're doing to Marc Gasol in Memphis, he'd be averaging 17 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 2.3 blocks, and 2.2 assists, and this whole "debate" would be laughable.

Roy has been the best player, by far, on one of the Conference's best teams, and he's done it at the most critical position in basketball. He's earned his All-Star spot. Shame on those who disagree.
He hasn't been the best player on our team (nor by far). Though this is a more subjective point than the one you raise about production.

The advanced metrics don't back up this point. Roy plays 30.2 mpg and has a usage rate of 22.6% in those minutes. Marc Gasol plays 37.8 and has a usage rate of 18.3% in those minutes. Put otherwise, Gasol plays more minutes but, factoring in offensive plays, is involved in a virtually equivalent number of plays. Despite this, not only are Gasol's numbers better, we can safely speculate that he would produce better than Roy if he played 8 less minutes and was involved in approximately 4% more of the offensive plays called.

This is all besides the point, however. Roy is an above-average starter and has been crucial to our success. He is not, however, a top 25 player in the NBA. I'm not even sure he is one of the ten best big men in the NBA (counting guys who can play both PF and C, like Lamarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol).

Kstat
02-10-2012, 05:38 PM
I think Roy deserves a spot on the team, given he's stepped up when the Pacers have needed him the most this season. He's been a beneficiary of circumstances as well, but someone from the Pacers needed to go, and Roy was the most deserving.

SoupIsGood
02-10-2012, 05:39 PM
I'm confused. How can you say that Simmons thinks Hibbert's selection is a farce when HE PUT HIM ON HIS TEAM!?!?

.


It's a total farce to put him on this team

ilive4sports
02-10-2012, 05:57 PM
Simmons is being overly harsh on Hibbert. Roy absolutely deserves to be on the team, I haven't seen any one else say he doesn't. Is he Dwight Howard? No, but guess what, there is only one.

And I disagree on the if Danny wasn't sucking, Roy wouldn't be there. Roy would be there regardless. Danny would have made it over Deng or Pierce.

TheDavisBrothers
02-10-2012, 06:25 PM
Everyone with a brain: Not high on Bill Simmons

BPump33
02-10-2012, 06:27 PM
We've played the Celtics three times so Simmons has seen Roy play at least 4 times this year and I'm guessing even more.

On the conditioning: I know Roy has some sort of exercise induced asthma. I have no idea if that's affecting his minutes or not, but it could be.

Roy is definitely benefiting from a lot of things this year, but he's also having a pretty damn good year.

Shade
02-10-2012, 06:28 PM
1. Seriously, what's up with that kid's face?
2. I shudder to think of the parenting involved if that was, in fact, intentional on the kid's part to flip the Vogel.

He's a Boston fan. 'Nuff said.

Heisenberg
02-10-2012, 06:32 PM
We've played the Celtics three times so Simmons has seen Roy play at least 4 times this year and I'm guessing even more.

On the conditioning: I know Roy has some sort of exercise induced asthma. I have no idea if that's affecting his minutes or not, but it could be.

Roy is definitely benefiting from a lot of things this year, but he's also having a pretty damn good year.
Roy uses some sort of inhaler pre-game now, believe that started two (?) years ago. I'd assumed that made the asthma a non-factor. He's just a giant of a man that's had different demands put on him on what his body should be like.

BPump33
02-10-2012, 06:35 PM
Roy uses some sort of inhaler pre-game now, believe that started two (?) years ago. I'd assumed that made the asthma a non-factor. He's just a giant of a man that's had different demands put on him on what his body should be like.

I definitely agree. I had/have no idea how much the inhaler helps, though.

BringJackBack
02-10-2012, 06:40 PM
To me it's just Bill Simmons' perspective on what the All-Star game is compared to what Kenny, Shaq, and Barkley think (And majority of us)...

Simmons thinks that the All-Star game is a pickup game where the most electrifying players should make the team. He thinks of it as a pro-bowl.

Now, that doesn't mean that the trio thinks that the All-Star game is an honor or a very important event... But they like to award the best players in the league and they think that it is important that good players with success make it over fun players who can throw an alley-oop off of the backboard such as John Wall, perhaps.

Heisenberg
02-10-2012, 06:44 PM
when Roy's dropping no look back to the rim bounce passes to every cutter in the game on his way to double digit assists I bet Simmons gets excited

BringJackBack
02-10-2012, 06:45 PM
YES!!! :D

MTM
02-10-2012, 07:28 PM
Simmons seems to have complete knowledge of the top 8 teams. He could give a thorough assessment of those organizations, how they match up with each other, etc. Then he has solid knowledge of the next 8--the remainder of the playoff teams. The rest of the league after that is knowledge he gets from highlights or catching the occasional game against the top 8 on tv.

Since the Pacers have just recently become relevant, he is still slowly trying to get a read on them and using old prior assessments when referencing the team. I'm sure very few will agree with this, but watch his columns--very deep and analytical on the Bulls, Heat, Celtics, Magic , (hasn't got a read on the Sixers yet either as he only mentions Iggy's athleticism or Brand's contract), Lakers, Clippers, Thunder, and Nuggets/Knicks since he's still enthralled by the fallout from the Melo trade. Any other team and his comments or analysis becomes very generic--recycled even.


I have come to trust Simmons' NBA judgment over just about any other 'expert' that ESPN throws out there. I agree with your analysis of his knowledge. I also know, however, that he predicted the Pacers would be a 40 win team before the first game of the season when nobody else, including many of us, would have thought so.

tinsley#11
02-10-2012, 07:56 PM
I really don't think he was knocking Roy. It was more of the all-star game is athleticism no defense crazy dunks sort of game and Roy would be boring in it. I agree he won't have massive highlight dunks or anything in the game, but it should give him a chance to show he is the self proclaimed best passing big man in the league.

Brohan Cruyff
02-10-2012, 08:26 PM
He's a Boston fan. 'Nuff said.

No he isn't. That's a (badly) photoshopped picture of a kid in Feyenoord gear.

Kid Minneapolis
02-10-2012, 09:07 PM
Did seem like a rather uninformed perspective from Bill, which is unusual for him lately. He used to be a shock-writer, just spouting stupid stuff, but over the last few years he's really improved and he's created a great understanding of things.

So why he's commenting about Roy based off one of his worst games this year and not acknowledging many other games where Hibbert played extremely strong is beyond me. Also, his comment about Granger sucking this year lends to more evidence that he hasn't watched the Pacers lately, or consistently.

You're off your game, Bill.

rexnom
02-10-2012, 10:48 PM
Well Roy certainly proved me wrong tonight.

Trader Joe
02-11-2012, 12:37 AM
Well Roy certainly proved me wrong tonight.

Like I mentioned in the other thread, don't look now but Roy's season trajectory is starting to look frighteningly like last season, outside of his rebounding numbers.

PGisthefuture
02-11-2012, 12:43 AM
Like I mentioned in the other thread, don't look now but Roy's season trajectory is starting to look frighteningly like last season, outside of his rebounding numbers.

Really hoping that doesn't happen. Maybe being with the rest of the All-Stars in Orlando will do him some good.

Heisenberg
02-11-2012, 01:11 AM
Like I mentioned in the other thread, don't look now but Roy's season trajectory is starting to look frighteningly like last season, outside of his rebounding numbers.
No. His numbers have tailed off a bit, but they're not close, at all, to the swings we saw last season. Unless we're using one game sample sizes or something.

mattie
02-11-2012, 03:46 AM
this.

Roy's weakness has always been his stamina. He's made great strides to that effect, but you'd have to have your head 2,000 feet deep in the sand to make a case that he'd be putting up much better numbers with more minutes.

"running him ragged" seems to be a backhanded way of being petty about Gasol's numbers being better in part because he's capable of sustaining a bigger workload.

First, before I respond to Kstat: I want to apologize for comparing Roy to Duncan. Without actually examining it in detail, I from simply watching game film, assumed that Roy's production was similar to Tim Duncan's sort of "over the hill" production over the last few years. I was off base. Even in the last few years, Tim Duncan's per 36 is obviously much better than Roy's.

Now on to Kstat's comments. I'm not completely convinced, and it's not like I completely disagree. But Kstat has rightly pointed out the fact that Roy simply hasn't had the stamina to play big minutes for the most part. It's worth pointing out that, players that have better conditioning and can spend much more time on the court provide an additional positive that some players simply cannot provide.

With that said, and admittedly without much evidence, I do believe that Roy can play much more minutes this season. He's in the best shape of his life, and honestly I think he'd have no problem playing additional minutes.

He's been incredibly effective in the few minutes he's played and I believe he could play more. I do know that Vogel likes to be safe with his minutes, (like any good coach) and keep his team very well rested. We'll have to wait until the playoffs to see if it's true, but I bet we see Roy logging 35 to 40 minutes a game. I think he can do it no problem.

Pacergeek
02-11-2012, 10:51 AM
I have come to trust Simmons' NBA judgment over just about any other 'expert' that ESPN throws out there. I agree with your analysis of his knowledge. I also know, however, that he predicted the Pacers would be a 40 win team before the first game of the season when nobody else, including many of us, would have thought so.

Seriously? I can't believe anybody would value Simmons opinion over even a casual fan. His evaluations are usually completely wrong

Naptown_Seth
02-11-2012, 02:20 PM
I'd bet my life you're wrong about the bolded part.
I agree. And Bill loves the Pacers as a big up-and-comer. He was talking top 4-5 during pre-season, not after the fact.

But Roy DOES NOT DOMINATE. He doesn't. He produces, and it's different. The most impressive part of his game that would make you think all-star has been his shot blocking, which is at times pretty dang bad-***. If he was hitting his hooks and post moves consistently he'd be averaging 25 and things would look a lot different.

The Pacers have one guy that looks like an all-star = Paul George. His massive inconsistency continues to be his road block, but it seems like he will mature and get there.

Roy and Danny (and West/Collison too) are set to be like the 2004 Pistons where they are getting the job done, have decent numbers, but don't come out as the clear threat every single night in a way that NORMALLY demands all-star respect.

The talent level is spread about as evenly across all 5 positions as any team I can think of. No guy will face a lesser opponent more than 55-60% of the time. But every night 2-3 Pacers will clearly have an advantage. It just shifts from player to player.



And people shouldn't be p*****d about this, this is the kind of team you should want. For chrissake, you've had TWO all-stars come from the #17 pick. TWO. On the same roster, from the same era.

That happens never.

It's a brilliant assembly of team role players who function well together and share the load from night to night. It doesn't lend itself to lots of all-star players but it does lend itself to a lot of winning, and that's what we are here for.




PS - maybe it's a youth thing because when I was younger I was way more concerned with the Pacers getting their just due. Now I couldn't care less.

Just win baby, let the recognition drag slowly along behind it if that's the way it has to be.



His evaluations are usually completely wrongLike when he said the Pacers were a nice up and coming team that should finish ahead of the Celtics BEFORE the season started. What an idiot, he knows nothing...unless you agree with it. Sheesh. Same ol', same ol' from PD.

Naptown_Seth
02-11-2012, 02:31 PM
Like I mentioned in the other thread, don't look now but Roy's season trajectory is starting to look frighteningly like last season, outside of his rebounding numbers.
I was thinking that myself last night, and it sucks to see that it's not just me noticing because it probably makes it less paranoid and more reality.

Of course the good news is that last year he shook it off. We just blamed it all on the JOB/Vogel switch when maybe there is also a weather/usage/exhaustion factor at work.


I freaking love Roy, but I recognize the limitations. We've all called him Smits (well a lot of us) and right now I can't think of it being any more Smits-like than for him to make the AS team kinda by default while his output sometimes thrills us and other times frustrates us. Smits almost always had that "if only he would..." factor to it.

Now everyone remembers the good games, but if you could log onto PD 1992 you'd see a lot of "trade Smits" threads. TONS.

Naptown_Seth
02-11-2012, 02:36 PM
Tyler Hansbrough Developed into a momentum-swinging bench player for Indy, as well as the runaway leader of Bill Laimbeer Memorial "Player Most Likely to Get Punched in the Face at Any Point of Any Game" Award.
This alone shows that Bill follows the team enough to have some sense of it. He's been my leading candidate for the award for about 2 seasons now. Many nights it's felt like that kettle was starting to boil over, it's only a matter of time.

And when it happens - just hit the FTs Tyler. ;)

rexnom
02-11-2012, 02:49 PM
My favorite part of Roy's game is definitely his improved defense and rebounding. He definitely plays like a big guy in the middle, that's for sure. Much more than I think Smits ever did.

Trader Joe
02-11-2012, 02:49 PM
No. His numbers have tailed off a bit, but they're not close, at all, to the swings we saw last season. Unless we're using one game sample sizes or something.

FWIW, I'm using a 5 game sample size. During the past 5 games, Roy is shooting 39% from the field, for the month of February, he's shooting 45% from the field.

That 39% over the course of 5 games is a pretty big dip from what we've seen from him through January. It tracks very closely to the large swings we saw from him last year.

Even more disconcerting (for me at least), is that Roy has gone the past two games without a block. Also, his fouls have also gone up by nearly a FPG over the past 5 games. Again, maybe he comes out tonight against Denver and corrects that, but it will be tough.

Trader Joe
02-12-2012, 02:48 AM
Like I mentioned in the other thread, don't look now but Roy's season trajectory is starting to look frighteningly like last season, outside of his rebounding numbers.

:cry:

AesopRockOn
02-12-2012, 04:09 AM
Seriously? I can't believe anybody would value Simmons opinion over even a casual fan. His evaluations are usually completely wrong

So are you hoping that he's wrong about this (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7384276/the-13th-day-nba-christmas)?:


But my favorite of the three picks? Indiana. Here's how much I love this year's Pacers team: I even ogled their Central Division odds (+800) and NBA title odds (75-to-1) for a few minutes before thinking, "Wait, this is getting crazy." Just know that, if the Pacers don't crack 40 wins this season, I'll give you a refund for this column.

TJ, I also cry when I go back and read your posts.

rexnom
02-12-2012, 08:03 AM
FWIW, I'm using a 5 game sample size. During the past 5 games, Roy is shooting 39% from the field, for the month of February, he's shooting 45% from the field.

That 39% over the course of 5 games is a pretty big dip from what we've seen from him through January. It tracks very closely to the large swings we saw from him last year.

Even more disconcerting (for me at least), is that Roy has gone the past two games without a block. Also, his fouls have also gone up by nearly a FPG over the past 5 games. Again, maybe he comes out tonight against Denver and corrects that, but it will be tough.


:cry:
Thank you for this. When we "hate" on certain players, we don't derive pleasure out of it. Seeing Roy fall back down to earth is not something I enjoy.

D-BONE
02-12-2012, 08:25 AM
TJ - Blocks perhaps most indicative of his slump. Blocks & rebounds indicate activity and intensity. Plus they support the defensive end, so this correlates to our defensive drop off.

Have opponents started to force Roy into P-n-R and other schemes to take him away from paint on D? If so, can he adapt/adjust? Or is it just Roy's motor of late? Or both? He has never shown in his career good ability on the P-n-R defense. His agility, quickness, footwork are major drawbacks.

Offensively - why has his post-up positioning suffered? He seems to generally be farther off the block and just weaker in his leverage. Are teams just getting more physical with him? Compressed schedule and increased minutes? You would not have expected Denver's bigs to do this which as much success/as easily as they did.

Brian
02-12-2012, 08:56 AM
I love Simmons, but he always does stuff like this with teams other than the celtics. Since mid last season through now he has said in most of his NBA columns that he would love for the celts to trade for Roy. He said the pacers remind him of the celtics a few years ago.

Derek2k3
02-13-2012, 12:12 PM
I love Roy, but you can't say he is not the last All Star selection for the East. He deserved it, absolutely.

He's been a huge reason for our success.

BUT- as has been said, he doesn't dominate. Partly because the staff refuses to run the ball through him consistently, and partly because his conditioning/asthma limit his availability. He has a tendency to finish with 12/10, but you'd never know because it wasn't very impactful. For example, in the loss to Denver he was a non-factor...yet put up decent numbers. But anyone watching that game knows he didn't make any difference, for the most part.

I think that's why he gets an odd look when he's announced as an All-Star. He "looks" different than your prototypical dominant center.

And, to people that mentioned this scary looking "fade" he seems to be going into, I know what you mean. The numbers don't back it up, but each of the last 4 games its been in the back of my head that he is fading...PTSD from the JOB years, I think :)


NOTE: As has been said before, I think this stupid condensed schedule has/will affect Roy more than the others.