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Do we really need an elite point guard?

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  • Do we really need an elite point guard?

    I was listening to the Tim and Sid: Uncut podcast the other day, and they talked about how only 2 of the last 21 NBA Champions had a great point guard (Parker on the Spurs, Billups on the Pistons), all this in what's called a "point-guard driven league". Something that all those NBA Championship teams had in common? A loaded front court.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make here is if we don't draft a point guard in 2012, it isn't the end of the world. Another reason why to endorse the drafting of Valanciunas--beefing up the front court.

  • #2
    Well, first I have to say that I'd probably include Isiah and Magic as elite PGs. Or are they saying that in the last 21 years (man, has it really been that long?)?

    More to the point, I agree with their assessment to a degree. I also think the NBA has changed someone due to the handchecking rules, but it doesn't change the fact that you don't need an elite PG, but what you need is someone with the elite skill of making those around them better. For Dallas it's Kidd. For the Lakers it's Kobe. San Antonio it's Tim Duncan and Ginobili. You don't have to be an elite player to do it, but you need to have that skill. At this point, then ONLY player on the Raptors that makes players around him better is Calderon.
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    • #3
      Elite? Or veteran? Look at all the winners lately.
      @sweatpantsjer

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      • #4
        Please don't read that and think that means I want parker
        @sweatpantsjer

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        • #5
          not really look at the lakers. Bayless is fine for now, maybe he has a breakout season next year you never know...

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          • #6
            New young point guards enter the league all the time (Westbrook, Rose, Rhondo, Deron Williams, etc...), and push older point guards down the conveyor belt. Kidd and Nash can still serve well, but in the end this game is about speed and putting up with the wear and tear.

            Not to take anything away from what Jayson Kidd did for the Mavs, just that if you remember Jayson Kidd in his prime you know that his abilities are greatly reduced, what he did this year was mostly through wisdom, poise and experience.


            Elite point guards help, but I think its mostly about fit. I don't think distribution is that huge of a deal for us, we seem to get good looks on offence and generally have good FG% with the tandem we have. The teams that need point guards, are having a hard time putting points on the board. (I know they are exciting to watch, but its not our teams primary need, we need defence and inside presence, maybe some 3pt shooting (but that should not come at the expense of defence, idealy derozan, jj, jose and bayless step up their makes))
            Last edited by MyMomLovesMe; Sat Jun 25, 2011, 03:59 PM.

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            • #7
              Toronto fans always get hung up on one position or another. In the end, all that matters is talent and fit. If you have talented players that play well together you will win, if not you won't.

              As far as specifics go, you need perimeter D, someone to protect the rim, rebounding, inside scoring, outside shooting and someone who can consistently get his own shot or past his man and into the lane (can be a Paul type or Kobe type).

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              • #8
                Not necessarily an elite, but it helps to have a damned good one if you don't have a future hall-of-famer on your team.
                your pal,
                ebrian

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                • #9
                  I want one. Basketball is a heck of a lot more entertaining when someone like Chris Paul runs the floor.
                  -Tim W.

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                  • #10
                    I think for this conversation, we need to discuss Stockton as well. He (and a few others) would have had rings if it weren't for Jordan. That being said, I don't think you need an elite level point guard, you just need an elite level player(s), which the Raptors might not have for awhile.
                    Walking like I'm already there.

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                    • #11
                      I think the reason a stat like this is misleading has a lot to do with the position you're looking at. Defining elite level play for a point guard is very different than elite level play for a wing or a big, in the same way you hide a catcher that barely cracks .200 in your lineup because he calls a great game and the pitchers love him. You can't do that with bigs and win in the playoffs, defense and rebounding are too important. And big guys that can do those things AND score are (or arguably were) the most valuable players in the league.

                      I wonder what the number for small forwards is now and what it'll be after Durant and James are done playing. Point is, the NBA is not now like it has been in the last 20 years. Speed is more valuable than ever before in the league, and that's especially true at the point. An elite point may not be essential, but man does it help things.

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                      • #12
                        To be a competitive squad in this league, you need more than an elite center or guard. You'll likely need both, Unless you have a Lebron (who even in his Cleveland years never amount to much in the playoffs) who can score, rebound, AND assist. You cannot have star guards and expect to win a championship with an average center, and vice versa. Jonas, even though his name sounds like a bust, is a PART of the puzzle, he's not the complete solution. So as we continue to pile up top draft picks, we will eventually rise, and quite frankly I rather wait for a complete product than have a quick fix that goes no where beyond a first round exit.

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                        • #13
                          No we don't necessarily need an elite PG. What we absolutely need, however, is elite talent (whichever position). And we don't have any. At the very least, jury is still out on some of the players (Derozan/Davis) if they have it in them.

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                          • #14
                            I think the lack of great PG champions often has more to do with crappy quality of help. As good as Stockton-Malone were, they had pretty little serious help for most years. Ditto goes for Payton. Paul right now is getting screwed in New Orleans. Kidd had little help in NJ. Nash had Amare and Marion, but little depth or help up front. Rose has a lot of depth with him, but no second all-star like Stockton, Nash, Payton and even the KJ/Barkley years in PHX. So really the question should be this: how many teams properly build around an elite PG?
                            Championship teams are often deep teams. It's not necessarily strictly because of depth. It can be because it means more overall talent. Or an ability to overcome injuries. Or an ability to fight foul trouble. Or switch up your defensive matchups.

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                            • #15
                              white men can't jump wrote: View Post
                              I think the lack of great PG champions often has more to do with crappy quality of help. As good as Stockton-Malone were, they had pretty little serious help for most years. Ditto goes for Payton. Paul right now is getting screwed in New Orleans. Kidd had little help in NJ. Nash had Amare and Marion, but little depth or help up front. Rose has a lot of depth with him, but no second all-star like Stockton, Nash, Payton and even the KJ/Barkley years in PHX. So really the question should be this: how many teams properly build around an elite PG?
                              Championship teams are often deep teams. It's not necessarily strictly because of depth. It can be because it means more overall talent. Or an ability to overcome injuries. Or an ability to fight foul trouble. Or switch up your defensive matchups.
                              One explanation I've read is that elite PGs tend to make their team overachieve. That does two things. The first is that it makes the team more successful more quickly, often giving them lower draft picks and less talent. The second thing it does is makes the talent on the team APPEAR better than they actually are. In the regular season it works, but not as much in the playoffs. If you can get the talent BEFORE you get your elite PG, or are able to ignore the apparent success and upgrade the roster when it appears it doesn't need upgrading, then you don't have this problem.

                              Makes sense.
                              Read my blog, The Picket Fence. Guaranteed to make you think or your money back!
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