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Brandon Knight makes the All-Rookie First Team

Brandon Knight can call himself an All-Rookie First Teamer. Barely. The voting, as you can see below via NBA.com, was incredibly close as Knight tied with Kawhi Leonard and Iman Shumpert with 40 points, although Knight got fewer first place votes than those two players.

The player who was clearly, clearly snubbed in the voting was Isaiah Thomas. He belonged on the First Team over the three who tied and over Klay Thompson as well. If I were picking just between the three who tied for that last first team spot, I would’ve picked Leonard. Gustavo Ayon of New Orleans, who only got one (!) vote was also a major snub in the voting.

Still though, I thought Knight was a deserving Second Team pick  at worst, so I’m not going to complain one bit about a Piston coming out on the positive end of awards voting for once, especially after the major injustice of sticking Greg Monroe on the Second Team last year.

Oh, and for those who think the voting was weird/unfair, this award is voted on by the league’s 30 head coaches, not the media, if you’re interested in where to address your complaints.

80 Comments

  • May 22, 20124:37 pm
    by MNM

    Reply

    What does this even mean? I’ve never understood what “All (insert word) Team” is for..

    • May 22, 20127:16 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It means the best rookies this year. And it is for honoring players (in this case, those in their first year) who made a significant contribution to the NBA. What is confusing?

      • May 23, 201210:32 pm
        by MNM

        Reply

        i just don’t understand what this is supposed to do for the player in the end.. Just be a good player and win games i guess.. Besides, Tyson Chandler was the “Defensive Player of the Year” and I heard that he wasn’t even on the 1st team, which is supposed to be the best of the bunch and that paticular “craft”?  I just don’t think it means anything..and I can’t believe the players give too much of a shit about this stuff in the end.. Like I said, be a good cornerstone piece to the franchise and contribute to “wins”..

        • May 23, 201210:48 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Media votes for DPOY. Coaches vote for all-defense teams. The fact that Chandler didn’t make the first team shows just how wide open the field really was for the top defender this year.

          Obviously, this hardware is not necessary. But it’s motivational to recognize/reward good performance. Any well-run organization knows that. That’s why they have things like “employee of the month” awards. We don’t need an all-rookie team, but nor do we need an MVP. Both are nice to have though because they give more to speculate on/debate about than just who will win a championship.

  • May 22, 20125:12 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Can we have an All-Worst NBA Team award and just have CV on it this year? The players who win it can get amnestied immediately, no questions asked, and teams are exempt from paying them.

    • May 22, 20126:16 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      This is a great idea. The All-Worst team will be voted for by the leagues 30 GMs. The All-Worst second team will have there contracts reduced by 1 season :-)

    • May 22, 20127:14 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It wouldn’t really work. Every year, it would have to be inhabited solely by players who never played. Or, if you make a requirement that they had to play to qualify, it would be full of guys who barely played. It is hard to assess who is worst because they aren’t trusted to represent the team during actual games.

      • May 22, 20128:17 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        You do realize i was joking right??

        • May 22, 20128:49 pm
          by Chris H

          Reply

          It might have been a joke, but hey make it a minimum of 400 minutes played.

        • May 22, 20129:54 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Well if there were a feasible way of doing it, it would seem like a good idea. So that makes it very difficult to ascertain whether or not it is a joke. So short answer: no, I didn’t know for sure.

  • May 22, 20126:21 pm
    by KaBa

    Reply

    Well it’s not like Thomas was out of this world better then Knight. And even he had the same rookie troubles and instabilities than Knight.

    • May 22, 20129:45 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Thomas was a better overall shooter. They were the same from three. In seven fewer minutes per game, Thomas averaged more assists, steals and free throw attempts. Per-36, he averaged way more. His turnover rate was nearly four percent lower than Knight’s.

      I like Knight and his upside a lot. I think he has far, far more long-term potential than Thomas. But this season? Thomas was much more productive.

      • May 22, 201210:37 pm
        by Chris H

        Reply

        Are you so sure?  Knight sometimes got some pretty tough defensive assignments.  Not that he did well at all of them at 5’9″ I’m willing to believe that Knight held his own more than Thomas did.  I’m not trying to take away from Thomas, and I don’t watch any Sacramento games, so I can’t even get a feeling to how often his height would get exploited by another team, I just know that teams try it a lot against shorter guards.  I can’t believe that raw numbers are everything that counts when voting occurs for these awards.

        • May 22, 201210:48 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I’m 100 percent sure that Thomas had a much, much better season. You’re right, Thomas is not a good defensive player. Knight isn’t either right now, but his size certainly gives him an advantage Thomas will never have.

          But, along with the stats mentioned above, compare their PER (Thomas – 17.6, Knight 11.7); Win Shares/48 minutes (Thomas .124, Knight .029); Offensive rating (Thomas 116, Knight 97). The per minute stats slightly favor Thomas. The advanced stats heavily, heavily favor him.

          Like I said, Knight is a better prospect. Thomas had a far more productive season.

  • May 22, 20127:12 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    This is highly unusual. I’ve never heard of extra first-teamers as a result of a tie. But I would have thought that if 7 players made the first team, they’d only put 3 on the second team. Weird voting all around.

  • May 22, 20128:11 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    The coaches and sanity prevailed.

    • May 22, 20129:39 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      How so? I mean, it doesn’t even have to be about Knight. Shumpert wasn’t deserving of First Team. Neither was Thompson. Did ‘sanity’ prevail that both of those guys are first teamers but Thomas isn’t? Please. A guy you’re a fan of made the first team. That’s great. But it’s far from a ‘sane’ process. These coaches you’re extolling right now are the same ones who thought Landry Fields, Gary Neal and DeMarcus Cousins had better rookie seasons than Monroe last year.

    • May 23, 20123:46 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Also, one of these ‘sane’ coaches you hold up as the model of exemplary award voting gave Carlos effing Boozer an All-Defense team vote today.

      • May 24, 20123:32 am
        by Max

        Reply

        All I know is that while I don’t think Knight was rookie of the year, he was the only rookie in the whole class who doesn’t deserve something of an incomplete regarding their grade and season.   Knight was the only rookie who proved he could shoulder a starting load without hitting the wall or getting hurt.

      • May 24, 20123:56 am
        by Max

        Reply

        Also, I didn’t say “the coaches’ sanity prevailed” but separated the coaches, who obviously prevailed, and sanity, which prevailed in my opinion, in the case of Knight.

  • May 22, 20129:08 pm
    by Bygdygod

    Reply

    Wow Patrick ! Great pat on the back for Knight?!? How bout congratulations for being voted first team by the coaches!! I mean how great is this that the other coaches have that much respect for his game! Great great for B Kinght an Pistons Fans!

    • May 22, 20129:38 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      As a fan, I’m glad he made it. I think he was clearly one of the 10 best rookies in the league this season. As someone who is objectively capable of looking at all of the numbers and measures available, I don’t think he was among the five best. Thomas was more deserving of being on the first team than four of the players who made it ahead of him. I don’t get how it’s inappropriate to say that.

      Further, as someone who was really pissed last year that Monroe, who had a much better rookie year last year than Knight did this year was snubbed from the First Team, I’m not going to celebrate that the same system that robbed Monroe last year rewarded Knight this year. I mean, like I said, great for Knight, but as the above voting shows, coaches are just as capable as media members of getting awards voting really wrong. It’s a joke that Gustavo Ayon only got one vote.

      • May 22, 20129:58 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Ayon may have deserved more than 1 vote, but he was not as good as any of the players who made the first or second teams. They were clearly the top 12 rookies. Things would have been much more interesting with only 10 spots. I wasn’t counting on Williams making it, but one of the other 11 would have had to have been snubbed.

        • May 22, 201210:07 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I’m not saying Ayon should’ve made it necessarily. It just grates on me that there’s a perception, articulated in a couple of the comments above by Max and bdydfdyedwhateverthehell, that coaches are somehow more fair or more equitable in voting for awards than media. In reality, Fields and Shumpert were both greatly aided in making the first team by playing for NY and always being on TV. Players on lousy teams in forgotten markets get overlooked by coaches in awards voting just like they sometimes do by media. I mean, Norris Cole got two votes! Norris Cole, who shot 39 percent this year and had almost a 1 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. But he plays for Miami, he’s on TV a lot, he had a few good performances really early in the season, so he got some all-rookie votes. Two coaches thought Norris Cole was one of the 10 best rookies in the league. It just annoys me that there are people out there who actually think coaches voting on awards is a vastly superior system when the reality is they often make more illogical decisions with their votes than media.

          • May 23, 20126:48 am
            by tarsier

            You’re dead right on that. Coaches make as many stupid decisions as the media. And if you look at the results from the annual GM surveys, it is clear that they have the same biases as well. Outside of their own teams, most people involved with the NBA seem to be comparably aware of the NBA as big time fans.

          • May 24, 20123:40 am
            by Max

            Sorry Patrick but I don’t think the MVP award jumped the sharked nearly as often when the players voted for the award and I’m not knocking the media but I just feel like I’d rather the coaches and players votes for these things because I don’t believe that any amount of watching or math equals the knowledge of guys actually competing in the NBA.
            Also, Monroe was an utter travesty but really, move on.  You sound like my father who doesn’t want any player to get in the hall of fame who he considers worse than Bernard King because King isn’t in.    It’s a travesty but why compound the travesty by making a travesty the bar which would only invite further travesties?

          • May 24, 20125:12 am
            by tarsier

            How many egregious errors have there been in MVP voting, whether by players or media? There have been a number of years when the best candidate was not chosen, but it was always someone who at the very least had a strong case for MVP. And the worst MVP selection of all time was done by players: Russel in 1962. I don’t know whether Wilt or Robertson should have won it, but Russel definitely should have come in third.

          • May 24, 20125:17 am
            by tarsier

            “I don’t believe that any amount of watching or math equals the knowledge of guys actually competing in the NBA”

            There is some truth to that, I’m sure. But at the same time, consider this: Players’ jobs are to be really good at playing basketball. Coaches’ jobs are to maximize the wins they get out of the players on their own team. The media’s job is to analyze the sport. Is determining which player has contributed the most in a season a task that most closely resembles playing basketball, getting wins out of your team, or analyzing the league? There are upsides to asking players and coaches, but if the media members polled are good at their jobs (I understand that is not a given), they really should have the most competency for award voting.

          • May 24, 20124:12 pm
            by Max

            @Tarisier…..you and I couldn’t be more opposed on this one.  Russell was simply the best and his team won the championship in 62 and nearly every year of the 60s.  I wouldn’t have had a problem if he had won the MVP every season of the 60s.   Bad MVP choices by the media…let me see…….Barkley, Malone, Robinson, Iverson, back to back Nash (makes me sick), Nowitski and travesty of travesties, Rose.  They make a terrible selection almost every other year.
            This is the problem and why the players or coaches would be vastly superior: the media votes for the best story instead of the most valuable or best player.   Players and coaches would be much less likely to do that and your Wilt or Oscar is a good case in point.  They were the best stories but not the best players and the proof is in the pudding because their teams didn’t win.  That said, none of the three players would be a travesty because they are all three all time greats who deserve consideration nearly any season.   With the players I named as bad MVPs, there is an enormous gulf separating their abilities and all time stature from the true upper tier all time greats.  I hate LeBron, but Nash and Rose have no business sniffing an MVP in his league because he is head and shoulders above them.   Barkley and Malone were all time great power forwards when they won but they couldn’t wear Jordan’s jock and therefore didn’t deserve MVP consideration.

          • May 24, 20125:33 pm
            by tarsier

            Winning a championship has no bearing whatsoever on MVP because it is entirely a regular season award. And yeah, that list you rattled off was mostly poor MVP choices. But they weren’t atrocious (hence why I asked about egregious errors, not minor ones). They were defensible. They just happened to be slightly sub-optimal.

            Take for instance Rose. I would have picked Dwight for MVP last year. I don’t know whether I would take Rose or James second. But Rose was at worst the third best candidate. And neither of the other two blew him out of the water.

            Also, how do you define MVP? Because it appears that you think it is “best player in the league.” Obviously, such a definition would change things a great deal.

          • May 24, 20129:38 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @Max:

            It’s not the most scientific measure, but I believe SI did a player poll last season that also had Rose as the runaway players’ choice for MVP. Granted, you could make a legit case that players are influenced by the memes created by the media (and, incidentally, Dan Feldman called out the media hardcore on the Rose thing last year), but I think you would find players and coaches are often just as ill-informed or biased than media members who vote.

          • May 25, 20123:38 am
            by Max

            I think all of those choices were atrocious and do think players several players were much better than Rose last year.   Chicago had the best record so he got all of the credit, much like some of the other players I named, but the Bulls were a great defensive team and I maintained all year last year that the numbers said they were much better defensively when he was off the floor.   This year vindicated me beyond a shadow of a doubt as the Bulls once again had a great record with him missing a ton of games.   The bottom line for me in the cases of Nash and Rose was that the MVP can’t be a bad or even slightly below average defender but must have a great effect on the game at both sides of the court—players like them shouldn’t even be in the running.
            @Tariser…..and yes, I do count best player rather heavily in the MVP discussion and would ask how exactly the best player could not be the most valuable player?   Most valuable player is unfortunate title because it can mean almost anything.   For instance, voters can freely decide to figure out which player’s team would do the worst without them on the roster and such a method would pretty much disqualify any candidate with great teammates.  The year after Jordan’s first retirement, the Bulls had a great record anyway and were a semi-contender.   Does this mean Jordan shouldn’t have won any MVPs?   I would rather take the opposite approach and figure out which player would boost the record of the most teams.  Either method is purely theoretical but figuring out which player would add the most wins for the most teams matches my sense of most valuable player much better than figuring which player happened to be in the situation where his services were most needed,
            It also comes down to another question.   No one can convince me that any coach or GM in the entire league would have picked Rose first amongst all players in a redraft of the entire league for one season at the beginning of this year or last even if age and contract was not being considered.   How can such a player be the MVP?  It was a sham and a travesty.   The only candidates in my mind last year were LeBron, Durant and Howard and I only give Howard consideration because the center position was relatively awful last year.  Rose might not have made my top ten.    Even at PG, he belonged anywhere from first to fifth with a lot of arguable positions to take on Paul, Rondo, Nash, Williams and Westbrook.   Personally, I like Rondo, Paul. Williams and Westbrook much better than Rose because they are all better defenders and passers.

          • May 25, 20126:41 am
            by tarsier

            That’s a fair way of viewing it. But when it comes down to it, it is most valuable player and not most talented player. James did have something of an off-year last season, and, with Wade, the Heat didn’t seem that much better with James than without, Those two didn’t really figure out how to effectively play off each other consistently until this season.

            But really, Durant? He was good last season, but not a legitimate MVP candidate. He was no better than Rose on the defensive end, nor, I would argue, on the offensive end. He was the better scorer of the two and the significantly better shooter. But he was only mediocre at creating his own shots and he was not particularly good at all at setting teammates up. He was basically a phenomenal scorer and nothing more. I thought he was only nominally better than Carmelo Anthony. And his first team berth should have gone to Dirk, especially given how Dirk’s few missed games displayed how much the Mavs really depended on him. But Durant did improve mightily by this season and will now probably be a perennial MVP candidate.

            And while Rose was a poor defender, this year’s Bulls are much improved offensively without him from last year’s Bulls without him. If the Bulls had lost Rose to injury last season, I don’t believe they could have maintained their fantastic play like they did this year. But that is speculative, just like it would be if you asserted otherwise. Also, I think you underrate Rose’s passing. He passed less frequently than he would have if he weren’t the best scorer on the team. What is funny to me is your assertion that Westbrook is better in that regard. They play very similarly, but, in spite of Westy having KD to pass to, Rose still gets more assists.

            But I certainly don’t believe good teammates should disqualify a guy. It is a case by case basis on how much a player is helping his team. Last year, James, Bosh, and Wade had diminishing returns together. This year, that appeared not to be quite so much the case. Even though the removal of CP3 from the Clippers probably would have cost them more wins than the removal of James from the Heat, I believe it less valuable to raise a team from bad to playoff-caliber-but-not-a-real-contender than from playoff-caliber-but-not-a-real-contender to top contender in the leageue.

          • May 25, 20123:14 pm
            by Max

            @Tarsier….you consistently way underrate Durant in my view but I guess that is your bias.   He can guard Kobe or nearly anyone and is a much better defender than Rose and sets teammates up at his position about as well in proportion to how well Rose sets his teammates up and his personality allows Westbrook to score as much as he does.    Durant averaged 3.5 assists this season which is pretty good for a league leading scorer at small forward and he averaged 7.4 rebounds which is elite for a small forward.  He also averaged well above a steal and a block a game and more steals than Rose has ever averaged.  To me, I would trade two Derek Rose’s for one Kevin Durant and not even think twice.
            I did hesitate before naming Westbrook a better passer than Rose but I’m fully satisfied all of the other players I named are much better defenders and passers.   On Westbrook, he averaged more assists the previous two seasons than Rose ever did and Rose only approached those two years this year where he had an incomplete season.    Westbrook’s assists went way down this year for various reasons but he has already proved he can rack up assists at a fairly elite level whereas Rose has not.

          • May 25, 20127:45 pm
            by tarsier

            I was talking about KD last year (because we were talking about 2011 MVP). He improved a lot this season.

  • May 22, 201211:05 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    I dont think the coach’s looked much at stats ,because Kemba was 3rd in total pts, asts, and rebs and didnt even make 2nd team. Faried and Leonard didn’t really have great stats, but made big impacts on their team. Knight also had a big impact on the Pistons improvement this year. Whereas Kemba made no impact at all on CHA, seeing as how they finished worst record ever.

    • May 23, 20126:49 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Faried had fantastic stats (per game or per minute). He just didn’t get a ton of PT early on.

  • May 23, 201210:53 am
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    Patrick,

    With all of those stats (PER, win shares, etc) do they take into account how much time the ball was in Thomas’ hands?  I didn’t see a lot of Thomas’ games this year, but the ones I did see I got the impression of a very ball-dominant player.  Weren’t the Kings also a pretty high-scoring team?  Maybe these advanced stats account for this, I just didn’t see the huge weighting toward Thomas’ performance this year.  If you didn’t identify where Isaiah was drafted (last pick) I find it solid, but far from stellar.

    Perhaps coaches vote more on which player they would like to have (potential) measured with a little dose of some actual performance.  What do you think?

    • May 23, 20121:41 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I don’t know how win shares is calculated. I am pretty familiar with the concept of PER, though. It is the best stat out there for wrapping together all the box score contributions of a player into a single number. It completely misses everything that does not show up in a box score, though. Naturally, more of what is done with the ball in your hands ends up in the box score than what is done off the ball. That includes positive and negative contributions, but high usage will tend to increase your PER if you already have a good one. It may hurt it if you have a bad one, but that is irrelevant as Thomas was over 15. Having a strong offense will also help as most box score contribution come from offense. Very few of them come on the defensive end. However, playing at a fast pace is irrelevant to your PER because it adjusts to number of possessions.

      Some would argue that EFF is a better roll-up of box score contributions than PER. I consider that irrelevant as they are essentially the same stat. It just depends on what you want to know. EFF is a per game number while PER is a per possession number.

      I’m sure a lot of things are considered by the coaches. They probably are influenced not only by production but by how good a player looked in his best games, media exposure, and even expectations based on factors like draft position. Think about how much higher the expectations were for Thompson once Cleveland drafted him instead of the Pistons taking him.

  • May 24, 20123:42 am
    by Max

    Reply

    Any coach who voted based on PER isn’t worth his salt.

    • May 24, 20125:06 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Any coach who voted solely based on PER is seriously in error. Any coach who considered PER among a myriad of other factors did his job correctly (for voting for awards anyway).

  • May 24, 20124:14 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    At the end of the season, a coach shouldn’t have to look at anything to decide such a matter.  He should already know his answers.

    • May 24, 20124:22 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      That’s beyond insane, and it’s why we’ve had ridiculous votes in the coach voting for all-rookie, all-defense and all-nba so far.

      Yes, a coach who votes seriously on these awards SHOULD have to look at things to decide who is most deserving. Since most coaches are occupied, you know, COACHING THEIR OWN TEAMS for hundreds of hours per week, I would guess they don’t get a great opportunity to see other guys in the league up close on a regular basis, aside from the 2-4 times per year their teams play.

      So, if Norris Cole shreds you in one of the four or five good games he had this season, you might say, if you don’t go back and “look at things,” “well that Norris Cole kid was great this year!” and give him a totally unjustifiable all-rookie vote. Or, conversely, if you only see New Orleans early in the year before someone like Ayon has won a spot in the rotation, you might not vote for him because you don’t know that he actually had a pretty good season once he started playing.

      My assumption is coaches don’t care all that much about these awards, so they don’t put much effort into their votes. And because they don’t put much effort in, stupid shit like Norris Cole getting all-rookie votes or Carlos Boozer getting an all-defense vote or Andre Iguodala getting left off the all-defense team or Kobe Bryant making all-nba first team happens.

      • May 24, 20125:36 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        And Kobe making all-defense (this year “just” second team, at least). Kobe, at this point in his career, can still be a lock down defender. But he only does so very rarely. On average, he is probably a slightly above average defensive SG.

        • May 25, 20125:25 am
          by Max

          Reply

          Kobe practically led the league in scoring or is that a counting stat?

          • May 25, 20126:43 am
            by tarsier

            How is that relevant to my comment that Kobe is not deserving for the all-defense team?

          • May 25, 20127:03 am
            by tarsier

            It is a counting stat, which is not in itself a bad thing at all. A counting stat is any stat that only goes up or stays the same (point, rebounds, assists, games played, etc). Those are the majority of stats, so it’s not like anyone would say they don’t matter. But it does matter how you come by them. Kobe did not get his points particularly efficiently. Scoring a lot is all well and good. But if it takes a ton of shots, many of which your teammates could have scored more if they’d taken instead, it does lose some of its glamour.

          • May 25, 20123:23 pm
            by Max

            Patrick complained of Kobe’s all-nba selection and stats don’t provide context.   Kobe faces a lot more defensive pressure than most players and has to score in spite of double teams, 10 defensive eyes on him and players pushing him way out on the floor.

          • May 25, 20123:31 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Bryant didn’t have a better season than Wade, Parker or Chris Paul. He was a second or third teamer.

            Call me crazy, but awards that honor the best individual season should accurately reflect the players who had the best individual seasons. Wade, Parker and Paul were just better this year. Kobe is in the convo with Westbrook, Rondo and Nash in the next tier of guards.

          • May 26, 20125:43 am
            by Max

            Not calling you crazy, but I don’t really understand your claim regarding Wade or Parker but can make sense of the argument that Paul simply and non-controversially had a better season.   Wade put up the worst stats since his rookie season and only played in 49 games.   Kobe may have only played 9 more in the shortened season but he played a much higher percentage of the games, came in second in scoring in the whole league and significantly upped his scoring average from the previous year,   He also was the absolute attention magnet and go to guy on his team and you can’t say the same of Wade or Parker.   And what exactly did Parker do to even put himself in an argument for the first time of his career with Kobe?  Average his career best 7.7 assists or play for the best team in the league?   These are not exactly astounding accomplishments like scoring 28 points a game at the age of 33.

          • May 26, 20126:55 am
            by tarsier

            I’m continually amazed by your analysis. Your rejection of Parker’s greatness this season seems to fly right in the face of the whole taking Walton over Chamberlain thing. Yeah, Parker put up maybe 3rd team stats this year. But he wasn’t just a member of the best team. He carried the Sours this season to enormous success without much help. Duncan didn’t miss many games, but nor did he play big minutes. And his time on the court during the regular season was decidedly mediocre. Ginobili was out. And much of the rest of the supporting cast were rejects from other teams who had contributed next to nothing before being in San Antonio.

            Kobe is the perfect comparison to Wilt. I mean, obviously he is not as good and he plays a different position. But he always wants to be and plays to be the hero. He plays stupid basketball, often taking the wrong shot or making the wrong play because he has way too much hubris. But he is so damn good that he makes massive contributions anyway. He claims to be all about winning, but really he is all about winning his way. It’s why the Lakers are renowned amongst stat geeks for having one of the league’s worst offenses in crunch time relative to the rest of the game. Kobe will always play predictable hero ball and give the opponent a great shot at stopping him. Then, occasionally, his talent will supercede his poor decision making and he’ll get the win anyway.

          • May 26, 20127:15 am
            by Max

            Kobe has many character flaws but was always much more serious about winning than Wilt and patterned himself on one of the greatest winners ever in Jordan.   Whatever Kobe’s faults though, I just don’t even consider Parker to be on Kobe’s tier.  I also still basically think Duncan is the most important player.
            I am not denying Parker’s greatness and think of him as a lock hall of famer but to say Parker did not have much help is crazy.  If you look at the Spur’s over the past several seasons, Parker and Ginobili have basically played semi-complete seasons every year and Duncan takes nights off and yet the Spurs are at or near the top every regular season and this year they have more depth than ever before.

      • May 24, 20125:44 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Also, I just looked at all-NBA voting (which is incidentally not by coaches but by writers, not sure how you missed that since I believe you were a voter). Only 16 of 120 voters didn’t put Kobe on the first team! Are you kidding me?!?! He got way more points than CP3, who should have been the only lock for all-NBA guard. I could be ok with Kobe making the first team. But it should have been tight between him, Wade, Parker, and Westbrook.

        • May 24, 20129:35 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          My fault on All-NBA, you’re right, it’s writers. Just sloppiness on my part. And, though I appreciate you think I could be a voter, I’m far from having a vote in postseason awards, haha. (Other than the ones the TrueHoop Network has done the past few seasons.)

          Anyway, my rants aren’t about either coaches or media necessarily being superior to the other when it comes to handing out awards. If we’re generalizing, I think coaches know the game a hell of a lot better than much of the voting basketball media (although there are some absolutely brilliant writers covering the NBA). But like I said above, I think coaches fall into a trap of, A., not caring all that much about postseason awards to spend time doing due diligence on them, and B., they are so wrapped up in their full-time job of coaching and developing their team and trying to win that they don’t necessarily know things like the fact that it has been at least a couple seasons since Kobe Bryant was an all-world defensive player game in and game out or that Andre Iguodala, always a good defender, took a huge leap forward defensively this season and deserved not only all-defense consideration, but defensive player of the year consideration.

          Both ways of voting have flaws. Coaches are busy and probably don’t see enough games not involving their own team (understandably). Media have many different issues — people who don’t know the game that well, people who are unaware of all the stats/measures/information/film available to them, people who just plain don’t care, people who hold grudges against players who are cooperative with them vs. showing favoritism to those who are good with media, etc. I’m not at all saying that media voting is superior to coaches, and I hope my points didn’t come across that way. I just firmly believe that coaches often make the same dumb kinds of mistakes in voting that media members do.

          • May 24, 201210:57 pm
            by tarsier

            Ah, I mistook the post on your votes to be one of those “here is my ballot” articles.

          • May 24, 201211:01 pm
            by tarsier

            I’d like to think the media would do a better job just because their jobs are actually to analyze the NBA. But that is probably wishful thinking. I definitely expect either the coaches or media to do a better job than the players..

          • May 25, 20125:27 am
            by Max

            @Tarsier……the media’s job is to create stories, ratings and traffic.   I don’t know how you can think so idealistically.

          • May 25, 20126:49 am
            by tarsier

            @Max
            That’s true. It’s part of why I used the term “I’d like to think…” I’d also like to think that good analysis gets strong ratings and traffic. Obviously, so does sensationalism, but I do believe that quality at least plays a part. When it comes down to it, Patrick is right that both groups have their flaws as voters. One advantage that you certainly have to concede, though, is that the media has more people than the coaches (they could have more than the players, but it seems the nba is rather selective with who gets a vote. that hurts my numbers case but helps my good analysis case). It is basic statistics that the average of a lot of perspectives tends to be better than the vast majority of perspectives. For instance, with a situation like guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar, more often than not, the average guess is actually closer than any individual guesser.

          • May 25, 20123:18 pm
            by Max

            @Tarsier…..If you needed an operation, would you want the best 30 doctors in the world to look at you for a diagnosis or the composite diagnosis of an arbitrarily assigned, and not necessarily the best, 120 doctors.

          • May 25, 20123:28 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Anyone who would let Vinny Del Negro be among 30 people who diagnose them deserves their fate.

          • May 25, 20127:50 pm
            by tarsier

            If the 30 coaches were the 30 best analysts of the NBA out there, I would not worry about their smaller number. However, unless there is strong evidence that they are significantly better analysts than the media voters, the extra numbers are helpful.

            This is more like a diagnosis from 30 doctors at hospital A versus from 120 doctors at hospital B when there are very mixed opinions on which hospital does better diagnostic work.

          • May 26, 20125:33 am
            by Max

            @Patrick….do you really think Vinny Del Negro understands less about basketball and is a worse judge of players than the average person on that panel who never played a minute in the NBA?  Whatever Del Negro’s faults as an actual NBA coach, he was a starting player for a championship squad and he must have convinced the Bulls and the Clippers regarding his acumen.

      • May 24, 20128:00 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        but your point is totally true

      • May 25, 20123:40 am
        by Max

        Reply

        My assumption is that coaches know all of the established players games but maybe I give them too much credit.   And btw: If you failed to establish yourself in the coaches minds, you probably don’t deserve any consideration.

        • May 25, 20126:52 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          If you didn’t establish yourself in the coaches’ minds, you probably don’t deserve consideration for all-NBA. But many seasons, there are not 10 rookies in the league who are a sure thing to establish themselves in coaches’ minds, I don’t think.

      • May 25, 20123:51 am
        by Max

        Reply

        @Patrick…..Maybe I’m giving coaches too much credit but I feel like you are describing them as if they are ostriches with their heads in the sand regarding all of the games they don’t personally coach.   I think most of the coaches watch a ton of games and game film throughout the year and are at least as aware of all of the players stats as your average fantasy sports champion.

        • May 25, 20126:55 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I’m guessing you are right that most coaches watch a ton of games. I am guessing you are wrong that they know the stats as well as fantasy champions. Fantasy revolves entirely around stats. They are all that matter. Coaches should be more interested in how good a guy is, what his style of play looks like, etc.

          • May 26, 20125:50 am
            by Max

            One reason I think you and Patrick are very wrong is that coaches have access to stats they study that we don’t even receive and they do consider such stats to be important.  I have even heard coaches say that the box scores are garbage but my point is that individual coaches know how many deflections certain players average per game and consider it an important stat.   We don’t even have access to such numbers.

  • May 25, 20123:56 am
    by Max

    Reply

    @Patrick…..one more thing, I think the coaches or media, whichever, usually require multiple years of a player deserving first team defense before he gets it for some reason.   I also think it’s an award that is about respect and what a guy can do.   They may realize that Kobe isn’t doing it every night but may think  it’s more important that he can and will when he is in a big game.   Iggy is more questionable in that light.   Defensive awards are largely about which player you fear most and Iggy has a mountain to climb with Kobe because his past casts a large shadow.

    • May 25, 20126:59 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I can’t speak for Patrick, but I definitely agree with this. I just think it is a bad thing. Since they are single season awards, they shouldn’t require a long history.

      Also, Kobe is just a unique case in that he gets more attention for every award than he should. You don’t continue to see Duncan even competing for all-NBA defense. And he was better on that end a couple years ago than Kobe ever was.

      • May 25, 20123:20 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        The competition amongst bigs on the defensive end is simply much stiffer.

  • May 25, 20127:07 am
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Also, Max, your notion that MVP should be the best player and not just who elevated his team the most is an odd pairing with your belief that Russel deserved more MVPs than Wilt.

    • May 25, 20123:19 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Why, I think Russell was the best player of that era by far.

      • May 25, 20127:53 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Ok, my bad, in that case you are just wrong. The Wilt vs Bill debate is a good one. I can respect both sides. I lean towards Wilt but I also waffle on it frequently. However, anyone who says one of them was by far better than the other is in error. That’s all there is to it. It’s like arguing Karl Malone vs Charles Barkley. I can respect you coming to the conclusion that either one was the better player. But if you think one blew the other out of the water, that’s simply laughable.

        • May 26, 20125:29 am
          by Max

          Reply

          One player was all about winning and team and the other player was all about proving himself through his individual performance.  That is the reason Russell blows Wilt out of the water.

          • May 26, 20126:42 am
            by tarsier

            That may make Russel blow Wilt out of the water as a basketball role model, but not as a better player. In fact, on the latter count, that is more of an equalizer. Because Wilt clearly had more potential/talent/ceiling/whatever.

            When it comes down to it, the core of the debate is that Russel did everything in his power to make his team win more. Wilt didn’t. But when Wilt did, he had a greater impact. Then the question is whether Wilt playing sub-optimally for team success contributed more than Bill playing optimally. And that is a very close call either way.

          • May 26, 20127:18 am
            by Max

            11-2.  Not very equal.

          • May 26, 20127:27 am
            by Max

            And what does talent/ceiling/potential have to do with once the players careers are over?   Harold Miner and Isaiah Rider might have had more of those things than Rip Hamilton or Andre Miller but things didn’t work out that way in the NBA.   Derrick Coleman probably had more of those things going on than nearly anyone in the hall of fame but so what?   Bill Russell is the greatest winner in the history of team sports and it is very important when assessing these players as individuals to remember that it is a team sport.   All of Russell and Chamberlain’s contemporaries as players thought Russell was a better player.  Who are we to argue based on impressive stats?

          • May 27, 20127:28 pm
            by tarsier

            Potential has nothing to do with it–that’s my point. But people like to argue against Wilt on the basis that he didn’t maximize his potential. That is irrelevant. What matters is what he did achieve (which can hardly be summarized just in number of championship–don’t forget that championships are team accomplishments, not individual accomplishments).

            11 championships, after all, is just another impressive stat.

  • May 26, 20125:18 pm
    by ray

    Reply

    COACHES VOTED! NUFF SAID PROPS TO BK

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