Again, this is about running an offense, something that Nelson is terrible at. Who cares that Nash only has a few years left? Nelson won't ever reach Nash's 2010 level of competence. Never. Ever. 'Dre has faults, but this isn't about who's the better shooting guard. Nelson isn't going to be Orlando's shooting guard. It's about who can manage an offense and get his teammates the ball in position to score. Have a look at a Magic game some time and see how many times Nelson hits teammates with good passes while they're moving towards the basket. But look closely because it rarely happens more than once a game.
You are right, this doesn't happen very often, because from what I recall seeing of the Magic they seldom moved towards the basket without the ball. Lewis and Turkoglu were content to just shoot the ball from the arc then actually mix it up down low, unless they were dribble-driving with the ball and had a chance for a 3-point-play. Howard, as I've already stated, struggles with any shot that isn't a slam dunk, and IMO doesn't move particularly well without the basketball. This is as much a problem with their half-court offense scheme, and you can't put all the blame on Nelson. You could put a PG capable of running a fast break on that team, like Nash, Kidd, or even Rondo, and they would likely struggle since they'd be the first ones up the court, and once they're there, everyone's standing around the 3-point line. (Nash would probably work out best since he can hit the three, but his assist numbers would certainly drop) Orlando threw up the second most threes in the NBA, that is not because of Nelson - it is by design. That's how they built their team. And while we are on that subject, your point about the opinion being 50/50 regarding the Cavs/Magic series is merely semantics. The fact is Orlando built a team that forced the Cavs, owner of the best record in the EC, to adjust to them, and they couldn't.
I find it hilarious that you're dismissing "shoot first point guards" as inferior, as shooting is about the only thing Nelson does well. Kidd, Miller, & Hinrich are much better offensive QBs than Nelson. Devin Harris is a better scorer, and scoring is all that Nelson brings to the table. So there's no real way to gerrymander the criteria for Nelson to be "better". He isn't a better distributor than Harris, Nelson produced fewer assists, and a greater percentage of his assists were of the "swing it to the next guy standing at the three point line" variety. Harris produced more high percentage shots for his teammates. Jason Terry is Jameer Nelson with 3" of extra height and better defense. He isn't a "worse distributor". If you look at his numbers as a starting point guard they mirror those of the "sixth best point guard in the NBA". Does that make JT seventh?
The trade happened at the beginning of the year. They still beat Orlando like a tin drum. With and without Iverson. Mostly because they exploited Orlando's shitty passing. Funny, isn't it, that with the "sixth best point guard in the NBA" and one of the better point forwards in the NBA, that the Magic were one of the worst passing teams in the NBA. You would think that with an all time great like 'Meer they'd do better. Right?
Already addressed most of this above. A couple of additional points; putting words in my mouth like claiming I dismissed shoot first point guards as inferior, and most blatantly your "all time great like 'Meer" comment, doesn't really make an effective argument. Shoot first PGs may work when paired with guys like Kobe, Wade, and LBJ (and if you want to go way back, MJ). Unfortunately, there's only so many of those guys to go around, and looking back over the history of NBA champions, it's pretty tough to find a team that won with a "me-first" PG, though Iverson at least made it to the finals.
Actually, you need to watch less ESPN. I'm an admin on the largest basketball only board around
And now we come to the revealing statement in all your posts. Because you are an admin on the largest basketball only board around, your opinion is the only one that matters, and you can be as snarky about it as you want. Fair enough. I too am guilty of being snarky from time to time, but it's not usually intentional.
However, in building your case for credibility, you suggested some very interesting moves in previous posts that I'd like to review. In particular, keeping Turkoglu, still trading for VC, and then also trading Nelson for Jason Terry.
But at the end of the day they would have been better off keeping Turkey, adding Carter, and replacing Nelson.
(In fact, if they'd been able to talk Dallas into a 'Meer/JT swap, and held onto Turkey they'd be at the top of the EC heap next season.)
Let's ignore for a moment that this fantasy isn't even possible (see: Magic Can't Afford to Keep Turkoglu
), and just analyze the salary numbers.
Current Orlando payroll: $80,532,126
Difference of Jameer Nelson/Jason Terry salary: $3,723,612
Hedo Turkoglu: appx. $10m (salary numbers have not been released yet, this is an estimate based on what he was seeking)
Matt Barnes: appx. $1m (again, salary numbers not released yet, this is estimated based on money left over with exception used to sign Brandon Bass)
That gives us a grand total of an additional $14,723,612 in salary, which would make NBA payroll look like this:
Estimated Payroll Projections
|1. Orlando Magic $95,255,738 |
| 2. Los Angeles Lakers $91,377,313 |
| 3. Utah Jazz $84,654,219 |
| 4. Boston Celtics $82,230,991 |
| 5. Cleveland Cavaliers $79,975,195 |
In order for this to even be remotely possible, they would not have been able to resign Gortat, leaving them with no true back up center. They also would not have been able to pick up Matt Barnes (which I think is a pretty good pick up at around $1m), and they wouldn't have been able to sign Brandon Bass (no big loss IMO). Regardless, that still only pares about $10m in payroll, and still leaves them with the second highest payroll in the league. So yes, if the Magic could have completely ignored all financial restraints and created a team with the highest payroll in basketball, they absolutely would have been better off (on the floor, at least).
I'm going to make a guess that the starting lineup of your favorite team on your Playstation looks something like this: PG Dwayne Wade, SG Kobe Bryant, SF LeBron James, C Dwight Howard, PF Dirk Nowitzki. Is it fun to override the computer GM when making your trades?