2020-2021 NBA Game Thread

azsoxpatsfan

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Suns and bucks in overtime after booker missed a turnaround deep 3 at the buzzer. Fun game
 

terrynever

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Curry is ridiculous. I kind of only follow the NBA because of vestigial Celtics fandom but here I am watching Curry on garbage ESPN. He’s beyond elite. He may not be the greatest player of all time but he’s the best, if that makes sense.
He’s clearly the greatest long-distance shooter of all time, and he changed the game. Just a genius.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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He’s clearly the greatest long-distance shooter of all time, and he changed the game. Just a genius.
Where do we think he ranks all time by the time he retires? I don’t know nearly enough basketball history to answer this
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Not many guards better than him. Oscar, Kobe ... that’s it for me.
Jordan? Magic?

I'm not old enough to have seen West or Baylor, so I don't know how to rank them relative to Curry.

Edit: I guess Baylor is considered more of a small forward than a guard.
 
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jon abbey

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Jokic with a MVP level effort tonight, his go-ahead 3 in the final minute of the second OT tonight against MEM just pushed him to 47/14/8.

Edit: 47/15/8 final on 20 for 31 shooting in a 139-137 win, 45 minutes played.
 

Kliq

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Curry is probably a credibly Top 12 player all-time for me. Hard to argue with 2 MVPs and 3 rings. I think you could make a pretty credible argument he is better than Kobe, who is painfully overrated by most people. Jerry West on the other hand...

When people say Curry is the best shooter of all-time, that is almost not enough. His skills transcended the limits of the game itself and ultimately changed the way everybody, at every skill level, approached the game. Maybe it was trending that way anyway, but Curry will go down as the face of the three-point revolution in basketball. He is like what Babe Ruth did for home runs, Orr did for attacking defensemen, Jim Brown for running backs, etc. In basketball, only Cousy, Russell and Baylor have had as much stylistic influence over the game of basketball as Curry. As great as Jordan, LeBron or Kareem are, they didn't really change the game the way Curry has.
 

Buster Olney the Lonely

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Jokic with a MVP level effort tonight, his go-ahead 3 in the final minute of the second OT tonight against MEM just pushed him to 47/14/8.

Edit: 47/15/8 final on 20 for 31 shooting in a 139-137 win, 45 minutes played.
He made some huge buckets in regulation to get that to OT too. What a fun game. OT was really Jokic and Ja going back and forth.
 

Kliq

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Watching the highlights from the Golden State game. Embiid was completely useless on defense against Curry. He never stepped up to help whenever his man (usually Draymond) set a screen for Curry, leaving Curry's defender to try and scramble around Green's borderline-illegal screens while Curry had a wide-open look at the basket while Embiid stood there and watched. Philly was never winning the game with that kind of effort.

In other news, Westbrook with a hilarious statline tonight. 13-11-17, 5/18 from the field with 8 turnovers. He was +12 and the Wizards won. Wizards will be a fun play-in team if they can get in.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Curry is probably a credibly Top 12 player all-time for me. Hard to argue with 2 MVPs and 3 rings. I think you could make a pretty credible argument he is better than Kobe, who is painfully overrated by most people. Jerry West on the other hand...

When people say Curry is the best shooter of all-time, that is almost not enough. His skills transcended the limits of the game itself and ultimately changed the way everybody, at every skill level, approached the game. Maybe it was trending that way anyway, but Curry will go down as the face of the three-point revolution in basketball. He is like what Babe Ruth did for home runs, Orr did for attacking defensemen, Jim Brown for running backs, etc. In basketball, only Cousy, Russell and Baylor have had as much stylistic influence over the game of basketball as Curry. As great as Jordan, LeBron or Kareem are, they didn't really change the game the way Curry has.
This is an opinion I’ve seen a lot, and it’s pretty obviously the case in my opinion. Curry may not be as great a player as lebron or Jordan etc, but his influence on the game (from a stylistic standpoint) is far greater.

and I think he’s definitely better than Kobe. Career numbers are close,24 vs 25 ppg w Kobe having more rebounds and curry more assists, and curry with far greater efficiency
 

HomeRunBaker

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This is an opinion I’ve seen a lot, and it’s pretty obviously the case in my opinion. Curry may not be as great a player as lebron or Jordan etc, but his influence on the game (from a stylistic standpoint) is far greater.

and I think he’s definitely better than Kobe. Career numbers are close,24 vs 25 ppg w Kobe having more rebounds and curry more assists, and curry with far greater efficiency
Curry is so difficult to place as there really hasn’t been anyone like him to ever play the game. He revolutionized the game and to me is in the class with Mikan, Wilt, Shaq, Magic/Bird, and Iverson as players who were so unique in changing the way the game was played.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Curry is probably a credibly Top 12 player all-time for me. Hard to argue with 2 MVPs and 3 rings. I think you could make a pretty credible argument he is better than Kobe, who is painfully overrated by most people. Jerry West on the other hand...

When people say Curry is the best shooter of all-time, that is almost not enough. His skills transcended the limits of the game itself and ultimately changed the way everybody, at every skill level, approached the game. Maybe it was trending that way anyway, but Curry will go down as the face of the three-point revolution in basketball. He is like what Babe Ruth did for home runs, Orr did for attacking defensemen, Jim Brown for running backs, etc. In basketball, only Cousy, Russell and Baylor have had as much stylistic influence over the game of basketball as Curry. As great as Jordan, LeBron or Kareem are, they didn't really change the game the way Curry has.
Curry is an artist because of his creativity but he is also the type of player who appears to relish breaking his opponents down. He is very similar to players like Bird Jordan or Kobe in that regard.
 

terrynever

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Watching the highlights from the Golden State game. Embiid was completely useless on defense against Curry. He never stepped up to help whenever his man (usually Draymond) set a screen for Curry, leaving Curry's defender to try and scramble around Green's borderline-illegal screens while Curry had a wide-open look at the basket while Embiid stood there and watched. Philly was never winning the game with that kind of effort.

In other news, Westbrook with a hilarious statline tonight. 13-11-17, 5/18 from the field with 8 turnovers. He was +12 and the Wizards won. Wizards will be a fun play-in team if they can get in.
Except for one play early in the second half when Embiid picked him up at the top of the arc. Curry drove left past Embiid and went to the hoop but Embiid swatted away the layup. Curry broke Philly’s will in the fourth quarter. He was barely open on most of his threes. Just give him a split-second and shot is off. I doubt Simmons would have made much difference on Curry but he would have avoided Dubs picking on Korkmaz.

Ah, it was fun to watch. Greatness can be mesmerizing.
 

johnmd20

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Remember when someone on SoSH this year was like, "Steph Curry is not a star."

That was a take. Pipin' hot.
 

Bread of Yaz

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Watching the highlights from the Golden State game. Embiid was completely useless on defense against Curry. He never stepped up to help whenever his man (usually Draymond) set a screen for Curry, leaving Curry's defender to try and scramble around Green's borderline-illegal screens while Curry had a wide-open look at the basket while Embiid stood there and watched. Philly was never winning the game with that kind of effort.

In other news, Westbrook with a hilarious statline tonight. 13-11-17, 5/18 from the field with 8 turnovers. He was +12 and the Wizards won. Wizards will be a fun play-in team if they can get in.
"Borderline illegal screen" is exactly correct - Green deviously stuck his hip out and bumped the defenders, but not enough to get called

Other huge problem was Philadelphia's on ball defenders. Some would say they played good defense because they got low and put their noses about six inches from Curry's belt. But when the screeners ran at them, they never had any peripheral vision to see the screener coming and/or Embiid never called out the screen, and so they got walled off easily. Curry is great but the defense was lacking.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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"Borderline illegal screen" is exactly correct - Green deviously stuck his hip out and bumped the defenders, but not enough to get called

Other huge problem was Philadelphia's on ball defenders. Some would say they played good defense because they got low and put their noses about six inches from Curry's belt. But when the screeners ran at them, they never had any peripheral vision to see the screener coming and/or Embiid never called out the screen, and so they got walled off easily. Curry is great but the defense was lacking.
Embiid's attempt to trap Curry from the highlights was amusing.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Embiid's attempt to trap Curry from the highlights was amusing.
One reason I’m not sold on these Sixers is Embiid’s lack of composure when things aren’t going his way. Front runners are great in the regular season but once things get tight and intense during a playoff game/series I don’t trust this guy rising above the psychological challenges that come with this.
 

Sam Ray Not

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This is an opinion I’ve seen a lot, and it’s pretty obviously the case in my opinion. Curry may not be as great a player as lebron or Jordan etc, but his influence on the game (from a stylistic standpoint) is far greater.

and I think he’s definitely better than Kobe. Career numbers are close,24 vs 25 ppg w Kobe having more rebounds and curry more assists, and curry with far greater efficiency
Steph’s been way better in the playoffs over his career than Kobe, too, including on the glass.

Steph (in 37.8 mpg): 26.5 ppg on .609 ts / 5.4 reb / 6.3 ast / +12.6 net on-off
Kobe (in 39.4 mpg): 25.6 ppg on .541 ts / 5.1 reb / 4.7 ast / +7.6 net on-off

68 points of TS% is 13.6 points per 100 possessions. That’s a big deal when your primary role is scoring.

If Steph ages reasonably well (say another 3 years at peak level, a la Nash, followed by 3 more at late-career Ray Allen level) I think he could get to #3 among non-bigs after MJ and LeBron. Say: MJ-LeBron-Curry-Bird-Magic? That’s if he ages reasonably well. I think he still has a little work to pass Magic and Bird. But he’s getting close.

Always tricky to rate the bigs (Russell-Kareem-Wilt-Hakeem-Shaq-Duncan) with non-bigs since they do such qualitatively different things, but at least the top three of that group are obviously in the top 10 somewhere. Then I think you probably have to throw in KD and Harden somewhere, assuming they both stay at peak level another ~3 years (some recency bias here, but players are just better now, and both those guys are ridiculous). Which would make it...

1. MJ
2. LeBron
3. Russell
4. Curry
5. Bird
6. Magic
7. Kareem
8. KD
9. Wilt
10. Harden

??? A lot of apples and oranges there, I know. Plus some homerism.

In terms of small players (6-3 and under), I think Steph has lapped the field, even if he retired today. With CP3 making a strong case for #2 on that list.
 
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coremiller

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Watching the highlights from the Golden State game. Embiid was completely useless on defense against Curry. He never stepped up to help whenever his man (usually Draymond) set a screen for Curry, leaving Curry's defender to try and scramble around Green's borderline-illegal screens while Curry had a wide-open look at the basket while Embiid stood there and watched. Philly was never winning the game with that kind of effort.

In other news, Westbrook with a hilarious statline tonight. 13-11-17, 5/18 from the field with 8 turnovers. He was +12 and the Wizards won. Wizards will be a fun play-in team if they can get in.
Part of the issue with bringing Embiid out to trap Curry is that Draymond is setting these screens so far out b/c Curry has unlimited range. Those screens aren't just at the 3 point line, they're 30+ feet away from the basket. That makes it extremely difficult to trap and recover if Draymond slips the screen, and totally negates Embiid's rim protection.

There just isn't a good answer for a guy who can shoot 50% on off-the-dribble 3s with a lightning-quick release from 30 feet out.
 

coremiller

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Ben Taylor of ThinkingBasketball just finished a great youtube series evaluating the greatest post-merger peaks. I highly recommend it. He ranked Curry 7th, behind Jordan, LeBron, Shaq, Hakeem, Bird, and Kareem. Curry has a good argument as the best offensive player ever, but his minimal defensive value (he's not bad on defense, but he's not a game-changer there either) makes it hard to rank him above other great offensive players who were also great defenders.
 

ugmo33

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Not that anybody in this discussion is guilty of this, but labelling Steph as "greatest shooter of all time" definitely ignores other parts of his game. He is close to Kyrie level at finishing around the basket
 

coremiller

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Not that anybody in this discussion is guilty of this, but labelling Steph as "greatest shooter of all time" definitely ignores other parts of his game. He is close to Kyrie level at finishing around the basket
He also has one of the best handles ever, which is part of what separates him from earlier great shooters like Ray Allen and Reggie Miller.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I'd argue he may not be the greatest shooter of all time, he just played in the right era. He also might be. If Steve Nash, Peja, Allen played today... who knows.

I also don't think he changed the game more than Jordan. He impacted it about as much, which is a lot. Right alongside Bird and Magic, too.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Also, why is Steve Nash never mentioned as a great shooter? It's always someone else. Maybe because he was more known for his passing and soccer?
 

Euclis20

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Also, why is Steve Nash never mentioned as a great shooter? It's always someone else. Maybe because he was more known for his passing and soccer?
Yes, but also because he was never a big time scorer. Career 14.3 ppg, never averaged as much as 19...Reggie averaged 18.2 (peaked at 24.6), Allen was 18.9/26.4, Peja was 17.0/24.2, etc. Nash is recognized historically for other things yes, but he just didn't score enough to be in the conversation with other guys who were equally efficient.
 

Kliq

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I'd argue he may not be the greatest shooter of all time, he just played in the right era. He also might be. If Steve Nash, Peja, Allen played today... who knows.

I also don't think he changed the game more than Jordan. He impacted it about as much, which is a lot. Right alongside Bird and Magic, too.
Curry is undoubtedly the greatest shooter ever. There isn't an argument for anyone else except maybe Oscar Schmidt, who you can't even compare to Curry. Perhaps if Bird played in the 2010s, he would have played similar to Curry, but even then I kind of doubt it since they were stylistically very different players. Curry's ability to shoot at such a high percentage, at such a high volume, while being the primary ball-handler and also shooting effectively from both catch-and-shoot and off-the-dribble scenarios is completely unprecedented, and while some players have successfully mimicked his playing style (Dame and Trae) they still fall short of the benchmark Curry has set.

Jordan was a more important basketball player as far as fame and success and growing the popularity of the game are concerned. Jordan though was not a particularly revolutionary style-of-player, he was really just like a better version of David Thompson or Dr. J. There really was nobody like Curry before Curry came into the NBA; if the closest comp is Nash, who averaged 14 ppg during his career and was a pass-first player, then it shows you just how revolutionary Curry was.

Curry also helped create the era of the score-first PG, something that nearly every star PG in the NBA has become. Before Curry, the prototypical PG was Nash, Jason Kidd or CP3; someone whose primary responsibility was to pass and create for others. Yeah there was that one Gilbert Arenas season, but by-and-large being a PG meant being a guy who looked to pass and only shot it when the shot clock was winding down and nobody else wanted to make a play. Iverson was regarded as not being a true PG because he shot too much and spent his career sharing the backcourt with a "pure PG." Curry was joined by players like Westbrook and Rose, so it's possible basketball was likely trending in that direction anyway, but its hard to look at what being a PG was like pre-Curry and what it looks like now post-Curry, with Dame, Kyrie, Trae, Ja Morant, Kemba, Fox, SGA, Murray, etc.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'd argue he may not be the greatest shooter of all time, he just played in the right era. He also might be. If Steve Nash, Peja, Allen played today... who knows.

I also don't think he changed the game more than Jordan. He impacted it about as much, which is a lot. Right alongside Bird and Magic, too.
I don't think there is any case he's not the best shooter in the modern era, he puts up ridiculous splits on jump shots (I looked at 2's as well to comp for the 3PAr differences with the guys you mentioned) on absurd volume. Nash was close to as efficient a shooter, but the volume wasn't sustained like Curry,

He also changed the game more than Jordan... Jordan was just really good for his era at all the things previous guys had been good at, Jordan is just a better Dr. J or Nique. Curry changed the geometry of basketball... he basically expanded what was a reasonable place to shoot from (and therefore needed to be guarded) by a good 7-10 feet. His ability to get up a 3 from 30 ft off the dribble and make 40+% of them really changed how teams defend both transition and half-court, and it revolutionized how other guys played too. A pullup 3 in transition used to be basically unheard of, and considered a bad shot... now teams hunt for open transition 3s, they're arguably one of the best shots for expected points.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Curry is undoubtedly the greatest shooter ever. There isn't an argument for anyone else except maybe Oscar Schmidt, who you can't even compare to Curry. Perhaps if Bird played in the 2010s, he would have played similar to Curry, but even then I kind of doubt it since they were stylistically very different players. Curry's ability to shoot at such a high percentage, at such a high volume, while being the primary ball-handler and also shooting effectively from both catch-and-shoot and off-the-dribble scenarios is completely unprecedented, and while some players have successfully mimicked his playing style (Dame and Trae) they still fall short of the benchmark Curry has set.

Jordan was a more important basketball player as far as fame and success and growing the popularity of the game are concerned. Jordan though was not a particularly revolutionary style-of-player, he was really just like a better version of David Thompson or Dr. J. There really was nobody like Curry before Curry came into the NBA; if the closest comp is Nash, who averaged 14 ppg during his career and was a pass-first player, then it shows you just how revolutionary Curry was.

Curry also helped create the era of the score-first PG, something that nearly every star PG in the NBA has become. Before Curry, the prototypical PG was Nash, Jason Kidd or CP3; someone whose primary responsibility was to pass and create for others. Yeah there was that one Gilbert Arenas season, but by-and-large being a PG meant being a guy who looked to pass and only shot it when the shot clock was winding down and nobody else wanted to make a play. Iverson was regarded as not being a true PG because he shot too much and spent his career sharing the backcourt with a "pure PG." Curry was joined by players like Westbrook and Rose, so it's possible basketball was likely trending in that direction anyway, but its hard to look at what being a PG was like pre-Curry and what it looks like now post-Curry, with Dame, Kyrie, Trae, Ja Morant, Kemba, Fox, SGA, Murray, etc.
Pass first PGs were on their way out well before Curry. Maybe they weren't the norm, but they weren't rare.
 

Kliq

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Pass first PGs were on their way out well before Curry. Maybe they weren't the norm, but they weren't rare.
Looking at the Top 250 scoring seasons in NBA history on B-Ball Reference. Pre-Curry the only true PGs to crack the list were Oscar, Dave Bing, Tiny Archibald and Arenas. Post-Curry you have Curry, Irving, IT, Dame, Trae Young and then some fringe-PG types in Luka and Harden. Perhaps more importantly, before Curry the only team to win an NBA Championship with their PG taking the most shots were the Bad Boy Pistons with Isiah Thomas, and that was a very egalitarian roster, it wasn't like Thomas was putting up 30 a game. Conventional thinking said that you couldn't win a title with a PG taking so many shots.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Looking at the Top 250 scoring seasons in NBA history on B-Ball Reference. Pre-Curry the only true PGs to crack the list were Oscar, Dave Bing, Tiny Archibald and Arenas. Post-Curry you have Curry, Irving, IT, Dame, Trae Young and then some fringe-PG types in Luka and Harden. Perhaps more importantly, before Curry the only team to win an NBA Championship with their PG taking the most shots were the Bad Boy Pistons with Isiah Thomas, and that was a very egalitarian roster, it wasn't like Thomas was putting up 30 a game. Conventional thinking said that you couldn't win a title with a PG taking so many shots.
What is Steve Francis? What was Allen Iverson his first few years? I guess you are talking like elite scoring PGs rather than just score first PGs. Iverson switched off the position so wouldn't count.
 

Kliq

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What is Steve Francis? What was Allen Iverson his first few years? I guess you are talking like elite scoring PGs rather than just score first PGs. Iverson switched off the position so wouldn't count.
There were certainly PGs who jacked up a lot of shots, but Curry I think decisively provided a model that showed people you could win with a PG taking so many shots. The Francis/Marbury types certainly existed, but they were not nearly as prolific and also never won anything.

If Iverson played today he would have been a PG forever; they would have never paired him with a guy who couldn't shoot like Eric Snow.
 

Cesar Crespo

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but Curry I think decisively provided a model that showed people you could win with a PG taking so many shots.
I agree with this anyway. For awhile, it seemed like Marbury and Stoudamire's were the norm though. They never won anything either.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I agree with this anyway. For awhile, it seemed like Marbury and Stoudamire's were the norm though. They never won anything either.
Weren’t their supporting casts somewhat similar to Curry’s this year with the Warriors? Obv Curry is the far superior player but his team is .500 and also not winning anything this year.

I never use the “winning” category to evaluate a player.....would Jordan be thought of as Jordan if Pippen never came along? What would MJ’s legacy be had he had the same teammates that Tracy McGrady had? Again, obv a better career but what if he never had teammates to get him a championship or multiple championships?
 

the moops

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Ben Taylor of ThinkingBasketball just finished a great youtube series evaluating the greatest post-merger peaks. I highly recommend it. He ranked Curry 7th, behind Jordan, LeBron, Shaq, Hakeem, Bird, and Kareem. Curry has a good argument as the best offensive player ever, but his minimal defensive value (he's not bad on defense, but he's not a game-changer there either) makes it hard to rank him above other great offensive players who were also great defenders.
I am not so sure that Bird was that much better of a defender than Curry :duckshead:
 

coremiller

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I am not so sure that Bird was that much better of a defender than Curry :duckshead:
Better? Maybe not. More valuable? Almost certainly, just by virtue of being six inches taller. Bird offered some rim protection and interior help defense that Curry never can because Curry''s just too small, even when he's in the right place at the right time. And Bird played in an era when defensive rim protection was hugely valuable.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Not sure where to post this but if you like anime at all, Kuroko's basketball is out on Netflix and Season 2 is coming soon.

It's pretty bad but it's basketball.
 

128

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Suns are about to win in Philly. Maybe PHX will rest some of its big guns on the second night of a back-to-back.

Wishful thinking, I know.
 

terrynever

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Brooklyn runs out of gas in Toronto after winning in New Orleans last night. Sixers lost to Phoenix while sitting 3 starters. Highlight of this game from a Philly angle was Thybulle blocking a couple of Devin Booker jumpers, like all ball. Booker was pissed. Philly’s subs played with a lot of energy. Maxey and Thybulle especially. Thybulle played 36 minutes, +4, scored zero points.