[NBA] Western Conference Semifinals

Who advances to the Western Conference Finals?


  • Total voters
    12
  • Poll closed .
“Good offensive player made great by officiating” is 100% true though. If James F Harden wasn’t rewarded for throwing himself into every defender on the court HIS style of play would be vastly different, and the leagues ability to attempt to defend him would be vastly different. You cannot say if the league was officiated in an non-bias vaccuum Harden would be the same player. Because he wouldn’t.

I already knew everything I needed to know, but when he had a chance to knock down a big three last night but instead focused more on throwing his legs into Iggy instead of straight up shooting it, it said all that needed to be said about him. And it was non-called, and he missed the shot. Lol
Exactly. The guy is a fraud. Like I said, good player made to be much, much better than he is due to what he's allowed to get away with (obvious 3-4 step travels and push offs). Then you factor in his incessant attempts to draw fouls and it goes to another stratosphere.

I've been following the NBA since the late 70's. I've never seen a player get away with or get bailed out as much as Harden. Not Kobe, not Jordan, not Curry, not Bird, not Magic. Not even Shaq -- who I thought always got away with a lot of bullying and dislodging. Those guys certainly got star treatment (think Kobe's elbow in Mike Bibby's face). But not quite to Harden levels IMO.

Need more proof of him not being exceptional? Check Harden's career shooting numbers. They're not bad, but not stellar either. On average, he's a 44% shooter. From 3, he's around 35 - 36% -- which is about the league average. He just shoots a lot more than most anyone else. Stars such as KD and Steph Curry have shooting numbers well above average.

Like I said, he's a chucker. A volume scorer. The only thing he does above average when he wants to is create for others. Oh, and I suppose he's well above average in flailing his arms, legs and anything else he can to 'initiate' ridiculous foul calls.

7 years in w/ the Rockets now and it still hasn't resulted in a title or even a Finals appearance. W/o major injury to a contender or some other star player going to join him, I don't think it ever will.
 
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One player I've compared Harden to over the years is Carmelo Anthony. I'm talking prime Carmelo Anthony.

Sure, their games are different, in different ways. And Carmelo is a bigger player. But where they're similar IMO is that they are volume scorers whose style of play only takes them so far. Like Harden, Carmelo was part of some really good regular season teams as the lead dog. He even reached the Conference Finals once. But nobody sees him as a transcendent player or one of the best of all-time.

Carmelo surely benefited from 'star' treatment during his time in the league, but nowhere near the level of Harden. In his prime, if given the same leeway and rules (freedom of movement) who doesn't believe he couldn't have averaged well over 30 ppg too? But he still wasn't a winner.

For fun, here's a basic stat comparison of the 1st 10 years of Harden and Carmelo's careers. You tell me who is who:
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Player A: 25.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 45.5% FG, 33.9% 3pt FG, 81.0% FT%, 1.1 spg, .5 bpg, 2.9 to
Player B: 24.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 6.2 apg, 44.3% FG, 36.5% 3pt FG, 85.7% FT%, 1.6 spg, .5 bpg, 3.6 to
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I'm sure you can figure it out based upon one particular stat. But the point is, they are eerily similar. So is their regular season success with the penchant not to be good enough come playoff time.

My argument is that prime Carmelo could have come close to what Harden is doing now if given the same rules and latitude. Yet Carmelo has a certain stigma about him that some aren't willing to acknowledge about Harden.

Another good example IMO is Tracy McGrady. Probably even Allen Iverson to some degree. But I'd take AI and T-Mac over Harden all day and everyday.
 
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One player I've compared Harden to over the years is Carmelo Anthony. I'm talking prime Carmelo Anthony.

Sure, their games are different, in different ways. And Carmelo is a bigger player. But where they're similar IMO is that they are volume scorers whose style of play only takes them so far. Like Harden, Carmelo was part of some really good regular season teams as the lead dog. He even reached the Conference Finals once. But nobody sees him as a transcendent player or one of the best of all-time.

Carmelo surely benefited from 'star' treatment during his time in the league, but nowhere near the level of Harden. In his prime, if given the same leeway and rules (freedom of movement) who doesn't believe he couldn't have averaged well over 30 ppg too? But he still wasn't a winner.

For fun, here's a basic stat comparison of the 1st 10 years of Harden and Carmelo's careers. You tell me who is who:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Player A: 25.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 45.5% FG, 33.9% 3pt FG, 81.0% FT%, 1.1 spg, .5 bpg, 2.9 to
Player B: 24.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 6.2 apg, 44.3% FG, 36.5% 3pt FG, 85.7% FT%, 1.6 spg, .5 bpg, 3.6 to
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm sure you can figure it out based upon one particular stat. But the point is, they are eerily similar. So is their regular season success with the penchant not to be good enough come playoff time.

My argument is that prime Carmelo could have come close to what Harden is doing now if given the same rules and latitude. Yet Carmelo has a certain stigma about him that some aren't winning to acknowledge about Harden.

Another good example IMO is Tracy McGrady. Probably even Allen Iverson to some degree. But I'd take AI and T-Mac over Harden all day and everyday.
Harden is better than prime Melo by a comfortable margin. You took the stats of Harden's first 10 years without accounting for the fact that 3/10 were playing off the bench for Westbrook and KD.
Post season success is the biggest part of all of this. Do you know how many playoff appearances Carmelo has? 11. Do you know how many first round exits he has? 9.

Right or wrong, Carmelo was always labeled as a loser. If you're a true star in this league, there's no way you can be THAT bad in the playoffs. Yes the West was very strong, but that's not an excuse. Harden doesn't have a ring, but he has a ton of playoff success compared to Melo.
Now looking back at the DeMarcus Era, if he was nearly as good as we thought he was, he should've brought us to at least 1 playoff. It's one thing to win 40 games and just miss it by a hair, but under Cousins... we weren't even in the picture. This is the same thing that plagues Devin Booker.

Post-season success defines a lot of a player's career.

There's a lot of Harden hate, but he's a top 10 SG of all time. I'd take Harden 10/10 over both Melo and T-Mac.
 
Both Harden and Paul played passively in the 4th. But that wasn't all that was wrong. Houston blew a 3 on 2 fast break with about 9.5 minutes left in the 4th that would have made them up by 9; on the same play Paul was loafing in the back court instead of getting up the floor and demanding the ball. Why was Green taking shots that should have gone to Gordon, Harden or Paul? Why didn't Houston do some hard fouls on GS layups (e.g. Looney) and make them go the free throw line? Harden did his dribble, dribble, dribble act, then pass, with 10 seconds or less, which works fine in the regular season, not so much in the playoffs. All in all, a choke job by Harden and a lousy coaching job, imo. I think Houston makes a coaching change. The "you take your turn and I'll take my turn offense" just doesn't work in the playoffs.

Golden State played like the champions they are. I couldn't have more respect for those guys. It was an awesome performance.

Great point about the 3 on 2. I think there was another play like that later in the 4th. I remember Van Gundy harping on it. But perhaps it was the same play? Regardless, plays like that are exactly what I dislike about HOU's style of play and what they represent.

It sort of reminds me of the LA Dodgers in baseball. Analytics have helped get them into the World Series the past 2 years and have kept them on top of their division for quite a while. But in the postseason, the same strategies that work over a grueling 162 game schedule don't work the same in short series against better competition and more prepared teams.

The Dodgers tried to rely on hitting multiple home runs every game, like they had done all regular season, instead of playing situational baseball -- ie advancing runners, taking advantage of the shift, etc. Meanwhile their opponents, namely Boston last season, adapted and adjusted much better.

In the NBA, the Warriors continue to win not only because they have the best collection of talent, but because they play the better style of basketball on both ends.
 
The Dodgers tried to rely on hitting multiple home runs every game, like they had done all regular season, instead of playing situational baseball -- ie advancing runners, taking advantage of the shift, etc. Meanwhile their opponents, namely Boston last season, adapted and adjusted much better.
Totally off topic, but as a Sox fan who has always had a soft spot for the NL; I totally loved the way the Sox managed to be the cerebral team in all of their series last year. AL has always seemed the brute force league due to the DH. Cora has been amazing.

As for Houston, frankly I am blinded by pure hatred of Harden. I'm glad they lost, but I can't truly evaluate their "playstyle" because so much hinges on one guy putting in a zillion points by gaming the refs. It makes sense that this won't fly in the playoffs, especially a series that goes beyond 5 games which is when refs tend to give a lot more latitude towards defenders and letting guys play.

Last night everyone was piling on D'Antoni, I'm not sure that's fair. I don't think the Rockets are in Golden State's league, with or without Durant. If the refs didn't fall for Harden's BS they might not even be a playoff team.

Ok like I said, I'm blinded by hatred here. But still, I am not a D'Antoni jocker, I just don't see how he's the problem here.
 
Totally off topic, but as a Sox fan who has always had a soft spot for the NL; I totally loved the way the Sox managed to be the cerebral team in all of their series last year. AL has always seemed the brute force league due to the DH. Cora has been amazing.

As for Houston, frankly I am blinded by pure hatred of Harden. I'm glad they lost, but I can't truly evaluate their "playstyle" because so much hinges on one guy putting in a zillion points by gaming the refs. It makes sense that this won't fly in the playoffs, especially a series that goes beyond 5 games which is when refs tend to give a lot more latitude towards defenders and letting guys play.

Last night everyone was piling on D'Antoni, I'm not sure that's fair. I don't think the Rockets are in Golden State's league, with or without Durant. If the refs didn't fall for Harden's BS they might not even be a playoff team.

Ok like I said, I'm blinded by hatred here. But still, I am not a D'Antoni jocker, I just don't see how he's the problem here.

Fair points all around. Especially on the Sox. As a Dodgers fan, it’s was a gut punch to see one of our own in Alex Cora make the necessary adjustments against us.

Regarding D’Antoni, you’re probably right. But I still think it’s fair to question whether his style will ever lead to a title. It didn’t work in PHX or LA either. And he’s had star players getting star treatment everywhere he’s coached.
 
The Rockets style of play is not good for the game, but I still like them more than Golden State. The Rockets got beat last night by the Durant less Worriers. There is no denying that Golden State plays defense and moves the ball really well. Some guy with a bad finger, what's his number? I think it is number 30 is pretty good. He shows up when it counts. If Durant goes to NY or some other big market the Worriers are still going to be tough to beat. I don't like their attitude at all, but their talent is undeniable.
 
Agree wholeheartedly with the bolded part. Can't agree with the second part. I'm still Team DMC and I'm hoping he's able to return for the BIG show.
Page 3 of DMC saga thread disagrees with you. You clearly said “DMC is dead to me and I can’t root for him as long as he is wearing that jersey.” Just saying!
 
Page 3 of DMC saga thread disagrees with you. You clearly said “DMC is dead to me and I can’t root for him as long as he is wearing that jersey.” Just saying!
One of my favorite artists said this a long time ago: "If I change my opinion about something I said in a song, you know, as time goes by, that's okay because that song was a reflection of where I was then.”

It seems as though that applies to where @VF21 is now with Boogie in a GSW uniform. There’s no shame in someone changing their view.
 
I was upset when Murray got away with a push off to bring DEN within 1 point, but then McCollum got away with the same move the push the lead back to 3.

Now I can happily root for Portland in the next series.
 
More like Chokic

Oh well, serves them right for wearing road uniforms for a home Game 7
Yeah, he had a huge turnover in the back court and missed a clutch FT. He sure didn’t look very confident late in that game.

I swear that dude gets away with a lot of reaches on defense. He can’t move his feet and reached in on Lillard as he drove right past him several times with no call. One was pretty blatant right across the wrist which resulted in a TO.
 
IIRC, Denver missed their final 17 three point attempts. A HOU like meltdown in a deciding game.

Let it be a lesson that you can’t over rely upon the 3 ball. Even the Warriors, who are known for their shooting, find ways to score the ball by moving without it.

Props to CJ McCollum for his stellar performance. Also, Dame came up big late and both Harkless and Collins were impactful.
 
Watched until the 4th when I ran to get coffee and go to the hardware store. Walking between the hardware store and coffee place I passed a row of bars and one had the game facing the street so I stopped to watch the clinching free throws and the final desperation heave by the Nugs.

Props to the Blazers. I really thought they'd be on the path down this year. And they definitely got things lined up for them quite favorably in the playoff matchups despite trying to throw the final game vs. us.

It feels weird half-arsed rooting for them in this town where people are genuinely going crazy. And frankly I don't care if the Dubs beat them as I'd like us to be the team that dethrones them in my dreams.
 
Watched until the 4th when I ran to get coffee and go to the hardware store. Walking between the hardware store and coffee place I passed a row of bars and one had the game facing the street so I stopped to watch the clinching free throws and the final desperation heave by the Nugs.

Props to the Blazers. I really thought they'd be on the path down this year. And they definitely got things lined up for them quite favorably in the playoff matchups despite trying to throw the final game vs. us.

It feels weird half-arsed rooting for them in this town where people are genuinely going crazy. And frankly I don't care if the Dubs beat them as I'd like us to be the team that dethrones them in my dreams.
I like the Blazers. They’re one of the few likable teams in the West. I am surprised how well they’ve done since Jurkic went down. That Kanter signing was the difference between them being where they are now and being another 1st round out. Big props to CJ for being so clutch in the playoffs after a mediocre year for him. We need someone like Buddy transforming into what we’ve seen from CJ this series... someone who we can rely on to create a shot at the end of a game.
 
Warriors will take this one easily imo. Big difference between the Warriors and the Nuggets is that if both teams have a poor 3pt shooting night, the Warriors will still make the ones that matter most at the end of games.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Page 3 of DMC saga thread disagrees with you. You clearly said “DMC is dead to me and I can’t root for him as long as he is wearing that jersey.” Just saying!
I also said I was going to move to Philadelphia the day Webber was traded. Are you saying you've never uttered anything in the heat of the moment you've reversed when sanity returned? ;)