Friday, May 15, 2009

BEST EVER NBA ALL-STAR TEAM - 62' team tops list

The NBA has been voting on an all-star team for over 50 years now. Each team represents the best of the best that year. But which all-star team is the best ever? There have been many talented ones like the 1989 team or the 1997 team but I don't think there is a better group then 1962 all-stars.

This 62' team consisted of:

F: Elgin Baylor
Averaged: 38 ppg/ 18.6 reb/ 4.6 ast

F: Bob Pettit
Averaged: 31 ppg/ 18.7 reb/ 3.7 ast

C: Wilt Chamberlain

Averaged: 50.4 ppg/ 25.7 reb/ 2.4 ast/ ? blks (Blocks Shots were not kept)

G: Oscar Robertson

Averaged: 30 ppg/ 12.5 reb/ 11.4 ast

G: Jerry West

Averaged: 26.9 ppg/ 6.9 reb/ 4.7 ast

This team was amazing. Four players on the team averaged more than 30 points a game and four players averaged over 12 rebounds a game. If this team wasn't dominate I don't know what team was. They had the premier point guard in Oscar Robertson. Oscar was Magic Johnson but could score at will. West was the prototype shooting guard who could also pass while Pettit was the enforcer that could put up 20 points and 20 rebounds any night. Now throw in Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain, two of the all time greats and there is no way you stop them. Defensively, Chamberlain's athleticism would make it very difficult for opposing teams to score. This team, like the 89' team has Hall of Famer after Hall of Famer. Is there a better group of NBA all-stars? Check out the list and you tell me:

All-NBA Teams 1950-2009

OLD SCHOOL DOMINATES - simulation results reveal 09' no match for 89'

In my previous post I posed the question of which style would win, the new style of play or the old school. So I put it to the test in a 7 game series simulation in which the 2009 1st team all stars went against the 1989 1st all stars. I used the "What if Sports" simulation engine to play the games (note: I filled out the rosters with the 2nd team all stars for each year).
Here are the results:

1989 Team 125
2009 Team 117

MVP = Michael Jordan 29 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals

89' Team leads series 1-0

1989 Team 124
2009 Team 104

MVP = Michael Jordan 25 pints and 10 assists

89' Team leads series 2-0

1989 Team 127
2009 Team 112

MVP = Karl Malone 33 points and 16 rebounds

89' Team leads series 3-0

1989 Team 129
2009 Team 107

MVP = Charles Barkley 26 points and 8 rebounds

89' Team WINS series 4-0

After looking at the simulation, I confirmed my theory that the old school style is much more effective. Looking at games 1 and 2 you see that Jordan was in prime form, not only did he score but he defended and passed. The 89' team was much more unselfish and had many more assists.
Then in games 3 and 4 it looks like the big guys of Malone and Barkley wore down the 2009 team. The inside game was the big difference in the final 2 games. Now, the question becomes were the 89' all star team just a special group? What if you took the 79' all stars and pitted them against the new school bunch? Would the result be the same?

What do you think?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

OLD SCHOOL VS NEW SCHOOL NBA - Does 20 years make a difference?

Last night I played in a high school staff vs student basketball game where 17 old and out of shape men and women beat a group of 7 young varsity basketball players. The youngsters were no match for the physical, fundamental, and team brand of basketball that the old schoolers threw at them. This made me think, Is the old school style of player better than the new school style of player?
So I decided to put it to the test... What if the 1989 old school all stars (20 years ago) had played the new school 2009 all stars? Would the old school physical play and teamwork outshine the new school finesse and selfishness? Would retro short shorts and long socks out play the sagging cutting edge new school style?

Here would be the rosters:

1989 1st team players
G Magic Johnson
G Michael Jordan
F Charles Barkley
F Karl Malone
C Hakeem Olajuwon

2009 1st team players
G Kobe Byrant
G Dywane Wade
F Dirk Nowitzki
F LeBron James
C Dwight Howard

So lets pick some criteria and find out which is better old school or new school:

a. Guards
b. Forwards
c. Center
d. Intangibles (championships and pressure)
e. Simulation (I will simulate the games using the what if sim) Click here for WhatIfSports!

Michael Jordan was the best scorer ever to play the game. He could take you off the dribble, he could post you up or he could knock a 3 down in your eye. He rarely missed as evident by his .497 field goal percentage. He also was one of the greatest defenders of all time averaging over 2.3 steals a game in his career.
Magic Johnson would have been a great compliment to Jordan by dishing out assist after assist. Magic averaged over 11 assists a game and blew away the new school players in terms in assist to turnover ratio. He also took good shots averaging an .520 shooting percentage, amazingly high for a guard.
Kobe Byrant and Dwyane Wade can score but they have limitations. With these two on the floor there wouldn't be enough balls to go around. They don't pass like the other two averaging only 4.6 and 5.7 assists a game. These two also don't shoot as well. Neither player tops .483 in career field goal percentage.

Edge: Old School


This position would be the true inside vs outside match up. LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki represent the new school style forward who plays the perimeter and looks to shoot and slash. They can shoot the 3 which gives them a slight advantage in scoring but they also miss more shots. Both Nowitzki and James average only .477 compared to Malone's amazing .560 field goal percentage and Barkley's respectable .541 percentage. The physical play would not get to James as he is a beast himself but it would get to Nowitzki. Barkley and Malone would have a field day banging him down low. I don't believe James nor Nowitzki could stop Malone or Barkley in the post and if James was off from the outside, which has happened, then it could be long night for the new school forwards.

Edge: Slight Old School


This match up is closer then you would think. Hakeem Olajuwon averaged more points than Dwight Howard but did not shoot as well and believe it or not did not rebound as well as Howard over his career. Now I regard Olajuwon as one of the top 5 centers to ever play the game and his "dream shake" was virtually unstoppable but I think Howard could have given him a run for his money. The factor that tip the scale in Olajuwon's favor is the fact that Howard disappears in some games and is not as big an offensive threat as Olajuwon. Both can rebound and both can block shots but if you need a bucket at the end of the game Olajuwon is your choice.

Edge: Old School


Under intangibles is the ability to make teammates better, the ability to win and the ability handle pressure. No one on the rosters won more than Jordan. His 6 championships proves that he is a winner. He made his teammates better and in the process he won playoff games. Magic Johnson with his 5 rings demonstrates that winning is what the old school team did. All but Malone have an NBA title. Now, in all fairness the careers of the new schoolers is not over so we don't know how many they will win over their whole career. Both Nowitzki and Howard have not won an NBA title and Wade will never win another one unless Shaq comes back. So the only way the new schoolers can top the old school players would be if LeBron and Kobe continue their dominance.
Now if you factor in playing under pressure I think the edge has to go to the new schoolers. If I have to choose someone to take a last second shot it would be Jordan but a close 2a and 2b would be Kobe and LeBron. With 2 possible "go-to" guys, I would have to give the nod in playing under pressure to the new schoolers.

Edge: Even


I will simulate the game of 1989 all stars vs the 2009 allstars this week using the "What If Sports" simulation engine.

I will post the results later in the week. The simulation will play a 7 game series using each players best years. The homecourt will be set to a neutral site.


Edge: TBD

Who do you think would win?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


36 home runs in first 10 games...a major league record. The new Yankee stadium is yielding a record number of home runs so far this year and has pitchers pulling their hair out. The new stadium is ruining the great tradition of classic Yankee baseball by turning baseball games into home run contests. In a 22-4 loss the Yankees saw 6 home runs leave this new high tech ball park. Analysts are using physics and wind studies to explain this disturbing trend. As an old school fan, I hate to see this home run explosion. I hate to see baseball scores turn into football scores. I like the classic pitching duels and the occasional home run by the superstar. Imagine how many home runs Babe Ruth would have had in this new park...opposing pitchers would have had to walk him every at bat and we would never have seen him hit. It is bad enough that players on steroids have made a mockery of the home run records, we don't now need stadium construction to become a factor. We need to bring back the old school ballpark, The type of park where home runs are special. The new stadium is ruining baseball tradition and we can only hope that we don't have to put more asterisks in the record books.

Top 10 All-time Old School Ballparks

1. Wrigley Field (Cubs)
2. Old Yankee Stadium (Yankees)
3. Fenway Park (Red Sox)
4. Polo Grounds (Yankees)
5. Ebbets Field (Brooklyn Dodgers)
6. Tiger Stadium (Tigers)
7. Comisky Park (White Sox)
8. Camden Yards (Orioles)
9. Dodger Stadium (Dodgers)
10. Astrodome (Astros old school dome feel)

Old School Ballparks

Monday, May 11, 2009

DALY- Reminders of greatness

I am sad to write another post about an all-time great passing away. Chuck Daly will be remembered as a coach with an ability to mold different personalities into champions. His Detroit Piston teams of the 80's and 90's were some of the best ever. Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson and others were known for their tenacity and physical play which Daly instilled in each and every one of them. The Pistons were the team you loved to hate but Daly was the coach you just plain loved. Daly was inducted into the Hall of Fame, won an Olympic gold medal and voted one of the top 10 coaches of the century. He will missed by all.

Top 10 NBA Coaches of All-Time

1) Red Auerbach 938 wins 479 losses (.662)

2) Chuck Daly 638 wins 437 losses (.593)

3) Bill Fitch 944 wins 1106 losses (.460)

4) Red Holzman 696 wins 604 losses (.535)

5) Phil Jackson 1026 wins 431 losses (.704)

6) John Kundla 423 wins 302 losses (.583)

7) Don Nelson 1301 wins 996 losses (.566)

8) Jack Ramsay 864 wins 783 losses (.525)

9) Pat Riley 1210 wins 694 losses (.636)

10) Lenny Wilkens 1332 wins 1155 losses (.536)