Last All-Star Latrell Sprewell (1997)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:02 pm
8th ave wrote:Chris Broussard's insider article on David Lee and how he's underrated.

For the past five seasons, he has been a top scorer, averaging 18 points a game; a top rebounder, grabbing 11 boards each contest; and one of the league's most efficient players, hitting 53 percent of his shots. Yet when the game's top power forwards are mentioned, his name never comes up.

There's no doubt about it: David Lee is one of the most underrated, underappreciated players in the NBA.

And while that characterization has been unfair, it has also been understandable. See, on bad teams, somebody has to be the leading scorer and somebody has to be the leading rebounder. On bad teams, the best mediocre player on a roster full of them will often put up All-Star numbers.

Lee has often been that player. In 2009-10, he averaged 20 points and nearly 12 rebounds for a Knicks team that won 31 games. In last season's strike-shortened, 66-game campaign, he averaged 20 points and nearly 10 rebounds for the 25-41 WarriorsSo respect was hard to come by. Yes, he made the All-Star team in 2010, but he wasn't viewed as a legitimate star. Yes, he received an $80 million contract from Golden State in 2010, but many thought he was overpaid. Lee, after all, had never made the playoffs, so how good could he be?

That perception, however, may be changing. Lee is merely doing what he's always done -- averaging 19.9 points and 11.2 rebounds on 53.6 percent shooting. If we round up, we'll find that Lee's the only player in the league averaging at least 20 points and 10 boards a game.

The difference, of course, is that this season, for the first time in his eight-year career, Lee is playing for a team with a winning record. In one of the biggest surprises of the season, the 19-10 Warriors are the fifth seed in the West.

To get a better sense of how those around the league view Lee, I asked a coach, two front-office executives and two scouts whether the Warriors' success was changing their perception of the Golden State big man.


The coach:
"The knock on David Lee has always been that he can fill up the stat sheet but he's not going to help you win games. I used to have that perception of him, too, but now he's answering a lot of his critics because he's winning games and he's playing at a high level. He's scoring, he's rebounding, he's defending and he's making some big plays. He's definitely not just along for the ride.

"He's really having the best year of anyone on that team. Steph Curry is having a good year but not a great year, and Klay Thompson is not shooting the ball as well as he's capable of. If I had to pick one All-Star from that team, it would be Lee. He can put the ball on the floor and he can post-up. They play through him a lot in the post. And when they post him up, they know they're usually going to get a basket, a foul, or if he gets double-teamed, he'll find a teammate for an open look because he's a willing and capable passer."

The executive:
"In my opinion, he's a numbers guy. He'll put up nice numbers and get a big contract, but I don't fully trust him in terms of being a star player. He'll probably be an All-Star but I just see him as a numbers stuffer. And I don't think Golden State will continue to play this well. They're kind of a new team so people don't know them that well. They're surprising some people. But once teams start to figure them out, it'll be a lot tougher for them. We'll see how they, and Lee, respond."

Another executive:
"David Lee's got to be an All-Star. How can he not be with the way he's playing? While it's true the term 'All-Star' doesn't come to mind when you think of David Lee, he's a monster. I don't know why he doesn't get nearly the same hype and respect that a guy like Kevin Love gets. Love's teams haven't won, either.

"David can do so many things out on the court. One of the Warriors' best sets is the high pick-and-roll, where they throw it back to him on the side and let him get busy. He can put the ball on the floor, too. There are a lot of [All-Star-caliber] guys in the West, but I don't see how you leave David Lee off the All-Star team."
The scout:
"I think David's very good. We paid a ton of attention to him in our game plan. His 19-foot shot is just about automatic and he's so good in the pick-and-roll. He's got a nice one-dribble move off the face-up and spin, and his post-up game is deadly. He's got a hook with either hand. He's almost ambidextrous. We couldn't stop him. He's maximized his potential. Even when you know what he's going to do, you can't stop him.

"The biggest problem for him the last few years and one of the reasons he hasn't gotten any recognition is that he didn't have a good point guard. I don't think he'll get a lot of recognition because it's not like they're always running plays for him. He'll get a few post-up plays, but he does so much to hurt you in the flow of the game. He's a guy that can produce big numbers without you having to run a play for him. And you can see by his numbers that he's a great rebounder. He's a position guy. He's not dirty, but he's tough and physical. And he's a pretty smart player.

"People talk about his defense not being good, but his defense is fine. He knows where to be on the floor. He'll take away one or two of your strengths. His speed is good enough. If he's going against a prototypical center, he's not great, but he can guard most of the centers in our league and he can stay with most 4s."

Another scout:
"Lee should be an All-Star. The greatest thing about him is his consistency. He's done it year after year for horrendous teams. Now he's doing it for a good team and showing that his production in the past wasn't a fluke, that it wasn't a byproduct of being on bad teams. He's underrated and he's undervalued. He knows his role and he's great at what he does. He's going to outwork people to rebound and get putbacks. He's improved the range on his jump shot.

"I've always liked him. I just think he was stuck in bad situations in New York and the past two years in Golden State. But I always thought he'd be a great teammate to have. I would love to have him on my team. He's got more tools in the toolbox than you expect. He's more than a guy who can clean up the glass and get points and rebounds without having plays run for him. He just needed an opportunity to show what he can do on a good team."


getting some ESPN love.

Finally took the time to read this, that first exec is a big-time hater... The jelly is strong in those words... must have been a victim.

Anyways, just wanted to remind everyone to vote every day - http://allstarballot.nba.com
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:22 am
Ric Bucher says that the Warriors still have a chance at having an all star, although the competition is brutal. You got M Gasol, Randolph, Ibaka, Duncan, and Aldridge. I have a feeling that politics will have the final say, though.

http://www.csnbayarea.com/sportsnetBayA ... hances.htm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:55 pm
We couldn't have picked a better time to beat a contender in the Clippers. I couldn't watch the game today because I was at clinicals form 730 to 4. Now, I usually don't watch ESPN because they never show us any love/coverage because we play so late. Anywho, I just remembered that today was MLK day and since we played so early, I was POSITIVE that we would get some coverage, and guess what? we did! There was a segment with Tim Legler and he was all over Curry's nuts. I know the reserves are picked by the coaches and what not, but we are definitely making an impression on the Association.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:37 pm
Despite Curry's performances, Paul, kobe, parker, westbrook, and harden are all locks at the guard spot. But if Paul was hurt, I think there might be room for curry and we could have our first all star. I think it has to happen next year though if not this year.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:42 pm
It's kind of shitty that the Lakers will get two players starting despite being, you know, ****ing shitty. Everyone explains if you aren't winning you aren't getting all-stars, but here are the Celtics and Lakers, doing just that.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:06 am
Blackfoot wrote:It's kind of shitty that the Lakers will get two players starting despite being, you know, ****ing shitty. Everyone explains if you aren't winning you aren't getting all-stars, but here are the Celtics and Lakers, doing just that.


I ain't trippin. The all star game are about that fans and what they want to see. Lakers and Celtics are the most storied franchises in the NBA. Those two franchises have the most rings and if you think about it, the more you win, the more fans you get.

It's all good. Here's the thing about being loyal though. When I see all these bandwagoners hoppin on the Lakers/Niners/Giants and other teams that have won championships, it doesn't/won't mean jack to them. It'll make them happy for a day, maybe 2, maybe even a week, but other than that it doesn't hold any water. For me, being loyal and having to go through the bad times is part of the ride. You stick with your team through thick and thin, and especially through the thin, so that when the gold comes, you'll remember it forever.

My entire time as a Warriors fan, the thought of having an all-star jersey available to me never crossed my mind. That's how success deprived we are. Best believe that if we get an all-star or two, I'm coppin their jerseys because it's been a LONG time coming.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:47 am
If fans were deciding for the bench as well, you would be right probably, Stairway Man, but...

Harden and especially Parker are not as good as Curry has been this year. Even Paul is not that much ahead of him...So, we should be thankful that it;s not the fans, but coaches, and hopeful that they are actually watching all of the teams equally.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:02 pm
After recent rebirth of Curry (does he have 9 lifes as cats do?!), he would be my pick for the all-star game - I know Lee deserves it as well, but Curry is just to awesome of a talent.

http://hoopspeak.com/2013/01/dont-try-t ... d-offense/

And his dancing would fit into an all-star game atmosphere.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:07 pm
Curry gets snubbed. Don't think Lamarcus deserves to be there.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:10 pm
Barkley is pissed that Curry isn't in...
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:11 pm
8th ave wrote:Barkley is pissed that Curry isn't in...


Me too. Curry has been putting up the same exact synergy stats as Wrestbrook, and he doesn't have a Kevin Durant to help him out.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:19 pm
I don't think Aldridge should be in there. We're significantly better than the Trailblazers. They've been stinking it up lately and if the playoffs started today, they wouldn't be in it. I would be A LOT less disappointed if Marc Gasol was in there, because their record justifies it. BS, man.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:29 pm
8th ave wrote:I don't think Aldridge should be in there. We're significantly better than the Trailblazers. They've been stinking it up lately and if the playoffs started today, they wouldn't be in it. I would be A LOT less disappointed if Marc Gasol was in there, because their record justifies it. BS, man.

Thought the same thing. Gasol and Curry got ****ing snubbed.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:53 pm
Yeah, it usually does and with someone getting snubbed...and that's because they respect too much older players, who are playing way below their prime. And, Aldridge really didn't do anything better than Curry.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:33 pm
Congratulations to David Lee and the Golden State Warriors! Curry was unlucky but he'll get his chance next year if he stays fit and continues to play at this level.
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