If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Chillbongo on Thu May 09, 2013 2:25 pm

If you replace LeBron on the Heat with another top-level superstar (Durant, Kobe, CP3, Harden, Westbrook Melo), are the Heat still the best team in the NBA?

IMO Melo is not a true superstar, and Westbrook/Harden haven't reached their peaks yet. CP3 isn't a game changer.

But If you put Durant/Kobe on that Heat team (regardless of position), I think the Heat are just as good. Their role players are out of this world.

They provide spacing, rebounding, physicality, hustle, DEFENSE, and everything else you could ask for in a supporting cast. Throw in the BEAST that is LBJ and it's easy to see why they are the best team in the league.

LeBron has superior passing and his ability to get to the hole is unrivaled, but they are THE STANDARD for a supporting cast.
User avatar
Chillbongo

 
Posts: 3251
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:25 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby CGrand81 on Thu May 09, 2013 3:23 pm

Yea I think if you put Kobe or Durant on the current Heat team they are still the best team in the NBA. But if Kobe was with Miami that would mean LeBron is in LA, personally with LeBron here we'd still be in the playoffs/ have a better seed. If you put LeBron on the Thunder since Durant would be with the Heat, the Thunder would still be the #1 seed in the West.
User avatar
CGrand81

 
Posts: 744
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:04 pm
Location: San Marcos -TXST

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Weezy on Thu May 09, 2013 4:08 pm

Durant/Kobe on the Heat instead of LeBron, IMO yes they're just as good, if not better because of more clutch ability added. But when you go down this road be prepared for people to bring up "oh yeah, well if you replace Kobe with ___ on the Kobe/Shaq teams they would have won 3 titles easily as well". As well as other stars throughout history being replaced with stars from other teams, because when you start this sort of discussion, there really is no end to how far it can be taken. I agree with your main point though, the Heat are really deep and expertly put together (much credit to Riley, plus the players knowing this was the place to go to win). If they weren't a great team, they don't win 27 in a row, one great player doesn't get you that many wins a row, takes a fantastic team.
User avatar
Weezy
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 50881
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:14 am
Location: Anaheim, CA

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Rooscooter on Thu May 09, 2013 4:23 pm

:man10: :man10: ......he said Melo in the same sentence with Kobe, Durant and Bron.....
"If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

“The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present - and is gravely to be regarded." Dwight Eisenhower

"Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it" Thomas Sowell
User avatar
Rooscooter

 
Posts: 23048
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:25 pm
Location: Chandler AZ and Andalué

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Avenged24 on Thu May 09, 2013 4:32 pm

Kobe on that team.. the same "I eat first" Kobe? Personally, I don't think it would work. He's one of my favorites but you also have to be objective and realize his weaknesses as much as his strengths. The Heat already have a Kobe type player in Wade, and Lebron is one of the most unselfish players.

Lebron does so much more for that team (rebound, assist, defend, control the tempo etc..) which is why he is considered a point forward. Adding Kobe to that team with Wade there is kind of redundant.

Durant would work since Lebron and him are pretty much the same in the sense that KD allows Russell to be the main option at times.
Image
User avatar
Avenged24

 
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:04 pm

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Chillbongo on Thu May 09, 2013 5:37 pm

^ Avenged, Kobe would score more than LeBron, but I think it would work. You could argue that LeBron's game gives shooters open looks, but then you can argue that his entire team of 40% 3PT shooters opens the lane. Which is it?

Despite Kobe having the "eat first" reputation, he is ONLY 1.2 assists behind LeBron's average for this year. That is pretty incredible for a scorer, especially one that "doesn't pass". Makes you wonder what happens if he pairs with the Wades, Boshes, Chalmers, Allens, Battiers, and Lewises.

Don't consider positions in this context....Kobe could play the 3 on the current heat team. Defensively they'd have to adjust versus opponents, but the main issue I bring up is the supporting cast and their value to the team.

Weez, I agree with your assessment and that it is a slippery slope when comparing stars. I just think it's interesting that like you said, Riles did a STELLAR job getting the absolute PERFECT squad for LeBron. :bow:
User avatar
Chillbongo

 
Posts: 3251
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:25 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby JGC on Thu May 09, 2013 6:37 pm

Weezy wrote:Durant/Kobe on the Heat instead of LeBron, IMO yes they're just as good, if not better because of more clutch ability added. But when you go down this road be prepared for people to bring up "oh yeah, well if you replace Kobe with ___ on the Kobe/Shaq teams they would have won 3 titles easily as well". As well as other stars throughout history being replaced with stars from other teams, because when you start this sort of discussion, there really is no end to how far it can be taken. I agree with your main point though, the Heat are really deep and expertly put together (much credit to Riley, plus the players knowing this was the place to go to win). If they weren't a great team, they don't win 27 in a row, one great player doesn't get you that many wins a row, takes a fantastic team.


A 34 year old Kobe on the Heat? They wouldn't be nearly as good as they would be with an LBJ in his prime years. No defense, can't get to the rim as well, and not as good of a playmaker. I don't think people truly understand how ridiculous Lebron has been this year. His numbers too, are ridiculous. 57% shooting with 1 in every 5 shots or so coming from downtown and a 40% clip from there too? Plus 8 rebounds? And 7.5 assists a game? Oh, and he was a juggernaut on the defensive end this season and came in 2nd place for DPOY votes. There is no way a 34 year old Kobe with all of those miles can possibly replicate that. He doesn't even have enough left in the tank to play on both sides of the ball anymore.

A prime Kobe on the Heat though? I think they'd be just as good. They wouldn't get the playmaking, but they'd get very solid defense plus more scoring to trade off and as Weezy said, clutch play to boot.

Durant on the Heat? Still a good team but not as good as it would be with a prime Kobe.=

To your point though, I also don't believe that if you replace Lebron over Kobe on the Shaq teams, that would have worked as well as it did with a young Kobe. Kobe had to play off ball a lot in the tri with Shaq, and I don't believe Lebron would be quite as effective playing off ball in a triangle offense.
JGC

 
Posts: 3781
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:07 am

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Weezy on Thu May 09, 2013 7:08 pm

I probably overstated my position when I said they might even be better with Kobe/Durant, you can't really be better, they won 27 in a row. Really what I meant was they'd be just as good with those 2 IMO, in that I think they still win the title with Durant and even a 34 year old Kobe. That's the main goal after all, not who averages more assists and rebounds.

I disagree that you lose playmaking with a prime Kobe too, Kobe has been a great playmaker his entire career, he used to spoon feed Shaq and draw 2 and hit wide open Horry, Fox, Shaw, etc all the time. In his prime he had terrible teammates so of course he was mainly a scorer, and then when he got Pau and some real teammates he won the MVP with his complete game. Kobe isn't LeBron when it comes to playmaking, but he's not far off when he has the teammates who know how to move without the ball and can shoot, what does he average like 2 assists less than LeBron? That's not really much considering it's in LeBrons DNA to be a passer where Kobe is a born scorer.

To flip things around though, put LeBron on this Lakers team this season and IMO we struggle just as bad. This Lakers team stinks, he'd have no shooters to pass to, Dwight clogging up the lane, the same broken Nash plus LeBron needs the ball too, and a Pau he'd be pissed at for playing like a wuss so much.
User avatar
Weezy
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 50881
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:14 am
Location: Anaheim, CA

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby JGC on Fri May 10, 2013 8:27 am

You're right, it's not just about assists and rebounds because if that were the case, then you could replace Kobe with James Harden and in theory, get the same production. But I wouldn't believe that for a second because while the numbers are the same, you're getting leadership, experience and clutch factor with Kobe that you aren't from Harden. I'm pretty sure if you went in to a Rockets forum right now, they'd tell you that it's a wash. Haha. IMO, if you take everything Lebron brought to the table for the Heat this year, no one can exceed that total offering. And I'm talking about the scoring, the passing, the shooting, the defense. So even though yes it is ultimately about winning, the question isn't can you replace X with Y and still win in spite of the replacement. The point, I think, is can you replace X with Y and still have the same (or better) chance of winning. And the answer is probably no right now because Lebron can match anyone's scoring, but they won't match his playmaking and defense. But I agree, you might be able to win just the same depending on who Y is.

When I said 'lose playmaking' I meant, relative to Lebron. I do agree, Kobe obviously has the ability to make plays he just doesn't do it as often or as successfully as Lebron. Just like, you lose clutch play with Lebron (relative to Kobe). That isn't to say Lebron never makes clutch plays he does, and he has, and many times at that, but he doesn't do it as often or as successfully as Kobe. With Lebron, based on this season when Kobe displayed a lot of playmaking, you are still going to get 22% more assists on 19% fewer turnovers EVERY game so it's not just about the assists, it's about lost possessions due to turnovers as well. I used percentages because of the "only 2" argument which is a bit disingenuous because a difference of 2 when you're talking about an individual player's assists is HUGE. That isn't 2 more passes every game, that's 2 made baskets by teammates every single game which probably means at least 4-6 more passes every single game. Just to offer an example of how substantial just 2 assists/game is, the Hornets are 9th WORST in team assists. If they got 2 more per game, they'd be the Miami Heat who are 7th BEST. And that's talking about assist totals in the 20s, not, 5,6,7 like we are with players, etc.

And your point about Lebron's DNA to be a passer is fair but consider this. Lebron's DNA is to be a passer/playmaker and on that we can agree. Yet, for someone who is more genetically inclined to pass the ball versus score it, he has been in the top 5 in scoring in 9 of the 10 seasons he has played with his rookie season the only one where he wasn't. And of those 9, he has actually outscored Kobe about half the time (4 times, versus 5 for Kobe). And yes, out-assisted Kobe in all of those seasons as well.

And what about defense? Prime Kobe I think it is close. Now? Not close at all. Lebron is a legitimate DPOY candidate with his defense.

This isn't to say Kobe sucks or anything like that. We're talking about 2 of the best players in the league here so it's almost like splitting hairs. But let's be realistic. Scoring wise they are essentially a wash. Playmaking Lebron wins that one. Rebounding, Lebron again. Defense, Lebron again. Even 3pt shooting, Lebron again. Lebron can play 48 mins and not break a sweat. Kobe is usually looking pretty beat after about 38-40 mins or so. Lebron has the athleticism edge. Kobe wins though in experience and clutch factor no doubt. But frankly, it's really not even fair to compare a prime Lebron and a 34 year old Kobe with over 50,000 minutes logged. Having said that, I do agree there is a solid chance the Heat could win if you replaced those two, but if you made me put a substantial amount of money on one of those two options with the Heat, I'd put it on Lebron (versus flipping a coin).
JGC

 
Posts: 3781
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:07 am

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Scnottaken on Fri May 10, 2013 8:56 am

Weez, I think this Lakers team would be a little better, simply because Bron is more of a "Jack of all trades" type player. When someone goes down with an injury this year, he can fill the hole. Nash goes down? It's easier for him to fill that hole at pg. Kobe needed an adjustment period. Of course, the flip side of that would be that he wouldn't be able to score as much when we really needed it, so it's hard to say what position we'd be in.
I want to hear "Beat LA" chants at a Clipper vs Laker game
User avatar
Scnottaken

 
Posts: 1246
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby JGC on Fri May 10, 2013 9:03 am

Scnottaken wrote:Weez, I think this Lakers team would be a little better, simply because Bron is more of a "Jack of all trades" type player. When someone goes down with an injury this year, he can fill the hole. Nash goes down? It's easier for him to fill that hole at pg. Kobe needed an adjustment period. Of course, the flip side of that would be that he wouldn't be able to score as much when we really needed it, so it's hard to say what position we'd be in.


Yeah, maybe a little better. But Lebron isn't turning us into a contender or anything close.

I think it's a bit of a myth too that Lebron can't score when it is needed. The guy averages 28 PPG for his career over a span of a decade. So he can certainly score. I think the element that does hold some water, is the notion when you break it down to a single possession view.

In a single possession, when you REALLY need a bucket, I'd want the ball in Kobe's hands I agree. But in a single possession view, how that bucket is scored is irrelevant. I only care how points are scored when I look at things in a more holistic view.
JGC

 
Posts: 3781
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:07 am

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby nameant on Fri May 10, 2013 9:10 am

Honestly we gotta stop making threads like this. We get it, LeBron is overrated and we're upset at our disappointment of a season.
User avatar
nameant

 
Posts: 25329
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:30 pm

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Chillbongo on Fri May 10, 2013 10:43 am

JGC, I agree with most of your assessment, that was a pretty good break down. This is an interesting discussion because it's not about LeBron vs Kobe...it's about the effectiveness of the outstanding team Riley has put together around LeBron. Some nice analysis in this thread.

There's no denying LeBron is a better defender, more athletic, and is a better play maker. He has been a better play maker for most of his career. I think the reason is two-fold; Kobe is a born scorer and even you agree that's one aspect that LeBron doesn't beat Kobe. I still think at 34 Kobe trumps LeBron in pure scoring. Could he match Kobe? Likely, but he doesn't....at least not anymore on this Heat team. The second reason, LeBron is a physical beast that can get to the rim at will. That in itself will create more opportunities for him to be a play maker. That doesn't take away from him, I'm just saying they have different basketball DNA.

Regardless, from a strictly numbers vantage, LeBron is only averaging 1.2 more assists, and 1.5 more rebounds than Kobe. I assure you that if Kobe was on this current Heat team, his assist numbers go up. Does that make him a better ball handler, defender, and more efficient scorer than LeBron? Of course not.

But think about this....as EFFICIENT as he is would LeBron be shooting 57% without his 40% 3PT shooters spacing the floor? Without D-Wade to take the scoring pressure off? Without the bangers down low getting rebounds? Without the all-around defensive effort that creates transition opportunities for Miami?

nameant wrote:Honestly we gotta stop making threads like this. We get it, LeBron is overrated and we're upset at our disappointment of a season.

What a waste of a post.
User avatar
Chillbongo

 
Posts: 3251
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:25 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby gcclaker on Fri May 10, 2013 12:41 pm

All hyperbole aside, James is the best two way player in The League CURRENTLY. Durant on the Heat will bump up scoring but at the expense of the others and he is still learning to facilitate taking into account their series with Memphis. Defensively, he is not in the same class. Durant though is on par with James when it comes to galvanizing a squad on the floor.

The ONLY player that can really match James is 24 though the latter trumps him if it came to creating a shot to win a game. Defensively, Bryant can muster it up for small windows the problem is sustaining it given his score first mentality and a propensity to ball watch. It would take a playmaking point and a scoring small forward to replace James on the Heat. He has that balance to take over the game and make his teammates better which is unique at the three spot. The last player I saw who ever had this same set of intangibles was Larry Bird.
No siggie...
User avatar
gcclaker
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 15201
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 9:35 am
Location: Laker Cyber Space

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby JGC on Fri May 10, 2013 4:58 pm

Chillbongo wrote:Regardless, from a strictly numbers vantage, LeBron is only averaging 1.2 more assists, and 1.5 more rebounds than Kobe. I assure you that if Kobe was on this current Heat team, his assist numbers go up. Does that make him a better ball handler, defender, and more efficient scorer than LeBron? Of course not.

But think about this....as EFFICIENT as he is would LeBron be shooting 57% without his 40% 3PT shooters spacing the floor? Without D-Wade to take the scoring pressure off? Without the bangers down low getting rebounds? Without the all-around defensive effort that creates transition opportunities for Miami?


I think 1.2 assists per game over the course of a season, is more substantial than we might think. For instance, this season Kobe tied his season best for assists with 6. If he averaged just 1.2 assists less this year, that would make it the 5th lowest in his career not counting his first 2 seasons off the bench. It seems like a smaller number but it's the difference between the 5th worst and the absolute best. Meanwhile, Lebron had his second best season in assists with 7.3. If you drop that by 'just' 1.2 assists, then you're looking at his 3rd worst ever (one of which was his rookie season). So that difference is the difference between 2nd best and 3rd worst for Lebron. If you look at it a different way ... every time Kobe goes out there and plays, whatever assist total he produces, no matter how high, Lebron always produces one more assist than Kobe. And then, every 5 games, he produces 2 more assists than Kobe. I know that's not how it really pans out, but I think it makes it easier to visualize. Also, what 1.2 assists doesn't tell you, is how many possessions were spent trying to get a teammate that made basket since not all passes lead to a made basket and it also doesn't tell you how many incremental turnovers are produced trying to get that basket. In Kobe's case, that could be substantial because for every 5 assists he produces, 3 possessions were also lost in the process to turnovers. (In LBJ's case that's 2 lost possessions for every 5 assists). Again, you can view that as every time Kobe gets 5 assists, Lebron gets 6 and he gets another free possession to score or dish that Kobe doesn't. So the value in playmaking comes not only in the additional assists, but also, in limiting the turnovers that often come with trying to make plays for others.

I personally do not believe Kobe's assist numbers would go up. And here's why. Prior to this season with the Heat, Lebron was averaging 6.9 assists per game for his career. They reloaded, got all these shooters which you're using as your basis for your argument here, and Lebron's assist number for the season went up 5%. And that's for a player we both admit is a better and more naturally gifted playmaker. So why should I think that a player who is more of a scorer than playmaker, would see even an equal increase, let alone greater. I'd expect Kobe's assists to be slightly above his career mark but definitely lower than his career high. As for why, that's mainly because they have another playmaker to share the duties with in Wade (which explains Kobe's higher usage rate over LBJ) and so that's fewer opportunities for Kobe to get those assists. In other words, Kobe wouldn't (and shouldn't) be handling the ball nearly as often with Dwayne Wade by his side, as he has had to with our team to get those 6.0 assists.

If having 40% 3pt shooters could cause a player to shoot north of 57% from the field, then why isn't that happening in Golden State? Harrison Barnes is shooting like 45%, why isn't he at 57% also? He's playing with arguably the BEST 3pt shooter and maybe even another top 5 three point shooter over there. Look, playing with those guys is going to help Lebron, there is no doubt, but how much do you think it is helping? You can't think Lebron would otherwise shoot 43% or something right? If he's shooting 57% with those guys, maybe he'd shoot 55% without them. I mean, Kobe had the most dominant player in the history of the game, Shaq, drawing double teams all day long and he has never shot above 47%. Ever. Oh, and back then, he actually shot fewer 3pters than Lebron did this season (I mention that because less 3pt shots means even higher FG%). So would removing Shaq have hurt Kobe's FG%? Definitely. Would it change from 47% to 40%? I don't think so. Maybe down to 45% over the course of a season. And if you look at his post Shaq years, eyeballing it, he was right back to 45%-46% even playing with a bunch of clowns. Plus, I think you're looking at it backwards. You make it seem like defenses are completely smothering Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis leaving LBJ wide open. That's not what happens. What happens is the other way around. Defenses are committed to stopping LBJ, which leaves open a Ray Allen or Rashard Lewis. So yes, to your point, many of the things you brought up help his FG% but it's not a night and day type difference. 65% of his shots are still jump shots. 20% of his shots are still 3 pointers. He's on his 7th consecutive season of improving shooting percentage from the field. The guy is just freakishly good and he continues to get better.
JGC

 
Posts: 3781
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:07 am

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby therealdeal on Fri May 10, 2013 6:31 pm

If LeBron was replaced on the Heat and they had the same health and consistency as they enjoyed WITH him...

They'd be successful and likely still the top team in the East. If they had Kobe, Dwight, Durant, etc. they'd be a great, great, great team.

Doesn't mean LeBron isn't great.
Stu : "Yeah, that's an old fashioned whoopin'."
therealdeal
CL Global Moderator
 
Posts: 40357
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:03 pm

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Mr_Hollywood_Line on Sat May 11, 2013 3:45 am

CGrand81 wrote:But if Kobe was with Miami that would mean LeBron is in LA, personally with LeBron here we'd still be in the playoffs/ have a better seed.


Not with Dumbtoni as the coach. He'd find a way to screw things up somehow.
Image
User avatar
Mr_Hollywood_Line

 
Posts: 2467
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 10:07 pm
Location: The Low Post

Re: If LeBron was Replaced on the Heat

Postby Iceberg Slim on Sat May 11, 2013 7:10 am

Lebron is the perfect star player for this team because they have built the entire roster to suit his (and Wade's) strength - penetrating to the rim combined with great passing skills.

Only one other star compliments the structure of this team - Kevin Durant.

CP3 makes this team really small. Dirk is not a penetrator so that nullifies the shooters in their offense. And Kobe Bryant is probably the worst fit for this offense next to Carmelo Anthony. Avenged 24 hit the nail on the head with his analysis. Let's call a spade a spade, Kobe needs and likes to score. Post Shaq, Triangle Offense, or with D'antoni, Kobe has been either the leader or top 3 in FGA. Getting him to share the ball is like pulling teeth. Clear and simple, it's not his M.O.

Can they win alot of games with either of these guys? Sure. But championship runs. I'd say no.
www.thesportslyceum.com - personal blog

Image
User avatar
Iceberg Slim

 
Posts: 4960
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:38 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC


Return to NBA Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

cron
Advertise Here | Privacy Policy | ©2008 Sculu Sports. Come Strong.