Sunday, February 15, 2009

Allstar Pheonix 09

Truly the most terrifying thing about the increasingly irrelevant rise of China, is the thought that Yao Ming will keep getting voted an All Star Starter when really he is at best an average center. Yao scored 2 points and grabbed 3 boards in 12 minutes of play whilst racking up 2 personal fouls. In 11 minutes of play Shaq scored 17 points, grabbed 5 boards and dished out 3 assists for good measure. And Shaq is approximately 1 million years old, I was in grade 4 of primary school for his rookie season.

Thank god the 20,000,000 Australian's don't band together and vote Andrew Bogut a starting center.


Graham said...

Yao Ming is the best centre in the NBA - by far. Shaq is hugely talented, but semi skilled at best.

ohminous_t said...

These statements have to be qualified.

In Yao's favor he was taken as no.1in the draft in 2002 by Houston Rockets. As an achievement this puts him on even keel with other centers like Shaq, Hakeem Elajuwan, Andrew Bogut, Kwame Brown, Greg Oden and Kareem Abdul Jabar.
But unlike fellow center and 9th draft pick of the same year Ama're Stoudemire, Yao Ming failed to convert this into ROY honours.

The draft is not a reliable indicator of greatness. Then what else? All Star appearances, Shaq has 15, with only one as a coaches selection, where he had to compete with Yao in the west. But being an all star starter is not as good as being an All-star MVP because starting depends on the number of fans in your fan base, and China celebrates Yao as some kind of National hero even though his achievements are purely individual and not a result of government policy. Anyway the point being that Yao recieves so much press and Propaganda as the point of my post suggests, he is guarunteed to be an All-Star starter, and therefore it is likely he will start whether he deserves it or not.

He has never managed to make it past first round of the conference playoffs, vs Shaq with 4 championships, 1 MVP, ROY, 2 scoring titles, 3 time finals MVP, 3 time All-Star MVP, 1 FIBA World Championship MVP, An Olympic Gold Medal. Yes he also has a 16 year pro career and thus 10 years on Yao Ming, but then you look at a stats comparison and the differences THIS YEAR are negligable, not the 'by far' you are talking about.

Yes Yao Ming has one of the best records at the Free Throw line of any center in the league, and he can shoot from the inside. He is also really tall. But you need centers for low post play, rebounds, dunks, tip-ins, blocks, box outs and distributing the ball to outside shooters on occassion. All things being an inside shooter, like Paul Pierce or Steve Nash Guards, detract from in the role of center.

Too go deep in the playoffs, I'd take a 36 year old Shaq over Yao in his prime any day.

But then, you have made a larger unqualified statement in saying Yao is the best center in the NBA, meaning you suggest he is better than not just Shaq, but Dwight Howard out east, who is quickly eclipsing Yao in his Shadow. Without having Ron Artest, T-Mac, Battier and Rafer Alston in his arsenal the Orlando Magic have a far better record in the league than Houston, complemented by a season sweep of LA.

Dwight Howard beats Yao in Points, Rebounds (League Leader), Steals, Blocks (League Leader) and Field Goal Percentage, whilst weighing less and being shorter. There is no basis to the claim that Yao is the best, Yao is good, not great and the time to celebrate a player is after they have achieved something, ANYTHING which Yao is yet to do.

Graham said...

I have a weakness for footwork - it perhaps leads to a little hyperbole.

I haven't watched enough of Howard to really rate him. His numbers are good - let's see when he gets to the sharp end. On what I've seen, I suspect he's like Hakeem without the footwork.

Shaq at his best was just so big - and competitive (in his way) - that his deficiencies in fundamentals didn't catch him out. And he had / has a pretty good drop step anyway. And help from the refs - read Luc Longley's book Running with the Bulls about slowing down Shaq. The bruises are probably still visible on Luc's chest.

Yao doesn't get the superstar calls - pretty much everything he gets he earns.

Amare is super athletic ..... crap. Big guys (perhaps unfortunately) need little guys to get them the ball. Such achievement as Stoudemire has comes quite a lot from a little Canadian guy. But then neither of them play any defence.

I don't think greatness has much to do with allstar appearances. More to do with winning, but even that is not a completely reliable guide.

Let's meet back here in 20 years - then we can resolve the question .... :)