PDA

View Full Version : Nowitzki and Pierce


vjz
02-08-2006, 09:37 PM
Here is an argument I am having with a friend:

If the Celtics had drafted Nowitzki, and the Mavs had drafted Pierce, would there be a major difference in the standings today?

I argue that the Mavs still would be 38-10, and the Celts, 18-31 (today). Assuming, of course, that all the other pieces remain the same as today.

Agree, disagree?

The Crippler
02-08-2006, 09:50 PM
Sorry, but you are wrong. Pierce is not the matchup nightmare that dirk is everynight he takes the floor. Opposing defenses have to account for him on every posession which opens things up for his teammates. Directly and indirectly, Dirk has a much higher impact on each game that he plays in than Pierce does. As the pieces around him change year to year, Dirk still leads his teams to 50-60 win seasons in a much tougher conference.

vjz
02-08-2006, 10:12 PM
Sorry, but you are wrong. Pierce is not the matchup nightmare that dirk is everynight he takes the floor. Opposing defenses have to account for him on every posession which opens things up for his teammates. Directly and indirectly, Dirk has a much higher impact on each game that he plays in than Pierce does. As the pieces around him change year to year, Dirk still leads his teams to 50-60 win seasons in a much tougher conference.

Crippler, are you saying that if PP had started this year instead of Dirk, we would have won significantly lesser number of games than 38 (say, only 20?) at this point?

I find that very hard to believe:
a) Support cast: Dirk's support cast is way better than PP's. Which makes up for the fact that he plays in a tougher conference.
b) Stats: PP's stats are comparable (in fact, arguably better) to Dirk's:

Player---PPG---RPG---APG---SPG---FG%
Dirk-----25.4---8.5---2.5---0.67---0.469
PP------25.7---7.3---4.5---1.41---0.473

Again, the argument that he plays in the East doesn't hold water, as the rest of his team does not compare to the Mavs role players.

So, I still argue that with PP, we'd still have won 38 (+/- 2)

Locked_Up_Tonight
02-08-2006, 10:44 PM
Crippler, are you saying that if PP had started this year instead of Dirk, we would have won significantly lesser number of games than 38 (say, only 20?) at this point?

Yes.

#1MavsFan
02-08-2006, 10:48 PM
Saying we would have won only about 20 games is pure homerism. IMO both teams would be pretty close to what their rankings are now, give and take a few games. Both Dirk and PP are exceptional players in this league that are having great seasons.

The Crippler
02-08-2006, 11:19 PM
yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Stats do not even begin to tell the story of Dirk's impact on the ballgame.

The Crippler
02-08-2006, 11:22 PM
I am not saying we would have won only twenty, but I am saying we would not have won anywhere near 38. Hey, and don't get it wrong, i am a HUGE Paul Pierce fan as I claim the Kansas Jayhawks as my 2nd favorite college basketball team and Danny Manning as my favorite all time basketball player, but he is not the player Dirk is, plain and simple.

Five-ofan
02-08-2006, 11:36 PM
Ok so for the majority of the year the supporting casts havent been as different as you suggest. ricky Davis is better than Josh Howard. Marcus banks is a poor mans devin harris. Granted that man is very poor. Their centers arent as good as ours but diop wasnt exactly a stud until he played with dirk. Tony allen is equal to quis. West and Jet are pretty close with Jet getting an edge but West being ALOT better defensively. The mavs have more talent but its closer than you think. Take dirk off this team and see what happens to all this "talent" the mavs have. Jet was a volume shooter till he played with dirk and all of a sudden he is nearly a 50% shooter. Coincidence? Without Dirk and with pierce the mavs are probably about 25 23.

MFFL
02-09-2006, 12:00 AM
I don't think we would be over 500. We would be screwed in the most important position in the West - Power Forward. If you don't have a good PF then you are going nowhere in the West. We have a glut of 2-3's because they are relatively easy to acquire (see Griff) but a power forward is REALLY hard to get.

Thespiralgoeson
02-09-2006, 12:29 AM
I don't think we would be over 500. We would be screwed in the most important position in the West - Power Forward. If you don't have a good PF then you are going nowhere in the West. We have a glut of 2-3's because they are relatively easy to acquire (see Griff) but a power forward is REALLY hard to get.

While I don't agree that we wouldn't be over .500 , I whole-heartedly agree with your point about the 4 being the most important position in the West (and maybe the league these days)

Truthfully, if our lineup were

Terry/Devin
Pierce/Quis/Griff
Howard/Stackhouse
Van Horn/ name your spare
Diop/Dampier

I think we'd be well over .500 and would still be contenders. We would not, however, be the best team in the West. I know one thing though, Paul Pierce would KILL to have that supporting cast.

And vjz, you're right that Pierce's stats are comparable, maybe even better than Dirk's. And you're also correct about Dirk's supporting cast being far superior to Pierce's. However, those two things can also cancel eachother out. What I mean is, because Dirk does have such a great supporting cast, it takes away from his individual numbers. Look at last year; the team was mostly the same, but for a number of reasons wasn't playing quite as well as it has this year, and relied MUCH more heavily on Dirk. The result; Dirk's numbers last year were as good as anyone's in the NBA, certainly better than Pierce's. Indeed, I honestly think Dirk should've been MVP last year, and would have if the Mavs had won the conference. It's the same deal with the Garnett vs. Duncan debate: Duncan's supporting cast is so good that his numbers have steadily declined over the past couple of years because they don't rely on him as much as they have the in the past, yet they keep winning.

And as MFFL already stated, Dirk's a power forward, Pierce is a swingman. Not only is Dirk a power forward, but he is an extremely unique one. Indeed, there's not another 4 in the league who can guard him. As great as Pierce is, I've never seen an opposing defense in utter disarray trying to figure out how two guard him as I've often seen with Dirk. The fact is, I honestly think Dirk has become the best PF in the NBA. Yes, most of the basketball world would argue that, but the numbers don't lie. Sure, you could argue that Duncan or Garnett is best, but I think you could make a case for Dirk as well. Pierce, OTOH, just isn't on the same level as Kobe or T-Mac.

grndmstr_c
02-09-2006, 12:49 AM
Swap Dirk for Pierce, redistribute the talent at the various positions so there's no gaping hole at PF, and the Mavs are still a playoff team in the west. I rate Dirk as the more valuable player of the two, so I do believe there would be some falloff, but Pierce is a damn fine player in his own right. Most likely scenario, the Mavs are in the hunt for the 5 seed.

dirno2000
02-09-2006, 12:55 AM
So you'd have the Mavs with about 7 or 8 more losses. Where would you have Boston in the East with Dirk?

Thespiralgoeson
02-09-2006, 12:58 AM
So you'd have the Mavs with about 7 or 8 more losses. Where would you have Boston in the East with Dirk?

To be fair to Pierce, I highly doubt the Celts would be much better than they are, if any. I'd say 3-4 games.

grndmstr_c
02-09-2006, 01:17 AM
Actually, I just realized I kind of goofed that. I was thinking I don't see the Mavs with Pierce challenging for the division crown, which would open up the competition for the 4 slot. I'll say anything within about 2/3 losses of the Clips would be fair. As for Boston, without any clear sense of why one might expect asymmetrical effects of the swap I guess I'd expect Boston to be hovering somewhere between 5 and 8 in the East. Contrary thoughts?

Edit: that would be, the Clips before they lost tonight. Just saw that Detroit got back on track.

DubOverdose
02-09-2006, 01:24 AM
Crippler, are you saying that if PP had started this year instead of Dirk, we would have won significantly lesser number of games than 38 (say, only 20?) at this point?

I find that very hard to believe:
a) Support cast: Dirk's support cast is way better than PP's. Which makes up for the fact that he plays in a tougher conference.
b) Stats: PP's stats are comparable (in fact, arguably better) to Dirk's:

Player---PPG---RPG---APG---SPG---FG%
Dirk-----25.4---8.5---2.5---0.67---0.469
PP------25.7---7.3---4.5---1.41---0.473

Again, the argument that he plays in the East doesn't hold water, as the rest of his team does not compare to the Mavs role players.

So, I still argue that with PP, we'd still have won 38 (+/- 2)
Its harder for a big man to average the stats that Dirk is than for a swingman to get the numbers PP has. PP is nice, but he's no Dirk. Supporting cast? Give me a break. Dirk's team is doing better than everyone thought they would, while PP's isn't. It isn't about supporting cast, its about the star stepping up their game for team success. Remember we were picked to miss the playoffs last year? Remember how we won 58 games? And now we're on an even better path with even less talent than before?

Thespiralgoeson
02-09-2006, 01:37 AM
\It isn't about supporting cast, its about the star stepping up their game for team success. Remember we were picked to miss the playoffs last year? Remember how we won 58 games? And now we're on an even better path with even less talent than before?

With due respect, Dub, the fact that the Mavs were and still are such underdogs was every bit as much due to the general ignorance and downright stupidity around the country as it was to Dirk stepping up. And while on paper it might look like we have "less talent", I for one was almost positive the Mavs would be better this year than they were last year because I knew this team would only improve with more time together. And as much I love Finley, I honestly think he wasn't a good fit for us anymore, and we would actually be winning fewer games if he was still here.

But don't dismiss the "supporting cast" concept like it's nothing. I mean honestly, do you really think the Mavs would still be the best in the west if Dirk had the team that Pierce has?

dirno2000
02-09-2006, 01:47 AM
Contrary thoughts?

Not really. I've kicked this question around in my head but there are so many variables that I don't have a strong feeling one way or another.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened to Dirk had he been drafted by the Celtics. Would he be the player he is today or would he have been crushed by the Larry Birk comparisons.

DubOverdose
02-09-2006, 08:23 AM
With due respect, Dub, the fact that the Mavs were and still are such underdogs was every bit as much due to the general ignorance and downright stupidity around the country as it was to Dirk stepping up. And while on paper it might look like we have "less talent", I for one was almost positive the Mavs would be better this year than they were last year because I knew this team would only improve with more time together. And as much I love Finley, I honestly think he wasn't a good fit for us anymore, and we would actually be winning fewer games if he was still here.

But don't dismiss the "supporting cast" concept like it's nothing. I mean honestly, do you really think the Mavs would still be the best in the west if Dirk had the team that Pierce has?
No the Mavs wouldn't be the best in the West, and neither would the Celtics be as good as the Mavs in the East. This question can't be answered yes or no, there's grey area, and that's where the answer lies.

Murphy3
02-09-2006, 10:58 AM
If you put Dirk in a situation where he's expected to carry a team on a nightly basis, you'd see his scoring average rise. But, there are nights on this Mavs team where there are several other good options to go to. If you put him in a Celtics uniform, that wouldn't be the case to nearly the same extent. He'd be up closer to 30 points per game... probably shooting slightly worse but getting to the FT line more. He'd be averaging even more boards.

As for Pierce, the opposite is true. He'd probably shoot less FT's and score fewer points...grab fewer rebounds....

What would the impact be to each team? Well, Dirk's the better player and has the bigger impact on the offense regardless of whether or not he's the guy doing the scoring. Pierce would be coming to the Mavs playing a position where the Mavs are already somewhat loaded. You'd see a significant drop in the number of wins for Dallas. They'd still be a playoff team, but there would definitely be a big drop in wins. As for the Celtics, you'd see a rise in win total... maybe only 5-6 more wins, but there would be a rise.

Drbio
02-09-2006, 12:14 PM
I think murph raises some good points, but certainly we all can agree that Dirk is the better player right? That is no knock on Pierce either.

dude1394
02-10-2006, 07:29 PM
Oh I actually think the celtics would be appreciably better. There is just no substitute for a guy who has to get double-teamed to win. There is also no good match-up for dirk, unlike Pierce. The third deal is that he's a big who beats the heck out of most bigs.

And dirk is a guy who would show the rest of the team a tremendous dedication to hard work and getting better. I don't know much about Pierce, but it seems ever since he's been there the team has been in turmoil, probably not his fault but accurate.

I think there are some intangibles about the tremendous hard work that we've heard about through the years.

They would easily be leading that division imo. So at least +10-15 games.

dude1394
02-10-2006, 07:30 PM
As far as pierce being here. I see at least a 10 game or more drop-off in the mavs, they would still obviously be a good team.

alby
02-10-2006, 10:41 PM
one thing is for certain

dirk > pierce

Five-ofan
02-11-2006, 04:16 PM
Honestly until they got raped in the davis trade was the surrounding talent really that different? Obviously the mavs had more but its closer than you would think. Like i said, Davis>Josh. Banks is a poor mans devin though as i said that guy is poor. Raef and KVH are pretty close. Our centers are better than theirs but its not that huge of an advantage. West is a little worse offensively than jet but MUCH better defensively. The mavs just fit together really well and I think alot of that is dirk. HE can make his game fit with just about anyone excluding antoine walker.