John Hollinger's All-Overrated team..

Discussion in 'Sports Central' started by cyphamasta, Mar 23, 2006.

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  1. cyphamasta

    cyphamasta New Member

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    Nobody minds being called underrated. After Tuesday's column on the league's most underrated players, my in-box was full of compliments, with most following the "thank you for finally recognizing our wonderful Player X" format.

    "Overrated," on the other hand, has a much different connotation. Nobody likes to be told he's overrated, and fans don't much like to hear their favorite player is overrated, either. Thus, it is with great trepidation that I undertake writing a column about the league's most overrated players. Few column ideas could provide more fertile flame bait.

    Nonetheless, I forge bravely ahead. But before we get started, a few ground rules. Some people see the word "overrated" and think it means I'm saying all these players stink. Nothing could be further from the truth. A lot of the players on this list actually are pretty good -- in fact two of them are legitimately great -- but that doesn't change the fact they are perceived, by most, to be better players than they really are.

    For a good example, think of Kobe Bryant a few years ago. He was awesome, one of the two vital cogs on a three-time champion team. At the same time, a lot of people were comparing him to Michael Jordan, and that was patently absurd. So even though he was a great player, he was clearly overrated. In Bryant's case, that has now shifted. He's playing better than he ever has, and the hype machine has died down a little, so he's no longer an All-Overrated candidate. But I use his example to illustrate a point: Great players still can be overrated.

    In fact, guys can be overrated or underrated at different points in their career. Christian Laettner, for instance, was wildly overrated coming out of college, but was probably underrated toward the end of his career. Latrell Sprewell, on the other hand, was underrated as a Warrior (before that whole P.J. thing, anyway) but overrated as a Knick.

    So for the purposes of this list, let's be clear that I'm talking about guys who are overrated today, and let's be especially clear that this isn't a list from three years ago. An easy cop-out would be to make an All-Overrated list of players who were already exposed, and put guys like Antoine Walker, Maurice Taylor and Michael Olowokandi on the list. I won't be doing that.

    With that said, here it goes ... the All-Overrated Team for 2005-06:
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  2. cyphamasta

    cyphamasta New Member

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    GREAT... but overrated

    Allen Iverson and Steve Nash
    In an odd way, these two are really similar. Though they have very different games, each is able to grab fans at an emotional level. People appreciate Tim Duncan, but they love Iverson and Nash.


    That's partly because they look like us -- tiny guys who look like they could be playing the lunchtime game at the Y -- while they're embarrassing the giants with their amazing skill and creativity. It's partly because each plays with such exceptional speed and reckless abandon -- cheering for them is a way of thumbing our noses at every control-freak coach who thinks there should be a huddle before every possession. It helps, too, that each is among the best at the game's two most visible feats -- Nash with passing, Iverson with scoring -- and that each player's biggest weakness, defense, tends to be the hardest for fans to identify.

    So how can I call these guys overrated? Because their appeal to our inner basketball karma has caused us to massively overstate their impact on the game. Both are almost universally considered among the top five or so players in the league, forming last year's All-NBA first team backcourt. Nash won last year's MVP award and might win it again, while Iverson finished a close fifth a year ago and has four top-nine finishes in the voting. And as luck would have it, each has an MVP trophy that many feel should be sitting on Shaquille O'Neal's mantel.


    But let's get back to that top-five thing, because there's no way either can make that claim stand up. For instance, neither has ever finished a season in the top five in the league in player efficiency rating -- not only this year, but ever. Right now Iverson is seventh and Nash is ninth, and each is having the best season of his career. Some will argue that PER underrates them, but if anything it does the opposite, because it excludes defense except steals and blocks.

    How do they fall short? When we compare them to the elite players, the best of the best, each has two shortcomings. One of them is obvious: rebounding. The other, in Nash's case, is that he doesn't create nearly as many shots as his peers, even when we factor in all the assists. His usage rate is on par with Mike Bibby and Sam Cassell, and ranks 24th overall. For Iverson, the problem isn't creating shots but converting them -- he's a poor outside shooter who's a 42.1 percent career marksman.

    If you still don't believe me, try this exercise. Suppose the league broke up all the teams tomorrow and did a redraft, and everybody could keep their new players for exactly one season. Who would the top picks be? Not Iverson and Nash. Even the most ardent Suns and Sixers fans would have to admit that the first six would, in some order, be LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki.

    After that, Nash or Iverson might get picked, but teams would also be looking at players like Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming, Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups and Elton Brand. It's possible that Nash wouldn't be the first Sun off the board, or even the second. And as for Iverson, Jerry Colangelo had 20 picks for Team USA and still didn't choose him.

    So as great as they are, and as much as we enjoy watching them ... yes, it would seem they're overrated.
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  3. cyphamasta

    cyphamasta New Member

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    GOOD... but overrated

    Kenyon Martin
    At no time was he ever worth anything close to the maximum dollars Denver gave him, let alone with three first-round draft picks thrown in. Martin's status as the second-best player on a championship contender caused many to evaluate him as a big star -- but clearly that was never the case. Though an explosive dunker, his offensive game is fairly limited, and his career best in scoring is only 16.7 points per game. Meanwhile, despite his tremendous leaping ability, he's been a very ordinary rebounder his entire career. Throw in a lack of durability -- his career best in games is 77, and he's cleared 70 only twice in six seasons -- and you have to question his star status.

    Lamar Odom
    People can't stop gushing about Odom's skills whenever they talk about him, but I'm wondering whether they're kidding themselves about his ceiling. Odom is indeed a great ballhandler for his size and a decent player in other respects, as well. But I'm missing how that translates into an All-Star talent. Without a great first step or a great jump shot, Odom is always going to have company around when he's going to the basket, which is why his turnover rates are persistently high. That helps explain why Odom has been in the league for seven years and hasn't moved beyond "a pretty good forward." Don't hold your breath waiting.

    Baron Davis
    If you bring up the league's great point guards in a discussion, five names will come up -- Nash, Iverson, Billups, Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas. Davis should be the sixth guy in that discussion, but his love affair with the 3-point shot, lack of durability and general uncoachability have kept him from joining the group.

    Yet when Davis came to Golden State and led them to a surprisingly strong finish last year, we still fell for it hook, line and sinker, and we pegged the Warriors for a playoff run. We should have known better. Davis entered the year chucking up any jumper he felt like, and before we knew it he was back on the injured list for a fourth straight season.

    Davis' biggest problem is shot selection, which is strange to say about a guy who is second in the league in assists -- but nonetheless true. The guy is shooting 31.5 percent from downtown yet somehow feels the need to hoist six 3-pointers per game, and that probably explains why he's under 40 percent from the field overall for a third straight season. Meanwhile, his deteriorating relationship with coach Mike Montgomery has been a major detriment to Golden State's playoff hopes and is a leading cause of the near-anarchy in the Warriors' clubhouse.
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  4. cyphamasta

    cyphamasta New Member

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    JUST PLAIN OVERRATED

    Jamaal Magloire

    People still talk about Magloire as if he's one of the better centers in basketball, but there's been little evidence of that the past two seasons. I had written off last year's lackluster performance to a finger injury that sidelined him for most of the season, but he's kept it up in Milwaukee this year. The Bucks were supposed to benefit from adding his toughness to a soft middle, but they're still a poor defensive team.

    Meanwhile, Magloire has given them absolutely nothing offensively. It's not from lack of trying, either -- they've force-fed him touches every game I've seen them. Each time, Magloire tries that reverse-pivot move that hasn't fooled anyone all year and either gets the ball stolen or misses a hook shot. He does draw a lot of fouls, but because he's hitting only 53.3 percent from the line this year, that doesn't necessarily help. Overall, he's declined as much as any big man in the game.

    Kyle Korver

    Korver is a fantastic shooter, and if he had any other skill that was even remotely on the same level he'd be a good player. But he doesn't. Korver can't create off the dribble to save his life, is a below-average defender and provides nothing on the boards, so he'd have to be absolutely awesome as a shooter to justify his minutes (and his contract, for that matter). But he generates only 14.3 points per 40 minutes, and even with the 3s his true shooting percentage isn't that spectacular. Overall, he looks like a 10th man disguised as a starter.

    Darius Miles

    We've all been enthralled by Miles since he came to the pros out of high school, and we keep waiting for him to turn the corner. It's becoming increasingly apparent that he never will, though. While Miles entices us with his leaping and ballhandling skill for his size, he's hasn't worked on his jump shot and still makes too many bad decisions. Particularly vexing is Miles' career 58.7 percent free-throw mark -- it's tough to make it as a slasher if you can't convert at the line. Throw in his inattentive defense, spats with coaches and bad knees, and the guess here is that we've already seen all we're going to get from him.

    Mike Dunleavy
    You know a player is struggling when a scout pulls you aside just to rip on him. In Dunleavy's case, that really happened to me. Dunleavy has taken a lot of grief after signing a big contract in the offseason ... but he's actually been worse than most people think.

    Like Odom and Miles, the lure of Dunleavy is his ability to handle the ball for his size. But without another discernible skill and a good first step, his ballhandling is almost irrelevant. An alleged shooter coming out of college, he's hit 25.4 percent of his 3-pointers this year and is at 34.7 percent for his career. If he could get back to the level of two years ago he'd at least be OK as a sixth or seventh man, but that five-year, $44 million deal looks more absurd every day.

    Eric Snow

    Any time you see a Cavs game, the announcers will inevitably start talking about what a great veteran influence that Snow is and how he's still a good defender even at 33. That's all true, but they leave out one important detail: he's killing them. Good heavens, the guy was never a great offensive player, but now he's hideous.

    I never thought I'd see the day when a player averaged 6.8 points per 40 minutes and kept his spot in the starting lineup the entire season -- for comparison's sake, even Ben Wallace averages 8.5. And Snow isn't accurate with his few shots, sporting a miserable 45.4 percent true shooting percentage. Basically, he can't shoot, and he can't get to the basket, either. Thus, his presence allows teams to double LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

    Ben Gordon

    I'll let Scott Skiles handle this one: "Ben was a high-turnover player last year. It's something he knows he needs to work on ... It's just that the incredible fourth quarters last year took the focus off a lot of the other things.''

    Right on. Gordon had a poor turnover ratio last season -- miscuing on 12.2 percent of his possessions -- and still has a fairly high one considering how rarely he drives. Plus, despite the scoring exploits, he's been a low-percentage shooter throughout his brief pro career, hitting 41.1 percent last year and 41.7 percent this year, and he rarely gets to the line. As with Korver, Gordon contributes so little in other areas that his scoring needs to be something special for him to be a good player overall, and right now it's not at that level.

    TJ Ford

    The Bucks guard got tons of good press (including some schmuck who wrote this) after he returned from a serious neck injury and got off to a fast start this season. But as the year has progressed, his limitations have become more obvious.

    Ford didn't grow any while he was out, and his shot didn't improve any, and as a result he makes for a pretty weak starting point guard. His TS% of 47.4 is still very poor, and despite his passing skill he doesn't do enough in other areas to make up for it. As I pointed out in the piece on underrated players, Mo Williams has outplayed him, and they probably should swap jobs.
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  5. G-Rob da great

    G-Rob da great Fear moondog.

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    I've always felt Iverson was overrated and what he finished that statment with "He has an MVP that should be on Shaquille O' Neal's mantle" is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. Shaq was a monster beast that season, went 15-1 in the playoffs including 4-1 against MV-A.I in the finals.

    Shaq is one of the most "valuable" players the game has ever seen and he will retire with just one MVP trophy. Fucked up if you ask me.

    Nash, possibly.. but not really. I do agree that he's not even a top 5 guard in the NBA and no way in hell he'd go first if everyone was re drafted, but I feel he was worthy of MVP last YEAR and this YEAR. I hope Mr. Hollinger is not confusing "most valuable" and "best player" arguments though.

    The rest of his list is.. meh. Most of the guys aren't good enough to be considered overrated or nobody's really overrating them. Kyle Korver? Nobody's been prepping him up since he entered the NBA. I will say K-Mart, Magloire and Baron Davis are overrated.

    Also, even though I don't think anybody is "overrating" Eric Snow, I do agree with everything he had to say about him. It's just flat out 4-5 on the offensive end when he's in the game. His season high is 14 points-- in a starting lineup where basically every guy is in double figures. The other night he played 41 minutes and didn't attempt a shot. [funny]

    Everytime LeBron gets doubled I look on the floor and say "who's open?" And when I see E. Snow I kinda just shrug and say oh well, so much for that. It's kinda funny, our arena announcer says "Eric Sno ho ho ho" everytime he scores, but me and my friend say "Eric No no no no" everytime he rises for an attempt.
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  6. Matt Hood

    Matt Hood New Member

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    Nash and Iverson are over rated?
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  7. That Nigga

    That Nigga aka Hot Shyt

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    HELL NO!!!
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  8. Iceodu921

    Iceodu921 Resident Sports Genius

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    nash also has a mvp that should be on shaqs mantle.
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  9. Flow Da HoloGraff

    Flow Da HoloGraff Fuck Up!

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    thank you for getting the pass
    i've been dying to read that
    i would've liked to see antoine walker ripped ... but i understand why he wasnt even bothered to put on the list
    i think ganobili is over rated ... but that could be that i hate the spurs and his game
    also bowen with his dirty defense
    i think dirk should be better than what people say of him
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  10. Iceodu921

    Iceodu921 Resident Sports Genius

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    I dont see how you could think Ginoboli is overrated I dont see him getting that much hype.
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  11. worDwell

    worDwell New Member

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    Bowen doesn't have dirty defense. He just gets in peoples comfort zone.

    Did you see how he played Dirk Nowitski last time the Spurs played Dallas?

    He put on a clinic, Dirk was so frustrated he took it out on poor Ginobili lol.


    I do think Nash is overated - he's had an awesome year, but the Suns play to his strengths and mask the weakness. He's a huge liability on defense, and opposing teams score a lot.

    Suns basketball, without an inside presence, will falter in the playoffs.

    Do you really see them making a bunch of stops and grinding out a win? Teams have a buffet in the paint against the Suns. Even with Amare 80% likely to come back, the Suns just aren't built for the long haul.

    I agree with Lamar and Martin... throw in every player on the Knicks roster making big money lol. From Marbury to Francis to James they all qualify.
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  12. Flow Da HoloGraff

    Flow Da HoloGraff Fuck Up!

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    you dont live in san antonio
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  13. worDwell

    worDwell New Member

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    Just because Ginobili gets mad love - doesn't mean he's overated.

    Of course San Antonio loves him. It's a hispanic community, plus the enjoy the zeal and energy he brings into the game.

    I hardly ever see fans say GINOBILI IS THE BEST 2 GUARD!!

    They know his skill, they just love his passion and winning ways.

    He's a winner, certified with 2 NBA championships, and a gold medal.
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  14. Iceodu921

    Iceodu921 Resident Sports Genius

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    He plays a exicting game as well.
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  15. Ed E Brock

    Ed E Brock RM's version of this guy

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    Lamar Odom
    People can't stop gushing about Odom's skills whenever they talk about him, but I'm wondering whether they're kidding themselves about his ceiling. Odom is indeed a great ballhandler for his size and a decent player in other respects, as well. But I'm missing how that translates into an All-Star talent. Without a great first step or a great jump shot, Odom is always going to have company around when he's going to the basket, which is why his turnover rates are persistently high. That helps explain why Odom has been in the league for seven years and hasn't moved beyond "a pretty good forward." Don't hold your breath waiting.


    I hope brahman saw this.
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  16. Brahman

    Brahman Mel Van Peebles

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    have you seen the way lamar odom has turned it on as the lakers make their playoff push, or do you just never watch games and hold on to weak and baseless generalities???

    lamar odom's month of march #'s:

    17.6 ppg (59.5 fg%, 58.3 3p%), 8.5 rpg, 6.2 apg

    meanwhile kobe bryant is taking 28.8 shots per game on 42.5% accuracy for the month


    the last 5 games have especially been strong for odom

    18.6 ppg (57.1 fg%, 55.6 3p%), 10.0 rpg, 7.0 apg

    LO7 is simply clutch

    john hollinger is simply a moron, and so are you
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  17. G-Rob da great

    G-Rob da great Fear moondog.

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    [funny] And you try to make a case for Wade winning MVP.
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  18. Iceodu921

    Iceodu921 Resident Sports Genius

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    yep..i figured ud post about that..

    but its 2 diffrent years with two diffrent shaqs.

    Im sure even you can note the diffrence in a reengerized shaq last year and a lazy shaq this year.
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  19. G-Rob da great

    G-Rob da great Fear moondog.

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    You act like Shaq is hobbling up the court scoring 2.6 ppg.

    Since when has a team had TWO DIFFERENT MVP's in consecutive years?

    It just doesn't happen.

    So yes, you look silly claiming Shaq was last years most valuable player in the NBA and then saying his teammate is this year.
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  20. Iceodu921

    Iceodu921 Resident Sports Genius

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    did shaq when the mvp last year?
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