Me and a friend were having a disccussion about who we would want as a backcourt in the NBA
I as a massive Cavs fan and he, a massive Rockets man have quite a bit of bias. But after I looked past it, I thought it as rather an interesting question.
Kyrie and harden are both superstars whilst Waiter is a masisve question mark, and Lin is a safer bet.
I think Waiters has more potential than Lin, and if he can continue to develop his shot slection, he could be a star. I was very skeptical on him but think his strength and decpetive quickness and ability to go to the rim will make him a 20ppg scorer in the league for years to come.
Kyrie can also beat you in every single way possible, whether off the dribble with his amazing and dynamic handles, he uses the glass like a vet, he is so clutch, has a nice fade a way, has a great Jumper and range and is best going to the rim, which is crazy that he then goes and wins the 3 point contest.
Harden is versatile, a great passer and such a great scorer. He can really do it all.
Who would you take?
Irving and Waiters for a few reasons.
First, Irving and Waiters are 20 and 21 respectively
Harden and Lin are 23 and 24 respectively...
Irving and Waiters have more room to grow.
Second, I fully expect Kyrie to blossom into the NBA' best point guard within the next 2 years (this includes derrick rose and CP3) due to the fact that he has NO holes in his game. Dion Waiters has had a really solid rookie season and his potential is tremendously high... Harden is a stat sheet stuffer but he does have the ultimate green light in Houston and he turns the ball over quite a bit. Lin's potential has been capped in my opinion. I just cant see another team with a brighter future in their backcourt than Cleveland.
I agree with everything you said but wouldn't Harden be projected to be the League's best shooting guard in a few years, even a little more likely than Kyrie being the best point guard, because he has some tough competition for that title, as much as watching Kobe and looking at his numbers tell me he is only 24, I know Kobe's 34 this sh!t he's doing can't last forever, right?
I love Kyrie, but his defense is a big hole in his game
It all depends on Waiters and Lin's future development. Today I'd say Harden and Lin, but in 2 or 3 years its hard to say. Both Waiters and certainly Lin have showed flashes of greatness, but they have yet to achieve such a high level consistently. Harden and Irving are two players who are very good now and are only getting better.
Irving's and Harden's numbers are similar, remarkably similar and so are Waiter's and Lin's, nothing even shooting percentages are only 2-3 points off across the board, PER's are like 1 point different. Lin (24), Harden (23), Irving (21 in March) Waiters (21) are all young good players so those few years different aren't really a indicator either, because everyones future is bright and injuries and what not can derail that anyway. As a fake internet GM, I would say I would like the fact that Irving and Waiter's will only make about ten million next year combined and Harden-Lin will make almost 22 million combined next year, 19 if you count Lin as 5 million but 8 million is more reflective of the true cost to the Rockets for Lin who signed a weird deal last summer.
Futures: I and W <
Present: H and L<
Lin had knee surgery last year and Kyrie misses a lot of games. All of them go to the rack hard and often so some wear and tear is expected. Harden is incredibly consistent. Slight edge Harden-Lin, especially because Irving is day to day right now.
Contract: I and W<
Skill set combination: Push,
Both sets seem like miss matches in theory, but both work out well and project well in the future. I would take either set over Wall and Beal, who seem like the perfect combination. Kyrie and Waiter's are both best as drivers while Kyrie is also a great shooter, while Waiter's is a scorer first and projects to be a better shooter in the future but struggles now. Waiter's may be the better passer and defender. With Harden and Lin its very similar to them on offence.
Marketability: Weird, but Lin and Harden < because Neon Dion will always have the Waiter's Hater's, Lin will to but he has a billion fans to make up for it. Irving star power is greater than Hardens but not as much as the difference between Harden and Lin, hell Lin may be the biggest star of them all.
The real difference is that Harden and Lin are leading a team that's slightly overachieving while Irving and Waiter's for most of the year are leading a team that's slightly underachieving.
This year I would go with Harden Lin, because the Cav's record would be better if that was their starting back court this year and if Irving and Waiter's played for the Rockets there record would probably a little worse, just NBA growing pains.
Next year and beyond I like Irving and Waiter's, if Dion improves his decision making and shot selection as he has done recently ( last ten games, 28 mins, 54% from the field and 17 ppg, 3as, 2re, 1st ) then he well be a 20,4,4, player after next years all star break.
I'm a big Cav's fan by the way, but I believe this was pretty objective.
Irving/Waiters. Kyrie is already one of the best PG in the game. Waiters can straight fill it up. They are both just starting their careers also. Easy choice. Harden is nice but Lin is garbage.
Anyone else think D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera is similar to Waiters? I haven't seen the same ball handling capabilities but he can also light it up and put points on the board quickly.
Easily Irving and Waiters. Lin is an average NBA point guard at best. I know Linsanity was more awesome than anyone could have imagined, but he isn't a top 10 pg. Harden will be the best 2 guard in the league soon and I expect Irving to be the best PG in the league at some point as well so you could basically call them a push. I know Waiters is only a rookie but he is full of potential and I would definitely take him over Lin.
What also helps is that Irving/Waiters are still on their rookie contract, while Harden/Lin have large (too large looking at Lin) contracts
Definitely Irving and Waiters, Waiters is arguably ALREADY better than Lin will ever be. For the old school NBA heads, Dion Waiters looks like he can be the next Mitch Richmond
I can't decide. Irving and Harden are both great, and I like both Waiters and Lin, but I don't think either one of them are really long-term solutions at their positions. As a Cuse fan, I especially hope Waiters proves me wrong, but I think Cleveland may be in better shape anyway because I think they'll be able to add another guard to the mix so that Waiters can be the Ginobli kinda guy off the bench. I think he plays better without having to defer to Kyrie. He's not really an off-the-ball kinda guy, and their a very poor defensive pair; they just flat out don't try very often.
They don't hinder each other at all. I don't know how many Cav's games you've watched this season, but often in the first half its Waiters who will run plays and Irving will play reserved and spot up for his threes. Then in the second half, more specifically the fourth quarter, Kyrie will take over and begin to drive hard to the basketball for all his awe-inspiring circus shots. You're spot on with the defense though. It's pathetic, but I'm sure BScott will address it thoroughly in the off-season now that they are getting a hold of things on the offensive end.
I feel like Irving and Waiters have potential to be better but I would take Harden and Lin
Harden is already becoming and top 10 player and could be a top 5 players in a year or two but for Lin he is a solid starting Pg and these two guys are making the Rockets the best offensive team in the league at a young age.
But very tough question
kyrie and waiters...i dont look @ it like pg vs pg and sg vs sg but more like best player(kyrie)vs best player(harden) and then waiters vs lin... and then i take into consideration how they compliment each other and gel as a 1 2 punch..... kyrie is slightly better than harden and waiters is hands down better than lin. and kyrie always makes his teamates better so to me this 1 is a no brainer. i take irving/waiters
The way i see it is Kyrie and Harden cancel eachother out. 2 super stars that can still improve. Lin is a solid pg, but how much better can he get? Waiters on the other hand has a lot of room to improve and is only a rookie. We know he can take it to the rack, but when his shot selection gets better (it cant get any worse) his field goal % should go up. I think Waiters has good potential on defense as well. Again not a knock on Lin I just see more potential with Waiters.
On a side note: Can Byron Scott tell Waiters that step back, contested, long 2 point shots are the worst shots a player can take?!
Wow Waiters is still underrated even after him putting up great performances in Kyrie's absence leading Cleveland to wins while scoring over 20ppg. Waiters is already better then Lin and it's not even close. Irving is in his 2nd year and Waiters is a rookie and they're already arguably better so I think this is a no brainer.
And Byron Scott wasn't lying when he said Cleveland was so fortunate to still have a chance to draft a guy of Waiters caliber at 4 because he was clearly overlooked during the whole draft process by fans. Bottom line is Dion Waiters is a stud and future star and Lin is very average.
Dion Waiters over the last 10 games is averaging 17.1 ppg and shooting 55% from the field in 28mpg and the Cavs went 6-4.
Over the last 5 games while Kyrie has been hurt, Waiters has upped his scoring to 20.4ppg while shooting 52% from the field in 31mpg and the Cavs have gone 4-1 in that 5 games span.
The numbers and production aren't a fluke. Waiters is clearly one of the better SG prospects to enter the league in the last few years and has borderline franchise talent potential because of his ability to play smart basketball, score at will, and come up big in the clutch.
Things Lin does better than the average PG: assists, steals, rebound, block shots. TS% average for a PG.
Things Waiters does better than the average SG: assists, take lots of shots. TS% below average for SG.
Waiters might get better than Lin. Judging him on his rookie year is kind of rough. But right now all he brings to the table it high volume scoring which he does less efficiently than the average SG. You can find that set of skills by taking any D-league SG and calling a bunch of plays for him. Call me when his TS% approaches that of an average SG, then we can talk about him being good.
Kyrie has a long way to go to be Harden though. Not saying Kyrie isn't very very nice. But Harden is a top ten guy in the league and definitely top three in terms of scoring ability (only KD and Lebron are better than him, other high volume scores are so much less efficient than Harden they aren't in his league).
Waiters is only 20 years old and is starting and playing big minutes for the first time in 3 years, I think he's doing very well. Well all know SG's often take awhile to come around, look at any top SG's and there rookie season shooting %. James Harden shot only 40% from the field as a rookie while mainly taking open shots from the defense collapsing on Russ and KD.
So like I just pointed out over the last 10 games Waiters is averaging over 17ppg, while shooting 55%, I know you said come talk to you when his FG% approaches and average SG and 55% is far from average for a shooting guard but it's worth noting.
Also worth noting is since Kyrie went down, Waiters has more then picked up the slack and is scoring over 20ppg while shooting 52% in the last 5 games including 3 straight games of 20 points or more. He's doing all this in still only 31mpg. Waiters isn't an inefficient volume scorer, he's very crafty and smart and doesn't turn the ball over as often as guys with his style of play do.
Is it wrong that I would take the Rockets just because of Harden? I'm not just all 100% go for the future, right now Harden/Lin have their team in the playoffs in a good West, while the Cavs suck in a bad East. I'm not saying the Cavs duo isn't good, or it won't grow, or I don't love Kyrie's future. But right now Harden is just a better player than Kyrie. He effects the game in more ways and does more for his team overall. Lin and Waiters are basically both toss ups that will amount to the same level of impact player.
I agree with alot of what you said, except Lin and Waiters are clearly not toss ups. Waiters is clearly better with a much much much brighter future.
He doesn't rebound, he doesn't pass, he isn't anything special defensively, he's been putting up 15 a night on 41% shooting for a lottery team, I like his upside, but he isn't clearly better. Lin isn't great, and he's wildly inconsistent, but this is a guy who put up 29 points and outplayed Westbrook in a game the Rockets won not too long ago. Although he isn't super efficient, he's still more efficient than Waiters. I'm just saying, there's really no proof Waiters is going to improve all that much and either way its not like the difference between them is substantial.
You're whole comment was extremely ignorant and here is why. You want proof that a 20 year old shooting guard whose starting for the first time on any level in 3 years, yet is putting up 15ppg in under 30 minutes per game is going to improve?
When was the last time a 20 year old SG put up atleast 15ppg as a rookie? Even Harden as a rookie while taking basically open kick out shots only hit 40% of his shots. Most high volume scoring guards shoot under 40% as a rookie like Westbrook, Wall, Walker and so on. But even they are PG's being guarded by PG's.
Waiters is being guarded by taller SG's so of course it took him awhile to get adjusted to the length and speed of the league.
You want proof he'll get better. How about the fact Waiters shot like 38% from the field and has raised it to 41% How did he do that? By scoring shooting 55% over the last 10 games while scoring over 17ppg.
How about like I keep getting negged for pointing out, but the Cavs are 4-1 in the last 5 games where Waiters has averaged 20ppg and is shooting 52%. These are HUGE numbers for a 20 year old rookie SG. Had Beal or Lamb put up these numbers people would be oozing in there pants.
Just watch the rest of the season and see how efficient Waiters scores for a rookie SG now that he's got his feet wet in the league.
Also Waiters is a fine passer, but like Kyrie, doesn't get many assists because of same excuses they make for Kyrie. Waiters is still averaging 3apg in under 30mpg for the year which is solid for a rookie SG. Waiters is also a ball hawk who can rack up steals.
And good for Lin pointing out one of his few stellar games this year. Still Lin scores over 12ppg and only shoots 43% while being a turnover machine. By the time Waiters get the experience Lin already has in this league this argument will be laughable.
You are trying to argue with me about Lin only having a few good games, then you are arguing a 5-10 game sample size as to why Waiters is good. of course he is going to improve, but its not like its a guarantee how much or if he'll be an all star calibur player. Harden's rookie year, he was playing on a playoff team coming off the bench. Not being a starter who can pretty much shoot as much as he wants. Beal is only averaging a point per game less than Waiters, Klay Thompson averaging 12.5 ppg last year (playing with Curry and Ellis for half the season), DeRozan averaged 17 a game at age 21 the year before that and hasn't really improved at all since then, Marcus Thornton averaged 14.5 a game the year before that as a rookie on the Hornets, OJ Mayo averaged 18.8 a game as a rookie and Eric Gordon averaged 16 a game as a rookie the year before that. Neither has really matured at all and Mayo has probably even gotten worse.
The point is: Pretty much every year there are rookie shooting guards who put up numbers on bad teams. Which is what you basically argued Waiters was the only player since Jordan to do. And you also missed the point of my original statement. Right now, I don't think the difference between having Lin or Waiters is very substantial. I do believe Waiters will be a better player than Lin eventually. But again, were not talking about eventually, we're talking about right now. And I don't think either will ever be an all star, I think both of them are just solid back court players who have flaws. So to me, the fact I think Harden is better than Irving is enough for me to go with them. It doesn't mean Waiters isn't/won't be better than Lin. It means its not that big of a difference. Which it's not.
Mayo and Gordon are the only 2 good comparison you made to Waiters. Klay Thompson came into the league as an experienced Jr. who can get hot and shoot lights out. But Klay doesn't have the athleticism, or ball handling, or the ice cold blood Waiters possess' making his ceiling considerably lower.
Beal is averaging a point less while playing a few minutes more and was supposed to be more polished coming into the league then Waiters who was considered raw and lacked experience. Beal also plays for the Wizards and starting alongside AJ Price and the like for most of the season. If you put Waiters on the Wizards instead of Beal I guarantee Waiters would be averaging atleast 17ppg right now. Atleast. Waiters would of have the ball in his hands most of the season while Wall was hurt and would of been a scoring machine with the ultimate green light.
Demar Derozan doesn't have the range shooting that Waiters has, or the ball handling ability to get his shot off whenever and where ever he pleases. He also has nearly zero court vision and can't pass or create for his teamates. He also lacks Waiters quickness and strength. But for all his faults Demar has gotten better every year he just has more flaws to his game then Waiters.
Marcus Thornton...I know statistically his rookie year was similar to what Waiters is doing, but once again Thornton came into the league with a ton of college seasoning, and scored from the perimeter. He doesn't have anything close to Waiters ability to take people off the dribble and finish in traffic.
I think I said 20 old SG, or a SG who came out after his sophomore or freshman year.
Anyways OJ Mayo is a good example. And nobody can really answer why he didn't improve. Mayo was on the wrong team, surrounded by ball hogs like Gay, Randolph, and Gasol who isn't a hog but needs the ball. Then Mayo got demoted to the bench. As prospects tho Waiters and Mayo are similar, but the BIG difference is that Waiters is always in attack mode and finishes well in traffic something that if Mayo did well would probably make Mayo an All Star. But he doesn't and Dion does.
And I actually think Waiters career trajectory will resemble Gordon's to a certain extent. I don't know why you say Gordon didn't mature, because he did, he just has had injury trouble. But Gordon averaged 16ppg as a rookie, and was averaging 22ppg by his 3rd year before injuries got the best of him. Barring injury Waiters has a very similar build and game, while he isn't as great a shooter as Gordon is Waiters is a very good shooter in his own right and has better moves with the ball in his hands then Gordon.
And I don't know how you managed to put Waiters and Jordan in the same sentence. CTFU. I never said anything about him being the only one since Jordan, I was seriously asking who was the last 20 year old SG to average atleast 15ppg because at the moment I honestly didn't know or feel like looking it up. You gave some very good examples tho.
And offensively Waiters doesn't really have many holes. He can score from anywhere on the floor, and his ball handling and strength allow him to get anywhere on the floor. Unlike many SG's Waiters is just as good at shooting off the dribble as he is spotting up, or coming off screens which is why I said I liked him better then Beal during the draft. Waiters has also proven he can go into heavy traffic and score. With experience he's only going to get better.
Waiters has always been a prodigy he just got hidden on the bench as a freshman and relegated to 6th man as a sophomore. Had Waiters returned for his Jr. year like many people believed he should have, I think Waiters win NPOY and is in the running for the 1st pick in a weaker class, because he'd be scoring the nets if he were still in college probably averaging over 24ppg and leading 'Cuse to a 1 seed.
I just think too much of your argument is centered around how technically he is different than all those other guys. More or less, he's doing the same things they were as rookies. Sure he shoots better than DeRozan or was younger than Thompson...but its not like he's out of H.S., he played 2 years in college.
And obviously with the Jordan thing I was speaking in hyperbole because you were making it sound like it had been forever since a young shooting guard succeeded in the NBA. I know Waiters is good. But Lin isn't bad. And if Waiters and Irving were really as good as some point think they are, it would be translating into W's on a wider scale than a 5 game stretch. That's all.
Great topic btw.......I think some may be sleeping on how good harden can be. This is his first year as a go to player in the league on a young team. He can end up being the best 2 guard as early as next season. He is developing into his role as well.......it is close......
The argument that both Irving and Waiters would get more assists if they were on a better team and had better guys to pass to isn't a great argument. I used to believe it myself. But then I've noticed that the pass first PGs get assists no matter where they end up. Take a look at Jose Calderon, he is an assist machine. He got assists playing for the bad Raptors. And now he is racking them up playing for the bad Pistons (and there isn't even Drummond to throw oops to). Take a look at Greives Vasquez. He is on the terrible Hornets, but something like third or fourth in the league in assists. Chris Paul was also a monster assist guy on the Hornets.
Getting assists has a lot more to do with the PG and the offense the coach wants to run than the players around him than I used to think. But that said, I give these guys a little bit of credit that the Coach is telling them to drive and score and probably not running great plays. But Waiters has a long way to go to reach Lin's level of creativity passing the ball.
Mr. 19, I do have to agree Swag 666. We do actually see rookie SGs come in and play like this all the time. It is mainly about getting drafted into a position where there is a starting spot available for you. Marshon Brooks did about the same thing last year. Your making a big deal that Waiters is 20 instead of 21 like some guys who come into the league. I'd say that a lot of big men are still developing at 20 and 21, but for guards it isn't that big deal. Not saying that Waiters isn't going to get better, in fact a lot better. But he was playing big time college ball for two years before the NBA, it isn't like he has no experience. Right now he just looks to me like a guy who will eventually be a legit starting SG. But I'm assuming the last three or four games you mentioned is just a hot streak. If this is what he can really do permanently, then yes he is darn good.
As for Harden, one of my favorite players who I'm always ready to talk up (I suspect people are tired of me saying how great Harden is), his TS% was 55% as a rookie. He got to the line better than Waiters and he shot a lot more threes (which is why his FG%, which you focused on) was low. But he was a more effective scorer than Waiters is. There is no comparison. But hey, no shame in that. Harden is elite. Certainly Waiters doesn't have to be as good as Harden to be better than Lin.
But also being better than Lin isn't going to be that easy. Lin is pretty good. Folks formed an impression of him at the start of the season when his jumper wasn't falling and he was still recovering from his knee surgery. So they kind of writ him off. The jumper is still suspect but he can now get to the rim again. He still isn't scoring much because the rockets want him passing and Harden takes a ton of plays. But it is not a coincidence that in one of the only two games Harden has missed all year, that Lin put up 38 on the Spurs. If needed, he could be scoring a lot more points than he is now. And being a 17 and 10 guy would not be out of the question.