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Old 08-12-2006, 10:38 PM   #1
The Pirate Bob
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Default If They Were All in Their Prime

What team would have been the best if when in the year that they actually played a season together they had all been in their prime?

Alot of NBA Champion Teams were actually in their prime when they won. But there were a few that won, but would have been even so much better if a couple of their stars weren't already past their prime.

I think of 2 in particular:

The Magic, Worthy team with an older Kareem Jabbar. How much better would they have been with a young Kareen?

And maybe easily the greatest would have been the West, Baylor, Chamberlain team that won I think 72 games that year. Baylor was practically washed up by then, and Chamberlain was not much more than a rebounder and defensive specialist at the time. But with all in their prime together, god almighty, who could have stopped them and how many points would they have scored each game.
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pirate Bob
And maybe easily the greatest would have been the West, Baylor, Chamberlain team that won I think 72 games that year. Baylor was practically washed up by then, and Chamberlain was not much more than a rebounder and defensive specialist at the time. But with all in their prime together, god almighty, who could have stopped them and how many points would they have scored each game.
Actually, it was th '72 Lakers and they won 69 that year. The '96 Bulls were the first, and only, team to win 70 games in a season. Jerry West and Gail Goodrich were the two studs on that team. Wilt was in the twilight of his career and was primarily a rebounder on that team. Elgin Baylor only played 9 games so he is an afterthought on that team.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:49 AM   #3
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Never seen this kinda format before.

Kind of hard to do because if you have all the guys in their prime at once how is everyone gonna do what they were capable of with only one rock?

I guess the greatest collection of talent, on paper anyway, would probably be that 1972 Laker team if you could magically have them all in their prime. The Lakers of the 80s are also a good bet.
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:15 PM   #4
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The thing is it is tough to try and gauge something such as this because the game has changed quite a bit since the 60s and early 70s. It has gone from being a game where fundamentally sound players excelled in a half court set to a game where the superior athletes excel and running up and down the floor is emphasized a lot more. Plus the average player of today is bigger, stronger, and faster than the players of 20 to 30 years ago.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublee
The thing is it is tough to try and gauge something such as this because the game has changed quite a bit since the 60s and early 70s. It has gone from being a game where fundamentally sound players excelled in a half court set to a game where the superior athletes excel and running up and down the floor is emphasized a lot more. Plus the average player of today is bigger, stronger, and faster than the players of 20 to 30 years ago.
True.....but the average player of today can not shoot the rock with the consistancy of those guys. But their athleticism will allow them to play better defense. Then again they don't have as good of a mental grasp of the fundamentals so I guess I could go back and forth like this all day.



Hey Buck....

How about those 86 Celtics, with the big three hitting their stride but Walton and DJ well past it. You knew I was going to throw a Celtic reference in this
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:21 PM   #6
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If we are talking about players in their prime how about the current champs?

PG - Gary Payton. Arguably the best PG in the game during his prime.
SG - Dwyane Wade. Arugably one of the top five in the game today.
C - Shaq. The most dominant big man of his era.
PF - 'Zo. A 20/10 guy in his prime and one of the best defensive big men of his era.
SF - Antoine Walker. Aside from his horrid shot selection he was still a reliable rebounder and passer in his prime.

The athleticism and versatility of that lineup when all five were in their prime is pretty impressive.
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:44 AM   #7
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86 Celtics would have been a monster if all were in their prime. DJ is a HOFer in my mind. Still though, this team was amazing. That's the point here.

Think about the 85 Lakers at center with both Kareem and McAdoo in their prime. It would be like 70 PPG, 32 RPG, 7 APG, and 4 BPG. Damn, that makes ya dizzy just thinkin' about it!

doublee...

I guess for post-Magic/Bird squads the 06 Heat ain't a bad choice.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:24 AM   #8
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The Bad Boy Pistons with Thomas, Dumars, Sally, Rodman, Laimbeer, Vinnie, James Edwards etc. would contend with anyone because of their defense and good outside shooting and tough bench.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric
The Bad Boy Pistons with Thomas, Dumars, Sally, Rodman, Laimbeer, Vinnie, James Edwards etc. would contend with anyone because of their defense and good outside shooting and tough bench.
That was a good group but a lot of what they did was predicated by their physical D. The old Laker/Celtic teams lived in an era that was just as rough & rougher. With that cancelling each other out, I don't think the Pistons could keep up....
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:28 PM   #10
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Besides that wasn't it MJ's Bulls who ended the reign of the Bad Boys?
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:45 PM   #11
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& here I was, tryin' to let him down easy, Doublee...

Yea, once Scottie Pippen got over his fear of them, it was a done deal. It wouldn't be remotely that hard on the older bangers from an era of "let 'em play"....
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:38 PM   #12
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Weren't all those guys in their prime anyway...the Bad Boys that is? If you stick with the thread that was as good as it gets.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:50 PM   #13
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Not entirely buckeye. Mark Aguirre was on the downside of his career when he came to Detroit and James Edwards more of a rebounder in the earlier days of his career before coming to Detroit. Rodman really did not enter the prime of his career until after the run ended. But, for the most part the rest of the squad was pretty much in its prime.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:57 PM   #14
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Yea, I was thinkin' of the core. Still, that team wouldn't stand a chance against the Celtics or Lakers with all of 'em in their prime.
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Old 08-18-2006, 04:11 PM   #15
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There is no way the Bad Boy Pistons beat the best Celtic or Laker teams of the 1980s with the "in their primes" provision. I do think the '06 Heat were a nice call, doublee.

The NBA has a link to its top 10 teams in history that has some interesting possibilities, although we've already mentioned the 1971-72 Lakers and the most recent ones. Also, I'm partial to any team -- like the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks -- that includes Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Take those two at the top of their games and add Bobby Dandridge and you've got a serious party.

Ultimately, though, I'd probably take one of the Laker teams Bob mentioned in the first post. Get Baylor healthy for 71-72 or Kareem in his prime for Showtime and I don't think anyone else is real close.

The one sleeper I might mention would be the Spurs' 2002-03 championship-winning team when David Robinson was clearly past his prime. Take, in their primes, Robinson and Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, Stephen Jackson and Malik Rose, plus Steve Kerr and Danny Ferry (whose prime may well have been in college but still counts) and everyone else from that incredibly deep team (11 players with 10+ minutes per game) and I think it would be extremely competitive.
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