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Thread: Comparing Bernard King to Melo

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    Default Comparing Bernard King to Melo

    From ESPN Insider. Seems appropriate to compare the two upon Bernard Kings induction to the HOF. I know Kiya would disagree but I think Melo gets to the HOF sooner than Bernard did.

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    Comparing Melo and Bernard


    King was Anthony's idol, but has the new Knick surpassed the legend?


    Updated: September 5, 2013, 12:52 PM ET
    By [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] | ESPN Insider

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    Getty ImagesHow do Carmelo Anthony and Bernard King, two New York hoops stars, stack up?
    Hoops history is in the air and on the airwaves this week, with NBA legends Bernard King and Gary Payton headlining a 12-person class being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend.
    One current player long linked to King is fellow [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] small forward [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. Anthony has stated numerous times that King is his basketball idol, and when he was growing up, he used to study video of the fellow Brooklyn native. King, despite an [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] during last year's playoffs, has in turn spoken glowing of Anthony over the years and declared that Anthony the superior player.
    If anyone out there has followed my NBA writings over the years, there are a couple of things they've probably noticed. First, I've tended to be [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] on Anthony. Another thing is that I pass up no opportunity to work a Bernard King reference into [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] I possibly can. That's because Anthony and I have something in common: King is my all-time favorite player, too. Suffice to say, all of the Anthony-King comparisons that have cropped up since Melo was traded to New York have tended to draw my scrutiny.
    One thing about Anthony that has always puzzled me in reference to his admiration of King is that, if he was modeling his game after his hero, he seems to have overlooked some key things, which I'll get into.
    However, comparing the two players is more than a navel-gazing exercise. With the Knicks on the cusp of what I think will be a much more challenging season than people realize, there are key lessons Anthony can still learn from King.
    Stylistic tendencies and intangibles


    First and foremost, King and Anthony had very different body types. King was listed as 6-foot-7, 205 pounds, but on video he looks at least an inch shorter than that. Anthony is every bit of the 6-8, 230 pounds at which he is listed. Anthony's size, strength and deceptive quickness are the traits upon which he's built his game. Before his knee injury in 1985, King had transcendent quickness and leaping ability, and he was much faster up and down the floor.
    While you can especially see vestiges of King's game when Anthony goes to spin moves in the lane, he relies more on size and power in the paint than quickness. King was a blur when he caught the ball with his back to the basket, and he had an exceptionally quick release that allowed him to thrive amid the longer bodies coming over to defend him.
    Both players are/were exceptional in the midrange and, in general, were off the charts when it comes to shooting touch. King didn't have Anthony's range, which is a by-product of their respective eras. Other than Larry Bird, the 3-point shot wasn't a huge part of the games of any of the golden-era small forwards of the 1980s.
    [+] EnlargeAP Photo/Winslow TownsonContested jumpers have been a hallmark of Anthony's game.


    While both players are/were great pure shooters, the biggest differences between them are shot selection and decision-making. While King had a terrific midrange touch, he rarely passed up an opportunity to improve his position on the floor, while Anthony's biggest weakness has always been a tendency to launch contested jumpers. Also, while Anthony still tends to pound the rock too long in isolation, undermining his ability to better those around him, King either made his moves immediately or passed it off.
    Finally, there has always been something about the two that I've taken as a key symbolic difference: Whereas Anthony always plays with a kind of half-smile on his face, whether he's happy, mad or somewhere in between, when King was on the court, his brow was always crunched into an intense scowl. It was as if he were not just irritated that opponents would try to stop him, but he was angry they'd even try.
    Per-game comparison


    Comparing per-game averages of King and Anthony is deceptive because of how different the NBA is compared to 25-30 years ago. During King's best seasons, the average team got about 10 more possessions per game than it does now. That means that the per-game similarities between the two aren't as great as they seem on the surface.
    Through 10 seasons, King averaged 22.9 points, 6.3 boards and 3.1 assists. Entering his 11th season, Anthony is at 25.0 points, 6.3 boards and 3.1 assists. The big difference is in efficiency. King shot 53.5 percent during his first 10 seasons; Anthony is at 45.6. The gap is still there even when accounting for Anthony's huge edge in 3-point shooting. King's effective field goal percentage was 53.5 percent, while the 3s edge Anthony up to 48 percent.
    Tempo-free comparison


    In this case, making adjustments for pace and era only echoes what we see in the traditional categories. The rebounding percentages are almost identical. Anthony has a better assist rate and a lower turnover rate. King remains the more efficient scorer. Through 10 seasons, King used 26.7 percent of his team's possessions, while Anthony's career mark is at 31.7. King had put up a .572 true shooting percentage, which incorporates free throw shooting as well as 3s, while Anthony is at .545. The league level of true shooting percentage during the years in question was nearly identical, so the verdict of King as the more efficient player holds up.
    We can assume this is due to shot selection, rather than accuracy. While we don't have shooting location data on King, virtually all of his shots were 2s. Anthony's career mark inside the arc is 47.7 percent. He's hit 60 percent of his career shots at the rim, per HoopData.com, which is about 7 percent better than the NBA average. However, he's quite a bit worse than the league mark in the zones between the rim and long-2 range, and last year was really the first time Anthony de-emphasized midrange shots to the extent that it allowed him to approach King-like efficiency.
    If we had access to King's shooting breakdown, we'd almost certainly see this as the chief difference between the two, with a shot chart that clustered attempts much closer to the rim.
    Value metrics


    Anthony's biggest edge over King is durability. King not only was injured more often and missed time because of off-court trouble, he also spent more time on the bench. Over their first 10 seasons, Anthony played 98 more games and averaged 1.6 more minutes per contest. This plays into Anthony's 72-60 edge in Basketball Reference's [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. King finished with 75 career win shares, so Anthony would have to retire before the 2013-14 season to avoid passing his idol. As for [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], King's first couple of years aren't included because the metric only covers the 3-point era. However, for the seasons we have, Anthony holds a 75-54 edge.
    However, King's peak was just as spectacular as any stretch Anthony has had. From 1981 to 1985, King put up 42 WARP with an individual winning percentage of .583. Anthony's best five-year stretch is the one he's on now: He's at 43 WARP over the last five seasons, and his individual winning percentage has been .580. That's about as close as you can get. It should also be noted that at the time King blew out his knee, he was still on the ascension. His winning percentage in that fateful 1984-85 season -- .649 -- was his career best, and is better than anything Anthony has done.
    Anthony already has done much more outside of his peak -- which could persist for a few more years -- than King did in his, which is why Melo stands as the better player. He's more durable, and despite his reputation, he has a better all-around game. However, it's King's edge in scoring efficiency that serves as the example Melo should be following. It's this very shortcoming that has been at the root of most of the criticism he's heard over the years, and it's not too late for him to evolve.

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    Melo is gonna be a first ballot hall of famer. No doubt about it

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    Thanks for posting this. I never really saw King play except for a few highlight reels and games my old man has on tape. I can tell you that from what I saw, King's killer instinct it was Jordan-like. Actually, he sort of was like Jordan before he came into his own. His death stare on the court would literally cause turnovers.

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    I saw King play, he was a beast...He also took a ton of shots like Melo. They are similar players

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    That was an interesting stat about Melo's relative lack of efficiency in the mid-range area and his improvement in his efficiency last year because he took less mid-range shots. Part of his improvement had to be him playing at PF and taking more shots at the rim or in the post. We did well as a team with him playing at the PF so I wonder if he shouldn't play at the PF the majority of the time and not move him back to SF so Bargs can play PF.

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    Originally Posted by petescud
    I saw King play, he was a beast...He also took a ton of shots like Melo. They are similar players

    Back in the daze 1974-77, my B.Ball partner was the starting-PG for Fort Hamilton HS in Brooklyn, when Bernard's younger brother Albert King was the star-player.
    Bernard King was more than a beast, he was the real deal.
    A queit leadership player that talked rapidly on the defensive-end.
    Bernard Kings defense average 1 steal and several fastbreak basket per game in his 14 year career.
    Some 82 game season Bernard King FG percentage was 55%, in his total 14 year career Bernard King was a 51% FG shooter, that average 3 or more assists.
    Bernard King 6.9 frame scored easy as a SF, and defended above-average on PF/Centers.
    As a Knicks Bernard King only scored 50 points when needed (In Boston Garden vs Parish/Mchale/Bird), and in those 50 point games Bill Cartwright scored 20, and Ray Williams added 15 to 20 points too.
    Bernard King was a catch-shoot, pick n roll, give n go, and fastbreak player, never a holder or ball-hogger...

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    Originally Posted by tiger0330
    That was an interesting stat about Melo's relative lack of efficiency in the mid-range area and his improvement in his efficiency last year because he took less mid-range shots. Part of his improvement had to be him playing at PF and taking more shots at the rim or in the post. We did well as a team with him playing at the PF so I wonder if he shouldn't play at the PF the majority of the time and not move him back to SF so Bargs can play PF.

    For the past 30 years the Eastern Conference winning postseason teams always had a "Ibaka" at the PF ....Mchale, Rodman, Grant, Oakley, Ben Wallace, now Bosh

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    Originally Posted by Kiyaman
    For the past 30 years the Eastern Conference winning postseason teams always had a "Ibaka" at the PF ....Mchale, Rodman, Grant, Oakley, Ben Wallace, now Bosh
    Haha bosh is an ibaka lol. Ok and since you put the knicks into eastern conference teams, then you aren't talking about teams who won it all, just perennial contenders. then the celtics with antoine walker should be up there to, is he ibaka like, and today's bulls should be up there too is boozer ibaka like ummm no and the nets with kmart who you don't have mentioned with kmart who was ibaka like more then everyone on your list other then ben Wallace. You find a pair of coincidences and try to turn it into some mind blowing fact. Who doesn't know you need a productive pf to succeed... fail smh

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    Originally Posted by knicksince 93
    Haha bosh is an ibaka lol. Ok and since you put the knicks into eastern conference teams, then you aren't talking about teams who won it all, just perennial contenders. then the celtics with antoine walker should be up there to, is he ibaka like, and today's bulls should be up there too is boozer ibaka like ummm no and the nets with kmart who you don't have mentioned with kmart who was ibaka like more then everyone on your list other then ben Wallace. You find a pair of coincidences and try to turn it into some mind blowing fact. Who doesn't know you need a productive pf to succeed... fail smh

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    u are so slow .. the PF i mention has Championship rings (except Oakley) in the 80's, 90's, 2000's, and 2010 in the EC. The subject was Bargani & Melo at PF.

    When 6.9 SF-Bernard King (who defended the best PF well) came into the League the number-one #1 super-star player in both (ABA & NBA) league were a 6.6 SF-Julius Erving (aka Doc) .. Practically every oponent used their big-guards, SF, PF, and centers to defend "Doc" in a single game. Bernard King defended Doc the entire game.

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    Kiya sometimes I don't get your point. Bargnani or Melo at the 4? or as most have suggested here, move Bargs to PF and Melo back to SF.

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    Originally Posted by Kiyaman
    u are so slow .. the PF i mention has Championship rings (except Oakley) in the 80's, 90's, 2000's, and 2010 in the EC. The subject was Bargani & Melo at PF.

    When 6.9 SF-Bernard King (who defended the best PF well) came into the League the number-one #1 super-star player in both (ABA & NBA) league were a 6.6 SF-Julius Erving (aka Doc) .. Practically every oponent used their big-guards, SF, PF, and centers to defend "Doc" in a single game. Bernard King defended Doc the entire game.
    Right but if u put Oakley in there then exceptions have to be made for everyone else if not then you have no point. Actually most of your posts are actually pointless. They're just recaps of obvious situations. For instance what does Bernard coming in as a superstar have anything to do with any championship team pf. P.s. I'd rather melo at pf all day, and if the bulls would have had melo at pf they still would have won the chips they won.... why do u find anything u say to somehow go back to melo, did he do something to you? He's given your team(allegedly) so much credibility and u take it and give it to kidd. So when we when the same amount of games next year who are u gonna give his credit to, beno. Smh imbecile

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    From what I remember, King had more of a fire than Melo. You knew you were in for a fight with King when you played up against him, especially at the Garden.

    Intresting, there wasn't a defenseive comparison between the two. Again, My memories of King aren't 100% as I was young when I watched, but I think King was better defensively then Melo.

    While I don't think King's number should be retired, I do think the Knicks should have a Hall of Fame they can induct King into.

    Mike

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    Win share calculates that. It's broken out into DWS (defensive win share) and OWS (offensive). According to this [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] Melo had a higher DWS than King (24.7 for Melo 20.7 for King) over the first 10 years of their careers. It's only a stat but this says Melo was a better defender than Bernard.

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    when melo gets us this chip it wont be any comparison

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    Originally Posted by tiger0330
    Kiya sometimes I don't get your point. Bargnani or Melo at the 4? or as most have suggested here, move Bargs to PF and Melo back to SF.

    The point was Bargani & Melo are to "SOFT" to play the 4 spot .. their defensive talent as a big defending the paint stinks. Plus they're not inside scorers, they are perimeter scorers.

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