The Terrible Takes of NBA Instagram (12/31/20)

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Ah, NBA Instagram. Full of a bunch of casual fans who watch one game and think they know everything. The recency bias is there. The only-knowing-big-name-players is there. The pure stupidity is there. All of these factors create a ton of awful takes. I’ve spent a couple weeks finding the absolute worst takes to write about. (All of the takes are polls posted by NBA themed pages. Followers can vote on these polls. There’s probably 5,000+ people voting on most of these. Maybe even 10,000.) All of these takes are from recently (in fact, I found a few of these while writing the article). So, without any more delay, let’s get into the takes.

Zion over Karl-Anthony Towns

How? How can you choose Zion over Karl-Anthony Towns? KAT is the third best center in the NBA. He’s made two All-Star teams, and one All-NBA team. Zion has done nothing. I mean, of course Zion has nothing (he’s young), but that’s exactly it. 58% of people picked a dude who has played 30 NBA games over a top three center. Here’s a head-to-head comparison between the two.

Finishing: Zion (I made this pick reluctantly)

Mid-range: KAT

Threes: KAT

Defense: KAT

Rebounding: KAT

Passing: KAT

KAT wins 5-1 on individual categories. He also takes the win for team value. KAT is probably the best shooter at the center position ever (High volume, high percentage. No other center has done it). He averages five assists, which is great for a big. He rebounds in the double digits. KAT actually puts in effort on defense. Zion only takes finishing because KAT looks to shoot before he looks to finish. Towns is easily better, but apparently the 8 year olds who started watching basketball last week don’t know that. Maybe people didn’t know KAT means Karl-Anthony Towns.

Zion as a 2021 NBA All-Star

Dude. This is a terrible take. You’re telling me that a guy who averages 17 and 7 is an All-Star? He’s the second best player on a team who will probably miss the playoffs. That’s not a recipe for an All-Star season. Besides that, the West is a loaded conference. Zion has too much competition to get a spot. He’ll be competing for a frontcourt spot with Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Brandon Ingram, Rudy Gobert, Paul George, and DeMar DeRozan. All of those guys have a better shot than him. The main factor is that the Pels will probably only get one All-Star (if any), and if Zion makes it over Ingram, that would be a crime. The only way Zion gets in is if the fans vote him in, and if that happens, then fans shouldn’t be allowed to vote anymore.

John Collins over Nikola Vucevic

Why do people still disrespect Vucevic? He’s basically carried the Magic to the playoffs the last few years. He’s one of the most complete centers in the NBA. He’s made an All-Star game. Here’s a head-to-head:

Finishing: JC

Mid-Range: Vucevic

Threes: Vucevic

Defense: Vucevic

Rebounding: Vucevic

Passing: Vucevic

5-1 Vucevic (6-1 with team value). Vucevic is an All-Star and the sixth best center in the NBA. Collins has the potential to be better than Vucevic, but at least for this season Vucevic is the better player.

Michael Porter Jr. over John Collins

This one’s awesome. Why? Because the fans voting on these polls just told me that Michael Porter Jr. is better than Nikola Vucevic. But we’ll get there in a second. Because we have to talk about this take. MPJ is not better than John Collins by any stretch. I actually have no idea where all this MPJ hype came from, or why people like him so much. He’s really not that special yet. John Collins is a 20-10 guy who can shoot 40% from three and get a block a game. MPJ is a 17-7 guy. So Collins is definently better. But if these fans think MPJ is better than Collins, and they also think Collins is better than Vucevic! (see take above.) That’s wild! A shot chucker who’s a below average defender (and who’s only played 60 NBA games up to this point) is better than an All-Star? I guess no one pays attention to Vucevic because he plays for Orlando, and that’s the whole thing. Casual fans who look at Michael Porter’s numbers and say “this guy is better than a top 40 player (and a top 6 center).” I seriously need someone to tell me why people think MPJ is so good.

Ja Morant over Ben Simmons

This one made me laugh out loud. Remember when I mentioned recency bias? Look no further than these next few Ja Morant takes. This one is a mutant combination of recency bias and Ben Simmons hate. The internet just won’t give Ben Simmons a break. We all know it’s because of his jumper (or lack of a jumper). Here’s the head-to-head:

Finishing: Simmons

Mid-Range: Ja

Threes: Ja

Defense: Simmons (far and away)

Rebounding: Simmons

Playmaking: Simmons

Ben wins 4-2. (I’d give team value to Morant, but remember, team value is just a tie breaker in these situations. It doesn’t mean as much when comparing two individual players based on their skill.) Ja is only better than Simmons in Ben’s weak categories. In every strong category for Simmons, he wins. Ja is a good playmaker, but Ben is better. Ja is a good finisher, Ben is better. Get my point? Ben Simmons is a lot better than Ja at this point (Ja could be better in the future, but Simmons has really high potential too). This take really comes down to Ja being a well-liked guy and Ben being generally hated.

Ja Morant over Trae Young

This one is somewhat understandable. Ja Morant is a more balanced player than Trae. But somewhat doesn’t mean it’s actually understandable. Trae is simply a better basketball player. He already scores better than Ja ever will, and is also probably a better playmaker. Ja only takes Trae in defense, rebounding, and finishing. So if the race is close, why isn’t the vote closer? I also find this one interesting because Trae often gets the edge on polls putting him up against other top point guards (i.e. Ben Simmons, Chris Paul, Kemba Walker, Kyle Lowry). Those takes are all reasonable, but why Trae over Ja? Ja isn’t better than any of those guys yet, and if Trae is better than them, how is Ja better than Trae? (I know this is a confusing reasoning, but I’m basically just writing exactly what comes to my head. Trae is better than Ja though. No question.)

Ja Morant over Jaylen Brown

You thought we were done. Nope. We have another bad take involving Ja Morant. This one is debunked with a simple head-to-head.

Finishing: Jaylen

Mid-Range: Jaylen

Threes: Jaylen

Defense: Jaylen

Rebounding: Jaylen

Passing: Ja

5-1 Jaylen. Jaylen is legitimatley an All-Star type guy this year. Ja will have trouble making it for a few years while Curry, Lillard, Luka, Jamal, De’Aaron, CP3, and D’Lo all compete for a guard spot. Jaylen is a much better all-around basketball player, and it shows.

Kristaps Porzingis over Domantas Sabonis

This one is bad. Look at it! 74% of people think KP is better than Sabonis. That’s not even close. It should honestly be the other way around. Here’s a head-to-head:

Finishing: Sabonis (I hate watching Porzingis. He’ll get a post up oppurtunity on a guard and fade away instead of taking it to the hoop. It’s really stupid.)

Mid-Range: Sabonis

Threes: KP

Defense: KP

Rebounding: Sabonis

Passing: Sabonis

4-2 Sabonis. Sabonis is a really good versitle big. He can stretch the floor (not quite as well as Porzingis), rebound at a super high rate, and Domantas is a great playmaker. He’s a lot more active of a player than KP (I’m watching Pacers vs. Cavaliers right now. Sabonis is always moving and looking to make players. Porzingis often looks stiff). I’m not really sure how people think Porzingis is better. (Sabonis was underrated last year, but I have a bad feeling about what’s going to happen now that he’s been playing so well so far this season.)

Joe Harris over Will Barton

We’re wrapping up this article with a take that, though still bad, isn’t as terrible as the others. This is just an example of the voters seemingly only knowing big-name players. I bet they’ve heard of Joe Harris just because he won a three point contest. But Will Barton is better, and I had to mention this one.

Finishing: Barton

Mid-Range: Barton

Threes: Harris

Defense: Barton (this was an easy decision)

Rebounding: Barton

Passing: Barton

5-1 Barton. Barton is a jack-off-all-trades forward who should be starting for the Nuggets (over MPJ). Joe Harris is an excellent shooter, but nothing else. Barton is the better, as well as more valuable, player.

Reggie Bullock’s Jersey Mishap

Yeah, I know this isn’t a really take. But how do 15% of people think this isn’t funny? I guess it’s the depressed Knicks fans. Even Pixar has been slandering the Knicks (did you watch Soul? That was one of my favorite parts of the movie). In all seriousness, the Knicks have had a decent start to this year (I can’t believe the Bucks lost). But going back to the take, even depressed Knicks fans should find this funny. I hope the 15% of people who didn’t find this funny were just mistaps.

That’s it! Thanks for reading this article (which was basically a long rant)! I hope you enjoyed. See you next time!

(I’ll try to leave MPJ out of the next article. I think everyone’s probably tired of reading about how I think he’s extremely overrated.)

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