therealbig3 wrote:BTW, Duncan did defend Shaq for a significant amount of time when the Lakers and Spurs played against each other. Robinson was his primary defender, but TD guarded him more than he gets credit for, and he actually did a better job than Robinson.
TD did guard KG and Sheed head to head as well, after Robinson was no longer there.
Just because he didn't have to do something doesn't mean he couldn't. I'm sure if Minnesota had a guy like an older D-Rob, they wouldn't have KG doing literally EVERYTHING and they would probably let D-Rob guard the tough assignment on defense.
Duncan was a much better low post scorer. KG was better from midrange. Comparable defensively (probably take Duncan overall), comparable on the boards (prime vs prime, KG peaked higher, Duncan was more consistent). KG was a better passer (Duncan was a great passer too though)...KG did handle PG duties though and averaged quite a few more assists than Duncan, so I'll give him a decent edge in this department (I might take KG as the greatest passing big man ever).
So they overall seem pretty even in terms of how they impact a game. That's why to me, playoff performance decides it, and Duncan was better than KG in that regard.
He didnt guard the best big the majority of minutes. I used to laugh that KG would guard him then someone else would guard KG. After Robinson they shuffled through their collection of big man to do the job. And Sheed? Which Sheed? Not the Pistons Sheed. Pistons Sheed doing his best Sam Perkins act on offense taking a majority of his fga's from 3 point land? When did you ever seen TD move more the 5 steps in any direction in the half court...lol?
I didnt understand the consistent rebounding point you were making. KG in his prime was absurd rebounding the ball. And again spent more time defensively away from the paint chasing smaller players. He led the league in rebounds 4 years in a row in his prime. TD? Zero. TD was of course also a great rebounder. Just not as good in their primes. Maybe you meant over their careers? Yes, KG has slowed down quite a but rebounding wise in recent years. First it was Doc cutting his minutes...then he simple slowed down. Still a good rebounder per minute average though.
Your argument about couldnt and didnt? Yeah...but I cant give credit to a guy who didnt over a guy who DID. Right? if you are going to make comparisons it has to be on reality. What toll would it have had offensively on him if he couldnt get the rest on D he got? Realized KG didnt have that luxurury and still led his team in rebounds, points and assists. Again...AND ASSISTS.
TD was never not ever the passer KG was. That is not even close. KG was actually a playmaker. TD moved the ball within Pop's system of plays but he was never an elite passer. TD wasnt as good as Shaq among big who started the offense from the blocks. Td was efficient...made the designed play the way he was supposed to but his passing was average. I can think of many big men who were much better passers in the last 25 years.
I absolutely agree TD was better in the low post. No question. And TD had that mid ranged bank shot so I wont sell his mid range game short. He just couldnt put the ball on the floor for more than a couple of dribbles. His face up game ended with that bank shot. KG could take you from anywhere. In fact there was a time he made a decent number of threes to really stretch out the D. Not talking hang out on the wing for open looks like other big men. Talking...work the outside with a guard and create good looks....looking like a 2 guard. We have never had a 7' guy like that in this league. Offensively was MUCH more versatile.
Overall? I am actually more open to TD's offensive value by comparison than I am to the defensive comparison. I think KG moshes him on D because of the man to man argument. Both were great in every other aspect of D but to me that is a glaring difference. The offensive one is a harder argument to make. Is having more weapons better than being unstoppable in one traditional way? I mean Shaq wasnt versatile and he was better than both of them. So to be fair...I can see the argument pro TD on offense even if I favor KG.
What I am saying is...I get how the fundamental aspect of TD's game allow you to design certain specific things on offense. Just a shame KG didnt get to play his prime years with other good players like the all stars and great role guys TD played with or like Shaq did. Had KG had a chance to do that...I think he wold have won many titles and we would have really had a chance to see just how valuable he was. Every once in a while there is a guy who defies logic. A combo of skills in a body that makes no sense.
Magic was the size of a PF but was the greatest G of all time offensively. Defensively he couldnt guard other PG's. Barkley had that...but in reverse. He was a PF that could create like a guard....but was the size of guard so we were more impressed that he could do it over bigger guys. LBJ plays like a point guard and he is the size of a PF but chiseled like Karl Malone or even Dwight. And KG? Well he was a long lanky guy with the standing reach of a center who played like a swingman.
The NBA is all about creating mismatches. And KG was the type of player that if he had other quality players to feed off of him you might have seen more rings. I think the playoff argument is a legacy one. TD on much better TEAMS won more rings. But KG didnt fail or play poorly in the playoffs. His teams were so bad they shouldnt have made the playoffs in a dominant West. We have a bad habit of simply looking at result and not consider expectation. KG got a team that should have been bottom 10 every year into the playoffs every year for 8 straight seasons. Low seed in all but one....and of course failed to advance against higher seeds with home court. Losing those series is what is supposed to happen in the NBA. This isnt MLB or the NFL where wild cards can go all the way. You are not a top 3 seed you arent going anywhere. But his play in the playoffs was fantastic.
Look at the numbers for his last 6 playoffs years in Minny.
Realize that he was the weapon. There was nothing like the players you had to pay attention to in LA or SA around the other two bigs. Do those look like numbers that say lack of execution? His teams were just awful. And I mean....AWFUL.
Its certainly close. Both all time greats. I am partial to special over fundamental.