C-izMe wrote:With KJ vs Clyde you said the defensive gap wasn't large. I was always under the assumption that KJ was decent to average defensively (for a PG) and Clyde was good defensively (for a SG). That's a sizable gap IMO.
What I meant was it's not enough to overcome KJ's advantage on offense for me. I don't think it's a small difference defensively, or that it wasn't noticeable, but considering the overall package on both sides of the court, there's a bigger gap offensively imo. For me, KJ has a top 5 PG peak, after Magic, Oscar, Nash, and Paul, in that order. He was a beast offensively, and really lit it up when he needed to. Very efficient, great passer, excellent midrange shooter, really aggressive, some awesome playoff performances. He's like a more consistent, more efficient, and smarter Russell Westbrook, with superior creation and shooting. That's a devastating player. And I was critical about Barkley before when he was still on the board, because I think you could make a good argument that the best offensive player for Phoenix was actually KJ and not Barkley, or at least, they were comparable. When Barkley left after the 96 season, KJ had a big year and led Phoenix to a top 6 offense. When Barkley was missing time and KJ was healthy, he was still leading some very impressive offenses in Phoenix.
Drexler was really good too, but I think it's fair to criticize his handles, and combined with his inconsistent outside shooting, there are legitimate questions about his ability to create in the half court, which is pretty important come playoff time, and pretty important when talking about portability. To be honest, I have a tough time with Pierce vs Drexler, because Pierce is an awesome scorer in the half court, and so he translated better to the playoffs. He also proved that he has excellent portability, and he's a better defender than Drexler.
But where I give Drexler the edge is his ability to pass like a PG, and I think he handles the ball a lot better than most wings, certainly better than Pierce. That extra dimension makes him an overall better offensive player imo, similar to why I rank T-Mac very highly even when he wasn't scoring so efficiently. He was still creating a lot of opportunities for others, and I think Drexler does that to a degree that Pierce can't. For example, we saw Pierce have to play point forward in these past playoffs in game 2 against the Hawks, when Rondo was suspended. He played well, and everyone pointed to how he "carried" the Celtics in that game, but it's not like he was super efficient as a scorer (56.7% TS), and he turned the ball over like crazy (8 TOs) while not really creating a lot of opportunities (4 assists, Boston had a 95.9 ORating). Granted, he's a bit past his prime here, but he's one of those guys who has aged really well, and there's not a huge difference between him today and him in 08, which I think is his peak. And it's not like he was leading the Celtics to great results in that role earlier in his career either, although he was playing with some terrible supporting casts.