AdagioPace wrote: HBK_Kliq_33 wrote:
what? which stars coast in the RS besides LeBron the last couple of years? who else gets the benefit of sitting out 22 games in a season just for load management?
Lowry is the 2nd best player and he only played 5 more games than Leonard, they both were pretty much on load management. So what's the big deal?
Also, 2002 shaq and 2005 Tim Duncan played around the same total games reg and postseason as 2019 Leonard. 1 year only and he made up for it with a lengthy playoff run. So are we going to take away 2002 Shaq and 2005 Tim Duncan now too? If Kawhi was on load management every year of his career, you may have a point. One year that still combined for a total of 84 games is not a big deal. I don't see anybody ever getting on 2002 Shaq for it.
2005 was an exception for him...
the following two seasons Duncan went back to circa 2780 RS minutes (which is +300 minutes above Kawhi's most resilient RS season in 2017)
In other terms, Kawhi's best RS is comparable to 2010 Duncan (33 y.o) as far as the "ability to stay on the floor" is concerned.
In terms of "level of playing" I would take 01'-'07 Duncan above peak Kawhi. Way better RS floor raiser and better PS performer too*.
'99, '00, '08 are debatable. *If we made a "top 10 best playoffs series" ranking between Kawhi and Duncan, it would be a bloodbath, with all due respect to a great scorer like Leonard....
Duncan played 34 minutes a game those years and Kawhi played 33 minutes a game in 2017 and 2016. Only difference is Kawhi sat out about 6-8 games. Is that significant? Well Harden won MVP playing 72 games so the MVP voters don't seem to think that's significant.
Compare best playoff series from a retired player to a player who has only played up until 27 years old is not fair at all. I don't think Duncan has ever had a series like Leonard's 2nd round vs 76ers or a playoff run like 2019 Leonard though.
1999 - Clear cut best team with a superstar on his team that is nearly as good as he is. In a lockout season as well.
2000-2002 - injured or team not good enough
2003 - Finally a year comparable to 2019 playoff Leonard. Duncan had shortcuts here though, playing Dallas without Dirk for 90% of the series? That's a cakewalk! And than the 1 man team in the finals. I would say beating 2003 Lakers is about equal to beating 2019 warriors. Giannis didn't get injured like Dirk though? 76ers are a much better and more stacked team than Nets. Leonard just had much tougher challenges here
04 - Shut down by Karl Malone
05 - Shut down by Rasheed but this time Manu saves him
06 - Played great but lost to a 1 man team despite having home court advantage
2007 - Mavs were upset and Duncan gets an easy path to the finals. Plays terrible in the finals offensively and is 3rd best offensive player, team sweeps anyway
2008 - Gasol locks him up and his team only wins 1 game vs Lakers
Than the glorified role player years start to begin...