Do we underrate Wilt nowadays?

Moderators: Clyde Frazier, Doctor MJ, trex_8063, PaulieWal, Quotatious, penbeast0

70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,172
And1: 14,515
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#101 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:17 pm

ty 4191 wrote:
ty 4191 wrote:
70sFan wrote:We don'thave a lot of them, but different kind of WOWY numbers do see Russell as slightly more impactful.

I have a different question to you - why WS are so important in your evaluation? What exactly this stat shows and in what way does it help us to estimate impact?


Can you post what "impact metrics' we DO have for Wilt and Russell, for both prime and career, please? Thanks! :D

Win Shares are the only omnibus player stat going back to 1960 that we have aside from PER. This discrepancy between all of Wilt and Russell's teammates' value as reflected in Win Shares is mirrored in PER, FWIW.

Which 1960's player/team value stats do you believe are more reliable/valid, and why?


70's Fan,
Do you have a response to my post (emboldened directly above)? I'd be quite curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Yeah, sorry for not responding earlier - I had a busy week.

Most impact metrics from the 1960s are crude and far from perfect, but they could give us some rough base to work on. The first and most notable one is WOWY, here are more information about the metric:

https://backpicks.com/metrics/wowyr/

Full-career Russell WOWY: 6.2
Prime Russell WOWY: 6.4

Full-career Wilt WOWY: 6.0
Prime Wilt WOWY: 6.1

Not a significant difference, but it seems that Bill has a slight edge (note that the error is quite big for the 1960s players unfortunately).

There are also some kind of boxscore estimates of plus-minus (BPM), but I don't think they are that much valuable to be honest. We can also analyze the shift in wins and offense/defense contribution in absence/arrival of given player and Russell seemed to look a bit better in these composites as well. Lastly, you can watch games and try to analyze why Celtics were so dominant despite being so mediocre offensively and it's clear that Russell was the driving force of this defensive dynasty (this is also backed up by WOWY and other data).

The point is that you only compare boxscore production here, which is mostly about scoring so of course Russell looks worse - he's much inferior scorer. There are other aspects of the game though - you recently found that Russell's defense against all-star centers was ridiculous for example and this can't be captured by simple look at boxscore stats on bball reference.

I'm not saying that Russell was much better than Wilt - I think that Chamberlain peaked notably higher, but was less consistent throughout his career than Bill. I have Russell 3rd on my list, while Wilt is at number 6 - quite close and reasonable in my opinion.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,172
And1: 14,515
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#102 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:19 pm

Mazter wrote:
70sFan wrote:
Mazter wrote:It's not that difficult, anything but the Celtics and maybe the 71 and 72 Bucks isn't worth mentioning. He averaged 23.9/26.4/3.8 in 47.1 against those teams on 50.4FG% and 48.2FT%.

Yeah, 1970 Knicks for sure aren't worth mentioning. Neither are Thurmond Warriors or early 1970s Bulls...

Maybe the term "not worth mentioning" is a bit misplaced but in context of ATG I used a cut off (your cutoffs btw) of around -4.0, and those mentioned teams just didn't make the cut. I mean, should we be talking about the Heat'10 as a memorable defensive team?

Knicks were -6.6 in 1970 and -4.3 in 1973, so they definitely are worth mentioning. Warriors were "only" -3.0 in 1967, but they also had the best man defender ever at center position, so I think it's not fair to compare them to 2010 Heat.
Mazter
Bench Warmer
Posts: 1,381
And1: 593
Joined: Nov 04, 2012
       

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#103 » by Mazter » Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:52 pm

70sFan wrote:Knicks were -6.6 in 1970 and -4.3 in 1973, so they definitely are worth mentioning.

Yeah, my bad. I was checking the play offs rating rather than the regular season.
User avatar
Snakebites
Forum Mod - Pistons
Forum Mod - Pistons
Posts: 39,407
And1: 9,345
Joined: Jul 14, 2002
Location: Looking not-so-happily deranged
   

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#104 » by Snakebites » Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:56 pm

He's categorically overrated as a scorer. I remember a poll where the greatest scorer not-named Jordan saw him as the leading vote-getter.

As an overall player? I dunno.

He's definitely top 10. If anyone still sees him as a top 5 lock I'd say that's overrating him.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,172
And1: 14,515
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#105 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:03 pm

Snakebites wrote:He's definitely top 10. If anyone still sees him as a top 5 lock I'd say that's overrating him.

Why do you think that? I don't have him inside my top 5 (he's 6th on my list), but I don't find it unreasonable to put him inside top 5.
User avatar
Snakebites
Forum Mod - Pistons
Forum Mod - Pistons
Posts: 39,407
And1: 9,345
Joined: Jul 14, 2002
Location: Looking not-so-happily deranged
   

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#106 » by Snakebites » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:12 pm

70sFan wrote:
Snakebites wrote:He's definitely top 10. If anyone still sees him as a top 5 lock I'd say that's overrating him.

Why do you think that? I don't have him inside my top 5 (he's 6th on my list), but I don't find it unreasonable to put him inside top 5.

I mean, we can get into semantics about what it means to "overrate" someone. I don't have him in my top 5.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,172
And1: 14,515
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#107 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:14 pm

Snakebites wrote:
70sFan wrote:
Snakebites wrote:He's definitely top 10. If anyone still sees him as a top 5 lock I'd say that's overrating him.

Why do you think that? I don't have him inside my top 5 (he's 6th on my list), but I don't find it unreasonable to put him inside top 5.

I mean, we can get into semantics about what it means to "overrate" someone. I don't have him in my top 5.

Where do you rank him then?
User avatar
Snakebites
Forum Mod - Pistons
Forum Mod - Pistons
Posts: 39,407
And1: 9,345
Joined: Jul 14, 2002
Location: Looking not-so-happily deranged
   

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#108 » by Snakebites » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:22 pm

70sFan wrote:
Snakebites wrote:
70sFan wrote:Why do you think that? I don't have him inside my top 5 (he's 6th on my list), but I don't find it unreasonable to put him inside top 5.

I mean, we can get into semantics about what it means to "overrate" someone. I don't have him in my top 5.

Where do you rank him then?


Latter half of the top 10. 7th I guess?

I don't see any real reason to place him above Bill Russell, and I have Russell himself (at the very least) behind Jordan, Lebron, Kareem, and Shaq. Sometimes Magic too. So I'd say 7th.

I frankly could be talked into Hakeem or Duncan ahead of him as well.
SkyHookFTW
Analyst
Posts: 3,746
And1: 2,505
Joined: Jul 26, 2014
         

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#109 » by SkyHookFTW » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:23 pm

Only players I have ahead of him are MJ and LeBron. Wilt and Kareem are like 3 and 3a. I have seen all of them play in person. Yes, I'm old.
"It's scarier than Charles Barkley at an all you can eat buffet." --Shaq on Shark Week
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,172
And1: 14,515
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#110 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:25 pm

Snakebites wrote:
70sFan wrote:
Snakebites wrote:I mean, we can get into semantics about what it means to "overrate" someone. I don't have him in my top 5.

Where do you rank him then?


Latter half of the top 10. 7th I guess?

I don't see any real reason to place him above Bill Russell, and I have Russell himself (at the very least) behind Jordan, Lebron, Kareem, and Shaq. Sometimes Magic too. So I'd say 7th.

I frankly could be talked into Hakeem or Duncan ahead of him as well.

What makes you pick Shaq over Wilt? Not that it's wrong opinion or something, just curious.
User avatar
Snakebites
Forum Mod - Pistons
Forum Mod - Pistons
Posts: 39,407
And1: 9,345
Joined: Jul 14, 2002
Location: Looking not-so-happily deranged
   

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#111 » by Snakebites » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:28 pm

70sFan wrote:
Snakebites wrote:
70sFan wrote:Where do you rank him then?


Latter half of the top 10. 7th I guess?

I don't see any real reason to place him above Bill Russell, and I have Russell himself (at the very least) behind Jordan, Lebron, Kareem, and Shaq. Sometimes Magic too. So I'd say 7th.

I frankly could be talked into Hakeem or Duncan ahead of him as well.

What makes you pick Shaq over Wilt? Not that it's wrong opinion or something, just curious.


I think Shaq is a comfortably better offensive weapon by a larger gap than the difference defensively.

He also had a longer peak as the best player on title contending/winning teams and a more impressive resumé of general playoff success. Wilt's teams just didn't get it done as often, and it certainly wasn't for lack of help especially in his Sixer/Laker days, which were the best part of his career anyway.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,172
And1: 14,515
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#112 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:34 pm

Snakebites wrote:I think Shaq is a comfortably better offensive weapon by a larger gap than the difference defensively.

From what I could gather/watch, the defensive difference is massive between them. Does it mean that you find Shaq on completely different tier offensively, or are you not as impressed with Wilt's defense as some?

He also had a longer peak as the best player on title contending/winning teams

That's arguable, Shaq clearly peaked in 2000-02 period, while Wilt was consistently at the top of his game in 1964-68 period (outside of 1965 RS).

and a more impressive resumé of general playoff success.

He won more rings, but I'm not sure if his postseason resume is that much better. Outside of 1995 and 2000-02, Shaq's playoffs resume isn't that amazing. 1997-99 years in particular doesn't look strong compared to Wilt.
User avatar
Snakebites
Forum Mod - Pistons
Forum Mod - Pistons
Posts: 39,407
And1: 9,345
Joined: Jul 14, 2002
Location: Looking not-so-happily deranged
   

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#113 » by Snakebites » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:41 pm

70sFan wrote:
Snakebites wrote:I think Shaq is a comfortably better offensive weapon by a larger gap than the difference defensively.

From what I could gather/watch, the defensive difference is massive between them. Does it mean that you find Shaq on completely different tier offensively, or are you not as impressed with Wilt's defense as some?

He also had a longer peak as the best player on title contending/winning teams

That's arguable, Shaq clearly peaked in 2000-02 period, while Wilt was consistently at the top of his game in 1964-68 period (outside of 1965 RS).

and a more impressive resumé of general playoff success.

He won more rings, but I'm not sure if his postseason resume is that much better. Outside of 1995 and 2000-02, Shaq's playoffs resume isn't that amazing. 1997-99 years in particular doesn't look strong compared to Wilt.


I mean, truthfully, isn't 1995 and 00-02 enough to outstrip Wilt's playoff resumé even if you discount the rest? We all remember Shaq's growing pains as the franchise center in Los Angeles before the emergence of Kobe Bryant and the coaching of Phil Jackson, but Shaq didn't quite have the same level of teammates in the late 90s that Wilt enjoyed for his career with the Sixers/Lakers either.

It's entirely possible I'm not giving Wilt's defense the credit it deserves- I get the impressive you're more well-studied than I am on the subject. I generally think a lot less of Wilt as a scorer though. I think the fact that his overall peak (both as an individual player and in terms of his team success) came when he started taking fewer shots is telling.

You weren't well served by having Wilt take the most shots on your team. That simply wasn't true for Shaq- for an entire era of basketball how seriously a title contender was taken was largely measured by how effectively you could respond to Shaq. And yeah, I realize I'm getting perilously close to making a narrative argument there, but it does speak to how feared a scorer Shaq was.
ty 4191
Senior
Posts: 595
And1: 267
Joined: Feb 18, 2021
         

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#114 » by ty 4191 » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:53 pm

Snakebites wrote:He's categorically overrated as a scorer.


He didn't even focus on scoring the second half of his career, and still averaged 30.1 ppg, career.

Before Hannum molded him into a passer and defender (his first real coach, btw, who understood him and used/treated him properly), Wilt led in points/ppg all 7 years he played.

Most Points 1960-1966:
Wilt: 21,486
Baylor: 14,238
Robertson: 13,998
West: 12,028
Pettit: 11,986

PPG, Playoffs 1960-1966 (min 50 games)

Wilt: 32.8
Baylor: 32.5
West: 31.5
Pettit: 25.6
Jones: 20.6

How's he overrated as a scorer, again?
ty 4191
Senior
Posts: 595
And1: 267
Joined: Feb 18, 2021
         

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#115 » by ty 4191 » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:56 pm

ty 4191
Senior
Posts: 595
And1: 267
Joined: Feb 18, 2021
         

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#116 » by ty 4191 » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:57 pm

Snakebites wrote:I think Shaq is a comfortably better offensive weapon by a larger gap than the difference defensively.


Watch this:

70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,172
And1: 14,515
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#117 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:01 pm

Snakebites wrote:I mean, truthfully, isn't 1995 and 00-02 enough to outstrip Wilt's playoff resumé even if you discount the rest?

That's a good question and to be honest, I don't have a good answer for that. Both players usually faced extremely strong competition in the playoffs (relative to other ATGs). Wilt finished with 6 finals appeariances vs 5 for Shaq. I think it is close, certainly closer than the number of rings tells us.

We all remember Shaq's growing pains as the franchise center in Los Angeles before the emergence of Kobe Bryant and the coaching of Phil Jackson, but Shaq didn't quite have the same level of teammates in the late 90s that Wilt enjoyed for his career with the Sixers/Lakers either.

It's absolutely true, but at the same time Shaq never played with rosters as bad as 1961-64 Warriors (outside of his rookie year). I think these little things all cancels out each other.

It's entirely possible I'm not giving Wilt's defense the credit it deserves- I get the impressive you're more well-studied than I am on the subject.

I'm certainly not the best at evaluating film study, but I make progress. I didn't start tracking Wilt's possessions available yet, but I already did that with peak Shaq (right now at 24 games tracked, hope to finish at around 50). From what I've seen, Wilt was certainly a better defender than even the best version of Shaq and O'Neal usually was clearly below that level throughout his career.

I generally think a lot less of Wilt as a scorer though. I think the fact that his overall peak (both as an individual player and in terms of his team success) came when he started taking fewer shots is telling.

I know that argument well, but I wonder how much of that is related to the fact that he simply played with the best roster in his career in 1967. I mean, Philly team was full of scorers, so it made sense that Wilt shared the ball with them.

You weren't well served by having Wilt take the most shots on your team. That simply wasn't true for Shaq- for an entire era of basketball how seriously a title contender was taken was largely measured by how effectively you could respond to Shaq. And yeah, I realize I'm getting perilously close to making a narrative argument there, but it does speak to how feared a scorer Shaq was.

The problem I have with that is that Wilt never played within a system that maximized his impact as a high volume scorer. His coaches in 1960-63 were horrible and in 1964 he had nobody to play with on offensive end. The only time we've seen Wilt in a triangle was in 1967 and 1968 with Hannum and he did a great job (although his offense was more focused on playmaking than scoring).

In terms of narratives - Wilt had similar effect on opposing teams. When you read the papers, you can see that most teams did everything to prevent Wilt from getting the ball and score in playoffs. That's the main reason why Wilt's volume usually dropped against the Celtics.

From what I've seen, Wilt commaneded just as many doubles as Shaq (though again - I didn't make tracking for him yet). The big part of Shaq's success was also related to the spacing and movement Phill implemented in LA and that's something Wilt never touched as a volume scorer. I have enough footage of 1964 Warriors to conclude that his teammates were horrible offensively, so bad that I doubt Shaq ever played with something comparable.

Of course, I'm not saying that Wilt was better offensively than Shaq. I'd say that Shaq has an edge on that end, but I question how big of a gap it is. I hope to get another part of footage from 1967 finals at the beginning of the next week, so I may come out with some new observations.
ty 4191
Senior
Posts: 595
And1: 267
Joined: Feb 18, 2021
         

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#118 » by ty 4191 » Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:11 pm

70sFan wrote:From what I could gather/watch, the defensive difference is massive between them.


This is directed at the other poster, not you, he likely hasn't seen my research. Or, your Youtube channel, or, all your immense/fantastic research. :D

Wilt held 13 Hall Of Fame Centers to a .435 FG%, overall, including the playoffs, across 828 of his 1205 games. Adjusted for era, he held opposing Hall of Famers to an equivalent FG% as Bill Russell did, in his career (.414 FG% against).

Total, absolute domination. And, Wilt averaged 25.5/22.2/4.4 on .552 shooting against those 13 HOF Centers:

His defense, in real time:


Also, to the other poster here- "rings" is a BS argument/premise. Especially when you're playing against the best Dynasty ever (and certainly, best defensive team, ever) for 10 years (out of 13 seasons played).

Elgin Baylor won 0 championships. Jerry West won 1. Robert Horry won 7. Will Perdue won 4.
ty 4191
Senior
Posts: 595
And1: 267
Joined: Feb 18, 2021
         

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#119 » by ty 4191 » Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:22 pm

70sFan wrote:I have enough footage of 1964 Warriors to conclude that his teammates were horrible offensively, so bad that I doubt Shaq ever played with something comparable.


Wilt's Warriors teammates' FG%: (10/24/1959-1/8/65): .391 (Wilt shot .507)
76ers FG%: (1/21/65-4/19/68): .426 (With shot .564)
Lakers FG% (1969-1973): .458 (Wilt shot .591)

I'm positive no all time great offensive force had worse overall support offensively- over an extended period of time- than Wilt did during his time on the Warriors.

He was also instructed/ordered by both McGuire and Feerick to score as much as possible/shoot basically every time down. Even Hannum himself strongly encouraged it in 64' and 65'.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 19,172
And1: 14,515
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: Do we underrate Wilt nowadays? 

Post#120 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:26 pm

ty 4191 wrote:
70sFan wrote:I have enough footage of 1964 Warriors to conclude that his teammates were horrible offensively, so bad that I doubt Shaq ever played with something comparable.


Wilt's Warriors teammates' FG%: (10/24/1959-1/8/65): .391 (Wilt shot .507)
76ers FG%: (1/21/65-4/19/68): .426 (With shot .564)
Lakers FG% (1969-1973): .458 (Wilt shot .591)

I'm positive no all time great offensive force had worse overall support offensively- over an extended period of time- than Wilt did during his time on the Warriors.

He was also instructed/ordered by both McGuire and Feerick to score as much as possible/shoot basically every time down). Even Hannum himself strongly encouraged it in 64' and 65'.

I don't think the bolded is true - Garnett had worse help in 2005-07, Kareem arguably had worse support in 1976-77, Ewing in 1993-95 isn't great either and that's only among bigs.

Return to Player Comparisons