[Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan

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

Dutchball97
Veteran
Posts: 2,892
And1: 2,510
Joined: Mar 28, 2020
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#41 » by Dutchball97 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:51 am

Odinn21 wrote:...


I don't want to seem like I'm calling you out or anything. I just felt like you already made your point earlier about how LeBron coasted so hard in the 2018 regular season that his defensive performance was around the bottom of the league. To be honest this already influences me as it makes me adjust LeBron's 2018 regular season more than I did before. I saw it as a performance on par with 2011 and the 2015-17 period but this clearly shows it was a level below that, so I hope you don't think I'm disregarding your very valid points here. I just think the strong post-season could still close that gap and make a difference for me and some others.

I might've looked at your post as more so calling him out for having LeBron's 2018 on the list at all, while on second look it seems more like you specifically go into the comparison between this season and Duncan's 01. Discussion is a good thing but like I said the last time I talked about the intensity of the discussion I feel like we're all kind of figuring things out here and quoting someone about one specific decision might come off as a bit combative. I probably shouldn't make that decision for others though but I think otherwise this thread could become a bit too focused on 2018 LeBron vs Duncan's non-peak seasons. With LeBron's prime being probably one of the most controversial to rank I'd like to see some more discussion about things like 2012 vs 2013 and 2009 vs 2016 for example. Please don't feel discouraged to go into more in depth discussions though.
User avatar
Odinn21
Analyst
Posts: 3,331
And1: 2,735
Joined: May 19, 2019
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#42 » by Odinn21 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:22 am

LukaTheGOAT wrote:...

OK, let's do it from the top with your examples of 2003 McGrady, 2006 Bryant vs. 2018 James.

According to Engelmann's rs+ps PI-RAPM numbers;
2003 McGrady was 121st of 428 with +0.50.
2006 Bryant was 240th of 456 with -0.73.
2018 James was 477th of 539 with -0.89. (Engelmann changed his formula, so different scale, should be obvious from the ranking)

ESPN's rs only RPM numbers;
2003 McGrady was 371st of 418 with -1.88.
2006 Bryant was 326th of 446 with -1.10.
2018 James was 509th of 512 with -3.37.

Moving onto box/pm composite in PIPM;
2003 McGrady was 374th of 428 with -1.35. (McGrady had +0.7 rs / +1.1 ps bbref dbpm as box metric reference)
2006 Bryant was 446th of 458 with -2.28. (Bryant had +0.2 rs / -0.6 ps bbref dbpm as box metric reference)
2018 James was 506th of 531 with -1.69. (James had +1.4 rs / +2.6 ps bbref dbpm as box metric reference)

2003 McGrady was in top 29% in Engelmann's numbers, top 89% in ESPN's numbers, top 87% in PIPM numbers.
2006 Bryant was in top 53% in Engelmann's numbers, top 73% in ESPN's numbers, top 97% in PIPM numbers.
2018 James was in top 88% in Engelmann's numbers, top 100% in ESPN's numbers, top 96% in PIPM numbers.

If you have any other +/- driven metric we can compare these 3 directly, please share.

We can't compare McGrady and Bryant to James in nbashotcharts numbers due to availability but James was in top 98% in there too.

Your initial argument against criticism of James' defense in 2018 was to give him benefit of the doubt similar to 2003 McGrady and 2006 Bryant, and 2018 James' footprint is on another level of bad than your examples.
I'm also curious if you'd take 2003 McGrady or 2006 Bryant over 2001 Duncan. I doubt many regular in PC board would take McGrady or Bryant by considering them slight positive on defense while their defensive +/- numbers being negative.

"2010 for Bryant compared to 2008 was like 2020 for James compared to 2018. The results were there but you could see and feel that he lost a step in a very visible way. They weren't getting to the rim just as easy as before."

Yeah, I still have that opinion. Doesn't mean I'd rank 2018 James over 2020 James just because the superior potential there was. It's possible and common to have better seasons as lower potential players. You're basically taking what I said out of context to force a narrative in here.

Again, if I was ranking with capabilities and potential there was, the player I was arguing for would be 2005 Duncan belonging to top 10 in this comparison. I would not be talking about 2001 Duncan not making top 12 over 2018 James.

---

Dutchball97 wrote:...

It started as a criticism of 2018 James' defense, then turned into 2001 Duncan vs. 2018 James. Because as I pointed out earlier, there's a trade off between Duncan's health issues in 2004/2005/2006 and James' defensive issues in 2018. But Duncan had a pretty complete season in 2001.
2001 Duncan still brought a comparable postseason impact, also his individual totals to team totals rate in the playoffs is a lot closer than what direct numbers would suggest. Certainly not on the same level, but comparable.
And 2001 Duncan's edge in rs is bigger than 2018 James' edge in ps, especially with the massive defensive gap between the 2. I mean, I know that you'll say not everyone has the same rs/ps weightings but James' defense was down to a point his overall (offense included) impact numbers were pretty down too.

2018 James was 62th in Engelmann's rs+ps RAPM, 62th in nbashortcharts' rs only RAPM. In box & +/- composites; he was 14th in rs+ps PIPM and 31st in ESPN's rs only RPM.
2001 Duncan was 1st in Engelmann's rs+ps RAPM. In box & +/- composites; he was 1st in rs+ps PIPM and 7th in ESPN's rs only RPM.

Even Wins Added totals in PIPM should be telling about this comparison;
2018 James had +16.38 PIPM in 3927 minutes.
2001 Duncan had +24.12 PIPM in 3700 minutes.
I mean, that +24.12 PIPM mark of Duncan is on the next level. I'm not saying this should be the sole reason. It should highlight the massive gap in regular season. One also doesn't get 24 Wins Added mark by not having a strong postseason. Just look at the company that 24 Wins Added has. Then look at how far James' defense dragged him down in 2018.
Everyone has different rs/ps weightings but to have 2018 James ahead, rs shouldn't matter entirely against Duncan's 2001 season.

That's why I'm so strongly involved about this comparison. Though I thought I was done after homecourtloss and1ed my last post to him. Then it got heated back with LukaTheGOAT. :D

---

All in all, I think I made all the cases can be made without going into film studies about this topic. I should put it rest. At least for me. Cheers.
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 18,557
And1: 13,941
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#43 » by 70sFan » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:54 am

Well, the first thread when it got a bit hot, no wonder why - it's the first James thread in the project :D

As usual, I'll start with seasons order for each player. Let's start with LeBron:

2012
2009
2013
2016
2014
2017
2010
2018
2020

It's very hard to pick between 2009 and 2012 for James best season. I picked 2012 mostly because of stylistic reasons - James became better post player and off-ball threat than ever before in that season. Unlike a lot of people, I also don't see the extra weight as a concern for James. His size allowed him to dominate big lineups through sheer strength and athleticism. 2009 is up there (amazing defensive season, one of his best) but I think that his GOAT-level postseason run had a bit more "luck" in there due to James long midrange shooting.

The next one is 2013 and I have to admit - it's my favorite James version ever in terms of RS play. One of the rare "perfect" MVP campaigns in NBA history. I have concerns about his play against San Antonio though, he was wildly inconsistent in the finals.

2016 is next for me, I have it over 2014 and 2017 because of higher effort on defensive end. I know that 2014>2017 isn't popular across the board, but I always felt that James scoring repertoire was at his absolute best in 2014. He also played more without the ball, showing abilities he rarely had chances to show. He played on far worse team than in 2017 though, so people think he underperformed. Believe me - I was scared of him like never before in before 2014 finals.

I might underrate 2010, it's one of his finest RS performances. I simply struggle to weight his injury in playoffs, along with strong evidences that he didn't care about Cavs anymore and wanted to leave. Can't blame him (he was in terrible situation), but it affected his performance.

2018 is one of the greatest offensive postseason runs ever. I can't find words to describe his effort to carry horrible Cavs team through the (admit it, weak but still) Eastern Conference just to put up one of the best finals games ever in game one. Unfortunately, he was also bad defensively in RS and he didn't put much effort as a whole. On top of that, the injury in the finals also counts for something - though it's not a major thing.

I have 2020 last among top tier seasons (just beating 2011 and 2015), because James didn't have to do that much throughout the season and he played relatively weak competition in the playoffs. When I watch both versions, I can't pick 2020 over 2018 - even with huge improvement on defensive end.

Now, let's move to Timmy :D

2003
2002
2007
2001
2005
2004
2006
1999

2003 vs 2002 is a close battle, I decided to go with 2003 because his role was simply more optimal for title team. In 2002 Spurs team was visibly weaker and Duncan had to carry massive offensive load. On top of that, in 2002 WCSF he lost Admiral and had to defend Shaq for majority of the time - all while being forced to 23 FGA in very slow environment. Duncan had to do everything on both ends of the floor and the fact that it still resulted into really high level of play sums up how special Duncan was. The team was clearly better and more balanced in 2003 and Duncan was even better in more limited, though still massive role.

2007 vs 2001 is also interesting debate. Duncan carried heavier load in 2001 and Spurs relied on him more on offensive end. I'm not sure if that's the case on defense though - Admiral was still very strong pressence on defense in 2001. On top of that, Duncan clearly improved his passing next season. I decided to go with the more experienced version of Duncan in one of his finest defensive seasons.

2005 would have been higher without injury, but unfortunately Duncan struggled with health throughout the season. It also limited his potential in the playoffs against physical Pistons defense. 2004 is slightly worse in RS all things concerned and he also had his hands full with Lakers defense in the playoffs. These two seasons are very comparable and when Duncan was healthy, he was probably the best player in the league (well, in 2004 KG has a case as well).

2006 vs 1999 is similar debate to 2001 vs 2007, except the difference in experience and passing is even bigger. I have a hard time evaluating 2006 Duncan. He clearly struggled with injuries all season long, which is visible in his offensive production. At the same time, he remained arguably the most impactful player in the league and he played arguably the best offensive series of his career against strong Mavs team. 1999 Duncan was more productive and had higher motor, but I simply think his impact wasn't on that level yet.

HM to 2000 and 2008, both seasons destroyed by injuries. This exercize shows how much Duncan's career was affected by injuries. Healthy 2004-06 Duncan could compete with the best James seasons and 2000/2008 would also give his prime additional value.

I will make my list in the next post.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 18,557
And1: 13,941
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#44 » by 70sFan » Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:10 am

homecourtloss wrote:1. '09 LeBron — the impact numbers in both RS and PS and the carry job of a that cast to 66 wins and an 8+ SRS..
2. ‘03 Duncan — great regular and post season and carry job in the playoffs
3. '12 LeBron — high motor impact throughout RS and PS
4. ‘13 LeBron — same as ‘12, 27 game win streak, playoffs impact metrics not as good
5. ‘16 LeBron — Regular season not as good but highest possible level vs. 73 win team
6. '17 LeBron — Same as above, offensive mastery of game
7. '02 Duncan — Right under ‘03 Duncan
8. '10 LeBron —Don’t feel right placing him this far down since metrics close to 2009 metrics but playoffs not as sublime
9. ‘07 Duncan — Duncanesque two way impact
10. ‘14 LeBron — lax defensive effort but otherworldly offensive efficiency
11. ‘20 LeBron — highly underrated season
12. '18 LeBron — peak offensive carry job in playoffs but gave up on defense

Note: Seems harsh on Duncan as I see 2001 and 2005 also possible here and 2006 which could have been a GOATy year before the injury.

I have one question to your list - why such a big gap between 2003 and 2002? I don't think there is that much between these two, Duncan simply was allowed to play more optimal role on both sides of the ball because he had better teammates. I'd like to hear your reasoning :)
LukaTheGOAT
Senior
Posts: 748
And1: 495
Joined: Dec 25, 2019
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#45 » by LukaTheGOAT » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:16 pm

Odinn21 wrote:
LukaTheGOAT wrote:...

OK, let's do it from the top with your examples of 2003 McGrady, 2006 Bryant vs. 2018 James.

According to Engelmann's rs+ps PI-RAPM numbers;
2003 McGrady was 121st of 428 with +0.50.
2006 Bryant was 240th of 456 with -0.73.
2018 James was 477th of 539 with -0.89. (Engelmann changed his formula, so different scale, should be obvious from the ranking)

ESPN's rs only RPM numbers;
2003 McGrady was 371st of 418 with -1.88.
2006 Bryant was 326th of 446 with -1.10.
2018 James was 509th of 512 with -3.37.

Moving onto box/pm composite in PIPM;
2003 McGrady was 374th of 428 with -1.35. (McGrady had +0.7 rs / +1.1 ps bbref dbpm as box metric reference)
2006 Bryant was 446th of 458 with -2.28. (Bryant had +0.2 rs / -0.6 ps bbref dbpm as box metric reference)
2018 James was 506th of 531 with -1.69. (James had +1.4 rs / +2.6 ps bbref dbpm as box metric reference)

2003 McGrady was in top 29% in Engelmann's numbers, top 89% in ESPN's numbers, top 87% in PIPM numbers.
2006 Bryant was in top 53% in Engelmann's numbers, top 73% in ESPN's numbers, top 97% in PIPM numbers.
2018 James was in top 88% in Engelmann's numbers, top 100% in ESPN's numbers, top 96% in PIPM numbers.

If you have any other +/- driven metric we can compare these 3 directly, please share.

We can't compare McGrady and Bryant to James in nbashotcharts numbers due to availability but James was in top 98% in there too.

Your initial argument against criticism of James' defense in 2018 was to give him benefit of the doubt similar to 2003 McGrady and 2006 Bryant, and 2018 James' footprint is on another level of bad than your examples.
I'm also curious if you'd take 2003 McGrady or 2006 Bryant over 2001 Duncan. I doubt many regular in PC board would take McGrady or Bryant by considering them slight positive on defense while their defensive +/- numbers being negative.

"2010 for Bryant compared to 2008 was like 2020 for James compared to 2018. The results were there but you could see and feel that he lost a step in a very visible way. They weren't getting to the rim just as easy as before."

Yeah, I still have that opinion. Doesn't mean I'd rank 2018 James over 2020 James just because the superior potential there was. It's possible and common to have better seasons as lower potential players. You're basically taking what I said out of context to force a narrative in here.

Again, if I was ranking with capabilities and potential there was, the player I was arguing for would be 2005 Duncan belonging to top 10 in this comparison. I would not be talking about 2001 Duncan not making top 12 over 2018 James.

---

Dutchball97 wrote:...

It started as a criticism of 2018 James' defense, then turned into 2001 Duncan vs. 2018 James. Because as I pointed out earlier, there's a trade off between Duncan's health issues in 2004/2005/2006 and James' defensive issues in 2018. But Duncan had a pretty complete season in 2001.
2001 Duncan still brought a comparable postseason impact, also his individual totals to team totals rate in the playoffs is a lot closer than what direct numbers would suggest. Certainly not on the same level, but comparable.
And 2001 Duncan's edge in rs is bigger than 2018 James' edge in ps, especially with the massive defensive gap between the 2. I mean, I know that you'll say not everyone has the same rs/ps weightings but James' defense was down to a point his overall (offense included) impact numbers were pretty down too.

2018 James was 62th in Engelmann's rs+ps RAPM, 62th in nbashortcharts' rs only RAPM. In box & +/- composites; he was 14th in rs+ps PIPM and 31st in ESPN's rs only RPM.
2001 Duncan was 1st in Engelmann's rs+ps RAPM. In box & +/- composites; he was 1st in rs+ps PIPM and 7th in ESPN's rs only RPM.

Even Wins Added totals in PIPM should be telling about this comparison;
2018 James had +16.38 PIPM in 3927 minutes.
2001 Duncan had +24.12 PIPM in 3700 minutes.
I mean, that +24.12 PIPM mark of Duncan is on the next level. I'm not saying this should be the sole reason. It should highlight the massive gap in regular season. One also doesn't get 24 Wins Added mark by not having a strong postseason. Just look at the company that 24 Wins Added has. Then look at how far James' defense dragged him down in 2018.
Everyone has different rs/ps weightings but to have 2018 James ahead, rs shouldn't matter entirely against Duncan's 2001 season.

That's why I'm so strongly involved about this comparison. Though I thought I was done after homecourtloss and1ed my last post to him. Then it got heated back with LukaTheGOAT. :D

---

All in all, I think I made all the cases can be made without going into film studies about this topic. I should put it rest. At least for me. Cheers.


The placement in these metrics seems relatively arbitrary, because their defensive numbers are close enough as is. A different in a tenth of a point, etc. is miniscule at this level.

That being said besides the DPM metric that has Lebron leaps ahead of the two:

Kobe and Tracy rate out as a negative on D in TWPR, which is really bad considering its scale. That comes out as "Useless," based off just defense. Lebron's D is worthy of "Benchwarmer," status per the scale, which is better.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1h-GBbJ4RQ1JSWnhPfhDzG4oQKz4FW_KCl6qynSlJWjk/edit#gid=0

Also, I never said I would put 2018 LBJ over 01 Duncan, or 06 Kobe or 03 McGrady over 01 Duncan either. I simply was providing insight on why homecourtloss putting 18 LBJ over 01 Duncan is not absurd. Once again, I am not sure if I am not understanding you correctly, but you seem to imply in a former post that maybe I look at impact metrics and don't invoke any outside interpretation? If that is indeed what you were implying, then you are doing what you are accusing me of, by just looking at impact metrics at face value (specifically the defensive components), and saying that there can be no other interpretation.

Once again, depending on how you weigh the RS and PS, you could put 2010 LBJ over 2003 Duncan if you weight the RS over the PS enough. But how do you decide what the weights of these are. All you say in the requirements are that the PS are included, but how much that matters to each person will differ.

I'll stop here because I just don't see the value in arguing this point any longer, and it is none other for the 12th and final spot on this list.
DQuinn1575
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,524
And1: 538
Joined: Feb 20, 2014

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#46 » by DQuinn1575 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:51 pm

To me, LeBron at his best is a lot better than Duncan at his best. I gave LeBron by far the best 4 seasons here; overall I am not the biggest backer of either of these two, but it's a case where Duncan's playoff performances are great, but so are LeBron's, so almost how I look at this gives it to LeBron.



1 2013 LeBron James
2 2009 LeBron James
3 2012 LeBron James
4 2010 LeBron James
5 2003 Tim Duncan
6 2002 Tim Duncan
7 2014 LeBron James
8 2016 LeBron James
9 2018 LeBron James
10 2017 LeBron James
sansterre
Rookie
Posts: 1,083
And1: 1,532
Joined: Oct 22, 2020

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#47 » by sansterre » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:47 pm

DQuinn1575 wrote:

Don't forget that the project wants 12 spots, not 10.
"If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinions."

"Trust one who seeks the truth. Doubt one who claims to have found the truth."
DQuinn1575
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,524
And1: 538
Joined: Feb 20, 2014

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#48 » by DQuinn1575 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:29 pm

sansterre wrote:
DQuinn1575 wrote:

Don't forget that the project wants 12 spots, not 10.


Thanks!, same order, added last 2,
Top 10, 12 Seasons, always hard to walk and chew gum at same time.

1 2013 LeBron James
2 2009 LeBron James
3 2012 LeBron James
4 2010 LeBron James
5 2003 Tim Duncan
6 2002 Tim Duncan
7 2014 LeBron James
8 2016 LeBron James
9 2018 LeBron James
10 2017 LeBron James
11 2004 Tim Duncan
12 2020 LeBron James
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 18,557
And1: 13,941
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#49 » by 70sFan » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:56 pm

Alright, let's do this:

1. 2003 Tim Duncan - as you all know, I'm a two-way bigman believer. I could be 100% wrong on this choice, but I don't think it's unreasonable. Duncan was an absolute monster at his peak.
2. 2012 LeBron James - it's really, really close between 2002 Duncan and 2012 James. The tie breaker is that Duncan missed one game in playoffs. I know, it's stupid to have this against him but the race is so tight that everything counts.
3. 2009 LeBron James - can't separate these two seasons.
4. 2002 Tim Duncan - I have this season ahead of 2013 James. LeBron had slightly better RS, but I think that Duncan showed more in postseason.
5. 2013 LeBron James - right under the top 4, probably the best RS in this comparison.
6. 2016 LeBron James - reasonably close with 2007 Duncan, but Timmy never reached the GOAT level in 2007 while James did against the best team in the league in the deciding 3 games. It has to be considered here, so he's my choice.
7. 2014 LeBron James - I think that James reached such a high level offensively in that season that I have to take that over 2007 Duncan two-way brilliance. Maybe it's because I undervalue players with lesser roles, because Duncan had easier time in 2007 than James in 2014 (at least offensively).
8. 2007 Tim Duncan - don't see 2017 on that level, his RS wasn't really better than Duncan's and I don't think James defensive effort was there in the playoffs. I know that some people are really high on that version of James, but I wonder how much it has to do with Cavs offense in playoffs - this explosion has a lot to do with hot shooting streak. I'm open to discussion about this season though.
9. 2001 Tim Duncan - again, it's the reverse situation of previous two spots - Duncan had to carry higher load, played in better conference and faced better teams in playoffs. It was clearly a carryjob and the only reason why I don't have it higher is because I have concerns about 2001 Duncan's passing ability and defensive impact. It was already high, but not on peak level (unlike 2007).
10. 2017 LeBron James - can't have it any lower, it's amazing season after all.
11. 2010 LeBron James - I have problems with the off-court stuff here and his injury didn't help. I may underrate that version of James though, he was very close in terms of abilities to 2009 - just not in terms of focus.
12. 2005 Tim Duncan - I feel bad for excluding one of the greatest offensive carryjobs in NBA history, but 2018 is a weak RS for James and I am worried about the stats Odinn provided. James looks by these metrics like a complete liability on defense. I remember him being quite bad, but not to this degree. Duncan struggled with injuries, but he was extremely impactful throughout the whole season. Even though he struggled to score in 2005 finals, I've never felt like he ever hurt his team in that series. Pistons treated him like peak Shaq on defense and he did fairly well considering what he had to deal with. His defensive impact is also undeniable, it's one of the greatest defensive season in the last 25 years.

HM: 2018 LeBron James, really wish he made the list.

I also wish I started my 2002-03 Duncan tracking project before the thread, but I'm focused on Shaq and Kareem for now - which is a good luck because I can strictly compare them in the next thread :D
falcolombardi
Bench Warmer
Posts: 1,401
And1: 916
Joined: Apr 13, 2021
       

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#50 » by falcolombardi » Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:03 am

was lebron regular season in 2018 even that bad once you take in account roster quality and constant changes?

usually when all time greats have teams so flawed they carry them to low seeds and early exits, or even to miss the playoffs

taking that kind of team to a 4th seed and finals seems pretty inusual, even if the conference was not that strong

they won 50 games after all
User avatar
homecourtloss
General Manager
Posts: 8,191
And1: 13,235
Joined: Dec 29, 2012

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#51 » by homecourtloss » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:25 am

70sFan wrote:
homecourtloss wrote:1. '09 LeBron — the impact numbers in both RS and PS and the carry job of a that cast to 66 wins and an 8+ SRS..
2. ‘03 Duncan — great regular and post season and carry job in the playoffs
3. '12 LeBron — high motor impact throughout RS and PS
4. ‘13 LeBron — same as ‘12, 27 game win streak, playoffs impact metrics not as good
5. ‘16 LeBron — Regular season not as good but highest possible level vs. 73 win team
6. '17 LeBron — Same as above, offensive mastery of game
7. '02 Duncan — Right under ‘03 Duncan
8. '10 LeBron —Don’t feel right placing him this far down since metrics close to 2009 metrics but playoffs not as sublime
9. ‘07 Duncan — Duncanesque two way impact
10. ‘14 LeBron — lax defensive effort but otherworldly offensive efficiency
11. ‘20 LeBron — highly underrated season
12. '18 LeBron — peak offensive carry job in playoffs but gave up on defense

Note: Seems harsh on Duncan as I see 2001 and 2005 also possible here and 2006 which could have been a GOATy year before the injury.

I have one question to your list - why such a big gap between 2003 and 2002? I don't think there is that much between these two, Duncan simply was allowed to play more optimal role on both sides of the ball because he had better teammates. I'd like to hear your reasoning :)


Yeah, I don’t think there’s much between these seasons and could have moved things around. Overall, I liked the Lebron seasons’ peak playoff abilities slightly better and think he gives them a better chance of winning titles all things considered.
OdomFan wrote:I'd rather have Ray Allen on my team [over Curry].


Hal14 wrote:Not saying I put McHale over Duncan, but the argument can be made.
70sFan
RealGM
Posts: 18,557
And1: 13,941
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#52 » by 70sFan » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:30 am

falcolombardi wrote:was lebron regular season in 2018 even that bad once you take in account roster quality and constant changes?

usually when all time greats have teams so flawed they carry them to low seeds and early exits, or even to miss the playoffs

taking that kind of team to a 4th seed and finals seems pretty inusual, even if the conference was not that strong

they won 50 games after all

Nobody said it was bad, but we're comparing him to prime Duncan here. 50 wins highly overrates Cavs level, they have +0.59 SRS and 43 expected wins. They also weren't that bad in RS - they played on similar level without James on the floor.

James wasn't bad player in 2018 RS, far from it. I'd take most prime Duncan RS performances iver that though.

I mean, what's the reason to pick 2018 RS James over down year from Duncan like 2006? Yeah, Duncan had bad scoring year but his impact was visibly higher.
User avatar
LA Bird
Veteran
Posts: 2,930
And1: 2,512
Joined: Feb 16, 2015

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#53 » by LA Bird » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:15 am

Not sure if I will be able to add explanations before the deadline but here is my current list

1. 2009 LeBron
2. 2003 Duncan
3. 2017 LeBron
4. 2016 LeBron
5. 2013 LeBron
6. 2012 LeBron
7. 2002 Duncan
8. 2010 LeBron
9. 2007 Duncan
10. 2014 LeBron
11. 2020 LeBron
12. 2005 Duncan

Edit: Added explanations
Spoiler:
Odinn21 wrote:.

I know many people won't pick a non title winning season as a title winning player's peak but I don't really see an argument against LeBron's 09 season. It's his best year by pretty much every measure and it's one of the few times where his jumper was on fire in the playoffs too. With every other year, you can nitpick at least a couple of areas where he was not as his best. Not with 2009. It's as close to a flawless season as LeBron has ever had and IMO, it's the best season any player has ever had to date.

03 Duncan can naturally only go #2 here but I think it's one of the GOAT peaks and actually better than some seasons which are usually considered superior (ahem, 00 Shaq). The gap between 02 and 03 Duncan is not because I think poorly of 02 Duncan but that I think very highly of 03 Duncan.

12/13/16/17 LeBron are all around the same level for me. Second stint Cavs LeBron often get this negative reputation of coasting in the regular season but his RS on/off during those years were some of the best of his career. The only exception was 2018 which really should not be getting any vote here. I don't think people actually fathom how bad 18 LeBron's defense was. Just look at his defensive on/off over regular season and playoffs combined,

Image

2018 was not average, or even slightly bad defense. It's terrible. It's the one year when all the LeBron haters are totally justified in trashing his D.

I never looked too deeply into 01 Duncan but I might have to check to see whether it should go above 05 Duncan.
User avatar
Odinn21
Analyst
Posts: 3,331
And1: 2,735
Joined: May 19, 2019
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#54 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:00 pm

LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan results;

Code: Select all

1.   84 points / 0.875 share / '12 LeBron James
2.   83 points / 0.865 share / '03 Tim Duncan
2.   83 points / 0.865 share / '09 LeBron James
4.   77 points / 0.802 share / '13 LeBron James
5.   61 points / 0.635 share / '02 Tim Duncan
6.   54 points / 0.563 share / '16 LeBron James
6.   45 points / 0.469 share / '10 LeBron James
8.   41 points / 0.427 share / '17 LeBron James
9.   35 points / 0.365 share / '14 LeBron James
10.  22 points / 0.229 share / '07 Tim Duncan
11.  12 points / 0.125 share / '01 Tim Duncan
11.  12 points / 0.125 share / '18 LeBron James

13.   5 points / 0.060 share / '05 Tim Duncan
14.   5 points / 0.060 share / '04 Tim Duncan
15.   5 points / 0.040 share / '20 LeBron James


Points within top 12 seasons voted;
LeBron James 56 - 24 Tim Duncan

Points totals in top 12 seasons voted;
LeBron James 431 - 178 Tim Duncan

Winner: LeBron James


Results on Google Sheets
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
Dutchball97
Veteran
Posts: 2,892
And1: 2,510
Joined: Mar 28, 2020
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#55 » by Dutchball97 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:10 pm

1. LeBron James, 2012 - LeBron's most complete season as he had by far his most consistently great post-season before his second Cavs stint, while still actually trying in the regular season.
2. Tim Duncan, 2003 - I went back and forth between 2012 LeBron and 2003 Duncan for the top spot but while Duncan's 03 season is amazing his performance against the Lakers isn't as good as it was the year before. I do think Duncan was still the best player that series but Shaq and to a lesser extent Kobe were right up there with him. After the stars the next best players were Manu, Parker and Bowen imo. Still a tough one but I do put emphasis on how players perform in the most critical moments.
3. Tim Duncan, 2002 - Probably Duncan's best regular season and his showing in the play-offs was insane. Like I said before he outplayed Shaq and Kobe more so than he did in 2003 and he did this while the Lakers were stronger and the Spurs were weaker (Parker and Bowen both stepped up in 2003 and Manu wasn't there yet in 2002). It was actually a closer decision than I thought but Duncan's deeper run does create that little bit of seperation.
4. LeBron James, 2013 - Weird to have both of Duncan's top seasons between 2012 and 2013 LeBron but even though this is still his second most complete season there is a pretty significant difference in terms of the play-offs. I do think LeBron had more help in 2012 than in 2013 but the level of competition was significantly worse as well. Those Bucks and Bulls teams had nothing for them. LeBron having to face the Celtics in 2012 as well as having a better performance against the Pacers and definitely a better showing in the finals creates this gap.
5. LeBron James, 2009 - I'm not as high on this season as some others seem to be as his first and second round opponents were pretty terrible and I don't think the Magic were as unbeatable as people make it seem. Yes the Magic were deeper than the Cavs but the gap wasn't that huge and I think there is a legitimate argument for Dwight just playing straight up better than LeBron this series. Even then the regular season was amazing and this is very similar to MJ in the 88-90 period.
6. LeBron James, 2016 - I see the 2016-2018 period as LeBron's peak in terms of play-off performance but he coasted too hard in the regular season compared to his first Cavs stint and Heatles years. 2016 had the least coasting among these three seasons but it also had the weakest first and second round opponents in this three year stretch. The finals is of couse a legendary performance but the win was more because of Curry not living up to his standards than it was LeBron stepping up.
7. LeBron James, 2017 - Clearly worse in the regular season than in 2016 but better in the play-offs.
8. LeBron James, 2010 - Similar to 2009 but not as impressive overall. I do think this season should get credit for the level of opposition. That Bulls team was good for a first round match up and facing the Celtics at their best with next to no help was a huge task.
9. Tim Duncan, 2007 - It's been a while since a Duncan season made the list but like I said in previous posts I see a big drop-off between Duncan in 02 and 03 compared to the 04-07 period. Out of those 4 years I think 07 was pretty easily the best though.
10. LeBron James, 2018 - He clearly didn't try nearly as much in the regular season even compared to the 2016 and 2017 seasons where he was already coasting but the post-season was so good I don't really see any other available seasons making sense ahead of it for me personally.
11. LeBron James, 2014 - I'm not too fond of this season as he took a big step back in the regular season and didn't even make up for it as much in the play-offs as he usually does. He did most of his damage in the first two rounds against lackluster competition, while not being as impressive in the ECF and finals. It is still clearly a prime LeBron season and I rate it over his "acclamation years" of 2011 and 2015 as well as ahead of the remaining Duncan seasons.
12. Tim Duncan, 2001 - I was tempted to go with Duncan's 2006 season as that Mav series was vintage Duncan but he did take a pretty serious step back in the regular season. 2020 LeBron was another serious candidate, as was 2008 LeBron to a lesser degree. I'd have probably gone with 2005 for Duncan instead if hadn't missed as many games in the regular season. 2001 is a good season for Duncan but I think he made a big step up on both ends of the ball in 2002 when he was forced to carry a larger load with Robinson taking on a greatly reduced role.

Edit: Oh shoot seems I missed the deadline in the process of typing this up.
User avatar
Odinn21
Analyst
Posts: 3,331
And1: 2,735
Joined: May 19, 2019
 

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#56 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:14 pm

I usually don't comment on the results, though I wanted to this time around.

There are couple of disagreements on my part;
- While 2009 LeBron James got tons of recognition with an one-man army season, 2002 Tim Duncan didn't get such attention for a very very similar type of season. 2002 Duncan was closer to 2016 James than the top 4 which included 2009 James. That made me think about the name involvement.
- As bad as the Finals series was, I'm really surprised about 2011 James not getting a single vote while how much love 2018 James got and ended up in the top 12 over his 2011 and 2020 seasons. I thought even with that weird series, 2011 James was still a better player than the 2018 version and also had a better overall / more complete season from start to finish.

Personally, this thread made me a bit sad about the injuries Duncan had in the middle of his prime.

Other than those minor things, it turned out to be a good list like the 3 before, cheers. Onto the next one.

---

LA Bird wrote:Not sure if I will be able to add explanations before the deadline but here is my current list

Btw, I counted your vote but still will need explanations in the next day. (I try to provide a leeway to regular voters when this votes without explanations happen by giving another day for explanations.)

---

Dutchball97 wrote:Edit: Oh shoot seems I missed the deadline in the process of typing this up.

I'm not going to not count vote of a regular because he missed the deadline by 10 minutes. :D
The issue with per75 numbers;
36pts on 27 fga/9 fta in 36 mins, does this mean he'd keep up the efficiency to get 48pts on 36fga/12fta in 48 mins?
The answer; NO. He's human, not a linearly working machine.
Per75 is efficiency rate, not actual production.
sansterre
Rookie
Posts: 1,083
And1: 1,532
Joined: Oct 22, 2020

Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan 

Post#57 » by sansterre » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:23 pm

Odinn21 wrote:- As bad as the Finals series was, I'm really surprised about 2011 James not getting a single vote while how much love 2018 James got and ended up in the top 12 over his 2011 and 2020 seasons. I thought even with that weird series, 2011 James was still a better player than the 2018 version and also had a better overall / more complete season from start to finish.

In my admittedly arbitrary ranking 2011 is James' 11th best season and 2018 is his 16th best. The AuPMs for both were unusually low in the playoffs and '18 was unusually low in the regular season too. Weighting AuPM heavily means no '11 and '18.
"If you wish to see the truth, hold no opinions."

"Trust one who seeks the truth. Doubt one who claims to have found the truth."

Return to Player Comparisons