[Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal

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[Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#1 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:00 pm

Hello.

Link to the project idea thread.

The project will contain 1v1 comparisons between the top 10 ever in the latest 3 top 100 project on RealGM which are LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Tim Duncan, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Larry Bird.
There are 45 possibilities of 2 in 10, the project will have 90 days period to be concluded.

Things to follow;
- Reg. season and postseason play, both are included in evaluations.
- A simple 12/11/.../2/1 point system will be used for the project.
Evaluations will be based on the seasons, not the players direclty as an outcome of a single vote.
- Explanations are needed, even in short forms. (Though for a project like this, I'd appreciate long posts personally. Saying this as a voter, not the commissioner.)
- The time frame for each franchise is 2 days (from/to 10:00 EST).

Results on Google Sheets

The comparison order we'll be following;
Spoiler:
1. Bill Russell vs. Magic Johnson
2. Hakeem Olajuwon vs. Larry Bird
3. Michael Jordan vs. Wilt Chamberlain
4. LeBron James vs. Tim Duncan
5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal

6. LeBron James vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
7. Michael Jordan vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
8. Shaquille O'Neal vs. Larry Bird
9. Tim Duncan vs. Magic Johnson
10. Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain

11. Michael Jordan vs. Larry Bird
12. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
13. LeBron James vs. Bill Russell
14. Tim Duncan vs. Wilt Chamberlain
15. Magic Johnson vs. Shaquille O'Neal

16. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Bill Russell
17. Shaquille O'Neal vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
18. Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird
19. LeBron James vs. Wilt Chamberlain
20. Michael Jordan vs. Tim Duncan

21. LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan
22. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Wilt Chamberlain
23. Tim Duncan vs. Larry Bird
24. Bill Russell vs. Shaquille O'Neal
25. Magic Johnson vs. Hakeem Olajuwon

26. LeBron James vs. Larry Bird
27. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Magic Johnson
28. Michael Jordan vs. Shaquille O'Neal
29. Bill Russell vs. Tim Duncan
30. Wilt Chamberlain vs. Hakeem Olajuwon

31. Wilt Chamberlain vs. Shaquille O'Neal
32. LeBron James vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
33. Bill Russell vs. Larry Bird
34. Michael Jordan vs. Magic Johnson
35. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Tim Duncan

36. Wilt Chamberlain vs. Larry Bird
37. Tim Duncan vs. Shaquille O'Neal
38. Bill Russell vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
39. LeBron James vs. Magic Johnson
40. Michael Jordan vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

41. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Larry Bird
42. LeBron James vs. Shaquille O'Neal
43. Wilt Chamberlain vs. Magic Johnson
44. Tim Duncan vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
45. Michael Jordan vs. Bill Russell


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70sFan wrote:.
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.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#2 » by sansterre » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:03 pm

Given that Kareem doesn’t exist completely in the VORP era all I had were Win Shares and Estimated Impact. I converted the playoff numbers to per-game figures (adjusted for injury) and multiplied the playoff numbers to 82 games, so that the regular season and postseason were comparable. In seasons where the player missed the playoffs for non-injury reasons I estimated their value per game from the surrounding seasons and then adjusted it down by 25% or so. I weighted the formula 2:1 for Estimated Impact and Win Shares.

That said, I messed with the rankings a little bit after the fact, for several reasons:

1. My competition metrics mark ‘71 and ‘72 as two years where stats can’t be taken entirely at face value, so I graded those two down somewhat;
2. ‘77 has amazing playoff metrics for Kareem but the sample size is fairly low, so I wanted to take that with a small grain of salt and bumped it below a Shaq season that grades out as just below it;
3. I don’t mind the “Assume playoff impact if the player missed the postseason” thing in general, but if it’s close I don’t want that to be a deciding factor, so I dropped one of those seasons for Kareem in favor of two Shaq seasons that graded out really close to them.

Here are my rankings:

1. ‘74 Kareem
2. ‘00 Shaq
3. ‘77 Kareem
4. ‘01 Shaq
5. ‘71 Kareem
6. ‘72 Kareem
7. ‘79 Kareem
8. ‘76 Kareem
9. ‘70 Kareem
10. ‘80 Kareem
11. ‘02 Shaq
12. ‘03 Shaq

I was surprised by how lopsided this was. Then again, it suggests that peak Shaq and peak Kareem are loosely comparable. It’s just that peak Shaq only lasted a few seasons and peak Kareem lasted a decade.

I know that including ‘76 may seem weird (because the Lakers missed the playoffs) but I refuse to punish Kareem for having worse teammates. And Kareem’s playoff excellence in the mid-late 70s is fairly well-established. If you’re an era-minutes adjuster then I could see having ‘00 Shaq #1 here. But I tend to take minutes totals at face value, for better or for worse.
"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."
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#3 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:41 pm

sansterre wrote:I was surprised by how lopsided this was.

As I said in the previous thread with James and Duncan, this project will highlight how important durability is.

Not necessarily best, Shaq's most complete seasons;
1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001.

He missed;
28 games in 1996,
31 games in 1997,
22 games in 1998,
15 games in 2002,
15 games in 2003,
15 games in 2004.
From 1995-96 to 2003-04, he had 6 seasons with 15+ missed games in 9 season span.

Sent you a PM btw.
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.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#4 » by 70sFan » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:00 pm

UPDATE: I changed my Shaq list after conversation with Odinn and reevaluating some of his seasons.

Shaq:

2000
2001
2002
1998
1999
2003
1995
1994

Shaq has a clear outlier season in 2000. It's by far his best RS and best or second best playoffs run. I decided to go with 2001 next, even with not so great RS. 2002 has missed games, but he was simply better basketball player than Magic Shaq on both ends of the floor. 1998 is one of the Shaq seasons in terms of per-minute impact, but he missed a lot of games.

Kareem:

1977
1974
1971
1972
1976
1973
1979
1980
1970

1977 and 1974 are very close, but I prefer Kareem's offense a bit more in 1977. I have some concerns about 1971 vs 1972 - I do believe that Jabbar improved (especially offensively) in 1972, but he had his best series in his career against Thurmond in 1971.

1976 vs 1973 is also close, I'd give Lakers season the benefit of doubt. 1979 and 1980 are also reasonably close, I just find younger Kareem slightly more productive on defensive end.

I'll wait for more opinions before posting my final list.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#5 » by Bklynborn682 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:42 pm

Shaq may not have a 10 year peak (70-80) like Kareem but I’d say shaq easily has a high quality 6 year peak (98-03) and he still has several high quality prime years. Unfortunately the league allowing zone defense as well as Shaq’s play style and his willingness to take whole summers off led to several years being less impactful due to injuries or the league seeming to try to make the offensive side of the game more guard/wing oriented.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#6 » by Dutchball97 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:49 pm

Seasons without post-seasons are always going to be difficult to rank. I don't believe in giving such seasons the benefit of the doubt that they'd have been amazing if they got a chance in the play-offs. The chance that Kareem's 75 and 76 play-offs would be a post-season like 73 or 78 is just as likely as it being similar to 74 or 77.

On the other hand Shaq never missed the play-offs in his prime but did miss a good portion of regular season games nearly every year. Should be a very interesting discussion towards the end of the list.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#7 » by Cavsfansince84 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:49 pm

70sFan wrote:Shaq:
Kareem:

1977
1974
1971
1972
1976
1973
1979
1980
1970

Does it really make sense to have that many of Kareem's seasons above 1980 given he put up 32/12 on great efficiency during that title run and really should have gotten the mvp and fmvp that year? I think that playoff run has to count for more than you seem to be giving it credit for relative to what in some of those seasons was just a rs run.
1977 and 1974 are very close, but I prefer Kareem's offense a bit more in 1977. I have some concerns about 1971 vs 1972 - I do believe that Jabbar improved (especially offensively) in 1972, but he had his best series in his career against Thurmond in 1971.

1976 vs 1973 is also close, I'd give Lakers season the benefit of doubt. 1979 and 1980 are also reasonably close, I just find younger Kareem slightly more productive on defensive end.

I'll wait for more opinions before posting my final list.


Does it really make sense to have that many of Kareem's seasons above 1980 given he put up 32/12 on great efficiency during that title run and really should have gotten the mvp and fmvp that year? I think that playoff run has to count for more than you seem to be giving it credit for relative to what in some of those seasons was just a rs run or somewhat poor playoffs by his standards.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#8 » by falcolombardi » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:55 pm

Bklynborn682 wrote:Shaq may not have a 10 year peak (70-80) like Kareem but I’d say shaq easily has a high quality 6 year peak (98-03) and he still has several high quality prime years. Unfortunately the league allowing zone defense as well as Shaq’s play style and his willingness to take whole summers off led to several years being less impactful due to injuries or the league seeming to try to make the offensive side of the game more guard/wing oriented.


the league shaq spent his prime on (95-05~) had more scoring and efficiency than the league kareem did (1970-1980)

even 2004, the peak defensive era of the post 3 point shot era, has more scoring and efficiency than any season before 1980
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#9 » by 70sFan » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:04 pm

Cavsfansince84 wrote:
70sFan wrote:Shaq:
Kareem:

1977
1974
1971
1972
1976
1973
1979
1980
1970

Does it really make sense to have that many of Kareem's seasons above 1980 given he put up 32/12 on great efficiency during that title run and really should have gotten the mvp and fmvp that year? I think that playoff run has to count for more than you seem to be giving it credit for relative to what in some of those seasons was just a rs run.
1977 and 1974 are very close, but I prefer Kareem's offense a bit more in 1977. I have some concerns about 1971 vs 1972 - I do believe that Jabbar improved (especially offensively) in 1972, but he had his best series in his career against Thurmond in 1971.

1976 vs 1973 is also close, I'd give Lakers season the benefit of doubt. 1979 and 1980 are also reasonably close, I just find younger Kareem slightly more productive on defensive end.

I'll wait for more opinions before posting my final list.


Does it really make sense to have that many of Kareem's seasons above 1980 given he put up 32/12 on great efficiency during that title run and really should have gotten the mvp and fmvp that year? I think that playoff run has to count for more than you seem to be giving it credit for relative to what in some of those seasons was just a rs run or somewhat poor playoffs by his standards.

Well, it really depends on what you value. Kareem lost considerable amount of defensive value by 1980 (he was still a strong anchor though) and he played on by far the best team since 1971. I guess you could rank 1980 over 1979 based on postseason performance (Kareem was brilliant in 1979 playoffs though) but would you really take 1980 Kareem over 1973 Kareem only because he had to face Thurmond in 1973 playoffs? I mean, Thurmond could do that to any center in NBA history and I doubt that older Jabbar would fare significantly better against him.

I don't think it's reasonable to consider 1980 over 1972 for example. I could be wrong, so I'm open to debate but 1972 Kareem was GOAT-level player. As amazing as Jabbar was in 1980 playoffs, he wasn't on that level.

I'm open to rank 1973 ahead of 1976 and 1980 ahead of 1979, but I'm not sure if I could change much else.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#10 » by Cavsfansince84 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:17 pm

falcolombardi wrote:
the league shaq spent his prime on (95-05~) had more scoring and efficiency than the league kareem did (1970-1980)

even 2004, the peak defensive era of the post 3 point shot era, has more scoring and efficiency than any season before 1980


Efficiency yes but where are you getting more scoring from? Scoring and pace in 04 was way lower than every year going back to before the shot clock except for other years near it from that era. 96-13 are basically the dark ages in terms of pace and scoring unless you go back to the early 50's.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#11 » by Bklynborn682 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:26 pm

falcolombardi wrote:
Bklynborn682 wrote:Shaq may not have a 10 year peak (70-80) like Kareem but I’d say shaq easily has a high quality 6 year peak (98-03) and he still has several high quality prime years. Unfortunately the league allowing zone defense as well as Shaq’s play style and his willingness to take whole summers off led to several years being less impactful due to injuries or the league seeming to try to make the offensive side of the game more guard/wing oriented.


the league shaq spent his prime on (95-05~) had more scoring and efficiency than the league kareem did (1970-1980)

even 2004, the peak defensive era of the post 3 point shot era, has more scoring and efficiency than any season before 1980

I’m saying from 95-03 shaqs laziness during the off season as well as his play style and the way defenses hacked at him led to a number of injury riddled seasons.
And from 04 onward though shaq was older the fact that teams were able to double team him without the ball (which happened routinely) led to not only diminished statistics but also a diminished impact. though the results would probably not be extreme even though shaq was in better shape in Miami then he was for most of his peak in LA he still suffered a plethora of injuries.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#12 » by falcolombardi » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:27 pm

Cavsfansince84 wrote:
falcolombardi wrote:
the league shaq spent his prime on (95-05~) had more scoring and efficiency than the league kareem did (1970-1980)

even 2004, the peak defensive era of the post 3 point shot era, has more scoring and efficiency than any season before 1980


Efficiency yes but where are you getting more scoring from? Scoring and pace in 04 was way lower than every year going back to before the shot clock except for other years near it from that era. 96-13 are basically the dark ages in terms of pace and scoring unless you go back to the early 50's.


by scoring i meant scoring per 100/offensive ratings

i was not clear in my wording and you are right that i didnt think of kareem pace advantage as far as boxscore goes
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#13 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:28 pm

70sFan wrote:...

Some thoughts about Shaq;

- 2002 > 1995 > 1998 order looked a bit off to me. Do you think his quality in 2002 was significantly better than 1998 to put it over 1995 which (I assume) ahead of 1998 and 2003 due to durability? 1998 was arguably his 2nd best rs performance, he did not have any bad performances in ps minus the first game against Jazz. Shaq's 1998 season is like LeBron's 2009 / Timmy's 2002 plus 22 missed games.
2002 > 1998 > 1995
or
1998 > 2002 > 1995
is looking a bit better, don't you think?
Also his +/- footprint in 1998 seems to be a bit better than 2002 fwiw.

- We might be underrating 1999 like we do with Timmy's 2006 due to lower production numbers. Shaq's numbers were slightly down but he was still at the very top the league in impact. Something to think about I guess. And it wasn't even an injury, he had different numbers in a system chaos during the season.
Though, Shaq barely played 35 mins a game in 1999 rs, so not exactly a high number in a such team structure. But I feel like discussing about 1999 vs. 1995. His 1999 footprint was also massive (and was also slightly better than 2002, but not as much as 1998).

I guess this is what I will have for O'Neal's top 7 seasons;
1. 2000
2. 2001
3. 1999
4. 1998
5. 2002
6. 2003
7. 1995

1999 is quite tough to place. 34.8 minutes a game is fairly low but he averaged 36.3 mpg in 1998 and 36.1 mpg in 2002. So, it's not that far off from the other competitors. His +/- footprint was solid. His scoring volume was lower but other than points per game numbers, all of his numbers hold up.
If there's a season to put ahead of 1998 due to being more durable, I think it's 1999 and not 1995. 1999 also deserves to be ahead of 2002 imho. Though there's a strong case for 2002 as he was a more refined offensive player than 1999.

1995 O'Neal is kind of like 1999 Duncan. Great and very complete season but that finals appearance has a certain appeal and that appeal skewing things around a bit.

Very curious about your thoughts.
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.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#14 » by 70sFan » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:31 pm

I've started tracking Shaq and Kareem offensive and defensive tendencies (so far I tracked two 1971 Kareem games and eight 2000 Shaq games) and I can't understand why Shaq and Kareem usually are viewed as comparable defenders to be honest. Kareem crushed him in every single aspect of the defense outside of post defense. He was much more active, more willing to help out, he was a better rim protector and far more mobile on perimeter/P&R situations. On top of that, Kareem's effort was far more consistent - even compared to 2000 Shaq.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#15 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:34 pm

falcolombardi wrote:by scoring i meant scoring per 100/offensive ratings

i was not clear in my wording and you are right that i didnt think of kareem pace advantage as far as boxscore goes

Comparing per 100 numbers is not wise between 1970s and 1990/2000s though. The usage distributions were not the same. The '70s were around 105-110 pace and the early '00s were 90-95 pace, but those extra 20 possessions were used by role players more than the superstars.

If you want to get around of per game numbers, you can compare ppg to usage rates. That'd give you a better sense than comparing per 100 numbers. Though usage% goes back to 1977-78, not available for before due to lack of turnover tracking.
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.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#16 » by Cavsfansince84 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:39 pm

70sFan wrote:I've started tracking Shaq and Kareem offensive and defensive tendencies (so far I tracked two 1971 Kareem games and eight 2000 Shaq games) and I can't understand why Shaq and Kareem usually are viewed as comparable defenders to be honest. Kareem crushed him in every single aspect of the defense outside of post defense. He was much more active, more willing to help out, he was a better rim protector and far more mobile on perimeter/P&R situations. On top of that, Kareem's effort was far more consistent - even compared to 2000 Shaq.


I always felt like Shaq resisted playing defense(which Phil has written on quite a bit) and that his innate muscle mass made it harder on him to give effort on both ends while Kareem had likely embraced the idea of being a defensive anchor under Wooden and so had no problem doing it in the nba and also had a great body type for playing big minutes and giving good effort on defense up until the 80's. Shaq simply was carrying too much weight and muscle to do it for 35+mpg and lacked the mindset to dominate on both ends. I think he even has the quote about not being paid enough to play defense.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#17 » by 70sFan » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:42 pm

Odinn21 wrote:Some thoughts about Shaq;

- 2002 > 1995 > 1998 order looked a bit off to me. Do you think his quality in 2002 was significantly better than 1998 to put it over 1995 which (I assume) ahead of 1998 and 2003 due to durability?

Well, first of all I do think that 7 additional games matter. To be honest, I thought the difference in games played was more than 10, I misremembered that.

For second, I'm not super impressed by Shaq's defense in 1998. On the other hand, was 1995 any better?

1998 was arguably his 2nd best rs performance, he did not have any bad performances in ps minus the first game against Jazz. Shaq's 1998 season is like LeBron's 2009 / Timmy's 2002 plus 22 missed games.
2002 > 1998 > 1995
or
1998 > 2002 > 1995
is looking a bit better, don't you think?
Also his +/- footprint in 1998 seems to be a bit better than 2002 fwiw.

You've made me think about it for the second time. It does seem fair to put 1998 close to 2002. I'll have to think about it for the second time and I'll edit my list when I change my mind.

- We might be underrating 1999 like we do with Timmy's 2006 due to lower production numbers. Shaq's numbers were slightly down but he was still at the very top the league in impact. Something to think about I guess. And it wasn't even an injury, he had different numbers in a system chaos during the season.
Though, Shaq barely played 35 mins a game in 1999 rs, so not exactly a high number in a such team structure. But I feel like discussing about 1999 vs. 1995. His 1999 footprint was also massive (and was also slightly better than 2002, but not as much as 1998).

I guess this is what I will have for O'Neal's top 7 seasons;
1. 2000
2. 2001
3. 1999
4. 1998
5. 2002
6. 2003
7. 1995

1999 is quite tough to place. 34.8 minutes a game is fairly low but he averaged 36.3 mpg in 1998 and 36.1 mpg in 2002. So, it's not that far off from the other competitors. His +/- footprint was solid. His scoring volume was lower but other than points per game numbers, all of his numbers hold up.

I'm extremely low on Shaq's defensive performance in 1999 to be honest. It might be his weakest defensive season of his prime. Lakers were absolutely horrible on that end and Shaq actually had negative defensive on/off.

On top of that, I was extremely disappointed when I watched Shaq's playoffs performance during that season. It's not about his scoring - he did better job against Twin Tower than almost anyone could - it's about his defense. He put up no effort on that end even when Lakers were losing close games.

Maybe I haven't seen enough games from that season or Lakers defensive numbers influence my mind a bit too much, but I can't see 1999 higher than 1998/2002/2003.

If there's a season to put ahead of 1998 due to being more durable, I think it's 1999 and not 1995. 1999 also deserves to be ahead of 2002 imho. Though there's a strong case for 2002 as he was a more refined offensive player than 1999.

Again, I could be wrong but I don't think 1999 is good enough defensively to be compared to 2002. Especially if you think that he was better offensively in 2002.

1995 O'Neal is kind of like 1999 Duncan. Great and very complete season but that finals appearance has a certain appeal and that appeal skewing things around a bit.

Yes, I do have a problem with 1995 season. I probably overrate it a bit, but I don't like seasons with missed games. I'll have to think about it again, I'm already close of taking 1998 over 1995 (possibly 2003 as well). I do struggle with 1999 though.

Very curious about your thoughts.

I am curious about your thoughts of Kareem list as well :wink:
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#18 » by Odinn21 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:24 pm

70sFan wrote:Well, first of all I do think that 7 additional games matter. To be honest, I thought the difference in games played was more than 10, I misremembered that.

For second, I'm not super impressed by Shaq's defense in 1998. On the other hand, was 1995 any better?

7 additional games matter, I'm not saying they don't. But 7 is not big enough to make them incomparable by default, and for whatever reason I thought you took the gap in games played numbers bigger than the reality. So, I wasn't off with that one I guess. :D

1995 Shaq was more interested in sending the ball to row D with his blocks. So, can't say 1995 was any better.

70sFan wrote:I'm extremely low on Shaq's defensive performance in 1999 to be honest. It might be his weakest defensive season of his prime. Lakers were absolutely horrible on that end and Shaq actually had negative defensive on/off.

On top of that, I was extremely disappointed when I watched Shaq's playoffs performance during that season. It's not about his scoring - he did better job against Twin Tower than almost anyone could - it's about his defense. He put up no effort on that end even when Lakers were losing close games.

From 1998 to 2005, 1999 is his 2nd weakest defensive after 2003. He was still a clear positive in D-RAPM but yeah, he wasn't putting much effort on defense. It was more obvious in the playoffs. His regular season wasn't great defensively but it was still fine. As you said though, his performance in the playoffs did not have enough effort.

I might dial back on 1999 because I took his season as a whole and missed regressed defensive effort from rs to ps.

70sFan wrote:Maybe I haven't seen enough games from that season or Lakers defensive numbers influence my mind a bit too much, but I can't see 1999 higher than 1998/2002/2003.

Oh, I'd still take 1999 over 2003 because his defensive effort was even worse in 2003. 2003 was also the season his personality caused a tangible trouble to his team. He didn't take care of his body, he was out of shape. He gradually got fatter after 2002 ring until his last season in LA. He was around 165-170 kg at the start of the season, he wasn't moving at all on defense.

70sFan wrote:Again, I could be wrong but I don't think 1999 is good enough defensively to be compared to 2002. Especially if you think that he was better offensively in 2002.

He was more refined in 2002, yes. But wasn't as active as for movement and playmaking volume.

Comparison in numbers;
1999; +7.5 obpm rs / 6.8 obpm ps & 2nd in rs+ps o-rapm with +5.93 (top 10% o-rapm average +3.24)
2002; +7.1 obpm rs / 6.3 obpm ps & 2nd in rs+ps o-rapm with +4.02 (top 10% o-rapm average +2.43)

Pretty comparable offensive seasons. 1999 vs. 2002 is basically down to defensive worries vs. durability worries.

70sFan wrote:Yes, I do have a problem with 1995 season. I probably overrate it a bit, but I don't like seasons with missed games. I'll have to think about it again, I'm already close of taking 1998 over 1995 (possibly 2003 as well). I do struggle with 1999 though.

I used to have seasons like 1986 Olajuwon, 1995 O'Neal, 1999 Duncan so high but I've changed my perception of these seasons after tracking them. :D
As I said, 1999 is quite tough to place because variance coming from durability issues is making so.

70sFan wrote:I am curious about your thoughts of Kareem list as well :wink:

I'll have a pretty identical list to yours. The only thing I might change is moving 1979 > 1980 order. I've always been high on Kareem's 1980 performance due to offensive versatility he brought.
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.
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#19 » by Narigo » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:49 am

00 Shaq-
77 Kareem- Kareem best year on offense.
76 Kareem- Gets too flak for missing the PS. Kareem in his first season in LA had a higher motor on defense, rim protection and rebounding than his subsequent seasons.
71 Kareem
74 Kareem
01 Shaq
02 Shaq
72 Kareem- Both 72 and 73 versions would have been higher if he played better in the playoffs. Statistically, though this is probably is best regular season
73 Kareem- Excellent regular season but laid an egg in the PS. Got outplayed by Thurmond and lost because of it
79 Kareem
80 Kareem
03 Shaq
Narigo's Fantasy Team

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Sidney Moncrief
SF:
PF: James Worthy
C: Tim Duncan

BE: Robert Horry
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Re: [Project:Primes of the top 10 ever] List the top 12 seasons between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O'Neal 

Post#20 » by 70sFan » Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:45 am

Alright, here is my order (note that I edited my Shaq list in previous post):

1. 1977 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - can't imagine other choice here. Jabbar at his offensive peak wasn't any less intimidating or effective than Shaq. On top of that, his defensive effort and tendencies were clearly more impressive. Prime Shaq never played with as bad team as 1977 Lakers, so we shouldn't put lack of ring against Kareem.

2. 1974 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - I am a bit more impressed by Kareem's skillset in 1977, but he was basically a finished product by 1974. Good RS backed up by dominant postseason run. His performance against 1st Bulls defense is spectacular - you should check it out.

3. 2000 Shaquille O'Neal - by far his best RS, strong defensive effort for his standards and very impressive postseason run. He didn't face any team close to 1972 Lakers, but I give him benefit of doubt.

4. 1972 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - I decided to go with more matured version over 1971. It's the best Kareem RS performance (and one of the best ever period), but he did struggle against Thurmond and Wilt. To his credit, Bucks were injured and Jabbar had to carry his team heavily against GOAT-level team.

5. 1971 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - I think his scoring repertoire improved after this season, but let's be honest - he was already one of the best scorers ever. He had very strong postseason run against weak overall competition, but strong matchups in Thurmond, Wilt and Unseld. I can see him even higher than 2000 Shaq, but I'll give O'Neal the benefit of doubt.

6. 2001 Shaquille O'Neal - you just can't ignore this postseason run, Shaq reached another level during 2001 playoffs. I do struggle to rank him higher because of relatively weak RS, but he was still very impactful anyway. It's certainly enough to be ranked ahead of any non-top 4 Kareem seasons.

7. 1976 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - I know, seasons without playoffs are very hard to judge. That said, I truly believe that prime Kareem was simply better player than any version of Shaq past 2000/01. By all accounts, it was one of his finest defensive seasons and he carried horrible Lakers team to winning record and missed playoffs only because of poor playoff format. I mean, 1976 Lakers with 2002 Shaq in this place would have finished with 35 wins at most. On top of that, although dominant, Shaq's 2002 playoffs wasn't nearly as perfect as his first two titles - he played very mediocre series against Spurs and got clearly outplayed by Duncan. I can't see 1976 Kareem losing h2h battle to the same degree.

8. 1973 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - similar reasoning, Kareem got shut down by Thurmond in playoffs. Is this enough to put him below 2002 Shaq who got shut down by Duncan? I don't think so and Kareem's RS performance is clearly better.

9. 2002 Shaquille O'Neal - even with his struggles in WCSF, I can't deny that his postseson run was impressive.

10. 1980 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - I decided to move 1980 ahead of 1979 due to his postseason run. He faced three elite defensive teams and at no point he struggled to produce elite offense. On top of that, he gave Lakers a lot of versatility on that end. He regressed defensively quite a bit, but it's still better defensive performance than in average prime Shaq year.

11. 1979 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - slightly better RS than 1980, another good postseason run. Unfortunately, his team wasn't as good.

12. 1998 Shaquille O'Neal - yes, he missed a lot of games in RS but it was one of his best seasons per-minute. I can't see rookie Kareem on that level and I don't think 1978 Jabbar was clearly better either.

Clear advantage for Jabbar. It's clear that Shaq's lack of durability hurt him a lot. His 1998 and 2002 seasons could have been higher without missed games. At the same time, Jabbar's 1975 and 1978 season are also hurt here, so it's not like it would completely change the list.

I simply believe that Kareem was better player than Shaq. It's close, but clear for me.

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