Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now?

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Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#1 » by lebron3-14-3 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:40 pm

Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? Even guys like walton, mikan..
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#2 » by falcolombardi » Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:45 am

so essentially a better peak list?
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#3 » by Dupp » Sat Jan 15, 2022 1:04 am

This probably helps bird and magic more than anyone.

I don’t think it hurts Kareem much, like people may suggest.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#4 » by No-more-rings » Sat Jan 15, 2022 1:50 am

I feel like when my list gets up that high, I mostly look at prime anyways and not as much at all the extra seasons. It’s not a significant mix up for me. Kareem definitely isn’t 3rd anymore, I’d give Shaq or Hakeem serious consideration for that spot. I think Curry is likely top 15 whereas if his career ended today he’s maybe around 19 or 20 for me. Karl definitely falls out of the top 20. His average prime level isn’t top 20 at all. Wade makes a significant push for top 15 for me. I don’t think the top 10 changes much aside from a few spots mixed around. Lebron and MJ are still top 2 obviously.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#5 » by 70sFan » Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:32 am

No-more-rings wrote:I feel like when my list gets up that high, I mostly look at prime anyways and not as much at all the extra seasons. It’s not a significant mix up for me. Kareem definitely isn’t 3rd anymore, I’d give Shaq or Hakeem serious consideration for that spot. I think Curry is likely top 15 whereas if his career ended today he’s maybe around 19 or 20 for me. Karl definitely falls out of the top 20. His average prime level isn’t top 20 at all. Wade makes a significant push for top 15 for me. I don’t think the top 10 changes much aside from a few spots mixed around. Lebron and MJ are still top 2 obviously.

So based on bolded part, you believe that Shaq and Hakeem had definitely higher quality primes than Kareem. Why do you think so? I don't find it clear at all.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#6 » by 70sFan » Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:36 am

It would help the case for Bird and Curry, who are outside my top 10 because of longevity. They could drop KG from the 10th spot.

It would probably make me choose Bill Russell as the GOAT. Jordan might be ranked ahead of James, though I'd have to think about it.

Hakeem and Duncan would be a very tough debate. Shaq wouldn't gain that much - he would still have durability issues.

Of course Bill Walton would fight for top 10 rank, but it's not realistic to assume good longevity from him.

Wade vs Kobe would be a great debate.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#7 » by ty 4191 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:01 pm

70sFan wrote:It would help the case for Bird and Curry, who are outside my top 10 because of longevity. They could drop KG from the 10th spot.

It would probably make me choose Bill Russell as the GOAT. Jordan might be ranked ahead of James, though I'd have to think about it.

Hakeem and Duncan would be a very tough debate. Shaq wouldn't gain that much - he would still have durability issues.

Of course Bill Walton would fight for top 10 rank, but it's not realistic to assume good longevity from him.

Wade vs Kobe would be a great debate.


I guess this begs the question: Which 5 players have the greatest peak value in NBA history?

How does one define "peak"?
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#8 » by Dutchball97 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:25 pm

In general I think we mostly see modern players with finished careers hurt by this. Compared to most older or active players they generally hold significant longevity advantages. Karl Malone would definitely drop out of the top 20, Dirk would probably too. Kobe would not have a case for top 10 anymore. KG and Duncan I'm not sure because longevity is a big part of their arguments but a decade of 02/03 Duncan or 04 KG would easily be top 10 still.

The biggest benefactors would be guys with insane peaks but severely lacking longevity. Mikan and Walton are of course moving up massively in this scenario. Besides that I think Wade and Kawhi probably become top 20 players as well.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#9 » by penbeast0 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:28 pm

Hawkins? AS we assume he doesn't get that knee injury in his second actual ABA season; we also may get his 20s when he was barred from playing after being ABL MVP at 19.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#10 » by jamaalstar21 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:42 pm

penbeast0 wrote:Hawkins? AS we assume he doesn't get that knee injury in his second actual ABA season; we also may get his 20s when he was barred from playing after being ABL MVP at 19.


Not Tmac imo. The injuries ruining his career is by far the biggest factor, but even in his brief peak there were weird holes in his game that he wasn't addressing. He had major shot selections problems. He never a good finisher, despite his athleticism. For a guy who routinely would get 60% of his his FGA from beyond 16 feet, he was never an elite shooter there. He was one of those crazy talents that could get any shot he wanted (for a couple seasons) but never learned which shots were best for him.

I think you take away the injuries and we get a longer prime, and who knows maybe that gives him more chances to learn and adapt his game. But he showed no evidence of being the kind of player who had that mindset. My guess is a healthy Tmac is getting a lot of criticism nowadays, very much like a Carmelo. Mega talent who was a little too in love with his pull-up jumpers and didn't develop the other parts of his game. Tmac was a better passer than Carmelo I'll admit.

(when did the injuries start chipping away at Tmac? I don't want to mitigate his injuries if they started earlier than I remember. I'm looking at games played which suggests 2006, and my earliest memory of Tmac injuries was back spasms. Knee and shoulder surgeries started in...2008? A bunch of smaller injuries in between had him perpetually banged up even when it wasn't a major injury.)
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#11 » by No-more-rings » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:43 pm

70sFan wrote:
No-more-rings wrote:I feel like when my list gets up that high, I mostly look at prime anyways and not as much at all the extra seasons. It’s not a significant mix up for me. Kareem definitely isn’t 3rd anymore, I’d give Shaq or Hakeem serious consideration for that spot. I think Curry is likely top 15 whereas if his career ended today he’s maybe around 19 or 20 for me. Karl definitely falls out of the top 20. His average prime level isn’t top 20 at all. Wade makes a significant push for top 15 for me. I don’t think the top 10 changes much aside from a few spots mixed around. Lebron and MJ are still top 2 obviously.

So based on bolded part, you believe that Shaq and Hakeem had definitely higher quality primes than Kareem. Why do you think so? I don't find it clear at all.

I didn’t intend to imply there’s some big gap at all, but with those 2 looking at what they did i tend to favor Shaq’s playoff performances pre-2000 than pre-1977 of Kareem. He just seemed more consistent. I get Kareem faced some great defenders but so did Shaq like squaring off against Hakeem, Duncan, Drob etc. Also i’m taking the thread idea to mean these guys have equal longevity thus equal health. Maybe that’s not the intent though. Also, I don’t think you can point to a 4 straight years of sustained playoff dominance that compares to 2000-03 Shaq anywhere in Kareem’s career. If you think it’s there i’d like to see it. Shaq also peaked in probably the toughest defensive era post shot clock in that 99-04 period.

Hakeem vs Kareem feels like a less natural comparison since Hakeem’s impact skewed more defense than offense. Hakeem at least in the playoffs floor raised more than almost anyone, and his 94 playoff run was just insanely legendary probably better than any playoff run from Kareem.

Kareem with the same longevity as anyone else, is just not a shoe-in for the top 3. I think Shaq, Hakeem, and Wilt all give him fits. Duncan falls a bit short I admit.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#12 » by 70sFan » Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:51 pm

No-more-rings wrote:I didn’t intend to imply there’s some big gap at all, but with those 2 looking at what they did i tend to favor Shaq’s playoff performances pre-2000 than pre-1977 of Kareem. He just seemed more consistent.

Is he? That's a legit question, because I don't think it's as clear as you imply.

1. The main argument against Kareem here are his series against Thurmond in 1972 and 1973. It's fair to criticize him for them, but even then here are the stats of both:

1970-76 Kareem in playoffs: 29.7 ppg, 16.8 rpg, 4.0 apg on 51.0 FG%, 69.9 FT% and 54.0 TS%, 25.5 PER and .236 WS/48

1993-99 Shaq in playoffs: 26.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 3.3 apg on 57.0 FG%, 51.6 FT% and 57.3 TS%, 27.7 PER and .180 WS/48

Shaq scored on higher efficiency (not a big difference given era adjustments) but on notably lower volume (again, it's fair to include pace adjustments as well). Kareem was still a notably better rebounder though (even with pace adjustments) and better passer. On top of that, he was much better defender, which leads us to second point...

2. Shaq's defense was incredibly inconsistent during that time. I know that we can't just judge players defense based on team results, but these numbers don't put him in a good perspective:

Spoiler:
1994 Pacers RS: 107.8 ORtg
1994 Pacers vs Magic: 111.8 ORtg
rDRtg: +3.0

1995 Celtics RS: 108.6 ORtg
1995 Celtics vs Magic: 100.1 ORtg
rDRtg: -8.5

1995 Bulls RS: 109.5 ORtg
1995 Bulls vs Magic: 99.8 ORtg
rDRtg: -9.7

1995 Pacers RS: 109.7 ORtg
1995 Pacers vs Magic: 119.9 ORtg
rDRtg: +10.2

1995 Rockets RS: 109.7 ORtg
1995 Pacers vs Magic: 117.1 ORtg
rDRtg: +7.4

1996 Pistons RS: 107.9 ORtg
1996 Pistons vs Magic: 108.3 ORtg
rDRtg: +0.4

1996 Hawks RS: 109.4 ORtg
1996 Pistons vs Magic: 112.1 ORtg
rDRtg: +2.7

1996 Bulls RS: 115.2 ORtg
1996 Buills vs Magic: 118.8 ORtg
rDRtg: +3.6

1997 Blazers RS: 107.9 ORtg
1997 Blazers vs Lakers: 105.3 ORtg
rDRtg: -2.6

1997 Jazz RS: 113.6 ORtg
1997 Jazz vs Lakers: 111.0 ORtg
rDRtg: -2.6

1998 Blazers RS: 104.0 ORtg
1998 Blazers vs Lakers: 109.7 ORtg
rDRtg: +5.7

1998 Sonics RS: 111.6 ORtg
1998 Sonics vs Lakers: 111.9 ORtg
rDRtg: +0.9

1998 Jazz RS: 112.7 ORtg
1998 Jazz vs Lakers: 116.1 ORtg
rDRtg: +3.4

1999 Rockets RS: 105.4 ORtg
1999 Rockets vs Lakers: 106.9 ORtg
rDRtg: +1.5

1999 Spurs RS: 104.0 ORtg
1999 Spurs vs Lakers: 106.6 ORtg
rDRtg: +2.6


It looks really bad. Outside of the early rounds of 1995, Shaq never led strong defensive team in the postseason and more often than not, teams scored much better against his teams than in RS.

3. What makes Shaq actually more consistent in postseason in given seasons? When we look at disappointing performances from both, I can count two for Kareem (1972 vs Warriors and 1973 vs Warriors) and 3 for Shaq (1994 vs Pacers, 1997 vs Jazz and 1999 vs Spurs). I guess you can include 1972 vs Lakers as well, but then I'd add 1996 vs Bulls and 1998 vs Jazz (horrible defensive performance). 3 out of 11 series isn't more than 5 out of 15.

I get Kareem faced some great defenders but so did Shaq like squaring off against Hakeem, Duncan, Drob etc.

Shaq didn't look that consistent against Spurs though. Neither he did against Ostertag. He did well vs Hakeem, but so did Kareem vs Cowens and Reed.

Also, I don’t think you can point to a 4 straight years of sustained playoff dominance that compares to 2000-03 Shaq anywhere in Kareem’s career.

If you think it’s there i’d like to see it. Shaq also peaked in probably the toughest defensive era post shot clock in that 99-04 period.

Why does it have to be straight years? By this logic, LeBron can't compare to Shaq either because he had some weaker showings in all 4 years sample you can find (2011 for 2009-12, 2015 for 2012-15 or 2015-18, no playoffs in 2019 for 2016-19).

Kareem has a lot of postseason runs comparable to three peat Shaq (1970, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980).

As for defenses, we can always adjust for that.

Hakeem vs Kareem feels like a less natural comparison since Hakeem’s impact skewed more defense than offense. Hakeem at least in the playoffs floor raised more than almost anyone, and his 94 playoff run was just insanely legendary probably better than any playoff run from Kareem.

I don't think I'd call 1994 Hakeem postseason better than 1974 or 1977 Kareem. I think it's close, but from watching both of them last year, I think that Jabbar in 1977 was more complete player than 1994 Hakeem and he played on the higher level.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#13 » by Fundamentals21 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:43 pm

You suddenly put Bill Walton in, maybe Dwyane Wade or Tracy McGrady too.

Outside of that, the list doesn't change too much.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#14 » by No-more-rings » Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:37 pm

70sFan wrote:
1. The main argument against Kareem here are his series against Thurmond in 1972 and 1973. It's fair to criticize him for them, but even then here are the stats of both:


I don't think Thurmond had the lower body strength to make life hard for Shaq.

70sFan wrote:1970-76 Kareem in playoffs: 29.7 ppg, 16.8 rpg, 4.0 apg on 51.0 FG%, 69.9 FT% and 54.0 TS%, 25.5 PER and .236 WS/48

1993-99 Shaq in playoffs: 26.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 3.3 apg on 57.0 FG%, 51.6 FT% and 57.3 TS%, 27.7 PER and .180 WS/48

Shaq scored on higher efficiency (not a big difference given era adjustments) but on notably lower volume (again, it's fair to include pace adjustments as well). Kareem was still a notably better rebounder though (even with pace adjustments) and better passer. On top of that, he was much better defender, which leads us to second point...

2. Shaq's defense was incredibly inconsistent during that time. I know that we can't just judge players defense based on team results, but these numbers don't put him in a good perspective:

Spoiler:
1994 Pacers RS: 107.8 ORtg
1994 Pacers vs Magic: 111.8 ORtg
rDRtg: +3.0

1995 Celtics RS: 108.6 ORtg
1995 Celtics vs Magic: 100.1 ORtg
rDRtg: -8.5

1995 Bulls RS: 109.5 ORtg
1995 Bulls vs Magic: 99.8 ORtg
rDRtg: -9.7

1995 Pacers RS: 109.7 ORtg
1995 Pacers vs Magic: 119.9 ORtg
rDRtg: +10.2

1995 Rockets RS: 109.7 ORtg
1995 Pacers vs Magic: 117.1 ORtg
rDRtg: +7.4

1996 Pistons RS: 107.9 ORtg
1996 Pistons vs Magic: 108.3 ORtg
rDRtg: +0.4

1996 Hawks RS: 109.4 ORtg
1996 Pistons vs Magic: 112.1 ORtg
rDRtg: +2.7

1996 Bulls RS: 115.2 ORtg
1996 Buills vs Magic: 118.8 ORtg
rDRtg: +3.6

1997 Blazers RS: 107.9 ORtg
1997 Blazers vs Lakers: 105.3 ORtg
rDRtg: -2.6

1997 Jazz RS: 113.6 ORtg
1997 Jazz vs Lakers: 111.0 ORtg
rDRtg: -2.6

1998 Blazers RS: 104.0 ORtg
1998 Blazers vs Lakers: 109.7 ORtg
rDRtg: +5.7

1998 Sonics RS: 111.6 ORtg
1998 Sonics vs Lakers: 111.9 ORtg
rDRtg: +0.9

1998 Jazz RS: 112.7 ORtg
1998 Jazz vs Lakers: 116.1 ORtg
rDRtg: +3.4

1999 Rockets RS: 105.4 ORtg
1999 Rockets vs Lakers: 106.9 ORtg
rDRtg: +1.5

1999 Spurs RS: 104.0 ORtg
1999 Spurs vs Lakers: 106.6 ORtg
rDRtg: +2.6


That's fine to think Kareem is a better and more consistent defender, but think Shaq's offensive impact and warping of defenses is just higher. We don't have per 100 possessions numbers pre-74 for Kareem's career, but comparing those years and on to Shaq, the raw number advantage looks less impressive. And based on their free throw draw rate, i see no reason to believe Kareem was putting the same type of foul pressure on front courts.

Kareem also got a lot of those numbers beating down weak frontcourts like that of the Sixers, Bullets, Bulls, Lakers(post Wilt),and Celtics(74). He generally folded against Thurmond, he had a great series against Wilt who was a shell of his former self, but I think generally you'd have to say Shaq was accustomed to facing bigger and stronger front courts I don't see how it's even debatable really. I'm not convinced Kareem is a better rebounder really btw. His rebounding numbers relative to some others don't seem as impressive, this is a time when guys like Unseld or Gus Johnson could average 17 RPG. Old man Wilt was still capable of 18-19 per game. I fail to see how Shaq doesn't average 16+ himself. Guys like Reed and Unseld are not a match for Shaq in the post i mean come on. Ben Wallace couldn't guard Shaq, so i doubt Unseld could.


70sFan wrote:It looks really bad. Outside of the early rounds of 1995, Shaq never led strong defensive team in the postseason and more often than not, teams scored much better against his teams than in RS.


Yeah but on the contrary, Shaq's team ORTG from 97-01 was one of the best ever according to Elgee's work. And outside of 2001 in that span Shaq's help on offense seems unimpressive.

70sFan wrote:3. What makes Shaq actually more consistent in postseason in given seasons? When we look at disappointing performances from both, I can count two for Kareem (1972 vs Warriors and 1973 vs Warriors) and 3 for Shaq (1994 vs Pacers, 1997 vs Jazz and 1999 vs Spurs). I guess you can include 1972 vs Lakers as well, but then I'd add 1996 vs Bulls and 1998 vs Jazz (horrible defensive performance). 3 out of 11 series isn't more than 5 out of 15.


So i don't think i'd count 1994, it was 3 games and Shaq was 21 years old up against two good defenders one of which was 7'4.

The 97 series seems likely more due to Shaq's meh conditioning that year, it was far from one of his healthier seasons. Besides Shaq the following year put up 32/9 against the same team.


70sFan wrote:Shaq didn't look that consistent against Spurs though. Neither he did against Ostertag. He did well vs Hakeem, but so did Kareem vs Cowens and Reed.


The 99 Spurs were like probably the best defense ever, I guess depending how you compare them to some of Russell's squads but a 95 DRTG was just insane for that time. I'm not confident in pre-peak Kareem doing all that great against that team either.


70sFan wrote:Why does it have to be straight years? By this logic, LeBron can't compare to Shaq either because he had some weaker showings in all 4 years sample you can find (2011 for 2009-12, 2015 for 2012-15 or 2015-18, no playoffs in 2019 for 2016-19).


I'm not saying it has to be, but shouldn't Shaq get a lot of credit for being able to have 3 straight deep runs plus 2 more series with sustained excellence?


70sFan wrote:Kareem has a lot of postseason runs comparable to three peat Shaq (1970, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980).


71 isn't on that level, and 77 is too short of a sample that ended in a sweep anyway.


70sFan wrote:I don't think I'd call 1994 Hakeem postseason better than 1974 or 1977 Kareem. I think it's close, but from watching both of them last year, I think that Jabbar in 1977 was more complete player than 1994 Hakeem and he played on the higher level.

I don't care who was "more complete" per say. I don't see any version of Kareem taking a cast like that to the title, and Hakeem doing work on that Knick defense while also shutting down Ewing at the same time was really something else.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#15 » by 70sFan » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:22 pm

No-more-rings wrote:I don't think Thurmond had the lower body strength to make life hard for Shaq.

I hear it all the time, but Thurmond made life hard for Wilt and it's not like smaller defenders (Duncan, Hakeem) didn;t make life hard for Shaq. Size isn't everything, Thurmond had amazing length and defensive footwork as well.

That's fine to think Kareem is a better and more consistent defender, but think Shaq's offensive impact and warping of defenses is just higher. We don't have per 100 possessions numbers pre-74 for Kareem's career, but comparing those years and on to Shaq, the raw number advantage looks less impressive. And based on their free throw draw rate, i see no reason to believe Kareem was putting the same type of foul pressure on front courts.

Well, Kareem didn't draw fouls to the same degree as Shaq, but his warping defense effect was just as visible when you watch footage.

We all know that Kareem was fantastic defender in Milwaukee. It's backed up by team results, tracking games and impact metrics. To say that Shaq's offensive impact his higher than defensive impact, you assume that there is some kind of astronomical difference on offense. I just can't agree with that - Kareem was clearly better defender than Shaq (it's not up to debate), while it's very debatable who was better on offensive end.

Kareem also got a lot of those numbers beating down weak frontcourts like that of the Sixers, Bullets, Bulls, Lakers(post Wilt),and Celtics(74).

Bullets frontcourt wasn't weak - they had two very strong, though undersized, defenders in Gus Johnson and Wes Unseld. Celtics frontcourt wasn't weak either - Cowens was very strong man defender.

By this logic, I'll say that Shaq got a lot of those numbers beating down weak frontcourt like Bulls, Celtics, Pistons, Hawks or Sonics. It's pointless to cherry pick this way...

He generally folded against Thurmond, he had a great series against Wilt who was a shell of his former self, but I think generally you'd have to say Shaq was accustomed to facing bigger and stronger front courts I don't see how it's even debatable really.

What bigger and stronger frontcourt Shaq faced than 1971 and 1972 Lakers with Wilt, who was still MVP candidate and fantastic defender? During that period, Shaq faced only three big defenders - Smits, old Sabonis and Ostertag. He struggled against Smits and Ostertag.

You also have this strange criteria that bigger frontcourt means better. It's not true, Hakeem was better than any other center Shaq faced during that time and he was undersized. I'd take peak Willis Reed to fight against Shaq over old Sabonis with shattered knees and no stability.

I'm not convinced Kareem is a better rebounder really btw. His rebounding numbers relative to some others don't seem as impressive, this is a time when guys like Unseld or Gus Johnson could average 17 RPG. Old man Wilt was still capable of 18-19 per game. I fail to see how Shaq doesn't average 16+ himself.

1. Kareem was far more consistent defensive rebounder than Shaq. O'Neal has the edge in offensive rebounding. It's up to you to decide what's more important, but the gap between them isn't massive in any direction.

2. Shaq played in an era when Rodman averaged 18 rpg. What a horrible era...

3. Old man Wilt was one of the best rebounders ever. I mean, when you watch him on the court it's clear that he had far better instinct and anticipation on the glass than Shaq.

4. Shaq averaged during that period almost identical TRB% in RS (and worse in playoffs) as Kareem. To assume that he'd be better rebounder, you'd have to prove that teams were worse at rebounding the ball on average in the 1970s. I don't see any reason to believe that.

Guys like Reed and Unseld are not a match for Shaq in the post i mean come on. Ben Wallace couldn't guard Shaq, so i doubt Unseld could.

Wallace didn't play against 1994-99 Shaq from what I know. There had been plenty of centers of Reed size in the 1990s and it's not like Shaq destroyed them. Reed was only one inch shorter than Hakeem and was slightly heavier. He was basically the size of Mourning.

Yeah but on the contrary, Shaq's team ORTG from 97-01 was one of the best ever according to Elgee's work. And outside of 2001 in that span Shaq's help on offense seems unimpressive.

1. You shouldn't use 2000 and 2001 in this comparison, because you said that Shaq was more impressive pre-2000 than Kareem pre-1977.

2. It's a moot point. We all know that Shaq was amazing offensive player, but we're comparing him to another amazing offensive player in Kareem. As I said before, it's not clear that Shaq was better offensively than Kareem at all and defensive gap is massive. It would be like saying "who cares that Magic had some inconsistencies on defense against LeBron, his offense was amazing" (I know that the defensive gap is larger in my example, but my point stands).

So i don't think i'd count 1994, it was 3 games and Shaq was 21 years old up against two good defenders one of which was 7'4.

Kareem was 22 years old rookie when he faced one of the greatest defensive teams ever and MVP Willis Reed, yet he averaged 34/18/5 on ridiculous efficiency against him. Shaq was a sophomore and although Pacers frontcourt was strong, their overall defense pales in comparison to 1970 Knicks swarming defense.

The 97 series seems likely more due to Shaq's meh conditioning that year, it was far from one of his healthier seasons.

Sorry but this is an excuse. I never mentioned Kareem's injury in the first round of 1972 to explain his weak game. Besides, it's Shaq's fault that he couldn't stay in form throughout the season.

Besides Shaq the following year put up 32/9 against the same team.

While being torched on the other side of the floor...

The 99 Spurs were like probably the best defense ever, I guess depending how you compare them to some of Russell's squads but a 95 DRTG was just insane for that time. I'm not confident in pre-peak Kareem doing all that great against that team either

It's true that Spurs were amazing. Stats-wise, 1970 Knicks and 1972 Lakers are comparable. You can argue that Spurs were better equipped to deal with Shaq than other teams, though I'd probably give the edge for 1972 Lakers with 310 lbs Wilt under the basket.

That said, I'd say that Kareem did better against both Knicks and Lakers compared to Shaq vs Spurs. Then you should also keep in mind that Shaq played poor defensive series again, at least Kareem's defensive effort would be considerably higher even if his offensive production would suffer.

I'm not saying it has to be, but shouldn't Shaq get a lot of credit for being able to have 3 straight deep runs plus 2 more series with sustained excellence?

Of course he should get credit for that. Never said he shouldn't.

71 isn't on that level, and 77 is too short of a sample that ended in a sweep anyway.

1971 isn't on a level of 2002? Based on what? Did you forget how bad Shaq played against Spurs in the playoffs? His series against Kings is also a mixed bag - sure, he was unstoppable but Kings again took advantage of his weak defense.

Kareem wasn't forced to do a lot in 1971, but he had very strong series against Thurmond and Bucks basically destroyed their competition.

1977 is too short compared to 2003? Why does it matter that it ended in a sweep? Have you watched this series (we have three out of four games available)? Kareem played arguably better basketball against Portland than Shaq ever did...

I don't care who was "more complete" per say. I don't see any version of Kareem taking a cast like that to the title, and Hakeem doing work on that Knick defense while also shutting down Ewing at the same time was really something else.

Sorry but this argument has no value to me. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not possible. I think you vastly underrated how much Kareem was capable of on basketball court. He was much better creator than Hakeem, he was a better scorer and he played more within a flow of the game. He wasn't as good defender as Hakeem, but I think you should rewatch some of Suns games from that season - Hakeem at that point wasn't in his physical peak anymore and KJ torched him on P&Rs consistently throughout the series.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#16 » by ty 4191 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:08 pm

70sFan wrote:Sorry but this argument has no value to me. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not possible. I think you vastly underrated how much Kareem was capable of on basketball court.


Is the argument being proffered here seriously that Hakeem and Shaq were better/more valuable than Kareem during their primes?

Regular Season, PER, 1971-1981 (Min 20000 MP):

KAJ: 27.1
Lanier: 22.6
McAdoo: 21.8
Barry: 19.6
Archibald: 19.0

Kareem led in PER 7 times in 9 years from 71-80 in the RS.

Playoffs, PER, 71-81, (Min 2000 MP):
KAJ: 26.1
Erving: 22.0
Frazier: 21.9
Hayes; 19.3
Havlicek: 17.4

Kareem led in PER 8 times out of 10 seasons.

Other Metrics:
--Kareem led in Win Shares 9 times in 11 years in the RS, and 4 times in the playoffs.

--Kareem led in BPM the first 6 years it was tracked, VORP the first 7 years it was tracked in the RS. He led BPM 4 times in 5 years in the playoffs once it was tracked, and VORP twice.

Hakeem Olajuwon never led in the RS in PER. He led in the playoffs twice in his career.

Hakeem never led in Win Shares, BPM, or VORP in either the RS in his career. He led once in BPM in the playoffs and led twice in VORP.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#17 » by ty 4191 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:18 pm

Shaq, 1995-2005:

Regular Season:
--Led in PER 5 times.

--Led Win Shares twice.

--Led in BMP 4 times.

--Led in VORP once.

Playoffs:
--Led in PER 4 times.

--Led in WS 3 times.

--Led in BPM 0 times.

--Led in VORP twice.

This is an amazing, dominant run given the number of teams in the league.

Still it is totally dwarfed by what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did in his prime. It's laughable to even compare Hakeem or Shaq at their respective bests to Kareem at his best.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#18 » by Sign5 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:44 pm

Wade becomes top 15.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#19 » by penbeast0 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:49 pm

ty 4191 wrote:
70sFan wrote:.
.


Kareem was much more dominant in his prime era than Hakeem was in his. That said, the 70s are the weakest era in basketball history since the league became integrated. It could be that's a factor as well.
“Most people use statistics like a drunk man uses a lamppost; more for support than illumination,” Andrew Lang.
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Re: Assume every players has average longevity. What does the top 20 look like now? 

Post#20 » by ty 4191 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:02 pm

penbeast0 wrote:
ty 4191 wrote:
70sFan wrote:.
.
That said, the 70s are the weakest era in basketball history since the league became integrated.


You're basing this on what, though?

I ran a little study. Standard deviation of winning percentage. I went through every single year from 1960-2021.

Code: Select all

Year   Standard Deviation of Winning Percentage   
1960   0.175   
1961   0.135   Expansion Year: Packers Added
1962   0.157   
1963   0.151   
1964   0.157   
1965   0.153   
1966   0.128   
1967   0.165   ABA Added, Rockets, Supersonics Added
1968   0.163   Expansion: Bucks, Suns Added
1969   0.147   
Decade Average    0.153   
      
Year   Standard Deviation of Winning Percentage   
1970   0.116   Expansion: Clippers, Cavaliers, Trailblazers Added
1971   0.141   
1972   0.181   
1973   0.192   
1974   0.129   
1975   0.114   
1976   0.102   Expansion: Jazz Added
1977   0.096   Merger: Nuggets, Pacers, Nets, Spurs Added
1978   0.109   
1979   0.101   
Decade Average    0.128   
      
Year   Standard Deviation of Winning Percentage   
1980   0.149   
1981   0.157   Expansion: Mavericks Added
1982   0.149   
1983   0.158   
1984   0.112   
1985   0.143   
1986   0.141   
1987   0.151   
1988   0.154   
1989   0.159   Expansion: Pellcans, Heat Added
Decade Average    0.147   
      
Year   Standard Deviation of Winning Percentage   
1990   0.171   Expansion: Timberwolves, Magic Added
1991   0.155   
1992   0.156   
1993   0.155   
1994   0.174   
1995   0.158   
1996   0.168   Expansion: Raptors, Grizzlies Added
1997   0.188   
1998   0.186   
1999   0.157   
Decade Average    0.167   
      
Year   Standard Deviation of Winning Pecentage   
2000   0.158   
2001   0.154   
2002   0.136   
2003   0.142   
2004   0.134   
2005   0.153   Expansion: Hornets Added
2006   0.134   
2007   0.13   
2008   0.166   
2009   0.169   
Decade Average    0.148   
      
Year   Standard Deviation of Winning Percentage   
2010   0.16   
2011   0.158   
2012   0.154   
2013   0.153   
2014   0.155   
2015   0.161   
2016   0.166   
2017   0.134   
2018   0.147   
2019   0.144   
Decade Average    0.153   
      
Year   Standard Deviation of Winning Percentage   
2020   0.152   
2021   0.137   
Decade Average   0.144   


I always thought Kareem played in a weak league (along with everyone else between 1967-1976).

It turns out this is very likely not true.

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