The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby gcclaker on Thu May 30, 2013 3:04 pm

^On Malone's passing, I thought he was underrated in that aspect. I saw him full time in 2004 with the Lakers and was impressed on how he found cutters when he operated on the elbows or dumped it off to O'Neal with his interior passing. Malone knew where his teammates were going to be and just zipped it there.

At that age of 39, it was amazing how Malone could change ends while challenging O'Neal to keep up with him and on the backboards too. That Scot Williams...damn.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby JGC on Thu May 30, 2013 7:05 pm

I agree that Duncan is a perfect example of how athleticism is entirely overrated here. It's funny, people keep talking about how the league has changed and you have to be quick and athletic, etc but you've got Indiana and San Antonio on the verge of meeting in the finals and they're both "dump it inside" type slow teams that aren't quick and athletic at all.

Now I'm not really sure I agree that he is the Tom Brady of the NBA, but, I get the point and to a degree, I do agree with it. I'm not going to say athleticism isn't necessary, but to me it has always been more of a plus that is unfortunately emphasized over basic fundamentals.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Kasumi on Thu May 30, 2013 7:13 pm

If you want a good laugh, there is a hilarious outtake in The Jane Austen Book Club (movie) about TD:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xeghtm_going-off-on-tim-duncan-in-the-jane_sport#.UagGWUApYrU
(warning: language)
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Iceberg Slim on Fri May 31, 2013 7:29 am

There are many forgotten "greats" that belong much much higher on those lists of "top players" and they don't get that recognition because of the emphasis put on winning championships. If you have to have one championship to be the best at a position it then narrows your player choices to just 17 teams.... and only 9 since 1980.


Fair enough. But name those guys for me.

Because when I look at the top 5...

1. Kareem/MJ
2. Magic
3. Bill Russell
4. Wilt
5. Kobe

I can't think of any players in the history of the league (who don't have rings) who could crack that top 5 if they in fact did have 2-3 rings. Individually, those guys are too dominant in their own right. Maybe only Elgin Baylor. And he's not getting top billing over Kobe or Wilt.

6. Tim Duncan
7. Larry Bird
8. Shaquille O'neal
9. Moses Malone
10.Oscar Robertson


That's my 10. Now from 11-20, rings vs. no ring guys can shift many positions.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Rooscooter on Fri May 31, 2013 8:31 am

Iceberg Slim wrote:
There are many forgotten "greats" that belong much much higher on those lists of "top players" and they don't get that recognition because of the emphasis put on winning championships. If you have to have one championship to be the best at a position it then narrows your player choices to just 17 teams.... and only 9 since 1980.


Fair enough. But name those guys for me.

Because when I look at the top 5...

1. Kareem/MJ
2. Magic
3. Bill Russell
4. Wilt
5. Kobe

I can't think of any players in the history of the league (who don't have rings) who could crack that top 5 if they in fact did have 2-3 rings. Individually, those guys are too dominant in their own right. Maybe only Elgin Baylor. And he's not getting top billing over Kobe or Wilt.

6. Tim Duncan
7. Larry Bird
8. Shaquille O'neal
9. Moses Malone
10.Oscar Robertson


That's my 10. Now from 11-20, rings vs. no ring guys can shift many positions.


I thought the subject was positional "Top Lists".

I know I take a different line than most on these lists anyway.

Elgin Baylor was one of the most influential players ever and changed how the game was played. He has a ring but it's largely ceremonial. Pete Maravich is one of the greatest wing players ever as well... if you add in what he did at the Division 1 level in college he's one of the greatest players ever in a lot of metrics. He was revolutionary and guys like Magic and Jordan were heavily influenced by how he approached the wing/guard position.

George Gervin has to be in a top 10 at his position and he doesn't have a ring.
What Alan Iverson was able to do has to put him fairly high on some lists.
Patrick Ewing is another one that was a great player... top 10 at his position? Maybe not but a great player none the less.
Karl Malone
Dominique Wilkins
Bob Lanier
John Stockton
Dave Bing
Walt Bellamy
Nate Thurmond
Charles Barkley
Reggie Miller
Dan Issel
Alex English
Artis Gilmore

One of my pet peeves is the weight a championship carries in getting into the HOF. Guys like Parrish, Worthy and a number of others were first ballot HOFers.... while Wilkens and Gilmore were much better players that were not. There are a lot of "coattail" HOFers out there....
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Iceberg Slim on Fri May 31, 2013 8:35 am

Malone vs. Duncan

This debate is an interesting one. Malone's scoring is unmatched. In his prime from 88-93, he averaged roughly 30 and 11. That's simply incredible. And his jumpshot was the best of any power forward ever.

But I'll ask a few questions.

1.Could you consider Karl Malone a defensive anchor like Duncan was for the Spurs?

2. Outside of the free throw line, could you consider Karl Malone as clutch as Tim Duncan was throughout his career?

3. In a post season game could Karl Malone ever record stats like 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds, like Duncan did in the close out Finals game in 2003?

Question (1) speaks to Duncan's versatility as great man-on-man defender and weak-side shot blocker. Basketball I.Q. wise, only a few men are better than him and they're all considered geniuses'.

Question (2) speaks to Duncan's ability to not only grind out post points/bank shots for go ahead baskets (before Fisher's miracle 0.4 buzzer-beater, do you remember the shot that put the Lakers down in the first place?) his knack for getting the big steal, block, or defensive play was uncanny. He became known for it. I don't think we can say the same for Malone throughout his 20 year career.

Question (3) speaks to Duncan's overall versatility and depth of his game. Passing out of the post, they're even. Their offensive systems require the big man to able to see passing lanes. They were both phenomenal. But Duncan's game had more layers of talent, imo. In fact, he's ranked 9th overall in NBA history in efficiency. He rebounded as well as Malone, passed out the post as well, but was more clutch and a better defender.

I did a bit of homework on Malone's defense accomplishments. He was selected for First-Team All-Defense for the first time in his career in 1997. 4 total selections, 3 of them First-Team. Duncan has 14 All Defense Selections, 8 of them First-Team.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Rooscooter on Fri May 31, 2013 8:54 am

^^A quick answer based on some things I've noted between the two,

Duncan's consistency in the playoffs has been questionable. In their runs to championships he's been great... he's also had some real stinker runs as well. His free throw shooting against the Lakers in a couple memorable series cost them.

Malone was a model of consistency as you noted. Did he "carry" Utah to the championships those years? He was a huge reason along with Stockton. Those teams were not that talented beyond those two.

Defense. If you look at stats it will tell you Duncan is better (I hate the blocked shot as a defensive metric, but it's not for this thread) if you look at how each played position defense it's a lot closer IMO. Duncan was asked to be a major help defender on his teams.... those Utah teams had those monsters in the middle who's only job was defense.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Iceberg Slim on Fri May 31, 2013 9:17 am

Just to add another wrinkle to this thread, Bomani Jones from ESPN wrote this for The Shadow League website. Whereas I speak on Duncan and society's ills, he focuses on the Spurs team as a whole. Good read.

http://theshadowleague.com/articles/nobody-checks-for-the-spurs-because-they-ve-made-it-that-way
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Finwë on Fri May 31, 2013 9:19 am

Iceberg Slim wrote:[i]Malone vs. Duncan

And his jumpshot was the best of any power forward ever.

What about Dirk? I think he should be considered arguably the best shooting big man (and he played PF) ever.

KG also had/has a sweet jumpshot.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Rooscooter on Fri May 31, 2013 11:02 am

Finwë wrote:
Iceberg Slim wrote:[i]Malone vs. Duncan

And his jumpshot was the best of any power forward ever.

What about Dirk? I think he should be considered arguably the best shooting big man (and he played PF) ever.

KG also had/has a sweet jumpshot.


Do some research on Dan Issel before you make it a two man race for that crown.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Finwë on Fri May 31, 2013 3:57 pm

Rooscooter wrote:
Finwë wrote:
Iceberg Slim wrote:Malone vs. Duncan

And his jumpshot was the best of any power forward ever.

What about Dirk? I think he should be considered arguably the best shooting big man (and he played PF) ever.

KG also had/has a sweet jumpshot.


Do some research on Dan Issel before you make it a two man race for that crown.

I never heard of the guy, but I just looked him up. I mostly checked out his stats and watched a couple of youtube videos (not many).
Stats aren't in his favor. He shot extremely few 3pters (I know it's a matter of the style that was played back then, but still, it's a factor) just 0.1 per game in his career, and shot just 20% from it, which is pretty awful.
He also wasn't a [i]great FT shooter, he shot 79% for his career. Not bad at all, but not great.
Maybe his shooting strength was his mid-range game, and I don't have the stats for his efficiency from that distance.
He was a good scorer, but just from stats and a few YT videos the impression I got is that he can't compete in terms of shooting with someone like Dirk, or KG, or Malone. Maybe I'm missing something; a lot of times stats don't tell the whole story (for instance, they don't show a player's shooting versatility - like ability to hit on spot-ups, fadeaways, pull-ups, etc-) and there weren't many videos to watch.

Just as a contrast, and please don't think I'm just going on stats (they are important in analysis but not the only factor to consider), these are Dirk's stats for his career:
Has taken an average of 3.2 3pt shots per game, making 38% of them. He shoots 87% from the line for his career.
In a study about the best "mid-range" shooters in the NBA (considering mid-range to be from 3 feet from the rim to the 3pt line), Dirk was the only player among 150 or so others to shoot above 50% from said area.
During his career Dirk has pretty much always shot in the high 40s - low 50s from 15 to 23 feet, last season shooting 53% from that distance.

He's the only big man ever to be a member of the "50-40-90" club. The others are Nash, M. Price, Bird, R. Miller and Durant.

Of course, the impressive thing about Dirk's shooting is not just his stats, but also the variety of shots he has in his arsenal, including his "signature" one-legged fade, which is almost as unstoppable as Kareem's sky hook in terms of trying to block it. He has also been a very, very clutch shooter these last couple of years, and in the 2011 championship run he put up amazing shooting performances one after another.


I named KG only because he's a fantastic mid-range shooter, and he's a good shooter in the post, but he really doesn't compare with Dirk in terms of proficiency. He also shoots less than Dirk and obviously Malone, so that's a factor too.


BTW, I wasn't saying those are the only two guys that should be in the "race", just naming players that could be considered as good or better in terms of being jump shooting power fowards.
I think Dirk would probably be at the top of my list because his jumpshot was / is almost his only weapon (of course he's got super polished fundamentals and has become a complete player) and yet he's been so successful with it (was able to win MVP and has always put up very good numbers), and also because of his efficiency and proficiency.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Rooscooter on Fri May 31, 2013 4:26 pm

^^Issel played in the day when a "prolific" 3 point shooter would shoot 2 a game. It was not considered a viable weapon even by the great shooters.

The majority of his game was 18' and in where he was deadly and he turned it up during the playoffs. He was one of the first true "face up" bigs in the game along with McAdoo that was dominant doing it. He used to give Kareem fits trying to chase him down and drawing him out of the paint.

IMO he was as good of an overall player as Dirk but maybe not quite the shot maker from distance. Issel could fill it up with the best PF/C to ever play however.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby John3:16 on Fri May 31, 2013 4:49 pm

The 3 point shot wasn't worth 3 the majority of Issel's career. It became part of the NBA in 83 or 84.

He could shoot. Not as well as Dirk (IMO), but still a great shooting big man.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Rooscooter on Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:44 pm

John3:16 wrote:The 3 point shot wasn't worth 3 the majority of Issel's career. It became part of the NBA in 83 or 84.

He could shoot. Not as well as Dirk (IMO), but still a great shooting big man.


Guys like World B Free, Rick Barry and Pete Maravich would have a thousand more career points if they had the 3 during the 70's in the NBA.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby trodgers on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:56 pm

Issel's shot looks like Bird's. Nothing wrong with that.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Finwë on Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:57 am

John3:16 wrote:The 3 point shot wasn't worth 3 the majority of Issel's career. It became part of the NBA in 83 or 84.

He could shoot. Not as well as Dirk (IMO), but still a great shooting big man.

I assumed that's what it was, though to be fair, when the 3 did exist, he still was shooting like 0.2 a game.

I'll take your and Roos's insight as face value as he was the one watching him, and the stats and highlights do support it, but like you said, I can't see him being a better shooter than Dirk.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby JGC on Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:52 am

Finwë wrote:
John3:16 wrote:The 3 point shot wasn't worth 3 the majority of Issel's career. It became part of the NBA in 83 or 84.

He could shoot. Not as well as Dirk (IMO), but still a great shooting big man.

I assumed that's what it was, though to be fair, when the 3 did exist, he still was shooting like 0.2 a game.

I'll take your and Roos's insight as face value as he was the one watching him, and the stats and highlights do support it, but like you said, I can't see him being a better shooter than Dirk.


He wasn't necessarily better, in fact, I'd say Dirk was better even without having seen Issel. If you look at stats like TS% and eFG%, Dirk wins both. He shot from longer distance (19%, or nearly 1 in 5 of Dirk's shots are 3-pointers).

FG% (with 3-pointers): Issel (.499), Dirk (.475)
FG% (without 3-pointers): Issel (.501), Dirk (.499)
3pt%: Issel (.201), Dirk (.381)
FT%: Issel (.793), Dirk (.877)
TS%: Issel (.559), Dirk (.581)
eFG%: Issel (.500), Dirk (.511)

Now, I don't know about Issel, but Dirk has spent time at C, though he never really had much of a post game but still, some of that should be factored in. We're probably splitting hairs at this point but I think you're right when you say it is hard to imagine any big being a better shooter than Dirk.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Rooscooter on Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:22 am

JGC wrote:He wasn't necessarily better, in fact, I'd say Dirk was better even without having seen Issel. If you look at stats like TS% and eFG%, Dirk wins both. He shot from longer distance (19%, or nearly 1 in 5 of Dirk's shots are 3-pointers).

FG% (with 3-pointers): Issel (.499), Dirk (.475)
FG% (without 3-pointers): Issel (.501), Dirk (.499)
3pt%: Issel (.201), Dirk (.381)
FT%: Issel (.793), Dirk (.877)
TS%: Issel (.559), Dirk (.581)
eFG%: Issel (.500), Dirk (.511)

Now, I don't know about Issel, but Dirk has spent time at C, though he never really had much of a post game but still, some of that should be factored in. We're probably splitting hairs at this point but I think you're right when you say it is hard to imagine any big being a better shooter than Dirk.


Typically your takes on players you're watching are from within your reality distortions.... now you're going to say such definitive things about a guy you never saw play?....

As you said in one of the last posts you responded to me in.... "you don't know"..... That where you should just leave things that you don't know about rather than offer definitive opinions based on the fact that you need to sound important. just because you can look up some stats on Basketball Reference doesn't mean you can evaluate two players when you admittedly never saw one of them play the game.

...As for Issel,
Issel played in the first incarnation of the MDA offensive system in the 70's and 80's under Doug Moe. Those teams averaged as much as 120 ppg at a pace that would seem unreal by today's standards. He was their starting Center but played the game more like Dirk in that he was rarely in the post. Early in his career he was a back to the basket player that was very successful. His game was more diversified than Dirk's in that he played primarily on a running team and could play in the post when needed but roamed the outside most of the time. He may not have been as good from distance as Dirk, but then again there was no reason to shoot 23 foot 2 point shots either. He was very good at the mid-range game and ran the floor fantastically for a 6'-10" guy.

Dirk is probably a better overall player offensively but Issel's game for it's day was a lot more unique for a face up big man.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby JGC on Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:34 am

Yeah, I didn't see Issel play. Saw some YouTube clips but that's it. But I don't even know for sure that you actually saw him play. How can I know you're not making it up? (You know, because if you SAID you saw him play then your opinion MUST be better since an observation clearly cannot be wrong).

In either case, we were talking about the best jumpshot and I suppose 'best' could also take in to account how it looked. Maybe his form puts him over the top in spite of the numbers, I don't know.

I think comparing players from different eras though is generally kind of pointless. To your point, Issel didn't shoot from as far as Dirk did because there was no reason to. But Dirk has a reason to. I mean, someone is getting penalized in that argument unfairly. It's like, oh back in the 1920s (I'm making this up) a homerun only needed to be 50 feet and this guy hit 50 of them so he is the same as the guy in 2013 who hit 50 when you had to hit them 350 feet or whatever. So either the guy hitting them with distance is getting penalized because the fact he HAS to hit that distance is being discounted, or, the guy hitting them only 50 feet is getting penalized because the fact he didn't HAVE to hit them that far.

To me, if a guy is making shots from full court with the same or better efficiency as a guy making shots from half court, then I'm going to penalize the guy making them from half court even if it isn't his fault. Guess that is how I justified leaning towards Dirk without even having seen Issel or his form.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Rooscooter on Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:04 pm

My family had season tickets (5 Seats) in the Forum from 1977 thru 1986. I was at 35+ home games a year thru 82... when I left for college. I was at about 15 to 20 after that.

I watched the away games and the ones I missed on TV....

I watched all of the home playoff games live in that time frame as well and all of the away ones on TV

I saw Issel play live... a lot.

I started going to live NBA games in 1973.

I dont' even know what the hell you are talking about with the full court/half court shot crap... How about shooting under pressure..... or other metrics that actually matter. Searching internet data bases to quantify the differences in players is futile when discussing those people that saw the two players play when you didn't.

Issel was a unique big man in his day. He was an amazing shooter both in his day and even by today's standards. He was tough as nails and played in a style of offense that would kill Dirk (running up and down the floor)..... one that averaged over 120 points per game for a few seasons. Dirk is a better pure shooter from distance but Issel could create his own shot close in and in the mid range better than Dirk. Dirk's main weapon in closer is the fade away. Issel had a pretty good game going to the hoop.

Overall I'd give the nod to Dirk offensively if we are putting them both in a modern offense. I'd also give the not to Issel if Dirk was forced to play in the Denver offense of the early 80's.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby gcclaker on Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:36 pm

^I saw Issel play too. With the shorter three point line, he would have had more points than he already have. Hell, his final shot in his career was trey from the top of the key Game 5 in the 1985 playoffs against the Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar hated playing against him since Issel always drew him out of the key. Not only was he an excellent shooter for a big man but he was a freight train on the break. Nowitzki has been the centerpiece of the Maverick offense for the longest time while Issel had to share the ball with English, Natt and Lever. The latter also had to play in an era where defenses can bump and hand check shooters to throw off their rhytmn.
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Re: The Problem with America and Tim Duncan

Postby Rooscooter on Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:37 am

^^Issel is one of the "forgotten" great players out there. He had a fantastic career and was instrumental in changing the face of the C/PF position.

The 3 point line was only around for about 4 of his seasons I believe and I had forgotten that it was a longer shot in those days. Good catch gc.....
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