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View Full Version : The KG vs Duncan debate



force_within
06-15-2014, 03:18 AM
This debate has been swirling around for a long time. We all know that these two are arguably the top PF's of all time with majority of the people saying that Duncan is no. 1. One of the reason why Duncan is considered the top PF of all time is because he got his 4 rings and it's because he got the pieces (great supporting cast, excellent coach) which Garnett never had in his prime years (not until he was traded to the Celtics). Now, if these two switch places, Garnett with the Spurs and Duncan with the T'wolves, how many titles would Garnett win? how would Duncan do with the Wolves? Who among them will be considered as top PF of all time?

Hawkeye15
06-15-2014, 03:24 AM
Wolves fan here. KG's shrinking once the playoffs started killed any chance of this argument swaying in his favor. Duncan is better, period.

Ebbs
06-15-2014, 03:57 AM
There isn't much of a debate

Avenged
06-15-2014, 04:14 AM
Duncan by alot.

bgdreton
06-15-2014, 04:42 AM
Duncan for sure however Garnett would definitely have more than 1 ring on the Spurs.

PurpleLynch
06-15-2014, 05:04 AM
Duncan is better and he's already the top pf of all time in my opinion.

goingfor28
06-15-2014, 06:37 AM
Duncan easy. Duncan is the best PF to lace em up tho

ManningToTyree
06-15-2014, 06:39 AM
This is no longer a debate. It's Duncan

Jtirado16
06-15-2014, 07:13 AM
Duncan not even close..

JasonJohnHorn
06-15-2014, 09:35 AM
I like them both a lot.

When it comes to team defense, I think Duncan has an edge, but when it comes to man-on-man defense, I think Garnett has an edge. Really, though, both guys are among the best defenders of all time at the power forward positions, so it's like splitting hair comparing the two in that manner. That said, Duncan has more blocks than fouls, and that says something.

When it comes to rebounding, even though Garnett had higher piques, Duncan has proven to be a better rebounder throughout his career. Duncan has never has a per36 average lower than 10.5. It wasn't until Garnett's 5th season that he managed to accomplish that, and it wasn't until his 8th season that he managed a per36 rebounding average that equaled or surpassed Duncan's career average in that respect. Garnett has nine times posted a lower per36 rebounding average than Duncan's career low.

On the offensive end, Garnett has always been the better FT shooter, but Duncan has a higher FG% (506 > 497). Garnett has posted slightly better assist numbers and assist-to-turnover rations, but it isn't a significant difference.

I would assume that under Pop's system Garnett would have won as much as Duncan did to be honest. I think the two are close to equals. But at the same time, Garnett did Minny no favours with his contract demands. You have remember that there were seasons where his salary took up over half the cap space. You can't expect your GM to be able to bring in top level talent, or enough of it, when your own salary takes up over half the cap space. Garnett made a choice in his time a Minny: Salary > Winning. I don't judge him for that. These guys have to get what they can while they are playing because there is no telling what might happen. An injury, poor money management. Who knows. But at the same time, Duncan never ate up half the cap space. He has average 3 million less a year on his career than Garnett, and Garnett's average is weighed down by a smaller rookie contract. 28 million in one year? That is a LOT. Duncan has cracked the 20 mill mark three times in his career, but always during times when the Spurs had Bird rights to other all-stars so it didn't hurt the Spurs chances of keeping talent.

Garnett also did have some teams with some serious talent on them. In 04, the Wolves has a solid roster. In fairness to Garnett, I felt like the officials railroaded the T-Wolves in the conference finals, practically handing the Lakers the series, but the following year with a very similar roster, the T-Wolves didn't even make the playoffs? That was odd.


Garnett is an amazing player, but Duncan just seems to have something in his attitude and intangibles that puts him above Garnett, stats aside. If I were building a team and I got to choose between every player in the league right now at the age of 20, Duncan would be my first pick. After LBJ and Durant, I think Garnett would be my next pick, ahead of even Kobe.

Now that would be an interesting question. If the Lakers had picked up Garnett instead of Kobe...

KnicksorBust
06-15-2014, 10:21 AM
It's clearly Duncan but I love the idea of Kevin Garnett on the Spurs all these years. He's one of the best passing big men of all-time so it's not hard to imagine him succeeding on that team.

blom85
06-15-2014, 10:59 AM
As father time has moved through these players careers it;s clear Duncan wins. If this was 2004 it might be a different argument, KG was gifted more athletically but as he got older he's slowly lost what made him great, Duncan on the other hand is known for his technique / fundamentals, the latter allows you to have an extended career.

nickdymez
06-15-2014, 11:01 AM
Theres a KG, Duncan debate?

blahblahyoutoo
06-15-2014, 08:07 PM
duncan by a little bit.
and when i say a little bit, i mean a lot.

%%%%
06-15-2014, 09:55 PM
Duncan:

1,224 Games Played
24,904 Points
13,940 Rebounds
2,791 Blocks
50.6 FG%

19.9 PPG
9.1 RPG

Garnett:

1,340 Games Played
25,626 Points
14,201 Rebounds
2,010 Blocks
49.7 FG %

18.6 PPG
10.3 RPG

Statistically, they look about even. Garnett has more career points and a slightly lower PPG, but that's likely because he has played 100 more games than Duncan.

Duncan has aged much better than Garnett though; these past few years, Garnett has been struggling to stay healthy while Duncan has been going strong.

I say Duncan.

xnick5757
06-15-2014, 10:14 PM
I like them both a lot.

When it comes to team defense, I think Duncan has an edge, but when it comes to man-on-man defense, I think Garnett has an edge. Really, though, both guys are among the best defenders of all time at the power forward positions, so it's like splitting hair comparing the two in that manner. That said, Duncan has more blocks than fouls, and that says something.

When it comes to rebounding, even though Garnett had higher piques, Duncan has proven to be a better rebounder throughout his career. Duncan has never has a per36 average lower than 10.5. It wasn't until Garnett's 5th season that he managed to accomplish that, and it wasn't until his 8th season that he managed a per36 rebounding average that equaled or surpassed Duncan's career average in that respect. Garnett has nine times posted a lower per36 rebounding average than Duncan's career low.

On the offensive end, Garnett has always been the better FT shooter, but Duncan has a higher FG% (506 > 497). Garnett has posted slightly better assist numbers and assist-to-turnover rations, but it isn't a significant difference.

I would assume that under Pop's system Garnett would have won as much as Duncan did to be honest. I think the two are close to equals. But at the same time, Garnett did Minny no favours with his contract demands. You have remember that there were seasons where his salary took up over half the cap space. You can't expect your GM to be able to bring in top level talent, or enough of it, when your own salary takes up over half the cap space. Garnett made a choice in his time a Minny: Salary > Winning. I don't judge him for that. These guys have to get what they can while they are playing because there is no telling what might happen. An injury, poor money management. Who knows. But at the same time, Duncan never ate up half the cap space. He has average 3 million less a year on his career than Garnett, and Garnett's average is weighed down by a smaller rookie contract. 28 million in one year? That is a LOT. Duncan has cracked the 20 mill mark three times in his career, but always during times when the Spurs had Bird rights to other all-stars so it didn't hurt the Spurs chances of keeping talent.

Garnett also did have some teams with some serious talent on them. In 04, the Wolves has a solid roster. In fairness to Garnett, I felt like the officials railroaded the T-Wolves in the conference finals, practically handing the Lakers the series, but the following year with a very similar roster, the T-Wolves didn't even make the playoffs? That was odd.


Garnett is an amazing player, but Duncan just seems to have something in his attitude and intangibles that puts him above Garnett, stats aside. If I were building a team and I got to choose between every player in the league right now at the age of 20, Duncan would be my first pick. After LBJ and Durant, I think Garnett would be my next pick, ahead of even Kobe.

Now that would be an interesting question. If the Lakers had picked up Garnett instead of Kobe...

KG + Shaq wins more than kobe; it would literally be impossible to score inside on that combo

bagwell368
06-15-2014, 10:17 PM
Duncan is a better low post scorer than KG. KG can do the job, but he likes hanging out at 18' more.

A lot of Duncan's advantage comes from playing for better teams, start unwinding those Win Share numbers, team wins and what % they each earned of team wins and the perception would have to be that it's closer than most think.

KG at his peak was the better defender. He transformed that Boston team in one year, something Duncan wasn't asked to do. Before KG could mount a repeat, he was hurt and was never the same. A following season when Perkins was still good (because he played next to KG) they missed again.

For longevity alone you have to go with Duncan. But no other PF other than KG has a claim on 2nd best IMO, all the way back to Pettit through today. Don't forget WS doesn't do justice to defense, and among the 20 best players of all time, KG has played on more bad teams than most of them (that means more doubles, less help, less stats).

Dirk probably has the best O numbers, but, he was lame on D - always
Karl was a beast in the regular season, and a lamb in them
Barkley was some force, but didn't play much D either
McHale's peak was massive, but he didn't last
Pettits career was short

Duncan
KG
....
everybody else

bagwell368
06-15-2014, 10:20 PM
Duncan:

1,224 Games Played
24,904 Points
13,940 Rebounds
2,791 Blocks
50.6 FG%

19.9 PPG
9.1 RPG

Garnett:

1,340 Games Played
25,626 Points
14,201 Rebounds
2,010 Blocks
49.7 FG %

18.6 PPG
10.3 RPG

Statistically, they look about even. Garnett has more career points and a slightly lower PPG, but that's likely because he has played 100 more games than Duncan.

Duncan has aged much better than Garnett though; these past few years, Garnett has been struggling to stay healthy while Duncan has been going strong.

I say Duncan.

Not enough context - IE who played for the better teams overall?
FG% is worthless, try eFG% and TS%
How come no mention of assists/passing? A clear advantage for KG
Playoff numbers?

I agree Duncan wins, but, you could do a bit more on the analysis side.

basch152
06-15-2014, 10:25 PM
To say it's not even close is completely ****ing ridiculous.

Both are unquestionably top 5 pfs of all time.

Shammyguy3
06-15-2014, 10:56 PM
To say it's not even close is completely ****ing ridiculous.

Both are unquestionably top 5 pfs of all time.

Does that mean Jordan and Wade are close then? They're unquestionably top 5 SGs of all-time.

It's Duncan, by a lot.

basch152
06-15-2014, 11:04 PM
Does that mean Jordan and Wade are close then? They're unquestionably top 5 SGs of all-time.

It's Duncan, by a lot.


Horrible comparison.

First of all, you could argue wade isn't top 5

Secondly, pf has ALOT more competition than Sg. There's probably 12+ pfs I'd take over all but about 2 or 3 sgs.

bootypants
06-15-2014, 11:38 PM
KG on SA wins ships but not as many as Duncan.

Especially this year tbh. Don't see them beating the heat with KG this year let alone maybe not even make it to the finals.

JordansBulls
06-16-2014, 12:21 AM
There isn't much of a debate

This.

Not to mention Malone, Barkley and Dirk can all be argued over KG as well.

sixer04fan
06-16-2014, 12:24 AM
There is no debate here

alexander_37
06-16-2014, 12:32 AM
Career resume Duncan easy. Prime KG vs. Prime Duncan is a possible debate though. KG is kind of underrated IMO even though he was and is a massive douche. Duncan is the consummate professional.

jaydubb
06-16-2014, 01:29 AM
This might have been a better debate 5 years ago.. Now it's Duncan easy

Purch
06-16-2014, 01:30 AM
Lol Tim is the greatest power foward of all time by far.

The real debate is between Dirk, Garnett,Barkley, Malone and Mchale for 2nd best power foward

Shammyguy3
06-16-2014, 02:12 AM
Horrible comparison.

First of all, you could argue wade isn't top 5

Secondly, pf has ALOT more competition than Sg. There's probably 12+ pfs I'd take over all but about 2 or 3 sgs.

That has nothing to do with your horribe reasoning though. Your reasoning was "it's close!to say it's not is stupid!" pretty much. I used that same line of reasoning for another position, yet it doesn't work? That right there should show you how off-base your initial logic was.

Yeah, PF has a lot more talent than SGs do. But I really doubt you can list a dozen power forwards you'd take before reaching your 4th, 5th, or maybe even 6th shooting guard.

In the end, there is a HUGE gap between Duncan and Garnett. The position is stacked, but I don't even consider Duncan a power forward. In my eyes, he's a center. So excluding the positional thing, it doesn't matter to me. Duncan stepped up in the playoffs far more than Garnett, and while Duncan's teams were better I can't help but think that if you switched them, those T'Wolves get quite a bit better whereas the Spurs struggle to maintain the same level of production (ESPECIALLY over the course of 15 seasons)

raiderposting
06-16-2014, 02:15 AM
There is no debate.

Hawkeye15
06-16-2014, 02:16 AM
Duncan is a better low post scorer than KG. KG can do the job, but he likes hanging out at 18' more.

A lot of Duncan's advantage comes from playing for better teams, start unwinding those Win Share numbers, team wins and what % they each earned of team wins and the perception would have to be that it's closer than most think.

KG at his peak was the better defender. He transformed that Boston team in one year, something Duncan wasn't asked to do. Before KG could mount a repeat, he was hurt and was never the same. A following season when Perkins was still good (because he played next to KG) they missed again.

For longevity alone you have to go with Duncan. But no other PF other than KG has a claim on 2nd best IMO, all the way back to Pettit through today. Don't forget WS doesn't do justice to defense, and among the 20 best players of all time, KG has played on more bad teams than most of them (that means more doubles, less help, less stats).

Dirk probably has the best O numbers, but, he was lame on D - always
Karl was a beast in the regular season, and a lamb in them
Barkley was some force, but didn't play much D either
McHale's peak was massive, but he didn't last
Pettits career was short

Duncan
KG
....
everybody else

I would also take Barkley over KG. KG just faded come playoff time most of his career. Chuck did not....

Shareeb_omac2
06-16-2014, 02:24 AM
Duncan>Dirk>Garnett

todu82
06-16-2014, 06:11 AM
Duncan pretty easily.

amos1er
06-16-2014, 06:16 AM
How is this even a debate. Maybe their golf game. Lol.

lakerboy
06-16-2014, 06:27 AM
Can't we make a Duncan-MJ thread?

One more ring for TD and he ties MJ.

basketfan4life
06-16-2014, 08:38 AM
This.

Not to mention Malone, Barkley and Dirk can all be argued over KG as well.

I take all of them over garnett.

siix
06-16-2014, 08:41 AM
duncan is overall better

bucketss
06-16-2014, 08:43 AM
garnett is a better individual player but duncan is the greater in terms of legacy

flips333
06-16-2014, 09:00 AM
Duncan vs. Garnett... Come on. Duncan vs Malone, Or Duncan vs. Barkley makes sense. but Garnett... Love him as a player but Garnett is not the player Duncan is.

RaiderLakersA's
06-16-2014, 09:03 AM
This debate has been swirling around for a long time. We all know that these two are arguably the top PF's of all time with majority of the people saying that Duncan is no. 1. One of the reason why Duncan is considered the top PF of all time is because he got his 4 rings and it's because he got the pieces (great supporting cast, excellent coach) which Garnett never had in his prime years (not until he was traded to the Celtics). Now, if these two switch places, Garnett with the Spurs and Duncan with the T'wolves, how many titles would Garnett win? how would Duncan do with the Wolves? Who among them will be considered as top PF of all time?

There has never been any debate for me. Duncan all day everyday. That's coming from a Lakers fan. I've seen him in his prime battle year in and year out against my boys. He earned my respect over a decade ago. KG, while a great player in his own right, isn't the Big Fundamental.

shauneazy
06-16-2014, 09:28 AM
This isn't even a debate. Duncan one of the top 5 ever.

basch152
06-16-2014, 04:00 PM
That has nothing to do with your horribe reasoning though. Your reasoning was "it's close!to say it's not is stupid!" pretty much. I used that same line of reasoning for another position, yet it doesn't work? That right there should show you how off-base your initial logic was.

Yeah, PF has a lot more talent than SGs do. But I really doubt you can list a dozen power forwards you'd take before reaching your 4th, 5th, or maybe even 6th shooting guard.

In the end, there is a HUGE gap between Duncan and Garnett. The position is stacked, but I don't even consider Duncan a power forward. In my eyes, he's a center. So excluding the positional thing, it doesn't matter to me. Duncan stepped up in the playoffs far more than Garnett, and while Duncan's teams were better I can't help but think that if you switched them, those T'Wolves get quite a bit better whereas the Spurs struggle to maintain the same level of production (ESPECIALLY over the course of 15 seasons)

Here's the problem. I was stating they're both top 5 just as a statement, not as a primary argument, you trying to argue some random statement rather than why duncan is better "and it's not close" just shows their is no argument that "it's not close".

You could argue for their CAREERS it's not close, but as a player in their prime, it's VERY close.

And that's another problem. People don't seem to underst and the difference between how good a player is/was between how good his career was.

BCpatsox18
06-16-2014, 04:27 PM
At their peak, Garnett was the better player. Duncan has always had better teams. Over their entire career though you can't pick against Duncan. I view this a lot like the Brady-Manning debate, championships and winning vs pure stats. In championship series:
Garnett: 1-1
Duncan: 5-1
Brady: 3-2
Manning:1-2

blystr2002
06-16-2014, 04:35 PM
When you are looking at all time greats all their stats are going to look good. The fact is their is no KG or Duncan debate. You have a Duncan-Malone-Barkley debate. Then you can have Dirk-KG-McHale debate followed by older players like Elvin Hayes and Bob Petit. A Darkhorse that some might put into that 4-10 debate would be Gasol. He quietly had another decent year averaging 17 and 10. If he puts together 2-3 more solid years you could argue him as high as 4 as well.