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View Full Version : Is Tim Duncan the GOAT PF?



Lionel20
07-13-2016, 10:49 PM
Short answer - yup. After looking over my revised rankings.

I decided to compare the top 4 PF's all-time according to my own reference built on a neutralized time period.

The top 4:

Duncan #3 all-time
Malone #5 all-time
Barkley #7 all-time
Garnett #8 all-time *still active

In the link below, each of the 4 PF's, which rank in my all-time top 10, are separated into a breakdown from Season 1 to Season 20. The highlighted cells show the leader in each specific category for each year. The "Rank" column, last column, is based on a formula that factors in Values Shares (V-Shares) and Value Share per game. The 4 PF's compared combined for 73 individual years.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1r5ZFtcrxyF_Qt0SJ__ZcWhg240TuxNc26LctkQf35JU/edit#gid=0

Malone's logged the most minutes (RS, PS) with 62,994, and Garnett the highest total amount of seasons with 20.

Duncan tops the other 3 Forwards, 7 of the 20 Seasons.
Malone tops the group, 6 of the 20 Season
Garnett 4 of the 20, Barkley 3 of the 20.

Barkley's career ended on a knee injury suffered in the 15th Year of his NBA career, the shortest career of the 4 PF's in my all-time top 10. Barkley is easily the best on the offensive glass, w/ 3.85 adjusted offensive rebounds, and the most efficient shooter @54%.

Barkley's career high Value Shares per game @ .181, (by comparisons LeBron James avg. = .186) would've likely decrease with age. Which brings me to Malone, a player that seemed to defy much of the expected age declination.

Typically NBA players peak between age 26-29 according to my research. For Duncan, whose rookie year ranks highest @ 40th among the 73 years totaled from each of the 4 players, he peak early. Garnett and Barkley peak right around the average, for Garnett is Seasons 6-11, Barkley 4-9. But Malone's best seasons are his 10-15, age 31-35. Malone's longevity earn him the most value shares within this group. Malone is the highest and best scorer among the 4 PF's, and arguably the most underrated.

But Malone although he averaged more than 1 SPG all but one season of his 19 year career, is no where near the defender than Duncan and to a lesser degree Garnett were.

Duncan just did every well, almost 19,000 adjusted rebounds, 3,863 blocks, an elite rim protector, 2nd in Usage Rate and PPG.

In Duncan's best year, 2003, he totals 2,793 pts, 321 blocks, and 1,408 Rebounds in the regular and post season.

An incredible NBA career, that he seemed to complete so effortlessly.

My top 3 players all-time:

1. Jordan
2. Shaq
3. Duncan

Well deserved... And I was a Lakers fan last decade.

AnthonyTyrael2
07-14-2016, 02:23 AM
Short answer - yup. After looking over my revised rankings.

I decided to compare the top 4 PF's all-time according to my own reference built on a neutralized time period.

The top 4:

Duncan #3 all-time
Malone #5 all-time
Barkley #7 all-time
Garnett #8 all-time *still active

In the link below, each of the 4 PF's, which rank in my all-time top 10, are separated into a breakdown from Season 1 to Season 20. The highlighted cells show the leader in each specific category for each year. The "Rank" column, last column, is based on a formula that factors in Values Shares (V-Shares) and Value Share per game. The 4 PF's compared combined for 73 individual years.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1r5ZFtcrxyF_Qt0SJ__ZcWhg240TuxNc26LctkQf35JU/edit#gid=0

Malone's logged the most minutes (RS, PS) with 62,994, and Garnett the highest total amount of seasons with 20.

Duncan tops the other 3 Forwards, 7 of the 20 Seasons.
Malone tops the group, 6 of the 20 Season
Garnett 4 of the 20, Barkley 3 of the 20.

Barkley's career ended on a knee injury suffered in the 15th Year of his NBA career, the shortest career of the 4 PF's in my all-time top 10. Barkley is easily the best on the offensive glass, w/ 3.85 adjusted offensive rebounds, and the most efficient shooter @54%.

Barkley's career high Value Shares per game @ .181, (by comparisons LeBron James avg. = .186) would've likely decrease with age. Which brings me to Malone, a player that seemed to defy much of the expected age declination.

Typically NBA players peak between age 26-29 according to my research. For Duncan, whose rookie year ranks highest @ 40th among the 73 years totaled from each of the 4 players, he peak early. Garnett and Barkley peak right around the average, for Garnett is Seasons 6-11, Barkley 4-9. But Malone's best seasons are his 10-15, age 31-35. Malone's longevity earn him the most value shares within this group. Malone is the highest and best scorer among the 4 PF's, and arguably the most underrated.

But Malone although he averaged more than 1 SPG all but one season of his 19 year career, is no where near the defender than Duncan and to a lesser degree Garnett were.

Duncan just did every well, almost 19,000 adjusted rebounds, 3,863 blocks, an elite rim protector, 2nd in Usage Rate and PPG.

In Duncan's best year, 2003, he totals 2,793 pts, 321 blocks, and 1,408 Rebounds in the regular and post season.

An incredible NBA career, that he seemed to complete so effortlessly.

My top 3 players all-time:

1. Jordan
2. Shaq
3. Duncan

Well deserved... And I was a Lakers fan last decade.

Yes he was when he actually did play that position but according to basketballreference.com and eye test he only played 30% of his time at PF and I agree. On both ends. These 30% would be less, hadn't he played alongside Robinson for a couple years.

How many great C's did San Antonio pair with him over all those years and how many minutes logged those dudes with him on court, at the same time? They're all been more or less liabilties. Nesterovic, Mahinmi, Mohammed, Ratliff just to name a few... you could either call them specialists or "limited". players. NBA listing players on a specific position doesn't make them play that position for their entire career. In Timmy's case, as great as he was and he was damn great, one of the best ever, I'm just tired of it.

GoferKing_
07-14-2016, 03:43 AM
Yes he is.

Phantom Dreamer
07-14-2016, 04:21 AM
He played center, much more than power forward. Enough.

PhillyFaninLA
07-14-2016, 06:21 AM
He played center, much more than power forward. Enough.

It is interesting, how do you rank certain players by position. A lot of great players played multiple positions or played one position on offense and another on defense.

Should we have a category (for ranking purposes) that is position-less players.

KnicksorBust
07-14-2016, 07:08 AM
Short answer - yup. After looking over my revised rankings.

I decided to compare the top 4 PF's all-time according to my own reference built on a neutralized time period.

The top 4:

Duncan #3 all-time
Malone #5 all-time
Barkley #7 all-time
Garnett #8 all-time *still active

In the link below, each of the 4 PF's, which rank in my all-time top 10, are separated into a breakdown from Season 1 to Season 20. The highlighted cells show the leader in each specific category for each year. The "Rank" column, last column, is based on a formula that factors in Values Shares (V-Shares) and Value Share per game. The 4 PF's compared combined for 73 individual years.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1r5ZFtcrxyF_Qt0SJ__ZcWhg240TuxNc26LctkQf35JU/edit#gid=0

Malone's logged the most minutes (RS, PS) with 62,994, and Garnett the highest total amount of seasons with 20.

Duncan tops the other 3 Forwards, 7 of the 20 Seasons.
Malone tops the group, 6 of the 20 Season
Garnett 4 of the 20, Barkley 3 of the 20.

Barkley's career ended on a knee injury suffered in the 15th Year of his NBA career, the shortest career of the 4 PF's in my all-time top 10. Barkley is easily the best on the offensive glass, w/ 3.85 adjusted offensive rebounds, and the most efficient shooter @54%.

Barkley's career high Value Shares per game @ .181, (by comparisons LeBron James avg. = .186) would've likely decrease with age. Which brings me to Malone, a player that seemed to defy much of the expected age declination.

Typically NBA players peak between age 26-29 according to my research. For Duncan, whose rookie year ranks highest @ 40th among the 73 years totaled from each of the 4 players, he peak early. Garnett and Barkley peak right around the average, for Garnett is Seasons 6-11, Barkley 4-9. But Malone's best seasons are his 10-15, age 31-35. Malone's longevity earn him the most value shares within this group. Malone is the highest and best scorer among the 4 PF's, and arguably the most underrated.

But Malone although he averaged more than 1 SPG all but one season of his 19 year career, is no where near the defender than Duncan and to a lesser degree Garnett were.

Duncan just did every well, almost 19,000 adjusted rebounds, 3,863 blocks, an elite rim protector, 2nd in Usage Rate and PPG.

In Duncan's best year, 2003, he totals 2,793 pts, 321 blocks, and 1,408 Rebounds in the regular and post season.

An incredible NBA career, that he seemed to complete so effortlessly.

My top 3 players all-time:

1. Jordan
2. Shaq
3. Duncan

Well deserved... And I was a Lakers fan last decade.

I don't know how the hell you have Malone Barkley and KG in your top 10 all-time. Kareem?

KnicksorBust
07-14-2016, 07:13 AM
He played center, much more than power forward. Enough.

It is interesting, how do you rank certain players by position. A lot of great players played multiple positions or played one position on offense and another on defense.

Should we have a category (for ranking purposes) that is position-less players.

Guard vs Swing vs Forward

pebloemer
07-14-2016, 08:26 AM
Guard vs Swing vs Forward

That is probably an easier way to break it down. It doesn't cleanly divide everyone, but I don't think there is a way to necessarily do that anymore.

Regarding the OP, if Duncan is considered a PF, then yes I'd put him as the best PF ever. Truly one of the all time greats. Whether or not he should be considered a C doesn't take away from his greatness, just changes the comparables. The C position simply has had a more storied history.

Tony_Starks
07-14-2016, 09:19 AM
It's easier for me to just say one of the best Bigs ever. He played both positions. In that aspect it's between him and Shaq in modern history.

If we limit him to just PF then it's a conversation of him Malone and Barkley for me. I'd rather have Barkley of the 3 but that's a unpopular opinion.

kdspurman
07-14-2016, 10:20 AM
Yes. Yes he is

Hawkeye15
07-14-2016, 10:28 AM
It's easier for me to just say one of the best Bigs ever. He played both positions. .

this

YAALREADYKNO
07-14-2016, 05:26 PM
Not even a question

JasonJohnHorn
07-14-2016, 10:41 PM
This is the same as the Bird/Iverson issue.

Everybody ranks Bird as a SF and Iverson as a SG, yet Bird played PF most of the time and Iverson was clearly the PG- he brought the ball up, led the team in assists, and guarded the opposing point guard.

Duncan was a C as much as he was a PF. At least on offense he was a PF most often. Post play mixed with pick and roll and jumpers. Most C's in the league today (or at least many-I'm thinking guys like Chandler, DaJ, Dwight, ect) can't shoot jumpers. That what PF are for: to spread the spacing out in the paint.

On defense, it seemed like TD was exclusively a C for much of his career.

But at the same time, for his first two rings, DRob WAS the team's C.

I think it is easier to classify TD as a PF than it is to classify Bird as a SF (he's a PF) and Iverson as a SG (clearly a PG). But there is certainly a case to frame him as a C defensively.

But yeah... great PF to ever play the game.

At the end of the day, positions are for casual fans to understand the rudimentaries of the game. The league has progressed so far, and had done so by the 80's, that the conventional positions really didn't apply in many case.

Jordan was a shooting point guard. Pippen was a point small forward, as LBJ is. Bird was a point/stretch power forward. Iverson was a score-first point guard on a team that ran with two point guards. Duncan was C on a team that ran with two C's, just like Ralph and Hakeem were on a team with two C's. The Lakers played with two point guards (Nixon and Magic). The old positions simply don't apply in many situations, and those that do are easy to defend.

hidalgo
07-16-2016, 07:34 AM
Tim Duncan is the best PF all time for sure. #5 all time overall imo

Dirk Nowitzki is #2 PF all time

mavwar53
07-16-2016, 11:13 AM
Yes he was when he actually did play that position but according to basketballreference.com and eye test he only played 30% of his time at PF and I agree. On both ends. These 30% would be less, hadn't he played alongside Robinson for a couple years.

How many great C's did San Antonio pair with him over all those years and how many minutes logged those dudes with him on court, at the same time? They're all been more or less liabilties. Nesterovic, Mahinmi, Mohammed, Ratliff just to name a few... you could either call them specialists or "limited". players. NBA listing players on a specific position doesn't make them play that position for their entire career. In Timmy's case, as great as he was and he was damn great, one of the best ever, I'm just tired of it.

Is this the same basketball reference that said 2 years ago Draymond played more than 50% of his time at SF, when he actually never played SF. I think all basketball reference goes on to determine who is playing what position is height. If you're the tallest out there you're the C.

IKnowHoops
07-16-2016, 12:04 PM
He played center, much more than power forward. Enough.

He played strictly PF till Admiral retired. That was like 6-7 years

Chronz
07-16-2016, 12:27 PM
He played strictly PF till Admiral retired. That was like 6-7 years
Whats that got to do with his post about him playing more Center?

Besides you couldn't be more wrong, D-Rob was on a minutes restriction and whenever someone like Malik Rose or Horry came in, it was obvious who the center was. I remember making a thread on it, I used to call him out for refusing to list himself as a center. I cant remember the exact words but I think I remember Pop calling him a C but not wanting him to be listed there on the A-S ballot. Overall, I wouldn't be surprised if the splits were 50/50.

D-Leethal
07-16-2016, 03:01 PM
Post-DRob he usually started at PF even if it was a sham starter next to him until they made their official shift to spread basketball around Tony after the 2007 title. Rasho Nesterovic, Nazr Mohammed, Fabricio Oberto, Kurt Thomas, Francisco Elson. I think they started him at C for a few years in between there but kept falling short come playoff time. When they got Splitter and started him at C and went "big" again they seemed to rekindle the playoff success of the mid 2000s.

Minutes wise, I'm sure it was a close to 50-50 split.

mike_noodles
07-17-2016, 03:49 PM
This is a pretty easy question. Debating his actual playing time at C is pointless, the answer is still yes.

kdspurman
07-17-2016, 03:53 PM
Whats that got to do with his post about him playing more Center?

Besides you couldn't be more wrong, D-Rob was on a minutes restriction and whenever someone like Malik Rose or Horry came in, it was obvious who the center was. I remember making a thread on it, I used to call him out for refusing to list himself as a center. I cant remember the exact words but I think I remember Pop calling him a C but not wanting him to be listed there on the A-S ballot. Overall, I wouldn't be surprised if the splits were 50/50.

Pop always said it, but you can tell he was saying it a bit sarcastically. He just recently said TD was the best to ever do it at his position, and has referred to him as a PF before.

I think he's just a PF who could play/defend either position.

CardinalRed24
07-17-2016, 03:56 PM
He's easily the #1 PF on my All Time list.

Chronz
07-17-2016, 05:44 PM
Looking at BBR's estimates, from 2001-2008, Duncan played 49% of his minutes at PF and 51% at C but those are prolly skewed towards the Center mark. I dont agree with them considering Tiago the PF so I discounted those years entirely. Hes prolly mostly been a PF since his late revival when he lost the weight.

Bruno
07-17-2016, 08:01 PM
i think we do a slight disservice by asking ourselves is he the best PF ever. Duncan was so great, that we shouldn't pigeonhole him into the PF discussion only. We should be debating him amongst Kareem, Wilt, Hakeem, Shaq and Russell.

nastynice
07-17-2016, 08:17 PM
I think he's certainly in the convo, def a tier 1 all time pf

chipurmunki
07-21-2016, 02:15 AM
The Mailman.

RLundi
07-21-2016, 11:49 AM
i think we do a slight disservice by asking ourselves is he the best PF ever. Duncan was so great, that we shouldn't pigeonhole him into the PF discussion only. We should be debating him amongst Kareem, Wilt, Hakeem, Shaq and Russell.

This. Duncan is one of the best players in NBA history. Debating whether he is the best PF of all time ignores the idea that he's simply one of the best to don a jersey.

Honestly, he's in the Jordan, Bird, Magic, Kareem, LeBron mold to me -- players so revolutionary that we don't even assign them a position when deliberating their all-time greatness. Perhaps we should leave that for players like Wade, Malone, KG, Dirk, Oscar Robertson, etc. In my opinion, these players aren't in the discussion for single best players of all-time, so it's necessary to attach their position to the discussion instead of trying to judge them against 30 or 40 other players in league history. Making a list of the top 50 players ever versus the top 10 of one position is much more taxing, and probably not worth it. But a player of Duncan's caliber is definitely worth it. He's easily top 10, perhaps even top 5 at this juncture.

So I agree, no need to include his position in the discussion.