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View Full Version : What Does Kawhi Leonard Have to Do to Replace Tim Duncan as the Greatest Spur?



Quinnsanity
03-12-2017, 08:42 PM
Simple question, what needs to happen for Kawhi to replace Duncan as the best Spur ever? Because I think at the pace we're on, Kawhi might end up being the undisputed best defensive player ever (or at least best perimeter defensive player ever). And his offense has gotten significantly better every year and even within years (he's averaging 30 points on over 50% from the field in the last two months). So what will it take? How good does he need to be? Does he need to win a certain amount of rings? And if so, does that amount change if Popovich retires soon? Or does the presence of the Warriors standing in his way during his prime making you more forgiving about potential titles?

Here's my initial thinking. If we get this season's Kawhi, the guy who scores in the high 20's per game efficiently and remains the league's best defensive player, for another seven or eight years, that's when the discussion gets real. That'd take his longevity up to around where LeBron is right now as far as being an elite player. I'm willing to be flexible when it comes to championships. If Popovich retires in the next year or two, and the Warriors really turn into the juggernaut we expect, I'm going to be willing to cut him some slack. But if he gets Popovich for most of his prime (which is another factor honestly, we're not sure if we're even in his prime yet) and the Warriors look remotely vulnerable, I'd expect at least one more title out of him. If you put a gun to my head, I think I'd say that Kawhi's defense is more valuable than Duncan's was. I have a hard time evaluating the offenses because their eras at their peak are so different, and Duncan's longevity was so valuable to the Spurs and Kawhi has to at least approach it for this to matter.

So what do you think? How does Kawhi pass Duncan?

Raps18-19 Champ
03-12-2017, 08:46 PM
He'd have to surpass Larry Bird for him to come close to Duncan. Duncan is a top 5 player and he did it all in SA. Larry is in the lower end

Can he match Bird's accolades? If he does, then Kawhi would be in the top 10 for me, which would then put him close to Duncan.

flea
03-12-2017, 08:50 PM
Won't happen. It's like asking what Jimmy Butler has to do to pass MJ as the best Bull. The answer is a hell of a lot. You're probably too young to have seen prime Duncan which is why you made this thread, but he was something else from day 1. Duncan was one of only a handful of players without any real weakness in his game.

Also, if you actually think Leonard is a better defensive player than Duncan, who might be the best defensive player ever, then you really don't understand basketball.

GREATNESS ONE
03-12-2017, 09:07 PM
3 Peat.

Quinnsanity
03-12-2017, 09:13 PM
Won't happen. It's like asking what Jimmy Butler has to do to pass MJ as the best Bull. The answer is a hell of a lot. You're probably too young to have seen prime Duncan which is why you made this thread, but he was something else from day 1. Duncan was one of only a handful of players without any real weakness in his game.

Also, if you actually think Leonard is a better defensive player than Duncan, who might be the best defensive player ever, then you really don't understand basketball.

I actually was around for Duncan's prime. Kawhi is the first perimeter player to win two DPOYs since Sidney Moncrief. He did it at 23 and 24. I think for you to so quickly dismiss Kawhi's defense is kind of ridiculous, especially when you consider the relative difficulties of Kawhi's job in this era (with so many perimeter superstars he has to guard). Like Kawhi might end up winning 5 or 6 DPOYs. Duncan is definitely up there for best defensive player (I think it's Hakeem but Duncan's up there), but if you really don't think Kawhi is going to be in that conversation when it's all said and done, I don't know what to tell you, we're watching different players.

The Jimmy Butler/MJ thing is just dumb. Kawhi is WAY better than Butler and MJ is WAY better than Duncan. Kawhi is already a Finals MVP, a legit MVP candidate in a year where someone is posting a triple double average, someone else was in the running for both the scoring and assist titles and LeBron was actively trying for the MVP. Jimmy Butler isn't close to that. And MJ is way ahead of Duncan.

I don't expect Kawhi to pass Duncan to be honest. But I think it's amazing that it's a real conversation that should be had at this point. Kawhi is THAT good.

Quinnsanity
03-12-2017, 09:17 PM
He'd have to surpass Larry Bird for him to come close to Duncan. Duncan is a top 5 player and he did it all in SA. Larry is in the lower end

Can he match Bird's accolades? If he does, then Kawhi would be in the top 10 for me, which would then put him close to Duncan.

So 3 titles and 3 MVPs, basically? He's got the one title already and just by virtue of being a Spur I'd say there's a decent chance he gets the other two. The three MVPs would be tough though. He's a candidate this year and should be for the foreseeable future. LeBron has to logically drop off at some point, and I think Westbrook is in a really tough spot as far as MVPs go. He'll constantly be held to the triple double standard. He can't do that every year, and if he does, we have to rethink HIS position in history. The Warriors seemed locked out of MVP consideration, and there will always be voters who refuse to consider Harden because of his defense. So gun to my head, I think Kawhi probably wins an MVP at some point. Maybe two. Three is going to be tough.

I think if he gets two MVPs then it's fair to start talking about his peak against Duncan's. Duncan after all won two, and he did it in a less talent-rich league. The rings is another conversation I'd be willing to hear out both sides on.

ManRam
03-12-2017, 09:22 PM
He's pretty far behind already compared to where Tim was after 5 full seasons. It seems really, really, really unlikely. He'd probably have to at the very least match titles, MVPs and Finals MVPs to make up for that. I just don't see it happening. Tim's longevity was very impressive, too. So, in addition to a slower career start odds are he fades a bit earlier.

It ain't happening.

Shammyguy3
03-12-2017, 09:22 PM
He would have to be arguably a top-5 player of all-time. He'd need multiple rings without Duncan there. An MVP. And 10+ more years of this production. Even then, i don't know

Raps18-19 Champ
03-12-2017, 09:31 PM
So 3 titles and 3 MVPs, basically? He's got the one title already and just by virtue of being a Spur I'd say there's a decent chance he gets the other two. The three MVPs would be tough though. He's a candidate this year and should be for the foreseeable future. LeBron has to logically drop off at some point, and I think Westbrook is in a really tough spot as far as MVPs go. He'll constantly be held to the triple double standard. He can't do that every year, and if he does, we have to rethink HIS position in history. The Warriors seemed locked out of MVP consideration, and there will always be voters who refuse to consider Harden because of his defense. So gun to my head, I think Kawhi probably wins an MVP at some point. Maybe two. Three is going to be tough.

I think if he gets two MVPs then it's fair to start talking about his peak against Duncan's. Duncan after all won two, and he did it in a less talent-rich league. The rings is another conversation I'd be willing to hear out both sides on.

If he did get 3 and 3, then I would have no choice but to consider it. He'd still be behind though and once you get to that top 10-15 range, it's extremely hard to go from like 9th to 5th.

I doubt he gets 3 and 3 though. I'd say 2 titles and 1 MVP (MAYBE) would be what he ends up with.

Quinnsanity
03-12-2017, 09:39 PM
If he did get 3 and 3, then I would have no choice but to consider it. He'd still be behind though and once you get to that top 10-15 range, it's extremely hard to go from like 9th to 5th.

I doubt he gets 3 and 3 though. I'd say 2 titles and 1 MVP (MAYBE) would be what he ends up with.

Yea 3 and 3 would definitely be tough. I would say, just by virtue of the Spurs being the Spurs, he gets those two more titles. I don't know when, but the Spurs machine just keeps on rolling. They should be in contention every year as long as Pop sticks around.

The MVPs are tougher though. I think he'll get one at some point or another, whether because he actually is the most valuable player, or as a lifetime achievement sort of thing. The second is always tougher. That's around where I think it's a toss up, if he gets the second MVP. The third would be nearly impossible. Only Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Moses, Bird, Jordan and LeBron have done that. So if he does end up in that group, things get really interesting. More likely he ends up with Duncan and Karl Malone at 2, or with all those other guys with 1.


He's pretty far behind already compared to where Tim was after 5 full seasons. It seems really, really, really unlikely. He'd probably have to at the very least match titles, MVPs and Finals MVPs to make up for that. I just don't see it happening. Tim's longevity was very impressive, too. So, in addition to a slower career start odds are he fades a bit earlier.

It ain't happening.

The longevity is really what makes it so tough. If Duncan were Duncan for 12 seasons instead of 19, the conversation is so different. We've never really seen a wing sustain greatness for that long. Kobe did it for 15 years ('98-'99 through '12-13, with less than great stretches at the front and back of his career). LeBron is in year 14 of greatness, so we'll see how far he makes it. Otherwise, when you look at wings, Bird's career was shortened, MJ's career was relatively short, most of these guys don't have that sustained excellence for two decades. So that's going to be the toughest part. I think there's a decent enough chance that Kawhi's peak matches up with Duncan's. But the longevity is gonna be really, REALLY hard to match.

flea
03-12-2017, 09:45 PM
I actually was around for Duncan's prime. Kawhi is the first perimeter player to win two DPOYs since Sidney Moncrief. He did it at 23 and 24. I think for you to so quickly dismiss Kawhi's defense is kind of ridiculous, especially when you consider the relative difficulties of Kawhi's job in this era (with so many perimeter superstars he has to guard). Like Kawhi might end up winning 5 or 6 DPOYs. Duncan is definitely up there for best defensive player (I think it's Hakeem but Duncan's up there), but if you really don't think Kawhi is going to be in that conversation when it's all said and done, I don't know what to tell you, we're watching different players.

The Jimmy Butler/MJ thing is just dumb. Kawhi is WAY better than Butler and MJ is WAY better than Duncan. Kawhi is already a Finals MVP, a legit MVP candidate in a year where someone is posting a triple double average, someone else was in the running for both the scoring and assist titles and LeBron was actively trying for the MVP. Jimmy Butler isn't close to that. And MJ is way ahead of Duncan.

I don't expect Kawhi to pass Duncan to be honest. But I think it's amazing that it's a real conversation that should be had at this point. Kawhi is THAT good.

You're going to have to get over media awards if we're having a real discussion. If we talk about media hype then Kobe is the GOAT with Magic and Kareem as 2a and 2b. I don't care about jersey sales, PPG totals, style points, or anything. Basketball is competition which means winning. Duncan is a way better defensive player than almost every single DPOY winner and he never won one. So what?

RE: defense, you really don't understand basketball if you think a perimeter defender can ever be equal or better to an elite inside defender. Kawhi is great but honestly Draymond Green was probably the best defensive player these last few years. And even he doesn't sniff prime Duncan's jock - maybe not even old Duncan.

And there is no way MJ is "way better" than Duncan. Duncan is one of only a few NBA players that has a solid argument as being better than MJ. And yes, there are players that can you can argue that for. It's absurd that MJ's storybook career is treated as sacrosanct on virtually every basketball forum discussion. His conference was nearly as bad as Lebron's has been for his prime and late career, he doesn't have longevity, and he was only a truly great 2-way player for maybe 5 seasons compared to Duncan's 10 or so. I don't want to derail by arguing about MJ because to me he is the GOAT but if you just automatically buy the media narrative of MJ then there's nothing to discuss. It's like trying to convince a Muslim that Jesus is better than Mohammed.

Quinnsanity
03-12-2017, 11:59 PM
You're going to have to get over media awards if we're having a real discussion. If we talk about media hype then Kobe is the GOAT with Magic and Kareem as 2a and 2b. I don't care about jersey sales, PPG totals, style points, or anything. Basketball is competition which means winning. Duncan is a way better defensive player than almost every single DPOY winner and he never won one. So what?

RE: defense, you really don't understand basketball if you think a perimeter defender can ever be equal or better to an elite inside defender. Kawhi is great but honestly Draymond Green was probably the best defensive player these last few years. And even he doesn't sniff prime Duncan's jock - maybe not even old Duncan.

And there is no way MJ is "way better" than Duncan. Duncan is one of only a few NBA players that has a solid argument as being better than MJ. And yes, there are players that can you can argue that for. It's absurd that MJ's storybook career is treated as sacrosanct on virtually every basketball forum discussion. His conference was nearly as bad as Lebron's has been for his prime and late career, he doesn't have longevity, and he was only a truly great 2-way player for maybe 5 seasons compared to Duncan's 10 or so. I don't want to derail by arguing about MJ because to me he is the GOAT but if you just automatically buy the media narrative of MJ then there's nothing to discuss. It's like trying to convince a Muslim that Jesus is better than Mohammed.

Media awards obviously aren't the be all and end all. That Duncan never won a DPOY is ridiculous. Same for Scottie Pippen. But if a guy is universally seen as the league's best defender for several years? I don't see how you can argue that doesn't matter. So yea, you have to consider context. But Kawhi has been the best defender in the league for at least two years (yes, he is better than Draymond imo) and that could last a bit longer. But you're being absolutely ridiculous with your anti media/Lakers nonsense. If the media was so biased towards Kobe why did he only win one MVP? Kobe is what Kobe is, an all time great but not in that top tier.

Speaking of context, I think this notion that centers are automatically more valuable than wings defensively is completely outdated. We live in a perimeter oriented league. Having someone like Kawhi who can neutralize all of those top perimeter guys is more important in 2017 than having a rim protecting center. The Spurs have the No. 1 defense this year and have largely started Aldridge and Gasol as their front court (yes they're better with Dedmon on the floor, but even when he sits their DRtg is 102.9 which would be fourth). Dallas and Charlotte are both in the top 10 in defense, and though Dallas had Bogut he missed a bunch of time and Noel was only recently acquired, so ultimately neither had some traditional rim protector. It's not the be all and end all anymore.

And yes, MJ is better than Duncan. That's not a media thing at all. I'm not even 100% convinced MJ is the best player of all time (I think LeBron impacts the game in more ways, but I think MJ had the best career in terms of accolades/accomplishments). But if you don't think there's a clear tier drop between where MJ is and where Duncan is, well, I just don't know how to argue with you. I'll grant that he doesn't have the longevity, and if you're arguing total value added to his teams over his career ok, that's something. But the caliber of player MJ was when he was on the court was higher than the caliber of player Duncan was when he was on the court.

JasonJohnHorn
03-13-2017, 12:07 AM
Five rings and five finals MVPs ought to do it.

LA_Raiders
03-13-2017, 12:08 AM
Win five ring and that may do it.

Quinnsanity
03-13-2017, 12:37 AM
Win five ring and that may do it.


Five rings and five finals MVPs ought to do it.

First of all, Duncan only won 3 Finals MVPs so I'll put that out there.

Second, just in general, I hate how caught up we get with rings in individual player evaluation in general. It's way worse in football, but even in basketball, one player is still only one out of five guys on the court. I just think it's so unfair to ignore context and say any player objectively needs a certain amount of rings to pass another as an individual player. I'm not even gonna bother with the ridiculous Robert Horry having more rings than Player X straw man argument, but like, we all know Gary Payton is the best Sonic and he never won a title there. Nobody ever said "Gary Payton isn't a better Sonic than Jack Sikma/Dennis Johnson because he didn't win a ring for them." That's just one example. I think someone can be a better player than another player and have fewer rings. I think a player's playoff performance is a valuable part of the discussion, but I hate how much the team's end result tends to dominate that discussion rather than what the player did and who he did it with. It's a lazy argument. Championships are a team accomplishment. Not an individual accomplishment.

europagnpilgrim
03-13-2017, 02:36 AM
When Duncan came in he was the main piece/franchise off top, they tanked for the guy to draft him,literally

Kawhi was a steal of the draft that was a nice piece to add on to what Duncan/Pop had already built

it starts and ends right there

Kawhi is a hell of a player but if you put him up against each team best player he isn't really locking nobody down 1 on 1(its hard for any player especially on the perimeter), Lebron put up 28 8 8 against him in the Finals, Harden torches him and I am sure others as well

every now and then he can harass a player into shooting a bad game but for the most part he isn't locking down nobody because better offense trumps better defense all day every day, and also the Spurs have always had a Bowen/defense to harass some of the best players to bad shooting games so that is more so the culture/scheme than to what Kawhi can do individually, Kawhi is basically Bowen with better offense, Duncan is basically B Russell with more offense

Duncan anchored a defense at a higher level I feel when it was more post players at a premium
Kawhi is anchoring a defense that is more perimeter and its damn good at what he is doing but I don't feel nobody would draft him over Duncan in any draft in any era and that's how I cut the deck to separate the better players, who would you draft first from scratch

mightybosstone
03-13-2017, 09:26 AM
I wouldn't say it's impossible, but I'd put the odds at well under 5 percent. The guy would have to provide this elite level of offensive and defensive production (of whic we've only seen once) for another decade or close to it, he'd need to win at least 2-3 more rings, wrack up a few MVPs and DPOY awards, and that might still not be enough. And the likelihood that Pop will be around his entire career is insanely low, so he's not likely to have Duncan's sustained team success.

Obviously all-time lists are subjective, but I feel pretty confident when I say there's little chance of this ever happening.

sixer04fan
03-13-2017, 10:07 AM
Duncan is arguably a top 4-5 player of all time. I don't see it happening

R. Johnson#3
03-13-2017, 11:06 AM
As great as Kawhi is becoming to match or surpass Timmy he needs longevity and health. Timmy pretty much never missed significant time over the course of 19 years. There aren't a whole lot of players that can say they did that and it's definitely a part of Timmy's success. Kawhi has the talent but he needs to stay healthy.

Hawkeye15
03-13-2017, 11:59 AM
He's pretty far behind already compared to where Tim was after 5 full seasons. It seems really, really, really unlikely. He'd probably have to at the very least match titles, MVPs and Finals MVPs to make up for that. I just don't see it happening. Tim's longevity was very impressive, too. So, in addition to a slower career start odds are he fades a bit earlier.

It ain't happening.

pretty much agree

LA4life24/8
03-13-2017, 12:13 PM
Gonna be damn hard for him too. Needs multiple rings/ mvps and has to have this production for another decade+.

Its going to be very tough and highly unlikely, but COULD it happen? Yes. Doubtful though lol. And i really like kawhi thats just my honest opinion

ewing
03-13-2017, 12:47 PM
He needs to expose Duncan as child molester otherwise i just don't see it happening

valade16
03-13-2017, 01:57 PM
The Spurs this season have the #1 Drtg. Unless people believe old man Pau Gasol or LMA are anchoring that defense we are faced with one of two options:

1. Kawhi's defensive impact is massive for a perimeter player

2. Popovich's schemes are primarily responsible for the Spurs defensive performances, which actually diminishes the Duncan is the best defender ever argument.

Do I think Kawhi will surpass Duncan? No. But he has a shot which is more than 99.9% of players in the NBA can say.

This reminds me of earlier this season when someone asked if Kawhi was a top 10 perimeter defender ever and people said no way and he'll never be as good as Pippen. Well his season this year is better than any season Pippen ever had and he is damn sure a top 10 perimeter defender ever going by ability and impact.

Shammyguy3
03-13-2017, 03:21 PM
The Spurs this season have the #1 Drtg. Unless people believe old man Pau Gasol or LMA are anchoring that defense we are faced with one of two options:

1. Kawhi's defensive impact is massive for a perimeter player

2. Popovich's schemes are primarily responsible for the Spurs defensive performances, which actually diminishes the Duncan is the best defender ever argument.

Do I think Kawhi will surpass Duncan? No. But he has a shot which is more than 99.9% of players in the NBA can say.

This reminds me of earlier this season when someone asked if Kawhi was a top 10 perimeter defender ever and people said no way and he'll never be as good as Pippen. Well his season this year is better than any season Pippen ever had and he is damn sure a top 10 perimeter defender ever going by ability and impact.

Yeah I think Kawhi has a good chance of passing Pippen. His defense is already elite, he is a much better scorer, equal rebounder, far more efficient. The only thing Pippen is definitely better at is passing. Kawhi has a good chance of going down in my top-30 players ever

GodsSon
03-13-2017, 03:30 PM
Win 4 more titles for starters...

ewing
03-13-2017, 03:32 PM
Yeah I think Kawhi has a good chance of passing Pippen. His defense is already elite, he is a much better scorer, equal rebounder, far more efficient. The only thing Pippen is definitely better at is passing. Kawhi has a good chance of going down in my top-30 players ever

he is a better player then Pippen ever was right now. Its not close.

kdspurman
03-13-2017, 03:32 PM
When Duncan came in he was the main piece/franchise off top, they tanked for the guy to draft him,literally

Kawhi was a steal of the draft that was a nice piece to add on to what Duncan/Pop had already built

it starts and ends right there

Kawhi is a hell of a player but if you put him up against each team best player he isn't really locking nobody down 1 on 1(its hard for any player especially on the perimeter), Lebron put up 28 8 8 against him in the Finals, Harden torches him and I am sure others as well

every now and then he can harass a player into shooting a bad game but for the most part he isn't locking down nobody because better offense trumps better defense all day every day, and also the Spurs have always had a Bowen/defense to harass some of the best players to bad shooting games so that is more so the culture/scheme than to what Kawhi can do individually, Kawhi is basically Bowen with better offense, Duncan is basically B Russell with more offense

Duncan anchored a defense at a higher level I feel when it was more post players at a premium
Kawhi is anchoring a defense that is more perimeter and its damn good at what he is doing but I don't feel nobody would draft him over Duncan in any draft in any era and that's how I cut the deck to separate the better players, who would you draft first from scratch

Not to cherry pick, but the series ending #'s aren't what he put up on Kawhi 1 on 1. It's already been debated many times, but Lebron was less effective when Kawhi was guarding him. He didn't put those numbers up on him, and Kawhi has (on many occasions) locked down opposing teams best players.

kdspurman
03-13-2017, 03:35 PM
He's pretty far behind already compared to where Tim was after 5 full seasons. It seems really, really, really unlikely. He'd probably have to at the very least match titles, MVPs and Finals MVPs to make up for that. I just don't see it happening. Tim's longevity was very impressive, too. So, in addition to a slower career start odds are he fades a bit earlier.

It ain't happening.

Yea.. This makes sense to me. TD from Day 1 in the league was a dominant force. Kawhi took a couple years for all the firmware upgrades to get him where he's at today. If he came in to the league the player he is now, it's probably a different conversation. Even then, the longevity is the other side of it

Shammyguy3
03-13-2017, 03:41 PM
he is a better player then Pippen ever was right now. Its not close.

and if he ends up having a career-ending injury would you place him ahead of Pippen as is? :eyebrow: one great season isn't enough to go up the all-time ranks. If he keeps it up, then he is demonstrably ahead of Pippen.

LA4life24/8
03-13-2017, 04:53 PM
and if he ends up having a career-ending injury would you place him ahead of Pippen as is? :eyebrow: one great season isn't enough to go up the all-time ranks. If he keeps it up, then he is demonstrably ahead of Pippen.

Yeah he's def not ahead of pippen right now. Kawhi has a lot to prove still, mostly just that he can do year in and out what he is doing now. Pippen did it for a decade+ so as much as i like kawhi he's got a ways to go.

flea
03-13-2017, 04:59 PM
The Spurs this season have the #1 Drtg. Unless people believe old man Pau Gasol or LMA are anchoring that defense we are faced with one of two options:

1. Kawhi's defensive impact is massive for a perimeter player

2. Popovich's schemes are primarily responsible for the Spurs defensive performances, which actually diminishes the Duncan is the best defender ever argument.

The Spurs D is so good partially because they're so big inside (which, yes, LMA and Gasol have a lot to do with) and partially because they're so big on the perimeter. Leonard is fantastic and certainly has more to do with the team defense than anyone but Danny Green is himself a top 5-10 on ball defender in the league. Their depth helps them a lot there too, which I will credit Pop for developing and identifying the types of players who will buy in to their role but let's not act like some magical "scheme" has made the Spurs good. Most teams play very similar defensive schemes and there is nothing particularly cerebral about them - they are all variants of matchup zones.

If Pop really was doing something magical with his "schemes" every other team in the league would copy it. When Duncan was around the scheme was funnel the drive at him and chase back 3 point shooters. It wouldn't have worked if Duncan wasn't the best rim protector in the game who could also double as the best defensive rebounder in the game (very difficult for one player to be both of those things, you'll notice that often the best rim protectors struggle on the defensive glass due to being out of position as a help defender).

Crediting a Pop "scheme" and saying it diminishes Duncan's reputation as a defender is like saying Phil Jackson's "scheme" diminishes MJ's argument as the best scorer. Yes Phil put Jordan in a position to succeed - IE in the post and coming off screens - but an NBA coach's main job is to get out of the way of their players' abilities.

flea
03-13-2017, 05:01 PM
Also, forget Duncan for this thread. It's not likely any of us will see another big man as good as Duncan in our lives. A better question is what does Leonard have to do to surpass someone like George Gervin or David Robinson. I don't even know that I'd put even odds on Leonard ever being better than Robinson.

Avenged
03-13-2017, 06:39 PM
He needs to expose Duncan as child molester otherwise i just don't see it happening

That still wouldn't be enough.

Quinnsanity
03-13-2017, 07:51 PM
I wouldn't say it's impossible, but I'd put the odds at well under 5 percent. The guy would have to provide this elite level of offensive and defensive production (of whic we've only seen once) for another decade or close to it, he'd need to win at least 2-3 more rings, wrack up a few MVPs and DPOY awards, and that might still not be enough. And the likelihood that Pop will be around his entire career is insanely low, so he's not likely to have Duncan's sustained team success.

Obviously all-time lists are subjective, but I feel pretty confident when I say there's little chance of this ever happening.

I think this is best overall response. It's highly unlikely but not impossible. My idea in making this thread was more "what would it take" rather than actually suggesting Kawhi is on that track already. I'd say the odds are under 5%, but they're above 0%.

valade16
03-13-2017, 07:52 PM
The Spurs D is so good partially because they're so big inside (which, yes, LMA and Gasol have a lot to do with) and partially because they're so big on the perimeter. Leonard is fantastic and certainly has more to do with the team defense than anyone but Danny Green is himself a top 5-10 on ball defender in the league. Their depth helps them a lot there too, which I will credit Pop for developing and identifying the types of players who will buy in to their role but let's not act like some magical "scheme" has made the Spurs good. Most teams play very similar defensive schemes and there is nothing particularly cerebral about them - they are all variants of matchup zones.

If Pop really was doing something magical with his "schemes" every other team in the league would copy it. When Duncan was around the scheme was funnel the drive at him and chase back 3 point shooters. It wouldn't have worked if Duncan wasn't the best rim protector in the game who could also double as the best defensive rebounder in the game (very difficult for one player to be both of those things, you'll notice that often the best rim protectors struggle on the defensive glass due to being out of position as a help defender).

Crediting a Pop "scheme" and saying it diminishes Duncan's reputation as a defender is like saying Phil Jackson's "scheme" diminishes MJ's argument as the best scorer. Yes Phil put Jordan in a position to succeed - IE in the post and coming off screens - but an NBA coach's main job is to get out of the way of their players' abilities.

That was my point in presenting the two options. We are forced to concede point one, that Kawhi is an extremely good defender.

Kawhi has been so good on defense this season that many teams decided to play 4 on 4 when he was on the court and have his man just hide on the perimeter so Kawhi can't play defense. And that was the opposing team's best player. How good of a defender does someone have to be for you as a coach to look at your best player and say "I'm not even going to try"?

I get Duncan is one of the best defenders of all-time, but Kawhi is pushing himself into the best perimeter defender of all-time discussion. If you're argument is a rim protector is more valuable than a perimeter defender I get it, though I think the gap is about as close as it's ever been in NBA history considering the rules are designed to allow perimeter players to flourish and Kawhi is shutting them down despite that.

But to say he has no chance considering his age and how good he is? I think the chance is highly unlikely, but possible.

europagnpilgrim
03-13-2017, 08:04 PM
Not to cherry pick, but the series ending #'s aren't what he put up on Kawhi 1 on 1. It's already been debated many times, but Lebron was less effective when Kawhi was guarding him. He didn't put those numbers up on him, and Kawhi has (on many occasions) locked down opposing teams best players.

Well Leonard should have guarded him the entire time and the outcome still would have been the same because he is not stopping Lebron, but based on his reputation you would think Leonard would guard him the entire game/series at least for the most part, I have seen Leonard take someone out for a quarter but if he guarded every premier perimeter player for entire games he wont be locking them down, from Westbrook to Harden to Curry and so on they would get loose and that's not a knock on Leonard because he is pretty much the best perimeter defender in the game but its just very difficult to do

its like when Bowen use to play good D on Kobe/Iverson/R Allen etc and they would still get loose because its hard to stop supreme offense, but Bowen would do a lot better than most and that's how I look at Leonard, he is Bowen with better offense/athletic ability

Quinnsanity
03-13-2017, 09:02 PM
Well Leonard should have guarded him the entire time and the outcome still would have been the same because he is not stopping Lebron, but based on his reputation you would think Leonard would guard him the entire game/series at least for the most part, I have seen Leonard take someone out for a quarter but if he guarded every premier perimeter player for entire games he wont be locking them down, from Westbrook to Harden to Curry and so on they would get loose and that's not a knock on Leonard because he is pretty much the best perimeter defender in the game but its just very difficult to do

its like when Bowen use to play good D on Kobe/Iverson/R Allen etc and they would still get loose because its hard to stop supreme offense, but Bowen would do a lot better than most and that's how I look at Leonard, he is Bowen with better offense/athletic ability

I don't think you fully understand how defense works. It's practically impossible for one player to guard another player on literally every full possession. Substitution patterns may keep them apart for stretches, sometimes switches are forced against the defense's will, and most importantly, players can't always find each other in transition because they were on different parts of the court when the other team had possession (in fact, a player's ability to find their man in these cross matchups is a vital part of overall defensive ability, but nobody is perfect at it). Plus, players sometimes simply need to rest for a possession or two. Kawhi Leonard has, and had during those Finals, important offensive responsibilities as well. Guarding LeBron James is exhausting. If Kawhi has taken a few shots in short succession while also guarding LeBron, he's probably going to need a quick breather. It's not the end of the world if Danny Green has to guard him for a possession or two. It happens to everyone. Even in the Finals, LeBron takes breaks on defense, Jordan took breaks on defense, there is not a single player in the history of basketball who gave 100% effort on every single defensive play of his career or close to it. I'll grant that it's easier for bigs to get that breather because their radius of movement is typically smaller, but everyone is finding rest on defense at some point or another in every game.

JasonJohnHorn
03-13-2017, 09:29 PM
Also, forget Duncan for this thread. It's not likely any of us will see another big man as good as Duncan in our lives. A better question is what does Leonard have to do to surpass someone like George Gervin or David Robinson. I don't even know that I'd put even odds on Leonard ever being better than Robinson.

He's already ahead of Gervin, and he's only one ring behind Robinson.

Gervin was amazing and grossly underrated because he was never in a winning situation: I feel bad for him. Were he on the Lakers instead of, say James Worthy or Cooper, people would put Gervin in the top five at his position.

Leonard is a better two-way player, but Gervin, from what I've heard (never got to watch him play) was no slouch on defense himself, and played in an era where there wasn't a defensive team and where defense wasn't really celebrated. Leonard was in a lucky position to win a title; Gervin was never that lucky.

That said: Robinson was an all-time great in my book. Had he played in the era with Wilt and Russell, he would have been on a par with them. He was second only to Hakeem in his generation, and in the early part of his career was frankly better than Shaq was during his Orlando days. Even were Leonard to win another ring or two, and maintain this level of play for another 5-6 years, I'd have a hard time placing him ahead of D-Rob, though I'm sure that younger fans would favour Leonard since they get to see him play.


I think the best Leonard can do is to be put on a par with D-Rob and will likely be viewed ahead of Gervin for sure.

zn23
03-13-2017, 09:35 PM
Well, for one, he can start by getting a time machine.

In seriousness, it's going to take a lot because Duncan is not just the greatest Spur he's also a top 10 player of all time. Kawhi has really only arrived on the scene a few years ago. So winning a few titles, a few MVPs, will help him approach Duncan.

Quinnsanity
03-13-2017, 09:47 PM
The Spurs D is so good partially because they're so big inside (which, yes, LMA and Gasol have a lot to do with) and partially because they're so big on the perimeter. Leonard is fantastic and certainly has more to do with the team defense than anyone but Danny Green is himself a top 5-10 on ball defender in the league. Their depth helps them a lot there too, which I will credit Pop for developing and identifying the types of players who will buy in to their role but let's not act like some magical "scheme" has made the Spurs good. Most teams play very similar defensive schemes and there is nothing particularly cerebral about them - they are all variants of matchup zones.

If Pop really was doing something magical with his "schemes" every other team in the league would copy it. When Duncan was around the scheme was funnel the drive at him and chase back 3 point shooters. It wouldn't have worked if Duncan wasn't the best rim protector in the game who could also double as the best defensive rebounder in the game (very difficult for one player to be both of those things, you'll notice that often the best rim protectors struggle on the defensive glass due to being out of position as a help defender).

Crediting a Pop "scheme" and saying it diminishes Duncan's reputation as a defender is like saying Phil Jackson's "scheme" diminishes MJ's argument as the best scorer. Yes Phil put Jordan in a position to succeed - IE in the post and coming off screens - but an NBA coach's main job is to get out of the way of their players' abilities.

I think you really inflate the importance of size on defense. Yes, bigger lineups tend to do better on defense, but most objective studies show that the gap is smaller than people would think. And there are a lot of anecdotal examples that suggest fit is a lot more important. Take Orlando. They played bigger than just about anyone with Aaron Gordon mostly playing 3 and Serge Ibaka/Bismack Biyombo/Nic Vucevic at the 4 and 5. But even when they had their supposed best defensive lineup of Gordon at the 3, Ibaka at the 4 and Biyombo at the 5 they were ****ing miserable on defense (110.2 DRtg). Frank Vogel is a good defensive coach, and athletically Gordon can play perimeter defense. But that trio isn't a good fit. In fact, Orlando has three lineups that have played more than 50 minutes together and have a DRtg below 100 (not an ideal sample size, but it's just to illustrate a point). None of them include more than one of the Ibaka/Biyombo/Gordon trio. That's just one example. There are others. It just goes to show that size is not the be all and end all of defense. There's a reason Roy Hibbert is completely unplayable at this point. The league passed him by. Slow, plodding rim protectors no longer have value.

I'd also say that San Antonio's depth is sorely overrated, particularly on defense. By virtually any measure, Tony Parker and Pau Gasol are among the worst defenders in basketball. Aldridge is average, if slightly below. Manu still knows where to go but he's not an impact guy on defense anymore. David Lee was one of the worst defensive players in the league when he was in his prime, and that's no longer that case. If you really look at San Antonio's roster, of the 12 players to play more than 600 minutes for them, I think we can definitively say that two players are great defenders: Kawhi, and Danny Green (I completely agree with your assessment on him, he is a top 5-10 on ball defender in basketball as well and definitely makes lifer easier on Kawhi to an extent because he can guard point guards when necessary). Dewayne Dedmon is an above average defender. Patty Mills is somewhere between average and above average (which is a logical fallacy, but just if we were tiering it). After that? I like Jonathan Simmons a lot but he's by no means an excellent defender. If Slow-Mo were on any team other than the Spurs I think we'd have given up on him by now. Davis Bertans is frisky but not close to good. Kawhi and Danny Green are really the players that make the difference there, with Dedmon being the other main defensive contributor. This is not a traditionally great defensive roster.

I think Popovich deserves some of the credit. He's a tremendous coach, and he schemes great defenses. But he's by no means an innovator on defense. He's a great aggregator. You can see elements of Thibodeau's Chicago defense in how well they keep the ball out of the middle of the court. They've pulled out switch-heavy game plans against specific opponents without making it their bread and butter (like Golden State). But Pop is not a defensive innovator. Their Duncan defenses were very spartan and relied on the quality of the players more than anything else (Duncan being the linchpin, with Bowen being the perimeter stopper, but people forget that Manu was a really good defender at his peak and they had a rotating cast of "centers" playing next to Duncan for double-barreled rim protection). I think if anything Popovich has had slightly more of a hand in this incarnation of the San Antonio defenses of the past, but his expertise flat out isn't defense. He's not Tom Thibodeau. I'd really say his greatest strength as a coach, besides his ability to manage personalities, is his willingness to steal and adapt from other coaches. So much of his offense during the 2014 championship was based in European principles. The Aldridge offenses are different. You can see a lot of triangle elements, for example, to get him his mid-range shots and put him in position to make decisions on the elbow with that initial entry pass.


Also, forget Duncan for this thread. It's not likely any of us will see another big man as good as Duncan in our lives. A better question is what does Leonard have to do to surpass someone like George Gervin or David Robinson. I don't even know that I'd put even odds on Leonard ever being better than Robinson.

I think Kawhi is absolutely on pace to pass Gervin. On a very basic level, if Kawhi sticks as a high 20's scorer for the length of Gervin's career and maintains his efficiency he'll be something like 95% the offensive player Gervin was but a far better defender. I'm not even going to bother with holding Gervin's three-point shooting against him, it's unfair to compare that far across eras (though for the record, I'm less forgiving with players from the 90's on). But at the very least, the current incarnation of Kawhi is almost the offensive player Gervin was and is far better on defense. At his current rate, assuming no major injuries, I think Kawhi should pass Gervin with relative comfort.

Robinson is tougher, but it's where longevity actually helps Kawhi. People forget that due to Robinson's naval service he didn't play in the NBA until he was 24. He had seven great seasons, one injured year, another great one (the first championship) and was a role player after that. Kawhi should outlast him comfortably in that area just based on modern medicine and training techniques. Peak Kawhi vs. Peak Robinson is another conversation, partially because I'm not convinced we've even seen peak Kawhi (just look at his career month by month, he almost universally gets better), and partially because Robinson was trapped on some really bizarre teams at his peak. Remember the Jerry Tarkanian debacle? Larry Brown was around for a bit. His best pre-Duncan teammate was, I guess Sean Elliot? Part of me wonders if it's unfair to compare Kawhi, who had every possible advantage, to Robinson, who was part of a less than stable Spurs organization, without at least granting Robinson some sort of head start. But put a gun to my head? I'd expect Kawhi to emerge as the better player if what we've seen this year turns out to be the norm.

But no, I do not in any way expect him to pass Duncan. I posed the question merely as a curiosity of what people think it would take. I liked the idea that he would have to match Larry Bird's accomplishments (3 MVPs and 3 titles) as some sort of baseline, since Kawhi and Bird are both perimeter players and Bird is in roughly the same area Duncan is on most all time lists. My guess is that Kawhi winds up with 1-2 MVPs, another title or two, and winds up in the 30's or 20's on most all time lists. Like someone else said, Kawhi right now is better than Pippen ever was. If Pippen is, let's say 25 or so (just using the Simmons HOF pyramid number), that seems like the right area to project Kawhi to.

KobeOwnSU
03-13-2017, 09:54 PM
When Duncan came in he was the main piece/franchise off top, they tanked for the guy to draft him,literally

Kawhi was a steal of the draft that was a nice piece to add on to what Duncan/Pop had already built

it starts and ends right there

Kawhi is a hell of a player but if you put him up against each team best player he isn't really locking nobody down 1 on 1(its hard for any player especially on the perimeter), Lebron put up 28 8 8 against him in the Finals, Harden torches him and I am sure others as well

every now and then he can harass a player into shooting a bad game but for the most part he isn't locking down nobody because better offense trumps better defense all day every day, and also the Spurs have always had a Bowen/defense to harass some of the best players to bad shooting games so that is more so the culture/scheme than to what Kawhi can do individually, Kawhi is basically Bowen with better offense, Duncan is basically B Russell with more offense

Duncan anchored a defense at a higher level I feel when it was more post players at a premium
Kawhi is anchoring a defense that is more perimeter and its damn good at what he is doing but I don't feel nobody would draft him over Duncan in any draft in any era and that's how I cut the deck to separate the better players, who would you draft first from scratch
Did this guy just say he is a slightly better Bruce Bowen?

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

IKnowHoops
03-14-2017, 01:52 AM
First he's gotta catch the iceman. Then he has to pass Drob...no way in h--- that is happening. So he has no chance of passing Tim as the all time greatest Spur.

ewing
03-14-2017, 02:06 AM
Did this guy just say he is a slightly better Bruce Bowen?

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I don't think so. He said he had better offensive. Bowen was a HELL of a defender. Probably
not the team defender KL is but one of the best one on one defenders i've ever seen. His tone didn't tell you that KL was also an elite first option offensive player with diverse skill set on that side but i don't have a problem with comparing them as defenders. Bowen was as elite as elite gets on D

Quinnsanity
03-14-2017, 02:25 AM
First he's gotta catch the iceman. Then he has to pass Drob...no way in h--- that is happening. So he has no chance of passing Tim as the all time greatest Spur.

Wanna say he has no chance of passing Duncan? That's fine. But he's well on his way to passing Robinson. Not that it's a certainty by any means, but the level of play Kawhi is at right now is pretty similar to what the Admiral was at his peak. And Robinson's longevity isn't that great. Gun to my head I'd expect Kawhi to pass Robinson. Duncan is an entirely different story.

europagnpilgrim
03-14-2017, 02:32 AM
I don't think you fully understand how defense works. It's practically impossible for one player to guard another player on literally every full possession. Substitution patterns may keep them apart for stretches, sometimes switches are forced against the defense's will, and most importantly, players can't always find each other in transition because they were on different parts of the court when the other team had possession (in fact, a player's ability to find their man in these cross matchups is a vital part of overall defensive ability, but nobody is perfect at it). Plus, players sometimes simply need to rest for a possession or two. Kawhi Leonard has, and had during those Finals, important offensive responsibilities as well. Guarding LeBron James is exhausting. If Kawhi has taken a few shots in short succession while also guarding LeBron, he's probably going to need a quick breather. It's not the end of the world if Danny Green has to guard him for a possession or two. It happens to everyone. Even in the Finals, LeBron takes breaks on defense, Jordan took breaks on defense, there is not a single player in the history of basketball who gave 100% effort on every single defensive play of his career or close to it. I'll grant that it's easier for bigs to get that breather because their radius of movement is typically smaller, but everyone is finding rest on defense at some point or another in every game.

I overstand how defense works and its the main reason why I say nobody is a lockdown defender, not Jordan nor Leonard especially when guarding the true supreme players, now against lesser competition/teams they look good no doubt

Leonard is a good defender and was even probably better few years ago since he had to just basically focus on that end because they barely ran any plays for him which is much different than right now where he is getting like 26ppg, which will make his defense drop off by nature

Pop would usually sub him out when Lebron came out from what I have watched over time but of course he cant guard Lebron 1 on 1 the entire game and I only focus on the half court defense when speaking on somebody locking another player down for those other reasons you mentioned about transition etc.

Heediot
03-14-2017, 08:13 AM
If he wins 2 more ships, one MVP and a few more DPOYs, I believe you can begin a conversation. Duncan is one of my all time favorites, but I don't necessarily think KL needs to win just as much titles as Duncan to have an argument. It will be hard because like others said, Duncan's longevity is rare. Not too sure if Kahwhi's game ages as well. Duncan played with brains and feel, which let him to be a high end contributor for such a long time.

king4day
03-14-2017, 01:15 PM
As many say, he'll need to win 5 + rings. He'll need MVP awards.
Duncan is considered probably a top ten player of all time. Leonard needs to do enough to get there.
Possible? Sure. I doubt anyone thought someone would surpass Robinson as the greatest Spur ever.

He's got a very long way to go.

Firefistus
03-14-2017, 03:17 PM
Just to put this into perspective, I'm going to show you what kawaii will have to do until he's 40 to match Tim Duncan's career stat wise. Assuming he doesn't miss any games for the next 15 years he will need to average.

Points
16 Points Per Game
12 Rebounds Per Game
2.2 Blocks Per Game
2.7 Assists Per Game
.2 Steals Per Game

I think it's fairly obvious that he's going to get the steals and assists by the time his career is over, but rebounds and points I'm going to point to no. Who knows, maybe he can get that many points, maybe he can be healthy his whole career, but Duncan was one of those guys who just was gifted at the game in and out. I just don't see him being as great as Duncan.

RLundi
03-14-2017, 04:15 PM
Ringz.

Quinnsanity
03-14-2017, 07:16 PM
I overstand how defense works and its the main reason why I say nobody is a lockdown defender, not Jordan nor Leonard especially when guarding the true supreme players, now against lesser competition/teams they look good no doubt

Leonard is a good defender and was even probably better few years ago since he had to just basically focus on that end because they barely ran any plays for him which is much different than right now where he is getting like 26ppg, which will make his defense drop off by nature

Pop would usually sub him out when Lebron came out from what I have watched over time but of course he cant guard Lebron 1 on 1 the entire game and I only focus on the half court defense when speaking on somebody locking another player down for those other reasons you mentioned about transition etc.

Again, you don't really understand. Transition does not just mean fast breaks. There is transition on literally every possession. If Kawhi is in the corner on offense and the player he's guarding is defending someone on the other side of the court when the ball is shot, it's going to be much harder for Kawhi to reach him before the ball gets past half court and the offense initiates, so Kawhi would have to settle for guarding whoever is closest to him while whoever is closest to his man (in this scenario, LeBron) would take him for that possession. The Spurs would try to force a switch, but the offense is in complete control of how possible that is, and in fact will usually just let Kawhi's man (again, LeBron) isolate on the mismatched defender. This is a really common tactic teams use on great defenders to neutralize them. They make sure that the player he's guarding is not the same player who guards him, so he has to find his intended man on every possession in transition. That's simply not possible. There were plenty of possessions in those series where Miami would guard Kawhi with Battier just to make it harder for him to get to LeBron, and so he'd be basically wasted on Battier on as many possessions as possible.


Just to put this into perspective, I'm going to show you what kawaii will have to do until he's 40 to match Tim Duncan's career stat wise. Assuming he doesn't miss any games for the next 15 years he will need to average.

Points
16 Points Per Game
12 Rebounds Per Game
2.2 Blocks Per Game
2.7 Assists Per Game
.2 Steals Per Game

I think it's fairly obvious that he's going to get the steals and assists by the time his career is over, but rebounds and points I'm going to point to no. Who knows, maybe he can get that many points, maybe he can be healthy his whole career, but Duncan was one of those guys who just was gifted at the game in and out. I just don't see him being as great as Duncan.

That's kind of an unfair comparison. He's a wing. He's not going to match Duncan in rebounds or blocks. But he's probably going to pass him in assists and steals. It's just totally apples to oranges.

JasonJohnHorn
03-14-2017, 08:08 PM
Giving this some thought... assuming that the Spurs have another 5 winning seasons or so without an implosion and keep their team freshly stocked up, and assuming his plays through his peak years at this level... he should be able to retire with the Spurs and have his name on a par with Duncan and D-Rob.

I really don't think there is any topping Duncan. I mean... how would anybody do that? Did Magic top Kareem? Did Kareem top West? Did Kobe and Shaq top Kareem and Magic? No... they just all got to the same level. Lakers fans might have a favorite, but at the end of the day, in the pantheon of Lakers, those guys are all equals in terms of what they helped that franchise accomplish and what they did in a Lakers jersey.


Gervin, though he didn't win, should always be held in high regard by Spurs fans. D-Rob and Duncan had solidified their spots in the Spurs pantheon, and to a lesser extent, Manu and Parker have as well...

Leonard is in there already... it's not just a matter of whether he will be on a par with Duncan and D-Rob. There is no question, unless he pulls off some Bill Russell $#!T and string 6 titles in a row, he's not topping Duncan. And with the way officials call games in favour of the big market teams, and the way they have called against the Spurs, it's going to be hard for Leonard to pull that off.

europagnpilgrim
03-14-2017, 09:04 PM
Again, you don't really understand. Transition does not just mean fast breaks. There is transition on literally every possession. If Kawhi is in the corner on offense and the player he's guarding is defending someone on the other side of the court when the ball is shot, it's going to be much harder for Kawhi to reach him before the ball gets past half court and the offense initiates, so Kawhi would have to settle for guarding whoever is closest to him while whoever is closest to his man (in this scenario, LeBron) would take him for that possession. The Spurs would try to force a switch, but the offense is in complete control of how possible that is, and in fact will usually just let Kawhi's man (again, LeBron) isolate on the mismatched defender. This is a really common tactic teams use on great defenders to neutralize them. They make sure that the player he's guarding is not the same player who guards him, so he has to find his intended man on every possession in transition. That's simply not possible. There were plenty of possessions in those series where Miami would guard Kawhi with Battier just to make it harder for him to get to LeBron, and so he'd be basically wasted on Battier on as many possessions as possible.



That's kind of an unfair comparison. He's a wing. He's not going to match Duncan in rebounds or blocks. But he's probably going to pass him in assists and steals. It's just totally apples to oranges.

I overstand it easily, its the reason why I agreed with you on the transition part, I said half court defense is where I judge players capabilities on that end of the game(defense) because its usually man on man until they switch up on a pick and roll at times

I am sure if you read my statement correctly it wouldn't be this hard to decipher

like I said from the games I have watched Pop usually puts Kawhi on Lebron/other team best player, but this year since Kawhi has more offensive responsibility he usually puts him on the best player during crunch time or moments in the first half, but when he got there early in career he clearly was guarding the best perimeter player as basically a shadow, and he was better at it and known just for doing that for the most part and got his 15ppg or so in between

europagnpilgrim
03-14-2017, 09:08 PM
I overstand it easily, its the reason why I agreed with you on the transition part, I said half court defense is where I judge players capabilities on that end of the game(defense) because its usually man on man until they switch up on a pick and roll at times

I am sure if you read my statement correctly it wouldn't be this hard to decipher

like I said from the games I have watched Pop usually puts Kawhi on Lebron/other team best player, but this year since Kawhi has more offensive responsibility he usually puts him on the best player during crunch time or moments in the first half, but when he got there early in career he clearly was guarding the best perimeter player as basically a shadow, and he was better at it and known just for doing that for the most part and got his 15ppg or so in between

Lebron should let Battier exert more energy on guarding the other team best wing player since he is asked to do much on the other side, as with Leonard this year letting Green and others do the same until crunchtime, as Lebron would do in Miami in crunchtime and lock you up, that's basic ball sense 101, same as Jordan when he had Pippen, same with Zeke when he had Dumars/Rodman and so on

Quinnsanity
03-15-2017, 12:14 AM
I overstand it easily, its the reason why I agreed with you on the transition part, I said half court defense is where I judge players capabilities on that end of the game(defense) because its usually man on man until they switch up on a pick and roll at times

I am sure if you read my statement correctly it wouldn't be this hard to decipher

like I said from the games I have watched Pop usually puts Kawhi on Lebron/other team best player, but this year since Kawhi has more offensive responsibility he usually puts him on the best player during crunch time or moments in the first half, but when he got there early in career he clearly was guarding the best perimeter player as basically a shadow, and he was better at it and known just for doing that for the most part and got his 15ppg or so in between


Lebron should let Battier exert more energy on guarding the other team best wing player since he is asked to do much on the other side, as with Leonard this year letting Green and others do the same until crunchtime, as Lebron would do in Miami in crunchtime and lock you up, that's basic ball sense 101, same as Jordan when he had Pippen, same with Zeke when he had Dumars/Rodman and so on

You clearly don't understand it, both because of the reasons I'm about to give and because "overstand" is not a word. First of all, if "half court defense is where I judge players capabilities" and Kawhi defended LeBron incredibly well when they were matched up man-to-man in the half court (here's a good post (https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/3iiwz2/lebrons_statline_vs_kawhi_in_the_2014_finals_an/) from reddit explaining how LeBron was scoring most of his points against non-Kawhi defenders in the Finals, and here's another one (http://www.espn.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/91407/kawhi-leonard-wreaking-havoc-on-lebron) from ESPN about all of the little ways Kawhi makes LeBron's life harder), then it makes no sense for you to say that it's impossible to lock him down because Kawhi basically did, at least inasmuch as it's possible for LeBron or any player of that ilk to be locked down (note that the term locked down doesn't mean held to zero points, it means held far below their usual standard of excellence).

If you're arguing that it's impossible for any player to maintain that level of defense with a large scoring load, there are plenty of examples that disprove that as well. The year Michael Jordan won Defensive Player of the Year he also led the league in field goal attempts and minutes. LeBron finished 9th, 4th, 2nd and 6th in DPOY voting in his four years in Miami and he was in the top 10 in field goal attempts in each of those years. I could go on and on and on and on with perimeter stoppers at their peak who also had massive offensive responsibilities. Gary Payton, Sidney Moncrief and Alvin Robertson all won DPOYs as one of their team's primary offensive weapons. Kobe received votes several times, same with Chris Paul. John Havlicek, Scottie Pippen, Jason Kidd, there are so many players who were absolute superstar defenders and offensive players at the same time. Hell, Jimmy Butler this year is averaging a career high in scoring and playing his best defense. Pre-injury Paul George carried Indiana's offense and was one of the two or three best perimeter defenders in the league. It's just completely historically false to suggest that players of that caliber have to make some kind of choice between defending and offense. If you want to make that argument about players in their 30's (like LeBron, for example, who clearly coasts on defense now to save energy for offense), ok fine, but Kawhi is 25. He's playing the same caliber of defense that he's always played.