40 Best Careers in NBA History
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vanexelent
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
vanexelent wrote:


It's interesting to think how people would view Duncan's cast if they played for other teams. Brent Barry, old Michael Finley, Bowan, Bonner, Mario Ellie, Avery Johnson, Sean Elliot...these guys aren't perennial All-NBA players here.

Manu and Tony Parker were good, opportunistic players, but they aren't moving the needle on many other teams.


I think you're dramatically underestimating the quality of his teammates.

Tony Parker is a 6-time all-star, and both he and Manu will end up in the Hall of Fame.

He had David Robinson for his early rings.

Bowen made 9 all-defensive teams. Brent Barry led the league in 3-point shooting one year. Sean Elliott was a two-time all-star.

Duncan is up there with anyone in terms of the amount of talent he's been surrounded with throughout his career.


Parker and Ginobli would not be in the HOF without playing with Duncan, and their international status plays into that as well. Parker would not be a 6x All-Star without Duncan. Or maybe he would. After all he played in an era where Steve Nash won 2 MVP's.

David Robinson was a shell of his former shadow when Duncan was playing. It's literally one the reason why this guy has him ranked lower, because his peak was so small.

Bowen was indeed a good defensive player, but no better than Tony Allen. Brent Barry... no need to even discuss him. Sean Elliot was an All-Star 3 years prior to Duncan being drafted and his Rookie season. It's like saying we have All-Star Luol Deng on our team and he rides the bench, what gives?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:46 pm    Post subject:

vanexelent wrote:
activeverb wrote:
vanexelent wrote:


It's interesting to think how people would view Duncan's cast if they played for other teams. Brent Barry, old Michael Finley, Bowan, Bonner, Mario Ellie, Avery Johnson, Sean Elliot...these guys aren't perennial All-NBA players here.

Manu and Tony Parker were good, opportunistic players, but they aren't moving the needle on many other teams.


I think you're dramatically underestimating the quality of his teammates.

Tony Parker is a 6-time all-star, and both he and Manu will end up in the Hall of Fame.

He had David Robinson for his early rings.

Bowen made 9 all-defensive teams. Brent Barry led the league in 3-point shooting one year. Sean Elliott was a two-time all-star.

Duncan is up there with anyone in terms of the amount of talent he's been surrounded with throughout his career.


Parker and Ginobli would not be in the HOF without playing with Duncan, and their international status plays into that as well. Parker would not be a 6x All-Star without Duncan. Or maybe he would. After all he played in an era where Steve Nash won 2 MVP's.

David Robinson was a shell of his former shadow when Duncan was playing. It's literally one the reason why this guy has him ranked lower, because his peak was so small.

Bowen was indeed a good defensive player, but no better than Tony Allen. Brent Barry... no need to even discuss him. Sean Elliot was an All-Star 3 years prior to Duncan being drafted and his Rookie season. It's like saying we have All-Star Luol Deng on our team and he rides the bench, what gives?


When they won their first ring, Robinson was still a 16-10 who made second-team all-NBA and second-team all-D.

As far as Parker and Manu, I see no reason why you think they could have only succeeded on the Spurs.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:51 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
vanexelent wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
Yeah, that's the part I differ with. You don't have to watch very much to know that Duncan was profoundly more impactful on the game for most of their careers. And I like KG. I don't think there's a GM alive, including the bad ones, who trade Duncan for KG.


Actually, I thought the exact opposite in the early 2000s. Duncan had a far superior supporting cast, including The Admiral. Duncan won titles right from the beginning. But I thought KG was the more impactful player in those days. I thought this was a classic case of the halo effect.


I wasn't referring to impact in terms of just their teams' wins, I get that Duncan had the better cast. I just think KG had the more splashy athleticism so he looks more impactful, but Duncan was death and taxes. Halo effect seems to be a term people throw around a lot sort of like its opposite, "stats on a bad team", that don't really have any empirical merit by themselves.


It's interesting to think how people would view Duncan's cast if they played for other teams. Brent Barry, old Michael Finley, Bowan, Bonner, Mario Ellie, Avery Johnson, Sean Elliot...these guys aren't perennial All-NBA players here.

Manu and Tony Parker were good, opportunistic players, but they aren't moving the needle on many other teams.


I think you're dramatically underestimating the quality of his teammates.

Tony Parker is a 6-time all-star, and both he and Manu will end up in the Hall of Fame.

He had David Robinson for his early rings.

Bowen made 9 all-defensive teams. Brent Barry led the league in 3-point shooting one year. Sean Elliott was a two-time all-star.

Duncan is up there with anyone in terms of the amount of talent he's been surrounded with throughout his career.


I think you are overrating those players a bit by looking at the totality of their careers. Parker and Manu are both HOF players but neither was playing at an All-Star level, much less a HOF level, in their early years in SA (use 2003 for example, when Duncan won a title). The same goes for David Robinson, who was a shell of himself and splitting time with Rose by 2003. You could argue that Robinson was still great in 99, but he didn't have any other teammate playing at an all-star or HOF level from 2000 to likely 2004, and arguably 2005. And the team still was competing for titles and won one in that span.

Parker and Manu became studs later for sure, and Duncan had plenty of seasons with them playing at elite levels.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:53 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
Yeah, that's the part I differ with. You don't have to watch very much to know that Duncan was profoundly more impactful on the game for most of their careers. And I like KG. I don't think there's a GM alive, including the bad ones, who trade Duncan for KG.


Actually, I thought the exact opposite in the early 2000s. Duncan had a far superior supporting cast, including The Admiral. Duncan won titles right from the beginning. But I thought KG was the more impactful player in those days. I thought this was a classic case of the halo effect.


KG had the same issue Robinson had....no post game. It was a detriment come playoff time.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:10 am    Post subject:

Dreamshake wrote:
I think you are overrating those players a bit by looking at the totality of their careers. Parker and Manu are both HOF players but neither was playing at an All-Star level, much less a HOF level, in their early years in SA (use 2003 for example, when Duncan won a title). The same goes for David Robinson, who was a shell of himself and splitting time with Rose by 2003. You could argue that Robinson was still great in 99, but he didn't have any other teammate playing at an all-star or HOF level from 2000 to likely 2004, and arguably 2005. And the team still was competing for titles and won one in that span.

Parker and Manu became studs later for sure, and Duncan had plenty of seasons with them playing at elite levels.


We're comparing Duncan to Garnett, not Duncan to someone like Magic or Bird. Compared to Garnett, Duncan had otherworldly teammates during those early years. By the time Parker and Manu developed, it was no contest.

The halo effect screws up people's perceptions. As this guy demonstrates, you can make a pretty good argument that Garnett was better than Duncan. But Duncan was winning titles with The Admiral right out of the box, while Garnett was playing with Terrell Brandon and Wally Szczerbiak. It is in the nature of the halo effect that we do not give Garnett as much credit for getting those weak teams into the playoffs as we give Duncan credit for winning titles with better teams.

That's not unreasonable, given that titles are the goal of every team. But when you take titles out of the equation, as this guy does, we see that the difference between Duncan and Garnett is a lot less than we thought.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:00 am    Post subject:

Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:
vanexelent wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
Yeah, that's the part I differ with. You don't have to watch very much to know that Duncan was profoundly more impactful on the game for most of their careers. And I like KG. I don't think there's a GM alive, including the bad ones, who trade Duncan for KG.


Actually, I thought the exact opposite in the early 2000s. Duncan had a far superior supporting cast, including The Admiral. Duncan won titles right from the beginning. But I thought KG was the more impactful player in those days. I thought this was a classic case of the halo effect.


I wasn't referring to impact in terms of just their teams' wins, I get that Duncan had the better cast. I just think KG had the more splashy athleticism so he looks more impactful, but Duncan was death and taxes. Halo effect seems to be a term people throw around a lot sort of like its opposite, "stats on a bad team", that don't really have any empirical merit by themselves.


It's interesting to think how people would view Duncan's cast if they played for other teams. Brent Barry, old Michael Finley, Bowan, Bonner, Mario Ellie, Avery Johnson, Sean Elliot...these guys aren't perennial All-NBA players here.

Manu and Tony Parker were good, opportunistic players, but they aren't moving the needle on many other teams.


I think you're dramatically underestimating the quality of his teammates.

Tony Parker is a 6-time all-star, and both he and Manu will end up in the Hall of Fame.

He had David Robinson for his early rings.

Bowen made 9 all-defensive teams. Brent Barry led the league in 3-point shooting one year. Sean Elliott was a two-time all-star.

Duncan is up there with anyone in terms of the amount of talent he's been surrounded with throughout his career.


I think you are overrating those players a bit by looking at the totality of their careers. Parker and Manu are both HOF players but neither was playing at an All-Star level, much less a HOF level, in their early years in SA (use 2003 for example, when Duncan won a title). The same goes for David Robinson, who was a shell of himself and splitting time with Rose by 2003. You could argue that Robinson was still great in 99, but he didn't have any other teammate playing at an all-star or HOF level from 2000 to likely 2004, and arguably 2005. And the team still was competing for titles and won one in that span.

Parker and Manu became studs later for sure, and Duncan had plenty of seasons with them playing at elite levels.



Duncan had great teammates right out of the box. In his rookie year, David Robinson was still playing at an all-NBA level, and he had strong, deep teams whose players are easy to under rate because their emphasis was more on defense than offense -- there's a reason the Spurs were finishing #1 and #2 in the league in defense in those years before Manu and Parker fully developed. They weren't leading the league in wins in 99 and 01 because Duncan was a one-man band.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:46 pm    Post subject:

Hakeem Olajuwon at #6

So far, the theme of his top picks seems to be defense.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:32 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:

We're comparing Duncan to Garnett, not Duncan to someone like Magic or Bird. Compared to Garnett, Duncan had otherworldly teammates during those early years. By the time Parker and Manu developed, it was no contest.


For the majority of his career, sure. From say 2001-2003, when his team was still competing for titles and actually won one, no. Go look at those teams and what the supporting cast actually provided. Those weren't great teams. Who is better than Terrell Brandon or Wally Szczerbiak on these teams?

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2001.html
Won 58 games, lost in the WCF's, and Anderson got hurt in the playoffs

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2002.html
Won 58 games and lost in round 2.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2003.html
Won the title.

You are placing a halo on Duncan's teammates from that time. They weren't great. He got one elite season from Robinson (possibly two, but he wasn't great in the 3 years I just highlighted) and Manu/Parker didn't become elite until a few seasons alongside him.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:48 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
They weren't leading the league in wins in 99 and 01 because Duncan was a one-man band.


KG wasn't always a one-man band either. From Duncan's first season he was surrounded by Brandon, Joe Smith, Sealy, Bobby Jackson, Peeler, etc. They added Wally the next year, and even had Billups for a few seasons. No superstar players, but Duncan didn't have any either from 2001-2003.

What derailed KG was the same thing that always derailed Robinson come playoff time, no killer post game. It's easier to get good looks from teammates off your big from doubles in the post, which makes them look better (they get better shots). Duncan could constantly get shots closer to the rim (better shots). You generally had to send help on Duncan. Not the case come playoff time on bigs that are primarily slashers and jump shooters.

activeverb wrote:
there's a reason the Spurs were finishing #1 and #2 in the league in defense in those years before Manu and Parker fully developed


Because they had a great defensive interior presence to funnel everything towards, who you could also dump the ball to in the post and slow the game down. What perimeter defender on this team would even be considered above average?

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2001.html

And Robinson was playing less than 30 mpg at that point.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:04 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Hakeem Olajuwon at #6

So far, the theme of his top picks seems to be defense.


I always tell people 94/95 Dream was not peak Dream. He was at his best when he still had his freak athleticism. That just happened to be when he had his worst supporting casts (which is why you saw that poor shot selection early on).
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:21 am    Post subject:

Dreamshake wrote:
Who is better than Terrell Brandon or Wally Szczerbiak on these teams?


Pretty much everyone. You seem determined to deny the obvious.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Dreamshake wrote:
Who is better than Terrell Brandon or Wally Szczerbiak on these teams?


Pretty much everyone. You seem determined to deny the obvious.


Negative. Not at that stage of their careers, which is quite obvious.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:42 pm    Post subject:

Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:
They weren't leading the league in wins in 99 and 01 because Duncan was a one-man band.


KG wasn't always a one-man band either. From Duncan's first season he was surrounded by Brandon, Joe Smith, Sealy, Bobby Jackson, Peeler, etc. They added Wally the next year, and even had Billups for a few seasons. No superstar players, but Duncan didn't have any either from 2001-2003. .


So your proof-points for how good KG teammates were was that he played a few years with Joe Smith, Malik Sealey, Anthony Peeler, and an injury-plagued Terrell Brandon?

I think you are making my case for me
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:09 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:
They weren't leading the league in wins in 99 and 01 because Duncan was a one-man band.


KG wasn't always a one-man band either. From Duncan's first season he was surrounded by Brandon, Joe Smith, Sealy, Bobby Jackson, Peeler, etc. They added Wally the next year, and even had Billups for a few seasons. No superstar players, but Duncan didn't have any either from 2001-2003. .


So your proof-points for how good KG teammates were was that he played a few years with Joe Smith, Malik Sealey, Anthony Peeler, and an injury-plagued Terrell Brandon?

I think you are making my case for me


Brandon played 71 and 78 games in 2 of the 3 years i mentioned. The players you just named, plus Wally, weren't any better than the supporting Spurs players from the periods I listed.

It's nice to look at names but sometimes you have to look at what guys actually provided. Just like you can recognize Steve Nash wasn't playing at an elite level here, you should be able to recognize no Spurs players were in that span either. Duncan had no one alongside him playing at an elite level in the years I mentioned, no matter how pretty the names sound.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:59 pm    Post subject:

Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:
Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:
They weren't leading the league in wins in 99 and 01 because Duncan was a one-man band.


KG wasn't always a one-man band either. From Duncan's first season he was surrounded by Brandon, Joe Smith, Sealy, Bobby Jackson, Peeler, etc. They added Wally the next year, and even had Billups for a few seasons. No superstar players, but Duncan didn't have any either from 2001-2003. .


So your proof-points for how good KG teammates were was that he played a few years with Joe Smith, Malik Sealey, Anthony Peeler, and an injury-plagued Terrell Brandon?

I think you are making my case for me


Brandon played 71 and 78 games in 2 of the 3 years i mentioned. The players you just named, plus Wally, weren't any better than the supporting Spurs players from the periods I listed.

It's nice to look at names but sometimes you have to look at what guys actually provided. Just like you can recognize Steve Nash wasn't playing at an elite level here, you should be able to recognize no Spurs players were in that span either. Duncan had no one alongside him playing at an elite level in the years I mentioned, no matter how pretty the names sound.


Dude, like a lot of people, I think you're just overlooking defense. What separated the Timberwolves from the Spurs during those years is the Spurs were finishing 1 through 3 in defense, while the Timberwolves were the middle of the pack.

Take your man Terrell Brandon. Yeah, he had a couple of years with the t-wolves where he managed to get in 70-plus games, but he was often injured and in pain during those games. His offensive stats were okay, but his defense was pretty crappy. Same with your man Wally... He could shoot 3-pointers but he was constantly loss on the defensive end. Give me Bruce Bowen over either of them in a second

I honestly think you're the one who is obsessing over names and "superstars" rather than actually looking at how these guys performed, particularly on the defense end
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
Dude, like a lot of people, I think you're just overlooking defense.


Please highlight the great defenders on this team that lost to y'all in the WCF's, when Robinson was playing around 30 mpg?

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2001.html

Duncan did not always have great supporting casts. No one on his roster was great or elite from the time period that I listed.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:50 am    Post subject:

Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:
Dude, like a lot of people, I think you're just overlooking defense.


Please highlight the great defenders on this team that lost to y'all in the WCF's, when Robinson was playing around 30 mpg?

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2001.html

Duncan did not always have great supporting casts. No one on his roster was great or elite from the time period that I listed.


Well, let's take David Robinson since you mentioned him. For that year you are citing, he was 3rd team all-nba, and an All Star; he finished 10th in MVP voting; he finished fifth in dpoy voting; he was second in the league in defensive rating; he was 8th in the league in blocks.

Since we are comparing the teammates of Duncan and Garnett, it's safe to say that none of Garnett teammates for that same year can claim anywhere near that kind of resume for the season


Last edited by activeverb on Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:51 am    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:
Dude, like a lot of people, I think you're just overlooking defense.


Please highlight the great defenders on this team that lost to y'all in the WCF's, when Robinson was playing around 30 mpg?

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2001.html

Duncan did not always have great supporting casts. No one on his roster was great or elite from the time period that I listed.



You are strong on sweeping generalizations and light on facts or evidence for your position. And it did not escape my attention that you are focusing on one of the least successful Spurs team from the period you identified.

But here are some facts just for fun. In the year in question, David Robinson was third team all-NBA, he was second in the league in defensive rating, 8th in the league in blocks per game, 5th in the voting for DPoY, and 10th in the MVP voting. So he wasn't quite as washed up as you are suggesting


I stand corrected on Robinson in 2000-2001. I also notice you haven't highlighted anyone else on the team that was great defensively or could be considered a great player. Here is your comment:

activeverb wrote:

and he had strong, deep teams whose players are easy to under rate because their emphasis was more on defense than offense -- there's a reason the Spurs were finishing #1 and #2 in the league in defense in those years before Manu and Parker fully developed


Players is plural. You named a player. That team is not strong or deep in talent, and you can't list another player whose strength was defense. It seems like you are confusing great talent with great coaching.

My point still holds for 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 (see the bolded above). The Spurs still competed for a title in both seasons, winning one in 2002-2003. No other Spur had a PER above 18 that season. Bowen did made the 2nd All-D team, so he would qualify as one great defender. No one else on the roster would qualify. No one else made an All-League team. The team did not have great supporting talent for Duncan. The team did not have great defenders alongside Duncan either.


Last edited by Dreamshake on Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:34 am    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:

Since we are comparing the teammates of Duncan and Garnett, it's safe to say that none of Garnett teammates for that same year can claim anywhere near that kind of resume for the season


I stand corrected on Robinson for that season (2000-2001). My point still holds for 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. And the main point was he didn't have any great teammates alongside him during that span, or "otherworldly" ones like Aeneas Hunter claims (my initial response was to that comment). Y'all are overrating his supporting cast during that span, when Robinson was old and Parker/Manu weren't elite players yet.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:09 am    Post subject:

Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:

Since we are comparing the teammates of Duncan and Garnett, it's safe to say that none of Garnett teammates for that same year can claim anywhere near that kind of resume for the season


I stand corrected on Robinson for that season (2000-2001). My point still holds for 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. And the main point was he didn't have any great teammates alongside him during that span, or "otherworldly" ones like Aeneas Hunter claims (my initial response was to that comment). Y'all are overrating his supporting cast during that span, when Robinson was old and Parker/Manu weren't elite players yet.


I've already responded to most of these points, but just for the sake of accuracy I'll point out that Hunter said Duncan had otherworldly teammates COMPARED to Garnett -- the "compared to" is an important distinction that shouldn't be omitted.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
Dreamshake wrote:
activeverb wrote:

Since we are comparing the teammates of Duncan and Garnett, it's safe to say that none of Garnett teammates for that same year can claim anywhere near that kind of resume for the season


I stand corrected on Robinson for that season (2000-2001). My point still holds for 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. And the main point was he didn't have any great teammates alongside him during that span, or "otherworldly" ones like Aeneas Hunter claims (my initial response was to that comment). Y'all are overrating his supporting cast during that span, when Robinson was old and Parker/Manu weren't elite players yet.


I've already responded to most of these points, but just for the sake of accuracy I'll point out that Hunter said Duncan had otherworldly teammates COMPARED to Garnett -- the "compared to" is an important distinction that shouldn't be omitted.


And the teammates from the time periods that I listed were not otherworldly teammates COMPARED to Garnett's help. Hence me noting teammates from his teams that were just as good as the ones Duncan had on some of his teams from that time period.

You haven't addressed the point of his team not being flush with talent (even defensively as you noted) from the time periods I mentioned. Those teams were not strong and deep. Their defensive metrics were due to having a great defensive pivot and one of the lowest paces in basketball. They were actually weak on the perimiter defensively, as any Laker fan who recalls the playoff series vs them should know (pre Bowen). Noting that none of them were elite players at that time is not underrating them, it's properly rating them. Again, I stand corrected on Robinson for that one season.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:11 pm    Post subject:

For all the talk I've been doing about Garnett, I finally read the profile. It was an excellent analysis of his game, I thought. Truly an amazing player -- can't really think of anyone else quite like him. It also reminded me how crappy his teammates were until he got to Boston.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:27 am    Post subject:

Shaquille O'Neal at #5

Some of the clips are a fun reminder of just how devastating Snaq could be on offense, and how inconsistent he could be on defense. This strikes me as a fair appraisal of his career.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:22 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Shaquille O'Neal at #5

Some of the clips are a fun reminder of just how devastating Snaq could be on offense, and how inconsistent he could be on defense. This strikes me as a fair appraisal of his career.


Another one of a kind player -- I've never seen anyone like Shaq during the threepeat. He was a tank going into the lane, and I could never tell if he was charging, being fouled by three people at once, or if everyone was fouling everyone and just falling off him. For that short time, and that era, if someone wants to argue he was the greatest offensive force ever, I'd say they have a reasonable case to make.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:51 am    Post subject:

Yes, that used to drive fans of other teams nuts. If the refs let him, he would just bulldoze the defender. Some of it was legitimate, but sometimes I suspect that we all thought "I can't believe they let him get away with that." On the other hand, the refs sometimes let the defenders get pretty physical. It was like bumper cars some nights.
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