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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Duncan or Garnett?

Who is the better player? Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett?

I believe that this is one of the debates that will have no ending. These players are two of the best, if not the top two, players in the NBA right now. Duncan, a no-flash, fundamentally sound, efficient low-post man has won 4 Championships with the San Antonio Spurs. While the Super Athlete, Do-It-All Garnett is trying to start anew and win his first crown with the new and improved Boston Celtics.

Are Kevin Garnett's "not good enough supporting cast" in Minnesota the real reason for their misfortunes? Or is he missing something that Duncan is doing so effectively? In my opinion, its the latter reason. Kevin Garnett is 7 feet tall, but when you think about Kevin Garnett, "low-post" is not one of the things you'll think about him. This is one aspect of basketball which Duncan has mastered so well. With a dominant post-up game, Duncan not only can score down low, he also creates a lot of opportunities and shots for the other Spurs. Garnett usually starts out his plays at high post, then drives towards the basket or takes the long jumper. Yes, Garnett is an excellent outside shooter, but a low post option or a kick out to an open teammate is still a better option. With not posting down low, Garnett doesn't get that much double teams like Duncan.

In Boston, he has Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. I think Garnett should start becoming a low post player. This is one aspect of his game where in he is so good at, but doesn't utilize. If he starts getting double teamed down low, then you'll have open looks for Pierce, Allen, and even James Posey.

Right now, I'd have to say that Duncan is the better player because he has utilized the aspects of his game that are useful to winning more. But Kevin Garnett is a better athlete. So if he starts learning how to use his skills better, we may even see him win more championships than Duncan with his supporting cast.

3 comments:

Michael said...

Interesting debate. I voted for Duncan, despite being a Celtics fan and a long time KG fan. KG has definitely been underrated because of the terrible teammates he's had over the years and I think he is one of the great PF's of all time, but Duncan just has too many rings to put him over Garnett. Duncan is more of a traditional scorer as you noted, where KG gets most of his points of jump shots and fadeaways.

That said, I dont think the C's should KG in the low post as he is much more effective at seeing the floor and passing from the high post. He's also harder to double there.

Anonymous said...

Would you go down low and kick it out to an open Marko Jaric or Trenton Hassell?

Duncan has all shooters to kick it out to.

Why does KG have more assists than TD if he isn't passing to teammates or creating scoring opportunities for them? (6 straight seasons of 5 apg for a PF, that is Larry Bird type stuff except without the passing to McHale and Parrish, KG gets to, I mean used to pass to crap.)

Anonymous said...

KG has more assists because Duncan doesn't necessarily get the assist even if the open shot started from his double team in the low post. in the Spurs offense, the shooter usually is the one who gets the 2nd, 3rd, or even the 4th pass out of the double team.