For years I have had many alternative reality’s that have plagued my mind. What if is a question that I think got brought up in my head after game 6 and is still lodged in there every morning coming up with reality’s in which we would win . That is something I would want to change. One of the many things I would not change, that makes me proud of this franchise, is Tim Duncan. He had guided us to 4 championships and even now in his advanced age has a blueprint in this franchise that is huge. Still he has many doubters. Many say that Kevin Garnett, a player Tim had a bitter rivalry with in the early 2000's and that had reemerged when the big 3 of the Boston Celtics got together, would be a better Power Forward than the great Tim Duncan and win as many or more championships? To this I would say no and this is what I have to validate my opinion.
The first Point I would make in the point of Duncan is the opinion that Garnett is a better passing/assist player. while he did get more assist this was more of a team standpoint than anything. The 2002-2003 Spurs (The year Garnett averaged a crazy high 6.0 Assist per game) took 6 less shots per game. It wasn’t just shots the whole Timberwolves team was ranked second in assist. The Spurs were a measly 22nd. The Spurs simply were a Defensive Team, 3rd in points allowed. Minnesota was 18th. Minnesota also was also 5 places higher in points per game.
The next category was primes and I will compare the two years that were best for Tim's and Kevin's accolades,Statistics, and achievement categories. 2002-2003 for Tim and 2003-2004 for Kevin Garnett. In this year Garnett had slightly better stats while playing 3 minutes more, and while his team did make it farther than they both lost to the Lakers. The difference was just placement and crazy buzzer beaters that may or may not have been off in time.The next three years the Timberwolves hided in mediocrity not making the playoffs.
In 2002-2003 Tim was on fire. Garnett had higher stats in rebounds, steals, and assists and overall had more totals when combining stats than Duncan,Why didn’t Garnett win that year. For one he played a whole minute extra, in which Duncan could have gotten an extra rebound to further dismay the stats, the thing that pulled Duncan ahead was that Duncan was higher in Defensive rating (2nd. In league) and led the league in win shares. While I do think Garnett deserved the MVP over Duncan in 2004 I don’t think he should have won it in 2003 and the merit in Duncan's favor is it could be argued his best year was 2002 while Garnett had one year he should have won MVP.
The biggest lie I’ve heard about the comparision is that Garnett did not have a team in his prime . He did . In fact he carried his team less than Duncan did in 2003 in his MVP year. In 2004 his best teammates were the 15.5 point per game young Tony Parker and Stephen Jackson who was 11.8 ppg guy. With all the gripe you would thing Kevin Garnett's teammates would be much worse. Not true at all. He had The 19.8 PPG Sam Cassel and the 16.6 PPG Spreewell. People think just because Tim Duncan had Manu, Drob and, Parker they must have been good, while Parker was decent they had a fading Robinson and a rookie Manu. All in all I would give Garnett the edge on teammates in his primes.
Next I will say stats overall. People say Garnett's stats fell off because of team chemistry issues when coming to Boston. While that is true he still had worse stats with the Timberwolves. 20.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.7 blocks , 1.4 steals and 4.25 assist . Duncan's Stats through 2006-2007 were 21.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks , .8 steals and 3.1 assist. Also career wise in Duncan-Garnett order Duncan wins too. 20.2 vs. 19.1 ppg. 2.2 vs 1.5 bbg. 11.2 vs 10.5 rpg. 3.1 vs 3.9 apg. And .7 vs 1.3 spg. In playoffs Duncan further cements himself with a stat line of 21.9 points per game,12 rebounds per game. 2.4 blocks per game. .7 steals per game, and 3.2 per assist per game.
Garnett's are as follows 19.2 ppg, 1.4 bpg, 1.3 spg, 11.1 rpg, and 3.5 assist. These playoff numbers are perhaps a great showing of how much of a competitor Tim is with every stat but steals going up and even that stays the same. That is the biggest difference maker in this in how Tim elevated his game in the playoffs, while Garnett's barely moved and in some cases declined and that is what ultimately separates them. That is why Tim is the Goatpuff
Bibliography and all stats from
"NBA & ABA Basketball Statistics & History | Basketball-Reference.com." NBA & ABA Basketball Statistics & History | Basketball-Reference.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2013. <http://www.basketball-reference.com/>.
"2002-2003 NBA Stats and League Leaders - National Basketball Association - ESPN." ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2013. <http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/_/year/
"2003-2004 NBA Stats and League Leaders - National Basketball Association - ESPN." ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2013. <http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/_/year/