T/S: Tim Duncan v. Kevin Garnett

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After watching Garnett nearly pull one out against the Spurs, a Garnett v. Duncan evaluation is in order. They both became premier players as the era of the dominating center was waning and have been the best two power forwards in the league for at least five years now (depending on when you think Karl Malone started to hit the decline.)

I think that this rivalry gets overlooked for a number of reasons: the battle of power forwards is not as glamorous as the dominating swingmen (Bird/Magic and Melo/LeBron matchups are much more fun to talk about); Minny and San Antonio are regrettably no longer in the same division; they've only met in the playoffs in the first round, and no real classic games exist between them to speak of.

Quantitatively, it's hard to argue against Duncan: higher career averages in scoring, rebounds, and blocks; three titles and Finals MVP (vs. 0 on both accounts for KG); two league MVP's (vs. 1). But if you consider that Duncan has benefited from a revolving supporting cast including David Robinson, Manu Ginobili, Sean Elliot (all three of whom have been All-Stars), as well as a litany of fantastic role players, I'd think that Garnett could have easily done as much with a similar environment.

Before his arrival, the Wolves were perennial basement dwellers. By the time he hit his stride, they were a lock for the playoffs every year (unfortunately, a lock for first round exits, too.) Needless to say, the Timberwolves have never fielded a team that you could easily call contendahs (03-04 is a tossup).

But until the Wolves start making it past the second round on a regular basis, I'm going with city loyalty.

Current Mood: Embarrassing Christian Laettner (Matt Chesnut), Saturday, 17 December 2005 00:20 (fourteen years ago) link

While they play the same position, Duncan plays more like a center and Garnett plays more like a small forward. Duncan never seems like he's doing much and Garnett looks like he's everywhere, and yet they wind up with similarly great numbers at the end of the day. They make for an interesting comparison.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Sunday, 18 December 2005 08:45 (fourteen years ago) link

if I had a good point guard, i'd want Duncan on my team. if not, KG.

oops (Oops), Tuesday, 20 December 2005 00:18 (fourteen years ago) link

If I was building a team I would probably take Garnett. He's never been injured and he can do absolutely everything. But otherwise this is just about as even as you can get.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 21 December 2005 18:46 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
both are amazing, but I would say Garnett over Duncan for the following factor: hypothetically trade them straight up for each other, do you think Duncan would do as good as KG does in Minn.? obviously KG would adjust to the Spurs, as that is a great team.
I feel KG has more ability to carry a team on his back than Duncan, which is an important factor in a franchise type player like they both here, dont get me wrong, if i was a GM you wouldn't have to twist my arm to take the big fundamental
it's all about versatilty and KG has the edge (plus TD sometimes cant shoot free throws if his life depended on it)

J. Lamphere (WatchMeJumpStart), Friday, 13 January 2006 00:44 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...
I rate both players highly, skill-wise.
Duncan seems to be in a bit of a decline at the moment, his numbers are down in many of the statistical categories, whilst Garnett is relatively on par with his averages over the years..

I would still pick duncan over garnett though, from a team perspective. Garnett's attitude and intensity, especially towards teammates can detrimental to any team, and the T-wolves have let go of all-stars because of it. (Gugliotta, Szerbiak).
And without key supporting players, the timberwolves struggle, even with garnett having monster nights.

Chevy N, Sunday, 19 March 2006 12:40 (fourteen years ago) link

"And without key supporting players, the timberwolves struggle, even with garnett having monster nights."

Wouldn't that sentence be the same if the Spurs and Duncan's name were substituted.

Garnett was like 20 when Gugliotta left (and I've never heard that was about anything other than money) and Szerbiak was a no defense playing jerk. It's not Garnett's fault that he hasn't the had the good fortune to play for the Spurs (who have surrounded Duncan with fantastic talent.) I'd be frustrated if I was him too (although their entire decline can be blamed almost entirely on one extremely stupid decision on McHale's part.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:53 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm thinking it's pretty much inevitable that after McHale gets fired that KG gets traded this off-season. Somehow I can see Isiah Thomas involved in some way.

Aaron W (Aaron W), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 00:44 (fourteen years ago) link

he needs to come back to chicago!

oops (Oops), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 01:25 (fourteen years ago) link

haha yeh im a chicago supporter myself, i would love to see some one of garnett's calibre in there..
they would be a 50-win team easily. they need that inside presence now that curry is gone, cause chandler is way too inconsistent, and his offence is somewhat non-existent these days...
and he'll finally have the supporting players he needs, in hinrich, gordon, nocioni and co.

Chevy N, Wednesday, 22 March 2006 05:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Duncan.

Forksclovetofu (Forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 23:54 (fourteen years ago) link

cause chandler is way too inconsistent, and his offence is somewhat non-existent these days...

"these days"!

oops (Oops), Thursday, 23 March 2006 00:57 (fourteen years ago) link

haha yeh. in previous years he'd actually contribute a little, but this season, he'll pull down 16 boards to go with his 4 points. haha

Chevy N, Thursday, 23 March 2006 13:52 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

ok guys so kevin garnett is from my home(greatermetropolitanarea)town and my high school friend came up to visit this week so i thought i should let you know that the nba store has a lego kevin garnett (still wearing timberwolves jersey). it is a little bit awesome.

here she is with him.

http://a186.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/110/l_3f93a36b70c9f474cf2054ddad2728e9.jpg

tehresa, Tuesday, 22 January 2008 04:32 (twelve years ago) link

nine months pass...

only now noticed the brian eno 'apollo' playing in the background

eman, Tuesday, 28 October 2008 20:27 (eleven years ago) link

eleven years pass...

friend of mine does a lot of street photography in Minneapolis and KG was at the George Floyd memorial today

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGar_HzH3c4/?igshid=1w6lkocdxyzpi

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 16 October 2020 22:07 (six days ago) link


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