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Can Tim Duncan Be Considered the Best PF of All Time??

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Can Tim Duncan Be Considered the Best PF of All Time??

this is a debate that rages on in my personal circles....and I think it has validity.

When we say best PF of all time, almost always people say Tim Duncan....but, could it be Malone...due to the fact that Malone was a prototypical PF and did not play Center? Is it unfair to rate Duncan ahead of Malone as a PF because Duncan played Center in college and has played it in the pros? Does the fact that Duncan was drafted to play along side David Robinson (an already established center) make him a PF?

Just as reference...Allen Iverson has been ranked All Time as a PG by some and others as an SG.

Also, everyone says Al Horford is a PF but he has been playing Center since he got in the league. If he plays 5 more years starting at Center, will he be deemed a career Center or just a PF who was forced to play Center?

My point is, Duncan could play either position, but started as PF for most of his career....but you could essentially say that the Spurs had two Centers, same as the Rockets...but only one could play Center.

Should we label players as PURE PG's (Isaiah) over PG's (Iverson) or PURE PF's (Malone) over PF's (Duncan)?

thoughts please.....


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I think you can count Duncan

I think you can count Duncan as a PF, he's played PF the majority of his career. Even when Robinson retired he was lining up next to Raso Nesterovic, Umberto and Elson and even today DeJuan Blair is SA's starting center. Duncan has played center at times, but I think he can be considered a power forward.

People praise versitility in some players, KG and Odom are considered PF's, but have played 4 positions at times in their careers. I don't think Duncan's legacy as a power foward should be questioned because he can play the center position too.

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Trust me living in utah, and

Trust me living in utah, and having the following that malone has here, this debate comes up all the time in my circles as well, and my answer all the time is Duncan is the GOAT at his position. More often than not if you play a player out of position they are either giving up size or speed, where duncan on a nightly basis doesn't give up either of these, just look at his defensive statistics over the course of his career. If a player has the athletic capabilities to play a certain position, and their orginization has faith to put them in that position for a course of a career, I can never understand the argument of natural position, because at the end of the day you can't argue with the results.

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I knew someone would speak on

I knew someone would speak on his post-Robinson career, and that is correct. I do believe though, in San Antonio's system, they have always been committed to play Tim at PF. Had it been another system, he probably wouldve played more at Center. Most guys he has been paired with didnt have as good a game away from the basket, and certainly didnt have his passing ability. Playing Tim at PF has definitely been advantageous, particularly from a defensive standpoint.

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Malone was great and played

Malone was great and played well and consistently until his late 30's...

But i have to give the edge to Duncan,becuz of his shot blocking and defense....

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Agree with Joe

Most NBA players do indeed play a number of positions. I mean, Larry Bird might be technically considered a PF, at least for the entire time Cedric Maxwell was on the team, keeping Kevin McHale as the 6th man (Two time 6th man of the Year). Larry could really play anything, and did, but he is considered a SF due to mainly McHale being seen as a PF, even though Larry's best years came when he was grabbing the most boards on the team (Guess that never really stopped, even with McHale).

To me, Isiah Thomas was a better player than Iverson (blasphemy on this board, I know), just how I see it. Isiah lead a team to two championships, and while he was never the scorer Iverson was, Iverson was never the playmaker Isiah was. I would classify Iverson as more of a 2 than a 1, but either way, Isiah Thomas is a player who may be slept on by those who are in the SLAM generation and just see him as an @sshole, rather than an @sshole who was a phenomenal basketball player.

I am part of the SLAM generation as well, I suppose, but I did my homework from a very early age (say I started at 11 or 12 learning as much as I could about basketball history). Tim Duncan is a better player than Malone, and as he played most of his career as a PF, the Spurs always trying to find a 5 to play next to him, than I would consider him a PF. All in all, I think better players should get the billing. If you feel Malone is better than Duncan, rank him as such. I guess it is hard to hold it against someone for playing one position more than another. Everyone has their way of seeing what position someone played, some may think Iverson was a PG, while others may see him as a 2. Some may even rank him in both categories, which I guess you could do for a lot of players seen as a G/F or a PF/C. The way basketball-reference seems to do it, they list the position the player started out as in the NBA, than maybe moved to later on. Example: Moses Malone and Bob McAdoo, listed as "Center-Forward", Kevin McHale and Tim Duncan listed as "Forward-Center". The site does not make classifications of what type of guard or forward one played, but I guess it is up to personal discretion. If someone wants to list Karl Malone as the best "True PF", than I guess there list should be either full of "True PF's" or maybe consider Duncan a C. Either way, to say that you like Malone over Duncan because he was more "Power Forwardy", seems to make little sense. You talk to most basketball people, I am sure that they just want the flat out best player rather than someone who is more prototypical. In this case, Timmy might not be a "prototype", but he straight up breaks the mold, and possibly created an entirely new and maybe even better prototype in the process.

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Duncan's kiss off the glass

backboard jumper seals it for me.

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It should be duncan because

It should be duncan because of what? "rings!" he play PF most his career and he is what I like to call a strategic Center you put him there when you need him there for miss matches and what not but he is the best PF of all-time no question.

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let me be clear, I think

let me be clear, I think Duncan was the better player than Malone...I made this thread to say that maybe Malone gets slighted because he was strictly PF.

Could it be said that D-Rose was a better player last year than CP3 and DWill but the latter are still better PG's although they all share the same position?

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Yeah, i agree with Big

Yeah, i agree with Big V..lol.....Thomas was a much better player than Iverson...

Thomas i think is the 2nd best point guard all time behind Magic...I mean Stockton was great,but Thomas could score,create plays,penetrate and had some showmanship....There was conspiracy to keep him off The Original Dream Team...There was no excuse for him not being on that team..Expect alot people didnt like him...

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Thomas i think is the 2nd

Thomas i think is the 2nd best point guard all time behind Magic...I mean Stockton was great,but Thomas could score,create plays,penetrate and had some showmanship....There was conspiracy to keep him off The Original Dream Team...There was no excuse for him not being on that team..Expect alot people didnt like him...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMO Stockton was the better defender and the better shooter as well as the superior passer. The other thing was that in 1992 Zeke, while still playng at a high level, was past his peak and at that point was absolutely not better than Stockton who was in the prime of his career and coming off a season in which he had averaged 15.8 PPG, 13.7 APG and 3 SPG. If I had to go back and change the personnel of the Dream Team I would substitute Dominique Wilkins for Chris Mullin and Shaq for Laetner but Thomas would still be on the outside looking in. I really don't know whom he would replace.

Regarding Duncan, this is a difficult question to answer, for the most part he played power forward on his team especially during the days when Robinson and Nesterovic played alongside him. But he often did play a center like role on his teams. However MJ often played a point guard like role on his teams. Jerry West also played as a point guard very often and Larry Bird started his career off as a power forward and few people argue that their positions should be altered for all time teams. So I think ultimately Duncan will go down as a power forward, albeit a traditional old-school low post PF.

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this was not really a thread

this was not really a thread about comparing the two except for the fact that one is a F/C and the other a PF. Duncan's shotblocking was more of his Center attributes just as A.I.'s scoring was more of his SG attributes. I think its fair to make that assumption.

the one thing that I do NOT take into consideration when comparing these two are rings.....why? one word....JORDAN! Switch times and the Spurs dont get past the Bulls. Rings are relative to circumstance.

I think Tim is better, thats my opinion. I am a bigger fan of Duncan than I ever was of Malone. But...I am just being objective and fair is fair.

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Duncan is most certainly a PF

Tim Duncan is my favourite player of all-time, so obviously I'm a bit bias in this regard. However, Duncan is, in my opinion, undoubtedly the greatest PF of all time. The thing I always loved about Duncan is that he played to his strengths! I remember reading an interview with a former Spurs assistant coach who said that Duncan had the green light to shoot threes. If you've ever seen him shoot one in a game, it's clear he has range out that far, but he realizes that he is better serving his team in the post (high or low) commanding double teams and opening up opportunities for his teammates. I also respected that Duncan wasn't afraid to play big in a time when so many big guys coming into the league wanted to act like guards. Some perceive this as Duncan being a centre, but really he's just a traditional PF in an era where the league is filled with 'stretch 4s' and other big men who play on the perimeter.

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also I was just using the

also I was just using the Isiah/Iverson Pure PG/PG scenario as a reference, not to say Iverson was a better player...maybe a better player comparison all time would be Payton and Iverson if you are saying position to player....Iverson I think would be rated by many as a better player, but there is no question who the better PG is.

surve
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mikev

although none of this is absolute and could be a matter of opinion...BB Reference lists Al Horford as a Center. He played Center at Florida. When he was drafted, it was perceived he was drafted as a Forward.

By all intent and purposes, he IS an NBA center. Yet all you keep hearing people saying is, he is a PF playing out of position....and the Hawks need a Center so he can slide over to PF. Is Horford a Center that the Hawks want to play at PF or PF playing out of position?

None of this applies to Duncan because at either spot he would not be viewed as "out of position"

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There is a reason why Duncan

There is a reason why Duncan won alot of titles its because he is a one of the best all time forward.

And Malone had John Stockton and didnt win any titles ."But Malone and Stockton had to play against Jordans Bulls".Ummm your point? Duncans Spurs still won more titles then Malones and Stocktons Jazz ever went to

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While I feel Tim is more of a

While I feel Tim is more of a center(and played more back to the basket that Robinson) The fact that he has every skill needed and has always stated himself as a PF you absolutely have to go with him. Is he the best of al time? That's debatable as many of us missed a lot of great players. Definitely top 2 of al time in the modern Era. Individual stats and longevity, you absolutely HAVE to go with Karl, but since the name of the game is winning and Timmy has been a top 1a. or 1b. on every title team he's been on 4x, you gotta go with TimmyD. Who cares if a player was versatile enough to play 2 positions. Was he the starting center on even ONE team that won the title?

Just because most of his centers were the size of pf's, doesn't make them any less centers. Rose,Nazr,Oberto,and now Blair. IMO, he'll be pairing with Tiago soon enough.

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Malone had to face Bulls

Yeah, Karl Malone needed to face Jordan's Bulls twice, and got thrashed twice. But let's not forget that Duncan's had some pretty stiff competition as well. The Western conference (post-Jordan) was very strong and deep, with all kinds of talent they had to face on the way through their title runs. They repeatedly ran into Shaq and Kobe's Lakers, Dirk's Mavs, Nash/Stoudemire's Suns, Kidd/Martin/Jefferson's Nets, The mid 00's Pistons, etc. Yeah, there was no MJ on any of those teams, but the fact that Duncan was able to win 4 titles in his career despite tough competition separates him from the pack. There isn't really a doubt in my mind that Duncan is the top PF of all time.

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Yeah, i was surprised Shaq

Yeah, i was surprised Shaq wasnt on the 1st Dream Team...But Mullin was chosen ahead of Wilkens becuz he had an overall game and did the little things...Thomas wasnt on the team becuz of Political Reasons thats ALL

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MJ didn't play the point role

MJ didn't play the point role for a lot of his teams. The one time he did Phil jackson said he failed in his opinion because Jordan looked for his shot too much and didn't dictate tempo. Pippen was often the acting pg. MJ just happened to have great recognition of double teams and good shooters around him. There's a differrence between that and being a pseudo pg IMO. BTW, as much as I hate to say it, Magic is probably the guy I would have left off the original Dream Team. He had been retired and wasn't even playing professionally anymore. That in no way deserved to be a choice over Thomas. Thomas is one of the only pg's to average 20 and 10.

If it's between he and Stockton, as much as I liked Stockton, I'll tke the guy who will get me 2-3 less assists(while still getting double digit dimes) but be able to carry the load offensively if need be.

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I am not excusing Malone for

I am not excusing Malone for not winning a title...although that is easy for people to do. I just do not factor that into MY equation when comparing him and TD. If you read above, I said I rate TD as the better player. The Jazz lost to the Bulls twice, but if you are saying that the Jazz didnt get there as many times, you must remember, 2 other times they didnt get there, they lost to the Rockets, who went on to win the title both times. I hope you dont consider the Nets, Pistons, and Cavs on the level of those Bulls teams (which people say are the best of all time)....or the Rockets (Franchise best 58 wins 93-94) for that matter.

All praises go to TD for winning 4 titles, that is not an easy feat...I just get tired of when the discussion comes up...the only thing some people can pull out their azz is "Duncan is better because he has rings and Malone doesnt". Are you implying that had Malone won a title or two then he would be better than Duncan? For me, I dont even bring it up...I think we have enough information without the rings to decide.

"There is a reason why Duncan won alot of titles its because he is a one of the best all time forward.

And Malone had John Stockton and didnt win any titles ."

See, thats the stuff I am talkin about....how convenient of you to leave out David Robinson, who was already established when TD got there. How did they wind up on the same team? I dont know how old you are, but I remember....Robinson missed virtually the entire year with a back injury. Thus, they didnt win but 20 games that season prior to drafting TD. This down from a 59 win season the previous year in which Robinson avg 25ppg and 12rpg while having 63 double doubles. Thats like Dwight or Lebron (Cavs) missing a whole season and picking up D-Rose or somebody in the draft. My point is, titles are circumstance, and some had better than others. So step your argument game up beyond the petty ring debate.

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Karl Malone is 2nd all-time

Karl Malone is 2nd all-time in points scored but his 0 championships are something to note... and also you have to entertain charles barkley and KG in this convo

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MJ didn't play the point role

MJ didn't play the point role for a lot of his teams. The one time he did Phil jackson said he failed in his opinion because Jordan looked for his shot too much and didn't dictate tempo. Pippen was often the acting pg. MJ just happened to have great recognition of double teams and good shooters around him. There's a differrence between that and being a pseudo pg IMO. BTW, as much as I hate to say it, Magic is probably the guy I would have left off the original Dream Team. He had been retired and wasn't even playing professionally anymore. That in no way deserved to be a choice over Thomas. Thomas is one of the only pg's to average 20 and 10.

If it's between he and Stockton, as much as I liked Stockton, I'll tke the guy who will get me 2-3 less assists(while still getting double digit dimes) but be able to carry the load offensively if need be.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You're right about Pippin usually being the acting PG during the Bulls days but IMO I still don't know how anyone could say that in 1992 Thomas was a better player than Stockton.

Yes at one time Thomas was a perennial 20 PPG, 10 APG player but by 1992 Thomas hadn't had a 20-10 season in six years. 2-3 less assists? That's way off. Thomas actually averaged 6.5 less assists in 1992 and only 2.7 more points per game. Even in the previous season, 1990-1991, Stockton actually averaged more points per game (17.2 to 16.2) had 14.2 assists to Thomas's 9.3 assists, 2.9 SPG to Zeke's 1.7 and had a 50.7 FG% to Thomas' 43.5 FG%.

At the time Thomas hadn't made 1st, 2nd or 3rd team All-NBA in the previous five years. Stockton was widely regarded as the best PG in the league and players like Kevin Johnson and Tim Hardaway were also considered better than Thomas. If Thomas had made the Dream Team it would have been clearly due to accomplishments from earlier on in his career, that being said Bird and Magic made the Dream Team for exactly that same thing.

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TD

Tim Duncan is a power forward since he has basically played that position his entire career. Kevin Willis was a 7 footer and rebounded a ton and he has always been considered a power forward because the Hawks played Jon Koncak (LOL) at the 5. Kevin Garnett is a power forward and he is also 7 feet tall who has been the main offensive low post threat throughout his career. Pau Gasol has always been classified as a power forward even though he is a 7 footer, a genius in the low post, and fairly big time rebounder and shot blocker. He played the 4 with the Grizzlies even when we only started Lorenzen Wright and Darko at center while we still had guys like Stromile Swift and Drew Gooden at the 4. But, Pau never really played the 5 with Stro or Drew Gooden at the 4.

I think Duncan is the best power forward ever with his scoring ability, defense, rebounding, shot blocking, smarts, bank shots, and 4 championship rings. He is also 4 for 4 on titles which is something that only two other superstars have done (MJ and Pippen went 6 for 6. Fisher lost one, Ron Harper might have won 5-5 or 6-6 I think. Horace Grant lost one on Orlando. Salley, Rodman, and James Edwards who all have rings with the Bulls too lost a Finals appearance in Detroit. Horry has 7 rings and he might not have lost one. Steve Kerr went for four straight.)

Now, here is an interesting question. If you consider Tim Duncan to be a center then where does he rank among the all-time greats? I would put him no lower than 5th behind Wilt, Kareem, Russell, and Shaq. TD has two more titles than Hakeem Olajuwon and one more Finals MVP award. TD had a great peak and a very long prime. He is just past his extended prime now, but he lost some weight and I think that if he develops a sky hook then he can hang on for a few more years as a secondary offensive threat like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was for the Lakers toward the end of his career.

I think it is even more impressive that TD would be considered one of the Big Five of All-Time Great Centers if he were listed as a center.

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I think if Duncan were listed

I think if Duncan were listed at center I would put him 6th all-time behind Hakeem as well as Shaq, Wilt, Russell and Kareem.

Yes Duncan has two more championships than the Dream, but Hakeem was a better scorer; Duncan's career high of 25.5 PPG was surpassed four times by Hakeem and while TD hit the 23 PPG plateau three times, Olajuwon surpassed it on 9 occasions. Duncan while a great defender was still not quite as good defensively as Hakeem who is the best defensive big man I have ever seen.

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Duncan better player than

Duncan better player than Hakeem by clearly, Hakeem only more flashy.

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A better Question

If Duncan had played Center during his career:

Would he be considered of of the best centers of all time?

Would he be in the top 5?

How would he rank compared to Shaq?

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Timmy has slowed down a lot &

Timmy has slowed down a lot & it really showed in the playoffs this year in the series versus Memphis.....Not knocking him at all because he will always forever be "The Big Fundamentals" to me.

No player has a better bank shot then Timmy

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@Dwight, I wasn't realy

@Dwight, I wasn't realy saying that he was the better player, but IMO, he definitely deserved the spot. Like I said, I would have personally said no to Magic. You say Thomas didn't deserve to be on the team because of his lack of All-NA teams 5 years prior, but Magic wasn't even an NBA player at that point. Stockton just hadn't earned the spot like thomas had IMO. Not yet, not if you were having all of those legends such as MJ,Bird, and Magic who wasn't even playing anymore and Bird who had retired earlier that offseason, Thomas was the forgotten on. People tend to forget, that Thomas was every bit as good as Bird,Magic, and MJ in the 80's which was basically what the perimter was made of. 80's great's such as the previously stated 3 along with Charles, Ewing and Hakeem. I personally just feel like someone needed left off that team to honor Thomas. It's not like he couldn't have made just as big of an impact in international play as anyone of those other guys.

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interesting that to think

interesting that to think duncan would have played center had he been drafted by about any team other then san antonio. I mean nobody was calling tim a pf in college or expected that to be his nba position. I also think that despite his "position" being pf, he has essentially played like a center. I mean the opposite big in san antonio is often asked to stay out fo the paint to clear space for tim to post up. Robinson, nesterovic, mcdyess are primarily spot shooters while blair just crashes the glass. But the difference between pf's and centers can be blurry so i guess duncan is whatever they want to call him.

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^ that was my point for

^ that was my point for creating the thread, I am sure had Duncan been drafted by anyone else he wouldve played Center. You are 100% correct, no one thought of him as a PF coming out of college. I think we settled it here though, there really is no question he is a PF because thats where he started and played at the most.

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Duncan is a pure PF, he is

Duncan is a pure PF, he is not PF only because the position he was put, he is PF in his game, mind and feel...

Duncan base on his talent, skills, versatility, style was a PF period(even could play some SF like in his rookie year), that was his most efficient position, he could play the C also because of his aggressiveness and power but clearly first of all he was a PF.

only now after he slow down he play more the C position but it's not his natural position!

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