2011 NBA Playoffs

Dirk Nowitzki’s Not A Top Three Power Forward, Yet

Dirk Nowitizki had a great season. He had a great playoffs. He was money when it counted in the Finals. He toughed it out on a night that the flu made him look and sound like death climbing off the crapper. He earned the NBA Finals MVP and honestly should have gotten more consideration for the regular season MVP award (compare how well they played with him in the lineup versus how much they struggled when he was gone).

Dirk Nowitzki is a great player and a championship is the cherry on top of his Hall of Fame sundae. He had the type of post-season run we haven’t seen for quite some time and does a lot to silence all of the critics who called him soft – I admit that I was one of those – or suggested that a Nowitzki-led team could never win an NBA title.

One thing it does not do, however, is make him an all-time top three power forward.

Dirk Nowitzki is a fine player. He’s easily in the top ten of current players. Maybe even the top five. But Rick Carlisle be damned, he’s certainly not in the top ten all-time and probably wouldn’t make it into a list of the top ten of the past 30 seasons.

I understand the rush to judgment. After years of posting big offensive numbers, Nowitzki finally has the line on the resume that validates his career to so many people. He did it in a way that leaves no doubt that he was truly the author of his own legacy. When the biggest discussion topic of the series was the all-time status of Miami No. 6 (if you say his name, more columns about him appear – like a basketball Beetlejuice) it’s easy to shift that conversation to the best player of the winning team.

But once the contact high from the smoked remains of the once-vaunted Miami Heat defense fade away, we can put his career in perspective. Is Dirk Nowitzki in the running for one of the NBA’s greatest ever power forwards? Definitely. But he neither started nor finished the series in the top three.

All-time Top 5 PF’s BEFORE the 2011 Finals

  1. Tim Duncan
  2. Charles Barkley
  3. Kevin Garnett
  4. Karl Malone
  5. Dirk Nowitzki

All-time Top 5 PF’s AFTER the 2011 Finals

  1. Tim Duncan
  2. Charles Barkley
  3. Kevin Garnett
  4. Dirk Nowitzki
  5. Karl Malone

To begin, let’s all agree that Duncan is the G.O.A.T. I could go through his resume, but that seems like a waste of time. Stats, awards, championships, it’s all there. The only way The Big Fundamental wouldn’t end up on the top of this list is if you didn’t believe he was a true power forward. Otherwise the discussion of the league’s best power forward begins and ends with Timmy.

“But Barkley at two? He doesn’t have any rings,” you protest. Yes and yes. Without getting into the fallacy of whether rings are the ultimate measure of individual greatness in a team sport, Barkley’s career numbers – regular season and playoffs – are impressive enough on their own. They’re even more impressive for a guy who played the position at 6’6”. The Round Mound of Rebound nickname has a different meaning for a guy who’s checking in at about twice his playing weight. But for a a decade and a half, it was hard to find a more ferocious player in the paint, pound-for-pound. In 15 of his 16 seasons, he averaged double-digit rebounds, never averaged fewer than 14 points per game and is top-ten all-time in PER and True Shooting.

Then there were his playoff numbers – averaging 23 and 13 in 13 playoff seasons. Barkley’s ’93 playoff run with Phoenix was one for the ages – his 26/13/4 don’t tell the whole story. There were the three 20-rebound games, including 24 boards and 44 points to close out Seattle in the Western Conference Finals. Or his 43-point, 15-rebound, 10-assist triple-double earlier in that same series. Or even the 32/12/10 in Game Four of the 1993 Finals. Sir Charles’ biggest fault? Suffering the same fate of so many in the 1990s…Michael Jordan.

If you’re still convinced that, as Kareem would say, the ring is the thing – I present Kevin Garnett. Before forming the New England Chapter of the NBA SuperFriends (which drew far less ire in 2007 than it did in 2011), KG was pack muling the Timberwolves around. Much like Nowitzki in Dallas, Garnett was Minnesota’s “can’t win with him, can’t live without him” centerpiece. With Dirk, his toughness was believed to be the issue keeping him from the promised land. With Garnett, his enormous contract and a team’s inability to surround him with real help, was the stumbling block.

KG was never the scorer that Barkley was, but he was every bit the rebounder and then some. He was never the shooter that Dirk is, but was still a threat when he stepped away from the basket. Plus, who’s going to complain about 22 points a night from a guy who’s also a staple of the league’s All-Defensive team? His run through the 2008 playoffs with the Celtics was respectable (even if Paul Pierce stole the show), but his 2004 post-season was really a show-stopper. Four games with 30 points and 15+ rebounds, including a 32/21 to end the Sacramento Kings in a Game Seven. Three 20-rebound games. A 24/14 average for the playoffs. All the numbers were there and for good measure, he raised the trophy and reminded us that “anything is possible.”

The Dirk/Mailman debate could likely go either way. Their regular season numbers are comparable, with Malone holding a slight edge. Their post-season numbers are similar, with Dirk having an advantage there. Nowitzki gets the nod based in part on his advanced metrics – he’s better in career true shooting, career PER and career win shares per 48 minutes.

Dirk’s creativity and general matchup nightmareishness helped as well. Malone’s strength made him a handful for defenders, but he wasn’t the threat to score from any place on the floor like Nowitzki is. What made Dirk even more devastating this season was the improvement in his post game. It’s a strange statement to make about a seven-footer, but Nowitzki’s bulked up game on the low block meant he could get the ball anywhere on the court and was immediately a threat. Just ask Andrew Bynum, Nick Collison or Joel Anthony who fell victim to Dirk’s drop-step, baseline spin and dunk.

Oh…and Dirk has a ring. It’s not everything, but it does work as a great tiebreaker.

The final chapter hasn’t been written on Nowitzki’s career. In fact, from here on out, it’s all gravy. With the Lakers retooling, Dallas should enter next season as the team to beat in the Western Conference. Dirk will have every opportunity to add to his story. With Garnett nearing the end of his run, it’s not inconceivable that Nowitzki could challenge him for the third spot on the all-time list.

But not now. Not yet.

Related posts:

  1. 6 Minutes to Glory: The Night that Dirk Nowitzki Will Never Forget
  2. The Legacy of Dirk Nowitzki
  3. (Best of) 7 Questions for the 2011 NBA Finals
  4. The NBA Owes Mark Cuban A Debt Of Gratitude

Discussion

76 Responses to “Dirk Nowitzki’s Not A Top Three Power Forward, Yet”

  1. Your list is fine for the present day, but Barkley, Malone and Nowitzki cant hold a candle to Elgin Baylor.

    Posted by LP | June 16, 2011, 9:47 am
    • more than right… definitely a short term memory list.

      Posted by alex | June 16, 2011, 8:12 pm
    • The forwards list is Duncan, Baylor, Pettit, then either Barkley or Malone (pick your order) then Garnett, THEN Dirk. Dirk is somewhere in the 25-30 range of the all time Hierarchy.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 17, 2011, 9:25 am
      • No way Pettit should be that high on that list, that’s nostalgia kicking in

        Posted by Dub | June 17, 2011, 9:41 pm
        • what are your arguments against Pettit?

          Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 18, 2011, 8:41 am
          • Pettit played in an era where ABA/NBA players had regular jobs next to their franchise.

            in fact Pettit worked part time next to his basketball career. those guys only really practiced on the weekend(!!).

            tell me how guys, who couldn’t put half as much energy into practice and playing the game in general are better than full time athletes ?
            do you think those players from back then are twice as talented as players today? even after basketball was more or less a fringe sport in the 50s?
            was the talent pool extraordinary high back then?
            just as a side note and for point of reference sake: Wilt was a full time athlete and put up 50 points per game in that time – strange isnt it?

            I think there is no question that nostalgia upped Pettits value way too much

            Posted by Persefone | June 20, 2011, 7:50 am
          • You cannot make a legitimate argument that Pettit could not complete in today’s game. True that Pettit played in the formative years of the NBA, yet does that diminish his accomplishments?

            We can only measure players against their peers and not against the future. Progression is inevitable and ALL players have benefited from more money, better training, better conditioning nutrition, equipment, etc. etc.

            Would Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb be obsolete if they were born in 1990 rather than 1890? Would we not expect them to be bigger, stronger and faster than they already were? There are too many variables when playing the “what if, but” game.

            The ONLY thing we can conclude from players like Petitt is that he was clearly dedicating to playing hard, playing well and winning.

            I hardly think those qualities are nostalgic.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 21, 2011, 11:26 am
          • for his career Pettit

            26.4 PPG, 16.2 RPG, 3.0 assists
            .436 FG% .761 FT% (10.3 FTA per game)

            Playoffs 25.5 14.8 and 2.7

            2 MVP awards.

            I can accept that Pettit was not as gifted an athlete as Wilt or Russell, but WHO THE HELL WAS????

            You cannot compare what Pettit’s numbers to Wilt’s and then NOT understand the Wilt would STILL have been awesome in ANY time period.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 21, 2011, 11:36 am
          • You also need to understand and consider that Wilt averaged 40 FGA in 1961-62 and 17 FTA per game. I would wager ANY player that shot the ball 40 times and added 17 free throw attempts a game would ABSOLUTELY average 50 points a game.

            The closest any player since 1990 to shoot that often in a season was Kobe Bryant in 2005-06 when he put up 2173 shots a game. Wilt shot 3159 times, a difference of 1015!!!

            Multiply that difference at Wilt’s rate of .509 and you get an additional 1033 points or 12.8 points a game.

            Add 12.8 to Bryant’s 35.4 and you have 48.2, and that does NOT include the additional free throws (Bryant averaged 10.3 FTA in ’05-’06)

            It wasn’t just that Wilt was a superior athlete; he also shot the the ball the MOST TIMES IN HISTORY BY A WIDE WIDE MARGIN.

            As the inference that the sole reason that Wilt averaged 50 a game was inferior talent; there is also little to no evidence that Pettit’s abilities that made him great would not translate into today’s game player today.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 21, 2011, 2:17 pm
          • so you say Wilt could still average 50 ppg in todays game?

            Posted by Persefone | June 25, 2011, 1:59 pm
          • I contend that if ANY NBA star shot the ball 40 times a game AND added 17 free throw attempts, he would ABSOLUTELY average 50 points a game.

            Do the math on that; the expectancy of an AVERAGE player in 2010-11 was .459% from the field and .763% from the line.

            Wilt had 3159 FGA in 1961-62 and 1363 FTA.

            Multiply 3159 by .459 and you get 1450 made field goals, do the same for the FTA and you get 1040 FT made.

            Multiply the FGM by 2 and you have 2900 points, add the 1040 points from the line and you get 3940 points.

            Divide the points by 82 and you have 48.0 PPG. That is assuming said player’s rate is only meeting league average.

            The thing is, only Kobe even APPROACHED that shot total in the past 25 years and he was CRUCIFIED for it.

            Kobe took 2173 shots in 2005-06 or 26.5 per 82 games and attempted 819 FT, or 10 a game.

            Add the extra attempts at Kobe’s rate of success and he averages 49 PPG, and that assumes he shots ONLY two pointers!

            The thing glossed over by most drive by “fans” is Wilt’s defensive contribution.

            Remember, there were no blocked shots tracked in those years. Wilt and Russell both add around 7 blocks a game with the already sick rebounding totals.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 26, 2011, 11:58 am
          • In short, NO ONE will average 50 points per game as no one will take that many shots to get there.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 26, 2011, 12:47 pm
  2. I don’t know about that ranking. I feel Karl Malone was better than Charles Barkley. More efficient, better defensively, and had a much better career (mostly because he had a better work ethic). Charles had, out of his entire career, 11 solid years (missing 94 games in that span) while Karl had 17 solid years (missing 9 games in that span). This is just another one of those – Player X should have been better – which is what I feel about Charles’ career.

    Posted by Adam | June 16, 2011, 10:12 am
    • Adam – the only downside I would say for Malone is that it is hard to tell how good he was really b/c he was a system guy for most of his career. How good would he be without Stockton and Sloan? Barkley and Nowtizki had the burden for most of their NBA tenures of carrying their respective teams.

      Posted by drinkinghaterade | June 16, 2011, 10:32 am
      • I would not call that a downside to Malone. It is an upside to Barkley and Dirk.

        Even in a system with Jerry Sloan and John Stockton, you don’t accidentally have the kind of career Karl Malone had.

        Posted by Adam | June 16, 2011, 12:38 pm
    • Barkley didn’t have a strong work ethic – did you watch the man play? The guy played his balls off.

      Malone had Stockton, and each of those guys helped the other.

      If you want to write that Malone is better than Barkley, I can accept that, but don’t impugn Barkley’s integrity.

      And Malone wasn’t better than Barkley.

      Posted by Dave Sheridan | June 16, 2011, 1:21 pm
      • Playing your balls off in games isn’t the entirety of a strong work ethic. Barkley did not stay in shape. He routinely came into training camp grossly overweight.

        He even says so himself, especially when talking about Moses Malone, Barkley recounts, “He said to me, ‘you’re too fat.’”

        If you noticed, one of the reasons I placed Malone ahead of Barkley was because of the entirety of their careers. 18/19 seasons healthy and missing 10 games total versus 15/16 seasons healthy missing 145 games total. (Both Malone and Barkley’s last seasons were derailed)

        I finished by saying Barkley is another case of “Should have been better” – It’s just his case was health, which I attribute a large portion of to his off-season training.

        In no way was this isn’t an indictment on Barkley’s integrity. That is a gross misrepresentation of my post.

        Posted by Adam | June 16, 2011, 2:43 pm
  3. KG is way too high.
    1. Duncan 2. Malone 3. Barkley 4. Dirk 5. Garnett
    Mavs were far more consistent than the Timberwolves with Dirk and with less talent.
    11 consecutive 50+ seasons
    Dirk has playoff averages of 25.9 ppg/10.4 rpg. One of the top 25 scorers of all time and is still in his prime.

    Posted by one | June 16, 2011, 10:33 am
    • in what world did the Mavericks have less talent? The best player KG played with in Minnesota was an over the hill Sam Cassell or a young Marbury. Hell he made Wally Z an all-star. Dirk was the better scorer, but he’s awful on defense. Garnett is arguably a top 10 defender all time, and consistently made players around him better, a trait that isn’t shared by Dirk.

      Posted by lokkju | June 23, 2011, 1:44 pm
  4. Out of any power forward in NBA history, Dirk is the only one that can be virtually unguardable when his shot is falling. The last jumper he hit in Game 6 of the finals, he had both Bosh and Haslem fronting him and still managing to swish that shot. So, from an offensive only standpoint, I’d rank Dirk #1, particularly with his vastly improved post skills this season and proven killer instinct.

    From a defensive and rebounding standpoint, however, he is not anywhere near the level of a Duncan, Barkley, Garnett or even Malone, so. . .

    Top 5 PF ever? Easily. It’s all semantics from there anyways.

    Posted by Ahem | June 16, 2011, 10:56 am
  5. Baylor was awful defensively and never won a ring. Actually, the beginning of the season that he went done was the season his former team won the title. Coincidence? Likely not.

    I would take Malone ahead of Barkley, easily. Malone has scored around 11,000 more pts. than barkley, had many more solid years, was 5-6 inches taller, which is huge, won more MVPs than barkley, and I have a hard time saying that barkley was better defensively than malone.

    KG is overrated in general, but that’s a hard one between him and Dirk. Even though KG played on some bad teams early in his career, it took him so long to get out of the first round, I mean, he should’ve been able to win at least one series if he was truly that good before his 7th or 8th tries.

    My 5: duncan, malone, barkley, dirk, kg.

    Posted by boyer | June 16, 2011, 2:02 pm
    • First, Barkley was awful defensively and Dirk is awful defensively.

      Second, Baylor was a small forward. Third, for whatever defensive liabilities he had, he made up for it offensively. As a 6-5 Small forward he averaged 27.4ppg and 13.5rpg. In 1961 he was drafted into the Army. He played 48 games that year. Half the time spent training in the Army, the other half spent travelling to the cities and playing basketball. In that season in which he never practiced, he averaged 38.3ppg 18.6rpg 4.6apg. That was the same year he scored 61points in the Finals.

      As far as the 1971-72 championship Laker’s team, Baylor was 38 years old. He had blown out his knee the year before. He played 2 games in 1970-71 season and 9 in the 1971-72 season. He just couldn’t do it anymore. To credit the Lakers winning because they lost Baylor is flat out wrong. The Lakers didn’t win the title in 1971 vs the same Knicks team without Baylor. Coincidence doesn’t even apply here.

      It’s amazing how many people forget what an amazing player Elgin Baylor was. When talking about all time SF’s people will undoubtedly mention Bird, Pippen, Lebron, Dominique, John Havlicek, etc. It’s funny how forgotten Baylor has become.

      Everything you said about Malone I agree with, except your qualifications on MVP’s. You could argue that both Malone’s MVP’s were questionable. 1997 should have been MJ’s and the 1999 was in the lockout year. I honestly think they just didn’t know who to give it to.

      Barkley could have easily won the 1990 MVP. Even though you could argue that the 1993 MVP was really MJ’s. But he did lead the Suns to the best record in the league that year (although it was only 5 games ahead of MJ’s Bulls and 2 games ahead of Ewing’s Knicks).

      I don’t think KG is overrated. He’s the best defensive power forward not named Dennis Rodman. He’s just the worst offensive player of the 5. I think people tend to put too much emphasis on Offensive skill and not enough on Defensive skill.

      Even with that said, I’m with you on the lineups:

      Duncan
      Malone
      Barkley
      Dirk
      KG

      Posted by Adam | June 16, 2011, 3:06 pm
    • KG is not overrated. he just had to deal with the spurs and lakers all the time. two teams with a shit load more lelp.

      Posted by Jared | June 17, 2011, 8:20 am
      • Dirk had to deal with the Lakers and Spurs as well, hell in the last 13yrs or so only three teams in the west has made it to the finals…Lakers,Spurs,Mavs…Dirk gets my vote over KG.

        Posted by ray | June 19, 2011, 11:03 pm
        • KG also had to deal with Dirk and the rest of the Mavs, who also gave him some of those first round playoff exits… same for Gasol – who also got bounced by Dirk (one year was a sweep), who Cowherd and the rest of the national media continually say is better than Dirk – until Barkley started his Dirk Crusade…

          Posted by Joseph | June 22, 2011, 6:39 am
  6. No love for Bob Pettit? He was a 2 time NBA MVP, 10 time All-NBA team, and 2 time scoring Champion. He was the undisputed alpha-dog on an NBA champion, and he scored 50 in the final game that year, which most of us would consider clutch. He is the only player ever to average over 20 points per game every season he played, and he is one of two to average 20 PPG and 12 RPG for his career (the other played 2 seasons). He is 7th all time in PER, first among power forwards, and he was reputedly a very fine defender as well. Not all of us agree on which of these data points matter most, but outside of Duncan, Pettit’s the only guy left who has no holes in his resume.

    Posted by Lochpster | June 16, 2011, 6:57 pm
    • I agree with what you said about Pettit, although I’ve read articles and books that suggest he was a sub par defender. Other than that he had an amazing and consistent career. I can’t believe I neglected to consider him myself when ranking my personal top 5 players. Shame on me!

      One note: MJ also averaged 20ppg in every season he played. And that 50 point game he had was, I believe, the NBA record at the time – playoff and regular season. It was definitely clutch.

      Posted by Adam | June 16, 2011, 8:14 pm
      • Actually we’re both right. Jordan averaged exactly 20.0 points per game in his final season, so he managed to average 20 PPG in every season he played but failed to average OVER 20 PPG in every season he played. Score one for semantics!

        Posted by Lochpster | June 16, 2011, 11:04 pm
        • I didn’t forget Pettit. But, just like Mikan and Russell, these guys wouldn’t be anywhere as good if they played today as supposed to when they played. If you ever get a chance to watch video of them playing, it will be pretty obvious.

          If you’re taking into account greatness for each era, then yea, Pettit is in the top 5, but that’s not how I look at it. Russell would be a SF today, but yet he enjoyed a huge advantage being a center back in his day. And he was awful offensively.

          Posted by boyer | June 17, 2011, 8:15 am
          • Russell was 6’9″, he would still be playing PF today, and he averaged 15.1 over the course of his career – which isn’t too shabby.

            Posted by Joseph | June 22, 2011, 7:09 am
          • Did you REALLY write that Bill Russell wouldn’t be as good today?? REALLY???

            What evidence can you bring to that??

            He was only 6′ 9″?? So was Hakeem. Barkley was 6′ 4″.

            They didn’t track blocked shots in Russel’s day, I would bet if they did, Russ and Wilt would have set averages so high they would NEVER be equaled.

            To state that Russell would not be as goo today simply reflects a lock of understanding of his defensive contribution.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 23, 2011, 1:12 pm
  7. i did a little research… you guys left out one of the all time bests with elvin hayes. hayes has career averages of 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. hayes made the all star team 12 times and only missed 9 games his whole 16 year career. plus, he won a chip (more than barkley and malone) as a leader on a VERY good bullets team (like duncan). he was in the 50 picked by the league and is a hof player. also, dirk has averages less rebounds (8) and only 2 more ppg for his career. hayes also has dirk doubled in the block catergory. garnetts averages dont even come close (19, 10, 1.6). he even beats duncan in ppg and rebounds. so, if rings are a poor measure, then elvin has to be number 2 behind barkley, but apparently, they do (duncan..). this list isnt right, not with dirk on it… just not yet.

    Posted by alex | June 16, 2011, 8:36 pm
    • Do some more research. Elvin Hayes isn’t even a top 50 player in the history of the NBA.

      Never top 2 in MVP, the second best player on one finals team, considered the biggest choker in NBA history, considered the most selfish player in NBA history, hated by his peers and organizations, and a total stat whore. Comical to think he’s anywhere near McHale, Garnett, Pettit, Dirk, Barkley, Malone, or Duncan. I can see a colorable argument for him being 8th, but depends on how you count Cowens

      Posted by TR | July 10, 2011, 12:05 pm
  8. i wish i could edit that… i would also point out elvin is number 8 on the all time points scored list, 4 in rebounds, lead the league in scoring in ’68, averaged 18.6 rebounds in one season (3rd all time), set the nba finals record for most offensive rebounds in one game (’78-towards the end of his career), and has two 50+ games for his career. heck, i would put elvin hayes top 25 of all time, definitely 1 overall in the way of power forwards.

    Posted by alex | June 16, 2011, 8:45 pm
  9. KG is way to high. Dirk always killed KG in every match up. Out of all those listed, Dirk is the most clutch player which begs the question whats better, one who scores a bunch of points or the one who closes the game when it’s on the line. I think Dirk can win another 2 rings in the next 3 years. He will go down as the best PF ever and one of the most clutch players ever.

    Posted by AT33 | June 17, 2011, 2:50 am
  10. Dirk has been the best player in the league since ’03 after David Robinson retired. Thats why the big 3 of him and nash and van exel didnt win before Van exels retirement.
    If they wouldve stayed together after 03, they would ve won in 04, 05, OBVIOUSLY 06, 07, 09, and 10. please dont argue it either. 08 they wouldve matched boston.

    Duncan is the best PF ever yes. a great player with way more help than dirks ever had. and dirk can do so much more.

    why do ppl ask why dirk doesnt get rebounds and blocks, b/c hes so fucking good at everything else that he doesnt have to! why play low when youre so great at other things! the guy is just a weirdo!

    does anyone remember 06 who his teammates were? his number 2 guy was terry, but terry was awful in the playoffs that year. his center was ERICK DAMPIER, and kidd played for the Nets then.
    others were Marquis daniels, josh howard, dampier, and terry i believe. so yeah dirk was all alone bro. all alone. and outplayed wade and oneal. and by the way, wade will never win one without shaq. the heat had shit loads of help from the refs. and when dirk got pissed he ONLY scored like 20 a game,

    Posted by Jared | June 17, 2011, 8:30 am
    • Goodness just be quiet. I love revisionist history. Was Dirk “all alone” when his 60+ win #1 seeded Mavs lost to the 8th seeded Warriors? The truth is that Dirk is a great player but the Mavs have underacheived for years until they finally broke through this year when, ironically enough, nobody expected much from them. His ranking on this list is about right.

      Posted by ks | June 21, 2011, 3:38 pm
      • That he outplayed Wade in 06 is obvios nonsense.
        Dirk wasn´t at his best in the finals.
        But if everybody accept Jordan as reason for Barkley or Malone not to win a CC, Wade in the 06 Finals is a legimate reason too.
        Also in 06 Dirk had a 50 Point game against Phoenix and finished the Spurs in Game 7 i believe 37 Points, 15 rb.
        All in all after Dirk played 12 playoff seasons the only year he disapointed were the 07 playoffs.
        I think thats a pretty fine result for someone unjustified considered as a soft shocker for years.

        Posted by Haaannes | June 23, 2011, 3:01 pm
  11. and miami only won those games by like 2 points? really? there is no fuckin question as to how dirk isnt the best player in the league. the “superstars” couldnt even make the playoffs without help. and that includes wade. look what dirk did without help.

    Posted by Jared | June 17, 2011, 8:32 am
  12. You are just a racist moron. Dirk is better than every PF in history. You guys are just too dumb to realize dirks ability to pull defenses around the perimter is what make him the greatest. No PF has evewr been able to do that. The only PF comparable to dirk is duncan. Then the choice is if you want defense or offense. You racist haters that know nothing about basketball are disgusting.

    Posted by whatever | June 17, 2011, 2:25 pm
  13. Duncan is obviously #1, and I’m ok with Barkley there, but I just think KG is overrated.

    Great defender but by far the worst offensive player in the group and he never raised the level of the play of his team.

    Dirk and KG had comparable levels of talent around them in Dallas and Minnesota, but Dirk always managed to have much more success in the playoffs. As great as KG is, I don’t think he could have won a title without any other all stars the way Dirk just did.

    Posted by Dub | June 17, 2011, 9:51 pm
    • Never raised the level of play of his team? First year he gets together with some decent players they win the 08 championship. In 09, KG gets injured, and the C’s (a favorite to win the Finals) get knocked off in the 2nd round. In 2010, they were 2 minutes away from another ring but injuries once again screwed them over.

      I agree that Dirk is better than KG, not because KG is bad, but because Dirk’s skill set for someone as tall as him makes him unstoppable.

      Posted by Neazy | June 18, 2011, 8:38 am
    • “….without any other all stars the way Dirk just did”

      I think you need to read the title of this blog – “The NBA Blog for the Moderately Intelligent Basketball Fan”. That line you’re pushing gets over in dull witted places like ESPN forums but not here.

      I guess you think if you leave out the word current in the “without any other all stars the way Dirk just did” line people won’t notice that Dirk played with guys who made HUGE contributions like – Jason Terry who is always mentioned as one the best 6th men in the league and who carried the team in the first half of game 6 when Dirk was stinking up the joint among other big moments he had in the series or Jason Kidd who is one of the best and, arguably the best, PG to ever play or Shawn Marion who has been a quality player in the league for over a decade? or…..and so on? Get outta here.

      Posted by ks | June 21, 2011, 3:52 pm
      • I agree with you KS. People are putting Dirk’s teammates down way too much. They may not have been All Stars, but they all contributed heavily. Especially defensively. Dirk is certainly a great offensive player, but he doesn’t play the greatest defense. Chandler, Marion, Kidd, and Stevenson all played great defense. Roy (minus that one game explosion), Kobe, Durant, Westbrook, James, and Wade; all neutered or slowed down to the point where the Mavs could coast a few games where it wasn’t clicking offensively. Can’t overlook their team defense.

        Now, while I love Jason Kidd’s game, it is a hard case to argue he is the greatest pg to ever play. Not when you have players like Magic, Stockton, and Oscar Robertson ahead of him.

        Posted by Adam | June 21, 2011, 5:18 pm
      • None of that argument even matters. 5 years from now this won’t even be a discussion. KG is almost done, while Dirk is playing the best basketball of his career. By the time both retire, Dirks offensive numbers will be so much better that combined with his Finals mvp, he will be considered the better player, fair or not.

        Personally I’d take Dirk anyway, so none of that bothers me.

        Posted by Lonestar | June 26, 2011, 8:27 pm
      • @KS

        Give me a break. Yes Dallas had a good supporting cast, but Dirk did NOT have a true #2 guy, and you trying to argue that they did is ridiculous. Don’t pretend like Kidd is the same player he was when he was the “arguably the best PG” Marion is great but he has declined too and as much as I love Terry, he isn’t an all-star.

        Dirk was the only guy who was CURRENTLY an all-star caliber player on that team. How many times has a team won a title with just one star player? Its extremely rare, and KG could not and would not win a title on a team on which he was the only player playing at an all-star level at the time.

        Posted by Dub | June 26, 2011, 8:36 pm
        • @Dub,

          Though I’m not trying to argue that Dallas did have one, you make me laugh with the “true #2 guy” nonsense. Like I said take that simpleminded stuff to the ESPN forums. The series just finished and I’m not blind. I saw how big Jason Terry was, I saw how well Marion and Chandler and Kidd and Barea among others played at key points throughout the series.

          The idea that because they are not CURRENT all stars means that Dirk played “without a true #2″ is a stupid talking point because it’s immaterial and because at least two of the players I mentioned have been all-stars at past points in their careers while the other is always up for 6th man of the Year award. Your and others dumb talking point is taking litearlism to a dubious extreme.

          Posted by ks | June 27, 2011, 9:21 am
          • First off, ridiculing your opponents viewpoints doesn’t really pass for intelligent debate. Secondly, nobody’s saying that Dallas’ supporting cast didn’t contribute. We would all agree that they generally played well in winning a title. However, it’s a highly valid point that Dallas didn’t have a true #2, given that most championship teams have 2 players playing at or near an All-Star level.

            Over the past 30 years, almost every team that has won a championship prior to Dallas has had 2 All-Star caliber players: Bryant-Gasol, Garnett-Pierce-Allen-Rondo, Duncan-Ginobli-Parker, Wade-O’Neal, B. Wallace-R. Wallace-Billups-Hamilton, Bryant-O’Neal, Jordan-Pippen, and Olajuwon-Drexler, Thomas-Dumars, Magic-Worthy-Kareem, Bird-McHale-Parish, and Malone-Erving. Most of those teams had highly successful role players as well as many future/former All-Stars. The only teams that don’t fit that mold are the 2011 Dallas Mavericks with Nowitzki-Terry/Marion/Chandler/whoever, the 1994 Rockets with Olajuwon-Thorpe, and arguably the 2003 Spurs with Duncan-young Ginobli/young Parker. So at the very least I think it’s a valid talking point.

            I admit there’s some subjectivity to who’s an All-Star, or who’s a quality #2, but I think it’s a very valid point. Again, nobody thinks the other Mavericks suck, it’s just that there’s no player on the roster other than Dirk who would be capable of carrying a team, and the Mav’s awful record without him is fairly strong support for this. Any other top NBA team, save the Bulls, could lose their top player and still remain in the playoff hunt. I’d love to hear why you don’t think this matters.

            Posted by Lochpster | June 27, 2011, 7:08 pm
          • Lochpster,

            You’re basing your analysis almost solely on the Mavs’ regular season performance. Jason Terry had a great post season run this year. He was a true #2 option for the Mavs when it mattered – the playoffs.

            Terry could have easily gotten 40+ points in game 4 against the Lakers with the way he was shooting. Had the Lakers not folded and accepted a blowout – who knows how many more 3′s Terry would have scored.

            Terry also carried the Mavs in the first half of game 6. While Nowitzki came out struggling.

            Terry didn’t make the all-star team this year but that doesn’t mean he didn’t play like one in the 2011 playoffs. He was a clear, true, #2 option on offense for the Mavs. 17.5ppg, 48.7% fg, 44.2% 3p, and 84.3% ft is proof of that.

            Also, just because the Mavs struggled without Dirk, doesn’t mean there wasn’t a real #2.

            Take Duncan off the Spurs and they don’t win the 2007 or 2005 or 2003 or 1999 Championships.

            Take MJ of the Bulls and they don’t win the 1998, 1997, 1996, 1993, 1992, or 1991 championship.

            Take Isiah off the Pistons and they don’t win the 1990, 1989 Championship.

            Take any team that won a title, with a clear cut combo and remove the alpha dog, and they don’t win a title.

            Posted by Adam | June 27, 2011, 9:20 pm
          • Always a pleasure, Adam.

            First off, I will cede the point that Terry had an excellent playoffs. His PER jumped by over 4 PPG and he really shot the lights out.

            However, the Mavs were terrible this season without Dirk. You may say that the playoffs are all that matters, but without Dirk the Mavs don’t even sniff the postseason. Without Dirk, the Mavericks were on a 23 win pace. There was absolutely nobody capable of stepping up in his absence, which I would expect a #2 to be able to do for a few games. And this dependence on Dirk has been a trend for years-from 2005-2010 the Mavs won 35% of their games during the season and 28% of their playoff games when Dirk shot less than 35%.

            If the playoffs are all that matters, the Mavs were incompetent without Dirk on the biggest stage, the NBA finals. They were +40 with Dirk on the floor and -26 with him on the bench. The plus number is impressive, but to me it’s the minus that’s shocking considering Dirk only sat out 46 minutes all finals. His team got hammered without him on the floor, losing by an average of 0.56 points per minute-they just couldn’t compete. On the flipside, they outscored Miami by 0.16 points per minute with Dirk on the floor, for a net +0.72 points per minute for Dirk. Talk about being dependent on one guy! The only game where they were positive without Dirk was Game 6, at which point Miami was already self-immolating. In my mind, a top-flight #2 is not going to allow his team to be utterly destroyed when the alpha dog is out.

            As a point of reference, the Mavs were +22 with Terry on the floor and -8 without him. They were +0.11 with him on the floor and -0.08 without him, for a net +0.2. Terry was hot from the floor, that is true, but a lot of Terry’s looks were due to Dirk drawing the D-he’s not capable of getting those types of looks on his own. Furthermore, Terry’s far from a complete player-he’s a streaky shooter who depends on others to help him get shots and doesn’t bring a lot else to the table.

            I don’t understand your last point, perhaps you can clarify for me. I agree that if you take the alpha dog off any team they don’t win the title. I would never argue that point. However, those Bulls, with Pippen, were still very formidable. Likewise, a Dumars-Rodman-Laimbeer-Agguire Pistons team would have been feared. And I believe any of those Spurs teams, save the 2003 incarnation, would have been able to hold their own with either Robinson/Elliott or Parker/Ginobli. Take Dirk off these Mavs and that Kidd-Terry-Marion-Chandler core is probably looking at 25 wins and a shot at Kyrie Irving.

            Posted by Lochpster | June 28, 2011, 1:09 am
          • Lochpster,

            I’m not trying to denigrate Dirk’s performance. I’m just arguing that Terry’s performance showed him as the clear #2 (“true #2″) option for the Mavs. Yes, Dirk is amazing, and played superbly, and was the driving force of the team, but that doesn’t mean Terry wasn’t a #2. The playing performance of one player does not translate into a lack of quality play from another player.

            When trying to gauge whether a player is a solid #2 option, you need only look to that player’s production.

            Terry put up 17.5ppg 47.8% fg, 44.2% 3p during the playoffs. He had at least 2 games (in particular that I can remember)in which he was the driving force while Dirk was having an off night or deferring. Game 4 vs the Lakers and Game 6 vs the Heat (Both close-out games interestingly enough). This doesn’t mean Dirk wasn’t amazing – it just means Terry played like a true #2 option.

            The Mavs’ offense is very limited. They only have a few options:

            1. Give the ball to Dirk
            2. Give the ball to Terry
            3. Run a pick n roll with Jason kidd for a spot-up corner 3 or an alley-oop to Chandler
            4. Run a pick n roll with Barea (and they only figured that option out at the end of the Lakers series)

            I’m sure you’ve figured this out already but I give more credit to quality playoff performances over regular season ones. Yes the Mavs struggled without Dirk. You say the Mavs wouldn’t have made the playoffs without Dirk – I agree. My point is – They wouldn’t have won the title without Terry.

            To your last paragraph:

            “I don’t understand your last point, perhaps you can clarify for me. I agree that if you take the alpha dog off any team they don’t win the title. I would never argue that point”

            That’s all I was getting at. The regular season is a marathon. Sometimes you play teams that are playing back-to-backs. Or 4 games in 5 days. Sometimes they aren’t giving 100%. Sometimes they have nagging injuries or coaching changes. Sometimes you’re playing a team that is 20 games under .500.

            In the playoffs – you’re getting a top 16 team. A rested team. A team that has prepared to play you for 2-3 days (as opposed to the day of). It’s another animal all together.

            Being formidable in the regular season is a bit misleading. The 1994 Bulls were formidable, then lost to the Knicks in the second round. Regular Season success doesn’t translate into post season success.

            Posted by Adam | June 28, 2011, 2:06 pm
          • Fair points Adam. Terry surely had an impressive playoff run, and for whatever reason at the age of 33 he set career highs in PER and win shares/48 while shooting the lights out. He’d never performed at that level during any season or playoffs before, and he was pretty average during the most recent regular season as well. In my book that makes him a guy who got hot for a 20 game period rather than a true #2. I also have trouble saying a team has a true #2 when they completely fall apart with their alpha off the floor, be it for a 9 game stretch during the season or for a few minutes at a time during the NBA finals. A #2 should be able to keep his team afloat when the alpha is out. That said, I will cede that Jason Terry probably played at or near a true #2 level during these specific playoffs because your statistical argument is compelling enough to convince me.

            I think my real point here is that the Mavs were more dependent on Dirk than just about any NBA champion in NBA history has been on their #1. The dropoff was astounding, and I can’t imagine many other championship-caliber teams just getting taken to the woodshed time after time to the point where they just couldn’t compete without him. The only other guys I suspect were similarly important to NBA championship teams during my lifetime were Hakeem and Duncan.

            Posted by Lochpster | June 28, 2011, 9:03 pm
  14. Maybe this is stupid, but i have often wondered why when comparing players from different eras, no one adjusts the points/rebounds of players to the league average. i.e if Baylor averaged 38.3ppg 18.6rpg in the “army season”, and the league average for forwards was, i dont know 12/4, then Baylor’s effective points/rebounds would be 3.19/4.65 times that of the league average. You could then do the same for modern players and it would become eaiser to compare players from different eras.

    Posted by Luke | June 17, 2011, 11:08 pm
  15. Dirk is the best PF of all time. I don’t even consider Duncan a PF and no one else should either since he always plays center and defends the other team’s center. Even if you do you can’t ignore all the talent he’s had around him for his entire career.

    Dirk is the only PF to ever lead and carry his team to a championship, no other PF can say that as of now. Your lists are full of PFs without rings. lmfao @ your stupidity.

    Dirk is one of only 4 player in nba history to put up 1600 points and 500 rebounds 11 straight seasons. The other 3 – Kareem, K. Malone and Moses Malone.

    Dirk is one of only 3 players in nba history to average 25 points and 10 rebounds for their playoff career. The other 2 – Pettit and Baylor.

    Dirk is one of only 6 players in nba history to be included in the 40-50-90. 40% from 3, 50% from the field, 90% from the line.

    Larry Bird (’86,’87), Mark Price (’88), Reggie Miller (’93), Steve Nash (2005,2007,2008), Jose Calderon (2007), and Dirk Nowitzki (2008).

    etc…

    Posted by jay | June 18, 2011, 1:20 pm
  16. What people are forgetting is Dirk carried his team to a championship in monumental fashion against a team which had two superstars on it and one all-star. He did it with injury while still averaging 9.7 rebounds p/g, and with a sinus infection, which are hard enough to get out of bed with. Dirk was absolute CLUTCH, he out-scored the whole Miami team in crunch time. His clutch numbers are up there with Michael Jordan.

    No other PF has carried his team through adversity like Dirk did, and perform so great in crunch time(the most important time).

    With saying all that, Duncan would still be No.1 through the word “consistency”, but Dirk is easily No.2, without a doubt.

    Posted by Bobby | June 19, 2011, 1:29 pm
  17. Dirk is better than Jordan

    Posted by Anonymous | June 19, 2011, 5:34 pm
  18. No one alive is better than Jordan. MJ won the Finals MVP 6 times.

    Posted by Bobby | June 20, 2011, 2:17 pm
  19. LMAO at KG > Dirk.

    Statistics are like mini skirts. They give you some good ideas, but hide the most important parts.

    Posted by apd | June 20, 2011, 9:45 pm
  20. Malone was a choker who could have beat the greatest if he wasn’t blowing free throws in the the clutch.

    Garnett…a great role player.

    Barkley…great player but please.

    Duncan and Dirk are the top spots..Maybe Petit if you can overlook the very early era he dominated.

    Posted by Ohmygod. | June 27, 2011, 12:09 pm
    • I don’t understand your criticism of Barkley. Just “..but please”?

      Garnett is more than a role player. He is the best Defensive Power Forward not named Dennis Rodman. He was a 20-10-4 (And in the prime of his career from the ’00 season to the ’05 season he averaged 22ppg 12.4rpg 5.3apg 1.4spg 1.7bpg on 50% shooting)guy till he joined the Celtics. You don’t put up the numbers Garnett did in Minnesota as a ‘role player’. I rank Dirk higher than Garnett, but you’re undervaluing his career.

      Dirk is great, but he plays almost zero defense. Basketball is not just about scoring.

      Posted by Adam | June 27, 2011, 4:20 pm
  21. Lochpster,

    It’s funny that you’re calling for intelligent debate while pushing a very subjective talking point. The “valid #2″ line doesn’t have any real set objective meaning and you certainly have proven that by shifting it from “valid #2″ to “All Star caliber” to Carry the team without”…..” to suit your argument as needed.

    There is no reasonable way you, or anyone, could intelligently argue that Jason Terry was not a “valid #2″ during the Finals and playoffs in general. Could he carry the team without Dirk over a 82 game regular season? No but so what? That’s beside the point being made by some which was Dirk won the championship without a “valid #2″. It is patently absurd to downplay the major contributions made during the Finals by say, the future HOF point guard, the former 4x All Star Marion and especially the former 6th Man of the Year while trying to push the “valid #2″ line.

    What’s even more amusing, is how you shifted “true #2″ to the even more nebulous “All Star caliber” in order to include the 2004 Pistons in your list of “historical” teams. That Piston’s team had one All Star when they won – the very offensively challenged Ben Wallace. Thwy won with no “real #1″ much less a “valid #2.

    Posted by ks | June 28, 2011, 8:43 am
    • This is simply not true. Go back and look at what the 2nd options averaged for title runs in the past:

      Gasol 20/11/4 60% TS
      Gasol 18/11/3 62% TS
      Pierce 20/5/5 57% TS
      Parker 21/4/6 52% TS
      Shaq 18/10/2 57% TS
      Manu 21/6/4 65% TS
      Wallace 10/14/2 46% TS

      Parker 15/3/4 47% TS

      I won’t go through the numbers for Shaq, Robinson, Pippen, and Drexler. They were all easily better than Terry.

      Thorpe 11/10/2 58% TS

      Then Pippen again.

      Dumars 18/2/5 55% TS
      Dumars 18/3/6 54% TS
      Worthy 21/6/4 57% TS
      Worthy 24/6/4 62% TS
      McHale 25/9/3 64% TS

      I won’t list the others stats. Its not even debatable with Kareem, Magic, Dr. J, DJ, Maxwell….

      Terry 18/2/3 60% TS

      Who would you take Terry over since 1980? I’d take him over Parker in 03 and Thorpe (barely) in 94. After that, I’d take every other 2nd option over Terry. Terry’s numbers are comparable to a few, but you have to remember that Terry is a one dimensional player. He does not rebound or defend at all and almost all of his production comes of Dirk pick and rolls or staggered screen sets. He has a very hard time creating on his own and he is still wildly inconsistent.

      For example:

      Terry scored 15 or less points in 10 of 21 playoff games this year.

      Terry shot 40% or worse in 10 of 21 playoff games this year.

      Terry had a game score of 11.5 or worse in 11 of 21 playoff games this year.

      He lacks consistency and makes little to no impact if he’s not shooting well. A guy like Ben Wallace in 04 was simply a higher impact player.

      When you start comparing him to players like Worthy, Dumars, Pippen, Kobe, Parker, Manu, Robinson, Wallace, Pierce, Shaq, DJ, Maxwell, Drexler, Magic, and Kareem…..it becomes kind of silly to put Terry in that class of a player.

      Terry is not the worst 2nd option of the last 30 years, but he’s definitely in that bottom 2 or 3.

      Posted by JJ | July 3, 2011, 11:36 am
      • What a silly bit of spin. You are actually comparing Terry to OTHER “number 2s” to try and prove that he wasn’t a solid number 2 on THIS Mav’s team? Wrong. It is irrelevant whether or not Terry is better than those players or had better or worse playoff performances than those players. What matters is how his performance impacted his team during their run.

        The answer to the assertion that Terry wasn’t as good as Gasol, Pierce, Manu, etc. was is so what? He was more than good enough for THIS Dallas squad in THIS circumstance.

        I get that you’re doing it to fluff Dirk but, you’re making a common mistake. You’re pushing a flawed premise, “Dirk did it without a true #2…blah…blah” which is why the argument is getting increasing sideways.

        Dirk was great and deserves the kudos but I’m supposed to ignore that during the playoffs, Kidd and Terry were #1 and #2 in 3pt fgs, Chandler was #1 in offensive and total rebounds and offensive rating, Kidd was #1 in assists and steals, Terry’s TS% was .604 compared to Dirk’s .609, his eFG% was .556 to Dirk’s .514 and he was a clear second on the team in PER 20.3 to Dirk’s 25.3, he shot better than Dirk in the Finals (49% to 42%)…and so on?

        I’m supposed to ignore all that and simply say “yeah, Dirk did it “without a true #2″ because Terry isn’t as good a player as say, Pierce and didn’t have as good a playoff run as Gasol or Parker?

        See, that’s what happens when you push a flawed premise. You can try to massage it with certain stats but it stills falls apart. C’mon man!

        Posted by ks | July 6, 2011, 3:16 pm
        • I see what you are saying, but I think it is your premise that is flawed. Just because Terry did enough to help the Mavs win does not make him a true number 2.

          Do you feel that way about Parker in 03 or Thorpe in 94? They did enough to help their teams win, but that absolutely were not the norm for a championship number 2.

          Nobody is pushing anything other than facts. I posted Terry’s offensive numbers to simply show what most number 2′s have done in the last 30 years.

          On offense alone, Terry is way towards the bottom. Then, when you start factoring in the rest of the game, he’s gets even worse. Terry is not consistent. He is an average playmaker and a very poor defender and rebounder. Terry makes almost no impact on the game other than scoring.

          Also, his scoring is highly dependent on Dirk. As evidenced by his horrible play when Dirk missed those 9 games this year and even further shown with the Mavs 2-7 record in that time.

          Once again, guys like McHale, Pau, Kobe, Kareem, Dr. J, and Manu are simply much better players than this version of Terry. Terry’s best playoff run isn’t even as good as an average version of the players above.

          I’d understand your points a little more if the Mavericks had lucked out and played weak competition like the Spurs in 03 did. However, that did not happen. The Mavericks tore through the Kobe and Pau Lakers. The Westbrook and Durant Thunder. The Lebron and Wade Heat.

          Has there been a tougher road to the finals in recent memory? I can’t think of one.

          Where would you rank Terry as a 2nd option since 1980? I’m interested to know.

          Posted by JJ | July 7, 2011, 12:02 am
    • As to the 04 Pistons, they were somewhat of an anomaly as a team. They had no true number 1, but they made up for that by having 5 legit all star caliber players that fit together perfectly.

      And even then, whoever you claim is the best player, the 2nd best player would be better than Terry.

      In fact, I think Hamilton, Billups, Ben Wallace, and Rasheed Wallace were all better players in 04 than Terry was this year.

      And really its not even an applicable year because, as you said, they didn’t have a true number 1.

      The truth is that throughout NBA history it has taken a Hall of Fame caliber 2nd option to win most years.

      The big exceptions since 1980 are:

      1. Parker in 03
      2. Thorpe in 94
      3. Terry in 11

      The rest of the titles won by superstar players have hall of fame players at their side in their primes.

      Which is why most people consider Duncan’s run in 03 and Hakeem’s run in 94 to be the two most impressive and improbable title runs by superstars of the modern era.

      Dirk now belongs in that conversation. I don’t think he’s on that level because Hakeem and Duncan simply did more, but he’s close.

      I personally rank them:

      1. Hakeem 04
      2. Duncan 03

      3. Dirk

      Posted by JJ | July 3, 2011, 11:44 am
  22. KS, it’s impossible to debate objective points. If I tried to debate with you that 3 is larger than 7, I’d be wrong. That’s why every debate on this website is highly subjective, including yours. Don’t pretend otherwise.

    It’s a fair criticism to say I never defined what I was talking about, though, so I’ll define clearly what I think a championship caliber #2 is. It’s a guy who consistently plays at or near an All-Star caliber level and a guy who can keep his team competitive when the #1 guy is out. In my mind, Terry falls short on both counts.

    Terry is a streak shooter who’s been a good offensive player throughout his career. He is a guy who, as JJ showed above, is highly inconsistent. When his shot is off he provides little else-he’s a defensive sieve, he doesn’t help out much on the boards and he doesn’t help his teammates score either. Just about any other championship #2 is going to contribute on defense, on the boards, and/or by setting up teammates even on his off nights. Vinnie Johnson and John Starks were similar players who had similar playoff hot streaks to the one Terry just had. Did they approximate championship level #2 guys for short streaks? Perhaps. Were they actually championship caliber #2 guys? Absolutely not.

    JJ outlined most of my remaining points about Terry so I won’t repeat them. Kidd’s surely a HOF player playing at nowhere close to the level he once did, and Marion, last an All-Star 4 years ago, has never approached his excellence with the Suns since he left and has been shipped around the league since then like a journeyman. I could easily toss around names like Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jamal Magloire and Juwan Howard and say that the Heat had 6 All-Star caliber players, but that wouldn’t make it true. No doubt Kidd and Marion are better than those guys, but they’re nowhere close to All-Star caliber at this point in their careers, and they aren’t guys who could carry a team for even a short stretch if the #1 went out. Lets not let the fact that this team won the title completely overrate every single piece on the roster.

    Posted by Lochpster | July 5, 2011, 1:32 pm
    • Generally winning causes every player to be overrated to an extent. I don’t really feel that way with Dirk, because he’s been underrated for most of his career and he’s finally getting some well deserved love.

      However, some of the role players on the Mavericks are getting some crazy props.

      Lets take Stevenson for example. Everyone seems to think he just was a beast all playoffs long. Really?

      4.5 points .9 boards .6 assists shooting 34.9% from the field. He only played 15.8 minutes a game.

      How about Marion?

      11.9 points 6.3 boards 2.1 assists shooting 46.7% from the field.

      Of course Marion played good defense, but the way people talk about him you would think he was putting up 20/11/4 like Pau Gasol did last year.

      How about JJ?

      8.9 points 1.9 boards 3.4 assists shooting 41.9% from the field. He only played 18.6 minutes per game.

      I’m certainly not saying Dirk won alone, but I think everyone here tends to favor a few examples they can think of over what actually transpired the entire playoffs.

      The truth is that Terry’s production offensively as a 2nd option on a team that won the title is far below average. That is only factoring in offense as well. His playmaking, defense, and rebounding is at the bottom of the last 30 years as well.

      Everyone just seems to ignore that in favor of the most recent memory of watching him nail big shots in game 6. But that perception doesn’t change the reality of what happened.

      The truth is that it was Dirk’s 28 points 8 boards 3 assits while shooting 61% TS and playing some of the greatest 4th qtr and crunch time playoff basketball of all time that led the Mavericks to the title.

      Lets not forget that.

      Posted by JJ | July 6, 2011, 3:43 am
    • No way Terry is a strong no. 2. Not on this planet or any other.

      You want to look at strong no 2, here’s a list of the champions over the last 20 years:

      * Pau Gasol
      * Kevin Garnet
      * Shaquille O’Neal
      * Tony Parker
      * Kobe Bryant
      * David Robinson
      * Scottie Pippen
      * Clyde Drexler

      Do we really think Jason Terry compares to any of these? (you can argue Parker, but even he is definitively better than Terry)

      100% agree with you Lochpster.

      Posted by Brown Mamba | July 6, 2011, 11:33 pm
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