Duncan vs Garnett

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"Duncan vs Garnett"

Some dialogue:

Josh Markovic (Mimmiville): Can we finally come the realization the KG is much better than Tim Duncan?

John Hollinger: That annoying 4-0 deficit in championship rings is putting a bit of a dent in your case.

I don’t think either player is “much” better than the other by any reasonable definition, and this sort of ring-based argument (by which logic Robert Horry is better than KG or Charles Barkley) gets tossed around all the time, but is this really what we need from ESPN’s stats specialist? Couldn’t Hollinger at least have made a reference to PER? Well, since I want to try out my new copy of Numbers here’s a PER comparison:

duncangarnett%201.jpg

The striking thing is that Hollinger’s arbitrary formula actually backs up his rather silly line of argument. Out of the ten seasons Garnett and Duncan have both been in the league, Duncan has been better than Garnett six times and Duncan has won the championship four times, and Duncan was better than Garnett in all four of his championship seasons. Of course, Hollinger’s same formula says Garnett 2006 was better than Duncan 2006, Duncan 1999, or Duncan 2001 and it didn’t get Garnett a ring. Indeed, Hollinger’s formula says Garnett reached a level of excellence in 2004 and 2005 that Duncan’s never reached. Now that’s hardly the last word in this debate, but since it’s Hollinger’s own formula you’d think he could make some reference to it.

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