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Old 02-04-2013, 05:16 PM   #16
Legends66NBA7
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Default Re: Ranking the best seasons of 12 all-time great bigs since the merger

Just to clarify this, I do think Malone, Nowtizki, and Ewing are all interchangeable on my list.

If I ranked them as players only that year, the list would be different from the bottom half.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ranking the best seasons of 12 all-time great bigs since the merger

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaRegul8r
As do I. Scoring is something you can always get from any of the other positions. It doesn't have to come from the center. It might even be more preferable, as centers need to be passed the ball. However, a big man's defense is something you can't get from anywhere else. Same with rebounding unless you have Rodman.

What about Pippen (there are a few other fringe cases as well, but he's the poster boy for this)? He wasn't as impactful as the top big defenders, but I think after the first 2-3 tiers he deserves consideration (last time I did a top 10 defenders based on impact he checked in at number 10, though that list hasn't been updated in a couple of years so it doesn't reflect my more recent research. Interestingly enough, the second threepeat Bulls (who had to deal with the threat of going against dominant bigs more regularly than the first threepeat core; they also had to go to battle without Jordan and his top 3 GOAT peak presenting the same mismatch that it did) had both guys (albeit with Pippen getting hurt and Rodman checking out mentally at times).

BTW, I probably should've used bigs instead of centers in the quoted post since what I said applies to 'power forwards' as well (though I don't care much for positional designations, roles mean more; I've been trying to peg Baylor and Barkley recently but it's really hard for me to describe them as bigs, same with Rodman).

Quote:
I dock Moses a bit for that. As I said, you can always get scoring from the other positions, but if a center can't anchor a defense, then it's hard for me to justify him being on the floor.

Moses is really tough. He was exceptional in one face, excellent in another, and at least during those 2-3 years he was serviceable defensively (but not the interior presence of most of the other guys listed in the OP). Based on scarcity though, I don't think all three are equally important, especially for a center.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:22 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ranking the best seasons of 12 all-time great bigs since the merger

Karl Malone's best year was definitely '98, imo. But '94-'98 Malone was him at his most complete in general.

1.2000 Shaq
2.1994 Hakeem
3.1977 Kareem
4.2003 Duncan
5.1977 Walton
6.1983 Moses
7.1993 Barkley
8.2004 Garnett
9.1990 Ewing
10.1995 Robinson
11.1998 Karl Malone
12.2006 Dirk

7-10 are very close. In fact, just looking at them as players, '90 Ewing looks like the better player than Moses to me considering he was every bit the scorer, if not better, considerably better as a defender and a better passer, but keeping in mind what Moses did leading the Sixers to a 65-17 record and 12-1 in the playoffs, I had to put him high. I don't know if the other players below him could have done that, while Moses actually did it, and it's more significant than anything the players below him did. As far as individual feats, anyone who looks into what Moses did during '82 will be amazed so you could go with that year, but I'll stick with the championship year. Especially since Moses was pretty disappointing during the Seattle series from what I've read, but absolutely dominated the '83 playoffs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Ranking the best seasons of 12 all-time great bigs since the merger

Here is my list;
1. 1999-00 Shaquille O'Neal
2. 1976-77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
3. 1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon
4. 2002-03 Tim Duncan
5. 1981-82 Moses Malone
6. 1992-93 Charles Barkley
7. 1994-95 David Robinson
8. 1989-90 Patrick Ewing
9. 2005-06 Dirk Nowitzki
10. 2003-04 Kevin Garnett
11. 1976-77 Bill Walton
12. 1991-92 Karl Malone

Top 3 is pretty interchangable. You can't wrong with any of them. After Chuck, thing's getting pretty hazy.

Of course I can get criticized for ranking Bill Walton this low. But I'm never satisfied with his scoring volume.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ranking the best seasons of 12 all-time great bigs since the merger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odinn
Here is my list;
1. 1999-00 Shaquille O'Neal
2. 1976-77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
3. 1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon
4. 2002-03 Tim Duncan
5. 1981-82 Moses Malone
6. 1992-93 Charles Barkley
7. 1994-95 David Robinson
8. 1989-90 Patrick Ewing
9. 2005-06 Dirk Nowitzki
10. 2003-04 Kevin Garnett
11. 1976-77 Bill Walton
12. 1991-92 Karl Malone

Top 3 is pretty interchangable. You can't wrong with any of them. After Chuck, thing's getting pretty hazy.

Of course I can get criticized for ranking Bill Walton this low. But I'm never satisfied with his scoring volume.

It's clear from watching the games that are available of Walton in '77 and '78 that he could have scored more than 18-19 ppg had he wanted to. He had a very fundamentally sound post game with consistent jump hooks, turnarounds and bank shots. His fundamentals made the game easier, you'll see him establish position correctly and keep the ball high. He could also hit mid-range shots. But his passing was even more important to the team. He has to be in the discussion for greatest passing big man. They ran their half court offense through him, not only in the low post, but the high post as well. He'd almost always find the cutters or shooters with the basic pass if possible, or a more difficult pass if necessary.

And defensively, he was a legit anchor. His fundamentals translated to that end as well. You'll see him go straight up and alter a lot of shots, but he was committed to team defense and didn't compromise the defense more than necessary going for blocks. Despite that, he led the league in blocks in '77, and also led the league in rebounds, which is harder than many realize because being a shot blocker takes you out of position for some of the easy rebounds, and even more impressive because he wasn't recklessly going for either. If you were to teach a young player how to rebound, some Walton footage would be a good place to start. And he was always looking for the outlet pass, a skill that he has to be among the best of all-time at along with Russell and Unseld. Walton's rebounding and outlet passes helped give Portland a strong transition game, and he was obviously the most important part of their half court offense.

I'm sure if he wanted to, he could have scored more considering his skill set, but as it is, he was affecting the game in so many ways. I really wish I got to see him play regularly and live, rather than just a collection of old games. But I really enjoying watching those games and seeing him put on a clinic on how to play an all around game at the center position. I doubt there's ever been a more well-rounded center than Walton during that short stretch.

To help put his impact into perspective, the '77 Blazers were just 5-12 without him, but with him in the line up, they went 44-21 and obviously won a title, including an upset over a Sixer team widely considered to be more talented. The following year, the Blazers were 48-10 with him and 10-14 without him. Prior to his injury, Portland had started off 50-10 and had some talking about them challenging the record at the time of 69-13 set by the '72 Lakers.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:06 PM   #21
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Default Re: Ranking the best seasons of 12 all-time great bigs since the merger

95 Hakeem > 94 Hakeem

Quote:
1. 1999-00 Shaquille O'Neal
2. 1976-77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
3. 1993-94 Hakeem Olajuwon
4. 2002-03 Tim Duncan
5. 1981-82 Moses Malone
6. 1992-93 Charles Barkley
7. 1994-95 David Robinson
8. 1989-90 Patrick Ewing
9. 2005-06 Dirk Nowitzki
10. 2003-04 Kevin Garnett
11. 1976-77 Bill Walton
12. 1991-92 Karl Malone

this list sounds about right. I'll put 95 Hakeem at #2 tho. I would put 71 Kareem at #2 if not #1 but thats a different story

Last edited by Bigsmoke : 02-06-2013 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #22
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Default Re: Ranking the best seasons of 12 all-time great bigs since the merger

Yeah, I think Walton and Garnett are too low.

I can understand for Walton, though, since I don't think he was being regarded as the best player that season over Kareem. Watching Garnett that year with the first set of really good teammates, he was playing like the best player all-year and was playing really well in the playoffs, that I really can't see him lower than Dirk from 05-06 (but I think you can put 10-11 Dirk over him).

I think we are in agreement, more or less, of the Top 3 and Top 6 spots.
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