Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Bill Walton On Garnett
I am informed that during last night's broadcast Bill Walton stated something to the effect that "Garnett needs to be more consistent. He needs to do this every night." Yeah, so Kevin needs to get 44 a night....um, OK.............To this ridiculous comment we add on the fact that Bill Walton was always hurt and never gave any of his NBA teams a consistent 82 game effort as a starter.......EVER...........But instead let's skew everything in Walton's favor -- let's take his best statistical year ever (although he only played 25 games) and compare it on a per game basis to KG's MVP year of 2003-04. http://www.basketball-reference.com/labs/comp.cgi?I=waltobi01%3ABill+Walton&y1=1978&C=garneke01%3AKevin+Garnett&y2=2004&s=r&t=g&submit=Compare. Walton is worse across the board in nearly every category. Summary -- KG has given his team years and years and years of great consistent play. The best Bill Walton ever gave his teams is 1.3 years of sub-KG play as a 33-34 minute a game starter (and Walton also had a year with Boston where the team was great and he played 19 minutes a game). If the Walton Effort is the sort of effort Bill Walton wants out of KG, the Wolves would be 22-60 every year.................................But let's be fair to the idiot Walton -- he is probably just repeating the media's common criticism of KG "He doesn't score enough. He needs to get 30 a night like Kobe." In the history of the NBA there have been 58 times when a guy has averaged 30 or more points per game for one season. Tossing out multiple efforts by guys like Wilt and Michael and Kareem, you find that 22 guys have scored 30+ in a year. But remember, the criticism of Garnett is NOT that he should sacrifice his rebounding for more scoring (rather it is that he should continue to board at a 12+ pace and also get 30 a night)............................So, the true inquiry is this - how many times has a guy gone for 30 points and also had either 12 boards or 12 assists a game over a whole season? Answer: 22 times -- Wilt -- 9 times, Kareem -- 4 times, Elgin Baylor -- 3 times, Bob McAdoo 2 times, Bob Petit 1 time, Moses Malone 1 time, Oscar Robertson 1 time, Walt Bellamy 1 time. Since Bird and Magic entered the league in 1979 (the date I consider to be the dawn of the modern NBA), one guy has gone for 30 and 12 -- Moses Malone in 1981-82. Guys have come close (David, Karl Malone, Shaq) but no one has gone for 30 and 12 over a full season since I was 18 years old and playing center field for my high school baseball team.............So maybe if we just step back and gain some perspective we will stop asking KG for the impossible. He isn't gonna get 44 a night. He isn't going to go for 30 and 12 over the course of a year. His upside stats at his current mileage are about 25-13-5, which is awfully damned good.