Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sorry Rick Carlisle, There Are Players Similar to Dirk

1 Karl Malone* 6-9 1986 2004 25.0 10.1 3.6
2 Dirk Nowitzki 7-0 1999 2011 23.0 8.4 2.7
3 Larry Bird* 6-9 1980 1992 24.3 10.0 6.3
4 Bob Pettit* 6-9 1955 1965 26.4 16.2 3.0
5 Bob McAdoo* 6-9 1973 1986 22.1 9.4 2.3

Carlisle notes that there is no one similar to Dirk "because Dirk is 7 feet tall" -- um, OK, if all you are talking about is height you could go with Bargnani or Lohaus, but I assumed when you called Dirk a "Top 10 all-time player" you were referring to the claim that no one has ever put up similar stats as a big forward.

Not so -- Bird, Malone and Petit were all big forwards who had better scoring, rebounding and assist stats. Bird played primarily outside. I guess I should watch some Bob Petit game film, because MY LORD he must have been great. My recollection is that he was a multi-talented player.

McAdoo, as I have said before, is the closest match for Dirk from how he played to how Dirk plays. Deadly shooter, good-not-great rebounder, mediocre assist man. McAdoo also had to play center for the Braves.

Rick Barry, by the by, has similar stats to Dirk and played the game similarly to Dirk, but he gets sorted out because he could not achieve 8 rebounds a game. Remarkably, the ultra-selfish Barry was actually a far better assist man than Dirk and his assist numbers actually trail only Bird.

Kevin Garnett, by the way -- 19.5/10.7/4.1 -- so not the scorer Dirk has been, but a better rebounder, assist man, and defender.

Chris Webber -- 20.8/9.8/4.2 -- another similar player.

Dirk's greatest strength (similar to Karl Malone) is his ability to continue to be a scorer despite advancing age. After Webber turned 30, he averaged 20 a game once. With Garnett it is also one and done. Dirk has already had 3 seasons.

Karl Malone -- 10 seasons with 20+ points a game after turning 30. Wow.


Anonymous said...

by similar he means Dirk's style of play... all these numbers are worthless. nobody thinks that Carlisle meant, nobody has the numbers Dirk had. Dirk is the size of the center who can make shots at a high effeciency anywhere on the court. He can post up, take people off the dribble, hit spot up shots and score in rhythm. He also has a one legged fade away that he can make more than 15 feet from the basket (an almost unblockable shot).

Anonymous said...

bob pettit- was incredably dominant, so much so that they had to change the rules about where the paint began and how long a player may stay in the paint. thats awesome, but u can understand why that would have inflated his numbers. also its widely agreed that he didn't have the athleticism to compete today. Also didnt have the range or the fadeaway that dirk has.
Bob Mcadoo- was great. but simply a spot up shooter. couldnt dribble or drive very well. wasnt the kind of threat to score off the dribble. Also no fadeaway.
Karl Malone- couldn't score the ball off the dribble as well as dirk, nor could he hit the threes or the fadaway.
larry bird- not even a power forward. made his living in different ways. also no fade.
none of these guys are as tall as Dirk. which though is its only 3 inches is a bigger deal b/c all have around the same vert n quickness.

Anonymous said...

6'9 isnt a big forward