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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Upon reading a Drob vs Duncan comparison on another forum it prompted me to think about Drob's lack of success in the playoffs for most of his career. This is a guy who in the mid 90's was as good of a regular season player as anyone. His best regular season is right up their with the best of Shaq (2000) and Michael Jordan (88-96). Sure he wasn't a versatile low post scorer or a guy with nifty moves, but he did average 30PPG while playing stellar defense. But in examining his playoff production throughout the 90's it is tough to ignore his own lack of success and the teams he led. They usually underacheived (or maybe just overacheived in the regular season?) Some of his playoffs were downright horrible for his own standards. True a lot of franchise players production drop a lot in the playoffs because they play againstr better competetion, but this downward trend in the playoffs never really happened to other bigs such as Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem, and to a lesser extent Malone and Barkley.

Michael Jordan when he had minimal talent still put up excellent numbers in the playoffs despite his lack of supporting cast. Duncan did it in 2002. Shaq still produced in most playoffs, even when his teams were getting swept early in his career. Hakeem although didn't lead his team to the playoffs in some seasons, when he got their and had passable talent, he performed at an elite level.

Why did Drob not succeed and produce more in the playoffs.

Fundamental Question:

How do you judge a player who declines like this so much come playoff time in comparison with a Duncan, Hakeem, or Shaq? Drob in the regular season was overall superior to Duncan for the most part, same with Hakeem, and about equal to Shaq. Was Drob just unlucky? Did he just have a weak supporting cast? Was he built for the regular season. Is their really such a thing as being a WEAKER player in the playoffs by a drastic amount, even for a franchise calibur player? What do you feel about Drob as a player, and how would you judge him or other players who might be weaker in the regular season, but have consistently had more luck leading their teams in the playoffs?
 

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Maybe he kept on getting worn out by the time the playoffs began for having to carry a team by himself. His Spurs took care of business during the regular season but the playoffs is a different beast all together plus there were very good teams in his conference to compete against like the Jazz, Rockets, Suns and Sonics. DRob was superior to Duncan statistically but Duncan will be remembered as a greater legend for his success in the playoffs.
 

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Duncan never really had the strong opposition as Drob did. In the west, at the time was dominated by big men. Whereas duncans years there wasnt one powerful bigman down low other then Shaq. Drob had to deal with a prime hakeem, charles, malone, and out east a prime Ewing, Shaq at the time... All of which are going to be solid first time HOF's
 

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Robinson's numbers went down in the playoffs almost every single year from the regular season: really remarkable.

Compare that to Shaq whose playoff numbers appear to consistently go up in the playoffs from the regular season
 

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Blasphemy!!!! doesn't matter...he had one of him more memorable games his last game ever. both him and timmy
 

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Look at the West back then, they were loaded with beasts at the center position.

If anyone can find who eliminated the Spurs each year, that could hold the key to the answer of the question. And the Duncan Spurs are just a more solid team. In 99 he had a pretty good David Robinson, and the modern Spurs with Parker and Manu is just a really good balance.
 

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David Robinson's prime was from 1990 to '96. The Spurs made the playoffs six times during that period. Statistically, his postseason play was fine in '90, '91 and '93. But he wilted from '94 to '96. His numbers were all right in '95, actually, but the Rockets series dragged them down. Six postseasons is a relatively small sample, but it has to be seen as a blemish.

There was a Larry Bird quote on Bill Simmons' page the other day that I think is relevant here: "Are you basing it on the regular season or the playoffs? I mean, it's hard to compare guys that have never been to the Finals to other players. If you gear yourself to play six months of the year, it's completely different than gearing yourself to play nine months a year. My whole focus was trying to gear myself to play nine months a year."

Also, although Robinson's production was phenomenal, he never drew as much attention from defenses as Shaq, Olajuwon and Ewing did. That diminished his impact. He was like Garnett in that way. Maybe that had something to do with it (though I can never understand it when people say that the whole game changes in the playoffs).

But I still think he's better than Duncan on very nearly as good as Shaq and Olajuwon.
 

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OneBadLT123 said:
Duncan never really had the strong opposition as Drob did. In the west, at the time was dominated by big men. Whereas duncans years there wasnt one powerful bigman down low other then Shaq. Drob had to deal with a prime hakeem, charles, malone, and out east a prime Ewing, Shaq at the time... All of which are going to be solid first time HOF's
You left out the likes of Shawn Kemp who was a beast early in his career and Dikembe Mutumbo, who many would consider one of the top five defenders of all time.
 

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1990: Beat the Nuggets (before Mutombo) in the First Round, lost to the Blazers in the Second. The Blazers had an excellent defensive frontcourt. D-Rob's numbers did not fall.

1991: Lost to the Warriors in the First Round. They did not have a significant interior presence. Robinson was awesome -- roughly 26/14 on 69% from the field.

1993: Beat the Blazers, this time. Lost to a 63-win Suns team in the Second Round. Robinson was fine.

1994: Lost to the Jazz in the First Round in 4 games. They had Felton Spencer and Karl Malone. D-Rob was reduced to 20/10 after averaging 30/11 in the regular season.

1995: Title favorites. Beat the Nuggets (Mutombo) and Lakers (Divac). Robinson's numbers were pretty good. Lost to the Rockets (Olajuwon) and had a horrible series on both ends of the floor.

1996: Beat the Suns, then lost to the Jazz. Robinson was OK.
 

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Hakeem said:
David Robinson's prime was from 1990 to '96. The Spurs made the playoffs six times during that period. Statistically, his postseason play was fine in '90, '91 and '93. But he wilted from '94 to '96. His numbers were all right in '95, actually, but the Rockets series dragged them down. Six postseasons is a relatively small sample, but it has to be seen as a blemish.

There was a Larry Bird quote on Bill Simmons' page the other day that I think is relevant here: "Are you basing it on the regular season or the playoffs? I mean, it's hard to compare guys that have never been to the Finals to other players. If you gear yourself to play six months of the year, it's completely different than gearing yourself to play nine months a year. My whole focus was trying to gear myself to play nine months a year."

Also, although Robinson's production was phenomenal, he never drew as much attention from defenses as Shaq, Olajuwon and Ewing did. That diminished his impact. He was like Garnett in that way. Maybe that had something to do with it (though I can never understand it when people say that the whole game changes in the playoffs).

But I still think he's better than Duncan on very nearly as good as Shaq and Olajuwon.
I basically agree. It is a blemish that his numbers dropped in the most meaningful games of his career, but I also am not sure how much information it provides. He basically had two bad post-seasons in six, and one average one which was dragged down by an amazing series by maybe the best center ever in Olajuwon.

When it comes down to two or three bad post-seasons, the sample size is so small, it's entirely possible that it was just variance (bad luck to happen to have some bad games at a bad time).

The drop-off matters, but it may have just been bad luck. To draw some comparisons to another sport, Barry Bonds was considered to be a post-season choker...until he put together a post-season for the ages in 2002 (steroids are unlikely to have anything to do with whether you wilt under pressure). Randy Johnson was considered a post-season choker until he put together a post-season for the ages in 2001.

I don't think Robinson was a "choker," but it does affect his overall impact that he had those poor performances in such high-leverage games. Therefore, I still consider him a better player than Duncan and just a tier below O'Neal and Olajuwon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Hakeem said:
David Robinson's prime was from 1990 to '96. The Spurs made the playoffs six times during that period. Statistically, his postseason play was fine in '90, '91 and '93. But he wilted from '94 to '96. His numbers were all right in '95, actually, but the Rockets series dragged them down. Six postseasons is a relatively small sample, but it has to be seen as a blemish.
So basically a horrible playoff stint is a 'blemish' so as long as you face good competetion at your position while having mediocre to poor support? Not neccesarily disagreeing, just trying to seek clarity on your stance and why Drob's playoff record is just a 'blemish'?


There was a Larry Bird quote on Bill Simmons' page the other day that I think is relevant here: "Are you basing it on the regular season or the playoffs? I mean, it's hard to compare guys that have never been to the Finals to other players. If you gear yourself to play six months of the year, it's completely different than gearing yourself to play nine months a year. My whole focus was trying to gear myself to play nine months a year."
I just don't know if I buy those statements and that whole 'regular season vs playoff mantra' quite to the degree Bird suggests. I guess San Antonio today takes that kind of approach by limiting Duncan and Ginobili's minutes the last two seasons to limit their injury risk for the playoffs. But Bird played some pretty hefty minutes during his prime health playing days. He had Mchale to help him ease the scoring burden in the mid 80's, why wasn't his minutes limited to save himself for the playoffs if that is what his team was geared towards? I just don't understand what that means exactly. It's not like Boston wasn't concerned with homecourt during the regular season, it still had great importance, just as winning games does in general. If Bird had a crappy supporting cast, would he really change as a player? Would he gear himself to try harder in the regular season? No, but I think the perception of his game is glorified because he was good enough to lead a solid supporting cast to glory and championship calibur play. I doubt he play much different if his team didn't have a good chance at making the playoffs?

Bird himself was also guilty early in his career of having substandard playoff performances statistically, but his teams were good enough to always compete for the title. Bird still was better than most even when playing poor relative to his standards. But again, I just don't know if I buy the 'regular season vs playoffs' argument to such a high degree. Sure some players happen to play better in the playoffs, and hit more timely shots then others -- but where does one draw the line in demeaning or promoting a player status? Why is Drob better than Duncan, and not as good as a Larry Bird or Magic? Duncan played well vs the Lakers in 2002 and 2003 despite not having awesome support. Drob never really played well with mediocre support, unlike Duncan. Why is it that David Robinson is clearly better than Duncan, but not clearly better than a Bird or Magic? Because he couldn't hit a clutch shot like Bird? Because he wasn't blessed with great teamattes or passing ability like Magic? Or is Robinson simply given credit over Duncan's acheivements because Duncan never dominated a prime Shaq or played against prime big men like Robinson did?

What is the criteria to judge a player versus another in terms of regular season vs playoff discrepencey AND the quality of one's teamattes from year to year?

Also, although Robinson's production was phenomenal, he never drew as much attention from defenses as Shaq, Olajuwon and Ewing did. That diminished his impact. He was like Garnett in that way. Maybe that had something to do with it (though I can never understand it when people say that the whole game changes in the playoffs).
But I still think he's better than Duncan on very nearly as good as Shaq and Olajuwon.[/QUOTE]

Why is that? David Robinson in 1994 and 1995 was a better scorer than Hakeem was in his best regular seasons and also a better scorer than Ewing ever was (well except in 1990 where Ewing was close, but ironically his team wasn't that great)? Shaq was probably the only center who in his prime was a better scorer than Drob in his prime. Hakeem had a much better low post aresenal, but the fact remains that David was a very productive scorer in the mid 90's even though he didn't have a variety of post moves like Hakeem. One on one Hakeem was a superior scorer most likely, and certainly was against Drob 1 on 1, but if your going to judge by that criteria, than Drob really isn't anything more than an average scorer in the playoffs, thus making him clearly below a Duncan, Bird, and most others.

What exactly are people's criteria for judging how good Drob is versus other great playoff performers like a Tim Duncan? Why isn't Drob better than a Magic Johnson or Larry Bird if you factor in how good he was on both ends of the floor?

(Hakeem and Shaq IMO being better than Drob is understandable given how Hakeem matched up with Drob and how great Shaq was in his prime -- but even despite Drob's poor matchup in 1995 with Hakeem, the edge Olajuwon might is pretty slight right?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Minstrel said:
I basically agree. It is a blemish that his numbers dropped in the most meaningful games of his career, but I also am not sure how much information it provides. He basically had two bad post-seasons in six, and one average one which was dragged down by an amazing series by maybe the best center ever in Olajuwon.
This isn't true. He had about 4-5 subpar post seasons statisically. His team also underacheived a few times in that time span. This is why I bring up the issue. 1990, 1993 were subpar, 1994 was horrible, 1995 was pretty bad, 96 was very substandard, 98 was very substandard. That is more than 2 years. The Robinson playoff decline just gets masked because he lost early in some of those years and had mediocre teamattes. But players such as Jordan, Shaq, Hakeem, and even Duncan have had mediocre support and were eliminated just as early as Drob and still put up very good numbers. Why is Drob so unlucky? Maybe his teamattes were really horrible, and he led them to overacheivement in the regular season? While when the playoffs started, he really had no help. This might be true to an extent.

When it comes down to two or three bad post-seasons, the sample size is so small, it's entirely possible that it was just variance (bad luck to happen to have some bad games at a bad time).

The drop-off matters, but it may have just been bad luck.

I don't think Robinson was a "choker," but it does affect his overall impact that he had those poor performances in such high-leverage games. Therefore, I still consider him a better player than Duncan and just a tier below O'Neal and Olajuwon.
If it wasn't for those several poor post season performances, is their really any reason to beleive Drob to be inferior to Hakeem and Shaq? He did what they did basically on both ends, with less post skill but just as much athleticism and even greater statistical production. Is 5-6 poor playoffs really just a 'blemish', so small that even when compared to another player with great playoff success such as Duncan? Is Duncan clearly inferior to Drob because of less athleticism and facing weaker competetion? Because if the playoffs are any indication, he is the superior scorer to Drob despite weaker regular season production. The same inferior production Hakeem had in comparison to Drob in his prime seasons. Shaq was about even with Drob in terms of prime statistical production, but Hakeem and Duncan were a slight notch below. Without that 1995 performance, is their any reason to beleive Hakeem and Shaq are clearly superior to David Robinson?
 

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While DRob was never blessed with an overabundance of talent considering the league at that time I don't think anybody outside of the second Bulls threepeat were exceptionally talented teams.

Seattle was loaded only for one year: Kemp, Payton, Gill, Shrempf, McMillan but couldn't get past the Bulls.

Houston while they had Hakeem wasn't stacked with talent. Utah had Stockton and Malone and pretty much nothing else. New York was ok.
Compare to that to the Spurs best team with D. Robinson, Rodman, Elliott, Doc Rivers, Cummings seems pretty comparable in terms of talent. IMO you can't blame the Spurs 90's failures secondary to a lack of talent compared to the rest of the leage
 

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Nikos said:
So basically a horrible playoff stint is a 'blemish' so as long as you face good competetion at your position while having mediocre to poor support?
As Pioneer10 said, his support wasn't really any worse than his rivals'. But I think you're exaggerating a bit about his "horrible playoff stint". His numbers in the playoffs in 1990 were exactly what they were in the regular season. '93 wasn't worse than his regular season, either. So, yeah, I think three sub-par postseasons out of six is a "blemish" and nothing more (or less).

I just don't know if I buy those statements and that whole 'regular season vs playoff mantra' quite to the degree Bird suggests. I guess San Antonio today takes that kind of approach by limiting Duncan and Ginobili's minutes the last two seasons to limit their injury risk for the playoffs. But Bird played some pretty hefty minutes during his prime health playing days....
I think it's more a case of saving energy and not playing with 100% intensity all the time during the regular season. Like those long-distance track events. There are a lot of games, and it's easy to see how players could get burnt out playing 40 minutes a night and doing most of the work on both ends of the floor. Perhaps Robinson wasn't mentally or physically prepared to play at that level for the entire regular and postseasons. We can't know. I'm just throwing it out there.

Why is it that David Robinson is clearly better than Duncan, but not clearly better than a Bird or Magic? Because he couldn't hit a clutch shot like Bird? Because he wasn't blessed with great teamattes or passing ability like Magic? Or is Robinson simply given credit over Duncan's acheivements because Duncan never dominated a prime Shaq or played against prime big men like Robinson did?
I have difficulty rating Bird and Magic. They were awesome, but I haven't seen them play as much as I've seen Olajuwon and Shaq and Robinson. Bird and Magic are considered untouchable by many. But I can see how someone might rate those three centers above them.
And I think Robinson is better than Duncan because he was a significantly better defender. The "Duncan faces weaker competition" point is often greatly overemphasized, IMO, but I do think it has some validity.

Why is that? David Robinson in 1994 and 1995 was a better scorer than Hakeem was in his best regular seasons and also a better scorer than Ewing ever was (well except in 1990 where Ewing was close, but ironically his team wasn't that great)? Shaq was probably the only center who in his prime was a better scorer than Drob in his prime. Hakeem had a much better low post aresenal, but the fact remains that David was a very productive scorer in the mid 90's even though he didn't have a variety of post moves like Hakeem. One on one Hakeem was a superior scorer most likely, and certainly was against Drob 1 on 1, but if your going to judge by that criteria, than Drob really isn't anything more than an average scorer in the playoffs, thus making him clearly below a Duncan, Bird, and most others.
I think there are three main reasons why Olajuwon was better than Robinson:
1. Better defender.
2. Drew more double and triple teams because of the nature of his game. Robinson was a face up center. He also scored a lot of points on the break. That's very valuable, but you lose some of the benefits of having a great big man when he plays like that. It's part of the reason why I think Yao is a better player than Amare Stoudemire.
3. Consistently raised his game in the postseason -- 8 out of 10 times from '86 to '96 -- and was even better in big games. Some of his greatest performances were when facing elimination.

Further evidence is the fact that he was able to win with inferior supporting casts, that he outplayed Robinson more often than not during their regular season mathcups, and that he badly outplayed him in '95, when it counted most.

(Hakeem and Shaq IMO being better than Drob is understandable given how Hakeem matched up with Drob and how great Shaq was in his prime -- but even despite Drob's poor matchup in 1995 with Hakeem, the edge Olajuwon might is pretty slight right?).
Yes, the difference between them is very small, IMNSHO.
 

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Well I for one rate Duncan higher then Robinson.

I think they're pretty equivalent defenders in terms of impact.

Robinson is better statiscally then Duncan but the problem I have with Robinson is he never had a post game of note IMO. Even a perimeter oriented big man today in KG has a better post game then Robinson. In the playoffs when teams are able to adjust and scoring and pace typically slowed down this hurt Robinson as I always thought he was much better suited for a fast break team. He was what I term an unreliable halfcourt scorer with no go to move to speak off. Duncan on the other hand is much more reliable lost post scorer.

I also his consider his playoff performance more then a blemish as while statiscally not a great sample size, his performace declined in other words 50% of the time. This is especially significant IMO as these declines occurred when his team was more talented as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hakeem said:
As Pioneer10 said, his support wasn't really any worse than his rivals'. But I think you're exaggerating a bit about his "horrible playoff stint". His numbers in the playoffs in 1990 were exactly what they were in the regular season. '93 wasn't worse than his regular season, either. So, yeah, I think three sub-par postseasons out of six is a "blemish" and nothing more (or less).
There is a website called APBR where one of the posters has his own database of stats and his main stat is called Rate. It is sort of like PER but different in the sense that it doesn't really factor PACE per se, but weighs somewhat more along the lines of points differentials. Sometimes this can be biased towards teams that are successful and penalize a great player on a bad team, but it is still pretty fair. It is sort of like a production rate that is sort of weighted towards points scored and points against and reb for and rebounds against etc.. I am not sure how to clearly explain it, the creator of it can give you a better explanation. But there is one database where it shows regular season vs playoff production (rate) and David Robinson was sizably worse in ALL of the seasons I mentioned above. From a quick basic stat look David looks like he had a slightly subpar playoffs in a couple of those seasons, but when you factor points scored, points against, and overall production rate towards those factors Drob came up really bad almost EVERY playoff season. Not one or two, but about 6 or 7. This is why I mention the drastical statistical drop.


I think it's more a case of saving energy and not playing with 100% intensity all the time during the regular season. Like those long-distance track events. There are a lot of games, and it's easy to see how players could get burnt out playing 40 minutes a night and doing most of the work on both ends of the floor. Perhaps Robinson wasn't mentally or physically prepared to play at that level for the entire regular and postseasons. We can't know. I'm just throwing it out there.
Yeah who knows? I wonder myself why Drob never produced more. His regular seasons in his prime were incredible. Only Jordan and Shaq can say they had more productive seasons in terms of overall impact since probably Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the late 70s. This is why I pose the original question on how to judge Drob for not stepping up to the plate in the playoffs. How much should his legacy be brought down because of it, despite being a Top 10 calibur regular season player of all time?


I have difficulty rating Bird and Magic. They were awesome, but I haven't seen them play as much as I've seen Olajuwon and Shaq and Robinson. Bird and Magic are considered untouchable by many. But I can see how someone might rate those three centers above them.
And I think Robinson is better than Duncan because he was a significantly better defender. The "Duncan faces weaker competition" point is often greatly overemphasized, IMO, but I do think it has some validity.
Well this is sort of tricky analysis. It all depends on how much Drob was perceived to have failed in the playoffs and how much he should be castigated for it? If Duncan never dominated in the playoffs but he did enough to lead his team to titles and occasionally had monster playoffs when his support was poor, then why does he not get credit for that? If you look at it objectively, he was the better defender and offensive player in most regular seasons (some years his defense was more elite then his offense and even weaker then some of Duncan's best years on offense).

So while Duncan has had playoff success for the most part and Drob has failed pretty badly, how close does that bring them despite David being statistically superior? While also being the better defender and arguably the better offensive player in the regular season? In the playoffs Duncan proved to draw more attention, or at least score better in the post. Isn't this the same reason Hakeem and Shaq are seen as better scorers than Robinson? Cause they proved their scoring dominance either against him or at some point in the playoffs (in Shaq's case from 2000-2002 mainly when he dominated). Why is Duncan compared objectively to David Robinson regular season wise, but when compared to Shaq or Hakeem he is judged by his lack of playoff success vs Hakeem, and weaker offensive game to Shaq (who did not dominate a prime Drob)?

I can understand yours and others rationale as long as you think that David Robinson's post season success was mostly due to being unlucky -- but how is it that Bird and Magic can get propped so high for playoff success, yet Duncan while not being quite as solid as Drob on both ends is clearly weaker despite more playoff success.

Not saying your opinion is wrong or has no validity, just trying to seek clarity on why either Duncan isn't given the proper credit or possibly why Magic and Bird get so much credit for their playoff success despite being lesser players than a prime Drob, Hakeem, or Shaq in terms of overall production?

I think there are three main reasons why Olajuwon was better than Robinson:
1. Better defender.
2. Drew more double and triple teams because of the nature of his game. Robinson was a face up center. He also scored a lot of points on the break. That's very valuable, but you lose some of the benefits of having a great big man when he plays like that. It's part of the reason why I think Yao is a better player than Amare Stoudemire.
3. Consistently raised his game in the postseason -- 8 out of 10 times from '86 to '96 -- and was even better in big games. Some of his greatest performances were when facing elimination.

Yes, the difference between them is very small, IMNSHO.
What is IMNSHO out of curiosity :D ?

I see David and Hakeem as pretty much equals, I might have given Drob the slight edge before than 1995 series myself. I think playoffs do count a for a bit, but I am not sure what to make of Drob. Objectively before than 1995 series I would have probably said that David was the slightly superior player. But I can understand giving Hakeem the benfit of the doubt after the series -- but even that should be slight at best considering both were amazing. I agree that Hakeem generally was spectacular in almost every playoff series, the stats back it up too, not just the fact that he faced some great big men along the way.
 

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Pioneer10 said:
Robinson is better statiscally then Duncan but the problem I have with Robinson is he never had a post game of note IMO. Even a perimeter oriented big man today in KG has a better post game then Robinson. In the playoffs when teams are able to adjust and scoring and pace typically slowed down this hurt Robinson as I always thought he was much better suited for a fast break team. He was what I term an unreliable halfcourt scorer with no go to move to speak off. Duncan on the other hand is much more reliable lost post scorer.
I think it's an exaggeration to say that Robinson didn't have a post game. He definitely had a better post game than KG; he just wasn't the back-to-the-basket player Shaq and Olajuwon were. I also think it's a bit over-the-top to say that he had no go-to move to speak of. His first step was lightning, and he had some nifty spin moves that got him easy layups. He could also roll to the basket well and catch lobs. And he was very adept at getting to the line and was a pretty good foul shooter.

Nikos said:
There is a website called APBR where one of the posters has his own database of stats and his main stat is called Rate. It is sort of like PER but different in the sense that it doesn't really factor PACE per se, but weighs somewhat more along the lines of points differentials....
I really don't have much faith in these all-in-one measures. Too arbitrary. To see if Robinson choked, I'll look at his points and fg% and rebounds and turnovers. A lot of other stuff is beyond his control, and there is going to be natural variation in ft% over small samples.

Why is Duncan compared objectively to David Robinson regular season wise, but when compared to Shaq or Hakeem he is judged by his lack of playoff success vs Hakeem, and weaker offensive game to Shaq (who did not dominate a prime Drob)?
Duncan's postseason play isn't forgotten. It's just that Robinson was a better defender. However, Robinson wasn't a better defender than Olajuwon.

I can understand yours and others rationale as long as you think that David Robinson's post season success was mostly due to being unlucky -- but how is it that Bird and Magic can get propped so high for playoff success, yet Duncan while not being quite as solid as Drob on both ends is clearly weaker despite more playoff success.
I don't use Bird's and Magic's playoff success to prove that they're better than Duncan. But I do think that they're superior offensive players because of their playmaking ability. I mean, Magic was arguably a better offensive player than Jordan.
 

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Have to disagree with you here Hakeem,

He had no go to post move IMO that was consistent and this is what killed him against any strong post defender. His best moves all came on faceup when he turned and actually was in post position anymore. This is why good defenders like Malone and Hakeem caused him a lot of trouble in the playoffs: he really couldn't post them and became a big SF instead of a C
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hakeem said:
I think it's an exaggeration to say that Robinson didn't have a post game. He definitely had a better post game than KG; he just wasn't the back-to-the-basket player Shaq and Olajuwon were. I also think it's a bit over-the-top to say that he had no go-to move to speak of. His first step was lightning, and he had some nifty spin moves that got him easy layups. He could also roll to the basket well and catch lobs. And he was very adept at getting to the line and was a pretty good foul shooter.

I really don't have much faith in these all-in-one measures. Too arbitrary. To see if Robinson choked, I'll look at his points and fg% and rebounds and turnovers. A lot of other stuff is beyond his control, and there is going to be natural variation in ft% over small samples.
I think those things applied in the regular season, but his HUGE drop in scoring for 6-7 playoffs cannot be ignored. His scoring rate dropped dramatically. I don't think any of the derivative stats in the reg. season or playoffs are really abitrary at all. It's like saying Drob being outplayed by Hakeem is arbitrary in deciding that Hakeem was better. I personally don't see PER or Producivity stats that factor everything as being arbitrary if you accompany them with watching games. Plenty of players can be more versatile scorers yet less productive, and you can't really tell that by watching a few games and making assumptions. These kind of stats IMO should always be considered into the equation -- they don't neccesarily mean exactly what they say. But I would hardly dismiss them as arbitrary just because they don't follow ones exact model of observation.

I don't think it is fair to dismiss derivative type of stats that factor things such as Pace, per minute production etc.

Duncan's postseason play isn't forgotten. It's just that Robinson was a better defender. However, Robinson wasn't a better defender than Olajuwon.
Robinson wasn't much worse a defender than Hakeem -- and at worst was very close. But no one could really predict Hakeems scoring in the playoffs and David's lack of scoring. It just doesn't make sense that David would play so poorly. But when comparing to Duncan it seems that his playoff decline fault is less magnified than when comparing him to Hakeem or Shaq. Why? Was Hakeem really considered much better at Drob in any fashion before that 1995 series? Could that series have been an anamoly? Or do NBA fans only discredit Drob just enough so that he still is ranked higher than a player like Duncan because played against weaker competetion, isn't a dominant athlete, scorer or defender?

Perhaps it comes down to your value system? You value elite scoring with good defense and maybe passing a lot more then semi-elite scoring with elite defense?

I don't use Bird's and Magic's playoff success to prove that they're better than Duncan. But I do think that they're superior offensive players because of their playmaking ability. I mean, Magic was arguably a better offensive player than Jordan.
Perhaps we have much different value systems, but even going by your own logic I still get the feeling you overrated Magic and Bird in comparison to guys like Drob, Duncan, Shaq, and Hakeem in terms of overall impact on the floor. But I guess I am not sure exactly how much you value offense vs defense.

I disagree with the Magic and Jordan offensive comparison. Jordan was superior on offense for sure. Jordan was the best offensive machine in NBA history IMO, Magic was a tier below Jordan. I guess it depends how much one values passing, but I figured you would place scoring with more weight then passing.
 
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