Kevin Garnett Vs. Tim Duncan... Can It Be Broken Down?

GrahamSenior Analyst IMarch 21, 2009

Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan are possibly two of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game of basketball. Both have won a championship, but are still hungry for more.

Kevin Garnett brings intensity to the floor, while Tim Duncan has the clutch factor in his package. Kevin Garnett can shoot the fifteen footer, while Timmy can bank the sideline jumper with ease.

Both can dominate in the post, whether it be a KG fadeaway shot, or whether it be the famous shot fake and drive to the basket from Duncan.

Both have the passing skills of a guard. Garnett's famous double-team no-look pass, or Timmy's perfect kick-outs to the wing.

Rebounding? Yeah, they have that too. Both of them can box out for a rebound, or leap up and just grab the ball. But either way, they find a way to get some boards.

Blocking shots is something they do too. With long arms and excellent hand-eye coordination, they make it seem as easy as pie.

Dribbling is another thing these two forwards do exceptionally well. Garnett has always been known as a point guard type ball handler. He takes care of the basketball, but can also get a little fancy if he has to at times.

Defense is another thing these two forwards do well. Timmy can play lockdown at any given time, and we know KG won last year's Defensive Player of the Year.

So who's better? Timmy certainly has the edge in the clutch part of the game, but KG changed the game at the power forward position. It's debate time!

Intensity: We all know how Kevin Garnett is verbal type of player. Sometimes, he can even get a little crazy with his pregame routines. Pounding his chest over and over again (there HAS to be a permanent mark there), talking to himself seconds before opening tipoff. It all has meaning to him.

Not to forget during the game either. You always hear players telling reporters how much a maniac KG is. Swearing for...heh...really no reason at all, trash-talking to get his teammates riled up and the opposing team distracting, or even talking to himself.

We all remember last year's NBA Finals. Remember in the post-game celebration in which Garnett said "ANYTHING"S POSSSSSIIIBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEE!!!" or "I MADE IT MA!?" Garnett may be crazy, or even mentally insane, but Timmy cannot match his undeniable intensity before, during, and after the game.

Winner: Kevin Garnett

Winning (awards and championships): Tim Duncan has won four championships since the start of his NBA career in 1997. He has won three Finals MVP's, and is undoubtedly one of the greatest winners in this century of the game.

He is part of one of the greatest teams of the 2000's, the San Antonio Spurs, a team which all of his championships came from. Yet after all of those accomplishments, he still has the opportunity to win more.

Kevin Garnett however, has only won one championship (although he'll probably win at least one more with Boston). No Finals MVP in that one championship, as that honor went to his teammate, Paul Pierce.

He did however, win the 2004 MVP award, a year which possibly was one of the greatest seasons ever by a professional basketball player. In that year, he went on to the Western Conference Finals with his old team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. However they fell short that year to the Lakers, who eventually lost in the Finals to the Detroit Pistons.

Sorry KG, but not even a Boston fan can argue with Timmy's winning experiences.

Winner: Tim Duncan

Clutch: Kevin Garnett has always been known for intensity (see first debate above). Sometimes it's a good thing. Other times, it's extremely unnecessary, and sometimes even irritating. Especially when you a talented player like Kevin Garnett, who can't even handle pressure situations because of his unreal energy and anxiety.

Tim Duncan however is like old-time Spurs star George Gervin. Gervin was nicknamed "The Iceman" because he was cool under pressure. Duncan is cool under pressure alright. He comes through whenever his team needs him (or so it seems).

What is great about Timmy is his self-confidence. If he doesn't make a shot in the crunch-time (although it is very rare), it doesn't rattle him. In fact he'll just go out next time and keep doing what he is doing. That's the mark of greatness.

Winner: Tim Duncan

Shooting: Having big men like Garnett and Duncan is obviously valuable to your team. But what's even better is knowing that they can hit the open jumper.

Garnett has always been seen as a jump-shooting big man. His fifteen foot baseline jump-shot and his long-range straight-away is one of the most used weapons in his arsenal.

Duncan likes the bank shot, which he frequently uses during the game for easy points.

But not only do these to players shoot well, it opens up lanes for themselves and others.

Timmy likes to use the shot-fake and go, as I say earlier in this article. Garnett however, likes to use his shot to draw big men out of the lane, and then kick it to Rondo or Pierce, who penetrate and finish with ease, as there is really no one there to stop them.

The deciding factor is this: Garnett is able to use it more often, and hit the jumper more consistently. He also has reliable drivers such as Tony and Ray Allen, Rondo, Pierce, and now even Stephon Marbury.

Winner: Kevin Garnett

Passing: Passing is another thing these two remarkable forwards do well. Garnett loves the fact that he gets double-teamed so often. One is because he can school them anyways so there is no point of double-teaming him, and two is because the defense is stupid enough to leave a wide-open center or forward down low in the post, which Garnett always finds for the easy bucket.

Garnett also likes to bring his defender out as I said in the debate above, which he does to then find open drivers and shooters for the open bucket. Timmy does the same, as he has shooters like Roger Mason Jr., Michael Finley, and Matt Bonner. He also has drivers like Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili.

It's hard to find a winner for this one, but I believe Mr. Garnett uses his passing skills to find open teammates more often, and with much more ease.

Winner: Kevin Garnett

Dribbling: (It's unbelievable really how much these two FORWARD/CENTERS can do eh?) It's always been amazing to me how good of a ball-handler Kevin Garnett is.

He's been known and called many times as good of a dribbler as most point guards are. He uses is constantly down low, where he can fake defenders out with a cross-over, or a stutter step. After that, it's common that he just glides right past them.

Duncan isn't that great of a dribbler, but can use it very effectively on the wing, to drive to the basket, pound the ball down low, or use it to find his way around the perimeter to get the ball to open teammates.

Duncan does not have quite the skills of Garnett though, and falls to KG in this category.

Winner: slight edge to Kevin Garnett

Rebounding: Rebounding is something both Garnett and Duncan do particularly well. Garnett is always up there for the rebound, whether it be from an excellent box-out, or an abnormal leap.

Duncan is also very experienced in this category. He is a bit better at the box-out technique than Garnett, but doesn't quite have the legs anymore to jump as high as KG. Still, he gets the job done, and gets it done very well.

Winner: slight edge to Tim Duncan

Shot-blocking: Tim Duncan is a little more known for "getting it out of his house" than KG is. His enormous figure, hand-eye coordination, quickness, and hunger all come into play when discussing this topic.

Kevin Garnett however, is not to be dismissed. His lengthy arms and energetic legs get him up so high, it seems almost impossible at times to get the ball over him and into the bucket.

Both are very strong, which can help when you also have to keep in mind that you have the opposing team on the floor waiting for the rebound or blocked shot to come rolling out to them. That being said, you have to body your man out a little bit before you jump, and you have to wait as long as you can and get up to the ball as quick as you can, so your defender doesn't have the advantage when the ball comes down.

Winner: Tim Duncan

Post skills: Both KG and Timmy can be dominant down low when they need to. Or actually, when they want to.

Garnett's shooting touch helps him get shooter's rolls or lucky bounces off the rim some of the time. It also helps with his turn-around/fade-away jumper, which he uses often when he is individually covered.

Duncan's strength and dribbling helps him pound the ball down low for an easy hoop, or establish a presence early in the game. Duncan is also down there most of the game, which gives a little edge over Garnett, who spends some of his time out on the baseline and perimeter.

Winner: slight edge to Tim Duncan

Defense: No offense to Tim Duncan, who is a great defender himself...but do we really need to argue about this?

Winner: Kevin Garnett

Well folks, I guess you can't really find a winner here, as it ended up being a tie. Being a Celtics fan, I do think that Garnett is a little better than Duncan. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that way. Who do YOU think is better?



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