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NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

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Old 02-23-2020, 09:35 PM   #1
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NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

Which team would win between these two?

(C) CHAMBERLAIN
(PF) ABDUL-JABBAR
(SF) BIRD
(SG) JORDAN
(PG) JOHNSON

vs.

(C) O'NEAL
(PF) DUNCAN
(SF) DURANT
(SG) BRYANT
(PG) JAMES

Breakdown:

Wilt v. Shaq = The two most dominant forces in NBA history, hands-down. I would have to give WILT the edge because he was a much more complete basketball player. The Bigger Dipper was a better defender, shot blocker, and rebounder.

Kareem v. Duncan = The Skyhook v. The Bank Shot. These two players were so similar, this was by far the toughest comparison. Kareem was slightly better in the post but I believe Duncan was slightly better perimeter player. Both were superb defenders and leaders. I'm calling a tie.

Bird v. Durant = Two amazing players that are capable of shooting the lights out. Bird was, IMHO, the better shooter but Durant was the better scorer. Larry Legend was the better passer and both were decent defenders. I'm still going with Larry but Durant may surpass him one day.

Jordan v. Kobe = GOAT v Carbon Copy. Jordan wins.

Magic v. LeBron = The greatest Point Guard of all-time v. the greatest Point Forward of all-time. Magic was the greatest passer in history but LeBron is also one of the greatest passers in NBA history. Overall, I would take King James.

Who wins? I don't see anyone (any team) beating a team that has MAGIC, BIRD, and JORDAN in the starting line-up.

What say you?
your thoughts...your thoughts?

Last edited by Dagoods; 02-25-2020 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:35 PM   #2
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Re: NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

Are we just looking at this on paper or is this a hypothetical game where these teams had to match-up against each other? If it's the latter, then I think the bottom team takes it, especially in a series and not one game.

I think the biggest difference here is that Bird/Magic do not have a good defensive match-up in this example. Also out of all these players Duncan is somewhat of an X-factor. Doesn't really care about shots/touches, can play outside the lane as a screener, passer, etc.. He would pull Kareem away from the basket and Shaq could seal off Wilt as he's simply too big to get around. At that point you're asking Bird/Magic to keep Bron/KD from getting to the rim with little help, and the bottom team has a lot more spacing to begin with.

Remember Bird came into the league playing power-forward, and even as he transitioned more to the SF role they mostly used McHale to cover the other teams quicker forwards. Magic had the size to be versatile, and they would frequently put him on the worst offense guys or bigger forwards when they had other guard line-ups in the game. Relying on those two to defend Bron/KD is a bigger mismatch than any match-up going the other direction.. And it's not like they could switch MJ on to either of them, as Kobe is far too quick for the other two as well.

Wilt+Kareem creates a massive clog in the lane, which isn't good for MJ, Magic, or Bird.. Keep in mind that just because Larry can shoot doesn't mean that team would have spacing. All 5 of those guys want to post up. Bird on his career only shot 2 threes a game, his best seasons 3 a game. His game was never to truly be a shooter even though the highlights are full of him bombing threes, that wasn't his game. He mostly shot them when he was scorching hot, or absolutely wide open.. Their spacing would be a nightmare.

Wilt is massively underrated as a defender, and would for sure make life difficult for Shaq, but Shaq is also used to that. Robinson, Ewing, Hakeem, Mutombo, Mourning, Shaq was a force against them all. My issue with Wilt is, watching as much of him as I can, his game relied solely on him just getting to the left block. No moving from side to side, no coming out to set screens, his years as a good scorer and as a good passer never cross over, so his overall offense game is going to be lacking depending on which year you pick for him. He was never really able to be a dominant scorer while simultaneously being a good fit in your offense. Also his game was so dependent of just getting on the left block and staying, to me Shaq would make it harder for him than anyone he ever faced to get and maintain position. He was already mildly efficient for someone who had a massive size, skill, athletic advantage over everyone.. I would expect him to be even less efficient against Shaq as he's not going to be able to back down Shaq and he has no face-up game to utilize his quickness advantage.. Far less fluid than someone like Hakeem with his footwork, no jumper like Robinson.. His weaknesses are type of flaws that take Shaq from a 7 0r 8 on defense up to a 10 because he has no way of exploiting him.

In almost any other match-up Kareem would have the upper hand on most PFs.. Duncan on the other hand actually has the size/strength to hang with him. He's done serviceable jobs on Shaq and other big centers in his career.. Wilt gives no room/space for Kareem to operate, and even if you wanted to stick one on one block and one on the other it gets really easy defensively for Kobe/Bron/KD if there is no space for any of those other guys to get to the rim or try to post them up.

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Old 02-24-2020, 06:01 PM   #3
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Re: NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

Jordan never lost an NBA Finals. No one else can say that on that list. So... I'm taking any team with MJ.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:33 AM   #4
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Re: NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

Quote:
Originally Posted by howardphillips214
Jordan never lost an NBA Finals. No one else can say that on that list. So... I'm taking any team with MJ.
While that is true and MJ is GOAT I'm not sure how that relates to this hypothetical at all.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:29 PM   #5
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Re: NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

The first one would win, not only because they're better, but especially because the second one has more probability of having a lower team chemistry and a higher probability of self destructing.

I am feeling more team chemistry and coexistence between Magic, Bird, Jordan and Kareem than with James, Kobe, Durant and Shaq.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:46 PM   #6
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Re: NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

Quote:
Originally Posted by aloncho11
The first one would win, not only because they're better, but especially because the second one has more probability of having a lower team chemistry and a higher probability of self destructing.

I am feeling more team chemistry and coexistence between Magic, Bird, Jordan and Kareem than with James, Kobe, Durant and Shaq.
I think I would agree personality wise, but the fit of those 5 together on the floor stylistically is an absolutely horrible fit.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:58 PM   #7
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Re: NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

Thinking on it more.. Shaq and Kobe can already coexist. Duncan fits with everyone, he's fine getting 20 touches or 5 touches. Like mentioned before he's a mobile guy can pull Kareem out of the paint and run all sorts of p-n-r action with Bron/Kobe/KD.. Bron basically gives you option 1 scoring on option 2 attempts we saw it with Wade, Kyrie, Davis, etc. KD coexisted in GS's offense taking backseats whenever and also dominating whenever. Attitude wise I think MJ, Magic, Bird, Kareem would be fine, basketball wise there is far less questions with the bottom group because we've literally watched them all do it.

Wilt is a horrible fit with everyone on that top team. He's a ball hog, wouldn't draw doubles with Shaq on him, not efficient enough to justify him getting the ball 30+ times (especially with Shaq keeping him from the rim) he's a stationary one spot offensive threat which is bad for Kareem. With both of them on the floor it's bad for MJ, Bird, and Magic. Their saving grace would be how many points Kareem could score on Duncan, but if their game plan is just to dump the ball to Kareem they've already lost.

Top team would be much better off replacing one of Wilt/Kareem with a more traditional 4. This team as constructed just doesn't have the spacing to run an effective offense, no lanes for the perimeter guys to attack, and far too easy to exploit on defense. I think this could realistically go 4-1 with that logjam inside.
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:00 AM   #8
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Re: NBA Legends & Their Modern Day Equivalents

I'd drop Wilt in a heartbeat for Hakeem.

Incredible defender/shot blocker. Amazing post player and can step out and play the mid range game.

Unselfish with a great team ethic.

We all know Shaq couldn't handle the Dream ;-)
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