Tim Duncan is universally considered to be the greatest power forward to ever step on an NBA court. With two MVPs, three finals MVPs and four NBA championships, Tim's greatness cannot be questioned. In the news recently was another great power forward, Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki is also considered to be one of the best power forwards to ever play. Who is better?
The reason Dirk has been in the news is due to his rising rank in the NBA's all time scoring list. He is currently ranked 12th with the top 10 in his sight. He has scored 26,426 points during his career which is 242 points short of Dominique Wilkins who sits at the 11th spot. This will be passed this season, and he has a shot at cracking the top 10 before the season ends.
Dirk's game revolves around his offensive game. He has one of the deadliest fadeaway shots ever. He utilizes his 7'0" height and deadly jump shot which has correlated into a career points average of 22.5 points a game. Here is a clip of the incredible fade in action.
Tim Duncan is not a bad offensive player himself. He ranks 20th on the NBA's all time scoring list with 24,681 points. Duncan does it in a much different way than Dirk. Duncan is more of a finisher at the basket off pick and rolls and backing a player down. While Dirk can do those things too, Duncan has made a living off of it.
This highlight reel displays Duncan's offensive ability at its finest. It is much different than Dirk's, but they both are incredible scorers in their own rights.
Defensively there is no question that Duncan is a better player. His blocking ability is unparalleled for his position. In his prime, he could back down any player and limit their game. He has 14 appearances on the NBA All-Defensive team. You can't deny Duncan's defensive prowess.
Rebounding is another category where both players perform well at. Duncan ranks 3rd all time in defensive rebounds at 10,273, while Dirk ranks 15th all time at 8,169. Duncan has playe one more year in the league than Dirk, but I don't think that makes up for the amount of rebounds Tim has over Dirk.
The last category to consider is the awards both of these players have acquired. Dirk's honors are impressive. He won the 2007 NBA MVP award, he won the 2011 NBA Finals and got the NBA Finals MVP that season. He is a 12 time all star and has appeared on First Team All-NBA four times. It is quite the storied career.
The only problem with Dirk's career in this debate is that Duncan's was better. He won the MVP two times, has four NBA Championships, three Finals MVPs, has appeared in 14 All Star games, 10 first Team All NBA nominations and more. Duncan's award shelf is filled with accolades that Dirk cannot touch.
The winner here is the Big Fundamental. Duncan is the greatest power forward to ever step on the floor.