Just how similar are Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki?

Here is a basketball post from someone named “ASJ”.  Enjoy the change of pace.

Kevin Garnett is widely regarded as a top 10 player of all-time, and one of the best PF’s of all-time as well. Dirk is usually put somewhere in the top 20, and known by many as the best international player the NBA has ever seen. I felt like comparing these two players, as they seem quite similar on paper.

Dirk Nowitzki: 7’0″, 237 pounds — 9th overall in the 1998 draft
Kevin Garnett: 6’11”, 220 pounds — 5th overall in the 1995 draft

Nowitzki’s Per Game Career Stats:
22.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.7 apg, 0.9 stl, 1.0 blk, 1.9 TOV in 36.6 mpg.

Garnett’s Per Game Career Stats:
20.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.4 stl, 1.6 blk, 2.5 TOV in 37.5 mpg.

At first glance, it’s easy to tell whose strength is what. Nowitzki is the more talented scorer, having a 2.7 ppg advantage, while Garnett is obviously much better defensively (more blocks and more steals). Garnett, however, does turn the ball over more.

So let’s look a little bit more in depth, shall we?

Nowitzki’s Advanced Career Stats:
23.9 PER, 117 ORtg, 103 DRtg, 58.0 TS%, 51.0 eFG%, 13.3 TRB%, 13.0 AST%, 1.3 STL%, 2.1 BLK%, 26.8 USG% with a total of 140.3 Win Shares

Garnett’s Advanced Career Stats:
23.8 PER, 111 ORtg, 99 DRtg, 54.7 TS%, 50.1 eFG%, 17.1 TRB%, 20.5 AST%, 1.9 STL%, 3.2 BLK%, 25.5 USG% with a total of 159.7 Win Shares.

So again, we see that both players have their own individual strengths. Dirk is minutely more efficient (but that small of a difference is not really much at all). He’s the quite superior offensive player, as he is a much better shooter and his ORtg is a full 6 points higher than KG’s. However, it is also seen that KG is absolutely dominant when it comes to defense and rebounding, posting a sub-100 DRtg (regardless of the teams he has played on), and better rebounding, steals, and block percentages.

Dirk has a higher USG%, as he is, and always has been, the main scoring threat on his team. KG, on the other hand, has seen his USG% decrease during his tenure in Boston, as he is probably the 3rd or 4th option on that team (Pierce and Allen….even though Allen sucks this year, and the emergence of Rondo).

Also, it should be noted that KG is responsible for about 20 more win shares in his career, but that doesn’t mean much, considering he played 3 more seasons than Dirk did.

So what’s the point of all these stats? It just shows that both of these players are so similar, and yet nearly the exact opposite of one another. Dirk’s style of play is much different than KG’s, in that Dirk usually roams the perimeter more, not going down into the post as much as KG. His European style of play, despite being 7 feet tall, allows him to be one of the best shooters in the league today. KG, on the other hand, is usually pounding the ball inside, fighting opposing PF’s and C’s for rebounds and what not.

Dirk’s defense is really not that good at all. he has played on average defensive teams, and posted an average DRtg. KG is obviously a dominant defensive force, having won DPoY before.

Dirk’s offense is better, as KG is not as versatile. KG has range on his shot, but he’s not as mobile, and does not have the handles that Dirk does. At a certain point, KG’s mid-range jumper just does not work!

I do think it’s quite obvious that right now, KG is the better player. However, this year, Dirk has proven himself to be better. If this continues, I do believe Dirk may be able to pass KG in the all-time rankings.

I said “MAY BE”. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Boston fans 🙂

So what do you all think?

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5 Comments on “Just how similar are Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki?”

  1. joe Says:

    i didnt come here to read about basketball…

    so dumb.


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