The greatest power forward of all time debate is a relatively easy decision. The obvious answer is San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan. With that being said, a couple of other all-time legends have gotten their name into the mix and are unanimous top-three players at the position. Those players are Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki. It's hard to compare the three, especially Nowitzki, as he was a unique player for his position. Another player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has made an impact while still currently in the league, but statistically, he isn't in the same ballpark as these players, at least not yet, since his career is still ongoing. That leaves a comparison to be made between Duncan and Garnett.
Which player was more challenging to guard?
In a recent interview on the "Knuckleheads" podcast, Kenyon Martin voiced his opinion on who was a harder player to guard.
In his analysis, he explained the difference between guarding the two players as they had different playstyles.
"I used to see KG and Duncan, and I feel like KG took harder shots; like, man, that was a tough shot. I feel like Duncan, his selection just was, Nah, I'm shooting a high percentage, and if you block it or if you stop it, I'm still going for this high percentage." - Darius Miles sparking the conversation with Martin.
Martin responded to this statement by stating his experiences guarding the two players.
"Like KG, for me, was an easier guard. To your point, because, like, it was that. Like, I could make you do this because you're trying to get it off; you're going to take the shot because you're trying to get it off."
Garnett shot the ball from the field fairly well and consistently shot around 50 percent. He was just under this mark for his career, shooting 49.7 percent from the field. Garnett didn't shoot the ball much from beyond the arc, as he wasn't a terrific three-point shooter. To his credit, however, he did shoot some high-difficulty shots that weren't beyond the three-point line.
"Tim gon'; Tim going to get to that, boom, boom we're going. I'm swiping at it. You know, I'm playing at the ball. He just, he just still, same speed, same action, and I'm going to this, and if I make it, I make it. If I miss, you get your hand on me, but it's going to be this like he the, the one that man, listen. That matchup made me really, really concentrate on tendencies and guarding people because I could never make him do something that he didn't want to do." - Martin on Duncan's playstyle.
The differences between the two legends were in their shot selections. Garnett was willing to take shots that weren't guaranteed, and Duncan wasn't one to settle. Perhaps Duncan using his size to his advantage more than Garnett was the key to the most career success.