If you could build a team using some of the best players from the last three decades, what would that team look like?
That's the question we're trying to answer on this edition of Blind Resume.
Each day this week, I'm going to give three members of our NBA.com Global Staff a player comparison from Basketball-Reference that is made up of one superstar from the 1990s, one from the 2000s, one from the 2010s and one wildcard. I'll start by providing each player's raw numbers from one particular season. Then I'll reveal their shooting percentages to give everyone an opportunity to change their answer as more information becomes available.
We've decided to stick with the last 30 years because "The Last Dance" has us in 90s mode right now. That's why you won't see the likes of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Oscar Roberston, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Even if some of those legends did play in the 1990s, their peaks came much earlier.
The player at the top of each chart is Player A, followed by Player B, Player C and Player D.
Having already picked a point guard, shooting guard and small forward, we're picking the power forward for our post-80s dream team today.
Step 1: The raw stats
Leandro Fernàndez (@FernandezLea): I think I'm going to regret this one. I feel like I'm overlooking potentially two Hall of Famers, but I'm going with Player C just in case he is the stretch four that I need on my "modern" team. Besides that, he's the best scorer while still being a solid rebounder and passer.
Augustín Aboy (@AboyAgustin): Player A. He has great defensive numbers like Player B but is more efficient on offence it seems.
Juan Estévez (@JuanEstevez90): I like the defence that Player A provides. Player B puts up similar numbers, but Player A seems to be a better scorer and only averages 1.4 turnovers.
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): At first glance, I was ready to go with Player A, but I'm going with Player B here. I'll ignore the turnovers for the rebounding. Hopefully, he doesn't make me regret that.
Step 2: The shooting percentages
Fernàndez: And down goes my stretch-four option. Ha! Yes, I'm changing my pick to Player B. With Micael Jordan on my team, I don't need the best scorer but a solid rebounder and rim protector. The free throw numbers are concerning, but we can live with that. Again, we have Jordan on our team...
Aboy: Player A is a more efficient shooter, so I'll take him.
Estévez: This is tough because if I'm picking a power forward, I need some shooting, and A, B and C are complete non-factors in that regard. Player D's defensive numbers are bad, but I already have Chris Paul and LeBron James on my team, so I'll live with that. I change to Player D.
Gay: I've been stubborn with my choices throughout but this time I'm changing my mind. That free-throw percentage is embarrassing for my initial pick of Player B. I know it can be Ben Wallace, Shaquille O'Neal or maybe even Tim Duncan, but I can't have that poor shooting on my team. I'm switching to A.
Who are they?
Player A is Anthony Davis from the 2014-15 season. This was the season Davis made All-NBA First Team for the first time in his career.
Player B is Tim Duncan from the 2003-04 season. This was the season after Duncan won back-to-back MVP awards and earned his seventh straight All-NBA First Team selection.
Player C is Karl Malone from the 1996-97 season. This was the season Malone was named MVP for the first time in his career.
Player D is Dirk Nowitzki from the 2010-11 season. This was the season Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks to their first championship in franchise history.
Why those seasons? I picked each player's best season of the decade based on their PER. It isn't perfect, but it was the best way that I could think of to remove bias and make this fair.
Fernàndez switched from Malone to Duncan, so he now has Steve Nash at point guard, Michael Jordan at shooting guard, Kawhi Leonard at small forward and Duncan at power forward on his team.
Aboy stuck with Davis, so he now has Steve Nash at point guard, Michael Jordan at shooting guard, LeBron James at small forward and Davis at power forward on his team.
Estévez switched from Davis to Nowitzki, so he now has Chris Paul at point guard, James Harden at shooting guard, LeBron James at small forward and Nowitzki at power forward on his team.
Gay switched from Duncan to Davis, so he now has John Stockton at point guard, Dwyane Wade at shooting guard, Scottie Pippen at small forward and Davis at power forward on his team.
Now that we're gone through the power forwards, check back tomorrow for the centres!
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