Kevin Durant vs. Dirk Nowitzki: An Interesting Comparison

nba_g_kddirk_576As I sat in my fairly nice, but ridiculously overpriced, college apartment yesterday with a sub-par homemade coffee in one hand and some Oreos in the other (my typical breakfast, don’t judge), a thought rolled through my mind; how similar are Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant? While my in-the-moment inclination, largely due to the current media hype, was that Durant is the greatest player to ever play basketball, I decided to explore this comparison and what I got was a very interesting comparison.

Check out the numbers:

Shooting:

Durant: 47.8% FG, 37.8% 3PT, 88.3% FT – – – 18.9 FGA, 4.2 3PA

Dirk: 47.5% FG, 38.2% 3PT, 87.8% FT – – – 16.7 FGA, 3.2 3PA

Scoring:

Durant: 27 PPG, High PPG: 30.1 (besides this season), Most point in a game: 52

Dirk:  22.6 PPG, High PPG: 26.6, Most point in a game: 53

Playoffs:

Durant: 28.6 PPG (46/34/85), 8.0 REB, 3.8 AST, 1.1 STL, 1.2 BLK

Dirk: 25.9 PPG (46/38/89), 10.3 REB, 2.6 AST, 1.1 STL, 0.9 BLK

Other  Season Stats:

Durant: 6.9 RPG, 3.3 AST, 1.3 STL, 1.0 BLK, 3.2 TO

Dirk: 8.1 RPG, 2.6 AST, 0.9 STL, 0.9 BLK, 1.9 TO

Workload/Effectiveness:

Durant: 38.2 minutes per game, 81.1 win shares (number of wins contributed)

Dirk: 35.9 minutes per game, 179.4 win shares (80.1 through 7 seasons)

Size:

Durant: 6’9, 215 lbs

Dirk: 6’11, 237 lbs

Overview:

When it’s all said and done, they’re career numbers are eerily similar… So much so, in fact, that NBA Reference has them rated an 88.1 out of 100 in their similarity rankings. Pretty incredible.

Although, I must delve further into this topic; partially because I’m bored and partially because they are so far apart in their respective careers (KD – 7th year, Dirk – 16th year) that numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story. When all is said and done, I feel as though Durant will indeed be better. He has a better style of play and a body type that can endure high levels of minutes while being sustainable for many years. While both of them are shooters and therefore will inevitably experience longevity in this league, Durant’s handles and quickness will give him more of an edge as he gets older. He will be able to come off screens and move without the ball a lot better than Dirk, who is more of a slow progression, methodical, iso shooter/scorer. Along with this, Durant will most likely continue to have more touches and  shots per game, giving him even more of an advantage. All in all, while Durant might become better overall, they will both go down amongst the NBA’s greatest shooters/scorers ever and will both eventually end up in the Hall of Fame.

That’s it for me. My coffee is gone and I need to stop eating Oreos… So I’ll end this post with some more random stats that will surely excite the basketball nerds that have read this far.

Weird, Random Stats:

Durant

Favorites: month to play – January (29.2 PPG), day – Thursday (28.9 PPG), division – Pacific (28.2 PPG), team – Golden State (30.8 PPG)

Generosity: January/April (3.6 APG), Thursday (4.4 APG), Pacific (3.7 APG), Golden State (5.1 APG)

Dirk

Favorites: month to play – January (23.3 PPG), day – Thursday (23.3 PPG), division – Southeast (24.8 PPG), team – Boston (26.7 PPG)

Generosity: February/December (2.8 APG), Saturday (2.8 APG), Southeast (2.9 APG), Milwaukee (3.7 APG)

Yeah, I’m this bored…. Seems you are too…

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2 thoughts on “Kevin Durant vs. Dirk Nowitzki: An Interesting Comparison

  1. Its a few days until the Superbowl and you want to compare Durant and Dirk. Pick a sport people actually follow. Durant is obviously a better player. Enjoy your Oreos

  2. Let’s not forget that Dirk has a championship and that in the 2011 NBA Finals Dirk was probably the greatest/most unstoppable player in the history of basketball. I realize I’m replying to this two weeks later, but I thought it was an interesting article, and I’d be willing to make an argument for Dirk.

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