Debating Garnett vs. Duncan

With similar career arcs and statistics, there's one way to settle this

Updated: May 23, 2012, 4:17 PM ET
By Austin Link | TeamRankings.com
Kevin Garnett, Tim DuncanBrian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesA meeting in the NBA Finals would help settle the debate between Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.

Twenty-four days apart in the spring of 1976, two of the greatest NBA players of their generation were born. Baby Tim Duncan and baby Kevin Garnett both grew to a full 6-foot-11 without shoes. In addition, they each developed enough basketball skills to contend for the title of Greatest Power Forward of All Time.

Garnett entered the NBA early, kicking off a run on drafting high school players that lasted nearly a decade. While he quickly developed into a phenomenal individual talent, his teams struggled to advance in -- or even make -- the playoffs. During his 12 years in Minnesota, only one of Garnett's teams made it past the first round.

Meanwhile, Tim Duncan took his full four years at Wake Forest before becoming the No. 1 overall pick of the San Antonio Spurs. With David Robinson returning from injury, Timmy immediately had a Hall of Fame counterpart to work alongside. He won his first NBA title just two years into his career.

Given the differences in surrounding talent and resulting disparity in postseason success, comparing the careers of Duncan and Garnett is a rather difficult task. Their similar ages, skills and places in NBA history make it a necessary one, though, especially since the two stand a chance of facing off in this year's NBA Finals.