Originally Posted by pudman13
Dirk seems very quick to me, but of course there's something about the nautre of old-time video that makes people look slower than they were, so Pettit might have been quicker than I think. I think that's one reason people don't appreciate Baylor like they should, and it's why 70s Havlicek appears on film to be a better player than 60s Havlicek (when, of course, he's basically the same, just in a slightly differentrole.) Again, I haven't seen as much video of Pettit as I'd like. There definitely is something to "know your limitations," i.e. if he's not a great dribbler he figures out what else he needs to do. Not sure about the Duncan comparisons--Duncan's an inside player and doesn't rely as much on the outside shot, and also is a very good passer and shot blocker, and, of course, we have no block data from that era so who knows about that. But yes, Duncan rarely dribbles and is an expert at positioning himself.
Another thing in Pettit's favor is that he was still playing at an all-star level in '63-'64 and in fact had an improved FG% as his career went along, which to me indicates a high basektball IQ and an ability to adapt.
I did touch on this earlier in the week when I discovered through studying the shot clocks in stock film of his that even the footage that appeared to NOT be in 'slow motion' was indeed, being played back much slower than real time. Here's an example:
unadjusted series of clips start from the beginning, followed by the exact same series of clips that have been shot clock corrected at 1:15.
Also Pettit was indeed adaptable, for example when Bill Russell came into the league Russell caught Bob Pettit's hook shot and Pettit retired the shot immediately after that. If something didn't work he dropped it, and he was one of the hardest workers. He practiced 5-6 hours a day every day during his career.