Small Forward: George Gervin, 1979-81
This is pretty much the only position where there is any sort of argument because it would be incredible to watch 2014-16 Kawhi Leonard match up with Raptors Kawhi. That is not to take away at all from another top-75-all-time player in Gervin. I decided to go watch some highlights of “Iceman” (justly named—the man was a bucket) in order to get the right picture in my head of his role on this team, and phew was he killing folks.
With his wingspan and patented finger roll, Gervin would step in as the bucket-getter on this team. Following his first year in the league, Ice made the All-Star team in every season of his career but the final one. Thus, it’s pretty hard to limit his “peak” to a couple of years. Gervin broke the 30-point-per-game mark in ‘79 and ‘81, and his Spurs also had quite a bit of playoff success those three years— they made the conference semis one year and conference finals another.
Gervin’s offense against Kawhi’s defense is strength versus strength, so we have to go to the other side of the ball to find the mismatch. GG was a notoriously lazy defender, and so even if he was scoring all over the Rivals, Kawhi would return the favor. Rivals up 3-1.