Stats: 8.7 PTS, 7.4 REB, 1.5 STL per game, roughly 44.5% FG
The numbers above don’t do George Lynch complete justice – his specialty was always defense. While I could not find more advanced defensive ratings for Lynch’s time, a rougher estimate of defense, Basketball-reference.com’s defensive rating, an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions, puts Lynch among the game’s better defenders of his time. On average, he allowed only 98 points per 100 possessions. He also tallied over 4 defensive win shares in his two full seasons as a Sixer. Once again, in the NBA, defense has been terribly underrated (see Andre Iguodala for more information on this phenomenon).
One thing that you can tell – Lynch was not a great scorer or anything on offense. Lynch wasn’t much of a shooter – he barely took any threes from a position that warrants taking those shots, and he didn’t do Allen Iverson any favors on offense. Well, nobody on those teams did much to help him. But he filled his role well – the starting lineup was AI and four mostly-defense guys, and he was certainly an all-defense guy.
Lynch also scores a bonus for the team’s he played for. Kyle Korver, ranked 30th, played for a longer period of time and was arguably more productive. But in my rating system, Lynch scores better because he played well for 3 playoff teams, including the playoff team of 2000-01. While Korver was a better player, Lynch will be more memorable due to the team he played on. Greatness in team history does, to me, have to factor in winning. Lynch played an important role for 3 years on a contending team, one of only 2 true contenders for the franchise during this period. Thus Lynch nabs the number 29 spot.
Tags: George Lynch