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Tim Duncans phenomenal start - Nov 12, 2012


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Tim Duncan
by Dan McCarneyin Spurs

Tim Duncan (211-F/C-76, college: Wake Forest) is playing like an MVP candidate.

For the vast majority of his career, during which he won the award twice and finished among the top five in voting seven other times, that statement would have been a given.

But coming off a campaign in which he failed to make the All-Star game for the first time since his rookie season the 1999 game was cancelled it was fair to assume that Duncans best years were behind him.

Gregg Popovich recently downplayed the notion of a Duncan resurgence, saying hes playing the same way great as he has for the past decade and a half. Theres some truth to that, especially when you consider the metronomical consistency of his per-36 minute statistics.

At the same time, its fairly clear, both from studying the stat sheet and watching him play, that the 36-year-old Duncan is playing at an unexpectedly high level in his 16th NBA season. A look at his statistics:

18.9 points per game, highest since 2008-09.

9.7 rebounds per game, highest since 2009-10.

2.4 blocks per game, highest since 2006-07.

1.4 turnovers per game, fewest of his career.

5.4 free throw attempts per game, highest since 2008-09.

53.1 field goal percentage, highest of his career.

78.9 free throw percentage, highest of his career.

Per-game stats have become passe among the NBA cognescenti, and with good reason. But Duncans superior production is also reflected in his advanced numbers. Some of the highlights (all figures taken from BasketballReference.com):

28.9 player efficiency rating, best of his career.

.271 win shares per 48 minutes, highest of his career.

114 offensive rating, tying the best of his career.

91 defensive rating, best since 2003-04.

.586 true shooting percentage, highest of his career.

31.5 defensive rebound percentage, highest of his career.

6.0 block percentage, highest of his career.

8.1 turnover percentage, lowest of his career.

But wait, theres more.

While Duncan is taking more long jumper than ever (4.7 attempts between 16-23 feet, the most in seven seasons charted by HoopsData.com) hes rediscovered his aggressiveness in the paint. Not only only is he averaging 5.2 shots at the rim, the most in five seasons, hes converting at a ridiculous 80.6 percent. Thats almost 10 points better than any season in Hoops Datas database.

A couple of grains of salt.

* Sample size, sample size, sample size, sample size. (Did I mention sample size?) The Spurs have played only 8.5 percent of their 82-game schedule, meaning that a downturn is pretty much guaranteed as Duncan grinds through the marathon that is an NBA season.

* Theres also Duncans average of 30.1 minutes per game, knocking his value down just a tad from those capable of shouldering a heavier load. (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, etc.)

But when you hear people wondering if Duncan can compete for an All-Star berth, its clear we need to think about setting the bar even higher.
  



Ray Hodge, the first Virgin Islander to be drafted - 3 days ago

Ray Hodge was the first Virgin Islander to be selected in the NBA draft. Hodge was drafted by the New York Knicks in the seventh round of the 1970 NBA Draft following graduation from Wagner University (1967-1970). The 6-foot-1 speedster was inducted into Wagner's Hall of Fame in 1992 after a sensational career where he graduated as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,996 points, a number that currently ranks third in the all-time Seahawk annals en route to being named a Third Tea...   [read more]

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Tim DUNCAN Day in San Antonio - 4 days ago

San Antonio (KENS) -First, he inspired the Timmy Duckin River Walk Mascot... now, there's an entire day devoted to him. In a fitting move, Mayor Ivy Taylor declared July 21 "Tim DuncanDay," an entire day devoted to celebrating the iconic San Antonio athlete. Tim Duncan has led an amazing 19 seasons with the Spurs in the Alamo City winning five NBA championships and two league MVP awards. 'Tim may not be comfortable with all the attention, but I do think he deserves it,' said Mayor Ivy...   [read more]

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U18 falls to Team USA - 4 days ago

Forty-four seems to be the number of the day as the Virgin Islands could not keep up with Team USA, 63-107, Wednesday afternoon in FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The Virgin Islands lost by 44 and took a whopping 44 three pointers. USA opened with a 10-0 run, and Virgin Islands didn't make a basket from the field until 3:40 into the game to bring the score to 14-4. With USA holding a 28-12 advantage with 1:28 left in the first quarter, the Virgin Islands made two 3-pointers, but USA score...   [read more]


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