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Tim Duncans phenomenal start - Nov 12, 2012


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DAVID EDOLE
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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.   




Frank Elegar
Frank Elegar's double-double lands him Player of the Week award among Virgin Islanders playing currently abroad: - 16 hours ago
Here is the weekly review of the top performing U.S. Virgin Islands players, who play currently abroad. This week's number one is an international center Frank Elegar (208-86). He could not help Enisey (5-8) in their last game. Despite Elegar's very good performance Enisey lost 87-94 on the road to the lower-ranked (#9) Avtodor.    [read more]

Desi
Rodriguez
Getting To Know: Seton Hall's Desi Rodriguez - 4 days ago
By Sean Brennan In our latest installment of 'Getting To Know,' we chat up the reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week, Seton Hall's Desi Rodriguez(198-F-96). Desi dishes on why coming to Seton Hall along with his former teammate Isaiah Whitehead was a no-brainer, why he doesn't think he gets lost in the shadow of teammates Angel Delgado and Kahdeen Carrington, why Pirates head coach Kevin Willard thinks Rodriguez is a 'dog,' - and Desi agrees - why he may be a little 'crabby' off the court,...   [read more]

De'Quon Lake
Lake scores 38 in rout - 4 days ago
De'Quon Lake(208-C)< scored 38 points Saturday as Iowa Western raced past Central Community College 100-73 in men's basketball at Kanesville Arena. The 6-foot-10 sophomore made 17 of 19 shots from the field and collected 11 rebounds. 'De'Quon has been working hard, and it is nice to see that work pay dividends,' Iowa Western coach Michael Johnette said. 'He was special tonight. I was also pleased to see his teammates recognize that and get him the basketball.' Next up for the Reivers is R...   [read more]


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