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Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  43 responses

Tim Duncan is Still Tim Duncan

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Duncan’s regular season numbers were down almost virtually across the board (minutes, points per game rebounds, assists, blocks), as he struggled with a multitude of nagging injuries. Gregg Popovich had to sit him out during the year just to make sure he’d have enough left in the tank for the Spurs’ Playoff run.

Last night in Dallas, with his team’s back against the wall, he proved all the doubters wrong. Duncan slapped up a 25/17 game on the Mavs, evening up the series along the way. It was a loud reminder that he’s still the best power forward in the game.

NBA.com captured the reaction from both Tim and his teammates following the vintage performance:

Meet Tim Duncan. Again. Duncan won’t take credit for the 102-88 punch to the Mavericks’ gut Wednesday night just as he didn’t blame many of his teammates for the Game 1 setback. That San Antonio is in position to take control of this first-round series with two at the AT&T Center doesn’t land fully on No. 21′s wide shoulders.

Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker didn’t disappoint for the second straight game. Neither did Gregg Popovich’s dog pound, starting with Richard Jefferson. But when Dallas sliced an 18-point lead to five with nearly seven minutes left, the ball found its way into Duncan’s hands time and again. We’ve always trusted him,” Ginobili said.

Duncan’s roll call of signature moments following the Mavericks’ run justify that decade-plus of trust. Five-foot jump hook. Ten-foot jumper. Driving 9-footer. Defensive rebound. Jumper from 11 feet. Suddenly, the Spurs were back up 13 points with 3 1/2 minutes left in an enemy building drained dry. “I just got some shots to go,” Duncan said after authoring a vintage 25-point, 17-rebound outing. “I don’t know any other way to put it.”

There had been increased talk recently — in Duncan’s own town, even — that Tim’s last tour of duty in the NBA is fast approaching. That the injuries will soon just be too much for him to overcome, and that he won’t have anything left to prove.

Last night, Duncan showed that there’s plenty left in the tank, and talk of his — and by extension, the Spurs’ — upcoming demise has been somewhat exaggerated.

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  • Ken

    I hate the Spurs, but I have to admire Duncan. Solid, clutch, and has been for years.

  • ggdg

    first

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I want him to get 6 rings before he’s done. Go Timmy!

  • neaorin

    Looks like the replacement parts didn’t arrive until yesterday. FedEx must’ve screwed up.

  • a3854976

    He dropped 27/8 the first game why is this a surprise? Tim is still the man he just doesn’t get the Kobe praise for putting in work unfortunately.

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    It was a Windows7 upgrade that was installed prior to Game 2 for the “TD21 Fundamentals 2.0 operating system”.

  • riggs

    Skynet is Online

  • Michael Scorn

    But, he’s no LeBron James. Let’s not forget who the King is.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Regular season: “does not compute, does not com…”
    Postseason: Reboot

  • RedRum

    Sorry but I hate it when I hear that TD is done… if Shaq can play at high level at 37, TD can as well. And anyone who says that Kobe/Lebron is better, think about this: if you are starting a franchise and you want to win as many games/rings as possible, who do you choose at 24? Kobe, lebron or TD? I think numbers and rings talk… .

  • whooo!

    the thing with Tim is he’s been in his “prime” since day ONE. all-nba as a rookie, and all-defensive 1st team. so from day 1, he was already one of the best PF’s in the game. now he truly peaked in ’02 & ’03 when his numbers were really impressive, and he picked up 4 rings along the way, but he’s been rock solid the whole time.

  • phildo

    Blame the volcano!

  • http://slamonline.com walt williams

    But the Spurs are utterly and completely impossible to watch. Give me the Kings and Dubs any day

  • unrel

    @michael scorn.. a self proclaimed king doesn’t make you a king.. TD has more rings than lebron has finals appearances..

  • LA Huey

    @riggs, exactly. Playoff firmware upgrade was just late.
    @unrel, LeBron didn’t nickname himself. Know your history.

  • Lloyd

    Years pass. Team mates change. New Faces emerge. TD’s forever.

  • http://banksitin.blogspot.com/ vmcb

    I love me some Tim Duncan on the block.

  • roman

    fyi to Cuban- stfu. You are gonna talk your way out of the series. Gave the Spurs motivation for last nights game. Way to go!!!!!!!!!

  • k.o.

    least exciting headline on the slam site ever

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tim made me very happy with the way he took Haywood to school.
    That was classic.

  • franko

    GREAT great game by the Spurs! Manu is top DOGG!

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/all-decade/main-page/i/64902/4259/euroleague-all-decade-selection-theodoros-papaloukas?lang=en&itemid=64902&mid=4259&tabid=1143&itemname=EUROLEAGU PAPALOUKAS (click on my name)

    Of course he is. And Manu is still Manu.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    With Duncan, it’s never about the stats, its about the wins and the rings.

  • Ronald

    @roman: Honestly, as a Spurs fan I really don’t hate Cuban for saying what he said. It wasn’t out of malice but out of competiveness and knowing that the Spurs/Mavs series might be slept upon casual fans. Despite it being one of the most exciting 1st round series; it does not have a the glitz and glamour of Lakers/Thunder (Old Dog v. Up and coming Star) for casual fans. Cuban is just trying to get some attention for his team using the media’s tendencay to overreact and quote out of context. If you read the whole comment you would understand that he doesn’t actually “hate” the Spurs.

  • JD

    C’mon Timmy! Spurs still got it huge win last night by the end of the season Mark Cuban will hate the Spurs even more!

  • JD

    He wasn’t that bad in the regular season especially early he was averaging higher than he had in like 5 years in points

  • vtrobot

    i’m definitely no spurs fan but, dang, that is one bad-*ss robotic nerd. i’m bummed that the mavs have to deal with the spurs. i was hoping the fakeshow would have to face them. luck is part of winning a championship and the lakers are very lucky that they’re not going to have to face both SAS and DAL. this should be a good battle.

  • http://alan.george@gmail.com Breeze

    I dont believe any of the teams can beat the lakers in a seven game series but the spurs has a shot!. and like i mentioned on another post about dallas was i wasnt excited about the first game , because unless dirk shoots a hundred percent this series.. spurs win. to much dominance!!!

  • http://djsfklrf.com Jukai

    Tim Duncan is the only thing that makes me happy on the Spurs. If they win, I want Duncan to be throwing down numbers and dunks.

  • http://www.anwilson.blogspot.com/ rainman10

    The Tim Duncan headline. So nice they named him twice.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Tim Duncan is better than Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

  • Michael Scorn

    @Unrel & Teddy- LeBron dunked on Tim Duncan. Case closed. Long live the KING!

  • Marco

    Jordan Crowford best player in the world

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    LOL @ Marco. I like the caustic sarcasm to Michael’s own sarcastic remarks.

  • Michael Scorn

    You’ll take that back when LeBron goes up 3-0 against Chicago tonight.

  • 7ate6

    Michael, looks like ur prediction came true..

  • JoeMaMa

    Anyone who’s spent serious time in the gym with a team learning the finer points of basketball…anyone who’s spent their summers on the playground or at a basketball camp…anyone who’s read a book on basketball fundamentals…anyone who talks to basketball experts all over…ANYONE knows that Spurs basketball is REAL basketball, for REAL ballers. So take your travels, dunks, and highlight material and compile them for 5 exciting minutes of footage on Sportscentre. The Spurs will be polishing their 4 trophies, and collecting accolades from the best basketball minds in the business.

  • BostonBaller

    I like the Spurs franchise and I don’t mind watching fundamentals at all, they’re not as boring as everyone says…they just don’t have a high flyer. Duncan did come into the L on grown man status and has stayed the course. He has 2 or 3 years left of solid ball and he will leave on his terms just like Robinson. ps: All players get dunked on, especially if the constantly play defense.

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Kareem had some modest and declining numbers the years before his second Finals MVP. Keep watching, he may not be done yet.

  • kev

    gotta love tim’s game and attitude, a true champion

  • Michael Scorn

    and people used to complain about Duncan’s lack of in-your-face personality. Now, he’s a breath of fresh air.

  • swisha sweet

    im not surprise at all

  • dan

    I love LBJ but Timmy is greater all day. Tim Duncan is my absolute idol

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