Duncan Throwing A Retro Block Party

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HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – After he blocked five more shots Wednesday night to give him 12 in the last two games and 26 over the last six, Tim Duncan went scientific to explain his spike in swats.

“Guys are coming at me and I’m doing what I have to do. I don’t know why or what it is,” a typically low-key Duncan told reporters after the San Antonio Spurs blitzed the division-rival Memphis Grizzlies, 103-82. “I’m not doing anything different defensively. It is what it is.”

But really, it is science.

Reinvigorated and revamped nutrition and training efforts over the last couple seasons have Duncan looking as muscularly lean and playing as physically strong as ever. At age 36 (and he’ll turn 37 during the first round of the playoffs), Duncan is crafting a season to behold and one that should land him back in the All-Star Game for a 14th appearance. He won’t get in as a starter, which are voted on by the fans (and revealed tonight at 7 ET on TNT), but as a reserve selected by the Western Conference coaches.

Duncan is averaging 17.2 ppg and 9.6 rpg, his best numbers in both categories since the 2009-10 season. But it’s his increased blocked shots that are truly remarkable. He has 111 blocks in 40 games, already 23 more than he had last season — a 58-game lockout-shortened campaign. He’s 35 blocks shy from the 146 he recorded in 76 games in 2010-11.

His block total ranks second in the league, five behind Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders. He’s three ahead of Roy Hibbert, five in front of last season’s king of swat, Serge Ibaka, and has 19 more than Dwight Howard, who has 92 blocks in 35 games.

All four players, with 21 NBA seasons among them (compared to Duncan’s 16), are between nine and 13 years Duncan’s junior.

In eight games in January, Duncan is averaging 3.86 bpg, and over his last 15 games he’s posted at least two blocks in each game while averaging 3.27 blocks in that span. On the season, his 2.75 bpg ranks as his highest average in a decade. He’s well on pace to average at least 2.5 blocks for the seventh time in his career, a mark he hasn’t reached since the 2004-05 season. He hasn’t averaged at least 2.0 blocks since the 2006-07 season.

Meanwhile, Duncan continues to be Mr. Durable. He has played in 40 of the Spurs’ 41 games, missing only the infamous Miami Heat matchup on TNT when coach Greg Popovich ordered Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green to cut short the team’s extended road trip. He’s also averaging 30.1 minutes a game, up from each of the last two seasons.

Duncan is doing it all this season and everyone’s welcome to his block party.

14 Comments

  1. just blaze says:

    i believe a thorough selection — draft pick can reveal anoda Tim Duncan to be d face of the franchise once again. i dont see any of the current crop of players fittin into the void to be vacated by Duncan nor showin d same enthusiasm or commitment.. a draft pick mite be able to offer that…

    • Marco29 says:

      I’m afraid it is too late to get a player from the draft and let him mature along TD. TD and the Amiral played 6 years together and won 2 titles in that span. Maybe an already confirmed player with the same kind of unseflish attitude would be better.

    • Marco29 says:

      The Spurs managed some steals in the draft with Parker, Duncan, Leonard, and so on over the years. But not with big men because there are not so many big men and the Spurs never choose among the first in the lotery (I hope it will stay that way); Remember they got Duncan because the Amiral missed a whole season and they won something like 35 games that year.

  2. Marco29 says:

    Tim Duncan for president!!

    Seriously, the Spurs have been blessed over the past 25 years or so to draft Robinson and then Duncan who have been long lasting forces and made the team a contender troughout the years and the main reasons I have been a Spurs fan since over 20 years. Also, their relationship and Duncan walking into Robinson’s steps has been great to watch. I am a little bit worried about the future though. I don’t see the next generation taking over from Duncan in the future. Parker, Leonard will be the leaders in the future but it is in the team’s DNA to have a strong force in the inside and I don’t think that Splitter or Blair could take over from Duncan. Maybe a move is needed to secure this presence and allow some time for the transition. I could imagine guys like Lee or David West to play that role or even Noah (with the same energy and efficieny but a different caracter).

    Until then, I hope this group with TD and also Manu will have a final run to the title.

    Go Spurs Go

  3. Julio Appling says:

    I’m disappointed. I was really hoping for a story about Tim Duncan throwing a party at his house with music and console video games from the ’80s.

  4. Noel117-CelticsAllDay- says:

    kwais..miya-miya…

  5. Noel117-CelticsAllDay- says:

    kwais…miya-miya…

  6. big cat says:

    if your a big man, watch tim Duncan highlights all day, its a tutorial on how to be a true professional, and how to play basketball the right way , a winner all the way and have never heard a complaint come out of his mouth about a teammate or the organization he represents.

  7. Celtic Pride says:

    A player with no weakness.
    Best PF ever.

  8. Franz says:

    Kids growing up and wanting to play ball, but lack athleticism should look to this man. His game is as fundamentally sound as it can get.

  9. SR says:

    He’s Tim Duncan afterall

  10. just blaze says:

    I am from Nigeria and only started following the NBA after i discovered Tim Duncan ”THE BIG FUNDAMENTAL” making the game look so easy unlike the more aggressive scoring nature of peeps like Kobe,LBJ,KD (makin it look so difficult)…no offence…i love these guys big time….TD is just an epitome of a true professional, leadership in the dressin room and a gentle mien that is just admirable…no showboatin or braggadocio of any sort..just plain ”fundamentalism” Realistically, i av been waitin for the 5th ring since the last 3yrs wen we got so close after impressive regular season records…i hope it does happen one more time for TD b4 he gets to retire…SAN ANTONIO all d way…Popovich…a coachin great….peace out !!!

  11. Pablo says:

    Hey look! Someone notices us!