Tim Duncan: The Big Fundamental’s Farewell?


With tonight’s Game 6 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs failed too make the Conference Finals for the second year in a row. After sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, the Spurs found themselves in a great match up between themselves and the Thunder. After winning Game 1 by a convincing 32-point margin, the Spurs had the Thunder on their heels. Sensational play from recently acquired and future face of the organization Lamarcus Aldridge was crucial in the first two games. Though they would lose Game 2 in a tight and controversial fashion, led by a group of missed calls that gave Oklahoma City a one-point victory. San Antonio would take Game 3 before losing games 4 & 5. One thing everyone couldn’t help but notice was Tim Duncan’s efficiency, or lack there of.

In his career before this year, Duncan averaged 21.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.3 blocks per game. In 11 playoff games this year, Duncan has played only 20 minutes per game, a little over half of what the nineteen year veteran is accustomed too. Duncan has said in the past that he would retire when he felt like he was no longer helping the team win games. If there were any year that those words were true, it was this one. Playing the least amount of games in his career since the lockout shortened 2011-12 season, Duncan was a shell of the Hall of Fame player he once was. After having started a decline in stats per game since 2012, Tim only managed too contribute 8.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, showing that Father Time eventually catches up with us all.

Without a doubt the one of the greatest players in NBA history, Duncan is unquestionably the greatest power forward the NBA has ever seen. Being drafted number one overall in 1997 by the Spurs, Tim was immediately a factor on the team. His rookie year he averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, becoming the obvious choice for Rookie of the Year. Coached by future Hall of Famer Gregg Popovich and teaming up with the Admiral David Robinson, Duncan helped lead the Spurs to their first championship only two years into his amazing NBA career. Taking home the Finals MVP award, Duncan established not only himself, but the entire Spurs franchise as a formidable team for years to come. Four years later after the Lakers three-peat was over, Timmy would raise the Spurs to the top of the mountain again. Taking home his second consecutive regular season MVP award, he also won his second Larry O’Brien trophy and Finals MVP award.

Two years later Duncan along with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, would reach the Finals and beat the Detroit Pistons in 7 games, taking home his third championship trophy and third consecutive finals MVP award. Another two years would pass and another ring on Duncan’s finger, this time at the expense of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who they would sweep 4-0 in the Finals. The longest drought of Tim’s championship wins came after 2007, as he would have too wait seven years before taking down LeBron James again in the finals, this time apart of the Miami Heat. After losing in unbelievable fashion the previous year to the Heat, Duncan and the rest of the Spurs wouldn’t be satisfied without a ring in 2014. Thankfully for them, thats exactly what they would get, winning the series convincingly. In the five total games, the Spurs scored over 100 points four out of five times, while holding the Heat to an average of  91.6 points a game, after they averaged 102.2 per game in the regular season.

In tonights game, possibly the final game of his career, Duncan played one of his best games this post season, collecting 19 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block. For the entire playoffs, Duncan showed his true age, only managing to put up 5.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 blocks. While no one but Tim knows for sure, now seems like the perfect time to retire. Nobody would be mad at him, he gave us 19 amazing years that we won’t soon forget. Since his entrance into the league, Duncan has never had a losing record in his 19 years. Winning five championships, two MVPs, 15x All Star selections and three Finals MVP’s, 14th in points, 6th in rebounds and 5th in blocks all time, Duncan has solidified himself into NBA greatness. Thank you for 19 years of Fundamental Basketball. Next stop Springfield, Massachusetts.


About Emanuel Godina

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