Tim Duncan Still One of the Best Two-Way Players in NBA
Clearly, Tim Duncan has lost the ability to lead the San Antonio Spurs from the low-post in scoring or play more than 30 minutes per game as he once was capable of doing in his prime. Still, in the 2013-14 NBA season, the sixth-oldest player in the league logged some pretty impressive numbers both offensively and defensively. Duncan, who seems to be underrated because of his so-called boring aura and unwavering consistency, is greatly under-appreciated and is still one of the league’s best two-way players.
Last season, Duncan was nearly spectacular offensively, averaging 18.7 points per 36 minutes on 49 percent shooting from the field. Some may believe that his efficient field-goal percentage is a bit inflated because he does not have to do much offensively, but his 25.2 usage percentage speaks otherwise.
On the other end, Duncan’s numbers were even more impressive, as he is clearly still capable of being an impactful interior defender. Surprisingly, San Antonio was fourth best in defensive efficiency in the regular season. Duncan has to get some of the credit for that, as he tallied the fourth-best individual defensive rating in the NBA. He also ranked as the eighth-best player in the league in block percentage and made the top 10 in defensive win shares.
His rebounding numbers were even more surprising, as he ranked in the top 10 in total rebounding percentage. Furthermore, his 12.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per 36 minutes both rank as the second-highest marks in his NBA career, demonstrating that he undoubtedly has more than enough still left in the tank.
The most challenging part of Duncan’s game to measure is his leadership and professionalism, which are not accompanied by a numerical value. For the development of players like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Patty Mills and Tiago Splitter, Duncan’s example has been instrumental.
Clearly, Duncan’s 2013-14 statistics demonstrate that he was one of the most valuable players in the NBA last season, even at the age of 38. As usual, fans will allow Duncan to go under the radar because of age and lack of polarity, although the statistics reveal his greatness still endures.