Duncan consistently finds ways to amaze
- Somewhere between the Kevin Garnett coronation, the Detroit Pistons revolution, and Shaquille O'Neal's first merengue lesson, Tim Duncan anonymously slid back into the practice gym and became the absolute best basketball player on the planet so far for the 2004-05 season.
He didn't try any new tricks like behind-the-back passes or reverse dunks. He didn't dye his hair or add any body ink or pierce any extremity. Nor did he demand a trade, fire his coach or get arrested for jay walking.
He practiced his bank shot. Then he practiced it some more. Sometime in between, he worked in a few free throws. He did what Tim Duncan does.
In case you missed it, the Spurs power forward took 17.1 shots per game last year. He took 17.1 shots per game the year he won his second MVP award and his second NBA title. Over his career, he's taken, well, 17.1 shots per game.
To put that in perspective, Tracy McGrady averaged 23.3 shots per game last year.
Garnett averaged 19.6 while also leading his team in rebounding, steals, blocks and minutes.
Kobe Bryant averaged 18.1 with Shaq in the lineup.
Peja Stojakovic, a player who took 6.8 three-pointers per game, averaged 17.1 shots per game.
Duncan, the most-polished player on the planet, was taking the same amount of shots per game as some Eastern European sharpshooter.
And speaking of that career, he's played seven NBA seasons, made seven All NBA first teams and seven All-Defensive squads. He's won two league MVP awards and two NBA titles. The surprising aspect is that Duncan has averaged only 22.8 points per game over that career and never more than 25.5 in any one season. Those numbers are good, perhaps, great, but not immortal. They are not fitting for a guy described by the first sentence of this paragraph.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Brooks: Durant could be scoring even more
- Harden scores 41, rallies Rockets for OT win
- Noah, Augustin lead Bulls over Heat in OT
- Meeks erupts for 42 as Lakers stun Thunder
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- adidas Men's San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan #21 Black Game Time T-Shirt
- NBA Home
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Toronto Raptors
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Detroit Pistons
- Indiana Pacers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Bobcats
- Miami Heat
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
- Heat Index