Before the NBA lockout, San Antonio Spurs forward/center Tim Duncan opted to stay in the final year of his deal. He’s due 21.2 million dollars for the final year of his contract, the 2011-12’ season. If there is a next season and the Spurs make the playoffs, Duncan would be going into next year’s playoffs at the age of 36.
In order to improve for next season, Duncan must do what he can to delay Father Time from creeping up on him. At the same time the Spurs’ front office must do their part to either get Duncan some help in the front court by a.) signing/trading for an accomplished big man, b.) hoping that Tiago Splitter makes a drastic improvement in year two, c.) if Antonio McDyess doesn’t retire, freezing his body in carbon until the 12’ playoffs, d.) getting some of that ooze from ‘The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II’ for Matt Bonner, or e.) asking Harry Potter if there’s any way he can use a spell to make DeJuan Blair grow five inches taller.
Let’s go into the battle against Father Time first. I took some numbers from Duncan’s last three seasons and broke them down into individual categories.
Regular season minutes
08-09’ Regular season: 33 years old, 75 games, 2,524 minutes, 33.7 mpg
09-10’ Regular season: 34 years old, 78 games, 2,438 minutes, 31.3 mpg
10-11’ Regular season: 35 years old, 76 games, 2,156 minutes, 28.4 mpg
Head coach Gregg Popovich and his staff have been successful over the last three seasons in limiting Duncan’s minutes. The coaching staff was able to scratch 300 minutes off of Duncan’s body this past season. Duncan has also opted to change his offseason training from very strenuous activities to lighter methods of preserving his legs and keeping his weight slimmer. This past season, the team changed its offensive game plan to a run-and-gun style of play that featured the offense running through guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Duncan became the third option. With the explosive scoring attack the team had, they were able to blow out opponents on numerous occasions, which helped Duncan log less minutes. In turn, his body was ready and fresh to log more minutes in the playoffs.no comments