NBA / Dec 20, 2010 / 11:00 am

Tim Duncan Is The Most Consistent Player To Ever Play The Game

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan

I’m going to go ahead and admit that I haven’t always been a big fan of Tim Duncan because his playing style isn’t exactly the most exciting to watch. With that said, I’m fully aware that there is genius and beauty in his game that has allowed him to average 20.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 blocks per game over his 13-plus year career.

This year however, I’ve been watching Duncan closely because he’s on my fantasy basketball team. The truth is I stepped away from my computer after my fourth pick and couldn’t make it back before Duncan was autopicked as my fifth pick. I was a little upset at the time because I had another player in mind, but I’m proud to say the autopick function actually worked.

On November 30, Duncan recorded only his third regular season triple-double — he has four in the postseason — and last week he put up 28 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and four blocks in a win against Denver. Earlier this season, Duncan passed David Robinson as the Spurs’ all-time leading scorer and this past Saturday he reached 21,000 points for his career.

Tim Duncan has never been the most athletic player or the faster player on the court, but his perfection of the basics make up for his lack of flash. For most people, his lack of athleticism would be a curse, but his fundamentals allow him to be almost ageless when it comes to his effectiveness on the court. Instead of a curse, his style of play is actually a gift because it has increased the longevity of his career. His lack of explosiveness is a blessing to his bones, joints and ligaments, and his lack of injuries over his career provide proof of that.

Duncan can complement any player on the court. He understands not only his position, but everyone else’s position as well – and that’s rare for a guy of his size. If you followed Tim Duncan during his years at Wake Forest, you might remember him having a good looking stroke from the college three-point line, as that was one of facets of his game that made him so difficult to guard.

Not only has Duncan been consistent with his production on the court, he has also been consistent with his attitude and contributions off the court. It’s rare for someone who has achieved what he has over the last 13 years to cause little to no distractions in the locker – and that’s because he doesn’t feed the media any good quotes to dissect. Dime‘s Austin Burton was the victim of a classic stone-cold no-nonsense interview with Duncan earlier this year. He shows up for work to play basketball, and although he doesn’t say much, his statements on the court are all he needs to say.

There are many players who have consistently put up solid numbers over their career, but they don’t have the hardware to show for it. Duncan already has four rings, two MVP trophies and the Spurs have a legitimate shot to add another NBA title to the trophy case this season. With a 23-3 record going into tonight’s game against the Suns, the Spurs are off to the best start in franchise history. Yes, Duncan’s numbers are down this year, averaging a career low 13.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, but his presence on court is virtually the same – and you can still count on him to step up when it matters most.

With Manu Ginobili playing out of his mind right now, Duncan no longer has to take the last shot, but that doesn’t mean he won’t.

Follow Jon on Twitter at @jonithom.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • malik

    whoa tim duncan’s good at basketball? I’ve never heard a thing about this. amazing article. I had never watched a lakers game until last week where i first saw this guy named kobe. he seems pretty good, maybe you should write an article about him too.

  • jrav

    Pretty sure the point of the article is to highlight one of the all time great players who unfortunately does not receive the same attention of other all time players.

  • the truth

    really stupid comment above. nice article

  • JAY

    Good article but the title is annoying.

  • SkyGriever

    Actually, Duncan has 3 Finals MVPs, not 2.

  • Mike “Yahoo! Exclusive” Mihalow

    2 (regular) MVPs and 3 Finals MVPs.
    Nice article. 1st comment is pointless, but 2nd comment sums it up perfectly.

  • K

    id go with Kareem or Karl Malone

  • Arno

    I don’t even know if this lack of popular recognition is unfortunate. First of all, it is the logical consequence of the “top ten culture”, which magnifies explosiveness and jump. Second, Duncan has a very good contract and doesn’t seem to care about being invited in parties or on TV sets.

    Duncan, in his way, has great physical tools : he’s tall with long arms, very good balance, he’s mobile and has good feet speed.

    But, as you wrote, his strength is that he always knows where he is on the court and where are the other players.

  • SkyGriever

    @ Mike “Yahoo! Exclusive” Mihalow

    Yeah, my bad, didn’t notice that small detail. Thanks.

  • Spur-Meister

    You decided to write this after he finally had a really good game or two. Where you been all season when he was scoring 9 and 12 points?

    Yeah that’s real consistency!!

  • Spur-Meister

    Like some one above said, if you want to honor his career, fine, but this has not been the year to highlight his consistency based off of his play; cause if anything he’s been consistently under performing (compared to the rest of his career).

  • ricky ross

    everyone knows hes the best pf to ever play the game

  • DarkHorse

    Dude, Duncan is not scoring 20 points a game because he dosent HAVE to, with Manu Ginobli playing like an all star. But Duncan can still break out a vintage performance if need be.

  • Shot In Ya Face

    Best PF of all time. No question about it. I hate the Spurs too.

  • Duncanrules

    Duncan playing less minutes this season is going to be an absolute blessing in the playoffs, then he’s going to put some massive damage come then.

  • AZ

    Hakeem’s better and was WAY more consistent over the same period of years. You can even argue it at 18 years to duncan now with both career avgs.

  • cesar

    @AZ hakeem was a center, not a pf

  • nizzio

    When it’s all said and done, I think Kobe will be the most consistent one. He will never go below 20-5-4. They both entered the league at around the same time and I gotta admit, Timmy D is the best PF in the league, but Kobe has been more consistent. Just my opinion

  • AZ


    Hmm… kinda was thrown off by the Headline “Tim Duncan Is The Most Consistent PLAYER To Ever Play The Game”

    After this season is where alot of Bigs usually drop off lets see if he can keep it going. I’d say SHAQ years up to the 13th-14th year is overall better too.

  • Rainman

    @ 10: way to be ignorant.

  • Jon Thompson

    Tim Duncan stats for 12/20/10 vs Phoenix Suns: 20 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks

  • jzsmoove

    wtf?? the title did not have anything to do with the article. i root for the spurs, and TD, but this article was pointless.

  • 100K

    Hated the Spurs after they beat my Knicks.

    Agree with the article. As his career’s winded down, Duncan has definitely staked his claim as the best PF to play the game.