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Duncan's decline exposed in critical minutes

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08:10 AM ET 04.25 | A number of factors have undone the Spurs in this postseason, including, somewhat sadly, a decline in Tim Duncan's game. It'll be Duncan's 35th birthday on Monday, but in Game 3 he looked older than that. Dozens of playoff games will do that to a guy. The all-time great had 13 points, but over the game's final eight minutes, he was close to a non-factor on offense. Duncan made the only shot he attempted in that span, while the Grizzlies let big men Randolph and Marc Gasol eat. In fairness, Duncan hasn't been the Spurs' closer for a long time. Ginobili, Parker, even reserve Matt Bonner take more late-game shots. But when will it be OK to state the obvious: Is Duncan no longer one of the premier players in the game?

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Tim Duncan, Getty Images Tim Duncan, Getty Images
April 25, 2011  08:13 AM ET

Duncan ISNT no longer a premier player in the league...Hasnt been the last year or two...

April 25, 2011  08:13 AM ET

In Logan's Run, he would be dead by now.

April 25, 2011  08:20 AM ET

In all seriousness... Duncan did have a great career. All good things unfortunately come to an end at some point. There are no exceptions.

April 25, 2011  08:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

In all seriousness... Duncan did have a great career. All good things unfortunately come to an end at some point. There are no exceptions.

Nor should there be...

... but, as long as he's productive then playing shouldn't be an issue.

What were his season averages this year?

April 25, 2011  08:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Nor should there be...... but, as long as he's productive then playing shouldn't be an issue.What were his season averages this year?

Anyone who says they wouldn't want TD on their bench next year is either a liar or an idiot.

April 25, 2011  08:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Nor should there be...... but, as long as he's productive then playing shouldn't be an issue.What were his season averages this year?

13.4 PPG compared with his best season: 25.5 PPG

Comment #7 has been removed
April 25, 2011  08:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Anyone who says they wouldn't want TD on their bench next year is either a liar or an idiot.

I'll take a vet. But at a certain point, he knows he can't keep starting. I'd like to see him be a 6th man off the bench soon.

April 25, 2011  08:39 AM ET

Is Duncan no longer one of the premier players in the game? Of course he's no longer top 10. The question is can San Antonio rebuild without trading him?

April 25, 2011  08:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Is Duncan no longer one of the premier players in the game? Of course he's no longer top 10. The question is can San Antonio rebuild without trading him?

It's time for the "awful years" in SA.

April 25, 2011  08:42 AM ET

well.. Happy Birthday old man

Comment #12 has been removed
Comment #13 has been removed
April 25, 2011  08:58 AM ET

He is one of the greatest....but age gets everyone!

April 25, 2011  09:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

13.4 PPG compared with his best season: 25.5 PPG

At 35 years old you expect numbers reductions.

13.4 ppg, probably still 10 rebounds... good numbers at his age.

April 25, 2011  09:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

He is one of the greatest....but age gets everyone!

... as it should.

That's why we have 5 stages of life.

Tim and Shaq are at the end of stage 2.

April 25, 2011  09:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

When the Spurs were winning titles they had the #1 or #2 defense in the league. Now their defense isn't top 10 any more. It's a different Spurs team mainly because of Timmy's decline.

... and no 'Admiral' in the middle to anchor the defense.

April 25, 2011  09:08 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

... as it should.That's why we have 5 stages of life.Tim and Shaq are at the end of stage 2.

I'd rather have "Timmy" than Shaq at this point. But, TD is really a power forward alongside a great center.

April 25, 2011  09:08 AM ET

One old man could only do so much! What about the rest of those so-called premier players on the squad..... RICHARD JEFFERSON!

 
Comment #20 has been removed

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