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Duncan leading Spurs in their quest of Fifth NBA title

The San Antonio Spurs have returned to the NBA finals for the first time in six seasons and a big part of the reason they are back is the resurgence of veteran Tim Duncan.

On practice days between games during the finals of the Western Conference a few Spurs players would stick around to do some extra work following practice.

Those hanging on for extra work were players who saw little action in games such as Tracy McGrady and Patty Mills. However, quietly working out along in one corner of the facility was the franchise’s cornerstone, veteran Tim Duncan.

Duncan was practicing shooting with a high netting ball return machine making him float shot after shot at the hoop. That practice paid off as he hit two critical baskets in two wins during overtime.

Duncan describes himself as a competitor who just wants to play the best he can and have a chance to win. He has seen his game decline and who would not at 37. However, he has seen a resurgence this season and especially in the playoffs that has helped his team reach their fifth NBA finals, to face either the Miami Heat of the Indiana Pacers.

During the offseason last year he lost 30 pounds and practiced his floater on the day he was selected to the All NBA first team and became the second oldest to ever be selected.

Gregg Popovich the Spurs Head Coach said the greatest players of the game have a special drive and there are about eight of them.

He used names such as Bird, Magic, Michael and others, players with great unquestionable professionalism and character and Timmy is one of them, said Popovich.

During the postseason Duncan is scoring 17.6 point per game and grabbing 9.2 rebounds, which are nearly identical numbers to his regular season stats of 17.8 and 9.9.

Duncan has put together a Hall of Fame career in his 16 seasons with the Spurs. He has played on 14 all star teams, named the NBA Finals MVP on three occasions and has been an All NBA first team selection on 10 occasions.

Former coach and broadcaster Dr. Jack Ramsey said Kevin McHale was most likely the best back to the basket low post big forward and was also a very good defender, but he could not do all the things Duncan can. Ramsey also said Bob Petit was an incredible scorer and Karl Malone was more powerful, but neither had Duncan’s versatility.

After two seasons of injuries and lower output, Duncan worked out all during the offseason and his numbers improved significantly.

Duncan knows his time on the court is running out, but he said he just wants to enjoy every minute on the court he has left, even the practice court. He is now just four wins shy of his fifth NBA crown.

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