Tag Archives: Tim Duncan

Carmelo Anthony: Five Comps

Taking into account player performance over the last two NBA seasons here are five guys who are roughly as valuable as Carmelo Anthony.  Numbers included are offense only so for the sake of this post defense is totally ignored.

These are players with similar shooting, rebounding, passing and ball control attributes to ‘Melo:

Player            ORB% AST% TOV%  TS%
Blake  Griffin      8.2 19.5 12.3 .578
Kevin  Love         9.0 19.6 10.2 .568
David  Lee          8.7 14.0 13.0 .563
Carmelo  Anthony    5.8 15.0  9.4 .561
Paul  Millsap       7.9 15.3 12.6 .547
Tim  Duncan         8.0 15.8 12.4 .545

Is the NBA Dynasty in L.A. or San Antonio?

San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan Gregg Popovich
A Real Dynasty (Getty Images)


Tim Duncan has spent seventeen years in San Antonio.  During this time the Spurs have won 70.6% of their regular season games.

The Pop-Duncan combo has averaged 58 wins per year over almost two decades.  To put this in perspective only two teams won this many games in the 2014 NBA season (Thunder and Spurs).

Since the 1998 season the only other franchises who won 60% of their games are the Lakers and Mavericks.  Even with the assistance of Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson and Jerry West L.A. won an average of 52 games/year.

The Spurs Possession Advantage

One big advantage for the Spurs during this playoffs has been their possession differential.  Over the last two series San Antonio has done a great job at holding onto the ball and forcing turnovers.  The Spurs forced Portland and Oklahoma City into an average of 15 turnovers per game.

The Western Conference champs gave the ball away an average of only 11 times/game vs. the Blazers and Thunder.  When you win the possession battle your team can afford a few missed shots and still win the game.

The key to the Spurs “D” has been great wing play.  Four of their guys are averaging over 2.5% steal rate.  Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard are combining for 3.5 steals per game in the playoffs.

Turning the attention to the offensive side of the ball the secret has been The Big Fundamental.  Tim Duncan has only turned the ball over 14 times in 18 games this playoff season.  This is by far the lowest rate of his playoff career.

In fact among high usage players Duncan is averaging the lowest turnover rate in NBA playoff history.  In the nearly four decades that turnovers have been tracked Duncan is tied with the ’03 version of Peja Stojakovic for the least turnovers in a playoff season.

The complete list from Basketball-Reference.com:

Rk            Player  Season  Tm    G FGA AST TOV TOV%
1         Tim  Duncan 2013-14 SAS   18 234  34  14  5.0
2    Peja  Stojakovic 2002-03 SAC   12 202  30  12  5.0
3          Raja  Bell 2005-06 PHO   17 165  37  10  5.2
4       Ricky  Pierce 1988-89 MIL    9 141  25   9  5.3
5      Alex  English* 1987-88 DEN   11 255  48  16  5.5
6        Joe  Dumars* 1990-91 DET   15 245  62  17  5.6
7     Terry  Cummings 1986-87 MIL   12 215  28  15  5.6
8       Shawn  Marion 2005-06 PHO   20 333  31  22  5.7
9      Jerome  Kersey 1990-91 POR   16 226  49  17  5.9
10    Reggie  Miller* 1999-00 IND   22 385  60  28  6.0
11      Reggie  Lewis 1991-92 BOS   10 218  39  16  6.1
12    Michael  Finley 2006-07 SAS   20 178  22  13  6.2
13   Kiki  Vandeweghe 1982-83 DEN    8 160  32  12  6.2
14      Derek  Fisher 2000-01 LAL   16 159  48  12  6.5
15     Kerry  Kittles 2001-02 NJN   20 216  45  17  6.7
16   Michael  Jordan* 1997-98 CHI   21 526  74  45  6.7

*minimum 140 Field Goal Attempts + 20 Assists in the playoff season

NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Yesterday we highlighted the 2014 All-NBA Defensive 2nd Team.  Today we present the All-NBA Defensive 1st Team:

F – Andre Iguodala, GS

F – Tim Duncan, SA

C – Andrew Bogut, GS

G – Jimmy Butler, Chi

G – Danny Green, SA

The 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year is the Golden State Warriors Andre Iguodala.  Check this out…


The Mavs’ Two Keys

Two reasons the Dallas Mavericks have pushed the best team in the NBA to a game seven…big men rebounding.

Through six games the Spurs Tim Duncan has played 213 minutes and grabbed 51 rebounds.

The Mavs’ key 4/5’s (sans Dirk Nowitzki) have played  193 minutes.  Samuel Dalembert and DeJuan Blair totaled 85 boards.

Dalembert and Blair are posting two of the top-ten single playoff season rebounding rates in the NBA’s three-point era….

Rk             Player  Season  Tm    G TRB  TRB
1        DeJuan  Blair 2013-14 DAL    5  32 17.5
2      Dennis  Rodman* 1994-95 SAS   14 207 16.2
3       Kevin  Garnett 2001-02 MIN    3  56 15.5
4      Ralph  Sampson* 1984-85 HOU    5  83 15.5
5        DeJuan  Blair 2009-10 SAS   10  39 15.4
6        Marcus  Camby 2007-08 DEN    4  53 15.4
7      Dennis  Rodman* 1993-94 SAS    3  48 15.2
8    Samuel  Dalembert 2013-14 DAL    6  53 15.0
9      Dennis  Rodman* 1988-89 DET   17 170 15.0
10        Larry  Smith 1986-87 GSW   10 137 15.0



NBA Lineups: Steady vs. Uneven Rotations

The Philadelphia 76ers were the worst team in the NBA this season.  Brett Brown started a dozen different players throughout the year.  Including Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, four Philly players averaged at least 30 minutes/night.  Three sixers played over 2,200 total minutes.  Philadelphia had a relatively steady lineup in 2014.

The San Antonio Spurs were the best team in the NBA this season.  Gregg Popovich started seventeen different players.  No Spur averaged 30 minutes/night (Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard played 29 minutes each).  Not one Spur played 2,200 total minutes.  San Antonio played a very uneven lineup in 2014.

Pop and the Spurs are shattering the preconceived notion of great teams needing to find solid lineups in order to win in the NBA.


NBA MVP: Best Player on the Best Team?

The most valuable players in the NBA this year are LeBron James (19 wins produced) and Kevin Durant (20 wins).  You can pick your poison.

One thing we shouldn’t hear from NBA MVP voters is “He’s the best player on the best team”.  Why?  Because neither the Heat or Thunder are the best team.  That honor goes to the San Antonio Spurs.

Gregg Popovich’s Spurs have five more wins than every other team in the league.  So for argument sake who is their best player?  While Tim Duncan is having another excellent season he isn’t San Antonio’s MVP.  That honor goes to third year forward Kawhi Leonard.

The San Diego State product is over 60% True Shooting this year while playing great defense on multiple positions.  Finally, without Leonard in the lineup San Antonio is 8-7 this year.  With Kawhi they are 52-10.

I’m not arguing that a Spur should win the MVP but it is clear that the 2014 NBA MVP will not come from the best team.