St. Croix’s Tim Duncan Sits Out Three Games In A Row Due To Knee Injury
SIDELINED WITH INJURY: Tim Duncan
SAN ANTONIO – Spurs star Tim Duncan did not play in Wednesday’s 112-79 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The official word is that Duncan was not available to play due to a knee injury.
Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News confirmed Duncan would not appear in Wednesday’s game. Perhaps more importantly for the long-term outlook in San Antonio, McDonald noted Gregg Popovich said “No” when asked if Duncan’s knee is starting to become a concern.
The former Wake Forest star also sat out Saturday’s contest against the Denver Nuggets and Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Duncan is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA and is still a critical cog in the Spurs machine in his 19th season in the league. He is a double-double threat every time he takes the floor and likely needs to be in the lineup come playoff time if the Spurs hope to win the title.
Duncan is a 15-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA MVP, a former Rookie of the Year and a three-time NBA Finals MVP. At his best, he is a defensive force in the middle, a deadly mid-range shooter and can still control the glass on both ends. He has taken a step back at age 39, but he is still averaging nine points and eight boards a night in 2015-16.
San Antonio’s free-agent targets from this past offseason become even more important if Duncan is forced to miss significant time. LaMarcus Aldridge is versatile enough to play center or power forward and is one of the league’s best players with five straight seasons of more than 21 points and eight rebounds a game.
David West is a veteran leader with extensive playoff experience who has averaged double-digit scoring in each of the last 10 years. Elsewhere, San Antonio mainstay Boris Diaw can play center or power forward and presents a matchup problem because of his passing abilities and perimeter shooting.
San Antonio’s depth will prove crucial, but losing Duncan would be a blow. Despite his incredible career, Duncan is likely nearing retirement. This season may be his last real chance to take home a title, but he needs to be on the floor for his team for that to become a reality.