On Monday afternoon Tim Duncan was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for the 21st time in his storied, often stone-faced career. Duncan averaged 20 points, 12 boards, and 3 dimes in four contests taking his game back to 2009, which was the most recent year he earned Player of the Week honors. The Big Fundamental’s efforts sparked the Spurs who reeled off three straight road wins in Boston, Indiana, and Toronto, after initially faltering against the Clippers at home.
Vintage Duncan was again on display Monday in the nation’s capital, where he delivered in limited minutes against the Washington Wizards. San Antonio outpaced the Wizards 118-92, with Duncan sinking 7 of 11 field goals to finish the night at 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. After the game, Coach Gregg Popovich reminded reporters that when it comes to Duncan even limited appearances are something to be appreciated.
“There'll be times this year when we'll sit him back-to-backs,” said Coach Pop referring to the contests in Toronto and Washington. “Win or lose, he's not going to play the minutes he played (Sunday).”
The Spurs next head to Orlando for a Wednesday night match-up against the rebuilding Magic. Having once again been relegated as the victims of Lakers excess, the Magic currently sit at 5-8 in the post-Dwight Howard landscape. While the East Coast has been kind to the Spurs, this is still the NBA where game night against San Antonio often brings out the best in the competition. Look for Tony Parker and yes, Tiago Splitter, to continue their inspired play, with Duncan powering forward in the paint.