Tim Duncan continues to be Mr. Steady
by Alex Kennedy, USA TODAY Sports
Tony Parker hit the remarkable game-clinching shot and LeBron James had the triple-double, but Tim Duncan may have had the most impressive performance in Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
Duncan became the third player in NBA history to play in the Finals in three separate decades, joining A.C. Green and John Salley, and you would never know it from watching him play.
In Game 1, the 37-year-old made an impact on both ends of the floor and was largely responsible for the Spurs’ victory, contributing 20 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in San Antonio’s 92-88 win vs. Miami. That’s an outstanding stat line for any player, much less an aging veteran who’s in the twilight of his career.
“We’re here to win,” Duncan said. “It doesn’t matter how we’re categorized. It’s been a lot of years since we’ve been here. We’re just happy to be back here. Old, veterans, whatever you want to call us, we’re in the mix right now and it’s just great to get the first game under our belts.”
Few players have been able to have sustainable success that Duncan has had, winning four championships and finishing with 50-plus wins in every full season of his career.
There’s no reason to expect anything less from Duncan for the remainder of the Finals.
“He’s a Hall of Famer,” Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers said. “That sums it up right there. That’s what makes him a Hall of Famer.”
• Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade was once again playing aggressive and attacking the basket. He was the second option that LeBron James needs. Wade finished with 17 points, and had a great first half with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.
• Even in the win, the Spurs don’t seem happy.
“It’s tough playing against a tough team,” center Tiago Splitter said. “We didn’t play well tonight, and we know that we can do better. I think both teams struggled a little bit.”
Heat guard Mario Chalmers responded, “I feel like we still have room to improve. They haven’t seen our best game. If they’re saying … [For more on Tim Duncan continues to be Mr. Steady, click here.]