Tim Duncan is 39-years old, but that won’t stop him. He has played 18 seasons and 1,331 career games, yet the wheels haven’t fallen off. Last season Duncan averaged 13.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
In the offseason the Spurs landed an elite free-agent. The Spurs signed LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge is a four-time NBA All-Star and is without question an elite power forward. Aldridge is the only player in the league to average more than 23 points and 10 rebounds in the past two seasons.
The 30-year old will provide Duncan with all the help in the world.
Apr 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21), assistant coach Becky Hammon (center) and guard Patty Mills react against the Los Angeles Clippers in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. The Spurs defeated the Clippers 111-107 to take a 3-2 lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aldridge is not only an incredible player, he is well-spoken and a team player. With Aldridge in town, Duncan will no longer have the pressure of having to play at a high level at all times. The past five seasons Aldridge has shown he can put a team on his back in stretches.
This season Duncan will have a quality season once again. His numbers should be similar to those of last season. With the Spurs also adding David West it’s possible that Duncan only plays around 25 minutes, making it a career low. This won’t stop the 15-time All-Star from putting up solid numbers.
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Duncan’s biggest impact will come on defense as West and Aldridge are not necessarily top-tier defenders. Duncan will need to protect the rim even more than last season as Tiago Splitter is gone. Duncan is the only guy that can play center comfortably on the Spurs rotation.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Duncan played a lot of minutes with the second unit. Coach Gregg Popovich will probably play Aldridge and West together, while Duncan and Boris Diaw play together in stretches. This will provide a balance. It’s hard to envision Diaw and West taking up both spots down low together, as neither can play center due to the lack of size.
Expect Duncan to be a key contributor as the Spurs look to make a run at the NBA title.