Tag Archives: Tim Duncan

2016 NBA Special: Behind Tim Duncan’s Retirement

Well, Tim Duncan just retired — and what a way to end his career?! Low-key. Very Duncan-like. And to think that he’s probably the best power forward in NBA history!

Okay, Duncan is already 40 which is why he hung up his jerseys. Yes, even as Manu Ginobili said ‘we all knew it’s coming but still, you can’t help but get moved’. Then again, what is really behind Tim Duncan’s retirement other than age? See, this line of something like “I’m done when it’s not fun anymore” is kinda over-used by almost every player who retires or thinks of retiring; and so, we looked at what ‘could be’ behind such an ‘infamous’ line.

Simple. Not fun means ‘they can no longer do what they were used to doing’. So, understandably, ‘not fun’ is really about one’s pride — especially if you are a known player.

All Tim had to do was exert 'more' effort
All Tim had to do was exert ‘more’ effort

In Tim Duncan’s case, he was just not himself in their recent PlayOff loss to OKC. Ah, don’t count the last game. One good game is not enough to wipe or establish one’s series performance. Tim has been great in his career, no doubt, which is why he is considered as the game’s best PF. But at his age, he forgot that he needs to exert more energy (than he used to) to get the job done. That’s why he wasn’t as effective against the bigs of OKC. He just didn’t push himself.. And he didn’t know it.

Now, whether it’s Duncan or not, if you just do not put much effort especially in an advanced age then he just won’t be as effective. So, this could also be an ‘unconscious fear’ that has crept ‘unknowingly’ to the player — since he’s losing his former strength, speed, vertical leaping ability or athleticism. Seriously. That’s worrisome. That just takes out the fun inside you.

GSW: They still got some gaps to fill
Actually, they still got some gaps to fix

And so, when Kevin Durant announced his intentions to sign with the Golden State Warriors — that just about ‘unconsciously’ made up Tim Duncan’s mind to retire. Because now, it would be harder for the San Antonio Spurs to make the NBA Finals. Yes, even with the signing of Pau Gasol. And that’s not fun. So, better retire than to go through the pain of missing your coveted sixth championship. Again.

Makes sense.

We always felt Tim and Manu would retire the same time
Tim and Manu still got game — just replace fear with effort

Yet for the Spurs fans, if only Green and Mills could be as deadly as they used to be — more so, if Manu Ginobili could be even half the offensive player he used to be; lest, if the Spurs could add one more deadly shooter like a Belinelli or even a Ben Gordon — then they got a chance. And who knows, if Timmy realizes this — he might just unretire and play even one more season.

2016 NBA PlayOffs: May 12, 10 Signs the San Antonio Spurs were going to lose

So were you surprised the Oklahoma City Thunder conquered the San Antonio Spurs to advance to the West Finals? Not really. Though we felt the Spurs were the favorites — even to win its 6th title — there were actually 10 signs along the way that said the team won’t make it.

1. Game 2 non calls. After thumping OKC in Game 1, the refs or fate somehow closed its eyes in Game 2 on the last 13.5 seconds.

2. The Spurs were just too dependent on LaMarcus Aldridge in this series. That’s okay if it were at crucial times, but no — the team was just too dependent on LA even when the game has just started — that they lost their ball movement.

LaMarcus Aldridge: Spurs' real go-to guy
Aldridge not Leonard: Spurs’ real go-to guy

This then grew into some ‘psycho’ thing, or phobia that the team became afraid to shoot — starting somewhere in 4th quarters as they just kept passing without the basket in mind.

3. Kawhi Leonard is still offensively raw, or ‘mentally weak’ during critical times. Meaning, he still can’t handle the pressure to will his team to win. It’s like his shots are unstable when more is at stake. He just doesn’t try to attack Durant or Westbrook especially when his jumpers aren’t going in.

4. Game 5 non calls. It may not be as controversial as the Game 2 non call but when the ‘supposed’ foul by Leonard on Westbrook was missed — that’s already too much. It’s 2 games already!?! The refs or the NBA should have already ordered a repeat of the game.

Non calls in Game's 2 and 5 tainted the series outcome. So if only to redeem 'everybody', the Spurs' Big Three should not yet retire.
Non calls in Game’s 2 and 5 tainted the series outcome. So if only to redeem ‘everybody’ including the league, the Spurs’ Big Three should not retire yet.

5. Duncan, Green and Mills were just missing in this series. Since the Spurs became too dependent on Aldridge from the start of the series, Duncan has just not been attempting shots when he should at least take 10 to 12 to make OKCs big men work harder — and get them out of the ball game either on foul trouble or fatigue.

Duncan only shot more in Game 6 — like, just to prove he still has it. He should have been more aggressive since Game 1 even if the Spurs were winning by a big margin — if only to maintain his timing and instill some ‘fear’ in OKC.

And just like Duncan, Patty Mills was also absent from the series. He hardly shot the ball. Now, while Green had a good Game 1 and 5 — overall he was misfiring when the team needed it most.

6. The loss of Marco Belinelli was crucial. He’s also one guy who could shoot the lights out which was why the Spurs were ‘unbeatable’ in the past, they always had 2 out of their 3 shooters clicking. And they clicked because 2 of them were often used at the same time during duress — making ‘ball movement’ so effective.

Marco Belinelli could have really helped the Spurs win their 6th title (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Marco Belinelli could have really helped the Spurs win their 6th Championship (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Still, why did the Spurs take in Kevin Martin when they weren’t gonna use him? He’s a scorer who could get in and draw fouls when he’s not making his outside shots.

7. OKCs support players alternated on having good nights, and for Game 6, it was Roberson who shot 3-5 from 3s when he was 0-7 in the series. The Spurs? Ginobili and Mills really lacks attempts — a clear indication of lack of good passing and over dependence on Kawhi and LaMarcus.

8. Failure to maximize Diaw and West. When the second unit is on the floor, this is when they could have used the experience and toughness of West as well as the versatility of Diaw — to score especially ‘from the inside’ since Ginobili and Mills were not really shooting anyway.

9. If OKC were constantly ‘bullying’ through their bigs, why didn’t the Spurs use Boban more against Adams and Kanter? He could have at least made it a little tougher for OKC to get rebounds while posing as an offensive option as well.

The Spurs aren't new to athletic opponents
The Spurs aren’t new to athletic opponents

10. Durant and Westbrook — too much for Leonard, Green and the Spurs? Not really. The Spurs already did handle athletic types in James and Wade in their clashes with Miami. So, why were the Spurs dominated this time? Read the first 9 reasons, again.