If there's a team that plays to win without concern for individual achievements it's the San Antonio Spurs. For example, how many players of Manu Ginobili's caliber would accept coming off the bench
occasionally sometimes ALL THE TIME (actually it's been almost exactly half the time during his Spurs career)? And this year Ginobili played just 23 out of 48 minutes a game and Tim Duncan just 28 minutes. It was best for the team's long term goals if not for the player's career stats.
Nevertheless, when you play at a high level for a long time individual achievements happen. The Spurs players may not care but I'm taking note right here of achievements reached already in the 2012 playoffs and those upcoming, including one very big one for Duncan.
We'll get to Duncan's big mark in a minute. First, milestones reached during the Jazz series.
1. Manu Ginobili moved into the top 50 NBA playoff scorers of all time passing Bob Cousy and Kevin Johnson.
2. Ginobili is also in the top 50 all time in playoff assists. This series he passed James Worthy, Norm Nixon and Gus Williams to sit at 47 all time.
3. Tony Parker passed the legendary Bill Russell, 11-time NBA champ, in total playoff points. Parker now sits at 27 all time in the NBA.
4. Duncan passed Shaq for the 3rd spot all time for playoff blocks. But that's not the really big achievement (wait for it...)
Here are some milestones likely to be reached in Round 2 of the playoffs (assuming a 5 or 6 game series):
5. Manu reaches 200 playoff steals and a top 20 all time position (he needs 9 to do this).
6. Duncan can reach Hakeem Olajuwon for 2nd place all time for blocks (needs 12 more blocks)
IF the Spurs reach the finals (which would mean 12-21 more games this year...let's say 16)
7. Tony Parker cracks the top 25 for playoff scoring passing Patrick Ewing, Robert Parish and Charles Barkley. He needs 158 points to do this. He'd then be at 24 all time (assuming LeBron stays ahead of him - they're close).
8. Ginobili could reach the top 40 for points but it depends on whether Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett go much further up the list this year. Ginobili will need about 160-190 points to do this depending on the Boston players.
9. Duncan is at 7 all time in playoff scoring. A trip to the finals would bring him close to Jerry West for the 6 spot but he'd need one more playoff trip to catch him.
10. Ginobili will crack the top 40 in playoff assists
11. Parker will crack the top 20 in playoff assists passing Kareem, Oscar Robertson and Bill Russell.
12. Duncan will take over 2nd place on the offensive playoff rebound list from Dennis Rodman (still not there yet...).
13. Duncan will pass Shaq for 1st place on the all time playoff list for defensive rebounds (nope, but a good record nonetheless. Needs 35 to do this. Easy, right Kevin Bynum?).
14. Parker will crack the top 40 in playoff steals
15. If the Spurs make it to the finals this one is in the bag: Tim Duncan will be the NBA Playoff Blocks King. He's in 3rd now with 460. He needs just 16 to tie and 17 to surpass the leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.