Tim Duncan represented the Spurs at the NBA All Star Game, and he had a much bigger impact than his line in the box score implies. Even though he only played 15 minutes, he was second on the team in plus/minus with a +8. I'd like to think that the West's offense had a flow to it with Tim on the floor because Duncan was one of the few players who bothered to set screens instead of merely spotting up and waiting for a pass. But maybe he was just lucky.
Either way, it was Tim's 15th appearance in the league's yearly exhibition, and the awesome Vladislav Denisiuk (aka, Spurs Network) put together this awesome infographic on his performance across the years. He hasn't scored much in recent years, but the 9 rebounds he snagged on Sunday stand out.
With no other Spurs on the floor to command my attention, I let myself ignore the ball quite often in order to see how Duncan would handle himself in a game where any defense besides gambling for steals was essentially nonexistent. He stood out as just about the only player who was putting his hands on the opposition. And he wasn't just guiding guys around while setting picks. He was conspicuous by actually blocking out for rebounds instead of merely standing and jumping. But as no one really tries to do anything but score in this showcase, there's no real defense happening and Tim fit right in by not trying too hard. I noticed him automatically putting himself in a position to block a shot before remembering where he was and letting one of the East's players have an uncontested shot in the paint.
For those of you that didn't catch the game, I'll include a few snippets that should give you a feel for how much fun Duncan is able to have at these things.
First, I really enjoyed how Steve Kerr played around with the idea of trying new plays out in an All Star Game. I wish I could have made this clip longer to include the way Tim's incredulous expression transitioned into a grin.
After getting a few minutes on the court, grabbing a few boards, and missing a bucket, Tim took a rest before getting up to celebrate Dirk Nowitzki's most athletic play of the season.
As halftime came to a close, Duncan and Kerr had this fabulous exchange that made me wonder what Kerr felt as he coached his ex-teammate. Probably not too different than hanging out on the team bus on the way to the arena a dozen years ago.
Here's another bit of back-and-forth between Tim and Steve that's way too much fun.
Tim Duncan trolling Steve Kerr - http://t.co/72lNwbJYYK— LWYRUP (@TortiousTroll) February 16, 2015
With all of the crazy passes being tried, it often looked like an Indoor Football League game -- interceptions galore -- but when Duncan cleaned up an East miss and had an opportunity, he executed perfectly. Here's one of his two assists (without any turnovers.)
Finally, he got off the schneid with this fun finish.
Overall, the game was the joke it always is, but when everyone's yukking it up and having fun, that's precisely what you'd expect. I'm glad Timmy got one more under his belt, and with the way he's playing, I wouldn't be surprised to see him back again next year.