Another playoff game, another double double for Tim Duncan, as the forward continues to chase Magic Johnson’s career postseason record for double doubles. Magic Johnson had 157 in his illustrious career, while last night’s effort puts Duncan within striking distance at 144.
Thanks in part to the effort of Duncan, the Spurs now have a 3-0 lead in their series against the Memphis Grizzlies. They won for in overtime for the second time in the series with a 104-93 victory. In the victory Duncan posted totals of 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Eastern Conference Finals has proven to be a much more competitive series thus far, the Spurs have controlled their opponent thus far and are now only one win from meeting the winner of the Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers series in the NBA Finals.
Last night’s double double puts Tim Duncan alone in second place, and only thirteen behind Magic in his chase to overtake this record from the all-time great. With a maximum of eleven games left for Duncan in this year’s postseason he will be unable to break the record this season, but should the Spurs return to the playoffs next season he would stand a great shot at breaking the record next year. Tim Duncan is likely to out chase Magic and surpass him as the all time double double leader should he avoid injury, as the Spurs have been perennial contenders throughout his career.
Duncan has played in the NBA since the 1997 season, and his Spurs have made the playoffs in each year of his career. That is sixteen straight playoff appearances, an absolutely incredible accomplishment. Duncan only missed one postseason in his career due to injury, that being in 2000. He has played in 203 playoff games after last night, giving him a double double in nearly 3/4 of his playoff games.
However that pace is behind that of Magic Johnson. Magic played in 190 playoff games, only failing to record a double double in 33 of them. The clock is beginning to work against Tim Duncan in terms of chasing Magic in that regard, as he is currently 37 years old. Not many players are able to maintain the elite level of play needed to post a double double consistently against NBA competition, causing one to wonder when father time will begin to be a factor for the ageless forward.
For now however the goal for Tim Duncan isn’t his chase with Magic, it is winning another NBA championship. His team will come out focused for their game four match with the Memphis Grizzlies, hoping to earn a sweep and some rest. A win in this game likely will earn them a significant break for their aging star to recharge his aging body. The Eastern Conference Final between Indiana and Miami doesn’t appear to be one that will end soon, and could go the full seven games.
If Duncan and the Spurs can reach the finals, Duncan has a shot at NBA title number five of his career, something that experts say would cement his legacy as a top ten player of all time. Should Duncan continue to make the playoffs next season, he could complete his chase towards Magic Johnson’s postseason double double record, providing the cherry on top of his already stellar legacy.
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The Guardian Express