The decline of Tim Duncan has been greatly exaggerated

in HOOPS by

I have to give credit to the Inside the NBA TNT Crew. Ernie Johnson, Shaq, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley are the voice of the NBA at this point. Tuesday night Sir Charles declared that Tim Duncan should see the bench, because he’s hurting the Spurs.

This comes after the Spurs dropped two straight games at home to the Thunder, a Thunder team many felt were hapless and dysfunctional, unable to decide whether Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook is the guy.

Tim Duncan hasn’t been the guy for the Spurs all season. Duncan averaged 25 minutes per game and is averaging 20 minutes per game this postseason. This is a team effort thing in San Antonio, it’s not Kawhi Leonard’s team, not Parker’s but a collective group.

Duncan averaged eight points per game in the regular season and scored just five points Tuesday night against the Thunder on 1-of-6 shooting.

But Kevin Durant said it best before the series started:

“Tim Duncan could play until he’s 90,” Durant told the San Antonio Express News. “It’s not about him scoring 20 and getting 10 rebounds, it’s just his presence.”

TNT’s Reggie Miller, among others, is not a fan of benching Duncan.

“You don’t have to play him major minutes, but I just think there’s a rebound, a blocked shot, there’s a defensive assignment, there’s something that Tim Duncan (will do),” Miller said on WFAN in New York on Wednesday. He is (too) valuable for your team to sit him down.”