Saturday, May 26, 2007

Adding a Superstar: Part Four: Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan is the most dominant big man in the league. He scores at will around the basket, with an arsenal of back to the basket moves. With Duncan and Gasol, the Grizzlies would have two players that teams must double team in the post. The Grizzlies would have 45 points per night from low post scoring, which is almost unheard of in today's guard-dominant game. (Points in the paint today come from athleticism, slashing guards or high-flying forwards, not post-up offense.)

Duncan is also consistently one of the best rebounders in the league and provides solid interior defense. He's been on the All-Defensive First Team seven times in his 9-year career.

With 3-4 assists per games, Duncan would have no trouble finding Mike Miller, Rudy Gay, and Pau Gasol for open shots.

Unfortunately, the Grizzlies wouldn't win the championship with Duncan. They'd certainly be a top team, but the Spurs aren't assured the championship and their team is much deeper without Duncan than the Grizzlies. Manu Ginobli and Parker could both be All Stars any season, while only Gasol is an All Star for the Grizzlies.

Like the Grizzlies, the Spurs have some aging stars, but Michael Finley's current level of play fits his role better than Damon Stoudemire's. Similarly, it's better to have specialists whose skills are defending wing players (Bruce Bowen) and hitting game-winning threes (Robert Horry) than specialists whose skills are dunking (Stromile Swift) and jumping (Dahntay Jones).

Duncan would definitely make the Grizzlies a top team, but one other player in the league would have a bigger impact on the team.

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