Boris Diaw: Tim Duncan has six or seven seasons left in him

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Tim Duncan will return for his 19th season. He’ll play the “same boring game,” scoring efficiently from mid-range and in, grabbing rebounds and defending without fouling.

How many more years can the 39-year-old Duncan keep doing this?

Spurs teammate Boris Diaw, via Sports Illustrated:

I don’t know – six, seven.

I have no idea, but he’s always good. He’s always great. He’s just a great example for all the young kids, everybody.

He’s always 100 percent when we do practice. He’s always the first guy to the gym and working. He’s got a great work ethic.

He doesn’t jump as often, and so he doesn’t wear his ligaments and his muscles and everything. He’s just playing the same very basic basketball, but it works so great because he’s such a master at all the moves and everything. So, that makes him be able to take advantage of players who are more athletic and younger than him.

Diaw chuckled when he said that, but I don’t think it’s completely unrealistic.

Duncan is declining – not as rapidly as most players, though it’s hard to project whether that will continue. More concretely, he’s declining from such a high peak, giving him more room for error. If Duncan’s production decreases by 15% every year – and it hasn’t so far – he’ll remain a viable NBA player for a while.

There are assets that he won’t lose, namely height and fundamentals. That’s a big start.

Though he’s less reliant on athleticism than most players, he still needs some to compete in the world’s best league. He also needs to continue his good injury luck, which his training can help.

Duncan isn’t the first player to fit that profile. Most other players who do don’t play into their mid-40s due to ego. They don’t want to become role players as their talent erodes with age. At that point, they prefer retirement. I doubt, based purely on precedent of other players, Duncan is different.

But if he’s comfortable eventually becoming a backup and then maybe even a bench-warmer, it’s hardly impossible to see him extending his career well beyond the usual limits.

There’s a mural in L.A. of Alex Caruso dunking over Harden, Leonard, Doncic

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It’s hard to overstate how popular Alex Caruso is in Los Angeles. Seriously. This isn’t just cult status popular, when he enters the game off the bench Staples Center explodes in cheers like LeBron James just fed Anthony Davis for an alley-oop.

Now Caruso has his own mural in Los Angeles.

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This is legit, it’s on the side of SportieLA, a clothing/apparel store on Melrose Ave. in the trendy heart of Los Angeles. Artist Gustavo Zermeño Jr. has done murals in the past for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other Los Angeles sports icons such as Vin Scully.

This one plays off a huge Caruso dunk from earlier this month when Dallas’ Maxi Kleber was the victim.

It’s good to be Alex Caruso in Los Angeles right now.

Kawhi Leonard just destroyed Boston’s Daniel Theis on dunk

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Daniel Theis‘ play as a rim protector is one of the reasons Boston has a top-10 defense this season. He has anchored the Celtics’ defense in the paint.

Kawhi Leonard is a two-time Finals MVP, and if he wants to go to the rim nobody is stopping him. Theis found out the hard way.

After the game, Leonard was asked about the dunk and he responded in about the most Kawhi way possible.

This was the first game Leonard and Paul George played together and they combined for 42 points, and they both made key play down the stretch of a 107-104 overtime win.

It took Luka Doncic 25 minutes to put together 35-point triple-double (VIDEO)

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DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half and had yet another triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the short-handed Golden State Warriors 142-94 on Wednesday night.

Doncic fell a point short of matching Dirk Nowitzki’s team record set Nov. 3, 2009, against Utah. In just 17 minutes, Doncic was 10 for 11 from the floor, making 6 of 7 3-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws.

The second-year star from Slovenia had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. He played only 25 minutes total, but still managed 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Doncic was coming off a 40-point triple-double Monday night against San Antonio, and has an NBA-best seven triple-doubles in 14 games this season.

The Mavericks never trailed and tied a franchise record with 22 3-pointers while sending Golden State to its worst loss since a 1973 playoff game.

The Warriors, who ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Memphis on Tuesday night, are an NBA-worst 3-13. Their five-year run of at the top of the NBA has collapsed under a weight of injuries, with Draymond Green out Wednesday because of right heel soreness.

With Green out, Golden State dressed only eight players, none of whom suited up for the team last season when it made the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year.

Eric Paschall led the Warriors with 22 points.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 for Dallas. Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth-straight double-double.

 

Bulls’ Otto Porter Jr out 2 weeks with bone bruise in foot

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls say forward Otto Porter Jr. has a bone bruise in his left foot and will be reassessed in two weeks.

The Bulls say a second MRI on Tuesday revealed the bruise, something “not apparent” on the first MRI.

“He had a second scan, and something showed up that didn’t show up on the first scan,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen told NBC Sports Chicago. “That’s tough, tough for him, feel bad for him. But we’ll treat him and move on.”

Chandler Hutchison had been filling in Porter’s spot in the rotation, but he is out indefinitely now with sore shins.

Porter, averaging 11.2 points in nine games, has been sidelined since he sprained his left foot at Atlanta on Nov. 6.

The Bulls were 4-10 with three straight losses heading into Wednesday’s game against Detroit.