For all the Marbles and whatever else you can think of

For all the Marbles and whatever else you can think of

Well now that the NBA Finals` parings are set with the San Antonio Spurs representing the Western Conference , where their opposition, are the highly favored Miami Heat of the Eastern Conference . Led by reigning four-time League MVP Lebron James , the Heat will be looking to make a successful defense of their NBA title . This might not be the postseason finale that everyone had hoped for amongst the throng of NBA fans , as a more lucrative finale might well have been envisaged , with a Miami Heat match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder or Los Angeles Lakers within the Western Conference , being the desired option .

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Slideshow .

The two opposing coaches could not be more diametrically opposite , with a seasoned veteran in Gregg Popovich , and his opposing number being , Erik Spoelstra , seeking to add a second title to is resume` . For Spoelstra , the additional factor , beyond his knowledge of the game , is that his mentor and team President Pat Riley will be presiding over this series with the demeanor of an individual who is proud of his young protege . There is no doubt that the Miami Heat were by far the best team in the NBA this season , without reflecting on their overall record or the idiocy of the New York Knicks` fans bemoaning the fact that having beat Miami during the regular season and taking their regular season series (3-1) . It is quite clear that within New York and perhaps farther afield , fans of the franchise are not all that bright . Suffice to say , what happens in the regular season simply counts for nothing , or simply paraphrasing ___ “ what happens in Vegas , stays in Vegas “ .

Now while LeBron James seeks to add to is already glowing career, this future Hall of Fame player , has simply excelled this season , far surpassing his exploits of the previous season . One has to wonder , where Miami would be without James` exploits over the regular season and into this postseason . He has led this Heat team in almost every offensive category that matters , and LeBron James has proven to be a defensive stalwart on a roster , that during the postseason , has not been all that exhilarating . Contributions from Chris Bosh , Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade can best described as somewhat anemic , if not downright dire at times . There is no denying that the bench or should one say the presumed role players on the Miami Heat roster will have to step up their game against a San Antonio Spurs` team that in should no way be underestimated . There is a damn good reason that Popovich has been behind and the main architect of a franchise , which he has successfully , led to four NBA titles over the course of his now historic reign .

Players such as Mario Chalmers , Norris Cole , James Jones , Chris Anderson , Shane Battier , Mike Miller , Juwan Howard , Rashard Lewis , will be called upon at various points in this series to make various contributions . Erik Spoelstra will make demands of his players and quite rightly so , as failure to be even competitive against San Antonio , could very well lead to dire consequences .

James , Wade and Bosh , are meant to strike to fear into the hearts of rivals and foes alike. Yet somehow , in the Eastern Conference Finals , against the Indiana Pacers , a series that went to an astonishing seven games , came as a great surprise to analysts fans alike . Miami never really had an answer for Roy Hibbert , David West and Paul George , and were it not for the postseason inexperience of a young Pacers` team , this conference finals` series could very well have provided us with the privilege of seeing Miami dethroned as the defending conference champions in such a surprising manner .

If LeBron James` career can now be described as being or approaching a description of being Jordanesque . Then the career of Tim Duncan has to be one , that would place the power forward on the Mount Rushmore of the titans to have played that coveted position in NBA history . Duncan played alongside one of the great big men of the modern-day game , in David Robinson . The Master and student coexisted and led to the franchise to the first of their four titles in 1999 . Duncan a first round draft pick by San Antonio in the 1997 NBA Draft . The series` victory …. over the New York Knicks proved to be an apt finale of Robinson`s now illustrious career , as he bowed out , riding off into the sunset and retirement , as an NBA titlist and Hall of Fame inductee , a few years later .

In the subsequent years the NBA Draft would prove to be fortuitous for the San Antonio Spurs as Gregg Popovich and his staff would proceed to acquire some extremely productive players , while also attaining players notably seasoned veterans via free agency or the customary off-season trades . The addition of Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker can only be seen as momentous events in San Antonio`s history as an NBA franchise . With the Argentinian and French man simply bringing along their extraordinary skill-set to a mid-market NBA team that was always seen , as being well ran , under the auspices of team owner Peter Holt and GM R C Buford . They may well do things big in Texas , but in San Antonio , this has been a franchise that has gone about doing it all , the right way , without the need to cause a big splash or make complete of fools of themselves in the process . Please take a hint Mark Cuban , Jerry Jones , Tom Gaglardi and Nolan Ryan . In recent years other than the Dallas Mavericks` triumph in 2011 , there really has not been much that as been really achieved by your respective professional sports` franchises , that you seemingly parade about as a bastion of opulence , rather than attaining actual tangible success .

Parker and Ginobli have been great complementary pieces to Tim Duncan over the years , with the trio providing some of the richest moments for the San Antonio Spurs over the past decade . Three titles together , has proven to be a greater reward than even most observers would have come to expect from this triumvirate , with each player having distinguished themselves at the highest levels possible on the NBA` s greatest stage , its postseason finale .

Gregg Popovich will seek some solid production from the likes of Kawhi Leonard , Dajuan Blair , Boris Diaw , Matt Bonner , Danny Green , Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal throughout the course of this series . One of the stranger stories to have taken place with regard to the Spurs , was Popovich`s decision to sign veteran Tracy McGrady . The fifteen-year career veteran , a two-time scoring champion and multiple with All Star appearances , one now has to deem it , McGrady , is now the process of winding down his career , seeking to win that all too elusive first NBA championship ring . Whether or not McGrady ascends to those heights of acclaim , while providing the Spurs with a much-needed lift , remains to be seen over the course of the NBA Finals . Game one kicks of what hopefully, will be a seven game series, if merely to whet the appetite of the fans and the NBA hierarchy .

One of the few things that the NBA cannot afford to have happen during this NBA Finals would be for the series to be a lopsided series of uncompetitive games. LeBron James will undoubtedly seek to impose his will upon this series , while hoping to maintain his postseason scoring average .
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Picture gallery .

Whatever, the outcome of the NBA Finals , this series should prove to be historic , for a number of reasons . LeBron James comes away with his second title in three years . A San Antonio Spurs` victory adds to that franchise`s already impressive history , and that of their Big Three , and their well-respected head coach. The true NBA fans , should be in for a real treat and a feast of exhilarating entertainment . Your thoughts on this upcoming series ? Leave a comment as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Tim Duncan , left, is seen here with teammate David Robinson . Two years after being drafted by the San Antonio Spurs Duncan would make his first appearance in an NBA Final . The duo would lead the franchise to their first NBA title , with a series` victory over the New York Knicks in the 1999 NBA Finals . AP Photo / Mark Jameson ….

(2) MIAMI – JULY 09: LeBron James (6) , Dwyane Wade (3), and Chris Bosh (1) , of the Miami Heat show off their new game jerseys before a press conference after a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida. Architect of the move , team President Pat Riley and approved by team owner Micky Arison , the trio and their teammates were assembled not only to win multiple titles but to also make Miami Heat franchise a more profitable and lucrative concern for their billionaire owner . Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images …

(3) Gregg Popovich, left, a four-time winning NBA title coach , seeks to add a fifth Finals` series victory to is resume` . Whereas, is opposite number Erik Spoelstra seeks to add what will be his second title in his third consecutive appearance in the NBA postseason finale . Courtesy of NBA.com @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ….

(4) Miami Heat’s LeBron James , left, talks with Chris Andersen , right, during NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Miami. The Heat play the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …

(5) Tim Duncan (21) , center, is seen here alongside teammates , Manu Ginobli (20) and Tony Parker (9) in a game played against the Phoenix Suns this season . The Spurs would prove to be victorious defeating the Suns .on their way to a 58-24 record in the Western Conference placing as the second seeds , yet once again winning their division all too convincingly . Getty Images North America / Adam Knox ………….

(6) San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan , left, and shooting guard Tracy McGrady celebrate on the bench during the fourth quarter of Game 6 of a Western Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 16, 2013. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….
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tophatal ………. 06/05/2013

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NBA news and archived news` stories

2013 NBA Finals

2013 NBA Playoffs overview

NBA postseason stats

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Miami Heat news

Miami Heat profile & history

Miami Heat front office

Miami Heat and coaching staff

Miami Heat playoff stats

San Antonio Spurs news

San Antonio Spurs` profile & history

San Antonio Spurs front office

San Antonio Spurs roster & coaching staff

San Antonio Spurs` playoff stats

Mr Fundamental …… Tim Duncan

Mr Fundamental ……Tim Duncan

He’s been called boring , he’s been called one of the alltime best to play the position of power forward and center. But quite simply put, when one uses the moniker Mr Fundamental to describe him . One simply knows who you’re talking about one of best players to have graced the basketball court of the last fifteen years. Tim Duncan is essentially that ‘Mr Fundamental’. Need one say anymore ?

Duncan  drives  the  lane  while  being  defended by the  Toronto  Raptors'  Chris  Bosh .    picture  appears courtesy of  nbae/getty images/  Clarke Patterson  .............

Duncan drives the lane while being defended by the Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh . picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Clarke Patterson ……

Long considered amongst the elite players in the NBA. Duncan alongside Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant are the elder statesmen of the league. Their legacies are now etched in the annals of NBA history. And that essentially places this triumvirate amongst the very best of the best to have played in the NBA in pre and post modern era of the game. Each has four NBA rings and has been regular a season MVP and NBA Finals’ MVP. Accolades come to Duncan, much like applause comes to an opera singer after a great performance at La Scala or the New York Metropolitan Opera . Duncan consistently performs at a high level that leaves one aghast at his consistency.

The moniker of Mr Fundamental doesn’t seem to bother him at all. Other less focused players might consider it an insult or a sleight. Duncan simply lets it slide off his broad shoulders without a worry . And why not ? There are few players of his caliber to have graced the NBA stage and show the poise displayed by Duncan. The San Antonio Spurs are a better team for having him !

Often thought of  as a  cerebral  player,  Duncan  is  seen  here  alongside   the Portland  Trailblazers' LaMarcus  Aldridge   during  a  recent  NBA regular  season  game  played at the Rose  Garden  Arena  in  Portland  Oregon.     picture appears  courtesy  of  nbae getty images/  Sam  Forencich .................

Often thought of as a cerebral player, Duncan is seen here alongside LaMarculs Alridge of the Portland Trailblazers in a recent NBA game played at the Rose Garden Area in Portland Oregon. The Trailblazers would go on to defeat the Spurs 94-86 in the game between the two Western Conference teams.picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Ross Coleman ….

He learned and honed his craft initially playing alongside ‘The Admiral’, David Robinson. And what better way for Robinson to exit stage left from the NBA courts than with an NBA championship and ring in his final season ? The torch was passed from Robinson to Duncan as a new era was set to begin in the history of the San Antonio Spurs. And throughout the next dozen or so years, Duncan and this team have been amongst the perennial contenders in the NBA. Such consistency is rarely seen in sports nowadays. Even less so in the NBA. But Duncan and the Spurs have been able to deliver that with their model of consistency under their legendary coach, Gregg Popovich. And the coach alongside General Manager R . C. Burford have been the main architects behind the Spurs’ success. During their era of their tenure with the San Antonio Spurs, 4 NBA titles in four appearances in the NBA Finals. And all four championships with Duncan in tow, have come in the past fourteen years.

Duncan having now reached the pinnacle of his career . He’s now set to see the curtain call, as the stage is being set for him to bow out gracefully with perhaps at least one more run at a championship ? In doing so they’ll have to get past the reigning NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers in the postseason of the Western Conference playoffs. But it’d be remiss to think that the Lakers are their only threat in the postseason within the conference. Such stalwarts, as the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and the Dallas Mavericks are looking to usurp the current champions. And this season we’re likely to have an enthralling year throughout the NBA but even more so in a contentious and competitive Western Conference. And all this sets up for a thrilling year in the NBA for the fans and in particular those of the San Antonio Spurs, with Tim Duncan in tow as their spiritual and vocal leader.

So over the course of the season, admirer or not ,watch this team and Duncan at play. It may well be the last time, perhaps that you’ll get to see this great player and an ambassador for the game at play. As the stage is being set for another pursuit of an NBA title.Few players of note, have been equally admired by his peers and fans of the NBA, alike. And that if anything, is something admirable in this day and age of the ego driven athlete . Duncan who if anything is as level headed as they come and shows little signs of being such an individual. He’s merely just a player whose graced us with his play and presence without the hint of being capricious and overbearing. He’s just simply, Mr Fundamental . He comes in and gets the job done without asking for anything in return. And that’s all, we as fans can ask of a player. Nothing more, nothing less ,wouldn’t you agree ?

The game of basketball being what it is , it’s not often appreciated by many who fail to understand many of the pleasures that it brings. When played with heightened skills and with the true essence of teamwork on display.It is one of the very few team sports that has the fans jumping out of their seats in praise. There are those who’ll look at the San Antonio Spurs and simply …” so what if they’ve won 4 NBA titles ” ? ” They’re so boring “! . But I’d ask of them what has your team done lately ? And better yet, on your team is there a player of Duncan’s caliber who has maintained the consistency that he’s shown over the past fifteen years ?

Tim Duncan’s bio :
Born 25th April 1976 College Wake Forest
Height 6′ 11″/ 2.11m Place of birth St Croix , USVI ,.
Years Pro 12

Chronological bio in part

1998-99: Named to both the All-NBA First Team and the All-Defensive First Team … appeared in all 50 games, averaging 21.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.52 blocks in 39.3 minutes per contest … shot .495 (418-845) from the fi eld and .690 (247-358) from the line … was 1-for-7 (.143) from three-point land … the only player in the NBA to rank among the top 10 in scoring (sixth), rebounding (fifth), blocks (seventh) and FG percentage (10th) … finished third in MVP voting … led the NBA in double-doubles for the second straight season with 37 … scored in double-figures 48 times, with 20 or more 31 times … scored over 30 fi ve times, with a season-high 39 points – along with 13 boards and 6 blocks – vs. Vancouver on 4/1 … during the Spurs 31-5 run, averaged 22.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.72 blocks while shooting .512 from the field … named the NBA Player of the Month in March … named the Player of the Week for the period ending 3/8 … led the Spurs in scoring 35 times, in rebounds 31 times and in blocks 30 times … hit a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds left to give the Spurs an 81-80 win over Portland on 4/16 … in the playoffs averaged 23.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.65 blocks in 43.1 minutes … named the 1999 Finals MVP after averaging 27.4 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.20 blocks in 45.8 minutes in five games vs. the Knicks … logged at least 44 minutes and had at least 20 points in all five games … had 33 points and 16 rebounds in Game 1 vs. the Knicks on 6/16 … in Game 4, in New York on 6/23, had 28 points and 18 rebounds in 47 minutes … in 17 postseason games, had 10 double-doubles, including four in the Finals … scored 20-plus 12 times and had 30-or-more four times, including 37 points in Game 3 at Los Angeles on 5/22.

Personal ……..

He and wife, Amy, were married in the summer of 2001 … the couple has two children … created the Tim Duncan Foundation in November of 2001 … Amy serves as the executive vice president of the organization which is set up to serve “the areas of health awareness and research, education and youth sports and recreation” in San Antonio, Winston-Salem and the U.S. Virgin Islands … since its creation the Foundation has raised approximately $1 million … through the Tim Duncan Character Champions program donates 50 tickets to each game to students who demonstrate integrity, respect, dependability, fairness, caring or civic responsibility … member of the NBA All-Star Reading Team … the winner of the 2001 Home Team Community Service Award given by the Fannie Mae Foundation and the NBA … named one of the “Good Guys” in sports by The Sporting News in both 2001 and 2002 … also supports the Children’s Bereavement Center, the Children’s Center of San Antonio and the Cancer Therapy and Research Center … received his degree in psychology from Wake Forest … didn’t play organized basketball until ninth grade … concentrated on swimming as a youngster – at one point was a top U.S. competitor in his age group in the 400 freestyle – before his local pool was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 … known for wearing his practice shorts backwards, a trend he started while in college … has two sisters, Cheryl and Tricia … admits to being afraid of heights and sharks … favorite movie is The Crow … a video game junkie.

Career Season Averages

Year Team G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
97-98 SAS 82 82 39.1 0.549 0.000 0.662 3.3 8.6 11.9 2.7 0.7 2.5 3.40 3.10 21.1
98-99 SAS 50 50 39.3 0.495 0.143 0.690 3.2 8.2 11.4 2.4 0.9 2.5 2.92 2.90 21.7
99-00 SAS 74 74 38.9 0.490 0.091 0.761 3.5 8.9 12.4 3.2 0.9 2.2 3.27 2.80 23.2
00-01 SAS 82 82 38.7 0.499 0.259 0.618 3.2 9.0 12.2 3.0 0.9 2.3 2.95 3.00 22.2
01-02 SAS 82 82 40.6 0.508 0.100 0.799 3.3 9.4 12.7 3.7 0.7 2.5 3.21 2.60 25.5
02-03 SAS 81 81 39.3 0.513 0.273 0.710 3.2 9.7 12.9 3.9 0.7 2.9 3.06 2.90 23.3
03-04 SAS 69 68 36.6 0.501 0.167 0.599 3.3 9.2 12.4 3.1 0.9 2.7 2.65 2.40 22.3
04-05 SAS 66 66 33.4 0.496 0.333 0.670 3.1 8.0 11.1 2.7 0.7 2.6 1.92 2.20 20.3
05-06 SAS 80 80 34.8 0.484 0.400 0.629 2.9 8.1 11.0 3.2 0.9 2.0 2.48 2.70 18.6
06-07 SAS 80 80 34.1 0.546 0.111 0.637 2.7 7.9 10.6 3.4 0.8 2.4 2.80 2.50 20.0
07-08 SAS 78 78 34.0 0.497 0.000 0.730 3.0 8.3 11.3 2.8 0.7 2.0 2.28 2.40 19.3
08-09 SAS 75 75 33.6 0.504 0.000 0.692 2.7 8.0 10.7 3.5 0.5 1.7 2.20 2.30 19.3
09-10 SAS 5 5 29.0 0.536 0.000 0.565 2.8 9.0 11.8 2.2 0.8 1.6 1.60 2.00 14.6
Career — 904 903 36.8 0.507 0.186 0.684 3.1 8.6 11.7 3.2 0.8 2.3 2.77 2.70 21.4

All Star Appearances

All-Star — 11 10 23.8 0.584 0.333 0.800 3.1 7.5 10.6 2.5 0.8 0.7 2.45 1.30 11.9

Career bio and playoff stats’ totals ……click here to view ……