Tim Duncan's ageing body is still dominating the NBA

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San Antonio Spurs have been one of the most successful teams in the NBA for the past 17 years and one of the major reasons for that is because of the play of Tim Duncan.

No matter what you want to call him, a power forward or a center, the big man has dominated basketball unlike many others have in history let alone during his time in the game so far.

As Duncan and team-mate Tony Parker work their way through their twilight years, a trend has seen the majority of experts write off the Spurs chances year in year out, but they always seem to continue to surprise people, especially Duncan.

Last season saw the Spurs go close for the NBA title when they were defeated by the Miami Heat in the Finals in seven games, with Ray Allen's three-pointer in Game 6 denying the Spurs another championship.

After all the four-time NBA champion Duncan is 38, and even though his hasn't won a championship for seven years, he and the Spurs remain dominate in a fiercely competitive conference.

A difficult start to the season saw the Spurs struggle against major opposition before the turn of the year. But they have been a different team since 2014 started, and on Monday they showed more of that against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Duncan was at the heart of everything that they did well with 27 points to help his side overwhelm OKC, and take the opening Western Conference Finals game 122-105.

It's amazing that Duncan can still dominate at that level as a person getting close to hitting 40. The Spurs player is a true testament to what a ball player should be, and a clear example of how to extend your career beyond the bounds of the norm.

If Duncan wins the NBA title with the Spurs in June it will have been a 15-year gap between his first and fifth title triumph, a true measure of his longevity in the game.

He's had more playoff wins than 20 other NBA franchises. He's been an NBA All-Star 14 times. Three times he has been the most important man in the NBA Finals.

Let's not forget his two league MVP's in back to back years 2002-03. There is pretty much nothing Duncan can't or hasn't done since his was drafted first overall in 1997 out of Wake Forest.

His stats per game average is also not as far off his peak years. These days he's more of a 15-17 points a game man, compared with 22-25 points during his peak.

But as Monday night against the Thunder showed, there is still plenty left in the tank. And who could deny this man a fifth NBA title, and if that happens you just know he will be the most important reason for the Spurs success as always.

Tim Duncan
NBA Playoffs

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