Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Tim Duncan's performances this year have been nothing short of inspirational to San Antonio Spurs fans. His willingness to not only step back as the main focus of the offense shows his humbleness and his true will to win. While the Spurs are more team oriented than ever before, Duncan's contributions are more noticeable on the defensive end this year than in previous ones. In fact, these past two games are prime examples of what he's brought to the floor all season. Duncan has not only contested and protected the rim, but he's totaled 12 blocks the past two games. After his Spurs defeated the Memphis Grizzlies last night, Duncan gave us the answer to his defensive game as of late. "Guys are coming at me and I'm doing what I have to do. I don't know why or what it is. I'm not doing anything different defensively. It is what it is."   That answer shouldn't surprise you. Duncan's greatness on the court is similar to any other NBA legend that's played and that's having the skills and instinct that's naturally in them to play the way they know how. He's always been known as a smart player and if you compare this current version of Tim Duncan to one of a few years ago, he's still playing the same way with the exception of him adopting a reliable mid range jumper.   The only difference with Duncan now and then is more spring in his step. His current look and play may remind Spurs fans of how he played on the defensive end during the 2003 season where he took control of the team and carried the majority of all the burdens the team had.   His commitment to get in better shape than previous years shows the respect he has for the game, his teammates, and his fans. Many great players before him who were known for dominance withered away slowly without changing their changing their game for the benefit of their team or change a routine to better himself on the court. His "team first" mentality has helped him be comfortable being the fourth or fifth option if that benefits the team and the whole organization is reaping the rewards.   The team is progressing and developing younger talent while Duncan's resting more on the offensive end and the defense is showing. With a slimmer body, Duncan's knees can now have more life in them to protect the basket with blocks. He hasn't changed anything about his defense since he first came into the league, it's just more noticeable with less weight holding him down.   His fundamentals have always played a huge part in his on court success and the NBA's fans can't ignore him anymore. Blocks are known as a "flashy" statistic, but Duncan is showing there's a way to do everything fundamentally sound.   The Tim Duncan we see now is the same fundamentally sound player we've always seen. The difference is just on the offensive end and the rewards of that is a Defensive Player of the Year type season for the 36 year old Duncan.   His instinct and skills are something that time can't diminish and is what's made Duncan stand far apart from others before him. Duncan is averaging 2.8 blocks per game this season, an average that only rivals his 2.9 blocks per game during the 2002-2003 season.   With his intensity and dominating season protecting the paint, Duncan's nickname of "The Big Fundamental" has never been truer than this season.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

LaMarr Woodley likely done for season with biceps injury

Falcons make huge mistake with London infographic

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

WATCH: Penguins perform 'O Canada' following tragedy

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.