The NBA: Oldies But Goodies – The Top Three Old Guys in the Association

Let’s put things in perspective here.

Around the same time Tim Duncan entered Wake Forest University in 1993, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist came into this world. Now MKG is a little over 19 years old, averaging 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists per game as a rookie for the Charlotte Bobcats. Meanwhile, Duncan, now in his fifteenth season in the pro game, is still lording it over the opposition, norming nearly 18 points, more than 10 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per outing. Statistically speaking, and despite being a few months away from his 37th birthday, he’s having his best season since ’07-’08.

Tim Duncan is still too good to be called old, even
if he IS nearly 37 years old.
(image by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Duncan, however, doesn’t have a monopoly on the “oldie but goodie” tag. Two Boston Celtics have also been defying Father Time to continue towing the Big Green – Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Once a high-flying big man who could get past slower 4s and 5s with impunity, Kevin Garnett has had to redefine his game since becoming a Celtic in 2007. The big guy blow-bys have become few and far between, and the 15-20-foot jumpers have become more ubiquitous.

That is, after all, the way to survive in this game. One’s athleticism can only take him so far. Eventually, he will have to adapt, and there’s hardly a better example than KG. His current numbers: 15.4ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.0apg, while shooting 53.8% from the field. For any guy, those stats would already be mighty impressive, but for someone who was drafted straight out of HS in 1995 – he IS the poster boy for prep-to-pros – those stats are outright amazing.

KG’s own teammate, Paul Pierce, is also another great example of a player who has had to adjust in order to keep up with the times. Whereas TD or KG might still do well draining mid-rangers and simply holding down younger bucks in the post, Pierce has had to contend with a never-ending influx of speedy and shifty swingmen. He continues to run after shooters, and to move laterally against the Melos and LeBrons. And he still does them better than most guys.

Paul Pierce, at 35 years old, is still one of the most dangerous
swingmen in the world.
(image by Elise Amendola/AP)

Pierce’s numbers: 20.4ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.6apg, and 1.6spg. Like TD and KG, Pierce will remain a strong contender for an All-Star spot this season, and maybe a couple more seasons after. Eventually, however, these three will have to call it quits and hang up their jerseys. When that happens, the younger set can look back at three guys who have managed to transcend the usual limits of NBA careers.

Duncan, Garnett, and Pierce. Three sure fire Hall-of-Famers. Three living legends. Three champions. Three oldies, but goodies.

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Minnesota 99, Oklahoma City 93
The Minnesota Timberwolves used a fourth- quarter scoring barrage from J.J. Barea and a solid all-around effort from Kevin Love to halt the Oklahoma City Thunder's 12-game winning streak in a 99-93 decision at Target Center. The Timberwolves, losers of 12 straight against their Northwest Division rivals coming in, had allowed five consecutive opponents to score over 100 points, but held the NBA's highest scoring team to 40 percent shooting. Barea erupted for 14 points in the final frame, while Love added 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Minnesota, which improved to 8-3 at home. The Thunder were led by Kevin Durant's 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists, though it wasn't enough to extend the club's longest winning streak since relocating to Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook finished with 30 points, 11 boards and nine helpers, but shot just 9-of-28 from the floor and committed eight turnovers.

Miami 110, Dallas 95
LeBron James logged 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists and was able to watch from the sideline in the fourth quarter as the Heat annihilated the Mavericks in a 110-95 mismatch at American Airlines Center. After losing in the aforementioned Finals series, Miami swept Dallas last season with a pair of double-digit decisions and led by as many as 36 Thursday by shooting 54 percent from the field. Dwyane Wade contributed 19 points and six assists while Chris Bosh added 17 points in the lopsided victory, Miami's fifth in its last six games. The short-handed Mavs shot just 39 percent from the floor and an even worse 3-of-22 from 3-point range to lose for the fourth time in five games. Jae Crowder had a team- high 15 points in defeat.

Portland 101, Denver 93
Nicolas Batum poured in a game-high 22 points on Thursday, as the Portland Trail Blazers took advantage of a woeful shooting night from the Denver Nuggets to take a 101-93 victory at the Rose Garden. With starting center LaMarcus Aldridge sidelined with a left ankle injury, J.J. Hickson carried the load down low with 18 points and 18 rebounds, while Wesley Matthews donated 20 points for the Blazers, who have won four straight games for the first time since March 2-8, 2011. Denver netted 74 points in the paint, but made just one field goal outside the painted area and set an NBA record for most missed three-point attempts without a make after going 0-for-22 from long range to snap a three-game winning streak. Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer each scored 13 points in the setback, Denver's sixth straight in Portland.

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Game Highlights:

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