Mid-Range Monday: Tim Duncan

May 8, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) shoots the ball over Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (left) in game two of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 114-97. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

With the three ball being so popular and analytics telling you the mid-range jumper is a bad shot, the mid-range game is nearly extinct so the Basketball Society will be bringing you “Mid-Range Mondays” where we highlight players who perfected operating in the mid-range area. Check out last week’s edition that featured Dirk Nowitzki!

This week’s Mid-Range Monday features another legend at the forward position. A five time champion and one of the best big men the league has ever seen, Tim Duncan could dominate the post and step out and get buckets in the mid-range area as well. He wasn’t the flashiest and he wasn’t the guy to provide the crowd with oohs and ahhs but he was fundamentally sound and efficient, which basketball nerds love to this day.

Tim Duncan Mid-Range Shots
Statistics of Duncan’s mid-range shots during his highest scoring seasons via NBA.com

Tim Duncan was known for his post up ability and how he impacted the game on both ends of the floor. Duncan’s craftiness around the rim was already dynamic but his ability to knock down an open jumper made him an even deadlier threat. At the height of his career, he was taking about 500 mid-range shots a season shooting approximately 40%.

Tim Duncan's Bank Shots
Statistics of Tim Duncan’s bank shots from 2003-2016 via NBA.com. (bank shots weren’t recorded prior to 2003)

Duncan donned the nickname “The Big Fundamental” due to his candid focus on keeping his game simple and straight to the basics. He was so fundamentally sound and so effective that his inability to provide highlights didn’t matter. One aspect of his game that he was well known for was his bank shot. If he got the ball at the proper angle, you better believe he was kissing the ball off the glass. I’m a firm believer of using the backboard to your advantage. It’s an old style of playing that was often taught years ago that we don’t see much of today but Tim Duncan perfected it and executed it well.




Check out a close look into Tim Duncan’s bank shot.


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