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Tim Duncan Becomes 1st Player in NBA History to Record 500 Playoff Blocks

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2013

All the San Antonio Spurs do is win, and all Tim Duncan does is make NBA playoff history.

The Big Fundamental registered four blocks in San Antonio's 93-89 Game 2 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, the last of which was his 500th career postseason swat, making him the first player in league history to reach such a milestone.

Duncan's 500 postseason blocks rank first all time (obviously) and are 24 more than second-place Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (476) and 304 more than any active player. Pau Gasol's 196 are the second most among active players.

That means Duncan will stand alone for awhile—a long while.

For his career, Duncan is averaging 2.5 blocks per playoff game, the second-highest mark of any player who has appeared in at least 100 postseason contests (his 202 appearances rank seventh all time).

Adding to the significance of his latest feat is how it compares to some of the greats.

Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal—two of the best shot-blockers to ever grace the hardwood—recorded fewer total blocks in fewer playoff games. Simply amazing.

Though Duncan won't go down as the greatest shot-blocker the league has ever seen, it's difficult to dismiss him as the Association's best postseason shot-blocker ever. Not merely because he's reached 500 but because of how he's done it.

This is a guy who is averaging 2.2 blocks per game for his career during the regular season (still impressive) and just seemingly turns it on for the playoffs, elevating his play to a whole different level. 

As is often the case with Duncan, he doesn't receive enough credit. I mean, no one else is going to hit 500 for a long, long time.

Because we're all into such things, Dwight Howard and Serge Ibaka have the best chance to become the next "Duncan." Howard is 27 and has 166 career playoff blocks, while Ibaka is 24 and has 156.

To put that in perspective, by the time Duncan was 27, he had 224 postseason blocks, which may not bode well for Dwight. At 24, he had 73, so keep your eyes on Ibaka.

Don't lose sight of Duncan, though. He's eclipsed the 500-block plateau, but he's not done yet.

 

*All stats in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.

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