The missing piece to propel David Robinson to his first NBA title has now supplanted him on the list of the NBA’s all-time shot blockers.
Tim Duncan entered Saturday’s contest with Philadelphia three rejections behind Robinson for the fifth most blocked shots in league history, but his dominant defensive effort elevated him past the Hall-of-Fame center.
Maybe Duncan wasn’t as dominant of a shot blocker, never reaching 250 blocks in a single season during his 19-year career, (a feat Robinson accomplished each of his first seven seasons in the NBA) but his longevity is what makes him so great.
Robinson’s string of 250 rejections ended during the 1996-97 season, as he was limited to just six games after breaking his leg during a contest against the Heat. The break turned out to be a fortunate one.
The Spurs won the draft lottery and landed the right to select Duncan.
The duo led the franchise to its first championship in Duncan’s sophomore season, then closed out Robinson’s 14-year career with a title in 2003.
A third quarter rejection of a JaKarr Sampson layup slid Robinson’s name down one spot on the list of shot blockers in NBA history.
If Duncan can reject 110 more shots this season, he will move past Mark Eaton into fourth in league history. Hakeem Olajuwon (3,830), Dikembe Mutombo (3,289) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (3,189) are the only other players to turn away more shots.
The duo of Robinson and Duncan will forever be intertwined in Spurs history, but the perseverance of Duncan ultimately reigns supreme.
Kris Humphries– Washington Wizards
Available in 96% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
The extensive work on his long range shooting was on full display Saturday night against Orlando. The 6-foot-9 Humphries connected five times from 3-point range, part of a season-high 23 point effort. For the year, Humphries has connected on 13-of-28 attempts from 3-point range (46.4 percent) while averaging 9.1 points and 5.0 rebounds a night. Humphries has started eight times for Washington this season, but is logging just 21.4 minutes a night, so he should only be added to teams seeking the specifics of 3-point shooting and rebounding.
Dwight Powell– Dallas Mavericks
Available in 79% of Yahoo! leagues
The Mavericks essentially auditioned as many players as possible this summer to fill the void left following DeAndre Jordan’s back out of a verbal agreement in free agency. Powell has emerged as the most potent of the bunch, thriving in the 21.9 minutes he is spending on the floor. The 24-year-old is averaging 10.9 points on 55.6 percent shooting from the field, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists a night. The backup power forward has registered double-doubles against the Raptors and Lakers this season and is carving out steady playing time in the Mavericks rotation.
Evan Turner– Boston Celtics
Available in 76% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
A team in need someone capable of contributing in each category should strongly consider Turner. He may not be dominant in a single aspect of the game, but each night, the former Ohio State star finds a way to provide an impact. This season he has posted performances with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks. For any team seeking a bit of adventure in terms of production, Turner may be the choice.
Zach LaVine– Minnesota Timberwolves
Available in 70% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
A busy week for Minnesota resulted in elevated numbers for LaVine. The Timberwolves played five times and with Ricky Rubio nursing a sore left hamstring, LaVine has been scorching the net. The sophomore guard averaged 19.4 points during the five game set, saving his best performance for Sunday against Memphis. LaVine poured in a game-high 25 points as he connected on 4-of-7 attempts from 3-point range.
Jerryd Bayless– Milwaukee Bucks
Available in 87% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
In three of his past four games, Bayless has connected seven times from the field, averaging 17.5 points per game off the bench for Milwaukee during that span. The 6-foot-3 guard out of Arizona is off to the best start of his eight-year career, posting 12.6 points, 3.8 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game and is connecting on 46.7 percent of his attempts from 3-point range. Bayless has already started three times and should be handcuffed for any team with the injury prone Michael Carter-Williams on their roster.