Tim Duncan

Through 17 games, Duncan leads the Spurs in scoring (18.9 points per game), rebounding (10.1) and blocks (2.4), numbers he hasn’t approached since 2008-09.

By modern statistical measures, he is in the nascent throes of the top age-36 season in NBA history, his 27.6 player-efficiency rating challenged only by the 27.1 Karl Malone rang up with Utah in 1999-2000.

Fresh and healthy, Duncan has so resembled his 20-something self that coach Gregg Popovich has had to fight the temptation to give him a 20-something’s workload.

“His condition and age doesn’t change,” Popovich said, offering reasons for keeping Duncan’s minutes managed. “It seems like it has for some magical reason, like there’s some elixir he and Kevin Garnett have found and nobody else.”

– Reported by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (Blog)