Tim Duncan will miss San Antonio's Wednesday game against the Mavericks after injuring his right knee and ankle Sunday against Portland. MRIs were performed on the hurt body parts, but came back negative. Duncan's injuries are not considered serious, but the Spurs have still declined to put a timeline on the All-Star's return.
Duncan is never hurt, which is part of the reason the Spurs are always a threat to win the championship. I'm not saying these new injuries are the kind that might be a nagging problem, I'm just saying that, if they were to become so, it's possible San Antonio could be slowed down enough to give a team like Dallas or Phoenix a real shot at a title. And frankly, Duncan becoming hobbled is about the only thing that will keep the Spurs from at least making the finals again. This is the most even-keel team you'll ever see, one that's never affected by internal strife or boredom or loss of focus, and a lot of it has to do with Duncan's demeanor and that of Gregg Popovich. The problem for the Spurs is that, because they're so blandly consistent, they'll never get the credit they deserve. They just keep winning, and will continue doing so until Duncan gets hurt or simply ages to the point where he's no longer the same player.