For Tim Duncan, the regret of not being able to finish off the Oklahoma City Thunder in last season’s Western Conference Finals is still in the back of his mind.
The San Antonio Spurs took a 2-0 series lead over the Thunder but lost four straight games as Oklahoma City advanced to the NBA Finals.
"It's there -- and so are the other many years when we thought we had an opportunity, and we didn't," Duncan said last week. "It is what it is. You play long enough, you win some, you lose some, and you get your heart broken sometimes. We had a great run. Luckily enough we started well [this season] and we think we can make another push at it."
After an extension that will keep him a “Spur for Life,” Duncan is having a resurgent season, averaging 18.9 points and 10.1 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game. He is also shooting almost 54 percent from the field, the highest he has shot since the 2006-07 season.
Duncan credits much of his success to lowered pain level and the work he put in over the summer.
"Mentally, I thought I could still do it at a certain level," Duncan said. "Physically, I just couldn't do it. But to continue to work at it, and actually feel like I can play the way I think I can, even at this point in my career, it feels good.
“I'm just feeling good. Healthwise, I feel real good."