During the past 24 hours I've waffled on whether or not I should even bother mentioning Tim Duncan. Yes, he played what was possibly the worst playoff game of his career, but everybody knows that. You, me, Tim, Pop, and everyone on the Hornets. Does he get a pass because he's the best Spur of all time, the best power forward of all time, and a former D&D addict? Does he get a pass because it's only game 1 of a second round series? Do we attribute his lack of scoring entirely to the rampant double-teaming and just let it go?
Yes. Well, no. Well... let's just try in between yes and no. Which, for me, is discussing his inadequacies while: A) believing knowing he'll address them, B) not cursing and C) throwing some of the blame Pop's way. But Tim, let's be clear on something... you pull another performance like this in game 2 and I will unleash the entirety of my powers* on you.
I don't feel much like talking about his offensive effort. 5 points ain't enough, Tim. I don't care if they're sextuple-teaming you and simultaneously dousing you with fire extinguishers. 5 points on 9 FGA and 6 FTA is god-awful. Even Robert Horry's embarrassed for you.
Let's discuss the defense, specifically our approach to guarding David West. As far as I can tell, here's Pop's plan for guarding The Guy Who Sort of Punked Dirk Nowitzki: do not guard him outside of 12 feet. Since when did Spurs defense involve allowing barely contested 18' jumpers? West had about 10 of those, and Bonzi got a couple as well. And though I know the answer to this question, I'm going to ask it anyway: why isn't Tim guarding West? Yeah, I know Tim never guards the other team's best post player, but in this case I'm afraid we might need him to contend with West. Thomas is a horribly overrated one-one-one defender, Oberto is just plain horrible and Robert Horry gots a bad case of the rheumatisms. Tim's length might bother West's jump shot and he has the strength to not be pushed off his position when West lowers his shoulder on the drive. Foul trouble is a concern, but we can always move him back on to Chandler if he picks up a quick foul. And there's no way Thomas or Oberto could be any worse than Duncan at keeping Chandler off the offensive glass. Seriously Tim, two defensive rebounds in 37 minutes? They missed 43 shots and you grabbed two rebounds?
Yes, Pop, that's right. I'm as shocked as you. (Reuters / Shawn Gardner)
Something I mentioned in (wildly-entertaining) game thread: why have Bowen guard Paul if we're going to go under the screen and roll? Why not put Parker on Paul and let Bowen hound Stojakovic? The guy had 22 on 15 FGA. That's pathetic defense. Other than offensive rebounds, that's the one area we should easily improve in game 2.
*Entirety of powers consists of mastery of ineffectual cursing and the ability to subsist solely on hospital and fast food.