Well, I guess we can all stop pretending that Tim has "figured out" his free throw problem. His 3-13 performance against the Clips brings him down to 68.4% for the season, which is actually below his career average of 69.2% (which was 69.3% before tonight). Sucktastic! His shot seems to be flattening out as the season progresses and I'm afraid Spurs fans will once again sweat out his trips to the line during the postseason.
Speaking of the postseason, I was reminded of it as I watched Brent Barry pass up wide open threes. It's especially frustrating when his lack of aggression ends up in Tony Parker shooting a 3 because he still cannot hit the open jumper. I'll send everybody a memo the minute that changes, OK?
Finley had has first big game of the season, going for 21 PTS on 15 FGA and adding 10 big boards. For the most part he looked confident in his shot, except in overtime when he passed the ball to Timmeh 18' from the basket instead of shooting a wide open 8-footer. I am sure his shooting percentages (currently 37 | 27%) will improve as the season wears on and he's a definite improvement over Devin Brown or Brent Barry. But, but, but...
I'm struggling to find the right words. How to put this...? Let's try: the Spurs, as a unit, have not shown me anything that leads me to believe that anything less than a superstar-level performance from The Sickness will be enough to propel the Spurs to another title.
Is that obvious to everyone else? Am I totally wrong here?
Finley is no longer a penetrator; his idea of creating his own shot is dribbling to the elbow, pump-faking twice and shooting a 15' fall away jumper. The Spurs are running him off double screens for chrissakes! Van Exel is certainly crafty, a great sideline cheerleader and more than willing to take the big shot. But in the end the Spurs still have only ONE dual-threat on the perimeter. ONE guy who can get to the basket repeatedly AND consistently hit the wide-open 20-footer. ONE guy who is a good option when opposing playoff defenses collapse 3 guys onto Duncan.
DET, for example, has THREE options better than Finley: Prince, Billups and Hamilton. Oh, and by the way, the Pistons are 16-3 and have played only 7 games at home so far. Not good.