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Old 04-27-05, 01:22 AM
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MySA: Spurs hoping for help: Those around Duncan bear burdens on both end

Spurs hoping for help: Those around Duncan bear burdens on both end
Web Posted: 04/27/2005 12:00 AM CDT
Johnny Ludden
Express-News Staff Writer

The Spurs realized it sometime Sunday night. Tim Duncan spun on the baseline and released an 8-foot turnaround only to watch it fall two feet short of the basket. His layup slid halfway through the rim then mysteriously popped out. His jump hook drew only iron.

"Just because Tim Duncan comes back," Brent Barry said, "doesn't mean you wave a magic wand over the team and the rest of the league is going to lay down."

Sunday's loss taught the Spurs that much. If they intend to even their best-of-seven, first-round series against the Denver Nuggets tonight at the SBC Center — let alone eventually win it — they're going to have to work.

They can't expect Duncan to carry them. They can't rely on the experience gained two years ago when they won the championship after suffering series-opening home losses to Phoenix and Dallas.

"Every team is different," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "What's happened in the past, both negative or positive, to me, has no bearing on what happens now."

To win tonight, the Spurs need to play both smarter and more aggressive than they did Sunday. Making a few shots in the fourth quarter also would help.

The Spurs will try to limit the Nuggets' second-chance opportunities as well as their own turnovers. They need their big men to help contain Andre Miller off Denver's pick-and-rolls. And they need to get more production from their own point guard, Tony Parker.

Popovich was pleased with Parker's effort and direction of the offense in Game 1 but thought he turned down a couple of open shots.

"We need to inject a little bit more offense," Popovich said. "He's probably going to look to be a little more aggressive."


Parker missed 11 of his 17 shots as Miller outscored him 31-12. Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby each swatted away one of his attempts and caused him to hesitate on a few others.

Said Miller: "I think (Parker) knows what happened. He'll make his adjustments. He'll come back ready."

Said Parker: "I miss a lot of teardrops in the first game. I got in the paint. I just didn't finish like I usually do."


Parker at least had the chance to try. Barry and Bruce Bowen took only three shots between them. The Spurs hope to move the ball more freely to their perimeter shooters tonight.

"That improves everybody's rhythm and gets everybody involved," Barry said. "I think one thing you'll see (today) is an aggressive Tim Duncan down on the block, making quick moves and trying to take advantage inside as much as possible."

Denver rotated defenders on Duncan, using Camby, Martin and backup Nenê. While the Nuggets often crowded Duncan when he tried to make a move, they brought a full double-team on only a handful of occasions.

Duncan finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but he missed 15 of his 22 shots.

"I'll take a repeat," Denver coach George Karl said. "I'll take 7 for 20 the rest of the series and pay a lot of money for it. I think we can get (Nuggets owner) Mr. (Stan) Kroenke to contribute to the David Robinson Foundation or whatever."

Parker thinks Duncan, like himself, will play better tonight. While Duncan didn't re-injure his right ankle Sunday, he did look fatigued at times. He missed all seven of his shots in the fourth quarter.

"Throughout the game, I thought he was a good player," Karl said. "But he wasn't that dominant, 'Oh, (bleep)'-type player."

The Spurs hope Duncan gives Karl a few four-letter moments tonight. But they also have learned this: If the Nuggets aren't going to wait on him to return to form, nor should they.

"We've talked so much about injuries and trying to work and nurse guys back to health," Barry said. "It's just not time for that anymore. It's time to step up and play."

Link

Let's get 'em.

Last edited by LauraBC; 04-27-05 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 04-27-05, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
"We've talked so much about injuries and trying to work and nurse guys back to health," Barry said. "It's just not time for that anymore. It's time to step up and play."
finally a quote from the spurs that's refreshing to read.
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Old 04-27-05, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
"We've talked so much about injuries and trying to work and nurse guys back to health," Barry said. "It's just not time for that anymore. It's time to step up and play."
I hope it's the rallying cry for the rest of the series.

And this Forum too for that matter.

The Spurs didn't have it right in game #1.
The Spurs and the fans suffered for it.
Denver capitalized on it.

Now Denver will be in the sights of the eye of a silver and black tiger.

Last edited by Spurd_On; 04-27-05 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 04-27-05, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
"We've talked so much about injuries and trying to work and nurse guys back to health," Barry said. "It's just not time for that anymore. It's time to step up and play."
exactly. and it seems that Pop started all the focus on the lack of health and self-doubting. i said it in another thread and i'll repeat it here. you have what you have. get over it, rally your troops and get a win.
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