Hardwood Paroxysm has put together a look into the statistical differences between the Spurs season and their 1st round. There are a variety of charts looking at points, usage, and minutes. Of particular interest to me were the point distribution pie charts comparing regular season wins, and playoff wins.
I’m not saying Parker and Duncan need to score less, we need everything we can get from them. But if the defense only has 2 guys to pay attention to, their job is significantly easier. If Bonner takes a shot, and makes it, at some point before the middle of the 3rd quarter, they have to keep an eye on him. If Gooden throws down a vicious dunk on Hollins or Dampier, they’ll think twice about letting him have a step. If Finley does more than stand in one spot, the defender has to move too.
A little bit of activity will go a long way to making Duncan and Parker’s life easier, not just in getting it done on the court, but in being able to sit on the bench without a 20 point swing happening.
I spent last year’s playoffs wondering how we could get a 4th scorer. What we have this year are 2 scorers, and nobody else picking up the slack. Manu isn’t playing, so deal with it. If you want to make a name for yourself, now is the time. You could go down in Spurs history for a Robert Horry moment, or single handedly digging the team out of a hole like Steve Kerr (a bench player, against Dallas), or simply getting the job done when a starter is struggling, as Speedy Claxton did for Parker, against Kidd.
It’s possible to come back from 3-1. Difficult and rare, but possible.