Tim Duncan Wasn't Only 'Awful' Spurs Star in Game 2
Things went south so quickly that it was hard to remember just exactly what transpired. A monstrous block from LeBron James also did a bit to punch us in the brain and leave us with amnesia.
San Antonio was up by a point with just over three minutes left in the third quarter. A 33-5 Heat run and about six minutes of game time and that was it for the Spurs. They were still able to earn a split of the series in Miami, but that stretch at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth was an absolute killer.
The story of Game 2 for the Spurs should have been their immaculate spacing leading to Danny Green hitting five three-pointers and Gary Neal somehow being effective. Instead, the story is centered on their horrible breakdown.
It was such a complete disaster that Gregg Popovich threw in the white towel and did everything but put his star players on the first flight back to San Antonio.
Actually, the Spurs ended up faring a little bit better with the bench unloaded and the star players taking a rest. Collectively, San Antonio was atrocious in Game 2, and Tim Duncan noted as much during the postgame press conference.
Tim Duncan: "I know I played awfully.''
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) June 10, 2013
Duncan is dead-on with the assessment of his play. Outside of the rebounding game (11 boards), Duncan scored just nine points on 3-of-13 shooting. It was just the sixth time in 206 playoff games that Duncan shot worse than 25 percent from the field, and the first time he did so in the Finals.
Defensively, his presence was nowhere near as much of an issue for the Heat Sunday night. With Duncan doing a solid job patrolling the paint in Game 1 alongside Tiago Splitter, the Spurs won the battle in the paint, 40-34. In Game 2, Miami exploded, beating San Antonio in the paint, 46-38.
Of course, Duncan isn't the only member of the Spurs who is culpable in the loss; Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker were just as ineffective, if not more so than Duncan. And Popovich didn't pull any punches. In no uncertain terms, he called out his Big Three after the game:
"Tony, Manu and Timmy are the ones that were 10-33. I'm not going to put that on the bench" - Gregg Popovich— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 10, 2013
Parker put up 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting, notching just five assists (and five turnovers) in the process. Meanwhile, Ginobili's minutes (18) were limited due to his ineffective play on both ends of the floor: five points on just six shots.
What's most surprising is that the breakdown didn't happen sooner. Parker, Ginobili and Duncan played so poorly throughout, it was an extremely surprising gift San Antonio was even up by point with three minutes left in the third quarter.
It shows that the Spurs have enough help to survive for extended periods of time when their stars aren't at the top of their games. The Spurs, however, can't go an entire game without some positive impact from them.
What does this mean moving forward for the Spurs? It's really hard to say for sure. They lost just two games this postseason before Sunday's blowout, following each up with a double-digit win.
Still, San Antonio also hasn't played a team quite like these Heat, capable of turning a game on its head over the course of just six minutes of game time. Duncan, Ginobili and Parker can't collectively miss the bus to the game if the Spurs want to keep a hold of home-court advantage.
So long as they get more than 27 points on 33 shots from those three, Game 3 shouldn't be another complete disaster.
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