May 15, 2012; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers forward Kenyon Martin (left) during the first half in game one of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the AT

Tim Duncan Turns Back the Clock and San Antonio Spurs Dissect the Los Angeles Clippers

The San Antonio Spurs methodically stripped down this game, and made it one that they should easily have won. They did this with a combination of surgical 3-point shooting, double team defense on the Chris Paul pick and roll, and Tim Duncan turning back the clock.

Everybody was shooting the ball well for the Spurs. They had Danny Green, one of the best three-point shooters in North Carolina basketball history, rolling from the moment he got into the game. Kawhi Leonard, who is said to remind Greg Popovich of Bruce Bowen, was making things happen from the perimeter as well. The Spurs space the floor incredibly well and then they make the extra pass to make sure the shooter is wide open. That is why they had the best 3-point field goal percentage in the league this year, and that is why they shot 13 of 25 from downtown in this game.

http://youtu.be/z3szlGYvJhk

Popovich’s game-plan was the second reason the Clippers had no chance in this game. He decided to double team Chris Paul in the pick and roll, and force him to pass the ball to Kenyon Martin or another guard with poorer ball-handling than Paul. He made substitutions to outwit Vinny Del Negro, and the match-up between those 2 head coaches is perhaps the biggest mismatch in this series.

Tim Duncan was also a beast in this game; he shot the ball from the perimeter extremely well, and he made cuts to the lane that looked like rookie year Tim Duncan. He scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and last night looked like he wanted one of his last year’s in the league to end with him holding the Larry O’Brien trophy.

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