By Robby Lim
Tim Duncan is still one of the best players in the league and an important cog in the Spurs run at another NBA title. However the Spurs are in a rut and seem to not get into a groove. They have come out of the gates looking like they aren't the great team so many expected them to be.
But if you look at games where he is the leading scorer, you got to ask -- is Duncan a part of the source of recent struggles for the Spurs?
The Spurs are 0-4 when he scores 20 or more. In the Spurs six losses, Duncan is averaging 20.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in 36.2 minutes per game while also leading the team in Field Goal Attempt average at 15.5.
Is Duncan holding them back? Should the Spurs lessen feeding him the ball at the post and let the other players create their offense?
Those might be valid questions, but Duncan is a player that makes guys around him better. While he dominates the ball, it doesn’t mean he is being selfish. In fact his assists average per game is almost the same even when he gets a lot of touches (3.5-3.7).
If that’s the case why do they loose when Duncan score more points? Other players seemed to be contented at times watching Duncan do work in the post. This makes the offense stagnant and too predictable. Also the Spurs' shooters are shooting poorly on all those loses.
Noticed the drop in the field goal percentage of all the players. This means the other players (especially the new ones) should start taking advantage of the open looks when Duncan is doubled in the post.
Also Coach Pop needs to be more creative and design more motion offense. This will let players like Jefferson, Ginobili, Parker and Hill use their athleticsm and speed to their advantage.
Yes it’s been 11 games and it’s a struggle so far. But as Spurs fans, we need to realize that basketball is a team game. Everybody has to be in-sync for them to start succeeding.
As Tim Duncan said after their recent loss against the Utah Jazz,
"We've got a lot of work to do; a lot of work to do at both ends of the floor. We're still trying to get everyone on the same page and I think we're far from that right now.
We like the crew that we have and we've been a little unfortunate with the injuries early on … It's going to take more than eight games, more than 10, more than 20 games to get all the experience and feel that we want. It's going to be a process."
Patience is needed right now from Spurs fans and though it might be tempting to hit the panic button, do not fret. The Spurs are loaded with veteran experience to fold and panic early in the season.
Are these stats a continuing trend or the Spurs just need a little more time to adjust? Leave us your comments.