It's not too late. Play Drive to the Finals Now!

By Jeff Dengate

Previous Expert Picks

May 17 - Two words today: Tim. Duncan.

Two more: You're. Welcome.

In all seriousness, if you haven't yet picked Tim Duncan, you absolutely MUST tonight. If you have, you can stop reading here and go pick Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or any other Spur of your liking -- so long as you pick a Spur.

Today's Expert Pick
Player: Tim Duncan, SAS
Opponent: Dallas
Regular Season Averages
May 16 -- Jason Kidd
May 15 -- Tony Parker
May 14 -- Richard Jefferson
May 13 -- Drew Gooden
May 12 -- Boris Diaw
Previous Expert Picks
May 17 -- Resident Expert
May 16 -- Never Mind
May 15 -- Park It
May 10 -- Do the Right Thing
May 5 -- Now What?
May 3 -- He Did What?
May 1 -- Just Getting Interesting
April 29 -- Adjusting On the Fly

The night's other contest features the Pistons and Cavaliers, knotted at two games apiece. Regardless of who wins tonight, you still have at least one more game to select a player from the squad on the verge of elimination -- say, LeBron James, if you haven't done so already.

Tonight, however, it's the Spurs' season that's in serious jeopardy, and, along with it, your opportunity to pick Duncan.

You could be like me and believe that the Spurs are going to pull out a Game 5 victory to extend the series ... You could go so far as to think they have the resolve to stretch the series to seven games ... You might even be so radical as to say San Antonio could become only the ninth team ever to erase a 3-1 deficit ...

To that, I'd say you're crazy if you don't pick the Big Fundamental tonight.

Even though I believe the Spurs will win tonight at home, I'm not taking any chances in case they don't. Furthermore, I believe that no matter how long this series goes, tonight is going to be one of Duncan's best games of the series.

Duncan has been nothing short of amazing in this series, racking up PRAs of 48, 40, 49 and 50 through the first four contests while looking every bit the part of a two-time MVP and three-time Finals MVP. Dallas, despite stepping up their defense under Avery Johnson, has nobody -- DeSagana Diop and Erick Dampier qualify as nobodies -- who can slow Duncan in the middle.

So, it's conceivable that Duncan will post a 40-plus PRA again as the Spurs look to avoid going on an extended vacation. If he does, and given the Spurs vast Playoffs experience, the team could be alive for two more days. But it won't be without a solid outing from Duncan.

Of course, we find ourselves in a Catch-22. As we learned with the Suns earlier in these Playoffs, we'll panic and pick Spurs from here on out knowing the odds of bouncing back. In doing so, the Spurs will advance and leave our pool of available players a bit stark. On the flipside, if you don't take him, then the Spurs will lose leaving you to pick guys like Marquis Daniels or Leandro Barbosa in mid-June.

That's the long way of saying you'd better get yourself a little Duncan while you still can.