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May 11, 2005

20-Second Timeout: Spurs Present Multiple Problems

Just when opposing teams think they've got the Spurs figured out, somebody else emerges and causes headaches.

Sonics center Jerome James compared defending the Spurs to a jigsaw puzzle, tough to make all the pieces fit together. “This team (Spurs) is not Sacramento. This team is a much more defensive minded team.”

In Game One, it was Tony Parker's penetration. In Game Two, it was Manu Ginobili. “(Manu) was 9 for 11 shooting and 8 of 10 on free throws," said Sonics Coach Nate McMillan. "We didn’t do a good job on him. Both of them love to go to the basket. I thought we did a better job on Tony Parker, but Ginobili got loose. You can’t stop just one guy.”

In both games, the Spurs got steady, solid play from Tim Duncan. Glenn Robinson hit some big shots on the way to 16 points in Game One, while in Game Two it was smart floor game from Brent Barry and good low post defense from Nazr Mohammed. The Spurs are deep, talented, and committed to playing hard at both ends of the floor.


Manu was the star in Game 2.
Their road confidence should be high after those two heart-stopping wins in Denver in round one. The veteran and five-time champion Robert Horry reminded his teammates not to lose their focus. "I always tell guys no matter how games you win you always act like you’re one game away from elimination," he said. "You go out there and you play hard regardless if you’re up two because a lot of times you go out there and get lax."

The Sonics realize they must protect their homecourt at KeyArena in the next two games or their season could come to an end very quickly.