Oberto, Duncan Define OT Win Over Suns
“He’s the ugliest productive player I’ve ever been around.
He looks like a bull in a china shop out there.”
–Coach Gregg Popovich on Fabricio Oberto
Game 5 vs. Phoenix: Spurs 111, Suns 106
Record: 4-1 Streak: W-3
I came home last night and turned on the Spurs-Suns game to find San Antonio down by seven, 88-81, with just over 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter. I was surprised, but not too worried about the prospect of the Spurs making it two Ls in a row at home, after dropping their home opener against LeBron’s Cavaliers. (That man is younger than most of the league’s rookies and already one of the all-time greats, as far as I’m concerned. Can you believe that shit?)
But things changed pretty quickly. I could only scratch my head at the announcement that Oberto was 10-of-10 from the field with 20 points. (So much for Michael’s prediction that Oberto would “never be able to see more than 18 minutes on the floor with us.”)
Most fans will remember two things about this game: 1) the Spurs came back from being 9 down in the 4th quarter to win decisively in OT, and 2) Oberto finished the game with 22 points, shooting 11-for-11.
What I’ll remember is that Tim Duncan utterly and absolutely choked when the game was on the line.
Tim committed an offensive foul against Kurt Thomas with 6:32 left in the fourth and the Spurs trailing 88-81. He then slammed the ball down and gestured wildly to the refs. NBA coaching legend and commentator Hubie Brown said:
BROWN: Wow. Watch out here, Timmy. You don’t need a T right here. You don’t need that.
What got into Tim’s head? He’s been in this league long enough to know not to act out like that.
The Spurs would go on a 19-9 run in the last five minutes to finally take a one point lead with just seconds left. And then guess what?
Tim Duncan blew it at the free throw line.
With the Spurs up 101-100, Shawn Marion fouled Duncan. Duncan then proceeded to miss, not one, but BOTH free throws. Oberto came in for Finley and fouled Raja Bell. With one second left and the Suns down by just a point, Bell had a chance to win it. Thankfully, he missed his second free throw, and the game went into overtime.
This wasn’t the kind of game that anyone expected from Oberto, let alone our resident Oberto lover. But I expect better leadership and free throw shooting from Tim Duncan if the Spurs are going to win another championship, and I didn’t see much of either last night.
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