There’s never any shame in losing the second game of back-to-backs in the NBA, especially when you’re on the road and your opponent is rested. And there’s certainly little, if any point in getting too analytical over the second game of an 82-game regular season schedule.
But the Spurs’ loss in Chicago Thursday night is a bit of a head scratcher. Follow me on this. The most “aging” of the “aging veterans” on this team, Tim Duncan, played 34 minutes last night, shot 13-19, put up 28 points and hauled in 16 rebounds.
Fast forward the calendar to April, look back on the complete regular season, and pull all the box scores from the second night of back-to-backs. How many of those do you think will show Duncan posting a 28-16 in 34 minutes? The answer is “not many.” Heck, the answer might be “one…on the second night of the season in Chicago.”
My point is that when Timmy is feeling that sprightly on the second night of back-to-backs and delivers a performance like that, the younger guys on the team have to hop on for the ride and find a way to squeeze out a win. Didn’t happen Thursday, as Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson, and Roger Mason gave San Antonio virtually nothing in support of the team’s aging anchor in the middle.
Again…not much point in picking apart Game #2 on an 82-game schedule, especially when there are new faces on this team still learning how to play together. But for Duncan to dominate and the Spurs to lose in that scenario is a bit of a head scratcher.