The NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs continue Sunday evening, and TNT analyst Charles Barkley believes that the pressure will be on the Spurs, and more specifically on Tim Duncan.
“We criticize the Miami Heat’s ‘Big Three’ when they don’t play well,” he said. “Tim Duncan has to have more of an imprint on the game. He had decent stats, but you can’t say he had an impact on the game. If they don’t get more from Tim Duncan, Sunday is the Spurs’ last stand. Even just the threat of him in the post makes Miami’s defense scramble.”
In a lot of ways, what Barkley says makes sense. Duncan has not been shooting the ball particularly well, and has spent a lot more time in the pick-and-roll than in the post.
The playoffs as a whole have been tough for Duncan, as his 0.452 postseason field goal percentage is the worst of his career. Against Miami, he is shooting at a 0.415 clip and has not been able to make as many plays for his teammates as most are used to seeing.
With Tony Parker hobbled, Duncan will need to step up in what is a must-win game 5 for the Spurs.