Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 5/16/12
SAN ANTONIO It looked reckless, this shot Tim Duncan took. It looked awkward and flailing. It looked like he was hoping for a bailout call. It looked like it had no chance. It looked a lot like something Blake Griffin would do, actually. Except Duncan made it. Duncan's sloppy falling layupy thing came with about six minutes left in the San Antonio Spurs' 108-92 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in game one of the second round of the NBA's Western Conference playoffs Tuesday in San Antonio. It gave Duncan two of his 26 points. He also had 10 rebounds and he was 12-for-20 from the floor, leading a Spurs offense that shot 49 percent, made 13 3-pointers had the Clippers marveling at its balance. "He's the anchor," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. Duncan was the superior four-man in the game, and how many times has that been true? Someday there will be a transition, one of those proverbial torch passings, and some other power forward will become the best in the Western Conference or the NBA or of all time, or however you see Duncan. But Tuesday was not that day, and Griffin was not that torch receiver. This is not to say there aren't NBA power forwards that have passed The Big Fundamental, who at 36 has experienced a significant decline in his overall statistical production. But it is to say that if there's a playoff series to be won or a young challenger to be put back in his place, Duncan can still fundamental it up for 34 minutes. "He's not gonna do anything that's gonna be on a highlight film for TV," Popovich said. "A highlight film for coaches, possibly." Intentional or not, that statement painted a contrast with Griffin and the so-called "Lob City" crew from Los Angeles, which has constructed an identity out of a thousand dunks, mostly Griffin's. He was not bad Tuesday, getting 15 points and nine rebounds. And he did that despite suffering from a banged-up knee he got during the previous series. It was difficult to say just how much that mattered Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said both Griffin and point guard Chris Paul were giving "what they've got." Maybe if were 100 percent and he jumps a little higher or moves a little more quickly those flailing, shapeless, planless spasms he calls post moves would work. Maybe not.
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