Originally written March 16, 2013 on Project Spurs:
Tonight's matchup will be between Tim Duncan and Tristan Thompson when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off a disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks and will be looking to play spoiler to the Spurs' number one seed hopes tonight. Tristan Thompson played a starter low 30 minutes last night while contributing 12 points and 7 rebounds in those minutes. While the Spurs should be more rested than the Cavaliers, it's usually the athletic big men that give the San Antonio Spurs trouble, especially those who hustle around the court like Thompson. He'll be a big part of what the outcome is today and he may have to carry the load for his team since he'll be the freshest player out there for the starting five of the Cavaliers. What Duncan must do on offense: Tim Duncan shouldn't have much trouble scoring with the Cavaliers allowing more than 100ppg, even without MVP candidate Tony Parker on the court. With the Spurs' constant ball movement, it will open up Duncan for a shot or a post up. Duncan is shooting 67% (168-251) from the restricted area which isn't surprising for someone who has Duncan's touch around the rim. The most impressive statistic for Duncan may be his 43% (144-335) mid range shooting, which opens up the paint for his teammates and also for himself when players choose to jump and contest his shot. With Duncan's versatile game this season, he should have plenty of options on the offensive end and may also be able to motion on offense without pick and rolls with this Cleveland defense. What Duncan must do on offense: He has to put a body on Thompson to take away put backs or offensive rebounds. Thompson's game is close to the basket, where he's attempted no three point shots this season. He's shooting 57% (191-333) from the restricted area this season and after that the drop off is noticeable from other parts of the floor. He's shooting 40% (77-191) from the paint area. His mid range game is still raw at 33% (23-69), but don't be surprised if he tries more of the longer shots with the Spurs possibly collapsing in the paint. If Duncan can force him to beat the team with long jumpers, it'll be forcing Thompson to try to win with his weaknesses and beat the Spurs on their strength.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Astros new manager A.J. Hinch: ‘Goal is to win championships’

Oakland Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Did Roger Goodell’s bodyguard assault a photographer?

Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams engage in war of words

Georgia RB Todd Gurley falsely accused of punching student

Russell Westbrook: "I'm the best point guard" in NBA

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Texas WR takes shot at Baylor ahead of big game

Jim Harbaugh: Deion Sanders' report is 'a bunch of crap'

Bills bench E.J. Manuel, Kyle Orton to start

Report: Jovan Belcher likely had CTE

Carmelo: Leaving NY would be hard after I 'forced my way here'

Twins fire Ron Gardenhire

Strahan to make cameo as stripper in 'Magic Mike' sequel

Chiefs player penalized for praying after touchdown

Bill Belichick laughs off QB question...literally

Patriots fan fails with American flag face paint

Joe Fauria's new puppy is responsible for his ankle injury

LaRon Landry suspended four games for PED violation

NBA GMs on the hot seat

Rockets GM Daryl Morey fires back at Mark Cuban

The most and least improved hitters of 2014

WATCH: Tom Wilhelmsen dances to 'Turn Down for What'

Michigan student newspaper calls for Brady Hoke's firing

14 amazing stats from Week 4 in the NFL

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Chiefs player penalized for praying after TD

Did Roger Goodell’s bodyguard assault a photographer?

Kobe, Deron engage in war of words

Belichick laughs off QB question

Joe Fauria's puppy caused ankle injury

Texas WR takes shot at Baylor

Jim Harbaugh rips Deion Sanders' report

NBA GMs on the hot seat

Bills bench Manuel for Kyle Orton

The most and least improved hitters

Report: Jovan Belcher likely had CTE

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.