Last night's game is what Spurs and Suns fans have come to expect. Another game decided at the end...this time victory belonging to the visitors. Even though the Suns drew first blood in the best of four regular season games, my focus was on the match-up in the middle. There has been something a little off about Amare this season thus far; maybe it was the disappointing loss in the playoffs, the off-season trade speculations or the fact that there is no Kurt Thomas, meaning he will almost always be playing out of position. In the end, Amare did not play with the same intensity that we have come to expect. Ending with his eruption against the Duncan led Spurs in their 2006 playoff series, Duncan has systematically gotten the better of his younger counterpart. Stat will have another gaudy Duncan stat line to digest as Tim went for 36 points and 17 rebounds. The Suns may have drawn first blood but Rambo won the battle in the middle and this should be of utmost concern to the Pheonix Suns faithful.
I've had a week to think about my next post. During that time the Spurs continued, business as usual until Duncan went down with a ankle/knee injury during the Portland game. It was this incident that generated much debate about what direction the team would go in IF there was no more Duncan this year. Thankfully, his injury was not serious and he may possibly see action tomorrow when the Spurs host the Jazz. Nonetheless, I still pondered the what IF. My conclusion is this.... the Spurs position or direction will always remain the same, they will continue to play with the same defensive intensity, cohesion and passion. The reason for this is because it would seem that the entire team is made up of players who are unselfish and can switch to any position on the court when necessary. Ginobli and Barry can play point, Elson, Horry and Bonner can handle the 3, 4, 5 spot when needed. In short, it is the entire team's ability to switch positions that gives the defending champions a greater chance to repeat this year than in years past.