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Spurs look to close out series tonight

May 4th, 2005 by aswitzer

Guest post by Michael A. De Leon from

The Spurs needed an extra period to top the Denver Nuggets and take a 3-1 lead in the series. After 70-plus foul calls in game four, both teams lost key players and Tony Parker had to step up in overtime to lift the Spurs.

If the Spurs want to advance and get game 5 tonight in the SBC Center, they need to focus on Earl Boykins and make the Nuggets shoot jumpers.

Boykins has been giving Spurs fans nightmares throughout the entire series. Boykins leads fast breaks and just when you think he will penetrate for a layup, he stops on a dime and buries the mid range jumper that I have seen go in too many times. Every game in this series when Boykins has the ball, the Nuggets run a screen and roll in an effort to get him an open shot. Boykins came off the bench for 32 points in game four, and adjustments need to be made on the defensive end to prevent Boykins from making that much of an impact.

After four games, I’m hoping Parker and Udrih will figure out how to fight through the screens or someone else will come up and defend Boykins while the Nuggets run the screen and roll.
On the offensive end for the Spurs, they need to get Brent Barry some shots. The Spurs are starting Barry in an attempt to get hi more involved in the offense, and although Gionobili is making an impact off the bench, Barry has scored 13 points in the last two games. In game two, Barry racked up 16 points and Ginobili had 17 points. If Barry scores greater than 10 points and if Ginobili gets his points, I would expect it to be a much easier game, especially if Duncan gets off to a good start as well.

Keep on eye on Nazr Mohammed as well. Mohammed was very effective with 15 points and 15 rebounds in game one. In the past three games, Mohammed has had point totals of four, three and six. His rebounding totals have also gone down, so if he is a force on the offensive boards, the Nuggets won’t have much of a chance.

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