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Sunday, September 25, 2022


Those who expected the San Antonio Spurs to just roll over an out-manned Minnesota Timberwolves team overlooked one important factor — Kevin Garnett.
The T-Wolves — now tied with the Spurs at a game apiece in the opening round of the NBA playoffs — are an energetic team with nothing to lose, while the Spurs entered the first round as the regular-season champions, a title that looks good on a resume but really doesn't mean that much once the playoffs start.
Tim Duncan is a great player, and will undoubtedly keep the Spurs focused. But he's not going to beat the Timberwolves by himself. For the Spurs to win, it will have to be a team effort.
David Robinson can't score 11 points, as he did in Game 2, and expect the Spurs to win. The veteran needs to come up big and let Duncan work on Garnett, as he did in Game 1. And how does a team with a pair of 7-footers up front get out-rebounded?
In the end, talent will usually prevail, and the Spurs are simply the more talented team. The Spurs could benefit from a tough series, however. A cakewalk won't prepare this team for a run to the title.
The best series in the playoffs is rarely the opening series, nor is it often the NBA Finals. It's those middle rounds of the playoffs that will really test the mettle of a team. The Spurs have a history of failing that test.
With several shockers already just halfway through the first round, there are several teams facing embarrasing upsets. That's the way of post-Michael Jordan life in the NBA. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The NBA had become a one-man show, with Jordan and the Chicago Bulls taking much of the excitement out of the playoffs. Now, the title is truly up for grabs, and that makes for much better entertainment. Who wants to watch a movie when you already know the ending?
Forecasting the Finals is nearly impossible now that parity reigns in the NBA. For the Spurs, the door is wide open to claim their first NBA title — or, at the least, their first appearance in the NBA Finals.
Editor's note: Jerry Fordyce, a former sports editor for the Virgin Islands Daily News, now is an editor for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a columnist for St. Thomas Source.

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