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OutletPass
05-29-2003, 10:04 AM
Robinson a non-factor in the postseason
By Terry Brown
NBA Insider
Thursday, May 29
Updated: May 29
10:26 AM ET


After 17 playoff games that have yet to produce a Western Conference Champion, five come-from-ahead losses and one overtime blunder, the San Antonio Spurs may still end up as the favorites to win the NBA Finals in the next round of the playoffs. But we're not making any promises about David Robinson.

After posting career-lows in scoring, rebounding, shooting, blocked shots, steals and minutes played during the regular season, Robinson has seen even those numbers shrink with each passing round of the playoffs. Against the Phoenix Suns in the first round, he averaged 9.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game on 59 percent shooting against a starting frontline that featured a rookie and 13-year veteran of five different teams coming off a season in which he averaged 4 points per game.

And that was after sitting out the second game of that series to recuperate from overtime in the first one.

Against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round, Robinson averaged 5.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game on 46 percent shooting against a Shaquille O'Neal soft around the edges and collection of power forwards straight off the Salvation Army bargain rack. In the four wins in that series, the Admiral averaged 7.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. But in the two losses, he averaged only 2 points and 3.5 rebounds.

Against the Dallas Mavericks, the retiring center has averaged 5 points and 5 rebounds per game on 39 percent shooting against a frontline that now consists of a three-point specialist, a 6-foot-8 power forward and a swingman who has never averaged more than 5 rebounds per game in his career.

In the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, Robinson averaged 7 points on 57 percent shooting. In the last three, he has averaged 3.6 points on 27 percent shooting, making a grand total of only 3 baskets (one per game) while committing five turnovers.

If the Spurs had won last Tuesday to close out the Mavericks, Robinson would have gotten a much needed eight days of rest assuming a June 4 start for the NBA Finals. After another plane flight to Dallas and another practice, the Spurs have another chance to win this series tonight and give Robinson at least six days of recuperation.

But if they lose at America Airlines Arena, the Spurs will have yet another plane flight, another practice and, if they're lucky, only four days of rest before the New Jersey Nets, fresh from 10 days of rest, arrive for the NBA Finals. That is, of course, assuming they don't arrive in Dallas.

"We really showed a lack of maturity for the last five to six minutes of the second quarter. That was the start of our problems," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram after the Spurs surrendered a 19-point lead in the fifth game. "We looked like we thought someone was going to give us something."

But what may turn out to be just as important as what he said was what he didn't say. With 4:34 left in the aforementioned quarter, Popovich replaced Robinson with Malik Rose not because the future Hall of Famer wanted to come out, but because he had to come out.

That's what happens after playing 38,315 minutes spread out over 1,103 games in 14 regular seasons and 10 postseasons with the occasional back, knee and leg injuries in between. As of tonight's game, May 29, 2003, David Robinson hasn't scored or rebounded in double-figures in 24 days, coming after a regular season in which he peaked in December (averaging 11 ppg on 53 percent shooting in 30 mpg) and steadily declined towards April (averaging 6.4 ppg on 45 percent shooting in 22 mpg).

"We're not matured as a team," Robinson said in the Dallas Morning News after the fifth game loss. "Our cohesiveness ... when you come together you have a certain strength about you as a team, and it doesn't waver. I don't think we have developed that fully yet."

Aside from Popovich, there isn't another player on the roster than can even utter those types of words in the locker room partly because Robinson is the only guy in there who has scored 20,790 points in his career and partly because he scored only 546 of them this season and this so-called maturity is now his greatest contribution.

He's the one guy the younger players on the team, including two-time MVP Tim Duncan, watched and admired in the past.

He's also the one guy who, if he's lucky, is looking at the most aggressive frontline the Spurs have faced yet in the playoffs featuring a monster power forward averaging more than 20 points and 9 boards per game on 50 percent shooting and a legitimate 7-footer 13 years his junior who scores more points in the paint than any player on the Dallas roster, in his very near future

Evilmav2
05-29-2003, 01:57 PM
Thanks for posting Outlet!

I hope David Robinson doesn't read this article before tonight's game...

MavsFanFinley
05-29-2003, 10:21 PM
He's still been a non-factor tonight. It doesn't matter, though, cause Stephen Jackson and Steve Kerr have killed the Mavs this night.

aexchange
05-29-2003, 11:43 PM
indeed. i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif

Evilmav2
05-30-2003, 03:21 AM
Goodbye David Robinson and Good Riddance. You have accounted for quite enough Mavericks losses over the years already...

That said, you should take care of yourself during your post-2-time championship, MVP, defensive player of the year, all-star MVP, shot-blocking title, rebounding title, scoring title- retirement.

You have played hard over the years, and you certainly deserve to enjoy your waning years...

MavKikiNYC
05-30-2003, 07:08 AM
I think Mantis certainly neutrlaized him as a non-factor last night.