NEW YORK (WFAN) — With the San Antonio Spurs on the brink of elimination, is it time for coach Gregg Popovich to sit Tim Duncan?
WFAN’s Mike Francesa asked that question to TNT’s Reggie Miller on Wednesday.
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The 40-year-old Duncan is averaging just 3.4 points per game in San Antonio’s Western Conference semifinal series against the Oklahoma City Thunder and has scored just nine points in the past four contests.
Oklahoma City leads the series 3-2.
Miller said that, despite Duncan’s struggles, he believes the 15-time All-Star has a “vintage moment” left in him.
“I will always rely on a guy’s skill level,” the Hall of Famer said on Francesa’s show. “Have we seen that the last three or four ballgames? No. But for Gregg Popovich, whose won five championships at the helm with Tim Duncan, I cannot see him going in there sitting the greatest power forward of all time.
“You don’t have to play him major minutes, but I just think there’s a rebound, a blocked shot, there’s a defensive assignment, there’s something that Tim Duncan (will do). He is (too) valuable for your team to sit him down.”
Miller said that benching Duncan would mean the Spurs would start David West in his place, which would give them a smaller lineup that would be at an even greater rebounding disadvantage against the Thunder than it already is.
Miller said it’s also important for point guard Tony Parker to play like his old self and put pressure on the Oklahoma City defense with his dribble penetration.
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio player above.