Gregg Popovich has multiple superstars on his roster, all of whom have rings and have made huge shots in the past. He has Richard Jefferson, a guy a who has played in two NBA Finals, at his disposal. He has the Red Rocket, a three-point shooting cyborg, in his Spurs arsenal. He could have picked any of these guys to take the shot to keep his team’s season alive, but he chose Gary Neal.
Yes, Neal has the highest three-point percentage of any rookie in the NBA, and he has made some incredible shots this season, but at this point in the game he A) hadn’t made a three all night and B) at the end of the day is still a rookie.
This is how Gary Neal rewarded Pop:
On the NBA TV broadcast, Greg Anthony called out Shane Battier for making the wrong defensive read on the play but choosing to roll with Tim Duncan instead of hedging out on the Neal flare. Greg’s right. With Battier’s team up three, Duncan is the last guy on the court who can hurt you, especially if he’s hanging out by the foul line.
When Neal’s shot went down last night, I thought to myself, “Not only are the Spurs going to win this game, but they’re also going to win this series.” Comebacks like that don’t just happen. How can a young team like the Grizzlies not be shaken to the core after that loss last night? They had the Spurs beaten multiple times in regulation, but San Antonio just kept coming back for more.
If I’m a Memphis fan, I’m scared to death.