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AT A GLANCE | NBA Finals



Published: Wed, June 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Starters: Spurs--C Nazr Mohammed (8.1 pts, 7.0 reb), F Tim Duncan (24.9 pts, 11.7 reb), F Bruce Bowen (4.8 pts, 2.9 reb), G Manu Ginobili (21.8 pts, 5.8 reb, 4.3 ast), G Tony Parker (18.7 pts, 4.8 ast). Pistons--C Ben Wallace (9.8 pts, 11.7 reb), F Rasheed Wallace (14.7 pts, 7.4 reb), F Tayshaun Prince (14.7 pts, 6.9 reb), G Richard Hamilton (21.3 pts, 4.9 ast), G Chauncey Billups (18.0 pts, 6.6 ast).Key reserves: Spurs--F Robert Horry (8.8 pts, 5.7 reb), G Brent Barry (6.8 pts), F Glenn Robinson (4.8 pts), G Beno Udrih (4.1 pts, 1.1 ast). Pistons--F Antonio McDyess (7.2 pts, 5.3 reb), G Lindsey Hunter (3.2 pts, 1.5 ast), C Elden Campbell (1.3 ast, 2.0 reb).Season series: Tied 1-1, each team winning on its home court. San Antonio defeated Detroit 80-77 on Dec. 3 as the Pistons came back from a 21-point deficit and closed within one before coming up short. The Spurs lost 110-101 in Detroit on March 20 as Duncan sprained his right ankle just moments into the game.Storyline: A matchup of the last two NBA champions, a pair of defensive-minded teams able to handle the pressure of playing at this level. The coaches, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich and Detroit's Larry Brown, are the best of friends.Key matchup I: Duncan vs. Ben Wallace. The big fundamental vs. the defensive player of the year. Although Rasheed Wallace will also get a share of the defensive assignments on Duncan, it'll be Wallace trying to check Duncan in the latter part of each game. Ben Wallace was able to limit Shaquille O'Neal's productivity during the Eastern Conference finals, but Duncan has a much larger low-post repertoire that'll pose a bigger challenge to Wallace's shot-blocking and shot-altering skills.Key matchup II: Bowen vs. Hamilton. Another matchup that will likely evolve over the course of each game. Bowen is widely considered one of the league's best -- if not the very best -- man-to-man defenders, while Hamilton calls himself the best-conditioned athlete in the NBA. Bowen will need to fight through screens and try to stick with Hamilton to limit the shot attempts for Detroit's best offensive player.Little-known fact: The Pistons haven't won in San Antonio since 1997.

Starters: Spurs--C Nazr Mohammed (8.1 pts, 7.0 reb), F Tim Duncan (24.9 pts, 11.7 reb), F Bruce Bowen (4.8 pts, 2.9 reb), G Manu Ginobili (21.8 pts, 5.8 reb, 4.3 ast), G Tony Parker (18.7 pts, 4.8 ast). Pistons--C Ben Wallace (9.8 pts, 11.7 reb), F Rasheed Wallace (14.7 pts, 7.4 reb), F Tayshaun Prince (14.7 pts, 6.9 reb), G Richard Hamilton (21.3 pts, 4.9 ast), G Chauncey Billups (18.0 pts, 6.6 ast).Key reserves: Spurs--F Robert Horry (8.8 pts, 5.7 reb), G Brent Barry (6.8 pts), F Glenn Robinson (4.8 pts), G Beno Udrih (4.1 pts, 1.1 ast). Pistons--F Antonio McDyess (7.2 pts, 5.3 reb), G Lindsey Hunter (3.2 pts, 1.5 ast), C Elden Campbell (1.3 ast, 2.0 reb).Season series: Tied 1-1, each team winning on its home court. San Antonio defeated Detroit 80-77 on Dec. 3 as the Pistons came back from a 21-point deficit and closed within one before coming up short. The Spurs lost 110-101 in Detroit on March 20 as Duncan sprained his right ankle just moments into the game.Storyline: A matchup of the last two NBA champions, a pair of defensive-minded teams able to handle the pressure of playing at this level. The coaches, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich and Detroit's Larry Brown, are the best of friends.Key matchup I: Duncan vs. Ben Wallace. The big fundamental vs. the defensive player of the year. Although Rasheed Wallace will also get a share of the defensive assignments on Duncan, it'll be Wallace trying to check Duncan in the latter part of each game. Ben Wallace was able to limit Shaquille O'Neal's productivity during the Eastern Conference finals, but Duncan has a much larger low-post repertoire that'll pose a bigger challenge to Wallace's shot-blocking and shot-altering skills.Key matchup II: Bowen vs. Hamilton. Another matchup that will likely evolve over the course of each game. Bowen is widely considered one of the league's best -- if not the very best -- man-to-man defenders, while Hamilton calls himself the best-conditioned athlete in the NBA. Bowen will need to fight through screens and try to stick with Hamilton to limit the shot attempts for Detroit's best offensive player.Little-known fact: The Pistons haven't won in San Antonio since 1997.

Associated Press




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