At the top of the Spurs' list of hallmarks of their dominance over this past decade has been the fact that they play smarter basketball than just about everyone else virtually all of the time.
In a rare development, that was not the case at the end of Wednesday night's game against the Suns, and it was an odd culprit.
As an unabashed big-time Tim Duncan fan, I tend to be loath to say anything too negative about the guy. But he definitely got a bit too hooked on nostalgia at the end of last night's game.
With the Spurs trailing by three points and less than 20 seconds left, the black and silver moved the ball until it got to Duncan, standing alone at the top of the circles with 11 seconds to play. The reason he was standing alone was because he isn't a three-point threat. He hit one huge one in at the buzzer of overtime in Game 1 of the playoffs against the Suns last year. But that shot had to be taken, and there weren't many other options available.
With 11 seconds to play, Duncan could have gone to the basket for a hoop to cut the lead to one and force the Suns into a foul-shooting competition. He could have continued to move the ball on the outside until the Spurs could get a good look at a three for a good shooter.
Duncan chose to shoot and was fortunate to graze the front rim. The Suns rebounded, drew a foul and closed the game out with ease.
It isn't often that Duncan makes what appeared to be such a clearly bad decision (unless Gregg Popovich drew the play up that way, in which case this one goes on him). So we make note of it while we can.