The San Antonio Spurs will be missing their heart and soul when they take the battlefield against the Golden State Warriors on Monday. ESPN confirmed on Sunday that Tim Duncan will be sidelined in the match-up that could be a Western Conference finals preview due to a sore right knee.
“A matchup featuring the NBA’s two best teams lost a little luster Sunday when the San Antonio Spurs announced they’ll hold out forward Tim Duncan from Monday’s clash against the Golden State Warriors due to soreness in his right knee,” ESPN reported.
Tim Duncan, who is averaging 8.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, might not be the offensive force he once was with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge taking over as primary scoring options, but the two-time MVP remains an important part of the team being the anchor of their defense.
Although Duncan’s injury isn’t that serious, Spurs head coach Greg Popovich just made a pre-emptive action to prevent it from worsening. Boban Morjanovich and Boris Diaw are expected to get significant minutes off the bench, while Davis West will likely get the starting nod on Monday.
“It’s unlikely that Duncan’s knee issues are serious, as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich typically manages the minutes of his veterans to prevent any potential injuries from worsening. In Duncan’s absence, it’s expected that bench players such as Boris Diaw and Boban Marjanovic will receive extended minutes.”
Monday marks the first time the Spurs (38-6) and the Warriors (40-4), two of the best teams in the NBA this season, face each other. Many NBA pundits believe these two teams are the likely protagonist in the Western Conference finals, if everything falls in place.
Photo courtesy of AP