Spurs vs. Nuggets Positional Breakdown


Positional MatchupsPoint Guard: A two-time All Star, Tony Parker has this matchup wrapped up before even playing a single game against his counterpart, Steve Blake. Parker is one of the quickest guards in the league and has added to his arsenal with an accurate pull-up jumper to go along with his penetrating moves in the paint. With the added shooting touch, Parker becomes that much more dangerous, especially when coming off of screens for wide open jumpers. Blake has been a pleasant surprise for Nuggets fans. He’s a pass-first type of player and won’t do much scoring with Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony to setup. He can shoot the three and he’s a smart playmaker, but he’s definitely overmatched against one the NBA’s top up and coming point guards. Edge to San Antonio.
Shooting Guard: Like last season, Finley finished the season off strong and found his shot. He scored in double figures in 6 of 10 games in April and he still has some athleticism left, although he’s more likely to do his damage from the outside or by posting up and shooting the fadeaway over a shorter defender. With all that said, this is a mismatch for defensive reasons and I can’t see Finley chasing Iverson all over the floor, so we’ll likely see the matchups change. Iverson is a 10-year NBA veteran and still one of the most dangerous scorers in the league. Iverson has the advantage over a much slower Finley, however he may have his troubles if he’s forced to guard Finley on defense. But offense is where the Nuggets make their money and Iverson, who is known to raise his game in the playoffs, will look to continue on a hot streak. Edge to Denver.
Small Forward: At small forward we see Melo versus Bowen. Melo is bigger, younger, and stronger, has Bowen’s number and will fill up the basket no matter who is defending him. Bowen will make every attempt to get under Melo’s skin and will need to make those corner 3’s to keep Melo away from the basket for Tim to operate. Edge to Denver.
Power Forward: Tim Duncan! End of discussion! But seriously, Tim Duncan will be matched up with Nene. Good luck Nene! Nene will have to stay out of foul trouble seeing how Duncan will lure him into committing fouls. However knowing Nene will get in foul trouble, expect Najera and Camby to do the better defensive job on Duncan at least until they get in foul trouble. Smarter thing for Karl is to have Nene switch to Elson and have Camby take on Duncan seeing how they played each other before in the 99 Finals. HUGE EDGE at the power forward position to the Spurs.
Center: Francisco Elson will have a chance to play against his former mentor and team, which will hopefully get him pumped and ready for this matchup, because he is overmatched against one of the NBA’s best post defenders in Camby. Elson will have to take advantage of his athleticism and be consistent with his mid-range jumper in order for him to have a chance against Camby. Camby gets my vote for Defensive Player of the Year, especially when you see his stat lines of late going up to 9 blocks and 22 rebounds. He’s an imposing force in the paint and will be good for 10 plus points per game to go along with his work on defense, if he doesn’t get into foul trouble.
Bench: While the Nuggets might have the deeper bench overall with players like J.R. Smith, Linas Kleiza, Eduardo Najera and Reggie Evans, the Spurs bring sixth man Manu Ginobili off the bench. How many other team’s benches boast a player who’s as much of a 1-on-1 nightmare as Manu is. Ginobili brings energy, hustle, heart and passion off the bench and the playoffs are his time to shine. Other contributors the Spurs will rely on off the bench are Brent Barry, Jacque Vaughn, Fabricio Oberto and hopefully back for another big shot, Robert Horry. Edge goes to the Spurs.
Jeff Garcia contributed to this post