When the San Antonio Spurs are looking for a little relief for David Robinson and Tim Duncan, the Twin Towers who have propelled the team into the NBA Finals, they turn to Malik Rose.
The beefy forward from Drexel gets only about 13 minutes of playing time a game. But he makes them count.
With the energy that comes from sitting on the bench, and a nose for the ball, Rose averaged six points and almost four rebounds an outing this season. That computes to an easy double-double -- if Rose ever got to play an entire game.
This year, Rose's postseason pinnacle came against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals, when he scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds in 19 minutes of play.
He hasn't played more than 20 minutes in a game since mid-April and, in fact, his time on the floor during the playoffs has dropped to about 10 minutes a game as the Spurs have stayed with their starting front line of Sean Elliott, Duncan and Robinson. (Elliott's playing time has increased two minutes a game, while Robinson and Duncan are up about three minutes per.)
But the man his teammates call "Horse" has shown he's someone the Spurs can ride -- at least for a few minutes a game.