Spurs reserves ready for another round
Posted: Tuesday May 25, 1999 09:01 PM
In the playoffs, the reserves are shining almost as brightly as the Spurs' big stars.
"We're all coming off the bench trying to help this team get as many wins as possible," Rose said. "We really take pride in coming in and changing the flow of the game."
As the Spurs waited Tuesday to find out whether they'll face Portland or Utah in the Western Conference finals, several Spurs reserves took part in an optional workout at the Alamodome.
"Just keep a sweat going every day, try to stay loose and fit and be ready to focus on the next game, whenever it comes," said Jackson, who scored a career playoff-high 22 points Saturday in the Spurs' Game 3 victory over the Lakers.
Jackson followed with 20 points on Sunday as the Spurs swept the best-of-7 series 4-0.
Jackson, a journeyman guard who began the season as a starter, was replaced in that role by Mario Elie several games into the season. Jackson's performance as a reserve blossomed as the playoffs arrived.
Though he'd been a little stiff early in the Lakers series, Jackson said he got some rest and felt good entering the final two games.
"I just let my game come to me. I was a little bit more aggressive," he said. "I just wanted to make sure I did my share coming off the bench."
Rose was one of several San Antonio players assigned to guard Shaquille O'Neal during the series. Rose also scored 13 points and had five rebounds in Game 2 and scored eight points in Game 4.
"You guys are just noticing it," Rose told reporters. "But for the entire season the bench has been playing well."
On any given night, Rose said, he, Jackson, Jerome Kersey or another reserve comes through with a strong game.
Spurs center David Robinson has said that with some teams, bench players can only be expected to hold their own until the starters return. With the San Antonio reserves on the court, a run can get going and the defensive intensity remains high.
In the first game of the Lakers series, the San Antonio reserves outscored the Los Angeles reserves 17-2. Will Perdue came off the bench to grab nine rebounds, more than any other Spurs player.
In Game 3, Spurs reserves outrebounded Lakers reserves 19-8.
In Sunday's fourth game, Kersey scored five points and Jackson hit a 3-pointer in a 13-0 Spurs rally to start the final quarter. Jackson sunk six 3-pointers throughout the game, and Kersey scored all nine of his points in the fourth period.
Rose has a nickname for the bench guys.
"We're all collectively the 'bum rush,'" he said. "There's no one bigger than the other."
Jackson plans to continue trying to improve the reputation of the Spurs' guards, both starters and reserves.
"It just so happens that we all collectively have done a pretty good job," he said. "We just do what it takes to help the team win."
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.