Postseason past an invaluable tool

While the Lakers and Jazz will lean heavily on playoff experience, for the Spurs and Mavs -- much of it will be sitting on the bench.

Updated: April 17, 2003, 2:26 PM ET
By By Terry Brown
Steve Smith went from starter to three-point specialist to bench warmer quicker than we could learn how to spell or pronounce Emanuel Ginobili.

Now, it's Bruce Bowen, playing for his fifth team in seven years, starting 82 of 82 games at small forward. It's Stephen Jackson, late of the Fort Wayne Fury of the now-defunct CBA, becoming the team's third-leading scorer. It's some rookie from Argentina, accent on his 25th birthday last July, playing 425 more minutes this season than Steve Smith.

Heck, remove David Robinson from the San Antonio Spurs' starting line up and the team has a grand total of 81 games worth of playoff experience on the floor at tip off compared to a 186 game average for the starting line ups of the 16 teams that qualified for the postseason this year.