by Ryne Nelson

Bruce Bowen become a liability of sorts. At 37, he’s lost a step (or three), still can’t score, and infuriates opponents to seek maddening revenge.

He still plays top-notch defense, but his high consumption of minutes caused even Spurs fans to abhor him. So, for the first time in over 550 games, the bearded genius on the sidelines sat Bruce Bowen. The result? Bowen connected on more field goals than he had in the previous five games combined, including a game-winning three against the Knicks. From the San Antonio Express-News:

For the first time since he arrived in San Antonio in 2001, Spurs forward Bruce Bowen did not start a game for which he suited up.

Bowen’s response: His best game of the season.

Despite devastating injuries, the Spurs may have crafted a way to get to the post-season. Bruce Bowen and Michael Finley coming off the bench allows them to play less minutes and be far more productive. If last night’s win was any indication, young legs make a big difference in the League. The Spurs showed some energy for the first time in, well…a very, very long time!

And who knows, this lineup’s success could very well boost Manu Ginobili into a starting role upon his return.