Boston Celtics 107, San Antonio Spurs 97: “We got a little bit three happy…”


AT&T CENTER–Live by the three die by the three. In basketball the 3-pointer can be the great equalizer, negating a lack of athleticism or talent, providing enough spacing to allow superior skill to offset superior athletes.

Shooting is how the San Antonio Spurs have managed to consistently reload with late draft picks and free agents off the scrap heap.

The rub, of course, is what happens when those shots don’t find the bottom of the net. To say that these Spurs have been over reliant on the 3-point shot all season is a bit of a misconception–they have been able to conjure up other forms of offense all season. To say that the Spurs were over reliant on the three-point shot tonight in their 107-97 loss, however, would be spot on.

“The game was won when we got a little three-happy in the third quarter and the transition defense didn’t follow,” head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Some of the shots were really good and open, some were contest, but the (lack of) transition after it was really important and they took advantage of it.

“They made it a 10-point game at that point and we couldn’t get back in it.”

For most of three quarters both teams executed at the highest levels of basketball, which is what you would come to expect from the Boston Celtics and Spurs. Then the Spurs hit a shooting drought, going 3-for-9 in the third quarter from long distance, and compounded matters by not getting back on defense.

Long shots led to long rebounds, which ultimately ended in 10 Boston third quarter fast break points. There’s the difference on a night that started out fairly promising.

The return to health of the San Antonio Spurs starting lineup produced one of the finest displays of offensive execution this season, for a quarter at least.

Tim Duncan (20 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and five turnovers) once again provided the Spurs an interior presence to balance the offense while Tony Parker zipped and zagged his way into the lane at will, finding the basket and open shooters as is his wont (12 first quarter points and four assists). When the Spurs are moving bodies and the ball around it’s a beautiful thing.

Unfortunately the execution was almost too crisp, and for another night the shooting could not match pace. Some fantastic interior passing between Duncan, Antonio McDyess, and Parker some easy baskets early. Open layups begat open three-pointers, and once it became apparent that the Spurs were not hitting those (8-for-29 from distance on the night) the Celtics were able to shut everything else down to an extent.

In the second half the Celtics were able to sag off in the paint and cut off penetration, and at that point what are the likes of Matt Bonner (2-6), George Hill (1-3), and Gary Neal (0-4) supposed to do besides shoot it?

That’s not to say there are no other options. For much of the season Manu Ginobili has walked a fine line in his 3-point attempts. At his peak this season, his ability to buttress his massive amount of 3-point attempts with massive amount of free throws kept his game in balance. Tonight, 4-13 from the field and no free throw attempts.

“I think I should have gone a couple of times, but it just didn’t happen,” Ginobili said after the game. “I attacked the rim. It hurt me that I couldn’t make a shot so the defense wasn’t really worried about that, but I think I should have gone a couple times.”

Defensively, giving up 55 percent from the field would entail that there are plenty of problems. But at the heart of the defensive breakdowns tonight were the Celtics ability to make shots away from the heart of the Spurs defense.

It’s no secret, mobile big men with consistent range out to 20 feet–especially as second or third options–are increasingly becoming the bane of Popovich’s existence. Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis were 9-12 and 8-12 respectively, most coming from just steps inside the 3-point line. Rajon Rondo unexpectedly hitting the majority of his jumpers didn’t help. Tiago Splitter and his perceived cure-all interior defense would have done little here.

But back to the 3-point shooting, because if the Spurs are going to win a championship or break this Duncan-era record five game losing streak it’s going to take a couple of these shots to finally go down.

Because as Duncan and Ginobili have aged, their ability to take what the defense doesn’t give them has waned. Parker’s game has always been tied to his teammates ability to keep the lanes clean, and there are no explosive athletes on this team that can go over the top of superior defenses.

Without an athletic advantage, the Spurs lean on execution, which ultimately relies on spacing.

This is why Richard Jefferson is a better fit even with lesser numbers, Matt Bonner still warrants a spot in the rotation, and Gary Neal has been such a huge find.

Live by the three, die by the three. But remember to get back on defense.

  • TD = Best EVER

    “Without an athletic advantage, the Spurs lean on execution, which ultimately relies on spacing.

    This is why Richard Jefferson is a better fit even with lesser numbers, Matt Bonner still warrants a spot in the rotation, and Gary Neal has been such a huge find”

    I disagree totally……….. 2 reasons why

    1st – there were athletes out there and we made ZERO Push or play for them…… basically meaning THIS is the team that POP/RC/HOLT wanted……. Carl Landry/Jason Thompson/Omri Casspi/Rodney Carney – I could sit here and name off like 20 people that the SPURS could have had to fix our lack of athleticism…….. But our FO decided different……

    2 – We don’t have to rely only on TD…… we could have used Splitter instead of Bonner and at least did something to Green on Offense….. Bonner ONLY helps Offensively when he is HOT……. And NEVER helps on D…… Splitter can do better than that…….

    So he have a team that wasn’t put together all that well and a coach that is Notoriously stubborn about making changes……… Not good……. not good at all……..

  • Nima K.

    We officially suck at defense.

    Splitter is on the bench again with extended minutes for Blair/Bonner?

    I’m sorry, but this team isn’t getting anywhere. A big change needs to happen.

    We’ll keep waddling in purgatory (unable to go beyond WCF) unless we go through some major changes.

  • TD = Best EVER

    O ya also for all those CHEMISTRY > TALENT People……..

    Saying that Boston traded away their chance to win it all……. Not so fast my friends…… They looked GREAT tonight vs the number team in the NBA…… and will get SHAQ back at some point……. another person we could have had…… damn…….

  • junierizzle

    Rondo had a great game. You can’t really say it was bad D. What team doesn’t force him to shoot??
    He won’t have a night like that for the rest of the year. But that’s besides the point.

    I wouldn’t say the Celtics played good D either. Both teams pretty much traded shots until the SPURS went cold. Celtics built a nice lead and still just traded shots after that.

    RJ finally has a good game and Manu doesn’t. If it aint one thing it’s another. The SPURS played good enough to win, again.

    Neal and Bonner had bad nights. A lot of open looks. Celtics made their open looks.
    I really thought Splitter would play earlier in the game. I agree that his D wouldn’t have been effective with the way the C’s were shooting the ball. But I’m pretty sure he could have handled Jermaine Old Neal. Plus I think his impact would have been felt on the offensive end. Blair and Bonner just don’t work. Maybe Splitter could have rebounded a little better when Bonner was missing. And he did make it easier for Neal to get a couple of floaters.
    At least he got SOME MINUTES. There is still hope for him.
    I don’t think Bonner and Blair will see a ton of time in the post season. TD and Mcdeezy need to rest for now. I suspect they will get the bulk of the minutes.

    Again, just a lack of effort of getting hands up and contesting shots.

  • Jay

    Oh man, I’m waiting for the Spurs defenders/optimists on this one. What will the excuse be this time? Still recovering from injuries? Sleepwalking because they think they have the #1 seed on lock? Bench will get their stroke back eventually? Splitter will somehow emerge as a contributor in the playoffs?

    This team, as constructed, will not win a championship. And our inaction at the trade deadline will be the reason why we’ll flame out yet again.

  • Michael A.

    Does Richard Jefferson not trust his instincts, or is it the offense that keeps him less than what many thought he was–an athletic scorer who could fill the lanes in transition. Tonight when Paul Pierce tipped in his own shot, it looked like RJ should have been there, but reacted late. When they lost to Portland, he was a strangely absent figure. You’d think the only remaining starter would look to score more than RJ did in that game. Is Pop using him well, and, if so, is that all we’re going to get from him?

  • Bruno

    They were killing us in PnR, because Bonner/Blair don’t know how defend PnR, and Dice isn’t young anymore, so everytime in 4th Spurs double in PnR and they pass to wide open player and he hits the jump shot!!
    They hit 5-7 straight wide open jump shots.
    And about SMALL BALL in 3rd, who give up 14-0 run.

    Who is the PnR guy of Spurs team? Who every time when is on the floor go for PnR plays and knows how defend it? Yes. Spurs have one, and Pop let him in bench for 44 minutes

  • Bob

    Splitter should could get minutes just because he hustles. But seriously maybe the gameplan needs to change on the defensive end. Start Splitter and Duncan and then force teams to finish in the paint over the top of them. The defense on jumpshots is not getting any better. With Lakers pounding the Mavs probably going to have to finish 6-1 now. Right now Bonner/Blair causes too much of a loss defensively. If Splitter starts you can have McDyess provide a defensive presence for the second unit. It also saves his energy for closing out games.

  • Nima K.

    It’s a shame.

    Splitter’s a committed player. He shouldn’t be playing 4 mpg.

    And when Manu can’t play, pull him out and bring in JA. I don’t know why we keep benching our highest lottery picks. What’s the point if you’re never gonna use them? If JA isn’t conditioned, well then give him some minutes!

    It’s like u HAVE TO sit on the bench for a year before Pop seriously considers you.


  • zack in The Alamo

    BONNER NEEDS TO BE BENCHED PERIOD. hundreds of spurs fans are finally waking up to pops insane rotations!! only chance the spurs have is if bonner gets injured forcing pop not to play him as our defensive center

  • zack in The Alamo

    i agree with bob, however pop isnt half the coach he used to be during those championship years, and has abandoned the defensive bigs to stop penetration. the only penetration he allows is from bonner

  • DorieStreet

    @ Junierizzle
    March 31st, 2011 at 8:39pm

    “The SPURS played good enough to win, again.”

    I disagree with your assessment.

    When Boston ran off 14 straight points to go from 4 down to 10 up near the end of the 3rd qtr, the Spurs got 3 pts to enter the 4th down 7- 77-70.

    Celtics got it back to 9 immediately; the margin was 7-9 until 9:45 left when the Spurs cut it to 6- 82-76. But the Celtics moved it back up to 8 and increased it to 9-10-12-10 throught the bulk of the 4th until Duncan’s 3pt play got it down to 97-90.

    But after trading baskets, Boston gets lead back to double-digits- 11, then 12 points where it stay until the final count @ 107-97.

    Whether you were in the stands or watching int on TV—you never got the sense, the feeling that the Spurs could make stops, go on a run & tie/take the lead.
    The previous 4 losses, the Spurs had the lead in mid-to very late in the last qtr, despite being short-handed. This game–the squad got down to Boston and they kept them at arm’s length down the stretch.

  • grego

    Splitter was pretty bad in his time in this game. Having said that, he could have made up for it with possibly more time.

    However, this was the first game of a back-to-back and I expect that Splitter will see 10+ minutes in that game.

  • Hoopster

    It has been a long time since I posted on here. I have been just sitting back and watching the season unfold.
    My friends and I discuss the Spurs almost everyday of the season. One thing I stated and will continue to state is that we did not make the right moves in the off season in order to win a championship(IMO). While we have had a nice year i have never felt that we would be able to win a series against the likes of the Lakers or Boston. It seems that while everything was going well people forgot that Bonner was a huge liability on D and if he is not shooting well he is worthless, but oh lets re-sign him for an extra 3-4 yrs and tie up money on somebody that would not even be signed by a Boston or LA. He is not a championship caliber player. There were alot of people agreeing with this last season and apparently pop did not agree. I will give you a couple of instances that I speak of. Against Portland the other night we were up i think 6 when Bonner reentered the game and within 4 minutes we were down 8 with the guy bonner guarded scored 8 of those 12 points in the swing. The point is that when he is in the game the opposing team automatically feeds that person. Tonight against Boston at end of 3rd and beginning of 4th when Bonner was in the celts went to Jeff Green 4 times in a row and he scored on 3 of those possesions. Why because Bonner was guarding him. Pop needs to wake up and smell the stuff Bonner is spreading on the court, and it isn’t pleasant.
    On to Jokerson, another guy that has faded out of site for the most part. Giving him a new 4 yr deal will hurt us for the next 4 years. He has lost a step, not as explosive and once that happens to an athletic wing it is over. So rather than keep him until this trade deadline and make a deal for someone like gerald wallace we re-sign him and give him more money. Just dumb. We needed more bigs to compete against the Lakers. We absolutely can’t compete with their length. I dont care how many times we beat them earlier this season. they are showing everyone that they are still the champs. But we decided not to sign any big men that would of helped us. It amazes me. I will give the front office credit for finding Gary Neal that was a steal, probably one of the best signings this year in the NBA. Honestly does anyone feel very confident going into the playoffs that we will beat Memphis then OKC and then the Lakers just to get to the finals? I personally do not think we have the right recipe to win it. We will be like the Mavs of 07 that won 67 games and flamed out in the playoffs. We too will have had a great season and not resulted in a championship. I hope that i am wrong but have just had a bad feeling for awhile about this team.

  • junierizzle


    If you look at the numbers the SPURS actually had a decent game, save for MANU. Rebounds were even. TO were even. They shot 27% from three but they made 8 of them. That’s all you need for a win from three point land. It was the 5 minute drought that did them in. I know people will say BOSTON dominated but it was hardly that.

    Either way they lost. I was just trying to say that the SPURS have played good during this losing streak. They just stink it up for a stretch. The Bonner/Blair stretch.

    I’ve always been a Red Rocket fan. And you need shooters out there. POP knows this. He is totally gambling on his D. BONNER actually had two good looks during the drought and he couldn’t knock em down. It’s a miss or make league. If he had made those then this game would have gone down to the wire. But he missed em and so he sucks on this day.

    Instead of Less BONNER I think it should be more SPLITTER.

  • DorieStreet


    I won’t be one to say Boston dominated. And I agree with you on the 3pt production–8 makes =24 points–but the final deficit was 10- and it was basically that (give or take 1-2 pts) the whole 4th quarter. In our gym.

    Most of the Bonner fans from last summer are suffering quietly or have moved to post on PTR (or other blog sites). It seems like over there they enjoy the off-the-court stuff he’s involved in more than his contributions for this squad during games.

  • manufan

    Hey guys, what do you think about idea that Pop puts Bonner into the starting linup for tomorows game against Rockets. That would be genius bid and it would suit up Pop’s glorius ignorance. Sometimes I wonder how many minutes would Luis Scola be getting if he was a Spur. I bet that Bonner would be ahead of him in Pop’s rotation.

    Also, I would like somebody to come out and say that RJ signing was just horible. He has turned into Bruce Bowen without huevos and defence.

  • manufan

    Pop is like a drunk driver that is driving his new muscle car. He is either gonna crash along the way or make it home without remembering how the hell he got there. Maybe, just maybe, is time for officer Holt to isue him that DUI ticket. That might sober him up so he can drive safely into the playoffs.

  • TD = Best EVER


    “I’ve always been a Red Rocket fan. And you need shooters out there. POP knows this. He is totally gambling on his D. BONNER actually had two good looks during the drought and he couldn’t knock em down. It’s a miss or make league. If he had made those then this game would have gone down to the wire. But he missed em and so he sucks on this day.

    Instead of Less BONNER I think it should be more SPLITTER.”

    The problem with your assessment of the game is that you failed to realize that DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS…….Bonner has to shoot 6-8 or something close to that to make up for his lack of defense……..

    PLEASE watch the entire game and see all the times that he is scored on easily…….I may be wrong here but let me try to count them up…..

    3 straight trips from green…… 2 J.O’Neal buckets, and 2 Big Baby buckets….. and these are the times they are attacking him directly……I’m not gonna count switches and things like that……. but that right there is 14 points against Bonner……. so even if he scores 6 more points….. he still is a negative on the team…… Lack or rebounding and blocks…… Yes Splitter needs more minutes, but at the EXPENSE or Bonner…… WE have enough Offense if we can get some stops…….

  • TD = Best EVER

    And realize POP has all the power to stop the bleeding…… he has to trust some of the young guys……stop playing Bonner and bring RJ off the bench……. our rotation should look like this…..

    Starting 5

    5 – Splitter
    4- Duncan
    3 – Neo/Green/Novak(whoever plays the best)
    2 – Manu
    1- TP

    Bench – 5 players that SHOULD play every game…

    5 – Blair
    4 – Dice
    3 – RJ
    2 – Neal
    1 – IndyG

    If you do this we can possibly get RJ back on track and play better defense….. We will also need to start slowing the game down to keep the other team out of transition. There’s no point in having a 1 man fast break in Parker……. If Rondo is able to match him because of our poor shot selection and TP poor D…….

    And as far as us shooting too many 3’s….. how can that be when the players that shot all the 3’s shoot 3’s best. As in Bonner/Neal/Manu(at this point in his career) shoot more 3’s than anything else…….And that is not gonna change…….POP needs to call more plays for the Bigs…… tell TD to fight for inside position and do some back screens and post to post screens…… Shots like this keep you defense in position and ready to get stops…….

  • manufan

    It must be really really frustrating for Tiago Splitter. Just last year he was an MVP in second best league in the world and today he can’t get playing time, behind Matt Bonner on the depth chart. Huh.

  • manufan

    I am the fan of bringing Jefferson of the bench, but it’s to late for that now. Other option is to start Manu at 3 and have Chris Quin back up Parker and let Hill start at his natural position, as a shooting guard.

  • manufan

    @ TD
    “And as far as us shooting too many 3′s….. how can that be when the players that shot all the 3′s shoot 3′s best. As in Bonner/Neal/Manu(at this point in his career) shoot more 3′s than anything else…….And that is not gonna change…….POP needs to call more plays for the Bigs…… tell TD to fight for inside position and do some back screens and post to post screens…… Shots like this keep you defense in position and ready to get stops…….”

    I don’t care about how many 3’s we shot, as long as they are open shots. Isn’t playing offense all about that, getting open looks? For me , open shot is the good shot.

  • Hassan

    I had my doubts about beating the LAL & BOS of the world at the begining of the year with their big front lines and such even after we went 25/3 as size matters.. and we have lots of trouble scoring in the paint by our bigs and if TP is kept on the perimeter like tonight in the 2nd half we are rendered ineffective and have to rely on contested 3 points & will lose games.

    Now I am even more concerned about a 1st round upset by Memphis as they have bigs & play defense…… and even if we advance I am more concerned about the Thunder with a bigger Front line and better defense…. if we don’t outscore other teams we are done… as I don’t see that our defense will get any better….

    Well, what a wasted year esp with TD towards the end of his career… unless we hit most of our 3’s in the post season we are not going to win it all… as our defense will not get any better this late in the season as POP has been preaching defense but the personel will only get it so far (we need a good perimeter defener and a defensive shot blocking/altering big…which I am not sure Splitter would become… he may become better next year but still a backup center I think… We need an atheletic big > 6’10” to defend beetter)…

    go spurs go….!!

  • Buckets50

    The Spurs no matter what have played great basketball all season, I am proud of them no matter what.

    The Spurs roster is full of late first round draft picks. On the scale of raw talent we have the least out of all the top tear teams.

    Manu and Timmy are getting old. Together they have won three championships and been through so many wars. They are not the players they used to be.

    So with the fact the our star players are getting old and the rest of the roster talent level is really not measurable to say the Lakers talent level, you can’t and should of never expected the Spurs to win another championship with this team.

    But that said, if the chips fall just right and the Spurs players have that fire inside – anything can happen and what a story for the Spurs family if they can pull it off.

  • Hassan

    5 game loosing streak… 1st since TD joined the Spurs although he got injured for a longer duration in the past but our defense used to keep us in games when we struggled offensively ( like earlier today) and we would be able to pull out some wins that way..but not nowadays…there lies the concern… wow…we are in trouble more than I thought….. I can cry from the thought of not advancing far in the playoffs……!!!!

  • rob

    Live by – die by. The shots were there. They weren’t made.

    That said…the Celtics had been one of the worst teams in the league at defending the rim and transition defense. The Spurs did nothing to exploit that fact.

    One can only wonder WHY?

  • Hassan

    @ TD=Best Ever

    I disagree about changing the lineup at this stage of the season…and we shouldn’t expect too much of Tiago and JA although I agree that they should get more time.. about 12-18 mins for Splitter and 10-14 mins for JA behind RJ to reduce wear and tear on Manu/TP and give them more energy at end of games… ALSO I think JA may help with atheltacism and may run the floor more with G.Hill and been as good or even better defensively than RJ….. but maybe POP does not trust him in the Spurs defense yet…

    RJ also needs to be set up by TP or Manu as he can’t create his own shot anymore like the days of his stint with the Bucks…..

    5- McDyess
    4- Duncan
    3- RJ
    2- Manu
    1- TP

    (second player on bein positionnch list after slash sign depends on matchups and current game situations)

    5- Splitter/Bonner
    4- Blair/Bonner(depending on situations)
    3- JA/Neal/Manu
    2- Neal/JA
    1- IndyG

  • spursgermany

    Can not see the fakers and Bobe playing it west coast!!

    Who can help??


  • Hassan

    Maybe Danny Green for some minutes too…but not sure he is eleigible for playoffs….

  • tradetp…not right now

    Time to face the facts. Its funny that some people just start to come out when we are losing or winning.

    Look, I have been stating the OBVIOUS from the first time I posted. UNLESS Bonner is hitting threes in bunches he needs to be on the bench. IT DOES NOT MATTER IF HE MAKES ONE. Inevitably he will give up multiple big plays on defense and rebounding. I have even witnessed Bonner holding the ball after a rebound to have another player walk up to him and take the ball out of his hands. ADDITIONALLY he cant play help defense because he is constantly out of position and too slow

    I hope you all start to realize that the McDyess situation IS A COMPLETE BUST. Kevin Garnett lit him up, and he gave Jermaine Oneal his first “and1” since 1999. Great work.

    *He had 4 fouls too. I know most on here rip Blair all day if he has two. Unfortunately fouls are needed.

    McDyess is worthless since he cant score. And please dont reply with his 1 or 2 elbow shots. Hes a liability on both ends of the floor.

    Simply if he is not playing GREAT D get him out.

    I applaud Pop for his ability to push the tempo this year. I still feel that his loyalty to Bonner and McDyess are unfounded and cause more evil than good.

    No worries its still the reg season and these games dont count. GO SPURS GO.

  • ITGuy

    The good guys have been playing terrible lately, there is no denying that.
    I don’t think it was a particular player’s fault, this losing streak is on the entire team from the bench all the way up to the coach.
    They need to get better on defense no matter who starts or comes off the bench, the entire team needs to tighten up and just play Spurs defense the rest of the way.

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • Ricky

    Look, the D is what it is at this point. Uncontested jumpers against guys who can knock it down from the mid-range?

    I am with pretty much everyone else here: why are we playing Bonner so much? I don’t mind Blair coming in for some minutes. If Blair were 6-9, he would be insane–but he is more like 6-6/6-7 and he isn’t going to provide much against length except hustle and a limited number of rebounds.

    All last summer I waited on the signing of Splitter and I guess my hopes were pumped too high. Limited playing time, Pop’s control freakishness (base line fear of some sort) and, did I say limited playing time? Why not make these attacking guards come through him and Duncan in the post? Duncan is still smart enough to block shots and rotate defensively in the post–but he cannot do it by himself. Antonio looked good last night–but he is not what he once was, either.

    Manu has lost his touch. He isn’t getting near the calls he once did and that is league wide with the refs. I watched one drive he made last night where Jermaine O’neil basically banged him and hung on to him as he made a basket driving to the rim. No call. I watched Ray Allen take his forearm and put it in his chest and shove him to the floor. No call. While I am not big on picking on refs–the bottom line, end of the day truth is they hold A LOT of power in any given game and with various players. They are becoming much like politicians.

    GO Spurs and I would like to see us just win ONE. Tonight won’t be any easier.

  • Big Spurastotile

    For Once I agree with Coopster, I mean Hoopster!
    As long as Bonner plays, teams are going to attack us with whoever he is guarding. So, it doesnt matter if he hits a couple of three’s but if he gives up 10pts on the other end then that makes him a liability.
    We could have signed free agent Tony Allen this summer who I think plays the best “D” in the league right now for only 3 mil a year over Jokerson and Allen can score better than him too! (just food for thought)

  • Ricky

    Someone said “maybe pop doesn’t trust James Anderson with the defense, yet”…….ha ha, at this point–who does he trust because the Spurs are not playing defense too well. Heck, I would run Novack in every once in a while just to see if he could put a hand in someone’s face. The defense is the glaring weakness–it is bad. Rebounding will become another issue in the playoffs that has already bitten the Spurs in marquee games this year. Bynum is now the beast everyone thought he would be. I don’t see Bonner slowing Bynum or Gasol down. The only thing Bonner can do is force a big to guard him on the wing which gives more opportunity for a board with only Bynum under the board.

  • Alix Babaie

    zack in The Alamo
    March 31st, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    The only penetration he allows is from Bonner

    I am sorry for being juvenile but that just made me laugh. :)

  • Alix Babaie

    Not sure if anyone else has noticed this and some of you will say that I am crazy for even bringing up the notion that this is the root cause for the Spurs woes but didn’t this tailspin start when the Spurs changed their starting lineup and rotation?

  • Alix Babaie

    The Spurs relied WAY too much on the 3, I expected Bonner to miss them but what surprises me is that Neal is missing them too.

    Manu just got back from an injury, so I will give him a mulligan on that performance last night but what summed up the game for me was RJ missing a dunk that would have gotten the zombies in the crowd into the game.

    One thing that I don’t like on these message boards is quote-unquote fans on here that are already raising the white flag and writing the season off…..are you fucking people high or something?

    It is one thing to be disappointed with the Spurs but quite another to bash everything the team, say you knew this was going to happen and say better luck next year… folks are one step closer to being Mavs fans.

    Seriously, get some more fiber in your diets because you are full of shit.

    Ye of little faith, try to have some faith that the Spurs can turn this thing around. They still have 7 games left to right the ship.

  • Alix Babaie

    Oh yeah and Violet Palmer is not only a horrible official but probably also a man.

  • Dr. Wjo

    Aaaaaaaaagh!!!! Blair/Bonner = Bad rotation I disagree that as lomg as the 3’s are open looks they are high percentage shots. Not as high percentage as a layup… Especially when u play an undersized team. Also get that “McDyess sucks” noise out of here. No one with a basketball IQ is listening to that. What are you watching? Dyess is not the reason we’re losing and has played well as of late. U can’t say Dyess had a lot to do with the losses. Seriously??? Dyess is the problem. Open ur eyes.

    Dammit go spurs go… Damn damn damn…

  • Titletown99030507d



    I agree, I would rather control the game and slow it down with the big men clog up the lane and defend the rim and get 2 points on the other end offensively than rather to live and die with the 3 pointer. Controlling the game is how your finals champion is going to do it. Who be it I don’t know.

    Change has got to happen. Just because 3 weeks in to the season something was working and now its not, and you have new contributors now that can help you, doesn’t make sense to go back and wish for it.

  • LemonParade

    2) Since when has Pop ever given a crap about the last 15 games of the season? Why would we expect him to change the rotations to be as effective as possible right now, especially when if Tim hadn’t gone down we probably would have gone 4-1 over the last 5 and nobody would be crapping their pants? Why give the Lakers, et. al. something to scout? Why reveal the playoff hand, especially when our current rotation has managed to rack up the wins pretty well, in case anyone has forgotten.

    Lord knows I never thought I’d see the day when the Spurs could drop 5 straight, STILL be tops in the league, and people would bitch about it like we were about to miss the playoffs…

  • Titletown99030507d


    Just what in the hell have you’ve seeing in the last 5 games before the Boston game where Splitter has played 20 min or better? If you can’t let a guy play with the type of performances he’s already given your crazy. Don’t expect too much from Splitter? Your way off guy. The majority expects Splitter to be banging with Timmy in the playoffs. Your way off man.

  • agutierrez

    The team is suddenly looking just like the team from last year. It was baffling to be watching the game in the 4th quarter, with McHale talking about how the Spurs needed to get some stops, and Bonner is sitting on the sideline waiting to come in. WTF? Green had done nothing all night, hadn’t even played much. But as soon as Doc R saw Bonner come in he knew just what to do. After last season, we knew we had two glaring weaknesses: another true big, and a perimeter defender (Bruce II). We got our big with Tiago and he’s shown great promise, but Pop won’t use him. Let’s not forget that L. Aldridge is alot like Garnett, a big who likes shooting 17 – 20 foot jumpers. So we can’t say that Tiago wouldn’t have bothered him, never mind Big Baby who is much shorter. On the second need, we just never got anyone. Not sure if any of our current players could be that, but that’s not going to happen between now and playoffs. I would imagine there is a dropoff in 3-pt. shooting as the season progresses, caused both by fatigue and opponent’s adjustments. If so, our reliance on the three is fool’s gold; it helps us during the year, but dooms us in the playoffs.

  • MSteele

    “That said…the Celtics had been one of the worst teams in the league at defending the rim and transition defense. The Spurs did nothing to exploit that fact.”
    I think it took everyone except TP 3 quarters to realize that Boston was weak inside. That being said Tony and Timmy practically lived at Boston’s rim in the 4th. I think Pop missed a trick in not bringing Tony back in earlier because Boston couldn’t handle him. One thing I will take from this game is that we could get any shot we want against their defense. We missed a lot of open jumpshots that we would usually make.

  • Titletown99030507d


    “Not sure if anyone else has noticed this and some of you will say that I am crazy for even bringing up the notion that this is the root cause for the Spurs woes but didn’t this tailspin start when the Spurs changed their starting lineup and rotation?”

    What change in lineup? Are you talking about Dyess starting? What do you want Blair to start with Timmy? He’s just as a liability as Bonner dude. That’s not going to fly anymore because Timmy has gone a whole season now and is showing his age as the game progresses in to the 4th. He can’t cover for Blair or Bonner anymore like he did in the beginning of the season when he was fresh. Just because he had 5 games off doesn’t mean he didn’t play the other 70 or so games. It’s wearing on him and if he has to cover for inadequate defenders like Blair and Bonner then he’s going to get gassed sooner than later. That’s why people are clamoring for Splitter to be right there taking the grunt of those two bozos minutes. I could see Blair getting some burn as long as he’s on the court with either Timmy or Splitter. It’s just not beneficial to trot Bonner and Blair as your next in line for bigs after Timmy and Dyess. Actually Splitter should be ahead of Dyess only because it would give Dyess good quality minute management. Plus he’s the more experienced of the bunch after Timmy. Anyway you spin it, it comes back to having two of your biggest bodies out there in some combination of minutes to control a game if your shots aren’t falling. This is going to be evident in the playoffs with any team. Live and die by the 3 is a bunch of bull sh*t. That’s not how we won 4 Championships. And I don’t know why Pop has changed that when you have the ingredients on this team right now to formulate a game plan like his Championship years. Pop knows this but his big egotistical head won’t allow him to admit he’s wrong. Surprise me Pop!

  • Titletown99030507d


    “Plus he’s the more experienced of the bunch after Timmy. ”

    (Dyess is, he’d be fresh for the 3rd and 4th quarter)

  • MSteele

    @tradetp…not right now
    “I hope you all start to realize that the McDyess situation IS A COMPLETE BUST. Kevin Garnett lit him up, and he gave Jermaine Oneal his first “and1″ since 1999. Great work.”
    Just to point out how ludicrous your argument is, when Dice was defending the PnR, he has to stop the ball handler (or else he’s just going straight to the rim) so when Garnett popped out he has an open shot. To stop this from happening it is up to the next Spur to rotate over to Garnett so he will have to pass. Thus concluding that it wasn’t Dice who got ‘lit up’ by Garnett’s countless jumpshots, it was the perimeter defense who didn’t rotate. Dice has been one of our most consistent players all year

  • Colin

    Some observations from last night:

    Too much Bonner. When he isn’t shooting 40% from 3, he shouldn’t get more than 10 min/game. Period.

    Ginobili has to play better than 9 pts/6 assts to beat teams of Boston/LA caliber. Mulligan or no mulligan, he just does.

    McDyess needs to play better defense as well as contribute 8-10 pts and 8 rebs/game to warrant minutes. Garnett did outplay him last night. Too many open, uncontested jumpers last night given up by McDyess in the 2nd half.

    Novak? No minutes. Ever? Ever.

    Quinn? No minutes. Ever? Ever.

    Anderson? He could be a good player in the rotation next year. I think he’s missed too much time and with the pleasant surprise of Neal, there are no minutes for another shooter.

    Neal. His shots will fall. He is a player. Its a shame that he couldn’t find a rhythm last night when ginobili couldn’t find his as well.

    Parker will need to start playing some defense. He takes about 3-4 possessions off every game.

    George Hill needs to find his scoring streak with Parker in the line up. He also needs to dig in better defensively.

    RJ. Do something man! Missing what would be great dunks don’t count. Find some confidence in your offensive step and fucking rebound the ball on defense. He can still rise up (jump) with the youngins when he wants to.

    Duncan will be the rock that he is. He can be counted on.

  • WH Silver

    Man, if I took a shot every time Kevin Harlan blurted “who leads the league in 3 point percentage,” as the Rocket put up another misfire, I’d be too hung over to have written this. This has been an uncomfortable 5 games but the glass is still half full from my perch here in the ATL (#20 jersey will be in attendance at the Phil next Tuesday). LBtT, DBtT indeed. Soundtrack to the season. I’m almost glad we had this late season bump. Show me a contending team in the league that hasn’t had a reality check all season (yeah, even da Bullz played a quarter of the year without Booz and Noah). Mental toughness, execution when it counts (if you shoot 40% from beyond, regular season, you shoot 40% or better post-season), and yes, closing out every shot (which you’ll see this Rip van Winkle D wake up to do) – that keeps you in every game when it’s play on or go fishin’ time. Does Pop look worried?