El Conclusión: Chicago Bulls 96, San Antonio Spurs 86

by

Chicago Bulls 96 FinalRecap | Box Score 86 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, PF 35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | -21

Duncan had a pretty good evening against one of the best defensive centers in the league, Joakim Noah. Things are brutal for the two remaining Spurs cornerstones, and at this point Timmy isn’t able to deal with the inevitable burden squarely resting on his shoulders. It’s difficult to grade him based on the pieces that currently surround him, but he was good for the most part.

Jeff Ayres, C 16 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | +2

Seriously minimal impact in this game. Ayres was starting to find a place in the rotation when this team was healthy, making plays within the flow of the offense and playing a solid role as a rangy defensive player. He’s getting eaten up now. Again, really tough to assign a grade to a new guy on a newly injury-decimated team, but he was very … meh. He seemed out of place despite putting up numbers that weren’t necessarily bad compared to the rest of the roster. He was one of the few players with a positive plus-minus.

Tony Parker, PG 34 MIN | 8-17 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | -10

Parker is being swarmed. The Spurs started two D-League players on Wednesday (Othyus Jeffers and Nando), and neither posed anything even resembling a secondary threat in the starting lineup once the defense caved in on the point guard. It’s crucial right now that TP stay healthy, or else this roster will become a veritable NBA compost pile.

Nando de Colo, PG 18 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -14

I can’t believe he played 18 minutes. Decent shooting night, I guess, but he was miserable defensively. Stare into Nando’s face, Spurs fans. That’s what the near future looks like.

Othyus Jeffers, SG 15 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +9

Such a fantastic story, but the guy’s lost at sea out there. Still, he played strong defense when he was on the court and stayed in the corners, cutting baseline from time to time when the moment was right, and he made Gregg Popovich happy with his hustle. (I can’t stress enough how great his story is though… look it up.)

Aron Baynes, PF 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +14

Baynesie was actually … like … OK? I guess? He only played nine minutes, but the Spurs were weirdly good when he was on the floor. Not sure it was a result of how he played, but more the circumstances on the court. Still, he was fine. (I don’t know how to grade this game.)

Matt Bonner, PF 7 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +4

Matty hasn’t been good since the mask made its appearance. Sucks. Again, how grade stinky Spurs game oh crap Nando playing forward who is that other guy?

Boris Diaw, PF 29 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -19

Oh, Bobo. Diaw went for a season-high 22 points against Houston, but he had a very difficult time in this one. Part of it is the heavy load on a back-to-back (which was a factor for everyone in this game) and part of it was his matchup with Taj Gibson. Boris was overwhelmed in this one.

Patty Mills, PG 19 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -10

Patty had some sparky moments, but the team was terrible when he was on the floor. Again, not necessarily a result of his play, but of the overall situation.

Cory Joseph, PG 26 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +1

Cory came off the bench tonight after starting several games recently in Kawhi Leonard’s stead, and Joseph was his normal, solid self. Good shooting, good defense, took care of the ball, he’s just not hugely impactful.

Marco Belinelli, SG 32 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 11 PTS | -6

Marco is the only remaining wing player on the team, giving him massive responsibility at the time. He was decent, but defenses are now gluing their perimeter defensive players to him around the arc; it’s very difficult for him to operate, so he did fine considering the situation.

Gregg Popovich

I’m not sure what he’s supposed to do. I completely defend his decision within the starting lineup, because he has to spread around what little size and playmaking ability he has remaining on the roster. Without Manu, Belinelli’s playmaking was needed in the second unit; with Jeffers being the only other wing player, his defense was needed in the starting lineup. Nando wasn’t good in the starting lineup, but he has size over Joseph, who has a more proven ability to at least competently run an offense, and he had a chance to play alongside Parker. His rotations allowed the Spurs to avoid those three-point-guard lineups as much as they could, and I thought his choices were great given what he’s working with. Regardless, why the hell not? This lineup is a nightmare right now.

Two Things We Saw

  1. There’s not a ton to say about this. Over the last 24 days, the Spurs have suffered four injuries of the three-to-five week range, and the roster is simply depleted. Bunker down, folks.
  2. This team has a few days off with a chance to practice, and it could get Tiago Splitter back on Saturday. If anything, the extra time will provide an opportunity to tighten things up and do whatever it can to wrangle in the runaway disaster the rotation has become.
  • Spurs fan in Australia

    I think it’s time to fire Pop and Buford. They should have known injuries were a possibility and they haven’t drafted accordingly. On top of that, trade Parker now and try and get a draft pick as well as Splitter as he is injury prone. Then tank from here on out as its a deep draft and start again next year. I figure with the trades for draft picks we could have the following starting lineup next year:

    PG: Dante Exum (keep the Aussie thing going)
    SG: Green
    SF: Leonard
    PF: Duncan
    C: Embiid

    Bench:
    Ayres
    Banes
    Ginobili
    Bellinelli
    Diaw

    Then bring Phil Jackson from retirement to coach and get Sam Presti to return from OKC to start again*

    *Sarcasm filter was on when writing this post

  • Ryan McShane

    Well, if there was ever a time to trade one of the Spurs’ point guards for a small forward (or even dump one for Josh Howard), this was it. I’m looking at Nando. What would the Spurs lose in salary? Another million (~650K to dump Nando, ~400K to pick up Howard at the vet min or less for a couple of 10-day contracts)? Considering the Spurs’ potential fall in the standings and the home court advantage it might lose them in the playoffs, there might be a pretty big ROI just by making a move like that now – either because they would make extra money from the extra game, or because they would be able to win an additional series because they have home court advantage.

    Then again, I don’t really know what Josh Howard looks like right now.

    http://www.nba.com/dleague/playerfile/josh_howard/

    Well, I guess he’s doing well except for shooting 27% from 3.

  • Joseph Dooley

    Forget 6th MOY, you could argue Manu Ginobili is the League MVP. Stay with me now…
    The Spurs, the best team in the NBA prior to catching the injury bug, relied heavily on their second unit to beat teams. Our starters are good, but our second unit is usually what put teams away. The engine of that second unit is Manu Ginobili. Without him, who runs Pop’s system? Belinelli? Patty Mills? Please. Ginobili is the Spurs’ MVP for that reason, and League MVP consideration is due to the best player on the best team (when healthy).

  • Joseph Dooley

    Parker peaked 2 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s playing for another team in 2015-2016

  • Lee Baek Rok

    Hey Matt, if you like Jeffers so much you can interview him. Pretty sure he is not busy hiding from the press and groupies.

  • Matthew R Tynan

    Huh? Well… I haven’t met the guy and have no idea if I “like” him. Not sure why this comment is relevant to this at all. His story (which has already been told by many writers) is a great one, which is what I was explaining. But to make it easy on you http://www.nba.com/dleague/news/othyus_jeffers_signs_spurs_comeback_2014_01_23.html

  • fkj74

    Fan from down under..please!! Tough time until the guys are back. Hopefully someone steps up. I expect a 500. rodeo road trip Go Spurs!

  • Spurs fan in Australia

    My post was intended to be sarcastic, thus the asterix at the bottom indicating sarcasm filter was on when I wrote it.