El Conclusión: Chicago Bulls 96, San Antonio Spurs 86
|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.
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
- 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.
- 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.