El Conclusión: Milwaukee Bucks 106, San Antonio Spurs 103

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San Antonio Spurs 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
106 Milwaukee Bucks
Tim Duncan, C 36 MIN | 9-12 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 7 AST | 20 PTS | +7

A good performance, a lot of minutes and the Spurs still lost.

Richard Jefferson, SF 34 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -8

Missed the shot that could’ve sent the game into overtime, but still gave a decent performance.

DeJuan Blair, F 24 MIN | 5-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +2

Blair was efficient offensively, but otherwise fairly forgettable.

Tony Parker, PG 36 MIN | 10-18 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 22 PTS | -3

Eight assists, but almost as many turnovers. I think a lot of people expected Parker to pick up his game when Manu went down. He hasn’t picked it up enough.

Gary Neal, PG 21 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +3

Missed both of his threes, which are kind of important. Forced into some backup point guard duty when TJ Ford got hurt.

T.J. Ford, PG 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +5

Got hurt. Shouldn’t be too bad. Hopefully. I don’t expect him to play tomorrow night.

Matt Bonner, PF 21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -13

Hit one 3-pointer. Made a huge defensive error late in the game leaving Ersan Ilyasova open in the corner for a 3-pointer. Bonner is struggling right now.

Daniel Green, G 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -1

Didn’t see much of the floor, hopefully he isn’t losing his spot in the rotation already. Could see a lot of minutes Wednesday night against Houston.

Tiago Splitter, C 15 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2

Pretty anonymous night. Made a few plays, nothing major, though.

James Anderson, SG 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | 0

Again the Spurs didn’t get much from Anderson in his minutes. He should have an opportunity to impress Wednesday night against Houston.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 33 MIN | 9-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | -5

Kawhi looked like a player Tuesday night. Sean Elliott was right, Leonard did have his hands down too much when guarding Stephen Jackson. Otherwise, Kawhi was one of the few who came to play.

Ike Diogu, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

Um.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The key play for me was when Bonner left Ilyasova open in the corner for 3 with about two minutes left in the game and the Spurs down one. The Spurs are instructed never to help from that position and that’s exactly what Bonner did.
  2. Bonner continues a run of bad games. Not only is he not getting, and making, a lot of 3s, but his help defense has been unusually poor. Bonner isn’t a good one-on-one defender, that we know, but he’s normally solid in positioning and knowledge in help defense. Not so much right now.
  3. I don’t fault Richard Jefferson for missing that last 3 that could’ve sent the game into overtime. That happens. He still shot 3-7 for 3. If anything, fault him for the 3-pointer he missed a couple of possessions before, when RJ was wide open from the wing and the ball was half way down before rattling out.
  4. Pop said after the game that this was the team with the worst defense that he’s coached. Pretty strong words, but hard to argue with off the top of my head.
  5. What can you say about Tony Parker? He’s trying to take control of the situation and be the guy while Manu is out. It simply looks like he doesn’t have it in him. Parker doesn’t look like a #1 guy, something I think we all knew deep down.
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  • JT

    Neal gets a D from me. His defense is atrocious. Jackson went crazy in the third because of Neal losing him time and time again.

  • Bankshot21

    Does Duncan have to get a triple double to earn am A? My goodness. Didn’t see the game, but his stat line reflects A+ in my opinion. Led team in points, blocks, threw in a steal, best fg% aside from Tiago 1-1, best +/-….what else must he do??

  • AP

    This is the grumpiest post-game recap I’ve ever read.

  • TD BestEVER

    I agree with you about TD……..

    We need to trade TP.  Bonner needs to ride the pine and the Spurs have to sign someone to help out ouf front-court if they keep TP

  • Anonymous

    Tony, as of late, looks more like a player who’s executing
    on after thought more so than deliberate command.  Almost as if he doesn’t have a pulse on
    what’s going on around him when it comes to his teammates on the floor.  Now that could be a direct result of Manu not
    being there, but that shouldn’t matter if you’re the team’s starting PG.  It’s almost as if Tony NEEDS a PG like 2
    guard on the floor at the same time for him to be most effective.

    I know the Spurs called up Malcolm Thomas from the DL.  Would be nice if they could call up Marcus Morris as well.  The team has no use for Bonner anymore.  His value was predicated on knocking down 3’s and they have plenty of 3 point specialists now without having to put up with his forgetful defense.  Any of the two Thomas or Morris would probably play better D than Bonner and maybe Morris giving Splitter or Blair a run for their money in steady rotation minutes.

  • Senorglory

    Are we going to not play Splitter again this year?  goddammit.  

  • Anonymous

    Parker’s defense wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty either.  In fact….The whole team with the exception of Leonard played forgetful defense in this game.  Blair’s just to short to “defend” the paint and Duncan is more often than ever getting beat down low as well.

  • Ch500634

    of all the losses of the year this one was the most inexcusable by far. not every road game is an excusable loss! 

  • Anonymous

    Too short a season is an additional justification for the FO not to instigate any trade of TP midstream. They’d have to receive a phonecall and an enticing offer, to upset the applecart going into what may well be TD’s last playoff push. Doubtful that such offers for Parker are forthcoming at present… and beyond that, I tend to agree with the view (expressed by fellow posters here recently) that useful PGs have become relatively abundant across the NBA, so why give up assets for TP when other suitable PGs can be had? Supply is killing demand for TP… even in SA. They have tried shopping TP in the past, only to find the interest in the younger GHill.

    TD BestEver, I think Pop’s frustration with shoddy D, combined with the consitentcy of last 3 seasons added to likely similar or declining results this year will translate into the writing on the wall finally being read by Spurs decision-makers. They have to do some serious deconstruction. Changes will HAVE to come this summer. The Spurs are running low on assets, but the changes have to come even if it means they have to embrace the dreaded concept of rebuilding. We might even be seeing, hard as it is to believe, the end of the Matt Bonner era in San Antonio.

  • grego

    First game of back to back and Duncan played over 35. Splitter is playing big minutes in the second night. 

  • grego

    Played 35.5. minutes. 

  • Justin-ray

    Maybe we should trade tp…. there you go td=best ever! If the dude cant step up, then what the hell??? I hate bonner! I hate alot of things about this team right now. We need to win tomorrow

  • Justin-ray

    Its looking dire right now. But im gonna try to stay positive

  • Bob

    Pop needs to hope the offense is good enough and start the best defenders. The Spurs need to start Green and Splitter. There’s no point bringing your better defenders of the bench after the other team is already hot. They’ve got to set a defensive tone to games. Offense can come and go but defense should be much more consistent.

  • Anonymous

    Almost every single game the Spurs played this season, Tony Parker’s man looked like an MVP.

    Parker can’t defend if his life depended on it.

  • Anonymous

    The first thing the Spurs need to do to get their swagger back on defence is to trade Bonner for a player who has an idea about defence as Bonner has absolutely none.

    If Blair doesn’t pull his finger out and show some pride on defence in the coming weeks, trade him.

    outside of parkers lazy defence, Bonner and Blair are the two real issues on defence and I have a feeling they ain’t going to get better.

  • Justin-ray

    I just want a damn championship

  • FS10

    I know you’re all feeling uneasy, but i think it’s still early for trade talks and all that…
    Parker’s not as fast as he used to be, and those layups that were automatic are not falling for him.. Having said that, i think it happened to him last year also… but then he got his step back…

  • spursfanbayarea

    Parker must go asap for a big man. Maybe a trade to l.a. for gasol. Helps out both teams weaknesses. 

  • DorieStreet

    “The Spurs are running low on assets, but the changes have to come even if it means they have to embrace the dreaded concept of rebuilding.”
    On a 14 player roster there are 7 guys with less that 2 full seasons  NBA expierence, with 5 players either in their second year or are rookies.
    Deeds130, the rebuilding has started.

  • DorieStreet

    Correction: 2 of the 7 (Green and Blair) have 2 full seasons of NBA experience.

  • DorieStreet

    7 turnovers (half the team total) is unacceptable for a 10-year PG. Tony getting stripped by Brandon Jennings in the last minute was just horrendous.

  • TD BestEVER

    Amen brother….or at least a deep playoff run and loose in the West Finals………We are too good to just be forgotten 

  • TD BestEVER

    I think Andrew said it best last night when he said that the Spurs have to change Personnel in order to get better on Defense. 

    The problem with playing our best defenders is that Tiago/KL don’t score very well………And even with Tiago/KL playing 20+minutes a game they can’t make up for all of the bad perimeter defense that we have.   you saw what Ct. Jack and Ellis have done to us recently as well as Kevin Martin.   Our best defenders don’t score enough to win so you need players like Neal/Blair/RJ’s Offense in order to keep the game close. Parker can’t carry a team on offense and TD is well past his Prime so the days of starting 2 defensive players in our starting 5 are over because we can’t score enough points if we do.  

    Solution – Trades and FA signings we need Big’s that can either fill it up, or lock it down.  Not these good defenders/rebounders/shooters.  We need more complete players. MORE TALENT 

  • TD BestEVER

    just looking at the PG’s in the NBA – I think Rubio has surpassed TP.  Look at his assist totals coming off the bench.   

    TP is like 12th in the NBA in Assist at 7.2 per game.  And this is his highest total EVER!  Scoring and FG% are both down a ton.  He hasn’t shot this bad or scored this few points since his ROOKIE YEAR!!!!   Trade this guy already.  Atlanta would probably welcome him.  Jeff Teague is pretty bad most nights 
     

  • JT

    That was a foul though that didn’t get called

  • JT

    Where are the pregame analyses you used to have last season? I enjoyed those…

  • Chromao

    Five things I saw
    1. Gary Neal couldn’t care less for defense;
    2. The key play for me was not when Bonner left Ilyasova open in the corner for 3; instead it was when Gary Neal was guarding a red hot Stephen Jackson late in the game , which lead to the easiest two of Jackson’s 34 points; 
    3. Pop dis a poor coaching job this game regarding substitutions and assignments. Why didn’t D. Green play more, particularly when Jackson and Jennings were killing us. Why was Neal guarding Jackson ?
    4. James Anderson is really, really struggling
    5. Our inside game right now is nil;

  • Aaron Pinchback

    Tony’s not a #1, but neither is anyone else on this roster. Tim’s got too much mileage to be the focus at this point, and Manu…you can’t be “The Guy” if we can’t be certain you’re going to be on the court. For all of his gifts, Manu is now officially “injury-prone.” This is not the 4th season in the last five where the Spurs hopes will ride – and evnentually collapse – on some failing part of Manu’s anatomy. 

  • Andres

    hey Andrew I have a homework asignment for you. Maybe two or three seasons ago, Tony Parker was always in the top 5 in points int the paint among all players, I think he even lead the league once, which is absolutely amazing for a point guard. Steve Smith from TNT used to say the Spurs didn’t need more post players other than tim because Tony and Manu could get to the paint so much. Before his injury, Manu seemed to be getting to the hoop prettyt well, but Tony, for a couple of years now, isn’t getting to the paint nearly as he used to. Can you find out where does tony rank among current players in scoring in the paint? The last time I saw tony play this slow it turned up he had plantar fasciitis.Is he tired from playing with his national team? The last couple of years. Tony was supposed to be the Spurs all star, because he is supposed to be in his prime. I think his game has been declining the last couple of seasons and guys like: Conley, Gordon, westbrook, Lawson, Rondo, all seem to outplay him. I;m not sure Tony has been a top 7 point guard for the last couple of seasons, did he peak at  age 27?

  • DorieStreet

    6-4, which is 1st in SW divsion & 4th in conference standings but tied for 5th best record.

    Next 3 at AT&T Ctr, then 5 of 7 on the road; 4 games in 5 days next week- BTB away in Florida  (MIA, ORL) with a BTB H/A but away game in HOU (after hosting SAC). 9 of the remaining 12 January games are in conference but the three east teams were in playoffs (ATL is the third squad).
    End the month with a BTB away versus defending champs and last season’s western conference 8th seed.
    January 31st will be the day of the Spurs’ 22nd game–exactly 1/3 through the season.
    Can the team play .500 or better ball over the next 3 weeks.

  • Ch500634

    I kno things arent looking good but lets look at things from a glass-half-full standpoint. For a struggling defensive team we got possibly the best player we could’ve gotten from this year’s draft. Kawhi Leonard is a future 1st-team All NBA defender and he has been in double figures 3 games in a row, a very good sign for the future. Also, I’m not saying the D was GOOD, but it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Some of those shots Stephen Jackson made were so unreal they seemed to be lucky! Also, Jennings was making contested shots at a high rate as well and who the heck is Carlos Delfino? Guy probably played the best game of his life that night. All I’m saying is, if the shots didn’t go down we wouldn’t be talking about it, and most nights those won’t. 

  • TheRed&Black

    This is true, but it is becoming increasingly worrisome that guys like Jackson(old),Jennings(inconsistent), and Delifino(unproven), are habitually having career nights againsts the Spurs. Everybody from Ellis( all-star) to Marcus Morris(unproven). It is like we are a stepping stone for players to gauge where they are offensively. This is not where we want to be. Our defense usually isn’t bad, but its is rarely great. Teams think the Spurs are soft! We rely too much on the numbers, and are ok with losses chalking it up to this or that player having great games. Players should not have great games against you when you care about defense/losing. This is why Manu is great, this is why Timmie is great, this is why Kawhi will be great, this is why TP is not great, why RJ is not great, why Bonner will never be great.   

  • Justin-ray

    Kawhi leonard will be our next best player

  • DorieStreet

    Starting playing pro ball (in Europe) at 17; then, all of those summers playing for the French National team probably added 4-5 years of wear and tear on his body. And all of the PGs you listed are 25 or younger (Rondo turns 26 next month) and have 2 years of college ball or less when they joined the league (Lawson played 3 years at UNC).
    If (and it is a big one) the New York Knicks wake up from their stupor (head coach gone?) and make a run for the top 4/5 spots in the east, maybe they request Tony in  a trade next month.

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  • DorieStreet

    So I guess it’s time to re-establish the defense-first culture by eliminating the two players with the 2nd and 3rd longest tenures on this squad, who have been lambasted the most for lack of defensive skills and attitude===Parker and Bonner in trade (most likely together).

  • Tyler

    And who would the Spurs take back? NY’s roster leaves a lot to be desired. Outside of Amare, Melo and Chandler, not a lot of value…..

  • Anonymous

    Trade now pay later or tank now reward later.  Which is it you want to see?  Or…stand pat, make playoffs, maybe go to finals (maybe not) and then at best have an end of first round pick and second round pick to build your future while Parker, Ginobili and Duncan get another year older while having to endure another season with Bonner, Blair and Splitter as your main post players.

  • Tyler

    I think you’re overstating TP’s struggles on the defensive end. By no means is he a great, or even a good defender, but he’s definitely no worse the average. 

    The fact is it’s nearly impossible to guard on the perimeter in today’s NBA. Derrick Rose couldn’t defend Derrick Rose. Russell Westbrook has no shot at stopping Russell Westbrook. Even an elite defender like Bruce Bowen in his heyday would have trouble defending today’s PG’s. The rules are simply set up to allow dribble penetration. Contact on the perimeter leads to a quick foul call. That’s the biggest reason you see the NBA getting smaller and smaller, why there are more stretch 4’s than ever.

    TP hasn’t played well this year, no doubt about it. But I think it’s misguided to say he’s as weak a defender as Bonner.

  • KC

    Couldn’t agree more.  His play in the 2007 finals now seems like a fluke instead of a promise of things to come.  You can see the indecisiveness on his face when closing out a game.  

  • Anonymous

    I guess Pop’s statement as this being the worst defensive team he’s ever seen has no bearing.  The rotations are horrible and when they are up to standard…the talent to actually defend is poor.  This is a direct attribute to the team having no defensive presence in the post.  No longer can the perimeters players just channel to the post or baseline because there is NO post defense presence.  They have to over-compensate on the perimeter (often having to double out) thus leaving wide open players not guarded on the perimeter for open shots and/or huge holes in the lane for an all too easy effort to score in the paint.

    Its a lack of talent and declining abilities that’s causing this juncture in Spurs basketball.  Half full would mean the team had some sort of measurable talent in the areas they are weak to think it would improve.  Blair IS NOT going to be able to defend the paint.  Splitter WILL NOT be anything more than he already proved to be in Europe.  Bonner NEVER will be a player ANY team fears to penetrating the post.  And all the while…the Spurs perimeter players will have to endure trying to stick to their assigned players while battling through single to double screens that open up either a wide open J or too easy a lane drive just because the Spurs post players have NO talent to stopping such action on the court.

  • Hobson13

    I’m pretty sure we won’t make the Finals this year.  I can’t see this team getting past the second round.  Tops.  We have poor perimeter defense, non existent interior defense, and no inside scoring game outside of Parker’s floaters.  We are the 2012 version of the Phoenix Suns except our Steve Nash is injury riddled and out for 6-8 weeks with a broken hand.  We can either make drastic changes now (and still might make the playoffs next year) or just slowly make our way to becoming irrelevant.

  • Anonymous

    My appologies Ch500634.  I didn’t mean to single out your response to vent my frustration.  I would like to think there is something positive to come about regarding this team’s defensive capabilities.  I just don’t see it a reality with the talent it now possesses in the front court.

  • Hobson13

    I meant to continue from my previous post.  I say make large steps to rebuild (let the season go and trade for higher draft picks) THIS year when we have a very good draft ahead of us instead of just dying a slow death while Manu, Tim, and Tony become older.

  • Nima K.

    Ricky Rubio would look great in silver and black. I wish there was a way to make it happen.

  • Anonymous

    Josh Smith for Parker works strait up but…though Smith is a great talent…not positive he would sure up the post as well with the Spurs since there isn’t a young coexist big like Al Horford on the team.  And Horford’s talent is what allows Smith to do what he does.  There simply isn’t that many “good” options for trading Parker unless it is for a draft pick(s).  Which if it were for a mid to high pick in next year’s draft…I’d pull the trigger because if Parker is dealt for a next year draft pick…it probably means the Spurs get two 1st round picks for not making the finals this year being sans Parker.

  • Anonymous

    Rebuilding in earnest means trading away your star talent, and embracing the lottery. It’s what WAS did in parting with Butler, Haywood, and Jamison. It’s what NJ did in parting with Kidd, Carter, and RJ. When Scottie Pippen left CHI, you knew the Bulls were rebuilding. So, nope, SA hasn’t embraced rebuilding. They’ve avoided it. What they’ve done is retooled. The Spurs have avoided rebuilding, thinking that the draft picks and role-players they have are enough to succeed without rebuilding. What I was suggesting is that now the writing on the wall is all too legible. This summer changes have to come. I was being both sarcastic and optimistic regarding the inevitable (and difficult to fathom) end of the Bonner era… or will it be the end the TD era? And with that, perhaps MG goes as well. Until you see that the big 3 is dismantled, any talk of rebuilding is denial. How complete the rebuild is going into next season, who can say, but the crucial prerequisite is to do some major demolition.

  • Bry

    Again with the calls to scrub the season…. Embrace the lottery!? The lottery is luck-based. Luck! You want to blow up a good team in order to throw the dice in the lottery? Dorie Street is right. The Spurs have already moved to a youth movement, and don’t need to do anything drastic. Who the hell is they are not top-tier title contenders? Neither are the vast majority of teams in the NBA. The logical time for the Spurs to do a big move is this summer; and that has been painfully obvious for quite some time. They’ll have huge cap space as opposed to the crippled financial position they are in now, and they’ve got a number of good young pieces. It’s gonna get really old if every impatient panicky person writes an annoying message about how the Spurs need to dump everybody and go crazy each time they lose this season. There’s no reason to mortage the entire future of the franchise cuz you guys inexplicably want to ‘embrace’ the lottery this summer.