El Conclusion: New Orleans Hornets 95, San Antonio Spurs 88
|Tim Duncan, PF 26 MIN | 5-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -13
Tim Duncan struggled to find his shot and clean passing lanes tonight. Still managed some moments of defensive brilliance.
|Tiago Splitter, PF 26 MIN | 2-4 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -2
The ball movement was stagnant all night, depriving Tiago Splitter his life blood of pick-and-roll quick-hitters. Also had some nice defensive plays.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 31 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -6
Solid but unspectacular.
|Tony Parker, PG 33 MIN | 7-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | -16
Tony Parker struggled to collapse the Hornets defense tonight, which set the tone for everything else. At times Parker over-penetrated or held onto the ball for too long, picking up far too many turnovers and derailing the offense.
|Danny Green, SG 20 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -6
Danny Green was due one of these nights where nothing would fall. He tends to either hit everything in sight or drop off the face of the Earth. The scary thing is how the rest of the Spurs offense tends to drop off with him.
|Matt Bonner, PF 8 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0
Lost Ryan Anderson a few times on the perimeter and was fortunate not to have been burned more for it. Popovich went with Bonner to try and space the floor and find some passing lanes. Unfortunately the ploy was well scouted and Bonner failed to get off a shot. Furthermore, his lack of a high-low game allowed the Hornets to front Duncan in the post with little penalty.
|Stephen Jackson, SF 19 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +8
Rough shooting night in his game back from an ankle injury..
|Boris Diaw, C 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | -4
Stat line doesn’t look all too different from any other Boris Diaw game, but was highly ineffective in furthering the Spurs offensive goals.
|Patty Mills, PG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +4
|Gary Neal, PG 28 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +4
Found some shots despite the general lack of ball movement and was one of the few Spurs not bitten by the turnover bug.
|Nando de Colo, PG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +4
Needs to watch film of Greivis Vasquez, as the New Orleans Hornets point guard might be a best case scenario for Nando de Colo.
|Manu Ginobili, SG 25 MIN | 7-13 FG | 5-5 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 21 PTS | -8
Consecutive games with dunks for Manu Ginobili. Was perhaps the only Spurs player to look like himself. Repeatedly knifed his way through the Hornets defense.
The Hornets seemed thoroughly prepared with a game plan tailored specifically geared towards the San Antonio Spurs and Popovich had few answers on this night.
Five Things We Saw
- Tonight was the product of a team executing a brilliantly designed game plan tailored towards a specific opponent. The Hornets cut off the easy corner kick out pass on dribble penetration and ran shooters off the line. They disrupted high-low opportunities for Duncan, and kept Tony Parker off balance all night.
- Eric Gordon isn’t built like your prototypical shooting guard, but it’s easy to forget how good of a shooting guard he is. Other than he and James Harden, there’s been a lack of quality star shooting guards to enter the NBA, and neither are built like we’d expect from a shooting guard. In possibly related news, the NFL and college football has seen a huge increase in 6-4 to 6-6 wide receivers. I’d have to look further into it to see if this is a related trend.
- Anthony Davis did a lot of things to disrupt the Spurs offense beyond blocking or disrupting shots at the rim. Notably on one play he was able to pluck a Kawhi Leonard cross court pass out of the air with his impossibly long reach. The best success the Spurs had with Davis was attacking him directly with Tim Duncan.
- Popovich turned to Matt Bonner for a brief time to attempt to space the floor. The Hornets, however, exposed his lack of passing from the high post and simply fronted Duncan. Making it almost impossible for the Spurs to directly attack Anthony Davis or Ryan Anderson in the low block.
- The Hornets disrupted the Spurs preferred options and the team responded with generally sloppy play. The number of turnovers tell enough, even if they don’t tell the entire story. Passes were off target all night, requiring shooters to step over, lean, jump, or bend down to receive a pass. This bought the Hornets’ defense time to chase the shooters off the three-point line and disrupt the Spurs offense.