El Conclusión: Oklahoma City 108, San Antonio 96

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San Antonio Spurs 96 Final

Recap | Box Score

108 Oklahoma City Thunder
Tim Duncan, C 23 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -5Duncan continues to shoot poorly. On the second night of a back-to-back he looked a little flat, but more than that, he looked 35.
Richard Jefferson, SF 19 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -4I’ll say it. Richard Jefferson has been the Spurs most consistent player this season. Another solid outing for RJ, despite the Spurs’ overall team play.
DeJuan Blair, F 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-3 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -4Fairly standard game from Blair. Active and available around the hoop, aggressive on the boards.
Tony Parker, PG 25 MIN | 1-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 4 PTS | -3The Spurs needed Parker’s scoring tonight, but he simply couldn’t get it going. He’ll forget this game by Tuesday, and so will we.
Gary Neal, PG 28 MIN | 7-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +2Solid game from Neal, who, as a silver lining stat, was able to pad his conditioning with 4th quarter garbage time minutes.
T.J. Ford, PG 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 4-5 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -18T.J. Ford finally fall back to earth. Part of the reason the Spurs lost so badly is that neither of their point guards were on their game tonight.
Matt Bonner, PF 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -11Ugh. Matt Bonner is quickly playing himself out of the rotation. On a roster with such a thin frontcourt, that’s saying something.
Ike Diogu, PF 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +11For his career, Ike Diogu is a great per minute scorer with a skill for drawing fouls, but he’s a terrible defender. We saw a little of both those things in his first real minutes as a Spur.
Daniel Green, G 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | -2When he plays within himself, he’s a great bench player. When he forces his offense, he hurts the Spurs. He forced too much tonight.
Tiago Splitter, C 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -22I’d like to see Splitter board more, but he’s finding his game and helped the Spurs more than he hurt them.
James Anderson, SG 17 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | 0The story on James Anderson is simple: he can get shots, but he can’t seem to make them. More of the same in this game.
Kawhi Leonard, SF 34 MIN | 6-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -4Leonard played very well. He was really active on the boards, played solid defense, and didn’t force anything on offense. He shows improvement every game and it’s clear why the Spurs were willing to pay the high price of George Hill in order to add him to their roster. Excellent game from Leonard.

Five Things We Saw

  1. It’s not surprising, but certainly worth noting that the Spurs are still winless on the road, and they’ve looked especially flat when playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road.
  2. Danny Green started the game strong, but tried to do too much off the dribble, leading to bad possessions and avoidable turnovers. Pop pulled him and, in the second half, chose to substitute James Anderson before Danny Green. All good coaching.
  3. The Thunder closed hard on Danny Green whenever he spotted up on the perimeter. Please note: the scouting reports have gone out. Green showed some ability to put the ball on the floor and make good things happen, but he has less ability in that area than he realizes.
  4. Lost in the concern of over Manu Ginobili’s injury is the below-their-standards play of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan this season. Duncan is old. His minutes and numbers are easy to rationalize. Parker is more of a mystery. He’s simply not playing at his typical level.
  5. Gregg Popovich is smart. His willingness to throw in the towel and develop his bench during blowouts will show a good ROI later this season.
  • TD BestEVER

    Ya he looks horrible…….I was like we already have DJB…..we don’t need another one

  • Anonymous

    Uh I think DJB is way better than this dude.

  • bakedroll

    malcom thomas…d league dude apparently being signed…6’9 forward…played for the l.a team….thats all i know…

  • Bushka

    It doesn’t really boggle the mind so much for me.

    The Spurs Front office is not a perfect snowflake in being unable to find an achievable reliable post scorer that can defend the rim to partner with an all star big.

    Take a look at whats available.

    The spurs whiffed on Scola.  Apart from that there has been very little on the table.  If you are legit front court big in this league you can get a shot at a camp.

    If you show even a glimmer of potential you are every chance of getting a pay day.

    If you can play great offence you get paid or great defence you get paid if you can do both people can’t pay you fast enough.

    Take a look at the top 30 salaries in the leage.

    Timmy/Dirk/Amare/Garnett/Stoudemire/Pau Gasol/Bynum/Al Jefferson/Carlos Boozer/Bosh/Chandler..Most but not all of those guys would work right? Some are horrific on D, others can’t hit the broad side of a barn.  

    How do you propose to get them?  

    The Bottom rung starts at around13 to 14 Million bucks and you could just as easily run into one of the guys that didnt work out…  

    How about 14 Million for Chris Kaman?17 Million for Elton brand?Antawn Jamison at $15 million?

    The solidly talented next level guys like Marc Gasol, Noah et al are going to all cost you in excess of 10 million as free agents, and we have not had 10 million in cap space for a long time…

    As to trades.

    Gm’s simply do not give up top tier bigs for good PG’s unless its the very top of the pile carry a franchise style PG.  It’s just ridiculously hard to fill a front court with more than one quality human.  

    Take a look at L.A.  People are raving about a Gasol/Bynum front court because it is literally awesome.  It’s unique in the current NBA to have such power and skill at the two Big slots on one team.  But they were gifted Gasol and have developed Bynum.

    You end up at a level where you are trading away your starting PG, killing your ballhandling and guard rotation quality for a big thats around the level of what? Andris Biedrins? DeAndre Jordan? Brendan Haywood?  Projects and misfits.  One dimensional guys that hamstring your cap space and don’t give you nearly enough to put you over the top.  Not to mention that when Manu goes down and your left with combo guards running the point your not winning jack regardless.

    Good young bigs get paid in long contracts laden with hope for fulfilled potential.  History is absolutely littered with Bigs that never lived up to the hype but got paid because they are such incredibly important parts of a championship team.

    Todays Deandre Jordan is yesterdays Andris Beidrins, or is he the next Tyson Chandler. All i know is we didnt have the cap space to even roll the bloody dice in the first place.

    This front office has done a great job in bringing in two starter quality role player style bigs who a lot of clubs would love to have in Splitter & Blair for the grand total of $4.5 million…

    Are you kidding me…Two parts of a big man rotation for under $5 million.  

    Not the best in the league but they keep finding rotation bigs for bugger all cash in a marketplace where they are the most sought after commodity.  

    Thats a superb talent to have in a front office.  They keep looking for prospects they keep assigning people to the Toros and bringing in guys on 5 day contracts and working the system looking for help.  At the end of the day that is all they can do when they don’t have the cap space.  Because Nene is not walking in that door anytime soon to sign for the leage minimum, and Chicago is not giving up Joakim Noah for Tony Parker.

  • Bushka

    Trade him for what and who exactly?  I appreciate that his trade value has not increased at all.  However what are you expecting to get back for him?  Then or now.

  • Bushka

    Last year he wasn’t getting fed and i figured it would come with more time as the roll man.
    But I agree they are just not finding him at all.

  • TD BestEVER

    Look at my post above as to what Memphis just got for a 2nd rd pick and James Anderson type player…….

    A 6-10 255pd post player that can score face up and post up……. players that need a new team and chance to thrive…..TP can at least get you one of these and a PG prospect

  • TD BestEVER

    I know you were around last year but It appears that you don’t follow the NBA as closely as you sound.  There are 2-3 potential ALL star Bigs moved each year or are available and the Spurs are jumping at none of them.   Now All Star potential is something like 18-8 per game……TS/DJB don’t have that in them yet and may never get it. Blair being the closet.  Guys like Brandon Wright, Anthony Randolph, Jason Thompson, Speights now with Memphis are all 25 and younger.  ALL are better than we have right now with exception of TD.  So why not take a chance on one of then instead of letting all of our rivals steal away all of the talent.

  • Justin-ray

    Td best ever….. lmao you are a silly silly guy. Almost comical in how you think you know how to run a professional sports franchise that is in the top of the league year in and year out. I think you should stick to nba 2k12. Funny guy

  • Justin-ray

    And to say dejuan blair is out of shape and lost on the court shows how much you really understand about basketball in general. I bet you are the lost out of shape one. Just sayin funny guy. Mareese speights doesnt scare anyone. This is why he was traded for a 2nd round pick and xavier henry (who)? Funny know it all guy

  • Bob

    Exactly they were willing to offer him 9mil a season before his latest setback.

  • Justin-ray

    But if danny green continues to grow and james anderson continues to dissapoint then we should trade him with bonner or a pick

  • Bob

    I agree. TP is going to fall off pretty quickly since he’s mediocre passer and has no jumpshot. Good point guards can fall back on passing or shooting but TP can’t really fall back on that because he was never a good passer or shooter.

  • Anonymous

    Fair point. However, the new CBA limits contracts to 4 years. The Spurs have lured new players in the past with shorter deals and a guaranteed role or starting job, and then paying them longterm when they re-sign. But regardless, 4 years is not a Biedrins or Brand scenario. And the key factor is that they need to roll the dice, cuz they are going nowhere with the bigs they have. When you get right down to it, what is there to lose?

    And if they make the wrong gamble?? Your post seems to imply that for a franchise like SA, only the draft will land you a chance at the right kind of big. Everybody loves CHI, and OKC… both had to endure some sustained losing to get where they are now. So, here you have another argument against sticking with the guys holding down the paint at the moment, and saying that’s good enough. Good enough for what? How many years of that is too many years?

  • Anonymous

    According to your description you think the Spurs are going to remain competitive with just bringing in players at dimes to a dollar.  And my case isn’t about giving up on that philosophy when it concerns trying out players.  To that the Spurs are probably the best team in the league at doing that.

    And your point regarding bigs is warranted and true.  There isn’t that many top tier bigs in this league.  And you are correct….the ones that are that good are already commanding top salary.  And yes…Other teams would love to have a Blair and Splitter for under 5 mil.

    So…I acknowledge the obvious which you pointed out which prevents the Spurs from just throwing money (which they don’t have) in convincing a top tier big to play in San Antonio.

    But if you expect me to believe the Spurs will remain contender material without one (top tier big)…and Duncan isn’t anymore…then you might as well peddle your goods on to the next house…this one ain’t buying.

    Now let me explain my philosophy in this situation though I would submit you will probably tell me to peddle my goods somewhere else as well.  Fair enough.  But here it is anyway.

    Point guards are becoming a dime a dozen to pick up.  And I’m not talking about any PG.  Really good PG’s are easier to get than a really good big.  For the most part even if a PG isn’t a top five at his position, they are still very talented and easier to develop into a system than a less than adequate big.  Some are saying Parker is losing his abilities.  Declining.  To some extent that may have some truth…but he is still a very, very good PG in this league. I argue what we are seeing isn’t the decline in Parker so much that it is a rise in the level of talent in PG’s coming into this league.

    That said…what you see from young bigs is more than likely what you get for their entire career in the nba.  If they are good at scoring, that’s what you get.  If they are good at defense…that’s what you get.  I can’t think of one big in this league that if they didn’t possess a positive trait in their respective position where they developed that in the nba.

    The curious case of Utah and Deron Williams comes to mind.  Williams, probably in the top 5 of PG’s in this league is traded to the Nets. For whom and what draft picks did they select?  Bigs.  Utah knows they can eventually draft or even convince a really good PG to join their team and then… here’s your philosophy…more easily DEVELOP that PG into a solid player in this league than they could in developing just any big to be more than what he already is.  All at a cheaper rate ( and I dare say more value for the dollar) than what they would have to pay just a servicable big.

    If the Spurs were to trade Parker for a top tier big, the Spurs don’t have to wait until lottery bound to select one in the draft and can more easily mold a PG than trying to mold a Big.

    But I respect your point of view.  It is apparent in that’s what the Spurs are doing.  And the Spurs ARE a great organization which I’m not trying to demean.  Top in the league in my POV.  And above all…my favorite team.

    Thank you for your well thought and written comment.  I understand your philosophy and hope it is what’s best for the Spurs and it’s future.  I just think they should approach the need of a top tier big differently than what they’re willing to do.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.nbadraft.net/players/malcolm-thomas

    At least a step in the right direction.  A defensive minded post player that if he adds some bulk to his frame could be a nice rotation player on a team.

    Kawhi’s team mate in college.

  • bakedroll

    he has played decently thus far in the dleague. only three games thus far but appears to be a high energy dude that hustles. here is the dleague page….http://www.nba.com/dleague/playerfile/malcolm_thomas/index.html?nav=page….guys at projectspurs did a little write up…here is the link..http://projectspurs.com/2012-articles/january/spurs-call-up-malcolm-thomas-from-d-league.html.

  • JustinFL

    I know right Ithought the same thing.  Apparently Speights came into camp overweight and on the outs with Doug Collins.  Good job by the Grizz sniffing this one out and getting creative by adding NO into the mix to get the deal done.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the links.

  • TD BestEVER

    Dude what are you talking about Speights is better than anyone on our roster now(close behind TD) and has more upside.  These are exactly the type of people you should target……. And for all your wisdom I have never read you come up with any good trade candidates.  To think that our front-court is set and Championship ready is a joke.  And to not call out our FO after several years of not getting it done is even more of a joke. Funny Guy!   Or maybe you are just one of those fans that relesh mediocrity…..What a boring uneventful life you must lead.

  • Bankshot21

    I somewhat agree with you. If you’re going to show +/- why not also show fouls committed in the act of shooting, turnovers that led to points. Etc. +/- is the most misleading stay around.

  • Justin-ray

    The reason you dont hear me come up with trade scenarios is because it would be pointless. I do think we need another big man. I dont know who, nor will i pretend to know who. We traded malik rose for nazi muhamed, so im sure we do need some trade similar to that. I said package bonner with anderson or use a pick. But im gonna realize that i am not the owner or gm of a top franchise. We still have our MLE dont we? How about Pryzbilla?? Im just tired and im sure alot of people are tired of reading the ridiculousness you post when the spurs lose a game! TANK huh?? How about not tank and just be men and ride till we die! Sorry thats not the quick magical fairy tale fix that you want but its whats gonna happen. And the spurs will be right up there in the west even when duncan and manu go. This is because they EVOLVE players and scout. You need to show more patience and trust in YOUR team. Damn

  • Justin-ray

    When we start losing game after game and miss the playoffs, then i will call out the FO. You do realize there will never be another tim duncan right? Funny guy

  • TD BestEVER

    I have NEVER SAID TANK……Learn to read…Why would I say tank when we still have TD on the team…….That’s why I want to trade TP…… to make 1 last run while we still have TD.   SMH at these comments. And how will we be up there after TD/Manu when TP has already shown signs of slowing down and we have no Star type players on our roster.  FA’s haven’t been exactly falling all over themselves to come to SA unless we are willing to vastly over pay for them.   

    Look at our last 3 big FA signings 

    RJ – over paid
    Bonner – over paid 
    Splitter – over paid 

    And you think we will be up there in the West after TD/Manu….with who leading the team.  Even if we do land a Star player, they will prob want to leave and go else where.

  • TD BestEVER

    You are making my point Funny GUY.  Because there may never be another TD/Manu we need to go after players with high upside now.  If they don’t pan out – we still have TD/Manu to be excited about.  If they work out, we have the next generation of playoff bound Spurs now.  AS of now we don’t have much chance of making the playoffs after the Big 2 leave.

  • Justin-ray

    The spurs are not done looking and scouting. Just because 2k12 says a player doesnt have high potential doesnt make it true. I think you just need to switch teams after duncan retires lol. The spurs have always done things differently. You would think you would understand that, funny guy. The spurs just signed malcom thomas, lets see what this kid has. He is a terrific shot blocker in college playing along side kawhi leonard and on the los angeles defenders in the d league. Not everything needs to come via trade.

  • Anonymous

    I might be wrong but I think the point trying to be made is no NBA team is going to have a chance at winning a championship if it doesn’t have at least two top performing players on it’s roster regardless of how many “experimental” players it brings in on the cheap.

    I for one applaud the Spurs for what they’ve been able to do in that regards.  All teams need solid role players and the Spurs are the best at getting them on the cheap and then developing.  But this team is not going to land a top player without either 1) Being a lottery team or 2) trading.

    If the organization is truly set on winning another championship prior to being a lottery team…then trade is the only way because role players don’t win championships if they don’t have at least 2 of the best players in the league at their respected position playing on that team.

    We’ve been spoiled with the success of having Duncan, Ginobili and Parker and are now facing the inevitable of their declining / injury prone latter years from playing so long.

    I can see your point of just enjoying what the team has.  But some…self included…are always going to be on constant visual of what may help so as to hopefully not to have to endure too many mediocre playoff performances and/or losing seasons before they return to prominence.

    Thank you.  You make sense.  Very good sense.  But so do some of the concerns that others address.

  • TD BestEVER

    Malcom Thomas…..rotfl.  And you call me funny guy.   How is he suppose to be anything other than another ROLE PLAYER. You do realize that he is UNDERSIZED and W/O a JUMP SHOT right.  The names I have mentioned have STAR POTENTIAL……. And that doesn’t come from a video game, it comes from on the court game.  

    But to make the need even more clear to you look at the teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year and the level of talent they HAVE/HAD. 

    Houston – Lowry, Martin, Scola
    Utah – Harris, Jefferson, Milsap
    Golden State – Ellis, Curry, Lee, Wright
    Clippers – Griffin, Gordon, Jordan
    Kings – Evans, Cousins, Thompson
    Minn. – Love, Beasley

    All teams with more talent than SA w/o TD/Manu and didn’t even make the playoffs.  You need 3 ALL-Stars or 2 Franchise Players and we are far from getting either.  

    Also most players leave college early so they take a couple years to develop into ALL-Stars which means SEVERAL loosing years until we return through the draft.   Sorry I will pass and keep entertaining trades.

  • Bushka

    I never said anywhere that we’d remain contenders.

    I am just pointing out the obvious that most of the “Roll the dice” proponents ignore.

    Within the framework of the marketplace, the financial constraints, the small market media buy, the lack of cap space and the problematic situation of trading away assets for things we can’t replace I believe the Front office is doing a good job.

    People use that term “Roll the dice”, like it’s invoking some ancient right or ritual.

    If by roll the dice you mean trying to make a low percentage trade in which you send away a proven system oriented starter for a prospect then yeah thats rolling the dice.  

    It’s also incredibly stupid to get rid of a starter for a project or a huge contract thats going to blow up all the careful work the front office has put in to finally give us cap space next year.

    I just dont get why people don’t see that the Spurs are constantly, and continually attempting to bring in young bigs.  They give out more 5 day contracts and work the development league farm system harder than anyone.  They endlessly discover players they can use in this manner.  They stash picks overseas then try to harvest them when they mature.
    They work within the constraints of their system and marketplace.

    You have to get lucky to draft a Duncan.  You have to get lucky to draft a Manu, or a TP, to pick up a Blair at pick 37, to grab George Hill get two years productive play then turn him round for a lottery talent like leonard thats a great fit.  You have to get lucky to pick up Gary Neal from out of the blue, to have Danny Green turn up on your doorstep to grab James Anderson late..etc etc etc

    Or maybe just maybe you get continually lucky by knowing what you are doing, taking a long view and working the percentages till they fall your way.

    The spurs are not the kind of team thats going to mortgage its future cap space and success on a low percentage crap shoot.   If you think rolling the dice is a good thing go look at some of the other teams in the league that regularly give away money to no good purpose.  

    Our front line is our frontline because of the front office.  It could be a horrific Drew Gooden, Brendan Haywood, Dan Gadzeric inspired mess if we had a front office that liked either taking a lot of chances or just had bottomless pockets.  

  • Bushka

    I completely disagree on the quality of Speights.  Still a project that likes to shoot a lot and is a poor defender for mine.  Potential of course but potentials not enough.

    I really, really don’t like the crazy idea of giving up a starting PG thats not on a crazy salary for two prospects.

    If some GM is going to give us a proven quality two way playing Big man then yeah pull the trigger but it just wont happen.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never said anything about just rolling the dice.

    Look, I agree with you on many talking points.  What I don’t agree with is just standing pat on the hopes…someday…these role players that the Spurs have so diligently and masterfully managed to bring into the system are going to turn out to be All Stars.   And you can’t count Manu and Parker as examples.  They were part of a pioneering effort by the Spurs (another kudos to this organization for doing) who were one of the first teams to recognize talent overseas.  Since Scola, other teams have jumped on that band wagon and now snatch these players in early rounds. They are who they became without the Spurs “molding” them into something more than who they were to begin with.

    But it is a fact that All Star talent just can’t be groomed to be All Star talent.  And in order to get that type of talent the Spurs  (any team for that matter) have to find a way to acquire such talent.  Be it the lottery/high 1st round picks or through trade.  That’s it.

    If the FO or management think otherwise…they’re only fooling themselves and border on the realm of arrogance over reality.  And in order to get top talent…you have to give up top talent or suffer the rigors of loosing seasons.  Now if it is only for sentimental reasons the Spurs don’t…then kudos to them.  They hold true to valuing what their players have experienced and provided in the past.

    But I’ve never suggested they just role the dice.  If they can’t get top talent and or top draft picks for giving up say…Tony Parker…then NO you don’t trade and live with what you have. 

  • Bushka

    Speights is Drew Gooden all over again.  Shoots the ball whenever he touches it and plays crap Defense.  Whats so good about that?

    He is an average rebounder and registers bugger all assists because he basically shoots the ball every possession.  

    he took 18 shots in 28 minutes.  In other words he managed to throw a ball up every 1.5 minutes as first big off the bench.  Awesome.  Just what we need on the spurs.  A guy who is a low efficiency high volume jump shooter from the PF slot.

  • Bushka

    I know the rolling the dice thing was not you.  Sorry about that, I  just hit reply on the last post in the thread.

    I just feel like people are not being realistic and certainly not looking at the long term.

    We’re small market risk averse team. Timmy is no longer the force he was.  We need a super high pick or a top quality big and the only way we get it is through trade.  Next year we have some options.  This year we don’t.

    We just need to suck it up and deal with that, and hope and pray that one of these guys we keep cycling through our farm system hits it out of the park.

  • Bushka

    Outside of Houston nothing very impressive there.  

    Lot of massively over rated names from draft night and people that don’t know how to play Defense.

    If you think Beasley is a good player your worshipping the wrong kind of basketball gods.

  • Justin-ray

    Well next year if duncan takes less money then we can afford somebody. Stop crying. This team is capable

  • Justin-ray

    How many STARS did the mavs have last year?

  • Justin-ray

    And if you consider dirk a true big man…. then ok lol

  • TD BestEVER

    So Beasley isn’t better than ANYBODY ON OUR ROSTER NOT NAMED TD/MANU.  I swear you people can’t read……. I’m not saying we should go after him, just saying the dude can Ball…….And if you don’t think so you don’t know basketball very well……And to say Ellis isn’t impressive……what did he score on us 38 or something…..lmfao…not impressive.   Some fans have ZERO basketball knowledge.    And I know you didn’t say people who don’t know how to play Defense……. As if we have a team full of defensive STUDS.  SMH 

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