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.
  • http://radsci.uthscsa.edu/index.php/User:Nima Nima K.

    Was this a career low for TP? I hope his sucky performance wasn’t out of apathy.

  • Ch500634

    I’m surprised that you think Leonard played so well, I watched him and thought his performance was maybe good enough for a B+ or A- performance. Some of those points came during garbage time and nobody should be getting A+’s in blowout losses. I think Bonner will still be in the rotation but Diogu’s defense was horrendous. Other then that we’ll just have to go get that road win Tuesday against the Bucks. Don’t want to fall to 0-4 on the road! 

  • Hobson13

    While this wasn’t a terrible loss, I’m a bit worried about the Spurs road performance (0-3 so far) considering 8 of the next 13 games are on the road.  IMO, this month will really determine the course of action for the Front Office regarding trades, this season, and the 2012 draft. 

    If you look at the schedule, I can see 10 of the next 13 being very tough games.  If we drop the majority of these games and fall into the 7-8 seed range, we’ve got some decisions.  I obviously not panicking, just looking ahead. 

  • Lvmainman

    Of the 10 road games in the month of January, does anyone think that the Spurs will win more than one. I don’t.

    Ike Diogu was atrocious. Cole Aldrich destroyed him.

    Spurs should consider signing Greg Oden as a free agent next year, especially since he signed for like $1.5 million (since Dwight Howard probably won’t). And an Anthony Randolph type. Spurs need to take a risk on a potential difference maker.

  • Anonymous

    This loss wouldn’t have been as bad to digest if it was against a team that was playing their 2nd game in 3 nights.  But it was against a team that was playing their 3rd game in three nights.  Granted it was a b2b for the Spurs on the road…but many of the starters had easy minutes the night before.  So what good has it shown for them to rest?

    Again, a weak post presence was very evident tonight.  In all the talk about a beefed up perimeter game for this team…the same rings true as it has for the past 3 years…it’s lack of post prominence will be it’s downfall.

    In response to the OP, some player’s might have been graded too kindly for this game as I would like to hear your grade of the officiating tonight.  To me…it was the first game this season I saw “star” preferred treatment being applied by the officials.

  • Jacques

    If this wasn’t a terrible loss, then what is a bad loss? The spurs were down by 20+ pts and only when Durant and Harden left the Spurs inched back in garbage minutes. Plus, this was OKC’s third game in three nights with Durant and Westbrook playing hefty minutes after a close game in Houston. The game should have been close looking at the circumstances.

  • http://radsci.uthscsa.edu/index.php/User:Nima Nima K.

    Keep in mind that KL is showing such performance as a rookie with no pre-season training. I think he deserves an A+. I hope he doesn’t end up being like JA.

  • anirontag

    TP went out to the locker room some time in the 3rd, took a knee and was sore. Didn’t see action after that. 

  • anirontag

    Blair didn’t return after the first half, leaving the Spurs front court thinner than usual. TP also hurt himself sometime in the 3rd, went to the locker room, didn’t come back (he’s fine now though). That hurt the Spurs’ chance of any comeback.

  • Hobson13

    The Thunder are just a better team than the Spurs this year.  There are some nights you just expect to lose and this was one of them.  I am a bit worried about when the some of the support players come back down to earth (Green, RJ, Ford) especially with Manu out and Ducan being 40% of what he was in his prime. 

    I have to say that I think the team’s played VERY hard in Manu’s absence, but also think they’ve played a bit above their heads. 

  • Hobson13

    Houston and New Orleans are the only ones in which I would favor the Spurs.  Also keep in mind we play Portland and Atlanta at home and we could lose both of those games.

  • 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?

  • JT

    For a team that shoots the ball so well form 3, we sure don’t screen out a lot for 3 point shooters. Why do the spurs just not like switching on Pick N Roll? Better to have a body than none at all, even if it is a mismatch.
    Danny’s defense is OK, he lets guys go by time and time again.

    Tony looks like crap, has he forgotten how to play basketball? what is it with this guy, is like he has no motivation at all, and damn is he a crappy shooter.

  • Bry

    This was a schedule loss. Nothing surprising. On the back end and on the road. The bulk of the NBA routinely lose games like that; especially in a condensed season playing against a team many picked to win the West. Their bench destroyed ours (until garbage time) which is another sign of being on the road. We’ve got a number of young players working into the rotation and you can bet their play will be consistently worse on the road. The vets don’t really have that problem, of course, but Manu is out and Tony had a bad game; and there you have it. I marked this game for a loss as soon as the schedule came out – and so should basically every team in the league that travels to OKC on the road on the 2nd night of a b2b. No need to cry over spilled milk.

  • Justin-ray

    Agree with bry…. but…. if we cant win on the road then we are screwed! 3-1 without manu. No need to cry

  • Justin-ray

    Im sure the spurs are looking at other big men in free agency still…

  • Justin-ray

    We are 2 in the west and first in our division. The season just started. Damn. Of course the thunder will most likely go to the finals but im sure the spurs will have something to say about that

  • Justin-ray

    Im tired of james anderson already. He looks like hes pouting about playing time…. just an observation. Trade bate

  • Anonymous

    Agree with Andres 100%. Tony Parker has been the most disappointing Spur this season.

    When watching him play, it’s as if he is not the same player he used to be. He’s only 29, but seems like he lost some speed, as he no longer penetrates the lane like he used to, and is constantly the Spurs worse perimeter defender. Every guy that Parker guarded this season has burned him and made him look like an amateur on D.

    I would add Lowry to the PG list that surpassed Parker’s play and influence.

  • Anonymous

    I swear to God STIJL I was thinking the same thing about the officiating.

    The Spurs players were getting pummeled and fouled, and not a single foul was given, not even after Jefferson was tackled to the ground at the base line.

    The referees played a huge part in the scoreline by not calling those FOULS that led to turnovers and transition baskets for the Thunder. Frankly I don’t think that the Thunder are the best team in the west. Durant is hands down the best player in the west, but I think their downfall will be Westbrook.

    James Harden was getting to the line too easily. If it was a Spur player that had Harden’s drives then he wouldn’t have gotten a single free throw. I don’t normally complain about officiating, but last night was a disgrace. The Spurs were within range all game and should the proper calls have been made, I doubt the Thunder would have ballooned the lead like that.

    For anyone who’s missed the terrible officiating, watch the game again, and focus on the atrocious calls the refs made against the Spurs and the virtual no calls for all Thunder fouls.

  • Tim in Surrey

    A little quick to judge JA, aren’t we? He hasn’t had much time to adjust to the NBA either. You just have to be patient with all of these guys and not get too excited when they have some flashy play or too down when they lay a goose egg. Remember, Spurs develop slowly but develop they do. Anderson is talented, motivated, and confident. I think he’ll be a good player in the long run–but it will be in the long run and not so much this year.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Why should we sign Oden? At this point, all that does is cost us a roster spot. Look, I’m rooting for the guy as much as anyone. But it’s his fifth year and by the end of it he will have played in 82 out of a possible 395 games. He may still come around and be a contributor, as Bill Walton, Sam Bowie, and Grant Hill all did after catastrophic injuries that cost them multiple years. But until he demonstrates that he can contribute on the court there’s no point in using a roster spot on him.

  • Bob

    As good as developing the bench is I don’t think you want it to be a habit. Otherwise you get a bunch of soft players that can’t fight their way out of a paper bag. This team needs to show more fight and be able to handle adversity.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t remember the article or who wrote it by name but this (Parker’s declining ability to score in the paint) was addressed in that article with reasons due to the decline in Duncan’s ability to draw out post players anymore.  Teams don’t honor Tim as they used to thus making the lanes a little smaller and the open shots a little tighter to get off.

    It doesn’t matter who you are…if you have less to work with…you can’t produce as much.  Now I don’t believe that’s the total excuse and Tony might have some decline in his game from two years ago but it has a lot to do with what you are seeing.

    It’s why it boggles my mind that the Spurs haven’t done a better job in getting better help in the post.  Other than a declining, way past his prime Duncan, the Spurs only have serviceable bigs in the rotation.  Some of whom wouldn’t even break third or fourth in the rotation on other team’s rosters.

  • Anonymous

    I think that would depend on how much he would cost.  It’s not like the Spurs are loaded in depth with it’s front court rotations.  If the price and length of contract were right it just could be a wise calculated decision to see if he could remain healthy.  Again…it’s not like the Spurs have prominence in their front court abilities or depth to shy away from a caliber of player Oden may still be IF he could remain healthy.  And this isn’t to say they’re not trying to make something happen but, it appears they haven’t gone all out in trying to acquire a “healthy” option via trade.

  • Len

    Portland has stayed loyal to Greg and if there is any shot that he can return to the court effectively, Portland isn’t letting him go.  Also, I doubt that Greg would leave Portland after how they’ve stood behind him and basically made him a multi millionaire rehab patient.

  • Len

    Portland has stayed loyal to Greg and if there is any shot that he can return to the court effectively, Portland isn’t letting him go.  Also, I doubt that Greg would leave Portland after how they’ve stood behind him and basically made him a multi millionaire rehab patient.

  • jaws3

    I watched the game and was grimacing over the same “Kobe-like” calls that the Thunder were getting–Durant, Harden and Westbrook.  To me that sucked the air of the team; they didn’t call it both ways.  With the ebb and flow of the game, the Thunder probably would have won anyway.  I would just appreciate a level playing field.

    As for all the talk of 3rd game and 3 nights, we still have to remember that OKC was playing T HOME, and their best players are in their 20′s. Aside from RJ (gasp!), we didn’t get much from Duncan and Parker.  Bonner was a non-factor.  (I’d gladly take Nazar Muhammad back.)  Shoot, I thought the last kid we cut from pre-season, Lani something, was more impressive than Ike Diogu has been so far.

    Lastly, hasn’t that Ibaka kid for OKC really improved and settled into his role to be a defense presence, shot blocker and rebounder?  Sam Presti has done a great job of assembling a strong young team with some veteran presence.  They play hard and with chemistry.  He has an unselfish superstar and character guys.  Sounds very familiar…..

  • jaws3

    I watched the game and was grimacing over the same “Kobe-like” calls that the Thunder were getting–Durant, Harden and Westbrook.  To me that sucked the air of the team; they didn’t call it both ways.  With the ebb and flow of the game, the Thunder probably would have won anyway.  I would just appreciate a level playing field.

    As for all the talk of 3rd game and 3 nights, we still have to remember that OKC was playing T HOME, and their best players are in their 20′s. Aside from RJ (gasp!), we didn’t get much from Duncan and Parker.  Bonner was a non-factor.  (I’d gladly take Nazar Muhammad back.)  Shoot, I thought the last kid we cut from pre-season, Lani something, was more impressive than Ike Diogu has been so far.

    Lastly, hasn’t that Ibaka kid for OKC really improved and settled into his role to be a defense presence, shot blocker and rebounder?  Sam Presti has done a great job of assembling a strong young team with some veteran presence.  They play hard and with chemistry.  He has an unselfish superstar and character guys.  Sounds very familiar…..

  • Anonymous

    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.
    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.How is the +/-  showing great disparity when those two had the same numbers for the game? Add 100% from the line and 1 assist to separate Splitter from Blair? Splitter gets a -22 and Blair a -4. Really?

  • Anonymous

    The last time I brought that up I got ganged tackled by several people here saying it was pointless. Not saying anything about it but it’s a long season be it compressed. I’ll take an 8 seed and hope for the best if that happens. Is Diogu’s contract guaranteed?

  • Anonymous

    Then the next time we play them we have to press Durant and Harden or Harden and Westbrook.  Two of those need to be stopped on defense. There’s no way we can win against them if all three get off. 

  • Anonymous

    They weren’t passing the ball well and the tempo was not nearly the same as the home games tempos not to mention the perimeter defense was horrible but this is probably due to them getting worn out after this many games in a short time. They need to go straight to bed and get rest after each game. Everybody’s going through this and any normalcy will probably arrive at playoff time when every body gets the same rest between games.

  • Bob

    A scheduled loss for who? It was OKC’s last game of a b2b2b where they won the first 2.

  • Anonymous

    Good point.  I was just examining if there were a possibility it wouldn’t hurt the rotation as much as might believed IF a player like ODEN were to be taken a chance on since the Spurs front court rotation resembles that more of a declining, once in his prime All-Star and then after that some players that probably wouldn’t even break 3rd or 4th rotation on other nba teams.

  • Anonymous

    With the money available next season I would go after guys like them and sell them on the the great tradition and 1st class organization that this ownership is. Take them to the best steak house and Mexican restaurant or maybe even Whaterburger. We’ll have the  $$$$ to buy them a triple meat combo. 
    “Have it your way” On the serious side I agree.

  • http://radsci.uthscsa.edu/index.php/User:Nima Nima K.

    I certainly hope so.

  • Anonymous

    For a low cost contract on Oden I’ll take my chances. If Pop is signing Diogu then I don’t see anything wrong with Oden if we can get him for the cheap. Perfect time for him to be all healed up and ready to contribute next season. A healthy Oden giving us 10 minutes and being our last big in the rotation is better than what we have now.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly how is Blair a -4 and Splitter a -22 when they have identical numbers and  Splitter  is 100% at the line at 4-4 and 1 assist? And Blair a B and Splitter a B-. Fuzzy logic?

  • NYC

    Do you understand what +/- measures? It’s how many points the team scores or gives up while that player is on the floor. No player single-handedly scores nor gives up 22 points no matter how good or bad you want to believe him to be. It’s a rating of the four teammates on the floor as much as it is of that particular player–which is why you shouldn’t read so much into +/-, or any stat for that matter. Basketball is not a video game, you know.  

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Stein has a hand in this. HHMMM?

  • Anonymous

    Parker hasn’t declined it’s true of what you stated the former finals MVP has less to work with in the paint. That is evident. I see a change coming next season. We aren’t going with Bonner, Blair, and Splitter next season. There’s going to be a shake up or something is wrong with this FO.

  • Anonymous

    They were pressed with some urgency but calls were not being awarded evenly on both ends of the court either.  Not saying that was the total reason for the outcome or why the white flag was raised so early into the second half.  But, what’s the use in trying if it’s obvious a game is not being evenly addressed by officiating.

    I think I counted at least 3 times in OKC’s run in the third that, not just one player on the Spurs, but several In Unison commented….”It’s the same”  with regards to how the officiating was being called on one end of the court compared to the other.

    Too short a season to fight back for just one game that wasn’t going to be evenly addressed and the outcome were probably going to be the same just to tire out your team to be productive for the next game.

    Still…the compressed season and/or (if a game is lacking in consistent officiating) isn’t going to make a difference if the Spurs can’t address it’s weakest link (the post) when the playoffs do arrive.  

  • Anonymous

    Splitter comes out pretty far on screens he’s always doing it and he’s probaly the best at it on this team. That’s one oof the reason’s some of these Spurs players are able to drive to the lane. Also they need to t feed the poor guy as soon as he breaks. He’s going to get fouled every time because of his size. Now that he’s much better at he line 4-4 last game they should make an effort in adding that to their offensive plays. Don’t tell me the opposing team doesn’t respect that. Of course they do that opens up plays for who ever he’s screening for. I see it every game they need to mixed that in more often with the 3′s they’re chucking up.

  • Anonymous

    I think I get what you’re saying.  Kawhi has seemed to absorb and produce better in this his rookie season than what JA has been able to do this his second season of being with the team though it being his first to actually get playing time.

    Some players catch on / develop faster than others.  I think Anderson is going to be a good player in this league.  His “learning curve” into the NBA may take longer though.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say I was watching a video game. You did. I would rather they not post the +/- because it means nothing to me. Boards, points, FT%, PF, Assists, drawing fouls, making the right passes, and defending matter to me.

  • TD BestEVER

    This is why we should have traded this guy 2 years ago or at least try and do it now……..He is prob the 10th or so best PG in the NBA……. and the difference between 8-15 is very small……..

  • TD BestEVER

    We need to trade TP before the NBA realizes how washed up he is……and I’m sure he will have a few flash back games…….but he will also have more and more games like this one……

    Also (Marreese Speights) a guy I have been high on for quite sometime just put it on the Lakers last night.
    17 points 7 rebounds in 29minutes of the bench.  And Memphis picked him up for a 2nd Rd Pick and a 6/6 shooter(James Anderson type).   Surely the Spurs can muster up a package similar to this and go after some other Bigs that are in similar situations…..

  • Anonymous

    Just like last yer. I read you.

  • Anonymous

    Why did Pop sign Diogu? It’s not like they going to use him on a trade or expiring contract. I don’t get it. Although I feel for the guy because he just got here and he’s out of shape and the pretty much looks lost out there. It’s sad.