El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 100, Philadelphia 76ers 90

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San Antonio Spurs 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 Philadelphia 76ers
Tim Duncan, C 30 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +8

Tim Duncan is starting to rack up double-doubles more frequently now (three straight). Perhaps not always the Spurs best post option anymore, but quietly has increased his level of play from the beginning of the season.

Richard Jefferson, SF 29 MIN | 0-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | -7

Note the six rebounds. Was at least active on the boards and okay on defense.

DeJuan Blair, F 18 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | +1

Was able to get his hands on a couple of boards, but Blair more than anyone sorely misses Manu Ginobili. The good news, Manu should return Saturday. We’ll see what that does for Blair.

Tony Parker, PG 38 MIN | 12-24 FG | 13-13 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 37 PTS | +5

Tony Parker is an All-Star. Tonight was his case closed game. Right now has found a perfect balance between scoring and getting teammates involved. I am not sure I have ever seen him read the defense so perfectly.

Daniel Green, G 30 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +13

I appreciate the defense, and the contributions despite the shooting slump, but Green needs to get his shot back on track.

Matt Bonner, PF 26 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +6

I’m wondering how bad Bonner suffered from conditioning issues early in the season. He has slowly rounded into a palatable help and system defender even if he still remains over-matched individually.

Gary Neal, PG 30 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 18 PTS | +13

Tonight Gary Neal looked like a point guard and found a nice overall balance to his game. He is more than a spot-up shooter, even if he still is not quite an ideal option as an emergency point guard.

Tiago Splitter, C 17 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-3 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +3

Showing great patience in the post, tremendous footwork, and a nice left hand. I’m not sure what else we could ask of Splitter in the less than 20 minutes he played tonight. One of the most improved players in the NBA.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 23 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +8

Kawhi Leonard has a better brand of invisible than Richard Jefferson. The 76ers did not really have an elite player to match Leonard against .

Three Things We Saw

  1. How many point guards move better off the ball than Parker? I hesitate to say he’s the best, but he very well might be. It’s an underrated skill. The Spurs like to run a lot of secondary action before they set Parker back up in a pick and roll, and Parker does a fantastic job of shaking defenders off the ball so that when he receives it in a pick and roll situation later in the clock, the defender is already out of ideal position.
  2. Tiago Splitter has become a much better post player, but his strength remains diving on the pick and roll. He has made Parker a better point guard, and tonight even helped improve the play of Gary Neal.
  3. So word is that Manu Ginobili will return Saturday.
  • Anonymous

    Amazing win against a team that’s been playing really well.

    Splitter should be in the upper echelons of MIP candidates.

  • DorieStreet

    Didn’t see the game/ was the 3rd qtr stretch where PHI only got 2 baskets in 7 minutes (10:26 – 3.29) great D?

    If this is Tony’s last rodeo here (pun intended) it’s looks like he wants to go out gangbusters—

  • DorieStreet

    Also- congrats to Tiago Splitter and Kawhi Leonard for being selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge during the All-Star Weekend. The Silver and Black newcomers continue to be a presence at this event.

  • Sam

    i hope that we r not rushing ginobli  back ,   we should make sure he is 100 %   healed.  and honestly   17 min.  for splitter ??   i still dont understand pop   ,          and parker has been playing alot of minutes lately   we should watch out , we don’t want another injury.

  • http://twitter.com/blanchard48moh Jesse Blanchard

    The hand is healed. What’s left to do is bring his conditioning back up to par. I’m sure Pop will ease him into it slowly.

  • Hobson13

    Tony has been the single biggest reason the Spurs haven’t imploded in Manu’s absence.  In his last 5 games, he is averaging more than 28/7.  At this point, he is conjuring up images of the 08-09 season, except his assist numbers are much higher and he isn’t playing with a much younger and better Timmy. 

    Three weeks ago,  I thought this team might be roadkill, but the Spurs have really turned it around defensively and Parker has picked up big-time to make up the scoring loss of Manu.  I’m still not convinced we can even make it out of the first round, but with Manu returning to a much stronger team, it should make for an interesting second half of the season. 

    At this point, I wonder if the Spurs wouldn’t be better off trading a package of say Green, Anderson, and maybe Bonner for a more athletic 4.  Our wing position seems to be super crowded with KL, RJ, Green, Anderson, and even Neal.  We could even scale Manu’s minutes WAAY down and still not have enough playing time to go around.  It just seems like we could trade a few wings and get a decent, young big. 

  • Anonymous

     “Didn’t see the game…”

    LOL  Dorie.

    The secret to Spurs success.  You don’t watch…Spurs win.  Keep up the good work. :)

    Seriously…kudos to you.  Some local (fans?) I know do nothing but complain about the team yet never watch them play.  You’re a far better fan than they’ll ever be.

    To answer your question…it was some of the best all around D played this year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    Steve Nash and JJ Barea come to mind… not sure if they’re better than Parker off the ball… You tell me.

  • Colin

     “Steve Nash and JJ Barea come to mind… not sure if they’re better than Parker off the ball… You tell me.” No, they aren’t.  Maybe Nash in his BEST days.  Even then he worked sooo much of his best skill with the ball.  Barea not even close man……

  • Anonymous

    I watched it twice and came to a conclusion that if Splitter played 30 minutes he’d have 30 points and 15 rebounds. Nothing else to say. Except for ARGHHHH! Pop!

  • Anonymous

    I bet if Splitter played 30 minutes and they focused on him down in the block they’d 1 –  eat a lot of clock and 2 – see a lot of Tiago at the line not to mention a good number of sneaky points. That’s what I call his scored points…”Sneaky points” Let’s hope we see that happen one day soon.

  • njspurs

    Is the “rising-star challenge” the rookies vs sophs game? If so I thought Neal should have made it too. 

  • njspurs

    Got to watch the game in Philly tonight and was lucky because the Spurs played really well and lead throughout most of the way. Things I notice is that Blair, who I have been down on lately, actually rebounded well, shot 3-7, and had 3 assists tonight. I think in this one he earned a better grade then Matt Bonner? Who in more minutes shot 2-5 shooting, didn’t pass like Blair, and rebounded at the same rate (1 per 3 minutes)? Just wondering but I don’t usually stick up for Blair. 

    Tony Parker is making a case that he should have been the all-star STARTER at this point. He’s easily going as a reserve. All that secondary action going on before he runs the high pick & roll proves the genius of Pop. The only problem I have with Pop is Tiago Splitter still playing 17 minutes. It makes me mad because Tim Duncan is 35 and is playing 30 minutes in this game. Let the younger player in his 20’s take those minutes, especially when you look at is production per minute its obvious he can make a huge impact. 

    I said after the Dallas loss that I thought this team was going to go on a win streak, but this is still a pleasant surprise. I think they really came together that night and the confidence has been there ever since, they seem to be playing better team ball, which I even heard some 76ers fans admiring. 

    Manu Ginobili took 2 shots in his button down, RIGHT handed!?!?!? He Bricked the two shots too. Very cool to watch up close, but he better be more healed then that if he’s coming back Saturday!!! 

  • njspurs

    Hobson13 during this 6 game winning streak and with us holding the #2 seed in the WC, is there really a reason to be so pessimistic? We haven’t lost and since January and that was a GREAT loss in Dallas as well… I don’t know how far I see them going but at least take it one step at a time and enjoy the process of becoming a contender as the W’s rack up! 

  • Anonymous

    Yeah that would be probably be true but as of right now I love the way Parker’s running the offense. Everything’s sooo smooth, he’s getting everyone involved and then scoring when he gets his own defender off balance. I think Pop’s done a good job with Tiago, but he should try him out with Tim more, if we see the Lakers in the P/O’s that’s gonna be a lineup we’ll have to use more of.

  • Anonymous

    Think you’s should give some credit to Dejuan tonight, had those back to back drawn charges in the 1st quarter (which is hopefully a sign that he’s gonna put his body on the line more often), definitely think this was one of his better performances in his last 10 or so games, which probably says more about the last 10 or so games than it does about his performance tonight, nonetheless he was still solid.
        Tony Parker is a total beast. I always felt that he was on the verge of going for a big outburst and in the last 5/10 games, he’s really came into his own. 

  • grego

    Neal’s been very inconsistent, due to his injury and the condensed schedule. 

  • grego

    Spurs won with the minutes Pop gave Splitts. I’m fine with not overdoing Splitter. I’d rather him ramp up his minutes throughout the season. I think Splitter should play more than Blair, but then I think Spurs still need another big before they can give Duncan full nights off. 

  • Easy B

    Love the way our guys are playing. Let’s be real: spurs drummed up 61 wins last year through the pedigree of talent in TD, TP and MG, with various role players enjoying the opportunities of the system. They played a mediocre playoff series and were overwhelmed by hustle and interior scoring against memphis. This year with the lean green and Dubai Leonard ( cos it’s a scoring desert ), we have the tools to win the perimeter battle and keep TP fresh enough to destroy defenses and consistently feed the bigs. If we are healthy, we will make the conf finals. I’m not drinking kook aid. Pnr will be a challenge, but we can get better at that.
    Exciting times, even if I think we are due for a loss soon.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. The West is wide open. Anyone can take it. Especially in this shortened season. I know OKC has the best record but would anyone be surprised if they didn’t make the WCF? No.

  • ACE

    CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TONY…..!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK….FOR ME YOU ARE THE BEST POINT GUARD EVER………!!!
    ON MANU RETURN…HE NEED MORE REST…….I REALLY LIKE MANU…….BUT I HATE THE WAY HE PLAY………. TO CLAMSY……HE IS NOT THE MANU THAT IVE ADMIRE IN THE PREVIOUS YEARS……….!!!……….TONY PARKER FOR “MVP….MVP….MVP” BETTER THAN KOBE

  • ACE

    TONY PARKER FOR “MVP….MVP….MVP…..MVP”

  • ebag

    Do either of these trades have appeal to you guys?
     
    Green and Anderson to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Anthony RandolphRandolph
    doesn’t get much playing time behind Kevin Love and Derrick Williams,
    but he’s only 22 and has had a PER over 16 during all four seasons in
    the league. He blocks shots, rebounds and finishes at the rim. Even if
    Popovich has to get him to focus on defense, Randolph could cheaply
    become the power forward of the present and future for a Spurs team that
    needs a long and athletic player at the 4.Bonner, Leonard and Anderson to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Anderson VarejaoIf
    there’s a perfect player to address the Spurs’ immediate defensive
    deficiencies, it’s Varejao. His mediocre offense is paired with the
    length, quickness and intelligence needed to check the elite power
    forwards out West. That list is long, with LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake
    Griffin, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, Paul Millsap, and even
    possibly Love on the horizon as playoff foes. Varejao could be the
    defensive stopper to follow in Bruce Bowen’s footsteps.

  • Anonymous

     You make too much sense.  But if I may elaborate…

    1) With Blair…that’s what you get.  A game out of 4 or 5 that he plays within himself.

    2) Agree with the Splitter comment and Duncan getting too many minutes.  Perhaps with the return (and when Manu is 100%) we start to see more of a balance of minutes between Tim and Tiago?

    3) I said it when it happened when others were so despondent about the loss in Dallas that it was the best loss the Spurs ever had.  The team came together As A Team in that game and they haven’t looked back since.

    4) Ginobili would not be allowed to play if he were not healthy enough to play.  I wouldn’t worry about what you saw.

    Congrats on being able to go to the game.  Memorable for you to be able to see them win in Philly for the first time in 4 years.  I’m sure you enjoyed.

  • Anonymous

     From:
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story?id=7554761&_slug_=potential-trades-make-san-antonio-spurs-title-favorites-nba&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fstory%3fid%3d7554761%26_slug_%3dpotential-trades-make-san-antonio-spurs-title-favorites-nba

    I’ve always wanted the Spurs to figure out a way to get Varejao.  I would not give up Leonard though.  Maybe others mentioned and a 1st rounder instead of Leonard.

    And while others have clamored for Randolph while I’ve leaned more towards caution about him…for the right price if they couldn’t get Varejao I wouldn’t be opposed to Randolph.

  • Anonymous

    Agree. For insurance purposes. Some people on these boards feel Varejao is a good fit. But I think the Cavs FO wouldn’t part with him.

  • Anonymous

    True, they need a little more chemistry between  those two.

  • Anonymous

     Agreed.  But even if it means less time of a Tim and Tiago tandem at this moment, I think it more important for now to relieve Duncan of the minutes he’s been playing by allowing Tiago more time and then towards the end of the season the two getting more time as a unit.

    Hopefully the return of Ginobili will help warrant that scenario.

  • Pingback: Coach Pop: Manu Ginobili could return against Nets()

  • Tim in Surrey

    Strange but true: Spurs fans and media completely overlooking the play of Tim Duncan. How is it possible to give him a B+ on a night when he got 16 & 11 and yet give Tiago an A when he got 15 & 2? Not dissing Tiago, mind you, but he was going up against Pecovic and not Hawes, while Tim was going up against Elton Brand.

    But more to the point, has anybody noticed what Tim’s line for the month of February is? It’s 18.4 Pts, 11.8 Reb, 1.6 Ast, 2.2 Blk, and 1.4 Stl, on .530 FG% and .815 FT%, in just 29.0 minutes per game. He’s actually equalling or exceeding his career averages in virtually all those categories except points (20.4), assists (3.1), and of course minutes (35.6). Is it any wonder we’re on a winning streak or that Tony Parker is suddenly being given a little more space?

  • jyra

     I would rather give Blair in place of Green.

  • Deeds130

    ^ Frenchman

  • DorieStreet

    It was until this season. The 1st and 2nd year players will be mixed together through a ‘draft ‘conducted on TNT next week. 
    The details                                                                                      http://www.nba.com/2012/allstar/2012/02/08/shooting-stars-roster-pool/index.html

  • RawJa777

    Tim got a B because his shooting was off the mark (6-16).  He played well however Tiago shot 7-10 and completely opened up the court for Parker, Neil, and others.  Tiago’s effect on the game sometimes doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.  He deserved the A and Timmy deserves more recognition for still being an elite C/PF in the league.

  • Deeds130

    No way on Mayo. Not giving up a pick and not giving up a big for another 2 guard. That’s just silly. Gary Neal is better anyway.

    Randolf can be had come summer time, so unless Pop really believes in that kid I would wait. Anderson or Green + Bonner or Blair is better if Pop really wants that kid (which is unlikely, especially since no coach has wanted Randolf yet.)

    Varejao makes sense, I do hesitate in parting with KL though. Have to think about this one. Bonner, Anderson or Green, and 2 picks I’d do. (Cavs needs to trade and build around Kyrie, Varejao for Ekpe Udoh and Dorell Wright would be better than what we could give. They should also give Sessions for LAs 2 first rounders + Steve Blake. Cavs are stupid not to make moves and hopefully the Spurs are in play.)

  • DorieStreet

    Living out-of-state (Georgia)/I definitely watch them the few times they’re on TNT/ESPN.
    (satellite package I have does not include NBATV). I will try to catch them more on internet feeds this season.
    I review the box score and some play-by-play of games. Now with the 48MOH player grading/mini-critiques along with their post-game video, they help the stats get lifted off the paper/screen and into your eyes and mind.

    Despite the struggles of Blair and the ongoing puzzle of how to best utilize RJ’s abilities, are we seeing the makings of a viable 10-player squad that is improving on defense- and has yet to find out what its full potential is until Manu returns?

  • DorieStreet

    Breathe deeply, Title- remember last year- all the cameos/mop up duty/DNPs Tiago was subjected too. Maybe it’s a combination of Pop not wanting Splitter to run down as the season goes along  – and keeping his full-effect game under wraps until the playoffs.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Not buying it. He is young and needs to go full tilt. The more minutes the better come playoff time. Besides he needs more time with Timmy.

  • Hobson13

    I am taking a wait and see approach after last year’s 60+ win squad got bounced in the first round.  Keep in mind that we haven’t made it too far in the playoffs for the past several years.

  • Justin-ray

    Only a fake fan could overlook duncans play

  • DorieStreet

    I feel your frustration. Fans have waited a long time since his selection 5 drafts ago. He has a season of (limited) play under his belt- turn him loose allready.
    I feel the same way about Anderson. To borrow a line of yours- I don’t buy the “only so many minutes to go around” as to why Jame’s time is limited. Compacted schedule, various lineups vs different opponents–there are situations that come up when he can be chosen to hit the court and contribute.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    Tiago was playing during the run where they really put them away.
    The guy is brilliant at running the pick and roll with TP.  

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    As long as Brooks keeps playing Perkins over Ibaka everyone has a chance.
    For as smart as he is meant to be Brooks has blinkers on with Perk.

  • DorieStreet

    That sentiment is in the mind of many Spurs fans in response to how this season is unfolding- – Hobson13 takes the initiative to make it public over our fanblog. Nothing wrong with tempered optimism; a sensible opinion expressed, with recent history to back it up.

  • DorieStreet

    Fans still have a long time for conjecture and speculation- the trade deadline exactly one month and one week from today (March 15th).

  • Bob

     How much did believing in Pop’s master plan work last year? He panicked and inserted Tiago in game 3. He still believes Bonner over Tiago is the way to win.

  • grego

    Not without that Dice contract, but then it seems the likely didn’t want that. I’m betting the Spurs at least tried. 

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I’ve always wanted Varejao, but to pick him up for Bonner, Leonard & Anderson is a tough one to see from a salary cap point of view.

    It means taking on 3 million extra in salary and weakening the SF position to the point that you may not be able to amnesty RJ.

    That means your at 50 Million with only 7 Players under contract (and one of those is Corey Joseph who is legitimately not in a place you can rely on for any kind of minutes right now), no backup at the 3 spot, and you still have to sign Timmy to a new deal.

    This is why i have long advocated the idea that the current roster is more than likely going to be the roster come the opening tip in the first round.

    Randolphs a huge project.  Surely you could just straight swap him for someone like Anderson?  No way do you give up Danny Green who has much better defensive tools and can help the team for a project like AR when as Deeds mentioned you can pick him up as a free agent this off season without expending an asset.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    Tim was good but i was honestly freaking out when they pulled Tiago.

    Tiago was ripping the sixers to bits in the pick and roll and also put the ball on the floor and picked a bucket up backing his man down on the left block.

    I have no earthly idea why Pop wont play him more minutes.  He was getting superb quality production from Tiago in the third quarter.  

  • grego

    It has more to do with spacing and Duncan’s play time. When Duncan is in with Bonner, the spacing stays similar once Tiago comes in for Duncan. Blair of course is the weak link for the spacing.