El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 104, Charlotte Bobcats 100

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San Antonio Spurs 104 FinalRecap | Box Score 100 Charlotte Bobcats
Boris Diaw, PF 33 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -5
Boris looked good after missing the Brooklyn Nets game with food poisoning. He shot the ball well, and his 33 minutes helped a lot with Tiago Splitter missing this game due to a calf contusion. Al Jefferson was a little much for Diaw to handle, but that was probably to be expected. Maybe one of these days everyone will be healthy. *Crosses fingers*

Tim Duncan, PF 32 MIN | 6-13 FG | 4-6 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 5 TO | 16 PTS | -3
He just continued to grind away. He’s been so spectacular lately that these kinds of games don’t register much in the ‘sexy’ category. He wasn’t great offensively, but he continues to hit that mid-range jumper that was such a problem in November and December. Duncan is up to 42.9 percent from that distance since Jan. 1 (per media.nba.com/stats), which is a tenth of a percentage point better than he was last season, when Tony Parker called him ‘automatic.’

Tony Parker, PG 26 MIN | 3-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -14
This dude is hurting. He left the Washington game on Wednesday due to tightness in his lower back, sat out the Brooklyn game and played only 26 minutes in this one. He’s just a step slow with every move he makes, and it looks like he’s really struggling to get to his spots and go-to moves. I’m not sure any grade here would be fair.

Cory Joseph, PG 33 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +8
Cory’s gotten a lot of run with all these injuries, and he’s been really solid. He plays good defense, typically against bigger shooting guards, he rebounds well and he hits enough jumpers and attacks the rim decently enough to remain a big enough threat to force defenses to account for him. He’s filling in the gaps nicely, but he still has a few too many defensive brainfarts.

Danny Green, SG 21 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -8
Didn’t have much of an impact against the Bobcats. The Spurs’ offense was bogged down while he was on the floor, and despite playing decent defensively, he wasn’t able to help out much with Gerald Henderson (23 points). But I always value defense, and he’s always solid in that capacity.

Matt Bonner, PF 19 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +7
Got knocked around a bit again, but Bonner’s presence really helped open up the offense. He missed the only shot he took, but the numbers don’t always reflect his impact (unless you’re looking at plus-minus stuff). The Spurs scored 140.7 points per 100 possessions in the 19 minutes Bonner was on the floor because of the spacing he provided against a stingy Bobcats defense, but he struggled defensively. Good thing San Antonio was scoring so much when he was on-court.

Jeff Ayres, C 22 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +14
Ayres had a very well-rounded offensive game against the Bobcats. He struggled defensively, but he did a little bit of everything when the Spurs had the ball. That give-and-go with Nando was especially nice.

Patty Mills, PG 25 MIN | 10-13 FG | 8-9 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 32 PTS | +15
Holy hell. Patty just went bonkers on his way to a season-high 32 points, and he did so on just 13 shots. Mills took the backup point guard spot out of training camp and hasn’t come close to giving it back; in fact, he’s only gotten better as the season has gone on. Over the last 11 games, Patty’s averaging 14.5 points on 51 percent shooting, and he’s hitting 2.7 threes per game at nearly 48 percent.

Shannon Brown, PG 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1
Only garbage-time minutes for Brown in this one, even without Marco, Manu, Kawhi.

Nando de Colo, PG 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +7
Nando is showing how valuable consistent playing time is to a young NBA player. He had another good game and is showing off his decent skill-set as he becomes more comfortable. He’s been aggressive and confident, and his impact on a thinned-out backcourt has been important.

Aron Baynes, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
He had the biggest bench reactions to everything Patty did in this one. Proud of his fellow countryman.

Tiago Splitter, C DNP RIGHT CALF MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Gregg Popovich did not have glowing words for his starting center prior to tip. The coach was reportedly unhappy that Splitter was not available to play, and he had some criticism for him. “Robert Parish would have played hurt, right? I think Larry Bird played hurt,” Pop said in regard to Tiago sitting this one out with a sore calf. You don’t hear this stuff very often from the Spurs’ coach, so it’s a little eye-opening. And these were just his on-the-record quotes…

Marco Belinelli, SG DNP BACK SPASMS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Deserves a break. He’s been one of the more consistent players (especially in his availability) throughout the rash of injuries.

Gregg Popovich
Popovich’s pre-game comments about Tiago were pretty telling of his current feelings toward his big man. I’m not implying he’s unhappy with Splitter beyond just this evening, but he did not mince words about the subject. We’ll see how Tiago responds on the court. Other than that, he did a great job of mixing and matching once again, and the decision to let Patty just play it out and leave Parker on the bench was probably the difference-maker.

Two Things We Saw

  1. I’m starting to wonder if the Spurs should shut Parker down through the All-Star break. He’s clearly in pain, and 10 days off could be REALLY nice. His injuries are affecting his play, and with the way his backups are rolling along right now, maybe it would be a good thing. Besides, it would give him an excuse to vacation during All-Star and let Goran Dragic have his spot. But I do think Tony enjoys the festivities, and furthermore, he takes great pride in his role as this team’s leader. But Pop might have to convince him to take a breather.
  2. We’ve talked about this at times this season, but if the Spurs could somehow manage to trade some point-guard depth for a little more wing depth, that might be a huge help in the long run. This has been an issue, though, because guys like CoJo and Nando just weren’t getting any playing time with a healthy Parker and a resurgent Mills. I’m not suggesting anything here, but this is at the very least a good learning experience for these guys, if not a showcase prior to the Feb. 20 trade deadline.


  • I need more cowbell

    Patty, Nando, and Cory are capable point guards and thats why i always believed its time for Manu to retire or go somewhere else where theyll play him more.
    Also patty doesnt commit as many turnover as Manu and gets more steals himself.

  • Joseph Dooley

    I need fuller context on the Splitter situation to understand why you think Pop is upset with him.

  • Matthew R Tynan

    I added a couple of sentences… but I don’t think he’s mad at him, I know he is. His comments, both on the record and off, reflect that. He wasn’t happy.

  • Dusty

    A little confused by your comment on Duncan’s shooting. I looked at his shot chart on ESPN from mid range(left, right and center). This season he is at about 39.5% while last season he was at 44.5% from those same areas. But maybe you were referring to this year as in 2014, not this season.

  • Dusty

    Sorry, mean NBA.com

  • Matthew R Tynan

    I understand the confusion… I changed the wording a bit. Meant 2014, literally, as in since Jan. 1. Since then he’s shooting 42.9 percent from mid-range; he shot 42.8 percent from mid-range last season.

  • td4life

    Yes please, to Tony taking 10 days off.
    It’s funny but even with the injuries to both starters and key reserves, the bench continues to consistently play better than the starters… what’s up with that? I mean lately, even CoJo and DeColo have looked good.
    Speaking of moves to balance the roster, Cartier Martin has looked like a useful player under Coach Bud. I’d be happy if he could find his way to SA.

  • Spurs fan in Australia

    I’ve heard Pop calling out the team as soft before, but has he ever singled out a player as soft? You would want to hope Splitter responds in a good way

  • Tyler

    As frustrating as he can be sometimes, Manu is still a much better player than any combination of those three. Come playoff time against elite defenses, Manu has the creativity and skill to generate decent looks. As much as I love what Patty brings to the table, he doesn’t have the ability to do the heavy lifting for a bench unit alone. This team requires a healthy Manu to have a chance at a title.

  • Terrell

    After recently moving back home to SC, I’m getting used to Charlotte being one of the only places I’ll get to see the Spurs. Had a great time at this one. Just wanted to mention that Baynes really rooted on Diaw as well…who was booed every time he touched the ball.

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  • spurs10

    Doesn’t Pop call the shots about who plays? Seem like if he wanted Tiago to play he’s have told him so. Could a trainer have made that call. Pop always seems to err on the side of caution, but he might be tiring of Tiago always being out. Surely TP is in much worse condition and he’s playing.

  • I need more cowbell

    Im not saying Manu is bad but hes just to old to compete with younger faster point guards.
    For example theres no way manu will have an ultra efficient game like Patty just had any time in the future.
    Patty has shown recently that he can take over the 2nd unit. He can score, play defense, and is a better 3 point shooter than Manu. (also not injury prone).
    I believe Pop’s system can make any player good with the exception of Duncan and Parker who are great players regardless.

  • marshall watts

    I respectfully disagree with Pop, Matthew Tynan, and any bloggers who find fault with Splitter sitting out because he says he is too hurt to play. I am old enough to remember J.R. Richard, the old Astro pitcher. Richard said his arm hurt and he could not pitch. Fans, sportswriters, teammates, management and ownership accused him of lying, faking and loafing. Throwing on the sidelines before a game, the blood clot in his pitching arm moved to his neck and shut off the blood supply to his brain. J. R. Richard collapsed, came very close to dying of a stoke, and his baseball life was over in an instant. If a man says he is too hurt to play you believe him. You really have no choice. There is no other team I would rather follow than the Spurs; but, this is wrong.

  • Tyler

    I would disagree. As well as he’s played, I don’t think Patty has (or has shown) the ability, athleticism, length or creativity to do all the heavy lifting for a bench unit, especially not against elite defenses. Manu is still an elite player if he’s healthy and his minutes are managed.

    As far as defense, when he’s healthy, Manu is an above average defender. He doesn’t guard opposing point guards (and is hardly ever guarded by them) so I don’t really understand s your point in that regard.

    And as good as a coach as Pop is, his system didn’t make Manu a Hall of Famer, Manu did that.

  • spurs10

    Yes, playing injured players is a bad move. That’s why I’m confused by Pop’s comments. Who made the call if not him?

  • fkj74

    Cowbell, we do not win without a healthy and good Manu. He is our X factor. Mills is doing a good job,but he is not the type who makes others better, Manu is the guy who gets easy shots for others and makes the key play in cunch time over and over again. I hope Spliiter responds with some aggressive and effective play. Trust Pop to push the right button.Rest Tony..we having bigger fish to fry than the allstar game. Go Spusrs!

  • slammajamma

    Totally agree with your point about Manu, but I would like to somewhat disagree with the idea that Patty doesn’t make others better. Firstly, Patty clearly isn’t an elite playmaking PG, he just isn’t, it’s not his game, he doesn’t really have the vision or timing for it, he can run a PnR or PnP just fine but anything beyond a drive and kick is a bit of a stretch. But he is definitely not a selfish player, he moves the ball beautifully within the scheme it never just dies with him, and he generally doesn’t over-handle the ball, prefering to play off the ball (watch his off ball movement sometime, he’s very clever) which he’s been doing ever since he was at St. Mary’s. He will always make the extra pass or the right pass if it’s there, and his spirit and energy charge up his team mates regardless if he had a hand in a play or not. Now, Kyrie Irving is a player who doesn’t make his team mates better: over-dribbling, endless 1-on-1 play, bail-out passes after dead-end-drives, no effort on D, pouting when things don’t go right, his game doesn’t help others. Patty will never have the same skills or abilities but his overall game and presence helps his team mates a hell of a lot more at this stage. He has the potential to carve out a JET Terry type role if he continues to develop his all round game.

  • Matthew R Tynan

    All I did was report… not opine. But to be clear, the player has the final say.

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