El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 105, Phoenix Suns 91
|Tim Duncan, C 24 MIN | 9-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | +31In consecutive games Tim Duncan has made easy work of two quality centers in Marcin Gortat and Marc Gasol. Duncan had a ridiculous first quarter and continues to get stronger as the season goes along.|
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 24 MIN | 5-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | +24Hit open three-pointers, crashed the boards, made defensive plays, and pushed the ball in the open court–finding Tony Parker with a nice pass. This is the quintessential perfect game from Kawhi Leonard this season.|
|DeJuan Blair, F 22 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +25Very active and treated Channing Frye as the absolute mismatch that it was. I enjoy the body control Blair exhibits in the air, to go up as powerful as he does, take contact, and finish softly. Very unteachable skill.|
|Tony Parker, PG 21 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 14 PTS | +27Tony Parker was aggressive in spurts as needed. He’s carried the team so much this season, and if the result is that Tim Duncan has been able to stay as fresh as he has, then Parker has earned a well deserved rest.|
|Daniel Green, G 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +23Coach Gregg Popovich gave Danny Green some much-needed rest, not playing him in the second half. This Spurs team is so deep that they manage to find rest for the guys that give other guys rest.|
|Stephen Jackson, SG 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-6 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -10After the game Stephen Jackson admitted that this is still somewhat of an extended training camp for him. He did not play much early on and he’s still getting his legs under him as evident by the “and one” opportunities he missed at the rim. Played solid defense, and when his shot wasn’t falling, got to the free throw line.|
|Matt Bonner, PF 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -1“It was the best dunk of the year. You have Blake Griffin, then Blake Griffin, and then Matt Bonner.” — Tim Duncan, on Matt Bonner’s dunk.
“I was torn between the windmill and the 360, and as a result I went with a one-hand power dunk.” Matt Bonner, on Matt Bonner’s dunk.
|Boris Diaw, PF 17 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -11Hit a three pointer and took two more shots. Boris Diaw’s passing is a nice addition, but he has to fully utilize it, he has to at least present himself as a scoring threat.|
|Manu Ginobili, SG 21 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | +1After a rough game against the Lakers, Manu Ginobili is back to making layups over length. Wisely dialed back the El Contusion act.|
|Gary Neal, PG 19 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -16A generically average Gary Neal game.|
|Tiago Splitter, C 15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -9Seven rebounds in 15 minutes. Got some time with Boris Diaw, was unprepared for a pass or two from him. But I absolutely love the potential for a Splitter-Diaw-Ginobili lineup.|
|James Anderson, SG 13 MIN | 0-3 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | 0There was no way that James Anderson was going to dunk that ball, but I appreciate the effort to make it look like he was.|
|Patrick Mills, PG 16 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -14The game got a little sloppy with Mills at the helm, but circumstance probably dictated that as much as the player. It appears at least once an appearance MIlls gets Pop out of his seat with a hustle play at the defensive end.|
Five Things We Saw
- Tim Duncan is faster than centers again. The lost weight might have affected his ability to hold position in the low block (he only had one real post up against Gortat, a turnaround jumper he nailed), but his faceup game the past two games has been superb. Drawing double teams again.
- Kawhi Leonard is far from a lockdown defensive player so far. But he is a defensive player that makes a lot of plays. A disruptive force on the perimeter.
- The Spurs tallied a season-high 24 turnovers, many of them unforced. Long outlet passes to no one in particular, over passing in the interior, or just flat out losing the ball off the bounce. Forgivable given the game.
- Matt Bonner is a legitimate rotation player. The Phoenix Suns start Channing Frye. Just saying.
- Oh hey, another Division title.