El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 106, Utah Jazz 91
|Tim Duncan, C 31 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-5 FT | 11 REB | 5 AST | 17 PTS | +17
Despite Utah’s size and game-long willingness to contest Tim Duncan, he attacked the hoop and finished several plays with dunks. Defensively, he will be tested all series, whether straight up or in help situations. But he held his ground today, and what he gave should be enough for the Spurs to win the series. And note, he only played 31 minutes. That would be a great average for him this series.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +7
Kawhi Leonard didn’t set the world on fire, but he came up with a couple crucial steals and didn’t turn the ball over. Not bad for his first postseason game. Hopefully, he finds his way as the series unfolds, much like he did during the regular season.
|Boris Diaw, PF 26 MIN | 4-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +12
Diaw got the start in place of Blair. Diaw played decently, but the Spurs’ offense seemed out of rhythm during the first six minutes. One wonders, especially with the injury to Splitter, if the Spurs might not revert back to Blair as the starter in order to pair Diaw with Bonner during Game 2?
|Tony Parker, PG 37 MIN | 10-19 FG | 8-10 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 28 PTS | +13
Parker continued to lead the way for San Antonio, beginning the postseason with the same scoring mentality that he displayed during the regular season.
|Daniel Green, G 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3
The Jazz did a good job of limiting Green. Going into Game 2, he’ll have to assert himself more on both ends of the court. If he doesn’t Stephen Jackson’s minutes are sure to increase.
|Stephen Jackson, SG 27 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | +7
Stephen Jackson was an important component to the Spurs’ victory. He grabbed a couple of difficult rebounds, knocked a momentum three, and, more or less, made his presence felt during his minutes on the court. His numbers don’t jump off the box score, but Jackson left his prints all over this game.
|Matt Bonner, PF 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +5
Matt Bonner struggled in the first half and (unfortunately) found himself paired with Blair in the second half. Bonner hit a trio of threes, but struggled defensively against Utah’s size.I’m curious to how many minutes Bonner plays in Game 2.
|Manu Ginobili, SG 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | +17
The boxscore only credits Ginobili with 4 assists, but those of us who witnessed them know he should receive bonus points for style. Manu never found his shot, but he played wonderfully. It’s fitting that Ginobili, Parker, and Duncan are the only three Spurs to finish with a double digit +/-.
|Gary Neal, PG 12 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +4
Gary Neal didn’t seem himself, scoring about half as many points as usual and while lacking his usual willingness to define a good shot as any time he has the ball . It’s too early to add this up to anything more than an aberration. We’ll continue to watch to see if Neal shows any lingering effects from his recent shoulder stinger.
|Tiago Splitter, C 7 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -3
Splitter only played 7 minutes after spraining his wrist, and he didn’t look good while he was on the court. If the injury is serious, it immediately becomes the second biggest story of the series.
|DeJuan Blair, F 10 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +1
Blair is hopelessly out-sized for this series, but with the Splitter injury he is likely to see minutes going forward. If Splitter can’t go in Game 2, I suspect Pop will move Blair back to the starting lineup. Too many ifs to say anything more at this time.
|James Anderson, SG 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2
|Patrick Mills, PG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | 0Garbage time.|
Two Things We Saw
- The Spurs went to Duncan on the low block on the first three possessions of the game; San Antonio started the second half featuring Duncan in the high pick and roll, positioning him at 17′ for a set shot. Either way, the Spurs began each half establishing themselves with plays designed to get Duncan going. In other words, it’s the postseason. It’s time to deploy Duncan at full assault.
- The Splitter injury may not be serious, but, if it is, the Spurs’ entire postseason outlook changes. In the short term, the Spurs will have to think through their rotation. In the long term, they’ll have to think through Z-Bo and Andrew Bynum.