El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 106, Utah Jazz 91

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Utah Jazz 91 FinalRecap | Box Score 106 San Antonio Spurs
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
Garbage time.
Patrick Mills, PG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | 0Garbage time.

Two Things We Saw

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  • DorieStreet

    Manu should get a B; he didn’t respect Gordon Hayward’s offense enough and the youngster made him pay 2 or 3 times. In fact, I noticed a few Spurs sloughing off of their inidividual man for the (groan!) ‘help defense’. let’s not give the Jazz youngsters (Hayward and Derrick Favorswide open shots that they will knock down and become more confident when the Spurs get in that real close game (or two) out west.

    Man! Every- and I mean EVERY- Spur missed 2-3 or more easy shots at or near the rim.

  • Nima K.

    I think we can still win this series, even without Splitter.

    But I do hope he comes back when we face the GRZ/CLP in round 2.

  • Matthew

    I think I noticed a typo on Danny Green’s play description thingie: “he’ll have to asset himself more.” Did you mean assert?

    Exactly what I expected from the Spurs….great game.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    The team grade is an A. Spurs win by 15. No individual grades needed.

    This just in from ESPN stats on the ESPN Spurs home page:

    “Spurs win at the rim
    The Spurs scored 48 points inside of 5 feet Sunday, the most by any team in the last two postseasons. Tony Parker (12 pts, 4 ast) and Tim Duncan (10 pts, 3 ast) were responsible for 36 of the 48 points.”

    So, the top 3-point shooting team in the league just scored more points at the rim then the Lakers in any game during their run in 2010, more than the Heat or Mavericks last year?? More than any team in the playoffs in two years?

    And as Dorie said, many, many point-blank ones missed. Splitter missed a layup on a Manu pass that made me cry…

    Important to win by double digits every game. That takes the crowd out of it when on the road and it takes the game out of the officials hands. Spurs by double-digits in every win, please!!

    Need Splitter in two weeks for that Memphis or Clippers series if we advance…

  • DaveMan

    Stop over reacting to one game. The spurs played good jazz played well. Not every player can have a great game. Stop over reacting it’s so not spurs’ style.

  • TD = BestEVER

    I think the Spurs are fine with or without Splitter in this series or any other series we play this year as long as we put TD on Bynum / Marc Gasol we will be fine. It’s not like Splitter was shutting people down when he played…… The difference between Splitter/Blair is really only a few points per 100 possessions on D. Something like 3 or 4 so it’s mostly if Blair can keep from doing anything EXTREMELY stupid and can he convert his easy opportunities…….

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    By the way, I just coined a nickname for the OKC team. The Thunder does not really seem to apply since they are sponsored by Chesapeake Energy.

    Let’s call them the OKC Frackers. As you Spurs fans in Texas may know, fracking is the process of pumping a bunch of things into the ground in order to get natural gas to come up so it can be sold. This is a controversial process, soon to be made illegal here in Vermont (moot point as we have no natural gas reserves).

    Anyway, fracking seems like a natural nickname for the nasty sort of game that OKC plays. Kind of dirty and hard to watch so there you go, 2nd seed in the West, “the OKC Frackers.”

  • Junirizzle

    Missed the game, damn job. I was expecting an easy win with the way they’ve been playing. I sure hope splitter is okay.

  • Daniel T

    Matt Bonner struggled against Utah’s size in the first half? He entered the game with the game tied at 15-15 at the 4:28 mark. About three minutes later with the score at 23-15, Favors scored with a 14 foot jumpshot. Another 40 seconds or so and Jefferson scores after recovering his shot that had been blocked by Tiago. Utah’s wings make a three pointer, some free throws and a fast break basket before Favors makes a layup at the 8:38 mark in the 2nd quarter and then hits another 14 footer. Bonner checks out after nine minutes of play with Utah’s bigs having scored a total of 4 points inside and the Spurs having a three point lead. Didn’t seem like that much of a struggle considering how highly rated Utah’s bigs are supposed to be.

  • The Commissioner

    Does anyone know who the young, 7-footer in in a suit sitting next to Jacque Vaughn, behind the Spurs bench is?

  • SpurredOn

    I think Manu deserves an A-minus or B+ as he (along with Neal) looked rusty. A missed dunk, missed FT, poor shooting, and two occasions when the team was ready to low open the game he either turned the ball over or got blocked after driving too far into the paint. I chalk it up to rust after not playing in nearly one week. Same for Neal who had been nursing his shoulder injury.

    I expect a better start and better overall play next game from the Spurs. A team that fouls as much as the Jazz were helped out by Bevetta, as the Spurs had some obvious and-1s that went uncalled.

  • MSteele_in_Éire

    Guys let’s not get ahead of ourselves, talking about future match ups. Just cause we won a game, doesn’t mean the series is over.
    I’m not too high on a Blair/Bonner combo against any combination of their bigs for a length of time. If Splitter’s out of the the next few games, I think Blair should be starting.
    I didn’t think we were ‘that’ sharp tonight. Leonard/Green/Neal all underwhelmed I thought and we were carried by our main guys, hopefully that’s just a blip and they come back stronger next game.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @Vermont
    You should have cried when Tony, Manu, Timmy, and Blair missed a couple easy ones. Don’t single out Splitter he didn’t even have enough time to miss more like they did.

    @TDBE
    you are dreaming if Blair and Splitter are that close in what they bring. Splitter is the best screener on the team and the best roller to the rim on this team. He has a way higher FG% than Blair does. Hell even Diaw beat Blair him out of his minutes. And you are dreaming again about post defense. Get it thru your thick head this boy gets shot and scored over way more than Splitter does. Even the Golden State game exposed his weakness. Now that block Splitter did on Favors would have been nice if there was some help defense on that one. He did his part and no help. You are a joke. Just becuase Splitter is another causulaty of these playoffs and by default Blair gets to play you come in here and talk your anti – Splitter smack. It’s not like they’ll need Blair either if Manu doesn’t miss his dunks, Timmy , Tony don’t miss their layups. and by the way what stats are those? TDBE selective stats. What a joke.

  • TDzilla!

    Stephen Jackson sure made love to Pressure tonight. I think he may have even found its G-Spot.

  • http://facebook.com/freedmusic fredd

    @ VERMONT, hi from France, im so glad to read your comment about this gas problem, check my link to be friend in fb.

    Great win, i just want my spurs compete for a lastitle !

  • Bushka

    Didn’t see the game but the 48moh & PTR crew + analysts were a little down on Manus game. Can see where Dorie is coming from if that’s the case.

  • kris

    Manu deserved a C. I hope he can regain playoff form sometime during this series. If not then fortunately we have a lot of guys who can stand up.

  • theghostofjh

    If you take into account his intangibles, Manu was probably good enough for a “B”, but definitely not an “A”. I also find it hilarious that Blair was given a lower grade than Anderson & Mills.

    I like Diaw, but I all along would have left Blair starting with Duncan in this series, and had Diaw come off the bench with Splitter. Bonner would fill in as needed.

    If Splitter’s out for game two, I would definitely go with Duncan/Blair and Diaw/Bonner as the front court pairings. Blair had solid numbers against Utah this year as a starter.

  • senorglory

    1) idunno, think you’re too hard on Bonner. in position, held his ground, arms up.
    2) to my mind, Jackson answered questions previously posed here about how Spurs will handle Utah’s playing big. He seemed purposefully aggressive. God Bless Cpt. Jack.

  • Tim in Surrey

    “Man, I hate the Frackers!” Yeah, it works for me.

  • TD = BestEVER

    @ Title get over it you are in love with a PAPER TIGER – who get hurt every time someone breathes in his direction…….. and as far as the defense goes – it wasn’t that far off – like 4 points or something like that the last time I checked……. And the only thing you said that was correct was his FG% – that’s the only thing that really sets Splitter apart from Blair……

  • Colin

    An word on Splitter?

  • Bankshot21

    Stephen Jackson and Manu need to swap grades. 14 points on 8 shots aint too shabby.

  • theghostofjh

    @TD = BestEVER

    “And the only thing you said that was correct was his FG% – that’s the only thing that really sets Splitter apart from Blair……”

    Yeah, but you have to take into account the strength of our 2nd unit as a whole compared to other teams, and the lesser talent Splitter goes against compared to Blair. For example, if you look at both of their rookie seasons, when they both went up regularly against 2nd unit opponents, Blair’s FG% was higher. Splitter had an exceptional year this year in FG%, but it’s just one year, and our 2nd unit as a whole is probably the best of all-time.

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