El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 114, Cleveland Cavaliers 98

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Cleveland Cavaliers 98 Final

Recap | Box Score

114 San Antonio Spurs
Boris Diaw, PF 23 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +1Boris Diaw is showing a little more aggression as he settles into his Spurs uniform and role. As per usual since his time here, he brought a quality floor game, though the fouls are a little worrisome. Solid effort.
Kawhi Leonard, SF 32 MIN | 3-8 FG | 4-6 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | -1Not a lockdown defender, but you never worry about him guarding anyone. Not quite a knockdown shooter, though you never fear Leonard taking a shot. And not a good playmaker, though has proven trustworthy with the ball. Kawhi Leonard simply makes plays, and when his skill level catches up to his feel for the game the Spurs will have a great building block for the future.
DeJuan Blair, F 28 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | -2The DeJuan Blaiar-Tony Parker pick and roll combination proved too much for the Cavaliers in the third quarter and DeJuan Blair helped put them away for good. Great activity inside.
Tony Parker, PG 21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 6 PTS | +11Got in the lane as he pleased for a few quick floaters, and then happily controlled the pace and setup his teammates throughout his 21 minutes on the floor.
Daniel Green, G 19 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | +16I don’t want to read too far into the how did the Cavaliers let Danny Green go bit. Yes, he and Kyrie Irving would make for a promising starting backcourt. But Green wasn’t this guy a year ago. I don’t want to admonish the Cavaliers for not seeing what they had, but praise the Spurs for seeing a player that could be fixed, and then developing him.
Stephen Jackson, SG 22 MIN | 5-9 FG | 5-7 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | +14Jackson’s shooting touch is likely going to come and go throughout the playoffs, but he can do so much of a little bit of everything else that we’re not left pining for nights like this. They are simply just icing on the cake. Absolutely torched Omri Casspi in the second quarter.
Matt Bonner, PF 19 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +17Missed a shot at the halftime buzzer, don’t remember anything else. Still remains the king of plus-minus .
Manu Ginobili, SG 22 MIN | 9-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | 0Starting to display the step back jumpers going left and elite running back jump cuts in the lane. I dare say Manu Ginobili is starting to peak at the right time. Now he just needs to stay out of chaotic scrambles for the ball the rest of this week.
Gary Neal, PG 21 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | +5He will swing a big playoff game this postseason. But so far as tonight, merely a generic Gary Neal game.
Tiago Splitter, C 20 MIN | 2-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +18Gets fouled a bit and generally only takes good shots. I liked the work on the boards.
James Anderson, SG 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -1James Anderson reverse Smash!
Patrick Mills, PG 8 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +2Patty Mills can get shots off in a hurry. I like to think of him as a faster Eddie House with a better on the bench skill set.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Watching Manu go head first into a scrum, I was prepared to fail him on the spot. JUST DON’T DO IT MANU! We are one week away from the Spurs getting into the playoffs at their peak for the first time in years. The rest of these games are meaningless.
  2. Portland, Phoenix, and Golden State. 47-16. Can the Spurs get to 50 wins? Could anyone have predicted that coming into this shortened season?
  • Bushka

    Simply amazing where we are right now. It’s all in the laps of the Gods for us from here on in. We have the horses to play a variety of styles and tempos, and can throw so many different looks at other teams, really theres not much left in the way of excuses.

    I had no faith at the start of this season that we were going anywhere but out in the first round, and yet instead of the expected fade out as we moved forward we’ve grown relentlessly.

    Hoozah for us etc.

  • NYC

    Remember when people were suggesting we tank? Tsk tsk. Ye of little faith.

  • Gomezd

    Would not have predicted 50 games, SPECIALLY after Manu went down, at that point I would have been happy with 7th or 6th seed.

  • TDzilla!

    When Manu went down, everybody was saying, TANK THE SEASON. Look at us now, we are just 1 game away from the West’s 1 seed. Moral of the story: DON’T PANIC!

  • Grayson

    I don’t know the last time I actually rooted for the Lakers to win. (Ever?) Sunday’s game solidified the chances that we’ll see only one of OKC or LAL. And those are the scariest Western teams for me heading into the playlets. So, way to go, Kobe! Might not have to play you now!

  • http://www.48mintuesofhell.com Bry

    True, it was one of the few times I actually wanted to Lakers to win as well. I hate ever having to cheer for that team. People keep saying Artest was doing so well, but they’re ignoring his clothesline of Barea last year in the playoffs. You stay classy, Lakers. I think everyone who ever even hinted the Spurs might want to ‘tank the season’ should write open-ended letters begging forgiveness. With the cap-space coming up this summer, and the amount of youth and talent the Spurs ALWAYS had this season, that suggestion was beyond moronic, let alone the black mark it would have left on the each of the careers of the big 3. The Spurs should be favored in all 3 of their remaining games. I’d like to see them close it out (playing the old guys restricted minutes) and grab 50 wins, and at least finish ahead of OKC and Miami for playoff positioning. Really, it’s only the game at Phoenix where the opposing team might have something to play for, and actually has the talent to outplay our bench. Fingers crossed that they run out early on Portland and maybe that Phoenix has nothing to play for by the time Wednesday rolls around….

  • Crystakke

    I don’t know if you noticed, but Parker had a dangerous swipe at the ball too. In 2nd half, it was an And1 for Harris I think. To me that looked reckless, he could have dislocated a finger or even worse, broken his hand like Manu.
    Speaking of Manu, you’re right he’s peaking perfectly.
    I too watched the LAL – OKC game and I was leaning most of the way for a Lakers win. Till the 2nd OT when I started to switch between them. Clippers would give OKC more trouble I think, and Gasol on Gasol in the 1st round would’ve been nice. Best case scenario for me would’ve been Clippers – Lakers 1st round. Who ever would’ve won that, would’ve been decimated. Plus Grizz – OKC in the 2nd round. Not scared of anyone, just think MEM had the best chance to take out OKC before us.
    But I was happy no matter the result of last night’s game between LAL and OKC, and after what I saw, if the meed in the 2nd round who ever comes on top, it won’t be in one piece. Also, OKC will play either Denver or Dallas in 1st round. Could be a long series.
    I think Phoenix will be out, and we’ll play Utah. 5 games, not to much energy used, maybe just to get 1 road game.

  • Kev

    After the forgetful first 3 weeks of this shortened season, one blessing the Spurs have been able to provide this year is to put away teams that are not expected to win. I’ve watched about 90% of all the Spurs games this year, and have yet heard any “trap game” descriptions. Probably a first, ever. This team resembles one of the most complete teams I’ve ever seen in pro Bball (with the acknowledgement of a lacking 5). Way to finish the Cavs, and lets end this season without bone-headed mistakes or injuries, and the San Antonio residents should be in for a long summer.

  • JustinFL

    WoW! This is the hottest team in basketball right now. Rarely have I seen a team just consistently blow teams off the court like we have of late. The unselfishness coupled with everyone knowing and accepting their roles has brought back such a strong urge of excitement, admiration, and pride for this Spurs team. No matter how the postseason ends, this is a great Spurs TEAM.

    BTW: Just because you change your name to World Peace don’t expect us to ever believe that’s you’re desire Mr. Artest. If there is any justice, you’ll be sitting some games when the playoffs start. My hope is that it decimates your team just enough so that you fall in the 1st round. In any case you do make it back for the playoffs, might want to up the meds a little, or do they not have medication for delusion?

  • Hobson13

    Spurs are playing great ball and really peaking at the right time. Overall, the defense is ok, but the Spurs offense is just sick. VERY good execution and unselfish play from this team over the last 7 games.

    My crystal ball tells me that Pop may not sit anyone tonight in an attempt to wrap up the 1st seed. If we win tonight, I would expect Pop to sit several players in Phoenix and then play the whole cast, but closely monitor minutes against a Warriors team that will probably trot out 4 rookies again.

    We just have 3 games to go to wrap up this season and go into the playoffs with a full head of steam. Just need everyone to be healthy and playing well then we will see where the chips fall.

  • Colin

    Just checked out that “First Take” skit on the Spurs on the top right of the page. Its amazing that these people actually make a living being on a TV show. Skip Bayless is a moron, but at least knows a bit of basketball history. These other two clowns belong somewhere else………

  • Michael

    IF

    If you can pound the rock with dogged determination
    and display great patience through the final strike

    If you can trust yourself when all media doubt you,
    but make allowance for their doubting, too

    If you can focus on team over individual,
    in this star-first, selfish world

    If you can meet Winning and Losing,
    and treat both outcomes with class

    If you can keep your head about you,
    as foes succumb to internal discord

    If you can be a champion’s champion,
    but maintain your virtue and humility

    If you can fill the unforgiving postseason
    with 16 victories of distance run

    Yours is Greatness and all that it means,
    and what is more, you’ll be a Spur, my son!

  • theghostofjh

    @ Bry

    “People keep saying Artest was doing so well, but they’re ignoring his clothesline of Barea last year in the playoffs.”

    That was Bynum that took down Barea. What Peace did much worse, IMO.

    By the way, is the blog going to get back its Disqus comment format?

  • captainclark

    No, it was Artest that clothes-lined him, Bynum was involved in a different incident. Here’s the tape http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SENZPkXk1ZM

  • Justin

    I agree on Neal. I feel he has one swing game up his sleeves in this year’s playoffs ala last year’s game-saving trey.

  • Matt C

    Here’s a question: Let’s say the Spurs are up 3-0 or 3-1 in the first or second round. Does Pop rest TD for the next game (it has been working all year, after all)?