El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 118, New York Knicks 105


New York Knicks 105 Final

Recap | Box Score

118 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, C 30 MIN | 6-11 FG | 5-7 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 17 PTS | +10Without Tyson Chandler in the game the Knicks almost begged Duncan to scored by throwing out combinations of Amare Stoudemire and Steve Novak. Most of the Spurs had their way inside, Duncan included.
Richard Jefferson, SF 26 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +13The shot was not there, but Richard Jefferson earned praise from Popovich after the game for his defense and activity on the glass. Richard Jefferson was able to contribute some without scoring a single point. Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony dropped 27 points almost to the detriment to his team.
DeJuan Blair, F 14 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +3Very efficient game in just 14 minutes of play. Took advantage of Stoudemire’s inability to pay attention to almost anything on defense.
Tony Parker, PG 34 MIN | 12-19 FG | 8-9 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 32 PTS | +16After the game Manu Ginobili called the Spurs Tony Parker’s team, and after another solid night it’s hard to argue. Parker is playing with confidence knowing he owns this team, the sort of confidence Jeremy Lin was playing with before Anthony and Stoudemire returned. Parker had 32 points, and we’re almost taking it for granted.
Gary Neal, PG 25 MIN | 4-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +6Before the game Popovich called Neal a big part of the rotation, and his inclusing in the starting lineup is geared towards keeping a steady level of minutes while Manu Ginobili works his way back into gear on the second unit.
T.J. Ford, PG 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -2Ignore the letter grade, this is an incomplete. Ford took a scary spill in the first half given his history of neck problems. He was sore and banged up, but the Spurs reported Ford was relatively okay, all things considered.
Matt Bonner, PF 15 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +8The much anticipated matchup between Bonner and Novak ended up a dud. To be fair, Bonner thrives on kickouts on dribble penetration. Only, there was no need to kick the ball out tonight as any dribble penetration was practically a layup line.
Manu Ginobili, SG 26 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 17 PTS | +17Was exhausted after the game, choosing to sit before the media. He says his wind is good, which is a lot better than his first return attempt. But his strength and first step are still lacking from what they were to start the season. Looking at the box score, it’s hard to tell.
Daniel Green, G 16 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -5Finally got some shots to fall. Popovich said the shoulder is no longer an issue.
Tiago Splitter, C 18 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +3A solid game from Splitter, though I would like to see that ugly hook shot find its rhythm again.
James Anderson, SG 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +1Limited minutes. Watched a pass sail through his hands, and then made a nice finish in the lane.
Kawhi Leonard, SF 25 MIN | 4-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -5I would take the 10 points and six rebounds Kawhi scored, along with his defense, over anything Carmelo Anthony did tonight.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Only Manu Ginobili would think that a pass through a defenders legs in a halfcourt pick and roll set isn’t a crazy pass. His reasoning? Players in the NBA are really tall, and taught to make themselves taller and wider in their defensive stances, which opens up a big hole.
  2. After the game Manu Ginobili talked about how so much of Parker’s improvement comes from his knowing the team is his. Playing with that level of confidence. Watching Jeremy Lin, I couldn’t help but wonder if the inverse were true and his play has leveled off some as the team shifts back to Carmelo Anthony.
  3. Without Tyson Chandler, the Knicks looked Charlott Bobcats bad on defense.
  4. Before the game Popovich stated the Spurs were unlikely to do anything before the trade deadline. In general he also remarked that if a trade made sense, a team would have to do it, but integrating a new player in such a short time with no practices would be very difficult.
  5. Right now Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire look like joyless basketball players. For Anthony, 24 shots and only one free throw attempt is brutal. For a player some call the best pure scorer in basketball, he doesn’t really score all that purely.