El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 120, Golden State Warriors 99

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San Antonio Spurs 120 Final

Recap | Box Score

99 Golden State Warriors
Tim Duncan, C 11 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +20Over at ESPN, TrueHoop has been pitching a number of solutions to improve the quality and integrity of the game. A new one to add atop the list: Tim Duncan should never be guarded one-on-one by rookies whose names you have to look up in a game program.
Kawhi Leonard, SF 16 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | +11Would have easily recorded a double-double had the Spurs needed more than his allotted 16 minutes. Loving the open floor game Leonard is bringing to the floor in recent weeks..
DeJuan Blair, F 19 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +4Stephen Jackson came into the game public enemy no. 1, but that might’ve changed in the fourth quarter when DeJuan Blair took a charge on a drive that would have netted Warriors fans free tacos. HOW DO YOU TAKE A CHARGE THAT DENIES FANS FREE TACOS?! Fail. In all seriousness though, give DeJuan Blair an A for effort, paint ownership, and defense (no tacos for you).
Tony Parker, PG 15 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 8 PTS | +18Off from the field, but got to the free throw line, setup his teammates, and didn’t get hurt. Everything the Spurs could have asked for from their star point guard.
Daniel Green, G 19 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +16Solid enough shooting, five rebounds. Honestly, this game is hard to grade for the starters because it’s hard to find fault with anything yet I feel guilty giving everyone A’s. Admittedly, an excellent problem to have.
Stephen Jackson, SG 22 MIN | 0-6 FG | 8-9 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS | -6Read a lot of Richard Jefferson is still invisible during Spurs games jokes on Twitter. In honesty though, tonight was a perfect example of what Stephen Jackson adds to the Spurs. Even during a game when he failed to make a shot from the field, Jackson got to the line nine times, making eight, grabbing six rebounds and dishing four assists. He’s never not involved in the game.
Matt Bonner, PF 18 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +6Generic Matt Bonner game. Hit a few shots, failed to dunk the ball in consecutive games. Move along.
Boris Diaw, PF 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -7The “B” is for his effort on the boards and defense, which were solid tonight. The plus is for taking six shots. I don’t care if he misses or makes them, though obviously I’d prefer he make them. He just needs to present himself as a threat to shoot.
Manu Ginobili, SG 15 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | +15Filled up the stat sheet in limited minutes, and did so efficiently. But most importantly, did so without putting himself in a position to risk injury.
Gary Neal, PG 25 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 17 PTS | +15Helped snuff out any Warriors runs. Was on the receiving end of some poor defensive rotations, and created some shots for himself.
Tiago Splitter, C 22 MIN | 3-9 FG | 9-12 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +15From my ESPN Daily Dime contribution:

“MVP: You could pick and choose any number of Spurs players for MVP tonight, but Tiago Splitter’s understanding of spacing and timing is a perfect example of why Spurs won tonight. He was aggressive and deliberate, but patient. In short, everything the Warriors rookies were not but should strive to be.”

James Anderson, SG 19 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +7Played 19 minutes, I remembered perhaps two of them.
Patrick Mills, PG 17 MIN | 1-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -9Invited himself to the Spurs free throw parade to offset a rough shooting night from the field. Missed some open shots, but overall you’re happy he took them–he’s proven he’s a good enough shooter to knock those down most of the time.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Golden State Warriors started four rookies against the NBA’s most sophisticated and opportunistic offense in the NBA. There were communication breakdowns all over the court, and the Spurs simply are too good not to repeatedly exploit that.
  2. On second thought, DeJuan Blair denying Golden State Warriors fans free tacos by drawing a meaningless charge in the closing seconds of a game–after the Warriors intentionally fouled to setup the opportunity–is such a Spurs thing to do. In fact, this is exactly why other fans hate the Spurs so much. Great job DeJuan Blair, sincerely.
  3. After the game Gregg Popovich said it was a slippery slope, balancing rest and the need to keep his starters in shape. He said he’s fairly confident he’s walking it well. I tend to agree.
  4. It wasn’t a summer league game, but the fourth quarter of a Warriors game is as close as you can come without being in Las Vegas in July. Tonight was affirmation for everything Hoop Idea is trying to accomplish in regards to tanking. Warriors fans deserve better than an opportunity to boo Stephen Jackson and a failed attempt at tacos.
  5. The Spurs starters got a half off, but the question still remains: Who plays tomorrow night and who sits? Wednesday? I suspect Tony Parker will play, probably Ginobili. Both need an opportunity to acclimate themselves, and their games, to the length of the Lakers front line.
  • NYC

    How’s our man RJ doing in NorCal? Didn’t get to see the game, would appreciate a more detailed account.

  • Ian

    @NYC: RJ didn’t play. Apparently injured or something.

    I haven’t read the jokes on Twitter, but making fun of a guy who at least tried (however fruitless it might have been) to fit into a system he wasn’t accustomed to isn’t really a classy thing to do I’d say.

  • Ben

    “the NBA’s most sophisticated and opportunistic offense in the NBA” – is that like being the world’s greatest spokesman in the world?”

    ;)

    Great recap – I didn’t get to watch this game (DNW – old), and it’s always good to know that 48MOH summarizes the games so well.

  • Kev

    @Ian

    Though your defense is generous and appreciated, its for a 30+ year old, 10+ year NBA vet who failed to acclimate to the most shooter-generous offense in the league. All that was asked of Jefferson was to hit knock-down shots, and stay aggressive on the boards, and play solid defense, none of which he did on any consistent level. A failure to say the least. You don’t need to be “accustomed” to do those things. You just need to play basketball…

  • grego

    RJ is healthy, but GSW are in tank mode. So everyone mysteriously has got beaten up over the last few weeks…..

  • Lukedawg

    Had to bring this to the blogs attention, charley rosen from nba.com hang time blog made the the comment in his spurs laker preview tonight that duncan was never realy a great on ball 1 on 1 defender. Is it just me or is that one of the dumbest assessments of tds defense ever? I guess im biased but I always thought he was one of the best on ball defenders ever.. http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2012/04/17/rosens-report-spurs-at-lakers/

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    James Anderson is a classy guy who will do well when he has the opportunity to sign with another team for next year. He is very athletic and just got pushed out by the emergence of Green in particular. Once a Spur always a Spur. Good luck James!

  • Hobson13

    Isn’t it ironic that the plumpest guy on our team denied thousands of fans free tacos?

  • http://leadhub.net Aaron

    Ha. @Hobson13 hilarious, yes Blair wanted the tacos for himself. That place erupted when they thought they were going to get 100 pts. and a free meal.

  • kris

    Manu needs to play. He said he doesn’t have any confidence right now in his game. This isn’t going to be good going into the playoffs.

  • Mori1040

    Jesse, I appreciate all the great work all of you do at 48MOH. Also, I live in the bay so I got the rare chance to see my favorite team (Spurs) play live. Just an FYI though, it was free smoothies from Jamba Juice, not tacos or “fast food” as I read in Tim Griffin’s article. Not sure that changes anything, but it sure was funny as hell to see Nate Robinson dashing up court to heave a desperation shot to try and win the fans their smoothies as the clock expired.