El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 83, Memphis Grizzles 73

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San Antonio Spurs 83 Final

Recap | Box Score

73 Memphis Grizzlies
Tim Duncan, C 32 MIN | 5-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 14 PTS | +1

Duncan did a solid job defending the post, and he seemed to frustrate Marc Gasol on multiple occasions. Otherwise, it was a relatively ineffective night for the Spurs great.

Richard Jefferson, SF 37 MIN | 5-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +1

37 minutes for Richard Jefferson is too many. But Jefferson keeps defenses honest by shooting whenever he has an open look. He had plenty of those tonight. Jefferson remains a competent, but not fantastic defender. But when he’s shooting without hesitation, competent defense is more than enough. That was the story tonight.

DeJuan Blair, F 15 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +1

Blair didn’t board well and struggled early against Speights and Gasol. His ability to score around the hoop is a constant, but his playing time is tied more closely to his defense. Tonight was a bit of a let down for Blair who gave the Spurs a good defensive showing last night against Dirk Nowitzki.

Tony Parker, PG 39 MIN | 2-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 12 AST | 5 PTS | +12

Tony Parker struggled from the floor, but his 12 assists more than made up for his shooting miscues. Throw in 5 rebounds and a pair of steals and Parker gets an A.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 32 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-1 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +4

Leonard got his swagger back after a series of mediocre games. His energy and ability to disrupt the game gave the Spurs an offensive and defensive edge. Leonard’s 4 offensive boards were huge momentum builders for San Antonio and his defense on Rudy Gay nearly caused the Memphis swing to whine his way out of the game.

Matt Bonner, PF 24 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +21

Matt Bonner did what Matt Bonner does when Matt Bonner is playing well—he knocked down one three pointer after another. My favorite moment of the game came when Matt Bonner protested a loose ball foul on what would have been a tough rebound. Bonner doesn’t get many tough rebounds. It’s nice to know he cares.

Daniel Green, G 31 MIN | 3-10 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +9

Danny Green receives strong marks on the strength of effort, hustle, and making a handful of good defensive plays.

Gary Neal, PG 15 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -4

Gary Neal made me hope for Cory Joseph. One night after putting together his best game of the season, Neal turned in another game to forget.

Tiago Splitter, C 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +11

I can’t figure out why Splitter doesn’t play more minutes. IT. DOES. NOT. MAKE. SENSE. What are you doing Gregg Popovich? Even with his three turnovers, dude was +11. IT. DOES. NOT. MAKE. SENSE. This was not a great outing for Splitter, but, really, 15 minutes? Really?

One Thing We Saw

  1. With 7:00 minutes remaining in the game, Gregg Popovich could have gone to his bench. Instead he, maddeningly, kept Tony Parker and Tim Duncan in the game. And they remained in the game for another six minutes. Cory Joseph, Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter, and James Anderson were available for minutes. Popovich’s decision to play Duncan and Parker 32 and 39 minutes is a head scratcher.
  • Colin

    Yeah, Splitter needs to play……a lot!  He is the 2nd big we’ve needed and far better than anything the Spurs could realistically deal for.  He’s young, mobile, active, and improving.  Play him more!

  • Tōn the Beat Counselor

    “It’s nice to know he cares.”

    Classic.

    Also, it would be great to include turnovers in the stat line.  Either way, these write-ups make my day.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    Minutes management is the one issue at present.
    It’s pretty damn organic.  

    This season has been exponentially more interesting for me with the amount of time the younger guys are getting.  Splitter needs more minutes though.We only have two guys legitimately capable of playing Centre in this league, and one of them needs more rest.  Tiago has to play more minutes.

  • Bob

    1. Maybe he was trying to save his bench since they played so much the night before.
    Pop loves Bonner too much to consistently give Tiago minutes. Yet Bonner’s game will never translate to the playoffs. As good as Bonner is for winning during the regular season (+/-) it gets you into playing in a way that won’t work in the playoffs. They’ve got to find another way to win if they want to advance in the playoffs.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I find Pops constant mismanagement of Matts minutes a real puzzle. 

  • http://radsci.uthscsa.edu/index.php/User:Nima Nima K.

    I’ll give a shot at the question at hand:

    I think the reason Splitter is not getting more minutes is simply the FO/Pop being cautious. He’s not the type of player that you can burn 25+ minutes night after night after night and expect his body to keep up with the demand. Contrary to expected belief, +7′ players have relatively frail bodies (compared to smaller frame sizes). Their musculo-skeletal systems have to endure higher torque and stress. (translation: they can break down easier if pushed too hard). Bynum, Kaman, Timmy, Greg Oden, and Yao Ming are all well known case study examples. A 7′ frame is simply more frequently prone to injury. And eventually, Tiago will suffer an injury, if we keep playing him long minutes back to back in a compressed season like this. And if he does get injured now (like he did early last season), the Spurs will definitely crash, because we simply dont have any backup for him. And Timmy cant do it alone.

    So I think Pop is simply saving him for the playoffs.

    But that’s just a theory.

    The real question IMO is why the hell isn’t JA getting more minutes. He’s the one that definitely needs to be played and should be getting full burn. For him, it’s now or never.

  • Ch500634

    I knew that 7 footers were more prone to injury, but their are also players that height who are pretty durable and injury-free. You have to decide who is more worth keeping fresh between Tiago and 35 year old Timmy but who knows maybe Pop thinks in the playoffs Tiago will take the bulk of those minutes from TD and Bonner. Unless he’s getting a day off which we really can’t afford, there is no reason to play Parker 39 minutes. We had a comfortable lead for a lot of the game and I think we should be giving Corey Joseph some of these minutes (the one’s Green and Neal are both out for too which isn’t that many)… Also agree that Anderson needs to follow up on the Mavs performance, I want to see him get another real chance. 

  • Ch500634

    Kawhi Leonard really showed me something tonight. He was doing exactly what I we drafted him for: using his long wingspan and oversized hands to disrupt the flow of the offense and the passing/driving lanes. He also held Rudy Gay (who is being paid 15million this year I believe) to one point. That’s in the stat sheet, but if you watched the game you know his peskiness on defense AND on the offensive glass was extremely promising. Hopefully we can see this more consistently, he even knocked down a few jumpers. 

  • http://radsci.uthscsa.edu/index.php/User:Nima Nima K.

    I agree that 39 min was a bit too much for TP. I have a feeling we’re going to need CJ pretty soon. He and JA need to be played more, especially when we have a comfortable lead or a bust.

  • Anonymous

    Of course Splitter should play more. I gave up trying to figure POP’s rotations long ago. Remember back when everyone thought MANU should play more minutes.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting theory, but unlike Bynum,Yao and Kaman, Splitter is more agile. Did you see how he drove by Dirk from the 3-point line all the way to the basket Sunday night? He missed it but you get my point. Besides, Tiago is tough, he takes a beating and he doesn’t seemed phased at all. 

    I’m not saying burn the dude out with 30 mins a game. But he can certainly play more than 14 mins. Sometimes he only gets 11 mins.

  • Deeds130

    True. And I can’t think of one good reason why JA did get at least 5 more minutes tonight from RJ.

  • Deeds130

    didn’t get, not did get

  • Stiegforge

    I think Pop is holding Splitter back, to give to opponents a different look once playoffs arrive. So basically he is holding is hand now so can have changed & improved play-off team with a different look to it

  • Eatme

    Nima, that’s a wack ass theory about big men.  Your also insane about why Bonner gets minutes.  He gets minutes b/c he’s a great 3 point shooter, & a good TEAM defender, unlike Blair.  Timmy is definitely gonna get some DNP’s.  Splitter’s minutes will increase.

  • Bob

    There’s a danger with trying to change your stripes later. We saw that last year when Pop put Dice in the starting lineup. It affects chemistry and rotations. The sooner he can finalize his rotation the better. It wouldn’t make sense for Tiago to suddenly go for 20 to 30+ in the playoffs if he’s not used to it.

  • http://radsci.uthscsa.edu/index.php/User:Nima Nima K.

    Bonner is not known for his defensive skills. And his shooting abilities are on and off. He’s a good in-season player, but not exactly playoff caliber. He’s expendable in the playoffs. I think most people here agree on that. We dont have a shortage of 3pt shooters.

    The stuff I said about big men is not a “wack ass theory”. It’s hard core Physics. Check out “Physics for Scientists and Engineers” by Fishbane, 1993, pp.23 for a related derivation: An increase in the length of a bone (e.g. the Femur or Tibia) by a factor of x, must be compensated by an increase of width by a factor of x^1.5. This means that people with extra lengthy body frames are prone to biomechanical injury, more than the average sized guy (because their bone width doesnt have the required thickness). In fact, Galileo was the first person to make this argument in his “Dialogue Concerning Two New Sciences” (where he talks about “the scaling of bones”). We have a 400 year old copy of that book at The Southwest Research Institute off of 410 and Culebra. It’s on display in the first floor of the library, and it’s open to the public. :-)

    In fact, one of the applications of biomechanics in sports is how to minimize injuries in big players due to the larger than usual torques their bones have to suffer.   

  • Jdini

    A former Spurs player told me that the players’ biggest issue with Pop is the mystery surrounding minutes. 25 one night, DNP-CD the next. No explanations. It’s one thing to have players keep a “ready to play” attitude, another to leave them in the dark as to their role on the team.

  • Jdini

    A former Spurs player told me that the players’ biggest issue with Pop is the mystery surrounding minutes. 25 one night, DNP-CD the next. No explanations. It’s one thing to have players keep a “ready to play” attitude, another to leave them in the dark as to their role on the team.

  • paopao

    Feels like I’m in science class

  • Len

    Did you see Tiago in the Dallas game?  By the time it was over, he was huffing and puffing.  That Brazilian was dragging @ss.  It’s one thing to keep improving his conditioning and expose him to more game situations.  It’s another thing to wear him out and make him more prone to injuries. 

    I’ll give Pop the benefit of the doubt this time.

  • ILoveMySpurs20

    Remember that Tiago was hurt a lot last year… so maybe it’s a good thing.. i will agree that Timmy’s and Tony’s minutes were strange to say the least.. 
    Also, i can’t wait for Leonard to develop an offensive game.. he’s going to be a BEAST.

  • TD BestEVER

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More of the same BS from our beloved writers…… When will we get some sort of expectations sheet from you guys.  I say never, that way you can keep moving the goal posts around to keep Tiago in the positive.  

    And what did Blair do wrong on Defense this game….Please tell me who scored on him or whatever he did wrong.  You all keep using generic statements, like “Bad defense”  and “struggled early”.   But these statements don’t tell us anything that he did wrong.  Take that with the fact that you have all admitted to not liking Blair, and it’s clear that you are being completely and insanely BIASED on the grades. 

    You said he struggled early……. While DJB was in the game the Memphis Big’s had a COMBINED TOTAL OF….wait for it………

    4 POINTS 6 REBOUNDS. That’s both the PF and CENTER.  Not just DJB man. How is that struggling. 

    And as far as the Points. 2 points came after DJB got smacked in the face and couldn’t defend and the other 2 was off the PnR………

    Tim, do you wear those glasses while watching the game????? How can you watch the same game I saw and say he struggled.  Memphis DID NOTHING AGAINST HIM!!!!!!!!!! 

    how much longer are you guys gonna pretend to be objective??  Why not just give up and leave DJB off the Grade Sheet until you guys get over your man crush.  It would then actually make these pieces somewhat legit!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Settle down TDBE it’s just a blog! And a good one at that. Here’s something to chew on Since game 1 to last night’s game. Total number of blocks for Splitter 19. Total number of blocks for Blair 4. Who’s weak?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Nima you work at the SWRI? I’m at the UTHSCSA. Good job on the info.

  • Anonymous

    I knew it! Pop has a weird handle on it.

  • Anonymous

    Well then Pop better get a move on. Because it would be a travesty if he starts seeing 15 minutes in the playoffs. I’ve always said we need 25-30 minutes out of him every night. On the nights Pop don’t want to push him too much then 20 is fine. Also he needs to get on in the 6-7 minute mark not 3-5 minute mark left in the first substitution (1st qtr).

  • TD BestEVER

    Who cares about total number of blocks…… Unless you block shots are making a noticeable difference on the other team then they don’t really mean much.  Splitter will get a few blocks here and there, but the other team keeps attacking and finishing just as well.  Like the block never happened, or was a fluke.

  • Anonymous

    That’s why Sean keeps screaming at the top of his lungs to get Tiago going on the low block. That should be their priority to develop that on the 2nd unit. Take advantage of the matchups as Sean says. Then you would have a weapon come playoff time not to mention the double teams he will draw like he’s doing now. It’s going to leave some open for a wide open shot also drawing his man or men out for a slasher to do his thing.

  • Anonymous

    The head scratcher was the extension he got a while back.

  • Anonymous

    Well then who cares about points?

  • Anonymous

    By the way TD Tiago is going nowhere and he’s improving everyday. Gotta love it. Wonder what the playoff rotations will look like. Not favorable to your liking because Tony and Tiago are going to play.

  • SpurHead

    I truly appreciate the writers of 48MOH.  They are mature, articulate and dedicated to covering a team they’re passionate about. If you have such a beef with the writing and perspectives of this ‘free’ blog, feel free to write your own with the ‘right’ perspectives you have on the sport. I’d like to see you do better.

  • Bry

    There was nothing head-scratching about it. Bonner proved to be a very good 3-point shooter, who fit in with the Spurs, knew the system, and was willing to sign for four years  at well below the league average salary. It really is bizarre how much you guys focus on his tiny contract.

  • Colin

    agreed……who else would you want, Steve Novak?  Please….

  • Colin

    and we should believe you because……?

  • Thomasholdren

    Can someone please tell me why the people on here insist on giving +/- a consideration in a personal grade? Do you people understand what a +/- is? Its like a win percentage of a team. No one person is responsible for that stat. 

    PLUS MINUS IS THE NET THAT IS SCORED WITH THAT PERSON IN THE GAME. 

    Who in here cannot understand simple logic? 

    If I was on a team with Jordan, Bird, Wilt, Shaq and we played 5 blind, deaf, paraplegics and this was my stat line

    0/39 0 rebounds 0 assists   15 TOS I COULD GET A PLUS 100 if we won 100 to nothing and I was in for each play we scored…..

    GET A CLUE. 

  • Thomasholdren

    Bonner’s play has nothing to do with PLUS MINUS BOB. Do you understand what that stat means? 

  • Thomasholdren

    I would rather have any one on this blog than bonner. Yes please. 

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I’m in the same boat as Bry.  A three point shooting big who knows the system is not killing you at 3 mill per.  It’s the 30 minute nights that are bewildering.

    Over the past two weeks he is averaging nearly 23 minutes per game.  He is hitting 2.4 threes per during that period but only 3 rebounds.

    Three boards in 23 minutes from your PF slot…It’s way too low.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I also think that KL should be getting the ball in the block on occassion.  Some of his matchups really favour him in terms of physical skills and athletic ability.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I would hazard a guess because it’s part of the official box score these days, it gets posted up.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah.  Kinda what I was thinking too.  Still, it was a lot of minutes for Duncan and Parker when they probably didn’t need to be in the game and doubt 5 extra minutes for Tiago shouldn’t have hurt anything being they have the day off until their next game.

    I guess Pop’s theory of regulating minutes is overplaying for one game then having them wait the game after before getting meaningful minutes again.  I don’t know.

  • Daniel T

    You don’t see to follow that the point of having Bonner stretch the offense is that his defender can’t clog the middle to help out on other Spurs.  If his defender chose to play tight defense on  him out at the three point line while Tony has a clearer path to the basket, it is worth something.  Blair might score 8 points vs. zero for Bonner, but if the team is outscored while Blair is in the game and outscores the opponent while Bonner is in, that’s better for the team.  You might argue that Bonner might pick up extra +/- points as  he is in against a reserve, but you’d have the same argument for points scored.  Your preposterous hypothetical doesn’t help much; put your team up against a more equal team and have Bill Russell guarding you.  If Bill can totally ignore you in order to play help defense, the team suffers.  If he has to  hang out at the 3 point line because you’re  otherwise knocking down 3 pointers, it helps the entire team.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t comment about the game.  Didn’t see it.  Thanks for the grades.
    LOL   Need to miss watching more games.  Apparently they win when I do.

  • DorieStreet

    Perhaps the 48MOH staff should add Pops to the report card and evaluate his coaching each game.

  • DorieStreet

    Perhaps the 48MOH staff should add Pops to the report card and evaluate his coaching each game.

  • DorieStreet

    Letting Bonner get all that time to motivate Blair and/or showcasing Bonner (!) for a trade?

  • DorieStreet

    Letting Bonner get all that time to motivate Blair and/or showcasing Bonner (!) for a trade?

  • DorieStreet

    Anderson needs to get out on the floor and become part of the rotation. How else is he going to get better for our team?