El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 89, Memphis Grizzlies 84
|Tim Duncan, C 32 MIN | 9-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 17 REB | 3 AST | 19 PTS | +6
The 17-rebound, five-block performance is just as encouraging as his outburst against Houston. The back-to-back blocks culminating in a jump ball after swatting Gasol were spectacular.
|Richard Jefferson, SF 19 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +4
I don’t have to criticize him for being invisible as a spot-up shooter in this system. But I don’t have to praise him either. Invisible.
|DeJuan Blair, F 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +7
Need to rewatch the video to figure out the +7. Five rebounds in 16 minutes is okay.
|Tony Parker, PG 37 MIN | 8-18 FG | 5-9 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 21 PTS | +4
I would like to take a moment to spotlight a fourth quarter play in which Parker fought over a Marc Gasol screen on OJ Mayo, rendering the pick useless and taking Marc Gasol out of the play. All too often we are content focusing on the scoring binges and improved passing to notice these little things.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 28 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -4
Always impressed to see how Kawhi Leonard keeps contact with a player as he makes several cuts, and recovers off screens at just the right angles to avoid getting beaten on closeouts.
|Matt Bonner, PF 29 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -5
Played his role, dropped a Tony Parker teardrop. Did not have to deal with Zach Randolph or Darrell Arthur.
|Daniel Green, G 30 MIN | 0-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 2 PTS | 0
Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News tweeted Danny Green might have had the best 0-7 shooting game of the season. I remain impressed by his ability to contribute outside of hitting shots. Two of those assists were huge, and a thing of beauty.
|Gary Neal, PG 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +2
Hit his three-pointers. Still struggles heavily as a backup point guard. It’s hard to evaluate Neal considering he’s playing so woefully out of position.
|Tiago Splitter, C 20 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +2
Tiago Splitter is starting to draw double teams and continues to hit shots at a very high percentage. But we saw tonight that he and Timmy need to work together a little more before the playoffs to work through the kinks on that high-low combination. Needs more playing time.
|James Anderson, SG 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +9
James Anderson was active and hit a big shot.
Five Things We Saw
- Tim Duncan is playing better and as a result the defense is improving. Tonight the Spurs suffered long offensive droughts but were able to survive thanks to a defensive performance that held Memphis under 40 percent.
- Either Tony Parker is an All-Star or Gregg Popovich is a top Coach of the Year candidate. Few players are carrying as large a burden as Parker is on offense right now as the only player (aside from a just emerging Tiago) capable of forcing defensive rotations, thus allowing players like Danny Green to shrine against broken defenses.
- The Spurs second unit can really get after it on the defensive end, pressuring the ball and making offenses uncomfortable, which is why they’ve been able to get back into games. They can also hit three-pointers in bunches. Now if they could just find a playmaker to create better looks without exhausting Tony Parker. They really miss T.J. Ford.
- Manu watch: Before the game Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News told a local radio station that he was kicked out of a secondary shootaround so that Manu could get some shots up under the supervision of Popovich, with Tony Parker. Parker said after the Thunder game that Manu would be back during this road trip. The Spurs have a moment’s rest in New York–enough time to practice. Just saying.
- Rudy Gay (18 points, 9-26 shooting) say hello to Kawhi Leonard, and say goodbye to your shooting efficiency.