El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 93, Philadelphia 76ers 76

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Philadelphia 76ers 76 Final

Recap | Box Score

93 San Antonio Spurs
Matt Bonner, PF 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +23Matt Bonner played nearly 30 minutes and the Spurs defense did not collapse. They weren’t destroyed on the boards. And his presence on the perimeter provided lanes for Kawhi Leonard to cut and rebound. Could you find a better third or fourth big? Sure. But you could also find a lot worse.
Kawhi Leonard, SF 32 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +5Is blossoming as the Spurs starting small forward. Whatever Stephen Jackson provides this season, and I have optimistic expectations, Kawhi Leonard is the real upgrade in the Richard Jefferson trade. Feeling more comfortable pushing the ball of his own rebounds, is a great cutter, and works the offensive boards.
DeJuan Blair, F 31 MIN | 9-15 FG | 1-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | +16I’d still love more than six rebounds in 31 minutes, but all young big men should take note of Blair just for this: The easiest way to get open is to either run the floor or set a great screen. This is how you can score 19 points without so much as a single post move.
Tony Parker, PG 32 MIN | 9-17 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 21 PTS | +21It’s getting harder and harder to grade Parker because performances like these are becoming the norm.
Daniel Green, G 28 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +16I’m going to go back to a point I made earlier in the season, Danny Green is not a bad shot blocker for a shooting guard.
Stephen Jackson, SG 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -2There was a stretch during the game that showed why some looked down on the Stephen Jackson trade. He’s not the guy you want to run your offense through for consecutive possessions. The offense can stop as he searches for the right shot. Still, his secondary playmaking skills are upgrade over Richard Jefferson’s station to station spot-up shooting.
Boris Diaw, PF 27 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | +12His post game looked dreadful, his defense still surprises me. I’m still not sure what the full extent his addition helps the Spurs, but he’s not a bad fifth big to have.
Manu Ginobili, SG 27 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | +6I liked the elevation for the dunk, but I’m most pleased with the insane change of direction and burst Ginobili displayed, like a running back finding an impossible cutback lane and breaking free for the score.
Justin Dentmon, PG 12 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -9Actually shot the ball this game, which is a huge improvement over the last.
James Anderson, SG 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3Incomplete.

Five Things We Saw

  1. To me, this game never felt like a blowout. The Spurs just kind of kept adding on little by little until at last it just broke the 76ers. I’m going to chalk that up as a sign of the Spurs superior depth just wearing down the 76ers.
  2. Each of the Big Three rested for one of these three games in three nights, doing so while still integrating new pieces (Diaw and Jackson) and playing new combinations. Credit the individual basketball intelligence the entire roster possesses.
  3. This Spurs team feels a little different from last year in that they are not solely reliant on the three-point shot to be world beaters. Now, when they’re hitting them they’re damn near unstoppable on offense. But even without it, as we saw tonight, they’re able to grind their way to points. A 54-46 point advantage.
  4. I really enjoy watching lineups with Kawhi Leonard and Matt Bonner. Leonard can make up for a lot of Bonner’s rebounding deficiencies, while Bonner’s presence on the three-point line keeps lanes open for Kawhi to work inside and not rely solely on his improving jump shot.
  5. Tim Duncan got a technical from the bench. Who were the refs?
  • Hobson13

    Just looking at the box score, it looks like the Spurs played some really good defense.  Philly only shot 41% from the floor and 11% from 3.  Man, this team may be the deepest Spurs team we’ve had yet.  Even guys like Diaw and Jackson played 27 and 20 minutes respectively.  Once these two get back into game shape and understand the system, I can see them paying even bigger dividends.  We had 8 guys play 20 or more minutes and no one played over 32.  We didn’t even have Neal, Splitter, or Duncan.  Really impressive 3 game span.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ Nudity J. Fandango

    I really loved this game.

    This last stretch has seen an improvement across the board from the roster.  The ball movement has been excellent, and there are literally mulitple guys on the court in every transition who run the break competently.

    Jackson had two passes which i thought were excellent looks which the reciever fumbled.  One to Diaw was a great read.

    There was also a break in the third or fourth where KL ran the ball up court with TP on his left and Danny Green on his right.    Green ended up hitting a 3 from it, but the real joy  was seeing weapons all over the place filling the lanes and the 76′ers defence in tatters.

    Dejauns playing better D and really excelling at moving and staying active within the offence, which is his bread and butter.  When he gets the ball in motion he negates so much of the defences height advantage.

    Bonners filling in all the nooks and crannies.  Bonners rotations in particular are like watching computer generated recreations of how the defence should be run.  He may not be able to leap but he is a very solid defensive helper and rebounder.  

    Diaw is not meant to be this good defensively right?  He is playing honest man D on every assignment and he seems to be reading the offence without an issue.

    I’m pretty much drinking the Kool aid right now, I know, but this teams depth is off the charts, and we don’t seem to have anyone that wont bend himself to the will of the offence rather than try to bend the offence to themselves.

    Loving it.

  • David

    just gona go out there and say it, I think Joey Crawford is in loved with TD and doesnt want to accept it.

  • DorieStreet

    Point 4—  54-46 advantage?
    Point 5–   you know who was the on the floor in the stripes–probably told one of his coworkers to T Tim up.
    Honestly–the guy should never, never ref a Spurs game again this season. Message to David Stern:  get control of that egomaniac who holds grudges far too long.

    Caught the game on firstrowsports.eu (finally). It was close until Spurs went on 8-2 spurt to end last 2 minutes of the 3rd qtr. I really feel this was a game where Pop was experimenting somewhat with some combinations on the court to see what works and what doesn’t (in addition to resting Duncan, Neal, Splitter). The contest was kind of helter-skelter with all of the TOs even though the score was in the mid-60s until the end of the 3rd. Got to expect some negatives with Jackson and Diaw as they get up to speed after their (until now) wasted seasons—but you have to be optimistic with their contributions so far.

  • JT

    Anyone else noticed the description for Timmy’s last game? “DND – OLD”. Priceless!!!

  • guest

    Joey Crawford was one of the refs….

    Hmmm…

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ Nudity J. Fandango

    The best part was Timmy was wearing some Don Johnson Sports coat + T-shirt number.   Still managed to sneak into the box score.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ Nudity J. Fandango

    Diaw is not as advertised.
    There was a play to end the first half where Manu basically ran off a pick by Diaw and jammed it where instead of just hanging out by the three point line after Manu had burned by he chased the play down and got to the rim to contest any possible miss.

    Was nothing special, but was definitely a play from a motivated switched on guy running the numbers, not a switched off lazy player.

    Also he passes really really well.  All of our bigs pass well..I’m a giddy school girl…

  • Mundanemundin

    Crawford didn’t call the T on Timmeh. The other ref did.

  • Sam

    Yes, but the fact alone that he was reffing the game makes it suspicious.

  • LPspursFan

    we looked good to me…each player had moments when they shined; each seemed to innately know when it was their turn to step up and make a play

    but i think what i liked best was that no matter the combination of players on the floor, this team – for 48 minutes – kept ‘pounding the rock’

  • DorieStreet

    Go to the end of the Associate Press game recap–
    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=320325024

  • Bdmckeown

    Completely agree with DorieStreet… Joey Crawford should never ever work a Spurs game again.  I’d be fine if he never stepped on a basketball court anywhere again.

  • theghostofjh

    I saw the game. Our defense was decent tonight, but nothing special. Philly just had an off game offensively. They were a bit out of sorts — the lowest turnover team in the league committing 21 turnovers. I’ll give our guys some credit for getting their long arms and quick hands into the cookie jar, but that young team can’t afford to go without a glue guy like Iggy, particularly out on the road against a top-tier opponent. Indeed, some of our steals mainly resulted from sloppiness on the part of the Sixers. Our guys were impressively opportunistic and resilient though on the last of a back-to-back-to-back, each one without one of the big three. It was a solid win in that sense.

  • theghostofjh

     ”Point 4—  54-46 advantage?”

    I believe he’s talking about points in the paint.

  • Blofeld

    El Conclusion is always the best part of this blog.  The fact that it gets posted the same night as the game is even better.  Keep up the good work Jesse.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ Nudity J. Fandango

    The D you mentioned, arms all over the place etc was really something that got me excited.

    At times It was that instinctive scrambling shut things down hard where it broke down a little bit but they just kept chasing people off their spots.
    It happened a few times where they really aggressively attacked the ball in the 76′ers half court offence and pressured them out of it.

  • theghostofjh

    Since I’m one of the few persistent defenders of DJB on this blog, I wanted to take a brief moment to critique his game, using tonight’s game as an example. I’ll limit my comments to two basic areas of his game: scoring and rebounding.

    Scoring:

    Tonight was actually a better than average game for Blair on the offensive end. Even so, he has much that he needs to still work hard on to improve. Here’s just a sample of top priorities in my opinion:

    (1) He needs to make better decisions when receiving the ball on the low block. Receiving it there does not mean he should always make a move to try and score. Blair needs to become less predictable by passing it back outside much more frequently, or looking for cutters (Blair is a good passer, and this skill should be put to better use out of the low block). We should be training him to do that, in part by getting him the ball more consistently on the low block.

    (2) He needs to study the footwork of smart players on his own team who’ve had plenty of experience receiving the ball in the low post: Duncan & Splitter. For example, Splitter has an excellent ball-fake, up and under move finishing with the left hand. Blair has excellent coordination and touch around the rim, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to learn these types of moves. He’ll need a broad repertoire of them to overcome his height and lack of hops disadvantage.

    (3) He needs to learn how to get himself to the foul line, and “make” his free throws at a much higher percentage (over 70%). His FT % this year is disappointing. Again, there’s no reason he can’t get trained and train himself to do this. He needs to learn how to use ball /pump fakes, and vary and expand his offensive repertoire inside 10 ft to keep his defenders off balance, and use his girth/long arms to draw contact when appropriate.

    (4) And the obvious, he needs to take more shots per day in the off season than he obviously has been to get more dependable and accurate from 15-18 feet (including tons of free throws — work on mechanics, routine, and concentration). As an offshoot, he needs to work some more still on his ball handling so that he can competently take the ball to the rack off the dribble from the 18 foot perimeter range.

    Each one of these weaknesses you could spot in tonight’s game, even though he had a better than average scoring night.

    Rebounding:

    Prefacing this category is my previous contention on this blog that Blair’s drop off this year in rebound rate, particularly on the defensive glass, can mainly be attributed to Duncan’s resurgence this year, currently at a career record 28.6% defensive rebound rate. Blair has also played a good deal of minutes with Kawai at the SF, who’s a much better rebounder than RJ. And while I still believe that these factors explain part of Blair’s defensive rebound drop off this year, I’m starting to be concerned that it doesn’t explain as much as I thought. He has as far as I know only played two games this year WITHOUT Duncan next to him: the blowout in Portland, and tonight’s game at home against the Sixers. Blair had 10 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes in the Portland game, and 19 points and 6 rebounds in 31 minutes in tonight’s game. Granted a small sample, but still evidence for concern. So tonight, without Duncan, in a game we need to win at home against an Eastern Division leader, we needed to have a good showing on the boards. Blair was paired with Bonner, against the 19th ranked in rebounding Sixers, so he should have had a good night on the boards, right? Well, six boards in 31 minutes is not too impressive, not for DeJuan Blair. The following are the main points I noticed, with a few caveats, which may represent at least part of the explanation:

    (1) He’s simply not giving enough effort on the defensive glass. He’s not moving quickly enough, he’s not establishing box-out position consistently enough, and he’s not looking to anticipate where the shot’s going carefully enough. The fierce aggression and physical play he’s known for is inconsistent at best.

    (2) The caveats: the sample size of games not played with Duncan is too small; the game against Portland was a wacky game, and tonight’s was the 3rd of back to backs — he was tired; he’s lost some intrinsic motivation, and the 22 year old has not been effectively motivated extrinsically; he needs to lose weight – a guy with no acl’s needs to be lean & mean to be an energy bunny on the boards.

    The fact is, this team needs DeJuan to be better on the boards as one of the many things it needs to advance deep into the playoffs. Anybody have any thoughts on this matter?

               

  • Lvmainman

    I’m getting more impressed and hopeful for playoff success. To play back to back to back, win all 3 with one of the big 3 missing a game each night? That’s a winning mentality that the next man steps up and contributes to a win.

    How did the Spurs come up with 21 turnovers? Were they in passing lanes, stripping the ball, or 76ers bonehead plays?

  • Bentley

    The Spurs had very active hands and frequently stripped the ball from 76ers players. I’m surprised we weren’t called for more fouls, but overall the Spurs were pretty active on the defensive end. Good for the third game of a back-back-back

  • oboron24

    We also had an uncomfortable (for my tastes) number of giveaways. We did have a few more takeaways (they struggled with our length, particularly Leonard and Green while Blair, Diaw and Ginobili took a few away with active hands and scrambling for loose balls) than giveaways, but it was just an overall very scrappy game. If Iguadola had been playing tonight, I think we would have had a much rougher go of things if we played as loose with the ball as we did.

    That being said, it’s always good to come out on top (I was particularly pleased last night against the Hornets given that I felt we deserved to lose the way we played yet managed to grind out the W), and I have to agree that it seems like Pop has the team heading in the right direction for a strong run in the playoffs.

  • TD BestEVER

     I will also do a little +/- with DJB game…..taking what you have said above.  

    1-DJB tonight doesn’t WANT to go 1 on 1 on te low block but tonight his teammates kinda pressured him into it by dumping the ball down loaw and just watching him.  He even spent 5-7 seconds once looking to make a pass back but all 4 players just sat there and looked at him. No movement.  Part of this is DJB fault, he keeps calling for the ball by flashing to the strong side.  But his teammates have to make cuts to the rim off him in the post.

    2-Footwork – Has good footwork, just no moves.  He actually pulled off a Great dribble spin move(his best/most reliable post move from the left block only), and went for the up/under with the left.  It just rolled off the rim.  What he lacks is mostly patience at the rim/paint area.  When he takes his time usually good things happen for him.  Even if he just uses a simple hook shot he needs to learn to take his time and use his WIDE BODY.  Tonight when he missed the running hook he didn’t jump into the player to create contact and separation to get off a better look.  he instead rushed it and tried to beat Bland to the center of the lane and left the hook short on the front of the rim.

    3-FT’s – ABSOLUTELY – He needs to make 65% at least from here on out. I have seen him make them so there really is no excuse to go 1-4 from the line tonight.  Also If/when he learns to be patient he will get fouled alot more, he still tries to speed shoot to beat other players off the ground too much.

    4-jump shot.  As much as I would like him to add this too his game, i really don’t want him outside shooting too may jumpers.  It basically bails the defending team out whenever DJB isn’t putting pressure on their bigs in the paint area.  I feel if DJb just slows down a little he will get close to 60% in the paint and that plus his FT% increase will do wonders for his scoring.

    REBOUNDING

    1-Effort – This basically sums it all up – 3 plays tonight DJB and KL were close to a rebound and DJB just allowed KL to grab the board, although this may be better for our offense, KL pushing the rebound quickly.  DJB needs to set a tone that ALL BOARDS ARE HIS and then just make a quick outlet pass to KL.

    2-Run outs…….For some reason Blair ends up contesting A LOT of 15ft jumpers and sometimes farther out. After the contest he tends to keep drifting down the court looking for an EASY 2.  He needs to contest and block out and look for the long rebound.

    But that’s what I have been noticing from him lately. 

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ Nudity J. Fandango

    This recent stretch of five games for me has been the best DJB has played all year.  The fact he is taking more charges is indicative for me of his application on the defensive end.

    He is also getting loads more buckets in motion.  When he catchs in a low block standard post up he is much easier to defend.  It feels crazy and I have nothing but anecdotal eyes only evidence to suggest this, however it seems to me that DJB makes more of his buckets when on the move in contact situations than he does from flat out short range post ups.  He has great instincts and when he runs the pick and roll with TP & Manu gets the ball in motion and goes to the bucket good things happen not the least of which is his interior passing.

    He is not Shane Battier or Bruce Bowen focused on D by any means but his better performance makes it much easier for Pop to call his number.

    IN an ironic twist, Matt Bonners also started playing better D and being aggressive….

  • STIJL

     Never thought you would critique Blair as you just did with negatives as well as the positives.  A great assessment to the player we call DJB and a new found appreciation for your writing skills.

    Good job GoJH.

  • Vaughn Grisham

    Tough grades! Not a single A, and they sweep back-back-back in blowout fashion? TP gets an A for sure. 

  • theghostofjh

    Some good points. I agree with much of what you said. Nevertheless, I’m a bit troubled that some of the solutions you offered are not happening.

  • theghostofjh

    Good points, but Blair should still be rebounding better and more consistently than he is. After all, rebounding is the most productive aspect of his game as a player.

    “It feels crazy and I have nothing but anecdotal eyes only evidence to suggest this, however it seems to me that DJB makes more of his buckets when on the move in contact situations than he does from flat out short
    range post ups.”

    You’re right he does, but it is important for him to be more successful in post-ups in the paint as well. To do so, he needs to work on footwork, ball/pump fakes, patience, and shot repertoire to keep his defenders off balance. He gets too many of his shots blocked (because he’s too predictable) when he should be drawing contact and going to the line.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Perfect assessment on yours and ghosts part. But he was able to get what he got on offense in terms of points the last 2 games by 1- Kaman and the suspended guy didnt play and 2- that sixers front line is nothing to write home about. But still a good way to get some work in with the guys feeding him. Maybe the extra footwork and rebounds and he’s right there like he was in his rookie year. But I do know one thing those two games sure helped his confidence and what better time for it to come closer to the end of the season. This playoffs will be different for Blair and for this team. Everything is starting to click. We may be unstoppable once everyone is healthy and on the same page. Good takes TD.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Blair should be on the A as well for the last 2 games.