El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 98, Miami Heat 120

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San Antonio Spurs 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
120 Miami Heat
Tim Duncan, C 27 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -5LeBron’d. Technical foul seemed to spark the Spurs early. Wasn’t heard from since.
Richard Jefferson, SF 23 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 PTS | 0LeBron’d.
DeJuan Blair, F 24 MIN | 6-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -10For a quarter DeJuan Blair seemed intent on making all those old Chris (Like A) Bosh jokes relevant again. Joined Duncan in second half obscurity.
Tony Parker, PG 25 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -2Had a great first half. It was especially good to see the teardrop falling again. However, only two points in the paint in the third quarter falls directly on his shoulders.
Kawhi Leonard, SF 31 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -9LeBron’d. Kawhi had a good game and I’m not going to be too critical of him for not being able to stop something no one in the world could have stopped. When LeBron is hitting pull-up three-pointers there’s just not much anyone can do.
Matt Bonner, PF 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -11Bosh’d.
Daniel Green, G 23 MIN | 7-11 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | -21At times looked like the only Spurs player not phased by Miami’s excellent closeout defense.
Gary Neal, PG 16 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -11Did not have his three-pointer going, but found ways to contribute going to the basket. Also, Mike Miller’d.
Tiago Splitter, C 10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -13Foul trouble. Showed a better looking hook shot when he finally got a minute.
James Anderson, SG 9 MIN | 0-1 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -4When Danny Green broke into the rotation, Gary Neal returned early from injury. James Anderson just broke down.
Malcolm Thomas, F 8 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | -4Austin awaits.
Cory Joseph, G 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS | -20Cory Joseph will never be the reason the Spurs win or lose this season. He just exists, no more no less. His only role with this team is to keep Danny Green and Gary Neal in their comfort zones and away from point guard duty until T.J. Ford comes back.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Tonight Kawhi Leonard learned that sometimes no matter how solid your defense is, it won’t matter. There is no defense in the world that can stop LeBron James when he gets going like that. If there is a positive, it does not appear Leonard was overwhelmed by it. We’ll see how he responds.
  2. Miami’s defense in the second half was incredible. They were very physical, closed out perfectly on all of the Spurs shooters, and the Spurs folded. Their defense deserves just as much credit as LeBron.
  3. A difficult game to grade, and probably one to forget. It’s hard to completely fail everyone when Miami starts hitting step-back three-pointers like they were nothing. The Spurs got punched in the mouth and showed little resolve, but the game was so bizarre there probably isn’t a lesson to be learned from it.
  4. Danny Green finally looked like a rotation player on the road. Appeared to be the only decisive player on the Spurs in dealing with Miami’s closeouts.
  5. Danny Green is a better healer than the Phoenix Suns training staff. Gary Neal returned earlier than expected from injury and played well. Likely because he feels Green breathing down his neck for more minutes in addition to the one’s he’s already taken.
  • Anonymous

    Wow. Call me a homer but it seems they can’t catch a break on the road. The other team just shoots lights out all game. The Heat just waited til the second half to Not miss. Even Lebron, yeah he’s Lebron but come on; dude hasn’t taken 3′s all year.

    Anyway, Green looked good.

  • Chipp

    Spurs were very disappointing tonight. It’s one thing to let a team get hot on you– it’s another to ‘throw in the towel’ as evidenced by Pop inserting Cory (I can’t shoot a jumpshot) Jospeph in the 3rd. This team didn’t even try to play defense after Miami got hot.

    I’m not one who says we need a bunch of hooligans, but c’mon… Can you imaging Lebron setting a blindside backcourt pick in the last minutes of a blowout on Rajon Rondo and cleaning his clock? I *DAMN* guarantee you someone from the Celtics would be tossed for retaliation. But no one even said anything the LBJ after he pummels poor Joseph to the ground with his elbow. 

    Nope, this team is not a contender. They need to get tougher and have more fight. I can only imagine Manu is fairly disgusted at the lack of heart of his teammates.

  • Hobson13

    Look, sometimes sh*t just happens and people who have no business hitting deep shots (Lebron) are busting fade away 3′s.  However, the Spurs now sit at 0-5 on the road.  That, IMO, is a huge sign that the Spurs are absolutely not an elite team and are probably only a 5-6 seed in the WC.  However, I think the biggest story of this ONE game is the fact that Chris Bosh showed us for the 2134873 time that we have 0 ability to defend a decent big.  

    In the first few games, here is just a small sample of the PF’s that have had great games against the Spurs:
    Griffin: 28/9
    Scola: 18/5 (shot 75% from the floor)
    Al Jefferson: 24/11
    Love: 24/15
    Al Harrington: 19/3
    Scola: 20/5
    Aldridge: 29/7
    Gortat: 24/15
    Bosh: 30/8/5

    I encourage everyone to simply look at the previous 14 box scores and you will see (besides maybe 3 cases) that an opposing PF had a very good night against the Spurs.  I know our pizz poor interior defense isn’t a great revelation to many here, but once I looked at the these players stats, I was a bit surprised.  This is why, IMO, the Spurs have precious little chance of making a dent in this year’s playoffs.  We desperately need to either trade for or draft a very good big.

  • Ch500634

    Guess nobody comments after a loss… well the way we were looking at halftime this one really hurts. I’m tired of seeing this team lose on the road and if we don’t win tomorrow in Orlando after throwing in the white flag early its time to question if this team can win the west this year or even make noise in the playoffs. 

  • Ch500634

    What can we do about this? Start Tiago Splitter? Is Malcolm Thomas at all capable? Or is he truly on his way down to Austin… 

  • Hobson13

    I don’t know enough about Malcolm Thomas to comment on his part, but Splitter is the best big defender we have besides Duncan (who has seriously declined in the last 24 months).  The problem, as many others have mentioned, is that Bonner, Blair, and Splitter are all one dimensional players in one way, shape, or form.  You may get defense with Splitter, but he isn’t a good offensive player.  You may get outside shooting with Bonner, but he can’t defend a leaf.  You may get rebounding and hustle points with Blair, but taller players can shoot over him.

    I think our best option is through the draft.  I agree that we may not break the team up this season, but next year will get ugly if we don’t have at least one good, young big to help anchor the middle.  I hope we make a deal this summer that moves us much higher up in the draft.

    P.S.  However, I will add that we may end up with a decent pick without a trade if we don’t learn how to win on the road.

  • Hobson13

    I don’t think it’s our inability to “catch” a break on the road as much as it is our inability to make a play (or play defense) on the road.  IMO, a good part of luck is being able to generate those breaks and we just don’t have the ability to do so as of now.

  • Anonymous

    their shooting percentage that 3rd quarter was unbelievable, but I think that’s when we need to be able to answer with buckets of our own. i mean, we scored 12 points in the 3rd…the dreaded scoring drought!

  • Lvmainman

    Didn’t see the game, but up 14 at half and lose by 28? Without Wade? Didn’t the Spurs lose by 30 last year? 

    Did Pop go zone to stop the Heat like the last 3 teams that beat them on the west coast did? Or was Pop to stubborn?

    Jefferson went scoreless? When was the last time that ever happened with 23 minutes of playing time?
                           

  • Anonymous

    there’s something going on between these 2 teams with the 30-point differentials over the last 3 meetings…

    i’ll take positives from the our play – especially Kawhi – in the first half and our energy to start the game and mental toughness to fight through some horrific officiating for the 14-point lead…i’ll have visible bruising for awhile from the second half…

  • Anonymous

    True. Sometimes all you need is one bucket to break momentum. And the Spurs failed to do that.

  • Anonymous

    True. Sometimes all you need is one bucket to break momentum. And the Spurs failed to do that.

  • Anonymous

    True. The D was terrible. I don’t count The D on Lebron but Mike Miller? All his shots were wide open. I’ll never understand why coaches prefer to give up 3′s over points in the point. Miami hit mostly 3′s during that stretch. All wide open.

  • Anonymous

    True. The D was terrible. I don’t count The D on Lebron but Mike Miller? All his shots were wide open. I’ll never understand why coaches prefer to give up 3′s over points in the point. Miami hit mostly 3′s during that stretch. All wide open.

  • Hobson13

    I agree.  I would even understand if Lebron dropped 40 since he’s probably the best player in the league, but you can’t just let everyone else have their way.  Spurs have a long way to go this year.

  • Bushka

    I’ve been pumping this out there all season.  

    This season we only make a move if its a no brainer that brings us in a super high draft pick (considering we actually have a prospect we want) or a young big with great potential and a semi established game.

    Theres going to be cap space next year, a new draft and further development from the youth group of Leonard / Green / Splitter & Blair.  

    We can’t blow it all up now for a knee jerk roll of the dice that kills our cap space and guts our system.

    We’re a 5 or 6 seed for sure.  I’m actually cool with that.  The front office gave us a chance to do something by trading and signing people to the right kind of contracts.  Lets enjoy the retooling.

  • Anonymous

    To me it was the trying to not allow a team to have their way in the paint. Spurs weakest attribute to their defense is weak interior defense.  They were defending that with their perimeter players sagging in order to make it more difficult for Miami to operate in the post.  Consequently it left a lot of wide open 3 point opportunities which Miami capitalized upon with hot 3 point shooting while the Spurs went south beach in their offense production.

    It was what it was.

    A positive to take out of this game.  A lot of minutes for players that haven’t been getting a lot of minutes.  Pop almost seemed to be using the fourth period as a “training” camp for the youngsters.

  • Anonymous

    We’ve all talked about this ad nauseum.

    It’s very simple.  Spurs suck at interior D.  Spurs have 3 choices.

    1) Tank to get a better draft selection next year that is packed with really good post players.
    2) Trade away players to get a solid defensive post player this year.
    3) Do nothing.  Make playoffs but don’t go to finals because of weak interior defense.  Don’t get a decent draft selection and hope a player with top credentials in the post will sign with Spurs.

  • Anonymous

    You know what needs to happen in order to…. “draft a very good big”.

  • Hobson13

    I hear what you are saying, STIJL, but I’m just putting numbers to what others have already noted.  I was actually not opposed to tanking the whole thing when Manu went down, but I underestimated the Spurs.  I really didn’t think we were good enough to win many games, but other players have really stepped up in various games.  I think the situation has the potential to become even more bleak in a few weeks considering 15 of our next 20 games are on the road.  The absolute worst situation would be for us to end the season 9th in the West.

  • Hobson13

    Steps to drafting a very good big:
    1.) Get lucky
    2.) Trade Parker for Picks
    3.) Have a terrible season combined with step #1
    4.) All of the above

  • Anonymous

       That 3rd quarter is the type of moment were we needed Manu, although he wouldn’t have stopped them raining threes, he would have came up with a big steal, or a pull up 3 of his own… etc.
        I agree it can’t just be luck (our defense has been awful at times) that is allowing some players/teams to get ridiculously hot (Bron, Jackson, Durant/Harden, Rockets) but it does have a big factor. Lebron shoots 3 of 10 all season, then he knocks down 3 3′s in the space of 2 minutes. Something ain’t right there. Then again we’ve got very hot against a lot of teams this year at home, so I guess its all swings and roundabouts.
        As well as that, there was some poor officiating at times, on Tim’s second foul, he swayed out of the way and he got called for blocking and on the play were Tim got a T, Bosh pushed him on his lower back.
        Random thought, offensively, I’m more confident putting Tim in P’n’R situations, than on the low block. His jumpshot seems his biggest weapon right now (even off the dribble) and he seems to generate a lot of live turnovers in the low post. I’m not saying don’t use him there entirely, just that we should do it a little less.
        P.S, unbelievably harsh on Jefferson, he wasn’t even on the floor when Miami made their massive run on the floor. He missed a couple of shots but he played okay D, it’s not like he disrupted the offense and he had 5 assists. He barely even guarded Lebron for more than 4-8 possesions, so I don’t know how he got LeBron’d. Btw, I’m not trying to be a dick here, just expressing my opinion on the fact that I didn’t think RJ was that bad.  
        *Aside* People often need to be told what to think, and they often get this from articles they read. So when they see that RJ got an ‘F’, they’ll just think “RJ, back to what he was like in the PO’s.” People are also heavily influenced by what they read and so when they’re next watching a game, they might be less inclined to see a mistake that Kawhi makes and more likely to see a mistake RJ makes.

  • TD BestEVER

    Tony Parker must be traded…… Pure and simple…. Anyone who watches the games understands that when TP is passing the ball and sharing, the entire team passes and shares and our Offense and Defense will play better. (Role players tend to perform better when they are involved on offense) In the 3rd qt, tp failed to get into the paint and find OPEN TEAM MATES despite several picks from our bigs to get him open to find his own shot. Which he found on several occasions.  That’s why DJB & TD didn’t score all that well.  Even though Bosh had like 18 0r 20 in the 1st half it didn’t matter, because we could answer o.n the other end.   Then TP got selfish and it was all over.  

  • TD BestEVER

    Gregg POP is the reason we don’t have a Tony Allen type player on the team to help with all the dirty things that are needed.  We need an elite level defender either inside or out to handle those dirty jobs that need to be done, but no one wants to talk about.  Like slapping an injured Kobe on his bad wrist a few times.  

  • Bry

    Couldn’t agree more. Every time the Spurs lose this becomes the knee-jerk panic board, with everyone acting like the Spurs should just blow-up everything tomorrow morning because they are an imperfect team. Let’s show long-term thinking AND realism here, folks.

  • Bry

    Bad quarter, bad luck. That’s the kind of stuff that happens on the road. Players get hyped and start hitting shots they usually wouldn’t even take. The Spurs are going to be affected by home and away quite a bit this season because of the tight schedule and the fact that they are giving so many young guys heavy minutes. A good slap-in-the-face learning experience for the young guys on the road. Luckily they don’t have time to stew on it with another game on the road tomorrow against another MVP candidate-led playoff team.

  • Bob

    Pop giving up games doesn’t help them to get any fight.

  • Bob

    Splitter has a better overall game than he’s shown. You can see glimpses of it the past few games. Pop can’t continue to play around with his minutes. Without getting another big I think the way to go is to start Splitter and let him defend the starting power foward.

    The team needs to set a defensive tone. They were up 14 but they weren’t playing that great defense. The Heat had 49 and were shooting 47%. That’s not going to get it done. Pop needs to stop trying to win by outscoring. You’re going to get inconsistent results.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve advocated before in trading Parker (+ a combination of future 2nd round picks plus maybe Bonner) for a higher 1st round and lower second round pick.

    But the Spurs did perform magic last year in dealing Hill for Leonard.  I’d say they’re probably a little better at figuring that out than I.

  • Deeds130

    Draft.

  • DorieStreet

    That is one thing I hate about the NBA in the 21st century. Players on every team in every game slough off of the man they’re guarding to go toward the ball in the paint.
    Just like the ‘prevent defense’ in football at times “prevents” a team from winning, the ‘help defense’ in basketball “helps” a team to lose. For example: why would a player leave Mario Chalmers open for his first shot attempt in the game–he makes it 90% of the time–and that usually gets him rolling throughout the contest.

  • DorieStreet

    I like that approach for this season, with the many BTBs and 4 games in 5 nights sequences. No matter where the Spurs slot out in the conference playoff bracket, don’t go into it with only 8-9 players getting the bulk of the minutes throughout the season and wind up with tired legs/ beatup bodies.
    And the team has to find out who is going to remain a Spur for the following season. On the court is the only way to find out now.

  • DorieStreet

    It’s bad to get blown out by any team in consecutive games (no matter if the games are in different seasons–fans and the sport media remember).

  • Deeds130

    Is it really a forgone conclusion that we can get value back for TP? He’s been on the block on and off, and there were no takers. So what do you do then? Sure, he can help some teams out, but they can just look to free agency and not have to give away their assets. Some of us were saying to make the move years ago, and now it may be too late. 

    I think it is essentially too late. Too late for a nice trade. And too late to win around TD and MG, an new All-Star is needed. Make a trade if you can, but I’m skeptical that it can be done to any satisfying outcome. I think we all know there isn’t gonna be a major midseason trade in SA, nor will they tank the season, but maybe they can make moves going into draft day… at that point, they should consider trading anyone and everyone in order to get more first rounders over the next 2 years. The talent on this roster isn’t franchise talent, it ISN’T future core. It’s Malik Rose-caliber, old man Bruce Bowen-caliber… in short, these guys are tradeable. LA’s Shaq trade put them in position to get Gasol (and draft Bynum, ftm), not that we have a Shaq. D-will was seemingly untradeable, and yet it was the only way forward, great move for the Jazz, not that we have a D-Will. But whatever we do have is relatively proven. Other teams may be willing to take the known vs the unknown of draft picks. SA needs to gamble on picks! The more the better. 

    I’m not saying this cause we lost, these loses were predictable, and I’ve been stating the obvious for too long.

  • DorieStreet

    The Grizz series last spring was the harbinger (I know, I know–Manu was injured then, Manu is injured now). But every Spur in one way or the other (getting outplayed or not being played at all by Pop) came up short.

    It’s hard to believe, but the last road game (regular season, preseason, or playoffs) was on April 5, 2011 against the Atlanta Hawks.

  • DorieStreet

    If the FO does (2), then (1) will happen also.
    As for (3), the Spurs couldn’t get a post player with moderate credentials to come on board the last 3 seasons. A top-shelf guy is coming here (even if the $$$ are offered) with this team in decline?

  • DorieStreet

    Only saw first half. The officiating is what it is— (1) it is the league’s darlings playing at home and (2) you wouldn’t believe the amount of fans who complain on the NBA blogs (Yahoo Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports) during and after games about the home cooking the Spurs get no matter who the opponent is.

  • Bob

    Lack of interior defense. If you have adequate post defenders you don’t need to help so much.

  • TD BestEVER

    Parker to a desperate team like ATL or NY could still get you a young PG prospect(pass 1st PG, that shoots the 3) and a young athletic big prospect.  I think that would be a great trade even though I know it wouldn’t happen.

  • TD BestEVER

    Hill was a proven scorer with playoff experience.  And he was YOUNG.  And he only got KL, but I would trade TP for either 2 young players with equal salary.  PG and bigman or a combo of picks

  • TD BestEVER

    That 1st 3 from Miami was just poor TP defense.  he just got lost and lost his man. 

  • Anonymous

    If the Spurs didn’t double on Bosh and left wide open 3 point shooters, then they would have won the game. I think the Spurs should have forced Bosh to beat them. I would surrender jump shots to Bosh, and I would let him post up without any help D, even if Bonner was defending him. What I wouldn’t do is sag off of the 3 point shooters, as the Spurs made Mike Miller look like a basketball player by leaving him wide open on all his attempts.

    I know we don’t have any interior D, but you can live with Bosh scoring 50, without spreading the floor for everyone else and every perimeter player sticking to his man. We gave up 48 points on three pointers. That is inexcusable. Let teams beat us on the inside. But not both. The Spurs should go into games by choosing their poison before the game tips off. We either take our chances with the other team beating us on the inside, or we take away the inside and force the other team to beat us with their 3 ball. Against Miami we let them do both in the second half.

    I also would have started Danny Green in second half as that guy was hot as that half court buzzer beater should have indicated. He would have bailed us out with a couple threes when Miami was heating up, instead of the ill advised shooting by Parker, who had a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde type of game.

    The Spurs should also disrupt the rhythm of the other team by using the Mark Jackson strategy by fouling players like Joel Anthony, Brendan Haywood and Dwight Howard,. I would have also fouled James a lot, as he was missing his free throws, instead of piling on the momentum with successive plays from downtown. We lost this game as much as Miami won it.

  • Bob

    I agree force them to beat you from the inside. An even better strategy would have been to start Splitter and have him play against Bosh.

  • JT

    I understand Miami was on fire in the 3rd quarter, but if you realize Lebron is making pull 3′s each time, when do you go and start guarding him half court to make it harder on him to pull up. Nope, time and time again, he came all the day to just shoot another 3. We took no timeouts, we ran no plays, nothing… simply whimpered and did nothing. This team has no swagger, no emotion, and almost seems like no care. I truly feel that some of these players (TP), know we don’t have a chance to win a championship, so who cares. Win at home so at least you keep your home crowd happy. For a Nationally televised game, I expected better effort in the second half.

  • Sneakyvolta

    I agree, the spurs were double teaming guys waaay too much. there were lineups the heat put out there that i thought absolutely nobody warranted a double-team, but still, the spurs guys kept helping and then guys kept on missing rotations after that.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I don’t know why the Spurs _have_ to make a move now.  We’re going to end up rebuilding anyway, as soon as Duncan and Ginobili retire.  And that day isn’t very far off.  We wouldn’t get much value back for them in a trade, and Tony, for all his perceived faults, could conceivably be around long enough to help a rebuilt team.

    The high draft picks, they are a comin’.  Might as well do the best we can with what we have.  The tanking will take care of itself eventually.

  • Titletown99030507d

    TD & DJB didn’t score all that well last night because:

    1. Timmy was worn out by the 3rd qtr.
    2. Timmy was worn out by the 3rd qtr.

    I’ll give you your a half intelligent person and know the hidden meaning behind that. That’s what you’ll see from the first unit when Timmy’s worn. Reality sucks.

  • Titletown99030507d

    You’ll be giving away more than what you’ll be getting back. I don’t know where your head is at? You’ll be getting a mediocre guard and a mediocre big for Tony cuz that’s what you’ll get. Better off keeping him and hope for the draft or package other’s in a trade. The reality is Tony is here forever until he retires like Manu, and Tim. He’s part of the breakfast club.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Better yet why don’t they send Tony and Splitter to the Hawks or Knicks for your guard and big your talking about. I’m sure they would help in “WINNING”! 

  • Titletown99030507d

    They rested on the 14 point halftime lead. They are so known for that.