El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 99, Detroit Pistons 95
|Tim Duncan, C 33 MIN | 7-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +4
Last night Ben Wallace told Duncan that he would be retiring at the end of the season. Then Wallace traded elbows with Duncan for old times sake. Wallace might be done, but with his current level of double-double production it would seem that Duncan has a few years of productivity left in him.
|Richard Jefferson, SF 33 MIN | 4-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +2
A Richard Jefferson sighting! In the fourth quarter no less. And a dunk. Throw in a big rebound and four free throw attempts and Jefferson has his first active game in recent memory.
|DeJuan Blair, F 16 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +2
Another double-digit scoring game for Blair in limited minutes. Five rebounds. There will be nights where his minutes are limited and it’s on Blair to make an impact with his time on the court. Tonight he managed that.
|Tony Parker, PG 33 MIN | 5-13 FG | 4-7 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 14 PTS | +5
Brandon Knight was able to handle Parker’s quickness, but it’s Parkers footwork, change of pace, and overall subtle cleverness that sets him apart from other speedsters.
|Daniel Green, G 22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -9
Green is going to have to prove himself with less opportunities, and it’s going to take some time to adjust. What I like about him is depite only taking three shots he found ways to contribue with five rebounds and three steals.
|Matt Bonner, PF 21 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +6
The shooting is what Matt Bonner is suppose to do. So for now I would like to focus on a defensive play near the end of a quarter. With the clock running out the Pistons ran a pick and roll that freed a dive man, only to be interrupted by a rotating Matt Bonner. His help defense has picked up as the season has come along, even if he never will be a plus in that category.
|Manu Ginobili, SG 25 MIN | 0-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 1 PTS | +17
Care to know why there were few questions regarding Ginobili drastically disrupting team chemistry like there is with Carmelo Anthony? Because Ginobili does so much without scoring the ball. Ginobili is a perfect, amped up role player with All-Star scoring ability and supernatural court sense.
|Gary Neal, PG 16 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | -4
Still uneven performance from Neal from game-to-game, but his aggressiveness and track record leaves few worries. A throw away game.
|Tiago Splitter, C 22 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-8 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +4
Tiago makes ball-handlers better on pick and rolls, Manu Ginobili makes dive men better on pick and rolls. My mind explodes at the thought of both of them working it together for large minutes.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 19 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -7
Manu Ginobili’s passing even puts more arch into Leonard’s jump shot.
Three Things We Saw
- I never understood why Tony Parker caught flak for not being Manu Ginobili in terms of passing ability. At the end of the first half Ginobili spotted Duncan diving to the rim, open, off a pick and roll. He skipped the pass to an open Matt Bonner. He started his pass before the defender even decided he was going to rotate over to a rolling Duncan. That’s damn near precognitive. Only a handful of players in the entire world can do that.
- This was a monster night for our entire frontline, albeit against a weak defensive team. Still, a moment to recognize it in our comments if you would.
- The biggest downside to the game was Tony Parker’s eight fourth-quarter points. The Spurs shouldn’t have needed them. As Manu works his way back in it’s my hope he continues to come off the bench, at least until T.J. Ford returns, to provide Parker with some much needed rest.