El Conclusion: Spurs crush Lakers and everyone gets an A
|Tim Duncan, PF 15 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +20A near double-double and three blocks in 15 minutes is pretty good. Also good, he played 15 minutes.|
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 21 MIN | 3-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +16First game without the glove/sleeve thing and he shoots below 50%… Coincidence? Yes, yes, it probably is.|
|Tiago Splitter, C 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +15I’m focusing on the assists and steals here. And generally speaking his ability to make plays that don’t show up in the box score or whatever that cliche is.|
|Tony Parker, PG 14 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +8He could’ve destroyed Jordan Farmar and Kendall Marshall, but he didn’t need to. But he could have, an we know it.|
|Danny Green, SG 22 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +17Keep shooting, Danny. Keep shooting.|
|Aron Baynes, PF 18 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +3He looked great, especially running the break. He didn’t eat anyone tonight… yet.|
|Matt Bonner, PF 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +21MATT BONNER CONTRACT GAME! GET THAT PAPER, MATTY.|
|Boris Diaw, PF 16 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +12Seriously, how many dudes played 20 minutes or less tonight? Boris didn’t miss tonight. Well done, Boris.|
|Jeff Ayres, C 14 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +2Hadn’t played in a few games and you couldn’t even tell. The energy was all over the place.|
|Patty Mills, PG 15 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +5Probably did more towel waving than shooting tonight. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.|
|Cory Joseph, PG 26 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +20Any extra aggressive CoJo tonight, which is always great to see. He’s shown he can get to the rim, but given his regular role in the Spurs offense it’s more important that he’s confident shooting jump shots, which he did tonight.|
|Manu Ginobili, SG 14 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +1214 minutes. Spurs win. This gets an A.|
|Marco Belinelli, SG 21 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +19He only shot two 3’s tonight. Doesn’t seem like enough. Otherwise, solid work.|
When Matt Bonner plays the most minutes AND it’s a blowout win, the coach gets an A.
Four Things We Saw
- Pau Gasol had 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks tonight. Lost in all the awfulness that is the Lakers this season is that Pau is still really good. Here’s my question: If it were an option, would you rather have Pau Gasol at $10 million next season or Boris Diaw for $5 or $6 million? You can’t afford both, but a Duncan, Splitter, Gasol trio would be a handful for other teams. But they’d lose some roster flexibility. What say you?
- Absent of any objectivity, it was great to see Matt Bonner get some extended minutes tonight and play well. I was never a fan of Bonner averaging 20+ minutes a game, but I’m sure becoming the 5th or 6th big has been a tough adjustment for him. And then he got to into Mobb Deep after the game!
- The Spurs host the Utah Jazz Sunday night where they’ll go for win 50. Then they travel to Los Angeles and Sacramento for what will likely be wins 51 and 52. So it’s conceivable the win streak gets to 12 before they see Golden State on the second night of a road back-to-back.
- The Aron Baynes increased minutes storyline of the last few games is probably a little more important than we realize. When Tiago Splitter got hurt in January, the Spurs didn’t have a ton of size to protect the paint. Baynes is no Splitter, but he’s a big intimidating body that pull down rebounds and not get shoved around in the paint. I’m not saying I want to see Baynes a lot in the postseason, but the last few games show things won’t go to Hell if he does have to play extended minutes for a few games.