El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 112, New Orleans Pelicans 93
|Tim Duncan, PF 25 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +17
This is mostly for the work he did on defense, especially containing Anthony Davis, who is the NBA’s current leader in PER. He also made the most of his opportunities on offense, it just wasn’t totally needed tonight.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 21 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +12
Similar reasons for Duncan here. Leonard was everywhere on defense. One steal led to a pretty awesome breakaway dunk. His game still seems a little stuck in the mud on offense. The 3-point shot isn’t there yet, but he hasn’t completely needed it so far this season. He is everywhere on defense and that more than makes up for the mediocre offense.
|Tiago Splitter, C 13 MIN | 5-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +5
Splitter looked like he was on his way to a great game before he tweaked his ankle right before halftime. He’s scored in double figures six of his last seven games. He and Duncan play so well together on defense. He’s not showing us new things, he’s just getting better at what he’s already good at. Hopefully the ankle injury remains minor.
|Tony Parker, PG 25 MIN | 5-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +17
It’s not the flashiest stat line, but I almost prefer hyper efficient, let-the-game-come-to-him Tony Parker. He kept the ball moving, took the ball to the rim when he needed to and mixed in a few Tony Parker things.
|Danny Green, SG 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 5 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +12
Meh, the five steals were fun. His defense was solid as always. His inconsistency on offense is one of the few things that can be filed under “needs work” for this Spurs team.
|Jeff Ayres, PF 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +12
The motor didn’t appear to be on overdrive like it normally is, but Ayres’ play of late has shown enough that Pop chose to start him in the second half while Splitter sat with the ankle turn.
|Matt Bonner, PF 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -4
Matty B gets the incomplete because I can’t tell if he’s still working his way back from the calf strain or if the play of other bigs is pushing him out of the rotation. It’s fine, Bonner’s been here before and an uptick or decrease in minutes doesn’t seem to affect his shot.
|Boris Diaw, PF 31 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +8
It probably speaks to how well he’s been playing, but I watched this game thinking I’ve seen better Diaw games. Still, he was a part of a bench crew that just overwhelmed New Orleans.
|Patty Mills, PG 22 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -3
The hot shooting continues, but what matters most is that Mills keeps stealing inbounds passes and converting them to points. It’s in contention for most entertaining subplot of the Spurs’ early season.
|Cory Joseph, PG 10 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -5
He’s aggressive when he gets his opportunities, there still isn’t a ton there. It’d be interesting if we saw him with Manu and Marco Belinelli just to see how he plays off two playmakers.
|Nando de Colo, PG 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 0 PTS | -8
Keep your head up, Nando. We can’t have three Frenchmen playing well at the same time. It’s in the rule book.
|Manu Ginobili, SG 19 MIN | 6-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +17
He’s not the ultra dynamic Manu of years past, but when he’s this efficient it doesn’t matter. His shot was locked in early on and that opened up the rest of his game. It’s also important to note he’s been playing a lot of small forward with this second unit, which is going to be important when the Spurs need to go small and put Kawhi at power forward.
|Marco Belinelli, SG 21 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +15
If he and Manu can shoot like that together often, the second unit is going to be a juggernaut that swings games the Spurs normally wouldn’t win.
Everyone got minutes, everyone got rest. The ball moved. The Pelicans took more shots than they had points. Pretty much an ideal Pop game.
Three Things We Saw
- Tim Duncan can still guard these young, spry guys. Anthony Davis has drawn comparisons to a young Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan (mostly Garnett) and early this season he’s looked the part. Duncan and the other Spurs bigs contained Davis to just 10 points and six rebounds and held the Pels to 14 fast break points as well.
- It was interesting watching Tony Parker go up against Jrue Holliday. Holliday might be the best defensive point guard in the league. Either Parker knew that going in or figured it out early in the game, but he seemed perfectly content picking his spots and letting the Spurs take advantage of other mismatches on the court. I’m not sure we see that from Parker even a couple of years ago.
- Aron Baynes was in street clothes for the game and let’s just say his suit game is different from Matt Bonner’s. That is all.