El Conclusion: Everyone contributes to Game 4 win

by

San Antonio Spurs 107 Final

Recap | Box Score

86 Miami Heat
Tim Duncan, PF 31 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +21

Congrats to Timmy for surpassing Magic Johnson on the all-time postseason double-double list. I’m sure he cares. He was great defensively tonight, shot wasn’t falling on offense, but it wasn’t necessary.

Boris Diaw, PF 36 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +15

Second best player on the floor and it’s such a difference from even last season. He’s played more minutes this series already than he did through seven games last season. Brilliant move by Pop to up his minutes and put him in the starting line up.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 39 MIN | 7-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +23

He may have been better tonight than Game 3. The efficiency, the distributing, the defense. He was everywhere tonight and if he plays another game or two like this he’s winning the Finals MVP.

Tony Parker, PG 35 MIN | 8-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 19 PTS | +16

19 points kind of snuck up on me. He’s been great this series because he’s not forcing anything. Miami didn’t trap him as aggressively tonight so he was able to get loose and get in the paint a few times, which then gave him space for his jump shot.

Danny Green, SG 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -7

He was great early, which is what they needed, because then Miami wasn’t able to forget about him.

Matt Bonner, PF 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +6

#LetBonnerDime #LetBonnerFloat

Tiago Splitter, C 15 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +1

It’s just easier for him to go up against Birdman than it is Chris Bosh or Rashard Lewis and he’s finishing at the rim. Great play in limited minutes.

Patty Mills, PG 16 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +7
Patrick. Thrills. Difference maker, man. He, Boris and Tiago being able to play major minutes have been huge in this series.

Manu Ginobili, SG 28 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | +27

He didn’t do a ton stats wise, but he was also a +27 tonight, so he was doing things right. Mostly, I just didn’t see him do anything disastrous when he was being aggressive and he hit a couple of big shots.

Gregg Popovich
The execution has been nothing short of staggering the last two games.

One Thing We Saw

  1. It’s so hard thinking about Miami losing three games in a row, even if Game 5 is a home game for San Antonio. This could still be a long series if the Spurs let up. Tough to think Duncan especially will let the Spurs ease up.
  • Air Bonner

    As much as I love Kawhi’s meteoric rise this time of year, I’d rather not see him get Finals MVP. For some reason I think it could go to his head at 22, and give him less drive to push himself as he moves into his “prime”. I could certainly be wrong, but it seems like he plays with a chip on his shoulder and I think its been good for his development.

  • Filemon

    Flawless victory. After what happened last year coming here to win with authority two games its just so good. No one was expecting this. All the self proclaim experts picked miami before game 3 and again before game 4. What a game. It sounds unreal, but it seems we might be on road to a 4-1 victory.

    And I don’t want to jynx it or anything, but a moment of fantasy doesn’t hurt, who would be MVP? Duncan is solid, but he’s got plenty of them already. Parker is good but not stats-good, I think he won’t be voted. I would love to see Ginobili with it, even symbolical, to get a Big 3 MVP (and maybe in the future they’ll call it DPG, for Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, instead of MVP). Kawhi seems the most logical answer right now.

  • Neurus Neurus

    Why a miserable B for Manu? You really hate the guy. You shouldn’t judge him by the possible mistakes he did not make. He had a solid all around game, humble, and plus-27 is not just an anomaly, is a reflection of good. Move on!

  • Ryan McShane

    Diaw for Finals MVP. HIghest +/- in the series. Without him, the Spurs might be at 2-2 or worse.

  • Ryan McShane

    Dude nearly had a triple double tonight. Shall we call it, a “gentleman’s triple double”?

  • Denton Young

    MVP should go to Boris Diaw. He’s completely changed the complexion of the series.

  • NYC

    Heat fans chanting Seven Nation Army two minutes into the game, as if they’ve accomplished anything — does it get any more obnoxious? Of course, these are the same fans who fled the scene by the end of the third Q. Glad we Kawhiet-ed that down in a hurry.

    Props to the fans who stayed, supporting their team and chanting, “Let’s go Heat!” (quite loudly I might add) to the last bitter second and the last (missed) shot. Those are true fans. The rest of those Seven-Nation chanting, bandwagon-hopping herbs can go suck on a lemon.

  • samhl

    lol/ nobody thought we will win today, and everyone was saying that we won game 3 because of fluke shooting night. So this makes 2 in a row, I guess it is not a fluke anymore. Hope everyone stays aggressive like this for game 5, we don’t want to give them any momentum.

    Some people went to say that we should be 2 down after first 2 games and that we are not good enough (Charles Barkley I wish he was on TV now to see his reaction) he even went to predict a near sweep. When Kawai and Diaw play this aggressive this team is so much different, they are so much harder to beat in a series.

    The MVP now is a split between Duncan and Leonard, Duncan has played great all 4 games, rebounding, defending and scoring. While Leonard didn’t do that in first 2 games. Next game if we win hopefully decides it for me. What do you guys think??

  • samhl

    lol that is true. we kawhiet-ed them right from the start.

  • NYC

    I agree. I don’t wanna see him get the scrutiny LeBron gets. Kawhi can’t even make it to the podium as it is, don’t think he would enjoy being dissected under the microscope and called out for every mediocre game that is bound to happen. Say what we will about LeBron, but he’s handled himself pretty well (after the whole “Taking my talents to South Beach” debacle) considering the ungodly amount of scrutiny a mortal has had to endure.

    BTW: Love your handle. His royal gingerness, Air Bonner, sandwich hunter. The only thing funnier than Air Bonner would be Air Bargnani accompanied by a sideways silhouette logo of Jordan dunking. (I think Andrew made that meme.)

  • NYC

    Realistically, it will be either Duncan or Leonard. As you said, next win decides it. But if I had a vote, it would be to see Bobo ascend a podium and hoist the MVP trophy if for no other reason than just to see the disbelief on everyone’s face.

    I said it at the beginning of the season: the Spurs acquired Boris Diaw during the off season. New and improved Bobo 2.0, walrus edition. Another sneaky good move, under everyone’s radar, by the greatest front office of all sports.

    Remember when some fans were screaming the sky was falling because the
    Spurs didn’t make some flashy free agent signing? Fire Pop, they
    said. Blow it up, they said. Trade Parker for a lifetime supply of
    breakfast tacos, they said.

    Pshhhh.

    Where are those Johnny-come-latelys now? Death, taxes, and 50+ wins in SA: three things you can count on.

    I love this team.

  • NYC

    A solid but unspectacular game gets a B. The writers are being fair. You seem to be the one who has an irrational bias clouding your vision.

  • NYC

    So……
    Twenty-one bullet points for The Margin, eh?

    Heh heh. Bring it.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else sit on their hands to keep from clicking refresh over and over? Feel like a kid on the night before Christmas waiting to unwrap presents.

  • Dapimp Ofdayear

    In regards to the “One Thing We Saw”: The Spurs are winning the title at home in Game 5. They’re not letting up. Everybody’s confidence is sky high. The home crowd will be absolutely bananas on Sunday night. The Heat know that they can’t beat the Spurs. They’ll make a few token runs, then get felled by a knockout blow.

  • Governmentname

    Diaw starting being the turning point of the series is overstated. Diaw was playing the same amount of minutes in Gm 1/2 & putting up similar numbers…the only difference is that Tim/Tiago aren’t on the floor at the same time b/c they struggled defensively. It’s no coincidence that when Kawhi turned it up on BOTH ENDS of the floor that the complexion of the series completely changed.

  • Governmentname

    Parker has actually been stats-good…….he’s leading the team in scoring is basically tied w/ Manu/Diaw for assist. With that said he’s near the bottom of the pack amongst MVP contenders when it comes to +/-.

  • spurs10

    Sunday it will be hard to contain myself. Determination! Go Spurs!

  • Andrea C.

    Poor Beli, so hated he doesn’t even get to appear… :(

  • Tim in Surrey

    Actually, if you look it up, ESPN’s statistical analyst Kevin Pelton picked the Spurs in 5. Seriously.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Lots of hockey assists for Manu, though. I thought he was more than just “solid but unspectacular”. Also, Green got yanked because he kept falling asleep on defense. Not sure if you should switch his mark with Manu’s.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Yes, but Kawhi actually DID have a double-double–and then some. I’m actually with David Thorpe, though. I think the MVP so far should go to Tim Duncan. His interior defense has been spectacular every game. The Heat have been built for four years around drives to the hoop that draw easy buckets, fouls, or double-teams (and hence a kick-out for a three). They are just not getting them this time because Tim is playing tall without fouling. That allows the other guys to stay home on the perimeter, which is turning Miami’s excellent offense into one giant LeBron James iso. Boris has been enormously helpful but the reason they can leave him on the floor is because of Tim Duncan. (And btw, did you guys see that play where he caught up to the supposedly quicker Chris Bosh on the break and blocked his shot? Forget Kawhi’s put-back dunk. For me THAT was the play of the night.)

  • Drivefor5

    I have to disagree, when you are in your sophomore year and your coach calls you “the future face of the franchise” that would be something that goes to your head. Kawhi will be fine cause he is like Timmy was. Timmy won a ring and Finals MVP in his second season and it didn’t get to his head. They have the same kind of demeanor, team is always first, you can always be better and nothing is a given.

    Oh an by the way he has three veterans (Timmy, Tony Manu) and a veteran head coach that will make sure he stays on the earth. I can see where you come from and understand that you think it might hurt him, but first he deserves it and secondly I know exactly what he would say if he wins it “I just tried to help my team and go play, but actually everyone on this team deserves it” hell I think that if they give him the trophy he would give it up immediately to Pop or Timmy because he would be uncomfortable. So he will be fine.

  • Pablo

    There is no way Kawhi plays two more games like this. If he plays one more the series is over!

  • Idahospur

    I want Duncan to have it. Just so his 4 MVP would be second to Jordan’s 6 MVP. And he may be the oldest to get a Finals MVP.
    Let’s finish this out.

  • Chok.

    All 13 Spurs scored, so shouldn’t every Spur be included in ‘el Conclusion’? Hell, you can even throw Austin Daye in there. He looked sharp on the bench, and he had excellent form on his high fives!!

  • Brendon

    Do you think Pop knew?

    When he started Bonner in the OKC series… do you think he knew it couldn’t be Diaw, because he was going to save Diaw for the Heat?

    Continually blown away by this team.

  • Joseph Dooley

    Heat fans deployed that chant down 15 in game 3.

    I was at AT&T center last night for the biggest watch party on planet Earth, and we deployed that chant to troll the Heat fans several times throughout the game.

  • Joseph Dooley

    It has to be Kawhi. He’s creating offense by himself and locking down Lebron. His plays are the most exciting so far this series.

    Unless Timmy explodes for 30/15 Sunday, Kawhi is the MVP.

  • Joseph Dooley

    I’m not afraid of Kawhi getting a big head. I’m more afraid of what nastiness he could potentially be hiding underneath that quiet shell of his. Don’t forget this kid lost his father when he was 16 years old.

  • RedRocket015

    Really hope that SA can close this out on their home floor on Sunday and win Ring #5 for Timmy!! Spurs put on an absolute CLINIC in games 3&4 in Miami

  • RedRocket015

    Not to get ahead of ourselves, but what do folks think will happen in the offseason if the Spurs win this thing this year?
    I am hoping Timmy comes back for 1 more year, and we go out and get Pau Gasol – he was made for the Spurs. He’d be a nice upgrade over Tiago (who has really impressed me throughout the Playoffs with his consistently strong play!). I’m hoping that the potential for his first repeat title will be enough for one last Hurrah…

  • Matt

    Kawhi deserves the MVP title (so far). If there’s anything about Kawhi, it is the fact that he’s humble. Having some more confidence this series is the element that is making Kawhi more of an impact in the game. Providing him the accolades he deserves will push him to take more control of the game which, with his amazing ability, will serve the Spurs well. He deserves it and it will be a benefit to the Spurs to allow him to gain more confidence.

  • RedRocket015

    Also, as much as I hate to say it, I think Patty Mills is currently auditioning for a starting PG spot for the Heat. If I’m Riles, I’d go after him hard this offseason (heck, even Corey Joseph looks like he’d be a big upgrade over Miami’s current pu pu PG platter)

  • Ryan McShane

    I think the MVP should be someone who has been consistent in the series. Kawhi was a no-show in games 1 and 2. And picking a player specifically because they stopped the other team’s best player kind of just points to the other team’s best players as the MVP.

    On his own, Kawhi’s offense could not have been great. He needed players like Diaw, Parker, and Ginobili on the floor to create most of it (put-back dunk notwithstanding).

    In short, it wouldn’t be wrong to pick Duncan, Parker, Leonard, or Diaw as Finals MVP. And that’s what makes the Spurs so great.

  • Ryan McShane

    I completely agree with Thorpe on his point. Adande made a good point too, though, about the lifetime achievement award. I would be completely on board with Duncan getting it if he shows up in Game 5 with a serious line. Everything the Spurs are about comes from him (and/or Pop – it’s hard to dissect).

  • Joseph Dooley

    Good point. This team epitomizes team ball in the way of 2003-2005 Pistons. Chauncey Billups won Finals MVP, when 3 other guys had legit claims to it.

  • Ryan McShane

    It seems that Spoelstra and James themselves might have done a lot that taking LeBron down a peg business themselves. Spoelstra has been riding LeBron heavily all year (and LeBron is so focused on being the best) that he’s worn out (and the rest of his team is getting too old to do much more). And LeBron’s body seems to have betrayed him twice (Cramps in Game 1, what was presumably a stomach virus in Game 4). Leonard, Diaw, Green, and Duncan have all worn him out too. Again, it’s hard to separate all of that and attribute it to one player. Kawhi has certainly played great defense against LeBron, and not getting into foul trouble has been a huge key to the Spurs’ success in Games 3 and 4. I said after Game 2 that Kawhi needs to stop slapping at the ball in LeBron’s hands before he’s moved (see comments in “El Conclusion: Spurs fall short at taking 2-0 series lead”)… and here we are, debating Kawhi’s MVP-ness.

  • Jbuck7

    His rebounding and floor spacing alone has got my MVP vote!

  • Dams

    Reflecting back on the entire Spurs roster, and seeing here and there comments about, for example, Marco Bellinelli disappearing in the playoffs, I thought about how critical all players in the roster are to being 1 game away from a new ring, and I do mean ALL players.

    We can diss Marco for not being impactful and a poor defender, but given how Pop manages his team during the course of the entire season, every player is critical to getting the team in position to win a title:
    Once come the postseason, we tend to forget the regular season, and we tend to somehow forget the good or great performances during the regular season, especially when the same player appears to become useless during the postseason.

    Remember that no Spurs player averaged more than 30 minutes a game. That means a lot more minutes, like it or not, for the entire bench. AND despite all that, the Spurs got the #1 seed overall, and by a god margin.
    So Pop mentioned how he thinks they couldn’t have had the #1 seed without Patty’s work during the regular season, work that he brilliantly continues these days.
    We also remember the good minutes Baynes got in Game 1 of the WCF, or the Cory Joseph dunk that saved the season.

    But because the Spurs are all in details of things, of the game, and over the whole season, you might be playing garbage time during the postseason, but any good minute and impactful minute you got during the regular season (be it a few 20-point games during the regular season only) counts to helping your minute win a title. Because that’s a minute more where your starters got to sit during the season.

    Remember just that: less than 30 minutes per game, and still #1 seed overall by 3 games while playing in one of the toughest conference ever.
    So, to me, if there’s a win for Spurs before the end of these finals, unlike many other team could say it in this league, everybody on the Spurs roster deserves the credit and the ring.

  • Drivefor5

    I know that silent waters run deep, but I need you to elaborate on “nastiness” what do you mean by that?

  • camnpat

    So you would go after a slower, older guy with a fragile body prone to regular injuries and not used to the Spurs’ system and start him instead of the guy who has shown massive improvements, is younger, has proven to be a heck of a passer, and a great defender? All just to get a big name in the team? Gasol in the Spurs next year would be a step back, not an improvement at that position.

  • camnpat

    That’s the beauty of the Spurs: you are not stuck with specific set pieces- you always have someone who is the best tool for the job at hand.

  • camnpat

    So many contributions that this should be another one for the history books with the ENTIRE Spurs team getting MVP for the first time in NBA history.

  • camnpat
  • Sarge

    Perhaps Marc Gasol, but not Pau. At least not at the expense of Splitter.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Ginobili is right up there in +/- with Diaw. If he has a monster of a game in regards to +/- and makes no crucial mistakes and we squeek this one out to win the series he could be thrown into the pot for MVP even kinda for sentimental reasons if the balloting is close. Especially being that 05 MVP was his and didn’t get it. I don’t know how they didn’t give him that accolade. I always felt he played like a possessed man on a mission. He should have gotten it then. Wouldn’t it be nice if he made up for last season and was named MVP. Crazier things have happened.That is if they take +/- in consideration and the screw up in 05.

  • Spurs

    If Ginobili didn’t come as HARD as he did in 1st qtr, we will still thinking in game 6… and you gave him just a B? I think he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves coming off the bench… remember the Dallas series right? Parker an A? He struggle all the game until garbage time on the 4 qtr… c’mon.