El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 99, Houston Rockets 91

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Houston Rockets 91 Final
Recap | Box Score
99 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, C 31 MIN | 9-12 FG | 7-10 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 25 PTS | +6

A good game from Tim Duncan on both ends of the floor. It’s hard to know when games like this will come from TD, so it’s good the Spurs didn’t waste it.

Richard Jefferson, SF 21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -15

Surprising game from RJ. Not that he only scored six points, but that all of them were 2s and he only attempted one 3-pointer.

DeJuan Blair, F 20 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -14

Blair is hit or miss when he’s gambling for steals on defense. Tonight he was a hit, but he the offense was worse when he was on the floor.

Tony Parker, PG 38 MIN | 8-16 FG | 7-8 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 24 PTS | +3

Like Duncan, Tony Parker led the way in the second half. He only racked up four assists, but I’d venture to guess he had twice as many hockey assists. I give him a bump over Duncan for the tough defensive assignment on Kyle Lowry.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 8 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -15

Struggled at the beginning of the game both offensively and defensively. Didn’t appear much after that. Not his night, but he’ll be back.

Matt Bonner, PF 28 MIN | 1-4 FG | 5-7 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +20

Did I just see 10 boards and some solid one-on-one defense against Luis Scola. No, that can’t be right.

Daniel Green, G 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | +14

I thought he was pressing in the first half with his college coach Roy Williams sitting court side. He played much more under control in the second half and did his damnedest chasing Kevin Martin around.

Gary Neal, PG 34 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +26

Gary Neal ended up starting the second half instead of Kawhi Leonard and did an admirable job. Made plays on both the offensive and defensive ends.

Tiago Splitter, C 17 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | +2

Didn’t play a lot, but produced in the time he was in there. Will probably see more minutes on Thursday night against NOLA.

James Anderson, SG 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +13

A rare first half appearance for Mr. Anderson. James was actually a vital piece of the lineup that got the Spurs back into the game in the second half.

Cory Joseph, G DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

I hate giving and F for not playing, but there’s not an incomplete option. Just read that as an incomplete.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Spurs played the majority of the second half with three shooters on the floor with one big down low. This opened up the lane a lot of created some opportunities for open shots on the perimeter.
  2. I said over and over again early in the season when James Anderson fell out of the rotation that he would get a chance to regain his spot. Admittedly, I started to lose my faith. Good to see him play some important minutes.
  3. If you want to distract yourself during the next Spurs game, simply follow Danny Green on the floor. He floats around the floor effortlessly and never seems to reach top speed, and yet he’s always in the play.
  4. If I had to guess, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and James Anderson’s minutes will fluctuate for the remainder of the season. Because all are unproven commodities over the long term, the coaching staff will probably ride the hot hands and play guys based on matchups.
  5. The Spurs had a lot of trouble stopping the pick-and-pop with Patrick Patterson in the second half. Patterson would set a pick on the wing and flash to the baseline for an open 12-footer.
  • Cheyenneharty

    Did not get to see the game. A look at the stats says Duncan scored 16 points in the third to fuel the comeback. Can anyone say how he looked out there? Was he posting folks up, or were the points mostly from jumpers and rolling baby hooks?

  • Ch500634

    Have to say that this win was very satisfying after the way we played for 2.5 quarters. I still believe that in this wide open west, the Spurs have as good a chance as any to win it. I still want Tiago Splitter to play more but I think that will happen especially tomorrow when Duncan (probably) gets his night off. Finally, I know Kawhi struggled, but it must shake his confidence to be completely removed from the game never to return- I wish Pop wouldn’t do that! The night after limiting Rudy Gay to 1 point on 0-7 shooting, you have to know what he is capable of and keep letting him get a hand up on defense. 

  • Honey badger

    He used Dalembert’s foul trouble as an advantage. Samuel had 4 fouls so Duncan was aggressively asking for the ball. Timmy also took advantage of Scola’s undersized height. Overall, Timmy looked good in the second half. He even attempted to go top shelf on a dunk attempt (which he missed) but I it still was nice to see.

  • grego

    Two games in which Anderson has now been in come backs. Well, the Dallas came was a close comeback… 

  • Hunter

    C+ for Blair, I give him an F. Besides his nifty post moves and good offensive rebounding, he just cant do anything. It would be smart to Offer as much as possible for Kenyon Martin, You’re telling me he’s smart, can shoot, play lockdown defense, rebound, score, fits our system, will work well with all our other guys, AND only cost 2.5 million, Sign me Up

  • Cheyenneharty

    thx

  • Colin

    Blair is truly an enigma.  I do not foresee him being anything more than what he is right now.  He has the ability to be a game changer some nights and a game breaker in other nights.  It is truly dependent on who is the match up for him as to how many minutes he should receive.  As I’ve said before on this blog (anyone who reads anyhow), until he can develop some semblance of a consistent 10-15-20 foot jumper he will be little more than a role player AT BEST in the NBA. 

    I am rooting for the guy but am just being a realist here. 

    I do want to point out that it was great to see his defensive aggressiveness the other night against Nowitzki.  Do I think he could do that to him 9/10 nights?  No.  But it was still nice to see that he could play that way.  At least he could give other players throughout the league (of the Nowitzki mold) some fits.  

  • Anonymous

    He looked 29 today not 75. Really light on his feet going to the rim, shooting from the outside, hook shots, playing good defense.  WOW! Resting him half the game tomorrow would be nice.

  • Anonymous

    I think you should put the “I” instead of the “F” on the DNP’s.

  • Anonymous

    He doesn’t draw double teams on offense and can’t draw his man out either. They just let him shoot from 10 feet out. Most of the times his shots either clang the rim or they’re air balls. He get’s lucky on some put backs and if you look at his stats most of his rebounds are offensive rebounds…his own.

  • Deeds130

    I’m worried SA doesn’t retain him going into next season. We all know RJ is not a longterm fit, so shouldn’t you make the effort to keep KL, Green, AND JA? I can easily see him fitting in next to Curry at GSW. PHX, IND, BOS, DET, and NO might all have a hole at the 2 and need a big 2-way guard.

  • grego

    Who knows? His value isn’t that high right now. So, it’s tough to say. I hope they used this as a way to motivate him. He has responded since the cutting day. 

  • http://radsci.uthscsa.edu/index.php/User:Nima Nima K.

    Word on the street is, Kaman will be going to Houston, and Kmart to the Knicks. Oh well, there’s always the D-league

  • WTF…….!!!

    NICE WIN………BUT STILL SPURS NEED TO DO SOMETHING IN THEIR “”CENTER”" “CENTER”……IF THE SPURS DOES’NT CHANGE OF THEIR CENTER POSITION…..100% NOT IN THE PLAYOFF OR LOSE AGAIN IN THE FIRST ROUND…….WAAAAAA……..

  • grego

    For comparison, Bonner played just about all 12 minutes in the 4th quarter. Blair played 6 minutes in the 3rd quarter and that was all. 

    Blair is -58 in the +/- in the last 10. 
    Bonner is +73, Splitter is +48, Green +44

  • grego

    The problem with the Dirk matchup, was that wasn’t the normal Dirk. It was still good for Blair to play him physical due to the season and his injuries, but that was far from the normal Dirk. 

  • Anonymous

     Kawhi is a rookie.  He’ll have really good games and then back them up with very poor outings.  Pop’s decision last night to not play Kawhi after seeing him have a difficult time was probably better for his confidence than to leave him in struggling.

    Duncan proving to be (one every other game or two) when he takes his fountain of youth medicine….the best player on the court.  Vintage stuff from him last night.  You’re hopefully correct about Tiago playing more tonight…but we’ve all been privy to Pop’s weirdness when it comes to Splinter so…who knows.

  • Anonymous

     After a lack luster first half by the team (including Duncan), in the third, Timmy took over the leadership role of a savvy veteran and displayed the vigor that made him the best all time.  He truly had an inspiring 3rd period.  Took the game on his shoulders which I think lifted others to performing better.

  • Anonymous

    Almost the whole team deserved an F in the first half.  Fortunately, in the third,  Tim Duncan became a clone of his younger self and started propelling others to perform better for the rest of the game.  Gary Neal probably deserves at least an A- if you don’t count the first half.   And Danny Green a C because he seemed to be just average for the entire game, with the exception for a timely shot.

    To Greens’ credit…Pop just needs to let Green be Green when it comes to defense.  Pop barking out to Green to play off Martin allowed Martin to go off on the perimeter.  When Green was playing “shadow” defense on Martin…Kevin struggled.  Then Pop goes out and talks to Green as if it were Green’s fault Martin was able to hit shots when it was Pop instructing him to play off Martin.

  • Anonymous

    Completely agree with you, you gotta stay with Martin. Crazy Pop, Green was playing great defense on him.

  • Anonymous

    Saw that. Pop’s never happy. Actually he looked pretty stupid telling Green to back off and then get ripped for a 3 ptr.  Then at the time out he patted Green on the butt and by reading Pop’s lips he seemed to be saying to Green “That’s not what I meant, good job anyway go get some water”.

  • Anonymous

    Crap! We can’t get anybody! This is embarrassing! Pop needs to go to the all -star event and carry a big sign “Please! Will coach anybody with two long arms and 2 long legs!”

  • Anonymous

    And yet Pop seems to pull back the reigns on Splitter once he starts to get going. I don’t understand what Pop is trying to do with Splitter but I would think if you want him to take it up a notch he would be better served playing a little more. He only had 1 foul and then he sat him. Blair had a total of 4 and was still out there running around. Cornfused! Stop playing with your experiments Pop roll with what get’s the job done!

  • TD BestEVER

    TIMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Greatest of all time behind Jordan of course.   But everybody is behind MJ,  Played amazing last night, was all over the place on offense and scored at will it seemed. We need to feed him in the post more often. Atleast to see if he can get it going again like he did tonight.  Gotta sure up our perimeter D.  But other than that I think everyone did well. 

  • Pingback: Tim Duncan would like to remind you he still exists

  • Anonymous

    i agree with how theyre gona play out the whole KL, Green, and JA jam. theyll go with matchups. Right now KL IS a good defender but i noticed hes really good on bigger, stronger SF and SG who play one on one ball. Green is better with the quicker guards who he has to chase around screens and even plays really well on PGs. anderson i feel is like a mix of the two but doesn’t excel at one or the other compared to Green and KL. So itll come down to matchups and when manu comes back itll be just as tough. I wouldn’t be surprised if theres a game when manu gets back where tony just doesnt have it going and they try a line up of neal, manu, green and kawhi as their 1-4 or manu, green, anderson, and kawhi as 1-4. Would be a quick, athletic, pesty, and fiesty combo to say the least.

    As for last night, ever since the beginning of the season i would yell at pop during games saying “why are you playing bonner?” I have to say bonner is working his ass off and his defense and hustle have been AMAZING as of late. I still choose tiago over bonner but with how much effort bonners putting on the defensive end and how hard hes been playing, he has justified the minutes hes been getting. Same goes for neal. idk how he did it, i know hes still not a PG, but he can sure fool me sometimes. hes turned his slow, weak drive that results in a floater into a quick first step and an ability to finish with a lay up (and is it me or does he look like he actually slimmed down). besides that point hes also playing pretty impressive defense and i hope he keeps it up

  • paul

    kaman going to houston is just kind of….stupid.  that team keeps on adding great surrounding pieces with no centerpiece.  they will be better but not good enough to make noise in the playoffs imo.  

  • grego

    Splitter doesn’t fit well with Blair.
    Splitter fits with Bonner. 
    Duncan fits with Bonner. 
    Pop doesn’t want Blair/Bonner.

    Duncan has been playing big minutes (relative to his age), and that takes away a little bit of Splitters time. With Bonner, playing well, his shot has to be feared, so if Duncan is on, it works. 

    I expect that Splitter/Bonner will both see big minutes against New Orleans. 

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    The curve for a rookie particularly one who hangs his hat on defence & hustle is pretty steep.  Considering the spurs have one of the hardest defensive systems to slot into some nights he is going to ride the pine.

    Going into 4-5 game weeks must blow you away as a guy who would generally have played once a week in less intense situations up till now.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    Grego i watched the Mavs play the OKC thunder and the spurs game.  Dirk is just woeful at the present.
    I think his shooting woes had a lot less to do with Blair and a lot more to do with poor conditioning.  He has absolutely no lift on his shot and I think at one point yesterday he had missed 14 or 15 consecutive attempts from three.

    Dejaun played solid D, but in essence Dirk more or less ditched himself.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I’ve thought about this. Theres so little playing time available for 5′s if Kaman comes on board, it makes good sense for him to go somewhere he will at least be the #2 option. 

    On the spurs he is probably #3.  Not to mention we’d have to give up a heap to get him and he is expiring this season.  Seems crazy.

    Kmart would maybe fit at the 4.  
    We need a Big PF more than a 5 at the present.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    Centres probably as strong as anything we have across the board.  Tim & Tiago is a very good rotation for 1 spot.  

    We need a big 4 who can play limited minutes at the 5 if necessary due to injury or sitting one of those two.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I agree.  Nights like that I feel like we should run way more of offence through Timmy.

  • Anonymous

    So then we are accommodating Blair.

  • Bry

    Like I said before; that’s not really possible. Blair shoots at high percentage. So, his rebound can’t be mostly from his own shots, unless he somehow rebounds all of his own misses. The guy has flaws, but let’s not pretend he’s a poor rebounder.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Didn’t say he was a bad rebounder he can rebound his own misses all night long for all I care. Overall he needs Timmy to make him look good take Splitter over Blair any day. He has more upside than Blair.