El Conclusion: Very uneven effort for Spurs in Game 4

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San Antonio Spurs 92 FinalRecap | Box Score 103 Portland Trail Blazers
Tim Duncan, PF 27 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -14

For starters, no one gets an A tonight. Second, Duncan was fine tonight. He looked like he was going to get going in the third quarter, scoring six straight. But the Trail Blazers kept making shots. When it was time for normal rest, we didn’t see Duncan back on the court again. So at least there was plenty of second half rest.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 27 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -15

Also looked good for the most part. His mid-range game is so good so early in his career. I’m guessing he’s going to be draped all over Nicolas Batum in game 5.

Tiago Splitter, C 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -13

His defense was fine. Sometimes LaMarcus Aldridge is going to make those mid-range shots. He seemed hesitant on offense, double pumping once too many, altering his lay-ups in mid-air, etc. He’s been great this postseason, so we’ll call that a blip.

Tony Parker, PG 27 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -17

Did that thing where he starts hot and fades. Portland did a good job of not letting him get wide open looks, especially in the third quarter. Unclear if he’ll see all Nic Batum all the time in game 5. But, he has to stay aggressive. Only took three shots in the third quarter.

Danny Green, SG 22 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +2

He got his shot going late, but if he’s not making them he can’t play because it allows Damian Lillard to basically coast on defense. Got himself going a little late, so maybe that will carry over to Game 5.

Aron Baynes, PF 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +6

His problem is he can’t guard the pick and roll as well as Duncan and Splitter, which isn’t surprising. However, he can’t stay in front of LaMarcus Aldridge either. Portland was really attacking the pick and roll tonight, so Baynes struggled.

Matt Bonner, PF 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8

#LetBonnerOop

Boris Diaw, PF 21 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -9

He looked pretty good offensively, but he was terrible trying to guard Aldridge. That’s a little on him and a little on the coaching staff for not sending help, but he cannot guard Aldridge.

Jeff Ayres, C 7 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8

His jump shot looks like it’s in slow motion.

Patty Mills, PG 14 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -2

Nice game from Patty, stayed aggressive, etc. If anyone else was hitting their outside shots we’d probably be previewing the Western Conference Finals right now.

Manu Ginobili, SG 20 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -11

Nothing went well for him tonight. When that jumper isn’t falling, you’d like to see him get crafty and just start attacking the basket.

Marco Belinelli, SG 25 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -6

He started off playing pretty well, cutting to the basket, getting himself some space to operate. He faded a little late but that pretty sums up everyone’s night.

Gregg Popovich
I was mostly surprised we didn’t see more help getting sent to help on Aldridge, but the Spurs hate sending the help when there are so many shooters on the court.

  • lvmainman

    I’ll make 2 predictions. 1) Tony Parker will never score more than 25 pts being guarded by Batum 2) If the Spurs lose game 5, they will not win game 6 in Portland

    I’m still mad that the refs didn’t review the ball going off a Portland player with 40 seconds left in the game. That made the 5th time, I counted the ball going off of a Portland player, where the Blazers got the ball back. Duncan blocked a Mathews shot and the ball hit Mathews while he was standing out of bounds. The play where the ball bounced off Lopez and Blazers got the ball.

    Spurs, especially Ginobili need to bring it on Wednesday.

  • Governmentname

    This game reminded of the 1st rd series against the Suns in 2008 when another Frenchie Boris Diaw willed the Suns to a home a victory over the Spurs in Gm 4 to stave off a sweep. http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200804270PHO.html

  • Governmentname

    The issue isn’t Tony not scoring 25 but Danny Green/Manu not taking advantage of Lillard or at least making him work on the defensive end. The Spurs could have won the game if they shot the 3 ball anywhere close to their season average instead we had two air ball by Kawhi/Manu while Will Barton is making circus shots…….it just wasn’t their night. As far as the Spurs not being able to win Gm 6 in Portland, last I checked the Spurs closed out a series in 6 game last year against a similar team to the Blazers & at an arena as rowdy as the Moda Center: the Warriors at the Oracle Arena.

  • wannabe_fake_tough_guy

    From the start of the 3rd Q, it looked to me that Pop decided this was a gimme game for the Blazers. Who knows, maybe Holt whispered that he wanted revenue from another home game. Even though it seemed nothing went right for the Spurs, this was still winnable. That’s OK, close it out at home and move on.

    Batum, Lopez and bench players played lights out. I doubt they could string 2 games in a row like this, especially Lopez and bench guys. I give all credit to the Blazer’s players. The did not want to get swept, and get swept at home. It’s really funny to hear all the announcers/analysts talking/acting like the Blazers are “still in this”. Maybe it’s in their contracts to make every series sound to be close.

    On another note, the Bonner Man-crush/Bromance is getting embarrassing. Ayres & Baynes get D’s, and Manu gets an F. Fair enough. Does Bonner’s line and playing merit a C? Somebody thinks so. I’m beginning to think somebody is trying to create a meme or buzz. Kinda like a reverse of the “Nickleback sucks” meme which has become so prevalent that people who never heard of the band parrot and believe the meme. Or internet buzz reminiscent of what happened with “Snakes on a Plane”. Great buzz, crappy movie. It’s a contract year for Matty, so good luck on that.

    For my money, the whole team should received Cs & Ds, including Pop.

  • camnpat

    Not surprising that, at some point, there was going to be a game like this. The team had sustained near perfect execution for 192 minutes going all the way back to game 7 of the first round. Even with what happened Portland should not be overconfident about the win. By halftime, even with all the San Antonio shots not going in and the execution by the Blazers, they were only up by 2. The third quarter, San Antonio’s Achilles hill for some reason, is where some separation was created, but the 4th quarter was mostly considered garbage time by Pop at that point. Even then an 11 point loss in a night when the individual production for the Spurs was low across the board, can’t be a great sign.

    On a different note, the obsession with Matt Bonner here is becoming laughable. He has some attributes but you can’t tell me than in seven minutes did more (or better), whether scoring or not, than Manu, Bellinelli, Diaw, Baynes, Ayres, Green, etc, who played more minutes and received the same or lower score, specially when his stat sheet has a single rebound as a gain.

  • Caui sounds better than kawhi

    Just a bad shooting night for the Spurs and an a proud effort for the Blazers and their bench. No need to over analyze what happened. I can’t see the Spurs missing so many open jumpers for 3 more games, and it is less likely that their bench can sustain that level of play.
    On your other note, i’m guessing they like to have fun with the Bonner thing… well, maybe the let Bonner Oop really is the key to this series.

  • John T.

    I think the grade for Manu is on the mark. He was having trouble controlling the ball whenever he drove to the basket, and I for one cringe at the sight of a Manu pull-up three. That sequence in the 3rd quarter where he shot a contested three (airball) and fouled Batum on the three point shot was probably the tipping point in the game. It was very similar to the undisciplined shot selection he showed in the second half of game 3 against Dallas.

    That being said I think the big three just ran out of gas tonight and it was probably a good thing that most of them didn’t see much action in the second half. Duncan was struggling to keep Lopez off the glass, and Parker looked like a guy who has been carrying the team on his back for the fifth time in nine days.

    Maybe the Spurs will consider starting Mills or Belinelli at the shooting guard to allow Parker to work a little off the ball and prevent the Blazers from hiding Lillard on defense at the start of the game.

    In the end Portland and the Western Conference is just too good to realistically expect a series sweep. Spurs had a bad night but accomplished what any team sets out to do and that is split on the road.

  • Joseph Dooley

    Spurs didn’t look sharp from the opening minute, as Tony was careless with his dribble and allowed a defender to poke it away near the baseline. No adjustments necessary for Game 5, just need to be sharper.

    Before this series, the consensus here at 48MoH seemed to be Spurs in 6. I’d say we’re still beating that projection.

  • Joseph Dooley

    Lopez does a lot of shoving with his hips from behind Tiago and Timmy to get offensive boards. He commits the unseen foul in order to avoid the obvious foul of reaching over the back. People wonder why players flop: because it’s the only way to get the refs to notice what the other players are doing.

  • Dusty

    This game doesn’t worry me too much. We can’t expect the Spurs to sweep every good team. I feel like the urgency was at an extreme level for the first 3 games and overall the team just dipped a bit tonight. I mean how can you expect the urgency to be the same for the Spurs who have a comfortable lead and the Blazers who are scrapping for their life. The Blazers are still a very good team. This loss will snap the Spurs back into focus though.

  • DorieStreet

    Dude is getting $4 mil a year (sixth highest salary on the team) and plays less than nearly all the guys who make far less than he does. 4th longest in tenure also, but he ain’t contributing like the Core 3. Despised his shticks (sandwiches, red mamba).
    Another player PATFO kept around too long. This should be his last season in SA.

  • camnpat

    You are right. I didn’t put my though properly; I meant an 11 point loss in a night when the individual production for the Spurs was low across the board, can’t be a great sign for the Blazers if, even with all that effort, they barely got to outplay the Spurs.

  • Caui sounds better than kawhi

    Exactly, well put. Lets hope for a W tonight!

  • Tyler

    You can only go to replay in the last 2 mins of the 4th. Nearly all those plays aren’t applicable. And even if they did somehow go SA’s way, Portland still would have won. They were the better team Monday night.

  • fkj74

    Blazers did not want to get sweeped and when they are hitting 3s while falling out of bounds you knew it was their night. If we play our game we win going away game 5. Bonner will hit some big shots on this run to the title.Go Spurs!