El Conclusión: Utah Jazz 99, San Antonio Spurs 96

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San Antonio Spurs 96 Final

Recap | Box Score

99 Utah Jazz
Tim Duncan, PF 33 MIN | 8-17 FG | 6-9 FT | 21 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS | -7Tim Duncan and Al Jefferson are post players of many moves, though against Jefferson for most of the night the only combination required was a jab-and-go move towards the rim. The 22 points came on a night when his jumper seemingly deserted him, and the 21 rebounds and six blocks are straight out of his prime.
DeJuan Blair, C 12 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0Appeared out of control at times and struggled to finish in the paint while providing nothing of value defensively.
Tony Parker, PG 36 MIN | 8-18 FG | 6-7 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 22 PTS | -7The offense moved out of Parker’s hands for extended portions of the game as the team (wisely) went through Duncan; but Parker, for the most part, chose his spots well. Losing a shooter on a defensive breakdown in the fourth is inexcusable, and his final shot left much to be desired.
Gary Neal, PG 34 MIN | 2-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +6Most (okay, all) of Gary Neal’s value is tied directly to his ability to hit shots, meaning these grades are largely boom or bust for him. Tonight he struggled.
Danny Green, SG 31 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -2On the surface Danny Green appears to have had a solid game, but he left a lot on the court tonight. There were a few missed layups he should have made and a few defensive breakdowns that never should have happened. His defense on Mo Williams on the last play wasn’t the problem, but the three turnovers for a player not asked to create much are.
Matt Bonner, PF 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +6Matt Bonner only got one shot off, a joke of a running hook that had no prayer. But shooting hasn’t been his only contribution this year. Other than Duncan, Bonner was perhaps the Spurs most solid big defender. He fronted the post effectively, made no mistakes, and grabbed a few boards in his limited time.
Tiago Splitter, PF 20 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +5Tiago Splitter had another outstanding run in the fourth quarter, which saves his grade some. Offensively he did the things he always does, finding and creating unique angles to the basket diving on pick-and-rolls. Defensively, he and Diaw were destroyed at times by the Jazz frontline.
Boris Diaw, C 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -10Held his ground defensively on a few one-on-one matchups but gave up inside position a several times off the ball that led to a few easy baskets for the Jazz. Was aggressive offensively (for Diaw). His travelling violation trying to create a passing lane into Duncan was a huge turnover.
Cory Joseph, PG 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2Was asked to defend and make entry passes into Duncan, did both those tasks well enough in his three minutes while also grabbing two rebounds.
Patty Mills, PG 6 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +8I’m not sure if a Patty Mills lineup has ever known the pain of a shot clock violation. Mills was a spark off the bench and helped the Spurs gain an early fourth quarter advantage.
Nando de Colo, PG 6 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -4Invisible.
Manu Ginobili, SG 28 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 8 PTS | -8It was a rough night shooting for Manu Ginobili, and a quiet night in the points column. He did, as always, a lot of the little things that normally add up to a victory but right now remains the only member of the Big Three not clicking on all cylinders.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Execution down the stretch was a mess for the San Antonio Spurs. On their last offensive possession, with the game tied, Parker appeared to go for the quick two-for-one. Parker’s pull-up jumper wasn’t the worst shot (the one Mo Williams eventually hit was more ill-advised) but the Spurs certainly could have found a better look. To make matters worse, the Spurs gave up an offensive rebound on the other end, negating the possession advantage they initially sought.
  2. Tonight didn’t end in a win, but how many times have we seen the second unit come in at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth and bring the Spurs back from the brink or blow open a close game?
  3. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap have, perhaps, as good a shot fake as anyone duo in the league. Duncan had a good defensive game for the most part, but in the first half he left his feet biting on a fake perhaps more times than I’ve seen all season.
  4. Duncan had nine free throw attempts and Al Jefferson had but one. This is why Duncan has always been able to anchor an offense while Jefferson’s considerable post talents don’t always produce as efficiently as one would think.
  5. Mo Williams’ shot was definitely luck, but it was a game the Spurs deserved to lose. It wasn’t the shot that beat the Spurs, but the lack of execution down the stretch that put them in the first place. One should never leave anything to chance if they can help it. Tonight Green played the same defense he did in Houston, but with different results. Sometimes dems the breaks.
  • Bruno

    A+ to Duncan? A is fair enough, he let Al Jeferson wide open at least twice at the end of the game.

    Can we cut Blair already? This season he is playing horrible, he is a cancer.

    Diaw was terrible. Pop and his weird rotation deserves a C-.

    Neal is playing too much.

  • William Mauldin

    Well said, Andy. Especially the fifth thing we saw.

  • Andrew G

    Definitely agree on #3, don’t think I’ve seen Duncan leave his feet that many times in a LONG time. Ball couldn’t seem to go in the basket tonight, too many in-and-outs.

    I know it’s an easy cop-out, but some of these ref’s calls (or lack thereof) were ludicrous. The and-1 on the Earl Watson transition layup simply because he fell down and Danny happened to be standing next to him was what did it for me.

    I’m surprised Manu did as well as he did with the way they were doubling him the second he got the ball. That shot my Mo at the end was disgusting, was absolutely expecting overtime the second I saw him heave that up with Danny right in his face.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    Green gave Williams waaaay too much space with five seconds left in the game. It was pretty clear Mo Williams wanted to play hero ball as soon as everyone cleared out for him. He should have at least split the difference so Mo couldn’t step into his shot, if not get in his jersey (for risk of the foul).

    That being said, the Spurs did deserve to lose at least one of the last two games. They needed a little bit of a wake up call. I think they’ll come back tomorrow a little sobered from their 10 game winning streak with the big three in. Unfortunately, Portland was one of only four teams that didn’t play tonight.

  • Brandon in LA

    Who was assigned to Gordon Hayward? All his 3s seemed to be wide open. Did Pop instruct Hayward’s defender to help off him because he couldn’t hit the side of a barn in last year’s playoffs?

  • samhl

    i watched the game today, and i just couldn’t believe how the spurs lost the game today.

    the shooters just couldn’t hit shots, all wide open 3s , and so many open easy layups , (green wasted few easy lay ups , splitter also missed a couple, manu missed a couple of easy lay ups)

    manu doesn’t look like himself, he has great basket ball IQ and great vision and passing , but his speed and shot don’t look as good as before . (is this the age factor or what i just don’t know) he should have rested in the summer, i understand that players like to play for their country , but he is 35 already, and at some point the spurs should tell him to stop, he already won a medal for his country. he needs to rest his body, and come fresh at beginning of the season, just look at timmy, he is 1 year older, with history with knee problems, and he is 7 feet tall , but he looks more fresh than manu. he is playing like 25 minutes a game, not 30 plus , the spurs r the ones who pay his salary, and he should be resting his body during the summer , we only have those 2 years to win a championship before timmy retires.

  • junierizzle

    Spurs missed a bunch of lay- ups and its a miracle they took a lead. The two turnovers were huge as the article states. They were poised to ice it but that happened. As far as the Mo Williams shot, yes it was luck but I would have prefered Green to get into him. You can’t give a shooter a shot in rhythm. I’ve seen Mo in that situation before earlier this season and you have to make him drive, he won’t pass out he’ll take a tough contested fade away.

  • Easy B

    That’s why people watch their teams during the season. I didn’t watch the game, but saw the plays. Can someone answer me outright whether Parker palmed the ball or not in the fourth with 2/3 minutes left?
    I feel that this was a pivotal moment. If he did, then so be it. The spurs ran the gauntlet with lazy d and really need the small forward boost. 2-3 games with Diaw and committee is fine, but now teams are starting to exploit.
    No matter our depth, the playoffs will come down to our best 8 players.
    This means we need:
    Duncan as is
    Parker as is
    Manu shooting better and tidier
    Jackson hitting 10-12 off the bench, getting to FT and Rebs
    Neal hitting for 10 and hitting themid range under pressure, no turnovers
    Kawhi hitting 10 and 6 and making rudy, Durant, etc really work
    Green getting 8 and 2 steals or blocks through effort plays
    Splitter getting 7 pts 5 Rebs in 10-12 minutes by pnr wear down of opponent bigs
    Diaw getting 4/5/4 and getting Tim and tiago good looks

  • James Washington

    Several times during the game Danny Green seemed to not be sharp mentally, leading to unforced turnovers, missed shots and the defensive lapse at the end of the game. Aside from Duncan, I wasn’t that impressed with our front court contributions. Defense was shaky. I can live with Jefferson and Milsap taking 18-20 foot jumpers; if they hit them, good for them, but I am vexed over Gordon Heyward getting wide open looks. Spurs should have won this one. Poor execution at the end snatched victory away.

  • James Washington

    When is Kawhi Leonard returning?

  • Bruno

    Parker/Neal

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    We could see Leonard on Saturday against the Celtics.

  • Leben

    I think Green was mostly on Hayward. There was one play where hay. was wide open at the 3pt. break b/c of a miscommunication. Throughout the game Green would come and double Al as he made his turn to the basket, but this time when Green was down on the baseline waiting to come and double, Al instead kicked it out to hay. and Parker didn’t rotate. It was a big shot cuz the Spurs were close to extending the lead and hay. brought the jazz closer.

  • Leben

    Yeah, that foul on Watson was a tough one, but the right call. On the replay you can see Green’s hands on his back when he’s still in the air and the refs will always call a foul when a player is in the air going for a shot and a defender puts their hands on his back. Green shouldn’t have put himself in that position, it was just one of many where Green seemed to have a brainfart. I think a C is too high–he deserved at best a D.

  • Titletown99030507d

    He should have pressed Mo with 3 seconds left forcing him to go inside into a waiting Timmy or take a last second shot on the move towards the perimeter. Bad decision on Green I agree.
    Funny as soon as Mo was there at the arc eating clock I realized what was coming down and if it was that obvious for me Green should have stepped up to make one of his smothering defensive plays. Don’t understand why he didn’t do it.

  • 11000

    double dribble

  • Titletown99030507d

    Right on the money Bruno! Jesse states that Splitter and Diaw got destroyed, hell throw Timmy in there as well. Timmy was waxed just as much last night. Put the blame evenly on our bigs the Jazz bigs were simply better last night. Blair’s performance has dropped in the last 10-15 games. I keep saying it’s better to invest those minutes in Tiago period. Been saying it since Tiago got here. But wish washy bandwagoners go back and forth with Blair and insist Blair will raise his game. People think he’s actually going to have a perimeter shot in his arsenal. No. This is the best your going to see out of Blair. Nice guy and everybody likes him but he’s not going to give this team the kind of play they need out of him. Hell Bonner is even playing harder than him on the boards. He actually got over 7 minutes with his start and no production what so ever. We need to move on.

  • Titletown99030507d

    At this point you need to add the 20+ minutes for Tiago and forget about splitting up minutes evenly among the bigs just because they wear a uniform. Pop needs stop giving Blair mercy starts and mercy minutes. Feel bad for him but he isn’t cutting it. And if Pop starts screwing with the big rotation minutes just to get Blair’s confidence up again and depletes Tiago’s minutes because it’s happened before, I will loose it.

  • Blofeld

    What was with the weird rotations last night? And why is Blair getting ANY minutes, much less starting? He’s actually getting WORSE! Milsap ate his lunch last night.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Manu was trying too hard to be Manu of old in regards to trying to win it on his own. Late in the 4th I saw several times when he should have passed off to the open man instead electing to take it himself. There’s a nice play where Tiago rolled to the rim wide open had his arms up but Manu chose to brick a 3 and miss. Oh well. They can’t just rely on bombs from downtown. I’d take the sure thing especially if Tiago’s free throw shooting is decent right now.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Tiago could benefit from a few no calls as well.

  • Eddie

    Am I the only one that felt that Patty should have been given more minutes. With Ginobili struggling I would have like to have seen, a Nando Mills combo to close out the third and get extended minutes in to the 4th… But then again, it’s hard to question Pop with the success he’s had.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    Exactly. He closed out well on the shot, but it’s better to not give the guy a comfortable shot to begin with at the end of regulation in a tied game. I think it was nerves and perhaps a lack of situational awareness or even a lack of communication from his teammates behind him. I think it will be a learning experience for Danny.

  • ThatBigGuy

    Manu’s not getting the separation from his defender when he makes a move anymore, especially on his straight line drives. Pop might want to have a chat with him, show him some film, and ask that he becomes more of a facilitator, especially in the PnR with Splitter.
    He’s a master at angles and passing, but has lost a step athletically. It will be interesting to see if he figures it out mid-season.

  • ThatBigGuy

    In a vacuum, a Blair and Bonner for Hill and Sacre trade with the Lakers would benefit both teams, if it wasn’t for the fact we’d be trading with the Lakers.

    I like Bonner and he has real value in our system, but I’m willing to sacrifice him to ditch Blair.

  • Bruno

    Looks like Spurs coaching staff is telling Nando to be more aggressive and shot the ball, they are trying to turn him into another Neal/Parker, i don’t like it. He played horrible.

    Patty played pretty well, i think Pop pulled the bench too soon.

  • http://twitter.com/kmgospurs kmgospurs

    I really hope Manu retires at the end of the season. It pains me to watch him struggle so much this season and lose a lot of the things that made him special. I’d rather not watch him next year struggle again so much. I want him to end his career on a positive note.

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