Memphis Grizzlies 109, San Antonio Spurs 93: 21 turnovers = a steaming hot pile of suck

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I didn’t think the Spurs would miss Tony Parker. I was wrong.

The Spurs were beat up by the Memphis Grizzlies. In addition to the aforementioned 21 turnovers, not a single San Antonio starter scored in double digits. Gary Neal led the Spurs with 14 points.

This won’t continue. But for the night, the Spurs were out of sorts from the opening tip. George Hill dramatically under performed as the Spurs’ makeshift point guard, turning the ball over early and often. No Spur was able to command the offense. The game was played entirely to the dictates of the Grizzlies.

This, I suppose, is the downside to having only deviated from the starting lineup once this season. It sounds silly, but the Spurs looked like a rogue band of rec leaguers who met one another just before tip. Some of them can clearly play, but with one another? Not so much.  The Spurs should consider name badges next game.

Of course, I’m being ridiculous. The Spurs have been together all season. They should settle into a new rotation quickly enough. But one does wonder if tonight’s loss to the Grizzlies was an aberration or if the Spurs are in for a long week.

If San Antonio loses tomorrow in Cleveland, I’m going to go ahead and bet on a long week.  Otherwise, let’s call this an aberration.

But now that the Spurs are only up 5 games on the Mavericks, losing to both the Heat and Lakers on Friday and Sunday would make the team’s fast start a distant memory. It would also introduce at least some drama into the Western Conference playoff race.

This game is just the Spurs keeping things interesting. Saddle up, fun-seekers. Good times ahead.

  • DorieStreet

    Following the action on gametracker was tough; I feel for you who watched the broadcast. I will go along with it being an aberration (hopefully it is the last one this season) and look ahead to a bounce-back, intense effort versus Cleveland Wednesday night.

  • Jacques

    “the Spurs looked like a rogue band of rec leaguers who met one another just before tip.”

    +5

    The game was very difficult to watch. When Marc Gasol was ejected, I thought the Spurs would’ve gained the momentum. Arthur was unstoppable. George Hill seemed to give up the ball early or make tough shots. Hope tomorrow will be better.

  • Nima K.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cavs win as well. And we might end up in a losing streak. Heck, we might even lose HCA. But in the end, we’ll still have 55+ wins, still make it to the late playoffs, and if we don’t win the ring, no Western Conference team will either: OKC and Dallas are powerful but inconsistent, and LA has mellowed and is just a one man show. It’s either us wining the title, or The Eastern teams.

    We sucked last year, and still made it to the 2nd round. As bad as it seems with injuries beginning to slow us down, I still think we’ll do better this year, and can still make it to WCF, even without HCA. Just my opinion though.

  • rj

    at least we will be rested enough to take on cleveland tomorrow. the only positive to come out of this game is the extended burn of james anderson and the return of tiago splitter. correct me if i am wrong, but was this the first game those two have shared the court together? weird…….

  • Hobson13

    Absolutely no one stepped up tonight. The entire team played like losers. Sure we missed Parker. Our 21 TO’s emphatically prove that, but Parker’s absence wasn’t the reason we gave up 109 pts and 61% shooting in the first half (53% for the game after they shot 37% on Sunday). Some will disagree, but for me, this was the most disappointing loss of the season. We looked like last years version of the Spurs.

    I thought we had a chance at winning this one when we came out on fire to start the 3rd quarter. We got the lead down to 5, but sweet little Manu and George Hill missed 3 straight 3’s and the Grizz just blew us up after that. I’m starting to get concerned about HCA. We need the Mavs to lose 3 straight.

  • Bruno

    Horrible night, Quinn plays better than Hill as PG, Hill has 4 assist and 6 turnovers, Grizziles score 30 points of turnovers!!!If Cavs win tomorrow, omg, we can say good bye to the 5th.

  • Nima K.

    Don’t have any update on Corey Brewer’s status, but the TWolves just bought out Eddy Curry. Any thoughts? He’s a legit big, I recall.

  • andy

    holy mother of the holies. i never thought i’d see “eddy curry” and “legit big” in the same vicinity.

    THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING

  • Chipp

    Has anyone noticed Manu is shooting LESS than 25% on 3’s over the last month? Contrast that with Bonner’s 58% over the same period.

    Manu’s shot selection needs some fine tuning.

  • rj

    i suggested eddy curry earlier this season as a waiver option. maybe splitter isn’t ready to contribute this postseason. curry is 5 ectra fouls and probably a better rebounder, but he hasn’t played basketball in nearly 2 years. i’ve been encouraged by splitter’s play recently, but i don’t imagine him cracking the rotation in the playoffs. dyess is proven, bonner spaces the floor, and blair has started all season. i could see splitter getting minutes if blair struggles. we could have a dual option at center. corey brewer could be the future wing defense that we need and anderson won’t be playoff ready. let’s get him.

  • Nima K.

    On 2nd thoughts, eddy curry still seems to be having heart and weight problems. I thought he’d be a possible solution to our size problem.

  • DorieStreet

    @ Hobson13

    “We need the Mavs to lose 3 straight.”

    That ain’t gonna happen—check their schedule. The Mavs will be the talk of the league this time next week after reeling a third 10-game win streak this season (and could make it to 12 games). The Spurs will have to get on a win streak themselves to stay on top in the west.

  • lolz

    march 18th see you losers soon

  • Bruno

    @rj Splitter was starting to look good before he got hurt. He can rebounder, today he grabs 6 rebounds on 14 minutes, I know he lost some rebounds and easy baskets but give him a pass for first game back. 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assist in 14 minutes is not bad…

  • grego

    Spurs likely would have dropped this with Parker. Grizz are not an easy team to drop in a series 4-0. I’d rather them drop this game as a sloppy one and win at least one of the tougher Miami/Lakers games. Good that Hill made his mistakes in this game.

  • Hobson13

    DorieStreet
    March 1st, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I haven’t looked at their schedule. I was just wishing and hoping. You know, it’s frightening to think where we would be if Dirk hadn’t been injured for those 9 games. If you take that stretch of season out of the Mavs schedule, they might very well be ahead of us.

  • The Beat Counselor

    Tonight was just a little love note to TP.

  • Junierizzle

    Couldnt see the game but kept track of it. I knew they were in trouble when I saw that they had 7 turnovers in the 1st quarter.
    Youre not going to win in any sport if you turn it over. They had 22!!!!!!!!Yikes.
    I think they needed this first game without TP out of their system. No way they are losing to The Cavs.
    I read that they went 16-10 without TP last year. Oh boy.

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  • Gomezd

    Nothing is a better cure for a bad loss than a trip to cleveland, sure they have beaten the lakers and Knicks but lets be honest, the cavs are by far the worst team and the team with the least talent in the nba, I dont see how we can posibly lose this game.

  • Flavor

    Although I agree that the Spyrs should win tomorrow, reading the above comment sounded like the start of a scene you’d see on The Simpsons that would then be followed by a clip of the Cavs dominating the Spurs… Haha

  • rob

    If Memphis is the birth place of the blues…the Spurs played according to their destination this night.

    Agreed it would be a tough game but sweet mother of Muddy Waters that was horrible.

    Aw well…hopefully there aren’t more like that.

    Did somebody say the Spurs were intrigued with getting Garrett Temple again? I heard Carlos Arroyo was released by Miami. Hill is not a PG.

  • The Beat Counselor

    @rob

    Agreed Hill is not a PG. What he did last year while TP was out was take the ball to halfcourt so that Manu could run through a screen and then hand off to Manu who would proceed to run the point.

  • NYC

    Jesus H. Christ, Manu, stop chucking 3s!!! You’re killing me.

    Maybe it only seemed this way in my mind, but did he brick three straight 3s in three straight possessions? The game was easily within reach and there was no need to be lobbing 3s with plenty of shot clock. It was a sign of desperation, and when he clanked all three of them, I knew right then the game was over. Send in the bench.

    But I must be a masochist ’cause I kept watching ’til the end. Really don’t know why.

    I fear Manu’s confidence is shot right now. It’s like he’s trying to will himself to perform by hoping to catch fire by sinking a few 3s, but it ain’t happening and instead he’s sinking deeper into a funk.

    Manu has always been a clutch player. The more pressure, the bigger the shot, the more he seems to focus and nail it. Time after time when the other team goes on a tear, I’ve watched him run right to the arc and immediately respond w a dead-eye 3 to douse their momentum. All the clutch players from Kobe to Horry seem to focus better and thus perform better with added pressure. Compare that to our own Red Rocket who, god love him, does not have the clutch factor and, well, chokes in the spotlight.

    Could it be that all the wins piling up and the lack of adversity due to the fortunes of good health have lulled the team into a sleepwalk and robbed them of their focus?

    Maybe losing Parker for a spell and losing a few games in a row will snap Manu (and the team) back into focus? God, I hope so. This is bitter medicine to swallow. I can’t watch Manu chuck up another 3 and miss the broad side of a barn. This is shortening my life.

    Please, for the love of god, Manu, find your focus and stop chucking desperation 3s!

  • NYC

    @ Bruno

    You know, it’s funny: watching the game, Splitter seemed to be getting abused out there. But then looking at the stats, as you pointed out, he seemed to have done pretty well.

    If in 14 minutes he put up 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists; that would extrapolate to 14 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists in 28 minutes. Those are Tim Duncan numbers!

    Obviously it doesn’t work that way, but fun to think about. Like what they say about playing the lottery…

    I agree: it’s only his first game back from injury so I can’t read too much into tonight’s performance. On the one hand, looking just at the stat line, he seems to be playing very well. Who wouldn’t take 7 pts, 6 rebs, 2 asts in 14 mins from your bench?

    On the other hand, how many baskets did he give up? It looked like the Memphis players were going right at him and around him and by him and every other way… and getting to the rim at will and drawing fouls on Splitter. I’m not impressed with his post defense.

    But, as you say, it is only his first game back from (yet another) injury. Also, he was on the court at the same time as the rest of the bench and, as the article said, they might as well have been playing street ball and wearing name tags. So the entire B-squad can share the blame for the poor defense.

    What concerns me about Splitter is that he seems to be not durable: he’s always getting injured. Just as he starts to see some court time and is starting to relax and get comfortable playing with the team, Bam! Another injury.

    I am reluctantly concluding that Splitter is not going to make a difference this season. Unless he miraculously turns it around in the next two weeks with Parker out, I don’t think we’ll even see his shadow come playoffs. That is a shame.

  • Chris

    I agree. Manu’s confidence is shot and I wish he would just stop chucking up shots. I would rather the other guys do it and Manu work on his playmaking to others. If he continues to struggle and not do anything while Tony is out then we’re in for a major loosing streak.

  • rob

    I’ll try to put some humor in this loss.

    Regarding chuncking 3’s… to ad lib from an insurance commercial:

    You dad gum 3 chunkers…quit chunking those threes.

    ______________________

    The next one’s gotta get better than this game.

    Also, that saying “Can’t see the forest because of the trees”. The Spur’s forest area around the paint resembled more of a land of prarie grass bending and waving as the wind just whipped on by.

    Next up…Cleveland.

  • gus

    I think Pop didn’t make any significant effort to win. He didn’t manu to take over like he ded the game before, and he proved he could do it easily in the first quarter…only a Pop decision explain manu stop penetrating, and avoiding giving him the playmaker role considering the night GH was having. Only Pop decision expains RJ not taking shots, and not significant effort in the last 20 minutes (of hell).
    Manu took unconfortable 3′ out of a game plan -thats the only thing left to him-.
    Pop decided not to make any significant adjustment during the first 30 minutes (of purgatory) -benching GH, giving manu a wild card for panetration, playing more Dice on ZR, sending a stronger defense on menphis wings, etc. He just let the game unfold, without pushing anything. The usual strategy in b2b’s.
    Sent from argentina, sorry for the bad english. Vamo’ los spurs!

  • rj

    i suppose that there was no way it was going to be this easy for us. we will have to sweat a little bit with tony out. i wonder if pop treats splitter as he did mahinmi in the playoffs. i remember hearing a 4 down podcast explaining how we are getting carved up by the pick and roll attack from phoenix and how mahinmi was the only one who was quick enough to defend it. of course he would have fouled into the nxt century. splitter may be needed in the playoffs, but pop may be reluctant to play him and keep and ” we got what we got” mentality.

  • agutierrez

    Hill was so bad I found myself wondering if Nick Van Excel was still unemployed.

  • ITGuy

    Tough loss but the Spurs can’t look back at this time.

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    Bruno
    March 1st, 2011 at 9:44 pm
    Horrible night, Quinn plays better than Hill as PG, Hill has 4 assist and 6 turnovers, Grizziles score 30 points of turnovers!!!If Cavs win tomorrow, omg, we can say good bye to the 5th.

    That is one of the biggest piles of bullshit I have ever read on a thread. Hill was not the only player on the team to have a bad night. Putting it all on him is not right in the least.

    The Spurs gave up 22 turnovers, the Spurs had 3 Grizz players score 20 or more and the ball movement was pathetic. The defense was horrible, the offense was sputtering and everyone on that team, other than Neal looked totally disengaged.

    And the OMG, if we lose to Cleveland, say goodbye to the 5th NBA title….how moronic is it to make a comment like that, I mean, seriously?

    Try taking this loss for what it is and keep an optimistic mindset, the Spurs are still 49-11 and last I saw, held a commanding lead on the best record in the NBA so chill out.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    lolz
    March 1st, 2011 at 10:32 pm
    march 18th see you losers soon

    Leave it to a moronic Mavs fan to come onto this board and start crowing like Jason Terry, their resident loser who has not won shit!

    Lolz, you must have been dropped on your head as a baby, the only losers that will be in that game on March 18th, wear blue and white because they have not won a fucking thing since coming into the league.

    The only NBA Finals appearance your sorry ass team made, Dirk showed the whole world that he had as much trouble with Miami’s defense as he did with being unable to shoot with both hands wrapped around his throat!

    Lolz, come back and see us when you guys actually win a title, otherwise, stay the hell out of this site!
    Oh yeah Lolz one more thing, “Put that coffee down, coffee’s for closers!”

  • Captain Late

    A few things:

    1. Captain Late – remember? That’s James Silas’ nickname. He always showed up in the 4th quarter of games, after Gervin and Mike Mitchell cooled off. I started watching the Spurs as a 5yr old at the old Hemisfair Arena in 1979…Had the Ice Man poster on my bedroom wall as a kid.

    2. I’m a spurs fan, but love two things more than the Spurs: a) having a little fun with ultra-sensitive people in chat rooms and b) reality.

    3. Look, I loved watching the Spurs through the course of the season, but something never felt right as we ripped off a franchise record for wins and flirted with the magic 70 win level…probably our horrific defense and heavy reliance on three point shooting…I knew we were one injury away from a bad, bad slide…My hope was that the serious injury would happen to someone like Bonner, but not Tony…he is the most underrated player in the history of the NBA…he’s a FINALS MVP against LeBron for crying out loud…

    4. I thought we would lose by 15, we lost by 16…I believe it will be a close game tonight against the Cavs but result in an L…As the Knicks and Lakers know, Cleveland is much better than their NBA worst record…

    5. Very concerned about the Mavs…5 back and we have a really challenging schedule and no “Captain” on the floor…i.e. no one that run the point like TP

    6. I like Pop, but honestly I have been disappointed in his inability to get our team to really lock down defensively (see the losses to Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland and Chicago as prime examples)

    7. We sat still at the trade deadline, and as much as RC Buford & Co do a great job, we had to get a quality defender and rebounder…other contenders made key moves and we sat still…unacceptable as we have glaring weaknesses

    8. Apologies for getting everyone so upset (I was astounded at the sensitivity of my fellow S&B) but it was all in good fun.

    9. I HATE THE LAKERS. If the Spurs cannot right the ship, and I fear they won’t, then at least I will enjoy watching the Lakers fail to threepeat.

    Pound the Rock!

  • Colin

    All of you who mentioned Eddy Curry as an option need to stop posting here!

  • jwalt

    Blaming this on Manu? George Hill had 6 turnovers and it seemed he struggled even to complete the simplest passes. He was a mess.

    But the biggest culprit is Jefferson, who will take on NO responsibility. He fumbled two passes when he was wide open on the 3-point line, and by the time he gathered the ball in he wasn’t open any longer. Well, that’s one way to avoid having to shoot. He took 1 FG in the first half, with Parker out. He is this close to being gutless.

    But finally, Pop pulled the plug way early, if he puts Manu back in late in the 3rd (before the roof collapese) they still would have a one in four chance of winning. But with the btb tonight in Cleveland, Pop didn’t think it was worth the risk, and I agree.

  • DorieStreet

    An aside to further discussion of the debacle last night— take a peak at the conference standings for spots 4-10. I mentioned before the 1st Grizz game that I don’t think they remain in the 8th spot for long. MEM is tied with POR (lost 2) & 1 game back of NO (lost 2, 3-7 in last 10), 1 1/2 back of DEN (5-5). MEM is only 4 back of #4 OKC (lost 3, 5-5). UTA has already dropped to the 10th spot, overtaken by surging PHO (won 4 , 8-2) and will slip down below charging HOU (won 5, 7-3).

    On the top side—- it basically will be a round-robin setup for the next 2 weeks between the Spurs, Mavs, Lakers & Heat (only DAL & MIA won’t play each other). Revision +++throw the Grizz in the mix also.
    This is the stretch the pundits were saying 2 months ago the Spurs had not come up against yet. Got to do it without Parker…..
    Will the Spurs feel like Caesar on the Ides of March, or will they be downing a pint on Saint Patrick’s Day in celebration after completing a successful run through this NBA guanlet?

  • Bentley

    To me, the problem on the defensive end is one-on-one defense. Our team defense is pretty good. But it seemed like last night guys like Darell Arthur and Tony Allen(of all people) were just scoring at will one on one.

    It seems that this team struggles vs. bigger and athletic teams. It’s something that has concerned me all season long, because if your team defense(help, rotations etc.) is good, but your individual defense is bad, then thats not a good sign.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    This is absolutely nothing to panic about. Real fans of the Spurs remember that the Spurs lose, and lose badly, about 5 or 6 games every regular season. It’s just the way it happens.

    Last championship 2007.

    Regular season games that the Spurs got blown out

    5-6 (not counting the final game of the season)

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2007_games.html

    To anyone who is looking to root for a regular season champion, I suggest rooting for LeChoke.

  • irongiantkc

    Why didn’t we trade Parker when we had the chance? Oh, yeah, that’s why.

  • TD = Best EVER

    Like many have mentioned, Hill isn’t a PG…..Not even close. And last year we have success with Hill just getting the ball across half-court and then dishing it off and going to spot up in the corners…… Last night he tried to be an actual play maker for his teammates and just face planted hard core. So tonight Hill should let Manu run the plays.

    Also why didn’t POP make any adjustments when he saw Hill was struggling. He is starting to remind me of Phil Jackson. They believe so much in the system that no matter how bad things are going they will not change from it. Last night after Gasol fouled out should have been an old school throw it to TD and grind out an 95-92 victory on the road. Instead POP just thought he could Swap TP and Hill and keep running the same system. Lets hope that POP/Hill both learned their lessons.

  • TD = Best EVER

    Also this game shows all why we need to make a move. If w don’t get Brewer AND Powe or another big, we are in trouble. Bonner/Blair/Splitter are all suspect in physical playoff type games. Bonner will play well at home where he is comfortable, but on the road his shot will miss more ofter and his Defense/Rebounding will still be Horrendous. Blair just gets lost alot. Then starts to do to much and fouls for no reason. Splitter just doesn’t have the physical tools to get it done.

    Hamed Haddadi – had 6 points and 4 rebounds on him in FIVE Minutes!!! Simply because Splitter could not keep him off the glass.

    To be fair I know this was his 1st game back from injury, but him getting banged up all the time is his fault(poor conditioning/stretching/strength/something) and the rest of the team shouldn’t suffer for it. Every time he made a good play, and he did get a couple of Man offensive rebounds and put them back in. But he also missed horribly on 2 easy put backs and then just got wore out in by Memphis Bigs on the other end.

  • Hassan

    OOOh..bad loss. Hope it is just an adjustment, but we definetely need better 1 on 1 defense. Go out & get brewer. Is Dalembert bought out from Sacramaento??If so go get him too.. we need interior defense and shot blocking too. We should have gone after Nene & offer splitter and other parts back, should try to anyway in the summer.
    If no lockout we should offer full MLE to Dalembert and make him our starting center..sorry to Blair, all his hussle just won’t make him taller & he gets abused.

    Go Spurs Go…Drive for 5.

  • rob

    @ DorieStreet

    Good Stuff! Just this past week I was trying to think of something regarding the Ides of March…Well Done!! I would prefer the St. Patty’s celebration.

  • Titletown99030507

    Some of you here think you have answers. Lose an ugly game with the same team that has gotten you here to this point and now you want to trade parts for someone who won’t be on this team. Chill out the reason they lost last night is because they rolled into their place and expected a win because they’re the Spurs. And Splitter not the reason they lost. What do you expect 50 points out of him? The dude just got back from a freak injury Many initiated. Back off, its the entire A squad that didn’t do their thing. You still have 20 or so games left in the regular season to give Splitter those minutes he needs and to back away from the Blair wish project for a while until the playoffs start. I’d rather give the big man from Brazil a run before the playoffs start. I’ve said many of time Blair ain’t going to send you to the finals playing these type of teams. At least with a bigger body on the floor you have to make them shoot over you with an obstructed view not a clear view to the bucket. You’ll see more of that if Pop doesn’t come to his senses. Sexy don’t feed the bulldog.

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  • werdb

    That game was a letdown game and they had it coming. The same basic group beat the Griz just the other night without Tony.
    They just need to make sure to not have any more let down games. Figure that out and it’s all gold (simple right)

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