Portland Trail Blazers 99, San Antonio Spurs 86: How no one fouled out of this game, I’ll never know

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In the NBA, bad games are to be expected. You can’t play at the highest level every night. Eventually, you’re going to find one game where every person is struggling. But enough about the refs, the Spurs didn’t play very well either in a 99-86 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Personally, I’m against blaming refs for a loss. The attempt at a creative lede aside, the refs never decide a game. There are always so many other factors at play. But it has to be acknowledged that the officials in this game were not at their best.

The Spurs ended up committing 20 fouls in the game, one-and-a-half more fouls than they’re averaging on the season. The Blazers committed 17 fouls, more than three under the 20.4 they’re averaging this year.

But the way the Spurs defended was a huge factor in why they were whistled for so many fouls in Portland. It reminded me of the first half of the game against the Raptors a couple of weeks ago. The Spurs were sluggish in their rotations and just a split second late.

Not necessarily lazy — although there was some of that too — but they just weren’t sharp. In the NBA the difference between being sharp and not can be the difference between a foul and good defense.

Also a big problem for the Spurs was the free throw shooting. When the Spurs did draw fouls and go to the free throw line, well, they sucked. San Antonio shot just 15 free throws in the game and sunk only eight of them. LaMarcus Aldridge hit 8-9 free throws in the game for the Blazers and, oh by the way, finished with a career-high 40 points.

The Blazers as a team shot 51% from the field compared to the Spurs’ 53% from the free throw line. So yeah, the Spurs probably deserved to lose this game.

For San Antonio, no one stood out and had a top-notch game. It looked like DeJuan Blair might after he had a double-double in the first half. But Blair didn’t contribute much at all in the second half and finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The only notable game for the Spurs was Antonio McDyess’ because it was so bad. Dice finished with seven points and six rebounds in almost 28 minutes, which are better numbers than his season averages, but boy were those minutes bad.

Dice had the second worst +/- on the team at -10, and was in pole position for the worst until George Hill led the team on a negative tear and stole the bottom with a -15.

Dice also had four turnovers and three fouls. For a big man who handles the ball as little as Dice, four turnovers is inexcusable. For the cherry on top, Dice shot just 1-4 from the free throw line.

It’s not the start to the Rodeo Road Trip that the Spurs were looking for, obviously. Now with the Los Angeles Lakers looming on Thursday night, San Antonio faces the prospect of an 0-2 start to the annual trek around the continental NBA landscape.

  • Rohan

    Uh oh. But here’s hoping we beat the Lakers on Thursday. At Staples. Awesome that would be.

  • SpurredOn

    Not the fault of the refs, but boy were they bad. Happens to every team a couple of times per season and this was the first truly biased/awful officiated Spurs game of the season. The lack of consistency between touch fouls favoring Portland, while hacking was allowed of Spurs players was bad. It also took all rhythm from the game which usually hurts both team, except in this case the calls kept sending Portland to the FT line.

    Oh well. The inability to make open shots was a bad luck night. It’s certainly a night where Bonner was missed. The defense in the 2nd half was mostly poor, but this game was still winnable by making a couple FTs and a couple missed layups. Better to head to LA focused on team defense since those shots will go in more often than not.

  • rj

    the blazers rotated 3 off the bench……so did we. with such a depleted team, shouldn’t we have tried rotating splitter and maybe even anderson slightly to wear down portland? maybe one of these guys could have given us effort that could spark some kind of contagious energy. pop tends to tighten up our rotation on the road. i am not particularly a fan of this. keep the rotation consistent. don’t rob tiago of the already sparing minutes he earns because we are in another gym. maybe he could have covered aldrige slightly better? ohh well. i’m not a coach. i was hoping l.a. would win so they aren’t reeling and desperate, but they kinda are anyway……

  • TD = Best EVER

    Can someone please remind we why did SA WASTE so much money on Splitter?
    1 – SA was getting HAMMERED in the paint
    2 – SA was getting killed on the pick and role
    3 – Pop HAS to rest TD
    4 – Blair got in early foul trouble in the 3rd.
    5 – Bonner is injured

    ALL 5 things should point to some extended burn for Tiago right……… WRONG – Pop goes RJ at the 4 again….. and Portland proceeds to beat us down like we owed them $$.

    SO as of right now I’m officially starting the TRADE Tiago Splitter bandwagon. The guy is absolutely useless. If he is only worth garbage time minutes now, than he has no worth on THIS team. I’m sure SA can get something for him, even if its just cash or a Full MLE next year and still be under the cap. Hell is we can just ship him off there has to be SOMETHING in the D-League better than this guy.

    I know a lot of people are gonna say I’m jumping to conclusions here and that he needs more time…
    He is a 26 year old rookie bigman with ZERO NBA level skills that I have seen so far, other than drawing fouls. I say again, there HAS to be Something better in the D-League. Every game I watch a random Big put up season/career highs on us I just look at TS and ask myself. Could our FO really have been this far off on him, or do they have some really weird man crush on foreign players?

  • andy

    can’t win ‘em all.

    “The Blazers kept up the pressure but San Antonio kept the edge with 13 points off rebounds compared to Portland’s two. Rookie center DeJuan Blair had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the first half as the Spurs led 52-47 at the break.”

    guess that goes for espn’s wrap-ups too.

  • Tim in Surrey

    It was a disappointing loss, alright. But I think it was understandable with all the distractions for Tim Duncan, who spent all day in Portland promoting his new shoe, “The Duncan”, for Florsheim:

    http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/tim-duncan-announces-shoe-deal-with-florsheim,18718/

    I can’t wait to see the ad…

  • Jacques

    Alridge was unstoppable. Lots of bad calls. Meltdown in the 4th quarter. Pop not happy. Wish for a better game against Los Angeles Lakers. Go Spurs go

  • Tim in Surrey

    @TD = Best EVER – I feel your pain, man. I know you’ve been frustrated by the play of our bigs all year long and are worried about how they’ll hold up in the playoffs–which is certainly a legitimate concern. But if ever there was a time to trade Tiago, this isn’t it! I don’t think “Buy high and sell low” was Warren Buffet’s secret. Besides, to my eyes–and admittedly I’m just a long-term fan who mostly stayed on perimeter when I did play, back in the Pre-Cambrian Era–he doesn’t look like someone who has zero NBA-level skills. He looks like someone who’s a bit lost on court.

    As you may guess from my handle, I live in the UK. I had already been doing my job professionally before I came over. And I was pretty bewildered for a few months. There are all sorts of things that everybody takes for granted that take you by complete surprise–even in England. I also used to live in Germany, so I can tell you that language makes it ten times worse. When you move to a new country with a foreign language and a different approach to the way you do your job, it can take quite a while to get used to it. Gary Neal and James Anderson adjusted very quickly, but they’re both Americans who spent years playing American-style ball and had all summer to work with the staff on the Spurs’ admittedly formidable system. Tiago got thrown into the deep end and is still just trying to stay afloat. By the end of the year, he just might be able to start swimming. But if not, it’s still foolish to abandon him.

    J.A. Adande has a column on ESPN.com about how the Lakers don’t really have the ability right now to make a trade that will improve their team. Frankly, the same is true of us. We might get lucky and be able to pick up a contract buy-out special, like Troy Murphy. But, basically, these are our guys. And, hey, even after losing on the road to Portland (a likely playoff team with arguably the biggest home-court advantage in the league), they’re 40-8! Just relax….

  • Bob

    @TD I’m curious with RJ at the 4. Who was guarding Aldridge? Small ball doesn’t always work when you need a better defensive/rebounding lineup based on matchups. It worked well against Jazz last week and last year in first round of playoffs. It failed badly last year against Phoenix in second round. Bonner at the 4 is also a small ball lineup since he doesn’t provide that much defense/rebounding.

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

    Come on, TD=Best Ever, why would you spew some garbage like that about Splitter, who has not had even ONE season in our system?

    RJ was the recipient of the same kind of poison last season and as Tim In Surrey stated, he is stateside, not having to adjust to a different country, American vs. Int’l hoops (much less the Spurs system, which is quite complicated) and all the while being fed minimal minutes.

    Why don’t you calm the hell down and allow this guy to assimilate as RJ has had to do? Being a true fan means exhibiting patience during the peaks and the valleys.

    Pop and RC know what they are doing and let me tell you, Splitter has serious talent as many have stated that he has MORE ability than even Luis Scola.

    This is game one of the RRT, so my take is the sky is not falling – although San Antonio getting snow tomorrow sure as hell seems like it might be come Thursday….perfect timing since the Spurs will be taking on the Lakers!

  • mikrobass3

    @Bob-as i recall, the spurs were getting beat with the blazers’ quickness, so pop countered by going small with rj at the 4. our center (?) was then guarding aldridge, since the blazers were also going small much of the game. i believe it was mostly duncan or mcdyess. it didn’t work.

    on another note, i noticed all of our gaurds collectively shot about 33% from the field this game. parker, neal and even ginobili had rough shooting nights.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Alix Babaie

    “Come on, TD=Best Ever, why would you spew some garbage like that about Splitter, who has not had even ONE season in our system?”

    Because Tiago is less than half of what we were promised or thought we were getting. If we had known that this was what we would be getting our FO would have left his butt in Spain. He was suppose to be the BEST BIG IN EUROPE. If so we should stay the hell away from Europe when it comes to finding bigs. He was suppose to be NBA READY from DAY 1, and give IMMEDIATE front court help. Getting somewhere close to 10 and 6 that Scola got his rookie year. But forget about the 6 rebounds, he can’t get 6 min of court time. Even while we are short handed and are desperate for a post defender like last night.

    For those who say he needs time to get used to the NBA and America and that he is more talented than Scola. Well Scola didn’t need a year to get in the game, he played right away, and played all 82 games if I recall correctly.

    Let me put it better this way:

    Scola – rookie year: 10/6 and showed that he could rebound and shoot the mid range J well at the NBA level. You knew that if you gave him time, he would be a pretty good NBA player

    Blair – rookie year: 6 boards a game in limited minutes. Showed that if you give him time on the court that he could probably be top 5 in rebounding.

    Bonner – 3 point range from the 4 spot, floor spacer

    Dice – great mid range J, damn good post defender(not so much last night, but that’s another story), and also a good rebounder of the ball.

    I hope that you are noticing a trend here. Namely rebounding, something that ALL BIG’S should be able to do well. If not you had better be able to shoot it like Bonner. EVERY NBA team could use a good rebounding, floor spacing, and/or a mid-range shooting Big.

    Tiago is neither of those above and hasn’t shown that he ever will be.

  • mjs2377

    I think it is maliks fault. what is his -+ when he’s broadcasting.
    We need some interior Defense i.e a shot blocker. There is no way we can compete with boston or LA because of our sizes. I would like to trade for big ben and t mac for splitter and a first round. Or something like that.

  • Tim

    The thing that worries me about most Spurs fans (at least the ones here) is that we are okay with a 6-3 RRT. While that is a good record for 9 road games, most ppl expect us to win the 6 games against the sub 500 teams and lose to Port, LA and Chi. If we are a quality team like we think we are should we not go 6-3/7-2 with a couple of good road wins? Port is out of the door now…. we have to beat LA/Chi. Remember we will not be playing the sub 500s in the playoffs (we are not in the East).

    Gasol and Nowitzki are licking their chops after the performance that Alrdige had against last night.

    I am not over-reacting to one loss but we need quality road wins or we are not making it far in the playoffs.

  • Esrl

    I didn’t get a chance to watch the game last night but by the look of the ‘play by play’ from espn on the fourth quarter, I think its safe to say the refs hosed us. Portland has several possessions in a row that either were continued by offensive rebounds and/or shooting fouls. Either the spurs couldn’t get a rebound to save their lives in the 4th and were playing horrible D, or the refs were having a heavy influence. Can someone who watched the game confirm this?

  • Colin

    TD=Best Ever

    So…..you wanted Splitter to take on Aldridge on a career night in the paint? He might have lasted 4-5 possessions in my opinion.

    Splitter ain’t that good yet man. Simple. Poppovich only plays players when they can contribute.

    Last year the talk on here was “why isn’t Mahinmi playing” or “why did we trade Gooden or Mensa-Bosu.”

    …..I know why, its because they aren’t/weren’t very good and Poppovich could see that clearer than you!

    Just chill on the Splitter talk. He’ll play when he can get out there and actually make a defensive rotation.

  • http://moviedrinkinggames.net Eric

    No problem with any individual calls last night – just felt that teams were allowed to physical on one end, but a bunch of ticky tacks were called on the other.

    That said, Portland defended their butts off last night. Spurs moved the ball poorly, which combined with the Portland D created very few easy looks. Take away the offensive put backs early and the offense would have looked REALLY ugly.

  • Tim in Surrey

    @Tim — First of all, love the name. But about the RRT, why? The fact is that most great teams still lose a good bit more on the road than at home. Our overall record before last night was 40-7, or about 5 of every 6. Project that over nine games and you’d expect either 8-1 or 7-2. But when you consider that our ROAD record was 15-5, or about 3 of every 4. Project that over 9 games and you’d expect either 6-3 or 7-2. But that’s not allowing for the fact that four of our losses were in back-to-back road games. So a record of 5-4 or 6-3 seems pretty reasonable to me. This road trip is front-loaded for quality, with Portland and LA at the beginning. In the entire history of the NBA no team, not even the ’96 Bulls, would’ve been favored on the road against a defending champion that’s winning 70% of its games. And few would’ve been favored against a team with a 25-22 record.

    And, while it’s true that you do need to win on the road to win a championship, this team has already demonstrated that they can do that. You see, what worries ME about most Spurs fans (at least the ones here) is that they don’t realize that, even with last night’s loss, the Spurs have the best road record in the league.

    And as for Gasol and Nowitzki… I think they’re probably focusing more on how they’re going to stop LaMarcus Aldridge than they are licking their chops at the prospect of facing the Spurs. Just as with Nowitzki, it doesn’t really matter whether you use a small 4 or a big 4 against Aldridge. He’ll either use his length to beat the former or his quickness to beat the latter. Pick your poison. That’s why a lot of people think HE should be an All-Star over Tim Duncan (although I disagree, of course!).

  • Daniel T

    Pop didn’t go with RJ at the 4 until late in the 3rd quarter and the start of the 4th quarter. By then Portland had already stopped using Przybilla and Johnson and were going with Cunningham and Aldridge as their two bigs. The lineup with RJ at the 4 was only a -1. They went back to Duncan and Blair at the bigs, and Portland went on a 21-5 run about that time.

    Blair was at a +10 through most of the 3rd quarter. Once Cunningham replace Przybilla, Blair was a -13 the remainder of the game. I’d say Pop was trying to go with the players he thought would win the game. If he knew from the start that they would lose by 13, he might have thought about not playing Duncan, Blair & McDyess so much and go with Tiago instead.

  • Hassan

    Relax everybody.. we are still 40/8 but probably 40/10 by Friday night(yeah..SAC is big and big gives us trouble). But still relax. We do need to give Splitter a year or so to adjust and then if he is not into it then he would have 1 year left on a mild contract we can trade him or just get rid of him. I do think we should try to trade him+ JA + 1st rounder to Denver(once melo is gone) for Nene & Fary Forbes(backup SF). If not possible we should try to get Dalembert or Troy Murphy after buyout if possible(I’d lean more towards Dalembert as a shot-blocking/altering big..who can score some)…. We should really go after this year and not waste our good fortunes. Drive for Five… Go Spurs Go.

  • DorieStreet

    @ Ersl

    You either need glasses or were looking at the wrong play-by-play. 7:59 mark in 4th qtr until 2:54 left—Blazers: 12 possessions- aided by 5 offensive rebounds & 1 steal; 5 missed shots, 1 blocked shot; 6 made shots &ONLY 2 FTs= 12 points —92. Spurs: 7 possessions- 3 missed shots; THREE TOs (stolen ball, charge, travel)/ 1 made basket=2 pts—80. Game over. And BTW- all 3 TOs made by Spurs’ veterans. Nothing to due with refs (as a lot of Spurs fans blogged on ESPN Game Conversation blog. Portland fed off of Aldridge’s monster play (Miller was stout also) so the other teammates stepped up and took the game from the Spurs. Review that play-by-play again. Also–until Manu’s 2 FTs at the end, 4 of our starting five went 1/1 at the line–3 of them 0/0 (Blair, Manu, Tony).

    All games can’t be won with an 8-12 point margin; but when the game goes down to the wire, I expect this veteran, offensive geared squad to keep pace with the opposition, all the while play hard D to get a stop. Until the 4th quarter collapse, Spurs had 12-13 shot advantage, double-digit offensive rebound & total rebound margin. No 3 pt flurry got Blazers back in it–FT descrepency the big equalizer, plus Spurs poor shooting and lack of assists (Portland only had 4 more (13-17), but they didn’t need them until the end–it helps when 3 players account for 80% of a team’s points.

  • DorieStreet

    @ Daniel T

    ‘If he knew from the start that they would lose by 13, he might have thought about not playing Duncan, Blair & McDyess so much and go with Tiago instead.”

    4th quarter, 7:59 left–score is TIED, 78-78 -what are you talking about? Tim logged 30 min; because of foul trouble missed most of 2nd half and only was on the floor 26 min; and McDyess played 28 (horrible) min. To paraphase Herman Edwards- “Pop played them to win the game.”

  • Bruno

    @TD = Best EVER
    Scola didn’t a year because he don’t need to learn a system, don’t had a injury in pre-season, he had TIME to play. But i agree with you, we need trade him, because on game with Duncan and Macdyess HORRIBLE in defense Pop don’t let he play, could not do worse than TD and Macdyess…Why not let Mr.Anderson play??TP and Hill was bad. I know they really have talent but we need trade Splitter and Anderson because Pop will NEVER trust them…Let Splitter/Anderson go to Phoenix play PnR with Nash and score 20 points/game to we get Grant Hill…

  • DorieStreet

    P.S. Excuse my typo—Blair played 26 minutes due to foul trouble. Oh, and about Tiago–coach did not put him until game was decided. TWO minutes–speaks volumes….

  • DorieStreet

    I think most fans were not under the assumption that it would take a league MVP to need a year to adjust from FIBA to NBA ball. And if this system continues to be that difficult for seasoned proffessionals to understand and adjust, then the timetable for acquiring the talent needs to be expeditied, i.e. drafting players one summer, but then waiting 3-5 seasons before actually getting them on the team.

    So it seems like a Split(ter) group (couldn’t resist); the Pro-Tiagoes give him a pass because of his busy 2009-10/injuries/adjustments to new league and team system; the AnTiags are frustrated because we need solid production/contribution from him come mid-April.

    Let’s chalk this up to a struggling, but resilent young squad trying to stay in contention, and coming off of 5 days of rest & practice before last’s night’s game-therefore were hungrier for the W. On to Thursday- get a win @ Staples in from of a national audience (and Charles Barkley).

  • Tim

    @Tim in Surrey: I guess I wish we played like the Celtics, in the sense that we always play well (win/lose) against the good teams and are more likely to lose to the bottom dwellers.
    While most ppl here seem happy to trade for the “answer” (you can fill in whatever you think is wrong) I just want a team that plays consistent defense. I don’t care what LA/boston/Miami is upto but I want to see good defense from our teams on a nightly basis and that is not happening right now!

  • Ben

    As a high school basketball referee, I hate when losses get blamed on refs. I’m not saying refs are infallible because even I was screaming at them with 4 min left in the game, but let’s face the facts that the Spurs were not shooting well at all and that had nothing to do with the refs.

    When you leave 7 easy points at the free throw line in a tight game it’s going to kill you. Or when Tony Parker is held to just 6 points on 3-11 shooting, you are not going to win games.

    I also agree that Pop needs to start giving Tiago more minutes than junk time if he expects him to contribute to this team at all in the playoffs or even next year. You can’t expect a guy to contribute if he never gets on the court.

  • irongiantkc

    Tim in Surrey-
    I loved that article about Tim’s deal with Florsheim. You are aware that it’s satire, right? There must be a Spurs fan or Tim Duncan fan on their staff because they seem to do an article on him at least once a year. They had one where Tim would show off by shouting out the angle of the shot before it would go in. Another was when he apologised profusely for getting out of control for looking at a referee too long. Both hilarious articles.

  • ruth bader ginobili

    So, according to hoopdata.com, Spurs are the best team in the league for opponent’s free throws (24.1 free throw rate); Blazers are 22nd (31.9). For getting free throws, Spurs are 9th (31.3) and Blazers are 28th (27.2). Last night, Portland had a 32.0 free throw rate and SanAn had an 18.3.

    In other words, a team that has been good at getting to the line and the best at not fouling played a team that has been bad at both those things–and the bad team absolutely dominated that category. Very odd.

    But I don’t think more Tiago is going to help the Spurs foul less . . .

  • jwalt

    As I mentioned, I didn’t think the Spurs would be focused. They weren’t. All you have to look at is the FT percentage, barely over 50 percent. McDyess had a real stinker of a game. Mills blows by Hill who just stands there like a statue (Pop loved that play). But no big deal. 82 games is a grind.

    Boston lost before they played the Lakers. Lakers lost before they played Boston. Human nature.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Colin

    “So…..you wanted Splitter to take on Aldridge on a career night in the paint?”

    In a word. YESSSSSSSSSSS. That’s what we brought him here to do for Christ sakes. Over the summer we were told by the FO/scouts that he would help out on smaller, quicker bigs. So basically anybody that does use power(Shaq, Howard, Bynum, Bogut, etc) to get buckets in the paint. So that means bigs like Dirk, Odom, LA Gasol, West, Aldridge, etc.

    “Splitter ain’t that good yet man. Simple. Poppovich only plays players when they can contribute.”

    My point exactly, he can’t help us this year or anytime soon for that matter. He will probably be next year what DJB is this year. And that is up/down 8/6.5 is not very sexy at all.

    @ DorieStreet
    “Oh, and about Tiago–coach did not put him until game was decided. TWO minutes–speaks volumes….”

    Finally someone gets it – if we ca get a feature pick for him we should take it. WE can sign a D-Leaguer that can possibly help us THIS Year and save money to try and get help in the off season. We will be close to the Full MLE under the Lux tax.

  • Junierizzle

    @td=best ever

    POP and RC warned all the fans about Tiago. They said he aint gonna come in and be Pau Gasol. As far as Im concerned Tiago is right where they thought he would be.
    Remember George Hill’s rookie year? Played good but still didnt get a ton of minutes come playoff time.
    You have to give Splitter at least a full year with the Spurs. We will all know what he is really made of this time next year.

  • Daniel T

    DorieStreet:

    What are you talking about “what are you talking about”?

    I basically said that not knowing beforehand that he was going to lose by 13 points, Pop was playing to win. Pop did not know, as Bruno put it, that Duncan and McDyess would be HORRIBLE at defense until after they were horrible, not beforehand. Pop was likely thinking when he put him into the game, that as TD=BE puts it, McDyess is a “damn good post defender”.

    It is easy to second guess once the game is over. It seems to me that Pop was playing who he thought was best at the time not expecting them to give him bad results. If Pop knew beforehand what we all know now. he might have decided to let Tiago play while the game still appeared to be up for grabs, considering the results.

  • Bentley

    It’s a little troubling when it seems that the Spurs consistently struggle guarding the best opposing 4′s of the league. And Gasol is up next, he might arguably be the best in the league.

    But my question is, only 34 points in the second half. What the hell happened to the offense in the 2nd half?

  • Daniel T

    The Blazers 99 points wasn’t much above the Spurs’ opponents’ average of 97, while the Spurs’ 86 was about 18 below their average.

    It will help when Bonner gets back (Bynum’s bone bruise on his knee sounds like quite a similar injury). It might also help if Anderson gets minutes similar to the 14 or so he was averaging prior to his injury rather than the 2:31 he played. His shooting continues to look good.

  • DorieStreet

    @ Daniel T

    You are the one second-guessing- whether Duncan or McDyess should have played less time because of the final deficit. You mentioned nothing about their subpar defensive effort–read your post again. Despite the team’s bad shooting and allowing Blazers to shoot 45-50% throughout the contest, the game was tied, 78-78 -still there for the Spurs to win it. At that time, Tiago Splitter had not been in the game at any time. Do you think if the Spurs had not collapsed offensively but matched the Blazers point for point, so that at 2:54 the scored would have been 92-92, that Tiago Splitter would have entered the game? The answer- no. Once the score reach 80-92, Pop threw in the towel–he put RJ in for Blair, then Anderson in for Duncan, followed by Splitter in for Manu.

  • soulidefy

    @ TD=Best Ever, and well all the pessimists.

    it seems like you want every player to be an all star every game and if they arent, trade them etc. just take a few steps away from the edge, please. the spurs right now need players like tiago and anderson to develop. the same way rj did over the summer. hard work, learning to play cerebral basketball. this wont come getting abused by an allstar like aldridge, and getting the feedback like yours to destroy his confidence. this comes in the practice gym getting abused by tim duncan and using that to get better. that way when its his turn, he is ready and can supply something useful. the spurs have a ridiculous record and have this advantage of development that few other teams, well none, have. look at the best teams out there…..is boston playing avery bradley, is orlando playing daniel orton (despite their big man depth problem!), is lal playing caracter and ebanks. these players are good prospects just like tiago, on teams that arent playing as well as us, and they dont see the floor at all! seriously, minutes=0. The spurs have the great luxury of letting tiago and anderson to an extent have their year 1 spurs struggles in the practice gym where they can learn something from it, enjoy that. it would destroy these kids confidence to have the criticism rj had last year….he was veteran and man enough to do something about it, luckily. most athletes would have turned tail. the team just cant have 13 allstars…..

  • DorieStreet

    @ Junierizzle

    Yeah- and Duncan will be another year older.

  • tradetp…not right now

    Another great game by McDumb. He is an integral part of our team!

  • tradetp…not right now

    Junior;

    Pop has been wrong about when to give players time ESPECIALLY Blair and Hill.

    If you recall pop said hill wasnt ready for the nba then played a good role in playoff. Same thing with Tiago: GET ANTONIO out of the game. The loyalty to players who arent good (bonner) and who are 90000000 years old is crazy.

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  • DorieStreet

    @ soulidefy

    TD=BEST EVER’s angst is with our inside game-why are you inserting a guard’s name (Bradley) in your reply? (BTW- Allen, Rondo, Robinson, West-why would he see the floor this season?) I saw Daniel Orton “play” in the SEC-he was a project in college-is still one now (out of the league by 2012). Caracter & Ebanks are good prospects, but for other teams (if Kupchak pulls off trade, one/both will be involved). When Splitter arrived this past summer, 80% of the fans expected that a player with his experience and accomplishments internationally, would be able to step in and contribute with a steady, solid game this season. So far, it hasn’t happened. But at 40-8, hopes are up for a good solid playoff run at a 5th title- and the ‘pessimists’ want Tiago to step up. (Me, personally–I am not concerned about Anderson–7-10 more games and he will be back.)

  • Dr. Who

    Dang… I expected to lose some games during the RRT but one right off the bat. Yuck… The Rockettes gave the Lakers all they could last night so hopefully we’ll do the same. I despise seeing these 4’s light it up against this team. Odom and Gasol… man we better be ready. It’s time to send a message to LA Spurs!!!

    @Collin

    Don’t forget Haislip! The boards lit up when he was released and peeps were adamant about how the FO made a huuuge mistake by not playing him and then releasing him. I even made a side bet with a poster so he’d stop ranting about him. And…. I think he’s flipping burgers now with Pops Bonsu at the local Burger Shack (Hasilip not the poster). The coaching staff usually is a good judge of who can contribute and who can’t. There have been rare exceptions – Finley and Bonner starting last year and Hill’s playoff benching but eventually order has been restored.

  • Dr. Who

    @tradetp…not right now

    I hope you’re not implying that McDyess is not good??? He had a bad game for sure (to say he struggled is an understatement) but he’s been playing good ball. Especially for someone who doesn’t usually start playing until late Feb/March. I really hope Tiago gets his game in gear but for where he’s at right now he’s not warranting extra minutes on the floor. He’s doesn’t do anything to make you say, this kid needs more minutes! I hope he turns a corner at some point. I’m guessing the coaching staff sees much more in practice than what we see in garbage time.

    I’m with you on the 90 year old thing if you’re talking about Finley last year. His allegiance to Finley was one of the strangest things I’d ever seen. When Finley left, the Spurs got better. It gave more minutes to Manu and Hairston and left the defensive liability (Finley) off the court which had an immediate impact in W’s.

  • Daniel T

    Doriestreet:

    I’m not sure why you seem to not be able to comprehend what I have said. You seem to have missed the fact that I said “I’d say Pop was trying to go with the players he thought would win the game” and focus on “if he knew from the start that they would lose by 13″ as if I thought that he did have this foresight and failed to take advantage of it.

    Perhaps someone else needs to explain for you that what I said was a rebuke of sorts of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, and that I thought that Pop’s moves made perfect sense to me.

  • soulidefy

    @Doriestreet

    i was just illustrating that its a very normal thing for a first year player to develop in the practice gym, and this is especially the case with popovich and the spurs. a veteran team needs players to learn to play with the veterans, and play like veterans, not just thrown out there with expectations. name me some overseas players that came over and had these expectations tiago had on him right away. odds are they didnt live up to them because the NBA is a very different game. And if you name me Bargs Dirk or Manu…..cleary Tiago isnt and was never on the same level as those guys. Just chill out and let Tiago work hard! Let him learn how to be a player and person from the guys on the team.

  • lvmainman

    Gotta agree with TD=BEST EVER.

    He gave 5 logical reasons why Splitter should have played. But, he didn’t. I don’t get it. Clearly, if Aldridge was destroying Duncan and McDyess(Espn highlights had Hill on him twice in the 4th qtr!), then Splitter couldn’t have done any worse! So, why not play him?

    How is he going to improve without playing time? How is he going to adjust to NBA refs without playing time? How can he effectively learn the Spurs system without playing time? How can he mesh with his teammates without playing time? Why go from a 4 man big rotation to 3 and wear Duncan/McDyess out in the 1st game of a 9 game road trip, just because Bonner is hurt?

    See if Tiago is any good and can help the team instead of wasting him on the bench.

    That means Gasol will go for 30 points against the Spurs and Odom will have 20 on Thursday.

  • mikrobass3

    Ben made a good point about the refs. i would add that what made them seem biased was their inconsistency. a few spurs defensive plays that looked like fouls didn’t get called, and several plays that looked okay got whistles from refs far away from the action. it also looked like the blazers’ agressive play was rewarded while the spurs’ agressive play weas whistled (or ignored). a bad night for the refs, it happens. combined with a bad shooting night for our spurs and great games by aldridge and miller…

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ soulidefy and well all the other Dallas MAVS fans

    Stop making excuses for poor performances and players that can’t cut it. The Mavs should have a could have made big trades in the past but were not willing to give up fringe players and have steadily lost year after year since.

    Your quote about Tiago basically sums up what even his strongest supporters think. That he needs

    “hard work, learning to play cerebral basketball. this wont come getting abused by an allstar like aldridge, and getting the feedback like yours to destroy his confidence.”

    Hard work and hustle, those are 2 things he should already have. And as far as my feedback destroying his confidence. I say screw his confidence, he is costing SA fans far more by not being who he should be. He may be costing us a chance at #5. Our BEST CHANCE EVER possibly. So if 3.5 million dollars and a chance to win a title your rookie year don’t motivate him to excel, the we got the wrong guy in silver and black.

    This summer I and many others were begging for our FO to go out and get some quality front court depth. Shaq, Tyson Chandler, Anthony Tolliver just to name a few that were being floated out there are possible sign and trade chips. But most on this board said that we didn’t need them, that Tiago was finally coming to SA. Then you said he was too tired to play right away and needed rest. Then you said Pop is protecting him, and he will get more minutes later in the season. Now its wait until NEXT YEAR before we finally see the true Splitter. Just keep moving back those goal posts until you get it right. Right…. Wrong, this is our best chance now that we will have for a very long time. Tony/Manu both said that they would help there countries qualify for the Olympics, so they may not be healthy next year like they have been this year. So to that point what ever you do to make this year team better suited to win, I’m down with.

  • Gebo

    I have taken a wait and see attitude toward Splitter… and I’m still waiting. I would like to give him more time, but I’m not opposed to trading him. Now is not the time. If we trade him now while he is showing nothing, we are not going to get something back for him. No team is going to trade us something for nothing. I would like us to keep him through training camp and the early part of next season and see what he does. If he still hasn’t panned out, showcase him for 3-4 games and try to get something back for him at next year’s trade deadline. He simply hasn’t shown enough this year to have any trade value. There is still hope that he can contribute for the Spurs. I hope he does.