Pregaming: Spurs vs. Suns

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Early start on Sunday morning, so some short notes before tip-off.

  • Because of the noon start, it looks like the team’s pregame shootaround time was squeezed. DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan all came out at the same time. Normally, Duncan comes out 10 or 15 minutes after Blair and Splitter start.
  • Tiago seemed to be the odd man out of the three big men when it came to getting some pregame work done. That could be an indication of how many minutes Pop ends up giving Splitter against Phoenix.
  • Blair put in some work on a right-handed jump hook before the game. Blair showed decent form, but as short as he is, he’ll need to get a lot more elevation or it’ll get blocked 90% of the time.
  • Everybody’s time warming up seemed shortened as a result of the early start. Tony came out and had to sit around on the scorer’s table and wait for his time to start. Keep an eye on how that affects the Spurs’ start to the game. If they start out sluggish or cold, it could be because of the limited pregame work.
  • Coach Pop said the tweak of the ankle that Duncan suffered late in the game on Friday night against the Rockets will have no effect on the Spurs big man.
  • No Steve Nash for the Suns on Sunday. Nash has the dreaded “flu-like symptoms.”
  • Danny Green, after being sent down to the Austin Toros on Saturday, was recalled by the Spurs on Sunday morning. Shortest D-League assignment ever?
  • David R.

    Thanks for the pre-game update, keep ‘em coming.

    GO SPURS GO!

  • Titletown99030507d

    There we go again Pop. Work on Blair’s little hook that will get blocked 90% of the time. What’s the matter with you POP! You have a young 7 footer that’s standing right next to you picking his ass because you continue to ignore him even when he’s proven it to you. GHEEEEZ POP get over it with your Blair wish project. He’s not Charles Barkley. Are going to waste the rest of the season on this nonsense. It just means Timmy will have to work extra harder for himself and for Blair.

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

    @Titletown

    Faulting Pop for DeJuan Blair working on a jump hook before the game is a bit rash, no?

  • TD = Best EVER

    Just keep an eye on FG% given up……. if we can hold the to around 46% w/o Nash that would be a HUGE step forward and something to build on…… We also need to keep them under 100 points…… W/O Nash their offense isn’t nearly as dynamic and we should be able to keep up with the other players…. The Suns DON”T have a killer group of Bigs….. So we should also see the SPURS slow it down late if we have a lead and need to protect it….. A few post up plays should also be in order……..

    @ Andrew

    @Titletown

    Faulting Pop for DeJuan Blair working on a jump hook before the game is a bit rash, no?”

    LOL I was thinking the same thing……. Blair hasn’t been BAD…… it’s BONNER we should all hate to see in the game……..

  • DorieStreet

    Good info on the pregame preparations and last minute news/changes; it especially benefits the fans that aren’tt in the local/regional TV telecasts. Keep up the great work, 48MOH.

  • http://sportstatistics.blogspot.com/ Leffty

    Don’t panic, Spurs fans! We ran the numbers on the Spurs’ losing streak, and everything will be alright:

    http://sportstatistics.blogspot.com/2011/04/whats-wrong-with-spurs.html

  • Titletown99030507d

    Were kicking ass now! The guys sure look relaxed out there. Like the hustle from everybody.

  • Colin

    @Titletown

    Faulting Pop for DeJuan Blair working on a jump hook before the game is a bit rash, no?

    Still clueless.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @Colin,

    He’s not on the floor is he? Clueless!

  • idahospur

    I’d like to thank those bashing Hill the past few weeks to get him motivated. If he can perform like this for the next few weeks then I’ll be happy.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @Colin,

    Look I’ll stop calling you clueless if you stop doing the same. Maybe I’m too passionate about pointing out our deficiencies and need to concentrate on the positives but the name calling has to stop.

    The paint has opened up. On the offensive side Splitter has taken the big man away from the paint because teams respect him giving Bonner the opportunity to reap dividends inside. Bonner is 1 of 2 so far but he’s hustling and taking advantage of the clear lane Splitter is causing.
    I can only imagine what Splitter and Timmy would do at the same time. Moving the ball faster has also helped allowing to get good arc shots. In summary your better off when you have two bigs able to get respect from the opposing teams because of either your shooting ability or big presence clogging the lane. They both together have done a great job. Who would of thought?
    I don’t care as long it keeps going the way it is and we get the very needed win. They win were back and they can leave that bad mojo behind them.

  • Mark B

    Good win. I kind of wish I had stopped watching at the half, because the sloppy play for most of the 3rd and 4th quarter drove me crazy. I guess it’s hard to keep intensity when you’re leading by a million points, but I still hate to see it.

    Splitter had some really good minutes early in the game, and I hope he keeps that spot in the rotation. Blair didn’t get in the game until the second half and made some terrible passes, but eventually he started to play a little better. He can’t play sloppy even if he’s not getting his regular minutes. the Spurs need him to play well even if he’s getting limited minutes.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Repost from Advanced scouting:

    Good much needed win but again as Jeremiah said its the Suns. I’ll take this win any day. Actually Bonner played like he was playing for his job. Props to Bonner now do it again next game. Splitter wasn’t great but wasn’t bad either today. But I did notice his big presence took away the big man covering him on offense and allowed Bonner a clear lane to go crazy in the paint in the first half when they stretched the lead. Also saw a few times where Splitter boxed out Gortat or Warrick from getting to the rim only to see Bonner get rebounds. Nice one guys. Hill good again, Neal is back , but Bonner was the difference in being the 3rd shooter they desperately needed for the last few weeks. Bonner is off the hook for now. Blair got 8 rebounds but only scored 2 pts. He missed a lot under the rim and literally was schooled by Gortat and Warrick when he was defending. Stands the reason…they’re way taller. They pretty much had their way with Blair. But what’s more important is the win. The bad luck is gone I see a streak heading in to the playoffs. Good job guys.

  • Bob

    @Titletown
    Very good point about Splitter’s effect. I don’t think Matt Bonner gets 11 rebounds without Splitter there as a presence. Also in the first quarter the Suns were getting alot of baskets at the rim that they were converting. With Splitter there it was much harder to convert. I counted several other shots, passes, or rebounds Splitter affected because of his length.

  • hassan

    Finally POP gets it. He Should only play Bonner along with Splitter or Duncan in there who will both box out well and that will at least let Bonner get some easy rebounds…..

    Blair just gets blocked so much…he is too short although a good rebounder…they should work on his shooting from a rebounding position up near the rim rather than coming down with it & then going up again and getting blocked…

    Good win, now the tough game on the road at ATL.
    Go Spurs Go…

  • Pingback: George Hill and Matt Bonner lead Spurs over Suns

  • DorieStreet

    I only get to see the Spurs on national TV, so this is based on 12 games or so; but since Blair has played in all but one contest, I figured the guy has blown 500 points minimum this season on point-blank shots: easy tip-ins, putbacks, layups, and dunks. He seriously needs to spend all summer working on low-post moves and a short/midrange jumper (8-15 feet). There’s no denying his hustle & energy; but the missed scoring opportunities, along with the bad gambling on defense (which lead to fouls and easy scores for the opponent) have got to stop if Blair wants to remain a Spur.

  • rob

    As long as they don’t run the Blair/Bonner combo the Spurs should be alright in the post.

    Blair was best utelized when pairing with Duncan, but the team can’t afford to have Blair as a starter come playoffs against other teams with a larger front court.

    Splitter did his best work as a starter when Duncan was out…but they’re too similar to have on the court at the same time unless it’s strictly for defensive purposes.

    I would keep the Duncan/McDyess start. Depending on who is subbed out first (McDyess or Duncan), bring in Blair for McDyess with Duncan still on the court. Splitter for Duncan with McDyess on the court.

    If the perimeter shots are not falling…Bonner off the bench first as long as he is not paired up with Blair. Again…under no circumstances would I like to see a Blair/Bonner combo. I think it best any other combination should be used if at all possible.

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

    I think ever since Pop has brought Blair off the bench, his confidence is shot. Gotta do something about that….he is not the most important piece to the title puzzle but he has to contribute when he is in there.