Preseason: San Antonio Spurs 90, Miami Heat 73

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AT&T Center–Behind second year phenom DeJuan Blair, the San Antonio Spurs announced their presence among the very NBA elite in a one-sided victory over the heavily favored Miami Heat and LeBron James.

James, the centerpiece to the summer’s ballyhooed free agent class, was held to 12 points on 3-of-8 shooting with three rebounds and three assists.

That this was a preseason game in which the Miami Heat were playing on the wrong end of the rare exhibition back-to-back, and LeBron James only played in the first quarter, probably had something to do with it. Context is everything after all.

So while it might be a little early to proclaim DeJuan Blair the San Antonio Spur’s latest Most Improved Player candidate, it is worth noting that in his second consecutive start he posted another strong outing against a quality opponent (previously against the Yao Ming/Luis Scola combination, tonight against Chris Bosh).

Blair posted a game high 13 points to go with seven rebounds, totaling nine and five in a first quarter that saw him matched with Bosh for all 12 minutes. More importantly, DeJuan Blair seems to be settling in alongside Tim Duncan.

“Tim and I have good chemistry, it’s all about building a lot of trust and a lot of bond,” Blair said. “Once we get that clicking and the two man game going we’ll start rolling.”

Like George Hill heading into last season, DeJuan Blair’s role in his rookie season was somewhat limited due to his inability to play alongside a franchise cornerstone. For Hill, it was a matter of developing a jump shot that enabled him to slide over to play in the same backcourt.

DeJuan Blair has yet to prove he has developed a jump shot (he missed badly on an early attempt), he is showing more touch on close range flip shots, settling into a role in which he plays off of Tim Duncan in much the same way that Fabricio Oberto once did, only with more talent.

Beyond Blair, James Anderson did some noticeable things in limited opportunities, and knocking down a corner three is always a good way to start in San Antonio.

Tony Parker is fast, Antonio McDyess can hit midrange jumpers, and Matt Bonner can knock down wide open three-pointers.

Richard Jefferson showed that there are two very different kinds of 11 point,  3-for-7, games: the kind that he put up last year, and the aggressive manner in which he went about putting up that stat line tonight. The difference? Jefferson’s aggressiveness earned him six free throws, hitting five.

Still, as I mentioned in a previous post, none of tonight’s effort will answer any questions for the regular season, especially when it comes to the new look Miami Heat, a team Manu Ginobili looks forward to seeing when it counts.

“In a lot of teams, there are two All-Stars or really good players, so I want to see them with Dwyane too,” Ginobili said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how they adjust to each other, but both are great players and can really create and draw double teams.”

So on a night in which the fans poured down calls of “overrated” while their San Antonio Spurs toppled a present and future dynasty, the hype was summed up best by the team whose summer was all about hype:

“Yeah it was a good match-up,” Chris Bosh said. “But we have to base it off imagination right now.”

  • pop

    relax preseason doesn’t count and chalmers,miller ,haslem ,wade and house didnt play.and like you mentioned bosh and bron played 12 min

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  • junierizzle

    I know it’s only preseason but I’m glad they won this one.

  • heatfan

    lmao spurs fan dont get to happy. after the first half MIAMI was up by 4 points. none of our starters returned after that and the spurs put in there big 3 and took the lead back. but ofcourse that would happen you guys won against our rookies and players who wont make the cut. so like i said dont get to happy because you lost to 2/3 of our stars 46 to 42 going into the half.

  • Hobson13

    I know it’s only preseason, but if one takes into consideration the work Blair has done over the summer in getting his body in shape, in learning/improving his offensive game, and the success he’s had in the first two games, I think he may very well have a George Hill-like breakout second season. I definitely see him taking serious minutes from McDyess in the first half of the season.

    Other thoughts:
    *Curtis Jerrells had a decent game with 11 pts and 2 assist. He shot the ball well.
    *James Anderson had a decent game (even though I thought he should have put up some more shots) while logging a balanced 6pts, 2assts, 3 rebs, 2 blocks in 21 min.
    *Gary Neal struggled with his shot.
    *RJ had a decent all-around game.

    Although I didn’t see the game, it was evident that the Spurs played good defense in the second half by only giving up 27 pts in 24 min. A lot of people got decent minutes which should help the coaching staff in evaluating the young guys. Good game, Spurs.

  • Jacques

    DeJuan was good, but I would have liked to see Bosh play a little more to get a larger sample of how Blair handles an elite big man.

    I also wonder who is gonna get the reserve spot in SF. No one stands out too much so far, probably because RJ played heavy minutes in the first game. Marcus Cousin played well against Rockets, around average tonight…

  • rj

    we look like a solid team of contributors

    even though james anderson is billed as an offensive threat, his defense has seemed to stand out in the stat sheets. if anderson can prove himself as a capable defender, he and george hill are going to give fits to opposing teams’s back courts.

    the coaching staff is going to have some tough decisions in terms of roster trimming. cousin and penney have shown promise, while gist and jerrells have also played well.

    can’t wait to see tiago on the floor

  • spurs2010

    this is not a win to get exited from the heat did beat us in the first half 46-42 with 2/3 of the big 3. we won the game because we put our starters our in the 2nd half wile the heat used the bench and most the player who wont make it into the final 15 spots of the heat roster.

  • td4life

    I believe RJ will lead all Spurs in mpg, hopefully the Beast’s emergence + Tiago (and fingers crossed for Cousin or at least Gist) will mean 100% of those minutes come at the 3 spot.

    Any predictions as to who’s gonna be the fourth guard after Manu-TP-Hill? Neal or Anderson? Also hasn’t Jerrels always played admirably for us whenever he’s gotten a chance? Doesn’t he deserve to be our insurance PG? (Note about Jerrels: Isn’t Hill our 2nd PG in name only, as Manu is the real PG when Tony is not on the floor?Hill is an undersized SG.)

    Are we gonna see alot of those 3 guards (MG-TP-GH) on the floor together when RJ rests? After that, who do we want to see as RJ’s backup? Anderson? Temple? Bonner (who can’t defend SFs any worse than bigs)?

    Top 5: TP, Manu, RJ, Beast, TD
    Key Subs: Neal or Anderson, Hill, McD, Splitter
    3rd unit: Jerrels, Anderson or Neal, Bonner, Temple or Simmons
    Roster fill: Cousin or Gist

    I like Gee but i think he doesn’t stick with Anderson and Hill on board, nor do I think he beats out Neal or even Temple. The same can be said of Penny. I think these two guys get cut, sorry fellas.

  • peter

    Hey didn’t get to see the game, but saw kirk penney got no minutes – so you guys reckon hes out? Just from NZ hoping he could crack a roster squad, dude is a talented scorer in FIBA, but not sure if his skill set is suited to being a 12th man/practice player.

  • rob

    In two games that saw mainly plug in players with the starters from both teams playing limited action it would appear that Jerrells, Cousin (Koo san), Neal and Anderson are making the best statements to making the team. I’m wondering if Temple is not fully recovered. He was doing well in summer league before getting injured.

    Also, I had wondered earlier before the season started if Anderson would get some burn at the 3. It appears he played well at that spot in this game and with some decent defense against LeBron at one point.

  • Rey

    This is a non-bearing game, so I don’t think anyone’s really busting his butt off the whole time the game was on, except for those auditioning for the roster spot. In that case, I think that it was really about determining how good the supporting cast of each team could be and not a true assessment of the teams.

    The way I see it, the Three Am-Egos would hog all the time and the rest of the roster wouldn’t really get the chance to blossom, so I think the Spurs are wise enough to see through that they would have a good back up roster come the playoffs.

    The way I see it, the Spurs are gearing up towards preparing themselves for the Lakers, Celtics or Magic. The Heat are a joke. They wouldn’t hold a candle against the Spurs come playoffs. Their egos are just too big for the team.

  • SG20

    @Rey

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  • http://yahoo.com R Ybarra

    The game is won by the bench. Defense wins championships. Duncan looks like and can block shots. Anderson looks like a young Bowens, with offense. Tiago has not played, The only thing missing is Duncan being fed layups. Blair reminds me of Barkley. Manu was Manu. Parker looks fast. I have not even mentioned the additive which make the engine roar. ESPN will come out and say the the big three did not play for Miami. There is not an (I) in team. The king better learn that he has not won anything yet. How many superstars have played and have not won a title. If our beach can keep up the pace that our weapons bring, watch out. When was the last time you saw a spurs team that only allowed 80 points a game as an average. This is the most athletic spurs team. If we become a family, beware NBA you will be in for a boring preview to another flag lifted to the rafters. Go Spurs Go.

  • Ed

    Attention Heatfan…it’s pre-season. Relax. And the Spurs didn’t “put in their big 3″ in the 2nd half. Wake up. Duncan played 7 minutes in the 1st qrtr and that’s it. This game is meaningless and further, even the reg. season doesn’t mean much. What happens in the playoffs. THAT is what matters. Get to the finals and THEN we’ll see what matters.

  • Greg

    FROM THE LITTLE WE HAVE SEEN SO FAR I LIKE ANDERSON AS A BACK UP 3 MUCH MORE THAN SIMMONS.

  • HeatFan

    @ED i agree with you it is only preseson but you got some spurs fan saying heat suck. but if you look at last nights game you will notice that in first half when the starters wer in the heat won 46-42 and then the 2nd half tony parker did play so did manu to start the half. lebron and bosh never enters the second half and that is when the spurs got the lead playing against players who will be cut not even our bench. the spurs are no wher near as good as the thunder and the heat handed them a lost 2 nights ago and both teams played there starters till the end of 3rd quater.

    so spurs fan saying heat suck and have no bench, go look at our roster before you start saying that. and when refular seson comes around lebron & bosh will be playing till the last minute and so will wade so get ready

  • BankShot21

    @heatfan

    The score after the 1st Quarter was 26-26. We played your team to a tie and Bosh and LeBron played the entire 12 minutes. TD played only 7 minutes. Blair outplayed Bosh. Plain and simple.

  • Jim Henderson

    heatfan
    October 9th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    “lmao spurs fan dont get to happy. after the first half MIAMI was up by 4 points. none of our starters returned after that and the spurs put in there big 3 and took the lead back. but of course that would happen you guys won against our rookies and players who wont make the cut. so like i said dont get to happy because you lost to 2/3 of our stars 46 to 42 going into the half.”

    I hate to tell you, but we played without our starting center, and LeBron & Bosh combined for 24 minutes, Duncan & Ginobli combined for 25 minutes. A 46-42 lead at half is pretty much meaningless. The fact is our reserves & guys that won’t even make the team beat your reserves & guys that won’t make the team by 15 points in the second half. Our biggest lead occurred when all of our top players hit the showers. It only goes to show that the Heat are top heavy, and your lack of quality depth will hurt you in the end, particularly on the front line. So if I were you I’d drop the excuses & the smug attitude. Your team is talented, but WAY over-hyped. And it sounds like you’ve bought into that hype hook, line, and sinker.

  • Jim Henderson

    spurs2010
    October 9th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Not an accurate depiction at all. Our top players played very little in the 2nd half.

    BankShot21
    October 10th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    @heatfan

    “The score after the 1st Quarter was 26-26. We played your team to a tie and Bosh and LeBron played the entire 12 minutes. TD played only 7 minutes. Blair outplayed Bosh. Plain and simple.”

    Good Point!

    Also, heatfan, you beat OKC because they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, and it had nothing to do with your “D”. Plus, they lost in rebounding to you because they played without their starting center (Krstic), and a 6’10” top rotation big (Collison).

  • Mackattack

    What are the chances that spurs2010 and heatfan are the same person? don’t feed the trolls.

  • BankShot21

    Lmmfao @ Heatfan and Spurs2010 being the same person. Very observant. I didn’t even realize it until you let the cat out the bag.

  • HeatFan

    the first 12 minutes we wer tied and then we took lead going into half time. we didint start joel anthony are starting center we didint start chalmers or arroyo both our point guards. we didint put eddie house we didint put anyone important. we wanted to see what other players ahd and that is nothing and that is why they wont make the team. spurs fan you think your team is good look what you did last year, your not going any further then that this year and probaly wont make it you 3 are aging and that is a big factor on how they will play.

    TD and manu combined 25 minutes but how about tony parker who started the second half and played some time in the second half?? did you forget about your third star?? lmao if we had wade playing it would have been a diferent story. and the dumb fans in the statium chanting over rated are so dumb. we didint even play our big 3 toghether and only played 2 of them for 12 minutes in wich they tied to your big 3. cant wait till the heat mop the court with the old timers in the spurs.

  • HeatFan

    if lebron and bosh would have started second half the spurs would have never seen the lead again. for example against the pistons and thunder the heat started losing but once they got the lead they never lost it not once. that was going to be the spurs fate but our coach decided to sit 2/3 of our stars and the spurs started tony parker in the second half wich he played some minutes against our roster spots 14-19 lol. why would your coach even put him in the second half?? wanted to prove the spurs are better then the heat by playing starers against scrubs? lol the spurs are pathetic

  • HeatFan

    look at theese numbers.

    heat starting 5.

    Wade- DNP
    James-12 minutes
    bosh-12 minutes
    J.anthony-4 minutes
    chalmers-DNP
    arroyo-DNP
    Haslem-DNP
    Mike Miller- DNP
    Eddie house- DNP

    28 minutes in between our starters and best players on the Bench.

    Spurs starting 5.
    Manu-19 minutes
    tony parker-27 minutes
    Tim duncan-7 minutes
    Richard jeferson-21 minutes
    dejuan blair- 20 minutes.

    im not going to add up the spurs minutes combines because you already know how it will end up. so now before you start thinking the spurs realy beat the heat fair nd square look at the numbers and ask your self again. and the over rated chants from the spurs fan is so imature of them when they didint even beat the big 3.

    thanks my point is proven here.

  • ITGuy

    @HeatFan, dude or dudette, you misspelled didn’t six times!!

    Go Spurs Go!!

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

    @HeatFan + keyboard = Hooked on Phonics!

  • DieHardSpur

    I think it is hilarious how every article about the game in question states “lebron, wade and bosh with limited minutes in first loss”….

    Nothing about Timmy only playing 7 minutes. Nothing about extended burn for the boys just trying to make the end of the bench for SA.

    It is amazing how the Spurs get no respect.

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  • Bentley

    I actually went to game and here’s what I noticed:

    -The big three from BOTH squads got limited playing time
    -In the quarter that Lebron and Bosh played, the Spurs led for almost the entire quarter, they’re biggest lead being 7
    -Dejuan Blair outplayed Bosh. Bosh was down right terrible in this game.
    -Timmy is looking pretty agile and spry out there. He rejected a drive by Chris Bosh and hit a nice turnaround jumper off the glass against Juwan Howard
    -James Anderson played good, had two blocks and a steal, but looked out of shape
    -The reserves we had were very active on defense in the second half

    Now this game is pretty much meaningless for both teams, so neither team has really proved anything because the regular season hasn’t started and BOTH teams are dealing with injuries.

    @Heatfan

    No one is saying the Heat suck. If anything the feeling is, is that although they have massive talent, they are unproven and lack a frontline. In the last 5 years or so, having a good frontline wins championships.

    We’ll see what happens.

  • DieHardSpur

    @ heatfan

    You have a starting 9… not 5. I am pretty sure you are only allowed to have 5 on the court at any given time… but what do i know, I have only been playing the sport for the last 25 years.

  • HeatFan

    @alex- mispelled or not my numbers are not wrong and that why you couldent say anything but make fun of my spelling good job to you imature kid.

    @diehardspurfan-
    28 minutes in between our starters and best players on the Bench. cant read? or did you just miss that? spurs shouldent get any respect for the win against the heat simply because they kept putting the starters and main players from the bench against horrible players that will be cut from the heat roster. like dont you see the numbers? tony parker had 27 minutes 1 more minute and just him self would tie the heat starters and best players on the bench for minutes played.

    chris bosh did get outplayed in the first quater but we still managed to have a tie going into the 2nd quater.

  • DieHardSpur

    Heat fan-

    We get no respect for the win, you you get respect for your win over the Thunder when your “all-stars” played heavy minutes against a thunder team without their starting center and other defensive big??? You are hilarious, troll.

  • HeatFan

    congrats to you spur fans and team you beat the miamiheat’s 3rd string players and lost to our first string in the 1st half. 1st string with no chalmers,arroyo,mike miller,udonis haslem,dwayne wade.

    spurs took the lead in the second half when the spurs put back there starters to play against heat 3rd string. how pathetic is that? so you want your respect there it is congrats for taking advantage of 3rd stringers just to beat the miami heat and be able to brag about it.

  • HeatFan

    oo and by the way the thunder game we played with aunt are starting super star dwayne wade did you forget that?? im sorry but dwayne wade is more important then the thunder starting center. so you take out the thunders starting center and we take out dwayne wade sounds like a fair win right? the thunder played heavy minutes as well did you forget that to? so please shut up all you heat haters are annoying. you just mad because you got no superstar this ofseason. i bet if you would have picked up james he would have been loves in san antonio right?

  • HeatFan

    just a reminder!!!!

    Heat are playing with 2/3 of the big 3!! you guys have not seen what we can do yet thats why wade faked his injury. your not going to see how we play untill the regular season and with just lebron and bosh we are ripping up aponents in the pre-season. pistons & thunder for example once we took the lead they never saw it again and that hapened in the first quarter. would have hapened to the spurs but we sat everyone after that and let the people who are getting cut fight for their spot in the roster.

  • DieHardSpur

    Oh HEATFAN….. talk to me in June… your boys should be on their second week of vacation by then, fishing somewhere tropical.

  • HeatFan

    on vacation will be the spurs who got no better this year may-b worse due to aging. and dont be hating on the tropical area we live in dont be mad your not us. dont be mad you dont got are superstars. dont be mad the spurs are pathetic and start there starters against horible players in pre-season. have you heard of any reporter,scout,NBA insider say the spurs will win or even be at top of western conference? didint think so because you guys aint making it far against the thunder&lakers.

  • HeatFan

    so DIEHARDSPUR please click the [x] on the top right cornor of your compute screen and shut up. trying to get respect for a pre-season win that the spurs realy wanted and played heavy minutes with their starters.

    53 minutes combined for manu,parker,duncan.

    24 minutes combined for wade,bosh,james.

    you guys are pathetic trying to brag about this win

  • ITGuy

    I’m beggining to like the laker fans a little (very litttle) more than the cheat fan(s).

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • Purple and Mold

    …. this heat fan is a joke !!! … everyone here agrees that it is just a pre-season game in San Antonio so our spurs should win as a matter of pride and bragging rights cos the venue is our homecourt …. as far as Blair outplaying Bosh … he just did … plain and simple … stick a fork on that argument …. for the most hated team in basketball that are your Heat …. they are heavily favored to do something signifant although they haven’t done or proven anything yet … talk about over-hyped and over-rated … cos they really are !!! …. you have the nerve to spew out on this thread , but first take some English composition classes cos your ideas are all over the place and run-ons … plus keep your emotions in check cos this is a classy website , then lets keep our opinions basketball related and not cheap shots about Miami is a lot better than San Antonio …. Please !!!! ….

  • Purple and Mold

    … staying on the subject for the heat fan … you say the Thunder is no way not much better than our Spurs but buddy … we all know young teams are never put in front of excellent veteran teams like us (Spurs), Mavs and Jazz when the lights are the brightest and the stakes are the highest …. in my estimation , they are a year or two away to do just that even if they have a silent superstar in Durant … Worry about edging out the Celtics, Magic,Bulls,Bucks, Hawks first in your own conference, and your pathetic frontline of Ilgauskas, J. Howard, Haslem,Magloire ( has beens and retireable) and point guard mediocrity ( Arroyo and Chalmers — really ??? ) … The defending champs are a whole different animal altogether … we are gunning for them as we work our way back to the NBA Mt Olympus this June … Go Spurs Go !!!

  • Purple and Mold

    … one last thing … as success lends itself to imitation and duplication … Wade is no Michael Jeffrey Jordan …. James is no Pippen … Bosh is no Horace Grant or Rodman …. M. Miller is no Kukoc … House is no Paxson or Kerr … Ilgauskas is no Luc Longley … well, you get the point !!! …. The 95-96 Bulls team were the most loved team … 10-11 Heat team as it currently stands , is the most hated team of basketball … The Heat are like the Bulls … please, let’s give that already a rest !!!! ….

  • HeatFan

    it is your home court you should win but braging about beating the heat and the heats big 3 is bull. because you didint the spurs big 3 played total of 54 minutes wile the heat big 3 and best players of bench played a total of 28 minutes. so you did not beat the miami heat big 3 you beat scrubs.

    when did i mention anything about us being better then the bulls? you your self is getting off topic so shut up. mavs a vet team?? lmao wade & shaq won 4 straight to win the finals in 06 against the mavs they are a joke.

    you your self can also click the [x] on the top right corner and shut up you joke

  • Purple and Mold

    … Miami is Over-Hyped … Kills you doesn’t it !!! that a lot of people think that about your so called super-team !!! … this is my last response to you … get out of this blog cos you’re a lowlife and a disgrace … to your team … only intelligent and coherent comments are allowed … minus rants and blah, blah , blah … get with the program !!!!

  • HeatFan

    lithen you joke the spurs are a joke they wont make it past the first round. you players are old and a joke doesent matter if they are vets they are old!!! lebron james is not even on his prime! he is 25! same with bosh he is 26! wade is on his prime at 27! just wait and see till we wup that spur ass in the regular season its not going to be nice for you guys.

    your going to get wuped like the rest.

    so
    get with the program you tard

  • Tyler

    Are we really arguing over who played better in a pre-season game?!? You all do realize this game is absolutely meaningless to the regular season standings, right?

  • Bankshot21

    @Heatfan

    Dude…..let’s look @ history, and pardon the french 48moh, but Ginobili is known for busting D-Wade and LeBron’s ass whenever they play. He owns them both. That’s #1. #2 when the Heat trounced a terrible Pistons team the very 1st preseason game you guys were ready to throw a parade.let’s be serious.

  • DieHardSpur

    I cant wait until we get our blog back that has been hijacked by trolls… Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!