San Antonio Spurs 94, Utah Jazz 82: Best. Start. Ever.
Finally, a scoreline that looks more Spur-like. Not that I don’t appreciate a good offensive kick.
Short recap for this game because it’s a back-to-back and I’ve got to get my rest for tonight. In fact, let’s do this bullet-style.
- The silver and black have won nine games in a row and sit now at a franchise-best 10-1. RC Buford and Manu Ginobili talked before the season about how the team wanted to start stronger this year, but Coach Pop kind of squashed that notion, stating that the team doesn’t try to start slow, and they’re not trying to start better. Which is true, with the exception of Wednesday night against Chicago, the players aren’t playing heavy minutes like they do playoff time. Nor do they seem to play with a late-season sense of urgency. They’re simply executing better early in the season. What we’re seeing right now could be the result of so many players coming to San Antonio early and working out together / playing pick-up games at the practice facility before training camp started.
- Tim Duncan is now the Spurs all-time leading NBA scorer. Not overall, mind you. George Gervin is still the franchise’s top scorer if you combine ABA and NBA numbers, which the team is not doing. Still congratulations are deserved. Sekou Smith of NBA.com has a good Duncan Appreciation Day piece you should read today.
- Milk carton: Tiago Splitter. No tick at all last night against the Jazz. Second game in a row that Splitter hasn’t appeared. I expect that to endÂ tonightÂ against the Cleveland Cavaliers, what with the whole back-to-back thing and the Cavs being extremely mediocre. But it is curious that Splitter has all of a sudden fallen out of favor. With Bonner coming back, I expected Antonio McDyess would’ve been the one to see his minutes drop until after the cold weather passes through South Texas.
- Richard Jefferson shot 3-8 last night, so his hot start has subsided a bit. But he’s still getting to the free throw line, which is good. That should be a consistent thing, while shooting can come and go. RJ finished with 11 points. Last season, a 3-8 night would’ve resulted in seven or eight points. It’s also interesting, watching the interview Duncan gave on NBATV last night, how they always refer to what Richard Jefferson does as “what we ask of him.” Just an interesting choice of words is all. I don’t remember it put like that for any of the other players and I feel like I hear it of Jefferson a lot.
- The Jazz have been the top home side team over the last few seasons, while Spurs have been the top road club. Always nice to steal a win in Salt Lake City.
- Utah shot just a shade under 42%. That’ll please Pop.
- I love watching how Tim Duncan uses the backboard, and I’m not talking about his typical bank shot. There was a play in the first half last night when either Paul Millsap or Al Jefferson (don’t remember which) had rebounding position on Duncan. Duncan reached over with one arm (which isn’t over the back, it’s usually called over the back if you reach over with two arms) and tipped the ball off the backboard with enough power to ricochet over the Jazz player to himself. Then he laid it in beautifully with no opposition. Just a fantastic play.
- All Spurs starters on the good side of the +/-, all Jazz starters on the bad side. All Spurs reserves on the negative side, all but one Jazz sub on the positive side. Good thing the starters play most of the game.
That’s enough from this one. Cavs at home tonight.