San Antonio Spurs 97, Los Angeles Lakers 82: Well, this was a pretty big game

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AT&T CENTER — San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich never said anything to give the belief that this was the team’s most important game thus far this season. No, we all did that for him.

But he sure did wear the look of a man who knew this was a big game.

“Coach Pop came in yesterday at practice and set the tone,” Spurs guard Gary Neal said after the game. “He was real to the point and direct on what he expected us to do, especially on the defensive end.”

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News called it “Game Face Pop.”

And from top to bottom on Tuesday night, the Spurs reflected the attitude of their coach. San Antonio played quite possibly their best defensive game of the season in holding the Lakers to 35.4% shooting in a 97-82 win over the two-time defending champs.

“I don’t know how many points they scored, but it was one of the best defensive efforts we’ve had,” Manu Ginobili said after the game. “We made [Kobe] take tough 2′s, and that was one of the goals, and we didn’t foul as much.”

The Spurs defense harassed Lakers star Kobe Bryant into 21 points on 27 shots and five turnovers. George Hill and Ginobili were the primary defenders on Bryant, the pair took turns playing physical defense, and made several swipes and pokes at the ball, doing their best to frustrate Kobe.

In the second quarter, tensions finally boiled over and Bryant and Hill picked up double-technicals after getting tied up. It’s a moment that quite possibly inspired Hill’s Spurs’ teammates.

“George probably doesn’t look at it as inspiration because that $2000 is coming out of his pocket,” Gary Neal said, referring to the fines levied on players when they pick up technical fouls. “George is a smart, active player, especially on the defensive end. He’s probably our best perimeter defender.”

In the end, the Spurs won despite getting just 11 points combined from Manu and Tim Duncan. Duncan finished with only two points and four rebounds in his near-30 minutes of action.

“You would have never thought if you told anybody that Manu and Tim combine for 11 points that the Spurs would be the Lakers by double-digits. They would have looked at you like you were crazy,” Neal said.

But it happened. And DeJuan Blair was a big reason why. During the first half, I tweeted a couple of times that Blair was too small for this game. I won’t link to those tweets in order to limit the evidence that can be used against me, but I was not enthused by his performance during the first 24 minutes.

It seemed like the length of Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum was just too much for Blair, and Blair’s second half minutes would probably be fulfilled by Antonio McDyess and Tiago Splitter. At the half, Blair had just four points and three rebounds.

In the second half, though, Blair used the only two weapons he had against the Lakers’ bigs: quickness and hustle.

Blair simply outworked his counterparts on the Lakers frontcourt in the third and fourth quarters and finished the game with 17 points on 8-14 from the field and 15 rebounds, easily Blair’s biggest game of the season.

Defensively, Blair used his nimble feet to play the position battle with the Lakers’ bigs in the post. On one possession he timed the entry pass into Pau Gasol perfectly and maneuvered around Gasol to pick it off.

“Tim and McDyess have been in my head and said to not think and just play basketball,” Blair said. “That’s what I did tonight and I had an excellent game.”

That he did. And because of it, the Spurs sit at 27-4 with a two-and-a-half game lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference standings.

If the Spurs can rack up similar results against other top teams this season, maybe eventually they can make this game look like just another regular season game in late December.

  • Gomezd

    While manu didnt have a good game offensively I thought his defence was great and he was a very important factor in the teams victory.

  • grego

    Man, and to think if Manu (played like dogcrap on offense), RJ, or Neal actually hit most of their open shots…..

    Nice to see Dice not even get off the bench.

  • Hobson13

    With the 4 of the marquee names BADLY struggling throughout the entire game (Kobe, Pau, Manu, and Tim) here are my take aways.

    1. The perimeter defense was smothering for much of the game. If we can duplicate that effort on a consistent basis, then we have every reason to talk about ring #5.

    2. The Spurs support players of Blair, Hill, and even Neal were superior to the Lakers support players of Brown, Blake, and Barnes. This may make a significant difference if we were to play them in a 7 game series.

    3. We still don’t know how well our front line stacks up to Gasol and Bynum since Kobe decided to take half of the Lakers shots. These two took a COMBINED 12 shots! Gasol alone should have had at least 15 attempts. If they had pounded the ball into the post, they very well might have had success against the Spurs.

    4. The Lakers appear to be in some trouble. They effectively have no bench and are heavily reliant upon Odom and Artest (two highly eratic individuals whom you don’t want to rely upon) to help Gasol and an aging Kobe. Tim Legler is usually wrong alot, but he said the Lakers simply looked too slow and didn’t have the athleticism to match up well with the Spurs tonight. I have to agree with that assessment.

    5. Has Blair been reading our posts for the past 30 games? He has played very poor most nights, but decided to have a season best game against the team many swore he would struggle the most against.

  • grego

    http://espn.go.com/nba/dailydime/_/page/dime-101229/daily-dime

    “It’s no accident that San Antonio’s uncharacteristically permissive defense of late coincided with Hill’s absence as a result of a sprained ankle. With him out, the Spurs allowed four straight opponents to hit the century mark, culminating in the 123 they permitted Orlando on Thursday. For the season, San Antonio gives up 4.6 points per 100 possessions fewer with Hill on the floor.”

  • Regan

    All great comments with well made points!

    @GomezD
    Manu’s defense on Kobe was outstanding.

    @grego
    And if we hit our open shots… the game would have been a massive blowout

    @Hobson13
    I think we can duplicate this type of perimeter defense in the playoffs when it counts.

    2. Yes our depth WILL make a big difference to whoever we play in the playoffs – LA, Boston etc.
    Neal, Hill, Dyess all play like starters. Bonner has improved alot from last year’s pla. Tiago and JA has time to still improve and jell. Quinn is a quality third string pickup. Udoka, well, he hit a basket tonight.

    3. I thought Tim played great/solid D on Gasol and Bynum. I thought Blair played good D too and in his postgame he remarked that he wanted to really put an effort there first and foremost over his offense which was the “cherry on top”.

    4. Glad Odom and Artest are erratic and unreliable. Kobe is aging and the Lakers aren’t able to guard our perimeter play. We have a very good chance of dethroning them this year.

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  • Gary

    TP9 Strikes Again :)

    Neal – Hill – Blair
    Our Youngsters Need more and more credit

  • Junierizzle

    Props have to go to TP. I thought his play set the tone for the Spurs they are unbeatable when TP plays like this. Great win and they played great D. They were on the Lakers like flies on shut yo mouth.
    But Chuck, and now Cwebb and Mchale think Dallas is better. Yes they already beat the Spurs this season but you know who had a bad game.

    Besides, we’ve seen Dallas play like this before. They cant do it when it counts.

  • SpurredOn

    Great defensive game plan by Pop and execution by the players. Aggressiveness from Tony, excellent bench play, and all around effort from Blair were the other obvious stories.

    Something else to think about: this was the Spurs third consecutive win vs LAL by double digits. We know that SA is better than last season. Could it be that the match up between these two has shifted clearly in the Spurs’ favor? Not that the gap is huge or that they’ll sweep LA this regular season, just that the Spurs’ versatility, defense and coaching once again make them the nemesis to derail LA from their title run. Playoff time will answer this for sure, but for now there is no doubt who the better team is.

  • duaneofly

    Hobson, you’re right about Kobe taking so many shots and maybe if he let other people shoot more…. but that’s kind of a moot point, because that is Kobe. Kobe is a ball hog, Kobe wants to win the games himself and to hell with teammates. This is not even close to being the first game where Kobe has taken WAY too many shots and it sure as hell won’t be the last.

  • grego

    Props to RJ. Tied for team high +18 with Timmy. 15 pts, 7 reb, 2 assists, 1blk and no turnovers.

    Even though his shot stopped falling he stayed aggressive and played good defense.

    RJ and Parker set a nice tone early on. This is one of the big reasons why Duncan/Manu could struggle in this game.

    Nice push on flopper Fisher as well.

  • grego

    The mileage is definitely catching up to Kobe.

    “According to Elias Sports Bureau, Kobe Bryant’s 13 straight misses marks the worst run he’s had in any game in his career.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/23292/nothing-stands-in-way-of-spurs-wins

  • Rey

    It was like watching the Playoffs. Much respect to the Lakers, but the Spurs really gave everything including their spleen on this game.

    Seeing Kobe manhandled like that by George Hill and seeing Dejuan Blair do a “Jordanesque” move – all while getting little points from Duncan and Manu – certainly gives the impression that this is definitely not the patsy team playing last year.

  • r.l.manuel

    defense win championships
    go spurs go

  • r.l.manuel

    i dont care if the Lakers played poorly
    wah wah wah
    the Spurs took it to em
    and they folded like a cheap suit
    we didnt win cause L.A played bad
    S.A. played better period…
    no team that S.A. has played this year
    has just ” given” S.A. a win
    still everyone says were not the best team in texas
    sheesh…
    if S.A. beats Dallas , then what will they say???
    GO SPURS GO
    GO SPURS GO
    GO SPURS GO

  • Quick Outlet

    A great “statement” win. However, the statement was not beating a reeling Lakers team. The statement was that defensive intensity could be kept up for 48 minutes.

  • rob

    After seeing Kobe take the amount of shots he was taking in the beginning of the game I had a good feeling the Spurs would win this game.

    It was a team effort by the Spurs and the Lakers just don’t seem to play as a team.

    George Hill was amazing…Again.

    Parker is playing some of the most ceribral basketball of his career. Taking what the defense gives him. Disecting the court into chunks of opportunities for either himself or teammates. Then playing defense as he’s never played before.

    I’ll have to admit, when Duncan and Ginobili were not getting it done on the offensive side I was worried about the Spurs having enough to win this game. Who would of thought in a game like this that if Duncan would be held to 2 points and 4 boards that the Spurs would win?

    Wow.

  • Gomezd

    As a side note…. havent heard much from TradeTP in a while haha

  • ITGuy

    This game is proof that playing smart b-ball and playing championship caliber defense can overcome the length of Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum.

    As I said it before: GHill = kobe stopper.

    On to the next game.

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • Bankshot21

    I am officially worried about Tim Duncan. As much as I try not to. But we are winning. I remember the days where Duncan would go 1-7 but go 8-9 the rest of the way and balance it all out. Those days are gone. He’s not being patient. Bitter sweet win for me.

    Go Spurs Go.

  • BOSS

    @Bankshot21

    Timmy is fine you almost have to look at him as a role player during the regular season. He wont get as many shots b/c pop wants to make sure everyone is getting involved in the offense because come playoff time he needs them to be effective because he knows what he will get from Timmy but it just says alot about our team that we can survive nights like this from Manu and Tim and you know the defense will continue to get better as the year progresses. I can honestly say now I really believe we will win the championship. This team reminds me of the ’04 Detroit team they ran efficient offensive sets and got production from alot of different players and played great team defense on they’re way to the title. We might have something here folks!!!

  • ITGuy

    “Coach Pop came in yesterday at practice and set the tone,” Spurs guard Gary Neal said after the game. “He was real to the point and direct on what he expected us to do, especially on the defensive end.”

    And this is what one laker fan wrote: “WHILE PHIL SLEEPS, COLLECTS $16 MILLION AND WORKS ON HIS NEXT BOOK. THE FALL OF THE LAKER EMPIRE.”

    Here is another post from a laker fan, “I find it fascinating that when the Lakers are winning, Phil Jackson get’s way too much credit,but when times get tough, either during the course of the season when lacking an injured player, or within the context of the game, the man makes no adjustments. That’s the true test of great coaching. Never has had any control over Kobe, and can’t design a proper offensive scheme. Has had a very lucky career with the overload of talent he has always been given.”

    Compare the so call talent the lakers have and the players Pop has and no one can deny that Pop is the best coach in the league by far.

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • DorieStreet

    @ Bankshot21

    The last 3 seasons Duncan has struggled to get in a scoring rhythm when his teammates did not get him the ball in the first quarter. Now with him being the 3rd (or even 4th) option in nearly in the offense, his reduced time on court and his waning athleticism (strength, movement, etc), he frankly has no sense of what still works for him. When he is not rushing shots, he is just motionless, holding the ball 3,4, 5 seconds, thinking about what move he can make against an opponent–and if he can still do that move. His practice/shootaround time has probably been curled back also. Let’s hope that he figures out a way to regain his offensive touch enough to still get point when we need him to do it.

  • L McKee

    Right on ItGuy!!!

    Pop is the real Zen Master taking unknowns or 2nd round draft picks (remember Bruce Bowen) and making great players out of them. While has been handed marque players, Pop’s four rings should mean more than all of the HEN MASTER Phil Jackson.

  • mybloodissilverandblack

    Some quick notes:

    1. Kobe got punk’d. How many turnovers did he have?

    2. Pop is transitioning from the Duncan era into the future. This young roster will launch the franchise into the next decade or so, once Manu and Timmy retires.

    3. Tiago needs more girth to last against the NBA bigs. Let’s send him to the gym and feed him some more proteins.

    4. Speaking of bigs, we need one more legit center to pair with Tiago. Not a rush, though.

    5. Still speaking of bigs, ever realize that Bynum is half as dominant as Shaq was? I mean, the jersey says it all; 17 to 34.

    6. We’re still missing James Anderson. I hope that when he comes back, Manu’s minutes can be managed.

    7. Lakers fans are still talking trash after the game, especially on my Facebook account. Talk is cheap, L.A. bandwagoners.

    8. I realized that Orlando is the most dangerous team in the league right now, with all their weaponry. The only way the Spurs can avenge their blowout loss is the Finals. So, Spurs-Magic, anyone?

    9. I can’t believe the Lakers were not content with Farmar and signed Blake instead. Now they don’t have that kind of explosion from the past 3 years anymore.

    10. I hope Manu could rise up from his clankfest to state his case as a real deal MVP candidate.

    Go Spurs go!

  • mybloodissilverandblack

    @ITGuy, I was thinking of the same thing. Phil Jackson never really exerted effort in coaching. I mean, his playbook consisted of the following:

    1. Give the ball to MJ.
    2. Give the ball to Shaq. Otherwise, to #8.
    3. Give the ball to #24.

    I mean, he doesn’t really coach, does he? He’s just a figurehead sitting courtside with a nice suit.

    He’s like what The Queen is to Canada: Nothing.

    Meanwhile, Pop has the knack for making vets work, spare parts function, and young players earn their money. And oh, make superstars out of draft and/or free agency gems.

  • DBAGuy

    Timmy is fine, I actually like the way our offense is now. It is dynamic, you can’t beat all teams using the same strategy, the Lakers are long, so why deal with Timmy getting blocked, instead… drive the ball to the basket with fast guards and spread the floor and shoot 3s. The days of feeding Timmy in the post against all teams are over. New strategy is the way to go and a very smart move from Pop in my opinion…

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

    I think Manu was stellar on defense. How many steals did he have against Kobe? How many times did he disrupt Kobe’s flow by tipping away the ball, even though he did not get the steal? Some of those items don’t make a stat line but deserve to be.

    Finally, I hope that all the Blair bashers can shut their snack holes now. He was a “Beast” on the court and he is playing more and thinking about playing less.

  • Spurholic in Mumbai

    Whew, how many times does a team do a “Houdidni” after being 6-25 from the 3 point (mid 4 th quarter)? The second attempt points at that time were the difference – 13-5.

    Even with a sub par shooting night, defense carried the Spurs (emphatically) across the line. It would be an interesting stat for team 48 MoH to pull out the last time Kobe took 27 shots to score 21 points aganst the Spurs. Hill ( and Manu’s) ‘s defense and Blair’s flair were an integral part of the win. Of course the foundation was the efficiency of Tony, who had a terrific shooting night and the new found resilience of RJ

    Again the x-factor for Lakers – Odom, scored less than 10 points (another key stat), how many times have Lakers lost when Odom / Mr. Kardshain, is so passive against the Spurs?

    While am not too concerned about Manu’s low scoring, Timmy’s low score overlooks the scoring slump he is in – its another matter to score 2-2, rather than 1-9? It’s an area which cannot be overlooked.

    Let’s savour this win, Mavs next! whoa!!!

  • Spurholic in Mumbai

    error, “Houdini’s act”, rather than Houdidni.

  • Bruno

    Good game in defense by Ginobili and Hill…Tiago need more minutes to play good, all the times he play more of 15 minutes he do double numbers…He have potential and good skills…

  • http://www.nbamatchup.com Chris in Phoenix

    Andrew A. McNeil:

    Are you sure about Ryan Richards going back to re-sign with his Spanish team C.B. Gran Canaria? I checked their roster on Eurobasket.com and couldn’t find his name.

    # Name CM (INCH) Pos Bo NAT FR TO Former Team
    5 Green Taurean 185 (6’1”) G 85 10 11 AEK
    18 Wallace Judson 205 (6’9”) F/C 82 10 11 Benetton TV
    22 Carroll Jaycee 188 (6’2”) G 83 09 11 Banca Tercas
    7 Savane Sitapha 202 (6’8”) F 78 04 11 Tenerife
    20 Moran Jim 200 (6’7”) F/G 79 01 11 William & Mary (NCAA1)
    8 Bramos Michael 196 (6’5”) G/F 87 10 11 Peristeri GS
    33 Beiran Javier 200 (6’7”) F 87 10 11 Estudiantes
    17 Nelson Spencer 203 (6’8”) F 80 10 11 Peristeri GS
    4 Kloos Ewoud 185 (6’1”) G/F 89 09 11 Gran Canaria
    41 Rey Xavier 209 (6’10”) C 87 10 11 Regal Barca
    6 Santana Fabio 188 (6’2”) G 92 09 11 Gran Canaria
    4 Dominguez Samuel 204 (6’9”) C 91 10 11 Gran Canaria
    11 Bellas Tomas 185 (6’1”) G 87 09 11 Real Madrid II

  • jwalt

    When asked how come Kobe goes his own way with the ball sometimes, Phil Jackson replied, “Don’t ask me.” That’s hilarious.

    Kudos to Blair, Hill, Bonner, RJ, and most of all Tony Parker.

    I said yesterday that I didn’t think either Manu or Tim would be the keys to the game, but I didn’t mean it was okay to go a combined 4 for 19!!

    But the fact they did and the Spurs still won easily shows how much better this Spur team is than the last few seasons.

  • ThatBigGuy

    It’s only a 1 game sample, but Blair did pretty well against the Laker’s size. He’s been playing better lately and I hope this game boosts his confidence. I hope he puts forth the same effort against the Mavs. If he keeps playing like he did last night, teams will have to start game planning for him. 17 points and 15 rebounds (6 offensive) is killer , esp when coming from our perceived 4th big.

    Good win. Let’s get them stupid Mavs tomorrow.

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  • DizzyDai

    Thunder fan here. I love what you guys have brewing in Texas. When San Antonio dismantles Dallas the Spurs will become my second favorite team. Give ‘em Hell.

  • PJ

    Well it’s nice to know that if Tim and Manu aren’t getting it done offensively that we still have guys like Tony, RJ, Neal, and Hill to fill it up. I think Manu has already peaked for the season. He started having one of his best seasons and now he’s been struggling the last several games with his shot.

  • Tyler

    Even though it’s just one of 82, there’s a lot to like about last night’s game.

    Our team defense was great. We were physical and active, and really just pestered the hell out of anyone on the perimeter. Offensively, the ball movement was fantastic even though we didn’t shoot the ball well.

    I still have some concerns though. As well as Dejuan played last night, he’s still got a long way to go on defense. He’s still forced to reach a lot, which works some night, and kills you on others. Fortunately, it worked last night. However, the effort was great. He was the spark that gave us the lead in the 2nd half (George Hill deserves some of the credit too).

    Andrew Bynum is a problem. When healthy (I realize that’s a big if), he’s the one guy we simply do not have an answer for. When he catches on the block, it’s over – he’s either scoring or going to the line. Why LA didn’t force feed him and Gasol in the 2nd half is just mind boggling. If that had been Pop, he would have reamed the entire Laker team during a timeout, especially Bryant who essentially shot them out of the game.

    All in all, a great win against a quality, albeit struggling, opponent. More than anything, I just wanted to see if we could hang and compete with their talent and length, and I certainly saw that.

  • Junierizzle

    Anyone notice that Bynum travels about 95% of the time? I once saw a game where he travelled three time in a row. Bynum is seriously overrated. Yes hes big but this is as good as hes gonna get. No need to fear him.

  • Junierizzle

    Another thing about Bynum, I would love for them to just throw it into Bynum. It will take Kobe and Gasol get out of the game. Do you think Kobe would be happy scoring 2 points even if they win like TD has accepted???????

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

    Couple of my takes:

    This is not 2003 and Timmy can not dominate a game when the opponent’s defensive focus is on him. Timmy is still very valuable because it keeps the focus off other players.

    Indy G was totally awesome. I got chills watching him tell Kobe where he could shove his ego. Him and Manu were tough. The perimeter defense was a thing of beauty.

    Tony was the man. Every time he checked back into the game I got the feeling that “everything would be OK.” He was the best player on the court, period.

    LA played dumb but SA missed quite a few wide open 3′s. I am starting to think that SA can handle the Lakeshow’s best game.

    Huge props to DJB. He brought his A game.

    Thursday’s game against Dallas is really important. Tie up the season series and put more distance between the two teams is a high priority.

    Go Spurs Go

  • Brian

    If we hit those three’s, it would have been even more embarrasing.

  • rob

    Yeah…hitting more of our shots would have created an even larger win margin, but, I think the lower shooting percentage was due to the focus and intensity on the defensive side.

    I’m not sure that any team that focusses more in one area does not (to some extent) decline in the other.

  • Dr. Who

    Great win but no time to enjoy it with the Ponies up next. Pop showed his concern for the Fakers length by inserting Tiago very early and in meaningful minutes. I guess as a test drive. Tiago didn’t’ do so hot but… his positioning was much better last night. He’s still out of rhythm offensively and man oh man I wonder how long it will be till he gets called for all of his moving screens. It’s like almost every possession. I liked the stoic face after he received a hard foul. Kinda like, “whatever… gimme the ball so I can shoot my free throws.” He got in foul trouble but showed flashes again of what could be a valuable big for the Spurs come playoff time. His court movement was pretty good, nice block on help D and in garbage time (with Bynum on the floor) very very nice pass for an easy layup. He needs more meaningful minutes like that against the top bigs in the league.

    Phillip… I hate the guy, he’s been blessed with some of the best players theNBA has to offer but he can coach and manage personalities. When we play the Fakers again I have to believe he will adjust and say pound it inside until we can’t anymore. We still don’t know how we match up with their length because unbelievably… they did nothing to exploit it. Gasol is in a funk but my goodness how can you have Gasol and Bynum and not run set plays for them. There were times in the game that it was evident the lack of length was hurting the Spurs. The Fakers did nothing to jump on it. Instead they focused on backcourt play. Puzzling… eventually that will change. Tony still rips through their PG’s and that is an absolute joy to see. I loved RJ’s little shove of Fish. And Hill did nothing even close to backing down from “The Rapist.” I loved the Spurs swagger. The Mavs will be a better test of length for us on Thursday; I hope we see the same swagger.

    At this point it is time to panic in LA. They are in a very similar position that the Spurs were in last year. They had a creampuff early schedule and didn’t take advantage of it. Come April the Fakers will be playing better but because of this dismal start they will probably have to be thinking about a lower seed other than No. 1. Plenty of time in the season, but that looks like where they are headed.

    Somewhere out there Jim Henderson is smiling. Malik 2.0 (Blair) had a great second half. First half was pretty forgettable, but the hustle and quickness was fantastic in the second. That isn’t going to happen every time we play the Lakers or other big teams; but his huge game helped us rest McDyess who surely will play a role in our match-up with the Mavs. Overall team D was what we’d been looking for all year. Can’t have asked for anything better. The one set play we ran for Jefferson worked to perfection. We should probably get him more touches on set plays. Just a thought…

    More Tiago development and Anderson coming back will be like trading for a couple new players. It looks like Manu can use a break in minutes. He was working overtime chasing Kobe around on the defensive end. It’s no wonder his shot was off last night. Bonner did a decent job as well. He guarded Gasol for stretches and why they didn’t post Gasol every possession I have no idea. The help defense was there for Bonner and that was a good thing. Difficult stretch we’ve got coming up. Mavs game should be very very interesting. You know the Mavs won’t ignore one of their bigs since Dirk is the focal point of their offense. We don’t have a solution for Dirk, but neither does the rest of the NBA. It will come down to how we match up with the supporting cast (thank you Captain Obvious). If the Spurs can pull off a W against Dallas, I think the national media may start to talk a bit more about the Spurs. Not sure what to expect in that game, but it should be fun. Hopefully there is not a letdown after the win against the hated Lakers.

    Every time I see Kobe and Fish pouting on the bench during a blowout loss… a unicorn is born. It’s simply magical!

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  • Brian

    I was watching the LA broadcast and the sideline reporter mentioned something interesting on how the Spurs were covering there bigs. The lakers would pass it down in the low post while Blair was covering. When they got it down low, a Spurs defender would trap the the big who received the pass at the low post.

    What makes that interesting, is that Pop must have scouted the last couple of games focusing on the terrible passing lakers have been accustomed to. The only way to break that trap is to pass it out to someone who is open.

    I was noticing that in the game. I heard it real quickly so please excuse my lack X’s and O’s thoughts on this.

  • Brian

    * Spurs cover their bigs

  • Ruel

    Great Win!!! Great Job by our Coaching Staffs and Players for being on the same page and playing as a Team!!! I can’t wait to see Kobe on the bench 48 mins the next time we meet them again? It will be a good test and see if their bigs can pound us in the paint? A much bigger task ahead coming that I can’t wait to see the Boston Celtics and let’s see if they can expose our frontline? How patient and decipline they are setting their half court set? If we can run them over or if they let us run them over? Tim Duncan gonna get his share and number and I would love to see more moves of much improved D. Blair posting up in the paint? I think he can dominate more games if he can keep his eyes on the floor and take the ball strong straight to the basket. Less stress, less hesitation, and less to worry about or think if the defenders or shot blockers coming onto him? He can easily out position his opponents or defenders/shot blockers jump first then make his move. If he’ll learn to do that? He’ll be one of the best power forward in the league one day or far more. Yes, a power forward is the best suit for him not a Center? Forgive me if I’m wrong and I’m open heart and gladly to hear. Splitter on the Center and Blair on power forward in the future along with Hill? It’s a good benefits on our Team in the future. Anyway, against Boston Celtics? It’s going to be the battle of Team Defense and Boards? I can’t wait and clearly the Boston Celtics the Team to beat on the Finals? It’s going to be a close and low scoring game on January, 05, 2011 and our team will be ready to meet them? Probably we’ll win by 2 to 5 points. Great Job Pop for keep Preaching Defense and to our Players as well for handling, accepting, and understanding well that the road for the 5th Championship Ring is Team Defense. It’s been proven and always a good recipe for Success. To our Front Office, Coaching Staffs, and Players and to their respectively families and to all the fans as well or even they’re not a fans? Wishing You all to have a Safer, Healthy, Peaceful, and Happy New Year!!! To Our Front Office, Coaching Staffs, and Players Great Job Stay Humble and Keep Pounding The Rock!!! Beat the Boston Celtics next year and give them the 48 minutes San Antonio Spurs Team Hell Defense!!! Good to see Tiago Splitter on actions now and hopes to keeps more coming and I can’t wait to see James Anderson back soon in the line up? Get Well and Stay Healthy!!! Happy New Year!!! Go Spurs Go!!!

  • Daniel T

    Chris-in-Phoenix:

    Richards is rehabbing from a second shoulder surgery in November, so you likely won’t find him on anyone’s roster. I’m not positive but it seems his contract with C.B.Gran Canaria may have extended through this season, but is a moot point as he is unable to play at this time. Last year it was reported that he was loaned out to a team in Switzerland, so he wouldn’t have appeared on their roster then either even though they held his contract.

    It seems the Spurs would prefer he play in Europe for at least another year rather than the dleague. Once he signs an NBA contract he can only spend 2 years in the dleague as a Spur, and they may feel he needs more than that 2 years to develop.

  • http://www.nbamatchup.com Chris in Phoenix

    Thanks Daniel T!