Preseason: San Antonio Spurs 100, Los Angeles Clippers 99

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To be honest, there’s not a whole lot to say about a preseason game in a foreign country. This game lacked energy in the beginning, at least from San Antonio’s end, but actually became pretty entertaining as we got into the second half. But since there weren’t a whole lot of takeaways from this one, we’ll go over it bullet style.

  • Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson, Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair started for the third straight game this preseason. On Tuesday night, though, they got off to a slower start than in the previous two games. The Spurs were down 8-2 early and lost the first quarter 28-21.
  • Given yet another start, DeJuan Blair doesn’t look like he’s giving it up anytime soon. DeJuan scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds (three offensive) in a team-high 29 minutes. Blair even hit an elbow jump shot — nothing but net. In all, Blair took 17 shots in the game. Wowza.
  • Six of San Antonio’s normal rotation players played at least 20 minutes Tuesday night. This game against the Clippers somewhat resembled a real NBA game, what with starters actually making appearances in the fourth quarter and all.
  • James Gist got himself a Mario.
  • Alonzo Gee picked up another DNP-CD. He’s getting closer and closer to Austin with every game.
  • Tony Parker went to the locker room in the third quarter, and I didn’t see him on the bench at all in the fourth. Not sure if he was sick or what. But keep an eye out for any news on that front. Or correct me if you saw different.
  • All five Spurs starters finished with a negative +/-. Good thing Matt Bonner was +7… Kidding commenters, it was because Bobby Simmons was +16 and Curtis Jerrells +14.
  • The best part of the game was by far the end. The telecast showed Manu Ginobili drawing up a play for the team on their last possession. Coming out of the timeout, Gary Neal hit a 3-pointer giving the Spurs a one-point lead with 1.5 seconds left. Then — after a timeout from the Clippers — Manu could be seen giving defensive instructions to the team. Ginobili then went and sat down nervously on the bench, while most of the other players on the team were standing up. Funny moment.
  • td4life

    shot-blocking is looking hard to come by

  • badger

    I LOVE that Neal was the guy who hits the clutch 3 with the game on the line. Spurs desperately need someone other than Manu to be that guy on a regular basis. I also fear TD’s feet are no longer quick enough for him to be the guy on the badly needed clutch 2′s in the post with the game on the line. We have always relied upon that post presence or the 3 point guy in prior championship seasons. Elliott, Kerr, Horry, Manu, Bowen(from the corner anyway).

  • miggy

    Finally got to watch some Spurs live. Gotta love it. I like Jerrells fearlessness and confidence. Duncan looked ‘Gr0undhog Day’. Blair was extremely effective and efficient. Can’t wait to see Splitter out there. It was nice to see Duncan get some extended minutes.

  • Bankshot21

    I wanted to leave a comment but I think Miggy said EXACTLY what I would have said. Go Spurs Go!!!!!!

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  • junierizzle

    Coach Manu!

    Manu looks good out there. We can’t really tell what the team will look like without seeing Tiago out there.
    How much is he going to be needed is the question?

    I wasn’t too jazzed about ANderson but the entire team looked sluggish, except Manu.

  • zack in the alamo

    @junierizzle ??wait why werent you excited about anderson ? do you mean at the end? anyway about anderson hes proving to have some great defensive capabilities 3stls 3 blocks the lst game. however no blocks this game but i see his effort out there and i gotta say hes got something worth looking forward to thats for sure!

    ive been studying tiago video (full length/not youtube lol). from what im seeing tiago will do exactly what we need! he will be just as suprising as blair but in a more subtle manner, and the defense you saw at the beginning was zone. it seemed like pop was either A) putting on a show for mexico or B)making our boys get used to zone D.

    i love how we had our bench finishing that game against blake griffin/kaman/gordon/ it was just great experience for our youngs! such as anderson

    !!!!!!OH AND IM CALLING IT!! ” LOOK OUT FOR KOBE TO COPY MANU GINOBILI’S COACHING ACT!!!!! “” i can see it now while hes sidelined w/his leg in L.A, that guy feeds on everyone elses creativity!!!

  • zack in the alamo

    and when i say putting on a show i mean let that ball be very active not stopping it all the time.

  • Mark

    Manu should be the next coach of the Spurs. But idk if anyone noticed, but that play that Manu used, it was drawn up a couple times last year. I think it was @ Cavs.

    Duncan and Blair were scoring at will. Hill missed a lot of 3pt shots. I’m not sure who’s gonna get the next cut.

  • SpurredOn

    Glad that coach Manu drew up a play to avoid pre-season O.T. Even better that Neal hit the shot.

  • zack in the alamo

    yeah i figured we used the play many times but it takes a leader to distribute responsibility and motivation to your players ya know? thats what suprised me about manu (although he does the most random things) his leadership just does its thing, what more to say than hes just a bad ass

  • san antonio coyote

    the team looked solid coming down the stretch as usual, relentless D and clutch 3 pointers…oh wait, its preseason and that was the 2nd string – some things tend to resonate throughout a team. The Spurs may be the team nobody is talking about and they will cause some big problems for teams in the playoffs this season…guaranteed.

  • Jim Henderson

    SpurredOn
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    “Glad that coach Manu drew up a play to avoid pre-season O.T. Even better that Neal hit the shot.”

    Actually no OT, we would have LOST if Neal didn’t hit that shot.

  • rob

    It appears to be getting harder to jetison Jerrells off to the Toros. It’s his second game in a row scoring 11 points. Zero turn overs. One steal in almost 15 minutes of play.

    And though I’m a fan of Temple…I’d sacrifice me liking him if Jerrells is proving to be the better candidate. Does anyone know if Temple is still affected by his summer league injury?

    A “mario” for Gist and dnp for Gee appears to be the writing on the wall.

    Again…another subpar game compared to minutes played for Jefferson unless he played better than the stats indicate. Rough game for Anderson it appears. Simmons finally with a decent game this pre-season.

  • rob

    Also, Hill appears to be quietly not having a good pre-season so far.

    http://www.nba.com/playerfile/george_hill/index.html

    Hopefully it’s just a matter of pre-season and not an indication of what’s to be expected.

  • ITGuy

    “This game lacked energy in the beginning, at least from San Antonio’s end, but actually became pretty entertaining as we got into the second half.”

    Do you mean after Bonner got hot?

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • mikrobass3

    @Jim Henderson: i believe that’s SpurredOn’s point, i.e. manu coached for the game to end in regulation time, win or lose, rather than go for a possible tie and overtime in a preseason game. a purposeful decision by manu, and it ended well.

  • Jacob

    @ Jim

    I think he was referring to the fact that Manu drew up a play for the three and not the tying score.

  • Tyler

    Haven’t been able to catch any of the games, but it appears both RJ and Blair have been aggressive offensively. I hope that is by design. To get to the WCF, we’re going to need both at the top of their games.

    Also, letting both play without having to look over their shoulder for a sub should breed confidence (RJ especially). Last year at times, I thought RJ and Blair felt like they had to defer to the Big 3. If they just go out and play with confidence, we should have two very much improved players, and a vastly improved team.

  • DieHardSpur

    I am really happy for Neal. That should should build tons of confidence, that he has in himeslf, and that others have for him.

    We came out of the gate really slow.

    I couldn’t believe we tied them in the 1st quarter with all the terrible defensive lapses…

    Where the hell did Cris Kaman come from. He looked really sharp last night, and I would say they have a pretty formidable front court with Griffin healthy.

    Our three point shooting is stillllll terrible, but I am glad we made it when it counts.

    Last year we had a pretty bad Jinx: if we were on national television, we were losing… hopefully we can see the other side of that, as we have alot of nationally televised games this season.

    enough rambling.

  • Gomezd

    Dejuan hitting that elbow jumper was beeeeeautiful warmed my heart hehe

  • doggydogworld

    No mention of the atrocious zone defense in the first half? It seemed the strategy was to avoid giving up 3s by making sure the Clips could dunk at will. But the strategy failed because they still made plenty of 3s.

    Gary Neal’s shooting stroke is not nearly is not nearly as smooth as in summer league. Don’t know what is wrong. He willed in that game-winner, which should at least help his confidence.

  • Joe

    Dejuan was dominating last night! His ballhandling is much improved. Gotta love the face-up shot. And the passing and rebounding are as good as ever!

  • spursfanbayarea

    Marcus Cousins will be the next one to be cut. His box out defense was horrible. He made Andre Jordan look like an allstar. Worse yet he allowed him two put back dunks back to back. He has size, but is a poor man version of Mihamini. If they keep this guy around, I will be extremely shocked. Gee also will end up with the toros I believe. Jerrells is playing nice and will make it a hard decision between him and temple. But seeing how popovich called temple his favorite player this year, he probably has a bit of and edge. Also looks like they wont be bringing back gist either. Simmons looks to be in great shape, but is slower than he used to be. Don’t know if he will be able to keep up with the sf anymore.

  • Hobson13

    For a preseason game, I’m impressed. The Spurs were down by as many as 18 points in this game and were down by 17 midway through the third. I honestly thought there was a chance that we’d mail it in since it was only preseason and we’d only be playing for pride. The defense was much better in the second half and this team showed some big heart. Great game for preseason.

    random thoughts:
    Blair really is coming along. He still needs more work on his 12-15 footer and especially his FT. He’ll get there, though.

    My boy Bobby Simmons quietly had a good al-around game producing 4pts 5rebs 3assts in 15 min. He’s not lighting up the scoreboard, but he seems to be doing a bit of everything including the game winning assist to Neal.

    rob
    October 13th, 2010 at 2:50 am
    “Also, Hill appears to be quietly not having a good pre-season so far.”

    I’m surprised no one has talked about this. Poor George hasn’t shot well at all this preseason. He shot 2-10 with 3 TO’s and 6PF. He also dang near lost the game for us with his foul and then Technical foul (more on that later). Not a good game. Surely he’ll break out of this slump any game now.

    At first glance, I was a bit angry at Hill for picking up that Technical at the end of the game. However, upon closer inspection, the new Technical foul rule is as ridiculous as many had thought it would be. How can the refs call a potentially game altering T for a player reacting to a tough call with 27 seconds left in the game? If Hill used profanity or flew into a wild rage (or was Rasheed Wallace), I’d understand, but that wasn’t the case. The refs need to understand the wider picture and swallow their whistles in the last 2 minutes. Basketball is an emotional sport and no one wants to see the refs decide the game by calling a meaningless foul.

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

    Blair is a total beast and when we get Splitter up and running…woo! Look out all you other NBA teams, overlook the Spurs at your own peril. Every time they get passed over they win a title. GO SPURS GO, DRIVE FOR FIVE!!!!!

  • Mike T

    Am I the only one who thinks that Blake Griffin’s style of play is going to lead to an injury-plagued career? He is an amazing athlete and he plays at such high intensity and it’s fun to watch, but he flies through the air without regard for where or how he might land. If he plays this way in the preseason, I can only imagine how many times he will end up on the floor (often landing awkwardly)in the regular season. Everybody always talks about how much punishment Dwyane Wade and Manu take, but Griffin looks reckless.

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  • rob

    Hobson13

    “How can the refs call a potentially game altering T for a player reacting to a tough call with 27 seconds left in the game? If Hill used profanity or flew into a wild rage (or was Rasheed Wallace), I’d understand, but that wasn’t the case. The refs need to understand the wider picture and swallow their whistles in the last 2 minutes. Basketball is an emotional sport and no one wants to see the refs decide the game by calling a meaningless foul.”

    I’m preparing myself to see this happen quite often in the beginning of the season. Taper off midway to the end of the season. Only to see it rear it’s ugly head again in the playoffs.

    This ruling and the inconsistency that nba officials are allowed to call games is a conspiracy theory waiting to happen.

    I don’t like the new ruling because the cause and effect is going to be unfair in many instances where a more prominant gesture or vocalization won’t be called against some players and become perspectively bias on many fronts.

    These officials have got to allow the players some emotion. And if what Hill did is legitimently considered a T by the new ruling…we’re either going to see a lot of this happening or worse…selective reasoning when applying the law of the rule.

  • lvmainman

    Gary Neal is a keeper. He did 2 things I like in last night’s game.

    1) He got Rasual Butler (who was killing the Spurs with open jumpers) off the 3 pt line by running to his shooting hand and created a travel in the last minutes of the game.

    2) He was willing to take and make a clutch 3 point shot without hesitation.

    Gary Neal nailed down a roster spot for me last night.

  • muwu

    That’s the beauty of the Spurs, the consistency.

    The system has been in place for so long, along with certain players, that they know exactly how to do things. Pop could get ejected and TD or Manu or Parker could take over coaching

  • Jim Henderson

    A few scattered thoughts:

    It’s nice to see TD put up a sweet stat line: 17 pts, 13 reb, 3 asst, 2 stls, 3 blks in 28 minutes. He looked a bit quicker/lighter afoot to me. Maybe his weight loss has helped in this respect.

    Blair looked great. I’m very happy that he’s playing decent “D” but also avoiding excess fouls. That will keep him on the court. I like the improvements he’s made on the offensive end, but I don’t want to see the fact that he’s scoring more take away from his rebounding. If he’s getting close to 30 minutes, he should be getting a minimum of 10 rebounds. He only got six last night.

    Big shot by Neal. We need a bench player that can knock down big shots on occasion as RMJ did 2 years ago. Simmons hit a jumper near the end of the game also. He needs to still be a bit more aggressive, but hopefully he’s just starting to come around.

    Gee, Gist, and Cousin will probably either be cut or play in Austin. Anderson will be on the roster. The big question is whether Temple or Jerrell’s makes the roster. Jerrells had his best game last night. He looked more relaxed, and as a result, NO turnovers — extremely important. He needs to just focus on asserting himself on the defensive end. Temple has an important size advantage, but for some reason he appears to be playing in a bit of a funk this preseason thus far. He needs some break out performances over of the remainder of the preseason, otherwise Jerrell’s could take his spot. This competition could get heated over the next 10 days.

    Hill hasn’t gotten into a grove yet, but I’m not worried about him. He’ll crank it up the closer we get to opening day. I also think RJ will continue to improve. He’s a notoriously slow starter.

    Granted the zone was an experiment that may not be repeated, but even so, generally speaking our defense has a long way to go. I know it’s just preseason, but we need to ramp up the “D” by next week for the last 2-3 games going into the regular season. Our close-outs on three point shooters were pathetic. Butler, a career 36% shooter, made us look terrible. “D” will make or break us this year, and so far we’re not even close to where we need to be.

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  • SEANB

    I think Dejuan Blair will start season with Duncan up front just because of his play and Splitter injury but both players can make impact weither they start or come off bench. I was glad to see hear Gary Neal hit game winner because that’s what i envision come playoff 2011 with this europen sharp shooter.Thats the reason he made the team.I am afraid we get same numbers from Jefferson because he’s average jump shooter and he alot more bulkier than his young days.He having hard time driving by players with his bulk and no quick 1st step

  • SpurredOn

    @mikrobass3 & Jacob – you are both correct. Guess I should have been more clear. I appreciated Manu’s play going for the win instead of a tie, much like an NFL coach going for a 2-point conversion to avoid OT in the pre-season. Plus, when it works you give your player one heck of a confidence boost should he be in that situation again.

  • Sam

    do you guys think Gary Neal is like the next Sundiata Ganes? Their styles are very similar.

  • Spizzlewizzle

    -looking for more off the ball movement from Blair, hes potent when moving in space. Anxious for the young Splitter-Blair combo…

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