El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 109, Philadelphia 76ers 85

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San Antonio Spurs 109 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 Philadelphia 76ers
Boris Diaw, PF 28 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 8 PTS | +20

Starting in place of a napping Tim Duncan, Diaw put in a respectable shift. Bobo didn’t play great, but only a performance marginally above average was needed against the 76ers.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 24 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +18

Gregg Popovich admitted after the game that Leonard is still learning when to defer to his teammates and when he should attack offensively. It’s not something as simple as saying “Okay, it’s my turn.” It’s something that comes with having a good feel for the game. If we’ve learned anything over the two seasons Leonard has spent in San Antonio, it’s that he has an excellent feel for the game. But it’s still going to take some time.

Tiago Splitter, C 28 MIN | 4-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +15

Against a shallow 76ers frontline, Splitter jumped out to an energetic start. He played well defensively and on the boards, but his inability to finish when encountering even the slightest hint of contact is frustrating to watch.

Tony Parker, PG 29 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +25

A pretty ho-hum 14 points and nine assists for Parker. A lot like San Antonio’s 7-1 start, really.

Danny Green, SG 32 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | +14

IcyHot is currently in the latter stage of his nickname. 24 points on Sunday at Madison Square Garden and 18 against Philly. As great as it is to see the bombs drop at this rate, the bump in his defensive rebounding might be a greater sign of Green’s development.

Jeff Ayres, PF 24 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +9

Slowly but surely Ayres is getting his footing in Pop’s system, but damn, dude couldn’t finish a dunk.

Nando de Colo, PG 10 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +5

Nando saw the court. That is the extent of my analysis.

Patty Mills, PG 19 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -1

Party Thrills brought the energy, as usual, and was a big reason the Spurs jumped out to such a big first half lead. He seemed right at home with a 76ers team that wanted to push the pace.

Cory Joseph, PG 7 MIN | 1-4 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +2

Garbage time minutes for CoJo but he filled them well. I’m as surprised as anyone in Joseph sliding down the point guard pecking order and it’s looking harder and harder to leapfrog Mills.

Marco Belinelli, SG 22 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +2

This felt like a glue game for Italian Ice. Belinelli didn’t excel in any one area, he simply seemed to fill in the cracks throughout the game for the Spurs.

Manu Ginobili, SG 13 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +10

The most important part of Ginobili’s box score is the 13 minutes he managed to play. Well, not so many the 13 he managed to play but the 35 he was able to rest. Not a tick in the second half. The two made 3-pointers were the second-most important.

Gregg Popovich

Rested Tim Duncan for the night and played Ginobili less that 15 minutes. And the Spurs won. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Three Things We Saw

  1. San Antonio didn’t score less than 26 points in a quarter against the 76ers. It’s hard to lose a game when you do that.
  2. Spencer Hawes’ headband and wristband combo for the 76ers was legit.
  3. The 76ers will lose a lot of games, but I suspect they’ll be fun to watch all year long.


  • Nudity J. Fandango

    I think the key to patty cake grabbing the headline as the backup PG is his shooting. If he can get in passing lanes then help spread the floor its a big plus for the second unit.

    Apart from TP & Manu it doesnt feel like anyone else on the team really needs to initiate offence so much as not get in the way of good offensive flow. Patty really excels in that area.

  • junierizzle

    I can’t lie, I was a little worried about this one. The second of a back-to-back against a young athletic team that has been playing pretty good. But the SPurs seem to have finally noticed that the season has in fact started.

    I had a feeling Leonard was kind of unsure of when to “get his” but he seemed to find that balance tonight. I’m digging the Aldridge one-bounce pull up jumper.

  • ThatBigGuy

    I don’t know whether to be disappointed that Ayres missed 4 dunks or excited that a Spurs player had 4 dunk attempts in one game.

  • Saxmann

    Deep in his heart, Ayres really wanted to dunk those, but he was also aware that Pop is watching his every move and Pop does not like dunks.

  • Pingback: Spurs use balance, Danny Green’s hot hand to down 76ers

  • AHeights

    Ayres seems to have the yips every game, like he’s a 12th man finally getting playing time. Hopefully that’ll wear off as he racks up minutes.

    Anyone else not miss Bonner? We’re getting a glimpse of life without him, and I kinda like it.

    I’ve had my eye on Spencer Hawes since I had him on my Fantasy last year (and this year again). He’s quietly become one of the best big men in the game. Points/rebounds/blocks/3s/assists, he can do it all. Praying that the tanking Sixers will trade us Hawes for Splitter.

  • AHeights

    Corey’s passing and leadership isn’t good enough yet to make up for his weak jumpshot percentage. He needs to improve one of those things. I love Patty Mills getting that spot, he’s been patient and when he gets hot it basically gives the Spurs the momentum they need to seize a game and not look back.

  • Daniel Chevez

    I said during the presesson and i’ll say it again Jeff Ayers has really bad hands. Thankfully hes not trying to be a wide reicever in the nfl.

  • Tyler

    ?!?! Why on Earth would the Spurs swap Splitter for Hawes?!?

    Hawes will never be one the best big men in the game. Like ever.

  • ThatBigGuy

    I was hoping Corey would get some extended run at the back-up PG spot. He’s a bigger, better defender than Patty, and could defer play making duties to Manu and BoBo on the second unit. However, Patty has just stepped right up and locked down his spot in the rotation. He’s making shots, initiating the offense, and has yet to be abused on D. He’s even causing havoc in the back court with his ball pressure.

    8 games is a small but useful sample size, and Patty is just playing great basketball right now. He’s playing so well, in fact, that he might be playing himself out of the Spurs’ price range next summer. Corey needs to stay engaged in practice, because he’s signed through 2016. He’ll get his opportunity, if he just stays ready and receptive.

  • ThatBigGuy

    Perhaps you should take a look at his stats, especially this year (small sample size alert). He’s basically a middle-class man’s Kevin Love. Hawes would be an asset to a contending team, especially with his new found 3 stroke.

    Would I trade him for Splitter? Probably not, because the Splitter/Duncan pairing is one of the best defensive units in the league. But if this were the summer of 2015? It’s almost a no brainer.

  • Tyler

    Hawe’s stats?? Hawes had a career year last year, and yet Splitter still had nearly double the win shares and posted a higher PER. In fact, Splitter’s avg PER for his career is above Hawes’ best year. Keep in mind, he’s putting up these #’s on a team that will be in the bottom of the standings come the end of the year (if he’s still with Philly). No GM in the NBA would give up Splitter for Hawes straight up.

    Hawes is 25 and maxed out physically – there is no reason to believe he’s set to make some kind of leap as a player – he’s in his 7th year. At this point, he is what he is – an average shooting (career 47%, 33% 3pt) stretch 4/5 that’s below average defensively. If you don’t agree that’s fine, but do you think any GM in the league is going to offer Spencer Hawes the type of money this summer that Splitter just got? Not a chance.

    Might Hawes be a serviceable player for a contender? I personally don’t see it, but if it were to happen, it’s probably going to be as a 4th big. He’s just too much of a liability on the defensive end. He doesn’t move his feet well enough to corral elite PG’s off the PnR and he’s not big or athletic enough to be much of a factor in the paint when he rotates over. (Those, coincidentally, are two things Splitter does at an above average rate.)