El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 103, Los Angeles Clippers 100

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In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let you guys know that I didn’t see the first half of this game. I had an unavoidable meeting and made it back in time for the game as soon as I could. That was at halftime. So what you read below are my opinions on the game from the third quarter on through overtime.

San Antonio Spurs 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 Los Angeles Clippers
Tim Duncan, C 41 MIN | 5-14 FG | 1-4 FT | 17 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | +14

Wow, 41 minutes for Tim Duncan. What do you think you are, 25 years old? Duncan was excellent on the glass in this game and made the key assist to Gary Neal for the go-ahead 3 in overtime. He even drew a double-team to open it up!

Richard Jefferson, SF 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -4

Nothing especially productive from RJ. He fumbled a key pass in the corner on one of the last plays in the fourth quarter, when it looked like the Spurs would lose the game.

DeJuan Blair, F 17 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -17

An efficient night offensively for DeJuan, but he didn’t play a lot of minutes as Pop opted to go small defensively and spread the floor with Matt Bonner offensively. That makes Blair the odd man out, even though he is kind of small.

Tony Parker, PG 45 MIN | 11-22 FG | 8-11 FT | 3 REB | 10 AST | 30 PTS | +15

Went up against the guy ESPN.com has third in its MVP rankings right now (Chris Paul) and out-shined him. Parker was undoubtedly the go-to guy for the Spurs offensively late in this game and he did his part to keep them in it.

Daniel Green, G 36 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +3

Did a good job harassing Chris Paul on defense, which is a difficult task, and made a handful of plays offensively. I still hate that he reaches on defense when there’s no doubt a guy will score and Green risks the cheap And-1.

Matt Bonner, PF 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +3

Got knocked around a bit in this game, but his presence on offense helped open up the driving lanes for Tony Parker and give Tim Duncan some space down low. Pretty standard game for Bonner.

Manu Ginobili, SG 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | -5

Injured oblique muscle. No timetable on his return as of yet. According to Buck Harvey of the Express-News, he originally injured it against Detroit. “I think we lost him again,” Coach Pop said after the game, per J.A. Adande. The D is just a placeholder grade since I never really saw him play today.

Gary Neal, PG 27 MIN | 5-14 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | -3

I have no idea where to start to write about Gary Neal’s night. He fumbles away a pass with the Spurs down three and just seconds remaining. Hits a 3 on a crazy play to force overtime. Hits a go-ahead 3 in overtime than was the difference and missed two free throws that could’ve iced the game. Richter scale type of game.

Tiago Splitter, C 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +2

Strained calf muscle. No word on how long he’s going to be out. For his grade, see Manu above.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +4

Not much offensively, but was key in getting in Chris Paul’s face on the last play of the game without fouling. That gives him a slight bump over whatever I was going to give him without.

Cory Joseph, G 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +3

Austin-bound soon.

James Anderson, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

James is still the odd man out of the rotation.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Gary Neal foreshadowed his big 3s late in the game when he stopped a Clippers 17-0 run with a big 3-pointer in the third quarter.
  2. The rims at the Staples Center are mic’d obnoxiously loud. It’s the same in Dallas. They do it so that dunks sound good on TV, but what you get is a terrible noise when players clank jumpshots and audio featuring lots of guys complaining about fouls. Kenyon Martin spent a couple of minutes late in the game swearing so loud that Andrew Monaco had to apologize for his language on the broadcast.
  3. I thought the Spurs looked a little selfish offensively in the third quarter. I could be wrong, but I thought there were several times that guys took shots that normally they make one more pass for a better shot.
  4. The blame for that crazy Clippers turnover late in the game falls on Ryan Gomes in my book. Chris Paul was clearly running into the backcourt to take the pass there, but Gomes threw it in the front court. Paul, not wanting to get a backcourt violation, sort of tossed it away. Problem is, he tossed it right to the “Nail Gun” Gary Neal. He should’ve taken the backcourt violation.
  • theghostofjh

    It’s more like I’m right “like clockwork”.

  • theghostofjh

    He had 7 rebounds (3 offensive), 2 assists, a steal and a block. Plus he played good “D” down low against the Mavs bigs (Wright, their reseve big only had 1 rebound & 5 points in 20 minutes). Moreover, please don’t make even a tentative assessment of a player based on just ONE game. Also, my point was that if we’re going to use Blair in the manner that we have over the past 15-20 games, we may be better off trading him for a more fundamentally sound post defender who’s about 3-4 inches taller.

  • theghostofjh

    Why don’t you tell me what coaches are for? X’s and O’s, calling time outs? What else? Anything?

  • theghostofjh

    “Blair isn’t Charles Barkley ….”

    Who ever said he was, or even had that potential? No one I know.

    “Relying on either of them (Bonner and Blair) very heavily will get us a first round exit.”

    We don’t know for sure with Blair, whereas we do with Bonner. Bonner’s had a legitimate shot to make an impact in the past three years and has not. If the team’s not going to make a trade for another big, I say give the young guy a real try (that means 20-25 minutes minimum per game – along with a healthy Splitter & Duncan, hopefully – Bonner should get 15 minutes tops if he’s hitting his shot now & then – which is a big IF in the playoffs).

  • Colin

     Every player in the league has “intangibles.”  That’s not a good argument. 

    Blair:
    -is young
    -has “upside”
    -does a lot of things you can’t teach
    -has great hands 
    -has shown a few games where he can make his mark (20/20 couple years ago)

    I admire you stick to your guns here but you gloss over your praises of Blair with generalizations too much. 

    BTW:  I’ve watched enough Jared Jeffries (seen him play in person 5 times) to know that he can’t get consistent minutes in a Knicks uniform (basically since he’s been in the league).  What makes you think that he will turn into a player once he puts on a Spurs uniform?

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  • icekopi

    after re-looking at the replays, the CP3 turnover was largely due to the following combination of good tactics plus shrewd defending by the young guys:

    1. kawhi leonard’s good defending on the inbound – baiting ryan gomes to inbound towards backcourt by stepping and angled himself towards his right, and with kawhi’s arm span, it helped reduced the passing angle.. at this point, notice that the clippers was trying to draw up a play to set up a double screen for CP3 to run across to get the inbound hoping that he will get fouled for free throws.

    2. this is where it gets intricate – *notice the commentators mentioned: there’s no TD, no Bonner, nobody tall, it’s all their quick guys* – when the play begins, CP3 starts to run across, and the double screen comes in, a) blocking off his defender parker, and opening the lane by blocking out the help defender green on the far side. what would have normally been a easy run for CP3 to get to the inbound pass is made complicated at this point with cory joseph becoming the real help defender by following him down the lane (while cory’s man sets up the screen). with CP3’s headstart and quickness, there is no doubt that he would get to the pass first, but here’s the part that i think made the turnover. cory joseph was sticking with CP3 up to the point almost where kawhi leonard was and touched him. CP3 instinctively opened up his stride and put a couple of feet between him and cory joseph. CP3 then realised that he had opened up too much and was too close to the halfway line (not helped by the small angle that he is to receive the ball from), therefore resulting in the turnover.

    for that, cory joseph at least deserve a ‘C’, for that little bit of basketball IQ to follow CP3 into the lane and forcing him to open his stride instinctively.

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  • Colin

     Really?  C’mon dude

  • theghostofjh

    He fits Pop’s style better as a FOURTH big
    (to replace Blair) for the reasons already noted (better fundamental “D”, etc.). He probably won’t score as much as Blair, but we don’t really look to Blair to score anyway. What everyone seems to care about
    more (including Pop) is better “D” from our bigs down low & on the pick and roll. Jeffries would be an upgrade there.

    My main point is that we regularly under-utilize Blair’s strengths, and harp on his weaknesses (plus most on here believe he has fairly limited upside). Thus in my view, we might as well trade him for Jeffries. Would you trade Blair? And if so, give me realistic examples of who you could get for him that would make our team better.

  • theghostofjh

    Just playing with your “clock” comment. Chill out, dude.