El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 101, Memphis Grizzlies 94

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Memphis Grizzlies 94 Final

Recap | Box Score

101 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, PF 17 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-3 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -1
Duncan left early in the second half with what the team deemed a chest contusion. Long term he should be fine, but the Spurs face a West coast back-to-back this weekend, so he could sit on Friday night against the Lakers.
Kawhi Leonard, SF 30 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 14 PTS | +2
If this is the year that Leonard is supposed to break out and be a star, he could’ve had worse starts. Truthfully, this opening night seemed a lot like last season’s. Most of Kawhi’s offense came as a result of him making plays on the defensive end. That said, there was a gameplan to get him going in the halfcout.
Tiago Splitter, C 29 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +1
Splitter seemed to do a lot of ball-stopping in the offense in the first half, but his defense against the Memphis bigs was good and he finished well (for the most part) around the basket.
Tony Parker, PG 31 MIN | 4-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 9 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | 0
I’m going to chalk this 4-for-14 shooting night up to rust. Parker started the last two seasons on streaks of inefficiency, if I remember right. He’ll shake off the cobwebs 10 or so games into the year and be back to the destructive force we’re used to. 9 assists is always nice, though.
Danny Green, SG 23 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | -1
7 points seems about right for Green, but the way he got those 7 was interesting. Run off the 3-point line in the first half, Green sank a nice pullup jumper in the midrange. In the third quarter he hit a hesitation 3 coming out of the timeout going away from the ball. Hard to explain, easy to watch. But really, four turnovers? Watch out for that sideline.
Aron Baynes, PF 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -8
Didn’t have enough time to do anything of note.
Jeff Ayres, PF 11 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -1
Limited minutes for Ayres, but he seems promising as an end-of-the-rotation big. He’s fast from end to end and has some size on him. There’s more to see from him as the season develops.
Matt Bonner, PF 17 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +11
Do you, Red Rocket.
Boris Diaw, PF 20 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +12
This is about as much offensive production as you can expect from Boris. The more he can pull the trigger without hesitation early in this season, the more dangerous his other skills become in the Spurs system.
Patty Mills, PG
17 MIN | 4-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +7

Patty Mills was your backup point guard of the night and he didn’t disappoint. Party Thrills scored 10 of his 12 in the second quarter and sparked San Antonio to a 30-7 advantage in the period.
Manu Ginobili, SG 24 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +10
It’s too early in the year to state definitively that rumors of Manu’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, but Ginobili did well to stymy the negativity for a couple of nights. Manu was his crafty best against the Grizzlies, producing in every which way he’s excelled during his career.
Marco Belinelli, SG 19 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +3
A fairly anonymous debut for Belinelli other than Italian Ice being on the receiving end of the old lob play the Spurs used to run for Richard Jefferson. That was fun.
Gregg Popovich
The Patty Mills move seemed like a good one. Nobody played over 32 minutes. The Spurs got the win. You can call it a night at that point.

One Thing We Saw

  1. Kawhi notched four turnovers in the halfcourt offense against Memphis. Not the ideal start in what should be an expanded offensive role in his third year. That said, it all seemed correctable. One was an offensive foul for swatting away Mike Miller’s hand when posting up the decrepit forward. Another was a questionable charge call. Frankly, I can’t remember the other two. There are growing pains to be experienced, but the Spurs are in the fortunate position to use the regular season as a testing grounds.