El Conclusión: San Antonio Spurs 107, Memphis Grizzlies 97

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107 San Antonio Spurs Memphis Grizzlies 97 Final
Recap | Box Score
Tim Duncan, C 35 MIN | 10-15 FG | 8-11 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 28 PTS | -1

The Spurs went to Duncan down low several possessions in a row to start the fourth quarter. Old school.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -4

Struggled in the first half, much like he did against LA, but played with more aggression in the second half.

DeJuan Blair, F 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -5

Didn’t start the second half and didn’t play at all in the third and fourth quarters. Pop said after the game that he started Diaw in order to get Boris acclimated to the team more. No mention of Blair not making an appearance.

Tony Parker, PG 35 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-5 FT | 1 REB | 9 AST | 13 PTS | +10

A bit of a bounce-back game, then again it shouldn’t be too hard for an All-Star to improve on last night’s performance. There was a stretch in the second half where Parker blew a layup and let a jumpshot slip completely out of his hands. After that, Parker appeared to get down on himself and didn’t show the leadership tendencies that he’d improved upon so much this season.

Daniel Green, G 24 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +2

Not a great shooting night from two but he knocked down a couple of 3s and was solid on defense. He did, however, blow a layup in the same bad stretch that Tony Parker had.

Stephen Jackson, SG 24 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +11

I feel similar about Jackson’s night as I do Green’s, although Jackson didn’t shoot as well. Jack did hit a 3 early in the game as a part of back-to-back triples with Manu.

Matt Bonner, PF 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +22

Shot poorly from 3 in the first quarter (0-4) but battled Randolph hard on defense and took a head on collision from Marc Gasol like a champ. Sort of.

Boris Diaw, PF 14 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -7

Started the second half for Blair and knocked down a 3-pointer. Diaw looked lost on offense at times in the first half though, possibly necessitating his insertion into the lineup in the second half.

Manu Ginobili, SG 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 11-11 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 20 PTS | +11

A vintage line from Ginobili and he was the emotional leader on the floor down the stretch while Tony Parker battled frustrations. Made plays that we expect from Manu Ginobili when the Spurs win.

Gary Neal, PG 13 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +0

Gary Neal is not back to health yet. I saw him in the locker room after the game with a couple types of medication and when Danny Green asked him if he felt any better, he just shook his head and left the locker room. Hit his only 3 and made a nice off-balance shot on a drive to the hoop. Solid considering his condition.

Tiago Splitter, C 13 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +11

Quiet night for Splitter thanks to the performance and workload from Tim Duncan. Battled when he was on the court but didn’t see a lot of time.

Five Things We Saw

  1. There was a dude with a customized Spurs jersey in the crowd with the last name F U Haters. I contemplated walking over to him and shaking his hand.
  2. I get the impression Patty Mills is still not in NBA condition. He works out with one of the Spurs’ assistant strength and conditioning coaches before the game and does a lot of stretches. This is almost two hours before the game, long before you see guys getting stretched out just ahead of the national anthem. At times you can see him doing these in the huddle during timeouts.
  3. The ball movement was much better in this game than the last. San Antonio got back to the movement that gets teams completely off balance where the ball goes inside, then back out, then driving in and back out to the perimeter for an open shot.
  4. This Grizzlies team, while good and dangerous in areas that can hurt the Spurs, simply doesn’t scare me as much as last year’s team. Losing Darrell Arthur to a torn Achilles hurts, but so does trading Sam Young and not re-signing Shane Battier. One of the biggest reasons for Memphis’ success last year was the physicality of their perimeter players and that wasn’t there tonight. Although, Tony Allen did sit out with an injury.
  5. Spurs were beat on the boards 26-18 in the first half but finished tied at 41 when all was said and done.
  • theghostofjh

    “He really shouldn’t be out there guarding people like Bynum and Howard but I can’t really blame him for that because that’s not his fault.”

     Let’s get this straight: NO ONE in the league can effectively guard Howard and Bynum when they’re on their game.

    “That said, unless some team puts out a ridiculous offer sheet I think the Spurs pay up because Blair’s not very expensive and I don’t see him commanding more than a few million.”

    No, somebody’s bound to give him more than that.

    “I wouldn’t blame either Tiago or Blair if they opted to leave though. They haven’t really been put in a position to succeed albeit in different ways.”

    Agreed.

    And I agree very much with your last paragraph.

  • theghostofjh

    “Pop’s one of the best and he doesn’t make very many mistakes. I just happen to think that this frontcourt rotation and his use of Splitter could be one of the few…”

    Actually, it’s his improper use of Blair, Splitter, and Bonner that is his mistake in my view. In a nutshell: he overvalues Bonner compared to both Splitter and Blair.

  • theghostofjh

    Yeah, it was great. I was so happy for him!

  • Guest

    Nobody’s saying that Howard/Bynum can be stopped but due to his height Blair is seriously overmatched against some of these starting Cs. Don’t get me wrong. Blair’s a talented player but he’s being set up to fail in some of these match-ups because he’s a more offensively-inclined player anyway. Ergo, I think he’ll play well against OKC in the playoffs but not against LAL.

    Nah. I don’t think Blair gets more than 8 million/year and that would be outrageous overpaying. I think he gets around 5 million or so. Give or take a few.

    The problem with this frontcourt probably isn’t Blair so much as Bonner though. Blair’s not hurting the team when he’s put in a position to succeed. I just take issue with where he sees his time. Bonner on the other hand needs his minutes cut in half or so. 

    We know he’s probably not the best at handling pressure and that his only strength is his shooting. I just don’t understand why he can’t be used as a specialist instead of a full rotation player.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    It is time to lay off of Bonner. From New Hampshire by the way! Go Red Rocket! This team is in a great position to win it all again this year. Why? Because I want them to? Because you want them to? NO! Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich are the reason. Not to mention Manu (of course).

    The point is that you have to trust Duncan and Ginobili to tell Pop what is going on out there and you have to trust Pop to be the genius that he is. This team can make more adjustments in the playoffs than any other team out there. The Spurs are the team to beat this year. Remember that we split the series with Grizzlies last year and headed into the playoffs with no Ginobili and a hobbled Duncan. We still almost pulled it out. 

    This year is different than last year. No one scares me (we will see about the Lakers). Thunder have no shot against the Spurs, Memphis might take a couple of games. Dallas is done. Rockets are tough but we would win in 6. Clippers can beat the Thunder and some other teams but not the Spurs. 

    Trust Pop to make the adjustments over a 7 game series. If Duncan and Splitter are needed together it will happen. If Bonner is not effective he will be pulled. If Blair has it working he will stay in (by the way the Spur that plays the closest to how I used to play is the under-sized and just crazy Blair – so I dearly love DJB).

    Trust Pop and strap in for the ride. I for one am not the longest serving coach in any of the major U.S. sports – Pop is. So I will trust him and if it comes down to it – I would take a bullet for Ginobili or Duncan and give at least one organ to Tiago if he needs it. 
     
    Go Spurs Go!

  • theghostofjh

    Spoken like a true fan that forgot to leave his rose-colored sunglasses at home. Trust in the experts 100%? Sorry, not my style.

  • theghostofjh

    “Nah. I don’t think Blair gets more than 8 million/year and that would be outrageous overpaying. I think he gets around 5 million or so. Give or take a few.”

    Did I even imply that Blair would get 8 million? No, I did not. I said it’s highly likely that he will “command more than a few million”. And yes, I would say 5-6 million dollar offers are likely, and reasonable.

  • Vermont Spurs Fan

    Do you enjoy the NBA? Do you enjoy the Spurs? If I was so vexed I would not watch. Why add another thing to life that makes you frustrated? If you are only happy after the Spurs win – if after a loss you have the feeling that you wasted your time, then you may have too much of your own ego invested.

    It is not about whether I am right or whether I know better than the coach of better than you. I will not say that I do. What I am going to say is that by so harshly criticizing particular players certain people that post to this board are putting negative thoughts out into the universe. If some of you say that Bonner will fail, then you are perhaps starting to hope that he will fail, and that sort of energy can be self-fulfilling. 

    Positive thoughts only, please. Especially after losses. This is my favorite year of the Spurs ever because the entire bench is involved and they all really like each other and they seem to have great perspective on things. We could all follow that example.  It will sound ironic that I am speaking to you about non-interventionism since I am in a small way intervening myself. But you could read about the philosophy of non-interventionism that is tenant of Taoism as well as other systems of thought. Basically it goes like this, other people will find their own way and you can find yours. I watch the game unfold, I am pleased with whatever lineup is on the court and enjoy every minute of this gift of some truly kind and generous people playing basketball as a team. By the way, having now seen Bonner in person I can tell you that he is a terrific personality – as are basically all the others. 

    It is not rose-colored glasses. It is the realization that they do not need me to tell them how best to live their journey through this season and they do not need my negativity, either. 

    What if one of the players happens to read these comments? Why put those things out there? It will all work itself out. 

    My challenge in positive thinking right now is to not dislike the following players: Westbrook and Blake Griffin. My ego really wants to dislike these guys…

  • Titletown99030507d

    Been complaining about Splitter’s minutes since he got here. That’s just how Pop is going to use him as a Spur.  I accepted it already so I’ll just appreciate the time he gets on the court be it 1 minute or 15 minutes. GO Tiago Go!

  • theghostofjh

    I have NOTHING personal against any player. I’m on here as not just a fan, but also as a keen observer of the game, an amateur analyst, if you will. Thus, my nature is to see the game holistically in as objective of a way as possible, while also enjoying the art, the competition, the athleticism, and the teamwork utilized to accomplish the overriding goal along the way — winning the game.

    The rose-colored glasses reference came as a result of this comment:

    “This year is different than last year. No one scares me (we will see about the Lakers). Thunder have no shot against the Spurs, Memphis might take a couple of games. Dallas is done. Rockets are tough but we would win in 6. Clippers can beat the Thunder and some other teams but not the Spurs.”

    The idea that the Thunder “have no shot against the Spurs” is simply delusional. The Lakers are clearly going to be in play. Even the defending champion Mavericks cannot be entirely discounted at this juncture. The Grizzlies could still be a tremendously difficult out. Thus, in my view, your confidence in the Spurs in all of these match-ups is without question tinted with rose-colored glasses. And that’s okay, that’s fine. It gives you pleasure, great. But please don’t suggest that it’s a reasonable characterization of our chances to advance to the NBA finals this year, because it’s not.

    As to Bonner. I like Bonner as a person. I appreciate certain aspects of his talent and effort. And while he’s playing, I root for him to do well, just like every other member of the team. I want the TEAM to win, and win with class like they’ve done for more than a decade.

    However, none of that makes me blind to the qualities (positive, and negative) that I see in each individual player (acknowledging their history, and their play at present), and how it all adds up to make us the most consistently successful team possible, especially in the playoffs. And IMO, Bonner plays too much for how much he helps the team win in high-intensity, defensive oriented, playoff basketball. This is the main difference I have with Pop, and however great Pop is, he’s not ALWAYS right — he’s not perfect.

  • Titletown99030507d

    The way the NBA teams are paying contracts these days I wouldn’t doubt he gets 7 million per. Splitter could get that much as well.

  • Titletown99030507d

    He didn’t mean that Andrew. And I thought I was edgy?