El Conclusión: Denver Nuggets 99, San Antonio Spurs 94

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Denver Nuggets 99 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, C 24 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | -17

When was the last time that you could say most of Tim Duncan’s points came from dunks? 1998? I liked what I saw from Duncan when he reportedly had a stomach virus, but his lack of efficiency the last few games is worrying me. Are tired legs making him lose his jumper?

Richard Jefferson, SF 28 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -11

Hated his defense early in this game. Aaron Afflalo and Corey Brewer had him running in circles and beat him down the floor on several occasions. He also failed to run all the way to the basket on a 3-on-2, but was bailed out when he found Manu for an open 3.

DeJuan Blair, F 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -5

Incomplete for Blair. Banged knees with Timofey Mozgov on the first defensive possession of the game and never really played after that. Gregg Popovich played it same, possibly to a fault.

Tony Parker, PG 37 MIN | 10-16 FG | 4-7 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 25 PTS | -3

The stat line looks great, but if he’d been a little more aggressive offensively in the first quarter, the Spurs might be looking at a win here. The Spurs could’ve used their point guard getting them into a rhythm when they scored only 17 in the opening period.

Daniel Green, G 16 MIN | 0-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -10

Danny Green was the only Spur with a negative +/- last game and registered a -10 tonight. Not the worst on the team, but it’s not a good trend for Green.

T.J. Ford, PG 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0

We talked about it on 48MoH TV after the game, but it’s a little curious that TJ Ford played so few minutes. I wondered if it had to do with Andre Miller being so big and physical, he probably would’ve posted Ford up every time down the floor.

Matt Bonner, PF 26 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +1

Poor Bonner got abused by Kenneth Faried. The Nuggets rookie big man is far too big, active and aggressive for Bonner on the boards.

Manu Ginobili, SG 24 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 8 PTS | +6

Not a bad re-debut. He looked rusty at times and looked Manu Ginobili at others. Was in better shape than I expected, he was quick chasing Nuggets through screens on D.

Gary Neal, PG 25 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -4

Can’t fault him for missing the shot that would’ve tied it for the Spurs. He got a good look, it just didn’t go down. I didn’t like Neal defending Ty Lawson at times in this game, though. That was bad.

Tiago Splitter, C 24 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +14

The three blocks is nice. Everything else you would’ve expected more of with Manu back in the lineup and the Nuggets’ depleted front line.

James Anderson, SG 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -1

Is sending him to Austin a bad idea? I can’t tell.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 8-9 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +5

I was very happy with the shift Kawhi Leonard put in. He was very active on both offense and defense, ran the floor well and shot efficiently. 13 points on five shots? The nerds at the Sloan Conference just had the hair on the back of their necks stand up.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Spurs defended well in the half-court early in this game, they just couldn’t stop the Nuggets on the fast break. I credit Tony Parker’s D on Ty Lawson for the Spurs’ stinginess in the half court early.
  2. The Spurs are traditionally one of the better transition D teams in the league, even when the defense as a whole is closer to average. Tonight, they were a bad transition defensive team.
  3. Tim Duncan’s dunk on Chris Anderson in the first half. Wow. I don’t care too much for highlights usually, but that was fun.
  • theghostofjh

    “It’s like we have to accommodate Blair in our front line.”

    NO. We have to accommodate BONNER!!!!!!

    “Send him to the Warriors for Klay Thompson they’re both 6’7″.”

    Like I said before, WE DON’T NEED Klay Thompson!

    We’ll be down a big but so what?”

    Are you joking?! Bonner our third “big”? Absurd.

    “Make our 10 day contractee work for his money ….”

    Dawson would get his ass repeatedly handed to him in the 1st five minutes against “real” competition. My, your awfully desperate to get Splitter minutes. Geez!

    And if you’re so confident about Splitter, why don’t you lobby as hard to get rid of Bonner instead of Blair? That would still get Splitter more minutes, right? There’s so many bigs out there that I’d rather have than Bonner it isn’t funny.

  • theghostofjh

    Agree, and he’s too injury-prone.

  • theghostofjh

    Not when he was 22.

  • theghostofjh

    How is that a free pass? TD best ever is talking about the absurd level of hen-pecking that Blair gets on this blog, while at the same time it’s non-stop, teflon-Splitter.

  • theghostofjh

    ” …. we still hate Blair ….”

    Speak for yourself.

  • theghostofjh

    You really think motivation, effort, and focus in young players has NOTHING to do with coaching, and the relationship between the coaches and players? Young players are all 100% intrinsically motivated and focused 100% of the time? You’re joking, right?

  • STIJL

     The evidence is there that seems to support this.

  • STIJL

     I can see your point regarding “chemistry” between individuals.  Sometimes two people don’t gel in personalities no matter how much effort is put into trying.  Kinda like irreconcilable differences in a marriage where both people aren’t really bad people to say but they just can’t coexist without issues between the both.

    I’d say it’s a combination of at least two factors regarding Blair.  Real physical limitations combined with mental lapses while on the court AND Pop not being able to “best” motivate or help keep Blair focused.

    But just as in an irreconcilable marriage…sometimes it’s best to just part ways and move on.

  • STIJL

     The “reaching in” issue is more mental (and to some degree an act of laziness).  It’s an ingrained reaction he’s had ever since I’ve seen him in clips when he was in college.

    Blair’s strengths, I would have to agree with TD and GoJH, are not best achieved in the Spurs “system” of basketball.  That said…Blair’s physical limitations are not something that can magically be reversed no matter how much “coaching” is administered.

    Same holds true for all of this team’s players.  Same holds true for ANY player in this league.  The secret of success for any team in this league is how well a team can balance it’s weaknesses and strengths allowing it’s strengths to prevail more so than it’s weaknesses.

     

  • Titletown99030507d

    Why balance it when you can eliminate it.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Your wrong there buddy. Watch more games and you’ll see him moving all over the court making it possible to screen off defenders allowing some of your favorite spurs good opportunities to score not to mention boxing out so the other big can get rebounds. He’s a team player with very high BBIQ and he’s taller than Blair that in itself is an advantage right off the bat. He’s way smarter than Balir on the court and I would rather have that instead of 6’7″ center that can’t shoot and has to hurry shots underneath and even make stupid mistakes resulting in PF’s. Also the reason you seem to think Blair is rebound monster (Idon’t think so) – is because he’s always guarding the shorter big when he’s on the court with Splitter and Timmy. How convenient.

  • Titletown99030507d

    And there lies the issue his lack of height as you stated.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Were not winning anything with KL as PF.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Yeah, Splitter will be at full speed and play the way you saw him play during the time Manu was out the first time. That’s good enough for me and showed me plenty of what I need to see from him. I guess you forgot the run Splitter was on before the calf strain no?

  • Titletown99030507d

    You don’t make a trade to keep Blair. You make a trade tomake your front better overall.

  • Titletown99030507d

    That’s where you wrong in regards to Blair he needs to be shipped out. A lot of people here feel the same way.

  • Titletown99030507d

    That’s why he needed to play sooner those kind of minutes so he wouldn’t be out of game shape. Your dreaming if Blair is a starter because in reality he’s not on any other team. The only reason he starts because Pop can’t put him anywhere else. What a frikin joke he is.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Three Blair badwagoners that refuse to accept that Blair is joke for a center or a PF.  At best he’s a 3 that can’t shoot.

  • Titletown99030507d

    He was smarter when he was with the Spurs! That’s what matters to me. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    Because Splitter is better basketball breed.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I think some others would agree. Blair sucks.

  • Titletown99030507d

    No I’m not he’s a grown man and should act as such. IT”S HIS JOB!

  • Titletown99030507d

    So who do we get rid of Blair or 4 time Championship coach Pop?

  • Titletown99030507d

    Cherry pick the good but ignore the bad.

  • Titletown99030507d

    That’s exactly what is going on! Splitter doesn’t get any treatment as such why should Blair get any special treatment. If you can’t fulfill your obligation as a whole in your job than you shouldn’t have that job. We will forever be dealing with Blair’s liabilities as long as he’s on this team. Yes we have to deal with it. Sad but true. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    I was really hoping you’d reply to the last paragraph. Do you really want nothing but Blairs playing the post. LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

  • Titletown99030507d

    Same goes for Splitter because he’s always boxing out taking care of the other bigger big under the rim allowing say Blair or our other big get a rebound.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Watch closely what Blair does in the next game. If he’s not right underneath the rim for potential rebounds but still in the paint he starts bolting down the court even before the frikin ball leaves the opponents hands thinking he’s got an easy layup.. He does this a lot and it backfires on him. He should get in the fracas instead of giving up on the play.

  • Len


    How does that help the Hornets?”

    Easy answer : 3pt shooting.  The Hornets are an abysmal 3pt shooting team.  Only the Lakers are worse, LOL.  Ariza’s 3pt shooting is inconsistent at best and if you think JA’s stroke looks bad, you haven’t seen Farouq shoot it.  

    And it’s not like Okafor is lighting it up.  Everything is down for the former #1 pick.  Blocks are way down (1.8 career avg, 1.0 this year); scoring (12.7 career, 9.9 this year); rebounds(10.1 career, 7.9 this year).  

    Personally, I think this trade is possible.  The worst team in the WC is going to be open to changing their roster and getting 3 pt shooting will address a big problem for them.

  • STIJL

     I realize that.  I was being hypothetical about what N.O. would want for Okafor.  Meaning…trade doesn’t happen.  At least not THAT trade.

  • TD BestEVER

     You make some of the WORST Arguments I have ever heard………Who even mentioned screens and scoring…..I was talking about Defense.  And blocking out doesn’t require lateral quickness either….TD does both of those things well w/o lateral quickness……So again, your points make little to no sense at all.

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  • TD BestEVER

     I have never said Blair was a starter….I don’t think either player will be a starter on a championship team…..unless we just rain 3′s like no tomorrow all series long.

  • theghostofjh

    You can never eliminate all weaknesses. All teams and all players have weaknesses.

  • theghostofjh

    As I’ve said repeatedly, height isn’t everything.

  • theghostofjh

    Splitter has never faced a starting front line of the caliber of the Bulls and played exceedingly well. Until that happens, hold off on the cheer leading.

  • theghostofjh

    Yes, that was my initial point in reply to the original post on this topic by Nima K., as noted in the comment below.

  • theghostofjh

    Let me ask you this:

    Would you take a healthy Eric Gordon, or a healthy James Anderson?

    And JA has proven nothing in the NBA as a consistent 3-point shooter. Even guys like Belinelli have proven much more proficient. They also have a young, talented, and as of yet inexperienced (some early injury issues) Xavier Henry that has shown signs of an improved 3-point shot this year. He was the 12th pick in the 2010 draft, and shot the three at 41.8% in college, which was a better rate than was Anderson’s.

    The Hornets have more pressing problems than 3-point shooting.

  • theghostofjh

    A lot of people are dumb too.

  • theghostofjh

    You’re blatant Splitter worship is the joke.

  • theghostofjh

    That’s no way to sustain a franchise over time.

  • theghostofjh

    Wrong.

  • theghostofjh

    Again, let them speak for themselves. I will then promptly chew them up with accurate quantitative and qualitative analysis.

  • theghostofjh

    You didn’t answer the question.

  • theghostofjh

    “I’d say it’s a combination of at least two factors regarding Blair. Real physical limitations combined with mental lapses while on the court AND Pop not being able to “best” motivate or help keep Blair focused.”

    That’s fair enough speculation.

    “But just as in an irreconcilable marriage…sometimes it’s best to just part ways and move on.”

    And if Pop’s going to keep playing Bonner the way he does, stealing minutes from Blair, especially in the playoffs, then I’m all for a parting of the ways. It’s not fair to hold this kid back for BONNER. In fact it’s a joke I’m not laughing about.

  • theghostofjh

    Blair, but it will leave at least a minor stain on Pop’s resume.

  • theghostofjh

    Are you looking in the mirror?

  • theghostofjh

    He’s coached to do this to help facilitate our transition offense.

  • Titletown99030507d

    He gets in po – sition much better than Blair does.

  • Titletown99030507d

    And it sure doesn’t hurt.