El Conclusion: San Antonio Spurs 108, Denver Nuggets 103

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Denver Nuggets 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
108 San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, PF 36 MIN | 12-20 FG | 5-6 FT | 13 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 5 TO | 29 PTS | +4

What can you really say? He was a monster, both in fantasy basketball numbers and overall impact on the floor. He’ll be 38 years old in a month and is really playing on just one knee.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 35 MIN | 3-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +3

I honestly had no idea Leonard finished with just eight points until looking at his stats right now. Watching the game, it felt like the typical 14-16 point performance from Leonard. No matter, his real impact comes with the random plays he makes at odd times that few players in the league can match, including his late block on Randy Foye.

Tiago Splitter, C 29 MIN | 4-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -7

In the first half all I could think of what how much better the other four starters on the floor looked than Tiago. They were zipping the ball around and cutting and scoring, and Splitter was getting knocked over and letting passes zoom through his hands. Then the second half started and everyone looked the same in silver and black.

Tony Parker, PG 37 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 10 PTS | +2

A lot of minutes for Parker and a lackluster second half, energy-wise. The Spurs didn’t look nearly as sharp or energetic in the second half on offense as they did in the first, and that type of thing can usually be traced back to your point guard. Parker was decent, but not great.

Danny Green, SG 17 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +14

Icy Hot was on fire to start, we got a couple of heat check 3s in the first quarter, but left the game in the second half with a foot sprain. Reports coming out of the locker room had Green in a walking boot postgame. We should know more on Thursday.

Aron Baynes, PF 8 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +11

A longer-than-usual first half stretch for the Baynsie featured the big Aussie lined up next to Tiago Splitter for some time, which was… interesting. In that scenario, is Baynes considered the big who stretches the floor? Regardless, in the future if you see that pairing again you can assume things are going either really well or really poor for the Spurs. That, or San Antonio is playing the Monstars.

Boris Diaw, PF 21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-3 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +5

Honestly, I haven’t been able to watch enough action the last few weeks to know whether or not Bobo is creeping back into his less aggressive self when it comes to shooting. Just know that it was something I noticed on Wednesday night against the Nuggets.

Austin Daye, SF 2 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -1

It wasn’t a fall from grace, but cloud nine didn’t support Daye for that long.

Patty Mills, PG 14 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +3

Mills was the man who probably should’ve brought the energy off the bench for the Spurs in the second half, when they were sorely in need of it, but it just didn’t happen. That’s not necessarily a knock on Mills’ performance, it’s just what you would’ve hoped to see.

Marco Belinelli, SG 16 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -1

Nothing remarkable about Belinelli’s performance against Denver, but this came up, which is nice.

Manu Ginobili, SG 25 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -8

Ginobili forced the issue when the Spurs were looking for something in the second half. I can’t fault him for it, but it didn’t solve the problem, either.

Two Things We Saw

  1. We saw some high minute counts for several of the Spurs starters on Wednesday night. I’m curious what happens this weekend. San Antonio has a back-to-back on Friday night with a road game against these Nuggets followed by a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Gregg Popovich typically likes to rest his older guys on the second night of a back-to-back, but with the thin air of Denver and the second straight game against the same team, might he rest his guys on Friday night instead of Saturday?
  2. I know, it’s only 11 minutes of action, but the Spurs lineup of Duncan-Splitter-Leonard-Ginobili-Parker finished with a -50.9 net efficiency against the Nuggets. Which is vomit-inducing, but not surprising when you think again about that second half.