El Conclusion: Spurs keep rolling in Indiana
|Tim Duncan, PF 31 MIN | 3-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +18
Great defense on Roy Hibbert and a congratulations for passing Patrick Ewing on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF 37 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +19
Kinda looked like Finals Kawhi. He was everywhere. Aggressive on offense, hounded Paul George on defense. Can’t ask for anything else.
|Tiago Splitter, C 32 MIN | 2-5 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +12
Sometimes you just want him to go straight up when he gets the ball down low, but if he’s going to get to the free throw line six times and make more than half of his shots, well then keep doing what you’re doing Tiago.
|Tony Parker, PG 34 MIN | 10-18 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | +22
He was brilliant in the first half blowing by George Hill and then ramped back a little in the second, but seemed to get in the lane when the Spurs needed it most. Looked like 2013 Tony Parker.
|Danny Green, SG 19 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +2
Offense wasn’t there but he hounded Lance Stephenson the better part of the night and that was the more important role.
|Boris Diaw, PF 26 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +14
There was this one play early in the fourth quarter where drove to the basket and managed to squeeze between Luis Scola and Ian Mahimni for a reverse lay-in. I have no idea how he does these things sometimes, but it amazes me.
|Jeff Ayres, C 4 MIN | 2-2 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +4
Most guys don’t get grades when they play four minutes, but Ayres made the most of his minutes in his return to Indy. Pacers could probably use his energy off their bench right about now.
|Patty Mills, PG 13 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +4
Only shot five times, which is unacceptable, but he shows no fear and does an awesome job at killing the other teams’ momentum with his shooting.
|Marco Belinelli, SG 21 MIN | 2-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +13
See the second part of Patty’s grade comment and then copy/paste here:
|Manu Ginobili, SG 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +14
Looked fine, but he wasn’t really needed in the second half and the Spurs have a home/away back to back with the Warriors and Thunder coming up Wednesday and Thursday. So get that rest, Manu.
Resting Green and Manu was crucial given the schedule the rest of the week. Plus they just wrecked the league’s best home team.
Three Things We Saw
- This is definitely the best we’ve seen the Spurs look in the last three years or so (the TP offense era? The super ball movement era? It needs a name). Keep in mind, this is the same team that won 20 in a row at the end of the 2011-2012 regular season and first two rounds of the playoffs. This is also the team that nearly won the title last year. But in this run their defense has been nearly as good as their offense. It’s been remarkable basketball.
- Next two games are home for Golden State and then on the road for Oklahoma City. That second game sounds like trouble, but Scott Brooks has been resting Russell Westbrook on the first night of back-to-backs, which OKC has Thursday. We’ll see if that happens this time. The Thunder are also still without Thabo Sefalosha and Kendrick Perkins, so getting to 20 wins is going to be a task for the Spurs, but not impossible.
- Question for everyone: Do you want the Spurs to lose a game at full strength before the playoffs start? Do you subscribe to the peaking too early theory? I have no idea if I do or not.