El Conclusion: Portland Trail Blazers 109, San Antonio Spurs 100
|Tim Duncan, PF Shot Chart 36 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-3 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -7
Duncan’s midrange game abandoned him tonight. When the Spurs took control of the game’s momentum in the third quarter, a lot of that was a result of Duncan playmaking and San Antonio feeding the ball down low. It wasn’t enough, however.
|Boris Diaw, PF Shot Chart 38 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -11
A quietly good game for Boris against the Blazers. Aldridge was a tough cover for Bobo for sure, but Diaw defended him well for three quarters. This despite some plays where Aldridge at the very least extended his arm farther than normal to create space on some post-ups, which is likely what led to Gregg Popovich’s ejection in the third quarter.
|Kawhi Leonard, SF Shot Chart 29 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -6
It was interesting to see how little Leonard played in the fourth quarter, less than four minutes in the final period. For a team that looks at the long view as much as any other, it’s interesting that Leonard isn’t being force-fed late game minutes. I can’t imagine they think he’s got all the situational experience he needs after a run to the Finals last year.
|Tony Parker, PG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -10
Parker played through a shin injury (contusion) but never made a major impact on the game. The box score numbers look decent, but clearly lacking, much like Parker’s performance.
|Marco Belinelli, SG Shot Chart 37 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -11
Gelato hit some shots, but Portland clearly made an effort to take away the cutting lanes that Belinelli has feasted on since joining the starting lineup. Off the top of my head, I can only remember one instance where he got a layup via his off-the-ball movement.
|Jeff Ayres, PF Shot Chart 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +6
I can imagine Ayres was hoping to have a better performance against the team that handed him his first NBA walking papers, but it was not to be tonight.
|Matt Bonner, PF Shot Chart 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4
Well, Matty didn’t have much of a chance to impact the game before his face was slightly rearranged by Thomas Robinson. Bonner will have some tests done on Saturday to see the extent of the damage, but Bonner himself didn’t seem that concerned when the media ran into him after the game. (We didn’t literally run into him, we just saw him in the hallway.)
|Patty Mills, PG Shot Chart 18 MIN | 3-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | 0
Mills hit one big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, but the rest? Damn. 1-for-6 shooting and two turnovers in the fourth quarter for Party Mills.
|Manu Ginobili, SG Shot Chart 25 MIN | 9-17 FG | 7-7 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 29 PTS | -2
Technical Fouls – Individual
Trail Blazers: NONE
SPURS (2): Gregg Popovich 7:18 3rd, Gregg Popovich 7:18 3rd
Three Things We Saw
- In the first half, the Spurs trailed the guards a lot on the pick-and-rolls, trying to take away the 3-point shot. They did a good job, as the Blazers finished with just 16 attempts (they’re averaging almost 26 per game on the season), but that allowed those guards to attack the helping big and get to the rim. In the second half, Wes Matthews and Damian Lillard hit 5-of-10 3s to bury the Spurs, four of those daggers from Matthews.
- I’ve been praising Kawhi’s improved passing lately, and it has gotten better, but there was something I noticed on Friday night that I didn’t like. Too many times Leonard got the ball in mildly threatening position to score and instead of attacking, he passed to a teammate in worse position, often with the shot clocking getting low. The Spurs praise going from good-to-great with their shot selection, but I think at times Leonard needs to realize that often he’s the better option and force the issue.
- The shot that put away the Spurs against Portland came in the fourth quarter (obviously) with San Antonio trailing 97-93 and 2:52 remaining coming out of a timeout. Portland inbounded the ball to Nicolas Batum, who handed it off to a curling Matthews out at the right wing. There was a miscommunication between Belinelli and Ginobili—or rather, no communication—and Matthews buried an open 3 with both men standing on either side of him without contesting to go up seven points.