Your Spurs / T-Wolves nightcap

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Tim will be along in the morning with a proper recap, but in the meantime we wanted to get some thoughts and observations on the game up. Something for you to voice your opinions on the game, while they’re still fresh in your head.

First, the basics: San Antonio won 107-96 and six Spurs were in double figures. And now, some bullet-points on San Antonio’s 32nd win of the season:

  • The Spurs were spent equal time crisp and crap on the offensive end against the Timberwolves, there really was no middle ground. San Antonio shot 47% from the floor and 11-22 from the 3-point line. Yet they committed 17 turnovers. Again.
  • The rim microphones are entirely too sensitive in Minneapolis. That, or the Target Center echoes like the Grand Canyon. Time after time I was able to clearly hear what the players were yelling, expletives all. Tim Duncan, watch your language sir.
  • In the second quarter, Manu Ginobili hit a short, Tony Parker-esque floater in the middle of the lane. When he did, I had one thought: when did he add that shot to his arsenal? I don’t believe that was a shot he came into the league with, but I can’t remember when that was incorporated into his game.
  • George Hill seemed to snap out of his shooting slump. Hill was 5-8 from the field and 2-2 for 3, finishing with 13 points. Hill shot 9-33 over the previous three games.
  • Tim Duncan’s feet may not be as quick as the once were, but his footwork is as fluid as all get out. One of my favorite things to watch is when he journeys out to the perimeter to set a pick for Manu or Tony Parker, and right before the ballhandler takes off, Duncan changes the angle of his pick or which side of the defender he will pick. Having played with Parker and Ginobili for so long, the timing is beautiful to watch.
  • What may be the most talked about stretch from this game came in the third quarter, when the T-Wolves were called for five technical fouls in a very short span. Two T’s went to Wolves’ Head Coach Kurt Rambis, who was shown the door. Lots of frustration for the Timberwolves players and their fans after that.
  • There was a funny moment early in the fourth quarter when the Spurs had one of their fits of good ball movement. The ball zipped around the perimeter before Parker fired it down low to a wide open Antonio McDyess for a dunk. In the background, Luke Ridnour could be seen on the bench, hanging his head in what I can only assume was embarrassment or shame. Or disappointment.
  • In the end, the Spurs executed on a handful of possessions down the stretch and leave Minnesota with a 4-0 sweep this season against the Timberwolves.
  • Phife

    The streak continues! Time for James Anderson

  • http://spursbrasil.wordpress.com Koba

    Oh my god, five technicals!!!

    GO SPURS, GO!!!

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  • SAJKinBigD

    At least the Defense was stifling for the most part. ;)
    Anyway, I agree with Phife: Can’t wait for Neo (Mister Anderson) to return and rejoin this crewe (spelling deliberate)!

  • rob

    Parker hasn’t been playing well these past couple of games. Tonight 13 assists was great, but 6 TO’s as well. The previous game Manu with 4 TO’s. Most of the TO’s are being comitted by our best players. Which sometimes is explainable since they have the ball in their hands the most. But still, the TO’s by them and the rest of the team are from ill advised decisions or lack of concentration. This is what makes these games harder than they have to be.

    McDyess. What can you say except wish he were 4 years younger.

    Duncan appears to be “throwing up” instead of methodically shooting more shots this year than ever. And though he may not be able to play weak side D as good as before…he seems to be better than he has been in a while defending his man one on one.

    Bonner. This is the best defense he’s played since joining the team. Keep it up rocket.

    All in all…the Timberwolves have lost most of their games this season by a slim margin. They have really good players that if Pop were their coach would probably have a much better record than they have now. That says a lot about the Spurs…they managed to win these two games against a very tough and athletic opponent.

    P.S….c’mon Jefferson…you missed 2 slam dunks? :) Great game by RJ.

  • ruth bader ginobili

    Something I’ve noticed in the last few games is the team struggling to finish plays on the offensive end. It seems like they’ll have good ball movement but end up with a contested look or an unnecessary extra pass, because someone with a good look is a half-second too slow looking for the shot.

    An example from this game was that play where RJ got a feed from Duncan but had the layup blocked by Wes Johnson. Hopefully they get quicker when it matters.

  • jason

    Was darko crying on the bench after his 3rd foul? It really looked like it. This seemed like a very emotional game from the wolves – they probably had a dedicated practice and watched a lot of tape in prepairation for this 2 game series against the spurs and its gotta suck to loose 4 games to the same team like this.

    @ rob: I want to start counting how many of tony’s turnovers can be accounted for on plays where he goes up for a shot and and has the ball blocked or looses possesion while being fouled and the refs just don’t call anything. In a way these turnovers are like missed shots and are slightly less bad than normal turnovers because we got a shot off and its only a turnover because its a miss, kinda like calling an airball a turnover instead of just a miss.

  • NYC

    Good job, Spurs. Now can we please play another team?

  • TheRed&Black

    The man was weeping!

  • ThatBigGuy

    No more Kevin Love, thank God. I would give my left nut to see him in Silver and Black.

  • LPspursFan

    Every win is a good win, especially since going in we knew we were playing a team that has played us tough. I thought the fact that we basically led from start to finish showed a trend of improved play against the same opponent (kinda what you hope happens in the playoffs when you play the same team several times in a row and have time to learn from game to game how to better attack/defend an opponent.)

    17 turnovers is too many, but team is averaging 13.6 on the season (tied for 4th best in the league) while forcing 14.9 (-1.3 differential is 4th best in the league.) Agree with Jason on some of TPs turnovers and with Ruth Bader on that while the extra pass is good, sometimes we make the extra, extra pass and it hurts us.

    We ended up with only 1 less rebound (46 to 47) and held them to 37.8% shooting and hit our average of 5 blocks per game, so a pretty good defensive showing.

    And sometimes it’s like Bonner anticipates the defender being closer than he actually is and passes up 3-point attempts I wish he would take. But he had 4 rebounds and I think he does show good effort on defense and has actually shown improvement on defensive positioning.

    And Manu’s 19 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals in 29 minutes is a great stat line. Pop managed minutes overall pretty well so I hope we’re good to go tonight against the Bucks, who I’m sure are anxious to avenge the 92-90 loss from earlier in the year. Go Spurs Go!!!

  • The Beat Counselor

    Glad to see us finally beating the Twolves handily.

    Now that we’re done with these guys, I’d just like to say a few kind words about them.

    Ridnour played us tough for a few of those games and deserves a lot more respect than he recieves. Dude can ball.

    Also, I like Corey Brewer’s defense and if he could learn to hit a corner-3, he would be a nice perimeter defender/back SF in our system. The announcer said this is his contract year. Too bad something about his look/demeanor makes it hard for me to imagine him in a Spurs uniform.

    Lastly, at the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, I’m going to give David Kahn a little credit here. No Darko’s not better than TD, but Kahn did resurrect Darko’s career which is something he can hang his hat on. Also he was shrewd enough to pick up Beasley when any team could have had him. These two things may not totally redeem him for drafting 3 PGS in the same draft after acquiring Ramon Sessions, but hey, if he actually gets Rubio to come next year, he might not come off smelling so bad after all.

    Enough about the ‘wolves.

    Go Spurs Go!

  • SpurredOn

    @Andrew – I’m sure I’ve seen Manu take and make that shot a handful of times this season. It is a nice floater, and he typically does it when there is not shot blocker in the game.

    The episode of technicals certainly seemed to be an overreaction by the ref. I doubt that both players earned one plus Rambis two. Seemed a bit excessive.

    Conference road wins are always appreciated regardless of opponent. Spurs better get the turnover problem before facing the Milwaukee defense, then a distance game upcoming vs the Mavs.

  • Tim in Surrey

    @SpurredOn – Yeah, me too. I can’t remember specifics but I’ve seen that shot very occasionally going back a few years. But those shots might have been reactions to defenders rather than planned moves. Dunno. It’s a great weapon, though. I don’t want to be too much of a curmudgeon, but I think more players could stand to learn some older shots like the spin move, the teardrop, the up-and-under, and (he wrote, becoming progressively less cool with each letter he typed) the hook shot. For instance DeJuan Blair would be much more of a problem in the post if he added a hook shot and an arsenal of up-and-under moves a la Kevin McHale (or, to bring up a sore subject for us all, as Olajuwon used against Robinson). He has the size and footwork to make them devastatingly effective. But as for Manu… Is there a move he doesn’t already have in his repertoire?

  • r.l.manuel

    go spurs go

  • Sam

    @Tim In Surrey
    Hook shots are bad a$$. One of the hardest to block shots, and with Blair having such a wide body, only great leapers with good timing, or people coming from behind are going to get to a hook. And he absolutely needs an up and under move too.

    And Manu has had that little tear drop since at least ’05, I think I remember him dropping one or two on Detroit… Maybe its just imagining…. But I think with Manu he would rather draw contact for potential fouls, than just use a tear drop, so he doesn’t break it out very often.

  • doggydogworld

    RJ has to lead the league in missed dunks. Maybe the other players just don’t know how to throw a proper alley-oop. Easy to believe since they have a near-total lack of relevant experience.

  • DorieStreet

    4 games vs. same opponent in 7 weeks; I am glad the Spurs were able to sweep. Short trip should help in getting this BTB; need to come through after posting 0-2 one last week.

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  • jwalt

    One play early in the game summed up Blair for me in a nutshell. Coaches often refer to talented but mistake prone players (either physical or mental) as being both the problem and the answer.

    Anyway, Blair made a great play in out hustling 2 T-Wolve players for an offensive rebound along the baseline (very good). He turned to see if anyone was cutting to the basket (also very good).
    Manu was, and Blair, with no vision problems, proceeded to throw the ball right at Manu’s shins (very bad). The simplest part of that series, hitting your teammate in the chest, was the part Blair didn’t have the focus to accomplish.

    Manu eventually gathered the ball but then missed the shot — a clean pass and he has an easy layup.

    Blair did the hard part well, the easy part he screwed up. Just another “lack of focus” moment for him. I see his talent but he drives me nuts with his brain farts.

    Anyone else remember the play? Very early in the game.