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  1. #1
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    The San Antonio Spurs are back to their winning ways. Bouncing back from three straight home losses, the Spurs have now won two in a row at home after defeating the Memphis Grizzlies by a final score of 104-97 on Friday night.

    The Grizzlies began the game playing well but the Spurs went on a 17-4 run in the first quarter and never really looked back. Each time Memphis made a run, San Antonio responded with a run of their own.

    Despite the loss, the Grizzlies look like a solid team. Their starting lineup is impressive and there's a legit chance they make the playoffs. However, their bench is almost non-existent and any injury to their starting lineup would likely be a derailing turn of events.

    Overall, the Spurs have to be very pleased with this win. The Grizzlies were closing in on the Spurs in the Western Conference standings and this victory provides breathing room. The cherry on top is winning the game despite missing Tony Parker due to an ankle sprain.

    Tim Duncan

    33:33 minutes, 19 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 turnovers
    8-for-19 from the field, 3-for-3 at the line


    Without Tony Parker, the Spurs put their offense in Tim Duncan's hands -- and with good results. Duncan facilitated the offense well, made smart decisions and kept everyone involved. When he looked for his own shot, he was decent but he did take a lot of awkward shot attempts. In his last five games, he's shooting just 35.8% (28-for-81) from the field. Defensively, he was a step slow sometimes when it came do help defense -- though his individual post defense was very solid. All in all, Duncan played a heady game but didn't look 100% physically. Why? Not sure but hopefully it is just fatigue.

    -------------------------------

    Manu Ginobili

    28:39 minutes, 14 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 turnovers
    5-for-14 from the field, 2-for-4 on three-pointers, 2-for-2 at the line


    Manu Ginobili continues to have very similar outings. While he's struggling converting his field goal attempts, he's making fantastic passes and he's playing with a lot of energy. Another common thread is the fact that Ginobili is fading down the stretch of games. He was 0-for-3 against Memphis in the fourth quarter. On the season, Ginobili is shooting just 35.3% from the field in fourth quarters, including 23.1% from beyond the arc.

    -------------------------------

    Richard Jefferson

    35:13 minutes, 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
    4-for-9 from the field, 0-for-2 on three-pointers, 3-for-4 at the line


    Richard Jefferson is taking baby steps in the right direction. His toughness and effort on the defensive end was commendable against the Grizzlies. He had a big role in holding Rudy Gay to single digits. Offensively, I liked his aggressiveness in the first half and he worked well off of others. His offense sputtered in the second half but he kept his energy level high. That in itself is a good sign because Jefferson's energy level has been tied to his offensive production too often this season.

    -------------------------------

    George Hill

    35:01 minutes, 18 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers
    8-for-14 from the field, 2-for-4 at the line


    Starting at point guard, George Hill didn't disappoint. For most of the game, he played with an appropriate level of aggression and confidence. He attacked the rim throughout and his defense was a positive. Hill's playmaking was iffy in the first half but picked up a bit in the final two quarters. Since being inserted into the starting lineup six games ago, Hill has scored at least 15 points in five of those contests.

    -------------------------------

    Antonio McDyess

    28:12 minutes, 11 points, 8 rebounds
    5-for-7 from the field, 1-for-2 at the line


    Antonio McDyess is beginning to live up to his billing. For the second straight game, McDyess started and played very well. He's hit 13-of-16 shots since being reinserted into the starting lineup and he's finally playing with quickness and assertiveness. Hopefully McDyess keeps playing at this level because it makes the Spurs a much, much better team. The spacing improves offensively and there is much more defensive potential.

    -------------------------------

    Keith Bogans

    23:04 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
    1-for-5 from the field, 1-for-5 on three-pointers


    With Hill moving over to point guard, Keith Bogans was given the nod as the starting shooting guard. I wasn't too impressed with his play. He didn't make much of an impact on defense and he was a negative on the offensive end. I'm not sure why Bogans has regressed on defense but it has virtually eliminated his value.

    -------------------------------

    Roger Mason, Jr.

    27:49 minutes, 17 points, 3 turnovers
    6-for-8 from the field, 4-for-5 on three-pointers, 1-for-2 at the line


    Roger Mason, Jr.'s shooting is one of the main reasons why the Spurs won. In the fourth quarter, he was 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 on three-pointers. He didn't bring much else to the table but when Mason is shooting it straight, he's a valuable cog. In fact, I'm not sure why his play over the last handful of weeks hasn't resulted in a larger and more consistent role.

    -------------------------------

    DeJuan Blair

    17:56 minutes, 8 points, 10 rebounds
    4-for-8 from the field


    If you are a fan of DeJuan Blair, you were probably frightened when Blair was the second bigman off the bench behind Matt Bonner. Despite the possible demotion, the beastly rookie still played his typical number of minutes. As usual, he was dominant on the boards. Offensively, Blair missed a number of chip shots and sometimes tried to do too much. On defense, he mostly did good work.

    -------------------------------

    Matt Bonner

    10:32 minutes, 3 points, 2 turnovers
    1-for-3 from the field, 1-for-3 on three-pointers


    After missing his first ten three-pointers since his return from injury, Matt Bonner finally nailed his 11th attempt from deep. Other than that three-point make, he didn't do much else right. He went without a rebound, had a couple of ugly turnovers and generally played a rushed brand of basketball. Bonner still has a long ways to go to return to his pre-injury level of play.

    -------------------------------

    Gregg Popovich


    Pop coached a good game. With Parker out, he smartly played either Hill or both Ginobili and Mason to ensure there was always enough ballhandling ability on the court. I also like how he was able to keep the minutes in check despite being short-handed. Bogans might have played too much but that didn't end up hurting the team too much. I'm a bit worried that we may start seeing less of Blair, which I believe would be a bad move.

    -------------------------------

    Offense

    The offense revolved around Duncan more than usual and it worked out well. The Spurs shot 48.3% from the field and connected on 8-of-19 three-pointers. Although they only got to the line 18 times, the 13 offensive rebounds offset the shortage of freebies. Also, having 26 assists to 14 turnovers was a healthy ratio.

    Defense

    The victory was a good one but there wasn't too much to be proud about on the defensive end. The Grizzlies scored 97 points on 50.7% shooting from the field. They also got to the line 23 times and racked up 20 assists. Thankfully, the Spurs limited the three-point attempts (9), forced a decent number of turnovers (14) and grabbed 25 of the 30 possible defensive rebounds.

    Drive to Five

    The Spurs have one final game at home before embarking on the Rodeo Road Trip. Going up against the Denver Nuggets at noon on Sunday, let's hope the Spurs can end the six-game homestand in style.

    Believe.

  2. #2
    Veteran kace's Avatar
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    Another common thread is the fact that Ginobili is fading down the stretch of games. He was 0-for-3 against Memphis in the fourth quarter. On the season, Ginobili is shooting just 35.3% from the field in fourth quarters, including 23.1% from beyond the arc.
    well, he's shooting only 39 % overall, so it's not a big drop in the fourth. still 23 % 3pts FG is clearly down from his very good 36 % for the season.


    still, he seems very healthy, what makes me very confident he'll find a way to score efficiently. not necesseraly a lot but at a good %. otherwise, manu is doing fine.

  3. #3
    Spur Forever urunobili's Avatar
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    well, he's shooting only 39 % overall, so it's not a big drop in the fourth. still 23 % 3pts FG is clearly down from his very good 36 % for the season.


    still, he seems very healthy, what makes me very confident he'll find a way to score efficiently. not necesseraly a lot but at a good %. otherwise, manu is doing fine.
    lol kace.. we love you.. but your posts have been pretty much obsessive about Manu's play... cut the guy some slack...

    timvp.... you are the man you deserve a box of Alfajores for each game recap thanks!
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  4. #4
    99/03/05/07/14 Spurs Brazil's Avatar
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    Great to see Dice finally playing consistent. If he can keep this level it's going to be huge for us

    And I also think it's time to give Mason Jr more time. When TP is back I hope Mason get all Bogans minutes.

  5. #5
    The OL' Perfessor wildbill2u's Avatar
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    A couple of thoughts. Maybe Pop has gone back to calling the plays with Tony out and that's why our ball movement seems better with Hill. I hate to have this come as a knock on Tony, but maybe our play WITH him back might improve if Pop went back to calling plays.

    We won four championships with him coaching from the sidelines, so why did he put that burden on Tony who had never had to do that before in his entire career. He isn't Jason Kidd or Steve Nash. Let Tony be Tony.

    My second point is that I saw Mason really working on his defense, hustling to keep his man covered on pick and rolls and flying over to help in rotation. He'll never be mistaken for Bruce Bowen, but for this game at least, I think his D deserved some props.

  6. #6
    Believe. Old School 44's Avatar
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    Nice recap. Roger shot lights out. My fear, is with Tony out, that Pop thinks he can turn RMJ into a point guard again. He's improved his handle this year, but last year I thought the added responsibility affected his confidence and overall game. There was one turnover last night where he basically stumbled over his own dribble.

  7. #7
    Believe. silverblackfan's Avatar
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    I agree that Mason showed a lot of effort along with shooting well. He got a steal and I think he forced another. I am liking the constant improvement of RMJ and Blair on defense. It shows the coaching staff is getting through to them along with their effort.
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  8. #8
    The Great Unknown yavozerb's Avatar
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    Mason needs to start at the 2 while TP is out. He would play until the 6minute mark of the 1st, then get removed and then get reinserted with about 2-3 minutes left in the 1st at pg (ala Hill when tp is playing).
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  9. #9
    Old fogey Bender's Avatar
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    how much longer do we have Hill for? is this the last year of his contract?

    I'm worried he will go somewhere else, I want him to stay...

  10. #10
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 ElNono's Avatar
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    I also thought Tim was hobbled and didn't look 100% physically... I'm officially starting to get worried...
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  11. #11
    e^(i*pi) + 1 = 0 MannyIsGod's Avatar
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    Dice was good, but I've pretty much come to the conclusion he's got the worst hands of a big man on this team. He's got some serious Nazr level stone hands.
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  12. #12
    Believe.
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    Mason is not a PG. Pop needs to let the ball be handled by Hill or Manu and no one else. I actually think that Jefferson is a better ball handler than mason. Please do not reference the fact that I just said ball and handler in the same sentence as Jefferson.

  13. #13
    Believe.
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    Dice was good, but I've pretty much come to the conclusion he's got the worst hands of a big man on this team. He's got some serious Nazr level stone hands.
    He is getting better. He catches most of Manu's passes. What killed us previously was that he would give up 4-6 points a game on not being able to convert what otherwise would be easy layups for failure to catch a ball.

    One of the reasons he is putting up double digits the last few games is that he is finally catching the ball.

  14. #14
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 ElNono's Avatar
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    I'd say we would have at least 3 or 4 more wins if both Dice caught and converted every good pass he fumbled, and Blair actually converted the gimmies he missed all season...

  15. #15
    Believe.
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    I'd say we would have at least 3 or 4 more wins if both Dice caught and converted every good pass he fumbled, and Blair actually converted the gimmies he missed all season...
    Easy.

  16. #16
    Veteran kace's Avatar
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    lol kace.. we love you.. but your posts have been pretty much obsessive about Manu's play... cut the guy some slack...
    don't think so. lol.

    how much longer do we have Hill for? is this the last year of his contract?

    I'm worried he will go somewhere else, I want him to stay...
    http://hoopshype.com/salaries/san_antonio.htm

  17. #17
    No darkness Cry Havoc's Avatar
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    Spurs only won because they were playing without the worst PG in the league, as he's injured.

  18. #18
    half man half amazing
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    if boner gets moved ahead of blair in the rotation i'm going to fly down to san antonio and kick popovich's senile ass myself.
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  19. #19
    The Dude minds DPG21920's Avatar
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    I just realized that the Griz scored 25 points in the last 8 minutes of that game. Or something very close to that.

  20. #20
    Silence surpasses speech. duncan228's Avatar
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    I'm not worried about Duncan's health. Yet.

    I've found nothing about his kness being worse, but that doesn't mean much based on how close the Spurs keep things. I'm hoping it's just a slump and he snaps out of it soon.
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  21. #21
    Believe.
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    8:25Mike Conley makes layup74-83

    0:05 97-104

    yep, 23 pts in 8:25

    Grizz 23 vs. Spurs 21 over that span.

    Not much defense by either team in the last 8 minutes. Basically trading baskets at a good clip.

    27 - 27 4th qtr.

  22. #22
    @Kap10Jack Blackjack's Avatar
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    A couple of thoughts. Maybe Pop has gone back to calling the plays with Tony out and that's why our ball movement seems better with Hill. I hate to have this come as a knock on Tony, but maybe our play WITH him back might improve if Pop went back to calling plays.
    The thing with Hill is, he doesn't hold the ball or look to create what's not there at this point in his career. It's good that it promotes ball movement and can help aiding a better flow at times, but it can also become a detriment against the better defensive teams that need someone to break down a defense and make something out of nothing; Tony's ability to do the latter is often taken for granted.

    I also thought Tim was hobbled and didn't look 100% physically... I'm officially starting to get worried...
    It looks to me to be fatigue (mental and physical). He's just not as crisp in his movements offensively (he looked almost as good as ever in his fluidity and dexterity on his moves and shots earlier in the season) and the thought process and way in which he attacks the defense have just been a hair off; mental fatigue could very well be the culprit. Hopefully that's all it is: a little mental and physical fatigue.

    Dice was good, but I've pretty much come to the conclusion he's got the worst hands of a big man on this team. He's got some serious Nazr level stone hands.
    In close quarters or when receiving the ball in scoring position, at a moments notice, he's been pretty brutal. I wouldn't go Nazr on him quite yet, but it's been pretty eye-opening. He's made a couple of nice catches from Manu over the last few games, so, in that, there's progress. But the thing that really stands out to me, while we're on the subject, is Manu's willingness to keep going back; he sees and trusts the best play, in his eyes, available and he almost always give the teammate an opportunity to complete it (it's no secret why people love and thrive playing with him).


    As for the game, LJ did a nice job with the recap and I'm too lazy to add much at the moment. The rebounding was notable, though, and was nice to see: the Spurs held Randolph to 2 offensive rebounds, Gasol to 0, the Grizzlies whole team to 5, and outrebounded them 38-32 overall. I wasn't all that impressed with the team's overall defense, but the rebounding was definitely a big reason why we didn't see a repeat of what happened in Memphis.

  23. #23
    Believe.
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    if boner gets moved ahead of blair in the rotation i'm going to fly down to san antonio and kick popovich's senile ass myself.
    Dude, no one's going to believe you unless you take a picture of it AND go to jail. Then you will be soooo cool.

  24. #24
    Hedo Layup Drill ShoogarBear's Avatar
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    Memphis is a surprisingly unselfish team, considering they have a bunch of players not known for sharing the ball. In this game though it may have hurt them, because the Spurs had nobody who was even close to being able to stop OJ Mayo. The way he was stroking he could have gone for 40+ easily.
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    i swear, some of you spurs fans are the most insensitive people in the history of humankind.
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  25. #25
    Don't Try. quentin_compson's Avatar
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    Well, even if the defense against Memphis wasn't something to write home about, there were enough things to like about this performance (Dice and RJ being more active, Hill doing a nice TP impersonation at taking it to the rim).

    All in all, we now had two pretty good games in a row, against teams that are playing really well at the moment. I don't think we have looked that sharp for 48 minutes in two consecutive games before this season.

    Timmy's struggles are really troubling. Hopefully blackjack is right and it's mental fatigue more than anything.
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  26. #26
    Veteran
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    I'm not worried about Duncan's health. Yet.

    I've found nothing about his kness being worse, but that doesn't mean much based on how close the Spurs keep things. I'm hoping it's just a slump and he snaps out of it soon.
    Not only have I (also) not heard anything about his knees being worse, but he said just the opposite after last game, saying he's feeling way less pain in his knees now than at this point last season.

    I think, more than anything, it's just regression to the mean or law of averages. He's roughly a 51% shooter over the course of his 13-year career, so the likelihood of him continuing to shoot over 55% was highly unlikely. I can't imagine many players shoot a career high from the field in their 13th year in the league. He was bound to have a shooting slump.

    Like timvp said, some of it could be fatigue also. This is why the Spurs need a guy like Camby to make them a legit threat to win the championship. Not only could he pair with Duncan for stretches and give this team a clear cut 3-man big rotation in the playoffs (along with McDyess), but he could allow the Spurs to keep Duncan's minutes down and sit him the odd game down the stretch while still having a lengthy rim protector to man the paint, so that their record wouldn't suffer in the process.

  27. #27
    Scarlett our Goddess4ever
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    Despite Hill's good results from this game, I don't see it an indicator that he's already capable enough to take over the starting job from TL. Hill does legit works on both ends with good potential to grow better, but currently there still exist too many concerns to promote him so hastily, like vulnerability for turn overs. Honestly it would be a liability on lineup if Pop played Hill in the 1st unit despite his defections, which were covered up and overlooked in the Grizzlies game because of the far naiver opposing guards.

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