Spurs traveling to America’s Hat tonight. Matt Bonner and Cory Joseph returning home (did you know Matt loves Canada so much he applied for Canadian citizenship and wants to play for the Canadian national team despite being born in New Hampshire?) Anyhow I was a little peeved because I felt the Spurs had chances to really put this away and simply didn’t. But a win’s a win and the Spurs as a team played well. They only missed two FT (23 for 25, with Tony hitting all 12 of his) and shot 42% from downtown. Here’s my take.
The Good: Tony Parker. Jeez. I’ve started to take him for granted lately but he’s one hell of a point guard. There was a time where I honestly didn’t see his jersey in the rafters next to Tim’s but now there’s no question. When Manu went out Tony must have felt the weight of a city on his shoulders because he stepped up almost immediately and has exploded since. He’s scoring, passing, and controlling the tempo like never before. Also, I’ve gotta mention Tiago again. He’s the man on pick-and-rolls, getting high percentage shots because he knows where to be. Simply put, he’s doing his job and proving his worth. Plus the more minutes he sees, the less Timmy sees. I was also happy to see Manu being Manu. He is playing without fear. Going for steals (I was very scared during one particular instance late in the third where he shot his hand straight into Vince Carter), taking charges and driving like we’ve grown so accustomed to. I’m happy to see him on the court again.
The Bad: I hate to be picky but we got killed by the Raptor guards. Calderon scored easily at times much like Stuckey did last night. And DeRozan also had a good night. He almost singlehandedly brought the team back from the deep scoring 29 all night. Then there was the third quarter. Flashbacks of Detroit to start. Raptors were hitting everything, playing defense, and hustling while the Spurs looked a little worn. Lots of turnovers and lots of Raptor points off those turnovers (see below).
The Ugly: Turnovers. The Spurs had a problem hanging on to the ball. I can’t help but worry about when we play stronger, faster teams who will make us pay plus interest off turnovers. Come playoff time I hope we’ve got this situation under control or teams like OKC and LAC will kill us.
Hey, Jose Calderon, bless you. You deserve a night off. After chasing (and getting overshadowed by) J.Lin last night and then handling Tony tonight sleep well, my friend, even if that sleep contains thoughts of teardrops and last second threes. Sigh. Spurs 113, Raptors 106. That’s a wrap, goodnight, Canada.