The San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night looked to have their hands full against the Chicago Bulls. Turnovers were the talk of the game as San Antonio did do a lot of that in the first two quarters. Chicago made San Antonio pay going on runs of 15-0 and 15-2. From that point, many thought they came in and was doing what not many have done all year long, beat them at home. Nate Robinson seemed to think the game was over in the first quarter as he did his imitation of Karl Malone (hand on the back of his head) when he soared in for a layup.
They (Bulls) seemed to have it going their way but it was a little to early for them to be celebrating. First half they looked like a team that could beat the Spurs, second half…….another story.
San Antonio stepped up their defense and Manu Ginobili happened. Ginobili scored 18 points and had 9 assists as he was making life hard for the Chicago Bulls. Chicago could not capitalize on their offensive game they had in the first half as they cooled down, scoring just 31 in the second half combined.
Fourth quarter came and many thought it was going to come down to the wire but San Antonio, the team that they are letting you feel you are in the game, completely took over.
With that being said, lets take a look at how each Spurs player graded out in the victory. We will take a look at the starters first then break down the bench.
PG Corey Joseph | 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 turnovers
Joseph played over 24 minutes as he started for the injured Tony Parker. He scored 4 points in the game while grabbing 5 rebounds. I felt that he did a good job during his time on the floor. He did a good job defending Robinson keeping him to the outside and making him hit jumpers. I thought Robinson would take advantage with his quickness and aggression on offense. Joseph did well. He made himself become involved in the game as he grabbed 5 rebounds, one came on the offensive side of the ball as he snuck behind Noah. Grade: B +14 when on floor
SF Danny Green | 7 points, 3-of-5 shooting, 2 assists, 1 rebound
Not sure what was going on with him last night but he only took five shots in the game. He didn’t seem to be aggressive as he has been through this season. Though he scored just 7 points, he still did a good job on the defensive end and getting his hands on the ball. His on ball pressure and length is remarkable. Grade: B +14 when on floor
SF Kawai Leonard | 14 points, 6-of-11 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
What can I say about Leonard. I love his game. The kid did a great job on Luol Deng. Even though Deng scored 19,
most of his points were on the break and off Spurs turnovers, on the ball he did force Deng to take some contested shots. On the offensive end Leonard hit 6-of-11 from the floor with 14 points. He wowed the crowd with some slams down the lane. Leonard is going to be a star, he has shown it and has been the talk around the league. He has a great upside and is a hard worker. What I like most about him is he plays the game, no crying, just plays. Grade: A- +9 when on floor
PF Tim Duncan | 18 points, 7-of-13 shooting, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks
Well he sure did make his presence felt on the defensive end and surely Joakim Noah was having nightmares in his sleep last night as Duncan had five blocks on the night, I believe three of which came from denying Noah at the rim. What can’t you say about Duncan. He is the leader of this team, even though the torch has been passed to Tony. He looked and seemed energized last night. On top of his 5 blocks, he did score 18 points. The talk though is him ‘meeting with the people’. On a fast break, Duncan was pushed by Boozer and he could not stop so he took it into the crowd running up into the stands. He later smiled it off. His play makes everyone around him better. His jump shot seemed a little flat but he did get some to fall. Grade: A+ +18 when on floor
C Tiago Splitter | 13 points, 5-of-8 shooting, 10 rebounds, 2 assists
Splitter made numerous amounts of reverse layups, when doesn’t he right? Still, he played well on Noah. Really with Noah you just let him shoot outside and you are good, if he hits it from there, you can live with it. I like Splitters’ game. I just wish he would slam the ball home at times. We know he can make layups, the guy is almost seven foot tall, bring some intensity, slam it home! He did have a double-double in 32 minutes of play. Grade: B- +13 when on floor
Manu Ginobili | 18 points, 7-of-14 shooting, 9 assists, 3 rebounds, 4 turnovers
When Tony went down, he picked up and stepped in as the facilitator of the team. He played 26 minutes and was flirting with a double-double as he missed it by one assist. Manu was being Manu. He was slice his way into the lane and finish making it look easy. He connected with Splitter on a few nice passes in the lane as well as setting up some teammates for shots from behind the arc. When he is on the floor, he takes point, though he had four turnovers in the game, he still did a great job and led San Antonio to a victory. Grade: A+ +11 when on floor
Patty Mills | 13 points, 5-of-6 shooting, 3-of-3 three point, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
It was a trending topic on twitter, #pattythrills, did a wonderful job coming off of the bench providing some quality minutes. He was in the game in the final minutes and he made that decision by Coach Pop a good one. He nailed three of three from downtown. Though he did not have any assists, he still did look for his teammates and did a great job with that. Joseph did really good and I don’t want to take anything from what he did, but I look for Patty Mills to be in the starting spot come their next game. Grade: B+
Stephen Jackson | 7 points, 2-of-5 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers
Defense, defense, and more defense coming from Jax. I liked the intensity that he showed against Chicago. He nailed some big shots for San Antonio down the stretch. He played 16 minutes and made every bit of it count. Grade: B-
Boris Diaw | 5 points, 2-of-3 shooting, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal
He played a little over 12 minutes and while he was in the game he did a good job. What I saw from Diaw on the offensive end was that he was taking it to the whole when he got the ball. He usually looks to pass, and we all know he is a great passer. I did like the his plan on offense and feel that he should do that more. He played really good defense in the game as well. Grade: B +20 when on floor
DeJuan Blair | 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
He played just seven minutes. I am not going to take away from his energy that he plays with when he is on the floor. He has had a rough season with his name being brought up in trade talks and then deadline comes and goes and nothing happens. He remains a big part of the team and still gives his all when he is in the game. Blair was all over the place against Chicago as he had two steals and 2 rebounds. Grade: C+
Matt Bonner | 1 rebound, 1 assist
The Red Rocket was scoreless and did not attempt a three pointer…..wait! What!? Chicago did a good job contesting his shot when he did receive it out on the arc. This caused Bonner to pump fake and take it in, and we know what happened from there. Bonner is not deadly from inside of the arc, which is why we love him on the outside. He does make me scratch my head at times but I can live with it. Beside he only played 8 minutes, what more do you want from him in that short amount of time. Grade: C-
Nando De Colo | 2 points, 1-of-1 shooting
He racked up……….one minute and scored. Grade: B