Report card: Spurs 84, Clippers 106
A: DeAndre Jordan.Though the 24-year-old Jordan is overpaid, earning $10.8 million per year over the length of his four-year contract, he did exhibit the ethereal athleticism that makes him a potentially valuable asset. Jordan recorded his first double-double of the season (20 points and 11 rebounds) in addition to four blocks and two steals. The seven-footer was active in the passing lanes, remarkable for someone of his stature, and, perhaps most importantly, only committed one foul in 27 minutes. He entered tonight’s game averaging a career-high 5.5 personal fouls per 36 minutes.
B: Eric Bledsoe.The Clippers had plenty of players that deserved at least a B tonight. Chris Paul (10 points and 12 assists) and Blake Griffin (a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds) are certainly worthy. But, instead, I’m going with Bledsoe solely because his efficiency in the limited minutes he received (15 points on 7-of-14 shooting in 22 minutes) was difficult to replicate. He, like Jordan, was a force in the passing lanes, in transition and he also got past the first line of defense rather easily in the pick-and-roll. Though his plus/minus was negative (-1), the majority of his time was spent with Ryan Hollins and Lamar Odom on the floor.
C: Danny Green.Not many Spurs played well tonight. Green was the team’s leading scorer and the only other player besides Tim Duncan that finished in double-figures. He only scored three points in the second half, somewhat mitigating an impressive first half in which he scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting.
D: Caron Butler.The Clippers outscored San Antonio by eight points in his 21 minutes of action but Butler was notably absent from the scoring ledger with four points.
F: Lamar Odom.Remember when he was any good?
Excused absence: Manu Ginobili.Ginobili missed six of eight attempts but he did make a couple of 3-pointers in 19 minutes off the bench. Through three regular season games, Ginobili is averaging 6.7 points, 3.7 assists and 36.8 percent shooting. How much of his struggles can be attributed to rust or, perhaps, nagging back spasms?