Apr 6, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Stephen Jackson (center) argues a call with referee Dick Bavetta during the first half against the Atlanta Hawks at the AT
Coming off a tough loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Spurs were looking to get back on the winning track against the surprising Atlanta Hawks. After an off-season of turmoil trading Joe Johnson, it was thought the Hawks would be lottery bound, but thats not the case. The Hawks have had a very solid season behind stars Al Horford and Josh Smith. The Hawks came to town and well, it was hard to tell. The Hawks did not dress, now get ready this is a long list. Al Horford, Josh Smith, Kyle Korver and Devin Harris, due to it being the second night of a back to back.
The Hawks weren’t alone in being short handed as the Spurs were without the injured star duo of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The game truthfully was a tough one to watch. Now granted, in the middle of July when were all on game 95 of baseball and in sports fan no man’s land, we would kill for a game like this. That said, it was a poorly played game by both teams that saw the Spurs leading all of the game, but not by much. The Spurs lead was as much as 13 but you never got the feeling it was comfortable. Then at the end when I along with others got up to leave, Tiago Splitter lost the ball to Dahntay Jones who was then fouled by Corey Joseph on a 3 point attempt. Jones made the first two but of course missed the third on purpose. Kawhi Leonard grabbed the rebound and the game was mercifully over.
It was another bad performance in what has become a seemingly long string of bad ones pointing back to Parker’s first ankle injury vs the Pistons on March the 3rd. The Spurs won’t have it easy as their next game is in Denver where they’ve only lost 3 home games all season.
Whos Hot: Tim Duncan. Tim Duncan was a joy to watch, as he patrolled the lane, tossed in jumpers and pretty much continued a season in which he is proving father time has no control. 31 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks. Just unreal.
Whos not : Corey Joseph. Pretty much because I couldn’t just say, “Everyone outside of Duncan and Leonard”. Joseph was given heavy minutes with no Parker and well, he didn’t do much to grab attention as he went 4-12 in 31 mins 0-3 from the three point line. Joseph wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t great either. His horrible foul near the end of the game sealed his fate as, “not”
Turning Point: The 2nd quarter the Spurs took a 1 point lead out to an 11 point lead at the half and were looking pretty good. The second half would be a different story, but the difference in the game was the second quarter.
Up Next: A dozy for the Spurs as they travel to Denver to play one of the best home teams in the NBA in the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have lost their star forward Danilo Gallinari for the season due to a torn ACL, but their band of misfits stretch far beyond from Andre Miller all the way to the bizarre Javale McGhee. It will DEFINITELY be a tough test for the Spurs and one if they can pull it off, may get them into a proper mindset heading into the postseason.
Nando De Colo 6 points 2 of 8 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers
A nondescript night for the Frenchman who had the starting duties because of Parker’s many injuries. His defense was OK, his offense was not good.
It was just a so so night and not one to write home about, but not the worst of games. His rebounding prowess for his height continues to impress, but then his turnovers continue to boggle the mind.
Danny Green 4 points 1 of 4 shooting 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Green didn’t play many minutes, and it was for good reason. Icy Hot’s night was of the icy variety as he missed open shots, and his defensive assignment blew by him many times. It wasn’t a game Green can be proud of, and one that he should try to forget quickly.
Kawhi Leonard 23 Points 7 of 10 shooting, 6 rebounds 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks,
Ho hum another 20 point outing from the small forward from San Diego State. While these games are coming more and more often, they don’t get anymore less exciting. Leonard’s offensive repertoire was on display with pull 15 footers. Curl 20 footers, 1 Bruce Bowen sideline 3 special, and cuts and drives to the basket. His defense? uhm, yeah, wasn’t all that good as he was caught reaching, out of position and just plain not that good on that end. Hopefully he’s not concentrating too much on his offensive game taking away from the defensive side, where the Spurs will need him the most come playoff time.
Tim Duncan 31 points 12 of 21 shooting 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks,
Another unbelievable performance from the man defying father time. His full offensive arsenal was display, and on the defensive side he shut down the Hawk’s drives to the basket and interior shots. Especially on one particular play showing zero signs of aging, coming from side of the lane to the other blocking a shot, vintage MVP Duncan style. Duncan was fantastic in this game, and hopefully his tank is on at least half full so we can keep seeing more and more of these as the season ends and playoffs begin.
Tiago Splitter 5 points 2 of 5 shooting 5 rebounds 1 assist, 1 steal 2 turnovers
Oy. After the debacle of the Oklahoma City game, we were hoping Tiago would put that one behind and come back out and show he was OK. Well, uh, yeah, no. Tiago turned in a terrible game where he pretty much was pushed around underneath and gave little resistance on the defensive end. Hopefully Tiago is just tired due to being the only player to play in every single game so far this season and a career high in minutes played If the Spurs are to do anything of note in the playoffs and have a chance at hoisting number 5, Tiago Splittler has GOT to play better. Its just that simple, and efforts like these are unacceptable, especially from someone looking to cash in big time this summer.
Bench 30 points 12 of 32 16 rebounds, 12 assists, 6 blocked shots, 4 turnovers.
With two of the big three sidelined it was once again time for the bench to step up, and again, they didn’t. Neal with a horrendous game which ended with fouling a man after making a three pointer. Corey Joseph struggled with his shot and running the offense. Matt Bonner not shockingly bricked his 3s but however had 4 blocked shots and had the line of the night, “Just another night in the life of the Red Mamba”Dejuan Blair provided some offensive punch with 11 points and 7 rebounds after an instagram hissy fit. Stephen Jackson played a very solid all around game with 9 points in 18 minutes, and showing some solid defense.