At Least Their New Uniforms Are Really Cool
Golden State 94, San Antonio 111 // 18-3 // 1st in the West
A few quick thoughts from last night’s win over the Warriors:
Don’t look now, but George Hill is back. He has quietly put together a really nice stretch of games, pushing his scoring average up to near 12 ppg. More importantly, he seems to have rediscovered his stroke (especially from deep), his confidence, and his defensive prowess. He never gets mentioned as an elite defender in the national press, but show me 3 players that play better perimeter defense in this league. That’s right; you can’t. Not to mention that he can also defend 3s and smaller 4s with his freakish wing span.
DeJuan Blair probably wishes he could play the Warriors every game. Against smaller front lines we get to see the Blair from last year, all hustle and activity and ‘I-don’t-know-how-he-does-it-but-I-ain’t-complaining’ numbers and efficiency. Like Hill, he seems to be showing flashes of coming around. More importantly, now that he is a known quantity in the league, he just needs to figure out what adjustments he needs to make to still be effective without losing that energy that is so vital to our team. He’s a smart player and a hard worker; he’ll figure it out.
It was nice to see Tiago get some playing time last night. He gets compared to Oberto a lot, and the comparisons are apt: he’s like Oberto with some athleticism and more talent. He has that innate sense of where to be on the floor both offensively and defensively, which allows him to grab important rebounds, draw charges, and get sneaky lay-ups and put backs. His lack of playing time isn’t a function of his abilities; it’s a function of the Spurs having their deepest front court perhaps ever. Duncan, Blair, Bonner, and McDyess all deserve playing time as well. Splitter’s chances will come, and he’ll keep capitalizing on them.
The Hawks come to town Friday night missing Joe Johnson. Beware a team missing their star player; that’s a recipe for a loss. But maybe not for these Spurs, who just keep rolling along.
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