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Spurs Remain Unbeaten Against ‘M’ Teams

By Jeff Koch on January 12, 2011.

San Antonio 91, Milwaukee 84  //  33-6  //  1st in the West

The really unique thing about the Spurs playing great defense is that you barely notice when it happens. It rarely comes with a flurry of steals or blocked shots or supreme one-on-one defense; rather, it’s a slow tightening of a vice on the other team’s offense, leading to long jump shots, minimal ball movement, shot clock violations, and a complete devolution of any offensive rhythm or strategy. It took me about 10 minutes to realize that the Spurs defense had awoken in the second half against the Milwaukee Bucks, setting the table for the Spurs win. I was watching yet another stalled possession by the Bucks when it dawned on me that they had only scored about 10 points in as many minutes in the quarter (mostly due to free throw shooting), and that, though the score didn’t reflect it yet, the Spurs had seized control of the game as only few teams can: with lock down defense.

AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps

Once that defense sets in, it doesn’t take much offensively to win the game. Matt Bonner and Manu Ginobili were really all we needed in the second half. Bonner was especially on fire tonight, scoring all of his 17 points in the second half, on a mixture of spot-up 3s (how many teams are going to leave him that wide open out there?), drives to the rim, one dribble step into jump shots, and even some post moves.

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

It’s evident that like many other players on this team, Bonner is not content being a one-dimensional player, and has worked tirelessly on his game to have a reliable counter-attack once other teams shut down his big weapon.

All in all, a satisfying win on the second night of a back-to-back in what could have easily been a game we let slip away.

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