Australian For “Not Quite Enough”
The vagaries of an NBA game are so interesting. In the 2nd and 3rd quarter of tonight’s game, Denver just completely overwhelmed the Spurs with quickness. The road-weary Spurs were fighting fatigue with every screen, every short shot. Missed shots–to say nothing of bad turnovers–were all being converted into fast break points, as San Antonio failed to get back for transition defense. Rather than work for great shots, the team was too often settling for 3-pointers. Sure, we made a bunch of them, and it pretty much kept us in the game; but too many critical possessions ended with missed 3-pointers, and by extension, missed opportunities.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Spurs started intentionally fouling JaVale McGee, probably as much to slow them down as to try to steal possessions and close the gap. Sending them to the line was the only defense we had. And while it worked in one regard, the team was too gassed on offense to actually create any positive possessions. The game seemed out of hand.
Then, in the 4th quarter, the energy completely shifted, and suddenly the Spurs were swarming, the Nuggets were playing to run out the clock and not lose, and it was a game again. Behind Duncan’s phenomenal night (31 pts, 18 rebs, 6 asts, 5 blks, 2 stls, are you kidding me?) and Patty Mills spark off the bench, the team clawed their way back into it. Suddenly it was a two possession game. And the team kept missing shots that might get them over the hump…and the Nuggets kept making shots that sustained said hump.
It was a tough loss in a tough building, born from a tough schedule. There’s no solace in a loss. But the team’s effort in the closing quarter is something to be proud of. On a night when Parker was missing easy lay-ups, Neal and Green were essentially no shows, Ginobili struggled, and Duncan was our only consistent positive, the team still almost found a way to win.
And now the team heads home for some much needed rest, a few days off, and a nice string of home games. Remember those?
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