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Throw Out the Analysis

By Jeff Koch on December 10, 2012.

Sometimes you just get these random games on these random nights when not much makes sense and the game is just fun as hell to watch, and nothing would really shock you.

Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Tony Parker recording his first triple double? Sure, why not. Asik and Lin having career nights? OK. Duncan getting into early foul trouble, barely playing the 3rd quarter, and the Spurs surging without him? That sounds about right. Gary Neal with 29 points, 0 rebounds and 0 assists? Duh. Both teams combining to shoot 50% from 3-point land with 30 total made 3s. Sounds fun.

James Harden sat out the game with an injured ankle, which immediately gave the Spurs an edge… which of course meant the game was going to be close. The Spurs started the game like they had better things to do, being careless with the ball, not executing the offense, and playing with the intensity of a team that expects to win because the other team’s best player was not playing. The game was boring and a bit sluggish.

At some point in the 2nd quarter, though, things were suddenly interesting. With both teams scoring over 60 points in the first half and trading offensive plays like boxers trading punches, the game was off and running and wouldn’t look back until 5 minutes after the initial buzzer sounded.

The game was exciting throughout, filled with wonderful offensive plays. And yet the plays of the game both belonged to Danny Green, and were both defensive in nature. On Houston’s last possession in regulation, with the game tied, Lin had Green isolated high above the arc. Green totally locked him out, denying him and the Rockets any chance to get into an offensive set. He poked the ball away, dove to the floor, and recovered it, just as the shot clock went off. Pretty basketball.

In OT, as the Spurs were starting to pull away, he disrupted Calderon as he was dribbling up court, and the ball bounced off a Houston player’s foot, out of bounds to the Spurs. Any chance of getting back into the game seemed lost at that point.

Throw in his smart offense and movement off the ball in the 4th quarter, and he came up huge in the tiny ways he always seems to.

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