Back To Work
Like most players in tonight’s game, I haven’t really participated in any meaningful NBA action in almost a week, so let’s ease our way back into the first post-vacation game with a simple “bullet points” recap:
–After a week off, tonight’s game looked it. Lots of energy, lots of rust. The Spurs played well, and are just a much better team than the Kings. At any given point, they could push the lead to 10. But every time, the Kings would push back, keeping the game close. Yet it never really felt like they were threatening. Just an odd rhythm to the whole game.
–The biggest factor keeping the Kings in the game was slop. 17 TOs for the Spurs, and an uncharacteristic amount of fouls and FTAs. All in all, the Kings put up 90 shots, 15 more than the Spurs. But as the talent disparity might suggest, the Spurs made 35 shots, and the Kings only made 34.
–Duncan looks really out of sync on offense, but looked great on defense. He was a rebounding machine, and had some nice blocks and deflections.
–Parker is still the man. That is all.
–Ginobili is not. This just might be who he is now. A smart player, good for 15-20 strong minutes off the bench, streaky, turnover prone, with bouts of absolute brilliance. This might sound odd to say, but the success of the team in the playoffs may hinge on the subtle shift of Kawhi becoming the true third option on offense, and Manu accepting this.
–Speaking of Kawhi, I love his game. Here’s a fun thing to do during one of these slog games on the road against a bad team: stop watching the ball, and just key in on one non-Big 3 player for long stretches of the game. I’d suggest Leonard first and foremost, particularly on defense. Splitter is great to watch on O, and Green is fun on both sides of the ball. You really get an appreciation for how important movement and intelligence is, and the understanding of the phrase “do your work early.”
–Parker played a great game, but I thought Jimmer Fredette’s defense wasn’t half bad. I’ll chalk it up to the Matt Bonner principle: you assume somebody is so horrible at defense that you key your entire offense around beating him, killing the flow, and essentially helping the defense.
–The game seemed to be won as we went up 11 with about 2 minutes to go… and then promptly gave up an 8-0 run. And then we kept missing easy baskets and getting wild offensive rebounds. Wouldn’t you know, it finally took a TP drive to seal the game.
Up next is the game I’ve been waiting for for a while: The Clippers. They’ve beaten us twice, but it’s been a long time since we’ve played them. They clearly get up to play the Spurs, and probably use us as a barometer. The way they play, we should do the same.
I want this win bad.
There are no trackbacks on this entry.