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Home Is Where the Legs Are

By Jeff Koch on January 9, 2014.

Dallas 90, San Antonio 112

In the battle of two teams with an early tip coming off of a back-to-back, the home team has a decided advantage. This is the time the energy of a home crowd and the comforts of a home gym can really pay dividends. Sure, it’s great in critical playoff moments to be at home. But you win that right on these types of nights in January: two tired teams playing in a back to back. At the end of the season, this game will mean nothing; but one extra win could mean a world of difference.

As for the game itself, it started much like the previous night’s game: the Spurs jumped out early, building a quick 10-point lead. Then, for a long time, the lead fluctuated between 5 and 15 points, with the opposing team never fully able to get all the way back, but the Spurs never fully able to put it away. Despite the Mavs always pushing back, the Spurs appeared to be in complete control of this game. The defense was locked in, and Dallas was primarily scoring off of the good shooting of key players, not any sort of offensive flow or system. And the Spurs were just completely owning the paint and the rim on both ends of the floor.

The floodgates finally opened late in the third. In about 3 minutes, the Spurs seized control of the game, and the rout was on.

Thankfully, the sins of the night before did not come back to haunt the team.

A few more thoughts from the game:

–Boris Diaw continues to impress with his defense. He played Dirk as well as any human can possibly defend him. Dirk’s shot is the closest thing we have in today’s NBA to ‘unguardable’, so there are just a  few things a player can do in defense, and Diaw did them all. Without fouling.

–Parker looked a lot zippier and played a great game. Then, in the 3rd quarter he quietly went supernova, scoring 14 points and hitting every shot he took. Literally. I think he hit every jump shot in the quarter.

–Duncan is still very good at professional basketball.

–Because of Dallas’ unique line-ups, Cory Joseph got some playing time late in the 3rd with Parker still on the floor. His presence on defense was particularly strong, and was a reason why the game turned during that time. It’s a luxury to have two really good back-up PGs with pretty dissimilar skill sets, allowing Pop to go with whichever player gives him what he needs in that game, or even that moment.

–I should also mention Diaw was quite good on offense, too. He and Marco picked up the “Manu creativity” slack nicely.

–I really enjoy Jeff Van Gundy as a broadcaster. He is smart, funny, and a bit irreverent (in good ways). He also has an authentic appreciation and admiration for the Spurs and what they’ve built. His “interview” with Pop was the best.

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