Season 51, Game 11
San Antonio 120, Los Angeles Clippers 107
7-4, 4th in the West
I definitely hate the Clippers less this year than years past, so it’s definitely Chris Paul.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still no fan of the Clippers. But they seem just a little less “dickish” this year. And a little less scary.
Griffin is having a wonderful year, but the Spurs did a fantastic job of slowing him down. For a while it looked like Austin Rivers and Lou Williams might shoot the Clippers to a win. But if Rivers is shooting–taking the ball out of Blake’s hands–that’s a win. Even if he didn’t miss for three quarters. (Because he finally did miss in the 4th, and Blake never found his rhythm in this one.)
The real story of the game, though, was the Spurs sizzling offense. With a 6-minute exception to end the first half, the Spurs just dominated on offense in all facets. They were bombing from 3 (15 makes on over 53% shooting); they were attacking the rim; they were moving the ball (33 total assists on 45 made baskets); they were getting offensive rebounds (11 for the game); and when all else failed, their isolation scorers went to work.
I can’t stress how surprised I’ve been at the play of Rudy Gay. I always thought he was a “good stats, bad team” type of player. Turns out, he just needed the chance to actually play the right role on a good team. As a starter, he might command too much usage and be a bit too selfish. But on the second unit, he is a perfect fit to keep the offense trucking along with the starters sitting. He is long and strong, and can often dominate any of his match-ups one-on-one. And he likes to attack, rather than settle for jumpers. Tonight he showed off his long ball, which was the only thing I hadn’t fully seen yet. Welcome to the 6th Man of the Year race, Mr. Gay.
I also can’t stress enough how good Danny Green has been this season. LaMarcus has been our best player, but Danny has been right behind him, and closer than you might think. Spurs fans no longer watch from their fingers when Danny dribbles. Not only can he dribble now, but he can finish, too. And he shoots again. I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s worth repeating: this is the best season of Green’s career so far, and he’ll be a huge weapon once Kawhi comes back.
This was the game I was most interested in this home stand, and the Spurs showed up in a big way. Let’s continue the good vibes Friday at home against the Bucks.
Go Spurs Go.