Posted by sasilverandblack on November 11th, 2010
In a game that was much closer than what the final score indicates, the Spurs beat the Clippers 107-95. L.A. was without three of their starters in Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, and Eric Gordon, who are all nursing injuries. They still put up a good fight, shrinking the Spurs lead to three in the final minutes of the game that forced Gregg Popovich to re-enter Tim Duncan into the game to close it out.
Duncan’s performance was slow and underwhelming, playing 22 minutes and finishing with six points and six rebounds and three blocks. Duncan skipped shootaround on Wednesday morning due to experiencing flu-like symptoms. Watching the game, you could tell he was definitely not himself out there. Not to worry though. The others picked up the slack and closed the game, albeit the wheels were a bit wobbly towards the finish line.
Some observations from the game last night:
Richard Jefferson continues to impress me so far this year. He poured in 22 points, making 4 of his 7 three pointers. He is averaging 18.6 points thus far. His aggressive play provokes memories of his days in New Jersey. It truly is satisfying to see him playing like the guy the Spurs thought they had last year. Add his new attacking mindset (or old, depending on the way you look at it) to spell the big three, and the Spurs are most definitely within shouting distance of the Lakers.
Tony Parker had a nice game as he showcased his trademark slashing ability. He contributed 21 points and 9 assists. I imagine if Baron Davis actually played last night Parker would have had a lot more points. His assist numbers are up so far this year at 8.4, which is always a positive. Parker thrives on driving and kicking it out. He was at the top of his game last night, and rightfully so playing against the rookie Eric Bledsoe.
Manu Ginobili was his usual self, getting to the basket on several occasions using his herky jerky body gyrations and fancy footwork. He put in 22 points as well, hitting 3-of-5 three pointers.
Tiago Splitter turned in a solid game in 16 minutes, scoring 7 points and getting to the line five times. His defensive impact was just as important, as he blocked three shots.
Antonio McDyess continues to be insanely efficient rebounding the ball. He had nine last night in 26 minutes, putting him at a notch under 8 rebounds a game on the year in 25 minutes. Not too shabby.
Gary Neal barely saw a minute of playing time, which was surprising. He hit five three pointers en route to 15 points against the Bobcats in their last game and has been huge off the bench. Was Popovich saving him for locally televised games? I get a feeling, since it was on ESPN, he didn’t want to show him off to the whole country. I don’t know how else to characterize it. Add this to the mysterious coaching stylings of the man they call Gregg Popovich.
A win’s a win, and the Spurs earned it, but I just can’t help but feel a little uneasy about the way they got it. I can’t wait until they start playing the big boys of the league. That starts on Sunday when they face the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Up next is a matchup with the two-win 76ers, which should be another fairly easy W.