Jimmy Cliff put out the album ‘Struggling Man’ in June of 1974. It’s full of amazing songs. I believe it is classified as reggae, but it doesn’t give me a Marley reggae vibe at all (not that there is anything wrong that). It’s just different. It’s got some reggae beats and some ska beats and it’s beautiful. Jimmy has an amazing voice. This album pretty much summed up the Spurs 110-99 win over the Bucks.
Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis. Monta Ellis or Brandon Jennings. I could give it to either, but I’m going with Brandon Jennings. Whatever the Spurs do to defend him seems to always work. I always expect to look at Jennings line and see a 4-13. This game was no different. He was 5-15 with only 4 assists in 39 minutes.
Monta, on the other hand, does seem to have good games against us on occasions. This was not one of those occasions. He ended 5-19. At the two stars together and they were 10-34. But, that doesn’t really capture how badly they struggled. Once the game got out of hand, and the Spurs were up 17, is when these guys got hot. They went 6-13 in the fourth quarter, but 4-6 after they were down 17. So, in the parts of the game where it was still a game, they shot a stunningly inept 6-28. I’m not math wizard, but I do have a calculator. That’s 21%.
Cory Jospeh has improved by leaps and bounds from last year. He really played a tenacious stretch in the first half. He ended with zero points, but he did grab a 2 rebounds, an assist, and 2 steals in the stretch. He forced Brandon Jennings into a 6′ runner that went over the back board — it didn’t hit the rim, it just went over the back board — and really showed some court awareness that was missing last year.
Tiago is starting to assert himself in the Spurs line up. During the Spurs big run in the fourth quarter, he attacked the rim aggressively. You know, in that way that Tiago attacks aggressively. With an unbelievable array of reverse and off hand layups. Go look at Tiago’s game log and you can see that he’s just getting better and better. Pop is starting to match him up with Tim more, Tiago is rebounding, and he is getting lots and lots of good looks rolling to the basket of the pick. Playing with Nando and Manu will do that for you.
We are beyond #FreeTiago and getting into #MoreTiagoPlease territory.
The Spurs did things right in this game for the whole game. What they didn’t do is make shots the whole game. While the lead story of the game, and rightfully so, is the great run by the bench to start the fourth quarter; the underlying story is that if you do the things you are supposed to do, you will win games. Run your offense. Execute your defensive strategy. Attack the rim. Move the ball. Take good shots. Rebound. Take care of turnovers. Make free throws. If you do those things, things will eventually break you way. In other words, Sooner or Later, your work pays off.
Those good good old days that used to be. I believe this was the first game this year where the game was tight going into the fourth and the bench played so well that Tim never had to re-enter the game. This happened a lot last year. We’d be up a few points late in the third when Tim went to the bench when Manu and his gang of 3-pt shooters would blow a team out. The downside of the injuries is that we are getting some ugly line ups and player rotations — like Boris starting at the small forward — but the upside is that the bench guys are getting plenty of time to get their game legs under them. Plus, our bench is always better than theirs. So when our bench starts hitting we start blowing the other team out.
We have a brutal stretch of schedule coming up and we’ll need more of this. We proved last year during the condensed schedule that we can handle it. Let’s see if we can do it again.
This is my favorite song on the album. Beautiful love song that really tugs at you.
This ones for Pop and I only put it in this game because of Stern’s wuss way of showing up in New Orleans to comment publicly on the Spurs’ fine. I’d like to say to Pop, from all of us Spurs’ fans, we’ve got your back on this one. You keep doing what you need to do for us to win. We don’t give one shit what Stern thinks because he’s never given a shit about us in the first place.
James Anderson had a game high +21 and did not score. He had 1 rebound and was third on the team with 3 assists. While hasn’t really filled the box score in any of his games since being brought back, I really like the way he’s been playing. He’s been making better decisions with the ball, he’s been playing good defense, and he’s occasionally grabbing some rebounds. Against the Bucks, he did a fairly respectable job defending Mbah a Moute in the post (which, oddly, was the Bucks preferred offensive set early in the fourth quarter).
He had two great finds for assists while attacking the rim that I don’t think he would have previously found. One was a great dump off to Tim. The other was a kick out to Bonner on the play that got replayed about a billion times. In previous years, he would have tried to dunk them.
I hope James continues to improve.
Come on, how did Nando De Colo have such an unimpressive stat line. He dominated long stretches of this game. His playmaking attacking the lane off the pick and roll is magnificent. With the Spurs motion and passing offense, Nando is like having an unselfish Manu out there. Not that Manu is selfish, but Nando brings Boris’ mentality to Manu’s vision. I’m not sure there is more beautiful basketball played anywhere in the world than when Nando and Tiago are executing a pick and roll. More of this please.
Side note: I think Nando’s defense is underrated. He doesn’t have great foot speed, but he knows where to be and what to do. It allows him to get by and not be a liability. Keep an eye on this. Also keep an eye on his shot. If he starts draining outside shots, especially 3s, at a pretty good clip then his playing time will go up and up. Expect it to happen. Just saying, I’m calling it now.
I Can’t Live Without You
Oh, Matt Bonner. We can’t live without you. Life is nothing without you.
Matt is who Pop turns to when he needs the rhythm of the game to change. For whatever reason, it works too. Usually it is because Matt starts dropping 3s and the other team stops running their offense and tries to attack him. That wasn’t the case in this game. Matt only shot 2-7 from the field and he was put on Ilyasova who was already torching us. So, Matt played some defense and grabbed every rebound. Matt had 12 rebounds in 23 minutes. 11 in his 15 second half minutes. To put that in perspective, the Spurs had 28 rebounds in the second half. For more perspective, Matt had the Spurs only offensive rebounds in the second half.