The common theme of the two Spurs-Grizz matchups this season has been overtime. One view is that these are two teams whose matchups are so similar that each game is going to be a toss up. Another view – mine – is that Spurs were lucky to get to OT in both games and should have lost the game in San Antonio in November. Regardless of what the Spurs’ record is recently, this is still a bad matchup for the Spurs, as currently constructed.
Song of the Game: Jeff Buckley, “The Last Goodbye”
I lived a few hours south of Memphis for two years and visited there a number of times. It’s a fun city and if you have a chance to go, it’s worth a trip. Jeff Buckley, if you are not familiar, was a singer-songwriter who died in Memphis in 1997. His one major album was Grace, an absolute gem of a record that makes it incredibly sad that his talent was lost to us.
Play of the Game: Tony’s Trey
On the last play of the 4th, I really think Memphis was surprised that Pop didn’t call timeout after the Z-Bo free throws. There was almost no one in the backcourt until Tony got close to halfcourt and by then, he was moving so fast that they could not get in front without fouling. Which is probably what they should have done.
You can call it a lucky shot by Tony – and, in part, it was – but he also did a great job of getting himself in position to take the shot. Tony played very well in this game, despite his -4 in the box score.
Trending Up: Tiago
Tiago was the best big in a Spur uniform on Friday night. He scored well, but I thought his defense was exceptional as well. He got completely jobbed on two foul calls that essentially forced him to foul out early and he could have made a huge difference in the late 4th and overtime. Splitter still doesn’t rebound as much as you’d like for a 7-foot center, but his help defense is pulling him away from the basket a lot, which makes this more difficult. Still some things to learn from Tim in that respect.
Trending Down: Tim
No other way to say it: Tim is sucking offensively right now. I’m hoping this is a temporary lull and not a reversal of the fantastic early season numbers he put up, but he has been struggling for several games now.
Maybe he needs 3-4 consecutive games off instead of a game here or there. I wonder if that might refresh his legs. We have a slate of teams on tap that I think Pop could find where he could sit Tim and feel confident about playing well.
Stat of the Game: 18 turnovers
It’s become the theme of the last few losses and this has got to stop. Tim had 6 by himself, trying to pass over or around Gasol. Worse, the Grizz converted those 18 turnovers into 26 points. The Spurs converted 14 Memphis turnovers into only 13 points. That’s your ball game right there.
This may sound a little crazy, but I’m finally on board the #FreePattyMills bandwagon. He is such a pest defensively and is not afraid to shoot when he’s open. I’m ready for him to get more minutes at the backup point spot.
I think Pop was frustrated by the 2-guard rotation in this game. Danny played only 18 minutes and Gary Neal played a 5 minute stint and never came back. Meanwhile, Tony played 42 minutes, Tiago played 30, and Kawhi, Manu, and Tim all logged 35 or more. Doesn’t bode well for tomorrow night against the T-Wolves.