I can’t argue with the consensus on this game. It was a pretty lousy performance by the Spurs and the only thing mildly interesting about it was that Aron Baynes played quite a bit.
The Spurs parade of turnovers kept this from being an early blow out. Thanks to the turnovers, the Bobcats were able to hang around in an almost dangerous position. I think at one point they cut the lead to 8 in the fourth quarter. Had it not been for Danny Green’s and Kawhi Leonard’s torrid shooting from 3-pt, this would have been a very uncomfortable game.
Song of the Game:
Play of the Game: Baynes Dunk
I’ll go with this one because not only was it Baynes’ first points in the NBA, it showed off his strength. Which is strength. The guy does not play soft.
Baynes set a side pick for Tony who went baseline. Baynes stepped back to mid-range on the wing to create some space, and then he cut toward the hoop. Tony threw a bounce pass that was a little low. Baynes picked it up and then went REALLY hard to the rim for a two-handed dunk. He is not a reverse layup seeking kind of guy like Tiago and Boris and DeJuan. He’s a “I’m taking it right at you as hard as I can” kind of guy.
Trending Up: Aron Baynes & Kawhi Leonard’s Shot. Oh, and Tony Parker
Quickly, Tony is 22 for his last 27 from the field. Yeah, not bad.
Kawhi scored 8 straight for the Spurs early in the first quarter. The big thing I saw was that he hit a couple of pull up jumpers on the baseline. Both shots looked really nice. He isn’t going to be a player to create much offense for himself, at least not this year, but having the ability to get up a decent shot late in the shot clock — and thereby steal a couple points — is a huge benefit to have in the playoffs. Kawhi also hit 4-5 from 3-pt range and has now moved his 3-pt shooting percentage up over 40%.
The first thing I saw that I liked about Baynes is how big he plays. He’s a big man who plays even bigger. He goes up for rebounds with both hands and his elbows out. He grabs rebounds with authority. Too often you see big men not even able to get their hands up for rebounds. Not the case with Baynes.
He’s also got a little bit of hops. He’s not athletic, but he’s not a ground-bound Aaron Gray either. He gets up in the air to fight for rebounds often tipping the ball around. As I mentioned earlier, he attacks the rim and his ability to get up really helps in that regard too.
Lastly, he has a left hand. Two of his baskets were made with his left hand. One was the alley oop from Patty Mills. The other was a tip in, in traffic, off an offensive rebound. The ability to use either hand, and thus allowing you to fight for position with one arm, is just awesome.
Trending Down: Manu’s Health and Gary Neal
Manu tweaked his hamstring again.
Gary Neal looks awful right now. Not only has he lost his shot, but he’s lost his confidence and those were his two most valuable assets. Gary’s been struggling to make shots for most of the season, but last night he started hesitating to shoot. On at least two occasions, he had WIDE open looks from 3-pt and he passed on them.
I’m not sure if his legs are bothering him, but bf Gary isn’t taking shots then he won’t be on the court.
Stat of the Game: 23 Turnovers
The fact that the Bobcats had 24 turnovers is no consolation to me. We were sloppy and unfocused.