So Much For Winning In An Odd Year

It was win or stay home for San Antonio, and Spurs fans everywhere wanted to know if they had it in them.

1Q TNT hates me, so I missed the first quarter because apparently the Bull and Celtics -KG are more important than the Mavs and Spurs -MG.

2Q Apparently our defense sucked in the first, because we were down 13 by the time I could watch. Parker was looking nearly unstoppable, and Hill even made an early appearance. Hill would get a fast break slam before a time out, and Finley must have grabbed a swig from the fountain of youth during the break, as they came back out and he actually put the ball on the floor and made a move to score 2. Amidst the Spurs showing they really don’t know how to rebound on the defensive end, Hill was showing he deserves to be on the court, Udoka was demonstrating some quality play, and San Antonio would finish the half on a 17-7 run. 48-52 Mavs at the break.

3Q It was a pleasant surprise to see Hill and Udoka start the third, but the team came out with poor offense and worse defense, as Dallas quickly jumped to a 10 point lead. Dallas was doing an excellent job keeping the ball alive, and out of Spur hands, but slowly, Duncan cut the lead to 4. After a Carlisle timeout, Dallas once again rallied to a 13 point lead. Despite a fantastic pass from Parker to Thomas, the Spurs underwhelmed the entire quarter, finishing it down 15.

4Q Defense first, San Antonio forced a turnover to kick the quarter off, but got lackadaisical after that. After slowly losing the lead, Terry hit back to back 3s to put Dallas back up by 15. The Spurs weren’t stopping anybody, when Hill suddenly got fouled shooting a 3, making 2 of them, and then Dampier threw it away. With Parker exhausted, Duncan was rolling along, carrying the team, but Dallas was answering every basket. With 2:30 to play, Parker was leaving it all on the floor. San Antonio pulled out the full court defense, but Dallas takes took the series, 93-106.

Review At long last, we put up a team fight, but it wasn’t quite enough. Finley wasn’t a complete statistical waste, and Udoka and Hill combined for some quality bench play. Thomas had a productive 22 minutes, Bonner was limited to 10, but puzzlingly, Gooden didn’t log a minute. Meanwhile, Dallas had 6 double digit scorers. Summing it up, Dallas made 8 more free throws, made 7 more 3s (on only 4 extra attempts), and out rebounded us by 6.

The Offseason Looking at who did what over this series, I think San Antonio will be taking a hard look at who is still productive, even if they’re having a bad night. I think Oberto will be gone, Vaughn will be gone, Finley will have to plead to keep a job, and Bowen might be back, if only to play defensive tutor to Hill and Udoka. With Parker taking over the team, it seems a more dominant center is needed for rebounding duty, a Camby or Dalembert type would be ideal. As good as Ginobili is, we might best be served using him as trade bait for 2 lesser players. Granted, you lose a Ginobili, but on this roster, 2 B- players might be better than 1 A- player. Expect some shakeup to happen.

Highlights

Duncan 30 pts, 8 boards   Parker 26 pts, 12 assists   Hill 9 pts, 4 boards, 1 block

Nowitzki 31 pts, 9 boards   Terry 19 pts, 60% 3pt   Howard 17 pts, 8 boards, 3 steals

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.

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