Spurs Lose to Bobcats, Grizzlies – The End is Nigh
The Spurs lost their last two games to a couple of perennial losers. Not good. The only solace I can take from this ordeal is that both games were on the road. Still, you like to think the Spurs can beat Charlotte and Memphis regardless of where the game is.
Spurs 76, Bobcats 92
The Spurs shot 38.8% in this game, including a dismal 5-of-25 from downtown. Talk about shooting yourself out of the game. They also committed 14 turnovers, led by four from – you guessed it – Tony Parker. I can live with his turnovers, but not when he only has two assists. DeJuan Blair played 31 minutes again and had 11 points and 16 rebounds. He shot 5-of-10 from the field and was the only Spur besides Parker (4-of-7) to shoot at least 50% in the game. Tim Duncan shot 33% and finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. It wasn’t a terrible game for Duncan, but to play 33 minutes and end up losing, it was pretty disappointing. The Spurs led by four at the half and led by as many as seven in the game, but simply buckled. To be fair, Larry Brown is a defensive coach and the Bobcats are playing tough D more than you would think. Hey, I remember a team from San Antonio that used be known for defense too. Seriously though, you kind of expect Stephen Jackson (16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals) and Gerald Wallace (21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 5 blocks) to get theirs, but when the team has no answer for Boris Diaw (26 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks – huh?) – things aren’t quite clicking. The Bobcats shot 46.1% in the game and had 10 blocks and 14 steals to the Spurs’ 3 blocks and 4 steals. In other words, the Spurs were simply outplayed at both ends of the floor.
Spurs 86, Grizzlies 92
It seems like 92 is the magic number, but at least the Spurs managed 10 more points in this game. This was actually a pretty close game except for the Spurs getting smacked around in the second quarter 28-15. They simply did not recover from it. A couple of things just didn’t go the Spurs way in this game. The Grizzles out-rebounded the Spurs 51-44, including 17-12 on the offensive glass. They shot more than twice as many free throws giving them an extra 10 points on the Spurs. Both teams shot 33% from downtown, but San Antonio took 21 shots from long range compared to just nine attempts from Memphis. The disparity in those low percentage shots resulted in the Spurs shooting 41.4% in the game compared to the Grizz shooting 43.4%. The Spurs also had 16 turnovers to the Grizzlies’ 15. Zach Randolph in particular torched the Spurs with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Meanwhile Duncan also had 23 points, but only eight rebounds. Duncan did have five blocks though, so it’s not like the Spurs defense was non-existent. Keith Bogans tried to do a Tony Parker impression but only managed to replicate his knack for turnovers – he had five. Parker only had two turnovers, but he only had four points, three assists, and two rebounds also. He played 30 minutes and shot 2-of-8 from the field. I would like to blame it on plantar fasciitis, but I really don’t know. I mean he did play 30 minutes, if you can play then play. Blair started at center and had eight points, eight rebounds, and one steal and block in his 24 minutes of action. He had five fouls though, so that didn’t help matters. Roger Mason kept things closer with his 17 points, including three treys. In the end it was just the little things – taking higher percentage shots, getting to the line, hustling and grabbing more rebounds – that set the Grizz apart on this night.
The next game for the Spurs is Monday at New Orleans. By all accounts they should win that game, but I think it’s safe to say that conventional wisdom, history, and even logic no longer apply to Spurs games. Let’s just hope they bring some energy and stop this skid before it turns into a streak. Utah and Houston are up later this week and there definitely won’t be room for error in those games.