Spurs Win, Detroit Keeps Sliding, and Agent Zero Loses His Mind
Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair returned to the starting lineup and the Spurs beat the Pistons 112-92. The Spurs have now won 12 of their last 15 games and shot at least 50% for the seventh time in the past nine games.
The Spurs committed 11 turnovers and the teams were tied early in the final quarter, but San Antonio only made one turnover in the 4th quarter and ran away with the game and a 20-point win. The Spurs shot well at 58.1% and made 8-of-14 three-pointers, but they also had 24 fast break points and scored 46 points in the paint. Detroit shot 44.7% from the field, but only 15.4% from downtown and made only 14-of-25 free throws. Tony Parker led the way for the Spurs with 23 points, while Rip Hamilton had 29 for the Pistons.
Here’s an interesting tidbit from the NBA.com game recap:
“Tony Parker scored 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting. In fact, every San Antonio player that took a shot hit 50 percent or better, from garbage-time reserve Marcus Haislip’s 1 for 2 to Richard Jefferson’s 7 for 10.”
Spurs Notable Stat Lines
Tony Parker: 23 points, 6 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 5 turnovers. Parker was great last night except for the turnovers. He is murdering the Spurs this year with that crap. He is currently averaging three turnovers per game and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.93 – one of the worst in the league among starting point guards. I hope he straightens it out soon.
Tim Duncan: 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers. Not the best game by his standards, but at least he only played 30 minutes.
Richard Jefferson: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists. Decent game for RJ and he shot well at 70% from the field (7-of-10).
DeJuan Blair: 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. Blair was back in the starting lineup and back in business while playing almost 26 minutes.
Manu Ginobili: 16 points, 5 assists, 2 steals. Good game, but some rebounds would have been nice. The Pistons out-rebounded the Spurs 38-34 last night.
Roger Mason: 10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. Still making a good case for increased minutes. He also shot 2-of-3 from downtown.
Pistons Notable Stat Lines
Richard Hamilton: 29 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 rebound. Lots of points, but not much else… as usual.
Charlie Villanueva: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. Good game for CV, but I have no idea why he is coming off the bench.
Ben Gordon: 11 points, 3 assists, 2 steals, 5 turnovers. Shooting 4-of-12 and committing 5 turnovers sure didn’t help matters.
Rodney Stuckey: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal – No assists from the starting point guard? Wow. (Prince had six).
Jonas Jerebko: He played two minutes and took two shots, missing one and having the other shot blocked. No other stats. This is bad because he was becoming a nice fantasy sleeper this year but is trickling off now that Tayshaun Prince is back.
In all honesty, it’s no wonder the Pistons have lost 11 straight games when they are starting Ben Wallace and Jason Maxiell. Wallace is an all but washed up, formerly overrated and overpaid, offensive liability who is nowhere near the rebounder or defensive presence he once was. Maxiell belongs on the bench. Unfortunately, the Pistons don’t have a lot of great options at center. They have been on a downward spiral since trading Chauncey Billups. Personally, I think they need to move Rip or Gordon and bring in a real point guard (Rafer Alston? TJ Ford? Ramon Sessions?). Then they can start that guy over Suckey… err Stuckey, and start the Rip/Ben player that they keep at shooting guard, Tayshaun Prince at small forward, Charlie Villanueva at power forward and Jonas Jerebko at center. I mean seriously, are they paying Gordon and Villanueva $16.5 million to come off the bench?
Weapons of Mass Stupidity
On an unrelated note, the NBA suspended Gilbert Arenas indefinitely after he continued to make light of the incident involving him storing guns in his locker. I always liked Agent Zero and used to read his blog on NBA.com all the time. I have to say that as a fan, I am severely disappointed that he not only used poor judgement in getting into this mess, but also that he was foolish enough to make it worse. His quirkiness and goofy antics are part of what made him an interesting and endearing personality, but there are times when you have to turn off that knucklehead switch and simply be cool. Unfortunately, he didn’t do that, and now after waiting practically two years for his return to the floor, we’re going to be without his services again – and over something so stupid. Sheesh… I even agree with him that much of the reaction is overblown and stupid. Some of the stories coming out have him on the verge of a locker room shoot-out which is just plain ridiculous. I wish players could speak their minds and laugh off some of the garbage thrown at them, but this is the NBA – and that sorta thing just doesn’t fly. You gotta play by the NBA’s rules. The bottom line, however, is that this could have played out as usual, where David Stern waits for the investigation to be completed then hands down a 10-15 game suspension, but now Arenas could potentially miss something like 20-30 games – maybe more. I’m just glad I wasn’t able to land him in any fantasy leagues this year.