May 11, 2013, 2:24 AM EDT
It took 3 games, but the Spurs finally started to look like themselves against the Warriors. The ball movement was back, the defensive discipline was there and with those two things in place the Spurs took control back in the series with a 102-92 win in game 3.
After the game Gregg Popovich said that heading into the contest he implored Tony Parker and Tim Duncan to be more aggressive in looking for their own shots. Both stars took that advice to heart by showing up big and driving the Spurs’ offense from the outset.
Parker played to the level that had his name mentioned as an MVP candidate during the season, scoring 32 points on only 23 shots while tallying 5 rebounds and 5 assists as well. Parker did a lot of his damage from mid-range, using the threat of his driving ability to create space and consistently hit his jumper. When the defense tried to step up to contest his shot he used hesitation dribbles and quick bursts to get into the paint and finish at the rim.
Duncan, meanwhile, was nearly as good in his own right. After struggling to get good looks against Andrew Bogut in the series’ first two games, Duncan used all facets of his all-court game to score 23 much needed points for his team. He sank his jumper when operating as a release valve out of the pick and roll, then used those makes to set up his drives to the rim when his defender closed out too hard. Duncan also went to his bread and butter in the post, working his turnaround jumper and half hooks to very good results.
But where the Spurs were really at their best was on the defensive side of the ball.
Where Duncan and Parker combined for 55 points, the Warriors’ starting five only combined for 56. Particularly impressive was what they were able to do to the Warriors’ starting backcourt. Stephen Curry, who suffered a sprained ankle in the 4th quarter, only hit 5 of his 17 shots to score his 16 points while Klay Thompson only made 7 of his 20 attempts to score 17 points. Neither ever got into a rhythm, mostly because they couldn’t consistently create space to get off their jumpers.
With Tiago Splitter back in the starting lineup, the Spurs always had one big man at the rim to protect the paint and that allowed the other big to step out high on the pick and roll to deny the three point shots the Warriors love to take out of that action. Golden State only attempted 19 three pointers in this game after attempting 30 and 23 in games one and two respectively. Limiting those attempts threw off the Warriors’ offense and they had to look elsewhere for points.
Only, no one else could really step up to provide them. The most efficient Warriors on the night were Carl Landry (14 points on 5-8 shooting) and David Lee who, in three minutes of action, not only pumped up the crowd with his presence but also provide a nice boost by scoring 5 points on 3 shots. Beyond them, though, the Warriors box score was littered with poor shooting nights from Jarrett Jack (5-12), Harrison Barnes (4-10), and Draymond Green (2-7).
With the stars and the role players all having tough shooting nights the Warriors needed to play good defense and make all the little plays to win this game, but they couldn’t do those things either. Instead they committed 11 turnovers that the Spurs turned into 20 points and also had too many suspect offensive possessions where nearly the entire shot clock was eaten up by dribbling that never established a viable threat (I’m looking at you, Jarrett Jack).
After the game Mark Jackson noted that the Warriors aren’t good enough to win games in this series when they don’t play their game. And Jackson is 100% correct in that. But credit the Spurs because it was their execution that took away what the Warriors wanted to do, especially on defense where they effectively crowded shooters and showed quick, decisive help in the paint.
And with Parker and Duncan carrying the offense, that’s all they needed.
Jul 14, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT
He will backup Kemba Walker.
Jul 13, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Hinrich took less to stay in Chicago.
Jul 13, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
Miami continues to bring the band back together — minus LeBron James, of course.
Jul 13, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
The Bulls frontline rotation next season may be best in NBA.
Jul 13, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Randle signed his deal just 20 minutes before tip-off, but he was able to scramble a bit to make it into the starting lineup.
Jul 13, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT
Dallas has had a very nice offseason.
Jul 13, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT
A good signing to maintain roster continuity, considering Chalmers has been Miami’s starting point guard for the past three seasons.
Jul 13, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT
In a wide open East, the Nets roster looks like one that could do some damage. If it can stay healthy.
Jul 13, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT
Exum’s performance didn’t stuff the stat sheet, but was extremely exciting nonetheless.
Jul 13, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
He will step into a stretch four role in Charlotte.
Jul 13, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT
Remember he reportedly turned down three years, $30 million from Bulls.
Jul 13, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT
Would Stephenson take more money over two years, say $20 million over two, or does he want the security of a longer deal.
Jul 13, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
Love would give Dan Gilbert his own big three. Would Wiggins?
Jul 13, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT
This is where he most wanted to be (and they could pay the most, which doesn’t hurt).
Jul 13, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Kevin Durant is a Washington D.C. native… would he go home?
Jul 13, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
Teams looking at two years, $20 million at least for his services.
Jul 13, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
A mere formality, but a nice reminder for Cleveland fans nonetheless.
Jul 13, 2014, 12:12 AM EDT
Wizards quickly replace Trevor Ariza with Pierce in a fairly stunning turn of events.
Jul 12, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Not sure LeBron needed defending, but this is pretty amusing.
Jul 12, 2014, 9:29 PM EDT
Porter drops 25 points at Summer League in Las Vegas.
- Julius Randle signs rookie contract, makes Summer League debut for Lakers 4
- Report: Houston Rockets will not match Mavericks’ Chandler Parsons’ offer, he’s Dallas bound 58
- Dante Exum impresses in flashes during Summer League debut with Jazz 12
- Reports: Luol Deng agrees to two years, $20 million deal with Miami 65
- Cavaliers coach Blatt: Wiggins “not going anywhere” 84
- It’s official: Carmelo Anthony announces he will remain face of New York Knicks 51
- Report: Paul Pierce to sign two-year deal to join Wizards 70
- Report: Trevor Ariza to sign 4-year, $32 million deal with Rockets 51