Injured for San Antonio: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson
Injured for Denver: Ty Lawson, Danillo Gallinari
Yes, the Denver Nuggets were missing two of their key players Wednesday, however the Spurs were missing arguably their best player and almost half of their bench as the Nuggets defeated the Spurs 96-86 in Denver.
The Spurs started the game in a way not many expected, a 12-0 run initiated by Tim Duncan who finished with 17 points and one block in 27 minutes. After going up by as much as 14 points and holding the Nuggets to just 11 points in the first quarter, the defense wouldn’t be the same as the Nuggets took control for the rest of the game.
Wilson Chandler led the Nuggets with 29 points, while his substitute off the bench, Corey Brewer, chipped in with 28 points. Duncan and the Spurs received their help off the bench too little too late from Gary Neal with 17 points.
The Spurs are built as a team that penetrates into traffic, draws in a defense, and passes out to open shooters. At times in the game, the penetration was there, only the part where the shooters make shots was not. The Spurs shot 4-of-21 from beyond the arc and 40% overall in Denver.
The game was competitive for three quarters, but in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets blew the lid off as they went on a massive run to put themselves ahead 19 points. Spurs head Coach Gregg Popovich wouldn’t put Duncan, Tiago Splitter (10 points), Danny Green (10 points), Nando De Colo, or Kawhi Leonard (11 rebounds) in for the final 12 minutes.
The bench showed that as long as they were wearing the silver and black, they would continue to do what it took to make a comeback. A group made-up of Neal, Patty Mills, Cory Joseph, DeJuan Blair (12 points), and Aron Baynes were actually able to cut the Nuggets lead to five points with less than two minutes remaining, but Brewer and company would eventually close the game out to win by 10.
With four games remaining, the Spurs fall to 57-21 on the season. Even though they’re tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder (57-21) for the best record in the Western Conference, the Thunder hold the tie breaker, so they currently have possession of the number one seed in the West.
Though they have been hobbled since losing Ginobili and Parker, the Spurs are playing the worst basketball of any of the top-8 Western Conference playoff teams in their last 10 games, as San Antonio is 5-5 in that stretch.
Will the Spurs continue to let these final four games be opportunities to allow players to recover and rest, or will they try to pick up some momentum heading into the post season?
We’ll find out starting Friday as the Sacramento Kings visit the AT&T Center.
So both teams are hobbled by injuries. That balances out. It shown how hallow was th bench of the Spurs. It slso shown what I have been teling before that the game of basketball height is might. How many times have we seen Mcgee block shots? The Spurs refused to upgrade its lineup. When Blatche was available and other free agents they refused to sign any of the available talents. Instead, they signed a lemon like Baynes. They like to keep their dimes. They have 8 short sized players in the lineup and depended solely on TD. The game requires 5 players not 1 Mr. Holt. Repeat - NOT 1, it needs a playing 5. If they wish to remain credible and competitive retire Manu who is injury prone because of old age, let the contract of Blair and Jackson lapse and let go of Bonner, Neal and Mills. Al Jefferson and maybe Varejao will become free agents soon. These are players they should sign. DON'T be a miser Mr. Holt. DON'T love your $ so much Mr. Holt. Maybe its time to take Davis Bertan; sign young, tall aggressive rookies in the draft and train them. Where are the lamebrains who spoused that the lineup should be given another chance? Come out and defend your position knuckleheads.
And also, you do realize the Spurs are still 57-21, right? So we were playing very good before, but ever since Parker got injured the first time, the chemistry for this team hasn't been there. So, if there's something you want to blame the recent struggles the Spurs have had, it's definitely the injuries and chemistry.
@rtesoro440 Dude, you don't sound like a Spurs fan when you talk unclassy like that and calling people "lamebrains" and "knuckleheads". And you're right that both teams were hobbled but it wasn't balanced out. Parker and Ginobili mean much more to the Spurs than Lawson and Gallinari do. Oh, and by the way, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw were out as well.
@Emicris @rtesoro440 pretty sure he's not a Spurs fan he doesn't show up when the Spurs are doing well! All he can talk about is negatives. When we were winning last season he shut up and did not even comment, now that we're struggling a bit he has found his good old "please Mr. Holt" lol Like a billionare would read blogs....
lawson and gallinari are as important as Parker and Diaw. Both teams were digging in and it showed that the Nuggets have a better bench. Mills, Joseph and Neal are part of the 8 undersized Spurs and they played like amateurs. The Spurs had a chance to sign better players and they didn't. They surrendered a 12 point lead. Over reliance on TD and TP and a weak bench is the result. When these guys get injured, they have no fallback. The Spurs have the shallowest front court and point guard position. For a long time I have been shouting for lineup upgrade but, Mgnt seem to have damaged ears. Imagine Bonner playing c! You must be joking. This is a classic lesson. Don't again give the alibi they are beyond and over the cap. Repeat: get al Jefferson, Anderson Varejao and draft the young tall aggressive rookies and don't renew the contract of Blair and Jackson.
@rtesoro440 Really? You're gonna compare Lawson and Gallinari to a MVP candidate (Parker) and a former 6th man of the year (Ginobili)? Wow. I know Lawson and Gallinari are good players, I don't want to take away anything from them. But seriously, there's no comparison. And then, again, we also missed Jackson and Diaw so missing 4 players vs. missing 2 players. And really, you don't think the Spurs were trying to sign a big guy during the offseason? You don't think the Spurs were trying to trade for Al Jefferson or Josh Smith this season? It's hard trying to get the right deals that won't hinder the salary cap. And you do realize that Mills, Joseph, and Baynes don't get that many chances to play. And you really had been watching the games, you'd realize that Joseph had been playing decent enough. Sure, he's made mistakes but he's still young! It's only his 2nd year in the league! And you know what, maybe Coach Pop wanted to "tank" the game last night. I wouldn't say he did but he might have reason to.The reason for that is because it might be easier going through the Rockets and Nuggets/Warriors rather than going through the Lakers and Clippers/Grizzlies.