Thursday was the San Antonio Spurs’ fifth game in seven nights. Here’s how the Spurs’ shooting percentage looked: 28-of-77 attempted shots (36%). 9-of-34 attempted 3-pointers (27%). The result of what could have been tired legs, a New York Knicks 100-83 victory that erupted one minute into the fourth quarter.
Credit has to be given to the Knicks’ defense as well as they held the Spurs’ offense to just 12 points in the paint and limited the Spurs to 14 assists on the night. The highest scoring quarter of the night was the fourth quarter where the Spurs were still outscored 33-23.
A mixture of missed open shots and the paint being closed off by Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby might have led to the 17-point loss on Thursday. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 23 points, J.R. Smith added 20 points off the bench as well, but it was former Spur Steve Novak who delivered the daggers in the fourth quarter as he scored 15 points in just 22 minutes off the bench, all 3-pointers.
Gary Neal led the Spurs with 12 points on 11 attempted shots, while Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each provided San Antonio with 11 points apiece, while Duncan grabbed six rebounds and Parker tallied six assists. But it was a night when the two main scoring threats for San Antonio didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.
Here’s the rundown of the Spurs’ loss to the Knicks that looked manageable for three quarters, but then turned into a blowout early in the fourth.
First quarter: Spurs 22, Knicks 19
Just hang in there – Being the second night of the back-to-back, the Spurs did hang in with the Knicks as their shots and passing just weren’t in sync as it could be. The Spurs only connected on 8-of-18 shots from the floor, while turning the ball over four times in the quarter.
Splitter’s defense – Though it was Amar’e Stoudamire’s (10 points) second game back this season, Tiago Splitter defended Stoudamire in the paint exceptionally well as he limited Stoudamire in the post and accumulated three blocks.
Second quarter: Spurs 40, Knicks 42
Defense keeps Spurs afloat until half – Though the offense wasn’t spectacular in the second quarter (21 points), the Spurs’ defense was as the team held the “rested” Knicks to just 20 points in the second. The Knicks did build a nine-point lead at one time early in the second, but the Spurs’ effort in clamping down on defense and grinding the quarter out helped them go into the half down two points.
Tired legs or just missed shots? – There’s no measurable way to tell if the Spurs just missed shots or if their legs were tired in the first half as they missed some open 3-pointers to go into the half shooting 5-of-18 (28%) from the outside.
Jackson sprains ankle – Midway through the first quarter, Stephen Jackson sprained his ankle as he shot a corner 3-pointer and fell into the crowd behind him. Reports stated that he sprained his ankle by falling on a sideline waitress and in the second quarter the confirmation came that he would not return to the game with a sprained ankle.
Third quarter: Spurs 60, Knicks 67
Staying within 10 points – The third quarter wasn’t pretty for the Spurs as the Knicks outscored them 25-20, but a late run to end the quarter helped the Spurs cut a one time 11-point deficit down to seven points going into the final quarter. After three, the Spurs were shooting 36% from the field and had only made 7-of-24 three pointers.
Fourth quarter: Spurs 83, Knicks 100
1:30 minute blowout – The game was essentially over within the first 1:30 of the fourth quarter as the Knicks started the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run behind the shooting of Smith and Novak. The Spurs would get outscored 33-23 in the final quarter but Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich never brought Parker and Duncan back in the fourth quarter since the team fell behind 17 points, and the lead got as high as 23 points.
Nando shines in garbage time – One of the only bright spots of the night for the Spurs was rookie Nando De Colo who scored nine points in 9:15 minutes as he connected on all four of his attempted field goals and he even made one three pointer.
Back home to host Philly – With the loss, the Spurs’ one night of being tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the best record in the NBA is over as the team falls to 26-9 on the season and back to third place in the West. The Spurs’ 7-game winning streak was snapped as well. The Spurs will have off Friday and will be back in the AT&T Center to host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
Of course when they lost, the Spurs have an alibi! TIRED? Aren't the other teams play the same number of games? Fact is, the Knicks are far more superior to them, far taller. If Mgnt attend to their needs, like personnel complement particularly in the frontcourt they won't be complaining of schedules. It has been years that Bonner plays the way he does. Blair wil not grow any taller, Manu is not getting any younger and Neal has no defense. SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW? They were outclass plain and simple. This is the bare fact. If Mgnt want better results, upgrade the lineup by reducing the number of guards 2or 3, sign young, tall, aggressive players to protect the rim.
@rtesoro440 I mean even if you were right (which you're not since the Spurs have played 35 games currently and the Knicks have played 32), you don't even address the fact that the Spurs have played 4 games in 5 nights (again) due to this bullshit schedule. You realize the Knicks play small ball so saying they are "far taller" is so blatantly false it's hilarious. The Knicks are not even close to competing to the Spurs, they just put out a mediocre effort last night. Also, "more superior" doesn't make sense.
@spurs123Does 3 games difference mean anything? The Knicks came from a losing night, while the Spurs came from a winning night. Both were tired so what's the issue? Yeah, the Knicks fielded at one time 3 big guys in Antrhony, Stoudemire and Chandler and the Spurs responded with TD, Splitter and Jackon or Diaw. Which team fielded the better and taller players? You mean the Spurs put out a "mediocre" effort because they are tired and the the Knicks weren"t tired? It's all downright alibi on the part of the Spurs losing so badly. Truly the Knicks have a better ceiling in Camby, Thomas and Copeland. How does the Spurs respond? They field Diaw, Jackson and Leonard. All 6"8" or 6'7". And the Knicks even enjoy the bulk. Where is the much balyhooed deep bench of the Spurs? All they have to show is their 8 guards. Come on admit. They lost fair and square. If the Spurs want to be revelant, the frontcourt MUST be upgraded and reduce the number of guards 2 or 3
That's fanaticism. I like to compare with the others because of the steps they took to improve their team. I love the Spurs, but I am not ready to blindly root for them when their Mgnt is not ready. But like your determination to be a fan of the Spurs whatever happens. Good Luck!
@rtesoro440 Your welcome. Diaw was a good pickup for the Spurs in my opinion last year. He did a lot of good things in the playoffs and his chemistry and style of play with Parker has shown it can work in the Spurs system. Patty Mills in my opinion is underrated. You mention Mills being undersized, what about what J.J. Barea did for the Mavs the year they won the Championship? Mills to me is a scorer and when Parker has been cold, Mills has come in and done some good things to get the offense going. Mills is a threat on the court because he plays the 1, but he can also play the 2. He's young, he has speed, and he's not known to be a turnover prone player. To be honest I see nothing wrong with those players you mentioned coming in whether it be in a blow out win/loss or just to give the starters rest. It works in the Spurs favor. That's smart in my opinion. Long season no reason leaving your key players in the game knowing they could possibly get an unwanted injury. It also allows you the chance to see what you have on your bench. Maybe see what a player can do on the court when given the opportunity. I see you like Andray Blatche as you keep mentioning his name. Blatche in my opinion should be much better than he is. I can't blame the Spurs for not trying hard or at all to acquire him. Sorry my expectations are so low? Maybe your expectations are just too high. Overall last season was not all unsuccessful, they didn't accomplish what they wanted, but they did accomplish a lot. I was disappointed last year, I won't lie. I'm sure the players, the coaches, the whole organization was disappointed. I had belief that that Spurs team could beat both OKC and Miami. Unfortunately things did not go as I had hoped. Instead of me whining about my team not making it to the Finals, I looked at what they did overall. In my opinion They accomplished a lot. The organization did what they could to get this team as close or exactly where they wanted to be. The Spurs quieted a lot of naysayers who said they were done and showed they never closed the window on themselves. The San Antonio Spurs mission is to win championships, if they don't get one that year, they'll try again the next year. That's a good feeling to have as a fan knowing your team is wanting to win and trying to win. I don't doubt my team, I don't doubt the organization either. You keep mentioning Miami, the Knicks, the Clippers and OKC, you must really like those teams! I could careless about those teams, they aren't the Spurs. Every time they play the Spurs I hope they lose. My deep bench? Funny, I hope my deep bench shocks your face with a championship trophy. If your not a Spurs fan you'll say they won't or I hope they don't. Go ahead and say it, go ahead. If you're a true Spurs fan you'll say, GO SPURS GO! or I hope so, without hesitating.
Thank s for a lenghty summary for the nba for the last 2 years and how the Spurs performed. So you consider Diaw and Mills as upgrades. I agree Jackson is better than Jefferson. They could have done more. Blair, Bonner and Mills are garbage time players coming in when the Spurs are way ahead or down by a mile. I agree that TP must have sub, but how many 7? Blatche could have helped, but that's under the water. I mean they could have upgraded their frontcourt instead of the backcourt. Their loses mus teach them a lesson, but Mgnt seem not to care. So you are happy with last year's performance. You are contented with "2 wins away" from winning the wcf. I am sorry your expectations are so low. What matters is the nba crown. Talking about deep bench. I agree they are deep with 7 guards who can' compete with Heat, Clippers, Knicks and Thunder. Diaw has NO BUSINESS playing pf/c. He is a sf and Mills is too undersized to be taken seriously. This I tell you, the Spurs depend so much on TD and TP. They may not last the gruelling 82 games. When this happens, let's see where your deep bench stand.
@rtesoro440 7 guards, but whatever. The guards give the Spurs options. Without Patty, De Colo, and Cory Joseph the Spurs would have to play Parker the entire game. Danny Green and Gary Neal do the same for Ginobili. Would you like a Bulls situation? No D-Rose. You mentioned the Memphis series, Do you remember who was on that team? We had George Hill, and Chris Quinn as are backup point guards. The shooting guards were Danny Green, Gary Neal, and James Anderson. Small Forwards were Richard Jefferson and Steve Novak. Power Forwards McDyess, Bonner, Blair, and Splitter. Did you forget what happened the last game of the regular season? Ginobili broke his arm in the 1st quarter against Phoenix in a game he didn't have to play in. Ginobili's injury played a huge part in the Memphis series. Ginobili was averaging 20 points in the playoffs with a broken arm, imagine if he never broke it. By the way we had the #1 record in the West, #2 best record in the NBA behind the Bulls, because they won their game against the Nets and we lost our game against Phoenix. I mention this because we had a great regular season with that team, but lost in the 1st round due to one key player having an injury. Pop and R.C. obviously saw this and realized, we have something here, it just needs a few tweaks. We finished with the second best record in the NBA that year why make drastic changes? Now on to the next year, Spurs trade George Hill and add Kawhi Leonard to get bigger and younger, draft Cory Joseph so we can have a backup point guard to help Tony and to get younger. Keep Danny Green, Keep Gary Neal, Keep James Anderson. Sign T.J. Ford because Cory is not ready and T.J. has veteran experience and is not that old. Don't resign Steve Novak and Don't resign Chris Quinn. McDyess decides not to come back. Regular Season begins and 14 games in T.J. Ford get's hurt (retires). Now we need a point guard. Gary Neal is now asked to play the point behind Parker as Cory Joseph is not ready. Not a point guard, but Neal steps up and does a pretty good job. Before the trade deadline we trade Richard Jefferson for Stephen Jackson (upgrade). Next Bobcats waive Boris Diaw, we then sign him now we have a Power Forward who can score in different ways and has size (upgrade). Next we negotiate a deal and get Patty Mills (upgrade). We have just upgraded in 3 spots in just 2 weeks by making a few tweaks on are roster. Playoffs are coming and we look like a better team. In a short season we are doing what a lot of people didn't expect winning. 20 games (sweep Utah) (sweep Clippers) Spurs are now in the Western Conference Finals, who expected that? we have just exceeded last year's "bad taste to mouth". Undefeated in the Playoffs, who expected that? Game 3, 4, 5, 6, we lose heartbreakers to the Thunder team. Games we could have won, we let slip away thanks to James Harden, The Thunder defense, (refs), and are offense not being where it once was. Danny Green didn't have his shot, Tony Parker was not able to get in the paint, and etc. We finished the Season with the #1 record in the West, #1 record in the division in a tougher, and shorter season. Pop got Coach of the Year, Tony Parker made the All-Star team, won the skills challenge, and finished 5th in MVP voting. 2 games away from the Finals compared to an early exit in the first round sounds like an improvement to me. So here we are now and Nando De Colo decides to join the NBA, Tiago has shown much improvement since his rookie year looks more confident, Kawhi Leonard showed a lot of great thngs as a rookie, Danny Green showed he can help are team greatly and give us good minutes, Neal showed he can score and continue to improve as a possible backup point guard if need be, Patty Mills showed he can be a scoring option as well as decent backup point guard, Stephen Jackson reminded us of 2003, Boris showed he can fit the Spurs system and his chemistry between him and Tony can be effective, Matt Bonner showed he is still dangerous as a 3 point shooter, Blair showed good signs early, but his height still hurts his game. With what we saw last year, it doesn't make any sense to make drastic changes. The Spurs improved a lot last year. Like I said I'd rather be almost there then not there at all. Appreciate the Knicks, Miami, Thunder, Clippers, for what they are doing? Knicks got lucky getting Tyson Chandler due to Mark Cuban being stupid, Carmelo Anthony doesn't play defense, D'Antoni is not their Coach and they picked up Jason Kidd who is one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game. Miami relies on their Big 3, if Lebron get's hurt they're done, They don't have a real Center, and have shooting guards playing the point, The Thunder traded Harden, Their GM used to work in the Spurs system and has said he wants them to be like the Spurs, The Clippers got a blessing because Chris Paul was going to be a Laker. You are focusing too much on the the other teams instead of your own. Miami and the Knicks are in the Eastern Conference. Thunder and Clippers are in the Western Conference. Spurs are in the West so the teams they should worry about the most is the Western Conference teams. I credit those teams for making changes to help their team, but those teams are not the Spurs. Don't get all soaked into what they are doing, because for example the Mavs didn't and they beat Miami who were the favorites. You keep counting out your own team out of frustration, just try and trust the Organization. They are about winning Championships unlike some teams, and they'll continue to try and make the Spurs team a contender. I would completely understand you if this team was losing a bunch of games and looked like they wouldn't make the playoffs, but they are not that team. That's why I say we don't need to make drastic changes. Spurs do need a Center, Spurs could make a few tweaks, but if you are to make changes you want to add what could possibly fit the best in your teams system. Remember chemistry plays a huge part in a teams success. Spurs have been showing that, just look at the way they are moving the ball in games. Their execution has been top notch. Against the Net's they held them to 5 points in the 3rd quarter "That's no lightweight team" I like what I'm seeing from the Spurs even though they've had their fair share of losses. I'm interested to see what they'll do long term, but I can honestly say this team has quality and depth and they are a deep team that every team in the NBA should watch out for. They are "Dangerous".
Granting that the Spurs are taller, but they don't play the way the Knicks do. The only possible remedy is to change their rotation. How? If possible, sign another inside player who can protect the rim. This is under the water, but they could have Blatche. See how he is playing with the Nets? By trading some of their 8 guards and Blair, Bonner and Jackson. I know it's not easy to trade these people. No crazy GM would take them, but at least give it a try. They can't compete with this lineup. Coach POP, GM Buford and Mr. Holt know this! Yeah, they are better than the Wizards, the Bobcats, Suns and other lightweight team.Is this want you and Mgnt Want? Wouldn't they instead be competing with the Heat, Clippers, Thunder and Knicks and give a run for the nba crown? Two years ago they were unceremoniously ousted by the Grizzlies in the first round of the wcf and just last year, they were "2 games" away from winning the wfc. Is this all you and the Spurs Mgnt want? I don't. My friend. I want them to be champiions of the nba.
I am NOT trashing the Spurs, CHALLENGING. They have 8 guards. What for?
Why can't can't they upgrade their frontcourt? There was a time when Blatche was begging for any team to take him in. Now see how he is playing with the Nets.Definitely better than Diaw, Blair, Bonner and even Splitter. YOU should appreciate what the Knicks, Heat, Clippers and Thunder are doing. They keep upgrading, while the Spurs remain remain the same. Two years ago the Grizzlies took them out in the first round of the post season and last year, the werey demolished by the Thunder. Are you contented of "2 games away" from winning the wcf? I keep harping about trading some of their players, although I know other teams find no attraction in taking what they could offer. Think, who is that GM ready to trade for Bonner, Blair, Jackson and 2 or 3 of their guards? If they did not stuck themselves with these 8 guards, they would have lesser issues today. I love the Spurs and hate seeing them slaugthered. And I am disillusioned by their drafting system. But let me reiterate, they are better than the Wizards, Suns, Bobcats and the rest of the lightweights. Satisfied? Is that want you and the Spurs Mgnt want? I don't! I want them to be nba champions!
@rtesoro440 Actually the Knicks had 1 day's rest. Spurs played the night before, making that a back-to-back game. How do you not get that right? Camby is injury prone. Tyson Chandler is one of the key reasons for the Knicks success. Without him, Knicks wouldn't be the team that they are today. Knicks won fair and square, but that doesn't mean blow up the team because of what happened in one game. Relevant? Spurs are relevant, look at what they've done over the years. Why are there teams wanting to learn from the Spurs? Why do teams and coaches respect what they do? Relevant? You are something else. Because they don't do things like the Knicks, Miami, OKC, and the Clippers they aren't relevant? Man you can't be a Spurs fan. What I find funny is you keep saying trade this person and that person, but you never mention names of players we should trade for. Like do this and do that and that's the key to the Spurs success. You make it seem like the Spurs are just a "Bad" team in general and can't win games. What's the point in you saying GO SPURS GO!? You don't even really show you root for them, all you do is show you like to talk trash about them.
@rtesoro440 @spurs123 Please just stop. 3 games is a big difference and also the Spurs had played 4 games in 5 nights, while the Knicks have played 2. I do hope you realize that Anthony, Stoudemire, and Chandler is shorter than the combination of TD, Splitter, and Diaw. Everything else you say is more of the delusional crap that you constantly repeat.
@russman138 Neal first. For the love of God, if this game doesn't show how much better Mills and de Colo are over Neal, I don't know what will. Neal barely knows how to dribble and Mills and de Colo play WAY more inspired defense.
@spurs123 I don't see how you think Patty Mills and Nando De Colo are better. Honestly, what have they really done? Gary Neal has done more for this team than both of those guys. I like all 3, but Neal has been the most clutch player of the 3. Without Neal we wouldn't have won some of those games we did.
@russman138 Right? It was kind of ironic that Novak kicked Matty's fanny all over the court in the 4th.