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DeJuan Blair only played a total four minutes and 19 seconds in the Spurs Friday night victory over the Mavericks, but in that short amount of time, Blair displayed exactly why he was the steal of the 2009 draft. He might have finished the game with only two points and five rebounds, but that stat line doesn't really tell the story of how Blair effected this game.
Of the the five rebounds Blair collected, three were offensive. The Spurs were able to convert his offensive rebounds into second chance points, scoring on two of the three offensive rebounds. Blair was extremely active in the paint, diving for loose balls, and bringing down rebounds with a great deal of intensity. Blair did however miss two easy lay-ups.
Blair has played on big stages before. He helped the Pittsburgh Panthers win the Big-Eat conference tournament in 2008. And in 2009, he had a double-double in the Panthers loss to Villanova in the Elite Eight, which was voted one of the best March Madness games of the decade. (http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/12813697/march-madness-games-of-the-decade-villanovapitt-at-no-8) Playing in such huge moments has helped Blair become the confident player we see on the court.
For the second time this series, Tim Duncan played over forty minutes. And don't expect him to start playing any less. Eventually Duncan could slow down at the end of the series, giving Blair an opportunity to play more. But no matter how tired Timmy might become, when the game is on the line, he will be in the game. So let's continue to see how many minutes Pop continues to play Duncan. With this match-up being tremendously physical, Blair might have the chance to play more in the next couple games.
Tim Duncan continues to be a steady presence for the Spurs as led the team in scoring for the 3rd straight time in this series with 25 points, Manu Ginobili played with a bandage across his nose and scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and Tony Parker made clutch baskets down the stretch on his way to a 23 point outing in an off-the-bench role.
And just like that and the San Antonio Spurs now hold a 2-1 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks in their 1st round playoff matchup. But how did the Spurs gutted this one out? Here are some numbers to crunch on.
Field Goal Shooting
San Antonio Spurs: 48.7% (37-76) vs. Dallas Mavericks: 44.7% (34-76)
For the third straight game, the Spurs shot better from the field against the Mavericks a trend that should continue if Dallas can't find an antidote on how to stop Tim Duncan from dominating inside the paint.
Free throw Attempts
San Antonio Spurs: 26 vs. Dallas Mavericks: 15
The Mavs capitalized on their foul shots making 14-15 (93.3%). The Spurs on the other hand made just 20-26 shots (76.9%) but it was a marked improvement from Game 2 where they only made 63.6% of their free throws.
3-Point Field Goal Percentage
San Antonio Spurs: 0.0% (0-7) vs. Dallas Mavericks: 40.0% (8-20)
The Spurs became just the fourth team since 2000 to win a playoff game without making a 3 pointer. The Mavs perimeter shooting kept them in this game, Jason Terry made 4-8 from behind the arc.
San Antonio Spurs: 36 vs. Dallas Mavericks: 36
The Spurs and the Mavs looked to have a draw on the rebounding department, but the Spurs had the edge in offensive rebounding 12-8. DeJuan grabbed 5 rebounds, 3 of them coming from the offensive end in just 4 minutes of action.
The Spurs did the a good job in taking the series lead, but their work is not done yet. They still need two wins to advance into the next round. The main thing for the Spurs right now is focus, they should realize that the Mavs will not give up that easily. Game 4 is on Sunday in San Antonio, where they have a great chance of taking a commanding 3-1 series lead.
|SPURS||Tim Duncan 26.0||Tim Duncan 12.5||Tony Parker 6.0|
|MAVS||Dirk Nowitzki 30.0||Erick Dampier 9.5||Jason Kidd 9.5|
Adjustments are what make the playoffs so great. Any team can flop a game, watch some tape, figure out what they need to do, and do it. But what separates a good team from a great team is that teams ability to execute the adjustments on court. That's why the spurs have been one of the best teams of the last decade. Gregg Popovich is one of the best coaches there is when it comes to playoff adjustments.
So, with the Spurs being heavily out rebounded in game one, maybe Pop would give DeJuan Blair more minutes and opportunities to secure the glass. Blair did get more minutes, just not a lot more. Blair played eight minutes in game one. In game two played a total of ten minutes and 51 seconds.
Blair's game two statline: zero points, four rebounds.
Blair missed all four of his shot attempts and of his four rebounds, one was offensive. He did however, in his limited minutes, play great defense on Brendan Haywood, and was extremely active in the paint on both ends of the court.
Tim Duncan is in full on playoff mode and is taking no prisoners. Watching Duncan play right now is a thing of beauty. As long as Timmy has that hunger in his eyes, it doesn't seem like Blair will get a lot of minutes. But that doesn't mean he wont get some in another series. The Mavericks front court is huge and could easily over power Blair in the post. Blair might have a huge heart and play physical ball, but eventually the size of the Mavericks will wear him down. Like always, it will be up to Duncan to carry us. And we Spurs fans are perfectly fine with that.
In his column for La Nacion, Manu Ginobili announced today that he will not be playing in the FIBA World Championships in Turkey this Summer, which kicks off August 28.
According to Cronica Online (through Google translation), Manu listed the arrival of his twin babies, expected in June, and the recent contract extension he signed with the Spurs as reasons for his decision.
Después de unos días de debate interno y poner en la balanza mi familia, la cabeza y el corazón, llegó la hora de tomar una decisión sobre la participación en el Mundial. Siempre creí que lo correcto era decirle al técnico los planes ni bien los tuviera decididos para que arme el equipo sabiendo con quién puede contar y con quién no. Por eso, creo que es el momento de hablar sobre mi futuro con la selección nacional.
He llegado a la dura conclusión de que, hoy por hoy, lo mejor para mí y mi familia, es no jugar el Mundial de Turquía.
After being injured in the 2002 World Championships and 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Manu decided that he could not play three straight years with the Argentine National Team and have enough time to get his body ready for the NBA season.
Manu also said that this decision is also a way of him prioritizing or choosing to keep his body in condition for the 2011 Qualifier and 2012 Olympics.
This is great news for Spurs fans, who have seen a resurgence from Manu since early March. Through the first two games of the playoffs, Manu is averaging a career playoff high 24.5 points, 5 assists 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game.no comments
Jeff and I went live after the Spurs game two win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Aside from talking about Richard Jefferson finally showing up and Tim Duncan absolutely abusing the Mavs bigs, they broke down the game quarter-by-quarter, took a look at the individual player and team stats, took calls and live chat questions and gave our keys for game three.
Our next live show will be this Sunday as Jeff and I will be in person from Fatso's Sports Garden on Bandera to preview game three starting at 2:30 p.m.
Spurs guard George Hill finished third in Most Improved Player award voting, the NBA announced today.
Houston Rockets guard Aaron Brooks won the award in a landslide, finishing with 403 votes and Thunder swingman Kevin Durant tied with Hill for second place. Both players received 101 votes.
Hill, who averaged 12.4 points 2.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game this season finished with seven first place votes, 17 second place votes and 15 third place votes.
Hill will likely get the start as the Spurs take on the Mavs in game three on Friday night in San Antonio.no comments
The 'Big Three' delivered again for the Spurs, Tim Duncan was huge down the stretch, Manu hits a clutch 3 and Tony Parker had his moments on offense; but it was Richard Jefferson who provided an early spark to help the Spurs beat the Dallas Mavericks 102-88. The series is now tied at 1-1.
After the Spurs' victory, here are some stats to ponder as the playoff series shifts to San Antonio on Friday night for game three.
San Antonio Spurs: 51 vs. Dallas Mavericks: 42
After being out rebounded in Game 1, the Spurs responded by controlling the boards. They hold a slight edge in offensive rebounding 16-14. Tim Duncan dominated the boards hauling down 17 boards for the game. Antonio McDyess had his fair share grabbing nine rebounds, five of them on offensive end. This led to more inside scoring opportunities for the Spurs.
Free throw Percentage
San Antonio Spurs: 63.6% vs. Dallas Mavericks: 95.0%
The Mavericks didn't get a big advantage from free throw attempts this time but they made them count making 19 of 20 free throws good for 95.0%. The Spurs have their chances on the foul line but didn't capitalize converting just 14 of 22 shots. However both Jefferson (4-4) and Ginobili (3-3) were perfect from the line.
3-Point Field Goal Percentage
San Antonio Spurs: 53.3% (8-15) vs. Dallas Mavericks: 36.8% (7-19)
The Spurs got a huge lift from behind the arc, Manu Ginobili hit 4-6, Matt Bonner made 2-5 and George Hill makes his only 3-point attempt for the game.
With the series now tied at one a piece, it's up to the Spurs to put the pressure on the Mavericks. They have to stay focused in game three and not let their guards down. If the Spurs can win the next game, they can take control of the series and put the Mavericks on their heels.
DALLAS - A dose of confidence and two days’ rest brought the San Antonio Spurs back to life as they went head-to-head with the Mavericks in Dallas during Game 2 of the first round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs. Refusing to allow Dallas to take over, the Spurs managed to consistently hold a lead to finish with a win - San Antonio 102, Dallas 88.
George Hill returned to the court as a starter alongside Manu Ginobili, Antonio McDyess, Tim Duncan, and Richard Jefferson. The Spurs’ desperately-sought redemption paired with the Mavericks’ shooting woes led to a San Antonio nine-point-burst during the first four minutes of the game. After Caron Butler’s three-point shot to put Dallas on the board, the Mavericks struggled through to keep San Antonio on its toes.
As Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki helped to narrow San Antonio’s early 11-point lead, back-to-back baskets from Duncan and an eight-point scoring spree by Tony Parker kept the Spurs alive. At the end of the first quarter, San Antonio proved they were back to recover from Game 1, up 24-20 over the Mavericks.
Consecutive three-point shots from Matt Bonner early in the second quarter gave San Antonio the cushion it needed to stay above Dallas on the scoreboard. J.J. Barea’s basket narrowed the lead to one, serving as the cue for Jefferson and Ginobili as they took over to score a whopping 18 points together in just four minutes of play to give the Spurs a 14-point lead.
Parker was able to add a basket just before Hill turned the ball over to Dallas. Jefferson regained possession and threw in another 2 points with a mere 24 seconds left in the half. The Mavericks were unable to score, ending the second quarter down by 12 - San Antonio 58, Dallas 46.
It took over a minute for either team to score at the beginning of the second half; Duncan came out the victor in the scoring battle as he was able to make a 2-point basket on an offensive rebound from a missed Jefferson shot. After spending most of the night helping recover the ball for second chance points, McDyess was able to add a basket before getting recovering Hill’s missed shot and passing to Duncan, who shined in the second half.
A set of threes from Ginobili allowed him to demonstrate exactly why he deserved his new three-year deal as well as bring the Spurs back to a 15-point lead with 4:44 left on the clock in the third. Three Ginobili free throws and a Jefferson basket later, the Spurs had their biggest lead of the game at 80-60 over Dallas. Just as things began to look up, the Mavericks forced two San Antonio turnovers, managing to get 12 points on the board before Parker could finish the quarter with a last-minute shot to end the third - San Antonio 82, Dallas 72.
Owning the fourth quarter, Duncan scored 10 points beginning with a 2-pt shot just 15 seconds into play. Hill began to look like himself again, making a big three-pointer in the clutch. Jason Kidd forced a Spurs turnover, allowing the Mavericks to put another seven points on the board before Ginobili stepped up to force a Dallas turnover that ended with a Hill jumper, putting the Spurs up by eight.
Duncan had an eight-point scoring spree before turning the ball back over to Kidd. Dallas was only able to add four more points before Ginobili and Bonner sealed the win - San Antonio 102, Dallas 88.
Duncan led the team in scoring with 25, followed by Ginobili‘s 23-point contribution; Jefferson and Parker with 19 and 16 points respectively. Duncan had 17 rebounds, while Jefferson had seven; the team had a total of 51 rebounds. San Antonio finished with 40 points in the paint and had 48.2 percent shooting, completing 8-of-15 three-point attempts.
The Spurs will return to San Antonio to face the Mavericks on home court for the next two games of the series; Game 3 will tipoff at 8:30 p.m. Friday evening at the AT&T Center.