No Manu Ginobili, but it didn’t really matter. The San Antonio Spurs are too good for anyone coming into the AT&T Center at the moment, winning 13 consecutive games at home, with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker leading the way for the rest of the role players.
The Spurs haven’t lost at home since November 19 (Clippers), and have scored over 100 points in their last 7 home wins, usually winning in double digits. After losing in overtime to the Grizzlies five days before the rematch, they went on to win Minnesota by 18 points. When they’re rested, they’re as good as any other team in the NBA, including the Thudner, Clippers and Heat, especially at home.
This time it was a late run in the second quarter (scoring 38 points) that sparked the beginning of the seperation, ending in a 103-82 win against a Memphis Grizzlies team that not only lost three games in a row, they’ve lost them all by at least 20 points. It’s looking bad an lacking any kind of energy and will to get out of the slump they’ve fallen into. From potential contenders in the West and recognized for the best defense in the NBA, they allowed the Spurs to make 57.9% of the field goal attempts while playing slow and predictable offense.
How bad? They had just 11 assists on the day and not a single fast break point, while finding it very hard to get points inside, scoring only 26. On the other side, there wasn’t a shot you could have called bad for the Spurs. Tony Parker had an easy day with 17 points and 11 assists, making 6-11 from the field. Tim Duncan led the way with 19 points and 7 rebounds, but Tiago Splitter (10 points, 9 rebounds), Kawhi Leonard (13 points) and Boris Diaw (14 points) all finished in double figures, finishing with 33 assists on the day.
I think it’s the best we’ve played in two weeks. We’ve kind of had a tough time putting it all together in the last couple of weeks, for whatever reason. But tonight, they’ve worked hard the last three, four, five days in both film and practice. We’re trying to get it back to the way we need to play to win.
After averaging 18 turnovers in their past four games, the Spurs only had 13 against the Grizzlies. Their 33 assists are the ninth time this season they have had at least 30. It just felt too fluid, too easy, as the Grizzlies simply gave up the moment things got tough, not grabbing a single offensive rebound in the second half, as the questions regarding Lionel Hollins’ job and the trade rumors surrounding Rudy Gay will continue to circle.
The biggest part was allowing no offensive rebounds. We were moving the ball nicely. Once we stopped the offensive rebounding and started making shots, we were able to get a big lead.
For the Spurs, it’s about trying to replicate these efforts on to the road and in consecutive nights, when fatigue is clearly affecting Tim Duncan. Maybe without Manu Ginobili in the squad, it’s one less old man to worry about during the more tiring stretches in January.