First, if you didn't see the Quick Cap by ATS, our bench outscored theirs 30-0 in the first half. That is the stat of the game (but not the Stat of the Game). That is the type of stat that keeps you up at night so you are late to work the next morning. There were so many stats in this game that highlight how great the Spurs may be, but one jumped out at me thinking about our pregame discussion: margin of victory. Our 17 point victory seemed really good for our first game against a playoff team that should be a 4-8 seed again this year. More on this wonderful stat in a wonderful victory after the jump....
I partly picked this stat because I felt it would be a great way to show a transition from where we were last year to where we want to be this year. How significant is our 17 point victory? How significant is any 17 point victory? I'm not sure I can answer those questions, but I know I prefer it to starting with 3 straight losses to open the season. I also remember a lot of close games last year so....
In our 82 games last season, how many did we win by 17 points or more? 10 games with no more than 2 in a single month and no less than 1 in any month other than October (Zero because it was only 2 games which were both losses).
Of those 10 games, how many of those teams were in the playoffs? 3. Utah, at Denver, and Dallas.
Utah, 119-94: Without Parker and Manu, Mason and Hill combined for 52 points on 9 of 12 three point shooting.
At Denver, 108-91: Our three headed monster scored 22 (Parker), 21, and 21 points. They all started and played heavy minutes. Parker had 39 and Duncan had 36 compared to both players being under 30 last night.
Dallas, 93-76: With Duncan and Manu out, this was the game Parker decided to show how bad of a match up he was for Dallas. He went for 37 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds and only 2 turnovers. Our defense was pretty amazing too. Dirk was 5 of 15, Howard was 5 of 17, Kidd was 1 of 5, and Wright was 3 of 10. Again though, Parker had 37 minutes.
Last night's win marks the first game and already one 17 point win over a quality opponent. But this wasn't an individual player or two going crazy, and it wasn't our big three carrying the team. This was a team effort dismantling led by our big 3. Their shooting percentage was around 40% at half (when we were up by 18), and then we traded buckets for the entire second half to finish up by 17. Here is to not having to wait 27 games or until December 31st against Miami for our next 17 point win over a playoff team. Hopefully, we see one tonight, on the road, against Chicago.