Let me begin by apologizing for this late post. I've been traveling, moving, and simply busy. Plus, the Spurs are not treating my Stat of the Games very well. How about a win when it's my turn, guys? After the jump, the aforementioned stats.
Here are the Blowing Trees performing "The Day The World Left Me," which basically summarizes how I felt when we dropped the game to the Thunder.
1-4, 35 Minutes
Richard Jefferson only took 4 shots in 35 minutes. This cannot happen. He went from scoring 29 without Tim or Tony to scoring a measly 4 points. We need Jefferson to be more selfish. We need him to take the ball to the hole with authority and get to the line. He does not help the team by deferring. I understand he is trying to figure out how to play with two superstars while not stepping on anyone's toes, but we need an aggressive forward. If not, then why did we get rid of Bruce Bowen? Bruce can go 1-4 in 35 minutes and play better defense. RJ needs to score.
0-8, 18 Minutes
Manu was off, that was easy to see. But he was aggressive and made all 7 of his free-throws. He also had 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. Now, why was he on the bench in the fourth quarter? This is what kills me. How hard is it to play the best five players on the roster during crunch time? Experiment, mess around, out-think yourself. Fine, Pop, do that in the first 3 quarters. Just play the best five during crunch time. Manu does not need to score in order to make a positive impact on the game. Put him in there and let him create. He makes the game easier for everyone else, regardless of whether he is on fire or ice cold.
7-18, 32 Minutes
When it takes Tony 18 shots to score 17 points, odds are the rest of the team struggled with him. As I have said, Tony controls the game more than most realize. If he is having a hard time scoring, he is having a hard time creating for others. This means that our spot up guys, Bogans, McDyess, Mason, Bonner, and Finley, are not getting the clean looks that they require to shoot a high percentage. In games where Tony struggles, it is even more important that RJ establishes himself as an offensive threat. If not, the offense stagnates and the Spurs shoot 16.7% from three point land.
Clearly, this game did not go well. When 3 of the Big 4 struggle, grinding out a win becomes extremely difficult. That being said, the Spurs were still in this game. Had a few bounces and calls gone the other way, the Spurs may have been able to get control of this one. Even in bad losses, the potential of this team is evident. In a month, expect a nice, long winning streak. Until then, try not to throw your remote at the Plasma. Apparently, Plasmas do not like that.