Holy crap that was some ugliness. Outside of Manu Ginobili and Richard Jefferson the main rotation players of this team did NOT have a good game. The Magic where unconscious shooting 60+% in the first half and finishing the game shooting 52%. The Magic out scored the Spurs by only 2 points in the paint, but they made twice as many three-pointers. The bottom line is when your franchise player has his worst shooting night of his career (1-10) and no other players pick it up (3 of 5 starters combined for 9 points), you're in for a long night.
This is what your performance looked like Spurs...please don't ever do that to us again.
The Spurs had no answer for Vince Carter. He was able to get to the rim with ease for the most part of the game. Of course that is not what you want from Carter as a defender. When Malik Hairston got to defend Carter he did the best job, in my view. Dwight Howard was held in check with only 9 points. Our rotation is what killed us. Rashard Lewis had 20 points on 4-6 from downtown. I was surprised to see the Spurs doubling Howard and then running at 3-point shooters. As I said before the game I thought the Spurs would let Howard do what he could but then stay at home on the shooters. Either way, when a team shoots 52% from the field, you're doing something wrong on defense.
The good news from this game? Manu and Rage continue to look really good together. Rage scored 20 points, for the first time in a loss, and Manu was looking right on track with 18. Also, we got to see some bench players get significant minutes and the one who really stood out to me is Ian Mahinmi. He looked spry on offense and scored 10 points on 4-7 shooting. I'd love to see him teaming with Tim Duncan or Antonio McDyess in this rotation. He made mistakes, but I will say that I think the Spurs should re-sign him and get him in the lineup next year for cheap. I would hate to lose him and then see him start going for 20-10 every night for the Knicks or some team.
Got me on his bandwagon last night
I'd like to see more of Hairston on the offense. The handful of times he touched the ball he was aggressive and made smart plays, for the most part. If we can get another guy who can be aggressive and make the defense have to pay attention too that can only help this team. I loved his intensity on defense and thought he was our best perimeter defender last night. Perhaps when Parker gets back we'll see him in the lineup with Parker and get Manu and RJ playing together.
The Spurs really missed Tony Parker tonight. If you have him in there pushing the one-man break and putting some additional pressure on their defense this could have been a different game. It was clear with Timmeh, Dice and George Hill struggling that the Spurs needed Parker's offense on this evening.
Get all healed up Tony, we'll need you ready to dominate
I'm not sure I should give out stars for this game, but I'll go ahead and give props to the guys who played well. Here are your 3 stars:
3: Ian Mahinmi - 10 points, 2 rebs, 1 block in just 12 minutes
2: Manu Ginobili - 18 points, 3 rebs, 3 assists.
1: Richard Jefferson - 20 points, 6 rebs, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block