Well, this was just one of those games. The Spurs couldn't catch a break after the 1st quarter and then didn't help themselves by turning over the ball and giving several games worth of offensive rebounds. It seems to be a trend that Manu Ginobili going off doesn't mean a Spurs win. Manu had 38 points to go along with Tim Duncan's 29 last night and it still wasn't enough.
This sums up my feelings on this game...
The one glaring thing that killed the Spurs in this game it was defensive rebounding. The Spurs shot 81 times for 50.6% and the Hawks shot 46.9% on 98 shots. Those percentages show that the Spurs should have won this game fairly easily, but the Hawks shot 17 more times off of 21 offensive rebounds. I will grant you that this Hawks team is very athletic and would be a rebound mismatch for most NBA teams. That being said the Spurs did a good job on defense and killed themselves with rebounding.
I'm not sure why Antonio McDyess didn't play hardly at all, if at all, in the second half. He seemed productive both on the defensive end as well as a few nice offensive rebounds, he had 10 rebounds in only 17 minutes. Matt Bonner played hard, but got owned on the defensive boards, 6 rebounds in 33 minutes isn't good enough. DeJaun Blair didn't get as much time (12 min) as I thought he should in the first game of a back to back. The worst news of this game is that Duncan and Manu both played a ton of minutes in this game. Never a good thing in a loss.
George Hill has been off the last few games and with Tony Parker out this team can not afford for Hill to be average. Come on George, we know you can pick it up. Richard Jefferson played well, but we need to see more from him on the offense. RJ scored 12 points, but he helped with 8 rebounds (3rd most) which was one or two less than I'd like to have seen. For the life of me I cannot figure out why Malik Hairston only played 3 minutes. Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams were causing all sorts of problems for Kieth Bogans and RJ. I think Hairston is good enough on defense to play more and he's so much better than Bogans on offense I think he should get at least half of the 25 minutes Bogans played.
The good news is that while this team is not clicking on all cylinders they are playing better. Having your two best players playing really well means the Spurs don't need a lot more from their roll players. Also, when Parker comes back that will only help this team avoid offensive droughts like they had in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. This is a tough loss, but the Spurs are playing better and with a win tonight have a chance to move up in the standings.
Here are your three stars:
3: Richard Jefferson, 12 points, 8 reb, 4 assists, 1 stl and blk
2: Tim Duncan, 29 points, 13 reb, 3 assists.
1: Manu Ginobili, 38 points, 6 assists, 1 reb