The Spurs return home to the friendly San Antonio confines to renew their season series with the Houston Rockets. The last time they met, Spurs were on their forth game in five nights. Only Blair, Splitter and Green (foreshadowing?) really showed up, as the rest of the team looked ragged.
Houston has struggled out of the gate this season, winning their two home games, including their huge win over the Spurs. They return from Charlotte with their first road victory against the lowly Bobcats. Kyle Lowry returned from his injury and Chandler Parsons, who is now starting in place of Chase Budinger, had his first 20 point game.
Spurs come off a hard fought loss against the Bucks. Unfortunately, they return back from Milwaukee without a healthy TJ Ford, who strained his left hamstring in a collision early in the first quarter.
Overall, the game had a many positives, regardless of win or loss. The team saw good play from many players, despite losing Ford early.
- Leonard had a solid road trip, capping it off with his best game yet in Milwaukee. A well balanced effort on his part as he continues to show more confidence and aggression. He also made key baskets, including leading the team in the 4th quarter with 9 points on 4/5 shooting. Kawhi and Chip's hard work is already paying off.
- Parker and Duncan both shot the ball well
- Stepping in for Ford, Neal played backup PG at a decent level. He continues to look better each game, especially offensively.
- Blair had a solid night. Nothing earth shattering, but it was probably his most balanced game and he was very well under control. [Note: I've been tough on him all season, but I must call out his hustle and effort as it was well needed. This is the Blair I hope to continue to see.]
- The team played extended minutes and did not pull out the victory
- They left Jackson alone too often. He was already in his rhythm by the time they improved their defense on him
- Ford left with hamstring injury. Neal played backup PG and his defense leaves quite a bit to be desired
- (for the individual players) Both Danny Green and James Anderson saw time, but saw the dog house with Leonard beasting
Last Meeting vs. Rockets:
In their last meeting, the Spurs looked like they had been clubbing all night. They had no legs on their forth game in five nights. The game was over before it started, but Houston came out looking to attack.
Martin scored 20 points and Luis Scola scored 14 in the first half. Kyle Lowry was the steady force, managing to score and distribute when needed throughout the game.
Spurs Keys to winning:
- Play within the system - too often, the team was out of control in OKC, but improved in their game against the Bucks. Losing Ford for some time will put more pressure on Parker and Neal [probably the backup]
- More Green/Anderson [and less Neal] on Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry
- Limit turnovers [Spurs had 16 versus the Bucks, and 6 in the 4th period]
- Defend the 3-pt line [9/26 3pt shots]
- Crash the boards [Houston had 13 offensive rebounds in their first game]
As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.