Morning Rehash: La Noche De Los Lobos

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

After defeating Oklahoma City the previous night in the AT&T Center, the San Antonio Spurs traveled up to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tired and depleted, the Spurs just couldn't compete with Ricky Rubio and the lottery bound T-Wolves.

Opening Hash

Remember all the talk in February about how much easier the schedule was going to be post-Rodeo Road Trip? "Only two road games in the entire month of March" and so on and so on? Yeah, well. Kiss that idea goodbye.

Of the seventeen games remaining in the Spurs regular season schedule, thirteen of them feature teams that are either playoff bound or fighting for a spot in the playoffs. There are also three sets of back-to-backs, including a run of four games in five nights. Only one of those six teams in the back-to-back sets don't have a shot for making the post-season. There are three games are against division rivals and another game in the budding rivalry with conference powerhouse, Oklahoma City. All of the five remaining road games are against playoff caliber teams and four of those are a part of back-to-back sets.

3/14 vs DAL Playoff bubble, division rival.
3/16 vs CLE
3/20 vs GSW Over .500, playoff bubble.
3/22 vs UTH Over .500, playoff bubble.
3/24 at HOU Over .500, playoff bubble, division rival.
3/27 vs DEN Over .500, playoff bound.
3/29 vs LAC Over .500, playoff bound.
3/31 vs MIA Over .500, playoff bound, part of a back-to-back
4/1 at MEM Over .500, playoff bound, part of a back-to-back, division rival.
4/3 vs ORL Part of a back-to-back.
4/4 at OKC Over .500, playoff bound, part of a back-to-back, budding rivalry.
4/6 vs ATL Over .500, playoff bound.
4/10 at DEN Over .500, playoff bound.
4/12 vs SAC
4/14 at LAL Over .500, playoff bubble, part of a back-to-back.
4/15 at GSW Over .500, playoff bubble, part of a back-to-back.
4/17 vs MIN

Hoo-boy... makes last night's loss to an injury-ridden lottery squad all that more frustrating, doesn't it? The Spurs balancing act of rest and seeding will be put to the test during these final weeks of the NBA regular season, but depending on how the rest of the West plays out, losing the top seed may not be that big of a deal.

What...?

Can never go wrong wearing silver and black, especially when you're down 80 to 60.

- Andrew Monaco commenting on Spurs fans in the Minnesota crowd.

Quickie Game Hash

Check out Fred Silva's recap of last night's game.

During a 20 minute and 41 second period of time that covered the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters, the San Antonio Spurs scored 11 points. Eleven. Points.

Yes, the Spurs were missing several key players. Yes, last night was the second game of a back-to-back that happened to be 1,250 miles north of the first game. But still, a 0.53 points per minute production rate for nearly half the game is a joke of a performance for the supposedly deepest team in the NBA.

Got to give the opponents credit though. The Timberwolves, who missing many key players, came out hustling and getting their hands in the middle of nearly every Spurs possession. Decrepit or injury-laden, an Adelman coached team rarely ever quits on him.

My Game Boss

Rubio_pro
RICKY RUBIO
PTS FGM FGA AST REB STL TO MIN
21 9 17 12 13 0 4 35

Ricky Rubio earned his first career (NBA) triple-double last night and made the highlight reel with a few nifty passes and drives through the lane (including a double behind the back dribble). Rubio was on pace for more prolific numbers but the Spaniard had to just settle for his career high in rebounds, a season high in points (one point short of his career high), and his third highest season mark in assists.

My Game Runt

Manu
MANU GINOBILI
PTS FGM FGA AST REB STL TO MIN
7 2 10 1 0 0 2 22

When Manu is off, the game gets bad for him. Real bad. Traditionally, we're used to Manu making up for bad shooting nights through hustle and game management but Ginobili just hasn't been able to consistently deliver those elements this season. Of course, he's had great nights but - chalk it up to age (35), injuries (a billion), or whatever - it's just not as easy as it once was to produce solid numbers. Manu was -30 on the +/-.

By the Numbers

  • 10 - Points the Spurs managed to squeak out in the 3rd quarter. Ten.
  • 29 - Three point attempts by San Antonio. They only made 9 of them.
  • 60 - Three point percentage on 20 attempts for Minnesota, the worst three point shooting team in the NBA.
  • 993 - Career wins for head coach Rick Adelman.
  • 30 - Team assists for the Timberwolves. They average roughly 22 a game.
  • 11 - Total blocks for the Timberwolves.
  • 30 - Points scored off of Spurs turnovers.
  • 54 - Combined points of Spurs last two losses.
  • 4 - Losses in the Spurs' last ten games. 6-4 is tied for their worst 10-game streak this season.
  • 5 - Number of times this season Stephen Jackson has attempted 10 or more shots in a game (44 games).
  • 37.8 - Stephen Jackson's field goal percentage this season.

Odds & Ends

  • In case you missed it, Popovich subbed in Gary Neal early just so he could yell at Cory Joseph. Joseph went back in almost immediately.
  • Joseph ruined a Splitter post-up by cutting inside way too late. Splitter ended up in a double-team and had to pass out. Fortunately, it ended with a Danny Green three-pointer.
  • Ginobili's head was bent back when he collided with DeJuan Blair's body early in the second quarter. It looks like he'll be a bit sore for a few days.
  • Big men who are excellent at passing are rare in the league. San Antonio has three of them.
  • Spurs showed some energy early on in third quarter but a little Minnesota run quickly deflated any chance of a comeback.
  • Mickael Gelabale has been doing a decent job in his second stint in the NBA (has hit 16 of his last 25 shots).

Bird is the Word

Going into the Next Game, the Spurs Need to...

...get the bench back firing on all cylinders. As mentioned earlier, the Spurs have a brutal schedule leading into the playoffs and the health (and rest) of key players is absolutely paramount. Tony Parker is still scheduled to return in early April and Duncan, Ginobili, and Leonard all have leg issues that likely won't go away until the off-season. If the Spurs value the overall home court advantage at all, they'll need to get their role players back on track to keep them ahead of Oklahoma City (1.5 games back) and Los Angeles (4 games back). No, not the Lakers.

If you don't place high value on your mental health, follow Aaron on Twitter at @DukeOfBexar for more Spurs notes, quotes, and opinions.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pounding The Rock

You must be a member of Pounding The Rock to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pounding The Rock. You should read them.

Join Pounding The Rock

You must be a member of Pounding The Rock to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pounding The Rock. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker