Wonder if "Jet Pack" will play against Houston? Logged 37 minutes tonight, and said in his port-game presser that he was expecting more like 20-25. I wouldn't necessarily be concerned if he does sit (as long as he word "setback" is never used), but would be a tremendous sign if he does play.
When Coach Pop said after the Cavs win that "(Duncan) saved our ass," he probably hoped he it wouldn't be a prophesy of things to come in LWT. It was. With Tony to my eye not running as much of the offense, Duncan managed to put up 19 points on 13 shots, despite only sinking 4 of them. He was aggressive, initiated the offense at times, and got to the line. He's still an amazing passer for our big. Not to mention anchor of the D. He is awesome.
Kawhi Leonard is afraid to dominate at times because he really just wants to make the right play. Right play be damned, he could school a lot of those Jazz perimeter defenders if he wanted! It's incredibly endearing though if at times frustrating, because you know his heart is in the right place.
If Leonard and Duncan and Tony can all be aggressive within the offense and synergize (which apparently isn't a real word but should be), they could have a three-headed monster that will be near impossible to stop and will hopefully lead to a lot of open looks for Green.
What's going on with Gary Neal? i haven't read anything but he barely saw burn last game and I didn't see him at all against the Jazz. Totally speculative theory on it? Don't mind if I do. Pop may be thinking he pretty much knows what he can get out of Neal if he is healthy, so why not give him some time to actually get healthy? If the injuries continue to nag, why not give some time to de Colo and Joseph and see how much they can develop? Cojo isn't a true rookie, but for all practical purposes they might as well both be rooks and you might need a plan B if Neal is ineffective due to injury or just a shooting slump.
I'm worried about Manu. And S. Jax. I know the running narrative is that both will step up their game when it matters, but some of these games kinda matter and when they try to be aggressive on offense it just isn't working. Manu is my favorite player ever, period, but the fact of the matter is for whatever reason he doesn't get any calls anymore. Drawing contact has always been a part of his game and will be even more as he ages. He has at least one bad turnover a game now out on the perimeter that leads to an uncontested two on the other end. Neither he nor Jackson have come close to finding their shot. They both still find ways to contribute, but just as bench/role players. That's it. There has been talk since the Ole' article that if Manu agrees to half his current salary, $7 million, it would be like a hometown discount for the Spurs. Not sure I agree. If he was durable he could easily command that, but I'm not too sure he would do better than that over 2-3 years on the open market given his age and history of injuries. Anyway, it's just surprising to me that at this point in the season I'd be a little worried about depth on the Spurs. All anyone could do was rave about their depth for the last few seasons.
Congrats to Coach Pop and Timmy D for reaching milestones! Way to keep pounding the rock!!! Tony made a point of mentioning both in his post-game interview. You could tell he was genuinely happy for them. Nice to see that kind of camaraderie, not that it's surprising with this group.