Morning Rehash: Tim Duncan the Magnificent

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs found themselves in yet another nail-biter last night, this time with the visiting Los Angeles Clippers. Manu Ginobili went down with yet another injury but the other two-thirds of the Big Three stepped up and carried the team to their 55th win of the season.

Unfortunately, due to schedule issues, the Opening Rehash is not a part of today's Morning Rehash. I wanted to detail one of the many great highlights of David Robinson's career but instead I'm forced to leave you with what I consider to be the Tweet of last night's game.

Carry on.

Shoot-Around Notes

  • Danny Green was working on catching high passes to the corner for a three-point shot.
  • DeJuan Blair slung a behind the back pass to Danny Green for an alley-oop dunk.
  • Kawhi Leonard spent some time working down on the block after working on his mid-range game.
  • Mechanically, Kawhi Leonard faces up like Tim Duncan. The motion is nearly identical.
  • The Los Angeles coaching staff spent quite a bit of time working Ronny Turiaf, DeAndre Jordan, Ryan Hollins, and Lamar Odom through both drills in the block and in pick and roll sets.
  • Gary Neal ran cautiously in his workout but he shot the ball well.
  • The Clippers have a thing for cutoff sweat pants... comical.
  • There is more structure and professionalism to the Clippers pre-game practices than last season (there was basically none, even in the playoffs).
  • Lamar Odom looked terrible in his workout (late on his release) and it probably didn't help that he allowed himself to be distracted by fans in the crowd calling out his name (he turned and smiled on every single call-out).
  • Tiago Splitter spent some time working on his mid-range game, including some pick-and-pop sets. He did... alright. He did alright.

Quickie Game Hash

The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the better defensive teams in the league and they do it by utilizing their speed and athleticism through physical play. Last post-season, against the Spurs, the Clippers got physical with a team that clearly outclassed them. Los Angeles attacked the Spurs pick-and-roll offense, fouled hard, and made each block look like an attempt at a distance record. Last night, the young squad brought the same type physicality into the AT&T Center. The Clippers set brick walls for screens, tackled the ball handler when they needed to, sent a few shots flying the opposite direction, and threw down plenty of dunks with bad intentions. the Los Angeles players, of course, thumped their chests and bellowed each time.

Were the Spurs impressed? Perhaps, but they sure as hell were not intimidated.

Trailing by three points with less than three minutes remaining In the fourth quarter, Blake Griffin found himself charging towards the rim through a wide open lane. Griffin had just received the ball off a high pick-and-roll with Chris Paul and was preparing himself for yet another highlight monster jam. Tim Duncan stepped up from the baseline, away from DeAndre Jordan, and went right up at the apex of Blake's dunk attempt. Tim got a full hand on the ball, driving Griffin back, but the two big men became tangled after the mid-air collision. Both Griffin and Duncan came crashing to the ground, accompanied by the sound of the official's whistle. The entire AT&T Center exploded to their collective feet in applause. Although Duncan was called for a shooting foul, the play reminded the Clippers that they were not going to be able to bully the Spurs into a loss.


Game Boss

Duncan_pro
TIM DUNCAN
PTS FGM FGA REB BLK AST TO MIN
34 12 19 11 2 3 3 32:20

Tim Duncan set his season high in points with 34 and he did it shooting 63.2% from the floor and 100% from the free throw line. The Big Fundamental scored 9 of the Spurs 19 fourth quarter points (those points were also 9 out of the last 11 points in the quarter) with the final three giving San Antonio the final lead change of the game. Tim Duncan set a screen along the baseline for Tony Parker and then curled out to the free throw line for the ball. Willie Green slammed into Duncan during the shot but the ball still danced on the rim, finally falling through the net. It was only appropriate that Duncan would hit the game winning shot. Duncan fought through the Clippers physical play and took on a minster dunk from Blake Griffin and, despite the foul call, came out victorious. Timmy was almost disgustingly efficient while carrying his teammates on his back.

Game Runt

Jordan_pro
DEANDRE JORDAN
PTS FGM FGA REB BLK AST TO MIN
9 4 4 8 0 1 1 24:45

DeAndre Jordan found himself sitting on the pine for most of the 4th quarter after Coach Popovich busted out the "Hack-A-Shaq" strategy in the previous quarter. Jordan missed all six of his attempts from the line (1-8 overall), giving the Spurs even more momentum in a 24-17 quarter. Jordan had a good game on the glass and was doing a somewhat decent job in contesting on help defense. However, the high flyer just straight struggled in defending the great Tim Duncan.

By the Numbers

  • 42.7 - Percentage of total points between both teams that were scored inside the paint (44 each).
  • 29 - Total assists for San Antonio.
  • 9 - Turnovers for each team. The last time the Spurs had less than 10 turnovers was March 6th against Chicago.
  • 4 - Fast break points by the Spurs
  • 96.6 - Spurs winning percentage when shooting 50% or better from the field (28-1).
  • 89.6 - Spurs winning percentage when leading after the third quarter (43-5).
  • 3 - Number of times a Spurs opponent has scored over 100 points since the Portland blowout.
  • 4 - Total difference in points over the last three games.
  • 15 - Number of consecutive games Tim Duncan has scored in double digits (since February 21st).

Odds & Ends

  • Tony Parker's acceleration is probably at 80-90% and he still embarrassed several defenders, especially Chris Paul, with his quickness.
  • Manu Ginobili immediately grabbed at his right leg when he the ground.
  • Good God, DeAndre Jordan. How do you not step on your own hands?
  • Chris Paul got in the face of an official after he missed the game-tying shot. He was maybe - maybe - an inch away from the man's face.
  • The officials started calling the illegal screens in the second half. Los Angeles got away with a handful early on.
  • Gary Neal shot 3 of 10 but he still had a good game through his hard work.
  • Matt Bonner has got that driving hook down... and it's basically his only move inside the three-point line.
  • Stephen Jackson. King of hustle.
  • On a Tim Duncan dunk in the second quarter, Ryan Hollins reached out and shoved Duncan hard with both hands. Duncan was holding onto the rim and only moved a little bit but Hollins would have been ejected if the contact came a half second sooner.
  • The Spurs offense became stagnant in the fourth quarter when it focused too much on the high pick and roll with Tony Parker.

Bird is the Word

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

...keep the excellent ball movement going. The Spurs are going up against one of the better perimeter defenses in the NBA on Sunday and will need to keep he ball flying around the court, especially towards the lane. The Spurs have the best passing big men in the league so they should go inside early against the weak interior defense of the Miami Heat. Hopefully, the collapsing defenders will allow the right amount of spacing between the Spurs' shooters and the quick Miami back court.

Follow Aaron Preine on Twitter for more Spurs news, facts, quotes, and opinions. And possibly self-degrading photos.

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