The Spurs didn't play the prettiest game tonight, turning the ball over 20 times, but man did they play some great defense. Kevin Love was held to 14 points on just 3-of-14 shooting. Sure he missed some gimmees and it just wasn't his night, but my man Boris did a great job of fronting him and playing him close when he did get the ball, as did Bonner on several possessions. I really like Boris Diaw - defensive stopper.
What's gotten into Boris Diaw?
He saw a guru in India, became an offensive shoot-first threat, and was named team-MVP by Tim Duncan after his great showing vs the Mavs. But it's not just his scoring that's raising eyebrows this year. Boris has put his entire game together.
The Spurs held the second-highest scoring team to just 86 points which is 21.6 points less than they average. Nikola Pekovic was a beast on the offensive boards tonight, and generally made life difficult for Tim Duncan, but his 22 points weren't nearly enough to make up for Love and Kevin Martin's bad shooting nights. Alexey Shved was Minnesota's third highest scorer somehow. I don't know how that guy is in the league at all, don't let tonight fool you, he is shooting under 30% for the season.
The Spurs were also excellent offensively, despite the sometimes sloppy play. They finished with six players in double figures and totaled 31 assists for the night.The Spurs went 9-for-13 from beyond the arc, and 42-of-74 overall.
Here's an interesting fact, the Spurs took 19 less shots than the Wolves, but won by 18. In no way am I impressed by Minnesota, who was outmatched tonight despite the Spurs missing Tiago Splitter and The Manu. Although maybe Stampler is right, and the Spurs are better when they are missing one of their best players.
Popovich's response to a reporter asking him about the 31 assists:
Well, you know, it's an unselfish team - and when we play like that...a lot of that comes from being in fast-break mode because we're making stops and we're getting it up the floor and moving it. It's easier [that way] to get assists than when you are walking it and playing in the half court every time.
and Pop asked about how Danny Green was:
He'll be out, he won't go on the trip. So we've lost him, but the bench came in - Cory and Patty were great, Jeff and Matty off the bench did a fine job.