What a night.
Memphis jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but Kawhi Leonard answered with a quick 3, prompting the Grizzlies to call a time-out 47 seconds into the game. Apparently Memphis had a game plan that included not allowing the Spurs to score a single point and had to regroup quickly after Kawhi ruined their night. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies the Spurs went on a 98-92 run to close out the game after that time-out to secure their first win of the season.
Of course the big story from this game might be the seriousness of the injury to Tim Duncan. Coach Pop was vague in his post game press conference, saying only it was in his "shoulder, and neck, and a bruise on his chest."
We'll find out in the next day or two the extent of the injury and hopefully Tim can travel with the team to L.A. on Friday. For now, keep your fingers crossed.
The second big story of the night was the dominating performance by the Spurs in the 2nd quarter, outscoring Memphis 30-7. Patty Mills continued to impress with a 4 point play and a 3-pointer that he shot and made BEFORE HE EVEN CAUGHT THE PASS.
I know this sounds physically impossible, but I saw it happen. Manu passed him the ball and he already shot it before he caught it. Super quick release. Super quick.
After Duncan went to the locker room the Grizzlies made a run cutting the lead to 5 but Kawhi, Tony, and Manu made some timely baskets down the stretch and Boris Diaw put the icing on the cake with an easy lay-up off an assist from Parker with 1:59 to play. Then Diaw ate the cake. The crowd went nuts.
Standard Pop Quote
He went and talked to a guru in India, but he catches and shoots now- Coach Pop on Boris Diaw
This was really a toss-up because five players played well, but no one really played lights out. I may not have a chance to do this very often, so I'm giving it to Boris Diaw. 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 1 crushed cake.
By The Numbers
- 18,581: Tonight's official attendance.
- 16,653: Fans dressed like a werewolf, Walter White, a zombie, or a sexy nurse*
- 1: Chest contusion
- 2: Points by Zach Randolph. It's almost November Zach, and you're still frustrated by the Spurs? Let it go! Get some rest!
- 53.3%: Good news for Memphis: this was their 3 point FG %. Bad news: it was also their FT %
- 70: Over/Under on the number of pounds Marco Belinelli gains in the 5 years after he retires. He just looks like one of those guys.
- 2: Number of shots Danny Green made inside the 3-point arc. Best part of the night, bar none.
*number of costumes is only an estimate
Odds And Ends
- With his hectic off-season schedule, I like to see Tony resting. He comes out for the shoot around, takes a few shots, then sits down with his fiance in the court side seats and relaxes.
- During the shoot around Jeff Ayres pays VERY close attention to what Tim is doing while warming up. He's very careful not to shoot at the same time and unintentionally knock one of Duncan's shots off line. Very careful. Very. Careful.
- Quincy Pondexter is in the top ten list of names I woulda named one of my kids if I coulda talked my wife into it.
- The Coyote is left-handed. Many of you probably already knew that but it really makes me think twice about having that dude over. I know some south-paws. They make a mess.
- Seeing Matt Bonner run up the court makes me feel better about my son's chances of becoming a professional athlete. Sure, it's a one in a million shot, but...
Tweets of the night
Small sample-size theater: Patty Mills had first-half net diff of 112.9 points per 100 possessions. Spurs went on 25-5 run during that time.— Matthew R Tynan (@Matthew_Tynan) October 31, 2013
Spurs 16-1 in season openers in the Duncan era. Grizzlies 0-13 in season openers in the Memphis era.— Dan McCarney (@danmccarneysaen) October 31, 2013
Spurs have six players in double figures tonight, led by Kawhi Leonard with 14, matched by ..... Boris Diaw, also with 14.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 31, 2013
That's Grizzlies' last gasp. Parker beats Memphis downcourt, finds Diaw for fast-break layup at 101-86 lead. 1:59 to go.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 31, 2013
Then he ate the cake...
By the way, the Spurs have an in-house DJ this season ... or at least the appearance of one. Because #hip #dope #FreedomOfMusicalChoice— Matthew R Tynan (@Matthew_Tynan) October 31, 2013
YOU EVER SEEN A LAND WALRUS FLY?— Pounding the Rock (@poundingtherock) October 31, 2013
My kingdom for a Diaw-Splitter 4-5 side pick and roll.— Jesus Gomez (@JejeGomez_PtR) October 31, 2013
Patty Mills just went up to Cory Joseph and said, "tell Josh Howard hello in Austin!" #NotReally— Geoff Sheen (@geoffsheen760) October 31, 2013
Going forward, the Spurs need to...
- Find a reliable third finisher. Tony, Kawhi and ?? to close out games? Will it be Diaw? We should want Duncan and Manu to put us in position to win, but we need three go-to guys in the final minutes. Let's find number three before April.
- Fix the intro music. Aerosmith's Back in the Saddle Again was awesome pre-intro but the song shorted out at the end. I refuse to believe this is some sort of omen.
- Fastballs from Manu to Kawhi on breakaways. Nobody can throw a 65 foot bounce pass and hit a guy in stride quite like Ginobili. I vote for 4 of these a game.
- Tony making 3's from the left baseline. He struggled last year from that corner but drained it tonight.