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Morning Rehash: Spurs break The Fun Bunch

They're really gonna slide down Bill Simmons' League Pass rankings after this one.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Game 6: Vs. Golden State: Spurs 76, Warriors 74     Rec: 5-1   1st in Southwest, 1st in West  Streak: W-3

Besides the win, the only good thing that came out of this game for the Spurs from a national perspective is that it happened to be on a Friday night, where the hip crowd is usually too busy having a good time to pay attention to sports. Heaven help them if this was some Thursday TNT game or some evening where all the eyeballs were on them. Then you know what the story would be the next day on all the news shows.

76-74? Against the Warriors? Are you kidding me? Somebody stop the Spurs! They're ruining the NBA!

Somehow, someway, this would be all their fault. The Spurs would have to apologize for winning. San Antonio, the city famous because some Texans there were killed by a bunch of Mexicans, and where entertaining basketball was killed by a bunch of Frenchmen, an Argentine, a Virgin Islander and whatever planet Kawhi Leonard is from.

It's not their fault though, honest. Blame the schedule. The simply ridiculous schedule.

I'm sure many NBA fans who buy into the notion that scoring differential is a better indicator a team's true quality than won-loss record (which I don't necessarily agree with, because there's all kinds of variables it doesn't consider) will be all too happy to point out that the Spurs 5-1 record thus far isn't at all impressive because they haven't had a single blowout and their overall differential is just +2.7 points, only good enough to be tied for sixth in the Western Conference. So far, critics will scoff, they've just been lucky. They've won a couple of coin flip games that could've gone either way. Duncan's not rebounding anymore. Ginobili still looks finished.

And I'll continue to point to the schedule. This was the Spurs fifth game in eight nights. Starting with Sunday's 11am start in New York, they'll play another four games in six (FOGASINI). The whole team is dragging, just trying to make it to Nov. 16, where they'll have a much-needed four days off before a home game against the woeful Celtics. But after that respite, it's right back into the grinder. Overall, the Spurs will have played 17 games in October/November, over the first 32 days of the regular season calender. It doesn't get any easier in December, where 16 more games await them. Only when we push into 2014 does the slog of games get marginally less insane.

So I'll excuse the Spurs if they don't paint many masterpieces over the first 33 games. They're not trying for style points out there. They're just trying to eke out wins, Pop will be managing minutes while experimenting with different combinations and rotations, and the main priority is just to make it to 2014 in one piece. The less anyone pays them any mind, the better.

If you absolutely, desperately feel the need to rage at somebody for having to endure this brutal game, where only 150 points were scored combined, allow me to make one simple suggestion: Go yell at the team who had less than half of those 150. Man, those guys sucked.

Standard Pop Quote:

"Overall, they're a hard team to guard, so I thought the defense was some of the better defense we've played this year. [We] did a lot of one-on-one on the post and one-on-one on the perimeter. We certainly couldn't put it in the basket, so the defense was really important for us tonight."

By The Numbers:

18,581: Tonight's attendance

36: Second half points by the Spurs, in a winning performance.

50.0: The Spurs' free-throw percentage, on 18 attempts, lowlighted by Tony Parker's 4-of-10.

0: Boris Diaw rebounds in 15:30 of floor time.

53: Points by all the Warriors combined aside from Toney Douglas.

8: Field goals made, out of his last 31 attempts, by Manu Ginobili, over the past three games (1-of-13 from three).

2:23: How much time elapsed without a single point by either team to end the game.

30: Consecutive regular season home wins by the Spurs over the Warriors

2: Minimum number of days the Spurs will own the regular season NBA Championship Belt

Sounds of the Game:





(These are the frantic noises Klay Thompson was making while trying, in vain, to claw his way out of Leonard's pocket. Poor feller.)

Sequence of the Game:

With 1:06 to go in the third quarter Warriors second-year man Harrison Barnes drew a non-shooting foul on Ginobili and on the broadcast the team's color man Jim Barnett immediately encouraged the team to run the same play again, explaining to the audience that Barnes should always drive on Ginobili because he has the physical advantage. Sure enough, the Warriors tried to go through Barnes right off the in-bounds pass... and his shot was blocked by Ginobili. Oddly enough, Barnes didn't attempt another shot the rest of the game.

Tweets of the Night:

Better by the gane indeed!

Your Three Stars:

3. Tim Duncan (12 pts): 8 points and 4 boards, not at all impressive. But he had five dimes, blocked a couple shots and contested several others (including the final one on Andre Iguodala when Pop -- imagine that -- left him on the floor.

2. Tony Parker (16 pts): How many games in a row has it been where he was the entire offense in the fourth quarter? I've lost count. It'd be nice to see the Spurs break out one of these nights.

1. Kawhi Leonard (6 pts): Forget the 13 points (on 6-of-8 shooting), 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists and just realize this: When Warriors coach Mark Jackson started Toney Douglas in the second half, it gave Leonard the opportunity to finally guard Klay Thompson, after Parker had to check him the whole first half. Thompson put up 12 shot attempts in that first half against Parker. He didn't attempt a single shot in the third with Leonard on him -- and was stripped for an and-1. Even Warriors announcer Bob Fitzgerald, who rivals Sean Elliott on the homer scale, admitted that Leonard was "owning" Thompson.

Next Up: @New York (2-3), Sunday, Nov. 10

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