After an underwhelming week of basketball, the Spurs finally put together a complete game against a depleted Clippers roster. With every player who logged a minute of court time recording at least one basket and rebound, the Spurs were finally provided with a much needed boost to their confidence. Here are the takeaways from a refreshing night of basketball.
- Dejounte Murray has got to work on defending on the perimeter without fouling. The second year guard is so gifted athletically that there is no reason for the careless reach-ins he seems to find it difficult to avoid taking. Fortunately, that was just about the lone fault in his performance against the Clippers. The young playmaker competed with the energy and swagger that Spurs have been wanting to see since the first few games of the season.
- While his future replacement brought the house down with some highlight worthy play, Tony Parker quietly played with the most confidence he’s shown all season. What #9 has done such a great job of during his recovery is pick his spots. He knows very well that his days as a consistent 20 point scorer are behind him. However his role facilitating the offense has been just as important for this team.
- Rudy Gay had a solid bounce back game against the Clips. What it would be great to see from Rudy going forward, is instead of backing smaller opponents down in the low block, start to face them up in the high post when he is playing the 4. Gay's strength in these matchups is his speed and length. There will seldom be times that he can overpower a defender with his back to the basket. For Gay to be as effective as the Spurs need him to be, he will need to consistently beat these slower post players off of the dribble.
- Kawhi Leonard looked a bit rusty in his short time on the floor. At this point it's honestly unreasonable to expect the former MVP finalist to jump back into consistently scoring 30 points a game. It's clear Pop and his staff have him on an organized regimen, which despite being frustrating to anxious fans across the state, will prove to be a wise decision in the long run.
- LaMarcus Aldridge had another solid night at the office against a dreadful Los Angeles front court. It was nice seeing LA have a productive night on the floor and it not feel like the Spurs would be lost without him. His dominant play coupled with the major offensive woes from the rest of the team lately has made me forget what a balanced victory looks like.
- Patty Mills looks to have finally overcome a stretch of shooting woes, as the fan-favorite point guard has strung together a couple of nice games shooting the ball. When he and Manu Ginobili are clicking, our second unit provides the spark that our starters have desperately needed at times this season.
- Overall, this was an important night for a Spurs team that seemed as if they had lost their identity in the last few games. The team needed to see the ball go into the basket. With another grueling stretch of games coming up this week, hopefully this will be just what the doctor ordered for the Silver and Black to finish December off with a bang.