Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Notebook: Spurs-Hawks, 12/10/08

Editorial Note: I apologize "the Notebook" is a tad bit late and a tad bit short today. It's a crazy day in the life of your humble author.

Running on empty, the Spurs managed to pullout a 95-89 win over the Atlanta Hawks last night at the AT&T Center. In my "Match-Up of the Night" piece I had characterized the game as a showdown between Joe Johnson and Manu Ginobili, which turned out to be rather prescient as the two guards led their teams with 29 and 27 points, respectively.

Despite having played 50 minutes on Tuesday in the 2OT game at Dallas, Duncan put together a solid 35 minutes, 19 point, 13 rebound showing. After the Spurs slipped behind in the opening minutes, Duncan orchestrated a run that would recapture the lead for good.

Duncan wasn't the only worn-out veteran who somehow put together a good game: Michael Finley carried his fair share of the load by scoring 15 points on 6-11 shooting. Down the bench, the team played with more consistency than I expected coming of off Tuesday night's game.

Aside from Ginobili's take-charge attitude (which paradoxically included a request for Popovich to bring him off the bench), the most notable storyline from last night's game is the maintained high level of play on the part of Matt Bonner. Bonner hauled in 13 rebounds and racked up 9 points on 4-8 shooting. Night in, night out Bonner has been a reliable contributor on both ends of the floor. His defensive awareness has improved significantly and he is shooting over .500 from both the field in general and beyond the arc. Tim recently discussed Bonner's on-court success this year at length, so suffice it to say the Red Rocket continues to pleasantly surprise.


Perception & Reality said...
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Perception & Reality said...

I definitely agree with you about Bonner's improved defensive awareness. Well-put. Good for him. Don't you think though we still would try to trade him for a Big?

And do you know what happened to Ian Mahinmi? Why isn't he playing? Is he hurt still?

Plus, did Manu ask Pop to bench him? I didn't know that...where did you get that info? Not that I am doubting you. I try to follow the Spurs as much as I can as well. :)

Graydon said...

Manu was quoted in an ESPN/AP article as having asked to come off the bench. I believe I read it in the standard ESPN recap if you want to check it out.