Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spurs 97, Nugs 88 (Game 2)

- The Nugs missed a lot of lay-ups, a big reason had to do with Duncan. But the whole Spurs' defense did a nice job challenging shots and held the Nugs to 39% from the floor. But the Nugs did make things interesting down the stretch thanks to Iverson making some filthy shots.

- Duncan redeemed himself as expected with a strong showing on both ends of the floor. Found a way to draw some fouls on the Nugs' bigs & was able to create some space between himself & Nene, so he could not use his strength to re-route Timmy as much.

- Parker did a much better job getting deep in the lane, you knew it was only a matter of time before the Spurs took advantage of Blake. Though Parker did not finish with impunity, because Camby was still a factor and Parker only shot 6/15--Tony is only shooting 40% for the series well below his reg. season average.

- Melo off on his jumper today (8/21), some of it had to do with the Spurs defense: they sent doubles earlier tonite, which was a good move because Melo was going so quick on his moves in Game 1. But he did do some damage getting some 2nd chance pts. off his 6 off. rebs & kept the Nugs close by scoring 11 of the Nugs' 19 3rd quarter pts. Just been impressed with Melo's activity so far--he looks as quick as I ever seen him.

- Iverson was penetrating well but couldn't seem to finish close-in, again a lot to do with Timmy. Pretty amazing that Iverson did not get to the line at all. It was not from a lack of trying--he was driving well all nite, and seemed to be getting knocked around some, but no whistles went his way. Even though he was fairly successful at creating space for himeself, his shot was off the mark like Melo's--AI shot 9/25, Melo & AI combined for 17/46 after shooting 21/40 in Game 1.

- Nene did a nice job finishing in the paint. HIs offensive game has taken a step forward this year, and he could actually be worth his contract in the future. Camby was much the same defensive presence that Duncan was. Camby had 3 blocks & altered numerous others (definitely effected Parker a few times), and he teamed with Nene to actually do a fairly solid job on Duncan when in post-up situations. The Nugs quietly did another solid job on the defensive end--the Spurs shot 43.8% after shooting 42% in Game 1.

- Early on Manu looked like he would struggle once again, but he came alive in the 2nd half with 15 of 17 pts. He mixed up his jumpers with some of his patented whirling-dervish forays to the bucket. Manu's Argentine sidekick, Fab Oberto, once again provided a nice lift off the bench with 8 pts & 10 rebs. Did his usual good job of finding the open space. Mike Finley quietly was a factor for the Spurs for the 2nd game in a row (14 & 7).

- One minor issue that sprang up again for the Spurs was giving up a few too many off. rebounds--14 for a 70.8% def. reb. pct, wasn't as bad as Game 1's 58%, but still could do a little bit better job.

- Like I said before, the Nugs are going to have to get some scoring punch off their bench to push the Spurs to the max. The Nugs' bench only scored 7 pts to S.A.'s 30pts; the Spurs outscored them 36-6 in Game 1. You can't expect much from Najera, but JR Smith & Kleiza have to step up because too much scoring pressure is on Melo & AI. Expect the Spurs to double Melo & AI on occasion, and should do it on the catch before they can get into their moves.

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