The San Antonio Spurs made 50 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half and yet from where I was sitting (court side) it seemed like the Phoenix Suns were playing very good half court defense. Phoenix forced, a fair word in this case, 12 San Antonio turnovers which lead to 13 Suns points. Those extra possessions are why the Suns were able to go into the half with the game tied at 50.
Offensively, the Spurs took advantage of mismatches and attacked aggressively with their big three. Duncan, Ginobili and Parker scored 35 of the Spurs 50 total points. On the other end the Suns didn't shoot the ball well (42.2 percent) but used a much more balanced attack. 8 Suns players had at least 4 points and none had more than 10. The biggest culprit of poor shooting was Steve Nash who took advantage of single coverage to get good looks but wasn't able to convert. He went 2-10 with only four total points along with 4 assists in 16 minutes.
The offensive star for Phoenix was Goran Dragic who was again electric off the bench with eight points and four assists in just eight minutes. Dragic's vision and passing in the pick and roll has shown tremendous improvement this season. He's holding the ball longer and delivering accurate strikes on the move along with his fearless attacks at the rim.
The Suns were plagued with foul trouble in the first half forcing Garret Siler to see his first action in place of Robin Lopez who had to leave early after picking up his third foul on a questionable call.
First Half Game Notes:
- Love watching players great each other before games
- Parker on Nash to start game, Nash on Parker on other end. Hill on Manu w/ JRich on RJ
- Great work by Hedo to tip ball away from Blair
- Robin stuffed Blair w/ great, patient, Duncan-like defense
- Love Robin's body language early. Looks focused and engaged
- Great half court defense for Suns early. Mixing up looks on Timmy
- Spurs scored quick in transition three times so far
- Bad foul for Robin to pick up off the ball
- First look at the Hedo/Robin pick and roll. Hedo got to the rim and drew a 2nd foul on Blair
- 2nd foul on Robin protecting the rim on a Jefferson drive set up by Robin fronting Tim w/ Jason squeezing from the weak side. Spurs swung the ball to RJ who attacked Hedo who was rotating
- Hedo/Frye pick and roll. Hedo ended up defending Timmy and did a nice job poking the ball away to ignite a fast break
- Suns trapped Manu with the ball and did a great job rotating. Ended up causing a turnover.
- Frye has to hedge that screen harder to prevent Tony from turning the corner on him
- Very impressed with Suns half court defense so far
- Splitter in for TD for the first time
- Parker looked at Splitter with Frye on his back in the post and said, non, and took the shot himself
- Nice aggressive move by Warrick to draw the foul on Splitter who was bodying up too close
- Great read by Goran to find Dudley for three on a pick and roll that the Spurs defense collapsed on
- 22-23 Spurs. Nice quarter of ball.
- SWEET no-look pass from Goran to J-Chill on a baseline cut
- Second unit running a full court press on Garrett Temple
- Suns ran that possession through J Chill in the post who was backing down Manu, drew help and found a cutting Warrick
- Goran killing it again, 6 points already
- Manu working Childress over on the perimeter. Josh is having a real hard time with him
- Damn, that was a fantastic pick and roll with Dragic and Warrick. Impeccable bounce pass
- Tough call on Robin. Gentry told him it wasn't a foul as he came off the court - replaced by Siler.
- Nash missing a ton of little shots he usually makes
- GREAT post defense by Siler on Duncan's post move. Impressed.
- Needless to say the Nash/Siler pick and roll spacing is a bit...awkward
- Ok, now this is getting silly. Nash keeps shooting and keeps missing
- Duncan and Splitter on the floor together here. Interesting.
- That's the best roll move Hedo's made since coming to Phoenix. No question
- And now we've seen the mythical Hedo/Siler pick and roll
- This young ref's name is Marat Kogut and he just T'd up Gentry. That's been coming
- Gentry put Clark in the game for a final end of clock defensive possession. It worked, Suns drew a charge
- 50-50. Nice half of basketball despite Nash being 2-10 with 4 points.
- Duncan, Ginobili and Parker all tearing up Suns. 13-20 for 35 of Spurs 50 points. No other Spur doing much.
- Suns getting balanced scoring: 8 players with at least 4 points and none with 10.