Tim Duncan vs. Anthony Davis: The much anticipated bout of the two big-men didn’t disappoint. The spry, young and athletic forward had an impressive NBA debut with 21 points and seven rebounds.Duncan was well—Duncan with 24 points 11 rebounds and three blocks. It is simply amazing how well Duncan is playing at this point in his career. It goes to show his incredible work ethic.
D Up: After the first quarter, it’s safe to say that the play at the defensive end wasn’t what Gregg Popovich had in mind when he talked about getting better defensively in the preseason.San Antonio allowed 31 points in the first quarter in an uninspiring defensive effort to start the game. Spurs’ players routinely missed rotations that lead to Hornets’ easy looks at the rim. But the Spurs put the clamps on the Hornets in the second half holding them to 34 percent shooting in the second half.
Come back soon Manu Ginobili: Ginobili sat this game out due to back spasms. His presence was missed, even in the first game of the regular season. With Ginobili missing, the Spurs’ second unit was without a playmaker. With that in mind, Popovich had Parker and Leonard with the bench unit a little bit longer. Tony Parker said earlier in the week that Ginobili is fine and that sitting him was more precautionary than serious. Let’s hope so.
Kawhi Leonard’s third quarter:The Spurs got into the Hornets in the third quarter and Leonard was the centerpiece in that third quarter run. He wreaked havoc on the defensive end, forcing three turnovers that lead to six of his 11 points in the quarter.
It looked like Leonard was going to be a victim of a sophomore slump after a poor preseason, but it looks like we might have overreacted.
A Patty Mills sighting: Mills checked into the game with a little over two minutes to go. I wasn’t impressed with some of his decision making. But six minutes of playing time is a small sample size. He still needs some work but I thought the offense ran better with him at point-guard rather than Gary Neal.