Blair Makes is way into starting line-up: Gregg Popovich inserted DeJuan Blair into the starting line-up tonight. I must say, I was less impressed with the results. Simply put, Blair wasn’t very good tonight, like at all. He struggled finishing at the rim, he took bad shots. And as usual, his defense was below average.
Why Popovich put Blair in the starting line-up: I suspect Popovich is looking for more balance with each lineup. Blair and Tiago Splitter on the floor at the same time isn’t a very efficient frontcourt tandem because neither bigman can shoot the ball. Over the last two seasons, Blair has played better with Tim Duncan and the starters. In turn, Boris Diaw’s perimeter game along with San Antonio’s three-point shooters will space the floor for the second unit.
Splitter is an excellent pick and roll player and extra space to operate with will make him even more deadly with Manu Ginobili. There will also be more room for Splitter to post up defenders. For now, I’m fine with the move because I think Splitter’s game will mesh better with Diaw’s. However, if Blair doesn’t start playing better soon, the Spurs are going to have to look elsewhere for a starting center
Turnovers: To describe this game, it was ugly. Real ugly. The Spurs did a poor job of executing their half-court offense and the Kings weren’t a good enough team to take advantage.San Antonio was fortunate that the Sacramento was only able to generate 15 points off of their turnovers.
Welcome to the 2012-13 Season Mills: Patty Mills saw more action tonight with Stephen Jackson out of the lineup with the flu. Mills finished the game with 18 points in just 21 minutes. A case can be made for Mills as player-of-the-game as he pushed the tempo, created fastbreak buckets for himself and got into the paint at will. Going forward, it will be interesting to see if Mills gets more opportunities to earn more playing time.