In the past, a game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls would seem like a game worth watching due to the talent involved on both sides. But in the present, a Bulls team minus their superstar guard Derrick Rose was just a poor exhibition against the best team in the NBA.
The final 104-96 score of Tuesday night’s massacre did not reflect the constant offensive execution of the Spurs. At the end of the first quarter, San Antonio shot 71.4 percent from the field and led 38-14. Tony Parker was electric in the first quarter as well, knocking in 16 of the Spurs’ 38 opening frame points.
But it was Manu Ginobili that proved how dangerous of a factor he can be for Gregg Popovich in the playoffs. Ginobili shredded one of the best defenses in the NBA for 22 points off the bench. On this night, his 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc was his weapon of choice. But it was not just his proficiency that should be noted, but the defense on which he performed against.
Just one game prior, the Bulls’ defense held the Miami Heat’s Lebron James to zero free throw attempts for the first time since 2009. They were also able to force the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player into 8-of-23 shooting but they could not contain Parker or Ginobili.
It may just be coincidence that the Spurs defeated the Heat and turned around and demolished the same team that put the Heat in defensive shackles. Or it could be an example of the versatility of San Antonio as they continue to sit atop the Western Conference. Beating a great defensive team on the road is just one more factor separating the posers from the elite and San Antonio is screaming they are for real.