1. William Anthony Parker has always been able to get to the rim. His first step, and his ability to keep the defender off-balance is unparalleled, except for possibly Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook. While Curry was blanketed by the remarkable defense of Danny Green, Parker got shots from wherever he wanted them on Friday night in Oakland.
Parker’s first quarter: 13 points, on 6 of 8 shooting; 3 of 4 from the left wing.
Parker’s second quarter: 12 points, on 5 of 6 shooting; 4 of 5 from the left wing. NBA.com has a great visual display of shots by quarter: http://www.nba.com/tvc/index.html?gamecode=20130510/SASGSW&brand=SAS
Tony Parker’s first-half: 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists (11 of 14 from field). Tony Parker’s game score: 22.7
2. Verdict: Tony Parker loves going to his left, and when he gets there, he seems to hit every jumper.
If Mark Jackson knows what he’s doing, Parker doesn’t get even 70% of his jumpers from the left side for the rest of this series.
In the second half, defenders were guiding Parker to the right side, but the Spurs finally got some scoring from Ginobili, a handful of Duncan 18-footers, and Green and Leonard each hit a three.
3. Danny Green Silences Steph Curry
Dave Pasch to Hubie Brown, “What is Danny Green doing differently to Steph Curry?” Hubie explained, “Well, first of all, it’s size, quickness of foot, long arms, and he’s been anticipating extremely well. Any time that Curry gives him that quick cross-over, or crosses over back, he’s been able to recover without giving up space…that’s hard to do.”
Curry was 1 for 13 in the first two games against Green. In Game 3’s first-half, Curry was 0 for 4 in the second quarter with Green on him. Curry played a whopping 58 minutes in Game 1’s Double-OT thriller. In the last two games, Curry is 12 of 37 from the field and 5 of 15 from distance. Tired legs? Twisted ankle at the end of Game 3? Ominous situation for Game 4.
4. Kawhi Leonard’s game score of 14.9 is a huge deal, when you consider he took only 7 shots. Here’s how you make your team better: stop one of the two legitimate scoring threats on the other team, don’t miss your shots, and don’t turn the ball over. Check, check and check. And the game score doesn’t even measure the way that Leonard shut down Klay Thompson. Leonard’s defense and Parker’s offense were the two biggest Spurs strengths in Game 3.
5. Klay Thompson finished 7 of 20 from the field, while hitting 3 of 5 from range. After an 8 of 9 Game 2, Popovich made sure to run Thompson off the line, and it worked fabulously. Combined with Curry’s 5 of 17 overall shooting, Thompson’s 4 of 15 from inside the arc was too much for the Warriors offense to overcome.
6. Manu Ginobili went 3 of 15 from distance in the first two games. Ginobili in Game 3: 1 of 8 from distance. Imagine how this series would look if Ginobili were playing like his usual self. Credit Klay Thompson with excellent defense.
7. Pass the Torch
In each of the three games in this series, one shooter has found that rare air that finds them in “the zone,” in the first half. Here are the first half totals of those three, with predictions on Games 4, 5 and 6.
Game 1: Steph Curry, 28
Game 2: Klay Thompson, 29
Game 3: Tony Parker: 25
Game 4: Danny Green, 20
Game 5: Steph Curry, 20
Game 6: Tony Parker, 20
8. Harrison Barnes’ Growing Pains
After an excellent Game 1, Barnes has been misfiring in Games 2 and 3. Barnes is 9 of his last 24 and missed his last 6 from range. Without Barnes helping to balance the load, Golden State is far too dependent on Curry and Thompson.
9. 11-0 Spurs run to take control in the 3rd
Ginobili had been silent for most of the series, until he provided a lift in the third quarter. The run included three misses and a turnover by Curry, two misses by Thompson, and a Harrison Barnes charge. Who took the charge? Ginobili. Who scored the 11 points? Ginobili had 8 of them. The run quieted the Oracle crowd, and put the Warriors in a hole too big to climb out of.
10. Closing out quarters:
1st: Spurs, 16-2
3rd: Spurs, 14-4
11. Biggest shot of the game:
With 6:15 left in the game and the shot clock down to 3, Tim Duncan took an awkward 17-footer, got Bogut’s 5th foul, and hits the free-throw, extending the lead to 88-79. It was an ugly, off-balance shot, but as is often the case, Duncan hit another big shot under pressure, in the playoffs. At age 37, Timothy Theodore Duncan from St. Croix is still doing it. Losing 20 pounds in the off-season has helped. Duncan wants one last ring.
12. Defensive breakdown
Jarrett Jack lets Kawhi Leonard get open on an inbound pass under the hoop with less than two left on the shot clock: inexcusable.
13. Ankle anxiety
Steph Curry’s twisted left ankle near the end of the game: Warriors fans holding their breath that he comes out on Sunday looking fine.