With 23 games remaining, the NBA stretch run is fully underway and the San Antonio Spurs will be looking to close out the regular season on a high note.
To discuss the Spurs and their stretch run, I recently spoke with San Antonio's News 4 WOAI Sports Reporter Humberto "Humbie" Cervera. In this Q&A he speaks on what he expects from the Spurs in their final games, the Dallas Mavericks, his thoughts on Mavericks' Jason Terry, and more.
Jeff: What are you expecting from the Spurs in the stretch run?
Humbie: I'm expecting a lot of the same. They've found the formula to win games in the regular season. They're a very good team, but what we're all waiting for is if they can play defense to be the BEST team. If they can't they'll just be the Phoenix Suns of yesteryear.
Many point to the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs as the teams to beat but would you say the Dallas Mavericks should be mentioned in that list?
They'll always be one of those teams so long as Dirk (Nowitzki) is there. They've been through too many playoff battles to EVER say the Spurs will just roll right through them.
Speaking of the Mavericks, recently Jason Terry said Dallas can catch the San Antonio whether it be in the regular season or the playoffs. He went a bit further and said he would prefer it to be in the playoffs. Any "kind" words for Mr. Terry?
He's one of my least favorite players in the league first off. Dallas CAN catch them. I could also win the lottery in the near future. Just because something CAN happen doesn't mean it actually will. That's the difference between the Spurs and the Mavs. The Mavs are worried about beating the Spurs and the Spurs are worried about their next championship.
With the regular season nearing the end, what has been your biggest surprise and disappointment from the Spurs?
I still think Gary Neal is the biggest surprise, even more so than the 3 pt accuracy from RJ. The biggest disappointment still has to be the play of Tiago. Spurs brass tried to warn us he wouldn't be spectacular, but we all got our hopes up anyways.
If you can point to one thing right now, what would it be for the Spurs to focus on with their remaining games?
Defense. That's the biggest thing they're all talking about right now. We've had the privilege to see 4 championships come through here and we all know it wasn't because of their great offensive prowess that they pulled that off. If the spurs defense isn't right they could find a wrong matchup and lose as early as the 1st round.
Very well said, "The Mavs are worried about beating the Spurs and the Spurs are worried about their next championship" THAT'S A HELL OF A DIFFERENCE! Go! Spurs! Go!
Defense is really the main thing we can improve but I disagree that Tiago is a disappointment, when given the playing time he delivers and seem to know what to do on the court. What he needs to do is to stay healthy and he can definitely help the Spurs in the playoffs.
@Tonyforlife @BlackSnakeStudios at the beginning of the season I mentioned that Splitter would not be the player he was thought of not bc he is a bad player but bc he has been playing almost year round. He played in the World Tourney in Turkey, got injured over the summer, the Brazilian national team even hid an onjury he suffered form the Spurs (no joke) and then he got hurt in training camp. Like RJ he also needs time to adjust to the SAS system.
i don't think Tiago's play has been a disappointment... It is the amount of playing time he is getting that has been a disappointment. He shows the goods in games where he sees time and then he doesn't see hardly any minutes. When he is in the game he gets us turnovers and rebounds. Seeing as we don't operate through the post anymore he wont be able to get a lot of points unless he can rebound the ball really well and get some put backs.