Three players, one spot. Barring a trade or some unexpected cut, that's the scenario Eddy Curry, Josh Powell and Derrick Brown face heading in to the final two weeks of training camp. The San Antonio Spurs have a full four days before their next game in Miami on Saturday. This Spurs have the entire week to work on the good and the bad of preseason so far. For Curry, Powell and Brown it's going to be a week of practices to get more familiar with the system before what it is likely a make or break weekend for all three. We can also assume that the weekend back to back against the Heat and Magic will likely be make or break time for each of the three.
Last week, the Curry told the San Antonio Express News' Mike Monroe that camp has been good for him, and so far there's very little evidence to show he's wrong.
“I feel I’m in a good situation,” he said. “I worked hard this summer. Every game it’s just about showing everybody what I can do. I’m trying to focus on defense and rebounding, trying to play in the system and soak up as much as I can.
“I think I’m going to make it. Until they tell me I’m not, I feel like I’m part of this team.”
If the Spurs were just looking for the best available talent, Curry would be the leader in the clubhouse. He's shown a unique ability to score in the post and generally take up space on defense and with some time and continued practice could become an able post defender. But Curry is not a pick and roll defender and he's not a rim protector. Those are the two things the Spurs need most and both Powell and Brown have shown an ability to do those things.
If the Spurs decide they do like Curry, then other moves could conceivably made to make room for him. As Tim Duncan has said, he sees "potential, potential, potential" in Curry, and that's not something you give up on easily. Yes, Powell and Brown would be better fits, but honestly, don't the Spurs have larger problems if they're signing any of these three to be meaningful contributors assuming everyone is healthy? Is the 15th man spot a good place for a high risk, high reward guy? I don't know what the right answer is. It's not a simple decision either and it's one that's been made only more difficult by the more aerodynamic DeJuan Blair, who slimmed down presents to the potential to do those some of those things Powell and Brown bring to the table.
dtootall, this would be my dream scenario! They do have 15 roster spots. So it is very concievable that they would only have to release or trade Bonner and reassign Joseph to accomplish this. Curry, Whitherspoon, and either Powell or Brown. I prefer Powell, but I can live with Brown.
@spurwhisperer Good points especially about bonner and joseph. I think bonner must retire he Got 1 ring and that's enough to give other chance to powell and brown. He is useless because we have guards and forwards that can shoot three's We don need a power forward that can't jump when shooting three when he is guarded. We need physical strength to match the talent of okc if we want to beat them
I keep hearing this " 3 guys for 1 spot" story but I don't see it! The spurs are going to have some very wrenching choices to make, but unless Pop goes all mushy on us, this cannot be about just keeping one guy. #1) keeping Eddie is a no-brainer. There are very few players in this league who can post in the low block and power up against anybody. I am absolutely amazed at how devalued that skill has become in the NBA. Eddie has both great strength and great touch down low. Which translates into a higher percentage shot (at close range) and /or foul shots in late game situations. And he is a very good free throw shooter. No, he is not as athletic as Tiago or Bonner, but that one great ability he has (coupled with his size and strength) makes him a unique asset. Not only on this team is he unique, but he would be a unique, throwback type power player on most of the teams in the NBA.
Point #2) The reality is that Matt must go. Remember last year when Pop got all sentimental and cut Novak and kept Matt? How did that work out? Pop cut a guy who (if I remember correctly) he himself discribed as the "best 3pt shooter in the league" and kept Matt and that decision cost this team dearly. Because althoug they are both phenomenal 3pt shooters, Novak is a jumpshooter who can get his shot off very quickly. And because he get's great lift on his jumper, you can't just rush out at him and he has to rush his shot because you are jumping out after him. I watched a lot of Knicks games last year and this guy was straight money as a clutch shooter. And he is not easily defended at all! There is absolutely no way that Novak would have been as helpless against the thunder as Matt was! Matt has had a great run, but we have to many guys who can do what he does and can't be so easily defended. As I have said many times, he is a luxury that we can no longer afford.
So with the trading or waiving of Matt, and the sending of Corey down to the "D-league' (we just don't need him right now), I see at least 2 spots right there! And to me, it's that second spot (which should be made available) which is going to be the hardest. Because this group of free agents is the very best group that I have ever seen in a spurs camp! Powell, Brown, and Witherspoon are all legitmate NBA players who can contribute to this team and are not liabilities at the defensive or offensive end. I know that logically it should be Powell or Brown that would get that second spot, but this Kid Witherspoon reminds me so much of Sean Elliott that it scares me that we could be lettin go of someone with bona-fide NBA all-star potential simply because of the numbers. But it probably cannot be helped.
@spurwhisperer I've heard both this and that about Curry and his strengths. I saw rockets-spurs on nba tv the other day and my accessment is that Currys great post skills up front does not go far enough to cover his weak, dead-slow and uninspired defending.
But yes - he can still be number 15 on this roster and compete for a spot.
Cutting Novak was truly a huge blessing last year. That guy may shoot like a freaking god - but I have never seen not even one player in a spurs uniform defend worse than Novak did . God how it hurts just thinking him. Watch Novak on that end of the floor and cringe.
Remember this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1picKZs7_0 This was spurs ball midcourt, Novak to inbound. He gets fancy with the pass and turns it over (that's not in the clip). Now it's Blazer ball and gamewinner time. Sure, this happens to everyone.
I do agree with you about Bonner. He should go. But no one will take over his 5 million plus deal.
Im still mourning about Blatche Look how he plays right now on brooklyn Very great. If blatche is in our team We can beat all the teams in the nba all day. But Back to curry If he will be the last man our roster I hope he will provide good minutes for the team.
Of course the Spurs have offense. But where does the offense come from? Most of it is pick and roll and kick out. I think they need some inside scoring. TD is not enough anymore and neither is TP driving into the lane. Inside scoring has a higher % than perimeter scoring. They need to be able to score inside, outside, and in between especially in the post season when the playoffs slow down and they face better defenses with more time to prepare.
If curry will be kept then okay, all i'm asking from him he should work hard on defense that's what a true center stands for.
They televised Sunday's game vs Houston on NBA TV and I got to see Curry in action. I was really impressed. He was working his tail off and doing a lot of "dirty work." My only complaint about him is he kept posting up and asking for the ball, like the play was designed for him....when we all know it probably wasn't. lol. But that's fixable. I really hope we keep him.
@dannyholloway I have been impressed with Curry all the preseason, and the plays have definitely been designed for him because it's the preseason.
@spurs123 Lol @ your logic. The plays have "definitely" been designed for Curry because it's preseason? What...do you have access to the playbook. Is Pop calling "5 down" every time Nando or Corey take it down the floor? Lol. Where do you get your insider info?
You clearly didn't watch the game, because Curry posted up and asked for the ball, basically every time down the floor. Even if Pop would have designed SOME PLAYS for Curry "because it's the preseason," I doubt that would be the case for EVERY SINGLE PLAY. Which was my point. He did this EVERY SINGLE PLAY.
@dannyholloway No, the point of preseason is to give every guy a chance to show what they've got. The only way to do that is to give them an iso and see what they can do with it.
@spurs123 Lol. The point of preseason is to run every single play for Curry? Ok, my bad.
@dannyholloway I don't think you understand how preseason works. The point of preseason and garbage time minutes in the regular season is to see how the player can create for himself, and that's what Pop does with players all the time. In this case, it was Curry and Pop told him to post up every play. If Curry were doing this without Pop's permission, he would already be off the team. Before you be an asshole, at least try to think about what you're going to say.
Curry is good under the basket but defending is very awful how can we defend the post when the most centers in this league is very agile? Curry can't even defend asik in that houston game.. What more if he is matched up against dwight, ibaka Jordan Kaman Chandler etc.
@SPURSALLDAY Agreed, he looked strong on offense. But that is the last thing we need, he would be 4th/5th option up front when he is on the court. Looked very lost on D versus the rockets - either not commiting and digging in or fouling.