San Antonio Spurs' Matt Bonner shoots the three-ball well. Save for an excellent final round from Kyrie Irving in this year's NBA All-Star 3-point shoot out, he would have claimed the crown. Add the fact he connects with both the fans and media, it makes him an excellent, and generally well-liked Spur.
AT&T Center – A reporter’s question to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after his team took game one against the Los Angeles Lakers 91-79. “Are you concerned with your team shooting 37.6 percent tonight?”
“Not really,” responded Popovich, “It (the ball) goes in or it doesn’t.”
Yes, the Spurs’ offense wasn’t machine-like on Sunday as the numbers show there were an assortment of issues. Along with shooting 38% from the field, the Spurs also made just 7-of-22 three pointers (32%), and they only assisted on 20 of their 32 made shots, while not reaching 100 points.
A majority of their players too needed almost as many shot attempts to score their points. For example, it took Tony Parker 21 shots to score 18 points. Tim Duncan needed 15 shots to score 17 points. The pattern continues all the way down the line for a bulk of the roster.no comments
AT&T CENTER--Bringing the ball up the court with roughly a minute remaining in the third quarter, Manu Ginobili watched as both his offense and the Los Angeles Lakers' defense began to settle into their sets. A player that lives between moments, Ginobili saw the briefest of opportunities and seized it.
Ginobili's three-point attempt from the top of the key came as Ginobili plays often do--without reason or warning. The ball knifed through both the net and any momentum the Lakers had mustered.
"I knew it was my time," Ginobili said. "I know I'm not in my best shape physically and basketball-wise, but I thought I had a little window there to try to risk and it went well.
"Sometimes players take some risks because we believe that we need something to get us going. After 11 years together [Popovich] knows the way I play. I seek my moment."
These are the moments that Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs live for, shedding the haze that clouded the last month of their regular season and reclaiming the focus that had defined their rise to defensive prominence all season long.no comments
AT&T Center – It’s playoff time in San Antonio, and what better way to open a round than between Western Conference two rivals, the San Antonio Spurs (54-28) and Los Angeles Lakers (45-37)?
Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni conducted his pregame interview first Sunday and said point guard Steve Nash, who has been battling a right hamstring injury, will start against the Spurs. Along with Nash, Steve Blake, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, and Pau Gasol will all make-up the Lakers starting five.
For D’Antoni, there are three things his club needs to defeat the Spurs he said: 1.) Get back into a half-court set on defense. 2.) “Contain Tony Parker as much as possible.” 3.) Limit the Spurs’ outside 3-point shooters.
15 minutes later, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich conducted his pregame interview. Here’s what he had to say on the health status of his stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
“Tony’s healthy,” said Popoivch, “Manu’s on a minute-regimen.” After being told Ginobili said himself he could play roughly 25-30 minutes if he needed to, Coach Popovich jokingly confirmed what Ginobili had said.
If there’s one thing Coach Popovich knows Steve Nash gives the Lakers, it’s his ability to shoot. “He hasn’t forgotten how to shoot,” said Popovich of Nash.
With Tracy McGrady joining the Spurs last week, many questions were brought up about him. Coach Popovich reiterated the skills McGrady can provide but once again stated McGrady’s main focus right now is getting back into game shape.
He called McGrady a “point-type” player because of his ability to run the point and said if the situation did arise where McGrady was needed in a game, he knows McGrady would be ready.
Lastly, Coach Popovich said the Spurs ended the regular worse than he could remember in his years in San Antonio. He said the combination of injuries and declining defense makes him “concerned” as to what he’s going to see from his team in the playoffs.
Ultimately though, Popovich knows the playoffs are a new chapter for his players’ journey.
"In the end,” concluded Popovich, “you just approach it like it's a new season."no comments
Weary from an intense five-hour film session, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich sat alone in his office at the Spurs practice facility. He’d sent the rest of his coaching staff home to their families hours ago, allowing himself some time to sort through their recommendations on the Los Angeles Lakers while collecting his thoughts in solitude.
The matchup of the first game in the series between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers will be between Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard.
The Lakers have not only won 5 games in a row, but Dwight Howard has been playing like the player everyone expected him to at the beginning of the season. In his last 10 games, Howard has been averaging 20.6ppg and 11.4rpg in 38.1mpg. The majority of the offense has been going through Howard with the team losing Kobe Bryant for the remainder of the season and playoffs with an Achilles injury. Duncan has been equally impressive in the last 10 games with an average of 19ppg and 9.3rpg in 29.9mpg. Howard has helped bring the Lakers into the playoffs with momentum while the Duncan and the Spurs have been the opposite coming into the postseason. This matchup is likely to determine Game 1 in San Antonio.
What Duncan must do on offense:no comments
The San Antonio Spurs (0-0) will host the Los Angeles Lakers (0-0) today at the AT&T Center for game 1 of their first round series.
Both teams entering the series limping. The Lakers will not have Kobe Bryant for the playoffs with a season-ending left Achilles heel tear while the Spurs will not have Boris Diaw (recovering from back surgery) and a banged up Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
But this is the NBA playoffs which means it is time to play through the pain and march towards the NBA Finals as these two old rivals will once again square off in the postseason. These two teams have not played against one another in the postseason since the Lakers beat the Spurs 4-1 in the 2008 West finals.
The Spurs went 2-1 in the regular season versus the Lakers, however, San Antonio lost the final meeting to the Lakers sans Bryant.
And as the Spurs an Lakers get set to open a new chapter of their rivalry, here are five things to watch for during today's contest:
• The Spurs have averaged 99.5 points in 73 postseason games at the AT&T Center.
Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has taken to Twitter and has given the public some pretty insightful and also quite random tweets.
Today hasn't been any different. Jackson took to Twitter to give a friendly jab to one of his former players, Pau Gasol. Gasol tweeted about his last practice before the playoffs start against the San Antonio Spurs and Jackson held nothing back from poking fun at the Spaniard.
Project Spurs continues its 2013 Spurs Playoff preview as the Spurs face the Lakers in the first round. Next is Trevor Zickgraf on Gregg Popovich and Mike D'Antoni.
There's a lot of storylines heading in to the first round match up between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. Since Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls, either the Lakers or Spurs have represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals 11 out of 14 years. There's Tim Duncan facing Dwight Howard for the first time their careers, memories of .4, etc.
One storyline that's been overlooked by most is the fact that this will be the fourth time Gregg Popovich and Mike D'Antoni will square off in the last nine years, the fourth time D'Antoni meets the man who has caused him so much pain in spring's past.
Interesting fact about Mike D'Antoni, he has a losing record in the playoffs (26-29). 12 of those losses, just over 40 percent of D'Antoni's playoff losses have come at the hands of Popovich's Spurs. On top of that, D'Antoni teams only have four victories total against the Spurs in three series. In short, whether it's by roster talent, coaching guile, dumb luck or all of the above, Popovich owns D'Antoni in the postseason.no comments