This week was midseason review week at Project Spurs and all of our staff joined in on the fun with our series of posts. In case you missed any of them, here's our midseason review wrapup.
• Midseason review Q&A
On Monday, Jeff Garcia talked with Humberto Cervera of News4WOAI to get his views on the San Antonio Spurs at the halfway point of the season. While many overlook the San Antonio Spurs' flaws due to their success this season, Humbie was the voice of reason saying "this team is one Manu ankle sprain from getting bounced out of the first round of the playoffs ."
• The West's Best: Then and Now
Jason Rogers wrote about how hindsight is 20/20 and even preseason predictions by some of the most respected writers have been wrong so far this season.
"Predictions are hard and often wrong. The Spurs not only top the Western Conference but the NBA. And it's not even close, statistically. Though half of the season is in the record books, there is a lot of basketball to play. The top teams in the West at the beginning of the season remain essentially unchanged, but the order is drastically different."
• Spurs Midseason Grades
Project Spurs' lead staff writer Robby Lim gave out his midseason report card. Not surprisingly, the Spurs centers received the lowest grade of C+, while the guards brought home straight A's.
"Overall, the Spurs have done an excellent job during the first half of the season but that doesn't mean their work is done. This team has some room to improve and maybe adding a rotation player or two will help them towards a strong second half push and bring that needed momentum heading into the 2011 playoffs."
• A look back at the first half
Jake Faunce says that the Spurs addressing all glaring weaknesses in the offseason is the reason for their first half success and he doesn't see them slowing down any time soon.
"This is what happens when you give a chess master like Popovich all the pieces he needs to run a competent offense. In the past couple of years Popovich was always missing a needed key weapon necessary for playoff success."
• Scene 1 Over: Rookie Intermission
Project Spurs' newest writer, Paul Garcia, took an in-depth look at the Spurs' rookies and how they have performed in the first half of the season. Paul says Tiago Splitter is a year away from being an effective big man, James Anderson can be another weapon in the Spurs' high-powered offense and says Gary Neal isn't likely to cool down anytime soon.
• Spurscast #235: Midseason Review
Jeff Garcia and I got together to talk about the Spurs at midseason and answered three questions about the surprises, disappointments and areas to improve on as they take on the second half of their schedule. John Karalis of Red's Army also joined in on the fun to give his view on the Spurs from an outsider's perspective.
Download the mp3.
• The Anatomy of Being Wrong
Jordan Rivas looks back at everything we at Project Spurs and other bloggers and media outlets were wrong about when assessing the Spurs chances this offseason. In the process, he also makes me crave pretzel M&Ms and compares himself to Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, Neo from the Matrix, Harry Potter and Alice. That alone is reason enough for reading his post.
• Life After Death: Health Meets Pride
Our resident alt tag champion, Nick Kapsis, says health could be the biggest reason for this year's turnaround and says the Spurs have a renewed dedication to the regular season after being bounced out of the playoffs at the hands of the Phoenix Suns.
"Turns out, what they needed all along was to be broken down to be built back up—the mind’s health is the body’s wealth. There may be no more preventative measure than a properly conditioned mind. Health and professional pride have the Spurs back in the fight. Alone atop the league, the Spurs breathe on their own."
• Spurs rookies among midseason surprises, disappointments
I closed out midseason review week here at Project Spurs with a look at some of the surprises and disappointments of the season to date. The Spurs record, the discovery of Gary Neal and the struggles of Tiago Splitter are discussed at length.
Feel free to leave a comment on this post or any of the individual posts for your take on the above topics.
This week was midseason review week at Project Spurs and all of our staff joined in on the fun with our series of posts. In case you missed any of them, here's our midseason review wrapup.
• Last night, ESPNs Marc Stein wrote in his Weekend Dime post; if the New Jersey Nets buyout Troy Murphy’s contract, San Antonio would be one team in play to make a run at him:
There would be unquestioned interest in Murphy if he went the buyout route and became a free agent -- starting with Orlando, Dallas and San Antonio -- but the Nets are hoping to swap him for a similar expiring contract before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. And Murphy naturally wants to land with a contender to end his run as the guy who has appeared in more games than any other active player (639) without tasting the playoffs.
• Thursday, Bill Simmons wrote a column titled The Best NBA Allstar Game Ever? In the column, Simmons discusses who he has as All Star reserves; he feels Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are worthy for the reserve positions:
On Manu Ginobili: Manu Ginobili: Reclaimed "Only a few guys get better when it matters and he's one" and "Night in, night out, it's just hard to imagine anyone being more entertaining" status after bad ankles nearly derailed his career. Hey, here's another fun 2011 subplot: the three best foreign players ever who didn't play college ball in the U.S. (Dirk, Manu and Pau, in that order) playing on the same team.
On Tim Duncan: Tim Duncan: Our 12th man. That's right, the greatest power forward of all time is the D.J. Mbenga of the 2011 Western Conference All-Stars.
• In yesterdays Chat Wrap with the fans, Bill Simmons also gave his take on the Spurs early success and why the great record may not matter:
Careful, San Antonio - you're the only "veteran" team that hasn't been nipped by the injury bug yet. it's coming. I don't think there's ever been more of a "let's see who's healthy in May" season than this one. Homecourt doesn't matter, seeds don't matter... it's going to be 100% who's healthy and feeling good.
• San Antonio Express News writer Tim Griffin explains why Tim Duncan’s monster game last night against the Knicks, was a rare feat that only few have ever accomplished.
• Before the Knicks game last night, word came out that George Hill would be out with a thumb injury, here’s what WOAI’s team gathered.
• After the win against the Knicks last night, Tim Duncan expresses why Coach Pop will be thrilled to coach in the All Star Game!
Fellow Bloguin NBA blogger Jeff Fox from Hoops Manifesto is questioning if San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan is All-Star worthy.
Currently, Duncan is fifth in voting and more than likely will not be voted into the starting line-up by the fans. If so and if the eventual Western Conference coach, Spurs' Gregg Popovich, does not pick his own player onto the team, Duncan would miss his first All-Star game.
After evaluating the field of Western Conference big men who might make the squad over Duncan, here is what Fox had to say:
So where does this leave Tim Duncan? Probably battling with nine other players for three or four roster spots. But Spurs fans should be able to rest easy - Duncan will probably make the team. He is still one of the League's best defenders (not to mention players) playing on the League's best team. This year should make it a perfect 13 for 13 for Duncan being selected for the All-Star Game.
As much as Spurs' fans might like to see Duncan continue his All-Star appearance streak, I'm sure all he cares about is winning and not personal awards.
With that being said, why not let the man himself speak about the possibility of not being voted to the All-Star game:
(video by woai.com)
|SPURS||Manu Ginobili 18.9||Tim Duncan 9.7||Tony Parker 7.0|
|HORNETS||David West 19.0||Emeka Okafor 10.4||Chris Paul 9.7|
The San Antonio Spurs (37-6) begin a difficult and road-heavy stretch of their schedule tonight when they visit the New Orleans Hornets (28-16) at the New Orleans Arena.
The Spurs will try to end the Hornets' seven-game winning streak as they open their three game road trip against another surging Western Conference team. New Orleans is coming off a dominating performance in a 100-59 victory over Atlanta last night.
The Hornets' winning streak is the second-longest in the league behind San Antonio.
The Spurs have held the Hornets to 92.7 points per game while winning two of three meetings this season, including a 109-84 home victory on December 5 in which San Antonio shot 58.6% from the floor.
New Orleans has allowed 100 points or more in regulation nine times this season -- twice against San Antonio. The Hornets have been especially stingy during their seven-game winning streak, giving up 86.3 points per game and are 17-5 at home this season.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Offense -- Their offense starts with Chris Paul and David West. Plus they should get added offensive boost from Belinelli and Okafor.
Defense -- Contain Duncan on the inside and limit Ginobili, Parker, and Jefferson's dribble penetrations. They also have to be wary of the Spurs outside shooters.
Spurs -- George Hill - sprained right thumb (day-to-day), Matt Bonner - sore right knee (day-to-day)
Hornets -- Trevor Ariza - ankle tendinitis (day-to-day), Aaron Gray - sprained ankle (day-to-day)
The Spurs must avoid a slow start and match the Hornets' energy. The team that controls the rebounds and dominate on the inside will win this game. The Spurs will with this game 99-93 and extend their win streak to nine games.
Follow me on Twitter @RobbyLim21
The San Antonio Spurs defeated the New York Knicks 101-92 to extend their winning streak to eight games and handed the Knicks their fifth straight loss.
Now, it's time to look at some numbers on this Spurs' recent victory.
100 - The Knicks shot a perfect 12-12 (100%) from the free throw line. The Spurs on the other had struggled from the foul line making just 17-25 (68%) of their free throw attempts.
48.8 - San Antonio shot well from the floor connecting on 40-82 (48.8%) of their field goals while holding the Knicks to just 37-98 (37.8%) field goal shooting.
40 - The Knicks made their outside shots making 6-15 (40%) of their three-point attempts. The Spurs struggled from the three-point line, hitting just 4-17 (23.5%) from behind the arc.
28 - The Spurs shared the ball better, they had 28 dimes for the game compared to only 19 assists by the Knicks.
23 - Raymond Felton led the Knicks with 23 points, seven assists and four rebounds but also committed a game high six turnovers.
21 - Tim Duncan stuffed the stats sheet with 21 points, 16 boards, eight assists and five block shots. Tony Parker also had 21 points and added a game-high 13 assist for San Antonio.
18 - Amar'e Stoudemire added 18 points, 15 rebounds and four steals for the Knicks. DeJuan Blair is on a tear lately, he scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his third double-double performance in the last four games.
17 - The Spurs won their 17th home game of the season.
6 - Manu Ginobili scored 16 points despite 5-18 shooting from the floor, he went 6-6 from the free throw line to extend his consecutive free throws made to 44 and added six assists. Richard Jefferson is on a slump, scoring just six points but had seven rebounds in 26 minutes of playing time. Wilson Chandler and Shawne Williams scored six points each off the Knicks bench.
0 - Ginobili did not commit a single turnover for the entire game. Antonio McDyess was scoreless in 18 minutes but had six rebounds, one steal and one block shot.
Rookie Watch: Gary Neal scored 10 points, three rebounds and had one block. Tiago Splitter had one defensive rebound. James Anderson has yet to return to action since recovering from a stress fracture injury.
Notes: George Hill was a late scratch due to a sprained right thumb. Matt Bonner missed his third consecutive game with a sore right knee.
What's Next? The Spurs will visit the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on a second night of back-to-backs.
Follow me on Twitter @RobbyLim21
• ESPN discussed who is the best coach of the past decade. Here is an excerpt:
BUCHER: Two coaches have stood above the rest of the NBA during the past decade: The Lakers' Phil Jackson and the Spurs' Gregg Popovich. There are coaches who have been impressive in various ways -- the Jazz's Jerry Sloan and the Celtics' Doc Rivers immediately come to mind -- but they are, at best, fighting for a distant third. The question is, who deserves to be considered the best? I'm going to go with the man they call Pop.
BROUSSARD: Obviously, Pop is a terrific coach, one of the best to do it. But my pick for coach of the past decade or so is Jackson. With five titles and seven NBA Finals appearances since 2000, he's led two separate dynasties in one decade. Not only has Jackson been the best coach of the past 10 to 12 years, he's been the best in NBA history.
• SI.com talks about the San Antonio Spurs and their aged players:
Of much deeper substance are the enduring efforts of the Spurs and Celtics to win one more before the lockout changes everything. Both rotations depend heavily on players in the final stages of their careers, whether it's Shaquille O'Neal, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for Boston, or Antonio McDyess, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili for San Antonio. Duncan and Garnett are indispensable to their teams, and they've been running NBA courts for 90,003 minutes between them.
• The Spurs' rival, the Dallas Mavericks, have been free-falling since starting the season on the right foot:
At the season's mid-point four of the league's six divisions are yawn-fests. The Mavs' three-week slide has added the Southwest Division to that category, decisively altering what was shaping up to be a classic race to 82 between two fierce rivals potentially for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Dallas' 82-77 loss Thursday night at Chicago Bulls dropped it a season-high nine games behind the 36-6 San Antonio Spurs, who can extend the lead to 9 1/2 with a win tonight against the New York Knicks. That's a daunting number of games to make up with 42 remaining. Less than a month ago when Dirk Nowitzki went down with a sprained knee on Dec. 27, the Mavs were 2 1/2 games back of the Spurs and had already won in San Antonio. (source espn.com)
• According to Dimemag.com, the Spurs suffer from the New England Patriots Theory:
But the question remains: Why is no one talking about the Spurs? Is it possible for a teams’ lack of style and flair to outweigh everything else to the point where even SportsCenter refuses to acknowledge them?
I have a theory I’ve called The New England Patriots Theory.
Wait, I thought this was about basketball? The New England Patriots have been a football juggernaut this decade, winning three Super Bowls since 2002, more than any other franchise in the NFL. But sports fans are sick of the Pats.
• Express News' Tim Griffin talks about DeJuan Blair hoping for an appearance by the Pittsburgh Steelers in this year's Super Bowl.
• Los Angeles Lakers' executive vice president Jennie Buss weighs in on Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich coaching the Western Conference All-Stars instead of Lakers' coach Phil Jackson:
"I hate to say this, but I think because they decide who's going to coach the All-Star team based on the standings on Jan. 30, so it looks like Gregg Popovich, the coach of San Antonio, is going to be the coach," Buss said. "I kind of think Phil [Jackson] likes not being in first place so he can get the weekend off." (source latimes.com)
• TNT's Charles Barkley is at it again taking a shot at San Antonio's famed Riverwalk:
"It's just a dirty little creek."
-- TNT analyst Charles Barkley, taking aim at San Antonio's fame "Riverwalk." (source espn.com)
• Spurs' guard George Hill spends the day at the dentist:
(video courtesy of woai.com)
The San Antonio Spurs (36-6) will look for a bit of pay back tonight as they host the New York Knicks (22-19) at the AT&T Center. The Spurs are currently on a seven game winning streak while the Knicks have suffered four losses in a row.
The last time these two teams met, the Knicks shocked the Spurs with a 128-115 win in Madison Square Garden. It was also the game where Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich pulled most of his starters with 3:13 seconds left in the game.
To discuss the game tonight, I once again speak to LIVES from Knicks Fanatics Blog the best Knicks blog on the Internet.
In this Q&A, LIVES talks about the state of the Knicks, the Carmelo Anthony trade rumor, tonight's matchup and more. To read the Q&A I did for LIVES, click HERE.
Jeff: Things are heating up with the trade rumors involving Carmelo Anthony. He says it's his dream to come to New York. At the end of the day, will he be a Knick?
LIVES: I have absolutely no idea. Sorry for the sex-less response, but the truth of the matter is that there is a lot of time between now and the trade deadline and between the trade deadline and the beginning of free agency. There are far too many variables and possibilities to be certain where Melo will be in October 2011. If labor negotiations falter, he just might be in La La Land and I am not referring to the Lakers.
The key fact is that this is a business. All parties are treating this like it is a business, except that Melo has a childhood dream, based on emotion not business, to play before the home crowd and win it all in Madison Square Garden. But that is a dream, not a necessity for his happiness and not necessarily smart business if it ultimately costs him $40 Million or being tagged with the franchise player tag, if the new CBA includes it for owners. So ultimately, Melo will make a smart business decision. Now his best leverage is to do nothing if he wants to make his dream of playing in the Garden to turn out to be a good business decision. But, Denver must act in order to maximize its position. Trading him to Chicago, Houston or the Nets may be their best option.
Yes, the Nets. As you know, the Nets deal is not dead just because Prokhorov says its dead. It has simply disappeared from public view. Prohkorov has stated his limitation and has created leverage that may ultimately bring Melo to Jersey. The public negotiations were bad for him and his franchise. Nets GM, Billy King just apologized to his players for the way it was handled and praised them for how they responded (which wasn't great actually). But key about the apology is that it was pretty clear that anything can still happen. He did not promise anyone they would not be traded. Now the real work begins, because Denver prefers to have something happen before the trade deadline which is in less than a month.
So will Melo wind up in New York. I have no idea.
How would you assess the Knicks at the midway point of the season?
They are slightly beyond where I thought they would be, but they are the team I thought they were when their fabulous run started. Yesterday, D'Antoni referred to the Knicks as playing like the team it was when it was "3-8." He is so right. What makes this team good is not its talent, but the willingness of the starters to play all out for 48 minutes. Perhaps coincidental to the heated Melo rumors and stiffer competition, the Knicks lost that edge, that sense of ownership of their collective fate. Only insiders and anyone inside the players' heads knows if the Melo talk has had an impact, but they certainly have been lacking in effort. Additionally, D'Antoni will never admit it, but the wear of an eight man rotation and the consequence of coach's refusal to properly use his big men is starting to show.
The last time these two teams faced off it ended up in a surprising win by the Knicks. What went right for New York in the previous meeting?
The Knicks hustled the entire game and the Spurs played horrendous defense. The Spurs were wrong to think they could run with the Knicks and not play defense. They refused to double Amar'e and allowed Chandler to beat them badly. I think we also had an advantage with Danilo out of the starting line-up because the Knicks perform better without him if all he is going to do offensively is stand on the arc. Ball movement and a modicum of defense is critical for the Knicks to win.
Tonight the Spurs will be looking for some revenge. What must the Knicks do to avoid a loss in San Antonio?
Work the entire game and run, run, run. They must not allow the Spurs to set their feet in transition defense and they must be very aggressive defensively. Even if they lose the board fight, if they can continue to challenge drives into the paint with some frequency and force the Spurs to shoot jumpers, the Knicks have a good chance. They also must overcome that feeling of powerlessness that comes with not knowing whether their agent will be calling with news about Melo and a plane ticket to Denver
What is your number one thing to watch for in tonight's contest?
Knicks energy quotient. Will they go all out the entire game. Will they play team ball while taking care of the details like loose balls, tight pressure on defense, getting to the free throw line, ball movement, avoiding fouls. Will they keep the environment clean for New Yorkers at home by using smart energy smartly. This is what I will be looking for. If I don't see it, I'm going to bed early.
With the best record in the NBA at the mid-season mark, Spurs fans have plenty to brag about. During the past few months the Spurs have given doubters plenty of reasons to prove them wrong. Along the way they've seen their share of surprises and disappointments, from starting with a 36-6 record to seeing their prize rookie struggle through the first half of the season.
Could anyone have predicted that the Spurs would have only lost six games by midseason? I didn't and I certainly didn't expect that they'd also be head and shoulders above everyone else in the NBA, not to mention six games ahead of the reigning NBA champions.
Their current record is also the best 42 game start in franchise history and they've been successful at home (23-2) and on the road (13-4).
While the Spurs' fast start out of the gate has been a surprise to many, Spurs forward/center Antonio McDyess will tell you he's not surprised in the least bit. McDyess said as much on the first day of training camp.
"We've got something in store for a lot of teams I think, and we're going to be a big surprise to some people," McDyess said then. "Coming off what we did last year was disappointing so we've got something to prove."
With a 24-3 conference record, including wins over the Lakers and Nuggets, the proof of the pudding has certainly been in the eating.
The 26-year-old rookie
In half a season, Gary Neal has come from being the "who's the new dude wearing number 14" guy to a household name. That's quite the journey, but it started much earlier.
Neal was a part of the Spurs summer league team in Vegas and took advantage of Malik Hairston, Garrett Temple and James Anderson being out by averaging 16 points in 25.8 minutes through five summer league games. He also shot 50 percent from the field and from beyond the arch.
Most players go from summer league stud to training camp invitee before they have a chance at signing a contract, and in most cases, a non-guaranteed contract. But the Spurs saw enough in five games to hand Neal a three-year guaranteed deal.
It took only three games for Neal to start turning heads. He scored 16 points in 20 minutes on November 1 against the Clippers. But he did it by shooting 60 percent from the field and 50 percent on three-point attempts, enough for Newsday's Alan Hahn to write an article titled, "Who the heck is Gary Neal."
Through 42 games, Neal has given Hahn all the answers he needs, currently averaging 8.6 points per game in just over 18 minutes. Neal is also third among three-point shooters off the bench in the league, 24th overall and first among all rookies in three-pointers made.
"He hasn't earned our respect, he's taken it," Spurs forward Tim Duncan said about Neal. "He's a stone-cold shooter."
It's hard to name too many disappointments when talking about a team with the best record in the NBA without it sounding like nitpicking, so while there are other minor disappointments or areas that can be improved upon, I'll just discuss the most glaring issue, Tiago Splitter's progress.
Splitter's arrival in San Antonio was much-anticipated after originally being drafted in 2007. He had enough hype coming in to make a lottery pick wince, but it appeared the Spurs were finally signing the perfect frontcourt complement to Tim Duncan, who even I expected he'd be paired with in the starting lineup by now.
However, Splitter hasn't exactly had the same storybook season fellow rookie Gary Neal has had. Splitter came into this season after an impressive showing at the FIBA World Championships, but suffered an injury three days into training camp.
Before the injury, Splitter had several Spurs veterans singing his praises, especially about how quick he was picking up the Spurs offensive and defensive schemes.
"He's really good, really strong, posts up strong and goes hard every play," Antonio McDyess said. "He's a heck of a guy because he sits there and listens and catches on real quick. I was very surprised about how quick he catches on. It's a tough system to learn and he catches on really fast."
Unfortunately for Splitter, the injury seemed to set his progress back and it appears he's been playing catch-up since.
Instead of starting and playing a significant role in the Spurs' rotation, Splitter is averaging 11 minutes per game and has only played in 31 of 42 games this season. While he's had a handful of games that have shown what he might be capable of, Splitter just doesn't appear to be comfortable when he is playing.
He saw an increase in minutes over a two-game stretch lately, but often looked over-eager on offense. There's no questioning his hustle and work ethic when he's out on the floor, but it appears the transition from being the number one option for his Spanish team to being the fourth or fifth option when on the floor has been a tough one for Splitter.
What he needs most is playing time, but he won't get enough of that on a team that already has Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair and Antonio McDyess taking up the majority of the minutes at power forward and center.
A trip to Austin playing a few weeks for the Toros could help get Splitter up to speed, but playing quality minutes with his Spurs teammates would be the best medicine, medicine which is currently very short in stock.
So that just happened. Forty-two games are in the book, the NBA season’s official midway now in the rear view, and the Spurs are exactly where everyone thought they’d be.
San Antonio, Texas.
But their league standing? Not even the most optimistic or delusional of fans could have seen this start coming. An improvement? Sure. The San Antonio Spurs ranking amongst the top handful of teams? Absolutely. A little good fortune on the health front and the added bonus of some actual continuity with a returning roster largely intact, surely the Spurs would be improved and avoid the type of start that plagued their 2009-10 campaign. But 36-6? Let me repeat that: 36-6? Yeah, that just happened.
Coming into the 2010-11 season, a reasonable expectation—and a tad optimistic for some—would have been a Western Conference finals appearance or even a loss to the eventual Finals participant. If the Spurs could just manage to stay upright and keep their pieces on the floor, the talent was certainly there for them to hold their own against any team in the league. But they had a ceiling.
The Spurs weren’t a team deemed by most to be championship-caliber, not without a move or two anyway. Few if any believed them to be on the same level as the Lakers or Celtics or even the talent taken to and amassed on South Beach. For all intents and purposes, this Spurs team’s title aspirations were on life support, a ventilator being the only hope for one last championship breath. They were the old guard. The elite of the league, well, they had passed them by. Someone apparently failed to notify the Spurs, though. Or, maybe they’ve just benefited from a sort of selective amnesia—placebo’s are all the rage, just ask George Hill about his extraordinary bracelet.no comments
• The San Antonio Spurs are off to their best start in team history at 36-6. They are also close to making history:
These last 40 games represent an opportunity for the Black & Silver to make some history, to do what some NBA observers thought might never be accomplished again.
If the Spurs can secure as many wins in these next 40 games as they did during the first 42, then they will match what the Chicago Bulls did 15 seasons ago when Michael Jordan and his supporting cast finished with 72 wins.
The Bulls’ 72-10 record still stands as the best in NBA history. (source bizjournals.com)
• The Spurs hot start to the NBA season might have been a surprise for many but not to former Spurs' legend George Gervin:
The Spurs success was no surprise to Gervin.“I felt good about them when I saw them in preseason,” Gervin said. “They have guys staying healthy, like the big three. Then you have guys like Gary Neal and DeJuan Blair that's being consistent. So anytime you have that with the Spurs, you have really good production. I'm real proud of my team and I'm looking forward to seeing them take it all the way.” (source mydesert.com)
• Spurs' former coach Mo McHone will take over as head coach for the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce:
The team is expected to announce today the hiring of former San Antonio Spurs coach Mo McHone. McHone's hiring, first reported by the Argus Leader's Terry Vandrovec, has been confirmed by FanHouse.
McHone, the Skyforce's franchise leader in wins with a career record of 172-102 in the regular season, previously coached the Skyforce from 1995-1999 and then again during the 2006-07 season. In the postseason for Sioux Falls, McHone has amassed a 29-22 record and led the team to the championship in the 1996 CBA Finals. (source nba.fanhouse.com)
• NBA.com crunched some surprising numbers for Spurs fans:
For most of the season, the San Antonio Spurs were the best team in the standings, but not by the numbers.
San Antonio is one of only three teams who rank in the top 10 both offensively and defensively. They have the No. 1 offense (109.6 points scored per 100 possessions) and the No. 7 defense (100.2 allowed). The two others are the Lakers (third and eighth) and Heat (fifth and third).
• Spurs' legend George Gervin spoke about still being called rookie by NBA great Julius "Dr. J" Erving:
“I was Doc's rookie in the ABA,” said Gervin, the Hall of Famer with the San Antonio Spurs. “He's 61 and I'm 58 and he's still calling me rookie. But that's the closeness of the ABA. We had that kind of relationship. Now we get to tee it up together.” (source mydesert.com)
• Express News' Tim Griffin on the Spurs' knack for comebacks.