With every NBA fan and San Antonio Spurs fan trying to figure out who the Spurs will select in the upcoming 2010 NBA Draft, why not ask Spurs' guard Manu Ginobili his thoughts on the Spurs and the draft.
The San Antonio Spurs will work out Josh Lomers from Baylor University as the 2010 NBA Draft nears:
Lomers has been in the San Francisco/Oakland area for a few weeks training with Entersport and will stay there through the end of the week before he comes back to Texas. He'll go to Waco for a short stay before heading to San Antonio where he’s going to attend a Spurs mini-camp in hopes of impressing a few people.
Lomers said he would love to play with the Spurs or any other NBA team for that matter...
Lomers is 7"0', 280 lbs., who averaged 6.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks with Baylor University in the 2009-2010 season. He is also from Boerne, Texas.
With former Spurs guard Steve Kerr recently resigning from his post as Phoenix Suns General Manager, there has been a lot of speculation over who will replace him.
Spurs assistant general manager, Dennis Lindsey, has been brought up as a likely replacement.
Lindsey was Minnesota's top GM candidate last year before he pulled himself out of contention.
It wouldn't be the first time the Suns hired a former Spurs player or front office executive. Kerr, Terry Porter, Mike D'Antoni and Alvin Gentry all have ties with the Spurs.
Recently, I was able to participate in a Q&A with San Antonio Spurs' guard Manu Ginobili at Spurs.com.
Here was my question for Ginobili:
My question for you is after the Spurs season was over, you said, "Everybody could tell it wasn't enough, that we were not ever, probably, a championship-caliber team. We were close. But we never made it to that level." What was missing from the team to push it to that level this past season?
MG : We started playing well as a team too late in the season. That put us on the 7th spot and to win it in that situation is really hard. A few teams played better than us and they beat us fair and square. We'll be better next season, for sure.
Got to appreciate the honesty from Ginobili. It was too little, too late for the Spurs this past season.
To read the complete Q&A, visit Spurs.com.
Looks like the wait for Tiago Splitter might be over.
According to Tubasket.com, the San Antonio Spurs will sign Splitter in July when the NBA permits off-season signing:
Los San Antonio Spurs anunciarán el fichaje de Tiago Splitter en julio, cuando la normativa NBA lo permita.
If true, the Splitter would address the largest need for the Spurs -- a legitimate big-man to play along side Tim Duncan.no comments
(Editor's note: Project Spurs would like to welcome a new staff writer, Mr. Jason Rogers. Jason came from the Icemen Blog and will be bringing Spurs fans some great articles and views on the team. Project Spurs is pleased to have him on board. Please welcome Jason and enjoy his debut post.)
Finally, the NBA season has come to an end.
As we’ve all been watching the 2010 NBA Finals, hoping for the earth to open up under the Staples Center and swallow both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics alive to prevent either one from winning another championship. Wait! Was that just me?
I’ve begun to look at the current state of the San Antonio Spurs and wonder what exactly the team needs to do to return to championship form as the NBA Draft and free-agency approaches.
Spurs fans have heard the usual banter when it comes to the team: "They are too old," "(Tony) Parker, (Manu) Ginobili and (Tim) Duncan aren’t what they used to be," "The 'Big 3' just can’t get it done anymore." How accurate is this? If you could be in the Spurs draft-room, what areas of the team would you be most focused on?
To answer this, I took a look at how the Spurs' 2007 championship season compared to their 2010 season statistically and I think I’ve got some answers.
First of all, I wanted to look at the contributions of the so-called “Big 3” of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili. Looking at their contributions as a group, in 2010 they averaged 50.4 points, 16.3 rebounds, and 13.8 assists. Compare this to the 2007 championship season in which they totaled 55.1 points, 18.2 rebounds, and 12.4 assists. Clearly there is a measurable difference in points and rebounds to the negative. Where does this come from?
Ginobili averaged 16.5 points in 2010 which is exactly what he averaged in 2007 however both Duncan and Parker are lower by two points per-game. One basket. Two free throws. That’s it folks.
When it comes to rebounds, Duncan averaged a half of a rebound less in 2010 than in 2007. I’m less convinced that their age and contributions are what's preventing San Antonio from another championship.
Let’s not forget Parker played 19 fewer games in 2010 due to injury as well. With Parker sitting out his regular summer basketball expedition to France, I don’t think it is out of the question to expect him to come back more refreshed and healthier than he has ever been. In a recent interview, he even said part of the reason he did not play for France this summer was simply he needed rest.
With Ginobili at the exact production levels he achieved in 2007, Parker averaging two points per game less when hampered by injury, and Duncan a single basket and half a rebound off his peak performance, I think we have fairly effectively debunked this myth.
That begs the question: what did the 2010 team lack that the 2007 team had?
In looking at the numbers I began by analyzing the static figures. For example the number of points per game. After thinking about it; however, it became clear that the actual number is less important than the Spurs’ league ranking in that category. If the Spurs scored 100 points per game in both 2007 and 2010, but the rest of the league scored 10 points more per game, the “100” point figure would not tell the whole story. Let’s begin by looking at the offense.
In 2007, the Spurs field goal percentage was ranked second in the NBA. By 2010, the team fell to sixth. The story from beyond the arc is similar, moving from third in 2007 to eleventh in 2010. Clearly this is significant. It would appear that the scoring deficiency is coming from the guard play, especially when you consider that the Spurs have improved from fourteenth to elevnth in points-in-the-paint from 2007 to 2010.
Offensively, it would appear from these numbers the Spurs should look for outside shooters, particularly guys that shoot well from three-point land. A team that shoots sixth best in the NBA should still be competing for a championship, especially when you consider that the team that won the Western Conference this year is eighteenth in this category. Perhaps the offense is a small part of the story.
What about defensively?
Rebounding, the Spurs have made a dramatic move from seventeenth in the NBA in 2007 to ninth in 2010. This, to me, is a hustle-stat and tells you more about the quality of the players and their level of effort, not necessarily their skill set. In 2007, the Spurs allowed their opponents to shoot an average of 44.3% from the field, an NBA rank of fourth. Here is where you can begin to panic.
In 2010, the Spurs fell to 45.2% and a rank of eleventh! In a league where games are decided by the slimmest of margins and mere tenths of a second, this is an alarming fall in a key statistical category. Surely, the fall is due to the play inside and an aging Duncan, right? In the words of Lee Corso – not so fast my friends.
In 2007, the Spurs were ranked thirteenth in defensive points in the paint (now you are impressed with the research, aren’t you?) whereas in 2010, they moved up to eleventh meaning they gave up fewer points in the paint last year than they did when they won an NBA Championship. The interior "D" is solid.
What about the perimeter defense you ask? The Spurs fell from second to sixth in that category.
What about transition defense? Ah, there’s the rub. In transition defense the Spurs fell from an impressive sixth in the NBA to twenty-second. That is from 10.8 fast-break-points per game to 14.7. That is a basketball game, folks. Here is the starkest difference in these two basketball teams. The Spurs’ perimeter defense and defensive backcourt has taken a fatal fall from grace in 2010.
What is to be derived from all of this information? Perhaps that the consensus thinking is wrong.
The "Big 3" are clearly as good as ever. The NBA analysts seem to think the Spurs should be looking for a big-man, such as Tiago Splitter, to play beside Duncan. Maybe in the long run this is true, but if the Spurs want to compete immediately, as I think all Spurs fans do, the team needs to find quick outside guards and small-forwards that can defend the perimeter, defend in transition, and shoot threes. The team need more "Bruce Bowen" type players. Maybe now Spurs fans know why the team has been working out mostly guards in the days leading up to the 2010 NBA Draft.
This is what separates the Spurs’ most recent championship team from the team they currently have. The good news is, with the right personnel changes, the Spurs and their fans can to look forward to competing for an NBA Championship in 2011 and give Duncan the send off he deserves.
Former San Antonio Spurs' coach, Bob Hill, has been offered the head coaching job in Japan for the Tokyo Apache according to the Japan Times.
The Apache, coming off a 22-30 season under now-fired bench boss Motofumi Aoki, have offered the job to veteran mentor Bob Hill, hoop insiders have told The Japan Times.
Hill, who turns 62 in November, has previously coached the New York Knicks (1986-87), Indiana Pacers (1990-93), San Antonio Spurs (1994-96) and Seattle SuperSonics (2006-07).
Spurs fans definitely remember his coaching days with the team. Great regular-season records. Poor playoff performances. How can Spurs fans forget the 1995 Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets and especially Hakeem Olajuwon.
Then a man by the name of Gregg Popovich came to the Spurs in 1996 and the rest was history . . . for Hill.
It's another pre-NBA draft workout with another guard for the San Antonio Spurs.
According to bgdailynews.com, the Spurs worked out Western Kentucky's A.J. Slaughter.
Working out exclusively as a point guard - rather than the shooting guard position he played at WKU - Slaughter is in the midst of a two-week road trip that had him work out for the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs last week, the Portland Trailblazers today, the Golden State Warriors on Friday and eventually the Boston Celtics this coming Tuesday.
“It’s been a busy schedule,” he said. “But a lot of teams are interested, which is good.
Slaughter is a 6'1" guard, averaged 17.5 points, shot 41.6% from the field, 35.9% from the three-point line, 82.7% from the free-throw line, and averaged 4.3 assists for Western Kentucky in 2009-2010.
Check out video of San Antonio Spurs forward, DeJuan Blair, throwing the first pitch for the MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates.
Yes I know. This is a San Antonio Spurs blog so what am I doing interviewing David Lee of the New York Knicks? Well I'm glad you asked.
The great thing about living in New York City are the events throughout the summer months. Fortunately, the kind folks at the Taylor PR firm invited Project Spurs to the Tanqueray 200th anniversary party where I had the opportunity to interview Lee who was there to take part in the event for Tanqueray.
This was an opportunity which I could not pass up. Especially with Lee's name being mentioned in recent trade rumors with the Spurs.
In the interview we talk about being a free-agent, the Knicks, his first All-Star appearance, LeBron James, playing against the Spurs' Tim Duncan, the fans in San Antonio, eating Philly cheesesteaks with former Spur Malik Rose, and much more!
Right before I sat down, I mention the party...
JEFF: When they think Tanqueray, they think David Lee right?
DAVID: I don't know about that but like I said I never get out during the season, so it's nice to get out do some fun events (Lee looks at the Tanqueray poster behind us) and things in New York in the summer time when it's warm.
First I want to congratulate you on making your first All-Star appearance. How was that?
It was wonderful! Great experience. To have it be in an area like the Dallas Cowboys brand new stadium on a really grand scale like that with 118, 000 people that even made it that much more special. It was something I will never forget.
How did you find out?
I was actually taking a nap! I was relaxing, my flights all got cancelled out of New York because there was that snow storm all across the country. So I was just staying in New York for about three or four days then I was going to join the team. Got a call while I was taking a nap. Hit ignore about three or four times because I was taking a nap and finally answered the phone and it was our General Manager. Told me I made it. So I was really, really excited. It was a wonderful experience.
Well congratulations and hopefully many more to come.
You know July is coming up very soon and you will be a free-agent. Your thoughts. Are you frustrated knowing you are in limbo?
Not really. I went through this all last summer with a much more complicated situation with restricted free-agency. Now it's a little more wide-open. But one thing that's confusing is there so many free-agents right now. So many teams with space [salary cap space] and so many teams that want to do sign-and-trades that are looking to improve their team this summer. So with guys like LeBron James it's going to be a little bit of a waiting game for me. But it's going to be exciting either way. I'm really excited to have had a decent season and have some options this summer.
Speaking of LeBron James, does it make it frustrating since they [Knicks] have been "full disclosure" and said he is their prime target. Yet you averaged 20.2 points, double-digit rebounds, an All-Star appearance...figure they should give you a little "love."
You know it's about them improving their team and they need to go about that in a way they see best fit and at this point a guy like LeBron is a top one or two players in the league depending on your opinion between him and Kobe [Bryant]. That's a guy that's going to improve your team right off the bat. I think that's something they need to go after. Something they promised the fans, promised the media, that they're going to pursue and they need to let it run its course.
Recently, you had an interview where you said you feel like you can be, if you are not already, an elite player. You have the credentials to prove it. All-Star appearance, the numbers. Tell us more about your drive and what you can bring to the Knicks should they re-sign you or any other team you may end up with.
I think I've proven I'm a guy that's going to go out there and give total effort every single time I step on the floor. I been constantly improving my game. That's the biggest thing is that I think in this league you're either getting better or you're getting worse. Everybody is getting a year older every year but I try to improve at least one skill every single season. This past year was improving my mid-range jump shot and it's something I just want to get better and better each year. I know I am going to continue to do that and I think I'm going to be in the All-Star game year-in and year-out.
That's a goal and now the biggest thing is to be in a position where I'm going to be on a team that wins and a team that's a contender each and every year. I think that can be New York. I don't think being a "Plan B" is necessarily a negative when you are talking a person like LeBron James. I think at this point everybody in free-agency is a "Plan B" unless your name is LeBron. I'm really looking forward to this whole process. It should be fun!
Your name has been mentioned in trade rumors involving the San Antonio Spurs and in particular Tony Parker. Should that happen, how would it be like to play for a coach like Gregg Popovich and a player like Tim Duncan?
I have a lot of respect for Popovich and the things that he has done especially in a smaller market where he hasn't necessarily had the pay-roll of other teams.
Tim Duncan. Speaks for itself. I think he's one of the top three players to ever play the position if not the best! I also know him a little bit off the floor. I got a chance to play with Malik Rose so I got to know some of the guys on the Spurs team. It's not always said about this with every NBA guy but I think who he [Duncan] is as a person is almost as impressive as who he is as a player. If not more impressive. He's a great guy and a guy that brings the effort night-in and night-out. So I have a lot of respect for his game.
Did Malik tell you about his Philly cheesesteaks?
(laughs) Every time we went to Philadelphia we got them on the plane as we were leaving. I'm a big fan. I gained a couple of pounds because of those.
Tell me how is it playing against Tim Duncan?
He's tough. He's great at not only scoring but he's great at drawing fouls. A tremendous defender and he is a guy that has so much knowledge of the game that it makes it difficult to guard him because he is always one step ahead of you mentally. He's a very good player.
As an opposing player, when you head out to San Antonio and go into the AT&T Center, tell me about the atmosphere.
Well they have fans that have been spoiled every time because of the amount of winning. They pack the place in night-in and night-out. There's a tremendous amount of enthusiasm also because they're [Spurs] really the only game in town there. I think it even heightens it more. I know the players that play down there love the crowd. I never heard anything negative about playing in San Antonio.
Which Spur do you like to watch?
Tim Duncan, obviously and Parker are the two guys everyone talks about. The guy I think had a tremendous second-half this season this year was [Manu] Ginobili. I think he had a slower first-half of the season and I think played about as good of basketball as anybody in the league in the second-half from the All-Star break on. He's the guy that had some injury troubles but when you look at his game, he finds a way to get it done game-in and game-out.
Let's talk more about the New York Knicks. I know you want to secure your future and you're looking for a long-term deal. Are you looking for a long-term deal regardless of the team or is your main goal looking for a winning club even if it is a short-term deal?
Well I mean it's going to be a lot of factors combined. I think I had a good enough year that I'm going to give myself some options and it's going to be weighed to things that are important. It's going to be weighing wanting to win, wanting to be in a city that I enjoy, wanting to be happy for me and my girlfriend and my family when they come to watch and also the money does matter. This is a business. So weighing all those things together is going to be important to find a perfect situation.
I want to talk about the Spurs' DeJuan Blair. You had to go against him. Is he a beast?
(smiling) He is! I talked to Chip Engelland [Spurs' assistant coach] and some of the other assistants about him. I heard he is an unbelievable kid. He has a great work ethic. He's a guy that . . . I'm not sure how much was expected out of him coming in and what he showed in pre-season, what he showed throughout the season, I mean they [Spurs] have to be thrilled with his performance and moving forward, he's one of the best young big-men in the league. He deserves a lot of credit.
Do you feel the Knicks are going in the right direction?
I think they are. I think they had a definite plan and they've stuck to it. That's opening up cap-space and making room for the future. Now it's a matter of what they can do this summer. If they are able to land a couple of these free-agents, no matter who they are, then they have a chance to be very good overnight.
The music getting really loud at this party isn't it?
(laughing) Yes it is! It is!
Now when am I going to get a picture with you and me in front of the Tanqueray poster?
Perfect! We can get it done right now!