1. Cavs want LeBron James to rest tonight against the Spurs. Should he be resting more than just a few games heading into the post season or do the Cavs need him out there asap?
I think a few games rest for LeBron is not necessarily 'needed' but I have no problem with it, and think it could prove beneficial in the long-run. One of the Cavaliers strength is there overall team depth from 1-12, and looking at the roster that way there's no deeper team than the Cavaliers. When they get into the playoffs, that rotation will shrink down from 10-11 to 7 or 8, and while they might not be the deepest team in the NBA from 1-7, they are from 1-12, and there's no time like the present - regular season - to capitalize on that strength and save some miles on LBJ's tires, because come playoff time, they won't have that luxury.
2. This isn't the same Cavs team nor the same James the Spurs swept in the 2007 NBA Finals. How has this franchise and James grown since?
3. What should Spurs fans expect tonight from the Cavs taking on a Spurs team without Tony Parker?
Recently, it was announced that Denver Nuggets' head coach, George Karl, was diagnosed with throat and neck cancer. Unfortunately, this isn't his first bout with cancer. In 2005, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and won that battle.
Though he does coach an opposing Western Conference team, Spurs fans must not forget, he began his NBA playing and coaching career with the San Antonio Spurs.
He signed with the Spurs when the team was in the ABA in 1973 and his NBA career began when the Spurs were absorbed into the NBA in 1976. While with the Spurs, he averaged 6.5 points, 3 assists, 1.4 rebounds, shot 46% from the three-point line in 16.9 minutes for the Spurs from 1973-1978. His best year was the 1974-75 season, when he averaged 8.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. It is funny, he considered himself more the ladies man than a basketball player while in the ABA. He retired from the Spurs in 1978 and began his coaching career with the team as an assistant coach.
That being said, he is a competitor and when it came to playing against his former team, he never held back. For example, in the 2005 playoffs and in particular, Manu Ginobili. Karl described Ginobili's game as "ugly," "hard to watch" and did not enjoy Manu's ability to draw the foul aka "flopping." But in the end, he set matters straight with Manu and said he was a great player. Even this season, he was to the point about the reason the Spurs are having troubles on the court.
Karl is also close friend to Coach Popovich. They coached the 2002 USA Basketball Men's World Championship team. He has always remarked positively about Pop's relationship with Tim Duncan, and pokes fun of Pop's approach to coaching since he has a no-nonsense superstar in Duncan. Recently, Karl and Popovich had fun with the topic of limiting Duncan's minutes and Pop's love of wine. And even when he is pointing out the the issues with this years Spurs team, he said of Popovich "(Gregg Popovich) has tricks, he can mess with you."
Karl has had many battles on the court but they pale in comparison to his second battle with cancer. Today he goes for surgery to insert a feeding tube.
We here at Project Spurs wish him a full recovery in his second fight against cancer and hope the Spurs play against him and his team for many years to come. And though he may be coaching the Nuggets, he will always be a Spur.
All-NBA selections. Check. NBA All-Star. Check. NBA's Most Valuable Player. Check. Champion. Check.
Tim Duncan has accomplished everything there is to accomplish in his illustrious 12 year career. At the time of this article, including playoffs, he's played 40,755 minutes, scored 23,708 points and collected 12,975 rebounds, all in a Silver and Black jersey.
Obviously these numbers have increased but there's no argument that Duncan has given all his blood, sweat and tears to the franchise. But, as the saying goes, all great things must come to an end, and soon the Duncan era will come to an end.
So how will the Duncan era end? Will it end like the Robinson era? Hoisting the Larry O'Bryant trophy in the sky, showers of confetti raining down on the court. At that time, no Spur had meant more to San Antonio then David. Because of him, two things come to mind when you think of San Antonio: the Alamo and the Spurs. It was incredibly emotional to see David in his last moments as a Spur. I'd wouldn't be honest if I said I didn't cry. I think most of us did. How could you not? To see the Admiral go out on top, the person I most admired growing up, my hero, was an unforgettable moment in my life.
But will Duncan and his four championships simply ride off into the sunset headed for Springfield? He's still averaging a double-double with 19 points and 10.8 rebounds a game. And at 33-years-old, Duncan is still schooling younger players. But the Spurs are struggling, and with players like Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony playing the best basketball of their careers, not to mention the Lakers and Mavericks adding pieces to their rosters that will keep them in contention for years, it seems Duncan might not make it back to the promise land.
The Spurs have shown they are willing to do what is necessary to surround Duncan with pieces he needs to get another title by acquiring Richard Jefferson and his 29.4 million dollar contract. Even though the acquisition of Jefferson hasn't panned out like we anticipated, the move by R.C. Buford shows the Spurs believe Duncan still has enough left in the tank to bring one more chip to the Alamo City.
However, taking on Jefferson's huge contract has made it seemingly difficult to sign an All-Star caliber big man that can take the torch from Duncan and carry the Spurs into the future. But Buford and the Spurs front office are one of the best in the league. So if this season doesn't end with a parade, don't count out next season.
Buford is one of the great General Managers in the NBA. He is unafraid of taking risks and understands that Duncan is still and an elite player and in the playoffs can still put up daunting statistics. Buford's mind, like rims on an Escalade, are constantly spinning. If he can surround Duncan with the right players, then Duncan could possibly get that fifth title.
The problem is that Duncan is 33. Five years ago, any player would have taken a pay cut to come play with the great Tim Duncan and win a championship. Is there still appeal to come play for an aging superstar? Especially when he plays in one of the smallest markets in the Association. I don't remember players lining up to play with Micheal Jordan when he was in Washington.
When the Duncan era ends, it truly will be the end of an era. When Duncan goes so will Popovich, and the future of Manu is still uncertain. Parker will still be in the prime of his career when his contract expires in 2011. If the Spurs aren't contenders, don't be surprised if he goes elsewhere and tries to win a ring.
I think the Mayans were predicting about the Spurs when they came up with their 2012 end of the world prophecy.
And that's exactly how it's going to feel. It's going to feel like the end of the world once Duncan is gone throughout Spurs nation. When he goes, so will the 50 plus win seasons, the excitement of the playoffs and the belief that any season could be our season.
How do I think the Duncan era will end? As much as it hurts me to say this, I don't think Duncan will get another ring. I believe he can win another ring, but don't think it's going to happen.
On a trip to San Antonio this past week, my father told me that attendance has dipped at Spurs games this season. Could be the current state of the economy in general or because of how poorly they have been playing. But what about those seasons when we win only 30 games, even 20? Are you going to still wear your Spurs gear? Keep the emblem on your car? Keep going to games? I will. And I'll love every second of it. Because the Spurs are more then numbers in the win and loss columns. Like they've been there for us, we'll need to be there for them.
I urge you, please. Please go to these games. We are blessed to have one of the All-Time greats playing in our own backyard. Please take your children, or your grandchildren, so they can say they were able to see Timmy. If you have the opportunity to go see him play, go. If tickets are five dollars, scrape some change up from your couch or car and hit the coin-star machine. If you can't pay for parking, take the park and ride, but please, be there. Soon he'll be gone, and all we'll have left are our pictures, screen print jerseys and trading cards, but even those won't last forever. So take every chance you have to see Tim Duncan play. Because when his era ends, and all that's left is the banners hanging in the rafters, you'll want to be able to say you saw him. And memories, it's the memories that will last a lifetime.
Spurs fans know "the shot." The shot former Spur Avery Johnson made in the 1999 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks that solidified the franchise's first NBA championship.
But did you know the play was not originally built around him?
This gem is from Celtics Hub and Johnson describes the way the play was originally designed.
Of his championship-clinching jumper against the Knicks in 1999, Johnson says: “I was the last person we wanted taking that shot.” The play was built around an entry pass to Tim Duncan with the hope that if the Knicks doubled, they would drop off of either Sean Elliott or Mario Elie. They doubled off of Johnson instead. But Gregg Popovich, in a bit of proto-analytics work, had anticipated this and put Johnson about 15-feet away along the left baseline–not a customary spot for a point guard. “That was probably the only shot I could make,” Johnson laughs. Pop also stationed Elie in the right corner, because the numbers showed Elie shot well from there.
(h/t Celtics Hub)
Announced during the Spurs vs. Grizzlies game that Parker has fractured his shooting hand. Specifically it was an injury to his fourth metacarpal on his right hand. Basically his ring finger. Injury occurred in the first half of the game.
Add this to the list of injuries for Parker this season. Two ankle injuries, dealt with plantar fasciitis, a hip injury and now this. Expect Parker to be out 2-3 weeks or possibly the rest of the season.
Stay with Project Spurs for more details on this injury to Parker.
X-rays revealed Parker's hand was fractured.
It's now time for some recommended Spurs reading which get Project Spurs seal of awesomeness.
- SPURS.COM - Mailbag: Coach Gregg Popovich answered some questions from Spurs fans. Check them out!
- ESPN - Josh Whitling tells us with Duncan sitting the second nights of back to backs, DeJuan Blair will benefit.
- San Antonio Express News - Mike Monroe says that George Hill is looking like a grizzled veteran in his sophomore year. I agree.
- Bleacher Report - Taylor Smith thinks Father Time is catching up on the Celtics and the Spurs. The last time I checked the Spurs are getting younger.
- Hoopsworld - Eric Pincus looked at the Spurs' remaining schedule and says they could be out of the playoff hunt. Don't count out the Spurs just yet.
- San Antonio Express News - Mike Monroe hopes Jefferson might earn redemption in the playoffs. I hope so too.
- HoopVibe - Oly Sandor thinks Finley’s release is perhaps most telling indicator that the San Antonio Spurs’ empire and run as contenders is over. He might be speaking too soon.
- SPURS.COM - Sean Elliott to be inducted into Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. Congratulations Sean you deserved it!
- San Antonio Express News - Mike Monroe: Putting together their first winning streak in two weeks worked wonders on the Spurs' collective psyche.
- Bleacher Report - Robert Kleeman believes the San Antonio Spurs can feel Tony Parker's pain.
- KENS 5 - Dan Oshinsky is finding answers to the big stretch-run questions for the Spurs.
- Pounding the Rock - Wayne Vore says not all shots are created equal. He explained it using the ATS shot charting system.
- Mundo Albiceleste -- John reminds Spurs fans what they lost in Scola and an update on what former Spur, Fabricio Oberto, is up to in Washington.
- 48 Minutes of Hell - Timothy Varner talked about DeJuan Blair and thinks that Blair is one part Fabricio Oberto and one part Carl Landry. Good Read!
- Manu Ginobili with a straight to the point explanation on how the Spurs lost to the Houston Rockets.
- Jeff Garcia gave us this great recap on the Spurs vs Suns game, asked which was the better block by Manu and gave us a report about Finley's request to be released by the Spurs.
- Manu Ginobili wishes Finley Good luck.
- Michael De Leon and Jeff Garcia hosted a post game Spurscast for the Spurs at Hornets game.
- Michael Finley bids goodbye to San Antonio in his own words.
- Jeff Garcia gave us the Top 5 Michael Finley moments. Choose your favorite Fin moment.
- In this 196th episode of the Spurscast, Michael De Leon and Jeff Garcia was joined by Sarah from Hornets Hype as they broke down each quarter and highlighted some positives and negatives throughout the Spurs at Hornets game and talked about things from a Hornets point of view.
- Jordan Rivas asked "Are Spurs fans spoiled?" Share us your thoughts.
- Here is the latest on Tiago Splitter and Nando De Colo.
- Michael De Leon thinks that someone might have a man crush on Blair and says Tony Parker may rule out FIBA World Championships. Let's hope Tony chooses to rest!
- Richard Jefferson seem to play better off the bench. Tell us what you think in the comment section.
- Lance Fell tells us what we've been missing as Spurs fans. Nice read!
- Jeff Garcia gave us a report about Finley's signing with the Celtics.
- Spurscast #197: Michael De Leon and Jeff Garcia got together for a non-live show and talked about Michael Finley signing with the Celtics and Tony Parker having second thoughts about playing with France this summer.
- And Michael De Leon had a Gameday Q&A about the Spurs vs. Hornets game with Sarah of HornetsHype.
Next up are the Memphis Grizzlies, let's hope that the Spurs will make it 4 straight! Be sure to visit us daily for more Spurs news, articles and podcast. Have a great weekend!
For tonight's game against the Hornets, I looked to none other than Sarah of HornetsHype to preview the game. Here are her answers to my questions.
1. Can Darren Collison continue on the hot streak he's been on recently? Do you expect him to hit the rookie wall anytime soon with the amount of minutes he's been playing?
His and Marcus Thornton's rookie walls are going to be different from the Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings of the NBA, who have tailed off recently, because they got so few minutes in the early part of the year. Collison is playing higher minutes than Chris Paul even plays, due to the fact that he has no backup. He hasn't looked tired until this last week. I'm sure the recent string of losses is wearing on him. The fact that NO leads the league in close games hasn't helped either-- there's no such thing as garbage time anymore, and really, since the Hornets traded away the end of their roster before the All Star Break to get under the luxury tax, there aren't any garbage players left. But I'm more worried about him getting discouraged than tired.
2. Marcus Thornton has been playing off the bench, but against the Spurs, he seemed to be the only player actually doing anything off the bench. Who should Spurs fans expect to step up for tonight's game?
The Hornets had a great fast bench going in January that was running over other teams' benches with Collison and Thornton. But then injuries happened to ruin that chemistry. New Orleans is playing about 8 players these days. Darius Songaila has been a big bench guy this year, who was out for the Spurs & Hornets' previous game. He's usually good for about 10 points and some great pick and roll D, and his return should help with the problems the Hornets had the other night.
3. Key matchup: Parker-Collison or Duncan-West?
After the other night, more like Collison/Hill. Haha. Well, Collison and whoever. He needs to control the turnovers.
4. What do the Hornets have to do from here on out to give them a chance at making the playoffs?
Chris Paul needs to come back and they need to go on an absolute tear. The last two weeks have almost killed their chances-- they're about 7 games back from where they were unfortunately.
5. Your prediction for tonight's game.
Spurs win again by about 4. I predict this so I don't get upset if it happens. But the Hornets have put together a few surprise road wins-- and even more really great games that were almost wins-- against solid teams, so I also wouldn't be shocked if they managed to pull this one out.
Michael and Jeff get together for a non-live show to talk about Michael Finley signing with the Celtics and Tony Parker having second thoughts about playing with France this summer.
We also preview tonight's Hornets game and put a new Spurs player on the hot seat. Look for our next live show and the next episode of Spurscast En Español next week.
Recently waived, Michael Finley, has decided to sign with the Boston Celtics according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
Michael Finley has decided to come to Boston and will sign in next couple days, source tells Y! Sports
Finley will be signing for the veteran minimum. At least he did not sign with a Western Conference team and come back to haunt the Spurs in the playoffs. Good luck to Finley in Boston.no comments