It appears Ime Udoka's second stint with the San Antonio Spurs is now over. The Spurs just announced that they have placed the 6-5 Udoka on waivers.
Udoka was originally signed on November 24 and appeared in 20 games with the Spurs averaging 0.7 points in 6.5 minutes per game.
He played 20 minutes against Oklahoma City on January and helped the Spurs limit the Thunder to 32.9 percent shooting from the field.
The Spurs roster now stands at 12 players.
It appears Ime Udoka's second stint with the San Antonio Spurs is now over. The Spurs just announced that they have placed the 6-5 Udoka on waivers.
Project Spurs' Jeff Garcia was covering last night's Spurs vs. Knicks game in Madison Square Garden. He spoke to San Antonio Spurs' guard George Hill post game about the loss to the Knicks and game-planning against Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics tonight.
NEW YORK -- "Our defense was pathetic. It was the worst defense of the year for us."
It took those few words from San Antonio Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich after the game to sum up the entire night for the Spurs as they lose to the New York Knicks, 128 to 115, and fall to 29-5. The 128 points scored by the Knicks was the most allowed by the Spurs this season.
The first-half pretty much dictated how the entire night would go for the Spurs. The Spurs exhibited porous defense as the Knicks were getting into the paint and getting clear shots at the rim for easy baskets. Fortunately for the Spurs the Knicks were not getting it done on the defensive end as well which allowed San Antonio to be within striking distance.
The Spurs allowed New York to score 12 second-chance points in the paint and turned the ball over nine times which allowed the Knicks to take a slim lead over the Spurs at the end of the first-half, 72 to 69.
The second-half saw the Spurs continue to exhibit poor defense against the Knicks, as New York was still getting to the rim, and getting most of the second-chance opportunities. However, despite the lackluster effort on the defensive end, the Spurs remained close and had many opportunities to take the lead but just could not get over the hump. The Knicks were simply making the shots down the stretch especially Knicks' guard Raymond Felton who made back-breaking shots to put away the Spurs. At the 3:13 point of the fourth quarter, coach Popovich emptied the bench as New York stunned the NBA's number one team.
After the game, Popovich said the Knicks were just hungrier and more physical than the Spurs were. He went on to say, "If we score 115 points, I expect to win the basketball game." As all Spurs fans expected as well.
The Spurs will next face the Boston Celtics tomorrow night in Boston.
- The Spurs had six players scoring in double-figures and were led by Tony Parker who scored 26 points and six assists. George Hill came off the bench to score 13 points.
- Largest lead for the Spurs was four points. Knicks led as much as 13 points.
- The Spurs outscored the Knicks in the paint 62 to 50.
- The Knicks had 16 second-chance points while the Spurs had 14.
- Knicks' Wilson Chandler had a season high of 31 points.
- Popovich on the Knicks, "I just know they are a very good basketball team. They're not a dangerous team. They're a good team. There's a big difference."
- Popovich on the Knicks turning the corner, "I'm happy for Mike (D'Antoni). He had to go through some tough stuff and they (Knicks) have obviously turned the corner. They're obviously going in the right direction."
Our friends at Accuscore have worked the numbers for tonight's game against the New York Knicks and according to their simulations, the Spurs are 71.6 percent favorites to earn their 30th win tonight in Madison Square Garden.
The San Antonio Spurs are solid 71.6 percent favorites over the New York Knicks. The Spurs are shooting 47.6 percent from the field and the Knicks are forecasted to shoot 45 percent. The Spurs have the rebounding advantage at 46.5 to 42.2. The Spurs are committing fewer turnovers at 13.6 vs 14.9 for the Knicks. The Spurs are making 7.4 three pointers on 40.1 percent from three point range. The Knicks are making 5.5 three pointers on 33.9 percent.
That is only a sampling of the work AccuScore has prepared for tonight's game. Make sure to see their full game report and game forecast below.
If you ever had a chance to catch a San Antonio Spurs' road game, then you know how it has that "behind enemy lines" feel to it. You are in a sea of other colors than the usual sea of black and silver. However, you are there to brave hostile waters and represent Spurs fandom.
With the season fully underway, you might try to catch a Spurs' road game. If so, here are the most expensive remaining road games for the team:
Interesting to note the games in Los Angeles versus the Lakers. The February 3 game is 16% above the average, and the game on April 12 is 10% above. However, this is only the sixth and ninth highest priced games for the rest of the year in Los Angeles. Which is surprising considering this could be a potential Western Conference Finals matchup.
So if you are entertaining the thought of catching a Spurs' road game, click HERE to grab some tickets.
My colleague here at Project Spurs, Jason Rogers, recently wrote a fantastic post on Manu Ginobili and how the proverbial torch has been passed to him this season. Well, I just had to chime in with my thoughts on this topic.
For more than a decade, the San Antonio Spurs have leaned heavily on their defense and half-court plays to win ball games. Such strategy worked wonders for the Spurs, it gave them four NBA titles. At the center of it all was Tim Duncan, the Spurs' superstar who always seemed to shy away from the spotlight.
During his prime, Duncan was a lock for 25 points and 12 rebounds every night with the Spurs' offense and defense relying on him. Now at 34, he is no longer the center of the offense as it now revolves around moving the ball more and giving more freedom to their deep backcourt to score more.
Now into his 14th season, Duncan is averaging 13.6 points and 9.4 rebounds, both career-lows, while shooting 49 percent from the field. That decline could be blamed on his 28.9 minutes per ball game, which is also at an all-time low. After 33 games the Spurs (29-4) remain on top of the NBA standings and doing so with Duncan currently the third-leading scorer behind Ginobili, and Parker.
But at this point of his career, Duncan has clearly become a supporting cast member in a Spurs' scheme dominated by guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
In fact, the Spurs' offense has gradually drifted away from Duncan since 2007 but he has accepted this and adapted on the transition while still continues to provide the things to help the team win. On most nights he seemed content on providing the Spurs some needed rebounding, interior defense and making everybody involved on offense and on some nights he can still take over, score big and lead the Spurs to victory.
Like David Robinson once did for the team, Duncan has stepped aside, recognizing his new set of limitations and finding other ways to contribute. He has taken the back-seat, but it doesn't mean the Spurs need him less. In fact come playoff time, the Spurs can’t contend for another NBA title without him.
Yes, Ginobili is making the big plays for the Spurs for the most part this season and a healthy Parker appears to be more consistent and is running the team a lot better.
However, Duncan remains one of the game’s smartest and is still the anchor of the Spurs’ defensive schemes and it's no secret the Spurs' recipe for winning four NBA championships has been always been on the defensive side of the floor.
With all things considered, I believe it is fair to ask, are the Spurs still Duncan's team? Tell us what us what you think.
The San Antonio Spurs (29-4) will look to continue their winning ways and be the first team in the NBA to reach 30 wins as they face the New York Knicks (19-14) tonight at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks come into the game minus Danilo Gallinari who will be out with a left knee sprain. However, this Knicks team is not the Knicks of old. They added Amar'e Stoudemire who has been on a tear since joining New York. Also, Raymond Felton and rookie Landry Fields have been great additions for New York. Coached by Mike D'Antoni, a familiar face for Spurs fans, the Knicks will look to run on the Spurs but this Spurs team is running more this season.
To talk about the Knicks and the matchup tonight, I turned to fellow NBA blogger here at Bloguin, LIVES from the superb Knicks Fanatics, your one-stop place for everything Knicks. In this Q&A, LIVES (yes that is the name he goes by) talks about the Knicks performance this season, Knicks' rookie Fields, New York's game plan against the Spurs and more. To read the Q&A I did with LIVES click HERE to visit Knicks Fanatics.
Jeff: OK I will admit, I did not expect this Knicks team to be this good entering the season. With the new players such as Raymond Felton, Landry Fields, and Amar'e Stoudemire, I figured it would be a while before the chemistry would set it. What do you attribute to the Knicks solid performance this season?
LIVES: Don't laugh, but it is fairly simple. They have played better than the teams they have beaten this season. Prior to the Denver game on December 12th, the Knicks had specialized in beating teams below .500, teams they were supposed to beat if they were to be considered a serious playoff contender. The Knicks winning streak during which they won 13 of 14 games was built largely on the relentless play of the Knicks,and allowed them to gain confidence and create chemistry. The key is that the Knicks have done what most NBA teams do not, play for 45 to 48 minutes even when down by double digits. Since their victory against Denver, the Knicks have demonstrated they can not only beat the downtrodden, but they will also beat and challenge those playoff-bound teams that don't play persistent defense.
Sure the Knicks are a good team but does it worry you coach D'Antoni's "7 seconds or less" style of play does not work in the playoffs (see his time with the Phoenix Suns) should the Knicks make it in?
I would phrase it another way: "Lack of Defense does not win in the playoffs." The style of offensive play concerns me less than the sacrifice of defense and rebounding at the alter of the Offensive Gods. The Knicks are undersized and as hard as they work they will eventually feel like they are paddling upstream with ping pong paddles against the better teams. The major part of the equation that D'Antonirefuses to admit is that if your players are willing to run for you the entire game, you must manage the rotation and their time so they can do it over an entire season. His eight man rotations are bound to bite him in the arse over the length of a season as his players tire and injuries force him to his bench which has not been adequately acclimated to game situations.
The loss of Gallinari will present a significant challenge offensively and may provide instant proof that the rotation has been too short and it will take a couple of games for the team to adjust. However, if someone steps up defensively and can contribute a little offensively, Gallo will be missed less as chemistry develops. This is a good time for Landry Fields to really show his offensive skills, which are even better than he has demonstrated and for a Shawne Williams to show more aggressiveness on the defensive end.
What's the latest on the Knicks trying to land Carmelo Anthony? Is New York even in the mix?
Knicks fans are finally content enough, for the most part, to obtain Carmelo when the least damage can be done to this team -- during free agency when Anthony can make good on his insistence that he wants to be a Knick and we won't necessarily need to lose Chandler and Fields in the transaction.
Heading into the 2010 NBA Draft, one player I was wishing would fall to the Spurs was Fields. He has all-around skills but more importantly his basketball IQ is high. How would you assess his rookie season so far?
Superb. He may be wearing down a bit as he gets deeper into the season and the opposition becomes tougher but he has played beyond his years. According to ESPN rankings, he is currently the second best rookie behind Blake Griffin. Can you imagine if Blake Griffin had played last year and this was not his rookie year? Walsh must get major credit for that find.
The Spurs run more this season but can play defense when needed. Case in point the win over the Oklahoma City Thunder holding the Thunder to 74 points. What should the Knicks' game-plan be against a Spurs team that can seemingly play in any style?
The Knicks need to do more of the same. They need to control the pace and be relentless and constantly active. They cannot allow the Spurs to rest on the defensive end. D'Antoni must figure out how to bring some rebounding balance to the game. He will need a little more size, but San Antonio needs to figure out how to stop Amar'e if they want to stop the Knicks.
Defensively, the Knicks will have their hands full with Ginobli and anyone who can hit an open three. Raymond Felton is tenacious but has not proven fast or strong enough to stop the best guards. Although the Knicks lead the league with 6.7 blocks per game, they rank 28th in opposing points per game and they are the seventh worse team in terms of opposing field goal percentage. Ginobli may be stunned with how often he can get to the basket in transition especially if San Antonio is relentless. Gary Neal, Tiago Splitter and George Hill may be so surprised at how much room they have on the perimeter that they nervously will shoot air balls. We hope.
Which matchup would you tell Spurs and Knicks fans to keep an eye on?
The matchups which I will pay the most attention to are Stoudemire and Rony Turiaf versus Duncan and Ginobli versus Felton. Amar'e is virtually unstoppable one on one within 10 feet of the basket. I am curious to see if Pop has the scouting report on Amar'e's weakness when he's forced to put the ball on the floor too far out from the basket. A double team from his backside once he puts the ball to the court is a turnover waiting to happen. Felton will have a difficult time guarding Ginobli, but I will cheer very loudly every time Manu's shot is blocked by Turiaf, Chandler and Stoudemire.
• Want to win a pair of free tickets to a San Antonio Spurs home game this month? Of course you do! All you have to do it follow @projectspurstiq on Twitter to enter. Easy huh?
• The Spurs will face the New York Knicks tomorrow and did Richard Jefferson give the Knicks some locker room material? Express News' Tim Griffin reports on Jefferson and his thoughts on the resurgent Knicks:
“I don’t think so. I think it’s completely pointless,” Jefferson said. “There are too many good players and teams. You look at how great it was for Cleveland having LeBron and what it did to that community and how important it was for them. You look at what is going on now in Miami. And what’s going to on now in Oklahoma City. So to take one city and make that more important to have it back there .. it’s great for whatever city gets the benefit … but I don’t think one city is more important than another.”
Jefferson said he gets more excited about playing in Madison Square Garden than against the Knicks.
“It’s more about the building,” Jefferson said. “Whether they are good or bad or awesome. They had some great teams for a bunch of years, but they haven’t won a championship since the 1970s. This is not the Boston Celtics team or like the Lakers franchise. What was the last time they won a championship? 1973?
“So to say basketball is back in New York, what does that even mean? They are a talented, talented team. They are on the upswing and have some great young players. They are on the upswing and have some great young players.”
• Spurs guard Manu Ginobili gives a time-lapse glimpse into the Spurs practice.
• Former Spurs player Dominique Wilkins reflects on his final seasons in the NBA and how he had to adjust his play on the court against younger players:
Wilkins had no choice when he finished his career with the San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic.
“I knew I couldn’t go all out against a guy, especially athletically,” Wilkins said. “I knew I had to become more of a basketball player, doing the fundamentals. When I had to do those explosion plays, I still had those reserves in the tank where I could do that.
“I had a game in San Antonio where we’re playing against Dale Davis and Antonio Davis [of the Indiana Pacers], where I had to play the four. I had to conserve my energy to box those big guys out. And I had  rebounds. And those guys were relentless on the glass. Maybe you had to sacrifice a little bit of your scoring. It depends on the situation and the player you’re going against.” (source espn.com)
• Yahoo! Sports gives praise to Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich's beard:
The only coach on the list, Popovich may have as great of a career as any of the players. While some of the other players to be mentioned have had stellar careers, Popovich has built up a dynasty in San Antonio, and the 2010-11 season has definitely started off very well for the coach with 4 championship rings. More importantly (for this article's sake at least) is Pop's beard, which in its prime was the best beard for any NBA coach, with Phil Jackson being the only contender.
Love the Spurs or hate them, I think we can all agree that Gregg Popovich is one great coach and he can grow a heck of a beard.
• If you are like me then you must be loving the Los Angeles Lakers' meltdown. They recently lost to the Memphis Grizzlies and now it seems they are in a tailspin. Check out these quotes coming from the Lakers and enjoy them Spurs fans:
"We get behind early on in the third quarter on some stupid plays -- poor passing, poor transition defense -- and then Kobe has to screw up the game and start energizing the team by going one-on-one and that takes the rest of the guys out as a consequence," Jackson said. "That didn't bring us back in, but it did give us a little run, we got the game back a little bit but we couldn't sustain it and we just went right back and made the same mistakes again."
"We're not really playing for each other right now," Bynum said. "We're not playing to set the next man up and consequently that's definitely causing us problems on defense."
"Right now we got to be concerned, we have to be ... Good teams are looking at us like, 'Oh, they're soft.' We're letting everybody come in and get comfortable."
The Staples Center crowd shared its disapproval, showering the court with loud boos during several breaks in play in the second half. There was even a scant "Re-Fund! Re-Fund!" chant in the fourth quarter.
"When we're playing that bad we deserve to be booed," Matt Barnes said. (source espn.com)
According to Newsday's Alan Hahn, Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari will miss tomorrow night's Spurs vs. Knicks game.
MRI results confirmed a mild sprain suffered in Sunday's win over the Pacers that will keep him out two-to-three-weeks.
Knicks blog Posting and Toasting says the injury means Ronny Turiaf will start and the Spurs will see more of Wilson Chandler.
So, Ronny Turiaf will start and Wilson Chandler will move to small forward. Like I said, we can expect more of Shawne Williams and/or Bill Walker. Can we expect a return to action for Anthony Randolph or some other bench bro (Timofey Mozgov? Roger Mason Jr.!?) as well? Two to three weeks is a pretty long time.
Before the injury, Gallinari was averaging 15.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
The Spurs and Knicks will tipoff at 6:30 p.m. CST tomorrow in Madison Square Garden. Be sure to come back for a gameday Q&A tomorrow morning.
According to several sources, San Antonio Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich has been named the December Western Conference Coach of the Month. This is his second consecutive month winning the award.
Popovich has led the Spurs to the NBA's best record of 29-4 and a 13-2 record for the month of December.