The video coordinator is the life-line to the coaching staff when it comes to breaking down an opposing team's plays on offense and defense. Not only that, it is not uncommon to see NBA video coordinators work their way up to higher positions among the team such as an assistant coach or even a head coach in the NBA.
In an article from NBA.com on the life of the Phoenix Suns' video coordinator, there was this interesting tidbit about how the Suns were preparing for the San Antonio Spurs after the Spurs eliminated the Dallas Mavericks from the 2010 NBA playoffs:
“When San Antonio was up 3-1 (against the Mavs in the playoffs), we started preparing more for the Spurs. By the time they clinched, 75 percent of our work was done.”
For example, when preparing for San Antonio during the playoffs, Valcarcel was able to determine that the Spurs ran post-ups about 80 possessions within nine games. In addition, they were looking to get Tim Duncan the ball in early post-ups at least 10 times within a game.
In the end, all this homework paid off for the Suns as they swept the Spurs in the Western Conference semi-finals finally defeating their nemesis in the playoffs.
Now if they can only win a title like the Spurs have done four times.
Michael and Jeff bring on Red's Army's John Karalis to talk about their Team USA coverage in New York that started late last week and had them working full days all this past weekend.
We start the show off by discussing the team and their strengths and weaknesses and how they will adapt to the trapezoid lane and hand-checking rules. Each of also us gives our projected starting lineups.
After the analysis, Jeff and John go into detail on the backstories of their days covering Team USA, how they got the Tiago Splitter interview and why Jeff is now Ian Mahinmi's best friend.
Intro Music: Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine.
The San Antonio Spurs have done a decent job over the summer retooling the roster. This team is definitely better than a year ago with the addition of Tiago Splitter, James Anderson and Gary Neal. Nonetheless, improvements to the the current lineup can still be done. In particular at the small forward position and they can use another big man for insurance.
With regards to their financial situation, the Spurs have little room to maneuver. They only have the bi-annual exception worth $2 million and around $1.7-1.8 million left over from the mid-level exception that they can offer to available free agents.
Here is a list of free agents the Spurs could target despite their limited funds to help improve their roster for the upcoming season.
Jarvis Hayes - 6'8" Small Forward, 7 year pro
Why should the Spurs sign him? He has good size for a small forward, handles the ball pretty well and can drive to the basket. This guy is active on defense and can still score, last season he averaged 7.8 points and 2.4 rebounds in 45 games for the New Jersey Nets.
Why should he join the Spurs? Throughout his career, he hasn't have the chance to play for winning team, the Spurs present that option. Playing a supporting role on a winning team that can possibly compete for the NBA title could get him going.
Rodney Carney - 6'7" Forward, 4 year pro
Why should the Spurs sign him? He will add youth, athleticism and depth for the Spurs at the Small Forward position and his freakish wingspan (6'10") is a nice asset. With those gifts, he could be a good perimeter defender for the Spurs.
Why should he join the Spurs? It's a shame that with Carney's athletic gifts and talent, his game has yet to translate into an NBA level. However, the Spurs are in need of a perimeter defender and Carney could be that guy. With a defined role, a great coach and an effective system; he could finally find his niche in the league.
Bobby Simmons - 6'6" Guard-Forward, 8 year pro
Why should the Spurs sign him? Despite being a little old for NBA standards at 30, he is one of the better available free agent wing in the market. He is a 40% career 3-point shooter, can score and defend well. His selfless approach and attitude towards the game has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches.Why should he join the Spurs? He had a down year last season and what could help him revive his basketball career? Playing for a winning team like the Spurs could certainly help in gaining his confidence back and regaining his old form.
Louis Amundson - 6'9" Forward, 4 year pro
Why should the Spurs sign him? He was a key player off the bench for the Phoenix Suns last season. He will bring energy, toughness and rebounding to the team and is quite effective on the inside shooting 53.9% from the field for his career. His similar style of play with DeJuan Blair might make the Spurs think twice but another big man on the team wouldn't hurt.
Why should he join the Spurs? Should the Suns decide to let him go, what do you think is the best thing to do? Joining a rival team in the Western Conference where you have to most chance to play against you're former team is a good option. The Spurs fits into that category.
Fabricio Oberto - 6'10" Center, 5 year pro
Why should the Spurs sign him? He played great along side Tim Duncan during his time in San Antonio and is good at setting up picks and screens. He knows the Spurs' system quite well and was an effective player during his time with the Spurs, helping the the team win a championship in 2007.
Why should he join the Spurs? Another chance to play alongside one of the greatest big man of all time (Tim Duncan) should be enough reason. Add the fact that he could again team up with his fellow Argentinean countryman Manu Ginobili and this deal looked sealed and delivered.
There you have it Spurs fans. Which player(s) do you think the Spurs should add to make them better? Did we miss a free agent that could possibly help the Spurs? Send us your thoughts.
As you all know, Project Spurs had the privilege of covering Team USA at the World Basketball Festival in New York City this past weekend with most of the action taking place at Rucker Park in Harlem.
It was a fantastic time. Project Spurs was able to get exclusive interviews with Tiago Splitter and Nando de Colo for San Antonio Spurs fans and I interviewed many more basketball players such as former Spurs player Ian Mahinmi and Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose.
Helping me out in covering the event was John Karalis from Reds Army. He made this video montage of the events at Rucker Park to share with our loyal fans the sights and sounds of this past weekend. Huge thanks to him for making the trip to New York City to help me out with the events at Rucker Park.
Special thanks goes out to the NBA, USA Basketball and Nike for allowing Project Spurs to cover this huge event.
Since the beginning of the NBA offseason, San Antonio Spurs' guard Tony Parker has been at the center of trade rumors involving the New York Knicks.
This past weekend his wife Eva Longoria-Parker was reported to have said Parker would like to come to New York.
Today on The Doug Gottlieb Show, ESPN's Ric Bucher spoke about the Parker to Knicks rumors and had this to say:
The problem is that if he is going to go now, they (Spurs) would have to trade him and New York does not have anything that San Antonio wants. So if Tony wants to go to New York in particular, then he's going to have to wait until he is free agent.
I can see Tony potentially being moved but having him go to New York is probably the longest shot around. I know from the Spurs stand point that they looked at New York's roster and they go 'You know what? There's not a deal for us to make there.'"
Indeed there is little the Knicks can offer the Spurs for Parker. The best piece was possibly David Lee but he has signed with the Golden State Warriors. They do have Wilson Chandler who could be another small forward to back up Richard Jefferson but the Spurs would want more in return for the former 2007 NBA Finals MVP.
Here is the complete Knicks roster and as you can tell, there is not much they can offer for Parker.
NEW YORK -- Team USA played its last game on American soil when they beat the French national team 86-55 in New York City's Madison Square Garden this past Sunday before heading to Spain to continue training for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
Team USA was led by Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay with 19 points off the bench and a few thunderous dunks which got the fans in Madison Square Garden off their seats.
After the game I was able to speak with Gay to ask him a few questions on Team USA and the Grizzlies.
Jeff: The US has not won at the FIBA World Championship since 1994. Thoughts?
Rudy: “We’re expecting to win.”
This is a young US squad that is about to face international teams who have been playing together for years. Is that a concern?
No. I think it will be to our advantage being a young team. A lot of the guys on the team are young but we been seasoned. We are seasoned veterans in our own right. Young-ness shouldn't be a problem.
What is one thing you are looking forward to from the Grizzlies next season?
One thing I'm looking forward to is progression. Every year since I been there we progressed. Next year we want to take it to the next level and get into the playoffs and make some noise.
The Grizzlies recently acquired guard Tony Allen. What does he bring to Memphis?
Great player, great defender. He should bring a lot to our team and he’s another veteran. Honestly we’ve played out of the draft for a long time. It's good to bring another veteran.
It must be great to witness the progress of OJ Mayo as a professional basketball player.
OJ is becoming more of a player. He's been more of a scorer since coming out of college but now has become the player people have expected him to be.
Other Team USA notes:
Indiana Pacers' Danny Granger suffered a couple of injuries during training camp with Team USA. Recently he injured his finger but said he is feeling better, “It's good," said Granger to Project Spurs, "I'm a little sore for the most part. I just take some anti-inflammatories and pain meds to keep it out of my mind."
Granger also commented on the adjustment to the international style of basketball, "It's definitely an adjustment because we are used to playing an NBA style of game. In the international level, the fouls aren’t called the same, travels aren’t called the same. It’s a process getting adjusted to."
Los Angeles Lakers' Lamar Odom talked to Project Spurs about his views on Team USA, “It's pretty good. It's working out, "said Odom when I asked about the team's chemistry, "We do everything together for such a short period of time. We got another month. Chemistry will grow and continue to grow. We will just continue to defend and try to be the best defensive team in the tournament.”
Odom also spoke to Project Spurs about the pressure to win gold in Turkey, “There's always pressure for us to win. It's basketball. People expect us to win but the pressure is what we thrive on. There's pressure in every NBA game. Most of these guys are expected to lead their team to victory. The pressure is something that’s good for us.” Odom went on to say, “We just got to play, keep defending and just play. We know the rules, but calls, the rules . . . all you can do is play basketball. Basketball is the universal language.”
He also shared his thoughts on if the team is worried about the physical style of play, “We are not worried about that at all.”
• Splitter still out
According to xinhuanet.com Tiago Splitter will not play in a tournament in Spain, due to injury, but Splitter hopes to represent Brazil in the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
Nene and Splitter are expected to return to the court in the Internacional Tournament which take place from Aug. 22 to 24 in Lyon, France, just days before the 2010 World Championship tip off in Turkey on August 28.
I think Spurs fans can agree with me in hoping that this is the only injury we hear about from Splitter this summer.
And in case you missed it, check out our exclusive interview with Splitter by clicking HERE.
• Longoria-Parker fuels New York Rumors
Tony Parker and Eva Longoria-Parker were in New York for a soccer game and for the World Basketball Festival this weekend.
Rumors of Parker going to the Knicks have been rampant all summer long and Longoria-Parker did little to stop the speculation by telling a New York Post reporter that Parker indeed wants to play for the Knicks.
Asked if Parker's presence meant he was coming to New York, she responded, "No, we're just here watching [Henry]."
Asked if her husband wanted to come to New York, she quickly flashed a smile, nodded her head and said, "Yes."
While we hope Parker stays in the silver & black for years to come, the Spurs should start looking at their options quickly to see if they may be able to get something of value in return to prevent from seeing him walk away from San Antonio and the franchise next summer.
• Spurs using new statistics software
According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the Spurs have purchased Visual Data Discovery from SAS software.
No, SAS does not stand for San Antonio Spurs. It is a business analytics software that is used at over 45,000 sites in over 100 companies.
The visual data discovery product features interactive statistical graphs, data filtering, visual analytics and more.
“SAS is a powerful competitive weapon for teams analyzing player performance with the goal of improving team performance,” says Craig Duncan, manager of sports and entertainment at SAS.” The challenge is that information can be hard to consolidate and even harder to analyze for useful insights. With game-changing solutions from SAS, organizations like the Spurs are using statistics to create a competitive advantage.”
NEW YORK -- Los Angeles Clippers' guard Eric Gordon has come a long way since taking his first steps towards his professional basketball career in Indiana. From being named Indiana Mr. Basketball, being a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden awards, to being drafted seventh overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2008 NBA Draft. Gordon has accomplished much at such a young age.
Now he can add the experience of being a part of Team USA to his resume.
Yesterday I was at the USA-France exhibition game in New York City's Madison Square Garden and caught up with Gordon, who finished with eight points, to discuss the experience of Team USA, what he is learning about himself as a player, the Clippers, playing with Baron Davis and much more.
"It's definitely a great experience and I'm learning a lot about myself. I'm learning that I'm competitive and that I am one of the better ones out there. This is a good experience and it's great to be a part of," said Gordon to Project Spurs.
And what's not great about this team's roster from the eyes of a young guard like Gordon?
Chauncey Billups and Rajon Rondo provide a veteran presence at the guard position and since Gordon has never played at the international level, the veteran guards are imparting their knowledge to Gordon and he has been all ears, "Just to keep working hard," said Gordon, "Playing with good guys everyday and then playing against different countries with different styles is a good experience."
Even though Gordon may be experiencing his first international basketball experience, he can step back a look at areas the team still needs to work on as the 2010 FIBA World Championship nears, "It can be either," said Gordon when I asked him if team chemistry or defense is still a concern for Team USA. "Our chemistry on defense has been really good and we definitely have to work as a team because we're picking up full court through out the whole game. As long as we stay together and really get after it we will be fine as a team."
If there is one thing Gordon is enjoying about being a member of Team USA is the winning atmosphere but playing for the Clippers can be taxing for a competitive player. But with Blake Griffin finally joining the Clippers after an injury delayed his NBA debut, Gordon is optimistic about the Clippers' chances next season and feels Griffin will make a big difference, "I'm looking forward to play with Blake. He was hurt this past year and I think he is going to make a big contribution for us winning next year. He will definitely help," said Gordon to Project Spurs.
Though Gordon's tone changed a bit when I asked him about playing with Baron Davis, "It's good. We just need to get him motivated to really play. We all know he can play. As long as he stays motivated we know what he can do to help us."
While Griffin will definitely help the Clippers get on the winning track, Gordon will also contribute to that winning track by bringing what he has been learning with Team USA to Los Angeles next season, "The winning experience and to work hard everyday," said Gordon to Project Spurs.
Right now the USA's roster stands at 13 which will need to be trimmed down to 12 players before the start of the games in Turkey. Some feel the next cut will be at the guard position and it could come down to Gordon or Stephen Curry.
Should Gordon get released there is no denying he is appreciative of the chance to represent the United States. He is just 21 and would have another opportunity in the future. He brings much needed perimeter defense and an outside shot which are both crucial for any team playing on the international level.
Today in New York City's Madison Square Garden, the World Basketball Festival concluded as Team USA faced the French national team in an exhibition game before the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
In the end, Team USA beat France, 86-55.
After the game, I spoke with French guard and San Antonio Spurs' 2009 draftee, Nando de Colo to talk to him about the loss against the US and what the team needs to do before the World Championship begins later this month.
Jeff: This was the first time the French team played Team USA and unfortunately it ended in a loss for France. Got to be a difficult loss.
Nando: It was a difficult loss. We were not ready for this game. They played very tough and aggressive.
What areas does the team need to address before going to Turkey?
We need to be together on defense and on offense we must move the ball. When we move the ball we can play against each team at the Worlds but if we take the shot after one pass it becomes difficult for us.
For the game, France did not shoot the ball well. Had to be frustrating for the entire game.
Exactly. We need to shoot better. We have to move the ball to have better looks.
Heading into the game, what did your coach, Vincent Collet, talk to the team about Team USA?
He said they (Team USA) are aggressive so we have to move the ball. When we played against Canada we played too much one-on-one. That's not our role. We must play together. We don't have a lot of big men so we need better passing.
Even though France lost, were there any positives to take away from this game?
In the first half we scored. We moved the ball and when we scored we got back on defense.
Looking forward to playing in the World Championship in Turkey?
Yeah. We have one more week before the Worlds but we still have much to learn.
For the game, de Colo finished with five points, one steal, one assist, one rebound, was 2-2 from the free-throw line, hit one three-point shot in 20 minutes of play.