In a phone interview earlier today, Glenn Moore, friend of Project Spurs and host of the Dugout Sport Show and Moore Sports in the Morning, got a chance to fire off some questions at ESPN NBA writer Chris Broussard.
In asking about current trade rumors, including the one we reported on early this morning that would bring Amare Stoudemire to San Antonio, Broussard said the Spurs don't have anything to give up for Amare aside from expiring contracts.
"I don't think anything happens there and with them it's a situation of hey, we gotta look into this because he's a player who obviously can help a team," Broussard said.
He also said Phoenix is looking for a talented player, some draft picks and an expiring contract. Cleveland and Miami are also said to be in the hunt for Stoudemire's services.
Arianne Villanueva regresa con episodio tres de Spurscast en espanol. En este episodio, Arianne comentarios todo las noticias y juegos contra los Jazz, Rockets, y Bulls.
Arianné Villanueva is back with her third episode of Spurscast en Español. On this episode, she recaps the latest Spurs games including the Jazz, Rockets and Bulls.
She also goes over the Spurs current standing in the division and upcoming games.
Follow Arianné on Facebook.
Tim Duncan won't be the only Spurs player representing San Antonio in Dallas for next month's All-Star festivities.
Today, the NBA announced that Spurs forward DeJuan Blair has been selected to play on the rookie squad of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, Friday, February 12.
Blair has been averaging 7.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game through the first half of his rookie year, which has included 20 starts.
Blair will be joined by Omri Casspi, Stephen Curry, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Taj Gibson, James Harden, Brandon Jennings and Jonas Jerebko.
The sophomore squad will be made up of Michael Beasley, Marc Gasol, Danilo Gallinari, Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.
Rosters were selected by the leagues assistant coaches. For the full announcement, head over to NBA.com.
After failing to address the needs for a center the last couple of years, it appears the Spurs are looking to put a legit big man next to Duncan.
Another intriguing suitor could emerge in the bidding for Phoenix Suns star Amare Stoudemire: the San Antonio Spurs.
Multiple league sources say the Spurs’ front office has researched and debated pursuing Stoudemire to play alongside Tim Duncan.
Duncan and Stoudemire could pair to make one formidable duo. Although Stoudamire may not be the best interior defender, Duncan still excels in this area. It would also give the Spurs an explosive player inside to compliment Duncan one-on-one abilities.
Having an athletic center would also go a long way when dealing with teams like the Lakers with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
However, would the Suns trade an All-Star like Amare to an inter-conference team? Highly unlikely.
Also who or whom would the Spurs have to give up in return? Manu Ginobili? Would this be a "panic move" considering the way the Spurs have been losing of late? How about trading away Richard Jefferson and his $13 million a year contract for Stoudemire, who will come at a much higher price tag of $17.7 million a year.
Leave us your thoughts on this and if the Spurs should make a bid. Also feel free to use ESPN's trade machine to show us what you would do if GM, and check back later today for a collaborative post with a Suns blogger on this rumored trade.
After last season's early exit in the playoffs, the Spurs felt for them to be able to continue to compete at a high level and take advantage of the waning years of Duncan as a Spur, a change was needed.
It was for this reason why they went all out during the offseason and made some drastic moves to hopefully build a team that would allow them to compete for another NBA title. One of the roster moves they made was getting Richard Jefferson from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto and Kurt Thomas.
At the time, people believed that Jefferson will make a big difference for the Spurs because he brings in some youth, athleticism and offensive fire power at the Small Forward position, something the Spurs didn't have in the past.
Now after 42 games as a Spur, Jefferson is averaging 12.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assist in 31 minutes of action. As the team's third or fourth wheel on offense, these numbers look acceptable but it's important to note that his production dropped to just 10.8 points, 2.7 boards and 1.2 assist in January. Case in point, his performance last night against the Chicago Bulls was atrocious and forgettable.
Looking further for stats, I found out that Richard Jefferson is getting most of his points on jump shots in fact 68% of his shot attempts or on jumpers.
It could mean he is taking advantage of the open looks being created when players like Duncan is being double teamed down low or it may also mean that he is being too passive on offense settling for jumpers instead of taking it to the hole.
The recent drop in his numbers is another reason for worry because and this point Jefferson should be more comfortable with the system and his teammates. Not the other way around.
For the record, Jefferson is a good basketball player but in my humble opinion he hasn't earned his paycheck. Some even played with the idea of trading him before the February deadline and even Jefferson himself agrees that he has underachieved so far.
To be honest, it’s hard to figure out whether the Jefferson trade is working or not. A lot of things need to be considered to conclude such a statement. Besides, the Spurs have not played to a level they would like to be as a unit especially on the defensive end.
But I can say this, Richard Jefferson still has hops and the Spurs need to take advantage of his athletic abilities. Maybe they have to run more often to get more points in transition or design more isolation plays that would allow Jefferson to be more aggressive on offense and attack the rim rather than just taking jump shots.
That way opposing teams will be forced to adjust on defense than usual because it will add another dimension to the Spurs' offense. On defense, Richard Jefferson is not a defensive stopper although he has proven to be a capable defender.
But are the Spurs getting their money's worth in Jefferson?
This is what Coach Pop has to say when that question was asked. "Those kind of opinions are for you all (in the media) to form, we just go to work every day and try to be the best team we can be. You can assess it any way you want.”
Evidently, the Spurs believe that they can still get better as the season goes on. Coach Pop is finding ways to make it happen. In the mean time, Jefferson still needs to prove that the Spurs made no mistake in trading for him.
Should the Spurs trade Jefferson? Do the Spurs need to allow him to move more “freely” on offense to be more productive or is he scoring enough points and just need to improve on the defensive side of the floor? Share us your thoughts.
By Emily Allen, Staff Writer Project Spurs
It was a blast from the past-NBA style when former Spur Vinny Del Negro stepped onto the AT&T Center court Monday evening as head coach of the Chicago Bulls, in town to face his former coach Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs.
Even a touch of the flu couldn’t stop Derrick Rose, who led the Bulls (21-22) in a final rally over the Spurs (25-18) to win in San Antonio, 98-93. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, George Hill, DeJuan Blair and Richard Jefferson started for the Spurs. Still battling plantar fasciitis, Chicago’s Joakim Noah wasn’t expected to play but ended up out on the court to help turn on the heat against San Antonio.
The two days’ rest seemed to have done the Spurs a world of good as they raged onto the court in the first quarter. In just under four minutes of play, Parker had contributed by assist or basket to each of the Spurs’ 15 points on the board. With 6:56 left on the clock, Hill’s basket gave San Antonio a 12-point lead, which quickly dwindled to only 3 as Chicago fought to eventually make a comeback to end the first 31-29. In the first quarter alone, the Bulls shot for 75%. Superb compared to the Spurs’ abysmal 55% shooting.
Early on, Richard Jefferson proved it was not his night with several missed baskets, the starter only able to score two points in the entire game. Chicago continued their red-hot shooting, grabbing the lead with a three-pointer early in the second quarter. The Bulls went on a 11-0 scoring drive ended by Ginobili’s basket with 8:25 left in the half.
Just when the Spurs looked like they could recover, the Bulls charged on to maintain the lead. Roger Mason Jr. was finally able to shoot a three-pointer in a 7-point Spurs streak that showed signs of life, but Chicago’s 70% shooting in the quarter prevented San Antonio from taking over. Spurs ended the half down by 2; 52-50. In the first half alone, San Antonio shot 21-of-49 FG and only 1-of-7 from the 3 point line.
Baskets by Hill, Duncan and Parker kept the Spurs in the game at the beginning of the second half, but Chicago struck again to regain a 7-point lead with just under 7 minutes left in the third quarter. Duncan, Parker and McDyess all scored again - each answered by another Bulls’ basket. Less than a minute on the clock, Mason and Ginobili shot three-pointers to give the Spurs the lead; 71-70 at the end of the third.
The scoring battle continued well into the fourth quarter as San Antonio realized it couldn’t catch a break with a short-lived lead. Chicago regained possession and a 3-point lead less than four minutes in. Hill reminded the Spurs why they want to keep him, scoring three of the Spurs’ four baskets in just over three minutes of play - the last basket giving San Antonio a two point lead again. Less than a minute later, Chicago had the game by the horns yet again as the Bulls consistently answered each of San Antonio’s attempts to tie the score.
After Ginobili’s two free throws tied the teams at 93, the courtside drama in the last minute of regulation became evident. With no timeout called, Duncan walked over to Chicago’s huddle to listen in, prompting an angry shove away from Noah - the ref stepped in to move Duncan, who made a valid point. If no timeout is called, why can’t an opposing team’s player listen in? Still seething from Duncan’s attempt, Noah decided to try it on the Spurs huddle - an eye for an eye… maybe.
Back on the court, Chicago refused to let San Antonio score, even possibly fouling Ginobili again - but with no foul called, commentator Sean Elliot said the referees essentially decided the game. Spurs lose another home game 98-93.
Parker led the team in scoring with 20 points, followed by Duncan with 15, while Ginobili and McDyess had 14 apiece. Blair and McDyess led in rebounds with 11 and 7 respectively. Parker led with 8 assists.
Former Spur-turned-analyst Sean Elliot put it best when he asked what was in the water at the opposing team’s San Antonio hotels. This is the Spurs’ first 3-consecutive loss home stand since the beginning of the 2008-2009 season. First it was the Jazz, then the Rockets and now the Bulls. If the Spurs want to see another ring at the end of the season, they need to step up their game ASAP… beginning with a little three-pointer practice session.
The Spurs have another chance to break their losing streak as they take on the Atlanta Hawks (29-14) at home on Wednesday night.
With the end of January fast approaching and the NBA All-Star Game on the horizon, what better time to assess the Western Conference. Let's look at the teams and players that make up this highly competitive conference and see if the Spurs should be concerned about these teams heading into the second half of the season. The usual top teams are doing what they normally do, but a couple young teams, and crop of fresh young talent, has made the West not only more exciting, but more competitive than ever.
Before the season started, two teams were picked to come out of the West -- the Spurs and Lakers. And while it has taken the Spurs nearly half the season to finally catch on, sort of, the Lakers hit the ground running. The Lake show jumped out to an incredible 17-3 record in their first twenty games and never looked back. They are currently hold an absurd 32-11 record and are 3.5 games up on the second place Denver Nuggets for first place in the West.
Kobe Bryant is having another MVP caliber season. He has played in all 41 games for the Lakers and is averaging 28.3 points per game, fourth best in the league. Pau Gasol may be averaging a career low in points per game with 16.8, but he’s averaging a career high in rebounds with 11.1 per game. Gasol has missed 17 games this season due to injury, but don’t sleep on him. He is still one of the best low post scorers in the game. Gasol’s partner in crime in the paint, Andrew Bynum, is continuing down the path of eventually becoming an All Star. He’s averaging a career high 15.4 points per game. But Bynum isn’t all about the points. He adds a tough, physical presence in the paint, and his two blocks per game is a main reason the Lake Show is ranked second in defense in the NBA. As much as it angers me and Spurs Nation to say this, expect to see the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
Should Spurs fans be afraid of meeting the Lakers in the playoffs? Of course not! As long as the Silver and Black have Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich coaching, we should fear no team. However, the Lakers are tall and athletic and have one of the best closers in the game in Kobe Bryant. But I’ll take the Spurs bench over the Lakers bench any day. In a seven game series, it’ll come down to injuries. If Gasol can remain healthy and Tony Parker can get through the pain of his planter fasciitis, then expect a thrilling seven game series.
The Lakers aren’t the only team tearing up the Pacific division. After missing the playoffs last season, the Phoenix Suns jumped out to a 15-5 record behind the brilliant play of former MVP Steve Nash. Nash, who was recently named a starter for the All Star team, is playing perhaps the best ball of his career. He is averaging 18.6 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, the exact same averages from the 2005-2006 season when he was named MVP. Amare Stoudemire, who will start with Nash at the All Star game, is playing terrific basketball averaging 21 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Also, the addition of Channing Frye has been huge for the Suns. Frye is playing his best ball since he was with Knicks back in 2006.
Alvin Gentry has done a great job as coach, allowing Steve Nash to run the offense the way Mike D’Antoni ran it before he left to the New York Knicks. But the Suns are beginning to cool. Despite having the number one ranked offense in the league, they are second to last in defensive efficiency. After the 15-5 start, the Suns are currently 26-19, holding the seventh seed in the West.
Even though the Suns have two All Stars in Nash and Stoudemire, as well as the number one offense, their inability to get stops at the end of games will eventually be their down fall. The Spurs will be able to go bucket for bucket with the Suns, and at the end of the game, when it’s necessary to get a stop, it’ll be the Silver and Black who come through on the defensive end.
Even though they have been plagued with injuries all year, the Blazers still have one of the best closers in the game in Brandon Roy. Roy is having the best season of his young career averaging a career high 23 points per game. However, no matter how great Roy is playing, he won’t be able to do it alone. It will be up to Nate McMillan to figure out how to deal with injuries that have left the Blazers looking for help in the front court. Joel Przybilla and former number one overall draft pick Greg Oden are both out for the season with knee injuries. Also, forward Travis Outlaw will miss 3-5 months after undergoing foot surgery. It’ll be up to former Texas Longhorn LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 16.6 points and 8.2 rebounds, and 16 year NBA veteran Juwan Howard to help Roy lead the Blazers back to the playoffs. The currently are 26-18, holding the fourth seed.
The Blazers are hungry. Every game they play you can see that hunger in their eyes. They play fast, aggressive basketball, and with Roy on the court, never count the Blazers out. The lack of depth in their frontcourt is what will hurt them the most in the playoffs. Especially, when the game slows down, and buckets are needed in the half court. Aldridge will have to play big for the Blazers to beat the Spurs.
The Utah Jazz seem to have the Spurs number this season. They swept the Spurs this season, winning all four games. At the beginning of the season, all eyes were on Carlos Boozer. After having a troubled offseason in which he demanded a trade, Boozer seems to have put that all behind him and is averaging a double-double with 19.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Deron Williams is also averaging 19.3 points per game, but he is dishing 9.7 dimes per contest. Also, the play of Paul Millsap has been great. Millsap is instant energy of the bench. He is unafraid to dive for loose balls and is always willing to commit on the defensive end.
The Jazz are currently in sixth place in the West with a 25-18 record. But don’t think that’s where they’ll stay. Jerry Sloan is a master at midseason adjustments and great at understanding the character of his team. This Jazz team has been together for quite some time now and Sloan knows what he has to do to make sure his team gets into the playoffs.
Watch out for the Jazz in the playoffs. Not only can they spread the floor with Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko, but in the half court, Williams and Boozer run the pick and roll as well as anyone in the league. They also play good defense and have great young bench. Although this team has been together for a long time, this is not the same team that the Spurs rolled over in the 2007 Western conference finals. The Spurs will have to play great perimeter defense and limit their turnovers to beat this team in a seven game series.
Carmelo Anthony is not your typical MVP candidate. But understand this -- Carmelo is the Most Valuable Player to his team. Without him, the Nuggets don’t make the post-season. Carmelo is without a doubt playing the best ball of his career. He’s playing with a confidence and swagger that we’ve never seen before. He’s playing like everyone thought he would when he was taken third overall in the 2003 draft, averaging a staggering 29.7 points per game. And because of his outstanding play, Anthony will start beside Tim Duncan at the 2010 All Star game.
It seems the whole Nuggets roster is playing with confidence. Chauncey Billups is having one is best statistical seasons ever averaging 18.9 points and 5.7 assist, while Nene is averaging 14.2 points per game, shooting a ridiculous 58 percent from the field. J.R. Smith is one of the top candidates for sixth man of the year, averaging 14.9 points per game. The Nuggets are 29-14 and are 3.5 games behind the Lakers for the top spot in the West. If the Lakers don’t look out, the Nuggets could grab that number one spot.
The Spurs should definitely watch out for the Nuggets in the playoffs. This isn’t the same team we beat three different times in the playoffs. They play better overall defense and Billups is always a matchup nightmare for Parker. Without Bruce Bowen, the Spurs will have to throw different defenders at Carmelo. Will Pop use George Hill to defend Carmelo should they face in the playoffs?
The feel good story of the year has to be the Oklahoma City Thunder, and they begin and end with Kevin Durant. Durant is having a breakout season, and should make his first All Star game this season. He is averaging 29.3 points a game, which is third in the league. Head Coach Scott Brooks is doing a great job of developing young players like Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green. The Thunder have young trio of talent, and if they make the playoffs can definitely give any team a run for their money.
As crazy as this sounds, the Thunder are a team the Spurs should be weary of come playoff time. Durant gives the Spurs lots of matchup problems and the Thunder are ranked fifth in defensive efficiency. However, their youth and inexperience will be their undoing if they make playoffs.
There were a lot of questions concerning the Dallas Mavericks before the season started. Some felt most of their players were on the wrong side of thirty. Others thought they were too small in the front court. But the Mavs have done a great job of quieting all their preseason doubters. They are led by MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki, who continues to do what he does best, score. Jason Terry is perhaps front runner for sixth man of the year, averaging 16.2 points off the bench. And the acquisition of Shawn Marion this offseason has helped the Mavericks spread the floor more than ever, allowing Jason Kidd to shred apart opposing defenses.
As good as the Mavs seem this season, Spurs fans should want to play them in the postseason. Spurs fans should want revenge for last season’s first round knockout. Dirk is always going to get his 25 points, but if the Spurs can play aggressive defense on Kidd, and shoot high percentage shots in the paint, we can have our vengeance. Dallas is 29-15 and are currently third in the West.
Three other teams that could make the playoffs are the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets and the Memphis Grizzlies. Yes, I said the Memphis Grizzlies. Zach Randolph seems to have found a place where he can flourish. And in Houston, Aaron Brooks is balling out of his mind. Look for Brooks to possibly make the All Star team. As long as Chris Paul is wearing a Hornets jersey, never count them out.
In the West, only 8.5 games separate the eighth seed from the top spot. With one loss, any team can go from making the playoffs to out of the playoffs. So let’s sit back and enjoy the ride that is the Western Conference and hope the Spurs can make a push and challenge for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Michael and Jeff went live for over an hour on Friday night to recap the Spurs loss to the Rockets.
We broke it down quarter by quarter, went over the box score and analyzed their mistakes and what can be done to improve on then. We also took your calls, took questions from the live chat and Jeff revealed his shiny and rusty Spur award winners.
After the game chat, we went over some of the latest Spurs news, talked about the newest Project Spurs staff and the content for the week.
You also won't want to miss Keith, the uncensored caller going off on the Spurs.
Hey Spurs fans! It's weekend once again, time for another edition of End of the Week links.
- NBA.COM - Quiet, consistent, a pro's pro, Duncan reaches for 20K by Art Garcia
- San Antonio Express News - Mike Monroe says that resting your stars in the West can be risky. Coach Pop, might want to re-think resting Duncan on the second night of back to backs.
- San Antonio Express News - Jeff McDonald explains how George Hill played a vital role in the Spurs victory over the Hornets.
- 48 Minutes of Hell - Graydon Gordian talked about Manu Ginobili's uncertain future in San Antonio.
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Ray Fittipaldo says that former Pitt Star DeJuan Blair is standing tall as an NBA rookie.
- 48 Minutes of Hell - Tim Varner discussed the Spurs recent loss against Utah and draws to an interesting conclusion.
- Bleacher Report - Robert Kleeman says that Utah sweeping the Spurs is inexplicable and it might hurt them down the road.
- San Antonio Express News - Buck Harvey gives us a reason why will Manu prefer to stay with the Spurs.
- TrueHoop Network - Matt Moore is asking, "Are The Mavericks And Spurs NBA Elite?"
- Bleacher Report - Erick Blasco thinks that Tim Duncan is on a decline, I say he had an off night. It's just one game.
- Hoopsnotes - After being waived by the Spurs, Marcus Haislip is eyeing a return to Europe.
- Pounding the Rock - Fred Silva suggest this Top 10 midseason adjustment for the Spurs.
- Ball Don't Lie - Halfway into the season, Kelly Dwyer examines the South West division and projected each teams Win-Loss record when the season ends.
- Michael De Leon gave us an update about the Austin Toros.
- Jeff Garcia talked about the Top 5 signature moves by a Spur. Did we miss a patented move by a present or former Spur? Let us know!
- Mailbag: A fan asked if Manu will remain a Spur next season. What are your thoughts?
- Jordan Rivas takes a closer look at George Hill in his latest "Then and Now" series.
- Tim Duncan is playing like an MVP, a lot of readers agreed. Join the discussion at the comment section.
- A look at the Spurs' current state; half way into the season and they still have a lot of catching up to do.
- And Lance Fell breaks down Plantar Fasciitis, and how can Tony Parker cope up with it as the season goes on.
That's it for now, Hope you enjoyed reading some great articles about our beloved Spurs!