Project Spurs continues its look back at the past Spurs decade of greatness. We gave our thoughts on the All-Decade Team (starters and bench), and even asked our readers which championship team (2003, 2005, or 2007) was the Spurs Team of the Decade.
Today we will continue our look back at this decade for the Spurs with Lance Fell, who will give his top five underrated Spurs players of the decade.
By Lance Fell
Over the last ten years, the Spurs have had immeasurable success, including four NBA Championships and the highest winning percentage in all of professional sports. And while there are plenty of players who have contributed to this success, for example Robert Horry and Stephen Jackson, there are a number of Spurs players throughout this decade that have gone under the radar despite their on-court accomplishments. So without further adieu, I bring you the top five underrated Spurs of the decade.5. Derek Anderson: After being ousted by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the 1999-2000 playoffs, the Spurs knew it was time for an upgrade in the back court. Avery Johnson was dismantled by Jason Kidd in the playoffs, and it was time for the Spurs to bring in a more athletic guard.
In the summer of 2000 the Spurs acquired Derek Anderson from the Los Angeles Clippers. That season, Anderson started all 82 games for the Spurs, playing 34.4 minutes per game and averaging an impressive 15.5 points. Anderson also shot well from the three-point line making nearly 40 percent of his attempts. He also lead the team in steals, averaging almost two steals per game.
Anderson was easily the second best player for the Spurs in the 00-01 season. Only one player had more points and played more minutes than Anderson and that was Tim Duncan.
However, his game did not cross over to the playoffs and played in only seven of the 13 games. He averaged 27.7 minutes in those games shooting a stagnant 26 percent from the field and averaging 7.7 points a game. He was traded to Portland that summer.
Anderson might not have played well in the playoffs, and draw the ire of Spurs fans when his name is mentioned but for one season he was a solid player for the San Antonio Spurs. Thankfully, that summer we drafted another point guard: Tony Parker.
4. Rasho Nesterovic: The 2002-2003 season ended with a parade down the Riverwalk, and a second banner in the rafters. But it was also the end of David Robinson’s Hall of fame career, and there were questions about who would fill the void left by the Admiral.
So in the summer of 2003, after averaging 11.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, the Spurs signed center Rasho Nesterovic to a six year deal. And while he might not have been the second coming of the Admiral, he was extremely dependable starting all 82 games for the Spurs. In 29 minutes per game, Rasho averaged 8.7 points and 7.7 rebounds to go with two blocks per game.
Rasho missed 12 games the next season because of an ankle injury, but he did start the 70 games he played in. However, he only played in 15 of the 23 playoff games. Nazr Mohammed had taken his starting role. But in three seasons with the Spurs, Rasho averaged 6.3 points, 6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He helped the Spurs win a third championship, and might have one another one in 2004 if not for a lucky shot by Derek Fisher.
Spurs fans might have expected a little too much from Rasho. They were looking for the next David Robinson, but a player like David Robinson comes only once in a lifetime.
3. Malik Rose:
In eight seasons with the Spurs,
played in 81 games in the 2004-2005 season, averaging 7.4 points a game, but only shooting 35 percent from downtown. He was a playmaker, adding a leader and reliable ball handler to the second unit. He was a solid backup point guard to
After losing the first game of the playoffs to the Denver Nuggets,
played three more seasons with the Spurs and his in 2006-2007 shot 44 percent from the field, helping the Spurs win yet another championship.
He played five straight seasons of 82 games and missed only one game in the 2007-2008 season because of suspension. Remarkably he started in each game.
There have been a plethora of underrated Spurs players this decade.
Please leave a comment and let us know who you would have put on this list.no comments
Matt Bonner has had some great performances for the Spurs in this young NBA season. He dunked on the Raptors, had 16 points off the bench against the 76'ers, and of course Spurs fans remember his 28 point output against the Utah Jazz.
Spurs fans and even NBA fans might wonder, what has gotten into Bonner? Is this the same guy we poke fun of for his awkward looking drives, funky yet effective shooting stroke, and lackluster defense?
Well Project Spurs investigated this strange occurrence and we recently captured photos of Bonner tapping into some inter-dimensional portal to the NBA basketball gods to receive his epic basketball skills. Here is the evidence:
Here notice Bonner seems to be on some mountain opening up the portal. You can see he appears to be giving up his soul and shooting it outwards to open the portal to the basketball gods.
Here Bonner has fully received his basketball skills as the portal is opened at its fullest.
Still not convinced? Check out the video for yourself.
Finally an explanation to Matt Bonner's good play of late for the Spurs. As Spurs fans let's hope he continues to open this portal to benefit the Spurs this season.
How would you like to listen to every NBA game LIVE, watch every game recap, get real time player & team stats, and more in the palm of your hand? If you do, then Project Spurs can help you out!
Project Spurs is having a contest and the winner will receive a FREE NBA Game Time App for your iPod Touch, or your iPhone, priced at $9.99.
If you want to enter this contest, here are the rules:
Step 1: You must leave a comment on THIS POST ONLY on what makes you the biggest Project Spurs fan and what about Project Spurs makes you a fan. If you have a Twitter account, you MUST leave your Twitter handle when leaving a comment. AND...
Step 2: If you have a Twitter account, you must tweet what makes you the biggest Project Spurs fan and what about Project Spurs makes you a fan. You MUSTuse the hashtag #psfan.
Want to increase your chances of winning after completing the required steps? Feel free to be creative for extra points by creating a video telling us why you are the biggest Project Spurs fan and uploading to youtube or leaving an audio comment at 210-757-0847 and link the video or note the voicemail in your comment.
All entries must be submitted by the end of the day this Thursday, December 17. On Friday we will read through the entries to make sure all participants completed the proper steps and pick the best. We'll announce the winner on Friday.
Thanks to the NBA.COM and Kyle Scriven for arranging this giveaway.
For more information on the NBA Game Time App, click the following link. http://www.nba.com/mobile/gametime/index.html?cid=682
This contest is for US participants only. By entering the sweepstakes you agree to release Sponsor, the NBA Entities, (your site name) and their respective affiliates and agencies from any and all liabilities for injuries, damages or losses of any kind to in connection with the sweepstakes, prize or any prize-related activity.
For tonight's Spurs game against the Los Angeles Clippers, who else to turn to for everything Clippers than Peter Kim of The No Look Pass. Yes the Clippers actually have fans!
Peter gives us some insight into the Clippers and what Spurs fans should look out for tonight. Please visit The No Look Pass for all your information on not only the Clippers but the Los Angeles Lakers and their homage to obscure NBA players.
1. Chris Kaman started off strong for the Clippers and actually won an NBA Western Conference Player of the Week award this season. He had a drop off recently but with the Spurs not having great centers, what can the Spurs expect out of him in tonight's game?
Kaman played extremely well at the start of the season but was recently diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency which was the likely reason for his significant drop off in production. He hasn't returned to form just yet but the Spurs can expect Kaman to touch the ball quite a bit. We're uncertain which version of Kaman we'll see in the game but if the productive Kaman comes to play, we can expect some decisive moves in the post, midrange shots as well as successful passes out from double teams.
2. What is the prognosis on Blake Griffin? When can Clippers fans expect him back?
Blake Griffin is scheduled to have X-rays performed on or around the 16th of December. Recently we've heard word that we're likely to see him around early to mid January. It's unfortunate that he is unable to play against the Spurs considering that he played well against them in the preseason, scoring 23 points with no turnovers.
3. What do you see as the key matchup in this game?
The point guard matchup will be the key matchup of the game. The Clippers have difficulty defending quick guards. They will have their hands full trying to contain Tony Parker who was able to get to any spot on the court he wanted during his 17 minutes of playing time during their final matchup last season. The Spurs will have to keep an eye on Baron Davis who has been successful attacking the basket recently.
4. Seems the Clippers tend to head into the fourth quarter and lose any lead they have. Care to explain?
The Clippers look to score early points in transition in the first half which results in easy baskets. Mike Dunleavy Sr. tends to run a slower offense in the 4th quarter which consists of isolation plays for Chris Kaman who admitted feeling fatigued in 4th quarters as a result of his vitamin deficiency. Teams make their adjustments defensively and ultimately are able to execute down the stretch much better than the Clippers.
5. With Eric Gordon back from injury, what can the Spurs expect out of him out on the court?
The Spurs will definitely have a difficult time keeping Eric Gordon's production to a minimum.They can expect him to attack the basket and stretch the floor with his outstanding three-point shooting ability.
Predict the final score:
On episode 183 of the Spurscast, Jeff and I talk about last night's win over the Bobcats, previewed tomorrow night's Clipper game and went over the latest Spurs news.
We went quarter-by quarter of the Bobcats game and highlighted the 28 turnovers the Spurs coughed up, went over the box score and gave out Shiny and Rusty Spur Awards.
For the Clippers game, we went through each positional matchup and give the edge to the Spurs in the point guard, small forward and power forward category. We also came to the conclusion that bench and coach were no contest, and Jeff put a new Spur on the hotseat.
- Solecollector.com - The blogosphere has been abuzz about Tim Duncan's sweet kicks. So that's what it takes for people to talk about Duncan. I kid. I kid.
- Bleacher Report - What is Robert Kleeman doing saying the Spurs are done and that Duncan is old! If I ever see that sonofa...oh, it's satire? My bad.
- Basketball Prospectus - Ken Pomeroy dissects DeJuan Blair's rebounding domination from last year with Pitt. So many good statistics in this article.
- Express-News - Pop says that he would quit if he didn't think the refs honest. Here's my brief opinion on the NBA and its refs. I don't think the refs intentionally try to favor one team over another but there needs to be more transparency and oversight. That discussion is for another time, however.
- Interbasket - Manu Ginobili says that he is doubting himself and is not playing confident. This is a problem that he has never had, but after all his injuries I can understand how he must also mentally recover.
- Express-News - Jeff McDonald writes about Richard Jefferson's struggles. Interesting quote from Pop about how the Spurs need to get Jefferson in transition more.
- PTR - Matt Bonner is an interesting player. He probably has more haters among fans (at least they are the most vocal), but all the advanced stats say he is an extremely valuable player. Fred Silva let out same hate after Bonner missed the last second shot against the Jazz and an interesting discussion came about in the comment section.
- Express-News - I'll be honest, I had no idea that the Maloof brothers almost bought the Spurs and were beat by Peter Holt. That is a big What if...
- 48MoH - It is supposedly Tim Duncan who needed help during the offseason due to his age. So far it's been Tim Duncan carrying his teammates.
- Hardwood Paroxysm - Zach Harper discusses the Spurs through the lens of his JV coaching position. Just go with it. Zach says that teams should watch out for these Spurs, which sounds a little more optimistic than the average fan right now.
- Mundo Albiceleste - John is loving the recent play of Ginobili and proclaims he is back . . . for now.
With the Spurs beating the Sacramento Kings, the Spurs (10-9) hosted the Charlotte Bobcats (9-11) tonight in San Antonio. It was a reunion of sorts as former Spurs coach Larry Brown and players Stephen Jackson and Nazr Mohammed returned to San Antonio.
Turnovers had been killing the Spurs in the past games and with that, how did the Spurs do? This is how it went down in San Antonio.
Spurs started with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Keith Bogans, Antonio McDyess, and Richard Jefferson.
RJ opened things up for the Spurs with an outside shot and McDyess chipped in with some outside shooting as well. At the 9:45 point of the quarter it was 6-3, Spurs.
Bobcats' Stephen Jackson came out of a timeout with a three but RJ answered back with a three of his own. McDyess continued to look good early on and hit his outside shots and had a nice dunk. Duncan got in the act with a shot over Nazr Mohammed but RJ picked up his second foul and was taken out of the game.
The Spurs went on a 7-0 run and at the 3:44 point it was 20-15 Spurs. However, the Bobcats went on a 7-0 run as well but Bogans hit a three to stop their run.
Crazy play as George Hill was stripped by Bobcats Raymond Felton, Felton then turned the ball over and was picked up by Bogans. Bogans then had the ball stolen from him by Felton which lead to Coach Pop being livid on the sidelines.
The Spurs end the quarter on an 8-0 run and at the end of the first it was 29-19, Spurs. Leading the way for the Spurs was Duncan with seven points. Spurs shot 60% from the field and they committed seven turnovers.
Spurs started with McDyess, Hill, Ginobili, Bonner and Bogans.
It was an all Manu quarter. He started the quarter with a dunk for an "and 1." Then he hit a three. McDyess had a monster block on a Bobcats player and Hill had a strong drive to the rim to pick up the "and 1." At the 8:42 point it was 36-25, Spurs.
McDyess and RJ hooked up for a nice play that led to an RJ reverse layup. Then Manu and Hill hit threes and at the 5:59 point of the quarter it was 44-32, Spurs.
Next the Spurs went on a 10-0 run and the Spurs were up 52-32 at the 2:50 point of the quarter. Manu led this run and at the end of the half it was 59-42, Spurs.
Manu led the way with 20 points off the bench. Spurs shot 61% from the field so far in the game but committed 13 turnovers.
Spurs started with Duncan, Parker, Bogans, McDyess, and Bogans.
Who says Duncan doesn't show emotion? Early on in the quarter TD picks up a technical foul for reacting to a foul.
RJ then drove to the rim for the "and 1" but turnovers continued to be an issue for the Spurs. At the 8:34 point of the quarter it was 65-50, Spurs.
The third quarter then became a foul fest. At one point the refs called 38 fouls. Needless to say the third took forever to end.
Theo Ratliff got some significant time on the court for the Spurs and was a presence. He blocked shots, dunked the ball and even committed a flagrant foul on Bobcats' D. Brown. However, The Bobcats cut into the Spurs lead and cut it down to one and at the end of the third it was 72-71, Spurs.
It was a forgettable third quarter as the Spurs barely managed to score 13 points in the quarter and committed 23 turnovers so far for the game!
Manu leading the way for the Spurs with 22 points off the bench and the Spurs shot 55% so far for the game.
Spurs started with Duncan, Hill, McDyess, Bogans and Ginobili.
Duncan started strong for the Spurs. Hitting the outside shot and finishing at the rim. McDyess showed hustle for the Spurs. Diving out of bounds to prevent the ball from going out of bounds, hustling for rebounds and providing a spark for the Spurs.
At the 8:36 point of the quarter it was 80-73, Spurs.
Hill was having a nice game and helped the Spurs put the Bobcats away when he hit a three midway through the fourth.
The Spurs then went on an 11-0 run and the rest was history.
Spurs cruised in the fourth and put the Bobcats away. Final score 104-85, Spurs withe the win. Spurs record is now 11-9. Their next game will be against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles.
Shiny Spur Award -- Manu Ginobili
Rusty Spur Award -- Matt Bonner
- Spurs committed 28 turnovers for the game.
- Ginobili was spectacular tonight off the bench for the Spurs. 22 points, was 4/5 from three-point line, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
- Parker had 10 assists but committed seven turnovers.
- Spurs bench scored 47 points, led by Ginobili with 22 points.
- Spurs shot 59% from the floor, shot 59% from the three-point line and 67% from the free-throw stripe.
- Ratliff needs to get more minutes for the Spurs. He was a defensive presence and scored four points and grabbed five rebounds.
- Duncan finished one rebound shy of another double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds.
For tonight's game against the Bobcats, I talked to Brett of Queen City Hoops. Tonight we'll be live for a pre-game and postgame show and we'l be live blogging throughout the game right here at ProjectSpurs.com
1. What was your first reaction when you heard the Bobcats traded for Stephen Jackson and has that changed any after getting to see him play in a few games for the Bobcats?
My first reaction was "Aww, really?" I was not pleased - Stephen had become a headache for Golden State (just like he had in Indiana) and his was going to be making more money than he probably should once his extension kicks in next season. I thought why did the Bobcats bring in a guy who will be making $9 million when he is 35 and he is not an All-Star caliber player.
I will say that he has helped the Bobcats more than I anticipated - he works well for them, because he is like Boris Diaw in that he provides a player who looks to create at a position that is not known for it - and with a team of players who are not great at creating for themselves, it helps having more players who can create opportunities for you. Jackson also provides continued strong defense at the shooting guard position for the Bobcats, so they have been able to continue to post some of the best defensive numbers in the league. I still have reservations about the last year or 2 of the deal, but in the short term, Jackson has provided an upgrade.
2. The Bobcats are coming into tonight's game off an impressive win over the Nuggets, but they also gave the Nets their first win of the season. Which Bobcats will the Spurs see tonight?
I wish I knew - the Bobcats have also knocked off the Cavaliers already this season, plus a blowout of the Hawks to their credit, yet stand at just 9 and 11 for the year. I can say with a high degree of confidence that you will see the Bobcats play a strong defensive game, as they have surrendered an offensive efficiency of greater than 110 to their opponents just once this season, while holding exactly half of their opponents below 100.
3. Gerald Wallace has had a great season so far. Do you think he has a chance to be the first All-Star from the Bobcats?
If the Bobcats can stay in playoff contention, through the All-Star break...nope, still not going to happen. With LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Rashard Lewis, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, and Josh Smith in front of him, I just don't see Crash making it. While he may be near the league lead in rebounds, he is still pretty far down the list points-wise, and we all know that is what catches people's eyes and attention.
4. Speaking of Wallace, what will the Spurs have to do, short of throwing the kitchen sink at him, to limit Wallace?
When Gerald is having strong offensive showings, he is aggressive, not settling for jumpers and always looking to attack. Unfortunately, that can be exploited, in that he can be reckless in his drives and either force shots that are not there once help arrives or commit offensive fouls. In the Bobcats last game, a help defender exploited Gerald's tendency to drive left and then spin back right once he reaches the paint - the defender was camped, waiting for Gerald to reverse field - and bang, offensive foul, bad possession for the Cats. Gerald is good at getting a step on his man - provide help with other players and he is not great at finding the open man once he decides he is shooting.
5. What is the key matchup and what is your prediction?
Hmm - tough to pick from the Spurs big three - but I am going to go with Tony Parker and Raymond Felton. Quick guards can give the Bobcats fits - just see what Rajon Rondo, Will Bynum and Nate Robinson have done to them in the past. Raymond is a good defender, but Tony is a tough cover for just about everyone. If Ray can't contain, then the Bobcats have to provide help and start giving open looks to Manu, Richard Jefferson, and even Antonio McDyess who can knock down open looks.
Offensively, Ray just has to continue his strong play by only taking good shots - not forcing things and taking impossible shots in the lane. He sometimes over-penetrates and then leaves his feet with no one to pass to and a big man between himself and the basket, and he struggles to finish in those situations. The last several games, though, he has limited those possessions and has a done strong job of protecting the ball and letting the offense flow through all the facilitators on the court, rather than over dribbling.
Prediction: Spurs 86 - Cats 80
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