- PTR - If you click on one link this week make it this one. LatinD knocked this one out of the park. Take the time to try and absorb all his wonderful graphs and numbers.
- PTR - Fred Silva provided a great breakdown on how the Spurs successfully defended Brandon Jennings by determining who won each possession.
- PTR - Wayne Vore provides a short Austin Toros preview. I highly recommend checking out a D-League game if you get a chance. Every seat is great, the players are more talented than an almost any college game, and you can almost hear all the coaching. Fun times.
- ESPN - Tim Legler predicts who will make the West playoffs, which is kinda silly to do in November anyways, and doesn't include the Spurs. However, he does add that people shouldn't write them off until the spring. So why did he?
- Express-News - Mike Monroe chronicles the Spurs away game troubles, which ended with a win in Houston on Friday.
- Express-News - Apparently Roger Mason is now injured with a strained left hamstring. At least this injury doesn't hurt as much as those to the Big Three. Sorry Mase.
- Express-News - Monroe looks discusses how George Hill gives the Spurs flexibility in the backcourt like they never have. My favorite part of the article was how Hill lifted weights after defending Brandon Jennings for 27 minutes.
- 48MoH - Matt Bonner is at times the most hated Spur but is the most effective according to different advanced statistics. Graydon Gordian approaches the subject of how much Bonner should play.
We talk about New Orleans firing Byron Scott, the Golden State/Charlotte trade, Allen Iverson, and Brandon Jennings and much more. Mike and I give our thoughts on the state of the Spurs and the guys have fun at my expense because of my drunk birthday celebration.
By the way, the intro to the show is pretty cool.
Here’s the rest of the 8th Seed crew and the sites represented!
Glenn Moore (Dugout Sports Show)
Adam Best (FanSided)
Jared Wade (Both Teams Played Hard and Eight Points, Nine Seconds)
John Karalis (Red’s Army)
Zach Harper (Cowbell Kingdom and TalkHoops)
Rey Moralde (The No Look Pass)
Click HERE to listen to the show.no comments
By Lance Fell
The Spurs should start Theo Ratliff. Did that get your attention?
As Spurs fans, I know what you’re probably asking: Why would a team with Antonio McDyess, Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair, start the 36-year-old veteran? Let me try to answer that question for you.
DeJuan Blair had a very good start to the season. He brings a ton of energy to the court and a tremendous knack for rebounding. But Blair is young, and Gregg Popovich, as we all know, has a tendency to let his young players ride the bench. Also, Blair is listed at 6 foot 7 inches, which is too short to play at center.
Antonio McDyess has started some games for the Spurs. In those games, he is averaging 6.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in 24 minutes of play. However he is really a power forward. Early in his career, he was one of the most athletic bigs in the game. In his lone all-star campaign with the Denver Nuggets in 2001, he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. This was while Raef LaFrentz was starting as center, and McDyess, at the power forward.
McDyess also gives the Spurs second unit a reliable big man who can consistently hit the 15-18 footer. With McDyess coming off the bench, the Spurs finally have someone who can give them valuable minutes while Duncan rests. At 36-years-old, he isn’t as quick as he once was, but he has a high basketball IQ and with playmakers like Manu Ginobili and George Hill playing alongside him, he won’t have to work too hard to get his offensive game flowing. Not since Robert Horry have the Spurs had this talented of a big man coming off the bench. And like Robert Horry, McDyess is sure to be on the court when the game is on the line.
The player who has started most at center for the Spurs is Matt Bonner. But let’s get something straight: Bonner is not a center. Bonner’s ability to hit the three point shot does spread the floor, but leaves all the rebounding up to Tim Duncan and Richard Jefferson. Ratliff could help clean up the glass and limit the other team’s opportunities at second chance points.
Bonner and McDyess make a lethal front court coming off the bench. McDyess played five years in Detroit with another big man who spreads the floor and loves the three point line: Rasheed Wallace. With McDyess and Bonner on the court, the Spurs have a great combination of low post scoring and outside shooting. Add Ginobili and Hill, and the Spurs have one of the most explosive second units in the league.
Theo Ratliff is a center. He’s never been anything other than a center. He’s never been a forward/center. It’s always been just a center. And throughout his career he’s been a consistently good one on the defensive end. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive team twice, 1999 and 2004, and led the league in blocked shots in three different seasons.
With Parker, Jefferson and Duncan in the starting lineup, scoring points is not a problem for the Spurs starters. They could use Ratliff to create a defensive presence in the middle, taking some of the pressure off Duncan and his knees. He started in last Thursday’s loss to the Utah Jazz and had no points and just a single rebound in 13 minutes of play. However, he was extremely active on the defensive end and ended the game with three blocks.
In Saturday’s home victory against the Washington Wizards, Ratliff had five points, 11 boards, three blocks and two assist in 22 minutes. I’m not saying the Spurs should play him 22 minutes a game but 12 -15 minutes would be perfect. Starting Ratliff would allow the Spurs to establish themselves on the glass early in games, as well as, helping Timmy on the defensive end.
The Spurs should sacrifice the offense that Bonner gives us for some defense. With Ratilff patroling the paint early will make opposing guards think twice about attacking the basket. Bonner will add another scorer off the bench, and his ability to spread the floor will help create room in the middle for Ginobili and Hill to be aggressive in the lane. Ratliff might be old, but he can still block shots and force players into taking low percentage shots. He could definitely help the Spurs with their defensive woes.no comments
First of all allow me to say Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Hope you all have a great day with family, friends and lots of great food.
But since it is a day to give thanks, we here at Project Spurs need to remind you that although the Spurs have not gotten off to a great start of the new season, there are many reasons to give thanks to this team. Here are a few:
Be thankful you are seeing Tim Duncan still playing and are witnessing the end of a legendary career.
Be thankful the future is secured with Tony Parker and you are about to see the beginning of his prime years.
Be thankful Manu Ginobili never had an ego and is willing to come off the bench for the betterment of the team unlike the recently retired Allen Iverson.
Be thankful other NBA team doctors and General Managers passed up on DeJuan Blair in the 2009 NBA Draft and that the Milwaukee Bucks gift wrapped Richard Jefferson to the Spurs.
Be thankful you are witnessing the budding NBA career of George Hill.
Be thankful the Spurs aren't 0-15 like the New Jersey Nets.
Be thankful the Spurs have four NBA titles.
Be thankful there are still plenty of games left in this Spurs season for a nice turn around to the beginning of this slow start.
Be thankful you aren't a Dallas Mavericks fan.
As you can see there are plenty of reasons to give thanks as a Spurs fan. But we here at Project Spurs are thankful for all our fans and friends of the site. You make all this worth while. We are thankful for your comments, visits, and loyalty. Please keep coming back. We appreciate it.
This is just great to watch and listen. Tim Duncan and Bill Russell talking about the game, how its changed and how Russell admires Duncan's game. Russell has in the past said Duncan's game in not boring and has showered Duncan with praise. He has also said fans who think the Spurs are boring "might need a therapist." Coming from an NBA great like Russell, that speaks volumes. Take that NBA fans who think Duncan and the Spurs are boring.
With Spurs fans focusing on the current Spurs team, we here at Project Spurs would like to give our fans an update on two of the Spurs international players: Tiago Splitter and Nando De Colo.
Upcoming Game:EuroLeague: Nov. 26, 2009 Caja Laboral vs. CSKA
Nando De Colo
I'm sure you know after the first 10 games of the Spurs new season, it was their worst start since 1996-1997 going 4-6. Though at the time of this post, the Spurs have beaten the Washington Wizards and the Milwaukee Bucks to improved to a 6-6 record. But the poor start after a stellar offseason, it has been a little scary reading the comments here at Project Spurs and talking to fans. I sincerely hope nobody did anything stupid.
But should Spurs fans be worried yet?
That's the question I always try to ask myself when I feel one of those "Pop is the worst coach ever! Tim Duncan is washed up! Tony Parker can't run this team! Trade Ginobili!" rants coming on. I just take a step back and wonder, should I be worried? If not now, when can I be worried?
Looking at the Spurs right now and assessing their problems, a couple things emerge. Despite the early struggles the offense has been great with an efficiency of 109.5 points per 100 possessions, which is fifth in the NBA. Many people predicted that the offense would be the best yet and it's easy to see why. Instead, the Spurs have struggled in two areas they are generally among the league's best - defensive rebounding and overall defense.
The Spurs are usually among the top few teams in defensive rebounding, but this year they find themselves 10th in defensive rebound rate. While this might not seem like a big deal, it greatly effects the Spurs efficiency. Their defense rests not on gambling for steals and forcing turnovers but on forcing opponents into inefficient shots (long 2's) and allowing only one shot per possession. However, this year they are allowing too many offensive rebounds and thus second chance points.
The other main weakness has been overall defense. Opponents are scoring 106.9 points per 100 possessions, which is 17th in the NBA, a far cry from the Spurs usual position among the top five. It's no secret that the Spurs have looked out of sync on the defensive end all season.
However, I think both of these issues will improve with time. When watching the Spurs it is evident that the team is not fully comfortable with itself. New players are still getting a feel for the system and the regulars like Parker and Duncan are adjusting their games to the additions. There has simply been no consistency in the lineup. Through 11 games the Spurs have used eight different starting lineups. The five-man lineup that many consider the Spurs best (Parker-Ginobili-Jefferson-McDyess-Duncan) does not crack the Spurs top 10 five-man units, meaning they have played less than 9.8 minutes together according to 82games.com. Once the Spurs can settle on a starting, and finishing, lineup they should see improved rebounding and defensive numbers.
There is one caveat - injuries.
One of the biggest culprits for the inconsistency is injuries. Duncan, Parker and Ginobili,the Spurs three best players, have all missed games already. While Spurs fans shouldn't worry too much about the defense and other issues, the injuries should be a concern. A big one! Duncan's knees already worry me but he also cannot shoulder too much of the scoring load right now. He needs to have Parker and Ginobili healthy because we saw what can happen to him in the second half of the season if he has to play too many minutes. With Ginobili I'm worried he is just an injury prone player doomed to always have something nagging him. His current injury, a hurt groin, is one that can linger for months. Finally, Parker has a habit of tweaking his ankle a couple times a season just because of how often he attacks the basket.
Right now the Spurs are saying the right things, pointing out that it is a long season and they would be worried if the playoffs started tomorrow. I agree.
Still, I want to watch the next 10 games closely to see if the Pop can settle on a consistent rotation and if the "Big Three" can finally all stay healthy. If those two things start to happen, these early season worries should go away.
What are your thoughts Spurs fans? Are you worried? You pushing the panic button? Leave us your comments.
The Spurs front office is consider by some the "gold standard" of NBA front offices. We have seen them find talent late in the NBA Draft, sign key role-players to compliment the "Big Three" and pull off trades to keep the Spurs in title contention. The front office has done a wonderful job during these recent year of the Spurs' history. We even see the success with other teams such as the Portland Trailblazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder with past front office guys like Kevin Pritchard and Sam Presti.
However no one is perfect and the Spurs front office is no exception. Here are our top five Spurs front office fails in franchise history.
5. Drafting Dwayne Schintzius in the 1990 NBA Draft. In the 1990 NBA Draft, the Spurs passed on guys like Toni Kukoc and Cedric Ceballos and with their 24th pick, the Spurs drafted this bum. Not only did he have on and off the court issues, he did not bring anything to the Spurs when he put on the uniform. Unless you count that magnificent mullet.
4. Trading Leoandro Barbosa to the Phoenix Suns. In the 2003 NBA Draft, the Spurs selected Barbosa with their 28th pick. However his rights were traded to the Phoenix Suns for a future protected first-round pick. Not only did Barbosa become a solid contributor for the Suns, he won the NBA's 2006-2007 Sixth Man of the Year award and is considered one of the NBA's fastest guards. R.C. Buford even admitted his regrets in dealing Barbosa to the Suns when he said Barbosa's name will be etched on his tombstone along with . . .
3. Passing up on Josh Howard in the 2003 NBA Draft. What was up with R.C. Buford in the 2003 NBA Draft? Not his best moments as the Spurs G.M. Not only did he trade Barbosa to the Suns, supposedly Coach Pop and Tim Duncan had mentioned to R.C. to draft Howard. Well we all know what he did and drafted Barbosa only to trade him to the Suns. The Dallas Mavericks ended up with Howard and the rest is history. Even R.C. regrets this when he said he would also have Howard's name etched on his tombstone along with Barbosa's.
2. Trading Luis Scola to the Houston Rockets. Scola was a gem the Spurs had the foresight to draft in the 2002 NBA Draft. He was tearing up the Spanish leagues and looked like he would have been a great compliment to Tim Duncan in the paint. However due to a tremendous buyout Scola had with TAU Ceramica, and when deals to buy out Scola's contract fell through, the Spurs ended up signing Fabricio Oberto. So with the Spurs being cap-conscious, and Pop feeling Scola would not get minutes in the front-court, they ended up trading him to the Houston Rockets for lint, a bag of Doritos and a used baby's diaper which was in reality Vassilis Spanoulis, a future second-round draft pick, and cash considerations. I get why they had to trade him but why did they have to trade him to a team in the same conference let alone the same division?
1. Trading George Gervin to the Chicago Bulls in 1985. How does the Spurs front office trade the man who led the Spurs team for 13 years, a player who won multiple scoring titles, and put San Antonio on the map to the Chicago Bulls for David Greenwood? Gervin should have retired a Spur and not worn any other jersey. To make matters worse, Gervin averaged 21.2 points the season prior to being traded for Greenwood who averaged 13.5 points for the Bulls. Gervin reportedly did not want to be traded from the Spurs, wanted to remain a Spur and retire in San Antonio.
Now I am sure there are plenty of other epic fails the Spurs front office has made throughout the team's history and I may have left out a few like drafting Alfredrick Hughes. So why not leave us your comments and leave us your thoughts on these fails in Spurs history.
Every week, we pick out a question from our mailbag and try to answer it to the best of our abilities and knowledge, even if that means taking off our silver & black tinted glasses. This week's question comes from TP.
I've always thought the Spurs were so good, but why are they so underrated? - TP
Unfortunately, a lot of NBA writers and analysts get a bit excited very early on into the season and start to pick their contenders and even rookie of the year candidates before they even hit the rookie wall. As Pop says, the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint, and while a lot of people would have loved for this team to be able start the season off on a run, I never expected that to happen. When you bring in so many new pieces and overhaul a team known for just making a few changes every year, before you know it, you almost have an entire team that you have to teach the offensive and defensive schemes to, which takes time.
The other thing that will take time is for this team to have the same level of chemistry they've had in the past, and that's going to take everyone knowing their roles and having a set rotation, which is yet to happen.