Tonight, the Spurs will be celebrating Noche Latina when the Spurs take on the New York Knicks in the AT&T Center. Noche Latina honors Hispanic fans and players with Latin-themed activities, including music, performances, and giveaways.
With the Spurs playing in San Antonio, the Hispanic influence, in particular the Mexican culture, is felt not only in the community, but even within the Spurs franchise itself.
So today Project Spurs celebrates with the NBA and the Spurs, Noche Latina, with an article in Spanish from Project Spurs' very own, Arianne Villanueva. Here she spotlights Manu Ginobili and what he does off the court to represent Hispanics not only in San Antonio, but also in Argentina.
By Arianne Villanueva
La NBA estará celebrando su evento anual “Noche Latina” esta noche durante y después del juego de Los Spurs en contra de Los Knicks de Nueva York. Este es el cuarto año consecutivo en el cual el NBA se ha tomado el tiempo de reconocer a al comunidad Hispana y a sus fanáticos. Esta Noche, Los Spurs estarán presentando actividades Latinas dentro de la arena que incluirán música, funciones, y regalando premios.
Con los Spurs como anfitriones en su noche de festividades, nosotros aquí en Project Spurs nos enfocamos en la cultura Hispana de nuestro equipo, y que mejor manera de hacerlo que reconociendo a nuestra Espuela Argentina, Manu Ginobili.
Aun que los logros de Manu Ginobili sobre la cancha son bastante conocidos, fuera de la cancha el orgullosamente también representa a la comunidad Latina. En la ciudad de San Antonio, el aparece en varios anuncios en Español y esta involucrado con la comunidad Latina al igual que con la comunidad Argentina en su tierra natal.
La mayoría de gente en San Antonio sabe que Manu Ginobili “Aun es un cliente de Time Warner” ya que a sido visto en anuncios para Time Warner en Español. El también aparece en anuncios para la tienda de comida H-E-B, una cadena de tiendas de mercado local en Texas. Manu también se mantiene activo en numerosos proyectos de caridad incluyendo la “Fundación Manu Ginobili”, que entre tantas actividades sostiene una clínica de deportes para niños mentalmente incapacitados en Buenos Aires.
El talento sobre la cancha, el carisma, y la humildad que posee Manu Ginobili le ha ayudado a ganarse el corazón de los fanáticos que hacen parte de la comunidad latina en la cuidad de San Antonio y por el mundo entero. Es por eso que yo como fanática Latina de Los Spurs al igual que muchos mas, siento la orgullosa necesidad de cantarle a Manu el coro Argentino….Olé, Olé, Olé…Manu, Manu.
Gracias Manu, por representar a la comunidad Latina de una manera en la cual nos enorgullece a todos.
On this episode of the Eighth Seed (or Sixth Seed, since we were missing John Karalis and Zach Harper), we discussed All-Star weekend becoming more lame and boring by the year and what the NBA can do to fix it.
We talked about the winners and losers of the NBA trade deadline, if the Jamison trade makes the Cavs the clear-cut favorites for the crown and which teams set themselves up to be players in free agency this offseason.
Each of the guys also gave an outlook on the second half of the season for their respective teams and apparently Rey Moralde thinks auto-tune should be for podcasters too.
The rest of the 8th Seed crew is:
Rey Moralde from The No Look Pass
Glenn Moore from The Dug Out Sports Show
Jared Wade from 8 Points, 9 Seconds & Both Teams Played Hard
Zach Harper from Cowbell Kingdom & Talk Hoops
John Karalis from Reds Army
Adam Best from Fansided
Tonight the San Antonio Spurs will face the New York Knicks in San Antonio, so who better to turn to than an NBA Bloguin Brother, LIVES from Knicks Fanatics Blog for a gameday Q&A. Check out the Knicks Fanatics Blog for some of the best NY Knicks coverage on the net. Why? Well imagine a young Pam Grier, Sophia Loren and Jayne Kennedy in an old-school Knicks dance team. So worth the read.
In this Q&A, I ask him whether or not Lebron James will be a Knick, he wished Spurs fans warned Knicks fans about Mike D'Antoni, and breaks it down on what to expect from tonight's game from the Knicks. All this and much more!
Are Knick fans still holding out hope that LeBron James will be with the New York Knicks next season?
To a great extent Knick fandom is in absolute disarray which is what happens when your team is in absolute disarray and constantly losing. Knicks fans are all over the place emotionally and intellectually. A few are still holding out hope against reality that New York is the ultimate destination for a basketball star regardless of money and the quality of the team. I understand that even the team was still exploiting this hope by selling next year's season tickets as "LeBron Insurance." Yet, despite our longing optimism more and more New York fans are starting to see the reality over the marketing. LeBron James is most likely not coming to New York except to play a couple of games of horse against the Knicks and watch the Yankees.
Mike D'Antoni. Your thoughts on what he has done for the Knicks and is he the right coach to lead this team back into the playoffs?
Ah, Mike D'Antoni. Ye Spurs knew him well and were not neighborly enough to warn us.
Judge a coach by how he responds to pressure and difficulties, especially if he is the source of much of it.
Mike D'Antoni has suffered much under Donnie Walsh's 2010 plan which was really a concept more than a plan -- the concept was to get under the cap and pretend to be competitive towards the playoffs. Donnie had hoped (and so had I quite frankly) that while he dismantled the team and turned it into expiring contracts, D'Antoni would shape those contracts into an exciting up-tempo product for the fans. The notion was that an exciting product would tide us over until we got to the summer of 2010 and seduced one of the big three -- LeBron, Wade, Bosh. Unfortunately, Donnie Walsh didn't really think this through when he hired a coach who skipped out on Phoenix because they lost confidence in his 7 Seconds of Less program and who avoided the Chicago Bulls because they doubted the efficacy of his "a great offense=a good defense" strategy.
In all fairness to Mike, Walsh has built this team on malcontents and bench retreads. The majority of his non-draft personnel decisions, including hiring Mike D'Antoni, has brought in someone either at odds with their previous employer, a player rotting and brooding on an opponent's bench (Chris Duhon, Al Harrington, Larry Hughes, Tracey McGrady) or someone damn near retired (Jonathon Bender, Cuttino Mobley, Tracey McGrady). Mike also came into an environment where he did not have his type of players. He was forced to work with Walsh in a ridiculously elongated effort to kick out Stephon Marbury. He never really warmed up to Nate Robinson and he thought that David Lee was not fast enough to play his type of ball. So you can say he did not have the tools.
Regardless, D'Antoni's job was to coach these players and create a team. He did not. Under the stress D'Antoni has revealed himself as the wrong coach for this city. Beneath that smile and usually friendly (but competitive) demeanor, he can be mean-spirited and short sighted. He plays favorites and does not treat his team as a team. He treats his select players as a team. In this case, his pets have been Chris Duhon, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. Stubbornly sticking with Chris Duhon as his starting point was just sheer arrogance and stupidity if winning was his goal. His management of Nate Robinson, one of his most skilled players, was appalling. His team's lack of defense is even more appalling and he very readily blames the players for his lack of preparation and his poor coaching.
David Lee. I seriously love his game and was glad he was an NBA All-Star this year. Will he be out of a Knicks uniform next season?
I believe the main reason the Knicks worked so hard to clear so much cap space was not for a second max player. Management was working on a math problem which indicated they did not have enough space to build a team AND get a high quality max free agent. Without that flexibility, the Knicks would be unable to make a run at David Lee whose rights they are probably going to renounce in order to open their options.
I don't know David Lee, but lately he has been vocally frustrated at the criticism of his defense and it seems that he is tired of being blamed for D'Antoni's poor defense. Lee knows he can get better, but he also understands that he is playing out of position every night at the five spot. For the Knick's David Lee at the five is suicidal, if not out right stupid. Lee is right, he should not play the five night in and night out, but he does do an admirable job sometimes, especially when he has help, the guards are rotating and staying in front of their man, and the team is communicating as a whole. My bad, that usually doesn't happen.
Seriously, if I am David Lee, I leave the Knicks. Mike D'Antoni has mis-used him and the Knicks did not treat him as he would have liked over the summer. Although they gave him a larger contract than they were technically obligated to, it contained a bonus for the playoffs which the Knicks did not give him a real chance to achieve. He should be pissed and they should give him the bonus anyway. He has been a loyal soldier through horrid regimes and he has developed a new aspect of his game every year. Many Knicks fans don't like him because of his lack of defensive skills and intensity, but I would not be surprised if he developed that part of his game over the summer. I think any team that is really a team would love David Lee. He's a real baller.
What is the key match-up for Spurs and Knicks fans to watch out for tonight?
I'm not sure there is one key match-up since the Spurs, more than most teams, play as a unit not a collection of individuals. I would focus on two different match-ups: David Lee against Tim Duncan and the opposing backcourts, Manu Ginobli and George Hill against Sergio Rodriguez and Toney Douglas. If the Spurs run and pound the ball inside, I will go to sleep early tonight. If Douglas and Rodriguez can run at all and keep the Spurs backcourt squeaking its heels on both ends of the court, I may go to sleep late and happy.
What can Spurs fans expect to see from this Knicks team tonight and if you were coaching, what would your game plan be versus the Spurs?
Their are three keys, beyond showing up, to beating my Knicks. The Spurs must play at least 2 1/2 quarters of solid defense, they must concentrate on scoring in the paint and not get lulled into trading treys and perimeter jumpers and they can dismantle and discombobulate the Knicks with up-tempo, fast break offense because the Knicks have no transition defense. If the Spurs walk the ball up the court on offense, they can easily be at the mercy of our three point shooters.
Spurs fans may get to see some spurts of great individual effort. You will love David Lee's mid-range accuracy. It is gorgeous to behold. You might get Al Harrington at his one-on-one best. His array of face-up spin moves to the basket are very nice when he is not out of control. You will get to see the athleticism of Bill Walker, who we just picked up from the Celtics. If the Spurs don't play good defense (see the man, see the ball), he will slip his opponent and add to his personal highlight reel.
Hopefully, you will see some solid play from our youngin's, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas. If Wilson Chandler stays off the arc, he is a solid player with a nice game -- not dominant, but nice. He needs a better defensive coach to take advantage of that athleticism. Hopefully, Gallinari is going to use these last few games to develop a game. He has talent to be more than a three-point set shot artist but he has been timid and needs the ball in his hand closer to the basket. He is not practicing an array of mid-range shots and post moves to take advantage of mismatches. For now however, if an opponent plays him close and is quick to the angles, he can easily disrupt Gallo. Toney Douglas simply needs time to play. It's about time that D'Antoni gave him a real shot.
Arianné Villanueva is back and this time I join her for the latest Spurscast in Spanish. In this episode she recaps the past games for the Spurs and we get her opinion on Tony Parker's recent comments on playing for the French National team this summer.
Remember Project Spurs was the first Spurs blog to have a Spurs podcast and the first to have a Spanish podcast for Spanish speaking fans.
Arianné Villanueva y Jeff García vuelven y discuten los juegos de las últimas dos semanas de los Spurs. También comparten su opinión sobre los recientes rumores de que Tony Parker posiblemente no juegue para Francia este verano.
Y recuerden que Project Spurs fue la primera página de Internet en tener un podcast de Los Spurs y la primera en tener un podcast en español para los fanáticos de habla hispana.
There are reasons why the Spurs have stalled any contract renegotiation. During the 2008-2009 season Ginobili only played 44 regular season games and missed the entire 2009 NBA playoffs due to a troubled right ankle. His age coupled with his break neck style of play, are concerns for the Spurs in their decision.
Not to mention this "re-sign or not to re-sign" song and dance is not something new. Back in 2008, Manu underwent surgery to repair his ankle after he injured it in the Beijing Olympics playing for Argentina. His agent, Herb Rudoy, had this to say, “Contract negotiations for an extension have been put off until after the surgery,” Rudoy said. “The Spurs want to see how he recovers from the surgery.”
If you are the Spurs, you have to wonder just how much Ginobili has left in the tank. Add the fact that younger players like Malik Hairston and George Hill are developing, the Spurs would be interested in pushing for the future rather than sticking to the past.
But he has remained reasonably healthy this season, missing only five games in the early part of the season due a strained left groin.
In 56 games this season, he is averaging 14.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.7 assist while shooting 41.5% from the field and 37.4 from behind the arc in 27.7 minutes. This is his lowest point production since the 2003-2004 season when he averaged 12.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assist in 77 games.
However, Ginobili has played better lately. In February he was the best Spur as he averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 11 games and led the Spurs five times in scoring during that stretch.
In the Spurs recent win against the Phoenix Suns, he led the Spurs with 21 points. 11 points of which came in the final quarter. But more than just stats, he also reminded everyone that he can still make spectacular plays and get the crowd up off their seats.
Just recently, Coach Gregg Popovich said this about Ginobili "The last two and a half weeks, Manu had his lift and quickness. He's making better decisions because his rhythm is back. He feels more confident in his shot."
Even in defeat Manu was at his best scoring 38 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, dishing out 5 assist while adding 2 steals in 37 minutes of action. However, his efforts went for naught as the Spurs lost a heart breaker to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Still, it could be a sign of good things to come. As of late, Manu has been looking a lot like the Manu of old.
With that being said, it maybe wise for the Spurs to give him a contract extension before this season ends. But has he played well enough to convince the Spurs to extend his contract?
Perhaps. But the Spurs could be taking a little more time and probably want to see more proof he is worth the risk.
Ginobili doesn't seem to worry much about his contract extension saying that "Just because I don't expect the Spurs to extend my contract before it expires does not mean my days as a Spur are over." He said that for a reason. He knows that the NBA is a business and probably feels that the Spurs are going to re-sign him when the right time comes. But Spurs fans want to see his name across the dotted line soon!
There is one thing for sure. Should the Spurs not re-sign him, he will be a free agent in demand. What team would not want a player of Manu's caliber? Championship pedigree, clutch, passion for the game and his veteran experience all will make him an attractive free agent.
It will be hard to imagine Manu Ginobili playing for a team other than the Spurs. The city of San Antonio loves him and he's been a huge part of the teams' successes. The Spurs will never be the same without him and when the Spurs make their history books, the name "Manu Ginobili" will be etched as one of best and fiercest competitor to ever play for the Silver and Black. Not to mention, his jersey number is a sure lock to be hanging on the rafters of the AT&T Center for years to come.
What do you think? Has Manu proven himself to be re-signed by the Spurs or should the Spurs wait until the offseason to decide? Share us your thoughts.
Despite losing Parker, a 3-time All-Star, for possibly the rest of the regular the forecast for San Antonio does not change significantly. His absence will mean more minutes for George Hill and Roger Mason with Manu Ginobili assuming more ball-handling duties. Keith Bogans and Malik Hairston could see increased minutes on the wing as well.
The Spurs, playing their first game without the injured Tony Parker, lost tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers despite LeBron James and Shaq not playing and Antawn Jamison getting hurt during the game. Final score 97-95. Spurs record drops to 36-25 and remain in seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Spurs were basically a two-man team with Manu Ginobili and George Hill leading the way with 38 and 23 points respectively. Aside from no one else contributing on the offensive end, defensively costly turnovers in the crucial moments of the fourth quarter doomed the Spurs. Not to mention poor execution on the offensive end and failing to hit the shots when it counted added to this Spurs loss.
Despite the poor fourth quarter, the Spurs had a shot to tie the game and send it into OT but Roger Mason missed a three that would have tied the game.
To go over other aspects of the game, I asked fellow Bloguin NBA blogger, Brendan Bowers of Stepien Rules, a few questions about tonight's game. Please check out Stepien Rules for the best Cavs coverage.
The Cavaliers are deep, and if anything, they have a number of guys more than capable of hitting shots offensively. Daniel Gibson is a guy that can hit big shots as well as anybody in the NBA and he hit one tonight, while if the team's at full strength, he probably doesn't play. Other guys stepped up and did the same, and I thought JJ Hickson was particularly aggressive as well offensively in a needed capacity. As a team too, I think there's something to be said about wanting to show people that you are capable of winning a game against a good team without LeBron, and after losing to Milwaukee last time out, I think they made it a point to do so tonight...and they did.
Thanks to Brendan for participating in this Q&A. To read my Q&A on the Spurs loss with Brendan click HERE to visit Stepien Rules.
- Spurs shot 41.7% from the field, 34.5 % from the three-point line, and 68.2% from the free-throw line.
- Spurs committed 14 turnovers and grabbed 44 rebounds.
- Spurs bench scored 17 points.
- The Cavs had six players scoring in double digits.
- Richard Jefferson, Roger Mason, and Antonio McDyess had a bad game. RJ went 1-3 from the field and 0-2 from the three-point line finishing with three points in 28:26. Mason went 0-8 from the three-point line and 1-10 from the field scoring two points in 25:23. McDyess went 2-8 from the field and scored four points in 14:59.
- The Spurs will next play the New York Knicks in San Antonio this Wednesday.
1. Cavs want LeBron James to rest tonight against the Spurs. Should he be resting more than just a few games heading into the post season or do the Cavs need him out there asap?
I think a few games rest for LeBron is not necessarily 'needed' but I have no problem with it, and think it could prove beneficial in the long-run. One of the Cavaliers strength is there overall team depth from 1-12, and looking at the roster that way there's no deeper team than the Cavaliers. When they get into the playoffs, that rotation will shrink down from 10-11 to 7 or 8, and while they might not be the deepest team in the NBA from 1-7, they are from 1-12, and there's no time like the present - regular season - to capitalize on that strength and save some miles on LBJ's tires, because come playoff time, they won't have that luxury.
2. This isn't the same Cavs team nor the same James the Spurs swept in the 2007 NBA Finals. How has this franchise and James grown since?
3. What should Spurs fans expect tonight from the Cavs taking on a Spurs team without Tony Parker?