Tony Parker will be out for one week after spraining his ankle during the Spurs loss to the Portland Trailblazers. Parker was driving to the lane on Steve Blake when the injury occurred. Good news is X-rays were taken in Portland and were negative.
Parker has had ankle injuries in the past and the most recent was the ankle injury he suffered this summer playing for the French National Team.
Expect George Hill to get more minutes while Parker is out. We saw last year what he did when Parker was injured. He had an impressive stretch of games as a rookie while Parker was out including getting the best of Bulls guard Derrick Rose in Chicago last year.
Here is the video of Parker's injury.
Please leave us your comments on this injury and what you think on Hill having to now run the team.
We'll be going live right here on ProjectSpurs.com starting at 7:30 p.m. CST tonight to preview the Spurs vs. Blazers game.
Aside from previewing the game, we'll be interviewing Sheed from Bust a Bucket to break things down from a Blazers point of view. We'll be taking your calls throughout the night at 210-757-0847 and have a giveaway.
The live stream will be audio only and we'll also have a live chat set up to interact with us and chat with other Spurs fans.
We'll stop right before the game starts and when it ends, we'll be back live for postgame recap and react, and we'll have plenty of time for your calls to talk about the game, win or loss. Jared Wade of Both Teams Played Hard will stop by.
Again, we will start at 7:30 CST and go until about 9:25 and come back on right after the game. Look forward to talking to you all tonight.
The season is still very young but the Spurs have already frustrated some fans by continuing to start Michael Finley and Matt Bonner. We've already discussed the pros and cons of starting Bonner, so it's only appropriate that we take a look at Finley.
This is Finley's fifth season with the Spurs, and all totalled he has started in 175 of his 325 regular season games with the Spurs. Most of those starts, 141 to be exact, have come since the 2007-2008 season. While Finley used to be an All-Star, top ten scorer, and dunk contest participant, he is now solely a jump shooter with a suspect defensive game. For these reasons, fans want Pop to sit the 36-year-old in favor of Roger Mason or Manu Ginobili. Like Jordan did with Bonner, I'll point out a few pros and cons about Michael Finley starting to help you come to your own conclusion.
- Finley had his best shooting season last year with a Total Shooting Percentage of 54.7%, the second highest of his career, and an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 53.2%, easily the highest of his career. He can no longer finish among traffic well but he does his main job, spot up shooting, better than ever. The Spurs benefit greatly from Finley stretching the floor for Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.
- At his age and without as much athleticism as he used to have, Finley is not an energy player. Ideally the Spurs would like to bring a high-energy player of the bench to provide a spark to the team, someone who can provide much in limited minutes. Finley is not that player. In this regard he is better suited starting so that he can get in the flow of the game.
- By starting Finley the Spurs allow themselves to use George Hill, Mason and Ginobili on a second unit that is one of the best in the league. Finley is best at playing off the ball and spotting up on the perimeter, something that fits better with a first unit that relies on Parker's drives and Duncan's post play.
- Finley was never known as a defensive presence, but his defense has only gotten worse. He is neither fast nor strong, and the premier shooting guards in the league can take advantage of him. Sure, he knows the Spurs system well but this only gets him so far when the Spurs are matched up against the top backcourts in the league.
- Even though Finley had his best shooting year last season he is still very prone to cold shooting games. He tends to be a streaky shooter and when his shot is not falling it only takes valuable possessions away from Parker, Duncan and Ginobili.
- As Finley has aged his offensive game has become more one-dimensional. He cannot create for others and is not consistent when driving to the basket, leaving the Spurs offense stagnent at times. If he is not hitting his threes then he is not worth much for the offense.
So here you have three pros and three cons to Finley starting. What should the Spurs do? Personally, I like having a backcourt of Ginobili and Hill coming off the bench to dominate and harrass other teams second units. However, I think Mason does everything Finley can and more. It's nice bringing a talent like Mason off the bench but Ginobili and Hill provide enough firepower that the Spurs can afford to put Mason in the starting lineup instead of Finley.
However, Pop has a love affair with Finley and it is impossible to predict what he will do with Finley. Do you think Finley should continue starting?
It's always a little scary facing a team like the Utah Jazz after a four-day break. The Spurs probably lost when they boarded the plane for Salt Lake City, which was about all the boarding they did that day.
The rustiness that comes after an early, extended break showed up immediately as the Jazz went up early after several runs in the first quarter and never looked back in a 113-99 win.
Sloppy play, turnovers and terrible defense could normally sum up the night. Unfortunately for the Spurs, it was much worse. Here are a few of my notes throughout each quarter.
Jefferson started the game on the right foot, hitting a three for the first points of the night for either team. Bonner continued the outside assault tying the game at 8-8, but sloppy play and points off turnovers led to a 26-15 Jazz run.
Of all the players that made the Spurs look old in the first quarter, it wasn't Deron Williams or Carlos Boozer, but insted Wesley Matthews. I'm asking "who?" as well.
The Jazz ended the quarter up 32-22.
The Spurs' interior defense looks like swiss cheese, as one live blog participant quipped. The Jazz guards were too quick and got to the basket easily for 28 points in the paint.
Parker started coming alive and hurt the Jazz with his own drives to the rim, racking up 17 first half points. Unfortunately, they didn't continue running plays for Parker or setting up screens for him to get into the paint.
A Manu layup could have shaved the deficit down to seven points, but instead he gets picked clean going to the basket for a second time.
The second quarter really was just about the same as the first, with the Spurs turning the ball over six times, leading to 10 Jazz points. Spurs go into the half down 50-60.
Spurs start to show some signs of life, with a Richard Jefferson layup to get the deficit down to eight points. Jefferson looked aggressive, but poor rebounding on both ends attributed to the Jazz getting several second chance points to go with seven steals.
Saying Boozer was "on" would be an understatement. He was killing anyone Pop threw at him and Deron Williams really was no surprise as he orchestrated the Jazz offense beautifully.
The Jazz really didn't budge all quarter, playing great defense and getting through any mini-runs by the Spurs to go up 93-80 to end the third.
There are hints of a comeback, but the Jazz once again step up their defense and the Spurs just can't seem to climb out of the hole they've dug themselves into. More of the same as turnovers continue to plague the Spurs and they start missing easy layups.
DeJuan Blair entered the game late in the half and looked good on the boards and even on offense with Boozer guarding him, but it was too little too late.
I have to give credit to the Jazz as they were executing to perfection all night and sent the Spurs back to earth as they are now at .500 through four games.
Looking at the box score, five Spurs were in double figures and several players had good individual games, but as a unit, it looks like they have a lot of work to do. It won't get easier though, as they have another tough conference foe tonight in the Portland Trailblazers.
If I were to give out a Shiny and Rusty Spur like Jeff Garcia does on each Spurscast, while I'd have a hard time giving the shiny award away on a night like this, I'd have to give it to DeJuan Blair who had 14 points, nine rebounds and a block in just 21 minutes. I'm not sure how much more Pop has to see before he starts increasing Blair's minutes and allows him to give the Spurs a chance to win games like this.
The Rusty Spur would go to George Hill, who missed countless layups and shot one of eight from the field for two points and one assist in 22 minutes.
Again, the Spurs play the Blazers tonight and be sure to come back and listen live to our Blazers pregame show, starting at 7:30 p.m. CST. We'll also be coming back live once the game ends for about an hour or so of postgame react and wrapup. We'll be taking your calls, interviewing fellow Bloguin blogger Sheed from Bust-a-Bucket, giving away a poster to a calller and previewing the game.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard on True Hoop, DeJuan Blair was 10 seconds away from being a Cleveland Cavalier.
I reported this on my NBA 411 segment on "Mike and Mike in the Morning'' today: According to information gathered from multiple league executives, DeJuan Blair was 10 seconds away from joining "King James'' and "The Big Shaquisition'' in Cleveland.
On draft night 2009, Cleveland offered Denver $2 million for the 34th pick. Cavs GM Danny Ferry thought it was essentially a done deal and had fingered Blair as the pick.
But with just 10 seconds left to make its selection, Denver was offered $2.25 million, a league record for the sale of a 34th pick, from the Houston Rockets. Because there was such a small amount of time left to make the pick, the Nuggets didn't have a chance to give Cleveland the opportunity to beat Houston's offer.
During our live draft night coverage on Project Spurs, Glenn Moore, a devout Cavs fan and host of the Dugout Sport Show, said the Cavs should take Blair with their 30th pick. Instead they selected Christian Eyenga. We both kept mentioning Blair's name as he continued to fall, never expecting him to fall right into the lap of R.C. Buford.
Buford has said that if Blair did not fall to 37, Jack McClinton, who they selected 51st, would have been their selection at 37. Since then McClinton had a poor showing during summer league play and asked to be released prior to training camp. He landed in Minnesota's camp and since has been waived.
It only took ten seconds for the rich to get richer. Instead of McClinton, who isn't on an NBA squad, the Spurs now have Blair who is averaging just over eight points and rebounds per game and looking like a possible Rookie of the Year candidate.
As for Eyenga, he opted to continue playing internationally in Spain. 0.4 seconds may not be kind to the Spurs, but I'll take those ten seconds any day.
Simple and timeless are two words that could easily describe the Spurs current jerseys.
After experimenting with red and white uniforms with blue trim in 1972, the Spurs have been using black, white and even silver since.
With other teams seemingly changing their uniforms and logos every year, I decided to try to come up with two new jersey designs that could be used to complement the current jerseys the Spurs have been using since the 2002-2003 season.
The concept behind both jersey designs aren't my own. After seeing the Spurs new shooting shirts with white in front transitioning to black in the back, I thought it might be cool to do the same with the spurs jersey and it's certainly something I'd buy.
The second jersey could be an alternate road jersey. It is a black jersey with silver/gray pintripes. A lot of Spurs fans have been begging for silver jerseys for quite some time, and while these aren't silver, the pinstripes and trim on the sides are silver.
In the future I may also look at modernizing the old silver jerseys with San Antonio written across the chest, but for now, feel free to leave your comments on these two jersey design ideas.
Jeff Garcia and I covered Hispanic Heritage month in late September with a few posts. In a post titled "Blazing New Trails", I talked about the NBA marketing to all of the subcultures and country's that make up the Hispanic culture and using the one thing that strings them all together, Spanish, the language they all share.
That got us to thinking that we are leaving a lot of people out in the cold by doing the Spurscast in English only. While, I'm not conversationally fluent in Spanish, luckily Jeff is. While he won't do the entire Spurscast in Spanish, he will now be doing a separate segment of the Spurscast just in Spanish. He'll be recapping the week and talking about upcoming games. We'll also be sure to put it in our Spurscast feed by itself in addition to having it as part of the regular Spurscast episode every week.
As you listen to the first Spanish Spurscast segment, keep in mind that this is still a work in progress.