- PTR - Wayne Vore explains why he is excited for this season. Even after the Chicago loss his points are still valid.
- 48MoH - People were worried that the Spurs would be without a defensive stopper on the perimeter. George Hill could be that player with his long arms and tenacious defense. Timothy Varner makes the point that Hill should see more minutes.
- Express-News - Buck Harvey discusses the Spurs deepest team ever. Even after a poor showing by the bench in Chicago I am excited by the second unit.
- Express-News - The Spurs picked up Hill's option for next year, so maybe they are planning on having him long term. Good move in my opinion.
- 48MoH - On the other hand, the Spurs decided to not pick up Mahinmi's option. This makes sense because he has failed to crack the rotation so far and it's likely that Tiago Splitter will join the team next year and take Mahinmi's spot.
- mlive - Detroit Pistons beat writer A. Sherrod Blakely predicts how each conference will play out. He has the Spurs winning it all and Tim Duncan bringing home the MVP trophy. I don't think Duncan will have the minutes or numbers to outperform LeBron, Kobe or Wade.
- Express-News - An advance scout gives his opinion of each Spurs player.
- Express-News - Jeff McDonald takes a look at five burning questions for the Spurs. For me it all comes down to health.
- Sportige - Of the ten oldest players in the league, two are currently Spurs. Two more are former Spurs. Shocking.
By Michael De Leon and Erik Ong
With the Spurs bringing in so many new players this offseason, I collaborated with fellow Bloguin blogger Erik Ong of Points in the Paint and the Four Fingers Fantasy Guide to see how those changes would affect the real world and fantasy value of our big three and two of our newest additions.
Tim Duncan is another year older and coming off a knee injury. Last season Duncan was a second round draft pick at the latest. While nursing an injury, Duncan averaged the same amount amount of points and only saw a slight dip in rebounds and blocks. Now 15 pounds lighter and with a clean bill of health, is Duncan still considered a draft top selection or will his age and knee brace see him drop to the third round?
The "Big Fundamental" has been called many uninspiring things in fantasy basketball circles, from "old" and "over the hill" to "boring". Those comments are from the disenchanted members of the "gum on my seat bleachers". The point is Tim still has enough in his fantasy tank to come up with reliable season this year. It may not be the 20-10-2 vintage Duncan we would love to see, but we should receive enough consistent, quality performances from him every night. Consistent enough for him to be a reliable source of points, rebounds, blocks, and FG%. Yes his FT% leaves a lot to be desired and Coach Pop tends to limit his minutes and even games close to the Playoffs, but those drawbacks are worth his reliability for a majority of the regular season. He is still arguably one of the best partners for Dwight Howard in the second round when drafting for a Big-ball team in head-to-head. Rounds to draft: 2nd to 3rd.
While he may be considered a top three point guard in the league, Tony Parker hasn't gotten a lot of respect nor love from the fantasy experts in the past. It's probably because he lacks an outside dimension to his game and also because he's not as an aggressive a steals producer as many would prefer. Last season's performance should merit Tony a decent upgrade in a lot of rankings as far as I am concerned. He improved on his assists and his FT%. I think he should continue that trend this season. The scoring should still be there. I wouldn't be surprised if he led the team in that department. His big boon in fantasy is truly appreciated through his 50% shooting from the field. An ability, or skill that few point guards in the NBA possess. What may end up hurting him is that point guards who have higher assist numbers, especially Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose could be taken ahead of Parker. Rounds to draft: 4th to 5th
Manu is coming off an injury-plagued season and there is a lot of concern about how much more his body can take. Real value and fantasy value may differ greatly, but health is an issue in both situations. But, love him or hate him, Manu's fantasy value is undeniable. He provides the unique (relatively) ability to chip in 1.5 treys and 1.5 steals plus 4-5 dimes from the SG position. Again, his style of play, driving fearlessly (almost suicidal) into the lane; makes his fantasy owners cringe and cover their eyes as they pray that he doesn't twist or tweak anything when he lands. But to me, his passion is actually part of his charm. I just wish he'd try to stay healthy longer and more often. The good news, for now, is that he's starting the season healthy. Assuming he can play 78 games or more he should be a fantastic middle round pick for rotisserie drafters out there. I'm sure 78 games would certainly be something Spurs fans would be ecstatic with as well. Rounds to draft: 4th to 5th
Richard Jefferson was brought in not to be first or second fiddle, the roles he's been used to playing his entire career, he'll likely be playing fourth fiddle. Be that as it may, his role is vital for the team to be successful this year and to make a deep playoff run hopefully netting the Spurs a fifth championship and Jefferson his first. He'll have to add some scoring when other players are going cold and the Spurs will need his athleticism to content with some of the younger, quicker teams.
Jefferson is a brilliant acquisition for the Spurs, and as Mike has pointed out RJ should be play a key role for the team to make that "one last run". In terms of fantasy, he has never been too much of a popular pick. This is primarily due to his "scoring-only" reputation. That's a bit harsh. He did average 1.4 treys per game last season. Sadly, that's about it. He is truly an example of how real-life greatness does not translate into fantasy value. He is what he is, a scorer. Considering how low he's actually currently being drafted in most mock drafts, I think RJ should provide you good value when you're trying to swing around for a boost in the points category in the later rounds. Rounds to draft: 8th to 9th
I've been told often this offseason that the signing of Antonio McDyess is a very underrated acquisition. Part of that could stem from the fact that McDyess is one of the oldest Spurs and fans don't quite know what his role will be since the frontcourt seems pretty stacked. What you can count on is that McDyess should provide some veteran leadership, will help on the boards. His extended range should work well with Tim Duncan, who likes to operate in an uncrowded paint.
We know what he's here for. To add a physical presence in the paint beyond that of Tim Duncan's. I sincerely doubt that he will get to duplicate his performance last season when he was still with Detroit, but he should still be able to contribute his fair share of boards and blocks with the bonus of low turnovers for your fantasy team. He's at best, a third-string center as far as fantasy goes. I consider him to be a decent last round pick when I am seeking a solid back-up center for my team. I am not sure how he will jell with Duncan in the Spurs' frontcourt, but as a last pick Dice should end being a rather low-risk option. Round to draft: 13th.
Hopefully my real world analysis combined with Erik's fantasy analysis will be telling in what to expect when you are watching the Spurs from your couch or when you are monitoring them in your fantasy leagues. Thanks to Erik for collaborating with me on this and for the latest in fantasy news and updates, be sure to check out Points in the Paint.
It was the first road game for the Spurs in the 2009-2010 NBA season but it was also their first back-to-back game after beating the Hornets yesterday in San Antonio.
The Spurs traveled to Chicago to face the Bulls and here is how it went down.
The Spurs started with Duncan, Bonner, Finley, Parker and Jefferson while the Bulls countered with Rose, Noah, Salmons, Deng and Thomas. Again I am still wondering why Pop is going to Bonner with the starting unit. More than likely it's be because he can spread the floor with his outside shooting.
Just as in the Hornets game, the Spurs started off slow and the Bulls came out with an 8-2 run. Richard Jefferson was attacking the rim but missed his first three shots. The Spurs did come back with a 6-0 run to keep the game close.
The feel of the game was fast-paced which does not work in the Spurs favor and the team's energy level was low and defense was sub-par.
At the end of the first quarter it was 23-22 Spurs.
Spurs rookie, DeJuan Blair, picked up quick fouls and was pulled out of the game. Again we saw RJ attacking the rim but just was not hitting his outside shot and early in the second quarter it was 24-29 Bulls.
Though leading the Bulls didn't hit from the field for three minutes but at the same time the Spurs were not helping themselves. Spurs were not grabbing defensive rebounds, energy was low and this was allowing the Bulls to stay in the game.
Rose was getting into the rim, Noah was bringing energy and hustle for the Bulls and rookie Taj Gibson was grabbing offensive boards for the Bulls. So what were the Spurs doing? They committed seven turnovers including three straight.
The Bulls were out boarding the Spurs on the offensive glass, bringing the energy, and ended up scoring 19 points on second chance points.
However the Spurs did go on an 8-0 run in the waning moments of the second quarter but Kurt Hinrich hit a three at he end of the first half, allowing the Bulls to take the lead at the half, 47-46 Bulls.
The Spurs did not take advantage of TD in the paint, shot 50% and allowed the Bulls to out board them, 10-1, on the offensive glass. You know Pop blasted the Spurs at the half.
The Spurs started going to Duncan early and it paid off. Noah was playing soft defense and TD went to the glass often. Still the Spurs were not showing energy, hustle and at the 6:45 point of the third, the Bulls were up 58-52.
The Bulls then went on a 14-4 run and again the Spurs looked flat. The Bulls did a great job at taking away the 3-point shot from the Spurs, forcing them to hit their mid-range shots which they were not hitting.
Again, second chance points favored the Bulls, 21-6, and at the end of three it was 74-64 Bulls.
TD was doing his best to keep the Spurs in the game with 22 points, 3 blocks and 2 steals heading into the fourth but the Spurs committed 10 turnovers.
Spurs started with Hill, Blair, RJ, McDyess, and Mason.
Spurs started 1-6 from the field and that speaks volumes. They looked slow, were not making the extra pass, and no one was getting it going for the Spurs except for Duncan.
To make it worse, they died by the three tonight. Spurs missed 14 straight three's before Finley hit one midway through the fourth.
Could it get worse? Yes it can. Bulls missed six shots but the Spurs didn't capitalize. Also Parker went scoreless in the second half.
End of game. Spurs lose to Bulls 92-85. Spurs fall to 1-1.
Shiny Spur Award -- Tim Duncan.
He kept the Spurs in it and finished with 28 points and 16 rebounds.
Rusty Spur Award -- Tony Parker.
All I have to say is he went scoreless in the second half.
- This was a back-to-back game for the Spurs and could this have been a reason for their lack luster performance?
- They started off slow to begin the game as they did against the Hornets. This is something that cannot become a pattern.
- Do we chalk this up to a lack of gelling?
- You would think a team with Blair, Duncan, and McDyess would not get out boarded but they did, 52-44
- Spurs went 4-21 from 3-point land
What are your thought on the Spurs loss against the Bulls? Please leave us your comments.
Join us as we live blog/chat tonight's Spurs-Bulls game.
With the Spurs-Bulls game coming up tonight, who better to ask than Chicago sports superfan Sarah Spain for our first Gameday Q&A of the season. Sarah blogs at No Spain No Gain, hosts the Fantasy Players Minute and has a bevy of freelance experience in reporting, writing, acting, modeling and radio work. Sarah may have an unhealthy obsession with Michael Jordan, but there's no questioning her knowledge of the Bulls as you'll see with the following six questions I posed to her for tonight's game.
1. With Derrick Rose likely to see limited minutes in the opening game vs. the Spurs, what will the Bulls do to stop Tony Parker?
The Bulls have a committed and determined defender in Kirk Hinrich, who is still the team's best defender on the ball. Parker is always gonna be tough to cover, but Hinrich will do a solid job if Rose doesn't have the speed--or stamina--to stick with him.
2. The Bulls seemed to be a playoff favorite after they almost upset a KG-less Celtics team in one of the best NBA playoff series I've ever watched. With Gordon now in Detroit, do the Bulls have enough to improve on last season?
It's always difficult to lose your leading scorer--especially if you don't get anything in exchange for him. It's easier to deal with, however, if that guy never stepped up on defense and never really seemed to buy into the team. Gordon may have led the Bulls in points for the last four seasons, but he never really led the Bulls. Do they have enough talent to make a deep run in the playoffs this year? I don't think so. They need a big man if they hope to make it past Cleveland, Orlando, Boston, etc. Have they put themselves in a position for that to happen in the next couple years? I say yes.
3. We saw John Salmons emerge in the playoff series with the Celtics. With Gordon's loss, what will Salmons' role be for this team?
The hope is that Salmons will be the guy he was in the playoffs last year, but with even more opportunities now that Gordon is gone. He's bigger and stronger than BG and he's a much better defender (don't take much). Few people in the league can get hot like Gordon, but if Salmons can be a consistent producer and prove that last year wasn't a fluke, he'll make getting over Gordon a lot easier. If Rose has an off night, Salmons and Hinrich are going to have to step up offensively for the Bulls to have a chance.
4. The Bulls made a very underrated offseason acquisition by picking up Jannero Pargo. What are your thoughts on his addition and does that move pave the way for Kirk Hinrich to finally be traded?
It's always nice to have a guy on your team who wants to be here. Pargo signed with Chicago despite getting longer and larger offers from other teams because he's a Chicago kid and he feels comfortable coming back to play for his hometown team again. He should get consistent minutes and is a dangerous shooter, but I don't think he's the answer when it comes to the Hinrich situation. Hinrich is far too valuable in situations like Thursday night, for instance, when D. Rose isn't at full strength. Until they bring in a legit, big-time guard to share the court with Rose, the Bulls can't afford to lose Captain Kirk.
5. I said on our season preview show for the 8th seed that some days Tyrus Thomas looks like a future all-star and some days it looks like the only chance he has to be an all-star will be with the D-League. Is this the year he finally lives up to his potential and is able to remain consistent?
Man I sure hope so. I've always been a big fan of freak athletes. There's nothing more fun than watching a guy take over a game with nothing but natural, God-given, freak-show athleticism. When Tyrus is on, he's got the energy, the length and the hops to be a real force. When he's off, he looks like a high school kid who loses track of the game when his favorite cheerleader does the splits on the sideline. He can be responsible for some brutal turnovers and his bouts of immaturity are to be expected from a rookie, not a guy heading into his fourth season. As a person, I think Ty is a great kid. All reports from preseason point to him having a breakout year; let's hope they're right.
6. The obligatory two-part question. What is the key matchup for Thursday night's game and what is your prediction?
Tim Duncan vs. whatever combination of guys we throw at him. Defending dominant big men has been a problem for the Bulls for years. With D. Rose not at 100% the Spurs win a close one.
We want to thank Sarah for devoting her time to giving us a closer look at the Bulls. If you want to read more from her, be sure to visit No Spain No Gain where you might also find pictures of a familiar face here at Project Spurs slamming jello-shots.
What are your thoughts on tonight's game? Do you have a prediction? Feel free to leave a comment and give us your take. Be sure to also come back tonight at 6:30 p.m. CST for our Spurs-Bulls live blog/chat.
After a 10-hour live marathon show leading up to the Spurs opening night game against the Hornets, Jeff and I decided that we were not done and came back live for our post-game show. We took more calls, had one more giveaway and talked about the stomping the Spurs gave the Hornets.
Make sure to check here on Project Spurs for notification of our next live show. We will be live blogging theBulls game tonight so come back here at 6:30 p.m. CST for that.no comments
We all hear about NBA conspiracies. The Spurs and their fans are no strangers to them. NBA schedule makers hurting the Spurs, Stern fixing it so Spurs lose in the playoffs, etc.
However in Tim Donaghy's book "Blowing The Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA", Donaghy mentions an incident involving himself and Dick Bavetta scheming to fix a game between our Spurs and the Denver Nuggets in 2003-2004.
Excerpts were released and it is something I am sure the NBA does not want its fans to read.
Here is the excerpt:
Bavetta told me Denver needed the win and that it would look bad for the staff and the league if the Nuggets missed the playoffs by one game. There were still a few games left on the schedule before the end of the season, and the standings could potentially change. But on that day in Oakland, Bavetta looked at me and casually stated, "Denver will win if they need the game. That's why I'm on it."
I was thinking, How is Denver going to win on the road in San Antonio? At the time, the Spurs were arguably the best team in the league. Bavetta answered my question before it was asked.
"Duncan will be on the bench with three fouls within the first five minutes of the game," he calmly stated.
As it turned out, Denver didn't need the win after all; they locked up a spot in the playoffs before they got to San Antonio. In a twist of fate, it was the Spurs that ended up needing the win to have a shot at the division title, and Bavetta generously accommodated. In our pregame meeting, he talked about how important the game was to San Antonio and how meaningless it was to Denver, and that San Antonio was going to get the benefit of the calls that night. Armed with this inside information, I called Jack Concannon before the game and told him to bet the Spurs.
To no surprise, we won big. San Antonio blew Denver out of the building that evening, winning by 26 points. When Jack called me the following morning, he expressed amazement at the way an NBA game could be manipulated. Sobering, yes; amazing, no. That's how the game is played in the National Basketball Association
If you take a look at the boxscore from that game, Duncan did get two fouls and the Spurs had more free-throws (53) than Denver (18) and won the game.
Here is another excerpt regarding the Spurs and the Phoenix Suns.
My favorite Tommy Nunez story is from the 2007 playoffs when the San Antonio Spurs were able to get past the Phoenix Suns in the second round. Of course, what many fans didn't know was that Phoenix had someone working against them behind the scenes. Nunez was the group supervisor for that playoff series, and he definitely had a rooting interest.
Nunez loved the Hispanic community in San Antonio and had a lot of friends there. He had been a referee for 30 years and loved being on the road; in fact, he said that the whole reason he had become a group supervisor was to keep getting out of the house. So Nunez wanted to come back to San Antonio for the conference finals. Plus, he, like many other referees, disliked Suns owner Robert Sarver for the way he treated officials. Both of these things came into play when he prepared the referees for the games in the staff meetings. I remember laughing with him and saying, "You would love to keep coming back here." He was pointing out everything that Phoenix was able to get away with and never once told us to look for anything in regard to San Antonio. Nunez should have a championship ring on his finger.
If this is all true, then it might verify our fears as NBA fans that the league tinkers in the outcome of games. And by the way, the NBA has threatened to sue the publisher.
Think Donaghy is full of it? Leave us your comments.
Thanks to John at RedsArmy for the head up on this Spurs related news.
According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, Warrior's guard Stephen Jackson might be close to getting his wish and be traded out of Golden State to . . . the Spurs. Please note other teams such as the Cavaliers, Nuggets, Hornets and Clippers are rumored to be in the mix for his services. However in exchange, Manu Ginobili, who is in the last year of his contract, would be the player Golden State would likely want in return.
It is no secret Jackson does have on-the-court issues especially in recent months with the Warriors. But when he was with the Spurs in 2003, he was on his best behavior and didn't rock the boat, especially with a team made up of veteran guys like Robinson, Duncan, Ferry, Willis, and Kerr when they marched to capture the 2003 NBA title versus the Nets. Jackson was clutch and important during the 2003 championship run.
After the 2003 season, the Spurs did offer Jackson a generous contract offer, 10 million for three years, but he and his agent balked and ended up taking a lower contract from the Hawks, 2.1 million for two years.
If this rumor is true, should the Spurs part with Manu Ginobili? Let's weigh the pros and cons.
- Jackson is younger than Manu
- Jackson is healthier and hasn't been hampered with chronic ankle injuries like Manu
- Jackson might be the best player we can get in return for an older, worn down player like Manu
- Is clutch, and knows the Spurs system
- Surrounding Jackson with vets like Duncan, McDyess, Parker, Ratliff and RJ will keep his attitude in check
- Manu is an integral part of the Spurs system and as we all know, the Spurs go as he goes
- Loyalty to Manu. Manu has been clutch, has given his all for the Spurs en route to helping them get three of their four titles
- Jackson's current contract is currently $7.65 million. Will the Spurs be willing to take on another large contract, already knowing they are over the cap?
- Manu proved his worth in the Hornets game, still showing he can get to the rim, hit the three, and be a spark plug off the bench
- Manu would be sent to an inter-conference team
What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment on your thoughts on if you would like to see this rumored trade happen and vote in the poll as well.
We'll be live from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. central talking Spurs, the NBA and tonight's home opener against the New Orleans Hornets. Throughout the night, we'll have interviews with John Karalis of Red's Army, Glenn Moore of the Dugout Sports Show, Zach Harper of Talk Hoops and Cowbell Kingdom, Rey Moralde of The No Look Pass, Sarah and mW of HornetsHype and Brian Cuban of the Cuban Revolution. We'll be taking your calls throughout the day.
Call (210) 757-0847 and we'll answer any calls or let you get something off your chest. We'll also be giving away a few giveaways throughout the day for callers and chat participants. If the audio messes up at any time, let us know in the chat and we'll work on fixing it asap.
Jeff and I got together for our annual preview of the Spurs season. In the first part of the show, we talk about the Spurs' new additions and departures, take a look at the Southwest Division and the Western Conference.
On the second half of the show, we bring on Carlos Santiago and Theo Harris to talk about the Eastern Confernce and break down our favorites from one to eight.
To end the show, we make our awards predictions and talk about where we think the Spurs will finish this season.