- Austin American-Statesman - Columnist Kirk Bohls waxes poetic about DeJuan Blair and how the Spurs capitalized on the rest of the NBA's mistake.
- Express-News - The Blair articles continue! This time it's Jeff McDonald telling us how the Spurs coaches are not trying to change Blair's game yet while they learn what type of player he is and how to best utilize him.
- Express-News - McDonald also checks in with the Spurs other young preseason star, George Hill, who discusses his work this offseason to improve his three point shot, especially from the corners. Consistently hitting that shot will be a huge step for him.
- Sports Illustrated - Chris Ballard, one of my favorite journalists, has an interesting article about Idan Ravin, an ex-lawyer who is now the hottest NBA trainer. While there is no connection with the Spurs, I couldn't help but think about Pop while reading this. Ravin is popular for his ability to connect with players and meet them on their level. While this is different than Pop's approach, I think he is popular with players for treating them all equally and really thinking about how to get the best out of the team.
- 48MoH - Timothy Varner shows with advanced statistics (yay!) that Theo Ratliff is still an elite defender when it comes to protecting the rim and describes how he can help the Spurs.
- PTR - jollyrogerwilco breaks down a beautiful play by Manu Ginobili and DeJuan Blair from the Spurs game with the Thunder.
- ESPN - The preseason predictions are in and the consensus is that the Spurs will win the Southwest Division but finish second in the West to the Lakers. Sounds about right to me.
- Empty the Bench - DeJuan Blair as Rookie of the Year? I like how it sounds but I just don't see him getting the minutes or touches. Doesn't mean he isn't talented enough, though.
- SLAM - Tim Duncan checks in at the number 6 player in the league according to SLAM. You know a player is good when he is "slipping" and is still one of the top ten players in the league.
Is it the beginning of the Spurs 2009-2010 season yet? No? Damn! What to do, what to do? Oh I know. Let's all gaze in wonderment at reason 1002 you should be a Spurs fan: Sohpie.
Checklist: Hot? Check! Long flowing hair? Check! Tight outfit? Check! Spurs Fan? Check!!!!!
Relationship Status: Single
Favorite Sports Team: San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are now down to 16 players after waiving Curtis Jerrells today.
Jerrells averaged 3.6 points and1.8 assists in the preseason, but he was likely the odd man out from day one in training camp. Even though, in our opinion, he outplayed Marcus Williams at times, the Spurs front office seems to have a fascination with Williams, likely because they drafted him.
Jerrells was quick, attacked the basket and would have been a better fit if the Spurs decided to keep a third string point guard, but whether Williams was here or not, Jerrells didn't have much of a chance to make the roster after the Spurs signed Keith Bogans before training camp.
The Spurs still need to make one or perhaps two more cuts before the beginning of the season, depending on how many players Pop wants to keep on the roster. Our money is on Williams to be the next player packing his bags, likely for Europe. If Pop decides to just keep 14, I think Malik Hairston is probably a step ahead of Bogans, and with Hairston displaying his defensive skills, Bogans may become expendable.
Spurs.com has the official announcement.
This past week, Mike and I were guests on The Chronicles of Crotty. They've been trying to get us on their show and after months of trying, we finally made it.
So how was it? Well aside from giving these Lakers and Clippers fans a preview of the upcoming Spurs season, Mike makes history on the Crotty show by being the first person they ever censored for dissing BLEEEEP. I actually defended former Spur Beno Udrih, and a new put down is created. Ask Mike how this new put down came about.
Mike and I would like to thank the Crotty crew for having us on. They are good friends of Project Spurs and their site, The No Look Pass, is an up and coming NBA blog. Expect great things from them this NBA season. But be warned Spurs fans, some of them cheer for the Lakers. Hey, we can't all be perfect.
Click HERE to listen to the show and to visit The No Look Pass.
It's no secret that the Spurs tend to start slow and then bring things together with their famed second half surge during and after the Rodeo Road Trip. Yet each year it seems that fans start jumping overboard as soon as the Spurs get off to a slow start. Just remember, be patient.
Patience and looking at the big picture is important this year. The Spurs have assembled arguably their most talented roster in the Duncan/Pop era and expectations are high. The backcourt is strong with creators and shooters in Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, George Hill and Roger Mason. The frontcourt is deep with Tim Duncan, Antonio McDyess, DeJuan Blair, Theo Ratliff and Matt Bonner. There is also the addition of their most dynamic fourth option - Richard Jefferson. The talk among fans revolves around winning a championship and that must be the Spurs goal. However, there are reasons why the Spurs could easily trail New Orleans or Dallas in the Southwest Division standings at the end of November.
First, the Spurs have limited Duncan, Parker and Ginobili significantly during the preseason. It simply is not important for those three to play many minutes right now since they have played together so much. However this means it will take some time before they are comfortable playing with Jefferson, McDyess and the many other new players. There will be a learning curve. Passes will be off during the first month as they get used to each others offensive games. Rotations will be missed and pick-and-rolls will be botched as they adjust to each others defensive games. When these things happens, remember to have patience.
Second, Duncan and Ginobili are out of shape. This is by design. Last year Duncan was forced to carry the team while Ginobili and Parker both missed games with injuries. By the end of the season his knees were obviously hurting and he was not the same player we were used to seeing. Though this offseason he lost weight (15 lbs.) to decrease the pressure on his knees, he also rested more than usual and comes into the new season not in game shape. He will spend the first month of the season working into playing form. Ginobili is in the same situation after coming off his ankle injuries. He also spent the summer resting and needs time to work back to the Ginobili we are used to.
Finally, remember that these are the Spurs. They don't worry too much about their record until the All-Star break. Now, this does not mean they don't care about losing, just that their focus is on staying healthy and situating themselves for a nice, long playoff run. They could easily start the season 2-3 with losses to New Orleans, Utah and Portland but I doubt Pop would worry too much.
So remember, when the Spurs go through a slow spell early on and are out of sync, it's okay. Think big picture and know that this team is designed for a deep playoff run, not having the best record at the end of November.
With all the moves the Spurs made this offseason, do you think they will win it all this season? - Andre Jimno
Like last week's question, this is something we'll talk about in-depth in our season preview coming up early next week, but I'll touch on it a bit here as well. I think in order to win it all, they will have to be completely healthy if they meet the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. At the same time, I'm probably slighting several other teams who could probably challenge the Spurs.
The Western Conference will be a lot tougher this season with several teams making big moves to compete for a championship. I think the Spurs have probably done the best in the offseason, but I really don't think it gets them past the Lakers in seven games. Reason could revolve around the big man match-up. Do the Spurs have enough to contend with Gasol, Odom and Bynum with the current crop of Spurs bigs? Nonetheless it would make for a very good, and close series.
Want us to answer your question? Follow this link or click on the "Contact" link at the top of the page and enter "mailbag" in the message subject and feel free to leave us your thoughts on this question in the comments.
George Gervin and Manu Ginobili will go down as two of the best shooting guards in Spurs history. Both gave Spurs fans great memories, spectacular games, and scoring feats. But which one will go down as the best shooting guard ever in Spurs history?
It's a battle royale in San Antonio! Here is the tale of the tape and you decide.
LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gervin played for the Spurs from 1974-1985. Smooth, swift, and "a pure shooter" are words to describe this former Spur. During his time in San Antonio, he provided some memorable moments. Perhaps his biggest moment as a Spur came in 1978 when he beat out David Thompson for the scoring record by scoring 63 points in one game.
He led the NBA in scoring average three years in a row from 1978 to 1980 and again in 1982. Gervin also had the most scoring titles of any guard in league history until Michael Jordan came to the NBA. He is the biggest scorer the Spurs franchise ever had at the shooting guard position and rightfully deserved the nickname "Iceman." And no one else could "finger roll" like he could.
But for as much as Gervin did during his career with the Spurs, he never did win an NBA or an ABA title. Plus, defense was never his strongest suit, but ironically he did retire with the second most blocks of any NBA guard. In the end, he was all offense to go with little defense. The Spurs retired his number 44 in 1996.
Points to consider:
- Named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players
- A nine-time NBA All-Star and a three time ABA All-Star
- Seven-time all NBA Team
- NBA All-Star MVP (1980)
- As the Spurs franchise player, he never led them to a title
Manu has been playing with the Spurs since 2003. From the get go, he showed why he might be the biggest steal in the second-round of the NBA Draft ever. Dynamic, crafty and passionate are words that sum up Ginobili. He has given Spurs fans every reason to drop their jaws when he's on the court. From scoring 46 points in one game against the Cavs in 2008 to his clutch plays for the Spurs in the 2005 NBA Finals against the Pistons, Manu is perhaps the most dynamic player the Spurs franchise has ever had at the shooting guard position.
In his time with the Spurs he has won three NBA titles (2003, 2005, 2007) and won the NBA's Sixth-Man award in 2008. Unlike Gervin, Manu can and does play defense but has never put up the scoring numbers like Gervin did.
However Manu does have a reputation for flopping, is injury prone and does tend to force the action at times to the Spurs detriment.
Points to consider:
- 2004-2005 NBA All-Star
- 2007-2008 All NBA Third Team
- Three-Time NBA Champion
- Unlike Gervin, Manu never was the franchise player and had Duncan and Parker's help in getting three titles
Gervin and Ginobili are two of the most prolific players to ever play the shooting guard position for the Spurs but only one can be the best. Who wins Spurs fans?
Are there other factors we need to consider? What are your thoughts? Please leave us your comments and go vote on the poll as to who is the best ever shooting-guard for the Spurs: Gervin or Ginobili.
Our own Jeff Garcia will be speaking at the Sports Media 360 conference in Cleveland this weekend.
He will be part of a panel discussing "Co-Existing – Sharing Content And Making The Most Of Sports Info Online." Also joining him on the panel will be Tom Jolly, Sports Editor of the New York Times, Ty Ahmad-Taylor of FanFeedr.com and Brad Zibung, Founder of “The Heckler.”
According to the Sports Media 360 website, the conference will be "bringing together mainstream sports journalists, sports bloggers and sports public relations professionals for a weekend. From panels consisting of the best bloggers and well respected journalists in the sports world, to how-to workshops ranging from getting your blog noticed, building credibility with team's public relations and communications professionals and starting a sports related podcast."
Jeff started as a writer and podcast co-host for Project Spurs and the Spurscast in 2005 and recently took on a new role as Director of Content Development for Project Spurs. He is also a member of the 8th Seed podcast.
There has been word that the panels will be streamed online. If so, we'll be sure to embed the live video of Jeff's panel on Saturday.
Project Spurs would like to thank Glenn Moore of the Dugout Sports Show and lead organizer for Sports Media 360 for giving Jeff the opportunity to speak.
With DeJuan Blair's impressive preseason (14.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 61.4% shooting in 18.6 minutes) fans are speculating what kind of year he might have. If you peruse the message boards you will see some people declare him a Rookie of the Year candidate or that he will average a double-double. Now, while both are those proclamations seem farfetched to me, there is no denying that Blair is a special player.
This made me wonder what Spurs had the best rookie season. I looked at each player's traditional statistics and also their advanced statistics. I also considered what sort of impact they had on the team by looking at games played and minutes per game. So here are Project Spurs' top five rookie seasons.
5. Alvin Robertson 1985 (9.2 pts, 3.4 rbs, 3.5 asst, 1.6 stls, 49.8% shooting, 15.3 PER) - Some people might argue for Tony Parker at this spot, and I considered him, but I think Robertson's numbers were more impressive with the 1.6 steals and a much higher shooting percentage. The strongest argument for Parker is that he was the starter while Robertson played behind Johnny Moore. Robertson was one of the most well-rounded players in Spurs history and his rookie season displayed those talents. He also recorded a higher PER, Win Shares, and Usage Rate than Tony Parker, tipping the scale in his favor.
4. Walter Berry 1987 (15.9 pts, 4.9 rbs, 1.7 asst, 53.1% shooting, 16.8 PER) - While Berry was drafted by Portland he spent 56 games with the Spurs in his rookie season, starting 45 of them. His time with the Spurs, and the NBA in general, was short but he had an immediate impact in his rookie year. Berry was a 6'8'' power forward who won the John Wooden Award while leading St. John's to the Final Four in 1986. Berry finished second in scoring for the Spurs and recorded the highest Usage Rate. While he had a way of getting under the coaches skin, there is no denying the he was one of the Spurs best players right of the bat.
3. Willie Anderson 1989 (18.6 pts, 5.1 rbs, 4.6 asst, 1.9 stls, 49.8% shooting, 16.6 PER) - The 10th pick overall and a member of the All-NBA Rookie Team, the 6'7'' shooting guard/small forward proved a success in his rookie season. He led the team in games, starts, points, and field goal attempts and was second in minutes per game and steals. He also led the team in Usage Rate and Offensive Rating. Anderson was asked to be the star player right away and he filled the spot well for a rookie. Unfortunately for Anderson his role diminished with David Robinson and Sean Elliott joining the Spurs shortly after and he never approached his performance from his rookie season again.
2. Tim Duncan 1998 (21.1 pts, 11.9 rbs, 2.7 assts, 2.5 blks, 54.9% shooting, 22.6 PER) - First, it says a lot about the number one player that Duncan comes in at number two. It's scary to think that Duncan was able to come in as a rookie and easily average 20-10 with over two blocks and well over 50% shooting. He was the most developed rookie offensively and defensively that the league had seen in a long time. Not only was he named the ROY but he was selected to the All-Star team, All-Defensive Second Team, and All-NBA First team. He also finished fifth in MVP Award Shares. This is the stuff legends are born from.
1. David Robinson 1990 (24.3 pts, 12 rbs, 2 assts, 1.7 stls, 3.9 blks, 53.1% shooting, 26.3 PER) - Like Duncan, Robinson racked up the awards, winning the ROY, making the All-Star team, All-Defensive Second Team, All-NBA Third Team, and finishing sixth in MVP Award Shares. While his game was not as refined as Duncan's, Robinson was a physical phenomenon that was unparalleled. He was 7-footer who could run and jump like a shooting guard, and his athleticism alone allowed him to dominate the league. People these days gush over Dwight Howard's rebounds and blocks but Robinson was putting up the same numbers as a rookie! He was a superstar from the beginning and his rookie season is not only the best by a Spur but one of the best rookie seasons ever.
There you have it Spurs fans. Did we miss any other Spurs rookies? What are your thoughts on Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili not on the list? Let us know. Please leave your comments.