The San Antonio Spurs will host the Phoenix Suns at the AT&T Center tonight and will face a Suns team without Steve Nash:
Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash did not travel to San Antonio with the team Saturday and will miss Sunday's game against the Spurs due to the illness that sidelined him Friday night.
Nash was suffering from flulike symptoms when he was sent home prior to Friday night's win against the Los Angeles Clippers.
With the Spurs on a six game losing streak, and their grip on the number one seed in the NBA playoffs slipping, I'm sure they will take any advantage to help them break this skid and get back on the winning track.
• San Antonio Spurs' George Hill vented a bit on fans who are not with the team through this six game skid:
It's crazy when ur winning Fans Love you. But when ur Losing all the Fake Fans Come out!!!! Things will get better! Thanks Real Spurs Fans!
• Express News' Tim Griffin shares notes from the Spurs loss to the Houston Rockets.
• Former Spurs player Dennis Rodman had his number 10 jersey retired by the Detroit Pistons. Here is what he had to say about being traded by the Spurs to the Chicago Bulls:
"(The Spurs) traded me to Chicago for Will Perdue straight up and San Antonio said it was the best trade they ever did. I was like, 'Yep, sure was.' Because we won three championships after that. And that first year, 72-10. But that's not the focus. My career was built here." (dailypress.com)
• Spurs' draftee Nando De Colo and his team Power Electronics Valencia are currently playing in the Euroleague playoffs versus Real Madrid. Check out De Colo in action in game four of the series:
• Pounding the Rock talks about the words "Spurs fan" as an insult.
• Though not Spurs related, but in case you missed it, check out the Dallas Mavericks player all Spurs fans love to hate Jason Terry up to his typical on court behavior versus the Los Angeles Lakers:
The San Antonio Spurs have lost six straight games and their once strong grip on the NBA's best record is now a mere 1 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Lakers who have won nine straight.
Now with San Antonio slumping, the Lakers know the number one seed in the upcoming NBA playoffs is well within reach:
"We want the best record in the league and we want first place," said Andrew Bynum.
And when Lamar Odom was asked if passing the Spurs has become a realistic goal at this point, he said, "I think so."
But what does Lakers' coach Phil Jackson have to say on overtaking the Spurs?
"It's simply this," Jackson said. "We've played very well [but] you can go out and have a stinker like we had in the first half [Friday] and lose a ball game, not have that energy in the second half to come back and win. It's asking a lot of a team to continue at that pace and expect them to play at that pace. We want to do it and have every urgency to do it, but the odds are against us. It's still a real tough thing to do."
The Spurs and Lakers will face off once more before the playoffs begin and if San Antonio does not get things back on the winning track, then Los Angeles will overtake the Spurs.
It's simply this -- should Los Angeles win their remaining games, they get the number one seed. Makes their last meeting quite important doesn't it?
San Antonio Spurs guard/forward Danny Green, who was signed by the Spurs on March 16, was assigned to the Austin Toros today.
But it'll be a short stint for Green, who will only play one game as a member of the Toros, since they are now officially out of playoff contention, regardless if they beat the Texas Legends tonight.
Green (#4, 6’6”, 210, 6/22/87) most recently signed with the Spurs on March 16, appearing in three games totaling 7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. He originally signed with the Spurs on November 17, when he appeared in two games, totaling 6 points in 9 minutes, before being released on November 23. In between those two stints with the Spurs, Green saw action in 16 games with the Reno Bighorns, where he averaged 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.38 steals in 37.4 minutes per game. He shot .451 (114-253) from the field, .434 (36-83) from three-point territory and .795 (58-73) from the free throw line.
Green showed the Spurs a glimpse of what they can expect from him when he was on the floor for 20 minutes against the Trailblazers. He hit all three of his shots from the field, including one three-pointer and his defense was on display against Portland's backcourt.
Travis Atkins from our affiliate site, Toros Nation, will be covering the Toros vs. Legends game tonight, so look for a full report on his Austin debut tomorrow morning on Toros Nation.
The San Antonio Spurs lost their sixth straight game last night to the Houston Rockets. It's the first time the Spurs have lost six in a row in 14 years and the lead over the Western Conference continues to dwindle by the day.
You can somewhat stomach a loss to the Celtics, because they are the Celtics, but losing to the 9th place team in the West is a little harder to stomach.
So in a game where the big three all scored over 23 points, what went wrong?
• A tale of two halves
Either the Spurs will play great to start the game and then let a lead slip away, or in the case of last night's game, decide to show up a little too late.
I tweeted a few minutes prior to the end of the fourth quarter that it was nice seeing some execution on both ends of the court, but I spoke too soon. What followed was fumbling a ball at half court when crossing the line and eating up some clock could've put the game away.
I talked about the Celtics getting way too many open shots yesterday, but I saw a lot of the same. Luis Scola was doing his best Kevin Garnettimpersonation with the open mid-range jumper, and of all players, Kevin Martin got too many open jumpers as well. The Spurs have got to get better at rotating and closing out. One of the first things you are taught when you learn how to play defense as to chop your feet as your are closing out on a shooter. Instead the Spurs will usually run at or past the shooter and either give them a wide open shot or a lane to the basket. Also, going under screens killed the Spurs against the Celtics, and when George Hill chose to go under the screen instead of fighting over it, he gave Kevin Martin an open three at a crucial point in the game, which allowed the Rockets to eventually tie up the game.
• Passing up open shots
Tim Duncan passed on an open shot late in the game where he had been knocking them down all game. Also, instead of choosing to shoot on a step back or fade-away with time left on the clock, Manu ate up all the clock and more trying to get to the basket for a layup.
Welcome to Views From The Couch volume 15. In VFTC 14, we left with an entire article based on Lady Gaga song titles. Back in those days, being a Spurs fan was stress free as the San Antonio Spurs had a huge lead in the standings and looked like they were well on their way to close out the season in good terms. Fast forward to today, the Spurs have gone 3-6 since the last VFTC. We begin with the story of Carl….
The Tale of the Mysterious Writer
Carl is a Spurs fan that thought his team was immortal this entire season. Before the six-game losing streak, the Spurs had only lost two games in a row once. Before March, their worst month of the season was February in which they finished 9-3. For the majority of the season Carl could count the Spurs losses on two hands.
Then on Monday March 21, Carl was watching his Spurs play against the Golden State Warriors. In the second quarter Carl would see one of the worst sights, his favorite player Tim Duncan went down with an ankle injury. “Oh no” Carl thought, “What if Timmy is hurt? I hope it’s not that bad, we still have Tony and Manu though.” The Spurs went on to win the game.
Two days later Carls’ team flew to Denver to face the Nuggets. Tim Duncan would not make the flight due to his ankle injury. Carl watched the game as his Duncan-less Spurs would make a comeback in the fourth quarter but ultimately come up short on some last second shots by Manu Ginobili. After the game Carl said “well, we lost this one but we’ll get a win Friday in Portland.”
Friday night came and the Duncan-less Spurs were in Portland, the game went down to the wire and the Spurs lost again on a last second tip-in by Blazers forward Nicolas Batum. Carl was a bit upset after this game: “Danged! How did we lose an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter! Batum scored four points in less than one second! How is that possible? Why was Novak put into the game to make the pass with no time for him to shoot? He threw it out of bounds!”
The Spurs had now lost two games in a row for the first time since January, Carl wasn’t used to this situation.
• Though the San Antonio Spurs lost to the Boston Celtics last night, check out this sweet move Manu Ginobili did on Kevin Garnett:
• NBA.com asks if the Spurs should be in panic mode:
It might not be time yet for the citizens of the Alamo City to jump off the River Walk into the river, but you can be sure some are inching closer and closer to the edge.
Not the Spurs.
“It’s simple enough,” said Duncan. “We put ourselves in this position. Luckily, we’ve played great basketball all season and we’ve given ourselves a lead on the rest of the league. We’ve given some of that back, but we still have enough.”
• CBSSports.com compares Tim Duncan and Celtics' Garnett:
But the two have vastly different demeanors. If they were siblings, Garnett would be the talker, Duncan the listener. Garnett would be the agitator, Duncan the peacemaker. Garnett would be the kid who serves detention all the time; Duncan would be the teacher's pet.
Garnett's approach to basketball is a combination of Mount St. Helens (seemingly always ready to blow up) and a tabloid headline (screaming wildly and beating his chest vigorously to make sure the world knows he has a big heart).
Duncan is an island breeze, approaching every game and every play with an impassive look that belies his competitiveness and dedication to his craft. He is like a heart surgeon preparing to operate -- quiet, meticulous and professional.
• Express News' Tim Griffin shares his notes from last night's Spurs-Celtics game.
Hit the jump to read up on the Austin Toros' playoff chase, Tim Duncan and video games, former Spur Dennis Rodman fights back the tears and more.
With the San Antonio Spurs dealing with a five game losing streak, and fans worried, here is some good news. Spurs' George Hill was named divisional winner of the 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award.
Charlotte’s D.J. Augustin, Chicago’s Luol Deng, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, New Jersey’s Deron Williams, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and San Antonio’s George Hill were selected by a four-member panel of former players as divisional winners for the 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award.
The NBA Sportsmanship Award, designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, is voted on by NBA players. The NBA will announce the winner after the regular season.
The 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner will be presented with the Joe Dumars Trophy, named after the Hall of Famer and former Detroit Pistons great who played 14 seasons in the NBA and was the recipient of the inaugural NBA Sportsmanship Award in 1996. (spurs.com)
In a player's survey conducted by Sports Illustrated, 152 NBA players feel San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili is one of the NBA's best floppers:
As president of the National Basketball Players Association, Fisher has a certain clout among his peers around the league. But that doesn't mean they like how he plays. Sports Illustrated ran a player's poll this week, asking 152 participants, "Who is the best flopper in the game?" Fisher received 6 percent of the votes. The top vote-getter was Cleveland's Anderson Varejao (22 percent), followed by Ginobili (18 percent) and Houston's Luis Scola (7 percent) and Kevin Martin (5 percent).
In a twist of irony, the Spurs will be facing the Houston Rockets tonight and their former draftee, Luis Scola who received 7 percent of the votes as one of the best floppers.
However, for Scola, he says it's not his long hair that accentuates the flop and points to Ginobili's hair or lack their of:.
Scola said it is not the long hair that accentuates the fall and earns flopper reputation, citing Ginobili.
"Manu has no hair, long or short," Scola said.
Only Scola can get away with making fun of Ginobili's bald spot seeing how they are countrymen.
Speaking of tonight's Spurs-Rockets game, former Spurs' draftee and newest member of the Rockets, Goran Dragic, says he likes to play against San Antonio:
"I always play good against San Antonio," Dragic said. "I don't know why. I like their style, how they play. I feel comfortable against those guys. For us, it's going to be a huge game."
In three games against San Antonio, Dragic has averaged eight points and 4.7 assists and I'm sure Spurs fans remember what he did to San Antonio as a member of the Phoenix Suns in last season's playoffs.
The San Antonio Spurs (57-18) will travel up I-10 to take on the Houston Rockets (39-36) tonight in a Texas-sized tussle. The Spurs have won all three of the previous meetings with the Rockets and will look to complete the season series sweep tonight. Overall, the Spurs have won four games straight against the Rockets. To make matters worse for Houston, they have not won a season series against San Antonio since the 1996-1997 season.
In their last meeting, the Spurs won 115-107 in Houston where Tony Parker led the way with 21 points and six assists.
As for the game tonight, it's a matchup of offensive teams as the Spurs average 103.4 points per game while the Rockets average 106 per game but it will come down to defense as the Spurs allow 97.6 points per game while the Rockets allow 104 per game.
To talk about tonight's contest, I turn to fellow NBA Bloguin blogger Mike Kerns of Rockets Retro. A brand new site here at Bloguin and a solid site for all things Rockets. Also, do not forget to read the Q&A I did for Mike at Rockets Retro and follow him on Twitter.
In this Q&A, Mike talks about the Rockets' playoff chances, the Aaron Brooks trade, why the Spurs have the Rockets' number and much more.
Jeff: The Rockets are knocking on the door to make the playoffs at the eighth seed in the West. With key injuries to Memphis and New Orleans, can Houston sneak in at number eight?
Mike: Even before the loss to the Sixers Wednesday night, it looked grim. Now it looks to be non-existent. It's just a case of too little, too late in regards to the playoffs. The team has played well above their heads since the break, for sure. But, in the end, it's another year of a late lottery pick for the Rockets.
What happened between the Rockets and Aaron Brooks? Such a talented player but went went wrong? How has Goran Dragic been since joining Houston?