As reported earlier this week by Project Spurs' Michael De Leon, the San Antonio Spurs have officially signed Larry Owens from the D-League:
The San Antonio Spurs today announced they have signed forward Larry Owens from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract. Owens is the second call-up of the 2010-11 D-League season.
Owens, a 6-7 forward, has spent the past two seasons with the 66ers. This year he has started in all 23 games for Tulsa, averaging 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31.1 minutes while shooting .462 (108-234) from the field, .373 (25-67) from three-point range and .743 (52-70) from the foul line. He’s scored in double figure 18 times, including a season-high vs. Iowa on Nov. 26. Owens recorded a double-double in the season opener with 16 points and a season-high 13 rebounds at Bakersfield on Nov. 19. (source spurs.com)
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (34-6) vs. DENVER NUGGETS (23-16)
Manu Ginobili 18.9
Tim Duncan 9.3
Tony Parker 7.0
Carmelo Anthony 23.5
Carmelo Anthony 8.2
Chauncey Billups 5.3
Amidst the trade rumors surrounding two of their star players, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, the Denver Nuggets (23-16) have put together an impressive winning streak in the last week, routing their last three opponents by an average of 30 points.
The San Antonio Spurs (34-6) will look to win their 15th consecutive home game tonight when they meet the Nuggets at the AT&T Center.
San Antonio won both meetings with Denver last month, and while rumors are heating up that the Nuggets could deal Anthony and Billups to New Jersey this week, the Spurs were preparing as if both would be playing.
The Spurs will try to extend their winning streak to six games. They opened a four-game homestand with a 101-89 victory over Dallas last Friday, as Tim Duncan finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes while DeJuan Blair and Tony Parker each scored 18 points.
San Antonio's home winning streak is its longest since a 16-game run from December 11, 2004 to February 23, 2005, while their 40-game start is the best in franchise history and the best for any NBA team since Detroit went 35-5 to open the 2005-06 season.
The Nuggets may have their best chance to get a win against the Spurs after not being at full strength in the previous two meetings. Anthony missed a 109-103 loss December 22 following the death of his sister, while Billups was out with a wrist injury in a 113-112 defeat last December 16.
Denver comes in after closing a four-game homestand with blowout victories over Phoenix, Miami and Cleveland. Anthony had 12 points and nine rebounds in a 127-99 win over the Cavaliers last Saturday.
The Nuggets are 5-12 on the road but they've won three of their last four games at San Antonio including both visits last season.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Offense -- It will be key for Duncan to establish his inside game early to loosen up the pressure on the Spurs' outside shooters. Parker, Richard Jefferson and Ginobil has to keep attacking the basket and George Hill and Gary Neal will have to provide the spark from the Spurs' bench.
Defense -- Contain Anthony, Billups, J.R. Smith and Aaron Affalo on the offensive end, control the boards and keep up with the Nuggets' running game.
Offense -- They have seven players averaging in double figures and have a good mix of inside and outside game with Anthony, Harrington, Affalo, Nene, Martin, J.R. Smith and Billups.
Defense -- Defend the Spurs' drive and kick game, contain Duncan on the inside. Limit Ginobili, Parker and Jefferson's dribble penetrations and be wary of the Spurs' outside shooters.
Spurs -- James Anderson - stress fracture (out), Matt Bonner - knee (day-to-day)
Nuggets -- Ty Lawson - sprained left ankle (day-to-day), Chris Andersen - knee (day-to-day), Kenyon Martin - knee (game time decision).
PREDICTION: The Nuggets are on hot streak and are definitely thinking payback as they enter this game and will try their best to steal one in San Antonio.
However, the Spurs are playing some of their best basketball right now and are equally determined to extend their winning streak to six games. Expect another close game with the Spurs winning it, 111-108. Follow me on Twitter @RobbyLim21
• San Antonio Spurs' Matt Bonner will be out of action for tomorrow's game against the Denver Nuggets reports Express News' Tim Griffin:
Spurs forward Matt Bonner will miss Sunday’s game against Denver with a sore right knee.
Bonner injured the knee late in the second quarter of the Spurs’ 101-89 victory over Dallas. He scored six points on a pair of 3-pointers in 7:54 of playing time before the injury.
• What did Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich have to say about the win over Dallas? Let's find out:
• Aside from lunging into the seats at the AT&T Center in last night's Spurs-Mavericks game, when asked how many Spurs should be at the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, Antonio McDyess had a quick, succinct answer:
And when asked how many Spurs should be this time, McDyess didn't hesitate.
“Three,” he said, and everyone knows which three. (source Express News)
• However, as much as McDyess and the rest of Spurs fandom would like to see Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili start for the Western Conference All-Stars, it would appear this will not happen:
• Speaking of All-Stars, check out Duncan posterizing the Mavericks from last night's game:
• The Spurs' Baseline Bums get some recognition and were bringing the noise at last night's Spurs-Mavericks game:
They’re not the same raucous group that harassed game officials and visiting teams at HemisFair Arena for 20 years, but the Baseline Bums still make their presence known at Spurs home games.
The Bums were at the top of their game Friday night when the Spurs beat the short-handed Dallas Mavericks 101-89 at the AT&T Center, cheering on the Silver and Black from the opening tipoff to the final buzzer.
“Dallas is that team you love to hate,” said Dianna Pina, who is vice president of the Baseline Bums.
“Dallas is an arrogant team and the Spurs are more down to earth.” (source kens5.com)
• Air Alamo had some thoughts on the possible Carmelo Anthony trade and Tim Duncan.
• John Wallace's (former NBA player and Syracuse Orangemen) son, John Wallace Jr., is lighting up the court and picked up a move from Spurs' Ginobili:
Besides the dunk — which John Wallace called “nasty” and the best he’s ever had — John Jr. dusted off a sweet move he borrowed from Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs.
Both are left-handed guards and Wallace makes his son study how the gifted NBA star moves and sets up shots. John Jr. used a jab step to his left, drove to his right, pulled up and banked home a shot from the right side of the basket. (source blog.syracuse.com)
What? Another non-classy moment from Dallas Mavericks' Jason Terry during a Spurs game? I know shocking!
In case you missed it from last night's San Antonio Spurs-Mavericks game, Mavericks' guard Jason Terry decided to add to the list of reasons Spurs' fans do not like him with this cheap-shot to Manu Ginobili:
Clearly Terry lowers his shoulder and adds a bit more after the hit but you got to hand it to Ginobili. He could have lost his cool and said something to Terry but he just walked away.
Now I know Spurs fans want to weigh in on this new incident involving Terry and the Spurs. So what do you have to say Spurs fans?
The San Antonio Spurs caught a break, with Dirk Nowitzki still out with an injury, the Dallas Mavericks proved no match to the league leaders.
The Spurs built an early lead and routed the Mavericks 101-89.
Here are the numbers that stood out in this Spurs' latest win.
79.3- The Spurs had a huge advantage from the foul line making 23-29 (79.3%) free throws. The Mavericks made just 11-18 (61.1%) of their foul shots.
52 - San Antonio owned the boards, outrebounding the Mavericks 52-39. 46.2- The Mavericks shot the ball well from the 3-point area making 6-13 (46.2%) three-pointers. The Spurs connected on 6-16 (37.5%) from beyond the arc. 45 - San Antonio hit their shots from the field, they made 36-80 (45%) of their field goals. The Mavericks weren't bad either, making 36-83 (43.4%) field goal attempts. 18- Tony Parker set the tone on offense leading the Spurs with 18 points and six assists. DeJuan Blair had a great game, he registered a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
16 - Tim Duncan had another solid performance scoring 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal in just 24 minutes of action.
13 - J.J. Barea and Dominique Jones scored 13 points a piece from the Dallas bench. 6 - Matt Bonner scored six points in just eight minutes and was not able to play in the second half because of aggravating an injury. Antonio McDyess provided a boost from the Spurs' bench with six points and 10 boards. 0 - For the third straight game, Duncan did not commit a single turnover. Richard Jefferson had seven points and five rebounds and zero turnovers in 30 minutes of action.
Rookie Watch: Neal scored eight points, grabbed three boards and had two assists in 26 minutes. Tiago Splitter had one point, three rebounds and one assists in 15 minutes of playing time.
What's Next? The Spurs will host the Denver Nuggets at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on Sunday.
Ian Mahinmi will be playing with a little extra motivation tonight as he prepares to take on his former teammates, according to Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas.
The last time the Dallas Mavericks played in San Antonio they were down a center because Brendan Haywoodwas suspended. Tonight, the Mavs could be without under-the-weather Tyson Chandler. Either way, Ian Mahinmi said he's looking forward to seeing some minutes against his former team.
"I know tonight’s going to be minutes for me," the third-year French center said after the morning shootaround. "I’m going to prepare myself and I am looking forward to the game."
"I like playing here. It’s always good to come back against your former team," Mahinmi said. "You always want to have a good game. Last game I had a good game and we got out of here with a win so it was a great feeling to me."
With Dirk Nowitzki out and the possibility reduced minutes for an under-the-weather Tyson Chandler, Mahinmi should see some playing time tonight possibly playing some spot minutes defending Tim Duncan, who he guarded in Spurs practices for the last few years.
The San Antonio Spurs have been fortunate this season to not have any of their major players suffer an injury. The same cannot be said for the Dallas Mavericks. This season they have had to endure an injured Nowitzki and possibly lose Caron Butler for the rest of the season.
Although Nowitzki will be back with Dallas as soon as he recovers but how much does the possibility of losing Butler for the rest of the season hurt the Mavericks?
Check out how this injury shakes things up between the Spurs and Mavericks from our friend Jonathan Lee at Accuscore:
Dallas swingman Caron Butler underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season. The Mavs appear to have the depth to cover the loss with more minutes for J.J. Barea, Shawn Marion, DeShawn Stevenson, and perhaps rookie Dominique Jones.
Out for season
The simulations show that without Butler, Dallas is just 1.5 wins worse for the season. They also show the playoff odds and seeding unaffected for the Mavs. The biggest difference is in the odds for the Southwest division. Dallas loses nearly 11 percentage points which is due to the fact that the Spurs are now more likely to win in head-to-head match-ups and already hold a 6 game lead.
The San Antonio Spurs will face the Dallas Mavericks tonight who will be without their star Dirk Nowitzki. This will mark the second time the Mavericks face the Spurs without him. The Mavericks lost to the Spurs 99-93 in December without Nowitzki.
To make matters more difficult, the Mavericks will also be without Caron Butler who might be out for the season after undergoing knee surgery.
"I'm not answering any Dirk questions," Carlisle said after the loss. "We don't have Dirk, so it's not a topic that's worth discussion. We've got to win with the guys we have."
"Dirk increases his workouts every day, and signs are positive," he told the team's official website. "But it's very important that we focus on the guys that we have available at this time and make sure that he gets back absolutely 100 percent healthy." (source cbssports.com)
Currently, the Spurs (33-6) hold a six game lead over the Mavericks (26-11) in the Southwest division.
You can't go a week without seeing some sort of list ranking the best point guards in the NBA. It's an ongoing debate in the NBA. This is due to the high number of great point guards in the league that are not only competent but they are able to be the best player on a playoff team.
Everywhere you look someone has their version of the top five. Friends debate lists and writers put out their own lighting up forums with flame wars with fans defending their guys. But often San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker isn't mentioned in a top five point guard list.
It's rather curious to me that the most accomplished point guard in the NBA under 30 isn't frequently included on anyone's list and the bulk of the top five is under 30.
A three-time champion and former NBA Finals MVP, who just a couple of years ago led the NBA in points-in-the-paint, will garner a facial expression like you just pulled some ones hair if you put him in your top five. How is this possible?
Like a lot of stars who have been playing for a decade or more they are taken for granted. People kind of let them slide to the back of their mind. We all do it with athletes of every sport, and it's seemingly been done to Tony Parker now. They see a typical stat line of 20 points and seven assists and shrug it off because it's expected. People always want to see fresh, young, exciting talent full of promise. It stokes their imagination and wonder where this athlete could end up in his career and what great things could he accomplish. Thus is the business model of sports. Older consistent players are pushed aside for younger and more exciting players on the highlight reel. This is how those lists get warped. People fall victim to the marketing pushes of ESPN and flashy colors and it affects their judgement. Even seemingly intelligent writers fall victim to it.
This wasn't always the case with Tony Parker. Tony's name used to be on any list when talking about dynamic young players with loads of potential. Tony's tear-drop was one of the most talked about shot's in the NBA. Kids tried using it in playground games and people would add in comments when talking about him like ''Did you know his dad is American but played pro ball in Europe?'' to let everyone know they knew some obscure fact about this rising star.
His coming out party was really in the 2003 NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets. He showed the world how good he was matching up against Jason Kidd at his absolute apex and outplaying him in game three so clearly that at the post-game presser a reporter asked Kidd if Parker was better than him. This was All-NBA Defensive team and best point guard in the world Jason Kidd! The buzz couldn't have been louder for a young, promising player.
Tony's star has dimmed a bit in recent years. With the Spurs recent lack of playoff success and his injury plagued season last year. His nasty divorce with Eva Longoria isn't helping him garner any top point guard mentions either. A basketball player is ill equipped to handle these types of star divorces as Longoria has all the PR people and industry connections to get out in front of the story and capitalize on it. She can literally dictate the story, and has. This can make someone look like a villain and probably has made him one in some people's eyes. I'm sure this has influenced some writers opinion of Tony Parker the player whether consciously or unconsciously.
When I look around the league I only see six point guards who could run a championship team: Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Deron Williams , Chauncey Billups, Steve Nash and Tony Parker, but not necessarily in that order.
That's the list. Everyone else is either too inexperienced or too old. Until Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose win a playoff series or have such outstanding regular seasons, they have to be mentioned in such lofty company then they shouldn't be mentioned. Tony Parker is objectively one of the top six point guards in the league.
He is the second scoring option on the leagues best team among other accomplishments. The reasons for him to be left off any list may have more to do with intellectual laziness and spite than any real basketball analysis. Let's hope the masses come to their senses and include this potential Hall of Famer in the best point guard discussion.