SAN ANTONIO SPURS (49-10) vs. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (33-28)
Manu Ginobili 18.2
Tim Duncan 9.2
Tony Parker 6.6
Zach Randolph 20.2
Zach Randolph 13.1
Mike Conley 6.5
The San Antonio Spurs tied a franchise record 21 straight home wins by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 95-88 last Sunday. Both teams will face again tonight at the FedEx Forum as the Spurs (49-10) tries to equal their win total from last season and extend their current winning streak to four games.
The Grizzlies (33-28) will definitely be a tougher team playing on their home floor where they are 20-8 this season.
Tony Parker will be out for this game because of a calf injury he suffered on Sunday. That means George Hill will likely be the Spurs' starting point guard until Parker returns and Manu Ginobili might play extra minutes with the backcourt being short-handed.
The Grizzlies are still in 8th place in the Western Conference just half a game over the Phoenix Suns.
Hit the jump for the keys of the game and find out which team will win this matchup.
• Does the injury to San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker lead to the possibility of the Dallas Mavericks catching the Spurs for the best record in the NBA?
Does it crack open the door for the Dallas Mavericks (43-16), who despite winning six in a row and 15 of 16 remain six games behind San Antonio (49-10), to make a run at the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference?
Dallas has 23 games left starting Tuesday night at the vastly improved Philadelphia 76ers, who have moved above .500 at 30-29 and have won four in a row. (espn.com)
• Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili talk about the scoring drought in last night's win against the Memphis Grizzlies:
• With all the talk about small markets thriving against larger markets such as New York, in any new CBA, the Spurs are seen as the exception:
Now, there are exceptions to the rule in the NBA. The San Antonio Spurs play in a smaller market and currently have the league's best record. That's because they've drafted brilliantly -- not just Tim Duncan as the no-brainer No. 1 choice, but Tony Parker (28th pick, one pick after Jamaal Tinsley), Manu Ginobili (57th pick), DeJuan Blair (37th) and George Hill (26th). Brilliant management and talent evaluation can overcome a middling (13th) payroll. (indystar.com)
• Spurs' Tim Duncan and David Robinson weighed in on the small versus big market cities in the NBA:
“I always thought it was special to be in one place and you could put together a team, especially in a small market like San Antonio’s,” said Hall of Fame center David Robinson, who won two championships and spent his entire 14-season career with the San Antonio Spurs. “But it’s real tough because the small-market teams don’t have the money to do what a New York can do and the Lakers can do. It’s going to be hard for a lot of small-market teams.”
“The big teams getting the best players might be what [people] want to see. It might be the biggest draw,” conceded Spurs forward Tim Duncan. “But obviously, if the league wants to stay competitive all-around, that makes room for much better games on a nightly basis.” (sports.yahoo.com)
Hit the jump to read about how to score some free Spurs tickets, a Spurs caption contest, more from the Spurs win over the Grizzlies and more.
On this episode of the Spurscast, Jeff and I reviewed a very light week for the San Antonio Spurs, which included home games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Jersey Nets. We recapped the games and discussed some positives and negatives. Among the positives was Gary Neal's hot streak lately, and among the negatives, aside from the injuries, was Richard Jefferson's recent slump.
In the scond half of the show, our topic of the week centered around the trade deadline and the Spurs standing pat with the roster they had and not making any moves whatsoever. Jeff and I debated and discussed whether or not this was a good idea considering some of the teams in the West improving, and the Thunder particularly, looking to be primed to make a deep playoff run with their latest acquisitions.
Make sure to leave us your thoughts and comments on the topic so we can read them next week.
The Spurscast. The original Spurs podcast.
It appears the San Antonio Spurs will be without the services of their starting point guard for the next few weeks.
Tony Parker was diagnosed with a strained left soleus after undergoing an MRI earlier today and is expected to be out of the lineup for two to four weeks.
He will not be joining the Spurs on their road games in Memphis and Cleveland.
The soleus is one of the muscles in the calf, which Parker strained in last night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With Parker out, George Hill will likely be inserted into the starting lineup. Manu Ginobili might see some extra time at the point and Chris Quinn could see an increase in minutes.
I also wouldn't be too surprised if the Spurs signed a player to a 10-day contract as extra insurance.
Curtis Stinson of the Iowa Energy is considered one of the best point guards in the D-League and could be a candidate for a call-up along with former Spurs guard Antonio Daniels, who plays for the Texas Legends.
With the flurry of trades made in the NBA last week, and in particular in the Western Conference, how does it affect the San Antonio Spurs who pretty much stood pat?
Our good friend Jon Lee of Accuscore sent us this breakdown of the Western Conference teams win-loss projections and playoff probabilities after the trade deadline and as you can see, not much has changed.
The Oklahoma City Thunder made a great trade to acquire Kendrick Perkins from the Boston Celtics and former Spur Nazr Mohammed from the Charlotte Bobcats to shore up their middle.
Here is what Accuscore had to say about the Thunder's moves and how it affects the Spurs:
Oklahoma City only improved its per game winning percentage slightly at 1.3 percent, but the full benefit of picking up two centers in Perkins and Mohammed will be more evident in the playoffs agaisnt teams like the Spurs, Lakers and Mavericks. The Thunder have long coveted a defensive center, and now have the size to deal with the Lakers and Spurs in the West.
What about the trade the Memphis Grizzlies, who might face the Spurs in the opening round of the playoffs, made to acquire Shane Battier?
Shane Battier is not projected for big numbers with Memphis, but the Grizzlies did improve their playoff chances the most at +8.8 percent.
Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 35 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs (49-10) to a 95-88 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies (33-28) that extended the team’s franchise-record to 21 consecutive home wins.
Tony Parker sustained a left thigh contusion when he collided with Memphis guard Mike Conley with 3:25 left in the second quarter. Parker didn't return in the second half, and will be examined on Monday. His status is day-to-day.
It's now time to checkout the numbers that stood out in this Spurs' win.
89.5 - The Grizzlies shot well from the foul line, making 17-of-19 (89.5%) of their free throw attempts. However, the Spurs had a huge advantage on free throw attempts and did a decent job at it, making 26-of-33 (78.8%) shots from the foul line.
48 - Memphis dominated the inside battle, outscoring the Spurs 48-26 on inside points.
46.2 - The Spurs shot fairly well, connecting on 30-of-65 (46.2%) attempts from the floor while holding the Grizzlies to just 33-of-88 (37.5%) shooting from the field.
45.5 - The Grizzlies made their shots from beyond the arc, hitting 5-of-11 (45.5%) from the three point line. The Spurs weren't that bad, connecting on 9-of-21 (42.9%) attempts from behind the arc.
41 - Memphis edged the Spurs in the rebounding department 41-40.
• Our very own Mike De Leon did a mid-season Q&A with our fellow NBA Bloguin Blogger Sean Francois of Hoops Head North. Here is an excerpt and click HERE to read the full Q&A:
Hoop Heads North: Even though the Spurs have the leagues best record, do you feel like they're the underdog and are seemingly flying under the radar?
Michael De Leon (Project Spurs): I don't think they are flying under the radar anymore, but they certainly are not getting the respect they deserve. However, if you ask any Spurs player, they wouldn't have it any other way. Respect is earned in the postseason.
HHN: In one of your recent posts, you linked to a quote of Kobe's where he stated that he believes the Celtics are the Lakers biggest threat. Do you agree or disagree?
• Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had glowing remarks about Gary Neal after the win against the Oklahoma City Thunder:
"Gary Neal was super because he also assisted for three, four layups in between making shots," Popovich said. "He had a great, great run and played a complete game in that regard." (commercialappeal.com)
• With all the player movement and players demanding trades, The National reminds Spurs fans how rare a player Tim Duncan is for San Antonio:
Whether next it is Chris Paul wanting to move to New York or Dwight Howard eying Los Angeles, the rich franchises intend to stay fat and happy, while the smaller markets struggle. Rare is a player such as Tim Duncan, happy to spend his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs.
• Forbes.com reminded Spurs fans that it's the Los Angeles Lakers who have more NBA titles:
In basketball, the Houston Rockets won two titles when Chicago Bull legend Michael Jordan unexpectedly took two years off, the San Antonio Spurs are a model of championship consistency, but combined they’ll never measure up to the Lakers’ myriad titles over numerous decades.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (48-10) vs. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (33-27)
Manu Ginobili 17.9
Tim Duncan 9.2
Tony Parker 6.7
Zach Randolph 20.1
Zach Randolph 13.1
Mike Conley 6.6
The San Antonio Spurs looks for a franchise record 21 straight home win tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies at the AT&T Center. The Spurs (48-10) are coming off a 106-96 victory over the New Jersey Nets last Friday.
Manu Ginobili had 26 points and George Hill pumped in 19 points off the bench in the team's latest win. San Antonio's 20th consecutive win at the AT&T Center tied their best home win streak established by the 1989-1990 team.
The Grizzlies (33-27) are again without Rudy Gay, who will miss at least another three weeks due to a dislocated shoulder, and his absence made the team acquire Shane Battier from Houston at the trade deadline.
Battier played on Saturday against the Sacramento Kings and scored three points, but it was Memphis' big men who sealed the win. Zach Randolph had 23 points, Marc Gasol had 21 and seldom used Hamed Haddad had his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 120-92 rout. The Grizzlies are averaging a league-best 50.3 points in the paint and scored 78 inside points against the Kings.
Combined with Utah's loss, Memphis moved into the Western Conference's No. 8 slot, potentially setting up a first-round matchup with the Spurs.
San Antonio won their first meeting against the Grizzlies this season 112-106 in overtime.
Hit the jump for the keys of the game and find out which team will win this matchup.
• Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson says chemistry is key to the San Antonio Spurs as well as the Mavericks:
While trades swirled all around them, the West's top three teams -- Spurs, Lakers and Mavericks -- stayed as is.
"I think it's a sign that chemistry is really important, and I know that San Antonio feels like that as well," Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "When you got it, don't mess with it." (startribune.com)
• Ipcexpress.com says the Spurs are set to make a run at the NBA title:
San Antonio also presents one of the most well rounded line-ups in the league. As of the All-Star Break the Spurs are currently sixth in the league in points per game, but also fifth in the league in assists and fourth in field goal percentage. Spurs guards Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are averaging over 17 points while Spurs forwards Tim Duncan and Richard Jefferson are both averaging over 12 points. Their bench is solid as well, with players like Antonio McDyess playing solid defense, helping the Spurs hold their opponents to 96 points per game.
All in all, the Spurs are set to make an epic title run.
• Express News' Tim Griffin talks about Manu Ginobili's big scoring game versus the New Jersey Nets.
• Former Spurs Assistant GM and current Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti talks about Thunder's newst player and former Spur Nazr Mohammad when they both were in San Antonio:
Presti knows that firsthand because he crossed paths with Mohammed in San Antonio. He remembers being in Detroit for a Christmas game and going to the hotel fitness center.
“And Nazr had already beat me there,” Presti said. “And he was lathered up pretty good.”
The Spurs weren't practicing that day and were giving the guys a day off.
“But he knew that (working out) was important for him to be ready the next day,” Presti said. (newsok.com)
• By now all Spurs fans have heard the song dedicated to the Spurs titled "Black and Silver" and Spurs' Gary Neal and George Hill like the song:
"I think it's a good song," said Spur Gary Neal.
George Hill said he could have got in the booth with the music makers to lay down a couple of tracks.
"Hopefully, me and DB (DeJuan Blair) are going to do a remix," Hill said. "So, be on the lookout." (kens5.com)