On Tap: The San Antonio Spurs

Kurt —  January 17, 2007

Don’t Sleep on the Spurs. There seems to be a lot of taking the Spurs for granted this season (and in the comments on this site), but that would be foolish.

They have the second best point differential in the league (nearly tied with Phoenix). They have the fifth-rated offense in the league with 110.8 points per 100 possessions, which is noticeably better at that end of the floor than last season (107.5). Their defense is third best in the league at 101.5 (points per 100 opponent possessions), which is just slightly off last season’s league leading 99.5.

Oh, and they still have that Tim Duncan guy. And Tony Parker. And Manu.

That said…. When these two met last month the Lakers won. It was also one of the Lakers better defensive efforts of the season.

The game was close but the Lakers took charge late in the third quarter with a 22-3 run, one that not-so-coincidentally started when Tim Duncan went to the bench in favor of Francisco Elson (bad news for the Lakers, Elson is out with a bum shoulder). The other Spur the Lakers took it right at on offense was the aged and slowed Robert Horry (-22 for the game). The Lakers got good play all around — as a team they shot 53.4% (eFG%) against the good Spurs “D.” Kobe led the way with 34 points and shot 60%.

The Lakers dominated the pain that night, outscoring the Spurs in it 62-38.

Guys the Lakers miss tonight. Lamar Odom had 18 points, 11 rebounds and made key defensive plays in the last meeting of these two.

By the way, the Lakers are 11-7 since he went down. Not bad at all.

Big night for Tony Parker? From the very good Spurs blog Pounding the Rock:

Look for Parker to have a big game. He got schooled by Kirk Hinrich on Wednesday and got benched multiple times. Here’s what Pop had to say after the game:

Asked what the home team did to control the focal point of the offense, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich answered, “Not a damn thing.

“It would have made more sense if he was hurt,” the Spurs boss added. “He is fine (physically). Which is not the way he played, if you catch my drift.”

Yes, Pop. Your subtlety is not lost on us… Parker sucked the donkey balls.

By the way. From Marc Stein at ESPN:

The Golden State Warriors have agreed to trade Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod to the Indiana Pacers for Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell.

Things to look for: With San Antonio you not only have to defend the paint (with Duncan and the slashing Tony Parker) but also the three-point line. They’ve got guys who can knock it down — Parker is shooting 47.8% from beyond the arc, Ginobili 42.6%, Barry 48%, and Bruce Bowen 46.7% (and he loves the corner shot).

How well do the Lakers play defense tonight? It’s a key every night but you know the Spurs will bring it. If the Lakers play D like they did against the Heat it’s going to be a long night.

Kurt

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37 responses to On Tap: The San Antonio Spurs

  1. Bonner is also out forcing Pop to “go small” out of neccesity.

    From mysa.com:

    “It puts a lot of pressure on Robert (Horry) and Fab, both minutes-wise and production-wise,” Popovich said. “We were really torn between going small and trying to squeeze it out of the bigs. So we’re kind of in a flux situation because we haven’t worked very much with a small lineup.

    “We’re in a little bit of a different mode right now, trying to retool.”

  2. Bad trade for the Pacers. Harrington looked inspired this season in his second stint with the Pacers… and they basically sent 3 players from their rotation to G.S. for Murphy and Dunleavy. Who wants those guys? They both get paid a lot of money and do nothing on the court. Diogu makes sense, he’s kinda like a Turiaf type player, but come on. They must have been desperate to get Stephen Jackson off their team, and I can’t blame them. Both teams are still gonna suck!

  3. I just heard on the radio that the Lakers can’t fly to Dallas after the game tonight because their plane has ice on the wings. So they are gonna have to take a 4-6 hour bus ride to Dallas tomorrow morning before they play the Mavs tomorrow night. Ouch! That doesn’t help our chances of winning both of these games. We really need to win tonight, but we can’t get too disappointed if we lose. I mean, they are the Spurs.

  4. Hey guys, what the hell is this all about?
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2733976

  5. If the report is true… are we happy that our players are hanging out off the court and “bonding” or are we disappointed that they’re out in Hermosa Beach acting like high schoolers?

  6. I don’t worry about what the players do after games, their grown-men, all professionals enjoy a beverage after work, athletes are no different. That being said, visualizing Kwame throwing a cake at someone is hilarious.

    Tonite, we need Baby-Bynum to play big, he’s got to be careful of early foul-trouble, it would be great if we had an inside threat to make Duncan work on Defense. Also, the Parker v. Parker match-up is crucial

    As for that trade, I hear its to set up Dunleavy Jr. to the Clips for Maggette, if so, Indy is solid with Granger and Maggette and Diogu to put around JO.

  7. I heard Baylor say this morning he would never unite Jr and sr Dunleavy, and he sounded serious

  8. Woot! Lakers win 100-96.

  9. great win tonight! Two things really stood out as positives to me: (1) in the 4th, the other 4 Lakers on the court weren’t looking for Kobe to save them. They all continued to play their roles. (2) No one got too high or too low. When Turiaf hit the bank shot to go up 5, no one celebrated, they just carried on with business. Very mature, for a young team or a veteran team.

    Nice. We can not only play with anyone, we can be better than anyone.

  10. I don’t think I’ve yelled as loud at home this season as when Turiaf went right at Duncan with the game on the line and five seconds to go — and he hits the running bank.

    I keep saying it and I’m running out of ways, I have so much fun watching this team.

  11. Yeah that Turiaf shot was huge. You gotta love a guy who’s played exactly one year in the league (Ireland mentioned that it was one year today) that has the cajones to take it right at Timmy with the shot clock running down and less than 10 seconds left in a close game.

  12. I’m having a hard time with the Kwame / Cake incident. What makes me think it’s true is how it was reported that Lamar’s bodyguards went after the guy that Kwame threw the cake at and Lamar told them to stop because he didn’t do anything. If it’s true it sounds like a truly immature and disrespectful thing to do and I really question someone’s mental state of mind. If it was MY birthday and I’m leaving a club, get a picture taken with Ronny, and then have Kwame take my $200 birthday cake and throw it one me , I’d be seriously pissed. I’ll bet it wouldn’t be funny if it was you or a member of your family that it happened too. It just makes me question Kwame’s maturity.

  13. (12) Riding on that Kwame bashing wave: does anyone else get the distinct feeling that the team is better off without Kwame. Yes he has improved from last season….

    BUT consider how well the offense has been running the last few weeks. Is it really a coincidence that this started (from what I’ve seen) at the exact time that Kwame went down? Is it really a surprise that removing a clumsy, concrete-handed, mentally challenged player from the floor would lead to a more efficient offense production?

    I mean, he’s not even a good rebounder! Yes, his one on one D is very solid, but I don’t think that’s enough to warrant his minutes considering all his other detractions.

    he was cute to have around last year, but NOW? Now he’s just jamming up the cogs of a finely oiled machine.

    BENCH KWAME!

  14. Against a name athlete the DA wouldn’t press charges. Ummm! Sounds like there may be a few things we haven’t heard. I suggest we all keep our shirts on and wait for this ‘cake thing’ to play out. No more comments necessary until all the facts are known.

    Besides, there is another bball game to follow.

    Go Lakers!!!

  15. I can’t believe we are all collectively referring to some Laker-related event as ‘The Cake Incident’

  16. I just wish that instead of Chocolate it had been angel-food. Then we could have been referring to it as the yellow cake incident.

  17. Correct me if I am wrong, don’t the Lakers only play SA three times this year thus taking the season series and the tiebreaker with tonight’s win.

  18. Yes, the lakers win the series, they play them once more at staples.

    Honestly, who csres about the cake incident? Everyone does dumb stuff now and then, but Kwame is a professional athlete so there is some incentive to lie if say, Kwame had been drinking and accidentally bumped into him and the cake fell. In which situation can you get money, an alleged assault, or an accidental encounter? We don’t know, it doesn’t matter. Kwame has been mature and responsible on the court so there seems to be no immediate reason to be concerned.

    In addition, this Kwame bagging is dumb. He contributes, just because we have been able to win without him doesn’t mean we are better off. The lakers are 3-0 without Kobe this year, so are they better off without him? And we are doing pretty well without Odom too. Players are stepping up, which is good, but Kwame is a strong solid defender and inside presence, and that is something any team could use.

  19. Tony B, you are quite correct. We even have a good chance to sweep the series because the next game on the 28th is at staples.

  20. I just wish kobe could pick up his PER.

  21. to be fair to kwame, the cake probably just slipped from his tiny granite hands…

  22. 20 that was funny!!

  23. Radman made some nice 3s last night…

    Made it look so easy, even a cave-man could do it.

  24. 23 – Somewhere, Chris Kaman just threw a basketball down in disgust and walked off the court after hearing that.

  25. Have there been any rumors about what’s going to happen with Chris Mihm?

  26. I was ready for ginoble to just go nuts and and win the game for the Spurs in the 4th. For them to fend off that late push and not relinquish the lead was most excellent.

  27. “Well I’m not braggin babe so don’t put me down
    But we’ve got the bestest set of guys in town
    When teams comes up to us they dont even try
    if we had a set of wings man we could even fly
    it’s our Laker troop–

    They don’t know what we got”

    Apologies to Brian Wilson

  28. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerranking

    Magic, Bulls, and Cavs all above the Lakers? I don’t get it…

  29. This guy is being treated like a god. Like he gets something about basketball that others don’t. And he won’t vote for Kobe for MVP because if how Kobe “forced” Shaq out of town. (I feel I have to bad mouth him everytime he’s mentioned.)

    That said, the reason the Lakers are so low is because of how many bad teams they’ve lost to. Recalculate the ratings with the Lakers beating NOK, MEM, etc. and they’ll be higher. The Lakers are a bit of a special case, I think.

  30. Oh and the Raptors above the Jazz… you’d think Hollinger would tweak his formula after that.

  31. or the magic over the lakers, who they have beaten… twice.

  32. Don’t worry about any of that junk. All I know is that the Lake show has 7 of their wins against the Spurs, Mavs, Rockets, Suns, & Jazz. How does he like dem apples?

  33. I just can’t believe that guys like Hollinger can get paid to do what they do. What a joke.

  34. He is well aware of the limitations of the system. If you were too read his explanation he covers these things. It is also worth noting that the system weights recent performance higher than earlier performance, hence the high spot for the raptors who have been doing very well lately.

    Also the system takes into account strength of schedule so losing cupcake games NOK and MEM like Jason said are very detrimental.

    Also point differential is well corralated with with later success, numerous statisticians claim this not just Hollinger, so don’t be so quick as to dismiss something just because it doesn’t completely agree with everything you believe.

  35. who really cares about some whacko power ranking system that puts the Spurs at #3 the day after we beat them at home. Show me the real power rankings that say who the best teams in the league are right now. Hollinger, quit wasting your time and do something useful

  36. Winning and losing isn’t truly counted in Hollinger’s system. The Strength-of-Schedule score only has to do with who you played, not what the outcome was. The only ways wins and losses are factored in is indirectly through scoring margin. If anything, losing to a sub-.500 team actually boosts your score in SOS since it increases the winning percentage of said crappy team. Each team’s own raw W-L record is a non-factor in his ranking.

  37. “It is also worth noting that the system weights recent performance higher than earlier performance, hence the high spot for the raptors who have been doing very well lately.”

    Even in that case we are better than the aformentioned two teams ahead of us.