Preview and Chat: San Antonio Spurs

Gatinho —  January 28, 2007

Last 5 games: 4-1
Spurs Point differential: +6.8
Vegas: Lakers +3

Similar problems, Different expectations: The Spurs are suffering from the same inability to play well without their backs being against the wall. That’s a bad habit and a hard one to break. The Spurs and their fan base continue to be concerned with the team’s age and lack of depth. Will they be able to wrestle a top seed away from the Mavericks or have a better record than the Suns? In San Antonio, the only suitable outcome of a season ends in a parade.

Look for Duncan to work at establishing his jump shot early to free himself up in the paint later in the game. He was introduced to Andrew Bynum’s shot blocking ability in the last meeting, so watch as he looks to get Socks (not so sure about this nickname) into foul trouble.

The Lakers: Losing to Stinkers for a Decade: Not exactly a slogan for a T-shirt, but an undeniable fact. The Magic Lakers did it, The Kobe-Shaq Lakers did it. And now this.

Dealing with Rejection: In the current SI issue, Chris Ballard discusses the intaginble, unteachable artistry and aptitude that is the shot block. Unforgivably, he relegates young Andrew Bynum to one sentence, even though he is averaging 1.6 on the season and 2.8 in January, including 6 against the Nuggets and 7 last night in the loss.

Dikembe Mutombo, Rockets 5%
Andrew Bynum, Lakers 6%

Ballard aslo coins a new verb to replace the archaic “posterized”. Usage example: Last time the Lakers played the Spurs, Kobe “Youtubed” Tim Duncan twice.

Be Watching When: is the name of the campaign for the NBA on ABC. Kelly Dwyer sitting in for Henry at True Hoop, a personal fave on the blog roll, offers some advice on suffering through ABC’s Sunday NBA telecasts and links to articles chronicling its ratings decline. How much of that can be blamed on ABC’s production? My take: I guarantee at least one play (basket, foul, turnover) will not be seen because we are being shown another boring pre-recorded telling-us-something-we-already-knew athlete interview.

In Football it’s a Yellow Card: No, not that football, soccer. The flop, a move unmistakably connected in history to the Lakers. Magic taught Vlade how to do it, and he ended up using his powers for evil while donning a Kings’ uniform. But a technical for it? It is a deliberate attempt at deceiving the ref and shouldn’t that be punished?

Youtube find of the week: You didn’t know Mike Dunleavy was a part of the NBA’s new super slo-mo ad campaign? One involves old friend Ty Lue manhandling him, the other involves him throwing a tantrum and his jersey into the stands. Thanks to GSoM commenter and friend Jaynubs for the heads up.

On the Shoulder’s of Giants: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has penned a book about growing up in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. Jazz and basketball have been relentlessly and metaphorically linked and Kareem, his love of Jazz history, and his heritage should deliver unique insights into both.

Update: Luke Walton’s sprain is “moderate”. Expect him to return halfway through the upcoming 8 game road trip. Radmanovic gets his first DNP-CD.




to Preview and Chat: San Antonio Spurs

  1. chris henderson January 28, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve been noticing lately that Kobe has this thendency to dribble into double teams and gets the ball taken away, and this is especially true out by the perimeter, so it results in an easy layup for the other team.
    this was at it’s worse in our last game against the bobcats, and we all read about 9 turnovers for kobe and 6 for lamar, (for LO, it’s more forgivable due to it being his first game back)..
    but today, TO’s like that are going to kill us.
    you know the Spurs have seen this on films, and with Bowen and Parker, they can collapse on kobe and really take advantage of this.
    i’m also sure our coaches have pointed this out to kobe and the rest of the team.
    watching the first game on ABC today, I am seeing that PHX is very aware NOT to make silly TO’s, they take care of the ball, and…well, their record speaks for itself.
    we’ve got to limit the TO’s!


  2. The only thing more aggravating than ABC’s crane camera was the end of this game. Both in the 4th and OT, the Lakers had this in the bag. Especially in OT after those back-to-back dunks. Credit SA for never giving up, but the Lakers should have had this one.


  3. Rob L., I agree — the Lakers had this one. They even “held” the Spurs to 34% shooting (old-style stat)! But giving up 16 ORebs and missing 13 FTs throughout the course of the game is what really did them in. 2/3 from the Spurs for the season ain’t bad, though.

    It’s too bad we don’t feast on the least like Phoenix does, since our schedule for the next month — while road heavy — has the team playing New York (twice), Boston (twice), Indiana, Atlanta, Toronto, Portland, and Golden State. Too bad we can’t just put those down in the books as a W. I suppose that’s why they play the games …


  4. Is it just me or were we playing the NBA equivilent of “prevent defense?” Which, as we all joke about, only prevents winning.

    We lack a killer instinct. We had a big lead, thought it was over, and were just waiting for the clock to run out. Well, few opposing teams will just lay down and die. We need to pour it on until the final buzzer, or suffer more defeats like this.

    Still, I trust in Phil. We could have swept SA this year. If we play them in the first round of the playoffs, which it appears we might, I feel good about getting the the second round.


  5. On the bright side, Kobe Bryant seems like he is a pretty good player.

    But man, our defense down the stretch these past two weeks has been abysmal. 4-6 in our last 10 games and losing 4 out of 5 is quite alarming. Guess a young team has to go through a few growing pains. This 8 game trip has just gotten a lot more important in regards to the standings. No growing pains on this trip, we have to step-up and play together on both ends of the floor.


  6. cant be too sad i mean it was the Spurs and you know they are kinda good. we played well.


  7. Rebounding. It’s killing us.

    Defense means nothing if you force the opponent into taking a tough shot, and THEN YOU DONT GET THE REBOUND.

    It’s only good defense when you get the rebound.


  8. Offensive rebounds and missed free throws.


  9. Just read this post and as a Brit living in the States, I have to wonder that Magic taught Vlade how to flop. Footballers do not need any help falling over. Yeah, Magic, in his wisdom, probably gave Vlade some encouragement and tips, but flopping has been going on for a long time in football, at least the 25 years that I’ve been watching. It’s catching on a bit more in the NBA as non-Americans play more in the NBA, but flopping is very common in football from a young age and you learn the benefit of it from a young age. Anyway, it’s not unusual.


  10. I should have clarified that is more the dramatic aspect of flopping that Magic is known for teaching. I agree though, flopping is not anything new, but it has become a more ingrained part of the NBA more recently than soccer.


  11. The spurs are the cheapest team in the nba! There is nothing else to say unless your blind. Im at