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Boring? Yeah, because winning is boring

I thought we could all use a pick-me-up after a tough home loss and, at the risk of overdoing the 'Spurs are boring' meme, decided to post some thoughts about it.

The anti-Pop approach

Coach Pop is now famous for using the regular season for developing deep benches. But it wasn't always so in his pre-Kawhi, pre-Spurs 2.0, pre-limutes-for-your-vets days... many of us here would complain that he wasn't playing/developing young players enough (Mahinmi, Udrih, Anderson, etc.) and that those players would get frustrated and wind up on other teams. But I can't ever remember Pop shortening his rotation to eight players before the playoffs... much less by January. Yet, Randy Wittman, the Wizard's coach, has done exactly that! Ready why at Bullets Forever (an unfortunate choice for the name of a blog imho).

Hoosier hysteria

Great piece about an Indiana Pacer team that I fear respect more than Miami, should the Spurs again be the best of the West this post-season.

Nice breakdown of two key ATO plays by the Spurs in Memphis

The main article is pretty good too, but I'm posting this for the analysis of the two key after-timeout plays drawn up by Pop to help the Spurs overcome the grit and grind Grizzlies.

A nice SBNation piece by Ziller on chaos, sabermetrics, and the non-existence of clutch

...though it really does, in the form of one Manu Ginóbili. And Tim Duncan sometimes. Or Tony Parker. And even Danny Green. :)


What is *really* sexy?

I wrote most of the following this FP as a comment to neilnoonan's FP which portrayed the Thunder as the "new, sexy girl" and the Spurs as an "old, reliable friend." The premise irritated me a bit,...

Was the fix in?

Though the sale of the Hornets to the new owner is all but finalized, the NBA was still the owner of the Hornets at the time of the 2012 lottery. So that begs the question... was the fix in? lol

Hee! Manu said "regression to the mean"

I've read before that Manu's a bit of a technology and math geek, but I was excited to hear him say this and his expression: "Percentages tend to stabilize." (Yeah, I'm a geek too.) It's around the 6:12 mark if you don't want to listen to his entire post-practice interview on Monday. It's worth listening to the whole thing if you have the time... he talks about Pop using "different words" and acknowledges that "nasty" may have been mild in comparison to what slipped out in public. Hilarious. When asked about their current winning streak: "We really don't care. We are close... seven games away to accomplishing something way bigger than a streak.... We always think about next game, how tough it's gonna be, the things we're going to have to do to beat them, and the things we have to improve." Manu also gives props to Harden, calling his 6th Man award this year 'well deserved.'

Durant may still be looking for the ball -- and his shorts -- after this gorgeous Manu...

Durant may still be looking for the ball -- and his shorts -- after this gorgeous Manu ball-fake. Why did it happen? Well, Durant's man, Stephen Jackson, was waiting in the corner and hit that big top-of-the-key three moments before. Durant got caught paying too much attention to Manu on that play and probably didn't want to risk giving up another trey. Wily Manu, of course, expected that. That's BBIQ! Edit: I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that this was one of the plays I watched repeatedly in slo-mo and thought that TD might be called for setting a moving screen on Sefolosha (who was guarding Ginóbili). At full speed, it really doesn't look that way... Duncan's feet are set at the moment of contact. Besides, it could be argued that Timmy accidently bumped into Thabo because of that little push in the back that Perkins gave him. :)

I have some disagreements with this flowchart (esp. w.r.t. the Spurs), but it's pretty funny...


I have some disagreements with this flowchart (esp. w.r.t. the Spurs), but it's pretty funny nonetheless. Source: When Will My Team Win an NBA Title?

Spurs Need Ginóbili to Have a Shot

Interesting perspective, given the recent "When Will Manu Be Manu This Postseason?" FanPost. I don't believe that Manu needs to score a ton of points this series, given all the offensive firepower available to the Spurs. On offense, I expect him to be the ball-handler and facilitator; on defense, the Spurs need him to make Harden's life difficult. Manu is capable of being a difference-maker regardless of the number of points he puts up in a game, and I have no doubt that he'll continue to do all the 'little things' to help his team win.

Grind Hard

Missed this great piece last weekend when the Spurs won, improbably, Game 3 vs. the Clippers. And alas, it has nothing to do with lap dances.

Watching ton of video of SAS vs OKC reminds me that, sometimes, League Pass isn't the greatest...

Watching ton of video of SAS vs OKC reminds me that, sometimes, League Pass isn't the greatest thing.

-- Zach Lowe @ SI I thought originally that Zach was making a negative comment about team-oriented, 'beautiful' basketball. But he clarified later that his complaint is about the Spurs and Thunder announcers. I guess he's not as enamored of Sean Elliot as I am.... and imho, Clippers announcers are among the worst as far as banality and homerism are concerned.

The Spurs may want to give Chris Kaman another look

Not because I particularly like his game, or that it fits the Spurs' style of play. Why then, do you ask? Because the guy is building a freakin' full-scale trébuchet... a kind of catapult used in the Middle Ages. That alone gives him something to bond with, with three Very Important Spurs: 1) Pop (the military history angle) 2) TD (Dungeons & Dragons) 3) TP (the French connection) ...not to mention it ties in with our long-distance shooters.

Misleading Headline? "Parker says Westbrook hasn't faced PG like him yet"

I read the entire article twice, and don't think TP issued that kind of direct challenge exactly... and the writer did say explicitly that he wasn't trash talking. TP did say: ''We're definitely going to go at him. It's not going to be like Dallas or the Lakers,'' Parker said Wednesday, referring to the first two teams the Oklahoma City Thunder demolished in the playoffs. ''Their point guards are not as aggressive. It's going to be a little bit different. We're going to go at him.'' ------ My impression is that TP is saying that it'll be different for Westbrook to face the Spurs, not just him personally. And I'm thinking that the writer is making the all-too-common mistake of thinking of the game in terms of individual mano-a-mano contests instead of team-vs-team ones. In other words, it would be more accurate if the title was "Parker say Westbrook hasn't faced a team like the Spurs yet." What do you think?

The Onion: Tony Parker - Strong-side/Weak-side

A little disappointing from the otherwise funny Onion... they drag up all the tired "French" tropes.

Hibbert is a BEAST... and yet another reason to love Timmeh

Hibbert is a player I'd love to see wearing the Silver and Black, but I think it's probably unrealistic at this point... I don't see Larry Bird letting him get away if at all possible. But what I really love is TD's generosity in sharing some of his advice about life with the young man.

And now for something completely different... Manu is a software geek?!

More proof that the Spurs are a thinking man's (or woman's) team, I suppose.

Spurs avoid THIGAFONI, start playoffs on Sunday

The NBA scheduling geniuses were kind and gave the Silver and Black an extra day of rest before the playoffs start for them. Then again, it seems only fair, given that they had them play a BABA to end the regular season and a late-season BABABA and FOGAFINI last week (with two of those games against the Lakers!)

You can always count on Cuban...

to say something locker-room-worthy. Thank goodness for characters like him! Could someone see to clipping a copy of the article to Cap'n Jack's locker on Thursday? I want to see JaX-factor make Cuban eat his words (like a Cuban sandwich).

No, please no.... wait, there's a possible upside.

I, for one, am not happy with the prospect of the Spurs competing against the Grizzlies if they're backed with Larry Ellison's deep pockets. There is a silver lining though... if he brings them out west to California, they could wind up in the Pacific division and Phoenix could wind up in the Southwest. I guess another silver lining is that Oracle Arena would be renamed before the current deal expires in 2016. The Warriors could wind up playing in the Googleplex or the Apple Orchard! :)

ESPNEWS’ "Highlight Express" plagiarizes OCR reporter

More proof that ESPN brings us entertainment rather than news... so the usual rules of journalism don't apply to them, apparently. I wonder though, will they apologize and fire the person responsible?

Hollinger love for the Spurs on Daily Dime

Game analysis from the master on how the Spurs beat the Lakers last night. So much for flying under the radar indeed... it was the lead story on today's DD. Beating the defending champions and the putative favorites convincingly will do that, I guess. Interesting thing for me was that Hollinger echoed a theory that Kenny Smith proposed the other night, that the Spurs beat teams by playing smart; that is, making better shot choices and decisions with the ball than their opponents. Pau Gasol: "I don't think we played the smartest game, let's put it that way."

Has MJ lost his mind? Baron back to Charlotte, kinda?

Ok, so it's a different franchise than the one Baron played for in North Carolina last time. But I wonder how desperate ─ or crazy like a fox? ─ Jordan is to be even thinking about trading for an expensive, out-of-shape and mostly ineffective (except against the Spurs recently) PG. He couldn't be thinking that Davis would improve his team very much, could he? MJ was a great player who made great decisions on-court... it's kinda sad to see his off-court basketball decisions turn out to be worse than average. How many former stars could be said to be or have been great basketball executives, I wonder?

Still looking for a 6th big?

The Suns released Earl Barron today... with Lopez back and Gortat set to start playing for them tomorrow, they don't need Barron now. Any of you thinking that the Spurs need another 7-footer to match up with the Lakers' and Mavs' big lineups should start tweeting and e-mailing Pop immediately. In related news, Houston is seeking a disabled player exception (for Yao's season-ending stress fracture). The exception would allow them to acquire a free agent or trade for a player without matching salaries, up to the amount of the MLE (about $5.75M)

Miami misses seven shots on one possession. Found this over at BDL. Bitchin' about the Heat love...

Miami misses seven shots on one possession. Found this over at BDL. Bitchin' about the Heat love aside, what do you think? Miami certainly took advantage of those long rebounds off of their three-ball misses, but do you also see the nearly complete lack of blocking out by the Mavs? Seems that the NBA's premier defense fell asleep on that particular play.

This piece had little to do with the Spurs, except...

this paragraph, which made me GOL despite myself (I don't care much for Freeman's writing or bias): "These tales of lunacy make you wonder what happens near the end of the Spurs' rodeo trip or the Bulls' circus trip. It's easy to imagine Derrick Rose(notes) carrying an entire suitcase full of Pixie Stix from hotel to hotel, or Matt Bonner(notes) bringing his own meats and cheeses everywhere because he doesn't trust hotel room-service sandwiches."

More Spurs love from Tomasson: McDyess ponders retirement

Dice doesn't get as much press coverage as the Big Three, RJ 2.0, Hill, DeBeast, or even some of the rookies. So this piece is a treat, for a really good guy.

Might be better if TD doesn't make family vacation plans over ASB

Nice bit of love for the Spurs' captain and leader. The scenarios that Tomasson describes are quite possible imho.

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