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Spurs Fan

Spurs picture coming into focus or is it? posted by Spurs Fan

The San Antonio Spurs have always been more than the sum of their parts, but some parts seem to be proving more essential than others.

Reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard's 9.75-inch-long hands are one of those parts.

Unfortunately, he tore a ligament in his right paw during a Dec. 9 loss to the Utah Jazz, dealing the franchise a significant blow amid what's almost certainly its most difficult month of competition.

In turn, San Antonio has lost six of its last eight games without Leonard and six of its last seven overall. 

At the moment, there's no timetable for the fourth-year pro's return. Nor has there been any news that could be construed as particularly good.

Leonard is averaging 15.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in 32.2 minutes per contest—all on pace to be career highs. He's also looking for his offense more assertively, attempting 12.3 field goals and 4.1 free throws per game.

Having played 29.1 minutes and taken 9.8 shots per contest a season ago, the additional playing time and touches have had a lot to do with that evolution.

Leonard is the player who seems to tip the scale in making this Spurs squad the best in the organization's history. Even with past players such as Mario Elie, Sean Elliott, Robert Horry and Stephen Jackson, the Spurs have never had a player like Leonard on any of their championship rosters. Leonard turned the Big Three into a Fab Four. It makes them the one Spurs squad that could beat the other championship squads in franchise history if they were to mythically play each other in the Finals. Kawhi 

Continue reading "Spurs picture coming into focus or is it?"

Blazers Fan

Damian Lillard leads wild Blazers comeback in Oklahoma City 115-111 in OT posted by Blazers Fan

Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers came out on top in a wild point guard match-up against Russell Westbrook 115-111 in overtime in Oklahoma City.

The Blazers comeback would not have been were it not for a boneheaded series of plays from Westbrook. Westbrook was the biggest reason the Thunder were winning but a useless personal foul in the backcourt coupled with a technical allowed the Blazers to cut the lead to seven with no time coming off the clock.

Then Lillard came down and hit a deep three off a screen. In the blink of an eye the lead went from 10 to four.

Aldridge and Lillard combined for 32 of Portland’s final 42 points.


Another key to Portland’s success late was head coach Terry Stotts decided to match the Thunder’s 3-guard line-up with Steve Blake and bring in more athleticism in Dorell Wright. Wright didn’t play since his crucial role in Friday’s 3OT win against the Spurs.

Wright didn’t have the 3-point barrage he had against San Antonio but grabbed some crucial rebounds and had a nice tip in in overtime to give the Blazers breathing room.

The Blazers capped off an incredibly successful trip with wins against the Spurs, Pelicans and Thunder without Robin Lopez and getting two of those without Nicolas Batum. The Blazers are nearing the end of a grueling December which had 10 of 16 games on the road.

The Blazers are succeeding when schedules and injury continue seem to say they shouldn’t.

And with 7 of the next 10 days off, the Blazers have earned a considerable amount of rest. They are banged up and sick and certainly need it. Although Lillard and Matthews have played every night, you could tell with the amount of miscommunications the Blazers had tonight they were running out of gas.

Continue reading "Damian Lillard leads wild Blazers ..."

Thunder Fan

Russell Westbrook helms Thunder's cruise past Hornets posted by Thunder Fan

Thunder coach Scott Brooks was worried his team would be tired after a tough win in San Antonio a night earlier.

Russell Westbrook scored 29 points to lead Oklahoma City to a 98-75 victory over Charlotte on Friday night, snapping the Hornets' season-high four-game win streak.

"We talk about playing a defensive brand every night and in back-to-back games to come back with a defensive effort for 48 minutes," Brooks said. "I'm really proud of our effort. I thought that set the tone. We locked in defensively and throughout the game it was solid."

Charlotte scored the game's first basket then the Thunder reeled off nine straight points to take a lead they never relinquished in winning for the second straight day.

Westbrook scored 13 points in the first quarter, and Oklahoma City opened a 59-40 halftime lead.

"It was good that we didn't come out flat and came out with some energy," Westbrook said. "We were hungry."

Brian Roberts came off the bench to lead the Hornets with 17 points, 11 in the final period.

Al Jefferson, averaging 19.1 per game, didn't get his first basket until there were four minutes left in the first half and finished with just four points.

The Thunder played their fifth straight game without MVP Kevin Durant, who has a sprained ankle.

Westbrook, coming off of a 34-point effort in Thursday's win at San Antonio, started the game shooting 7 of 9. He finished with his 11th straight game of 25 points or more.

"They're so good defensively, in the first quarter we just had a tough time making shots and everything was contested," said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. "They are just so long and so big. That's why their defense has been good all year."

Continue reading "Russell Westbrook helms Thunder's ..."


Spurs Fan

2014 San Antonio Spurs Preseason Report posted by Spurs Fan

San Antonio Spurs performance was almost perfect, which earned them the 2013-14 season, championship title. The players performed as expected, and there was not a single contract, which could be considered bad. The Spurs ended the season with an impressive 62-20 record.

For the 2014-15 season, San Antonio Spurs have second best chance of winning the title again. The Spurs have met Miami Heat in the finals two times in a row, which makes Miami the favorite this season; however, changes in the team could keep shifting the odds between them. San Antonio Spurs have an excellent system in place for a long time, and Gregg Popovich could again lead the team to victory. The three star players, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan are no doubt getting older, but Popovich has managed their time excellently up to now, and he continues to do so this season as well.

Kawhi Leonard, who is a star and MVP of the last series, has been retained for $3million for the next season. Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner, and Paddy Mills are all key players, and are re-signed by the Spurs, and Greg Popovich, the coach, obviously had his contract extended. San Antonio Spurs are focusing completely on this season and considering legacies as well. Tim Duncan who was a rookie in 1999 anchored the team's first championship. He has five rings up to now, and he will be concentrating on getting his sixth, even though he is aging. For Duncan, a sixth title would make him all-time great, and he will not want to miss this opportunity.

Coach Popovich, and international stars, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will also be aiming for the same thing of being listed as the all-time greats, and hence will be working hard towards their sixth win. Quite a bit is riding for these players this season, and hence we can expect the best from them.

Continue reading "2014 San Antonio Spurs Preseason Report"


Brad Hurt

Gasol out indefinitely with MCL sprain posted by Brad Hurt

An MRI on Marc Gasol's left knee, which he injured in the first half of the Grizzlies' loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, revealed a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL).  The injury, similar to one suffered two years ago by Zach Randolph, will keep Gasol out of action indefinitely but will not require surgery.  Kosta Koufos will start in his place.  This is a huge blow for the team, both in terms of production and morale.  The injury has been called "non-contact", although there could have been some contact as it occurred while the Spurs' Danny Green posted up against Gasol and backed into him.  Even so, it's still a freakish, unfortunate injury.Continue reading "Gasol out indefinitely with MCL sprain"

Brad Hurt

Gasol leaves loss with knee sprain posted by Brad Hurt

The Grizzlies had reason to be proud as they returned home Friday to face the perennially tough San Antonio Spurs.  They had just finished the most successful West Coast road trip in a decade.  Now they would have the FedEx Forum crowd behind them to urge them to victory.  Unfortunately, the Spurs would have none of that, playing the role of the rude houseguests with a 102-86 victory.

Potentially far worse for the home team, however, is the fact that center Marc Gasol left the game after suffering a non-contact injury to his left knee early in the second quarter and did not return.  The team is calling it a sprain, and Gasol will undergo an MRI today.  Losing Gasol for any extended period of time would be a crushing blow to the team.  He is currently averaging 16 points and more than 7 rebounds per game, teaming up with Zach Randolph to form an imposing post duo.  Randolph has been putting up monster numbers in his own right, but losing Gasol would undoubtedly change the way teams choose to defend Randolph, enabling more double-and-triple teams.  The Grizzlies currently have the 23rd-ranked offensive output in the league, averaging 94.1 points per game.  Ideally, they would like to see that number increase as they work toward a return to the playoffs come April.  Gasol is also a great veteran leader for the team, and intangibles are difficult to replace.  So let's hope the sprain isn't too severe and Gasol can return to action soon.

Continue reading "Gasol leaves loss with knee sprain"


Paul Hansborough III

Change needs to come! posted by Paul Hansborough III

I love the Spurs but, Duncan needs to retire, Parker needs to develop a jumpshot in the worst way, Rj needs to go somewhere else he couldn t buy a bucket against Memphis, we need to get a bonified athletic shooting forward and shooting guard in the draft or via free agency. Another center would help because again Duncan is on his last leg!Continue reading "Change needs to come!"


nbaball

Parker has no desire to transfer to other NBA teams posted by nbaball

The starting pointguard of the San Antonio Spurs has categorically denied persistent report that he had the desire to transfer to other National Basketball Association (NBA) teams.
Tony Parker told the media that there is no truth to the report since his heart belongs to the Spurs and he wants to stay with the team for many years to come.
Parker said he had a house in San Antonio and had no intention at the moment to move to other NBA teams other than the Spurs.
He revealed that he has confidence that a suitable agreement will be reached between him and the Spurs so that he will remain with the team for many years to come.
To show his desire to remain with the Spurs, Parker has decided to skip the World's Basketball Championship slated on August 28 to September 12 in Istambul, Turkey.
The superstar pointguard said he decided to forego his chance to play for France in the global basketball event to help the Spurs in the next NBA season by keeping himself from injury.
The 27-year-old pointguard had been a vital factor for the success of the Spurs the past 10 years wherein he won championship with the ball club.
Parker is very significant for the Spurs management since he do not only orchestrate plays but also contribute and offense and defense as well.
The Spurs was earlier defeated by the red-hot Phoenix Suns 4-0 in their best of seven NBA second round playoff match-up.
The French pointguard and the rest of the Spurs roster tried their very best to inflict defeat to the Suns but their effort were futile as the Suns proved hotter in the end.
Continue reading "Parker has no desire to transfer ..."


john howard

Big Week for the Thunder posted by john howard

Losing to Indiana last night was tough.  If they had one last night, they would be tied for the 5th seed with Phoenix and 2 games ahead of 7th in front of San Antonio.  But, that didn't happen.  All is not lost, it just makes this week more difficult.  Tonight they are at home against the Spurs.  They have a one game lead over them.  A loss tonight would put the Thunder in 7th.  A win would keep them in 6th and put 2 games between them and San Antonio and more breathing room going into the last 14 games.

The Thunder play the Spurs, the Lakers, Houston, and Portland. Going 2-2 would be fine.  That would keep them in the playoffs and still have a shot at a good seed. Anything above that would be great. Anything below that would put them in danger of falling to the 8th seed.  It all starts tonight with San Antonio. 

Houston may be the biggest game of the week.  Right now, they are the first team not in the playoffs. They can win 50 games if they run the table.  That makes the Thunder's magic number 9, since they have 42 wins. So, winning that game would reduce the magic number by 2. 

Portland is a game and a half behind OKC.  Sweeping the Spurs and the Trailblazers would distance OKC from the bottom to seeds and keep them in the hunt for the 5th seed.  With the 5th seed, they would likely face Utah, the team they have had the most success with of those in the top 4.

As a sidenote, Russell Westbrook played limited minutes with a stomach virus last night.  Eric Maynor did good, as usual, in his absence.  But, they are going to need everyone at full throttle this week.

Continue reading "Big Week for the Thunder"


Paul Stengel

New York Knicks, what the salary cap future holds posted by Paul Stengel

CLAAAANG!!!  Another errant Knicks shot glances off the rim.  The New York Knickerbockers have mastered the art of losing for the past 10 years.  The only silver lining after this season is the possibility of signing two big name, “max contract” players.  The Knicks traded away their upcoming draft pick (along with Jared Jeffries and others) to Houston,  to free up more money for these players.  Nothing is guaranteed, the Knicks aren’t necessarily getting anyone for their trouble. 

 

The losing that the Knicks have been doing is a relatively new experience for their head coach, Mike D’Antoni.  D’Antoni came over from Phoenix, where he had an outstanding winning percentage, playoff appearances every year, and usually a late-season meeting with the San Antonio Spurs that ultimately would decide who would come out of the west.  Before he coached Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Shawn Marion to 60 wins a year.  Now he leads Al Harrington and a band of inexperienced, below average knicks to likely two 30 win seasons. 

 

The Knicks have been on a downward spiral since they decided to trade away their franchise player of the 90’s Patrick Ewing.  They have been compiling bad contracts ever since, and it wasn’t until Donnie Walsh became the active general manager that their attitude toward free agents began to change.  Starting with the trades of Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph, Walsh has managed to free up more and more salary cap space, and with it, the possibility of greater things in the future. 

Continue reading "New York Knicks, what the salary cap future holds"

San Antonio Spurs News

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Trail Blazers assistant coach: 'We didn't publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge' (

LaMarcus Aldridge was a busy man on Wednesday, opening up the 2015 NBA free-agent period by meeting with the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns, all of whom were very eager to give the All-Star power forward boatloads of cash to leave the Portland Trail Blazers after nine seasons. Aldridge reportedly left three of the four meetings impressed —sorry, Lakers —but Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski suggested the Blazers were still very much in the mix to retain Aldridge's services. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Evidently, Blazers assistant coach Kim Hughes is a more pessimistic sort. During an interview with Terre Haute, Ind.-based WTHI-TV on the eve of free agency discussing the development of Blazers big man Meyers Leonard, who had returned to his hometown to host a summer basketball camp for local kids, Hughes —a famously vocal and outspoken sort —talked up an increased role for Leonard due to the loss of Aldridge ... which, of course, hasn't happened yet, but which the veteran coach seemed to think was a fait accompli : "Well, people don't realize we just went young," Hughes said (around the 2:05 mark of the video clip). "We didn't publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge. It hasn't been declared yet, but I'm sure he won't come back. We will go young, and we depend on Meyers to play a lot of minutes. This year, he led the league, in the playoffs, in 3-point shooting. Had a fantastic series against Memphis. He defended Marc Gasol very well in the low block. He really stepped up his game. What we'd like is to have the same type of intent and same type of progression next year, which I fully expect." [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Matt Bonner blames iPhone 6 for elbow injury, shooting woes

By Sam GalanisMatt Bonner might need to take a trip to the Apple Store and give them a piece of his mind.The free agent, who spent the past nine seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, historically has been a good shooter. Last season, however, Bonner saw his field goal and three-point percentages... [read full article]

From FOX Sports Digital


Trail Blazers assistant coach: 'We didn't publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge' (

LaMarcus Aldridge was a busy man on Wednesday, opening up the 2015 NBA free-agent period by meeting with the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns, all of whom were very eager to give the All-Star power forward boatloads of cash to leave the Portland Trail Blazers after nine seasons. Aldridge reportedly left three of the four meetings impressed —sorry, Lakers —but Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski suggested the Blazers were still very much in the mix to retain Aldridge's services. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Evidently, Blazers assistant coach Kim Hughes is a more pessimistic sort. During an interview with Terre Haute, Ind.-based WTHI-TV on the eve of free agency discussing the development of Blazers big man Meyers Leonard, who had returned to his hometown to host a summer basketball camp for local kids, Hughes —a famously vocal and outspoken sort —talked up an increased role for Leonard due to the loss of Aldridge ... which, of course, hasn't happened yet, but which the veteran coach seemed to think was a fait accompli : "Well, people don't realize we just went young," Hughes said (around the 2:05 mark of the video clip). "We didn't publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge. It hasn't been declared yet, but I'm sure he won't come back. We will go young, and we depend on Meyers to play a lot of minutes. This year, he led the league, in the playoffs, in 3-point shooting. Had a fantastic series against Memphis. He defended Marc Gasol very well in the low block. He really stepped up his game. What we'd like is to have the same type of intent and same type of progression next year, which I fully expect." [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Trail Blazers assistant coach: 'We didn't publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge' (

LaMarcus Aldridge was a busy man on Wednesday, opening up the 2015 NBA free-agent period by meeting with the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns, all of whom were very eager to give the All-Star power forward boatloads of cash to leave the Portland Trail Blazers after nine seasons. Aldridge reportedly left three of the four meetings impressed —sorry, Lakers —but Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski suggested the Blazers were still very much in the mix to retain Aldridge's services. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Evidently, Blazers assistant coach Kim Hughes is a more pessimistic sort. During an interview with Terre Haute, Ind.-based WTHI-TV on the eve of free agency discussing the development of Blazers big man Meyers Leonard, who had returned to his hometown to host a summer basketball camp for local kids, Hughes —a famously vocal and outspoken sort —talked up an increased role for Leonard due to the loss of Aldridge ... which, of course, hasn't happened yet, but which the veteran coach seemed to think was a fait accompli : "Well, people don't realize we just went young," Hughes said (around the 2:05 mark of the video clip). "We didn't publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge. It hasn't been declared yet, but I'm sure he won't come back. We will go young, and we depend on Meyers to play a lot of minutes. This year, he led the league, in the playoffs, in 3-point shooting. Had a fantastic series against Memphis. He defended Marc Gasol very well in the low block. He really stepped up his game. What we'd like is to have the same type of intent and same type of progression next year, which I fully expect." [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Your winners and losers from the NBA's 2015 free-agent market (Ball Don't Lie)

It seems a bit daft to declare a set of winners and losers after less than a week of the NBA’s official offseason, but after a few dozen free agent agreements and quite easily the busiest first day in the league’s free agent history, one can’t help but stand back and take stock. Presuming your spine is straightened out after hours of bleary-eyed staring at Woj’s Twitter account . Because more happened in the first week of July than will happen between now and October, I think it’s best to start judging. So it goes: Winners LaMarcus Aldridge The league’s last great unknown struck a bit of blow for himself in this offseason. This was in place even before he decided to sign with the San Antonio Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge turns 30 later in July. He hasn’t exactly acted as a basketball martyr thus far in his career in Portland, the team has made the playoffs five times since he’s come on board, but he’s rubbing up on the edges. Aldridge has watched has several team saviors came on board while he slogged away –Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, Damian Lillard –with little payoff as the team has only made the second round once. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] He’s now doing what sports fans both ardent and ambivalent always beg players to do. He turned down tens of millions of dollars to play for a team with bigger winning potential than his current outfit in Portland. By the time of that decision LaMarcus had already dismissed the Los Angeles Lakers for being too showy –too full of ‘Kazaam’and not enough actual money spent on basketball know-how –and the Knicks despite their big offer and Manhattan storefronts. LMA is still going to make his tens of millions, but he’s also giving up money for a chance to win. This is the sort of thing sports talk radio callers demand, it’s playing out in real life, and despite his early-July ubiquity too few are talking about it. On top of all that, despite being waved at by maximum offers in the literal first minutes of the negotiation process on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Aldridge took his time. He sat through meetings. He waited nearly a week, an eternity in this climate, to consider his options. The man that several teams, coaches and front offices deemed too soft to build a team around utilized tact, poise and reason before clinging to the best franchise in sports. All while getting his money. This is how you work things. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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