Found November 14, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
The Spurs aren't immune to making coaching changes early in seasons, not that anyone really remembers or notices.
It's just the thought of San Antonio canning a coach now seems as foreign as the Spurs' internationally-laden roster. The NBA's ultimate model of consistency and stability doesn't do rash. The Spurs stay the course, cranking out essentially the same product today as they did at end of the last century.
Alamo City old-timers likely recall Gregg Popovich pink slipping Bob Hill just 18 games into 1996-97. How about that Jerry Tarkanian NBA run that lasted 20 games in 1992?
Those with memories that predate the births of the One Direction boys know the league's most accomplished coach didn't get his career off to the smoothest of starts. Spurs Nation was calling for Pop's head 14 games into the 1999 season with the team sitting 6-8.
The outcries didn't fall on deaf ears, but San Antonio ownership stuck with Pop and the program he was trying to build. The Spurs won their first of four championships in 1999.
That's not to say Silver & Black fans don't get restless. There are actually people in San Antonio that have yet to see Tim Duncan float down the San Antonio River holding the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
They're called preschoolers.
But Spurs angst doesn't reach Laker paranoia. San Antonio's chief adversary in the ring race sent Mike Brown packing after just five games. Popovich called the move "premature," along with everyone else outside of Los Angeles. And while Kobe hangnails are covered with the round-the-clock detail of elections, the Brown ouster and subsequent Jackson-D'Antoni melodrama rightly shook the league.
Imagine the hoopla if the Lakers were off to a 7-1 start. Well, it would probably match what we've been bombarded with by their underachieving 3-5 mess. As for the team that delivered the latest Lakers loss, 7-1 is par for the course and, of course, ignored by the round-ball masses.
The Spurs sit atop the Western Conference perch, which is exactly where they sat the last two regular seasons, after beating the Lakers 84-82 to finish off a four-game road trip with three straight wins.
"It's good for us," Duncan said Tuesday night. "We didn't shoot the ball well. We had a lot of open shots, and we actually worked the ball pretty well and got the shots we wanted, we just didn't knock them out.
"They did the same, they pounded it inside, they moved the ball around, and they stayed in the game. But, to get a win like that in this situation is very fortunate, especially on the road trip."
Duncan remains the Spurs backbone, even at 36. He returned for this season in better shape not that he's ever out of shape and ready for another run. We've heard that before from Timmy, who cares for his body like a Buddhist Monk.
The numbers, though, suggest this is a rejuvenated Duncan. His scoring average (18.8) is the highest it's been in four years, rebounds (9.6) in three years and blocks (2.6) since 2005.
Tony Parker is San Antonio's second-leading scorer at 13.6, which is down considerably and would be his lowest for a season if it holds up since his rookie year. But the 7.6 assists he's dishing out are just a smudge under last season's career high.
This is where it gets interesting. Danny Green, Gary Neal and Kawhi Leonard are next in the scoring pecking order. Those youngsters, for now, rank ahead of NBA graybeards Manu Ginobili and Stephen Jackson in producing points for Pop.
While it's too soon to call it a changing of the guard or guards, the Spurs are continuing a metamorphosis that's several years in the making. They're younger and more athletic in key spots, and taking on more responsibility.
Take the Lakers game at Staples Center. Pop didn't draw up their final possession for Duncan or Parker or Manu. Instead, Leonard worked the ball along the perimeter into Green's hands for the go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds left.
That's Popovich trust.
"When he does draw up plays for young guys like us it is very surprising, we don't expect it," Green admitted. "This is only my third year, so for him to draw up a play for me is a lot of pressure on you, but you just take the shot with the confidence he gives you.
"He encourages you, we all encourage each other and it's easy for me to just take the shot and not think about it so much. So when he calls plays for me it's very rare and unexpected, so you have to take advantage of it."
Think that sort of belief doesn't have an impact throughout the roster and through the rest of the season. Popovich infuses his team with the assurance that if they do things the Spurs Way, they'll be there in the end.
And, unlike some teams, the Spurs will dance with the coach that brung 'em.
Follow Art Garcia on Twitter: @ArtGarcia92
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
In the age of social media, the gap between NBA players and fans is bridged bringing fans an even closer look at their favorite athletes.
For San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, that rings especially true since he has an active twitter and Facebook account and posts photos from several photo sharing sites. But while you may know what Ginobili is having for dinner or his excitement...
Let’s look at the media covering the SAN ANTONIO SPURS Newspaper- The San Antonio Express-News serves the greater San Antonio area. Its online sports section includes a special page of content on the Spurs. Reporter Dan McCarney (Twitter) has the beat covered. ColumnistsBuck Harvey (Twitter) and Mike Monroe (Twitter) will have also have much to say on
With 19.9 seconds remaining and the San Antonio Spurs trailing the Los Angeles Lakers 82-81 in the fourth quarter on Tuesday, the Spurs didn’t draw up a play for Tony Parker or Tim Duncan. On this night in Los Angeles, the Spurs drew up a play for Danny Green who was being defended by the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. With Bryant not playing Green closely, Green made him pay.
It’s that time of year again. It’s time for everybody to vote for their favorite players to represent their teams in the annual All-Star game. As usual, you can expect the voting to become a popularity contest, not really having anything to do with performance, but usually the best players end up making the roster in the end.
This year you can vote for four different San...
The San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers were going back and forth all night but in the end a big time shot gave the Spurs the win. The Spurs dribble the ball up the court with 16 seconds left and ran some screens for Danny Green, who got wide open and hit the game winning three pointer in Kobe Bryant’s face with 9 seconds left. This gave the Spurs the 84-82 victory. Of all...
Danny Green hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.3 seconds left, Tony Parker scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat Los Angeles 84-82 Tuesday night in the Lakers' first loss since firing coach Mike Brown.
After Pau Gasol missed a 3-pointer, Tiago Splitter's hustle prevented the Lakers from controlling the rebound before the buzzer sounded on Los Angeles' first...
The Spurs have assigned guard Cory Joseph to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.
SPURRING TEAM TO VICTORY
The San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers were in a tight battle Tuesday night, and when it looked like the Lakers may squeak out a huge win over the Spurs, Danny Green hits a pivotal three-pointer that would win end up being the game-winner over Los Angeles with just seconds remaining. This is [...]The post Danny Green’s Game-Winner vs Los Angeles Lakers (Video) appeared...
Though the San Antonio Spurs dropped their first home game to the undefeated New York Knicks last night, Tony Parker did have a nice play for Spurs fans to enjoy at the expense of guard Raymond Felton.
In the second quarter of last night's game, TP crossed up Felton leaving Raymond all turned around. Check it out.
Hey, Spurs fans will take it despite Felton dropping...
Sometimes, the life of NBA mascots can be a lonely life and last night, San Antonio Spurs mascot "Coyote" just wanted a little love.In the fourth quarter of the Knicks/Spurs game, New York's Jason Kidd drove to the basket and was wrapped-up by Tony Parker.The forward momentum of both players sent them into the stands and that's when the Coyote wanted a group hug:
It's been a while since we last heard about Davis Bertans. You remember him right? He was part of the 2011 Draft day trade between the San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers which allowed the Spurs to acquire Kawhi Leonard and send George Hill to Indiana. Recall the Pacers drafted Bertans in 2011 (42nd overall) but was sent to the Spurs as part of the trade.
During the summer...
Dwight Howard dunks amongst three Spurs on Tuesday.
The By The Numbers recap for the Lakers’ 84-82 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on Tuesday night. The Lakers are now 3-5, and next play home to Phoenix on night.
The Lakers regular season winning percentage against the Spurs after Tuesday night’s loss. They’re now 74-73 all-time against San Antonio, but...
SAN ANTONIO -- Off to their best start since the 1993-94 season, the New York Knicks are erasing skeletons of the past, game by game. They got rid of another one Thursday in San Antonio. Raymond Felton had 25 points and seven assists to lead the undefeated Knicks to a 104-100 win over the Spurs at the AT&T Center. The Knicks improved to 6-0, remaining the only unbeaten...
Looking for the killer crossover from last night's NBA action?Check out Spurs guard Tony Parker leaving Knicks guard Raymond Felton in the dust with this nasty crossover:
SAN ANTONIO -- Raymond Felton had 25 points and seven assists to lead the undefeated New York Knicks to 104-100 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night at the AT&T Center. The Knicks improved to 6-0, with half of the wins coming on the road. Down by 12 with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Knicks made a furious comeback and took the lead on a J.R. Smith...