Found April 11, 2013 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
San Antonio Spurs
It has finally happened. The San Antonio Spurs have given up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. If the playoffs began today they would play seventh-seeded Houston in the first round, which is to say the ship is taking on water.
It is a waste of time to predict how the Spurs will look in the playoffs. Two of their best players, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, are out of the lineup with injuries that aren't expected to keep them out of the postseason. But that's just the thing. The Spurs are old enough that injuries are a reasonably predictable factor from here on out. When evaluating the Spurs, now, you have to account for the relatively high probability Tim Duncan (nearly 37), Ginobili (35) or Parker (30) will miss some time with an injury.
The Spurs are better than the Rockets, but of all the potential opponents for San Antonio in the first round (the Warriors, Rockets, Lakers and Jazz), the Rockets are the team that could give an aging team the most trouble. Houston is the youngest team in the NBA, and it leads the NBA in pace. The Rockets also have a center in Omer Asik who has proven during the regular season he can guard Duncan straight up, which keeps the Spurs from doing what they're so good at doing exploiting defensive rotations with expert passing and ball movement.
That's looking ahead a little, but the last time those two teams played, Houston won, and that's basically how it happened (plus a great game from James Harden).
Don't read this as a prediction of doom for the Spurs, but think of it this way: The Rockets would rather see San Antonio in the first round than Oklahoma City.
Parker recently re-aggravated an ankle injury, but is expected to be ready in time for playoffs, which begin April 20. On April 1, the Spurs announced Ginobili would miss 3-4 weeks with a hamstring injury, meaning he might not be available for all of a first-round series.
1. So let's talk about a hypothetical. Let's say the Spurs get a 2-0 lead on Houston in the first round of the playoffs. And let's say they are up by 14 with three minutes to go in the third quarter of game three. Would this be a good time to rest Duncan? This is a move coach Gregg Popovich has made a hundred times during the regular season. The Spurs would have the series and the game under control. Not won, but under control, and the ultimate goal is to win more than a first-round series over Houston. On the other hand, you have a chance to bury the Rockets right there. I don't know.
2. Manu Ginobili should not play in the first round unless he is absolutely healthy or it is absolutely necessary in order to win the series. Hamstring injuries are notoriously fickle and difficult to get rid of. There's a bit of a delayed gratification idea here.
3. Anybody else feel like Danny Green is sacrificing some personal glory for the sake of the team? I'm not saying the guy is an All-Star, but he's a 44-percent 3-point shooter who averages 10.6 points per game. Maybe he has found the perfect role on the perfect team, but I get the sense he could be a really solid No. 2 guy on some other teams.
Quotes of the week
"At this point I'm a little bit paranoid with Manu being out and now we find out Boris (Diaw) is out for two to three weeks."
Coach Gregg Popovich, explaining to reporters why wouldn't play Parker against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, despite the point guard's protests. Diaw has a sore back.
"I have to leave because I think I'm going to puke."
Forward Matt Bonner, to the San Antonio Express News, reacting to some kind words said about him by his friend and teammate Stephen Jackson. The two have become a rather unlikely pair, recently sharing a birthday party together (they were both born April 5 in different years). "I think the biggest thing with me and Matt is, I love him for who he is and he loves me for who I am," Jackson told the paper. "There's so much difference between us, it attracts us to each other."
The Spurs have four games left, including road games at the Lakers and Warriors. The home games are against Sacramento and Minnesota, so 3-1 seems like an acceptable outcome, given the Spurs' injury issues.
Who's hot, who's not
Who's hot: Gary Neal
The backup guard has played well in two of the Spurs last three games, scoring 17 against Denver and 14 against the Thunder, although San Antonio lost both those games.
Who's not: Tiago Splitter
It would be nice if the Spurs could count on Splitter's scoring a little bit more, with Duncan's minutes going up and down, but he has just 19 points in the last three games combined.
Tower of power
We've discussed all the issues with this team, but believe it or not the Spurs are still tied for the best record in the Western Conference. If Ginobili and Parker come back healthy and in sync, there is no reason the Spurs can't win the NBA Championship.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Spurs and Stephen Jackson parted ways, which came as a surprise to many people. There were no hints of a previous issue.
Addition by subtraction or just a case of good riddance? Whatever the case, the San Antonio Spurs waived Stephen Jackson on the eve of the NBA playoffs Friday afternoon.
The news sent shock waves from San Antonio across the league, as many wondered why a squad with title aspirations would let go of what appears to be a valuable piece now. Jackson, aka Captain Jack, won a title with...
Manu Ginobili has struggled this season with injuries and is currently sitting out because of one.
He gave San Antonio Spurs fans an update on the condition of is injured hamstring in a column for Argentinian site Canchallena.com including stating he will do everything possible to be back for the playoffs.
The injury was in a location similar to the previous one, the...
In what more than likely is the final months of DeJuan Blair with the San Antonio Spurs, come some troubling news regarding the big man.
Blair is facing some legal issues surrounding an unpaid bill totaling over $53,000 and if Blair doesn't pay up, he could be facing arrest (via Express News).
Spurs center De Juan Blair is scheduled to be deposed next week after a...
The 2012-13 NBA season is winding down to a close, and likely with it, so is DeJuan Blair's tenure with the San Antonio Spurs. Nearly four years into his NBA career, Blair's time in San Antonio can be summed up partly by a few blips of tantalizing production, but mostly by unfulfilled promise that have left both player and franchise equally disappointed.
A free agent...
The Spurs will be without big man Boris Diaw for 3-4 weeks as the team announced Friday that he underwent back surgery to remove a synovial cyst from his lumbar spine on Thursday.
Diaw, who will miss the start of the playoffs, is averaging 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22.8 minutes a game this season – 20 of them starts.
The San Antonio Spurs announced Friday afternoon they've placed former Bucks forward Stephen Jackson on waivers.
Jackson, 35, played in 55 games for the Spurs this season, averaging 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.5 minutes per game.
The news of Jackson's release was first reported by Yahoo! Sports, which also reported the reason for Jackson being waived...
AT&T CENTER--For a month upheaval has been the new status quo up and down the San Antonio Spurs lineup, with the instability finally seeping into the Spurs' play over that time.
Manu Ginobili's status remains unclear, though coach Gregg Popovich assured reporters he's progressing. Boris Diaw could be out for a month, his season-long nagging back spasms turning...
The Spurs have surprisingly waived Stephen Jackson.
Ty Lawson and Tony Parker are sitting out Wednesday night's game between San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets.
Parker has a sore neck and Lawson an ailing right heel.
Spurs coach Greg Popovich said he didn't want to risk playing Parker in light of his team's injury epidemic.
Popovich said Boris Diaw will miss two to three weeks with a back injury, and Manu Ginobili...
Tony Parker had 22 points and 10 assists, and San Antonio never trailed in a 108-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday, a day the Spurs lost two key players.
Tim Duncan added 18 points, Kawhi Leonard had 15 points and Tiago Splitter and Danny Green had 12 apiece as seven players scored in double figures for San Antonio (58-21).
DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 12 rebounds...
As the battle for the Western Conference number one seed comes to a near conclusion, the San Antonio Spurs are faced with a familiar dilemma -- play your star players and go for the top seed or rest your players to ensure they are ready for the playoffs?
For knowledgeable Spurs fans, it takes you one second (two if you breathe) to know what Coach Greg Popovich choice would be...
The San Antonio Spurs (57-21) will host the lowly Sacramento Kings (28-50) tonight at the AT&T Center in the final meeting of the season between these two teams. Good news for the Spurs is Tony Parker will be back on the court tonight after being out with a sore neck, however, will be without Boris Diaw who will be out 3-4 weeks after back surgery to remove a cyst from his spine...
Coach Pop definitely not going to be on Stephen Jackson’s mixtape now.
Both Jackson and Thomas are ineligible for postseason, even if they are claimed off waivers.
Spurs waive Stephen Jackson. Knicks waive Kurt Thomas.
— Art Garcia (@ArtGarcia92) April 12, 2013
The injury-ravaged San Antonio Spurs have been forced to try and get healthier while continuing their quest for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Perhaps they'll be able to do both in a home date against a team they've dominated in recent years.
The Spurs, who have one of the league's best home records at 34-5, continue their pursuit of home-court advantage throughout...