Archive for the ‘ San Antonio Spurs Blog ’ Category

Spurs to retire Manu Ginobili jersey

The San Antonio Spurs will retire Manu Ginobili’s No. 20 jersey on Thursday, March 28 when the Silver and Black host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. CDT. A special postgame ceremony honoring Ginobili will take place on the AT&T Center floor.

Ginobili will become the ninth player in Spurs franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters, joining Bruce Bowen (12), Tim Duncan (21), Sean Elliott (32), George Gervin (44), Avery Johnson (6), Johnny Moore (00), David Robinson (50) and James Silas (13).

In 16 seasons with the Spurs, Ginobili captured four NBA championships while posting a career winning percentage of .721 (762-295), which is the best winning percentage in NBA history among players who have appeared in at least 1,000 games.

Selected by San Antonio with the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, Ginobili appeared in 1,057 career games, averaging 13.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.32 steals in 25.4 minutes. He is the Spurs all-time leader in three-pointers made (1,495) and steals (1,392), while ranking third in games played (1,057), fourth in assists (4,001), fourth in free throws made (3,380) and fifth in points (14,043). Ginobili was named to the All-NBA Third Team in both 2008 and 2011 and was a two-time All-Star (2005 and 2011). The 2008 NBA Sixth Man of the Year is the first sixth man, as well as the first South American, to earn All-NBA honors.

Ginobili and LeBron James are the only two players in NBA postseason history with at least 3,000 points and 300 three-pointers in the playoffs. Ginobili appeared in 218 career playoff games, averaging 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.34 steals in 27.9 minutes. One of 10 players ever to appear in over 200 playoff games, he came off the bench 165 times and is the all-time leader in NBA postseason history as a reserve in points (2,014), assists (576), rebounds (635), steals (205), field goals made (630), three-pointers made (226) and free throws made (528). Ginobili and Tony Parker combined to record 132 playoff wins together, which are the most victories by any teammates in postseason history.

After signing with the Spurs in the summer of 2002, Ginobili became one of just seven players in NBA history to spend his entire career with one team while playing at least 16 seasons, along with Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, John Havlicek, Reggie Miller, Dirk Nowitzki and John Stockton. He is the first South American and just the second player drafted in the second round or later to appear in at least 1,000 games with one team.

Ginobili is one of only two players in history, along with Bill Bradley, to win a EuroLeague title, an NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal.

Spurs waive Okaro White and Nick Johnson

The San Antonio Spurs have waived Okaro White and Nick Johnson.

Johnson was signed on Sept. 24 and averaged 1.5 points and 1.0 assists in 7.4 minutes over four games with the Spurs this preseason. White signed on Sept. 24, averaging 3.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 6.0 minutes in three preseason games with the Silver and Black.

San Antonio’s roster now stands at 16 players.

Spurs waive Jaron Blossomgame

Spurs waive Jaron Blossomgame

The San Antonio Spurs have waived forward Jaron Blossomgame.

Blossomgame played in three preseason games for San Antonio, and averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 6.3 minutes pr outing.

He was drafted by the Spurs 59th overall in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draftt. Blossomgame spent last season with the Austin Spurs (G League), who won the G League Championship.

Spurs exercise options on Dejounte Murray, Jakob Poeltl and Derrick White

The San Antonio Spurs have exercised their fourth-year team option on guard Dejounte Murray and center Jakob Poeltl for the 2019-20 season.

In addition, the Spurs have exercised their third-year option on guard Derrick White for the 2019-20 season.

Murray is entering his third season with the Spurs after being selected by San Antonio in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft (29th overall). Last year, Murray was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to be named to an All-Defensive Team. He ended the season with 459 rebounds, setting the record for most total rebounds in a single season by a point guard in Spurs history passing the previous mark of 378 by Johnny Moore in 1984-85. The former Washington Husky has appeared in 119 career NBA games, averaging 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 17.4 minutes.

Poeltl is in his first season with the Silver and Black after being acquired from the Toronto Raptors on July 18. Last season, Poeltl averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.22 blocks in 18.6 minutes. Selected by the Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the 7-0, 230-pound center has appeared in 136 games in his two-year NBA career, averaging 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes. Poeltl holds a career field goal percentage of .641 (320-499), which ranks fifth in the NBA among all players with at least 300 field goals made in the last two seasons.

White appeared in 17 games during his rookie season with the Spurs, averaging 3.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8.2 minutes. The former Colorado Buffalo helped lead the Austin Spurs to the 2018 G League Championship, averaging 24.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.80 steals in 32.8 minutes in the G League Playoffs. He appeared in 24 regular season games for Austin, averaging 20.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.29 steals and 1.17 blocks in 28.2 minutes. White was drafted by the Spurs with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Spurs sign Drew Eubanks, Nick Johnson, Jaron Blossomgame and Okaro White

The San Antonio Spurs have signed Jaron Blossomgame, Drew Eubanks, Nick Johnson and Okaro White.

It’s likely that all four signings are non-guaranteed deals that merely bring the players to Spurs training camp.

Blossomgame, 6-7/220, was a member of the Austin Spurs 2018 G League Championship roster, leading the team by averaging 8.2 rebounds to go along with 16.5 points and 1.4 assists in 29.6 minutes. Named to the All-NBA G League Third Team last season, he posted 14 double-doubles and tallied 17 games with over 20 points. Blossomgame was originally drafted by the Spurs in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft (59th overall) after playing four seasons at Clemson University, where he averaged 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 30.7 minutes and was named to the All-ACC First Team in 2016.

Eubanks, 6-10/245, joins the Spurs on a two-way contract after playing with the Silver and Black in the 2018 NBA Summer League. Averaging 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.72 blocks and 1.1 assists in 31.3 minutes last season as a junior at Oregon State, he shot .624 (164-263) from the floor and finished eighth in the nation in field goal percentage. Appearing in all 94 games over his three-year career with the Beavers, Eubanks ranks third in school history in career blocks (163).

Johnson, 6-3/200, was named the G League Finals MVP last season after helping Austin to the G League title. He appeared in 28 games for the Houston Rockets in the 2014-15 season, averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.4 minutes after being drafted by Houston in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft (42nd overall). Johnson has appeared in a total of 102 NBA G League games and spent one season playing for Bayern Munich in Germany in 2016-17. Johnson played three seasons at the University of Arizona, where he averaged 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 30.9 minutes, being named the 2014 Pac-12 Player of the Year in his final season with the Wildcats.

White, 6-8/205, spent the last two seasons as a member of the Miami Heat and holds career averages of 2.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 41 games in his NBA career. He was named to the 2017 G League All-Star during team, posting 18.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists that season. White spent two seasons playing internationally in Italy and Greece after a four-year career at Florida State University, where he helped the Seminoles to their first ever ACC Championship in 2012 and was named to the All-ACC defensive team in 2014.

The San Antonio Spurs have announced multiple additions and promotions to the basketball operations staff. Brent Barry joins the organization as vice president of basketball operations, while Wayne Diesel comes to the team as director of player care. Adam Glessner comes on as director of basketball intelligence, Cory Johnson is now the team equipment and travel manager and Massimo Simonetta comes to the Silver and Black as sports therapist.

In addition, the following members of the Spurs basketball operations department have received promotions: Willis Hall has been elevated to video coordinator and Cam Hodges advances to player development assistant. AJ Meyer is now coaching analytics coordinator, while Paul West has been promoted to assistant athletic trainer and recovery coordinator.

Barry returns to the Spurs organization after playing four seasons in Silver and Black from 2004-08, where he helped the Spurs to two titles in 2005 and 2007. After a 14-year NBA career, he joined the Turner Sports network as an analyst in 2010. Barry covered the NBA for the league’s network on NBA TV and eventually moved to providing color analysis for TNT during the regular season and playoffs. He was also tapped as a host for the Players Only telecasts during the regular season, and hosted All-Star Saturday at the 2018 NBA All-Star weekend. Barry also played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Seattle SuperSonics and Houston Rockets, where he finished his playing career in 2009. Barry ranks 34th all-time in three-pointers made (1,395) and 23rd all-time in three-point percentage (.405). He holds career averages of 9.2 points, 3.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 912 NBA contests. Barry graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in sociology.

Former Spurs assistant Don Newman dies

Here’s the San Antonio Express News with some sad news on a former Spurs assistant:

Don Newman, an assistant coach who served on the staff of a pair of Spurs championship teams, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 60.

Newman was a member of coach Gregg Popovich’s staff from 2004-2012, helping the Spurs win titles in 2005 and 2007.

He left the Spurs in 2012 to become the lead assistant under Randy Wittman in Washington, where he remained until 2016.

Newman died Tuesday. Funeral services are pending.

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Spurs sign rookie Chimezie Metu

Spurs sign rookie Chimezie Metu

The San Antonio Spurs have signed forward Chimezie Metu.

Metu, 6-11/225, was selected by the Spurs in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft (49th overall). He recently played with San Antonio in the 2018 NBA Summer League, averaging 11.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21.4 minutes in five appearances.

Last season as a junior at the University of Southern California, the Lawndale, Calif. native was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and received honorable mention for the All-Defensive Team. He averaged a team-high 15.9 points to go along with 7.4 rebounds and 1.74 blocks in 31.0 minutes.

Over his three-year career at USC, he averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 27.0 minutes while shooting .533 (495-928) from the floor in his 71 appearances. In his sophomore season, Metu was named the 2017 Pac-12 Most Improved Player and received All-Pac-12 Second Team honors. He finished his collegiate career third in school history with 168 total blocks.

Spurs sign Quincy Pondexter

Spurs sign Quincy Pondexter

The San Antonio Spurs signed forward Quincy Pondexter today.

Pondexter, 6-7/230, spent last season with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 8.5 minutes in 23 games.

A seven-year NBA veteran, Pondexter holds career averages of 5.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.3 minutes over 302 total games played. After being drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft (26th overall) he was sent to the New Orleans later that summer. Prior to the start of the 2011-12 campaign, Pondexter was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies where he played the next three-plus seasons. On Jan. 12, 2015 he was traded back to the Pelicans where he posted a career-best 9.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 27.8 minutes over 45 games.

Pondexter played collegiately at the University of Washington, earning All-Pac-10 First Team honors as a senior in 2010. In four seasons with Huskies he averaged 13.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 136 games. He is the school’s all-time leader in games played and finished his career ranked third in scoring with 1,786 points.

Rudy Gay says he is 100 percent healthy

Entering the 2018-19 NBA season, the Spurs are built around LaMarcus Aldridge and new addition DeMar DeRozan. Almost everyone else on the roster is part of the supporting cast. But then there’s Rudy Gay, who in 2015-16 with the Kings scored 17.2 points per game and in 2016-17 with the Kings put up 18.7 ppg. But then in 2017-18 with the Spurs, Gay’s minutes dropped from over 30 minutes per game both those previous two seasons to 21.6 minutes per game last season, and he scored just 11.5 ppg. But now Rudy says he’s fully healthy. And the Spurs could definitely use another scorer. Can he fill that role? Will he receive the minutes to make it happen? First, a health update, from the San Antonio Express-News:

For starters, Gay is finally 100 percent after last season’s valiant but often painful return from the season-ending ruptured left Achilles tendon he suffered in January 2017 with the Sacramento Kings.

“Everything is clicking,” he said. “I feel athletic again.”

Gay credits his sense of well being to a summer of hard work in the gym and weight room intermingled with his usual full schedule of community involvement and NBA outreach, including playing in the league’s Africa Game 2018.

“I’ve been working hard, man,” Gay said at his boys’ high school basketball showcase for East Coast teams he hosts annually. “I lost about five pounds. Last year was a little bit of a struggle for me, so I tried to alleviate that by taking the weight off my feet by losing a couple of pounds through working out and eating better. It’s now or never right now for me.”

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Spurs waive Brandon Paul

Spurs waive Brandon Paul

The San Antonio Spurs waived guard Brandon Paul today.

Paul, who was signed as a free agent on July 14, 2017, appeared in 64 games for the Spurs last season, averaging 2.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 9.0 minutes.

According to the San Antonio Express News, “faced with the decision to keep guard Brandon Paul and guarantee his salary for the upcoming season, the Spurs opted to let him go. The team waived Paul on Tuesday, a day before the deadline that would have locked in his $1.38 million salary for next season in its entirety.”

Spurs sign Dante Cunningham

The San Antonio Spurs signed forward Dante Cunningham today.

Cunningham, 6-8/230, spent last season with New Orleans and Brooklyn, averaging 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 21.4 minutes over 73 total games. Starting the year with the Pelicans for the first 51 games, he averaged 5.0 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.9 minutes before being dealt on Feb. 8 to the Nets, where he appeared in 22 contests and posted 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 20.3 minutes.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Cunningham holds career averages of 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 651 total games played. After being drafted by Portland in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft (33rd overall), the former Villanova Wildcat spent his rookie year with the Trail Blazers before being sent to Charlotte in the middle of his second season on Feb. 24, 2011. The forward signed as a free agent with Memphis after the season, where he spent one year before being traded to Minnesota in the summer of 2012. After playing two years for the Timberwolves, Cunningham signed with New Orleans on Dec. 4, 2014 and spent three-plus years with the Pelicans before being dealt to Brooklyn last season.

Spurs re-sign Bryn Forbes

Spurs re-sign Bryn Forbes

The San Antonio Spurs re-signed guard Bryn Forbes today.

Forbes last season led San Antonio in three-point percentage, hitting 39%. The second-year guard played in 80 games, averaging 6.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 19.0 minutes per outing. Forbes scored double figures in 28 contests and led the Spurs in scoring four times, tied for second-most on the team. He was one of just three Spurs players to play in at least 80 games last season.

Having originally signed with the Spurs as an undrafted free agent on July 14, 2016, Forbes has appeared in 116 career games, averaging 5.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 15.5 minutes. Forbes was named to the 2017 All-NBA Summer League Second Team, leading all players in scoring by averaging 26.0 points in five games for the Spurs in Las Vegas.

Marco Belinelli is back on the Spurs

Marco Belinelli is back on the Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs signed guard Marco Belinelli today.

Belinelli, 6-5/210, previously spent two seasons with the Spurs from 2013 to 2015, helping San Antonio capture the 2014 NBA Championship. Belinelli averaged 10.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 24.0 minutes while shooting .460 (536-1,165) from the floor and .405 (212-523) from long range in 130 total games in Silver and Black.

A native of Italy, Belinelli split last season between Atlanta and Philadelphia. In 52 games with the Hawks, he averaged 11.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 23.3 minutes. In 28 games with the 76ers, he averaged 13.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 26.3 minutes while shooting .385 (57-148) from long distance. Belinelli played in all 10 Playoff games for Philadelphia, averaging 12.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 27.3 minutes.

The 11-year veteran has appeared in 724 total games and holds career averages of 9.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.3 minutes while shooting .427 from the field and .377 from three-point range. Originally drafted by Golden State in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft (18th overall), Belinelli spent his first two NBA seasons with the Warriors. He then played with the Raptors (2009-10), Pelicans (2010-12) and Bulls (2012-13) before joining the Spurs. After his time in San Antonio, he spent one season with the Kings (2015-16) before joining the Hornets for the 2016-17 campaign.

Prior to his NBA career, Belinelli played professionally in Italy for Virtus Bologna from 2002-04 and Fortitudo Bologna from 2004-07. In 2005 at the age of 19, he was named the Italian Supercup MVP after leading his team to the league title and the Italian Cup. Belinelli has played on the Italian National Team since 2006.

The San Antonio Spurs have obtained guard DeMar DeRozan, center Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first round pick from the Toronto Raptors in a trade for forward Kawhi Leonard and guard Danny Green.

DeRozan was named to the 2018 All-NBA Second Team after averaging 23.0 points, 5.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 33.9 minutes in 80 games last season with Toronto. The 6-7, 220-pound guard shot .456 (645-1,413) from the field, .310 (89-287) from three-point range and .825 (461-559) from the free throw line. A four-time All-Star, DeRozan holds career averages of 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 675 games over nine NBA seasons. He earned All-NBA Third Team honors following the 2016-17 season when he ranked fifth in the league in scoring, averaging a career-best 27.3 points.

The ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, DeRozan is one of 10 players in the league to average 20-or-more points in each of the last five seasons and has been named to three straight NBA All-Star teams. A gold medalist on the 2016 USA Olympic Team, he has earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors nine times and has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month three times (April 2015, January 2016 and January 2018).

Appearing in all 82 games, Poeltl averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.22 blocks in 18.6 minutes for Toronto during the 2017-18 season. Selected by the Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the 7-0, 230-pound center has appeared in 136 games in his two-year NBA career, averaging 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes. Poeltl holds a career field goal percentage of .641 (320-499), which ranks fifth in the NBA among all players with at least 300 field goals made in the last two seasons.

Poeltl is both the first Austrian to be selected in the NBA Draft and to appear in an NBA game. He played two seasons at the University of Utah, earning All-American second team honors as a sophomore during the 2015-16 season. Poeltl was also named the 2016 Pac-10 Player of the Year and won the 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award as the top center in college basketball.

Leonard is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2015, 2016) and twice was named First Team All-NBA (2016, 2017).

Leonard joins the Raptors after spending his entire seven-year NBA career with San Antonio and helped the Spurs win the 2014 NBA Championship. He holds career averages of 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and a .386 three-point shooting percentage (529-1370) in 407 career games. The Los Angeles native averaged a career-best 25.5 points in 74 games during the 2016-17 season and was third in NBA Most Valuable Player voting. In 87 career playoff games, Leonard averaged 16.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and is shooting .427 from beyond the arc (125-293). He was named the MVP of the 2014 NBA Finals after averaging 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and shot .579 (11-for-19) in five games against Miami.

Green spent the last eight seasons with San Antonio, averaging 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists in 25.8 minutes per game. In 520 games with the Spurs, Green posted a .396 (959-2421) average from three-point range and was a key contributor to the team’s 2014 NBA Championship title. A native of New York, Green played 70 games (60 starts) for the Spurs last season averaging 8.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.6 minutes. He was named to the NBA All Defensive Second Team during the 2016-17 campaign.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that assistant coach Becky Hammon has been promoted. Hammon fills the position vacated by James Borrego who was named head coach of the Charlotte Hornets on May 10.

According to the San Antonio Express News, “although the Spurs do not rank their assistants, the move essentially makes her the team’s No. 3 bench assistant behind Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka.”

Hammon has served as an assistant on the Spurs coaching staff since 2014, following a 16-year career in the WNBA. She served as head coach of the Spurs Las Vegas Summer League teams in 2015 and 2016, guiding the 2015 squad to the Summer League championship.

Named one of the WNBA’s Top20@20, an honor given to the WNBA’s 20 greatest and most influential players in the league’s 20-year history, Hammon played eight seasons for the San Antonio Stars (2007-14) and eight seasons for the New York Liberty (1999-2006). A six-time WNBA All-Star, Hammon ranks ninth in league history in points (5,841), third in three-point field goals made (829), fifth in assists (1,708) and 10th in games played (450).

Spurs draft Lonnie Walker with 18th pick

The San Antonio Spurs selected Lonnie Walker IV with the 18th overall pick in the first round and Chimezie Metu with the 49th overall selection in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft, which took place last night in Brooklyn, NY.

Walker, 6-5/205, played last season at Miami University, leading the Hurricanes in scoring by averaging 11.5 points to go along with 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.8 minutes in his 32 appearances. The Reading, Pa. native was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team in his lone season at Miami. Walker also became the first freshman in school history to earn all-league honors, receiving Honorable Mention All-ACC, while helping the Hurricanes finish 22-10.

Metu, 6-11/225, spent last year at the University of Southern California earning All-Pac-12 First Team honors. The Lawndale, Calif. native averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.74 blocks in 31.0 minutes in 34 appearances last year during his junior season for the Trojans. Metu played in a total of 104 games and averaged 12.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.62 blocks in his three seasons at USC, finishing his career third in school history with 168 blocks.

Kawhi Leonard reportedly seeks a trade

Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard is one of the most talented players in the NBA. When healthy. Here’s the LA Times reporting on Leonard’s apparent desire to take his talents away from San Antonio:

Add Kawhi Leonard to the list of NBA stars with an interest in playing in Los Angeles.

That interest is mutual from the city’s two NBA teams — with some conditions.

The star forward’s desire to leave the San Antonio Spurs became clear on Friday morning, when the San Antonio Express News first reported he wanted to be traded. According to sources not authorized to speak publicly, the Lakers have long been Leonard’s preferred destination, though the Clippers are among the teams he would consider.

Neither the Lakers nor the Clippers have had trade discussions with the Spurs yet, but both teams have concerns about the severity of Leonard’s quadriceps injury. That injury sidelined Leonard for most of last season. He spent several months away from the team while rehabbing, which led to public barbs from Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich about Leonard’s absence — an unusual move for the Spurs.

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The Spurs looked totally down and out in their first-round playoff series against the Warriors, yet were able to come up away with a Game 4 win. Here’s the San Antonio Express News reporting:

Spurs acting coach Ettore Messina made one key defensive adjustment in Game 4, assigning Danny Green to defend Klay Thompson from the start. Thompson had been abusing matchups against the smaller Patty Mills throughout the first three games, averaging 25.6 points. With a bigger, longer defender on him in Game 4, Thompson went 4 of 16 from the floor and finished with 12 points. The Spurs also took the novel approach of putting point guard Dejounte Murray on Draymond Green, limiting the Warriors forrward’s upside as a playmaker.

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The general rule is, any coach who works as an assistant to Gregg Popovich is probably a good coach. And usually winds up getting offers from other teams fairly quickly. Well, the Hornets have a new GM, and need a new head coach. Here’s the Charlotte Observer with the latest:

The Charlotte Hornets will act quickly to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for their head-coaching opening, as soon as the Spurs season is complete.

A source familiar the situation said Messina will interview as early as the middle of next week, if the Spurs are eliminated by the Golden State Warriors by then. Ettore coached the Spurs in Thursday’s loss to the Warriors, as head coach Gregg Popovich mourned the death of his wife, Erin.

The Spurs trail the best-of-7 series 3-0. Game 4 is Sunday in San Antonio. A possible Game 5 is Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. It’s yet to be determined when Popovich would rejoin the team.

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