Archive for the ‘ San Antonio Spurs Blog ’ Category

Spurs re-sign Matt Bonner

matt bonner

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have re-signed forward Matt Bonner.

Bonner has spent the past eight seasons in San Antonio, the longest tenured player with the Silver and Black outside of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The 6-10 forward has appeared in 530 games with the Spurs, averaging 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.9 minutes while shooting .459 (1,170-2,551) from the field and .417 (595-1,428) from three-point range. Among Spurs all-time NBA leaders, Bonner ranks third in three-pointers made, seventh in three-point field goal percentage and ninth in games played. During the 2010-11 season he led the NBA in three-point shooting with a .457 (105-230) mark from beyond the arc. Bonner has appeared in 87 playoff games for the Silver and Black, averaging 2.9 points and 1.7 rebounds in 11.5 minutes.

A 10-year NBA veteran, Bonner was originally drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 45th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. His draft rights were traded to the Toronto Raptors where he spent his first two NBA seasons. For his career, the New Hampshire native has appeared in 690 NBA games, averaging 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds 17.7 minutes while shooting .467 (1,626-3,481) from the field, .417 (736-1,736) from three-point territory and .777 (304-391) from the foul line. Among active players he ranks seventh in three-point field goal percentage.

San Antonio Spurs hire Etorre Messina as an assistant coach

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have hired Ettore Messina as an assistant coach. A four-time Euroleague Champion and a two-time Euroleague Coach of the Year, Messina brings over 25 years of coaching experience to the bench.

“I am honored to have such an accomplished individual join our program,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Coach Messina is an exceptional coach, a great leader and someone we can all learn from.”

Messina joins the Spurs after spending the last two years as the head coach of the CSKA Moscow in the Russian League, his second stint with the team. Before returning to CSKA Moscow, Messina served as a coaching consultant for the L.A. Lakers in 2011-12. Prior to making the move to the NBA, Messina spent four seasons (2005-2009) at the helm of CSKA Moscow where he led the team to two Euroleague Championships (2006, 2008) and four Russian SuperLeague titles (2006-2009).

Before coaching in the Russian League, Messina served as a coach in the Italian League for over 15 years. He earned two Euroleague Championships (1998 and 2001) as well as several Italian championships with Virtus Bologna, where he had two stints as head coach (1989-1993, 1997-2002). After leaving Bologna, Messina went on to coach Benetton Treviso from 2002-2005, guiding the team to an Italian championship in 2003.

Named one of the Euroleague’s 10 Greatest All-Time Coaches in 2008, Messina has earned numerous coaching accolades throughout his career including European Coach of the Year in 1998, Euroleague Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2008, and Italian Coach of the Year in 1990, 1993, 1998, 2001 and 2005.

A native of Catania, Italy, Messina also served as head coach of the senior men’s Italian national basketball team (1993-1997), where he led Italy to the silver medal at the 1997 European Championship.

kyle anderson

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed Kyle Anderson.

The Spurs selected Anderson with the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

All first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract if they want to come to the NBA right away, so this signing is standard and was expected.

Anderson, 6-9/230, recently completed his sophomore season out of UCLA. In 36 games he averaged 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.78 steals in 33.2 minutes while shooting .480 (153-319) from the field and .483 (28-58) from three-point range. The forward became the first player in Pac-12 conference history to record 200 rebounds and 200 assists in the same season and the first player at UCLA since 1973-74 to average 10-plus points, 5-plus rebounds and 5-plus assists (Bill Walton). Following his sophomore campaign, he was voted to the All-Pac 12 First Team and was a Third Team AP All-America selection.

Over the course of his career he appeared in 71 games, averaging 12.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.77 steals in 31.6 minutes. Anderson helped lead UCLA to the Pac-12 regular season title in 2013 and to the Pac-12 Tournament title in 2014 where he was named the Most Outstanding Player.

Anderson is currently on the Spurs Las Vegas Summer League roster and finished with 6 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds in 26 minutes in his first game.

Spurs re-sign Patty Mills

patrick mills

The 2013-14 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have re-signed guard Patty Mills.

Last season Mills appeared in a team-high 81 games and averaged 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in a career-high 18.9 minutes while shooting .464 (309-666) from the field and .425 (135-318) from beyond the arc. He ranked seventh in the league in three-point percentage and connected on a team-high 135 three-pointers for the season. In the 2014 Finals Mills averaged 10.2 points while shooting .543 (19-35) from the field and .565 (13-23) from beyond the arc.

Mills was part of San Antonio’s bench in 2013-14 that averaged an NBA-best 45.1 points per game, marking the Silver and Black’s highest bench average in franchise history. The guard scored in double-figures 37 times and had eight games where he scored 20 points-or-more.

A product out of St. Mary’s, Mills recently completed his fifth NBA season and his third with the Spurs. Mills, who initially signed with San Antonio on March 27, 2012, was originally drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 55th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Manu Ginobili out with injury

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog, on the Spurs:

Manu Ginobili out with injury

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili played the NBA Finals with a slight stress fracture in his right fibula, an injury that now casts his availability for Argentina in this summer’s FIBA Basketball World Cup in doubt.

The fracture was discovered during a routine postseason physical, according to a league source, and began bothering the 36-year-old guard at some point during the Spurs’ run in Western Conference playoffs. By the end of the Spurs’ march to a championship, Ginobili could often be seen limping noticeably after games.

Yahoo! Sports first reported news of Ginobili’s condition.

Ginobili, who turns 37 later this month, will visit with a foot specialist for a second opinion on the injury, which otherwise could keep him off the court for up to two months.

tim duncan

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that forward Tim Duncan has exercised his player option for the 2014-15 NBA season.

The 6-11 Duncan was selected by San Antonio with the first pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. In his 17 seasons, Duncan has led the Silver and Black to 11 division titles and the playoffs every year. After helping guide the Spurs to the 2014 NBA Championship, Duncan became one of only five players in NBA history to win five championships and five MVP awards (regular season or NBA Finals). Other players on the list include Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Over the 17-year span San Antonio has posted a 950-396 regular season record, giving the team a winning percentage of .706, which is the best winning percentage in all of professional sports over that span and the best winning percentage over any 17-year span in NBA history. Over the span, the team has accumulated four 60-win seasons and currently owns an NBA-record 15 consecutive campaigns of 50-plus victories.

The 38-year-old Duncan, who leads all active players in career wins (898), has captured the NBA’s MVP Award two times (2002, 2003) and has earned NBA Finals MVP honors three times (1999, 2003, 2005). Duncan has appeared on both an All-Defensive Team and an All-NBA Team in the same season an NBA-record 14 times. The 1998 Rookie of the Year, Duncan has been an NBA All-Star 14 times and has been named the NBA Player of the Week on 22 occasions over the course of his career.

In 1,254 regular season games Duncan has averaged 19.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.23 blocks in 34.8 minutes. He is the Spurs all-time NBA leader in games played, points (24,904), field goals made (9,651) and attempted (19,074) and rebounds (13,940). He ranks second in blocks (2,791), fourth in assists (3,832) and sixth in steals (915). Duncan leads all active players in career double-doubles (796) and this past postseason passed Magic Johnson for the most career double-doubles in NBA playoff history (158).

Duncan has appeared in 234 playoff games, averaging 21.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.33 blocks in 38.0 minutes. His 234 games played in the postseason ranks first among active players and fourth all-time in NBA history. After winning the 2014 title, Duncan joined John Salley as the only players in NBA history to win a championship in three separate decades.

spurs championship parade details

San Antonians are invited downtown this Wednesday, June 18 to help the San Antonio Spurs and the City of San Antonio celebrate a fifth NBA Championship.

A river parade community celebration begins at 6 p.m. on the River Walk. Following the river parade, the celebration will move to the Alamodome for a special ceremony beginning at 9 p.m.

“The City is proud of our Spurs,” said Mayor Julián Castro. “This fifth championship cements the Spurs’ legacy as one of the greatest sports franchises in history.”

The river parade will begin at 6 p.m. at the Arneson River Theater, travel through the River Center extension past the Convention Center and Rivercenter Mall and end at the Navarro Street Bridge. Barges will carry Spurs players and coaches, Spurs officials, former Spurs players, City and Bexar County officials, live musical entertainers and others down the San Antonio River.

- Fans will not be allowed to claim a spot on the River Walk to view the parade until 4 p.m. the day of the parade.
- Only those individuals with credentials will be allowed to view the parade from Arneson River Theater.
- Due to security precautions, no ice chests, alcoholic beverages, glass containers, chairs, shopping bags, packages, Silly String or similar items will be allowed on the River Walk.

Photo of 2014 San Antonio Spurs NBA championship gear. The Spurs just won the title in five games, beating the Heat tonight.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on Spurs great Tim Duncan:

Tim Duncan keeps racking up NBA accomplishments

After the Spurs’ 107-86 Game 4 win over the Heat gave San Antonio a 3-1 edge in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, Tim Duncan was more interested in looking forward than reflecting on his own personal accomplishments, even if those accomplishments linked him to two of the game’s greats — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.

Duncan passed them in two different statistical categories during the Spurs’ victory on Thursday. He played 31 minutes to total 8,869 career playoff minutes and edge Abdul-Jabbar’s total of 8,851 for first place on the NBA career list. Duncan’s 10 points and 11 rebounds gave him his 158th career playoff double-double, moving him ahead of Johnson (157) for the all-time NBA playoff lead.

Duncan is already the all-time playoff leader in blocked shots and is fourth all-time in games played, but for him, all of those individual numbers pale in comparison to what can come Sunday if the Spurs close out the Heat to bring home their fifth championship.

If that happens, it will be Duncan’s fifth title as well, putting him in even more elite company. Only 13 players in NBA history have won more championships than that while 12 players have won five titles.

Tuesday in Miami, the San Antonio Spurs went wild early on, scoring 41 points in the first quarter against the Heat. Enjoy these Spurs video highlights:

The Spurs beat the Heat 111-92 Tuesday in Miami to take a 2-1 lead in the 2014 NBA Finals. San Antonio got off to an incredible start, and were able to keep the Heat at bay to secure the victory. Here’s the New York Daily News:

After starting the game by making 19 of their first 21 shots, the Spurs finished the half shooting 25-of-33 (76%), setting a Finals first-half record. Their 41 points in the first quarter were the most in a Finals game since 1967, while their 13-of-15 shooting in the first quarter (87%) also set a Finals record.

The Heat did cut the lead to seven points in the third period and was down only 10 with 8:54 to go in the game. But the Spurs, who are still smarting from their epic Game 6 collapse last June, didn’t come close to buckling this time.

Remember how Gregg Popovich complained after Game 2 on Sunday that the ball stuck to his team’s hands way too much in the critical fourth quarter, when it scored only six points in the final 4:40? For the first 19 minutes of this game, once the ball left the Spurs’ shooters hands, the only thing it stuck to was the nylon nets.

“I don’t think we’ll ever shoot 76% . . . ever . . . in a half . . . again,” Popovich said, looking amazed.

If you watched the Spurs score only 18 points in the fourth quarter of Game 2, you wouldn’t have thought that it was the same team. At the height of their blitz, they led 55-30.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on NBA Finals Game 3:

Quiet Kawhi Leonard lets Game 3 play speak for itself

On the night he put together the best playoff performance of his career, Kawhi Leonard opted to pass up the spotlight and the post-game press conference that typically comes on a night like his.

Instead, the soft-spoken Spurs forward stood in San Antonio’s locker room, still in his uniform, and answered questions from a media contingent the likes of which he hasn’t seen all NBA Finals.

“I was just in attack mode trying to be aggressive early and knocking down a couple shots got me going and my teammates found me,” he said simply when describing his career high 29 point-performance that helped the Spurs take a 2-1 series lead with their 111-92 win over the Miami Heat in Tuesday’s Game 3. “We were just running the same offense. I was able to play tonight. I didn’t get in foul trouble early, I got in a rhythm and my teammates got me involved.”

Things didn’t exactly go so well for Leonard through the first two games of the NBA Finals.

The third-year player had a combined 18 points and four rebounds in the first two games of the series and fouled out for the first time in 243 NBA games on Sunday during Miami’s Game 2 win.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on the Spurs-Heat NBA Finals. Game 3 is tonight in Miami:

The Spurs are back for Game 3 of the Finals on Tuesday, intent on forgetting as much as they can about the last time they were here on this stage.

“For me personally, I’m definitely not going to think about that the next two games,” San Antonio guard Tony Parker said after the Spurs fell, 98-96, in Game 2 on Sunday night. “I’m going to focus on what I can do to help the team win. Going to be big games coming up.”

The Heat and Spurs are in a similar spot to where they were last year, the series tied after two games. The difference is that the next two games will be in Miami as part of the new 2-2-1-1-1 series format instead of in San Antonio for three games as part of the old 2-3-2 alignment that ended last year.

It seemed pretty clear what fixes the Spurs needed to make after another unhappy ending doomed them in Game 2. They led by a point after Parker made a three-pointer with 2:26 remaining before their final four possessions went like this: missed Manu Ginobili three-pointer, Ginobili turnover, Ginobili missed jumper and meaningless Ginobili three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left.

San Antonio’s demise was not solely a one-man operation, though.

The Spurs missed eight of 20 free throws in the game, including four in a row in the fourth quarter.

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on the Spurs vs Heat 2014 NBA Finals, which are currently tied at 1-1.

Spurs say improvement must come from offense

Even after a Game 2 in which LeBron James scored 35 points and the Heat shot 52.9 percent from the field, it was notable that the Spurs pointed to the offensive end as the area of their shortcomings on Sunday.

Guard Danny Green said the Spurs can live with the shots they gave James: “They were contested jumpers. You’re not going to block his jump shot. We didn’t expect him to shoot that well, but he got hot.”

Tim Duncan said he “thought we were pretty decent” defensively.

What wasn’t acceptable, coach Gregg Popovich said, was the lack of ball movement. “The ball stuck,” he said. “We didn’t do it as a group. We tried to do it individually, and we’re not good enough to do that. You move it or you die.”

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on the Heat-Spurs NBA Finals:

Manu Ginobili leads Spurs bench brigade in losing cause

The San Antonio Spurs sported the highest-scoring bench in the NBA during the regular season.

Spurs reserves lived up to that billing Sunday night, but it wasn’t enough to save them as LeBron James and the Heat evened their best-of-7 NBA Finals with a 98-96 victory in Game 2 at AT&T Center.

The Spurs’ bench outscored the Heat’s reserves 37-12. On most nights, that would have been enough to guarantee a victory.

But this wasn’t most nights.

James, bouncing back from his Game 1 disappointment — when he was forced to sit out the final four minutes with leg cramps after an air-conditioning failure — erupted for 35 points and 10 rebounds.

Sunday in San Antonio, the Miami Heat came to town, enjoyed proper arena air conditioning, and edged the Spurs 98-96 to tie the 2014 NBA Finals 1-1. LeBron James shot 14-of-22 in the win for 35 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Enjoy these LeBron video highlights:

I know you’re all sitting out there thinking about how cool Gregg Popovich and Tom Thibodeau are. It’s a pretty standard topic to sit pondering about. But which of the two is cooler? Here is the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on Spurs guard Marco Belinelli as he discusses Popovich (his current coach) and Bulls coach Thibodeau (his former coach):

Marco Belinelli says Popovich is cooler than Thibodeau

Both are driven, defensive-oriented winners. All that appears to separate the two are Popovich’s four championships, and he’s three games away from a fifth after the Spurs beat the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

But Spurs reserve Marco Belinelli, who played under Thibodeau with the Bulls last season, offered up a different perspective. Apparently, their jewelry collection isn’t all that sets them apart.

Popovich might be the more likely of the two to grab a beer and shoot the breeze.

“They are different a little bit,” Belinelli said. “Thibodeau is a great coach, but maybe Pop is more like a cool guy. He wants to speak with you, have a conversation, speak about everything, not just basketball.”

Not that chitchatting with your players leads to victories.

Belinelli found a comfort zone in Popovich’s system and has improved his offensive efficiency from a season ago.

Here are video highlights of the top plays from Spurs vs Heat NBA Finals Game 1. Played in San Antonio Thursday night, the Spurs won, 110-95

Some top 2014 NBA Finals storylines

RETURN TRIP: A Finals rematch is a rare treat. This will be the first time since 1997 and 1998 two teams will square off in consecutive years. Further adding to the anticipation, it’s the first time in 25 years that two teams played a seven-game Finals and repeated as conference champions the following season.

SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE: Six Finals appearances in 16 seasons and 15 consecutive 50+ win seasons have established the Spurs as the NBA’s model for long-term success. Is this the team’s last run for a championship? When you’re the Spurs, the answer to that question can never be yes.

COACHING UP: Only four coaches in the history of the NBA (Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Pat Riley and John Kundla) have won five or more titles. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hopes to join this elite club in 2014. On the other sideline, Erik Spoelstra is aiming to become only the fourth coach (Auerbach, Kundla and Jackson) in NBA history to win three straight Finals.

DOING IT WITH DEPTH: The Spurs’ depth has been one of the largest reasons for their return to The Finals. San Antonio is the first team since the NBA/ABA merger (1976) to not have a single player average 30 minutes. The Spurs had nine players average at least 8.0 points this season — the first team to hold that distinction and make The Finals since the 1965-66 Celtics. San Antonio’s reserves finished the regular season with the highest scoring average in Spurs franchise history and in this season’s playoffs, the reserves have accounted for a league-high 42.2 points per game.

DIFFERENT PATH, SIMILAR RESULTS: The Spurs and Heat were built in different ways, with different types of players. After Tim Duncan, who was the top pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, the next highest Spurs draft pick is Kawhi Leonard (15th overall pick). Their roster boasts five second-rounders and one undrafted player. The Heat, on the other hand, features six top 10 picks on its star-studded roster.

– NBA News

No retirement plans for Tim Duncan yet

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting on veteran Spurs star Tim Duncan, whose squad faces the Heat Thursday in NBA Finals Game 1:

No retirement plans for Tim Duncan yet

At 38, Spurs legend Tim Duncan knows the end of his NBA career is near. But with his fifth championship in his sights, Duncan said at Wednesday’s media availability that he has yet to seriously contemplate retirement.

“I’ve not come to that point yet,” Duncan said. “I don’t know when I’m going to retire. I don’t know what the factors are going to be. I don’t know any of that and I don’t care about any of that stuff right now. I’m not thinking about that. It will happen when it happens. I’ll feel it and I’ll now it and I’ll call it a day.”

Duncan has a player option to return for what would be his 18th NBA season. Former NBA coach George Karl had speculated earlier this year, basing his information on unnamed sources, that Duncan will retire. But Duncan and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich roundly dismissed that notion as the future Hall of Famer continued to put up quality numbers, averaging 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

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