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Spurs get their Heat Finals rematch

Spurs get their Heat Finals rematch

Starting Thursday, the Spurs get a rematch in the NBA Finals against the only team to ever beat them in a championship series. San Antonio will be holding home-court advantage, so if another Game 7 awaits, the Spurs will have the decided edge this time around. If that wasn’t enough, the Spurs even got basically five full days between games to get healthy and prepare.

It is, without question, everything the Spurs could have wanted.

“We know what we’re going against,” said Spurs guard Tony Parker, who added that he has great respect for what the Heat have done in this four-year run. “It’s a great challenge.”

There are so many things that would seem like a distinct San Antonio advantage right now.

First, while everyone’s better at home, the Spurs dominate in San Antonio, winning 103 times in their last 123 games there. Over the past four seasons, the Spurs are also 25-5 when having three or more days between games.

– Associated Press

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on veteran Spurs star Tim Duncan, who sure seems ready for an NBA Finals rematch with the Heat:

The normally bland Duncan offered some surprising thoughts on facing the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals for a second straight year. The best-of-7 series opens Thursday in San Antonio.

“We’re back here now and we want to get it done this time,” Duncan said.

The Spurs advanced after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games. Last year they lost in seven games to the Heat despite holding a 3-2 lead in the series. The Heat won the last two at AmericanAirlines Arena, but this time the Spurs hold homecourt advantage.

“We were ready last year, too,” Duncan said. “People keep talking about it like we weren’t close to winning it. We were ready last year, and we just couldn’t get over that hump. We’re happy to be back here this year, we’re happy to have another opportunity at it.”

Duncan said the Spurs still have a “bad taste” in their mouths after last year. This season began with coach Gregg Popovich addressing the team about how close they were.

Spurs beat Thunder in OT, advance to NBA Finals

San Antonio fought off Father Time, the league MVP and an injury to its best player to return to the NBA Finals.

The Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 in overtime Saturday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals to set up a rematch with the Miami Heat.

San Antonio will host Game 1 on Thursday night and will try to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss. San Antonio led Miami 3-2 before losing Game 6 in overtime, then dropping Game 7…

San Antonio pulled this one out despite All-Star point guard Tony Parker missing the entire second half and overtime with left ankle soreness. Popovich said Parker had been struggling with the ankle since Game 4 of the series. The Spurs overcame it the way they have for more than a decade — with teamwork, passing and great performances by role players…

Russell Westbrook had 34 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals, and MVP Kevin Durant added 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder. But Oklahoma City committed 20 turnovers that led to 33 points for the Spurs. Westbrook and Durant each had seven turnovers.

– Associated Press

Here are video highlights of the top plays from Spurs vs Thunder Western Conference Finals Game 6. The Spurs won 112-107 in overtime to advance to the 2014 NBA Finals, where they will face the Miami Heat in a rematch of last year’s matchup.

The Spurs won Game 5 of their Western Conference Finals series against the Thunder, 117-89 Thursday. Here are video highlights of some of the game’s best plays:

Thursday in San Antonio the Spurs pounded the Oklahoma City Thunder 117-89 to take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference Finals series. In the win, Tim Duncan shot 8-of-13 for 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili nailed 7 of 9 shots for 19 points and six assists. Enjoy these Duncan and Ginobili-centered video highlights:

Tiago Splitter fined for flopping

San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

The incident occurred with 7:30 remaining in the second quarter of Spurs’ 105-92 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

To view the play click on this link.

Here are video highlights of the top plays from Spurs vs Thunder Game 3, which took place in OKC last night. The Thunder won, 106-97:

serge ibaka

The following statement was issued today by Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding the status of Serge Ibaka’s left calf injury:

“The abundance of blood and therefore swelling in Serge’s calf has reduced substantially and unexpectedly, allowing a level of movement and stability not thought possible after the initial diagnosis. Based on both imaging and physical exam, the considerable swelling in the calf indicated the likelihood of a certain degree of injury, and that established the original time frame for recovery.

At present, Serge has yet to complete a full basketball workout, but is walking and doing light basketball drills. With this new information, and in an effort to keep his status current, we are now listing him as day-to-day with the understanding that there is a possibility for him to play in this series.”

Danny Green making it rain in playoffs

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting on San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green, who is nailing shots like crazy in the team’s Western Conference Finals series against the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Danny Green making it rain in playoffs

Light it!

Such is the simple yet empowering encouragement Tim Duncan offers streak shooter extraordinaire Danny Green to let it fly whenever he nears the 3-point line with a sliver of daylight.

“When I’m running down the floor, I hear Tim for some reason,” he said. “I always hear Tim yell ‘light it’ when he’s coming to set a screen and I kind of get excited a little bit. It gives me more confidence to take the shot because I already know he’s behind me and he’s ready for me to shoot it. So every time I look up, run the floor or dribble up the floor, I look for Tim and look for a screen or see how the defense is playing me and try to find the rim.”

Green had plenty of opportunities to light up the Thunder in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, turning in one of his classic “Icy Hot” shooing binges with 21 points on a postseason-high tying seven 3-pointers.

Enjoy these video highlights of the San Antonio Spurs, who have won multiple championships under the leadership of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and are currently in the Western Conference Finals trying to do it again.

Now in 2014, Ginobili has taken a back seat to Duncan and Parker as well as young Kawhi Leonard, but he’s still a key part of the squad.

Here’s the video:

Wednesday in San Antonio, the Spurs easily beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-77 to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference Finals series. Here are video highlights of the game’s top plays:

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting:

Spurs wonder if Serge Ibaka still might play in series

Oklahoma City announced on Friday that forward Serge Ibaka, one of the NBA’s best shot blockers and defensive anchors, will miss the remainder of the playoffs with a calf strain.

The Thunder followed that up by telling the media on Sunday that Ibaka would not travel with the team on their flight to San Antonio in advance of the Western Conference Finals, which begin Monday.

And still, the Spurs remain skeptical to the point of paranoia.

“I don’t really believe it,” said point guard Tony Parker, who has been cleared to play in the opener after straining his left hamstring in the second round. “I’ll believe when I see tomorrow he is not on the court. It’s hard to believe. We’ll see tomorrow.”

Monday in Portland, the Trail Blazers were facing elimination, but stepped up and beat the Spurs 103-92. San Antonio still leads the series 3-1, but at least the Blazers stayed alive to fight another day. Damian Lillard shot 11-of-21 for 25 points and five assists in the win. Here are some Lillard video highlights:

Spurs bench continues doing big things

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News reporting on the Spurs, who use their bench in a big way and usually get great results:

spurs

The bench was once again a massive advantage for the Spurs, who outscored Portland’s reserves 50-19 for the second straight game as they took a commanding 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

The backups also enjoyed edges of 12-4 on the boards and 8-1 in assists, providing a boost Portland simply had no answer for.

“Our bench has been very important for us all year,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We would not have this home-court advantage right now if it had not been for the play of those guys. They have done a wonderful job all season long, and they are continuing to do it.”

They didn’t during most of their first-round series with Dallas. But even though it only ended on Sunday, that matchup seemed like a distant memory as the usual suspects all thrived.

Here’s CSNNW reporting on the Spurs and Trail Blazers second round NBA playoff series:

The San Antonio Spurs proved why they are a fascinating, well-oiled, attention to detail running machine. Their execution is clean and crisp. They run their sets and get into them with plenty of time to go through their options.

But what was blatantly noticeable during their 114-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers to go up 2-0 in the series is how they got their guys open shots and quality paths to the basket. It’s not rocket science. In order to free someone up, there has to be one of those body-to-body clashes that you seldom see anymore.

Damian Lillard explains exactly what that annoying contact is termed in the game of basketball. It’s a tactic the Spurs do often and so well.

“Their screens hurt. They actually set real screens,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “They do a great job of setting and holding screens. It wears you down. Chasing Tony Parker is one thing. Getting hit every single time is another thing. It takes a toll on you.”

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the San Antonio Spurs, who have taken a 2-0 series lead in their second round NBA playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers:

kawhi leonard

Maybe it was being pushed to seven games by Dallas, or the re-emergence of the bench, or meeting an opponent with nowhere near the playoff experience they have.

Or maybe it doesn’t matter why the San Antonio Spurs look once again like the class of the Western Conference, like the team that went 12-2 in the West playoffs last season, won a league-best 62 games and won 19 games in a row this season.

Whatever the reason, the Spurs are on a dominant run that started with a 23-point win in Game 7 against Dallas and continued Thursday with their second consecutive shellacking of the Trail Blazers, this time 114-97 in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series at the AT&T Center.

The victory came two nights after a 24-point win in Game 1.

“The aggressiveness, the concentration for 48 minutes — off the charts,” guard Manu Ginobili said. “So we are very happy with that, and hopefully, we maintain this.”

The Portland Trail Blazers are in San Antonio tonight to play Game 2 of their second round NBA playoff series against the Spurs. A friend was waiting for the visiting team in the locker room: An actual snake, found in Thomas Robinson’s locker according to the Blazers’ team blog. Here’s a photo that Mo Williams posted:

This is from the Train Blazers’ team blog: “Man, me and Thomas [Robinson] at our lockers as usual,” explained Trail Blazers guard Will Barton. “We’re changing and he goes to put his shoes down and he’s like ‘What the …?’ You know what he said. He’s like ‘There’s a snake under my locker dog!’ And I’m like ‘Stop playing.’ He’s like ‘No for real! A real snake!’ And we just looked under there and there was a snake. I was scared!”

R.C. Buford wins 2013-14 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year award

San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford is the recipient of the 2013-14 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year award, the NBA announced today.

Buford assembled a roster this season that featured six players averaging double figures in scoring and eight players averaging 20 or more minutes. The Spurs clinched homecourt advantage for the 2014 postseason by virtue of having posted the league’s best record at 62-20 (.756). San Antonio was the only team to record 30-plus wins both at home (32-9, .780) and on the road (30-11, .732), and the 2013-14 campaign marked the 15th consecutive season that the Spurs posted 50-plus wins – an NBA record.

The longstanding trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker has been fortified in recent years with the additions of Boris Diaw, Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills (third seasons with the team), as well as Danny Green and Tiago Splitter (fourth seasons with the team). Buford added Marco Belinelli this past offseason, who fit seamlessly into the rotation, with averages of 11.4 ppg (fifth on the team) and 25.2 mpg (fourth on the team).

Buford becomes the third Spurs Executive to win the award, joining Angelo Drossos (1977-78 season) and Bob Bass (1989-90 season). The Spurs tied the fifth-longest winning streak in NBA history this season, when they peeled off 19 consecutive victories between Feb. 26-April 2.

In his 23rd year with the franchise, Buford has previously held the positions of Assistant Coach, Head Scout, Director of Scouting and Vice President/Assistant General Manager before being tabbed with his current title as Spurs General Manager in July, 2002. Buford also holds the overarching title of President of Sports Franchises for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, presiding over the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars, the NBA Development League’s Austin Toros and the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, in addition to the Spurs.

Buford totaled 58 points and received nine first-place votes from a panel of his fellow team basketball executives throughout the NBA. The Phoenix Suns’ Ryan McDonough finished second with 47 points (five first-place votes) votes and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Neil Olshey finished third with 34 points (five first-place votes). Executives were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Tuesday in San Antonio the Spurs beat the Trail Blazers 116-92. Tony Parker shot 13-of-24 for 33 points and nine assists in the win. Enjoy these Parker video highlights:

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