Archive for the ‘ San Antonio Spurs Blog ’ Category

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.

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.”

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