Archive for the ‘ San Antonio Spurs Blog ’ Category

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.

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:

Basketball blog