Popovich, GInobili reflect on Spurs’ rocky start

Spurs’ Popovich, Ginobili reflect on complex beginning to a championship-winning relationship



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Spurs beat Pacers 106-100 without Popovich (Yahoo Sports)

SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 26:Ettore Messina and the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff stand on the court during a game against the Indiana Pacers at the AT&T Center on November 26, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — With Gregg Popovich resting after a medical procedure, Manu Ginobili had a throwback game while playing under former coach Ettore Messina for the first time in 13 years.

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Indiana Pacers vs. San Antonio Spurs 11/26/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The San Antonio Spurs looked to continue their recent roll on Wednesday night when they took on the Indiana Pacers. The Spurs had won four straight and seven of their last eight, but they faced a tricky test from the stingy Pacers, who had won three of their last four. 

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Spurs’ Popovich undergoes medical procedure (Yahoo Sports)

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 19: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs yells to his players during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on November 19, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Spurs defeated the Cavs 92-90. User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will miss Wednesday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers after undergoing what the team is calling a minor medical procedure.

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Pacers Injury Update: Roy Hibbert is considered ‘doubtful’ for tonight’s game vs. the Spurs

Indiana Pacers starting center Roy Hibbert will likely miss tonight’s game against the Spurs, the second straight contest he’ll watch from the bench. Hibbert sprained his left ankle on the 22nd during a game versus the Suns and after leaving the game just seven minutes in, has not seen the court since.Roy Hibbert (ankle) doubtful for Wednesday http://t.co/L1NwzAcOi6— Rotoworld Basketball (@Rotoworld_BK) November 25, 2014The injury initially did not look too serious, however now it appears the center will miss about a week due to the sprain. The 7’2″ big man from Georgetown is having a career year, posting career highs in points per game, blocks per game, and free throw percentage. He has taken a bigger role in the Indiana offense because of the injury to Paul George and the loss of Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets. To make matters worse for the Pacers starting power forward David West has missed the entire season thus far, however figures to return to the Indiana lineup as soon as this Friday

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Do the San Antonio Spurs Need to Consider Tweaking Their Roster?

The San Antonio Spurs seem to have the perfect roster. Few analysts question it, there aren’t any particularly glaring holes and the Spurs keep winning.

Gregg Popovich’s team limped through a 2-3 start but has since adapted to the setbacks, capitalizing on a weak schedule and earning seven victories in its last eight games.

Still, Marco Belinelli’s recovery, Matt Bonner’s mediocrity and Tiago Splitter’s prolonged absence raise minor red flags. Belinelli is being eased back into game action, Bonner is dealing with a stomach virus and Splitter’s official return date remains unknown, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.

With the trio ailing, should San Antonio be pursuing some sort of acquisition in an attempt to boost the roster just in case the injuries become a long-term mess?

The most important question, in this case, is how much a top playoff seed means to the team. Making a move would mean the Spurs are gunning for a top position, because they’ll almost certainly earn a postseason spot regardless.

Boris Diaw probably won’t log 35-plus minutes all season in Splitter’s absence, and the Spurs shouldn’t be opposed to limiting significant playing time for Jeff Ayres and Austin Daye—both of whom are unspectacular.

San Antonio could try utilizing smaller lineups, something opponents have used as a counter to five-man units with Tim Duncan and a center. This idea would entail a three-man combination of Tony Parker, Cory Joseph, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili or Belinelli alongside Kawhi Leonard and a center.

Per 82games, though, none of the Spurs’ top 20 lineups last season employed “The Claw” at the 4. What’s more, San Antonio couldn’t use Diaw at center in the preceding example, because that would shatter Pop’s rotations. And if the veteran was used at the 4, well, it’s no different than a normal unit.

Consequently, a small lineup would necessitate another shooting guard or small forward to make the option feasible. There aren’t many viable free agents, but Ray Allen is a popular name likely to gain traction—especially given a recent update from ESPN’s Chris Broussard.

Allen shattered the hearts of Spurs fans in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, yet the sharpshooter shouldn’t be ruled out because of that distant emotional pain.

Considering the injuries and overall three-point struggles San Antonio has encountered to date, Allen represents a decent addition. Though his defense is a turnoff, he’d provide long-distance shooting support during any Belinelli- or Patty Mills-less outings.

In order to sign Allen, however, the Spurs would be required to waive someone, because they currently have 15 players under contract. The side-eye would slowly begin scanning for Ayres and Daye, which doesn’t conceptually seem terrible.

But as fantastically mediocre as those backups are, the Spurs are already ridiculously thin in the frontcourt. Dropping either forward would mean San Antonio could not afford a major injury to any one of Duncan, Splitter, Aron Baynes or Bonner, and that is simply not worth the risk.

While Ayres and Daye are expendable, neither is necessarily release-able in favor of a guardwhich is equally hilarious and confusing. Their rebounding ability, as inconsequential as it may seem, is actually needed in small doses.

Ultimately, Allen does not provide a sufficient upgrade but would actually create a small but meaningful void, so he shouldn’t be pursued. 

Seeking a trade is the obvious alternative, but the Spurs realistically have no pieces to send other than draft picks or exceptions. Unless San Antonio targets a specific defensive upgrade to replace Ayres or Daye, the Spurs shouldn’t seriously consider waiving either forward.

Additionally, Kyle Anderson might seem like a wild card on the surface, considering he’ll probably split time with San Antonio and the Austin Spurs of the NBA Developmental League.

The franchise did something similar with Joseph a couple seasons back, giving the guard extra burn in the D-League while sporadically using him in the NBA. That time has certainly proved beneficial in the long run now that Joseph has stepped into a backup role and performed efficiently.

However, while sending Anderson to Austin for portions of his rookie campaign will help him record semi-consistent playing time, a change of scenery doesn’t alter the number of contracts.

Even if San Antonio wanted to pursue another option for its roster, the lack of available talent and full sheet of contracts combined with Ayres and Daye understanding their respective roles should not be discounted. Though neither is an under-the-radar stud, they both occupy a specific role that isn’t in dire need of an upgrade.

The Spurs’ best option is to stay the course and wait for a fully healthy team. Once that happens, nearly every question surrounding San Antonio’s roster will fade away.


Note: Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and accurate as of Nov. 24.

Follow Bleacher Report NBA writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

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Monday notes: Anderson recalled from Austin, Spurs still interested in Allen?

Monday the San Antonio Spurs recalled rookie Kyle Anderson from the Austin Spurs, where Anderson scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and threw six assists in 41 minutes, in the Spurs’ 110-105 win over the Santa Cruz Warriors on Sunday. With Marco Belinelli returning to the lineup, and when Cory Joseph fully heals from his […]

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Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets (5-7) are on the road to take on the suddenly clicking San Antonio Spurs (8-4), Saturday at the AT&T Center.

It’s the first meeting between the two this season.


Tipoff8:30 p.m. ET

Coverage: Fox Sports Southwest


Keys to the Game

The Nets will have to do a much better job of sharing the ball if they want any shot at a win. They’re 25th in the NBA in assists per game, while the Spurs are first in points allowed.

The Spurs, meanwhile, have won six of their last seven, thanks in large part to that stingy defense. Kawhi Leonard has assumed the role of leader on that end, and will likely spend some time defending Joe Johnson and possibly even leading scorer Deron Williams.

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Why the San Antonio Spurs are the San Antonio Spurs

Clinton was in the White House, cell phones were a mysterious luxury, and I had just completed the arduous journey of becoming potty-trained. This is what the world looked like back in April of 1997; the last time the San Antonio Spurs ended an NBA regular season without a ticket to the playoffs.
Even the most casual NBA fan is no stranger to the fact the Spurs have been the NBA’s most consistently successful franchise over the past 15 years. With playoff appearances 24 out the last 25 seasons, and five Larry O’Brien trophy’s we all get it; the Spurs are awesome.
That being said, knowing WHAT the Spurs have done in the last 15 some years is one thing. Realizing HOW they’ve done it is an entirely different matter.
With every new season the big question surrounding the Spurs is when old age will catch up with them and they finally fall off. News Flash: This isn’t going to happen. Sure, when Tim Duncan does retire the Spurs will take a step back, but expect it to be a small one.
Nothing will illustrate

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LeBron James Coughs Up Ball In Final Seconds As Spurs Beat Cavs (Video)

LeBron James provided a perfect snapshot of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ season.
James coughed up the basketball in the final seconds Wednesday as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Cavs 92-90. Cleveland now sits at .500 (5-5) despite the sky-high expectations placed on the organization once James returned to team up with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving this past offseason.
The final seconds of Wednesday’s game were rather frantic after Manu Ginobili missed a free throw that would have put San Antonio up by three points. James’ costly turnover certainly caused a social media frenzy, though, as people tend to go nuts whenever the four-time NBA MVP stumbles. That’s life when you’re a polarizing superstar like King James.
James’ last-second fumble — or “choke,” depending on how you want to look at it — was even more noteworthy because it occurred against the Spurs. San Antonio dismantled LeBron’s former team, the Miami Heat, in last year’s NBA Finals and have caused some problems for the 10-time

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