Corporate Knowledge: February 14, 2012

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  • Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News notes Tim Duncan is once again playing a career low in minutes, but has been able to play in all but one game so far this season.Head coach Gregg Popovich often preaches to only worry about what you can control, and while the Spurs cannot control injuries—as McDonald alludes to in referencing Ginobili’s freakish elbow injury last season—they can limit their exposure to them.

    The rest appears to be doing Duncan some good; he has scored in double digits for eight consecutive nights and posted four straight double-doubles. His scoring still relies heavily on jump shots, but there are more nights in which he appears to have balance and authority in his post game. More importantly, he’s been able to anchor the defense in fourth quarters as needed.

    The season is going to be a battle of attrition. And Popovich going all tortoise and the hare in his approach should pay dividends come playoff time.

  • The same theory applies to Tiago Splitter, who is averaging roughly 20 minutes a game. While many are clamoring for Splitter to see the 30-plus minutes his production would seem to warrant, Popovich continues to stay conservative with Splitter.Andrew McNeill hit the nail on the head in pointing out how injury prone Splitter has been. Duncan and Splitter are the Spurs two best big men, while DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner have proven questionable in playoff situations. But Blair and Bonner are legitimate rotation players in this league, and are much more durable. There is value in Blair and Bonner eating regular season minutes in order to limit Duncan and Splitter’s exposure to fatigue and injury risk.
  • Ben Wallace is retiring after the season. With tonight’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Wallace will surpass Avery Johnson for the most games played by an undrafted player in modern NBA (i.e. post merger) history.
  • Mark Travis of the Corpus Christi Caller Times believes Manu Ginobili should remain in role as sixth manfor the remainder of the season. In discussions with Timothy Varner earlier in the season on this topic my biggest concern was how the starting unit’s offense would hold up with Duncan no longer being a reliable creator.Those concerns were largely dispelled with the play of Tony Parker, who has carried this team in Ginobili’s absence. Keeping the current starting unit intact allows Kawhi Leonard developmental minutes, and saves Ginobili from the grind of having to guard star players day in and day out through the regular season. Furthermore, Ginobili’s ability as a playmaker frees up Popovich to deploy lineups with Gary Neal at point guard and Danny Green at small forward while keeping them in their comfort zone—keeping both players in the rotation with consistent minutes while lightening Tony Parker’s workload.
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IYOK27SYODWR5EOM2SJLHWK4G4 WAMBO

    GO SPURS GO

    I expect Pop to start Manu because Pop believe this is how we started the season, why change it now.
    However I would not be suprise Pop inserting Manu at 6th man come playoff time.

  • grego

    You adjust to how the season is going. The units have been doing well. Coming in off the bench, Manu can dominate. Parker shows he can handle the 1st unit just fine, but he had to over do minutes because he had to cover both units. 

  • Anonymous

    Another article read which I’ve been proposing before the article written since the the anticipation of Ginobili’s return.

    Agreed…Ginobili off the bench to lead the second unit.  Especially since the starting unit has been playing favorably well (though has not been consistent in it’s rotation pattern since Ginobili’s absence).  IF established and adhered with consistency…I think a starting unit of Parker, Neal, Leonard, Duncan and Bonner would exhibit a formidable squad.  While a primary second unit featuring Manu, Jefferson, Blair, Green and Splitter allows for the team to exhibit TWO starting units during the course of an entire game.

  • Jdini

    My first reaction is “Wow! What a great idea!” But then looking at it who rebounds on the first unit? Just Tim? Lots of great teams have had a big body to keep the opposing giants off their ageing star. Think Mark Iveroni and Kurt Rambis. Bonner can’t fill that role.

  • Anonymous

    Having said that Pop has the luxury to put Manu at either spots once the playoffs get here. That’s a good problem to have.

  • Anonymous

    I like Splitter with Bonner at the same time, then for the small ball I like Splitter out on the court with Neal, Tony, KL, and Green.

  • Anonymous

    For some reason as of late Bonner has shown me a lot more aggressiveness since he’s been with the club. Depends who’s on him but he’s been able to box out and he’s been putting up some good rebound numbers for ” Bonner”  because the other big (Splitter/Timmy) has been boxing out and allowing him to get those needed rebounds. And his shooting is still inconsistent but the good sign I see from him this season is that he doesn’t let it get to his head and continues to fire with confidence. This can morph into something special come playoff time. I don’t think he flakes out this season in the playoffs. Plus he has an emergency go to shot if he gets run from the arc not to mention passing it off as well to a good open man.

  • Anonymous

    As long we can keep sharing the ball the way we do and help on defense especially under the rim the things we lack at certain positions or those so called liabilities will be just an after thought. 7 Spurs in double figures…that’s sharing the ball. I know that was Detroit but the concept of of share ball getting embedded in their brains at this point bodes well for the future. Also that Kawhi Leonard and that Danny Green some ball stealing tandem they are. And they’re starting to make their shots. Oh my if this continues we will be the sleeper of the playoffs.

  • Anonymous

    Also wanted to add if we can stay healthy we might just be the best team in the league. We already took care of OKC, Derrick Rose is having major problems with his back and the only team left to fear is Miami and that “Linsanity” team or “Linderella” team. Hope it’s just a phase and not real.

  • DorieStreet

    Good observation.
    I am adding that his newfound effort at rebounding and increased pep in his overall game is due to his tenure with the team. 7 years in the league, 5 with the Spurs– he was a member of the last championship squad. He needs to help show the way by example (like the Core 3) for all the youngsters and newcomers on this team.

  • DorieStreet

    The Madison Square Garden team just got into the last playoff spot but are still 1 game under .500 despite the 6 game winning streak. At this point I don’ t see any team stopping South Beach from returning to the Finals. But that would be a top 5 sports story for 2012–8th seed Knicks take out defending east conference champs Heat in first round.