Corporate Knowledge: March 1, 2012

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  • Disappointed as I was in San Antonio Spurs fans to see so many Chicago Bulls jerseys in the AT&T Center (I’ve never seen so many XXL Bulls jerseys in my life), I can’t help but admire what the Bulls are building in Chicago.A quick comparison if I may: If the Miami Heat are taking an almost Lakers-like approach in assembling the biggest stars possible, the Chicago Bulls mirror the early Spurs championship teams in that they have built a winning culture around an all-world MVP and defense, making up for the overall star power they lack.
  • It starts with Derrick Rose, and for more than his almost inhuman talent, as Henry Abbott brilliantly put it yesterday:

“The truth is, there are a lot of players who can run fast, jump high and dunk hard. But there are not a lot who can star on one of the most cohesive teams in NBA history, and those skills matter too, maybe more than anything.”

From an outsider’s perspective, Rose and Thibodeau share a similar relationship to the one enjoyed by Popovich and Duncan. Crucial to that relationship is Rose’s willingness to be coached and held accountable. To me, there are all-world talents, and leaders, and this is what sets Rose and Durant apart from the likes of LeBron James and Dwight Howard.

It’s a trait that served Duncan well, and it should serve Rose and the Bulls well over the next decade.

  • Before the game, Tom Thibodeau was gushing about the Spurs and Gregg Popovich in much the same way that Popovich use to praise Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz. ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell writes about the mutual respect shared between Thibodeau and Popovich.Over at the Express-News, Buck Harvey writes about the two coaches and how their paths mirror each other, noting Thibodeau’s time in San Antonio.
  • Over at our fellow TrueHoop site Bulls by the Horns, Matt McHale points out that while the Spurs starters held their own, the bench, despite Gary Neal’s best efforts, were pretty handily defeated.The benches have been a strength of both teams this season, and with the Spurs coming in depleted there certainly is no shame in losing the battle this night. T.J. Ford had his moments and provides the Spurs second unit with a much-needed distributor, but he is understandably winded.Tiago Splitter might be similarly winded or rusty, but was also nowhere near an option to go at Omar Asik. Splitter is a master of using space to put defensive players in a bad position, Asik never relinquished any. The results were two dreadful hook shots that had no chance of falling
  • Matthew Tynan of Pounding the Rock, talks a little bit about the importance of a superstar in the clutch in his recap. The Spurs were missing Manu Ginobili, the Chicago Bulls had Derrick Rose. While the Spurs have received elite level play from Tony Parker, it’s never easy to go head to head with what is essentially a stronger, faster, and infinitely more explosive version of yourself.
  • And finally, a little bit of self-promotion as I handled the Daily Dime lead story over at ESPN.
  • Len

    Congrats on the dime article Jesse.  I think it’s a good thing that they use “beat writers” articles and perspectives.  So much better than the regurgitated stuff of some of their guys.   

  • Cheyenneharty

    I wanted to see Kawhi defending Rose. It seems we wasted energy and manpower defending him– manpower that would have been conserved were Kawhi on the floor (please do not interpret this as a Kawhi-would-have-shut-down-Rose statement).
    Setting the loss aside, I really got a kick watching Duncan in the third, shame we couldn’t retain the lead he got us. 
    Tiago seemed a little off, and I wonder if his leg is still bothering him. 
    Finally, for much of the talk about the absence of quality offensive minutes when Manu is not around, I really miss his scrappy defense. In a game like this, such play would have been key, particularly in the 4th when we gave up 31.  

  • DorieStreet

    Grade for Jesse:   A+  Informative, objective piece about the game, and the Spurs m.o. on defense this season.
    And kudos to the Bulls’ TrueHoop columists Friedell and McHale on their articles. Good to hear opposing team’s take (players, coaches, writers) on Spurs.

  • dave

    Can you please fix your RSS feed, I prefer to be notified of updates rather than having to check the home page all the time, it’s a good thing we had some excuses (as fans) for losing this game, we can only hope that those excuses/reasons are valid.

  • DorieStreet

    The 31 in the 4th and the 30 in the 2nd. I know the team fought back from being outscored by 10 in the second with the 24-15 3rd; but that might have contributed to the shots not falling in the final quarter.
    Hopefully TJ gets back up to speed quickly (reduce Tony’s load) and Manu and Kawhi get back on the court soon. Let’s go, Spurs- hold down the fort the rest of the way on this homestand.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    Dave, the RSS feed is working fine for me. feed://www.48minutesofhell.com/feed

  • Easy B

    Watching some, not all of the game thoughts: we needed more rotational speed on the wings, and a long guy who had enough foot speed to guard deng on the perimeter. That would have created less space for the bulls, and probably less points. Although Neal scored the house down in the fourth, the lack of other options kept the bulls fresh to score on the other end. With Manu on the floor, rose has to guard Manu or TP, and so must work a lot harder on D.
    I wonder if a strong finishing line up could consist of TD, Kawhi, Bonner, Manu, and TP? Matt is your offensive miss-match, Kawhi guards your best scoring, non center big, Manu on best SG, and TP needs to be focused on anticipating screens and playing in front of them. Whilst it would be good to have Danny guarding and Neal shooting, and Split defending bigs, and setting screens and rolling etc, I wonder if having that combination would yield the most down the stretch? Of course if KL can hit 40 from 3, I’ll sub splitter for bonner and then we essentially have a Bowen replacement and an oberto upgrade.

  • STIJL

    Nice write up.  Agree with this (or in the least makes it easier to swallow)…”it’s never easy to go head to head with what is essentially a stronger,
    faster, and infinitely more explosive version of yourself.”

    It’s apparent any team needs to have it’s best players available to contest against the Bulls.  Spurs were short in that aspect for this game.

    However, the often mentioned and feared weakness of this team reared it’s proverbial ugly head once again.  It’s going to be difficult for the Spurs to match up (win) in a series against a team with superior front court talent.

    Go Spurs Go!!!

  • STIJL

     Too late to incorporate?

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=77xbteu

    Not mentioning Blair because I think he’s so bad.  Mentioning Blair
    because Bonner is overpaid and doubt another team would take on his
    salary.

    Blair’s contract is fully unguaranteed (see http://www.shamsports.com/content/pages/data/salaries/spurs.jsp ), but increases to fully guaranteed if not waived by November 1st, 2012.

    Anderson?  As they say…San Antonio may be the wrong environment for which his talents may best be suited.

    Either way…this doesn’t negatively effect Toronto if Blair and Anderson don’t work out for their team, but could be a way for them to frugally improve their team.

    Davis…being “underused” in Toronto… and with a strong draft class next year (and Toronto likely to be one of the top ten selectors)…Raptors should be able to replace with a “type” of post player better suited for their team while Davis could well be the “type” of post player the Spurs need as well as young enough to nurture.

  • http://www.facebook.com/freedmusic F.M

    Len you should check it twice, for weeks now we all complain that the new espn daily dime is Lame and Weak. ( but not cos’ of contributors like 48 m of hell ), just the whole package is real thin.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Too late for this year, and I doubt Toronto’s ready to give up on him anytime soon. But he would be a nice pickup for us, especially as we’re losing JA anyways, so it’s really a straight-up Blair for Davis trade from our POV.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Tiago didn’t seem to push off his leg as he had before but I hope he’s fully healed and it’s just a matter of getting back to game shape. Bring on the minutes!

  • Bry

    You are way off. “Bonner is overpaid and doubt another team would take on his 

    salary”. 3.3 million is ‘overpaying’ for the guy who led the league in 3-point percentage last year? What in the world are you talking about? Look, Blair and Bonner both have flaws but it has gotten really old hearing people try to transform their contempt for those two Spurs into some farcical idea that they are ‘overpaid’. The average salary in the NBA is about 5.5 million. I know some people are obsessed with scapegoating these two, and ‘getting rid’ of them; but it makes no sense. You seriously believe that no teams would want to “take on his salary”? Plenty would; in a heartbeat. Both guys more than earn their salaries and there is no chance – literally none – that the Spurs front-office would be stupid enough to waive Dejuan Blair or dump Matt Bonner for peanuts. Yeah, both players frustrate me at times and probably give all Spurs fans some gray hairs, but let’s keep the discussion (and trade proposals) sane.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lordxar Ray Briggs II

    I was really surprised at the number of Bulls fans at the game also. I must have had 6-10 sitting in/around my section. I guess the weather is fair in Chicago right now. Reminds me of all the Celtics ‘fans’ who started showing up a couple years ago.
    I will give credit to the Bulls fans though because in general they were respectful and just rooting for their team. They weren’t jackasses during and after the game like some fans are *cough*LakersAndMavs*cough*.

    I know there is no shame in losing to one of the best teams in the league (sans Manu) but I feel like the Spurs let one get away. The defense the last qtr and the last 4 minutes specifically was atrocious. I really would have preferred to see Splitter out there and force Rose to take jumpers or pass.

    Also, wouldn’t a Spurs v Bulls Finals be amazing to watch. Just saying it would be entertaining, not likely.

  • Titletown99030507d

    We are not at full speed as a complete unit and if we were to meet them agin in the finals I really like my chances. Kl would be an important piece as well a fit and in the zone Splitter with Manu cruising along doing what Manu does and a rested Timmy and Tony switching into playoff mode. They came at us with everything they had to our incomplete unit. I’m liking our chances.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I know I’m looking ahead for next season but what do you think about Klay Thompson for DJB and CJ? DJB can run with these guys and CJ can back up Curry. Klay can be part of our 2 guard/wing rotation now that JA is pretty much gone and Manu is breaking down an not to mention RJ also may be gone. Just a thought.

  • Titletown99030507d

    If these two were to meet in the finals the experience under pressure of a finals would be in the  Spurs favor and not to mention if all Spurs are healthy and in the zone like the Bulls were the night before our guys would take that series.

  • theghostofjh

    Not good trade partners. Both teams are long on guards/wings and short on post players with size and toughness.

  • Cheyenneharty

    If it wasn’t for how much D we give up with Bonner, I’d agree. Folks always talk about missing Bowen’s defense, but he was deadly with the spot-up corner three. A three point shooter that played D, would be ideal. It just wont happen with Bonner, so Kawhi needs to work with Chip.  Hopefully, what we get eventually from Kawhi is Bowen, with better offense.

  • theghostofjh

    Agree, although Bonner would be worth getting rid of (in a package deal if necessary – paired with one of our excess wings)) for a decent/tough defender in the low post with a respectable mid-range “J” (but not really a scorer – a reserve guy that has some skill and BB IQ). We need to transition out of our stretch 4 days ASAP, unless anyone knows where the next Robert Horry is.

  • theghostofjh

    Sure, but why would Toronto do it? Blair is an inside, pick and roll guy. Toronto runs a motion offense that focuses on slashes and perimeter play. Davis is more athletic and has a better jumper than Blair, and is simply a better fit for their team. They also don’t have a particular need for Anderson, with DeRozan (a rising star), Barbosa, and Bayless locking in the SG position.

  • theghostofjh

    “I wonder if a strong finishing line up could consist of TD, Kawhi, Bonner, Manu, and TP?”

    Bonner?! Forget Bonner. I’d much rather finish with TP, Manu, RJ (or Green), Blair, and Duncan. I’d also like to see TP keep working on his 3-pointer, as J Kidd did in his thirties. As the team is currently constructed, if TP can become at least someone you can’t ignore (35%+) from the 3-point line, that could help our team (Ford needs to keep working on his all around shooting too).

  • STIJL

     Love how you suddenly dissect trade proposals regarding Blair when it would be in the best interest for the Spurs if such a proposal were to come to fruition.

    Hopelessly lost in Blair.  And that’s not a jab…but a fact you can’t… for the betterment of the team… seem to relinquish.

  • STIJL

     The point being another team would not give up talent that matched his “3 point %’ ratio.  In order to get “future” talent …the Spurs would have to have “future” talent to offer.
    Bonner is not a “future” type of talent teams would trade for. 

  • theghostofjh

    In case you were unaware, BOTH teams have to approve a trade. I would be okay with this proposed deal for the Spurs. I would not be okay with that deal if I were the Raptors. Now, was that really that hard to understand from my previous post?

  • STIJL

     Yeah.  Don’t know where I came up with the idea you were opposed to the deal.  I probably (No…for a fact know) was “under the influence” as they say at the time of response.

    You were wrongly accused on my part.  I apologize.

    Now…if only the team could address the real truth regarding it’s issues in the post…Blair and Bonner wouldn’t even be in the middle of contorvercy for they would both be playing limited time according to their respected strengths and NOT be expected to be anything more (as they are now) than who they “really” are in terms of talent.