Other People: Mahoney on the Spurs

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My mellow, my man Rob Mahoney of the Two Man Game stopped by Hardwood Paroxysm to do some preaching:

Now, the Spurs are not dead. But the three-star system that relied on Parker, Ginobili, and Duncan to bring out the brilliance in one another as equally important parts? Like a doornail. It’s rotting, maggoty (I don’t think I mean Maggette), and frankly starting to smell a bit ripe. The fact that Ginobili has absolutely taken over since Parker’s injury isn’t a mistake or a mirage. With Duncan and Parker’s respective declines, the first due to age and the latter to injury, Manu is simply being given the proper outlet to do what he’s always been capable of doing, even if the system never properly called for it.

Swing by and give it a read.

  • grego

    Parker’s not done. He’s been banged up this season. Summer basketball has been a thorn in the Spurs side. It once again bites them in the butt. Duncan is the only one on the wrong side of the slope as far as the career goes.

    The key is for the Spurs FO to add enough young guys that Duncan can take games off and be used more in moments than needing to be in the game all 48 minutes.

  • BlaseE

    ” …the proper outlet to do what he’s always been capable of doing, even if the system never properly called for it.”

    Doesn’t that sum up most of Duncan’s career under Pop? I know Duncan is the focal point of the system, but I’m sure Duncan could have even done more greatness had he been required or asked to….especially in the regular season.

  • Tyler

    I think the front office demonstrated they understand what they need to do by going out and spending on RJ. Even though it hasn’t worked out (and likely won’t) like fans have hoped, the idea of finding that 4th leg is something the front office is aware of and pursuing.

    Good article though.

  • Francesco

    Picking up from the featured article and the previous set of comments about whether we should rebuild or not:

    if we do not rebuild, will someone tell me how do we go about beating the lakers in the next 3-4 years? Will someone tell me how we counter Lamar ODOM?
    Because I watched our last game against the Lakers, and more than ever it appeared obvious to me that it’s Lamar who makes it all work.
    His combination of skills and athletism makes him near impossible to guard, and he can defend against nearly every NBA player at the 3 and 4 position.
    His problem has always been consistency, but if last year playoff are any indication, he can concentrate when it matters.
    Even Phil Jackson, normally very critical of him, in a recent interview said that last summer’s most pressing matter was re-signing him, because what he brings to the team is next to impossible to replace.

    So yes, next year IF everyone is healthy, AND we get lucky with signing Splitter, AND Hill and Blair keep improving, AND a few other things go our way, we MAY be a very good team, but not good enough to beat the Lakers.
    And as our core pieces are older than LA’s, our chances will diminish with time.
    As long as Bryant, Gasol and Odom are productive, I don’t see anyone beating the Lakers.
    They can beat themselves if they get too complacent and sloppy, maybe.

    So unless we are ok with being 3rd/4th best in the league IN THE BEST OF CASES for MAYBE A COUPLE YEARS, what’s the point of keeping this team together?

    It seems to me quite a few people are too enamored with our PAST team and cannot face the evidence.
    We last won in 2007 against an unworthy opponent.
    In 2008 we struggled to get past the Hornets and then we crumbled against the Lakers.
    Last year without Manu we didn’t make it out of the first round.
    This year you all seem to agree we cannot win.
    WE HAVE BEEN ON A DOWNWARD TREND FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS, PLEASE TELL ME HOW IS THAT GONNA CHANGE NEXT YEAR.

    To those who say we should rebuild around our present BIG 3:
    – you can get lucky in the draft selecting pieces like Hill and Blair, but unless you get extremely lucky and once again select the Manus and Parkers, you will not have real “star” foundations to build around.
    – what happens when the big 3 completely run out of gas and you haven’t been able to develop anyone in the meantime?
    – if you keep the big 3 it means you stay over the cap, which means you cannot add valuable young pieces via free agency.

    To those who think we shouldn’t tank one season but instead hope to get lucky in the late first round of the lottery, I ask: would you rather be miserable for one season but have a bright future full of possibilities, or be a decent/good team who cannot aspire to win it all?
    Yes, drafting is not an exact science, but if after trades and tanking a season (not all of which necessarily next year) you have 3 or 4 high picks, chances are that at the very least one of them will be a star and one a contributor.

    To those who say we should wait one year and see how this summer’s free agent market re-shapes the league: beside the fact we obviously won’t be able to make trades until the major pieces have landed, what do you achieve with waiting? It’s just postponing the inevitable and setting back the rebuilding process by one year.

    It’s ok that this is a blog and everyone can say whatever, but if you tell me we should keep this team without offering a viable solution for making things work BOTH NOW AND IN THE FUTURE, than I question not only whether you know the game of basketball, but also your ability to understand the basic business principles with which to build a team that can COMPETE FOR THE TITLE.

  • Nick (Italy)

    Hardwood Paroxysm is becoming another Spurs’ blog these days!
    N

  • BlaseE

    As good as draft picks as Hill and Blair are, the Spurs are likely to have a top 20 draft pick for the first time since drafting Duncan.

    The Spurs are also loading the Toros deck like crazy. I think some young players are going to be eager to make it on our summer league team and into our training camp because we are going to have some roster spots up for grabs.

    We’ve also signed a glut of players with non-guaranteed contracts recently that we could trade pre-draft in order to steal a player before the FA market hits. I mean couldn’t we trade Jerrells, Gee, and Temple for a 3-4 million dollar role player just to see those players cut and return to the Spurs/Toros system.

    This could be one of the reasons we didn’t sign Williams. We want to make sure the players we trade get cut or aren’t needed back, and Williams might have a chance to make the roster next season.

    We also have Richard Jefferson’s expiring contract as mentioned in the article. If we were to trade RJ’s one contract for 3 players, the Spurs could save around $10 million next year.

    We also have the MLE to throw at Splitter or a different big. We could also throw it at a wing and hope to get a big through trade, draft, and/or free agency.

    My point is that with Duncan, Manu, Parker, Hill, and Blair, the Spurs will have a lot of room to build this offseason. It is going to be an insanely interesting summer.

  • Tyler

    Francesco –

    You say we’re destined for the lottery if we keep our core intact. You also argue for tanking in order to get into the lottery. So, under both scenarios you lay out, the lottery is the final destination.

    Here’s my question: If the lottery is what we’re destined for, why not roll the dice one more time and hope we remain healthy and sign Splitter? At least that way we have a chance at winning one last title with TD at the helm. Even if it’s a small chance, that’s more than no chance.

    On a personal note, I abhor the idea of tanking when we have a 50 win-caliber team (as does Peter Holt and his bank account I’m sure). Not only do you rile up the karma gods, but tanking in no way assures the franchise of better days. If any front office can rebuild on the fly, I think it’s ours and I think they deserve the chance.

  • Half Man, Half Practice Squad

    @Francesco,

    I like most of your logic. I agree that the quick, yet painful band-aid pull is the way to rebuild. At the same time, your premise is that being a perennial playoff team is bad and warrants rebuilding. There is merit to the argument that the team should wait to rebuild until it no longer competes for a playoff spot. This is the path that most teams take.

    At the same time, part of me thinks it may be best to milk whatever trade value we have out of current players to rebuild (with draft picks and/or young talent). The problem is most teams will never trade young talent that has predictably certain upside.

    The other problem is the Spurs will never trade Tim Duncan, regardless of what we can get for him. Not that I necessarily disagree with that, but it does pose a serious problem in your call for rebuilding, given the size of his contract.

    Finally, there is something to be said for the strategy of not entirely blowing up the team to rebuild. Many successful teams do not go all the way to rock bottom in order to become great again. In fact, the number of teams that have attempted to rebuild and got stuck in the depths of suckitude is quite high. I don’t have real figures on this, but my hunch is that the Lakers version of rebuilding might fit the Spurs somehow.

    All in all, though, I think your comment has some wisdom that is being overlooked by many of the suggested improvement strategies.

  • BlaseE

    Our first round draft picks since Duncan:

    Year, Pick, Player: Comments

    98, 24, Felipe Lopez: Don’t remember him but he has good stats and about 4200 minutes played over 250 games.

    01, 28, Tony Parker

    02, 26, John Salmons: Carrying the Bucks to a 5th seed in the East.

    03, 28, Leandro Barbosa

    04, 28, Beno Udrih: playing awesome in increased minutes for Sacramento right now.

    05, 28, Ian Mahinmi: jury is still out. He could still be useful. Far from a bust at this point, at least, especially considering his injury setbacks.

    07, 28, Tiago Splitter: our offseason hope and consensus smart pick.

    08, 26, George Hill

    One star and entire roster of capable role players. All of those picks other than Lopez were 26th or 28th too. We are going to have the 20-22 pick this year.

    We’ve also recently picked up Blair, Scola, Goran Dragic (traded straight up for Hairston), and Marcus Williams in the second round. Those are all potentially great role players. There is a lot of talent in most drafts.

  • Sarge

    What we basically need is for Duncan to start taking a role more like what Robinson did late in his career. That means we need players to help pick up the slack scoring. It wouldn’t hurt to have another player to help anchor the defense in the frontcourt, but I don’t think the answer is to get rid of Parker. He’s got a lot of good years ahead of him. He finishes better than almost anyone at the rim, and his jump shot is steadily improving.

    Ginobili is… well, he’s Ginobili. I do hope this is not his last gasp of greatness, though. I question how long he can keep this up, given his past track record in terms of injuries.

    Duncan is still a piece, but it’s showing more and more that he’s not the consistent scorer he once was. If he were allowed to concentrate more on defense and rebounding, good things could happen.

    Now wait for him to prove me wrong in the playoffs…

  • BALLHOG

    BlaseE

    Great points in your post. The issue has just been bad choices. Folks get upset when one points out the obvious, but truth is truth.

    My guess, based on mere obsevation of the powers that be in San Antonio, is that the players that you listed above, and slews of other good role players, have been kicked to the curb.

    Again, while character is important, you cannot persue players with more character than ball skills. Can no longer win in this league with weak players.

    As for Splitter, Why would he play for the mid level? He would have to be brain dead.

    Spurs own his rights, but there is always wiggle room. Especially when a player informs you that he does not desire to join your ball club.

    Same for Ginnobli…Regardless of how dedicated he is to the city, fans, or FO…

    He knows now, right now, not at the end of the season….that he cant get maximum market value in San Antonio.

    HE also knows that the team is not strong now, and he has no idea what it will look like next season..Another Retool pending.

    As for Pop…..Im watching closely. Just want to see how he goes about business in the playoffs. Wondering if he will continue to play certain players when he knows that they cant get it done. And if he does, Why?

    Whats the point?

  • ThatBigGuy

    @ Francesco

    Tanking is not an option. Only cowards and inept organizations even think about tanking. You offend many fans by even proposing the idea. You have many good ideas, but your tanking idea is pure and unadulterated garbage.

    @ Sarge

    I agree that Duncan could segue into the Robinson role, and do so graciously, but who will play the new Duncan?

  • Jim Henderson

    Francesco
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:00 am

    You make some good points, and I tend to agree, although I see no reason to “tank” a season (it could only happen if we just cleared cap space by letting our stars go for practically nothing) to get a lottery pick. And of course, it’s important to fully realize how truly precarious it is to mess with the “big three”. That said, I agree that doing something significant to begin a rebuilding process is necessary if we want to REMAIN in a position to truly contend over the next several years. I just don’t think the odds of doing so are very good by holding onto both of our most valuable trade pieces: Parker & Ginobli. That’s why I previously suggested trying to get the young talents of Iggy, Dalembert, & Williams from the Sixers in the off-season (for TP & Manu), and then hopefully pick up another decent piece with RJ’s expiring contract before next February’s trade deadline.

    By the way, for those of you that don’t like the thought of trading good players: DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU THAT ONE TYPICALLY HAS TO BE WILLING TO TRADE GOOD PLAYERS TO GET GOOD PLAYERS?!

    BlaseE
    March 31st, 2010 at 11:14 am

    “My point is that with Duncan, Manu, Parker, Hill, and Blair, the Spurs will have a lot of room to build this offseason. It is going to be an insanely interesting summer.”

    Yeah, and with a very tight budget to acquire the extent of upgrades that we need to even get close to title contention.

    Excerpt at the conclusion of the Hardwood Paroxysm article:

    “I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say that Duncan doesn’t want to play for a losing club. Even if he’s the farthest thing from a troublemaker, that could be a problem. I don’t see him rousing rabble, but the only way the Spurs can approach their plans for the future with any certainty as to whether Duncan is a part of that future is to hold on to Parker and Ginobili. It all starts this summer, and though clinging to the past hardly seems like the best way to usher in a new era, the safest bet for San Antonio might be to proceed with a similar roster but a renovated approach.”

    To best make sense of all this, a few questions need to be asked:

    — How long is Duncan’s future with us?

    — Is it at the end of his contract in a couple of years?

    — If so, that’s a pretty short future, isn’t it?

    — What is the value of Duncan over the next few years with & without getting a young, competent big by his side that is a proficient rebounder, defender, & shot-blocker?

    — Is it more important to have a talented “big” next to Duncan, or to have Parker?

    — Can we realistically get a talented enough “big” without moving Parker?

    — Are we looking for the “safest” way to proceed, or a way to reinvigorate and modify a worn, fading, injury-prone three-star Spur system so that future title contention can still be realistically pursued in the years ahead?

    Let’s face it: this team is at a crossroads if title contention is not just based on clinging to past glory, but is in fact based on creating a successful merger between past experience and future promise. Granted, a difficult task indeed, but with courage and a little luck, it can be done.

  • bduran

    Ballhog,

    We may not be able to keep Manu, but he’s taken less money to stay here before. Also, other teams are aware of his age and injury history so this deflates his value somewhat. Manu would probably agree to play here for less than he would anywhere else. We still might not be able to work it out, but don’t rule it out.

    As for bad decisions, I would say RJ and Scola have hurt us, but I’m not sure what other ones you’re talking about personnel wise. For the most part our FO has done well. People like to point to McDyess as a mistake, but he was great last year. We gambled on an aging vet and lost, but I don’t think it was a mistake. You have to take risks. If McDyess and TP produce 80% of what they did last year, no one is having this discussion.

    Honestly though, you make a lot of statements with no support. We have more character than ball skills? Ridiculous. We’re only 4.5 games out of second place in the loaded west. With Manu healthy we are playing great, I’m sure he think it’s hopeless. Our efficiency differential is one of the best in the league. Give it a rest Ballhog, this group will probably never win another championship, but it’s not impossible and they are still a good team.

    You know what, I just remembered you think this is a D league quailty team. Nevermind, then. Think what you want.

  • junierizzle

    @Francesco

    I get where you are coming from but you can’t tank a season. Who would you get even if you did tank a season to get into the lottery.

    There aren’t an Lebron James’ coming out anytime soon.

    I know you want to avoid a decline in the coming years but that’s part of the game. You need superstars to win Championships, not decent trades or decent lottery picks.

    Look at the LAKERS, they won last year but it took them a good 6 years to get back championship form. They were lucky KOBE was still young enough to build around. They also got another superstar GASOL for a ham sandwich.

    That’s why I say you have to stay with the BIG 3 until the wheels come off.
    You’re right you aren’t going to find another MANU or TP late in the draft, so why get rid of them??

  • Hicksy

    Again maybe it’s blind optimism but I still think this group can make noise THIS playoffs and with some ‘luck’ for us and some bad luck (injuries etc which has killed us in the last 2yrs) well things can change in a back spasm.
    Then in regaurds to the future I really think that moving TP for a ‘GOOD’ young big/pieces/picks or combo of is the way to go. After seeing these last 2 weeks I think it’s a better option to keep Gino or try and retool using Parker/Splitters right etc to get it done and then try and draft quality guards which seems to be less of an exact drafting science
    GO SPURS GO!!!

  • BALLHOG

    @bduran

    Your statement:
    Honestly though, you make a lot of statements with no support. We have more character than ball skills? Ridiculous.

    Is it so ridiculous? Maybe we are not watching the same team. I understand supporting the team and thinking positive.

    But, come on. This team as it is currently constructed is our worst in 3 years.

    Nothing against you, or your opinion. Hell, I hope you are right…But the thought of this team beating the Lakers in the first round is wishful thinking.

    However, with Bonner and Bogans comming off the bench against Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom, I understand your optimism:)

  • SpursfanSteve

    Ballhog- you obviously didnt watch the last game against the Lakers when Bonner actually defended Odom as well as anyone else has. Two of Odom’s first possessions Bonner got burnt, but after that he adjusted and played above average. He didnt score as much, but i believe he had 3 blocks and 2 steals. Stop bitching about Bonner- he’s an above average role player, even if he does look awkward when he does anything.

  • Hobson13

    @BlaseE,

    If you look at all the picks you mentioned, the Spurs have really drafted well. It’s unfortunate that we traded away picks like Salmons and Barbosa. Sure wish we would have picked up Scola, but I understand the situation. I sure do wish the Spurs would package their first round pick plus the rights to Tiago Splitter in exchange to move up in the draft and get a guy like DeMarcus Cousins. I’ve read a number of articles on ESPN lately as well as watched him play and this guy could be special if under a strong coach like Pop and a great mentor like Tim Duncan. Cousins has the size and athleticism to be something pretty special. If we traded up, we’d probably have to get into the top 3 spots though. Not sure if the front office would be willing to do that.

  • phoebus

    Francesco:

    “if we do not rebuild, will someone tell me how do we go about beating the lakers in the next 3-4 years? Will someone tell me how we counter Lamar ODOM?”

    if you’re only thinking about the next 3-4 years, y’ain’t thinking like a spur fan. and Odom was a throw-in for Shaq. They didn’t know he was good.

    [Odom’s] combination of skills and athletism makes him near impossible to guard, and he can defend against nearly every NBA player at the 3 and 4 position.

    What, you just watched the guy the other night? He’s been great for years.

    “His problem has always been consistency,”

    duh.

    “So yes, next year IF everyone is healthy, AND we get lucky with signing Splitter, AND Hill and Blair keep improving, AND a few other things go our way, we MAY be a very good team, but not good enough to beat the Lakers.”

    Anyways this is where I stopped. Look. This isn’t 2005 or 6. It sounds like you just started watching the league last night. The Spurs aren’t what they were, your critique of the team from here on out is basically useless because you want us to have the same chickenbrained follow-the-leader impulse that the freaking Knicks, Sixers, Nets, Wizards, Grizzlies, Raptors, Wolves, ugh, shall I go on?

    Anyways here’s the rest of your half-baked crap:

    And as our core pieces are older than LA’s, our chances will diminish with time.
    As long as Bryant, Gasol and Odom are productive, I don’t see anyone beating the Lakers.
    They can beat themselves if they get too complacent and sloppy, maybe.

    So unless we are ok with being 3rd/4th best in the league IN THE BEST OF CASES for MAYBE A COUPLE YEARS, what’s the point of keeping this team together?

    It seems to me quite a few people are too enamored with our PAST team and cannot face the evidence.
    We last won in 2007 against an unworthy opponent.
    In 2008 we struggled to get past the Hornets and then we crumbled against the Lakers.
    Last year without Manu we didn’t make it out of the first round.
    This year you all seem to agree we cannot win.
    WE HAVE BEEN ON A DOWNWARD TREND FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS, PLEASE TELL ME HOW IS THAT GONNA CHANGE NEXT YEAR.

    To those who say we should rebuild around our present BIG 3:
    – you can get lucky in the draft selecting pieces like Hill and Blair, but unless you get extremely lucky and once again select the Manus and Parkers, you will not have real “star” foundations to build around.
    – what happens when the big 3 completely run out of gas and you haven’t been able to develop anyone in the meantime?
    – if you keep the big 3 it means you stay over the cap, which means you cannot add valuable young pieces via free agency.

    To those who think we shouldn’t tank one season but instead hope to get lucky in the late first round of the lottery, I ask: would you rather be miserable for one season but have a bright future full of possibilities, or be a decent/good team who cannot aspire to win it all?
    Yes, drafting is not an exact science, but if after trades and tanking a season (not all of which necessarily next year) you have 3 or 4 high picks, chances are that at the very least one of them will be a star and one a contributor.

    To those who say we should wait one year and see how this summer’s free agent market re-shapes the league: beside the fact we obviously won’t be able to make trades until the major pieces have landed, what do you achieve with waiting? It’s just postponing the inevitable and setting back the rebuilding process by one year.

    It’s ok that this is a blog and everyone can say whatever, but if you tell me we should keep this team without offering a viable solution for making things work BOTH NOW AND IN THE FUTURE, than I question not only whether you know the game of basketball, but also your ability to understand the basic business principles with which to build a team that can COMPETE FOR THE TITLE.

  • phoebus

    Shorter Francesco:

    “I Am WATCHING BASKETBALL AND WE ARE NOT WINNING LIKE BACK IN THE DAY.”

    So, time to tank, I guess?

  • bduran

    Ballhog,

    Lakers just got dominated by the Hawks. In case you haven’t noticed, they haven’t been playing that well recently. Yeah they beat us, but only because they went on a run when we sat Manu. Also, we out scored the Laker’s by 12 when Manu was on the floor. At this point playing the Laker’s in the first round does not seem like a guaranteed loss.

    I agree that Bogan’s hasn’t been great, but you badly underestimate Bonner. He shoots the 3 well, and has somehow managed to develop a limited ability to drive to the basket (which looks really awkward and yet is surprisingly successful). On top of that he plays decent D in our system. Hairston is getting more time now and it looks like with TP back we could have a rotation in which Bogans and RMJ don’t get many minutes. This has me excited. If we’re mostly playing Duncan, Ginobili, TP, Hill, McDyess, Jefferson, Bonner, Blair, and Hairston, I feel pretty good. This rotation contains great guards, decent wings in Jefferson and Hairston (decent now that RJ has remembered how to rebound and appears capable of the occasional scoring outburst) and a solid front court. I also don’t mind having guys like Bogans, RMJ, and Mahinmi at the end of the bench in case of emergency. Sure, we’re unlikely to win it all without home court advantage in any series in the playoffs, but this group has a chance against anyone.

  • rohan

    Hairston maybe the next George Hill next season… if we keep him… and give him more minutes……

  • Regan Rahardja

    I agree with bduran.

    @phoebus, in 2008, we got ousted by the Lakers because we had an injured Manu Ginobili. That’s huge.

    The reality is Tim is also Tim of the championship years in bursts. Manu is back to a superstar form. In addition, his passing has made the team so much better from Blair to RJ to McDyess. And Hill just got thirty. And Bogans can play D. Bonner is a good role player. RJ is playing like the RJ we hoped for at the beginning of the season, as of late.

    If Tony can get back to his pre injury form, which i believe he can. And add Splitter to help strengthen the frontcourt, improvements in Blair, Hill, & RJ, Bogans, Bonner’s game (From knowing the system better) – i think next year would be a lot better. Not to say, i think this year we can do a lot of damage in the playoffs too.

    Thing is, we are improving, and improved since the start of the season.

  • doggydogworld

    BlaseE, the Spurs didn’t really draft players like Salmons and Barbosa. Those picks were part of draft-day trades. In ’02 the Spurs traded the pick and Mark Bryant to Philly for Speedy Claxton. The Spurs then picked Salmons per Philly’s request. Same thing in ’03, we swapped picks with Phoenix and selected Barbosa on their behalf (we got their ’05 pick and later used it to sweeten the Malik Rose/Nazr deal).

  • doggydogworld

    As for blowing the team up and starting fresh, that works about 1 time in 10. And “works” does not mean automatic championship, merely improvement.

    FWIW, RC sounded pretty confident of getting Splitter next year.

  • Reed

    I haven’t read all the comments just bits and pieces because frankly, Francesco types like a European too and says nothing while filling up a whole page.

    Anyone who thinks a team should actually go ahead and ‘tank’ a season is not only a horrible fan, horrible business person, and horrible to the game of basketball, they’re just flat out stupid. It’s not even like there’s a Lebron in the draft. Tanking a season to be put in a lottery to possibly get a high draft pick to pick a player who is young and MIGHT be a star is riskier than just doing it the way the Spurs have always done…

    Oh yeah and it would piss off all of San Antonio.

  • Bushka

    Woah.

    Had a few days off and come back to find the current raging lunacey is blowing it all up to rebuild/tank for the lottery?

    What the hell is wrong with the current methodology? We find young talent we nurture it, and we bring it into the core of the team?

    Blair/Splitter/Hill/Parker + possibly Hairston, is a great start, we still have another two drafts before TD finish’s out his current contract, and we have plenty of young players being stashed in the D League developing, and we have an expiring contract approaching in RJ, not to mention that McDyess contract when it expires, is really very attractive because it’s only partially guaranteed.

    The spurs front office is renowned throughout all the land. We have guys that make excellent business decisions, and a quality draft record.

    What in the world makes you think that they don’t already have a plan in place. I mean they are not like most of the game by game reactionaries around here.

    These guys have 5 years ahead centered right in the middle of their gun sights. It’s not as if they are sitting in the tower with a ouija board speaking to the ghost of Red Aurbach trying to figure out if its time to tank or draft…..

    Just how incredibly over the top spoilt is some of our fanbase? We are not guaranteed #1 spot in the freaking pantheon of professional basketball, so we should just give up and look for another Tim Duncan in the lottery?

    Being competitive and solid is not an evil thing, contending is what it’s all about, but last time I looked they didn’t just hand the trophy to the guy who looked the best on paper at the start of the season.

    Professional sports is like super evolution. Natural selection occurs on a seasonal basis. You build to your strengths and try to win every year, or you end up mired in mediocrity. There are no guarantees.

  • W(G)izards Fan!

    You Spurs fan’s are nuts! You could not win until Tim Duncan came to your team. 4 championships! 2 League MVPs! 3 Finals MVPs! Stop dreaming! Ride out the Big Fundamental and pray for the front office to sign a great free agent or hit the lottery with us!! Great Players = Championships! You ever heard of Jordan? Russell? Bird? Magic? Jabbar? Come on…(drops the mic….)

  • Jim Henderson

    @Bushka

    I agree many of us on this blog can act like a spoiled bunch, no question. I’m in NO way in favor of “tanking” a season for chances of a lottery home run. In fact, what does “tanking” really mean, giving away TP & Manu virtually for free? Even if we did that we’d likely still not get a high lottery pick, and potentially over-pay for FA signing’s out of our “salary dumps” for cap space.

    That said, I’m all in favor of signing Splitter. And though he’s not a GREAT talent, he’s a perfect fit for us to upgrade our system by giving us YOUTH, HEIGHT, & DEFENSE on the front line. To me, this is the most critical NEED that MUST be filled if we are to truly compete for a title during the twilight of the Duncan era.

    Now, my question for everyone is, what are our other options if we can’t sign Splitter (probably considerably less than a 50/50 chance)? Who else could we get that could adequately fill this hole on the front line, allowing us to match-up effectively with the Lakers, Cavs, Magic, etc.? Could we afford this player without giving up anything? Or, would we have to make a trade? If so, who would we have to let go in a trade to acquire the necessary fit on the front line?

    In my humble opinion, I’m convinced that without a TALL, YOUNGER (preferably), DEFENSIVE type of player with substantial talent to augment our current front line, we have very little chance of truly competing for another title in the next few years. Does anyone disagree with that? If so, please make your case. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.