San Antonio Spurs 100, Detroit Pistons 89: No one knows what makes the Spurs so good

by

Palace of Auburn Hills — Another night, another ho-hum victory for the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs might become the first team in NBA history to accidentally back their way into 65 wins.

Through three quarters the Spurs and Pistons played themselves to a push. The Palace was half-empty and each team had all the spunk of a cat beneath the wheels of an 18-wheel haul.  The game simply lacked energy, save for the occasional Will Bynum highlight.

The most fascinating part of the game—at least from my position behind the Pistons’ bench—was the crowd’s constant yell of “Rip Hamilton”, or some close variant, in the direction of Pistons coach John Kuester.

“Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipppp!”

“HamILton! HamILton! HamILton!”

And so on.

48 uninterrupted minutes of and so on.

Some of the Pistons’ players noticed, and seemed to tease Hamilton a little. And when Antonio McDyess entered the game for the first time, he gave his former teammate a good-hearted ribbing.

Gregg Popovich summed up the game afterward. “We played pretty good defense in the second half. I think we held them to 38 points.”

And, in truth, that was it. The Spurs’ energy and defense picked up at the start of the 4th, and it was enough to transform a game that featured over a dozen lead changes through three quarters into a quiet double digit victory. The Spurs are closing in on some sort of one season record for quiet double digit victories.

In many ways, this game is representative of San Antonio’s entire season. Here the Spurs are, sitting on a .843 winning percentage, and it’s not always easy to say why.

Sure, DeJuan Blair played well. He contributed 18 points and 12 boards. And sure, the Spurs’ big three all contributed solid lines. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili did what they do, and they did it the way Popovich likes them to. That is, they only played 28 and 31 minutes respectively.

Matt Bonner finally returned from injury. He’s still possesses that Matt Bonner awesomeness. 50% on threes, plus 6.

After the game, everyone lazily made their way to the locker rooms. San Antonio won. Detroit lost. What should we write about?

While we were waiting for Coach Popovich to assume his usual postgame spot against the outer wall of the locker room, some of the local reporters began to quiz Jeff McDonald and myself about the Spurs.

“How do you guys explain it? You follow the team night in, night out. What makes them so special? 43 wins already? They’re good, but it doesn’t seem like San Antonio is that good. What gives?”

We tried our best, but what do we know? We’re tourists with typewriters. Like the rest of those who follow the Spurs, we’re enjoying the view. We can name the flora and fauna. We’re excited by the color of the leaves. But the winds blow where the winds blow, and there is a whole world of conjecture that exists beyond our view of the weather vane.

Still, we tried our best.

“It’s basically the same team as last year. Same rotation, save Gary Neal for Roger Mason Jr.”

“Sometimes it takes players until year two before they click within the Spurs’ system.”

“Oh, and the Spurs are healthy. That’s a big deal.”

If answers were pullups, ours struggled to lift their chins higher than the level of cliche.

But really, what accounts for it? What makes San Antonio the best team in the league?

Gregg Popovich won’t hear anything about that.  There are some questions he won’t dignify, and that’s one of them.

“Just because we have the best record does not mean we’re the best team in the league. There are still other teams who are better than us. We have to get better defensively to compete with those teams.”  And that was about it for the postgame presser. He was done. On the bus. Off to Toronto.

Richard Jefferson was a little more forthcoming.

“That just what this team does. We grind it out one game at a time. We prepare. We get our sleep the night before a game.”

Yes, he really did add that bit about the extra Zs. You get his point. The Spurs do the little things.

Matt Bonner was nonplussed when, for about the third time in our lives, I asked why he was so good at crushing plus/minus. Actually, I asked what it felt like to be the team’s centerpiece, to have all of San Antonio’s offensive movements choreograph around him in perfect harmony. I was joking, but, you know, I’m not sure if he knew that. He didn’t laugh; he didn’t answer. There is a first time for everything, and tonight I was cool-shamed by Matt Bonner.

Why are the Spurs so good? How is it that they keep punching the victory ticket?

“We just do what the coaches ask of us. We try to get better as the season goes. I don’t really know. There isn’t anything magical about it.”  Bonner offered this, and nothing more.

There you have it. The Spurs, not so magical, but still pretty freakin’ impressive. The San Antonio mystery tour picks up tomorrow in Toronto. They’ll probably grind out another victory, all to the tune of “huh” and “yeah”.

  • Nadeem

    One of the better game reviews I have read all season!!! Grear job Tim (I guess)

  • Bruno

    Novak is 100% from the three point line as a Spur. We can definitely trade Bonner now! Splitter plays 45 seconds after his best game in NBA and GRAB 1 REBOUND, Congratulations Pop!! TP is the turnover machine!!!

  • ChillFAN

    Absolutely the weirdest Spurs season since Rodman. Absolutely.

  • duaneofly

    If I had to give an answer as to why the Spurs are doing this good, it’s because they are a complete team. They aren’t three stars and a bunch of scrubs, or a good starting 2 or 3 surrounded by OK role players, or one superstar and a lot of nobodies.
    There are so many people on this team that can get it done offensively, TP, Manu, RJ, Duncan, Neal, Hill, and Bonner.
    Then McDyess with his put back against the Lakers, yeah it definitely had some luck behind it, but also good positioning and bball smarts to keep his hand off the rim, because if it even looked like it came close you know the refs would have whistled him for offensive goaltending. Can you see Bynum, Zach Randolph, or even D. Howard making that tip? I can’t.

    The Spurs aren’t a perfect team (who is?), but you don’t luck your way into 43 wins after 51 games.

  • Hobson13

    After that terrible game against Portland to open up the RRT, the Spurs have reeled off 3 straight and should be able to take care of the Raptors tomorrow night. Here’s another reason the Spurs have been so good this year. Take a look a Blair’s month-by-month stats for the season:
    November:
    6ppg 6.5rpg and .9stlspg in 18.5mpg

    December:
    8.3ppg 6.3rpg and 1.5stlspg in 20.7mpg

    January:
    9.1 ppg 7.8rpg and 1.1stlspg in 22.9

    February:
    12ppg 10rpg and 1.8stlspg in 28.5mpg

    I know February’s numbers are skewed since we’ve only played 4 games, but you can see that he his production and minutes have been on an upward trend for the entire season. Blair, IMO, is a specialty player that will give some teams fits and against other teams will be highly ineffective. If we can simply ride him against favorable mismatches, then he can spare Duncan or McDyess big minutes (like he did tonight). All in all, Blair still has a pretty decent ceiling since he still has no game outside of 8 feet.

    Blair’s slow development along with Neal’s play are huge reasons why the Spurs are winning without a Lebron or Kobe-like superstar. I believe that the Spurs and Celtics are the two best top-to-bottom TEAMS in the NBA. The Lakers and Heat simply do not have the same depth at this point of the season.

  • senorglory

    Maybe the question is rather, why were the Spurs so bad last year? They should have been this good.

  • Rafael

    I can’t understand why Pop didn’t let Splitter play at least 15 minutes!!!!!!!!Now he’ll lose all confidence. The best thing when Splitter play is Duncan rests!!!And he can contribute playing 20 minutes per game

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  • Nima K.

    Boast all you want, but I would still keep a weary eye on the remaining 30 or so games. Don’t wanna win 65+ games in the season, only to lose in the second round of the playoffs because Manu or Tony have picked up an injury.

    Yeah we are very good, but so are Dallas, Boston, and (come playoff time) the Lakers.

    Let’s hold off the celebrations until Trophy número cinco

  • Nima K.

    Boast all you want, but I would still keep a weary eye on the remaining 30 or so games. Don’t wanna win 65+ games in the season, only to lose in the second round of the playoffs because Manu or Tony have picked up an injury.

    Yeah we are very good, but so are Dallas, Boston, and (come playoff time) the Lakers.

    Let’s hold off the celebrations until Trophy número cinco is in town, and people are honking their horns down San Pedro Ave.

  • ribanez

    THE SPURS ARE NOT OVERLY TALENTED OR OVERLY ATHLETIC. THEY HAVE SOME ATHLETICISM,3 HALL OF FAMERS, NO FLASH AND NO FLAIR, IF YOU WILL. THEY POSSESS A GREAT BASKETBALL IQ AND THEY ARE CONSISTENTLY EFFICIENT. CONSISTENT IS THE WORD THAT BEST DESCRIBES THE SPURS. THEY GET THE MOST OUT OF THEIR ABILITIES NIGHT IN AND NIGHT OUT.

  • Ryan

    duanefly and Hobs hit it right on the head.. This team, along with Boston, is probably the most top-to-bottom complete team in the league and I don’t mean that in just relative terms, but across the entire spectrum. Positions, shooting, age, experience, development, size… it’s just all there. Yeah you could argue that some teams may have more, but what you can’t say is that they’re a more complete team than the Spurs are this year.

    Tim brought up a good point though and I think it’s something that still needs to be said about this season… health. I’m knocking on wood when I say this but it’s great when the worst thing you’d have to worry about all season injury-wise is Bonner missing a few games with a sore leg. I feel alot of this stems from the offensive approach they’ve taken on, but that’s for a different story…

    Great job to the team so far and great job to Tim and Andrew as well.. Keep up the great writing guys. LoL, tourists with typewriters :)

  • Kevin

    It’s OK Tim, I think Bonner was just upset at being left out of the 3-point contest on ASW. Spurs may not get the press, but they’ll get the Rings!

  • Nima K.

    3 pts in 45 sec of total playing time? Good for Novak.

  • Junierizzle

    I think the SPURS are playing good this year because they struggled all of last year. It took them a whole season to gel. This season they’re healthy and they are making all the shots that they didnt make last season.
    And even though their D isnt stellar, they have been getting clutch stops down the stretch.

  • Nima K.

    Btw, I wonder, was the bus thing to Toronto for real? Or was it just a figure of speech? I thought they’d fly to Toronto. This time of year, it’s a 4 hr drive to Toronto from Detroit. I’d feel damn exhausted after playing a hard won game, and a 4hr bus ride, arriving early morning.

  • rj

    i’m personally not resting my championship laurels on this record. i’ve watched too many games, nba seasons to trust a gaudy record as being a foreshadow of championship glory, and i think the spurs do to. maybe that’s why they keep winning. i seem to be more intrigued by losses this year unless splitter has a breakout game. with bonner back, we definately feel like the spurs again. james anderson, get your ass in shape and tiago, get ready tommorow night. as we chisel our way to 44. great article by the way.

  • http://www.spursbrasil.wordpress.com Bruno Pongas

    I can’t understand why brazilians come here to criticize Coach Pop about Tiago Splitter. Let him work, is it possible? Btw, Im also brazilian and I get pissed when this kind of thing happen. Thats quite ridiculous!

  • SpurredOn

    The answer is in the question: team. That it requires so much thought likely says more about a sports culture built around highlights and hype than it does any flaw within the Spurs.

    @senorglory – Good point. Spurs underperformed record wise last season and may over-perform by a few this season; a 60 win team that may win 65+ one year after winning “only” 50 when they should have had 56 or so. It was difficult to identify some of the little things that were missing last season and may be just as difficult to identify those things now being corrected. I think those things are cohesion, health and diverse skill sets along the bench.

  • TD = Best EVER

    Few takeaways I gathered from another SA win.

    1. Detroit has 2 young Forwards who are gonna both be very good in this league.

    2. Our Offense just seems off to me. Like we are not firing on all cylinders. I think we should feature RJ as more of a slasher. Give him the ball more and let him be the old RJ. This will take us to the next level.

    3. Spurs need some more size in their wing positions off the bench. I’m in favor of keeping Novak ( or another 6-8 + wing player) over Neal. Just to help our D and small ball lineups. The TP, INDY G, Neal line up drives me crazy.

    4. Splitter will not be an important part of this team anytime soon. DJB will either keep getting better and be enough come playoff time or it will be rough.

  • SpurredOn

    To those focused on Splitter’s playing time: please, let it go. For now at least. With tonight being the first of a stretch of four games in five nights, and five in seven, he’ll play competitive minutes soon. Likely in Toronto. Expect to see more in the final four weeks of the season.

    @Rafael – do you really think Splitter will lose confidence from not playing more than one minute tonight? If so, he’s not good enough to warrant playing the minutes you’d like him to. He’s a pro, and his fluctuation in playing time is similar to what other bench players had in their first year under Pop. It’ll pay off big time later.

  • http://searchingforslava.blogspot.com dave m

    The Spurs are just of a different era – lunch bucket guys who get the job done. Or in Bonner’s case, sandwich guys. Meanwhile, my Lakers are caught up in a cycle of two steps forward, one back. Plus these ludicrous trade rumors floated by Denver, looking to juice up a fire sale with NY.

  • miggy

    I think the Spurs do the best job from top to bottom of taking luck and chance out of the equation for winning.

  • Easy B

    miggy and spurredon….good points about reasons for spurs success. I’ve really enjoyed watching and following this season so far, not only for the gaudy record, but mostly for the growth of numerous spurs from last season, emergence of new talent, and transition of established talent into this potent, uncompromising and focused team. We have 4 fantastic guards in play, 1 super solid SF, a high rebound/energy 2nd year forward/c and 2 veteran pillars keeping the respect down low. Bonner is firmly in his prime, and we have 2 wildcards in Splitter and Anderson….you just can’t help but feel good about our chances each game – even if Melo goes to LA….we’d still give them mathcup problems…

  • rob

    This (and past topics) is writing worthy of a sports blog award. Combining the sport (team) itself with quotes from non-sport articles, books and publications intrigues, excites and educates the reader.

    Great job writers of the 48. Just my opinion, but one of the best sites to visit even if one is not a Spur fan.

    I guess if there were to be an answer to “how do the Spurs do it”…just look at what and how you guys at 48 keep coming up with great material….Passion to be the best regardless of circumstances.

    Go Spurs Go!!!

  • rob

    By the way…”The San Antonio mystery tour picks up tomorrow in Toronto.”

    Great line. It’s comin’ to take you away…take you away…

  • SAJKinBigD

    heheheh – Lovin’ it! Solid game all around, though a tad lackluster.
    Laaaaa-The San Antonio Mystery Tour–Lalaaaaa…
    So who’s Mean Mister Mustard And Maxwell w/the Silver Hammer? Although I think RJ’s theme is “Get Back! Get back to where you once belonged!”

  • SAJKinBigD

    Also, I think “Come Together” applies pretty well. Wrong album from my references, but mebbe it should be Captain Pop’s One Heart Club Band!

  • SAJKinBigD

    I’ve decided Maxwell = Bonner.
    Sorry for the triple posting! :)

  • Masonspur

    If there was ever a trap game, tonight in Toronto is it. The Spurs are only 4 and 4 in the second game of a back to back when that game is on the road. Older teams (Celtics are 2 – 7 in these games) do not do well in the second game of a back-to-back when it is on the road. Because there are no back-to-back games in postseason, don’t be surprised if the Spurs and the C’s are in the finals.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    First and foremost, the Spurs are healthy. You also have to look at the fact that the Spurs FO decided that Mason, Bogans and some of the other dregs of the bench simply were not getting it done.

    Of course when the FO fortified our bench with Neal, Splitter and even Anderson, I am sure that in their wildest dreams they could not have seen how they would catch fire!

    Bonner and RJ getting extensions when conventional wisdom (well by the fans anyway) said to dump them because one choked in playoffs past and the other seemed not to live up to the hype. Well, all that has happened there is Bonner improving his defense AND being the best 3 point shooter to get the Rodney Dangerfield treatment with regards to All Star Weekend selection and Jefferson being the 4th threat who can save our ass during any given opponent’s run with either a clutch 3 or a drive to the basket for a quick score!

    Splitter has had glimpses of greatness and Neal has been a complete badass coming off of the bench! Mr. Anderson was doing great until his injury and I expect he will kick ass once he gets rolling as well!

    I think getting Steve Novak will wind up being a GREAT move, because the guy does 1 thing exceptionally well, kills it from 3, all damn day!

    This team has been blessed with great health, cohesion unlike we have ever seen and the leadership of the best coach of the last decade. When is the last time Tim, Tony AND Manu have all been healthy at the same time? 2007? And what happened then? Oh yeah, NBA Title #4!

    Tony has grown wiser this year, adding the element of dishing to the open man, as opposed to always looking to score more….worked on his range from 3 point land and is becoming a complete point guard not just a scoring one.

    Manu has taken the role of lead scorer and is getting in the huddles and directing traffic. His health at this point is the most crucial to make this team climb to the top of the mountain.

    Timmy has been blessed with shouldering less of the load and has been gracious in stepping to side and allowing this team to be more of a guard attacking offense, as opposed to plodding and forcing the ball into Tim 75% of the time. How many stars athletes would allow this to happen on “their” team? What is Kobe doing in LA? Refusing to feed his bigs and look how that team looks!

    Improvements by Blair, McD, Hill and the rest of the team due in large part to knowing how and at what point each of them will be playing due to the set rotation Pop is using……that settles everyone down.

    Those are my reasons for this team having the success.

    I am enjoying this season more than any other, so much promise, so disciplined and so much leadership……I don’t give a shit about the Lakers size, the Celtics experience or the Heats star trio…..this team is good enough to beat anyone, anytime.

    The last key to the championship puzzle is the fans…..HCA throughout, those that can show up to every game need to be HEARD LOUDLY and have the AT&T Center rocking to become that 6th man off the bench for this team!

  • Billy Paultz

    “The difference between failure and success is doing a thing nearly right and doing it exactly right.”

    SA wins because they do it exactly right…and Pop teaches them how to do it…I would argue Pop is the best coach in the world right now…here’s an interesting question – how would this year’s team perform with Phil Jackson at the controls?

  • Ed

    Sloppy game but indicative of the Spurs in that they never let the score or a negative play affect their play. Even when the Pistons went on little runs the Spurs looked the same. They are true professionals and true TEAMmates who respect the game, their coach and each other. Love watching them. Toronto should be another uninspiring win, they just need to pay attention to DeRozan this time.

  • Judd

    @ bruno, sure tony had 6 turnovers but he also was 7-8 from the floor, 5-5 from the line, had 7 assists and the highest +/- ratio of the game. he won another game for this team. manu has been amazing, but tony has quietly been the team’s most consistent player. and please people, stop complaining about tiago’s mins. the spurs won by double digits but this game wasn’t in the bag until very late. it wasn’t time to risk a loss for some playing time. it’s a long season and pop is the best in the business. if tiago needs it and deserves it, he will get his pt. another great win! go spurs go!
    oh, and rj seems back to form after a short slump. he has put together 5 solid games in a row and this has been a huge factor in many of our recent wins.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    Judd, couldn’t agree more with everything you said in your post. Look, supporting your countryman is one thing but getting pissed because you don’t think he is playing enough and then adding a dig at the point guard is just plain stupid.

    Russell Westbrook had 8 TOs last night and his team LOST in OT. What do you want to do with him Bruno, burn him at the stake?!

    I agree TP is putting up All Star numbers and is reinventing himself as our point guard.

    Did anyone catch Kevin Love’s comment about being surprised that Duncan was named a reserve as an All Star? This kid may be talented but he is such a dumbass.

  • Keith

    The Spurs win because they understand the rhythm of a basketball game. They aren’t as worried about the first half; they just play to stay roughly even. In the second half they really work to win. The Spurs understand that the difference between the best and worst teams is pretty slim on most nights, so they pace themselves to win in the final few minutes.

    One other thing the Spurs do is to play the percentages. Their defensive schemes are based around a team shooting standard percentages. So long as the Spurs opponents are shooting at or below their normal percentages, the Spurs take care of business. It’s when the opponent is shooting lights out that the Spurs have trouble. It’s very hard to close out a game when you can’t make a stop. However, the Spurs’ defense has been really good in the fourth quarter, and usually that’s the reason why they win.

  • http://adamgue@gmail.com Adam

    The Spurs are so good b/c they play the best team basketball in the league, by far.

  • soulidefy

    @td best ever

    novak for neal? this is going to help our defense!? sorry, novak is not a defender by any stretch of the imagination for all his height. the spurs are a perfect example why physical stats dont tell you how good you are at the game of basketball, see tp and manu.

    good article, good win.

  • jwalt

    My two cents worth. Great to have Bonner back, he does make the team better. Splitter might or might not help, but his importance is indeed minimal.

    Two overlooked reasons why the Spurs are better this year. One, Tony Parker got signed. Instead of playing for his next contract, he is playing the best and most selfless ball of his career. And two, Manu is starting. If he was the 6th man again (which was always idiotic) the team would not have this record.

    Okay, let’s gloat for a second. The Spurs road winning pct. (.750) is now better than anyone else’s total winning pct. (Boston is at .745). And we are 38-4 when we get at least one day’s rest. 38 and friggin’ 4!

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ soulidefy

    “novak for neal? this is going to help our defense!? sorry, novak is not a defender by any stretch of the imagination for all his height.”

    ughhh So you are saying Neal is a Defender??? Not from what I have seen. And SIZE MATTERS, pun intended. If you can have a 6-10 shooter or a 6-4 shooter, all things being equal you take the 6-10 guy. Our bench needs more size from the wing. Neo is a natural 2 guard. Neal and IndyG are Both 2 guards, because IndyG can’t handle the ball well or make plays very well. They are both 2guards in point guards bodies. And when pop plays them together we suffer on Defense. Especially when he puts Neal at the 3 position. So take out Neal and put in Novak, allowing Neo to play his natural position makes alot of sense to me.

  • soulidefy

    im not even going to argue that. too many things about it are just off imo. its like you have tunnel vision at every scenario.

  • wilksthequaker

    I agree with Hobson13 … Blair has been playing much better as of late. Totally crushed Detroit last night and didn’t get into his typical foul trouble. Or was he just letting Will Bynum get his points without tacky and-one fouls?

    Speaking of Bynum, I did a little side-by-side on Blair vs. the Lakers’ Bynum since Deceber (when Bynum came back from injury) and per 36 minutes:

    Blair: 14.5 / 11.8 / 2.1 / 2.9 steals + blocks on 52.3% shooting
    Bynum: 16.3 / 10.5 / 1.7 / 2.6 steals + blocks on 57.6% shooting

    Not to mention Blair is 1.5 years younger, is between $14 and $15 million cheaper over the next two seasons and has never missed an NBA game. Ever. So much for 29 team doctors that axed the idea of drafting him. That’s compared to Bynum’s 47, 32, 17 over the three prior years and 25 this year.

    I’m even not suggesting Blair is as good as Bynum, but pointing out that Lakers fans are vastly overvaluing him and are crazy to think Melo can be had for him straight-up. He’s in his sixth season and his development seems to have flatlined. Shows the dichotomy between the two franchises – I’ll take consistency of Blair for two quarters a game, even with his defensive lapses. Even if Blair never gets any better than he is right now, he’s worth every dollar spent.

  • jwalt

    Yes, agree about Neal’s defense. He’s been a wonderful surprise and plus offensively, but defensively he’s a rookie. He tries hard and you can tell he wants desperately to be better, but right now he’s a liability.

    And for that matter, so is Blair. In fact, Blair still drives me crazy. I remember watching the Chicago-Portland finals eons ago with a well known coach, and he said during the game that both Jordan and Pipper could play until they were 40 if they wanted to, because their fundamentals were so good. Converesly, he said that Drexler and Kersey would be out of the league as soon as they lost their athleticism because their’s was so poor. And time proved this coach right. Well, Blair is like Drexler, he has great quickness and strength for his size but his fundamentals are horrid. Example? He tries to do everything with one hand, catch, rebound, all with one hand. It’s a two-handed sport. I bet he fumbles more rebounds away with his lousy fundamentals then anyone else in the league.

  • Rafa

    Remember last year? This was supposed to be last year’s team. RJ was supposed to click right away. Mason Jr. was supposed to continue his “emergence” from the year before. Those two things didn’t happen. On top of that TP had plantar fascitis and Manu was never 100%. Still! we managed to beat the Mavs (last year’s #2 seed). That goes to show you how good we COULD have been last year. This year, RJ is clicking. TP does not have plantar fascitis anymore, Manu is 100% (knock on wood), and Gary Neal is the ’09 version of Mason Jr…only better.
    And there it is… that’s why we’re so good. We would have been this good last year if only RJ would have clicked, TP would not have had plantar fascitis, Manu would have been 100% and Mason Jr. would have been as good as he was the year before. Alas, these things did not happen. But they’re certainly happening this year! And there it is. Those are the reasons why we’re 43-8. Let’s just hope that these things continue to happen… (knock on wood).

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ soulidefy

    “im not even going to argue that. too many things about it are just off imo. its like you have tunnel vision at every scenario.”

    Not trying to start arguments with anyone. But If you don’t remember all the games in which our guards have been posted up and scored on easily then you haven’t been watching us play too many games this year.

    Denver – Melo, JR. Smith, Billups – all took our guards into the post and either scored or got fouled.

    Dallas – Butler, Kidd, Marion – Same as above – all successful scoring or getting fouled in the post.

    Boston – Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Marquis Daniels, yes Daniels even posted up our small guys

    SUNS/MAGIC – Jason Richardson, Arenas, Turkuglu – same as the others above with JRICH doing aton of damage

    Ron Artest(too big for any small to stop really)
    Deron Williams – posted up TP and IndyG – got buckets

    ALL I’m saying here is that at 6-10 Novak will not be getting posted up on all that much. And with our other Defensive weakneses, we don’t ned to all this to the list. SO if he can prove that he can hit the 3. He is instantly more valuable than NEAL.

  • rob

    @TD=BE

    If I may chime in on your post. What you speak is true regarding our guards weaknesses at being posted up by larger guards. However…to think Novak is an answer to those defensive liabilities is not a realistic option. Even coach Pop (and Novak’s career) has expressed and shown he IS NOT a defensive player. I would beg to differ on your statement and think even Gary Neal is a better defender against those types of players over Novak.

  • ThatBigGuy

    I thought we already had a 3 shooting 6’10” guy who played suspect D?

  • SPURATIC

    Why are the Spurs 43-8?

    1.) Heathly and rested (No World Championships, No international play, No Olympics,..ect.. you get the point)

    2.) Big-3 Chemistry. These guys have seen it, played it, and Won it (the rest of the team is there to just join in and contribute.)

    3.) Pop (maybe the most underated, un-appreciated NBA Coach since that guy in Utah. He comes in “prepared, sets match ups, plays, adds players ect… you get the point)

    4.) Rookie n Sophmores. Blair, Neal, Splitter, ..ok Hill too … These guys have been told their roles, and played them like a $1 billion dollar Vintage Les Paul guitar. This is 100% credit to the coach and the organization as a whole..

    …..OK Ok ok..So we dont have a “Kobe-LeBron-MJ-Majic-like” player on this team. We dont have those ESPN Dunk of the night players, or that Stockton- Nash-Bird under one leg, behind his back, off the score board assist man. We just got 13 players that play their roles, Play D when needed, andmost importantly conduct themselves off the court like they do on the court well …oh and we win a few games….
    Is that a bad thing in the NBA???

    Out!

  • Titletown99030507

    @Chillfan, your right about that, it is a weird season. You would think your team would want to get better and reach the Apex of their potential after the big man you’ve been waiting for to come to life and does then gets 45 seconds of play like Bruno said. and then just to see James Anderson shipped off to D- land. Weird Season. Either Pop is going crazy and is bored or he’s just going to let it all hang out at the playoffs pulling surprises out of his hat.

  • Titletown99030507

    @rj, I think Splitter has already had a few breakout games, but Pop’s not interested. Case in point DNP last night. Here we go.