Spurs vs. Celtics – Notes from shootaround


AT&T CENTER — Some quick notes from Thursday’s shootaround for the Spurs – Celtics national TV matchup. The AT&T Center wi-fi is having one of its bad days, so updates may be infrequent on the Twitters.

  • Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are playing against the Celtics. Asked by the media who the starters were with everyone playing again, Coach Pop responded, “The same team that started all frickin’ year.” Coach Pop said there would be no limitations on Duncan and Ginobili’s minutes, they are expected to play their normal rotations.
  • Coach Pop was in a somewhat playful mood, saying “I’m trying to keep this light, I’m scared shitless… we’ve lost like a million games in a row.”
  • Varner touched on it a couple of weeks ago, but Ettore Messina is in the house tonight. He was sitting on the Spurs bench during shootaround chatting with Chip Engelland and Tiago Splitter. He’s sitting in the owner’s box during tonight’s game.
  • During pre-game shootaround, Chris Quinn and Danny Green were running suicides under the supervision of the Spurs strength and conditioning coaches. The catch was, they were supposed to run the suicides while dribbling a basketball with their non-dominant hand. There was some contention between Quinn and Green as to which hand was Green’s “non-dominant” hand. Green was trying to explain that even though he shoots with his right hand, it wasn’t his dominant hand. No one really bought it, for obvious reasons. Neither Quinn or Green are in uniform for tonight’s game, which is why they were running suicides.
  • Kevin

    I like the shoot-around notes. Keep these coming!

  • Tyler

    Pop needs to host SNL. His dead pan would absolutely kill….this needs to happen.

  • Kaiser

    Its funny you mention that actually, that Danny Green shoots with his right but it is not his dominant hand.

    I write with my right hand, dribble predominantly with my right and can even shoot right-handedly, but I almost exclusively shoot left-handed.

  • ribanez1

    Embarrassing home loss for the Spurs to a team that has loss 7 games out of 12.. The red rocket failed to make shots when needed again. TD played well and so did Parker but no else !

  • Mike

    Hell of a game for Rondo to remember how to play. Boston is a scary team when they are running on all cylinders!

  • Jacques

    Rondo and Garnett’s mid-range jump killed us….. could not stop the pick-n-roll

  • DBAGuy

    Spurs have been sucking… therefore they SUCK!!!

  • Jacob

    We always lose on natl TV… Im just sick of watching loss after loss. It’s just like our Spurs to keep it one notch above the ‘cardiac arrest’ level and go right down to the wire for losing home court advantage…. Thanks fellas.

    Lets beat the ever loving shit out of Houston and then win 4 out of the next 5!

  • Jeremiah

    How do you know it’s winter? Bonner disappears when winter is over. Seriously. I like him during the regular season, but when we need him this time of year he shrivels up. I really really really really really really hope Pop stops giving him so many minutes.

  • DorieStreet


    “Rondo’s and Garnett’s mid-range jumps killed us…”

    You forgot about Glen Davis- 8/12 for 16 pts.
    Most of the Celtics makes were wide open.
    The Spurs lacked effort and intensity on defense.
    Boston’s FGs/att, FG% per qtr:

    1st- 14/24, 56% 2nd 6-18, 33% half- 20/42, 48%
    3rd- 16/23, 70% 4th 10/19, 53% half 26/42, 62%

    game: 46/84, 55%

  • wilksthequaker

    @ Jacob: I hear you, and too bad the entire playoffs are televised nationally

    Simply were outshot tonight. Look at all those long 2’s from the elbows… http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=310331024

    Painful to be cheering for the Mavs right now, but would love to see them take the season series with the Lakers PLUS pull into a tie three back of the Spurs in the loss column. Spurs already have the season series over them, but will lose the tiebreaker to the Lakers should SAS lose to them in game 81 (I believe it’s conference record if tied 2-2).

    Off topic – what’s with the news of J.J. Barea going out and landing a supermodel? With Sasha engaged to Sharapova (two celebrity significant others at Nets games plus Jay-Z in the crowd? not bad) we all have to wonder if Goran Dragic is next to put a dagger in all of our Silver & Black hearts.

  • TD = Best EVER

    March 31st, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    + 10

    just 1 grip….. What the Spurs lack on Defense isn’t effort…. it’s TALENT….. just like on Offense shooting is a talent…… playing solid to good to great defense is also a TALENT……. and we are lacking TALENT……. On Offense all we do is chuck up 3’s and hope it’s raining…… Nice coaching there POP…… If we are going to be a BAD Defensive team POP has to coach up the Offense which he isn’t doing……. I just don’t get it…… Why is Bonner the 1st big off the bench….. TD/Dice were holding KG and the other bigs down for a while….. And them POP decides to unleash the Bonner and it was like an INSTANT HEAT CHECK for Boston…… O’Neal scored, then Green(3times) then Bigbaby…….. it was just a train wreck watching him defend………..

  • DBAGuy

    29 3s. when did this stupid team become the SA Suns. Man, I’m so tired of watching this crap.

  • TD = Best EVER

    Why did we resign Bonner again????? O yeah so him and POP ( aka ) NINJA ASSASSINS can sneak up and yank another title chase from us……..

  • DorieStreet

    @TD=Best EVER

    Doc Rivers could have given Ray Allen the night off for their BTB @ ATL tomorrow night- Jeff Green would have gotten 20-25 points against whatever Spur was guarding him if he had more than 17 minutes.
    I wish Blair had a jumper like Davis has.

    The team was doing some good things offensively starting off–the movement & passing was creative and crisp. Then as DBAGuy stated, the barrage beyond the arc started: 3/8, 1/7, 3/9 & 1/5 per qtr—-at home.

    Rockets & Suns games are must-wins in my book.

  • Colin


    “O’Neal scored, then Green(3times) then Bigbaby…….. it was just a train wreck watching him defend………..”—aka Matt Bonner

    Absolutely right!

    Defense isn’t talent. We HAVE talent if we play with the right combos. That means no Matt Bonner and no Steve Novak. Tonight Matt Bonner was a liability on both ends of the floor while he was on the court and should have only received about 10 minutes of playing time. He was the most responsible for giving up an easy 4-6 critical points in the paint in the 3rd quarter run the Celtics made. He at needs to shoot at least 40% to warrant more than 8 minutes in a ball game.

    ……..and Rondo was killing jumpers at the wrong time for us!

    Also: we won’t win with Ginobili going for 9 pts/6 assts. He’ll need to play better than that.

    tough stretch for us. They need to be worried, but not enough to go panic mode on us………..then we’d be like the Mavs.

  • Brandon in LA

    Missed the second half, but looking at the stats, one thing is clear — Spurs can’t have Manu, Bonner, and Neal all ice cold at the same time. They need at least one of those guys hitting half their shots, ideally two out of three. Obviously, Manu is gassed/scraped up and Bonner is doing his usually disappearing act, so I’m actually more disheartened that Neal has been out of it lately. Is he not used to playing this many games in Europe? Are we seeing him hit the rookie wall? Hoped he would be the X factor for us this postseason.

  • Colin


    all you +/- clowns. Bonner was the only one with a + by his name tonight. You do the math and tell me its a worthwhile statistic.

  • DBAGuy

    I think Pop is full of crap, he mentioned at the beginning of the 4rth that they were shooting 3s like it was the last time they were going to shoot it. Well why didnt he stop it, why didnt it stop.

  • Nima K.

    So we’re gonna play Blair & Bonner and lackluster defense, relying on 3s?

    Goodbye WCF then. We’ll be lucky if we even make it past the 2nd round.

    But it was worth it.

  • DBAGuy

    Im also getting tired of let Rondo beat by WIDE OPE SHOTS, or we’ll give them WIDE OPEN long 2s. WTF is that, why can’t we defend those shots as well. Pop is really starting to piss me off. If we don’t make it anywhere this postseason, I’m not watching Spurs again until Pop is gone. I’m kinda tired of his style…

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  • TD = Best EVER

    @ DBAGuy


    POP is back on that Phil Jackson…….. Not coaching at all…… We are not maximizing our offense and have VERY few versatile players on the court….. Can’t defend anybody……. AND with all of this against us…. POP plays Bonner…………it’s like he is just trying so hard to prove Matt can get it done and prove others wrong….. We are going home 1st round it appears if we play Memphis….. And it’s all POP and RC’s fault for putting this team together and POP for failing to make any meaningful adjustments…….what a pitty….

  • Bentley

    To see the Celtics nail mid-range jumper after mid-range jumper off of simple pick-and-pop plays was pretty disheartening. Especially in that 4th quarter. The defense, while in spurts is okay, has been pretty terrible over this losing streaks.

    It’s not really the team defense that is bad, it is the individual defense thats bad. One guy on the Celtics breaks down one guy on the Spurs, and it causes the whole defense to break down.

    Not time to panic, but losing the number one seed is even more of a possibility now.

  • DBAGuy

    Yeah, and of all times to start playing with the lineups , he decides right before the playoffs, we had not played this Bonner/Blair crap all season and now it seems to be a common theme. In case he hasn’t noticed, the RJ/George/Bonner/Blair/Neal lineup is total BS. Anyone can see that, why do we keep paying such crap.

    It seems that all of our players suck at the same time. No one could make a damn shot. I knew this game in the first half, when all we had was points in the paint, we could not shoot for crap. And this is pretty much what would happen if we were to met the Lakers in the playoffs. This is season might as well be over…

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

    March 31st, 2011 at 7:53 pm


    All you +/- clowns. Bonner was the only one with a + by his name tonight. You do the math and tell me its a worthwhile statistic.

    Honestly, I have never been one to bash individual players on the boards here but Matt Bonner is a huge part of why the Spurs are sputtering.

    He missed several key shots, turned the ball over during a critical rallying stretch and just looked constipated out there….maybe he should have taken a page from LeBron James and dropped a deuce during introductions to lighten the load.

    Neal was missing at inopportune times, RJ missed a few, Manu was off….honestly, the only guys who brought any kind of passion tonight were TP and TD.

    I sat courtside for the game last night and the team looked so lethargic it wasn’t funny.

    There was very minimal effort on defense, they were giving up second chance points and the Celtics were able to beat the Spurs easily on a ton of pick and pop opportunities.

    Bonner is not the sole party responsible for this loss but he sure did not help during key stretches, +/- or no +/- …..and the other thing that was perplexing is that Pop did not dust off Splitter until the 4th quarter.

    Still got faith in this team, I fully expect a clawing, desperate team to eek out a win in H-Town and then whip the Suns in the ass as well.

    Winning a couple of games in a row is just what this team needs to get it on the right track.