T.J. Ford, Cory Joseph and Austin

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For a day at least, both former Texas Longhorn point guards T.J. Ford and Cory Joseph once again represented the great city of Austin—even if it was while practicing in San Antonio.

With the return of backup point guard T.J. Ford, Joseph was reassigned to the Austin Toros in the Development League over the weekend.

For all intents and purposes, Joseph should currently be a sophomore in college. He was drafted near the end of the first round to potentially replace the departed George Hill, but enters the NBA an even rawer prospect than Hill was.

While Ford is a proven veteran, his conditioning, basketball rhythm, and overall reintegration with the team all have a ways to go following his return from a torn hamstring.

For different reasons both point guards need practices, which unfortunately have been a rare commodity during this condensed lockout season.

The San Antonio Spurs have always been on the cutting edge of utilizing the NBA Developmental League, from developing young talent specifically within the confines of their system, to implementing new training and nutritional practices.

Monday the Spurs utilized the Toros in yet another unique way. Taking advantage of the Austin’s close proximity to San Antonio, the Spurs assigned Ford to the Toros for a one-day rehab stint and brought their entire roster over to the Spurs practice facility to workout with Ford.

Rest is at a premium this season, and with a few days off, head coach Gregg Popovich gave the team Monday off. At this point, however, repetitions are more important than rest for Ford. In this scenario the Toros acted almost like an NBA version of the NFL’s practice squad, giving Ford some bodies to workout with that are already accustomed to the team’s schemes without taxing the players on the Spurs active roster.

It also gave the Spurs coaches an opportunity to look closer at Cory Joseph. While the Spurs have hardly skipped a beat in Ford’s absence, the injury cost Joseph some crucial development time while he sat on the bench as an emergency point guard instead of playing games in Austin.

And more important than playing time for players like Joseph, or even James Anderson, is the lack of practice opportunities to correct mistakes. Young players need repetition and court time to work on their games. The Toros are not playing a condensed season; they have a normal practice schedule. One that allows for Joseph to make mistakes during games, and then hit the practice courts to correct those mistakes.

 

 

 

  • Dnitsche

    So if/when Boris Diaw gets cut could he be a player worth taking a look at?

  • dave

     Can you please find a permanent fix for the RSS issue.

  • STIJL

    Yeah.  Joseph needs the next level up atmosphere prior to being on an nba roster. Not sure the reason he Spurs took him being he has looked more and more needing to stay in the college ranks much less playing in the DL?

    Any insider info as to what propelled the Spurs to selecting him?  What is it they think they see in him that will transform into not being a wasted 1st round pick?

    Side note. (literally)  In the video playlist to the right…the story of Gasol possibly to the Rockets once again garnishing some interest is intriguing to say the least.

  • Lvmainman

    Spurs refused to sign Solomon Jones, whose been signed by 2 different teams now – Clippers and Hornets.

    Spurs have to get a 5th big man. Why not try to trade Anderson to the Suns straight up for Robin “Sideshow Bob” Lopez? Apparently he’s on the trading block.

    Are the Spurs truly committed to trying to win a championship, or just having good regular seasons and lousy playoffs getting destroyed by other teams front lines?

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

    What problems are you having with the RSS feed? It’s been working fine for me and we haven’t gotten any other complaints about it.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Sure looks that way in regards to having good regular seasons. Pop is in a dilemma with his front court. He knows its not sufficient having 3 1/2 bigs. But he won’t do anything about it because of his stinking pride. Nuf said. Or maybe his wine.

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisinCCTX Chris F

    Ryan Richards!!!

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I’d be surprised if we could get Lopez.

    I’d be all over it just think they can get better offers than Ando.

  • theghostofjh

    Just so you know, that one half big we’re missing results from the combined deficits of all our bigs. 

  • theghostofjh

    Forget it.

  • theghostofjh

    Well, he doesn’t add much in terms of size or defensively, which is our main weakness on the front line.

  • Icewater21

    I think we can get Diaw since he’s probably going to get cut by the Bobcats and since he’s one of TP’s best friends. He could take Bonner’s minutes and role but be a better rebounder, passer and inside-scorer than the red rocket will ever be.
    Hopefully Pop can bring back the Diaw who played center for the Suns a couple of years a go and scored 14 ppg and grabbed 7 boards.

  • STIJL

     So true.  So sadly true.  Not sure how…in the scheme of planning…with the limitations that each of the current bigs possess…a “solid” “go to” combination as part of a unit on the floor was going to be achieved.  Perhaps some time soon, resemblance of a solid front court combination, with who the team has, for purpose to best securing wins, will take shape.

    But as of this moment…too many “if’s” ( both physically and structurally) that don’t seem to have a chance of developing in order for those “deficits” to be improved.

  • STIJL

     From what I’ve been hearing regarding Boris Diaw maybe being waived by
    the Bobcats…this might be a presentable trade 
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6qftv4j  which preserves
    somewhat a “realistic”  approach by all involved.

    Thomas returns to his home state.  Okafor to Spurs whilst getting
    something for R.J. besides just amnestying. Diaw…if just
    released…signs with Spurs. ( High possibility being him and Parker are
    such close friends)  Anderson and R.J. to a Bobcat team in which R.J.
    would suffice to not only keeping cba payroll requirements in line but
    also be in an environment that would best utilize his talents as well as
    the same for Anderson’s type of skills on that team.  Both Charlotte
    and New Orleans main players in the draft can then channel towards
    building for the future in a draft which is heavy in talent they would
    be needing to acquire.  

    Duncan / Okafor
    Splitter / Diaw or Blair
    Bonner relegated to specialist

    Wow…am I trying too hard to convince myself?  : )

  • Titletown99030507d

    He might be MIA. But plenty of upside none the less. He’s not ready for the NBA in terms of defense and post play but can handle the ball like a pt guard and he can shoot the crap out of that ball from anywhere on the court at 7’1″

  • Chris

    Yes, yes you are.  Never happen.

  • Titletown99030507d

    If Splitter didn’t go out with a calf strain 3 weeks ago which threw a wrench in his great play we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Just like Manu is comming back so is Splitter. I give him 2 or 3 more games to get back to where he was before he went out with that calf strain. He will make a difference as he proved in the last 20 games or so.

  • Titletown99030507d

    The last time I saw Lopez (the one on the Suns) looked lost on the court and was totally uncoordinated. I think the other brother is better.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Why in the world would you want Diaw? He is old and at 6’8″ we already have Blair why would we need to add another front court help at that size. No way.

  • Titletown99030507d

    We want to get bigger not smaller.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Don’t kid yourself. We all know Blair is a half a big and needs to be accommodated by playing with Timmy. As long as your rotating Timmy, Splitter, Bonner, and Blair, Blair will only be able to play with Timmy where as Splitter, Bonner, and Timmy can be paired up with each other without blinking an eye. We need to move on and get 4 bigs that can be paired up with each other in any combination if needed. We need to move Blair and get a real big to accomplish this already. As I said before I don’t want to see Blair as Spur after his current contract is over they need to move him in the off season if not now!

  • STIJL

     Diaw would not be “old” in a bench role situation.

    Diaw has a good J.  Something Spurs lack in it’s big man rotation with the exception of Duncan.

    Diaw can play defense and board better than Bonner.

    Why, if you can, NOT get a player who would be cheap AND help in areas the team needs help?

  • theghostofjh

     
    Let me ask you this:

    Why would Charlotte want to take on Jefferson’s contract when they already have Corey Magette?

  • theghostofjh

    “We all know Blair is a half a big and needs to be accommodated by playing with Timmy.”

    Again, speak for yourself.

    In fact, in the playoffs (and against the good teams) Bonner can’t play effectively with ANY of the bigs.

    They should have moved BONNER two years ago!

  • theghostofjh

    Yeah, Splitter’s the saviour. LOL !!!!!

  • theghostofjh

    “He could take Bonner’s minutes and role ….”

    Yes, even Diaw might be worth it to get Bonner to spend much more time on the pine. ANYTHING to break Pop’s boner for Boner!

  • Titletown99030507d

    Didn’t say that but he’d sure be helping this team out.

  • STIJL

     Maybe not.  But then again maybe so.

    Maggette is a 2 guard by nature.  Jefferson a wing.  Matt Carrol is ETO which probably will be administered.

    This will allow the Bobcats to maintain as well as build a young corp via draft while having players with salaries that meet requirement regarding minimum salary regulations of a team without having them to be on salary for a long period of time thus allowing when these few “high end” salary players expire to be able to resign their new recruits of today in the future.

  • DorieStreet

    I look at him as just taking Joseph’s roster spot. Diaw, since he first entered the league (square peg in round hole when the Hawks drafted him in 2003–the groans were long, loud, and plenty from Atlanta fans…) has been a solid pro with a couple of near breakout seasons along the way. Always gives best effort.

  • DorieStreet

    If Dwight Howard winds up with the Nets, is Brook Lopez expendable–and can we get him?

  • JustinFL

    Good question.  It was definitely a move for the future.  They got Tony about that age and they worked with him until he became an all-star.  Maybe they see alot of similarities with Joseph.

  • JustinFL

    I’ve advocated that move on here before.  It seems doable, but I think Phoenix may want a little more than just Anderson.  Not much of an offensive post game, but he can defend and rebound well which is what we could use.  I would hate giving up Blair if we had to, but the need for Blair would diminish unless God forbid, we had an injury on the front line.  Blair fulfills his role very nicely and I’d rather keep depth in the front court if we can.

  • theghostofjh

    “Not much of an offensive post game, but he can defend and rebound well which is what we could use.”

    Lopez is a decent defender, thanks to his height, but he’s a mediocre rebounder at best. However, if we’re going to play Blair less than 20 mpg., especially in the playoffs, we might as well trade him for Lopez. Otherwise, Blair’s ability is being wasted.