This is not the way the San Antonio Spurs want to start the season.
Manu Ginobili will not travel with the Spurs to New Orleans for the season opener due to ongoing back issues, reports Mike Monroe of the Express-News. Ginobili’s back will be reassessed on Thursday. Which implies this could last a while longer, which isn’t a shock as Ginobili has battled back spasms for a long time.
With Ginoblili out look for a lot more Stephen Jackson in the Spurs lineup, with some Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green also.
Some teams struggle when key players get injured, but the Spurs aren’t one. They’ve played a lot without Manu over the past few seasons, they trust the system and know how to win without him. They have won a lot without him.
And that kind of structure and comfort within it is something hard for young teams like the Hornets to deal with.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.