Tag: San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich expects Tim Duncan to play the “same boring game” as usual


For almost two decades, the Spurs have been clinically dominant. They’ve won five titles since 1999, anchored by one of a handful of the greatest players ever in Tim Duncan and one of the three of four best coaches of all time in Gregg Popovich. Throughout that time, the Spurs have been called “boring” by fans and the media, because of their dependable excellence and consistency. Even Popovich agrees with that assessment, but it gets results.

Here’s what Popovich said in a recent interview on SiriusXM’s NBA channel, when asked what he expects out of Duncan in his 19th season with the Spurs:

“Same boring game. He’s going to come to the game, he’s going to score ‘x’ number of points and ‘x’ number of rebounds. He’s going to lead, he’s going to tell me what to do during the game and then we’re going to go home. It’s going to be the same routine as usual.”

That sounds about right. Duncan showed no signs at all of slowing down last season, making third team All-NBA and second team All-Defense at age 38. And the Spurs’ summer additions of LaMarcus Aldridge and David West only add to their frontcourt depth and lessen the load that Duncan will have to carry. It’s tough to project the Western Conference playoff picture in August because there are so many elite-level teams, but there’s not a team that’s clearly better than the Spurs. Their chances to make the Finals are as good as anyone’s at this point.

Tony Parker says for Spurs this is “last crack at it to try to win it all”

Tony Parker, Tim Duncan

San Antonio won the offseason.

They landed LaMarcus Aldridge. They brought back Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Tim Duncan agreed to return. They got David West to decide to come for pennies on the dollar. They improved one of the best rosters in the NBA last season. They even won Summer League.

The Spurs are a title contending team, but one in a loaded Western Conference. What could make the difference is hunger — which team wants it the most? Which team plays with the right level of controlled desperation?

Tony Parker says don’t count out the Spurs in that category. Parker did an interview with France 24 and said he and the team realizes this is their last shot with this core (via the San Antonio Express-News).

“It’s been an unbelievable summer for us. LaMarcus is going to help us a lot. I’m so happy that Manu and Timmy are back. And so we’re going for a last try, a last crack at it to try to win it all.”

For the Spurs, Warriors, Clippers, Thunder, Rockets and maybe Grizzlies, the first key in the West will be just staying healthy. There is no margin for error.

But after that it will be about desire, about execution, and in the end about matchups come the playoffs. And in what will be the last year for Duncan and Manu Ginobili, not to mention David West’s long career, there will be plenty of desperation and energy in San Antonio. Predicting things in the West now is impossible, but in the end expect the Spurs to be in the mix.


Quote of the Day: Gregg Popovich credits Coach Duncan for his five NBA titles

2014 NBA Global Games - Berlin

The Spurs’ Gregg Popovich has always credited Tim Duncan for the coach’s successful career.

Here’s a new spin.

David Pick:

But what about Coach Ginobili and Coach Parker:

Wesley Matthews says Trail Blazers never made him an offer, “I was pissed off”

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Three

Wesley Matthews brings his “3&D” game — and his ruptured Achilles still on the mend — to Dallas next season.

Matthews had been a vital part of Portland’s success the past few seasons. So much so that when he injured his Achilles last season the team went from everybody’s favorite dark horse contender in the West to the team that still got the four seed and made Adam Silver and the NBA rethink rewarding division winners. It wasn’t just his on the court play, his leadership in the locker room was huge in Portland.

Which is why he thought they would try to keep him, but they didn’t Matthews told Jason Quick and the Oregonian. And that ticked him off.

He had hoped he could return to the city that had embraced him, to the team with players he considered brothers, to the franchise where he grew into one of the NBA’s most well-rounded and respected shooting guards. But in the end, after five seasons, the feeling was not mutual. He was greeted with silence. No phone call. No text messages. The Blazers never made an offer.

“I was pissed off,” Matthews said. “I felt disrespected….”

The only chance the Blazers would pursue Matthews, top executive Neil Olshey later explained, was if free agent LaMarcus Aldridge chose to return, maintaining Portland as a playoff-caliber team. When Aldridge chose San Antonio, the Blazers decided to rebuild. Paying big money to a 29-year-old shooting guard coming off major surgery didn’t make long-term sense.

For Portland, this makes total sense. Once Aldridge chose to go home to Texas they needed to strip the entire thing down and make Damian Lillard the focus of a rebuild. And if Blazers owner Paul Allen is hesitant about paying big money to injured players, it’s hard to blame him (Greg Oden, Brandon Roy).

That Portland never made a phone call means by July 1 Olshey knew Aldridge was long gone.

Matthews makes sense for Dallas, a team that when it first contacted Matthews thought it might get the pieces this summer to give Dirk Nowitzki one more run at a ring. While that didn’t work out (in dramatic fashion), Cuban pitched Matthews as being a cornerstone of the future in Dallas. That sold Matthews, he told the Oregonian in this fantastic story detailing his summer recruitment.

History of players coming back from an Achilles injury suggests this is going to be a challenging season for Matthews. Even if he can stay healthy — which is not always easy, see Kobe Bryant for example — it’s an adjustment learning what your body can and can’t do the same way. His game will need to adapt.

Where Matthews really may start to pay off for Dallas is next summer — he’s the kind of person and player other guys want on their team. Having him in house is a good recruiting tool when Mark Cuban and the Mavericks knock on the doors of the next big free agents.

Highlight reel: Best assists of 2014-15 NBA season

Detroit Pistons v San Antonio Spurs

On a slow summer day, here is a little something to remind you of the 2014-15 season — and whet your appetite for the coming season this fall.

Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, LeBron James all show off their passing skills, but it may be Manu Ginobili who steals the show. That guy is still a wizard with the ball.