Manu Ginobili seems to indicate that if Tim Duncan returns to Spurs, he will too

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Immediately after the Spurs were eliminated from the postseason in seven games by the Clippers, questions arose about the future of the franchise.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are both unrestricted free agents, and while it would be difficult to see them leaving to play somewhere else under any set of circumstances, retirement remains a real possibility for each.

Somewhat understandably, the two weren’t ready to commit to anything right after a devastating loss that ended their season somewhat unexpectedly. But in the days that followed, Ginobili penned a piece that seemed to indicate he might be ready to hang ’em up, if not for the sense of commitment he feels to Duncan, Gregg Popovich and the rest of the Spurs franchise.

From Manu Giobili at canchallena.com (translated from Spanish to English):

Pop said he wanted us to Tim and me in next season. They are words that make me the most difficult things. The truth is that if the franchise had said they did not want me or it was time to rebuild and wanted a younger team, I would have greatly facilitated the task. You may have done a little hurt because even though one is on the ledge, falling just want to not give you the push. So he had hurt a little but it had facilitated the decision. He went backwards, these words help you in the emotional, in confidence, feeling, but I’m not in a time when I need the job.Bypasses feel that if I want to follow, but if you really define feel like doing and get into all this bustle.

In the team meeting I had a couple of nice conversations with Pop and Tim, because we are the ones who are in this particular situation a little, but what he said Pop has made clear what his idea. Well … Tim chatted with some of the possibilities and it’s like we’re on the same page saying we want to wait a little. We need time, see what happens, how we feel, what our families say. Our body is not the same, though in his case it is not noticeable. But other things start to happen mind. …

I do not feel that San Antonio can feel a blow by the departure of some of us. If I were preparing a total reconstruction … it comes and goes Pop another coach Tim retires, Tony does not play anymore. That would change the situation much. I understand it’s time to change things on the computer, or the appearance of the whole and understandably so. But if Pop continues and Tim can follow, everything is different. Because one would have less commitment to colleagues and everything. I guess we’ll have a little talk with Tim, who seems to be on the same ledge as me. We’ll see where the wind blows.

The translation is a little rough, but there are two things Ginobili seems to make clear.

The first is that he’d be ready to retire of the organization simply told him that it was ready to rebuild, and go in a different direction. The second, and perhaps most important, is that he seems to feel a strong sense of loyalty to his teammates and his head coach, and if they all return — Duncan especially, because Popovich and Tony Parker are still under contract — then Ginobili would be hard-pressed to choose to do otherwise.

Watch Kawhi Leonard dunk all over Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors took Game 4 against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, 120-102.

Things started off okay for Milwaukee but started to peter off as the hometown Toronto crowd got behind their Raptors. The bench continued to show up for Leonard’s squad, and it was Kyle Lowry dueling it out with Antetokounmpo in the first quarter.

Leonard scored 19 points to go with seven rebounds and four steals, and perhaps his most impressive play of the night came early in the third quarter. Running a little two-man game with Marc Gasol, Leonard cut to the basket and wound up dunking all over the Milwaukee star.

Via Twitter:

Leonard appeared to hobble a little bit after his dunk, but he should be ready to go for Game 5 on a Thursday night. Meanwhile, the series heads back to Wisconsin all tied up at 2-2.

The victor of this series will get to take on the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals.

Andre Iguodala says Stephen Curry is the second-best PG ever

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The Golden State Warriors are moving on to the NBA Finals yet again, thanks in large part to the efforts of Stephen Curry. Golden State’s point guard is now heading to his fifth-straight finals, and without Kevin Durant he was a big reason why the Warriors were able to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in just four games.

Of course there is a real worry that Durant won’t be able to play in the NBA Finals, either partially or fully, thanks to a calf injury. If that’s the case, and the Warriors can take home another championship trophy, it could mean great things for Curry’s legacy.

Curry is currently chasing Magic Johnson as the best point guard ever in the eyes of many folks. What might help solidify Curry’s place in history would be an NBA Finals MVP, which he would likely wind up with if Durant is unable to impact the Finals the way he has.

At least for Andre Iguodala, Curry is already the second best point guard of all-time.

Via The Athletic:

“I think he’s the second best ever,” Iguodala said. “I always thought that about him. I knew but other people didn’t know. So I wasn’t surprised when he took over that series. But I always gave Tony Allen credit. Playing against him made you understand the grind of how hard it is to win. It’s supposed to be hard. You’re supposed to have to find another way. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable. He just embraced that. Just ingrained that into his system and it’s been there ever since.”

The real question is what Curry’s legacy will be after these Finals, particularly if they win without Durant. Some people aren’t keen to compare eras, and might never move off of Johnson for that spot. It seems reasonable to say that Curry is already the best shooter of all-time, but June could elevate him even further.

Raptors’ halfcourt defense, big games from Gasol, Lowry evens series with Bucks

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Slow your roll on “these Bucks can challenge Warriors” takes…

They are going to have to get out of the East, first. And that is proving to be more difficult than it looked after two games.

Back home in Toronto, the Raptors slowed the game’s pace down and used an impressive halfcourt defense — sure, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Khris Middleton had 30 points, but outside those two the Bucks shot 35.4 percent and had just 13 fast break points — to keep the Bucks offense relatively in check.

Relatively is good enough when everyone is hitting their shots.

Kawhi Leonard had a relatively quiet 19 points, although he did have the dunk of the playoffs all over Antetokounmpo.

Leonard didn’t have to carry the team because everyone in white seemed to be knocking down their shots. Kyle Lowry had 25 points on 11 shots, Marc Gasol had 17 (and his aggressive offense the last two games has stressed the Bucks defense), Nick Powell had 18, Serge Ibaka 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Fred VanVleet had 13 points on six shots.

All that led to a 120-102 Raptors win that wasn’t even that close.

The series is now tied 2-2 and heads back to Milwaukee where the best-of-three left starts.

Milwaukee and Mike Budenholzer have leaned on Nikola Mirotic more in recent games, and the Raptors are now attacking him.

Combine that with an aggressive Gasol — he has started taking the shots from three that he hesitated on in the first two games — and his 3-of-6 from deep has become a big problem for Toronto.

Toronto had this in hand much of the second half, so much so that Drake was helping Nick Nurse relax on the sidelines.

The Bucks will also need their other players — Eric Bledsoe, who had 5 points on 7 shots, and Brook Lopez, who had 8 points — to step up in the final games.

The Raptors have found a formula that works, it’s on the Bucks now to adjust.

Kyle Korver says the copier Nets bought with cash from his trade is broken

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Kyle Korver was taken by the New Jersey Nets with the 51st pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He was traded on draft day by the Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers for cash considerations. The Nets famously — or infamously — used the cash from that trade to purchase an office copier.

More than a decade and a half later, Korver is still playing in the NBA at age 38. And now, thanks to Korver giving the commencement speech at his alma mater Creighton, we have an update on the status of that copier.

Via Twitter:

Kyle Korver does not have a depreciation expense method. He is timeless.