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Spurs vs Clippers Preview 2/19/15

GAMEDAYJosh GarciaComment

SPURS.COM

The San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers are by no means in danger of falling out of contention in the Western Conference, but they both enter the season's second half with plenty of ground to make up.

Set to meet for final time this season, the Spurs and Clippers try to come out of the All-Star break strong Thursday night at Staples Center.

San Antonio (34-19) is in seventh place in the highly competitive West, one-half game behind Los Angeles (35-19). While the Spurs are six games ahead of ninth-place Oklahoma City, they've appeared a step slower at times than last season's 62-win squad that eventually won the NBA title.

Some of that has to due with injures which have sidelined Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Marco Belinelli and Tiago Splitter for significant amounts of time. The Spurs, however, appear poised for a strong last two months with all their key pieces healthy.

Danny Green had 19 points and Parker added 17 as the Spurs won 104-87 at Detroit last Wednesday, their 15th victory in 20 games. Five players scored in double figures as San Antonio finished with 26 assists and 10 turnovers.

"They are a great team and they've been at this for a long time. They move the ball as well as anyone in the game," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Every guy on that roster loves to pass, and they not only want to do it, they are skilled at it. It's one thing to be willing, but it is tough when they are willing and skilled."

The Spurs, averaging 96.9 points on the road compared to 104.3 at home, improved to 14-12 as the visiting team.

"Great way to finish," Parker said. "We'll enjoy the break and make sure we're ready when we get back."

The Clippers (35-19) are hoping to keep treading water until Blake Griffin returns from a staph infection in his right elbow. The All-Star forward, among the NBA leaders with 22.5 points per game, underwent surgery last week and remains out indefinitely.

Los Angeles was blown out 131-108 at Oklahoma City on Feb. 8 in its first game without Griffin, but it rebounded to beat Dallas 115-98 the following night and Houston 110-95 last Wednesday. DeAndre Jordan came up huge with a combined 46 points and 47 rebounds in those victories and has a chance to join Kevin Willis (1991) and Kevin Love (2011) as the only players to record three straight 20-20 games in points and rebounds since the start of the 1991-92 season.

"I think it's a travesty. I really do - a guy who's getting 20s and 20s is not on the team," coach Doc Rivers said of Jordan's All-Star snub. "You play both sides of the floor. Just one end of the floor keeps getting all of the credit, but the other side is more important.

"There's never been a team that's won a title without being a decent defensive team. But that side keeps getting forgotten about in the All-Star game. But D.J. knows that we're playing for bigger things than All-Star games."

While Jordan wasn't a part of Sunday's All-Star game, Chris Paul racked up 12 points and 15 assists as the West won 163-158. Duncan was barely a factor with two points in 15 minutes.

Los Angeles had dropped four straight to San Antonio before cruising to a 105-85 road win Jan. 31 behind 31 points from Griffin. Paul scored 20 and Jordan pulled down 19 boards as the Clippers held a 56-36 edge on the glass.

Leonard has totaled 50 points in two games against Los Angeles this season, but he's averaging 9.7 on 26.8 percent shooting over a three-game stretch overall.

Spurs vs Pistons Preview 2/11/15

GAMEDAYJosh GarciaComment

SPURS.COM

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich just became the ninth member of the NBA's 1,000-win club.

He is known for making many unorthodox moves, as was the case the last time his club faced the Detroit Pistons.

Much will likely be different when these teams meet Wednesday night, when the visiting Spurs look to avenge one of their most disappointing losses of the season.

Popovich earned his 1,000th win on his second try in Monday's 95-93 victory at Indiana. San Antonio (33-19) rallied from a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter.

"I've been here a long time and I've had good players. That's the formula," Popovich said. "Getting the players is difficult, but I've been fortunate to have good ones. The time, that's the most important element. You have to be around for a while I guess."

The Pistons (21-32) won 105-104 at San Antonio on Jan. 6 in a game in which the Spurs led by as many as 18 points. Popovich sat Tony Parker, who was returning from a hamstring injury, for the entire second half and sat Tim Duncan for the entire fourth quarter until the final eight seconds.

Brandon Jennings scoring the winning basket with one-tenth of a second left, though he's out for the season with a torn Achilles. The Spurs also played without Kawhi Leonard, who was out with a torn ligament in his hand.

Leonard is back now and came up huge down the stretch Monday as he drove the lane and found Marco Belinelli, who made the winning jumper with 2.1 seconds left.

"The guy that was supposed to get the ball got the ball," Popovich said. "Kawhi did a great job of executing the play."

Leonard executed on his team-high 87th isolation. San Antonio averages 7.7 for the NBA's fourth-lowest mark and Detroit entered Tuesday with the second-lowest at 7.3; these teams combined for only 13 isolations in last month's matchup.

San Antonio figures to have Manu Ginobili back on the floor after Popovich gave the veteran Monday off on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Pistons won for the 16th time in 25 games with Tuesday's 106-78 rout at Charlotte. Greg Monroe had 23 points and 12 rebounds as Detroit pulled within 1 1/2 games of the eighth-place Hornets in the East.

"We're in the hunt right now," Monroe said. "We're jockeying for position. There are a lot of games left but these are the games with people right in front of us that mean a lot. Every game we have to come knowing that we are jockeying for position."

The Pistons led by as many as 31 points. Starters Monroe, Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin (18 points) all sat out the fourth quarter.

"It was good to just get that quarter off and get a little bit of extra rest going into tomorrow's game," Monroe said.

Monroe entered Tuesday with a team-high 104 isolations and ranked among the NBA leaders with 8.6 post-ups per game.

Frontcourt mate Andre Drummond is second in the league in rebounding with 12.9 per game. Drummond is averaging 16.7 points and 14.3 boards in three games against the Spurs.

Spurs vs Pacers Preview 2/9/15

GAMEDAYJosh GarciaComment

By ALAN FERGUSON


The San Antonio Spurs fell short in their first attempt to get coach Gregg Popovich his 1,000th win but would appear to have a better chance against the Indiana Pacers.

The Spurs will try to make a 14th victory in the last 15 games against Indiana an extremely memorable one Monday night while ending the Pacers' season-high win streak.

San Antonio (32-19) held an 82-79 lead late Sunday at Toronto, but the Atlantic Division leaders scored the final eight points in an 87-82 win. The Spurs, winners in nine of their previous 11, missed their final three shots and finished at 33.3 percent for their worst performance in four seasons.

"Sometimes, you don't shoot well. That's the way it is," Popovich said. "I thought we made a lot of bad decisions in execution. That really hurt us, but both teams defended pretty well."

Popovich is attempting to become the ninth coach to reach 1,000 wins, the third-fastest (1,462 games counting Monday's) and the second to accomplish that feat with one team. Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was the other.

Phil Jackson reached 1,000 wins in 1,423 games and Pat Riley got there in 1,434. Popovich, who turned 66 on Jan. 28, is 999-462 in his 19th season and has the longest current tenure with one team in the four major sports.

"We're not trying to win for one person or another. We're trying to better our team and end strong (before the All-Star break)," said forward Tim Duncan, who went a season-worst 3 of 14 from the floor Sunday.

Duncan had 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting against visiting Indiana on Nov. 26 but was San Antonio's fourth-best scorer in a 106-100 victory. Manu Ginobili had a season-high 28 points while Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker each had 21.

Popovich missed that game after undergoing an undisclosed minor medical procedure. Italian native Ettore Messina became the first European-born coach to pilot an NBA team in the regular season but the victory was added to Popovich's total.

Indiana (20-32) was in the midst of a 6-3 stretch when it played that game and has also been relatively successful of late, winning five of seven. The Pacers used George Hill's late heroics for their first three-game win streak in 11 months Sunday.

Hill made a baseline floater with 4.9 seconds remaining in a 103-102 victory at Charlotte as Indiana rallied from 21 down in the third quarter. C.J. Watson provided 22 points, one shy of matching a season high, after being held scoreless in a 103-99 victory over Cleveland on Friday.

"It's a big confidence boost for us. It's been a big struggle for us all season long," Hill said.

Indiana has dropped its last six home games against San Antonio and was blown out 103-77 in the latest one March 31, part of the Spurs' franchise-record 19-game win streak that ended April 3. Parker had a team-high 22 points and is averaging 22.3 in his last four matchups while shooting 54.9 percent.

Indiana's Rodney Stuckey is averaging 19.7 in his last three meetings with the Spurs. He had 15 Sunday after averaging 4.0 points on 35.3 percent shooting in his previous three games.

Tim Duncan's Future With The Spurs?

Josh GarciaComment

Is the Tim Duncan era ever going to end in San Antonio? We all know that his basketball career is winding down and as much has we hate to see it, he could very well be done in a few years. But, with his high basketball IQ, relationship with Coach Popovich, and the sheer love the city and its fans have for him, could it be possible that Tim could turn that famous number 21 jersey in for a suit and tie, a clip board and a seat closer to Pop?

Gregg has always welcomed on sharp intelligent former players to the coaching staff. Current coaches such as Sean Marks and Ime Udoka anchor the silver and blacks bench. Others such as Steve Kerr and Avery Johnson have past and present success as head coaches. If players like these men can go from on the court success to sideline success, why can't Tim? He obviously knows the system and the mentality of the team better than anyone else on the team. And who wouldn't love seeing Tim win a couple as a coach?

Until then we will all love and bask in the nostalgia of watching Mr.Fundamental lead the Spurs to regular and post season success.  

- Logan Jones (@Thelolojones)

Why Our Spurs Are Still Favorites To Win The Finals

Josh GarciaComment

Spurs currently sit in the 7th seed of the west standings, nine games behind the first place Warriors. In my opinion, the Spurs are the most compete team in the NBA and most talented of all. Why they are still the favorites to win the west is simple and clear. Experience, they play as a team, and they're not a jump shooting team. Wherever the Spurs finish in the standings they will survive the west and appear once again in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors are a compete jump shooting team, don't try that on the Spurs. Memphis doesn't attempt may three's which will comeback to haunt them. Houston is another jump shooting team and will never win the west with that style. Portland in my opinion is a balanced team but is still too young to beat the Spurs and make it to the finals. Dallas (hate them) might be one of the most overrated teams in the league. The Clippers will keep falling in the standings and could get knocked out in the first round.

Our Spurs play as a team and when it comes to playoff time, its a different formula and we know how to win.

- Jackson Plyer (@JacksonPlyer1)

Welcome to SpursNation.net

Josh GarciaComment

Welcome to the new SpursNation site and shop. With this newly re-designed site, we wanted to bring you the best experience possible when shopping with us. Hopefully we accomplished that by addressing and improving upon every aspect of our old site. So thank you for your continued support, because we truly understand that none of this is possible without you all.