Snips and clips from the Spurs camp, plus:
- The Ten Worst Current NBA Contracts
- Haiku Game Review
- Fried Rice
- Blazers/Spurs Recap
- Popcorn Machine
- The Basketball Jones
posted by LatinD to Pounding the Rock (SBN)
We won? We won!
So we can win when Bonner doesn't make 5 threes? Good to know.
by Tim Griffin, San Antonio Express News Spurs Nation blog
George Hill scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Spurs to a 95-78 victory over Portland Sunday afternoon at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs limited the Trail Blazers to 37.9 shooting in the lowest scoring game and lowest shooting percentage by a Spurs' opponent this season.
The win improved the Spurs' league-best 20-3 record that is the best in the 38-season history of the franchise at this point of the season. It also extended their winning streak to five consecutive games. * * *
posted by Clennon8 to ESPN.com Spurs message board
I'm a Spurs fan living in Portland. The game wasn't on TV, and it was blacked out in League Pass, so I was forced to listen to the local hacks announce it on the radio. It was kinda fun listening to them whine about officiating. But then they always do that.
But, yeah, it sounded like the Spurs had kind of a tough time getting their own offense going, but they clamped down on defense, leading to yet another easy win.
posted by ironman2886 to ESPN Spurs message board
Best defense I have seen from the Spurs. Portland couldn't get any run going.
Not a good offensive showing by the Spurs starters, but the defense was able to mask it. Again the starters play minimum minutes.
by 48 Minutes of Hell (TrueHoop)
Now 23 games into the regular season, and off to a franchise-best 20-3 start, it's hard to find fault so far. But today showed the first glimpse of a happy post game Gregg Popovich as the San Antonio Spurs finally looked a little like the San Antonio Spurs.
Earlier in the season our own Timothy Varner stated that the Spurs defense has become less and less about 48 minutes of hell, and increasingly 48 minutes of what the hell.
For all the talk about steals and pace and new approaches, Popovich claims he still holds true to his simplistic analysis of a game, glancing only at field goal percentage and rebounds. In their 95-78 win over Portland, the Spurs finally produced a box score their head coach can be proud of.
"We're working on it and we have to get better," Popovich said. "They know we have to get better at it as a group. We're trying to do that and today was a good performance defensively.
That's something to enjoy, but we have a ways to go. Right now there are about 10 to 15 teams that are doing a better job defensively than we are, so we have to pay attention to it." * * *
by SilverandBlack Davis, Pounding the Rock (SBN)
While the San Antonio Spurs have mostly relied on their new-found offensive gear to blow away the opposition en route to a 19-3 start, it seems that old habits still die hard.
Proving that it can still shift back into a defensive identity that has often characterized its past championship runs, the Spurs put the clamps on a Portland Trailblazers squad hoping to gain further leverage on its four-game win streak as it dropped by the AT&T.
Despite failing to reach 100 points after stringing four consecutive games in triple-digit scoring, the Spurs were still able to win comfortably on the strength of its league-best three-point shooting, and holding down the Blazers to a measly 78-point output on 38% field goal accuracy. * * *
Seriously, I like Roy and it's rather unfortunate he has to play limited for the rest of his career. Clearly though, he's not the same player as he was earlier on in his career, and just like last year's series with the Suns, his presence might be more of a hindrance than an asset, especially if he'll keep on insisting that his minutes not be monitored or if he doesn't want to try and come off the bench. We'll see.
Andre Miller, meanwhile, seems to be getting old fast. I had to wipe my eyes at times to see if I wasn't seeing Jason Kidd out there getting used and abused by the Spurs' speedy guards. Miller even tried using his body to post up our PGs, but was effective only once, drawing a foul, plus-one on George. Andre's jumper isn't reliable either, and if that isn't falling, he's just limited to mostly facilitating the offense. * * *
by Robby Lim, Project Spurs (Bloguin)
The San Antonio Spurs cruised to their fifth straight win with a 95-78 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers as they continue to stay atop the NBA standings with a 20-3 record after 23 games. * * *
Now, it's time to take a look at some of the numbers that stood out in this Spurs' latest win.
- 84.6 - The Spurs went to the free throw line a lot and took advantage of it. They made 22-26 (84.6%) foul shots, while the Blazers just hit 7-11 (63.6%) free throws.
- 52.9 - San Antonio connected of their outside shots making 9-17 (52.9%) three-pointers while the Blazers made 5-15 (33.3%) of their shots from behind the arc.
- 47 - Both teams were even on the rebounding department with 47. * * *
by Jeff McDonald, San Antonio Express-News
The scoring binge was nice while it lasted. Running and gunning, firing up 3-pointers and spinning scoreboards across the NBA - all that was fun for a while.
As the Spurs re-discovered in Sunday's 95-78 victory over Portland at the AT&T Center, it's sometimes nice to stop some people, too.
"That's the way you have to win in the playoffs," said Tony Parker, a prime beneficiary of the Spurs' new scoring philosophy. "If you want to go far in the playoffs, you have to play good defense."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich never stopped preaching defense in the midst of a franchise-best start that moved to 20-3 on Sunday. As the Spurs kept putting up points at a pace unseen in San Antonio in two decades, the other end of the floor could seem like an afterthought.
Sunday represented a return to the Spurs' roots, to a time when they played choke-hold defense — and, as a side note, could also beat the Trail Blazers. * * *
The Bottom Line:
1. An ugly win but an easy one...
2. Nice to see some defense being played again!
3. Our Spurs are the first team in the NBA to 20 wins... Onward and upward!
The Hedo Turkoglu Society
Just imagine this narrowly-averted alternative reality for the Portland Trail Blazers: Greg Oden gone with a second microfracture, Brandon Roy's knees perpetually tweaked, LMA seemingly peaked, but instead of the brightly burning hope of Wesley Matthews on the roster to distract us and entertain us — the prospect of four more years of the declining flop that is Hedo Turkoglu.
A horrific team, locked into position for years, with no viable means of escape...
It all got me thinking: just how bad is that Turkoglu contract, really?
Terrible??? Yeah, we all know that... Toronto couldn't get out from under that deal quickly enough and they were fortunate to find a taker in the chronically mismanaged Suns...
But is it, y'know, EPICALLY rotten? How does it stack up to the other really, really bad deals around the NBA?
I decided to spend some time investigating this question, camping out for a while at our friend Storyteller's excellent Contract Information Website... Since I enjoy laughing at the self-inflicted misfortune of billionaire doofuses, I thought I'd share my mirth counting down this list of...
10. Brandon Roy
Portland Trail Blazers
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 5 years @ $13.6M + $15.0M + $16.5M + $17.9M + $19.3M = $82.3 Million
2009-10 games played: 65 of 83 (79.3%)
Points Per Game last year: 21.5
2010-11 games played: 20 of 23 (87.0%)
Points Per Game this year: 18.1
Comments: Did you know that you can't price out how many million dollars Brandon is being paid for each meniscus since you can't divide by zero? The answer is undefined. So is Brandon Roy's future career...
Our Brandon got his max deal, as had to happen, and good luck with that, Blazers... No quick first step means no successful drives to the rim means no separation on fake drives to the rim for open jumpers means no Brandon Roy as we know him.
Will his knees hold up for five more years? I wouldn't want to bet $82.3 Million on the proposition — nor would any other team in the NBA. This means Brandon is untradeable. Visions of the Tracy McGrady deal no doubt dance in Paul Allen's head. Oh, and it's a pre-existing condition, so there's no fat insurance policy to bail out Daddy Warbucks this time. To be fair, the Blazers really had no viable option to extending a maximum contract to the former NBA Rookie of the Year and three time All Star, but the champagne goggles are off now and Brandon's deal is looking like an ugly sow.
I'm willing to wager $5 that at some time in the next 5 years Brandon becomes the first NBAer to come back from arthroscopic meniscus transplant surgery though — so there's an off chance that what looks today like a 600 pound albatross of a contract is actually no more than a 30 pound albatross... Before you jump at my gambling offer in your never ending attempt to score beer money, please do remember that before Tommy John had a dire need the idea of a baseball player undergoing "Tommy John surgery" was equally farfetched. It's coming, I tell you... The logic of the situation dictates the Blazers and Brandon take the chance...
This is scary stuff for the Blazer Nation. There's no escaping this contract and if Brandon breaks down for good this franchise is going to be economically crippled for half a decade with the Darius Deal Deluxe. Still, so far this year he's still producing, so we'll just slot the unfortunate Brandon Roy deal at #10 — with an anchor.
9. Travis Outlaw
New Jersey Nets
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 5 years @ $7M + $7M + $7M + $7M + $7M = $35 Million
2009-10 games played: 34 of 82 (41.5%)
Points Per Game last year: 9.1
2010-11 games played: 23 of 23 (100%)
Points Per Game this year: 10.5
Comments: Hey Nets... I know you had tons of cap space after you couldn't sign LeBron James and Amar'e Stoudamire and everything, but you paid HOW MUCH for Travis Outlaw?!? For HOW LONG?!?! You've GOTTA be kidding me!!!
I don't need to preach to the choir — 'cept for maybe our glorious lead soprano, Ann the Fan — but Travis Outlaw is a gangly jumpshooter's jumpshooter with poor passing skills, limited defensive acumen, and an inability to drive the lane effectively. A nice guy? Yep. A dude with a skillset that is good to have in the tool box? Sure. Starter material on a good club? Not even...
Fortunately for him, the Free Agent Clipper got somebody to pay him to the moon, just like he wanted. But the long-suffering Net fans are already having none of it. As a starter — or is he on the bench now? — Outlaw's minutes have gone up from just under 22 to exactly 32. He's scoring less than 2 more points in that extra 10 minutes of burn, while chucking less efficiently than his career shooting percentage of 43.8%. This continues a shooting decline begun last year. Hmmmm.
Unless Travis starts stepping up his game big time, unlikely at this stage of his career, Outlaw will soon learn what it is liked to be frowned upon by the rabid fans of the Big Apple. It won't be money for nothing, that's for sure — the New Yawkuhs will get their pound of flesh. Sadly, the 6-foot-7, 91-pound Outlaw doesn't have that much to spare... Travis Outlaw is a nice 7th Man sort of player at about half of his current contract.
8. Rip Hamilton
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 3 years @ $12.5M + $12.7M + $12.7M = $37.9 Million ($34.2M guaranteed)
2009-10 games played: 46 of 82 (56.1%)
Points Per Game last year: 18.1
2010-11 games played: 23 of 25 (92%)
Points Per Game this year: 13.5
Comments: Rip Hamilton was a great player in his prime, but his age and declining skills have made his contract an extremely poor value for the Detroit Pistons. It ultimately came to a choice between Rip and Ben Gordon, and Joe Dumars and the Pistons organization voted wrong.
The trouble for the Detroit franchise is that they were both wrong and long when they placed their bets on Number 32, with the size and duration of his deal making the aging Rip Hamilton an extremely difficult-to-move piece.
The former Washington Wizard is playing only 26.5 minutes per game this year, down from the about 34 or so minutes which he has averaged over the last few seasons, and his scoring has taken a commensurate plunge, down to 13.5. His Pistons are in last place of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference, showing just 7 wins and headed the wrong way fast, mired in a 4 game losing streak. A major rebuild is in order — but Rip's deal is looking more and more like one the team will have to wear.
7. Hedo Turkoglu
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 4 years @ $10.2M + $11.0M + $11.8M + $12.0M = $45 Million
2009-10 games played: 74 of 82 (90.2%)
Points Per Game last year: 11.3
2010-11 games played: 23 of 23 (100%)
Points Per Game this year: 9.8
Comments: I guess this is where we slot Hedo Turkoglu, the Turkish camel — a 6'10" Wing that plays smaller than his actual size, never a good thing in the NBA. For the past year and a half playing without Dwight Howard, the aging Hedo has basically demonstated 7th Man level skills while making #2 Man sort of money. Even the chronically oblivious Suns are starting to figure out the obvious limitations of the leaden Turkoglu, with their $45 Million man only starting 16 of the team's 23 games this year. This trend towards benchwarming seems sure to continue.
The old adage is that the NBA "overpays for big men," but the implication is that it overpays for CENTERS AND POWER FORWARDS because there are not many humans on the planet who can fill those roles and demand outstrips supply. Jumpshooting Wings? They're a dime a dozen and it doesn't really matter much in the scheme of big things if they're 5-foot-10 or 6-foot-10 — it's all the same.
The Blazers should say a prayer to the basketball gods every morning thanking them for causing Hedo to forsake Paul Allen and Kevin Pritchard at the 11th hour a year ago, saddling someone else with his 50 pound burlap sack-o-crap of a contract. Toronto gets credit for expeditiously observing the error of their ways and for foisting it onto a Franchise More Ignorant, that being the always intellectually challenged Phoenix Suns.
6. Rashard Lewis
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 3 years @ $19.6M + $21.1M + $22.7M = $63.4 Million ($53.2M guaranteed)
2009-10 games played: 72 of 82 (87.8%)
Points Per Game last year: 14.1
2010-11 games played: 23 of 23 (100%)
Points Per Game this year: 12.4
Comments: Basketball Joneser Tas Melas recently called this the worst deal in the NBA, and there is a case to be made for his view. I've got a bunch of other Least Faves, although honest people may differ.
Rashard Lewis is a Power Forward in name only — a Nate McMillan-style "Stretch 4" with a game similar to that of squeezably soft Charmin Frye. Whereas Frye launches his 3-balls from the top of the key, Lewis likes to camp in the corner. Leave him alone and he's really good at drilling those. Is this a $20 Million NBA skill though? Ummmm, nope.
Lewis essentially makes superstar money to put up middle-range starter sort of offensive numbers. He's a paltry rebounder and a middling defender and his offensive game is in the third straight year of decline. The success of the Magic makes it easy to overlook the disproportionate size of the de al, but the luxury tax implications of paying too much for too little here will force Otis Smith to make decisions detrimental to the franchise there on other players.
Rashard Lewis ain't going anywhere... His deal renders him untradeable.
5. Luke Walton
Los Angeles Lakers
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 3 years @ $5.3M + $5.7M + $5.8M = $16.8 Million
2009-10 games played: 29 of 82 (35.4%)
Points Per Game last year: 2.4
2010-11 games played: 12 of 23 (52.2%)
Minutes Per Game this year: 7.2
Points Per Game this year: 0.8
Comments: Remember first that the Lakers are now and forever in Luxury Tax land by virtue of their megabucks, megayears deals to Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. This means every single number of every single bad contract is effectively doubled to Laker owner Jerry Buss as part of the NBA's program of income redistribution.
Wow, in that light there are so many bad Laker contracts from which to choose... Shall we mention the $5.5 Million that the completely worthless so-called Shooting Guard Sasha Vujacic will make as the non-playing 11th man? That's $11 Million to Jerry Buss... Nah, Sasha jokes may be always appropriate, but that's just too easy. How about the deal given to the declining Ron Artest, $28.1 Million over the next 4 years, which makes $56.2 Million to Buss? That's a horrific amount of money for the Queensbridge Clankmeister, but hey, he's starting for the World Champs, so Buss is getting at least some return on that money dump...
Nah, let's go with Luke Walton and his $16.8 Million = $33.6 Million to Jerry Buss to ride pine as the Lakers' 12th man for this year and two more. Holy crap, can you conceive of that? GM Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers would seriously give the oft-injured Luke Walton away for a box of cherry Pop-Tarts if they could get out from under his deal. I'm sure glad I'm not Jerry Buss, I couldn't sleep at night flushing the quantities of money that he's spending on his team. And I don't care how lucrative the Lakers' TV deal is with K-CAL...
4. Eddy Curry
New York Knicks
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 1 year @ $11.3 Million
2009-10 games played: 27 of 82 (32.9%)
Points Per Game last year: 3.7
Minutes Per Game last year: 8.9
2010-11 games played: 0 of 24 (0.0%)
Points Per Game this year: N/A
Comments: The term "making a poster" is generally used in conjunction with athletic high flyers in the NBA who jam the ball over a hapless opponent. The only time butterball Eddy Curry has appeared on glossy paper in his copiously compensated NBA career is as the poster boy for the Isiah Thomas School of Managerial Malpractice.
Although his multi-year, mega-millions deal for being fat and moving slow is finally drawing to a close, Curry remains the association's runaway choice for the official Don't Let This Happen to You educational campaign for newly hired General Managers. Seldom has so much been spent on an NBA contract for so little...
Worthy of note is the fact that in 2008-09 Curry played a total of 3 games for the Knicks, averaging 4.0 minutes per game to score an average of 1.7 points per game. Advanced stat geeks will readily note: that's an impressive 15.0 Points per 36 Minutes!
3. Michael Redd
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 1 year @ $18.3 Million
2009-10 games played: 18 of 82 (22.0%)
Points Per Game last year: 11.9
2010-11 games played: 0 of 22 (0.0%)
Points Per Game this year: N/A
Comments: Catastrophic injuries can make pricy star contracts into dung-encrusted horrors in the blink of an eye. Michael Redd's deal, which began as in Joe Johnson "yeesh, too much but he can play" territory has proven to be a nightmare of epic proportions for the small market Bucks. The post-surgery Redd proved himself to be a pale shadow of his former self. See, by way of comparison, the Tracy McGrady deal — now expired.
Then in January 2010, Redd redid the same ACL and MCL that he had hurt before and was lost to the team again. He hasn't played since.
The Bucks are still on the hook for one more year of dumping wheelbarrows full of cash down the crapper. That's show biz... I don't know whether they're insured to the hilt on this deal, Redd's contract might have less of an impact on the Bucks' bucks than is evident at first glance... Still just judging the matter on its merits, Michael Redd's contract is one of the worst in the NBA as the career of Milwaukee's former franchise player seemingly edges towards a premature close.
2. Baron Davis
Los Angeles Clippers
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 3 years @ $13.0M + $13.9M + $14.8M = $41.7 Million
2009-10 games played: 75 of 82 (91.5%)
Points Per Game last year: 15.3
2010-11 games played: 10 of 24 (41.7%)
Points Per Game this year: 7.7
Comments: The only thing superior about Baron Davis is the fullness of his beard. There is a career ahead for him sailing the high seas on a clipper ship as a pirate after his career expropriating the expropriator Donald Sterling is at an end...
As a Point Guard, his ostensible occupation that he's gotta list for the IRS, Baron Davis is a bit of a failure. His passing is not noteworthy, his ability to drive-and-dish no better than mediocre, his defensive ability oriented to the sensational steal at expense of the mundane task of staying in front of his man. Making matters worse, Davis is a me first ball hog with an Artestian affinity for chucking up ill-advised longballs. He is almost comical in his propensity to fling...
Throughout his career Davis has been a consistent loser and this is not accidental — he's a lead weight on any team of which he is a part. Even the lowly Clippers are starting to figure this out an making the grossly overpaid Davis ride pine to come off the bench to run the mighty LAC second unit.
Davis is showing that last year's decline 27.7% 3-point shooting was no fluke, hurling at a 16.7% clip in the current campaign. I'm too lazy to look it up, but I'd wager that no other PG save Andre Miller is worse from downtown. But unlike Andre, Baron von Klank likes to cast about 4 times per 36 minutes, instead of less than once... Those are bonus turnovers for a team that can ill afford them.
One of my least favorite players in the NBA.
1. Gilbert Arenas
Remaining Contractual Obligation: 4 years @ $17.7M + $19.3M + $20.8M + $22.3M = $80.1 Million
2009-10 games played: 32 of 82 (39.0%)
Points Per Game last year: 22.6
2010-11 games played: 19 of 22 (86.4%)
Points Per Game this year: 17.5
Comments: Gilbert Arenas-for-Brandon Roy is probably the only deal on the horizon that could be made if Paul Allen wants to call chicken on his $82 Million deal for the Franchise Player. PA would probably have to throw in draft picks, truth be told.
Yep, Agent Zero's contract is bad. Or given his uniform number change, should we be calling him him Agent Nine these days? How about Nine Millimeter??? Anyway, it's really, really bad contract. Untradeably bad. Almost inconceivably bad. Of course, the Wizards' reaction to Arenas's little handgun "joke" of last year was as bloated as his contract — at least if they ever intended to get value out of him in a swap for someone slightly less nuts.
Gil has given the Whizz an Odenesque 47 games in the previous 3 full seasons, delivering his money's worth only if they've been trying to accumulate publicity under the dubious doctrine that Any Press Is Good Press.
Now that the new ownership in Washington has come to grasp their predicament and stopped the old regime's PR games with the ticket-buying public, the Whizz are putting Gil back on the floor where he at least has a chance of returning to form. Time will pass and maybe Agent Nine Millimeter will be able to be moved in a trade somewhere down the road. The Wizards would like that. They would like that a lot.
As for now though, they need to learn to enjoy dishing dollars to a recently dinged dingbat. Gilbert Arenas has the worst contract in the NBA.
* * *
The road trip begins
Two steps slow equals ten points down
Blazers missed the bus
Here's some more wackiness from the twisted tongue of goofy Uncle Mike...
Mike Rice — the last musketeer?
MB: "We are in the shadow of the Alamo, where Mike Rice fought at one point..."
Rice: "Yes — I still have flint."
There's a Marcus Camby bobblehead coming, which gets play-by-play man Mike Barrett thinking...
MB: "Has there ever been a Mike Rice bobblehead?"
Rice: "You have to be here 30 years as an announcer to have a bobblehead."
MB: "You're close."
Rice: "I'm hoping for a picture in the hallway."
MB: "That's unrealistic, too."
Popovich has said that he became a "great" coach when the Spurs drafted Tim Duncan...
MB: "John Wooden once said, 'The greatest coach often has the best players.'"
Rice: "You got that right, I ran out of players!"
Spurs parts are interchangeable...
MB: "Gary Neal, whoever that is, hits for 3 again..."
Random technical foul calls bring Ricey's eye to the refs...
Rice: "Did you notice how referees are all built nice these days? I don't know if they lift weights or what..."
MB: "They have to take on guys like you in the parking lot."
Blazers 78 at Spurs 95.
December 12, 2010.
Blazers' record is now 12-12, the Spurs are 20-3.
1. The Blazers jumped out to a 7-2 lead and Greg Popovich called his first time out after just 92 seconds of action. He and Phil Jackson are both great coaches, but don't ever confuse the two — Phil wouldn't call time out if Kobe Bryant had an arm fall off. Two minutes later it was 11-7 Spurs, with the home team now deciding to play some defense. Spurs were getting to offensive rebounds, never a good sign for Portland. Nate went big at 4:00 for the first time all year, Matthews+Roy+Nic+LMA+Pryz. The move wasn't successful, but it did manage to keep the Spurs on edge for a minute or so. First PG off the bench for Nate was Patty Mills. By the way, Jerryd Bayless scored 31 points for Toronto last night. Just saying. Batum was terrible off the bench, passing up open looks and turning the ball over on a lame pass for a coast-to-coast bucket by George Hill. The quarter proved to be a romp for the home team. SAS 26, PDX 17.
2. A methodical Spurs team featuring Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair on the front line is a good matchup for Pryz, I note. That's one squad that has trouble beating him up the floor. Przy scored two on a pick-and-roll play, a rarity for the pick-and-poppin' Blazers. Hell, any points for Pryzzy not coming off a putback are notable... Portland was down by 7 at the first commercial break. The Spurs extended the lead slightly, with the jumpshot-challenged Blazers making use of Marcus Camby for points the paint. "You've got Camby as your leading scorer, and nothing against Marcus but that's not his game, and that's not a good thing for Portland," noted MB. True enough, but with Nic and Rudy stinking, Roy and Miller's games off, and the jumpers of LMA never more than a coin flip, what else you gonna do? Find Wesley in the corner for 3 from a Brandon Roy pass is the answer. Problem is, the Spurs are 3 point bombers, too. SAS 50, PDX 40. Spurs with 11 fast break points. Think about that for a second — THE SPURS with 11 fast break points!!!
Halftime Entertainment: The Pixies "Planet of Sound" (live, c. 1990) **LYRICS ADVISORY FOR INCIDENTAL F**
3. I am not impressed with the San Antonio Spurs — never have been, never will be. Grandpa Bankshot and The Cockroach and their associated role players are fine playoff also-rans, year in and year out. I have no clue how this bland crew won one championship, let alone four. I guess the Spurs fans don't like boring basketball either, despite their NBA-leading winning record, this game was not a sell out — the team has logged only 5 sell outs all year. After four minutes of the second half, Andre Miller was shooting 2-for-6 and Brandon was worse with an extremely inefficient 3-for-11 (with no free throws). The Blazers deficit was cut to 7, however, with LMA cleaning up misses on the offensive glass with follow up jams.
Roy and Miller continued to struggle with their shots, LMA had the hot hand. Portland got the Spurs' lead down to 5 before another wave of San Antonio scoring cracked open the double-digit advantage again, forcing Nate to call time at 4:41. The Blazers didn't look overmatched so much as they looked offensively incompetent and incapable of mounting a sustained drive against a disciplined opponent. Then LMA went cold. Pryz got rung up for a flagrant foul stopping The Cockroach going to the rim. The next play, Pryz went over Blair's back fighting for a rebound and both went to the floor. Both were okay, Blair splitting the pair to extend the San Antonio lead to 14. A little back-and-forth, with Portland never threatening a run. End of the third: SAS 73, PDX 61. Blazers were shooting just 39.6% from inside the arc and had made a paltry 7 trips to the FT line in the first three quarters. The Spurs weren't shooting much better, but with 20 or so trips to the line they didn't need to.
4. Boring game and I was lamenting my failure to take advantage of the non-rainy morning to smoke a cigar. Ya only get so many chances on days off in December and I've got a Rocky Patel Edge maduro calling my name. Ginobili blows by his man and gets fouled by Pryz. Rudy gets capped and then later in the same possession throws the ball away bounce passing in traffic in the paint. Jeez, this sucks, let's just call t his a 15 point loss and get out the cutter and the ashtray... Too late, at 9:00 the rain starts again. I'm stuck watching this mess.
The useless Rudy headed for the bench at 8:15. Did I mention that Jerryd Bayless scored 31 points for Toronto last night? Oh, I did... Did Paul Allen tweet about that, by the way: "WAY 2 GO, JBAY4, KNEW U WERE D MAN ALL ALONG BUT CHO IS AN IDIOT." Oh, he didn't, did he? I kinda guessed as much.
Brandon Roy finished with 9 points on 4-for-16 shooting. He got to the line zero times — I don't even recall having heard his whiny little "OOOOHEYAAAYYY!!!!" shriek that he squeals every time he drives the lane these days, begging for a whistle... The disciplined Spurs didn't bite on Roy's head-fakes of drives and he consequently had no room to shoot. He's gonna have big, big problems around the league when the less disciplined teams start figuring out that he's a decoy who bluffs his old moves to gain separation.
Well, I'm done moaning now. SAN ANTONIO SPURS 95, PORTLAND CLANK MASTERS 78. Blazers shot 37.9% and were 7-for-11 from the line. Sheesh.
Local News News
Dwight Jaynes is now full-time with Comcast instead of splitting time at 95.5, I think Adam Bajanson said. That's all for the good if so — Dwight's better as a moderator and panelist than as a hysteria flogger...
Let's take at this pig graphically, shall we?
Ya gotta click THIS-HERE LINK to see the swell graphs, that's the way these things work... Ready? Set??? GO!!!
Now here are a few observations about the Popcorn Machine material from me to you:
A. After the midway point of the 1st Quarter, this one was never really in doubt for the Spurs.
B. Spurs cranked it up with a 15-4 run in the last 6 minutes of the 1st Quarter. This coincided with the insertion of Przybilla, Nic Batum, and Rudy Fernandez.
C. Wesley Matthews was team high scoring — again — with 17 points on 7-for-16 shooting in just over 33 minutes. LMA had a superior shooting percentage of 8-for-14 in producing his 16 points.
D. Portland shot 7-for-22 in the 4th Quarter. That ain't it gonna get it done coming from behind.
That's all for now...
Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?
The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.
Photo Credits: Brandon Roy: Rick Bowmer, Associated Press. Luke Walton: Jason Redmond, Associated Press. Travis Outlaw: Chris Schneider, Associated Press. Rip Hamilton: Patrick Semansky, Associated Press. Hedo Turkoglu: Rick Scuteri, Associated Press. Eddie Curry: Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images. Rashard Lewis: Morry Gash, Associated Press. Michael Redd: Morry Gash, Associated Press. Baron Davis: Harry How, Getty Images. Gilbert Arenas: Ann Heisenfelt, Associated Press.