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Tag:San Antonio Spurs
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:22 pm
 

Duncan hits Birdman in head with ball before dunk

Tim Duncan clocked Chris "Birdman" Andersen in the head on his way to a poster. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver   

His body covered in tattoos and his past dotted with drug abuse, Denver Nuggets big man Chris "Birdman" Andersen is no stranger to pain. No matter, San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan was happy to re-introduce him.

The mild-mannered, strictly-business Duncan delivered one-two-three strikes to Birdman in less than five seconds during a Sunday night game at the AT&T Center.

With the Spurs trailing with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Duncan turned to face up on Birdman roughly 12 feet from the hoop. After a series of ball fakes, Duncan drew the ball back from left-to-right, clocking Birdman right in the face as he began his dribble drive.

With Birdman briefly stumbling and holding his face, Duncan took advantage of the opportunity, using a gather dribble to ascend through the heart of Denver's defense towards the hoop. By that point, Birdman recovered just in time to get put on a poster, as Duncan finished a one-hand dunk with authority over Andersen's challenge.

Then, for good measure, Duncan's momentum carried him into Birdman, causing Andersen to fall to the ground to further the embarrassment.

Let's review: clocked in the face with the ball, dunked on hard, thrown to the ground. That's a tough five seconds.

Here's the video of Tim Duncan abusing Chris "Birdman" Andersen via YouTube user nbaus3030 and @Jose3030.




Hat tip: IAmAGM.com.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:38 pm
 

Manu Ginobili possibly returning Friday

Posted by Royce Young

The Spurs might be fully operational once again soon.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Manu Ginobili practiced Thursday and could potentially return Friday against the Bobcats. Right now, Ginobili is listed as a game-time decision.

Ginobili strained an oblique muscle right after returning from a broken hand. The Spurs have survived without him, rising to second in the West with a 24-11 record. But obviously getting him back means they're all the more dangerous.
Ginobili, 34, is averaging 12.1 pooints, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game in 9 appearances this season. He was named to the 2011 All-Star team and All-NBA third team last season.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:11 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 12:19 am
 

Bulls, Rose take something away from San Antonio

Posted by Royce Young

Rose closed the door on San Antonio Wednesday . (Getty Images)

There are certain moments in a season you can take with you. Certain moments you can put in your back pocket to call back on at a later time. Certain moments that are building blocks for the bigger picture.

Derrick Rose had a few of those moments Wednesday against the Spurs.

It's not just that he had a good game -- 29 points and four assists in just 30 minutes. It's that he came up big in big moments. Not that that's anything new. He won an MVP last season for it. But two shots against the Spurs stick out. The push shot off the backboard with the Bulls up one to make it 81-78 with 1:46 left. Then the jumper right after it answering a Tim Duncan hook to make it 83-80 with 1:09 left.



The Spurs charging the Bulls, their home crowd behind them, Gary Neal burying everything, and there Rose steps up with back-to-back baskets. Those type of shots aren't for the faint of heart. They're the type of shots you expect your star to make for you. That's why teams like Oklahoma City, Miami and Chicago have the best records. Because they have guys they can rely upon in those crazy, desperate moments.

Those are the moments the Bulls, and more specifically Rose, struggled with against the Heat last postseason. Those moments of finding looks, finding space to score and coming up with big baskets as another talented team stared you down. Rose couldn't shake free of the Heat. But against the Spurs, he came up with two big baskets as the Spurs hounded and doubled him. Then when San Antonio over-rotated to compensate for Rose, he kicked out to Ronnie Brewer who swung it Luol Deng for the dagger triple.

Smart basketball almost always wins. Almost. The Chicago formula has never been all that complicated. It's basically been grit things out, bottle you up offensively and hope No. 1 can carry the load just enough. It's worked a whole lot. The Bulls finished with the best record in the East last season and with Wednesday's 96-89 win, they're 28-8.

But against teams like the Heat, that formula failed, mainly because Rose couldn't hold up his end. Not for a lack of trying, but simply because he either couldn't find enough air to breathe from Miami's defense, or because he just missed a contested shot. Didn't happen against the Spurs, a team that's been wonderful at home (13-1 in San Antonio before Wednesday) and a team notorious for devising quality gameplans for stopping talented opponents.

The game showcased what makes Rose one of the toughest, most competitive winners in the league. He banged knees with Tony Parker in the first half and writhed on the ground in pain. No bother for the MVP, who checked back in and went to work. He would've had a decent excuse had he faded late in the game -- bad back, bruised knee, toe issues -- but Rose instead finished strong. He started the game 6-15 from the floor. He hit four of final eight attempts, including a perfect 8-8 from the line.

It was precisely these type of performances last season that won Rose the MVP. People could see how important he was to the Bulls' success, how he essentially had to drag that band of above average role players to an elite status. But when you deal with the pain of faltering in the big moments, something Rose puts squarely on his shoulders, it changes you. Those jumpers you hit in crunch-time against top tier teams like the Spurs mean a little more. They're something you can recall, something you can rely upon as you gear up for later showdowns.

Each time Rose closes for the Bulls, he's one step closer to being ready for what the Eastern playoffs will throw at him. On back-to-back nights, he made big shots for the Bulls. If you hit enough of them, they kind of start to become habit. They aren't so daunting anymore, don't carry that same pressure. Rose has always been willing to take the shots. Now he's making them. And that's something he can take with him.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:22 am
 

Report Card: Pop gets an A, his team gets an F

Posted by Royce Young

Popovich made a smart move, but his team didn't back him up much. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Gregg Popovich
The Spurs got destroyed by the Blazers, 137-97. So an A for Popovich? What? Nobody keeps the big picture in mind better than Coach Pop. Even though the Spurs were working on an 11-game win streak, Popovich decided to sit both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, essentially conceding the game to the Blazers. The Spurs were coming off a game the night before and have another tough one Thursday against the Nuggets before the All-Star break. By sitting Parker and Duncan, Popovich was buying his guys some much-needed rest at the back end of their rodeo road trip.
Dwyane Wade
The Kings looked to be game for the Heat early on, but behind Wade's 30 points (on 11-16 shooting), 10 assists and four rebounds, the Heat were able to pull away late.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Spurs brought their b-team to the Rose Garden Tuesday, but the blowout sure was impressive regardless. In starting for Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford was brilliant and Felton was actually solid off the bench. A night after getting it handed to them in Los Angeles, the Blazers bounced back and put it on the Spurs, a team that had won 11 straight.
Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs rallied from 17 down to come back and beat the Pistons. Not the craziest feat in the world and yeah, it was the Pistons but I continue to be intrigued by this young team. Kyrie Irving led the spark that did it finishing with 25 and any time a growing, evolving team can put these type of wins in their pocket, it means a little more than just having another tally in the win column.
Isaiah Thomas
The rookie point guard finished with 24 points and hit four 3s in the third quarter. Problem was, he didn't score in the fourth. Still, a nice game in a losing effort to one of the league's three best teams.
Detroit Pistons  They blew a 17-point lead to the Cavs and were outscored 35-22 in the fourth quarter. They wasted really nice games from Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight. In other words, just another night for the Pistons.
San Antonio Spurs
Yep, Popovich gets an A, but his team gets an F. Just because he made a smart move sitting Duncan and Parker doesn't mean the rest of the team is allowed to completely take a dump on the game.

E FOR EFFORT
Roy Hibbert (30 points on 11-for-17 shooting, 13 rebounds and three blocks in a win over the Hornets)
Antawn Jamison (32 points, 11-for-22 shooting and 10 rebounds in a win over the Pistons)
Greg Monroe (19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a loss to Cleveland)
Marc Gasol (15 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a win over Philadelphia)

Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:24 pm
 

NBA Power Rankings: Breakdown, Takedown Vol. 10

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver

Even with all the hype, Jeremy Lin and the Knicks aren't getting their due. (Getty Images)

The 2011-2012 NBA season continues. Here's the tenth weekly installment of CBSSports.com's NBA Power Rankings by Eye On Basketball's Matt Moore.

What did he get right? What did he get wrong? We're here to break it down and take it down.

1. Too High: Houston Rockets at No. 9. I want to get excited about the Rockets too. They're an intriguing bunch of over-achievers with almost-stars in Kevin Martin and Luis Scola. But no way are they top 10 material quite yet. They are good at home but haven't been able to prove themselves much on the road. A 6-10 mark away from the Toyota Center has to improve if this group is to make a good case to be mentioned among the Western elite. -- RY

2. Too Low: New York Knicks at No. 15. Gauging the Knicks is all about how you want to look at the sample. They're 1-2 in their last three and they're 16-17 on the season, but they're also 9-4 in their last thirteen. All indications are that this is an above-average team that's put its early-season woes behind it. Working Carmelo Anthony back in after injury and adding J.R. Smith to the formula won't be a completely straightforward process, but this is a team that should be at least two spots higher. -- BG

3. Most Overrated: Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 14. We seem to go through this every week, but there's no chance that Minnesota should be this high, given that they're below .500, ranked above the Portland Trail Blazers, currently a game up on them, and still reside in last place of the Northwest Division. This week, they're not all that drastically overrated but placing them above New York, Portland, Memphis and Boston was a big with the heart, not the mind. Or maybe a pick made with googley eyes at Ricky Rubio. Whatever the reason, overrated. -- BG

4. Most Overlooked: Golden State Warriors at No. 23. Among the bottom ten teams in the league, Golden State seems the least awful. They're 5-5 in February, which counts as positive momentum after a slow start. Written off by many as early as mid-January, the Warriors are just four games out of the No. 8 playoff seed in the ultra-packed Western Conference, and even though they're 12th in the West, their No. 7 ranked offense provides enough reason to believe that they will land closer to the playoff fringes than the basement. -- BG

5. Sure Thing: San Antonio at No. 4. After back-to-back weeks of having the Spurs too low, it looks like they're finally in the right spot. Not quite as good as the Thunder, who own the West currently and certainly not among the Heat and Bulls. But absolutely a top five team with a look in them to make a strong push for the West's top spot before it's all said and done. They briefly got back Manu Ginobili, only to lose him again for a few weeks. No bother. The Spurs will just keep on. -- RY

6. Wild Card: Denver Nuggets at No. 11. At one point, it was nearly universally agreed upon that this team was legit contender material and a threat to the Thunder in the West. Then everyone started getting hurt and they started losing games by the bunches. What would've been a defining win against OKC Sunday was snuffed out by Kevin Durant. The Nuggets have shown they're almost good enough, but not quite there. If Danilo Gallinari can lift his game to another level when he returns, this could be a group to make a big Western push. -- RY
Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:32 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 5:36 pm
 

Spurs' Manu Ginobili (oblique strain) out 2 weeks

Manu Ginobili is back on the shelf. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

The San Antonio Spurs will have to make due without guard Manu Ginobili once again.

The Spurs announced on Monday that Ginobili is expected to miss "approximately two weeks" after straining his left oblique muscle during a Saturday night win over the Los Angeles Clippers

The Spurs also announced that center Tiago Splitter will miss "approximately two weeks" with a right calf strain. That injury occurred during the win over the Clippers as well.

Ginobili will remain in San Antonio for the remainder of the Spurs' current road trip, which runs until the All-Star break. A two-week absence would only keep him out of six games: road games this week against the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets, plus home games the week after the All-Star break against the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Bobcats and Denver Nuggets.  

Earlier this season, Ginobili missed roughly five weeks after undergoing surgery to repain a broken bone in his left hand. He returned from that injury on Feb. 11 and played in four games, coming off of San Antonio's bench in each, before going down against the Clippers.

The Spurs have been undaunted in Ginobili's absence this season. San Antonio is currently on a 10-game winning streak and boasts a 22-9 record, good for tops in the Southwest Division and No. 2 overall in the Western Conference. They are 15-7 without Ginobili in the lineup.

Ginobili, 34, is averaging 12.1 pooints, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game in 9 appearances this season. He was named to the 2011 All-Star team and All-NBA third team last season.
Posted on: February 18, 2012 6:42 pm
 

Manu Ginobili suffers chest injury against L.A.

By Matt Moore 

Spurs guard/forward Manu Ginobili who only returned from injury this week was re-injured against the Clippers in the Spurs' 103-100 win over Los Angeles Saturday. Ginobili sustained a strained left oblique in the the first half and did not return. The Spurs have stated no timetable on him at this time. Most alarming for Spurs fans, ESPN quoted Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after the game as saying the thought the Spurs had "lost (Ginobili) again." 

The Spurs have won ten straight and weathered the storm without Ginobili exceptionally well during his absence, but not having Manu fully healthy during last year's playoffs significantly hurt their performance against the Grizzlies in the first round. We'll update you with more information when it comes available.
Posted on: February 18, 2012 6:41 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 6:42 pm
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