Spurs news and notes: Cavs shuffle lineup for game vs. Spurs, Manu for MVP, and more

• The San Antonio Spurs will face the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow and with Antawn Jamison out with an injury, the Cavaliers will be starting Samardo Samuels:

Samuels has played well the last few games, so Scott is rewarding him by starting him Wednesday at home against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. He replaces Jamison, who could miss the rest of the season following successful surgery on his left pinky Tuesday morning. (cavs.ohio.com)

• Also, the Cavaliers will start JJ Hickson at center versus the Spurs tomorrow night:

Technically perhaps, J.J. Hickson will be listed as the Cavaliers’ starting center Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs. That’s where he’s played for 21 games this season, and where he’s had the most success. (cleveland.com)

• Draft Express did a retrospective on Spurs’ DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal:

Proving his worth as an offensive rebounder, space-carver in the lane, and an active cutter off the ball, Blair is the perfect complement to the Spurs’ stable of talented scorers, as he creates extra possessions on the glass, sets hard screens on the perimeter, and provides a good target for easy shots around the basket. Unsurprisingly, Blair embraced this role from his first day in the league, and it’s a big reason why he’s managed to be so successful so quickly.

It hasn’t been a completely smooth road for Neal getting to where he is, as some of his stops overseas have been less successful than others, but he’s done a great job maturing and coming to a better understanding of the team concept in the last four years. He’s now been thrust into arguably the most team-oriented offense in the league, and he’s embraced it well, taking full advantage of his first shot in the NBA.

• The Spurs’ D-League affiliate Austin Toros, made a trade with the Erie Bayhawks. Project Spurs’ affiliate site Toros Nation has the report:

Yesterday, the Toros traded rookie Jermaine Beal to the Erie Bayhawks as part of a three-team deal that will net them a third round selection in the 2011 D-League Draft.

• Express News’ Tim Griffin talks about the Spurs’ core players.

• ProBasketBallTalk has the Spurs ranked number one in their Power Rankings:

1. Spurs (49-10, Last Week #2). No deadline moves for this group, nor should there have been. They are 6 games up on the Mavericks and Celtics for best record in the league, and they will not be caught. They are going to have home court for as long as they last in the playoffs.

Hit the jump to read about Matt Bonner making fun of himself, an argument why Manu Ginobili should be the NBA MVP, the pros and cons of former Spur Dennis Rodman in the Basketball Hall of Fame and more.

• Spurs.com has a funny little piece about Matt Bonner poking fun of himself.

• Check out the video from the Spurs’ annual Tux and Tennis gala and info on where Spurs fans can meet George Hill and DeJuan Blair in San Antonio from Spurs.com.

• Former Spurs’ Artis Gilmore and Steve Johnson are number eight and nine respectively in the top 10 list of players with the highest FG% in a season in NBA history:

8. Steve Johnson – .632

During the 1985-86 season Steve Johnson of the San Antonio Spurs shot .632 from field making 362 out of 573 shots. Johnson shot .572 from the field in his 10 year NBA career.

9. Artis Gilmore – .631

Gilmore shot .631 from the field during the 1983-84 season with the San Antonio Spurs. Gilmore is the NBA career leader in shooting percentage from the field at .599. Shaq is currently 2nd at .582 and Dwight Howard  is 4th at .578. (sports.yahoo.com)

• Check out this for and against argument from Saving the Sky Hook on whether former Spur Dennis Rodman should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

• Check out this video from woai.com on why Manu Ginobili should be getting consideration for the NBA MVP:

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