Spurs news and notes: O’Neal to play vs. Spurs, Spurs’ rookies, and more

• The San Antonio Spurs will face the Boston Celtics tomorrow night and will have Jermaine O’Neal back in action:

“I’m going to play tomorrow,” O’Neal said. “We talked a little bit about me playing back-to-back games. Obviously, it’s sensitive, but I told them the plan is to play back-to-back games, the plan is to play as many minutes as I can without limitation.” (boston.com)

• ProBasketBallTalk.com discusses the Spurs and Celtics recent slump but says do not count them out:

But the slumps Boston and San Antonio are going through now, those are not worth worrying about. These are veteran teams that understand what it takes to be ready for the playoffs. They will leave it all on the floor when it matters.

• Spurs’ Tiago Splitter makes his debut at number 10 on the NBA.com Rookie Ladder while Gary Neal holds steady at number seven:

The Brazilian big man makes his debut on the Ladder, and it was inevitable with the injury to Tim Duncan. The Spurs have lost four in a row, but Splitter has still put up pretty good numbers. Since Duncan went down, Splitter has averaged 9.2 points and 8.4 rebounds while shooting 59 percent from the field. He doesn’t turn the ball over much, either, which is nice to see. San Antonio might be struggling without their stars, but these trials can only help them — and the rookie — in the playoffs and beyond.

The Spurs are struggling with injuries and Neal has had his ups and downs. In the Spurs’ first game without Tim Duncan, Neal scored a career-high 25 points on a career-best six 3-pointers in a 115-112 loss to Denver. Neal finished the week with a 3-for-14 shooting night in the Spurs’ 100-92 loss to the Blazers (their fourth straight). Still, the week doesn’t look so bad when looked at on the whole: 13.2 ppg while going 12-for-24 from beyond the arc.

• Express News’ Tim Griffin talks about the Spurs in NBA Power Rankings.

Hit the jump to read about Austin Toros news, Da’Sean Butler’s non-debut, how to help out a worthy cause by buying Spurs tickets, and more.

• Newest Spur Da’Sean Butler sat out his first game for the Austin Toros.

• Check out this sweet alley-oop dunk by former Spur Alonzo Gee at Toros Nation.

• WOAI.com asks “To win, or not to win,” for the Spurs.

• RedsArmy.com spies on the Spurs.

• Family Services partnered up with the Spurs for “Night at the Spurs Playoff Game.”  It’s an initiative to raise money and awareness for the non-profit.

Family Services will receive a portion of the ticket sales to help fund programs.

To give back and enjoy a Spurs game contact the Family Services Association at (210) 299-2400. (woai.com)

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