Spurs news and notes: Duncan sticks up for Parker, oddsmakers still favor Lakers, and more

• While at the All-Star weekend, San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan said Tony Parker should have been playing at the All-Star game:

“I wish Tony (Parker) could be here. He deserves to be here, he’s had an excellent year so far. I think if he can grow a couple of inches the next couple of days, I’d trade (spots) with him.” (torontosun.com)

• Seems NBA oddmakers are still picking the Los Angeles Lakers over the Spurs despite the fact San Antonio has the NBA’s best record:

According to oddsmakers at online sports book Sportsbook.com, the Los Angeles Lakers are +130 on the money line to win the Western Conference, making Kobe Bryant and Co. the favorites out West. Despite owning a league-best 46-10 record, the Spurs are +160 on the money line to represent the West in the 2011 NBA Finals. (thespread.com)

• Tim Duncan’s Division I rebounding record has been snapped:

Move over, Tim Duncan. This NCAA record belongs to Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried.

Faried snapped Duncan’s modern-era Division I career rebounding mark with 12 boards in the Eagles’ 71-65 victory over Indiana State on Saturday. (cbc.ca)

• Gary Neal talks about his first season in the NBA and with the Spurs:

• Express News’ Tim Griffin speaks about the Spurs finally returning home after a long Rodeo Road Trip.

• The New York Times breaks down the Spurs’ offense.

Hit the jump to read how to win free to the Spurs-Oklahoma City Thunder game this Wednesday in San Antonio, the latest grades on the Spurs, former San Antonian now playing in the NBA goes home, DeJuan Blair making an impact, Spurs on the NBA time traveler commercials, and more. 

• Fox Sports Southwest grades the Spurs:

How do you grade a team hitting the break with no one closer than five games behind, leading the Western Conference by six and setting the current standard for regular season excellence?

To be concise: very well.

• San Antonian and current New Jersey Nets rookie Ben Uzoh was back home in San Antonio working on his game during the All-Star break:

Uzoh reflected on his first few months as a pro Sunday during a workout at St. George Episcopal School with local basketball instructor Walter Kramer, who counts former Spurs guard Antonio Daniels among the players he’s worked with.
“The NBA is really a different game than college basketball,” Uzoh said. “The pace of the game is different. It’s about spacing on offense and rotations on defense. It’s more of a mental game than college.” (kens5.com)

• Tony Parker was about and about in Chicago recently at the “Rock the Vote” bash:

“American Idol” champ Lee DeWyze rocked out during the “Rock the Vote” bash at Rockit Bar & Grill, where mayoral hopefuls Gery Chico and Miguel Del Valle, plus the San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker were spotted in the crowd. (suntimes.com)

• SI.com talks about DeJuan Blair making an impact in the stretch run for the Spurs:

DeJuan Blair, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs — Blair, who is only 21, has been the ultimate yo-yo type fantasy player so far in his short career. From game-to-game, he can just as easily disappear in 12 minutes on the court as he can pull down a huge double-double. But his recent lines have shown much more consistency, and expect Tim Duncan to get more rest going forward as Gregg Popovich attempts to preserve his star big man for the postseason. Blair will steadily get more and more opportunities to contribute points, rebounds and steals as the season winds down.

• MVP Texas talks about the Spurs and Dallas Mavericks beating their competition:

Some may call the Spurs going 7-3 over their last ten games prior to the All-Star break a sign of weakness; maybe a chink in what has been an almost impenetrable armor. What they fail to see is that it came during the most brutal road trip of the season for the Spurs while the rodeo had taken over their home court.

Dallas on the other hand appears to have gotten over their stretch of bad luck in January. Prior to the All-Star break they won nine of their last 10.

• You seen the NBA time traveler commercials but what do the Spurs have to say about them?

• Follow on Twitter @projectspurstiq for a chance to win free tickets to the Spurs-Thunder game this Wednesday in San Antonio.

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