Spurs news and notes: Kobe sees Celtics as bigger threat, Bonner’s shooting, and more

• The San Antonio Spurs have defeated the Los Angeles Lakers twice this season but the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant still feels the biggest obstacle to another NBA title is through the Boston Celtics:

Bryant said the Celtics are the most daunting opponent in the Lakers’ quest to three-peat.

“I think they understand us really well,” he said “It’s a challenge.” (espn.com)

• The Daily Princetonian breaks down Spurs’ forward Matt Bonner’s true shooting percentage:

True Shooting Percentage: San Antonio Spurs backup power forward Matt Bonner has a shooting percentage of .484. New York Knicks center Ronny Turiaf has a shooting percentage of .636. Sure sounds like Turiaf has been a more effective shooter, right? But we’re leaving out an absolutely crucial component. Virtually all of Turiaf’s shots are two-point shots taken close to the basket while Bonner’s primary role is as a floor-spacer, with over 60 percent of his shots taken from behind the three-point line. Clearly, then, Bonner’s shots tend to have a smaller probability of success and result in more points. TS percentage accounts for this. The idea is similar to shooting percentage but also accounts for free throws and three-point shooting (if a player never made any free throws or three-pointers, his True Shooting Percentage and regular shooting percentage would be identical). When all of those factors are added in, Bonner’s TS percentage jumps to .651, virtually identical to Turiaf’s .650. This statistic helps properly account for the values of spot-up shooters such as Bonner, Boston’s Ray Allen or Miami’s Eddie House, most of whom get their points in large portion from three-point shots and, therefore, have lower field goal percentage than inside players such as Shaquille O’Neal or Dwight Howard. It also punishes poor foul shooters and rewards good ones; Dwight Howard and Al Horford have very similar TS percentage despite Howard’s higher field goal percentage because Horford is significantly better at shooting free throws.

• Spurs’ Antonio McDyess had this to say about the Rodeo Road Trip:

Sitting beside his locker before the Spurs’ last home game on Jan. 29, McDyess released a quiet sigh when asked about the upcoming trip. “It’s long,” he said, his voice rising barely above a whisper, “and it’s tiring.” (spurs.com)

Hit the jump to read about the Spurs and the stock market, Malik Rose on back-to-back games, how to win a pair of free tickets to the Spurs-Oklahoma City Thunder game this month, and more.

• Despite shooting 50% from the three-point line and ranking 2nd in the NBA in three-point shooting, Spurs’ Matt Bonner was not invited to the NBA Three-Point Shoot Out during the All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

• Speaking of Bonner or should I say “Coach B,” he has put out the ultimate basketball instructional video.

• It would seem Jake Hubbard of the Daily Utah Chronicle would like the Utah Jazz to avoid the Spurs in the playoffs:

The San Antonio Spurs seem to have the top seed safely in hand, so the best way for the Jazz to avoid the team that ends their season almost every year, as well as put them in the best position possible, is to climb their way up to the fourth seed.

• With most Americans keeping a close eye on the stock market and their finances, it would appear the Spurs were used as an analogy when describing Bear Market traders:

If we go up today, though, I guess I could write the same thing tomorrow. I mean, to some degree, the bearish traders this year are playing a lot like the Cleveland Cavaliers, even as they present themselves as if they are the San Antonio Spurs. (money.msn.com)

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

• Former Spurs’ player and current TV announcer Malik Rose talks about how to handle back-to-back games:

(video woai.com)

• Want to win a free pair of tickets to the Spurs-Oklahoma City Thunder game in San Antonio this month? Just follow @projectspurstiq on Twitter for a chance to win.

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