Spurs news and notes: Low points, Toros update, and more

• Express News’ Tim Griffin shares his notes from the San Antonio Spurs loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last night:

There are low points. And then, there are games like the Spurs lost on Friday night against old nemesis Portland. The Spurs saw a late 10-point lead melt away in a 98-96 defeat to the Trail Blazers that continues their recent misery at the Rose Garden. They have lost six straight games there.

• With the Spurs dealing with an injury to Tim Duncan, former Spurs player, now head coach of the New Jersey Nets, Avery Johnson is dealing with the loss of Quinton Ross and recalls how an injury could lead to a good player like Tim Duncan:

“It’s something you got to deal with,’’ Johnson said. “This is the most injured team I have both as a player and a coach. It’s the second time I’ve been in this situation. The last time I was here good things happened. Tim Duncan was waiting in the wings (to be drafted by the San Antonio Spurs). It may not be a Tim Duncan this year waiting in the wings, in terms of the draft, but something good could be on the other side for us. That’s what I keep my mind on.’’ (nj.com)

• The Elm talked about why Duncan stayed in a small market like San Antonio for his career:

There is a reason that Tim Duncan continues to play for the San Antonio Spurs. There is a reason that Dirk Nowitski continues to play for the Dallas Mavericks. There is a reason that Kevin Durant continues to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder. These franchises (which are in relatively small cities compared to New York and Los Angeles) have made a commitment to ensuring that their stars are surrounded by a quality role players that can help the team reach of championship-contending status.

• The Austin Toros lost today to the Idaho Stampede. Check out the recap at Toros Nation.

• Here is how you can enter for a chance to score some free tickets to the upcoming Spurs-Portland Trail Blazers game on March 28 at the AT&T Center:

1. Follow @TiqFeed_Texas on Twitter.

2. Once you’ve followed, send out a tweet that says “Follow @TiqFeed_Texas” and include your favorite live Texas sports moment, followed by the hashtag #LoneStarTiqs for chance to win free Spurs tickets.

3. One person who tweets that out will win a free pair of tickets to the March 28 Spurs-Trail Blazers game.

Spurs news and notes: Celtics trade for matchup vs. Spurs, Mavericks’ Chandler on the Spurs, and more

• Did the Boston Celtics make their trades today to matchup with the San Antonio Spurs should they meet in the NBA Finals?

They’ll never say so in so many words, but actions speak much louder. And today’s actions said that when playoff time rolls around, Boston thinks it will need perimeter depth, floor spacing and the ability to play smaller a lot more than it’ll need quality low-post defenders.

Translation: Miami is the threat here, not Orlando. And if the Celtics survive, it’s San Antonio, not the Lakers, whom they now match up better against. (Project Spurs’ Mike De Leon’s espn.com Insider subscription)

• With Dallas Mavericks’ Jason Terry having the Spurs on his mind, Mavericks’ Tyson Chandler took the high road and said this about chasing the Spurs:

“I think rather than worry about chasing them, we’re focused on ourselves game by game,” center Tyson Chandler said. “And then the last couple of games, see where we’re at.” (sportsblogs.star-telegram.com)

• Chandler also had this to say about losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs when he was with the New Orleans Hornets:

“It’s not the same as the opportunity to win. Sometimes you get your heart broken. It’s just the fact you had the opportunity. I loved the Game 7 loss I had to San Antonio a few years back when I was with New Orleans. It was one of the special moments of my career. Just because I was there and felt what it was like. It mattered.” (star-telegram.com)

• In last night’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Spurs’ Tony Parker took a hard foul from Thunder’s Nick Collison. Here is what he had to say about the physicality in last night’s game:

• Speaking of the Parker-Collison incident, it is me or do you like seeing Antonio McDyess come in and defend Parker? Check out the video:

• Spurs’ Gary Neal and head coach Gregg Popovich talk about Neal’s shot selection against the Thunder:

Hit the jump to read how the Spurs win the right way, shift of power in the NBA, Tim Duncan shows off his football knowledge, Neal on the Rookie Ladder, and more.

• NBA.com talks about the balance of power shifting from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference with the recent trade activity:

This is not to suggest the West is a wasteland of broken down teams on blocks in someone’s yard. San Antonio and the Mavericks own the best two records in the league. The Los Angeles Lakers are the two-time defending champs. Northwest Division-leading Oklahoma City fields the best young roster in the league.

“As I’m in the West, the West is still stacked, still good teams,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “There are teams that are always going to be there. The Lakers and the Spurs are still staples. In the West, I still think there are very good teams.”

• The Vancouver Sun says the Spurs create a winning franchise the right way:

Rewards are intended for visionary franchises creative and savvy enough to manage themselves upward. Draft wisely, get lucky with an occasional ping-pong ball and trade rarely but shrewdly. Identify the core, commit to it and build around it.


That’s what San Antonio has done for years.

• Express News’ Tim Griffin shares his notes from last night’s Spurs-Thunder game.

• Gary Neal fell a bit in the NBA.com Rookie Ladder.

• Spurs’ Tim Duncan shows off his football history knowledge:

• Former Spur Jaren Jackson will be a speaker at the Final 8 at the University of New Brunswick Saint John.

• Spurs.com talks about how the Spurs players use social media to stay connected to their fans.

Spurs news and notes: Pop on 70 wins, Anderson update, the Mavericks, and more

• Want to win a pair of free tickets to a San Antonio Spurs home game this month? Of course you do! All you have to do it follow @projectspurstiq on Twitter to enter. Easy huh?

• The Spurs are off to a fantastic season and some feel they might be able to get to 70 wins. However, don’t say that to coach Gregg Popovich:

The question received a predictable eye roll and exasperated sigh from Gregg Popovich. Are the Spurs thinking about 70? Yes, as in 70 wins.

“No, Jesus,” San Antonio’s no-nonsense coach replied. “You still drunk?”

Spurs opponents are the ones often feeling flattened by a post-New Year hangover. Popovich’s 15th team is off to the best start in franchise annals, owns the league’s best record by a startling four games and, to be fair, is on a 72-win pace.

“I wouldn’t give it a moment’s thought — now or ever,” Popovich added when pressed on 70. “I just think it’s a ridiculous thought.” (source nba.com)

• Popovich also spoke on the Spurs winning big games:

• Express News’ Tim Griffin reports on injured Spurs’ rookie James Anderson who should be back in action soon:

“He’s closer to the floor than he is to the bed,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s  closer to wearing a uniform than he is to wearing civilian clothes.”

Popovich said last week that he expects Anderson to return to the Spurs playing time by the end of the month. But he won’t accompany the team on a road trip this week that will include games at New York, Boston and Indiana.

“He’ll get a lot more out of the rehab here than he will on the road trip,” Popovich said.

• The Spurs extended their lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Southwest Division with a recent win over Dallas. However, the Mavericks were without Dirk Nowitzki who was out with a knee injury. Now add Caron Butler to Dallas’ injury list and he could be out for the entire season:

Missing Dirk Nowitzki for the third consecutive game because of a sprained right knee and Shawn Marion because of a thigh injury, the Mavericks suffered another blow when starting forward Caron Butler injured his right knee in the first quarter. The extend of his injury wasn’t immediately known. (source latimes.com)

Though I’m sure Spurs fans would want to see how this team does against a fully healthy Mavericks team, but these injuries only help the Spurs in the Southwest Division.

• Speaking of the Mavericks, owner Mark Cuban recently said his team is cocky and points to the Spurs as a model for his team:

Cuban’s biggest concern about his team is that the Mavs have a tendency to get “too cocky.”

But Cuban doesn’t believe the Mavs, a team loaded with accomplished veterans who don’t own championship rings, have fully bought in to the concept. He points to the Spurs, the team the Mavs are chasing in the West standings, as an example of a team that has embraced that obsessive approach. (source espn.com)

• Tim Duncan speaks on the Spurs executing on the court:

(videos courtesy of woai.com)

Spurs News and Notes

• Pop named Coach of the Month
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named the NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month for March.
Popovich led the Spurs to a 13-2 record last month with an average margin of victory of 15.2 points. The bench was a big part of the Spurs solid month. The reserves averaged 44.7 points, 16.7 rebounds, and 11.0 assists, while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 85.1 percent from the free throw line. San Antonio was also the first team to ever win consecutive road games by 37 or more points while playing on back-to-back nights.
Other nominees for the Coach of the Month were Doc Rivers, Scott Skiles, Mike Brown, Avery Johnson, Flip Saunders and Jeff Van Gundy.
• Spurs route Sonics
Led by Bruce Bowen’s 18 points, the Spurs beat the Sonics Tuesday 110-91. All 18 of Bowen’s points came off of three pointers. Along with Bowen, four other Spurs scored in double figures.
Tony Parker had 16 points followed by Tim Duncan with 14 points and seven assists. Michael Finley had 13 points and Fabricio Oberto had his first double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. The win brings the Spurs to 52-21 on the season. They will try to inch closer to the Suns when the teams meet on Thursday night.
• Playoff tickets go on sale Saturday
Tickets for the Spurs’ first two home playoff games will go on sale at 10 a.m. this Saturday.
Up to four tickets can be purchased per person per game. Tickets are available at the AT&T Center box office, at spurs.com, by telephone at (210) 225-8326 and at all Ticketmaster locations.
spurs hockey jerseys• Spurs merchandise on sale
Spursclearance.com is selling all Spurs t-shirts for $5 each before tax, shipping and handling. The sale will last through Aprill11th.
For hardcore Spurs fans, the Spurs are auctioning game-worn hockey jerseys from Rampage Spurs night. Bidding starts at $200 and is available through eBay.
• Spurs ranked number 2 in ESPN’s Ultimate Standings
According to the findings of the fifth annual ESPN The Magazine Ultimate Standings, the San Antonio Spurs are ranked #2 in major professional sports when it comes to paying fans back for their investment of time, money and passion. The Spurs have finished in the top three spots each of the past five years, including the number one spot twice.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.