• What we’re reading
As part of 90s week on Hardwood Paroxysm, Jeremy Conlin talks about former Spur and Hall-of-Famer David Robinson being underrated and under-appreciated.
David Robinson is way, way better than anyone cares to remember these days. He may be the most statistically unimpeachable player of the Jordan-and-since era other than Jordan. He’s fourth all-time in Player Efficiency Rating (behind Jordan, LeBron, and Shaq), but doubles as one of the premier defensive centers of his generation. He started his career with seven consecutive 20-10 seasons, which would have been even more if not for his injury-plagued 1997. He was drafted as perhaps the most NBA-ready prospect since Bill Walton, but took two years off to fulfill his service obligation with the U.S. Navy. He came back and led (at the time) the biggest season-to-season turnaround in NBA history.
Conlin also offers an interesting tidbit about a rumor that the Chicago Bulls at one time were interested in shipping Michael Jordan to the Alamo City in exchange for Robinson.
As the story goes, Robinson was the fourth player on the Dream Team wish list, after Jordan, Magic, and Bird, ahead of Barkley, Malone, Pippen, and everyone else. There are unsubstantiated rumors that Chicago held internal discussions about offering Jordan for Robinson straight up at some point in the late 80s or early 90s (presumably before Chicago started winning titles).
Bonus reading: Dime Magazine writes about Scottie Pippen approving of the Kawhi Leonard comparisons.
• What we’re watching
Last night’s TNT crew breaks down Tim Duncan’s defense of Pau Gasol, leading to an air ball.
• Marquee matchup
There were two great games to pick from next week, but there’s no doubt the one game that should be circled on everyone’s calendars for next week should be Saturday’s matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
The top two teams in the NBA go head-to-head for the second time this season after the Spurs, without Duncan, lost by 30 points in Oakland in late January in a game where Stephen Curry went off for 37 points.
With the Spurs now having a clean bill of health, we should get a better idea of what this matchup may truly look like as both teams are rolling right now, having each won nine of their last ten games.
The Spurs are three games behind the Warriors for first place in the West, so a win at home next Saturday could certainly narrow the gap quickly.
Since struggling through a rough shooting night (five points) and game all around in the first matchup in January, LaMarcus Aldridge has only scored under double figures once and is averaging over 22 points per game since.
• Highlight of the Week
Danny Green and dunking haven’t exactly gone together like PB&J over his Spurs career, and before this year, it seemed Green would much rather settle for a breakaway layup.
But Green had his own “Damn Daniel” moment last night as he was back at it again with another putback slam. Video via whipclip.com.
• Around the network
Rampage collapse, fall to Reign in stunner | Rampage Central
Spurs use strong fourth quarter to lift them to victory over Stampede | Spurs on Sixth
SAFC split preseason matches | Red Black 90
Lights Out: The Introduction | Texas Redzone Report
Reflecting on Frampton vs. Quigg | Fight Scribe
Bobcats make conference tournament | Bobcats Insider