Spurs news and notes: Jefferson on Splitter's fall, Sixers hope to emulate the Spurs, and more


• The San Antonio Spurs faced the Washington Wizards tonight and for the first time this season, coach Gregg Popovich made a starting lineup change. He benched Manu Ginobili and started George Hill. Popovich gave no reason for the change.

• Last night I had a chance to speak with Spurs’ forward Richard Jefferson in Philadelphia before tip-off of the Sixers game and here is what he had to say about Tiago Splitter’s hard fall in the Toronto Raptors game:

“It was a tough fall. He was in a tough place, having someone go up and under his legs. He’s a tough guy and he’ll be back quickly I believe.”

• The Spurs suffered their ninth loss of the season last night against the Philadelphia 76ers but 76ers’ coach Doug Collins said he wants his team to be just like the Spurs:

Doug Collins said he would like his Sixers team to emulate the San Antonio Spurs.

“It’s amazing in terms of consistency,” Collins said. “They’re 24-1 this year against teams under .500. You would think a team that’s been around for a while, won championships, been 10 or so years together, would take a night off somewhere.

“I don’t see any weakness. I think it’s great because they’re a team we’d like to model ourselves after — high character, talented players who love to play. You never hear anything coming out of San Antonio. They just love to play.” (couierpostonline.com)

• For those Spurs fans who have not seen the Matt Bonner for Three-Point Shootout video campaign during the 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend, here is the video:

Hit the jump to see the video, enter for a chance to win free Spurs tickets, get an update on the Austin Toros, read on how the debate rages on whether Tim Duncan should have been named an All-Star and more.

• The Spurs’ D-League affiliate Austin Toros picked up a win today against the defending D-League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers today. D’Ann Faught of Project Spurs’ affiliate blog, Toros Nation, has the recap including an update on Spurs’ rookie James Anderson who is spending time with the Toros.

• Express News’ Tim Griffin shares his notes from the Spurs-Sixers game.

• Some of the fellow NBA bloggers here at Bloguin are still debating who should and who should not have been selected to the 2011 Western Conference All-Star squad. Here is what was said about Tim Duncan’s selection:

“I think LaMarcus Aldridge is a huge snub. Both Tim Duncan and Yao Ming should be scratching their heads at their inclusions on the West roster.”

“I think LaMarcus Aldridge really deserved to go this year. Portland has had so many injury problems and he has really done a good job carrying the team and keeping the Trail Blazers relevant. He has quietly been a great player throughout his career. Maybe not at an All Star level, but he has shown a ton of improvement. The question is: who do you take off for him? Blake Griffin and Tim Duncan are likely candidates. But you understand why they are on the team.”

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

(video woai.com)