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Tag:spurs
Posted on: November 4, 2010 11:12 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 1:05 pm
 

Game Changer 11.4.10: Can't Stop Dirk

Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer .

THE BIG ONE: DIRK AND COMPANY GET IT DONE AGAINST DENVER

The trap we often fall into when evaluating great performances is that somehow, the defense was useless. That they were pathetically overmatched by the greatness we just witnessed. But in truth, it's often a great performance in the face of great defense. Great players hit tough shots and figure out a way to get it done. And that's what Dirk Nowitzki did against a surprisingly good defensive approach from the Nuggets. Rookie Gary Forbes and Al Harrington did everything they could, had position, got a hand in his face, and Nowitzki just kept working them over with the fadeaway. There were a few times when questionable switches and assignments doomed the Nuggets. J.R. Smith trying to defend Dirk? Aaron Afflalo? That's not going to work, kids. He may be "Euro-soft" or whatever (averaging 9.8 rebounds this season), but he's still 7 feet. And he took advantage of it.

But the Nuggets hung around, getting good perimeter contributions, and had a shot to win it with time expiring. Their offensive set of choice? Contested jumper for Carmelo in ISO. Clang. Ballgame. Don't get me wrong, Carmelo's a fantastic clutch scorer. But not even a post possession or a pick and roll or anything? Just, here, try and nail it over your guy, Melo? And that's why Dallas usually finishes with a better record than Denver.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES:

Kobe Bryant: 30 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, 1 turnover. Took 22 shots to get there, but who cares when he's producing that many points in total?

Monta Ellis: 39 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals.

Deron Williams: 22 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists

Dwight Howard: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 8 blocks in 23 minutes.

Tim Duncan: 25 points on 13 shots, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocked shots, 6 turnovers

SO RISES A NEW POINT:

Baron Davis is out because he is out of shape, which surprises no one. But what is surprising is that in last night's win, yet another membe of the Kentucky 5 showed up to make the case for being a legit NBA starter. Eric Bledsoe stepped in and dropped 17 points, 8 assists, and 2 blocked shots as the Clippers got their first win. The kid's got moxy, we'll give him that. Bledsoe at times elected to take contested 3s with time on the clock. But he also got things going, ran the offense, and was very efficient for a rookie starting. All this and the Clippers blew out the Thunder like they weren't even there. It's not a small element if Bledsoe can become the point guard of the future for the Clippers. That makes them a much more complete team and gives them a 1-2-3 punch with Gordon and Blake Griffin.

THE Jazz BAND IS BACK ON STAGE:

Things looked bleak for the Jazz as the season started. But in their past two games, they've absolutely annihilated their opponents, as they did to the Raptors last night. The Jazz dropped 66 on the Raptors in the first half and that was all she wrote. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, or as I like to call it, Aul Jeffsap, dropped 48 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, and a block on the Raptors, on a night where Andrea Bargnani was actually rebounding. There were so many questions about how those two would work together, but at least early on, they're monstrous offensively. Jefferson's savvy and poise is offset by Millsap's explosiveness and tenaciousness. The Raptors had no return volley and that was it.

VIDEO-A-GO-GO



WHAT YOU MISSED:

KB says KG can still make this right . Bogut and Garnett got into it . And Steve Nash is not retiring .

3-BALL, CORNER POCKET:

Richard Jefferson nailed 4 three-pointers from the corner last night, and had himself a barrage from the arc.

Richard Jefferson hits four 3-pointers in the 4th quarter to beat Suns from 48 Minutes of Hell on Vimeo .

RONDO DO WHAT RONDO DO:

It's overtime. The Celtics need a bucket to get some space on the Bucks. So the Celtics go to their best option. Let Rajon Rondo create.



Rondo sets the play and moves to the left wing where KG is moving to set him a pick to clear baseline. Paul Pierce has his hands on his knees on the far wing, he's harmless. (HINT: He is not harmless.)



As Rondo comes off the pick, Davis is high, pulling defenders away from the basket. Ray Allen sets a pick low, and because it's Ray Allen, the Bucks rightly are concerned with keeping tabs on him. Meanwhile, they're trying to prevent the pick and pop from Garnett at 18 feet which is deadly. So you'll see three Bucks players creating a wall watching that pick and roll. The problem? There's no one behind the play to watch... the Truth, who has come hard off of that wing to the low cut. Rondo is dribble hesitating to pull Ilyasova out and freez him where he wants him.



Rondo's got one lane, over the top of the tall Ilyasova, to the bucket, without making Pierce go up too much. Pierce is nto really an alley-oop guy at this point, so Rondo's got to get it where Pierce can grab it and immediately go up to score. He's got a narrow lane, with a defender closing off the pick (and Garnett is still open if he want to opt for the pick and pop). Meanwhile, the Bucks have just realized they don't know where Pierce is.

Too late.



Look at all the space Pierce has when he catches the pass from Rondo. They've managed to create space right under the basket and all they need is a great pass from Rondo. Which he delivers on target.



Too easy.

See you tomorrow on the Game Changer.

Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.
Posted on: November 2, 2010 10:57 am
 

Game Changer 11.2.10

Deng does work with his mid-range, the Raptors do no work on the glass in the fourth, and Gordon does demolition work on the rim. All that and more in this edition of the Game Changer .
Posted by Matt Moore


Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer .

THE BIG ONE: DENG DOIN' WORK


In general, Nicolas Batum is a good defensive player. So is Wesley Matthews. Unfortunately, last night, they were completely overwhelmed by the rarest of finds: a fully functional Luol Deng. Not hampered by injury, a poor offensive system, or mental distractions, last night is a perfect example of what can happen when Deng is feeling it. Particularly, Deng's game is focused on the mid-range J. It's a highly inefficient shot, which is why he so rarely has nights like this. But when it's falling? Good night, nurse. Deng dropped 40 on the Bulls in a game that wasn't close right from the start. The Blazers just looked overwhelmed defensively. They couldn't protect the rim, and nothing was going to work on Deng. He kept nailing pull-up jumpers off the dribble, forcing them to close. Then he pump faked and got to the line. Take a look at his shot chart from CBSSports.com's Game Tracker .



That's a pretty good night from the field. When you're hot, you're hot.

Other than that? Not much to report. The Bulls' defense wasn't really all that stout, allowing a 110.1 efficiency for Portland, despite the Blazers shooting 41% from the field and 0.00% from the arc. 0-14 from the stripe for the Blazers. It was that kind of night. But 41 free throws helped them avoid getting wiped off the map while still being down too much to climb back from. The Blazers just looked a step behind on all their rotations, and the Bulls' offense was functioning at an extremely high level. Derrick Rose finishe with 16, 13, and 5, with 6 turnovers, and made a few absolutely gorgeous cross-court skip passes to Deng for open threes behind the baseline off-ball screen. Stuff you did not see out of the Bulls last year. Thibs has the offense going well, and with Deng hitting the jumper, that was all she wrote.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:

Luol Deng: 40 points on 14-19 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, +19

Tyreke Evans: 23 points on 9-16 shooting, 7 rebound, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

Gary Neal: 16 points, 4-8 from 3-point land, 6 rebounds, 2 assists

Eric Gordon: 23 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, only Clippers starter with postiive plus/minus


DON'T MISS:

Ken Berger posts on how the league needs to take note of what happened in the NHL Lockout. Check out Ken's Post-Ups with news from around the league on several subjects, including Derrick Favors, Nicolas Batum, and how the league is approaching the Knicks investigation. Be sure to check out the horror, the horror of the Mike Conley extension, and Royce Young covers what we learned in week one .


RAPTORS BOARD OUT OF THEIR MINDS:


The Raptors held a 34-25 advantage on the glass headed into last night's fourth quarter against the Kings. In related news, they held an eight point advantage. In the fourth quarter alone, they lost the rebounding battle by double (14-7, advantage Kings), and were outscored by 11. That was your ballgame. Andrea Bargnani was, for some weird reason, matched up with the bulkier, meaner DeMarcus Cousins, while Reggie Evans was forced to try and hold off the wiry, quicker Carl Landry. It made absolutely no sense and the results bore out. The Raptors had this game on lockdown and just let the Kings take it away from them. This despite Evans finishing with 19 rebounds, 10 offensive. That would make them Never Be Closing, I suppose.

VIDEO-A-GO-GO


In case you missed it last night:




BENCH MOBBED:


The Clippers bench was outscored 32-7 last night in a nine point loss. For those of you keeping track, that means that the starters managed to outscore San Antonio's, but they couldn't handle Gary Neal and James Anderson. It at once says that the Clippers are far too woefully thin to be considered anything close to a playoff team this year, and that the Spurs have once again added young, versatile pieces which will help them this season. One game does not a season make, but the success the Spurs are having is a product of the system, and solid player acquisition. The smart get smarter, the Clips get Clipper.

AND FINALLY:

Loud noises!



Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer .
Posted on: November 1, 2010 11:42 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2010 11:59 pm
 

Eric Gordon annihilates the rim

Posterized: adj. See: Anderson, James. Victim of: Gordon, Eric.
Posted by Matt Moore


I'm not even going to comment.



Okay, I'll comment briefly. As I said on Twitter, "Gordon just strapped C4 to the rim and said "Equipment Manager, please start over."

Yikes.

Posted on: October 13, 2010 12:21 am
Edited on: October 13, 2010 1:26 am
 

Coach Manu leads Spurs to win in Mexico City

Posted by Matt Moore

It was crunch time. Even in the preseason, you need your team focused, ready, able to execute in high pressure situations like this one. Down by two with less than ten seconds left in an exhibition game in Mexico City, Coach Gregg Popovich called timeout, huddled his men, and...

Gave the keys to Manu Ginobili. Ginobili took over the huddle for the Spurs' final shot, coaching through the timeout. No seriously. Look, there's even evidence, courtesy of the infamous @Jose3030 on Twitter and NBATV:



As Kelly Dwyer noted on Twitter, he even coaches left handed .

The result? A Gary Neal three-pointer to win it for the Spurs after Chris Kaman tried to take a dribble with just over a second left on the ensuing possession. Why? Because they're the Clippers, and that's pretty much how they roll.

It was just a fun sequence and a fleeting glimpse of the regular season's intensity, which is less than two weeks away now. We're in the stretch run. And in the meantime we get fun things like Manu Ginobili, X's and O's man. And when a dude with that kind of goatee (and multiple championship rings and international greatness) talks, you listen.

The Spurs: smart and disciplined from the top on down.

If you're wondering who Neal is, he was an undrafted rookie who went to Europe for a few years and then was brought over for Spurs' Summer League. After a fantastic showing there, he was given a contract for this season. In Summer League he dispalyed tremendous perimeter speed and uncanny shooting ability from the arc... much like the game winner he dropped on the Clips tonight. Keep an eye on him, might be yet another find for R.C. Buford and the Spurs organization from the nether reaches of Europe.


Posted on: October 11, 2010 9:36 am
Edited on: October 11, 2010 9:36 am
 

Shootaround 10.11.10: Ins and Outs

Turtlenecks are in for SVG, Splitter is out for the Spurs, Ron Artest's second ring is already on its way out, and Ryan Anderson is in gear for the Magic, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


When the NBA announced a rule regarding coaching dress codes, which presumably would outlaw turtlenecks, everyone immediately thought of Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy himself actually said they should name the rule after him. But the Orlando Senitinel went out and discovered that SVG will be able to wear turtlenecks this season due to how the rule works. I don't know whether SVG should be happy or sad about his development.

Greg Oden says he can be an All-Star , when healthy. Honestly, no one doubts that out of Oden. He's tall, a huge advantage in the sport of basketball, and bulky, a big deal in the NBA. But he needs to not say things like this because it only attracts more attention to the fact that he hasn't proven he can stay healthy, or rehab effectively, or that his head's in the right place. He just needs to not talk about it, go out, and do it. Anything else is just going to bring the vultures.

Tiago Splitter continues to miss time with a leg injury . In the myriad of ways that his NBA career could have started, this isn't the worst, but it's up there. Nagging small injuries aren't just obnoxious and painful, they're hard for coaches and players to sympathize with, and call into quiestion a player's toughness. That's what Splitter's facing in preseason with a tough veteran Spurs club.

The Blazers are adding Steven Hill due to their lack of big men, which is awesome, because he's from Branson, Missouri. Hill should instantly be the leader in mini-golf handicaps .

Anthony Mason Jr. son of the former Knick star has been cut from the Heat. Too bad, he showed some flashes in limited time, but that roster's kind of full-up if you haven't noticed.

Ready for a storyline you can bank on this year? Raptor fans are going to go from feeling disdain towards Andrea Bargnani to outright hatred. He's going to get all the blame for the Raps , even while he probably leads the team in scoring. He's overpaid, but that guy needs a fresh start somewhere else more than anything.

The New York Daily News reports that the Bulls are investigating Carlos Boozer's fall to see if he really did injure himself tripping over a bag . Bulls by the Horns says that the investigation is neither surprising nor troubling , just business as usual. It's still not the way the Bulls wanted to start the era of their marquee free agent from the biggest FA summer in history.

Ron Artest is offering his second championship ring to whoever writes the best essay on how to improve the country. In case you're confused, no he has not won that second ring yet. Ron is not lacking for confidence on this team.

Vince Carter is beaming about Ryan Anderson, which is a good sign for the Magic. It really looks like Orlando will be in a position to use him more this season.

This is probably the last season for Antonio McDyess, and might be the last one for Marcus Camby. Bizarre to think of an NBA without those two vets, and sad to think they'll probably wrap up their careers without a ring.

Posted on: August 26, 2010 8:41 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 9:19 am
 

Shootaround 8.26.10: Heat defense and Boom fat

More on Heisley's train wreck, Chinese investor deal falls through for the Cavs, the Heat defense, and Baron Davis' fat.
Posted by Matt Moore


Earlier in the week we told you about Michael Heisley's train wreck on Memphis radio . Now, Chris Herrington writing for the Memphis Flyer has gone through the interview quote by quote to outline just how off Heisley is in his logic and assertions. It's so bad that Herrington had to break it into two parts . That's a fairly impressive crash and burn for the owner of a major sports league franchise.

How good are the Heat going to be on defense? That's the question John Krolik walks us through on Pro Basketball Talk. Krolik asserts that Wade and James are not only terrific perimeter defenders, but their weaknesses should be covered by the other's strengths (ex. Wade's weak post-defense can be managed by James' strength there). The big questions, predictably, surround their low-post defense and it's likely going to be up to Bosh to step up for the Heat to be dominant defensively. Bosh is going to have to be the player he was treated as and paid to be in free agency, with a complete game to go alongside those pretty jumpers and rebounds.

Former NBA player Jay Vincent has been indicted in an internet scam fraud.

The deal to bring in Chinese investors to the Cavaliers fell apart months ago , via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The investment was partially targeted by Cavs ownership to help woo LeBron James. It represents just another in a long series of events that likely did not help the Cavs in retaining James, despite a feeling from most people that his relocation was planned out months or maybe even years ago. If there was any chance of him changing his mind, front-office moves and things like this deal falling apart likely didn't help instill confidence from him in the franchise or its future.

Danny Ferry has rejoined the Spurs and will oversee their D-League affiliate among other duties. The Spurs take the operation of their affiliate very seriously and Ferry is a prime candidate for this kind of job. It's likely a welcome relief to be working with players that want a job again after his recent experiences.

Long story short: fouling or not fouling when up three will pretty much net you the same win percentage. Go figure. No, seriously, go figure, because the math behind this stuff is fairly complicated.

Baron Davis refutes a report that he's gone tubbo. No word on if he's also going to refute the assertion that he's lazy, injury-prone and inefficient.

Scottie Pippen's getting his own statue , which is pretty neat for him. Of course the best pose of him won't make it: him standing over Patrick Ewing.

A Stern Warning reports that Patty Mills will remain a Blazer this season .

Some really great news for Mikhail Torrance, who suffered a heart attack in a work-out, collapsed, and slipped into a coma. He's breathing on his own again .





Posted on: July 21, 2010 8:12 am
Edited on: July 21, 2010 10:31 am
 

Shootaround 7.21.10

Posted by Matt Moore
  • Andrew Bynum's knee surgery has been sheduled for July 28th , after being postponed from July 18th. The surgery is to repair a small tear in the meniscus he played through in the playoffs. Complications are unlikely, but Bynum does have a significant injury of not snapping back from surgery.
  • SB Nation Arizona's Seth Pollack lays out the Suns' plan for the future . The hiring of Lon Babby and all of their short-term, mid-size contracts they've added are all part of a strategy to set themselves up for "the big trade" whenever that may be and whoever that may be for. It's a smart play if you have the money and patience for it. Owner Robert Sarver does not have the patience for the draft-heavy Blazers/Thunder approach and doesn't like rebuilding. It does fall in line with a thought process I tend to agree with, which is that there are always good players available if you're aggressive enough to get them. We've seen Al Jefferson moved in the last month. You just have to seize the opportunity. But with Steve Nash continuing into his mid-30s, time may be short for the window of opportunity before a true rebuilding era is needed.
  • It would not surprise me at all to see Alonzo Gee as the Spurs' starting small forward in a few years. Gee has an NBA frame, explosion, touch, range, and athleticism. The gaps in his game are hard to identify, even if he's incapable of taking over a game.
  • Ben Gordon was in Vegas scouting as parting of the Players Association's leadership and development program, preparing himself or a career in basketball when his playing time is done. No word on if he put negative comments around every player that did not shoot 20 times a game regardless of the offense's context.
 
 
 
 
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