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Rematch in San Antonio

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (23-38) at San Antonio Spurs (46-14)
  • Date: March 3, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The San Antonio Spurs are unquestionably one of the best teams in the league as evidenced b their league leading 46 wins. The Spurs have long been a model of NBA excellence and this season is no exception.

In the Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan era, San Antonio has failed to win 50 games just once. And that one occurrence was during the 1998-99 lockout season in which every team played an even 50 games.

Even the 2011-12 shorted campaigned in which the Spurs as well as all other NBA teams played 66 games produced a 50-win season by Manu Ginobili and company.

San Antonio’s success stems from the environment that Popovich has created: it favors discipline, team play and the old basketball adage of “playing the right way”.

In this respect, the Spurs are more than likely the closest thing we will ever see to an NBA team blending both the professional and collegiate aspects of basketball.

Indeed, San Antonio has three terrific talents in Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to take over games whenever needed and potentially take advantage of favorable matchups.

The trio is surrounded by a host of specialists that all perfectly complement their skills: ball-handlers, shooters, passers, rebounders and the like.

The collegiate feel comes into play when we look at their execution on both sides of the ball. Pop will rarely call for isolation plays — even late in games — favoring instead ball movement to force defenses to worry about every single player on the court.

Consequently San Antonio players do basic things like set several screens, cut to the hoop, dive to the basket and run misdirection plays on the regular. NBA teams typically do these things in small doses while the Spurs do these things seemingly on each and every possession.

The end result is a team with the fourth best offense in the league coupled with the third best defense given their attention to detail.

With that said, the Detroit Pistons were victorious against them at the Palace of Auburn Hills on February 8th despite a terrific all-around performance from Tony Parker.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili both were absent from the lineup in that contest.

Tonight’s game will present the Spurs with a different challenge altogether with news coming out that Tony Parker is expected to miss the next four weeks due to an ankle injury.

The former Finals MVP is enjoying his best season as an NBA player and is undoubtedly the best player for the Spurs.

In addition, he is arguably the second best point guard in the league behind Chris Paul because of his ability to run the offense, create plays and score whenever the situation calls for it. His play this season coupled with the Spurs’ wining has elevated him into the league MVP discussion.

Needless to say, Duncan and the rest of his teammates will have to pick up the slack to make up for the absence of Parker.

This may result in a small spike in the minutes of Manu Ginobili who is averaging a mere 23.3 minutes per game. His scoring and playmaking will help mitigate the absence of the Frenchman but not entirely. Thus, it’s possible Popovich turns to Duncan and Boris Diaw for a bit more minutes as well for scoring and ensuring ball movement remains sharp.

Read about the Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell.

15 Comments

  • Mar 3, 20135:47 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Brandon Knight will rock! 

    • Mar 3, 20136:31 pm
      by Clint in Flint

      Reply

      Sounds good to me!

    • Mar 3, 20139:14 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      Alright Knight was off tonight, but so as everyone.  

      • Mar 3, 20139:43 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        He wasn’t that bad really. His shot wasn’t falling, and he got lost a couple times on defense, but I didn’t hate what he did tonight. Green and Leonard are pretty great defensive wings, and they can bother a lot of guys. Despite his problems, he still contributed with his passing and even on the boards. I don’t think he’s a good enough passer to start at the point, but his passing is a big asset if he is playing the 2. Everyone has off nights, and he did enough that his off night was not so bad relative to most of the rest of the team. I’d consider that relatively encouraging for him either as a shooting guard or as a player that bounces between guard spots. The point is while I wasn’t getting too worked up over his good games, I’m also not getting too worked up over this one. Now let’s see how quickly he can bounce back.

  • Mar 3, 20136:35 pm
    by T Casey

    Reply

    Let’s hope so. This will be the first serious defensive test for him during his recent tear.

  • Mar 3, 20136:44 pm
    by DrumRoe Please

    Reply

    Tweets by Drummond makes it sound like he might play tonight. Anyone know if he’s active tonight?

  • Mar 3, 20137:05 pm
    by Blocks by Dre

    Reply

    After watching that Michigan/MSU game I’m convinced we should take a hard look at drafting Trey Burke. This doesn’t mean I’m giving upon Knight, but having Knight as our 6 man doesn’t sound as bad if we have someone like Burke running the show at point…make it happen Dumars!

  • Mar 3, 20138:05 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    This team looks totally unprepared for this game. Yes they are overmatched, but no adjustments attempted to my eye. Disgusting.

  • Mar 3, 20138:07 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    I think this year we had more games we have been behind by 20 in the first half than wins……

  • Mar 3, 20138:08 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    And that goes to the coach …. not having his team emotionally prepared to play or make the right changes to keep the game close enough for a possible win.

  • Mar 3, 20138:10 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    funny, san antonio doesn’t seem to have a problem putting 2 7 footers in the starting lineup.
    interesting how a coach like pop makes it happen, while frank ends up making lame excuses as to why he can’t – couldn’t – play drummond and monroe together.

    • Mar 3, 20138:19 pm
      by jinzzy

      Reply

      I hope frank is taking notes . we are  getting beat by d-league players lol

      • Mar 3, 20138:30 pm
        by picknroll

        Reply

        Remember what Frank said “we are better than our record” this year!  That is a coach looking to save his job in my opinion!!  

  • Mar 3, 20139:07 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Ok guys have a look at the below schedules for teams that could overtake us. Who do we think could overtake us in the standings if they don’t end up tanking??

    Washington’s run home:

    Philadelphia
    Minnesota
    Brooklyn
    Charlotte
    Cleveland
    Milwaukee
    New Orleans
    Phoenix
    Charlotte
    Phoenix
    L.A. Lakers
    Golden State
    Memphis
    Oklahoma City
    Orlando
    Toronto
    Chicago
    Toronto
    Indiana
    Boston
    New York
    Miami
    Philadelphia
    Brooklyn
    Chicago

    Sacremento’s run home:
    Charlotte
    Denver
    Golden State
    Phoenix
    Milwaukee
    Chicago
    L.A. Lakers
    L.A. Clippers
    Minnesota
    Denver
    Philadelphia
    Golden State
    Phoenix
    L.A. Lakers
    Houston
    Dallas
    Memphis
    New Orleans
    San Antonio
    Houston
    Oklahoma City
    L.A. Clippers

    Cleveland’s run home:
    New York
    Utah
    Memphis
    Toronto
    Washington
    Dallas
    San Antonio
    Indiana
    Miami
    Houston
    Boston
    Philadelphia
    New Orleans
    Atlanta
    Brooklyn
    Boston
    Orlando
    Indiana
    Detroit
    New York
    Philadelphia
    Miami
    Charlotte

    New Orleans run home:
    Orlando
    L.A. Lakers
    Memphis
    Portland
    Brooklyn
    Washington
    Minnesota
    Golden State
    Boston
    Memphis
    Denver
    L.A. Clippers
    Miami
    Cleveland
    Golden State
    Utah
    Phoenix
    L.A. Lakers
    Sacramento
    L.A. Clippers
    Dallas
    Dallas

    Phoenix run home:
    Toronto
    Sacramento
    Houston
    Denver
    Houston
    Atlanta
    Washington
    L.A. Lakers
    Washington
    Minnesota
    Brooklyn
    Utah
    Sacramento
    Indiana
    L.A. Clippers
    Golden State
    New Orleans
    Houston
    Dallas
    Minnesota
    Houston
    Denver

    Minnesota’s run home:
    Miami
    Washington
    Denver
    Dallas
    San Antonio
    Indiana
    Houston
    New Orleans
    Memphis
    Sacramento
    Phoenix
    Chicago
    Detroit
    L.A. Lakers
    Oklahoma City
    Memphis
    Boston
    Milwaukee
    Toronto
    Detroit
    Golden State
    L.A. Clippers
    Utah
    Phoenix
    Utah
    San Antonio

  • Mar 3, 20139:37 pm
    by picknroll

    Reply

    I think Cleveland & Washington have the best chance to overtake us simply because they play in the weaker Eastern Conference.  I think Minnesota is well coached and they may have a chance if Rubio stays healthy and Love returns to the line-up.  New Orleans is just unpredictable as they can’t seem to keep their players healthy and on the court.  Lindsey Hunter improves the Suns chances, but, they too have to deal with being in the Western Conference.  I have no confidence in what the Kings are doing and do not see them finishing strong enough to impact our draft position!

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