Remember The Alamo ……. Hopefully The
Spurs Don’t …… !
By tophatal ………
Well the San Antonio Spurs are now riding a 9 game … winning streak albeit, that the New York Knicks are front and center on the front and back pages of many of the nation’s newspapers solely because of the exploits of team’s new rising star Jeremy Lin . That being said to overlook Gregg Popovich’s players accomplishments this season would be rather idiotic at this juncture but a story is a story and within the NBA if it encapsulates the nation’s biggest ad market and one of the league’s most renowned franchises then it has to be place front and center within the sports’ fans psyche .
Slide show for your perusal .
The Spurs are a mere game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder (22-6) who themselves riding a two game win streak but Scott Brooks’ players are looking to separate themselves from the rest of the pack within the Western Conference . With their highly explosive duo of Kevin Durant , Russell Westbrook and the ever influential play of James Harden makes the team more than just a credible and prohibitive favorite to be the conference’s number one seed at the culmination of the regular season .
Harden and Durant led all scorers on the Thunder’s roster as they overcame the Utah Jazz 111-85 in what turned out to be a rather lopsided victory . Offense has been the bread and butter of the NBA during the regular season but one has to admit that this year as the defensive mindset of the teams in many cases have been woefully inept .
Of the teams said to be struggling on both fronts and most certainly on pace perhaps surpass the 9-73 record of the 1973-74 Philadelphia 76ers and their claim to infamy . One has but only to look at the Charlotte Bobcats 3-25 and their now 15 game … losing streak as many wondering whether or not coach Paul Silas will indeed survive the rest of the Bobcats’ season . Team owner Michael Jordan and GM Rod Higgins have to be extremely unhappy with the play of the team and in particular the fact with this ongoing losing streak .
For Gregg Popovich as he now chases a fifth NBA title as a head coach to lead all active coaches in the NBA in terms of championships won , it will be interesting to see whether or not he and this team in its present guise will be able overcome last season’s abrupt departure in the first round of last season’s NBA Playoffs . That series loss brought the team back down to earth after their 60 win season and the #1 seed in the Western Conference last season. That series’ loss essentially summed up what I felt was apparent all along with the team last season and it came down to the youth and inexperience on the Spurs’ roster. This season with that blend of seasoned veterans led by Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli , Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson it is felt that quartet can lead the likes of Thiago Splitter , Kawhi Leonard , DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal . This team is playing with a refined presence that wasn’t often from the players last season .
Point guard Tony Parker this season has been having a very productive year on for the team leading in all of the offensive statistical categories that matter the most . And with Duncan having been reduced in terms of the minutes played as the coaching staff seeks to rest the fifteen year veteran in order to keep him fresh for the postseason . In doing so along with the return of Manu Ginobli after his recuperation from an injury . The team now seems to be set , as they now seek to play themselves into a rhythm while seeking to remain amidst the top teams within the conference strategically in terms of their defensive and offensive efficiency . Certainly this season the Spurs have shown that amongst the teams within the NBA they are capable holding their own against their Eastern Division counterparts.
Now inasmuch I know that the All Star Game is meant to be that all too celebratory event that brings the fans together to celebrate the game of basketball and for them to be close to their heroes . But I’m beginning to think that while the showcase is a laudable exercise the premise and voting behind it now has become all the more asinine , and way too self indulgent ! No more so, than the fact that the fans are simply choosing their favorite players rather than making their decisions along the lines of the productivity of the players throughout the season leading up to the event itself . Case in point , would be the overlooking of the Boston Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo who this season has been their most productive and efficient player over the course of their schedule thus far. This might seem as an almighty snub of a gigantic proportion but it is my honest opinion the voting for the main selection of starters for the conferences should simply be left to the players , coaches and general managers with the choices of the reserves being left to the fans ! Since when was the All Star Game in terms of the voting process meant to be a popularity contest ?
Granted , there are players who’ll be subject to a vote that simply aren’t worthy of the merit but what might be even more ridiculous has been the idea now being placed in print by USA Today columnist Christine Brennan for the inclusion of New York Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin , merely because of his exploits over the team’s last 6 games that have all led to wins for the Eastern Conference organization . The more , the recent events concerning the team have arisen , the more I have begun to think that the coaching staff have been clueless as to the abilities of their young point guard ! Most certainly in listening to the post-game comments made by Mike DAntoni and GM Glen Grunwald it is clear that neither of these two individuals knew what they had within their midst .
Perhaps it’s just me but I’m beginning to feel that the organization hasn’t progressed that far from the years when former front office executive Isiah Thomas was simply laying waste to the franchise with many of the asinine deals he constructed and the exorbitant salaries paid to players who simply didn’t pan out while wearing a Knicks’ uniform .
The team will now embark on a three game schedule away from home … playing respectively the New Orleans Hornets , Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets . All three on paper appear to be winnable for the franchise and it remains to be seen as to whether or not they can now maintain that 7 game winning streak .
The San Antonio Spurs by comparison with their nine game winning streak will look to keep that going as they try to position themselves in seeking to pass the Oklahoma City Thunder in having the best record in the Western Conference . Popovich and the players will now embark on a 4 game schedule away from home before returning to play the Chicago Bulls at the AT&T Center in San Antonio , Texas , on the 29th March, 2012 . That quartet of games will see the team play the Los Angeles Clippers , Utah Jazz , Portland Trailblazers and the Denver Nuggets . Their sternest test may well be the game against the Clippers before then facing the Bulls .
And that match-up between the Bulls and Spurs could be seen as possibly a precursor of this season’s NBA Finals if things were to pan itself out . Point guards Tony Parker and Derrick Rose prior to his injury were two of the most productive players at the position within the NBA this season . Parker isn’t necessarily viewed as being one of the elite point guards within the league because simply put the San Antonio Spurs aren’t viewed as a stylish team but consider this , beyond that of the success of the Lakers over the last decade during the playoffs , the Spurs have been an omnipresent franchise during the NBA postseason . The team’s record simply speaks for itself in that one area alone and one of the primary reasons why is in fact the play of Tony Parker over that period of time .
Those who may have witnessed Tony Parker’s performances for the Spurs in their last appearance in the NBA Finals where we all remember he was primarily responsible for the dismantling of the LeBron James’ led Cleveland Cavaliers’ in the series’ Finals of 2007 where he went on to win the NBA Finals’ MVP . Parker and Ginobli this season will have to be the primary focal point for the Spurs if they are to have a successful regular season showing as well as their foray into the postseason . And at this juncture with that win streak now building into a rhythm of consistency , it has to be said that the playoff picture as it now stands looks a great deal more enticing !
The standings within the NBA at present gives us something of an indication as to where the teams are and those whom many of us might consider to be contenders , those whom we might consider to be pretenders .and those who for all sense we should consider to be plainly out of the picture altogether . At this juncture one has to look at teams such as the Charlotte Bobcats , New Jersey Nets , Washington Wizards , New Orleans Hornets , Sacramento Kings , Phoenix Suns and ask given their present situation , is there any hope at all for them as the season progresses ? Your thoughts on the matter ?
Picture gallery for your perusal .
With the All Star Game now but a week away what do you as a fan hope to see with regard to the NBA season between now and its finale ? And what to your mind what do you believe to be the biggest surprise of the season ? Simply chime in with your thoughts and anything else that you believe to be pertinent with regard to the subject matter .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 15: Jeremy Lin (17) of the New York Knicks sits on the bench during the game against the Sacramento Kings on February 15, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images ….
(2) (2) Jeremy Lin (17) of the New York Knicks shoots over John Salmons (5) of the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …
(3) NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 15 : Jeremy Lin (17) of the New York Knicks drives past Marcus Thornton (23) of the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2012 in New York City. Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images …
(4) Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, left, reacts after official Scott Twardoski , right, made a call against the Raptors while playing against the San Antonio Spurs during second-half NBA basketball game action in Toronto on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette ….
(5) (5) San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph , right, drives past Toronto Raptors forward Jamaal Magloire during first-half NBA basketball game action in Toronto on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette ……
(6) San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, right, scores past Toronto Raptors guard Jose Calderon, left, during first-half NBA basketball game action in Toronto on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette …….
(7) San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan sports a bandage under his left eye after taking an elbow from Detroit Pistons’ Ben Wallace in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Duncan stayed in the game and led the Spurs with 18 points and 13 rebounds in their 99-95 win . AP Photo/Duane Burleson …. ……
(8) Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots in front of Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson (11) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. Oklahoma City won 111-85 . AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki ……
(9) Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots in front of Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson (11) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. Oklahoma City won 111-85 . AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki ……
(10) Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, right, takes control of a loose ball against Utah Jazz forward Josh Howard, left, during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson …….
NBA Team statistics by conference : Eastern Conference
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Stephen Marley ………… feat’g Capelton ……… ” Break Us Apart ”
😉 ……. 🙂
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