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Spurs Present Another Challenge

What the heck is going on... I am starting to expect them to win games like this. 4-1 was all the proof I needed to imbibe the cool aide. And I consider myself a pessimist., but this team has broken my will.

I was thinking the same thing going into Monday's game. I always want them to beat the Lakers, but this time I was really expecting it.

eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on Feb 8 at 10:52

ha, I remember seeing a post at the beginning of an earlier game thread from you about still holding out before starting to believe in what they were doing, and I agreed with you to hold out. But I said something along the lines of - do that, but you'll be on board in due time (not those exact words but same meaning). I'm like you in that I expected them to beat the Lakers the other night. Tonight.....

eddies' heady's on Feb 8 at 10:57

.......as for tonight, I'm actually more concerned about this game than the Lakers. Bonner usually kills us for some reason raining threes. But as was mentioned in the post, we will probably be better off w/o Hawes on the glass and be in better hands with Lavoy clearing out space to go up and get 'em. He's more fundamentally sound boxing out than Hawes ever thought of being. He just needs to not miss those open 12-18 footers like he did vs the Lakers, cause those looks should be there for Lavoy.

If Jrue stunts Parker's forays into the lane, I'll feel much better about our chances. Should be a good one.

Bonner usually kills us for some reason raining threes.

In the past, this would happen because of Thad's overhelping. Thad has gotten better at that this year, so this will be a good test of how much better. He left a couple people open for 3's in the Lakers game, the first time I really noticed it this year.

Btw, if you guys haven't checked it out already, read this story and watch the video interview with Jrue by Tom Moore. Jrue gives some great insight into how Collins has gotten the team to limit turnovers like this. Don't go for the "home run pass" http://bit.ly/xxBx7e

@preston76 Coach Collins tells media that Elton is a go, Hawes is out tonight. Vucevic will get the start.

Good news on EB. Kind of a surprise Voose gets the nod over Battie, especially against Duncan. Good for the kid.

bebopdeluxe reply to sixerfan1220 on Feb 8 at 11:21

I like that lineup a LOT more than Battie/Allen.

The most amazing team is even if they went with a Battie/Allen lineup we still would have expected them to win the game.

Who thought that could happen before the season began.

They're really going to need Brand on the defensive end for the next two games. Hope his legs have a little more pep in them.

Interesting bud of a rumor: Rondo for Gasol.

Helps the Lakers, I think. Not sure I see the point of it for the Celts, though. What do you guys think?

I think it's a trade that doesn't help either team initially but puts the Lakers in a good position if they make an additional move or two.

The Lakers should do the trade IMO. As for the Celtics i don't think Gasol will make them a contender for another year, so unless they think they can unload him for younger assets it makes no sense.

Who knows if this rumor has a legit source behind it, or not, but man, Boston really seems to hate Rondo, don't they? He must be impossible to deal with in the locker room or something. He's their one young asset, literally, and every couple of weeks you hear about them shopping him.

Charlie H reply to Brian on Feb 8 at 12:07

There's definitely something about him that his teammates don't like. Ainge's denials of rumors that he's shopping him are hard to believe. To be fair, offering him for Chris Paul is not exactly shopping him, but he's tried to trade him at least twice in the past. The biggest thing with him is stubbornness. Won't learn how to shoot, for example. I suspect that Doc doesn't like his freelancing. He's on his own private island, and for a point guard, that's problematic. I think that trade would be so-so for both teams. Pau doesn't solve the Celtics rebounding problems (the Celtics lose their best rebounder to boot), and I think Kobe would hate playing with a ball-dominant pg like Rondo.

I think it would be kind of funny to see how the Kobe/Rondo thing would shake out in LA. If Phil Jackson was there, he could probably handle the interpersonal dynamics, but Mike Brown? I don't think so.

Charlie H reply to Brian on Feb 8 at 12:41

It would be like 2 divas. There would be a reality show.

Actually i think Ainge realizes that Rondo is not that good and that his performance is maximized in the current Celtics team with Allen and Pierce both terrific three point shooters and Garnett a guy who like to shoot long twos a lot these days.

I view this "Rondo shopping" as a selling high move.

Turtle Bay reply to Brian on Feb 8 at 13:33

Yeah, I really don't get why the Celtics are constantly involved in trade rumors with Rondo. This trade just makes them even older, and although Boston seemed pretty pleased with Avery Bradley running the point because of his defense, offensively he is a major liability. I would do this in a second if I were Kupchak, especially because Rondo's contract is pretty reasonable moving forward.

CM reply to Brian on Feb 8 at 11:41

Would the Celts have enough room for Williams and Howard this summer?

That would be a hell of a re-load...

I'm not sure you're maximizing Rondo's skillset in that offense. I don't really understand the move for eiher team.

I think Rondo would play pretty well off Bynum. He's not a great PG to have next to Kobe, but looking forward, a team built around Rondo and Bynum in a couple of years could be dangerous.

I was thinking while re-watching the Lakers game that Bynum's development limits Gasol's effectiveness for them. There's really only room for one player in the post, and Gasol's impact is lessened if he mainly shoots jumpers. It kind of reminds me of Houston's twin towers in the 80's: it worked to some degree (they made the Finals in '86), but it was always a little awkward to have a 7'4 power forward and it definitely hurt Sampson's career. So Gasol is expendable for the Lakers, and they are also the slowest team in the league, so adding Rondo (one-man fastbreak) instantly helps in that area.

For Boston, I wonder if Ainge views it as addition by subtraction with regard to Rondo, because he seems to have been on the block a lot, despite having a very reasonable contract. Plus, Gasol wouldn't clash with Garnett, who is mostly a jump-shooter these days ...

Dwight reply to Statman on Feb 8 at 15:11

The twin tower lineup can work for a little part of the game. Bynum would play 20-25 mins while Odom and Gasol would play the most important minutes together. Same thing with Duncan and Robinson a little while ago.

Nope, not unless they can move Pierce as well. Pierce + Dirk would be $35M+. They only have Bass ($4.2M) and 2 guys on rookie deals totaling about $3M, so a total of roughly $42M, plus cap holds for minimum contracts to get up to 12 players. It would actually be tight to get one max guy in there, but they could also include Bass in the deal for Gasol, which should leave them w/ enough space to get a max contract in there.

stan reply to Brian on Feb 8 at 13:26

Can they afford Pierce/Gasol/Deron ?

Possibly. Think they might need to get rid of Bass.

No Ginobili. How lucky can one team get in one season on opponent injury list fortunes?

Sixers athletes will run rings around naturally diminishing totem pole Duncan and force fast-but-slight French pastry Parker into bad shots/decisions. Unless supporting cast has greatly improved since last year, should be a W. Richard Jefferson, after early career heights, is usually a friend to Sixers cause.

The big fundamental in this game is Popovich ploys vs. Collins caginess. "Gentleman, start your X and Os."

bebopdeluxe reply to Dollar Bill on Feb 8 at 12:04

Spurs get to face the Sixers without Hawes...MAN, are they catching a break.

Depends which Hawes you're referring to: "new season, contract drive, buzz-cut" Hawes or "off-10 game shelf, Amishman" Hawes. The first was surprisingly effective, the latter remains factor X.

Eh, Sixers have been without at least one starter for 13 of 25 games, 14 of 26 after tonight.

Point taken. All games missed were interchangable bigs though. Williams, Iguodala, Holiday, Young (keys to team success) have played all 25.

Rich reply to Dollar Bill on Feb 8 at 12:32

Young players staying healthy. What a novel concept!

Snarky but, more importantly, misdirecting.

You forget Maurice Stokes, Lucious Jackson, Kenny Durrett, David Thompson, Clark Kellogg, Jeff Ruland, Ralph Sampson, Sam Bowie, Penny Hardaway, Greg Oden (and countless others)... all sustained injuries on court during their 20s that ended or seriously limited their careers.

And then there's the tragic cases of bloom-of-youth Terry Furlow, Len Bias, Reggie Lewis, Hank Gathers, Jay Williams and Landon Turner.

Injury/tragedy/(availability) care not one whit about an individual's age.

Rich reply to Dollar Bill on Feb 8 at 14:12

"Injury/tragedy/(availability) care not one whit about an individual's age."

With crippling injuries maybe, but not what's making Ginobili miss games. Or Pierce miss games early in the season. I wanted to nickname you Dollar Bill Conlin a few months ago because of your eccentric writing style, except for the fact that he's not exactly a name anybody deserves to be associated with now.

The guy you originally brought up is Manu Ginobili, an older guy with tons of miles on him that has had injury problems in the past, and fought through them pretty valiantly. That's not luck that the Sixers got to play the Spurs with him hurt, because he was undoubtedly going to miss time with wear and tear as well as a compressed season. He's going to have his dings and dents. All of those guys you mentioned had tragic and serious injuries, really nothing to do with a lot (Not all) of the players that people, especially you, use to discount wins that the Sixers have piled up.

Of course you are going to find examples of young players in the last 40 years who have had serious injuries, but I hope you realize that doesn't address main point: The 4 "main guys" you listed are young and all fairly durable, plain and simple. Yeah, they could get hurt, and by what you considered hurt I call crippled, because injuries do happen. The fact that none of the Sixers play ridiculous minutes also lessens the chance of injury.

Blah, blah, blah... save your time next time. And avoid rotaries in NJ and in your writing.

Rich reply to Dollar Bill on Feb 8 at 14:38

That really isn't much of a circular argument, and you can disagree. It's pretty easy to contest a point that draws in David Thompson, Ralph Sampson and Kenny Durrett with Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala. That's all.

Heh. Young players tend to stay healthy. That's some crazy bullshit right there, Rich! Glad Dollar Bill was there to shoot you down.

I, too, am glad that Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday, and Thaddeus young have not succumbed to cocaine overdoses, been paralyzed or killed in one-car accidents, or died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, three unbelievably common occurrences among young athletes.

Heh the Spurs won a lot of games with Leonard instead of Ginobilli. Who needs him? The Hawks are winning a ton without Horford. Who needs him?

Pops and Drew would laugh at your statements.

Doug would laugh at yours...

Turner made the rookies/sophs game, or whatever they're calling it these days. He should do pretty well in a loose type of game where he can show off his handle. Guess the Voose was left off.

Stan reply to Brian on Feb 8 at 14:45

Will it be a live draft? My guess is that the order will be-

1. Griffin
2. Wall
3. Rubio
4. Cousins
5. Monroe

I bet Fields, George, Brooks, and Hayward will get picked before Turner.

Heh not a single C on the rookie list and Kemba and Derrick Williams made it. Laughable list as always.

What really scares me about the Spurs is Tony Parker. Jrue is known to struggle with smaller, quicker guards. Parker is a guy who can take over the game like D-Will and Andre Miller did by getting penetration in the paint and kicking it out to open shooters.

The reason we struggle against these penetrating point guards is because we lack a true shot blocker. If we had one, we wouldn't need to help so much in the pain with our perimeter players. Getting Brand back does help though. And Vucevic starting over Hawes could be a blessing in disguise as Vuce is definitely a better shot blocker.

Turtle Bay on Feb 8 at 15:21


Some MVP love for Iguodala. I just don't understand how the more inefficient gunner in the NBA beat him out by one spot. And where is Demarcus Cousins on this list?

What's the deal with Splitter? There was a lot of hype around him last year. I haven't watched him play. Does he look like someone with a lot of potential? What's his ceiling compared to Nikola's?

Turtle Bay reply to Stan on Feb 8 at 16:43

From what I've seen of him he looks much better than he did last year. He's a very efficient offensive player and doesn't really hurt you on the defensive end either. He still doesn't get a lot of minutes right now but he'll be a starter in the future. I think he probably has a similar ceiling to Vucevic as a solid starter but probably not a star.

Derek Bodner might have some more insight.

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