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- Still no timetable for Leonard, Splitter October 21, 2014The availability of starters Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter for next week's season opener remains in question as they continue to recover from their respective maladies.Dan McCarney
- Spurs get Spursy in second half, rally past Sacramento October 20, 2014The Spurs fell behind by 16 points but rallied to beat Sacramento 106-99 at the AT&T Center on Monday by strong performances from their deep reserves, including Jeff Ayres (15 points) and rookie Kyle Anderson (14).Dan McCarney
- Spurs not worried about miscues as preseason winds down October 20, 2014Turnovers have been an issue as the Spurs have dropped 3 of their first 4 preseason games. But with roughly six months until the playoffs start, they're hardly worried.Dan McCarney
- Parker says no to 44-minute games, but all for cutting preseason October 19, 2014Instead of cutting down game lengths, Tony Parker said the NBA should consider cutting down on a preseason schedule that has become somewhat unnecessary with players keeping themselves in top shape pretty much year round.Dan McCarney
- “I had blood caked, gauze, with a hair net”: Storytime with Matt Bonner October 19, 2014Matt Bonner regaled the post-practice media with a couple of tales from his illustrious career, and it was predictably gloriousJeff McDonald
- Spurs rally to beat Kings 106-99 (The Associated Press) October 21, 2014SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Jeff Ayres had 15 points and rookie Kyle Anderson added 14 points as the San Antonio Spurs overcame DeMarcus Cousin's 32 points and 11 rebounds to rally for a 106-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night.
- The 10-man rotation, starring the case against Kobe Bryant (Ball Don't Lie) October 20, 2014A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : ESPN the Magazine . Henry Abbott presents the argument that Kobe Bryant — his contract, his demeanor, his relationship to other top stars, etc. — is the primary reason the Los Angeles Lakers have become awful, are likely to be awful again this season and might continue to be awful until after he's retired. My general, broad-strokes takeaways: • The efficiency/effectiveness/demeanor claims aren't necessarily anything new, and we're certainly no closer to folks on either side of those debates capitulating today than we were yesterday; • There are other points that can be raised as, if not mitigating factors, then at least factors worth considering in the Lakers' decline; • There sure seem to be a lot of Lakers-related folks and agents willing to slam Kobe under cover of anonymity! PF : NBA.com . In addition to the standard dynamite grab-bag of news and notes, David Aldridge's Monday Morning Tip features something I thought about quite a bit last week — what Scott Brooks might do with his starting lineup now that Kevin Durant won't be available at the three for the Oklahoma City Thunder for a little while. SF : Hang Time . With multiple teams preaching the gospel of ball and player movement after watching the San Antonio Spurs slice and dice the opposition en route to a championship, John Schuhmann digs into the NBA's SportVU optical tracking data to find out whether there's any correlation between all that motion and having a great, highly efficient offense. (Spoiler alert: There isn't!) SG : The Brooklyn Game . Schuhmann's research led Devin Kharpertian to wonder what does correlate with offensive efficiency, so he, too, got to digging. PG : Fast Break and The Hook . Adam Lauridsen expects a monster win total from this year's Golden State Warriors, and Tom Ziller thinks they might just be weird enough to get there. 6th : TrueHoop . For Golden State to reach those great heights, as Ethan Sherwood Strauss sees it, they're going to need Klay Thompson to become the All-Star his new head coach thinks he can be. 7th : 8 Points, 9 Seconds . On Roy Hibbert, the Indiana Pacers' great and giant X-factor, and the question — will he "believe his outward confidence about being one of the league’s best or will he let doubt overcome him after a few ugly box scores?" — that "might reveal his long-term future in Indiana." 8th : Ballislife . A fun documentary-style look at Jamal Crawford's come-up in, and ongoing relationship with, Seattle. 9th : Boston Globe . Gary Washburn leads off his Sunday notes column with a good one-on-one about finding an NBA role with James Johnson, who went from first-round pick to out of the league to a multi-year deal , and is trying to do whatever he can to avoid sliding back down to that middle step: "I’m just trying to help the youngsters so they don’t make the same mistakes I made.” 10th : Hardwood Paroxysm . Seth Partnow talks to former New York Knicks shooting coach Dave Hopla about the ins and outs of trying to improve NBA players' jumpers — what works, what doesn't, and more. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
- Gregg Popovich defends his decision to sit players, and David Robinson defends that defense (Ball Don't Lie) October 20, 2014On Friday, the NBA will wrap up an exhibition schedule of games that it refers to as the “preseason,” which continues to be a laughable term. Even those of us that spend our mornings and afternoons staring at video clips of last season’s NBA games, the ones that sweat out the summer dying for NBA action, tend to pass on viewing these consistently sorts of affairs. There are highlights that can be culled, to be sure, but the idea of investing so much into one’s fandom into a sport and simultaneously watching a game that doesn’t count seems incongruous at best. What also hurts, for that invested fan, is watching older players like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili go through paces in mid-October when you know you’re going to want to watch them at their peak in mid-June. This is why it’s helpful to have coaches like Gregg Popovich pulling players out of exhibition action in the face of what will be an 82-game season topped off with a possible two-month playoff run. As you likely know, Popovich declined to travel to Phoenix for an exhibition game last Thursday, leaving Duncan and Ginobili behind while other Spurs rotation members sat with injury or illness. Suns owner Robert Sarver, who once made a chicken dance gesture at the Spurs bench after they rested those same key players in a 2005 contest, took to the public address microphone to apologize to his fans because they weren’t allowed to see Duncan and Ginobili play a token ten minutes in a meaningless game . When asked about his reaction to Sarver’s showy move, Popovich busted out some Grade-A Popisms. From Dan McCarney at the San Antonio Express News : “As I said, the silliness begins,” he said. “Most wise individuals would check facts before they made statements. Unless you’re interested in putting on a show. In that case, the facts get in your way, as in this case. “We had five guys we didn’t send. Patty Mills had a shoulder operation over the summer. Tiago Splitter (calf) has been out the whole preseason. Kawhi Leonard (eye infection) was out and is still out for 10 more days. The other two, Duncan and Ginobili, are two of the oldest guys in the league who just came back from a 13-day European trip. “The only thing that surprises me is that he didn’t say it in a chicken suit. I’ll just leave it at that.” Robert Sarver does want to put on a show. He’s always wanted to put on a show, spending way over market value for both the Suns (not a great call at the time), Steve Nash (ditto, though it eventually turned out well) and Quentin Richardson (the opposite) before closing up his wallet and selling off draft pick after draft pick even during the height of the Steve Nash era, as our Dan Devine noted . He was one of the vocal proponents for the cancellation of the entire 2011-12 NBA season, something that would have been an absolute killer for thousands whose income relies on being able to go to an arena to work a few nights a week, before then complaining about the number of games during that lockout-shortened season . He used to wear a foam finger at games, something my pre-teen daughters are now too embarrassed to do. He used to dress up in a gorilla suit. Here’s what Gregg Popovich does. He rests his players, including some of which he was lucky enough to draft (Tim Duncan), and some of which are lucky enough to have been introduced to because of his scouting acumen (Manu Ginobili). He understands better than anyone that the San Antonio Spurs will be scheduled to play 90 exhibition and regular-season contests between the first week of October and the second week of April, before once again embarking on a playoff run that they hope will last two full months – as it did in 2013 and this year. I mean, the “chicken suit” reference came from a game in 2005 . A full ten years before Pop hopes Ginobili can be at his best during the NBA playoffs. Coach Popovich is doing it correctly, and until the NBA addresses its fatigue problem, this will continue to be a storyline. As it should be. Fans are being burned by the product. An extended All-Star break isn’t the answer, and shortening the season isn’t the answer – because that isn’t fair to the displaced NBA fan living in another NBA city that wants to see his favorite team roll through town once or twice per year. The league could shorten games by half and it wouldn’t make a lick of difference – the amount of games and travel needed to show up at these performances is the problem. The NBA won’t extend its calendar season , fearful of encroaching on Major League Baseball’s playoff territory and scared witless about extending the amount of time that it competes with its regular season contests against NFL games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. As a result Sunday, Monday and Thursday NBA games in February will feature tired players dragging themselves up and down the court, as a new generation of bones and ligaments teeter on the edge as players grow longer, faster and stronger. If there ever was a voice in defense of NBA orthodoxy, it would be the sainted David Robinson, who worked past his own 1996 foot injury to score two titles with Popovich in 1999 and 2003. Robinson appeared on XM Radio on Monday morning to defend his coach, as he sits the franchise cornerstone in Tim Duncan that they drafted some 208 months ago: Perhaps some snippets, for those of you at work: "I don't know how you could criticize Popovich for resting guys in the preseason" David Robinson #TheStartingLineup — SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) October 20, 2014 "Gregg Popovich is such a smart manager who is clearly ahead of everything and he understands what it takes to be successful" David Robinson — SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) October 20, 2014 The NBA is a money-making organization and its players are well compensated for their role in that. During the next collective bargaining agreement negotiations in 2017, they will (and should) be even more compensated for their efforts. The league has done well to evolve and continue to try and produce top grade entertainment for those that can afford tickets, a cable connection and/or NBA League Pass. The league also sends half its teams overseas just a week after a too-short training camp. It schedules seven or eight exhibition games when two or three at most would suffice. It plays 82 games at a 48-minute length – which, again, is just fine – and it runs up a playoff schedule that could see the eventual victor potentially playing 28 games in total. Remember, though the Spurs won the Finals in a five-game walk last June, they went the full seven games against a formidable Dallas opponent in the first round. Popovich should be resting his players. He should rest them in October, he should rest them in December, and he should rest them in April. It’s unfortunate that fans won’t get to see the Spurs (and any other team that smartly apes coach Pop’s practices) won’t get to see the team at full strength during some exhibition and regular-season games, but that’s the balance we’re going to have to tolerate for the ability to see Manu and Tim (or any other team) at their best in May and June. The league, in response, needs to dare itself into greatness and extend the calendar year so that the regular season starts in early October, which would provide more travel breaks between games for players. Along with, shock horror, a chance for coaches to actually run in-season practices. And really, when it comes down to things, whose side would you rather be on? We should be aligning with David Robinson and Gregg Popovich in this instance. Or any other, really. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
- BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: Utah Jazz (Ball Don't Lie) October 20, 2014
- LeBron James sets tone for Cavaliers, and Cleveland, with leadership (Yahoo Sports) October 20, 2014LeBron James' return to Cleveland promises to lift the Cavs, as well as the economy.
- France Realigns Without a Star September 2, 2014The decision by Tony Parker, France’s most famous basketball player, to skip the World Cup altered the country’s expectations but provided a reminder of an approaching eventuality.
- Loss to Lynx Ends Hammon’s Playing Career August 24, 2014Minnesota won at San Antonio, 94-89, to advance to the W.N.B.A.’s Western Conference finals and end the playing career of the Stars’ Becky Hammon.
- Pioneer of a Crossover Move August 12, 2014Becky Hammon’s being named the first full-time female assistant coach in the N.B.A. by the San Antonio Spurs may have started on a shared flight from the London Olympics.
- San Antonio Spurs Hire Becky Hammon as N.B.A.’s First Female Full-Time Coach August 6, 2014Hammon, 37, the former Liberty player who is retiring after a 16-season playing career in the W.N.B.A., spent much of last season in an unofficial capacity with the Spurs.
- Jeter, Like Duncan, Makes the Routine Extraordinary July 20, 2014It is not surprising that Derek Jeter speaks admiringly of Tim Duncan, because the two understated stars have much in common, including five championships.