Hump Wednesday: Media Highlights
There is plenty to appreciate in this, the first in a weekly series of of Spurs-related news highlights we’ll call, Hump Wednesday.
From the Associated Press (“Spurs beat Pacers 101-79 for first 4-0 start“):
The San Antonio Spurs have won four NBA championships, made 32 playoff appearances and captured 18 division titles in their 40-year history.
Yet for all their success, they had never opened a season with four straight victories.
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and the Spurs finally did so Monday night, rolling past the Indiana Pacers 101-79 to remain unbeaten.
”I’m surprised we’re still doing records,” Parker said. ”It seems like we did everything, but that’s another one. That’s great.”
It’s an unprecedented start for San Antonio, albeit one that left players scratching their heads.
”It’s just a stat, not that important in the long-term,” Manu Ginobili said. ”(But) at this point we are enjoying it. It’s curious that a team this successful hasn’t started that well before.”
From 48 Minutes of Hell (“San Antonio Spurs 101, Indiana Pacers 79: Neal and Blair provide the spark to 4-0“):
For a team billed as an offensive juggernaut that can’t get stops when it matters, the San Antonio Spurs have flipped the script in the first four games of the season. Things will likely evolve over the course of the season and creep back to levels closer to what we became accustomed to last season, but for now the Spurs are showing the defensive fortitude that Gregg Popovich and his coaching staff have been harping on since the start of training camp.
On Monday night, San Antonio held the Pacers to under 35% shooting in a 101-79 win over the Indiana Pacers. When you limit a team to just 24 points in the paint and six made 3-pointers as the Spurs did, you’re likely to come out on top.
“The Spurs are a well-oiled machine, particularly on the offensive end, but they brought a great deal of energy on the defensive end as well tonight,” Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel said after the game. “It was just too much for us.”
From CBSSports (“Parker, Duncan lead Spurs past Jazz“):
Apparently the San Antonio Spurs are not comfortable unless they are under duress.
After needing last-second shots to win their first two games, the Spurs required another valiant effort from Tony Parker after squandering a 19-point lead against the Utah Jazz.
“We expect teams to make runs,” Duncan said. “We hope they don’t make runs and get hot so they don’t get back in the game [but they did]. We didn’t panic. I thought we did a great job of sticking with what we were doing, and focused ourselves on defense.”
The Spurs then turned to their two stars in the fourth.
Duncan and Parker combined to score seven points in the final 4 minutes to preserve the victory.
San Antonio also forced six turnovers in the fourth quarter and held Utah to 11 field goal attempts after allowing the Jazz to make 12 of 24 shots in the third.
“Our guys were really embarrassed by that,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Together playing good individual and team defense; holding them to 21 [points] was the key and they knew it.”
From Mike Monroe of the Express-News (“Ginobili ‘happy,’ but don’t tell“):
After 10 years of playing in San Antonio, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili’s mastery of English is flawless, but the ebullient Argentine has had to strike one of his favorite adjectives from his vocabulary.
Thrilled with his injury-delayed season debut Saturday in a 110-100 victory over the Utah Jazz at the AT&T Center, the two-time All-Star had to catch himself while describing his feelings.
“It felt very good,” he said, smiling broadly. “Of course, very happy to be — wait, ‘happy’ is not a word anymore — but I was very satisfied. I was able to play for a few minutes. I felt better than expected.”
Ginobili is awash in the world of social media — he has 1.4 million followers on Twitter — so he was acutely aware of the “war on happy” that erupted after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich rankled at the suggestion by TNT interviewer David Aldridge during Thursday’s televised game against the Thunder that he might be happy with the Spurs’ shot selection in that game.
“Happy?” Popovich replied to Aldridge. “Happy? Happy is not a word we think about in a game.”
From blogger Chris Walder (“SCIC NBA Power Rankings: Week 2“):
1) San Antonio Spurs [ 3-0 ]: Three big victories over the Hornets, Thunder and Jazz vault San Antonio to the top of the NBA Power Rankings. Tim Duncan has turned back the clock and is averaging 21.0 points and 10.0 rebounds through the first week of the season. Tony Parker has ice in his veins after sinking the hearts of OKC fans at the buzzer on Thursday night. As always, never discount the San Antonio Spurs, because they will make you eat your words. (Last week: #3)
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