Search results: "parker" (page 4 of 25)

Spurs’ Depth Exposed in Road Loss to Lakers

Season 51, Game 43
San Antonio 81, Los Angeles Lakers 93
28-15, 3rd in the West

Lost, desperate, and panicked are usually the last three words you’d use to describe a Gregg Popovich-coached basketball team. But last night in Los Angeles, those are the only three words that described his short-handed Spurs.

San Antonio – missing its perennial MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, as well as Danny Green, Rudy Gay, and Tony Parker – was completely out of sync for large stretches of the game. Miscues led to bad passes, turnovers, and easy fast-break points for the opportunistic Lakers. The Spurs constantly found themselves with double-digit deficits, and while they briefly took the lead in the third quarter, San Antonio dug itself right back into a hole, losing 81-93.

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Disturbing Trends

Season 51, Game 41
San Antonio 110, Portland 111
27-14, 3rd in the West 

The Spurs fell in splendid fashion to the Portland Trailblazers on Sunday night after CJ McCollum tossed in some junk in the final seconds of a back and forth game. The 1-point loss to the Spurs was a perfect ending to a fairly entertaining game in which the Spurs could have probably used one more possession.

The Spurs led in pretty much every category. They had more rebounds, both offensive and defensive, had more assists, shot better from the line, shot better from the arc, and committed less fouls. Unfortunately, they also had more turnovers. Late game heroics by Manu Ginobili, who has been nothing short of inspiring, as well as the continued dominance of LaMarcus Aldridge, was once again overshadowed by a chaotic whirlwind in the backcourt. Kawhi Leonard aside, this team is vastly different, sans Tony Parker.

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Comeback For Shorthanded Spurs Comes Up Short in Philly

Season 51, Game 39
San Antonio 106, Philadelphia 112
26-13, 3rd in the West

All in all, that actually wasn’t a bad game.

Granted, the Spurs’ defense looked porous at best, allowing the Sixers’ offense to look like the 2014 Spurs out there. Every back cut Philadelphia made was met with little to no resistance, leading to a dunk or layup. Nor could they secure a defensive rebound to save their lives. (Or, more accurately, to win the game.) And they did send the Sixers to the free throw line an absurd 43 times–only four of which were intentional.

On the other end of the court, the Spurs looked out of sorts for large chunks of the game. And it appeared that the Sixers were in possession of the Spurs’ playbook, seeming to know every cut, pass, and move before the Spurs even made it. The usual clever plays by the Spurs were completely swallowed up, usually leading to turnovers.

Putting all of that aside, though, it was a pretty good game for the Spurs.

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The Dynamic Duo Dominate at the Garden

Season 51, Game 38
San Antonio 100, New York 91
26-12, 3rd in the West

There were a lot of reasons to breathe a sigh of relief after this one.

After a dismal night against Detroit on Saturday, the Spurs showed signs of life and bounced back in New York, earning their fourth win in five games.

Six nights ago in Texas, the Spurs beat the Knicks handily behind a 25-point effort by LaMarcus Aldridge for a 119-107 win. Kyle Anderson subbed in for Kawhi Leonard during that game, but the Klaw was back in last night’s lineup. Given re-incorporation pains with Kawhi in previous games, tonight’s outcome was far from guaranteed.

From the outset, Aldridge and Leonard dominated and morphed into the dynamic duo San Antonio fans have been waiting to see all season. Aldridge stuffed his overflowing stat sheet with 29 points and 6 rebounds while geling with Leonard, who in his 7th game back from a quad injury recorded season highs in points (25), rebounds (8), steals (4) and minutes (31).

Through numerous tweaks to the rotation, the pair played well with others, forced fouls, and kept energy high. The Spurs went to the line 34 times scoring 28 points, more than doubling the Knicks effort with 14 points off 18 attempts.

Gone was the lackadaisical play seen against the Pistons. A balanced attack included 11 points from Pau Gasol, 12 from Manu Ginobili, and 10 from the other Latvian on the floor not named Porzingis – Davis Bertans.

Perhaps the result of last night’s super moon, some interesting plays occurred…

Late in the first quarter, a shot by Michael Beasley rimmed round and round and round and round and round before finally going in.

This would not be the weirdest thing to happen at the hoop.

At the end of the third quarter, Ginobili nailed such a lightning quick shot it was invisible to everyone, including the officials.

An intended alley-oop to Aldridge whizzed into the net, but Michael Beasley kept it in play as a deflection and brought it down the court. Ginobili argued at the other end and officials struggled to find a reason to review the play. They used the trigger of determining whether it was a two or three pointer to award the points.

Seriously, Manu is magical.

Watching this game in New York meant a local feed with commentators Walt Frazier and Mike Breen – Knicks-oriented this broadcast was not. Someone should remind them who writes their paychecks. These two praised the Spurs non-stop while sharing several stories about Ginobili, Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker, and even coaches Becky Hammon and Ettore Messina.

We also saw a beaming Ginobili greeting fans who’d arrived en masse from Argentina, fearing this season may be his farewell tour.

With win number 1,176, Gregg Popovich passed his friend George Karl, and is now the fifth winningest coach in NBA history. Not that we are keeping track, but after win 1,211 he will pass Pat Riley.

Kudos to Coach Jeff Hornacek for molding a young Knicks team that plays spunky and with heart now that the Curse of Carmelo has been lifted from NYC. Michael Beasley is a lot of fun to watch. All they have to do is get one win to be back at .500 and for the first time in over a decade I’m cheering for them to do it.

Here’s hoping Leonard, should he be kept off the DL, and Aldridge rekindle tonight’s spark in their back to back against Philly tonight.

The Relationship Factor: Bryn Forbes vs Lonzo Ball

Editor’s Note: We’d like to welcome Patricia Tirona to the Spurs Dynasty family. This post will be the first in a series about how and why certain players thrive in the San Antonio Spurs organization. We hope you like it.

Our genetic makeup is just one part of the blueprint of our destiny. It’s incumbent upon us to nurture success through consistent physical and mental work, but more importantly seek out the most advantageous relationships to assist us in realizing our full potential.

Bryn Forbes is a young man on fire and has accomplished a feat I rank slightly above scaling Mt. Everest in its impressiveness and rarity. Forbes has, on several occasions, been the recipient of glowing praise from Gregg Popovich.

(Photo: Ralph Freso/AP)

Coach Pop once compared Forbes’ shooting abilities to Steph Curry’s. Another time, Pop commended Forbes on his drive and maturity:

He’s just getting better all the time. He’s getting more comfortable and starting to feel like he belongs and that’s really important with a young player.

Tony Parker’s long absence due to injury sustained during last season’s playoffs resulted in Forbes playing time more than doubling this season. Bryn responded by becoming a big shot taker/maker and confident 3-point marksman. It was revealed, after the December 9th game in Phoenix, that Pop drew up the game-winning 3-point play for Bryn. Didn’t Kawhi have to wait deep into his third season for Pop to finally draw up a play for him? I might be exaggerating for effect, but it speaks to Forbes’ work ethic and acumen that he was entrusted with the keys to the castle so soon, if even for just one night.

(Photo by @spurs on Instagram)

(Photo by @spurs on Instagram)

Whenever I see a photo of Bryn, whether it’s with elder statesmen like LaMarcus Aldridge or Pau Gasol, smiling during practice, or bonding with teammates during a game, my heart warms like I’m watching some live baby panda feed. Bryn is an appreciative young man surrounded by protective older brothers who have his back. He in turn has theirs.

Mistakes like the one made by Forbes during the Spurs recent win over the Clippers are teaching moments. Bryn pulled down a rebound, led a fast break, and was called for a charge while trying to set up Brandon Paul for a corner three. Tony was wide open and would have been the preferable target for the assist. Parker conferenced with Forbes as the seasoned mentor paying it forward who remembers when Timmy pulled him aside and constructively took him to task.

(Photo by @spurs on Instagram)

Rudy Gay, new to the team, but already familiar with the Silver and Black code, gave him the “chin-up baby bro” encouragement. Unlike some other players in the league, the Spurs do not have skid marks on the back of their jerseys from repeated hurlings under the bus.

In the months since Lonzo Ball made his NBA debut I haven’t figured out just what that expression on his face is and continues to be during most of his games.

It doesn’t seem to be a look of anger or resentment towards his omnipresent father. It doesn’t appear to be a look of stress about not living up to pre- or post-draft expectations set up by a PR machine on steroids. Maybe it is the look of a young man frustrated by endless criticism and disappointing results, in spite of what he may feel his own Herculean efforts? No, not quite that.

There is no doubt Lonzo is talented, eager, and mentally wired to play the game. So why doesn’t he look happier?

Spend enough time at a bar during peak hours and anyone can be an amateur anthropologist. Avoidance of eyes, retreating body language, and intermittent conversation often indicates an awkward in-real-life date after two people had only met online, i.e. Dwight Howard on every new team he swipes right on.

Seeing couples on their phones, making occasional, but familiar chatter, makes me think they’ve been together a while and are fine with status quo, little passion but whatever, it’s good enough and easy – Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan on the Clippers last season, pre-Paul exodus.

Then there’s the lucky guy with the woman all the other men at the bar are staring at. She’s beautiful, confident, vivacious, calling attention to her and her man, taking selfies, and seemingly out of thin air summons her high-heeled entourage of clones. Every so often I see a man in this situation who, rather than basking in the narcissistic glow, wears a look of panic or boredom.

That is the look I see on Lonzo’s face. He won over the fairest female in the land, is the envy of many, but his reality doesn’t live up to his fantasy. He’s unfulfilled and disappointed by the lack of depth of the relationship. Lonzo was ushered into the league under the harshest of spotlights, with all the pomp and circumstance of a coronation, by no less than Magic Johnson himself. (Magic is the beautiful woman’s father in this scenario.)

Lonzo is generous to what some criticize is a fault and liability – a pass first, score later point guard. He’s a quiet kid burdened by the unfathomable expectation of stepping into Kobe’s shoes; declared by Lakers GM, Rob Pelinka, to be a “transcendent talent.”

No pressure right?

Sharing the ball, i.e. making assists, is where Ball’s generosity would appear to end. In a mid November game against the Suns, he passively walked away from a scuffle his teammates became embroiled in. Imagine a Spurs player doing that, or anyone on any team? Those are not the actions of a man bonded to his teammates. It makes me wonder if Papa Ball insists he eat lunch at a separate table away from the other guys.

Now LaVar thinks it would be a fantastic idea to set up a league for aspiring, nationally ranked high school graduates who don’t want to go to college. The deepest shudder from the depths of my soul emanate at the thought of LaVar Ball influencing an impressionable legion of youth.

I’d sooner entrust Darth Vader at peak evil to train an incoming class of Jedi toddlers.

Like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard, who ascended the Spurs ranks before him, Bryn Forbes is being systematically groomed to potentially inherit one of the rare keys to the castle, away from the voracious media spotlight, in the confines of a protective Spurs academy. Pressure will be left where it belongs – on the court.

Unlike Lonzo, Bryn has the joyful expression of a young man biding his time before he can pop the question to the perfect girl. (Yes, it is worth a mention that Kawhi rarely smiles, but the body language shared between him and his teammates speak the volumes Leonard doesn’t.)

For further proof of the potency of the Spurs nurturing environment, one need only look at how beautifully Gay, Gasol, and post-reckoning Aldridge have fared as mature recruits.

As he grows into his role, Bryn may one day feel the pressure Lonzo feels now, but will be prepared when that time comes. Being in a relationship with the Spurs is hard work, demanding, but comes with all the benefits of open communication, endless support, and the understanding that while strict, it gives its players the freedom to evolve into their best possible versions.

Twenty consecutive playoff runs and counting sounds like the sort of marriage every NBA player wishes he was in.

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