PHILADELPHIA – Oh, to be a bullfrog along the Schuylkill River on Monday, listening in while Gregg Popovich and Brett Brown walked and talked a few hours before Pop’s world champion Spurs – minus Tim Duncan and Tony Parker – kept Brown’s 76ers winless with a 109-103 victory. “He made me walk with him for an hour and a half today,’’ laughed an unusually amiable Popovich of his longtime assistant and good friend, who’s having a bit of a rough go
It’s an easy-going kind of night for the defending champions San Antonio Spurs when the most pathetic team in all of basketball – the Philadelphia 76ers – is their opponent. Even if it’s on the road. With the 76ers not having won a single game heading into Monday’s contest, it was easy for Gregg Popovich to sit out Tim Duncan (rest) and Tony Parker (rib). Manu Ginobili did play, but only saw 13 minutes despite having a hot shooting night, scoring 14 points
Of the eight teams that reached the Western Conference playoffs last season, six of them had at least one player among the NBA’s top-20 in win shares. The two playoff teams that did not have a player among the top 20 were Memphis, with stars Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph, and San Antonio, who boasts the famed star quartet of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard. Obtaining, maintaining and sustaining a roster with All-Star level talent
All the San Antonio Spurs could talk about last season was avenging their 2013 NBA Finals loss to the Miami Heat, especially the heartbreaking loss in Game 6. The Spurs made sure it didn’t get to a Game 6 in 2014 as they dominated the Heat in five games to win their fifth championship. Tim Duncan, who many assumed would retire after his fifth title, now enters the 2014-15 season looking for a ring for his other hand now. The Spurs brought
Four months have passed since the masterpiece was finished with a throwback flourish that had purists spouting superlatives and invoking sacred basketball institutions like the Red Holzman Knicks, the Jack Ramsay Blazers . . . Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, James Naismith. The Spurs joined the pantheon of great teams when they mutilated the Heat dynasty in the 2014 NBA Finals, playing a brand of team basketball that Naismith would have found ideal, even if it was unimaginable when he invented the
Wednesday afternoon, or evening depending on which northern hemisphere you were in, saw the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in their first preseason exhibition. Their opponent, Alba Berlin (otherwise known as the Berlin Albatrosse). It was, for many, expected to be a blowout in the champs favor, much in the same way that the Cleveland Cavaliers so easily dispatched Maccabi Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, fortune favors the bold. Alba Berlin, though seemingly outmatched in talent, kept the game within striking distance the
It might sound ridiculous to try to compare Aron Baynes, an undrafted reserve with four career starts, to Bill Laimbeer, a four-time All Star and NBA champion. However, the two have more in common than you would expect. Before Laimbeer became the ringleader for the Pistons’ Bad Boys and a namesake for a Super Nintendo videogame, he was an afterthought. Sandwiched in the draft between two players who never appeared in the NBA, Laimbeer – the 65th overall pick in 1979 – was forced to
The San Antonio Spurs and the organization’s two stalwarts, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich, are coming off a fifth championship and are poised for another title run next season – provided Duncan doesn’t retire. With five championships in a 15-year period, the Spurs have made a claim to be considered a dynasty. However, some people – most notably Phil Jackson – would disagree because the Spurs haven’t won consecutive titles. Jackson won three consecutive championships on three separate occasions (1991-93, 96-98, 2000-2002).