Where would the San Antonio Spurs be this season without Kawhi Leonard? To answer my own question, probably out of the playoff picture. In a Western Conference where the 8th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans are seven games over .500, the Spurs are 33-16 with Leonard and just 9-9 without him. Leonard leads the team in scoring, defensive rating and minutes per game. There’s an immense difference in Leonard’s stats in Spurs wins and losses, to the point where an off night can torpedo
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
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
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).
I have always pondered the challenge of being an NBA coach, so here’s my attempt at coming up with three different key strategies for both coaches and teams to implement if they are going to win the championship. I personally feel that San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich is not only the premier coach in the game today, I actually believe he is one of the greatest leaders of any sport in the history of our country. On the other side you have Miami’s
A look at the overall NBA standings shows four teams at the top – Indiana, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Miami – separated by one game in the loss column. In fact, they were dead even until three of them lost Sunday. Just a notch below them are three more teams – Houston, the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland – separated by two games in the loss column. They also would have been dead even had the Blazers held
NBA fans do an awful job of protecting the image of their favorite sport. This is not the NFL, which has been America’s pastime for a generation and can do no wrong in the eyes of its fans. The only time the NFL has an image problem is when a storm affects satellite reception. This is also not baseball, which has a considerable image problem with its collection of prima donnas on PEDS. But it also has more than a century of
We are all familiar with the Spurs and their uncanny efficiency. Are you familiar with AAU basketball? I have coached it at the high school level for the last three years. And one thing I have learned is that with just four hours of weekly practice time followed by four games every weekend, if you don’t have definitive, well-drilled schemes on both offense and defense, you have no chance to compete. However, if you have a group that is committed to a