Randolph was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Friday for his postgame comments about the referees, whom he called “horrible” and “awful.”
The San Antonio Spurs are resting both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili for Thursday night’s nationally televised road game vs. the Golden State Warriors, initially putting themselves at risk of another six-figure fine from the NBA.
A release from Spurs media relations Thursday afternoon – titled an “injury report” – said both players were being held out of the game on TNT due to rest. It made no mention of injuries to either player.
The release also said guard Tony Parker would not play due to a bruised shin. That was announced earlier in the week, when the Spurs said Parker would miss at least two games with the injury and be re-evaluated prior to Saturday’s home showdown with Oklahoma City.
A little more than a month has passed in the NBA season, but it seems like we’ve already had a full year of distractions, both good and bad. Portland great; Indiana even better. The Knicks and Nets taking turns who’s bad and who’s worse. Kobe close to returning; Rose out for the year. Dwayne Wade hurting; the Atlantic Division hurting even more.
Meanwhile, the last team other than the Miami Heat to win a championship is quietly turning into a solid team, which is interesting for two reasons.
1. How is it that anything Mark Cuban owns is quiet?
2. After winning their first title, the Mavericks took such an unusual approach in trying to win a second.
According to the team, Lin has a Grade one sprain and contusion of his right knee suffered in Wednesday’s home win over the Atlanta Hawks. He will be sidelined two weeks before being re-evaluated.
It is not the same knee in which Lin had surgery to repair a meniscus tear during the 2012 offseason, when he left the New York Knicks and joined the Rockets.
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 specific style of play on both ends of the floor, you can consistently compete with, and even beat teams that are bigger, stronger, quicker and more talented than yours.
Gregg Popovich has the San Antonio Spurs committed to a system. At its roots, that system is grounded in the fundamentals that are preached – and often ignored – at every level of basketball, from AAU to NBA. On defense, pressure the ballhandler to make things difficult. Commit to playing defense as individuals and as a team. Box out and don’t allow second shots.
On offense, get the ball quickly upcourt and look for early offense. In the halfcourt, set solid picks and make hard cuts. Trust your scheme and your teammates. Give up a good shot to get a great shot.
These are the basics of the game. And right now, with these basics as their foundation, Popovich and the Spurs are making the NBA look like an AAU tournament.