Blizzard fails to cripple Spurs’ arrival in Brooklyn after all
Posted on February 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm by Jeff McDonald in
NEW YORK — As it turns out, the “Snow-pocalypse” that grounded flights throughout the Northeast on Friday night proved to be only a minor inconvenience to the Spurs’ travel plans.
After staying an extra unplanned night in Detroit following a 119-109 loss to the Pistons, the Spurs’ charter plane lifted off for Newark International Airport just before lunch Saturday. The team arrived at its mid-town Manhattan hotel in the early afternoon, in plenty of time to rest for tonight’s game at Brooklyn.
No Spurs player was more pleased at the break in the weather than guard Danny Green, who grew up on Long Island and spent his formative years on the blacktops of New York’s outer boroughs.
Among Green’s teenage basketball memories is playing in a tournament hosted by NBA star Stephon Marbury at Coney Island.
As such, the 25-year-old is looking forward to seeing the topographical changes brought about by the Nets’ move to Brooklyn and the construction of the team’s sparkling new arena, the Barclays Center.
“It’s close to home, so a lot of family’s going to be there,” Green said. “I’ve heard it’s a really nice arena. Obviously, those areas are a lot different from when I was growing up. It seems like they’re making a lot of changes over that way. I think it’s exciting.” Uncharted territory:
Asked to handicap the competition for his first appearance in the 3-point contest All-Star weekend, Spurs forward Matt Bonner singled out New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson as the rival that frightens him most.
Anderson is shooting 40.1 percent from 3-point land this season, ahead of only Indiana swingman Paul George among the contestants for the shootout Feb. 16 in Houston. The fact that Anderson participated in last season’s event in Orlando, Bonner said, provides a distinct advantage.
“Experience counts in something like this,” Bonner said. “He knows the drill and what to expect. That helps with nerves.”
For his part, Bonner already is formulating a plan for what he believes will be a sure case of the butterflies.
“I’m going to have to take a sedative the night before,” Bonner said. Sneaky Manu:
For reasons unknown to coach Gregg Popovich, injured guard Manu Ginobili did not bring a sport coat with him on the first leg of the rodeo trip. So in order for his wardrobe to be league-compliant on the bench, Ginobili must wear a uniform.
Popovich has become convinced it’s all a ruse for Ginobili to get himself back on the court ahead of schedule. “If I look away, he might go into the game, for all I know,” Popovich said. “I can’t trust him a lick.” [email protected]
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