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Old 11-29-05, 03:47 PM
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Bowen displaying total package

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/b...n.8a8a696.html

Bowen displaying total package

Web Posted: 11/29/2005 12:00 AM CST
Johnny Ludden
Express-News Staff Writer

Most of the Spurs had already filed onto the bus for the ride back to the team's hotel in downtown Sacramento last week as Bruce Bowen pulled off his warm-up top and went to work.


While a handful of other stragglers lined up for a shooting drill on the opposite end of the court, Bowen paired off with Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown. With Brown passing him the ball, Bowen took a series of 3-pointers from the left corner.
Bowen did the same from the left wing. He practiced one- and two-dribble pull-up jump shots. Then he repeated the entire routine from the right side of the floor.

The Spurs didn't have to wait long to see the results of Bowen's workout.

Eleven hours later, with the Sacramento Kings having cut the Spurs' lead to four and only 1:30 remaining, Manu Ginobili swung a pass to the corner. Feet set, hands at the ready, Bowen received the ball and released a 3-pointer that settled into the net. The shot proved to be the difference in the team's 96-93 victory.

"Bruce is smart," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, "at understanding what he does best."

What Bowen still does best is defend. But this season, no one has been better behind the 3-point line. Through 13 games, he's made 21 of 34 3-point attempts, an NBA-high 61.8 percent.

Bowen missed only one of his five attempts during Wednesday's rout of Golden State and is 7 for 11 in the past three games. Four times this season, he's scored 12 points on eight shots or fewer — an efficient performance for someone who rarely gets to the free-throw line.

More often than not, Bowen has made defenders pay for leaving him to cut off Tony Parker or double-team Tim Duncan. Because Parker has penetrated into the lane so successfully this season, Chicago coach Scott Skiles thinks teams have to get the ball out of his hands sooner to allow defenders time to close out on Bowen and the Spurs' other shooters.

"It's like sometimes they forget (Parker) has an outlet and can kick it to me, Bowen said. "There have been times where my defender has actually turned his back and looked at Tony, and he just whips (the ball) past (the defender's) head to me."

After Bowen made a league-high 44.1 percent of his 3-pointers three seasons ago, opposing teams made a greater effort to run at him. To counter, he has worked to improve his in-between game.

Bowen doesn't always look pretty when putting the ball on the floor, but his pull-up jump shot and penetrate-and-pass ability have gradually improved. And because he's often positioned in the corner, where he can be pinned against the sideline, he has had to learn to read the defense and make a quick decision on whether to shoot or drive.

"It always happens early in the year when I have problems from time to time," he said.

Bowen hasn't missed often when he has opted to shoot. The coaches attribute his success to not only his work ethic but also his willingness to accept his role.

Popovich compares him to former Spurs point guard Avery Johnson, who became an efficient mid-range shooter by sticking to his comfort spots: the baseline and the elbows of the lane.

Bowen is at his best when spotting up in the corner. He will attempt an occasional 3-pointer from the wing, but rarely, if ever, has he shot from above the key. He's also become more effective finishing on the break.

"Sometimes you might do something that's so-called 'out of character,' but you don't want to get into the habit of it," Bowen said. "Now, you're starting to mess with chemistry, and the coaches may not like it. Then, when you do get (a shot) you normally have, you're mulling over something the coach may have said, and you lose your concentration."

To prepare, Bowen keeps the same routine on game days. If the team is at home, he arrives at the practice facility an hour before shootaround to work out with Brown. If the Spurs are on the road, he stays after most of the team has headed back to the hotel.

During the summer, Bowen recruits family members to rebound for him. Sometimes, he strategically positions chairs as imaginary defenders. Almost always, he limits his workouts to practicing the same shots he expects to get in a game.

"If you're not a featured guy, why work out as if you're going to get the ball 25 times?" Bowen said. "It doesn't make too much sense when that's not your role."

Notebook: The Spurs released rookie guard Alex Scales after Monday's practice.

Scales signed with the team Nov. 17. His only appearance lasted nine seconds in a 97-91 victory over Phoenix on Nov. 19. After Michael Finley and Brent Barry recently returned from injuries, the Spurs weren't as concerned about their depth.

The Spurs have 13 players on their roster. They do not have immediate plans to replace Scales.



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"We would have two less championships here if it wasn't for Manu Ginobili," Popovich said. "In my book, Manu Ginobili is the stud of the world.
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Old 11-29-05, 03:58 PM
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Smart guy. Very smart.
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Old 11-29-05, 04:43 PM
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Bowen is the Man!

Me and another guy were talking today (he's an SA Transplant as well and huge Spurs fan of course) and we were wondering if Bowen has a routine or period of meditation for a game like tonight when he knows he is going up against Kobe and the entire nation is watching, or does he just go about his business like every other day.
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Old 11-29-05, 05:08 PM
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His dependable 3 balls were one of keys actually in last season success. He made some big 3 down the stretch in playoff games. Not just on D, but his role in O in this system makes so much difference for team's success and other teammates who double-team Tim and get into lane for Parker and Manu. Good for him. Such a great work ethic. I really admire him. He is not the most talented guy in our team but he is arguably the best work-ethic guy in our team I beieve.

The thing I see this season is actually surprising. Not just 3 pts FG%. I hope it stays that way though. But he is actually cutting into lanes and finish some at the rim. I don't think I have seen that before. Is it my ignorance? And Bowen seems to move around the court more and that's how he cut lanes. Before he was camping at the corner. Is that just me or do you guys see it too?
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Old 11-29-05, 05:38 PM
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Great Story! Give them hell Bruce.
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Old 11-29-05, 05:42 PM
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Bowen is the shizzznitt.....He will, again, put Kobe's a$$ on lockdown...
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Old 11-29-05, 05:50 PM
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Bruce is Da Man.
"His spot his shot".

NBA teams now think twice before leaving him open there...
Keep it up Bruce
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Old 11-29-05, 05:50 PM
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Bowen's defense during last season's playoffs was MVP-like. Prince couldn't do anything with Bruce on him. Bowen also helped defend RIP and Billips. Marion disappeared with Bowen on him. Even with his whining, Allen never really had a shot against Bowen.

Keep it up Bruce. We love ya.

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Old 11-29-05, 06:28 PM
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His block on Billups helped seal game 7.
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Old 11-29-05, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones
His block on Billups helped seal game 7.
This is my favorite moment of last year's playoffs. To me, it was a pivotal moment--if Bruce hadn't made that block, the Pistons still had a good chance to pull off the win. I've watched the game so many times that I can just fast forward through most of it, but when it comes to that play, I have to slow it down. Bruce
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Old 11-29-05, 07:44 PM
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This title makes me chuckle.
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Old 11-29-05, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelden
This is my favorite moment of last year's playoffs. To me, it was a pivotal moment--if Bruce hadn't made that block, the Pistons still had a good chance to pull off the win. I've watched the game so many times that I can just fast forward through most of it, but when it comes to that play, I have to slow it down. Bruce
Absolutely! I think that's what everybody agrees on. Sealing the game. The game was so close and even though we had some lead, Pistons kept coming back. I was on pin and needels until that block happened, and that's when I KNEW we got it.
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Old 11-29-05, 11:14 PM
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BB has really worked alot on his overall game......

But when the money is one the line for a jumper, (No offense) I would pik alot of Spurs before him to take that big shot.
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Old 11-29-05, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones
His block on Billups helped seal game 7.
THAT PLAY was HUGE!!! I screamed when that happened, Detroit still had a good shot IMO until that play. SA was ahead sure, but he pretty much ended it and sealed the title with that play right there, perfect timing.


Oh yeah he hit a HUGE three from the top of the key too, not on his spot usually but he stepped up and just KNOCKED it down. Need I mention his D on Billups late in game 5 to stop him as well? What about his D on him late in game 7 all around? He locked him down, he was one of the big reasons we won it, without him they do not win that title. Every title team needs a guy like him on it, it is not about the stats it is what he does outside of that that count.
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You could let it pick your brain for weeks and months, just replay it over and over, won't do you any good at all. When someone loses a loved one and they do that it only brings forth anguish. I feel acceptance is sometimes the key, it happened, now you have to react to it. Giving up is not an option.
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Old 11-30-05, 01:01 AM
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It's guys like Bruce who help make championship teams. The Spurs are lucky to have 4 of them IMO, Bruce, Horry, Manu, and of course Timmy. Each one of them knows what is expected of him and they come through, whether it's a block, a defensive stop, a big shot to close out a game, you name it. And to think that as valuable as Bruce is to this team, he keeps taking the kind of money that will help the team keep it's younger stars or get someone else to help the team. I'm thinking Bruce will be a Spurs lifer, probably will stay with the team in some capacity after he's done playing. At least if he wants that.
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Old 11-30-05, 01:41 AM
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Bowen is much more important to Spurs success, that the credit he receives for it.
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Old 11-30-05, 02:51 AM
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you the man bruce!
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Old 11-30-05, 04:33 AM
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Bowen should take his free throws from the corner!
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Old 11-30-05, 06:58 AM
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Actually, last night I thought Bowen was the only Spur who played the ENTIRE game with effort (he usually does). Everyone else had spurts or quarters they played well (ala 1st Qtr), but then played down to the lakers level. I don't think the Spurs will beat Dallas next game if they play anywhere close to how they played last night. They have just not looked together yet this year...but I'm sure it will come. It'll be interesting to see if they play better against Big D.
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Old 11-30-05, 12:34 PM
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Bruce was great yesterday
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"We would have two less championships here if it wasn't for Manu Ginobili," Popovich said. "In my book, Manu Ginobili is the stud of the world.
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