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Old 01-11-06, 10:05 PM
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Spurs notebook: Popovich laments Krstic not wearing silver and black

Spurs notebook: Popovich laments Krstic not wearing silver and black
Johnny Ludden
Express-News Staff Writer

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich liked New Jersey center Nenad Krstic when he was in the 2002 draft. The only thing he doesn't like about Krstic now is that he is not wearing a Spurs jersey.



"I think this kid is really consistent night in and night out," Popovich said. "He doesn't take bad shots. He plays good 'D.' He can hit an open shot.

"You can count on what he's going to give you."


The Spurs had extensively scouted Krstic, then an 18-year-old playing in Serbia, and hoped to take him with 26th pick. The Nets, however, scooped him up at No. 24.

"We were getting very excited," Popovich said. "We didn't think anybody knew who he was, and it was obvious there were a lot of people who didn't know who he was because he would have gone higher without a doubt.

"Then all of a sudden New Jersey took him. We were mortified. So we had to hustle."

The Spurs then worked out a deal with Philadelphia to acquire Speedy Claxton for No. 26 and a second-round selection.

"It was good that Speedy worked out," Popovich said.

Ring ceremony: Linton Johnson III was looking forward to getting his championship ring Tuesday night. So much so that he took extra precaution before arriving at the SBC Center.

"I am not taking any chances on losing it or anything like that," Johnson said. "I already called State Farm and got it insured."

It's a good thing, too. When Johnson received his ring before the game from Popovich, Tim Duncan, Bruce Bowen and Tony Parker, he raised the box over his head to let the crowd admire it.

The ring then fell to the floor, forcing Johnson to bend down and retrieve it. Asked about the miscue later, Johnson sounded like a typical Spurs opponent.

"Bruce Bowen was hacking," Johnson said, "and he bumped me."

Johnson played in only two games for the Spurs last season after injuring his left ankle prior to the start of training camp. After the Spurs declined to pick up the option on his contract last summer, he signed with New Jersey.

Thorn on Bowen: New Jersey president Rod Thorn, previously the NBA's czar of discipline, had this assessment of Bowen:

"Bruce is a terrific defensive player," Thorn said. "The only thing that he does that I have a problem with at all is stepping under a guy if a guy goes up to shoot. Be as physical as you want to be. Whatever you can get away with the referees, I have no problem with that.

"But I think when a guy jumps and you step under him, No. 1, he is going to land on you and secondly, from time to time, guys are going to get angry with that."

Looking ahead: The Pistons, who play at the SBC Center on Thursday, are putting together one of the greatest seasons in NBA history. They are 27-5 after beating New Orleans on Tuesday. Yet the Pistons have been more invisible than other great teams. They haven't had a player-of-the week award and don't have one player in line to start the All-Star Game.

Said Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, "How do you leave Tayshaun (Prince) out, Ben (Wallace), Chauncey (Billups) and Rip (Hamilton)? Really, how do you? And then, you can make a case for Rasheed (Wallace) for what he does offensively and defensively."
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Old 01-11-06, 10:42 PM
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This isn't just some shmoe speaking out, Rod Thorn has been a respected member of the NBA family for over 40 years.

I've noticed Bowen do the same thing and just because he's a Spurs player doesn't mean we shouldn't admit it.

It's a legitimate observation, like it or not.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:50 PM
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Nenad has a really nice offensive game- but he really needs to work on his rebounding.
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Old 01-12-06, 02:23 AM
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Everyone knew the Spurs had a hard-on for Krstic. I was pissed when he got taken @ 24 too.
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Old 01-12-06, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB
This isn't just some shmoe speaking out, Rod Thorn has been a respected member of the NBA family for over 40 years.

I've noticed Bowen do the same thing and just because he's a Spurs player doesn't mean we shouldn't admit it.

It's a legitimate observation, like it or not.
He stays close, but ifyou watch the players who have had problems with Bowen, they tend to kick their leg out, ala Reggie Miller(and his famous move) to draw contact for the and one.
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Old 01-12-06, 04:01 PM
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Bruce does get up under shooters, but it is also him being super quick to start boxing the shooter out. That said, if it's you he gets up under, it's going to piss you off.
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Old 01-12-06, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB
This isn't just some shmoe speaking out, Rod Thorn has been a respected member of the NBA family for over 40 years.

I've noticed Bowen do the same thing and just because he's a Spurs player doesn't mean we shouldn't admit it.

It's a legitimate observation, like it or not.
The big difference between what Bruce Bowen does, and what other players do is, he will contest every single shot no matter if he has a chance to block it or not. Thats the reason he gets so much grief, when you contest as many shots as Bruce does, your bond to land underneth a player once in a while. The league would have done something by now if they thought it was on purpose, believe me...the darlings of the NBA should never be harmed.
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Old 01-12-06, 04:43 PM
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The ring then fell to the floor, forcing Johnson to bend down and retrieve it. Asked about the miscue later, Johnson sounded like a typical Spurs opponent.

"Bruce Bowen was hacking," Johnson said, "and he bumped me."


Nice call..... now I am disapointed in losing him....
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