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  #1  
Old 08-01-06, 06:07 PM
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Did we keep pace with Dallas this off-season?

I'm just wondering what you folks think. Overall, did we keep pace with Dallas this off-season, or have they done better (or worse) than the Spurs.

Break it down--do our signings make us overall stronger than the Mavs with their signings, or do we still have a ways to go?

Personally I think we still have a ways to go--I think AJ has done a great job in the off-season.
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  #2  
Old 08-01-06, 06:14 PM
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There's still two whole months of offseason left. Plenty can happen between now and then for both teams. Can the Spurs trade Williams or Barry? Do the Spurs pick up Marshall or Powell? How does Melzer pan out? Is Dallas done dealing? The offseason can't be graded until it's over.

However, if you want the answer as of August 1st, I don't think either team has done anything to get better, nor has either team done anything to distinguish themself from the other. Francisco Elson, Austin Croshere, Jacque Vaughn & Devean George aren't going to be deciding playoff series. They guys who will are the same ones from last year. It's still about Tim, Tony & Manu versus Dirk, Terry & Howard.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-06, 06:37 PM
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The Mavs also got Greg Buckner and Anthony Johnson to come off the bench.
I think Johnson is the best pickup they've had so far. The guy averaged nearly 10pts and 5 assists on the season for the Pacers and lit it up offensively in the the playoffs scoring 20pts per game and 5 assists. He's a much better option than Darrell Armstrong at the backup PG spot.

I'd say they've definitely done a better job than the Spurs of strengthening their bench.
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  #4  
Old 08-01-06, 06:45 PM
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If the Spurs would had won the series against the Mavs, would the Mavs be the ones who had to get better? I mean how much better do you have to be to beat a team who played without its centers and almost came from behind to take the series? How much better do you have to be to get most calls go your way? How much better do you have to be to lose 4 in a row to a team with old tired non-athetic slow centers? Why ask why? Just kidding... sheesh.. calm down. :richb
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  #5  
Old 08-01-06, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotes_geek
Francisco Elson, Austin Croshere, Jacque Vaughn & Devean George aren't going to be deciding playoff series. They guys who will are the same ones from last year. It's still about Tim, Tony & Manu versus Dirk, Terry & Howard.
I disagree, those guys are the constants for both teams. If both teams have their big 3 firing on all cylinders, it WILL come down to which team's role players step up. The more dependable role players you have the better chance your team will get a good performance from them when they are called upon.

Van Horn, for instance was HUGE in Game 7 with his outside shooting. Devin Harris and Jerry Stackhouse were also HUGE in a couple of those playoff games. In Game 2, they carried Dallas in stretches when Terry wasn't playing well(shooting 5-13). Harris had 20 and Stackhouse had 19. Dallas won the series because they got more out of their role players than the Spurs got out of their.

The Spurs problem was that outside of the Big 3, no one else played well consistently. Game 3 (a 1pt loss) is a perfect example. No one other than the big 3 scored in double figures, while Dallas had 5 players (3 with 19 or more) in double digits. Believe it or not, role players do help decide games. Their performance can make or break a playoff series, and in the Spurs case... they broke it.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-06, 07:19 PM
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Why do we need to compare our signings with dallas? We were only one foul, basket, away from beating them without using any centers. What we need to ask is if our new team is comparable to last year's team? I think we are better because we have more versatility. We may not have "better" centers than last year (), but we have more players who can do different things, especially with Bonner, Vaughn, Melzer (if he stays) and even Elson. They are all serviceable, which is all we really need. We also now have some players who don't mind giving hard fouls. That will be a plus as well.

I think dallas messed up by trading away Marshall and Powell. Yea, they do need veterans, but George is more like a Van Exel in terms of age and ability to still do things. Buckner is not that great and van Croshere is another van horn with a little hop. Terry has a new contract so let's see if he is going to work hard or hardly work.

All this and we may not be done. Not that what we have can't work, but I believe sometime soon we will get rid of Williams, whether by trade or cutting, who knows.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-06, 07:25 PM
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I also believe that role players and the bench are very important. It seems like every year that we won the championship, there were role players who stepped up big time.

As much as was made about the Spurs bench, it was basically non-existent against the Mavs.

That having been said--this is what prompted my question. Like it or not--this is THE rivalry--not Phoenix, Houston, LA--its Dallas.
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  #8  
Old 08-01-06, 07:33 PM
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Well Finley normally came off the bench but he started so the look of the bench was different last year. He may start again if we go small, but Pop will have more than Nazr or Rasho to insert. He can use Bonner, Elson and Melzer. He can play Vaughn and Tony at the same time as well. Anytime you mess with your starting lineup and put a proven bench player as a starter, then yea, your bench may look a little weak.

What you and many others fail to realize or continue to ignore is that both Manu and Tony were injured in the SAC series and neither had the lift they normally have which affected their game. Tony couldn't even run as fast because of his hip and groin and thigh and calf injuries.

dallas has not won a championship so I don't consider them to be a true rival yet. They may be one of our stronger competitors but they are not our rivals. They are not our equals yet.
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  #9  
Old 08-01-06, 07:33 PM
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No.

Spurs are still more than capable of beating them however.
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  #10  
Old 08-01-06, 07:40 PM
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Keep pace with what? Dallas moves in the offseason really hasnt changed anything IMO

Dallas was not clearly better than SA last season just because they won in 7 games

I've said it a hundred times but that series could have gone either way very easily. SA could have won with one shot.

I dont think Dallas has really done anything in terms of moves to make them that much better due to that. They may get better with experience but time will tell

If Pop feels comfortable enough to use Elson or Butler by playoff time against Dallas then will already offer more than Rasho or Nazr...who pop lost all confidence in

As Steve Kerr mentioned the other day...the Spurs offseason so far gives them a few more options than they had last season

I see no reason to think SA wouldnt have a good chance to beat Dallas next season baring injury. nothing is guaranteed but I never bought into some "gap" between them anyway
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  #11  
Old 08-01-06, 08:27 PM
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The Spurs looked mighty good last summer/off season going into last season & was the consenses top pick to repeat. See what happened & doesn't anybody learn that looks (especially on paper) can be deceiving?

PF
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  #12  
Old 08-01-06, 08:39 PM
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Spurs will be fine. Mavs will not be the impediment to Spurs' fourth championship in eight years.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-06, 08:52 PM
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I don't think so, because I do not buy in to the "we were nearly a basket away in game 7 from going onward" philosophy. Whether it be our players or pop's strategy or a combination of both, Dallas IMHO looked like the better team throughout the series. I know I'll catch some heat for saying that, but what many here forget is that the Mavs were a basket away from winning games 1 and 5 on our own court, AND they nearly blew us out in game 7 during the first half. Whose to say that an unsuspended Jason Terry doesn't seal the deal for the Mavs in game 6? Now that they have that NBA finals experience under their belt, and barring any letdown in the talent of Dirk's or Josh Howard's game due to their choking experience in Miami, I see no reason why they won't have a difficult time defeating the spurs. The additions of George, Johnson, and Croshere only strengthen their bench and depth, while our additions seemingly don't do much depthwise. Their players are still younger and more athletic, our's are a year older and slower. As I said in another post, in spite of Tim's injury, the team as a whole still struggled on tired legs during back-to-back games during the season. Clearly, it was a sign of the team getting old.

So overall, I'd have to say no. I love the signings of Elson and Butler and I do believe they'll make a good contribution to the team, but they still don't have that SF to defend howard (which caused all the matchup problems in the first place). I'm not going to panic though, there is still plenty of offseason left and I'm sure RC & Pop have something good in the works...but as for right now, no we haven't kept pace, and I think we've fallen behind.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-06, 09:32 PM
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The Mavs didnt prove they were a clearly better team. I cant agree that they did. They won in 7 games and get credit from that but

the series was way too close on both sides to say one team proves they were clearly better. You can say you dont buy into the one basket thing but one could make a list of multiple moments where that series goes to the Spurs besides just the one shot. From the horrible calls to Manu's mistake...it was a total "flip of the coin" series

I dont buy into SA has gotten worse. Pop didnt even use Nazr or Rasho against Dallas so as I mentioned above if Elson or Butler offer something Pop feels better using against Dallas thats already more than SA had last year.

Health will always be key

I think the thing with back to backs last year was more mental than anything. That and Duncans foot issue most of the year didnt help.

I see no reason to think SA cant beat Dallas in a series next year. Maybe it happens...maybe it doesnt but I dont think Dallas is some team SA cant beat
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  #15  
Old 08-01-06, 09:48 PM
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I agree with some fans its still too early to say whos got a clear advantage theres still alot that can materialize for both sides before opening day.

I think dallas has had a better off season thus far.....dumping van horn& daniels for a more versatile croshere and cheaper ager along with adding anthony johnson whats not too like there.

As for the spurs we know their still actively shopping via trade and have added a few pieces- a more defensive minded pg in vaughn and adding a shooter with some size to play next to timmy. I still feel if jackie butler and francisco elson give the spurs nething near productive our spurs should b fine and still going down to the wire with bigD again this post season
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  #16  
Old 08-01-06, 10:00 PM
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Only time will tell and of course...how the games are officiated at the moment. The Spurs and Dallas play totally different styles. i imaging the recruiting that's happened over the past couple of months suggest that both teams are counting on the officiating to make a difference when it comes to crunch time.

It's a shame that it would have to come to that...unfortunately that's what it will boil down to.

Just like last year...the Spurs got called for breathing on the Mavs and in the finals the Heat were allowed to physically dominate.
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  #17  
Old 08-01-06, 10:01 PM
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Dallas beats the Spurs in a series one time and it seems fans are now scared. just stupid

the bigger question is how Dallas will respond to the biggest choke in NBA finals history. SA can beat Dallas but Im sure Carnac the Dallas lover will be in shortly to tell everyone that they cant
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  #18  
Old 08-02-06, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpursRock50
Dallas beats the Spurs in a series one time and it seems fans are now scared. just stupid

the bigger question is how Dallas will respond to the biggest choke in NBA finals history. SA can beat Dallas but Im sure Carnac the Dallas lover will be in shortly to tell everyone that they cant
Correction: Dallas, with a LOT of charity from the officiating crews, beat the Spurs in a series . . .
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  #19  
Old 08-02-06, 08:08 AM
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Pop/RC base their team building on how the league is tilting as a whole. This is based on how other top contending teams play and how the league rules change. Read between the lines on what RC has been saying all summer and on what players they have so far obtained so far. Pop wants a smaller, quicker more athletic team around the big three of Manu, TP & Duncan.
Will be interesting to see how Pop tweaks his defensive strategy since the twin tower concept of funneling players to the big men will no longer be effective as there will only be one "big man" on the floor for the Spurs most of the time.
As RC keeps stating, Duncan will be seeing more minutes at "center" this season.
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  #20  
Old 08-02-06, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineForLife
Correction: Dallas, with a LOT of charity from the officiating crews, beat the Spurs in a series . . .
Thank you.
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  #21  
Old 08-02-06, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Shot Bud
I'm just wondering what you folks think. Overall, did we keep pace with Dallas this off-season, or have they done better (or worse) than the Spurs.

Break it down--do our signings make us overall stronger than the Mavs with their signings, or do we still have a ways to go?

Personally I think we still have a ways to go--I think AJ has done a great job in the off-season.
you only would get a genuine breakdown about this question, if people would think that Spurs got better during the offseason.
(like last year, after Spurs signed Finley, Oberto and van Ex. we had tons of break downs and comparisons with Suns and Mavs and how much we improved comepared to them)

so the answer is a bit unspoken. if people claim that tenacious that all Mavs moves mean nothing, that it were the refs, that it was on foul, one basket etc....it's yes, people think that Mavs did well in the offseason, but prefer to do the whistling in the forrest.

i would agree that the Mavs did a great job in the offseason and they are not done.
word is, they are still looking to S&T Van Horn, to get one more front court player.
they are now a much deeper team than the Spurs are.
so IMO the Spurs have to make some moves to keep pace with the Mavs.

they improved the quality of their bench a lot.
Johnson, Buckner, Croshere, George are better than Armstrong, van Horn, Daniels and Griffin.
if they can work out a S&T (also a resigning of van Horn is discussed) they might find another useful piece.

two of their core players might further improve (Harris for sure, maybe also Howard). Diop has also room for improvement. none of their players is older than 32, so we can't expect a cut of quality because of age.

this are the facts. we can like it or not.
do i think we can keep pace?
yes of course! but Spurs have to find some answers.

as mentioned, without the addition of the long athletic SF/PF to defend either Howard or Dirk we will have the same problems, but likely worse.
Bowen, Finley and Horry are one year older and they couldn't keep pace with whoever of the Mavs they had to defend.
Williams won't help in this area. also not Bonner.

we know that Spurs were interested in players like Jeffries, Ariza, R. Butler, so we know that they are working on it.
via FA they couldn't get the player, so it should be a trade. if the Spurs can bring in a player like Khryapa or James Jones it would look much better.
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  #22  
Old 08-02-06, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineballer
you only would get a genuine breakdown about this question, if people would think that Spurs got better during the offseason.
(like last year, after Spurs signed Finley, Oberto and van Ex. we had tons of break downs and comparisons with Suns and Mavs and how much we improved comepared to them)

so the answer is a bit unspoken. if people claim that tenacious that all Mavs moves mean nothing, that it were the refs, that it was on foul, one basket etc....it's yes, people think that Mavs did well in the offseason, but prefer to do the whistling in the forrest.

i would agree that the Mavs did a great job in the offseason and they are not done.
word is, they are still looking to S&T Van Horn, to get one more front court player.
they are now a much deeper team than the Spurs are.
so IMO the Spurs have to make some moves to keep pace with the Mavs.

they improved the quality of their bench a lot.
Johnson, Buckner, Croshere, George are better than Armstrong, van Horn, Daniels and Griffin.
if they can work out a S&T (also a resigning of van Horn is discussed) they might find another useful piece.

two of their core players might further improve (Harris for sure, maybe also Howard). Diop has also room for improvement. none of their players is older than 32, so we can't expect a cut of quality because of age.

this are the facts. we can like it or not.
do i think we can keep pace?
yes of course! but Spurs have to find some answers.

as mentioned, without the addition of the long athletic SF/PF to defend either Howard or Dirk we will have the same problems, but likely worse.
Bowen, Finley and Horry are one year older and they couldn't keep pace with whoever of the Mavs they had to defend.
Williams won't help in this area. also not Bonner.

we know that Spurs were interested in players like Jeffries, Ariza, R. Butler, so we know that they are working on it.
via FA they couldn't get the player, so it should be a trade. if the Spurs can bring in a player like Khryapa or James Jones it would look much better.
SOLID...

Let me add this. The season is a long season. I think that if a trade isn't done by the start of this season the Spurs and Mavs will still be on the same level with the Mavs having a deeper bench.

Now "deeper" bench doesn't always equate to being a more productive bench. The Spurs have always found... until last season's playoffs... an average player that was able to step it up from the bench and be an integeral part of helping them win a championship.

The key to "keeping up with the Mavs" is being able to have a more productive bench than the Mavs or at least match what the Mavs bench produces.

IMHO...the Spurs starters are better than the Mavs starters and as evidenced in last year's playoffs...the Spurs bench could not keep up with the Mavs bench.
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  #23  
Old 08-02-06, 09:26 AM
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They needed someone who could guard Dirk so Bowen wouldn't have to and put him on Howard. The more I think about it, Elson isn't the slow plodding center we think he is. He might be quick enough to stay on Dirk and make things difficult for him. Remember, Dirk isn't THAT quick. He could shoot over Bowen and because of his jumpshot he can do the pumpfake very effectively which then allows him to get past his man into the paint. If Elson is quick enough, then you can put Bowen on Howard, Manu on Terry, and TP on Harris. That allows Finley to come off the bench for that needed spark. Then we have Barry, Horry, Bonner,Beno and to round it off Butler, Oberto and whoever. The Mavs will have Stackhouse, Croshere, Johnson, Devean George, Dampier and scrubs. I don't see a huge gap there. Of course if the Spurs can find their athletic SF/PF I would be even happier.
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  #24  
Old 08-02-06, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uwe Blab
They needed someone who could guard Dirk so Bowen wouldn't have to and put him on Howard. The more I think about it, Elson isn't the slow plodding center we think he is. He might be quick enough to stay on Dirk and make things difficult for him. Remember, Dirk isn't THAT quick. He could shoot over Bowen and because of his jumpshot he can do the pumpfake very effectively which then allows him to get past his man into the paint. If Elson is quick enough, then you can put Bowen on Howard, Manu on Terry, and TP on Harris. That allows Finley to come off the bench for that needed spark. Then we have Barry, Horry, Bonner,Beno and to round it off Butler, Oberto and whoever. The Mavs will have Stackhouse, Croshere, Johnson, Devean George, Dampier and scrubs. I don't see a huge gap there. Of course if the Spurs can find their athletic SF/PF I would be even happier.
the problem about this strategy is, that Elson virtually can't defend without fouling and Dirk can draw fouls like no other. combine this with the 90% FT shooting of Dirk and you see that it's not a very promising strategy to slow down Dirk.
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  #25  
Old 08-02-06, 09:43 AM
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Elson, Butler, Bonner, Vaughn, Melzer(?), Williams(?)...we mostly helped out frontcourt, got less experienced, but we still have plenty seasoned players to lean on.

Croshere, Johnson, Buckner, George, Ager...they mostly helped their backcourt, got more experienced, good idea.

Too early to tell, considering we don't know about some trades and such...but I think it all depends on coaching and health to make the difference in this rivalry. I like our signings. Less flashy, but could be quite sufficient.

I think a big difference last year was Dallas catching a soft Memphis first round series and our grueling matchup with peaking Sacramento. Things might have turned out different if it had been the other way around...maybe.
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  #26  
Old 08-02-06, 10:23 AM
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alpineballer's post takes the cake.

We didn't get any better talentwise, and we have no room to grow experiencewise.

Mavs got marginally better talentwise and they should also improve after last year's experience.

They certainly did better than we did for the offseason.

Our matchup with Sacramento was a disaster for us, thats for sure. For one, Pop completely lost faith in both Rasho and Nazr, finally electing to start Horry. For another, the series gave the Mavs plenty of demonstrations that the Spurs smallball is deficient in defensive rebounding. Third, the Spurs went into the Mavs series with their aura somewhat dimmed. And finally, Tony got a little banged up.
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  #27  
Old 08-02-06, 11:00 AM
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Time will tell what Elson or Butler provide compared to Nazr or Rasho as if SA got better there or not.

some basically swear that they will suck and some (including some "experts" ) think SA made good moves getting them and that they will be better for SA than Nazr or Rasho. time will tell.
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  #28  
Old 08-02-06, 11:20 AM
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I think of it as addition by subtraction the less they have of Marques Daniels the better because he to me was the terror you guys may and most likely will but they lost their best perimeter defender who was a threat on both ends so they have to take a hit there while we just got athletic and younger with the centers but less of defensive threat so I think we have the edge in that dept. and you have to look at it like this in the playoffs the mavs went basically seven deep eight to the most I just don't know if all their bench is gonna play but THAT'S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAMES..
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  #29  
Old 08-02-06, 11:35 AM
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i think we improved more than them because we got healthy, they were already healthy. if we would have had the same health they did we would have won in 5 maybe 6 games easily
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Old 08-02-06, 12:50 PM
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I think Bowen might be a better all around player for his experience on the national team. Even though he's 35, he seems like he gets better at every pass. Likewise, I think Oberto gets tuned up playing with his Argentine mates. Then Manu and Parker are playing and staying sharp (I'm of the mind that the summer international stuff these guys play helps their game get stronger, although I'm always worried about wear and tear, I'm probably in the minority with that opinion here). At least they don't get out of shape at all. As for Timmy, his summer of rest should make a real difference next year. Hopefully the fact that we might have gotten deeper overall will mean we can keep these international players' minutes down in the beginning of the long season.
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Old 08-02-06, 03:49 PM
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They will definitely have something to prove this year. You won't see them going down 25 pts in the first half of game 7 at home.
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Old 08-05-06, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpursRock50
Dallas beats the Spurs in a series one time and it seems fans are now scared. just stupid

the bigger question is how Dallas will respond to the biggest choke in NBA finals history. SA can beat Dallas but Im sure Carnac the Dallas lover will be in shortly to tell everyone that they cant
Actually I'm a big Spurs fan. Thanks for paying attention.
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