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  #1  
Old 02-14-07, 08:34 AM
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Ely of the tiger? Motivated Melvin can help S.A.

(Although it's from CBS, this is a great article with insight on the past week's trade.)

http://cbs.sportsline.com/nba/story/9995033


San Antonio, it's time to meet your potential savior.

His name is Melvin Ely, and he toiled in relative obscurity with the Bobcats and Clippers, a former lottery pick heavy on potential and light on production.

A decade ago, Sports Illustrated called him the nation's most sought-after high school post player. He was a terror at Fresno State, finishing as the school's all-time leading scorer and shot blocker.

For the Spurs, he's just what the doctor ordered. He has the talent to be a difference-maker at center, a position that has been a problem spot. He's a potential spark for a team that needs to regain its swagger.

Tim Duncan needs a tag-team partner. Ely just became the second most talented post player on the squad. Sounds like the perfect marriage, right?

Not so fast.

A highly connected scout once called Ely one of the mysteries of the league, physically blessed but tragically immature. "He just doesn't get it," was one description of Ely. His work ethic and attitude have long been questioned.

At this point, he's a bust. A bust who just received an opportunity for a fresh start.

The Spurs acquired him Tuesday for Eric Williams and a second-round pick in 2009, taking a gamble that a winning, veteran-laden environment will make a difference in Ely's career, helping him reach the potential he obviously has.

He has been coveted before -- by championship contenders, at that. Phoenix was interested in adding him, a move that made a lot of sense given their need for athletic size and the uncertainty about Amare Stoudemire's knees at the start of the season. Other teams certainly took looks, sent scouts over to Charlotte and inquired, if only to make a more informed decision.

Ely issued a trade demand earlier in the season, when it was clear he wouldn't beat out Emeka Okafor and Sean May for playing time. Strangely, it was a very formal, yet friendly request, in which he promised he would handle the situation professionally no matter what transpired.


Now he has a solution, sprung from a losing situation where he wasn't playing to one where he can immediately be counted on to help.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has grown increasingly frustrated with what Fabricio Oberto and Francisco Elson have been able to provide. In three of their last four losses, the Spurs have been outrebounded by double digits. A 46-31 deficit on the boards in Sunday's loss to the Heat set Popovich off again.

"We're still not playing physical enough, tough enough," Popovich said. "We're playing soft for too many minutes in the game. We're just hoping and begging rather than playing our ass off. We were beaten to loose balls, second shots, hard drives, hard cuts. We're too soft."

So here comes Ely, who hasn't played more than 23 minutes a game all year, to provide a potential answer. Maybe his arrival will spark Elson and Oberto. Perhaps Ely's first gig with a consistent winner will light a fire under him.

No one said this was a gimme, but he is a potential savior, because San Antonio needs to shake things up. The Spurs are clearly missing something, but aren't interested in overhauling their roster. This is a tweak with a minimal risk and a potentially huge payoff.

Ultimately, it's up to Ely. Given that the NBA sewing circle has already posted a couple of strikes against him, it would be in his best interest to arrive ready to work.
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Old 02-14-07, 08:54 AM
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Absolutely why this trade is a good deal. No risk, big reward potential.
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Old 02-14-07, 09:12 AM
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Should've gotten Scola............You can't say Scola isn't better than these two guys.
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Old 02-14-07, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurs50_ View Post
Should've gotten Scola............You can't say Scola isn't better than these two guys.
You also can't say that he is.
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Old 02-14-07, 11:04 AM
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Why did the words "Jackie Butler, Part 2" cross my mind while reading this article?
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Old 02-14-07, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toki9 View Post
Why did the words "Jackie Butler, Part 2" cross my mind while reading this article?
Hey I guess you didn't see Jackie ripping it up last night when he got in the game?

Well neither did I...
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Old 02-14-07, 11:49 AM
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Jackie's not a former lottery pick.
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Old 02-14-07, 12:20 PM
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This was a good trade

I hope Pop give him a chance to play good minutes
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Old 02-14-07, 06:01 PM
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The dude is 260 lbs. I just hope he knocks some heads and helps clog the lane.
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Old 02-14-07, 07:46 PM
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Well his contract is up this year, same as williams (who never played), and we acquired a draft pick. How the hell could this trade not make sense? We lose nothing and at worst we gain a second round pick for basically nothing.
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Old 02-14-07, 07:48 PM
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If I read this correctly, the Spurs gave up (not got) a draft pick, no?
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Old 02-14-07, 07:52 PM
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Ya my fault. I thought the bobcats gave us the pick
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Old 02-15-07, 11:28 AM
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Ely will start off in Pop's doghouse and will have to earn his playing time.
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Old 02-15-07, 12:45 PM
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it's been interesting to read the number of other teams that had been talking to Charlotte about Ely, maybe there's something there better than cannon fodder after all?
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Old 02-15-07, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurs50_ View Post
Should've gotten Scola............You can't say Scola isn't better than these two guys.
I would completely agree that Scola is better than Ely and anyone else we could have gotten... that's not the problem. Scola plays the same spot as Duncan on the court so they would never on the court at the same time. Scola would be the perfect person to come in for Duncan to give him a rest... but if we had gotten Scola, we would not have had the money to get Elson OR Butler... so if you are comfortable with Oberto playing 48 minutes a game then by all means.... we should have gotten Scola
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Old 02-15-07, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurs50_ View Post
Should've gotten Scola............You can't say Scola isn't better than these two guys.
He might be better, but would he help the problems on the interior D down low to help out Tim Duncan any? I doubt it. He is better in the post maybe than those guys, but would solve nothing on the D end of things and as far as rebounding goes is he really that great? He plays the 4 too like so many said, don't we already have a 4 who plays almost the whole game? They need a C not a 4 really, which is why they were in no huge hurry to get him over here.
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