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Old 02-21-07, 01:36 AM
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MySA: Bowen's back worries Popovich

Spurs notebook: Bowen's back worries Popovich
Web Posted: 02/21/2007 12:28 AM CST
Johnny Ludden
Express-News

Bruce Bowen's monthlong struggles with his shot have Spurs coach Gregg Popovich worried his top perimeter defender might be slowed by a lower-back injury.

Bowen has had some soreness in his back that's limited his practice time, but he has yet to miss a game. After ranking among the NBA's leaders in 3-point accuracy for much of the season, Bowen had made nine of his 46 attempts in the 14 games before Tuesday.

"In my opinion, Bruce is injured," Popovich said. "It's probably bothering him more than he's willing to admit because he is a competitor and he wants to continue playing.

"We're going ahead and giving him the benefit of the doubt that he's better off physically than I think he is. We just see where it goes."


Bowen, who scored nine points in Tuesday's victory, said he feels fine.

"Everybody plays through some sort of aches and pains," Bowen said. "I wasn't playing well and now I'm trying to make a conscious effort on improving. Sometimes all it takes is a layup to get you going."

Bowen hasn't missed a game since Feb. 26, 2002, giving him the league's longest active streak of consecutive games played with 408. Popovich is hoping the All-Star break gave Bowen enough time to recover.

"He hasn't played great basketball by his own admission, but he believes it's just because he hasn't played well," Popovich said. "If that's the case, I'm fine with it, and we'll stick with him. But if it continues and I sense that it is more his back than he's willing to believe, then I have to limit him in some way, shape or form."

Standing pat? The NBA's trade deadline arrives Thursday afternoon and Popovich said if the Spurs make another deal it would involve "periphery players" similar to the Eric Williams-for-Melvin Ely swap.

It's little secret the Spurs have tried to move center Jackie Butler, who has appeared in only six games. Butler did little to improve his case for minutes Tuesday morning when he showed up at the practice facility after the team had already finished shootaround.

Butler was extremely apologetic and stayed for extra work, but arriving an hour late on the morning of the team's first game after the All-Star break isn't going to help him earn the respect of his coaches and teammates.

Briefly: Matt Bonner returned after missing the past 15 games while recovering from a torn left medial collateral ligament. He played with a brace on his knee and finished with three points on 1-of 6-shooting and two rebounds in 12 minutes. He said his knee felt fine but needs to regain his timing. ... Nuggets guard J.R. Smith left in the first half with a left knee injury. Denver officials diagnosed the injury as a muscle strain but said he might have a meniscus tear.

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Old 02-21-07, 02:00 AM
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Woah, if JR Smith gets injured, things will not be easy for the Nuggets who are definitely going to lose in the first round if they don't have all their guys healthy and ready to challenge the Spurs, Mavs, Suns or Jazz. Didn't realize that Bowen was injured. That'd go a long way towards explaining his up and down play. Any chance, we see him sit for a bit and give Barry and Finley a little more PT against teams like Atlanta?
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Old 02-21-07, 03:26 AM
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Arriving an hour late for practice after the ASG? to boot?

Bye bye Jackie.
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Old 02-21-07, 05:46 AM
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I forgot why I liked Bonner, as soon as he got in he started banging people around getting offensive rebounds and just making his prescense felt. His shooting wasn't there, but it sure didn't take him long to hit the floor scrapping and fighting for his shot or loose balls. I haven't noticed Bruce slowing down, only that his shot has been inconsistent but that back injury may help explain why he has let some people go off on him this season.

Overall I loved how the team responded after that initial timeout early in the game. Defensively they were very aggressive and just pummeled anyone who went into the paint, NOW, that's Spurs basketball.
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Old 02-21-07, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjjrfan View Post
I forgot why I liked Bonner, as soon as he got in he started banging people around getting offensive rebounds and just making his prescense felt. His shooting wasn't there, but it sure didn't take him long to hit the floor scrapping and fighting for his shot or loose balls. I haven't noticed Bruce slowing down, only that his shot has been inconsistent but that back injury may help explain why he has let some people go off on him this season.

Overall I loved how the team responded after that initial timeout early in the game. Defensively they were very aggressive and just pummeled anyone who went into the paint, NOW, that's Spurs basketball.
I like Bonner as well..hes not going to fill up the stat sheets most of the time, but he scraps and hustles like hell every time he plays which is what the spurs need..same thing with Vaughn..he knows his role and plays hard every minute!
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Old 02-21-07, 08:04 AM
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Bonner reminds me of a Danny Ferry type of guy...not the most talented or athletically gifted guy out there, but he will scrap like hell and always work hard. I'm glad he's back, and hopefully he becomes a regular part of the rotation.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:52 AM
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Great reads on Bonner being back - yes Jackie may be history
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Old 02-21-07, 09:09 AM
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glad to see matt back in the game..he definately brought some hustle...
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Old 02-21-07, 09:33 AM
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how do you show up late when you have had a week off and your job is in danger?
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Old 02-21-07, 09:43 AM
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sad to say but it's about that time bruce
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Old 02-21-07, 09:59 AM
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So Bowens back doesn't consern anyone? If Bowen is out for any considerable amount of time, do you realize how much that will hurt this team's defense?
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Old 02-21-07, 10:09 AM
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Jackie Butler has thrown away a prime opportunity with this team. Spurs were looking at him for the long term, and he just didn't get it. What an idiot!
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Old 02-21-07, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mckennaspur1 View Post
Jackie Butler has thrown away a prime opportunity with this team. Spurs were looking at him for the long term, and he just didn't get it. What an idiot!
Yup. Just shows how immaturity and especially, poor work ethic, can cancel out a great opportunity. Are you paying attention, James White? (I believe he is; everything I've read says he's really been working hard.)
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Old 02-21-07, 10:24 AM
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yea, Jackie is trade bait.
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Old 02-21-07, 10:26 AM
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So how much potential does this guy have? Butler that is. I didn't see him play last year with the knicks, but from what I have seen albeit limited time, I have been underwhelmed.
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Old 02-21-07, 10:30 AM
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Anyone think Houston would bite on a Bonzi for Butler swap?
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Old 02-21-07, 11:45 AM
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i thought i had noticed bruce flinch a time or two...
i also cannot believe jb's behavior! who the hell does he think he is, being so late on game day - that is so rude!
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Old 02-21-07, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotes_geek View Post
Anyone think Houston would bite on a Bonzi for Butler swap?
no way. especially considering that there still is a good chance, that the Rockets will meet the Spurs in the first round.
and they know very well what damage Bonzi can cause in the PO, even if he didn't exactly look impressive this season. I bet the Rockets don't want to find out.
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Old 02-21-07, 12:35 PM
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no way. especially considering that there still is a good chance, that the Rockets will meet the Spurs in the first round.
and they know very well what damage Bonzi can cause in the PO, even if he didn't exactly look impressive this season. I bet the Rockets don't want to find out.
Good points. You're probably right.
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Old 02-21-07, 12:49 PM
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Butler should work harder.

He's only 21 and has a lot to improve
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Old 02-21-07, 12:52 PM
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That would be the ideal case, but what if he doesn't? The Spurs feel the way they do because he hasn't been working harder.
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Old 02-21-07, 01:24 PM
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Butler was in over his head coming out of New York. But he's so young, and can be productive given the opportunity. If there's a good deal out there, sure, trade away. But if they can't get something done, sit him down, tell him what's expected of him and where he's failed, and give him a final opportunity to show some drive. He may not get any minutes, but get him back on track mentally.
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Old 02-21-07, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DizzG View Post
so you think the guy is done?

thats pretty overboard
not just yet, but it's getting close. once the back problems start how long before he starts missing lots of games. maybe not this year but next year
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Old 02-21-07, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Malice View Post
So Bowens back doesn't consern anyone? If Bowen is out for any considerable amount of time, do you realize how much that will hurt this team's defense?
Do you realize how much that will help our offense?
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Old 02-21-07, 01:47 PM
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I just think that as of late Bowen's play on the defensive end has not been nearly as effective this year in counteracting his offensive lapses. Honestly, I'd have nothing against playing Brent or Fin more for a stretch if it'd help Bowen to rest a bit. Despite some cold shooting nights, these two could definitely split the time opened up by Bowen taking a rest of a couple games.
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Old 02-21-07, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasamohT View Post
Do you realize how much that will help our offense?

Right because this team is all about the offense. :richb
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