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Old 02-26-07, 11:45 AM
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Spurs: Impressive Start After Break (HOOPSWORLD)

http://www.hoopsworld.com/article_20991.shtml
By Gregory Moore
for HOOPSWORLD.com
Feb 26, 2007, 10:15
SAN ANTONIO – When the San Antonio Spurs began to play the Seattle Supersonics on Saturday, nobody in the AT&T Center thought that the game would be a complete annihilation of Ray Allen and company. As a matter of fact, the premise right now about the Spurs is that as a unit they simply are not cohesive enough and that the continuity needed to win in the playoffs simply is not there. Yet things do look a little different after the 102-71 win on Saturday because the team has strung five wins together and some very important pieces of their offense are coming together at the right time.

Saturday’s win was definitely more about a team effort than individual production as Robert Horry made his presence felt off the bench and Bruce Bowen was able to frustrate Allen and his teammates. Horry had 17 points off the bench while Manu Ginobili had eleven. Matt Bonner, who has just come off the injured list, chipped in with 13 points. In all total, the bench contributed 54 of the 102 points in the win. As for the starters, Tony Parker scored 21 points in his effort. Tim Duncan had six points but grabbed fifteen rebounds.

"Our consistency at some points is not there, but we are starting in the right direction,'' Duncan said. "It's good to come out of the break playing well.''

The consistency that Duncan is speaking of is what has driven ‘his’ team to three titles in seven years but that has been lacking much of this season. The most glaring aspect of this has been on the defensive end, but on Saturday it was the focal point of everything that this team did on that night. Bruce Bowen held Allen to 4-of-20 shooting while he contributed six points on 3-of-6 shooting. Brent Barry, Michael Finley and Ginobili held Rashard Lewis to just ten points on 4-of-13 shooting. As a team, the Spurs held the Sonics to 33.8% and allowed them just 71 points.

"It's been up and down for us lately. We just wanted to play four quarters,'' Horry said. "We've struggled all year putting four quarters together. We've put two or three quarters together. We had a total team effort. You love it when the guys are passing the ball, getting open jumpers, That's when we're at our best.”

The Sonics were in the second game of a back-to-back situation following a heart-wrenching 98-97 loss on Friday night to the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.

"I think there was a breaking point in tonight's game where we were so tired from last night that it just wasn't going to happen,'' Sonics coach Bob Hill said.

Maybe so but you cannot deny how well the Spurs played without getting double-digit scoring from Tim Duncan. That firepower came from every place else but the power forward position and for a team that is still searching for its playoff identity. It was good to see others contribute to the win. Maybe Saturday’s win could be a catalyst for this team to get hot and put a major win streak together to bolster its playoff seeding chances.

BY THE NUMBERS – Massive runs part of great defense in win

One of the biggest factors in winning for the silver and black had been non-existent for much of the season and that was the statistic of points ran off before their opponent scored a bucket. It’s one of the most underutilized statistics in reporting but if you look at how the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns amassed their records, ttey did it with defensive stops that were turned into scoring opportunities. The Spurs did the same in Saturday’s win over the Sonics.

There were major ‘runs’ that took place for the Spurs. The first major one registered at the 7:28 mark of the second quarter. The score was 33-29 in the Spurs’ favor at that time. From that point until halftime, the Spurs went on a 23-5 scoring run. The halftime score was 56-34 San Antonio. The second scoring run came in the third quarter. The Spurs scored twenty more points in that quarter to Seattle’s eleven point effort, making the score 76-45. In the fourth quarter, the Spurs scored 26 points while Seattle put forth their best offensive effort with a 26-point effort of their own. But with the Sonics shooting just 33% from the field, they weren’t able to sustain the Spurs’ runs and immediately wilted in front of their opponents.

"I see a trend developing when we shoot the ball poorly ... then we lose by these margins because we can't put the ball in the basket," Allen said about the Sonics’ shooting woes. "Offensively, we just didn't exist."

The Spurs coincidentally are 17-2 when they shoot 50% or better in a game and 32-3 when they outshoot their opponent.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Spurs have two home games before heading on a four game road trip that begins in Houston on March 3rd. The Spurs have the Toronto Raptors on Monday and the Orlando Magic on Friday night. This will be the second meeting between the Spurs and Raptors this season. On Nov. 5th, the Spurs defeated the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre, 103-94. Tim Duncan scored 26 points in the win. It will also mark the return of Rasho Nesterovic who was dealt to the Raptors at the beginning of the season for Matt Bonner and Eric Williams. Williams is no longer with the Spurs as he was subsequently traded for Melvin Ely. As for the Magic, the Spurs are hoping to even the score as they lost to the Magic in Orlando on Feb. 9th. In that game, Dwight Howard’s dunk sealed the win for the Magic who had battled back from an 18-point deficit during the contest. Against the Eastern Conference, the Spurs 6-3 at home and 15-7 overall.

MISCELLANEOUS….DID YOU KNOW?

When the Spurs start Parker, Barry, Bowen, Duncan and Francisco Elson, they are 6-2. They are 6-1 when Ginobili is inserted instead of Barry and they are 15-4 when Fabricio Oberto is in the starting rotation with Bowen, Ginobili, Parker and Duncan.

...wow something thought out and an credible from hoopsworld.com, who'd a thunk it....:

Last edited by Spurs817; 02-26-07 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 02-26-07, 12:58 PM
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Its a nice win streak but outside of Detroit, we have been sucker-punching weak, depleted teams. Hopefully we can continue to beat the teams we are expected to, just for the sake of having a decent record and playoff seed.

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Old 02-26-07, 02:04 PM
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Couldn't you also argue that Dallas and Phoenix's streaks have also come from sucker-punching weak, depleted teams as well? I read one article that indicated that after the break the Mavs have only played against teams on the second night of a back to back. If anyone would care to look, the Mavs most impressive streak came when they managed to beat the Lakers, Phoenix, and Spurs during one of their streaks. Yet the pattern seems to be that all it takes to amass a potent 10 game win streak is two quality wins against good competition and even keeled production against weak, depleted teams for the other eight games. The Spurs have missed several opportunities to close out big games against good teams--often decided by one or two positions late in the 4th--but have only recently achieved the sort of strong play against bad teams that the Mavs and Suns have managed all season. Between injuries to Manu (Back injury during one of the Mavs wins against the Spurs), Bonner (Could have been clutch on nights when all we needed was one semi-consistent outside shooter), and Elson (Whose loss was clearly significant), the Spurs have now gotten the whole team together again, ready to develop the trust and level of play necessary for a deep playoff run.
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Old 02-26-07, 02:21 PM
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Is the writer who called the team mediocre now singing their praises?
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Old 02-26-07, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurs817 View Post
http://www.hoopsworld.com/article_20991.shtml
By Gregory Moore
for HOOPSWORLD.com


...wow something thought out and an credible from hoopsworld.com, who'd a thunk it....:
Greggy is a friend of ours!!! woooo hooo...
He was a member here at SR for years...

Too bad he's over there....
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Old 02-26-07, 03:09 PM
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so the formula is...


after a string of losses go with gloom and doom articles

after a string of wins go with the feely goody articles

then repeat as needed.

got it.
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Old 02-26-07, 06:18 PM
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awww poor greg..
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Old 02-26-07, 06:51 PM
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hoopsworld still sucks
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Old 02-26-07, 07:14 PM
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Must be not much going on if suddenly everone is talking about the Spurs
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Old 02-27-07, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiallo1984 View Post
Couldn't you also argue that Dallas and Phoenix's streaks have also come from sucker-punching weak, depleted teams as well?
I thought about the exact same thing as soon as we started to put our little streak together...when PHX and Dallas pad their record w/ weaker teams no one says anything about that fact....if the only elite teams are the Heat, SA and PHX .....and Dallas wins 12, 13 in a row.....simple math will tell you they HAVE to be winning the bulk against non-elite teams MOSTLY lol.....but the Spurs win a few in a row and folks can only say well they havent played anyone....if this is all u see....you are LOOKING for something negative to say....you are a pessimist ....the same thing when TMac or Kobe or Arenas scores 35+ points.....everybody oohs and aahs and says...."he is the greatest"..."man he is good"...yet no one says they did it against sorry opponents....Manu scores 40 and all you hear is....."well it was against the Hawks".....before the Duncan era.....we used to get called "soft"....."punks"...."no intestinal fortitude".....whatever insult you want to come up with to cast doubt before we took the floor.....the only difference now is weve won 3 rings so they cant say the same things..... but the formula is still the same...trying to cast doubt before the playoffs even get here....last I checked this is still the REGULAR season and the trophy doesnt go to the team w/the best reg season record LOL....and furthermore.....the closest to a ring PHX and Dallas have gotten is the freakin ring around their collars.... so I dont see why they are being handed the trophy, albeit psychologically, during the reg season....now had they won the title last year....I wouldnt even wonder about it....even tho the Spurs have been the closest thing to resembling a dynasty lately I hope people keep sticking their heads in the sand and doubting the Spurs just because theyve been sputtering during the REGULAR season...
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Old 02-27-07, 08:35 AM
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PFFFF WHATEVAAAHHHH.

The Spurs are a top 3 or 4 team in the league. They are SUPPOSED to have 5 and 6 game winning streaks. Its not something to get that excited about. That's like being all proud and saying "I go to work every morning from Monday through Friday". What you want, a cookie? You're SUPPOSED to do that.

Now, its very hard to be good enough to win every game your supposed to many times in a row. That's why, even for the best teams, 10+ game win streaks are really hard to pull off. But they win 5 out of 6 all the time. The Mavs and Suns have done what the Spurs haven't been able to so far. A 6 game win streak against weak teams is YAWN. A 3 game win streak against the top 3 teams is much more impressive. So is a 12 game win streak against anyone.

I'll get excited when we hit SPAM.

$
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