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Old 02-27-07, 12:10 PM
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NBA.com Daily Dime: Spurs getting their acts together

Spurs getting their act together
Barry
By Jon Barry
ESPN.com

Answering a few questions after Monday's game in which the San Antonio Spurs dispatched the Toronto Raptors, 107-91 …


What's the latest inside word from Brent Barry, the Spurs guard?

I talked to my brother right after the All-Star break. He told me that he couldn't put his finger on the reason why, but he thinks the team will take off.

What signs do you see of this?


I think the two road wins they earned at the end of the first half, right before the All-Star break, beating Detroit and New Jersey, were crucial. A good sign of a revival for a team that had its struggles in the first half.

The thrashing of the Raptors gave them a season-high six wins in a row. Are we seeing a revving-up process?

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said earlier in the year how important it is to be playing your best ball in April. That's all well and good, but if you're not the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the West, the row you have to hoe is difficult.

At the Spurs current No. 3 seed, you're looking at a first-round matchup most likely with the Lakers, Rockets or Jazz. Then you have to go through Dallas and Phoenix in the next two rounds.

It's hard to believe a team could beat them both. But you can't count out a team that has three players like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan.

The centers in the Spurs' lineup have been revamped compared to last year's team. The Wrath of Rasho (Nesterovic, the exiled Spurs center who scored a season-high 18 points for the Raps) was felt early on. How are the new middlemen working out for the Spurs?


They decided to go with Fabricio Oberto and Francisco Elson over Nesterovic and Nazr Mohammed. Earlier this year, when I asked Popovich about losing Rasho, he made a point of saying that they chose to do it.

So, the numbers from the new centers are basically the same, but the interior D is not. Elson is not a Nesterovic or Mohammed in terms of size. I always liked the Spurs' approach of using ball pressure to funnel guys into two 7-footers like David Robinson and Duncan.

A total of 10 international players saw time in this game, including Spain's World Champion members Jorge Garbajosa and Jose Calderon. The latter had a hard time with France's Parker (27 points). Good call by the NBA to broadcast this one on its international channel?

Oh yeah. I thought I was watching an Olympic game.

The Raptors, though carried early by Rasho, didn't have a great night. Still, they came in with the best record (18-7) in the East in 2007. Good things ahead for the Atlantic Division leaders?

They were tested against one of the better teams in the West. They're not ready for that big Western stage, but they're in the East, and they're going to be in the playoffs and will get some good experience. I give credit to coach Sam Mitchell for recognizing this team couldn't win with a wild, take-100-shots approach it started this year with. It didn't work, they recognized it, changed their approach and have been better for it.

Could the Raps win a playoff series as, say, the No. 4 seed?


They could. To me, Detroit is distancing itself from the rest of the field. But a No. 7 seed beating a No. 2 wouldn't surprise me. Washington could beat any team in the East. And what if Dwyane Wade came back and the Heat had the eight spot to face Detroit in the first round? The East is
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Old 02-27-07, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurs|ATX| View Post
Spurs getting their act together
Barry
By Jon Barry
ESPN.com

Answering a few questions after Monday's game in which the San Antonio Spurs dispatched the Toronto Raptors, 107-91 …


What's the latest inside word from Brent Barry, the Spurs guard?

I talked to my brother right after the All-Star break. He told me that he couldn't put his finger on the reason why, but he thinks the team will take off.
[b]
I bet Brent appreciates having his brother publish their conversation!
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Old 02-27-07, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoMamaIsCallin View Post
I bet Brent appreciates having his brother publish their conversation!
I bet Brent told him to do it.
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