October 28, 2013 |
PLAYOFF-BOUND 1. San Antonio 2012-13 finish: 58-24. Coming: Marco Belinelli, Jeff Pendergraph. Going: Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair. Before anyone asks the Spurs to appear en masse on the next episode of "Derek," Ricky Gervais' thoughtful look at retirement home living, let's assess a few benefits of being old and reliable: San Antonio has finished first-first-second in the West over the last three seasons. Plus, the Spurs aren't really all that old; Kawhi Leonard, the team's new No. 3 option, is barely out of his Nickelodeon Jr. stage.
September 16, 2013 |
Three-peat is so 1988. The term purportedly coined by Byron Scott and definitively trademarked by Pat Riley amid the Lakers' failed bid for a third consecutive NBA title in the late '80s should be discarded like the faded T-shirts bearing the slogan that were once standard attire inside the Great Western Forum. It's time for a new Rileyism, particularly with the current team president of the Miami Heat chasing another championship to go with the ones his team won in 2012 and '13. In the spirit of the quest, here's a trio of alternatives for the Heat this season: Big Three for Three . An homage to the collective success of Heat stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh since joining forces in 2010.
June 30, 2013 |
Chris Paul and Dwight Howard became free agents at 9:01 p.m. PT on Sunday. At 9:02 p.m., all but a handful of NBA teams stopped daydreaming and resumed their pursuit of more realistic options. If Paul and Howard represent the Rodeo Drive of this year's free-agent class, available to a select few, then there is still plenty of quality shopping to be done at nearby mega-malls. Andrew Bynum, Al Jefferson and Nikola Pekovic are all available. And those are just some of the top centers.
June 5, 2013 |
Heat vs. Spurs: How they match up A look at the two teams before Game 1 of the NBA Finals LeBron James is right when he says he's way better than the player who couldn't carry Cleveland past San Antonio in the 2007 NBA Finals. It's also true that James' Miami Heat has a much better supporting cast than those Cavaliers did. The problem for Miami in these Finals could be what hasn't changed much since then: the Spurs. The core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili is playing as well collectively as it ever has, and Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich has perfectly aligned his role players Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to provide big-time contributions.
April 18, 2013 |
WESTERN CONFERENCE LAKERS VS. SPURS 2. San Antonio 58-24 (Home: 35-6; Road: 23-18) 7. Lakers 45-37 (Home: 29-12; Road: 16-25) Season series: San Antonio, 2-1. Key stat: Kobe Bryant will play zero games in the series after tearing his left Achilles' tendon April 12, taking his averages of 27.3 points and 6.0 assists off the board. His presence may be even more irreplaceable. Outlook: The Lakers unveiled a template for beating San Antonio in their most recent meeting, playing lockdown defense to disrupt the Spurs' precision passing game while holding them to 37.1% shooting in a 91-86 victory.
April 13, 2013 |
To loosely paraphrase Newton's laws of motion, for every NBA postseason award there is an equal and opposite honor. So in addition to LeBron James as the game's best player, may we humbly submit DeSagana Diop as its worst? The Charlotte Bobcats center has somehow appeared in 22 games this season, making one start, despite averaging 0.7 points and making a robust 29.6% of his shots. If he played 36 minutes per game at his current production level, he would still average only 2.5 points.