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One Anecdote I remember from Manu's early days with the team, in regards to his jersey number, is that after missing out on 6 and 10, he wanted to choose number 21, which was of course Timmy's number. His reason for that number was that at the time (and maybe even now?), FIBA jersey numbers ended at number 20, so he thought that 21 would be a fun choice. When that, too, was taken, he finally settled on 20. It's been years since I heard that story, and have no citation that I could give, but I've always remembered that, even if it might be complete BS.

1 year, 10 months ago on Ginobili on crunching numbers, his jersey number and more

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 @rtesoro440 Green I am giving up on, which is timely considering he's a FA after this season and earned himself some money on a new contract with a weak front office next year. Bonner is still signed for a while and is a proven commodity in the regular season. I thought he showed promise in the first two rounds, but yeah, he just can't take the increased pressure against a great team like OKC. Neal and Splitter I'm not giving up on, though by that I mean more long term. This series? Yeah, they are pretty much out. Not sure how you took my post as saying I thought they would contribute this series or that I disagreed with Pop benching them, as I clearly stated that the problem is that our 10-deep is now 7-deep, and not even that great of a 7-deep from seeing the last two games. My statements on those players were more as a, "yeah, but . . ." 

 

The point of starting Manu at the 2 is to force Sefolosha to defend him and let Manu go against Westbrook, a matchup he should win if he forces the issue into the paint, though that didn't go well for Parker in Game 5. Diaw works well, but he is the center in name only - he becomes a stretch, small-ball 4 with Duncan playing the 5 in a lineup that is actually not terrible, if and only if that frees the guards to get into the lane and the remaining men on the perimeter take and make 3's. 

 

So I still go back to what I said in my second paragraph - this team can win if they play aggressive D and get back to the O that got us here. The size of our second big on the floor hasn't been a big factor in this series, so that whole point of yours doesn't really apply. Neither does Buford's spending on bigs. Small market or not, unless you have seen some huge big man that could contribute better than Diaw for the MLE or less, then I don't think there is an argument against the front office here. Not like either of the teams left in the East have more than one great "big" big man, and in the case of Bosh, that's even stretching it. 

 

But hey, if you want to be angry, if you can only enjoy the game when you can complain about it, and think that writing a check will fix your team's problems, I hear the Mavs are always looking for fans that like to bail on the team. :D

2 years, 3 months ago on For Spurs, win or go home vs. Thunder | June

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I can't say Neal has laid down. Below what we've needed? Sure. But he's still got some fire and is willing to pull the trigger. I'm still not keen on playing him big minutes, especially at the point, but I don't consider him one of the faltering bench players. Splitter is still nursing a wrist injury and it shows. Those "soft" hands are turned a bit to stone on some possessions, leading to turnovers. I am not calling him a bust. He still hasn't had a healthy, full training camp with this team. Green and Bonner on the other hand. . . I mean, we kind of expect Bonner to falter in the playoffs due to past performances, and Green is still so . . . well, green at this level of competition that I'm not shocked. It is shocking how quickly they fell off after playing decently to well in the previous two series. Add Pop's (probably correct) decision to limit Blair's minutes (again, he has a history of playoff no-shows when the heat gets turned up), and this 10-deep team is back to a 7-man rotation that looks painfully human when Parker isn't dictating the game on offense. 

 

All that being said, when we pressure the ball on D and keep the ball moving on offense, we cut into leads and build leads. But we have been unable to do that for 48 minutes, even in the first two games. When you watch the game tonight, look to see when Parker gets into Westbrook's jersey. If it is at the time line, good things happen. If its at the arch, well, you're gonna have a bad time. Watch the motion offense in the first 8 seconds of the shot clock when we have the ball. Is someone holding the ball above the arch dribbling or waiting for one single cutter? Bad news. Is the ball moving side to side? Is someone able to drive to the paint? Are at least three players moving off the ball for screens and cuts? Then we look good to win this game.

2 years, 3 months ago on For Spurs, win or go home vs. Thunder | June

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 @spursfan80  @onewingz  @rtesoro440 But he doesn't have the corporate knowledge or the basketball IQ. The reason he isn't isn't getting PT is because he thinks he's a gunner, but he doesn't have the talent for gunning the way that Manu or Jackson or Neal has.

2 years, 3 months ago on Report: No deal yet to bring De Colo to Spurs | June

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 @rtesoro440 The Spurs have the big men that they can get. The drop-off after the max-contract/near max players is steep. Lorbek and Splitter, especially considering how much they will cost, are about as good as we can expect without breaking the bank, which would likely mean breaking our future considering how inconsistent top-level bigs are in the league right now. At the 3, we have Leonard on a rookie contract and another year of Capt. Jack. I don't see another viable option on the cheap that would justify keeping a third SF on the roster. Anderson is a FA and will leave without a trade. Joseph has no trade value. Bonner's trade value is negligible, at best. Blair has a team option at $1 million, well worth the Spurs picking up and keeping. 

 

A 6'5" pg who turns the ball over and needs to work on his shot isn't an ideal anything or set up to excel. Give him points for potential. Get him in camp if you can. See what he has. But don't expect him to be the next TP or Rubio. But honestly, I'd just be happy with a backup pg with some speed and some handle. It's painful watching Neal crawl across the time line. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Report: No deal yet to bring De Colo to Spurs | June

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Likely not ready. Also, it is likely we need him unless Corey Joseph makes a leap in Summer League. Also, it is likely that he won't get ready without solid NBA training camp and playing time. Bring him in if we can. Don't sweat it if we can't.

2 years, 3 months ago on Report: No deal yet to bring De Colo to Spurs | June

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 @Crow This. I just think that comparing apples to apples by position would be more telling on how effective each play is. Looking at these charts, you might think that San Antonio needs to significantly lower his usage rate and Tim Duncan shouldn't get touches in the post. Do any of us believe that? 

2 years, 4 months ago on Offensive Geometry

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It may also be interesting to break things down a little further, where you can see a particular type of play (Iso, spot up shot, ball handler PnR, screener PnR) in one of these charts and then have baselines showing the league average PPP for that play type, 90th percentile mark for that play type and, for the sake of argument, 30th percentile PPP mark, and then the second data set of number of possessions. Another idea for breaking these charts up could be that you narrow down the players to only those that average 12 minutes/game (might have to go higher for a smaller number of players to deal with) that are remaining in the playoffs, then break those up by position listed. You could then show what possessions types and point guards are most effective, what possession types are most effective with power forwards, and how often they are used.

 

No idea how much work is going into this kind of thing, but I like thinking of different ways to use data sets.

2 years, 4 months ago on Offensive Geometry

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The "Big" lineup of Utah is much scarier than the Big lineup for LA. Evans is not Favors. The big lineup for the Jazz worked because, frankly, Favors deserved WAY more minutes than he was getting otherwise. Evans is not that same player and is such an offensive liability that playing him alongside Griffin and Jordan only serves to open up additional double-team options on either Paul or one of the bigs. Additionally, I think it is safe to say that Griffin, defensively, is easily the weakest link of the six forwards that we are talking about here. So if Evans is only good on one half of the court and Griffin is a liability at the other, that means that a 3-big lineup for LA is almost like playing 4-on-5 on both ends of the court. 

 

Pop is too good of a coach to have a problem with that. And Vinny, as much as we loved him in San Antonio, isn't the coach that can counter Pop's counter. 

 

And lets not forget that as much as Favors punished us in Game 4, we were still far and away in control of the game until we lost the aspect of pace and allowed Utah's guards to over-pressure the ball without punishing them. This problem was a function of Neal and Green not being great primary ball-handlers, so they couldn't take the pressure, and Parker was already having what was easily his worst outing of the series. The Big lineup isn't what made that game close - it was Carroll and some extremely aggressive pressure that went unpunished. The offense never got to the forwards.

 

And I agree about 4-down still being in play, but I don't see it being a huge component to a series win. It is certainly more likely to work against the Clips than any of the other likely matchups in the West (i.e. Griffin's defense).

2 years, 4 months ago on Room for Improvement heading into semi-finals | May

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We typically keep a full roster of 12 players, and we don't have too much in the way of league minimum players. We also don't have much dead cap space keeping us from being able to pay players. That 5.5mil/year average is just a bit above the standard MLE. We traditionally have a lot of players that make between 4.5-9 mil/year. We also have been lucky to get bargains when keeping players like Manu and Parker for well under max contract values. All of this adds up to having more money to pay for the guys that are more to the end of the bench.

2 years, 4 months ago on Spurs spend big bucks | May

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Blair and Bonner have had a history of disappearing in the playoffs. . . Blair is, in general, not good in matchups against teams with two legit bigs. I can see him getting PT against the Jazz, But against the Clips/Grizzlies in the second, I think he might be outmatched. Additionally, as bad as Blair's rebounding has been this season compared to previous seasons, I just don't see him as a playoffs player. I see him only getting 4-minute stints and if he starts he'll be the first player subbed out. 

2 years, 5 months ago on Spurs' big men more than clowns | April

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 @JohnAbney Spurs have to lose TWO games to lose the top seed. We own the tie breaker against OKC, don't we? So even if we lose one game, we get the top seed. In the west at least. We would need to win out and have Chicago lose to be number 1 overall, because Chicago owns the tie breaker against SA. (Or am I wrong? I could be wrong)

2 years, 5 months ago on Spurs control tempo, blow out Lakers | April

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The two key things that this move does THIS year is allow Leonard more PT at the 3, possibly even starting with regularity, and giving insurance for Manu and his potential injuries. I'm also not a fan of giving up the 1st rounder, but I'm staying focused on this year and trusting the FO for the future. Oh, let's not forget that it is usually a good sign when you can sell high (RJ) and buy low (SJ).

2 years, 6 months ago on Update: Several reports calling Jackson/Jefferson swap done | March

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