Cleat Geeks

Shooting With the Spurs

Long Road Trip

     SpursLogoThe San Antonio Spurs opened up the second half of their NBA season with a quite trade deadline, and a long 6 game, (8 if you include the previous two game before the All-Star break), road trip. Which Started off in the city of angels. The Spurs played a series of games in the famous Staples Center. Playing both the Los Angeles Clippers, and Lakers, and on consecutive nights. The Road trip started off on the bad foot, but the Spurs were able to bounce back, going 1-1 in the center. Before having to head to the Grand Canyon State to play the Suns.

     gregPopovichCoach Popovich’s team open the second half rusty. As the spurs lost to the Blake Griffin-less Clippers. The Wake Forest Demon Deacon Chris Paul had himself a wonderful night, putting up 28 points, along side 12 assists. J.J. Redick did his part to put up 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting (53.8%).  J. Crawford also had a nice evening putting on a 19 point and 6 assist performance. DeAndre Jordan had only 9 points but grabbed 17 rebounds, 15 defensive. All which lead to the Clippers running away with a 105-86 lopsided win at home in the Staples Center. The Next night however, San Antonio played Kobe Bryant and the Lakers for the last time in “The Black Mamba’s” lustrous career. Kobe had 25 points on 40% shooting, but the angels were not good enough to the City’s team that night, as the Lakers fell short 119-113, dropping the Lakers to a measly  11-45 this year. The Spurs are on the opposite side, as their win increased the Spurs win/loss record to 46-9, heading in to Sunday’s unexpected showdown with Phoenix Suns.

RasualButlerSan Antonio won the game 118-111, but the Suns were lead by the Maryland Terrapin, Alex Len.  Len had a solid double-double, leading all scorers with 23 points and poached 13 rebounds. Spurs fans, do not panic, Kawhi Leonard is not expected to miss significant time with this Calf injury.  Leonard is on day-to-day status. B. Marjanovic was also off for the night. LaMarcus Aldridge had a night, pulling down 10 rebounds, to go along with 19 points. Tony Parker lead Spur scoring with 22 points, and Tony was not the only PG going off on a scoring binge. Patty Mills played 23 minutes and went 6 of 13 shooting for 21 points off the bench. SF Rasual Butler caught my eye. He went 5 of 7 shooting with 12 points and 6 boards. Butler could turn out to be a key factor in the match ups to come against the Golden State Warriors. Why? Because Butler can help the Spurs to play smaller line ups. This in effort to try and match up defensively next time San Antonio faces off against their western conference foe.

     Two games, one in Sacramento against Boogie Cousins and the kings, the other in Salt Lake City Utah, before the final game of the long road trip, which will be back in the state of Texas. Facing off  against three point shooting James Harden, Pat Beverly, Dwight Howard, and the Houston Rockets.

San Antonio and coach Popovich want to have a good road trip to keep pace with Golden State. This will be big for a shot at the #1 seed. How important is the number one seed? I find it a priority, mainly in observance that the #2 seed, in the NBA western playoffs, will have to face-off against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Most Valuable Player candidate Kevin Durant. No team would want to have to face a team with that talent in the second round. Seeing how, if the season ended now, that is how the playoffs would fare.attcenter_0

     Greg Popovich and the Spurs will be spending the upcoming part of the season tinkering with smaller line ups. This to try and match up against the free shooting, high scoring Golden State Warriors. In order to beat the Warriors, rebounding, keeping up with their quick pace of play, and contains the splash brother is key. Smaller more Athletic lineups tend to be the factor in Golden State losses. For the Spurs to get the #1 seed in the west would be a great advantage. Seeing how well the Spurs play at home in the AT&T Center, 28-0, best in the NBA. But Those Warriors are also unblemished at Oracle Arena, 24-0.

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