U.S. Army All American Game Returns to San Antonio

Created Friday, 28 December 2007 15:36

 Sports fans know that Texas is home to some great football on all levels. In addition to the several colleges that have top ranked programs, and the professional teams that the state has, the Texas’ high school football programs produce some of the best talent in the country. So it should come as no surprise to football fans around the country that San Antonio is the annual site for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which features some of the best high school talent in the country.

With National Signing Day just around the corner, the All-American Bowl provides one last chance for coaches and fans to see and scout the best blue-chip prospects as the go against each other before signing with their schools. Throughout the game’s history, many players who now are playing on Sundays in the NFL, or at major colleges have used the game to give fans a preview of their talents, and a glimpse of what was to come.

 

A few notable alumni include:

  • Cedric Benson
  • Chris Leak
  • Kevin Jones
  • Lorenzo Booker
  • Vince Young
  • Reggie Bush
  • Maurice Clarett
  • Haloti Ngata
  • Tyler Palko
  • Dan Conner
  • Chad Henne
  • Ted Ginn, Jr.
  • Rhett Bomar
  • Early Doucet
  • Adrian Peterson
  • Derek Anderson
  • Michael Clayton
  • Marcus Spears
  • Vernon Davis
  • Brady Quinn
  • Tim Tebow

These games provide the players with a chance to make their announcements on their college choices on national television, and each year thousands of college fans tune in to be either thrilled that they have gotten a top recruit, or disappointed to lose one.

This year, the bowl will take place on Jan. 5, with kickoff scheduled for noon, and will be broadcast on NBC. Most players spend the whole week in town visiting hospitals and shelters, attending awards ceremonies, and various other functions.

Each year, the Rotary Club hosts a dinner and awards ceremony the night before the game. This year’s keynote speaker is NFL legend, Gale Sayers, and tickets to the event are $150. Tickets to the game are available at $26 for lower level and $13 for general admission, and can be purchased from Ticketmaster, or from the Alamodome Box Office.

Don’t miss this great chance to see some of the best football talent in the country before they become stars!

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College Bowl Games Get Underway in Texas

Created Thursday, 27 December 2007 19:06

The Great State of Texas plays host to 5 College Football Bowl games for the 2007-08 season.

In Ft. Worth, on the 31st of December, Pac 10 and Mountain West Conference features California and the Air Force Academy compete in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

San Antonio action this year showcases the Valero Alamo Bowl. The game is set for December 30, 2007. Texas A&M and Penn State Nittany Lions battle it out.

The Brut Sun Bowl, El Paso classic, sees this years teams, the South Florida Bulls and the Oregon Ducks. The Sun Bowl first started in 1936 continues with this years kick-off on Dec 31, 2007.

December 28th marks the start of the Football Bowl Games in Texas. The Texas Bowl being played in Houston starts off the bowl season with TCU and Houston.

The New Year’s Day game kicks off in 2008 in Dallas with Cotton Bowl. 72nd annual Cotton Bowl will be the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Missoui Tigers.

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Spurs Week 10 Recap

Created Wednesday, 26 December 2007 20:14

The Spurs fortunes continue to go sideways.  One star comes back from injury, and another goes down.  First, Tim Duncan went out with a sprained ankle and knee.  Then, just about the time he was coming back, Tony Parker went down for a few games.  Now, the injury bug has bitten Manu Ginobili, who left Saturday’s game against the Clippers with a sprained thumb.  If the San Antonio team pays its trainers by the hour, they are due for some serious overtime.

The good news is that the team is still currently in first place in the division, leading Dallas by a game, and sporting a 19-7 record.  If they can manage to hold onto first place while dealing with the rash of injuries that has beset the club, their confidence should be sky high when the post-season rolls around.  As it currently stands, the team is barely managing to go .500 over the last few weeks.  In the last 5 games, they have gone 2-3, beating Denver and the Clippers, but losing to Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Memphis, over that span.

Against the Suns–the Spurs annual playoff rivals–the Spurs lost their first home game of the season, as Phoenix managed to exact some revenge after being bounced from the playoffs last year by San Antonio, in a violent and controversial series.  Although Tony Parker sat out the game with a bad ankle, the Spurs still managed to hang tough, and kept the game close the whole way.  The game was Duncan’s first full game, after playing about half his regular minutes in the previous game.  The big center certainly showed no ill effects from the injury, setting season highs in points and rebounds, with 36 and 17 against the Suns.  The game was tied with less than two minutes to play before Phoenix finally pulled away for the 100-95 win.

One would think that the cure for losing would be a date with the Memphis Grizzlies, who currently occupy last place in the Southwest, with a 8-19 record, but the Spurs simply did not show up for this one until too late, and the Grizzlies made off with a 88-85 victory on a last second shot by Rudy Gay.  The Grizzlies were up by as many as 23 in the contest, before Ginobili and Duncan brought San Antonio back.  The Spurs managed to hold Memphis to just 12 points in the final period, but it was 4 points too many.  The excuse of not having Parker again can’t be used for this one, as Memphis was without its man in the middle, Pau Gasol also.

The Spurs finally drew an opponent with worse luck than themselves, when the LA Clippers came to town.  Playing without Elton Brand, Shaun Livingston, Cory Maggette, Tim Thomas, and Paul Davis, the shorthanded Clippers gave the Spurs problems in the final period, coming back from 14 point deficits to pull within 6, but the Spurs eventually held on.  The game marked the return of Tony Parker to the line up, but also the exit of Manu Ginobili, who left with a sprained thumb in the first quarter.  Duncan picked up the slack, setting a new season high for rebounds with 18, and leading the team with 34 points.

The injuries are starting to add up for San Antonio, but the team is managing to hold onto first place.  With any luck, the Spurs are getting their injuries out of the way before the post season arrives.

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San Antonio Texas Wonderful Opportunity for Overseas Investors

Created Wednesday, 19 December 2007 19:22

Buying a piece of America isn’t just the American dream, now it is what smart Europeans are doing, too. Strong Euro against the weak US dollar makes investing in the United States by overseas investors a quite smart and potentially profitable choice.

One of the quickest ways that an investor can increase his or her wealth involves owning real estate. This is particularly the case when it comes to European investors, especially if they are looking to invest in U.S. real estate. There are numerous advantages to choosing the United States over other countries for investing purposes. One main reason is because the U.S. dollar is weak compared to the Euro. This allows the European investor to leverage the purchase of real estate at prices that are tens of thousands less than what an American could make the same purchase for.

However, not all real estate in the United States is prime for investment purposes. For example, areas in California, Florida and parts of the Northeast United States have somewhat considerably inflated real estate prices. These properties might be too expensive for an ordinary European investor. This is why it is better that Europeans ought to be considering alternatives that are more reasonably priced, though even then they should be careful. Inexpensive options for real estate are not effective if they are in areas that are not capable of increasing in value over time. Instead, the real estate will just remain on the market for much longer, as the investor will have to struggle to find a person who is willing to buy.

So, what would be a very good solution for overseas investors? Investors who want to be successful need to find an area within the United States that is both reasonably priced and has a moderate cost of living. With this winning combination, investors will be able to purchase into something that they can afford while still being allowed the opportunity to make a decent profit in a reasonable amount of time. If investors are unfamiliar as to which U.S. cities fits such a set of criteria, one of the greatest places to begin a search is in San Antonio, Texas, due to the reasonable cost of living.

Real estate in San Antonio averages around only $150,000, (or currently with the devalued dollar about 105,000 in Euros).  Compare this to the national United States real estate price average, which is in excess of $220,000 and you will be pleasantly surprised. Just because the real estate is significantly less expensive in San Antonio, Texas; does not mean that anything will be sacrificed when it comes to quality. This is because even at $150,000, you will be able to choose between new or previously owned, either, absolutely stunning.

Take a quick look at online San Antonio Home Search online to give one an idea of what the real estate worth $150,000 in San Antonio actually is going to look like. Most of the real estate you will find in San Antonio will range 1600-2500 square feet, single-family homes with 3-5 bedrooms, and at least 2 full bathrooms and 2-car garage. In terms of style, many are ranches or 2-story. Although most of the homes in San Antonio have been constructed in recent years, their prices average around the same as the older homes in the city. Additionally, many of the properties are brand new construction or already in move-in condition. Investors will not have to worry themselves with the idea of spending thousands more trying to repair ‘fixer-upper’ properties.

Chances are high that any property bought in San Antonio will increase in value over time. This is because there are two different prospective markets for San Antonio real estate: native San Antonio residents, and people from other states who are looking for more economic freedom. In fact, the latter category might be even more likely to buy or rent than the former, since native San Antonians are already acquainted with the economic advantages associated with their location.

San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the US with nearly 2 million people. These economic advantages to living in San Antonio, Texas are many. First, San Antonio residents do not have to pay state income tax, allowing them to receive more from their paychecks. Secondly, the overall cost of living is much easier to handle in the region. This can be observed using the cost of living index, which is 95.2, (compared to the U.S. average of 100). Thirdly, San Antonio is already poised for further economic growth. Economists predict that the city will gain over 85,000 new jobs over the next 5 years.

Of course, San Antonio also offers many social advantages as well. For instance, the region has undergone significant urban development, especially in comparison to other major cities in Texas. This includes having one of the main elements that makes for a well-functioning city: good transportation. San Antonio fits into this set of criteria by possessing very good bus and downtown streetcar services, as well as access to multiple major freeways.

There is also a lot to do in San Antonio. The area is well saturated with shops, clubs, stadiums, restaurants, golf courses and movie theaters. What sets San Antonio apart from other cities within the US is the city’s myriad of tourist attractions that can be enjoyed by visitors to the city, and residents as well. For example, a popular attraction in San Antonio is the Alamo. Texas most visited tourist spot.

There is also the Riverwalk, which is claimed to be the most popular tourist destination in San Antonio. The area holds a wide array of events and festivals.

If a person is unable to attend a Riverwalk event, another way to enjoy the scenery is through a traditional boat ride tour. These boat rides can be a simple stroll in a ferry, or something much more luxurious, such as a dinner cruise. Either choice will allow residents to be able to fully enjoy the idyllic experience available through the River walk.

Another reason why people from other states tend to consider relocation is because of the San Antonio’s excellent weather. In the winter months, San Antonio’s temperature ranges from 62 to 71 degrees. In the spring the weather ranges from 74 to 86 degrees. The summer months brings temperatures between 90 and 95 degrees. Finally, the fall has weather that is between 82 and 90 degrees. So, as one can see, the region does not get unreasonably cold or unbearably hot, unlike other areas that are touted for their ‘good’ weather.

Investors from all over, particularly from Europe, who are not taking advantage of the real estate market in San Antonio, are putting themselves at a serious disadvantage over other investors that are. European investors can get some suggestions on ways to begin investing endeavors in San Antonio, Texas real estate.

Before a European investor can make any official moves, they must be aware of what is available on the market. To do this, they will need to conduct some research. Suggested sources Texas A&M University Real Estate Center http://recenter.tamu.edu/, the San Antonio Express News-local newspapers http://www.mysa.com, and local Texas real estate agent

Financing is available for the foreign investor. This step may require a little bit of extra investigation because not all Texas mortgage companies have programs available for financing an international investment. Still, enough of these transactions are completed on a regular basis that the European investor should still be able to obtain the help and the financing that they need.

Once a European investor has acquired the property their heart was set on, they will need to put a significant amount of consideration into how they are going to utilize the property.  Vacation, second home, home for student child attending a university in San Antonio.

If a European investor decides to rent the property out instead, they can squeeze a monthly payment out of the property for as long as it is in their possession. How can a European investor collect rent if they do not live in the same country as their tenants? The best solution to this conundrum is simply to hire a property management company to handle these affairs. Property managers can be responsible for collecting rent, as well as handling any repairs that may need to be done throughout time on the property. The downside to using a property manager to handle these affairs is that they must be paid through a portion of the rent fees. Still, they can be quite beneficial to an investor who lives out of the country, which means it may be a worthwhile consideration to make.

It should be quite clear by now that San Antonio is a prime location for a variety of strong and productive investing opportunities, especially for Europeans who are looking to own a piece of America. San Antonio offers beauty, affordability and a large number of attractive amenities that nearly guarantee a boost in population in the near future. What this means is that now is prime time to make a serious move. Investors who put their money into San Antonio real estate will surely be glad that they did.

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San Antonio Spurs Week 8 Recap

Created Monday, 17 December 2007 17:21

It may be that a team can pick up the slack for a fallen star.  The other players can raise their game, and the team can continue to win, in spite of a glaring loss.  When a second star goes down with an injury—especially when he is the motor that makes the team go–the chances of the team being able to win against other quality opponents goes down immensely.  Such was the week for the Spurs, who were forced to play two men short, because of two balky ankles.  Tim Duncan missed two more games this week because of a twisted ankle and tweaked knee, but one game before he was to come back, Tony Parker twisted his ankle and was forced out of the line up.

It was not a good week for the Spurs, as they went 1-2.

 

Against the Golden State Warriors, the Spurs finally felt the absence of Duncan, and sloppy play led to their downfall.  Without the big man for what was his third straight game, San Antonio committed 21 rebounds—a season high—and didn’t get much from Ginobili, whose hot streak finally came to an end after scoring 37 points in back to back games.  Matt Bonner, however, was one of the bright spots for the Spurs, scoring career highs in points and rebounds, with 25 and 17 respectively.  San Antonio set a season low for points in a quarter, only managing 12 in the second.  Although the Spurs were down as much as 16 in the game, they managed to cut the lead to single digits, before finally falling, 96-84.

Two nights later against the Lakers, the injury bug bit again.  Apparently, Tony Parker had been nursing an injured ankle for the better part of a week, and was finally forced to the sidelines against the Lakers.  With two stars out of the line up, the Spurs fought bravely, but didn’t have enough firepower to finish the job.  The Spurs that did play, stepped up their game, with Bruce Bowen leading the team with 22 points.  Others, such as Robert Horry, with 17 points, and Fabricio Oberto, with 9 points and 16 rebounds, helped San Antonio to hang with the Lakers until the last.  Ginobili scored 14 points, but also committed 7 turnovers and was sidelined for much of the second half with 5 fouls.  The Lakers managed to hold off the Spurs, 102-97, behind Kobe Bryant’s 30 points.

Against Denver, Tim Duncan finally made his reappearance, and although he only played 20 minutes, he made his presence felt with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and a blocked shot.  Just having him back allowed the Spurs to keep their perfect home record in tact, running it to 13-0.  Tony Parker was still sidelined with a bum ankle, but Jacques Vaughn stepped in and contributed 10 points and 6 assists.  Fabricio Oberto stepped up his game in a big way, going 10-11 from the field on his way to 21 points and 13 rebounds.  Michael Finley also chipped in with 21 points on 4-5 shooting from behind the arc.  Although Allen Iverson scored 30 in the loss, the Spurs managed to keep the rest of the Denver offense in check, holding Carmelo Anthony to 15 points, and Marcus Camby to 4.

The Spurs managed to get one star back, but lost another in the process.  The Spurs did drop a pair of games with Duncan on the sidelines, but managed to keep their home record in tact, and still hold a 3 game division lead over Dallas, and the best record in the West, and the second best in the league.

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Art Gallery Opens in Stephenville Texas

Created Thursday, 13 December 2007 22:43

Well-known artist, minister, and spiritual advisor, Craig Beman, has just opened his brand-new gallery in Stephenville, TX.

Stephenville, TX (Press Release) December 13, 2007 — Well-known artist, minister, and spiritual advisor, Craig Beman, has just opened his brand-new gallery just off the Court House Square in Stephenville, TX, the county seat of Erath County, the Cowboy Capital of Texas and home of Tarleton State University.

Craig Beman Artwork, Fine Arts Gallery  is a haven for not only his own artwork, but for that of other like-minded artists as well. Beman derives his inspiration from his spirituality and his faith, and explores the themes of motivation, nature, history, and peace. In addition to being an artist, and now a gallery owner, Beman, along with his wife, run Healing Promises Ministries,  an association which helps ministers and preachers fulfill their missions and callings through a meetings, exchanges, seminars, and retreats. In fact, Beman uses his earnings from the sale of his art to help finance Healing Promises. Beman and his wife, Peggy, have been ministering together since 1999, and he has been producing artwork almost as long.

San Antonio Real Estate

 

Beman is not a formally trained artist, rather he credits his abilities to a higher power, claiming that God gave him his abilities on the fortieth day after founding his Christian ministry. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Nebraska.

Beman’s artwork uses a unique process called the Giclee method, which mixes hand-made techniques with computer enhancement to create one-of-a-kind prints. Beman uses cutting edge technology combined with his own skill to produce paintings and sketches of people, places, and activities which inspire him, and all of us. The Giclee process features high-quality, multi-density pigments and inks, combined with mathematics, color-design, which combined with the pure talent of the artist, produce long-lasting, quality works.

His “Great Plains” series of landscapes captures the majesty and awe of nature. His “Tropical” series is a meditation on places which inspire through their peacefulness, tranquility, and the rejuvenation that they provide. Sports and our relationship to the athletes that play them is another theme that Beman explores in his work, and he seeks to demonstrate how these heroes motivate and inspire us through their dedication, leadership, and pure ability.

Another source of inspiration that Beman is drawing from is his new home and gallery in Stephenville. Beman is new to the Texas scene, most recently having lived in San Antonio’s Stone Oak area  and previously in Florida prior to moving to the Lone Star State, and is finding a new muse by exploring his new home through his artwork.

With the opening of his new gallery, Craig Beman hopes to continue to inspire, minister, and motivate people to live a more positive and spiritual life.

Beman’s art gallery is located in Stephenville, Texas at:

Craig Beman Artwork
Fine Art Gallery
270 West College
Stephenville, TX 76401
254.965.2787

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Spurs Week 7 Recap

Created Sunday, 09 December 2007 10:44

Playing without a team’s heart and soul, without its main weapon on both ends of the court, provides an opportunity.  A team can take this opportunity and feel sorry for its bad luck and dwell on the past, or a new leader can emerge, the rest of the team can use the chance to prove that they themselves are capable of picking up the slack until the leader returns.  The Spurs, in true championship form, have chosen the latter, and while Tim Duncan’s injured knee and ankle are healing, the rest of the NBA has been served notice that the team is stronger than its individual parts.

As luck would have it, the first team that San Antonio would have to face without Duncan was their division rivals, the Dallas Mavericks.  The Spurs are no strangers to adversity, but they have been lucky that Duncan has remained fairly injury-free during his career.  They are also lucky to have a sixth man, who could start for probably any team in the league at their disposal when another star goes down.  Manu Ginobili stepped up his game against the Mavs, scoring 37 points in his starting role to lead all scorers in the game, while also contributing with 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and even a block for good measure…and he wasn’t 100% either!  Ginobili was playing with a sore finger from the previous game and was a game-time decision himself.  Tony Parker also played well, scoring 23 points, and Michael Finley chipped in 14.  Although the final score was 97-95, the Spurs held a comfortable 11 point lead in the fourth quarter, before a rally made the game a nail-biter.

Against the Utah Jazz a couple of nights later, Ginobili went back to the bench, but equaled, if not surpassed his previous performance by scoring 37 again!  17 of them came from the free throw line, as his penetration pressured the defense all night.  The speedy Argentine also grabbed 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and made three steals.  The game was a team effort as Matt Bonner, Michael Finley, and Tony Parker all scored in double digits for San Antonio.  The win allowed the Spurs to remain unbeaten at home this season, and ran their win total to 17-3.  Unlike the previous game in which the Spurs tried to give a sizeable lead away late, Utah led most of the way, until late in the fourth, when the Spurs free throws and three pointers, proved too much for the Jazz.

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Alamo Bowl Gets Ready

Created Monday, 03 December 2007 21:52

The college football regular season has finally twisted and turned its way to conclusion, and the bowl games are finally set.  Needless to say, for all fans of the game, the year has been one of the strangest on record.  San Antonio is one again set to host the Alamo Bowl, which will feature Penn State versus Texas A&M.  The match-up should be an interesting one, with coach Joe Paterno coaching in what could be his last game (when you are still coaching at 128 year old, every game could be your last), and is his 500th career game.  On the other sideline, the Aggies will be managed by interim coach, Gary Darnell, who will be filling in for the fired Dennis Franchione.  A&M has named former Green Bay Packers’ coach and current Texans’ coordinator, Mike Sherman as head man, but he will not take over duties until after the NFL season wraps up. 

The two teams have met before at the dome, the Alamodome that is, as Penn St. took the Aggies apart 24-0 in 1999. 

A&M is coming off a lackluster 7-5 season overall, but did end on a high note, beating arch-rival Texas 38-30 in Coach Fran’s last game as an Aggie.  The Aggies have certainly had their ups and downs this season, but getting a win over Penn State would be a nice way for the team to get an 8th win for the year, and to start preparing for 2008.

Before the season, Penn State was expected to contend for the Big 10 title, but although they did win 8 games, and put together some terrific games—a 38-7 mauling of Wisconsin, and a 27-7 victory over Iowa—the Nittany Lions were never in contention for the title. 

The storylines will be deep and interesting in the game.  PSU coach, Joe Paterno, certainly doesn’t have many years left coaching, but the past few years have seen him do what many thought was impossible, which was to turn the program around.  While PSU isn’t contending for BCS slots, the program is in good shape these days, after winning only 7 games in the 2003-2004 seasons.  Coach Paterno is coaching in his 42nd year, and has won 371 games.  

The Aggies are a program looking to the future, after having fired Franchione for a newsletter scandal in which he sold inside information regarding players health and practice habits to boosters, as well as barely winning more than half his games at the school.  Coaching aside, the Aggies have plenty of talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball.  Jack-of-all-trades QB Stephen McGee leads the team in both passing (57.7% completion, 12 TD) and rushing (858 yds, 5 TDs), but also has big, bruising running back Jorvorskie Lane (746 yds, 16 TDs) to complement him.

This year’s Alamo Bowl will feature two storied and proud programs from two of America’s finest conferences.  In addition to the action on the field, the Bowl will also host several other events, such as a Pep Rally (Dec. 27, 6:00 PM) at the Arneson River Theater, where players coaches, bands, and cheerleaders from both schools will get together to fire up the fans.  Also, be sure to check out the AT&T Fan Zone at Sunset Station, which will feature more school spirit, multimedia exhibitions, and games for the whole family.

 

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Spurs Week 6 Recap

Created Monday, 03 December 2007 11:24

After uncharacteristically dropping last Monday’s game to the Kings, the Spurs got right by going on a three game winning streak, which culminated in the 100-79 demolition of the lowly Trailblazers.  Unfortunately, the 21-point victory was marred by a terrifying moment in which Tim Duncan landed awkwardly on his knee and ankle, and went to the ground holding his leg in pain.  The All-Star had to be helped off the court by teammates.  Spurs fans don’t have to be reminded of what Duncan means to the team; he’s the team’s MVP is any number of ways.  Preliminary tests were that the ligaments were not torn, but that he would likely miss some games.  An MRI has been scheduled to confirm the findings.  Spurs’ fans no doubt will be sleeping uncomfortably until the results come back.

 

Although the injury news wasn’t good, the performance of the team has been, and San Antonio leads the NBA with 15 wins, and is continuing the hot start.  Although the week’s competition was far from the toughest the NBA has to offer, San Antonio is riding a three game winning streak, with wins over Washington, Minnesota, and Portland.

Against Washington, Tony Parker scored 20 second-half points to end up with 29, and also added 11 assists.  The speedy Frenchman liked two rebounds having a triple double.  Two days later, the Spurs did what they always do, and that is to get scoring from a different star each night.  Against the Timberwolves, it was Manu Ginobili’s turn, and he torched the T-wolves for 31 points, as he went 7-9 from behind the arc.  The Spurs were as hot as they’ve been all year to close out the game.  They outscored Minnesota 40-11 in the last stanza.  Duncan had his usual 20 points and 14 rebounds, as the loss sent the Wolves to a 2-12 start.

Finally, against Portland, even though San Antonio was forced to play most of the game without Duncan, they managed to take care of business, with 27 points coming from Tony Parker’s 11-15 shooting.  Although Duncan is irreplaceable, Fabricio Oberto did a serviceable job, scoring 6 points, but accounting for 9 rebounds.

One other bit of good news for the team is that Robert Horry finally was back in action for the first time all year.  In five minutes of action, Horry made his presence known with two blocks and a pair of rebounds.

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