Spurs Game 5 Belongs to the Visitors

Game 5 Belongs to the Visitors

by Randy Watson

The San Antonio Spurs have seen better days. I am not sure if the Spur’s fans would rather see their team lose in person, at home, or on TV, but they lost nonetheless and a loss is a loss regardless of the location. The Spurs started out well and took a quick lead but that lead slowly evaporated as the Thunder took control and eventually won 108 to 106.

Ibaka not the Man Tonight

The San Antonio Spurs did not have to worry about Serge Ibaka shooting perfectly this time around as he finished with only 9 points. But he still went 4-6 from the floor and those are pretty good numbers for a big man who is not the go-to player within the Thunder’s offense, or any offense for that matter.

Pass the Ball Westbrook

This is a classic series of fundamentals and solid basketball verse young legs and huge lungs. The Thunder do not seem to tire despite how many times they have to run up and down the court chasing Ginobili. They seem to have one break away after another and they are exciting to watch. The Spurs are outstanding to watch as well, certainly if you enjoy watching basketball be played how it is supposed to be played, by passing and superlative defense. It is hard though to check a team that is so much athletically superior to you though. Kevin Durant is a cross between Magic Johnson and Reggie Miller. He would probably even do a little better though if his buddy point guard, Russell Westbrook, would not dribble so much. Westbrook sure seems to slip a lot. Despite that, Westbrook made a key jumper, with about 2 minutes remaining, giving the Thunder a little more cushion.

Tough Match Up

The Spurs were hit hard in the second quarter and they trailed at the half by 8 points, 52-44. They were down by over 10 points several times in the second quarter as it seemed the Thunder were going to run them out of the arena. This was not a good quarter for Manu Ginobili as he was outplayed by his left handed and bearded nemesis James Harden (both of these players fought to win the 6th Man of the Year award but Harden prevailed in the voting for this award).

The Spurs are in Trouble

Ginobili may have been defeated in the 2nd quarter but he was not beaten. The Spurs would make a strike in the 3rd quarter as Ginobili returned as the Ginobili he has always been. But the Thunder would not quit and still took the quarter as they finished the 3rd quarter up by 9 points. This is pretty impressive since the San Antonio Spurs were smoking the entire league and were seemingly unbeatable when they were up 2-0 in this series. Now the tables have turned and the Spurs are looking at the brink of elimination; a thought that would have been summarily laughed at by almost anyone a week ago. Now the Spurs are seeing stars as they head into Game 6 and they have to return to probably the loudest arenas in the NBA, in Oklahoma. Anyone who says the folks in Oklahoma City are not proud to have an NBA team are not living on the same planet as the rest of us.

Ginobili was Awesome

The 4th quarter was spectacular, certainly if you were a Spur’s fan. But the Spurs could not seal the deal despite the best efforts from Tim Duncan and some outstanding flopping around by Ginobili and Tony Parker. They did ring up some foul calls and stop the Thunder’s momentum but the outstanding play by pretty much everyone on the Thunder’s team was too much for the Spurs to handle. Duncan finished with 18 points but Ginobili carried the day with 34. Ginobili knows how to shoot a basketball and he hit some huge 3 pointers in the second half.

Fisher was Significant

Gregg Popovich, the prolific and incredible winning coach with the Spurs, could only do so much. He argued with the refs in desperation in the 4th quarter after another fast break by Durant and rebound by Durant as he then made an open 16 footer with ease. The Thunder were having their way with the Spurs much to the chagrin of the home town crowd. Derek Fisher played well for the Thunder; well, he has been down this road before many times but now he is doing it with a team that is respectable.

The Avengers

The Spurs almost tied it up at the end but a huge three pointer by James Harden almost shut the door completely on the Spurs chances with about a 1:30 remaining. Harden’s three was supreme and it did not seem like the Spurs had enough time to catch the Thunder – which they did not as evident by the final score. It just seemed like whatever the Spurs tossed at the Thunder, the Thunder had Captain America’s shield and then they shot back with Iron Man’s palm laser beams.

The Times have Changed

The Spurs are finally looking their age which is shocking to many considering they were blowing teams out just a short time ago. Just go ask the Clippers.

Is the Streak Over – Spurs Lost

What happened to the Spurs?

by Randy Watson

You have to score points to win in basketball; even someone who does not follow the game knows this. The Spurs were hammered by their Mid-west nemesis the Oklahoma City (OKC) Thunder. The Spurs were stomping the Thunder just like they have trashed every team they have played up until now. That is right, the Spurs were undefeated in this 2012 playoff tournament but ran into a juggernaut in this Thursday night game losing by 20 points, 102 to 82. Yes, points matter in basketball and the Spurs did not score than many of them.

The Thunder Started off Hot

There are many reasons the Spurs were defeated. It does not help that their All-Star center and/or power forward Tim Duncan only shot 5 of 15 from the floor and only grabbed 2 rebounds. That is nothing special. Yes, he did block 5 shots but that was not enough against a team that is younger and does not seem to get tired. It does not help that the Thunder broke out with an 8-0 lead in the first 3 minutes and did not slow down for anyone. That train never blinked.

Game 4 is Pivotal

The Thunder have not been beaten at home in this playoff contest against any team. The Spurs should be concerned a little but so should the Thunder because if they do succumb to the Spurs in game 4, going down 3-1, there is little chance that they reach the NBA finals and play the Miami Heat. Yes, the Heat will take that series without their All-Star center Chris Bosch. Sorry Boston, not this time. Of course most real basketball fans are glad Kobe Bryant is somewhere else as well as his David Stern loving LA Lakers.

Perkins was a Concrete Wall

It was not only the Thunder’s offense that stole the show, it was their defense, which was actually Spur’s like. Kendrick Perkins guarded Tim Duncan and pretty much locked him down. What? Did you think Tim Duncan had a poor showing when he had open lanes to the basket all night long? Not quite; the Thunder’s center worked hard and finally helped slow down this future Hall of Famer.

Parker was Defeated

The Thunder’s defense was airtight and compelled the Spurs to kick out 3 turnovers in the beginning of the game which enable the Thunder to score some baskets and take the early lead. This is the confidence booster they needed. This quickly became the Spur’s worst nightmare come true. Thabo Sefolosha was all over Tony Parker and he forced this outstanding point guard into making sloppy passes. In other words, this Swiss basketball player got the better of the Frenchman. Who said this was not an international game?

Finished with the Lead

The Spurs did charge back with a 13-4 run to reclaim the lead at 13-12 with 5:16 left in the opening quarter. Incredibly, the Spurs led by 2 points, 24-22, at the end of the first quarter after having committing 7 turnovers. But this was probably the last thing the Spurs could smile about for the rest of this dreary night.

No Rest for the Weary

Manu Ginobili’s spark did not lift his beloved Spurs this time around. Gary Neal was not stellar either. The Spurs were beaten on every level. Not one of the players could be proud of their game at the end of this contest. The only good thing the Spurs can say is that it is unlikely they will commit 21 turnovers again in a game. The Thunder did their job and put a win on their side of the column. It does help that their crowd is raucous and this energy ignited the Thunder and propelled them to victory. This was the worst thumping the Spurs experienced this season. Will this affect their psyche? Unlikely, they know how to win, they are mature, and they are multiple championship winners. The Thunder better not sleep in and party over this victory.

The Thunder had a Winning Game Plan

Kevin Durant, the league’s leading scorer, finished with 22 points which is nothing special for him. The Spurs were not defeated by just one superlative player; they were worn down and deflated by a team that looked to be on a mission. The Thunder practiced blitzkrieg and the Spurs did not know how handle this type of defensive and offensive pressure. In fact, if one player grabbed the hearts of the OKC Thunder fans, it was the European, Sefolosha who played well on both ends of the floor.

Utility Bill Saving Secrets for South Texas

South Texas Energy Utility Bill Saving Secrets!

We’re coming up on that time of year again, you can feel it. It even feels like the sun just loves to shine a little too much on this state. With temperatures brutally scorching into the 110’s at times in June, July and August you can notice a loud buzzing noise outside, it’s that beautiful sound of all the air conditioners just humming, some all day, every day. This is also the same noise as money going down the drain. The only heat we like to feel in San Antonio is the Spurs heating up as they go into the conference finals against OKC.

Now what you may not be familiar with is all the little secrets that can hack away at that electric bill of yours. Coming into June you know you’re going to war with your electric bill so let’s go through some tips that actually work.

1.) Add weather stripping to your doors, seal up the house. This is an investment that will really save you money over the lifetime of your house. The great thing about this method is it works for both seasons the winter and the summer. It prevents hot or cold air from coming in, and hot or cold air from leaving the house. If you have 3 or 4 doors around your house that open to the outside air it can really add up. Make sure that air is not leaking into the attic too, that can really hurt your bill the most, and there’s a way to insulate your attic. On a windy day check to see if any air is coming in through any part of the home and then seal it up. There are many great residential insulation consultants out there that can help!

2.) Buy energy saving lights. Although this has nothing to do with your air conditioner, it has everything to do with your electric bill. Fluorescent lights can actually cut your electric bill in half. They will also last longer and they are not as warm as the older lights. If you have a lamp next to a sofa, this will actually make that sofa spot a little cooler, so it actually does have an impact on the temperature in certain spots of the home.

3.) Unblock all vents. Vents are like the veins in the body, if a vein is blocked it can cause all sorts of damage over time to the body, and possibly even death. Vents are sometimes placed in awkward places in the home, where pictures or furniture may also be, this will keep certain rooms or areas warm, and others possibly excessively too cool. This may not save as much on the bill but it will actually make your home feel more comfortable in all places and it may cause you to not turn down the ac some more.

4.) Unplug all small appliances. In the amazing world of technology that we live in, we tend to have many things plugged in that power a little burst of energy. DVD players,microwaves, alarm clocks, cell phone chargers, night lights, lab-top chargers, you name it. These small electrical devices individually don’t use up as much energy, however most are going all day, every day, this adds up. If you were to take a home that has a family of 4 to 6 people, this can add up to be a nice chunk of the electric bill. These devices don’t need to be plugged in all day every day, you can really cut some fat off the bill if you can conserve with these devices. Many experts believe that this is 10% of your electric bill.

5.) Close the blinds. The sun beaming into certain rooms will really keep the house warmer. If the blinds aren’t that great it might be worth the investment to find blinds that will keep out the sun and heat. This will save a nice little chunk off the electric bill.

6.) Wash your clothes in cold water. You may not believe it but this will actually save you between .30 to .40 cents per load on your electric bill. Just give it a try! Your clothes will actually still be just as clean too!

The more energy efficient you make your home it will save you a great amount of money over time. For real estate if a home buyer was to see how much they would save in energy over time it could have a big impact on the sale of the home. If the buyer couldn’t make up their mind between your home and another home, the energy saving costs might actually be the tipping point to sale your home. It’s worth it!

Jacob Wilson has done the Marketing for Mercury Control Commercial and Residential Heating/Air in Houston, Texas at Needcooling.com for 2 years now. He’s also an editor for their Blog. His favorite NBA team is the San Antonio Spurs and he’s a very passionate Texas Resident. 

The Spurs Dynamic System

The Spur’s Dynamic System

by Randy Watson

Who would have thought the San Antonio Spurs had it in them? Even with three future Hall of Famers on the roster, no one thought they would be this good. How many people wrote them off? They are pretty much the same team as last year, right? And the year before? What did they do then? Well, that does not matter exactly because they did not win a championship and they did not shine at all, certainly for anyone outside of San Antonio.

Well, how things have changed. Duncan is playing like he is still a college student at Wake Forest. Where did those energetic legs come from? Is it because Gregg Popovich (Pop), the Spur’s coach, knows how to manage an NBA team? Or is it because Duncan decided to work extra hard in the extended off season? It is probably a bit of both.

Take a Breather, Think about the Future

Let’s look at Peyton Manning. Yes, you read that correctly. The future Hall of Fame QB, in the NFL, who is coming off a surgery and who has never seen the bench in the NFL because he refused to come out and give the second string QB an opportunity. Manning should have had Pop as a coach but would Manning have listened?

There was game after game when the Colts were blowing out the opposition and 5 minutes to go, Manning is still in the game slinging passes all around to his favorite receivers or handing the ball off. It never made that much sense to me and Manning possibly missed last season because of it and he may never be the QB he used to be.

The Spurs are another story. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have received the rest that they seemed to have needed and both are just clobbering their opponents. Duncan’s stellar play has been mentioned. But the big three have some serious help and this is known to the league because the league is getting smashed right now by the onslaught of the Spurs.

The Spurs have added Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal, and Kawhi Leonard which has proved to be respectable additions. The Spurs are deeper than ever before and this has the league petrified. Only one team stands in their way and that is the Thunder.

The Heat were the favorites to come out of the east but that idea has been dashed because of their golden center, Steve Bosch, went down with some sort of lower leg injury after he fell awkwardly on it. This type of injury to a key player would devastate most teams as it has the Heat but not the Pop led Spurs who have quietly built a team that is deep and formidable.

This is not the first time the Spurs have done this and Sean Elliot for sure knows all about that.

A Winning Business, a.k.a. NBA Team, Model

On top of the big three being fully rested and ready to whip some teams, the Spurs have another outstanding player who has been being developed by their winning and spectacular talent developing system. He goes by the likes of Danny Green. Green averaged about 9 points this season along with 4 rebounds. He plays the 2-guard position, stands around 6’6″ and is an athletic 210 pounds. His play in the post season has been stable and his production has been consistent. He is just another reason why Spurs’ fans in the Alamo City are smiling.

The state of Texas is thriving. The economy is poor but Texas is holding its own. If it is not Dallas winning an NBA championship, why not the Spurs? Well, the Oklahoma City Thunder may have some issues with that.

2007 Revisited

Some people say the Spurs should not have won a championship in 2007 because what Robert Horry did, smashing Sun’s outstanding point guard Steve Nash into the scorer’s table actually hurt the Suns because Amare Stoudemire was eventually suspended for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals which gave the Spurs a serious advantage. They won Game 7 and the Cleveland Cavaliers did not stand a chance against the Spurs or the Suns if the Suns happened to make it. So in essence, should the Spurs win it this year? Do they deserve a championship or are they up one already because of the unsportsmanlike play from Horry?

The Imposing Teams from the West

Well, you could argue Shaquille O’Neal has 2 rings he does not deserve, along with the Lakers, and Kobe but oh well, back to 2012. It is a case of deja vu because two outstanding teams in the West will meet up again and the East has nothing to offer. Well, the Celtics could be a challenge to someone.

Tom Benson Buys New Orleans Hornets

Benson Buys Hornets for $338 Million

by Randy Watson

Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints and owner of several San Antonio car dealerships, as well as other businesses in San Antonio… bought the New Orleans Hornets NBA franchise for $338 Million. Benson is now the sole owner of the Hornets.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune says that Benson intends to change the name of the franchise to something referring to New Orleans.

Link

Spurs Lead Division but Manu Out with Broken Hand

Spurs Lead Division; Ginobili Out with Broken Hand

by Randy Watson

The good news for Spurs’ fans is that, due in part to an underperforming division as a whole, the Spurs are in first place in the Southwest division. The bad news is that Manu Ginobili broke his hand in the recent loss to Minnesota, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. In this year’s condensed season, that comes as very bad news to a team made up of aging veterans and many untested younger players.

There is no way to sugarcoat the loss of the Spurs most dynamic playmaker and emotional leader. Ginobili is the best defender on the team, and the player that makes the Spurs’ pick and roll work efficiently. Without him, untested or role wing players like James Anderson, Daniel Green, and Gary Neal will have to step up their games and fill in. Ginobili’s absence will give these players the opportunity to mature—hopefully quickly—and gain some needed experience for the playoffs. Playing without him, however, places a heavier burden on the rest of the team than Coach Popovich surely wants.

Although early in the season, none of the other teams in the division seem to be off to particularly good starts either. The defending champion Mavericks have struggled out of the gate, perhaps from a championship hangover, perhaps from some chemistry issues from new personnel. The other teams in the division do not seem capable of mounting a challenge to San Antonio and Dallas, so hopefully the Spurs can manage to win enough games in Ginobili’s absence to hang around for his return and then make a push into the playoffs.

For what it’s worth, the Spurs are among the highest scoring teams in the league, ranking 9th with 99 points per game. They are 13th in points allowed, giving up 94.4.

Coming up, the Spurs take on the mediocre Golden State Warriors, the defending champion Mavs, and the high-scoring Nuggets, so it will be interesting for Spurs’ fans to see what direction the team takes with #20 out of the line-up.

Spurs Set to Tip Off 2011-2012 NBA Season

Spurs Set to Tip Off NBA Season. . .Finally

by Randy Watson

With the NBA lockout finally over, the NBA will hold an abbreviated pre-season before embarking on an abbreviated season that will get underway on Christmas day. The last time we left the San Antonio Spurs, they had just finished up a successful regular season (division champs) with a most unsuccessful post-season (1st round exit to the Grizzlies). How successful was last year’s regular season? The team won just under 75% of their games, 74.4 to be exact, making it the most successful season in terms of winning percentage since 2005-6. Unfortunately, the 4-2 series loss to the upstart Grizzlies erased most of the good memories of the regular season.

Looking forward to this year, most of the major parts of the team are back for another go-around. One missing cog is Antonio McDyess, who was put on waivers and then retired. The major pieces, however, are still in silver and black. Ginobili, Duncan, and Parker will be joined by a new face in rookie Kawhi Leonard, a long, raw defensive specialist that looks to battle with Richard Jefferson for minutes throughout the season.

What does the season portend for the Spurs? Well, the Big Three aren’t getting any younger, and with the league deciding to squeeze in as many games as possible, the demands of the schedule may take a toll on the Spurs’ veteran players. On the bright side, the Spurs do have more promising young stars that can take some of the burden off. If Tiago Splitter can continue to develop along with DeJuan Blair, then Tim Duncan might be able to play fewer minutes and get a night off every once in a while.

This year will be an interesting year for the NBA with the shortened season, but could work out well for veteran teams like the Spurs. Will those teams who return their core players have an advantage over younger, more inexperience teams that might take longer to come together? Or will the grind of the season wear down the older teams? Only time will tell, and with the season set to kick off in just a few days, we won’t have long to wait.

 

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Magic Johnson Buys San Antonio Multi-Family Property

Complex Purchased by Magic Johnson

Written by Randy Watson

Texas A&M Real Estate Center today reports that Magic Johnson has purchase a San Antonio apartment complex.

A 612 Unit apartment complex in San Antonio was purchased by Magic Johnson. The Signature Ridge apartment complex is a 27 building complex. Each building is a 3 story building at 3711 Medical Dr. near the Medical Center. The complex sits on about 27 acres.

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Spurs Preparing for the Season

Created Friday, 17 October 2008 17:35

Spurs Preparing for the Season

The NBA’s preseason is underway, and that means that the 2008 season is just weeks away!  The biggest question for the Spurs during the offseason has been, and continues to be the ankle of Manu Ginobili.  Manu’s ankle has been an issue for much of the last year, culminating in the Olympics injury which required surgery last month.  Ginobili is expected to miss the entire preseason, and perhaps as much as two months of the regular season.

The good news for the Spurs and their fans is that Ginobili was recently seen at the team’s training facility with no limp, no crutches, and with no protective boot.  Although it’s still too early to tell exactly when he’ll be back, Ginobili is hoping to be ready for the first game of the regular season.

As far as the offseason is concerned, the team should look fairly similar to the one of the last few years, except for some minor changes in the supporting cast.  One of the key players that will be missing from this year’s version is Brent Barry.  A new addition to the team is George Hill at point guard.  Hill is the team’s draft pick from this year’s draft, and the team hopes that he can become a reliable option at point guard.  If Hill’s first summer league game is any indication of what is to come, the Spurs will have a back up for Tony Parker.  In that first game, Hill scored 17 points, pulled down 8 rebounds, and outplayed OJ Mayo.

Another addition to the team is Roger Mason, Jr.  Mason’s four-year career has been spent bouncing from team to team, before having a breakout season for the Wizards last year, filling in for the injured Gilbert Arenas and starting 9 games.  Mason averaged 9 ppg, shot 44% from the field, 40% from behind the arc, and 87% from the free throw line.

The Spurs got off to a rocky start in the preseason, dropping their first two games to division rivals Houston and New Orleans.  Recently, San Antonio has managed to even up their record by going on the road to beat Detroit and Cleveland.

One issue working against the Spurs is their age.  San Antonio has managed to keep their core together, but age is certainly something that will be a factor at some point in the future.  Tim Duncan is 32, Bruce Bowen is 37, Ginobili is 31, and Finley and Kurt Thomas are 35.  Parker is still a spry 27, but the Spurs certainly need some of their young talent to step up and begin to take on active roles.

While age is an issue, the one thing that San Antonio can always count on to keep them in every game is their defense.  Bowen, Duncan, and Kurt Thomas are tough, hard-nosed defenders that should be able to help the Spurs stay in the hunt until Manu Ginobili returns.

San Antonio has won at least 56 games for an amazing 8 straight years, and are hoping to keep that streak going.  This year will be a test in that regard.  Starting the season without Ginobili, or with a recovering version, will require other players to step up and fill in.  Last year, injuries caused most of the Spurs’ top players to miss significant time, and the results showed.  The team was never able to play with consistency and as a result, failed to meet their lofty expectations.  Time will tell if this year will be different.

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Spurs Season Comes to a Close

Created Sunday, 01 June 2008 19:05

Spurs Season Comes to a Close, Questions Coming in the Offseason

The Spurs’ season ended against the Lakers, in a fairly close, but ultimately losing effort in Game 5.  The final score was 100-92, and the Spurs were within striking distance late in the game, but no one could stop Kobe Bryant, who ended the game with 39 points, 17 of which came in the final quarter.

For San Antonio, the script was the same as it had been for the series.  Tim Duncan did his usual thing, putting up a triple double with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists, and Tony Parker led the team with 23 points.  As a team, the Spurs certainly scored enough to win, as five players scored in double digits.  Offense was not the problem, as the team shot 48% from the field, and from behind the arc.  Unfortunately, the team’s defense was not up to the task, as the Spurs’ strength turned into a liability against the Lakers.

Manu Ginobili once again had a terrible game, only managing 9 points, and missing several shot late in the game.  For Ginobili, perhaps the season being over is a blessing in disguise.  The Argentine had been playing with a bad ankle, and the Lakers capitalized as they forced him to go to his off-hand time after time.  He had a forgettable playoffs all the way around this season.

Early in the game, it looked like the Spurs might be able to extend the series, and move it back to San Antonio for Game 6.  In the second quarter San Antonio went on a 15-1 run that gave them a 17 point lead.  In a sign of things to come, the Lakers then went a run to cut the lead to 6 points before halftime.  In the third quarter, the Spurs built a 10 point lead, but Kobe Bryant then took over the game, daring the Spurs to stop him—something that San Antonio, and most other teams in the league, have been unable to do all year.

So at the end of it all, the Spurs have the off-season to decide the future of the team.  The team is certainly not getting any younger, although the nucleus of Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker still have some years left.  The role players are a different story, however.  Horry, Finley, Barry, and Thomas are all well into their 30s, and certainly near the ends of their careers.  San Antonio does have a first round draft pick, and two seconds this year, as well as the rights to several foreign players that management hopes to plug into the team when they are ready.  A major overhaul is not in the cards, as the owners have stated time and again that the big three are not on the trade block.

The Spurs enter the offseason disappointed, but likely not overwhelmingly surprised.  All season long, the team fought to stay healthy, and had several substantial losing streaks which signaled that this might not be their year.  In addition, the other teams in the West upgraded just before the trade deadline, while the Spurs, for the most part, stayed pat.

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