Spurs Add Gooden, Are 1st in Southwest
The Spurs are in the middle of a run to the playoffs, and added another big, experienced player to their already formidable roster. Drew Gooden is the latest addition to a team looking to make a deep run in the post-season. Gooden started out the season as a Bull, but was sent to Sacramento earlier this season, where he was recently bought out. The jury will be out for some time as to what Gooden will bring to San Antonio. He is nursing a strained groin, and is expected to miss a few games, but the hope is that he will be ready for the playoff run. Gooden is 6'10" and has averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds over his career.
The injury bug has also bitten Manu Ginobili again. Ginobili has been out of the lineup since Feb. 11. San Antonio went 7-4 in the month of Feb., which saw Tim Duncan also sidelined for three games with a leg injury.
San Antonio has gotten off to a middling start in the month of March, dropping two of the first four games. The two losses were to Portland and Dallas, and the wins were blowouts against the Clippers and Wizards.
As far as the division is concerned, the Spurs remain in first place. The division has been the most competitive throughout the year, and will remain that way until the end. San Antonio holds a 2 game lead over Houston, with New Orleans just half a game back in third. Dallas holds fourth place, but even they are only 4.5 games back. At this point, it's anyone's division, but the Spurs still are in the driver's seat.
As far as the conference standings are concerned, the Los Angeles Lakers have wrapped it up, barring a total collapse, with a 8.5 game lead over the second-place Spurs. There is a logjam of teams behind the Spurs, with 5 teams within 3 games of San Antonio.
There is still a month and a half left in until the playoffs get started, so anything is possible. San Antonio certainly has its work cut out for the rest of the month. March sees them match up against the top teams in the league, with games against the Suns, Lakers, Celtics, Rockets, Hornets, and Hawks.
The addition to Gooden should help enormously in the stretch run, assuming that he manages to get healthy and into playing shape soon. A big body that can spell Duncan and give more quality minutes than Kurt Thomas can, would be a wonderful addition for what San Antonio hopes to be another successful title run. Getting healthy is much more important than positioning in the playoffs, but Spurs fans are hoping that the team can pull off both.