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Gasol and Duncan going at each other, just like in practice next season.
Memphis playing early like they've had enough of this "always losing to the Spurs" stuff
Zbo with 4 points now, hit another mid-range jumper over Bonner. Coach Joerger said Grizz would get ball moving for better Zbo shots.
Randolph starts 2 for 2, and that's a terrible omen after basically no-showing against the Spurs for three-plus years.
This one's going a little better for Memphis to start.
Duncan and Gasol are just in phenomenal shape. What specimens.
With this lineup, Tim Duncan is the Spurs' best scoring option. He draws the foul on Gasol 2 minutes in for free throws.
Grizzlies off the the 6-0 start, both mid-range jumpers made by Zbo and Gasol. SA 0/2 to start. Lee also with jumper.
Conley's beard is even worse in person.
Grizzlies: Conley, Lee, Pondexter, Randolph, Gasol.
Spurs: Joseph, Green, KYLE ANDERSON, Duncan, Bonner.* * -- Grizzlies still opting to start Zach Randolph, for some reason
So, not an optimal time to be without key players
Pop: These are Spurs two toughest months, this is the toughest of the two, and these are the toughest two weeks of the toughest month.
Looks like Kyle Anderson will start in place of Kawhi Leonard once more. Quincy Pondexter to start in place of Tony Allen. (From monitor)
Spurs v Grizzlies 830pm eastern...tune in
Patty Mills (shoulder) has graduated to contact work, went through entire shootaround today. Still looking at January return, per Pop.
Popovich said Mills is still looking at mid-January return. Making steady progress, starting to participate in shootarounds w/ mild contact.
Probably doesn't want to piss off Bonner.
Started back-tracking pretty quick after that...
Joerger on local TV about how Spurs have been able to contain Randolph over the past three plus seasons: "They beat him up."
Neither Pop nor Joerger were too effusive on Duncan's remarkable D this season. Former: "He's great." Latter: "He's doing what he's done."
As you've probably already seen, Tony Allen is out tonight with a corneal abrasion. Or, scratched eye if you like.
Tony Allen has an eye problem and will not play for Grizzlies tonight vs Spurs
Matt Bonner, Thug Life
How have Spurs had such success against Zach Randolph since 2011? Dave Joerger: "They beat him up."
Coach Dave Joerger says Tony Allen is out tonight with the eye injury.
"He performed well with the minutes that he got," said Coach Pop of Kyle Anderson's recent performances.
Pop on the Spurs' history of scouting and bringing in international players: "It's sort of in our DNA."
Coach Pop says Patty Mills is still on track to return in mid-January. Said Mills is making "steady progress."
List of Spurs players who missed double-digit games last year: Parker, Ginobili, Leonard, Green, Splitter. This is nothing new.
From the Pistons: Only Prince remains. Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Rip Hamilton, and Ben Wallace are all retired.
With Tayshaun Prince & Beno Udrih in town, it got me thinking about the 2005 Finals. On Spurs' side, Parker, Duncan & Manu are still playing
Tony Allen is listed as questionable tonight with a Right Corneal Abrasion per the game notes. As already noted, Parker, Kawhi are out.
Spurs are currently in 7th in the West and talking about just wanting to "survive" December. It's going to be a mad dash to April, folks.
"That step is only going to be done, if it's done, when everybody's back and in shape." 2/2
Manu sums up these next three weeks are purely survival: "I take it as a way to just maintain where we are than to make a step ahead." 1/2
Mills getting some shots up after shootaround, looking pretty good to these untrained eyes.
Busy day ahead of me. http://t.co/Ii8v5QmhnF
Gameday!! Lets get this morning workout in
West teams with toughest schedules left (vs. +.500 opponents: PHX 30 games, OKC 28, SA/HOU/LAC 27, from there everyone else has 24-26 left.
Not to mention OKC is just a half game out of the 8th spot in the West. Right now just 4.5 games separate the 1 (GSW) to 7 seed (SA) in West
Since Westbrook & Durant returned, the Thunder have gone 7-1, are ranked 9th in offense and 2nd in defense during the last 15 days.
The Thunder are winning every game while the Spurs are (kind of) sputtering. Christmas Day is shaping up to be a fun matchup.
Russell Westbrook isn't one of the best point guards, because he's an entirely different player unto himself. He breaks basketball laws.
Watched an entire season of VEEP today. I'm nearing peak productivity.
So Isiah Thomas is a big Tony Parker fan. http://t.co/gt4MoZKD5K
Barnes: "Why are you writing? Nobody reads it anyway." Me: "Don't you know what it's like to work hard on something and have nobody see it?"
The Warriors are now on pace for only 72 wins.
The Warriors are human it appears.
Some fella just walked into the media work room, stood staring at us for a couple of minutes, then left. Turns out it was Lipscomb's coach.
I have a huge basketball crush on the Warriors and I can't help it.
I believe in the Golden State Warriors.
Joerger gave real answer to, "How big has Vince Carter been tonight?" With Pop it would have just been, "Real big" w/ eye roll.
ESPN Santa modeling his interview game after Pop. "Is that a serious question? Next."
11-6 compared to 33-4. And we're not even 1/3 into the schedule.
Found interesting tidbit while podcasting today with McDonald: Spurs have already lost two more games against sub-.500s than all last yr.
Parker's got a point about the Thunder still being a tough challenge. OKC has won 6 in a row, now 11-13, half game behind 8th seed:
I would never shell out $200 for a shoe, but that may be the exception. (Well, still no, but they are dope.)
Hate high tops, but those are beauties.
Combined 2014 record of last year's bowl winners: 279-148 (.653). Losers: 258-170 (.603). So the steppingstone gets you .05.
For all tempted to buy the "bowl as steppingstone" cliche: Only 19 of last year's 35 winners had better 2014 records than who they beat.
It's 3 p.m. and I haven't put pants on yet. Winter break is glorious.
"Lots of people can't figure that out," Popovich continued, and with 40,000 Tweets I am apparently one of them.
Not sure where this came from, but Pop with a very Pop-like compliment for Becky Hammon: "She knows when to talk and when to shut up."