Who: San Antonio Spurs vs Charlotte Bobcats
What: NBA Basketball – Spurs Home Game
When: 8:30 PM ET
Where: Live at AT&T Center
|San Antonio||36-11||106.9 (5)||98.4 (4)||96.7 (5)|
|Charlotte||11-33||98.9 (28)||108.1 (29)||94.5 (12)|
San Antonio: Tim Duncan (OUT), DeJuan Blair (OUT)
Charlotte: Byron Mullens (OUT)
|PG||Tony Parker||Kemba Walker|
|SG||Manu Ginobili||Gerald Henderson|
|SF||Kawhi Leonard||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist|
|PF||Tiago Splitter||Jeff Adrien|
|C||Boris Diaw||Bismack Biyombo|
|6th Man||Danny Green||Ramon Sessions|
1- STATS: The first game this season between these two teams saw San Antonio knock down 19 3’s and shoot 55.9% from behind the arc. The way that the Spurs share the basketball and spread the floor with shooters is a bad combination for the defensive system that Mike Dunlap has implemented in Charlotte- over-helping/overloading strong side of the floor. What adjustments MUST the Bobcats make tonight, defensively, to have a chance?
Spencer: If Dunlap elects to not stray from his defensive philosophy of loading up the ball side of the floor with bodies then Charlotte is simply going to close out on shooters like blood sucking zombies, but ones that run really fast. That’s about the only adjustment that makes sense for the Cats. They’ve looked so disinterested in closing out on shooters this season, yet if they want to avoid embarrassment for the second time in a row against the Spurs then maybe they’ll change their minds.
Brett: The Bobcats may want to avoid their three guard lineups against the Spurs – when the Bobcats have a trio from the Kemba, Ramon, Ben Gordon, Gerald Henderson group on the court (so, 3 players 6-5 and under), the team gives up more three pointers and at a higher percentage than when they play a more traditional lineup.
Andrew McNeill (48 Minutes of Hell): The Bobcats are going to have to run the Spurs off the 3-point line at all costs. The Spurs haven’t shot all that well from behind the arc lately, not bad mind you, but they haven’t had one of those scorching hot games. If they get open shots from the perimeter, they could be due for one.
2- MANU GINOBILI: As his contract expires at the end of the season, what will his market be in free agency and could the Spurs possibly afford to not find a way to bring him back?
Andrew: I highly doubt Manu Ginobili would play for anyone in the NBA other than the Spurs at this point in his career, unless he was sent somewhere in a trade, that is. I’m still not convinced Ginobili won’t retire at the end of the year, but if he decides to return, I would guess he’d re-sign for the Spurs for one or two seasons at a very fair rate. Something like $3-4 million a season.
Spencer: I put Andrew’s answer first in this question because it’s surely the one with the most substance. I do believe that there are teams out there that will inquire about Ginobili’ services next season, but it all comes down to whether or not he has the desire to still play. I’d venture to guess that if the Spurs come up just short in their bid for a championship this season that he’ll be back with the team in some sort of deal similar to the one Andrew mentioned above.
Brett: Manu will be 36 next season, which is starting (past) to be old for a shooting guard in the NBA. But, Manu has seen limited minutes through most of his career, acting as a 6th man for the Spurs, so he may be able to play a couple of years beyond a player who saw more minutes. And as far as re-signing with the Spurs, I imagine that a player who was willing to accept a limited role for the good of the team for so long would be willing to make concessions to finish his career with that team. And with the strong performance Manu continues to provide at this stage of his career, the Spurs would have an incentive to retain him beyond the sentimental.
3- PICK IT: Everyone is going with the Spurs here, but does anyone expect Charlotte to put up any kind of fight?
Spencer: I do not. OKC and San Antonio are without question the two worst match-ups for Charlotte in the entire league. Only way Bobcats stay in this game in to keep the turnover to under 10 and get at least 30 fast-break points.
Brett: I hope the team remembers the embarrassing loss they experienced last time against the Spurs, and competes throughout to avoid a similar fate. I do like the aggressiveness Jeff Adrien brings, and if MKG can bounce back from his recent slow performances, I think the Bobcats can at least make the Spurs work for the win.
Andrew: Not really, no.