Monday, October 20, 2008

Roster Cuts Arent Exactly A Depredation, But Bear Depression


Good times. I kissed a girl. And it felt good. We have good times, really - I mean those who arent competing for roster spots. Of course, the economy crisis is spreading like a tuberculosis in the yesteryer... more expensive tickets and the like, but well survive. A little bit busy times, but I should be okay and finish the month of October with my obligatory at-least-four-blogs-a-month approach. You tought Im passing away? No way! Im here with my insight, as worthless as it may seem. Hey Shaq, shut up! Make free throws instead! Amare, you look fly with those goggles! OK, lets start the real hoops blogging... The Spurs preseason? So far, so good. Looks like the spotlight is on the other contenders. Except for that Pops prehistoric beard, for sure. The Spurs will begin the season in relative anonymity and without that well-known pressure of repeating, which can suit the Celtics, however, in my humble opinion, it certainly does no good for the silver and black. After some everything but fertile years (I mean, is there a worse official team site than the Spurs one? I dont follow other teams nba.com/---/ sites, but I gotta say, our spurs.com house stinks. Like the whole Spurs team has a ban speaking with spurs.com staff (is there any?)... if you wanna find some in-depth info about the Spurs players, just dont click on nba.com/spurs/. Search elsewhere. Since I dont wanna be so pessimistic, they started posting some yummy videos last season, much to my delight. But the writing/blogging stuff? Non-existent. Just give me a job there as a blogger and the site would crash the party... even possibly beatin the Lakers legendary, all-user-friendly site.) nba.com/spurs/ launched Roger Masons Videoblog Training Camp, where he accompanies you through the Spurs practices/scrimmages/yogas and all. Really good stuff. When they posted Episode Four the other day, I even kept looking for Big Shot Robby, and after 7 seconds I realized that hes not on the Spurs roster anymore. Crazy. I knew that Horry isnt with the team, but something in my brain kept popping up, like Heck, wheres Roberts smiley face?. The results of the Spurs preseason games dont even merit any mention here, they are totally irrelevant. But since the official NBA roster, that has to be submitted on Monday, Oct. 27, bears 15 names, lets investigate with the best guess who might find yourself on/off when the actual season begins. Of course, the most interesting part is created by bubble players, guys with non-guaranteed contracts who wanna make the last cut. As of now, the spurs have 13 deals set in stone for 2008-09. The last two spots remain free. Guards-Parker, Vaughn, Mason, Geroge Hill (the rook looks very promising on the court, hes a flat-out good guy, talented and commited two-wayer) Ginobili (started running last week, but Coach Popster is very cautious with Manus injury, I mean he lets him shed the suit just before the X-mas if everything goes well and is healed), The Leaner Version of Finley; Forwards-Bowen (actually, can you call Bruce a forward?!?), Udoka, Duncan, Bonner, Ian Mahinmi (battling with sprained ankle, unable to play in the preseason); Centers-Thomas, Oberto (my mother thinks hes her third cousin from Argentina). Anthony Tolliver, the rookie free agent, hopes to prove he merits a spot on the Spurs' roster. He already has shown coach Popovich he understands the most important truth of pro basketball: Shooters, and hes a shooter, must shoot, no matter what. He can be a revealting during the season, because the 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward not only sweet-shoots, but is eager to learn the defense and rebound. Timmy D said sometin like that an over-abundance of adrenalin likely resulted in long-range inaccuracy in his first preseason games, but thats fine with younger bucks who can get too excited in their first stints. I agree. Its pretty obvious. And his stroke will get even better in time. *I think there's something going on with his shot,* assistant coach Mike Budenholzer said. *Whether it's pressing, or he's just too excited. We've noticed that most of his shots are on the back of the rim. He's geeked up. We've got to get him to cut back on the Cheerios in the morning.* Cut it back, thony. *I think the fact he keeps shooting and stays aggressive is a great sign,* said Bud. *He's a great shooter, and when you're a great shooter you've got to keep shooting.* Then theres a group of perimeter guys trying to impress the coaches and to make the cut. It consists of Malik Hairston (2008 2nd-round pick), Desmon Farmer and Devin Green. Each has good moments intertwined with bad ones. Like last week in the game against the Pistons (in that game, Hill did a very solid job defending Stuckey). Dont forget center Darryl Watkins, who possesses some defensive skills (blocks and boards). The coaches keep sayin that this years bunch of bubble players on the roster is the best in years and they have a tough task ahead of them to pick two winners who get deal and roster spot. What makes things even more perplexing and hard to evaluate is the Salim Stoudemire Situation. This vet FA, 2008 Hawk, was a victim of a nagging right groin strain (suffered in the first day of training camp) until the last game vs. Pacers on Saturday. I had one of my online-buddies at AT&T Center at 10AM, the Spurs had a workout open to the public there: *If I have to pick two players, based on what I saw in that workout, just from the interaction between players, Tolliver and Salim would be my survivors.* Popovich is in no rush to make roster cuts. *I'm a coward,* said Pop. *It's hard to tell a young kid who has worked as hard as these guys we're not going to keep you. Until I have to do it, I'm not going to do it. Thus, we have to wait and guess. Good luck guys, I know its megahard to swallow being cut. But keep on working no matter what! Last thing: The Blazers are the team on the rise, but head into the 2009 summer with seven players hitting (or, to say it better, they can hit) the FA market (=some difficult decisions regarding Martell Webster, Channing Frye, Ike Diogu, Sergio Rodriguez, Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake & Raef LaFrentz). GM Kevin Pritchard is going to be active during the season, trades and all. I just hope Ill find Outlaw on the Spurs 2009-10 roster... Viva la basketball vida!

p.s.: Matt Bonner admitted that no amount of stretching or meditation will be enough to get him fully balanced: *My body hasn't been in balance with my mind since the day I was born. I still think I can dunk from the foul line.*
p.s.2: Bonner spent whatever downtime he had during his hectic summer working out in San Antonio, enduring a regimen that included, among other things, flipping truck tires. *If a fan throws a giant tractor tire on the court, I'll be the first one to help.*
p.s.3: PHX at UTH. The 7-foot-1, 300-pound Force of Ukraine, Kyrylo Fesenko vs. The Last Remnants of Shaquille ONeal. Fesenkos words: *It was really hard. I realize that I am not big, I am not strong. I am small girl compared to Shaq. One time after I push him in the back, he look at me and this look I will see probably in my nightmares.*
p.s.4: In Detroit, Coach Pop rather didnt play TP9 at all due to some minor soreness in Parkers left Achilles' tendon. Pop: *With Ginobili out for a while, we dont want to lose him, too. If that happened, I wouldnt even want to go to the games. Id just go have dinner and check the results in the morning.*
p.s.5: Micheal Redd tells Richard Jefferson: *China is actually better than Milwaukee, except for three things - beer, more beer and even more beer.*

Posted by Foreigner in CS - Oct 20 2008 1:25PM

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