Our 4-11 Timberpuppies take on the 12-1 (!) Spurs tonight at Target Center. I did a Gameday Preview with the best San Antonio Spurs blog on the net, Bloguin’s own Project Spurs. I don’t think I need to tell any hardcore NBA fan that you should be checking out that site on a daily basis, because they are damn good at what they do (at least, much better than us jokesters here at TWB.) And if you are a Spurs fan (booo!), then you are already checking out this site all the time anyways, because it’s the best.
Jeff from Project Spurs asked me who’s playing well on the Wolves besides Beasley/Love/Darko (CW Editor hint: no one), Talked Kevin Love and keys to victory, asked about the Spurs hot start to the season, the match-up of the night for tonight’s game, and my score prediction. To see how I responded, you are going to have to venture over to Project Spurs to find out!
To read Jeff’s answers to my totally, amazingly, awesome questions… please click “Read More” below to continue on with this story!
And for more TWolves news/analysis/discussion/arguments, make sure to check out the newly reamped TWolves Blog Forums!
And here we go!
College Wolf: 12-1!?! What the… I thought your team was old and supposedly getting worse!
Project Spurs: When will NBA fans ever learn to never count out the San Antonio Spurs as long as Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan are there. But seriously this team is firing on all cylinders for a variety of reason. One is you have the Big Three (Parker, Ginobili and Duncan) fully rested and recovered from nagging injuries they suffered last season. Also, Richard Jefferson seems to finally caught on to the Spurs complex system giving them an added dimension the team did not have last season. They are hitting their three-point shots, have an influx of youth with James Anderson (injured), George Hill, DeJuan Blair and surprise rookie Gary Neal fitting in nicely with the team.
I could go on and on but basically their chemistry is solid and coach Pop has them on the same page.
CW: You guys are scoring 107.6 ppg (second best in the league.) Is this sustainable throughout the season? Or is your defense good enough that it doesn’t need to be sustained?
PS: Defense will ALWAYS be a work in progress so long as Popovich is at the helm. Though it is weird to see the Spurs running a bit more but come crunch time they have gone back to the grind it out style from teams of the past. Case in point the recent win over the Orlando Magic. The two teams were trading buckets until the fourth quarter came around and the Spurs put the clamps on defense, outscoring the Magic in the quarter and getting the stops.
The defense needs to be sustained and you might see it be focused more so as the season winds down come after the All-Star break. As we all know run-and-gun does not work in the playoffs so expect things to normalize and the Spurs go back to “defense first” style of play.
CW: Duncan. What’s with the diminished stats/averages so far this season?
PS: Please. Diminished? So he had a string of single digits scoring night but do not let that fool you. First he has a fully healthy Parker and Ginobili at his side so they can relieve the scoring pressure off Duncan. Second, others are stepping up. Jefferson, Hill, McDyess, Neal all have had good games where Duncan may not be needed for some scoring punch. Third, did you not see his line against Dwight Howard and the Magic? Let me remind you: 15 points, four rebounds, three steals, two blocks, two assists in 28 minutes.
Again like most of the NBA nation, people are counting him out as being old and done but do you REALLY want to do that….again?!?
CW: Can you toss any remaining TWolves fans a nugget(s) of hope for the rest of the season/future?
PS: Yes. Kevin Love. I had a chance to speak with him in New York City when he was with Team USA and the experience he had playing with the other members and being with Coach K did him wonders. He told me he was happy to be with the fellow Team USA players and I feel Wolves fans are seeing what he learned with his Team USA experience so far this season. Check out the interview I did with him. http://projectspurs.com/podcasts/episodes/video-kevin-love-interview.html
CW: Keys to the game for the Spurs to win? Besides simply showing up, of course.
PS: Really one key: No complacency. Spurs cannot play down to the Wolves. If they do not and play with some fire, Spurs will get the win and extend the win streak to 12 in a row.
CW: Your prediction for tonight’s game?
PS: Spurs beat the Wolves and the final score from the Target Center will pretty much look like this. Sorry Wolves fans.