Spurs Remodel A Title Contender

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — You have to feel for the guy in charge of changing name plates above the lockers in San Antonio.

He’s been extra busy in the past few weeks, adding new placards furiously after Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw and Patrick Mills have all been added to the Spurs’ roster.

San Antonio remodeled the roster of a team that was already considered a contender without these new additions in a shrewd move from a franchise that has a history of making them.

Similar to what the Lakers did at the trade deadline in adding Ramon Sessions, the Spurs went out and snagged pieces via trades and signings that they feel can push them over the top in the postseason. Even more important, they’ve added players that make them arguably the deepest team in the league.

Each and every one of the Spurs’ newest additions will play a significant role in the postseason, particularly Jackson, whose familiarity with the program makes his transition easier than most. Diaw, who joined the crew after being bought out by Charlotte, adds frontcourt depth. The ex-Blazer Mills, who spent much of the year playing in Australia and China, adds a capable, young point guard to the mix after T.J. Ford retired earlier this month.

No one is happier with all this than mainstays Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, who realize that the added depth improves their chances of chasing down another Larry O’Brien trophy to add to their collection.

And when the usually stoic Duncan’s perspective, via Tim Griffin of the Express News, matches our perception of what’s going on in San Antonio, the rest of the league needs to be on alert:

“This is as deep as I’ve ever had a team here,” Duncan told reporters after the Spurs’ victory in Sacramento. “We’re using everybody possible. And that’s been great, especially in the condensed season.”

For the first time since the trade deadline, [Spurs coach Gregg] Popovich had a complete roster at his disposal. And he got contributions from throughout his bench, which outscored Sacramento 55-20 in Wednesday’s game.

Manu Ginobili came off the bench to score a team-high 20 points in his first back-to-back game since recovering from a hip flexor.  Tiago Splitter produced seven points and six rebounds, all coming in a productive stint in the first quarter. Gary Neal shot his way out of a recent slump by hitting all four shots in the second half for 13 points after missing his first four shots. Stephen Jackson scored six points in 16 minutes in the second half when he received most of the playing time. And Boris Diaw didn’t score, but he grabbed four rebounds, dished off two assists and was a pest defensively.

“I really trust that unit,” Ginobili told FOX Sports Southwest. “We’re going to hustle and we’re versatile, we’re long and we can switch a lot. I think whenever we get used to playing with each other, we have a very special unit.”

Special is right.

That doesn’t mean they are guaranteed anything in the postseason, of course. The Mavericks proved last season that whatever impressions we might have of a team during the regular season can be dispelled over the course of two wicked months of playoff work.

But in a condensed season, where every little tweak to a roster will be magnified come playoff time, the Spurs have made some of the most significant moves of any outfit in the league.


  1. OALAKERS says:

    spurs are the most boring team to win a title.anybody but the spurs to win this year’s title.too bland.go lakers!!

  2. matthew says:

    guess were gonna have to wait come playoff time to see if they can compete

  3. willy says:

    let’s go SPURS!!!

  4. BG32 says:

    maybe a good nick name for blake griffin should be blake “the Quake”Griffin

  5. K05 says:


  6. Dew says:

    Spurs do look good. So far we have beat in some shape or form all playoff teams up to date with exceptions to the Heat and Chicago. We did not have the team we have now vs those teams however. We had people hurt and still had Jefferson. Now, we add Jackson, Diaw, Mills and get Ginobili back as well to play against the Heat and the Bulls. We have knocked down the Mavs on a couple of occasions, the Clippers, Nuggets, Wolves, Memphis, Celtics, Orlando, Knicks, Pacers, etc…So yeah, best part of it is, we will have more depth going in to the playoffs while everyone is healthy including 3 new guys other teams, especially the top 2 in the east have not seen yet on our squad. Will be tough for any team to match up to us like Sean Elliott stated previously. We basically have two teams plus 2 to 3 more guys on top of all that. We wear people out by the end of games. No one can keep up with us and it shows big time after watching this 11 game win streak. GSG!!

  7. wooderson says:

    patty is a winner, spurs should be super happy to have him.

  8. Amitpal says:

    Why is everyone saying the spurs are under the radar? The spurs in my opinion are actually a little overrated. yeah they have down a great job in the regular season but this team doesn’t have enough in the post to win a championship. Had Tim been a few years younger and the Spurs would have been the favorite, but let’s be realistic now. Tim is old and isn’t the unstoppable player he used to be. He can’t jump, the bank is as open as it used to be, and he’s not that strong so he can’t just back people down. In order for spurs to win Tim has to average 22 and 11. That’s not happening.

    • Pinkss says:

      xdaiked3p4 How are they overrated. They are rarely talked about and this is probably the first time they were mentioned about in a good way last article I read was about ginobili being injured. Overrated means overhyped and the spurs are under hyped because nobody thinks they can win a championship like yourself. Which means the are under the radar. Only spurs fan think the spurs can win a championship and nobody else does. Once again under the radar.

    • Dew says:

      Duncan is in fact averaging those stats every 36 minutes according to a source here on NBA.com. Read the story about older players contending with their younger selves. They said Duncan is ageless! And good luck to any team trying to stop San Antonio. Most teams you only have to shut down maybe 2 or 3 guys. With us, you would have to shut down all 12 players. All the San Antonio players with exception of Corey Joseph, TJ Ford and Eric Dawson have scored 20 points in a game this year. I have seen Neal, Leonard, Green, Mills, Splitter, Blair, Bonner, Jackson, Parker, and Ginobili hit 20+. What other team has that kind of depth? Diaw is liable to even score 20 on someone in the Spurs system. You sir are in for a rude awakening when someone other than Duncan scores over 20 point on you. Rebounds? Duncan will get over 10+ a night easily while Blair and Splitter are just as effective. Not to mention Kawhi Leonard has turned into a mini Rodman on the boards. But that is was SA would like you to think. That Duncan is old and because of one man, they cant win. Then they come in and beat your team and move on to the next. Not to mention Parker, 29 years old, is our MVP and will score 20 points and dish 11 dimes a night come payoff time.

  9. pravdo says:

    Typical, in an article about the Spurs you have to bring up the lakers. I wonder if you even realize how beholden you and the media are to the Almighty lakers. You could have used any number of examples that were done on trade day, yet you chose the lakers…Typical.

  10. magali315 says:

    Great article & fabulous respectful comments here. And Jason, I loved your comments about the Spurs too BUT you forgot Danny Green (maybe Green Machine as a nickname) & Matty Bonner ( Red Rocket) who have made great contributions as well to this spectacular team.

  11. magali315 says:

    GO SPURS GO!!!

  12. Jason says:

    spurs are more dangerous!!! than any other team now records dont matter when playoffs happen I see them winning number 5 with the most talented athletic players non selfish teamplaying professionals

    knicks have no chance to beat spurs what are you smoking!!
    bulls its just d rose you need a scottie to win

    Rj wasnt gelling with the team wasnt agressive enough

    stephen jackson awsome fit

    k leonard very good rookie

    d blair is an animal bring memphis

    t splitter helps tim duncan

    boris diaw another great player

    patrick mills is unbelievable

    gary neal spectacular

    James anderson exciting
    tony, tim ,ginobli amazing !!!!!!!

  13. Ken says:

    The real value in the RJ for Stephen Jackson trade is that is allows Kawahi Leonard to blossom at the SF spot. RJ had been starting at the 3 and now Kawahi is, and his game just keeps getting better and better. Only 40-something games into his NBA career, and he’s already one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. I watch pretty much every NBA game and IMHO he has improved as much as anyone from the start of the season to now. I think he will be a big freaking deal in a couple of years.

  14. SachaZ says:

    To all the comments re: Patty Mills possihbly being the second Aussie after Andrew Gaze to win a title, I think you have all forgotten about Luc Longley. 3 peat with MJ and Scotty. He would be the 3rd aussie. Just a small correction

    • Waz says:

      The original comment was about aussies who had won championships with the Spurs. Longley won his with the Bulls.

  15. Bro says:

    Regardless the teams I support and the team that I want to win the Championship, I would be just as happy to have San Antonio win another one. There are only a few teams I want to take it all, but if SanAntonio can do it, I’d be jsut as happy. Why? Because they’re jsut a smart group of veterans who never seem to fall off. Every year. Wow, amazing team

  16. synon says:

    if the spurs win the title this year… will there be an asterisk again???

    therefore the spurs will validate that they are the lockout kings… just kidding…

    i’m a true blue spurs fanatic…


  17. craig says:

    awesome get by POP getting patty mills. he will be a great backup for tony. when he gets the minutes you’ll see how good he is. go patty all of oz is watching mate

  18. coolknicksfan says:

    the spurs will go all the way to the finals and lose to the knicks in 7.
    But if the knicks don’t get into the finals, then the spurs will lose to the bulls in 7. I’m not sold with the heat yet because of recent games. The heat aren’t a good 3-point shooting team or a good rebounding team, the Bulls and knicks(sometimes) do both of those and that’s why the heat won’t win this year.

    • BFoulds says:


    • Dew says:

      The Knicks?? Seriously?? Without Jeremy Lin or even possibly Amare, this team does not stand a chance against even anyone in the East let alone San Antonio. SA beat the Knicks bad when NY was perfectly healthy just last month. Knicks will lose first round this year to Chicago, that is if they even get in at 8th seed. Would be fun to dream Knicks being 8th seed again in a shortened season and play SA in the finals. We all know the ending to that tale though from 1999. Not even Alan Houston and Sprewell resurrected would help the Knicks beat us this year. No, if the Spurs lose to anyone, it will be a fluke in the Western playoff rounds or to Chicago. That is IF they lose. I just do not see SA losing in a 7 game series. Not with our health and depth of being able to play as many guys. We will run someone out of the gym.

  19. DGT2 says:

    Man even PoPa’s mistakes are so gud ….for spurs!.

  20. John says:

    Excellent article.

    Right now, the tier 1 contenders for a championship are Miami, Chicago, and OKC, but the Spurs in my opinion are a step above the usual “Tier 2” contenders like Philly, Dallas, and Orlando but still a step below the 1st tier contenders. Spurs are kind of like tier 1.5 contenders to me right now which is definitely good enough to win if they get lucky.

    I’d still bank on OKC, Miami, or Chicago to win the whole thing, but the Spurs are dangerous.

  21. Chris says:

    The Lakers are doing bad right now because they lack teamwork but most importantly Kobe refuses to play under Mike Browns system which worked wonders with the cavs and lebron. The Lakers have a great starting 5 but their bench is weak. Matt Barnes is the only one doing any damage. Troy Murphy and Josh Mcroberts were great pickups in the off- season. I would have like to see boris diaw be picked up by L.A. but the spurs already snaged him. So the lakers are screwed i predict a first round exit.

  22. jacob says:

    I love patty mills’ energy of the bench always the first man up waiving his towel….good three point shot too!

  23. eduardo says:

    this is too good to be true of all the nba play off seriers bad happens and to me the spurs will end up in that catagory in a horrible injury lossing key players.

  24. Master POP says:

    More than anything, I like the consistency that TD is proving recently in his perimeter shots and the addition of the 3point shot in TP. Manu playing at his best and a bench full of Spartans..
    Do you think Grizzlies will look for Spurs on a 1st round now? Nobody will..

  25. Carl Bennett says:

    No disrespect to Thibs but Pop is the best coach in the league. The Spurs have been called an “aging” team since their title run in 07, and they’ve been right in the thick of the title hunt ever since. For Pop to be this successful with a core of “old” players, injury bugs and a constantly shifting selection of role players (along with a front office with an amazing eye for talent) is remarkable. I put all faith in him to bring another ring to San Antonio! SPURS all day

  26. tony says:

    This is the deepest the Spurs have been in years and it feels like the old spurs in their championship days. Watch out OKC and L.A, SA wants their fifth championship and they’re not going away.

  27. DOYnamite#1 says:

    with this new line up the spurs have, and coach pop watching the minutes of the big 3, sharing the minutes to the young guys that whom i see is going to be a big part of the playoff run of the spurs this year.. unlike the other teams, expect spurs to be healthy and not over fatigue when playoffs come.. this is going to be again a good time for the spurs fans.. lets get #5! go spurs go!

  28. Kenneth Ranson says:

    If the Spurs played in New York they would get more publicity than James and Bryant combined.

    They have completely remade their team into a young, deep, athletic squad that comes at you in waves. They just completed a stretch of 5 games in 6 nights and WON THEM ALL. And this without playing anymore defense than they had to. If the young guys learn Spurs defense The Decision, and The Mamba, may find themselves in The Trashcan.

  29. Cedric says:

    I’m glad that everyone is seeing what I have been seeing for the last 15 years.The Spurs do not have to be Like the Lakers,OKC,and Heat. I love the Spurs GO Spurs GO

  30. Suriken says:

    I suppose this team is the deepest team in Duncan era. Their overall team play is much better than in 2005 and 2007. I’ve checked 2003 and 1999 finals series and there is a huge gap between those rosters and the current one in term of offense.Now it’s only about injuries and key defensive stops in the 4th quarters.

  31. ivom89 says:

    I love this Spurs team, I watched every game the last two years. Last year Timmy played way worse in the playoffs, if you look at it right now you would not believe it, that injury at the end of last season really got him. Of course manu was not playing the first critical game at home. Parker was nowhere near his confidence level of now. I love how Jackson is doing stuff on the bench, motivating his teammates, especially the younger ones. In my opinion, other than the Bulls, there is no better team at this moment. Only the Bulls can make it very tough for the Spurs. Because they have a lot of weapons combined with good team defense. I really think Duncan, Splitter and Blair are better than Noah and Boozer. But Derrick Rose, that man can play. Parker really would have to play at his top like he did in that 42-point game vs. OKC to stand a chance against the Bulls. Great article for Spurs fans btw. Love from Holland.

    • app says:

      haha..soo st2pd..its not about who has the better stats during this season..do you think its only the bulls who can match up to the spurs??r u dumb???its basketball..it can go either way..like last year the bulls was great but did they get to the finals??nope!!!they were denied…you only see whose the better team..but the fact is..its not about who the stronger team is..its about heart and the will to win..yeah bulls is great just for the regular season..they dont have MJ just DRose..just watch every game of the chicago team when they have DROSE…and you’ll know what i mean..they play better without him…^^

  32. ldhl89 says:

    Probably the best bench in the Spurs History

  33. Meow says:

    Why doesnt anyone even remember this, the reason Duncan and Ginobili were so terrible in the playoffs last year were because they were both injured, Duncan twisted his ankle and Ginobili had a bum elbow. I think this years team has a chance of winning it all, they are alot deeper than they were last year.

  34. Rainman says:

    What do you mean by ” The Mavericks proved last season that whatever impressions we might have of a team during the regular season….” The Mavericks with Dirk playing for them (he misseda few weeks last season, or a handful of games at least) were playing VERY wel llast season, and their winning ercentage was on pace witht he Spurs for top in the L… The fact nobody had them as title contenders is dumb, i most certainly did. And i already predicted before the playoffs started that if the lakers and mavs face off at any point, Mavs would take it, because they were a better team in the season when healthy. I still sisnt expect a sweep tho lol

  35. Jason says:

    Interesting fact – if the Spurs win a title, Patty Mills will be the 2nd Aussie to have won with this team. Andrew Gaze (whom ALL Aussie hoops fans will know) was a bit player on the 1999 Champion Team. I’m suddenly a Spurs fan again! OKC might be a little easier on the eyes though. 😛

  36. LL says:

    Quality basketball prevailed last year with the Mavericks, superceding “star-power” and did many times before with the Lakers, Bulls, and Spurs… so I hope to see a REAL basketball team win it one more time, if not more!

  37. Bulls2012 says:


  38. Timbo says:

    OKC will win to nite beacuse of their full court defence. Kobe will need alot of help from his guys if he wants a win.

  39. Dennis S says:

    The Spurs continue to evolve . There isn’t a more consistent franchise who has been built on quality leaders (TD,Parker,Manu) great coaching staff and forward thinking GM’s. You don’t need a big Three, or a Big market to get it done like they’ve proven. You just need a good system, and the right pieces to execute. Go SPURS!

  40. Zach says:

    R.C. Buford, the front office did a great job in adding some depth for the Spurs, and kudos for Pop for doing what he does best to his players. Now it’s up for this refueled Spurs team, especially The Big 3 to make their presence felt if they wanna end up winning the title this season.

  41. Dalwin says:

    I agree great article finally some body to write about Spurs team .If they stay healthy they are team to beat .Bench is so deep and strong ,and keep pushing Spurs ahead.Use this 15 or so game to the end of regular season to gel with each other .And please stay HEALTHY.
    If our Spurs can Stay helthy and in this deep full roster by the play off time .The all I will say to the rest of the leauge ” bring at on “

  42. Mark R says:

    Once like Andrew stated the Spurs flying under the radar while everyone is paying attention to all the big market teams but guess what the Spurs have destroyed all these teams getting attention. The Spurs are loaded and having plenty of young talkent around the big 3 which are old haha, well as long as the Spurs are healthy they are a threat to anyone in the NBA.

    • Amitpal says:

      You can’t be a threat if you don’t have a post player. Tim is to old and can be shut down now like memphis did last year, blair is to small 6 7 if even, tiago isn’t good enough as a post player. The spurs have depth in the one place they didn’t need it, at guard position. And they don’t have a true post up player anymore. They might win the first round unless if they get memphis again, but the are not beating the thunder. Serge and Perkins can easily shut down tim, and Russell and Thebo can slow down parker and Ginobili and the bench won’t hit as many three’s in the playoffs as they do in the regular season. I don’t see no rings in the spurs future right now.

      • BFoulds says:

        Russell and Thebo shutting down Parker and Ginobili? Did you already forget Tony Parker burned your OKC team for 42 points last time they met? and Thebo over Ginobili? You have to be on some really strong drugs, along with a few too many alcoholic beverages, to really believe that.

      • Rich says:

        What are you two fighting about ? Spurs and Thunder won’t make it past the 1st round.

  43. Travis says:

    This is a great article, GSG!

  44. Hope Wabuke says:

    Sessions was a great addition for the Lakers…he sets up Bryant, Barnes, Gasol, and Bynum. He gets into the paint to defend and score. So why are the Lakers losing?

    • Dalwin says:

      Well simple Lakers DO NOT have bench .Not have Odom & Fish does NOT helpas well Now Lakers starters are very good but they can not play all 48 minutes each per game !! Especially in play off when .

      • CA42 says:

        Dream team:
        PG CP3
        SG D-Wade
        Sf 35Durant
        PF Blake32Griffin (that guy needs a nickname)
        C D12Howard
        6 L6James
        7 8Ellis

      • Micc says:

        CA42 how is it that you have D-wade as starting SG but doesnt even have Kobe, or have Durant starting instead of LBJ comming off tha bench

    • BFoulds says:

      wtf? why is this post even in here?

    • Andrew says:

      Because Bryant and Bynum don’t respect their coach! You cannot win in the NBA unless everyone buys into the system and play as a TEAM!!!! I hope the Spurs have to play the Lakers in the Playoffs and we show the whole world what true TEAM basketball looks like!

  45. Andrew says:

    Great article! I love how the Spurs are flying under the radar once agian and everyone is paying attention to the Heat, OKC, and the Lakers fighting with there coach. I hope the Spurs can stay healthy and head into the playoffs at full strength so they can hopefully get # 5!

  46. allaroundballer says:

    as always, but if Pop keep Duncan minutes low somehow he’ll lost his touch on playoff. Just like last season

    • Amitpal says:

      That’s not Pop fault, Duncan is just to old. If Duncan plays big minutes he’s going to be to exhausted and it wasn’t the minutes last year, it was duncan just being to old.

  47. HeatWade says:

    As long as Master Pop is at the helm, this Spurs ship is not getting astray…