Welcome back, welcome back to the very very very late night show… I’m your host like every night, DB, and uhhh…. we got a whole lot to discuss about! If you caught that Big Sean-Jhene Aiko reference, I truly appreciate you. *courtesy laugh plz* In all seriousness though, the Spurs have had a lot going on to start this 2019 calendar year. Some ups, some downs, but really have maintained growth and positivity throughout. While the lapses in Philadelphia are ones you cannot have come April-May, it’s better to continue these growing pains now, so that when the time comes, you’re hitting on all 12 cylinders. (yes, I’m a big Rolls Royce guy, even though I don’t have one, I act like I do. Haha.)

Coming in hot, what happens after Pop?

While I will write an entirely new article on this within the next 2 months, most likely right before the end of the regular season, this is a reality that now will begin to set it quite soon. With reports that Pop may not return after this season, you really will have to look forward as to where the Spurs will go. While I don’t believe Pop leaving will mean utter doom and poor showing for the next 10 years, there will be some adjustments to expectation, but also can be some new light that comes out from all of this.

If you don’t already know, I am HUGE on Becky Hammon. Becky is someone who truly embraces this city, as she played in SA for 7 years. She’s one of the greatest WNBA players ever, and a brilliant basketball mind. She would be one of the youngest NBA coaches in the league, (age 41), with knowledge from the greatest coach ever, who has produced MANY GREAT coaches in this league. The coach Pop tree is similar to one of the Andy Reid coaching tree in the NFL. For the football lovers, we know the HOF mind that is Andy Reid, in a basketball sense though, Gregg is on his own level. Becky, was a phenomenal leader back in her days as a player, and I believe she could lead a group of grown men to the promise land, no questions asked. While I’m not saying championships in the first year, I definitely have high hopes for someone of her caliber.

As an assistant/player since 2007, she’s tied very deep to this organization. Coach Pop has always spoken very highly of her, in a recent interview back in July 2018:  “She’s a special, special woman,” Popovich said. “You know we promoted her again. She’s going to be on the front of the bench now, sitting next to me. She’s not behind the bench anymore. She’s on the bench because J.B. Borrego took the head job in Charlotte. So she’s replacing him. That’s how much I think of her.”

Trade Deadline, any moves?

As I’m very close with the Spurs fan base (at times my tweets will BOOM for like 12 likes a pop) there’s a disconnect within many on what the Spurs should do. To me, it seems the Spurs won’t and probably shouldn’t trade for a Point Guard. I like Derrick White, I like Bryn Forbes, and even though at times it’s rough, yes, I can go with Patty Mills. Derrick White to the casual basketball fan is a “no-name” player. To the eyes of people who actually watch, he is a young, up and coming, STUD. He has played phenomenal, breaking and busting any and all expectations that anyone had for him this year.

Bryn Forbes has had a great year, shooting the ball well. He also has been very underrated and under-watched as the year has gone along. I believe he is literally going to be Patty Mills, except a better passer, a little better on defense and still one of those scrappy, energizer bunnies off the bench. Patty Mills, while older, has stayed true to who he is. You can’t blame him for it and most of the time, you really enjoy and like what he brings.
Back to the deals though, I don’t think the Spurs will make a deal at the deadline.

While rumors have swirled and reports have come out by my guy Jabari Young, the Spurs are looking to add a wing, I don’t really think they’ll go ahead with that plan. I’ve read & seen the hypotheticals that Stanley Johnson can be positive on the squad, I feel the Spurs would be hurting themselves in the end with that deal. Unless you can get him for a 2nd round pick, I wouldn’t be very interested. If he could hit a 3 at a 34% clip, I could go for it, but his abysmal shooting, very meh passing, I wouldn’t be sold on the fit.

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Now that Jakob Poeltl has been playing very well, progressing & playing at a high rate, Pau Gasol is now, with all due respect, useless. There’s no place for him on the roster. His minutes have died down, his play hasn’t been good, and rightfully so. He’s close to 40 and will be in the Hall the second he retires. With all due respect, the Spurs should try their absolute best to move Pau for literally anything, just to dump the salary. While it’s not likely, I think it’s something they should look into.

Now, this isn’t a bias, but if there’s 1 guy I would like the Spurs to add, it’s the hometown kid, Taurean Prince. He is a very solid player. That’s how you could describe him best. A solid, 2 way player, shooting 36% from 3, making peanuts at the moment for money. He’s dealt with some injuries this season, but really played well last year on the Hawks. Atlanta is best at the moment, when losing. They want to lose, and if I played there, so would I. The future is unknown, well, not really, because they’re going to lose for a hot minute. Prince, can really help this team on defense and really as a solid offensive weapon, who can start in all honesty. If not start, his bench role will be important, he can really be a benefit to the lineup.

How are the Spurs looking?

While that Charlotte loss hurt, the Philly loss hurt a lot as well. In that Philly loss, what hurt most was the bad decision making, missing open looks, and honestly just playing sloppy throughout that stretch. To the whole DeMar “issue”, to Paul Pierce I say: They just gave up a 9-0 run, on the road, with 1 second left. Every coach and every player in NBA history would agree that you play to win THAT game. You have no momentum, the crowd is rocking, communication and attention to detail need to be precise. One mental error, as you saw, and you lose. You have to try to steal the game and shoot a three. It makes perfect sense as to why DeRozan wasn’t on the floor, he shoots 21% from 3.

Also, you are wasting a body with DeMar DeRozan, because it’s obvious he’s not shooting the ball. You have 1 second. Literally, 1 second. If your execution isn’t perfect, you lose. Forbes, White, Gay, Marco etc are all shooting high 30’s and 40’s from 3, along with Mills. It was an excellent lineup to win the game and shoot a GW 3. If you play to tie that’s cool, but considering the circumstances, you’d tie the game to get blown off the floor in OT. Against the Hornets, everybody could make a shot against the Spurs defense. Rotations were off, communication was off, transition defense wasn’t there, the Spurs were hurting off the dribble. Shots weren’t falling, they had a ton of good looks, but also, big ups to Borrego, he had that team closing out every possession, being physical and really attacking the basket with a vengeance all night long. It was a bad night.

Other than that, the Spurs have looked quite good. Winning games against teams without DeMar, Davis is nice. Your best 3 point shooter and best offensive player, and still managing to beat teams is a big positive. While it was the Wizards and Pelicans, Hey AD, it’s still a win, without some of your best players. The Spurs are one of the best 3 point shooting teams by statistics in NBA history. You could argue the volume isn’t all there, but the efficiency and effectiveness are more than there. The Spurs attention to ball movement and playing unselfish basketball is a huge credit to the coaching staff and upper management. Every player in the locker room has 1 common goal, everyone has bought in, and once again the Spurs will be in the playoffs.

Game Predictions, 1/29-2/4:

Suns: W. 116-97. The Suns are terrible. I’m a little upset they haven’t given my guy D Book some more help, but maybe if they get Lonzo, hopefully, they do, I think that could be some serious heat. That wasn’t even a pun, even though it’s like 169 degrees in Arizona starting in March and ending in October.
Nets: W. 110-109. I think we see a game-winner, folks. The Nets are a very solid, young team, with a lot of cap space. RHJ is nice, D Loading has been balling, LeVert is coming back from injury from what I’ve been seeing, Allen is a defensive force. Joe Harris has been HITTING from 3 too. It’s crazy to see, but I really like their team. I think the Spurs do end up pulling this one off though.
Pelicans: W. 106-87. The Pelicans are in a mess. If they trade AD before this game, maybe they can win. Just kidding. Jrue recently said AD was 90% as to why he resigned, so he isn’t happy. Mirotic, (Spurs should look at him BTW, he could help tremendously, if they are trying to tank, ship them Pau & a 2nd) Randle, are your primary options besides Jrue. The team doesn’t really have an identity right now, and I think with a healthy DeMar they really get beat down.
Kings: L. 97-90. The Kings have cooled off a bit, but still are great in transition on both ends, and that gives the Spurs trouble. The Kings I feel end the Spurs 5 game win streak, and take one at home. They’re a solid young team, I believe with some cap space. Maybe they got it fixed over there, we’ll see.

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