Welcome to volume one of Spurs Weekly. This series will cover the week that was in Spurs news and notes including, but not limited to, game recaps, injury updates, trade rumors and video highlights.
The week that was for the San Antonio Spurs can best be summarized by the word ‘eh.’
The team won its first two games in relatively convincing fashion, lost its third in relatively convincing fashion, and saw surprisingly good performances from players who may play a larger role this season, and surprisingly bad performances from players who will still play a large role this season.
Tim Duncan suffered a (very minor) injury, two of the three Spurs backup point guards have yet to play a minute and Aron Baynes had the first week of negative efficiency I can ever recall.
But let us begin on a positive note.
The AGGRESSIVE Boris Diaw, as I have now dubbed him, lived up to the preseason hype and actually shot the ball when he was open. I threw a jovial bullet in the direction of Diaw in my season preview article when I noted, in response to the AGGRESSIVE Diaw hype, that Diaw would have to come into camp and every time he received the ball, fall to the floor and curl in the fetal position, to be less aggressive than he has been as a Spur on offense.
I am happy to report that the snide commentary was woefully inaccurate; Diaw is all he was purported to be. Diaw is now a catch and shoot machine, who can also score off the bounce and (and!) he doesn’t pass the ball when five feet away from the basket. Boris Diaw has been more efficient than Tony Parker this season!
Okay, it’s only been three games, so I implore everyone to relax just a bit. But so far, so good for the AGGRESSIVE Boris Diaw.
Danny Green has been in a shooting funk. The kind of funk that must have been on
after Metta World Peace and Steve Nash got through with it.
If there’s a shot to be had, Danny Green has missed it; layups, three-pointers, mid-range jumpers, there is no shot on the court that Green hasn’t bricked. With Belinelli playing pretty well, and Manu in typical early-season-spry form, Danny Green might log a few less minutes in the early portion of the season.
In general, don’t panic. Danny Green didn’t forget how to shoot over the summer. He will be fine as the season progresses. There is absolutely no need to worry. One thing to keep an eye on is how long Danny Green can retain his place atop the blocked shots leaderboard for the Spurs. The over/under is set at .5 games.
Aron Baynes suffered minus-3.8 player efficiency rating this past week which essentially means his presence in the arena was a detriment to the Spurs.
After a strong summer, Baynes has come out of the gates stumbling, bumbling and fumbling away his opportunity at securing valuable backup post minutes. It’s almost as if Baynes wants to get sent back to the Toros.
Although Austin is a pretty cool place, Baynes knows the monetary ceiling is a little higher in the National Basketball Association and will probably want to step it up a bit. If his plan was to set the bar so low, he has succeeded. Baynes can only impress from here on out.
Luckily for Baynes, the player he is directly competing with is Jeff Ayres, whose only meaningful contribution this season came in a preseason photo-op with children in which the big man successfully instructed students to do jazz hands in unison.
The Backup Point Carousel
Patty Mills had a season opener for the ages, putting Australia on his newly chiseled back, en route to 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting. In the following two games this week, Mills continued to log the predominant portion of minutes in the backup point guard position. Patty Power is in full effect.
While Patty thrived, Cory Joseph and Nando languished on the bench, in the same spot Patty Mills’ towel occupied last season. It looks like Pop will go with a combination of Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili at the backup point spot, though I do foresee Cory Joseph getting some minutes in the near future. A note that the Joseph forecast is prognosticated through burnt orange sunglasses.
Tim Duncan Suffers Injury
Duncan suffered a chest contusion in the season opener against the Memphis Grizzlies. He missed the next game against the Lakers, but was in action against the Trailblazers the following night.
The best part about the report was that Gregg Popovich declined to give a timetable for Duncan’s return. I’m not sure what I love more: that Popovich didn’t divulge any information about the injury - which he never does - or that a reporter asked that question to Pop and was made to feel dumb for asking a necessary question. After seeing Pop’s interactions with J.A. Adande the other night, probably the former.
I spent much of the first week of the NBA season explaining to my friends how to pronounce Belinelli. That’s more of an indictment of my friends than a criticism of Marco’s wonderful Italian lineage. Regardless, Belinelli had an alright first week. He was not that good the first two games, where he scored a combined seven points, but he was amazing in his third game, where he scored 19 points and almost led the Spurs to a comeback win.
For the rest of the season, I think Belinelli’s performance will fall somewhere between the first two games and the last one. I still stick by my preseason opinion that Belinelli is pretty much the same player as Gary Neal, and nowhere near the playmaker he was in the preseason, but we will see. All I know for sure is that I will be spending the entire season trying to prove I’m right by manipulating advanced statistics in favor of my argument.
The Upcoming Week
The Spurs have four games on their slate this week:
Tuesday, Nov. 5 - Spurs at Denver Nuggets
Wednesday, Nov. 6 - Spurs vs Phoenix Suns
Friday, Nov. 8 - Spurs vs Golden State Warriors
Sunday, Nov. 10 - Spurs at New York Knicks
The Spurs will probably go 3-1. The week begins with a trip to Denver, which is always an arduous task. The Nuggets aren't quite as good this year as they were last year but the mile-high home court advantage remains in tact.
The Nov. 6 game matchup should prove the most intriguing, only to see how many “injuries” the Spurs stars suffer on Nov. 5 so they can get some rest against an easily defeated foe. Is it too early in the season for that? Probably not.
The Nov. 8 game, a rematch of the best playoff matchup of 2013, will be the most fun to watch, while the Nov. 10 matchup will showcase the talents of one Andrea Bargnani. Fun fact: it took a grand total of a quarter and a half for Knicks’ faithful to start booing Bargnani.
This concludes Vol. 1 of Spurs Weekly. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to drop me an e-mail at
with any comments/suggestions/requests. Thanks and enjoy your week.