I guess the memo I sent around asking everyone to say something nice about the Spurs is gaining a little traction, because complimentary remarks about the silver and black are popping up all over the place today. All the credit goes to True Hoop for uncovering these little gems. First off is Jason Friedman who covers the Rockets for the Houston Press. He wrote a great piece revealing his hidden love for the Spurs, and in the process shed some light on why their is no logic to all the anti-Spurs sentiment:
"The thing is, many of the oft-stated reasons people give for hating the Spurs just don’t make sense to me. The critics will point to some of San Antonio’s less than aesthetically pleasing playoff match-ups over the years (Finals showdowns against Cleveland and Detroit spring to mind), yet conveniently seem to forget that the Spurs have taken part in their fair share of classic postseason battles as well (How compelling was their ’07 win over Phoenix or, for that matter, their ’06 loss to Dallas?). Besides, is Boston’s style of play any easier on the eyes? How about Detroit’s, Cleveland’s or Utah’s? Just for the record, I thoroughly enjoy watching those teams, too. But if we’re being honest here, there’s no denying the fact that each of those clubs loves to grind it out and get down and dirty as well.
Speaking of dirty, that’s another favorite rallying cry of your typical Spurs’ haters. They love nothing more than ripping San Antonio for its propensity to whine and flop, and for its continued insistence to provide Bruce Bowen with a job. With regard to the first point, show me an NBA team and I’ll show you at least a half dozen guys who never miss an opportunity to cry about the officiating or hit the floor at the first hint of contact. It’s a league-wide problem that the NBA needs to address ASAP. The Spurs are no better or worse than the others; fans merely see them more because of the annual exposure Duncan and company regularly receive due to their deep playoff runs."
But Don't mistake his praise for some type of elegy for a franchise than many see as being in its twilight years:
"Don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing off the Spurs. Not by a long shot. Not only are they more than capable of picking themselves up off the mat in time to beat New Orleans and grab another title this year, but they’ve also positioned themselves to remain legitimate contenders in the future as well. They already have Bruce Bowen’s heir apparent in Ime Udoka, and they’ll get a much-needed front-court boost next year with the arrival of Brazilian big man Tiago Splitter. Plus, San Antonio’s braintrust—led by Popovich and R.C. Buford—takes a backseat to no one."
Next up is none other than Tyson Chandler of the New Orleans Hornets, who had some pretty laudatory things to say about Tim Duncan on his blog today:
"Tim Duncan may be the toughest cover in the league. He's just so fundamentally sound. Any mistake you ever make, he capitalizes on it. But I told the coaches that we were doing so much doubling and so much scrambling, I felt like I could do a better job just covering him one-on-one. And if he makes some shots, he makes some shots. But he's making shots with the double teams, so it doesn't really matter. So, I kinda took the challenge on of playing him one-on-one a little more.
Last night, I was telling my agent and my wife that he's one of the few guys in the league that I love and respect. I respect what he does as a player, as well as his personality and demeanor. What he's able to accomplish on the floor and still stay even keel ... I have love and respect for what he does out there."
Anyways, I apologize that the content has been so Spurs focused recently. In the future (and in particular next season) I'll try to actually offer "erratic NBA commentary" as opposed to just erratic Spurs commentary. But its the playoffs, so its hard to think about much else.