By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
NBA: Spurs Hand Heat Second Loss In A Row
SAN ANTONIO, TX.—The San Antonio Spurs gave the Miami heat their second losses on consecutive nights with a 93-84 win. Emanuel Ginobili scored 29 points in the win while Shaquile O’Neal led the Heat with 23.
“It was a good win for us tonight,” head coach Gregg Popovich said. “We played really well behind Manu’s play.” Ginobili had one of the best production nights in his three-year career tonight, as he was 8 of 12 from the field including 5 of 6 from three-point range and 8 of 10 from the line. He also had seven assists and six steals in the contest.
“It was one of the best games of my career,” Ginobili said. “So far I’m just happy to help my team win.” Ginobili also had one of the best plays of the game that will surely be a basketball coach’s mantra at any level. Ginobili had missed his second free throw attempt late in the game and he just played hard and made a spectacular play on his miss.
“I shot it and saw the ball was going o hit the right side of the rim. I went to the right side and nobody was there; no one covered me so I took the shot. It wasn’t a miracle shot as much as it was a read.” The Spurs played excellent ball throughout most the contest as they forced Miami to run a ‘guard by committee” set-up with Dwayne Wade out of the line up. Popovich wanted his team to put a man on everyone as they were trying to keep the rebounding edge to a minimum.
“With Shaq, in the middle, it was important for us to really rebound and block players out,” Popovich said in his press conference.
Tim Duncan was the third leading scorer for his team as Manu and Tony Parker combined for 46 points in the win.
“Tony played like the Tony of old,” Popovich said. “He didn’t force anything and looked a ease during the game.” For the Heat, they played an excellent game but simply could not get over the hump. Eddie Jones played only eighteen minutes and fouled out of the game with just four points on 1 of 5 shooting. Damon Jones was also ineffective as he only had nine points of 3 of 6 shooting and was also in foul trouble. The Head did have some good production from their bench as Malik Allen and Keyon Dooling each scored ten points in the contest. Stan Van Gundy also saw his frontcourt chip in 22 points as Udonis Haslem and Rasual Butler each had eleven points in the game.
“Guys played hard tonight,” O’Neal said. “I think that the more games that we play, the better we will play, and the less simple mistakes we will make down the stretch.” “We had a tough game tonight,” Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy said. “You just can’t come into San Antonio and turn the ball over twenty-two times like we did tonight and win against a team like San Antonio.” The next meeting for these two teams will come February 13th in Miami.
LAKERS FINDING IT HARD TO WIN The Los Angeles Lakers have lost again and it was against a team that was newly formed and having just as much athleticism as they used to have. Kobe Bryant scored 41 points in the 122-113 loss and took 31 attempts. The team took 83 shots as a whole. The Orlando Magic saw Steve Francis score 32 points and the return of Grant Hill, who had 27 points in the win.
If the divorce from Phil Jackson and Shaq are any indication as to how well the Lakers will do this year, it is apparent that they will be losing more games as long as Bryant continues to put up big points.
SPEAKING OF HILL, GLAD TO SEE HIM BACK Speaking of one of the nicest guys in the NBA, it is nice to see Hill back on the court and having a productive time doing it. It’s been at least three years since the last time he was playing in Orlando. For him to have the productive night he had tonight against the Lakers shows that maybe that ankle has finally gotten strong enough to handle the rigors that will be an NBA career. Good luck Grant. It couldn’t have happen to a nicer guy both on and off the court.
THE RETURN OF RON ARTEST…PACERS STILL LOSE The team imposed exile of guard Ron Artest ended tonight when the Indiana Pacers took on the Philadelphia 76ers. Artest gave a tremendous effort with 29 points in fifty minutes but the Pacers lost 106-104. Jermaine O’Neal was the Pacers’ lead scorer with 39 points in the contest. Newly acquired guard Stephen Jackson had 17 points.
THE HART OF THE BOBCATS IS THEIR BACKUP POINT GUARD Not to many in the league know who Jason Hart is but if you are a Charlotte Bobcats’ fan, you are definitely glad to have him. Hart, who played last season for the Spurs, has been a solid floor general for them this season and has taken over the starting job from Brevin Knight. In tonight’s game, Hart scored 13 points and had five assists in a 91-74 loss to the Boston Celtics. Even though he had four turnovers this game, Hart had been one of the best point guards in the league in the assist to turnover ratio.
130 TOTAL POINTS BETWEEN TWO TEAMS? IN THE NBA?
Want to know the worst game of Friday night? Try watching the Memphis/Golden State game. The final score was 75-55, Golden State. Not a single player from both rosters scored over 15 points in the contest. Three guys scored twelve points and two guys had ten points. One player had 15 points. Out of 21 players, only seven of them were in double figures in scoring. As a matter of fact, The Warriors probably have set a new NBA low since the invention of the shot clock. And the team wanted to get rid of Eric Mussleman because he was hardnosed. If he was hardnosed then what is Mike Montoomery, a patsy?