Bittersweet: Cavs Lost But LeBron Becomes the Youngest to Reach 30,000 Points

The Spurs make the King bleed for his points as Cleveland drops 4 of their last 5 games

There’s no stopping LeBron James now. He has been ripping through numerous history books and some jerseys too. Some even claim that he is the greatest player of all time to play the game of basketball, possibly greater than the likes of Kobe Bryant and yes, even His Airness, Michael Jordan.
While stopping Lebron James seems an impossible task to accomplish even among elite defenders in the NBA, stopping, beating and adding to the miseries of the still losing Cleveland Cavaliers seems a lot easier these days.
On a night when LeBron James became the youngest NBA player to reach 30,000 career points, the San Antonio Spurs finally broke out of their own slump as the Spurs beat the Cavs,114-102.
What were the differences?

LaMarcus Aldridge’s 30 points

With Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol all out and are resting their injured bodies, the Spurs turned to LaMarcus Aldridge this time around. And Aldridge delivered as he led all scorers with 30 points on 12 for 18 field goal shooting. He added 8 rebounds, 2 steals and a blocked shot for another complete big man. Most of his points came from mid-range jumpers off perfect pick-and-roll plays. Now that’s efficiency, folks.

Clamped Down Defense

As mentioned, stopping LeBron James is virtually a nightmare but it doesn’t mean that you can’t slow him down. Sure, he had 28 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, an MVP-kind of a stat line but the Spurs played suffocating defense on the King which worked to perfection because the King shot 10 for 23 from the field including a horrible 2 for 6 performance from downtown. Also, the King turned the ball over 5 times. 

Conclusion

If you have seen Tyronn Lue’s clueless face during the game, that’s exactly how clueless the Cavs were. While there’s no denying that Cleveland is now in a crisis, they will have to fix whatever issues they have because LeBron James can’t save them every single game even if he goes supernova. 
On the other hand, it seems that the Spurs are slowly learning to play and win without Kawhi Leonard and without Tony Parker as their starting point guard and for San Antonio, that’s definitely a good sign because they continue to trust one another. After all, the Spurs might be the dark horse who can take down the empire of the Golden State Warriors. 

TP9 Loses Starting Spot, Kawhi is Growing "Unhappy": What’s Next for the Spurs?

Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs

It appears that San Antonio will have their hands full in the next few months

Ever since Tim Duncan came into the NBA back in 1997, the San Antonio Spurs have yet to miss the playoffs. They have won 5 championships along the way and it could have been 6 if not to Ray Allen’s clutch three-pointer back in the 2013 NBA Finals. Even with Tim Duncan probably rocking his chair elsewhere, enjoying his retirement, the Spurs have managed to keep themselves competitive despite injury problems that have hit Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard.
Right now, the Spurs have a 30-18 record and are in 4th place in the Western Conference. They have dropped 6 of their last 10 games and are on a 2-game losing slide. What’s worse is that they are set to face the Cleveland Cavaliers next.
And things are not looking good for the Spurs. Earlier this week, Tony Parker has been demoted from his starting position as Gregg Popovich has promoted Dejounte Murray as the team’s new starting point guard. While this move has been anticipated by many considering the mere fact that Tony Parker has been dealing with injuries over the course of the past few seasons, Parker has openly embraced this decision by his team, even saying that this move was already expected.
While the Spurs can still enjoy Tony Parker’s presence on the floor, things have been strangely different with the Kawhi Leonard situation. To begin with, Leonard has only played sparingly this season as he just recovered from the injury which kept him out during last season’s playoffs. Now? Kawhi Leonard is rumored to be possibly missing the rest of the regular season but that’s not the bad part.
According to sources, Kawhi Leonard has grown “unhappy” and apparently, his relationship with the Spurs has been strained as of late. While the former Finals MVP’s camp and the Spurs front office have denied this story, various elements on the ways of treating and rehabilitating Leonard’s injury have a chilling impact on the star- the sources claimed.
If it’s true that Kawhi Leonard has grown “unhappy” with the Spurs despite the Spurs being known as a good team due to their ways of managing their players and, with aging stars slowly losing their minutes to younger teammates, this could only mean one thing: the Spurs are already preparing for life after Gregg Popovich.

What’s next for the Spurs?

Losing Kawhi Leonard for the rest of the season could force San Antonio could make the necessary moves to ensure that their playoff streak will continue. While there’s a lot of potentials for Dejounte Murray to develop into a star point guard in the near future, it will take a long time before that could materialize which means that the Spurs will have to rely on someone else aside from LaMarcus Aldridge. 
While it’s impossible for now to see the Spurs trade Kawhi Leonard, we all have to face the reality that Kawhi Leonard is no longer the same player he used to be during the past few seasons. He may have been one of the best two-way players but getting injured and growing unhappy? It’s a big problem. 
For the Spurs to avoid losing Kawhi Leonard for nothing, they must make the decision: trade him for their future superstar. 

Conclusion

Kawhi Leonard has only appeared in 9 games this season including in two of their last 10 games. Tony Parker has returned to being a role player off the bench. Only the Spurs themselves can really tell us what their next move will be. But if they want to ensure that they can stay competitive come playoff time, sacrifices must be made. 

Prediction: Kawhi-less Spurs vs. the Defenseless Cavs

LeBron James and Manu Ginobili

Two struggling teams both on the 3rd spot of both conferences. Who would win? Or who would fall first?

Yes, both squads aren’t standing as tough as they could but they are in different situations.
Cavs is in a conflict despite the team and its key players present all the time while San Antonio struggles without their key player Kawhi Leonard.
The Spurs is dealing with some mental or emotional hardship while the Cavs were really being rained down with embarrassing defeats.
So I guess, San Antonio’s not mentally conditioned while Cleveland couldn’t just give enough to win games.
After all, Cavs mental condition might’ve been affected after losing some must-win games especially the Warriors game followed by another unfortunate loss against OKC recently.
So what would be the story of this matchup?

Weak defense vs. Incomplete Offense

Cavs loss was due to their defensive issues like letting the opponent score too much than usual which is, of course, a result of a very loose wall defense. On the other hand, Spurs would play without Kawhi.
It would be a battle of singlehanded powerhouse teams that are now perhaps not at full power like they used to be.
The outcome would depend on how fast the score would rise. A low scoring ball game means that the Cavs are taking control, otherwise, it would be the Spurs walking with heads high even without Kawhi.
It would be an adjustment within the match. Whoever adopts first with their weaknesses to take advantage of the other side’s vulnerability would prevail.
Cavs way to win is to force Spurs to turnovers, make them miss a lot of shots and deliver empty possessions while the best way for Spurs is for someone off the bench to set up and fill in Kawhi’s void. 

Balls-Eye: Would Spurs Slide Without Kawhi?

Kawhi Leonard

Let us reminisce the tragic injury moment of Kawhi Leonard during their series against the Golden State Warriors.
Without Kawhi, the Spurs rally way back that season ended in the hands of the defending champs.
How about this season?
The Spurs team announced Kawhi’s absence as indefinite. An extremely disastrous scenario for the Spurs as they would be severely downgraded on the fiery battle for the top spot. They are currently hanging on the top three and is going head to head against the Rockets and the Dubs.
Kawhi’s absence may affect the Spurs games both directly and indirectly. Of course, damage infliction is for certain once the ace has fallen. Directly in a sense that they have lost temporarily but lengthy a major scorer and offensive runner. Indirectly in a way that the whole team would probably be in despair as they would be reminded of their fall on the western finals against Warriors.
Nevertheless, regular season games are quite different as compared to playoff games particularly pressure and materiality of the game.
What they may be at risk right now is their chance of climbing up to the uppermost position in the western conference.
Yet unlike that season, it isn’t the end for Spurs. Not even close to the end of their season.
Their next opponent would be another team from the other end which is also trying to get to the top. The Toronto Raptors. It would be a great test of their readiness to fight without Kawhi once again.
This match would make us predetermine Spurs’ future performances without Kawhi if ever his absence would be extended or he’d be gone again at some point in time. 

Popovich: LaMarcus Aldridge Asked to be Traded before the Season

LaMarcus Aldridge San Antonio Spurs

But Pop and  LMA came to an understanding. Eventually.
Gregg Popovich has been connected with some of the greatest legends to ever play the game. Greats like David Robinson, Tim Duncan and now, Kawhi Leonard has seen their respective games improve on a tremendous rate ever since they came over to the San Antonio Spurs and play under the guidance of one of the greatest coaches in the NBA.
Nowadays, with both David Robinson and Grandpa Tim Duncan both long retired and Kawhi Leonard who only recently returned is dealing with another injury, the attention shifts to LaMarcus Aldridge. To give credit to this man, LMA has been leading the Spurs this season, averaging 22 points, 8 rebounds and 1 blocks while playing 41 games- starting all 41 games. This has helped the Spurs who despite playing most of the current season without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, holds the 3rd best record in the Western Conference at 28-15. And frankly, LMA deserves the praises that he is getting nowadays.
However, did you know that LaMarcus Aldridge was almost traded prior to the season?
Almost.
According to none other than Gregg Popovich himself, he revealed that LMA asked to be traded during the summer prior to this season. The usually-too serious Popovich even joked that if an LMA trade can get the Spurs a Kevin Durant, he would even help Aldridge pack his bags, drive him to the airport and will even make sure that LMA is well seated in the plane. Fortunately, the two eventually agreed to figure things out and LMA wasn’t traded, for now.
To Gregg Popovich, the moment Aldridge requested for a trade was for him, the main catalyst for the two gentlemen to come to a better understanding which eventually helped LMA have a resurgent season. Mind you, folks. his numbers this season are way better compared to his first two seasons with San Antonio when he averaged 18 and 17 points per game respectively.

Conclusion

Imagine if LaMarcus Aldridge was traded before the start of the season, the Spurs would have been in a much worst situation because it would have meant that the Spurs would only have Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol to start the season. Fortunately, LMA stuck around and the Spurs are gunning for another deep run come the playoffs.  Despite his struggles, LaMarcus is still among the league’s elite power forwards. 

Partial Tear on Shoulder to Keep Kawhi Out

Kawhi Leonard missed the first 27 games of the regular season as he was still recovering from the injury that he sustained during last season’s playoffs. Then he came back, fortunately. In his 8 games that he played this season, he averaged 15 points and 4 rebounds while showing signs that he is slowly regaining his old dominant self.
Unfortunately, he is about to miss more games this season.
That is according to Coach Gregg Popovich who confirmed that Kawhi Leonard has sustained a partial tear in his left shoulder-  an injury Leonard was said to have sustained during the game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns- a game that was won by the Spurs, 103-89. 
Despite playing most of the season without one of the best 2-way players in the NBA, not to mention Tony Parker who recently returned from an injury as well, the Spurs now stand at 27-13, the third-best in the Western Conference and 5th best in the NBA. They have won 7 of their last 10 games and will start a road trip which begins with a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

What Leonard’s latest injury means for the Spurs?

For starters, Kawhi Leonard missing more games during the regular season means he gets to rest and when the playoffs come along, he’ll be in a fresher condition to lead the Spurs anew.
But missing Leonard could also mean that the Spurs can continue playing AND winning even without their superstar thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge who is averaging 22 points, 8 rebound, and a block this season. This will also mean more minutes for emerging young gun, Kyle Anderson who is leading the Spurs in steals, averaging 1.2 steals per game. 

Conclusion

There’s no denying the fact that Kawhi Leonard has yet to play like the Finals MVP he was once a few years back but people can’t count him out just yet. Like Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard can definitely return better whether it’s in the latter part of the regular season or during the playoffs.
For now, the Spurs will have to play without #2. After all, they’ve beaten teams without him, right?

Good News Spurs, Kawhi Leonard is Nearing Return

Kawhi Leonard is Playing 5 on 5 Basketball in Practice

Spurs fans have something to smile about as their best player is back to playing 5 on 5 in practice.  Kawhi Leonard has not played a single game in the season as he continues to rehab from his quad injury.
Kawhi Leonard will certainly be of big help for the Spurs but the team has been holding up without him ranking 3rd in the Western Conference only behind the Rockets and the Warriors at 14 wins – 7 losses.
Coach Gregg Popovich said Kawhi Leonard (quad) is entering “the last steps” of his rehab. “He’s starting to feel in a little bit better shape and feeling more confident,” .
Tony Parker, his teammate, also came from an injury and has so far played two games with limited minutes. Parker at 35 is one of the veteran players of the Spurs and is not expected to play heavy minutes, unlike Kawhi Leonard.

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The Spurs have not announced his date of return but according to sources, we could see him back in action in 2 to 3 weeks.

Tony Parker Set to Return

A Wheeler’s Opinion: Will it help the Spurs?

Tony Parker, despite being old, is still one of the league’s most beloved point guards and he is definitely one of the best international players to step on an NBA court. He may not be the same TP9 we all saw during his younger years but he can still bring young guards to school. 
Tony Parker hasn’t played since May during last season’s playoffs after sustaining an injury during the Spurs’ series against James Harden and the Houston Rockets- a series that the Spurs lost. We haven’t seen Tony Parker since then and many thought that that was the last time we would see TP9.
Nope!
After missing a month this season, Tony Parker has announced through Facebook that yes, he’ll finally make his season debut against the Dallas Mavericks who are making a surge as of late after starting the season on a horrible way. 

Question: will Tony Parker’s return help the Spurs?

Yes! 

Sure, the Spurs are steadily catching up with the Golden State Warriors and the Rockets as they are in 3rd place in the West with a 12-7 record. Mind you, folks. Aside from not having Parker, the Spurs are also playing and winning without Kawhi Leonard who has been injured after you-know-who caused him an injury during last season’s Western Conference Finals between the Spurs and the eventual champions, the Warriors. 

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Having said that, the Spurs will generally benefit just by having Tony Parker back on the floor. Why? 
While Patty Mills has produced decent numbers in 19 games this season, so far, averaging 8 points and a team-leading 3 assists per game, it’s Tony Parker’s leadership skills plus his playmaking abilities that the Spurs will get back once TP9 suits up. It’s that simple. Plus, having Parker around will provide additional stability in the point guard position plus, additional firepower.

Related:  No One Knows When Kawhi Leonard is Returning Not Even the Spurs

Conclusion

Although we haven’t witnessed TP9 play this season, we can all expect the Spurs to become a better with their French point guard manning the point starting tomorrow against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. Tony Parker has dealt with many injuries in the past and yet, he keeps on coming back, better- one way or another. Now that’s longevity. 

No One Knows When Kawhi Leonard is Returning Not Even the Spurs

The Spurs has no time table for Kawhi Leonard

The 26-year-old and best two-way player in the NBA have not seen any action for the season yet owning to injury and while Tony Parker is scheduled to play against Mavs, Kawhi Leonard is nowhere near playing basketball.

Greg Popovich has been giving us false hope

“I keep saying sooner rather than later,” Popovich said.
But the truth of the matter is that Greg Popovich has never encountered an injury like Kawhi’s and the Spurs medical team has not been able to provide any time table for his return. Kyle Anderson has been playing his position while he is gone but isn’t really able to duplicate his performance.
Kawhi Leonard will remain on the sideline for Monday’s match up with the Mavericks as he watches Tony Parker play his first ever game for the season.  Leonard has played his best NBA season last year averaging 25.5 points per game.

By the Numbers: Warriors Beat Spurs Anew

GSW fell behind early but dominate in the 4th

Klay Thompson led the way with 27 points

One team is hoping to get back to their dominating self while the other is hoping to end their miseries. Unfortunately, only the team who wanted to regain its dominating self was able to get what they wanted as the Golden State Warriors recovered from their early struggles and went on to score a 112-92 victory over the still free-falling San Antonio Spurs who are still without the services of star players Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard.
So what happened? What did the defending champions do right this time around? And how did the Spurs drop their 4th consecutive game after starting the regular reason with a 4-0 start? Below are the numbers:

72 Points for the Warriors’ Big 3

Once again, it was the most hated trio of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry who poured in the points for GSW as the Big 3 of Oakland combined to outscore the entire starting 5 of Gregg Popovich who was ejected late in the game, 72-65. Klay Thompson top-scored with 27 points including 5 three-pointers. Kevin Durant had another stellar night with his 24 points, 8 rebounds 5 assists and 3 blocks. Curry had 21 while making 3 of his 4 attempts from deep. Now that’s how a Big 3 should be. Dominating.

50% from Deep. Splash!

During the course of the last 3 seasons, if there’s one team can shoot threes and make threes like there’s no more tomorrow, it’s none other than the Warriors themselves. 
Against the undermanned crew of Gregg Popovich, the Warriors unleashed a barrage of threes all game long. Golden State went 14 of 28 from long distance, good enough for 50% 3-point shooting. 
The Spurs, on the other hand, were miserable as their 4-game losing streak, only made 7 of their 24 attempts from beyond the arc. This disparity in the 3-point shooting alone, is what doomed the Spurs in the first place.

Running on the Break: GSW got 24 Fastbreak Points

Aside from making it rain with bombastic three-pointers, there’s another weapon that makes GSW a dangerous team to face: their ability to score on fastbreak opportunities. And the Spurs surely witnessed this weapon potential as the Warriors outscored the former, 24-7. 

Faltering in the 4th: Spurs only scored 14 Points

To begin with, the Spurs were only down by 7 points during the early goings of the 4th quarter after Kyle Anderson drained a pair of charities to make it, 89-82. Klay Thompson then scored the next 5 points for GSW to increase their to 12 points and the Spurs never got closer than 11 the rest of the way. San Antonio only scored 14 points while allowing the Warriors to score 28 points during the last 12 minutes of the game.

Conclusion

Maybe the Spurs were undermanned against the Warriors but certainly not undertalented. Maybe the Warriors overwhelmed the Spurs because they got a complete starting unit while Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker were nowhere to be found.Golden State is still the favorites to repeat as champions this season. However, them beating an undermanned team such as the Spurs means nothing as they have yet to beat an elite team this season. 

By the Numbers: LaMarcus + Murray + Defense= 4-0 Start

People are underestimating San Antonio. Again. And they shouldn’t

LaMarcus Aldridge has all the reasons to smile as the Spurs are to another 4-0 start to open a new season. 
People are talking about the Golden State Warriors dominating the season. People are talking about the new Big 3 in Oklahoma. People are talking about LeBron James’ impending departure from Cleveland.

Again. But not everybody is talking about the one team who could have defeated the Warriors during last season’s playoffs if not to the injuries that bugged two of their superstars. Which team is that? Folks, it’s the San Antonio Spurs, the team currently atop the standings in the Western Conference. 

After dismantling the Miami Heat 117-100, the San Antonio Spurs already have 4 wins in 4 games which is why they one of the two remaining teams in the league, both from the West, who have yet to lose a game this season. And mind you, folks, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard have yet to play a single second this season which proves Gregg Poppovich’s ability to coach and win with a team that is filled with young guys blending with the veterans. Chemistry, isn’t it?
If you’re wondering what enabled the Spurs to start the 2017-2018 season, spotless, despite not having their franchise player who is struggling to climb the stairs just to board the plane, around, this basketball pundit on wheels listed down the three things that equalize to the Spurs’ dashing start:

LaMarcus Aldridge: 28 Points and 8 Rebounds

Over the past few years since coming over to San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge has received all sorts of criticisms mainly due to his inconsistency on both ends of the court. While many thought that Aldridge would be traded before the start of the season, many were surprised when it was announced that Spurs and Aldridge signed an extension, extending LA’s stay in Texas for 3 more years, for 27 million Dollars. Many were surprised with this development considering for a player who only averaged 17 points per game during the previous season Well, we all have our different perspective and in the eyes of those who working at the Spurs’ front office, they still believe that LA will be a valuable asset to the team especially in the long run. 
And it turns out that the investment is worth it as Aldridge has been producing big numbers for San Antonio to cover the absence of Kawhi Leonard. In 4 games which he started and won, Aldridge has averaged 27 points and 8 rebounds per game- leading San Antonio in both categories. If Aldridge can keep up this level of consistency, Leonard can rest longer until he’s ready to dominate again.

Dejounte Murray: Stability at the Point

We all know that Tony Parker will be hard to replace once he retires, soon. And with TP9 still missing in action due to the injury he sustained during last season’s playoffs, someone has to perform well while starting at the point guard position. Fortunately, the Spurs have someone on their roster for that position. That someone is none other than the 21-year old, Dejounte Murray.
Murray has started in 4 games for the Spurs, so far and even though his numbers (10 points and 4 assists per game) aren’t as high as the other guards in the league, one thing Murray has provided for Gregg Poppovich is the stability at the point guard position and for someone who is only in his second season in the NBA, Dejounte Murray has proven that he is the future of the Spurs, especially once TP9 walks out, for good. Mind you, he had 16 points, 14 REBOUNDS and 6 assists in the Spurs’ victory against the Toronto Raptors. We can expect more performances like this from Murray throughout the season and beyond.

Defense: Playing the Poppovich Style

Gregg Poppovich’s name has been associated with DEFENSE. His dedication to playing D more than anything else is what makes him one of the greatest coaches in the NBA. And this season is no different at all, at least in 4 games to open the season. While the Spurs are not really an offensive-minded team as evident by their 103 points per game- 18th in the league, San Antonio has been an impressive job in limiting the opponents’ total points to 93 points on the average- 2nd best in the league. 
San Antonio may be in 25th place in steals per game, norming 6 steals per night but they are at number 2 in blocks per game, blocking 7.3 shots per night, just behind Golden State’s 7.8. 

Conclusion

It’s still early to say whether or not the Spurs will dominate anew. But one thing is certain: they are already filled firepower without Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard. Just imagine if both stars are back in uniform, healthy and playing. 

Poternial MVP Award of 2017-18 NBA Season? One Dark Horse but LeBron is not on the List

Open Court gave their insights on who they think will be the MVP this NBA season

2017-18 NBA MVP Candidates

In the age of super teams, what would it take to be a super player and the MVP?

Last year, Russel Westbrook answered the question with a performance that not a lot of players think would be broken. Westbrook surpassed Oscar Robertson’s record and became the new triple double king averaging 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. This was the stats of the MVP last year but what does MVP really mean and what are the criteria behind it? 
Aside from getting an all-around great basketball game, different people may have different definitions of an MVP. Even basketball legends like Shaq, Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, Isaiah Thomas and Dennis Scott have their different opinions. Let’s check in with their prediction of who will be the MVP for this upcoming season.

James Harden Charles Barkley 
Sir Charles believes that  James Harden will be the MVP this season and believes that Harden has made the most amazing transformation in the NBA and has definitely become the best point guard in the NBA. He could have been the MVP without Westbrook’s triple-double. 
Kawhi Leonard – Dennis Scott- Shaq O’Neal – Isiah Thomas
Shaq thinks that Kawhi Leonard has something to prove and without the injury, Spurs would have done better. Dennis Scott seconded the motion by saying that Kawhii has improved a lot and is the best two-way player in the league. Isiah Thomas could not have agreed less as he thinks he also was the best player last year. 
Kyrie IrvingKevin Mchale
Kevin McHale chooses Kyrie, a dark horse. He looks like he has a little reservation with his answer but just like Kawhi, Irving with his new home, has something to prove as well and according to Kevin McHale he will do a lot better in shooting and passing this year. 
Pow’s Prediction
Aside from these three players, there are certainly a lot more great basketball players in the league that could potentially win the MVP and I could not believe that they left out the reigning MVP in the conversation and the greatest basketball player today in LeBron James. I think the two, regardless of who they are playing with should still be part of the conversation.  Golden State Warriors is a different story as they all have accepted a leveled role within the team but with the case of OKC and Cavs, LBJ and Westbrook will still be the main man and the go-to guy.  I am not picking the two to be the MVP this year but they will always be part of that conversation. 
Kawhi Leonard and James Harden looks to be the most likely to win because they will have more chances of being the man on the court since no one else will or can. So I guess it could be between these two players.  

The Spurs: Still a Threat to GSW

We could see another Spurs-Warriors match-up come the West Finals

Experience plus discipline will help the Spurs this season and beyond
Sure, the Houston Rockets got Chris Paul and will now share the backcourt alongside James Harden. 
The Oklahoma City Thunder received Paul George and will now play alongside reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook. 
Rajon Rondo will now become the New Orleans Pelicans’ top playmaker who will lead the team alongside ever improving Anthony Davis. 
It seems that the rest of the West have been picking up pieces to hopefully challenge the mighty Golden State Warriors. But we’re probably forgetting one team: the San Antonio Spurs. 
Sure, the Warriors swept Kawhi Leonard and company during last season’s Western Conference Finals although many basketball pundits including the one who is writing this article, firmly believed that the outcome of the series would have been different had Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard were healthy and playing during that series. Like it or not, Coach Gregg Popovich and his wards are still the team who can, at the very least, challenge the Warriors of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.
Now, you’re probably scratching your heads and asking yourselves: ‘How can the Spurs beat the Warriors?” 
Let’s run some numbers. 
While the Spurs were averaging 105.3 points per game during the 2016-2017 season, 16th in the league, the Spurs have always been known as a defensive-minded team and last season’s numbers have proven that. In terms of limiting the opponents’ total points in a game, the Spurs only limited their opponents to 98.1 points on the average, the second best in the league in that category. 
Since the Spurs have big men like LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, guys like Danny Green, Manu Ginobili who can block shots, San Antonio, as a team, averaged 5.9 rejections- a spot behind league-leading Warriors in that category. And, don’t forget about the mere fact that Kawhi Leonard, the best two-way player in the league right now, has fully recovered from the injury he sustained during the playoffs.
While there’s doubt that the Warriors are loaded with such firepower as we saw during their impressive postseason run, the Spurs, on the other hand, remain as one of the teams in the league that have the discipline and the respect to the game, to challenge the players of Steve Kerr come the upcoming regular season and eventually, in the playoffs, should they will be pitted against each other. 
For starters, Rudy Gay has signed a 2-year deal with the Spurs and that’s a good addition to a team which has aging stars in Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili probably playing their last years in the league. Throughout his career, Gay has been averaging 18 points per game to go along with 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Gay will be providing additional firepower that the Spurs will need especially in crucial moments of the game.
The regular season will not come until October which means the Spurs will still have more time to prepare themselves because aside from their goal to hopefully dethrone the Warriors, they will also have to worry about the rest of the West because the other teams in the West have loaded themselves with additional firepower. However, chemistry will play a big role in the success of every team and when we’re talking chemistry, the chemistry that has been established by the Spurs players themselves has proven to be among the best in the league and whenever there’s a good chemistry among players, it helps them perform better on and off the court.

NBA Legend Penny Hardaway on Kawhi Leonard: I Never Said Kawhi Wasn’t a Superstar

I Never Said That Kawhi wasn’t a superstar – Penny

Penny Hardaway immediately debunked the statement he apparently said that Kawhi Leonard wasn’t a superstar after seeing it in an article online.
Penny Hardaway was one of the all time best big point guards in the league and his comments on Kawhi will certainly be worthy of attention.

Penny took to social media to clear things up to the public, denying that he never said that Kawhi Leonard wasn’t a superstar. He added, Kawhi is indeed a superstar and the best two-way player in the league.  He only stated that Kawhi doesn’t really like the media attention of being a superstar.

Kawhi Leonard Shows Respect Above All

Kawhi Leonard’s Jordan Brand Commercial, You got to show some respect!

The former 15th pick overall of 2011 had a great season last year.  The two time defensive player of the year and the current face of San Antonio Spurs shows us his simple ways on how he rose up to be where he is right now in the Jordan Brand Commercial.


Respect Above All

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Michael Jordan Answered a Tricky Question About Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is the best two way player right now

Kawhi Leonard Strong arm

Can Kawhi Leonard score on Kawhi asked a kid to Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan received a witty question from a kid during a basketball clinic that he was not able to answer.  All he can say was: “Kawhi is the best two-way player right now.”
The 26 year old forward from Los Angeles, California has been progressing steadily. Last year is probably his best all around performance as of yet. He averages 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and almost 2 steals per game. He is the face of the Spurs right now.
Personally, I think Kawhi can definitely score against himself.  Aside from being a great defender , Kawhi has now evolved to be a potent offensive weapon of the Spurs and would still find away to score but of course against himself is efficiency would go down.

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Highlights: Leonard’s Absence Led to a West Conference Finals Game 1 Victory to the Warriors

It was a tough Game 1 for San Antonio Spurs with Kawhi Leonard injuring his foot in the third quarter, the Golden State warriors automatically took the chance and had 113-111 victory.
San Antonio Spurs was leading in the first two quarters of the game, 30-16 in the fiest quarter. 32-26 in the second, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard. But it all fall down in the third quarter when Kawhi Leonard injured his ankle twice. First it was a step back in the bench, second is Leonard falling on Zaza Pachulia’s foot which is the cue for Leonard to leave the game. After Leonard left the game, Warriors quickly took the chance and went on to dominate the last two quarters of Game 1. Final score 113-111, Leonard is set to get an MRI in Monday for his sprained ankle.
See the game highlights below.

(courtesy: youtube/ Rapid Highlights)

HIghlights: Leonard, Spurs Ties up the Series with Houston Rockets, 121-96

Kawhi Leonard leads the Spurs with 34, Tony Parker injured in 4th!
Kawhi Leonard drove today’s victory against Houston Rockets scoring 34 points, 8 assits 7 rebounds and shooting 13 out of 16 field goal percentage. Leonard started the first quarter with a quick three pointer. D

Danny Green, Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, and David Lee also contributed to the first quarter points doing lay-ups, three pointers and power shots. Manu Ginobili continued the points in second quarter with Leonard, Mills, Parker, Aldridge and Green contributing with points from free throws, three points and lay-ups.

Rockets scored more points in third quarter, Ryan Anderson lead Rockets today scoring 18 points, 1 assist and 8 rebounds. Clint Capela together with James Harden, Nene Hilario, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams doing lay-ups, free throws and even dunking for the scores. Spurs had 20-point advantage against Rockets even with Tony Parker injuring himself in the fourth quarter. Ginobili, Simmons, Gasol, Mills, Leonard, Aldridge and Dedmon stepped up and did all this shooting. With a final score of 121-96, the Spurs now ties the series.
Game 3 will be on Sarurday May 6th.

(courtesy: youtube/Rapid Highlights)

NBA: Top 5 players who might win the Kia MVP Award

Let’s predict the future of NBA again. This time it will be the winner of Kia MVP Award.

Here are the top candidates and their projected stats for the upcoming season.

1. Stephen Curry (GSW): The reigning back-to-back MVP. He had a spectacular season last time but just came short for the title. This time he will play with a former MVP named Kevin Durant. Maybe his scoring will get down a little bit but I think his passing ability will show this upcoming season.

Projected Stats: 24 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

2. LeBron James (CLE): 4 time MVP, 3 time Champion and one of the greatest player ever to play the sport. He will be gunning for another back-to-back championship and he will be anchoring the surge togethrr with Irving and Love.

Projected Stats: 25 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steals per game.

3. Kawhi Leonard (SA): One of the best defender in the league and arguably the new face of San Antonio Spurs. This kid just had a breakout season last time and the Spurs needs another outstanding season again from him due to the departure of Tim Duncan who finally decided to retire.

Projected Stats: 22 points, 8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 3 assists per game.

4. Kevin Durant (GSW): Former MVP of the league and a former scoring champion. His skills will now br seen in the Bay Area together with Curry, Thompson and Green. He faced a lot of adversity with his decision to sign with thr Warriors but I think it will be his motivation this upcoming season.

Projected Stats: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 blocks per game.

5. Damian Lillard (POR): The unsung superstar and the former ROY awardee. Dame made a hugh noise last season by leading the Portland to the Playoffs even after the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge. I’m seeing that he will have another outstanding season together with his backcourt partner, CJ McCollum.

Projected Stats: 25 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals per game.

It was very hard to predict this but it will be either Curry, James and Durant.

Wild Cards: Russel Westbrook, Al Horford, Jimmy Butler, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul and Paul George.

NBA Birthdays: Kawhi Leonard Turns 25 Today, 10 Things You Should Know About Him

(Artwork by Sean Curate)

He’s a quiet player. He may not have much to say, but he lets his game on the court do the talking.

Kawhi Leonard is one of the youngest players in NBA history to ever have a Finals MVP award. Today, the Spurs’ Small Forward is celebrating his 25th birthday.

Celebrate his 25th birthday through our top 10 things you should know about “The Klaw”.

Here are the Top 10 things you should know about Kawhi Leonard:

1.) He is the youngest child in his family and has four older sisters. 


2.) He attended Martin Luther King High School in Los Angeles, California, and graduated in 2009. The same year, he earned the title of Mr. Basketball California. 


3.) He drove the same car he had back in college, a Chevy Malibu, during his first year in the NBA then finally bought a Porsche, after being pressured by his family and friends. “I don’t have a car not on it. It’s good on gas. It’s a good commuter car,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

4.) He is the first Jordan Brand athlete to be named Finals MVP since Michael Jordan.


5.) At the age of 22, he made a milestone by being the youngest Finals MVP since Magic Johnson.


6.) He has made this work ethic for two years in San Diego – He’d leave his house at 5 a.m. every morning to workout before his college classes — Through his Hard Work, he became a 2-time first team all-conference and a consensus second team all-American his sophomore year.


7.) He wants to be with the Spurs for his whole life and finish his entire career in San Antonio.



8.) After they won the championship versus the Miami Heat. He had the Larry O’Brien trophy with him in San Diego as part of the tour but it spent two of the three days of the trip in his condo, because of the work ethic he established to accomplish his workouts.

“I don’t have time to do anything with it,” he told the San Diego Union Tribune. “I’m just a low-key guy. I’m just happy we won it. I don’t even care about the trophy. The title matters most.” 

9.) Months before being drafted, he concentrated on his studies in college over getting a lot of money. “My family doesn’t need the money right now. We’re not starving, hungry, living poor. It will be nice to have a lot of money, but I think my family could hold out for two more years if I play through my senior year,” he told The New York Times.

10.) He was originally drafted by the Indiana Pacers. but it was just 5 minutes after he found out that he had been traded to the Spurs during the NBA draft.










Cavs big three help team win over Spurs 117-103

Lebron James scored 29 points to help Cleveland Cavaliers got its first win this season over an elite team by beating the San Antonio Spurs 117-103. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving added 21 apiece on scoring for Cavs.

This is also the second straight game the Cavs big three scored 20 or more in a game. On their last game versus Detriot Pistons, Love scored 29 while Irving and James scored 28 and 20 respectively.

The Cavs won their fourth straight under new coach Tyronn Lue, who was promoted after David Blatt was fired Jan. 22.

Kawhi Leonard scored 24, and LaMarcus Aldridge 15 for the Spurs. Forward Tim Duncan did not play due to knee injury.

This game could be a potential NBA Finals preview if both teams will go on and win each of their conferences. Cleveland improved to 19-3 at home which is the best in the Eastern Conference.

Spurs Hold off Cavs 8th game win streak 99-95! to bump theirs to 10 straight wins!



This was a battle that everyone wanted to find out and it was all worth the hype. The Cavs led pretty much all the way until halfway through the 3rd quarter where everyone in the Spurs stepped up to their game Duncan, Aldrige and Leonard who struggled in the first half, all of them scored less then 10 points it was only Tony Parker who led them in with 18 points to end the half. 

3rd quarter came and it has became a game with a playoff atmosphere trading basket after basket, it was very exciting that I felt the beat of my heart loud and clear even if the volume on my TV is almost maxed. That quarter ended with a buzzer beater from Matthew Dellavedova to give the Cavs a 1 point lead with 73-72.

4th Quarter both teams started with their bench players only TP and Irving are the starters who stayed after the 3rd quarter. It was a great display of team work both on offense on defense for both teams but it was the Spurs who excelled with excellent plays from Patty Mills, Kawhi Leonard with the emphatic putback slam and Kyle Anderson who played exceptional both ends off the floor even if he was only given 5 minutes, I would have wanted for him to stay on the floor but I am not Pop.

Tim Duncan also contributed with a couple of vintage moves to keep them on the lead. with .57 minutes remaining he took a semi fade away. The Cavs were down 93-99 with 9.1 seconds remaining Ginobili played great defense to block Irving’s shot and after the play Lebron had a word with Irving who took the shot with 3 defenders on him, they were able to maintain possession of the ball with 6.4 seconds remaining. Cavs inbound the ball to Thompson and it was JR Smith who took the shot but missed badly. 

The Spurs Big 3

Duncan – 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks
Leonard – 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks
Parker – 24 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assist and 3 steals

Cavs Big 3

James – 22 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists 
Love – 10 points, 12 rebounds and 1 assist
Irving – 16 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists.

Here is the highlight of this exciting game:



Written by:
Aldrin
Team Powcast


Spurs’ Streak Remains; Wins Game Versus Cavaliers

San Antonio Spurs‘ winning streak remains, after hosting Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and came up victorious 95-99, January 14th 2016. This is the Spurs’ 32nd home game winning streak, and yes, they are yet to lose in 2016 at their very own AT&T Center

The Spurs’ defense played an important role in this game, as they forced Cavaliers to make 18 turnovers. Trailing by 15 in the opening quarter, Spurs eventually came together and played effectively on both offense and defense and as a result, they won the tight game. 
Tony Parker was the star of the night, noting 24 points for the winner, while Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and 10 boards plus performed a stellar defense on Lebron James all game. Lebron was only 9 out of 17, and finished with 22 points at the game. 
Cavaliers’ center, Tristan Thompson scored 18 points and 14 boards, while JR Smith noted 17 points on his name. Kyrie Irving, who took off the last time Cavaliers visited Spurs by scoring his all-time high 57 points, only had 16 points tonight, thanks to Spurs’ effective defense.
Even with this loss, Cavaliers are still the number 1 on Eastern Conference, and Spurs remain trailing the Warriors at number 2 on Western Conference. 
On Friday, Cavaliers with play James Harden and co. at Houston, while Spurs will have Mavericks at San Antonio on Saturday.
Other NBA Results:
Raptors 106-103 Magic
Bulls 115-111 76Ers
Pistons 101-103 Grizzlies
Kings 103-101 Jazz
Lakers 98-116 Warriors