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Red's Army

Need Inspiration? Look to the 2006-07 Spurs

Chuck - Red's Army March 1, 2010 Uncategorized 26 Comments

San-antonio-spurs-with-the-championship-trophy1

Like many of us, I'm looking for reasons to believe in this Celtics team. I figured I'd do some research and see if any of the recent NBA champions struggled mightily during the regular season like the 2009-10 Celtics. The answer is yes.

Here are some excerpts from the Spurs 2006-07 recap on Hoopedia:

The Spurs got off to a strong start in the regular season, winning 11
of their first 14 games, including victories over Dallas, Phoenix and
Houston.

But as the season unfolded, the Spurs failed to live up to their
lofty expectations. Following a 9–7 record in January, the Spurs
started February with a 1–3 record. They struggled down the stretch in
many of those defeats, and the Spurs quickly found themselves far
behind the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns.

Trade rumors began swirling around the
Spurs. Unaccustomed to struggling during the regular season, the Spurs
were frustrated. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, Popovich
had to choose whether or not to keep the team together. His decision
was not to make a trade. Then, it was as if their whole season had
magically turned around in one moment.

With quiet determination, the
Spurs spent the rest of the season flying under the radar, winning
thirteen games in a row during February and March. The Spurs won those
games with either tough defense or by hitting big shots down the
stretch. The Spurs were an NBA-best 25–6 in the final 31 games. During
the 31-game stretch, the Spurs averaged 98.8 points while holding their
opponents to 87.9 ppg. With the NBA's top ranked defense and
a 58–24 record, the Spurs entered the postseason in good shape.

This story sounds eerily familiar. A strong start. Disappointing winter. Trade rumors. Should the GM blow up the nucleus? And then… it magically turned around in one moment.

With 25 games remaining, there's still time for the Celtics to make a Spurs-like finish to the season. In this case, let's hope history repeats itself.

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  • http://www.projectspurs.com Jeff – Project Spurs

    Once again SAS and BOS teams w/ similarities. Nice comparison

  • RyPThomas

    The only monkey wrench in your comparison so far is the Celtics haven’t turned that corner yet. I too feel like they can snap their fingers and flip the switch, I just hope they don’t choose to do it too late and find out they can’t get into stride in time to fight off the behemoths of the east.

  • Perry

    Just made this point in a previous thread about a few other teams in NBA history who unachieved in the regular season only to come on strong in the post season.
    You may be right. On the other hand Duncan and Manu had no discernable injuries, and were still playing in their prime. Can we say that about the Big 3?
    Sure, we can assume the switch is about to be turned on, but we’re just not sure. We pinned our hopes on the successful west coast swing, and look what happened. It could be a combination of the urgency factor, and age coupled with injury.
    I don’t think the players are selfish, but I do think they’re not doing the little things; not boxing out, not setting hard picks, not cutting, leaving the 3 point line open, etc.
    We just haven’t seen proof of a turn around, but yet they were 23-5 before the roof caved in.

  • http://www.celticsblog.com Jeff

    excellent post – well done
    I’ll believe it when I see it, but I’m glad there’s at least a precedent out there to pull from

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5d5008970c Jester00

    How about signing Larry Hughes http://heylarryhughespleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com/
    fit in with sheed, nate, and S.Williams

  • AboveTheRim

    BIgMck,
    I thought you were going to delve into the age of their team…they had guys all in the low to mid 30s as well.
    Just saying the knock on the Cs is that they are old. That Spurs team had the same makeup of Vets…

  • AboveTheRim

    Ok I looked into the ages of the ’06-’07 Spurs and what a bunch of Geezers. How did these old fogies ever win a title? Oh, maybe because they’re wiley Vets carried by the strong play of a young point guard in Parker:
    Brent Barry – 35 yrs old
    Bruce Bowen – 35 yrs old
    Tim Duncan – 30 yrs old
    M. Finley – 33 yrs old
    Ginobili – 29 yrs old
    Rob Horry – 36 yrs old
    Tony Parker – 24 yrs old
    (former Celt) E. Williams – 34 yrs old
    Don’t write of the Celts guys. They’re Vets and you better believe when the games count, they’ll be at another level mentally. This isn’t their first rodeo.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    I think we all HOPE it will happen, no question. Yes, they have the makeup that it COULD happen. The question is when is our 13 game win streak, or similar indication we go into the playoffs strong? Long and short, they have to MAKE it happen.
    Forgetting the game that really didn’t happen this w/e, let’s start small.
    Go 3-0 this week!

  • Lakerhater (FD)

    Doc = Popavich? Not even close.
    But there are similarities between the players on these squads. Get PP healthy, everyone else stays healthy and you never know.

  • DRJ

    Hey, isn’t it kinda cool that BigMck got back in the saddle again with a story about the “Spurs”? :)

  • JDMVP

    Well as much as i know this stories will cheer u guys up u gotta remember 06-07 as one guy said it already did not have big injuries on their key players another
    as they went into the playoffs beating Denver they went in to the semi finals against the suns anybody who watched that series knows all of the circus that happend Horry tackling Nash which led to amare and diaw suspensions, you had the tim donaghy incident too plus thanks to the warriors, Mavs that year got knock out early we all know what happend with the GSW after that anyway am just saying yes its nice too see stories like these but at the same time like a lot of u people say here we gotta get back to reality

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f60396b970c ThatGuyOverTheOcean

    Uhhh… the Spurs had a real coach, we don’t.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    *yawns*
    Do we have tim duncan in his prime or coach pop?
    no, we have KG on one leg and doc rivers
    Also, the spurs actually did purposely rest starters and were able to win once the playoffs started…the celtics have never had that mentality, they arent losing because theyre trying to get veterans rest, otherwise they wouldnt be running ray allen into the ground
    stupid and no comparison

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Um they got extremly lucky in the playoffs, getting all the right matchups, and even suspenions to important suns players,and then even getting the, at the time, a terrible cavaliers in the finals
    with that said, noone on our team comes close to Tim duncan, and our coach is nowhere near to popovich

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    What succeful west coast swing is everyone talking about here?
    Lost to New Orleans
    had a mano a mano battle with the Kings, and they had to miss 8 fts in the 4th quarter for us to squeak out a win
    then barely, barely beat the lakers WITHOUT KOBE
    Blewout the blazers (only overwhelming positive i can see)
    and then get manhandled, out toughed and punched in the mouth by denver

  • DRJ

    Wrong.
    KG is not “on one leg”. He’s playing great basketball. Was the only one who played great vs. Nets. Improving every day. All good.
    The Cs ARE resting starters, in turn, with their patented “injury times out”… all those injuries (that nobody ever sees) have led, effectively, to a kind of rotating vacation. Paul’s in the middle of one right now. Ray’s the only major vet who hasn’t had one. Maybe he will, shortly after Paul gets back?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Youre as blind as a bat
    KG isnt technically on one leg, but he has been on defense, when the other team wants to exploit him off the dribble and hes noticably limping half the time – yeah hes on one leg
    and even if he becomes half the player he once was, he never was tim duncan
    people are so blind to the fact that KG went from being DPOY to defensive liability…dont care about his offense..and hes playing well…by what? Horace grant standards?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    And the epitomy of the KG denial actually came against New Jersey…yeah he had offense and grabbed 9 boards…but he also got exploited by kris humphries when it really mattered and dominated by the nets front court…slow up the floor, and where exactly is his leadership and intensity?
    he put up big numbers in a loss to the nets
    overjoyed?

  • cmoney

    to the ruins is on the money here.
    KG is playing pretty solid basketball, and “defensive liability” is a huge stretch. He’s just not playing “KG basketball”, which was pretty much on par with “Tim Duncan basketball”. If Duncan had suddenly lost 20% of his production in ’07, the Spurs would have never gotten through the West.

  • Perry

    That is a good point. Ray has logged in a ton minutes, and so did Pierce before his thumb injury.

  • DRJ

    And KG’s still improving, still getting into shape after a long, long time off. He’s getting there. Looks better every time… more mobile, more active, jumping better… everything improving.
    TTR has a well-known, and extremely well-documented antipathy to KG… probably some kind of latent man-love/hate thing… who the hell knows.

  • Shawn-cvd

    KG is very capable of gradually improving over the next seven weeks. Same could be said of Rasheed (gameshape, caring), Perk (dropping of bad post habits), PP (health), Nate (integration), and the whole team (sense of urgency, consistency).
    It’s too early to write them off.

  • KY Celts fan

    Great win over the Suns yesterday. That was a fun game to watch.

  • Perry

    Alright — point well taken. You have to admit coming out of the all-star break the defensive intensity was there with the exception of the Denver game. Ray broke out of his slump, KG was more active, and most of all they were getting stops in big moments.
    You can make the argument about Kobe missing and Roy hobbled, but KG and Pierce were not at full strength either. Nevertheless, they were playing much better…or so we thought.

  • dionisia pacquiao

    The only reason why those spurs won is because of the warriors’ upset over the mavericks. History shows that Dallas has San antonio’s number. And Having them avoided was a big blessing for the spurs.

  • Joseph

    You do realize that they had Greg Popovich as their coach. Doc Rivers is nowhere near the coach that Popovich is. Dream on!