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Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics want to emulate the Spurs

stevenspopovich

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

The San Antonio Spurs are champions again, and like most coaches around the NBA, Stevens was in awe of how they methodically toppled the Heat to win the title.

“It’s clear that we’re all chasing them,” Stevens said.

He also gushed about the Spurs’ selflessness, especially from their bench players.

“I just think everybody is so locked in to their role and trying to be the best teammate they can be,” Stevens said.

“Against us, they didn’t have three of their starters the second time they came here and they drilled us. I think that’s who they’ve been all year. They’ve been able to sit guys, rest guys, do all that stuff and never miss a beat.’’

“The way that they played and the way that their young guys have increased their roles and the way that their old guys have continued to play great and accept those young guys — at the end of the day, it’s been a great thing to emulate.”

Boston Globe - Celtics looking at lottery guys and long shots

The San Antonio Spurs destroyed the two-time defending champion Miami Heat with beautiful, team-oriented basketball that involved incredible spacing and ball movement on offense.  In every league, you see teams try to emulate the blueprint of the current champions.  The Celtics, who sort of created this style of play in the late 50’s and 60’s, are now looking at the Spurs as the path back to greatness.  All they need is the next Tim Duncan.  Kidding aside, it is an admirable goal and one that should definitely be pursued.  Generally, I think most teams in the NBA (at least the better ones) could play like the Spurs, but it requires sacrifice and changing habits that have been ingrained in players from such an early age.  There is something to the AAU culture as well as the ESPN culture.  They grow up watching how superstars get all the attention and fanfare.  They get it early by shoe companies and through the NCAA.  Are they solely responsible?  No, but it doesn’t help.

If you watch the Spurs closely, they are a beautiful team to watch, but there are a lot of basic basketball principles that any professional team should be able to execute and sustain over a long period of time.  Think about it.  How often do you check a Spurs box score to check on individual stats as opposed to the gaudy team stats?  How many teams do you actually do that for?  If Brad Stevens and the Celtics are aiming at this goal then pay close attention to the players they draft and acquire.  They discussed having depth as a start, but they also still need to get the talent.  The Spurs still play as a team, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking they don;t have star players.  Duncan is in the discussion as one of the greatest to ever play the game.  Tony Parker is one of the best point guards in the league and Manu Ginobili can still bring an Argentinian Army Knife set of skills.  Oh and yeah, they have a budding star and Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard.  The C’s have some work to do, but they could do much worse having a long-term goal as emulating the Spurs.  They could even simply look back at the own illustrious history and watch how the teams of the 60’s and even Tommy Heinsohn’s coached teams of the 70’s played.

Page 2: Antoine Walker revisits Boston with a new documentary

If you’ve been a fan of the more recent Celtics, then you’re probably well aware of Antoine Walker’s financial troubles.  Since his playing career ended, there have been several stories about how Walker lost $100 million (give or take a few million) by loaning money to friends, investing in some bad ventures and also gambling debts.  Walker tweeted out that he has a new documentary coming out soon.  Unfortunately he’s not the first NBA player or athlete to have gone through this, and he likely won’t eb the last.  Hopefully, Walker’s message can be useful in a similar way that another former Celtic’s has been, that of Chris Herren.  Take a look at the preview below:

Gone In An Instant 30sec tease from It’s The ComeBack Kids on Vimeo.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Good in green: Napier visits Boston | Notebook: Auditions and callbacks

Boston Globe - In visit with Celtics, Shabazz Napier can’t hide his hometown colors  | LeBron James, Miami Heat have decision to make | Jabari Parker draws raves for his scoring prowess

Boston Herald – Roxbury’s Shabazz Napier right at home in green | LeBron James’ future view

CSNNE – Napier hoping to prove heart more than measures up | Draft Prospect Breakdowns: UCLA’s Zach LaVine | Blakely: LeBron to Clippers makes sense

WEEI – Shabazz Napier feels he has the ‘heart’ to lead an NBA team

MassLive – Shabazz Napier’s winning pedigree stands out to Boston Celtics | Boris Diaw explains almost joining Boston Celtics before joining San Antonio Spurs in 2012 | Rajon Rondo once delivered a metaphorical ‘knockout punch’ to Marcus Williams during Boston Celtics pre-draft workout, says Autsin Ainge

USA Today – Tim Duncan ‘at the top’ with NBA greats after 5th title

Pioneer Press – Tom Powers: Trading disrespectful Kevin Love might not be Wolves’ best move

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  • bill_nair

    The Spurs style of basketball isnt appreciated outside of basketball purists. I watched ESPN a couple hours the past 2 days hoping I could see some basketball coverage, but nothing. If the heat had won they wouldve been talking about it non-stop. It’s a shame.

    • Tati

      People are crediting the Spurs for this system. But this system was invented by the Suns. Didn’t work for them at the time because the rules weren’t set up to help them win with it. Spurs copied it right after the Suns swept them out of the playoffs… and now they bear the fruits.

      • LA Flake

        Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t OUR ball movement better during the PPKG era with Perk in the middle?

        • RedwasKing

          In my opinion the 08 Celtics were better at defense than this current Spurs team, but the fact that the Celts were more top heavy led to more Pierce Iso plays and KG-Rondo Pick and pop plays, and 1 pass Ray Allen backscreen run-throughs. I’m not saying that the Celts were a better or worse team, just that if we are talking about team ball movement, the Spurs take it.

    • Mike C

      Exactly Right bill! The media is so biased towards Lebron an the Heat, that it literally makes me sick. I’ve said it before, if the heat win, the media goes on & on about how great Lebron is. If the Heat lose, its ‘STILL’ coverage about Miami and how they ‘Let’ the other team off the hook, with mistakes, Crampgate, etc, etc! Lebron is always puzzled as to why he is so disliked… This right here IS a BIG Reason!!

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    Want to be like the Spurs? Here’s how!! Take a DNA SAMPLE OF Tim Duncan, clone him, wait about 22 years for him to mature. During that time program every basketball fundamental. Keep him under wraps in a bunker somewhere and when he comes of age bring him out for the world to see. Also have an virtual artifical intelligent cope of Greg Popovich couldn’t hurt either.

    • bill_nair

      I’ve seen nothing but fans of other teams asking how to replicate the spurs with their roster. Everyone thinks ball movement will replicate their formula but no one acknowledges they have one of the best big man of all time playing at a high level for almost 2 decades straight. I wonder how the Spurs look after he leaves.

  • Wes Lukowsky

    One assumption has been that if the Celts had won the Duncan lottery Boston would would have had a similar extended run of NBA success. However, remember that the coach at the time was Pitino. Would he have traded Duncan? Ruined him by blaming him for every loss? No way to know for sure, but I’d guess that Duncan’s career arc would have been much different and to be fair, it would not have all been Little Ricky’s doing. Pop and TD seem to be the perfect fusion of coach and player, much like Red and Russell, PJ and MJ and PJ and Kobe.

    • art

      That would have been interesting with Duncan playing under Pitino. He probably would have covered up Pitino’s warts similar to how LBJ covers up Miami and Spoelstra’s warts. And then we would have been stuck with Pitino longer. (Please not that!) It ended up working out pretty well for Timmy and badly for Ricky P..

  • Hex Effect

    Why do we want to emulate the Spurs? Aren’t we the 17-time NBA champions and most storied franchise in the league? If anything we should be trying to emulate the playing style of the 60’s Russell, 70’s Cowens and 80’s Bird team basketball concept.