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WEDNESDAY WIRE

GELIN LIKE MAGELLIN


Yes, those annoying ad schemes can even be applied to sports. The biggest question facing the Spurs as this season continues to grind along is, “Can this team ever get in sync?” Following a five game winning streak that had many Spurs fans punching their ticket to the finals our team was brought back down to earth against several championship caliber teams. The losses didn’t leave me with more questions, instead they delivered new hope. The Spurs managed to be in control for a good portion in each of the three losses. The last few games have continued to confirm my hope, as the Spurs delivered one of their most efficient offensive stretches this season. The Silver and Black have pounded their opponents with 49 points in the paint per game, while scoring 112 points, shooting a blistering rate from the floor and from downtown. RJ is averaging 19 points per game, and Manu is leading the bench to an average of 49 points per game over the last three games. The Spurs next two opponents are both high octane teams that have given the Spurs fits in the past, but their defense, not their offense give the Spurs an open door to extend their streak to five.

The Phoenix Suns have always been an incredibly efficient offensive team, the NASCAR of the NBA. Phoenix’s red hot offense has led them to the top of the league in scoring and three-point percentage. They are sitting comfortably in second in field goal percentage and fourth in assists. Much like a man in his mid life crisis, the flashy sports car simply covers up the fact that there is not much else to brag about, for the Suns, no defense. The Suns rank in the bottom third of the league in most key defensive statistics. As we all know, the Spurs are no offensive juggernaut, but they are a top ten in most offensive statistics. The deciding factor in this match up is rebounding. With all the differences between these two squads, only half a rebound separates them during each game. The team that wins on the boards will win this game.

Like the Suns, the Golden State Warriors are near the top of the league in many offensive statistics; conversely they are one of the few teams that have a worse defense. The Warriors are ranked 30th in points given up, opponent’s field goal percentage, and opponent’s rebounds per game. To make matters worse, they are also the worst rebounding team in the league. The Warriors may be the Spurs’ kryptonite, as they lead the league in steals. This has not been the most successful season for the Spurs when it comes to taking care of the ball, culminating in a 28 turnover game against the bobcats. Our Spurs are only 1-4 on the road when we lose the turnover battle. Look for Manu and Jefferson to push the ball and keep the tempo going with the youthful Warriors.

We are only a quarter of the way through the season, and the Spurs have already been to the top and the bottom and back again. I am sure Pop can do without all the ups and downs, but everyone understands these are necessary steps for success. The Spurs role players are beginning to settle in and the BIG FOUR are looking bigger and better every game, this Spurs team is finally starting to come together and everything is feeling good.

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