Apr 24, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during player introductions before game two of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers at AT

The Morning Tip Off

Starting today and from here on out, we will be bringing you our very own link dump called “The Morning Tip-Off”.  If you are unfamiliar with what this is, this will be your one stop shop for news from around the net on the San Antonio Spurs.

Who doesn’t like a little news with your morning coffee?  Or whatever beverage of choice you may have in the mornings.  Without further ado, here we go.

Final Regular-Season Grades for Each San Antonio Spurs Player for 2013 - Bleacher Report

The San Antonio Spurs entered the season with many doubting whether 2013 would mark the year in which the team finally ran out of gas.

After 82 regular-season games, one thing is for certain: The team is rolling like they have before.

Reaching the 50-win plateau for the 14th consecutive season, the Spurs proved once again to be one of the league’s most elite squads.

The team as a whole played admirably, but individual players certainly had different effects on the team’s success.

So without further ado, I present to you the final regular-season grades for each member of the San Antonio Spurs.

Series Becomes A Battle of Attrition – Jeff McDonald – Spurs Nation

The Los Angeles Lakers began the season with championship hopes built, in part, on the idea of a pair of former NBA Most Valuable Players teaming up in the backcourt.

Their season nearing critical condition in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs against the Spurs, the Lakers still have at least one MVP available.

But the trouble for L.A. is twofold. Andrew Goudelock was named the MVP of the Development League on Thursday, and he is a candidate to start at shooting guard in Friday night’s Game 3 at Staples Center.

State of the Spurs: Big Three Edition – Game 2 – Pounding The Rock 

In my first post of this series, I examined the performance of the Big Three in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (Why does nobody ever call it that? It sounds so much more legit than “first round”). If you read it, great. If not, no worries, and I can probably sum up the conclusions in a single sentence. Timmy was solid, Tony was not, and Manu was incredible. I essentially established some preliminary data points to track how the Big Three trend throughout the playoffs so we have some kind of subjective measure for how they are stacking up to what we expect from them. Since both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili provided the Spurs with exactly what is required of them during the playoffs while Tony left something to be desired, we’ll we examine Game 2, to compare each star’s performance with Game 1, and start to track the emerging trends as the Spurs head to the Staples Center looking to take a three game lead on Friday. Be sure to read Fred’s recap and Aaron’s rehash because, as always, both are awesome, and will give you a good idea of how the Big Three, and the rest of the Spurs, performed.

D’Antonio On Spurs: They Have So Many Guys Who Can Make Baskets – Quixem Ramirez, Project Spurs

“(Leonard) played very efficient and very good,” D’Antoni said. “That’s the problem. They have so many guys who make baskets. It’s either (Matt) Bonner doing it and (Kawhi) Leonard did it tonight. It’s always (Tony) Parker, (Manu) Ginobili and (Tim) Duncan but then somebody else picks up the slack and tonight was Leonard and Bonner. Both of them played a terrific game.”

Manu Ginobili Implies Tim Duncan Should Have Won Defensive Player of the Year – Dan Feldman, Pro Basketball Talk

“It is the toughest award they give away because players don’t vote,” Ginobili said. “It’s the player that (goes) against other players who know. Sometimes the best rebounder is not the best defender; or the best in steals is not a great defender. He just gambles a lot.

“It could be (an award for players to choose), but it’s been going on for so many years. It’s not that I’m complaining, but probably we do know better than the media.”

Throwing A Slightly Damp Blanket On The Matt Bonner Love – Andrew McNeil, 48MOH

While fans should be encouraged that he’s hit those shots, that could be misleading. The Lakers defenders aren’t exactly closing out on Bonner on the perimeter like they’re the Memphis Grizzlies. The time Bonner has to catch-and-shoot is more like regular season time than playoff. All season this Lakers defense was positively mediocre and the 35.7 percent shooting they allowed from behind the arc in the regular season is just that. It’s not an elite defense the Spurs are likely to see later in the playoffs.

Tags: San Antonio Spurs

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