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The Morning Tip-Off

The Morning Tip-Off is where we scour the internet, to bring you all the San Antonio Spurs news from different outlets, all on one page. After an entire week off, it’s finally game day! Here are your links for May 6th:

On Spurs, Warriors and a river vs. a bayProject Spurs

Curry is often associated with fire for his knack for scorching defenders and his bravado spreading quickly amongst his teammates, but fire would be inaccurate. His jump shot neither ignites nor burns out, it relies on no sparks or catalyst, it simply always is.

Instead, Curry possesses the most fluid shooting motion in basketball, suggesting water might the more apt comparison. Like water, Curry’s jumper is malleable, yet it always retains the same basic properties—shoulders squared, elbow in, textbook follow through.

Like water, the flow of his jumper can be disrupted. Defenders stand like obstacles, trying to alter his path and contain the destruction. But defenses can never be airtight for 48 minutes, and Curry often finds leaks, moving past all obstructions, reforming his pristine shooting motion as he passes.

Jackson says no pressure on Warriors; discusses Spurs’ Parker, and moreProject Spurs

“No there’s no pressure,” said Jackson on Sunday, a day before the Warriors face off against the Spurs. “We’re playing with house money,” continued Jackson, “there’s no pressure.”

Jackson went on to say that most experts didn’t pencil in the Warriors, a number-6 seed, on the list of the final eight teams representing the Western Conference. Jackson said the Spurs have the advantages in coaching, the team, and should be labeled the “favorite” in the series.

Warriors’ Curry and Jack know Spurs present major challenge in second roundProject Spurs

Before game two of the Spurs’ win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Coach Popovich said watching Curry shoot reminded him of watching Michael Jordan. When Curry was notified of Popovich’s comment Sunday, he had one reaction.

“Was he drunk when he said that?”

For Curry, he knows the Spurs’ defense will bring him different looks than he faced against the Denver Nuggets. Curry’s hoping he can continue to shoot the ball the way he was doing in the first round. To prepare for the Spurs, Curry said he’s watched a lot of film and even watched how they defended Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul last year.

How the Spurs Will Beat the WarriorsPounding The Rock

On Monday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, the Spurs will shift from a series against one of their most familiar postseason foes, to one of their most unfamiliar. Granted, this year’s Lakers hardly resembled their championship teams from the last decade, especially without Kobe, though Jack Nicholson hasn’t changed much. Nonetheless the Spurs are set to face the ambitious and rising Warriors, a team with four rookies and three sophomores and an average age of 25 years, 8 months, and 12 days. A third of the Warrior’s roster hadn’t been conceived, born, or potty-trained when these two teams last met in the playoffs. And how about this: The Warriors could sign Dr. J and still be younger than the Spurs, whose roster currently is about as youthful as it has ever been.

The point is that these Warriors are uncharted playoff territory, even for a veteran team like the Spurs. What’s more, their style of play is rather unusual, spearheaded by the unconventional shooting/wizardry of Stephen Curry. His ability to nail the deep ball, assisted or unassisted, and make all manner of other difficult shots, places a heavy burden on the defense of Warrior’s opponents.

Warriors must play better to beat San Antonio Spurs, says Richard JeffersonSan Jose Mercury News

Do the Warriors have to play the perfect series against the Spurs? Not necessarily, Jefferson said. But they do have to play more consistently, more completely and not at San Antonio’s preferred tempo.

“You have a two-, three-minute lapse against them, you’re in trouble,”

he said. “They’re not the type of team you want to put yourself in a hole against. Denver is a team we felt like whether we were up 10 or down 10, we were always in control of the game. It was just a matter of us doing what we needed to do for a period of time.

“San Antonio’s entirely different — up by four or down by four, they’re going to constantly try to impose their will on you. Our focus against Denver was to get them in the half-court game, but San Antonio can beat you in the half court. They have a complete half-court game. It’s our job to fight against doing what they want to do, play even better defense and make them play our style of basketball.”

Spurs notebook: Parker, Duncan fare well behind MVP winner JamesSpurs Nation

Point guard Tony Parker finished sixth in voting with 86 points, including two second-place votes, while forward Tim Duncan came in seventh with 65 points and two more second-place votes.

It marked the first time the Spurs had two players poll so high together since 1997-98, when Duncan placed fifth after his rookie season and David Robinson came in seventh.

Throughout a season that saw the 30-year-old Parker flirt with career highs in scoring (20.3 points per game) and assists (7.6 per game), coach Gregg Popovich trumpeted his All-Star point guard as an MVP-type player.

Golden State coach Mark Jackson, whose team faces the Spurs in a Western Conference semifinal series beginning Monday, agreed.

“I thought this year, he had every right to be in the MVP discussion,” Jackson said. “He elevated his play, and that’s scary to say because he was a top-notch point guard before.”

Villains again, Spurs return to what workedSan Antonio Express-News

Only Steve Kerr ranks higher than Curry in NBA history in 3-point percentage. Nash is No. 8 on the list — with Curry the only point guard ranked higher.

Nash and Curry aren’t the same. Nash is a better passer, Curry a better shooter.

Still, both resonate with fans, because both are entertaining in a sport that can be repetitive. Given that, most would like to see more of Curry in the playoffs.

“He’s the first NBA player since I Can’t Even Remember When who replicated the single best thing about March Madness,” Bill Simmons, the ESPN personality and a measure of fandom, wrote recently.

They once said something similar about Nash and his seven-seconds-or-less Suns teams. And as it was then, who outside of Bexar County will be rooting for the Spurs?

In recent years, Popovich and his organization have gotten far more praise than criticism. It’s hard to ignore their standard of success, and there’s something else, too. They’d become overachievers.

But now they are playing the heavy again. Most have forgotten the way the Spurs ended the regular season, or that they got an unofficial bye against the Lakers. With Russell Westbrook out, the Spurs are considered the favorites in the Western Conference.

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