The Spurs just won a very good series last night, in the most hostile environment in the NBA. They dug deep, and brought out that championship grit I talked about in an earlier blog. Coach Pop made the right defensive adjustments, game planning to take out the star guard duo of Curry and Thompson. The big 3 stepped up, and took the shots they needed too, and Kawhi Leonard is emerging as a true star in this league.
The biggest and most surprising stat about this game, is Tony Parker and Manu Giniobili had 5 points between them going into the 4th quarter, and the Spurs were still winning. Duncan had 19 points, and didn’t even play in the crunch time of this game, and like I said Kawhi stepped up and added 16 points and 10 rebounds to carry this team until Tony Parker could take over. Tiago Splitter added 14 points, Danny Green added some big 3 point shots, and great defense on Curry. Corey Joseph, the true backup point guard now added some big shots and good on the ball D as well.
This depth will serve them well, if it lasts going into the Western conference finals against Memphis. The Spurs know what they’ll get in the Big 3, but the guys I mentioned above have to step up again. Green and Joseph need to play great D, and hit big 3’s. Leonard needs to continue his flight as a star, and Tiago Splitter must be effective in the paint. Look for Blair, Bonner, and Diaw to see solid minutes in this series, but Tiago must be the guy that we all know he can be. Make no mistake Spurs and Memphis will be a war, so the difference will be if the younger Spurs can help out the older vets.
Doug Free, the highest paid right tackle in football, has agreed to a pay cut to stay with the team. Doug Free is taking a 50% pay cut, but in all honestly as long as he’s still the right tackle of the Dallas Cowboys, the offseason was a failure. Now if it turns out the the Cowboys sign another tackle this week and free is just insurance, I will take this story down. But as of now it looks like Doug Free will once again be getting beat every sunday. Tony Romo was seen already running for his life at a local golf course in Dallas.
With Doug Free still starting, I will officially declare the offseason a bust. The biggest problem America’s team has had is the offensive line. The offensive line has never been a strength during the Tony Romo era, but this past season it was downright bad. I can honestly say that Texas A&M had a better offensive line, and in 5 years will probably have more NFL starters. Once Romo was given the big contract, I fully expected Jerry Jones to fix this problem. Last offseason, the big hole on the team was the secondary. Jerry Jones did a rare great job as GM, and addressed the problem by signing Brandon Carr, and trading up to draft Mo Claiborne. The jury is still out on Claiborne, but at least Jerry addressed the big need at the time. Yes, the Cowboys did use their 1st round pick on Center Travis Frederick, who will start day 1. But 1 player on a horrible line doesn’t really solve much, certainly not enough for Romo to be protected and the running game to have some life.
The Cowboys are expecting Phil Costa to return, so in a way the Cowboys are adding two new starting interior linemen to the team. But anybody that watched the Cowboys last year knows that Doug Free is a huge problem, and the fact that he’s still starting means the problem is still there. Time will tell what the Cowboys do with the money saved by Free’s paycut, and again if they go out and sign someone like Eric Winston to compete with Free, then I take this entire article back. But if Free is starting against the Giants opening night, look for Justin Tuck to be chasing Tony Romo worse than Jessica Simpson did.