Spurs vs Rockets Pre-Season Game #2 Preview - Farewell to Dice and Novak



San Antonio Spurs vs Houston Rockets

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
December 21, 2011 | 7:30 P.M. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

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Good day PTRockers! I'll keep this short, sweet and to the point. First off, it is good to be back... officially! Originally, I had a nice little redundant paragraph about my view on the lockout, and who should get what, and all that. Then I decided to not beat a dead horse and move on. It's over and done with, and for that we are thankful! We've got a pre-season game tonight, folks.

Now's the time on PTR when I rant. Let me just say that I - and I am pretty sure I can speak for almost everyone here? - really hope that our Spurs are back, and ready to fight. I dunno about you, but I was not the least bit pleased with the way last season ended. Personally, I don't care if the regular season was a blast, or a thrill, or what. The 2011 Playoffs were my worst sports nightmare, come to life. Our guys killed it in the regular season, and then get the playoff match up they absolutely didn't want, where it all comes crashing to a halt to the team that probably gave them more trouble than any other throughout the season. Done. Over. #1 seed and home court down the toilet. 61 meaningless wins. Laughing stock of the league. Bizarro 2007. But it wasn't the Mavs being knocked out in Round 1 this time. About the only thing that was the same was LeBron's Eastern Conference Finals heroics, and losing in the NBA Finals once again. Props to Memphis. They wanted it, and seized it. Props to the Mavs. They stepped it up when it mattered most and earned their Championship. Let's help our Spurs to make it their last.

Greener pastures. It's a new season! Buck up, and get positive! It's time for revenge. Too bad we won't have the guy on the left to help us out.

Antonio-mcdyess-spurs-game-winner-los-angeles-lakers_medium

via 48minutesofhell.com

...or #23...

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via cdn3.sbnation.com

On the transaction side, we have yet to acquire that elusive big we've all been hoping for. We struck out in free agency, with the exception on T.J. Ford. Antonio McDyess calling it a day is bittersweet. We sure could use his help down low, but he gave us his best effort in his two final seasons, and I was happy to see him retire as a Spur. To us, he'll always be San Antonio McDyess. Getting Steve Novak back was good too... but short lived. He's now a Knick. Best of luck to both. Both were good Spurs in my book.

We need to get bigger. Size matters. K-Mart might be coming back to the States. He might be a nice band aid, as a fellow PTR member stated before, and I suppose we could do worse. Maybe a little...craziness might be what our guys need. Just not this guy...

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via theswamp51.files.wordpress.com

...or this guy.

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via i.cdn.turner.com

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
T.J. Ford
Kawhi Leonard
James Anderson

Lineups

Starters
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Kevin Martin
SF: Chase Budinger
PF: Luis Scola
C: Hasheem Thabeet

Key Bench Players
Jordan Hill
Goran Dragic
Terrence Williams

As Big50 did for last game's excellent preview, I am totally speculating on tonight's lineups. Blair may get the nod in the middle. From what I see, Tim and Tony did not make Saturday's trip, but should suit up tonight. It'd be nice to see them get some minutes, but if Pop decides to rest Timmy and give Blair some more burn, aka chance to market himself to other teams, I'm for it. Houston out rebounded the Spurs by 18 last game, which clearly, had a hand in the outcome. Jordan Hill had 13 boards of his own, while no Spur had more than 7. And I know I harp on this quite a bit, but it's difficult to win when you don't shoot better than 61% from the free throw line. There's been a need to improve in this department for as long as I can remember. Thankfully, the Rockets weren't much better, at 64%, or else the 14 point loss may've been bigger. With our 2nd stringers, I was pleased with what I saw from T.J. Ford. I also liked both Joseph's, and Anderson's aggressiveness. I thought all three looked...legit. Let's close out the pre-season with a W.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.

Additional reading: 48MinutesofHell, Red94, The Dream Shake.

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