FanPost

Enriching the Viewing of Spurs Games

[Editor's Note: The original post, in all of its iconoclastic glory, repeats below. Here, by request, is a hurriedly edited version. -jrw]

Introduction

Gaining the most from viewing San Antonio Spurs games can involve a lot of activities besides actually watching while the game is happening. This article enumerates various activities between, before, during, and after a game can provide increased Information and enrich the experience. Some of these are aimed at persons outside San Antonio, but many of these could be useful for people in San Antonio as well. This article reflects my experience and opinions, but you should eventually form your own opinions and develop your individualized set of activities.

Things, particularly Internet-related ones, change, and you will need to adapt as time progresses. Finally, due to the broad nature of statistical sources and analyses and varying degrees of interest, this article does try to cover this area despite its importance to some. Selecting a Version of NBA League Pass If you live outside the area with regular TV broadcasts of San Antonio Spurs games (Fox Sports Southwest other than a few on KMYS, TNT, or KENS) or if you wish to view a variety of non-Spurs games, then you must establish a video capability in order to watch them.

Essentially, for out-of-town viewers to watch the Spurs or for San Antonians to watch NBA games not available on local TV; the straightforward, legal means is through NBA League Pass. League Pass only carries games not available locally. It offers a few options. The most powerful – and expensive – is the TV option. It also includes broadband and mobile. An economical choice is just broadband with a limited number of choices of teams – in 2011-12 this is five.

If your dominate concern in watching more than Spurs games is their implications for the Spurs’ playoffs (as well as watching good basketball), then the priority of team selection should be roughly: San Antonio, Southwest division coverage, coverage of each of the other two Western Conference Divisions, and lastly the Eastern Conference. Never choose your local NBA team unless you plan protracted travel. (To me, the one obvious out-of-town choices would be San Antonio, Dallas, OKC, an LA team, and Miami or Chicago, but others might choice differently.)

Before the Game Several Internet sources exist to track Spurs-related developments between games as well as offer previews for games. The most prominent of these is the San Antonio Express’ Spurs Nation [http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/] that publishes half a dozen web articles a day. Their pages with articles also include a box with recent tweets by Express correspondents and Spurs.

News searches on a couple of search engines are also useful – I use Bing and Google. As you track news, frequently use the "Most Recent" setting. Bing will automatically update its "Most Recent" search page for a while. These are San Antonio Spurs - Bing News [http://www.bing.com/news/search?q=san+antonio+spurs&p1=%5bNewsVertical+SortByDate%3d%221%22%5d&FORM=YGNR] and Google News Search [http://www.google.com/] search on San Antonio Spurs. Bing has a box with social networking public updates regarding the Spurs. While extensive, it can be cluttered with uninteresting items.

I recommend viewing the following blogs before games.

  • • Pounding The Rock - For San Antonio Spurs Fans [http://www.poundingtherock.com/]
  • • Project Spurs - A San Antonio Spurs Blog and Podcast [http://www.projectspurs.com/]
  • • San Antonio Spurs 48 Minutes of Hell Blog [http://www.48minutesofhell.com/]
  • • The Big Fundamental Spurs Basketball Celebrating Spurs Basketball and Tim Duncan [http://www.thebigfundamental.com/]

Together with Spurs Nation these give a virtually complete appreciation of the recent events involving the Spurs and several previews for the game with pregame information, comment, and limited analysis.

At least once, serious fans should take a look at an NBA’s Game Notes (or Media Notes), a backgrounder for a game available from the TV Companion page (more later regarding this page). In addition, some may wish to setup a relevant tweeter feed. Along with the @Spurs, several Spurs’ players tweet including @TiagoSplitter, @ManuGinoboli, @tp9network, @TheBorisDiaw and @DaTrillStak5 for Stephen Jackson. Express News reporters include @JMcDonald_SAEN, @Monroe_SA, and @Buck_SA. Chad Forcier, Spurs assistant coach, is @NBACoaching. Among the relevant tags are #Spurs and #GoSpursGo. Some tweets and tweeters are also associated with the blogs listed above.

Opponent Research

One can view prior opponent games from the NBA broadband archives. If one subscripts to the Broadband economy package, then only games one was eligible to see live are available. However, highlights are available for all. Post-game interviews are sometimes available – look on the team’s site under team original videos. Game Notes may be available for them before the game on NBA’s TV Companion page. Lists of relevant blogs are at http://bloguin.com/roster.html and http://www.sbnation.com/blogs. Of course, news searches can find relevant information, and web searches to identify other team related blogs can lead to more. I sometimes find interestingly different game previews.

Pregame Television/Video

NBA TV, TNT, and ESPN may have relevant pregame comment. This is particularly true when they are carrying the game. NBA TV’s Gametime has the broadest daily up-to-date content – pregame and postgame. When the Spurs are in San Antonio, recent videos of interviews after practices and shoot arounds are usually available on the Spurs website. Immediately before Game One-half hour before game time, the Ten Minutes before Tip blog at NBA.com has some late breaking news usually including any starting lineup changes.

Tweets can also be informative (can see many on Spurs Nation) and may offer information later than that available on Ten Minutes before Tip. If you wish to participate in a game chat, they normally start a half hour before game time. Game chats available include one at Spurs Nation and one at the Pounding the Rock blog. They can provide some shared emotional experience as the game progress, but can sometimes get far off the subject of the game.

Five minutes before game time, an audio San Antonio radio stream (and opponent radio if desired) is available free via NBA League Pass – use last entry on home page NBALP pull-down menu. This offers pregame information and comment. Spurs play-by-play radio is also available on Tune In [http://tunein.com/radio/stations/San-Antonio-Spurs-Radio-Stations-a37876/]. I find the NBA TV Companion page for each game helps me better follow the game. I bring it up before the game starts. "Launching" broadband video is also available thru this menu although one must actually launch from the page resulting from the menu. Display the games and when it becomes live at game time drag to screen area as screen directions state. If it asks if you want a special transmission service/software, click the Decline button as using it does not appear advisable to me from a security viewpoint.

During the Game NBALP video comes in three sizes that require different bandwidths. For best viewing enjoyment use the screen-wide view. While viewing, a limited box score is available by clicking a "Stat" button on the lower right. You may be able to view the TV Companion page on the same screen as the medium-sized view of the game by zooming out in the browser window showing the TV Companion. During the game I mainly use the TV Companion to view the shot chart and box score. Setting up a second screen makes this as well as any participation in game chats easier. Having multiple screens is more convenient. During interruptions – half-time, between quarters, and during advertisements – I switch my attention to the TV Companion, a game chat, or tweets.

During half time, Spurs Nation publishes a summary of the first half. The video stream carries some commentary both before the tipoff and just before the second half. The radio feed continues during half time, but the San Antonio one covers little directly related to the game. I still have it playing at halftime, but I do not listen closely to its entirety anymore. Post Game Immediately following the game the audio (radio) stream carries comments, stats and Interviews of a Spurs’ player and an assistant coach. These two interviews are usually worth listening to, but what comes after them is seldom memorable.

After away games, the 48 Minutes of Hell blog usually has a video transmission (48MoH TV) that includes taking questions from viewers. I switch to it after the radio interviews. If one misses it the first time, it is archived and can be watched later. However, it appears to take one or more hours to actually archive and make available. In addition, game chats often have final remarks by participants, but these are seldom insightful.

NBA Game time may have highlights and/or commentary following the game. In any case highlights will become available within eight hours – usually much less. NBA TV highlights always become available on the Spurs website. If ESPN TV highlights are produced; they should also later appear on their website. In addition, highlights and other relevant excerpts sometimes appear Fox Sports Southwest website [http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/pages/spurs] – click on "Watch Video".

Spurs Nation generally publishes a quick early article, but it is in an awkward reverse temporal order that may be best read from bottom to top. Later it publishes quite readable and usually worthwhile post-mortems and for home games a transcript of post-game player and coach interviews including Spurs and their opponents. Video of these Spurs interviews are made available on the Spurs website. From a few hours to a day after the game, the four blogs listed above as pregame sources will usually publish articles on the game.

The NBA has a Gamebook with the official scorer’s report for the game by quarters individually and cumulatively. It is sometimes available on the TV Companion page, Box Score tab. Available games can be viewed later (or again) from either your TIVO-equivalent or the NBA LP broadband archives. Once again, the only games one is able to retrieve for viewing from NBA archive are those one could have seen live. Games broadcast on ESPN may be available for replay online at ESPN3 [http://www.espn3.com].

Conclusion

I have found using this broad – but selective – set of resources directly associated with watching each game has increased my appreciation of Spurs basketball.

I hope it will yours as well.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Original Post

Introduction Gaining the most from viewing San Antonio Spurs games can involve a lot of activities besides actually watching while the game is happening. This article enumerates various activities between, before, during, and after a game can provide increased Information and enrich the experience. Some of these are aimed at persons outside San Antonio, but many of these could be useful for people in San Antonio as well. This article reflects my experience and opinions, but you should eventually form your own opinions and develop your individualized set of activities. Things, particularly Internet-related ones, change, and you will need to adapt as time progresses. Finally, due to the broad nature of statistical sources and analyses and varying degrees of interest, this article does try to cover this area despite its importance to some. Selecting a Version of NBA League Pass If you live outside the area with regular TV broadcasts of San Antonio Spurs games (Fox Sports Southwest other than a few on KMYS, TNT, or KENS) or if you wish to view a variety of non-Spurs games, then you must establish a video capability in order to watch them. Essentially, for out-of-town viewers to watch the Spurs or for San Antonians to watch NBA games not available on local TV; the straightforward, legal means is through NBA League Pass. League Pass only carries games not available locally. It offers a few options. The most powerful – and expensive – is the TV option. It also includes broadband and mobile. An economical choice is just broadband with a limited number of choices of teams – in 2011-12 this is five. If your dominate concern in watching more than Spurs games is their implications for the Spurs’ playoffs (as well as watching good basketball), then the priority of team selection should be roughly: San Antonio, Southwest division coverage, coverage of each of the other two Western Conference Divisions, and lastly the Eastern Conference. Never choose your local NBA team unless you plan protracted travel. (To me, the one obvious out-of-town choices would be San Antonio, Dallas, OKC, an LA team, and Miami or Chicago, but others might choice differently.) Before the Game Several Internet sources exist to track Spurs-related developments between games as well as offer previews for games. The most prominent of these is the San Antonio Express’ Spurs Nation [http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/] that publishes half a dozen web articles a day. Their pages with articles also include a box with recent tweets by Express correspondents and Spurs. News searches on a couple of search engines are also useful – I use Bing and Google. As you track news, frequently use the "Most Recent" setting. Bing will automatically update its "Most Recent" search page for a while. These are San Antonio Spurs - Bing News [http://www.bing.com/news/search?q=san+antonio+spurs&p1=%5bNewsVertical+SortByDate%3d%221%22%5d&FORM=YGNR] and Google News Search [http://www.google.com/] search on San Antonio Spurs. Bing has a box with social networking public updates regarding the Spurs. While extensive, it can be cluttered with uninteresting items. I recommend viewing the following blogs before games. • Pounding The Rock - For San Antonio Spurs Fans [http://www.poundingtherock.com/] • Project Spurs - A San Antonio Spurs Blog and Podcast [http://www.projectspurs.com/] • San Antonio Spurs 48 Minutes of Hell Blog [http://www.48minutesofhell.com/] • The Big Fundamental Spurs Basketball Celebrating Spurs Basketball and Tim Duncan [http://www.thebigfundamental.com/] Together with Spurs Nation these give a virtually complete appreciation of the recent events involving the Spurs and several previews for the game with pregame information, comment, and limited analysis. At least once, serious fans should take a look at an NBA’s Game Notes (or Media Notes), a backgrounder for a game available from the TV Companion page (more later regarding this page). In addition, some may wish to setup a relevant tweeter feed. Along with the @Spurs, several Spurs’ players tweet including @TiagoSplitter, @ManuGinoboli, @tp9network, @TheBorisDiaw and @DaTrillStak5 for Stephen Jackson. Express News reporters include @JMcDonald_SAEN, @Monroe_SA, and @Buck_SA. Chad Forcier, Spurs assistant coach, is @NBACoaching. Among the relevant tags are #Spurs and #GoSpursGo. Some tweets and tweeters are also associated with the blogs listed above. Opponent Research One can view prior opponent games from the NBA broadband archives. If one subscripts to the Broadband economy package, then only games one was eligible to see live are available. However, highlights are available for all. Post-game interviews are sometimes available – look on the team’s site under team original videos. Game Notes may be available for them before the game on NBA’s TV Companion page. Lists of relevant blogs are at http://bloguin.com/roster.html and http://www.sbnation.com/blogs. Of course, news searches can find relevant information, and web searches to identify other team related blogs can lead to more. I sometimes find interestingly different game previews. Pregame Television/Video NBA TV, TNT, and ESPN may have relevant pregame comment. This is particularly true when they are carrying the game. NBA TV’s Gametime has the broadest daily up-to-date content – pregame and postgame. When the Spurs are in San Antonio, recent videos of interviews after practices and shoot arounds are usually available on the Spurs website. Immediately before Game One-half hour before game time, the Ten Minutes before Tip blog at NBA.com has some late breaking news usually including any starting lineup changes. Tweets can also be informative (can see many on Spurs Nation) and may offer information later than that available on Ten Minutes before Tip. If you wish to participate in a game chat, they normally start a half hour before game time. Game chats available include one at Spurs Nation and one at the Pounding the Rock blog. They can provide some shared emotional experience as the game progress, but can sometimes get far off the subject of the game. Five minutes before game time, an audio San Antonio radio stream (and opponent radio if desired) is available free via NBA League Pass – use last entry on home page NBALP pull-down menu. This offers pregame information and comment. Spurs play-by-play radio is also available on Tune In [http://tunein.com/radio/stations/San-Antonio-Spurs-Radio-Stations-a37876/]. I find the NBA TV Companion page for each game helps me better follow the game. I bring it up before the game starts. "Launching" broadband video is also available thru this menu although one must actually launch from the page resulting from the menu. Display the games and when it becomes live at game time drag to screen area as screen directions state. If it asks if you want a special transmission service/software, click the Decline button as using it does not appear advisable to me from a security viewpoint. During the Game NBALP video comes in three sizes that require different bandwidths. For best viewing enjoyment use the screen-wide view. While viewing, a limited box score is available by clicking a "Stat" button on the lower right. You may be able to view the TV Companion page on the same screen as the medium-sized view of the game by zooming out in the browser window showing the TV Companion. During the game I mainly use the TV Companion to view the shot chart and box score. Setting up a second screen makes this as well as any participation in game chats easier. Having multiple screens is more convenient. During interruptions – half-time, between quarters, and during advertisements – I switch my attention to the TV Companion, a game chat, or tweets. During half time, Spurs Nation publishes a summary of the first half. The video stream carries some commentary both before the tipoff and just before the second half. The radio feed continues during half time, but the San Antonio one covers little directly related to the game. I still have it playing at halftime, but I do not listen closely to its entirety anymore. Post Game Immediately following the game the audio (radio) stream carries comments, stats and Interviews of a Spurs’ player and an assistant coach. These two interviews are usually worth listening to, but what comes after them is seldom memorable. After away games, the 48 Minutes of Hell blog usually has a video transmission (48MoH TV) that includes taking questions from viewers. I switch to it after the radio interviews. If one misses it the first time, it is archived and can be watched later. However, it appears to take one or more hours to actually archive and make available. In addition, game chats often have final remarks by participants, but these are seldom insightful. NBA Game time may have highlights and/or commentary following the game. In any case highlights will become available within eight hours – usually much less. NBA TV highlights always become available on the Spurs website. If ESPN TV highlights are produced; they should also later appear on their website. In addition, highlights and other relevant excerpts sometimes appear Fox Sports Southwest website [http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/pages/spurs] – click on "Watch Video". Spurs Nation generally publishes a quick early article, but it is in an awkward reverse temporal order that may be best read from bottom to top. Later it publishes quite readable and usually worthwhile post-mortems and for home games a transcript of post-game player and coach interviews including Spurs and their opponents. Video of these Spurs interviews are made available on the Spurs website. From a few hours to a day after the game, the four blogs listed above as pregame sources will usually publish articles on the game. The NBA has a Gamebook with the official scorer’s report for the game by quarters individually and cumulatively. It is sometimes available on the TV Companion page, Box Score tab. Available games can be viewed later (or again) from either your TIVO-equivalent or the NBA LP broadband archives. Once again, the only games one is able to retrieve for viewing from NBA archive are those one could have seen live. Games broadcast on ESPN may be available for replay online at ESPN3 [http://www.espn3.com]. Conclusion I have found using this broad – but selective – set of resources directly associated with watching each game has increased my appreciation of Spurs basketball. I hope it will yours as well.

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