20 Second Timeout: Bill Schoening Blog
Follow the team all season long with the 20-Second Timeout blog by Bill Schoening, The Radio Voice of the Spurs for the past 13 years. Bill has over 30 years of play-by-play experience including broadcasting Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA. *Timeout Archive: October 10 | November 10 | December 10 | January 11 | February 11 | March 11 | April 11 | December 11 | January 12 | February 12 | March 12 | April 12 | May 12 | October 12 | November 12 | December 12 | January 13 | February 13 | March 13 | April 13 | May 13 | June 13 | October 13 | November 13 | December 13 | January 14 | February 14
Health, Focus and Consistency
by Bill Schoening | March 11, 2014
After weathering an injury storm that took key players out of the lineup for an extended period, the Spurs are now trying to find a consistent rhythm for the final month of the regular season.
I sat down with veteran guard Manu Ginobili and asked him to look ahead to what the team would like to accomplish during the upcoming stretch run.
"We have to be more solid for the entire 48 minutes", says Ginobili, "In some games we finished much better than the way we started. We have to remain focused and active and make sure we respect all of our opponents. It would be important to get the #1 seed but the most important thing is that we are healthy, that's more important than the top seed."
Ginobili is often considered an X factor for the Spurs, and the leader of the most productive reserve unit in the NBA. The Spurs bench is averaging nearly 45 points per game, and with Boris Diaw, Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills, the second unit has been instrumental to the team's success.
Their production allows head coach Gregg Popovich to monitor the minutes played by Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Keeping those guys fresh for the playoffs could bode well for the Spurs moving forward. Health, focus and consistency- it's hard to disagree with Manu's assessment.
Sharing a Priority
by Bill Schoening | March 5, 2014
(David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images)
Prior to Tuesday night's game in Cleveland, I sat down with veteran NBA center Spencer Hawes, who was recently acquired by the Cavaliers in a trade from Philadelphia. Hawes is not only a solid player, but hosts an offseason sports talk show in his hometown of Seattle, so he follows the league closely.
When I inquired about the main keys to the game for the Cavs, he was effusive in his praise for the Spurs.
"They are like a well oiled machine. It's not about stopping or containing one player. They just have so many guys who can hurt you. Against the Spurs you have to be so disciplined because they move the ball so well, and you have to get out on their shooters and guard the 3 point line which is very valuable to them."
About an hour later, the Spurs were on their way to a season high 39 assists on 43 field goals in a 122-101 victory. Fourteen of those baskets were from beyond the arc. Every player who took the floor for the Spurs dished out at least one assist.
In my 13 seasons with the Spurs, it may have been the best display of team basketball I have witnessed.
Following the game, forward Boris Diaw, who hit all seven of his shots, including two three pointers, commented that he enjoys playing on this team and is comfortable in an offense that constantly moves the ball in order to get the best shot available.
On many NBA teams, players look to score. In San Antonio, players look to set up teammates.
Sharing is a priority.