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2012-02-01 / Sports

Sports Focus

Spurs showing some good signs
Maggie Rodriguez

It’s frustrating to see the San Antonio Spurs come out on the wrong end of a close game like they did Sunday in Dallas.

With a few ticks left in the contest and the Spurs trailing 101-100, San Antonio’s Danny Green swished in a turnaround jumper that appeared to be a winning shot.

But wait. The officials reviewed the shot on instant replay and determined that time had run out before the ball left Green’s hand and the Mavericks escaped with a one-point victory.

The loss was heartbreaking but also encouraging since the Spurs had made up a huge deficit with reserves playing most of the final quarter.

That’s the kind of performance the Spurs need when they are on the road. That’s the kind of energy they must expand if they are going to do anything this year as far as winning a championship is concerned.

You can win at home all you want but if you don’t win on the road then you’re not going anywhere.

That’s why Monday’s night’s 83-73 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Tennessee made me feel that maybe there’s hope after all for a Spurs team that has been ineffective on the road so far and were 13-9 overall before tonight’s game with the Houston Rockets.

Minnie and I were comfortably watching one of our favorite novelas Monday night when I switched over to Fox Sports Southwest to check the Spurs’ score in the first quarter and they had a nice lead. My wife quickly said. “ If you want to watch that game you’ll have to go to another room.” Hey, I like to watch the Spurs as much as anyone but I’m also a novela nut and when the main character is making plans to marry two women at the same time – well, I stuck with the novela just to find out which girl he was going to pick – and put the recorder on the Spurs.

Later, I watched the Spurs’ game in its entirety and enjoyed every minute of it. My kids think I’m crazy because I’d rather watch the game after it’s over. Sometimes I get so frustrated watching them play on the road that I turn to something else and later, if they win, I’ll watch the recording with peace of mind.

The win over the Grizzlies was the best game the Spurs have played on the road this season and the best part is that they are getting better without one of their big stars, Manu Ginobili, who is on the mend wih a broken finger. Some of the players on the bench have begun to contribute so much that they are seemingly on par with the starters. The best part of the team right now is their ability to make 3-point shots. Coach Gregg Popovich has some sharpshooters on the team and they can light it up. Matt Bonner nailed five of them Monday to lead the Spurs with 15 points. Richard Jefferson, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Ginobili – when he returns – can all shoot the 3-pointer.

Right now the Spurs appear to be making a turn for the better. But the rodeo road trip is approaching fast and that’s when the going gets the toughest.

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