Spurs disappointed, frustrated by effort in Game 2 loss to Warriors

Spurs disappointed, frustrated by effort in Game 2 loss to Warriors

OAKLAND -- Eventually the injuries were going to catch up with the San Antonio Spurs. With Tony Parker done for the season and Kawhi Leonard out with an ankle issue, the Golden State Warriors ran early double-teams at big man LaMarcus Aldridge all night long and dared someone else to beat them.

“I think that we maybe felt it too much, Kawhi being gone,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “In the sense that as I watched, I don’t think they believed. And you have to believe and I don’t think as a group they did.”

Journeyman Jonathan Simmons stepped in for Leonard and accepted the challenge, but he was one of the few Spurs player to show up Tuesday night as the Warriors steam rolled the team with the second best record in the Western Conference.

In the lopsided first half, Simmons went off for 17 of San Antonio’s 44 points as the Warriors took a 28 point lead into the intermission. No other player on the Spurs roster managed to score more than four points in the game’s first 24 minutes.

“When we’re at our best, everyone is playing well and Simmons has been able to be more consistent throughout this whole playoffs, which is great to see,” Patty Mills said following the game. “He’s doing his part and everyone needs to lift their own as well.”

A restricted free agent after the season, Simmons, 27, finished with 22 points on 8-for-17 shooting in 26 minutes.

The second half was more of the same. Without Parker to control the tempo of the offense or  Leonard to take the pressure off of Aldridge, the Warriors punished San Antonio, holding their visiting opponent to just 37 percent shooting on their way to the 136-100 win.

“When you’re playing a team as good as Golden State, you’re going to get embarrassed if that’s the way you’re going to come out,” Popovich said. “And we did.”

Only Simmons and reserve forward David Bertans (13 points) score in double-figures for the Spurs. San Antonio mainstays Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Patty Mills, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili combined to score 27 points on 10-for-32 shooting from the field.

“It’s disappointing, it’s frustrating,” said Gasol. “Give them credit because they played well. They made shots, they got their confidence going. I’m sure felt like they got away with in Game 1 with the way they were able to come back and get that win and tonight they were ready and you could tell.”

Warriors star guard Stephen Curry outscored the five veteran Spurs on his own, finishing the evening with 29 points in 30 minutes of action.

Popovich singled out Aldridge in his post game comments. The veteran big scored eight points on 4-of-11 shooting and chipped in just four rebounds in 27 minutes.

“LaMarcus has to score for us,” Popovich said. “He can't be timid. He turned down shots in the first quarter. He can't do it. You've got to score. Scoring has to come from someplace. I think he's got a major responsibility in Game 3 to come out ask get something done.”

Prior to the contest, Popovich said that the Spurs were in wait and see mode with regards to Leonard. The All-Star wing and reigning two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year led the San Antonio in scoring this season at 25.5 points per game. He may be the only thing stopping the series from being a runaway sweep by the Warriors.

The Western Conference Finals travels to San Antonio where these two teams face off Saturday night. The Spurs need to find a way to slow the Warriors who are now 10-0 during the 2016-17 playoffs.


Report: After trade rumors swirled, Spurs give LaMarcus Aldridge an extension


Report: After trade rumors swirled, Spurs give LaMarcus Aldridge an extension

The San Antonio Spurs have reached an agreement with LaMarcus Aldridge on an extension that will keep him under contract for an additional three years.

A person with knowledge of the agreement tells The Associated Press that Aldridge will exercise the $22 million player option on his contract for the 2018-19 season. He will also get another two years and $50 million tacked on, according to the person who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

The Spurs open the regular season against Minnesota on Wednesday night. The agreement came as a surprise given Aldridge’s difficulty acclimating to the Spurs since he left Portland in 2015.

Aldridge averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds a game last season.

Is there a scenario where Bob Myers could leave Warriors? 'It would be...'


Is there a scenario where Bob Myers could leave Warriors? 'It would be...'

OAKLAND -- When the Boston Red Sox waved a $12.5 million offer in front of Billy Beane back in 2002, there were moments when the A’s architect and “Moneyball” protagonist considered moving to Massachusetts.

Citing family and quality of life, Beane ultimately stayed in Oakland and was rewarded with a small percentage of the team.

Should the day come when an NBA owner reaches out to Warriors general manager Bob Myers, it might be even tougher to pry him out of the Bay Area.

A guest on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast this week, Myers was asked if he’s wondered what it would take for him to work for another team.

“It’s not really a money thing. It’s too hard to think of . . . to get to be the general manager of the team you grew up around is kind of surreal,” he said. “It’s hard to make sense of. In some ways it’s amazing and all the positive adjectives you can find. But in other ways it’s kind of consuming. You feel like it’s too much.

“So leaving wouldn’t be because I didn’t like the job. It would be that it meant too much. Sometimes in life . . . you’ve got to still keep your balance.”

There isn’t a lot of balance these days. Myers sweats the details, the games and the negotiations. He’s a 6-foot-7 tower of worry even as the Warriors have gone to three consecutive NBA Finals, winning two, in becoming an American sensation and global phenomenon.

If the East Bay native should feel the itch, there would be no shortage of teams seeking his services. The Lakers reportedly were interested until 13 months ago, when Myers received a promotion to president of basketball operations that came with a pay raise and a contract extension believed to go through 2019-20.

“Happiness means a lot,” Myers said. “And that’s what I think about every day. Am I fulfilled? Am I happy? I think about my family. I think about my kids. And maybe some things that have happened to me and my wife and her family that have made me think a little differently.”

To be sure, Myers was profoundly affected by the September 2016 sudden death of his friend and brother-in-law Scott Dinsmore during a mountain-climbing accident. His sense of family was immediately fortified.

It appears burnout might be the biggest threat to Myers running the Warriors for as long as CEO Joe Lacob allows.

“The challenge would be like, ‘Can I give this team what it deserves in the role that I’m in, and give this community and fan base what they deserve and sustain that?’ ” Myers said. “Now I can. I love it. And I think I can keep doing it for a long time, hopefully.”