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Friday, October 06, 2006

San Antonio Spurs Rout Adecco Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne, 115-90

The San Antonio Spurs easily defeated Adecco Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne (hereafter referred to as Adecco Asvel) 115-90 in their first game in the NBA Europe Live Tour. In contrast to the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost to FC Barcelona, the Spurs had no difficulty adjusting to the hybrid rules* and did not play like a squad that has just started training camp. Of course, unlike the 76ers, the Spurs have several players on their roster who have extensive FIBA experience. One of them, Tony Parker, excelled in his return to his native France, pouring in a game-high 26 points on 10-13 shooting from the field. Another of them, Manu Ginobili, had a solid game as well (11 points). Tim Duncan contributed 19 points, while Rowan Barrett led Adecco Asvel with 22 points. The one highlight for Adecco Asvel was a sensational second quarter dunk by Amara Sy, which you will be seeing on continuous loops on Sportscenter, NBA TV and assorted other channels. Two of Adecco Asvel's starters are Americans--Brian Greene (who is averaging a team-high 16.3 ppg in three French League games so far, according to NBA TV's Rick Kamla, who called the game with Tim Capstraw**) and Chevon Troutman.

If anything can be learned from the 76ers loss and the Spurs win, it is that preparation, organization and structure mean something. The Spurs' key players have played together for several years at a high level and Duncan has been the centerpiece on three championship teams; in contrast, the 76ers did not qualify for the playoffs last year and have almost completely overturned the roster that made it to the NBA Finals just five years ago. Before the game, San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich told NBA TV that he does not view the NBA Europe Live Tour games as ordinary exhibition games in which he will give a lot of playing time to his bench players: he will be coaching these games with the focus on winning them. NBA TV also reported that Spurs assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo scouted Adecco Asvel's previous game to get an idea about how they play; hopefully Team USA will learn from this and find out the names (and tendencies) of opposing players before their next FIBA event. It must also be noted that, based on what Kamla and Capstraw said, Adecco Asvel plays in a lower division than FC Barcelona does. After watching both games, I think the NBA should have sent the Spurs to Spain and the 76ers to France.

Parker scored 17 of his points in the first quarter, but the Spurs only led by four, 33-29. San Antonio started the second quarter with a 13-0 run--Adecco Asvel did not score until the 7:48 mark--and the game was never in doubt after that. The Spurs led 67-44 at halftime and, as Marv Albert would say, "extensive gar-bage time" ensued.

*--This game may have been played with different hybrid rules, though. The court where the 76ers-FC Barcelona game was played had the restricted area semi-circle painted in but this was not the case for the Spurs-Adecco Asvel game; Tim Capstraw also said that the NBA's defensive three seconds rule was not being applied--that was not mentioned during the Philadelphia-FC Barcelona contest.

**--I wasn't sure if Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel were at the Philadelphia-FC Barcelona game, but since Kamla and Capstraw sounded like they were stuck in a closet, not a loud arena, I assume that they were in a studio somewhere.

posted by David Friedman @ 2:16 AM


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