The Spurs have had a few headline stories in the past 24 hours; first they defeated the Orlando Magic last night, and today they traded Richard Jefferson to the Golden State Warriors for Stephen Jackson.
The Spurs matched up on their home court on Wednesday against the visiting Orlando Magic; a game that was not talked about because of the matchup but instead for the questioning of if it would be Dwight Howard’s last game in a Magic uniform. Throughout the first 24 minutes, the two teams were almost identical; after one quarter the Spurs led by one, and at halftime the lead was still one. The Spurs outscored the Magic by 10 in the second half, however, to pick up their 17th victory at home. Dwight led the Magic with 22 points and 12 rebounds but even his drama of being traded couldn’t outshine Tony Parker’s 31 points and 12 assists and Tim Duncan’s 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Both teams were shooting well from the floor; Orlando shot 52% and San Antonio 51%. The Spurs were also able to outrebound the Magic by seven and had 11 offensive rebounds total. The Spurs also shot 11 more free throw attempts than the Magic and were able to overcome a 10 point deficit to win by 11. The Spurs had another solid night from their bench players; Ginobili had 14 points coming off the bench and Splitter and Leonard had 12 apiece. The solid consistency from several players could improve dramatically with the addition of Stephen Jackson.
Stephen Jackson will be joining the Spurs in exchange for Richard Jefferson; an interesting trade since Jefferson had seemed to have finally gotten his groove as of late (and is actually one of two Spurs to start every game). The Spurs also gave up a conditional first round pick and the rights to T.J. Ford who retired earlier this week due to an injury (more on that in a minute). Jackson has been fairly consistent this season, with his averages being 10.2 PPG, 3 APG and 3 RPG. His shooting this season has been rather low (35%), but he has been out with a hamstring injury over the last several games. The fresh face of shooting guard Jackson could be a new boost coming off the bench when Ginobili is 100% healthy and ready to be back in the starting lineup. With this new addition the Spurs seem to be providing more depth and experience on their bench.
Lastly, it’s sad to say that T.J. Ford announced his retirement earlier this week after injuring his back/neck after getting elbowed by New York Knicks’ Baron Davis (who has already called and apologized throughly to Ford). Ford previously had his spine surgically repaired and was out an entire season due to that specific injury. Ford lay motionless on the ground for several moments in the game on March 7th. Ford had been limited this season due to other injuries and averaged only 3.6 PPG, 3 APG and 1.3 RPG in his time with the Spurs (since December). While the numbers are not significant this season with the Spurs, it might become difficult to replace him on the bench and find a new backup to Tony Parker.
About the Author
Written by Chelsea Curto
Chelsea is a college senior who is majoring in art history and minoring in communications. She plans to become a sports broadcaster. She is a former Division 1 athlete who rowed for a year and a half in college. She enjoys any and all sports, especially basketball. She plans to pursue her education in communication at the graduate school level. Follow her on Twitter: @chelseacurto