As a long time Spurs’ fan, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this line — or a similar sentiment — from a coach or player early in the season: it’s a process.

What kind of process? I’m assuming a building process. But, what I have always found odd, is that you hear it from long-time veterans in the exact same system. I mean, what kind of process is there to learning the exact same thing you already know. Isn’t it more like a quick review? I mean, if I had to do some algebra now, I wouldn’t read the whole damn book front to back and call it a process! I’d give myself a quick refresher and move along.

Of course, that might be why I’m a loser.

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The title of this week’s Monday Musings is for two reasons: first, because I’m late (it’s Tuesday, last I checked); and second, it reflects the sentiment after the Spurs came oh-so-close to a perfect California road trip. The 4th game, against the Kings, was partly a schedule loss (4th in 5 nights) and partly a Boogie coming out party.

But for this post, I want to spend some time looking at two guys who have seen a dramatic increase in playing time this season, because of unexpected injuries.

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Our Spurs look a bit hungover right now. Not in a just-got-off-a-3-day-bender kind of way. But there’s no question it’s been a sluggish start to the season. The defense has been really good in spots (like the Atlanta 2nd half), but really terrible in others (everything in week 1). The offense has looked very patchy as well. It’s hard to gripe at this point, since the team just had the greatest season in the history of the NBA (hyperbole alert!), but it would be nice, given the continuity of the roster, to see some better basketball at this point. But, it’s a long season and there’s a lot of basketball to be played.

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Welcome to the inaugural post of Monday Musings, where each week I’ll review the week that was and talk about where the Spurs are in the Race for Seis (which is a terrible title for the title chase, but whatever). Look for this post each Monday of the season, along with some other intermittent posts occasionally about special or significant games.

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I’ve spent the last few days getting ready for the beginning of a new season by watching how the old one ended: an intense, wire-to-wire viewing of all 5 of the Finals games, with an eye toward looking at what might be transferable to a new season. There were numerous reasons to do this, but the biggest reason was this: it was really, really fun.

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I hate the use of the phrase “market inefficiency” when it is applied to basketball players. It’s kind of like “Beer! It’s not just for breakfast any more!” It’s funny the first time and the second time. But after that…well, it’s still funny.

Ok, I don’t have a point there. I just like beer. But, market inefficiency is an overplayed metaphor. I think it is a way for people covering the sport to say “Talent! We don’t know it when we see it!”

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It’s time for my almost annual analysis of the Spurs schedule. I breakdown the schedule into segments and then predict how the Spurs will fair in each segment. In the end, I’ll tell you how many games I think they’ll win this season.

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This is my first post on TBF in a long, long time. Since I’ve been away, a few major things happened: my job role changed significantly, I moved, and the Spurs won a championship. I should probably stay away longer, to get the 6th ring, but alas, I’m back to give you a few thoughts on the first pre-season game against Alba in Berlin. No, I’m not in Berlin with the team. That would be awesome, but I’m not. I’m sitting on my couch watching the game on NBA TV. Anyway, my thoughts on the game…..

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The shell drill is about defensive positioning. You have to learn to play defense away from the ball as well as on the ball. The key to this is positioning. It is the same whether you are playing man-to-man or zone. Different coaches will have different rules, but the principles will be the same.

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