Pacers-Spurs Preview: Not Just a Preview, An Interview (Once Again!)

Here is another preview just like yesterday for the Grizzlies game. Here is a preview for the Spurs game with Michael De Leon of I really appreciate Michael coming on to answer my questions. Well, here is the preview/interview.
Josh Dhani: How do you feel about the new additions San Antonio got in the offseason, like Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess?

Michael De Leon: I was pretty happy that Peter Holt decided to open up his pocketbook to give this team another shot at being a contender. We haven’t had an athletic three since Sean Elliott, so Jefferson was a welcome addition, especially for how cheaply we got him. I’ve always thought McDyess would fit into this system pretty easily, because he’s got a great basketball IQ and doesn’t force anything. He lets the game come to him and he does a good job as a complement. at the same time Jefferson has had some trouble early on and I think he’s just got to be more aggressive about getting his shots, asking for the ball and maybe even making more of an effort to rebound to assure that the ball gets in his hands.

JD: How do you feel about Blair?

MLD: I thanked my lucky stars that Blair fell to the Spurs. I think he’s got a ton of potential but he’s talented enough to contribute now. As you probably have seen, even in limited minutes he;s able to get out there and make an immediate contribution with points and rebounds. I also like that he isn’t afraid to mix it up inside, even with the likes of Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace and Amare Stoudamire.

JD: What is your prediction for the Spurs this season?

MLD: If the Spurs can get their act together and stay healthy, I think they’ll be a contender in the West. Unfortunately, if they draw the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, I think it’ll be a competitive series with the Lakers coming out on top.

JD: What do you think the Pacers should do to win this game?

MLD: Limit Tony Parker’s penetration and take away the Spurs’ options on the outside. A lot of times they like to give the ball to Tim, let him work and then pass it out to an open shooter when teams come to double. The Spurs have lived and died with their 3-point shooting this year, take that away, and that’ll make things a lot harder.

JD: What/who will be the X-Factor for the Spurs in this matchup?

MLD: The bench. San Antonio has a much deeper bench with Hill, Blair, Manu, Mason, Bonner etc.. and if they take advantage when their reserve corps comes in, that could help them get another “w” without Tim Duncan having to shoulder the load like he has the last two games.

JD: Who has suprised you on San Antonio? Disappointments?

MLD: Jefferson has been a bit of a disappointment because I’ve expected more out of him, but I think it will just take time and more games under his belt with this team and lineup for him to get comfortable and start getting into his groove. Matt Bonner has surprised me a bit and Theo Ratliff has shown me some things when he gets into games.

JD: What is your prediction for the Finals?

MLD: I think it will go down to Celtics and Lakers with the Celtics winning in 7 games. The Lakers bench could end up hurting them in that series.

Again, I appreciate Michael stopping by. Check him out at Make sure to check out the live blog!