With only one roster spot left, who will be the next Spur?

There are four players vying for the final roster spot for the 2012-13 Spurs Roster and each are making the case with their play.  Here is a quick rundown of who is on the cusp.

Eddie Curry – An 11 year veteran that spent four seasons with the Bulls, four with the Knicks and most recently played last season with the Miami Heat.  Curry has had weight issues and spent the summer slimming down and working on his game.  The Spurs do have a need of another big man.

“I feel I’m in a good situation,” Curry told the San Antonio Express-News. “I worked hard this summer. Every game it’s just about showing everybody what I can do. I’m trying to focus on defense and rebounding, trying to play in the system and soak up as much as I can. I think I’m going to make it. Until they tell me I’m not, I feel like I’m part of this team.”

Derrick Brown – After receiving several invitations to camp with NBA teams, Brown chose the Spurs even though there was really only one roster spot to be had.  The three-year veteran, selected as the 40th overall draft pick in 2009 by the Charlotte Bobcats  played with them until 2011. He then signed on with the Knicks in March of 2011 but returned to the Bobcats in December of 2011 up until the end of the 2012 season.  The Bobcats made him an unrestricted free agent and  he signed on with the Spurs. Steven Jackson, a former teammate with the Bobcats had high praise for the journeyman who is averaging seven points in 15.7 minutes a game.

“He actually gave (one-time All-Star) Gerald Wallace a run for his money every day in practice,” Jackson said. “I think that’s what opened a lot of people’s eyes that he belongs in this league.”

Josh Powell – Veteran forward who’s NBA career began with the Dallas Mavericks in 2005.  Powell,  originally slotted to be the forward groomed to take over for  Dirk Nowitzki, was traded to the Pacers along with Darrell Armstrong and Rawlee Marshall in exchange for Anthony Johnson.  Powell, along with current Spur Stephen Jackson and two other players were dealt to the Golden State Warriors.  He next played for the Clipppers then the Lakers where he got considerable playing time for an injured Andrew Bynum.  After winning two Rings with the Lakers, Powell next signed on with the Hawks for the 2010/11 season.  The push for Powell and Curry was something Manu Ginobili recently spoke about.

“There are 13 returning guys, so there aren’t many that can surprise you. But, of course, having Josh Powell and Eddy Curry on the roster is a big thing,” Ginobili said. “They’re both great players, talented bigs that (aren’t) easy to find in the league anymore. So, it’s good to have them around and give them a chance.”

Wesley Witherspoon -Rookie guard/forward combo out of Memphis has made the most of his rookie camp recently scoring 17-points in a start against the Houston Rockets. He has had to shed the  title of being ‘soft’ as in not doing everything he can to improve himself and with the Rockets game, he may have just done that.




Kobe expects to play Friday vs. Spurs

NBA scoring leader Kobe Bryant expects to  return to the Lakers’ lineup Friday night in San Antonio against the Spurs.

Bryant has missed the last seven games with a bruised  left shin. The Lakers have posted a 5-2 record while he was gone, including splitting a pair of games with the Spurs.

But Bryant is eager to test the injury before the playoffs begin late next week.

“I’ll probably be on the floor next game,” Bryant told ESPN sideline reporter Ric Bucher during the Lakers-Golden State game Wednesday night.

The Orange County Register reports that Bryant and did not incur any pain in his injured shin, although he must also be pain-free on Thursday before he is cleared to play by the Lakers’ team doctors. Bryant began shooting work on Monday.

The Lakers have looked good during his absence as Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace all have provided consistently strong performances during his absence.

Lakers coach Mike Brown will have the final three games of the regular season to work Bryant back into the rotation before the playoffs  begin next weekend.

Stuckey, Pistons surprise Lakers in OT

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Kobe Bryant calmly dribbled to his right and made a 19-foot fadeaway at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.

It would have been easy for the Detroit Pistons to fold — but the mood at The Palace is finally beginning to feel different.

“Kobe, he’s a phenomenal player. He’s going to hit those,” Detroit guard Rodney Stuckey said. “We didn’t hang our heads. We pretty much just dug down deep in overtime.”

Stuckey scored six of his 34 points in overtime, and the Pistons recovered from Bryant’s tying shot to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 88-85 on Tuesday night.

Bryant and Metta World Peace had chances to tie it late in overtime but couldn’t connect from beyond the arc.

“Everyone played a little tired,” Bryant said.

In front of only their third home sellout of the season — with Gladys Knight performing at halftime — the Pistons won despite scoring only nine points in the third quarter. Detroit started 4-20 under new coach Lawrence Frank but has gone 9-6 since.

“When you just have a short amount of time with this lockout and stuff like that — new team, new coach — everything’s brand new,” Stuckey said. “It’s going to take time. It’s all a process.”

Down 74-71 in the fourth, Stuckey shook free of Bryant with a nifty crossover dribble, stepping back to make a shot from near the free throw line. He put the Pistons ahead with a driving layup.

World Peace stole the ball near midcourt and went the other way for a layup to put the Lakers ahead 76-75, but Stuckey’s 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left gave the Pistons a two-point lead.

Bryant’s shot over Tayshaun Prince forced the extra session, and neither team led by more than three in overtime.

“Nothing went well, and we paid for it with a loss,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. “I was very disappointed in our team defense. All they did was drive the ball every time, and they got layup after layup after layup.”

Andrew Bynum had 30 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers.

Bryant shot only 8 of 26, finishing with 22 points. He started the game with a black mask protecting his injured nose but switched back to a clear one while struggling through the first half.

“The mask we tried tonight didn’t work,” he said.

“It just slid all over the place.”