Since I started collecting back in the mid-90s, my focus has always been on collecting ‘any and all Indiana Pacers cards, past or present’. The mid-to-late 90s Pacers will always hold a special place in my heart and in my basketball card collection. Guys like Mark Jackson, Rik Smits, Jalen Rose, Dale and Antonio Davis, and of course the great Reggie Miller are my favorite players of all-time, and I doubt that will ever change. After that era of Pacer basketball, players like Jermaine O’Neal, Jamaal Tinsley, Ron Artest, Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, along with lesser-knowns, have come and gone. While exciting to watch, now that these players have moved on, I can’t say I go and regularly look through my collections of these guys like I do the cards of Pacers from the 90s.
How this impacts my collecting habits today? Well instead of collecting any and all Pacers, I’ve found myself shifting my focus to other favorite players not wearing a Pacer uniform, along with the key guys on the current team (currently Danny Granger, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, etc…). And so my Tim Duncan collection has taken off, I’ve added autographs of other greats such as Tony Parker and Paul Pierce to my collection, and I’ve put together small collections of Kevin Durant and Grant Hill. I’m pleased with this shift so far, and while I’ll always collect the Pacers, I won’t have to look back in 10 years and try to remember how I ended up with so many cards of Ike Diogu or Shawne Williams. Plus, I’ll still have these guys covered in my All-Time Pacers autograph collection.
With all that said, I’ve picked up some recent Duncan inserts to add to the collection. Pretty excited about the Star Power Plus in particular.
After losing in six games to the Thunder in what may have been the most entertaining series of the playoffs, the question comes up- are the Spurs, as they are currently assembled, done as a serious title-threat going forward? Tim Duncan becomes a free-agent, although both sides have basically accepted Duncan is a Spur-for-life. The core continues to age while the Thunder grow into their collective prime. Durant is amazingly only 23.
The Spurs have always been a favorite of mine to watch- they can seemingly plug in young unknowns (Gary Neal, James Anderson, Danny Green, etc…) and disposed-of veterans not producing on former teams (Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson), and these guys will step in and produce. It is the San Antonio way. It is the Greg Popovich way. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Spurs in contention. In a shortened season where the older teams were supposed to struggle, the Spurs posted the league’s best record. Who says they can’t contend again next year, using the same formula? The key pieces will be back, along with emerging young star Kawhi Leonard.
Who knows if the Spurs can stop the emerging Thunder (and potential defending champ?) in the next few years. The fan in me isn’t ready for the breakup of the Spurs, or the end of Duncan’s career. I also wouldn’t bet against Duncan or Popovich.
Philly and Boston were able to close out, while the Nuggets forced a game seven with the Lakers.
Diane Squires – Celtics WIN
Tony Kapuschinsky – Celtics WIN
franxise01 – Celtics WIN
HoopsHobby – Celtics WIN
Greg D. – Lakers LOSS
jdlee123 – Lakers LOSS
Down to four here very quickly. Only one game tonight.
Memphis Grizzlies at L.A. Clippers, 9 pm ESPN
Hoops Hobby takes the Grizzlies with the upset on the road. Make sure to get your pick in by 9 pm eastern!
Back for round two of NBA Playoff Survivor. The rules are the same as round one. Each day of the contest, pick a winner of any available game that day by leaving a comment on this post, and move on to pick the next day. Simple as that. Winner gets a prize from the list of cards in my post from yesterday. Round two starts with games for Thursday, May 10th. Picks must be in by 7 eastern on Thursday. Here are the games:
Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers, 7 pm NBA TV
Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics, 8 pm TNT
L.A. Lakers at Denver Nuggets, 10:30 pm TNT
Hoops Hobby’s pick for Thursday, the Celtics to close out the Hawks at home.
We have a winner for round one! Tony Kapuschinsky won by picking the Celtics last night who won in convincing fashion over the Hawks.
The prize list is as follows:
1999-00 Stadium Club Chrome Eyes of the Game Refractors #EG8 Allen Iverson
2005-06 Topps #224 Chris Paul RC
2006-07 Bowman Elevation Power Brokers Relics Blue #RCB Chris Bosh
2010-11 Panini Season Update Green Week Jerseys #8 Chris Andersen/699
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #1 Al Horford
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #8 Deron Williams
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #16 Kevin Garnett
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #5 Chris Bosh
2010-11 Panini Season Update All-Stars Materials #11 Dwight Howard
2010-11 Playoff Contenders Patches #150 Omer Asik AU RC
2010-11 Playoff Contenders Patches #116 Luke Babbitt AU RC
2010-11 Playoff Contenders Patches #198 Solomon Alabi AU SP
2010-11 Totally Certified Red Materials #59 Tyreke Evans/249
Tony should select a card and send an email to HoopsHobby@gmail.com with the card picked and the address the card should be sent to.
We will be starting another round of Survivor on Thursday, May 10th so spread the word and stay tuned!
Spurs pulled one out on the Jazz home floor last night, so both survivors remain for another day.
Tony Kapuschinsky – Spurs WIN
Dwighthoward – Spurs WIN
Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers, 1 pm ABC
Miami Heat at New York Knicks, 3:30 pm ABC
Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics, 7 pm TNT
L.A. Lakers at Denver Nuggets, 9:30 pm TNT
Celtics eeked out a win last night in overtime, so the contest continues:
Tony Kapuschinsky – Celtics WIN
Dwighthoward – Celtics WIN
Both have picked the Spurs for today, despite the options of four games. Spurs probably are the safest choice, though. I do think the Jazz might actually put up a fight today as they have a fantastic crowd and home court. Games today are…
Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic, 2 pm, ESPN
Memphis Grizzlies at L.A. Clippers, 4:30 pm, ESPN
Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks, 7:30 pm, TNT
San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz, 10 pm, TNT