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View Full Version : Is Finley becoming frustrated in San Antonio?


Evilmav2
02-15-2006, 08:29 AM
The following article sure makes it sound that way to me...

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/nba-history/images/trades/finley.jpg
Change the game for Finley

Web Posted: 02/15/2006 12:00 AM CST
Johnny Ludden
Express-News Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA For Michael Finley, it had been a forgettable night in a string of forgettable nights, with one important exception: The Spurs won.

Although Finley had made only 1 of 6 shots, his aim hadn't kept the Spurs from beating Golden State for their sixth consecutive victory. It also didn't keep coach Gregg Popovich from offering some humorous postgame analysis.

"You," Popovich told Finley, "were on fire tonight."

Finley started to smile, and Popovich countered with a friendly slap and colorful comment.

The message was this: If you make shots, great. If you don't, don't sweat it. Play defense, rebound, run the floor and everything else should take care of itself.

"I can't think of anytime in my basketball career a coach has said that," said Finley, who leads the Spurs against the 76ers tonight to end a five-game road trip. "From that standpoint, it's a drastic change for me."

Drastic change has become the norm for Finley. He's on a new team for the first time in almost nine years. He's moved from starter to sixth man. A high-volume shooter for much of his career, he's had to make do with no more than four shots on occasion.

In 16 minutes Sunday against Indiana, Finley went scoreless for the second time, matching the number of games in which he didn't score in his previous 10 seasons combined. On Monday, he didn't play at all in the third quarter, an unusual position for someone who averaged more than 39 minutes in his career.

To his credit, Finley hasn't complained. He wasn't sure what to make of Monday's loss in Cleveland when Popovich scrapped his usual rotation. But when Finley was called on, he contributed, making two 3-pointers and taking three rebounds in the final nine minutes.

"I'm just trying to stay as positive as I can," said Finley, who is shooting a career-low 38.6 percent, including 34.9 percent behind the 3-point line. "It's a tough role I'm playing right now. But it's the type I knew I was going to have when I signed here."

But while Finley, who turns 33 in three weeks, has looked his age at times, he also has shown the form that once made him one of the game's most consistent scorers. Last week in Toronto, he scored a season-high 23 points, including six in overtime when he rallied the Spurs past the Raptors.

When Manu Ginobili sprained his right foot in December, Finley started and helped win three consecutive games with clutch shooting, including burying a 20-foot jumper with 2.5 seconds left to beat Sacramento. After encouraging Ginobili's return to the starting lineup, Finley came off the bench to score 10 of his 21 points in the final 21/2 minutes of a narrow victory over Milwaukee last month.

His production, however, began to drop after that. Over the next eight games, he averaged 4.5 points while making only 13 of 50 shots, including 3 of 21 3-point attempts. His struggles culminated with the 1-for-6 effort against Golden State.

The Spurs, however, won all but one of the eight games, which provided a lesson of sorts for Finley: Neither the team's success, nor his own, is always predicated on how he shoots.

"If they don't go in, they don't go in," Popovich said. "But if you think about it even for a second, you've just reduced your emotion in other parts of the game. That can't be your focus."

Popovich has admired Finley's competitiveness "He's lusted after him for years," said one former Spurs player but he also worries that Finley puts unneeded pressure on himself.

"But that's the way I've always been," Finley said. "I want to go out and play the best I can, make every shot that I get.

"(Popovich) just wants me to relax out there and do the other little parts of the game."

As for those "other little parts of the game," Popovich would like to see Finley rebound more consistently. [Editors note: As I remember it, a lot of Dallas fans felt the same way over the last few seasons] But Finley's defense, he said, has improved.

Steve Kerr, Danny Ferry, Derek Anderson, Steve Smith, Hedo Turkoglu, Brent Barry and Glenn Robinson also had to buy into the defense-first philosophy when they joined the Spurs. Some did a better job than others. All also had to learn to live with fewer shots.

Robert Horry, who missed all but one of his 11 attempts in his three-game return from the inactive list last week, also knows how difficult it can be for a shooter to regain his rhythm when he's not starting. Popovich even said he might have substituted for Horry too early in a couple of games before he had a chance to get in the flow.

"That's one of the disadvantages," Horry said. "But that's the thing with this team. We have a lot of guys who can do different things."

No one in recent years, however, has had to make a more dramatic adjustment than Finley. In his final season in Dallas, he averaged 14.2 shots. Although he's averaged about nine with the Spurs a reasonable number for a reserve he's had five or fewer attempts in five of the past nine games.

"I think he gets a little nervous," Popovich said. "He's used to getting a set number of shots, so when he doesn't get one in a while he gets a little bit anxious about it and maybe tries to invent one."

Finley said he's trying to find a balance between being aggressive and letting the game come to him.

"I think it will come in time," Finley said. "Hopefully when it does, I can step up and take advantage of it."

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/basketball/nba/spurs/stories/MYSA021506.1C.BKNspurs.finley.124aa5c6.html

alby
02-15-2006, 09:48 AM
boo hoo, suck it up

dirno2000
02-15-2006, 10:28 AM
He may be frustrated with his play. I don't get the impression that he's frustrated with the situation because, like he said, he knew what he was getting into when he signed on.

Drbio
02-15-2006, 10:30 AM
I think Finley understood his role coming in but truly thought his play would dictate change and it has not necessarily done that. I am not reading this as a complaint at all.

This quote:
"I want to go out and play the best I can, make every shot that I get."

tells me that he is a perfectionist. I think he expects himself to be the best and when he isn't it frustrates him. But that is a chacteristic that I want in all players. Strive for perfection, achieve greatness.

MavsFanFinley
02-15-2006, 10:41 AM
Spurs fans sure don't take it as frustration (over on spurstalk, not sure about spursreport). They like his professionalism and the effort he gives on defense every night. Only problem is that they were expecting a better fg% and more consistent scoring.

However, this is the first negative thing I've heard Pop issue about Finley. And that's only that he'd like him to be a more consistent rebounder. I think if Finley were to be pouting Pop would kick his ass all over the place or Fish would have reported it already.

Popovich has admired Finley's competitiveness — "He's lusted after him for years," said one former Spurs player — but he also worries that Finley puts unneeded pressure on himself.

I've said it more than once and I'll say it again. I wish Finley had had a coach like Pop earlier in his career. Someone who wouldn't have run him into the ground with all those minutes and someone who would have had him playing better defense. Not that Nellie wasn't good for/to Fin but can't change that now.

jayC
02-15-2006, 12:11 PM
Finley really has never rebounded or played defense exceptionally well. Over the last fifteen games Dampier has been more productive than Finley off the bench. The frustrating thing for me about finley is he has talent to be great. He never learned how to cross people over or be an exceptional passer. He could have easily been a Kobe like player if he went to the hole.

On the Spurs Ginobli, Parker and to some extent Brent Barry can create their own shot. Finley can't.

The Crippler
02-15-2006, 12:59 PM
Finley is done. has been for over a year and a half now. He has been nothing but a glorified jump shooter for three years. One of the best days of my mav fandom life was amnesty day as I never had to watch his selfish self force a fadaway jumper after holding the ball on the wing until the shot clock read 2 or 3 because he wasn't getting the shots he desired. but that's just me...I'm sure others still love him and will come to his defense.

Bookit
02-15-2006, 01:33 PM
Finley's game has fallen so badly that Bruce Bowen now shoots the ball better than him.

Drbio
02-15-2006, 01:38 PM
Finley's game has fallen so badly that Bruce Bowen now shoots the ball better than him.

Let's not get silly crazy. ;)

Dtownsfinest
02-15-2006, 02:31 PM
If you've kept up with Finley you'd understand why his field goal percentage is so low. Its because of the 0-4 nights he's been having. He's had plenty of them and he's still managing to put up 9.5 points a game which shows that he's had his share of big games and his share of poor nights. As a Fin fan I think he's going to eventually find his stroke. The bench role is something he's really never played since his time in the league so i'd like to think at some point this season he'll catch on. It does take time however. He's still the 4 most productive player on the team and he's playing poor. I wouldn't say Fin's finished. He's done too much for that Spurs team this season. Its good to see that Popovich recognizes Finley's defense.


I don't understand how the article implies Finley is frustrated with the Spurs. Like stated above, if anything he's frustrated with himself and that's how Finley has always been. A great professional.

jacktruth
02-15-2006, 03:54 PM
It was a good decision to let Finley walk. But man, I really hope the best for the guy. Not a championship, of course. But I want to see him do well.

I don't lust after him, though. Primarily because he's a dude. I think that must get kindov weird for Michael.

Murphy3
02-15-2006, 04:37 PM
....I wish for nothing but failure for Mike Finley and any other San Antonio Spur on the basketball court. I wouldn't shed a tear if the entire team came down with a rash of torn ACL's in the morning...

jacktruth
02-15-2006, 04:52 PM
....I wish for nothing but failure for Mike Finley and any other San Antonio Spur on the basketball court. I wouldn't shed a tear if the entire team came down with a rash of torn ACL's in the morning...

So you're still undecided, then.

Locked_Up_Tonight
02-15-2006, 05:11 PM
The message was this: If you make shots, great. If you don't, don't sweat it. Play defense, rebound, run the floor and everything else should take care of itself.

"I can't think of anytime in my basketball career a coach has said that," said Finley, who leads the Spurs against the 76ers tonight to end a five-game road trip. "From that standpoint, it's a drastic change for me."

Avery wanted him to do those things last year and he balked.

alby
02-15-2006, 09:17 PM
How do you think Finley would feel when he sees the Mavericks taking the division and then beating the Spurs in the playoffs... :D

Thespiralgoeson
02-16-2006, 02:20 AM
How do you think Finley would feel when he sees the Mavericks taking the division and then beating the Spurs in the playoffs... :D

And how about after that, the Mavs take down Nash and the Suns in the conference finals? The time has come to destroy these old myths and rid ourselves of relics like Nash and Finley. It's time for the Mavs to prove once and for all that they did the right thing by letting Nash walk and cutting fin. Finley's done and so are the Spurs. Nash? Well he might've been MVP last year... Hell, he might even get it again this year. But I'm willing to bet when their careers are over, Dirk will have at least one championship ring, as well as a finals MVP award, and Nash will have neither.

orangedays
02-16-2006, 04:00 AM
And how about after that, the Mavs take down Nash and the Suns in the conference finals? The time has come to destroy these old myths and rid ourselves of relics like Nash and Finley. It's time for the Mavs to prove once and for all that they did the right thing by letting Nash walk and cutting fin. Finley's done and so are the Spurs. Nash? Well he might've been MVP last year... Hell, he might even get it again this year. But I'm willing to bet when their careers are over, Dirk will have at least one championship ring, as well as a finals MVP award, and Nash will have neither.

I holla

MavsFanFinley
02-16-2006, 11:06 AM
How do you think Finley would feel when he sees the Mavericks taking the division and then beating the Spurs in the playoffs... :D

Good question. Since most Mavs fans wish ill to Finley and the Spurs I'd imagine he'd still take the high road whether the Spurs succeed or not.

Drbio
02-16-2006, 11:09 AM
Mike will be a warrior in the playoffs and if the spurts lose he will lose with class. If they win he will win with class. You can put money on that.

Bookit
02-16-2006, 11:34 AM
I didn't like the "i guess everyone's getting out of dodge huh" comment that was quoted in the paper after Finley saw Nellie at Spurs training camp. Like it was Fin's choice to "get out of dodge". :mad:

Murphy3
02-16-2006, 12:34 PM
Finley is insignificant. He's a bit player for a second place team... a #4 seed.

George Gervin
02-16-2006, 12:51 PM
Finley is insignificant. He's a bit player for a second place team... a #4 seed.


that's funny. when do you guys put the division banner up? During All-Start weekend?

capitalcity
02-16-2006, 01:13 PM
that's funny. when do you guys put the division banner up? During All-Start weekend?Almost as funny as listening to Spurs gametime react on WOAI last night.

atrewsfan
02-16-2006, 01:15 PM
Finley is driving to the net less than in previous years, perhaps a sign his legs don't have the mad hops they used to. 36% of his shots have been from beyond the arc which is among the highest percentages among swingmen in the league. By comparison, 12% of Iverson's shots have been from beyond the 3-point line, Kobe = 22%, Pierce = 21%, Redd = 26%, Ginobili = 30%, J. Richardson = 31%, C. Mobley = 25%, Stephen Jackson = 31%, and Vince Carter = 21%. 45% of Ray Allen's FGA have been from beyond the arc, and well, why not because he's darn good at shooting from there. MEM's Eddie Jones leads the pack with a whopping 51% of FGA, probably because, like Finley, he's old and doesn't have the springs anymore to take it to the basket consistently. Finley is also shooting less than 39% from the floor overall so the transition from all-around perimeter shooter + penetrator to solely a spot-up jump-shooter might not be going too well.

TheBlueVan
02-16-2006, 02:22 PM
i for one got tired of finley's inconsistency but sometime on FSN they were showing replays of the first couple of years we got back to the playoffs and he was the MAN. back when he had the mini-fro thing going

anyways, we did the right thing. finleys a good guy, but his better days are behind him and for some reason he never seemed to change his game, probably one of the reasons we cut him.

as for nash, hes still a beast and i still hate seeing him in a phoenix uni. just doesnt look right. but dallas has a great young core, and nash keeps getting older. for me the verdicts still out on him

dude1394
02-16-2006, 06:25 PM
Finley is driving to the net less than in previous years, perhaps a sign his legs don't have the mad hops they used to. 36% of his shots have been from beyond the arc which is among the highest percentages among swingmen in the league. By comparison, 12% of Iverson's shots have been from beyond the 3-point line, Kobe = 22%, Pierce = 21%, Redd = 26%, Ginobili = 30%, J. Richardson = 31%, C. Mobley = 25%, Stephen Jackson = 31%, and Vince Carter = 21%. 45% of Ray Allen's FGA have been from beyond the arc, and well, why not because he's darn good at shooting from there. MEM's Eddie Jones leads the pack with a whopping 51% of FGA, probably because, like Finley, he's old and doesn't have the springs anymore to take it to the basket consistently. Finley is also shooting less than 39% from the floor overall so the transition from all-around perimeter shooter + penetrator to solely a spot-up jump-shooter might not be going too well.


What is the comparison between finleys inside the arc versus Barry on their team? I noticed fin has a higher 3pt% but not a higher FG%.

dude1394
02-16-2006, 06:26 PM
i for one got tired of finley's inconsistency but sometime on FSN they were showing replays of the first couple of years we got back to the playoffs and he was the MAN. back when he had the mini-fro thing going

anyways, we did the right thing. finleys a good guy, but his better days are behind him and for some reason he never seemed to change his game, probably one of the reasons we cut him.

as for nash, hes still a beast and i still hate seeing him in a phoenix uni. just doesnt look right. but dallas has a great young core, and nash keeps getting older. for me the verdicts still out on him


Finley I don't have much of a problem with, that contract had to go. Nash was a cluster of epic porportions. Absolutely stupid imo.

The Crippler
02-16-2006, 09:17 PM
Finley is driving to the net less than in previous years, perhaps a sign his legs don't have the mad hops they used to. 36% of his shots have been from beyond the arc which is among the highest percentages among swingmen in the league. By comparison, 12% of Iverson's shots have been from beyond the 3-point line, Kobe = 22%, Pierce = 21%, Redd = 26%, Ginobili = 30%, J. Richardson = 31%, C. Mobley = 25%, Stephen Jackson = 31%, and Vince Carter = 21%. 45% of Ray Allen's FGA have been from beyond the arc, and well, why not because he's darn good at shooting from there. MEM's Eddie Jones leads the pack with a whopping 51% of FGA, probably because, like Finley, he's old and doesn't have the springs anymore to take it to the basket consistently. Finley is also shooting less than 39% from the floor overall so the transition from all-around perimeter shooter + penetrator to solely a spot-up jump-shooter might not be going too well.

1. Finley never took the ball to the hole. that is one of the biggest Mav myths of all time. it was always one or two dribbles then a smooth pull up jumper. That was his money shot, and it was quite effective for many years. But he almost never ttok the ball to the hole besides the few facials he would throw down a few times a year.

2. The reason for this is because he might really be the worst ball handler as a 2 or 3 of all time in the NBA.

Drbio
02-16-2006, 11:38 PM
I get the impression that Crippler has chosen Mike Finley as his favorite player in the league. ;)

capitalcity
02-17-2006, 12:05 AM
I get the impression that Crippler has eyes.

alby
02-17-2006, 01:29 AM
He is right about ball handler, Yao Ming could actually give the 2guard pointers on how to perform a crossover. However, I do like Finley and I do respect him. He is nothing but class and is the epitome of what the NBA needs today, role models. I'm still going to cheer for his and the Spurs' failure, but I still value his approach on and off the court.

Bookit
02-17-2006, 11:30 AM
Finley I don't have much of a problem with, that contract had to go. Nash was a cluster of epic porportions. Absolutely stupid imo.

I now blame that on Nellie. Nellie convinced Cuban that Nash's body was falling apart. Uh, he has had one small injury in 2 years while playing all out every night.

u2sarajevo
02-17-2006, 11:38 AM
I now blame that on Nellie. Nellie convinced Cuban that Nash's body was falling apart. Uh, he has had one small injury in 2 years while playing all out every night.Don Nelson was crushed when Nash left for Phoenix. Where did you get this impression/information? Or was that sarcasm?

sixeightmkw
02-17-2006, 11:44 AM
it's funny that when players leave the mavs they start generating stories about them. Such as the greatness of Stevie. Does everyone remember last year and the crap year that Fin Dog had. He was ghastly. He had nights were he shot horribly, got no rebounds, played no defense, but no one said anything. Now that he is on the Spurs, oh, look at poor Fin. He did wonders for this team in the 90's getting us back on the map, but he is San Antonios problem now.

TheBlueVan
02-17-2006, 12:33 PM
yeah for some reason we're still a little bit of a black hole in the national media. Nash became such a sensation in Phoenix, when he really played the same game he did here. In the offseason, Finley became a "steal" for SA and we were kind of viewed as idiots for cutting him.

if Dirk had been traded for Shaq two years ago, Dirk would be THE biggest thing in the NBA right now. Everyone would be talking about the matchup nightmare who was carrying the lakers and reinventing the game as he did it (only if Kobe let him, lol)

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 02:41 PM
1. Finley never took the ball to the hole. that is one of the biggest Mav myths of all time. it was always one or two dribbles then a smooth pull up jumper. That was his money shot, and it was quite effective for many years. But he almost never ttok the ball to the hole besides the few facials he would throw down a few times a year.

2. The reason for this is because he might really be the worst ball handler as a 2 or 3 of all time in the NBA.


Of all time? That's bs. He's a Spur. I understand that and yea he play's for the enemy but no reason to make comments like "the worst ball handler as a 2 or 3 of all time". I know the Mavs were unwatchable in the late 90's and in 2000 but did you just start watching when Dirk became a all star? Finley use to cross guys over and give facials on a consistent basis. I wish I Can find the clip I have of him crossing over I believe it was Rick Fox or JR Rider and then dunking on Kobe. I'll have to find it.

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 02:44 PM
I now blame that on Nellie. Nellie convinced Cuban that Nash's body was falling apart. Uh, he has had one small injury in 2 years while playing all out every night.


No give blame to where its due and its Cuban. Simple as that. Nellie looked like a little boy who's puppy just died all of his time here last season. You think if we resigned Nash that Nellie would've stepped down? I think not. So maybe it was a blessing in disguise. I still don't let Nash walk now but you can't argue with the success the Mavs have had since his departure.

alby
02-17-2006, 03:34 PM
Of all time? That's bs. He's a Spur. I understand that and yea he play's for the enemy but no reason to make comments like "the worst ball handler as a 2 or 3 of all time". I know the Mavs were unwatchable in the late 90's and in 2000 but did you just start watching when Dirk became a all star? Finley use to cross guys over and give facials on a consistent basis. I wish I Can find the clip I have of him crossing over I believe it was Rick Fox or JR Rider and then dunking on Kobe. I'll have to find it.

i believe you are referring to the hesitation + crossover right to left at the top of the key on rick fox, and then posterizing kobe as time in the 2nd quarter expired vs the lakers in dallas.

speaking of which, does anyone have any finley highlight videos? jw...

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 04:10 PM
Damn Alby. That's a hell of a memory you got there lol.


Its hard to find Fin clips on the web. I'm still looking for his dunk on D-Rob in his rookie season.

alby
02-17-2006, 05:33 PM
My favorite memory of Finley was in a playoff game, he gets up 11+ feet to snatch a rebound and throws an outlet pass the length of the court all while in the air to Steve Nash. Steve Nash then dishes it to a sprinting Dirk Nowitzki for a fastbreak layup.

dude1394
02-17-2006, 05:35 PM
No give blame to where its due and its Cuban. Simple as that. Nellie looked like a little boy who's puppy just died all of his time here last season. You think if we resigned Nash that Nellie would've stepped down? I think not. So maybe it was a blessing in disguise. I still don't let Nash walk now but you can't argue with the success the Mavs have had since his departure.

It would be interesting ( in a train wreck kind of way ) to see what the team would be if nelson didn't step down. I thought the mavs were really tuning him out and thinking that they couldn't really compete.

Dirk could and did, but the rest of the team looked pretty lost.

MavsFanFinley
02-17-2006, 08:07 PM
I did a search on this site for the highlights of Fin's dunks and buzzer beaters and circus shots but it's no longer available I guess. Bummer.

It had those dunks over Rasho (Minnesota playoffs), Malone (Utah playoffs), Harvey (reg game in Denver) and others. Also had those 3's against Orlando a few years back.

DTF mentioned the dunk over David Robinson in his rookie season. Simply amazing. And the one over Mutombo (also his rookie season) in which I'll never forget the look on Barkley's face.

Of course, the one over Yao has to be considered impressive simply because of his height.

Bookit
02-17-2006, 08:53 PM
Don Nelson was crushed when Nash left for Phoenix. Where did you get this impression/information? Or was that sarcasm?


Not sarcasm at all. I am not saying that Nellie convinced Cuban to let Nash go. I am saying that Cuban heard Nellie complain about Nash's durability for YEARS and Cuban based his decision on Nash' Durability. Cuban didn't want the Mavs to be stuck with a broken down pg making 12 million a year in the latter contract years. He might still break down but it doesn't look like it.

dude1394
02-17-2006, 08:58 PM
Not a bad point bookit. Nelson might have messed himself on that one.

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 11:47 PM
I did a search on this site for the highlights of Fin's dunks and buzzer beaters and circus shots but it's no longer available I guess. Bummer.

It had those dunks over Rasho (Minnesota playoffs), Malone (Utah playoffs), Harvey (reg game in Denver) and others. Also had those 3's against Orlando a few years back.

DTF mentioned the dunk over David Robinson in his rookie season. Simply amazing. And the one over Mutombo (also his rookie season) in which I'll never forget the look on Barkley's face.

Of course, the one over Yao has to be considered impressive simply because of his height.

I never saw the one over Mutombo. I'd love to see that one. The one over Yao was just nasty. It wasn't like Finley was flying at Yao he actually hit a jumpstop and still dunked on the guy. The one over Adonal Foyle last year was also sick.

Dtownsfinest
02-17-2006, 11:49 PM
Shouldn't we give Cuban more credit than that though? Did he really base the Nash decision on what Nellie said to the media which IMO was always about 90% bs from Nellie? I always thought it was a reverse psychology thing with Nellie. Tell the team they suck in the media and the team would be fired up and try to prove him wrong. I'd think Cuban would actually talk with Nellie before he decided not to resign Nash. And let's not forget the contract Cuban gave Nash wasn't that far from the one the Suns made. Wasn't it a 4 year deal at about 12 million a year?

alby
02-18-2006, 02:49 AM
I really want to watch a finley highlight reel now..

Dtownsfinest
02-28-2006, 12:19 AM
Just a heads up for us Fin fans. I didn't catch the game but he didn't miss a shot from the field tonight. 8-8 for 22 points in 21 minutes while dishing out 3 assists and grabbing 4 rebounds. Pretty solid game for only playing 21 minutes. Seems as if he's getting warmed up for the showdown on Thursday.

orangedays
02-28-2006, 12:24 AM
Hopefully he expended all his mojo tonight.

Dtownsfinest
02-28-2006, 12:28 AM
Why does it seem like the Spurs never have anyone play over 30 minutes lol? Not knocking it because its obviously working but is this a sign of gearing up for the post season?

MavsFanFinley
02-28-2006, 01:07 AM
Fin would have had a perfect night had he not missed a ft. Nice to see him get some boards and dish a few assists while shooting the ball well too.

He's due for a good streak so I guess Thursday will tell.