Game 17 vs. Sacramento: Spurs 100, Kings 98
"I Shall Call You.... Mini-Bibby."
Oh. My. God.
I couldn't watch this one until two hours ago, so I had no idea it was this bad. I mean, I read the recaps and the summaries, I studied the box score, I snooped around on Spurstalk for a bit, and I knew that Pop used the word pathetic to describe the team's performance before stomping off without answering any questions, but still...
Oh. My. God.
We were BEYOND lucky to escape with a W in this one.
A) The Kings played without their best sociopath wannabe rapper. (Or is it wannabe sociopath rapper? Nah, I think I had it right the first time).
B) They were playing their fourth game in five nights, which contrary to popular belief among Spurs fans, is a bitch of a task for anyone, not just us.
C) They hit only two three-pointers all night.
& Most Importantly,
D) They gave 42 minutes to a guy whose defense is so atrocious, that nobody blinks anymore when he shoots 5 for 19, because offense is still considered his strong suit.
I don't consider myself to be a hyperbolic person, mainly because I'm not sure if hyperbolic even means what I think it does, (I just checked, I'm good, it's not just that goofy chamber T.O. locks himself into to heal from injuries) but I may have just watched THE WORST INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN AN NBA GAME. Yes, I feel strongly enough about this to italicize, CAPITALIZE, and embolden it. If I knew how, I would shout it to all of you through your speakers. Alas, I'm not much more knowledgeable about these doohickies than these two.
Granted, I didn't watch the Lakers-Raptors game when Mamba went off for 81, but as I understand it, several gentlemen brandishing a purple dinosaur on their shorts took turns not guarding him that evening, but still this had to be the worst.
I'm just flabbergasted by Bibby's ineptitude. It boggles my mind. I know lots of words. I even know the word defenestrate. Did you know that we have a word in the English language just for the specific act of throwing something out of a window? How awesome is that? I learned it six years ago when I called myself a self-defenstrating person in a Cure chatroom and somebody corrected me. Well actually, first I called myself a self-defecating person. So, um...
I share way too much on here.
Where was I? Oh yeah. I don't have the words to describe how terrible of a player Bibby is. It reminds me of the old basketball joke where guys are getting ready to play a three-on-three game, and the notoriously terrible defensive guy asks the others who he should guard. They tell him to guard the other team's top scorer. "Who's that?" he asks. "Whoever you're guarding" they reply.
Bruce Bowen can do pretty much one single thing on offense: Shoot the corner three. You know this, I know this, pretty much everybody knows this. Yet Bibby, who had the assignment of covering Bruce one-on-one because he is waaaay too slow to deal with Frenchie McWonderbutt (we'll get to him later, btw, just you wait) left him completely open for eight, count `em eight of Bruce's nine three point attempts (of which he drained six).
It got to be so absurd, I actually found myself wondering at one point if Bruce sprayed himself with some foul smelling odor like ammonia or just had Jackie Butler sit on his jersey for a couple of hours after his 17 Burrito Supreme lunch at Taco Bell. I mean, what could possibly be the other explanation? Bibby didn't want to be anywhere near him. At the slightest hint of penetration (and with me, there is no other kind) he left Bruce to help out in the lane, as if Mini-Me is ever going to block somebody's shot or draw a charge.
Was it an act of defiance? Mutiny? I just can't comprehend it. I feel like Prowl and my logic circuits are about overload. And where was Eric Musselman in all of this? Here's a guy who routinely would bench Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson in the 4th quarter of games for not playing defense when he coached the Warriors, and now he just sits idly by, lets Bibby play the whole night and repeatedly make the same mistake over and over and over again, without saying anything?
Can anybody imagine Pop doing this?
How hard is it to tell a guy, "DO NOT under any circumstances, be more than two feet away from Bruce Bowen when they have the ball. I don't care if the Spurs get 50 lay-ups, do not leave him, or I will bench you."
Of course his Finley-like marksmanship on offense didn't help the Kings any either, but despite playing like a complete fucktard for 42 minutes and being 98% of the reason they lost the game (seriously, find me one other King who played poorly on Saturday, I dare you) their homer play-by-play guy Grant Napier still had the nerve to utter the words, "There's Mike, being his Bibbilicious self" after Bibby made one of his five field goals. Neither him or the color guy called Bibby out for his ghastly defense. Not even once.
Anyway, I promise I will never again write so much about that clown in one sitting. Now it's time to discuss our shit. And shit, my friends, is the operative word here.
We couldn't play any worse on offense right now. It's not possible. If it wasn't for Bowen's hot night we would have gotten run out of our own building. The Kings were determined to double team Tim every time he touched the ball after he tore them up in Sacto, so we needed a good shooting night from a few people. Instead they all played like total crap, in some way or another. Almost everyone who played had a hand in the carnage.
- Finley finished 2 of 8 from the floor, and one of the two makes was a fast break dunk. He had two straight careless turnovers in the 1st quarter and was also responsible for at least half of John Salmons' 20 points on defense.
- Barry got burned for the other half. He also was a lovely 0 for 6 from the floor, including a blown lay-up, and didn't muster so much as an assist in 17 minutes.
- Horry ruined an otherwise decent game by shooting a miserable 4 of 11 from the stripe. He clanked his last six, and of those the final two misses almost cost us the game.
- While Bruce had the stroke going on offense, he was victimized by Kevin Martin's 30 on the other end. Which I'm sure thrilled Matthew btw since he wants to swap Martin for The Hustlemaker an' all.
- Beno Udrih, who had a solid 1st half, was pulled almost immediately after re-entering the game late in the 3rd quarter after committing two straight turnovers and missing a wide open Duncan in the lane. Consequently...
- Jacque Vaughn was brought in to the proceedings, and the Spurs went turned it over twice more in succession.
- Having lost his faith in both his reserve point guards, Pop felt compelled to let Tony play all twelve minutes in the 4th. Tony rewarded that faith by turning the ball over, I shit thee not, FIVE times in the period. Also, after a bristling 1st half, he scored as many points in the last 23 minutes of the game as Manu, but to be fair, he only took two shots in that stretch. (What's up with that by the way?)
Like I said, a ridiculously fortunate win. I'm sure Pop feels like he's at the end of his rope with some of our guys. How much longer can he let Finley suck it up out there? Or Horry? It's not like coach didn't make any mistakes either. Bonner was fairly effective in the first half. Why doesn't he get more run? And why did Elson only play five minutes? Why has he been in the dog house for the past five games? Most of all, I wish he had stuck with Beno a bit longer, because Tony almost singlehandedly cost us the game at the end with all of his buffoonery.
I think Pop is looking as forward to Manu's imminent return almost as much as Matthew and I (actually, that's not possible) if for no other reason than he'll finally be able to put the ball into somebody's hands in the fourth quarter again without cringing.
It's been four long crappy games. And counting?
Your 3 Stars
3. Eric Williams- Yes, Eric frickin' Williams. We were that bad. He played a hopefully season high of 13 minutes and chipped in with eight points.
2. Bruce Bowen- Mr. Potatohead has exploded for 40 points the past two games to help make up for Manu's absence a bit. Pretty crummy on defense though.
1. Tim Duncan- 18-11-6 despite never being single covered all night, and the recipient of an assreaming from Pop at the end for a shaky inbounds pass. I think the coach was trying to hammer home how frustrated he was with everybody by screaming at our best player. Still, if Gino misses any more games Duncan is going to start openly weeping on the floor.
Record: 12-5 Streak: W-1
Up Next: Vs. Golden State Warriors
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but it really does depend a lot on whether Manu plays or not. Richardson is their worst defensive player. One of the main reasons we lost to these guys in Oakland was because we couldn't exploit that weakness. Also, we have to be better defensively on the perimeter, not give them so many open looks, and take care of our boards against Biedrins. Baron Davis is healthy again for them, so that'll mean a few ill-chosen 3-pointers and some silly turnovers, but on any given night he can kill a team too.