el estado del union

we are still the barometer of success for the league. teams have to go through us to be taken seriously. it just sucks that there are five other teams in the west (little d, P-ho-nix, the White Jazz, the matinee lakers and Houston (they're ok)) that are being taken so seriously. but doesn't it seem like we are the dividing line between the great and the good? like we're the best of the rest? we're better than good, but not great. i love that all the sports writers talk about teams having to go through san antonio in the playoffs. marc stein is the only good thing to ever come out of dallas. of course dallas and phoenix are always listed ahead of us.

i don't know what started to happen in december and then got worse in january and now we have 16 losses on the season with 33 games to go. at least in austin, there was a drought of spurs games in that time, so i didn't see much. no one was happier about dumping rasho and nazr than me. didn't rasho always look like he was two minutes from smashing his face in on the floor just so he wouldn't have to play another second of basketball? at the beginning of the season, oberto and elson made me so happy. fab was getting those decent numbers, ~8pts, ~7rbs and a few dimes. and one 11-11 big fuck you. elson was our speedy backup, who jammed it in people's faces and played some decent defense and got a fucking board now and then. suddenly, pop inexplicably made elson the starter and everything came back to reality. fab looks like an old man that should be playing on a strike-breakers team and elson looks like a third-string center from denver. what the fuck? how many passes can you drop mother fucker?

then there's the whole manu/michael thing. i think finley, as much as i liked him with the mavericks, he's got one foot in the grave. the guy builds more brick houses than jimmy carter. i don't trust he or horry anymore. i really want them to just explode in the playoffs, but it's looking close to impossible. maybe they'll come through on a close game 5 with some "wily veteran move", but here's hoping. i'd say give more minutes to ginobili, but he might be the most worrying thing about the team for me. a couple years ago, 2 or 3, he was THE most exciting player to watch. he would steal a ball, run down court, slow down for just a second to come back to the top of the key, and then slash in for a crossover and a jam in the face of like three mother fuckers. yeah, he put up 32 or something against the suns, but when was the last time anyone saw him dunk. there were two or three times he made a sweet layup basket, but i had to wince, because a year ago he would have made all those phoenix fans shut up and sit down. can we ask him not to play for argentina in the summer? we love you dude. come on.

and the point guards. can we have speedy claxton back? when parker sits, our offense might as well, too. that's why vaughn and udrih combined for 12 minutes against the suns. i think even pop trusts them least of all.

i liked what i saw for most of the utah and suns games (not the officiating, though!). we played well. we played defense and we looked active on offense. sometimes our o-game is just so lazy it drives me crazy. how many isolation plays do we run? we have like two for every scorer. it's like we can't begin a possession without one sometimes. i liked what i saw, but sometimes we can't mortgage our house for a basket. odd, for a season where we averaged more than 100ppg for a while there. i just don't know why. is it concentration? is it being too tired at the end of games? is it a lack of confidence in themselves because spurs fans expect to be the best every year, and this year has been so disappointing to so many of us? is our lack of confidence passing to them?

we were really good at the start of the season. bonner is the only piece missing from then to now, and he can't be the reason for all that success. is he? i don't know. i wish austin played more spurs games. it was like i was watching, and we were kicking ass. then there weren't any games on tv for a while, and now there are and we can't kick any ass because our knees are too old to manage any of that oomph factor.

i think the biggest problem we've had recently is some pretty mediocre talent scouting. passing on josh howard aside, all we've done for a few years is have this revolving door of role players: turkoglu, stephen jackson, devin brown, claxton, glenn robinson. we said goodbye to malik rose, and then we got beno, rasho, nazr and fucking nick van exel. i understand that these are all better than good basketball players. it bothers me that no one outside of TD, parker, manu and david robinson have been able to contribute consistently on the offensive end in the last 4 years. i don't even want to say it, but is this a coaching problem? or is it just that difficult to bring someone into a setup with three stars already there? every year there's someone new and they kind of suck. but such is the fate when you're at the top and don't have any draft picks year in and year out.

but fuck dallas and phoenix anyway. we're a goddamn dynasty.

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