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Rust is Only Skin Deep - Charlotte Game Recap

So this one was a complete stinker for more than three quarters. What can I possibly say to make this one interesting, you ask? Well to that I say that Jason Richardson sure has some shiny black sneakers, with pretty orange laces. And it was all you can eat night at the game!!! I'd be interested to know if anyone took advantage of that sweet deal.

But, the biggest news of all: BREAKING NEWS from Bill Land and Sean Elliot. They announced that Frenchy was gonna see some action in this game...uh...good call guys. Where did that come from? I am personally just happy to know that he is close to a return.

Seriously though, much of this game resembled an old guy pick-up game at your local YMCA. I know a lot about these. Turn-overs, bad shots, clanking open looks - the works.

I do suppose that there were a few other interesting things - to me anyway. These were as follows:

So who was the hot babe sitting next to halftime honoree Bob Bass? She was a cutie....

How about the on-court interview with Gene "Tinkerbell" Banks!?!? Talk about a blast from the past!!!! Perhaps the worst nickname of all time, but old dude was looking pretty dapper. Note: I believe that Randy Johnson's "Big Unit" is the best nickname.

OK; enough of the fluff, let's dive into this pile of poo, shall we? Here is my quarter by quarter run thru:

1st Quarter:
All looks right with the world as Manu makes his presence felt early by whipping a pass to a wide open Fabricio Oberto for a lay-up. That is about the only real action in a quarter filled with guys slogging around, throwing bad passes, dropping the good ones. Looks like someone put concrete in everyone's galoshes.

In the quarter, San Antonio goes 4 for 17 from the field with 7 turnovers. Manu had 4 of them. It seemed as if the Spurs turned the ball over every possession in the last 4 minutes of this quarter. Bobcats are not much better with 6 for 17 shooting. At least many of the Spurs shots were reasonably good looks with shoulders squared up and two feet on the floor. Charlotte is just jacking up every long distance fall away they can.

After the first 6 minutes of futility, Pop starts going mad-scientist, trying to find anyone on the bench that can run upright and catch/pass a ball. Tim, Manu, Bruce, Fab-O, JV, Fin, Udoka and Muffs all see court time. Seems like everybody but Frenchy gets in.

The first quarter comes to an end with the Spurs down 18-13, but Manu does out-hustles McGinnis for a loose ball on the sidelines causing Funny Hair to bark loud enough and body scrape Manu hard enough to draw a technical foul.

2nd Quarter:
Not much more exciting than the first, with a few more points to report. Spurs out-score Charlotte 23-14 for a 36-32 halftime lead. Shooting hasn't improved much with both teams shooting percentage still in the 30s.

The first half of this quarter was still super lame. But then again, how could the Spurs manage to do much of anything with a five of Midge, Muffs, Ime, Fin and RoHo? I'll bet that 5 of us could give those guys a run. Its 29-23 at the 5:30 mark for godsakes!!!!!

Festival of clanks and turn-overs continues. Spurs are playing so poorly on the offensive end that I'm having flashbacks to the Toronto and Detroit home losses. Thank god we're playing Charlotte. Down 31-27 at the 2:20 mark. A modest 5-0 run over the next game minute gives the Spurs a 32-31 lead, culminated by Tim making his first point of the game on a free throw. Manu has 12 of the teams 36 in the first half.

3rd Quarter:
Spurs began the quarter firing on all cylinders, quickly running the lead to 10 with a pair of treys by Midge and Manu. Midge also added a two point FG in the run. Charlotte's vaunted clank-a-minute offense in high gear. Until......Charlotte finally broke the second half seal when J-Rich brutalized our main man by dunking on him steamroller style. Ouchie!!

Ball movement on offense was gradually getting better in the 3rd, but Timmy is still very rusty, going 0 for 3 from 3 inches on one possession.

From there, Charlotte managed to string together a few easy baskets off of 3 turn-overs in a row. Charlotte also plays a zone defense for a few possessions that mixes up our guys. Lead down to 44-42 with 5:00 left in the quarter.

Just when it was starting to look queasy again, Muffs hits Timmy with a great high-low pass to end a scoring drought of 6+ minutes. From there, JV scores 6 of the next 8 to end the quarter strong. Spurs finish the 3rd with a 54-49 lead.

4th Quarter:
Fin and Fab-O start the 4th with hoops to lead by 9. Two more baskets by Mike Finley, two blocks by Tim and strong ball movement mark the push from here that puts the game firmly in the Spurs grasp. Mr. Potato Head even got in on the act by finally drilling a three-pointer off of a sweet moving dish by Ime Udoka. I'm starting to get fixated on the jacked-up birthmark at this point. Spurs have finally hit the 40% shooting mark for the game.

The decisive run was finished by a Midge 3 on a vintage Spurs possession. Midge drops to Fin, who enters the post to Tim. In one motion, Tim tap-passed the ball over to Midge who drained a long ball. It was one of those shots you knew was going in. Soon thereafter Timmy takes a seat. Tough game for him, but he did have 700 rebounds.

Game ends with Elson and Bonner getting in. Anymore, seeing these guys in the game is like watching Eric Gagne run in from the LA Dodger bullpen circa 2003-04 - Game Over.

Your 3 Stars:

Third Star: Manu Ginobili. OK, you could make an argument for him at #1, but I felt like the contributions of Ime and Fin were a little more of the unexpected variety. Manu shook off the rust with 18 points and several good hustle plays to overcome his early turn-over yips. Plus, I did want to try and make him feel better after making Michael Jason Richardson's poster early in the second half. I really wanted to give this to Jared Dudley of the Bobcats for his -20 AND since I hated him so much at BC, but......

Second Star: Ime Udoka. Didn't miss any assigments on D that I noticed. Plus, he gave us 12 and 10 with 5 assists and a team high +24.

First Star: Michael Finley. Given the way most on here feel about him, this might be the only one he ever gets. 6 of 10 shooting with key baskets to populate the Spurs 4th Quarter run to victory. He played his role to a tee in this game. Fin was quickest to shake the rust even though he tried a Drogba style header in the first half.

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