This is exactly why I love the SPURS and love PtR-
No one is panicking, not even the clingers from SpursTalk. No one is jumping from the bridge at the new hope and belief we gave phx today. No one is seemingly even remotely concerned. And rightly so.
Holy mouse fart. Yep, being there was bad. And I literally had the biggest phx sun douchebag fan and his girlfriend sitting behind us. It took everything I had for my head not to explode. There is no doubt in my mind now that they have the worst, most poorly educated, most minimally possessing of basketball knowledge, most arrogant and hypocritical fans in the league. EVERY play, EVERY call against the suns..... it's didn't matter, they were bitching. I mean literally the whole arena, but especially Captain Douchbag in 105/25/7. Snaq literally could have performed a flying elbow to Timmy's collarbone from a chair, gotten a whistle, and these people would have booed the poor officiating. It was astounding.
I hate even mentioning the officials. I hate it being a topic of discussion. I hate the mere thought that the officials or league may have had some influence in a game. Though I know it happens, I choose to win AND lose on the court, not any other way. Teams lose games, and there's no way around that. But that said, what you saw and suspected was 10x worse in person. You have no idea. I actually turned to my dad 4:00 into the game and said, "This is already over, we don't have a chance in this one." The league doesn't want sweeps, especially over 'golden boy' teams. We'll just leave it at that.
We lost the game on our own, by being completely inept at, well, basketball. This was finally our bitch game, and we all knew it was coming. We ALWAYS have this game, the one in which we should win but no one shows up, we don't get calls like the home team and the homers play lights out. I pined optimistic in my post guaranteeing victory, but we all deep down knew we likely hadn't dodged the bitch game. How foolish me was to feel so confident. The simple fact was- snaq and stevie are a proud bunch, and never going to allow getting swept in their gym. Didn't matter how well we played, it wasn't going to happen. Just so happens that we obliged them perfectly by completely choking today.
I don't even want to talk about the game or think about it anymore. I don't want to ponder how we didn't attempt to draw enough contact, or Tony overcommitted on drives too frequently, or Manu didn't fight through double teams, or we neglected their P&R, or our off-ball movement was poor. I took great pics for PtR- empty rafters at the arena for us to giggle at, an extra close-up of Manu's bald spot, me hugging Peter Holt and handing him a dollar, the suns new slogan of "Do you believe in miracles?," Roho sitting on the bench during shoot around just watching the rest of the team warm up, etc. But (and it helps not knowing how to post them, thanks again Matthew) I'm not even putting them up. This game is over and in the books, and not something I want to relive. We sucked complete ass, and they outplayed us in every category except looking tired. They deserved the win, and we'll all let them enjoy their sweet, cute and special moment (my exact words to Captain Douchbag when leaving the section). Tuesday, and I don't feel I'm risking much to say this, will be a bloodbath, gentlemen.
It was a terrible feeling leaving the arena after this game, but after about 10 minutes I lost the rage and disappointment. Think back to.....well, every year in the playoffs. This bitch game happens, the other team plays it's cards (exposes it's own adjustments/changes), Pop and team takes vigorous notes and feigns doubt and death, and comes back to serve the opposing team it's ass. Phx is back to feeling a seed of hope this afternoon, and starting to believe a little. Their confidence is high, and D'oh is feeding this as we speak. Meanwhile, Pop is playing the psychological game and playing it well.
I looked again at my dad after halftime and said, "The guys are coming out if this doesn't change inside of 3 minutes." Sure enough, they never returned. Actually a brilliant plan, in my opinion. We weren't shooting well while they were, and we clearly didn't have a prayer in this game from the first quarter onward. Pop recognized that there was still a victory we could gain today, and he got that. Somebody said it in the thread, but you ever notice how there's some games in which the officiating is just as poor or worse than others and Pop doesn't move, but in these others he argues relentlessly and possibly even gets tossed? These quiet games are coincidentally the playoff "bitch games." Pop understands that the entire series is one big game, and no one's better at playing it. Don't worry about 1 W, when you'll have your W soon enough. Learn the enemy well, and exploit his weaknesses to no end in your eventual victory. I've said it before, but it truly is the difference between chess and checkers. No one but SPURS fans actually see this; certainly no one in the arena today did. D'oh and his entire kingdom play: your move, my move, your move, my move, your move, my move. Many battles are won this way, but never the war. Today for example, D'oh feels victory and even attempts to make a last minute stand of pride by getting tossed, and plays all his cards to the end. Their team feels a little hope return, and their fans are lulled into believing that the problems (confusion on offense, no defensive presence, no killer instinct, no bench play) once huge, have all now miraculously been corrected. It's a myth. We gave them nothing, saved our energy, and now will completely understand their system even better on Tuesday. AND we're angry and suddenly aggressive. I cannot see an already pissed off Timmy and Manu allowing another to escape. Add Pop and Tony to that, and I wouldn't be surprised to see us completely annihilate phx on Tuesday. They will again have that amazingly confused look on their faces after the series, as though they'd again been ambushed or cheated from something; when they'd simply been played the entire time. I'm sticking with that, and I'm confident. We still own this series and there's no reason to be concerned. It's funny how all SPURS fans actually already know that. I'm thankful to be a SPURS fan. Today sucked, and we'll move onward. It was something we all truthfully expected, and that eases the frustration.
PS- Another great thing about being a SPURS fan in a hostile playoff environment, after the game we were all walking out and a bunch of SPURS fans ended up walking near each other. Blacks, whites, browns, fats, hot chicks, drunks, a hodgepodge or cross section, if you will, of our culture. There really wasn't even a 'leader' amoung all the strangers, but for some reason we all started shouting at each other and ended up 15-20 people standing in the corridors of the USAir Arena after getting our asses kicked, laughing and taking group pictures. I've never seen and will never again see these folks. We're all different, but we're all SPURS fans and thus family. And you know what? Not one person was doing anything but smiling and laughing. And it wasn't the alcohol. All SPURS fans understand what it takes to be champions, and we know that days like today are necessary for days like Tuesday. GO SPURS GO...
Have a great end to the weekend...
PSS- We gotta get this new format to where it works on PDAs. I don't know enough to describe what needs to be done or how it's not working; I just know that even though it was sometimes difficult, under the last format I could post from my phone. Sitting courtside chatting with Schoenig and hearing cool tidbits, I tried to post on the thread but it was crazy impossible. Can this even be done?! It would definately be cool to have for any of us AT the games.