Uh, sorry Mase. Worshipful prose about your game winner was set aside because of priorities. Dude compared Manu to Antoine Walker for God sakes. I'll make it up to you in the future. Please understand I'm very, very happy we signed you.
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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ESPN's cameras caught the Colorado Casanova screaming to his teammates in the huddle prior to Mason's game winner, "Don't worry about doubling Tim. He made that bullshit shot. F--- him."
It's one thing to get caught trashing Andrew Bynum on a camera phone. And I've always firmly been on the Kobester's side in his feud with The Big Liability, but now that he's ripping THE ONE THAT SHALL NOT BE RIPPED, well, I think I'm beginning to notice a pattern kids. Kobe just doesn't care for bigmen. He also doesn't like cute little puppies, apple pie, or your kind, sweet mother.
It's true. I totally heard Kobe call your mother a slut the other day. Man, that guy is a prick. Screw you Kobe.
Having the gall to use the words "bullshit shot" in the same building where your completely ethic-less teammate sank the most asinine, blatantly miss-called shot in NBA history. Sure, Fish caught the ball in mid-air, landed, turned, and then shot it all under .4 seconds. That sounds completely plausible. The time clock operator didn't screw that up in any way.
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[Ed note: The deleted paragraphs contained entirely inappropriate content that is not allowed on this blog. I left the rest of this because some of it is decent analysis and the rest comes across as bizarre, jealous rage.]
Anyway, before we get into the serious game analysis (Stampler's Note: There will not be any serious game analysis today) I have to clear up a mistake I made here at PtR, and I wouldn't feel right about myself unless I make proper amends.
I made the mistake of assuming that ATS is not completely retarded and that he (or any other rational person who's at all familiar with my work here) was capable of comprehending simple, traditional and oft-used comedic concepts such as sarcasm, hyperbole, and obvious exaggeration. I mean, when I write something like,
"because let's face it, Tony Parker sucks and he's the sole reason Manu doesn't average 30 points and 10 assists a game,"
I figure that anyone with a modicum of basic intelligence will understand that the statement is such an over-the-top exaggeration that it can only be a taken as a silly joke. I would think that most PtR fans understood that I was poking more fun at my own Manu fanboyness there actually, than seriously suggesting that Tony Parker is a terrible basketball player.
I mean, on December 4th, I wrote on the Spurs-Nuggets game thread:
And what’s this about trading the wee Frenchman?
Are you people fucking crazy? I go away for two months and this site turns into Spurstalk? When will the trade Manu posts begin? PTR CANNOT FUNCTION IF SOMEBODY ON HERE IRRATIONALLY HATES TONY PARKER MORE THAN ME!!!
Um, no, Tony isn’t the problem. He has, by all appearances, seemed to improve his mid-range jumper. It’s looking all normal NBA jump shot looking now instead of something you’d see from a Special Olympics Shotputter.
So I thought my feelings on this matter were generally understood, but I guess not. If I really thought Tony Parker sucked, then I probably wouldn't be stating that it'd be crazy to trade him. It is my fault for giving ATS too much credit for having a brain and I apologize. I suppose with me being away so long, there were bound to be some misunderstandings from people not used to my writing.
And for the record, I never wrote anything remotely suggesting that Tony Parker has been a "problem" this year. In my Magic Recap, I wrote that I wasn't happy with his play in that game, and particularly in the fourth quarter. I also wrote he has been our best fourth quarter player this season so far. Weird how that sentence didn't make the ATS rant, huh?
But, as long as we've entered another sticky Manu vs. Tony debate, why don't we get to the meat of ATS' post, just for kicks.
He alleged that the Spurs have two problems:
1. The defense and lack of a second rebounding big
2. Manu Ginobili is not playing well.
He then defends his second statement with, basically, nothing other than Ginobili's 3-PT shooting stats. And there is a reason for this, boys and girls. BECAUSE THAT'S THE ONLY THING MANU ISN'T DOING WELL.
Why don't you look up all the numbers? The field goal %, the FT %, the rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, they're all in line with Ginobili's career norms. His turnover rate is even lower. Adjust for the fact that he's playing four less minutes than last year (and taking two less shots), and there's really no drop off. Did you see how he went around Ariza last night like he was a pylon? No screen or anything, just blew right by him. And I assure you, Ariza is a considerable better defender than that goofball so-called "Manu Stopper" Vujacic. If Ray Freakin' Allen can go around Vujacic at will and Manu couldn't, then maybe Sasha kinda sorta actually sucks and Manu was just injured, huh?
What's ironic is that Manu is shooting a career best in two point field goals. You know what that means? Even with his .345 3PT percentage, he's STILL a more efficient scorer than one Tony Parker, as he always has been. Isn't that the real relevant stat here, if you want to compare the two as scorers?
Parker's total shooting percentage is 55.9, which despite his fabled jumper, is only the third best of his career. Manu, with all his three point struggles, is still clocking in at 58.8. Take away the free throws and he's scored 492 points on 476 shot attempts, for 1.03 points per shot. Manu has 296 points on 277 shot attempts, for 1.07 points per shot. And that doesn't even take into account that the latter is a superior free throw shooter. Again, explain to me why Ginobili shouldn't be shooting more?
Anyone who doesn't think that Manu would score a hell of a lot more points than Tony if the two of them took the exact same number of shots in a season is either A) lying or B) dumb. Last year was their closest ever in shot attempts and Manu scored 147 more points in 59 less shots.
I mean, honestly, ATS has this box, showing all the 3PT percentages on the team (including Bruce Bowen and, ahem, Blake Ahearn) and thinks it's something meaningful. If Bowen shoots threes so well AND he's a better defender than Manu, how come he's not the one riding the pine there then, Wayne?
I hate to break this to you bud, but Tony canning one 18-footer after another isn't a reason to throw him a parade. He's a starting NBA guard, and last I checked, they're kinda, sorta expected to bury WIDE OPEN MIDRANGE JUMPSHOTS. You know why he gets open 18-footers? Do you know why people have gone under the screen on him since he was a rookie and why they will continue to do so until the end of time?
BECAUSE. THEY. DON'T. CARE. IF. HE. MAKES. THEM.
There, did I just blow your mind?
It's the same reason that Tim, or Amare, or anyone with a halfway decent ability to score inside, gets left open from 18 feet. Because there are so many more damaging, high-percentage ways to score for a professional basketball team, letting penetrators shoot long twos is a sound, winning defensive strategy, like a football defense giving up a five yard pass. Sure, you'll give up some points in basketball, and some first downs in football, but forcing a team to nickel-and-dime their way for a whole game will eventually cause diminishing returns.
Smart players like Manu have figured this out a long time ago. He understands simple mathematical concepts such as 2/6 three pointers = 3/6 two pointers. Maybe this is why math was his favorite subject in school. If he's not going to drive for a layup, then what is the point of taking a two point shot exactly?
And you know what? The whole topic of shooting and scoring as the sole measure of basketball worth is something that only a Parker-loving lunatic would use to defend him. And why is this kids?
Because Parker thinks he cannot win a game for the Spurs without scoring. He's not a very focused defender, he's a reluctant passer, he doesn't rebound, he's not a defensive playmaker in any way and if he doesn't score early and often, he mentally checks out. That about cover it?
Oh and for the love of God, please stop with the "Spurs offense isn't conducive to getting a point guard assists" argument. Just stop. Anyone who says that just sounds like a moron. Any offense won't be conducive to producing many assists for a point guard if the point guard insists on leading the team in shot attempts game after game after game. No, we don't get many fast breaks, but when we do, how often does Tony give up the ball? Never. That's how often. How many times does he settle for the 18-footer instead of driving and dishing in an average game? How many times does he get the ball on the reset with like 13 seconds left on the clock and make up his mind to hoist up a shot come hell or high water? Good lord. Anyone as fast as he is and surrounded by the shooters he's surrounded with could get ten dimes a night in his sleep. You don't think Chris Paul or Steve Nash could get 10 assists in this offense?
Tony's a hell of a player. A hell of a player. But christ, let's call a spade a spade. The only reason he doesn't pass more is because he doesn't like passing. It's not that the offense won't let him rack up assists and it's not that he doesn't have the ability. He just sometimes doesn't want to. Stop making excuses for it.
You want proof? Here's one of my favorite Spurs games of all time. See, Manu isn't the only guy Pop jerks around with. Manu might have to keep shuttling back and forth between starting and being a bench guy, but Pop also likes to screw with Tony's head too. He usually has the "shoot, shoot, shoot" mantra with Tony, but every so often he gets on him about chucking too much and has to rein him in and remind him that he's the point guard. Two seasons ago in December was one of those times. Tony was going through a particular shot-happy stretch and I think the boss and he had a bit of a talk about it.
So, Tony, decided to stage a mini-protest and show Pop how much the team would miss him if he didn't shoot. He took two shots in the first half against the Clippers and missed both. Meanwhile, he racked up 12 assists and we had 65 points at half time. So much for that plan, eh Frenchie? Tony took eight shots in the third quarter (fixing what wasn't broken), scored nine points, and this time we scored just 25 in the period. The game was a quintessential example of the twin myths that A) Tony can't pass well and B) the team needs him to shoot a lot to win.
NO. The team simply needs Tony to play smart and well, same as Tim, Manu, or whoever else. How much scoring plays into the "smart and well" formula is often up solely to Tony's discretion. The only people who actually care how much he scores are Tony and his low basketball IQ ESPN-catchphrase spewing fans.
Finally, because I can, I'm going to prove that me and other people (translation: Argentines) who say that Tony doesn't pass to Manu aren't crackpots. I had a little time to kill, so I did some research today.
I looked up the box scores and play-by-plays of the 23 games that Manu and Tony have played together so far this season. In that time, Ginobili has accumulated 120 made field goals and 84 assists.
Here's the breakdown:
120 Baskets Made: Unassisted 68, Duncan 13, Parker 13, Bonner 7, Hill 7, Finley 5, Thomas 4, Mason 2, Tolliver
84 Assists: Duncan 18, Bonner 17, Parker 14, Finley 10, Mason 7, Thomas 6, Hill 5, Oberto 3, Udoka 2, Bowen, Tolliver
Parker has accumulated 154 assists in these 23 games. Somehow 13 of them, a little over 8%, have gone to the team's second leading scorer (outside of Tony himself, of course). No one else finds this the least bit odd?
Or the fact that Manu, a guy averaging 3.6 assists per game, has somehow gotten Tony more baskets (14), than his point guard, has gotten him (13)? That doesn't trip anyone else out? Just me? Okay then.
The ironic thing is that this season Tony has been passing well. He averaged seven dimes in December and really has been playing amazingly. It seems, and your guess is as good as mine, that for whatever reason, he doesn't seem to pass it very much to Schnozzo.
Me? I like this Unassisted guy. Very unselfish player and he really seems to have good chemistry with Gino. Must know all his sweet spots on the floor or something. Pop should totally play him more.
Oh, uh, just in case, that last paragraph was a joke, Wayne. Now run along and don't you dare talk shit about Manu Ginobili on my blog again.
[Ed note: I assume this last paragraph is just to bait me? Well, I guess I took the bait. This isn't ATS's blog. It's also not yours. It's mine. That's why you see me editing your posts and not the other way around. Don't pull this ridiculous shit again. Last warning.]