Preseason Preview: Olympiacos Piraeus vs San Antonio Spurs a.k.a. The Spurs Take On The Olympics

The weekend is here and the Greek circus is in town! Well, not really, but they are mostly Greek and they will traverse American soil for the next few days under the troupe name "Olympiacos Piraeus," facing off against a bevy of NBA teams eager to show their shiny new weapons.

On a more serious note, it's the second game of the preseason. Hopes about this Spurs team's potential is sky high and about to blast through the roof. Still, Coach Pop couldn't give a damn about winning. Or maybe he will, given that it'd be shameful to lose to a European squad, albeit this team is one of, if not the best Euro team around.

After the jump, you might want to close your eyes. This thing's gonna get ugly after a DeJuan Blair rebound or (twenty)two.

Before we get to the real preview, allow me to waste your time, because you know, recently I've had time to waste so why not share it with others, right? My crazy pills-level insanity has me thinking, "Aside from yummy but smelly Greek food, and maybe a semblance of decent competition, what can this Olympiacos team give us Spurs fans?"

My mind quickly flips through several ideas until I realize the answer is right in front of me: Olympiacos. I don't know what the hell it exactly means but it sure does sound close to the word "Olympics." And hey, will you look at that. It's from Greece! How can we not make the connection? Yeah, yeah, I'll stop yakking now and get to the point in the next paragraph.

Using jollyrogerwilco's power of the CADTWNHMS, it made me wonder: if the Spurs were Olympians, what kind of sport would they be playing? D'oh! Of course it's basketball. Right, I'm such an idiotic d-bag wasting everyone's time. But really, aside from playing around with a round orange ball, what kind of Olympic events would they excel in?

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Spur-lympics: Where wine tasting is a real sport.

Thanks to lazy ass photo-chopping, dreaming out these certain scenarios is now possible. Or as Barney Stinson puts it best, "possimpible" - the nexus between possible and impossible. Don't even ask me to elaborate on that one. Just trust me that awesomeness abounds. Anyway, these inputs are purely personal, and if you have nothing to do before game time and want to contribute your own, you can do so in the comments section below. Thanks 'twas nice knowin' ya see you next twenty years bye!

Oh, and before you scroll down any further, here's a video of all sorts of Olympic WIN enough to make your competitive juices flowing:



The Olympians from San Antonio

Tony Parker - 50-meter dash

Let's start with the easy one, shall we? We all know Tee-Pee's a speedster, so I put him in short shorts and loose tank top, which I believe Eva would like to be Tony's new night wear. I just hope he can give the ephemeral Usain Bolt a run for his golden shoe-loving moolah.

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OMG, Eva would soooo love those calves.

Roger Mason, Jr. and Matt Bonner - Archery

Another obvious choice. I guess you can add FinDog here, too. Now, if only Money Mase can find that bullseye more often...

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Mason with the swag. Or the wag. Tongue-wag.

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This photo has not been tampered for purposes of realism.

Tim Duncan - 50-meter Butterfly

Horrible 'chop, I know. Tim could've been a pro swimmer in the mold of Ian Thorpe or Michael Phelps if the ghost of James Naismith didn't come calling carrying a peach basket. I chose the butterfly event for Tim because he seems to pull off the hardest moves (like those low-post moves requiring tough, tough footwork) with a lot of grace and ease. Dare I say it? He's just too fundamentally sound in just about everything.

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Must... get... to that... 5th...first...


George Hill - Olympic Diver

Albatross has long limbs, and I'm no expert here, but I'm thinking that wingspan and body type will contribute to good form when diving. He could be a gymnast, too, given that sport's propensity for fielding extremely young kids, but there's always something alluring about a Greg Louganis-type athlete. Not the gay part, of course, not that there's anything wrong with that. (copyright: Hipuks)

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McSteamy, chillin' like it's the preseason.

Richard Jefferson - Pole Vault

I'm kinda iffy about this. The only criteria I considered was that in RJ's younger years, he can really jump. Of course, he can still dunk on anybody's head right now. I could've used the high-jumper photo but adding a pole out there makes for good effect, not to mention a perfect tool for an escape artist.

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"Finally! I'm free of marital bondage!"


Antonio McDyess - Equestrian

You might say that equestrian is soooo lame. Well let me tell you, it is not. Uh, I actually haven't tried it myself, but it feels that way. Look, you sit your azz on a jumping, bouncing horse who probably wants to tip you over your back so bad, and then both of you circle a dizzyingly difficult track, and you tell me that's lame? Get outta here. Plus, the sport is quite esteemed, and seeing the venerable and respected veteran that Dice is, I put him on his proper horse, or uh, perch.

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"Stupid davis... putting me in this outfit and donkey."

Ian Mahinmi - Judo

This is seriously up for debate, except that my mind right now just thinks Yawn is a foul-machine. Judo is a physical sport that involves throwing your opponent, and if Ian fouls the next time, I want him to foul the opponent hard - yes, judo throw him if need be. We need someone to remind Pau Gasol how marshmallow-dipped-in-hair soft he is. You can also consider the tat-covered, bar room brawl-loving Marcus Haislip for this particular sport. Oh, and Blair is more than qualified as he is a certified judoka.

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"Duh... so Coach, I box out like deez?"

DeJuan Blair - Weightlifting

Rebounding is dirty work, and we need someone to do the heavy lifting for us. Enter Heavy D in this gawdawful 'chop job, and your rebounding woes are begone. Just like it was miracle whipped or 2nd round picked.

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Unbridled rebounding aggression personified.

Manu Ginobili - Synchronized Swimming

Forgive me if this sounds so gay (again, not that there's anything wrong with that), but this is the first thing that came to mind when comparing Manu to other Olympic sports. And I love watching synch swimming, so I can't argue with that. First, the intensity:

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Hear him roar... in a swimsuit, this time.

Of course, synchronized swimming also requires the proper amount of grace and beauty, not to mention projecting that megawatt smile in front of the judges, which I think is the X-factor for every great synchronized swimmer. Looks like Manu has that in check, too:

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Too many Ginobilis is making my head explode.

I realize I don't have anything for Gregg Popovich yet (and some others, for that matter). Maybe he can be one of those Olympic judges who seem to purposefully screw some athletes out of a rightful medal. Or better, he can be the sadistic coach torturing those little Chinese gymnast kids. Alright, enough of this crazy Olympic nonsense. An honest-to-greatness preview and your game thread is up next.

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Olympiacos Piraeus @ San Antonio Spurs (Preseason)
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: October 9, 2009, 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: It's probably on local TV in Texas, but the rest of us are out of luck.


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How They Stack Up
0-0 Home 0-0
0-0 Road 0-0
0.0 Offense 0.0
0.0 Defense 0.0
0 FG% 0
0 3-pt% 0
0 FT% 0
0 Rebounds 0
0 TOs 0
0-0 Last 10 0-0
N/A Streak N/A
PG
SG
SF
PF
C
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Spurs
(0-0)

Vs


Olympiacos
(0-0)
Matchups

Tony Parker

PG


Theodoros Papaloukas
Tony Parker is playing tonight, despite a busy summer of international ball. Theo Papaloukas is one of the best point guards in Europe. He was a member of the Greek national team that beat the pre-Redeem Team US squad in the semifinals of the 2006 FIBA Worlds. He's a tall point guard who can run the pick-and-roll to devastating effect, so Tony might have his work cut out for him defensively. On offense, expect Parker and/or Hill to take advantage of the slow-footed Greek.
Frenchie McWonderbutt
Team USA Killer

Manu Ginobili

SG


Von Wafer
The Manu comeback tour continues. Von Wafer benefited heavily from the presence of Yao Ming last season, then threw a hissy fit during the latter part, effectively ending his chances of re-upping with the Rockets. The guy can shoot, but Ginobili can do EVERYTHANG.
The Sickness
Crispy

Richard Jefferson

SF


Josh Childress
Childress could've been a useful player for us last season and this year, too, but apparently he's fallen in love with Europe. If RJ and Josh play significant minutes, this is a good matchup to watch as Childress is no spring chicken on defense, which should put Jefferson's offensive prowess to the test.
Princess Peanut
Likes Greece, apparently

Tim Duncan

PF


Linas Kleiza
Popovich will certainly not allow the Spurs to lose this game (it's a pride thing, you know), so I'm expecting Timmeh to play tonight. If Olympiakos matches him up with Kleiza, it ain't gonna be pretty for the Greek team. Maybe while Tim dominates Linas, in the process, he can ask Kleiza to sign with San Antonio for the minimum next year? Think about it.
GoatPuff
Power Forward? Not so much
5
Antonio McDyess

C


Ioannis Bourousis
Bouroussis is the best big in Europe. That said, I give the edge to Dice, since this game will be played with NBA rules. Then again, if Ian starts, he's going to have foul trouble against this guy - or against any player, for that matter. I watched Bouroussis in the semis of the last FIBA Europe tournament, and he's quite the active fella, confounding Spain with his hustle and size before the Spaniards finally figured out how to shut him down. Still, he's a force the Spurs should watch out for.
Brian McKnight
Keep your stupid center
5
DeJuan Blair

Bench


Nikola Vujčić
I have no idea who Olympiacos' bench players are, but Croatian Nikola Vujčić seems like the best one. He's like the Manu of Olympiacos, one of the first guys off the bench, and he gets decent numbers. Plus, he wears number 7, in homage of the Croatian sensation and fellow countryman, Toni Kukoc. Also, did you know he was the first ever player to record a triple-double in the Euroleague? On our end, DeJuan Blair is hungry. I hope he likes Greek food. (gyros or baklava, anyone?) If Blair gets matched up with 300-pound Greek giant, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, run for your lives. Earthquake's gonna come.
Blairzilla
Manu 0.2

Gregg Popovich

Coach


Panagiotis Giannakis
"The Dragon" goes up against "The Drunken Master". I'll let you figure out on your own who's who. Seriously though, Giannakis is one of the brilliant minds in international basketball, and Pop will probably invite him to his "lawn" later to pick the Greek coach's brain.
Wino
Greek Bob Knight?

Auxcuadro_medium

Intangibles: This game is being played using NBA rules, and on US soil. The replacement refs might partially negate that with their ineptness, or augment that with their brilliance, whichever shows up tonight. Either way, we don't need no refs' help to decide the outcome for us. Advantage: Spurs.

Mojo: During the summer, Bouroussis took advantage of a hapless Spurs FO trying to get a good big man to complement Duncan, and leveraged himself to a higher payday with Olympiacos. I smell revenge blood. Or is that fine wine staining Pop's wrinkled suit? Advantage: Spurs.

Winner: No Greek team, or even any other international team for that matter, is going to step on Gregg Popovich's lawn and get away with murder. Bellasa might kill me for this, but I'll throw my own Von Wafer hissy fit if we don't win by at least 20 points.


Keys To The Game

  • Establish dominance early - The Spurs can't give the Greeks confidence enough for them to make life difficult for the team. The big 4 should run them out of the building in the first two quarters, and it'll open up a lot of time for the roster applicants to show their wares.
  • Minutes for Mahinmi (M4M) - I prefer to believe that last game's foulfest was an abberation. Also, some of us here think some of the calls against Ian were incredulous. Hopefully, the replacement refs will allow Mahinmi to play aggressive without getting too ticky-tacky with their whistles. The FO needs to see how this kid will pan out, and they can only make a fair evaluation if he gets the requisite court time.
  • Knock down the long ball - Even though the defensive 3-second rule in the NBA might stifle its defensive game plan a bit, I still expect Olympiacos to rely heavily on a zone-type of defense - 2-3, matchup or shifting zone, they'll use it to limit the inside productivity of our big men. The Spurs' archers shooters should be able to make 'em pay and bust open the zone.

Some Other Reading

Olympiacos

Olympiacos.org: The Greek team's official website. This is the english version, of course.

Slam and Freaknick's Euroleague Adventures: Pretty funny name for a blog, but these guys do a good job of monitoring especially NBA players who jump ship to another continent. Oh, and they think that tonight's game is going to be George Mikan-esque old school, which is nice if you're a Spurs fan, but boring if you're a useless, idiotic prick.

The Hoop Doctors: Olympiacos almost got Allen Iverson. Good lord, the owners of this team are filthy rich.

Euroleague.net: Send your fanmail to Greece's "Baby Shaq", Sofoklis Schortsanitis. My question would go like this: Do you think you can beat The Real Shaq in an eating contest?

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: Do yourself a favor and head on over to Tim and Graydon's space. They always have some unbelievable stuff going on there.

Project Spurs: This is a pretty slick fan blog, and they usually have good content about the Spurs.

SpursTalk: They echo my opinion of tonight's destruction derby.

Twitter Spurs
Manu Ginobili @manuginobili - Thank y'all 4 showing the team & me so much love & support yesterday! It was great!. We r gonna have a fun season!
Dejuan Blair @DeJuan45 - I want to thank everyone for all the love you gave me tonight!

Some Other Viewing

Highlights from the previous preseason game against Houston, and a slew of postgame videos, for your viewing pleasure. Because PtR now gets awesome support from Spurs.com, I'll be using their videos instead of youtube. I would especially recommend Pop's interview, another classic. There are parts in between questions, when everything goes silent and he shoots the reporters a look of disbelief, like he's been charged with a heinous crime. Plus, he calls George his favorite player, "in the day and in the night." He also beams about Bonner's increased willingness to get rid of the rock quickly. Way to show your trust in the guy, Pop.














Other things of possible interest

Where to Tune In

TV

No news yet if there's going to be a worldwide broadcast or whatever. The NBA sure does know how to make its fans excited, or maybe outraged.

Online

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in this thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". Also, sending a love letter to dmenendez@gmail.com may provide an answer, courtesy of the FSM.

Spurs League Pass audio is still free, I believe, but didn't work the last game. We'll post the Yahoo audio link during the game.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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