Game 10 Recap: Manu's The Only Sexy Brunette Tony Needs

Game 10, Vs. Chicago: Spurs 103, 94     (Record 9-1)        RAGE: +2

Quite frankly, I knew this day would come.

The date: June 23, 2005.

The location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX.

The event: Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Detroit Pistons vs. San Antonio Spurs.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has to sub out his 23-year old point guard, Tony Parker, who is absolutely spazzing out in the biggest game of his young career. Even though Parker is unquestionably one of the three best players on the team, he is clearly nervous and has to be calmed down on the bench twice within the first five minutes of the game.


The calm veteran Pop replaced Parker with?

Brent Barry.

Poor Brent Barry.

Parker didn't say anything at the time, but if the French are known for anything, it's that they don't back down when threatened. Slowly, methodically, Tony plotted his revenge.

The lesson: Do not mess with Tony Parker.

Call me cynical, but I can't say I had much faith in the Parker-Longoria nuptials lasting for the long term. Ever since early in their relationship when Eva made the colossal faux pas (<-- that's French for being a total bitch) of saying in some interview that she - being seven years older - had to teach Tony how to boink her properly, never realizing the how horrible those comments would come off in the super machismo world of pro sports. Within a day she retracted, saying that she meant she had to teach Tony how to be romantic or some BS and that "Tony is the teacher in the bedroom," but of course it was too late.

Right then, I knew they were doomed.

You don't dare a rich, famous, relatively attractive Frenchman to prove he knows his way around a lady's hoohaa. If he wasn't inclined to feel that way already, Eva's comment no doubt inspired Tony to think to himself, "I'll show her... I'LL SHOW THEM ALL."

And no, I don't feel the least bit bad for Eva. You totally know she's been hooking up with that Saved By The Bell twit this whole time. I do feel bad for the Barrys though, but I have a sneaky feeling Brent's no angel himself. Never trust a man who can dance, I say.

Whose marriage will Frenchy McWonderbutt break up next? Look out, Many...

(via mcrouz)



Now, about the game. We were down 45-28 at one point, midway through the second quarter, yet we weren't playing nearly as bad as the score suggested. Defensively, we held the Bulls to 47 points in the first half, on 42 percent shooting, with just eight assists to five turnovers. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah both started well in the first quarter for the Bulls, but they both cooled off after the first quarter. Tim, Dice and Beast combined for 12 first half rebounds and a couple of blocks and they were doing a pretty good job of sealing the paint save for the occasional drive by Derrick Rose. Really, outside of Rose, the two guys who were hurting us were reserves Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver, both former members of the Jazz, who had their way with us last year too (foreshadowing alert).

The problem was on the other end, where all the offensive magic from the previous nine games seemed to disappear like a puff of smoke. It wasn't really anything Chicago was doing. A few jumpers and drives to the basket were contested here and there, but for the most part the guys were missing a lot of layups, Blair, Manu and Tim in particular. Homeboy Omer Asik's length was bothering Tim somewhat, but I was surprised he didn't use his craftiness to get that guy in foul trouble immediately with some pump fakes.

The weird part was that just like good shooting is contagious, so is bad shooting, apparently. Literally every guy on the team was missing bunnies at once. The Spurs shot 32 percent for the half, and had just 37 points, and the main reason it was only a ten point deficit was because Tony closed with six straight points.

Still, I had some hope. I figured eventually the Bulls would feel the effects of their SEGABABA and show fatigue at both ends. I assumed that eventually some of our threes would go in. I hoped that Manu wouldn't look as old and slow as he did in the first 24 minutes. Mainly I was encouraged by the defense. Even when the Bulls were scoring, it was more due to Rose's brilliance than anything fundamentally bad we were doing. The Bulls weren't getting a ton of fast break points or too many layups. The Spurs weren't being overly sloppy with the ball (just five turnovers at half) and making it easy for Chicago.

It was just a few too many missed layups. For a team that has as much firepower as the Spurs, ten points is nothing.

On the first possession of the third Manu drilled a three and just like that the spell was broken. A Duncan banker, a driving Manu layup and another one after a touchdown pass from Timmy and we were off and running.

Pop's decision to start Bonner in the second half worked wonders and the Bulls had no answers for what we were doing on either end of the floor. Rocket swished another three in the quarter, Tim had eight, RJ had seven and by the time the dust settled the Spurs had as many points in the third period (37) as they did in the entire first half, shooting 71 percent and making all three of their attempts from downtown. They also had 15 rebounds and 9 assists in the quarter.

The Bulls mostly settled for jumpers and they didn't have the same spring in their legs as they did in the first half. The shots were flatter and Duncan cleaned the glass time and again, doing his best Kevin Love impression and coming up with eight defensive boards in the period. Even the guards got into the rebounding act, as Hill and Manu had five pulls between them in the third. The Bulls shot 26 percent in the third, with Deng, Korver, Brewer, Taj Gibson and Keith Bogans combining for 0-of-11. Outside of Rose, they had nobody.

The fourth quarter was more of a free-for-all for the Bulls (35 points, 62 percent, 13 for Rose), largely because Duncan had to rest, but by then the Spurs scorers had the scent and they weren't about to let down. It was nice to see that 15 of their 29 points in the period were scored non-Big Three guys. Hill was particularly forceful, like he was against the Mavs in the playoffs last year, but Dice and Neal and RJ chipped in as well.

I guess a fairly clean way to sum up the game was that we had two quarters of great defense and two quarters of great offense and it was enough to beat a tired team that was missing one of their best players (no Carlos Boozer, you remember). The Spurs out-rebounded the Bulls by 20 and just about everyone they put on the floor played their roles to perfection in the second half. As has been the case most of the year, the Three Stars will not be adequate to do the team justice, so my apologies to Hill, Dice, RJ and Tony.

Well scratch that. I don't feel too bad about leaving Tony out if it tonight, actually.

Still, this was a huge win, considering the events earlier in the day. If you noticed, I gave it a RAGE point, because I felt the circumstances dictated it. I totally thought the Spurs would be in a fog and distracted and going through the motions, because silly me, I think they're human. I thought the stage was set for the Bulls to push 'em around a bit on the boards and just be mentally sharper, and instead the opposite happened.

Because of the way the Spurs responded, there is a chance, however slight, that this controversy will blow over without causing too much collateral damage and ruining the season. If we happened to lose this game, it would've opened the door for a lot of media criticism, both local and national, that Parker's penchant for O.P.P. (yeah you know me!) was a huge distraction that was going to fracture the locker room. With a win, people can't write that story. It's not an obvious A to B line, which sportswriters covet and TV networks live on.

That doesn't mean this is over. Not by a long shot. If you watched Manu's postgame inteview, you may have noticed, as I did, that he wasn't as jovial as he usually is after wins. He had an edge in his voice and his answers were clipped and came off a bit condescending. It's no secret that Manu was very close with Barry. He'll be able to play on because he's a pro, but I doubt he'll ever look at Tony quite the same way.

In a sense, maybe it was good for the team that they had a game so soon after the news broke, because the task at hand distracted them from thinking about it, but when there's more idle time, it will sink in and I don't think it will be pretty. Tony distanced himself from the group somewhat when he started dating Longoria, and he may be even more distant now that their relationship ended the way it did. You wonder what kind of conversations the Spurs will be having in their bedrooms with their significant others over the next few nights. 

Thanks a pantsful, Frenchie.

Your Three Stars:

3. Matt Bonner. I can't think of a single mistake he made during our fabulous third quarter. He nailed both of his shots, kept making the right pass over and over again when he was covered, and his defense on Gibson was superb. A lot of times he was putting a body on the Bulls bigs to free up Duncan for the rebound. The team best +27 was not a coincidence.

2. Manu Ginobili. After a sluggish first half, Leeloo was a perfect 6-of-6 in the second, with two threes, two lay-ups, two freebies and two jams driving through the lane, which is kinda crazy considering he had just one coming into the game, and that was on a breakway. Also four rebounds, three assists and two steals after the break.

1. Tim Duncan. All things considered, his most impressive outing of the season. The shooting wasn't really impressive, but I'll take 18 boards, five assists and two blocks every time no questions asked. He really shut down the Bulls inside game and make them settle for jumpers. I've said it time and again, what we need from him is to be the defensive hub. The points are gravy.

Up Next: Friday @ Utah (8-4). Our third straight game against a top-flight point guard. The Jazz recently swept a four game road trip around America's wang, including a back-to-back against Miami and Orlando, as well as wins over Atlanta and Charlotte. I think in all four games they were down at least 10 at half time. Utah's chief weapon is obviously Deron Williams, but they've also replaced Boozer with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap has been a monster for them and AK-47's still around to fill up the box score. Like the Bulls they have a hole at shooting guard (Raja Bell and his 7.3 PER), and their bench is pretty thin. It also helps us that Mehmet Okur is still out, rehabbing his Achilles. The Jazz get to the line often and shoot freebies at a good clip, but they're awful (33 percent) from three and make just five per game.

I'm still inclined to think this will be a loss, considering it's a roadie against a team we went 0-4 against last season, but the Spurs have already surprised us a few times this season. If there's any team that can prepare you for playing Utah, it's the Bulls, so we'll see if the guys can match Utah's toughness. If not, no biggie.

Also, I don't say this often, but I wanted to give a tip o' the cap to the ESPN guys for their professionalism in the telecast. They only mentioned Tony's situation once, with like two minutes to go in the first half, and it was just the play-by-play guy. He just said Parker's getting a divorce and didn't go into detail about teammates or the Barrys. The analysts, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy didn't utter a peep.

This is fan-created content on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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