Back before the cruel realization of my lack of talent, I dreamed of being a great magician; the mysterious cape, the endless universe inside the black hat, the lovely assistant and those long road trips. Yes, I dreamed once.
And I believe it is time to dream of wondrous things again.
Stan Van Gundy: The Early Years.
Pre-Game: I am the Amazing Manudini!
The Spurs rolled into this game at unprecedented 11-1. Half of the NBA universe expected yet another traditional slow start from the Spurs while the other half just patiently perched themselves above Tim Duncan’s dying body. Although the Spurs have benefited from a weak schedule early on, they have knocked out a few impressive victories against OKC, CHI, and UTH. Spurs fans and the rest of the NBA will soon have a good read on the Silver and Black with ORL, DAL, and NO in the final weeks of November.
The blueprint to defeating the Magic seems obvious; go right at Howard on offense, open up your shooters, and protect the perimeter on defense. Easier said than done. The Magic are holding opponents to a league-low 90.3 points per game and have only allowed 100+ points twice this season. While Orlando is not particularly efficient on offense, they are skilled in controlling the pace. The Magic have the talent and the experience to blow the doors of the arena and also to win those close games. San Antonio needs 48 solid minutes for this one.
Speaking of blowing the doors off, I’m sure fans of both teams remember the last time these two met. Ginobili led the Spurs to a 112-100 victory with an aggressive 43 points.
Can we get a repeat? Magic time. Game time. You ready? YOU READY?!?!?! MAGIC TIME!! GAME TIME!!
Pop just LOVES Arsenio Hall
Spurs Starting Five: Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, Duncan, Blair
Magic Starting Five: Nelson, Carter, Richardson, Lewis, Howard
1st Quarter – Pick a card, any card. Preferably the bent one.
- 11:47 Wide open 3Pt for Lewis. Greeeeeeeat.... ORL 3 - SAS 0
- 11:20 Ginobili counters with a 3PT ORL 3 - SAS 3
- 11:09 Bonner in for Blair. You won't see Blair on Lewis again tonight.
- 10:43 Bounce pass from Manu to Duncan for a layup. ORL 3 - SAS 5
- 10:29 Another Lewis 3PT
- 10:11 Bonner for 3PT. This game will be in the 1000s.
- 9:45 Parker driving layup from open court run. ORL 6 - SAS 10
- 9:21 After tech FT (def 3 sec) Howard gets post move dunk over Duncan. ORL 9 - SAS 10
- 9:07 Parker gets another driving layup. Lanes look open for guards tonight.
- 8:42 Ginobili slows up Howard on transition defense and then passes to duncan for easy layup. Manu's awareness is in incredible. ORL timeout. ORL 9 - SAS 14
- 8:23 Duncan contests Carter tear drop. Howard gets rebound only to be blocked by Duncan. I thought Duncan was old and stuff?
- 8:04 Blair drives and gets fouled. Makes 1 of 2. ORL 9 - SAS 15
- 7:47 Nelson hits jumper off screen. That will be there all night if he gets hot. ORL 11 - SAS 15
- 7:02: Duncan gets nice block on Carter but called for foul. Meh... Carter makes both FT. ORL 13 - SAS 15
- 6:15 ORL misses jumper. Howard is screaming "He's holding me!" on the 3rd possession in a row.
- 5:38 After being blocked by Duncan, Howard gets a put back. ORL 15 - SAS 15
- 5:37 Howard gets technical (finally). Hill hits technical. ORL 15 - SAS 16
- 5: Parker to Duncan for layup. Magic interior defense is lacking. ORL 15 - SAS 18
- 5: Nelson off screen hits jumper. Spurs needs to tighten up screen defense ORL 17 - SAS 18
- 4: Nelson hits a 3PT. Not good ORL 20 - SAS 18
- 4:10 Duncan picks up his second foul. Howard hits one. ORL 21 - SAS 18
- 3:46 Parker hits jumper. Parker playing hard tonight. 6 PTs and 3 ASTS already. ORL 21 - SAS 20.
- 3:36 Nelson hits quick jumper. See my comment at 7:47. Pop calls a timeout. ORL 23 - SAS 20
- 3:00 Parker takes it baseline to baseline and earns a pair of FT. Frenchie hits one. ORL 23 - SAS 21
- 2:46 Howard travels while trying to post up on Dice. Spurs need to make him post far out.
- 2:06 Duhon hits a jumper off of screen. ORL 25 - SAS 21
- 1:47 Hill breaks Redicks ankles and gets easy layup. ORL 25 - SAS 23
- 1:26 Redick hits open 3PT ORL 28 - SAS 23
- 1:05 McDyess hits jumper. Howard will not want to defend that. ORL 28 - 25
- 0:29 Redick slices Spurs defense and hits jumper. ORL 30 - SAS 25
- 0:04 Parker drives and kicks out to Hill for corner 3PT. ORL 30 - SAS 28
Both teams are shooting efficiently to start the game. Orlando is getting the bulk of their scoring from screens and San Antonio doesn't seem to interested in adjusting. Nelson is on pace for a huge night with 9 PTS, 4-5 FG, 1-1 3PT. San Antonio will have to be careful with Duncan who picked up two early fouls in this one. McDyess seems to be doing a good job against Howard by not allowing him to post up deep. This may be the match up of the night. Orlando's interior defense is horrible so expect Manu and Tony to have a great stat line by night's end.
End of 1st, 30 - 28 Orlando Up
HOWARD REBOUND! HOWARD DUNK! HOWARD SMASH!
2nd Quarter – Hey, Carter! It isn't time for the vanishing act yet.
- 11:44 Ginobili takes it to the glass. ORL 30 - SAS 30
- 11:28 Redick hits jumper. ORL 32 - SAS 30
- 10:45 Defense tries to cheat on Bonner. The Ginger hits a 3PT to give Spurs lead. Van Gundy calls timeout. ORL 32 - SAS 33
- 10:24 Another Magic screen creates points. ORL 34 - SAS 33
- 10:09 McDyess gets a nice assist from Manu and lays it in. ORL 34 - SAS 35
- 9:33 Bad transition defense puts Duncan on Duhon. Duhon hits 3PT. ORL 37- SAS 35
- 8:53 Duncan smashes Duhon tear drop. It was purty.
- 8:18 Manu hits world's highest tear drop. ORL 37 - SAS 37
- 8:01 Gorat tips in Bass miss. Spurs not blocking out very well. ORL 39 - SAS 37
- 7:13 Hill pump fakes defender, steps in, and hits jumper. Great move. ORL 39 - SAS 39
- 7:02 Carter gets 3rd foul (charge). Hasn't been a factor though.
- 6:01 Pop calls timeout. The last two plays have broken down. Orlando has also turned the ball over 3 times this quarter. A proper adjustment here could really give Spurs some control on this game.
- 5: 54 Jefferson misses 3PT. Bad stat night but he is hustling and playing hard.
- 5:33 Howard scores over Timmy. Duncan won't be able to do much against Howard's strength. ORL 41- SAS 39
- 5:16 Ginobili hits jumper off screen. ORL 41 - SAS 41
- 4:01 Parker earns FT trip and hits both. ORL 41 - SAS 43
- 3:42 McDyess back on Howard but can't stop turn around hook. ORL 43 - SAS 43
- 3:17 McDyess too high on Howard. Nelson throws alley-oop to Howard. ORL 45 - SAS 43
- 3:01 Parker steps back and drains it. ORL 45 - SAS 45
- 2:36 Howard fouled by McDyess on tough hook shot. This is the best we can do against him but Splitter has to see some minutes against Howard sometime tonight. Redick appears done for now (hand pain). Howard hits one FT. ORL 46 - SAS 45
- 2:19 Pietrus fouls a driving Ginobili. Manu hits both FT. ORL 46 - SAS 47
- 2:01 Lewis hits jumper while double teamed. ORL 48 - SAS 47
- 1:37 Parker tear drop over Howard. ORL 48 - SAS 49
- 1:13 Bonner loses Bass. Bas with easy laup. ORL 50 - SAS 49
- 0:09 A driving Parker finds Ginobili who hits corner 3Pt and is fouled! Splitter enters game. FT good. ORL 50 - SAS 53
- 0:00 Poor defense by Splitter allows Nelson to hit last second jumper. ORL 52 - SAS 53
23-12 or +11. However you look at it, the Spurs are getting killed on the boards. San Antonio has no offensive rebounds yet in the game and although the Spurs are a team that focus more on the transition defense, San Antonio needs to box out better and earn some second chance opportunities.
Both teams are hot offensively but Orlando has been just a little bit sloppy with the ball (7 TO). The Spurs 51.3 % on the floor is great but how long can it last? If the shots start to miss, Orlando runs away with this. Lost in all of this is Tony and Manu's aggression in the lane. The two guards have 6 of the team's 8 FT points. This needs to continue in the second half. San Antonio will probably not double Howard too many times. The backcourt is shooting to well to leave open.
Even though they are down by 1, Orlando (to me) looks like the better team in this game. Lets see what half time adjustments Pop makes. I'm tired of watching Nelson jumpers off of screens.
Half Time Spurs 53, Magic 52
I love French drama.
3rd Quarter – I will now attempt to saw Stan Van Gundy in half.
- 11:39 Blair starts half (after 5 minutes in first) and gets a laup ORL 52- SAS 55
- 11:17 Richardson layup. ORL 54 - SAS 55
- 10:53 Nelson hits deep jumper. ORL 56 - SAS 55
- 10:42 Nelson flattens Manu and walks over him. No technical somehow.
- 10:12 Jefferson drives and earns foul. Earns first points with both FT. ORL 56 - SAS 57
- 9:58 Howard drives into Duncan and Jefferson and makes layup. Howard earns FT. ORL 59 - SAS 57
- 9:37 Duncan takes it right at Howard. ORL 59 - SAS 59
- 9:13 Duncan takes it right at Howard again. ORL 59 - SAS 61
- 8:45 Carter takes it right at Duncan and gets foul. Duncan now with 3 fouls. Warm up Dice. ORL 61 - SAS 61
- 8:23 San Antonio is defending the screen somewhat better... Nelson clanks 3PT after both defenders take off in the direction he normally he runs.
- 8:05 Duncan draws in perimeter defender and then passes to Jefferson for 3PT. Magic call a timeout. ORL 61 - SAS 64.
- 6:42 After some sloppy basketball, 2 straight TO and bad passing, Magic finally score off Carter layup. Pop calls a timeout. Spurs are getting wide open looks but missing. If this keeps up, San Antonio will earn some breathing room. ORL 63- SAS 64.
- 6:31 Carter gets 4th foul while trying to defend Hill drive. Redick back in (shocker).
- 6:05 After Duncan grabs Spurs first offensive rebund, Howard fouls Duncan on turn-around jumper. Duncan hits 1/2 FT. ORL 63 - SAS 65
- 4:54 Hoard gets deep into paint. Easy layup. ORL 65 - SAS 65
- 4:32 Parker hits a rare 3PT ORL 65 - SAS 68
- 4:10 Magic go back to Howard. Another easy two against Duncan. ORL 67 - SAS 68
- 3:35 Parker drives paint and earns a trip. We need to keep this up. Magic are constantly out of place on quick drives. ORL 67 - SAS 69
- 3:20 Bonner is fouled while rebounding. Spurs are shooting FT for the rest of quarter. ORL 67 - SAS 70
- 2:54 Spurs rotation on defense is much better.
- 2:32 Parker splits defense for a layup. ORL 67 - SAS 72
- 1:53 Howard fouled by Bonner after great defense by McDyess. Howard hits 1/2. ORL 68 - SAS 72
- 1:27 Howard scores off Manu tunrover. ORL 70 - SAS 72.
- 1:01 Hill turns it over. Pietrus hits 3PT. ORL 73 - SAS 72
- 0:42 Manu turns it over. Pietrus 3PT. See a trend here????? ORL 76 - SAS 72
- 0:32 Hill ends turnover streak with tear drop. ORL 76 - SAS 74
- 0:28 Neal fouls Duhon on purpose. Pop wanted Howard. Duhon hits 1/2 FT ORL 77 - SAS 74
- 0:00 No one comes to help Hill who is trapped in corner. Jacks up shot to end 3rd quarter. No good.
San Antonio played 9 good minutes of basketball in the 3rd quarter. Its a damn shame they decided to play hot potato with the ball in the final minutes. Poor decisions creates a 9-0 Orlando and leaves the Spurs down going into the 4th. San Antonio did play tight defense at times but still don't have an answer for Howard. If the mental errors go away and the perimeter defense returns, San Antonio should regain the lead with they way they played throughout most of the 3rd.
End of 3rd, 77 - 74 Orlando up.
Polish defense. What did you expect?
4th Quarter – For my final act, I will pull a defensive stop out of my as... er, hat.
- 11:16 Manu drives in for a layup after Bass turnover. ORL 77 - SAS 76
- 10:52 Ginobili steals pass, passes to Dice for a quick jumper. ORL 77 - SAS 78.
- 10:34 Orlando turns it over for the 3rd time in the quarter (Hill steal).
- 9:48 Redick hits jumper off of nice step back. ORL 79 - SAS 78
- 9:30 Bonner hits a 3PT. ORL 79 - SAS 81
- 9:10 Bass takes it right at Bonner ORL 81- SAS 81
- 8:23 Howard rebounds ball over five Spurs and is fouled.
- 7:55 Bonner floater misses but a tip from Dice to Bonner creates 2 PTs. ORL 81 - SAS 83
- 7:38 Lewis jumper makes it ORL 83 - SAS 83
- 6:13 Pietrus bails out Spurs with a foul on Jefferson. Both teams have gone cold.
- 6:04 Scratch That. Bonner hits deeeeep 3PT. 4/4 from 3PT range tonight. ORL 83 - SAS 86
- 5:42 Carter drives through entire state of Texas for layup but comes up limping. Spurs timeout. ORL 85 - SAS 86
- 4:55 Parker with nice jumper. Carter goes to locker room. ORL 85 - SAS 88
- 4:48 Bonner fouls Howard on purpose to get Manu in game. No FT.
- 4:37 Nelson hits jumper. ORL 87 - SAS 88.
- 4:15 Nelson steals ball and passes to Pietrus for 3PT ORL 90 - SAS 88
- 3:53 Parker hits another 3PT. Damn. ORL 90 - SAS 91
- 3:25 Howard muscles one in over Duncan. ORL 92 - SAS 91
- 3:09 Jefferson nails a corner 3PT!! Spurs on fire from deep. ORL 92 - SAS 94
- 2:30 Lewis hits 3PT over Bonner. ORL 95 - SAS 94
- 2:09 Manu knocks down a 3PT to keep the trend alive! Spurs are 5/5 from deep in the quarter. ORL 95 - SAS 97
- 1:55 Great defense causes Nelson to lose ball out of bounds.
- 1:43 Pietrus blocks Jefferson dunk. Magic wants to run.
- 1:25 Bonner rebounds Pietrus 3PT miss. This is the first miss from deep for either team this quarter.
- 1:07 Parker finds Duncan deep for easy layup! Parker now has a double-double. Magic timeout. ORL 95 - SAS 99
- 0:49 Jefferson and Manu play great defense and cause Magic turnover. Ball is kicked out by Nelson.
- 0:32 Manu gets into the lane, hits floater, and is fouled by Pietrus. That was HORRIBLE defense by Orlando. FT good. ORL 95 - SAS 102.
- 0:27 Redick misses open 3PT. Duncan fouled after rebound.
- 0:27 Duncan hits 2/2. ORL 95 - SAS 104
- 0:19 Howard gets easy dunk. ORL 97 - SAS 104
- 0:16 Parker makes a really bad pass. Magic shoot quick 3Pt but miss. Parker fouls Howard (push off).
- 0:03 Richardson misses layup. Ginobili rebounds and is fouled.
- 0:03 Manu ends this thing with 2/2 FT. ORL 97 - SAS 106
The Spurs 51.3 % on the floor is great but how long can it last?
Apparently as long as they damn well please. Spurs finish game at 49.4% overall from the floor while 63.2% (12-19) from deep. Thats all you really need to know.... Jebus.
Spurs Win!! 106 - 97.
The Spurs' Kung-Fu was just a little bit better tonight.
Magic’s Three Stars
- Dwight Howard: 26 PTS, 11-16 FG, 4-7 FT, 18 REB
- Jameer Nelson: 15 PTS, 7-14 FG, 5 AST
- Rashard Lewis: 14 PTS, 5-10 FG, 3-3 3PT
Spurs’ Three Stars
- Manu Ginobili: 25 PTS, 8-17 FG, 3-7 3PT, 6-6 FT, 6 REB, 9 AST. He also clinched the game in the end.
- Tony Parker: 24 PTS, 9-15 FG, 2-2 3PT, 4-6 FT, 10 AST
- Matt Bonner: 15 PTS, 5-8 FG, 4-4 3PT, 7 REB, 2 AST
Best of the Best from the Best
Anybody seen the "best defense of the league" from Orlando so far ?
We changed the thread? Damn. What happened?
-LatinD (Tonight witnessed four independent game threads totaling 2,200+ comments)
Five Quick Shots: I don’t have time for your "plays."
- We may be talking about a 3PT record (team or NBA) with Bonner by season's end.
- It takes .05 seconds to end up in Pop's doghouse. Right, Blair?
- Jefferson showed great heart and determination throughout this game.
- We can only have 3 names on the NBA all-star ballot? This needs to be reviewed.
- So the Spurs are now 12-1 and have beaten several "good teams." Predicted national view? Old, boring, slow, and Duncan is a rotting corpse.