How best can I complete my first recap, late no less, in assessing a thorough team victory over a Western rival who only four weeks ago appeared to be the second biggest road block to Spurs success this season? By writing all about the shot-falling, tail kicking (or is it stinger plucking?) delivered to our Southwest rivals. A needed win for sure but, who knew it would be a red headed letter day?
By now you've all watched the game (perhaps more than once) and studied the box score. It was stunning to watch our Spurs dismantle a team that a matter of weeks ago was the last remaining undefeated squad in the Association, including a complete team victory in the AT&T. Ten days ago I was expecting that we would split the consecutive Sunday match ups, then need to take the January game in NOLA for a season series split. I was cursing our first loss to NOLA in light of the fact that the January 22 game is a SEGABABA. Could we lose the season series to these guys and, much like 2008, fall one seed come playoff time due to a tiebreaker? Umm, no, that's no longer likely. Until further notice, dominance has been established.
Late 3rd Quarter on Sunday, Spurs leading by 38, how many off you immediately did the math in your head? Since halftime of their previous match up, the Spurs had outscored the Hornets by 69 points. Rap your head around that. Sixty-nine points in, technically, about 53 minutes of NBA game time. Do you think the men in teal were feeling a bit defeated? Cursed? Someone should have told them not to awaken the beast that late October evening.
This win was so smooth and easy (and so very necessary after the NFL Sunday that took place) that I found myself enjoying aspects of the Spurs play I'm normally too tunnel visioned to see. Like how the Red Rocket knows when his 3-pt shot is going to go in. It got to the point where I kept my eyes on him after his release (TWSS) and knew the shot was good. Sure, it helped that he was 4/5 on threes so everything felt automatic, but try it next game. His shot hovers in the air forever then splashes through the net with a punch of fury. Red fury. Wait, all anger is red so that was redundant.
So there I was, rooting for the Spurs to break the forty point lead mark. Yes, I wanted more. How much more? I hold a bit of a grudge for the Hornets extending our guys to seven games in 2008, leading to the whole tarmac problem, and ultimately the slow start in the following series. Since that season, I take great pleasure in defeating NOLA. Slept like a CP3 after sweeping the series 4-0 last season. Yet always root for them when they play the MLPs or Lakers; priorities you understand. Nevertheless, I wanted a forty burger so that we could go for the half-a-hundred lead. By the 4th Q I was getting irritated at the mighty Quinn and Nails Neal for running the offense so poorly. I nearly had a Pop-fit when Ken Mauer incorrectly called Tiago for a blocking foul, giving the 270LB Gray an &-1. Since when do refs not named Salvatore give sympathy calls?
I celebrated the victory with some inexpensive Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Any victorious night where none of the big-3 reach thirty minutes of PT is to be appreciated. It's also time to create and expand a home dominance. Making this an undefeated six game home-stand is a priority. Well done in game two.
Hirschof did an excellent job choosing three stars for the game. We concur on one so I'll make a different three, since, in win this thorough there are more than enough stars to go around. Red, gold, green, and of course Silver.
Spurs Extra Three Stars:
1) Tim Duncan: 11 PTS, 4-7 FG, 9 REB, 3 AST, 2 BLK, 19 MIN. First six points of the game.
2) Matt Bonner: 14 PTS, 5-6 FG, 4-5 3-PT, 2 AST, 2 REB 16 MIN. Made the NOLA big men appear slow and foolish.
3) Gary Neal: 11 PTS, 4-9 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 5 REB, 5 AST, 33 MIN. Expanding his skill set in blowout time.
Up Next: Wednesday, home vs the Warriors (8-13). We must never, ever, lose to my local team. I like the GSW to do well because I have many friends that are GSW fans. Having these friends makes it imperative that the Spurs do not lose to them. Matter of fact, just keep the blowout wins against them coming. It makes both sides feel that all is right in the world.