Game 21, Vs. Golden State: Spurs 111-94 (Record 18-3) RAGE: +3
So around four months ago, I got into a fender bender. It was bumper to bumper traffic and for a second I took my eye off the road because I was eating a burger (of course). I was going around 5 mph and I realized too late the guy in front of me was going 0 mph. I slammed the brakes but still I bumped his fender.
We both pulled over, and I saw a tiny nothing scratch on his car, plus this plastic guard thing came loose. I attached it back no problem and apologized to the driver. I asked him if he can just forgive me and if we could just go our merry way, because it's just a tiny scratch.
Him: I would, but it's a new car, so I want it to look new.
Me: Well can we just take care of it if I give you a hundred bucks? I really don't want to get my insurance involved.
(true story, I actually got a letter from the DMV a few years ago that read "The State of California would appreciate it if you strongly considered not driving anymore. One more infraction and we will suspend your license. You're not suspended now, but it would be wise for you to consider other transportation options.")
Him: No, I don't think a hundred bucks will be enough. I have to take the car to a body shop.
Me: A body shop for a little scratch?
Him: Yes, I insist.
Me: Fine, let me tell you where to take it. My grandma knows a good body shop. She's been a client of theirs for 20 years and they'll give me a deal.
Him: No, I'd be much more comfortable with my body shop.
Me: Well your body shop will screw me.
Him: No, they will be fair.
Me: How much do you think they will charge?
Him: At least $500.
Me: $500? For a little scratch? That's insane! You are screwing me.
Him: If you like we can trade insurance information and I can file a claim.
Me: All right, all right, just send me the estimate.
So this bastard, who's been in the country like for eight minutes, sends me the estimate. $926, including one day of rental car fees for him to go to work while his car was in the shop for a scratch the size of a quarter. We arranged a payment schedule where I would send him a money order on the first of the month until it was paid off. Every email this prick sends me, he signs it, "Regards, Venkat Reddy."
"Here is the estimate, regards, Venkat Reddy."
"Here is my address, regards, Venkat Reddy."
"I have received your first payment, regards, Venkat Reddy."
So finally I made it to the last payment, and I got his email.
"I have received your final payment, regards, Venkat Reddy."
So I replied, "I hope you get anal warts. Regards, Michael Erler."
I don't think I was out of line.
On a happier note, I'm starting a new feature called "Video Wednesday." Whenever I do a hump-day recap, the Youtube clip will be a music video of a song I like. We're kicking it off with one my all-time favorites, "Forever Young," by Alphaville, a totally 80's vid by a totally 80's band. Check out the hair and the clothes on this poof.
Alphaville - Forever Young ~Official Video (via cappew22)
Fun facts about this video: The lead singer of Alphaville calls himself Marian Gold, but his given name was Hartwig Schierbaum, and he totally looks like a Hartwig Schierbaum, doesn't he. Also, the young blond boy in the video? Would you believe that was Owen Wilson?
Well if you would, you're gullible because it totally wasn't Owen Wilson.
Feel free to add your own videos in the comments, though if I hate the song, I will mock you.
Okay, so at 18-3, the Spurs are off to the best start in franchise history. That's all well and good. However, I know what some of you math majors out there are thinking and I'm warning you now, STOP. The Spurs have NOT passed the quarter pole of the season. If you run into anybody who says, "Hey, a quarter of the season's finished, can you believe it?" it is your duty to slap the taste out of that person's mouth. If you catch yourself saying it, then you should ask the nearest person around you to slap you.
You know who the season is 1/4 over for? Losers, that's who. Teams like Minnesota, Washington, Cleveland and Sacramento. I don't know about y'all, but I don't root for a bunch of losers. I root for the EMM EFFING San Antonio Spurs. OUR season is fixing to 105 games or so, which means we've only crossed the 20 percent mark, ya heard?
So we beat the Warriors again. Big whoop. You're not gonna believe this, but in the first half we came up with a lot of steals which led to a bunch of fast break points, and in the second half we annihilated them with a hail of threes. Be still my beating heart.
This is starting to get repetitive. Boring, almost. It feels like every game is 109-94 and we win almost all of them in similar fashion. I know, I know, I'm spoiled rotten and taking them for granted. I'm a shitty fan.
But really, I don't think the Spurs are the problem as much as their schedule is. We've been playing so many softies these first two months, I can't stands it no more. I want a real challenge. Some honest competition to gauge ourselves against. Right now, with 61 games left in the regular season, if the fellas go a modest 33-28 the rest of the way, that would add up to 51-31, which would be right in line with where most of the pundits had us when the year started.
Me, I'd be bloody god damn disappointed with 33-28. I'm thinking more like 43-18. Hell, why not 53-8? Let's try to win every frickin' game we can. The point is I'm glad the JV part of the schedule is behind us. 14 of the next 15 is against playoff caliber competition (with the one exception being the Wiz, who we'll beat 157-151, with John Wall leading all scorers with 88), and after that stretch of hell, our respite is a back-to-back with the T-Pups, who for some reason give us all kinds of trouble.
Bad teams in the NBA are all alike. They go at most six or seven deep, they can't guard anybody, their announcers whine like crazy that the refs are out to get them, and their assist-to-turnover ratio is shit. You've seen one awful NBA team, you've seen them all. It's like cause for celebration if they make two passes to create a shot and the weak side is a foreign concept to them, both offensively and defensively. To put it simply, bad teams are populated by bad team basketball players. Good teams have good team basketball players.
I'm tired of watching bad teams. We're not gonna get any better pasting them by 15 points every night. We gotta test ourselves against some real squads. Teams that can score inside and outside. Teams that can guard the paint and rotate on shooters. Teams that go 9 or 10 deep. Teams like, let's see here... the Hawks? Really? Ah well, screw it. Bring on the Hawks.
I could be humble by saying we caught a break when Stephen Curry turned his ankle, but you know that's BS. It had no bearing on the game. We were gonna win either way, and not only was Curry playing poorly when he was in there, but the guy who replaced him, Reggie Williams, only hit eight bombs and had 31 points, so I think they made out okay there.
I wasn't too impressed by our three point defense and our rotations, and I'm guessing it's something Pop will harp on in practice, because really, what else does he have to complain about? We're playing like a coach's wet dream. Our highlights should be on coaching DVDs around the world, except for the parts where Rocket and Leg are trying to grab defensive boards (to their credit, they were both better at that in the second half). Also, on the "What not to do" list, would be committing an offensive goal-tend on a half court shot at the buzzer.
I mean, am I crazy or did Manu's heave look totally on line? I have no idea what George was thinking, but Gino totally bitched him out for it while walking to the bench. At least because of Hill's interference they didn't count it as a shot attempt. It officially goes down as an alley-oop pass made too late. I was happy with how aggressively Hill played and he shot the ball really well from corners, which was encouraging to see, but I'm afraid I can't let his indiscretion slide come three stars time. And what was up with Pop yanking Neal late to reinsert Manu into the game for like one possession? Was he pissed at him?
Aside from that, we had 31 assists on a season-high 43 field goals, shot above 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from down town (12 of 26!), and had just 11 turnovers. I can't think of a single person on the team who didn't play well offensively, though Blotch should never be allowed to shoot the ball. Also, Dice was terrible. Didn't even notice him out there. And James Anderson.. what a stiff. Don't even get me started on Uwe Blab.
Mainly I was happy with how flawlessly we ran the break in the first half. Tony was actually passing it (which was usually not the case in past seasons) and we got points out of it every time we had an odd numbered situation. We had 25 fast break points in the first half. I think a couple years ago that was like a good week's total for us. In the second half we hit eight threes and got a lot pick and roll layups to our bigs. Tiago and Blair combined for 51 minutes while Tim got 18, which is a winning formula. And not a second of tinyball, which against the Warriors blew my mind. We always did that in past seasons, though I guess they didn't have someone like David Lee before.
Alright, enough of this incoherent mess. Let's get right to three stars (sorry Manu; your shooting and defense weren't up to snuff).
3. Tiago Splitter - 12 and 6 in 24 minutes. Anytime he can save Timmeh's knees for a night and bring stuff to the table instead of taking them off, it deserves recognition. He outplayed Biedrins.
2. Tony Parker - Another easy 19 and 9, exactly the way we need Parker to carry us against the minnows. Now if he can do it on SEGABABAs, we'd be set.
1. DeJuan Blair - Probably his best game of the season with a 15-13, playing David Lee to a standstill. He had three early steals which set up some easy buckets and his board work on defense was very impressive. Usually he's a great at crashing the offensive glass and only so-so in his own end. Today he was snatching everything. He owns the Warriors, though who doesn't?
Up Next: Friday, Vs. Atlanta Hawks (15-8). Very weird stat from Atlanta. They're 17th in scoring (99.2 per night) and second in assists (24.0) a game. Tells me it's hard for them to create shots individually and that none of their bigs can set a screen. I think they play fairly small anyway, with Horford at the five spot a fair amount. Their rebounding isn't too hot. Joe Johnson is gonna be out, so that's a break for us, but Horford has been an animal for them and Josh Smith is good at everything but shooting. These guys might hold us under a 100, so it might be a grind. I like Tony's match-up vs. Mini-Me, for sure, so I'd expect him to have another big game.