The San Antonio Spurs have won three of the last five games. Two of those wins came against teams with winning records--a demographic that has given the silver and black more than a few problems this season. The other win was a nail-biter to open the annual Rodeo Road Trip--a stretch of time that has historically been kind to the Spurs. Tim Duncan and crew, once the NBA model of a tough defensive squad, have also been limiting opponent scoring: less than 100 in the last five.
If you’re a die hard Spurs fan who cries when San Antonio loses playoff series to the Mavs or the Lakers, these past few games offer a lot to be ecstatic about. Read on to find more.
Blair and Hill have been playing well.
That’s about it. Aside from that, there’s pretty much nothing else but shitty suckitude from the four time World Champs. Pinch your noses. This is gonna stink. Just kidding. There are actually more things to be grateful for.
Lately, Richard Jefferson has been playing like the $14 million investment that he is.
Not! Gotcha again, sucka!
RJ sucks. Let’s just get that out of the way (not that I won’t ever mention it again). He wasn’t bad in New Jersey, and he was rather good in Milwaukee (or so I heard: no one really watched Bucks games last season). But he just plain sucks in silver and black. I dunno. Maybe it’s not his colors. Perhaps it reminds him too much of that tux he had rented before calling off his wedding. Some people say it’s Pop’s fault for not using RJ wisely. Others claim the returning veteran Spurs should be the ones to make RJ’s transition smooth(er). Still, many say it’s just a lack of chemistry among people who need time to learn how to play with one another. I say, fuck it. He sucks. RJ as a Spur just isn’t working out so far.
In the last five games, he barely averaged double digits in points, and shot just a shade over 40%. And if you add up his +/- scores (I don’t think you’re supposed to do that, but I wanted to), he lost us a total of 20 points over the last five games.
RJ: Shitty BBIQ
The Big Three
It’s a good thing the rock of consistency that is the Big Three has been picking up the slack for the Big Questionable Fourth, and scoring big time when we need to.
Not! Gotcha once more! This will not get old for me.
In the last five games, Tony, Tim and Manu have been giving us 38.8 points per game--combined. To be fair, Parker played in only two of those games. But like the Front Office who faults Manu for being injured and refuses to extend his contract immediately because of it, I hold Frenchy’s injury against him. Besides, even with Mr. Longoria missing three games, our triumvirate core has been coughing up nearly four turnovers per game. And we know Tony would only have added to that.
The Big Three has been reduced to little more than a Big Pile of Shit.
Our shooters have been getting their groove back. NOT-- Ah, this is getting tiresome. This year, they’ve either been missing in action or missing from three. They’re just not that reliable.
In the Portland game, for example, our designated shooters--Bogans, Finley, Bonner and Mason--combined for zero makes. Zip. Zilch. None. Nada. Mace, a notorious bomber the past season, didn’t even play. More on that later.
Our shooters have been shooting like shit.
The Game Plan and the Game Master
Talking about shooters, it pains me to realize that our inside-out game of Timmy in the post, doubled, then kicking out to shooters, just doesn’t seem to be as effective anymore. Perhaps it’s because Tim isn’t doubled as much anymore (for whatever reason). Maybe because our shooters don’t command the respect of opponents anymore. I don’t know. But it hasn’t been that effective. Our single play that seems to be somewhat effective is the pick and roll: the MTB, MTT, TTB, TTT (I’ll let you figure them out; you’ll get it).
Which leads me to the coaching. More than a few fans--including one that rhymes with "Most Frown"--have been calling Pop out for questionable-to-terrible coaching this season. While I’m not one to question a CIA agent’s schemes, I have to present one scenario: The Portland game again. If you look at the boxscore, Parker played rather well. He shot 50% en route to 18 points, with 6 assists, only one turnover, 2-2 from the line, and a +/- of positive 12. But during one stretch late in the fourth when Portland was roaring back, Tony couldn’t do a thing to stop the bleeding. Of course, one couldn’t do much when you’re glued to the bench. Pop, why? Oh, and when we needed a three desperately, Mason wasn’t in. Again, Pop, why?
Our staple offense isn't too appetizing anymore.
DYA (Defense, Youth and Athleticism)
A lot of fans have realized that we need to come up with something different this year. Our personnel is different. There’s no spry Duncan to anchor the defense. There’s no Bowen to hold the opposing star in check. Instead of having defense as a given like before, (some say) it is our offense that is constant, and that it is because of poor defense that we lose games. Maybe we’re just too slow to close out on the shots we used to block or alter. Maybe we’re too old to be banging with other younger bodies. I don’t know. Take Youngevity. Look for the Fountain of Youth. Do what it takes. We just need to be able to keep up with the opposing offense.
What we got instead
On offense, we have terrific athletes, so we have to use that to our advantage. Maybe we should run more. At times we prove to be too small. Maybe we should give Mahinmi some burn. Too old? Let’s try Hairston. Too soft? Put Theo in. We got to do something. Anything.
The Spurs have to think outside this box they are in.
What to do
I haven’t really offered too much insight into how I think the Spurs could improve, or if they can still improve. I’m not sure if we need another trade (read: not Amare), or if we need a coaching change. I can’t tell if changing starters would help, or if another assistant coach would. But I know one thing for sure. The San Antonio Spurs have been playing like shit. And it’s not funny. I’m not sure what May or June holds for the Spurs. But as I watch games--as we Spurs fans watch games, we should be reminded of one thing:
The next game could be a shitty game. And/or the one after that.
I'm almost done. Recognizing that many PtR'ers are avid readers, I here recommend a book that's essential reading for a Spurs fan nowadays. I predict this will be a quotable.
What Spurs fans must be thinking while watching games
And finally, I give you something to really be optimistic about:
There might just be a pot of gold at the end of this shit.