Like all of you I was totally despondent after watching that last game. Truthfully I was not feeling that hopeful even before the game or during it, except for those thrilling first few minutes. I half-heartedly finished out my workout and drove home in a slow melancholy mood. No going out this miserable Friday night, just a slow half-eaten sandwich before trying to sleep. This morning I read a beautiful post by Davis that perfectly reflects my mood. Later I read another masterpiece by LatinD that tried to inject a piece of hope, but I was still so crushed and fazed at this point that I barely understood the words. It is really sad how the performance of players half a country away so strongly effects my mood and my life.
This afternoon, though, this melancholy mood is dissipating and slowly turning into a simmering rage.
Even after three convincing victories, these Suns have done absolutely nothing to show that they are more talented than us. Nash is a great player, but we have godlike Manu effing all universe Ginobili to more than offset him. Amare is good, but we have the greatest power forward of all time. They have Grant Hill, we have Tony Parker. Yes, they have other decent players that are capable of turning superhuman any given night, but George Hill, DeJuan Blair, Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess are not exactly dog-meat. So why are the Suns crushing us three games to zip? Effort. Hustle. Heart.
Excuse me? These are the Spurs. Heart is our middle effing name. Who are these pretenders that come into OUR house and outhustle us, eat our food, drink our wine and sleep with our women? Are we going to simply sit there and watch them take our game to us right at home? The answer better be HELL NO!
RJ: step it up. Yes, I know you have been playing with energy, but these are the playoffs. Reach for the next level. A ninety-three year old Hill should never be able to take it to you. Penetrate, don't shoot jumpers - even when there is a wall of defenders you are good enough to take it right to them. I would rather see you foul out with some offensive fouls showing heart and pride than mentally fold up and just shoot the outside jumper.
Blair: You were our heart. What happened to you? Where is that beast that doesn't give a shit about ACLs and height and consistently powers through everything in its way?
Manu: Playing well is not good enough when you are capable of god-like domination. If the nose is making you tentative then play with an effing mask - it cannot affect your game worse than the bandage that you keep fiddling with every damn break. Be the all court presence you can be. Make their life miserable with your blocks and steals. Smash the fucking Gatorade out of their hands when they are on the bench. Nobody should be taking a step or making a pass without first checking where Manu Ginobili is lurking.
Hill: Don't be star-struck by Steve Nash, or if you cannot help it, be inspired, not intimidated. Be aggressive, don't be scared and don't dwell on the last play. Show the world that these playoffs are for you.
Pop: Stop acting confused and play our game the way we normally play it. Yes, our bench players suck but we are used to playing with them. Our starters are gassed by the fourth and are missing shots partly as they are tired. Don’t listen to PtR, play the sucky players . Let the stars simmer on the bench and make sure they have the energy to win the fourth. Also, at this point don’t yell at players for making mistakes - yell at them for only if they don’t show effort. School is over.
Team: Take it to them. If they beat you down, just get up and take it to them again. If you fail, that is fine, we can accept that. But nobody should accept that the other team is just playing harder than we are.
Forget about history. Forget about games 5, 6, 7. There is only one game to think about – game four. There is Anger. Rage. Pride. Most of all, Pride.