Playing their 3rd game in four nights on a dreaded four games in five days schedule, the San Antonio Spurs yielded to a scrappy, defensive-minded Philadelphia 76ers squad led by cat-quick point guard Jrue Holiday's 27 points and 3 steals. The Spurs, who seem to have trouble winning in Philadelphia for the last four years, were spearheaded by Tim Duncan, who grabbed 13 boards and scored 16 points but typified the good guys' shooting woes by going 7 of 18 shooting from the field. Both teams shot very poorly throughout and played sloppy basketball, owing to the low-scoring affair.
Well... how many times can you call a game ugly? Join me for a photo journey as quick as Jrue Holiday that will hopefully help you get over this loss quickly, since there's another game the following day.
Here's another awesome Temper Trap song:
"It makes a lot of sense. I think that any team that can get in night before a back-to-back, go to bed at 4 or 4:30 in the morning, then play at 6 the next day, I think that’s a good thing. I think more of us should do that. Really puts a good product out on the floor." -- Gregg Popovich, December 27, 2009
While the Spurs didn't really go to sleep at such an ungodly hour before this one (maybe Hill and TP did... after the two BFFs had coffee together), the fact that both teams playing their THIGAFONIs should've been enough of a warning of the brickfest that was to come. And you know how Pop feels about these types of games that he dropped another gem on us post-game that I demand be included in the Quotes page!
"I think it set offensive basketball back a decade or so."
Well said, old fogey. Well said.
I would've loved to end there and hack it out, but I gotta write something because I'm recapping another loss -- my 2nd for the season, and I need to drive the demons away lest I fade away to blogging obscurity like Antoine Walker's basketball career.
1st Quarter: An apple a day can be made into a nice supply of turnovers for the year
Don't say you saw this coming -- first five Spurs possessions went like this:
Missed hook shot.
The Spurs had six turnovers in quarter. Manu had 2 of those, while Neal, TP, Blair and RJ had one each. The team had a total of 16 for the game.
On the bright side, Gary Neal seems to be recovering well from a nagging injury, as The Nailgun scored 7 points in the quarter to help bring some semblance of "organized offense" in this game.
2nd Quarter: Attack of The Clone
Doug Collins loves Tony Parker so much he wants to clone him. He's so far been mildly successful in creating one through Jrue Holiday, who's demolishing the Spurs defense. Holiday would finish with a game-high 27 points, and, on a night where nearly everyone played with a rim that has a lid on it, shot an efficient 9-14 from the field. As for the Spurs, who shot an abysmal 33% from the field, this Eastern leg of the RRT ***bad pun alert! bad pun alert!*** showed that it won't be any sort of holiday.
After yet more bouts of ugly basketball, it's amazing that the Spurs continue to hang around. A Neal jumper makes it 46-46 at the end of the first half.
3rd and 4th Quarters: Where I Try To End This Quickly
At this point, our two star guards, Tony and Manu, have combined for 8 points on 2 of 6 shooting, while downtown sniping activity has also been relegated to inactive status. Maybe none of our boys deserve to go to the All-Star game. Just kidding. Maybe.
Also, so far Hirschof has been keeping count of the 2nd half uggo ball on Twitter:
@Preine_PtR To continue off last tweet, 4 missed layups, 4 jumpshots, air ball, blocked shot, 1-8 FG...
Spurs shot a horrifying 18% in the third, with Manu and Timmy all registering 0-fers, while the Sixers were just slightly less awful at 25%, and had an 8-2 spurt midway in the quarter to take the lead heading into the payoff period. I think this was the point that made Pop say, "I think it set offensive basketball back a decade or so." Yeah, I re-used a quote in the same post... deal with it.
The game was so ugly I seriously contemplated on 'chopping Wayne's foot pic coming out of the tongue louse. It was that bad.
The Silver and Black, trying to at least make the last 12 minutes more watchable, rattled off seven straight points to start the 4th quarter. That, apparently, would turn out to be the team's final stand as Philly countered with an 8-0 run that the away team would never recover from. Also, more turnovers. Somebody put a label on the tape of this game with the words, "How To Not Play Pro Basketball."
Parting Shots Before I Pass Out From Watching Such Unspeakable Horror
Guys, we shot 33%, and the Sixers weren't so pretty either with their 35%. Games like this happen, although I hope not too often or nobody would watch the NBA. Ever. The team couldn't get their running game going, as Philadelphia beat us at our own style, owning a 21-5 advantage in fastbreak points. The Spurs rebounded pretty well but that's about it for the list of good things they did.
Here are your cringe stats:
Field goal shooting (27-81, total):
George Hill: 0-6
Manu Ginobili: 2-10
Tony Parker: 3-10
Tim Duncan: 7-18
DeJuan Blair: 3-11
Richard Jefferson: 1-8
Three-point shooting: 3-17 (18%)
Your Three Stars
3 - Tiago Splitter. Just because.
2 - Gary Neal
Up Next: The FOGAFINI rears its ugly head @Wizards, where the Wiz, owners of a winless road record, play great at home. Uh-oh.