14-10-2, 7-13 FGM-A, 5 PF (I had to add that in here because it makes me feel better), +11.
Nikola Pekovic did this? Excuse me for a second while I position myself in the corner while I cry myself to sleep watching Cupcake Wars . I'm inconsolable. I'm stunned.
I went in this game expecting Ricky Rubio (18-4-10, 1 3PM, +10 plus his usually exceptional assortment of no-look and what-the-eff-do-we-have-to-do-to-stop-this-guy passes) and Kevin Love (18-16, + 10) to dominate our nonexistent defense. But freaking Pekovic was the last straw.
I understand he's gigantic. I understand he actually has basketball ability. But his performance only reaffirms my recurring fear that the Spurs frontcourt won't be able to sustain any injuries if they really want any remote chance of competing down low. I'm becoming increasingly afraid of Kwame Brown putting up 20-10 as a stunned Poppovich looks on. For my sake, and my third TV remotes sake, I really hope we can progress into, at the very least, a palatable defensive team.
Thankfully the Spurs have time. Time to figure out what the hell just happened. Time to develop a strong rotation and eventually into a cohesive unit that hopefully plays defense on occasion. Time heals all wounds (even wounds inflicted by Pekovic), time is not our enemy. This is paradoxical as a Spurs fan; we lived in the moment, basking in the seemingly never-ending glory of Tim Duncan's incredible talent and PATFO's shrewd decisions. We didn't want it to end. Time was always to be feared and remains the driving force behind Timmy's decline from a physical specimen with immense basketball acumen into a flat-footed, above-average defender, that still showcases his brilliance. But only in short bursts. Unfortunately.
Back to Pekovic. Hopefully his performance is a turning point in our season. Hopefully we can revisit this game and laugh at everyone as we prance into the NBA Finals come June. I realize that it won't happen over night. And in this generation of instantaneous reaction, I feel we need to stop and continuously examine the big picture. If the season ended today (extremely arbitrary cut-off point but bear with me), we'd be the fourth seed in the West despite a 2-7 road record. We boast a top 5 offense, the best coach in the game, a legitimate superstar when healthy, an above-average point guard, an impressive group of shooters and Tim Duncan. Not many teams can say that.
Games like tonight will never be fun. We should be angry after blowing a winnable game.
And if the Spurs rotation don't develop and Manu Ginobili comes back as a shadow of his former himself? I guess I'll just have to take solace in the fact that we only have to face Pekovic one more time.