Quick Takes from Behind the Bench v. Rockets

I sat behind the Spurs bench tonight, not the best place to view a game if you're only 5'2" tall and a certain 6'6" shooting guard is sitting in front of you (on a three inch cushion), but I wanted to post just a few quick pics. The first is for all you fans of Matt Bonner as he grabs a crucial rebound late in the game, on his way to a team high 10 for the night.

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And this one is just for the women of PTR, a new photo of Sparkles (I refuse to call him by his other nickname).

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And finally, the real reason for doing a post at all - a close up look at Manu's left hand. He spent part of his time on the bench working his fingers with his thumb, one at a time, with a tiny resistance band. The scar actually looks better than it appears in the photo. Being Manu, he didn't sit still long enough for a good shot of it. He is obviously ready to play, in his mind, and was very involved in the game, talking to coaches, watching replays on the bench monitor (more on that in the next paragraph), encouraging teammates, studying stats, but seldom smiling.

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The bench computer monitor sits on the end of the scorers' table and faces the row of assistant coaches who sit behind Pop and his top assistants. Closest to it is Coach Engelland, who keeps notes on the plays. I had always thought the monitor showed real-time plays and the same replays we see at home or on the lighthouse in the arena, but after seeing it, it does not appear to be connected with what is shown on the lighthouse. The monitor shows replays on about a 3 to 5 second delay - and several plays were shown more than once from different angles. Plays can be analyzed instantly by Engelland and Chad Forcier. It seemed to be used mostly when play had stopped for either timeouts or free throws. I'm doing a bad job of explaining what I observed, but I found it very interesting.

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