"You remind me of me, Danny." "Yes, sir."
A win is a win. Sweet victory is never a bad thing. Regardless, let's focus on the team that is destined to win the championship. It's just one sloppy game that we found a way to win; no big deal. The thing to note is that we won a game that we would have lost any other year. This team is different. This team is elite. This team is young. This team is versatile. This team is destined to win it all.
The Spurs kept it in comfortable cruise control all night and the Hornets played as hard as they could to keep it close. We won because we are so much better than they are. If you played this match-up ten times with those lineups, the Spurs would win 10 of them, and this would be the closest contest.
Ignore this game. It was the second of a back to back to back and tomorrow is more important, just as yesterday's was. This was the trap game and we managed to not succumb to inevitability. It was close down to the wire, but we knew it was a win before the tip-off. This team is destined for great things, and this game was not going to be an impediment.
Let's talk about the team. I don't care about offense, although let's discuss it quickly. We have no problem scoring. "Pick and Roll Motion, Back-screens Galore" is how I would describe it. I would hate the task of defending our offense. There are too many weapons to defend. The weapons suck for a defender because they are so damn versatile. Jack, Kawhi Neal, and Green are impossible to guard. If you leave them open, they will hit the three. If you chase them off the line, they will either drive or hit the mid-range jumper. And then you have Blair, TIago, Diaw and TIm finding the open spot for the easy dunk. Poor other teams. Jack, Neal, Bonner, Green, Manu, Kawhi, and Anderson all hit the open three. As a defender, what are your options when you're in help defense? Tony will get to the rim if you do not double and TIm has been playing at a 2007 level. The offense is very much unstoppable.
But, back to what wins championships. Our defense is as good as it has ever been. I was telling the esteemed JRW that we had a potentially champion worthy squad since the first week of the season. I thought this because of Kawhi and our improved defense. I thought his defense would give us a shot. In the games that matter, every possession becomes vital. The run and gun game is extinct. The flashy teams like the Clippers and Heat lose their best weapon. The game slows down and the extra pass becomes even more prudent. If you haven't made that extra pass all year, odds are it's not going to miraculously happen in the playoffs. In order to win when it matters you have to get stops and score in the half-court. Our team is built for half-court offense and shut-down defense.
Diaw has two abilities that most do not possess. First, he can, (and has), eaten more donuts than anyone you know. Second, the man can see the floor. He is at his best in the high post where he can square up and look for an open cutter. He's at his best when surrounded by capable players. Think Phoenix. My man can't give it his all when his team sucks at basketball.
Captain Jack is also a great creator. Remember the Warriors that upset the Mavs in the playoffs? Captain Jack is clearly showing heart now that he is playing for a team that matters. He's just a guy that has to play for a good team in order for him to be at his best. Have you ever had bad teachers? How hard did you work for them? In contrast, how hard did you work for your favorite teacher? It's the same for Jack. He just needs a good teacher. Pop will extract the best out of him.
In order, my favorites, let's go:
1.) Manu (Obviously)
2.) Tony (MVP, but Manu would be that if he had been able to avoid injury)
3.) Tim (Playing as well as he has since we won it the last time)
4.) Jack (Too good. Potentially elite in every aspect of the game)
5.) Kawhi (The rookie is better than we could have hoped)
6.) Green (What does he do poorly?)
7.) Blair (Really playing well, recently)
8.) Neal (Never taken a shot that doesn't look good when he let's it go)
9.) Tiago (7 footer with a brain)
10.) Diaw (Great defender that can pass like a guard)
11.) Bonner (Trey-buchet)
How great is it that you could debate every rank on my list? We should all be so grateful to the Spurs. This team is truly amazing. I think it's the best that we've seen, ever. Poor Miami, aren't they supposed to win six, seven, or eight championships? It's not happening this year. Go Spurs!
Your Three Stars
3.) Boris Diaw
Ignore this useless game. Let's discuss Boris. He's a dude with an extremely high Basketball IQ. He is one of the best big passers in the league. He will fit seamlessly into our offense. Funny enough, his defense is really just a bonus. However, he's shown us thus far that he's willing to be an elite defender. It's unbelievable.
2.) Stephen Jackson
Captain Jack is back! Oh, how I missed him. I've been behind the movement that supported Neal as our irrational confidence guy, but never felt good about it, (he's too rational). Now, we have Jack back. I feel at ease. He exudes confidence. He is the missing piece. At some point, we will be down and it won't be looking good. In past years, Horry, Kerr, or young Jack seized the opportunity. Today, Captain Jack will fill that void. I'm so glad he is here. He will not fold when it counts. He'll take the shot that matters; that shot may miss, but he will wholeheartedly believe that it's going in and that's all that we can ask for. Go, Captain Jack, GO!
The additions of Jack and Diaw made Pop's job infinitely more difficult. He could have coasted to a comfortable 2 or 3 seed and an 8% chance at winning it all. But Pop wasn't okay with that. He wants to win and pushed for some huge moves. Pop will have to juggle Diaw's baby fat with Jack's insecurities. Penn Jillette is in awe. Pop is the man. We should all bow down to his gusto. The Spurs should be considered the favorites in the West, if not for it all. (Quickly, Green/Manu on Westbrook; Kawhi/Jack on Durant. Green/Manu on Wade; Kawhi/Jack on Lebron. Can you ask for a better defensive match-up against the other two favorites? We are built to win it all.) Go Spurs Go!