Sometimes weird things happen in the NBA. This season has been full of oddities. They range from the head scratch inducing Rudy Gay trade to a Weber State alumni being a lock for Rookie of the Year. Friday was a strange day for both the Spurs and the Brooklyn Nets. The Spurs' phenomenal win streak was ended by the Detroit Pistons. Of course, the Pistons are better than their record and could possibly make the playoffs. But still, saying the Spurs lost to Detroit by ten points this year sounds absurd. If that was the only weird thing that happened on Friday, then we might worry much more about the Nets. Rightfully so, the Nets are 11.5 games ahead of the Pistons in the playoff standings. But get your hand off the panic button, because they just lost by 13 to the Wizards (the basketball team based in Washington DC, not an actual group of conjurers who also enjoy playing an occasional game of roundball.) So both teams enter this game perplexed, confused and ready to forget about what happened on Friday night. That sounds less like the mental state of group of NBA players and more like the Sunday of an average college student. On to tonight's game.
It turns out that Shawn "Jay Z" Carter is a partial owner of the Brooklyn Nets. Shocking news right? It's not like any news source has reported his. So to honor the H.O.V.A., what follows is a track by track breakdown of the Black Album in relation to tonight's game. Here is a link to the album if you want some background music.
Interlude- Track 1
What goes on in the Barclay Stadium during timeouts? All I know is that the Brooklyn Knight (My bad the BrooklyKnight...) probably makes an appearance. Whether or not that is a good thing is still up in the air. By the way, that track is produced by "Just Blaze". Obviously, Blaze is hip hop slang for blasé. (There could be no other meaning.) The Spurs shouldn't take this game lightly. (And after what transpired in Detroit, that is highly unlikely.) The NBA is full of teams that are good. Not "Spurs good" mind you, but potentially dangerous teams nonetheless. The Brooklyn Nets can be very good. They could even help make the Leastern (ouch) Conference Playoffs more interesting than the snooze fest that went down last season. So the Spurs should be wary of falling for any traps.
Encore- Track 2
That being said, I don't think this game is going to overtime with Brooklyn on a SEGABABA, coming off losses to the "improving" Los Angeles Lakers and the Zards. Either the Spurs put this away early and start resting the stars, or Pop senses a tough win and rests the starters for a game that will undoubtedly be tough against the Bulls. That being said, if for some reason this game goes into extra minutes, then you gotta like the Spurs chances. The Spurs are more deep and more team oriented than the Nets. Those attributes are priceless in overtime.
Change Clothes- Track 4
I know I am not supposed to like Brooklyn's new uniforms. I know that the expected reaction is "Your uniforms confuse me when you play the Spurs! What team is Deron Williams playing for again?" But I kinda like their new digs. They have style in their simplicity, and they are a significant improvement from their last jerseys, which seemed like a uniform designed by a 10 year old creating a team on a video game.Oh hey, whaddaya know? A team imitates the Spurs and actually turns out to be okay.
Dirt Off Your Shoulder- Track 5
After being absolutely destroyed by the Spurs, do the Nets have the minerals to shake off the dirt and exact revenge? We shall see. My guess is no, but I am a bit of homer. In a way, it would be a good thing if Deron Williams has a better game than he did last time. We are playing a lot of East teams these days, and elite point guards are in short supply in that conference. So any kind of test is a good thing, especially since 6 out of the 8 western conference teams currently in the playoffs have elite point guards.
Threat- Track 6
Who on the Nets is most scary for the Spurs? This is a bit obvious: Brook Lopez. He is literally having an all-star career. When he plays, he has a high chance of being the stat leader for the Nets. Big post players can be meddlesome for the Spurs. The Big Fundamental will be sitting on the bench, so Tiago, Boris and Baynes will have to ensure that Lopez doesn't do something like this. I say that we have Baynes delete the y on the back of his jersey and wear a mask over his face. That is bound to trip up the comic book-loving Lopez. Side note: if Tiago destroys Lopez off the glass then that will be an excellent sign for the Spurs.
Moment of Clarity- Track 7
99 Problems- Track 8
Did you get that last joke? No? Ah never mind. When Andray Blatche was
cut amnestied from the Wizards, a commenter on the excellent blog Bullets Forever said the Wizards have 99 Problems but A. Blatche ain't one. Well as it turns out', the Nets also have 99 problems but A. Blatche ain't one. Crazy world. Andray Blatche is a solid contributor off the bench. He is obviously a talented player and is revealing that talent. Couple this with Javale McGee's turn around in Denver and one might begin to suspect that the problem isn't the players, but the team they were playing for.
Public Service Announcement- Track 9
If you happen to be an absurdly powerful mayor, who is ordering popcorn while sitting court-side, you can hurt more than your cholesterol. Be careful.
Justify My Thug- Track 10
The Nets owner with the most street cred is not Shawn Carter, but Mik "Hail the Throne" Prokhorov. This video contains exhibits A to Z. I don't think he has to justify his thugness. Word is that he now introduces himself with "yo I used to flip stacks of gold - so I am the 57th richest man in the world." Just keep on doing what you're doing Big Proko.
Lucifer- Track 11
Great track. How does this apply to the game? I don't know, man. Does it really have to? There is an excellent remix of the track by Kno. And that is that.
Allure- Track 12
Is this game alluring? In some ways. The Brooklyn Nets have been good (if not magnificent) these days. They are, as of this writing, number 5 in the East but could easily finish the season as high as number 2 (or as low as number 6). This series does have the added appeal of watching Pop go up against his former pupil P.J. Carlesimo. (these days though it seems like every other NBA game features one of Pop's former prodigies.) However considering the wholesale destruction that the Spurs levied against the Nets in their last meeting, this game is in danger of not being compelling. Whether or not this game is interesting depends on the two starting point guards. If Deron and Tony bring their A game, then this could go down as an epic.
My 1st Song- Track 13
There are a few interesting rookies on both sides. Nando and Baynes will of course be closely watched by the Spurs faithful. The Nets' rookies are Mirza Teletovic and Tyshawn Taylor. I am going to focus on Mirza. First off: his name is badass. Here I thought Nando DeColo was a lock for RNOY (Rookie Name of the Year); however, the undrafted rookie from Bosnia has made that race interesting. His first name alone is awesome, but throw in Teletovic and that is simply predivan (Bosnian for wonderful). Oh and Mirza might be the steal of the year, as he has demonstrated skill in limutes off the bench. He is particularly good at three point shooting. As Tas Melas from the Basketball Jones said, "Teletovic from downtown is money in the bank."
What More Can I say?- Track 3
Yeah yeah, I know this is actually track 3 but this a good way to end the piece.
The Nets seem to have a problem with teams in the Western Conference. (read: good teams) They had that game against the Lakers in their grasp. Yet they got totally deconstructed by a Pau-less, Dwight-less, Peace-less, and Hill-less version of a team that sits on the bubble of a playoff spot. And don't look now but the Spurs are at the top of the same conference. So I am not too concerned about the Spurs in this one. As long as the Spurs watch the Bro-Lo, play good perimeter defense, and score more points than the Nets, then all should be good.
Key Bench Players
The Nets' perspective can be found here @ Nets Daily
Game Prediction: Spurs by 7.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.