GameThread for Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs, May 21, 2013 8:00 PM CDT

Ronald Martinez
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Existing peacefully on PtR

J's keys to successful PtR posting:

PtR has grown a lot in the past couple of years thanks to the work of those who came before and those who still contribute to this day. I'm biased, but I find this place filled with smart, funny people with whom I like discussing basketball and other subjects. But once upon a time I was a noob, and some of the unwritten rules here confused my nubile mind.

So I'll draw from my experiences here to let you know how to avoid some of the mistakes I made. Hopefully, it will help make this place even more enjoyable to everyone. First, you should read these Community Guidelines. Now, let's start.

That's why you don't call the game

I'll play J. Walter Weatherman to CapHill's George Bluth because this bothers me, too. The basic explanation here is that some of us are superstitious. Do I really believe someone posting a GIF of Duncan saying "it's over" was the reason the Spurs lost against the Miami Heat after leading by 20+ points? Yes!!! No, not really. But I do believe that fate is better left untempted. I'm assuming it's not a big deal to not call the game for someone who doesn't believe, and it does mean a lot for us crazies, so just don't do it. We have few rules here and that's one. And abiding by it is not that hard if you are a bit considerate.

How do I avoid making this mistake?

Well don't call the game, obviously. It's a ban worthy offense. We'll add a reminder in the beginning of the Game Thread so that no one can claim ignorance. But if you see someone calling the game, let the mods know by flagging the comment. Don't rip into that person like an angry mob. After all, he/she is a Spurs fans just like you that got overly excited, and the temporary ban that will come is punishment enough.

Cap's Comment: I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but please let the mods do our job. Flag the comment and move on. If it's a big problem, please email me. And yes, I'm a little insane about not calling games.

Don't keep coming back to your pet topic

We all have these. When the season started and things were still up in the air in terms of rotations, I made a case that Diaw should start. Pop didn't listen the first time, so I mentioned it a few more times. Once I realized that I obviously can't telepathically change Pop's mind (yet...), and that you guys knew my opinion and the reasons behind it, I stopped. Usually I say what I think, I have a little discussion about it, and move on.

But I went a bit overboard last season with the Stephen Jackson trade. I didn't particularly like it and I made it known. People here, and Spurs fans in general, love Jackson, so it didn't go over well with most members. So I engaged those people, and of course things got testy. Instead of relenting, I kept coming back to it because I believed that people were getting their facts twisted. It got to a point where people thought I just had an irrational hatred of Cap´n Jack, and they would tune me out when I discussed him.

I stand by everything I said back then, but I stopped bringing it up because nothing good was ever going to come from me making snide mentions every time Jackson missed a three pointer.

How do I avoid making this mistake?

Learn from mine. I wasn't getting through to others or enjoying myself because I couldn't let go of a minor aspect of what being a Spurs fan and a part of PtR is. People weren't dismissive because my opinion was unpopular or because they couldn't see my point; they were just tired of hearing me remind them that Jackson is not a good three-point shooter, and the trade didn't bring payroll flexibility, every time someone brought up his name. The moment I decided to "let them be wrong" instead of forcibly trying to show them how wrong I thought they were, I started enjoying myself more. And I think others enjoyed being around me more.

So it's fine to have an unpopular opinion and to make your case. If others don't "get it," it's on them. But it's also on you to be considerate of how they feel and not bludgeon them with your irrelevant opinion. There's no need to keep bringing it up unless it's actually relevant to the discussion at hand.

And no, I'm not only talking about our endless discussions about DeJuan Blair. There are people who keep bringing up how much Bonner sucks/doesn't suck, how the team misses Jackson, how Pop is overrated, how Timmy is old and how the Spurs need to get more athletic. There's even some certifiably crazy people who are beginning to doubt that Manu is the FSM's only son and will never, ever get old and stop being effective. The poor things.

So basically, express you opinion and back it up, but don't make it the only thing you talk about. Don't try to change other people's minds by repeatedly confronting them. Just let it go, and find something else to talk about.

Cap's Comment: We all need to know when to agree to disagree.

About the subject line...

Another somewhat silly "rule" of PtR. For some reason that I believe dates back to LatinD's OCD hatred for how threads look when the subject line is used, we stopped using them. They are not really useful anyway, and I have to admit it does look better when it's just the text. Most people notice this right away, but some don't seem to realize it. It's OK to calmly let them know how we do things around here so they can stop looking like mavsfans that got lost looking for Mavs Moneyball. What's not OK is screaming at them until they stop using it.

How do I avoid making that mistake?

Like I mentioned, most people will realize on their own after a couple of comments, but if they don't and you feel the need to protect our ways, mention to them that we try to stay off the title line here. Tell them it's not actually a rule or anything but we prefer it that way. If they are the type of considerate people that understand the place they joined has traditions dating back to before they came aboard, they will remember and stop using it. If not, we at least will have an easy way to identify them!

Cap's Comment: I don't like the subject line because most people don't use it properly. However, if someone insists on continuing to use it, be nice.

Know where you are

Just like PtR has different customs than other SBNation blogs, the different sections here have a different tone both in content and the type of behavior that is allowed. Asides from the things that are not negotiable (which, again, can be found in the Community Guidelines), there are behaviors that are allowed in some places but not in others, just like in real life.

Some cursing, for example, is tolerated on a game thread because it's basically the equivalent of being at a bar with other fans. But using foul language and ALL CAPS! to make your point on a recap will make you look insane and probably earn you a warning.

How do I avoid this mistake?

So you might enjoy the casual vibe of game threads. Or perhaps you prefer the more structured and developed discussions that take place in the comment sections of an analysis piece. Either is just fine, but if you aren't familiar with the tone and content that is appropriate in places you seldom visit, take some time to acquaint yourself. If you only read the articles, look around before joining a game thread to see how things work. And if you like hanging out in game threads, check out how the people commenting on articles handle themselves. There are some distinct differences, and we'd all like it if they were observed.

Cap's Comment: Now would be a good time for old and new members alike to re-read the Community Guidelines. Please do so.

Know who you are talking to

Similarly, the analysis pieces will attract people that like to break things down and use stats, shot charts or game tape to make a point. Expect them to challenge your spur-of-the-moment assertion that small ball is useless or that Tiago Splitter sucks at defense. The opposite applies to more analytic types who futilely try to use the defensive rebound percentage of a lineup to prove that Diaw needs to be paired with Duncan or Bonner's adjusted plus minus to argue for -- *inhale* -- a different big man pairing on a recap after someone casually mentions that they liked how Splitter and Diaw passed the ball the previous night -- *exhale*.

How to avoid making this mistake?

Are you writing a long comment trying to explain how the Leonard's true shooting percentage is actually lower than last year's after someone says "Leonard's shot looks good" on a game thread? Because people won't likely care, not then at least. You can wait until an article about it is written or, better yet, you can write it yourself as a FanPost. And if you see people using fancy charts and cryptic stats, repress your urge to call them nerdsgeeks and acknowledge that they might not consider the argument: "Patty Mills' swagger is what the team needs!!" to be a good case for him to leapfrog Joseph as the backup PG. Like in real life, avoid people and topics you don't enjoy discussing.

Cap's Comment: There is something for every fan here at PtR. However, not all articles are for every fan. And if you're going to argue over analytics, I recommend that you brin it. There are some really smart people on this blog. Also, one last bit of advice - read The Lexicon. It's both humorous and informative.

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