I had a nice holiday in Texas but it is definitely nice to be back in Seattle. I hope everyone enjoyed some time off. Let's get down to business.
I watched the DET game live and managed to do so without pissing anybody off. I was surprised the Spurs managed to keep it close as long as they did, especially after getting held to a franchise-record 8 points in the first quarter. However, in the end the result was as expected and the Pistons whipped the Spurs by 15.
The quantitative story to this game was the grotesque rebounding disparity. SA got out-rebounded by 27 and had no answer for B-B-Ben Wallace. Lack of rebounding has seemed to be a recurring problem but the most accurate numbers don't back that up. The Spurs allow an offensive rebound 25.6% of the time which is good for 5th in the NBA. But it's still something to be concerned about when your most likely Finals opponent (assuming, of course) tears you apart on the boards and only one player on your roster averages over 4.5 RPG. (Though the latter is to be expected when Duncan is the only player over 6'-7" playing more than 25 MPG.)
One solution to this apparently-not-but-sure-seems-like-a problem is to play Nazr more. His defensive rebounding rate this year is 60% higher than Rasho's. Unfortunately that would create other problems well documented in my past posts. Has anybody else noticed Nazr's teammates yelling at him on the defensive end? I think the man needs a hug.
The qualitative story to this game was the obvious fact the Spurs ain't winning shit without a healthy Ginobili. Finley was a virtual non-factor, going 1-7 in 28 minutes. His offensive game (coming off multiple picks or shooting wide open jumpers created by someone else's penetration) is easily defended by a group that plays team defense as well as DET.
GOD DAMN IT DUNCAN WHY DID YOU SHAVE THE AFRO? That's a totally unnecessary waste of a perfectly functional poofy coiffure! I had dreams of the second coming of Oscar Gamble and you squashed them! Without even a phone call to warn me. You're a selfish bastard Tim Duncan and I HATE YOU FOR IT. I hope you shoot 45% from the line for the rest of the year. So there.
I don't mean to incessantly pick on Kenyon Martin but the man continuously asks for it. In case you missed the DEN game, Kenyon Martin, who will now occasionally be referred to as simply "3-23", totally posterized The Solid Slovenian. It was a hell of a dunk, no doubt. And I didn't even really mind the flexing afterwards due to the high level of funkitude displayed in said posterization of aforementioned tall foreign entity. After all, Rasho is a furriner which means he's asking for it.
But Sweet Baby Jesus did 3-23 suck for the rest of the game. And I mean SUCK. He finished 4-13 and most of that was against the not-so-quick-footed Nesterovic. As I watched the sucksome display I realized that 3-23 doesn't really have any moves. No post moves. No perimeter moves. I'm sure he's got crazy-fly moves with the ladies but the man couldn't beat Raaaaaaaaasho one-on-one. The only move he showed all night was a dribble into the lane followed by a spin baseline. Of course Nazr threw that fall away jumper back into his face but at least it was something. He's a better rebounding version of Tim Thomas. Seriously, check out their numbers. They're pretty close. Not close enough to rationally claim similarity but let's not forget that I simply don't like the guy.
Manu Ginobili played like The Sickness against the Nuggets. 20 PTS on 10 FGA, 8 AST, 4 REB and 4 STL. And just generally pissing people off. The man gets a standing ovation from the home crowd after missing eight games and then gets booed everytime he touches the ball in DEN. Ah, it makes every successful flop that much sweeter.