Game 25 Vs. Philadelphia: Spurs 103, 76ers 98
Okay, so this the first game I got to watch since driving from San Diego to my mom's house in the Bay Area and almost having a heart attack on the road because of a No-Doz/Red Bull overdose. I missed the first six minutes because we couldn't find any sports bar around where I live that have the NBA package. Apparently something about the local team not making the playoffs for the past fourteen seasons has gotten the locals to lose some of their fervor for the Association. Go figure.
My friend and I tried three different places before arriving, in complete desperation, at our last hope. They did in fact have the NBA package here, but there was just one catch. I was um... technically... kinda sorta... barred from ever setting foot in this establishment.
See what happened was that I went to eat here like eight years ago and I had the absolute worst dining experience of my life. I sat down and no waitress came to my table for like fifteen minutes. So I went to the counter where the manager was and told him and he wasn't the least bit apologetic about it or anything. He just took my order like he was doing me a favor.
Another fifteen minutes later my food arrived. I didn't have any silverware and the waitress never came back to check to see if I needed anything. So I went to the counter for that. Then I went there for Tobasco sauce. Nobody ever asked if I wanted a refill on my soda. When the waitress finally did arrive at my table, she never said a word. She just took my Tobasco without even asking if I was done with it and left again. By this point I was incredulous. I remember actually looking around at the diners around me and at the walls to see if I was on some type of Candid Camera like show (this was before Punk'd had came out).
The final straw was when I asked for the check and the waitress gave it to me within five seconds, like when it was time for her to make money, then she was going to be professional. I was sooo pissed. So the second she turned her head I just left without paying.
I realize it was wrong, but I rationalized it at the time by telling myself that I know plenty of restaurants where if a customer had gotten such poor service that the management would have given them the meal gratis anyway. I'm older and wiser now and I probably would handle the situation differently if it were to happen to me today, but just to be clear, I don't regret what I did and I'm not ashamed of it. I was that angry.
For whatever reason two years later I decided to stop by this place again and this time the second I set my foot in the door the manager recognized me (from two years earlier!) and told me to leave. So I did without saying a word.
Fast forward five years to the present and now I'm desperate that I can be seated at this place without a fuss so I can watch my beloved Spurs. What made it worse is that the same manager guy WAS STILL THERE. I recognized him, so surely he would recognize me, right? We got seated, but it made me nervous as hell.
Also being played simultaneously to the Spurs game was the Cowboys-Falcons affair. If you're one of the two or three folks who don't ignore my football wagering offerings, you'd know that this contest pitted my two least favorite players in the NFL and perhaps all of sports, Terrell Owens and Michael Vick. Now they were on national television and matched-up against one another. Just splendid.
Unfortunately my dream of a 0-0 tie with fifty turnovers didn't quite come to pass. Instead they picked this evening to both have career games. Vick threw for four touchdowns and broke Bobby Douglass' single season rushing record for a QB and Owens, in a tour de force performance for him, burned punkass DeAngelo Hall for two scores and spit on him for good measure. I think when it was all said and done that the Cowboys ended up winning the game, but I'm not quite sure since I "lost time" somewhere around the third quarter. Hey it happens to me sometimes when I get flustered.
If that wasn't enough, you might recall that this was also the evening of the now infamous Knicks-Nuggets brawl. As the story broke it was first shown on one TV at the bar, than another, than another, and before too long the fracas dominated the sports bar and all the conversation in said sports bar. What started out as whispers and points from me and my friend, the two NBA fans in the place from what we could tell became murmurs among the people around us, and eventually the whole place was openly discussing it.
Was it Carmelo's fault? Was it JR Smith's fault? What the heck was Nate Robinson thinking? Who the fuck is Marty Collins? What was Isiah saying at the podium? And on and on it went for a half hour. At least people around here were talking about the NBA again, right?
So to recap, I was constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure the manager wouldn't remember me and make a scene, my personal NFL apocalypse was unfolding on the big screen, a bunch of the small TVs were now covering the MSG scrum and to top it all off, my waitress had quite the cute tuchus on her.
The only distraction that was missing was Justin Timberlake and Adam Samberg filming the "Dick In A Box" video.
So with all that, perhaps you'll forgive me if I couldn't scrutinize and analyze the Spurs, playing one tiny corner TV where I could barely make out what was going on, as much as I usually do.
Lets just agree that for the most part they took the woebegone, Answerless Sixers lightly, that Bowen had a miserable night defensively against the suddenly inspired Andre Iguodala, and that Tony fared similarly poorly against the normally horrid Kevin Ollie.
Once again, for reasons known only to him, Pop resorted to too much Tinyball, playing Elson and Oberto only a combined 24 minutes, despite getting nothing of value from RoHo in his all too typical ten minutes of wretchedness. I get that he played Findog a bunch because he shot it well for once, but why those extra minutes come at the big men's expense and now Bowen's is beyond me. Why give our so-called "best perimeter defender in the NBA" 41 minutes of run when he was clearly being toasted by the other A.I.? Why not have more potential lane cloggers out there on defense to stop their lay-up line? You don't think it was a coincidence that Philly had 14 offensive rebounds because we played without a center, do you?
Games like this make me worry about May and June. One through eleven we've got the best team, I'm certain of it. If we're healthy, I like our chances against anybody. The only thing that scares me is Coach Wino Zitface undermining our talent advantage with his awful line-ups. Fin is our backup small forward. Do not play him and Bowen together at the same time unless Manu is hurt. DO NOT. Am I being clear on this?
So damn exasperating.... guh. Maybe I'm just a poor sport when I lose my PtR bets.
Your 3 Stars (sorry this one's going chalk)
3. Tim Duncan - Another ho-hum from 21-9-6 from the golden god. He gave up too many buckets inside on defense, but coach left him pretty naked back there. I wonder when he'll ever complain about it. Maybe if he did he wouldn't be Tim Duncan. I dunno.
2. Manu Ginobili - Was scuffling around most of the night, missing a lot of mid range shots, but as usual when it's tight and late he pulled the game out with a couple of shots and hustle plays on the other end. This was a welcome change from the past two weeks, when his best quarter has been the first. Then again, when he goes off early we usually have blow outs, so I have no point.
1. Tony Parker - Pretty much our most effective player on offense for 3 and a half quarters, but he has to understand that he's not going to reach true superstar status until he becomes more consistent in his passing and starts making a difference on both ends of the floor. He played way too soft against a total nobody like Ollie the game after stepping it up against Paul. He's got to bring it on all 94 feet of the floor night after night.
Record: 19-6 Streak: W-4
Up Next: Vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Three blessed days off for the good guys before a tussle with the decrepit Grizzles. The good news for them is that their main guy, the ultra-skilled, yet super-soft Spaniard Pau Gasol is finally back. The bad news is that they're still coached by the Lieutenant from Police Academy 2. Will that mischievous Manu play a prank on him in the shower. and switch his shampoo with glue? Stay tuned.