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Sneezing Along to Spurs Basketball

I haven't written in forever, so I apologize in advance for this sucking. I've spent a miserable week being sick and lazy. I think the most productive thing I've done the past seven days is to get a haircut. I told myself I wouldn't get one until Manu dunked twice in one game, but I decided that I didn't want to look like this dude, so I folded.

The following is a shrunken account of all the games I've missed so far. Enjoy.

Game 26 Vs. Memphis: Spurs 105, Grizzlies 98

This, from what I remember, went remarkably similar to the Philly game. The Spurs had a big lead at half, thanks to a 38 point 2nd quarter, but squandered it all, and were even trailing by a point or two in the 4th. Despite playing incredibly efficiently on offense, shooting 55% from the field, 46% from downtown, and registering a goofy 30 assists on our 37 made baskets, we were taken down to the wire by the woeful Grizz, mainly due to what is becoming all-too-routine crappy one-on-one defense.

Memphis shot 52% from the field despite only getting 13 assists out of their 39 field goals, an almost Maverick-like display of black holishness. I don't remember who was guarding Mike Miller, I'm guessing it was Bruce, but whoever it was, he didn't do a very good job in the 2nd half and Miller almost singlehandedly led the team to a huge upset win. The reason he couldn't finish the job I believe is mostly due to his ridiculous hair. I mean, the guy could be pretty handsome if he had a regular haircut, like a taller Josh Hartnett, but for some reason he has chosen to take styling advice from Mike Dunleavy Jr. It's just not a good look for him. And yes, I realize I sound like Simmons' wife right about now.

What else do I recall from this one? Oh yeah. In the first half Chucky Atkins (the guy Matthew, in a bit of frickin' wizardishness highlighted in his preview) got ejected for dropping a couple of F-bombs at the ref after getting called for an offensive foul. I think twarp frustrated him to the point of insanity with his repeated penetration into the lane in the 2nd quarter and Atkins screamed something to the zebra about "fucking calling it the fucking same way for both fucking teams you fucking fuck."

Or something.

Also, the Hustlemaker factored into the win at the end, as usual. Whereas in the Philly game he sank a couple shots at the finish, here he got a couple dimes to put the Grizz (and Mike Fratello) to bed.

Your 3 Stars

3. Tim Duncan- 21 and 9 and a perfect 8 for 8 from the field. However he gets relegated to merely 3rd star status because of some lazy defending in the paint. This would prove to be a bad omen in the coming week, as we'll get to.

2. Tony Parker- I honestly can't remember a single play in this ball game. But 18 and 10 looks pretty enough in the box score, so there you go. Like I said, he got Atkins ejected, but I don't know if that was a positive or not. His defense hasn't been so hot either.

1. Mike Finley- 20 points on 7 of 10 and 5 of 6 from three. Don't you just love how Findog busts out one of these every 15 games or so just to mess with out heads? Whatever. If he didn't play well we most likely would've lost the game, so kudos to him, but there have been a handful of losses where we could have prevailed had he shown up at all. This probably would've been more complimentary if his showing against the Rockets wasn't so darn pathetic. Congrats again Mike!

Record: 20-6 Streak: W-5
Up Next: Vs. Houston Rockets

Once again the search for that elusive sixth win in a row would prove futile. Grrrr.

Game 27 Vs. Houston: Rockets 97, Spurs 78

Maybe if we gave Oberto a cool nickname...

Our first, and hopefully but unlikely last asswhoopin' of the year. We can't blame this on fatigue, injuries, the refs, a bad play here or there, or anything else. When you lose by 20+ points, it means your whole team played like complete shit, period. We got our rear ends handed to us by Yao to such a degree that he didn't even need to play the 2nd half.

We tried Fab-O on him. He sucked. We tried Elson on him. He sucked. We tried Timmy on him. He sucked. We tried various double teams. They all sucked. Basically what I'm trying to say is we had no answers for the big tall Chinese dude on this night. The Rockets played without T-Mac and still dominated us thanks mostly to the re-emergence of one Bonzi Wells.

For those of you who remember how this gentleman went off against us in the Kings series last year, this couldn't have been much of a surprise. He's way too muscular for Manu. He's too quick for Bruce. Bones and Fin are, of course, hopeless against him. He's just like an impossible match-up for us at this point, like LeBron and Ron-Ron are, but he doesn't seem to take as many stupid fadeaway threes as they do.

The Rockets are either my second or third favorite team so I was very upset to hear about Yao's broken leg and T-Mac's continuing back troubles. I really would like to see their complete team have a chance in the playoffs on of these years, just to see what they could do, but I'm really not going to cry about it if the Spurs don't have to deal with them this May. Denver, Phoenix and Dallas will be tough enough. (You know we'll get all three of them, in that order.)

Anyway, as optimistic as I was in November about the Elson/Oberto combo, this game might have been the straw that broke the camel's back for me. Now I'm not so sure if they were any improvement over `Sho/T-Rex and for all I know it could be a downgrade. Our rebounding and interior defense has been terrible of late, and these guys aren't even crashing the offensive glass like they had been. I am dreading the eminent return of Tinyball in May, primarily because both Fin and RoHo have been so fucking putrid this season. But they're "experienced veterans."

And is it just me, or does it seem like more and more guys in the league are too tough for Bruce to handle? He can't check the muscular guys, he can't check the penetrators, he can't check the tall shooters like Dirk or Miller, well who the hell is left? Adam Morrison? Mike Bibby? Since McGrady was out for the Rockets, there was really nobody for Bowen to guard out there and the only reason he even got 21 minutes of floor time was because Findog was even worse.

Yes, Mike sucked again when facing a good defensive club. I'm as shocked as you are.

Okay, so the "centers" were terrible, Fin and Bowen were total ass, the backup points were shitty as usual, RoHo played like a gigantic weenie on defense, and Bones somehow got off only one shot attempt in 28 minutes (guess who I blame for that).

Sounds like the kinda game where we really needed Tim to come up huge, huh?

Unfortunately Duncan had his worst performance of the year and a great offensive night from our starting backcourt wasn't enough to prevent us from getting boat-raced. The only thing games like this are good for is getting the guys' attention in practice the next day and to be secure in the knowledge that there will be holy hell to play for the next poor squad who's on the schedule. We could have all been millionaires right now if we bet huge sums of scrill on the games after the Spurs suffered a loss you know. Well, except for the first Utah game, but that didn't count because the Hustlemaker was out, and only a complete moron would have any confidence in the club under such circumstances.

But yeah, if a game like this happened against anybody besides the Rockets or Warriors I would have taken it much worse. I promise I'll cuss more the next time we get killed, okay?

Your 3 Stars

3. Matt Bonner- It was either him or Jackie Butler, and Butler didn't play.

2. Tony Parker- Three whole assists. Ironic because his fiancé gives it up to everybody. Yes, I'm 13 years old.

1. Manu Ginobili- If he got like 40 shot attempts, this game might have been close. Just once in my life I'd like to see Manu go Agent Zero on us, just to trip everybody out and give me and Matthew a simultaneous boners and for Adam to re-new his faith in God.

Record 20-7 Streak: L-1
Up Next: @ New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets

For the second road contest in a row, we face the hapless Nooch, this time in Oklahoma City. Yet another segababacrappaoppa. I think it's time we drop the myth about back-to-backs. They really haven't given us too many problems this year. Either we're playing terrible teams on the second night, or Tim's healthy enough for them to not matter anymore.

Game 28 @ New Orleans/Oklahoma City: Spurs 112, Hornets 77

Okay, this was somewhat more entertaining than the last game, but it was just as lacking in drama. Just like the last time we played the Nooch, the contest was over before it began since they were missing West, Peja and Bobby Jackson, however there were three positive developments for the Hornets on this evening.

1. Tyson Chandler was in the lineup. You know, the guy who got his lunch handed to him by Kwame Brown in a one-on-one game for the right to be drafted first overall by Michael Jordan.

2. They weren't wearing those ghastly Banana Slug- Yellow unis this time, so I could keep my lunch down.

3. Chris Paul didn't get in front of a microphone and concede the game in front of the fans like he did last time, which was nice. How pathetic was that by the way? "Uh, we're um a bit shorthanded tonight, but we're gonna try real hard, and uh... thanks for coming out to support us..."

But anyway, it's like I always say, if you let the Spurs shoot 63% from the field and 75% from three, we're gonna be pretty tough to beat. I think the boys were good and pissed after the Houston game, so no matter who played for the Nooch, it really wasn't going to make much of a difference. How lopsided was this game? Everybody for the Spurs shot 50% or better except for Vaughn and Eric frickin' Williams. There isn't a whole lot to analyze here, but the one thing that stayed with me from this one that I'll make sure to always pay attention to in the future was that whoever was the statkeeper was a total fucktard. It amazes me how seriously stats are taken in the MLB and NFL, but how laissez-faire the NBA is about their box scores. Doesn't anyone doublecheck these things after the game to make sure they're accurate? I'll elaborate below.

Your 3 Stars
3. Jacque Vaughn- The lion's share of his damage came in the garbage 4th quarter, but you can't knock ten assists in 19 minutes. That's right, I said ten. Your handy-dandy NBA box score credits him with eleven, but don't believe it. Beno ran a pick-and-roll with Fab-O for a bucket and for some godforsaken reason they gave the assist to Jacque. It wasn't Jacque, it was Beno. I watched the game. I think I can tell the difference between the two.

2. Manu Ginobili- The Hustlemaker was robbed of not one but two assists, and one steal as well, for good measure. On the first non-assist he stole the ball and passed it ahead for Tony to collect right before it went out of bounds and lay it in. The moron statkeeper gave the dime to Bruce. On the second one he ran a pick and roll with Bonner, passed it to the Red Rocket, who pump faked, took one dribble and sank a jumper. No assist was given. I don't get it. How could the numbers people give the guys be assigned so randomly? It's like the only thing they make sure to get right is the points. Isn't whoever in charge of this getting paid? I remember doing this job once in Jr. High for the varsity team, it wasn't that hard. And all those kids were white, so they were tougher to tell apart than Vaughn and Beno or Manu and Bruce. This completely ruined the game for me in the second half, I'm not even kidding.

1. Tony Parker- Another great evening for Le Trou Noir, 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting and 9 helpers. Or maybe six. Or maybe twelve. Who knows? His defense against Paul was mostly indifferent, but it didn't matter.

Record: 21-7 Streak: W-1
Up Next: Vs. Milwaukee Bucks

No way we lose to these clowns unless half the team gets ill and we decide to not guard the paint for some reason. I'm not even remotely concerned.

Okay, that's all I got. I've missed the last two games because I was actually playing ball instead of watching it. A friend from is recording them for me so I'll watch them in a week or so. See y'all later. I'm gonna try to watch the Spurs, Eagles and Colts simultaneously on Sunday, so I have no idea how much of that I'll be able to absorb. Honestly, I'll probably be swearing too much at Michael Vick to pay too much attention to the other Atlanta team. The Hawks are pretty beat up themselves these days, right?

Now if you excuse me, I have to prepare myself for a quasi-date with a lesbian who's in a monogamous relationship. What can I say? I like a challenge.