That was one hell of a game against Toronto. It reminded me of the double overtime game against GS last year; Manu, Rasho and Tim were out and Tony just went off. In both games the opposing point guard scored more points but the Spurs still won the game.
Oh yeah, Tim didn't play. Flu-like symptoms.
Both Parker and Bosh proved their All Star worthiness, shooting a combined 23-37. The French Layup machine was phenomenal for most of the night, scoring virtually at will and dishing out 13 assists. He did have 6 TOs but the ball was in his hands the whole night. And, unlike, Mike James, he actually passes the ball occasionally.
Yeah, that's being too hard on James (who did have 7 assists), and he made some very tough shots down the stretch. But during OT the guy simply refused to pass the ball. SA had Bowen fronting Bosh with no help over the top. Maybe Mike James has a lob pass phobia or something, but he didn't once attempt to get the ball to Bosh. Who only had 30 points on 18 FGA.
There was damn near a plethora of surprising plays in this game. It all started when Sean "No seriously, I can play Pop; really; it's not funny; I'm not joking" Marks fed a nice pass to TP down low. Tony did his "Wait didn't he just switch pivot foots" routine and missed a layup. Marks came barreling in and stuffed the putback over Antonio Davis and some other TOR guy. Even the opposing crowd let out an audible "Ooh." (Unfortunately this did not happen in front of the Spurs bench so I missed the requisite single flick of the tower by Van Exel.) The best part was Dick Stockton blurting out "AND SEAN MARKS FINISHES THE JOB!!!" From now on I am going to say that every time I complete a menial task. Take out the trash? "AND SEAN MARKS FINISHES THE JOB!!!" Clip my toe nails? "AND SEAN MARKS FINISHES THE JOB!!!" Rub one out? "AND SEAN MARKS FINISHES THE JOB!!!" Wait, that last one is a little creepy. Sorry `bout that Sean. It's just platonic. I swear. And I'm sorry I sent you that merkin. That was uncalled for.
You can look at Marks' 8-9 shooting, 5 REB, 2 AST and 1 BLK and know he played superbly. But that doesn't tell the whole story. He played so well that I actually found myself thinking "The Spurs should use Marks against DET. He's more athletic than Rasho and not a bad rebounder. He has good court awareness. He can pull Ben Wallace away from the basket. And maybe his pastiness combined with his unabashed affinity for marsupials will encourage the Pistons to run lots of plays for Ben." At this point I am still serious. Cut back Horry's minutes (just for the regular season) and let the guy play 15 a night. See what you got. (Damn it's great knowing the Spurs have 12 guys that can actually play.)
The Solid Slovenian made a couple of huge plays late in the fourth quarter, including a tip in and a putback dunk with under 2 minutes to play. I was so shocked when it happened that I nearly choked on my Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke. (Does anybody remember the generic drinks HEB used to sell? They were called "Plaza." They had grape and lemon lime and coke (which sucked) and orange and the staple of many a sugar binge: black cherry. I think they were something like 19 cents a can. "Memories... like the corners of my mind.")
The Sickness damn near got his ass beat by Morris Peterson. Mo Pete didn't like Manu's angularity (i.e. them little elbows); he also probably didn't enjoy getting crossed over again and again and again. Manu made a ridiculous layup in the last seconds of the fourth. Went baseline, barreled elbow first into Bosh and threw a pseudo-no-look hook over his head with his back to the basket. It made me pee myself; but just a little. The pull-ups took care of it.
TP had the ball in his hands at the end of regulation. Which, of course, means the Spurs got a horrible shot but at least he only left 2.2 seconds on the clock. James got the rebound and did not call one of TOR's two remaining time outs; presumably because if that happened someone else might have ended up shooting the ball.
The Spurs put the hammer down in OT despite Rasho and Marks fouling out. Nazr came in and did a couple of things on the defensive end that stood out to me. James and Bosh ran a pick and roll and Parker ended up guarding the bigger man about 12 feet from the basket. Mike accidentally passed the ball to Bosh and Nazr immediately came across the lane for a double team. He needs to get to the point where he doesn't have to think about where he needs to be and I think he's making progress. He also made a nice hustle play to block a Mike James layup attempt. Mohammed definitely stepped up when SA had no one else they could go to.
Last but not least, Michael Finley was large off the bench. 23 on 9-14. He looked very confident in his shot but at the same time didn't force anything. Hopefully we'll see a repeat performance against NJ on Friday night. They've won something like 12 games in a row at home.
Hey there's a new poll!
Lastly, I'll close with a random stat: MIL has an average point differential of -1.7 and have a record of 25-23. HOU has an average point differential of -1.7 and have a record of 19-30. I really hope HOU doesn't sneak up to the 8 seed; imagine having to play HOU > DAL > PHX > DET to go back to back. And with that pleasant thought, I'm out. "AND SEAN MARKS FINISHES THE JOB!!!"