Game 43 @ Boston: Spurs 93, Celtics 89
This is always my favorite road stop of the season (aside from the ones in Oaktown where I actually get to attend the games of course) for two simple words.
The ex-Celtic great and current color man for the green and white, Heinsohn is by far the most entertaining homer in the NBA and I'm definitely including our own Sean Elliott when I say this. Not only is Heinsohn shamelessly biased, but he's also a bit senile, only the organization is too polite to say anything, probably because he was a favorite of Red's or something. Also, I'm a huge fan of the "Tommy Points" gimmick, where Heinsohn rewards these verbal gold stars to Celtics who make hustle plays such as blocks, steals, diving on the floor and what have you.
Jefferson swats Timmy? He gets a Tommy Point.
Rondo outhustles Beno for a looseball? He gets a Tommy Point.
Rondo wins possession by slamming the ball off Francisco Elson's nuts? He gets two Tommy Points.
And to top that play off, Heinsohn punctuated it with the vaguely racist sounding (gotta love Boston guys), "Elson's gonna have to walk back to South America."
Just stupendous work, especially considering that last I checked, the Netherlands, where Elson is from, is in Europe. I've heard some commentators call Gino a "Euro" before, so I guess it all balances out in the end.
Of course Heinsohn was only rude and condescending toward Elson because the flying Dutchman is new to our club. The old man is actually quite reverential toward the guys who've been with us for a while, particularly the big three. In fact, I'm not sure there's another color man in the league who respects Manu as much as Tommy does. Most of them despise Gonzo. Heinsohn loves him. Seriously, he loves him. You get the feeling that if Gino was a Celtic, he'd set an all-time single season record for Tommy points, don't you? Since Bird anyway.
But even his Manu-love doesn't compare for the gushiness he gets in his pampers for Timmy. As you are probably aware the Spurs haven't lost to Boston in the Tim Duncan Era. What makes this doubly cruel for Celtics fans is that by all accounts, Timmeh was supposed to be their savior, not ours. They had the most ping pong balls, we only had the third most. If the NBA draft were conducted like the drafts of any of the other three major sports, the odds are damn near certain that the Admiral would have ended his career ringless just like Sir Charles, Ewing, and the Brokeback couple of fellers they had over there in Utah. The whole reason Pitino took the Celtics coaching job was because he thought they were going to land Duncan, a can't miss superduperstar to rebuild their franchise around. How'd that work out?
Hey um, Tim, you remember that bank shot you made over Jefferson in the 2nd quarter? That was awesome!
So in a way, it's like Len Bias all over again for these people. Except now instead of living in regret because their guy's career (and life) ended before it began, these fans are haunted once a year by the ghost of what could have been. At least with Bias, nobody else reaped the benefits for their loss, as sick as that sounds.
One would think for this reason alone that the Celtics TV guys would hate the Spurs, especially Tim, but it seems that the opposite is true. It's like they're trying to live vicariously through our team. Maybe it's because we're old school and we don't feel the need to trash talk and celebrate like jackasses after every basket and that'll appeal to some of these Beantown fogeys, but it's more than that. I just think that whenever we come to town these guys are caught in some Bird or possibly even Russell era flashback, kind of like the Nexus from the first Star Trek: The Next Generation movie y'know?
I just get the feeling that if they could pull off a 15 for 15 man trade with us that the Boston broadcasters, management and fans would be all over it. And who could blame them after all they've endured for the past dozen or so years? Just something to think about when we're bitching and moaning about having ONLY THE 3rd BEST RECORD IN THE NBA.
As for the actual game? We kinda sucked. We played one great quarter, two below average ones and one gruesome one and somehow won the game. I'm not even sure if we deserved to win it actually. I know Ludden had that article about Pop telling Tony to pass the ball more and the commitment to it was certainly evident in the first half at Philly, but really we've played like crap in the second half against clearly inferior teams for what, the fifth game in a row? On one level I feel like yelling and swearing and screaming at the sky at all this team's obvious faults, but then I see a team like Boston and I realize I'm sounding like a big spoiled baby, or worse a Yankee fan. So the next rant will have to wait. It wouldn't be right to do it after a win against the Celtics.
P.S. We had this assignment for Spanish class where we had to bring something representing your favorite Hispanic artist, writer, or sculptor. I brought a picture of Manu Ginobili. I explained to the class in flawless Spanish that was obviously the work of a translation website (perhaps because I was reading it off a sheet of paper) that I'm not into art and that all my favorite writers are either American or English, so I chose Manu Ginobili, whose best quality isn't his physical ablility but rather the passion and style he plays with which is so indicative of his culture. So outgay that Matthew, I dare you.
P.P.S. The professor is Spanish, so he was disappointed I didn't go with Gasol or Calderon. I did my best to avoid laughing at him.
Your 3 Stars
3. Michael Finley - It was a draw between Tony and Manu, so I'll just split the difference and give it to Fin who had 12 points and five boards off the bench. Oddly enough he shot 5-6 from two and 0-6 from three. Who was it that said he should stop shooting the long ones again?
2. Francisco Elson - Not only did he play well, but he took one for the cause there in the second half.
1. Tim Duncan - 21-9-5-4. Zzzzzzz. An all too routine four turnovers too. But inquiring minds want to know, what's with the no missed free throws? What the fuck's that about?
Record: 30-13 Streak: W-3
Up Next: Vs. Houston Rockets
Four in a row is in the bag folks. Not only is this a revenge game, but they don't even have the big Chinese guy playing. And we're at home, where we're practically invincible. That's what I'd call game, set and match, my friends.