Game 45 Vs. Memphis: Spurs 112, Grizzlies 96
The Rodeo road trip beckons and our next nine contests will be against likely playoff teams. Well five of them are Eastern Conference playoff teams, but still. Besides the Atlantic flotsam and jetsam we've still got to deal with the Lakers, Jazz, Suns and Nugs. If these guys are serious about being contenders, 6-3 has to be the bare minimum as sunshine greets us on February 21st. Capíche?
Who are we anyway? The team that ran out to 62-47 halftime lead or the one that let it all disintegrate by the end of the 3rd quarter? The one that played inspired, perfectly rotating defense and smooth flowing offense for large stretches of three quarters or the one who let the Grizz hit seven threes in the other?
Probably both. After 45 games I think we're a little too late into the season to say that so and so is having a slump and this part or that part of the team will improve. We are what we are. Good, but not great. When we play at our best nobody can touch us, but such performances will be few and far between. The team seems to have lost their ability to play a solid "B+" kind of game and it's been so long since we've had one that I don't even know if I'll recognize it anymore when and if it happens.
Because that's how you win championships my friends. Nobody brings their best every night. It's just not realistic. The teams that win are the ones don't strive for perfection - they just strive to be better than their opponents that day. If the other team throws a B game, you gotta throw out a B+. If they throw a B+, you gotta deliver an A-. And if they happen to have everything working that night, well you just take your medicine and make them work as hard as you can. Unless this road trip works its magical charms and bring together the team's unity, camaraderie, its esprit de corps and all that other one for all, all for one mumbo jumbo, this team's playoff journey will be a short one indeed because as you may have heard the coach has announced that no trades or roster adjustments are in the offing.
We need to get our shit together soon people, because come May we will be dueling with Gods.
3 Stars (Not so easy this time, there were six candidates. This is known as a good problem to have.)
3. Manu Ginobili - Kept the Grizzles from taking control of the game early in the 4th with his second flurry of the game and helped the Spurs take the lead for good.
2. Beno Udrih - Seven points and five dimes in only 14 minutes of work. Oh and no turnovers! Is this what having a competent backup point guard is like? The bitter taste of that Jacque Vaughn disaster against the Rockets has resurfaced in my mouth and now these garlic parmesan chicken wings taste gross. (Perhaps they just taste gross anyway, but whatev.)
1. Tim Duncan - 9 blocks? Somebody was feeling spry the other night. Either he was really pissed off about how the team's been playing or he was just taking out his frustrations for not being able to beat some dumb video game. Either way, I hope he plays about 30 seconds in the All-Star game. Screw those alley-ooping, showboating cirque-de-soleil wannabe fucks.
Record: 31-14 Streak: W-1
Up Next: @ Los Angeles Lakers
Our last shot this season to beat the Zenmeister and the Colorado Casanova after they've gotten the better of us twice already. Getting swept by a clearly inferior squad would not be a good way to start the road trip, so Bowen's going to have to step up.