Game 33 @ Minnesota: Timberwolves 103, Spurs 101 OT
Okay, this will be short and sweet. It's already very late and I haven't packed yet and I think I'm supposed to wake up four hours from now so I can fly to Las Vegas. No, I am not trying to pretend I'm Bill Simmons dammit. He did not invent the concept of watching sports and making fun of stuff. Also, his hobbies include movies, TV shows, going to sporting events, music, gambling and pornography. Oh my god, me too! WATFO.
Anyway, I was too busy to do this earlier. Or too lazy. I woke up hella late (yes, I say hella, I'm from the bay area) because I went to bed way hella late writing about the goddamn Cavs game on the other blog. So I woke up hella late and then I wasted four hours before I went to play basketball. And when I came home it was my sister's 21st birthday party and 50 people were here and she was totally wasted. She kept asking me to make her laugh when people were taking her picture because like me she can only smile properly for photographs when laughing. So I kept calling her a whore and that did the trick. She's a mean sloppy drunk and she embarrassed her two friends who were there and they left early. I don't know why I'm telling you any of this. Just kinda wingin' it I guess. I'm a bit buzzed myself.
So anyway, my sister and I went to the same high school, eight years apart. She told me that one of her teachers recognized her last name and asked if she was related to me and when my sister told this person that she was, that this teacher described me as "an angry young man" and made this grouchy face. And the sad thing is I can't really argue with this characterization. I get grouchy, a lot. Moody too. The nice fellas at Spursdynasty think I dislike every Spur but Manu, which I think is totally unfair because I like at least two or three other Spurs.
But anyway, as ironic as it may be, I'm not upset right now. The Vegas part probably has A LOT to do with it. Or maybe it was because Gino played pretty well last night in the loss. The truth is like Matthew I just don't get nearly as worked up over these regular season games as I pretend to be. I get all angry and bothered to put on a show for you folks, but really, this is my version of a chick faking orgasms. I type a lot angrier than I really am.
I'm usually angry, this loss should have made me angry, a similar loss next week might make me angry, but right now, not so angry. I'm too tired to even pretend.
I mean, let's look at all the positives here...
On defense, we played great against everybody but Mark frickin' Blount. Andre 3000 and Randy Foye were both total goat poopers. The extremely overrated KG once again was his usual pansy jumpshooting self in the second half and finished a so-so 9 of 23 against a team that didn't even play with a legitimate center. If they didn't go an insane 28 of 29 from the freebie line, we would've so totally beat their goofy as shit pointy numbers on their uniforms wearing asses. Hell, we only gave up 8 offensive rebounds in 53 minutes, even though the last one was most unfortunate in its timing.
On offense we had a season low four turnovers, the big three all played between "good" and "awesome" and we really didn't embarrass ourselves in either free throws or offensive rebounds, our usual two bugaboos when we struggle. Also we got solid performances from two guys that Pop is starting to discover need to be in the rotation, Matt Bonner and Beno Udrih so overall, more good than bad, right? Did I mention that it was a segababa?
If I have to bitch I'd bitch about the usual suspects. Bruce Bowen had his second consecutive 0-6 game in 24 hours and his barely above average perimeter defense (face the music people, Manu is our best outside guy now, and he won't exactly be cracking the NBA All Defense team one of these days) can in no way, shape or form excuse him being such a liability on offense.
Can someone explain how with our defensive wizard on the bench for the entire 4th quarter we held Minny to 12 points? Care to speculate why then we then inserted him into the game in OT? In Bowen's three minutes on the floor in OT we got outscored 4-0, and in the final two minutes it was 8-6 Spurs. Too little, too late.
Also, if I've said this once I've said it a billion times: PLAYING BRUCE BOWEN IN A TINYBALL LINEUP MAKES NO FRICKIN' SENSE. Godammit, make up your mind Pop, do you want to score or defend? If you want to guard people then play with a god damn big and play Bruce. If you want to score than leave Finley or Barry in there with Bonner, Tim, Manu and Tony like you did in the 4th and we'll be fine. Just pick one or the other, that's all I ask.
How Oberto played only 9 minutes in this game with Elson out and Butler never checking in boggles my mind. I know Fab-O is a 9th man talent at best and you know it as well, but how can anyone argue he'd be less useful to us on either end of the floor than Bowen was? At least he can grab an occasional rebound and perhaps bother Blount into something worse than a 12 of 14 night. It just goes to show that Pop has learned NOTHING from his mistakes in the Dallas series and we're going to be doomed by tinyball this May as well unless the big three play out of their minds, Fin and RoHo find a way to turn back the clock and Barry shoots it like he did in November.
Also, what was up with that final play in regulation? Manu goes nuts in the fourth quarter, outscoring the T-Pups by his lonesome and we give the ball at the end to Tony? Why Pop why? When has Tony ever made a field goal or a pass that led to a field goal to win a game, ever? It was such a lame big picture wussy Spurs "let's see what this guy can do" move to give Bonner the final shot in a tie game in regulation. You know god damn well if we were down one or two there's no way Bonner touches the ball, but since it's tied we've got this wimpy "playing with house money" attitude.
We did the same shit in the first Charlotte game by letting Fin take the last shot, a terrible three pointer, but at least in that situation it was Manu trying to make something happen in transition and not off a time out. Still, in both cases we had to make these desperate energy-sapping comebacks in the 4th quarter and had nothing left for OT. Does any team besides us ever let one of their non-stars shoot the ball in this situation? No. No. No. I wish coach had the foresight to realize that we needed to win that game in regulation because fatigue was due to catch up with us in extra time. We're kind of an old club in case you hadn't noticed. It's one thing if you're going to OT when the game has been back and forth the whole way, but when you had to scrap and claw the whole fourth quarter just to get there, then you have to treat that last possession like you're down one and not be so carefree with it. Red Rocket? Dumb, dumb, dumb.
"I usually make those" my ass. When exactly has he ever made a game winning three at the buzzer? Give me one example. And if it did happen, which I highly doubt, it came in a no pressure situation playing for the lowly Raptors, not as a member of a contender where one game could be the difference between home court and the fourth seed.
Okay, I lied, this wasn't short. Also, now I am kinda angry. And sleepy. Fuck.
Your 3 Stars
3. Beno Udrih- If only he could bottle this kinda game and give it to us every night. I can't really think of a single mistake he made on either end of the floor. I don't want to see Jacque Vaughn play ever again, not even in a blowout. I'd rather let Butler be our 3rd string point.
2. Manu Ginobili- A dunk! Will wonders never cease. He really wanted it that game, you could tell. He loves to piss off KG because KG hates white people. Remember last year when he screamed, "I HATE THAT MOTHERFUCKER!!!" after Manu had an and-1 to close out a win for us? I think I was in Vegas then too. Speaking of and-1s, Gino was totally hacked on his last drive in the fourth and we should have won that game in regulation. How does he not touch the ball on the last possession? How does he only get one shot attempt in OT? Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh.
1. Tim Duncan - 24, 13, 5 and 5. Statistically not much better than Garnett, but he was way less of a weenie. Also, he didn't have big man to help him out.
Record 23-10 Streak: L-2
Up Next: Vs. Dallas Mavericks
A two game losing streak is probably not an ideal time to be facing the red hot Mavs, but I'm feeling oddly confident about this one. I just think we're going to come out good and pissed like we did for the Utah game and losing the Minny game will make us even more focused. I'm sure Pop is thrilled that Elson is out so he can save that matchup for when it counts anyway. Let's see if Manu can put back to back "playoff Manu" like games together. Except for the Cleveland aberration, he's been taking it to the basket pretty aggressively the past two weeks.