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Counter Point

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Stampler wrote a quality review of game 4, so I'll only venture into areas where we disagree; namely Manu Ginobili. Michael chose him as the number two star of the game while I thought he played average at best.

I'll admit the box score paints a fairly rosy picture: 18 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals. But The Sickness took 17 shot attempts (too many of them forced) to get those 18 points, and he also had two incredibly bone-headed turnovers late in the game. The second came with 40 seconds left and the Spurs up by 3. Manu tried to force a bounce pass between two players to a moving Tim Duncan 15 to 18' from the basket (not exactly where you want Tim getting the ball). The botched play led to a Steve Blake jumper that was 1/2" from tieing the game. Damn near gave Pop a coronary, too.

I would have given Tony Parker the nod over Manu. He scored only 3 less points on 6 less shot attempts, and while he didn't have the rebounding and steal numbers, he did play amazing defense on Iverson every time Pop called his number. He also played 7 more minutes than the Argentinian and led the team in +|-.

Of course these are the types of arguments I hope to be having two months from now.

Other observations:

-Jacque Vaughn's defense on AI was atrocious, leading Pop to actually running Manu at point for a short time in the second quarter.

-Elson had by far his best game of the series, yet he still was last on the team with a -4. For the series he's -21. The next closest Spur is Bonner at -4.

-Brent Barry couldn't hit shit, and the Spurs were still +4 with him in the game.

-Carmelo, though seemingly unguardable, has 15 TOs and 6 assists in the series.

-AI has 3 rebounds so far in 4 games.