A Spanish PG Walks Into A Canadian Bar

An Amateur's Running Diary
Spurs @ Raptors - Feb 11 2008
- 1st HALF

Aaand here we go. This isn't a true recap, but since I don't know how to write anyway I'll just comment on the game as I watch it and hopefully that'll tide over the unfortunate people who missed it.

I love pictures. This would have pictures if I knew how to add them. Sorry. Maybe next time, if Matthew lets me post again.

Anyway, it's so sad when you watch the match using Sopcast and the image freezes midshot. Two things can happens: the next time you look at the scoreboard Toronto can be leading or you can suddenly happen onto Ginobili nailing a three. Fortunately, the latter happens.

Two plays in a row with great ball movement from Manu to Oberto to Duncan, then easy basket. I always wonder if most of Fab's points come off Manu's assists because Oberto is dependant on Manu or because he's the only guy willing to pass the ball deep to the the slow countryman.

As I write this, Manu makes a difficult shot off the glass, then makes a layup. He's playing effortlessly in the first quarter. In fact, all the Spurs seems to be passing the ball well.

Dare I hope a good game from our dear San Antonians?

Manu leaves, Horry enters, Bargnani tries not to suck and dunks it, and makes the +1. Toronto is a deeply talented team and has some great passers, and really, watching them this season has been great. They're like the Suns, only they don't whine so much and didn't trade Marion for a corpse. Hopefully, mocking Shaq won't come back to bite me in the ass.

Calderon now, that's a great PG. I'm writing this, and Sopcast goes online. But fear not: the yahoo scoreboard informs me that Toronto is closing in, which means we have a good possibility of having increased the lead. Besides, it's not possible that Oberto missed two FTs in a row. Again.

When I get video again (and a solid feed this time, so I'm set for the rest of the night, yay me), we're 32/26, Manu has come and gone in the second quarter, Finley just tried a very risky pass which led to a turnover and then Pop laughed right in Bonner's face as he benched him after 10 seconds. And Elson actually subs for him. So much fun in the Spurs merry-go-round.

I wonder how it feels to have TJ Ford as your backup PG. Don't get me wrong: I hate TJ. He was way overrated last season, and Calderon has outplayed him in every possible fashion. Still, as a backup PG, he's a great option. The man just dished out 14 assists the other day! I remember someone saying that Forderon (Calderord?) was an all-time PG for the Raptors, and while that's an exaggeration, he's definitely an all-star.

Funnily enough, I've heard that Calderon has one of the worst +/- rates in the team. Does that make sense to you?

Vaughn driving to the hoop takes years off my life. Still, you have to give the little guy some credit. He just made a difficult layup and then took advantage of his puniness and converted an easy layup off a sweet pass by The Timmy.

39/29 and still somewhat in control. Fun game. Glad to be hooked up with illegal Internet transmissions. Beat the system, d00d.

Some shit happens, and Manu wakes me up with a crazy, off-balance, probably-a-bad-idea-since-he-missed-the-last-two-and-with-good-looks long three. For the record, he only had a couple of off shooting nights in the last weeks. The defenses are closing on him, and he's making the three.

Why not shoot it, I say? I trust him more than anyone else on the team.

And Manu makes another crazy three, proving I'm a genius. Bill Simmons, eatcher heart out. 47/33.

I'm not trying to write a play-by-play here. I'm going to summarize by saying that Manu's dominating, Timmy is being Timmy, the best PF of all time, Oberto is showing how good he communicates with the Gino, and Elson is sucking like a black hole.

I wanted to write good things about the Raptors tonight, I really did. I love a lot of their players, and Calderon is simply a future perennial all-star, but the Spurs are stealing their thunder playing stretches of truly great basketball. 2 minutes to go in the second quarter.

I'm convinced that Manu can't miss a shot. Too bad Rasho is such a stud.


Finally some time to gather my thoughts. I'll go out on a limb and say that we're winning this game with authority. I'll go even further and say that Manu is playing at a high level. Hell, I'll step right off the ledge and claim that Manu's the reason we're winning so easily.

That's it.

Since I really am a fan of the raptors, I'm going to talk about their players. I think they're a couple of players away from becoming a title contender.


Calderon, of whom I've already talked. Just a a dream PG, with the Nash mold. Tons of assists and the ability to take over the scoring when his team needs it. That he's proved to be clutch doesn't hurt.

Bosh, a borderline dominant player. He has monster games, and then disappears against good teams, and gets schooled by the Duncans and Garnetts of the world. Still, the Raptors wouldn't be half the team they are without him.

Moon, a fun fun player that isn't afraid to hustle. We'd love him in SA.

Ford, and I've talked about him already. It takes a lot to overlook his major flaws, but I'm willing to for a top-notch backup PG.

Kapono, who has a tendency to show up big when no one expects it of him.

Delfino, and not because he's Argentine. Hell, he's the Argentine I like the least, but still, he's given them a lot when the Raptors didn't really have him in their calculations early on. In a bench so thin, he's a definite plus. (Of course, he's 1-7 tonight.)


Bargnani, and I really can't say anything about him that a thousand sports writers haven't already. He's poo.

Parker, not quite starter quality for a team that wants to reach farthest than every other.

The rest, since they don't have a real bench. In short, they suck.

- 2nd HALF

The Spurs start cold, and I'm considering the possibility of seppuku if the Spurs eff up this one. I'm a man of little faith after the last month. 57/46.

Manu misses the three, catches the offensive board, is blocked, then makes a big three, then almost-makes-but-not-quite another. Time for some other Spur to play ball?

Timmy makes a nice 2pter, Gino goes out and the Raptors make a couple of jumpers. 62/50, and I'm
somewhat nervous. Of course, that might be caused by Vaughn driving to the hoop with the clock winding down and not throwing the ball on time. Shizats.

Funny things happen. Oberto and Duncan get in each other's ways and an easy defensive rebound turns into a turnover. Calderon throws a great alley and Bargnani manages to mess up the oop. Way to go, flying Italian freak. The NBA, where shitty plays happen.

Calderon steps it up and he's 8/11 for the night, with 5 assists. But Oberto makes a nice hustle play after a couple of boneheaded moves by a guy with his experience (oh, sorry, basketball IQ), and then Timmy makes a brilliant play and nearly prompts an orgasm from yours truly. What a stud. That said, he missed the +1 FT. I hate you. Calderon makes another layup, and suddenly it's a 10 point game. 68/58, and I'm shaking in my proverbial boots.

Calderon can't miss and Elson airballed another shot. Once again, it seems Manu will have to play 1 on 5 because no one else can make a jumper. And right now, Damon misses after a great pass from Manu.

The 3rd quarter is finally over, and we're 8 points ahead. 68/60. Aren't you guys happy we brought Finley and Stoudamire because they could make open shots?

I look away, and we're 70/66 with 10:38 to go. Why is Elson on the court? Hasn't he ruined enough plays this night? I expect to see his ass benched shortly. In the meantime, I hold my breath when anyone not named Ginobili or Duncan touches the ball.

Okay, I'm a fan, so I'm allowed to change my mind shamelessly. Finley can suddenly play, Delfino too, and Manu just checked in with another 3pter. 77/68.

Manu 2, Delfino 2. Argentina wins.

Duncan airball. Rasho jumper. Vaughn with a 3pt. Spurs forget the meaning of defense and giving Bosh an easy dunk. What's the world coming to? IT'S THE TWILIGHT ZONE!82/74.

Calderon huge, but Gino just a nose bigger. Then again, Calderon just made a 3pter from home. And Manu with a beautiful assist. And Delfino with an enormous 3. 87/82.

Delfino playing with heart, assist to Rasho, and layup. Up 3 with 3 and a half minutes to the end of the quarter. And guess who shows up? MANU, faking a ridiculous shot and earning two shots from the line. Makes both, and it's a 5 point game.

WOW. WOW. What a game, guys. If you're reading this and didn't watch the game, I'll just have to point and laugh at you right now. 89/84, their ball.

Exciting stuff keeps happening. I'm exhausted. Bosh steps up, Duncan too, then Manu finally misses a shot and Oberto is stepped on by the refs because they don't like him. Wrong call there.

91/88, and seppuku looms right next to epic victory. 59 seconds left, and we need our D.

Bosh misses, and Manu gets his career high 14th rebound. How about that for our Argentine star? Aaronstampler is probably touching himself somewhere in this big wide world. We miss you, dude.

Hokay. I think we won this. Manu tries a looong three, it hits the back of hoop, then Manu grabs his 15th rebound and that forces the Raptors to foul Finley. Good ol' Findog doesn't fail us ("VETERAN SAVVY!" yells the Wino) and makes both FTs, and now it's a 5 pt game once again with 7 second left on the clock.

Yup. It's a win. I know so much about this game, it's like I can see the future. GREAT win, guys. I won't even go to SpursTalk tonight just in case one of the guys there disagrees and pops my bubble.

I'll let someone else recap it. I'm tired, it's late, and I have to work tomorrow. So I'll just honor our dear Aaronstampler with...


3rd - Calderón. ...He's a Raptor? Whatever. Boom goes the dynamite. 12-17 FG (2-4 3pt), 3 rbds, 6 asts, 1 TO. Do you think we could trade Stoudamire for him?

2nd - Duncan. Solid, cuddly, and downright nostalgic performance. 11-19 FG (0-1 3pt, snort*), 14 rbds (4 off), 2 asts, 2 BS, 2 TO. And he hit big shots, of course.

1(1/2)st - Bonner. 1 PF in 24 seconds of playing. The Red Rocket's taking off.

1st - Manu. Simply erotic. 13-22 FG (6-12 3pt), 15 rbds (2 off), 6 asts, 2 stls, 2 TO. Most points, most rebounds and most assists of the match. 'Nuff said.

Finally, just a word for our favourite zombie, Horry, who had a couple of really nice passes. He's showing some life signs lately, and I'm glad. Sorry for being so long-winded, fellas. Talk to you guys later, and looking forward to the Cavs sucking at home.

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