Spurs 93, Timberwolves 86 SA: 45-22 1st in Southwest, 2nd in West. Conference
I can't think of anything remotely interesting to say about this game, but take the plunge by reading along after the jump my friends, and there's a decent chance, like maybe a "contested 20 ft. Tony Parker jumper" kind of percentage, you'll come away entertained anyway.
[MP note: I had to edit out the entire bar story because of language.]
One Spur that's been [deleted] a lot this year, at least figuratively, is Fab Oberto. Sure his beard was glorious, and he's got the kind of soft, flowing locks that would make most of the gals here jealous, but The Other Floppy Argentine has played far less this season than the previous two and often when he has been on the floor the results have been tremendously underwhelming. With the recent acquisition of Drew Gooden and the consistently solid performances we've been getting from Kurt Thomas the odds are that Fab will be out of the playoff rotation.
So knowing all that going in, it sure was heartening to see Fab contribute to a sleepy Spurs win over the neutered T-Pups. His defense was hardly exemplary, and the lug had a mighty difficult time coming up with defensive boards, as always, but he did hit all four of his shots from the field (including a nifty drive and reverse lay-up) and four of six freebies and finished with 12 and 6 (four offensive boards).
For the offensively-challenged Spurs, sans Timmy and Manu, the points came in individual spurts (but not in a gross way, Matthew). We were carried in the 1st quarter by Fab and Rocket, who despite being mired in an awful shooting slump from long range, found a way to score a couple of garbage buckets. The second period was mostly "The Ime Udoka Show" and it was exactly as excruciating as that sounds. Tony carried the mail for most of the third, before Mace ended the quarter on a personal 6-0 run, and we finished off things in the fourth with more Frenchie, a scoop of Roger, a dash of Fab and just a pinch of Eeeyoupeeyou (ladies...) for flavor.
It was, to be kind, a difficult game to watch. While committing only four turnovers (two each by Fab and Mace) was a nice response to the "ball bearings-and-banana peels" theme the night before, it still didn't lead to an easy win. In fact, all our great care for the rock did was offset the sobering reality of Minnesota's assorted whodats shooting the rock at a better clip than us. Not turning the ball over kept the Wolves from getting easy buckets, but probably the biggest factor in us winning and them losing was the charity stripe. We shot 80%, they shot like 62% and - presto! - seven point victory.
The bench was mostly poor, Gooden didn't look at all comfortable with his teammates - or they with him - and nobody could hit a three to save their lives. I know any win without our two best players is a good win, but let's just say that this won't be prominently featured in the team's championship DVD and move on.
The best news from the past three days was that Manu's practicing again, as you all know. Sure, he might have looked a bit stiff (or was that me, watching him? Hey-O!) but at least it's something. If getting more enjoyment out of that than the T-Wolves game is wrong than I don't want to be right.
Being right hardly does me any good anyway.