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Game Thread #78: San Antonio Spurs Vs. Portland Trail Blazers

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Now entering the 4th stage of shock

I'll let the immortal words of Gregg Popovich introduce this game thread:

"We look at it as a challenge and take it on, and whatever happens from there happens. There's really no other choice."

Apparently the Spurs community as a whole is starting to come to terms with the loss of our basketball wizard Manu Ginobili. tomasito wrote a must-read post and Graydon Gordian from 48 Minutes of Hell did a great article explaining why Duncan should play, even if he's hurt. Read it, fellas, it's worth your time.

I'll say it again: I'm an optimist at heart. Just knowing that I'm not alone in my completely irrational hope for a championship despite everything makes me feel much better - especially after watching the best epic speech montage once more.

We need to keep playing. Maybe Lady Luck will smile at us and we'll get favorable pairings all the way to the WCF, and then The Machine will go mad with power now that he can dunk on people and dropkick Kobe or something. We might as well do our thing and hope for the best. And if losing is in the cards, we won't go down easy.

Unless we play The JV.

More feel-good previewing, after the break.

Game Time: 6:00 Spurs Time,
8:00 pm Argentina
1:00 am Palestine, Egypt, 7:00 pm CET
8:00 am Perth, Japan, 7:00 am Philippines
9:00 am Guam
7:00 EDT, 5:00 MDT, 4:00 PDT
Officials: TBA
TV: My35

Tony Parker
Finals MVP
Roger Mason
Tim Duncan
Kurt Thomas
Michael Finley

Steve Blake
Okay player
Brandon Roy
Great player
Joel Przybilla
Pretty good
LaMarcus Aldridge
Damn good
Nicolas Batum
Still looks
images via
26-12 Home 31-7
24-15 Road 18-21
97.0 Offense 99.3
93.4 Defense 94.8
46.6 FG% 46.3
38.7 3-pt% 38.2
76.6 FT% 76.6
41.0 Rebounds 41.4
11.8 TOs 13.2
5-5 Last 10 7-3
W 1 Streak W 1


  • Point Guard - Tony, you have green light. Shoot, drive, pass, do whatever you want. I promise not to complain about it till the end of the season. Unless you miss four FTs in a row - then it's open season for French PGs. Judging from the mugshots only, Steve Blake looks like a SF.
  • Off Guard - Mason showed signs of life yesterday (not that I'd know, because there were no feeds), and he once again has free reign to do his crazy thing. Maybe it'll work out, and his clutchness will win us a few playoffs games. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say that Roger has at lease one clutch shot left in him for this season. Make it happen, Rog.
  • Center - If Timmy can be Timmy without his Timmy-ish body, then we can be the Spurs.
  • Power Forward - Bonner shouldn't start. Really. We need to give his minute to Kurt Thomas, and have him play off the bench just to check if his shooting's on for the night. He's done nothing for the team lately, and Kurt's a beast rebounding. Thomas and Gooden are the best scoring/defending big-man double-punch we have had in ages.
  • Small Forward - And judging from the mugshots only, Nicolas Batum looks like a PG.
  • Bench - Gooden's proving he deserves some shots, even though I don't think he's rebounding as well as he should. Bowen can still play, and Hill should play. He really should. Sigh.
  • Coach - I love Pop. A couple of bad calls can't undo 8 years of good coaching. If there's a coach that can take this diminished squad to its ceiling, it's Pop.
  • Intangibles - If we want to do something in the playoffs, beating the semi-contenders is the first step. The Blazers are a nightmare at home and not-so-great on the road, and come from losing to the Rockets and barely beating the Grizzlies, both on the road. We need this game badly, and I think the guys know it.
  • Mojo - On the one hand, we pretty much hit rock bottom with Manu's injury. It should only get better from now on. On the other hand, I plagiarized tomasite's title.
  • Winners - Hopefully, us.

Keys To The Game

  • Scrubs - Someone needs to step up. Parker and half of Timmy can't do it all on their own, and Bonner is MIA. We need a strong game from Mason, reminiscent of his scintillating play at the start of the season.
  • Defense - The Thunder shouldn't be able to score at will against us for a quarter. More minutes for Bowen and not putting Finley on, say, Roy might help. Playing Hill might help. Giving Thomas the 30 minutes he deserves would help.
  • Hill - Needs to play. Seriously.

Some other reading

Warriors fans are a pleasant bunch, and they like to wear yellow:

Blazers Edge (The SB Nation blog. More active then PTR, with lots of good material and posts to read. It's also the source of most of our trolls... but that's not their fault. Their preview.)
vs-spurs The Rip City Project (Just a good blog. Its preview.)

Other things of possible interest

  • Gorgeous - Just something CMoney linked to some time ago. One of his friends filmed his kid by a lake, and it really works.
  • Woman with gun - That's what this link offers. And some other stuff, but honestly, I think that was the whole point. I think Lion linked us in the game thread last night.
  • Amazing - This is how engineers narrate their fables.
  • Container houses - I might have linked to this already. But it's that awesome.
  • Chalky Studebaker - Gotta love him.
  • Omegle - Proves it's fun to talk to strangers. In fact, I just talked to Wolverine... I think.
  • Best name - For a flash game ever. And the story... o the story. Play it, and enjoy the great punchline after the boss fight.
  • Posts in signs - Can be so engaging.
  • 911 - Is great for everything. But mostly math.

Game feeds

Check this game thead at gametime for specific links to good quality feeds. If you arrive late in the game, there game feed links are usually among the first 50 posts of the thread.
BitTorrent Davka (A torrent site where you will find most of the latest games in the league. Bookmark.)

Recap: Stampler has spoken. Go.

And remember, guys. Whatever happens, at least we're not the Suns. (Sorry, PhoenixStan.)


What's our ceiling?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    First Round
    (105 votes)
  • 26%
    Second Round
    (91 votes)
  • 12%
    West Conference Finals
    (43 votes)
  • 0%
    (3 votes)
  • 6%
    (23 votes)
  • 5%
    Team Of The Decade
    (20 votes)
  • 16%
    Ruiners Of The Suns And Mavs Franchises
    (55 votes)
340 votes total Vote Now