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What you missed during the holidays

So, we had a busy first week of the season, and it's likely that your time away from a normal schedule means that you missed some of PtR's otstanding coverage of the beginning of the season. But not to fear, I've provided some linkage to bring you up to speed.

The most recent posts are at the top, oldest links at the bottom. Everything here is awesome, else I wouldn't have included it. :)

PCL: Midnight in San Antonio - by DrumsintheDeep
"If it were up to me, I might have chosen to be born around 1970, so I could come of age in the most legendary, fondly-remembered geek age of Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, Atari, The Breakfast Club, and much, much more."

Return to the Fortress of Basketball - by Aaron "Hirschof" Priene
"Hey! How's it going? Some of you may remember me from last season. I carried last season's burden of attending Spurs home games and writing about the fun I had. Sad, right? Well, due to new/additional responsibilities at work, volunteering as a teacher, and my first house, I just don't have the time to scuttle down to the ol' AT&T Center for some pink chicken and Manu Magic anymore. Plus, Mrs. Preine actually enjoys having me around. Fancy that."

NBA Strength of Schedule: New Formula - by Fred Silva
An in-depth look at the schedule strength of this year's "interesting" teams, as seen through the subjective and sometimes arbitrary filter of the author of FARS.

Fraternizing with the Enemy: DITD & Only_A_Lad Talk Rockets vs Spurs - by DrumsInTheDeep
You guys know the format so you're aware that these often run long, but his one is a marathon even by FwtE standards. Let the reader beware!

Fraternizing with the Enemy: Steve and SfS talk Clippers vs Spurs - by SpursfanSteve
It's the first FwtE of the season! Two guys named Steve trading barbs and knowledge. It's ON!

Statistically Speaking ... Game 1 vs the Grizz - by Josh Guyer "Completely Deck"
Josh digs into the opener and analyzes how the Spurs downed the Memphis.

Pounding The Rock: Jacob Riis and The Stonecutter Credo - by CapHill
"Pounding the Rock" - this phrase is ubiquitous in the Spurs organization, as entrenched in the culture as the team colors. Rarely does a day go by where "we just have to keep pounding the rock" isn't heard coming from the lips of a player or referenced by a journalist. The Stonecutter Credo has become the mantra for an organization that takes the long-term view in a field that thrives on instant gratification.

There and Back Again - by DrumsintheDeep
When JRW asked if I was interested in representing PtR at last night's game, I had two immediate, visceral reactions: "YES YES YES!" and "OH GOD." The first because it's an extraordinarily cool opportunity I may never get again, the second because the prospect of coming face to face with Pop and the other players, while trying to avoid embarrassment, was terrifying.

Western Conference Preview - Christmas Style - by quincyscott
We open on a vast expanse and pan across miles and miles of ice and snow: exterior shot of the North Pole. It seems to be either dawn or dusk, and there is not a living thing in sight. The pan continues for a reveal of Jim's Coffee Shop, a smallish exterior with most of the structure underground. There is a neon sign that proudly states "24 hours" and a smaller, hand painted sign with the addendum "Open 364 days a year, closed on Dec 26th for private party."

You're a Sly One, Popovich: Annual Tradition - by Caphill, JR Wilco and Josh Guyer
Back by popular demand, it's the second annual posting of our most well-known musical parody. We don't have a new Christmas treat for you this year (as of yet) but you can enjoy this again (or for the first time) just the same.

PCL: Timmy's Impossible Mission - by DrumsintheDeep
The espionage/heist genre has always been one of my favorites, because I love watching a great ensemble cast bounce off of each other (the assumption is that it's well-written, because there have been plenty of these that fell quite flat). From The Dirty Dozen, to Ocean's Eleven, to last year's Inception, everyone has a clearly defined role, which the usually insane plan can't succeed without. So it is with this year's Spurs. Let's have some fun with this one, and cast the key players in a testosterone-soaked, team-driven thriller:

A Newbie's Take on Spurs Media Day - by Justin "Scrappy Doo" Biehle
It should be mentioned here that walking into a professional media room with a less than conventional hairstyle can and should be likened to being the new kid at high school. People in the room, established beyond my own level as they were, met me with quizzical gazes, before simply returning to their own worlds. The media room itself is small, not unlike the size of the kitchens some of you may have in your homes.

And the following are JA's excellent picture posts. If you don't check them out, you really are missing out on some goodness.

Manu Provides New Year's Eve Fireworks

Gunnin' for the Griz' - Pounding The Rock