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Undermanned Spurs Win in Minnesota for 11th Straight

My new thing is this recap in which I use your comments to help me piece the game together in a hopefully entertaining way. If you want to see your name in these recaps, show up in the Game Thread and say something clever.


Your Game Thread comments are in bold, my writing is not.

HI POUNDERSS!! I'm a bit overwhelmed, too much to process. AL Jefferson a Spur? Gasol out for two months? Prince a Grizzly? by Chilai
HI CHILAI! Yes, a lot is happening. First, the trade rumor: Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson, and Nando de Colo or Patty Mills for Al "Big Ol' Sexy, Long Legs" Jefferson. I am an Al Jefferson fan. I like his low post game. I like his 15 foot jumper. I like his professionalism and demeanor. If this trade happened, I think I'd be okay with it, and that's why I'm against it. If this were a good trade for the Spurs, given my aforementioned love for Al Jefferson's game, I'd be uncontrollably excited about it. However, since I am somewhere between indifferent and content, this trade can't be a good thing. My best argument against this trade is that I think this Spurs team is better than the Spurs team that won 20 games in a row before losing an extremely fluky series to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals last year. Let's give this team one more shot before we do something drastic.

The latest reports indicate that Pau Gasol will miss 4 to 6 weeks with a tear in his plantar fascia. That's a problem, but the main issue with the Lakers is that Kobe is a pompous jerk. Read this article. He's telling Dwight to play through pain. He's telling him to stop trying to please everyone. He's telling him to play with urgency. He's claiming that Dwight wasn't ready for the Lakers' expectations. He's essentially questioning Dwight's manhood. Oh, and he's not only doing it to his face. Kobe's conducting full length interviews in which he blames Dwight for the Lakers' shortcomings. Is there a worse teammate in the NBA?

And finally, our old Detroit Piston nemesis Tayshaun Prince has joined the Memphis Grizzlies. But, more importantly, the Grizzlies are now without Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, and Wayne Ellington. In addition, those that remain have to be bummed that their management didn't give their team a chance to compete for a title. I don't think Memphis was good enough to win it all, but their former roster was better than their current roster, and that's bad for their mojo and good for the Spurs.

Good timeout by Pop, need to get the team focused. Tiago's holding his own so far. by racm
Oh yes, the game. In their first game of the Rodeo Road Trip, the Spurs played the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the first three quarters, and most of the fourth, it felt as if a good timeout by Pop was needed every other play. Obviously, Pop didn't have that many timeouts to play with, but the point is that the game was fairly ugly. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili both sat this one out with injuries, leaving Tony a starless group to work with. It was a boring game in an empty arena, until things got interesting in the fourth quarter.

BS call. Pekovic can't just swing into the defender to get a call. by Badpierre
That was an awful call. It's one thing if one of the most coordinated humans on Earth swings his arm through, feels contact, and goes into his smooth shooting motion to draw the foul. I understand why Durant gets this call, I can't believe they gave it to Pekovic. And they called it right in front of Pop. This call ruined Danny's night. Pop began the game upset, and used Danny to keep his angry momentum flowing for the next 41 minutes.

Rubio looks like he just woke up. by KD1
He definitely does. I think he's learning from his veteran mentor, Luke Ridnour. Luke broke it down for him, "Okay, we look like we're 12 years old. I know, it's embarrassing. Here's what you have to do. Grow some horrible facial hair and do something weird with your hair. Think of it as a disguise. It's a win if there's too much going on for them to really get a good look at us. The public will notice that we look like Hobbits if we don't do something to change our look. This is the only way."

These are some really ugly jumpers. Ugh. by CapHill
Not sure which is more boring: this game or the Target Center crowd. by alamoaggie

This game. The people that decided to leave their warm homes to see this terrible team lose to a decimated Spurs team only did so in order to drink. That crowd was wasted, guaranteed. It's winter time. It's Minnesota. The sun is out for like five hours a day. I went to college in New Hampshire. I understand the motivation to leave warm places. It begins and ends with beer. By the way, speaking of drunk Minnesota people...

Rubio gonna tear it up. Pekovic gonna keep hitting those FTs. I smell an upset! by justin.szewczyk
Yeah buddy. Wolves all day erryday. by justin.szewczyk
hehe Wolves win. Glad I put 100 down on Wolves by justin.szewczyk
Spurs just forfeit already. by justin.szewczyk

See? It's cold and life sucks in the dark winter so they drink. I bet this guy was at the game. I'm telling you, it was quiet in that arena because the crowd was too busy drinking and trolling on the interwebs. Luckily for us, this Wolves fan called the game early and therefore lost the game for his team. Maybe now everyone will understand the power of the Game Thread.

Bonner jumps less than a foot in the air. Then looks like he's free falling on the way down. by TrooperJoe73
Yep, that's called being uncoordinated. Remember our friend Pekovic? You could raise his uncoordinated movements a Bonner and steal the pot.

I'd trade Bonner for Barea. by racm
I had to think about this. I hate Bonner. I've hated him for a long time. Yet, he does make funny videos. I don't think I could make this trade. I can still root for Bonner, I just know it's going to end terribly for me. I could never root for Barea. He's too annoying. Minnesota can keep him.

I don't know it if it's just me, but it seems that ALL the screens Baynes set can be called a moving screen. by anirontag
Nope, it's not just you, but that's why he's awesome. He's our enforcer. Watch him sprint up and down the court. He runs like he's preparing for impact. Whereas Bonner kind of waddles and DeJuan lumbers, Baynes sprints with his head on a swivel looking for someone to hit. This guy is fantastic. 11 minutes, 3 fouls, 1 block, and 5 guys on the other team that unsuccessfully tried to not get hit.

KL is all over defensively in this game. by kenshinsama
Kawhi is one of those players that can have a quiet 19 points. If Patty were to score 19 points, it'd be an explosion. It's the same for most of our players, but Kawhi can do it quietly because he scores within the system. It will be interesting to see where his game ends up in five years. If he starts creating for himself and his teammates, a quite 19 could turn into a smooth 25 pretty easily. Kawhi finished with a quiet double-double of 19 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist, 1 block and 0 turnovers.

Not looking good for MN. Spurs shot like crap for a full quarter. They've been playing better in second halves lately, and Spurs lead going into half. by SpursFanTN
The Spurs closed the first half on a nice run giving them a 47-41 lead at intermission. Here's an unusual stat for your Spurs. The bench was outscored 29-12 in this game. I understand having Tiago start in place of Tim and not having Manu hurt the bench, but 12 is still an ugly number. In fact, the Spurs' bench shot just 30% from the field. I'm telling you, much of this game was ugly.

This has not been a night for pretty basketball. by CapHill
OMG, Danny by TX2NC

This "OMG, Danny" was not a flattering OMG. TX2NC wrote this right after Danny caught the ball on a fast break, pulled up at the free-throw line and missed the basket by a few feet. It wasn't blocked. There was no contact. I don't know what that was. I blame Justin Szewczyk.

Oh my God, Fred was right. You are like the cool kid. Look at all these replies you get, all for a throw-away comment. How embarrassing, I am contributing to your internet ego. by Manuwar
Now that I've pointed it out, you will start to see what I have noticed for a few years. At some point in the Game Thread, LatinD will say hello to everyone. Don't say anything until he says something first. Then announce your arrival and see who gets more replies. It will be crushing for your ego, but this is a necessary step. Soon, you will come to resent LatinD and his cool kid komics. Why does he get all the attention? There will be a tipping point, and then the tide will turn and LatinD will be shunned by PtR. At this point, I'll swoop in and become the new cool kid. Then the process will start all over but at least I'll be the cool kid for a little bit. I think the five minutes of cool kid fame will be worth it.

ICYHOT is on fire!!!!!! by nicolaspursfan88
Nice Danny!! Think Pop getting mad at him helped?? by SpursCupcake
Danny "Big" Green epitomized the game. He had many confusing moments that resulted in ugly plays; the game was confusing and ugly. Pop basically yelled at him for 48 minutes straight, as Pop yelled at most people in the game for 48 minutes straight. Yet, when it mattered, he came through and hit a flurry of big shots that gave the Spurs the win; yet, in the fourth quarter, the game somehow became exciting and both teams played decent basketball down the stretch. IcyHot finished with 28 loud points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 5 face-palms. Danny hit 8 3-pointers in the contest, falling 1 short of Chuck "The Rifleman" Persons' franchise record of 9 threes in a game.

Why is snow so fascinating to people? It falls from the sky and then melts. Not that amazing. by CapHill
I find it fascinating because it's silent. by Queness

It's not really silent. It's white noise. It's noise cancelling. That's the fascinating part of a blizzard. Visually, it looks like a lot of commotion, yet you can't hear anything. No birds, no cars, no people. Blizzards are cool because they are visually overwhelming, yet peaceful. I do miss the blizzards.

Spurs shot over 90% FT, Tiago 6/6 FT, really we have improved like hell this season. Thank you Chip!!!!!! by nicolaspursfan88
This is probably one of the most overlooked stories in the NBA. We've noticed the improvement, but I do not think I've read a single national publication that has pointed this out. It's a huge deal. First, free points are free points and the more we get, the easier it is to overcome injuries to guys like Tim and Manu. In addition, our players are much more aggressive offensively, especially Tiago. He wants to get fouled. In years past, he would intentionally avoid contact and put himself in awkward situations that resulted in those funky missed layups. It was excruciating to watch. Now, he attacks the basket hoping for contact, giving him a better angle at the basket.

TP with 31/5/8/2. Wow. by racm
Ah, Tony. Remember when he wasn't the most dependable player ever? by LatinD

Tony played another great game. He's simply a great player. It's been a joy to watch him improve over the years. I still remember the first time I saw him play in 2001. It was one of his first starts. We had Antonio Daniels on that team and I was confused as to why Pop was starting this 19 year old kid from France over Daniels. At some point in the second quarter, the Spurs got the defensive rebound and gave it to Tony, who inexplicably started a 1 on 3 fast break. He was a blur. Our fans were used to Avery Johnson. I hadn't seen anyone run that fast before.

At about half court, two defenders were waiting for him. I thought he was going to either charge into them, or lose the ball, or both. Instead he leaped into the air, cupped the ball with his right hand and brought it behind him, split the two defenders, then split his legs on the other side and bounced the ball through, never slowing down. I remember he was fouled at the rim and missed the shot. The arena game him a standing ovation. I don't think I've seen a standing ovation for a missed shot since. At that point, he had my attention.

Tony shot 42% from the field and 67% from the free throw line that year. He averaged 4 assists in 29 mpg. He was what you call, raw. Today, he is our refined leader. Again, it's been a privilege to watch this guy work his way to the top. Currently, 11 seasons later, Tony is shooting 53% from the field and 81% from the line while averaging 7.6 assists in 33 mpg. It's fairly incredible.

Oh, and obviously we had to end with the cool kid's cool comment. Doesn't that make you jealous? Rumor has it we need a new cool kid, and this rumor has big ol' sexy, long Al Jefferson legs.