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What I learned about the Spurs while watching the Clippers broadcast

If living in Los Angeles means being blacked out from watching the Spurs announcers, then make the most of it.

Stephen Dunn

My law firm handled last summer's sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer.  We also successfully handled the ensuing trial between Shelly and Donald Sterling, defeating Donald Sterling's attempt to invalidate that sale. That might have been the one case in which everyone was rooting for one side (Shelly) against the other (Donald).  We were happy to be on the good side of that one.

Even though I didn't work on the case (though much of my firm did), I was hoping I could score some firm tickets for last night's game.  I even promised not to wear my #20 Ginobili road jersey, since Manu would be wearing it already - wouldn't want any confusion about who was to play.  Alas, I struck out and didn't tickets for the game.

Instead, I went home, planning to watch the game on my new NBA League Pass. I hoped to watch the game on the Spurs network -- but I was foiled again.  Local blackout rules barred me from watching anything except the local Clipper feed.  Of course, this meant I was stuck with commentary focused on how the Clippers were doing in the game, not the Spurs.  Nonetheless, there was some interesting commentary about the Spurs which I though the PtR nation might find interesting.

First, the Clippers color man Mike Smith can't pronounce Manu's first name. According to Smith, the first syllable rhymes with the first syllable of Kansas.  Man - u, not Mahn - u.   Made me crazy.

Second, when the game turned into a defensive half-court slog, the Clippers announcers decided that played into the Spurs hands, since "the Spurs don't like to push the ball up court".  I don't know what Spurs team these guys have been watching the past few years, but the announcers were clearly living in the past.

Third, on a play down the stretch where Tony Parker was tackled by a Clipper defender, the Clipper announcers decided there was no contact at all - even after watching the replay.  From my view, I would have called the foul, and tacked on 15 yards for face-masking.

Finally, I never heard them address the most interesting match-up of the night -  Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs small forward, covering the consensus best point guard in the game, Chris Paul.  Of course, that match-up led to one of the key plays of the game when Kawhi stole the ball as CP3 attempted a cross-over dribble late in the game.

There were some insightful comments too.  The Clipper announcers were smart enough to discuss the fact that Tim Duncan's per minute production has remained remarkably consistent over the years.  Next, in discussing all the future hall of famers on the floor (including the two coaches), they asked whether they should start including Kawhi  in the discussion.  Good question.  In the same vein, they decided (correctly) that the Big Three has really become the Big Four, with Kawhi as the fourth Musketeer.  They followed that up with another good observation:  In the last two NBA Finals, the Big Four has become the Big Five, with Danny Green joining the fun.  Another good point.

So, all in all, a fascinating night watching the Spurs on the enemy network.  After the quick trip up the coast to play the Warriors tonight, I assume the Spurs will come back to L.A. to stay at the beach before Friday's game against the Lakers.  After all, L.A. temperatures will be in the 70s all week.  If things go well, I will get a ticket to the Spurs - Lakers game Friday night.  Sitting in Staples Center surrounded by the Laker championship banners, I will definitely be wearing my Spurs Five Banners shirt.