It's been an interesting season so far, hasn't it? Basking in the afterglow of a championship run and a newfound respect coming in from many quarters. And also reeling from the aftermath of a missed opportunity, made all the more unnerving coming as it does in the midst of a closing window. That mixture of highs and lows can certainly take a toll on a fan's psyche. Thank goodness that the team at the center of this is so admirable, so familiar, and so fun. These guys are definitely worth it.
I am actually glad we have had this recent scary patch. With injuries galore, there have been times when this team looks like it can't beat eggs, much less Eastern Conference opponents. Even when everyone was healthy, the play was less than spectacular. It's a bit alarming, but I have decided to stop wringing my hands and just embrace this season, and I hope you will, too.
Call it an epiphany, a New Year's resolution or just a fresh outlook, but I'm letting the ups and downs of this season instill in me a sense of uncertainty. Wonderful uncertainty. I've decided to let them act as a purgative, a cathartic cleansing of the beautiful terrible ghost of last season, and I hope the players and coaches will join us in letting 2013 go forever.
Moving on, my friends, moving on. This season is not last season, or any other season, and it will never be repeated. Now is awesome. There has never been a better time than right now to call yourself a Spur. There are no guarantees, but so much promise. I hope that sometime soon we will see a Spurs team that once again looks elite, one that can string together numerous wins in a row, looking dominant against even the best.
While I don't expect it as a given, if we do start to see that team, I won't be thinking, Hey, they have returned to last year's form. It will be more like, Wow, this team is good.
So here, fellow Pounders, are some of my favorite things about this still emerging season. Feel free to share some of your own.
Boy, do I enjoy watching this guy play. Forget about his Frenchness, his shape, his vertical jump. Heck, forget about his stats. He is a unique player, who does things a little bit differently than anybody else, who can truly play any position, and who is accomplished in every facet of the game. Add to that his newfound aggression, and Boris is a special player.
Nobody put in more work in the offseason than Mills. It's not easy to change your body and add dimensions to your game at this level, but Mills has surely done both. He has gone from being a beloved towel-waving cheerleader to an important contributor. Good on you, mate!
He teased us a bit with a beard early on, but I far prefer the clean-shaven face accompanied with a bushy head. Let it grow, big fella! I am hoping for a big, bold fro when the playoffs roll around. And by the way, he is playing amazing, too.
Pounding the Rock
No I'm not talking about Popovich's mantra here, I'm talking about this website, www.poundingtherock.com. It's never been better.
I used to make fun of this guy when he was a Bull, as he reminds me of one of those tanned, bearded, sleepy-eyed extras on board Hercules' ship back in the sixties. I imagined that when he opened his mouth during an interview his dialogue would be both dubbed and badly written in a way that creates campy, unintentional humor. Sadly that is not the case, but Marco has been a fantastic fit on this Spurs team, not to mention his win in the Three Point Contest.
Losing Kawhi, Tiago, Danny and Manu
Jeez, have I gained a new appreciation for what these guys bring to the team. Nothing reminds you of someone's value like suddenly realizing they're not there, am I right? It's great that we have a nice System and all, but apparently we also have some, you know, talented players that aren't just easily replaceable cogs in the machine. It's good to be reminded of that.
OK, that's enough reminding.
The East Still Sucks, But At Least It's a Two Team Race
The Pacers have been the most solid team in the league from day one. No signs of weakness or lack of confidence from those guys. They have a lot of depth and talent, and they believe in what they do. (Surely Andrew Bynum can't single-handedly wreck it.)
David Stern's Retirement
Wow, that didn't hurt a bit! Now if I can just live long enough to see Derek Fisher in my rearview mirror...
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