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Reviewing this year's HEB Spurs commercials

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It's a good batch this year, with one standout spot, and one that hasn't been released yet.

It’s the time of year that we’ve been waiting for since the Spurs were bounced from the playoffs last May.

We’re talking H-E-B commercial season, when the collective H-E-B marketing cognoscenti work diligently to incorporate a wide array of talent and personality into several 30-second commercials of pure goodness.

The cast of the first batch of this year’s H-E-B commercials: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge and H-E-B commercial rookie, Pau Gasol.

It’s the deepest lineup in recent years and possibly the best in the league. Losing Tim Duncan is a huge, since his disappointed dad character was the perfect antithesis to the shenanigans we’ve come to know and love in these spots over the years.

But, alas, the slate still delivers. Last year’s commercials were a bit off from the two years prior, so it’s great to report that there's no the post-Duncan commercial fall-off.

And they absolutely nailed it with the “Origami” skit.

"Origami"

  • The premise: The Spurs bought H-E-B’s premium stir fry kit, leaving them with plenty of free time. So they spent their afternoon perfecting origami. Patty Mills made an alligator crocodile. Aldridge made a frog, which has “serious hops,” and Leonard made a snowball.
  • High point: Kawhi. He nailed the "it's a snowball" line and the cheeky smile after "I know" was a MVP-caliber performance from Kawhi. When he retires, he should submit this tape to Canton, Ohio to secure his induction into the H-E-B commercial Hall of Fame.
  • Even higher point: Patty's reaction to the praise Kawhi receives when he says "It's no crocodile" is subtle jealous perfection.
  • Honorable mention: Manu's "That's a good snowball, Kawhi" has just the right amount of pat-the-cute-little-child-on-the-head without being condescending. Not an easy note to hit, but he nailed it.
  • Low point: Nothing.

Grade: A. This was the only commercial released Thursday night that will pass the test of time.

"Farmer's Market"

  • The premise: Spurs players brought farmer's market foods from their respective hometowns.
  • High point: Danny Green told a lame joke and Kawhi stared at the camera befuddled.
  • Medium point: Tony Parker spoke in French. Kawhi translated and Parker, a H-E-B commercial veteran, finished the layup.
  • Low point: Green's joke.

Grade: B-minus. Meh. It wasn't terrible. But it didn't reach the high-level of H-E-B commercial excellence that we have come to expect in recent years.

"Fluent"

  • The premise: Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol know how to speak Spanish!
  • Yeah, that's the entire premise.
  • High point: Green nailed his line in Spanish.
  • Medium point: That food looked fantastic; Mills’ enthusiasm, his strongest asset to the commercial team, always makes him a pleasure to watch.
  • Low point: Everything else.

Grade: C. It had potential. But it never amounted to anything more than 'hey Manu and Pau speak Spanish!' and that wasn’t their best work.

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Stay tuned for Saturday night’s slate of H-E-B commercials, which will feature the H-E-B commercial legend himself, Tim Duncan, returning to his proper spot as the head of the commercial franchise.

That should be a blast.

Glad to have you back, H-E-B commercial season. You were dearly missed.