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What We Learned from the Spurs win over the Hornets

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This was fun to watch.

San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that you told your wife that you would do something special for Valentine’s Day on Sunday. We’ve been on lockdown for a long time at this point, we’re all on top of each other 24/7, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to break up the monotony. Then, hypothetically speaking, let’s say you forget that you’re supposed to watch and write about the Spurs game on Sunday Night, so you try to very smoothly work that into your plans. You say something like, “Babe, what could be more romantic than the two of us lighting some candles, splitting a bottle of wine, and seeing whether or not the Spurs can stop Terry Rozier from dropping 40 points on us?” Again, hypothetically speaking, how do you suppose a situation like this plays out?

Right. So, let’s just say that this hypothetical guy pulls up the box score this morning and tries to work backwards and figure out what happened in Charlotte on Sunday night. A win! That’s great. Wins are great. A nice little 12 point win that was probably super comfortable and not weird at all. Now, if you were a person who didn’t watch this game, the first thing that’s going to jump out at you is that the Spurs scored 17 points in the 1st quarter and 47 in the 2nd quarter. By almost any stretch of the imagination, that’s a truly bizarre set of outputs to see next to each other. If you didn’t see what actually happened, you’d have to assume that the team became possessed by angels for a brief moment in time there. In fact, I’d say that one of the few upsides to missing a game is that you get to imagine radical, basketball playing angels descending down from the heavens to affect the outcome of a matchup between the Spurs and the Hornets.

Now, one would have to assume that a massive scoring output like that, even with help from on high, would need a big showing from the team’s best player, DeMar DeRozan. He’s one of the most prolific and efficient scorers in the game and, surely, he came out in that 2nd quarter and just lit the place up. Just going to check the...hmm. So, it says here that he only had 8 points. That’s...8 points on 8 shots? Did he get hurt or something? No, it says right here that he played 35 minutes. Ok, we didn’t have a plan for that and now we need to regroup.

Oh, look at this! Derrick White and Dejounte Murray! We’ve located the points! 25 and 26, respectively. The idea of this backcourt being a menace on defense and then turning around and wreaking havoc on the other end is a very tasty prospect. That would mean the Spurs wouldn’t have to cobble together a complete team from a little dash of DeMar’s scoring here and quick pinch of Jakob Poeltl’s defense there and a heavy dusting of youthful exuberance and dumb luck every night. Those two working together as a complete duo opens up an awful lot of things for the Spurs and, in theory, we all got to watch that partnership continue to blossom last night.

Let’s see, what elese? Keldon had 18, very nice. A couple of other guys are in double digits. Wow, just a very solid, all-around performance. The funny thing about the box score is that, obviously you can’t get the whole picture of what happened in a game, but it will also never tell you a lie. There’s nothing misleading here, just a brief story about a team full of pretty good players who came together and played a pretty good game. They shot the ball well. They won the turnover battle. They held Scary Terry under 35 points for the game which feels like a minor miracle unto itself. What more could ask for?

All in all, it seems like this was just a really solid win. Don’t look now, but the Spurs have quietly been figuring out how to win games like this. You know, the ones that they’re supposed to win. That’s not really a thing that happened last year. There’s been a few bumps in the road here and there and, obviously, they signed that contract with a weird stranger in the road that said “You can have cool Fiesta Jerseys, but you’ll never win a SEGABABA again”, but other than that you would be hard pressed to find anything to get to upset about right now. This is a good team racking up good wins. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Hypotheticals aside, I’m sure everything’s going to work out in the end.

Takeaways:

  • The Hornets have a template for one of my favorite jerseys in the history of the league. Their teal 90’s uniforms, the Larry Johnson/Muggsy Bouges era ones, are the coolest! They’ve even had them in their rotation as a throwback recently and it turns out they are still the coolest! Their new ones try to sort of hint at that past while also incorporating new, modern elements and that’s very well intentioned but also dumb. Just wear the old ones! They look so good. Last night was even worse in that they had those alternate joints with CHA on the front. CHA? Thats not even a cool sounding abbreviation. If the Spurs ever try to roll out a jersey with SAT or STX on the front I’m going to chain myself to the front of the AT&T Center and go on a hunger strike. I expect every single one of you to join me.
  • I thought it was very cool and fun that Drew Eubanks wore red sneakers for Valentine’s day. It looked terrible with our white and black jersey scheme but, you know, sometimes you have to be willing to look like a dummy in the name of love.
  • Derrick White had a number of very cool, very smooth, very fun basketball highlights last night. He drove the lane for some nice up and unders. He stepped in and hit a number of nice little threes. They were all great and deserve your attention, but what I really want to talk about is this play from the 4th quarter where Rudy gets his pocket picked by Terry Rozier. He’s like..trying to back Terry down from the three point line for some reason and Terry just yanks is away. This is unacceptable to Rudy and so he then chooses this point to apply ‘Old Man Strength’ and just take it back. This results in a couple of world class athletes rolling around on the floor looking very silly for what feels like 10 minutes. The ball then gets kicked to Derrick, who picks it up and tries a pump fake that literally no one in the arena reacts to before deciding to just chuck it at the basket. He gets fouled, the ball banks off the glass, bounces around the rim a few times and drops in. It’s easily the silliest play I’ve seen all year.

WWL Post Game Press Conference

- Inquiring minds want to know, did you actually not watch this game or was that whole thing up there just a bit.

- A magician never reveals his secrets

- Right, but you...aren’t a magician.

- Theres literally no way that you could know or prove that.