Coach Popovich was asked if there were any positives to take away from last night’s game.
Well, challenge accepted. The Spurs lost by 35 points on Sunday. It was their largest margin of defeat this season and, probably their largest margin of defeat in decades, although the Pounding the Rock Stats department has been curiously slow in getting back to me about that. Regardless, from here through the rest of this article there will be nothing but overly positive takeaways and irrational exuberance. Popovich said it couldn’t be done, but he didn’t count on how hard it is to find a hook when you’re writing about a blowout loss. So, here I go — looking only on the brightest of bright sides. We’re painting a smile on our faces. We’re buying Drew Eubanks jerseys and getting ready to tell our grandkids about the time he dropped 17 points on a title contender!
(Irrationally Exuberant) Takeaways:
- Let’s start with the man of the hour, Drew “The Texas Hammer” Eubanks. The reports of the Spurs Big Man Depth Issues have been greatly exaggerated! The streets are positively buzzing about the cool 17 points he pocketed, as well they should be. Drew was pouring it in from all over the court. Left side of the basket, right side of the basket, you name it! Oh, you thought he couldn't expand his range? Jokes on you, because he also hit a floater from just outside the elbow to keep the defense on their toes. The points are obviously great, we could go on and on about them, but don’t sleep on the 9 rebounds he snagged along with it. My man was one board and 7 blocks away from a triple double, I mean, keep your head on a swivel, Russel Westbrook, Drew’s coming for you! I bet you probably turned the game off before the 4th quarter and missed this gorgeous little alley-oop he threw down just to put an exclamation point on the whole thing. Shame on you. “Tre Jones lobs it to Eubanks who slams it home!” It was like getting a sneak peak at the future.
- People will tell you this game was a total washout from start to finish, but what they won’t tell you is that the Spurs won the 2nd quarter 30-27. That’s right. For all of their supposed “dominance” last night, the 76ers got absolutely BODIED by the Spurs vaunted bench unit in the 2nd period. Forget about the rest of the game for a minute and let’s focus on the fact that the Spurs scrapped and clawed their way out of a hole to get right back in it. Maybe the Sixers “caught fire” or whatever later on, but they didn’t make a single three in the second frame and were this close to losing their grip on things. The Spurs had them right where they wanted them.
- Luka Samanic didn’t come in and save the day or anything, but he did continue to show just enough flashes of potential to keep people like me saying things like, “Man, if we could just get Luka going then we might be in business.” I’m sure it’s happened before, but I can’t remember a Spurs prospect quite like Luka before. Everyone has convinced themselves that this kid is some kind of secret weapon that Pop has been burying in the G-League in order to deprive the fans of cool stuff and, you know what? Everyone is right! The days of us losing the Luka arms race to Dallas are soon to end.
- Keldon Johnson shot 71.4% from the field. Don’t think too hard about the fact that all of those shots were at the rim and focus on how Big Body get Big Buckets, am i right?
- The Spurs may have lost the regular game, but they won the uniform game by a country mile out there. What was going on with those things the Sixers were wearing? I know they’ve gone all in on the cream colored jerseys these past couple years and that’s fine (even though it just looks like they’re wearing dirty white uniforms) but the weird logo/number combo on the front was just awful. Also, the bell on the front is royal blue and the outline is dark navy and, most importantly, the little crack on the bell is also dark navy. This renders the crack basically invisible which means you can’t even tell that the Liberty Bell is the dang Liberty Bell! The crack is like...the main thing! You gotta highlight the crack! Right now it just looks like someone let their 10 year old cousin design it in photoshop. It looks like the rejected logo for a third rate phone company. It looks like someone said, “Whenever someone sees this uniform, I want them to think about a uvula.”
- I’m imaging a bunch of other teams GMs sitting around and watching the highlights of this game and thinking to themselves, “Wow, the Spurs are a wreck without LaMarcus Aldridge. Maybe he’s still got some juice left. Maybe he’s the final piece of the championship puzzle we’ve been looking for. I better hurry up and send some of our best young prospects and draft assets to Texas before someone else does!” Gotta give Pop the credit he deserves for an excellent bit of four dimensional chess here.
- It’s common knowledge that whenever you’re playing someone that you might see later in the Finals you never want to show them anything you’re planning on using later. The Sixers, bless them, are still out here acting like racking up a big regular season win matters. Fools. They’re going to be studying tape before our series with them and be like, “so, wait, how do we stop the Eubanks kid?”
- As far as I can tell, the Spurs held MVP candidate Joel Embiid scoreless the entire night. Pretty impressive stuff.
- How about one more Eubanks highlight for the road?
WWL Post Game Press Conference
- Impressive performance out there tonight. Everyone was talking about how no one could do a whole post on that game and keep it positive but, by all accounts, you pulled it off.
- Yea, I mean, nobody believed in us except for the people in this locker room and, at the end of the day, that’s what matters out there. I leaned on my teammates and, you know, we kept the faith and put in the work. We’re always saying that if you just keep your nose to the grindstone then good things are gonna happen and I think that played out tonight.
- Some people are saying that you may have dipped into the negative a little bit with that extended rant about the Sixers uniforms. The refs went to the review booth and decided to uphold the call but it was a tense moment there for a second. Were you worried about that going the other way?
- See, the thing about living on the edge is that, sure, sometimes it gets a little nervy but you sure can’t beat the view. I would make fun of those jerseys again every single time. The risk was always worth the reward and I had every confidence that the ruling would go our way.
- Do you have anything to say to the haters who will think this entire post has been sarcastic?
- I want to make something crystal clear to you right now....I never have anything to say to the haters.