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Snoozing and Swatting (But Not Stealing) Vs. the Sixers

By Michael Erler on January 25, 2007.

Game 42 @ Philadelphia: Spurs 99, 76ers 85

I haven’t written in a bit because I was mentally recuperating (re: lazy) after spending the whole weekend on an exhaustively long Spurs’ mid-season review for PtR that perhaps two dozen people have skimmed through at best. So you’ll forgive me if I keep these ensuing ballgames against Eastern scrubs short.

The most interesting development of the game? Coach is gonna try this new fangled concept called a “passing point guard” for a few games and see how it works out. And I’m not hatin’ on the guy either, because he said it himself, according to Ludden’s article after the Celtics game.

Parker, who was averaging a team-high 14.9 shots per game entering Monday, said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has asked him to focus more on distributing the ball and helping his teammates get in rhythm.”He wants me to try to do a better job of getting everybody involved and try to take less shots,” Parker said. “I try to get more shots for Michael Finley and Brent Barry and to get their confidence going.”

So maybe I’m not that stupid, huh? The eight dimes Tony recorded on Sunday was his highest single game total since… December 26 vs. the Bucks it says here. And I’m not even sure this “alleged” game even happened since I haven’t seen it. And just so we’re clear on my priorities, it’s not that I didn’t watch because we lost and played terrible post defense, it’s because Manu didn’t play. All I care about is Manu, the other thirteen guys can take a long walk off a short pier. I don’t even know half the guys’ names on this team. Do we really have somebody named Jackie Butler? Jackie’s a girl’s name. No wonder he sucks. Is this like a reverse “Juwanna Mann” situation?

Underachieving fatty or
overachieving WNBA superduperstar?

Anywho, thanks to all that nifty passing (well, at least in the first half) we built a 61-41 lead through the first 24 minutes with the usual suspects all playing rather well. Timmy had 14, Manu had 9, (on just five shots) Tony had six helpers and Bones Barry scorched to the tune of 18 points. Best of all, we may have finally discovered a solution to the Beno Udrih problem: Let him play, but don’t give him the ball. On consecutive plays in the 2nd quarter Tim grabbed the board and fired a full-court pass to a streaking Barry for a lay-in. Just elimanate the middle man altogether, y’know? Sadly, the Sixers eventually caught on to this ’98 Vikings offense and points were a bit harder to come by in the second half. Tim and Manu combined for six points on 2 of 12 shooting, Barry only came up with five more and Tony had six and two assists.

The bottom line is a win’s a win, no matter how dicey it got there in the end and at least we rediscovered the bench, right? The reserves actually outscored the starters 52-47 in this one and believe it or not, the last time that happened was way back on December 8, a 111-82 rout of the Clips (Manu was on the bench back then). Not only was the bench the primary reason we got off to such a big lead, but they also had a lot to do with putting the scruffy Sixers down for good, with both Fin and RoHo nailing threes at the end to snuff a late Philly comeback. So please, by all means, Tony – and Manu – let’s keep this drive and kick motif going, huh?

Behold! A bench with no freeloaders on it.

Also, one other thing. That play by Manu in the 1st quarter against high-flyin’ Andre Iguodala? That was a block dammit, not a steal! A snuff, a swat, a pack, a jack, an obvious rejection and a pointed objection, a righteous punkin’ of a dunkin’ bumpkin, etc. Just because Gino didn’t throw it into the fourth row, they shouldn’t call it a steal. It was a block the way Bill Russell used to do it, just get enough of it to get control of the ball and run the other way. You could even see Beno point it out to Manu on the bench shortly after.

Beno: “Dude did you see they called your block a steal?”
Manu: “What bullshit! The guy even had both hands on the ball and cocked his arms back ready to dunk it (Manu pantamimes the motion on TV)…”
Beno: “At least Pop isn’t about to scream at you in two minutes.”
Manu: “You’re going in? Dammit now Tony’s going to sit here. He doesn’t even use deoderant!”
Beno: “It’s just not your day.”

So to recap…

Are we clear?

Your 3 Stars

3. Robert Horry – 12, 5 and 3. Not bad, not bad. Too bad you’ll have nothing left for tomorrow old man. He did hit the dagger in this one though, because that’s how he rolls.

2. Tim Duncan – 15 rebounds! 5 assists! 4 blocks! Didn’t really shoot that well! I can’t stop using exclamation points! Luckily for him neither Dalembert or Hunter could hit the side of a barn…

1. Brent Barry – That stroke is pretty. So damn pretty. P lease sir, I want summore.

Record: 29-13 Streak: W-2
Up Next: @ Boston Celtics
Another thrilling segababacrappaoppa against this time the Pierceless, Wallyless, hopeless Celts. As you may know we haven’t lost to them in the Duncan era and pretty much the only reason Pitino took the Boston job was because he thought they’d be landing Timmy in the lottery. Oops. This is always my favorite road game of the year because Celtics color man and noted homer Tommy Heinsohn will be openly sobbing by the third quarter about what might have been.

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