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A Whole Lot 0f Nothin' From Agent Zero

By Michael Erler on January 17, 2007.

Greetings from San Diego! Yeah, I’m back here in this Republican Aryan paradise for yet another semester of skoolin’. If I don’t graduate this semester my whole family will disown me, so I’ve got to start cracking down on my Espanol. I think I need to put an accent on the “o” or something but I’m too lazy to figure out the keyboard code to do that right now.

What was this supposed to be about again? Oh right…

Game 38 Vs. Washington: Spurs 93, Wizards 80

Hey guess what? This was another Spurs game I only kinda sorta paid attention to. I don’t think I’ve been able to concentrate exclusively on our lovable bunch of dogooding hoopsters since early December thanks to school, exercise, gambling jaunts to Vegas and the NFL, but cut me a break will ya? My Iggles were playing in the 2nd round of the playoffs at New Orleans simultaneous to this game. And since the Spurs seemed to have things well in hand at around the six minute mark of the 1st quarter, there really wasn’t much going on the hardwood to avert my gaze from the big screen at my best friend’s bar, you feel me?

Here are a couple of observations based on the bits I did see…

– Our defense might have had their best game of the season. The Wiz have one superduperstar in Agent Zero (witness his recent destruction of the Jazz) and two other great scorers in Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler and our boys held them to a combined 38 points on 15-of-52 shooting (29%). Sure, they had lost to the NOOCH the previous night, but fatigue couldn’t have been that much of an issue for a young club such as Washington, could it?

You know it’s your night when Horry’s playing defense.

– Just so we’re clear, the defense was great only up to the point of the ball being released from the fingertips of the Wizards’ players. Our defensive rebounding was pretty freakin’ atrocious. 19 ORebs given up? Sure, that number is a little inflated because there were so many rebounds to be had, but our weak performance on the glass could have hurt us if Washington wasn’t just as incompetent with their second and third chances as they were with their first.

– According to my failsafe memory, this is the third contest of the season where both members of our starting backcourt had at least five turnovers each. Not surprisingly, we had lost the previous two, at home to Dallas (in the game Manu hurt his back) and at the Lakers.

– The Hustlemaker recorded his 3rd dunk of the season, a breakaway deal where the entire Washington club stopped playing because they assumed a ref was going to call a foul on Bowen’s “strip” of Agent Zero. Coach Eddie Jordan of the Wiz subsequently got ejected for flipping out on the non-call and Manu got a couple of free throws to go with the slammajamma. Said Jordan of the incident, “I lost my composure.” Ya think?

– Good move from Pop putting Tony on Gilbert. Parker is our only guy remotely quick enough laterally to bother Arenas. He would have humiliated Bruce like most of the other elite scorers have done this year. To his credit, Bowen did a solid job on his guy, mostly Butler, sometimes Jamison.

– The only downer for the game was seeing The Red Rocket get hurt in a scrum under the rim. He tore his MCL and is going to miss probably six weeks. The bad news is that this happened just when he was playing well and establishing himself as a part of the rotation. The good news is that Elson is close to returning and we can simply give him Bonner’s minutes (and hopefully some of Horry’s as well). I don’t want to sound too cold and heartless about the injury, but since it’s not a season-ender, I’m just going to pretend it won’t impact our record for the next two months. If Matt Bonner is the difference between winning or losing for this team, we’re in bigger trouble than I thought. At the very least Rocket’s injury will put the onus on Horry to give a shit out there.

Finally Eric Williams gets off the bench to do something meaningful.

All in all a decent win, but still somewhat bothersome in that once again our best three players were our best three players. The other guys haven’t really stepped up in a while (not since Oberto’s first half vs the Mavs) and I’m starting to worry that the big three will wear themselves out before May. We need Fab, RoHo, Findog and Bones to step it up in a big way. Now if you excuse me, I have to get back to hitting my head against the desk repeatedly until I block out all memories about the Eagles game.

Your 3 Stars..

3. Manu Ginobili – Was having only a so-so night with 11 points through three quarters, but he hit two threes in a span of 28 seconds midway through the fourth to squash any hopes of a Washington comeback. Had a good all around day with six boards, five dimes and three thefts as well.

2. Tim Duncan – His presence inside was a big reason Les Bullé struggled so much from the field and he was also able to have his way in the paint on offense with 18 points and five assists. Rinse, lather, repeat. Best of all, mercifully we weren’t subjected to seeing him shoot free throws but for three attempts.

1. Tony Parker – Limited an out of it Arenas on one end of the floor and was efficient enough on the other end with 13 and 6. Pulled down a season high ten rebounds to help out Timmy against the misfiring Warlocks or Fairies or whatever they call themselves these days so it doesn’t sound so thuggy.

Record: 27-11 Streak: W-4
Up Next: @ Chicago Bulls

If you didn’t see a “L” coming for this one, you were a fool, to paraphrase those silly Reebok commercials. The 2 pm start is waaaay to early for this veteran bunch to handle and an energetic youthful Bulls team will jump all over us on MLK day. There’s a reason I picked them to make it out of the East y’know.

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