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Send Dwight Howard to Iraq and end the war by next Thursday.

By Michael Erler on February 13, 2007.

Game 50 @ Orlando: Magic 106, Spurs 104

Oy vey, where do I begin? I was actually back home in San Mateo for this one because I had tickets to see my girl Sarah Silverman in concert at Cobb’s Comedy Club, so I basically squeezed this game in between two 500 mile drives, a couple hours of poker, an awkward expensive date, a viewing of Hannibal Rising (sucked) and a couple of hastily written articles for my school paper. By far the most pleasant surprise of the weekend was seeing Brian Posehn perform.

Who you ask?

Oh, you’ve seen him. He was the creepy mail room guy in Just Shoot Me and he was also in Mr. Show with Bob and David. He’s actually a stand up mainly and he toured with Patton Oswalt in the Comedians of Comedy special. Anyway, now he has a role in Sarah’s new TV show and I thought to myself how awesome it’d be if he was the special secret surprise opening act for her since they didn’t have anyone announced…

and he was!

If only life went like that all the time. His best joke of the night was probably something like “A really bad thing to say to the missus when she’s favoring you with some oral is ‘We’re going to make a mouth-baby.'”

Frankly, he was the best part of the night.

I’d hyped up Silverman so much in my mind that the only way she wouldn’t have disappointed me was if she slept with me. Still, it would have helped if 80% of her act wasn’t old jokes, including some stuff from her TV show, which was just a totally lame thing to pull I felt.

Not a good sign if this guy was the best part of
a weekend that featured two Spurs games.

Can you tell I’m trying to avoid discussing the game?

Wretched. Awful. Devastating.

How do we blow an 18 point lead to a squad who had precious few perimeter scoring options with Grant Hill out? How do we allow them to shoot 54.5% for the game and score 58 points in the second half? Consider that the foursome of Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Carlos Arroyo and (dear God) J.J. Redick average a combined 45 points. On this night they got 89.

What made the loss especially fun was that so many people contributed to make it possible. Brent Barry repeatedly found himself isolated on Nelson on defense and that worked out as one might suspect. Pop thought so little of Bruce Bowen’s effort that he only got six second half minutes yet still found a way to blow two crucial freebies late. Elson and Oberto combined for six points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes and inspired the coach to go to tinyball for the last 15 minutes of the game. Horry was MIA as is his custom. Timmeh got dunked on, by my unofficial count, 273 times. Manu had two stupid turnovers early and didn’t seem very interested throughout. After taking 20 shots against the Suns, he’s put up only 15 FGA in the next two games combined, nine of them from downtown. His defense on Redick was fairly crappy in its own right. Finally there’s Tony, who started off like gangbusters in the first half, really found people well, but reverted to clueless, selfish play in the second half, getting swatted at least four times by Howard and repeatedly failing to account for the man’s freakish long arms. The less said about his defense in the second half, the better. Also, he missed a killer free throw. I can’t really remember anything bad that Finley or Vaughn did, but screw them anyway.

Remember who we are everybody!

In the end, it falls on Pop. It always falls on Pop. The fire and brimstone speeches aren’t working. Calling the team soft isn’t working. Putting Manu on the bench isn’t really making the team any better or worse. Tinyball always has dreadful results. I don’t understand why he abandoned playing with the center when we thoroughly outrebounded the Magic for 2.75 quarters. His rotations were terrible, playing guys way too long and exhausting them. Old men like Barry played the entire 3rd (as did Duncan) while Fin played the entire 4th (as did Tony). He didn’t get the ball into Ginobili’s hands nearly enough despite Manu having freakin’ Redick on him for most of the night. Also he should have had Gino covering Turkoglu on the inbounds, where he’s excellent at timing his jump just right to deflect the ball, instead of Elson who looked lost and passive so far from the basket.

The coach needs to do something drastic to shake this team up. Removing Udrih from the rotation isn’t the answer. Bonner’s return might help a little. Either he has to start playing White a few minutes, or we need a trade. They don’t have the energy and athleticism to compete for 48 minutes and trying to squeeze great defense and rebounding out of offensive minded fogeys is not going to work. It’s getting tad predictable.

These are all for me, another glass for my wife please.

P.S. A heaping triple serving of “F you” to Sean Elliott. Dude, I get that you’re a homer and you’re going to be supportive of the team an’ all that, but for the love of God, please don’t check off a game as “being in the win column” midway through the 3rd quarter with a ten point lead. Have you ever said on a broadcast, “Well this one looks like a loss for the Spurs” when they were down ten with 18 minutes to go? No? Then shut the hell up when the shoe is on the other foot, k? An absolutely unforgivable tresspass of karma and when he said it, I knew trouble was ahead. I’m really hoping the front office got wind of it and told him, in no vague terms, that if he ever does anything like that on air again he’ll be shitcanned, retired jersey in the rafters or no. Hell, maybe if Sean was gone then Bruce would have nobody to throw a towel at and Pop would have this epiphany and realize that it’s time to play James White. Eh?

Your 3 Stars:

3. Tony Parker – Edges out Brent because Bones was so horrid on defense. Still, Tony’s game got progressively worse as the night went on. Seriously, does he ever pass out of the 1-4 alignment when he’s got the ball at the end of the quarter? Ever?

2. Michael Finley – Knocked down a lot of big shots in the fourth. One might even argue that he was “hot” and that perhaps recognizing this, Ginobili consciously looked to pass him the ball. It sure would be something if Tony could figure out these little nuances of the game.

1. Tim Duncan – Played a fabulous all around game and dominated Howard on the boards, the upset of the night. So he had a bad play at the end…

Record: 33-17 Streak: L-1
Up Next: @ Miami Heat

More suckage ahead. Looks like another Miami-Detroit ECF, unless they match up earlier. I like that they had to bench Shaq to blow us out in the fourth. Yeah, he’s great. He was only their second best center in the Finals last year, but whatever. I’d trade Horry for him, but that’s about as far as I’d go. If they want Beno too, I’ll hang up the phone on Riley’s leather-lizard face.

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