A Pair o' Massive Rants
1. Public Enemy #1A: Matt “Superfluous Mucus” Guokas
You fucked with the wrong team, Mr. Guokas.
As a Spurs fan in exile, I have the misfortune of being unable to listen to every Sean Elliott broadcast and am instead condemned, for what seems like far more than half of the non-nationally broadcast games the Spurs play, to listen to the often laughably misinformed ravings of the buffoons who have bullshitted their way into a job “commentating” (believe it or not, that odd back-formation dates all the way back to 1794, according to my trusty Merriam Webster) for all the other so-called teams (or “tIIms”) in the NBA. Over the years, I must admit that these broadcasters have grown slightly less ignorant of our Spurs and more respectful in their pronouncements. But occasionally my ears are still assaulted by something so asinine and blasphemous as to actually be worth getting pissed off about. Enter Mr. Guokas.
From his pre-game commentary:
“Way back when, in the first times that Dwight faced Duncan, it was all Tim Duncan. But the last two, Dwight Howard has caught up and then some. He has made Tim Duncan look [in a contemptuous voice now] very, very weak and soft defensively.”
Granted, Mr. Mucus, Dwight Howard is a beast, and he’s made a lot of progress, and I have nothing but respect for him, and that was one hell of a play that he made in Orlando to win that game. But it was one game. I won’t bother to list all of the accomplishments that establish Tim’s badassness far more impressively than anything Dwight Howard has ever done. Simply on the evidence of that one game, it is foolishness of the highest order to call a man who pulled down 16 rebounds (and scored 24 points and dished for 6 dimes) against a bigger, stronger, and more athletic man “very, very weak and soft.” As for that other game in which Howard supposedly owned Timmy? April 13th, 2006:
Dwight Howard: 22 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal
Tim Duncan: 31 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals (playing with plantar fasciitis)
The most recent game didn’t do much for your claim either, Matt:
Dwight Howard: 9 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, 0 assists
Tim Duncan: 19 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals, 4 assists
A day will eventually come when Tim can no longer outplay Dwight. But for now, Matt, you will worship reverently at the altar of Tim Duncan, and when that day does come, you will speak of the greatness of Tim’s Hall of Fame career with nothing but respect. In other words, don’t even think about using the S word again. Gregg Popovich is the only human being on this planet who has license to call Timothy Duncan soft, Mucus Man. Remember that the next time you set foot on holy San Antonio ground – championship ground – and remember to keep looking over your shoulder, and in your closet before you turn out the light at night, and in the toilet before you sit on it, and inside that pocket pussy you take on road trips, because you’re on notice.
I do have to thank you guys, though, for the pleasure of watching not only you eat green crow enchiladas (a San Antonio specialty), but also your broadcasting partner David Steele. Right as Manu was beginning the third-quarter tear (five three-pointers in the quarter, a franchise record, not to mention a host of other great plays for an eventual total of 31 points) that got the Spurs going and turned the game into a rout, Mr. Steele was foolish enough to mention Manu’s history of sub-par performances against the Magic. And then Manu just made you and your team look silly. What the hell were you thinking? You remind me of Steve Irwin taunting a crocodile or lion, Mr. Steele. Except that Steve was cool and funny, and his foolishness served a good purpose, and I cried like a bitch when he died.* You, on the other hand, got gobbled.
Who will cry when that metaphorical stingray comes for you two clowns? No one here at SpursDynasty.
* O.k., not really, but I was sad because he seemed like a good bloke.
Public Enemy #1B: Sloan, a benighted fan of the Dallas ’Ricks
Being Texas expatriates, a couple of us here at SpursDynasty sometimes find ourselves befriending fellow Texans. Sometimes, it’s out of a genuine spirit of camaraderie – contrary to popular opinion in most of the civilized world (as well as presidential precedent), there are a lot of good people in Texas. Other times, it’s out of pity and against our better judgment. Thus we found ourselves friends of one Sloan, whose last name I will refrain from mentioning to avoid embarrassing his family.
Sloan was smart and morally upright enough to get the hell out of Dallas, which represents everything bad about Texas, but unfortunately he failed to sever his emotional ties with his hometown NBA team, whose primary qualities, coincidentally, mirror those of many of the people of Dallas: arrogance, prickishness, obnoxiousness, and too damn much wealth for their own good.
Every once in a while, Sloan will spout some nonsense about how Tim Duncan isn’t one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, or he’ll fire off an ignorant e-mail that just makes me cringe, like the one below, because it reminds me that despite our best efforts at re-education and moral guidance, he remains a fan of the ’Ricks, convinced that their regular-season success is going to lead to a championship:
“I like the debate of who is second best. Entertaining to look down on a 70 pace season and see who are the pretenders. Mavs have the best owner, best coach, best player (Dirk is a lock for MVP), best 6th man, best stadium, best uniforms (shall I stop?). ok one more… best team!! Cuban to purchase The Riverwalk and Alamo before the year is out. Don’t fret, The Spurs are on most people’s top 3 teams in Texas list. MavsDynasty…there is still room on the bandwagon!!”
Sloan, Sloan, Sloan. I’ll make one more attempt to show you that the light at the end of the tunnel that you think is a ’Ricks championship is actually the oncoming train of the post All-Star break Spurs.
Let’s examine the Spurs’ current 8-game winning streak:
2/13 @ Nets W 107-82
2/14 @ Pistons W 90-81
2/20 vs. Nuggets W 95-80
2/21 @ Hawks W 103-96
2/24 vs. Sonics W 102-71
2/26 vs. Raptors W 107-91
3/2 vs. Magic W 98-74
3/3 @ Rockets W 97-74
That’s an average margin of victory of 18.75 points. (For the season, the Spurs are first in the league in point differential, and apparently it’s now gone up to + 8.5.) But the thing is, Sloan, that number, as impressive as it is, doesn’t give even the slightest suggestion of how completely the Spurs are dominating almost everyone they play. Most of these games wer
e over by either halftime or the end of the third quarter at the latest. One way to demonstrate this is to show how many minutes per game our top three players have averaged over this stretch:
The Spurs have managed to dominate teams despite playing their three best players extremely limited minutes in comparison with other NBA stars. The Mavericks’ top three, for example, all average about 36 minutes a game. This tells us a few things:
1. The Spurs would be humiliating teams even more obscenely than they are now if their stars played comparable minutes, and if they were colossal pricks.
2. The Spurs’ much-maligned supporting cast is coming around.
3. The Spurs’ big three are extremely well rested.
4. The Mavs are going to take it up the ass come playoff time.
And don’t forget what I said before about Francisco Elson being the X-factor against the Mavs. He’s looking better and better defensively, and as someone on SpursTalk pointed out, the Spurs are 19-0 when he plays at least 22 minutes. (As Michael has also pointed out, yes, this is a potentially misleading factoid, but I still think it has some significance.)
You can take your 70-win pace, lube it generously, and shove it up the ’Ricks mascot, Sloan, along with all the other things we know you like to put there. 70 wins won’t matter to anyone after the Spurs knock them out of the playoffs.
But if you come to your senses and jump on the Spurs’ bandwagon, we’ll welcome you warmly, my misguided friend. I’m extending you an open invitation to sanity. I hope you take me up on it.
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