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APB for Gin-Oh-Blee

By Michael Erler on March 25, 2007.

Game 68 Vs. Detroit: Spurs 90, Pistons 89

So often we hear statements like “this game had playoff level intensity” or “it was a playoff like atmosphere” and they’re so overused that they’ve become trite and cliché, but you know what? This game did feel like the playoffs to me. I had my arms crossed the whole time, I was muttering and cursing like an idiot and while there is no photographic evidence to document it one way or the other, I can guarantee you that at no time did I ever look like I was enjoying myself. It’s supposed to be entertainment yet I was not entertained. In short I am quite miserable to be around during playoff time. Remember that.

Still, it wasn’t the game or the opponent that had me so worked up. How could it? For the most part everything went great. Pop played big for 47 minutes, with 30 of those going to my boy Frankie Elson. Even better, Bruce got only a reasonable 25 minutes of run instead of usual 35 that tends to produce diminishing returns with the old man. Ooh, also Findog was off the leash for just 14 minutes, and even as atrocious as he’s been all year, even Michael Finley can only do so much damage in 14 minutes (knock on wood). Yeah, Robert Van Pelt did drag his sorry carcass up and down the floor for 18 minutes, but he somehow finished with a +5, so why quibble? Really the only disappointing aspect of the game *should have been* that our ejection streak came to an end. To tell you the truth, I feel cheated. I watched the first half of the Warriors/Wizards game afterward and crazy-ass Stephen Jackson got rung up for a lot less than what ‘Sheed said. Alas…

Dude, when I called you a ‘stupid-ass motherfucker’ I didn’t mean it in a bad way. Goddamn why do all y’all stupid-ass motherfuckers have it out for me? (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Okay, there is one area of concern. Our backup PGs suck again. Jacque-daddy has crashed back down to Earth with a loud thud. Against Indy he had 4 turnovers in 16 minutes. Vs. the Pistons he jacked up three ugly jumpers in six minutes. Even his usual sticky defense was AWOL. He was so bad that Pop felt compelled to play The Bean Burrito in the 4th quarter. Sadly, that didn’t work either.

It seems that teams have figured out how to play against our second unit. Trap Manu the second he gets the ball and make him give it up and let Vaughn/Fin/Vaughn/Beno/Fab/Rocket shoot. Seriously, would any of those six guys scare you at all if you were an opposing coach? Of course not. I can’t think of any solution to this problem except to switch Fin and Brent’s roles so that Barry can play with Manu. Pop almost never lets them play together outside of tinyball for fear of defensive slippage. I guess that makes sense. I mean, Brent is okay on defense, he’s decent, but he’s not the stone cold lock down stopper that Findog is, right?

But really, what’s eating Stampler’s grape? Oh I don’t know. Could it possibly be that Pop played OUR SECOND BEST PLAYER SEVEN FREAKIN’ MINUTES IN THE FIRST HALF? No foul trouble, no injury, nothing. He just didn’t play him. Or how about the fact that said second best player HAD 3 GOD DAMN SHOTS IN THE FIRST 45 MINUTES OF THE GAME.

What the cock is going on with Manu Ginobili? He’s turned into Casper the Friendly Ghost. He’s weightless, invisible and exceedinly white. In the past four games 18 of his 31 field goal attempts have been from three, (including 9 of 13 in the past two games) and of those 18 shots, he’s canned three. The paint has become a forbidden zone for him much like it is for the rest of our bench scrubs. The isos are rare, the screens are non-existent, the spirit is lacking. He’s not doing anything playing with the second unit anymore because he’s being doubled as soon as he touches the ball. When he actually plays with good players, he gets largely frozen out of the offense. Either he’s hiding some injury and taking it easy or Pop is resting him for the playoffs. Those make sense right? But what about the timing? The guys just had a players-only meeting two games ago. Did something weird happen? Harvey and Ludden have to get to the bottom of this. Matthew is going to the game on Sunday and I’m going Monday and neither of us are paying an assload of scrilla to see 2 of 6 in 25 minutes. So yes, consider me officially vexed.

I don’t mean to tell you how to do your job Coach, but have you noticed that you’ve only played your second best guy for seven minutes in the first half? (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Of course one reason Schnozzo didn’t play a lot was Brent’s recent hot streak. 16 points on 10 shots in 32 minutes and Coach Wino was even praising his defense. The game before he scored 9 on 3 shots and had four dimes. And believe me, I totally dig all those fake no-look passes that do absolutely nothing. I’m just a little bitter that Manu and Beno never get to play with him anymore. It doesn’t get any more fun for me as a Spurs fan than when the pale triangle take the floor. Preferably with Duncan too as I’ve noticed most of our lineups work better with Timmy than without. Nonetheless, I’ll never forgive Pop for scrapping TPT. Never ever.

Beware the black-eyed demon. He’ll burn your nets, eat your heart and give humorous self-depricating quips to your local media. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

So I guess all that leaves is Tony, Toní, Toné. (sigh). Why is it always such a tug of war with this guy? I’ve gotten to the point where I can amaze friends by predicting his turnovers three seconds before they happen (I’ve seen a Spurs game or two you see) and I’m frustratingly aware that I’m far likelier to be the meat in a Victoria’s Secret model sandwich than Tony is to giving up the ball in the 1-4 alignment at the end of any quarter.

But, and there’s always a but… every single time I think I’m at the end of my rope with him he makes another jaw dropping lay-up. He had three highlight worthy forays to the hoop last night and even Pistons’ assistant coach Dave Cowens admitted that backing off him and letting him shoot is of no use because Tony still got to the cup with ease. Sure, he was taking advantage of a gimpy Billups, but it wouldn’t have mattered either way. The guy is phenomanally talented and we’re lucky to have him. I’m positive I’d be a bigger fan of the wee rapping Frenchman’s game if here were on some other team. It just so happens he’s on my team. And it just so happens that one of his main duties is to pass the ball to my favorite player. This creates a bit of a conflict of interest. Particularly during sequences such as the end of the 3rd quarter that if I expounded upon would surely lead me breaking my mother’s laptop. At first I felt guilty about my feelings for Tony. Ashamed even. However thanks to the interweb, not only do I know I’m not alone with my sentiments, I may even be in the maj
ority. So truly Mr. Longoria, it’s not personal. Just pass ze fucking ball more, ouí?

On a cheerier note, I just want to touch on a couple of other sporting topics. First, my homeboys the Turks won at Greece in a Euro ’08 qualifier. And they didn’t just squeak by one-nil. No sir, they whooped Greece’s monkey asses 4-1. You people have no idea how big this is. Turkey-Greece is a huuuuge rivalry. Makes Spurs-Mavs look like Grizzlies-Bobcats. Everytime we play each other the score has always been 0-0, purposefully I’ve always thought as the players are the only citizens of either country mature enough to realize it’s just a game. A scoreless draw and everyone saves face and nobody gets hurt. So much for that theory after today’s game though. Turkey is 4-0-0 so far in qualifying and their prospects for making the ’08 tournament seem excellent indeed. @Greece was easily the most daunting game of any of the twelve in their qualifying sked.

The only downside that Manolis sucked all the fun out of trashtalking him afterward. I told him the score and said something crude and he just simply replied, “What do I care? We won the whole tournament in ’04. They could lose every game the rest of my life and I’ll be happy.”

No comeback for that my friends. But perhaps a valuable lesson for us Spurs fans, eh? Eh? Maybe not.

Ooh, also I noticed that the March Madness is really getting batshit crazy. In the elite eight we’ve got 1 vs. 2, 1 vs. 2, 1 vs. 2 and in the wild and wacky Midwest region, it’s 1 vs. 3. Who’d a thunk it! Man how weird would it be if those Cinderella 3 seed Oregon Ducks made it to the Final Four? Fasten your seatbelts everybody! Wooooooo

Your 3 Stars…

3. Brent Barry – He only looks good because his backup is a total bum.

2. Francisco Elson – 9 pts, 10 rebs, and held his own against a pissed off ‘Sheed. He was running’ and shootin’ and dunkin’ and everything. The dribbling was quite frankly terrifying, but I’ve calmed down now.

1. Tony Parker – I’ll take 22 and 7 every game from him no questions asked. But 19 shots Tony? Really? I mean really? Ugh.

Record: 48-20 Streak: W-2
Up Next: @ Seattle Supersonics

As I mentioned already, PtR founder and EIC Matthew Powell will be attending this game and he has kickass seats. He’s too chickenshit to show up there in a white labcoat and hold up a sign that reads “I’m Ray Allen’s OB-GYN” though. Hopefully the boys will put on a good show for him, especially Gonzo. I don’t think Rayneesha will be playing for the Supes so really we’ve got no excuses about putting this game to bed early. We pretty much have to rest the big three as much as possible to have any realistic hope of sweeping the back-to-back.

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