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Wake me when it's April

By Michael Erler on March 15, 2007.

Game 64 Vs. Los Angeles: Spurs 93, Clippers 84

Who’d a thunk it, lucky 13 in the books! I really don’t have a lot to say about this one. Snoozer. We haven’t put together so much as a “B” game since we played the Rockets. And just so you don’t think I’m biased, that was the night Manu sucked. What’s there to say? We’ve just been sleepwalking the past week, letting teams hang around, turning it on for maybe a good eight or ten minute stretch and just coasting. Some games the offense just goes through the motions, (cos it’s a motion offense you see) other games the defense gets lazy.

We’ve entered the “dog-days” phase of our winning streak. I think the team is kinda bored with playing shitty opponents. It’s like the coaches and players make an unspoken agreement before tip-off: You don’t make us sweat hard and we won’t embarass you too badly. This is gonna sound bad, but I think the team had more fun when Tony was hurt, because at least then there was drama going in. The fans didn’t know who’d win, the players didn’t know. There was a challenge there. Now though it’s like same old same old.

Matthew summed it all up pretty well. The Parker/Barry benching at the beginning of the 3rd, Finley’s crappy shooting, Frenchie McWonderbutt in all his glorious ballhoggery. All I’ll add is Horry once again had nothing, Beno got no love from Pop and Bonner is becoming Mr. 4th Quarter all of a sudden, no matter the score. He doesn’t check in until the 4th once he’s in, he ain’t comin out. Coach is goofy.

Let’s just go right to 3 stars…

3. Jacque Vaughn – 6 and 5 in 11 minutes? I’ll take that. Dare I suggest he play more?
2. Manu Ginobili – 16 points on 8 shots doing the voodoo that he do.
1. Tony Parker – 12 FT attempts? How’d this happen? If he’s not careful somebody will mistake him for “efficient.” A positively D-Wadesque performance, down to the theatrics when getting fouled. Bravo!

No, it’s not some prank photo I conjured up on Photoshop. Tony actually passed this ball.

Record: 46-18 Streak: W-13

Up Next: @ Milwaukee Bucks

They just shitcanned the coach. Frank Brickowski’s in charge now and I don’t know if it’s because he’s management’s favorite or least favorite. We’ll get to see how the players feel about Frank real quick. For some reason we always struggle against these guys, they’re just a terrible match-up for us. They already kicked our asses in San Antonio earlier this year when both Manu and Barry had food poisoning. I think they scored like 90 points in the paint that game.

Here’s a prediction: If we come out victorious, Bruce Bowen will get one of my 3 stars for his work on Redd.

As far as the Dallas-Phoenix game goes, I’m aware that the game featured 15 point comebacks from both teams, buzzer beating three pointers, numerous exciting plays, clutch shots from Nash and Terry and a boffo performance from Amare “Squished Testicles Aching Terribly” Stoudemire. Still despite all that, I didn’t find the proceedings all that dramatic. For there to be “drama” I’d have to “give a shit.” And I didn’t. No matter who won or lost there was a positive and a negative for the Spurs.

From my end, here’s all that matters:

A) Both teams played hard, yet were atrocious on defense.

B) Dallas has no answer for the pick and roll, the Suns can’t rebound.

C) Don’t hand Nowitzki that MVP just yet.

D) Either one of these teams can be had, but it won’t be easy. They’re not invincible.

E) Just keep exhausting those fellas, Mike and AJ.

Speaking of not caring…

Okay, before I start this pointless exercise, I offer the following disclaimers:

1) I can’t fucking stand college sports.

2) I haven’t watched a college basketball game all year and couldn’t name more than 10 players in the country as recently as eight hours ago.

3) Historically, I’ve had much more success with my brackets when I’ve completely winged it than when I spent time agonizingly researching it.

4) Still, since I don’t care and have no rooting interest, I’m remarkably free of bias and thus able to logically figure these things out most of the time. For instance I had Florida as a finalist last year and seven of the elite eight three years ago.

5) Really, I fucking hate college sports.

This year, to be different, I decided to assign a value to the teams and make my picks that way. Of course since my perception of the numbers was based on a cursory surface level glance at the stats, the values I assigned were still totally subjective. I decided on five categories: Depth, guards, frontcourt/size, defense and intangibles (mostly experience and coaching). On each category I ranked a team on a 1-5 scale. This led to some predictable results and some that will have you wishing I was in your pool.

Anyhow, here we go…

Midwest Region:

The only first round upsets I have are # 11 Winthrop over # 6 Notre Dame and # 10 Georgia Tech over # 7 UNLV. Winthrop has three scorers of their own in Jenkins, Martin and Bradshaw to match ND’s three guard line-up, but they’re way deeper than the Irish and won’t be physically intimidated by ND’s size. GT has two future NBAers in Crittendon and Young and they’re a horrible match-up for UNLV’s smallish backcourt and crappy defense.

In the second round Arizona was a squad that interested me, but against the Gators they have no shot. However I do like Winthrop upsetting # 3 Oregon as well because they don’t play much defense in the Pac-10 and they have a lot more experience than the streaky ducks. Wisconsin’s tough D will force too many turnovers from the Yellowjackets to hold on there and Maryland’s size in the backcourt and 3 point defense will be too much for Butler.

Florida’s interior scoring and experience will carry them to the elite eight past the Terps and Cinderella Winthrop will pull another shocker, overwhelming the Badgers with their versatility and bevy of scoring threats. The dream finally ends for them against Florida in the regional final as the big man trio of Noah, Harford and Richard will be too unrelenting on the boards.

West Region:

Pretty much the same story here, the only first round upsets once again going for the # 10 and # 11 seeds… I like Virginia Commonwealth to get by the inexperienced Dukies who aren’t really good at anything and Gonzaga to romp against a Hoosier squad completely bereft of size or talent.

In the second round Kansas-Kentucky will be closer than people think, but talent will ultimately prevail. I see # 5Va Tech easily pulling an “upset” over # 4 Southern Illonois because of their senior backcourt and their size and # 3 Pitt stomping all over a VCU team lucky to draw Duke in round 1. The big shocker will be Gonzaga avenging last year’s choke to the Bruins due to their superior depth and scoring options. I really don’t think the Pac-10 is worth a shit.

I’ve got the Zags suprising Pitt as well in the sweet 16, mainly because the Panthers’ defense really isn’t as impressive this year as past seasons. And Kansas’ trio of Rush, Wright and Chalmers will overwhelm bo
th the Hokies and Gonzaga in the elite eight.

now things get kinda nutty…

East Region:

First off, I have # 14 Oral Roberts humbling # 3 Washington St. The Golden Eagles have the tandem of Green and Tutt and good size as well. I can’t figure out anything good about the Cougars. Also, I’m pretty much declaring war on Simmons because not only do I have his alma mater, Holy Cross losing in the first round to So. Illonois in the West region, but I see his man crush Kevin Durant and the Longhorns leaving in short order, losing a stunner to # 13 New Mexico State. The Aggies have a senior backcourt, a versatile bench, Haskins at SF and a gaggle of bigs to throw at Durant. Plus Simmons has kind of brainwashed me into thinking that their coach sucks even though I don’t know the man from Adam. Ooh, also I got # 9 Mich St surviving a great one against # 8 Marquette.

Second round, Georgetown’s size is too much for Boston College, who suspended their best big man for some good reason probably and the Foslen/Myers forward combo of Vanderbilt will be too much for Oral Roberts. # 5 USC will be the last of the Pac-10 mohicans, prevailing over the Aggies thanks to four double figure starters, their depth and their size. The shocker will be Tom Izzo’s Spartans squeezing by the # 1 Tarheels. What can I say, Izzo’s crew has an outstanding bench, play super defense and Drew Neitzel can go off against anyone. Carolina has a couple of future NBAers in Wright and Hansbrough, but they’re too young overall, especially in the backcourt.

# 6 Vanderbilt destroys more brackets by scoring just enough to get by the offensively-challenged Hoyas. Their whole team is Jrs. and Srs. and they won’t be intimidated out there. And USC will seem like a breeze to the Spartans after the Carolina stunner. Team Izzo will outslug the Commodores in the elite eight, officially becoming the media darlings of the Final Four.

South Region:

I’ve got straight chalk in the first round, believe it or not. Didn’t pick one 12 to beat a 5. In the second round the Buckeyes will do cruel and unspeakable things to the Mormons, Virginia will roll over the Tennessee midgets and Texas A&M will get past Pitino’s ten-deep pack of mediocrities. My one small upset will be # 7 Nevada beating # 2 Memphis in a doozy, mainly thanks to their stud, Nick Fazekas.

A&M’s airtight D will put the clamps on the big Greek in the Sweet 16 while the # 4 Cavailies will tumble the mighty Oden thanks to their bench, experience and the Singletary-Reynolds backcourt. And oh what the hell, they’ll beat Vandy in the elite 8 too…

Final Four: Florida wins a classic against Kansas, Michigan State clusterfucks Virginia and the Gators take the title game to make it two in a row. Wheeeee.

Here’s my bracket if you need visual proof

There’s that’s my one obligatory College Basketball post of the year.

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  1. Dingo March 18, 2007

    Winthrop and Vanderbilt — nice picks.

    Michigan State had a chance before they collapsed in the final 9 minutes against UNC … but you had them going to the Finals?!

  2. Michael March 18, 2007

    I’m a big dummy. Truthfully the Spurs loss – ANY Spurs loss in the regular season will always bother me a hundred times more than any stupid college basketball predictions.

    Honestly, I don’t care. I don’t. I really don’t care. Like, totally, I don’t care. I mean it, I don’t care. This is me, not caring. I. Don’t. Care.


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