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I Get to Wake Up in Four Hours!!!! (Day 5 Recaps)

By Michael Erler on April 28, 2007.

Ah well, it wasn’t easy or particularly enjoyable at times, but that’s one. Just a mere 15 to go. Overall I thought it was an uneven performance where both teams got better offensively and worse defensively as the game wore on. Wait, why am I writing this stuff above the scoreline?

Game 2 Denver @ San Antonio: Spurs 97, Nuggets 88 (1-1)

Where was I?

Oh right, anyway for the most part we were effectively ugly in the first half. Iverson and Melo started 7 of 24, thanks mainly to good work from Bowen and Duncan, who both got screwed out of the Defensive Player of the Year award by the laughably overrated Marcus Camby. Yeah, he’s so money on defense that Timmy is being guarded mainly by Nené. Real solid work by the basketball writers out there, seriously. I suppose it could be worse. They could vote for some absurdly atrocious one-dimensional offensive player for MVP or something.

Anyway, despite the defensive intensity, (and a few bunnies that the Nugs just flat out missed) we could never turn the game into a total rout because we were having offensive issues of our own, shooting only 37% for the half. Manu was 1 of 4, Tony 4 of 10, and Fin 3 of 8. Plus the Nugs hit three first half 3s, and that’s usually not their deal. We were up 15 with two minutes to go, but Denver hit closed the half out on a 7-0 run thanks to a couple of buckets by Melo and some disastrous decision making by Le Trou Noir. Really our best two players in the half were Fab and Bruce, and that’s usually not a recipe for long term success.

I was gonna make a crack about Bruce playing more illegal defense than ever, but instead I’ll just go with “More Hugs, Less Thugs.”(AP Photo/Bob Owen)

In the second half our stars did play better, Manu in particular springing for 15, and we stretched the lead out to 14 again going into the 4th. Unfortunately Melo found his rhythm by this point and no longer were we stringing a bunch of stops together. Basically, it’s almost kind of like cheating if Denver’s main two guys can play the whole half without ever taking a breather. Bruce played 20 second half minutes and he was still pretty ineffective by the end due to fatigue. And Tim sat for a good seven minutes himself, so for a while they were picking on Finley and Horry. It’s amazing how both their guys can just go and go without ever getting tired, although Melo gets to cheat sometimes by resting on defense against Bruce.

I think Pop should give serious consideration to stop focusing on Duncan in the block so much and gearing the offensive game plan on going right at their main guns, maybe getting Camby in foul trouble trying to recover for his beaten comrades. Manu might want to try posting up Iverson if Karl is gonna stick to that match-up. I don’t think he’s gonna put J.R. Smith on Gino ever again, that shit didn’t work. Something about Manu’s magical “Euro-step” sure to be basketball version of the Gyro-ball.

Personally I think the EU claiming Argentina as one of its own should have been a bigger news story than some fucktard scrub on the Nuggets making excuses for being toasted by Gonzo. We in the newspaper game refer to this as “burying the lead.” (AP Photo/Bob Owen)

The 4th quarter got a bit dicey because Denver somehow hit four three pointers and exploded for 28 points, only 13 from the Cornrow commandoes. We softened up inside at the most inopportune time and could have used Frankie Elson out there. Unfortunately, he has really, really, really, really sucked so far, so Pop is more likely to throw him out of the arena at this point than playing him late in a playoff game. The Nugs went to town on Oberto, scooping up five offensive rebounds in the period. A couple of buckets by Manu and Tim helped us hold on, but it was too close for comfort there.

So what do we need to happen in Game 3? Elson has to give us something. Tony can’t shoot 40% and have six turnovers. Manu needs to be aggressive from the outset and attack the basket. Make the refs call fouls and get the fans to focus more on booing him than cheering their team. It’d be nice of the coach to play our 4th best offensive player more than five minutes maybe. Just a crazy idea I’m spit-ballin’. If Tony and Manu can force their defense to collapse in the first half, we can get all the open threes we want in the second half.

We’re better than these guys. And no matter how scary they look now, (somehow the Warriors Game 3 victory makes Denver look scarier to some weirdo Spurs fans) I still think we can win this series in five. Game 3 is the key. This is the one they’ll come out all pumped for. Surviving the opening quarter will be critical. If we can somehow pull this game out and pop all the air out of their balloon, then the seed of doubt will be planted and they’ll be flatter for Game 4. I think the big three combine for 70 tomorrow, followed immediately by more bitching at the refs by George Karl.

Other than he’s a fat, ugly, whiny loser who may or may not have killed somebody in the early 80′s, I have the utmost respect for Coach Karl. (AP Photo/Bob Owen)

3 Stars-

3. Allen Iverson – Almost brought them all the way back, hit some ridiculous shots late.
2. Manu Ginobili – 15 second half points, a welcome change after sick quarters of “Ugh.”
1. Tim Duncan – 22-7-5-5. Get used to a lot of 1st stars for him in games we win.

Okay, let’s knock these out and I’ll be *only* six games behind.

Game 2 Washington @ Cleveland: Cavaliers 109, Wizards 102 (2-0)

Nope, I’m still ignoring it. The Cavs should be embarrassed as shit this game was so competitive. WASHINGTON IS MISSING THEIR BEST TWO PLAYERS!!!! It’s like Cleveland has no self respect at all. I blame LeBron. Whenever anything is wrong with them, I blame LeBron. It’s safe and easy and convenient and saves me the trouble of having to actually watch them play or do research. I have a bright future ahead of me in journalism you know.

Anyway, lookin’ at Mr. Boxscore, it appears that the only reason it was close was because the Cavs couldn’t shoot their threes and also Lez Bullez committed a mere five turnovers. Well that and Mike Brown gave Eric Snow 21 minutes of floor time. -15 in a game you win by seven? I lack the words to describe such futility.

I see that both Antawn Jamison and Drew Gooden had monster nights, but don’t be fooled Spurs fans. These things will happen when these two gentlemen “guard” one another. Classic ‘80s Mullin vs. English defensive apathy at its finest. Really, I’ve written more about this game than it deserves. The Cavs have Bronnie and Larry Hughes at the wings, the Wiz have Jarvis Hayes and DeShawn Stevenson (combined 5 of 25). Sometimes sports rea
lly are that simple.

Bring out the brooms, unless LeBron comes up some brilliant Nike marketing gimmick like letting Tiger Woods play center for the Cavs over the weekend. The NFL Draft will CRUSH this game in the ratings tomorrow and thank God for that.

For the luckiest human being on the face of the Earth, Mike Brown sure doesn’t look happy. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

3 Stars-

3. LeBron James – 27-8-7. He’s good and stuff. Enjoy your bye into Round
2. Antawn Jamison – 31-10 in an effort that was as heroic as it was meaningful.
1. Drew Gooden – 24-14, still rockin’ the goofy hair, still should be traded in the offseason.

Game 2 Golden State @ Dallas: Mavericks 112, Warriors 99 (1-1)

Hmmm. The Mavs played Diop and Dampier a combined 41 minutes and they won. Imagine that. It’s almost as if they were comfortable playing a lineup that had worked for them spectacularly well over the course of an 82 game season than some gimmicky bullshit thing they practiced for like eight minutes the day before Game 1. Like I said in the last blog, you’d be surprised at who’s put up the highest +/- for any one game of the playoffs thus far. It was a Mav, but it wasn’t _irk or The Big Bug or even the aborted poodle fetus that is Devin Harris.

Nope, it was the aforementioned Mr. Diop (I can’t spell his first name and won’t bother to look it up) with a +27. In 27 minutes no less. Some quick math tells me that for every minute he was on the floor, the Mavericks increased their lead by a point, on average. So by all means, go back to the Hasselhoff worshipping German weenie at the five, Avery, because I’m sure Game 1 was just a fluke.

Also, despite the score this game was U-G-L-Y. The two teams combined for 24 assists and 34 turnovers. If I wanted to watch crap like that I’d have tuned in to the “Greatest Sporting Event in the History of the Universe” (aka March Madness). The Warriors truthfully were the biggest culprits here, with 9 dimes to 24 giveaways. Such wretchedness would ordinarily be punished by a blowout score, but the Mavs lacked the intestinal fortitude to turn all those loose balls into free points. Or maybe it was Dallas’ 1-16 showing from the three point line that kept Golden State in the game. Air-o-plane Terry was 1 of 7 from deep, just like his Game 6 in the Finals last year. But you know, this was worse because I think we all clearly remember the refs smacking the Mavs on their elbows during all their jumpers last June.

Dallas won largely on the strength of 16 more free throw attempts (I don’t believe it!) and the twin flip outs of Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis, two professionals not ordinarily given to such emotional outbursts. They never looked like the better team, they just happened to play better today. They still appear vulnerable to me, if not for the outright upset, at least for a long, drawn out series. Oaktown should be quite loud for Game 3.

“When? When Goddammit did it become so agreed upon to take it as an offense when someone hints at having sexual relations with someone else’s mother? I happen to think quite highly of myself, sir, and any woman I choose to bed should be honored. Shit, I even called the bitch the next day, even though, and this is just between the two of us, I’ve had much better.” (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

(Yeah I cheated, writing all that after Game 3 ended, but I said it was going at least six games before the series even started, so screw off).

3 stars-

3. Stephen Jackson – 30 points, 8 turnovers, 2 technicals. He never disappoints.
2. Jason Terry – 28 points, and resisted the temptation to touch other dude’s genitals. Ironically, this bit of restraint came against a team from the Bay Area.
1. Josh Howard – I’m slowly coming around to grudgingly accepting that he’s very good. He’s still rather unpleasant looking in the facial region, though. That’s S-Jax is guarding Dirk instead. The two of them on one screen would make the V-chip short circuit.

God, I used to be funny. What happened to me? I blame Matthew, pissing me off with his irrational hatred for Barry Bonds. Or Spurstalk.com. Seriously I need to stop going there. It’s taking all the fun out of Spurs games for me. If only I could install an electric buzzer on my computer where I’d get shocked every time I click on it… also if I picked up a cheeseburger, burrito or a buffalo wing.

Anyway, big day tomorrow. Game 3 and the draft. With the run the Bay Area has been on of late with the Sharks, Warriors and even the geriatric Giants, the 49ers will wind up drafting like six future perennial Pro-Bowlers over the weekend. For my Iggles, I would say our needs are, in order: Safety, Corner, Tight End, Outside Linebacker, big Running Back and Defensive End.

We don’t need a wide receiver as some “so-called” draft gurus suggest and this isn’t the year for a quarterback of the future. I hate every QB in this draft actually. We’re picking at #26 and only have six picks, so I wouldn’t mind trading down a few spots, to like #35 or so and picking up an extra fourth rounder. I don’t see us taking an offensive player in the first round unless it’s that TE from Miami, Olsen. He’s most likely going to Carolina at #14, but if they don’t take him, he might fall all the way to the Jets at #25. If that’s the case, don’t be too shocked if Philly trades up to KC’s spot at #23 to nab Olsen. Otherwise, they’ll try to trade down. That is my guess.

Here’s to a Game 3 victory…

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