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Well, that was predictable

By Michael Erler on May 28, 2007.

Game 3 San Antonio @ Utah: Jazz 109, Spurs 83 (2-1)

I stare blankly at the imposing box score.

109 points against.

66 in the second half.

25-39 (64%) FGs allowed the last two quarters.

17/19 Assists to turnovers for us, 26/12 for them.

Our bench outscored 38-29.

Five minutes of run for one Beno Udrih.

None of these things make for a pretty picture.

So of course I can’t help but come to one obvious conclusion.

Little do the sheeple realize the spider-trap they’ve tip-toed into. AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac

GREGG POPOVICH IS A FUCKING MASTERMIND.

I’m dead serious. You knew we weren’t going to win this game no matter what. I knew it, you knew it, your momma knew it, and you better recognize that everyone on the court knew the deal. If you honestly expected the Spurs to win that game then A) You’re the kind of cheery-eyed “aw-shucks” optimist that plays the lottery and really believes that those pills you ordered the other day will grow your winky to a respectable size, allowing you to finally shower in the gym without embarrassment; and B) You’re not very well versed in Spurs history.

We don’t sweep people. Not since the Admiral retired, anyway. No matter who we play, no matter how inept they seem when we’re kicking their asses, the bad guys will always snag a game or two against us. We’re simply not mentally strong or mean enough to rip people’s hearts out and do a Mariachi dance around them. We have to make it hard on ourselves. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just who we are. Accept it already.

How To Make a Taunting Sign: This one, I thought was a rather brilliant example of clever sign making. Notice how it seems to subtly that our three stars are not only foolish, but also rather unfortunate-looking. AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson

And no, I don’t want to hear about the Grizzles in 2004. Everyone sweeps Memphis. How’d that year work out for us, anyway? Exactly. The fucking Mavs swept Memphis last year. It doesn’t count.

Anyway, this team is notorious for playing one “pussy game” every playoff series. Usually they’ve come in Game 4, on the heels of a close Game 3 loss. It happened that way with both Seattle and Detroit in ’05 and Sac-to in ’06. A pattern has been established.

Give Pop credit for seeing the signs and thinking outside of the box. Tim was in constant foul trouble and was a pouting, butter-fingered mess when he was out there. Tony’s frequent jaunts to the basket were geometrically challenged let’s say. And Manu wasn’t doing nearly enough of the little things well to justify his 33% shooting on the evening. The less said about Spurs 4-12, the better. The defense was atrocious, the so-called bigs weren’t cutting off penetration in the slightest, and loose ball fouls were plentiful. Plain as day, we were playing worse by the minute and there was no way we were gonna pull out of such a nosedive in the lair of the Mormons.

How Not To Make A Taunting Sign: Now this, on the other hand, is just a mess. Note how its author had to shamefully resort to the lowercase “L”s once he realized he was running out of room, thereby ruining what had been an ALL CAPS motif. Also, “Fundamentally Thugs” is both tremendously unfunny and grammatically insensible. If Timmy is known as “The Big Fundamental” then it would make sense to refer to the Spurs as “Fundamental Thugs,” no? Does that have bad religious connotations? Just a miserable effort all around. If this were a sign, it’d be Beno Udrih, but without all that shiny potential. AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac

Going into the fourth, it was a near certainty that we were going to lose. The only question was by how many. So Pop the Wizard did what any of us would do to turn a relatively close game to a boat race, and said “Ahoy matey” to Cap’n Jacque Vaughn, who let’s face it, might as well be playing with a peg leg by this point. The rout, as they say, was on.

It’s a brilliant tactical move I tell you. By getting our pussy game out of the way early, it gives us an excellent change to compete in Game 4. If Pop tried all out to keep this competitive, when his charges were clearly not emotionally equipped to do so, all he’d have gotten for the trouble was a 12 point loss in Game 3 followed by a drubbing on Monday. Instead, we let the Jazz beat us so convincingly last night that on aggregate they’ve now outscored us by 9 points after three games. The slate has seemingly been wiped clean, even though they’re still at a series deficit. In short, I’ll be shocked if we don’t play well tomorrow.

When did I know for sure that it wasn’t in the cards for us yesterday? It came at the 3:10 mark of the 2nd quarter. Robert Horry baited the refs into calling a foul on Boozer with a flop that was so heinous and unsporting that Raja Bell was blushing. He literally went down untouched. It was flat out a disgusting display and it’s the second time this postseason I’ve been embarrassed by Horry’s actions. It’s bad enough the guy mails it in every regular season, but having to constantly defend Horry’s un-Spur like behavior is becoming very tiresome.

I remember getting a very queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach after a series of replays showed how badly Horry stage-dived for his two free throws, and this was before those two slices of Indian pizza I forced down at halftime. It was definitely a bad omen and wouldn’t you know, his two freebies which made it 42-34 would be the last time we’d enjoy an eight point lead in Game 3. In fact, we got hammered 75-41 the rest of the way. Cheaters never prosper.

Recently I’ve heard Horry make some comments along the lines of him not wanting to retire and wanting to return to the Spurs. To this I say thanks but no thanks. I would be very disappointed in Pop for the reasons stated above, as well as others, if he were to offer Horry a roster spot for next season.

Go away.

Anyway, that’s to worry about in the off season. We’re still smack dab in the middle of the Western Conference Finals, and as the ol’ cliché goes, a series doesn’t start ’til the road team wins, I guess that means the last three games have all been a figment of my imagination. I suppose I should be a tad concerned that the Jazz got 109 points with Okur and AK combining for only two, but honestly, I don’t have it in me to be concerned at this stage. I think we’re the better team, I think we’re going to win the series, and until the Jazz win a road game, there really isn’t anything for me to mentally or emotionally invest myself into. I still haven’t gotten over the absurdity of Utah
even being in the WCF and am hopeful that my overconfidence won’t come back to bite me.

“Aren’t you glad I didn’t say banana? Get it? Huh? Cos ‘orange’ sounds kind of like ‘aren’t you.’ Hello?” AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac

If you insist on a Game 4 preview, here’s a short list of things for the Spurs to work on:

- Timmy has to play the pick and roll better at both ends, especially defensively.
- No more stupid loose ball fouls.
- Quit playing Jacque Vaughn.
- More Duncan on the high post or the wings, less down low waiting and waiting…
- Tony should not be allowed to shoot the ball without somebody passing it to him (and no, the inbounds off a made basket doesn’t count).
- Tell Manu to quit waiting for the screener and just go already.
- If our guards aren’t going to fight through picks better, the bigs have to play higher off those screens.
- No tinyball.
- Like seriously, quit playing Jacque Vaughn.
- Make Horry earn his minutes and if he doesn’t, give Bonner a look
- Ditto Bowen. Maybe we should try a zone at this point.
- Pop should try to play two of the big three together at all times.
- Gotta take Harpring and Giricek seriously on the road.
- Make Tony understand that getting past Williams is often fools gold as their bigs are waiting for him back there.
- At this point I’m begging, please for the love of all that is holy, no more Jacque Vaughn.

(sigh).

3 Stars

3. Tony Parker – He didn’t suck, pretty much the only Spur who could make the claim. But he didn’t play nearly as well as his numbers suggest either.
2. Carlos Boozer - 27-12. His chest hair outscored Francisco Elson 6-2.
1. Deron Williams – 31-8, with 5 steals. We are turning him into a superduperstar. Thanks Bruce!

I’m sorry, I really have no choice.

P.S. Baldness, organic chemistry, studying, Seattle, therapy, my life sucks, I know big words, Michael Finley sucks, Spurs are old and slow, Comcast sucks, my DVR didn’t record the game, I can’t watch it live nobody tell me what happened, I gotta study for my lab, my therapist is weird, James White makes me hard, I hate chatting online, organic chemistry is difficult.

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Comments

  1. ram May 28, 2007

    got any ideas for a sign tomorrow? I’m thinking on one sign I’ll have GO AUTOMATONS GO or something like that – maybe a memorial day reference? I dunno. Maybe a Manu as a skinny Rocky and AK47 as skinny Drago from Rocky IV sign?

  2. Anonymous May 28, 2007

    Anyone who supports SA Spurs and loves Manu GINOBILI, please do come to the following blog and post your comment

    http://argentina-wc2006.blogspot.com/

  3. Colonel D. Williams (Ret.) May 29, 2007

    The fact that Pop didn’t have them watch any of the game film could support your motivational “thrown game” thesis. Why watch film when it was an inside job! Arguments like this remind me that Pop probably really is a true Zen like genius. Though he doesn’t try to write books about it when he’s not riding on his Harley like PJ, Pop does embody the crucial simple tenets of the Tao – simplicity, mindfulness, living in the moment…or I’m just full of it.

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