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Matt Bonner Kicks Utah’s Ass Singlehandedly

By Michael Erler on December 12, 2007.

Game 20: Spurs 104, Jazz 98

Alright, you can now consider me officially spooked. Beating the mentally soft Mavericks without Timmy is one thing, but the rough and tumble interior-dominating Jazz? That, my friends is a whole ‘nother batch of biscuits. They got Carlos Booooooooozer, probably the best scoring four in the Association. They got his back-up Paul Millsap who was a holy terror last year as a rook and could probably be starting on a dozen teams right now. AK-47 has some serious length to him and has been playing much better this season than last and even Okur, the big dumpy Turk is skilled and crafty to get some stuff done inside against the likes of Frankie Van Hoojdunk and the Red Rocket.

And those are just the bigs! Don’t forget they also have Deron Williams, who has the speed to blow by most opposing points and the size to squash the puny Frenchman, and a young, athletic (black) two guard in Ronnie Brewer who showed – repeatedly – that he knows how to get to the cup and finish strong. Oh and if that’s not enough, they have a drill sergeant coach who’s as stubborn as a menstruating mule about offensive execution, the pick-and-roll, and pounding that son-of-a-bitch inside.

Animal Planet farm boy Manolis just informed me that mules are infertile and can’t produce offspring. So you can only imagine how grumpy a female mule must get, being on the rag for no reason, right?

Anywho, for the most part, the Jazz “were who we thought they were.” Did I just type that? Yeah, I typed that. Excuse me for a minute.

::Goes to bathroom, looks himself in the mirror, slaps himself in the face repeatedly, lays on the bed and has a good cry, rubs one out, disgustedly punches himself in the groin, involuntarily cries some more, returns to bathroom to wash the past half hour off of him, returns to computer::


::puts clothes back on before returning to the computer::

I never write these naked, as far as you know.

Where was I? Oh right, I think I have to go to the post office and mail Denny Green a nickel now because he went and copyrighted that phrase. Anyway, the Jazz had something like 60 points in the paint to our 20 and they shot 54.2% for the game. It might look impressive, holding them to only eight offensive rebounds, but they only missed 33 shots total, so they still managed to collect nearly one of every four of their own misses. Boozer was very much a beast, finishing with 28 and 17 and Williams had 28 of his own to go with 10 dimes, and well none of this looks very good for the good guys now, does it?

Except that the two of them had 12 turnovers between them. Except that we hit seven more bombs than the Jazz and 13 more free throws. Except that we held Kirilenko and Okur in check like we always do because we’re not foolish enough to double Boozer, no matter how many “I’m a badass motherfucker” faces he makes. Except we’ve got one Manu Coconut Balls Ginobili, who wasn’t about to let our 17 game home winning streak against Utah come to an end with the measly inconsequential excuse of our franchise player sitting in jeans and a sports coat, clapping like a gimp like he always does.

I’ve noticed this for a while now but didn’t want to say anything because I thought it was just me. Then the other day somebody else brought it up at Spurs Talk, so I know I’m not alone. Why can’t Timmeh clap properly? Was he never taught how? I mean we all do things uniquely. For example, I shoot pool weird. But does anyone here know a guy who claps by making a claw out of his middle and index fingers? Me neither.
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

How did The Sickness score another 37 points? Beats me. The Dallas game left him too pooped and beat up to drive inside much. And he took more step back perimeter shots than I’ve ever seen, with predictable cringe-inducing results. So how does one score if he doesn’t drive and can’t shoot? By being a superduperstar and going to the line 19 times, I guess. Still, with the 17 charity makes, that still leaves 20 whole points – Gino’s average coming into the game – unaccounted for.

So of course I looked it up. El Gimpo was 3-of-9 with the jumper (which is why I don’t like him, or anyone else in particular, shooting them), and 2-of-7 from downtown. That’s a yucky ‘Toine-like 5-0f-16 castaways with the sprained finger. He was 4-of-5 on lay-ups/offensive rebound putbacks though and took advantage of Sloan being arrogant enough to put youngsters like Brewer or C.J. Miles on him (instead of AK-47, which might have made things a bit more difficult) and Gino just pump-faked them to death, leading to charity line trips, again and again.
Throw in the eight boards, the six dimes, the three thefts and one hellacious swat of a would-be Boozer lay-up, and Opus had himself quite an eventful evening for a bench scrub that couldn’t shoot.

Believe it or not, it is possible to foul The Sickness without punching him in the face. However, and this is hardly sporting of Gino, he tends to make more And-1’s when he isn’t violently assaulted. Manu won’t even take the bait from reporters after games whenever he takes a good lick, he’s like some trailer trash wife on COPS that way, “Oh he didn’t mean it, he didn’t mean it. He’s a good man. I know better than to be bothering him after work. Don’t take him away, he’s a good man…”
(Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

And guess what ladies and germs! We needed every precious drop of that Ginobili goodness to wash over us because once again Mr. Parker was quite the spaz. I don’t even know where to begin. Should I go with the crappy shooting (5-of-14), the Bowenesque performance from the line (6-of-10), the Bibbyish defense on DW (Williams had 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting and 5 assists in the 1st), or the five selfish turnovers?

I swear to God, you wouldn’t think it’d be possible, in back-to-back games, but here we are. Manu’s three turnovers: Bad pass, bad pass, bad pass. Tony’s five turnovers: Travel, travel, charge, lost ball, lost ball. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with him anymore. I guess the moral there is that on the rare occasion the dude does decide to pass, he’s not nearly as reckless with it as Gino is. But yeah, I think we can all agree that Tony played as miserably as he possibly could for the first 44 minutes of the game. To his credit, he did hit two big jumpers at the end and he gutted out the game on a bad ankle. Still, methinks that the little guy needs Teemy back, and quickly.

For a guy who got named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People” Tony sure does have a habit of breaking out the Mr. Bean Face when taking the ball to the hole in traffic.
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

So, uh, what else happened? Pop tinkered with some weird line-ups, starting both Frankie Elson and Matt Bonner and leaving the two Argentines on the bench. I don’t know what the ol’ coach was smoking with that one. I can’t think of a worse combination to play pick-and-roll defense on Boozer and Williams than putting Elson on the former and Parker on the latter. And poor Matty got beaten off the dribble by a pudgy Turk, which sounds almost impossible. Bonner recovered enough to have a decent game, with 13 points and a +7, but the Flying Dutchman was crap. We can’t really play him against any team that has a coherent offensive game plan involving a big and more and more it seems as the opposition has made it a point to get back in transition when he’s in there since it’s the only way Frankie ever scores. No matter how much time passes Frankie keeps making the same dumb mistakes, over and over. He has no basketball I.Q. It’s just god damn mind bottling, is what it is.

I know what you’re thinking, but no, Elson did not block this shot.
(Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

Finally, this was the first national game for the Spurs since David Stern’s media-friendly directive to put a microphone on the coaches for the games. We were treated to an early emphatic “Bullshit!” from Pop arguing some non-call, but predictably, none of the in-game stuff suitable for air was interesting at all. Some lady named Stacey kept asking him about the offensive plan, since we were down four going into the fourth and all, and Pop shrewdly cut her off and just focused his answers on getting defensive stops. Meanwhile, I thought it was nice of Jerry Sloan to avoid using “faggot,” “cunt,” and “cocksucker” for a whole two minutes while she was interviewing him. That had to have been a personal record. I didn’t think you had it in you, Jerry.

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Oh and they got really juicy sound of RoHo telling some ref “Good block, good block. That was a good block,” after a goaltending call was made against him. Provocative!
That’ll really help our break that stereotype about us being boring, Bobby.

This was a lame entry, I apologize. The next one will be better as I’m going to the game. It’ll be my first time at a luxury box. I’ll try to take pictures an’ stuff.

Your 3 Stars… (with apologies to Rocket and Fin… Actually, fuck Michael Finley. Fuck him in the ear. He sucks).

3. Bruce Bowen
– Maybe an odd choice, but he totally changed the momentum of the game in the 2nd quarter. Williams was on pace for 44 points (on 20-of-20 shooting) and 20 assists after 12 minutes, but he got shut down in the 2nd. What was the difference, Deron? “They put Bruce Bowen on me.” Oh.
2. Fabricio Oberto – He battled Boozer all night long, forced him into several turnovers and finished with 4 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a team best +12. He’s officially “The 5th banana” now. You can’t argue otherwise. You just can’t. I mean you can, but I’ll make fun of you on this blog if you do.
1. Manu Ginobili – The best “ugly” game he’s ever had, right? Although Game 4 at Utah from last year comes to mind.

Record: 17-3
Up Next: @ Golden State Warriors

Points and points and points aplenty. Expect to see a lot of “midgets” as Charles Barkley would refer to them, on the floor. Is Timmy playing? Doesn’t appear to be the case. We’re gonna need Tony to step up and some bombs from Brent.

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