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Questions About Spurs-Nuggets Game

By Daniel Strickland on February 6, 2009.

Fran Blinebury (“Sitting Spurs’ stars raises several questions“) has a lot of questions about the Spurs loss to the Nuggets Tuesday night.

I’ve got answers:

Did Coach Pop give himself a mini-vacation?

No. Pop never takes vacation, not even in the off-season.

Is there such a thing as a good loss? Or maybe a loss that proves a point? Or even a loss that doesn’t really mean anything at all?

Yes. Yes. And yes.

Was Popovich’s motivation to tweak the nose of the schedule-makers at the league office back in New York who had forced his team to play in Oakland — a high-intensity affair against the up-tempo Warriors that went into overtime — on Monday night, then lose an hour traveling across a time zone for a Tuesday night game in Denver?

No. If Manu were healthier, or the Big Three hadn’t played so many minutes Monday night, Pop might have played them in Denver.

So was it fair to the NBA fans that plopped down their hard-earned dollars in Denver to see Duncan, Parker and Ginobili and instead got Kurt Thomas, George Hill and Ime Udoka?

I’ll answer this question with another question: Is it fair to NBA fans to spend money watching teams like the Washington Wizards and LA Clippers?

Was it fair to the spirit of competition throughout the league for the Spurs to mail one in?

Spirit of competition? Fran, I think you’re confusing the NBA with the Olympics.

But who won and who really lost?

The Nuggets got the win. The Spurs got to rest their Big Three plus one. I’d say it was a win-win.

The victory gave the Nuggets the season series 2-1 and the first tie-breaker over the Spurs in a tight Western Conference race. But what did this game prove to San Antonio or to Denver that will matter in the playoffs?

It proved that Pop cares more about the health of his players, and playing the Celtics this Sunday, than beating the Nuggets. It also proved that the Nuggets are hapless, even when they have more talent on the court.

So do the Nuggets feel that they have an edge in a potential playoff meeting?

If they do, they’re kidding themselves. And Fran, you answered this question when you wrote: “In the Nuggets’ other win, back in November, Ginobili and Parker were both out. The only time both teams were at full strength, the Spurs went into Denver and whipped the Nuggets by 17.”

Have the Spurs given up anything at all?

If the Spurs have given up anything, I’m not aware what that might be.

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