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By Jeff Koch on December 2, 2009.

Returned from not one but two Thanksgivings (best. holiday. ever.), only to somehow infect my computer with some malware. Stupid computers. (I love you so much, computer!) I think the problem is almost fixed. Of course, I may just be infecting it worse. You never know with these viruses and such. Luckily, my identity ain’t much worth stealing. Unless of course you’d like to pay off my credit card debt for me. Thanks a bunch, hackers!

Some quick thoughts on the last three games, none of which I watched live:

–It’s a bummer that Mason, Jr. got injured. It seems like he’s finally starting to put it together. All season I’ve been really impressed with the improvements he has made to his game. His shooting slump has masked the fact that he is a much more complete player than he was last year. Of course, his most valuable skill is shooting, so it’s nice to see that coming back. Let’s hope the injury is very temporary, and we’ll get to see the more complete Roger with his sweet stroke back.

–Who would have thought that the person having the most difficulty adjusting and providing us the least value (as in, quality per dollar of contract) would be Richard Jefferson. He hasn’t been horrible; but he hasn’t been great. He’s had some great scoring efforts for us, and he certainly gives us the possibility of a much more dynamic offensive player at small forward. But mostly he’s just been ‘meh’, which wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that we’re spending a small fortune on him for the next few years.

–On the other hand, how about that Keith Bogans cat. Talk about value. I love what he’s giving us on both ends of the floor, and I love his role right now. Starter, but reserve minutes. It’s also been great to see McDyess start to put it together. In his career, he’s always been a slow starter and strong finisher. The Houston game gave us a glimpse of what we can expect from him. Good things. He has picked up the defense and is a pretty seamless fit; and his 15 foot jump shot is dead money.

–We’ve come a long way in our offensive cohesion…and we still have a long way to go. But at least people aren’t running into each other much any more. And Parker seems to be starting to understand what his role needs to be on this team. His assist numbers are good, and he’s playing a more complete floor game.

–I like seeing Hill and Parker on the floor together. This gives us two strong ball handlers and two strong drivers on the floor, giving our offense more punch and diversity, thus making it more dangerous. Plus, this allows Hill to guard the more dangerous of the two guards, and Parker can be hidden a little better on D.

–Our rebounding is coming around. Hallelujah.

–Duncan is still the man. Nobody in the national media much cares to write anything other than the party line about Duncan–he’s boring but efficient, best Power Forward ever, body breaking down, blah blah blah–always looking for something newer and more exciting. But Duncan is putting together an impressive year and has carried us through these last 5 wins. He is a true champion in that his only concern is the team winning. It’s a pleasure and an honor to cheer for him on a daily basis.

Looking Forward:

We have three very important games coming up: Boston, Denver, and at Utah. This stretch of games will really test us and should tell us exactly where we stand in terms of the rest of the league and what we need to work on in the next few months. Wins and losses aren’t nearly as important as how we compete (though I’d like to see us get at least two of these games, especially some revenge on Utah). With Ginobili back and the return of a healthy Mason, Jr., there’s a strong chance we’ll be playing with our full complement of players. Keep an eye on the rotation, who gets playing time with whom, and who closes the games if they’re close.

Unfortunately, I’ll be out on tour for a long weekend, so I’ll miss both the Boston and the Denver game. Lame. And, because both are on national TV, I won’t be able to re-watch them later. Double lame. If anybody knows a site that replays nationally televised games, please let me know (you can leave it in the comments). These are two games that I would love to see. But the music calls. Hopefully I’ll find a way to re-watch them and be able to post some reflections on them. If not, look for a return to my regular recaps for the Utah game.

Go Spurs Go.

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