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Sometimes It’s Better to Know the Results Before You Start Watching

By Jeff Koch on November 7, 2010.

Photo courtesy of NBA.com

I was unable to watch the Rockets game last night as I had an early show that directly conflicted with the game. My plan was to watch it today (Sunday), yet I know, from previous experience, that it’s almost impossible to avoid the final score before I start watching. So I don’t try anymore.
Boy was I relieved that I knew the final score before I watched that game. I might have thrown my phone (the thing nearest to me) right through the screen of my brand new computer as the Rockets made their run in the 4th quarter and the Spurs seemed to fall asleep at the wheel and give the game away. Luckily, I remained calm, and reminded myself that this all ended in OT with the Spurs somehow securing 3 more points than the Rockets. Wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly how it ended.
You have to give the Rockets a ton of credit for playing so hard and so well even as their best scorers went down one by one. First, Yao didn’t even play; then Brooks went out with a nasty ankle turn at the end of the half; finally, Kevin Martin’s ankle followed suit and put him out of the game. Down to primarily bench players, the Rockets did what they always do, which is to play tough and get scoring from just about any player that seems willing and able.

Luckily for us, this might be the most offensively talented Spurs team in the Duncan era. We have 4 players that can easily score 20 in any given game, and another 3 to 4 that could always end up between 10 and 15 points. We all know about Jefferson’s early season resurgence that shows no sign of ending as he grows more assured with every game. But don’t let McDyess’ improved play from last year get lost in the shuffle. He’s shooting that 15 foot jump shot with the scary accuracy that we were all expecting last year. He’s also playing solid defense, rebounding very well, and making 2 to 3 really important hustle plays each game. Duncan may be slipping ever so slightly with age, but his offensive game might be more efficient than at any other point in his career. Ginobili and Parker look like the whirling dervishes of years past. Throw in Hill’s abilities, and Neal, Anderson, and Bonner’s shooting, and it all adds up to 109 points per game, good for 3rd in the league.
However, this may be one of the worst defensive teams of the Duncan era, as well. We’re allowing 105.4 points per game, good for 23rd in the league. Ugh. Teams are shooting 48% against us (42% from 3), which might just send Pop to an early grave.
So far the offense is really carrying us and allowing us to win games. While it’s nice to have that offensive luxury to increase our margin of error in games, eventually the D will need to come around if we’re going to be any sort of serious threat in the playoffs. The good news: we still have 77 games left and Pop as our head coach.
Looking Forward:
We travel to Charlotte Monday for a game against the Bobcats. Last year’s game in Charlotte was a painful and ugly ordeal. They play very well at home, and can play suffocating defense. This is a game we can win, and this is a game we should win. Hopefully our newfound offensive prowess can overpower their D, and just maybe our D can start to find some life. But be prepared for a stinker. Or a slog.

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