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By Decision, Bruised And Battered

By Jeff Koch on February 21, 2012.

Playing against Utah (particularly in Utah) reminds me of the old chiche: went to a brawl and a basketball game broke out. Sloan may be gone, but the Jazz still play by the same theory that if you foul enough, eventually the refs will have to start swallowing the whistles, lest the entire team foul out. The game was a true slugfest, especially in the paint. Both ways, mind you. The Spurs gave as good as they got.

And what they got was another win. Improbable. Each night we can heap accolades on any number of players in this drama. Tony Parker deserves the most of all, as he continues his one-man PG evisceration tour. He’s always been underrated, even by the faction of Spurs fan who have always supported him. But he is playing at a level far beyond anything we’ve seen from him before. And it’s a joy to watch.

The other thought that’s been gnawing at my brain lately is that as Duncan ages and eases into NBA middle-age (and old age, really), the value of Popovich becomes more and more evident with each passing game. How many players can the Spurs pluck from ‘obscurity’ before we start to realize that it’s the system and the coaching as much as anything else, including talent evaluation.

I don’t want to dive too deep into this today, but it’s quite clear that both are basketball geniuses in their own way, and both bring out the best in each other. They should be inextricably linked forever, probably unlike any other coach-player combo that’s ever existed, save for perhaps Russell and Auerbach.

Tonight is a special night for SpursDynasty, as a few of us will be sitting pretty much courtside in Portland to watch the Spurs battle the Blazers. I haven’t seen the Spurs win here in years, so I’m counting on a reversal of fortune. Either way, expect some good content on the game in the coming days.

Go Spurs Go.

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