The A B B Team
San Antonio 98, Houston 104
Congratulations, Houston; you had to work your butts off at home with your starters in a game you really wanted to win to beat a Spurs team that literally could not care less about winning. In fact, I’m pretty sure Pop intentionally lost the game. He could have gone for the win down the stretch and opted to not call time out, not make any substations, nor try to get a single 3-pointer when the deficit called for it. Congratulations, though. You had to reinsert your starters to hold back the furious push from Boris Diaw (our best player on the floor, mind you), Cory Joseph (3rd point guard), Jeff Ayres (4th or 5th big), Damion James (second 10-day contract), and Belinelli. But you got the win (again, in a game you really needed to win to secure the 4-seed and the Spurs tried every which way to give you) and the season sweep of the Spurs. Congratulations.
Man, I can’t wait to beat these guys in the second round of the playoffs.
As stated, this game meant nothing to the Spurs in terms of a win or a loss. It was all about rhythm, rest, and minutes for end of the bench players. Duncan played just about 30 minutes straight (apparently he got one 2-minute rest in the first half) and then sat down, never to play again. Parker put in his 26 and Manu his 22 and then they were done. For the Spurs, the game was a roaring success: nobody got hurt, the team played pretty well, everybody got the minutes they needed.
More importantly: Parker looked sharp cutting to the basket, and Manu seemed to be in fine Manu form. These things are very important with the playoffs just a game away.
The landscape in the Western Conference playoffs is more or less settled. In a scheduling twist of fated genius, the Mavericks and the Grizzlies play each other Wednesday head to head for the 7-seed. The winner gets the 7-seed and a date against OKC; the loser gets the 8-seed and the Spurs. Given that the Spurs have won 12 of 14 against the Grizzlies and 9 straight against the Mavs, I think both teams will be fully motivated to win. Which works out great for us, because the loser of that game will in actuality probably be the lesser of the two teams and will be our opponent.
Before all of that fun, though, there is one final home regular season game wednesday against the Lakers.
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