Season 51, Game 09
San Antonio 108, Charlotte 101
That was a fun game.
For starters, it’s always fun to end a 4-game losing skid. Ick. As Spurs fans, those are foreign to us, and every consecutive loss destroys a little piece of our basketball-rooting souls. How do fans of other teams (I’m looking at you, Suns/Sixers/Nets/Magic fans) do it?
When you win four in a row, it feels like you’re indestructible. When you lose four in a row, it feels like you have the worst team in league history and you have no idea how you’ll ever score an easy basket or make a defensive stop again. So yeah, it was nice to shake that feeling and stay above .500.
The game was also fun because dunks. Did you see all the dunks the Spurs had? Gay had a breakaway dunk (Kawhi has that patented, though, Rudy, so tread lightly). Then he caught a fast-break alley-oop lob from Manu. Danny threw another dunk down off of a dribble-drive move, which I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. (He actually crossed somebody up in the opening minutes of this game. I love this new offensive wizard Danny Green.) Then he threw an alley-oop to Murray off another fast-break.
Manu stole the show, though, with his dunk off a drive to the basket in the half-court. He is 40 years old. I am 39 years old, and my arms get tired after a day of yard work. Not to mention, Manu’s dunk came in the heart of the 4th quarter when the Hornets were threatening to steal the momentum from us. Long live Manu.
Not to be outdone, our long-range bombers got in the action and made the game fun by raining 3s. To ice the game, the Spurs hit 5 3-pointers in a row. First, Bryn Forbes hit the 3-and1 for a 4-point play. Then Patty–awakened from his early season slumber–hit FOUR 3-pointers in a row to put the game out of reach. This is why we love you, Patty. Glad to see the stroke back.
Finally, the game was fun because the bench had a “vintage” (as in, 2012-2014 era) performance. When the Spurs first wave of stars started to decline, they kept up with the rest of the league by building insane depth, often winning games on the backs of the bench players. With Kawhi out, for the Spurs to win, the bench needs to win their nightly battle against the other team’s bench, as the starters are rarely better than the opposing teams starting unit.
65-16. That was the Spurs bench’s edge over the Hornets bench. That is…good.
Rudy continues to impress off the bench, single-handedly carrying the team through that 3rd quarter, not letting the Hornets seize control of the game. Manu is still Manu, the beating heart of the bench. I love what Forbes and Paul bring off the bench, and I’m curious to see how Murray plays with a lessened role, but also a lessened spotlight on him. I think it’s smart to take some pressure off the young man and let him develop and make mistakes.
Let’s hope the fun (and winning) continues when the Suns come to town Sunday afternoon.
Go Spurs Go.