Well, none of us were surprised that Caron Butler sat out last night. No word on his status for the 4 game west coast trip. Tony Longoria Parker was not in the lineup as he is out for about 3 weeks with a heel. By now, we all know the outcome, so let me provide this video of Big Tigger dunking before I get to the game notes.
I must say, a much better effort than those idiot fans who were trying to jump off of one leg during the Laker game.
I saw it live and there was nothing exciting about this game at all….and the outcome, well, it was expected. Now, I will say that in my opinion, the Wizards played a decent bit better in last night’s 5th loss in a row than they did in the previous four.
So, let’s check out some notes.
- 11:30 – Active hands and dose of Andray Blatche in the form of a jumper isn’t a bad start. In my blog from the Sixers game, I wondered if AB should start. Clearly, Eddie Jordan would rather Andray learn how to be a “pro’s pro” by playing better off the bench. I’ll go with the coach on this one. He’s right, Blatche should be ready to concentrate and contribute regardless of when he gets in the game.
- 10:44 – There’s that concentration thing…..Blatche loses track of Oberto right under the basket. Jamison gives him a quick lesson on awareness and positioning with a point of his finger.
- The Spurs get 2 offensive rebounds on their next possession. I know the Wizards will never be a “physical” team, but that doesn’t mean they can’t put a body on somebody.
- Damon Stoudamire is making his 2nd start in a row for Tony Parker.
- Fabricio Oberto is an underrated blue collar player. He sets hard picks and the Spurs actually use them effectively with great timing. At 15.10, Oberto’s PER is not bad….26th in the league among power forwards, better than the likes of Lamar Odom, Drew Gooden and Kenyon Martin.
- I really don’t see anyone doing what Oberto does for the Wizards. Songaila is close….but he definitely doesn’t “mix it up” as often as I’d like him to.
- Pick-up Basketball Side Note: When I play ball, I like to set good, hard picks. I simply cannot stand when a player does not know how to effectively use a ball screen. How many times do you see a guy either dribble the ball to much, not using the screen at all….or leave too much room for the defender to get though?
- Manu Ginobili is really an unselfish player. I have a love/hate relationship with Manu. I despise his ‘Euro-style’ flopping, but sympathize with him because I’m a lefty too. His craftiness, much like Jamison’s, but different…..is something to admire. Manu is always willing to do what it takes…pass to his teammates, come off the bench, whatever.
- I’ve noticed that at times, Andray Blatche has a tendency to jump to pass. He’s done it twice this game already. I don’t like guards doing it, although necessary at times, but I really don’t like to see jump passes from a big man – just a bad habit to develop.
- The Wizards are lucky that Tony Parker is out. Without his constant paint penetration, the Spurs are much easier to contain.
- Meanwhile…..Jacque Vaughn breezes right by Nick Young, who looks uninterested in playing defense.
- More from Bean Burrito City – either after a Pech miss, or an actual Robert Horry block of Nick Young’s shot, I can’t remember which one…..probably both, but Nick barely manages to get back on D. The only reason he can is because the Spurs slow down the ball to get into their offense. Had the Wiz been playing the Suns, Raptors, Grizzlies, Hawks, etc., points would have been scored.
- The 1st ends with San Antonio up 20-15 – Andray has a decent start with 6 of those 15 points.
- 11:58 – Again with the Nick Young mistakes. Very first freaking play of the quarter, he gets the ball via an out of bound pass against pressure from the Spurs. He fails to secure the pass, guess the basics aren’t his “thing” — Manu proceeds to slap it out Young’s hands and the ball goes out of bounds off Nick. It must frustrate the hell out of Eddie Jordan to have to play him.
- 11:09 – Nick Young has his bags packed and is trying to do too much. Traveling.
- Oleksiy Pecherov running the break, or trying to, is a funny site. Uhhhh…yeeaa….don’t do that White Hole. Give the damn ball up to a guard and sprint down the lane, or trail around the 3 point line. We don’t need you bumbling opportunities. Many times, you’ll get the rock back if you make yourself available. Trust me.
- Sometimes, I don’t get the impression that Nick Young is willing to give that “eat or die” hustle.
- Of course, since the Spurs are involved, it’s a low-scoring affair so far, 30-29 Spurs with about 3:20 left in the 2nd….but I would not say this game is necessarily a defensive struggle. Neither team can shoot.
- 2:58 – Roger Mason aka Foreman Grill, hits a 3 to tie the game at 32.
- Spurs just aren’t good without Tony Parker.
- 38-37 spurs @ half. Jacque Vaughn has been able to penetrate whenever he wants, but he can’t score and make you pay like Tony Parker.
- Remember when Gilbert Arenas used to yell, “Quality Shots”? I’m not so sure Antawn Jamison was listening.
- Not much a crowd at the Verizon Center tonight….a smattering of Spurs fans, most of whom cheered at San Antonio introductions, and not much more after that. The Spurs have to be the worst drawing world champion on the road, ever.
- Random question heard at the game: Did you know there is only one tomorrow?
[Ok, I asked that question...but it did spark an awkward conversation among friends as to exactly how many tomorrows there are....I still say just one.]
- The Spurs can’t get much going, and so far, the Wiz have just enough. DC holds a one point lead after 3, 58-57.
- I wonder what the White Hole’s shot-to-touch ratio is……1-to-1.2 I’m guessing.
- My pops says that San Antonio would be ahead by far if they just mad
e a couple of their open shots.
- Pecherov gives up a trey to Robert Horry. Of course, just the thing Horry needed to get going, a White Hole. Did you know that Big Shot Bob is 8-35 from long distance on the year?
- 10:50 left, 61-58 Spurs. Some redheaded step-child Wizards fan just talked some trash about Manu Ginobili on the big screen, calling him boring. This can’t be good. I’m not sure what the hell the Spirit Fingers Squad just gave the dude, but they should not have put a microphone in that fool’s face.
- 10:18 – Manu easily drives and tosses an assist on a Robert Horry three. 8 assists for the unselfish Manu.
- 9:45 – Manu drive to the basket….AND1 – 67-60 Spurs. See? Damn red heads.
- 8:27 – Pretty stuff. Vaughn gets the ball to Manu coming off a screen. He drives and dishes to Oberto who flips it to Finley in the corner for a three. I could be mistaken, but that looked like it was planned. 70-62 Spurs.
- At the 8:23 mark, the Wiz are shooting about 36%.
- I give it to Blatche, he has been active in this game, 14 points and 12 rebounds….but the 4 fouls are still a problem.
- 6:20, 74-67 Spurs – Haywood has also played pretty hard against Duncan, a mechanical 20 from Timmy. The Wiz just don’t have the horses on offense tonight.
- Antonio Daniels may not be quick off pick-n-rolls, but he is crafty, patient, and smart enough to make things happen.
- I know it’s his game….and no one wants to mess with it, but some of Jamison’s off-balance shots…..they’re just bad.
- It’s a 4 point game with 2 minutes left until Timmy Duncan gets a basket AND1. Foul on Jamison, 80-73 Spurs.
- It’s a 6 point game with 57 seconds left. The Spurs have the ball and the Wizards really need a stop. So what happens? They lose track of a cutting Manu Ginobili across the lane. How the eff does that happen? The Wiz seemed to be confused from the onset of that possession.
Well, that’ll do ‘er. The final is 85-77 Spurs.
All I can really say is: Hey, we tried…..I think.