An appreciation for Stephen Jackson’s Game 6

by

Earlier in the Western Conference Finals, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reminded his team that this wasn’t supposed to be easy, but nothing could have prepared his team, or its followers, for just how difficult this would be.

Today cuts deep here at 48 Minutes of Hell, as I imagine it has for all of you. In this medium, a team-centered sports blog, I don’t profess to write completely objectively. Only to add rational insight to whatever biases I wear openly.

From that standpoint I suppose there are frustrations to be voiced about the officiating in the fourth quarter, which should not detract from the despair in the very real failings of this team, who allowed it to be a game in the first place. There is depression in the knowledge that there is not another game to be played this season, at least so far as the Spurs are concerned.

It is an emotional time for those of us still allowed to attach our own emotions to our writing. Gathering enough coherent thoughts to give a proper recap proved all but impossible last night, and likely would have proven the same if not for one thing.

Stephen Jackson.

There are hundreds of negative thoughts running through my head, drowning out what will eventually be realized as a very magical season for the San Antonio Spurs. But every time my mind starts going to a dark place, it replays the memory of Jackson loading one of his non-chalant, high-release jumpers and everything is momentarily okay.

That guy was a warrior.

Stephen Jackson was once famously quoted for his affinity for pressure, and the things he did to it last night were unbelievable. With 23 points on 6-7 shooting (all from the three-point line) and 5-6 at the free throw line, Jackson wined and dined pressure all night. He blew sweet nothings in its ear and loving gazes from across the room.

Or at least he did until Joey Crawford and Bill Kennedy reared their heads like two unimpressed, overprotective, shotgun-toting fathers to let him now his gazes would not be tolerated.

But I digress.

His was a performance that is owed its due, and we should applaud.

When the trade was made, many had written off Jackson’s arrival as an opening to give rookie Kawhi Leonard some minutes (which it was) and ultimately bring some financial flexibility (which it will). Few, however, saw it as an upgrade in talent or impact on the floor.

But there is something about Stephen Jackson that has found him a hassle in any number of stops he has made in his NBA career, but nothing but endearing to fans while in a Spurs uniform.

Some of it has to do with the fact that the only association we’ve had previously with Jackson are memories of him hoisting a trophy after hoisting a number of big shots. But mostly I believe it’s our appreciation for his competitive resolve, which is perhaps surpassed only by our own Manu Ginobili.

I first heard about the trade for Jackson in the same manner through which Jackson received the news. Via a missed phone call and then text. And as I imagine Jackson did at discovering the news, an irrationally large smile crept across my face and remained there for most of that day.

I say irrational because how else would you describe that much joy over an overpaid, 30-something year old shooting guard that was, at the time, practically shooting his age from the field and a worse percentage from the three-point line?

But then, there is something unreasonable, and perhaps a little crazy with San Antonio Spurs fans when it comes to Jackson.

He returned to San Antonio with a standing ovation, each three-point attempt accompanied by collective ah’s from the crowd that were at once both electric and nostalgic. I like to think that this stems from his slow but confident release. That the time it takes for him to wind up his shot acts as a tease, allowing the fans time to anticipate the outcome, which they expect more often than not to go in.

It might not be something I can adequately describe, and it’s not something I expect people outside our sect of fans to completely understand.

But it is something that Jackson validated last night with each shot he released. A testament to our faith in a night that otherwise ended in disappointment.

There are a lot of things running through my mind, but for the sake of my sanity, for now, I will focus mostly on the craziest member of the Spurs. If last night ends up being the Spurs last stand at this level of play, I’d like to thank Stephen Jackson for giving me something to remember it by.

 

  • Mark

    What about some analysis of Diaw? Did he give the Spurs anything? Why not start Blair, since that worked for 62 games this season, and bring Diaw off the bench? I was scratching my head all series why Diaw was in. He’s not a great defender and didn’t provide any spark on offense. 

  • http://twitter.com/blanchard48moh Jesse Blanchard

    Because there will be plenty of time to deconstruct the team’s mistakes all summer. I wanted to, for now, give Jackson’s game its proper due before people forget about it forever. 

  • Mark

    Yeah, definitely. Jackson was amazing. For the first time ever I stopped questioning Coach Pop with the way he played the bigs.  Sorry, I guess its a non sequitur.  Jackson was amazing.

  • Fonseca

    Great post.  Jackson played the game with a fiery passion.  I couldn’t help but smile with him after the 3-pointer dropped, and I felt like throwing punches in the air when I watch him on defense.

  • Brandon Burkhart

    Jackson is the anti-Jefferson.  We needed him to play every minute, unlike last year’s playoff when we needed Jefferson to sit on his overpaid ass as much as possible.

  • ThatBigGuy

    Jack made me happy last night, fighting to the very end. We have an entire team of robots, starting with Tim and Pop and ending with Kawhi. They don’t shoot finger pistols in the air after a 3 or scream at the camera men after a dunk. They just go about their business, which is usually winning games. I respect that very much, even patterning my own game after them. But last night, in the second half, when the Thunder were roaring back, and all the Spurs were quietly, business-like-ly attempting to stem the tide, Jack was right there, actin’ a fool.

    That technical call was absolutely bogus, and the NBA should make a conscious effort to never let the Kennedy/Crawford duo ref any more games, ever. But for about an hour (real time), the only guy who outwardly seemed to give a flying f**k about that game was Jack. That’s why we love him.

  • dannyholloway

    Mark, I feel you. But, OKC played so much small-ball. It created huge mismatches no matter what. I understand where you are coming from, but I also don’t think that Pop had the right bigs to choose from. He just had to roll with what he had, and in the end, it wasn’t enough. 

    Jackson was a BEAST though. So glad he’s back!

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    An amazing game and very deserved for Jack. 6 of 7 from the field, and the 6 times he went to the line were because of being fouled on 3’s. Man, what could have been after 2003 if he would have taken the Spurs deal, which was far and away better than he got with the Hawks? Would he have made them tougher in 2004? Would he have covered Dirk in 2006?
    You know what I saw? He still has something. He covered Durant when he was in the game, which gave him trouble. He can cover Dirk, which will make him very useful next year. He knows his role, how can you not love the guy?
    I know he can’t give what he gave in the playoffs for an entire year, but I’m looking forward to seeing him play again next year as a Spur.

  • SJ

    Funny, I changed my cover photo on FB to that image ^ first thing I woke up this morning. God bless Jack. I’d go to war with him!

  • Adam Rendon

    I know, I know… in this town Popovich is beloved as much as the almighty himself. It’s a love and fear sort of thing.  And no one questions the almighty.  …”Corporate Knowledge”.  Yea ‘Corporate’ reporters too.  Some people in this town are afraid to question the “Pop”. 

    But, I’m not afraid.  Why Pop?  Did you panic Pop, when your team was blown out in game 3?  Why did you abandon your rotation, was it because you figured the Thunder were just too good for your full squad?  Did you not think that Danny Green was more valuable than just a spot up shooter?  Isn’t Tiago your best pick and roll big man defender? I could have sworn I heard you say that once before. What message did you send to the bench when you didn’t call there name anymore? 

    How dare I question the great Pop?  Easy, he’s human. And humans, even Pop make mistakes.  He’s a great coach, but he wasn’t great in this series. In this series his biggest mistake was that he progressively abandon his deep rotation in game 4, 5 and 6.  Why? Was it because the whole team came out overconfident and flat in game three and were blown out because of it?

    Yep, Pop panicked.  He tighten up, then he tighten up the rotation.  By game six, and with a game every other day, his seven man rotation just didn’t have enough legs to finish the game.  Late in the first quarter, and with an 11 point lead he leveled Splitter after only a whopping 12 seconds because he was late on a rotation that resulted in a foul.  Wow – what an over reaction.  I bet he was projecting Scott Brooks would implement the ‘hack-a-Splitter’ routine to ruin the momentum they were enjoying at the time.  Did you see the look on Tiago face when Pop was ripping into him. It reminded me of on over reacting – paranoid parent whose teenager came home a few minutes late from a date.

    Playing Tiago would have given the rest Timmy needed for the second half.  And with such a great Spurs start Parker and Manu would have been fresher if the rotations were what they were during the streak.  So what if the reserves might, (stress) might have eventually lost the lead.  It was eventually lost anyway.  Only, the way Pop played it, the vets were without gas in the fourth.  No legs, no shots.

    Face it- Pop was going to need the same rotation that got them 20 straight victories, to get them through the ‘Thunder’ storm. 

    Don’t be surprised when free agents Neil and Green go else where this summer.  Why wouldn’t they give up on Pop and the Spurs, Pop gave up on them. 

  • Riggies

     Tiago had no place for this type of pressure or OKC in general.  He couldn’t even handle the ball when it was passed to him.  What were you watching?  The rotation was tightened because it was evident Green, Splitter, and Neal (to a degree) weren’t ready for the speed, pressure and energy the thoroughbreds from OKC were exerting. 

  • STIJL

    Jack always belonged in San Antonio.  If he never left this team possibly has 1 if not 2 more titles.

    But in a final comment about this season…
    It was one of the best seasons to be a part of as a fan.  Starting with the loss to the Mavs that generated confidence in our young role players, to this team’s 20 in a row milestone, to Tony being mentioned as an mvp candidate, to the return of Jack.

    And I would be remiss to say I am not severely bitter at the outcome of this season.  I mean seriously, finally, talking heads were picking the Spurs to win it all this year.  Some of those not known as being fond of the Spurs in years past.  Yet this team ran into one of the most talented YOUTHFUL teams that has been generated in a long time.  Got to give OKC their due.  Congrats.  There that’s over.

    This series shown that despite talent, fortitude and a little luck…it’s hard to win a championship.  I don’t know what needs to be done to revitalize a team that has to be demoralized about this final outcome.  But I do believe they should (if they can) wear there pride high for an exceptional season and a job well done.

    Talks will be ramped about what needs to be done…who should go…who should stay…what direction in free agency can the Spurs do to improve.

    And that’s the hardest aspect about this whole finale…when you had a team that was SO dominant…So powerful…So qualified to win it all…how can you look at any player, coach, or aspect that you would change when so much of it was working so fantastically well?  Some heads will role.

    But I think it best to remember this season for all the great it accomplished.  For all the Good memories it provided.

    Stephen Jackson…welcome home.  The Spurs organization…tough series loss but thanks for the memories.

  • theghostofjh

    That is true. Hopefully they learned by it.

  • Cal Durrett

    Captain Jack has been one of my favorite players in the league since watching the Warriors beat the Mavs. Glad too see him step up not only for game 6 but for the entire series. 

  • Gomezd

    Great article! Im upset i missed his performance, I tohught it was some mistake in the play by play when it showed 5-5 from 3 then 6-6 he was a beast an absolute monster, if it wasnt for him the game would have gotten absurd in the third. I thank you Jack

  • Azcontid

    “officiating in game 4″………….a Robert Horry payback is saweeeeet!!! And Boris Diaw served the same purpose……….nada.

  • New_Mexico_Spurs_Fan

    i go back and forth on this so much i feel schizophrenic.  retracting into a 7-man rotation reeks of desperation, the team senses that desperation, and its collective confidence goes in the tank.

    on the other hand, the alternative is to continue to watch Green brick WIDE open shots, Tiago perpetually look like a deer in the headlights (i mean he looked EXACTLY as he did in his 1st year in the NBA), and Neil miss defensive assignments (as well as brick some open shots . . . 0 for 6 in game 5).

    it was a hell of a conundrum . . . one that i wouldn’t have to decide on.

  • senorglory

    Jax is the baddest motherfucker I know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Sauer/645387978 Christopher Sauer

    Jackson was the best move by the FO in years.  He’s a competitor, particularly in the playoffs, which makes him an instant upgrade from RJ.  Also, his deal is one less than RJ’s, and all it cost us was a very low 1st round draft pick.  Jettisoning RJ’s deal was absolutely crucial for our free agent moves the next two years.  

    If the Spurs can entice Duncan into a nice 2 year deal, they should have the cap space to sign some upgraded talent.  Go Spurs!

  • Titletown99030507d

    He didn’t play enough to get in the rhythm of the game. Iv’e said it many times here he’s the type of player that gets better as the minutes go by and if he’s playing 5 minutes a game that’s not going to do any good for any body let alone the 30 seconds he got pulled on and off the court. Pop just plain screwed up again. That’s what got us the 20 game win streak with the 2nd unit rotation doing what the did. Now like Adam Rendon said that’s the only logical thing to do is just play them anyhow and give them the chance to show up. That was pretty much Pop giving up on the 2nd unit that helped him get that coach of the year award.

  • Titletown99030507d

    What about Parker’s play and Timmy’s slow starts during that 4 game sweep they put on us. They’re the starters and it’s ok for them to play that way and Pop not sit them? Of course not he’s not going to sit them same goes for the second unit he has to play the rotations that got them there. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    You know why he looked like a deer in the headlights because he’s only played 30 seconds at a time towards the last two games. 5 minutes per game is shit to do anything. When he was playing 15-20 minutes what was he doing? Thunder or no Thunder 5 minutes just doesn’t do crap for anybody. What you expect in 5 minutes? 20/10? Get real.

  • Titletown99030507d

    How long was Jackson’s contract for?

  • Jimbo

    God, you’re a Monday Morning QB if ever there was one.  If Splitter had got 30 minutes a game, you’d be bitching “why didn’t Pop tighten up his rotation?!”  As to your brain-dead question above about why Duncan and Parker weren’t benched when they played poorly, I’ll give you a hint: because they have a way better track record than Danny Green.  That’s why they get a longer leash.  Coaches are fallible and make questionable decisions all the time- that’s the nature of the beast.  I personally would have liked to see Blair get a little more run in this series.  But you take knee-jerk reactions to a new extreme.  Like I said a few days ago, if Pop were coaching OKC and Brooks were coaching San Antonio, the same thing would have resulted, but probably in fewer games.  Enough with “”OMG we won 20 games in a row we would have won a title easy if Pop hadn’t choked” gibberish that you can constantly put forth.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I’m not the only one talking about the (bigs) rotations Jackass! Why don’t you read my post again before your mouth  starts spewing out mierda. I said he would not sit Parker or Timmy even when they sucked in games 3,4, and 5. Point here is don’t flackin fix what aint broke. You got it. Do I have to explain it better Bimbo.

  • Titletown99030507d

    You bring your ass around here when playoffs start try getting in some of the conversations around here during the regular season when all the good action was happening.

  • NYC

    Alright, guys, come on. Let’s not act like certain Thunder fans trolling this board. We’re Spurs fans and we’re better than that. We can disagree, even passionately disagree, without resorting to name calling. I understand we’re all running on emotion right now as this disappointment is still raw in our memory. But let’s remember we all essentially want the same thing: to see our team win. Let’s not turn on each other. 

  • NYC

    BTW, Titletown, I owe you an apology from a few days ago. My criticism of your posts may have taken an overly harsh and surly tone (a Popovich tone, if you will)  because I was feeling particularly surly after a disappointing loss and fearing that our season was on the line. It’s no excuse and I apologize to you. 

    I probably owe an apology to TDBE as well. So TDBE, if you’re reading this I apologize to you if my comments were rude or needlessly harsh. I don’t change my arguments, but I could have and should regulate the way I say them better. 

  • NYC

    I agree with this assessment.

  • NYC

    I was on the fence about Jackson when the trade went down. I thought the Spurs were taking a gamble bringing him back. There was definitely the potential for big gains but also the potential for detractions. Well, the Spurs management proved once again that they are still the best in this business. Jackson has added nothing but gain for this season. On top of that, we got rid of RJ AND opened up minutes for Leonard who has absolutely blossomed and benefited from the trade, all for the low low bargain price of a meaningless pick. Some organizations just can’t get anything right (*cough* Warriors, *cough* Michael Jordan), and some organizations just keep on winning. This Jackson trade just reminds me again how good our management are and how blessed we are as fans of this outfit. 

    And Cpt. Jack. What can I say? Every time he touched the ball in game 6 my heart rose up and he never let me down. As Jesse said, this is how I will choose to remember our last run. 

  • idahospur

    After Game 5, I knew I couldn’t watch Game 6 because it would result in me going Hulk on my living room. After seeing the result and reading comments and articles, it was best I did not watch it. Really appreciate this article on Jax. He has his trouble and made mistakes in his professional career, but the Spurs really brings the best out of him. Glad to have this great insightful piece as I seem to make the choice to not watch the Finals this year.

    Until next year, Go Spurs Go!

  • Gerald

    I wrote a comment before the OKC/SA series that went like this..”Glad that Capt. Jack was back in S.A. and I still can’t believe S.A. let him go after winning a title in 2003″!  S.A. needs Jack for next season.  I only hope with Jack the feeling’s mutual!  Despite the exit of the Spurs w/o reaching the NBA finals…I think this squad can seriously compete for another championship (with a few tweaks during the off-season), but Capt. Jack MUST be in the line up!!! 

  • Ed

    Give me 1 or 2 more Capt Jax on this team and we will win it all! Spurs need a jolt of toughness. 

  • New_Mexico_Spurs_Fan

    thank you for this, NYC.  

  • New_Mexico_Spurs_Fan

    Could you lighten up, just a little, Titletown?  We’re allies pulling for the same team here.

    You know, i wonder if the Hack-a-Brazilian (sp?!) (in what, game 3?) might have been the turning point for Splitter.  he looked rattled up there clanking free throws and i wonder if his being rattled might have carried over in subsequent games.  the guy up there shooting free throws was not the same guy that delivered so strongly against the Clips and Jazz . . . 

  • Spurs Fan Since 89

    1.Bottom line is is the spuys need a back up point guard to Tony Parker.  Neal’s ball handling isn’t good enough.  What does everyone think of Mills?
    2.The Spurs need a back up powerfoward/center to Timmy.  Tiago still doesn’t have an NBA body, isn’t strong enough, gets man handled all the time, and looks lost all the time out there.
    3.  The Spurs neeed defensive stops and copuldn’t get it.  The Spurs need a better half-court defense and less phoenix Suns run and gun basketball.  Thats what got the Spurs and as much as I hate to admit it, the 11 Wavs the NBA title. DEFENSE!
    4.  Why isn’t anyone ripping on the Yellow rocket(brick-city).  Should have let him go with RJ.
    5.  The Spurs need a real center.  They haven’t had 1 since the admiral left.  Dejuan Blair is not a center, sorry at 6-7.  He might know how to score, but his defense isn’t good enough.
    6.  What about Diaw- He was another no show in this series.  The guy obviously can’t make any 3’s, and when he puts the ball on the floor it’s a disaster.
    7.  The Spurs half-court defense isn’t good enough to make defensive stops per Bob Ryan Around the Horn.
    8.  The Spurs role players didn’t know their role.
    9.  Captain Jack hell of a game. Thank You.
    10.  Thank you Skip Bayless for backing my spurs and F*** Joey Crawford.  Everytime I see him refing a Spurs game I know we’re screwed.  I can’t believe this guy is still allowd to ref Spurs games.
    11.  Refs-  What about the stare downs by Harden and push on Jack, where were the techs then.  (Double Standards.)
    12.  How can an old crippled team like the Celtics be in a game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  DEFENSE!!!  Playing 1 half of defense isn’t going to get you into the Finals Spurs.  I don’t care what anyone says, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS, NOT MIKE D’ANTONI RUN &GUN.  (Sorry Mike.)  Spurs fans, how many NBA championships did the old Wavs, or the Run &Gun Phoenix Suns win???  0.  I rest my case.
    13.  Last point- The Spurs have become 1 of the greatest ever regular season teams over the last 2 years, and a not great playoff team.  Bottom line is the regular season means nothing if you can’t win in the playoffs. 

  • Spurs Fan Since 89

    One more thing.  Parker shot way too many 3’s.  That’s not his game.  That’s why teams leave him wide open and let him shoot them for a reason.  Once in awhile is fine.  Leave the 3’s for the role players.

  • Bob

     Pop negated the one advantage we had over OKC by shortening the rotation. Our depth would eventually overpower the opponents because are starters were more fresh later in the game. Panic coaching. I don’t know how the bench goes from being valuable against the Clippers to invisible against the Thunder after game 3.

  • Bob

     The whole team never regained their rhythm because of Pop’s panic moves. Danny Green wasn’t just a spot up shooter. He was a defender that allowed TP to conserve energy and wore down Westbrook. Taking him out of the rotation weakened the defense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Paterson/100000762584235 John Paterson

    It’s okay man. Here’s the truth about happened through the entire series of the western conference finals. 

    http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?p=22475960#post22475960 

  • Irontalon

    1) Agreed. Maybe Mills can step up with a full training camp, or Joseph gets the nod. Move Neal back into the 2 where he belongs and thrives.
    2) Tiago still can grow into it, I say the jury’s still out on him
    3) We currently don’t have the pieces to make that kind of team, but defense can certainly improve with a bit more effort.
    4) He was benched as appropriate when it became apparent he wasn’t producing.
    5) I hate to say it, but TD will legitimately have to play Center. He can just be one that has an outside touch. He doesn’t have the agility to be a modern PF nowadays. Blair is a good niche backup for that, sharing time with Splitter.
    6) I actually thought Diaw had a pretty good series. His box score stuff isn’t fabulous but he was facilitating and doing what he could for the most part. Asking him to bang with Perkins isn’t his game and Ibaka just had an unbelievable series that outclassed Diaw.
    7) They can get stops, just not consistently, but judging that against the Thunder isn’t really a fair comparison IMO.
    8) Save for Jax, Leonard, Neal and Diaw I agree.
    9) Yeah, He singlehandedly made that loss bearable for me. He went down landing Haymakers and never backing down.
    10) Never blame the refs in my book. If we had took care of business in the 3rd this wouldn’t have been a problem.
    11) That was bogus, and a lot of calls killed our 4th quarter momentum
    12) Celts got a metric F***ton of lucky breaks. They played the scatterbrained Hawks w/0 Horford for most of the series, then drew the joke that was the Sixers due to the Rose injury. Then they caught the Heat w/o bosh. I guarantee you if we had that kind of draw we’d be sitting on 12 straight wins and being paranoid about how effortless the Spurs made that run look.
    13)  Making the WCF after winning 10 straight is not a crappy Playoff team.
    The Thunder were just better than us, not a problem with the spurs
    themselves really. Just a week ago we were laying waste to everyone that stood against us. Don’t take away what they did because the Thunder hit 6th gear and did a Dragonball Z transformation on us in Game 3.

  • Lvmainman

    On 10 and 11, you’ve been brainwashed. The Spurs were up 8 pts with 17 minutes left in the game, when 12 bad calls went against the Spurs that cost them 18 pts.

    Tell me another game where a team won by 8 pts, but didn’t make more baskets or have more assists or have more points in the paint or have fewer turnovers. I’ll bet you can’t find an NBA game in the past where a team won by 8 points, but didn’t outperform the other team in ANY of those 4 categories.

    Joey Crawford ref’d that game. Imagine a judge being suspended for how he treated your case in court. Then, imagine going to court a 2nd time and getting the judge who’d been suspended for how he treated your previous case before the court. That’s Joey Crawford. The Spurs are 0-7 in playoff games that Joey Crawford has ref’d since his suspension.

    Referee calls do impact the results of basketball games.

  • Riggies

    Rhythm?  Sorry, that’s a cop out.  There was NO chance for Tiago in games 3-6.  No chance.  He was dropping balls in game 4-5 while rolling to the basket which would have been lay ups, missed defensive rotations, and generally looking like a putz. 

    “That was pretty much Pop giving up on the 2nd unit that helped him get that coach of the year award.”

    The Western Conference Finals aren’t the regular season and players need to put their stamp on the game within 1-2 possessions of checking in the game! This is true especially when the season is on the line.  I don’t want Tiago, Green and Neal trying to save the season as opposed to Leonard, Duncan, Ginobili, Parker and Stephen Jackson.!

    Its a player’s game and the stakes get higher with each round.  Tiago wasn’t ready and may never be.  Truthfully, I would have liked to have seen more of Blair…….

  • Riggies

     Wrong

  • Riggies

    Wrong assessment.  Rhythm?  C’mon!  Western Conference Finals aren’t the regular season and any assessments based on the regular season are moot when down 3-2. 

  • Riggies

    “13.  Last point- The Spurs have become 1 of the greatest ever regular
    season teams over the last 2 years, and a not great playoff team. 
    Bottom line is the regular season means nothing if you can’t win in the
    playoffs.”

    I’ve been reading Spurs box scores since ’85 (the year I began to read) when Cadillac the was the best player!  The Spurs have 4 championships since ’99.  That’s 4 ouf of 13 teams and not to mention the Western Conference Finals appearances we’ve lost!  What do you expect man!  This isn’t the freaking Yankees!

  • Riggies

     “Referee calls do impact the results of basketball games.”

    Yes they do.   The And-one Ginobili call was the deal breaker of all of them.  That play would have tied the game but instead the Thunder went down and proceeded to knock down jumpers and bury our fate. 

  • Riggies

    Who else would you have turned to?  Tiago and Green against Ibaka and Westbrook?

  • Titletown99030507d

    Your either very full of sh%t or you haven’t seen what Tiago does in real minutes. 
    Next.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Splitter knows how to score just like Blair but he’s better on defense than Blair. And don’t compare Tiago to Timmy because honestly you will never replace Timmy or come close to it. Yes we need a power post player but Tiago is still a good 2nd unit player to get you points and stick his body on a big and draw charges that’s better than a lot of bigs in the NBA that sit on the pine not naming any of theThunder’s reserves. If it worked during the regular season at 15-20 minutes per game it didn’t do the trick at 5 minutes per game let alone 30 seconds and magically expect to get a double double. Too bad, as it stands Tiago is the best big we have right now not naming Timmy. Some people calling out Tiago I Wasn’t impressed with Diaw’s 30 minute games in the Thunder series period. You think Tiago was a no show Diaw melted down and was no where to be found. Those are the same people praising Tiago when he played normal minutes during the regular season and those are the same ones bashing him in the OKC series where he average under 5 minutes. Fair weather fans.