Andy Kamenetzky wants the Spurs at full force

by

Keeping with our tradition, I’ve exchanged notes with one half of the two-headed monster that is the Kamenetzky brothers.

One brother is Ivan, the other is Dmitri. You figure it out. Ron Artest is definitely Alyosha. And the dead monk? The Lakers’ recent play. Maybe they’re not saints after all. I’ll let you assign the rest of the characters to their best Laker analogue.  Why? Because that’s what we do at 48MoH, right?

Check out ESPN’s Land O’Lakers blog for my part of the exchange. On this end I asked Andy if the Spurs should lose tonight to avoid playing the Lakers in the second round? I know. I shouldn’t think that way. But the Lakers are tall. They scare me.  Kamenetzky:

Wow. Tough question to answer. In part because reading tea leaves in a tight race for the #2 seed with many moving parts is tough. And in part because if the Lakers maintain their current level of play, the second round feels like an ambitious landing spot.

I kid, of course. The Lakers are definitely advancing to the second round. I’m actually still confident about my preseason Three-peat prediction. But they definitely have not played well of late, and unlike some previous skids, the issue hasn’t been entirely about complacency. Partially at times, since they played like zombies on Nyquil against Portland. But not entirely. The Lakers have often put forth legitimate effort during these five losses, but effort isn’t always enough to offset wretched execution. The offense in particular has gone inexplicably haywire. 10+ seconds are often frittered away just getting into their sets, which predictably leads to low percentage shots. And moving the ball without risking a turnover has become a decided chore for arguably the NBA’s best passing squad.

With all that said, they’ve been down this road before and I agree with Kobe’s take about issues being largely correctable. Which means if the Spurs maintain their regular season success moving forward, a meeting with the Lakers may be unavoidable. Thus, Tuesday’s game should be played above board. If Pop is more concerned with health than staying ahead of the Bulls for best overall record, playing his core vets limited minutes and living with whatever results is perfectly reasonable. But tanking to avoid a specific opponent is pretty bush and reflects a lack of inner-confidence. Unless, of course, the goal is situating yourself to play the 2006 Nuggets. Even David Stern deep down knew the Clippers were doing the right thing in that case.

  • Reggie

    A Dostoevsky allusion on a sports blog. This is why I love 48moh.

  • Jacques

    Phil Jackson is definately Fyodor

  • SpurredOn

    The 2006 NBA playoffs were some of the most riveting and also the worst job by the league for not adjusting their seeding system. The Clippers wisely tanked to have HCA as a 6-seed, and we were robbed of a Spurs-Mavs WCF instead of second round. We also would’ve seen a Spurs-Clippers second round, as they are the only West franchise the Spurs have not played in a playoff series.

    Don’t tank tonight but don’t pretend it matters deeply to our guys. Rest TD, limit minutes for Manu, Dyess & Tony, play lots of Splitter and work on various sets that Pop wants to test for a likely playoff match-up.

  • idahospur

    Reason I do not want our starters to play:
    If Lakers beat the Spurs, ending their losing streak, then I have to hear for the rest of the regular season about how great the Lakers are to come together and beat the winningest team in the league. And then I have to hear it again when these two face each other in the playoffs about the Lakers won it when it counts. Blah Blah Blah.

    Rest the starters, let the stupid Lakers win tonight. If we beat them with our 2nd team we can laugh at them so much.

  • OMeGa

    IMO the spurs big three should not play just to send a message to the Lakers. Get your win! You are not worthy of Tim,Manu and Tony!!

  • rj

    i think we see splitter’s value against la tonight.

  • SaintHouston

    Very low odds of seeing TD, Manu, TP and Dice playing… just a hunch… Their last 2010/11 regular season minutes were seen against the Jazz.

  • badger

    Rest the veterans! It sends the message that we do not care who wins…tonight. And really, we don’t…tonight.

    The Lakers, on the other hand, care very much about winning tonight, as they do not want to slip to #4. If they do manage to slip to #4, they will assure themselves that they do not deserve another ring, even if they somehow ended up with it.

    If the Spurs 2nd team hangs with their best, which isn’t very likely, it also sends a 2nd message to the Fakers about how confident WE are. If the Lakers blow out our 2nd team, what has that really done for their confidence? Not a whole lot.

    Rest TD, TP, MAnu, McD, RJ the whole night.

    Start Hill, Neal, Anderson, Blair, Splitter.
    Bonner, Green, Novak, and Quinn off the bench.

  • Bankshot21

    They need to play. We won a game convincingly, they won a game convincingly, and we won on a last second tip. I truly don’t know how we stack up against these guys.

  • DorieStreet

    West HCA is secured; I see minimal court time for the starters (MyDyess doesn’t play any–maybe the same for Duncan). Whether they are a reserve in the rotation or part of the DNP-CD group for most of the season, this is the perfect opportunity for these players to get meaningful minutes against a formidable opponent. Playoff rotations rarely expand anyway, so this can be a micro-audition in the overall picture for the non-starters (besides McDyess) to remain a Spur next year.
    Plus—you never know when someone might have to come in and perform over the next two months.
    (Remember Novak at the end of the Blazer game.)

  • curtis

    Artest is Alyosha? I think he’s more of a Smerdyakov.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    Yes, well, I was just seeing if anyone was paying attention.

  • betsyduncan

    As silly as it sounds, I’d love to see Gary Neal ‘flexing’ at the Staples Center this evening!

  • Kintaro

    Steve Novak will perform his best Hulk Hogan impression after connecting on 5 of 7 from downtown.

  • betsyduncan

    LOL, Kintaro: I sure hope so!

  • Bruno

    From twitter : by JMcDonald_SAEN Jeff McDonald

    Doesn’t always mean anything, but no game jerseys hanging in lockers for duncan, parker, manu, mcdyess at staples center.

    Looks like Pop will rest the starters

  • rob

    “If Pop is more concerned with health than staying ahead of the Bulls for best overall record, playing his core vets limited minutes and living with whatever results is perfectly reasonable. But tanking to avoid a specific opponent is pretty bush and reflects a lack of inner-confidence.”

    Tanking (if that would be considered to happen)wouldn’t do anything regarding who the Spurs faced.

    The Spurs sealed their fate by winning. The other teams can do the same. Spurs wouldn’t be doing anybody any favors if they lost or won this game. And by losing…what favor would be set upon them not knowing for sure how any other outcome from the other teams may play out?

    Not an inteligent response by the quoted from the o.p.

  • rob

    Excuse me…not intelligent on my part. The o.p. wasn’t saying the Spurs would tank more so than what good would that do. My bad.

  • TD = Best EVER

    As much as I hate to loose to the Lakers……. beating them may help them slide to the 4th seed which I don’t want either……..

    Lesser of 2 evils……..

  • DorieStreet

    Fans–
    It is what it is; the conference lead shrunk to 1 1/2 games, then Lakers started losing.
    If 2nd place in the playoff standings wasn’t on the line, Phil would have cut back minutes on his starters also-play them enough to win home finale.

  • betsyduncan

    Looks like the Nulls are going to beat the Knickerbockers anyway…

  • DorieStreet

    @betsyduncan

    What’s “Null” about that team?
    I saw the 3rd qtr–granted, you knew “Suns east coast” was going to open the window–but that was KILLER D by Chicago. And there is really no shutdown specialist on the squad IMO. Deng works on it, an of course Noah; but this team has but into the Coach’s plan.

  • DorieStreet

    The age of misinformation or “not doing your homework”–Kevin Harland refers to Tiago Splitter as a “kid”.

  • andy

    of course lakers fans want us at full strength. their mental game can’t get tremendously worse, and if they played us to the wire at full strength and lost, they’d still be ok. if they won, all the better for them, which is why we can’t play a full roster.

    “But tanking to avoid a specific opponent is pretty bush and reflects a lack of inner-confidence.”

    this comment irks me, and reveals how little he appreciates strategy and understands the psychology of athletes. by sitting our starters, we can tell them, and chicago, what boston just told miami: “we don’t give a f*ck about these games or home court; we’ll take home the hardware on your court or ours, doesn’t matter”. i forget who it was that mentioned, a couple of months ago, that sitting our starters for the last 10 games if we were up that much would be a mindjob, but it’s that kind of game within the game that screws with a reeling team like the lakers.

    if anything, at this point the lakers probably want to avoid the spurs more than the other way around.

  • NDspursFan

    I guess when you are over 50 you can still refer to Splitter as a “kid”. He sure is big for a “kid” though!

  • DorieStreet

    @NDspursFan

    +10 –I guess Harland should thank the TNT ‘dressing room crew’–I didn’t think of him as 50+/ but “Dr. Jack” is over 80/is Hubie over 70?/Heinson for the leprechauns definitely in his 7th decade/look at MLB vets (radio/tv) and freelancers (Vern Lundquist, Keith Jackson) -as long as you have your falcuties (and your voice)-you can roll on….

  • DorieStreet

    Best comment made by an NBA analyst this year—Steve Kerr: “Theo Ratliff is collecting his pension and an NBA paycheck….”

  • DorieStreet

    Nitpicking—but why is Tony dressed (Tim, Manu & McDyess not), but he’s not playing? 3 minutes left in 2nd qtr.
    Parker looked pissed off to me.

  • andy

    @DorieStreet
    i’d assume it has to do with rules for having a certain number of players suited up.

    not able to watch, but following the game online.

    did anyone else count 5 fouls drawn by splitter in the 2nd quarter?

  • Titletown99030507

    It’s halftime and It’s tied. And Reggie Miller said the Lakers are sleep walking through this first half. Then he said they have been sleep walking through the last games. I laugh how this guys keep making excuses for the Lakers. Also how Fisher said they were prepared for our core3 instead of our reserves. They supposed to be kicking our ass. This is humiliating to them. They need no worse than a blow out to come away with their confidence intact. But with Bynum a big ? I wouldn’t want to be Laker fan right about now.

  • Mark B

    Wow, that was an ugly first half. A lot uglier for the Lakers than the Spurs. I kind of hope Bynum is OK. As much as I dislike the Lakers, I really hate to see players get hurt.

  • Mark B

    What was the technical about when Bynum was on the ground? I would have thought the Lakers would foul in order to stop the action, but suddenly they were shooting a foul shot and had the ball. The announcers didn’t explain what was going on because they were focused on Bynum.

  • Bob

    @andy
    Very good point about Splitter. Even though he may not be a great free throw shooter he’s still forcing the other team into the penalty. Think about how it could help our starters. They’ll have an easier time because they’re defenders are going to be worried about drawing fouls. He should be starting next to Tim Duncan. He may not be able to hit jumpers like McDyess or be as seasoned a defender. But his toughness, length, and ability to draw fouls can really help the team. They have more than enough firepower. They need more dirty work.

  • Titletown99030507

    Now Charles just said the Lakers aren’t winning the championship with or with out Bynum. This guy changes his mind like he changes his undetermined clothes. I wonder if were still not the best team in Texas?

  • Titletown99030507

    @Mark B

    The tech was on Blair. I don’t know why though.

  • Bruno

    Spurs can’t make a shoot

  • DorieStreet

    @ andy

    +100 — Really great insight on league rules and regulations.
    I am one of those fans who friends consider really knowledgeable, but a nuance like that- X number of players have to be suited up per guidelines– I could nor would be 100% clear about.

    @ Titletown99030507–

    RE: Miller /Barkley’s comments

    All of these commentators are doing spin control–No -let’s call it for what they’re really doing -CYA
    They think no one will remember who they predicted back in October; at the allstar break; or right now at the cusp of the playoffs. One glaring example of their timidity–and we all know there’s a lot of opinions out there and it’s hard to keep it all straight (like it’s all that important).

  • DorieStreet

    (continued from previous post)

    “I wouldn’t be surprised”
    if OKC/DEN makes it to the wcf/ OKC makes it to the finals;

    But on the eastern conference side–no one wants to pick Chicago/ they pick the Celtics or Heat–but isn’t the Bulls in the same position as the Thunder–have not won a 1st round playoff series yet???

  • Bruno

    Jesus, Spurs need defense, and Pop put Splitter/Novak frontcourt, really??? Anderson is playing like shit, why not Novak, Blair and Splitter together??

  • DorieStreet

    @Bruno

    Anderson had to get some time–tonight and @ the Suns tomorrow. He has to get some real game competition going into his 2nd summer league camp.
    You might see your requested combination in Phoenix.

    A lot of rushed shots, some missed assignments and bad decisions, but overall the reserves went at it with really good effort.

  • Gomezd

    thoroughly enjoyable game, I think it is the happiest I have ever been with a loss, seeing the lakers play like that was a thing of beauty. Great game.

    It was awesome when Kobe hit the dagger 3 and he ran back showing his teeth and shaking his fist in glorious triumph… while in the background all you saw was spurs reserves lol!

  • Jacques

    Ugh, after Neal’s three I really thought we could have taken over. It was a good effort by the reserves, but I wished some of the shots could have been better. Defense against Odom… man, that needs to be worked. Of course, Antonio would be playing be then

  • Hobson13

    You’ve got to be kidding me!? Pop played all 10 players between 21-28 minutes in this game! I had no idea we had such balance. We scored 93pts against a Lakers squad with no Big 3 plus Dyess. I can’t imagine a more impressive loss. We were only down 3 with 4 minutes left. What a great game by our support staff.

    With Bynum out, the West is completely wide open. This could be the year the stars align and we bring back that #5 ring. What a great game by the Spurs.

  • Nima K.

    Thank you Pop for resting the staters and playing the 2nd unit.

    This was a good loss. LAL played all it’s bigshots and still we scored 93 points? Hah! Well done. (even though some of our reserves couldve done better, I’m still pleased with this loss).

    Now Dallas plays LAL, and all we have to do is focus on OKC. (MEM will beat the clippers and attain 7th seed, while NOLA will probably lose to the MAVs and fall to 8 again).

  • Jacques

    Danny Green, James Anderson, and Chris Quinn just did not have their offense tonight. Of course, the biggest factor is that they haven’t played extended minutes other than the garbage time in ages… Bonner was good, but again could not stop Odom. He needs to be more aggressive, but I understand how after several attempts you just can’t stop a guy with a hot streak.

    Hope for a great game tomorrow. Go Spurs

  • MSteele

    I’ve always thought this, and I know that having Tim, Tony and Manu back will help, but we have absolutely no one on our roster that can guard Odom. He will be the key to the series I think, and Tony for us, if we meet in the WCF.
    I would have at least tried Blair on him. He has quicker movement than Bonner and as I’ve said before Blair at least attempts to give himself some sort of an advantage on D by going for steals or attempting to block a shot (and often fouling) but Bonner doesn’t do anything to help his cause – he just lifts his arms and fouls more often than not. Just noticed I sound like a pompous pr*ck, by constantly saying ‘I’ve said this before…’ but I don’t mean it that way lol

  • Bruno

    @Jacques
    Q4 04:00 Neal 3pt Shot: Made (16 PTS)
    Q4 03:21 Neal Substitution replaced by Green

  • MSteele

    @Jacques
    I thought Quinn had quite a nice game, he didn’t score but he ran the offense well, had 9 ass and only 1 TO.

  • Jacques

    @MSteele
    “but Bonner doesn’t do anything to help his cause – he just lifts his arms and fouls more often than not”

    …….and backs off until he is literally under the rim

  • Jacques

    @Steele
    I meant to say shots than offense. Thanks for correcting. Quinn played well after not playing for a while