Los Angeles Lakers 99, San Antonio Spurs 83: One half of basketball that spoke volumes

by

AT&T CENTER — There was one sequence during the San Antonio Spurs’ 99-83 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, that gave a glimpse of what had been going on the entire afternoon.

George Hill had the ball at the top of the 3-point arc and dribbled off a pick. He planted off his right foot and attacked the basket. Several Lakers defenders clogged the lane to prevent Hill from getting to the basket, so Hill fired off a pass from his chest to a cutting Spur.

I’ve seen that pass maybe a hundred times this season and not once did I see it get smothered in arms as thoroughly as it was on Sunday afternoon. The Spurs spent the majority of the day fighting out from under and endless blanket, looking for a breath of fresh air, but Los Angeles provided none.

The storyline in this one is the Laker’s length being too much for the Spurs to overcome. It’s too obvious an advantage for LA to be downplayed. When a pass was fired out to a 3-point shooter like Richard Jefferson, there was a Laker arm in his face, followed closely by a leg to run San Antonio off the line and force them into a long 2-pointer.

When Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili got into the lane, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol were there with wacky waving arm flailing inflatable tube man-like arms to bother any shot that went up. The Lakers were first to touch every rebound, corral every loose ball and meet every pass.

Los Angeles’ length allows them to have a foot in or near the lane to prevent driving lanes, and recover to 3-point shooters faster than most teams. The width of an NBA court doesn’t grow to account for the Lakers coming to town, instead it appears to shrink as the Spurs struggle to find high percentage shots.

“They just clogged it inside, they did a good job of challenging shots,” Tim Duncan said after the game. “They give you a little space and challenge you at the end.”

The Spurs seemed to run into a buzz saw similar to the one used against the Miami Heat in the first quarter on Friday. San Antonio’s 34-13 deficit after one quarter on Sunday was frighteningly reminiscent to the 36-12 advantage the Spurs enjoyed against Miami.

The Lakers out-shot the Spurs 60% to 27.3% and dominated the boards 17-8. Frankly, it set the tone for the entire afternoon and put the Spurs in a all-but-unclimbable hole.

“First half, we couldn’t stop them,” Manu Ginobili said. “They were great and we couldn’t make one, so that was an easy win for them”

Sunday’s game shines a bright light on a glaring hole for the Spurs. The Lakers’ length is tough to beat. I don’t want to get all sky-is-falling on you, but the Spurs have trouble on the boards against some teams, and when those same teams can close out on San Antonio’s 3-point shooters? Well, it’s not good.

The Spurs face the prospect of a second round matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder, possibly boasting a starting frontcourt of Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, knees and elbows galore. Following that could be a Western Conference Finals series against the Lakers or Dallas Mavericks.

While the Mavs and Thunder might not show the same aptitude for chasing the Spurs 3-point shooters, it’s becoming readily apparent that the Spurs fatal flaw this season may be the game of inches.

  • hassan

    @ Flavor.. are you nuts.. Trade TD…NEVER.

    And you say TD+Manu for Monta Ellis.. either one is better let alone both together..wow..

    You should be banned……..

  • Titletown99030507

    @jechalker74
    “Blair has that ability. But it takes a team effort not one person. Tiago Splitter will not give us the effort that Blair does. And if you had them switched in the line-up for the season you’d see some impact.”

    Your statement is contradicting. If you switched them then you would see an impact? Who Splitter?
    Of course you would see an impact with Splitter if he played Blairs minutes. Not only would he get better and be better than Blair at this point at the center position but also you would have two great players contributing. Yes Blair can be great when it suits him but Splitter would be more dependable at the interior defense consistently plus the guy can score the rim if only those team mates of his would throw him a bone once in a while, while he’s working hard to get in to position. Seems like the shooters start acting like their playing street ball and ignore Splitter ‘s picks and rolls. Seems like all the shooters are auditioning for contracts when Splitter’s on the court. That’s why I’m glad to see Splitter take his occasional hook shot and the hell with kicking it back out.

  • Titletown99030507

    @ribanez1,
    “Tiago Splitter has to play and play well. Well doesn’t mean scoring points, it means blocking out and rebounding, altering shots. Without his presence in a 7 game series the Spurs can not win. Forget the regular season, the playoffs are played at a slower pace and therefore the Lakers size becomes…”

    What? I am I reading this right? He has to play well?
    Why do people expect for Splitter to go into the playoffs and play as a seasoned veteran? For one he’s not a veteran, 2 he has no seasoning. You have to play meaningful minutes continuously through out the season (as Blair did) to get seasoning on that player. It might be a little too late for that being that Pop insisted for Blair to bogart the minutes. Really you think he can just turn all those DNPs into rip roaring experience? Maybe, but only if he had Adonis DNA or the Charlie Sheen drug.

  • Titletown99030507

    If Pop decides to go with Splitter now full time you won’t be disappointed in the playoffs. It’s just that simple really. It is. Really. It is. No really. “Pop are you reading this?”

  • Titletown99030507

    That’s it for me until Wednesday. I’m drained.

  • Nima K.

    Two issues here:

    1. How r u ppl so sure HCA will help us in the playoffs? I mean, someone said 35% of the ATT Center was populated with LA fans on Sunday. If that’s true, then what’s the point of HCA when TD is being harassed by courtside Laker fans in SA?

    2. U ppl keep praying that Dallas runs into the Lakers in the playoffs, sparing us a potentially lethal collision. My question to you: how r we so sure we can handle the Thunder? Don’t we have the same size issue with them as well? I see them a stronger team than last year, and since the trade deadline.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Bry

    Why do all you people think Pop is playing Blair rather than Splitter? I’m not buying some kind of bizarre conspiracy theory that Pop has tied his pride or honor in Blair over Splitter. That makes little sense and pretty much goes against his history. They drafted and paid Splitter to play. So, if he’s not, and Blair is, there must be another reason, unless you think that Pop has suddenly lost his good basketball judgement where Tiago Splitter is concerned. Where the heck is Jim Henderson when I need him. Is he still being banned, or on some kind of haitus?

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Bry

    @Nima K Home court is useful to everybody, even teams like San Antonio which play well on the road. If you look at the stats of any team in the playoffs, they will be better overall at home than on the road. For example, there’s no way the Lakers win games 6 and 7 of the finals last year if they’d been in Boston rather than LA. I don’t know what to make of so many Laker fans in SA for the last game, but home court is big no matter how you look at it.
    And the Spurs have handled the Thunder pretty well this season, and pretty much everyone in the league acknowledges that the Mavs and Lakers are the real threats to the Spurs in the West; not the upstart and inconsistent Thunder.

  • Bob

    I agree with the sentiments that Splitter has to start. Waiting for next year may be to late. Think about it. Why do the Lakers start two 7 footers even though Lamar Odom was having an allstar season? Length matters in the NBA. You have longer players on the court it improves your defense and makes it harder for opponents to get quality looks. Splitter doesn’t have to be an amazing shot blocker or rebounder but by moving his feet he makes it tougher for the opponent. He was able to stop a Lebron James layup on Friday just by being vertical and long. I think Blair can be effective of the bench with energy and rebounding. He’s been more inconsistent this season than last season. I think coming of the bench will allow him to relax and just play his game.

  • Bruno

    @Nima K.,

    how r you so sure Thunder can handle the New Orleans? And about the Lakers, do u really think we’ll play all 7 games with Ginobili+Duncan scoring less than 15?And all games shooting 25% from 3 point line?Lakers can’t do better than that and Spurs can’t worse. Of course Spurs can beat them with HCA and HEALTH

  • Flavor

    @Titletown and Hasan:

    Umm… I wasn’t being serious about my trade ideas. Hahahahaha…

    =)

  • Flavor

    One more thing:

    Having the best instrument (height) doesn’t mean you know how to play it better than everyone with hand me down. I’m done till the playoffs… See everyone on the Riverwalk in June. =)

  • ZeusVizzle

    I don’t know what everyone has a gripe about after this one loss. I made sure I would stop overreacting to one game in the NBA because every game is different: In case you all forgot, we actually won the first two meetings against these Lakers.

    And, more importantly, these Spurs have been blown out heavily before and still managed to win the championship. In 2005, when the Spurs got blown out twice against the Pistons in the Finals, I actually thought we were doomed and irreparably broken down mentally to actually get one more win. However, history proved otherwise. The point is, don’t let your emotions as a sports fan let you give up hope after one loss. The next game could be an entirely different story.

  • idahospur

    My take is that Pop will use the same line-up (Duncan, Blair, RJ, Manu, Parker) from now until the playoffs, unless injury happens or if we have a few extra games to lose in the regular season.

    If we meet up with the Lakers in the playoffs, I expect the same line-up for Game 1. We took the Lakers down twice this year and Pop has confidence in this line-up. If Game 1 is a massacre, I expect changes then and not now.

  • T

    @idahospur,

    He probably will go with the lineup he refuses to adjust. He’s in charge let him make that mistake. Why would you start that line up when the same thing is going to happen. Blair, Bonner are going to get torched, McDyess will put up a great effort and Timmy will have to deal with 2 7 footers comming at him. I don’t get it. What do you see in that lineup that’s going to change the outcome of the game. What you see from La is what your getting in the playoffs. You have to remember if you followed the scouting and injury reports that when we played La in the 1st two games Bynum was comming off rehab a long rehab. He was fat and out of shape. If you look at any of LA’s box scores or highlights at the current he is totally a different player than what the Spurs saw in the beginning of the season. He’s playing a lot different and it showed on the recent game. He’s got more spring in his step and his game shape is good. He is starting to play better than he has ever played and that my friend is scary. That’s why you need to throw a big body at him to slow him down some. You just can’t let them get off from the get go Timmy will get killed trying to mix it up with Gasol and Bynum if the other bodies next to Timmy are either undersized or foul laden. It’s a bad move not to start Splitter because you know they’re going to throw that length at us. Splitter can tire the big fella and Blair can come off the bench fresh with tons of energy doing what he does best. I really hope they do this. It might be our only chance if we have to play them somewhere in the playoffs.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @idahospur,

    He probably will go with the lineup he refuses to adjust. He’s in charge let him make that mistake. Why would you start that line up when the same thing is going to happen. Blair, Bonner are going to get torched, McDyess will put up a great effort and Timmy will have to deal with two 7 footers comming at him. I don’t get it. What do you see in that lineup that’s going to change the outcome of the game next time. What you see from LA is what your getting in the playoffs. You have to remember if you followed the scouting and injury reports that when we played LA in the 1st two games Bynum was comming off rehab a long rehab. He was fat and out of shape. If you look at any of LA’s box scores or highlights at the current he is totally a different player than what the Spurs saw in the beginning of the season. He’s playing a lot different and it showed on the recent game. He’s got more spring in his step and his game shape is good. He is starting to play better than he has ever played and that my friend is scary. That’s why you need to throw a big body at him to slow him down some. You just can’t let them get off from the get go Timmy will get killed trying to mix it up with Gasol and Bynum if the other bodies next to Timmy are either undersized or foul laden. It’s a bad move not to start Splitter because you know they’re going to throw that length at us. Splitter can tire the big fella and Blair can come off the bench fresh with tons of energy doing what he does best. I really hope they do this. It might be our only chance if we have to play them somewhere in the playoffs.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @Flavor,

    “Umm… I wasn’t being serious about my trade ideas. Hahahahaha…”

    I know you weren’t. Do you think I was serious. Good try though.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @Bob,

    Yeah, right there with you. Sometimes you just have to make adjustments instead of doing nothing and hoping history doesn’t repeat itself. (I’m talking about the bad history.) Why would one wait to get massacred then make an adjustment? Your just throwing 1 precious game away in a series. ?

  • Titletown99030507d

    Here’s my lineup for the playoffs.

    David Robinson – C (1995)
    Tim Duncan – PF (2002)
    Sean Elliot – SF (1995)
    Manu Ginobili – SG (2005)
    Tony Parker – PG (2007)

    Scientists have theorized that time and space can be warped thus one can theoretically go back into time and back to the present. If only the flux capacitor hadn’t given out. Rats!

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Titletown99030507d

    There’s no use and trying to explain it to some people……. They just will never understand the difference between regular season and the playoffs…… They will not understand that when the benches shorten and the Starters play longer, you will have to deal even more Kobe, Gasol, Odom. They seem to think the regular season success is the best gauge for post season hopes and therefore we should be the favorites to win it all.

  • Kevin

    Okay, so we settled it then? We’ve figured it all out? Good.

  • Colin

    TD=BE

    “They just will never understand the difference between regular season and the playoffs…… They will not understand that when the benches shorten and the Starters play longer, you will have to deal even more Kobe, Gasol, Odom.”

    So, you know better than Poppovich and the Spurs (who have earned 4 NBA championships) front office how to run a small market NBA organization?……and your expertise is coming from where?

  • Ryan

    How else do you gauge a playoff caliber team if by not looking at the regular season? That’s like saying just because a guy is 6’10” he’s going to be an awesome rebounder and a dominant post presence without ever seeing him play…

    Sorry TD=BE, I don’t follow that. Records? Yes.. I can understand that.. we’ve been lucky in a few games that makes our record look a little more glorified than it probably is, but luck is a factor in just about anything so it’s hard to say it hasn’t benefited anyone other team in the league either.

    We’ve beat these guys twice already… once in a good win early in the season, the second on a nail-biter that we were actually leading for the better part of the entire game. Back off the playoff ledge a little and stop fretting… if current seedings hold, I think the Lakers are going to have a had time with Dallas anyway.

  • DorieStreet

    Almost 50 hours after game#63 of the 2010-11 NBA season for the San Antonio Spurs, the fanbase seems to be split into two diverse camps regarding our team’s makeup and playoff strength.

    A few asides from the point-counterpoint marathon (aka the “Silver & Black civil war”):

    Now that the Rockets are above .500 (33-32), the Spurs have only 1 loss to a losing team- the Dec. 1st game @ the Clipppers. The SW division is the only one with every team >.500 (and a small chance all of them could be in the playoffs (longshot for Houston).
    Remaining games evenly spaced out-mostly playing every other day (3, 2 & 2 days off before Mavs, Celtics and Lakers games, respectively).
    Of the remaining 19 games–
    Only 5 left vs. eastern conference; only 5 games left vs. sub .500 squads-DET, SAC (2), CHA, GSW.
    Even though the Jazz & Bobcats are fading, and the Rockets have to climb over 3 teams to get to the 8th spot, I am going to count them all as still striving to get into the playoffs; therefore 16 of the remaining 19 games are vs. squads jockeying for playoff positioning or trying to get that last spot.

    Summary: the Spurs cannot come out again with that same effort from last Sunday from this point forward–it won’t just “one loss.” Nearly all of the remaining opponents have something to play for.

  • Colin

    @ Ryan

    Good reference to luck in games. In basketball and academics, luck is a by-product of preparation, work, and belief (look how Manu literally single handedly willed us to win games this year). We’ve been lucky to win a few of those games to pad our record, but all in all, they were earned by being in the right place at the right time. This Spurs team won’t be slapped LIKE THAT again.

    With that said, the playoffs will require more of the same work, preparation, and execution that have made the regular season what it is. I think this team has the “it” factor to make a DEEP run this year. After all, this isn’t the Lebron James Cavaliers or Shawn Kemp’s Supersonics who had great regular seasons and gave their fans the ultimate smoke and mirror show. This core has won championships, so belief is warranted. These guys have to believe in themselves or nothing else matters.

  • DorieStreet

    P.S. SORRY- for typo– sentence should read:

    ‘Summary: the Spurs cannot come out again with that same effort from last Sunday from this point forward-it won’t be just this “one loss” to talk about.’

  • DorieStreet

    P.S.S. -3 back to backs remain; but 2 are in April. If the Spurs take care of business this month, the rest for the ‘Core 3′ (as I call them) will come then.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Colin

    “So, you know better than Poppovich and the Spurs (who have earned 4 NBA championships) front office how to run a small market NBA organization?……and your expertise is coming from where?”

    Pop hasn’t won them all and when he did win them the team was built different…… Can you not understand that? My expertise comes from watching years of basketball and knowing the HISTORY of the game……..Of which you think SA is somehow above and beyond the history that we made.

    @ Ryan

    “How else do you gauge a playoff caliber team if by not looking at the regular season?”

    You look at he makeup of the team and its different parts. You look at all stats, not just win/loss record. Defensive points allowed and FG% against are 2 of the best to look at. But again you would have to follow the history on the NBA to understand that, not just watch your team and think they belong to another league all together.

  • Bob

    @Titletown99030507d

    I have to agree with you. Those first two games were not representative of how good the Lakers were. I think one reason the Spurs struggled so much is that they couldn’t recognize the team they were playing as the same one they played before.

    An example of how not adjusting can hurt is the semifinals last season with Phoenix. I think that Tony Parker had to start because he knew how to play Steve Nash. Instead George Hill gets thoroughly embarrassed by Nash. Allowing him to waltz into several layups. Spotting the Nash so many layups basically cost the first game, the momentum, and the series. By the time Popovich did the obvious thing and started him it was too late.

    I think it’s obvious we can be a better defensive team with Splitter. It’s frustrating to see Tim struggle to be the last line of defense. He needs help. Blair doesn’t have the length or defense of guys that have started at center when we won the title. His defensive fundamentals are pretty bad and he likes to gamble for steals.

  • The Truth Fairy
  • Manu A Manu

    http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/video/tim-duncan-autobiography-reveals-he-is-friends-wit,19421/

    TD=BE, there’s no point in saying “This team isn’t built like the championship teams” because the Spurs don’t have the bigs to follow the old model. It looks to me as though Pop is trying to maximize the productive abilities of his talent: the Spurs’ best attribute is their wealth of three-point shooters combined with their willingness to make multiple passes. Hill, Neal, RJ, and Bonner take up about two starters’ worth of minutes, and each of them is primarily used for three-point shooting. That’s nearly the entire bench, and that means that there’s really no room for adjustment. I think we all understand that it would be nice to have the championship-style Oberto back, but that’s not happening, and Eddy Curry isn’t a realistic substitute.

    And stop being a jerk to other posters.

  • zainn

    This team is fine. All i hope is that gary neal dosen’t choke in the playoffs like roger mason did last season and bonner dosen’t get injured and continue his AMAZING three point barrages to show the world he should be in the three point contest. i seriously think he could get close to a 30 in the contest and put his own name into history just because he dosen’t make the amount of quantity of threes kevin durant and other players do, he does shoot it a better quality rate then others do. he will make a name for himself after the finals this season. GO SPURS GO!

  • junierizzle

    I’m back. No more speeches.

    The only thing that makes sense in helping out the SPURS right now, is what a lot of people are saying. TIAGO needs to play more.

    As much as I disagree with TD=BE, he had one good point. The SPurs championship teams all had TD and another Big Guy. ROBINSON,RASHO,NAZR,ELSON.

    It always made me scratch my head that the SPURS never got another serviceable big man. The did go after SHEED to give them credit.

    But you’re telling me TIAGO can’t do what RASHO,NAZR and ELSO did. Hell even in ROBINSON’S last year he was nothing more than a big body in there.
    That’s what made them great defensive teams. TWO big bodies in the paint.

    Which is what the LAKERS have.

  • DorieStreet

    It seems we are getting a lot of fans doing a(nother) 180 on the rookie- #22. Last summer when he signed and came over stateside, the posts flowed freely and often about how he was the piece to get us back into the championship hunt. Looking at his international accomplishments, most everyone expected a solid, workman-like production (12-15 pts, 6-9 reb) from him. Then, we his NBA career got off to a sputtering start (right from the very beginning last summer), fans start saying about a third of the way into the season, that contributions from him were not expected now, but next year (he’s not a disappointment, give him time to adjust & learn, don’ trade him, etc.). Except for a couple of games vs. the league’s doormats, the rookie’s appearances were some mid-game cameos & garbage time mopups, with a few DNPs mixed in (and not because of injury).
    Now there appears to be a groundswell of not only playing #22 more, but starting him. I know, I know–there are you who wanted this 40 games ago, but that was not the prevailing sentiment then.

    So–unless this is a ploy to keep his game under the radar until the playoffs, it seems as if the coaching staff regards his impact for this squad is minimal, and status quo will remain the same- ala no major aquistions (bigs, defensive stopper, athletic SF).

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Manu A Manu

    “And stop being a jerk to other posters.”

    WOW really… I’m the one being a jerk here…. As I recall it I’m the one who gets called all the names from people like you…… So if its cool for you to call me names why can’t I say something back……..Kind of a one way street isn’t it there Manu???

    “TD=BE, there’s no point in saying “This team isn’t built like the championship teams” because the Spurs don’t have the bigs to follow the old model.”

    Ok then go and get them……. Splitter was suppose to give us the Old model and when he didn’t pan out our FO thought is better to not follow that model. Also when you consider that almost every other team in the West has followed that model you should com to appreciate the irony of this season…… If you and other have been Spurs fans from as far back as you say you have you would them appreciate my agony of seeing us loose and ways we have never lost before…… and in ways that lead to post season early/embarrassing exits.

  • Bruno

    I can’t believe…We sign with many players of D-league and not Marcus Cousin. Now the Jazz sign with him, i can’t believe Spurs just lost this guy

  • Titletown99030507d

    JUST PLAY SPLITTER MORE DAMN IT! oh sorry, i got carried away. as you were.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @Zainn,

    Neal is no Roger Mason. This guy is a stud and I’m glad we have him.( Good on you FO) He’ll be fine in the playoffs. I’m just another great performance away from Neal in calling him “baby Gervin”. Oh no I said it. I said the G word.

    PS: I really wasn’t mad in the post above I was just on top of the HemisFair Tower trying to get Pop’s attention. And no I’m not jumping.

  • Colin

    TD=BE

    “My expertise comes from watching years of basketball and knowing the HISTORY of the game”

    That doesn’t qualify as expertise, that qualifies as being a fan……..and no, Poppovich didn’t win them all. Its a player’s game. However, the team didn’t coach themselves……you SORELY misunderstand how hard it is to win games consistently in the NBA, let alone win 4 championships as a collective franchise. Just enjoy the season for a while and quit hanging by a thread with every possession.

  • Colin

    @titletown

    “Neal is no Roger Mason”

    No, I think he has the potential to be BETTER. He has a much better handle and gets his own shot off the dribble without a pick. A true gunner. I like his game.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    What’s being overlooked here is that the Spurs “window” should have been closed already. The Spurs have now clinched their TWELFTH consecutive 50+ win season. How many multiple championship franchises have kept winning as long as the Spurs have. MJ’s Bulls didn’t. Billups’s Pistons not even close. Bird’s Celtics didn’t win as much. Bad boy Pistons..nope. This Spurs run is on par with the showtime Lakers and with Kobe’s time as a Laker. And they have a 92 million dollar payroll! The Spurs keep winning in a small market with a respectable payroll. It’s phenomenal what this franchise does!!

    Most of us posters know that a 3pt shooting team doesn’t traditionally win championships. But listen closely; This Spurs team is a gift, a bonus beyond anyone’s expectations. They weren’t even supposed to win 50 games. The window should have slammed shut this year. Yet here they are. They are putting together the greatest regular season Spurs team of all time.

    Going out a putting together a “traditional championship roster” IS NOT EASY.
    Nobody in the NBA does it year in and out. There are a lot of teams that try every year and fail.

    You think Presti and Pritchard and Demps don’t know what it takes? They know, a hell of alot better than anybody posting here what it takes and they still haven’t done it yet. It’s really fucking hard to put a championship roster together. Factor into the equation the collective bargaining expiring this offseason and it’s even harder.

    Guys and gals, Enjoy this magical season for what it is.

  • DorieStreet

    @Len

    Presti has only been at the helm only a few years at SEA/OKC (and had to deal with the move, etc.) and Pritchard & Demps together are just getting started in NO (and the league has ownership temporarily); why are you comparing their situations with the Spurs? Compare San Antonio with the Clippers, who have had the same owner and a longtime (ex)GM (Elgin Baylor, who btw is suing the team) or Boston.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Colin

    “That doesn’t qualify as expertise, that qualifies as being a fan….”

    It doesn’t take a coach or GM to compare/contrast rosters. That and a few Google searches will tell you what a championship team looks like…….. And we don’t look like it……. I can’t think of a team that started a 6-8 and under C/PF and won a title….. Except for the Heat who had Shaq and Alonzo Mourning as a back up……

    @ Len

    “This Spurs team is a gift, a bonus beyond anyone’s expectations. They weren’t even supposed to win 50 games. The window should have slammed shut this year.”

    All because you thought they were done, doesn’t mean all of thought the same….. if you watched last years 2nd round series we were winning almost every game at some point in the 4th qt. So basically we were just a “Gary Neal” away from getting to the Conference finals…….. So the thought that this is magic, ya leading the NBA is, but we were far from over….. As long as the big 3 are relatively healthy we will make the playoffs…..

    “Guys and gals, Enjoy this magical season for what it is.”

    Unless its an Number 5 or bust….. ALL or nothing drive for 5 I will not sit back and just cheer blindly……. Any team with TD/Manu should be trying to compete for a title, and nothing less will be acceptable(as long as the Big 3 are healthy).

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Len

    Pritchard was with Portland a few years and failed even though he had talent out the wazoo.

    Ferry failed with the league MVP.

    Presti has the league leading scorer and didn’t get past the 1st round.

    The list goes on and on…

    Well, thanks for completing missing the point guys. I mean honestly, lol. Say good night Gracie..

  • TD = Best EVER

    @
    Bruno
    March 8th, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I can’t believe…We sign with many players of D-league and not Marcus Cousin. Now the Jazz sign with him, i can’t believe Spurs just lost this guy

    I really hope this isn’t true…. .he looks like a good prospect that SA needs to keep around…. Can anyone conform this?

  • Hobson13

    DorieStreet
    March 8th, 2011 at 7:08 pm
    “It seems we are getting a lot of fans doing a(nother) 180 on the rookie- #22.”

    I can’t speak for other posters, just myself. I have done somewhat of a 180 on the Splitter situation. In the back of my mind, I’ve always known that we needed another big to really keep up with the Lakers. However, when the threes are falling, we are scoring 100+ pts every night, and our record is amazing, this fact does tend to get lost.

    This last game really brought out our weaker frontline unlike any other loss this season (at least IMO). In the first half, it was just too easy for Bynum to get rebounds over Duncan and for Gasol to get whatever he wanted against Blair. Our 11 other losses could, by and large, be explained away as either bad games (which EVERY team has) or a tough stretch on a schedule (SEGABABA kind of games). This loss woke me up and left me feeling like the opponent (Lakers) was simply better and that the Blair starting lineup experiment will come up woefully short against a handful of the elite teams.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Len

    “You think Presti and Pritchard and Demps don’t know what it takes? They know, a hell of alot better than anybody posting here what it takes and they still haven’t done it yet. It’s really fucking hard to put a championship roster together. Factor into the equation the collective bargaining expiring this offseason and it’s even harder.”

    Yes our FO has done well with winning 4 titles……
    But with a great player like TD, a team should be expected win a couple…. LBJ may be able to do several things but he is still a wing player…… and its easier to build around a Bigman than a wing…..If you give any GM/Coach TD and enough time and a championship will come out of it…… combine that with the fact that he had David Robinson with his for the 1st 2 titles and its pretty easy to see how it’s done……

  • ribanez1

    To: Titletown99030507

    Splitter is not a rookie fresh out of college. He has been playing for several years in a league widely recognized as the second best professional league in existence. I am not saying that he automatically becomes a world beater but his length and size would make it more difficult for opponents to attack the rim and he would undoubtedly help our rebounding against the longer teams. Blair for all his heart, brawn and hustle, in my humble opinion as a fan, can not be efficient against Bynum and Gasol.over a 7 game stretch. I saw Splitter play against Odom during the summer and he played pretty well. He just needs an opportunity.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Well I was going to add a post, just to see if we could break 200 on this thread. But then I realized that the record that was padded by 21 comments from TD = Best EVER, so I decided against it.

    Oh, wait…

  • Tim in Surrey

    Seriously, though, this thread has spun wildly out of control. I really don’t want to read much more of this insanity. Who would’ve thought that one regular season game would have such an effect on the readers of the best team blog in sports? It’s like watching that scene from the beginning of David Cronenburg’s Scanners! (I won’t link to it because it’s age-restricted but you may know the one I mean.)

    Tim, Andrew, Jesse, Scott, Graydon–I know you all worked really hard at the Sloan Conference (thanks again for that!), but can we PLEASE get a new thread going? Stat?