San Antonio Spurs Game 3 defense: Keeping it old school

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The Spurs' Antonio McDyess guards Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki

AT&T CENTER – Of all the positives to glean from the San Antonio Spurs 94-90 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Friday’s Game 3, one aspect in particular might give Spurs fans the most hope for the playoffs. The Spurs turned in a vintage defensive performance, reminiscent of so many title years, in taking a 2-1 lead over the Mavs.

The Mavs shot a mediocre 44% from the field on Friday night against the Spurs, and were coerced into three shot clock violations and 16 total turnovers.

But the most telling sign for Spurs fans was the ability for the Spurs to get stops when it counted most, against an efficient offense. For most of the regular season, the Spurs uncharacteristically made mistakes in crunch time, both offensively and defensively, as they squandered away close games.

“The team defense was good, we rotated well and covered people,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “For the most part, you’re not going to keep Dirk from scoring, but we made it tough on him.”

On Friday night, the Spurs time to shine started after a Dirk Nowitzki jumper gave Dallas an 81-80 lead with 3:03 left in the game. Down late to a top team in the Western Conference, the Spurs countered with a big jumper from Tony Parker. And on the defensive end, San Antonio’s scrambling rotations led to a missed 3-pointer from Jason Kidd, a miss from JJ Barea, and then a traveling violation on Barea.

On the other end of the floor, Parker hit another jumper, off a nice feed from Tim Duncan, to give the Spurs a three-point lead. After a Dallas timeout, the Mavericks got Jason Terry room for a jump shot, but Antonio McDyess blocked the attempt to a teammate.

Parker then made a third straight jumper, giving the Spurs an 86-81 lead with 52 seconds left.

After another Dallas timeout, Dirk Nowitzki had a good look from the field, but missed again. Manu Ginobili gathered the rebound and drew a foul (and hit both free throws) to put the cap on stretch where the Spurs went on a 8-0 run to effectively end the game.

With all the confusion during rotations that the Spurs encountered, it’s no small task that they were able to successfully finish defensive possessions with rebounds.

“They’re [Dallas] long, they’re big and when you’re running around the gym trying to guard as many threats as they have, sometimes you’re a little naked on the boards and that seven-footer has an easier time than your 6’2″, 6’7″ guy,” Popovich said.

If the Spurs can turn in a similar effort on Sunday evening in Game 4, San Antonio could for all intents and purposes grab a hold of this series and pencil themselves in for round two.

  • David R.

    Anybody else see that Dampier is complaining about the officials?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba/news/story?id=5132345

    In the story he questions how it is possible that Timmy has only 2 fouls in 43 minutes.

    A quick check showed that TD averages 1.79 PF in 31.3 mpg. That is equvalent to 2.46 fouls in 43 min. Not exactly an annomaly.

  • Nadeem

    @David:

    While complaining about Duncan’s only 2 fouls, he in a way compared himself to Duncan. I had a huge laugh! Hoping that he gets a huge fine from Stern.

  • quincyscott

    Another great sign from last night’s game was how the Spurs defense responded when, after forcing up a poor shot after a long posession, Dallas secured the offensive rebound. This is the hardest thing for a half court defense to deal with, and usually results in an easy basket for the offensive team. This situation happened several times down the stretch. In each case, the Spurs stayed in their defensive balance and continued to battle. Several times the Mavs again failed to get a good look on the second possession, and the Spurs wound up with the ball in hand. That is the mark of a team that is serious about defending their basket, and a team that has fresh legs. A team that trusts one another and their scheme. It’s great to see, especially considering how lackluster the Spurs’ defense looked for much of the season.

    Last night had a lot of heroes: obviously Tim, Manu and the fearless Parker were on top of their games. I also think Jefferson contributed in important ways even if he was not scoring. But I think a lot of credit has to go to McDyess and Hill. Antonio McDyess is no spring chicken, but he is relentless. He’s overcome a lot of adversity in his career, and he is the guy that, in a just universe, deserves a ring. Give him the Finley Mantle for this team.

    George Hill is a spring chicken, and he is replacing Bruce Bowen as my favorite Spur. Look at the seriousness with which he takes his game. Hill has transformed his skills since last season, making baskets that were simply not in his repertoire before. His defensive effort is stifling and tireless. And today, as I watched last night’s game again, I payed close attention to Hill. This guy never smiles. He doesn’t shout when a great play happens, he doesn’t hang his head when a bad play happens. He just keeps playing, keeps looking for the next play. He is all business, from start to finish. Not many young players have this quality. He’s a keeper.

  • http://www.goodtimescomic.net Jordan

    @quincyscott

    about your last paragraph. I can’t tell whether the Spurs bring in players like that, or if it’s the Spurs culture that melds them into humble players. Maybe a combination of both?

  • Hobson13

    For the longest time, the Mavs seemed to have our number, but I think we’ve got them at this point. Spurs have finally figured out the formula on how to beat the Mavs.

    1. McDyess is doing a very good job on Dirk. Dirk the Jerk will get his points, but McDyess is making him work hard. Also, in the past an offensive zero like Oberto would guard him, but Dirk could take half the night off since he wouldn’t be forced to play defense. With McDyess you have a strong physical presence that can shoot and cause Nowitzki trouble on the offensive boards. This is, in my opinion is and will continue to wear Dirk down.
    2. Dictate game tempo. Charles Barkley actually said something intelligent when he stated that Dallas is not a great half court team. Dallas has no real low post threat with Dampier and Haywood. Shawn Marion’s best years by FAR were with the run and gun Suns. Jason Kidd, while still an excellent fascilator, does not have the footspeed to be a great half court creator (at least at this point in his career). This leaves Dallas with Dirk, Terry, and Butler. Dirk is their half court offensive. Terry can have his good games, but isn’t unstoppable by any means. Butler, it appears, is a volume shooter in the mold of RJ and certainly not someone who can efficiently hurt a Spurs defense. Bottom line, if Spurs slow the game down, they can, in a single stroke, virtually elimate Dampier, Haywood, and Marion. The other players can be contained as long as we rotate effectively when the defense begins to break. Dirk simply can’t be stopped, only slightly slowed.
    3. Big 3 + 1 theory
    Examples:
    Game 1: Big 3 (71 pts) + Nobody = Loss
    Game 2: Big 3 (64 pts) + RJ (19pts)=Win
    Game 3: Big 3 (63 pts) + Hill (17pts)=Win

    Game 4 will be a Herculean task! If Spurs win game 4, series is over in 5. Spurs lose game 4, it goes 7. Let’s hope we can repeat this formula in game 4 because I have a feeling it will be a barn burner of a game. The Mavs will throw everything in the book at us. Good luck Spurs!!

  • Phoebus

    @quincy

    nodding my head about RJ. Even when his line isn’t great he’s been active, and active is the difference between good RJ and bad.

    What did everyone make of the scolding Manu clearly gave to Hill after Hill’s useless tech on Nowitzki last night? The foul itself was kind of ticky-tack (eat that, Dampier), but Manu went after him with a vengeance in front of the cameras, and Hill’s game seemed to seriously improve thereafter.

  • http://www.goodtimescomic.net Jordan

    Do we have video of that Phoebus?

  • Phoebus

    Question is, does the Mavs game 4 depend on Nowitzki, Carlisle, or Kidd? Nowitzki can’t really bring it any more than he has brought it, IMO. Carlisle and Kidd are the factors.

  • SpurredOn

    Someone should point out to Damp that the Spurs play actual team defense instead of the reach and slap methods he and many of his teammates employ. They could also point out that Timmy guards Damp, meaning he’s guarding a non-threat who’s main contribution is taking up space, shoving in the back and holding Duncan’s jersey. That reduces the likelihood of fouls on TD.

    Defense win championships and every Spur out there is giving their all, including Bonner. I’m loving the energy of Dyce and note that RJ, despite not scoring a bunch, is not making mistakes on defense.

  • OneWing

    @Phoebus – Remember that this is Hill’s first significant playoff action, and the change in intensity obviously had him a little off his game in the first two games. See also: Blair, Dejuan – missed layups/dunks.

    The chemistry that this team has, though, opens up avenues for a player like Manu to lay into the young gun and put him in his place. And yes, I think Hill did play better after that little thrashing. Sometimes you gotta get smacked around mentally to shake loose the chains that are holding you back in a pressure situation.

    The small-ball and the zone last night were perfect times for Blair to come in and do what he does best, but I don’t think he is quite there mentally. Add the fact that last night was the 85th game of the season, when last season he was playing less than half-that. Maybe Dice can pull a Manu on Blair and knock him around mentally a bit.

    Hill has found ways to be effective without scoring in the first two games, but I think we all like him better when he can knock down some shots, get into the lane, and then carry that confidence back to the defensive end.

    As long as the Spurs remember to work very hard at not fouling for the rest of the series, I think we are golden and can go beat up yet another team that loves to hate us – the Suns.

  • quincyscott

    Re: Jordan

    I think the culture is definitely established, which is the advantage to having so much continuity in both the player personnel and coaching staff for the past decade. I mean, how many guys remain from the Mavs’ one run to the finals? Outside of Cuban, just three: Novistki, Dampier, Terry. Not really much of a legacy to build on.

    But I think you’re right that the Spurs also have a knack for spotting potential. Ginobilli and Parker, for example. Who else could have predicted their future? And look at George Hill. IUPUI? Not exactly a gloried basketball pedigree there. So it’s both–smart player aquisition, and a stable, winning culture that they become a part of once they get there.

    The only organizations I can compare the Spurs to are the Lakers and the Jazz. Outside of the NBA, maybe the Eagles or, to a lesser degree, the Yankees. Having the same coaching staff in place for over a decade is pretty rare in professional sports. It gives these teams a big advantage, because they have a set of traditions and practices to draw upon. It’s closer to what you see at the college level, where a successful coach secures a long tenure at a school and just keeps reloading that talent into his established system.

    Phil Jackson is undeniably a great coach, but it has to be acknowledged that he has always had great talent. He goes where the stars are and gets them to maximize their talents. Fine. I find Jerry Sloan, grumpy old Jerry Sloan, much more interesting. Only Jerry Sloan has managed to lose all of his stars and stay in his job long enough to get completely new stars. The Jazz job is a unique one. No other professional coach has that kind of job security. As much as I hate the Jazz, I respect them tremendously, and I actually give them a lot of credit for making the Spurs what they have become. Remember those years when David Robinson’s teams could not quite get over the hump, the days just before Duncan arrived? The Jazz were the great nemesis that Popovich had to transform the Spurs organization to beat. And I don’t think Pop has ever forgotten that transformation. Sure, the Lakers and Mavs have become much bigger rivals over that past decade. But bettering the Jazz was the Spurs’ first big hurdle, and had a huge role in giving the Spurs a tough, defensive-minded identity that is still at the core of what makes it successful.

    I am enjoying these playoffs a lot (so far). And I do not want to look ahead too much. But the playing days of Duncan and Ginobilli are, of course, numbered. Can Popovich, like Sloan, stay the course after the current stars retire and continue that success with a new crop of stars? Will he suffer through lean years to make that happen? After winning (at least) four titles, will he even want to? I do not pretend to know the answers, but, like I say, I have a lot of grudging respect for Jerry Sloan.

  • pastrypride

    Quincy,
    Totally agree about McDyess and Hill. I think McDyess may get a little less credit because he doesn’t score much, but he’s looked to my like an absolutely integral part of these last two wins. He looked especially good to me in game 2. Starting in the frontcourt alongside TD, he’ll be an important part of our playoff run. If he keeps playing with this kind of intensity and intelligence, it will make a big difference.

  • agutierrez

    The Spurs are blessed (not sure about the chicken-egg question of did the FO pick character guys are did the culture create them) to have three superstars who take criticism well, aren’t egomaniacs, don’t act like assholes when they make a decent play, don’t linger in the dumps when they make a bad one and have only team goals in mind. Everyone else who comes into the organization follows their lead or they’re gone. As Spurs fans we are privileged to witness and cherish these times. Not likely that three such stars will be teamed together again for a long time.

  • Bob

    Spurs are really winning with defense instead of trying to outscore the other team. I think that was their problem earlier in the season. They couldn’t get stops when they needed. If they take care of the ball on offense and get good shots and play great defense they give themselves a chance to win.

    I still think Bonner might be getting too many minutes. He’s always on the floor when the Mavs are making a run. Every time an opposing player sees him they think they have a mismatch and are looking to attack. Just like last year’s playoffs Bonner is finding that you’re not going to get many uncontested threes. He doesn’t seem to do that well when his 3′s are contested. Either they are able to run him of the line or force him to shoot rushed. He either needs to shoot quickly with confidence or make a decisive move to get an open jump shot. His teardrops look difficult shot and it just doesn’t look right for a 6-10 guy to be taking them.

  • Daniel B.

    My favorite part of last night (other than that Manu somehow came back from what looked like a broken nose to gut out an impressive and canny fourth quarter) was the way we faced down a big Dallas run in the third and came back to put the game away. That’s physical and mental toughness, combined with a whole lot of heart. Loved it.

    And I’ve gotta agree that the defense was impressive last night. I wish we could have stopped the garbage points at the end of the fourth which kept the game somewhat interesting until the buzzer, but we did a great job of locking down this game.

    We’re a long way from winning this series, but I love how hard this team is pushing and how seriously they want to win.

  • quincyscott

    One more thing about the Mavs. Regardless of who is or is not scoring, I think they are dangerous on offense. They have a lot of weapons. They are very good in transition. They have one guy who cannot be stopped in Novistski. They have good three point shooters. No lead on them is safe.

    But defensively, I have to say the Mavs sort of kind of suck. They threw a junk 2-3 zone at the Spurs that confused them momentarily when Ginobilli was having his nose plugged. Once the Spurs adjusted, that was that.

    And the Mavs did not play that 2-3 because they were being clever; they did it because they had to. If they are going to continue to play long stretches with both Barrea and Kidd on the floor together, then they have just made themselves a much shorter, slower team. They are physically outmatched by the Spurs, who can attack the paint at will. Once there, Novitski plays matador defense, and only Dampier and his backups are left to meet at the rim. Lay-up drill.

    And while I’m picking on Barrea, let me say I think he also hurts the Mavs a lot on offense when he plays heavy minutes. He is a good sparkplug kind of player, but he is so little that he gets them into trouble. Several times down the stretch, he would over-dribble, or have to throw a high, arching pass to a teammate because he is so small. Spur defenders would have plenty of time to recover to a good defensive position. The result was that the Mavs were forced to take an uncomfortable shot with the shot clock running down. Barrea is a dangerous player. But only used in small doses. I think giving him heavy minutes helps the Spurs in the long run.

    I am much more concerned with guys like Butler and Marion. They make the Mavs a lot longer, much tougher to defend. I would be willing to bet that tomorrow Carlisle plays a lot more of Shawn Marion, a lot less Barrea. But I hope I’m wrong.

    OK, one last thing because it’s Saturday and I am putting off mowing the yard. Did anybody else notice that moment in the ESPN broadcast last night when Erick Dampier was sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter and Mark Cuban was right behind him, and they were whining to each other about the officiating? This is the kind of crap I am so very thankful we don’t have with the Spurs. Egomaniacal owner, palsing around with the players during games, giving them a shoulder to cry on when things aren’t going their way. Oh the injustice of it all! That ref just doesn’t like us, Erick! Does Cuban really think this is helping the intestinal fortitude of his team?

    But maybe I’m just old fashioned that way.

  • Mason

    If Spurs take care of the ball and continue to give Dirk single coverage it’s over in 5. Outside of Dirk, the Mavs have no one that can create their own shot. By all means let the Mavs run their offense through Butler or Terry. At best they’ll get 35-40% shooting.

    The Dirk/Kidd pick and roll is no Amare/Nash combo, Kidd isn’t going to give you anything off the dribble. Stay home on your guy

  • Mason

    On another note, Mavs got too many wide open threes. Don’t like seeing Dirk double teamed. If he has to go 12-14 to beat us again on single coverage, then so be it.

  • BALLHOG

    Mavs in trouble…Saw the shenanegans going on at the Mavs bench during game 2. Butler and Marion were clearly angry about being benched in the 2nd half.

    Cuban is probably already exploding, beating up the coach, and threatening players…He doesnt love the Spurs like we do.

    Now that the Spurs have the Mavs under pressure, a solid and agressive effort in game 3 and a win would cause the Mavs team to implode…

  • Colin

    Game 4 is time to stick the dagger in! It’s a must win in my book.

  • Daniel B.

    One concern: we’re not getting (or making) 3′s. It’s fantastic that we’re still finding ways to win (as Timmy noted in the interview, we’re adapting to the long-range drought), but that’s an important part of our game. I’d like to see it reintegrated, especially since we’re able to get so much penetration down low. Not so much that we’d live and die by the 3, obviously, but so that it helps open up lanes for the Big 3.

  • Phoebus

    @OneWing

    Don’t get me wrong, I hardly meant to criticize Hill. I’m older than he is and I probably would have been more butt-hurt about it, so if anything I give him credit for being so mature and reacting in the right way. I was just wondering if anyone else noticed the dramatic change afterwards, and the fact that Manu had no qualms about doing it on TV (which is interesting, b/c maybe Manu knows that chastising a young guy in front of cameras is gonna go to his psyche faster than a more respectful way would).

  • Phoebus

    Daniel B.:

    You and the “stop giving Bonner minutes” crowd are in a zero-sum game.

  • Phoebus

    “Does Cuban really think this is helping the intestinal fortitude of his team?”

    If they lose this series, won’t they be the first team in playoff history to be upset as BOTH a 1 and a 2 seed? In the span of 3 years no less?

    Yeah, I know we don’t gloat like they do, but god do I loathe Cuban. He’s almost the only reason I still like Stern, enemy of your enemy thing. Back when he dropped a bundle on buying the Mavs, years ago, there were stories about how he’d upgraded the team’s facilities to the gills, Ipods in every locker, state of the art everything, etc.

    But that’s the kind of thing that cheap managers try to get away with, buying you something that’s worth less than what they should actually be paying you.

  • Jim Henderson

    Great post, Andrew! “D” is the key for this franchise, always has, and always will as long as Pop is the coach. In fact, during two of our championship years, we had the two lowest opposing FG% years of any team in the modern era! And there’s been some pretty great teams over the past 40 years (when such stat collection began in earnest).

    Our system was designed to actively defend on the perimeter AND protect the rim, with an emphasis on getting stops at the end of close games, when they’re needed the most. We have been in decline in this area for the past 3-4 years, and this year has been our worse yet. That said, I am impressed with our defensive performance in the last two playoff games against the Mavs. We saw only flashes of this type of defensive intensity throughout the regular season. In other words, it had not been consistent, in the least. If we can play the rest of our games in this series (two or three more) defensively at or better than the last two, we could emerge as victors in round one. And our defensive performance in our last two games has my hopes alive.

    Dice, TD, RJ, & Hill have simply stepped up their “D” to another level in the past two games, compared to the regular season. Even Bonner is playing better “D” than he’s played all year, and perhaps even better than at any point during his entire career.

    While I still maintain that this team simply does not have the personnel, in terms of size, shot-blocking, or perimeter “D” necessary to win a title, if they can maintain the same level of focus & intensity that they’ve shown over the past 2 games, they have a legitimate shot at getting to the WCF’s, which by the way, would be an advance that I thought was clearly remote as recently as a few weeks ago. And that would be a pleasant surprise indeed!

    P.S. However, we WILL NOT win another playoff game taking seven or more threes and not making ANY of them. That is something we simply MUST take care of!

  • Blentzen

    @Phoebus: And why do you think Pop said they “played like dogs” in front of the cameras after the game one loss? And can you imagine what he said in the locker room afterwards? I can almost and it’s not something that can be posted in a public blog. LOL. Anyway: I STILL BELIEVE!!!!! 2010 THE YEAR OF THE SPURS!!!!! GO SPURS GO!!!!!

  • Colin

    Jim

    “While I still maintain that this team simply does not have the personnel, in terms of size, shot-blocking, or perimeter “D” necessary to win a title……..WCF is do-able”

    While I won’t say your statement is totally false, I think any team in the west has a shot to get to the finals regardless. The Lakers with all of their size and shot blocking (which evidently the Spurs don’t have) are clearly getting all they can handle from the Thunder as well as the Nuggets from the Jazz without Okur and Kirilenko. We will beat the Suns if we play them in the Semis, no ifs ands or buts. If the Spurs maintain their consistency in keeping turnovers down, hitting shots, and getting stops when needed they can compete with any team in the league in a 7-game series including the Magic or Cavs.

  • Jim Henderson

    “We will beat the Suns if we play them in the Semis, no ifs ands or buts.”

    I don’t agree with that, not with the way that team shoots (the highest % in threes for a team of all time), and their improved defense. Plus they still have a highly productive Nash & Amare, & JRich who just pumped in 42 on the Blazers the other night. No that series is not a gimme in the least.

    “The Lakers with all of their size and shot blocking (which evidently the Spurs don’t have) are clearly getting all they can handle from the Thunder……..”

    That is the wild card. If LA doesn’t get it together, we have a better chance against OKC. If OKC pulls off the MAJOR upset, then our chances go up on reaching the finals by a significant amount. But beating Cleveland? Now we’re getting into miracle territory.

    That said, we still have plenty of work to do just to get out of round one. As I said, it will take at least as good of defensive intensity & mental focus as displayed during our last two wins. I’ll be rooting for them!

  • Colin

    Jim

    I didn’t say the Suns were a gimme. No team is at this point. From a confidence standpoint, the Spurs OWN the Suns. Toss the regular season aside, the Suns are having trouble beating an injury-depleted Portland and their improved defense is totally dependent on their shot making. Not much has changed with that team. Steve Nash can’t guard a table, let alone any of the Spurs guards. I don’t think the Suns believe they can beat us.

  • Eric

    Jim

    “While I still maintain that this team simply does not have the personnel, in terms of size, shot-blocking, or perimeter “D” necessary to win a title……..WCF is do-able”

    While I won’t say your statement is totally false, I think any team in the west has a shot to get to the finals regardless. The Lakers with all of their size and shot blocking (which evidently the Spurs don’t have) are clearly getting all they can handle from the Thunder as well as the Nuggets from the Jazz without Okur and Kirilenko. We will beat the Suns if we play them in the Semis, no ifs ands or buts. If the Spurs maintain their consistency in keeping turnovers down, hitting shots, and getting stops when needed they can compete with any team in the league in a 7-game series including the Magic or Cavs.

  • Colin

    Eric

    You like repeating my posts that much?????

    What’s up with that dude?

  • Jim Henderson

    Colin
    April 25th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    “We will beat the Suns if we play them in the Semis, no ifs ands or buts.”

    How can you say that this quote does not suggest a “gimme”?

    “the Suns are having trouble beating an injury-depleted Portland……”

    That Portland team is one of the most resourceful teams in modern NBA history, and they got Roy back for game four.

    “……..their improved defense is totally dependent on their shot making.”

    Have you watched them lately? Their defense is not “totally” dependent on their shot-making. More dependent than ours, which is fine for them because they have better shooters.

    “Not much has changed with that team.”

    I don’t agree. This is definitely a Suns team that is better suited for a playoff run. Their team defense is considerably better than in the past (Nash is not much worse defensively than TP, and he more than makes up for it with his passing wizardry & clutch shooting on the offensive end), and they aren’t a total run-and-gun type of offense anymore. Plus, we’re simply not as good of a team as in our championship years when we faced them before, and they know this. I think you’re making a mistake to overlook them in ANY way.

    Eric
    April 25th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Eric, can you explain to me why you’re either cutting & pasting, or exactly transcribing Collin’s post, and using it as your own? At least quote him and say that you agree with him (or disagree), but don’t ascribe his post as your own without giving proper attribution.

  • Colin

    Jim

    Yes, Nash is worse defensively. I live in Phoenix and have watched more Suns games than the Spurs this year. There are many bloggers and so-called experts who would back up that argument. I will say again that I don’t think will be a gimme series and of course every game matters, I’m not overlooking ANY games. Any team in the West has a chance against anyone in these 7 game series. Your putting words in my mouth.

    I am saying that we own Phoenix in the post-season and I would rather play them than Portland. This Suns team has yet to prove that they are anything other than their previous best seasons. If they prove me wrong, I will stand corrected. Their body of work is yet to be determined. I simply believe that they can’t beat the Spurs in 4 out of 7 games. The regular seasons don’t matter here.

  • Jim Henderson

    Colin
    April 26th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    “Your putting words in my mouth.”

    Dude, I’m not putting words in your mouth. Again, this is what you said in a previous comment on this thread:

    “We will beat the Suns if we play them in the Semis, no ifs ands or buts.”

    This quote is essentially a guarantee. It suggests somewhat of a “gimme” series, unless you really want to get into semantics about it all. So, just admit that in the quoted comment above you either: (1) overstate your position; (2) consider a potential Spurs/Suns match a virtual “gimme” in favor of the Spurs, which according to the dictionary means, “something easily achieved or won especially in a contest”. After all, if you’re essentially guaranteeing a win over the Suns, it has to be “with some ease”, otherwise there’s no way you could possibly be that sure in your prediction; OR (3) the guaranteeing of a Spurs win over the Suns in a series is really just an article of faith on your part. It certainly seems to me that your position is best clarified by one of these three options. But you tell me. I originally thought it was the gimme option, but maybe it’s option number three?

    Also, don’t you think that the following two separate comments that you made in your last post are in the least bit contradictory?:

    “Any team in the West has a chance against anyone in these 7 game series.”

    AND

    “I simply believe that they (Suns) CAN’T beat the Spurs in 4 out of 7 games.”

    If the Suns CAN’T beat the Spurs in a series, then they DON’T have a CHANCE. Right? So, which is it?

    If the second comment,

    “I simply believe that they (Suns) CAN’T beat the Spurs in 4 out of 7 games”,

    is the closest to your true position, this would seem to fit well with option number three above.

    From my point of view, your position is a bit muddled, so I’m just trying to get clarity. I’m certainly not trying to put “words in your mouth”.

    Perhaps you can take one last stab at clearing up your position as it relates to a potential Spurs/Suns match-up. Otherwise, there’s no way to tell why you think the Spurs should not only be favored over the Suns in a series, but virtually guaranteed a victory in that series.

  • Ian

    Colin
    April 26th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    “Your putting words in my mouth.”

    Dude, I’m not putting words in your mouth. Again, this is what you said in a previous comment on this thread:

    “We will beat the Suns if we play them in the Semis, no ifs ands or buts.”

    This quote is essentially a guarantee. It suggests somewhat of a “gimme” series, unless you really want to get into semantics about it all. So, just admit that in the quoted comment above you either: (1) overstate your position; (2) consider a potential Spurs/Suns match a virtual “gimme” in favor of the Spurs, which according to the dictionary means, “something easily achieved or won especially in a contest”. After all, if you’re essentially guaranteeing a win over the Suns, it has to be “with some ease”, otherwise there’s no way you could possibly be that sure in your prediction; OR (3) the guaranteeing of a Spurs win over the Suns in a series is really just an article of faith on your part. It certainly seems to me that your position is best clarified by one of these three options. But you tell me. I originally thought it was the gimme option, but maybe it’s option number three?

    Also, don’t you think that the following two separate comments that you made in your last post are in the least bit contradictory?:

    “Any team in the West has a chance against anyone in these 7 game series.”

    AND

    “I simply believe that they (Suns) CAN’T beat the Spurs in 4 out of 7 games.”

    If the Suns CAN’T beat the Spurs in a series, then they DON’T have a CHANCE. Right? So, which is it?

    If the second comment,

    “I simply believe that they (Suns) CAN’T beat the Spurs in 4 out of 7 games”,

    is the closest to your true position, this would seem to fit well with option number three above.

    From my point of view, your position is a bit muddled, so I’m just trying to get clarity. I’m certainly not trying to put “words in your mouth”.

    Perhaps you can take one last stab at clearing up your position as it relates to a potential Spurs/Suns match-up. Otherwise, there’s no way to tell why you think the Spurs should not only be favored over the Suns in a series, but virtually guaranteed a victory in that series.

  • Jim Henderson

    Ian
    April 26th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Hey Ian, why are you re-posting my comment?

  • Colin

    Damn Jim……..I don’t think the Suns can beat the Spurs 4 out of 7 games……….just take it as that, don’t over think my posts as I’m taking a break from the real world.

  • Jim Henderson

    That’s fine, but please don’t accuse me of “putting words in your mouth”. I don’t do that, and I don’t like it when other people do that to me either. After all, I did not misquote you, or blatantly misrepresent your view in the least.

    In the final analysis, if you’re essentially guaranteeing a series win, which is essentially taking a win for granted, then that position is consistent with considering the series as a “gimme”. And characterizing your position as such is not “putting words in your mouth”.

  • Colin

    Whatever…………..You’re interpreting my take on predicting a hard fought Spurs series victory over the Suns as a gimme……a confident prediction based on our past series with them. I’m just saying we’d win a tough series over them….they all are!

  • Jim Henderson

    Okay. I guess I just have NO idea how you could be so confident in a win over the Suns in the playoffs NOW based on our success against them from TWO YEARS AGO, when our big three were younger, healthy, had big years (TD has declined since then, Manu had a career year), we still had a key player, Bruce Bowen, and had won the championship the previous year, partly the result of other key, experienced role players that we no longer have (Elson, Finley, Horry, Oberto, K. Thomas).

    Plus, lets face it, the Suns have made some key additions since 2008 (e.g., Richardson, Frye, Dudley, Lopez, & Dragic), play much better team “D” (integral for playoff success), and set an NBA record in 3-point percentage.

    So as I said, your guarantee appeared to suggest the series would be a “gimme”. But since you now make it clear it would be a “tough series”, your view of this potential series is more like “an article of faith”, because no rational evidence exists that would lead any reasoned prognosticator to conclude that the Spurs should “definitely” win that series. Maybe favored, but not guaranteed to win — not even close.