Monday, June 02, 2008

God Damn, Why? ... It’s Odd, But It’s An Odd Year

Game 4, Lakers-Spurs. That Was a Foul!!!

When I got up from my bed the following morning, I turned on my personal computer, clicked on truehoop site and saw this headline: ‘That Was a Foul!’ I felt even more disappointed, just like you feel when your girl tells you is over, you go to the bed, then open your eyes in the morning and, all of a sudden, you realize it’s realy love over. That morning, my frustration got on the level that hasn’t been reached, well, since Game 7 Spurs-Mavs 2006. What the fuck with those even years! I realized it’s too late to catch a train like 3-1 Lakers. Not after that horrible bummer of Game 1, not after that stinking ending of Game 4. Not with Manu playing with just one foot.

But why there was that maniac Joey Crawford in G4? Got damn, why? NBA won’t tell ya. They’ll just tell ya ‘sorry’.

Derek Fisher left his feet and landed hard into Brent Barry. The Spurs were down two and time was running out. That's a foul in my pickup game. That's a foul in high school. That's a foul in college. That’s a foul if Barry had been a rookie at that moment. And, at just about every moment of NBA basketball that I have ever seen except this one, that's a foul in the NBA. That just simply must be called a foul, if nothing else to allay the fears that the League may be fixing up the Finals for big ratings.

Well, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and I know refs have a very tought job, ‘cos NBA is so fast and here and there, a mistake can occur. But, seriously, this can’t happen in such a important game.

Look, I’m not crying about one foul. The foul should have been whistled, but let’s face it, the Lakers were a better team. The Spurs were too tired, Manu was too injured and we have an even year now. So, unfortunately, neither luck nor some divine intervention could’ve helped the Spurs.

Someday soon, the Spurs might pause to ponder the ‘What ifs?’ of the Western Conference finals.

If they had only held on to a 20-point lead in Game 1, or made three baskets instead of one in the final 7 1/2 minutes. If they had only gotten another rebound or two in a 93-91 loss in Game 4. If Joey Crawford’s whistle had sounded in their favor at the end of it. That’s the part of being a human, questioning yourself, what you should, could have done better.

In a perfect world, in an odd year, they might have headed to Southern California on Wednesday up 3-1 on the Lakers, instead of down 3-1. Then came Game 5. The frustration - sequel. Again, when you look back on the series, you've got to figure it's a series the Spurs let slip away.

The Spurs returned home focused on next year after dropping the series 4-1 to the Lakers. Nah, that’s not a joke. San Antonio will be a title contender next season. A couple of tweaks here and there plus the year of 2009 will do the magic for them.

Some good comments from Spurs fans on what to do to with out team in the offseason. I definitely identify with them:

*I love how everyone on here thinks they know what's best for this organization! It's so easy for us to sit back and point at this or that, and blaming it on the Playoff exit. The difference in this year is that the Celtics and Lakers made incredible changes that worked and put them in the Finals. I mean, come on, the management and direction Buford and Pop have provided this organization is beyond any other major league organization in the last 10 years (ESPN has ranked this team within the top 3 of all majors for the last 6 years they've been doing it). So they have never won a back-to-back, but for pete's sake, they have continued to have stellar seasons and have pulled off 4 championships in there, too! In my opinion, it would be so much harder to win championships that are NOT back-to-back. These Spurs will pick themselves up and brush off, only to come back to yet another unbelievable year next year. They will learn from mistakes. They will have even more drive to win next year. And all of the naysayers and media will still say the same things again, discrediting the dynasty that lies in San Antonio! Go Spurs Go! Great year and I look forward to following you and cheering you on next year the same as I have the past 18 years! Your dedicated fan in Terre Haute.* (-andyjohnson)

* 1. Keep in mind with all doom and gloom, if Manu is healthy, we beat Lakers in my opinion; I say that in part, since we lost two tight games where he was 2-8 and 3-13.
2. Scola - obvious now, HUGE mistake;
3. Timmy - could have shot higher % vs Lakers, but all in all was huge in playoffs against some tough defenses. This summer, continue to work on legs (weights and jumping rope) to fight losing lift; continue to develop 'lefty' hook, as big guys age, that is a deadly shot that combats it. Too often, Tim overplayed for right hand sweeping drive.
4. Manu - Obviously get healed. Olympics should not be a big deal if POP gives him time off like he did Tony this year in camp. Continue to develop left to right cross-over and finish with RIGHT. Teams are catching up with left. Work on isolation low post, he's better here then folks think.
5. Tony - great improvement each year. Continue to work on jumper (mid range). I'd love it if he or we, could hire John Stockton for 4 weeks to 'coach' Tony on playmaking.
& Kurt Thomas - try to keep him. Toughness we need and MAJOR blunder by POP to not play him more against Lakers, esepcially Game 4.
6. Finley - love the guy, but time to retire. His "D" is gone and he's limited as spot shooter only.
7. Barry - similar to Finley, but, he can put ball on floor and pass well, thus, keep him (plus, he did come up big late).
8. Horry/Damon - done, thanks though for the effort. JV, serviceable, but we really need a greater scorer to relieve Tony.
9. Oberto - a solid backup. But his lack of scoring threat really hurts Tim. Smart guy though and good to have around. Disagree with today's write up that front line wasn't problem; Fab is 'average' rebounder and lack of scoring hurts us.
10. Udoka - next year he should get more time. Let's see how he develops.
11. Mahinmi - let's see what he's got! For better or worse. Be great if he could add energy, shot blocking and a few dunks.
12. Free Agents? - Hmmm, I do like Warriors' and Tony's countryman Mickael Pietrus.* (-JIM)

* Spurs should try to pick up:
Shawn Marion
Travis Outlaw
Danny Granger
Matt Barnes
Boris Diaw
Jamario Moon
CJ Miles* (-care8free)

* Duncan, Parker, Bowen, Thomas, Udoka, Barry, Vaughn. Let's keep these. Let's get rid of some age. Notice Ginobili is not on my list of keepers. As great as he can be, he can be just as bad. What we need is consistency. Manu is too erratic and takes too many risks. For the sake of future success, lets revamp this team this summer. San Antonio should have the advantage over Phoenix and Dallas next season, considering their coaching and recent trade problems. L.A. and New Orleans will be the ones to beat in the West.* (-Najera)
(Note from FiCS: Ginobili’s a keeper! You just don’t understand his real value, that’s a shame.)

* I still believe they will come back next year and do well. They were awesome this year and they have nothing to be ashamed of. They had a lot of injuries this year and still believe they have a lot of fight in them to win another championship. I like how they gave credit to the Lakers and said they were the better team this year. They will be ready to play next year. Go Spurs, you’re still champions in my book and have a great summer.* (-Naomi Doughty)

* In summary, the Spurs will be looking to get a little more athletic on the perimeter and maybe pick up a back-to-the-basket scorer to complement Duncan. But what team doesn't want those kinds of additions? Yes, the West will be tougher than ever, particularly with the addition of Greg Oden to the Trail Blazers. But you know which team will be in the thick of the fight again? Yes, you do.* (-Jack McCallum)

p.s.: Ray Allen has reportedly hired Sherlock Holmes to locate his missing jump shot. Without Allen's shooting serving to extend the Pistons defense, the Celtics' backcourt is committing suicide. (-Charley Rosen)
p.s.2: The Spurs spent most of today's shootaround watching game film. To listen to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, it was pretty routine stuff. *We learned a little of this, a little of that,* Popovich said. *Basketball. Try to do this better. Try to do that better. Typical coach stuff. You are always trying to get your team to do things better, execute better.* Chances are, though, it really wasn't as mundane as Popovich described. In a 1999 interview with the New York Times during the Finals series against the Knicks, Mario Elie shared what it's like to watch game film with Popovich. *Pop stays on us, man,* Elie said. *We watch a lot of film. Lord knows we don't want to lose a game because if we do, we know we're going to have to sit through a one-hour film session with Pop. And he'll bring up everything that we did wrong. So the guys say, 'Let's not lose' because we don't want to have to sit through film with Pop.*
p.s.3: Barry's five 3-point makes and career playoff high 23 points in G4? *It's like whipped cream on a pile of manure,* he said.
p.s.4: The officials shouldn't decide the game with their whistles. But they did. They (refs) decided the game by not using their whistles. This wasn't incidental contact. This wasn't a call that could have gone either way. This wasn't small, slight contact. This was a foul, a clear, blatant foul. (-Chris Broussard)
p.s.5: Rasheed Wallace embarked on an unprovoked verbal assault on the officiating crew of Eddie Rush, Mike Callahan and Ken Mauer: *All that bull (bleep) calls they had out there, with Mike and Kenny, you've all seen that (bleep),* Wallace spewed afterwards. *A lot of them phantom calls, cats are flopping and falling all over the floor and they're calling that (bleep). That (bleep) ain't basketball out there. It's all (bleeping) entertainment. You all should know that (bleep). It's all that (bleeping) entertainment.*
p.s.6: Ray Allen improbably found his mojo and turned into a certified bomber again; not only was it like seeing someone come back from the dead, but every shot electrified the crowd to the point that you would have thought some female fan was flashing her breasts on the Jumbotron. (-Bill Simmons)

Posted by Foreigner in CS – Jun 2 2008 6:44AM

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