Dec 28 2011: Spurs are 2-0

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Lob City was a no-show. Sure Blake Griffin had 28 and nine. The Spurs have long let one dude  shine while shutting down the rest of the opposition. Ask Amaré Stoudemire if he scoring 28+ against the Spurs means you are getting wins. He had some highlight worthy stuff and a dunk or two. DeAndre Jordan even had a brutal punch early in the game. The biggest reason for the domination? The Spurs corralled future HOFer Chris Paul.

I spent the night up in section 213 with some rowdy fans. After so much time at college venues (Super Pit, Erwin Center, The Convo, Alamodome) it was nice be around knowledgeable, rowdy fans that don’t mind dropping some adult language. That may have been the beer flowing but it was enjoyable nonetheless. It marked my first trip to the AT&T Center since opening night back in 2005 or so. Yeah. It has been that long. It isn’t the most conducive environment for gathering information for a post-game blog post but it is a hell of a spot to watch the game.

Well, how about that game?  Look at the box score and two things stand out: Richard Jefferson dropped 19 and DeJuan Blair contributed 20. The style that LA plays, one of above-the-rim athleticism rather than tough, Memphis-like bullying plays to DeJuan’s strengths as Mike Taylor noted on twitter.  I don’t want to completely discount the Beast’s rededication to his game. He said in various interviews that he was hungrier and looking to play more aggressively. So far he has done exactly that. Usually it be feasible to speculate on his ability to score and rebound against a tougher squad like the Lakers or Boston, but with the way everything has unfolded thus far, those teams may not be the contenders.

So we’ll reserve judgement and just enjoy the progress that DeJuan has made thus far in his two years plus two games.

Richard Jefferson is seducing us again. Instead of falling in love with him and dreaming of a long life (season+playoffs) living happily ever after (him producing in crunch time during June) just enjoy him for what he is (that crazy girlfriend the Offspring sang about).

This was a classic tease move that doesn’t have to be a tease. I’ve learned to appreciate the occasional 20-point outburst and displays of confident shooting and aggressiveness as the unreliable but pleasant surprises that they are. You should, too. We don’t rely on RJ to score 20 to win so when he does that means we don’t need 40 from Gino.

Speaking of Gino, let’s give him another round of applause everyone. The Manu is awesome. If this were soccer, Ginobili would be our Trequarista, Timmy our Target Man and Parker our speedy winger who can dip inside and finish. Gino is the creative playmaker that makes the whole machine work.

What does this all mean you ask? Well let’s introduce our two friends:

Optimist:

See? I told you that the Spurs were going to kick ass this year. The lockout means that teams that know their system will have a head start on others and we finally are healthy again. We whipped Lob City and spanked Memphis –the former the athletic darlings of the Association and the latter the squad whose youth and strength eliminated us last year. We are back and better than ever! James Anderson is a baller! GO SPURS GO!

Pessimist:

What? You think winning two HOME games means anything? Tim only had 10 points and we looked pretty awful in that second quarter. We’ve shot especially well these two games and that is unlikely to continue. Sometime this year RJ will have his annual disappearance and James Anderson will be figured out by the League and get stifled like DeJuan did last season.

My take:

Somewhere in the middle. As always. I don’t think any wins are bad wins. With the reputation for tanking games to save legs, it is nice to get wins when everyone else is figuring out their rotations and chemistry. Our experience is an advantage as much as youth and athleticism are advantages for other teams. Assuming that tired legs will steal wins away from us as the compressed schedule takes it’s toll, “stealing” wins now will make up for give-away games later. James Anderson has always had that potential and showed flashes of it before being hurt last year. I’m confident he will not drop off too bad going forward. We did shoot lights out but that is kind of our MO now isn’t it? We have always been –and I mean back to 2001, even — reliant on the three point shot to win games. We do tend to look for those before looking inside now more than ever, which is my biggest worry. That is why I harp on easy twos and the need to establish an inside game from the bigs. That is our three yards and a cloud of dust that we need to spring us for the big pass plays (three point shots).

Things I liked:

TJ Ford with some nice open-court spin moves (and a dish)

Third Quarter Blowouts

Non-Stop chants in section 214.

Beer.

No thunder dunk lobs from Paul to Griffin.

Things I didn’t like:

Starters playing with a 25-point lead late.

Chicks with curdles popping out of their leggings.

No thunder dunk lobs from Paul to Griffin.

 

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Tags: 2011-2012 Blake Griffin Chris Paul DeJuan Blair Los Angeles Clippers Manu Ginobili TJ Ford Tony Par

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