So we learned that Gary Neal has marbles and Danny Green is a hustler. I’ll leave the interpretation of that up to you, dear reader.
Whether or not that Dallas game (the almost Comeback) means anything to the season narrative remains to be seen. For you post-1999-ers I will offer up the comeback against the Rockets in which that flawed but resilient Spurs team battled back (and won) against a team that seemed to be our betters. It seemed just as improbable. Mario Elie had to instill toughness in us then. This year? Well we didn’t need toughness so much as youth, athleticism, and enthusiasm.
Now we have Danny Green doing Manu-type stuff. That is great when we don’t have him in the lineup and intriguing when we do. Kawhi Leonard has been everything we thought he would and could be.
Whereas we finished the playoffs against Memphis being out hustled, the window all but closed and nay-sayers pulling up their circa-November tweets screaming “Toldja so!”, we find ourselves looking something like a team of troublemakers. We can shoot the three like MW3 marksmen. We have long arms and get in passing lanes like George Hill and Manu except we added one more dude.
I’m tentatively excited. When Manu went down and we were dropping roadies every third night I was skeptical. Now that we can scratch out comebacks and damn-near wins with our bench guys? Now that we can whoop a more athletic, younger team that kicked our ass in the playoffs? I’m in, ya’ll.
About last night
It was a ballsy, gangster move from Pop that I am totally on board with. There is scarce practice time, if any. When some guys are hot, you run with them until they aren’t. The turnovers Gary Neal made were because of tired legs. Danny Green made the shot just hundredths of a second too late and had a decent enough look that could have won it.
Pop has been the coach here forever. We know the drill. We know he doesn’t value regular season wins over health. Put another way, he values more wins over THIS win. We need a healthy Timmy, Tony, and yes– RJ to compete for championships, ya’ll. Risking a torn hammy because we wanted to spell Neal in OT? Nah.
It worked out beautifully. We gave the Mavericks a game, we got a win in Memphis and Timmy played a handful of minutes.
I can dig it, yo.