Of executing and Pop's pre-game classic
Good game, no?
But how good must it feel to be the Spurs knowing that when crunch time comes, you’re going to execute with purpose and precision and win?
Bet it feels good.
Just like you will after you read all of this.
Ed Davis absolutely bricks a free throw (I thought he might have been shooting blindfolded) with about three minutes left in the third quarter and for some odd reason the Spurs call a timeout before he shoots his second.
As he’s getting close to the bench, Alex English is on his feet on his way out to greet him, telling him to take his time, follow through, calm down and go through his routine.
And Ed goes out and misses the second.
Not too many little things about the Raptors often work out so why not look at one that did.
With about 31 seconds left in the third quarter, they’ve got the ball out of bounds and a perfect chance to go two-for-one on final possessions. Now, sometimes they inbound the ball, there’s some confusion and too much dribbling and the opportunity is lost.
Not this time.
Jay draws up a play where DeRozan inbounds to Johnson (Amir, not Trey) takes an immediate hand-off and goes right to the rim and scores.
Raps get a steal on the next possession, DeRozan again goes to the bucket and is fouled, makes one of two and they end the quarter up three and feeling good about themselves.
Not big, but something.
Tough way to get hurt
I love the way Amir Johnson plays and his double-double last night was impressive, given the opposition.
And given the fact he hurt his ankle early in the game.
But to hurt it after trying to reach up through the net and knock away a ball that was already in the basket?
Good guy, sometimes he just does, you know, things.
And on we go …
How good would it have been if Barbosa has missed that second free throw with 21.2 seconds left, the Spurs had won by – yep – 12 and fans would have been denied cheap food after an entertaining game?
Just about perfect, I say.
We all know Matt Bonner is going to go on and do great things when his playing career is over.
He’s just got that kind of personality.
Well, he hopes to start that in the next couple of weeks because he told us before the game that he plans to run for a vacant vice-president’s job with the NBA Players Association during elections at the all-star break.
He says he doesn’t have to have do a lot of campaigning because it’s one of those “nominate yourself, show-of-hands” kind of election.
Too bad; bet his “chicken in every pot” stump speech would be a good one.so
What’s up in San Antonio?
No one quite like him; not sure I’d want to cover him every day but every now and then …
He’s a verbatim transcript of most of his pre-game media scrum, which was the best of the season in this arena so far this season.
Me: We have the obligatory Matt Bonner is back question? How’s he been playing since his knee injury and have you been seeing improvement/
Him: Last night was his first night back and he did fine.
Me: There was some suggestion he might be interested in being in the three-point contest all-star weekend. As a franchise … would you like to see him there or did you lobby to get him there?
Him: We don’t do much lobbying but if he went to it, that’d be fine, I don’t really care one way or the other.
Me: Neither do I, I’m just trying to elicit a quote.
Him: Yeah. I know, I’m not that helpful, I realize.
Me: That’s quite all right.
Him: But I just don’t care.
(Me, to myself: okay, let’s try another angle)
This rodeo trip, do you get used it as the years go by? Is it easier to manage players?
Him: I don’t think about it. I’m a real simple guy.
Me (to myself) Arrgh!
You’re killing me here.
Him: I’ll make up some stuff so you’ll have something good. I’ll get funny.
Time to let someone else have a shot:
Guy: Gary Neal’s had a sore knee. How is it?
Pop: Why don’t you ask Gary, I really don’t know how his knee feels, I really don’t know. He plays.
Guy: How’s he been playing for you?
Pop: Pretty good, pretty good.
Guy: Seems his defence is good …
Pop: His defence stinks. His defence stinks.
Guy: Is that because he’s a rookie
Pop: No, he’s just bad at it, he’s just bad at it. We’re on him, trying to get it better – that’s a decent quote, isn’t it? – … we’re rolling now.
Guy: What’s he do well
Pop: He shoot very well.
Guy: He seems to shoot a lot of threes, is that the main part of his game?
Pop: You’re right on it. That’s what he does.
Now I’m rolling my eyes, laughing a bit, Pop’s chuckling and the whole thing is spiraling out of control.
It ends like this:
Fellow: Seems to be your style, but you seem to fly under the radar despite having the best record in the NBA, does it bother you hearing all talk about the Heat and Lakers and those other teams?
Pop: We’ve only been together here for about a four-minute period but what do you think? Do you really think I give a damn about what anybody says about anything?
And off we go, shaking out heads, to see Jay.
Did you notice that the Spurs are likely to have as many, if not more, wins by the all-star break than a Toronto team has ever won in an entire season?
Not sure than any of you can possibly have any questions left after yesterday afternoon’s session (and you were a cranky lot, I must say) but, if you do, click here and send ‘em because I cannot wait to hear what’s on your mind.
So Ray Allen’s probably going to pass Reggie Miller as the all-time leader in three-point field goals tonight (I know, I screwed up yesterday, hope not too many of you were clicking around dial looking for the game) and there’s been a lot written about him in the past few days.