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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 09:18 pm:   

Informal poll. Who's going to take home the trophy? Does anybody CARE with these two teams? Will all the games have scores like 80 something to 60 something? Number 1 and 2 in defense weren't they?

My money is on San Antonio, although I wouldn't mind Detroit repeating.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 05:25 am:   

I'm a die-hard SA fan, so you know who I think will win.

;)
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John Picacio
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 11:47 am:   

Manu is the Man! I've been a Spurs fan since '79 and he's the most exciting player we've had since George Gervin. Duncan plays beautiful basketball, and the Spurs play as a unit, but Manu is a force of nature. Funny how the same media and fanbase that used to call the Spurs boring is now breaking its ankles to backtrack now that they're seeing what we've known all along down here...

Fun times down here right now...I've got great respect for the Pistons and the way they play ball, but the only team that beats the Spurs will be the Spurs themselves....objectively, I'd have a hard time making an argument for Detroit's bench over San Antonio's and I think that's the difference in the end...
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 06:57 pm:   

I still hear the media call SA boring, but you're right, Manu is definitely spicing it up. He certainly did damage against the Sonics!
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 05:19 am:   

I think this is the best Spurs team yet. Manu, Tim & Tony are solid, of course, and Bowen is the shut-down master he's been for several years now. The addition of Nazr M. was a big move - he and Horry have taken over the boards - and you're right, SA's bench is much deeper.

This series is going to be a slugfest, but SA will pull it out. Anyone calling SA boring didn't watch the last series. They basically ran the "fast-paced" Suns off the court. When they want to push the ball, they can. The difference is, they can get back and crush you on defense too. Just because you can play D doesn't mean you can't beat someone on the break.

Looking forward to tonight...
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 08:09 pm:   

SA should be up 2-0 after tonight.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 06:30 am:   

Yep, now it's on to Detroit...
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 08:33 pm:   

I think at this point Detroit's toast. Sometimes SA gets a little complacent after building a series lead and lets its guard down (as they did with us here in Seattle when the Sonics came back to tie the series 2-2), but I don't think that's going to happen this time. It COULD end 4-0, but more likely 4-1.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 06:18 am:   

Yep, SA is bad about that.

My gut feeling at this point tells me Detroit will win one game at home, and they have a 50/50 shot of winning two. But I see no way they can rattle off 4 wins in 5 games against the Spurs.

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Josh Rountree
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 06:19 am:   

Of course, last year I thought the Lakers were toast after SA jumped up 2-0. So I'll attempt to curb my enthusiasm a little longer.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 09:05 pm:   

WELL! Things are a little more interesting now, huh? I wouldn't have predicted the series being at 2-2 at this point.

Back to back bad games for Duncan. I've a feeling that whoever takes game 5 will win the series.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 06:17 am:   

SA takes game 5!

Big Shot Bob hits the game winning three and the Spurs are back in charge. What a game last night...
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John Picacio
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 09:47 am:   

Jubiliation down here in SA. If we win Tuesday or Thursday night, it will be Xmas, Halloween, and Mardi Gras all rolled into one down here.

Fajitas and margaritas on the Riverwalk, boys!

First thing's first though. Detroit will bring the house for Games 6 & 7 and they've got everyone's respect down here.....they're still the Champs, and it ain't over.

Not the same respect down here for Stephen A. Smith and Bill Walton.....those two clowns have taken every opportunity to bash San Antonio and this town is waiting locked and loaded to have them show their crow-eating faces here for Game 6 on Tuesday.

They talked so much junk about SA before the game, but where was that stuff when it was over??? Where was Walton when it was over??

Pour some ketchup on that crow, Deadhead.

If I were those two, I'd invest in several bodyguards before they step off the plane down here....our fans don't forget stuff like that....:-)
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Minz
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 10:51 am:   

1) Wow, is Tim Duncan a choke artist extraordinaire. If you can't stand the heat...
2) I knew Horry was clutch in his Houston days. WOW! I mean, WOW! Especially after he was forcing it so much in the first half.
3) I've felt there was a real bias against SA from game one, especially from Hubie Brown, and somewhat from Al Michaels (though Al seemed to mostly be following Hubie's lead).
4) While the refs haven't been bad, I've really felt this series has been called in the Pistons favor. Big time.

I had been hoping for the Heat to win it all, mostly as an anti-Kobe thang, as well as pro Dwayne Wade (Marquette grad, ala my sisters, dad, etc. Was a BIG fan back in Al McGuires day), but after they were eliminated, I was pulling for the Pistons (I like the fact that they really play as a team, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and rely on good ol' fashion b-ball more than any other pro team.) But after listening to Hubie and watching the refs for just the first half of the first game, my allegiance swung to SA. I'm really not vested in any of these teams, but the pro Pistons bias is just pissing me off.

And I'll just repeat, wow, is Tim Duncan NOT a primetime player. (Don't get me wrong, I'd love him in a Bucks uniform, but I sure as hell wouldn't want the ball in his hands with the championship on the line--end of a regular season game, sure, but man, when the chips are down, CHOOOOOOOOOKE.)
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:30 pm:   

I agree that Duncan is not a primetime FREE THROW shooter, but he's done more than his share of carrying this team in past playoff games to totally discount his ability to do so.

And, Minz, glad to see you come over to the dark side. Now that you're in SA's corner, it won't be long before John and I convert you to the cult of the Cowboy Star.

Glad to see there is in fact a perceived bias against SA in this series and it's not just me being a homer.
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John Picacio
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 01:04 pm:   

Hey, Minz --

1. I'm assuming you're trying to be funny, so I'm just gonna chuckle along with you.....however, if someone actually believed that two-time MVP Tim Duncan is a choke artist extraordinaire, then they'd have to include Shaq as a choke artist extraordinaire for doing the exact same thing. Both guys are future Hall-of-Fame performers, but are not the guys you want at the free-throw line when the game's on the line. That's not news. I'm NOT a Shaq fan, but no way can I call Shaq a choke artist for missing a career's worth of free throws with games on the line, and even if I wasn't a Spurs guy, there's no way I can call Duncan who got 26 points and 19 rebounds in a crucial Game 5 of the NBA Finals as a choke artist. No way. Horry will get all the glory for being the man in the 4th quarter and overtime and deservedly so, but if Duncan doesn't play huge for those first 3-1/2 quarters, Horry's shots are meaningless, and the Spurs never even make it to overtime in the first place.

2. Horry was zero for everything until 1 second left in the 3rd quarter. Let me put it another way -- he and I had the exact same positive output in Game 5 up to that point. ZERO for everything. He did NOTHING. No points, rebounds, assists, and a few turnovers. Again -- his output is magnified because it all happened in the 4th and overtime, but if you don't get the output from Duncan and company to that point, Horry's heroics never would've mattered.

3. I hear you. Honestly, Spurs fans down here are used to the whole East Coast bias by now, and it's finally become a relative non-issue down here. It is what it is, and we'll enjoy our multiple NBA Championships all the same. Yeah, Hubie Brown is incredibly myopic for anything that's East Coast, and Michaels is a bandwagoner that would make Brent Musberger squirm, so that's no big deal. But the personal shots that Stephen A. Smith and the Big Deadhead were taking at Duncan and company during pre-game were so over-the-top and uncalled for, even by TV standards. My favorite thing is that their bravado and crap was nowhere to be found at the end of the game. Where's the gangsta talk from Stephen A. then? Where's the big-man rhetoric from Deadhead? Deadhead was nowhere to be found in postgame in fact. All I'm saying is that Spurs fans are lining up to razz these two clowns hard when they come to SA and do their broadcasts. I'm looking forward to seeing that.

4. The biggest disappointment to me in Game 4 was that the Spurs let the calls get to them and folded to the refs' allowing the cheap shots all game long. The Pistons were hacking and successfully established the tone and the Spurs didn't respond and adjust to the officiating. I was disappointed by that, but other than that, I think the Spurs have been good about overcoming unstable officiating all thru the playoffs, and I think that's one of the keys to this team this year -- mental toughness and the ability to adjust to the officiating, whatever the tempo may be. They didn't do it in Game 4 and that was the key to the blowout in my opinion.

Last thought on Duncan -- Duncan's hit a LOT of game-winning shots at the buzzer for the Spurs, over the course of his career. I don't blame you if you've never heard of these because they always happen in the regular season and anyone who isn't a diehard Spurs fan isn't gonna remember relatively meaningless regular season games. In fact, he's hit game-winning jumpers to win two games this season alone, that I can remember. And if it's playoff shots that matter, remember that Derek Fisher shot where he took .8 seconds to hit a fallaway jumper with . 4 on the clock in Game 5 of the Spurs/Lakers series last year to win the game? Well -- what you probably don't remember is Duncan hit a clutch fallaway jumper a second before that to give the Spurs the lead, if Fisher doesn't hit that shot. If Duncan's a choke artist, there's no way he accepts the pressure of making a game-winning shot with the series on the line in the heat of the NBA Playoffs and hits that shot with Shaq and Kobe in his face. Yeah, he's not my first choice to hit a free throw with the game on the line, but go ahead and include Wilt Chamberlain and Shaq as consummate choke artists if that's your criteria for "choke artist extraordinaire". I don't see any of those guys as choke artists though.

Anyway -- good hearing from you, man! :-)

Hope you're well over there. The Pistons are still Champs right now and they have much respect down here. But if we're fortunate enough to get a victory on Tuesday or Thursday, I'll be drinking a celebratory margarita for you down on the river. :-)
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 06:05 pm:   

Yeah, what John said.

;)
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 06:13 am:   

gee, I'm shocked at all the Duncan apologists. :-)
He didn't just miss ALL BUT ONE of his free throws, he also missed a gimme tipin at the buzzer, from less than two feet away. And the look in his eyes was deer-in-the-headlights every time they showed him on camera from the fourth quarter onwards.

Don't get me wrong, Duncan is a great player, but I'm left wondering just how much of a great clutch player. I can recall Shaq actually coming up big from the free throw line during an NBA Finals. Has Duncan? Ever? Obviously I'm razzing you guys since you won.

But to throw a small dose of reality on you SA fan-boys, while Tim does do a lot of dirty work throughout games, and has a very well-rounded game, and is indeed a deserving surefire hall of famer, he doesn't actually belong in the same sentence as Wilt Chamberlain, or even Shaq. Not a rip on Timmy, just trying to create distinction between greatest evers (including Russell and Jabar as well) over one of the all-time greats. Heck, George Mikan ranks higher, imnsho.

Cowgirls fan? Puh-lease. Any team with the gall to proclaim themselves America's Team deserves nothing but scorn and derision. For. Ever.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 12:44 pm:   

Timmy actually shot free throws pretty well during most of the playoffs, including a 15 for 15 game against Phoenix that the Spurs really needed to win. I'm not saying he's on par with a legend like Wilt, I'm just saying he's the best power forward in the NBA today. Period. And don't throw Garnett back at me because he's sitting in front of the TV by this time every year.

After the Phoenix series, though, I'm thinking Stoudamire will be the best player in the NBA within two years. He's a monster.

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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 02:21 pm:   

Hmmmm, that's a tough one for me. Timmy is undoubtedly the best traditional power forward. But Garnett has never had close to the supporting cast that Timmy has enjoyed. I'm not saying which one is better (*cough, Garnett, coughcough*), but Stoudamire is scary. If he puts in the time off the court, it'll be next year.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 06:07 pm:   

And now it gets interesting. How the tables have turned! Game 7. I'm thinking if any team can win a game 7 on the road, it's Detroit. SA has to have production from its superstars though. Duncan and Ginobli can't have the kind of games they've been having, or Detroit will squeak out the win. (Ginobli's so streaky tho.) But if SA DOES come to play, they are the better offensive team, and it'll be a margin of 10 pts or more, in spite of D's D.

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John Picacio
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2005 - 10:57 pm:   

ODELAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

Just got home from the SBC Center for Game 7!!!!!!!! Paid big money to be in the house, but it was worth every penny!!!

SPURS -- WORLD CHAMPIONS, BABY!!!!!!!!!

Minz -- I drank a celebratory margarita for you after it was over. Josh -- you, me and Minz will have a celebratory drink together when we hook up at ArmadilloCon.

Fellas -- my throat is bleeding from yelling at the top of my lungs all game long. I'm gonna go drink a couple of gallons of water.

Bedlam in San Antonio right now!!!!!!!!!!

I'm delirious with joy........I won't be sleeping tonight....:-)
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Minz
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 06:07 am:   

Congrats to all you San Antonio fans. Great series, great win.

I look forward to toasting your team in Austin in August.

I must admit, I didn't see the game last night (I know that must sound like sacrilege, but hey, I didn't care that much. I was out drinkin' for a friend's b-day, and it was much more pleasant in the garden out back then in the cramped dank bar--it was one of those perfect NYC nights, enjoying a cold beverage or 12 outside with good friends, under the big full branches of a big ol' elm, with the pretty haze of the Manhattan night glowing in the sky above.). But I gotta ask the question: Why wasn't Ginobli MVP for the series? While it does sound like Timmy was MVP for last night's game, ostensibly the award's given out for the series, not just game 7. And the Spurs would've never even been in a game 7 without Manu. (And, having been perfect from the free throw line, and 8-13 from the floor with 23 points, 5 boards and 4 assists, it's not like Manu had a bad night last night.) So I want y'all to weigh in here: Who was the real series MVP?
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John Picacio
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 09:12 am:   

I'm biased, Minz. Manu Ginobili is my favorite player in the world and has been since his first Spurs season in '03. So of course, I was hoping he'd be the MVP, and I thought he had the numbers to pull it off, but Duncan wins because he attracts so much defensive attention that he opens up the floor for the other Spurs, even when he doesn't score.

I know the media is killing Duncan and will continue to. But we don't care down here. He joins Magic, Shaq, and Jordan as the only 3-time MVP in NBA Finals History.

I'm thrilled for him. He doesn't make the gangsta soundbites of A.I. and K.G. and get all the love from the East Coast scribes, but bottom line -- he's a winner in the big games and he imposed his will when it mattered.

3 NBA Finals for Duncan. 3 MVPs. 3 World Championships.

Margaritas for you and Josh in August. :-)
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Minz
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 09:35 am:   

He delivered when it mattered most. No doubt. And San Antonio could never have won it without him. No doubt.

But the reality is that Detroit pretty much played Timmy one-on-one, with only token help upon occassion, so the defensive attention he received this series wasn't nearly as big of a factor as Manu's (and to a lesser extent Tony Parker's) penetration. Manu's ability to create points on his own was the difference maker in the series, as he pretty much won the first two games almost by himself. And from last night's stat line, it looks like he delivered big time last night as well. I'm not ripping Timmy here, just saying that I think Manu got the shaft.

Then again, that's the kind of discussion a fan likes to have--which of your players really deserved the MVP. :-)

I can almost taste the tequila already.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 01:50 pm:   

Great win for the Spurs. I'll give a phantom toast here in Seattle when you guys are toasting at ArmadilloCon. :-)
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 01:51 pm:   

So....

Does Larry Brown stay with the Pistons next year, move on elsewhere, or retire?
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 06:36 am:   

I was pulling for Manu to get the MVP too, but I won't begrudge Tim his win.

Looking forward to the Armadillocon celebration.
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 12:58 pm:   

WOO HOO. Here's the Bucks startin' lineup:
Andrew Bogut C
Joe Smith PF
Desmond Mason SF
Michael Redd SG
and...
TJ Ford at PG
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/buck/jun05/336923.asp
I am stoked. And we have cap room to pickup the instant offense swingman to come off the bench. We have okay depth at PG (Mo Williams), and big men (Gadzuric and Pachulia)--sure it'd be nice to upgrade some of these, but really, who has great talent on the bench these days--these guys aren't bad, just not good enough to start. I'm happy with what we got. While we won't be looking at competing for any championships next year, we're going to have a talented young team. And we have the 36th pick as well. (I'm kinda pulling a homer and hoping they might pick Travis Diener.)

Now let's just hope the Bucks don't experience any brain cramps and not pick Bogut.
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Rick Hauptmann
Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 06:59 pm:   

Keep dreamin' old buddy. The Bulls will rule this division in the near future.
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Josh Rountree
Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 08:28 am:   

That's good news about TJ. He's a great player and a great guy.

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