Monday, May 13, 2013

Warriors - Spurs Game Four: Time Constraints

ESPN Clock
Confession time: I was doing Mother's Day stuff all day today, and didn't see this game until the overnight replay, when I was doing the day job. I did see the overtime on a TV screen in a restaurant, and it was all I could do to not make myself an ass in front of the Shooter Wife and Kids. What a series...

How many more turns can this take? When last we saw these two teams, San Antonio had run the Roaracle gauntlet, taking control of the series back with a convincing win where they just looked better in all kinds of ways. Stephen Curry was hobbling, they had home court again, and all was right with the chalk. Especially with the Warriors having to turn in less than 48 hours.

Then this game started, and the refs looked entirely on board with the Spur march to the conference finals. Andrew Bogut picked up his third foul in the fifth minute. Carl Landry got similar whistles. David Lee can't jump in his current medical condition, which means he really can't do more than give you a couple of sad minutes. Curry looked weak and would have clearly sat out if this wasn't a must game. And the Spurs just kept making Spur plays -- taking charges, hitting threes, making the extra pass -- to keep the lead. Mark Jackson looked like he was going to spit nails. The Spurs were up 6 with 3:32 left, and the Dub offense looked sickly, with the defense getting no stops. The arena was surprisingly quiet; Dub Fan sounded like they were getting resigned to a loss.

And then, well, they just gutted it out. With 1.6 to shoot, Klay Thompson made a jumper off an inbounds pass. Landry gave his all to deny Tim Duncan down low. The Spurs kept missing chances at loose balls. Bogut owned Duncan on defense after a Curry miss. After a go-ahead Parker make, Thomspon answered over Duncan, Ginobili missed, and the Spurs didn't get the benefit of a loose ball call despite replay evidence. Once we got to overtime, the Spurs looked like they were gassed and shooting at a basket with a lid on it, and eventually the Dubs got enough makes to get separation. The series is tied at 2.

The Dub heroes included Bogut, who shook off the foul trouble to collect a massive number of boards, though he really needs to make more high percentage looks at the rim. Harrison Barnes was aggressive if not entirely effective, and it eventually paid off. Jarrett Jack continues to be an all or nothing guy with a maddening tendency to dribble the entire clock, but the Dubs got the all when they needed it. They continually find and exploit Tony Parker on defense, and that's just a winning play

I didn't think they could win a comparatively low-scoring game, where their bigs couldn't put it in the ocean, where Curry is operating at 60% capacity, and where Jackson continued to get his lunch handed to him by Gregg Popovich. If and when someone other than Parker or Duncan has a decent game, the Spurs might race out to an early win, especially at home. But at this point, it's a best of 3 between two teams that are each 1-1 at home. We've officially entered the realm of Very Interesting.

Oh, and one final note? I'm ready to support a Congressional inquiry, and possible Guantanamo trip, for the ESPN twats that decide to cut the amount of game shown on the 4AM replay. Time constraints? IT'S 4 IN THE FREAKING MORNING, YOU MOOKS. SHOW THE DAMN GAME. THE WHOLE DAMN GAME. THANK YOU.

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