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GAME 11/82: Vs. The Sassy Spurs of San Antonio, Open Game Thread

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Hi. Welcome to an open game thread.

Matthew Powell of famed Spurs blog Pounding the Rock has kindly sent along some notes about the Sassy Spurs and their sassiness:

I see SAC having huge problems with Tony Parker due to the following:

A)  Mike Bibby rarely guards anyone and even if he decided to try he would have little to no shot of keeping Parker out of the lane.  Also, I think Bibby is darkening his beardlet with mascara.

B)  SAC has no inside defensive presence.

Questioning MB10's defense is one thing, but the Hulk Hogan comparisons cross the line, buddy. (Matt's totally right, though. About the interior defense. Not about Mike Bibby being so boyish in stature that his beard requires cosmetic assistance.)

Also, Suns fans have taken issue with Balki's flopping (via True Hoop). Apparently, a Manu flop busted up Leandro Barbosa's knee and further shallowed Phoenix's depth. (I made up a cliche using a fake word. I rule.) Matthew, a staunch defender of all things Ginoblian, responds to followers of the orange and purple:

Suns fans can eat my ass.  Having said that, Ginobili flops too much.  That doesn't change what he did during the playoffs and provides no explanation as to why he seemingly got/gets to the basket at will.  Hmm.  Maybe he's just better than all but a handful of shooting guards?  There's a thought.

Key points, there. Thanks to Matt for helping shed some light on The Common Cold. Be sure to visit Pounding the Rock for all your Spurs goodness. (As if there were such a thing.)

Before we get to the usual features, here's a fantasticly unflattering story on Tim Duncan's dark side. Timmy D.: Married to a soccer mom, but still a jerk!

I really hope an enterprising Kings fan does something with this tonight. Remember, this is the Spurs' only regular season visit to Ye Old Gas Pump.

Here are our lameish sign suggestions:
"Don't you know who I am?"
Johnny Lazz, 1; Tim Duncan, 0

Any other suggestions for those attending the evening's game?

Without further adieu, yoooour starting lineups:

SASSAFRAS
PG - Le Petit Prince
SG - Balki (This will catch on, dammit.)
SF - Bruce "There's no way I'm not hacking at Peja's hand at least 12 times in the first quarter" Bowen
PF - Some scrub.
C  - Rasho Nesterovic

SACRA-MENTAL
PG - Mike "Tim Duncan is such an amateur thug" Bibby
SG - Bonzi the Family Man
SF - Peja Stojakovic, founder and president of the Danny Fortson Fan Club.
PF - The Midlevel
C  - Brad "Do people still seriously doubt my powers?" Miller

The line: +6. Seems fair. If the Kings win, it'll be close. If the Spurs win, it'll be not close. I would not bet either way, given that SAS hasn't looked good on the road and the Kings are so very inconsistent.

Fun bet o' the night: Minutes played for Peja. My guess is the 30-35 range. Adelman isn't too cautious with injuries, but I think Peja is. He might be asking to come off after a hack or two.

Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: Bibby versus Parker. Neither are particularly astute defenders. The Spurs do play great team D, though, so give the solid advantage to Frenchie. Ten layups from him is not out of the realm of possibilities.

Best matchup: Looks like this load was already blown. How about Michael Finley, Nazr Mohammed and Nick Van Exel versus... Kenny Thomas, Kevin Martin and Jason Hart! Should be thrilling and not at all infuriating. Surely.

Grant Napear, in advance: "The Kings bench really needs to perform here, OK? Write this down: the Kings are up by five and the bench is coming in. They have got to keep a lead against a team like the Spurs. ... The bench is just awful. This team will not win the division with this bench, alright? They need something from their bench. Blah blah blah."

Why I'm not buying the whole bench thing completely: Adelman doesn't use his bench. There's never a moment when at least two starters aren't in. All of our starters are scorers. We just need 8-10 consistently from Kenny Thomas and 6-8 points from Jason Hart or Kevin Martin to compete every night, as long as a starter isn't forced to the bench by injuries or foul trouble. The idea that you need a bench player like Vlad Radmanovic scoring 17 is absurd when you have two starters that will average 20-25, two starters that will average 15 and one that will score anywhere from 10 to 20. I mean, it's not like we're throwing Neifi Perez out there in the starting lineup (unlike Seattle, you started Fortson and Luke Ridnour). About 16 points a night from the bench would work, I think.

It is so game time (in two hours). Let's get the Spurs while we can! And also, let's insult Tim Duncan while we can!

ARCO Arena: See the class ooze out! And there it goes. It's gone.

(Note: This is an open thread. As always - or never - feel free to post your thoughts on the game, team, halftime show, whatever in the comments section by clicking on "Comment" below. It makes me feel good about myself. It also makes Carl feel less lonely.)