Well, that game was truly ugly for three and a half quarters. Once you heard Peja was going to be wearing a suit, you kind of assumed as much.
And there it was - a 10-point deficit at the half, down by 15 after 3. You just prayed it didn't get to 20 or worse.
But something crazy, something exciting happened: The team didn't give up. They showed signs of life. Bibby was a ... leader? Bonzi was under control? Francisco Garcia was doing it all? It was amazing.
Despite no Peja, despite Brad Miller apparently giving up on both ends, despite Shareef Abdur-Rahim being pushed to the point of ineffectiveness by San Antonio's defense - this team actually fought back and had a chance to tie it. For the second night in a row, Bibby was off at the buzzer.
Most encouraging loss I've seen so far (and we've seen seven now). Our inside game is obviously no match for the Spurs, and the defense of Miller out on the high post was astounding. In the Bee today, Miller says something like, "Scoring doesn't matter to me." And sure, he got 6 assists. But how many of those were to cutters or screen-rollers? Few, if any. Brad got his assists off of jumpshots on back picks and high screens. If Bibby misses a few of those, Miller's box score looks as worthless as his performance did.
(People that visit often know I'm Brad's biggest booster. But he was so marginalized against San Antonio that it was frightening.)
There's no such thing a good loss. But if there was, this one would do it. We know Bibby has a pulse, we know we can score 90+ without Peja in the line-up and without anything from Brad. We can come back when we're down against anybody. In our building, we can beat anybody.
But please, let's hope Peja (who got called 'soft' by Kreidler in today's paper) comes back with a venegance.