First, a correction:
I gave Spurs fans crap yesterday for being a dead crowd. They completely redeemed themselves last night. Good fans, plenty of talent. My bad, y'all.
Now, a statement before my cream of hatred again rises to the top:
That was a hell of a game. Each team led by 10, lots of ties and lead changes. It's what playoff basketball is supposed to be. Fantastically entertaining, even if I was alternately screaming approval and screeching anger.
Okay. I got all the good sensations out of my system. Now, all that's left is bile. Prepare thyselves.
Let's start with a list of the personalities most responsible for Sacramento's quality showing:
- Shareef Abdur-Rahim, the abuser.
- Bonzi Wells, the monster.
- Kevin Martin, the hummingbird.
- Tim Duncan, who refused to dominate at either end.
- Dick Bavetta, who apparently has the memory of an elephant.
- Kenny Thomas, defender and rebounder extraordinaire.
- The Coyote, who has to be bad karma of some sort.
- Manu Ginobili, who probably can't be stopped by anyone but Artest.
- Gregg Popovich, who has more control over his team than Tom Cruise has over Katie Holmes.
- Rick Adelman, who might as well just stay in Granite Bay this weekend.
- Mike Bibby, who managed to forget both his skills and his brain on the team bus.
- Brad Miller, whose confidence could not be lower - he lost the headband, for crying out loud!
- Brent Barry, for one of the most dramatic and infuriating shots I've ever seen.
- Bruce Bowen, who played Bibby well, even though Mike was getting open a lot and missing.
Despite Popovich's tremendous coaching job, I almost thought about giving Bibby the two spot on the Spurs MVP list. Everyone's going to miss some shots, granted. But hell. He played crappy defense all night, letting Brent F. Barry destroy him consistently. He did nothing to get anyone else involved on offense, save for a few transition buckets in the first quarter. The overtime foul was absolutely inexcuseable - if Tony Parker does that, he gets a seat on the bench immediately. Absolutely moronic. Then, the turnover down at the other end as the door was squeaking to a close. Heartbreaking.
I'm losing the will to talk about the game at this point, so I apologize for giving Shareef, Kevin and Bonzi short shrift - I'll get back at them later.
But damn. Through the cracks goes the season, just like that.