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18 January 2005

4 X 10 ^ 15

What's wrong with this box score?

Well, first off, Joel Przybilla grabbed 22 rebounds. In his last game, against the frightfully uninspired (due to worrying about their starving families, no doubt) Timberwolves, he ripped down a rebound in 27 minutes. What the shit? Why do physicists even bother with chaos theory when crap like this happens? And how the hell does a 7'-1" player grab one rebound in 27 minutes? Someone alert Steven Y. Smith; maybe he'll lay off Raaaaasho for a half time.

Secondly, Sebastian Telfair managed to play 4 minutes without registering a single stat. No shots, no turnovers, no fouls, no nothing. Not even a technical. I pay attention to these sorts of things, and let me tell, this is hard to do. I think I read somewhere that some white guy for the Nuggets once played 11 minutes without posting a stat. I think it was Scott Hastings. He was mighty good at staying out of the way. Back to Telfair (Broooooooklyn!)-- I know he's got a shoe contract and probably gets a new pair for every game. But, I mean, if you only "play" 4 minutes don't you have to feel at least a little bad about breaking out a new pair of sneaks? Did he shower after the game? What's the shower cutoff for the average NBA player? 10 minutes of playing time? Or do you just shower automatically? And what about Luke Ridnour? He doesn't shower with the rest of the team, does he? If so, I bet you Jerome James uses Luke's head as a loofah.

On to the Spurs player ratings. In alphabetical order...

Brent Barry, 6'-7" G, 33 years old, 6.6 PPG, 2.1 APG and 35.3 3p% in 19 MPG

This is the guy I wanted the Spurs to pick up. Every team can use good three-point shooters. But, in the playoffs, you need three-point shooters who are willing to shoot the ball. Towards the end of the Lakers series it seemed like the only Spur willing to shoot outside of the paint was Devin Brown. Turkoglu was hiding behind either the refs or Jack Nicholson, whoever happened to be further out on the court at the time.

Of course I don't know how Barry's going to do in the playoffs, but he certainly knows his role. And, unlike Turkoglu, he can actually do some other things. Like create off the dribble, lead the brake and pass the ball. Neither of them play much defense, but Barry has much better hair. And Barry took less money to play for the Spurs, so you know he's serious about winning.

Unfortunately he hasn't played all that well. I think Popovich took a while to warm up to Barry's defensive style, for lack of better term. His shooting is not where it's at, but he's picking it up (18-34 from 3 in his last 10). The man has shot at least 40% from 3 his last five years; he'll get there before the year's up. He deserves some credit for keeping his mouth shut when Pop practically benched him for a couple weeks.

I give him a B-. His hair gets a solid A-.

Bruce Bowen, 6'-7" G, 33 years old, 8.4 PPG and 38.5 3P% on 31.2 MPG

He turned down a player option for abour 4 million and signed a 3 year deal for a touch over 10 million. That little bit extra cap room theoretically helped the Spurs lock up Nobili and Parker, but I am not sure the 33 year old Bowen would have gotten a 3 year deal anywhere else. Except Golden State, of course. How's that Derek Fisher signing working out? But, hey, he's a winner. Speaking of that no talent ass clown Fisher, did you know that Bowen's career FG and 3P% are both higher than Fishers'? And Bowen can lock people down, while Fisher can only do the following whilst playing defense:

A) Watch the other team's point guard go by him repeatedly
B) Occasionally cajole a charging call out of the ref
C) Adjust his headband
D) Make the Derek Fisher face. You know what I'm talking about. He stares at the ref with a look of incredulity. Sorta like this, but a thousand times more annoying.

Yet Fisher is the one with the 36 million dollar contract. Wow. Chris Mullin thought it was a good idea to pay Fisher 7.35 million dollars to play third string PG when he's 35. Has a GM's career ever started worse than Mullin's? I am fairly certain he's responsible for all of the following:

-52 million for 6 years of Adonal Foyle
-36 million for 6 years of Derek Fisher
-17 million for 4 years of Najera
-unknown 6 year contracts for Troy Murphy and Jason Richardson

Those first three guys don't even start. 105 million dollars for freaking bench players. I don't have the statistics to back this up, but I'm going to say it anyway. Ex-players make bad GMs. Mullin, Isaiaiaih Thomas, Elgin Baylor. McHale is smart enough to keep Garnett and not pay Spree. West has a lot of decent players but signs Cardinal to a ridiculous contract and has had some lousy drafts of late. There's a huge difference between knowing how to play basketball and knowing how to put together a team. And don't even get me started about baseball.

Back to Bowen. This guy's definitely a hard worker. Every year he brings a little bit more to the table offensively speaking. First he learned to shoot the 3. Then he worked on the pump fake, take a dribble and drain the 18-footer. Last year he kept dribbling until someone stepped up. This is good in the sense he got the occasional layup. This is bad in that he occasionally shot the ball while moving. Bruce Bowen should, never, EVER shoot the ball while on the run unless it's a layup. I don't want to see any tear drops or scoop shots. I like the fact that he's made improvements (this year it's his free throws, up above 60%), but he needs to remember he's the fourth option on offense.

His defense hasn't seemed to suffer from the more stringent enforcement of the hand-checking rule. He's so good and getting that quick forearm jab in, and it's fun to watch him piss of opposing two guards. And he's got a pretty smile and he went back to college to get his degree.

I give him a B.

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All content copyright Matthew Powell 2005.