Home Sweet Home
Houston 70 @ SA 83
Coming off their worst road trip of the year, the Spurs were definitely in the need for some home cooking. Luckily San Antonio started the weekend against the worst road team in the NBA, the lowly Atlanta Hawks. The game was never really close, with the Spurs jumping out to a 14 point lead in the first quarter. Here are some highlights and/or things worth noting:
-Spurs shot 57% from three, including 5-7 from Brent Barry. Barry also had a nice alley-oop from Parker.
-Both Barry and Ginobili had 23 points on 12 FGA.
-Linton Johnson III made his debut for the Spurs, playing 6 minutes and grabbing three boards. He looked very rusty. Either that or the guy cannot dribble. I probably should cut the guy some slack considering he hasn't played all year due to a legitimate injury.
-I was quite impressed with Hawk rookie Josh Childress out of Stanford. He grabbed some tough rebounds and finished strong under the bucket.
-Josh Smith can jump. Like crazy high. He finished an alley-oop that reminded me of Grant Hill's in the 1991 NCAA title game. They showed a replay looking down the length of the court; Smith caught the ball behind his head and about two feet out from the edge of the backboard and dunked it in one smooth motion. Their should be a reality show where middle-aged white business men try to recreate this on an eight foot rim. I volunteer to go first.
-About two possessions later Ginobili grabbed a rebound in traffic and proceded to drive the length of the court, passing two defenders along the way, and posterize Tyronne Lue. It wasn't the most powerful dunk of all time, but the whole package was amazing. Especially considering the game was already well in hand.
Some how, some way, the Spurs managed to beat the Rockets and make it look easy. The Spurs led for most of the game but fell down by 5 with about ten minutes to go. They promptly went on a ~20-2 run to put the game out of reach. Barry hit some big threes (going 3-5 from behind the arc) and The Sickness was uncontainable in the second half. T-Mac was obviously slowed by his hip injury, and the Rockets got a total of 26 points from players not named McGrady or Ming. Rasho had a good game, with 10 PTS, 7 REB, 2 STL and 3 BLK. He got his hands on a lot of passes and forced Yao to shoot below 50% from the field.
Ginobili played some ridiculous defense on McGrady, reinforcing my opinion that he's as good an on-the-ball defender as Bowen.
The Spurs have a huge game coming up Wednesday against the Sonics at the SBC Center. If the Spurs lose they'll only be two games up on Seattle in the loss column and will have lost the season series and therefore the tie-breaker. The second tie-breaker is conference record. The Spurs are 28-11 and the Sonics are 27-12. Big, big game.