It's Merely a Flesh Wound
The Spurs again went without Duncan and The Sickness, but unlike the Phoenix game, Nazr was available. The Nuggets came in winners of 7 straight and trying to keep pace with the Lakers in their battle for the 8th and final playoff spot.
Everytime I see Kenyon Martin play I want to scream "3-23!!!!!" Yeah, I know he had the flu or whatever, but you would think he would stop shooting at 3-15. I don't know a whole lot about NBA Finals history, but Duncan had to have one of the best games ever that night. 21 PTS, 20 REB, 10 A and 8 blocks. 2 blocks away from a quadruple double in the clinching game of the NBA Finals. Quadruple doubles happen like twice a decade, right? I know The Admiral had one, and so did Alvin Robertson. Well, apparently there's been four in the history of the NBA. Hakeem and Nate Thurmond are the other two.
Anyway, back to Kenyon. I was watching a Denver game a couple of weeks ago, but I don't recall the opponent. Martin drove baseline and got called for an obvoius charge. Martin got into the face of the ref, pointing his finger about three inches from the refs nose. He then backed off a bit and the camera angle switched so you could see his face. He said "That's fucking twice!" After a few seconds, during which the ref presumably replied, Martin responded with "Don't you fucking lie to me!" And he didn't get a technical. I couldn't believe it; either I have no idea what NBA players get away with or Kenyon Martin gets treated differently. Not that I blame the ref; he's a scary sonbitch.
Can you imagine Luke Ridnour saying "Don't you fucking lie to me!" to a ref? He'd probably get slapped.
So during the Spurs game Martin bumps Barry on his way to the basket, drawing a foul. It was definitely a foul, though there was nothing malicious about the bump. Martin says to the ref "That wasn't a foul. If I foul him you'll know it." Alright. Appartenly Martin relishes his role as NBA's resident Punk Ass Bitch. Whatever makes you happy, Kenyon. You keep cashing those checks and putting up a lackluster 15 and 8 every night. Oh, and one last thing, in case you forgot. Here's your numbers from the 03 Finals:
34% FG%, 14.7 PPG, 10 RPG, 2.2 APG and 2.3 BPG
Nice job. Duncan only bested you by 9.5 PPG, 7 RPG, 3.2 APG and 3 BPG. And he shot 50%, too. But you were sick. We understand, PABbie.
Back to the game. It was brutal. The Spurs blew a 7 point lead in the final 3 minutes of the game, going scoreless. San Antonio seemed in control up until that point. Bowen was shutting down Carmelo, Barry was filling up the stat sheet (9, 6 and 6) like during his Seattle days and Nazr was playing great off the bench. He had 9 rebounds in 16 minutes and had three very nice passes in the lane. Parker destroyed Denver in the first half, at one point spinning past Martin (I think) for a highlight reel reverse layup. But he was clearly tired in the second half (and he also had a thigh contusion) and only contributed 6 points (of 25) after the break. The only guy not playing decently was Udrih, who had 4 TOs in 10 minutes.
The Spurs couldn't do anything right during the last three minutes. Their last six possessions resulted in two turnovers and four missed jumpers. Barry had the ball with 30 seconds to go and the Spurs down 1. He weakly drove into the lane and threw a pointless pass to Devin Brown; or to where Devin Brown used to be; he had began a cut towards the lane and the ball bounced out of bounds. Ugh.
The previous Denver possession culminated in two Najera free throws. Najera initially missed a shot but Denver grabbed three offensive rebounds before getting fouled. For reasons I cannot imagine both Rasho and Nazr were on the bench at the time. Both of them are much better rebounders than either Massenburg or Horry.
The Spurs had a final chance with 17 seconds to go and down by 3. Apparently the ball was supposed to go to Barry through Horry. That never happened. Parker ended up with the ball at the top of the key. The entire team basically stood there for 15 seconds. Parker then threw up a desperation, fall-away three with 2 seconds left; back rim, game over. Brutal to watch. The Wife could barely stand it. Pop ended up taking the blame for the final play; he only diagrammed one option and when that fell through Parker was waiting for a pick that never came.
The offense, the defense, the coaching; it all sucked for the last three minutes.
Some odds and ends... Matt over at Bulls Blog has started a periodic recap of what's going on in the NBA blog neighborhood. There are a lot of other bloggers that make me look like a hack; check them out when the boss isn't around.
Now for another update on my Atlanta wagering. I was +$9 previously.
@ BOS +12.5 lost by 4 +$19
@ TOR +9.5 won by 4 +$29
vs. GS +4.5 lost by 13 +$18
vs. DET +8 lost by 6 +$28
currently 7-3 ATS since "losing" Walker
I'm actually +$39 because I didn't bet on the GS game. I fully intended to, but the line opened at +3.5 and that seemed really low to me. I was going to wait a couple of hours to see if the line would go up (which it did) and ended up forgetting to get my money down.