Wikka Wikka Wikka San Antonio
And then came Will Smith, who I guess has a new album out. He comes out in some pseudo-car and yells "SWWIIIIIIIIIIITTTTCH." I guess that's the name of his single. I couldn't care less. When I turned back to ABC after about 3 minutes their was some choreographed dribbling going on. This was enough for me not to SWWIIIIIIIIITTTTCH the channel for about 20 seconds. At which time Will Smith started beat-boxing and at one point said "Wikka wikka wikka San Anntoneeeeeo." At this point I was willing to miss part of the first quarter to save myself.
The entire first half was brutal to watch. ABC's worst nightmare. The Spurs started off stagnant on offense and turned the ball over 4 times early on, assisting Detroit's early 17-4 surge. At this point I called Da Blade and said simply "Uh oh." Surprisingly enough, Matty wasn't worried, commenting that "This is how I thought the Spurs would come out. Little rusty and disjointed while Detroit puts on their usual game 1 surge." I'm usually the one talking him down the Ledge of Hypernegativity.
SA was able to fight their way back to within 3 by the end of the first quarter. A seemingly big play occurred when Horry and Parker trapped Hunter just over the half court line after a made free throw. Horry stole the ball and fed Glenn Robinson for a dunk. Speaking of Big Dog, you couldn't help but feel happy for the guy. I would think it feels good to be back on the court, where he was a holy terror for the 6 minutes he was out there. 2 PTS, 3 REB and 3 BLK. Matty made a good point that his production made it seem like he logged more minutes than he did. My dad said "He did more in his 6 minutes than the entire Detroit bench did for the whole game."
Pop used his bench liberally, giving 10 players meaningful (considering when they played, not for how long) minutes. Devin Brown made an appearance and looked understandably rusty. He was active on defense but failed to pick up Billups early enough which resulted in a Billups 3 and a conspicuous on-court tongue lashing from Horry.
You want to know how bad Brent Barry was tonight? Matty called me during live action (98% of the time we talk only during commercials) to ask if there was anyway The Cooler could be cut during the game. I think Barry and Fortson had an illicit encounter during their series and Brent contracted Danny's foul ways. Get it? Foul ways. Cause they both foul a lot? Ahhhh. It's the little things in life.
I don't understand what Detroit was trying to do on offense last night. Rasheed hits his first 3 shots and then only takes 3 more the whole game. Rip takes 21 shots, many of them while trying to take Bowen to the basket. That was highest of high comedy. If Rip iso vs. Bowen is Detroit's first, second or even third option then they have serious problems.
Detroit seemed to play middling defense against Parker. They went over some picks and under others, but they still played him way too tight. Here's a good way to figure out if you're too close to The Wee Frenchman: if the SA crowd isn't at least murmuring (you know how they do when they want someone to shoot) when he's got the ball on the outside they you are too damn close.
Duncan was great. 24, 17 and 2. Outscored and outrebounded the Wallaces combined. Rasheed did an admirable job on him, and Duncan put up the type of line I expected: 24 points on 22 FGA.
Then there was The Sickness. There's probably not much more I can say about the guy. 22 points on 9-10 shooting in the second half (accounting for 45% of the Spurs points), taking over the 4th with 15 on 6-6. That's beyond ridiculous. He also had 9 rebounds for the game, more than any Piston. For whatever reason Brown had The TayTay on the bench for most of the 4th. He's their only player with any shot of playing Manu one-on-one.
Scoop Jackson wrote a good piece on Manu.
The Spurs definitely had the benefit of some questionable/bad calls in the second half. BWallace got called for a charge when Nazr was clearly inside the semi-circle. He then got called with a block on Manu which probably should have been a charge (this led to a tech on Ben). He also absorbed a lot of contact on a Ginobili drive; no foul was called but the replay showed Ben's foot on the semi-circle. Technically should have been a block, but the refs probably made the right decision in letting it go (Ben would likely have ripped somebody a new something).
But the officiating certainly didn't decide the outcome of the game. And don't give me the whole "momentum" bullshit. Yeah, the Spurs went on a 19-less than 10 run after the tech. I guess that means the Spurs had the momentum. Detroit then went on a 10-0 run. Which I guess means the Spurs misplaced the momentum. Maybe they left it in their other pants pockets.
I'll do my best to put up a game 2 preview Sunday afternoon.