This week has seen a great deal of basketball–some good and some bad. The way I feel about the NCAA tournament is the same way Steve Nash feels about the World Cup. It isn’t the best brand of play, but it is the most exciting.
That being said, I’d rather take good over exciting any day. I’ve had more “exciting” girlfriends than good ones. Hell, you can have an exciting ride in a beat up Chevette, that doesn’t mean it is a good one.
On Saturday, the “Good Ass Game of the Week” happened to overlap with the Jayhawks second round game against UCONN. I watched the first half, but after that, I kept up just enough to see the Wayne Selden alley oop.
Rarely will I say an NBA game where neither team scores 100 is a “good ass game”, but considering the stakes of Saturday night’s affair, I can say without any irony that it lived up to the hype.
The Spurs didn’t necesarily need to win this weekend, but it certainly eased a lot of Spurs’ fans anxiety concerning the prospect of facing the Dubs in the postseason. A Spurs loss would have ended their 43 game home winning streak, and possibly created a little bit of doubt for the rest of the league as to whether Golden State was capable of being beaten 4 out of 7 games.
The San Antonio win was akin to when Rocky finally struck blood on the Russian Ivan Drago, and he realized that the Russian was not indeed a machine (I went on Youtube to link that scene and quickly saw that it is one of the worst boxing scenes in the history of cinema).
All that being said, this is just 1 game out of 82. There are still two more games for them to play against each other. Yes the Spurs were able to bottle up the high octane offense of Golden State, holding them to only 90 possessions on Saturday (thirteen below their season average), but Golden State was also without two of their best defenders in Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguaodala.
The Warriors also were coming off of a back to back against the Dallas Mavericks, which could possibly account for what seemed to be tired legs for Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. There is just as little to take from this close victory at home in San Antonio as there was for the 30 point loss in Oakland back in January. They don’t hand out the NBA trophy until June for a reason.
This week’s Good Ass Games:
The #mesohornets will give the Spurs a good run, and then the Spurs will bend the game towards their will. I love these kinds of games.
I think this one falls under the Good Ass Game of the Weak category–something to tap that vein to.
“Tap that Vein” Tuesday
Los Angeles Clippers- Golden State
Definitely one of the best NBA games last week. Dirk put in 40 and even Deron Williams put in some work in this overtime affair.
Portland-Los Angeles Clippers
Sweet 16: Texas A &M-Oklahoma, Kansas-Maryland, Duke-Oregon
The results of course necessitate that you watch the next round games on Saturday
Did Dallas have a hand in the Warriors defeat on Saturday? I’d like to think so. It was a good ass game.
San Antonio-Oklahoma City (Good Ass Game of the Week)
This one is on NBATV (WTF?????), so unless you live in the Spurs or Thunder tv market, you will be watching it a bar, on a legal(?) streaming site, or spending time with your people. Then again, you can just watch some NCAA.
Houston-Indiana or you can watch the Midwest and East regional finals.
Big Ups of the Week go to the UT Longhorns Men Basketball team for their successful season. The results were not much different this year than last, but you can chart the growth of the team from the beginning of the season to their final game on Friday.
Say what you will about former AD Steve Patterson, but his decision to hire Shaka Smart will go down as the best move he made at UT. Shaka Smart is not only a brilliant head coach, he’s a great teacher and mentor. If you ever have some time on your hands, check out LHN All Access with coach Shaka.
You can tell he really cares about his players becoming better people, and not just winning games for the university. Something I could never understand was how parents could send their children to go play for coaches like Bob Huggins and Bobby Knight. People still to this day confuse yelling with teaching.
You don’t see Shaka showing his players up or demeaning them. When he points out mistakes to be corrected, he uses the mistakes as teaching lessons. If there were ever any doubt about how his players feel about him, just watch the press conference after the loss to Northern Iowa. You can tell his players love playing him.
I said that UT will be in the Final Four within 5 years of hiring Shaka Smart, and I am not budging from that prediction. He is the real deal. Hopefully, he doesn’t leave for UNC before he can prove me right.
Enjoy this week’s slate of NBA games and the Sweet Sixteen.